Another Old Friend
The next morning Rich, Salty, Patrick, and Penelope sat at the breakfast table in the kitchen. They ate toast, eggs, fish, and coffee.
“Do you still fish?” Salty asked.
“I gave that up long ago,” Patrick said. “I have a charter boat business. I go to Antigua and pick up tourists and freight. Our family has a grocery, the best on the island. We do well.”
“What about your sons and daughters?” Rich asked.
“They work with me,” Patrick said, “but they fish also and we take the fish to Antigua to sell.”
“What do you do, Rich?” Penelope asked.
“I used to work for a newspaper,” Rich said. “I was a reporter.”
“That is a good profession,” Patrick said.
“I enjoyed it,” Rich said, “but I wanted to do something few people do before I’m too old or have to many responsibilities.”
“That is wise,” Patrick said.
They ate and talked more about the weather and local events.
“Abernathy, how long do you plan to stay?” Patrick said.
“Well,” Salty said, “Rich said I could stay as long as I like. I’m not going to strap a time to it, but I’ll know when I’m supposed to go. I can’t see staying any more than two weeks.”
“You are welcomed as long as you wish,” Penelope said.
“I have always wondered what was the fate and final resting place of the Lonely Jacktar,” Salty said to Patrick.
“I must show you something my friend,” Patrick said. “Let’s finish our coffee and go now.”
“You men go and I will clean up,” Penelope said.
Patrick gulped his coffee as he stood. He motioned politely with his arm toward the side door in the kitchen, “My automobile awaits.”
Patrick drove them in a ‘62 yellow Austin Mini. They drove back the road to where the The Odyssey was docked.
Patrick and Salty sat in the front seats talking like long lost brothers. Rich sat in the back seat concerned about The Odyssey and whether or not it had been guarded. As they approached the place where they docked something strange caught Rich’s attention.
“There are two boats,” he thought.
Patrick stopped and backed the car onto the small lane that lay atop the partial cement and partial rock pier. Patrick stopped parallel to the boat moored behind The Odyssey. Salty hardly noticed where they had parked. He focused only on the conversation with Patrick. Patrick could have driven the car into the sea and Salty would not have noticed.
“Look,” Patrick said and nodded out Salty’s window. “Tell me what you see?”
Salty turned and looked. He squinted a long lost memory. “Lonely Jacktar, tarnation! Is that her, for sure?”
“Yes, Patrick said,” that is her. Over the years I’ve replaced some of her, but it’s her.”
Salty stepped out of the car and walked along side. “Look at her, mate.” Salty said to Rich. “Your boat is good, but Lonely Jacktar is a master piece.”
“She has worked for me and my family all these years,” Patrick said. “I take tourists around the island. It sails to Antigua and back Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. It brings supplies and people.”
“Can I inspect her?” Salty said.
“Inspect her?” Patrick barked. “This is your boat.”
“She is more yours than mine,” Salty said.
“We shall quibble that later, for now go aboard,” Patrick said.
Salty looked over the old boat with smiles and tears. “I never expected to see her again.”
“Tomorrow she is scheduled for Antigua,” Patrick said. “You should sail her.”
“That would be colossal,” Salty said.