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Grandfather scoured the woods for some time before he finally picked up the horse’s trail. He threw his saddle upon his shoulder and started the arduous hike.


After a long walk following the hoof prints he spied a flash of blue and red through the trees. Grandfather froze in his tracks as the colors turned into the image of an Indian. The Indian continued to approach Grandfather almost as if they were on the same path. It was only then that Grandfather realized the Indian was clutching a rope and that his horse was on the other end.


“What would come of this awkward situation?” Grandfather told me in in one of his many repetitions of this part day of his trip to Jericho.


“The Indian approached me without fear,” Grandfather continued. “Was I facing Death or Deliverance? Once more the Lord had placed me on a crossroads in my life. Then with one swift movement of his arm the Indian thrust his hand forward pointing directly at me with an open palm. And just as swiftly he thrust the open palm back toward the horse as if asking ‘are you and the horse one?’ Wishing to respond quickly, I, with open palm, pointed past the Indian to my horse, then to myself. The Lord had, again, intervened. To my disbelief the Indian held out the rope towards me. I slowly approached him and cautiously took the rope.”


Grandfather stated that both he and the Indian made some non-threatening movements indicating “thank you” and “your welcome.”


Not knowing were he was, Grandfather took out his map and compass.


He offered the Indian to share his biscuit while studying the map. The Indian took one bite and promptly spit it on the ground. He quickly followed up by cleaning his tongue with his fingers. Grandfather was concerned that he had insulted his new friend but soon realized that the Indian simply had no taste for English baked goods. However, it was quite different with the dried lamb. The Indian took a piece and sampled it by licking the surface a few times. A smile came upon his face whereby he tossed the whole thing in his mouth and began chewing vigorously.


The Indian then made a motion that must have begged his leave; and off he loped through the underbrush, at times leaping like a deer.


How Grandfather wished he would have stayed. Maybe the Indian could have helped to locate the old Sullivan trail.


And so, there was Grandfather alone again in a section of forest that he knew nothing about let alone his location. He back tracked the trail that he had followed to find his horse. Eventually he found the camping spot where he had spent the previous horrible, rainy, and thundering night.


By that time mid-day was approaching. Taking another compass bearing he rode in the direction of the Sullivan trail while at the same time hoping that the old soldier, who had given him directions, knew what he was speaking of.


© wtomosky