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This is from To Have and Have Not by Ernest Hemingway.

Can anyone help me with the following sentence: "I saw her a couple of days ago on Ed. Taylor's ways, he checked."

There are two speedboats that could catch us, Harry was thinking. One, Ray’s, is running the mail from Matecumbe. Where is the other? I saw her a couple of days ago on Ed. Taylor’s ways, he checked. That was the one I thought of having Bee-lips hire. There’s two more, he remembered now. One the State Road Department has up along the keys. The other’s laid up in the Garrison Bight.

I don't understand this "Ed." and "Taylor's ways."

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  • The title is To Have and Have Not. – Erik Kowal May 20 '14 at 16:29
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One of the meanings of ways is

18. ( plural ) the wooden or metal tracks down which a ship slides to be launched

Ships are referred to as she in English, especially by sailors and Ed is a contraction of Edward or Edgar.

So, I understand that passage as meaning:

I saw her (the boat) on Edward Taylor's ways

In other words, the character had seen this particular boat on the ways of Mr. Ed Taylor. This means that that particular boat will not be able to catch them.

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