More on Heavenly Wisdom
“What do you think about our conversation with Dodge?” the Captain asked.
“You did really well,” said Cody. “You are a fast learner, putting those first three aspects of Heavenly Wisdom into practice: pure motives, being peace-loving and sweetly reasonable. Now we have to wait and see if Dodge is willing to apply the fourth quality, being approachable and submissive to the new facts of life.”
Dodge did not invite them in for lunch, so the Captain and Cody went down to the encampment for their noon meal.
After lunch Cody found a shady spot to sit and read. Then he heard a step and looked up. There was Amy looking at him.
“Can I talk with you, Mr. Smith?” she asked.
Cody stood up, “Of course,” he said. “Sorry I don’t have anywhere for you to sit.”
“No problem,” she said, “What I have to say won’t take long.” He noted how neatly she was dressed, her reddish hair gleaming in the sunlight, her fair skin slightly tanned by the trip she’d just made. It was hard not to notice her grace and beauty.
“My father is a strong and sometimes hard man,” she said, “but he is actually a good man. He has had a difficult life here, having to fight off Indians, caring for all his cattle, making drives to the market. He’s a fighter and wants to win.
But I don’t want to see anyone hurt. So, I want to thank you for seeking a peaceable solution. I listened to what the Captain had to say and liked it. I think we can all live together in peace.”
“Why, that’s right good to hear, Miss Dodge. I hope that you can influence your father in that direction.”
“I will certainly try,” Amy replied. She turned and walked back to the house with Cody looking after her.
That night Cody again slept next to his horse, for, even if he was surrounded by forty-two soldiers, there was always the possibility of danger.
He was viewed by Dodge and his men as the instigator, so it was possible that they may seek to eliminate him and blame it on the Indians or someone else. But his horse would warn him of any attempt to hurt him.
He woke before dawn, opening his eyes on a sky full of stars, gleaming in the dark expanse over him. He put his hands behind his head and gazed at the heavens. Here and there a meteor streaked across the heavens.
He prayed in his thoughts, “What beauty, what scope, what wisdom is there! Lord Jesus, you are the star Breather, you have given each star it’s place and name. I praise you for your wisdom and greatness.”
Suddenly his is horse blew a bit and its ears went up. Cody turned his head slightly. Since the fire had died down to coals, his eyes were adapted to the lack of light, able to see in the predawn darkness.
What he saw was a man creeping towards him, carrying a bundle. Cody drew his blade, sharp enough to shave with, and watched. The man came directly to his horse, laid the bundle in front of him, and turned to go.
In one smooth motion, Cody rose, kicked the bundle away from his horse and leapt upon the unsuspecting man, putting his neck in a head lock and the knife on his throat.
The man struggled, but Cody said quietly.” Relax or you could die.” The man surrendered. Cody got him to his feet and pulled him towards the coals of the fire. There he tied the man’s hands and feet, then made him sit while he threw more wood on the fire. As the flames blazed up, he saw that his captive was one of Dodge’s hands.
Cody had been so quiet and the struggle so quick, that no one else had been wakened. “So, what were you doing there?” Cody asked in a low voice.
“Nothing. It’s none of your business!” the man snarled.
“Really? That was my horse you gave something to. What was it?
The man was silent. Cody pulled his long knife out again and began to cut up some of the larger pieces of firewood. “You know, this knife can cut other things, too,” he said gently. “If you don’t want to talk, we can encourage you. But that’s not what I want. Answer my questions and it will go better for you.”
The man hesitated, then said, “Alright, we cowhands don’t want to see our range taken over by sod busters. We see you as the one who’s brought the army down on us, who’s protecting the sod busters. So, we thought to get rid of you by killing your horse. Without a horse you couldn’t do much. That’s a bundle of poisoned grass and grain.”
“You are a smart man to share your thoughts. I’m surprised you didn’t try to pin this on Dodge, but instead took the responsibility on yourself and your friends.
“I will say that this speaks well for you to be so loyal to Dodge and his operation. If you use that loyalty in a more constructive way, it will be good for all of you.”
Cody leaned over with his knife and cut the ropes around the man’s ankles, then on his wrists. “Go back and tell your friends that we need to talk.”
The man rubbed his wrists, got up, looked at Cody again, astonishment in his eyes, amazed that he was still alive and set free, then turned and left as silently as he’d come.
Cody went back to his bed, got out his Bible, took it to the fire and began to read, as he did every morning. This morning he was reading in the Gospel of John chapter 15, where Jesus says that he is the vine and we are the branches..
Picture: Cody using his knife to cut firewood (from internet)