A Pirate's Booty

A Cavazutti Crime Novel #4

by Carlo Cavazutti

For hundreds of years adventurers have hunted for the treasure of the Spanish Galleon, La Bella Donna but stymied at every turn. That is until Synthia Morales walks into Chez Rendezvous and tells a story of a long lost relative and sole survivor. A tale that Carlo overhears and the search is on. Danger, treason and subterfuge lurks from everywhere and he must put together a top notch crew.


Chapter 3

Present Day


I moved into Sly’s bunker as I couldn’t see much sense in paying rent when he would let me stay for free in the lavish quarters to which I had become accustomed. He and I had grown ever closer since the Albanian incident. Can’t say that about many people. Sly, like good bourbon, was top-shelf. I loved the guy. I left the other kind of love to the seductive ladies. I was an old hound dog and proud of it.

My bike and car were securely stowed in his secreted garage. I came and went as I pleased, and I ate when I was hungry. I worked out in his gym and used the range to stay sharp.

Sly was a good friend and like a true friend he was more like a brother. I loved his company, the club, and he enjoyed hearing the tales of my latest escapades and settled for nothing less than all the details. Hence, he wanted the full scoop on the bike trip. You know, the one to Perdition.

“I don’t know how you’re still alive, my brother, but you always seem to outwit death. And you tell these young ladies anything and they just fall for it. Man, how do you do it?”

“I have no clue. Maybe I’m an old ass MacDaddy with a bit of swag left and you, my man, are a close second.” He burst out laughing. “Remember, we all survived the Albanians. I need a vacation, my man. One where I’m not fighting with some rogue mobster or gangster or gang, but somewhere nice and quiet. Maybe do some diving. Shit, even sharks wouldn’t be a hazard now. I’ve been watching one of those educational channels like Discovery and watched the entire series about astronaut Gordon Cooper and the maps he made of possible sunken treasure wrecks,” I said to Sly. “You just might want to back something like this.”

“You show me that data and I’ll determine if it’s a good investment. And what about the Lady? You know how she is about you taking off on some life-threatening adventure.”

“Sly, I don’t recall saying anything about life threatening.”

“No, you didn’t. And that’s the part that bothers me. Pirates still roam those waters, probably more so than back then.”

“Thanks, man. When I get it together, I will give you all the details. Maybe need you on the boat.”

“Oh, hell, no. I like dry ground. You know us folks can’t swim and black lives matter.” Not necessarily referencing the current political situation.

“Such a pussy at times and I know black people can’t swim. Well, some of them. Imagine you with a life vest and arm floaties thrashing about. That picture would be worth a million dollars. Imagine the headline, ‘Black bar owner afraid of the water.’” He laughed and so did I. “Let me give you some info. Gordon Cooper did this all from space, and friends of his had some great success at finding treasure from ships that were either sunk in a storm or blasted apart by cannon fire.” Sly hung on every word.

“So what are you telling me?”

“There’s more to be found. I just need to find someone to help me find something while risking a small fortune on it.”

“And how do you intend on getting that type of information?” Sly asked.

“I know people that know people just like you.”

“That’s what I’m afraid of. Those people you know like I know, that thing,” Sly responded.

That got a chuckle out of both of us. Yeah, Let’s Go Brandon.

“I just need to make a few calls.”

* * *

I had a bad habit of loving adventure a little too much. The winter weather was starting to put a chill in the air and my penchant for a warm Caribbean beach started to itch at my innards, along with arthritis nagging in my ear like a scorned wife. And I’ve had a few. Nope, not saying another word. Let sleeping dogs lie.

I’d just returned from the Caymans with Lady Tatiana, but I needed some more danger, I mean adventure. Trust me, she was a handful and could make my life like an Indiana Jones movie. But she was good all the same all of the time. I taught her how to appreciate the underwater world of the Caymans and she didn’t fuss about her hair. That in and of itself was a slam dunk. Guess it made an impression on her.

I picked up my cell and made a call. I had more research to do before I went off the deep end, but I at least wanted to get a few things like a boat and some security before we left.

* * *

My first call was to Roger Fountain, the Captain of the Jolly Roger. Go figure. He was based out of a little marina near Miami and booked fishing and diving charters along with tours to other islands to a substantially wealthy clientele.

He was as salty as the sea and every third or fourth word out of his mouth was an expletive. But he made everyone feel good even with his age, hard crust, an ice chest full of beers, stocked bar, and his pit bull, Precious. She looked ferocious but tended more to her namesake. He gave them the experience they always dreamt of. He wasn’t bad behind the grill either.

She, Precious, made friends with any group he took out and they spoiled her rotten. She loved the guests almost as much as Captain Roger loved an eight-pack of Busch when he got back to his stateroom. Catering to divers and fishermen of uncertain skills presented challenges but he knew how to handle them. All with a little cussing and professional persuasion.

As the sun set, Roger turned on the underwater lights, which attracted fish of all sorts along with a shark or two. When the lights came on Precious knew it was her time to swim, and the captain strapped her into a life vest just for dogs. And of course, he had a line tied to her.

His clients got a charge out of it and they couldn’t resist one last dip with the pooch.

* * *

We grew up together. We could have a fight in the morning and be swimming at the municipal pool, Kohler Pool, in the afternoon. We were like brothers. It’s how we all did things back then. One on one, no one else jumping in except to break it up. None of this shit doing a drive-by and killing people that had no part in it. Dang, man, we were just kids. His mom would make freeze pops made from Kool-Aid that we called junk but ate them up on a hot summer day.

His dad, Ted, worked all day selling storm windows and installing them. Roger attained a good work ethic from his Pops. Both were good men.

Roger, Gary Burgin (another neighborhood kid), and I had a special connection. One night, the lights went out and we were in the backyard. Black as black could be. Roger looked up and said, “It’s a flying saucer!”

“Yeah, sure, Rog. Tell us another one.” But we looked up anyway. “Damn, man, you are right,” Gary responded.

Sure enough, there was an object in the sky that shone multiple colors, rotated, hovered, and then took off, made a sharp left turn, and was out of sight within seconds. It wasn’t long after the power booted back up. Yeah, it knocked out the power to a lot of homes. Just don’t tell me we didn’t see what we saw.

No one would believe us if we told them, so we kept it to ourselves pretty much all these years. But it was strange that the Niagara Falls Power Plant also lost power and a military pilot from the Niagara Falls Nike Base saw the same thing we did.

Anyway, that is how I knew Roger. For good or bad, he was a friend and a brother. He answered the phone on the first ring. “Holy shit, I can’t fuckin’ believe it’s you. What the hell is going on?” Now that is the Roger I remember.

“I need a boat and a captain. Know where I might find one?”

“I sure the fuck do. I’ve got a 2006 Cheoy Lee 84 footer. It’s a few years old but it’s like new. You know I have it just like you know everything else. I don’t know how you get it, but you do.” I just shook my head and knew we would travel in pure luxury.

“And my sources increase from year to year. What do you say to two hundred fifty grand for two seasons? If it’s only one, I’ll still give you the entire amount plus ten percent of what we find—but I pick the crew.”

“You don’t say. Ten percent for what, and where are we going? I’ll need fuel on occasion if you want to stay cool at night.”

“That’s the part I’m not sure of... yet. Is that good enough? I have half the cash up front and I know you don’t need it, but you in? And we’ll need room to stash gear, and I know you have a compressor. Probably use rebreathers, but that remains to be seen. Got a few more details to work out so stay by your phone. Give me your sat phone number so I can keep you posted.”

“Shit, are you fucking kidding me? If this is anything like the other shit you’ve been in, I’d almost do it for free, for bragging rights. I’m all set with the compressor and who’s ‘the we’ll’ you didn’t mention?”

“I have an idea, not sure yet, but they’re good people. How many guns can you hide?”

“Fuck, you just gave me a boner. I have enough hidden compartments on this boat to hide an elephant. I have a few guns, but I’m sure that is far short of what you might need.”

“Just what I wanted to hear. Be ready to go January first.”

“I’ll clear my schedule.”



"A Pirate's Booty"


Amazon Kindle
Google Play



Crime Thriller

? Heat Level: 4