The Id and The Odyssey; Episode 128
At 11:00 PM Rich drove to The Beacon and parked close to the back dock secluded from the view of traffic. He used the key and entered the press room. A dim security light was the only illumination. He walked low through the pressroom and to the door and stairs leading to the basement. He felt his way down the dark stairway and at the bottom he grabbed a flashlight from his pocket and turned it on.
The basement was full of old equipment and furniture. He searched for the olive drab wooden boxes. He came across an unusual cabinet with wide flat drawers. It seemed unusual because it did not appear old like the other things.
Rich pulled out the drawer and flashed the light on the contents. “Printing plates,” he murmured, “passports.” He opened another drawer and flashed the like. “Birth certificates.” He opened another drawer. “Counterfeit plates, twenty and fifty.”
“What the hell is going on?” Rich whispered.
He closed the drawers and continued the search for the boxes. He came across something covered by canvass. He lifted the canvass and there were the boxes. The hasp was relieved and the box was opened. “Russian rifles,” Rich whispered. “Ammunition.”
He opened the box above and behind. “Grenade launcher.” He picked up a manual and flipped through it. “Complete with instructions.”
Rich shut them and sat on top of the boxes. His heart pounded. “Those things have only one use.”
“I got to get out of here,” Rich said to himself.
He covered the boxes and made his way back to the stairs. He climbed the stairs two at a time and returned to the Jeep. Slowly he backed into the alley and drove away.
Aimlessly driving for an hour he found himself in Port Clyde.
“This is a night for discovery,” Rich thought. “Let’s find the stash.”
Rich parked the Jeep a quarter mile from the general store and crept along the street hiding in the shadows of the buildings. He moved along the side of the general store and drug a lobsterpot under a window. He stepped on the lobsterpot to reach the window. He pushed up and it opened. Rich pulled himself inside.
Immediately in front of him was the trash can under the register. He pulled the can away and slipped his finger into the hole and tugged. Indeed, it was a lid to a secret compartment. Inside was a leather satchel. Rich grabbed it and put everything back in place.
Rich tossed the satchel out the window and climbed out after it.
Rich walked stealthy back to the Jeep. The satchel was tossed in the passengers seat and Rich drove back to Rockland. All the way back Rich continually glanced at the satchel as if an unwanted hitchhiker.
He parked at the marina, grabbed the satchel, and headed for The Odyssey.
In the cabin he flicked on the light and sat on the bunk. He licked his lips and opened the satchel as if it were Christmas. “Money,” Rich said.
It was twenties and fifties, all bundled.
Rich sat the satchel beside him and leaned back against the bunk. There were just too many thoughts running through his mind. One could not be captured for more than a moment before another raced by to grab his attention. Questions sprung up like dandelions on a summer lawn. Even his mind that had been trained over the last several months to logically dissect things and place them in order could not compute the events of the night. Yet, he was left with the certainty they were all related.
Rich thought, “Finding the relationship is too great a risk; let it be.”
Rich laid in the bunk and fell asleep.
In the morning he awoke to the sounds of squawking gulls and lapping water.
He heated water on the stove a mixed a cup of instant coffee.
“The money,” he thought. He almost forgot it.
As he sipped on the coffee the money was counted; $50,000 exactly. “An exact amount,” Rich thought. “It must be payoff money. Am I the luckiest guy in the world or the unluckiest?”
The individual bundles were wrapped by Rich in saran. He unscrewed a panel between the forward berth and the main cabin. He stuffed all the money in there except for $5,000; that was stacked in the chart cabinet.
For the next three days. Rich worked at Al’s and completed the promised work. He also took Al and Alice out to a restaurant for a meal. It was difficult saying goodbye to them realizing in all likelihood he would never see them again.