John Brown’s Body

Captain David smiled. “They’re home. Hung over. Or still drunk. Or don’t talk to guys in suits. Reminds me. Y’all want a cold one?” He ducked under the transom when they shook their heads, came back with a Dos Equis and two Millers.

Blackbeard said, “Thanks, Captain, we’re on duty.”

“Who said they were for you?” He sat the Millers down and drained half the Dos Equis. Blackbeard pulled out a print of the victim, the one cleaned up enough to show people.

Captain David laughed. “Seen the pose on him many a time, but never with the bullet hole. Spanish John. What’s his last name? Green, brown, one of those colors. Don’t matter much, nobody ever called him anything but Spanish John, spoke more Spanish than English, always made a big deal of saying ‘Vaya con Dios,’ when most folks would say goodbye.” He handed the picture back. “Did he get it here, or down there?”

“Where’s there?”

“Cuba. Used to make runs down to Cuba, come back with a couple of dozen new American citizens. Claimed he had a house and a family down there, too, police greased on both sides.” He looked back at Blackbeard and Terry. “Course that was a few years ago, nobody cared about those things.”

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