Diary Entry 17

I hate being afraid. I hate irrational fear. I woke up in the middle of the night to thunder and lightening. I hate thunder and lightening. I tried to be brave and ignore the storm by hiding under my blankets but I couldn’t. Every time the lightening lit up the sky and the thunder clapped I nearly fell off my bed. I think I have a fear of being turned into a French fry. Tony never moved. He just lay there in his bed next to mine sleeping as if nothing life threatening was happening. I crawled into bed with Tony. He didn’t seem to mind. Actually I don’t even think he noticed I was there until I had stolen all the blankets in my attempt to hide from Mother Nature.
It has rained most of the day. Thankfully, the rain stopped a couple of hours ago and I am no longer drenched to the bone. There is almost nothing worse than being cold and wet for hours on end. The only thing good about the rain is that everything smells good afterward.
Tony is becoming a very skilled hunter. He spent most of the morning out in the rain with several of the other men trying to catch something big enough for dinner tonight. I spent most of the morning attempting to keep the fire going.

Diary Entry 8

It would have been a painful way to die. It wasn’t a straight drop to the bottom. Tony and I would have hit every rock, boulder and tree stump on the way down. Then we would have lingered alive for a couple of hours before finally succumbing to blood loss. It really wasn’t the way I wanted to die and I am positive it wasn’t the way Tony wanted to die.

I backed off the edge of the cliff and fell into Tony’s arms. There was clapping and whistling from the soldiers. I didn’t realize they were all standing there. I apologized to Tony for everything I had said a few moments before. Tony kissed me on the head and thanked me for not jumping.

Tony and the four soldiers that had survived the ambush led us around the woods for more than an hour trying to find the graves of Yates and the other soldiers they were able to bury. I wanted to say goodbye. We had almost given up looking for the graves when one of the soldiers that had been enslaved with me accidentally stumbled upon the grave site during a moment of rest. We held a small goodbye ceremony in the woods for Yates and the other fallen soldiers. Each of the graves had been marked with a cross made out of twigs. The name tag from the soldier’s uniform was pushed into the bark. I found Yates and said my goodbyes. I apologized for getting him into this trouble. Tony knelt down beside me and whispered in my ear that none of this was my fault. I didn’t put General Yates into this grave. I wish I could believe that. Because of me and my selfish needs there is a small boy at Ft Shasta who is now without a father.

Diary Entry 7

I couldn’t take another step. I was thirsty and weak from hunger. After a moments rest and drinking practically all of the water in Tony’s canteen I asked about Yates and the other soldiers. Tony looked at me and shook his head from side to side. He said Yates struggled to survive for a couple of days but that he died yesterday. He had been hit by too many darts and couldn’t recover. Most of the other soldiers died from injuries they had received the day of the ambush. I refused to accept what Tony was saying. I started making plans to find Yates and the others. Tony grabbed me by the shoulders and gave me a shake. He said there weren’t any others. I said there had to be others. We were in a convoy of 4 trucks with at least 30 people. We had guns. General Yates would not have gone down without a fight.
I pulled away from Tony. I called him a liar and said a few awful things I now regret. I knew Tony had to be lying. He was jealous I chose Yates over him and I told him so. I stomped off into the woods. I don’t know where I was going but Tony followed. I stopped at the edge of a cliff. For a moment I considered jumping. Tony asked me not to jump. He said he had something important to say to me. If I still wanted to jump after he had finished he would jump with me. Tony said he loved me and that he only let me go with Yates because he wanted me to have a happy and safe life. The morning the convoy left Bear Country Tony realized he had made a mistake in allowing me to leave.
Tony borrowed a horse from Joshua of the Spurs Tribe. He caught up to the convoy shortly after the attack. Yates and several of the severely wounded soldiers had been left for dead. I was nowhere to be found.