As I Remember, Chapter 29

This entry is part 29 of 39 in the series Ted Bio

CHAPTER 29

      I could write several books, on what took place down there. In fact I did write a couple more. Not about my life, but others and about those country’s. The first one is “Beyond The Bend In The River”. I wrote it first as a first party story. Then changed it a lot and turned it into a second party yarn. I originally named it “The Judge Of Quilali. Now, I think it is a good story.

      Then just here recently, I wrote another, “The Love Potion”. It is a yarn about a bulb that is raised down in that country. It does strange things to people.

      But as I think back, there are a few more things that I will tell about that happened down there.

Dell, discovered that there was a large plantation for sale near where he was mining. A large banana acreage, owned by the United Fruit Company. They had got rust in the bananas and would be forced to spray for years to come. They had decided to move to Costa Rica. Here, they would not be bothered by this infection. They had over fifty thousand acres for sale, and could be bought for two dollars and fifty cents an acre. This sounded like a real bargain.

      “We can make millions.” Del said. “When we get back to the states we will sell it ten acres at a time. A lot of people that don’t like the could winters up there, would pay a lot to own their own winter haven.”

      Dell did the buying, we made a down payment and got an option on the rest.

      Enough on that subject for right now.

      Remember I told you that I was always afraid of getting up high in the air? Airplanes terrified me. Whenever I was forced to ride on one, I would keep my eyes closed until I got to my destination.

      Then I got on that maiden flight of The Ann Gauntlit. The big D.C. ten, was coming from Guatemala City, and I was on it. I was the only first class passenger aboard. I got a bottle of rum and prepared my nerves for this long ride. It would make one stop on its way to Los Angeles. I would re-fuel at El Paso Texas. And that is one trip that I will never forget. We were just twelve hours late, when we finally arrived. We were right on schedule, when we stopped to re-fuel. Minutes later, we were once more on our way.

      I think I was on my second quart of nerve tonic, when suddenly I couldn’t get my breath, neither could anyone else on that plane. We were thirty thousand feet in the air, and had lost our oxygen. The girls were busy slapping oxygen masks on the passengers. The pilot put the thing in a dive, and down we went. At twelve thousand they opened some windows. Once more, we could breathe. We turned around and headed back to El Paso.

      It took several hours to get the thing fixed, but I stayed right on board and got some nerve medicine. Then once more, we took off. By this time I was getting well aquatinted with the crew. Also, I was feeling no pain. Then the pilot made a grave discovery. Where there should o been a green light, there was a red one. This indicated that the landing gear had not retracted properly. We could be in grave trouble.

      We turned around and headed back to El Paso. The landing strip was sprayed with foam. If those wheels didn’t come down, we would come sliding in. But Lady Luck or the Good Lord was on our side. We made a perfect landing. They had found the trouble and fixed it. Just a short in the wiring. Nothing serious. Then once more, we were on our way to LA By now it was almost daylight and guess what. The airport was fogged in. We were advised not to land.

      For hours we circled up there. I was sure going to be late for Christmas if we didn’t get down soon. Then a voice come over the loud speaker. “Fasten your safety belts. We are about to land.” Someone yelled. “El Paso, I bet.” But we weren’t back in El Paso. And we were not in LA We had landed about fifty miles south of the town of Riverside. There was a Greyhound bus waiting for what was left of the second class passengers and a taxi for me. After that trip, I am no longer afraid of getting up in the air.

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