It has been six days since we left Baybars’ tower. My instructor, Bertram Figg, has emerged from below decks but once since that time. Unable to speak, he communicates through me with handwritten notes scribbled on paper wet with tears and runny mucous. His handwriting was already difficult to decipher, but his current condition has only made it worse, I’m afraid. He has not been eating, and taking only water. The smell of Bea’s body has begun to overtake the storage hold, but he has refused to leave her side. Yesterday, he came to the deck to speak to Ervendio alone. I can tell by his face the exchange only caused him more despair.
I have found to take lessons where I can, and perhaps that was his intent all along. For instance, today he wrote “Givb water” which I understood to mean: “Give Bea Water”, when obviously he meant “Give me water”. When I raised the cup to Bea’s mouth, he slapped it away. The lesson here being; “Words and intent can often be misconstrued.” Or perhaps it is— “When Bertram is upset, leave him to his grief.” I will update once I have found the answer. Oh! Bertram is wise indeed!
After we came aboard, I showed Bertram the food I had been able to find to sustain us on our journey. I had hoped cooking would restore his enthusiasm, but I saw his face fall when I showed him the baskets of aphids, sea moss, and jellies I had gathered. I assured him that these foods were high in protein, but that only seemed to worsen his mood. As such, I have been tasked with preparing the meals for the crew. Most have accepted this without complaint. In fact, Teks was particularly pleased with my choice of aphid, as I had surmised he would be. Although I can feel a quiet mutiny for my cooking developing, only Jongle has voiced his displeasure, saying that his meal looked like his “(crotch after a night at Mammaries).” <sic> There are lessons here as well! Bertram once told me, “A good cook is like a wizard who dispenses happiness.” In that vein, “a bad cook is like a necromancer who dispenses woe.” On some days, I am the wizard, on others, the necromancer.
This morning I awoke to Bertram poking me with a wooden spoon. He was frantically pointing at the crystal ball we had recovered from the wizard Baybars. He wrote furiously on his pad, and currently I am trying to decipher the script while he paces the putrid hold.