Prairie's Children, Return to the West -- Chapter 2

 She felt a gentle hand touch her shoulder and heard a man's voice as sweet as if it came from the mouth of an angel, “Sister, what is wrong? I will pray with you.”

Ruth looked up, saw a man and believed his face shone. "Are you God?"



Prairie's Children

Return to the West

Sequel to "Home in Alabama"

Chapter 2

By Starla AnneLowry



Shortly after losing sight of the house, Ruth dismounted and began to look for tracks or some kind of clue that could indicate the number of horses and in which direction the kidnappers had chose to travel. To her amazement, there wasn't any fresh horse tracks. Instead there were tracks of some other kind of vehicle – but not wagon tracks or buggy tracks. Puzzled, Ruth turned thoughts over in her mind, what kind of tracks were these?


Suddenly, it dawned on her. They must be the tracks of one of those new-fangled horseless carriages. That must be it! Well, she decided, that might make it easier to follow.

Mile after mile, she followed these strange tracks. On the dirt road, they were easily distinguished from other tracks that appeared from time to time. Not being familiar with Alabama this far away from the farm, she was unable to determine where they could be headed. Meeting a traveler on the road, she was informed that the road was a route to a place that led to a new city named Birmingham. Birmingham was not an old established town like Blountsville, so she was unprepared for what lay ahead.

Not expecting a boom town, Ruth was shocked to see a bustling city that, in a few years, had outgrown Blountville tremendously. Since there were other horseless carriages roaming the streets, the promising trail was completely lost.


Now, what could she do? She asked a few questions, but it would have been easier to find the proverbial needle in a haystack. After pondering the question for awhile, she decided that surely the kidnappers would not stop here, but would travel further westward. Asking some new questions, she determined that the quickest route would be toward Tuscaloosa and on into Mississippi.


So, with very little money and resources, she had to decide whether she should continue. She knew she could live off the wilderness, but the topography was different from what she had been accustomed. Josh and she had arrived in Blountsville from the northwest, and in the direction she was going was Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and somewhere along the Mexican border. She had no idea of what obstacles she would face.


She quickly made the decision. She would forge ahead in a desperate attempt to find her baby daughter, even if it meant that she would never return and maybe die in strange territory, never to see her husband or relatives again.


She began to think of something her mother used to say, “When you need help and no way to turn, turn to the Lord. He always has outstretched arms.”


Although a new Christian, she was not ashamed to dismount and get on her knees on the street and bow her head in prayer. She felt a gentle hand touch her shoulder and heard a man's voice as sweet as if it came from the mouth of an angel, “Sister, what is wrong? I will pray with you.”


Ruth looked up, saw a man and believed his face shone. “Are you God?”


No, Sister, I am the pastor of the Third Presbyterian Church, but I know God – personally.”


With tears, Ruth poured out her heart with detail of her mission and how she had to find her baby. The man said, “Let's pray. God loves you and he loves your baby.”


The prayer from the minister's lips seem to ring the prayer bells of Heaven and Ruth felt a warm, glow filling her heart and knew somehow everything would be all right.


Let's go to my house. My wife will be pleased to meet you. Meanwhile, I will see what I can do about getting some help. I don't have any money myself, but God supplies my need. We will trust him to supply yours.”


As Ruth led her horse through the streets of Bimingham, the minister talked about God. All of a sudden, he stopped and approached a man wearing tattered clothing.

Brother, your shoes are just about gone. You are barefoot. What size do you wear?”

The man in the tattered clothes mentioned his size and the minister said, “That is the size I wear, Brother. I am almost home. Here, take mine”. To Ruth's amazment, the kind minister took off his shoes and gave them to the man. “Now, let us pray.


Ruth bowed her head in prayer again since it seemed the thing to do. She had never met a man like this – a kind voice and giving away the shoes that he was wearing. They looked like new shoes, too.


Thank you so much,” said the man with quivering lips.


Ruth did not say a word. As they began to walk down the sidewalk again, Ruth began to question in her mind, 'Who is this strange minister who was so kind hearted?'


The pastor's wife was friendly, also. As Ruth poured out her heart again, she had a new shoulder to cry on.


Shortly, the pastor returned with another man – a local businessman.


My dear, our pastor told me about your problem. You don't know where to start looking for your baby except somewhere in the west and you don't have any money. Is that correct?” the businessmen inquired as he sat facing Ruth holding her hands in his.


Ruth nodded her head.


Do you have anyone to assist you in your search?”


James Hickock,” answered Ruth. “He is a U.S. Marshall.”


You mean Wild Bill Hickock? Why, dear, he is dead – shot in the back while playing cards. Been dead for quite a while.”


Ruth looked up in shock. The one man she had expected to ask for help was dead. “I don't know of anyone else,” she replied as she burst into tears. For a woman who seemed so brave in the past was now showing her weaker feminine side.


The businessman looked up at the pastor and slowly shook his head.


Dear, the west is a big territory and you don't know where to start looking. How do you expect to find your child?” asked the businessman.


I don't know. With God's help, I guess. I have got to find her and will die trying if it comes to that.”


Well, I can give you $100 to get you started. It will be my gift to you from God. I have been blessed in my business and I want you to have it – and the pastor and I will pray that God will give you wisdom and return your child back to you.”


Oh, thank you. I will pay you back – honest, I will,” answered Ruth.


No dear, it is yours – a gift from God. You will not owe me a penny.”


With all heads bowed, the pastor prayed such a powerful prayer that Ruth believed she could hear the bells of Heaven ring again -- just like the first time this Man of God prayed for her. Was that a sign?  Surely, it must be, she thought.


She knew her baby would be found. No doubt about it.


---To be Continued


Copyright 2010 by Starla Anne Lowry


Note: This story is fiction, but the pastor is based on an actual person -- Bro. Bryan of Birmingham -- a man loved by all.  I tried to protray him as the saint history records.  He was a man of prayer and was reported to have stopped an argument by having prayer with two men arguing on the street.  He was even known to give his personal possessions to others, even giving the clothes off his back to someone who needed them.  He ministered to firemen and policemen of the city.  When he died, his hearse was a fire truck in honor of his service.


There is a statue of Bro. Bryan on Red Mountain overlooking Birmingham.  He is shown as a man on his knees in prayer. I realize that I could never truly protray this minister as the great man he was, but I tried in my weak, humble way. I trust that I brought honor to his name to the many thousands who may read this that never knew about Bro. Bryan.







Prairie's Children -- Return to the West, Chapter 2

Thank you Starla. Brother Brian truly lived the way taught by the Lord.
As for Ruth,when she finds those varmints, they'd best be ready to be nice to Ruth.

May Your Light Forever Shine

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