Chapter 8 Summary

Harry Morgan throws the last sack of liquor over the side of the boat and tells Wesley to get him the fish knife. Wesley tells him that the knife is gone. Morgan starts the engines. He had installed a second engine when the Depression weakened the charter boat business and he had turned to running bootleg liquor. He chops the anchor rope, dropping the anchor down onto the sacks of liquor below. He resigns himself to the possibility, if not probability, of his losing the boat to the federal agents. His primary concern at the moment is to get to a doctor who will tend to his arm. He does not want to lose both the boat and his arm.

Morgan pilots the boat out of the channel and into the sea. Moving past the mangroves on the shore, he moves out with the tide. He sees Captain Willie’s boat almost two miles away, headed for Boca Grande. Morgan surmises that the tide is high enough that maneuvering through the lakes will be easy for Captain Willie. Morgan revs the engines and speeds out past the tree-filled shores. He hopes the federal agents will not take his boat. He also hopes the doctor will be able to fix his arm. He reflects that he had no way of knowing that he and Wesley would be shot at in Mariel, after they had spent six months going back and forth there. He decides that this is typical of the Cubans. Somebody did not bribe the right person, so Morgan and Wesley ended up getting shot.

He looks back at Wesley, who is lying down, covered by a blanket. Morgan asks him how he is feeling. Wesley replies that he could not feel any worse. Harry points out that he will feel worse when the doctor probes his wound to get the bullet out. Wesley claims that Morgan is not human, that he does not have any human feelings.

Morgan thinks about Captain Willie. He was wise to come in closer to the boat rather than wait. Morgan blames himself; he thinks his dizziness and sickness caused him to lose his judgment. Ahead he can see the white of La Concha hotel and the rest of the town. He sees the car ferries lying at the dock. He plans to go around the docks and up to the Garrison Bight. He thinks of the time Willie is giving Harrison and the others. As bad as he feels at the moment, Morgan is sure he is doing the right thing by coming in to get checked out by a doctor. From the cockpit, Wesley apologizes for not being able to help dump the liquor. Morgan brushes it off. In the meantime, he hopes the doctor will be able to save his arm.