For 3 months Charles worked tirelessly at the dealership. He made a couple of visits to his other dealerships to reestablish his control and leadership. He settled into a routine; in by 6:30 AM and not leaving until after 9:00 PM. Life seemed to take on the rhythm he had grown accustomed to, only with more time at work than before. It had been at least 25 years since the term workaholic could be applied to him. It seemed as if there was nothing else.
He continued going by the name Charles Abbot.
Yet there were times, just fleeting moments he mused finding out more about his life before California; before Billy Smith. Indeed, he knew there was a life before that. His present zest for running the business seemed to intrude on any notions to move forward to find out more about who he was or is.
It was to be a festive day of sorts. Charles’ general manager, Frank Foster, purchased a boat during the winter; a forty foot cabin cruiser. It was used and needed repairs. Frank put a lot of work in it. He was having it hauled to Savannah, but was going to have it brought by the dealership for everyone to see.
Charles sat behind his desk in his office studying inventory reports. The phone rang.
“Hey boss,” (It was Frank.) “If you’re at your desk looking over how well we did last month, stand up and look out your front window.”
Charles stood. A tractor truck was pulling a light blue cabin cruiser tuned onto the lot.
“Do you see it?” Frank said.
“Yeah,” Charles said, “I see it. She’s a beauty.”
“We got to move a lot of inventory and sell a lot of parts and service to pay for this thing,” Frank said.
“Well, get her in the water and get back to work,” Charles said.
“Ahoy!” Frank said. “Look who’s at the helm.”
Charles leaned forward and saw Frank at the helm waving wildly. Charles saluted him.
“Come down and take a look at her,” Frank said.
“I’ll be right there,” Charles said.
Charles tossed the reports on his desk. The sound of a fog horn followed by “ding ding – ding ding” of a bell. Charles stood fast. “Fog,” he whispered. “I’m in the water.” He hesitated at a fleeting vision of being alone in a boat on water in the fog. It past as quickly as it came. He tried to recapture the image and feelings, but they were gone and the more he struggled to regain it the further away it seemed.
The fog horn and dings occurred a few more times, but they brought nothing to mind. Charles climbed aboard the boat and Frank proudly showed him all the work he put into it.
“Can you read charts and coordinates?” Charles said.
“Sure,” Frank said, “I spent four years in the Coast Guard.”
Charles unbuttoned his shirt under his tie. He reached inside his shirt and pulled out the medallion. “I think these are coordinates on a map, can you locate them for me?”
“Sure,” Frank said and read the coordinates. “47, 03, dash, 55, 10, 30.” Frank stooped inside the cabin and pulled out a large book. He quickly turned the pages. “I’ll have it here in a second. He stopped at a page. “Repeat it to me again.”
“ 47, 03, dash, 55, 10, 30,” Charles said.
“Hmm,” Frank said, “here it is, take a look.”
Charles looked over Frank’s shoulder. It was a map of the eastern Canadian Atlantic.
“Is that Labrador?” Charles said.
“Yes,” Frank said, “but your coordinates are over here where my finger is.”