Key West to Hollywood

Started by Jimmy Drummond at Jul 31, 2020 8:51 AM
January 24, 1924
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7 Posts

Jimmy Drummond

Mechanic, Driver, Racketeer
164
?Years Young
16 Posts

"If it's got an engine, I can drive it."


It was slow and easy backing the Liberty away from the slip. Ever so gently it turned and faced the open water, but he trip ahead was not to take the boat to open water but to follow along the coastline, as most pleasure boats do. Skirting the keys as he headed north.

Jimmy Drummond powered up the boat to a comfortable speed, responding smoothly over the water, which for the time being was like glass. Dawn was barely breaking as the boat slid through ocean surface, leaving a bioluminescence wake which would disappear as daylight approached.

Steady at the helm. Coffee in hand and a days sailing ahead of him Jimmy was at home piloting the Liberty toward Hollywood Florida and his delivery to Dixon, an excursion he had completed many times for as many different reasons. But this was the part of the job he loved. Out on the water, either with Michael or Dix, preferably with both. Granted he could have driven, but what fun was that?

Danger was always a part of the job, no matter what it was, or who it was with. Just a part of the business. It was why they were always armed. This trip being no exception. A 1911 automatic in his shoulder holster, and a Winchester 12 Gauge 1897 Trench Gun by his side in its rack. But there was seldom trouble along the route he was taking.

As the sun appeared over the horizon everything became illuminated, another crisp clear January day, with better visibility, Jimmy could make out the coastline, the meager traffic, though the vehicles were quite small in the distance until the highway turned inland, as it would several times throughout the journey north.


TBC


Jimmy Drummond

Mechanic, Driver, Racketeer
164
?Years Young
16 Posts

"If it's got an engine, I can drive it."


For Jimmy, the main concern was a threat as old as sailing itself, Pirates. There was never any telling when or where they might be encountered, so a steady eye on the seascape around him was a must. Yet a watch on the coastline traffic was also important for those engaged in illegal trafficking.

Jimmy had detailed the Liberty ahead of the trip, having only what contraband was required on board. The rest was safely hidden back in Key West. Besides, Jimmy firmly believed that the Liberty could outrun any powerboat on the water. If it came to a fight, the BAR lay in plain sight even though it might be illegal, better available, and illegal than not available.

So far the horizon in every direction was clear, but when he was in closer due to the contracted since of the passage through some of the keys he was seeing the same black sedan keeping pace with him. So, he powered up and immediately left the automobile behind. A matter of minutes he throttled down to see if the sedan was shadowing him, even though it had been discovered.  

He was closing on Key Largo and he would lose the automobile after that until possibly a section between Key Largo and North Key Largo, after that he would cut into Lindeman creek by way of Angelfish Creek and into Card Sound, then throttle up into Biscayne Bay and the run for Hollywood. That is if everything went as planned.

TBC


Jimmy Drummond

Mechanic, Driver, Racketeer
164
?Years Young
16 Posts

"If it's got an engine, I can drive it."


He thought the car appeared again but,  it did not, perhaps he was just jumpy, or a little too much coffee. He was in Biscayne bay and decided to head further out into open water, he would have to anyway at Key Biscayne. Perhaps the car was not shadowing him, merely headed north as he was, and his destination, probably nowhere close to Hollywood.

Sometimes it was a jittery proposition running contraband, no matter how one did it. Of course, with Mike and Dix along, things were a lot more relaxed than when he was by himself, his head on a swivel whether in a car or on the Liberty. There were real dangers on the road, he felt a lot more vulnerable on the highway than he did on the water. Aside from being armed, on the water, he had far more speed than most local craft. Few privately-owned craft had the horsepower of the Liberty.

But the men aboard the boat rushing full throttle out of Boca Chita, some ten miles off the coast, but only four or perhaps less from Jimmy and the Liberty. His head snapped around as his ears picked up the sound of a marine engine screaming in protest. Looking to starboard he saw it headed right for him. He was cruising so he had plenty of throttle left. He looked ahead, the horizon clear, to port, nothing, just he and the other boat plowing toward him for all it was worth.

Now Jimmy was no fool, and he was calculating the distance between the two. It seemed the incoming boat was about to overtake the Liberty when Jimmy cranked wheel hard starboard and shoved the throttle to the stop. The bow rose out of the water as she shot forward as Jimmy righted the wheel rushing past the other boat, his wake rocking the other craft so the shots fired came nowhere near him. He chopped the throttle, raced to the BAR, and sprang back to the wheel, jamming the throttle forward. heading back toward the other boat. Laying the rifle on the windscreen, he roped the wheel to maintain direction then picked up the weapon.

Cocking the rifle he aimed at the turning craft and fired five shots at the waterline then five more at the bridge, then dropping gun he pulled the knotted rope from the wheel and blew past the craft. Unaware if he had caused leaks or casualties he put distance between them before throttling down. Back to his cruising speed, back on route to Hollywood.

TBC


Jimmy Drummond

Mechanic, Driver, Racketeer
164
?Years Young
16 Posts

"If it's got an engine, I can drive it."


He never even looked back, it was his fault that he had been that close, but there was nothing like a good fight, except for cleaning the guns used. He was well aware that there were pirates about. Not a lot had changed with that venture, in fact, they weren’t far from it in what they did, except for the looting part. Although the Liberty could be a privateer, it made no sense to get her shot up.
He had taken that risk charging the other vessel, but he was moving too fast, or their aim was poor. Either way, there would be no ass chewing for damage done to the boat. He kept a respectable distance from the coastline, traveling like a tourist, using the tourist route to his destination, there was the Coast Guard, the cutters were fast and their aim was deadly, but if a smuggler did nothing to raise attention when one was spotted, they usually had little to worry about.

Jimmy loved the open water, even close in as he was, it made no difference. Cruising speed or throttles open, he was on the water and he was in his element, well, one of them anyway. He knew Dix would be waiting in a little stretch of beach they liked to use, checking his watch he was behind, but not by much. He hated to keep the man waiting, especially with business to conduct. He notched it up a little.

The day was going to be another beauty, sun-drenched and mild was what the forecast had been. A day like so many on the coast. A nice breeze would be offshore, making the waves stand up a bit longer. But he was not a wave rider, to him, the waves were just a part of the ocean, a sometimes beautiful, sometimes dangerous part.

He navigated to the tiny inlet that he would navigate to where he would meet Dixon Steele, offload and perhaps be on his way south again, home to Key West or perhaps a side trip to one of the Bahamas, but then it would take almost as long to get to Alice Town as it would to get home, so that was a likely scratch. As he motored into the lagoon, there was Dix, waiting.

TBC


Jimmy Drummond

Mechanic, Driver, Racketeer
164
?Years Young
16 Posts

"If it's got an engine, I can drive it."


Opening the door of his yellow Peerless-670-Sedan and stepped out, cigarette dangling from his lip curled in a smile, “Ahoy!” He shouted as he would sometimes do when Jimmy arrived on the boat. “Everything go smoothly?”

“A run-in with some pirates, I suppose, the way they were coming at me. But I clearly escaped any damage to me or the Liberty. How’s tricks?” Jimmy jumped off the bow, nestled in the sand. He had more than enough power to back off the shore and turn around to leave.

“Things are good and we’ll turn a nice profit on this stuff, they’re waitin’ in line!” Dixon replied with a big smile. As they shook hands. “Get the goods I gotta be outta town here in a couple hours. Just enough time to make the deliveries.”

“Sure thing, Dix.” With that he was back on the boat and into the cabin to retrieve the cocaine packages. Carefully loading them into a heavy canvas bag, and ensuring he had them all. He closed the hiding place and went back on deck. He jumped down and handed the bag to Dixon. “All of ‘em, you headed for Sanford?”

“That’s the plan. Slim’s expecting me, you ought to motor on up, we got plenty of room.” Dion said, referring to his girl Irene Jansen whom it was widely suspected he would marry one day.

“Can’t, man. Gotta get back to Key West today, but one of these times. Be good to see Irene again, you two are for sure the cat’s Meow.” Jimmy replied Dix patted his shoulder. “Okay kid, get outta here. Tell Michael anything comes up, just call, I’ll be on my way."


Jimmy Drummond

Mechanic, Driver, Racketeer
164
?Years Young
16 Posts

"If it's got an engine, I can drive it."


"Hey, you got it, Dix. And for sure I want to get up to Sanford and see the place." Jimmy promised.

"We're there buddy, less I'm with you two. Maybe drag Michael with you. Get him out of them glitzy joints in Miami, country life'd do him good, an' that ain't knockin' the Keys. Love it down there too."

"Yeah, no kiddin'! Might not be easy gettin' Mike outta the city, but I'll give it a go. Shovin' off man, be safe! I'll see you next go 'round."

Dix merely waved as Jimmy got back on board the Liberty and backed her off the sand and turned her around, giving Dixon a wave as he started toward the open water. It was always good to see Dixon, but he had a date in Key West and that meant pushing it to get there.

End


The Narrator

Storyteller
164
?Years Young
42 Posts

So that's the tale of the delivered cocaine...