Pop motions me over, holding a finger to his lips telling me to keep my voice down. "There's a man waitin' in my study wants to interview you. I think it'd be a good idea to sit down with him & chat."
"Why would anyone want to interview me?"
"Well, people've been buyin' my books you know, the ones about your adventures, & they just want to know a little more about the real-life Jack Rackham. Now this guy waitin' has got some pull when it comes books n' stuff. He's well respected as an author too, almost in my league."
"So if I talk to him you think this will help sell more books . . . like you need the money."
"Nah - that's not it at all." Pop pretends to be insulted but it's a weak act at best. "What's the matter with you? It's just that, you know, I've got an obligation to my loyal fans."
I notice Pop's struggle to keep a straight face. "Well, okay then. For your loyal fans. I'll be there in a minute."
"Alright, but don't say anything 'bout what you've been doin' these past few weeks. I'm still writin' that story. In fact, the new book's called GALLOWS POINT. Don't want anyone stealin' my material," said Pop as he walked off.
Pop's study is impressive. Dark wood finishes throughout. The walls are lined with books and expensive art. Sitting in the center is a massive desk made from the helm of sunken ship. Next to the double doors leading onto the screened porch, overlooking the waterway is a brightly polished brass binnacle dating back a hundred years or so. Standing at the far side of the room, staring up at one of the many nautical paintings that Pop has collected is the man with whom I'm supposed to "chat". He turns as I enter the room, a cigar wedged between the fingers of his left hand. It's lit. Nan's likely to toss this guy out on his rear end if she gets a whiff of the smoke. I smile and cross the room to introduce myself, and to open the doors to the porch and air out the room. The closer I get, the more familiar the man seems, though I'm sure we've never met. He appears disheveled in a loose fitting white suit, a rather odd-looking white tie worn over a white shirt. He even has thick white hair and a bushy white mustache. And I thought Nan had a thing for white clothes. He smiles as we shake hands and immediately I realize that this "chat" is going to wipe out my entire afternoon.
"Hello, Jack. I'm very pleased to make your acquaintance. I was just admiring your grandpa's painting of the '03 race. Ah, I remember that one like it was yesterday."
As we shake hands, I look over his shoulder at the painting. The brass plate on the frame is engraved "America's Cup 1903 - Reliance". Yeah this will be a long afternoon. I take a breath and clear my throat. "Pop collects nautical art and gadgets uh, Mr . . . ," and it occurs to me at that moment that I'd forgotten to ask Pop the man's name.
"Please call me Samuel." He points to one of the plush leather chairs as if we were in his study. "Well, sir, shall we begin?" He chuckles. "Let's get your facts first, and then we can distort them as much as we please."
There's that flash thought again. Where have I seen this guy?
To be continued . . .