Chapter 18 Summary
As Harry and Albert wait in the boat, they see four Cuban men come running out of the bank with pistols drawn. Albert realizes that they are robbing the bank and heading for their boat. They jump on the boat and force Harry to leave at gunpoint. Albert tells Harry not to start the boat for robbers, but the biggest Cuban fires at Albert, hitting him several times in the chest. The boat moves out of the harbor. As the men lie down flat on the deck, Harry runs the boat out the channel to open water. There are no boats starting after them at first, but soon two fishing boats head toward them. Soon shots are fired from the chasing boats, but no bullets even come close to hitting Harry’s boat.
When Harry asks how much money the Cubans managed to rob from the bank, Roberto (one of the larger ones) says he does not know, but it does not matter because it is not for themselves but for the revolution. When Harry turns the wheel over to one of the Cuban boys while he fixes drinks, he notices that the boy cannot keep the boat in a set course, which will be an advantage to him, Harry thinks. Harry suggests putting Alberto’s body overboard. Harry kicks the machine gun into the water also, and the sound is covered by the splash of Albert’s body hitting the water. When Roberto sees that the gun is gone, he accuses Harry, but Harry pleads ignorance. Roberto promises to kill him once they reach Cuba. Harry surreptitiously checks his own gun, but the time is not right to make his move.
As Harry pilots the boat in the clear night, he thinks of how mean Roberto is, but the boy Emilio is nice. Emilio talks with him a little bit and tells him that Bee-lips was killed in the robbery. Emilio explains that the revolutionaries want to clean American imperialism off of Cuba, giving every Cuban a chance to start fresh. He speaks of the untrustworthiness of the people because of the government’s control. Emilio feels bad about the methods being used, but there is no other choice. Roberto comes up on deck; he is drunk.
Harry hands the wheel once again to Emilio, saying that he needs to check on the motors. Nervously he gets his gun. He fires, killing all of the Cubans, or so he thinks. One of the men is still alive and shoots him in the stomach. He has hit one of the gas lines, so he must shut off the engines. Harry shoots the last man, then he lies on the deck, thinking about Marie and what she will do. He tries to lie still as the boat moves along the Gulf Stream.