He stood on the white sandy beach, staring back at me as our boat backed away from the shore. Granted, I’m not so sure he was staring at me or the gun in my hand, but either way, it didn’t matter. He knew I meant to shoot him if he even tried to come after us and board the boat. His only chance of survival was going to be alone on this island. Not a life, but alive…at least.
The men oared the boat out into the chop and with each passing second, he grew smaller and smaller, and yet, he stood, staring at me as we headed into the surf. He placed his hands on his hips and started to pace in the surf.
The boat was finally heading out into the deep blue water, and yet I stood there, watching him walk the shoreline. I lowered my gun to my side and sighed, glad to have this moment over, regardless of the consequences of my actions. Justified or not, I would struggle with this decision for the rest of my days.
We were about 50 yards from the shore when I finally sat in the aft of the rowboat, our head was toward the war galleon and each stroke came easier now, carrying us away from the dirty business of marooning this man on this island. At least there were palm trees and one of the men had found a fresh water spring while a shore party had explored earlier in the day. God had found it to be merciful to him for that. I glanced back one last time before adding a final note to the mental diary of the days events.
“You were my friend Stephen.” He screamed out to me, flailing his hands over his head in a bitter rage of defeat. I could barely hear him as the wind picked up and broke a wave over the gunwale.
I silently whispered to myself, “Were, James. We Were.”