A white mist settled over the swamp as four horsemen rode to the water’s edge.
“Jake, I’ll not be rid’n into the mist, certain danger waits.” Linton Macky, pulled his jacket collar up to his ears. “We can wait till the sun breaks through.”
Folsom Grant twisted in his saddle. “Aye Jake, the trail is cold. I wouldn’t go into that swamp without an angel leading.”
“Ya think the Disciples let a little mist keep them from spreading the word of Jesus Christ?” Jake pulled the reins of his horse and turned to face his two companions. “There’s fishermen on the shore line who ner’ heard of the Christ. Will ye let a little white fog deny them?”
“I think Jesus would let us wait for the mist to clear.” Folsom patted his horse’s neck.
Jake tipped his hat back. “And, Linton, my friend, you’d be of like mind?”
The three horsemen stared into the fog, then Jake said, “give me the Bibles, the mare can hold the weight.” He shifted in his saddle. “I be goin’.”
“Jake ye always do this to us.” Folsom complained. “I hope somebody finds our bodies for a Christian buriel.”
Jake laughed. “I don’t know what is weaker, ye thinking, or ye spirit.” Somewhere in the fog an eagle cried.
Folsom tried to look into the sky. “See even the birds don’t want us in the swamp.”
Linton’s horse stepped gingerly into the slow moving water. Jake and Folsom followed. The three sloshed along the watery bog in total silence. Each man watched their horse’s steps and for any other movement from the swamp. Finally, Jake broke the quiet. “I think I smell coffee.”
Folsom, following Jake, stood in his stirrups and sniffed the air. “All I smell is dead fish.”
Linton pulled the reins of his horse and the animal climbed a low embankment. Jake and Folsom followed.
“There’s a trail up here.” Linton nudged his horse along a broken path. His gelding always took the lead and would fight if left to follow. “Sam’s got his head.”
“We’re comin’.” Jake urged his horse along the path, as did Folsom. “I think I might have heard a baby cry.”
“Aye, me too,” said Folsom. Then he shook his head. “Naw.”
Moss dripped from the trees and slapped the rider’s slow progress.
Jake sat up in his saddle. “There, I heard that cry again.”
Linton looked back toward his companions. “Might be a wolf.”
“It came from that direction.” Jake pointed into the fog. He pulled the mare’s reins and started through the low brush. A screeching sound echoed in the forest. “That animal is loud now.”
Linton barked. “Stay on the path or we be going in circles.”
“But, it’s just ahead, I know.”
Folsom laughed. “Famous last words.”
The gelding quickened the pace and the trail eventually wound toward the direction Jake tried to ride.
“The trail wound around this ridge." Linton pointed back into the fog. "Jake, if we followed ye we be falling into the river or off a ledge, like lost souls.”
“I suppose,” said Jake.
“Sam wouldn’t go that way anyway.” Linton shifted in his saddle. “I think the horse knows more about God’s business than me sometimes.”
Voices suddenly broke the mist in front of the riders.
Jake called out. “Ahoy in camp. Three riders comin’ in.”
“Ahoy riders, there be nothing here, move along.” A voice yelled from the fog.
Linton called into the fog, “we carry no weapons,” but there was no reply.
Jake, Linton, and Folsom rode toward the voice until they could make out images of huts and wood piles. “I think we be here,” said Jake.
The gelding suddenly stopped. “Jake, we have a welcoming party.”
Jake and Folsom rode up to Linton and faced a group of men with rifles.
Jake held up his hand. “We bring the word of God, we be missionaries.”
Folsom reached into his saddlebag and produced a Bible. “We come here to share God’s word in the Bible.”
The rifles fell. A voice in the group said, “Then, welcome, to our camp. We knew ye were coming but not all visitors are so welcome.”
“Ye knew we were coming?” Jake asked.
“The eagle came to us and cried.” A man pointed to a falconer standing nearby. An eagle was perched on his arm.
“Praise God.” Folsom shook his head.
Jake tipped back his hat. “I think we had an angel leading us through the white mist.”
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