Thursday, July 10, 2003

Chap 13, part 12

We left the open sea, passing into a long, curving lagoon. Then the village came into view. It was a sizable one. Smoke curled upamong the thatched, peaked huts. And what was that strange smell? I pondered. Ah, yes. Cooking!

We were greeted by what appeared to be the entire population. The women were clad only in lava lavas and smiles, but even with all that pulchritude before me I could think only of the savory aromas that filled the air.

The smiles quickly changed to tears - and I mean tears - when the women saw our condition. We were emaciated. Our hair and beards were long and straggly. Jimmy Reynolds looked like a dying man.

We unloaded. On the way to guest hut I was informed that the island is owned by a friendly power which maintains a radio station there. Shortly before, a United States Navy plan had dropped a note, asking that the small garrison be on the lookout for us. That was why the natives happened to be out in force during the heat of the day. A runner even then was on his way to their headquarters, I was informed.

No comments: