Chapter 2 Summary

Harry Morgan returns to the café where he had previously been approached about smuggling people. Frankie arrives with another man, Mr. Sing. Mr. Sing wishes to charter Morgan’s boat, but he does not necessarily need Morgan because he has his own captain and crew. Morgan insists that he goes where his boat goes. At this point, Mr. Sing asks Frankie to leave them so they can speak privately.

Mr. Sing wants Morgan to carry a load of Chinese emigrants to the Tortugas, where a schooner will pick them up. He leaves it up to Morgan exactly where he will take the Chinese. Morgan wants one hundred dollars a head, but Mr. Sing finds this excessive. Morgan points out that he could go to prison for ten years if caught. If caught, Mr. Sing would accuse Morgan of having betrayed him and then ship out the emigrants again later.

Morgan agrees to do the job for two hundred dollars up front and the remaining thousand when the Chinese load onto the boat. Morgan says they will leave in the morning. They agree on the place and the signal. Morgan will not take anyone on board until he receives the rest of the money, but Mr. Sing says he will pay one half when they load and the rest when he is finished. Morgan agrees, though he insists that no guns or other weapons are to be brought on board.

After Mr. Sing leaves, Morgan asks Frankie how he got to know the man. Franks says simply that Mr. Sing has a big business shipping Chinamen for the past two years. He took over the business from another man who had been killed. Frankie is pleased that Morgan is doing business with Mr. Sing.

In the morning, Morgan clears the way for departure. He worries about this business; he has not slept all night. When Eddy meets him at the dock, Morgan tells him to leave because he is poison to him. Eddy is slow to get off the boat, so Morgan hits him in the face. Eddy gets up and climbs out onto the dock. Eddy is hurt by Morgan’s desertion of him, and Morgan continues to be hardhearted, even though he feels bad about treating him this way. He gives Eddy five dollars. Eddy still does not know why Morgan is treating him in such a manner.

Morgan gets his departure papers from the broker and then meets Frankie, who hands him a picture: it shows the Black man who had baited for him, with his throat slit, and with a message of warning. The Cubans thought Morgan had told the police he was to meet them the morning that Pancho and the other two boys were killed. Morgan returns to his boat and is glad to reach it alive.