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Mike Smith Is Dead—Pt. 20

by Dub Wright 2 years ago in fact or fiction

Christian lite - Fiction

Bogota airport was busy when Sam, Giles, and Marcos met at the private hanger area. Marcos was watching the refueling of a Short 360 aircraft.

“Didn’t think I would be bringing this one back. Talk about stop for gas every two hours. Would have been cheaper for the company to take it apart and ship the parts by boat.” Marcos’ complaining nearly disappeared next to the door of the big airplane.

“And good afternoon to you too,” yelled Sam over the sound of the engines.

Giles peeked into the fuselage. “This is a bus.”

Marcos laughed. “Used to be, climb aboard, we’re headed for Medellin. Government gave me the coordinates of the crash, but we can land in Medellin and truck up to the site.”

“I talked to Rosa’s brother. He has a friend who knows a guy who will guide us for a couple of hundred American. Paulo will meet us in Medellin.”

“Good to me, I met him, he’s a big man, probably doesn’t hike much,” Marcos chuckled and pointed. “Giles you have the whole cabin to yourself. Don’t try to nap. It’s only a fifty minute flight.”

Two hours later they met Paulo at a hotel.

“I have the guide, two trucks and four ATVs. Plus, an outfitter is scheduled to have everything we will need up on the mountain.” Paulo sipped on a beer. “Tomorrow morning we will gear up and drive to the outfitter. I am told the airplane is at 2,000 meters on the side of the mountain. The army cut a rough trail so that they could get a 4X4 in to recover much of the equipment, boxes, and mail on the airplane. They reported no sign of bodies but a native Indian told them there were no survivors there. I have a map.” He laid the map out on the table. “Here is Medellin, up here is the crash site. This road has a level area here.” He pointed to a spot on the map. “We can set up a base camp there just off the main road same place the army cleared. The army road runs along side the stream and cuts back into the jungle here. I am told that on the ATV’s it will be a two or three hour trip, if we don’t stop or have to cut trail.”

“Wow, Paulo you’ve done a ton of work.” Marcos admired the map.

“She’s my little sister. It’s the least I could do.”

Sam and Giles turned away from the table.

The next morning Marcos and Paulo and the women drove to the outfitters where they met their guide, and loaded up ATVs land provisions and extra cans of fuel. The guide brought along two other men who all drove ahead of them pulling their ATVs. Eventually they found the turnoff for La Honda and several kilometers further they found the clearing where the Army had camped. By then it was late afternoon so they made a camp of tents and a cooking fire.

In the fog of the next morning the seven ATVs set out down the rough cut road cut weeks earlier by the Army. By noon they arrived at the airplane.

“It’s been fairly well picked over,” said Marcos. “The army took the instrument panel, gas tanks and looks like they tried to rip out the seats.”

Paulo pointed. “I think that was impact.”

Giles examined the cockpit. “That dark staining is blood.”

The two additional men lifted wing parts and tossed mechanical pieces onto their ATVs.

The guide called to the group. “Over here.” He was standing where a campfire had been. The area was grassy and flat. A lean to was to one side of the area.

Sam whispered to Marcos. “There’s eyes watching us. I see them every once in awhile. Human eyes.”

“I noticed. They didn’t look aggressive, only interested.”

They walked up to the guide. Sam nodded toward the brush. “I think we’re being watched.”

He laughed. “They probably won’t come out. Their village is near here and I imagine they heard the ATVs. Don’t try to take anything away and they will leave us alone. But we are an oddity to them, of course the army was here a week ago and made a lot of noise, probably disturbed them.”

“I wish I could speak with one, see if they know about the people from the airplane.” Sam looked around.

The guide loudly said something in a language that Sam nor Marcos understood. Leaves rustled around the four and several people came out into the clearing.

Giles stood next to Paulo who was considerably taller than the natives or the rest of their group.

The guide said something else, then turned to Sam. “I asked them if they knew what happened to the people in the airplane.”

A tall man in the group of natives stepped forward and spoke at length. Finally he pointed up the mountain.

The guide turned to the group. He said that the pilot was killed in the crash. The woman was hurt, but could walk, and the other man was badly injured and they carried him on a stretcher to a ranch up on the mountain. About half a day walk.”

The native pointed to a rough trail through the jungle.

A broad smile crossed Paulo’s face. “I guess there are survivors.” He emphasized “are.”

Two women walked up to Giles and Sam and gave them pieces of jewelry.

The native man spoke to the guide, who in turn turned back to the group. The woman from the airplane gave these women gifts, they are giving them to you, not because they are not beautiful but because it is better to give than receive.” The guide walked toward Giles and Sam. “To them, these items are just things that cannot be eaten or worn as clothing, to them they have no value except they were a gift, and they are so gifting them to you.” He chuckled. “However, if we go their village they will be happy to sell you handbags and woven backpacks for gold or silver.”

Giles smiled at the women. “Too bad we don’t have time to visit the village.”

“Good field trip,” said Sam “We’ll return some day and buy handbags.

Giles laughed. “Yeah.”

A young boy appeared in the clearing and the older native said something to the guide.

“The boy will show us to the ranch where the injured people are,” said the guide as he walked toward his ATV.

Paulo waved to the group. “Let’s go gang, worst that could happen is that they not be there.”

To be continued...

fact or fiction

Dub Wright

Curmudgeon; overeducated; hack writer; too much time in places not fit for habitation.

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Dub Wright
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