Too Beautiful to be Working Nights

Too Beautiful to be Working Nights

625 Reads 3 Votes 3 Part Story
David Thayer By DavidThayer Updated Sep 11, 2013

Chapter One

Port Elizabeth, New Jersey

November 1964

This morning I'm in New Jersey watching a ship get arrested. Two US Marshals go up the gangplank of the SOUTHERN STAR armed with their warrant. The ship rides in the roadstead with an air of squandered dignity, the dark vee of her bow bleeding rust above the waterline. 

Forty imported automobiles vanished from this ship's hold last Saturday night.

I'm dockside with a Loss Average adjustor and the man who hired me to investigate the cargo theft, Paul Joseph. Paul is a few inches taller than a fire hydrant, completely bald, and walks with a limp. He's the boss of Coastal Indemnity's Ocean Cargo department, a feared and respected man along John Street, where insurance companies huddle together for warmth.

The cars were shipped from England FAS Port Newark, which means that title transferred the moment their wheels touched the dock, leaving Coastal Indemnity with a gigantic hole in its pocket. The scale of the theft is such that I ...