A Quick Departure from Quellon, Episode 8, Odysseys in Paradise

 

Rich putted back to The Odyssey. He stored everything and topped off the water and fuel tanks from the jerrycans. By late afternoon the boat was completely restocked. Rich listened to the radio for the weather. Cooler weather dominated the forecasts for the next three day.

Ever suspicious, right after Rich slung on his coat he stuffed the pistol in the inside pocket.

“Take care, Zeke,” Rich said rubbing Zeke’s head, “Don’t leave port without me and repel all borders.”

The last light of day provided enough light to find the dock. Rich tied up and walked to Raul’s building. The sliding door was shut. He knocked and waited. Again he pounded, no answer.

From Rich’s right a voice called out, “Here I am, Rich, I went home to change from my work clothes.”

As Raul walked close. Rich asked, “Where do we go to eat? I’m very hungry.”

“Down the way, a half kilometer,” Raul said.

“What kind of food do they have?” Rich said as they started to walk.

“Traditional,” Raul said, “but prepared like at home.”

“What is it you like to eat?” Raul asked.

“Anything that doesn’t crawl or talk back,” Rich said, “but usually I have beef.”

“They have good beef,” Raul said.

“I like to try something traditional,” Rich said. “I may never come this way again.”

“Chorrillana,” Raul said, “good with beer.”

“What is it?” Rich said.

“Beef, fried potatoes, and eggs,” Raul said. “Where we go the beef is thin and tender and so good.”

 

The Casa Huerto bustled full of murmuring and the clink of china and silverware. Rich and Raul sat against the wall at a table for two.

Raul order without examining the menu. The waitress quickly brought two beers from the tap.

“So what do you think?” Raul said.

“It’s unique,” Rich said. “I mean that in a good way. It is as if everyone doesn’t know anyone else is around.”

“You can say anything here and it will not be repeated anyplace else,” Raul said. “It is the rules of the house. If you let something out and it becomes known, they will not serve you. If I hear my best friend is stealing from me while in here, I do nothing about it. The police will not ever act on anything they hear from this place; not even if it is a murder. Now if you say you are going to kill someone, that is different.”

“Strange place,” Rich said, “strange rules, but it’s always best to know the rules first.”

“So what secrets do you hold?” Raul said. “They stay here.”

Rich looked pensively at Raul. He smiled confidently with pressed lips. Raul eased back in his seat waiting for Rich to tell his story.

Rich reached in his pocket and tossed a 1,000 escudos bill on the table. He politely nodded his head and stood. “Have a pleasant meal.”

Raul’s eyes danced around the room.

“Raul,” Rich said, “be wise, I’m armed.”

Rich slowly backed away making his way to the exit. He quickly opened the door and ran wildly down the street toward the dinghy. He did not bother to look if anyone followed. “Don’t look behind, don’t look behind,” he said to himself as he ran.

Rich reached the dock, tossed the line in the dinghy, and jumped in. Only one tug started the motor and he sped back toward The Odyssey. He looked back on shore. Three men ran down the street and stopped at the dock where the dinghy had been moored.

“We will find you!” a man yelled in English.

Rich pulled beside The Odyssey and lashed the dinghy’s line to a cleat. He hoisted the anchors, climbed inside the pilothouse, and started the engine. The Odyssey headed for open water at full throttle. Rich pulled the dinghy on board and The Odyssey responded with a couple more knots per hour. In an hour they were well into Quellon Bay. And in a little less than four hours Rich had maneuvered around the islands of the bay and into the Corcovado Gulf. Well into the gulf, a due west course was set toward Guafo Island.

Near noon the next day Rich saw Guafo Island peek above the horizon and he adjusted his course to skirt past its northeast coast. Once past the island, a strong westerly wind pushed hard against the port side.

Rich looked through the flexible plastic window starboard and to the east. “How long will they pursue me? When will my luck run out? I don’t know if it is the information contained by me or the plates for counterfeiting they think I possess; disappointingly they lay at the bottom of the sea. They certainly are persistent.”

Rich’s course headed northerly about 50 miles off the Chilean border.

A rain came. It rained hard and long. It pelted against the canvass and seemed to bother Zeke’s sensitive ears. He stayed below and only visited Rich in the pilothouse long enough to be certain of his presence. However, it almost seemed as if Zeke sensed Rich had once again fallen into danger and knew the revealing would come in its own due time.

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