Around six o'clock that evening, Ted, Andalib, Xavier and Eric Mann, were again seated at a table inside the Amberjack, along with Quin.
"Eric." Ted spoke to the animal trapper, "I spoke to my father, and he's agreed. Now that the gator's finally been located and penned in, we'd like to have it sent back to where it came from. From now on, the MacKenzie Oyster and Pearl Farm will go back to hiring watchmen for security. No more gators."
Eric told him, "And I'm sure all your neighbors will be grateful. The Lord might be too. "
Andalib said, "This whole thing is crazy. What Clarissa Kellington was doing was wrong. She might have received a considerable amount of jail time, but she didn't deserve to get eaten."
Ted told them, "Neither did Doris Schaefer."
Xavier asked, "Does that mean that you're not sure if it was the Judgment of God?"
Now Loretta came over, bringing them their menus.
She told them, "I just want to thank all of you, for everything you've done for us. The Lord has blessed us by bringing you here now, when help was truly needed. You have fought the good fight."
She stepped away from the table.
Xavier asked Ted, "We've 'fought the good fight'? I know Andalib did, but all the rest of us did was stand around and watch as those morons cut the ropes with the oysters. How were we fighting the good fight?"
Andalib wondered. "Are we an Army of the Lord? Look at us, a group of 'shady' characters, along the very timid guy who hired us. Are we an Army of the Lord?"
"Only you Andalib." Xavier told her, "Only you."
"I want to thank all of you." Ted spoke, "I am truly grateful for all the help you've given me when I needed it; especially you Andalib. Whatever anyone else says about you, everyone here in Shellfish Shoals will always call you blessed."
She told him, "You're very welcome Ted."
Now Eric asked, "Folks around here 'will always call her blessed'? What has she suddenly become, 'Saint
Andalib'? Truthfully, that's asking a bit much."
"For once," she told them all, "I agree with Eric Mann."
Now Eric told her, "Thank you Miss Elkart."
Ted spoke. "And I pray to the Lord that none of us will ever need this kind of help again."
Eric told him, "And all the people will say 'Amen', Ted."
Ted, Andalib, Xavier and Quin all said, "Amen."