By Enrique Flores-Galbis
While Julian's mom and dad make the heartbreaking selection to ship him and his brothers clear of Cuba to Miami through the Pedro Pan operation, the lads are thrust right into a new international the place bullies run rampant and it's no longer continually transparent how top to guard themselves.
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Extra resources for 90 Miles to Havana
It was a gallant gesture on his part, since the passengers were on their way home to Haiti when their ship was captured. As soon as I heard that the Dauphine was to be sent to Port-au-Prince, I was determined to go with her. My brother had told me about the barracoon my father and his partner owned in that city, the warehouse in which they kept the men, women, and children the slave catchers caught in the surrounding hills. Getting up my nerve, I forthwith went to see Lieutenant Kell. I located him in his cabin, smoking an unlit pipe and reading a ten-day-old copy of the Shipping Gazette, which we had found on the Dauphine.
The 290 had arrived at the islands with its decks grimed with rubbish. But within a week they were sweet and clean, awnings snugly spread, yards squared to the inch, the rigging hauled tight, all brass ashine. And the men themselves were no longer a gang of derelicts but a crew smartly dressed and anxious to fight. This was the work of Captain Semmes. At first glance, as I have said, he might have been a Frenchman, with his trim shape, his huge mustache with pointed ends that he carefully waxed every morning and evening and wore a little net over at night—a man you might see at a Parisian cafe sipping cognac.
The five of us could not agree, so after some debate Carroll made up the list, sending me ashore with two companions, one of them being Lem Wilson. Far to the west, as I stood at the rail, the sea darkened and disappeared above the blue sea of the orange groves. At the foot of the mountain the lights of the city began to pick out fluttering shapes in the dusk. A light wind that smelled of orange trees was moving about. It was no random shape the lamps and the flambeaux slowly built up there below me, but a long, curved saber with its point resting in the jungle, its handle a half-mile away on the shore.
90 Miles to Havana by Enrique Flores-Galbis