Bandits and Buccaneers

By JSRobertson


It was late afternoon and Admiral Harriman Nelson was sitting at his desk in his office at the Nelson Institute of Marine Research.  He was mulling over an invitation to a luncheon from Mrs. Harriet Abernathy, one of Santa Barbara’s wealthy citizens.  He didn’t mind attending her luncheons but they always had a cause attached to the invite.  She was the city’s ultimate charity fundraiser.  She could talk him and the other guests into participating in her various projects for raising money.  He was also generous to various organizations in Santa Barbara that needed his help. 


He knew she liked when he, Lee and Chip attended her fundraising projects as it always brought in more money.  It seems the ladies of Santa Barbara enjoyed his command staff when they were included in the charity events.  The luncheon was two days away and he was up to his elbows in projects that needed to be completed before they left on their next mission. Lee and Chip were working on the overhaul of Seaview’s engines and couldn’t spare the time. After checking with Lee and Chip, who really didn’t want to go, he decided to send Angie, Wanda and Janet to the luncheon in their place.  Harry knew that Harriet would be upset that he wasn’t there but the three women would be great representatives.  He picked up the phone and dialed Angie’s extension.


“Angie, would you please come into my office and bring Wanda and Janet with you,” he asked as he took the invitation and sat down on one of the two couches that faced each other in his office.


“Yes sir,” she replied quickly and got up to get the other two women.


The three women stood outside the door of the admiral’s office.  “What does he want with us,” Janet asked quietly.


“I don’t know,” Angie replied as she knocked on the door.


“Come in,” the admiral responded. “Please sit down.” Angie and Wanda sat down on one leaving Janet to sit with the admiral on the other one.   He looked at the three women, all of them with concerned looks on their faces, “You haven’t done anything wrong, and there is nothing wrong,” he snorted.  “I would like you to attend this luncheon in my place,” he said handing Janet the invitation to look over who then handed it to Angie and Wanda.  “Lee and Chip are also unavailable and I don’t want to offend Mrs. Abernathy so I’ve decided to send the three of you.  I’m sure you know who Mrs. Abernathy is?”


Angie spoke up, “Yes sir, she does a lot of fundraising and always comes up with a unique way of getting people to contribute money.   She’s held auctions, dances, fairs among other things.”


“Yes, she has and we have has participated in some of those when we’re in port.”


“But sir, who’ll take care of the office while we’re gone?” Janet asked curiously.  “You know Chip and Lee can’t handle the phones.  They can pilot a huge submarine but one phone call sends them into a panic,” Janet chuckled.  The admiral also had a grin on his face knowing that has happened a few times.


“Angie, make arrangements to have Dorothy from accounting fill in.  She’s done it before and I know Lee and Chip get along with her.  Also, please RSVP to the invitation and give them your names.”


“Yes sir,” Angie replied as the three women stood up and left the admiral’s office.


“Have you ever seen her mansion?” Wanda asked after noticing the luncheon was being held there.  “That place is huge and right on the ocean.  She has almost as much ocean front property as the admiral does.”


“I guess we better make sure we look out best,” Angie replied.  “Black suits and heels,” she announced as the Wanda and Janet shook their heads in agreement.


The women returned to their desks to finish what was left of the work day.  Angie and Wanda headed out at 1800 hours but Janet would wait for Lee to return from Seaview.   He and Chip came up from the sub pen a little while later.  Both were covered in dirt and grease.  Janet was surprised even Chip had dirt on his uniform.


“Don’t you have men that could take care of the engines?” Janet asked looking over the two men.


“Yes, if you think we’re dirty, you should see them,” Lee laughed.  “Let’s go home.  I’m tired and hungry as well as dirty.”


“Yes sir,” Janet replied giving him a two finger salute.  She got her purse and put on her jacket.  Even though his hands were clean, she went to Lee’s office to get his jacket and cover so he didn’t have to touch them.  The three of them walked out of the institute together.


“See you tomorrow,” Chip said as he got in his car. 


“Bye Chip,” Lee and Janet replied back as they got into their car.  “I can’t wait to take a shower,” Lee said as he drove home.


“I can’t wait for you to take one too,” Janet answered back having never seen her husband that dirty from working on the boat.  “I’ll get dinner while you shower and change.”


“You could join me in the shower,” Lee remarked deviously.  “I’d rather have dessert first anyway.”


Janet looked at her husband, smiled and shook her head as they pulled in their driveway.  Janet took Lee’s jacket and cover and put them in the closet while he took his uniform off before heading upstairs and put it in the cleaning bag they forgot to take that morning.  He ran upstairs while Janet put dinner in the oven.  She went upstairs to change her clothes and saw Lee was still in the shower so she decided to join him and engaged him in some romantic fun. 


As they toweled off, Janet told him about the luncheon.  “Did you know the admiral was sending us to Mrs. Abernathy’s luncheon?”


Grinning as he pulled on a pair of jeans, “Yes, he told us and we’re very happy the three of you are going.  She’s a very nice woman but she can be very persuasive when she wants something and the admiral can’t say no to her.  I actually think she’s got the hots for him,” Lee said pulling his shirt on as Janet put on her top and jeans as well.  Janet broke out in a huge grin when Lee told her about Mrs. Abernathy and the admiral.


They walked down the stairs and into the kitchen where Lee took a beer out of the refrigerator for him and poured a glass of wine for Janet and went out to the patio.  He sat down at the table while Janet brought out dinner.  Even though it was a cool evening they sat outside for awhile before going into the house.  When they finished cleaning up the kitchen, they watched TV before going to bed.




The day of the luncheon had arrived and Janet was up early making sure she had enough time to get ready.  She hopped in the shower with Lee joining her just as she was finishing up.  She took extra care doing her makeup and hair.  She put a pink shirt on with her black skirt and high heels.  She was just getting ready to put on her jacket when Lee came up to her and kissed her very gently on the lips as he ran his hand down her back.  He felt her shiver.


“Lee, please,” Janet pleaded resting her head on his chest.  “Don’t do this to me now.”


“Do what?” he asked as he kissed her again with more passion.  On any other day she would have given in and jumped back into bed but not today.


“Lee,” she said as she wiggled out of his arms.  “Can we continue this tonight?  I don’t want to have to redo my hair and makeup.”


“Okay,” he conceded with a grin, “to be continued later.”


“Thanks,” Janet replied as she gave him a hug and patted his butt before putting on her jacket.  “Do I look okay?”


“Sweetheart you look great.  What are you so nervous about? She’s not going to bite,” he laughed as he walked downstairs to the kitchen and poured them both some coffee. 




They arrived at the office just as Angie and Wanda were getting out of their cars.  Lee looked at the three of them and chuckled.  They all had on black suits only with different colored tops.  “Well ladies I see you have your uniforms on today.”


Angie gave him a dirty look, “It’s easy for you men to dress everyday as you wear the same thing.  Only some days it’s blue or white instead of khaki.  Women don’t care what you wear because all they see is the uniform but...”


Lee quickly apologized before she could finish, “Sorry I didn’t mean to offend you.  The three of you look very nice as always.”  Angie smiled at his compliment.


Janet whispered, “Nice recovery.”  


Lee took Janet’s hand and they walked into the institute with Angie and Wanda.  The admiral and Chip were already there when they arrived.  They both noticed they were all dressed alike.  Lee was walking behind them and saw Chip about to say something and gave him a look.  Chip saw the look and said nothing but the admiral missed it.


“Why are you all dressed the same?”


“Sir, we have that luncheon today and want to make a good impression,” Angie responded nervously.


“Well you all look lovely and I know you’ll make a good impression on Harriet.”   The admiral shook his head conceding he would never understand women and their clothes.  Before he walked into his office he turned to Lee and Chip, “Could we meet in ten minutes?  I’d like to discuss how the engine overhaul is going.”


“Yes sir,” they replied.


Before Lee went into his office, he heard the women discussing who was going to drive.  They decided Janet would drive as her SUV had more room and it was easier to get into the back seat.  He went to his computer, booted it up and printed out directions to Mrs. Abernathy’s mansion.  He handed them to Janet.  “Did you bring your keys?”


“Yes, I have them and thank you for the directions,” she answered giving his hand a squeeze and walked to her office.  She took off her jacket hung on the back of her chair and pulled out the work she needed to do as Lee and Chip reported to the admiral’s office. 



It was 1045 hours when Angie entered Janet’s office. “We better leave soon.  I know it’s not too far away but we don’t want to be late.” 


“I’ll be ready to go at 1100 hours,” Janet replied as they heard the elevator doors open and Dorothy from accounting was standing at Wanda’s desk.  “Hi Dorothy,” Wanda said and explained to her what the schedule was for the day.  “We should be backing around 1500.  The admiral, Lee and Chip are in the admiral’s office so take a message if anyone calls,” she told Dorothy as she put on her jacket


“Will do,” Dorothy said happily.  


Angie and Janet had their jackets on, grabbed their purses and were getting ready to leave when the three men came out of the admiral’s office.  “Hi Dorothy,” the admiral said. “Thanks for helping out.”


“No problem sir.  Does anyone need anything right now?”


“Not me,” both Lee and Chip replied.  Lee walked over and gave Janet a quick kiss.  “Good luck,” he said softly.  He looked at the women and could tell for some reason they were nervous.  Janet and Angie had been to other luncheons before but this one had them rattled.  They got on the elevator, into the car and drove to the Abernathy mansion.




When they arrived at the mansion, a gentleman greeted them at the gate.  “We’re here for the luncheon,” Janet said handing him the invitation.


“Yes, ma’am.  Just follow the road to the front of the house.  Have a good day,” he told them.


“Thank you,” Janet replied and followed the road to the front of the huge mansion.  There were a few cars ahead of them so as they waited in line the three women stared at the house.


“Oh my goodness,” Wanda murmured, “I’ve never seen anything this big.  It looks bigger than in the pictures.”


Angie and Janet just shook their heads as they stared in awe.  It was Janet’s turn to have her car parked and two valets opened the doors and helped the women from the car as a third one jumped in the car and drove it away.   A woman dressed in a black dress greeted them.  “Welcome,” she said politely, “just follow the path around on the side and it will take you to the back of the house where everyone is meeting.”


“Thank you,” Angie said as she led the way to the back. 


When they got around back they stopped and stared at the view of the ocean.  The house was on a hill that overlooked the ocean.  “I thought the admiral’s view was great.  This view is fantastic,” Janet said as they continued to the back where quite a few people had already gathered. 


A server with a tray of champagne walked over to them.  They each took a crystal flute of the pink drink.  They were a little nervous as they knew no one and noticed most of the attendees were men.  They saw only a handful of women.  They walked over to the rail that surrounded the patio and looked down at a huge pool and another patio.  Before long, Janet heard someone calling her name.  She turned around to see Tom Allerton walking over to her.  Finally a familiar face, she thought.


“Hi Tom,” Janet said warmly.  “This is Angie Pearce and Wanda Carston.  I’m sure you’ve talked to both of them.  This is Tom Allerton of Allerton Valves.”


“Yes many times but it’s finally nice to put a face to the voice,” Tom replied with a smile shaking hands with the two women.  “Where are the admiral, Lee and Chip?”


“The admiral’s involved in a project right now and Lee and Chip are overseeing an overhaul of Seaview’s engines so we came in their place,” Angie replied recognizing his voice.


A couple more men joined the group wanting to meet the three nice looking women Tom was talking too.  Tom introduced Scott Lansing and Timothy Steel from Royal Electronics to the women.  They all realized they had talked on the phone a few times as they all had dealing with the admiral, Lee and Chip.  After talking to them for a few minutes, the men excused themselves as they needed to talk about a project Tom was helping them with.   Two young women stopped in front of them as they stood there watching the people.


“I don’t see them,” the blonde said to the brunette.  “They always come.  I’m going to find out from Aunt Harriet if Lee Crane and Chip Morton are attending.  I can’t wait to check them out.  They’re gorgeous and I want to see them again.  Maybe this time they’ll be free to go out.”


Janet almost choked on her champagne.  Wanda and Angie could barely contain their laughter.  The two women noticed the three of them standing there but had no idea who they were until a nice looking well dressed elegant woman came over to them.


“Hello,” she said pleasantly.  “I’m Harriet Abernathy and you must be from the Nelson Institute.  I was very sorry to hear that Harry, Lee and Chip wouldn’t be attending but I’m glad he sent you.”


Angie spoke up, “I’m Angie Pearce, and this is Wanda Carston.”


“I’m Janet Crane,” Janet said as she shook her hand.   “It’s a pleasure to meet you.  The admiral, Lee and Chip send their apologies that they couldn’t attend.”


“I hope you enjoy yourselves.  Lunch will be served shortly after a brief meeting,” she told them as she walked away to greet other guests. 


The two young women stood staring at Janet, Angie and Wanda and quickly walked away.  The three women smiled as they left.  Angie and Wanda took another glass of champagne when the server came by again but Janet declined as she was driving.  Before long the attendees were asked to take their seats so they could begin the meeting and lunch.  Each table sat six people and had pink and yellow roses as centerpieces with purple tablecloths and napkins.  Janet, Angie and Wanda found an empty table and sat down.  They were joined by Tom, Scott and Timothy. 


“Thank you for attending the luncheon today,” Harriet said and continued, “The first and only item of business is this year’s charity fundraiser which will benefit the food bank for the senior citizens of Santa Barbara.  Since we’re going to have it the weekend before Halloween everyone will be required to wear a costume.  The theme for this year’s fundraiser is bandits and buccaneers.  If you come without a costume, you will be given one of my choices,” she warned them.


Everyone groaned as Harriet told them the theme.  “Bandits and buccaneers,” Tom chuckled.  “Wonder where she got that idea.”  Wanda, Angie and Janet didn’t know how to react as they weren’t sure how this affected them.


Harriet then outlined the cost of the tickets, contests for best costume, best couples, and such, and the prizes to be offered to the winners and door prizes from supporters.  She solicited suggestions on how best to advertise the event to increase attendance and also increase donations.  Once key bits of business had been addressed, a gourmet lunch was served to reward their attention and attendance.


“I can see why the men don’t want to come for the meeting but the food was excellent,” Wanda commented after lunch was over. 


They were having a nice time talking with the gentlemen at their table and didn’t notice the time. When Angie finally checked her watch, she couldn’t believe it was already 1530.  “Wow, I had no idea it was so late; we definitely have to get back to work,” she said as she stood up, quickly followed by the rest of those at the table.


“Thanks for the most enjoyable lunch,” Tom remarked, the other two men nodded their heads in agreement.   “Maybe we’ll see you at the party.”


“You’re welcome and we also enjoyed talking to you,” Janet replied as they gathered their purses and started for the door.


Before they could leave, Harriet stopped them.  “I’m going to put the institute down for a table of twelve as usual,” she told the women.  “Harry always makes a donation.  Hopefully he’ll be around to attend this year’s fundraiser.  He always seems to be gone on that submarine of his.   Please try and come as it will be a fun time.”


“Yes that’s fine, Mrs. Abernathy.  I’m sure he’ll try and make it this year,” Angie replied hesitantly as they said good byes and exited.


“Angie, I hope the admiral doesn’t mind you committing him for a donation?” Wanda said, as they waited for Janet’s car.  “Does he always make such a large a donation?”


“Yes, he does make a donation every year but I never see the amount only the tickets.  The tickets are generally donated as well to people associated with whatever the cause is, I think he’s only attended once or twice since Seaview has been gone the last few years.  I think this year is a first for a costumed affair. I’m sure the admiral will just love that,” Angie replied with a chuckle as she pictured the admiral dressed as a pirate or desperado. The car brought round, they got in the car and drove back to the institute to report to the admiral what had taken place at the luncheon




The admiral, Lee and Chip went to the cafeteria for lunch.  “I wonder what the ladies are eating for lunch,” Chip said as he looked at his turkey sandwich and soup. 


Lee looked at Chip and grinned.  “Maybe you should have gone.  I could have taken care of the overhaul by myself.  I’m sure Mrs. Abernathy would’ve loved to see you,” he teased as she really liked Chip and would grab his butt every time she saw him.


“No, that’s okay,” he responded as he took a bite of his sandwich.  “I can do without the bruised “assets”.  I always feel like we’re meat on the hoof at her events.”


The admiral sat there grinning at the banter between his men.  He wondered what Harriet had conned the women into and knew it would probably be expensive.  He didn’t mind making the donation as it did go to a worthy cause.  When they finished lunch, the admiral went to the sub pen with Lee and Chip to check on how the overhaul was progressing.  They would only stay a couple more hours as they wanted to be back when Janet, Angie and Wanda returned from the luncheon.




They were back at the office by 1600 hours, much to Dorothy’s relief. The phones had been ringing almost constantly and she had a huge stack of messages for them all.


“Sorry we’re late.  Are Lee and Chip still down at the sub pen?” Janet asked as Wanda sat down at her desk.  Wanda was a little tired after three glasses of champagne and was glad she only a couple more hours to work.


“Yes, the admiral too but they should be back any minute.  They’re anxious to know how the luncheon went.” she replied as she handed the stacks of messages to the appropriate AA.


“Thank you Dorothy,” Angie said. 


“You’re quite welcome.  I never realized how much phone traffic there is down here.  I’ll be more than happy to get back to the peace and quiet of accounting after this little exercise,” she replied which elicited chuckles and nods of agreement from the other ladies. Angie went to her office, sat down and looked through the messages.  She sorted out the ones she would handle and put aside the ones the admiral would have to take care of.


Janet also went to her office.  She sorted her messages into piles and sighed.  She could handle most of them and only a few would go to Lee and Chip.  She also checked the calendar and Seaview’s schedule.  If no missions came up, they would be in port on the day of the fundraiser. 


They had only been back about fifteen minutes when the three men exited the elevator.  “Hi Wanda,” Chip said, “How was the food?”


“Food was great,” she replied.   Knowing the only reason Chip generally went, besides being ordered to go, was the meal.  “We were treated to salmon with rice pilaf, green beans almandine and a luscious cheesecake for dessert,” she said as she licked her lips taunting him just a bit.  


“Sure beats my turkey sandwich and soup,” Chip responded with a slight frown.


Lee headed to Janet’s office and found her on the phone.  She smiled and nodded her head when he mouthed hello.  He sat down in the chair in the front of her desk and played with her stapler.  He was very curious about how the luncheon went.


The admiral went to his office as Angie was just hanging up the phone.  “Did you enjoy yourselves?”


“Yes sir, but I think we committed the institute to a large donation.”


Smiling, “I’m sure you did, knowing Harriet.  Why don’t you get Lee, Chip, Janet, and Wanda so we all can hear the details?”


“Yes sir,” Angie replied and rounded up the rest of them. 


When they made themselves comfortable in the admiral’s office, he asked, “I know Angie said she had a good time but how about the two of you?


“Yes sir,” Wanda replied “and the food and drinks were excellent.  The mansion had a fantastic view of the ocean too.”


“Figures,” Chip mumbled under his breath. 


“Yes, I’ve seen her view,” the admiral remarked, “it is breathtaking.  Anything else we need to know about?”  Chip, Lee and the admiral had been to enough of her luncheons to know that she would have roped them into a donation.


“She wouldn’t let us leave unless we confirmed a table,” Angie replied cautiously. “She’s put you down for a table of twelve. She said you always reserved that many.”


“No problem Angie. She feeds you and then grabs your money,” he chuckled.  “What’s this year’s theme?”


“Bandits and buccaneers,” Janet answered.  “It’s the week before Halloween and everyone has to be in a costume.  She was very adamant about that.  If you don’t come in a costume, she will give you a costume that she chooses.”


“Bandits and buccaneers?” Lee questioned, “That’s a very interesting combination. “Hopefully we’ll have a mission at that time.”


Snickering Janet said, “So far we’re clear unless there’s a problem on the mission to test out Seaview’s engines after the overhaul. We should be back in time for the party.  I know no one likes costume parties but it could be fun and it is for charity.”


Lee and Chip groaned loudly while the admiral snorted.  “If you can find us costumes that don’t make us look ridiculous we’ll go provided we’re not on a mission. I’ll leave the three of you in charge.”


“Yes sir,” the ladies answered and they all left the admiral’s office.  Angie stopped at her desk and winked at Janet and Wanda.  Lee and Chip continued on to Lee’s office. 


“Let’s discuss this tomorrow so we can get the costumes right away.  There’re going to be a lot of people attending the fundraiser so we need to make sure we get the good costumes,” Angie told Wanda and Janet who nodded their heads in agreement.  “Do you think Lee could ask Kowalski, Riley, Patterson and Chief Sharkey if they would participate?” she asked Janet, “And I’ll ask Jamie.”


“I’ll check with Lee tonight.  I’m sure they won’t mind dressing up.” Janet answered as she and Wanda left her office and returned to their work.




As Janet walked by Lee’s office he called, “Sweetie, can you come in here?”


She stopped, went into the office and sat in the chair at the front of Lee’s desk while Chip sat on the corner of his desk.


“What else happened at lunch today…sit with anyone we know…meet any new people?” Lee questioned.


She gave them a wry grin.  “Well you both were missed by two young ladies.  They were looking all over for the two of you.  They were hoping you would be free this time,” Janet laughed.


Furrowing his forehead Lee looked at Janet, “Two ladies were looking of us?”


“A blond and brunette.”


Smiling Chip answered, “Those two.  They’re Mrs. Abernathy’s nieces and always come to the luncheons with her as they help her run the fundraisers.  You’d think they’d get the hint we’re not interested.”


“We did sit with Tom Allerton, Scott Lansing and Timothy Steel.  They were very charming and nice to talk to,” Janet told them noticing Lee sat a little straighter in his chair.  He knew all three of them.  They were their age, good looking and single.


“What did they have to say?” Lee asked trying not to show he was a little jealous.


“Nothing much.  They were glad to meet us as they now could put a name to a face when they called,” Janet replied coyly.  “If there’s nothing else, I have a lot of work to finish before I can leave for the day.   I’ll talk to you later.”   She got up and walked out of Lee’s office while Chip stayed there to talk to Lee.




Janet finished up the reports she needed to get done and went to Lee’s office to see if he was ready to leave for the day but Chip was still there going over the schedule for the next few weeks so she returned to her office. 


“The overhaul is coming along and Chief Sharkey assures me everything will be good to go in three weeks,” Chip reaffirmed.


“Great, so we’ll leave on Tuesday and return on Thursday at the latest,” Lee replied looking at the calendar.  “I guess we’re done here.  Want to go to dinner?”


“No Julie has made plans for us,” Chip said with a smile.


Lee grinned back, “I hope Janet has some plans for us as I’m hungry.”  They both rose and walked to the door.


“Night Lee, see you tomorrow,” Chip replied as he left Lee’s office and went into his retrieving his jacket and cover.


Lee shut down his computer and put the paperwork left on his desk in the drawer.  He liked to start the morning with a clean desk.  He went to the closet, grabbed his jacket and cover and headed out the door.   He walked out of his office shutting the door and making a beeline for Janet’s.  As he entered he found her still filing and didn’t notice him come in.    He came up behind her and put his arms around her waist. 


“Sweetie, are you ready leave,” he asked pulling her towards him when she turned around.


“I’ve been ready for the last hour.  What do you have in mind for this evening?” she asked mischievously wrapping her arms around his neck.


“I thought we would continue what we started this morning,” he answered deviously.


“What are we waiting for,” she replied as she quickly grabbed her jacket and purse and they headed out the door.




Once at home, Lee hung up their jackets and they retired to their bedroom to pick up where they left off that morning.  Sated and delightfully exhausted after their activities, Janet nestled in Lee’s arms and he kissed her the top of her head.


“Sweetie, I’ve worked up an appetite.  How about I grill some chicken?”  Lee suggested as he got up and put on a t-shirt and shorts.


“I’m a little hungry too so I’ll make a salad while you grill the chicken,” she replied also putting on some shorts and t-shirt.


Before long they were enjoying their el fresco dinner on the patio.


Taking a drink of wine, Lee asked, “Have you, Angie and Wanda decided about the costumes for the Halloween Party?” 


“No, we’re going to talk about that tomorrow.  Do you think Kowalski, Patterson, Riley and Chief Sharkey would dress up?  I don’t know who’ll they be but we need twelve people to fill our table. We still need one more person but I don’t know who we could ask?”


“I’ll ask Bobby O’Brien.  His wife is going out of town for a few weeks to visit her parents so he’ll be alone.  I’m sure he’ll join in.”


“Thanks honey,” Janet replied kissing the top of his head as she gathered the dinner dishes and brought them in house.  Lee followed behind with the rest of the items she couldn’t carry.


After they finished cleaning up, they went back upstairs to bed.  Janet somehow had gotten ready for bed before Lee so she pulled back the covers and climbed in.  Lee removed his shirt and shorts and slid under the covers pulling Janet close to him.  He kissed her gently as they laid there close together until they fell asleep.




Lee and Janet got to work early the next morning with Angie and Wanda coming in right after them so they could discuss the party before starting work.  They sat around Angie’s desk with a cup of coffee deciding which bandits and buccaneers they would be, and who was going as whom.


“Since we have twelve people going how about we make six people bandits and the other six buccaneers,” Angie suggested.  The other two women nodded their head in agreement.


Wanda piped up, “I think Lee should be Robin Hood and Janet you’ll be Maid Marian.”


“That’s fine,” Janet said. “We’ll have Chip be Robin’s right hand man, Little John.”


“Let’s make Jamie Zorro.  He’s tall, thin and would look great in a black cape,” Janet remarked.  “Patterson and Riley could go as the outlaws, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.”


“That works for me,” Angie replied, “those costumes should be easy to get.”


“Now for the buccaneers,” Wanda commented.  “I think the admiral should be Barbarossa, AKA “Red Beard” it will go with his reddish hair.  Chief Sharkey would make a good Sir Henry Morgan, he was known as the greatest pirate the Caribbean ever knew and Mr. O’Brien could be Calico Jack.  He’s known for wearing calico colored coats and britches. Kowalski could be David Herriot who was Blackbeard’s first mate.”


Janet and Angie stared at Wanda.  “How do you know so much about pirates?” Janet wondered.


“Well, I didn’t have anything to do last night, so I did some research on bandits and pirates,” she confessed with a shy grin.


“That only leaves you and Angie without costumes,” Janet said looking at Wanda’s face and knew she had already made a decision.


“We’re going to be famous women pirates.  Angie’s going to be Anne Bonney and I’m going to be Mary Read.  They were best friends and known for their violent tempers, ferocious fighting and had a reputation as ‘fierce hell cats’, Wanda told them.   “The costumes won’t be hard to get as they dressed as men.”


Angie and Janet snickered as Janet replied, “Those two women are so out of character for you two and it will be fun to see if you can act like them.”


As the women were discussing the party, Chip had arrived at work. Lee was waiting for him so they could go down to the sub pen.  Before they left, Lee went into Angie’s office to tell Janet they were leaving.


“We’re going down to the boat for a few hours.  If you need anything just call my cell.”

“Okay, Lee,” Janet answered, “please ask the men if they’ll come to the party.”


“Yes ma’am,” Lee responded with a grin.  “I’ll call and let you know as soon as I find out so you can get the costumes.”

He and Chip headed off to the boat.


Just as they leaving Angie’s office and start their work day, the phone rang on Angie’s desk.


“Yes Lee,” Angie answered.  “That’s great news,” she continued nodding her head at the other two women.  “See you later.”


“Lee asked the men and they’ll all do it,” Angie reported to Janet and Wanda just as the admiral walked in.


“Who’ll do what?” he asked suspiciously seeing the three of them together.


“Some of the men have agreed to go to the Halloween party,” Angie told him as she handed him some messages.


“Oh that,” he muttered looking at the messages and went into his office.


“He doesn’t seem too happy,” Wanda said quietly.


“He’ll come around,” Angie reassured her. “I’ll get the costumes.  I know this great shop that carries all kinds of costumes.  If they don’t have them, I’ll find somewhere else.”


“Thanks for taking care of this,” Janet said as she and Wanda they left her office for theirs.  Angie quickly called the shop and got everything they needed. 




With Seaview’s engine overhaul complete it was time they tested them out. It was early Tuesday morning when Lee, Chip and Janet reported to the sub pen to get ready to leave.  This mission would only be three days long so they would be back in plenty of time for the Halloween party on Saturday.


Lee and Chip were in the conning tower and watched as the deck detail threw the lines to the men on Seaview’s deck.  “Why don’t you take her out this time,” Lee told Chip.  “I want to concentrate on the engines to see if I can pick up on any problems at the outset.”


 “No problem, Lee,” Chip replied as he directed the engine room to slowly reverse the engines so they could leave the dock. 


Chip had no problems taking her out and once they cleared the breakwater, he and Lee returned to the control room where Chip ordered maneuvering to dive the boat and take her down to two hundred feet.  They would seriously test her engines once they were a few hundred miles from NIMR. 




Lee was putting Seaview’s engines through her paces.  He started with angles and dangles to make sure she could react to the sharp turns, figure eight’s and random depth changes.  Janet missed the announcement that Lee was going to do them and as she was walking down the passageway to the spiral staircase, Seaview made a sharp turn that sent her into the bulkhead.  She fell to floor just as the admiral was coming out of his cabin.  Seeing her on the floor he made his was quickly to her side and helped her up.


“Are you alright?” he asked.


“Yes sir,” she replied, “I just wasn’t expecting that turn and lost my balance.”


“I thought Lee announced what he was going to do,” the admiral said with grin. 


“If he did, I wasn’t paying attention,” Janet answered sheepishly.


The two of them went down the staircase to the control room where Lee continued to test the sub’s engines.  He heard the soft footsteps on the stairs and looked up from the plotting table to see Janet and the admiral entering the control room.  Janet was rubbing her shoulder.


“What happened?” Lee asked worriedly.


“She fell against the bulkhead when you made that last sharp turn,” the admiral told Lee.


Before Lee could ask Janet said, “I’m fine.  I wasn’t paying attention when you announced you were going to do the angles and dangles so I wasn‘t prepared.”


Lee looked at her and shook his head.  He continued the tests with Chip relaying the orders as Lee gave them.


Janet took down any notes or changes Lee thought needed to be done after he finished putting the engines through their paces.  After a couple hours, Lee was satisfied with the engine overhaul and only had a couple of items that needed to be rectified.  Since he still had some time left for tests, he decided to run some torpedo drills. 


“Missile room prepare tubes one, two, three and four for firing,” Lee said into the mic as he looked at his watch timing their response. As he waited for Chief Sharkey to let him know the torpedoes were ready for firing, he heard Sharkey on the intercom.


Sick Bay, emergency man down in the missile room!”


Lee looked at Chip and Janet.  “Chip report to the missile room and let me know what’s going on down there,” Lee ordered.  Lee called Sharkey on the mic, “Chief what happened…who’s hurt…how bad?”


“It’s Kowalski, sir.  He got hit by the torpedo rack when one of the rack chains failed.  He’s unconscious and has a bad gash on his head. Doc’s here now.”


“Mr. Morton is on his way down there.  Report to him what happened.”


“Aye, aye sir,” Sharkey answered back as Lee stowed the mic.   He took a deep breath and hoped the Kowalski would be alright.  He tapped his pencil worriedly on the plotting table while he waited for Chip to return to the control room.


As Lee and Janet waited in the control room for Chip to report what happened, the admiral called, “Lee, what’s going on in the missile room?  I heard Sharkey call for Jamie.”


“Sharkey reported one of the chains on the torpedo rack failed.  I sent Chip to the missile room to check things out and I’m waiting for his report and one from sick bay.  I’ll inform you as soon as I know anything.”


“Okay Lee,” the admiral replied and severed the connection.




Responding to the captain’s order to load torpedo tube, the crew began lowering the torpedo rack into position when suddenly one of the chains suspending the rack began to fail.  Kowalski immediately noticed the rack listing to one side.  He called out a quick warning and pushed Patterson out the way before it could fall on him.   As he moved to get out of the way, the chain snapped dropping one corner of the rack catching him in the side of the head.  He fell heavily to the deck unconscious and bleeding profusely from the huge gash on his head.


Patterson and Sharkey were at Kowalski’s side immediately checking on his condition.  As they tended to Ski, the rest of the men were able to raise up the rack so Patterson and Sharkey could pull him to safety.  Once he was safe they lowered the rack to floor.


Working quickly Patterson broke open a first aid kit and grabbed a gauze pad and pressed it firmly against the wound to Kowalski’s head.  The pad was quickly soaked with Ski’s blood and as he moved to grab another pad, Jamie and Frank ran into the missile room followed closely by Chip.  Jamie rushed over to Ski’s side and kneeled down to examine man. Chip was also bending down next to Jamie looking at Kowalski and could see he didn’t look good.


“Get him to sick bay on the double,” he instructed Frank and Patterson as they put Kowalski on the stretcher.


“Doc,” Chip started to say when Jamie cut him off.


“I’ll let you know as soon as I check him out,” he said as he followed the men out of the missile room.


“Chief, what happened?” Chip asked urgently.


“Mr. Morton, we were lowering the rack when one of the chains snapped.  Kowalski pushed Patterson out of the way or it would have fallen right on him.”


Chip and Sharkey surveyed the rack and the support chains and quickly found the link that had broken.


“Chief, I want all those chains replaced,” Chip ordered.


“Aye, aye sir but I don’t think we have those chains on board.  We’ll have to wait until we return to port,” Sharkey informed Chip.


“Okay, leave the rack on the deck until they can be replaced.  We shouldn’t need to fire the torpedoes on this mission.”


“Yes sir,” Sharkey replied.  He looked at Marco and Riley.  “What are you two yahoos waiting for, police up the area,” he told the men who grabbed mops and buckets and began cleaning up.


“I’m heading to sick bay, if you need anything you can reach me there,” Chip stated as he started for the hatch.


“Mr. Morton, mind if I go to sick bay with you to check on Ski?”


Chip nodded in agreement, knowing Sharkey and Kowalski were good friends.   ”Come along Chief.”




Frank and Patterson took Kowalski off the stretcher and gently placed him on the gurney in sick bay.   Patterson stood off to the side while Frank and Jamie went to work.


“Frank, get me a suture kit.  He’s going to need quite a few stitches,” Jamie ordered.  Frank went to the one of the cabinets and pulled out the kit Jamie needed.  Kowalski was still unconscious and Jamie was pretty sure he had a concussion.  His one pupil was larger than the other and reacting sluggishly.  As he started to clean up the gash on his head, Chip and Sharkey entered sick bay.


“How is he, Doc?” Chip asked noticing he was still unconscious.


“He has a concussion and needs some stitches to close up that gash to his forehead,” Jamie told them.   “You can all leave and let me do my job.  I’ll let you know when he comes around.”  He closed the curtains that separated the examination room from his office.  Sharkey and Patterson returned to the missile room while Chip headed to the control room to make his report.




“What happened?” Lee inquired as he spotted Chip entering the control room.


“One of the links on the chains that support the torpedo rack snapped.  Kowalski pushed Patterson out of the way but didn’t clear of the rack when it dropped and was hit in the head and knocked unconscious.  Jamie said he’s going to need quite a few stitches and has a concussion.  I’ve ordered Sharkey to replace all the chains but he said it will have to be done once we’re in port since he doesn’t have the chains on the boat.  I’m going to have Janet put them on the inventory list so we can make sure we have them in case they need to be replaced again.  I’m also going to make sure they get inspected after every mission.”


Lee ran his hand over his hair, “Thanks Chip. Those are great ideas and we should implement them right away. Why don’t we head home?  We’ve done all the checks I wanted to do on the engines and I’m sure Jamie would rather have Ski in Med Bay.  Set a course for Santa Barbara.” 


“Yes sir,” Chip replied and plotted the course. 


“Take over Chip.  I’m going to check in with Jamie and then report to the admiral,” Lee said.  “I’ll meet you in the wardroom in an hour,” he told Chip and Janet.  Chip nodded his head and continued to plot their course.


“Okay, Lee,” Janet replied and watch Lee as he left the control room via the aft hatch leaving Chip at the plotting table giving maneuvering the new course.  She could see Lee was upset that a crewman had gotten hurt on the job. As soon as she got to her office she would change the inventory sheets once Sharkey gave her the numbers for the chains and add it to the mission inspection sheets.




Lee arrived in sick bay and found Jamie wasn’t at his desk.  He opened the curtains and saw him and Frank putting Kowalski in a bunk.  He walked over to them and stood by the bunk resting his hand on the top bunk rail.  “How is he?”


Frank left the two men to talk and went into the examination room to clean it up.  


“I had to put in fifteen stitches to close the gash and he’s still unconscious.  Hopefully he’ll wake up soon,” Jamie responded standing next to Lee noting the worry etched on his face.


“Okay if I sit with him for awhile?”  Before Jamie could answer, Lee had pulled up a chair next to Kowalski’s bunk.   He sat there for thirty minutes and was getting ready to leave when he started to come around.  He opened his eyes but closed immediately then barely cracked them open to fend off the glare of the lights.


“Hi Skipper,” Kowalski said trying to sit up but Lee gently eased him back down. 


Jamie heard Ski talking and walked to his bunk.  “Hi Ski. How are you feeling?” he asked looking into his eyes noticing his pupil was still more dilated than the other.    He quickly looked beneath the bandage and found the stitches were doing well.


“I have a terrible headache,” Kowalski replied rubbing his head feeling the bandages.  “What happened...the last thing I remember is pushing Patterson out of the way of the he okay?” Ski asked anxiously.


“He’s fine thanks to you,” Lee answered.  “Doc had to put fifteen stitches in your head though.”


“No wonder I have a headache,” Ski replied.  “How soon can I get out of here?”


Sighing deeply, “You have a concussion,” Jamie explained to him.  “You’ll be in here until we get back to port and then you’ll go to Med Bay so I can take a CT scan to make sure nothing else is wrong.”


“But Doc...” he started to say but Jamie cut him off.  “You’ll stay here, and like it.”


“Kowalski, do what Jamie asks,” Lee told him, “and that’s an order.”


Jamie rolled his eyes and smirked at Lee as he walked away; Lee was the worst patient he had when staying in sick bay and the last one to obey orders about staying put.


“Yes sir. I really am tired,” Kowalski said yawning and closed his eyes. 


Lee followed Jamie over to the medicine cabinet. “Will he be okay?” he asked. Ski was his dive partner and his ‘go to’ man for special missions and he was genuinely worried about is condition.


“Yes, he’ll be fine with some rest.  I’ll give him some medication for his headache.”


“Thanks, Jamie,” Lee said as he walked to the door.  “Did you eat dinner yet...I’m going to meet with the admiral to give him a report on what happened and then go to dinner.  Why don’t you join us if you can?”


Smiling Jamie replied, “I’ll be there in thirty minutes.”


Lee left sick bay and walked to the admiral’s cabin to make his report on the incident in the missile room and Ski’s condition.  Finished with ship’s business for the moment, they headed to the wardroom; Lee via Janet’s office to collect her for dinner.  By the time they arrived Chip was already seated and eating and Nelson was giving his order to the galley steward. They were joined by Jamie a few minutes later who reported that Kowalski was still sleeping, much to the relief of all. 



The next morning Lee and Janet visited Sick Bay before heading to the wardroom for breakfast.  When they arrived, Patterson was already there and Jamie had just finished taking Kowalski’s vitals.  He wrapped the stethoscope around his neck and was checking the stitches on Ski’s head.

”How’s he doing Jamie?” Lee asked after Jamie was finished.

“He’s doing fine but as soon as we dock I want him taken to Med Bay.” 

Jamie looked at Kowalski.  “I’m going to do a CT scan and you will be staying overnight.”

“Yes sir,” Kowalski replied.  He knew better than to argue with him.

“If you’re fine in the morning, I’ll let you go home provided you’re not alone.”

“He can stay with me Doc,” Patterson volunteered.  “I’m off until next week so I’ll keep an eye on him.”

“Thanks, Pat.” Kowalski smiled at his best friend.  

 “I’ve got to report for duty.  I’ll stop by after my shift,” Patterson said and left sick bay for the control room.


Lee and Janet were the only people in the wardroom.  The mess specialist served them breakfast.  Just as they started to eat the admiral, Jamie and Chip entered the wardroom and joined them.

“How’s Kowalski?” the admiral asked.

“Doing fine but I’m going to make him stay in Med Bay overnight just as a precaution,” Jamie told him.

Looking at Lee, “How are the tests going on the engines,” the admiral asked taking a sip of coffee.

“So far there are only minimal adjustments to be made.  I’m going to put them through some more tests today on our way back to Santa Barbara.”

“Okay,” the admiral replied as he finished his breakfast.  “I’ve got some report to finish up so I’ll see you later.”

“Yes sir,” Lee answered.  “I’ll let you know if we have any problems.”

“Sounds good,” the admiral replied as he got up from the table and left the wardroom.




Lee ran some tests on the engines and only had a couple more issues that needed to be resolved. He also ran some more drills.  “Great job, men,” Lee said into the mic.  “Those drills were better than the last time.”  Lee stowed the mic as Janet wrote down the time and date.  He was pleased with the way everything turned out. 


Seaview docked early Wednesday afternoon.  After Kowalski was taken off the boat, Chip dismissed the rest of the crew except for those who were on security and maintenance since Lee and Chip would be meeting with them.  Lee and Chip stayed on Seaview while Janet went to the office.   On one of his walks around the sub, Lee found a few things he didn’t like and wanted maintenance to take care of them.  They also wanted to make sure the torpedo rack was repaired.  Lee had checked it out before they docked and was very upset that the chain snapped.  He instructed Sharkey to get a heavier gauge chain.  He and Chip met with the men in charge of the engine overhaul to explain what Lee wanted done to the engines.  They would spend the rest of the day on board supervising the changes.




Janet went to the office to check in and see what was awaiting them on their desks.  Even though they weren’t gone very long, the work seemed to pile up.  The admiral was already meeting with Angie finding out what he needed to take care of right away and what could wait until tomorrow.


“Hi Wanda,” Janet said as she got off the elevator. 


“How’s Kowalski?” she asked anxiously.  The admiral had checked in as usual with Angie and mentioned to her what had happened to him.


“He’s better but Jamie is going to keep him overnight just as a precaution,” Janet replied as she stood in front of Wanda’s desk.


“You’re also back a day early,” she said as they normally never came back early.


“I know we’re early but Jamie was anxious to get Ski to Med Bed and Lee was satisfied with the engine overhaul so we didn’t need to stay out any longer.”


“Will Ski be able to go to the Halloween party?”


“I don’t know.  It depends on how he feels and if Jamie will let him go.  Have the costumes come in?”


“Yes, they came this morning.  Now that Seaview’s back, Angie’s going to call the men to come and pick them up.”


Janet smiled.  “What’s Maid Marian’s like?”


“The costumes are in the extra office.  Let’s go, I’ll show them to you.”  Wanda got up from her desk and they went to the office where the costumes were hanging on a portable rack.  Janet looked at the costumes for Anne Bonney and Mary Read and knew Wanda and Angie would look great in them.  Her costume was a long blue plain dress with a white collar.  She looked over the rest of the costumes and noticed a picture accompanied all of them so you could see what they looked like.  Lee’s Robin Hood costume had tight Lincoln green pants, a tunic, belt, brown boots and a sword.  Chip’s costume also had the tight green pants and tunic.


“Lee and Chip are not going to be happy putting on those pants,” Janet chuckled as Angie walked in the office.  “I hope the tunics are long enough to cover certain private areas.”


“Well at least there wasn’t a cod piece,” she snickered. “I think the admiral’s going to like his. He’ll make a good looking pirate. Do you think you could convince Chip not to shave from now until the party as Little John was pretty scruffy looking?  I know it’s out of character for him but he would look more like Little John.”


“I’ll see what I can do,” Janet promised, “but I can’t guarantee anything.  None of them are too thrilled with this party.”


“The pirate costumes are really neat.  Some of them have britches, shirts with belts and puffed sleeves, vests. tri-cornered hats, scarves and cutlasses,” Wanda remarked. 


Going to a black costume, Wanda took it off the rack and held it up for Janet to see.  “Here’s Jamie’s Zorro costume, he’s going to make a great Zorro.”  They looked at the rest of the costumes and were impressed at how authentic they looked.


“I sure hope the men won’t mind wearing the costumes of the people we picked for them,” Angie wondered with a worried look on her face.


“The men will do whatever you tell them,” Janet told Angie with a huge grin.  They all laughed and headed back to their desks.


As Janet walked by the extra office after dropping off some correspondence for Chip she noticed the admiral looking through the files in one of the cabinet drawers. “Admiral, is there anything I can help you find?’ Janet asked.


“No thank you.  I know where the file is.  Which one is my costume?” he asked looking at the rack.


Janet went over to the rack and took off the pirate costume, “We thought you could be the pirate, Barbarossa,” she told him.


“Not bad,” the admiral replied looking at the costume.  “I can be a pirate.”


“Thank you sir,” Janet answered relieved that the admiral didn’t mind being a pirate.


He looked at the other costumes on the rack and spotted the Zorro one, “Who’s going to be Zorro?” he asked.


“We thought Jamie would be Zorro.”


 Smiling, “Good choice,” and left the office with his file.


She took the costume off the rack and put it in her office. She’d take it over to him when she went to see Kowalski.




Lee and Chip came up from the sub pen thirty minutes later, both had some grease and oil on their uniforms.  Janet looked at the two of them and smiled.  “You had to help, didn’t you?”


They smiled back, “Yes we both helped,” Lee told her.  “Is the admiral still here?”


“Yes, he’s in his office.  Will you be ready to leave soon?  I want to stop in and check on Ski and I’m really hungry.”


“Give us fifteen minutes,” Lee answered patting her hand.


“Okay,” Janet replied as she went back to her computer as they went to the admiral’s office. 


They came out fifteen minutes later.  Both of them had loosened their ties and undone their top buttons on their shirts.  They looked tired.  


“Where do you want to go for dinner,” Lee asked Janet.


“How about pizza...its fast...and the two of you don’t look like you’re going to last too much longer.”


“Works for me,” Chip said.  “Julie’s still out of town so I hope you don’t mind if I come with.”


“Chip you know you’re always welcome to join us,” Janet told him as she took her purse out of the drawer and went to the office.  She came out with Lee’s and Chip’s costumes and handed them over without paying much attention.  She also had Jamie’s and would drop that off with him when they visited Ski.


As they were leaving the office Janet stopped and looked at Chip, “Chip, I do need a favor from you though,” she asked sweetly.   “Could you not shave between now and Saturday as Little John was scruffy and we thought you would look the part if you didn’t shave.”


Hesitating for a moment he nodded his head yes. “Yes, I suppose I can do that.” 


They made their way over to Med Bay to check on Kowalski and spotted Jamie just as he was leaving his room.


“How is he?” Lee asked with concern.


“He does have a mild concussion but is feeling better.  Betty and John will keep an eye on him tonight and I’ll release him in the morning.  He has to rest so I hope you haven’t scheduled him for any duties,” Jamie responded.


“No, he’s not on duty until late next week.  If he needs more time off, just let me know and I can adjust the schedule,” Chip told him.


“That should be fine but I’m only going to release him for light duty.”


“Okay Jamie,” Chip said as the three of them walked into Ski’s room




“How are you feeling?” Janet asked Kowalski as he sat in the chair next to the bed.


“Better but Doc won’t let me out of here until tomorrow and I’m only going to be cleared for light duty,” Ski said disgustedly.  “I’m sorry Skipper, Mr. Morton.”


“Ski, don’t worry about it.  You are lucky though, maybe you won’t have to go to the party on Saturday,” Chip told him.


“Doc’s leaving it up to me.  I’ll see how I feel and I can ride with Pat if I go,” he added yawning.


“We better leave you to get some rest,” Lee stated and patted his shoulder as they left the room.


Janet had left Jamie’s costume in the waiting area.  She picked it up and was walking down to Jamie’s office when he saw her from the nurse’s station.


“Please tell me that’s my costume,” Jamie asked excitedly seeing it was Zorro.


Janet looked at Jamie and couldn’t believe he was actually excited about the costume.


“I’ve always wanted to be Zorro,” he said as he picked up the sword and made ‘Z’ in the air.


 Lee, Chip and Janet could barely contain their grins at Jamie’s enthusiasm. “Well at least someone is going to have a good time,” quipped Chip.



It was late Saturday afternoon and time to get ready for the party.  Janet turned on the shower and hopped in. Lee joined her as soon as he removed his clothes.  He started to wash her back but before he could finish, she grabbed his hand and they ended up in bed enjoying each other before they decided they better finish getting ready.   As Janet was putting on her make up, Lee took his costume out of the bag and looked at the pants and then at Janet.


“I have to wear these?” he asked seeing that they looked a little tight.


“Yes, Lee.  That’s what Robin Hood wore.  Don’t worry Chip has the same pants.  The only difference is your tunic has white on it while his is all green.”


Lee struggled to get into the tight pants.  Janet stood there watching him trying hard not to laugh.  He finally got them on and she had to admit he looked pretty damn good in those pants.  When he put the tunic on she breathed a sigh of relief that it covered his private area.  He put on the belt and brown boots then looked in the mirror and had to admit he looked just like Robin Hood.  Janet put on her blue dress with the white color and black boots.  Lee looked her over.


“You look beautiful Maid Marian,” Lee told her taking her in his arms and giving her a kiss.


“You don’t look too bad yourself,” she replied returning the kiss.


Lee put his wallet and phone in his boots and grabbed the sword while Janet took a small purse and put her wallet and phone.  They went downstairs just as Chip pulled in the driveway.  Lee opened the door before he could ring the bell. 


“Do you believe these pants,” Chip said grinning as he walked in the house.  “They sure are tight but I’m real glad that the tunic is long if you get my drift.”


Both Lee and Janet started laughing but agreed with him as Janet grabbed her coat before Lee locked the house and they got in the car. Chip backed out of the driveway and headed for the Abernathy mansion where the party was being held.




They arrived at the mansion and Chip let the valet park the car.  There were quite a few people in buccaneers and bandits costumes but so far they hadn’t seen too many Robin Hood’s or Little John’s. 


They entered the large foyer where Chip and Lee looked around while Janet removed her coat.  Lee took her coat and hunted for the coat room.


“Just wait here while hang up your coat,” Lee told Janet and Chip. 


“Okay and thanks Lee,” Janet replied as they looked at the pictures of the Abernathy ancestors.


Lee was greeted by two people dressed as Bonnie and Clyde who directed him to a bedroom that had been converted into a coat room.  When he entered the room he saw a huge black four poster canopy bed.  The posts on the bed had crosses on top, arches in the middle of each side. The room had a gold and white milk glass chandelier along with some bookcases and a ghost on the wall. He saw Kowalski standing with his back to the bed and walked over to him.  Lee noticed he was dressed in blue pants, red collared shirt with a blue embroidered vest and large gold buckle on his belt.  He had a blue scarf on his head and a cutlass in his hand. 


“Hi Skipper,” Kowalski said as Lee walked towards him after he hung up Janet’s coat.  “Nice costume.  You really look like Robin Hood.  I like the sword tucked in your belt.  It’s a lot easier to carry around than my cutlass.”


Both men broke out into huge grins as they turned to face the strange looking bed.  “How are you feeling Ski?” Lee asked noticing he looked a little tired.  “Where’s didn’t drive here did you?” he continued.


“Better...I still have a slight headache but I needed to get out of the house. Patterson drove me and Sharkey here in my truck.  I’m not sure where they are,” he said.  “I just came in to hang up Angie’s and Wanda’s jackets.  Where’s Mr. Morton and Mrs. C.,” Ski asked. 


“I left them out in the foyer,” Lee replied as he saw Janet and Chip walking towards them.


“What’s taking you so long?” Janet asked grabbing Lee’s hand.  “Hi Ski,” she said, “I love your costume.”


Chip looked at what Ski was wearing, “Ah Kowalski, that costume looks like the one you wore when Blackbeard made you his first mate on Seaview.”


“Yes, it sure does Mr. Morton,” Ski agreed with a wry grin.


Janet looked at the three men with a perplexed look on her face.  “Blackbeard on Seaview...isn’t he dead...why was he on Seaview?” she asked.


Chip and Kowalski looked at Lee and knew he had never told her about the mission with Blackbeard.


“I’ll tell you later,” Lee promised.


“That bed is sure big and it really doesn’t fit the decor in the room,” Janet remarked.


“Maybe the bed is where a famous buccaneer or bandit slept on one of their adventures,” Lee guessed.


Chip, Janet and Kowalski looked at Lee with skeptical looks on their faces.  Just as they started to walk away, a skeleton dressed in a pirate’s hat, jacket, and sporting an eye patch popped out of the bed causing the four of them to jump.


“Good evening and welcome to the party.  I hope you have a good time,” the skeleton said and retreated back into the bed.


Catching her breath Janet asked, “How does that work?”


“I have no idea,” Lee answered as he flexed his hand after Janet nearly broke it when the skeleton came out of the bed.


Chip looked down on the floor and saw a white X on black mat and noticed a wire running under the rug the bed sat on.  “X marks the spot,” Chip quipped.  “Janet stood on the X and it triggered the ghost.”


“Very clever,” Lee remarked as the four of them left the room.  They walked out of the coat room and down a short hall towards the ballroom.


The ballroom had floor to ceiling doors on one wall and windows on the other.  The doors were open so guests could go out on the patio that had torches and heat lamps to ward off the chill of the night.  There was a beautiful view of the sunset over the ocean.  The tables had light and dark brown tablecloths with fall flowers of red, yellow and gold.  There was a bar in the corner with the bartenders dressed as buccaneers.  The servers were dressed as wenches and bandits and walked around serving appetizers.


As Lee, Chip, Kowalski and Janet surveyed the room the admiral and Jamie walked into the ballroom.  They saw the four of them and walked over to them.  Janet saw them approaching and noticed the admiral looked great as Barbarossa as the costume brought out his reddish hair.  Jamie looked very handsome as Zorro.   Just as the admiral and Jamie got to the table Harriet walked over to him along with the blond and brunette Janet had seen at the luncheon.


“Harry it’s so great to see you,” she exclaimed kissing him on the cheek.  “I’m sorry you couldn’t make the luncheon but the ladies you sent were very charming.”  Janet noticed she was also dressed as Maid Marian. 


“Thank you, Harriet,” the admiral replied returning her kiss. 


“Have you met my nieces?” Harriet asked as she introduced Suzy, the brunette and Gina, the blond, to the people from the institute.  They were dressed as wenches and their costumes were cut so low it left nothing to the imagination.  Lee grabbed Janet’s hand and gave it a squeeze as she tried to keep from laughing.


The admiral introduced, Jamie, Chip, Lee and Janet to the two women who couldn’t stop staring at Lee and Chip. 


“Excuse me Harry, I need to greet some other guests,” Harriet said and walked away leaving the five of them with her two nieces. 


“Your aunt does such a nice job on these parties,” the admiral said to them not knowing what else to say. 


“Yes, she does work hard to help the less fortunate in Santa Barbara,” Gina answered gawking at Chip. 


“Excuse us,” Lee said trying to avoid the stares of Suzy when he saw the rest of their group come into the ballroom.  They walked away from the two women who were still ogling Lee and Chip. 


Angie and Wanda walked into the ballroom dressed in their pirate costumes.  The admiral, Lee, Chip and Jamie just stared at them as they were dressed as men. 


“Why do they look like men?” Lee asked confused.


“Honey, they’re dressed as Anne Bonney and Mary Read.  Women pirates dressed as men back then so the men wouldn’t know they were women,” Janet explained to them as Angie and Wanda joined the group. 


“You look fantastic,” Janet told them.  The admiral, Lee, Chip and Jamie nodded their heads agreeing with Janet.


The rest of the group entered the ballroom.  Patterson and Riley looked great as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid as did O’Brien and Chief Sharkey in the pirate costumes with the Tri-cornered hats, breeches, and shirts with the puffed sleeves that were worn when they were on land.


“Skipper did the skeleton jump out at you?” Sharkey asked.  “That was pretty scary.” 


“Yes, Chief it did,” Lee answered trying to hide a smile


“Come on Sharkey,” Kowalski teased, “you were afraid of a skeleton?”


“No not me,” Sharkey smirked.


“Ski, is everything okay?” Patterson asked hesitantly noticing he was sweating in the cool room.


“Just fine, Pat,” Kowalski replied rubbing the sweat off his brow as they joined the rest of the group at their table.




Before long everyone was asked to sit down so they could serve dinner.  Harriet came over to the admiral and linked her arm in his.  He escorted her to her table and noticed that his table was right next to hers.


“Now Harry you must save me a couple of dances,” Harriet told him as he pulled out her chair and she sat down.


“Yes of course,” the admiral replied and made his way over to the table as the rest of the group sat down. 


Angie spoke up, “Admiral, I think Harriet likes you.”


The admiral was a little embarrassed but knew she was right.  The rest of the group could barely contain their smiles.   Nelson was thrilled when the servers entered just then with the first course of their meal as it drew the attention away from him and further discussion on that topic.


After dinner was finished, and before the band started to play, Harriet stood up and with the admiral’s help walked up on the stage.


“I want to thank everyone for coming to the Halloween party tonight.  Your generous donations will help stock the food bank that will feed the senior citizens of Santa Barbara.  I also want to also thank you for dressing up.  We may have to make this an annual event,” she said to a sea of groans.  “Don’t worry I’ll think about it,” she teased.  “Please enjoy the rest of the evening.”  The admiral helped her down from the stage but she didn’t let go of his hand as the band started to play a nice slow song.  She took the admiral out to the dance floor and they danced the first dance to start the evening off.


Chip took Angie out on the dance floor and Jamie asked Wanda to dance with him. The rest of the men went to the bar to get some drinks.  Patterson was still at the table along with Lee and Janet.


“How’s Kowalski doing?” Janet asked as she thought he didn’t look quite right.


“He’s not sleeping well, irritable and depressed because he can’t go to work and when he does only light duty.  Not like the Ski I know.  I guess he’s still suffering from the concussion.  I told him he didn’t have to come tonight but he said he was tired of being home.”


“If he doesn’t get any better you should take him back to Med Bay and have Dr. Jamieson check him over,” Lee said, worried that Ski was having problems.


“I’ll do that Skipper if he isn’t any better by tomorrow.”


The rest of their group returned to the table so topic of conversation shifted to something else.   The band started playing a slow song so Lee took Janet’s hand and led her out to the dance floor.  As they were dancing, Lee chatted quietly as they moved across the floor.  Janet looked at him with a smile and whispered in his ear, “Honey, could you please just shut up and dance with me.”    


He looked at her and smiled back as he wrapped his arms around her waist and drew her close as they danced.  When the band finished the song, they returned to their table.  Chip, O’Brien and Kowalski were there having decided to sit out the next few dances.


Ski sat there quietly rubbing the side of his head as his headache was getting worse and the music was starting to irritate him.   As they sat there Tom Allerton came over to the table


“Lee would you mind if I danced with Janet?” Tom asked.


Before Lee could answer Janet replied, “Sure, I would love to.” She shot her husband a quick wink and smile and let Tom escort her out to the dance floor. Now he knows how I feel when women hit on him, she thought as she danced with Tom.  


Lee sat at the table glaring at the two of them.  Chip chuckled as he watched Lee.  “A little jealous are we?”


“Watch it Morton,” Lee said with a grin.  “Someday the tables could be turned and we’ll see how you feel.”


Tom brought Janet back to the table when the music stopped.  “Thanks for the dance,” Tom said as he left her with Lee.  When the music started again, Lee made sure Janet was in his arms.  While they were dancing, they noticed the admiral was dancing with Harriet again. 


Snickering Janet said, “The poor admiral just can’t shake Harriet.” 


The admiral caught Lee’s eye as he and Janet were dancing and rolled his eyes.  Lee just grinned back.


“When does Julie come home?” Janet asked Chip as they danced while Lee talked with the president of Royal Electronics.


“Not soon enough,” he answered, “she should be back on Tuesday.  I can’t believe how much I miss her.”


“I know the feeling,” Janet sighed.  “It’s hard when the one you love is not around.”


“You know, you’re right.  I never realized how just hard it must be for you when Lee leaves,” Chip said quietly.


“I guess if you miss her that much, you must love her,” Janet remarked.


“Yes, I do,” Chip admitted letting a side of him show that very few people ever see.


They finished their dance and walked back to the table.  Before they got to the table Chip felt someone tap his butt.  He turned around and saw Harriet with a sly grin on her face.




Before the next song started, Janet told Lee, “I’ll be right back.  I need to use the ladies room.”  She gave him a quick kiss before she left the ballroom.


Kowalski sat at the table and rubbed his forehead.  He looked up and saw a woman dressed as a wench standing by the door. He was tired of sitting at the table so he got up and walked over to her.


“Would you like to dance?” Kowalski asked politely taking her hand.


Shaking off his hand, “Thanks for asking but I’m waiting for somebody,” she replied coolly looking out the door.


“Sorry to bother you,” Kowalski mumbled as he stepped away but didn’t get too far before he leaned heavily against the wall when a crushing bolt of pain lanced through his head.  He screwed his eyes shut and rubbed furiously at his temples hoping the ache would subside.  When he opened his eyes, he felt dizzy as his vision blurred.  He crammed his eyes shut once more waiting for the vertigo to pass.   Feeling in better control, he reopened his eyes to see Blackbeard entering the room and made a beeline towards him and the wench who had dismissed him.


It was obvious now why the wench had been so cool to his invitation; she was the Cap’n’s woman.  He smiled as the man approached and moved forward to greet his leader.


“Blackbeard, are you ready to for pillaging, plundering and brawling across the Seven Seas,” Kowalski asked as he waved his cutlass.


“Hey buddy, I don’t know what you’re on but get away from us,” the man said pushing Kowalski away.


Kowalski approached him again, “But Cap’n, your first mate is ready to go.”  The man was getting angry and ready to take a swing at Ski.


Lee saw what was happening between Kowalski and the man dressed as Blackbeard and walked over immediately to defuse the situation.  He gently took his arm, “Come on Ski, let’s sit down,” Lee coaxed and led him back to the table.


“Git ye hands off me,” Ski sneered and waved his cutlass in Lee’s face.  “No one touches Blackbeard’s first mate and lives.”


“Blackbeard?” Lee said softly his hand on his arm, “Are you okay?”


Waving his cutlass, “Nobody stops Blackbeard’s first mate.  I challenge ye to a duel, ye scurvy rat,” Kowalski hissed and grabbed Lee’s sword off the table and threw it at him.  Lee caught it by the hilt and stepped back wondering what the hell was going on.


Kowalski swung his cutlass at Lee.  He had to swing back to block the blow and before long the two men were dueling much to the delight of the crowd.  Lee didn’t want to hurt Ski so he let him back him into a corner but wasn’t expecting to trip over the raised dance floor so he dropped his sword. Once Lee was on the floor, Kowalski placed the point of the cutlass on Lee’s chest.


“Ye were lucky this time.  I’ll let ye live,” Kowalski snapped as he stood over Lee.


When they were finished, the crowd broke out in enthusiastic applause thinking that the duel was part of the evening’s entertainment.  Kowalski proudly raised his sword overhead and bowed to the crowd.


Janet entered the ballroom to see Lee and Kowalski dueling.  She saw Lee fall and ran over to help him up but before she got there Kowalski grabbed her by the waist, threw her over his shoulder and ran out of the ballroom.  The admiral, Chip and Jamie were outside on the patio and heard the commotion and ran back in to find Lee on the ground and Kowalski running out of the ballroom with Janet over his shoulder.


“Lee, what happened?” the admiral asked urgently as Chip helped him up.


“Kowalski saw a man dressed as Blackbeard and must have flashed back to our visitor on Seaview and thinks he’s Blackbeard’s first mate.  When I tried to calm him down, he challenged me to a duel.  I didn’t have much of a choice as he started swinging at me,” Lee replied as Mrs. Abernathy walked over to them.


“Lee, thank you very much for the great entertainment but I wish you would have told me about it,” Harriet gushed excitedly.


“Harriet, this wasn’t planned,” Harry replied seriously as he saw Lee running to the door and left Harriet standing there while he chased after Lee.


Lee quickly made his way to the entrance of the mansion with the rest of the group following close behind.  He ran outside looking to see if he could see Ski and Janet.  All he saw were the tail lights of Ski’s pickup truck as he drove down the driveway.




Kowalski ran to his pick up truck, unlocked the door and threw Janet in the truck.  He peeled down the driveway, past the guard at the gate and drove away from the mansion.


He was rubbing his forehead as he drove down the road, “Ski, stop you’re going to hurt someone,” Janet pleaded as she held on the grab bar on the glove box.  “Let me drive.  I’ll take you wherever you want to go.  Please stop.”


He just ignored her and mumbled about Blackbeard...dueling... and a headache.


They had driven a few more miles when Janet looked in the side mirror and saw a police car with it’s lights on coming up quickly behind them. 


“Kowalski, stop now,” Janet said sharply but he continued to drive erratically.


With the police car on their tail, Kowalski pressed down on the accelerator.  He took the winding curves at a high rate of speed causing Janet to hold on tightly thankful they both were wearing their seat belts.  “Ski, please stop,’ Janet desperately implored.


He just kept driving, speeding through the curves until they came upon a straight stretch of road with a shallow ditch on the side.  The police car finally caught up to them and turned into Ski’s truck forcing it off the road into the ditch. As the truck came to an abrupt stop, Kowalski bumped his head on the steering wheel.  Janet sat there catching her breath, thankful she didn’t hit her head on anything.  She looked at Kowalski who rubbed his hand over his head and face and noticed a huge bump forming on his forehead.  He glanced over at Janet making sure she wasn’t hurt.


“I’m so sorry Mrs. C.,” he apologized embarrassed at his actions.  “I don’t know what came over me,” he said realizing the bump on the steering wheel triggered his mind back to normal but he still had a bad headache.


The police car stopped next to the ditch blocking the truck so they couldn’t drive away.  Two officers cautiously got out of the squad car; one went to the driver’s side while the other went to Janet’s side of the truck.  The officers looked at the two of them and they way they were dressed.


“Coming from a Halloween party?” the officer asked Janet.


“Yes sir,” she replied, “there was a charity fundraiser at the Abernathy mansion.”


The officer on Ski’s side of the car looked at him, “Can I see your license and registration, please.”


Kowalski fumbled around as he took his license out of his pocket.  He reached over and opened the glove box taking the registration out and handing it to the officer who looked it over.  “You were driving very erratically and at a high rate of speed.  Have you been drinking?”


“No sir,” Kowalski replied irritably.


“Officer,” Janet said quickly, “He’s not feeling well.  He suffered a concussion earlier this week and has not been drinking,” she stated emphatically. 


“Can I see your ID,” the other officer asked Janet.  She reached for her purse but she realized she didn’t have it.


“I left it at the mansion.  My name is Janet Crane.  We work for the Nelson Institute.”


The officer looked at Kowalski again, “Please get out of the car.”


Kowalski got out of the truck and leaned against the side barely able to stand.  Janet also got out of the truck and went to Kowalski’s side.


“Officer, please let me take him to the Medical Center at the institute.  It’s not that far away, please,” she begged.


“Ms. Crane, you don’t have a license on you so you can‘t drive him anywhere.  Mr. Kowalski can barely stand so we’re going to call an ambulance so he can be checked out at the hospital.” 


“Please let me call my husband.  He’ll come and get us.   Ski, let me use your phone.”


Kowalski reached in his pocket and it wasn’t there.  “I must have dropped it when I ran out of the mansion.  Sorry Mrs. C.”


“Its okay,” Janet answered patting his arm.  I’ll call from the hospital.”


After making sure the truck was locked, the two officers walked Kowalski to the police car and had him sit in the back seat while he called for an ambulance.  Kowalski was still rubbing his forehead and rested his head on the back of the seat when they got in the police car.




Lee stood outside watching as the truck approached the entrance to the street and saw the tail lights getting smaller.  He turned to the rest of the group, “We’ve got to find them,” Lee said worriedly knowing Janet didn’t have her phone as he had seen her purse on the table and grabbed it before he left the room.  Lee noticed an object on the ground and went over to it and picked it up.  It was a cell phone.  He checked it out and it was Ski’s.   “Damn,” he mumbled under his breath.  He knew they were going to have to search for them as Kowalski had too much of a head start to catch up with them now.


“Angie, Wanda, you go to our house and see if they’re there.  Call me on my cell if they are.  If not you can go home.”


“Yes Lee,” Angie replied, “But we’re not going anywhere until we find them.” 


Lee looked at the two women and gave them a wry grin, “Meet back at Med Bay, then.”  She and Wanda ran to her car and headed toward the Crane’s house.


“Pat, Bobby go to Med Bay and see if Janet took him there.  If he wasn’t feeling well she might have took him straight there.  Jamie is anyone on duty tonight?”


“No, Lee.  I had no reason to keep anyone on duty,” Jamie lamented.  “Wasn’t Kowalski feeling well?”


“Patterson told me earlier he wasn’t himself...irritable...not sleeping...depressed.  He was going to take him to Med Bay tomorrow,” Lee told him.


“I wish someone had told me this,” Jamie replied concerned by what Lee had just told him.  “He could be suffering from post concussion syndrome.  It can occur days or even weeks after concussion.  We have to find him.”


“That’s a given Jamie, Bobby head over there anyway,” Lee ordered.


“Yes Skipper and we’ll stay there just in case they show up,” Bobby replied as he and Patterson ran to Bobby’s car.


Lee looked at Sharkey and Riley, “I want you two to go to Kowalski’s house.  You never know they may be there.”


“Aye, aye Skipper,” Sharkey said, “We’ll head back to the Med Bay too.”


“Thanks, men,” Lee answered as he watched them run to their cars. 


“Lee, I’ll check the emergency room at the hospital just in case they’ve admitted anyone matching their descriptions,” Jamie said.


Running his hand through his hair, he responded, “Thanks Jamie. We need to alert the police and also check if they’ve maybe been picked up.  If Ski’s driving, he’s probably not doing the best job.  I just hope they don’t have an accident and wind up injured.  Chip, give security a call at NIMR and make them aware of the situation.  If they show up there, tell them to let Ski through the gate.”


“No one as been admitted to the emergency room,” Jamie reported as he caught up with them.


“Thanks Jamie,” Lee replied even more worried than before.  Chip was busy on his phone alerting NIMR and Lee opened his phone but before he could dial 911 to alert the local police of the situation his phone rang.  He looked at the number and didn’t recognize it but answered the phone anyway.




It didn’t take the ambulance very long to arrive at the scene.  After a quick assessment, the paramedics loaded Kowalski into the ambulance.  One of the paramedics helped Janet into the front seat while the other one stayed in the back with Kowalski.  When they arrived at the hospital, he was taken to a room immediately.  They made Janet wait in the waiting room while they got Kowalski settled in a bed and took down his information as the paramedics had already started an IV before they left for the hospital.  


While she waited for them to let her in, she went over to the nurse’s station.  “Excuse me, could I please use the phone to call my husband.  I don’t have my cell on me,” she asked anxiously.


“No problem,” the attendant at the desk said as she turned the phone to face Janet.


“Thank you,” Janet replied as she dialed Lee’s cell number.


“Lee,” Janet said softly.


“Sweetheart, where are you…are you alright…is Ski with you?” Lee rapidly fired the questions.


“Yes, we’re at the hospital.  We were in an accident so they brought us here.”


“An accident...the hospital,” Lee said loudly.  “We just checked there.”  Lee figured they arrived after Jamie’s call.


“Ski’s not feeling well, please bring Jamie,” Janet pleaded.


“We’ll be there as soon as we can,” Lee replied calmly as not to upset Janet but his heart was pounding. 


“Okay but please hurry.”


Lee heard Janet hang up the phone and disconnected his.  “They’re at the hospital.  I don’t know all the details.  Jamie, come with me. Janet said they were in a car accident and that Kowalski is sick.”


“Yes of course,” Jamie responded as he ran to the car with Chip and Lee.  Once in the car Jamie would call the hospital to find out what the status was on Kowalski.  


“Lee, I’ll follow you in my car,” the admiral told him as he hopped into his car.


“Okay, sir,” Lee replied as he got in Chip’s car.  He sped down the driveway of the mansion and headed to the hospital.


As they were driving, Lee’s phone rang, it was Chief Sharkey calling, “Skipper, we checked Ski’s house and they aren’t here.  Do you want us to wait?”


“No Chief, they’re at the hospital.  Please call the others and let them know where they are,” Lee asked quickly.


“Aye, aye sir,” Sharkey replied sharply.  “We’ll be there shortly.”


Lee hung up the phone and smiled as he knew they would all show up to support Kowalski.


“Lee, have you considered putting a chip in Janet’s arm like they do with dogs and cats.  We could program your phone so you would be able to track her down,” Chip teased knowing Lee wouldn’t be mad at him because he knew Janet was safe.


“Chip, I know you’re teasing me but that’s not a bad idea.  She can get herself into more situations,” Lee admitted. 


“She’s almost as bad as you are,” Chip answered with a smirk as they pulled into the parking lot of the hospital.  Jamie sat in the back seat with a smirk on his face too.




The three men got out of the car and ran into the emergency room where Jamie hustled over to the nurse’s station leaving Chip standing there as Lee was already pacing the corridor.


“Dr. Jamieson,” the nurse said, “What are you doing here?”


“They brought a patient of mine in here a little while ago.  Last name Kowalski,” Jamie told the nurse.


“Yes, he’s in exam room one with a Mrs. Crane.




Once they had Kowalski settled the emergency doctor came out to talk to Janet.  “Hi, I’m Dr. Jordan, Mr. Kowalski’s ER doctor.  I understand you were in a car accident earlier this evening.”


“Yes Doctor,” Janet replied.  “Can I see he okay...what’s wrong with him?” she asked urgently.


“Yes, you can see him as he’s asking about you.  Are you alright?”


“Yes, I’m fine, where is he?”


Dr. Jordan led her to exam room one.  Kowalski had his eyes closed when she walked in.


“Ski,” Janet said softly not wanting to disturb him. 

Opening his eyes he asked, “Mrs. C., are you alright?”


“Yes, I’m fine, don’t worry about me,” Janet told him as she sat down on the chair next to his bed.  “Dr. Jamieson should be here shortly with the Skipper.  Just rest.”


“My head still hurts but they won’t give me anything until Doc gets here and fills them in on what’s wrong with me,” Ski reported to her.


Kowalski closed his eyes as Janet waited for Jamie and Lee to come.  She hadn’t been sitting there too long when they rushed into the room.  Janet got up and gave Lee a hug and kiss.  “I’m sorry I didn’t have my phone, I wasn’t expecting to leave.  Jamie, Ski’s had a headache ever since we left the party and he bumped his head on the steering wheel.  He was mumbling about Blackbeard and duels before we went off the road.”


“Why don’t you and Lee wait outside while I examine him,” Jamie said quietly.  “I’ll let you know how he is shortly.”


“Okay, Jamie,” Lee replied as he took Janet’s hand and they walked out of the room.


Once in the waiting room, Lee led Janet over to an empty chair next to Chip.  Before she sat down he gave her another hug.  “Are you sure you’re didn’t bump you head...or hurt anything else?” Lee asked with concern.


“I’m fine.  I had my seatbelt on and the ditch wasn’t very deep,” Janet replied as she sat down next to Chip and Lee sat down next to her.


“Ditch?” Chip questioned.  “How did you get into a ditch?”


“Maybe I better start at the beginning,” she replied looking at Lee then Chip.


“Sweetie, maybe you better,” Lee answered as the admiral walked in and sat down next to Chip.


Taking a deep breath, Janet explained, “I was just coming back into the ballroom and saw you and Ski dueling.  I went to help you up when Ski grabbed me and threw me over his shoulder.  I had no idea what was going on...he threw me in the truck and drove away.  Lee, I was afraid he would get hurt or hurt someone else.  He was driving erratically but he wouldn’t stop. He was mumbling about Blackbeard and dueling.   We drove a little further when I saw a police car behind us but instead of stopping he sped up so they pushed us into a shallow ditch to stop us.   They wanted to know if he had been drinking as he could hardly stand. I told them he had a concussion and I wanted to drive him to Med Bay but they wouldn’t let because I didn’t have my license so they called an ambulance.  Ski didn’t have his phone so I couldn’t call until we got here.”


“I’m glad you went with him,” Lee remarked squeezing her hand.   “Sweetie, where’s Ski’s truck?”  Janet told them where the truck was.  Lee would send Patterson to fetch it later on. 


As soon as Janet finished telling the men what happened the rest of the group rushed into the emergency room.  They saw Lee with Janet, Chip and the admiral and went over to them.  Lee explained to them what had taken place and that they were waiting for Jamie to report to them on Ski’s condition.  They all sat down taking up the last few chairs in the waiting room.




When Jamie went into Kowalski’s cubicle, Dr. Jordan was there checking the bump on his forehead.  The paramedics had given him an ice pack to put on it so it didn’t swell up too bad.


“Hi Warren,” Jamie greeted him.


‘Hi Jamie.  I understand Mr. Kowalski is a patient of yours,” Dr. Jordan said looking at Jamie.


“Yes, I treated him earlier this week for a concussion and gash on his head,” Jamie replied.  Warren, do you mind if I ask him some questions?”


“No not at all,” Dr. Jordan replied starting to leave the room.


“Please stay Warren.  I don’t think he’ll mind you being here.” 


“Kowalski, tell me what’s wrong,” Jamie asked as he checked his chart for his vitals.


“Right now my head is killing me.  But I’ve had a headache for the last couple of days.  Doc, I just haven’t felt myself.  I’m depressed...irritable...tired...what’s wrong...will I ever get better?” he asked worriedly.  “While I was at the party I saw a guy dressed up as Blackbeard.  I thought I was back on Seaview and working with Blackbeard again.”


Dr. Jordan looked at Jamie when Ski told him about Blackbeard but didn’t say anything to him as they were dressed in costumes so he maybe met Blackbeard there.


“Let’s take another CT scan just to make sure they’re no other problems after the accident,” Jamie told him with Dr. Jordan nodding his head in agreement.  Jamie looked at the bump on his head and put the ice pack back on it.


While the technicians took Ski for his scan, Jamie and Warren conferred on what to do about Ski.  They decided if there was nothing on the scan, he would be released to Jamie and go to Med Bay.  Warren knew that Med Bay was equipped as well as any hospital and knew Ski would be more comfortable staying there. 


“I better report what’s going on to Ski’s friends before one of them, meaning Lee, storms in here wanting to know what’s going on,” Jamie told Warren as they walked to the waiting room.


Lee quickly stood up and went over to Jamie.  “What’s going he staying...can I see him?” Lee asked urgently as the rest of them got up and surrounded Jamie and Dr. Jordan.


“They’re taking him for a CT scan right now.  If nothing shows up, Dr. Jordan, his ER doctor, will release him to me and he will go to Med Bay for a few days.  So just sit back down and relax for a little while,” Jamie stressed.  


They all returned to their chairs except Angie and Wanda who went to the cafeteria and brought back coffee for all of them while they waited for Ski to return to his room. Jamie went over to Janet and Lee before going to the nurse’s station with Dr. Jordan to wait for Ski and the results of the scan.   “Are you okay?” he asked her as he looked her over.


“I’m fine,” Janet replied testily.  “I had my seatbelt on...I didn’t hit my head or any other part of my body.”


“Just checking,” Jamie said as he patted her hand.


“I’m sorry Jamie.  I know you’re just concerned,” Janet apologized.  “I’m just worried about Ski.”




Ski was gone for an hour before he was returned to his room.  Dr. Jordan and Jamie walked into the room and Kowalski slowly sat up and looked at them intently. 


“There’s no bleeding in your brain,” Jamie told him, “You have post concussion syndrome. Kowalski, it’s just going to take time for your brain to heal.  You’ve had previous concussions so it’s going to take awhile.  It could take a couple of weeks or longer.  You’re going to need to rest so Dr. Jordan and I have decided to let you recover in Med Bay where I’m going to keep you for a couple of days. We’ll prescribe some medication for your headache and then get you ready to leave.”


“But Doc...” Kowalski started to say but Jamie cut him off.


“I’ll report my findings to the Skipper and Mr. Morton and I know they’ll agree with me.  You can go back on duty later next week provided you feel up to it.”


“Yes sir,” Kowalski conceded and laid back down on the bed.  Dr. Jordan gave the nurse the order for pain medication before leaving the room.




Jamie went to talk the group while Dr. Jordan left to check on another patient.   As Jamie walked into the waiting room he was immediately pounced on by the group.  “Is he okay, Jamie?” Lee asked the first one to Jamie.


“Yes, he’s going to be fine.  He can leave here and go to Med Bay for a few days.  He won’t be able to return to work until the end of next week.”


“That’s good to know,” Lee said exhaling deeply.  “Can we see him?”


“Why don’t you wait until he’s in Med Bay,” Jamie suggested.  “I need to call Frank and see if he can stay with him the rest of the night before John and Betty come on duty in the morning.”  Jamie walked away from the group and made his phone call.




Two hours later Ski was settled in Med Bay with Frank’s and Jamie’s help.  He was tired but wanted to see his friends before they left for the night. 


Jamie went into the waiting room and looked at the ten faces staring at him.  “Okay you can see him but only three at a time and only for a few minutes,” he stressed.


“Angie, Wanda and Bobby, you go in first,” Lee told them as they quickly walked past him and into the room.


They only stayed a few minutes and were followed in by Patterson, Sharkey and Riley.  The admiral, Chip and Janet entered the room but Lee stayed behind to talk to the rest of the group.


“You can all go home.  It’s early in the morning and we’re all tired.  Pat, Riley, here are the keys to Ski’s truck would you mind picking it up and driving to Ski’s house?”


“No problem Skipper,” they replied as Lee told them where the truck was parked.  They left patting each other on the back knowing their friend was going to be alright.


The other three bid good bye to Lee and headed out the door.  Bobby would follow Angie and Wanda home as they didn’t live to far from his house.


Lee watched them leave and went into Ski’s room just as the admiral was saying goodnight.  He patted his shoulder before leaving.


“Goodnight,” he said yawning.  “It’s been a long day.”


“Goodnight sir,” the trio replied as the admiral left the room.


“Skipper, I’m sorry Mrs. C. was in the car accident,” Kowalski apologized.  He looked over at Janet, “I’m so sorry I grabbed you and put your over my shoulder.  I didn’t know what I was doing. I saw that man and I thought Blackbeard had come back.”


“Don’t worry about Ski.  I’m glad she was there to help you,” Lee replied knowing he was going to have to explain what Ski just told Janet. 


“No problem, Ski.  I’ve never been put on anyone’s shoulder before.  It was kind of fun,” Janet said as she patted his hand letting him know she wasn’t angry with him.  She was very curious as to what he meant by Blackbeard had come back.


Jamie returned to the room as Kowalski let out a yawn.  “Everyone needs to leave.  He’s tired, I’m tired and I see the rest of you are tired too.  You can check on him tomorrow.”


“Goodnight, Ski,” they said and walked out of the room as Jamie would check him out one more time before he left. 


Chip, Lee and Janet walked to the car.   Janet didn’t even bother to try and stifle her yawn.  “What time is it?” she asked.


Lee looked at his watch, “0300 hours.  Well past our bedtime,” he chuckled as he opened the door for her.


Chip dropped them off at their house and left for his.  He too was exhausted and planned on sleeping until noon.




Lee turned out the light in the living room as Janet waited on the stairs for Lee to come up.  She was so tired she could hardly walk.  They removed their costumes, washed up and climbed into bed.


“Lee,” Janet said sleepily as she laid next to him with her hand on his chest.  “You never did tell me about your meeting with Blackbeard.”


“Sweetheart, remind tomorrow to tell you about it,” Lee replied yawning but his comment fell on deaf ears as Janet was already asleep.  Good she’s asleep. I’ll have time to think up a story, Lee thought as he closed his eyes and fell asleep.



The End.



Happy Halloween!!



Thank you Christy for your invaluable help and suggestions.