Aura’s plane landed at Miami International Airport where she called Enzo as it taxied towards her gate. Before she could retrieve her luggage Enzo was there and their reunion bordered on being a public spectacle. One elderly lady was heard to say, “Ain’t love grand!” While another sighed, “There’s no love like young love.” Aura had tears of joy and relief in her eyes and Dave could hardly let go of her.
The two lovers soon had Aura’a luggage in tow and they were on their way out the airport to a new adventure.
“Where are we going?” asked Aura.
“Back to the Flying Circus,” exclaimed Enzo. “I’ll explain everything on the way. We need to get rid of this truck and then Pop and I, are on our way to Key West, FL to visit friends and from there we’re sailing to Havana to buy cigars.”
“Cigars?” questioned Aura “Neither you or your Dad smoke cigars. Why would you buy cigars?”
“I want you to go with me,” exclaimed Enzo. “But it’s your call and we need to decide what to do with the necklace before we leave. After we leave Havana we’re headed for the Grand Cayman Islands to deposit some cash in the bank and from Grand Cayman Islands we’ll head back to Cruz Bay.”
“Enzo, please understand,” said Aura. “Ever since we fell in love my life has totally changed, but I cannot keep on lying to cover the necklace, or smuggling cigars or, anything else that’s illegal. You know there’s an American trade embargo against Cuba. You’re doing something that’s against the law and I refuse to be any part of it. My father taught me to be honest and to abide by the law. I’m giving you this necklace back and I never want to see it again!”
Enzo was speechless as he pondered her words. He felt rejected and his heart and dreams were suddenly being torn apart.
“I’m sorry you feel that way,” said Enzo. “But I gave you that necklace for keeps and I won’t take it back. If you don’t want it take it to NY and I’ll give you the phone number of a lady who will sell it to a NY City buyer for cash and I’ll see you later at Cruz Bay.”
“You don’t understand!” insisted Aura. “I don’t want anything to do with that necklace or the cash! I don’t want either of them in my life. I feel like a criminal even though I had nothing to do with any of this treasure thing. Your mother assured me that you’ve always lived within the law, and that you would be going to a top ten college and would likely graduate in the top 10 percent of your class.” “Enzo darling, would you want our children telling other kids their parents were cigar smugglers—I think not!” “You will have to decide what you want, the smuggling, or me, but you cannot have both.”
Enzo picked up the necklace and was about to throw it out the window when Aura stopped him and suggested that he should donate it to a museum.
“If we had neither the necklace, nor the money from the necklace,” explained Aura, “when the authorities caught up with us their hands would be tied.” “Enzo, you didn’t steal it, you found it, and if you gave it to a museum and no money was involved, you wouldn’t owe the government any taxes. The most they could do was accuse you of donating a historical artifact to a museum instead of turning it over to them.”
Aura’s words fell on deaf ears, Dave was angry, frustrated and confused all at once, but he decided to take the problem to his Dad. As they arrived at the dock where the Flying Circus was tugging at her dock lines, Dave’s Dad could tell by looking at them that they were upset about something, but he said nothing as Dave unloaded Aura’s things and carried them to the “V” berth. His Dad had already sold the truck to a Columbian car dealer for cash and the dealer was waiting there to take possession of it. Dave reluctantly gave up the keys and the paper work because he had become quite fond of the little truck and he would miss it.
Few words were spoken as Dave unhooked the dock lines. The new diesel purred as they motored thru the inter-costal waterway and out into the open ocean. Dave hoisted the new sails and the Captain shut the motor off —the sails filled with wind and they were on the way to Key West, FL. Aura stayed cloistered in the “V” berth and Dave came back to the cockpit where he could talk to his Dad.
The Captain broke the ice by asking Dave if the two of them had had a difference of opinion.
“I’ll say we had a difference of opinion!” explained Dave. “She gave me back the necklace that I gave her and said she wanted nothing more to do with it because it was stolen. I suggested she should take it to Jenifer in NY and sell it, but she doesn’t want the cash either. I was going to throw it out the window, but she said, I should instead donate it to a museum. That way, she said, “If the authorities caught up with us we would have neither the necklace nor the cash and if we donated it to a museum we wouldn’t owe the government any taxes.”
“Aura might be right, about this,” cautioned the Captain. “Big Jesse has a museum in Pike County, KY that’s already plum full of Caribbean artifacts and that necklace would be a nice edition to his collection. If the Spanish government comes after it there they would have to go through his Pike County lawyers and judges. The chances of the Spaniards getting that necklace away from him are slim to none and Slim is out of town.
By rights, half of that necklace was his anyway and it didn’t go without notice when Aura wore it to our last cookout. Jesse said something about it to me and I reminded him that there’s a little larceny in everybody’s heart. Jesse knew the two of you were madly in love, so he let it slide.
The Spanish government beat Odyssey Salvage out of their treasure by cutting a deal with our state department, they had their way with the Appeals Court judges in Tampa, FL and the U.S. Supreme Court too, but in Pike County, KY—Jesse owns the ranch, the cattle and the politicians too. His hat is bigger than the Spaniards. If those foreigners know what’s good for them they’ll stay out of Pike County, KY, or they might lose more than an old necklace. ”
“Pop,” said Dave, “I owe Jesse an apology for taking that necklace, while he was filling the generator’s gas tank, but I looked at it like, a finder’s fee. After all, I found the treasure and if it wasn’t for the cave-ins we wouldn’t have needed him to recover it and he wouldn’t have gotten anything out of it.”
“Yes, that’s true, but without his engineering and mining skills, somebody might have lost their life recovering it. We made a deal with him for a fifty-fifty split, he kept his end of the bargain and we should do the same. We can always justify our bad behavior, but it takes a real man to admit it when he’s wrong and an even a bigger man to mend the damaged fence.”
“Although Jesse seems more like an adversary to you than a mentor, over the years, you’ve learned a lot from him.”
“Pop?” asked Dave. “Are you going to call Jesse about the necklace, or should I?”
“This one’s on you son, but he already knows about it,” assured the Captain.
To be continued.