First Night: Chapter 30

First Night: The Conflict Between Hope and Cynicism

First Night - book coverStory by Dr. Lee Brazil

Foreword and Epilogue by:

Benjamin Brazil-Woodfords

Written by Ron Breazeale, Ph.D.

All Rights Reserved

Chapter Thirty



December 22, 2019, 3:17 P.M.


Hope: The poor man’s bread.

~ George Herbert

It hadn’t taken Jeff long to figure out who the American woman was who might be the accomplice. There were only five aboard, the cruise director, the director of childcare, one chef and two cooks. Most of the crew was Latino and Indian. The best candidate was the childcare director. She was new. No one knew her.

Jeff watched her leave the ship that morning. The three women in food services did not have shore leave. The ship was doing a quick turn-around. The cruise director had left with one of the officers. They seemed to have other things on their mind other than espionage. And when Jeff observed Joann returning that afternoon with another crewman, it convinced him she was the one. Both she and the other crewman, Emanuel Rodriguez, seemed very uncomfortable with everyone, the taxi driver, security, customs.

Emanuel said nothing, supposedly because he had a bad headache.

Jeff talked to the head steward later that evening and found that Dr. Sherman had written out a medical excuse for Emanuel for the entire return trip.

“Sick bay for a day, but not the entire cruise,” Jeff mumbled to himself.

“Very unusual. Emanuel must be the guy I’m looking for.”

Jeff decided he would wait until Emanuel left his cabin and then he would search it. If the package wasn’t there or in the cabin safe, Emanuel must be carrying it on his person. He assumed he would not take the chance of leaving it with Joann or try hiding it in the cabin. Jeff decided he would wait for his opportunity.