The Isadora’s plight made the seven o’clock news. The ship
had sped to
The Center for Disease Control in
There were no fatalities, though one man remained in critical care following cardiac arrest that may or may not have been caused by the poison.
The ship’s physician, Dr. Subramanian Purushotham, was interviewed by the local news channel and quite enjoyed the experience. Passengers who were not ill were put up at Royal Scots Line expense in various hotel throughout the town, their bills for the day in port graciously covered by the vastly embarrassed company.
Colin spotted Mamadou’s limo and muttered, “Shit.” Encountering the Senegalese was not in his hastily formed plans. Keeping out of sight behind a parked truck, he watched as the African held up a cardboard sign. Passengers from the ship eddied around the man and Mamadou raised the sign higher.
Soon, two women approached. Colin saw they were young, dressed demurely. They seemed pleased at first to see the limo, then grew agitated as Mamadou spoke with them. One, a tall blonde, kept shaking her head. The other, a shorter brunette, stood slightly back and fidgeted with her purse. Mamadou opened the limo’s door for them but they refused to get in the car.
Curiosity won out. Colin came closer, heard, “...know what you’re talking about. We thought the school had sent the limo. If it hasn’t, then there’s been some mistake.”
Colin edged behind Mamadou, withdrew Joe’s police badge, held it up in the air. The blonde woman saw him first. She said, “Officer, this man is bothering us. He wants to...”
Mamadou turned and Colin stepped back, badge still held high.
If the African was surprised, he hid it well. “Mr. Marsh! Or is it ‘Officer Marsh’? Perhaps you can be of assistance. I believe these young women are perpetrating a felony, importing a great deal of illicit drugs---”
Clare Drake cut him off. “That’s bull-- nonsense. My friend and I are passengers on the ship and...”
Colin shook his head, stepped past Mamadou. “Your friend Herbie is dead. There’s no one to protect you. Nothing will happen, no police, no authorities, if you just hand over the package. That’s all we want and we’re out of your life.”