What a good day to fish,” said Tinkerman, unloading, loading, shelling, and cocking his rifle.
“The famous Tinkerman right here on our boat! Thief extraordinaire!”
Tinkerman woke from sleep. Not the kind of sleep you lay down to have but the type inflicted by a blow from a 24 Colt. One look at his hands and feet certified that he was a shackled prisoner. Another look around him revealed that he was sailing, atop a boat, with two identical-looking men, the size of a bear. This wasn’t an escapade in Paris or a gentle boat ride around Venice; this was a case of two men and one captive on a single speedboat.
Our captors are two lucky men who managed to capture the world’s most wanted criminal—and of course whisk him away on a stolen boat. Two brothers, because they looked quite similar, interrogated their captor in a most exquisite manner. One, name Jagger, was tall like a pole, with pale flesh from years of drug abuse. The other, name Blaze, was short and stout, sporting a fancy bang which was the only standout from his wide physical frame.
Both men held some significant advantage over Tinkerman.
The taller man brandished a knife, as someone would when attempting to chop onions. Sitting up finally, Tinkerman regained full consciousness. After a lengthy insolent look at his captors, he shook his head in dismay. “My, you look like hillbillies!”
The shorter one kicked him in the guts. It hurt.
Jagger pressed his knife to Tinkerman’s throat. His breath smelled of burnt toast and cigarettes. He was so unclean. “How’d you get the name Tinkerman?”
“Well,” said Tinkerman spitting at Blaze who attempted another kick, “you’re about to know soon,”
“What does that mean…? Is Tinkerman, your real name? What did you do? And why do you have half a million dollar bounty on your head?”
Tinkerman surveyed his environs one more time, battling shackles and fetters for a favorable kneeling position. He was on a little speedboat with two mad drug-infused reward-seeking villains. The boat was definitely stolen as it was too shiny to be owned by either of them, combined.
Satisfied with the blue water view, Tinkerman went back to sitting on the hull.
“If you’re asking why I’m worth half a million,” he said, “then you should first know that I am a very dangerous man.”
“Is that so?”
“Oh yes,” said Tinkerman eying the left side of the boat where the boat’s engine purred. “Very dangerous!”
“You don’t look dangerous.”
“Ever heard the phrase ‘money is power’? Well, I have a stockpile of the first, and it gives me all the power I need. I’ve got billions stashed away…”
“Why steal money you won’t spend?”
“Because,” said Tinkerman, twiddling his fingers through copper handcuffs, “it was never about the money, it’s about standing for something—like Robin Hood.”
For a while, the engine took lead in the discussion, receiving backup from swishing tides and orchestral birds.
“Not smart enough to understand that, I see,” said Tinkerman. “Well, at least tell me where we’re headed. I’m sort of in a hurry.”
“Gunther Island Correctional facility, we’re going to get our reward,” said Blaze; and then Jagger scolded him.
“We’re going to turn you in.”
Tinkerman laughed severely, clutching his chest like he had just been shot. “What, did police stations shut down? Christ, you’re both going to get us all killed!”
The brothers exchanged curious looks. Tinkerman let the fear seep in deep and wet.
“What do you think happens at the facility—if we even make it in? Let’s assume we get invited into the world’s most secured prison. Do you think the warder has half a million dollars lying around? Definitely not. If you ask me, you’re headed in the direction that’ll get us all killed or imprisoned.”
His captors argued over this for a moment.
“Why should we trust you?” Jagger asked, crouching once again next to Tinkerman.
Tinkerman grinned. “I’ve stolen government money all my life. And it’s all buried on an island somewhere. Take me there, and you can have twice the reward money. That’s half a million apiece!”
An hour later, the speedboat came upon Tredun, an island a few hundred miles from the correctional facility. Tinkerman buried some of his loot on remote islands because it was easier to hide. Tredun was just one of the numerous islands holding his innumerable money.
While his captors were distracted, chatting idly at the other end of the boat about what they would do with a million dollars, Tinkerman looked around for something to tinker with.
Then he found it.
“Get away from there!”
“Oh, I thought it was water,” said Tinkerman recoiling.
“You’re really stupid,” said Jagger coming forward to inspect the speedboat’s fuel tank. I’ve been found out. But before Jagger could make the connection, Blaze squealed in delight. I can see the shore, he said.
The peaks of Tredun came into view. It was a desolate place, with nothing but a wide-stretching shore and the thickest rainforest anyone had ever seen. It didn’t look very bright, but it served a purpose. You see, Tinkerman had successfully escaped from five prisons, funding his escape each time. Tredun was no different; it was his bribe depository for the Gunther correctional center.
After they docked, Tinkerman breathed a sigh of relief. They were now in his element.
“This way to the loot.”
He led them to a rocky mound overlooking the sea. He begged to be uncuffed. After much consideration, his captors obliged. Then he went to work, burrowing, fervently, into the sand beneath the mound. After some rounds of digging, he pulled forth a large metal box, which jingled as it emerged from the sand. No doubt, there was money within this box.
His captors manhandled him and stole away the box.
“Open it,” they said, pointing pistols at him.
Knees in the sand, Tinkerman raised his hands in submission. “If I do that; you’ll kill me.”
Jagger chortled. “How about we take away the box and kill you anyways?”
“Then you’ll never open it.”
Tinkerman could see the confusion in his captor’s eyes, and watched, amused, as they withdrew a few paces to discuss their decision. They didn’t argue long, this time, before returning with an answer.
“Your lucky day, Tinkerman,” said Blaze. “I guess we’ll be leaving you behind.”
“And the box?” Tinkerman asked.
“We’ll try our luck with the locksmiths. If that doesn’t work, we’ll come back for you. Trust us to take our sweet little time if that does happen.”
“I have a feeling you’ll be back sooner.”
Jagger chuckled and then smacked Tinkerman hard across the face with the butt of his pistol. It sent him reeling to the sand, blood gushing out from his nostrils. Tinkerman cursed them, as they dragged the heavy box towards their boat. Then he went and sat on the rocky mound, watching their speedboat dissect the waters with ease.
Any second now.
The speedboat roared on for a while, before slowing down considerably. Eventually, it came to a halt in the middle of the sea. Tinkerman watched, amused, as his captors struggled to restart the engine. He laughed some more when Jagger shouted out his name, a hundred yards from shore.
The tinkerman has struck again.
He buried the speedboat’s fuel tank cover in the sand and strolled to another location on the shoreline where he hid some tools. A splash in the water and another confirmed his suspicion. His captors were swimming back to shore.
Tinkerman smiled as he dug up a bigger box from the sand. A few clicks here and there revealed the contents of the box. Tinkerman took the largest of the tools. Afterward, he waltzes back to the rock mound and sat down patiently. He watched for a while as his captors struggled against the sea’s currents, wading desperately back to shore.
“What a good day to fish,” said Tinkerman, unloading, loading, shelling, and cocking his rifle.
He put one eye to the scope, steadying the rifle for aim. His captors didn’t know it yet, but they were only just two dead men waiting to be buried.