Indiana Jones and the Creature From the Black Lagoon

Chapter 6

Indy found Murphy reclining on a folding chair near the starboard rail, a Panama hat tilted low on his forehead, smoking a cigar and absently tugging in a fishing pole. The Rita was moving too quickly for him to catch anything, and any minute now the screws would probably pull in the line and slice it clean through.

"Who are we picking up tomorrow, Murphy?" Indy demanded.

"Hey, there sport. I didn't hear you walk up. I guess I was just too lost in the scenery. It's a swell jungle, I'll tell you that."

"The men, Murphy. Who are they?"

"Just some hired hands. I think we'll need the help. What with the cameras and all. They're very heavy, you know. And expensive too. We need trustworthy men."

"Why are we picking them up this far downriver? Why didn't they board with us?"

"Oh, they took an early boat. They want to get some footage at a real camp on the Amazon. Well, I knew that Murphy and Chloe aren't really the type for rugged living and wouldn't want to spend any more time than they had to, so I sent them ahead."

Indy put his hands on his hips. "What kind of game are you playing, Murphy? You may have them fooled, but I've seen my fair share of the world's uglier places, and I don't buy your hail fellow act for a minute."

Murphy puffed an opaque cloud, and Indy smelled the tobacco. It was expensive. Probably Cuban. "That's a shame, sport. I was hoping we'd be friends."

"I have enough friends. This is a job."

Murphy nodded as if mulling it over and took another pull on the cigar, then exhaled a second cloud. "That's right, it is. And on this job you and me and the captain, well, we're the only essential workers. Everyone else is just along for the ride." He poked the cigar in Indy's direction. "That's the important thing for you to know."

The arrogance of the man, hanging in the air like the tobacco smoke, made Indy seriously consider throwing the man overboard for the crocodiles. Just for a moment. Instead, he said, "Look, Murphy, whatever you think you're doing here—whatever you're planning—you have to understand where you are. The history of this jungle is filled with outsiders that thought they could tame it and find their fortune and glory. In case you haven't noticed, it didn't go real well for them. This jungle has eaten armies."

Murphy grinned. "That's a fine speech. I bet your students get a kick out of it. Scribble it down word for word in their steno books." He sucked at the cigar, "But I'm not looking to tame anything. Just make a visit. And when we're done, we'll all be rich."

"That's an old song, Murphy. And the chorus is always the same." Indy turned and walked headed back to the study.

"Just remember, sport," Murphy called after him, "only three of us are important. And your importance has a specific time limit."


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