the Cold Steel of the Revolver Pressed Deeply Into My Midriff.

My family and I were living on the island of Grenada. The Cubans had invaded, and we were told to stay in our home, but after a week we were out of food, so my husband, my nine year old daughter and I piled into our Jeep and started down the steep mountain-side, on our way to St. George's, the capitol, to buy groceries.


Early that morning, I had found a note nailed to our chicken coop.  The note read, "They are going to kill you all." The note was unsigned. Our death warrents had been issued due to the fact that the Prime Minister, Sir Eric Gairy, was our best friend on the island, and because we spent a lot of time at the governor general's house.


All along the two laned road into St. George's, we saw Cuban soldiers, rifles at the ready, staring grim faced at the occasional car that ventured out onto the dangerous roads.


My family and I rushed into the market, bought enough food to last for a few weeks, then headed home.


About two miles out of town, we saw a man walking along the road, hitchhiking. He was wearing a soldier's uniform. We thought he was walking to one of the many police stations that had been taken over by the Cuban Soldiers. I told my husband to stop and give him a ride, thinking that if we did,  it would look good for us if we delivered him to the police station in Birch Grove.

The man jumped into the back of the Jeep with my daughter. I told him we were only going as far as Birch Grove, and that their was a police station there.  Birch Grove was where we left the main road and drove straight up the mountain-side to reach our secluded home.


Our passenger surprised us by saying he did not want to stop at Birch Grove.  He said he wanted to go on to Grenville. Grenville was about four miles farther than we needed to go. I told him that we were going to drop him off at Birch Grove, and that was as far as we would take him. He was very upset about that, and started to argue with me.


As we neared Birch Grove's police station, a car went whizzing past us. We could see that it was full of armed soldiers. In a few minutes, the car returned, stopping suddenly across from our Jeep. Four men jumped from the car, pointing their guns at us.  The lead soldier walked up to the passenger side of the Jeep, where I was sitting.


"Get our of the Car!" He screamed. Just at that moment, the hitchhiker  jumped out and crouched down behind the Jeep. He had a gun. Before I could move, or ask what I had done wrong, The soldier, who by then was standing in front of our Jeep, started shooting.  Bullets were flying past our heads and exiting through the back of the topless Jeep. The hitchhiker returned his fire. We were caught in the middle!


My husband had just had another heart attack the week before, so he was pretty helpless. I reach toward the back, dodging the flying bullets, grabbed my daughter by her hair and threw her to the floor. She had been sitting on a fifty pound of flour. I pushed my husband's head down onto the seat. I knew I was going to die, but all I could think about was saving my family.


After what seemed to be an eternity of flying bullets, the hitchhiker raised up and started running. The soldier told me to go to the jail, and not try to get away, because I was under arrest for helping a prisoner to escape!


He jumped back into his car and sped away, searching the mountains for the hitchhiker. My husband turned the Jeep around and headed for the jail. My daughter and I were both crying. My husband's heart was hurting.


As soon as we got to the jail, I jumped from my seat and started walking toward the main office. I was crying loudly, and I could hear my daughter crying from the Jeep. Many men were gathered at the front door, mostly out of curiosity.


"What are you doing here?" I was asked, by a young man that we had know since moving to Grenada four years before.  "I've been arrested for helping a prisoner escape." I cried.


"Nonsense!" Replied our friend. "There's been a terrible mistake.  I'll handle it.  You go on home, and I'll take care of everything."


I felt much relief as I climbed back into the Jeep.  Once again, we headed home.


Our Jeep hadn't traveled more than a quarter of a mile when here came the same car full of the men who had sent me to jail.  The car swerved in front of us, blocking our way. Once again, the soldier jumped from his car, gun in hand, and ran up to me.  "I told you to go to jail!" He screamed.  "Get out of the Jeep! I'm going to kill you right here!" 


 I got out of the Jeep, put my hands up, and tried to explain why I wasn't in jail. He got so close to me that I could smell his foul body odor and his bad breath.


I was wearing shorts and a halter top. He took the barrel of his pistol and shoved it deeply into my flesh. I flinched at the feel of the cold steel against my hot skin. He had his finger on the trigger. I knew he had never held a gun before, because he was a native Grenadian, and guns were not permitted on the island. The gun he was holding had been brought in from Cuba or Russia. 

Only a miracle could save me. I silently prayed, "Oh God, I need your help so desperately now." I glanced down at the shaking hand that was holding the gun.

I tried to comfort my husband and daughter by telling them that I would be alright, and not to worry.  I told them that I would always be with them, no matter what happened. I pleaded with the soldier, "Please don't kill me in front of my family! Let them go on home first! 

I had given up all hope just as the young man from the jail came running up to us.  "Don't shoot!  Don't shoot!" He screamed at the man holding the gun.  "She is innocent!  They didn't know they had picked up a prisoner!"


 "Do you think the Howards would help a man escape, then drop him off so close to a jail?  He could have killed them! They were in mortal danger while he was in their car! Do you think they would let him ride beside their daughter if they had known he was an escaped prisoner with a gun? Can't you see what courage they had to make him get out so close to the jail?"


The soldier stood quietly for what seemed to be minutes, pondering the words of the young man, then slowly removed his gun from my bare waist. He put his it back into his pocket, got back into his car with the other men, and drove away.


That night, my family and I started packing.  We'd had enough. We were going home.  Back to the USA.

Kayrah Kayrah
66-70, F
9 Responses Oct 24, 2006

You should write a book! This is awesome! I love it!

That courageous little girl grew up to be one courageous lady! Kudos to you!

Now, that it is over and everone is save, now you have a great story and reason to be proud! You are a very special woman and you are braver then most men or women. Now you have reason to thank that fool who had a gun but no commen sense, because he show you how truly great you are. I wish I knew you better because you are a rare hero!

I have goosebumps and chills ran up and down my spine. Thank god you were saved! I just couldn't imagine living like that. I see that this story is over a year old and I hope you found peace back in the USA and your husband and his heart are good.

Wow-Holy Moly! Living where I do I could never imagine that.You must have been scared to death. Thank God that guy came running-I can't blame you a speck for coming home. God love ya!

good God, what a terrible experience. you showed amazing courage.

omg my heartbeat was getting faster just by reading this <br />
that is so scary!

You're a brave person but, besides the obvious, you're lucky too.

I don't know what I would do! I have a hard time imagining it. That must have been a tramatic experience for you. Good thing your friend got there in time. I'm so glad the story had a happy ending.