Saturday, July 3, 2010

French Morocco

(Continuation of Captain Charles Estes's War Memoirs)

"Well, on our way back we were walking along this road
and we got behind an old Portuguese I would think, and
he was driving a little cart and it was pulled by a mule
or a donkey, and he pulled up to this rock fence and stopped
and jumped down off of the cart; went over to the fence and
started taking rocks out of the fence and laying 'em on the
ground until he had made an opening big enough for the
cart to go through. When he had done this, he jumped
back on the cart, went back through the hole in the fence
and jumped off the cart and came back and put the fence
back up again rock by rock.

I think we all decided that that was the first gate that
we had ever seen without any hinges. Well, we didn't
have anything to say to this old man because he couldn't
speak English, and we couldn't speak Portuguese so we
walked on back to the base, and they gave us our quarters
and we stayed around for a little while, ate supper and
went to bed and they briefed us the next morning on our
trip to French Morocco. After we'd gotten all our instructions
we all got in the airplane and took off for Africa.

Well, this was a shorter run, I don't think it was but
six or seven hours, and then we had landed in Morocco.
We turned the plane over to the crew chief and he saw
that it got filled up with gasoline and checked everything
out to be sure that everything was all right, and we were
assigned our quarters.

We were assigned our quarters at French Morocco, and
I met this young Moroccan who was more or less what you
would call a cabin boy. He was to make up the beds and see
that everything was clean and kept in good shape for the
crews that would come after us.

Like all Moroccans he had something in his pocket to
sell, so he pulled out this wallet; it was made out of Moroccan
leather, and he presented it to me and said he wanted so
much for it. I've forgotten now, it wasn't much, but in any
case, I bought it and I said that would be a good thing for
me to keep my short snorter in it. I also got a bill from him,
a bill of money, so that I could put it with my short snorter,
and he signed it and signed my leather wallet."

(To be Continued)

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