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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.

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Treasure Lake – Hunters Hunting

March 16, 2017 Leave a comment

The air boat was cruising slowly down the shallow channel that passed in front of the blind of bulrushes. They listened to its approach, the big propeller spinning slowly – pukata-pukata-pukata – as the vessel drew adjacent to the hiding place where the four young people in their canoes hid behind the rushes.

Lilly Pads

Solly had his slingshot pulled back to maximum, planning to send a knockout hit with the only shot he was likely to have. He arranged for Phyllis and Caroline to part the rushes at the precise moment when he could let fly the stone. The driver of the air boat sat up high in front of the engine while the guy with the gun sat below him. Solly made the best judgement he could, shooting just ahead of the driver’s head to allow for the boat’s forward movement.

“Now,” Solly called. The two girls pulled bundles of rushes to the right and the left, and through the open space, Solly let fly the stone. Before the gunman or the driver could react to the parting of the rushes, the projectile struck the driver in the head, hard. He slumped forward, and knocked the speed control to full speed.  At the same time, he fell from his high seat onto the gunman below him.

They were in a tangle on the floor of the vessel unable to rise because the acceleration of the airboat when the driver’s fall pushed the speed to maximum. They shot forward several meters and struck a floating log.  The impact bounced the nose of the boat up into the air and the fast revolving propeller launched them up and over.  They fell back into the water upside down. The propeller kicked up a mess of froth, water and weeds until it sank back and the engine was choked out with water.

“Okay,” Caroline Rich said, “let’s get out of here.”

“Not so fast,” Rob Snitzer said. “I want to see if those guys are okay, or need help or something.”

“Are you crazy?” Phyllis Snitzer shouted at her brother in the other canoe. “They’re here to kill us!”

At that moment, both men broke the surface, sputtering and wiping their eyes with their hands. They saw Solly Cohen with his slingshot, and the other three, and started to come for them in the waist deep water and weeds.  Progress was slow and laborious.

“Okay,” Rob said.  “They’re okay, so let’s get out of here.” They paddled their canoes out from behind the natural blind of bulrushes and started to stroke briskly away.

“Hey, wait,” the boat owner called, “don’t leave us stuck here! How will we get out of here?” At the same time, the gunman fished his rifle out of the water, shook water out of the barrel and hastily prepared to shoot at the foursome.

The bullets blipped into the water on either side of the canoes. Clearly, the gun was not functioning ideally, and the gunman was soaked, sputtering, and clearly out of his element.

Stroking hard, both canoes moved out of range quite quickly and headed for the tributary that should lead them back to their cars and eventual escape. Within minutes, the drone of the single engine aircraft could be heard approaching. The canoes were guided under some overhanging willow branches where they waited until the aircraft landed or moved on.

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.