“My contact was very clear on this: the gold, mined from Tanganyika colony, was real, and substantial,” said Harrison.

Joy shrugged. “What of it? Any gold the Germans had would long since have been seized after the war.”

“Not quite. Gustav Bernhard, the German Colonial Secretary, was in the midst of retrieving that trove when war broke out in 1914. They say that it went to the bottom of the ocean when his cruiser was lost with all hands at the Falklands, but I have reason to believe they secreted the gold on a Pacific island during their trans-Pacific voyage.”

“Not this again,” Ishi moaned.

“The way I see it, we can either cut anchor and head out now–when no one else would think to look–or we sit on our hands and wait for the Japanese to sweep in. Unless you’d prefer that.”

“I was born in San Francisco, ass,” said Ishi. “To the Imperial Navy, I’m as American as Douglas MacArthur.”