There was a yellow train that went to the little Mediterranean town of Sidi-Bou-Zid.
This was a “city of blue by the sea”. There was a town ordinance that all buildings and houses be painted white with blue doors windows and trim work which was a beautiful site to see.
The presidential palace was also there over looking the Mediterranean Sea. One of the Marines and I (Bill Nace) decided to go snorkeling at the end of a pier. As I lowered myself down into the water I realized that I had just dropped into a school of octopus.
Hundreds of them were writhing below me which I was not prepared to deal with. As I frantically swam away from the mound of the creatures and begun to surface, I heard the crack of a gun and water splashing up a short distance from us.
Then Cpl. Nace disappeared and I soon realized that we were in a restricted area because of the presidential palace.
A guard in a trench coat was waving us away, as he fired at us. Cpl. Nace never surfaced and I was totally scared.
I finally got on the train and headed back to the Embassy to report the incident. As the train made its way down the click-ity clack-ity tracks I couldn’t help but think how close I was to death and wondered what I would say to the officials at the Embassy when I got back .
Then out of the corner of my eye I saw Cpl. Nace standing against the side wall of the train as we were returning to Tunis looking out the window!
Somehow he had slipped away and he likewise couldn’t find me. He figured that I had suffered the same fate as I though he had.
Chapter # 37