Just as the sun was setting, the Marine Patrol roared up in a big Cigarette boat. Officer Mike Carter was tall and muscularly built. He conducted business in a quiet, understated, professional manner. I imagined him as a paratrooper in his younger years. He took the registration number of the Whaler and radio-phoned an inquiry. I told him the whole story and gave him the two revolvers after writing down their serial numbers. He gave me a receipt for them. Just as he was giving me some friendly advice about going to the ER, his hand-held radio crackled and his dispatcher communicated the name and address of the owner of the Whaler. I quickly memorized it: Joseph Klouski and a South Miami address.
When Officer Carter left, I went to the head and took a look at my scalp. The gash was three inches long and bled profusely every time I let up on the bandage. Now, the cabin light was on at Frenchie's. After half an hour of signalling him with a hand-held spotlight, I finally got him on Channel Sixteen.
"Frenchie, could you come over with your first aid kit and some sutures if you have them. ... Over."
"What is it Ben? You been scraping barnacles without wearing gloves again? ... Over."
"No, I caught some bad guys burglarizing my boat and they gave me a three-inch scalp wound. And I don't want to spend the night at Dade County General ... Over."
"I don't blame you. I'll grab my kit and row right over. Mon Roi WK 35087 over and out."
"Diogenes WAR 7142 over and out."
Frenchie used to be a hospital corpsman on a Canadian icebreaker. When he rowed over with his black bag, he was real apologetic. He had sterile sutures but no lidocaine. He tried to talk me into going to the ER.
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