Kathy and Kelly were waiting for Jack’s signal to begin firing. As soon as Jack saw two men emerging on the deck, he called Shadow and leapt aboard the higher-riding Night Lady. He landed, rolled, and came up shooting. The three men on deck went down. Kathy had hit one of the men when Jack boarded the boat. All three of them were armed with .22 silenced weapons. Kathy took over the control of the Surveyor and Kelly boarded to finish the killing. Jack sent Shadow charging down the hatchway, following closely behind. He heard screaming as Shadow found one of the kidnappers wrestling with Sally. Her light robe was nearly torn to shreds. Her attacker had a screwdriver handle sticking out of his chest. Sally was doing the screaming and it wasn’t for help. Shadow knocked the man down and fastened his huge jaws on the back of the attacker’s neck. Jack called Shadow off and shot the kidnapper twice in the back of the head.
Jack saw Sally moving toward him and said, “Sally, Kelly is here with us. There’s little time. Come on deck now, we have to get out of here.”
“Just up on deck making sure the kidnappers are all dead,” Jack said, motioning her to follow him.
“I knew she would come. She doesn’t know how to give up or quit. What is that wonderful dog doing here? I was too weak to finish that bastard and thought this is it. Then I saw this huge dog coming down the stairs like a streak. He never paused or growled. Just hit that creep like a linebacker and took him down.”
“That linebacker is my Bouvier, Shadow. He always knows what to do and is totally fearless. He hates terrorists and criminals. Don’t ask me how he knows. He has never threatened the wrong person. Come on, let’s get moving. Don’t worry about clothes. We have enough for you and I’m the only male and there’s not much of you I haven’t seen already.”
Jack helped an exhausted Sally up the ladder to the deck where Kelly ran over and hugged her. Both women were crying. Sally said, “Kelly, the only reason I could hang on is that I knew you would be trying to find me. How many people have a friend like that? I’ll love that big black dog forever. The thug was trying to put me in a body bag. Even sticking a screwdriver in his chest didn’t stop him. I stuck him too high. Then like a black flash the most powerful dog I’ve ever seen put the kidnapper down hard and would have killed him in seconds! Your friend called him off then shot the bastard. I was almost crazy and this man who came from nowhere, looked at me and, as cool as can be, said, ‘I’m with Kelly!’ I thought ‘I’m dreaming.’ Can this be true? My God, we are in the middle of the ocean. I love that man. Is he spoken for?”
Kelly laughed and said, “Yes and Kathy is almost as lethal as he is. So don’t even think about it. Come on board our boat and we’ll get you some clothes. Get dressed as fast as you can. We have to move. We’re not the cops or Coast Guard. Nobody knows we’re here. If we get caught, everyone but you would go in the slammer.”
Jack and Shadow made a three-minute search below deck and found nothing but two cell phones and some weapons. Nothing was found in any of the cabins. In a locked drawer in the cockpit Jack found instructions for meeting the Japanese freighter moored at the Fernandina Beach wharf. Stuffing the papers in this windbreaker, Jack called Shadow and jumped down onto the Surveyor’s open deck. Running up to the cockpit, he said, “Kathy, good job of tying us up. Kelly and Sally will be right over. I think she is okay. We’ll have to watch the drug thing. I’ve no idea how much she was given or even if she is addicted. There were vials of heroin in one of the heads.
“I’ve a couple of variations on our plan. I found the instructions for meeting the freighter. I don’t believe that ship is there to pick up one woman. There must be others on board. A freighter that size probably carries a crew of no more than five or six. It’s risky but we should be able to take it over and release the captives.”
“I agree we should rescue them,” Kathy said slowly. “But, then what? Where do we take them? I doubt they’re in as good shape as Sally. Do we kill the entire crew? If not, what is our escape plan? I can see success with everything but our getting back home safely. Sally will be okay. I doubt anyone but us knows she was gone. Kelly will explain to her why she must keep quiet.”
“Good questions. The same ones I couldn’t answer. The second variation. I call Captain Shorer tell him about the freighter and fax him the contact plans. Tell him time is critical. The freighter will be under way as early as tomorrow. Tell him nothing about Sally or the Night Lady. You follow me out a few miles into the ocean. I’ll dump the bodies and sink the Lady. You pick me up and we take the Surveyor to Brunswick. Put it in storage and have the plane pick us up at Sea Island. A day or so in a luxurious resort would be good for us. Do you like that plan better?”
“Yes! Let’s get started.”