Chapter 5 Summary

Harry Morgan opens up his shirt and looks at the spot where Mr. Sing bit him. He puts iodine on the wound and wonders if a Chinaman’s bite is poisonous. He decides that a man like Mr. Sing probably brushes his teeth several times a day. He also decides that Mr. Sing was not much of a businessman.

Everything is simple, reflects Morgan, except for Eddy. Because he is a rummy, he is liable to talk when he is drunk. He thinks Eddy would be better off dead than the way he is—drunk or needing a drink all the time. When he discovered him on board, he had thought he would have to kill him, but everything has worked out so nicely. In addition, Eddy was not on the crew list, so Morgan would have to pay a fine for bringing him in to Key West.

Morgan enjoys the night and pilots the boat across the open sea, occasionally taking a drink from the bottle of rum. At daylight, Eddy wakes up feeling terrible. Morgan hands the wheel over to Eddy, then he goes back to the stern and gives it an extra scrub just in case there is some blood left over from Mr. Sing’s bloody nose. He examines the cabin and finds no evidence that the Chinese had been there. He examines the ship’s papers and discovers that Eddy is listed as a crew member after all. Eddy explains that he met the broker when he was leaving and told him he was going with Morgan. Morgan is amazed that God must look after rummies. He makes coffee and then takes the wheel from Eddy.

About nine o’clock they see the Sand Key light ahead. Morgan tells Eddy they will be landing in a couple of hours. He says he will pay Eddy the same four dollars a day that Johnson paid him. When Eddy asks Morgan how much he got out of Mr. Sing the night before, Morgan tells him six hundred dollars, though he is not sure Eddy believes this lie. Eddy asks if he gets a share of it, but Morgan tells him that he gets the four dollars. He threatens to kill him if he ever talks, but Eddy assures him that he is no “squealer.” Morgan, however, points out that he is a rummy. Eddy insists that he is a good man. With contempt, Morgan tells him that they cannot make rum fast enough to keep him a good man. He does not worry about him, though, because he knows no one would ever believe Eddy.

That night Morgan is back at home with his family. Eddy visits him again. He has picked up another rummy. He tells Marie, his wife, to tell Eddy to get out before he runs him out. Morgan remarks that Eddy is a lucky rummy, but Marie says there is no such thing as a lucky rummy. Morgan says maybe there is not.