"Brody! Start that chum line again, will ya," Quint called to Brody from the crow's nest.
"Let Hooper take a turn," Brody yelled back, just managing to keep the whine out of his voice.
"Hooper drives the boat, Chief." And with that, he scrambled nimbly down to the bridge where Hooper was playing solitaire. "Stop playing with yourself, Hooper. Slow ahead! If you please."
Hooper indignantly threw down the three of clubs.
"You heard him, slow ahead!" Brody thunked the white chum bucket down on the stern and began to shovel the slop overboard without looking. "Slow ahead... I can go slow ahead... c'mon down here and chum some of this shit!"
He stopped abruptly when his hand very suddenly nearly came into contact with the maw of a very large white shark. Cigarette still dangling from his lower lip, Brody backed slowly into the cabin.
"You're gonna need a bigger boat," he babbled.
Quint looked up sharply from his spool of piano wire, stood up, and walked quickly on deck again. His eyes narrowed as he took in the fish circling the boat. He took three deliberate steps forward and then called up to Hooper, playing solitaire again, "Shut off that engine!"
The biologist whirled around, and his eyes bulged behind his glasses. "That's a twenty-footer."
Quint opened his mouth to say, "twenty-five" when the Orca was rocked by an underwater force. The bucket of chum rolled overboard into the dark water.
Then the spiky fins of something enormous broke the surface of the water, a mass of bubbles came up, rolling the boat again (Brody and Quint had to grab onto the furniture for support while Hooper was thrown into the wheel). Several minutes of stunned silence passed.
"The fuck was that?" It was a miracle that Brody hadn't dropped his cigarette.
Quint, who had gone rather pale, shook his head once.
Then the three of them were doused in sea water when the fins, neck, and head of the creature rose slowly from the ocean's depths. It held the twenty-five-foot shark upside down in its mouth like a cat would a mouse. The monster's beady eye surveyed the trio with bored disinterest.
"B-bigger boat," Brody stammered, his saliva drying up.
"We're heading in!" Quint sprang up the ladder to the bridge, touching the rungs twice.
Hooper, on the other hand, leaped down and seized Brody's arm. "Come on, Martin, I need you!"
He disappeared into the cabin for a moment then returned to the deck, arms full of cameras and other equipment.
"Look at the size of that mother!" The chief, for all his training and experience, could only stand and gape.
Hooper shoved him forward. "Move out, move out! C'mon!"
Reality penetrated the shock fogging Brody's brain. "What for?"
"Will you go to the end of the pulpit, please?"
"I need something in the foreground to give it some scale!"
"Foreground my ass!" He turned and ran into the cabin.
"Martin, I'm begging you, goddamnit!" Hooper began snapping pictures of the sea monster, who was only getting taller as more of it rose out of the water. "Look here, darlin! Beautiful! Just beautiful! Quint, slow down!"
"Shut up!" Quint yelled, pushing the throttle into the red.
"I'm serious, the engine's not gonna take it!" Hooper snapped two more photos then realized he was out of film. "Shit!"
Quint ignored him, singing "Spanish Ladies" very loudly and tunelessly, as if trying to drown out the noises the engines were making. Brody tried to work the radio, but in his half-panic, he forgot to press the "transmit" switch.
Fortunately, when black smoke began to pour out of the hold, he was close to the fire extinguisher.
"I knew it; you burned out the bearings," Hooper climbed up the ladder. "Stop the boat!"
Quint did stop, and, after staring at the horizon for a moment, seemed much more in control of himself when he slid down the ladder and joined Brody in the cabin, plucking up two life jackets and throwing one to the chief and then one up to Hooper. His initial panic seemed to have worn off, and he stood quietly, arms folded, as the other two men quickly (and clumsily in Brody's case) donned the protective jackets.
"We're gonna sink, aren't we?" Brody asked.
"No," Hooper said, fiercely.
Quint didn't answer but turned around to face the monster, whose shadow now covered the boat. It calmly bit off the shark's head, sending a crimson shower into the water. Brody laughed nervously. Quint said, "Jesus H. Christ." Hooper dropped his camera, suddenly realizing that big as the shark was, the monster would still be hungry after eating it.
The creature, aware that it was being stared at, did what Hooper had asked it to do several minutes ago. It looked way down at them. And then it blew a gust of hot air.
The Orca beached half a mile from the Brody house. Quint broke his arm. Brody lost his glasses and got another, deeper cut on his face. Hooper, to their displeasure, was left with nothing but a black eye.