* * * * *
I was in trouble, but I did not know it.
The enemy was the truck. A flaw in design terminated the exhaust pipe at the back of the cab instead of taking it all the way to the end of the bed. As we drove in the darkness of the early morning, the toxic carbon-monoxide filtered up through the bed into our space and engulfed us, eventually filling our young lungs. Dad drove the truck higher and higher into the mountains while we became lethargic, then asleep, then unconscious, and finally breathless.
He pulled me out first and felt a faint heartbeat. Immediately he gave me aid. He pinched my nose and then did for me what I could not do for myself, his breath became mine. The other men did the same for my brother.