More from the cowboy’s wisdom.
Cody was again up before dawn—and heard the bugler on the military side of things playing reveille to roust all the soldiers out.
After reading his Bible and praying, he went to see the Captain, but had to wait until the first formation and inspection of the day were completed. Then the Captain took him into his office and called in a soldier.
“Corporal,” he said, “bring us some breakfast, and make sure the coffee is hot!” Then turning to his guest, he said, “Have a seat, Cody Smith. I’ve given the matter some thought.”
Cody broke in, “Before you tell me your decision, let me add some information I gleaned last night from Dodge’s men in the saloon. He gave a thorough description of the conversation, ending with the threat of killing John and his family.
The Captain leaned back in his chair. “Well, that reinforces my decision to take a detachment of soldiers and make a visit, first to John and then to Dodge.” He smiled, “And I’ll try to make it for the right motive, to make and keep peace for all.”
There was a knock on the door and the corporal, along with another soldier, brought in two trays of a good smelling breakfast. Cody certainly was hungry and ready to eat. But first he turned to the Captain and asked permission to pray, which was given.
“Heavenly Father,” he said, “you are the Lord of the harvest and have brought us sustenance from your riches. We thank you for this meal. Amen.”
“And thank the US Army, too!” put in the Captain with a smile.
They made their plans to leave in early afternoon with a detachment of forty soldiers, and the Captain went to give his orders.
Cody went down to the general store and looked around, keeping his ears open. He picked out a few things: more ammunition, a new canteen, coffee, sugar and salt. While paying for them, he heard some people enter the store. He did not turn around but leaned his elbows on the counter and waited.
One man said, “Let’s get us a bunch more ammunition. We’re going to need it when we smoke that varmint out.” It was one of Dodge’s men.
Cody turned to look at the men and enjoyed the shock their faces registered when they recognized him. They quickly got over it and sneered at him. “Well, if it isn’t the sod busters’ angel. I hope you have enough sense to stay away from them or you’ll get busted, too.”
Cody said nothing, just tipped his hat to them and walked out, and there, sitting on her horse was the girl. He tipped his hat to her also.
“So, you’re the trouble maker,” she said. “I hope you don’t get in my father’s way!”
“Yes, ma’am, I intend to stay out of your father’s way. Along with that I will try to show him a peaceable way. My desire is to see him well established for the rest of his life.”
The girl looked surprised; Cody turned and ambled down the street.
At 1 pm he was at the military buildings, mounted and ready to go. The Captain came out, stepped into his stirrups, waved his hand to the soldiers sitting ready in their saddles, and the detachment moved out, their banner waving from its pole held by one of the soldiers.
It was a hot afternoon as they first rode east. This way the sun was not in their eyes. Cody led them down and across the river, then turned north toward John’s ranch. They camped that night in a good spot Cody found for them. It was at the base of a steep cliff with a small pool and cotton wood trees around it. It would be hard for anyone to approach them without being heard or seen. The watch had an easy night of it.
They were off right at first light and by mid-afternoon arrived at John’s house without sighting Indians or any other trouble.
John and his family came out of their cabin, amazed at the sight before them: forty-two men dismounting in their yard.
“How will we ever feed them?” asked Amanda.
“I hope they’ve brought their own food and feed for the horses,” answered John.
Cody and the Captain walked up to the cabin and greeted John and his family. “Well,” said the Captain, “I’m sure this is a surprise. We are here to help you with your relationship with your neighbors.”
John looked at Cody and then to the Captain. “I suppose Cody has told you about Heavenly Wisdom,” he said.
“Yes, he has, and more than that. We are embarking on this duty following the principles of Heavenly Wisdom, acting from the right motives, wanting it to be a peaceful win-win outcome for all involved.
“Part of this, in being peace-loving by letting Dodge know that you aren’t alone, and that if he decides to move against you, he will have to answer to me.
“We will try to be sweetly reasonable in our approach and words, hoping that Dodge will be approachable and submissive to the law of the state.”
John’s boy spoke up, “Wow, did you learn all that from
“Yes, I did. I’m not a Bible reading man, but Cody sure is. He has a lot memorized. He tells me that way he can think God’s thoughts instead of man’s thoughts. Certainly, the qualities of Heavenly Wisdom are different from my normal thinking–and,
I’m sure, from Dodge’s too.”
“Thank you so much for coming, Captain,” Amanda said. “We were feeling very much alone in this, even though I do have my shotgun!”
The Captain smiled. “With your permission we’ll camp here tonight and tomorrow go to meet with Dodge and see what sense we can talk into him. If you’ll excuse me.” He went off to his men who were already arranging things into an orderly camp, getting ready for supper and then sleep.
“Good thing we got plenty of water,” said Sam, “I’ll tell the Captain where the spring is,” and he ran off, eager to be in amongst the men.
Amanda turned to Cody, “Thank you for your help. Won’t you join us for supper. And come to think of it, bring the Captain with you!’