Zeke and Beyond
Rich stayed the remainder of the day in the cabin. The .45 and AK 47 lay within easy reach.
As night fell Rich entertained no thought of sleep. He brewed a pot of coffee and nursed it from a tin cup. He twitched at every sound. At about 1:30 AM he heard the slow putt of an inboard motor. It sounded louder with each passing moment. He turned off the cabin light, grabbed the rifle, and inched up the companionway. He opened the door slowly and crawled along the deck of the cockpit. Rich’s head slowly rose above the main deck. A sailboat slowly putted along the row of boats where The Odyssey docked.
The boat stopped.
“Larsen,” someone said in a loud whisper.
Rich gripped the rifle tight.
“It’s Agent Lewchanin.”
Rich slowly rose from the cockpit and relaxed the rifle to his side.
“And it’s, me, Zeke.”
Lewchanin and Zeke pulled their boat close to the transom of The Odyssey and leaped aboard.
“Are you ready to go?” Lewchanin said.
“Yes,” Rich said.
“Let’s go below for a moment,” Lewchanin said looking around.
They slipped below and Rich turned on a light.
“Give me all the papers to The Odyssey,” Lewcahnin said.
Rich glanced into their eyes. Zeke nodded. Rich stood and stretched to the chart table. He opened a drawer and removed a large thick brown envelope. Rich handed it to Lewchanin.
“Anything personal in here?” Lewchanin said.
“No,” Rich said, “just papers pertaining to the boat.”
“Do you have anything else on the boat that has Odyssey on it?” Lewchanin said.
“No,” Rich said.
“If you find something get rid of it right away,” Lewchanin said. He removed all the papers from the envelope. He reached into the inside pocket of his jacket and retrieved a thick stack of triple folded papers. He stuffed them in the envelope and handed it back to Rich. “Your boat has a new name, Beyond. Those are all the documents you will need. Make sure you sign them.”
“Wait a minute!” Rich said. “The name on the transom.”
“We took care of that a couple days ago,” Lewchanin said, “while you were away.”
“What about the guys who are after me?” Rich said.
“You might say after visiting Christ the Redeemer they had a much more meaningful religious experience at an undisclosed location,” Zeke said.
“Did you kill them?” Rich exclaimed.
Lewchanin chuckled. “Well, that’s what they thought we were going to do also. Those guys are not part of anything. They were hired only to bring you in. They thought you were a rich kid who absconded with some mobster’s money. I don’t think they will be bothering you again. That doesn’t mean that your friends might not hire somebody else. It is most likely they will send their own after you the next time. That’s the way they operate. They first try to contract their work to an uninformed third party, if that fails they try someone trusted, one of them. Be aware if it’s one of them they won’t be as incompetent as Mutt and Jeff.”
“So what’s my plan?” Rich said. “Do you have any suggestions?”
“When you sail out of here go where ever you want to go,” Lewchanin said. “When you leave you will be sailing the Beyond. We will pull our boat in your dock. It will be registered and titled The Odyssey. When it sails out of Rio it will sail back toward the States.”
“How long do you think it will take them to figure things out?” Rich said. “We have no way of knowing. You have to live as if they know.”
“Do I still keep the same code name?” Rich said.
“Yes,” Lewchanin said.
“So I’m still a diversion?” Rich said.
“It appears that way,” Lewchanin said. “I know it’s not what you chose, but you have few alternatives. As you can see, we will help you where we can.”
“I appreciate it,” Rich said.
“It’s probably best you leave now,” Lewchanin said, “and we’ll get our boat in here.”
Rich followed them up the steps.
On deck Zeke shook Rich’s hand. “It’s been nice knowing you.”
“Likewise,” Rich said, “and thanks for all you did. You put your life on the line for me.”
“I think you’re the type who would have done the same for me,” Zeke said.
Rich glanced over in the other boat. There was a man dressed much like Rich with near the same physical features. “Is that me?”
Lewchanin smiled. “Yeah, for the time being. He’s going to live on the boat for a while. We had to pull him out of an assignment in Moscow. Rio to Moscow; he’s eternally grateful.”
“We’ll get the lines,” Zeke said. He and Lewchanin climbed onto the dock.
They tossed the lines onto Beyond.
“Wait a minute,” Zeke said. He leaped onto the new Odyssey and ducked below. He soon darted back on deck. Cradled in his arms a black and white puppy squirmed. He handed it off to Rich. “He’s a Boston Terrier mix.”
Rich held him close like a football. He gently stroked its head.
“Does he have a name?” Rich said.
“No,” Zake said, “You can name him.”
“Zeke is a good name,” Rich said.
The new Odyssey drifted forward to allow Beyond room to back out.
Rich took Zeke (the pup) below and sat him on the bench. “Stay their little fella.”
Rich returned to the cockpit and started the engine. He slowly backed away from the dock.
“Thanks for the dog,” Rich said.
“You need some company,” Zeke said. “God be with you.”
“And you guys too,” Rich said.
Rich motored into the bay and lifted the sails.
After he cleared the mouth of the bay he heard Zeke whimper. Rich went below. Zeke trembled. His eyes were painfully sorrowful.
“I feel your loneliness, little fella,” Rich said. “Let me see what I can do to comfort you.”
Rich mixed a rich blend of powdered milk water. He served it to Zeke in a small tin bowl. That soothed him. Rich found a blanket and made a bed for him on the bench. Rich held him until he feel asleep.
He headed due south for an hour. He sailed around Rasa Island and continued for three more hours. Rich pursued a southwesterly course and continued down the coast of South America.
Once the Beyond was locked into its course Rich went below to find Zeke still lolled to sleep by the rhythm of the waves. “You made Rio special.”