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Dave (everybody calls him Shark Boy), and his dad-the captain boarded a plane at Detroit Metro Airport homeward bound for Saint Thomas, U.S.V.I., but it was not before a lengthy encounter with airport security over the wood clad cases of canned venison in their baggage. The argument finally ended when the captain proclaimed he would eat every jar of venison before he let security have it. This, of course, did little to expedite their boarding process and it proved the captain is a better boat captain than a diplomat, but he nevertheless was victorious because they allowed him to keep the canned venison.
Dave looked out the plane’s window at the blowing snow as they taxied towards the take-off runway and although he looked forward to resuming his treasure hunt and being reunited with his friends in the Caribbean, he would miss hunting in the snow-covered woods with CJ, Jordan, Clay and his other friends. While his dad was arguing with airport security he called his mother to tell her they were headed home and she had disturbing news. Developers wanted to buy Lovango and build condominiums there but they insisted the Monk’s goats and the chicken ranch had to go. Developers and their political allies easily roll over powerless people without money but the yakuza were another matter and they had no intention of leaving. Dave wanted to talk to his dad about this latest news but his dad’s eyes were already closed and he was asleep.
Dave reflected back over the three years he spent with his mother when they were away from the islands, and lived in Boston, Maine and South Florida. Although after he returned to the Caribbean he vowed never to leave his island home—he wasn’t as sure anymore.
The freedom of island life was fast disappearing with the multitude of laws being passed by corporations, special interests and powerful people who owned the politicians. The only constant in island life was constant change. Originally, Indians inhabited the West Indies, then the Spanish conquistadors appeared with gunpowder, greed and small pox and the Native Indians became extinct. After the conquistadors came the sugar cane plantations and slaves and after the sugar market collapsed the pirates came and although some of them are still around most were displaced when the islands became a play-ground for the rich and famous, along with western and eastern intelligence services who were secretly involved in gun and drug smuggling, not to mention the horde of small boat sailors who came there to escape so-called civilized society in America and Europe.
The island way of life today still allows roosters to roam free; nobody owns them, and when two of them meet they fight. The island boys observe which rooster is king and they take him to the rooster ring to fight the king roosters from other islands. It’s what they do on Saturday nights and it is the same with their dogs. The island pit bulls roam free and are people friendly, especially when the ferryboat comes in, but when two of them meet, there’s a fight and once the island boys discover the king bull dog they take him to the ring and bet on him. In the States this sort of entertainment is against the law and they put people in iron cages for doing it. Up north, it’s OK to fight people for money, but not dogs or roosters, and it seemed to Dave the whole system was upside down. The animals have rights but not the peasants because of the thousands of laws passed every year by special interests, and other arrogant schmucks who control politics.
The airline stewards’ were pushing their cart towards Dave and he gently nudged his dad’s shoulder, “Pop, wake up, do you want any peanuts or something to drink?”
“Get us something to drink and tell them to keep their peanuts,” said his dad.
Dave told his dad about the phone conversation he had with his mother.
“Mom said some developers want to buy Lovango but only if the governor gets rid of Santana’s shack and the chicken ranch.”
Dave’s dad rolled his eyes and said nothing but after a while he said, “Money talks and bull-crap walks, the yakuza’s pockets are deeper than the real-estate peoples—the yakuza already have a close working relationship with the governor. It would be my guess that the governor and his lawyer will play one against the other and after the real-estate people cough up a basket full of cash he will do whatever the yakuza want him to do because they’re one of his biggest campaign contributors—the yakuza pay more to play than the real-estate people. The realtors wear a big hat, but the yakuza own the cattle.
Big Jessie and the sheriff are our greatest threat right now and Jessie will be back from Kentucky in about two weeks. I think the solution to our problem is to do a night sail to the seaward side of Lovango, anchor the boat, dinghy ashore, scale the cliff, excavate the rock pile, and if we get the gold, get out of there before the sun comes up. There will be a full moon soon and we have between now and then to get ready—foul weather could scuttle our plans but we need not worry about the developers–the yakuza will take care of them.”
“Pop, if the treasure is there what will we do with it?”
“I called my sister and brother-in-law in Chicago and they suggested we should sail to Florida, rent a car and drive there. They will pay us cash for it if we find it. They’re both lawyers and they can take it from there and we can go wherever we want from there.”
“Pop, there’s more going on with Lambini than what you know about but I promised to keep it quiet, so when we get back, I will ask his permission before I share it with you.”
After a short silence the captain said, “Our word is worth more than a signed contract, and so it’s important for you to keep your promise to him, but I definitely need to know the whole story before we finalize our plans.” 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