ECUADOR: Galapagos Pirates

The trim, 110-ft. U.S. yacht Valinda stood at anchor off Ecuador's Galápagos Islands in predawn darkness. The weather was balmy; the yacht's owner, Los Angeles Attorney William Rhodes Hervey Jr., 48, dozed on deck. Suddenly Hervey was roused by the chugging engines of two ancient fishing boats pulling alongside. Remembering a warning about seagoing thieves among the islands, he warned the boats to keep off, tried to kick one of them from Valinda's side.

It was no use. Waving pistols, 21 ragged, filthy men piled over the rail. Wakened by shouts, Hervey's wife Mildred rushed on deck, was held at...

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