-Written By Robert Lewis
(Reading Time: 10 min Approx)
My brother Dave and I are on our boat headed upriver to a nice little fishing spot our dad took us to as kids. It’s way out in the wilderness with nothing around for miles. As we pulled up to the small clearing just large enough for our tent and a fire. Dave said, “Greg, if you will, jump on the bank and tie us off to a tree.” With the boat tied securely to a tree, we set up our tent and started gathering wood for our fire.
We decided to leave everything on the boat, so we weren’t tripping over coolers and camping gear in the small space. We got out fishing lines in the water as soon as possible. The fish here are big and aggressive, and I can’t remember a time we came out here and didn’t get a good catch. Night fall sets in early out here in the woods, and it gets dark thirty.
As we sat fishing in the dim light of our camp fire and a small propane lantern, I noticed a small slow-moving light out on the water. It was slowly getting closer to us, and I realized it must be a boat. As it got closer, a mans voice called out, “Hello there!” The small flat bottom boat pulled up to the bank beside ours, and two big burly men made their way onto the river bank.
I said, “Hello, I’m Greg and this is my brother Dave.” One of the men said, “I’m Smith, and he’s Wesson,” as he stepped aside I could see the other man was pointing a revolver at me and Dave. He said, “We want all your money and don’t try anything stupid and end up dead.”
Dave was slowly reaching for his wallet, and I couldn’t move. I guess I was paralyzed from fear. The man with the gun was becoming more agitated with me because I wasn’t following directions. He moved closer and stuck the barrel of the pistol right up to my nose. I remember feeling a warm liquid running down my leg, yet I was still frozen.
Dave tried to intervene and stepped closer to plead with the man, but the man turned and shot Dave. The gunshot snapped me back to reality and I rushed to my brother who was laying on the ground holding his shoulder. The men grabbed our wallets and jumped back on their boat and headed upriver. Dave was bleeding bad, so I used my shirt and a piece of rope from the boat to make a tunicate.
I helped Dave into the boat and kicked some dirt on the fire. As I got to the driver seat, the keys were gone. The men must have taken them when I wasn’t looking. We had ores in case of an emergency but to control an eighteen-foot bass boat with ores by myself was going to be a chore. Lucky for us, our truck was down river at the boat launch.
I pushed the boat off the bank and jumped in. The current wasn’t very swift, but it was enough that we could drift back to the truck, stopping was going to be the trick but I will conquer that task when I need to. It seemed like an eternity slowly drifting down the river, and Dave was getting worse. He was starting to fall in and out of consciousness, and I was trying to keep him awake.
It was going to be light soon and I was starting to recognize landmarks along the bank, we were getting close to the launch now. “Hang in there Dave, it won’t be long now buddy.” I was so scared my brother was going to die, and at this point I was running off adrenaline. I could see the launch up ahead on the right, so I grabbed an ore and started paddling as hard as I could to steer the boat to the bank.
This big boat was so heavy, and the current was fighting me. I got the boat over to the bank close enough that the bottom hit ground in the shallow water. I lifted Dave up over my shoulder and struggled to carry him to the truck. This was not easy because he outweighs me by about forty pounds. I dug the truck keys out of Dave’s pocket and we raced for the nearest hospital.
By now he was completely out and non-responsive. I kept saying, “Don’t you die on me Dave, don’t you…” I pulled in to the Emergency room entrance and ran in to get help. They rushed out with a gurney to get him into the trauma unit. There was nothing else I could do but pray and wait.
There was steam rolling out from under the hood of the truck where I pushed it so hard to get him here in time. After about an hour the doctor came out and said, “He’s very lucky to be alive, the bullet just missed a major artery, but the good news is it passed clean through.” “He has lost a lot of blood and we are giving him more now, he’s going to be very groggy from the pain medicine, but you are welcome to go in and see him now. And so, you know with any gunshot we legally have to report it to the police.” “The police yes,” I said.