Chapter 39

This entry is part 40 of 44 in the series Smile

Chapter Thirty-Nine — Martial Law

Martial law was declared and no one could leave the city. A curfew was in effect — lights out at nine o’clock, everyone off the streets. Several days went by, but the rebels were still in the schoolhouse. The rain had stopped, the weather was hot and sultry. There were many whispers going around. The rebels would attack again because they had to free the men and children in the schoolhouse. The tension was terrifying, and we felt as if we were sitting on a powder keg. The local newspaper was putting out very little news as it was now government controlled and the government printed only the information it wanted to circulate.

We tuned into Miami, Florida, on Fermin’s short wave radio and listened. We were in the news all right. We had been making headline news. All hell had broken loose in Guatemala and a full scale revolution was going on there. The rebels had attacked in force. One of the big forts had been taken and the Army was winning. Planes were bombing the fort. Some of the rebels had been captured, and according to the announcer, some of them had been Cubans — Castro’s boys. The Guatemalans were claiming that the attack was inspired and headed by the “commies” from Cuba. An army from Cuba could be expected to land at any time. News? Confused news.

Uncle Sam sent down some real battle wagons and they were patrolling the coast. I reminded Chuck that our country doesn’t interfere in the troubles of these countries unless some other country tries to bother them and that’s when we step in. But we didn’t really know what was going on.

I telephoned Bill and asked him if he had heard about the fighting that had been going on down here.

“Are you kidding?” he said. “The papers are full of it.”

“Send me a few copies. The darn papers here tell us nothing. You know more about what’s going on here than we do.”

“Sure, I’ll mail you some papers.” Then he added, “Your equipment has arrived at Port Corinto according to a telegram I received from the steamship line.”

“Fine,” I said. “When things quiet down a bit, we’ll take it to Santo Domingo and start mining the gold.”

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