The next weekend Amity was very quiet. The beaches did not open.
Hooper went up and down the shore in Ben Gardner’s boat.’ I don’t think that shark is here,’ he told Brody on Sunday night.’ There are other fish near the beaches. And other fish don’t stay in the water near Great White Sharks.’
‘Perhaps you are right,’ said Brody. ‘But I want the beaches to stay closed.’
On Thursday morning Larry Vaughan called Brody into his office. Hooper was there, and there were some other important men from the town.
Everybody sat around a table. Then Vaughan said, ‘Martin, we want you to open the beaches. The town is dying. People are losing their jobs.’
‘And what do we do about the shark?’ said Brody.
Vaughan said, ‘Mr Hooper will tell us about that.’
‘I don’t think the shark will come back,’ said Hooper.
‘I’m sorry’ said Brody. ‘I’m not opening the beaches.’
Larry Vaughan was very angry. ‘The people of this town gave you your job. You work for us.’
Brody said, ‘You can have my job any time you want it.’
The phone rang on Vaughan’s desk. He looked very angry but he picked it up. ‘It’s for you, Martin,’ he said.
Brody went outside to take the call. It was from Harry Meadows.
‘What’s happening?’ said Harry.
‘They want me to open the beaches,’ said Brody. ‘What shall I do, Harry?’
‘I’ think Hooper is right. And Vaughan is going to open the beaches. You can’t stop him.’
‘OK,’ said Brody. ‘I’ll think about it. Thanks for the call.’ He put down the phone and went back into Vaughan’s office.
Brody looked at his old friend. ‘I’ll open the beaches,’ he said.
‘I’m not finished. I’ll open the beaches, but Hooper will go up and down in the boat. I want everybody to know the danger.’
‘You can’t do that!’ Vaughan said.
‘I’ can do it, Larry, and I will.’
On Saturday morning, Brody stood on the Scotch Road Beach.
About a kilometre out to sea Hooper was in Ben Gardner’s old boat. Brody watched it move slowly to the east.
Brody took out his radio and said, ‘Hooper, this is Brody. Is there anything out there?’ There was no answer. ‘Hooper, this is Brody. Can you hear me?’
A short time later Hooper answered. ‘Sorry,’ he said. ‘I’ thought I saw something. The light is very strong out here.’
It was a sunny day. Most of the people on the beach were young. Nobody was in the sea.
A man and woman came over to Brody. They were very fat. Behind them were two children.
‘Can I help you?’ Brody said.
‘Is this the beach with the shark?’ said the man. ‘I’ saw it on TV.’
‘There was a shark here,’ said Brody. ‘But it isn’t here now. And with any luck, it won’t come back.’
The family went away. They were not happy. Brody looked at his watch. It was 12.15.
By 2.30 there were not many people on the beach. Brody walked down towards the water. A boy walked past.
‘What are you doing?’ said Brody to the boy.
‘I’m going swimming.’
‘Don’t stay in too long.’
‘I won’t.’ The boy ran into the water and began to swim.
Brody watched him swim out a hundred metres.
Suddenly the Flicka began to move faster. Brody put his radio to his mouth and said, ‘Can you see something, Hooper?’
The boat slowed and then stopped. Another of Brody’s policemen heard him speak. ‘What’s happening?’ he asked.
‘I’ don’t know said Brody. Again he said into the radio, ‘Can you see anything, Hooper?’
‘Yes. I can see something,’ Hooper answered.
‘What is it?’
‘I’ don’t know… Perhaps my eyes are tired.’
‘There’s a boy swimming out there,’ said Brody. ‘Where?’ said Hooper. ‘About fifty metres out. I’ll tell him to come in.’ Brody turned the radio off. Then he put his hands to his mouth and called out, ‘Come in!’
The boy did not hear. Brody turned on the radio. ‘Hooper, he can’t hear me. Can you tell him to come in?’
‘OK, ‘said Hooper. ‘I’ll be there in a minute.’
The boat moved towards the boy. Below the water the shark felt something move in the sea. It turned and followed the boat.
The boy stopped swimming. He looked back to the shore.
Brody called, ‘Come in!’ Now the boy heard him and he began to swim for the shore.
Hooper followed the boy. The boy looked back. ‘What’s wrong?’ he said.
‘Nothing,’ said Hooper. ‘Go back to the beach.’
The boy swam for twenty metres and then stood up in the water. He began to walk towards the shore.
Suddenly Hooper cried out, ‘Shark! Get the boy out! Quick!’ The boy heard Hooper and tried to run. He fell into the water. Brody ran into the water, but the sea pushed him back.
The boy moved fast now. He did not see the shark behind him.
‘Quick!’ said Brody. He ran into the water and pulled the boy out.
The shark went under again and swam away from the shore.
The boy lay on the beach. ‘Are you OK?’ Brody asked.
‘I want to go home,’ said the boy.
A man from the TV ran up to Brody and the boy. ‘Can you do that again?’ he said. We didn’t get very good pictures.’
Brody was very angry. ‘Go away!’ he said. ‘Everybody go home! I want nobody to go near the water. This beach is closed.’