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Treasure Lake – Like a deer in the headlights

March 19, 2017 Leave a comment

The canoes split the water silently as they glided across the small lake seeking cover. With great care, all four paddlers dipped their paddles into the still water with almost complete silence. Whatever sounds their might have been – whispered words or a paddle lightly touching a gunnel – were drowned out by the mating songs of a million insects and amphibians.

Suddenly the lake was alight. The airplane had turned on its landing lights for a last look around, and there they were – two canoes and four young people. They couldn’t see anything when they looked back at the plane because the intense light blinded them. Especially after the complete darkness. The sound of a small outboard motor came across the water.

“Shit!” Solly Cohen said. “They have a motorboat!”

“Paddle like hell for the weeds,” Rob Snitzer ordered.

“The weeds will slow us down!” Phyllis Snitzer said. “It harder to paddle, pushing through the weeds.”

canoe

“Shouldn’t we be looking for the swiftest way to go?” Caroline Rich said.

“The weeds will slow us down,” Rob said, “and if the motorboat guy doesn’t know better and follows us into the weeds, he’s gonna be stopped dead.”

“Why?” Caroline said.

“Those weeds will be caught by his propeller, and it will wrap around and around until the pressure pulls it in through the space between the propeller and its housing. It will stop the engine with sheer pressure, preventing the propeller from spinning,” Rob said.

“How do you know?” Caroline said.

“I’ve done it myself. Motored through a weed patch and took fifteen minutes to cut and pull the weeds out of the propeller shaft,” Rob said.

“What if he has a weedless propeller?” Solly said.

“We’re fucked,” Rob said.

“Well, what are we going to do, Rob?” Phyllis cried.

“We’re gonna paddle like our lives depend on it… because they do!”

With that, Rob plunged his paddle into the water and pushed. The others fell into his rhythm and the canoes cut through the tall weeds and soon they escaped the light from the plane in an area of dense foliage. Rob asked everyone to stop for a moment and listen. The motorboat was approaching. The engine began to sound strained, like it was labouring under an excessive load. At last, it stopped completely, and just in time.

Caroline could see it through the brush. The boat was illuminated by the plane’s lights, and two men were arguing. They tipped up the engine and began reaching back to grasp at the weeds that were tightly wound around the propeller shaft, as hoped.

The way to safety was clearer now, and they paddled steadily and without strain. They discussed the next problem they would have to face.

“If we tell the cops about the dead guy,” Solly said, “they’ll soon know about the gold, too.”

“If we don’t tell the cops,” Phyllis said, “and we keep the gold, what do we do with it?”

“I think I know what the perfect answer should be,” Caroline said.

“So do I,” said Rob. “We tell the authorities about the dead guy, and we turn the Krugerrands in wherever stuff like that goes. They will probably know who owns it, and are probably looking for it as we speak.”

They told the authorities about the corpse and gave them the gold. They expected the corpse to be killed, and the theft had been fairly recent. They solved the murder and the grateful Bank of South Africa gave each of the young canoeists one hundred thousand dollars. Everybody is happy.

The Black Lion – act 2

June 28, 2015 Leave a comment

I got a bit of a lucky break. I hadn’t known that the three victims had lived with black girls before they married white girls. When the police announced it, it was the first I’d ever heard of it. That had nothing to do with the fact that they had to be stopped. Their lives had to be stopped. The cops will now be trying to figure out what might have motivated the perpetrator. They will soon find out that their former relationships with black lovers were not motivation to eliminate them. The next victim will have no personal relationship with a black woman, I’m sure.

I was in a perfect position to follow the police activities as they investigated the murders of three prominent and popular men in the small, exclusive enclave of Malibu Beach. A neighbourhood of movie stars, movie moguls and other sorts of overly wealthy people. As crime reporter for a relatively obscure cable news show, I was welcomed into many official places where I might otherwise be banned, while still reporting hard news.

I’m not going to pretend, at least with you, that I am unaware of one very important reason why I have access. I have been blessed with a good face, good complexion and good figure. When I enter the detectives’ offices, conversations cease and several pairs of eyes are drinking me in, obliterating whatever it was they were discussing. I just had to greet a couple of the guys and go over to the coffee machine and they would resume their conversations. I sat at the small table in the rest area and just listened. When I heard talk of a case that interested me, I memorized the information.

At home alone in my small apartment I eagerly read all I could about crimes on the Internet. Sometimes there were stories of behaviour by wealthy senior executives that should not be tolerated. Sometimes they abused women, sometimes they abused children, even sometimes abused their own families. The authorities are not able to respond to many of these abuses because of laws and because of lack of evidence.

I know when I reported the rape that was done to me, little action was taken. I was nineteen when three bikers kidnapped me and took turns with me all night. When they took me home, I couldn’t walk. They left me on the front walk of my parents’ home but I couldn’t walk to the door. My father came out to take the garbage to the curb and he found me there beside the road. I don’t know if the police tried to find my rapists or not. I didn’t care, because I was going to do it myself. I wanted to.