Copyright© 2015 by maypop
Jim woke up the next morning and got into his Bible to prepare himself for the day. He prayed for a good day, for his grandparents. They must be devastated not knowing what happened to them. He then prayed for himself and his safety.
He got some bread out of the bag and couldn't believe his eyes. The bread was molded beyond recognition. Jim looked around for something else to eat. He found some tomatoes his mother had canned. As he picked them up, his sore finger from touching the bug burned like fire! He looked at it but could not see any deterioration or mark. He would have to be real careful because he was in a hazardous environment. He opened the jar of tomatoes being careful not to hurt his sore finger again. He found some crackers and some mayonnaise. He would have crackers and tomatoes.
He bowed his head and gave thanks to God for his food. He placed the whole quart of tomatoes into a bowl he found in one of the boxes. He broke open the whole bag of crackers and crumbled them into the bowl. Finding a big spoon, he dug out a couple of spoonfuls of mayonnaise and stirred it into the mixture. "Wow! This is going to be good!" he said to himself and his new found friends. Before he could take a bite, he was bombarded by two hungry animals! He placed corn for Perch and gave Pandy a bag of crackers to which he played with until he decided he liked them.
After he had eaten, Jim looked around the room. It was time to start building a raft if he was going to get out of this place alive! The row boat wouldn't make it. Jim remembered what his father said about the Amazon. When he had looked out the window the day they came down, the Amazon was so big he could not see the end anywhere he looked. He knew he would have to go for many miles before he found his way out. Jim began to carry the two by eight's out one at a time. Being twenty-four feet long, they were so heavy he had to rest after each one. His shoulder was hurting from the weight of the long planks. It was hard to get them through the door and down the steps for a boy of Jim's size. Even though he was big for his age, he was only thirteen. That's still small for an adult!
He would nail together the planks with twenty penny nails to make a beam eight inches by eight inches by twenty-four feet long.
"Pandy, get off so I can build this raft or we're never going to get out of here!" demanded Jim, as Pandy was jumping all over the planks.
He began planning what he would need to do to build the raft. He took a pencil and piece of paper and sketched out his plan. He needed to put them together to form three beams; then, he would lay them side by side, measuring across outside to outside, making them parallel twelve feet wide, with one beam laying beside the water. He then centered the center beam between the outside beams. Forty-two by sixes laid flat down on top would make a platform twelve feet wide by twenty-four feet long. He didn't know how long it would take him to put them together, but he was determined to complete the project.
He laid down the first two by eight at the edge of the water. He then placed another one on top of it. He began nailing two nails every six inches along the plank. It was a slow process. It took him all morning to put together one beam. Pandy ran up and down the finished beam while Jim lined up the next set of planks. He nailed the first two and decided to take a break. He was hot and sweaty and ready to eat.
Jim went into the plane and looked into the boxes his mother had packed. He found cases of almost everything he needed with which to cook. He found all kinds of cases with jars his mother and grandmother had canned. There were jars of tomatoes, beans, corn, jams, fruits, and many other things. He also found some canned hams, flour, cornbread mixings, and all kinds of baking goods.
He opened a can of ham, a can of tomatoes, and a can of corn. He got a big bowl and poured the tomatoes and corn and diced the ham into it as well. "Boy, does this look good! Too bad I don't have any cornbread to mix with this," said Jim as he crumbled the last of the crackers into the bowl. Next went the mayonnaise, something that was a family favorite. It was now ready to eat. He bowed his head and thanked God for his food and safety, and dug in!
Jim decided to put the stove together because he hated to eat without bread. He dragged the Glenwood wood and kerosene burning kitchen stove to the door. The stove would break if he dropped it out the door.
Looking around he saw two by six planks. They were ten feet long. The dirt was firm enough that they would not sink into the ground or slide along the ground causing the other planks to slide out of the plane.
He placed six of them in the doorway down the steps. Then he cut a two by six to fit the planks and nailed them across the planks to keep them from slipping. He turned it over so the cross planks would be underneath, with the top one across the door so the cross plank was laying against the door on the outside. Jim stood on the planks and pulled the stove out and the legs straddled the planks. He had to let the stove down until the stove hit the planks because it was so heavy. He didn't get his fingers out in time, causing him to pinch his fingers. He managed to get them out, but fell back on the planks and slid down to the ground. He cried out in pain as he looked down at his fingers! They were red, but the skin was not broken. He held them with his other hand and shook them gently until the pain went away. When the pain subsided, he got up and walked back up the planks. He climbed over the cooking top of the stove to the end that was still in the plane. He picked up on the stove. Straining, he could hardly lift it but managed to lift and push until the legs reached the edge of the door. He gave it the last push out the door, letting the legs drop off the edge of the door onto the planks. It made a very loud noise, but who was there to listen because he was not going to pinch his fingers again! It broke the edge of the stove, but it stayed intact.
He then looked around for a place to put the stove. The tail wings were about ten feet off the ground. This would give him plenty of shelter in case of rain. Moving one side and then the other, he maneuvered the stove underneath the tail wing.