Sunday, 29 September 2013

Chapter 3 part2

“Close to a hundred dollars" she replied.

"What if Natty would have been really in the mood?", Sandy asked grinning. 
Clare looked at her to see if she was serious.Once outside every one laughed, including Natty. Ray picked her up, set her on his shoulders and danced around the parking lot. At the river boat Ray cast off saying, “Farewell, Greenville, Mississippi!”

"Loosen up, everybody, you all look like you just got back from a funeral!" Ray had taped and glued the radio back together as well as he could and now it was time to try it out. He turned it on and rock music blared out of one of the speakers. Natty jumped around in a circle singing, “Ya, ya, ya!” Sandy danced half halfheartedly when Clare began to dance wildly at the center of the kitchen. Ray watched, keeping time to the music, tapping a ruler on the instrument panel. Sandy puled back and let Clare have the floor as she clapped her hands in encouragement.

After the tune was over Clare slumped in a chair, winded.

"I didn't know that a person your age could dance to rock music, uh, oh. I didn't mean that the way it sounded," he immediately added realizing he had made the age old mistake of mentioning age to a woman.

"Oh ya, I can dance circles around you any day young man!”, Clare boasted. “What age do you think I am anyway?"

"Sandy take over the wheel, I can't pass up this challenge," he informed her.

Both Clare and Ray gyrated around the kitchen while Natty sat in a corner jumping up and down and squealing happily. After three consecutive jigs both laid on the floor fighting for breath and laughing at the same time.
“I never saw any one dance like you before, young or old," Ray said admiringly. "Where did you learn to dance like that?" Ray asked.

"When I was younger I danced in night clubs. I put myself through school dancing in night clubs," Clare informed him.

"Wow, that must have been interesting!" Ray said in wonderment.

"It was an exciting part of my life but I wouldn't recommend it to young girls just starting out, It can lead to all kinds of dangerous predicaments, sometimes life threatening situations."
"How did you come to be a social worker?" Sandy asked.

"I always loved and cared for children. I was the oldest of five, our mum was a single parent and I kind of naturally became the mother when mum was too busy for us. I never complained, I loved it and I was a natural at it. When I got to college I was willing to do whatever I had to do to work with children. That was my one and only goal in life," Clare revealed.
"Social workers don't help children they just separate them, so they never see each other again. Like the twins in the National Enquirer, reunited some sixty years later. Sixty years from now I probably won't even care if I'm alive," Ray said, lowering his head. Clare put her arm around his shoulder saying, "It's alright Ray, I promise that I will do every thing I can to keep you guys together. We could still make this legal all we need is the proper papers from a judge and..."

"No! If we even show our selves near a court house they'll take us away," Ray said pulling away from Clare. Clare thought about it and had to agree. One week later this far up river without a report, It would be her that they would most likely judge as incompetent, if not throw the book at her for attempted kidnapping
"You're right, we're all in the same boat together.”, Clare concurred. Both Sandy and Ray laughed.
"What's so funny?" Clare asked.

"Voi-la," Ray said pirouetting with his arms outstretched, indicating the river boat cabin around them that served as the kitchen.

"Ain’t it the truth," Clare said joining in the laughter.

"Tomorrow we'll be in Helena Mississippi. They're having a
carnival there," Ray announced.
"Let's not stop there," Clare said. An uneasiness tugged at her.
"Why not, Clare?" Sandy asked.

"I'm not sure, I guess It's just that there will be a lot of people there and you never know who we could run into." Clare said, not knowing how else to explain the gut feeling she had go through her.

"Do you really think they could be looking for us this far north?" Ray asked.

Just then a police cruiser approached. It slowed its speed and flashed its spot light at them, then continued on without a second look. Ray pointed starboard at the receding cruiser. “They can't be looking for us too hard," he remarked. Clare still felt uneasy about anyone leaving the security of the riverboat. She just wished they could just keep going non-stop until they had reached their destination.

"You and Ray can go, I'll stay her with the baby, That way you can have fun without worrying about the boat and your little sister." She didn't know why exactly why she felt uneasy about this stop over. Maybe she was just jumping at shadows.

"Come on Natty let's go fix us up some supper." On hearing her name Natty got up and toddled her way to Clare.
Ray watched Clare and Natty walking hand in hand. It reminded him of his mother during better times.
"We have enough vegetables here to last for a month,” Clare informed them. “Anyone for vegetable soup? After all Natty picked it out on her very own." Natty sat on the counter happily sucking on a carrot.
"Yeah, and that lady almost wore it, too!,” Ray said laughing.

"Do you know that our little sister could start a war without even being aware of it?", Sandy pointed out with a guffaw.

"Yeah, like the lady with the sore toe beating the clerk over the head with a zucchini, yelling, 'I'm going to sue you for my broken corny toe,'” Ray said, imitating the lady's voice between hearty gales of laughter.

“What was she doing buying corn anyway? She already had some," Sandy chortled. This was followed by more peals of laughter from Ray and Clare and unbridled giggling on Natty's part..

"I can't laugh any more," Sandy said holding her right side.

"Me neither," Ray said taking a deep breath then breaking out into some more knee-slapping laughter. "This is the most fun I ever had in my life!"

"I don't ever want to forget this day," Sandy assured Ray.

After supper Clare took over at the helm. There was not much traffic on the river. The only vessel near her was an old tug boat with the name “Irish Rover” written on its stern in faded green lettering.

Sean whistled shrilly to awaken Patrick, who was passed out on the cabin couch. There was not much work of late and when Patrick wasn't working he played hard.

He liked the night clubs and the ladies. When he got out of hand they would ask him to leave, none too gently sometimes, but they would always welcome him back the next day. He would sit at the bar telling tall tales through the day until the action would start later in the evening. When Patrick sat up he thought his head would spin off into space as the room wavered and swam around him.

"What is it me boy? Ye almost gave me the big an." Sean pointed urgently to the port side.

"Well ahl be! Patrick exclaimed. I wonder how fa up riva our lad is by now? We have a load to take dawn riva tomorrow, maybe we'll ran in ta hm," Raymond said hopefully
"Maybe so, tis a lang way from ham," Sean said, carefully noting what direction and speed the river boat was going.
Early the next morning Ray docked the river boat in the Helena, Mississippi harbor. He and Sandy had to take the skiff to the main dock. There was no available dock space left for regular vessels. It was time for the local carnival celebrating the town's heritage and southern life in general.

Dan Everett was much too busy working at the marina to see his own two teenage children walking by only a few feet away. Even if he had seen them it probably would not have registered in his mind that they were actually in Helena.

Ray and Sandy had to scurry to find a place from which they could watch the parade. The first float that they saw contained white swans made up entirely of flowers. Ballerinas danced in the center of it.

"Wow! TV is nothing compared to this!," Sandy exclaimed. The next float was a scene from the civil war. The shell bursts were colorfully painted in red yellow and orange. On another float was the Muppets with Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, and their friends. Sandy and Ray laughed gaily watching their antics.

At an open field they found the rides. After a few rides they made their way to the hot dog vendors to eat their fill before their last ride on The Wild Mouse, a roller coaster that had more twists then the great Mississippi herself. Ray spent $20 at a shooting gallery, winning a small hairy stuffed animal that he could have bought for five dollars at a novelty store. For him that night it was the greatest prize in the world.

"Do you think Natty will like it?" Ray asked Sandy
"She'll love it,” Sandy said smiling." The next gaming booth was a game that was played with lawn darts. Sandy proved to be good at this game, winning three stuffed toys and a doll out of five tries. The attendant frowned and said, “Young lady would you want to try once more, double or nothing, just to prove to the good folks here it isn't beginners luck." He held his arms spread out to the knot of people that had gathered around to watch Sandy play. Sandy looked at Ray who shook his head.

"No thanks mister, maybe it was beginners luck," she agreed. “Let's go watch the carnival dancers for a while,” she said to Ray. Dismissing the whole venture she walked briskly towards the brightly lit pavilions to their right.
“Ralph, my friend, we finally cross paths. Come here for a minute," Dan Everett said cheerfully. I have a little present for you." Ralph stood with his hand on his holster watching him suspiciously.
"What do you have in the box?," he asked
"It's for you from Jim, a token of appreciation for working on this festive night. I was supposed to give it to you earlier but I was too busy."

"Why would he ask you to deliver it?", Ralph asked with uncertainty.
"There was no one else around at the time, every one had already left for the carnival," Dan explained.
"Come here in the light where I can see you," Ralph ordered, tightening his grip on the handle of his revolver in the holster.

"Is this old geezer going to bite? If not I'll have to use persuader number two." Dan fingered the small ball-peen hammer in his back pocket.

Dan walked out into the light and spoke. "If you don't want it, that's fine with me I'll keep it for myself," he said, and began to slip the box back under his shirt.

"Let me see it," Ralph said, reaching out with his left hand, his right hand still resting on the holster at his hip. Dan handed him the box. Ralph pulled the mickey flask of Scotch out of the box. A quick sniff confirmed that it was his favorite brand. No one else knew except Jim.Ralph smiled and said thanks, shaking Dan's hand.

"A little rheumatism medicine before I go to bed.", Ralph said, pocketing the mickey. “Do me a favor my friend, don't sneak up on someone like that in the dark again. Especially if that person is packing a gun.

"I'll remember that, thanks. Have a good night." Dan waved and walked back into the shadows. Dan watched Ralph walk out of sight behind some drums. He sat under cover of darkness between two drums. Taking the cap off the bottle he took a hearty pull. Almost immediately he felt a warm glow radiate through his body from the center of his stomach. Twenty minutes later all Dan could see was Ralph’s boots sticking out from behind the drums.

Dan walked around the drums and kicked the old man's feet. There was no response. Bending down he removed the keys from his belt and also relieved him of the gun in the holster. Dan got up saying, “Sweet dreams old fart.” He should be out cold for at least a couple of hours, he figured.

On opening the front doors to the marina's store Dan switched off the surveillance cameras and walked in closing the doors behind him. Opening the safe would be no obstacle. He had used their very own surveillance camera to take care of that. Using his knowledge of video devices he had offered one day to repair one of their faulty surveillance cameras. He had used another camera as a substitute while he repaired the original one.

The camera had been aimed on the safe. One video of the safe to him and one of their store to them. The safe door made a soft squealing sound when he opened the door. He couldn't believe his eyes. There was over one hundred thousand dollars in neat little stacks inside the safe. More money then he had seen in his life time. He could go any where in the world with this, safe from the law.

Stuffing the money in a duffel bag he made his way back to the front doors. Hearing voices outside Dan moved away from the door and stood
with his back to a section of wall between the doors and the front windows, he waited gun in hand. One man said good night and walked off toward the boats.

The other one stood in front of the store smoking. Flicking his cigarette towards the water the man turned, walked up to the doors and stopped. Dan heard him snapping his fingers and saying, damn I forgot my keys in the car. The man walked back towards the parking lot.

“Better move it now, Danny boy,” Dan said to himself. “He won't be long returning and if he opens that safe, all hell will break loose really fast!”

Dan closed and relocked the door. Throwing the keys in the water he ran to the end of the dock and jumped into a speed boat which he had hot wired earlier. Dan started the motor and roared away nearly colliding with an incoming boat. “I wonder who that drunken idiot is,” Jim thought, unlocking the front doors to the store.
When Ray and Sandy got back to the marina they were confronted by a crowd of people that several policemen held back, while others roved the dock in front of the store in apparent search of something.

"I wonder what's happening here?" Sandy asked.

"I don't know but it's some thing bigger than just a reception for us." Ray assured her. Ray could hear the word robbery being passed around. There's the answer to your question, Ray responded.

"Let's go find the skiff before this really develops into something," Sandy advised.

"That river boat looks familiar, Can it be?," Dan asked himself looking towards the dock to his star board side. Dan circled around and came back for a closer inspection.

"Yes, it is the Misty, what better luck." He looked across to the other shore, the police had already arrived.
"It would be a simple matter of time before they discovered Ralph, the missing boat and my absence,” he thought. “With this boat they would have me before I got out of the harbor."

Pulling alongside the river boat Dan threw his duffel bag on the deck. Sticking a paddle through the steering wheel of the speed boat he pulled the throttle back and let the speed boat go. It went straight up the harbor for a ways then veered to the left and disintegrated in a flowery red explosion on a rocky ledge. Dan grinned and cheered to himself. “Yes! Maybe that will throw them off for a while.”

Clare had heard the speed boat and got up to see what was happening while Natty slept soundly in the bed next to her. Some one was out side on the
deck, a prowler, she thought. In the kitchen she picked up the only handy thing at hand, the coffee pot, she stood behind the door holding the coffee pot over her head and waited.

Dan, not wanting to awaken any one that might be aboard, picked the lock with his pocket knife, like he had on countless other occasions in the past. The door swung open and the dark form of a man stepped in. Clare brought the coffee pot down on the man's head. It made a popping sound when it connected and exploded into a shower of broken glass. Dan saw a bright light then felt some stinging at the back of his head. Shaking his head he looked to his right at a dark form that stood very still against the wall.

"What do we have here?" Dan asked. As his right arm darted out to grab the unknown form, Clare started to pull back but it was too late. She screamed more at the pain in her scalp than from fear.

Dan wasted no time, he could not afford another scream. Clutching a hand full of hair with his right hand he struck Clare hard in the left temple with his left fist. Catching her in his arms when she began sag towards the floor, he carried her to the into the living room and dumped her like a sack of potatoes on the sofa. Throwing his duffel bag in the middle of the kitchen floor he inspected the other rooms.

Satisfied that Natty slept soundly in the bed in the main bedroom, he thought the other two would come around soon.

"I'll just make myself comfortable and wait," he said aloud to himself and smiled. “The family reunion, how cozy."
Soon there was the hum of a small motor and the chatter of happy voices. Dan sat in a chair facing the door. He held Ralph’s pistol in his lap. Ray stepped in first and waited, holding the door for Sandy who walked in with arms loaded with stuffed animals.

"Clare! Where are you? We're home," Sandy shouted, dumping the stuffies on the kitchen table.
"Welcome home, kids. Did you miss your old man?" Sandy screamed as Ray backed up towards the door. “You're not going anywhere son; move away from the door". Ray did as he was told, his eyes riveted to the gun.

"I want you to start this boat up and move on out of the harbor very normal like." Dan ordered Ray. Ray stayed riveted to the spot he stood on, frozen with fear.

"Suit your self son, maybe it's the women that run things around here."

"Sandy!" Dan motioned to the controls with the gun, then quick as lightning Dan pointed the gun at Ray's head and yelled, “Bang!" Ray jumped. A dark spot appeared at the front of his pants and spread down the right pant leg. Dan laughed
"Sandy, I think you better get your brother some diapers,"
Dan said, then laughed again uproariously. Again, as quick as a cobra,
the gun was once again pointed at Ray's head.

"Fun's over son, I want you to go out and undo the mooring lines. Try some thing funny out there and I'll blow everyone's heads off that's on board this boat." There were police boats every where now, some were now investigating the crash site of the speed boat. No one paid attention to the river boat that crept slowly north ward up river.

Patrick blew his fog horn to get the attention of the catamaran that sailed up river. George immediately recognized the tug boat that towed behind it a barge loaded with heavy equipment.

"How as ye lad. I have sam news fa ye," Patrick yelled. George took down the sails and drifted to the tug.
"You seen the river boat?" George asked anxiously.

"Yas lad ah hav, the Misty it ma be. She be in Helena by naw. If ye harry real fast ye make it by night fall."
"Thanks Patrick I owe you." George said shaking Patrick's hand.

He had heard about the carnival there and he hoped that it would keep them there for a while. The Irishman was sober and George had no reason to doubt his word.

What kind of situation would he have when he caught up to them, George wondered. He was certain that the children were on the run from the system but what is the situation with Clare? Was she going along with them? Was she running away, too? Or was she being held against her will? He was reasonably sure she was safe with the children either way.

What worried him was Dan. What if they ran into him on the river. According to those officers, they had strong suspicions that he had gone north on the river after he had killed his wife. Another thing that bothered him was why would they have begun a search in this particular area.

George turned on the radio to get the news. There was a report of a robbery and a boat crash in Helena. The boat that crashed into some rocks earlier this evening is believed to be that of the fleeing robber. At this point they are not sure if the robber went down with the boat.

A description of the man is as follows: he is six foot six tall, stocky in build, brown hair and beard with dark brown eyes, edging on black in appearance. He bears a scar from a knife fight on the left arm from elbow to wrist. This man is also a suspect in the slaying of Nell Everett. The suspect's name is Dan Sweeney. If you see this man he is armed and dangerous. Please stay away from him and report his where about
to the police immediately.
George turned the radio off. His worst fears may have already happened. There was a steady stream of boats departing and entering from the docks when George entered the harbor in Helena. The river boat was no where in sight. If she had been here she had already left. Every one he had asked did not recollect seeing the river boat. One older gentleman informed him that he thought he had seen one at the dock across the bay the night
before. At the marina across the bay the owner went through the registration with him. His nephew, who was not there at the time, had taken most of the entries.

"There it is!" George nearly yelled stabbing his finger under a name. The names of the people were not familiar but there was no mistaking the name of the vessel, The Misty.

Can you contact your nephew and ask him if he knows when The Misty left and if there was anything unusual about it's departure?"

"I'll see what I can do, the owner said. Raising an eyebrow he asked, would this have any thing to do with what's going on across the bay?"

"Possibly but I'm hoping not," George responded. The owner disappeared into the store and came back a few minutes later, scratching behind his right ear.

"My nephew say's that there was nothing unusual about their departure, for that matter they departed very quiet like, like maybe they didn't want to disturb anybody."

"Thanks for your time, I have to be going now. I promised my wife I'd meet her here and I'm running late as it is."
"Son hold up a minute. I think you forgot some thing." The owner held out some thing for him to take.

"What is it?" George asked holding out his hand. The marina owner dropped a fully loaded forty-five in his hand.
"I have reason to believe the man the police are looking for is on board that boat."

"Why didn't you report it to the police," George asked.

"My Nephew didn't think there was really any thing to report at the time."

"All he saw was some one walking on the deck in semi-darkness. It could have been anyone. What really caught his attention though was the speed boat leaving that same area at about the same time. The strange thing about it was he thought there was no one on board the speed boat. He had forgot all about the speed boat till they mentioned it on the news."

"Thanks," George said, slipping the forty five in his pocket. George jumped back onto the catamaran and cast off. The river above Helena was dark and
empty of other vessels. A good wind blew and he made fair headway. There were not many built up areas on this stretch. With the overcast it gave the impression of being at the center of an unknown wilderness. He felt like the explorers of old, wild and free. Turning on the radio to suitable music he let his imagination run with the mood of the environment around him.

Reality temporarily abandoned, he relaxed and enjoyed the moment. Tonight he was a leaf blowing on the wind, rising and falling over the waters, like a tiny bird enjoying the freedom of flight. Tomorrow would be another day. Tomorrow may bring tragedy for some one. And then it could also reunite him with his river friends and the woman he had been attracted to on first sight.

Dan had Clare tied to a wall peg. He sat at the kitchen table fingering the gun on the table in front of him. Ray sat frozen in fear on a chest against the wall next to Sandy, who stood behind the controls navigating the river boat.
"Watch very carefully son, I have a very important lesson to teach you. This lady is a social worker you tell me, right?” There was no response. Dan's movements were like those of a striking rattler. There was the explosion from the gun and a hole appeared in the wall just above Rays head. He blew the smoke that drifted up from the gun barrel. Grinning he yelled, "Now son listen up! The next time you're spoken to and you don't answer, you'll be wearing the next hole at the center of your forehead. Your old man is good with a gun. I cut my teeth on a gun barrel, like they say in the westerns. Now I'll ask you again, This lady is a social worker, right?"
"Yes," Ray replied almost inaudibly.

"Yes sir!” Dan shouted, pointing the gun at his right kneecap. “Maybe I'll take you a little piece at a time."

"Yes sir!" Ray responded in a louder voice.

"OK then, You also told me you hate social workers, is that true?"

"Yes sir!" Ray responded again
"Alright I'll fix that for you," In one motion the gun came up and fired. There was blood splattered every where on the wall behind Clare's head. Ray opened his mouth to scream but it was someone else that screamed.
George then realized it was his own voice that had screamed. It had just been another horrible nightmare. George sat up on his cot drenched in sweat. Pulling a drawer open he checked to see if the forty-five was still there. Picking it up he hefted it in his right hand, he hoped he would not have to use it but never the less it felt reassuring just having it.
"If you hurt any one on that boat, I promise you, I'll plug you so full of holes they'll be able to use you for a screen door after I'm done with you," George promised.

It was five in the morning and it was still dark out. Once again George was sailing northward. In the last forty eight hours he had stopped only to
sleep for five hours. He did not remember the last time he had stopped to eat, not wanting to loose precious time to do so. It was a cool dawn, the break of day colored the sky in the east.

What looked like a river boat in the distance turned out to be a trawler on closer inspection. They appeared to be having engine problems. George coasted in along side of them to asked if they had seen the river boat. A Mexican pointed up river saying, “Not far, not far.” George thanked them and agreed to take one of them to shore to get help for their stranded trawler.

While on shore he went to a marina restaurant to have a quick bite to eat.

He did not like the delay but on the other hand he would need the energy for the coming events that lay ahead of him.

Stepping out of the restaurant he saw the Mexican running down the dock waving his hands for him to stop. The man at the store had told him that a man from that river boat had come into the store and bought much whiskey. George brought the Mexican back to the trawler and immediately set sail up river. A strong wind blew and the Missy sliced swiftly through the water. Nevertheless, he found him self pushing on the helm and mentally urging the catamaran to go faster.

This man may be dangerous when he was sober but he was more so when he drank. He had been a bar room brawler and a wife beater. Now according to the police he had graduated to murder
"Come on, Missy, please move a little faster," George called to the catamaran. There was a group of work boats ahead. He did not want to waste the time going around them, so he sailed right between the two at the center with only inches to spare. One worker nearly jumped over board when he saw him coming straight for them. George waved to them. The worker on the other boat showed him the finger.

There seemed to be more traffic than usual on the river on this day but George managed to thread his way through it without letting up speed. He was proud of the sleekness and maneuverability of the craft he had built with his own two hands. The river boat being a much bulkier vessel would not be making as good a time, giving him the advantage, he hoped.

What would he do once he saw the river boat? He could not make an approach in the day light. Even under cover of darkness it would be tricky to approach without being seen with a craft the size of the Missy. He had one thing to his advantage - silence. Dan had to sleep some time, he would have to bide his time and wait and watch for an opportunity and when he made his
move he would have to do so swiftly and effectively.
On the other hand the three children and Clare could be perfectly safe
cordially cruising north ward, he wished and prayed, but a gut feeling told him otherwise.
"After this is over I am going to take time and enjoy the freedom and joy of my vessel. Just me, the air, and the water. And I'm going to go see places I never had time to explore before. Maybe I'll sail all the way up to Canada. They say the Great Lakes are a beautiful sight to see, like looking across the Gulf of Mexico. It's hard to picture in my mind, lakes that large. Miniature fresh water oceans." He had just sailed by Southaven Mississippi.
"Soon I'll be in Memphis Tennessee,
That's a place I always wanted to see. When this is over maybe I'll come back her and spend some time."
"There it is!" George exclaimed to himself. “There's no mistaking it. That is the river boat.” He dropped sails and used the motor to keep at a distance. George's hands trembled with anticipation and his mind raced trying to decide what his next move would be.
"Of one thing I am sure, I can't make any decisions in this state of mind. I have to calm down if I want to think this out rationally.”
His mind kept returning to the dream he had the night before, He could, right this minute, be holding a gun to Clare's head. George fought with all his will power against the urge of boarding the river boat gun in hand that very instant. He wished that he would have accepted Patrick's offer of a pint of his Irish Comfort, or what ever he had called it. For now all he could do was watch from a distant and try to come up with a sensible plan.
“I could, from a safe distance, pull up along the port side where the main bedroom is situated just to the rear and out of sight of the stern. If I could just see one of the kids or Clare and get their attention without being noticed. At least if I could see they are safe. On the other hand, if Everett was on board and he did see me he wouldn't know who I am and I could just simply keep right on sailing past him, I would just be another of the many vessels using the same waterway.”

The only problem with this plan is that every one on board knows me on sight and if they see me they may react to that discovery, a fatal reaction. If that sicko Everett even suspected there was someone out here that the children knew and he felt threatened it could send him into a fit of uncontrollable rage.

According to the news reports he has a gun and being a fugitive from justice and in the state of mind he was in he had nothing to lose and if he thought he had lost control of the situation, he could go into a shooting frenzy both inside and outside of the riverboat.

George thought that it would be more likely though, if this man retained any sense at all, he would probably want to keep those on board as hostages
but that does not necessarily mean he wouldn't shoot one of his hostages if someone got too close. It was a lose/lose situation. He simply didn't know enough about this person, except that he had an extremely bad temper when drinking. Would he hesitate to kill if cornered? Somehow George didn't think so. That would be one advantage this beast would have over him. He had nothing to lose and having already killed once, the value of a human life wouldn't mean a whole lot to him anymore. He had no doubt that this man wouldn't hesitate to shoot first and ask questions later
George went below and took the gun out of the drawer and tucked it in his belt then went back on deck. He eased the throttle up a notch and crept up closer to the port side of the riverboat.
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