“I think that shall be my last adventure, Zeke,” Rich said. “All I see before us is long stretches of sailing free and true. Sam and Dave have to give up on me.”
“How do they find me, Zeke?” Rich said. “Are they that clever or motivated. I thought of something quite frightening; perhaps it is the CIA fueling the flames. Are they somehow fed false information to keep this entire thing alive? After all, it benefits them to have some of Sam’s and Dave’s resources being spent looking for me. They paid me handsomely, for nothing? I don’t think so. There are men on the side of good, born without feelings or souls. It is only by chance they chose the good path. To them, it is all the same; good and evil are just two different slices from the same pie and they can’t taste the difference, if sour or sweet. No matter which one they picked, they’d love it nonetheless.”
“I can tell you don’t understand, Zeke. Let’s put it this way, you serve the master who feeds you and scratches your belly. He can be a prince or a monster, all that matters is how he treats you. You are loyal to him to a fault.”
“Yes, Zeke, I’m a prince. Of course, if I were a monster, I certainly wouldn’t tell you. Sorry to sew the seeds of doubt, but that is the world I live in.”
“I think you must lose yourself before you can find yourself,” Rich said to Zeke. “We humans struggle with who we are; we have choices. Those choices tell us about who we are. Dogs are dogs. You don’t stay awake wondering if the right decision was made or will be made. You don’t worry about offending or embarrassing others.”
“Wait a minute, Zeke, don’t tell me you think things out. You would catch hold of the queen’s leg and dance until you were kicked away and you’d look around and wonder why everyone was so appalled.”
“See what I mean,” Rich said. “No, I won’t take the time to explain it to you. You still wouldn’t understand. If anything, it would only intrigue you.”
“Let’s do some tricks, I see your curiosity is already running wild.
In the distance, a freighter sat above the eastern horizon. It slowly sailed north. Through the binoculars, Rich judged her size to be 500 feet. He gave thought to hailing her on the radio, but what to say? And paranoia suggested he inform as few people as possible of his location.
However, Rich wondered what life might be like at sea on a large vessel; where every wave is not felt and the deck could be walked as solid as a walk down Main Street. “You might lose the sense of being at sea,” Rich thought. “Would that be a good thing?”
Rich climbed below and switched on the radio and turned it to an open channel.
“Ahoy,” Rich said, “this is The Odyssey. I’m to your port.”
“I see you.”
“Where are you heading?” Rich said.
“Ecuador, we have wool.”
“I have me and a dog,” Rich said.
“Where did you sail from?”
Rich felt the urge to mislead. “I’m from California. I sailed down the coast and now I’m returning.”
“Did you encounter pirates? Small sailing boats are sometimes their target.”
Rich thought, “Maybe he has friends who are pirates and may inform them where I am.”
“No pirates,” Rich said. “I have nothing; only food for me and my dog. And when I run out of food I eat the dog.”
Rich let up on the speaking button on the mic and whispered loudly to Zeke, “I’m just kidding.”
“I think you are too far off the coast for them.”
“Have a safe voyage,” Rich said.
“Same to you.”
Rich hooked the mic to the radio.
“I told them I was The Odyssey,” Rich said. “I hate this deception; it wastes thinking.”
Rich radically changed course and sailed another twenty miles further from the coast before heading north again. That placed him nearly 50 miles off the coast of South America. “That’s a lot of ocean for pirates to find a 38-foot sliver,” he said, “but if there’s hidden danger out here, I’m the one who will be sure to find it.”
“Zeke,” Rich said. “You should have stayed with the guy in Rio; life with the CIA would have been less troubling.”