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  • Writer's pictureJames Sargent

Just a Cruise Along the Bay

Blog from California Redwoods, Chapter 12, “Women in Hiding, pp 229-231”

August 11, 2023

… Lorenzo Goodfield turned to his son. “Tell them what you told me.” He crossed his arms.

Billy Hawkson sat up straight. “I run a fishing boat out of Eureka, an 18-footer, usually with a crew of two. One friend is Tony Ramirez, who has a cabin on the beach three miles south of Eureka.”

His dark eyes shifted from Chet to Mickey. “After Chief called today, I cruised by the beach place owned by Carter Sullivan, who works for Casey Cisco. Chief has known about those two for years. Sullivan owns a redwood ranch house with a pier south of Eureka. The house is two miles below the Humboldt Yacht Club. Sullivan is a member, and he operates Argonaut. My friend Tony handles the club’s maintenance, and Argonaut is not anchored there today.”

His expression was stoic. “I digress. Earlier today I took my boat for a run. I keep my walkie-talkie below deck. I cruised past Sullivan’s house, and I saw no vehicles and no signs of life. On the return trip, I motored to the pier, tied up, and spread out a net for repair. When nobody appeared, I went up to the house. I saw signs of people having used it not long ago.”

Mickey lifted his eyebrows. “How did you know?”

A smile flickered across Billy’s face. “I picked the lock, and searched the rooms. I found a copy of today’s Gazette, three new magazines, several beer bottles, and an opened box of crackers.”

His eyes moved to Lorenzo. “I radioed the information to Chief, and he agrees. At least one person has used the house as recently as earlier today.”

As Billy spoke, Lorenzo pulled open a drawer, producing a walkie-talkie. They exchanged a stolid look. Mickey figured the eye thing was like a shared code between father and son.

Billy arose, checking a pocket watch. “Tony finishes work around 6:00. I will cruise along the bay, look at the Sullivan house, and continue on to Tony’s place. With our binoculars, we will know if and when anyone returns, but they will not see us. If we need to call Chief, we will.”

Touched his forehead with his finger, Billy departed. Lorenzo stood up, and Mickey and Chet followed suit. Lorenzo eyed them with a faint smile on his face. “You two must be prepared to return. My instincts say Cisco, Sullivan, and maybe others will show up.”

Crossing his arms, he stated, “Nobody can arrive in Eureka without the information coming to me.”

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