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Dave (everybody called him Shark Boy) and his dad the Captain said good-bye to the runaway monk Lambini, leaving the monk still protesting that he could not possibly produce what had been demanded by the Japanese yakuza cook at the Chicken Ranch—at least not in any significant quantity. The monk had not yet found an affordable source for the molasses he needed to make rum, he complained, and with his limited labor force he was already barely able to keep up with the local restaurants’ demand for his goat cheese. Dave’s dad knew the yakuza would not like Lambini’s answer, but at least negotiations had begun.
On their way down the hill, the Captain told Dave that they had been invited to a deer hunt back home in Indiana. He knew that he had agreed to build the cook’s house, but he had simply told the yakuza that it would have to be delayed four weeks, ‘til after the deer hunt—unless the cook wanted to hire somebody else.
Dave was excited about the deer hunt, but because of his midterm exams he could not leave when his dad wanted to, and he would either have to stay home or catch a later flight to Indiana. On school days, Dave and the other island students took the ferryboat from Cruz Bay to the Red Hook landing on St. Thomas, where they boarded a school bus. It took about 90 minutes just to ride one way, but Dave used the transit time to do his homework.
Dave’s dad said, “This year’s deer hunt is going to be special because one of my hunting friends owns a farm and has unlimited deer permits. The farmer said we could shoot as many deer as we wanted this year, because the Department of Natural Resources is attempting to restore balance.” The deer herds had gotten so over-populated that disease and starvation were going to start killing them anyway. And that was not to mention the human and animal carnage and cost to the insurance industry caused by all of the car-deer collisions.
The next day, Dave’s dad flew into Detroit’s Metro Airport where a friend met him, and four days later Dave arrived and his dad picked him up at the same airport in a borrowed Jaguar E Type Roadster. Early the next morning, Dave and his dad were in the field hunting and Dave was about to climb a tree, when a herd of deer suddenly appeared. He killed five of them in rapid succession while his dad shot two. Killing is not for the faint of heart but his dad insisted that if Dave was going to eat meat he should learn how to kill, butcher, preserve and cook it.
Last deer season Dave skunked his dad three to nothing and although his dad insisted his luck went bad, Dave suspected it was because of his dad’s new glasses. Dave was gracious about his success—he deeply respected his father—but it nevertheless rankled the Captain.
“I suppose you’ll tell everybody on Saint John that you out-shot me again,” said his dad.
“I never mentioned a word about it last year,” said Dave.
“Well, you must have said something because I never heard the end of it,” his dad replied.
“Well,” said Dave, “You’re the one who told mom and your girl friends about it. They must have been the ones who blabbed it—it didn’t come from me.”
Dave’s dad huffed a little, but quickly changed the subject to something much more important and far more worrying: the probable location of the buried pirate treasure and how to keep it quiet. “I’m especially concerned now that the monk and the Amsterdam girls from the Chicken Ranch all basically know about it.”
“I’m not worried about the monk Lambini,” said Dave, “but the Amsterdam girls won’t keep it quiet, and if the yakuza cook from the Chicken Ranch finds out about it before we get back to Lovango, the gold will be gone.”
“The girls are so scared of the cook,” said Dave’s dad, “that I don’t think we need to worry about them sitting around gossiping with him. But even then, time is of the essence. It’s not the yakuza cook but Jessie who is the real problem. The sheriff told me that, after our last lobster boil, Jessie was headed for Lovango to hunt for the treasure, and only had to turn back because the wind started kicking up too much. And then the next day Jessie was called back to Kentucky. As soon as he left, the hurricane came through and sank his powerboat, temporarily leaving him without a good way to get to Lovango secretly. And the environmentalists still have him pinned down in court in Kentucky. All that has bought us some time.”
“But that’s not going to last forever,” Dave’s dad went on. “The sheriff said Jessie bought another powerboat and it should be delivered to Cruz Bay by the first of January. Furthermore, he said Jessie just bought a new high-powered metal detector and a super-sensitive ground-scanning radar unit. In two or three weeks at most, he’s going to be going after the buried treasure again, and doing it this time in a big way.”
“This is not good news,” said Dave. To be continued.

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John Stark

The author of the "Tales from the Caribbean" fictional column. He attended school at Waynedale Elementary, Maplewood, Elmhurst HS in the Waynedale area. John had 25 years of professional writing experience when he passed away in 2012. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer