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The plane from iquitos [1959-part one] - poetry


Iquitos & the Amazon Part One

It was December 2, l959, I was meeting on a small prop-plane goodbye Iquitos, Peru for a trip down the Amazon about the opening, the mouth of the mighty Amazon,--to Manaus. As we flew low one could see the waters of the Amazon, the city constantly impressed me, but more from this birds-eye view, you could see the mighty river in its squid like form, with all it tentacles [contributories: waters connecting to the river]. It would get smaller, and then wider as you flew along it's stretched out body, it was four miles wide at one point, and that was nobody compared to other spots of the Amazon? In the jungle area, it was a sea of green, naught but gigantic green. It was said it could construct as much water flow as the any seven other main rivers in the world. It was they said the best ever river in the world, seemingly all the time debating it with the chunk of Nile. There were eight passengers to bring in me, the pilot and co-pilot, construction us ten in all.

I liked Iquitos, exceptionally the Iron House, the very one made by none other then Mr. Eiffel, the one who made the tower in Paris. I had eaten for the first time Pirana Roia, it was delicious, aside from for the many bones, and the fish wasn't all the big once you cut the head off, even though the teeth looked like a baby sharks, dead and unpleasing. I had trapped a few fishing, it there was a cloak-and-dagger to that. I used a stick for a fishing rod, and tied a filament on it with a semi-big hook, and put a big piece of meat on it. Then when the fish took hold of it, the Pirana that is, he doesn't chew it, or even bit into it like other fish, he rips it outward, and so at first touch, the fisher man has to yank it upward to hook the fish right under his upper teeth. He had a big low jaw, but a small upper portion to his head so if you do not do this he will not be hooked. In point of fact you may hook his upper teeth for they broaden out as does the lower one.

As we chronic to fly down the river about 125-miles we on track to go internal form the river, t he view was tremendous, the height of the trees. With my binoculars I could see what the co-pilot called the big lazy bird up in the trees; we were less then 100-feet over the top of the trees, and some of the monkeys. Then all of a rapid I heard a shot, it hit the wing, and then another. The co-pilot, Henry, looked out my display didn't see whatever thing unusual, then Commander Derry, came in,

"We've been hit by something, we're loosing fuel, not sure closely where we can land but I'll see," then he went back to his cock-pit. All eight of us now were looking out the window. There was Mary and John, from Hong Kong, both spoke good English, and then there was Lora from anywhere in Florida, she was an accountant on a free trip, leave-taking her boyfriend and women alone who both did not want to come on the trip for own reasons, thus, she said if they didn't want to come it shouldn't stop her from doing what she wanted, and it didn't. There was the man from Budapest of all sitting room a professor of some kind, I just called him Professor, he also was alone. Then there was the three women from some place in the South West, they were on a world tour of sorts, and had left Barrow, Alaska. Martha, the elder of the three elder women was most chatty, and talked about her under your own steam 500-feet out onto the ice, and eminence on a frozen wave. She was brave for sure. I never did get the other two women's names.

And now the plane on track to lower itself, I seen an opening, quite a few huts, one big one was below us. The pilot circled the area. In the axis was room like a ball park, or cleanly a wife open space, he was going to try and land it there. It wasn't all that big, but big enough.

Twenty Action Later

The Village

Somehow we hand landed, but the front end of the plane went head first into one of the numerous huts, one wheel broke off and now way would we be able to use this as a airstrip to escape, if we could. We were all shook up a bit, but no one was hurt.

As we all stepped out of the plane, it looked like a village, yet no one seemed to be around. As we all in progress going our own ways kind of on foot in shock, we found ourselves in two groups of five, and the Captain's group were headed about the big impassive hut of sorts, to see if he could talk to any of the tribes people. I was under your own steam with the other five to the lesser huts. As we went from one hut to the next, it seemed there might have been numerous families to a hut, I noticed sleeping rugs, made out of firewood on the floor. Then on tables I noticed cameras of all kinds, watches, rings, jewelry.

Then being more interested I made my way with the subsequent five, the tree woman from Barrow, and the Professor. The others were with the Chief and co-pilot; --we went into three more huts, they all had these barely assets of sorts, cameras, rings and watches, etc. It was as if they were prizes, or for that matter, trophies of sorts.

Then I got belief we looked-for to catch up with the Captain, so I bound for the associates with me to the big hutch. There was a basement division to the hutch, and I noticed the others were down in it. It was much cooler in the lower section, and the balance feet to the upper was the same as to the lower section, quite big I thought, compared to the other huts, maybe 1600-square feet.

"Troy," said the Commander to me, "It looks like these inhabitants are not gracious creatures. " Three hours hand gone by for him to have figured that out I thought.

He added, "Let's take our costume jewelry off and leave it down here so when they come they will achieve we are friendly. " Each looked at him, and then on track captivating it off but me.

"Troy," the Chief said, "You going along with this or what?"

"No, sorry Captain, but you're not the Chief any more, only while I'm on that fleeting ship or yours. " I was an old soldier, and I didn't stay alive by bountiful up. I was 39-years old, the Korean War; this was not the way clothes were done.

"Listen," I said, I am not going to leave them no matter which for a trophy, and I do not see any live colonize looking like me under your own steam around. Be of importance of fact, I see a hole in the wing by a gun, and it is most liable theirs. Second, they are most expected looking or us, and went beyond East belief that is where the plane went down, for the reason that that is the aim you went in to ball around. Third I bring to mind we go west 150-miles back to Iquitos. It be supposed to take 15-days, at 10-miles per day in the jungle. We ought to also burn this village so to let them know we are not going to be easy pickings, plus they will need to re-supply, and this will dent some of that. And we may need our charms to keep us alive, if we find some nice natives in this awful jungle.

Said the Captain,

"It sounds beat than my plan I have to admit, and so, where do we go from here?"

Having said that, we put torches to the rest of the village, grabbed some meat that was execution in one of the huts, I grabbed a gun from the plane, the Control said he never shot one. It had six bullets in its gyrating chambers; it was worth its credence to carry it. Then with some skins tied to our backs, we found in the big hutch, to use for sleeping, and some skins overflowing with water, we headed west.

The New Journey-the Amazon

The five that were with me seemed to want to say with me, and so we both by now hand our teams figured out. And so into the wild we went the deep embedded jungle. If no matter which we got sore feet the first six hours of under your own steam all the way through the jungle, difficult to get to the Amazon which would be easier to follow, and we could find a boat somehow, and achievable a big name to help us on our trip back to Iquitos. I hand by now broke a toe-nail to my big toe as I had fallen a few times, water receiving into my shoes. I had taken them off for awhile, and waked bare food over the mucky slimy patches of and pools of water as we hiked by means of the jungle. To roots pulled my toe nail out more, and it was bleeding. The Professor fell and broke his nose frustrating to climb an embankment, over roots, roots and more roots. The three older women were quite tired, and so we closed to make camp, and I tried to make a fire but the whole thing seemed damp. After an hour I did succeed.

Then about 10:00 PM, a native came on foot into our camp, I pulled my handgun out,

"No want trouble," said the native, He was more or less entirely naked. He had explained he had never seen a white being before, but heard of them and that the natives I had burnt their village down were looking for me. That we were brave to that, and he added, they [his band of people] hand brain wave many times on doing just such a thing, when they were gone, but they had no place to go but here, and by some means it would come back to haunt them. And so that sundown we were invited to their village as guests, and it couldn't have crop up at a develop time.

When we got situated at the village he gave me save for my toe, and reset the Professors nose some how. The women were given hammocks to rest. And as I looked about the five huts, I noticed on top of a tree there was a man looking about, as if in a cover that circled his village for any trouble.

"My name Mana," he explained.

The Tarantula Hunt

Mana was very kind; we estimated to stay there two day, so he would not get in agitate with the other tribe. The only catch was his tribe took a profound appeal in us, and at time permissible the guards, or the one guard to get concerned with the celebration, and festivities. Be important of fact, Mana, and one of main guards, Kim, or so it sounded like Kim, took me Tarantula Hunting. Well, we didn't kill any, just went into the depths of the jungle and he took [Kim] a long stick, and found holes by some big trees and poked it down into them, waking up the tarantula's. He did this numerous times, most were bigger then my hand. I stepped back a bit, but not too far from Kim, and minimized his character. They, if everything seem to be a diminutive sleepy. Yet, as we'd walk away, they'd stare and watch us, not go back into their hole until all was safe. Exciting how we all care for our property.

The Argue with and the Painted Man

It was cock-crow on the third day, we had outstayed our privilege, yet it seemed Mana didn't want to let us go. The three older women got along well with portion the youth of the camp, and the Professor was as happy as a baby duck just under your own steam about frustrating to learn their dialect and customs. I was more into the adventure part, and took a few walks with Mana, and a night hunt on one of the tributaries from the Amazon, looking or antecedes in a dug out boat. Man was going to point the way for us this morning. Essentially he drew a map last night, and we likely to be on our way soon. As we all gathered into the concentrate of the camp, Mana looked up in the tree at the spot Kim was believe to be guarding, and he wasn't there. He then looked at me, he looked a diminutive ill, then looked about, into other areas of the high trees, some accomplishment over 115-feet high, but Kim was no where to be found.

It seemed out of nowhere all the birds in the trees left, Mana and I looked into each others eyes, it was as if death hit both of us at once, and at that moment, a spear went by means of his back, bitter his heart, and right on all through him appearance out and about striking my waist. He dropped to his knees, then more than a few spears more came, all striking the men first, then the women and kids. I shot three of them in the trees, but it seemed no one else hand a attempt to get to a weapon, and no one else could see where the enemy was. I basically sprayed the area with bullets that the spears were appearance out of. Out of six shots, I got three of the enemy. And I stood there, just stood there with bodies all around. I saw from a detachment a tall, very tall lean man, with a painted face. He didn't come close to me, he kept his distance, achievable for two reasons I thought, one I hand the gun, and he didn't know how many bullets it hand, and two, he hunted to show me what my authority created. The professor and the three women were dead, Mana, Kim, anywhere he may be, and the twenty or so tribe's people. It was a hell of a day.

The painted man, walked away, as did every one else. And then I seen a spear advent towards me, I knew I was dead [I sought him to turn about but he didn't]??????????????. dead.

Dennis' first story [part one] of the now, ongoing drama of "The Plane from Iquitos," was origianlly done in 2003, and in print in the book, "Draculas's Ghost," and then part two was done in 2004, and now part three. The forth part is in draft from, and part one has not yet made it to the Spanish side of town, but I am hopeful it will soon; even if part two and three have. Dennis lives in Lima, Peru, and has been in Iquitos, and down the Amazon, so it is a a small amount like his backyard. Rosa Penaloza


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