Tyree Walters, captain of The Silent Song, was a man of few desires. Unlike most of his fellow humans, he wasn’t overcome with a hunger for wealth, possessions, or even love.
He married the love of his life at 18 and spent many wonderful years with her. She died of liver poisoning fifteen years ago. Now, he’s one great love was the ocean and the uncertainty each sunrise brought him. Every new day was a surprise, and when it didn’t work out that way, he improvised.
For instance, this new passenger, Jackson Titus, who claimed he was a minister seeking passage to Havana for ‘reasons of theology,’ Walters knew him to be a fraud. If the sunrise held no surprise, Walters would do something to liven up the trip.
Walters was a trafficker of illicit goods, including human beings, and he knew the moment Titus approached him the supposed minister was on the run.
Still, Titus had the money and was willing to pay his way aboard. Walters gladly accepted the money and welcomed him onto his ship.
Walters smiled as went about his tasks in preparation for departure. His new passenger was safely tucked away in a hidden compartment until they were underway.
Whatever happens, Walters thought, it’s gonna be a good day.
Timothy Welles VI met Manson and Rankin in his office in the center of the port. His office provided a prime spotting station for those coming in and leaving the harbor.
“I’m Detective Manson, this is my partner Detective Rankin, our colleague Thermopolis Konan reached out to you this morning.”
“Nice to meet you, detectives. Yes, he did contact me, said a police officer was trying to leave or something.”
“Yeah,” Rankin said, while looking around the office. “We kinda hoped you or your security might have seen him by the time we got here.”
“No sir. We’ve not seen anyone. Our inspectors have gone through, but everything seems kosher.”
“Okay. Well, if you don’t mind, we’d appreciate it if we can use your office as a nest, and we’ll keep our eyes open.”
“Sure, but it gets mighty busy here when ships are departing.”
“We will try to stay out of your way,” Manson said walking up to the large window. Rankin took up a station across the room facing the opposite direction. Both detectives used Vortex binoculars to get a clear look at those who passed by.
As time drew down to the last few minutes, Manson and Rankin paced back and forth hoping their trip to Gulfport hadn’t been in vain, but they stood helplessly by as The Silent Song sailed out of the bay and into the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Jackson Titus smiled as the powerful engines propelled them away from the shores of Mississippi and toward his new life far from the troubles he’d caused.
A new life waited for him, and he couldn’t wait to get started.
Captain Tyree Walters set a course for Pinar del Rio, and then walked down to the hidden compartment that Jackson Titus. He knocked at the door and waited for Titus’s answer.
“Yeah,” Titus grunted.
“My friend, you can come out now. We’re in open waters now.”
“Thank God,” Titus muttered, as he opened the door. Walters gave him a beaming smile and motioned for Jackson to follow him.
“Come on up, my cook has prepared a meal.”
Jackson Titus followed Captain Walter’s to his cabin. It never crossed his mind the condemned always gets a last meal.