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We find ourselves in Cockburn Town on Grand Turk (TCI), the capital of the Pirate Republic. Almost 100 islands are now part of this Pirate Republic. Settling the islands was a slow process, however. Goods could only be imported if someone was immensely wealthy. There was a strict limit on the number of people who could move onto the island. Only someone who performed services in and for society also benefited from the profits. Anyone who did nothing fell by the wayside and had to leave the Republic. There was certainly plenty of work. Every hand was needed, whether it was on the ships, in the harbour, the taverns, in renovating the buildings, at the fort or in Father Wim’s Church of the Holy Cross. The banker Nim van den Anderen had created an empire with his bank at the heart of it. Trading posts and warehouses were built, as was the Red Bell, a place for people to gather and enjoy themselves. Many establishments, such as the Old Prison hostel, were given a new lease of life and became real money makers. The men of the ship’s crews now spent most of their time on land. The many privateering expeditions were a welcome change for the tough sailors. But then came the 24th January 1706. As always, everything was peaceful. The Walrus and the Morningstar were away privateering, but most of the crews had remained in Cockburn Town. There had been no sign of Hands and Silver for two days. Only Flint was still on alert all the time and didn’t really trust the peace. And it was just as well he didn’t. The lion, who had been sleeping up to that point, bared his claws and attacked the Pirate Republic with fire, sword and crucifix.