The next morning and John’s ranch, all the soldiers were up as the sun peeked over the horizon and after breakfast, went to work folding up camp, getting ready for the next leg of their trip, a visit to Dodge’s ranch. It wasn’t that far, just an hour’s ride.
As they were getting ready, Cody came up to the Captain. “Before we go, do you mind if I pray for this venture? We can’t carry this off in our own strength and cleverness.”
“No, go ahead.”
Cody bowed his head. “Lord God, Breather of the stars, Spinner of the earth, Bringer of the dawn, we praise you for your unmerited love for us, for redeeming us, your enemies, at great personal cost to yourself. Thank you that you call us into a relationship with yourself, into your Kingdom, into partnership in your great plans.
“Today, Lord, as you know, we are going to see Dodge to try and bring a peaceable solution to this conflict. Go before us, speak to him before we come, prepare his heart. Also, give us wisdom and grace in talking with him. I thank you now for what you will do. Amen.”
“Well,” said the Captain, “that was some prayer. It’s like you were talking to a friend.”
“That’s true,” said Cody,” Jesus is my friend, but he’s much more than that. He’s the Creator, my Savior, my Master and my King. We do talk every day, so we are on close terms.”
“Well” said the Captain, “I think we’ll need all the help we can get! So, thank you.”
By midmorning they topped the rise above Dodge’s ranch, but they had been spotted before that and by the time they swung into the ranch yard, Dodge and a group of his men were waiting for them.
“Got Indian trouble?” Dodge asked.
“Hello Mr. Dodge,” said the Captain. “I’m glad to meet you.
No, there is no Indian trouble. We just came for a little chat.”
“Chat?” said Dodge. “What’s there to chat about; and I don’t think you need all these soldiers just to chat with me. And what about this trouble maker, Smith?”
“Oh, the soldiers are here to set the tone, Mr. Dodge. How about we have a seat on your porch for this chat. My men will prepare for their noon meal out here in the meantime.” He turned to his troops, “Fall out, set up camp and make your meal.”
“Now, Mr. Dodge, shall we?”
More Wisdom from the Cowboy
Dodge reluctantly turned and led the way to the porch. His men followed to where the girl Cody had seen stood in the doorway.
As they came up Dodge said to her, “Go inside, Amy, this is men’s business. Just bring us some coffee.” She glanced at Cody, turned and went quietly inside. He smiled, glad to see this elegant girl again.
“I think it would be good for us to talk privately, Mr. Dodge,” said the Captain, “If you’d have your men get back to work, it would be good.”
It was obvious that Dodge was not happy with any of this but in the face of the Captain and forty-one soldiers he could do nothing but comply.
When they were seated, Amy came out with coffee in tin cups for the three of them, then went back in the house. Cody was sure, however, that she would stay close enough to follow the conversation.
Picture: Dodge sitting on his porch (from internet)