Wreck Off Triton by Alfred Coppel - His plans were thorough. Every risk had been closely considered. Now Ron Carnavon, ruthless convict, was ready to loot the wrecked spaceship of its sapphire treasure, and thrust his warped power around the entire, antagonistic EMV triangle.
Ron Carnavon had been the skipper of the late Thunderbird, and it was common knowledge in every port of the EMV triangle that he had scuttled her. There was a price on his head, and the High Space Guard was combing the spacelanes for him—and for the Thunderbird. For the Thunderbird was a treasure ship.
But Carnavon was a cautious man and no fool, for all that he'd committed barratry. He left the Thunderbird in a Trojan orbit a million miles off Triton, ruptured and spilling corpses into space. He took a spaceboat and jetted sunward to the Holcomb Foundation Outpost on Oberon. Then he stowed away on the mail ship to Canalopolis, still carrying the chart that showed the Thunderbird's position. In the Canal City, Carnavon evaded the lax Guard cordons and found himself a renegade Martian hypnosurgeon to change his face and fingerprints.
From then on it was easy. Across Syrtis Major by sand-ski to Marsport posing as a prospector. And from Marsport down the Grand Canal to the spaceman's boneyard at Yakki. It was there that he met and hired Pop Wills and the Carefree.
Ron Carnavon acted with characteristic caution when he chose Pop and the Carefree to do the ghoul work on the ship he had murdered. Pop's ship was a rusty bucket, but well enough fixed to reach Triton where the Thunderbird's corpse orbited, her vault heavy with Plutonian sapphires. And Pop needed work badly. He was almost too broke to outfit his ship for the flight. Carnavon noted with curling lip that most of Pop's assets had long ago been liquidated to buy gin.