Adventure at Lewes, Part 3
At last he reached the marsh where the dinghy hid in the grass. The Odyssey rested quiet in the small cove. He shoved the dinghy into the water, hopped in, and started rowing toward The Odyssey.
As he neared, “Salty! It’s Rich?”
Salty came from below and to the bow. “What’s going on, mate? That was a quick trip.”
“We got to get out of here,” Rich said tossing the line. “There is a safety inspection of all maned vessels. They started this morning just about 12 miles from here. But safety inspection could be a cover; they may be looking for me and The Odyssey.”
The dinghy was quickly hauled on board.
“Salty,” Rich said, “secure the dinghy and I’ll pull the anchor and start the engine.”
With the motor started Rich steered out of the cove and past the marina. They crept into the waterway that led into Delaware Bay. Their eyes were wide and senses alert for any boat that looked official.
Once clear of the waterway Rich steered toward the Atlantic. He grabbed the binoculars and scanned ahead. “Looks all clear,” he said. He turned and looked behind. A state boat with an aluminum body was tied to a fishing boat. Rich set The Odyssey at full throttle. “They’re about a half mile behind us.”
“It will take about a half hour to clear the bay,” Salty said. “It would be good to wait and set the sails then. If we hoist them now that will give them something to see; a mast is harder to see than full sails.”
“I won’t breath easy for at least another two hours,” Rich said looking over his shoulder, “that will put us pretty close to being in international waters. That will put us out of range of the legal authorities, but it’s the illegal that should be avoided also.”
Holding tight to the helm Rich glanced at Cape Henlopen off the starboard bow. It was pretty and vacant. “I would like to visit here again someday, only under less adverse circumstances.”
“You sure know how to find adverse circumstances,” Salty said.
“Salty,” Rich said, “get on the radio and call the Cape May police. Tell them that you’re the Irishman from yesterday and saw The Odyssey in the bay.”
Salty made the call and told the dispatcher he saw The Odyssey about 15 miles inland. He said to the dispatcher, “What’s the guy wanted for? Over.”
“Darned if I know,” the dispatcher said. “We got call from the Maine Department of Investigation to just let us know if The Odyssey is spotted and to notify them and they’d take it from there. Over.”
“What crime was the guy supposed to have committed? Over.” Salty said.
“Murder, Over.” the dispatcher said.
“I hope they get their man,” Salty said. “Over.”
“I wonder who I was supposed to have killed?” Rich said.
They broke the cape and headed to the high seas. It was good wind. Rich strapped the wheel to hold the course. He and Salty hoisted the sails and they snapped open. Rich cut the engine.
They sailed swiftly for fifteen minutes. Rich looked over his shoulder. A reflection from the sun came from a boat. Rich grabbed the binoculars again.
“What is it?” Salty asked.
“I don’t know yet,” Rich said, “but I think we are being pursued.”
He continued to scan until he spied a boat rise on a swell.
“It’s a police boat,” Rich said, “coming our way.”
“I can see her with my own eyes,” Salty said. “She’s gaining fast.”
“I don’t think we can make it,” Rich said.
Salty grabbed the binoculars and looked. “It’s a police boat, alright. I can see the badges.”
Rich started the engine and thrust it to full throttle.
“That helps a little,” Rich said.
“Not enough, though,” Salty said.
“Okay, Salty,” Rich said. “I kidnapped you at gunpoint. You have nothing to do with anything.”
“That ain’t gonna fly, mate,” Salty said. “Just tell them the truth.”
“Smithson will be here as soon as he can and take me back,” Rich said, “but I bet I have an accident on the way back.”
The police boat continued to close the gap.
“I’m not shutting down the engines,” Rich said. “They’ll have to board us on the move.”
The police boat moved to within 25 yards.
“If I can keep them away for another 15 minutes we may be in international waters by then,” Rich said.
“They can just drag us back,” Salty said.
“Maybe they’re honest cops,” Rich said.
The police boat pulled alongside. There were three officers on board.
“Turn around! Turn around,” a policeman yelled.
Rich continued forward ignoring them.
“You are under arrest!” the policeman yelled.
The boat drew close and bumped them.
A policeman perched on the side of their boat and squatted like frog about to leap. The boat pulled close. The policeman prepared to leap. Their motor sputtered and stopped.
“They’re out of gas,” Rich said.
An officer held a rifle and fired it. Trying to shoot on choppy waters there was no telling where it went. Another shot was fired.
Rich opened the bench, pulled out the AK47, and snapped in a clip. Rich shot a short burst to the port side of the police boat. It kicked up the water. The police officer removed the rifle from his shoulder.
Rich cut the engine and The Odyssey returned to sail power only.