Now that I’ve served my sentence, I guess I can write about pretty much anything I want, when I want. And when I think about it, lobstering is what I want to write about.
But I thought you might like to see the letter that Briggs wrote after he showed up at the dock and we went sailing together.
The school year is imminent as I pen this in my room chez Fairfield, where I am spending an interlude between the physical rigors of my duties as a junior counselor at Saggy Neck Sailing Camp and the mental rigors of my academic endeavors at the White Clapboard Reformatory for Over-Privileged Underachievers. Next week I return to the barracks, as it were, where my hitch as a boarding school conscript continues.
The highlight of this summer, I must say—apart from spending time with Sally at camp—was undoubtedly our voyage of last week. I much enjoyed retracing our steps around Greenhead Island (the West Nile-bearing mosquitoes notwithstanding) to see the tidal pool and to ascend through the jungles to survey the spots where our adventures unfolded without feeling the meaty breath of bloodthirsty marauders hot and humid on the back of my scrawny neck. I reveled in our reminiscences.
Sailing out to the barrier beach to look for the sunken wreck smacked of last year’s escapades, minus the criminal element, though perhaps it was a bit too similar: How should I have known that the camp kept the anchor line in such disrepair that it was frayed to the consistency of tissue paper? The sight of the boat drifting away with the tide from our desolate vantage point atop the dune when we returned from our archeological explorations nearly made me swoon. I would call that the loneliest sight in creation. Thank goodness you’re such a strong swimmer. I only we wish we’d had more time to pursue the treasure you mentioned out on Malabar Island. Perhaps next summer we can mount an expedition.
Now, as I fill my trunk with long khaki and corduroy trousers in place of seersucker and madras shorts, I picture the drive to school in the ancient Range Rover (the paterfamilias had it shipped from England decades ago, and it features British steering) with my parents grimly determined to be jovial. The image curdles my blood.
I do regret, Eddie, that I mentioned my fears about the return of Jake and Marty, much in the future though it may be.
Good luck at school this year, and much success to you in your pursuit of Homarus americanus.
I have to admit I’ve never thought much about when Jake and Marty get out of jail. But when Briggs mentioned that he was “haunted” by the thought, I started to wonder, too. Maybe they would decide to come after the people who helped put them behind bars—Briggs and me.
But who knows. They’re still on the mainland in the state pen. Maybe they’ll never come back to the island.
Then again, what if they do?