A teen named David Peterson is interviewing a man named Ruben Hart about his childhood.
When Ruben was 14, he had a friend named Jeddy McKenzie, they were on the beach when they find a body on the shore. They notice the man has a half of a $50 bill, Ruben takes the money and goes to tell his dad that is a police officer.
When they told his father, they ran back to the shore and the body is gone. Jeddy's father made Jeddy get a job so they didn't see each other much anymore.
The half of a $50 bill that Ruben took was actually a ticket for a huge load of rum. A gang found Ruben and trapped him in a basement for about a day. Then a different gang took Ruben from that basement and trapped him in an attic.
Then while Ruben was trapped in the attic, Ruben's Friends and the crew on the black duck (Which are rum runners) came through the window and took back Ruben.
The theme of the story is don't take what is not yours because if Ruben didn't take that "$50 bill", he would not have been kidnaped from the two gangs.