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Now he had another problem—the plane he had chartered for his getaway wasn't leaving until the next day. George III, six months old, had a stomach virus and wouldn't stop crying. Foreman sat up through the night in his room, trying to hush him, envisioning the possibility of kidnapping charges. At 4 a.m. he heard a voice.
"This is the police. Your hotel room is surrounded. Give yourself up."
"These children want to go with me," he shouted back. "I have their passports and birth certificates. They're American citizens. The only way to get them is to break in and kill me!"
As dawn was breaking, he was at the hotel entrance, and in the uncertain light he saw a huge army truck, a detachment of men in black berets with cartridge belts across their chests and armed with semiautomatic weapons. It was the SSU, the island's special fighting force.
They marched toward him. He placed his children behind him, folded his arms and stood inside the double-glass sliding doors, praying, trembling. Just as they reached the door, he heard a command from behind them. They backed oil' and drove away, telling him they would return with an order for him to be in court at 9 a.m.
"My wife's cousin was the top lawyer on the island," he would say later. "I knew I'd lose the case and never see my children again."
Foreman began shelling out thousand-dollar bills again. He left the hotel as if heading for the court, then, on a desolate stretch of the road, switched his children to a van he had arranged to have waiting and lay down on its floor. The van raced to the airport. George III screamed and vomited. The driver hopped out to locate the pilot, and returned, his eyes wide with fear. "Mr. Foreman," he said excitedly, "the police say no airplane can leave the island until you have been apprehended."
"I thought, 'This is it,' " Foreman would recall. "I can't light anymore. I used to be heavyweight champion of the world, and now here I am, sweating, hiding from the police, cleaning up diarrhea. Freeda kept saying, 'I gotta tell the police this is my daddy,' and 'I want a Big Mac and french fries.' "
The driver had another idea. He pulled away from the airport and headed toward the sea. An old 50-foot boat with a two-man crew was about to leave for the nearby island of St. Vincent. A government official had already stamped the list of departing passengers, but for $5,000 the captain stashed Foreman and the children in the boat and added their names to the list.
The boat shoved off, and soon Freeda became seasick. She would vomit, then look up and sing, " George Washington, George Washington, we honor you today," and "Lincoln, Lincoln, I've been thinking." Foreman hugged her and cried and they sang a duet of America the Beautiful, with George III squalling in accompaniment.