Excerpt from Part Two The Quest
Charlie Walker and Sir Charles Hempstead came back saying that because of the flooding they had found a small creek that would take us to the Pee Dee River. We poled our dugouts up the small creek knowing freedom was just miles away. In the distance, we could see the Pee Dee River, yet the unbelievers were within sight of our small group. We could hear an airboat in the distance heading our way. Tonight would be another night that storytellers would sit by beds and say Legend has it that deep in the forest … for one more night the children would still believe in fairytales.
The Dragon’s Lair
The airboat was coming in fast and furious with a roar and thunder like the sound of Thor’s hammer battering his foes. The sun was setting brightly behind the airboat blinding the unbelievers. Charlie Walker gazed into the bright sun and said I know that guy. It was Len Bernat, another storyteller we all knew well. Len was no stranger to the dangers he faced in his efforts to rescue this little group of his friends. Often those that tell the tales of courage, adventure and fear were speaking and writing from life experiences
I touched Buddy on the head to get his attention and pointed to several paths near where the unbelievers waited. Buddy, Charlie Walker, and Sir Charles the squirrel ran toward the unbelievers and at the last moment each took a different trail which caused the unbelievers to break rank and a few took a different path to try and capture at least one of the three. Charlie Walker was a fly-fishing guide and could find his way through these swamps even on the darkest night.
You could hear Buddy deep into the woods barking and howling so that he would be chased. He stopped by a huge cypress tree and went into a hole between the roots and watched the unbelievers pass him by just a few feet from where he stood silently. He waited until he could hear them in the distance, obviously lost, and he headed for a landing in a creek just off the Pee Dee River. That is where they all agreed to rendezvous and make their escape.
They could not see or smell him coming low in the water until he got close to their airboat.
Charlie, being an experienced guide, could smell the city on the unbelievers, perfume, lotions, and a cleanliness that did not exist in the deep swamps of Carolina. There, the smell of stagnant water, rotting cypress trees, and most frighteningly gators and snakes, permeated the air. They could not see or smell him coming low in the water until he got close to their airboat. He slowly climbed on board, cranked up the engine, and left the unbelievers high and dry on a small knoll in the middle of a vast swamp. The only way back to the city for them was to walk.
With feelings of exhilaration, both Len and Charlie rounded up Larry, Buddy and Sir Charles and headed up the Pee Dee at full speed to Tega Cay to meet Raissa the great artist and writer. Sir Charles had rummaged the unbeliever’s packs and found the vile of Strong Ink that they had taken from Pola the storyteller. Tonight, the children would once again hear the stories; the ones that start with Legend has it… and their imaginations will grow, and they will carry these stories with them for a lifetime.
Coming soon Part Four. The Catawba River Tega Cay