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(_17) Chap Seventeen

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the same day.. but at night

It was solidly dark now and the bull drifted slowly upward toward the slim surfboard questing for a clue.. another reason for its presence. He knew who lay atop it, manouvering up and over the swells sliding heavily into  the mouth of the cove masked by the skirling and heavy mist. Closer and closer to the nets with small sculling motion of the hands, always hiding inwithin the shroud of the mist. It was The Tumbler.. Small One.  But what did he wait for and look for.. why was he so patient? What was his purpose on the water in this time and place?  Without concious thought..but with multiple images forming complex but to him, coherent  and meaningful mosaics  the huge whale drifted further till its huge snout touched a small wet hand.. there was a momentary stiffening of the dangling fingers.. then cautious and wondering recognition.

The fingers lightly made contact again as the board dropped again with the wave motions and brushed gently.. even sadly against his smooth nose. A small face loomed above the surface beside the board and Thunderhead surfaced slowly.. turning to face shoreward also. The small hand brushed softly near his blowhole.. then again.. and together the two mammals watched till heavier mist drifted in from seaward. With a light sighing sound the whale began to drift toward the trawler, moving within the growing mist. The kid simply held the great dorsal and moved with it silently.. low in the water.. binoculars laying on the board just in front of his face..

The sound of outboard motors ran out suddenly and harshly toward them. They had seemed to sputter and not run quite right for a while now.. in fact if Kyle remembered rightly.. it had been most of the day that they were tinkering over the engines.. trying to get them to run. Certainly though the trawler had revved its engine mightily with clouds of blue smoke several times.. there had been no movement from it.. unless you counted those assholes that Kyle could hear bellowing at times..  (this is where Kyle thinks re Jimmy’s sabotage ?)

And now also, the sound of the powerful diesel engine revving up and heavy footsteps on the deck. Voices from the shoreline echoed in the dark fog..  the whale silently fell below the surface and the young kid slid from the board into the water lowering his profile so that only his head was above the rippling surface from the nose up..

The voices of men were coming out along both sides of the cove now and shouted directions from the trawler rose harshly above the whining outboard engines.  Two skiffs were again working the opposite shorelines where the cables and nets sealed the edges of the cove.. and two men on each side of the cove were ensuring the cables were able to be moved further inshore but without presenting a gap where the whales could escape..

To the north side of the cove the great bull suddenly reared to the surface only feet from the face of one man pulling on a heavy float with a boathook. Startled by the massive apparition he stumbled backwards letting go of his hook. There was a cracking sound from the trawler and the whine of a bullet ricochet before the echo of the gunfire rolled back across the water.

“Get that stinkin net tight Garth.. he aint going to get ya.. not unless you let yer sorry ass fall in the water.. get that tight to shore and pull hard..”

Each of the skiffs was pulling on the nets as the men onshore struggled to warp the cable ends and heavy floats toward the shore.. the heavy netting under the surface was slowly being dragged toward the shore with little chance for the trapped whales to find a gap.. it was slow but inevitable.. to the young kid watching from the now heavy mist.. they would have the whales pinned under the net and hard ashore by dawn. He was about to scull away with this bad news when the bull erupted from the water on the other side of the cove and crashed onto the cables. His massive weight forced that end of the cable under the water and jerked one of the men into the cove but on the inland side of the net. There was a sudden flurry of water as the spluttering and screaming man was pushed to the shore by a smaller whale.. then suddenly swept under by a huge fin of the bull. A rifle shot echoed across the water.

“No!”

He shouted without thinking.. and a searchlight suddenly snapped around probed out over the water searching for the source of this new sound. He slid from his board, dropping lower in the water till only his eyes.. and began moving closer through the mist with little kicks. 

Again a shot rang out as the fisherman broke the surface and began clawing his way up onto the steep, rocky shoreline. He never stopped moving.. just gained his feet and clambered to the crest and disappeared out of sight, leaving the buoys and cable to his partner who was standing mouth agape.. looking from one side of the net to the other.. at the dark water.

Again the harsh voice rang out over the water.

“Forget him.. pull on that buoy n get it off the cable! If I see a whale getting past you.. I’ll shoot it asshole.. they aint worth shit to us on the wrong side of the nets.. now pull!”

There was a hollow thud.. and the trawler shook from an underwater concussion. The voice swore.. and heavy footsteps could be heard running to the leeward side of the trawler.

“Bang away you big piece of shit.. get up here and I’ll shoot your lights out.”

Another booming thud echoed through the wooden trawler and the whipcrack sounds of the rifle followed immediately as the skipper moved along the deck, firing straight down the side into the water. The outboard skiffs had idled down during the confusion and the fisherman raged as he moved from bow to stern, shrieking at them to get on with it and get the nets moving ashore again.

The young kid kicked hard into the mist, heading off to the point where he could get ashore and pass word of this renewed onslaught against the whales on to Anoneemoose.

Under the surface the trapped whales nosed against the inner net whistling in their agitation while the bull turned from the hull of the trawler and forced his weight and power against the net, resisting every effort to drag it further in. The whales had all heard gunfire before.. and it had never signaled good news.. only bad.  The neat round hole in Donnybrook’s dorsal fin didn’t really hurt.. but he could taste his own blood in the water. A sour feeling coursed through his thoughts..  was this what Thunderhead had been trying to tell him about appearing for too long on the surface when fishermen were near?

Minutes later to the south, a very angry young man was padding silently along the surfer’s path in the dark when he was abruptly pulled off his feet and his mouth covered before he could even take a breath..  he felt a very soft voice whispering in his ear..

“Quiet.. very quiet.. do you hear me?”

He wiggled his head in an affirmative motion as much as he could. Again the soft and deep voice musically whispered..

“How old are you?”

He felt the powerful hand slowly moving from over his mouth and nose.. and took what seemed his first breath in an eternity.

“Twelve..”

“Thought so..  what’s your name..?”

“Kyle”

“Kyle what?”

“Kyle Sehorn”

“I know this name..  what are you doing here?  In ten words or less”

The young kid thought for a moment.. about how to answer this and decided to grab the bull by the horns.

“Whispering to a stranger in the dark”

“Good answer.. now tell me what you were doing when those shots were fired..”

He thought again about this musical voice.. there was something awfully familiar to it..  but he couldn’t place it.. It wasn’t a threatening voice.. yet there was power behind it..  it was.. it was kinda like a wave.. no.. it was. It was like the big bull whale a little while ago. He’d been told to look out for this person!

“You’re Hunter.. Jimmy’s dad !!”

There was silence.. then a pencil of light hit him right in the eyes and went out again..  he’d been examined.. but had seen nothing of the huge man behind the tiny flare of light.

“Those fishermen hit anything?”

“Don’t know sir, maybe”

“Tell me everything you saw and heard please, then tell me where you were going”

It took five minutes for him to fill the invisible man in on the latest events.. then there was total silence for what seemed like an eternity.

“On you’re way kid, but listen carefully. Jimmy asked you to be the messenger for a reason..  its an important job.. talk or type immediately  with Anoneemoose. Fill her in as you have so excellently done for me..

“Her ?”

“Yes.. her.. but tell her this as well.. please.  In these exact words.. tell her. Hunter’s in the water probing..  the trawler MaryDale is on the air.  Got that?

“Yes sir”

“Take this torch.. don’t lose it..  and get on your way.. Jimmy has good friends..”

The young man headed away.. hearing the soft voice as he moved off..

“What had Hunter Walker said?  It sounded like .. Walk in Beauty.. now what did that mean..  ?”

The big man was already padding off toward the cove..  a light smile invisible in the darkness. Within minutes he was about to pull the cowl of a thin, dark wetsuit over his head when a thought struck him and a scowl etched his face. He dug into his small pack, withdrawing and opening a small case.. he inserted earplugs then pushed and spread silly putty over his ears then pulled the dark cowl over his head, fitted swimmers goggles to his eyes and long fins to his feet and entered the water silently.

Within moments the bull was beside him..  He paused in the water and the two looked at each other silently for almost a minute.. their thoughts connected then together they moved toward the net.. and the noise of the trawler. The fishing skiffs had returned from their work without moving the nets closer into shore but there were men with rifles at each side of the cove now where the nets were anchored onto the rocks   and one walking along the foot of the cove could easily be spotted by a lit cigarette glow.  The dark figure left the huge whale behind after they’d both studied the position of the watchers and slipped like an eel over the twin cables near the bow of the fishing boat.. then kicked down under its hull and paused there to attach an accoustic device.. then kicked lightly to the bow and attached another similar device as high above the waterline as he could reach without making  noise.  With a quick kick he was back underneath and with a shrouded but effective pencil light was carefully examining what seemed to be a pod that could carry depth sounder and sonar. There was no humour in the big man’s posture as he reached into his belt for what appeared to be a hypodermic needle.. and without any delay jammed it forcibly against the pod.. and injected the contents with no hesitation.. He packed away the syringe and lightly browsed the landward side of the trawler with the pencil light.

“So Thunderhead’s been busy.. so he says.. so he says.. and here’s the proof.. a few practice kicks at the hull.. just for fun he said.. .. forty thousand pounds of fun.. hope they like fun up there.. might just get a real handful.. but those fuckers have audio gear.. and I doubt that was their sonar head.. that’s soaking in salt water right now.. and if they have drop in sonar.. this aint a fair fight.. which means I’m going to have to board them and take it out.. wonder how they feel about having no propeller ?”

He lightly surfaced for a few breaths then kicked to the stern and hovered by the propeller and withdrew a pair of needle nose pliers from his belt, removing the shear pin, breaking one side off and then reinserting it where it now sat loosely.

“How motivated is your diver.. to check this out and fix it too.. in the same cove as killer whales you’ve intimidated ?  I wonder about that motivation ?”

He kicked again.. this time fluidly moving up toward the inner net.. and rolled over it silently.. and again repeated the process over the outer net.. and found the huge face of Thunderhead as he expected.. waiting silently in the murky water just off the net.  He rubbed the side of the great whale lightly and reassuringly several times.. but also tapped aggressively up on top of the mammals head and projected a distasteful sound that caused the whale to suddenly turn away.

Moments later he was slipping through the swells just outside the cove and headed for the jumbled rock point he had entered the water from duly noting the slow but even lift to the seas.

“Big swells.. low frequency…. there’s weather coming.. big weather.. sooner or later.”

He noted the bobbing kayaks and boards directly out from the cove and wondered again to himself about the turn in the weather that was so obviously coming this way.  And then he slipped ashore invisibly.. heading along the surfer trail then breaking inland for a “visit” to the helicopter pad .

Back within the cove, Donnybrook rubbed against the large propeller that the landwalker had been touching earlier and noticed that it was now loose and seemed to not be as solid a part of the wooden ship anymore. He scooted back to see how his family members within the cove were doing.

(the fisherman can fix the prop when it comes off if they go down between the nets but the trawler can’t be between the nets ? Must be on the inside)

Honeybear and Wizzywig talk, about ? danger ! in this chapter?

(Wizzywig transmits to anoneemoose from the air.. later   .. ?

add to this chapter re Darcy beginning to wonder..  and Shirley evades

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Written by diamondwalker

November 26, 2008 at 3:16 pm

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