Chapter 16 Summary
Harry arrives at the dock and sees no one around. He takes the gun case from under the seat and climbs aboard; he puts the case out of sight. He starts both engines and notices that the port engine is not running as well as the starboard one. He decides he needs to replace the plugs. He goes below and assembles the gun, then he rigs a sling to hold it where it can be easily reached with no more than two movements. He practices retrieving the gun several times. He decides that if he is taken down, at least he will take a few with him.
Harry looks out on the bay, where the bright afternoon promises smooth sailing. There is some activity but nothing suspicious. He is looking forward to a calm night, which will mean that it is an ideal night to cross over to the mainland. He looks up and sees that Albert has sneaked onto the dock. Albert again begs Harry to take him with him on the trip. He says that the decision has been made to give the laborers only three days on relief, which will not be enough for him to live on. Reluctantly, Harry agrees. Albert is grateful. He states that he was afraid to go home to his wife, who would most likely have given him grief as if it was his decision to cut back on the work for relief laborers. Harry suggests that he smack her, but Albert tells Harry to smack her and see what happens.
Harry tells Albert to take his car and get some engine plugs as well as some other supplies. He should also stop at the gas station and place an order for 150 gallons of gas to be placed on Harry’s credit. When he returns, he should change the plugs on the engine. Harry tells Albert that they are taking a party out fishing the next day. Albert asks too many questions, which Harry answers relatively patiently. Albert asks Harry how much he will be working for, and Harry tells him that his wages will be five dollars a day. Albert agrees without questioning.
As Albert leaves, Harry looks up at the town. He sees the bank building but cannot see the side entrance. He looks at his watch and sees that it is only a little after two o’clock. He is fatalistic; he thinks that the plan will either come off or it will not. He decides he will go back up to see Freddy and then come back and wait. He takes the long way around so he will not pass the bank.