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  from The Discovery by Mary Judge-Hubard

The Discovery
Part One

    “David, were nearly bankrupt, can you guarantee success?” “There are no guarantees in fishing J.B., but rest assured I’m talking about a virgin cove filled with schools of fish. No one knows about it, yet.” “You’re asking us to take a big risk Dave; it’s going to take every cent we got to get too Alaska. What’s in it for you?” David clears his throat “I am offering you an opportunity of a lifetime. All I want is a share of the profits, but you got to get here before anyone else gets wind of it. It’s up to you J.B., the mother lode man, for sure a fortune in fish. You can trust me.” “Ok Dave, we leave tomorrow morning, call me if the situation changes.”

    J.B. clicks his cell phone shut, and pours himself bourbon, neat. He is faced with two choices; go to Alaska on a bet, or surrender his boat to the bank? Choice number two is out of the question. They have already seized The Half Moon. They will sail to Alaska.

    “Joshua Hudson Bond Junior, get you butt out here, right now.”  A door slams and the sound of little feet stomping down the wooden deck makes J.B.’s heart cringe with regret. He did not want his son to think he was mad; he only uses his full Christian name when he is in trouble.   Hudson is out of breath. “I was working Dad, I swear.”  J.B. looks down on his son and forces a smile. “Call the crew and have them meet us at Dockside restaurant in one hour. Tell them “its life or death” and do not to be late. ”  Hudson gazes down at his feet, and peeks up sheepishly. ”Ok.” J.B. bends down and gives Hudson a big bear hug. “Son, I am not angry with you. It just the damn government won’t let us fish, and we need to make some money.” Hudson smiles, “Damn government.” J.B. tries not to bust out laughing. “You don’t have to repeat everything I say.” He pats his son on the rear end. “Off you go, make the calls, and meet me at the truck in forty five minutes.”

   J.B. and Hudson belly up to the bar. “I’ll have a bud, on tap, and a Shirley temple for my first mate.” Hudson smiles from ear to ear, he cannot sit still “I need quarter.”  J.B. digs into his pocket for change. “Here Son have a little fun.” Hudson hops off the bar stool, and is headed for the video arcade.  

   “J.B. how’s it going?” “Glad to see you Eric. Hard times my friend. Unless the government lifts the ban on fishing, we are done for.” The bartender arrives with the drinks, and Eric hands him his credit card. “Start a tab and it’s on me. Whatever J.B. needs make sure he gets it?” “Thanks Eric, but there is no need. I can get this.” Eric shakes hands with his old friend. “You’re never going to change, proud to a fault.” 

    The door to the bar swings open and in walks J.B’s sons JJ, Mathew and Thomas. Followed by J.B.’s daughters Eliza, Amelia, Danny Mae and Dawn making ruckus as they enter the restaurant. All of J.B.s children are good natured and full of life. J.B. steps away from the bar, and the family sits down at a long communal table overlooking the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay.   

   J.B. quiets his children. “We are leaving for Alaska tomorrow.” JJ blurts out “Why that far?” J.B. gives his children a serious look.  “Sit down, and let me finish. Dave has located a fishing cove stocked with fish. It’s our only hope?” Eliza raises her hand to speak.  “We have never ventured that far before, do you think it is wise.” J.B. appreciates his daughters input, but is getting a little annoyed. “I told you we are out of options, one more missed payment and the bank owns the Discovery.” Hudson Jr. is having a hard time containing his excitement. “We will be adventures like great grandpa Hudson.” J.B.’s heart melts. “Yes son that is right, we have his blood line running through our veins. We will be on a grand adventure.” Mathew, the typical teenager, shakes his head in disbelief. “Naw Dad, you are kidding right?” J.B. thinks before he answers. “Not really, Dave says we have the potential of breaking even with the bank, and buying back the Half Moon if we are successful. We have everything to gain, and nothing to lose.” Amelia sings. “Oh, times is hard and the wage is low, Aweigh the Discovery, It’s time for us to roll and go, Aweigh the discovery” The crew chimes in with the chorus. “The old man likes whiskey, the maids like rum, and the crew likes both but they can&rsq...

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