The lighthouse beam flashed on, and the masked man crouched low on the deck, his limbs crawling spiderlike. The revolver had landed within a foot of him. He lunged at it, sweeping it into his hand before Victor or Kurt could stop him. In an instant, the man sprang to his feet. He held his own pistol in his right hand and stuffed Kurt's gun into the back pocket of his black jeans. "Nice boat you got here," he said, waving Evan down from the ladder. "How about I borrow it for a while."
Victor could see his eyes shining through the mask holes. There were two small slits for his nose, but the rest of his face was covered. Victor estimated him to be in his mid-twenties. Still, he was no rookie. Victor knew his plan was to seize the Blew Bayou for his own smuggling deal.
The thief pointed his pistol at Victor, then at Evan, and finally at Kurt. He patted the kid's gun in his back pocket and cocked his head nervously. "Why don't you guys just mosey off this boat and take my skiff to shore. No one needs to get hurt here."
Victor retrieved his T-shirt and held it to his chest. "We're waiting on a load from Jamaica," he said, thinking fast. "Six thousand pounds of weed's coming in on the south side of this island."
The thief threw a hearty laugh. "What are you guys? A bunch of freaking narcs?"
"I'm part of Cuda's crew," Kurt said, dead serious. Victor watched the thief's eyes narrow in on the boy.
Kurt wound his hair in a knot and plopped the fishing cap back on his head. He motioned to Victor and Evan. "These guys own the boat, but I was taking it over when you showed up." Then Kurt spouted off about Cuda, how he'd talked Daniel Westcott into using the Sea Booty to pick up the stash in Jamaica. "You've heard about it, man," he said. "It's all over the Conch Shell. Everyone's waiting for this load to come in. Cuda's biggest run yet." "Wait a minute," the thief said, tugging on his mask. "I know you. You're the Squirrel. The red-headed kid from Tampa, always hanging around the bar waiting for someone to throw you a lude or a hit of acid."
"I'm Daniel Westcott's grandson," Kurt said, setting his hands on his hips. "And you're the Spider, right?"
When the thief didn't deny his identity, Victor thought he'd never seen a nickname so aptly given. The kid looked like a spider.