The Capsized

Charlie Locksley has wanted nothing more than to be a Nature Photographer for Zoography Times. To travel the world and capture nature's small moments on camera is her greatest dream. As an opportunity arises for her to travel, she realizes her dream may be harder to reach than she expected. When tragedy strikes, she finds herself stranded and afraid in the jungles of Madagascar.

Dallas Holt lived a pretty simple life. Tanzania had treated him and his best friend, Ralph, partially well. He had not a care in the world; running from the police and living in the trees seemed like the life he had always wanted. But, when a new adventure comes his way, he is forced to become the responsible adult. With four lives resting in his hands, he must choose between living for the adventure or striving for the journey.

When Charlie and Dallas' lives collide, they learn their will is not always God's will, but God's will is always better than their will, and love will always triumph over tragedy.

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3. Chapter Two

Charlie sat in her parents living room in Crane, Missouri, a small town just southwest of the Springfield-Nixa area. Her dad sat in his chair and her mom sat on the love seat next to Charlie. Both her parents were excited about Charlie having such a great opportunity, but there was a slight hesitation for her going alone.

“For the last time, Dad, I can’t take you with me. I’d love for us to take a trip like this sometime, but this is something I have to do on my own I’m twenty-three. I’m not little anymore.”

“You do understand that you will always, no matter how old you get, be my baby girl? It’s kind of a dad thing.” Ezra grinned at her and reached his hand out for her to grab onto. “You are just too precious to us. You be sure to stay with the tour guide and don’t trust any strangers out there. Africa was by far the most dangerous place I ever traveled, let alone Madagascar. And look what just happened to your cousin few years ago. This world is getting more dangerous by the second.”

“Oh, she’ll be fine, Ezra. She is a smart girl and has a lot of discernment in her. Trust God and He will protect her.” Katrina gave Charlie a smile.

“Thanks, mom.” She gave her mother a tight squeeze, something that was almost addictive. Charlie had grown up in such a loving family. Touch was the love language in the Locksley family and if she didn’t have at least one hug a day, she felt as if she’d go crazy.

Checking her watch, she yawned and rubbed her eyes. “It’s getting late and I have to get up early tomorrow. Big day ahead,” Charlie gave her parents one last hug and then headed off to her room.

As she laid down on her bed she sighed. Living at home was great, even if she was twenty-three. Her parents weren’t too overbearing and gave her the freedom she needed. She loved having them close to her. Many of her friends had moved out when they turned eighteen. She had wanted to move out at one point, but the fad soon ended when her cousin Kairyn was kidnapped. Kairyn had been away from er family for so long and the thought of being away from her mom and dad for two weeks was nearly unbearable. She thanked the Lord that she would be back home in a few weeks’ time. Kairyn had been away from her folks for almost half a year.

She smiled as the thoughts of Kairyn’s wedding came into mind. The wedding had been beautiful, and the reception had been even better. Weston, the man Charlie had been paired with had been the most handsome man Charlie had ever seen. Or so she thought when she was eighteen. That had been five years ago.

Charlie’s heart skipped. Kairyn had been married a full five years and Charlie hadn’t even had her first kiss. God seemed to be taking his time when it came to her love life. Her cousin had told her that she would be married soon enough, but it was easy for her to say. She was married with twins getting ready to start their first year of kindergarten and had another baby on the way. Sometimes it just didn’t seem fair that she met her match so soon in life and Charlie had to wait three more years than she did.

Breathing out dramatically, she closed her eyes and bit her lip. “One of these days, Char. He’ll find you one of these days. But for now,” she spoke to herself, “you need to sleep so you can be well rested for your trip tomorrow. Besides, you just might meet your knight in shining armor Madagascar. You did always say you wanted to marry someone with an accent.” She laughed to herself and then relaxed. Help me not think about it too much, Lord. You are my number one goal, not someone I haven’t even met yet.

 

~~~~~~~

 

Charlie turned to lie on her side in her large queen bed. She groaned and covered her eyes as the sun peaked through the curtains of her window. Couldn’t she just have a few more minutes? Her alarm hadn’t even gone off yet.

She sat up quickly and turned to look at her clock. It read one-fifteen am and was blinking on and off. “No, no, no!” She yelled. Jumping out of bed she raced to her dresser and changed into something professional but comfortable. Once she was dressed she brushed her teeth and brushed her thick sandy blonde hair and pulled it up into a pony tail.

“Dot? You alright?” She heard her father yell from down the hall. She must have been making a lot of noise.

“Yes, I’m fine, just running late. Could you have mom make me some cinnamon toast?” Che called back to him.

“I’m on it,” her mother chimed in. Charlie loved how responsible her parents were, even when she herself was irresponsible.

“Thank you! I think the electricity went out last night because my alarm clock is blinking on and off!” Charlie grabbed her suit case, camera bag, and purse and left her room, hurrying to the kitchen. She grabbed the toast from her mom’s hands and kissed her on the cheek. “Thanks,” she mumbled with a bite in her mouth. “Are you all ready to go? I can’t miss the flight.”

“The car is running and, let me take that for you,” her dad grabbed her suit form her grasp, “let’s go!”

They all piled into the car and started on their way to the airport. The trip was short due to her father slightly speeding. As they pulled into the parking lot Ezra parked the car and they were all quick to hurry into the building. They dropped her luggage off and soon they stood outside the entrance to the plane she would be boarding.

“Camera?” Ezra asked.

“Check.” Charlie’s heart was racing.

“Phone and charger?”

“Check and check.”

“What about your plane ticket?” Her father raised his eyebrows. Charlie’s eyes went wide at the question.

“I have it here, you better be lucky you have me as a mom.” Charlie grinned and sighed as her mother handed her the ticket.

“Well . . . I guess this is it then.” Charlie glanced behind her. Was she truly ready to leave for Africa without her parents? She turned back around with watered eyes.

“Hey, you got this, Dot. Just remember we are a phone call away.” Her father wrapped her in his arms and squeezed her tight. “Call us at least ten times a day, okay? That way I know-”

“Ezra, she’ll be fine.” Her mother pulled her from her father’s grasp and gave her a hug. “Don’t forget to take pictures on your way there okay? I want to see everything.”

Ezra pulled both his girls into his chest and clasped onto them with his arms. “Jesus, protect our baby girl. Keep her safe as she flies and keep her safe as she travels. Protect her with and keep her safe, healthy, and strong. Help her to have fun and for her to take the best pictures imaginable. And then, when it’s all said and done, we ask that you bring her home just as safe than when she arrived. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.”

“Amen,” Charlie and her mother spoke together.

“I love you, Dot.” Ezra kissed his daughter on the forehead and gave her shoulder a squeeze. After one last hug from her mother she turned and walked to the entrance. She handed the lady her ticket and turned back to give her parents one last glance. Blowing them a kiss, she turned and walked until she was out of view.

“There goes our baby, all grown up and leaving the country without us . . .” Ezra took his wife’s hand and held it tight. “God keep her safe.” He whispered then together they turned and made their way back to the car.

 

~~~~~~~

 

The plane ride was long, and she was thankful that Mr. Wilson had paid for first class. She had fallen asleep on the first plane to Istanbul which had been quite the experience. There she had a few hours before her flight left for Tanzania, so she shopped around at a few shops in the airport. The plane she was on now was smaller than the one she flew in to Istanbul in. This flight was a bit shorter because it was during her sleeping hours. She fell asleep about an hour after the plane took off and when she awoke, the sun was up and there were about thirty minutes left of the flight. She ate an apple the flight attendant had brought her and stared out the window. The clouds had been in the way when she first woke up but as she glanced out the window, the clouds began fading away and her jaw dropped as her eyes took in all the savannah they could. Small ant like objects ran in what seemed to be a heard of Zebras. She quickly took out her camera and took some shots. “Incredible,” she whispered.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we hope you have enjoyed flying with us. We are preparing to land so we ask that you fasten your seat belts and place all luggage and carry-ons in their rightful places. Thank you.” Someone spoke over the intercom.

Charlie set her camera bag in the bag and placed it above her in the carrier-on compartment. As she sat back down she buckled up and glanced back out the window. The land scape was beyond what any picture could explain. The way God carved out each mountain, tree, river and lake was magnificent.

The plane jolted, and she grabbed onto the arm rests, careful not to bother the person next to her. As the plane began gliding its way back to earth, she prayed silently for safety and guidance for the weeks to come. Praying for success and wisdom as she traveled through the countries of Tanzania and Madagascar.

The plane landed and as she exited a strange smell caught her senses. It didn’t stink, but it was different than any smell she had sniffed before.  Glancing around she spotted a small cart with what looked to be types of oils sitting on it. “That must be what I smell.” A woman spoke as she walked past Charlie. She wore a boubou, something African women wore, that was colored with bright blues, purples, and golds.

Charlie blinked out of her thoughts and looked around at all the people holding signs. Charlotte Locksley was written on a sign held by a. African man in a white shirt that loosely hung at his waist and wore a pair of gray pants with black shoes. She walked towards him and he smiled at her. “Charlotte?” His thick accent was deep but full of happiness.

“Yes, sir. Are you my ride?”

“Indeed I am.  My name is Jesse. Did you enjoy your flight?” He grinned at her. His teeth were as white as snow.

“I did, but if I am being honest with you, I slept through most of it.” Jesse laughed at her statement.

“You must be a heavy sleeper. I have been on a plane two times in my life and I couldn’t close my eyes for anything.” He glanced down and his smile fell slightly. “Where is your luggage, Charlotte?”

“You can call me Charlie, and I haven’t picked it up yet. I’m not sure where it is.”

“Oh, well allow me to help you. Foreign airports are a bit difficult without the right help.” He winked at her. She followed him to the back of the airplane and spotted a man handing out luggage.

“That’s it!” She pointed to her suitcase. Jesse walked over and picked up the large bag. “What did you bring? Your car?” He laughed, a noise that was contagious.

“No, just the things I need to travel.”

“Well, I’m glad you are comfortable enough to bring so much. I normally pack light.” His eyes caught hold of something behind Charlie. “That is our ride,” he pointed, “Shall we go meet him?”

“After you,” Charlie motioned. Together they made their way to a small Jeep that looked like it had seen better days. Claw marks and what looked like bullet holes littered the outside. She was happy to see the Jeep had a thick metal covering over it. The last thing she wanted was to be eaten by a wild lion.

“Charlie, this is Daniel. He will be escorting us to Moshi. That is where you will board the boat that will take you to Madagascar.” Jesse explained.

“It’s nice to meet you, Daniel, my name is Charlie.” She held out a hand to him. Daniel’s facial expression never changed once. He seemed almost solemn. Charlie pulled back her hand and bit her lip.

“He does not speak much. But he is happy to meet you on the inside.” Jesse smiled widely at Charlie who climbed into the back seat of the vehicle. Jesse climbed into passenger seat and buckled up; Charlie buckled up as well.

The engine rumbled and they started on their way. They drove most of the day, seeing many wild animals. From Zebras to giraffes to lions and even an elephant, they made it to their destination safe and sound. She had taken pictures of nearly everything she saw. The vast land was beautiful and full of wonder. How had she gone her whole life without knowing the beauties of all she had recently seen?

“Moshi, Tanzania.” Jesse interrupted her thoughts. “It’s smaller than Missouri I am sure, but it holds the most beautiful people.” They climbed out of the Jeep and Jesse grabbed Charlie’s suitcase.

“Do you live here?” Charlie asked her new friend.

“I don’t, but I live not too far from here. My family is originally from Kenya but when my father died we all moved here together.”

“I’m sorry for your loss. It must have been hard.” Charlie furrowed her eyebrows.

“Oh, no it is all right. I know where he is now and someday I will see him again.” His eyes shined with excitement.

“You’re a Christian?” She gasped.

“That I am. I can tell by the way you act, you are as well?”

“That I am,” she repeated Jesse.

“Well, sometime I will have to tell you my testimony. It is far greater than any story you have heard.” His eyes gleamed.

“I’d love to hear it,” they walked towards a small building that sat right next to some beautiful jungle trees.”

“Someday, but for now we must check into this hotel for some rooms. We will leave tomorrow morning for the boat.” Charlie nodded and as they entered the hotel building Charlie tried her best to keep the smile on her face. The hotel was the nicest building on the street, but it was still a bit dirty. It made her more thankful for all the things she had back home.

The manager of the hotel showed her to her room and Jesse laid her suitcase on the bed. “Perhaps it is not as nice as your bed back home, but here it is the nicest bed room they have. Curtsey of Mr. Wilson.” The manager grinned.

“You know what? It’s perfect. Thank you so much.” Charlie nodded her head in appreciation before the manager left her room.

“I am right across the hall if you need anything.” Jesse said before he left the room too.

Charlie shut her door and sat on the crooked bed. Pieces of straw lay on the floor and a few bugs hid away in the corner. “This will be just fine,” she encouraged herself. “It could always be worse after all.” She spoke of her cousin and how she had slept in the mountains in Montana for two nights with nothing but her newly found brother to keep her warm in a cave. This was much nicer than a bear infested mountain, even if lions roamed the open lands at night.

She took her camera out of the bag and stepped towards the window. Exotic birds sang and chirped inside the deep jungle. She snapped pictures of a few lizards and birds that sat close enough on the outside edge of the large parade of trees. She couldn’t help but feel curious as she glanced as deep as she could into the dark trees. What would it be like to journey into the jungle at night and sleep in the trees, hear all the noises and sounds that came from the animals’ underneath you. She shuddered at the thought but a part of her, the part that came from her dad, told her it would be the adventure of a life time.

As she stood at the window something caught her eye. A small monkey swung from branch to branch above a man walking towards the small village. She tilted her head to the side and glanced through her camera lens, zooming in on the man. She couldn’t help but to grin as his mouth moved in slow words. He was singing. As he grew closer she could hear the words and his sweet voice was nearly hypnotizing. The deep clear sound was like nothing she had ever heard before. She pulled her camera from her eyes and leaned down on the rail of her window. He was handsome. Broad shoulders, a tall posture and there was something about the way he walked. A sense of pride settled in on Charlie’s heart. She shook the feeling away. She had never met this man before and she hadn’t planned on meeting anyone here, especially a handsome man. Sure, the idea of meeting her future husband here in Tanzania had crossed her mind a few times in the past week, but she hadn’t given it much attention. The idea was simply a fantasy that she liked to think about. She had read Tarzan before and she was in Africa, the place Tarzan met Jane. The thought was bound to cross her mind at some point, even if it was in pure humor.

The man walked right underneath her window and his singing turned into a loud and obnoxious whistle that was slightly off tune. How had his voice gone from angelic to dying animal in the split of a second? She sighed, stood up and walked to her door, taking her camera with her.

“I think a quit photo op will do me some good.” She smiled to herself as she exited her room. She knocked on Jesse’s door and when he opened it she greeted him and let him know where she was going. It was better to let at least one other person know she’d be gone for a few hours.

She made her way down stairs and out the lobby door into the streets of Moshi. Immediately she found inspiration and held her camera to her face, taking shots of nearly everything around her. She walked down the street and saw a cute little market set up with fruits and vegetables. She snapped a few pictures and smiled as she checked to see how they looked on screen. “Beautiful.” She whispered.

“Excuse me? What do you think you’re doing?” Charlie glance up to see a man standing next to her with an angry look on his face.

“Oh, I was just taking pictures sir. I didn’t mean to bother you.” She apologized.

“You think you can just waltz right up and take pictures of anything you want? Why I should have you arrested for trespassing!”

“Trespassing? You’re joking right? I was only taking a few pictures. Your fruits are beautiful. I never meant to . . .”

“I don’t joke around miss. You might as well steal from me as to take pictures without my permission. If you want pictures, you’ll have to pay for them!” The man snarled and threw his chin in the air.

“Look, I’ll just delete the pictures. No need to get your panties in a twist.” Charlie tried to hold her tongue.

“No, I want you to pay for the pictures.” The man sneered. His teeth weren’t nearly as white as Jesse’s.

“What? No, I’ll just delete them and go.” Charlie turned to leave but the man threw his hand out fast and grabbed her arm. “Let go of me you!” She yelled at him, her heart was in a panic as it quickened its beats.

“Not until I get my money!”

Suddenly, and without warning, something reached down from the top of the cart and took Charlie’s camera. “Hey!” She yelled as she looked up and saw a monkey running for the trees. “No! No, wait come back! Please! I need that!” She jerked away from the man who scoffed at the scene before him and then she ran after the monkey.

 

~~~~~~~

 

Dallas waited for Ralph by the opening of the jungle. He remembered seeing the girl only moments before as he walked into town. She had been staring at him through her camera lens and it had taken all he had in him not to give her a funny look. She must not be from around here. As he neared her window he stopped singing and whistled as loudly as he could and as off tune as he could muster. When she leaned back into her room he laughed quietly to himself.

When he entered town a few moments later he saw her taking pictures of the man’s fruit stand and he could see only a mess coming out of the situation. He hated to scare the girl, but he needed to help her without being seen by the man. It had been a week since the banana incident, but he didn’t want to risk being chased by the police again. When he told Ralph to get the camera, the small monkey shook his head and pointed to the sky.

“Yes, I know,” he told him, “God will see it, but this isn’t stealing, we are going to give the camera back to her when she gets away from the man.” Ralph had given him a puzzled look then scurried away towards the young woman.

Dallas watched as his little friend climbed on top of the small cart and then clutched the camera right out of the woman’s grasp. It had startled her but soon she was out of the man’s grasp and running after Ralph towards the jungle. Dallas waited for Ralph to run around the corner, when he did, the small monkey jumped and sat on Dallas’ shoulder as he always did. The woman followed not too long after.

“Oh!” She gasped, running into Dallas. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to . . . Hey!” She glanced at Ralph.

“Hang on, let me explain,” Dallas started but the woman interrupted him before he could finish.

“You thief!” She yelled. The way her nose scrunched up made Dallas’ stomach tighten. “That is my camera and if you think for a moment that I’m just going to let you take it, then you have another thing coming!”

“Just listen.” Dallas held his hands out to stop her. “That man,” he pointed, “wasn’t joking, he would have called for the police. I was just trying to help you.”

“By stealing my camera? Wow, I’m honored.” Her words were sarcastic as she rolled her eyes. She reached for her camera, but Dallas took a step back.

“We were just trying to help you; can’t I get a thank you?” He wasn’t sure he liked this woman and he was starting to regret helping her.

“You can have your thank you when you give me my camera back.” Her eyes stared daggers into his and she was gritting her teeth. Then, her expression softened, and she pursed her lips. “Please, it was a gift from my dad.” Dallas sighed and handed the camera to her. She didn’t even thank him, just looked the camera over and checked it for scratches.

“I’ll take that thank you now?” He reminded her. She glanced up at him annoyed and then looked at the Ralph who stuck his tongue at her and crossed his arms.

“What a charmer.” Her words were fake.

“Look, I’m sorry but I was just trying to help you out. The least you could do it be thankful I didn’t leave you to fend for yourself.” Dallas grumbled.

“I’m pretty sure I could have handled it on my own, thank you very much.”

“You’re welcome.” Dallas gleamed.

She dropped her jaw and narrowed her eyes. “Well, you,” she hesitated, “whistle very off tune!”

Dallas smirked at her and crossed his arms. “You need to work on your retaliations.”

“I . . . I’m leaving!” She then turned and walked around the corner. Ralph stuck his tongue out once more as she disappeared, and Dallas huffed out a breath of annoyed air.

“Well, she was something, wasn’t she pal?” Ralph made a laughing sound and rested his arm on Dallas’ head. “Let’s go home, I’m sure we’ll find something to eat there.” They walked back into the jungle and up into the tree house. Dallas rummaged through his tiny home for a morsel of food, but none was found. He sat on his hammock and took a deep breath. “We will have to go for a hardy breakfast tomorrow morning.” He spoke to Ralph, but the little monkey was nowhere to be seen. He had probably gone off to find some food for himself. “Right.” Dallas huffed. “Glad to have a friend like you.” He whispered.

A few minutes later Ralph appeared in his window with three bananas attached together and two apples. “Ralph,” he started, but the monkey chattered away, as if defending himself. “Did you steal it?” He asked. Ralph shook his head no and pointed out the window into the trees. “Well, at least I’ve done something right. The woman seems to think me a thief.”

“Dumb,” Ralph signed to him. Dallas threw his head back and laughed.

“Ralph, what would I do without your witty humor?” The monkey shrugged and then climbed into Dallas’ lap. They ate their fruit and laughed together as the day went on.  In the late afternoon, Dallas found himself wandering the jungle floor as he usually did. He knew better than to go deep into the jungle where the wild animals hunted and fed.

He sat down against a large Kapok tree. Its trunk was nearly as wide as the length of a car. Someone could live in it if it were hollowed out. The ground underneath him was soft and full of life as small insects and spiders crawled around. A large snake slithered on a branch above him and exotic birds flew from tree to tree trying to find a nesting place for the night. He had grown to love the jungle. It was dangerous but full of life and, dare he think it, adventure. His father hadn’t known much about survival in the jungle so everything Dallas had learned, he had either taught himself or learned from the habitants. He was no ‘Man of the Apes’ by no means, but he thought of himself as a natural, up to date, Tarzan.

A twig snapped, and he sat up aware and alert. It wasn’t unlikely that someone had followed him through the trees, but it was rare. He sat in silence and waited for another sound to appear. “Aren’t you beautiful,” a slightly familiar voice whispered. “Your colors are gorgeous!”

He stood slowly and glanced around the tree he was just leaning up against. A figure of a small woman stood about eight feet away and she held a camera. Her again. He crossed his arms and watched her as he raised her camera and snapped a picture of a Lilac-breasted roller, his favorite bird in Tanzania. The small bird seemed curious as the woman took its picture. It also seemed to be posing for her, flittering its wings and turning in different directions. “You’ll have to pay for those pictures,” Dallas joked, referring to the rude man from the morning before.

The woman jumped and turned quickly, her face turning a slight shade of pink. “Oh, it’s you,” she rolled her eyes. “Don’t you have someone else to bother? I’m trying to work, thank you.” She turned back and raised her camera up to snap more pictures.

“Again, your welcome, and actually I’m quite comfortable where I am.” Dallas smirked as she turned fast and glared at him.

“Remind me to stop throwing ‘thanks yous’ when you obviously don’t deserve them. They are sarcastic ‘thank yous’ by the way. Just in case your ill-witted brain can’t determine the difference.” Her lips turned up into a smile. She looked almost proud of herself for such a comeback.

“Oh, your words hurt,” Dallas faked a heart ache as he reached for his chest. “However, I’m trying to rest, so if you could please take your ‘business’ elsewhere, I’d be most grateful.” His smile was everything of sincere.

“Is this your jungle?” She asked him.

“Well, I’d like to think so, but no, I don’t own it.”

“Well, then I don’t see why you’re trying to kick me out. You don’t have authority and you most certainly aren’t polite enough for me to even acknowledge your opinion, so if you could please leave, I’d be even more grateful.” Her nose scrunched up as an angry expression lay on her face.

Dallas grinned. He was almost attracted to her adorable quick temper. She thought she was tough, but he’d like to see her in the wild alone. She’d be dead by morning, unlike himself. He had lived in the jungle for nearly six years. He had that on her if nothing else.

“Fine. I’ll go. But just know that the farther in you go, the more dangerous the animals are,” he winked at her and then turned to leave.

“You really think you’re funny, don’t you?” He continued walking as she spoke to him. “Well, you’re not funny! At all!” She was yelling to him as he disappeared from sight. She was a spit fire, that was for sure and she had a temper, but he wouldn’t help but smile at the way he affected her. Most women loved a man with an accent, but this one seemed like she couldn’t care any less. Although he’d never admit it to himself, inside he actually kind of enjoyed talking with the young woman.

 

~~~~~~~

 

Dallas wanted to leave the jungle and walk around town, but he couldn’t just leave the woman alone in the darkness of the trees. What kind of man would he be if he left her to fend for herself. Instead, he waited and waited in a tree and looked out for her. She was sweeter when he wasn’t speaking to her. She seemed almost kind, if he was being honest. Dallas had only been ‘gone’ for about ten minutes when she started to look around, finally aware that what she was doing was completely out of her comfort zone. She left, and Dallas followed a few yards behind her until she was safe and sound in the hotel building.

Once she was secured in her room, he left and made his way to the streets. They were beautiful at night, and quiet. Something he had grown to enjoy. He loved people and would never want to live in complete isolation, but he did love the peaceful nights, so he could think. As he rounded a street corner he passed underneath a window of a large building. Voices caught his attention and he couldn’t help but eavesdrop.

“The ship sails at dawn tomorrow. It will be a long trip but no more than a few days.” A mans voice bellowed.

“And there are no stops other than India? What of the trades and goods?” Another male voice questioned.

“India?” Dallas whispered to himself. The wheels in his head started turning.

“They will be shipped to India as well. Now, we have a few travelers coming with us, so they will need rooms and be sure to have food preparations for them. We don’t want Tanzania to be condemned for bad service.” The first voice spoke.

“It will be done as you have said. How many passengers this round?”

“We have three people joining us. John Smith, Joseph Carter, and Kanoa Quito. They are to be your number one on this trip. They are very wealthy people and are worth more than the cargo we’ll be shipping so make sure they stay in good hands.”

“You have my word, Mr. Kinks. They will be our number one concern.”

“I’ll meet you at dawn by the bay. The Kongo will set sail for India at six o’clock.”

Dallas had never been one for hasty decisions, but something he knew for sure was that no matter what, he was boarding that ship tomorrow. If adventure was what he wanted, then adventure would be what he’d get. Life was too short to let go of an opportunity such as this. Adventure was calling to him and if he couldn’t have it in Tanzania, of all places, then he’d find a way to board that boat.

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