What's All This Then?

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What's All This Then?

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Smokescreen
by Robert Sabbag

Field-Tested by Jim Coudal

in Puerto Morales, Mexico

The middle of an unsettled night in Puerto Moreles, Mexico. A warm, thick wind blows through the house. The family sleeps upstairs.

The reader meant to get to bed early but is now thoroughly engrossed in Robert Sabbag’s Smokescreen, a chronicle of the beginnings of the American drug-smuggling trade. An adventure tale, cheerfully remembered. The whole story has a ‘those were the days’ feel to it. The scene in which a rickety DC-3, stuffed with Santa Marta Gold, makes a coordinated midnight landing on a stretch of American desert highway is worth the read all by itself. The marijuana trade seems relatively innocent, even idealistic. But it doesn’t take long for things to become much uglier and more dangerous as cocaine becomes the cargo of choice. It starts out like a Jimmy Buffet song and ends like Scarface. And it’s a pretty exciting trip the whole way through.

Jim Coudal runs Coudal Partners, a design firm and website devoted to following the staff’s whims to their logical or illogical conclusions.

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Read the next Field Test by Todd Dills