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  • Jack didn't want to open his eyes. But he felt this sense of urgency and he didn't know why. His mouth tasted like dirty gym socks as he forced his eyes open. He rubbed his eyes with his fingers and stopped when he realized he was no longer shackled. Thats when Jack made the mistake of sitting up. The waves of nausea caused him to pitch forward on to the floor. The knife clattered against the wall and his head wound opened up again.

    When he opened his eyes again, Jack remembered why he had to move. Marshal Macklin had talked to someone named Sonny before putting him under again. Sonny and his partner were on their way here to kill him.
    "A knife to a gun fight" was how Macklin had phrased it. How much time did he have? Think!
    Six o'clock was mentioned. It was already getting dark.

    Jack scooped up the knife as he stood again. Still a bit wobbly, but all things considered, not too bad. He opened the door to the next room. It was the one with only a table in it. As he made his way to the opposite door, he paused long enough to pocket the four Polaroids. He would need them for proof- if he escaped.

    Jack opened the door from the office to the warehouse. Very little light came in from the overhead skylights. He heard a noise to his left and froze against the wall. There it was again. He looked high on the wall and saw the vanes on an exhaust port squeeking open and shut in the gentle breeze.

    He crossed to the outer door as quickly as he was able. Every bit of effort seemed to drain his limited strength. Jack opened the outer door and stood still, listening to the night sounds of the warehouse district. A bell clanging from a buoy in the harbor and a ships blast on her horn further off helped him get his bearings in the dark.

    Jack was just about to slowly work his way toward the streets when he heard a car door slam nearby. He changed direction and staggered toward the end of the pier. With the last of his strength, Jack climbed aboard an abandoned scow, single looped to a bollard. He ducked in behind some crates on her deck and pulled some netting around him for warmth. His last thought before passing out was to stay hidden until he got his strength back.

    An hour later the Captain and his mate came back aboard after having their supper at a nearby pub and got underway. The mate was the Captain's younger daughter and the two of them made their home, as well as their living aboard the "Carrie Ann".

    "Dad, I believe we have a stowaway," Carrie called out. "He looks half dead and is unconscious."

    The Captain shifted into neutral and handed the wheel to Carrie. When he came back into the wheelhouse and took over the wheel he said,"Throw one of those wool blankets over him for tonight. We should be near Pitt's landing at dawn. We'll pull in there and sort it out. His breathing is a little shallow and his bandaged head is oozing a little blood. See if you can clean his wound some. You know where the first aid kit is."

    As Carrie left to do his bidding, the Captain unlocked the drawer under his chart table and pocketed his old colt. He was taking no chances. Either the wounded stowaway was dangerous, or the people who wounded him were.

    At least when he came to he would find himself miles from where they last saw him...and the sheriff at Pitt's landing was a friend...
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