This is part #10 of the Story of the P’s saga. Don’t despair. We’re half way home. Not so many more to go. I’m filing them all in the Library section and will put them in order once I’ve posted them all. But meanwhile I’m serializing them, so maybe they’ll make good breakfast reading.
“I thank you. I thank you. I thank you,” said the woman in the softest of whispers once she was sure the securities had gone.
“But you must leave,” she continued. “It isn’t safe for you. If you are discovered with me they will kill you.”
“Yes, I can see that,” he responded. “But let’s just say that I’m on the run anyway….. You’re right, though, that we will need to move. But I think we can stay here tonight. Tell me, how is your leg?”
“Tomorrow morning I will try to walk,” she said. Her gaze, which she now raised to his face, was steady and earnest. Marshall looked back at this woman. She had captured his interest. She was not one of them, she was different. Perhaps she was not connected. Perhaps. The look in her eyes was convincing, it was real. It was unlike the look of the others. And she appeared stronger than most people. Although she was not a young woman, she was attractive; she had the wiry body of a dancer or athlete. Her hair was black and wild. Her uniform was torn, and she was disheveled and scratched in several places. Her leg lay out straight, wrapped still in Marshall’s primitive bandage. Her eyes now closed, and she breathed deeply several times.
Marshall said softly, “O.K. I’m going to look at your leg for a minute. Then you can rest. OK?”
She nodded, and smiled softly.
Marshall carefully unwrapped the bandage and brace. After feeling where the bone had broken, he placed his hands around her leg and, in one quick movement, stretched and straightened it. He replaced the bone as best he could. It wasn’t a perfect fit. She grunted for a moment, but was otherwise silent. Marshall could see that she was sweating again. He fashioned a pillow of his old uniform and placed it gently underneath her head. He covered her with his blanket.
“Rest, now,” he told her.
He went to get some water and a small towel from his backpack. He washed her face as gently as he could. She was already sleeping.