The story begins in Timego in the West Indies as Bill Jett stares at a sunken 65-foot yacht lying in Morani Cove. Jett was piloting the ship, along with a handful of mates, on the way up up from Trinidad. But, the engine went out and the ship was steered into the cove and then promptly disappeared under seven fathoms of water. Jett explains how the crew had picked up a Frenchman named Lenier, an escaped prisoner off the coast of a Guiana prison, and how the man had went overboard in an accident. This is important. Also, Jett's skipper is a guy named Ordel. That's important too.
Later, Jett overhears Ordel talking with a notorious rum-runner about important boxes that are still on the yacht. Apparently, the two – plus a mysterious third partner-in-crime – are arranging a dive underwater to salvage these boxes from the ship. They don't want Jett to learn of the cargo, nor do they want to reveal their nefarious doings. That's up to Jett and the readers to discover.
At roughly 12 two-column pages, Jackson's nautical salvage-heist plays out like a grand adventure. Jett teams up with his only real ally on the island, a Malay boy that helps him discreetly uncover the plot while outwitting Ordel. The wild card is the appearance of the third partner in the trio of criminals, but as you can probably guess, it all ties back to the escaped prisoner.
Jackson's writing did require some short note-taking, but it was a very light chore. His prose is filled with a lot of description, with the escapism reading like a tourist guide to exotic locales - 80-foot cliffs nestling the calm Caribbean and its white sands and even keels. Readers enjoy these stories because it takes them away from the dull 9-5 grind. In that regard, “A Gun for France” easily does the getaway trick. Highly recommended.