Taking their first dip below the equator, ship and crew pull into harbor. With no contact from Kang, Philip and Red look for some cargo to haul to bring a few bucks on the side. As luck would have it, all Philip could muster is a few passengers, then the barometer falls when storms begin blowing in. If it were me, I’d ditch the idea of passengers, and stay safely in harbor, but what do I know. I’m not a swashbuckling sea captain that laughs in the face of danger.
Philip describes his manifest of characters. A stodgy clergyman, a doctor with self made remedies. An older gent with a young tropy wife. The woman has extra luggage that ought to be listed as cargo, which requires additional bills of lading. With the weather pressing, and the insistence that the cargo is just special food for her aging hubby, Carney makes a snap decision and sails into the storm.
The passengers have a deadline and destination they want met. As Carney has his hands full with fighting the elements, the passengers sure do roam about awfully freely, and are full of advice for Carney. My days on the sea arelimited, but normally the rule of the day is to lock down all unnecesary people to minimize risk.
As if it couldn’t get worse, the old man is found murdered, and the reverend is found in a compromising situation. Secrets come to Philip’s ears, and that his passengers all have identities that aren’t what they appear on the surface. Who can Carney believe? Who is telling the truth, and is the cargo really what he was told it was?
The mystery turns out to be a simple one, especially when the killer not only shows himself, but offers a bribe to sway Carney and share in the valuable cargo of narcotics. There’s still a plot twist or two awaiting when Carney has trouble with the customs official, a set up by his rival shipping company constantino, and a new mess is on hand for our ship master.
What now, should Carny stay and fight, or take refuge back out at sea? How will he deal with his manifest of criminals and nere do wells? Just listen in and discover for yourself how Philip deals with it, and the Scarlet Queen once again set sail for a fresh adventure. .
PS: Hey, I think this is the first adventure that didn’t find Carney in trouble in port. At least not to the point of being kidnapped, and having to fight his way safely back to sea.