“Shades of Justice” Chapter Twenty-one

6 AM Saturday, June 7th

 

At first light, the Surveyor moved eastward from the Cumberland Sound to a position five miles north of the northern jetty. Cruising slowly in the two-foot seas, Kathy and Kelly, in their bikinis, took turns at the telescope scanning the ocean to the west and north for vessels with the size and configuration of the Night Lady. Shadow was curled up on the floor of the cockpit, keeping Jack company.

They were ready for battle. Kelly was nurturing a cold anger for the men who kidnapped her friend. She had killed before and would have no qualms shooting the kidnappers. Jack was right, she thought, no prisoners. People profiting in human trafficking deserved no quarter. No rights being read. They had no constitutional rights. Like terrorists they preyed on the innocent and unsuspecting. They gave no mercy as they sold their captives into sexual slavery.

Jack was struggling to keep his focus. Cruising like this was mind-numbing. There were very few boats and fewer that even remotely resembled the Night Lady.

At 10:30 AM Kathy called out. “I have them. Behind us at our four o’clock about two miles off shore.”

Jack said over the intercom, “Okay, uniforms and weapons, and run up the big stars and bars. I’m going to bring us inshore of the Lady and about a half-mile back. If there are no fishermen at the south jetty, we’ll take them there. It may get rough so make sure you can hang on. Put on your life jackets.”

Shadow got up and started to go out the door. Jack said, “No, big guy, stay with me. Your time will come.”

Jack turned out into the ocean and made a sweeping turn to the north and east to bring the Surveyor into a southern heading behind and inside the line the Night Lady was holding. No other boats were within a few miles of their course. Jack gradually increased speed to 25 knots. The distance between the boats was steadily diminishing. The radar showed 300 yards and closing. They were within a mile of the entrance to Cumberland Sound. Jack said over the intercom, “Brace yourselves. Here we go.” Jack increased the speed to 40 knots. On board the Night Lady, the captain announced, “There is Coast Guard or some patrol boat behind us coming up fast. What do you want me to do?”

“Can you out run the boat?” Asad said as he hurried into the cockpit.

“No. They are much faster and it looks like they have a deck gun that is manned. If we try to run they will radio for help and maybe start shooting. We are in drug-running waters.”

Asad thought for a moment and said, “Let them come. We have all the right papers. It’s probably only a check for a fishing or traffic violation. If they ask you to stop, do it. The only danger is if they board and search the boat. They will find our prisoner. Get her into the weighted body bag and get prepared to dump her. There will be time. All American officials are so afraid of doing something wrong, it takes them a long time to do anything. If we are seen dumping a bag, it is nothing but a garbage violation. They will have no divers on board and the water is near 30 fathoms under us. What a waste of a fortune. Our people will not be happy. So don’t throw her over until I say so. I’ll get our papers ready.”

Below deck, Sally had been faking sleep for the last two hours. She knew she was due for another sedative soon. The faked sleep had delayed the drugs. Her head cleared and she had a good understanding of what was happening. Yesterday during her toilet time, she found and concealed a five-inch long screwdriver. At the first opening she was going to fight.

The captain of the Night Lady saw the patrol boat closing very fast. Jack used the siren to get their attention and switched on the loud hailer. He reversed the props and came alongside the slowing kidnapper’s boat. Over the loud hailer, Jack said, “Please bring the Night Lady to a stop. Bring all your crew and passengers on deck. I want to see them and don’t want to have to board you.”

The captain asked Asad for orders.

“Stop as they said. That .50 caliber machine gun is manned and so is the sailor standing near the cockpit. The huge dog must be one of those drug-sniffing dogs. For now do as they say. I’ll bring up one of the guards.”

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Filed under Action thrillers, Barry Kelly, Books, Spy novels

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