Randy thought he was home free as he skirted the coast pushed along by a gentle breeze; his thinking changed when the main sail ripped. He had been dozing, holding onto the jib when the sound of splitting canvas brought him to his feet.
“Okay, Lord, we’re miles off Puerto Barrios, I’ve got intermittent breezes of five knots out of the southeast. NOAA predicted an easy ride, and now this.” Randy, an experienced sailor, had leased an Islander Ketch to visit several islands off of the Yucatan coast. He had ventured southward along the coast until he caught the current and turned back north. A sailor’s dream trip.
He looked to the horizon. “No traffic. Just my luck, busiest cocaine route in the world and I can’t find a ride. Where’s the CIA when you need them?”
He checked his fuel tanks good I’ll motor in.”I’ll save the radio and make repairs myself.” Forty minutes later the coast of Guatemala lay before him. It wasn’t too hard to finding an empty dock with a fishing hut.
He tied up to a splintered wood post and walked toward the shack. Out of the jungle two armed men rushed toward him.
“Okay Lord, I always trust in you no matter what.” His voice shook as quietly he prayed. He raised his hands.
“¿Habla español?.” One of the men pointed his weapon at Randy’s face.
“Me espanol no es perfecto.” Randy’s Spanish was no match for a native, and probably these men spoke a dialect.
A rifle barrel in his back pushed him toward the shack. Inside he saw a bench and two chairs pulled up to a three-legged table. One of the men pointed his rifle. “Siéntese.”
Randy obeyed and sat on the corner of the bench.
The two men stood in the door and stared at Randy. Finally, he said, “Me barco tiene probemas.”
The men looked at each other then laughed and nodded.
The minutes seemed to creep along in the hot shack, How much longer this is going to go on?
Randy checked his watch, he had docked at three o’clock. I’ve been here thirty minutes, sheeesh. He was about to put his head down on the table when an old man pushed past the two guards.
“You American, yes?” The old man leaned toward Randy.
“Great, someone who speaks English. Yes, I’m American.”
“You come with me, American.” The old man pointed to the door.
The two guards parted as Randy passed, but followed. He noted that their weapons were no longer pointed at him.
They walked up a narrow path to a village of a half dozen shacks. Small children ran up to Randy and tugged at his hands.
“Parada niños,” said the old man. The children faded away. “You stay here today. Tonight I take you to coffee house.”
“Coffee house?” Randy laughed as he tried to imagine a famous coffee house franchise in the middle of the jungle.
The old man pointed to a stone structure, possibly a ruined fountain. “Sit there.”
Randy obeyed, turning his attention to two small lizards scampering along a stone wall. Hey, Lord, this is interesting, but what’s going on?”
A tiny girl brought Randy a small cup of hot liquid.
“Drink, no worry, it boiled.” The old man pushed his own cup to his lips.
“What is it?”
“Not to worry, you like.”
Randy took a sip, the flavor was strong but more pure than he had ever tasted. It was coffee. “Wow, this is good.”
The old man laughed.
The sun began to sink into the western sky and villagers began walking toward the fields. Hmm, that's strange.
A small child took Randy’s arm and pulled him along. The old man followed. They walked past rows of sacked coffee beans until they came to a metal building. “Ah this must be the coffee house.”
Randy walked with the child into the building. A hundred men, women, and children were gathered around an old piano; singing praise music. When Randy approached the music suddenly stopped.
The pianist stood.
Randy rubbed his eyes. Before him was a tall slender blond woman.
She held out her hand. “I’m Martha. Welcome to our service, it’s not often we get visitors here.”
“Wow. Lord, you certainly know how to create an adventure.”
The young woman cocked her head. “I beg your pardon?”
Randy laughed, “Thanks, Lord.”
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