|At the Beach on the Island|
Sunday, July 13, 2014
LOUIE THE LOUSE
“Good morning Chief.”
“What’s so good about it?”
“Well you know the tourists are beginning to flock to the island and are bringing money we need that will start to flow into our coffers.”
“Yeah I suppose, but is it worth it?” I ask myself.
“Well without them we would have to go back to fishing for a living and you know how uncertain that can be.”
“Yeah I know but you didn’t have to mention it.”
“Oh Chief I have a bit of news you might be interested in…”
“Well out with it don’t just stand there like a stature.”
“Alright you asked for it… you’ll never guess who I saw swimming to shore early this morning…”
“You are right I would never guess.”
“It was Louie!”
“Yep in the flesh.”
“I can’t believe it, why would he risk coming back here again. He knows we will arrest him as soon as we see him.”
“Well Chief I guess he was hoping no one would see him.”
“How is it you saw him?”
“With all the demands going to be on our time I decided to sleep on the beach and fish for the night.”
“Were you alone?”
“Not exactly, Lorna was with me.”
“Yeah, all night.”
“How long have you two been going together?”
“Let’s see, it must be ten years by now.”
“Listen Jonas why don’t you marry her?”
“I suppose there is no reason to.”
“Well she practically lives with you now, you need to quit playing around and settle down. She is the only one I know of that would put up with you since your mother kicked you out.”
“You know Chief maybe you are right. The next time she asks me I will say yes and mean it. She asks me several times and I keep saying someday. That satisfies her for a while.”
“She saw Louie also, in fact she spotted him jump off the sloop and swim to shore. He ran into the woods and you know how hard it is to find him when he gets into them.”
“Yeah it nigh unto impossible but the good thing is while he is hid away he can’t do any damage.”
“Where do you think he is Chief?”
“He is bound to be in one of the caves on the south side, there are a hundred or more there, and he knows every one of them. He is the only person who knows the island better than me and he knows it.”
“How is it you know so much about him?”
“Simple he is my cousin and we were raised together. We spent our youth searching out the island and there isn’t much we don’t know about it. If we find some places broken into we will know he has begun to show what he is up to. Our best bet is to find out where the sloop has anchored and watch it. That will be the only way he could get his loot off the island.”
“There is a reef on the south side of the island where there is a lot of protection from the elements and a sloop could be easily hidden from sight among the foliage. There is where he is most likely to have the sloop anchored.”
“I don’t know how it fits but there are a lot of young people due to arrive here today and they will be unescorted by adults. They will bear watching for they are bound to want to get into trouble. Coming to an island without parental restraint is made to order for trouble. I’m going to warn Louie that we know he is here and to leave before I catch him.”
“Why would you do that Chief?”
“Well it’s like I told you we are cousins and I would rather not have to arrest him.”
“How are you going to get the word to him?”
“All I have to do is tell a couple of the locals and the word will spread and get to him.”
“Do you think he will leave?”
“No I don’t think he will but I have to let him know it isn’t my desire to have him incarcerated. Besides it is more for his mother, my aunt than for him. She needs to know I tried to give him a chance to escape.”
The next couple of days were as quiet as one could hope for what with all the people now flooding ashore. The seasonal cops were arriving just like the tourists and getting their assignments.
Right off the first night there were some underage drinkers that got in trouble and ended spending the night in jail. The next morning besides feeling awful from being sick and nursing their bruisers they had a fine and one had to come to court for assaulting an officer.
The first break-in was reported and as was expected a few cases of vandalism. After a few arrests and time spent in jail along with hefty fines it usually satisfies these young hoodlums thirst for destruction.
At home their parents are usually called to take them home and that is all there is to it but here we place value on doing what’s right. If their parents can’t control them spending all their vacation in a jail cell that usually gets their attention.
Our motto is simple; “Come have fun and behave yourself.” Those who abide by those rules have a great time and usually come again.
It didn’t take long to figure out who broke into the first home. Hidden cameras told the whole story. It was done by people who knew what they were doing or had been coached by a pro. People who only come to the island on occasion but own their vacation home here make a video and take stills of the valuable things in the home and give a copy of it to the police dept. This way it is easy to tell what was taken.
They made an expensive haul from this first home. We knew who the offenders were and sure enough it was some of the young men and women who just arrived.
One of the young women was taken from her bed while she had been drinking and taken to another island and questioned until she told everything she knew about the operation.
She was held incognito and none of the gang knew where she was. After the second night the gang hit several homes working almost all night. Jonas had staked out one of the houses that was hit and followed them to a cave where the stuff was stashed. It was just as the girl had said although she couldn’t remember how to get to the cave.
The Chief went to the island where the girl was incarcerated and had a long discussion with her and said; “You can go home on one condition, you must not try to contact any of your gang.
If you do there will be a warrant put out for your arrest and a huge fine imposed. This will bring your parents into the situation and it will get to be messy.”
She agreed rather quickly and said at this point she didn’t care what happened to the people she came with. They took her to the plane and she was on her way back to the mainland.
The Chief said, “I hope she has learned some respect for other people’s goods. These kids have had everything given to them and don’t respect people or their belongings. They look down their noses at anyone who has to work for a living and that attitude doesn’t set well with me.”
The girl was surprised when an officer met her when she arrived at the airport and he went over the things the Chief had said and warned her not to try to contact her friends and warn them about their impending arrest.
The next night was quiet with the kids just drinking and using dope of some kind. The following day was a day of recovery and checking out an empty house list. Jonas saw which one had the list and when the boy was alone he was arrested and was sent to the same island the girl had been sent to.
After sitting in a dark cell for hours he was singing like a canary. He told the same story the girl did with the updated plans.
The Chief said we will let him enjoy the dark cell for a couple of days and then send him home.
Since several homes were on the list to be hit the Chief enlisted the help of the local guard and was ready when each place was broken into.
When Louie found out about the arrests being made he got the sloop’s crew to start loading the goods the kids had stashed in the cave.
The guards rounded them up with only Louie and a couple of them escaping along with Louie.
Louie and those with him escaped by swimming out to the sloop and shoving off. This minimal crew wasn’t enough to handle the sloop as she should be but they got her out to sea. There was a strong storm approaching quickly and the warnings were sent out by the coast guard.
The small crew had trouble handling the sloop and lost some of their sails with the storm upon them. Also the small engine wasn’t enough to maneuver in the high seas and they were adrift at the mercy of the sea.
After the storm had passed the coast guard searched for them a couple of days but found nothing except a few odds and ends like a life preserver. They had received a weak S O S signal but it was too broken up to be discernible.
Louie the Louse was never heard of again and everyone was sure he went down at sea.
The Chief was hurting for Louie because they had been very close as kids.
He had kept sending the warning of the impending storm on the short wave but figured Louis was too busy with the ship to respond.
As it turned out Louis had met this rowdy bunch of kids and talked them into this grand adventure. After several meetings it was arranged to use the sloop that belong to one of the kid’s father.
Louie and the crew would sail her down to the island and create havoc. The kids said they were all for the idea and they flew down to meet Louie.
Fortunately all the goods were recovered and the damages were paid for by the kid’s parents.
After four days of “fun” the Chief put the vandals to work around the island for the rest of their vacation. They said they would never return again for which the Chief was thankful.
It was during the summer that Jonas finally married Lorna and you could see them sleeping out on the beach on almost any of the summer nights.