"All's clear. Let's go"
The two stealthy figures crept soundlessly through the tiny, damp ally; the blinding darkness looming all around them. Yet somehow the silver moon had found a way to creep in. This little bit of light caught the shine of the knives in the thugs hands as they turned a corner. They approached a small apartment.
"You sure this is it?" The scrawny, bedraggled one said.
"Yes, I'm positive. Boss said the old coon lived here." The broad, buff one answered.
"I don't have a good feeling about this."
"Oh stop your whining!" The second thug bellowed, "Everything's gonna be fine! We do this job, we get the money and we beat it. All right?"
The little one nodded and they crept forward. Opening the back door, they furtively tiptoed through the quaint kitchen. They passed the living room and the little one stopped.
"Hey Jake," Jake grunted. "Why would an old coon have toys in his living room?"
"I don't know! He's loony, just like boss said."
"No, no. These are kiddy toys. You know; rocking horses, dolls, and tea sets?" the little one looked around at the limp, hapless toys.
"He probably just has his grandkids over as a cover." Jake said as he reticently moved up the stairs.
"I still don't like this."
"Creighton, stop your whining! I'm telling you! As soon as this is done, we'll beat it. We already discussed this. Now get upstairs before he wakes up!" Pushing Creighton forward, they both crept up onto the landing.
"His room's this way." Jake said, pointing to a door at the end of the hall. He slowly opened the door and plunged into the room. Lifting his knife, he thrust it at the figure in the bed. As soon as he did it he stopped. A cry had escaped the figure, not a old coon cry; the cry of something different.
"Creighton," he stammered, "You were right."
"What? What's wrong?" Creighton said as he stepped in the room.
"This is a girl, a little girl."
"Oh no," Creighton cried. Tears began to fill his eyes. "See?!" He yelled, irate with anger. "This is what you get for jumping to conclusions and living a criminal life!"
"Keep it down! Do you want the parents to wake up?" Jake glared at his partner. "Let's get out of here before trouble happens."
"What trouble? You already did the trouble!" The little man was shaking. "Being in jail isn't trouble! The crime is!"
"Let's just go." Jake said, cringing as he left the room.
"You're just gonna leave her there?" Creighton asked, his lip quivering. "No "goodbye, I'm sorry you were murdered"? No, "This wasn't supposed to happen, please rest in peace"? No prayer over her?" There was a long pause.
"No," Jake replied and he walked away, leaving Creighton to pray over the sweat little soul who was now in heaven.
When Creighton finally joined Jake in the ally, it was obvious that Jake had done some planning.
"Now, what we've got to do is get far away from this place, but not to the place we had originally planned because boss knows about it and might give it away." He mused.
"Hey, let's wait a moment here." Creighton said, "Where would we go?"
"It's easy, I already figured it out." Jake laconically expressed
"And that is?"
"I'm friends with some sailors on the Rising Sun that we could hook up with. Their captain's strange but that won't matter." Jake smiled pleased with his plan.
"Now what exactly do these sailors do?" Creighton asked hesitantly.
"Oh, what normal pirates do; loot, pillage, stea…"
"Wa-wa-wait. Pirates? Now, hold on up there! Pirates? No, that's a no. We were steering away from this stuff. You said nothing about pirates!"
"Relax, no need to ruffle your feathers. It'll be fine, I promise."
"That's what you just said about this gig and look how it turned out! In the murdering of an innocent girl!"
"Come on! It's not going to be bad. I decide what happens and this is what's happening! So let's go pack up and head out of town."
The next morning , they found themselves standing at the bow of the Rising Sun as the sun, indeed, did rise from its sleep. "See?" Gleamed Jake, "everything's working out!"
"Sure, whatever you say." Creighton said rolling his eyes.
The next few weeks found the two felons, now pirates, plundering towns, burning farm houses, over taking other ship's cargo's and killing crews. Jake thoroughly enjoyed this work and avidly did whatever was asked of him. All his life had been spent robbing and avoiding police but for Creighton, a sailors' life, especially a pirate one, was not the life for him. Being scrawny and thin, he was not much help for the crew but was excellent at sneaking things on and off the ship. This was his only useful trait and this was the only reason why he was allowed to stay with the crew, otherwise he would have been dropped at the nearest town ASAP.
One day, two years after they had joined the crew, the ship stopped off shore of a tiny island. It looked desolate. Jagged rocks vigilantly shot straight up to the sky. The sun glinted off the white sands and tiny little shrubs and trees surrounded the rocks,enhancing the effect that deserted islands give.
"Lower the skipper!" Cried a mate as the Captain with his patched ear, wooden fingers and his rudimentary talking ferret, made his way to the little skipper. Jake and Creighton curiously climbed into the boat when he beckoned them.
"Why might we be'a stoppin' here, me Cap'in." Jake accosted. Creighton rolled his eyes. After the very first weeks they had been at sea; Jake had picked up the sailors "pretext to act a pirate" as Creighton had put it.
"This is my island." The Captain said in an adroit and superior manner. "Treasure more than you can imagine is on this island, and in return for your services I have decide to give you a good share of it."
"Well, if I neva had been blessed before! I say! That's a' mighty generous of ya me Cap'in. But how have we earned such a great gift?"
"I have noticed your willingness to serve me, Jake, and your wonderful furtiveness, Creighton. This is not found in many of my crew members."
"Bu-but why would you trust us? How do you know we wouldn't just come back and steal more?" Asked Creighton. He felt a sharp jab in his side from Jake. The Captain chuckled. "Ju-just wondering." Creighton added.
"Hmmmm, that is a good question, maybe it's because I know you wouldn't disobey me." He chuckled in a nuance as he pulled out of his coat a note. Handing it two them he sat back and watched as they read the following:
REWARD! 100,000 dollars FOR Jake Littleton and Creighton Newhouse
for the murdering of Sally Manfred. If you see them or have any
other information that could lead to their capture, please let
you local police know.
The Captain's face questioned them.
"So, gentlemen, do we have a deal?"
"Ye-yes sir! Of course, lips sealed, sir." Stuttered Creighton.
"Well, bein' that our lives are at stake here…." Began Jake, "I say yes too. And break my good mother's back if I don't keep to me word!"
"Good" Captain Ferchanks soothed. "Now, let's find that treasure for you."
They landed on a pleasant side of the beach and after tying the boat, started down the beach. As they walked the Captain talked to them about all the wonders that lay behind the rocks. At one point they turned from the beach and crawled through a small cave in the side of the wall of rock. Reaching the other side, the Captain had to cajole a throng of monkeys to step aside by gesticulating widely and hooting until they moved on. They continued on through several forests and meadows with the intrepid lead of the Captain. Finally, after what seemed like days, the little troop arrived at a cave buried by vines. Making their way through, they carefully crept through the small passage ways until they reached a small room.
"Well," panted the Captain, "here we are." He spread his hand out over the plethora of boxes, bags, furniture, clothes, chests and tables that were covered in a multitude of gems, jewels and precious stones.
"Have at it gentlemen." Captain Ferchanks smiled.
Jake grabbed a bag and started pilling in jewels and stones while Creighton layered on clothes and stuffed their pockets with gold and rubies. Soon, they both had three bags full and a few pairs of fancy clothing on them.
The Captain laughed and commented, "Carrying all of that back is going to be exhausting and tedious."
"Aww, it won't be that bad!" Jake urged. "In the long run it won't hurt us!"
Creighton was about to make an argument but Jake gave him a menacing stare and he shut his mouth. The Captain laughed once more and began to start the long journey back to the skipper.
Several hours later, Jake and Creighton were truly exhausted as the captain had said. They wearily placed their bags in the skipper and plopped down. The Captain picked up the oars and rowed back to the ship.
A few days later, the pirate crew said their goodbyes to the two thugs and sailed away. Since they were both rich they also said their goodbyes. They never saw each other again but thought of the other often and wondered about their outcome.
But what did become of our two pirates? Jake finally gave up his criminal ways and moved to the cited where little Sally had died. For what reason he had no idea but soon found out when he became miserable enough to go and apologize to the family he had hurt. To his much surprise, they forgave him and pardoned his charges. To this day he remains a close friend. He married a young rich heiress and settled down in the out skirts of Richmond, Virginia.
Poor Creighton, on the other hand, went out and spent all his fortune in the first year and a half he was home. He found a wife but was not happy and divorced her. For the rest of his life he was arrested numerous times for robbery and other charges. The nice little man died a scorned sinner.