Chapter 4 - The Night of the Escape - Part 2
Captain Burt climbed out of his beached dinghy and checked his pocket watch. There was no need to light his lantern as the white watch face was easily visible in the bright moonlit night. At two A.M. there were but a few dwellings left in the island village still lit in the subtle glow of lamplight. One of them was the wood and stone building that housed the jail and the four unsuspecting prisoners. The Island jail was located in the back of the building where he concocted his plan with Judge Jenkins the previous day.
"This is my last chance," he thought as he walked through the sleeping village towards the jail. If his plan failed he would have to sell his schooner. "What good is she without crew to man her?" he whispered to himself. Then there was the scenario prophesized by Judge Jenkins that the desperate convicts would murder him and dispose of him once they were at sea. He tried his best to change his train of thought and to focus on the immediate task at hand.
He stood across the road from the jail and surveyed the surroundings for any signs of potential trouble. The night was completely quiet. Even the dogs were asleep. There was not a sound except for the constant hum of crickets. He hesitated for a moment and went over his plan one more time. He checked his musket to make sure it was ready to fire and tucked it in the back of his trousers hoping he wouldn't have to use it. He lit a cigar then took a swig of the bottle of rum he'd brought with him to calm himself then he made his move across the street. He looked through the open barred window of the front entrance to the jail and saw a fat, shirtless Samoan sitting in a chair at the table sound asleep. His head was hanging down, he was snoring and his hands were folded in his lap under the table obscured from view. "Where are the keys?" Captain Burt wondered as he surveyed the inside of the jail.
He pounded on the window frame loud enough to waken the sleeping guard but softly enough not be heard by anyone else in the building, especially the judge and his family.
"Whuh?" gasped the startled guard as he attempted to get his bearings after being sharply awakened by the pounding. Sensing something was amiss the Samoan slowly got up from his chair and walked over to the window.
"Good evening Kando," Captain Burt said to the guard confidently as if pounding on a jailhouse window were nothing to be suspicious of at two o'clock. "Judge Jenkins sent me to relieve you. Please open the door so I can come in."
"Who - who are you?" asked the guard.
"My name is Captain G.R. Burt. I'm here on behalf of the judge. Open the door!" he replied trying to sound official.
"What? No! No. No. Go away!" replied the guard.
Without hesitation Captain Burt countered. "I said Judge Jenkins sent me. He said you were doing such a good job for him he wanted to give you the night off - with pay of course."
"He not say nothing to me," replied the bewildered guard.
"It's alright good friend," Captain Burt added with emphasis on the good friend part. "We're as warm as patriots. Look I've brought us a pipe of rum."
"Ehhhhh?" exclaimed the Samoan as Captain Burt held up the bottle of dark rum for the guard to see.
"I'll warrant you're as thirsty as I am my good friend," he continued as he sensed he was gaining the trust of the guard. "Now let me in so we can both wet our whistles."
"Heh! Heh! Heh!" the Samoan laughed as he unlatched the door and held it open for him.
"Fetch us some vessels Kando - so we can partake in a drink or two," Captain Burt ordered.
"Ahhhh," the Samoan exclaimed looking around. Then as if he remembered where he last saw two drinking vessels he swiftly went into the back where the jail's cell was located to retrieve two mugs.
Captain Burt surveyed the room for the jail keys while he waited