Prairie's Children -- Back to the West, Chapter 8 (Final)

 

 

 

 

I have been away for a long time, but I knew I had to finish this story. In the future, I think I may present a story in full before placing it here. My stories are to be published in book form, starting with the
“Adventures of Lizzie Jane”

 

I want to thank Joyce, the owner of this site for giving me a chance to become a writer -- something I had dreamed about for a long time.

 

I have given the story a quick ending. I hope you do not mind.

 

To bring you up to date: Ruth’s child was kidnaped and she traveled westward to get her daughter back. In Chapter 7, she had located where the kidnapers had settled, but the kidnapers were planning on ambushing Ruth and her friends. But, they had been warned by a Mexican lady in Arizona of he kidnaper’s plans, so this is where this chapter starts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prairie’s Children

Back to the West

Chapter 8

(Final Chapter)

 

   

.

 

  “Now, what do you plan to do?” asked Annie 

“I dunno,” answered Ruth.

Without saying a word, Joseph mounted his horse and rode in the same direction as the Mexican lady.

“Wonder what he is up to?” questioned Ruth.

“I dunno, but he has something up his sleeve,” replied Annie.

Very carefully, as only an Indian could do without being observed, Joseph followed the woman on a hunch that she would lead him to the kidnapers or, at least, close to them.

Seeing her enter a house, Joseph assumed that is where the woman made her residence, so he dismounted and quietly moved around the area, hoping to find the residence of the kidnapers. He knew nothing about them or their names, but he assumed no one would be expecting him to be snooping around.

As he wandered around the village, he listened very carefully to every discussion. He did not speak Mexican Spanish, but he understood some words, probably enough to realize if someone was speaking of a child. Also, he would look for Americans that would be speaking English since they were from the United States.

Luck, fate, or God seemed to be on his side when he heard a conversation from within a small rock house. Sneaking up to the window, he listened more carefully.

One of the men was speaking. “There is a road leading toward Fort Huachuca with a lot of thick shrubbery -- a perfect place for an ambush. You need to get the women before they see you. In fact, I think I can find a couple of sharpshooters that will do the job for you if the price is right. It does not take much of a price to find two good men.”

Joseph glanced through an open window and saw what he was looking for -- a small child playing on the floor. Joseph decided he would wait until dark, sneak in, and grab the baby. He was sure it was the daughter that Ruth had been searching.

Hiding in the shadows of night, Joseph finally saw a lamp being snuffed out. After what seemed to be sufficient time for the residents to drift off to sleep, he quietly eased up to a partially open window. Looking carefully in all directions to be sure he was not seen, he slowly raised the window and slid very quietly inside. Locating the baby in a crib, he reached in, placed his hand over the mouth

of the child to prevent crying or screaming and, raising the latch on the door, he quickly and quietly departed.

Joseph had mounted his horse when he hear a woman’s scream and, looking back, he saw a light in the dwelling. Realizing someone had awaken and discovered the baby was missing, he quickly rode out of the village, holding the baby with one arm. He wanted to put as much distance between him and the kidnapers as he could, thinking that surely someone would start searching for the child.

Joseph discovered Ruth and Annie sleeping on some hay in the livery stable. Waking Ruth, he proudly presented the child to a surprised, but joyful mother. Annie woke and reached for her six-shooter before she realized what had happened. The trio rejoiced for a moment before discussing what to do next.

“They know we are here,” stated Annie. “They will be looking for us and probably have folks checking all the roads out of town. It is possible that they could notify the sheriff and claim that we kidnaped their baby.”

“Well, I gotta get outa town somehow,” answered Ruth. “Maybe I could hobo a train?”

Thinking for a moment, Annie continued, “I hear that there is a railroad -- the El Paso and Southeastern railroad, but I think there are very few boxcars, if any. It was built to carry copper to the smelter at El Paso. Anyway, let’s check it out.”

Again, it seemed that God was working. The train was ready to leave immediately and there was a boxcar -- only one -- but a boxcar -- and it was empty! Ruth and Annie climbed aboard, being careful not to be seen. Joseph, being very wise, volunteered to take care of the horses. He knew that if saddled horse were seen near the railroad, someone might put two and two together and realize that had been a way of escape. With a sad and heavy heart, he bid farewell to the two women as the locomotive began chugging and moving away.

Again, God seemed to be with them. Ruth and Annie discovered the railroad connected to another railroad owned by the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe., a very railroad company, sometimes known simply as the Santa Fe.

 

With her baby in her arms, Ruth began to thank God for returning her child. There was no doubt that everything was a miracle; for instance, being able to understanf the direction to travel, the friendship of Joseph and Annie who strangers when they first met, and providing the train as a means of escape. Once back home, Ruth could easily prove that Little Maudie belonged to her, but not in Arizona.

 

Ruth remembered her first experience and being thrown off a train. She had long decided that was the will of God, too, for it gave her a chance to meet Annie. However, this time was different. No one bothered the young ladies and they remained in the same boxcar until it came time for them to say their goodbyes.

 

Brownwood, Texas, was the place for Ruth and Annie to depart and go their separate ways. They promised to keep in touch with each other, although in their hearts, they realized that probably would not happen. However, they were thankful for their meeting and the bonds that kept them together in such rough times.

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Josh had almost given up on seeing Ruth again. It had been almost two years since she had slipped away to “who knows where” to find her child. He had spent many lonely nights in tears, his heart burning with desire for his wife. Many thoughts were going through his mind. Was Ruth still alive? Would he ever see her again? He had turned to her God many times seeking answers.

 

Josh was returning from the field when he looked down the dusty road that led to Grant and Lolus’s house and saw a weary figure coming. It looked like she had a small child. Could it be? Yes -- it was. It was Ruth coming home.

 

He ran to meet her and grabbed her and little Maudie at the same time pulling them together with his arms as far as they could reach. Crying, Ruth presented little Maudie and said, “This is you daddy. We are home, now.”

 

During the long trip home, Ruth and little Maudie had a chance to bond -- as mother and daughter. Little Maudie was frighten at first, but with a kind voice and tender loving care, Ruth won her daughter’s love.

 

And now --- they were home.

 

Sweet. sweet home. To stay. To be a loving family. And giving thanks to God for his power and protection.

 

 

 

The End  

 

Prairie's Children -- Back to the West, Chapter 8 (Final)

Thank you for completing your story.
May Your Light Forever Shine

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