This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Out of curiosity Shandon Rogers wandered into a dispersal sale with no intention of bidding on anything. The auctioneer was selling a boat. “Do I hear one hundred; do I hear fifty, do I hear twenty---going for twenty---“ Shandon sneezed and blew his nose---“sold to the gentleman that blew his nose.” The auctioneer said bringing his gavel down hard. Shandon protested that he sneezed because he had a cold. He didn’t need a boat; didn’t want a boat, and furthermore was scared to get into a boat, as he couldn’t even swim. The auctioneer suggested that he’d just made the deal of the century; he could resell it for a grand if he cleaned it up; he even gave Shandon two quarts of marine paint (the labels were off but the auctioneer swore it was marine paint; couldn’t remember the color but he seemed to think it was nice). Shandon thought about it; the auctioneer was probably right, so for twenty bucks he decided to keep it. He had it brought home and dumped in his back yard. Thorough examination proved it was a pretty good deal. It was old but still solid; a Pontiac 350 V8 motor powered the twenty-two foot boat; a lot of power for such a small boat. The next day Shannon straightened up the little boat; blocked it level so he could have a good look at the inside. He looked up to see a young woman standing at the back fence watching him, “hey, that’s my old boat. Where did you get it?” Shandon looked at her. “Come here, and I’ll explain where I got it,” he said as she was already climbing over the fence.
“I can’t believe this; where did you get it?” she asked “It was in a dispersal sale. When I sneezed and blew my nose, the auctioneer insisted that I bought it.” “I don’t understand.” “That makes two of us. But I guess it proves if you have a cold you should stay away from dispersal sales.” “So how much did you pay for it?” “Twenty bucks.” “No way! You must have paid more than twenty bucks.” “Well, sort of, it cost me thirty to have it hauled in here.” “Okay. So now we’re up to fifty; still a hell of a deal.” “Yeah, but there were a couple of other things.” “I’m afraid to ask.” “I feel stupid about having to tell you what happened. When the guy was backing the truck into the yard to unload the boat he ran over a broken bottle.” “Don’t tell me, let me guess. That cut his tire and he wanted you to pay for it.” “Right, but I pointed out to him that the tire had no tread left; it was worn too thin, that’s why the broken bottle cut it.” “Did he buy that?” “He sort of agreed it wasn’t much good; said he couldn’t afford a new tire ‘cause his wife was in the hospital having a kid.” “Didn’t he have a spare?” “He said that was the spare.” He replied “Well now. His wife was in the hospital and he didn’t have a spare.” “A spare what; wife or a tire?” he asked, never cracking a smile. “Most likely both, if no one got wise.” She said, not a hint of a smile. “So what was the outcome of this predicament?” “I felt sorry for the guy so I drove him downtown; he got another good used one; only cost forty bucks, so we split the cost.” “Did you have trouble finding one?” she asked “Are we still talking used tires?” she asked.
“I was, I thought you were?” she said. Then she broke down and laughed. “I’m Lisa York. I live down the street a few blocks.” “I’m Shandon Rogers. I go to dispersal sales just to blow my nose and buy old boats. Now that we know who we are, what say we go in the house? There’s a few beer in the fridge.” “I was hoping you’d think of something cool.” She said. They went inside and Shandon set a couple of beer on the coffee table, and then sat down and looked at Lisa. “You said it was your old boat. How come it ended up in a dispersal sale?” Lisa toyed with her beer can; turning it around in her hands. “I let my brother use it. He got in trouble with the law; wrongly accused of smuggling drugs; Tony was never into stuff like that. Now he’s stuck in jail; no money for a lawyer; the boat was confiscated and you bought it when you sneezed.” She explained, almost in tears. Shan sat there stunned as the seriousness of her problem sank in. “What a mess. But there has to be more to this. Why don’t you tell me; maybe I can help?” “Unless you got money for a high priced lawyer, there is little we can do.” “You can’t just leave him in jail, Lisa.” “What can I do when I don’t have any money?” Shan thought a moment, “I can fix up the boat and sell it.” Lisa was touched by his offer. “But you just bought it; why would you do that for me?” “Must I have a reason?” “Most people wouldn’t make an offer like that without a reason; that boat could bring a fair buck if you do a number on it.” “That was the general idea. But I’m not going to use it. Way I see it if I can get a decent price for it maybe we could hire a lawyer for Tony.” Lisa toyed with her beer can a moment, then put it to her lips and emptied it and set it on the table and looked at Shan. “Okay, so what’s the catch?” Shan was taken aback, “there is no catch. I just want to help you get a few bucks together for a lawyer so Tony won’t rot in
jail.” Shan said, going to the fridge for two more beers. He sat down and handed Lisa one. Lisa managed a smile, “I sure blew that one. When we were talking about that guy having a spare wife I thought you were leading up to something. I’m sorry, Shan. Please forgive me.” “Nothing to forgive. I can’t refuse a good laugh at anyones expense, even my own.” “I’m beginning to realize that.” “What about your parents, can’t they help?” “They don’t have much; besides they figure Tony must have been into something illegal.” “Are you saying they don’t believe in Tony, and couldn’t afford to help him if they did?” “I hate to admit it, but that’s about the way it is. But they are older; quite straight laced, more set in their ways. Yet, I can’t fault them for that. After all, they are putting me through university.” “And here I was going to put you to work on the boat.” He said. “I’ll be here, every spare moment I have. But right now I must get back.” She said getting up. Shan saw her to the door; watched her run her hand over the bow of the boat before climbing over the back fence, then he went to the phone to call is older brother. Clinton Rogers: sergeant in charge at the local police detachment dragged his overweight two hundred pound body from the chair behind his desk. “Damn, it’s good to see you little brother. Something must be up to bring you in here.” He said, giving Shan an embrace. “I know you’re busy, so I’ll get to the point. Providing you want to, what can you tell me about Tony York?” Clint sat down at his desk. “Strange you should ask about Tony. I was just reviewing his case.” “Anything that isn’t classified?” “Not if you’re doing the asking.”
“I got stupid a while back and went to a dispersal sale and ended up with a boat. Lisa saw it; said it was her old boat, that Tony had borrowed it.” “I hope you still got it?” “I was going to fix it up and sell it; give Lisa the money for a lawyer for Tony.” “Don’t do anything till I can have a look at it. The coast guard seized it and forgot what they did with it. We’ve been looking all over hell for that damn boat.” Clint said. “Sounds intriguing. What are we looking for?” “Anything that might help that kid to clear his name.” “Then you figure he’s innocent?” “I’m sure he was set up. He’s into collecting native artifacts; he put that out on the web that we have verified. Tony claims a Mr. Borland called him, told him he owned an island; there were caves there he might be interested in. That story we’ve checked out. Borland does own an island, but Borland is a damn crook, a millionaire; offering Tony artifacts for free doesn’t ring my bell. Borland didn’t get wealthy by giving away valuable artifacts.” “Maybe he got religious or played the stock market.” “He might have, but he made his first million when his wife was killed in a hit and run that demolished her small convertible; we never found the guy.” “A handsome insurance settlement.” Shan remarked. “Like a million, a good start if you invest wisely.” “Before he got to meet this Borland character, the coast guard came aboard, right.” “Right on, little brother. I guess Lisa has told you her brother is squeaky clean, and I believe her. The coast guard found remnants of a few joints left by someone he rented the boat to, and charged Tony. But there has to be more to this. The coast guard boys went over that boat and couldn’t find anything. Where have you got the boat now?” “In the back yard where we had the garden.” Clint thought a moment. “I would like you to go ahead and work on your boat. I mean this is a long shot, but I would like you
to go through it inch by inch. Any places where you suspect a panel could have something hidden behind it, pry it loose. We’ll replace anything that gets broken, and keep track of your time, Shan.” “Okay. You call the shots, big brother.” Shan said. The brothers shook hands and Shan went home. For the next few days Shan removed every bit of liner on the inside of the boat that might have something hidden behind it. Finding nothing, he went to see Clint, taking Lisa with him. “If I can get your brother cleared of this senseless charge, do you think he would do a little undercover work for the department?” Clint asked her. “Would it be dangerous?” she asked. “A bit maybe, although he would be well briefed.” “Tony is game for almost anything.” “There might be some financial reward, but the greater reward might be saving a woman’s life.” “That sounds intriguing. I’d be surprised if Tony doesn’t go for that.” She replied. “Good. I’m going to see about getting all the charges dropped, and then I’ll brief Tony on a plan we’ve worked out. It will include putting your boat back in the water if that’s okay with you?” “You’ll have to work that out with you brother, Mr. Rogers. It’s his boat.” “Okay by me, big brother. It’s your ball game.” Shan said. That ended the conversation. Shan and Lisa left. When Tony pulled his boat in at Borland’s private landing, Alex Borland was there to meet him; something Tony thought a bit strange. Alex helped Tony secure his boat and then invited him to have lunch where he introduced him to his wife, Alicia. “I’m very sorry that I can’t personally take you to my island to look for artifacts, Tony, but an urgent business matter demands my immediate attention.” “Please don’t apologize, Mr. Borland. I can slip up the coast anytime.”
“And you are most welcome to do that, but this trip in not wasted, Tony. Alicia will go with you to the island; she is quite familiar with the cave.” “I made up a few sandwiches to take with us. We’ll take a small pick and a spade along. Some of those things are embedded in the floor of the cave.” She said. “This almost sounds like we’re going on a picnic.” Tony said Borland got up from the table, “I must get to the office; I’ll see you when you get back.” “Sure dear, well be back before dark.” She replied. Borland left; after he was gone she turned to Tony, “Providing we don’t get lost.” She added grinning at Tony. “In that case we better weigh anchor.” Tony replied, as they hastened to his boat and headed to the island. They were almost there when Tony spoke up. “Alicia, this trip is not to search for artifacts, that’s just a cover; I hope you can handle what I have to tell you.” She looked him dumfounded. “I don’t understand what you mean, Tony.” “I don’t know how to tell you this, but we’re being set up.” Alicia looked at Tony in disbelieve, “Set up by whom?” “Alex.” Tony replied. “You’re crazy. What ever gave you such a ridicules idea? Surely he isn’t setting us up thinking we’ll have an affair; make out behind his back?” “Nothing that simple would bother him. Did you know he insured you for two million dollars shortly after you were married?” “That can’t be right. He would have told me?” Tony looked at her, feeling sorry for her; angry with Borland for what he had planned for her. “Look Alicia, even if you don’t believe a word of this will you please bear with me while I prove it to you?” She thought a second, “Why not. I’ll have to see this to believe it anyway.” She said, as they secured the boat and started climbing to the cave.
“Show me the cave, and then stay well back.” Tony said, taking a flashlight from his pocket and proceeding very carefully into the cave. In a moment he motioned to Alicia to have a look. “See that fine nylon fishing line about a foot off the ground. We were meant to just hastily walk in without looking; that’s a trip wire to explosives meant to blow us to kingdom come.” Alicia looked at it in horror. “My god, what are we going to do?” Tony took a spool of nylon line from his pocket. “You go back outside just in case this blows while I rig this up,” He said as carefully draped the end of the nylon line over the trip line and then carefully reeled it out to where they could take cover. “Now you hunker down behind me when I pull this.” He said. The explosion sent rocks and earth high in the air. Tony pulled the line in and stuffed it in his pocket and looked at Alicia who was sitting there crying. “It’s okay; now we must remain very quiet while we wait and watch.” He whispered. Within a half an hour a motorboat pulled up. Alex Borland came walking up the slope, cautiously looked around, and then took the end of the trip line that was sticking out of the rubble, trying to pull it loose, not aware of the two men that had came up behind him. “It’s no use, Mr. Borland. You are under arrest for attempted murder. Anything you say will be used against you.” They said as they handcuffed him, and led him to where they had hidden their boat. Alicia looked at Tony; she dried her tears and threw her arms around him. “Are we going to let him think we’re dead?” Tony grinned. “Why not. Wasn’t that what he had in mind. By the way, didn’t you say you brought some sandwiches?” THE END
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.