pumpie part 4
Naturally a brief period of chaos followed.
The stovepipe had pulled away from the wall. Dooney threw the door open but that only allowed some mud and a big rock to tumble in. Our cramped quarters were filling up with mud and smoke at an alarming rate! "Put it on the fire! Throw the mud on the fire!" someone shouted, and we managed to get the stove door open and the stove full of mud without killing anybody.
It was too dark beyond to see what lay on the other side of the surviving window, but we could tell there was not mud and rocks pressing against it. But a little exploration revealed only a cave about the size of a closet formed there by the falling rocks and mountainside. We were buried alive.
The candles still burned brightly, so air was getting in through the cracks and fissures. Not enough to draw out the smoke from a fire, but enough to breathe and burn candles. For how long? Who knew?
Oh well. At least we had a few walnuts, and BEER! Beer has calories, you can live on it for days, right?
A long growling belch was the answer to that question. That damn Canadian Dave Sim had drank all the beer! ALL of it! CASES of beer! Gone in the few short hours we had been in that cabin!
I'm going to skip through the next five days. Someday I may write a book, if I can face the horror. But I'll be brief for now, and get to the Pumpie part soon. I just want to quickly cover the main events, and straighten out a couple of tall tales and rumors that have festered over the years.
The first couple of days we felt sure that Peter and rescuers would arrive just any moment. But we gave up on that around Day Three. The story of Peter's spelunking adventures and our final rescue many days later can be included in another book someday. A book written by him.
I'm proud to state here for the record that this rumor is true: We did indeed all vote to preserve the candles for light, rather than eat them. It's true! And we decided on this BEFORE the candles were all eaten, which is incredible considering who all was involved in the deciding!
This rumor is absolutely most definitely NOT true: Nobody drank their own or anybody else's urine! It was never even considered, as it was completely unnecessary. To the contrary, moisture was our enemy! All one had to do was peel a soaked board off the wall and lick the rocks behind it.
True: Yes, we did find a hallucinogenic toad in the mud. Yes, we did lick the toad and trip. Our opportunities for entertainment were severely limited. OF COURSE we licked the toad!
False: There was never a pact drawn up and signed in blood to kill Peter Laird.
I hope you can imagine how horrible it is to be trapped with a bunch of cartoonists in a dark wet stinking underground cabin with no food, heat, outside contact or clean water for days. If you can, maybe you can imagine yourself doing what I did on the sixth day.
next: pumpie, finally