The Novels

Economics 101, a Novel (Rough Draft) -- My first sustained attempt at a novel, two-thirds finished in rough draft, and heading a little too far south.
What would you do if you and your study partner, with whom you had been seriously discussing marriage, suddenly found yourselves all alone together on a desert island? Study economics?
Sociology 500, a Romance (Second Draft) -- The first book in the Economics 101 Trilogy.(On hold.)
Karel and Dan, former American football teammates and now graduate students, meet fellow graduate students Kristie and Bobbie, and the four form a steady study group.

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Sociology 500, a Romance, ch 1 pt 1 -- Introducing Bobbie

TOC Well, let's meet Roberta Whitmer. Bobbie entered the anthropology department office and looked around. Near the receptionis...

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Economics 101, a Novel, ch 230 -- Searching for That Which Shall Not Be Found

[JMR20160909: This was a blind alley. I am currently working in the the initial (rough) draft of this chapter, which can be found here:]

(The story starts here:

In the previous chapter, Bobbie and Karel started settling in to the work routines that will keep them alive:

So, while Karel and Bobbie are trying to secure their situation on the island, is anyone looking for them? Of course. Bog standard procedure, nothing really exciting, but they are looking -- just not in the right place. And there's a reason for that.

Let's see who else gets involved in the initial search, and what they do.

You may wonder what the Coast Guard did with Zedidiah and Wycliffe's plane.

For one thing, the Coast Guard is not a salvage company. Their first job is to see to the safety of those who operate in the sea, as much as is possible. In this case, the plane was not an immediate danger to ships, or fishing, so there was not that much need to move it.

And they don't have unlimited budget and personnel. Salvage operations consume a fair amount of resources and expertise.

On the other hand, the Eastern Crane did have did have industrial duty cranes, winches and flotation devices, with crew trained to use them, in spite of it being named for the bird rather the hoist.

And there would be the cost and time delay and the difficulty in continuing the investigation if they waited for a salvage ship.

So economic issues definitely come into play, here.

On board the Eastern Crane, the investigating officer summarized his notes:

"Okay, according to what you are telling me, your partner in your charter service had apparently planned on urging your passengers to take a little vacation on the way back."

"That's what I understand about it."

"And he said they would be on an island where you and some of the other charter pilots keep fuel and other emergency resources." And the Island Coast Guard investigator named the island.

"That's right."

"And you had told him you didn't agree with the plan."


"But he radioed you about six hours from his departure time, to tell you that he had prevailed upon them to take the vacation."

"That's correct."

"That's a fair distance by radio."

"We regularly use a distance band when running the longer flights, of course."

"And you were unable to contact him afterwards."

"I kept trying up until I left our base island with Matt."

At this point, another officer came into the cabin and there was some discussion.

"Whoever put this plane down knew what he was doing."

"Wycliffe knows our plane like the back of his hand."

"Apparently so. Just from what we've been able to check so far, there is no real damage to the structure. The only reason we can find for it coming down is running out of fuel. We'd like to put the plane on land to check it over more carefully. We may be sufficiently equipped to tow it to the nearest island now."

"I think I would like to do that."

"We will ask you to pay towing fees, and there may be damage incurred. And it remains your responsibility to properly dispose of it when we're done."

"I'm okay with that."

"Now we may find that our tools are not the right ones for the job. And it may be easier, and less damaging anyway, to have a salvage company take it straight to island you operate out of."

"Can I help float it and hook it up for the tow? I'm the one who usually maintains the plane, and I can show your crew the best places to set the floats and hook up the lines."

"We can do that."

So they radioed Matt at the cache island, and he said he could wait.


Then they set a buoy, to mark the location where the plane was found.


They got the floats under the strongest points in the wings and fuselage and inflated them enough to start towing without tearing the wings off the body, and got started. They took it slow, to avoid any further damage, and arrived at the island a bit before midnight.


Where the water was still deep enough, Zedidiah entered the cabin and lowered the landing gear by hand crank.

They had to wade almost shoulder deep into the water to put the landing gear down by hand and push the plane towards shore. When the landing gear and the floats dragged on the sea floor, they deflated the floats and pushed the plane the rest of the way out of the water on its landing gear.

Then they waded in water almost shoulder deep and pushed the plane toward the shore.

When the landing gear road on the sea floor, they deflated the floats and pushed the plane the rest of the way out of the water on its landing gear.


The Island Coast Guard officers performed a few more checks by flashlight, spent some time checking the cache and the beach, and then returned to their ship with Zedidiah and Matt. And they informed Zedidiah that, as he was a material witness, he could participate in the search, but, other than that, he was to remain on his base island.

Matt radioed some of their friends, and the The Coast Guard and police also called for volunteers, and, in the morning on Tuesday, three planes and another small ship left with about twenty volunteers total. And the police took care of contacting the university.

Between Tuesday and Wednesday, they were able to search the whole island. They found no signs of anyone being on the island since the rain, and no signs of the cache being disturbed.

At that point, the initial search was terminated, and all the volunteers went home. On Thursday morning, Zedidiah opened his and Wycliffe's office for the police to examine while waiting for the Professor, the Pratts, and the Whitmers to arrive.

What can their parents do to help the search efforts?

The table of contents is here:

[The initial (rough) draft of this chapter can be found here:]

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