Suddenly, the engine roared to life. Wingnut bellowed, but Cob saw no reason to silence him now. All he could do was try to witness whatever was up in the late, thick night. That was Roscoe, sure, but what was he doing? There was a lumpy box or something on the deck, and behind it … yes, it was a large man. A large guy about the size and doughy shape of Big A!
The trawler roared off, disappearing easily in the fog. Cob and Wingnut stood there knowing there was something up – but unsure what to do.
It was one of those days on Danger Bay. It started in fog, but began to clear up into a cloudless, sunny spring festival. Then, as night came, the sky seemed to collapse with the sunset and the lake boiled back up to envelope the town. There was nothing anyone could do or wanted to do – what counted was what the spirit of Gitchee Gumee had in mind. At least, that’s what Kiwi Silverthorn said as the sun was going down over Swigs’s, and no one ever questioned her reasoning on things like that.
Ines was busy keeping an eye on her customers. She liked knowing everything that was going on in Danger Bay, and was nearly a full-time job itself.
“Cob, this is your third beer? What’s up?”
“Oh, it’s nothing. I just think I saw something going on.”
“Nothing, It’s just … have you seen Roscoe or the Tenstrike all day?”
“No, I haven’t. Is he up to trouble again?”
“I dunno. They left pretty early.”
“In that heavy fog?”
Cob thought of telling her the whole story, but he wasn’t sure there was a story in the first place. Maybe it wasn’t Big A on the deck, maybe the spooky air was playing tricks on him. Besides, it was nearly bedtime and he’d had a long day watching the docks.
“Just let me know if the Tenstrike comes in, will ya? Roscoe may be up to something.”
Ines watched as well as she could all night, but no one came into the dock. As she was closing, however, the fog rolled out of the bay and coughed up a trawler that could only be the Tenstrike. She didn’t see it unload as she was busy shooing everyone out for the night, so by the time she got down to the docks it was silent. Just a rusty old trawler sitting there, tied up.
Ines crept down to the dock to get a closer look. There had been an urgency in what Cob was saying, or not saying, that told her far more than any words. Something was up and it was up to her to find out just what it was. She looked the Tenstrike over as well as she could, but the rusty old trawler looked pretty much like all the boats always had around Danger Bay. But she stayed at it until her eye caught something odd.
The paint appeared to be wrinkled and peeling away from three round holes in the side of the trawler. They were large holes, about a half an inch across. Were they … yes, they were, these were bullet holes! Large, military sized round had pierced the Tenstrike. Ines wasn’t sure what to do this late at night, but she knew that first thing in the morning, Susie was going to have to know about it.
To be Continued…