Pearl Divers

Photograph – William Plante

Windward and Leeward are sisters, born and raised in French Polynesia. One is named after the Windward Islands the other the Leeward Islands. Both dive deep into lagoons and retrieve Pinctada Maxima clams noted for their rare black pearls.

Windward lives on an island that shelters 4400 inhabitants, offers 9 taxis, 3 doctors, 2 infirmaries, 1 bank, 1 post office, 1 police station and 6 romantic resorts.

Leeward is on another island, held captive.

No Problem

A bushy mustache, black leather bomber jacket and American jeans marked the Russian gangster. Fist pounding, he ordered, “I want a red corvette, brand new, from the factory with these accessories delivered directly to me here in Yekaterinburg in four weeks. One day late or one scratch on it, people will die, how much?”

“Yes sir, a new corvette car is half-price, cash in advance 50,000 dollars, no problem”

The mob boss peeled off 50 crisp one thousand dollar bills. He owned a bank, filled with money from sales of drugs, oil, and other illegal enterprises, no problem.

The sales agent kept a thousand dollar bill and wired 49 thousand to a bank on an island along with explicit instructions to a car theft ring in the states, no problem

Hacking a Central Chevrolet database, to determine which dealerships on the eastern seaboard had their specific auto in stock, no problem.

Hiring an experienced thief to heist the auto, drive it into a trailer and take it to a coastal town, no problem

The gorgeous red Corvette, put into a wooden crate, blocked into place and foam piped into the crate, surrounding every inch, packed solid, no scratches, no problem.

The crate was loaded aboard an ocean freighter, lashed down, and shipped over the Atlantic to a St. Petersburg port and off-loaded onto a flat rail car. Two days later the crate arrived in Yekaterinburg, no problem.

The cover and walls of the crate were removed, revealing a block of foam, and carefully peeled off the red Corvette, not a scratch on it, the gangster drove it away, no problem.

A week later the gangster drove his red Corvette on a bank heist. He was shot and killed. Now there was a problem.

Yekaterinburg harbors a famous cemetery where members of the Russian Mafia are buried. A steam-shovel dug a humongous hole. The dead gangster, in his best outfit, cigar stuffed in his mouth was placed behind the wheel of his beloved Corvette. A crane lifted the auto up, the gangster inside it and lowered them into the grave. The steam-shovel filled the hole with dirt – no problem.