Chapter 1

Lane kept his elbows tucked against his rib cage. Arthur looked out the window on one side. An Acadian oil-rig worker sat on the other side of Lane. His biceps were thigh sized and he weighed at least three hundred pounds. Across the aisle from them, Christine sat with Indiana on her lap. Dan looked out the window where the world was white cloud below and blue sky above. Matt slept open mouthed and snored. The jet engines were a constantly reassuring hum.

Lyle, the mountain, pushed back his Flames ball cap and asked,“Your buddy there said you were going to a wedding?” “Yes, our niece is getting married.” Lane looked up and to his right. Even at six feet, the detective was dwarfed by Lyle.“They love Canadians in Cuba. I got married down here. My wife works on one of the resorts.”

“Which one?”


“I think we’re at Iberostar.”

Lyle nodded, then shifted his weight. Lane’s seat bounced forward and back. Lyle said, “I hope my dog is okay.”


“Riley. He’s a boxer. Purebred.” Lyle pointed at the floor. “He’s riding below. The vet gave me some pills so he’d relax. Just hope he slept. He’s kind of hyper.”

“How did you manage to be born in Acadia, work in Alberta and marry a Cuban?”

Lyle smiled. “Came out west for a job. Ended up working on the rigs. Worked on the rigs down here. Met Antonia. Took a winter vacation down here, then came back for a few more visits.” Lyle held up five fingers. “Bought a house. Her family thinks they’ve won the lottery because Antonia and I got married. Cubans love Canadians. They don’t think much of the Russians and even less of Americans.” He poked Lane with a forefinger. “Make sure you tip the people who work at the resort. They work damned hard for very low wages, you know.”

“I’ll remember that.”

“Hey, by the way, what happened to your ear?” Lyle grabbed his earlobe with a beefy right hand and pointed at Lane’s.

Lane lifted his chin. “I went on a domestic disturbance call. The husband was drunk and he was a biter.”

“You’re a cop?” Lyle looked sideways at Lane, then at Arthur.

“That’s right.”

Lyle nodded. “You’ll be safe in Cuba. The police here do a pretty good job of keeping the tourists safe and happy.”

“Good to know.”

“Cuba will teach you some new things. It’s not the place you’ve been told about in the media. It’s going to delight and disappoint you. It’s one of those places you have to see for yourself and make up your own mind about.” Lyle closed his mouth, reached into a bag, pulled out a magazine and began to read.

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