“Damn, I hate rain,” said Tomo. “I thought you didn’t like trying to do this in the rain.”
“Had no choice,” said Jenny. “We got hot cargo here that has to cross over before dawn.”
“And another thing: I thought you hated smuggling.”
“Again, no choice. Anything else?”
“Yeah,” said Tomo as she shifted away from the edge of the boat, her features blurred by the sudden increase in the intensity of the rain. “The travel trade; I thought we didn’t do that, ever.”
“Geez, Tomo, where in f’n’ hell were you when we drove out here? I explained it all, am I right? I did, didn’ I?” Jenny appealed to the rest of the crew.
Charlie was barely an outline at the bow, and she couldn’t tell his reaction. She assumed where Dutch stood and looked instead at Georgie, who betrayed no sympathies either way.
Before Jenny could worry where she stood with her crew, Tomo finally replied, “Well, yeah, but that don’t mean I have to like it.”
“Neither do I, if it means anything, but she’s gotta go,” Jenny nodded at Tia, amidships between her and Georgie. “And sometimes, you have to do things you don’t want to, but the sooner she’s gone the better.”
“If it means a little less weight in the boat,” Charlie piped up, “then yeah, back across to the other side with her.”
“There you go,” said Jenny. “He gets it, Tomo; I don’t know why you don’t.”
All Jenny could hear from Tomo as her voice rose and fell was “…ing cold rain to be…”
“Straight back and forth?” Charlie asked.
“Pretty much,” Jenny replied. “Why, want to stop for a beer on the way?”
“I’m asking because I think I see something out there. Ahead, off to starboard.”
Jenny slowed the motor and tried to bring up her binoculars while propping herself up on the stern bench. The rain was making it difficult to get a good fix on the horizon.
“You sure about that?” she asked him.
“Think so. Try the sixty degree mark. You know, the two o’clock position.”
“I’m not seeing much at the horizon line.”
“No, no,” said Charlie, “closer in, two thirds the way before that.”
This time, Jenny saw the shape, a craft with a keel half again as long as her boat’s with a very low profile.
She gave a frustrated sigh and a quick glance at Tia before she announced, “Yeah, it’s a possible prize. I know we all agreed like traditional pirate crews of old that we all have a say on whether we go or not, but just this once, think about why we’re out this evening; to get rid of Tia here, and what we should do before we go-”
“I say go,” Tomo and Dutch almost said simultaneously.
“I’m in for going,” Charlie quickly added.
There was a long pause before Georgie peeped up with, “We should get something for being out here in this; go for it.”
Jenny said nothing as she got back next to the motor, opened the throttle and plotted an intercept course…
All content Copyright © 2011 James Ryan