Something to ponder on as you wander on


Some liars are born that way, some are self-made; but the really great ones are elected to Congress…
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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

THE LADY EVA..............


THIS IS A LONG STORY,, AND KNOWING THAT
ALMOST EVERYONE IN BLOGLAND HAS THE
ATTENTION SPAN OF A CHICKEN IN HEAT,,
I’VE CUT INTO ITTY BITTY SNACK SIZE PARTS
JUST SO YOUR EYEBALLS WOULDN’T GET TIRED…
--YOUTUBE VIDEOS ARE AROUND THE CORNER,,
FOR FUNNY CAT PICS GO TO LOLCATS….
FOR STORIES ABOUT ADULT WOO-WOO TOYS
GO TO…AHHH,, NEVER MIND I’M SURE YOU’VE LEFT ALREADY…….
……PPPPLLLLLTTTHHH…........


THE LADY EVA………………

The merchant ship Lady Eva drifted silently atop the
rolling Western Pacific waves…Gently tossing up and down as each ocean crest hit its massive hulk…Alone in the vast emptiness of the ocean,, left behind to find its own way,, by
the American convoy…It was the fate of all ships that couldn’t keep up or were disabled…Better to lose one ship,, then to risk many more to the silent Japanese hunters of the deep…The sun was just beginning to set on the Western horizon,, soon the darkness would give it better protection from being spotted by an enemy submarine…Only a couple of more hours of helplessly drifting as the repairs to the engine were being completed…

“Hows long it been?”…asked Thomas…
“5 hours”…replied Miller as they both leaned against the
ships railing…
“I do not like it,, da seas too calm…always da bad sign”…
“That’s just crazy seaman talk,, your always seeing bad signs”…
“It be a bad sign I tell ya,, and look at da sky,, she’s boiling red”…
“Ahh,, your daft…it will be dark soon and in another hour or
so we’ll be moving again”…
“I do not like it,, dere’s something in the air”…
“Ahhh….
“What are you men doing?”…interrupted First Officer Vandel…
“Nothing sir…just getting some fresh air is all”…
“Well put out those butts,, it will be dark soon…and get back to your posts”…
“Yes sir”…both men replied as they hurried away and disappeared down the port stairwell…

-------STOP HERE,, COME BACK TOMORROW------
-------END OF PART ONE-----


Vandel was First Officer under Captain Harrington,, a former marine,, he had lost an arm during the Omaha landing the year before…His father had to pull some strings to get him this assignment…It was only his second crossing as First Officer…
A stern disciplined young man,, much too sullen for his age…The war had done him no good and now his life was just the duties of First Officer…

Captain Harrington was in the bridge going over maps and charts,, using the compass and ruler,, discerning how far they had drifted since the engines had quit…

“Captain sir”…said Vandel
“Yes what is it?”…
“I’ve just caught Miller and Thomas,, loafing off again on the mid-deck sir”…
Captain Harrington gave a quick glance towards Vandel and resumed his calculations…

“Snyder,, why don’t you go down to the gallery and get me
some hot coffee and see if you can stir up some stew too while your down there”…

“Yes sir”… Snyder replied as he hurried thru the door and down to the galley…

“Vandel,, don’t be too hard on the men…They know what they have to do…Many of them have been with me since before the war began…They’re good men…so just relax a little and you’ll find that your job will be a lot easier”…

“Captain sir”,, discipline must be maintained or the men will
become lazy”…

“That’s true,, but this isn’t a navy ship…Things are a little more relaxed here…When the shit hits the fan,, you’ll see that we have one of the best crews anywhere…Besides right now,, we’re drifting at sea,, in enemy territory…and there isn’t a whole lot to do until we get going again…So my recommendation to you is to ease up,, get to know your men
and trust them,, just as I trust you”…

“Sir,, there’s always something to do on a cargo ship”…

“Just think about what I’ve said”…

The cabin door opened and Snyder returned with coffee and
some sandwiches on a wooden tray…

“Sorry sir,, there wasn’t any stew,, so I made some sandwiches…Got you some coffee too Mr. Vandel,, no sugar right?”...

“Thank you Snyder,, sandwiches will be fine”…said the Captain…

“Come with me Vandel,, lets take a look at how the repair work is going”…

Captain Harrington grabbed his coffee and one of the sandwiches then headed out into the fresh sea air…
Mr. Vandel set his coffee down and retrieved one of the sandwiches putting it in his pocket and grabbed his coffee mug again then followed Captain Harrington thru the door… Captain Harrington stood near the railing only a dozen feet or so from the wheelhouse…

-------STOP HERE,, COME BACK TOMORROW------
-------END OF PART TWO-----


“You know Mr.Vandel,, I’ve been a Captain for 15 years,, mostly on this ship…I’ve seen a lot of men come and go thru the years,, a lot of First Officers too,, and I’ve found that if you treat a man right,, he’ll do much more than you’d expect and will show you some respect…Everyman is different,, some are as different as night and day…but they all want to be treated fairly…If you don’t treat each man the same your asking for trouble…That’s something your going to have to learn”…

“No disrespect sir,, but I am the First Officer,, I know my job,, and the men mustn’t become lazy and forgetful”…

Captain Harrington finished his sandwich and glazed out at the open ocean…

“Its not about whether you know your job or not,, I know you do…Its about how you treat the men…I’ve hear the rumors and the grumbling about how your always looking for something to be wrong,, something not done just right”..
“Working on this rusting barge,, isn’t a very glamorous job…
Most of the men on this ship would rather be in the Navy or
Army fighting the Axis,, but for one reason or another they
ended up here…They would rather be anywhere but-----

“Torpedoes”,, Torpedoes”…yelled the watchman on the quarter deck…

“Sound the alarm”…screamed Captain Harrington…

The alarm sounded only for a few moments before the first
torpedo exploded near the bow,, raising the bow a few feet
with its explosion,, the second torpedo exploded a few seconds later near the midsection,, just barely missing the engine room and the diesel storage…The ship listed to the starboard side as explosions racked the ship…Two massive
holes were letting in the ocean water causing secondary smaller explosions and rumblings within the ship…Below decks the men scrambled towards the stairways amid the ever increasing black smoke and rising water…Every man ran towards the gangways,, stopping only to yell out a friends name or to help someone nearby,, very few had any chance to grab a life vest…On the mid-deck First Officer Vandel was thrown overboard from the concussion and tossed into the black waters…
“Lower the lifeboats”…screamed Captain Harrington as he tried to direct the men…
“Abandon ship,,, lower the boats”….get them into the water”…

-------STOP HERE,, COME BACK TOMORROW------
-------END OF PART THREE-----


The Lady Eva with its kneel cracked listed more and more to starboard… Captain Harrington made his way up the railing and into the bridge and then into the radio room…

“Welden,, did you get a message out?”…

“I think so sir”…

“Very good,, now get out of here”…

“Snyder get out of here”…

The three men joined the others trying to lower the life boats…

“Never mine the winches…cut the ropes”…commanded
Captain Harrington …

The fires below reached the diesel fuel storage compartment and the ship exploded along its midsection,, nearly breaking the ship in half…The few remaining men on deck were tossed into the air and landed in the fire swept ocean…

“Over here”…yelled Miller who was aboard one of the small
lifeboats…

“Pull them in Peterson”…said Miller as he grabbed the hand of a terrified crewman…

“Look there’s another….it’s the Captain”…

“Pull him in quick”…

(cough)…”Thanks men…keep looking”…Captain Harrington said as Miller wrapped him in a blanket…”Never mind about me,, save as many as you can”…

“There’s one”…

First Officer Vandel clung to a packing crate,, barely able to keep his head above water…

“I’ve got him”…

“Do you see anymore?”…

“No,, I can see the other lifeboats”…

The Lady Eva made a metal to metal groaning sound and snapped in two…The stern section quickly descended below the oceans’ waves leaving behind the bow section with its prow pointed skyward,, bobbing in the ocean…A black cylindrical shape rose from the depths and the hatches of the Japanese submarine opened…Japanese sailors gathered on the deck then began firing their rifles at the men still in the water…Laughing at their enemy as they shot at anything that resembled a man…

-------STOP HERE,, COME BACK TOMORROW------
-------END OF PART FOUR-----


“God damn monkey faced bastards,, I’ll kill em”…said Miller…

“Keep quiet,, everybody down”…said Captain Harrington…

Captain Harringtons’ lifeboat slowly drifted away from the wreckage and into the darkness…A final explosion ripped thru the night as the Lady Eva finally sunk below the waves…The submarines’ alarm sounded and then it too,, disappeared below the waves…

“What kind of animals would shoot helpless shipwrecked men?”…asked Miller to no one,, his hatred for the Japanese
at a boiling point…

Captain Harrington looked at the few men that had been saved,, then sat at the stern,, guiding the rudder of the tiny boat…

“Get some rest men…its going to be a long night”…

Only five men,, in a lifeboat that could hold 25…
Five men cast into the blackness with only starlight to guide them and a Captain to lead them to safety…

“Captain sir”,, its Scot,, his arm is badly burnt”…

“Let me have a look”…

Scot laid semi-conscious on the floor of the tiny craft with his head in the lap of First Officer Vandel,, Captain Harrington cut away the remains of Scot’s shirt on his left arm…Blood and skin tore loose as he tried to removed the burnt clothing…

“Give me the med kit”…

Captain Harrington sprinkled sulfa powder over the burnt area and wrapped his arm with bandages…

“Here give him a shot of morphine…Mr. Vandel look after him and see that he’s made comfortable…Try to keep the salt water from soaking the bandages”…
“Everyone try to get some rest,, we’ll know more about
our situation in the morning”…

-------STOP HERE,, COME BACK TOMORROW------
-------END OF PART FIVE-----


Captain Harrington returned to his seat at the rear of the boat,, steering the craft as best he could into the blackness…
For 4 days the tiny craft floated among the oceans swells of only 2 -3 feet high,, sometimes calmer…The relentless tropical sun bearing down on the men,, sapping their strength from their body’s even as they slept…What little water the Captain gave the men would quickly form beads of sweat that dripped down their faces,, giving them no relief,, just an angry thirst for more and more water… Captain Harrington had decided on the first day only to give each man the minimum amount of water they would need just to survive,, only 2 liters per man…There was plenty of water and canned rations,, the lifeboat had been stocked with enough provisions for 25 souls,, and there was only 5 of them… Captain Harrington had figured that if he carefully watched the provisions they would have enough to survive on for about 35 days…He knew from his years aboard ship that they could be adrift for much longer…A small dot in the vastness of the Pacific…Each day he would scan the horizons thru his binoculars for any sign of land or a passing convoy… Scot seemed to get no better,, he would groan thru the night,, some days he would be fully aware of where he was… Occasionally small groups of flying fish would jump into the boat,, a heaven sent treat for the men when they came…Once or twice sharks could be seen circling the lifeboat,, their black unblinking eyes staring up at the strange craft…At night they would sometimes bump into the bottom of the boat,, feeding on the small fish that hid there…

“I’ve been watching the Captain”…whispered Miller to Peterson…

“So?”…

“I don’t think hes had any sleep”…

“Of course he has,, no one can go without sleep this long”…

“All he does is sit there holding onto that rudder”…

“So what?,, leave me alone”…

“Land sir,, land”…yelled First Officer Vandel,, as he pointed
to the Southern horizon….

Captain Harrington stood up in the boat and looked thru his binoculars in the direction that Mr.Vandel indicated…

“It’s an island alright”…

“Man the oars”… Mr.Vandel take the rudder”…

“I can row,, Captain”…

“Good,, you and Peterson take the oars,, Miller and I will
relieve you”…

For about 1 ½ hours the men switched back and forth
manning the oars,, struggling against the oceans waves…
Captain Harrington once again stood up and looked towards the island…

-------STOP HERE,, COME BACK TOMORROW------
-------END OF PART SIX-----


“Its no use men…we’re no closer than when we started…
we’re caught in the current”…

All four men were exhausted from the attempt,, Captain Harrington gave the men two extra rations of water and survival biscuits…

“Here,, see if Scot will take his”…

“Why are you giving him some?,, he didn’t do any rowing”…complained Peterson …

“Everyman on my boat gets the same,, whether he can work or not”…

“Take it,, and give it to him”….

Captain Harrington quietly took only half the rations he had given the men,, he had secretly been taking only half of his rations,, since the torpedoing of the Lady Eva…

“Put your shirt back on Miller,, and find something to cover your head”…ordered Captain Harrington …

“Its hot sir”…I’m suffocating”…

“Put your shirt on sailor!”…barked Mr.Vandel …
“This sun will fry your brain and you’ll go mad”…

The day passed slowly,, the excitement of seeing land
quickly wore off…The men laid in the bottom of the boat,,
trying to get some sleep...only Captain Harrington remained awake guiding the rudder towards an unknown point on the horizon…The waves were becomes much higher now and the
sea spray would douse the men,, coating their skin with a
thin layer of salt as it dried… Mr.Vandel kept Scot’s arm covered at all times,, partially wrapping it in some of the discarded waterproof ration containers…But it did little good,, the sea water soaked the bandages,, making Scot’s burnt arm more and more swollen…Night finally came and with it a merciful relief from the sun…The night time air was cool and refreshing at first,, but thru the night it became colder and colder…Lighting flashes could be seen on the Northern horizon…The oceans waves became greater and greater,, tossing the small craft up and down against the swells,, Captain Harrington could no longer steer the small craft and let the rudder go…The boat would be left to the mercy of the ocean as the storm passed near by…

-------STOP HERE,, COME BACK TOMORROW------
-------END OF PART SEVEN-----


“Secure the gear,, and hang on men…we’re in for a blow”
yelled Captain Harrington …

The swells reached heights of 18 ft or more,, crashing into the small craft,, it always seemed that the ocean would flip the boat and everyone would be cast into the black torrent…
Men bailed the water out as best they could with their hands and whatever else they could find…The boat soon became half full of water,, but it would not sink…The added weight began to act as ballast and helped to steady the craft…The storm lasted thru most of the night,, a steady driving cold rain
soaking everything,, thunder crashed among the clouds with lightning flashing as if the world was about to end…The main storm passed to the North and the small craft was lucky to only have crossed thru its outer edge…

Exhausted men slept until the morning sun had reached overhead,, even Captain Harrington was curled up near the stern seat…A crashing and loud banging awoke the men as they began to stir in the flooded boat…Something was wrong,, these were not the sounds that they had become used to,, not the sounds of waves against the hull…
Captain Harrington stood up and looked all around the craft…The lifeboat was wedged onto a small corral reef,, to the West was a small lagoon and an island…The storm had blown the small craft miles from where they had been and deposited them near a chain of small islands…

“Get up men”… said Captain Harrington …”Bail this water out,, so we can make it over the reef”…

Captain Harrington scanned the island with its palm trees and jungle growth looking for any movement…It only took the men about 20 minutes to bail out most of the sea water…As
a new wave struck the boat it was lifted over the coral reef and floated into the lagoon…

“Man the oars men,, but be quite about it”…

Captain Harrington guided the lifeboat towards a small broken portion of beach where the ocean water had eroded the sand and had nearly reached the jungle foliage…

“Everybody out…pull men”…

The men pulled the lifeboat as far as they could,, then carefully carried Scot into the bushes…

“Gather some palm leaves and bushes to cover the boat”…
ordered Mr.Vandel …

The men did as they were told and soon the boat resembled nothing more than a jumbled pile of branches that had been
left there by a passing storm…

-------STOP HERE,, COME BACK TOMORROW------
-------END OF PART EIGHT-----


“Mr.Vandel,, have the men smooth out the sand to remove any sign that we have been here”…”Then search for a place we can hide,, this island may be occupied by the Japanese”…

“Yes sir…you heard the Captain,, get busy”…

“How’s Scot?”…

“Still hanging on,, sir”…

“Lets have a look at that arm”…

Captain Harrington carefully removed the bandages from
Scot’s arm and examined the burns…

“Smells bad”…he said…”Gather some coconuts”…

“Here you are sir”…

“Good,, now break them open and grind up the pulp,, then
spread it over the burnt areas,, carefully…then wrap his arm again with some fresh bandages”…

“We’re almost out of bandages sir”…

“Use what you have to”…I’m going to have a look around”…
“Miller come with me”…

Captain Harrington and Miller made they’re way down to the jungles edge…

“Miller,, I want you to head in that direction and see if you can find anything…I’ll head this way”…”Be careful of where you are,, walk only near the waters edge,, remember this island could have Japanese on it…and make sure you cover up any footprints,, I’ll meet you back here”…”Now get going and be careful”…

“Yes sir”…said Miller as he headed off down the beach…
Captain Harrington went down to the surf line,, walking in the water as much as he could,, always looking and listening for any signs of the Japanese,, ready at any moment to drop into the water if he should see any…About an hour later Captain Harrington returned to where Mr.Vandel and the men where hiding…

“Where’s Miller?”…

“He hasn’t returned yet,, sir”…

About 20 minutes later Miller returned…

“Did you see anything?”…the Captain asked…

“Japanese sir,, about 50 of them on the other side of the
island…they have a gunboat too”…

“We’ll have to be careful with moving around and have to post a lookout”…explained the Captain…”There’re sure to
send out patrols”…

-------STOP HERE,, COME BACK TOMORROW------
-------END OF PART NINE-----


The sun had just risen a few points above the horizon as Captain Harrington stood alone near the jungles edge,, looking thru his binoculars at the nearby island to the South…

移動しないで,, 手を上げろ… the Japanese solider commanded as he pointed his rifle at Captain Harrington…

“Agggh!!”…the solider groaned as Miller’s knife slowly
twisted in his back,, Miller withdrew his knife and plunged it in again as the soldier folded over and slumped to the ground…Miller grabbed the dead Japanese’s rifle and bayoneted him again and again…

“Stop it”…said Captain Harrington …”Stop it!!”…

Miller continued his bayoneting of the lifeless body…

“Stop it!!”…Captain Harrington said again,, then he grabbed the rifle,, stopping Miller from stabbing the man anymore… Both men stood motionless looking into each others eyes…Hatred for the Japanese was all that could be seen on Miller’s face…

“He’s dead”…

“Ain’t dead enough for me”…”The only good Jap is a dead Jap”…slurred Miller as he let go of the rifle and wandered back into the jungle…

“Got a real thing against the Japanese don’t he?”…said
Mr.Vandel as he walked up to Captain Harrington…

“His younger brother was killed at Pearl…After that he tried to join the Marines,, but his lungs were bad,, so now he’s with me…A good man,, but he has a mean streak when it comes to the Japanese”…

“We’re going to have to leave you know”…

“Yep”…we should be able to cross over to that island during the night”… Captain Harrington said without any emotion…

“Uhh sir”…I wanted to talk to you about Scot”…

“How is he?”…

“No change sir”…”Sir,, I was wondering if maybe we shouldn’t leave him here”…”The Japanese have doctors and
can take care of him better than we can”…

“No!!...”I’ve heard how the Japanese take care of their prisoners,, they’d just cut his throat and be done with him”…
“He stays with us,, until”…”until we’re rescued”…”Lets have no more talk of leaving anybody behind”…

“Yes sir”…

-------STOP HERE,, COME BACK TOMORROW------
-------END OF PART TEN-----


First Officer Vandel returned into the jungle to tend to Scot …
Down the beach Peterson come running excitedly from where he had been searching among the rocks for crabs,, waving his arms and running as fast as he could…

“Sir,, sir”… Peterson breathlessly shouted…”Ships sir”…pointing to the North…

“It’s a convoy”… Captain Harrington said as he looked thru his binoculars…”Looks like a couple of Battleships with some Cruisers”…

“Are they ours?”…

“Can’t tell yet…too far away…get the men together and have them stay put”…

“Yes sir”…Peterson said as he made his way towards their hiding place…

The steel gray giants of the American Pacific fleet cruised around the tiny island in an ever tightening circle,, finally stopping to the North of the island at about 5 miles distance…
Just before dawn the great guns on the Battleships and Cruisers opened fire on the island…The ground shook as each shell landed,, palm trees exploded and fire balls of destruction landed everywhere on the island…The men of the Lady Eva huddled together in their tiny dugout space,, hoping that their luck would hold out for just a little longer…The bombardment lasted about an hour,, the tiny island was almost without a single palm tree standing…Grey-black smoke filtered thru the remains of the jungle…
An eerie quite was everywhere,, only the crackling of burning Palms broke thru the stillness…The drone of diesel engines soon filled the air,, as landing craft made for the beaches…
Young Marines jumped out of them as soon as the ramps came down…Firing their machine guns into the remains of the jungle…Mortar shells and rifle fire from the remaining
Japanese garrison stuck down the Marines as they rushed up the beach…Ever forward the Marines pushed into the jungle,,
firing at anything that moved,, grenades and flamethrowers
flushing out the hidden Japanese…
Captain Harrington and his men listened as the sounds of battle grew nearer and nearer to them…each man barely breathing,, trying not to make any sound that may give them away…
Captain Harrington peered between the Palm leaves,, and then slowly dug his way out…He stood with his hands raised…

“Don’t shoot,, don’t shoot”…”We’re Americans”…he shouted to the two nearby Marines that he had seen…

-------STOP HERE,, COME BACK TOMORROW------
-------END OF PART ELEVEN-----


“Well I’ll be”…where’d you come from?”…asked the young
Private….
“Hey Sergeant”…”Looky here what I found”…

First Officer Vandel and Captain Harrington sat on the cargo hold hatch of the hospital ship USS Refuge,, each wrapped in a blanket…Captain Harrington staring down into his empty coffee cup…

“You know,, no one could have done better than you did Captain”…”You got us all to safety”…

Captain Harrington gave no indication that he had heard Mr.Vandel,, he kept his head down,, just slowly turning the coffee cup in his hands…

“You did it”…

”I think I’ll go down and see how Scot is doing”…Captain Harrington said as he stood up…
“40 men,, 40 men”…Captain Harrington said silently as he
disappeared down the gangway…………..

-------STOP HERE------
-------THE END------

3 comments:

Drowsey Monkey said...

I scrolled over it ... does that count? ;)

I'll BE BACK!

And thanks for letting me know about chickens in heat ... I learned something new already.

Bob Johnson said...

Excellent, I read the whole thing in one sitting,lol.love your stories,you take me away to a different place,just read your first post, hopefully for just a while.

gt281 said...

to AstroBob:
Thanks for the read...
It didn't come out as exciting as I wanted,, but it was a good try...
At least everyone didn't die in this one...lol...