Chapter 44 – State Marina of Missouri – Modern Day
Very little was spoken on the return journey back to Chuck’s marina, they were all deep in their own thoughts. As Bill adeptly docked the boat, Jason jumped off to secure lines, leaving Archie to assist Caroline onto the dock. The top was down on Bill’s Chevy, so Caroline decided to hang on to the wind-cheater as they all walked from the dock to the car-park and into the car. Caroline elected to sit in the back of the car, ending up between Jason and Archie, much to his delight.
“A rose between two thorns!” Bill said as he looked at the trio in the back from the view in his rear-view mirror.
As they traveled through the back roads to the State marina both Jason and Caroline were treated to further history lessons, although it leaned more to the reminiscences of the men’s youth than to local antiquity. It kept the journey entertaining until they turned onto the road leading down to the river and the marina. There were ‘No Exit’ signs posted but driving down the road did not violate any traffic rules. The road descended slightly until they came to where the old army barracks used to be; where old-man Laarsen had been stationed. The road then dipped as it led to what was once the entrance of the State Marina of Missouri.
Entrance may be too strong a word, the protective wall had been ripped down and where it had once been, was a quagmire. It was obvious some heavy machinery had recently traveled this way and was probably still ensconced within the secrecy of the remaining wall. The state of the road forced Bill to reduce his speed to a crawl, which gave Jason the opportunity to quickly peer into the marina. He could clearly see that the building he had searched through was no longer there and, as suspected, many of the docks had already been removed. The angle they were at did not permit him to see what was happening in the vicinity of the dives he had taken, and he was just about to ask Bill to drive forward when a couple of men in hard-hats came towards them.
“Get this can of crap outta here, you’re on private property!” One of the men shouted belligerently and angrily waved his arm at them. Bill took serious umbrage at this slight on his pride and joy and was about to say something until he felt a tap on his shoulder.
“Let me deal with this,” Caroline said softly in Bill’s ear. “Wind your window down Jason,” Caroline ordered she wanted to be more visible to their protagonist, Jason responded without question.
“Who are you? Give me your name, you have no authority here this is a public road, we have every right to be here.” Caroline asked the man authoritatively which blew the wind completely out of his sails and his arrogance immediately dissipated. Meanwhile, the other man had begun talking into a radio and not knowing how to proceed the belligerent one went with his tail between his legs to stand next to the one talking into the radio.
“Well, what is your name?” Caroline doggedly asked, now standing in the rear of the car, but the men had no further interest in talking to her and it became a moot point when an SUV appeared in the entrance of the marina with the familiar F.B.I. logo emblazoned on the side. Without being told, Bill decided it was a good time to take their leave.