The Rescue

“Pa! Do you think we’re safe?” asked Jennie.

“I think so. We haven’t had any Indian trouble for quite a while.”

“What if you’re wrong,” she asked.

“We’ll be alright. The good Lord will take care of us,” he answered.

Jennie and her family had homesteaded in southern Indiana. They had cleared the land and had erected a log cabin. Her pa had planted a corn crop, and it was close to harvest time. She was sitting on the cabin step, playing with her corn husk doll, when it happened.

One moment her pa was standing in front of her. The next, he was clutching an arrow that was protruding from his chest. War cries filled the air as savages raced into the cabin yard. She watched in horror as a brave took her pa’s scalp. Others drug her mother, older sister, and baby brother from the cabin. Her mother and sister were tomahawked immediately. Her baby brother was grabbed by the ankles and swung into a nearby tree, crushing his tiny skull. Terrified and sick to her stomach, she sank to the ground.

The braves looted the cabin and then set it on fire. One of them grabbed her hand, lifted her to her feet, and motioned for her to walk ahead of him. They set out at a blistering pace. Jennie knew that their neighbors would see the smoke and investigate. The Indians knew this also and wanted to get away.

By midday, she was exhausted, not only because of the fast pace but from being a mental wreck. She sobbed as she walked. The brave behind her kept poking her with a stick, trying to get her to be quiet. It didn’t work. They brave grabbed her by the hair and pressed a knife against her throat. Terrified, she nodded yes, and stifled her sobs.

She thought they would never stop. Her feet hurt her because she was barefoot. Bleeding from rocks and brambles, she could barely walk. The leader finally signaled for them to stop. He had found a secluded place by a small spring. Needing water badly, she drank heavily from the spring.

The braves built a tiny fire, and one of them went looking for something to eat. He returned later with a makeshift stringer of fish. He gutted them, impaled them on green saplings, and roasted them over the fire. As Jennie watched them cook, another brave approached her with a small container. He took each of her feet and smeared something all over the cuts and bruises. She recognized the smell immediately. It was bear grease.

She ate some fish and lay down on a buckskin robe. In moments she was sound asleep, exhaustion getting the better of her.

She was awakened abruptly by a hand clamped over her mouth. Opening her eyes, she could see a buckskin-clad figure hovering over her. It held a finger in front of its mouth to signal that she had to be quiet. Motioning for her to follow, it led her away from the campsite. Looking back, she could see that her captors were sound asleep.

The figure could see that her feet were bothering her. It picked her up and carried her for quite a distance. Finding a place among some rocks, it stopped and set her down. In the moonlight, she could tell that it was a man.

“Who are you?” she asked.

“Names Adoniah,” he whispered.

“How did you find me?” she whispered.

“I was in the area. Saw what happened and followed. Thought there might be a chance of getting you back.”

“Did you see what happened to my family?” she sobbed.

“Jennie, I saw it. Try not to think about it.”

“How do you know my name? I don’t know you. I’ve never seen you before,” she asked.

“I’m just passing through. We need to push on. Once the Indians wake up they’ll probably come after us.”

“Do you think they are coming now?”

“No, I’m pretty sure they won’t come until daylight,” he answered.

“How do you know?” she asked while looking back the way they had come.

“Trust me, I know.”

She nodded and he bent over to carry her piggy back. She thought it was strange he didn’t have a musket, knife, or tomahawk, but she was too tired to ask.

Morning came and in the distance, she could see smoke hovering over the trees. As they got closer she began recognizing landmarks.

“Jennie, I’m going to put you down. You’re getting heavy,” he said while lowering her to the ground.

Taking her hand, they walked on. Just as they were entering her family’s home site he let loose of her hand. She could see neighbors milling around the burned cabin. A group of heavily armed men were listening to another man as he pointed towards the forest. She ran to them.

“Jennie!” one of the women shouted.

She ran into her arms. Immediately she was surrounded.

“How did you get away?”

“Adoniah found me. He stole me away!” she answered.

“Adoniah? Who is Adoniah?”

She shrugged her shoulders and was led away by the women.

Adoniah watched from the forest. Turning away, he disappeared into thin air.

“That was close. Good job, Adoniah.”

“Thank you, Master. I am so thankful she prayed for help. It released me to rescue her,” he answered, “thank you for putting the Indians into a deep sleep. It helped us get away.”

“Adoniah, you are one of my most faithful guardian angels. I am so glad I assigned you to Jennie.”

“Thank you, Jesus. I must get back to her now. In her sorrow, she will need me. May I go?”

“By all means. Watch over her.”

“I will, Master, I will.”

May 6, 2021