Not far from the Yacht Harbor was the Windjammer Bar and Grill. I have to admit the old adage “two birds with one stone” immediately came to mind. I could call Emma to see what the ‘emergency’ was and ‘wet the old whistle.’ It was early in the day, at least for some whose preference of imbibing fell to the later hours, but apparently not for the many patrons at the iconic bar & grill.
The place was legendary not only for the joint's façade, which was the prow of an old sailing ship with the entrance in the lower center of the prow. Inside, it was designed to look like the lower deck and crew's quarters of an old sailing ship. Supposedly, the original ‘Windjammer’ had been in the same spot since the late 1800s, when sailors were being shanghaied to crew vessels with nefarious intent. It was usually for boats with bad reputations—sloops with a brutal captain and vicious first mates. To get unwitting sailors to crew the vessels, they had to resort to paying off the bartenders to slip the poor sap a Mickey Finn. By the time the sailor came-to, it was too late.
Today, the Windjammer was surprisingly busy with what looked like tourists of every size and shape speaking various languages - mostly Japanese with a sprinkling of Europeans, Germans, and Dutch. I also heard some Americans speaking with thick southern drawls. I walked to the far end of the bar and attempted to get the attention of a bartender. There were two bartenders, both broads but the one closest to me was a young, good-looking brunette with hair past her ass. She looked frazzled. I knew she saw me, but some fat asshole was arguing with her about his drink. Finally, she made it down to me. “God, I hate these fucking tourists,” she said, brushing a strand of her hair back from her gorgeous face. “Yeah, but they bring the cash, eh,” I said, smiling. “Yes, they do,” she laughed. It was a sexy, husky laugh, and I was in love once again. “So, what can I do for you, handsome?” she asked. I had the hardest time not saying something off-color but swallowed it. “Ah, just the phone for now,” I said, realizing how that might have come off. She handed me the phone and had to rush off to tend to the demanding tourists. I may have to come here more often, I thought, as I dialed the phone.
“Hello, Emma, what’s the emergency?” “What the hell is all that noise?” she asked. “Are you at some party or something?” “No, I laughed. I’m at the Windjammer, near the Yacht Harbor. It’s loaded with tourists! I’m using their phone. “Leave it to you to turn your work into a party,” said Emma, sounding a bit irritated.
“So, what’s the emergency?” I asked, ignoring Emma’s snide comment while motioning to the bartender and pointing to a bottle of Vat 69 scotch and expanding my thumb and index finger to indicate a double shot. Emma told me Nikki Santos found out I was going on a ‘snoop’ for Chief O’Halloran’s boat. She neglected to say she was the one who told Nikki about my plans, but really, I didn’t give a shit. Emma said to me that Nikki wanted me to call her. “Ok, I’ll give her I call,” I told Emma as I hung up the phone just as that tumbler of Vat 69 was pushed in front of me.
“Hey, Sam, don’t make a move at the Yacht Harbor. I’ll come down there and use my badge to get you in. You can’t just get in there and start snooping around.” I thought, yeah, that makes sense. “Hey, Sam, what the hell is that noise? Is that a party?” “It’s the Windjammer. The place is packed with tourists.” It sounds a fuckin’ party!” “Yeah, I know, that’s what Emma told me,” I replied. “Well, listen, Sam, I was going to say I’ll meet you at the Harbor, but why don’t I meet you at the Windjammer instead?” I thought, uh oh - that’s a recipe for what? I wasn’t sure, but it had all the elements that said Danger! A gorgeous blond, booze, and…
To be continued…