Avery was brought home by two men driving a large wagon. One man drove our freight wagon pulled by our horses. The other man drove Avery who was too weak and beaten up to drive. A doctor had bandaged him all up. I caught myself from showing how I felt when they pulled up. Nobody had told me he was in such bad shape. He had been beaten up very badly, and had been stabbed with a knife by one of the men who robbed him. He smiled faintly at me, "Oh my, Rachel honey, you are the best thing I have seen since I left here!" He tried to get up out of the wagon but fell over.
I ran to the wagon, "Avery, you are hurt," I felt his pain as I saw it on his face. He tried to smile again, but I could see he was in worse shape than I imagined. The man who was driving his wagon came over, and helped the other one support Avery, to get him out of the wagon. I led the way up the front steps, "Bring him here," I opened the door and led them into the front room.
They put him down on the small bed that is in the corner of the room. It was the bed Avery used before we got married. I looked at him and saw his eyes were closed, his face was swollen and purple in some spots. I turned my attention to the men, "Thank you for bringing my husband home to me. I didn't know what to expect just that he was on his way home. The letter I received didn't say anything about him being injured."
One of the men spoke up, "Mrs. Longworth, you are lucky to see your husband alive. He was beaten up and left for dead. His freight was stolen and so was his wagon and horses."
"Do you know what happened? How did you get his horses and wagon back?" I motioned to the chairs at the table in the kitchen, "Would you care for some coffee and a bite to eat? I've got a venison stew on the stove right now."
The other man perked right up, "Why yes ma'am, Mrs. Longworth! I could go for some coffee. And the venison stew sounds right good, about now. I'm starving!"
After they had finished consuming two dishes of vension stew and numerous cups of coffee, Al Brite, the man who was so hungry said, "Mrs. Longworth, if your husband here hadn't been found by some Indians I don't think he would have made it."
"Indians! What do you mean?" I turned my full attention on Mr. Al Brite.
The other man, Gordon Gleason answered for him, "Mrs. Longworth, your husband was beaten so badly, I believe those outlaws thought he was dead for sure. If some Indians hadn't come along and found him, he would have never made it. They took him to their camp and nursed him, and when he finally came to, they fed him."
"Avery owes his life to Indians?" I asked.
"Yes, ma'am. Then when he was strong enough, he and Many Hunts, the Indian who saved him, went looking for those outlaws."
"Went looking for them? Like that?" I motioned toward Avery on the bed who appeared to be sleeping soundly. He didn't appear to me to be able to go looking for anyone in that shape.
"Well, he wasn't quite so bad off then. When they met up with the outlaws, he again got another beating. Many Hunts was able to overcome them, and those outlaws will not be attacking anyone ever again."
"Many Hunts killed them?"
"Him and your husband killed every one of them."
"I need to get a doctor out here for my husband. When you go through town, could you stop at the hotel and ask for Ruth. Tell her what has happened and that we need a doctor out here as soon as possible. She'll know what to do."
"Why certainly Mrs. Longworth. We'd be glad to do it for you."
"Do I owe you any money for bringing my husband home?"
"No ma'am. The sheriff paid us in advance for it. I would love it if you would wrap up some of them biscuits you had left over there, to eat later on the trail." Al replied.
"Certainly! I'll wrap up some cheese, jerky and some sugar maple cookies too." I turned to the biscuits and started wrapping them up.
Later, after the doctor had been here and had examined Avery, he said he'd heal, but it'd take some time. I sat holding Benjamin on my lap and watching Avery sleep. He had awoken for a brief time, and I fed him some stew broth with a spoon. He hardly spoke, but I could see his love for us in his eyes. He could barely move without moaning in pain. He had to get up to go relieve himself and that was an ordeal in itself. Now he was back sleeping, and Benjamin had woke up hungry, so I fed him. He was falling asleep.
I should be tired but I could not sleep. I could only look at Avery laying there. My husband. The man I loved with all my heart, and I almost lost him. I prayed to the Lord, "Oh Lord, thank you for bringing my husband back to me. Please protect the man who saved him, Many Hunts, an Indian. I don't really know many Indians, but this one saved Avery so please protect him and his family. Please help me to take care of Avery and get through this. I know he is in so much pain. Please heal him and make him well soon. In Jesus's Name, I ask you to hear my prayer. Amen.
After I came in from checking on the horses and locking up the barn, I put some more wood on the fire, and moved some cushions on the floor next to Avery's bed. I grabbed a quilt from the cabinet and laid down on the cushions. I would sleep next to Avery right here. That way I could keep an eye on him and keep the fire going all night. Benjamin was in his daybed and Peanut was on the rug. My family was safe for the night.
Copyright © 2010 Kathleen G. Lupole