Juan, Pablo, and Moses were already on board and we stopped to pick up Vernon before we got out of town.
Two miles past Tres Coco’s the boat motor sputtered and died.
“Oh, man!” Mario said. “I forgot to put gas in.”
“We can still fish,” Moses said. “This new resort right over there got nothing built but the dock. We can fish off the dock until the water taxi passes and then we’ll send somebody for gas.”
After we tied up the boat Mario said, “We got one more big problem. We were counting on Mr. Dennis to buy us some beers but we forgot that, too.”
When everybody looked at me, I said, “O.K., I’ll buy but I’m not walking to the store. The closest one is back by Captain Morgan’s.”
“How many cases of beer we need?” Pablo asked. “They’re six of us.”
After suggestions ranging from six to eight cases, I narrowed it down to four.
“We need two people to go,” Mario said.
“I’m too fat to walk that far in the sun,” Vernon said.
“You ain’t too fat to drink beer,” Juan told him. “We’ll draw straws.”
I forked over the money and Moses and Vernon headed out to the store with their short straws.
Half an hour later we were hauling in snappers and yellow-tails when Moses came staggering up the road carrying four cases of beer. Everyone ran to help by grabbing a case. Moses was sweating and breathing hard.
“It’s hot out there carrying four cases of beer,” he said.
“Where is Vernon?” I asked. “He should be carrying two of those cases.”
“He was, but he had some kind of a stroke or a heart attack. I took his cases and came on.”
“Where is he?”
“He’s on the road between here and Captain Morgan’s.”
“What?! Why would you leave him there?”
Moses said, “Well, it was hard to decide but I knew nobody would steal Vernon.”