Here’s the thing…
Every time I close my eyes, I see something different.
I’d like to think the cinema of my dreams is playing a double feature but it’s a bit like a comedy cartoon night on Fox.
But these dreams are nothing to laugh about.
Once again there’s a new instalment of an old feature, and we’re back on the treasure hunt.
Short of jumping over the side, there was no way we were getting away. And judging from the expression on Rico’s face, now very plain to see halfway along the pier, he knew exactly what we’d seen.
Boggs stepped off the deck and joined me, just as Rico made it to the side of the boat, just as it started rocking again, but I was too frightened to feel sick.
But a glance in the opposite direction, out towards the sandbar, showed another boat, coming in our direction very quickly, and by the shape of it, I was hoping it was the police launch. Rico had seen it too.
“What have you done?”
“I called the police.”
The men who had been with him were now retreating back along the pier towards land, but that too, suddenly looked like there would be no escape.
A police car with its siren blaring and lights flashing just stopped at the entrance to the pier and two officers were getting out, guns in hand.
My only thought wasn’t of relief, but that Boggs and I were about to become hostages in the middle of a shootout.
Boggs blurted out, “There’s a dead body in the cabin.”
Rico shook his head. “Nonsense. I’ve been gone only an hour and there wasn’t one then.”
He looked around to see the officers coming from the land side of the pier, and the four men slowly walking back towards the boat.
Rico climbed on board, then moved to the hatch. He lifted the hatch cover and folded it back to show an opening into the cabin. It hadn’t been locked, it just looked like it was. Just as the officers made it to the boat, he stepped in, then down into the cabin.
A minute later, when he came up, the police launch had arrived just off the stern. Rico looked shaken like he’d seen a ghost.
I recognised the officer who came on board, a man called Johnson, the police chief’s deputy. He was known to shoot first and ask questions later.
He looked at me, Rico, Boggs, then back to me. “What’s this all about?”
“There’s a body in the cabin.”
He switched his glare to Rico. “That true?”
Rico nodded. “I don’t know where it came from, but it wasn’t there an hour ago.”
The seaman about the police launch slipped a rope over the bollard at the rear of our boat and then jumped on board to secure it. Another seaman did the same at the bow. Two more jumped on board, one covering Rico and the other going into the cabin.
When he came back up on deck he was talking into his cell phone.
I think Rico had a lot of explaining to do.
So did we.
© Charles Heath 2019