Prairie's Children, Return to the West --- Chapter 6



Prairie's Children

Return to the West

Chapter 6




   The trip across the Southwest seemed to get slower and slower as the trio crept along. Traveling entirely on the instincts of Ruth, they continued along the border from El Paso across the New Mexico territory, stopping ocassionally to ask questions at a town or ranch along the way.

    The first clue came at Tombstone.

    “Well, did you find out anything at the newspaper office?” asked Joseph as Ruth and Annie returned to the livery stable where their horses were receiving the best of care.

    “Maybe,” answered Annie. “Hard to say, though. Four people came through -- two men and two women -- and they had a baby with them. Said they were headed to Bisbee. The reason they were noticed was that they were not looking for work. Most folks come here to work in the mines, but they were flooded some time ago and they go on to Bisbee hoping to find something in the copper mines.”

    “Yeah, it is kinda obvious Tombstone is not the boom town everybody thinks it is,” replied Joseph. “I found that out quick enough. It used to be -- back when Wyatt Earp was here.”

    Ruth stood there a moment before speaking. “You know, I feel like they may cross over into Mexico there. It is right on the border -- almost.”

    “Well, El Paso was near the border, too, as well as dozens of other places,” replied Joseph. “Why all of a sudden have you thought they might cross over at Bisbee?’

    “Oh -- just a feeling.” 

   Joseph shook his head.  The same thing Ruth had said so many times -- just a feeling.

    That has been all they have been going on for the last -- well, God knows how long. Joseph and Annie were tired, plumb tucked out, as the home folks say. Neither could say why they decided to come this far with Ruth except there was something that kept gnawing at their insides telling them that Ruth would never have made it this far alone.

    Again -- just a feeling. They wished that Ruth would give up and consider the child lost, but the love of a young mother appeared to be much stronger than logic.

    Ruth, on the other hand, remembered the preacher at church saying something about a “Holy Ghost” that would lead believers in the right way. Whether or not she was following the Holy Ghost or just a woman’s intuition, she did not know for sure, but she had nothing else to go on.

    It was not very far to Bisbee, but enough that it would probably take most of a day to get there, so it was decided to ask about bedding down at the livery stable. At first, the request was met with opposition as not being a suitable place for ladies, but after convincing the owner it was better than what they had been experiencing in the open air, the request was approved.

    Ruth spread a blanket over a small pile of hay and positioned herself so she could look at the setting sun over the horizon. As the sun slowly began to sink behind the Mule Mountains, she whispered a little prayer, “Please Lord, let me find my baby.” She began to weep and, closing her eyes, she began to drift off to sleep.

    In her dream, she saw a young child -- a little girl. No, that couldn’t be her baby, or could it? It was such a sweet child, holding its little arms out, begging to be hugged and cared for by its mother. As Ruth reached for it, two witches appeared out of nowhere, dressed in black, and quickly snatched the child away. Ruth could see little lips move trying to say “momma, momma”, still reaching with her tiny arms for a helpless mother as the witches disappeared into the darkness.

    Ruth awoke, startled, but with images of the witches firmly planted into her memory. Could she have been shown the faces of the women who had kidnaped her child? Ruth’s mother had always said the God worked in mysterious ways. Maybe He had this time.

    As the dawn began to break, Ruth watched daylight beginning to erase the dark night. She sensed a peace that flowed over her mind and soul as she replayed the events of her dream. Surely it was God telling her that everything was going to be all right. In spite of the peace, it seemed that Satan was trying to put doubts in her mind. If God was going to provide the means to find the child, why did he allow it to be kidnaped in the first place? Why is she having to suffer the hardships of traveling across strange country when she could be safe in Alabama?

    Ruth’s thoughts turned to her mother from whom had came the few things she knew about the Bible and Christian doctrines. Mother had taught Ruth that she should trust God and not question His motives. God knew exactly what he was doing and there was a purpose in everything. Ruth could not understand the purpose of her problem, but decided not to question it.

    Annie and Joseph began to stir as the early morning light caused their eyes to slowly open. The hay had furnished a satisfactory cushion, burlap bags had served well for a covering, so the night had been spent in a more comfortable position than had been experience by sleeping on the ground.

    “Good morning, sleepy heads”.

    Annie looked for the source of the voice and saw that it was Ruth. The voice was soft, sweet, and cheerful, opposite of what was normally expected of Ruth.

    “Why so cheerful?” asked Annie in what could be recognized as a surprise tone.

    “Oh, I just believe that we are closer to finding my baby,” answered Ruth.

   Annie decided not to ask any more questions. She had seen Ruth in a foul mood for days and did not want to upset her now.

    “I have got us some eggs and some coffee, too”, continued Ruth.

    “What did you do, beg something from an eating joint?” asked Annie.

    “Nope, don’t be silly. A woman found out we were out here and brought them to us already cooked.”

    Annie’s nostrils perked up a little. “And bacon, too.”

    “Yep,” said Ruth . “And biscuits. Let’s eat.”

   As the group sat down, Ruth bowed her head. “Lord,” she began, “We are so thankful that you have seen us this far and provided nourishment for our journey. Thank you for being with us and for keeping my baby safe and I know you are going to lead us where she is.”

    Annie and Joseph looked at each other. Had someone told Ruth something? Does she know where her child can be found? They wanted to say something -- to ask -- but figured it was best to keep quiet. After all, Ruth was in such a good mood, they certainly did not want to do anything to destroy it.

    As they saddled up their horses, Ruth spoke. “We will go to Bisbee and from there we will head into Mexico. I know that is where they went.”

    More questions filled the minds of Joseph and Annie. How did Ruth know? She must have gotten information from someone, but Annie and Joseph were still afraid to say anything that might destroy Ruth’s hopes. Ruth hummed “Amazing Grace” as she prepared her riding gear, feeling sure that she had received a voice from God in her spirit.



---- To be continued


The story continues on:


Prairie's Children, Return to the West --- Chapter 6

Ruth's Faith wil hep her companions to see God in a new way.

May Your Light Forever Shine

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