It was only a beer and a half later that my eye caught something cresting the horizon. Its size was apparent even from a distance. There was no way that a craft that large could dock at the diminutive pier which now held us.
My inner query was soon answered when the teal behemoth stopped some 5000 yards from the dock.
“Here,” Leo said reaching into a posh leather satchel and pulling out a pair of binoculars. If it wasn’t for the ease of his manner, his impeccable appearance would be unnerving.
“You see it! You see our taxi?”
I scanned the side of the boat. It was quite a sight. The first thing I panned across was the stern. It had a crane which meant that it was equipped with an ROV. It was modern. Definitely built in the last couple of decades. Ah, ‘RV Genevive’ ok so it’s an oceanographic vessel. This was hardly surprising.
I looked in vain for the dinghy. That meant it was on the side of the boat I couldn’t see. So as I waited for the ‘taxi’ to round the prow I made an inspection of the deck and wheelhouse. Which caused me to discover the Union Jack. Something vague about maritime law entered my head but it had been so long…
“God save the queen!” I mumbled in a loud sarcastic semi-whisper.
“Oho-hoho,” Leo laughed. “Yes, Senhor Reed is quite the nationalist.”
“This is a private vessel?” There was something off about the way that flag was flying.
“Si. Very much so. You are very lucky to see it. There are many companies in this part of the southern hemisphere, few of them acknowledged.”
“Crazy fuckin’ expats.” Sam murmured.
Leo continued laughing. “Yes, Senhor Reed is quite spirited. And I would suggest that you not get on his bad side.”
I had lowered the binoculars and was now looking at the ‘Genevive’ with the naked eye. I saw a small speck shining green and gold in the rays of the setting sun. I trained the lenses on the speck. It wasn’t a dinghy at all. It was a speedboat. And, I chuckled, equipped with its own miniature union jack.
It was approaching us at a decent clip. A speed for which I was glad. I couldn’t wait to explore this rare treat that had dropped itself in my lap.
I looked over at Hoyt to see if the vessel had stirred a similar nautical passion. I was still unaccustomed to the recent shortening of his leafy crown. Maybe it was this. But…no…he was still distant…there was something foreign about the tight expressionless curl of his thin lips. Here we were in one of the most stirring possible situations and all I could read in his angular features was the cold detachment of a vivisectionist. Whatever had gotten into him all those weeks prior was still very much in control.
The speedboat that had pulled up was piloted by a man with a broad nose and a heavy brow. He deftly grabbed the rope that Leo tossed him and moored the sleek looking boat with its impressive outboard to the landing.
We hoisted our gear and descended the stairs to meet the newcomer. He was an older man though how much older was indeterminate. His step was lively, despite the graying of the hair and beard, and the first thing he did was hop from his craft and embrace Hoyt with a very peculiar hug, placing a hand on Graham’s opposite elbow. Graham reciprocated the hug perfectly in a mechanical sort of way.
“Welcome, Mr. Hoyt. Welcome!” The man boomed in a decidedly American accent.
1.1 (Intro) The Sketch of Sam Monroe
1.2 The Cajun Prayer
Help a Hipster