chapter nine

chapter six

chapter twelve

chapter one

chapter seven

chapter thirteen

chapter two

chapter eight

chapter fourteen

chapter three

chapter nine

chapter fifteen

chapter four

chapter ten

chapter sixteen

chapter five

chapter eleven

chapter seventeen

chapter nine
doing the right thing

 

As Norny rides out of Cotterville, down the tree lined road, she is thinking about how much she is going to miss all those smiling young faces. Faces she came to know by name. Faces that looked up to her with love and respect.

She couldnít forget how they all pulled together for her when Poco became ill. Norny knew they all wanted to do something to help, but there was nothing they could do. Just to let Norny know that they were there for her was enough.

Emilly knew that Norny wasnít responding to anyone when she was with Poco in the barn. But the class felt they had to do something to communicate \with her and show their support. And they had a hard time concentrating on school work when they knew their friend Norny was in a bad way.

So for a couple of days the class rehearsed several songs they picked out for her. Then one morning Mrs. Beale brought the children over to the barn and they all stood outside and sang the songs they had rehearsed for Norny and her sick companion. Thatís all they could do for her. But thatís all that was needed, just to know they were out there and she could count on their friendship.

Mrs. Bealeís class had demonstrated their love and admiration for her, and it was tugging at Nornyís heart. Its hard to leave that kind of friendship behind, she thought.

Norny notices that a little ways up ahead there is a woman walking towards her on the road.

The woman puts her hand up to stop her, so she stops in front of the woman.
"You must be Norny?" The woman says.
"Thatís right."
"Iím Dannyís mother."
"Oh hello." Norny says
" Danny told me you would be leaving this morning, and I had to see you before you left. My Danny is so taken with you, your all he talks about." She says.
" Danny is a wonderful little boy, you have much to be proud of."
"I am, very proud of him. You know before you came here Danny was troubled. You couldnít get him to smile or get interested in much of anything, and he hated school. I tried asking him what was wrong and he wouldnít tell me. I didnít have a clue what was bothering him. He wouldnít let me walk him to or from school. Iíll never know why."
"But then you came along and just like over night he changed. I still donít know what it was or what you did to change him, but I am very grateful. Iíll never be able to thank you for giving my Danny back to me. Heís all I have in the world, and my life just isnít the same without him."
"He's a fine boy, and your a lucky woman to have a son like Danny."
" You know heís going to miss you." The woman says.
"Well Iím going to miss him, in fact I already do, as Iíll miss all the children at the school. But Danny is a special boy, and he will always be with me in here where it counts."

 

In times yet to come, little Danny probably missed Norny most of all. Not a day went by that Danny didnít think about Norny, or hear her name echoing inside his head. For Danny slept soundly every night hanging the memory of Norny on his bed post as he turned in.

The image of Norny from their brief encounter was vivid, and only grew in time. And later she became a legion in his mind and to his children when he eventually became a father.

The strongest memory Danny ever had in his life was the one he had of the angel that swooped down from heaven and changed his life.

A bright, shinny figure he always thought of as his guardian angel, his beautiful Norny.. She showed him that the solution to his problems were always within himself. It only took the confidence and courage that Norny gave him, to make him see that.

 

Now that Dannyís mother had only come towards town to meet Norny, she turned around and headed back home. Norny was headed out that way, so she dismounted from Poco and walked with the woman a while. They talked about Danny and how he lost his father. Norny felt she had made one more friend in the world and she had.

 

Nornyís effect on the people in places she traveled to was like a duck on a glass smooth pond. The water in front was smooth and unaffected, but the ripples from the wake left behind spread far and wide with time. And like the wake on the water she had an affect on everything in her path.

There was something so real, so genuine and unpretentious about her. She was who she was raised to be and thatís all she knew how to be, and wanted to be no one else. A person can only admire that quality in another.

It would seem that life would be much more simple and happiness would be more easily attained when the heart was not confused with so many other goals. But Norny did not know what happiness was yet. For it would take the experience of lifeís journey for her to sift through the memories of her past and discover where happiness truly lay. She carried it within her at all times, but she didnít know that yet.

Sheís like so many of the rest of us, we search for happiness but donít recognize it in ourselves until someone else brings it out in us. When it was really there all the time locked within our hearts and our souls. And Norny had a heart full of soul. It was something so obvious, and felt by everyone who ever met her.

 

After a half a day of traveling along the tracks, Norny could hear the sound of the commuter train approaching from behind. Her and Poco were riding along at a good pace. When the Joís recognized Norny and Poco up ahead, they hit the whistle with three long blasts. That was their signal to Norny that they see her and were coming up along side of her. As the train moved up passing Norny, she stood up in the stirrups and waved at them. The sound of the whistle and the noise of the train would have spooked most horses, but not Poco. Poco knew their was nothing to fear with Norny there.

 

Hey Jo and You Jo leaned out of the cab to wave back and show Norny how happy they were that her and Poco were still together.

They were now the sisterhood of the rails. Whether she knew it or not Norny was becoming a railroad fan and follower. By being near the tracks she felt she was close to Daniel. It was getting in her blood. She became more and more comfortable around trains and the railroad in general. Anything to do with trains or the railroad had a special feeling for her now. She loved the sight , sound and smell of the trains.

To her the clickity-clackity sound of the train as it glided over the rails was Daniels love sonnet to her, and it was a welcome sound to her ears.

And now with her new acquaintance with the Joís she felt like a part of it.

The train moved on ahead a couple of miles while Norny kept on following the tracks. After a few minutes Norny and Poco came over a small rise. On the other side Norny could see that the train had stopped up ahead. As she reached the train there were the Joís waiting for her.

"Whatís wrong?" Norny asks. "Why did you stop?"
"Nothings wrong, its just that Jo and I realized you were coming toward the gorge and would have to make a ten mile detour to the north to get across. You canít walk across the tressel because your horse would step through the ties. So we thought we had better wait for you and take you across. And this would give us a chance to say a proper good-bye."
"Thank you.." Norny says

So the Joís dropped the ramp to the flatcar so they could come aboard. Then Hey Jo went back to the engine to start across. You Jo stayed back on the flatcar and rode with Norny.

The gorge was quit deep and wide, but it was a breath taking view from the flatcar. Jo and Norny chatted while they crossed. Soon they arrived at the other side and stopped to let Norny off. Before Norny mounted up she thanked the girls. Not just for the ride, but for leading her to Thomas Jefferson Smith.

"So heís still around." Jo says
"Well did he know your Daniel?"
"Not at first, but eventually he remembered and told me quit a story about Daniel, one Iíll never forget."
"Thatís great Norny."
"Well, thank you for thinking of me and waiting for me. But here it is again, time for us to say good-bye. I feel as if Iíve known you two all my life, but it seems that my life is just endless good-byes." Norny tells them
"It was a pleasure meeting you Norny. We will always remember you as or wandering sister of the rails."

They all chuckeled a moment then they hugged each other before they left.

"Oh! I almost forgot. Pete and Rosco told me to tell you hello." Norny says

The girls paused for a moment, then they both laughed and waved.

Norny climbed into the saddle and headed Poco towards the slow rolling hills. In the background Norny could hear the slow chugging of the train as it gradually picked up speed.

As Norny came to the top of the hill she could faintly hear the train moving out of range. Then she heard three long blast of the whistle far in the distance as the Joís were telling Norny " so long" one last time.

A smile came across Nornyís face as the sweet sound of the whistle softly bid her good-bye.

 

For the next couple of days Norny is heading south. Eventually she comes upon a fork in the road. Which way should I go? she thought. It appeared that taking the road to the right would keep her pointed southwest so that's the way she went.

As she traveled along, Norny thought about what she had been taught about the civilized world from the elders of her tribe, and what she had actually learned from experience. She now had two points in which to view the facts from, ( theirs and hers ).

Norny had learned a lot about people in general sense she went out into the world on her own. She learned that most people could be put into one of three catagories.

 

There was the good people, the compassionate ones who care about others and had great respect for life in general. Like Emilly and her class.

Then there were the bad ones, who got through life by taking from others and had no respect for anything or anyone including themselves. That would be like Mr. Zearke who was bent on revenge of Norny for putting him in his place in front of the others. Pleasure in life for him came from the satisfaction he derived from someone elseís pain. Especially if he had caused it.

 

But most people fell into the middle.

They werenít really good, yet they werenít bad either. They just sort of went through life thinking of themselves and never felt the need to contribute anything to anyone else.

But this wasnít restricted to the white mans world, it was the same in the Indian culture.

Nornyís upbringing taught her a basic set of value to go from. But she developed her own rules and guidelines to base her appreciation for the simple things that life had to offer. And to be grateful of what she had. You would have to put her into the first catagory, the good people.

Revenge was not part of her character. Oh she would prove you wrong if you had doubts about her ability, but there wasnít a vengeful bone in her body.

The question is could life in the civilized world change her and make her want more and more of the things she doesnít have. And would the unfair treatment she would receive from the white world eventually make her want to balance the scales in her favor. Would she be able to maintain her simple contentment with a live and let live attitude.

For she was far richer in her simplicity then the wealthiest of men. And true happiness for her, lay in the knowledge of that fact.

Norny was gradually becoming aware of this, as she met with new people and experienced new adventures along her journey.

 

Norny is thinking to herself getting by in the white man's world wasnít all that difficult. There were plenty of good people out there. All I have to do was to remember to use common sense and do the right things. Her natural instinct for the right thing would help her there.

But Norny was about to find out that the white man's world was far more complicated than that. And that doing the right thing wasnít always the right thing to do.

 

About thirty five miles from where Norny was right then, is a little town call Cromwell. Far smaller than Cotterville about the same size as Wyola. Yesterday the bank there was robbed by three men. Unfortunately the guard in the bank was killed, and it made it a much more serious crime. The men that committed the robbery were headed on a course close to Nornyís proximity. The men intercept Nornyís path about two and a half mile in front of her. They're riding hell bent for leather and carrying the bank money. They turn south, the same way that Norny is heading.

High up on a mountain over looking the trail they were on, sits a man on a horse. From his vantage point he can see the riders, and can also see Norny. This man is a U.S. Marshall from Arizona. He is returning from delivering a prisoner up north.

Now the Marshall didnít know about the bank job yet, but he thought he recognized one of the men as an ex-con. The Marshall thought he would head down the other side of the mountain and come out on the trail in front of them. The way they were riding they had to be up to something.

As the Marshall comes down onto the road, the three horsemen spot him and realizing he is the law.

Thinking quickly the rider carrying the money bag tosses it into the bushes. The Marshall never saw it.

The Marshall dismounts and stands in the middle of the road. When the men see him they think that three to one is pretty good odds, and decide to go for it. They were wrong. This Marshall was a gunman, and was known for his speed. As the riders went for their guns, they never even cleared their holsters. The sound of three loud pops close together cracked through the silence of the afternoon.

 

Norny brings Poco to a stop. She listens for a moment.

" Did you hear that boy?"

She stands up in her stirrups to peer over the rocks and shrubs. She doesnít notice anything, so she sits back down and rides on.

 

The Marshall had just finished laying the cowboys over their saddles and was headed for Wells. The lawman didnít know they were running from a bank job so he wasnít looking for any money. He mounts up holding the reins and leads the other horses towards Wells.

 

Norny is traveling slow when she notices up ahead, something in the bushes. Its a white bag so it was easy to spot in the dark shadow background of the shrubs. She stops and dismounts to investigate. The bag has writing on it that says "Cromwell Bank". Norny opens it and looks inside.

"There is a lot of money in here. Weíd better take it to the sheriff in the next town." She says to Poco.

There is another little town close to Wells called Oasis. That is where Norny was headed. Oasis was only about six miles up the road, so it didnít take long to get there.

 

When Norny rides into the edge of the town she is drawing stares from some of the residents who noticed her. Norny didnít give it much thought, sense she was used to gathering stares when she enters a town.

As she gets closer to the sheriffís office the door opens and the sheriff comes out with his gun drawn, "Hold it right there." He says. So Norny stops.

The sheriff walks over to Norny with his gun pointed at her. He reaches up and takes the money bag off of her saddle horn.

"I found it just up the road out of town and I was bringing it to you."
"Yeah, sure you were. Now get down off that horse." He says. So Norny dismounts. One of the deputies take the reins from Nornyís hand.
"Hey! Wait you donít understand." Norny says.
"Oh we understand." He says
"Lets go your under arrest."
The deputy is walking away with Nornyís horse, " Stop! Where are you taking my horse?" She asks
"Never you mind, you just come with me."
"Leave my horse alone!" She yells.

The deputy is about forty feet away with Poco now, and Norny is worried sense she doesnít understand what is happening.

"Wait! Bring back my horse!"
"Come on!" And the sheriff grabs her arm. Norny is starting to panic. Suddenly she whistles, and Poco whips his head around and starts back towards Norny. The deputy pulls hard back the other way to stop Poco from going, so Norny whistles again.

This time Poco jerks back around so hard that the deputy is pulled off his feet and onto the ground where he is being dragged by Poco back to Norny. The small crowd of people on the sidewalk laugh at the sight.

"What are you people doing?" Norny asks
"Weíre arresting you for the robbery over in Cromwell."
"What!? I didnít rob anybody."

As the sheriff is tugging and nudging Norny in the direction of the jail, the deputy is back on his feet and pissed that the horse isnít doing what he wants. No dumb animal is going to get the better of me he is thinking. Now he is climbing into the saddle where he is going to show this animal whoís boss.

No one has ever ridden Poco other than Norny and a few children she gave rides to. Norny notices that the deputy has on spurs, and Poco has never been spurred. Now she is getting anxious.

"Wait, donít!" and before she can finish her sentence the deputy digs into Poco. Poco starts a commotion of noise and is bucking and jumping around back and forth and sideways. Every way but forwards. Suddenly Norny yells out.
"Poco! Aucoota!" and Poco stands straight up on his back legs, causing the rider to roll off his back. The deputy lands face down in the dirt.

 

Meanwhile the sheriff is still trying to coax Norny to move towards the jail.

"Wait, this is all a misunderstand."
"Thatís right Miss, your not understanding, your under arrest!"

Now a couple of other cowboys run over to throw ropes around Pocoís neck to help out the deputy. This is where Norny freaks out. She almost lost her pal and he barely pulled through and now he is being attached by total strangers for no reason. It was too much for her to handle.

These men were all pushing and grabbing and no listening.

 

Norny shoved herself away from the sheriff and sprung into action. She got to the first guy and flung him out of the way, then headed for the second. At the same time the sheriff is charging after her. Norny puts the move on the deputy and he goes sailing.

By now there is quite a few people gathering up on the sidewalk watching the whole thing explode. Men are starting to charge in and help out, it should be an easy task to get this woman under control. But it is easier said then done. As fast as they would get a hand on her she would have them on the ground. They didnít know what hit them. Another onlooker sees whatís happening and says.

"What the hells going on here?"

Nornyís fighting ability was instinctual. She didnít have to think about what she was doing it was just happening. She was raised to be the maiden warrior of her tribe, and she was there pride and joy, their little white champion, and her defensive abilities came natural. These guys werenít expecting this woman to know how to handle herself, so they were caught by surprise.

From the ground the level of dust had risen up about two feet from all the scuffling .

Nornyís defensive movements were swift and accurate. She was using her arms and legs in ways of combat these men had never seen before. They could hardly lay a hand on her. Men were dropping back as fast as they came at her. But she was fighting to protect Poco. And that could be to the death if it were necessary.

A couple of women up on the sidewalk were witness to all the violence and couldnít believe their eyes.

"Oh my God!" One woman proclaims

Was it because of all the fighting, or because the odds were now growing against one single woman? Who knows. But many men tried to pluck this flower that afternoon and many men felt the sharp prick of her thorns.

This was a spectacle that the people of this town wouldnít soon forget.

Poco had risen up on his back legs trying to ward off anyone else getting close to Norny.

Who would have ever guessed that just a few moments ago Norny and Poco were riding peaceably along without a care in the world, and now suddenly theyíre under attack and fighting for theyíre lives.

Here they were side by side just the two of them fighting against the law.

Soon there were too many men rushing in at the same time. A couple of men got her arms, and one gets her legs, while another gets her in a head lock. Then while her arms and legs were contained one man pulls his gun and cracks it over Nornyís head. Then they just dropped her face down into the dirt. She wasnít moving. The men were standing around her in the dust all out of breath and out of energy. Breathing hard they look at each other in disbelief of what just happened. It was shameful. It wasnít enough that all these big men couldnít handle one little lady, but they beat an unarmed women over the head with a gun.

Meanwhile there are three or four ropes around Pocoís neck pulling him down. Its hard to tell whether or not Poco knows how they just hurt his pal, but it would be risky to turn loose of him now.

"You men get that horse over to Smileyís." the sheriff said.

Four men bent down to pick Norny up. One man on each arm and one on each leg. They just lifted her straight up out of the dirt, her head hanging limp, and her hair dragging on the ground while they carried her face down into the jail unconscious.

 

Norny and Poco had innocently rode into this town thinking they were doing a good deed. Returning some found money to the proper authorities. If some one else had found the money first, there is a good chance it would have never been returned. But not Norny. She would always do the right thing, even if it wasn't. The very least these people could have done was listen to reason before they took action. And Norny was rewarded for her efforts with a gun barrel to the top of her head.

 

When Norny came to, she was lying on the floor, on her back with her arms over her head handcuffed to the cell bars, but outside the cell. There were two prisoners already inside the cell and they would have liked nothing better then to have Norny in the cell with them.

Nornyís head hurt bad. She was disoriented as to where she was and why. Her head was bleeding from the hit of the gun barrel, but they had someone coming to look at it.

 

The sheriff walks in and the men in the cell says to him, "Now sheriff you can put that lady in here, we wonít hurt her."
"Yeah, weíll be perfect gentlemen." The other says. Then they both laugh.
"Oh, Iím not worried of what youíll do to her, more what sheíll do to you." Both the prisoners laughed. They thought the sheriff was making a joke.

After a few minute a dirty lanky looking man comes in and says.

"The Doc is busy, so he sent me over to stitch up the prisoner." Then the man goes over to Norny on the floor and helps her sit up against the bars.
"So your the woman that likes to rob banks, huh?" To that Norny had nothing to say.
"Yep, thereís a crack here in your head alright. Well Iíll fix that. "

And the man takes out a curved needle and thread. No alcohol or antiseptic or anything like that. He just starts stitching her head. He doesnít even bother to push the hair out of the way. To them sheís a criminal and she doesnít deserve better. And besides that, she embarrassed all those men in the street when it took so many of them to bring her down. It was time for a little pay back.

The needle hurt like hell. But Norny wasnít going to give them the satisfaction of seeing her in pain. The men in the cell are watching and the expression on their face told the whole story of how painful it looked to them.

While Norny is being stitched up she notices that her earring is missing, "What happened to the chain around my neck?" Norny asks.
"There was no chain around your neck." He replies.
She realizes that during the scuffle she must have lost it.
"What did you do with my horse?" Norny asks
"Heís not your horse any more. Once you became a prisoner, the horse becomes property of the county."

The sound of that sent a sharp pain through her heart. Far more painful than the stitches.

Poco is uncontrollable to anyone other than her. And he is old. They wonít have any respect for him as a valuable animal she thought, and this worried Norny. He has no value to anyone but her.

 

Norny was generous to a fault. She wouldnít hesitate to give her money out to others. And she would give the clothes off her back if someone who needed them more. For those things had no real value to her.

But never those things that had attached themselves to her heart. The items that were purely personal. Like Poco or the single remaining earring from Daniel, or the watch from Emilly and the class, and even the tea cup and saucer Daniel gave her to practice sipping tea from.

Those things were the symbolic evidence of who Norny actually was. Personal gestures from those who had been deeply touched by her beauty from within. Norny keeping those small items meant that they had made permanent places in her heart, and were now a part of her.

There wasnít anything she could do about it right now except wait and hope they figure out the truth before its too late. And they werenít in the mood to listen to reason with her.

Norny didnít deserve this. She now realized that the world of the white man was totally unpredictable. That the words of her forefathers who spoke of the white world, spoke the truth.

 

As Norny sits there cuffed to the jail bars, being stitched by a stranger who doesnít care about the pain he is inflicting. Itís beginning to be too much for her.

Itís bad enough that her best friend in the world was taken away from her, but now the last remaining evidence of Danielís love for her was gone.

The only proof she had that he wasnít just a dream. His last remaining hand that he held on her heart wasnít there anymore. The earring symbolized the beauty that Daniel said she possessed. But she wasnít feeling very beautiful right now.

Never before in her life had she ever felt so alone as right that minute.

As she sat there baring the pain of the needle to her scalp, and the painful hollow feeling from the depths of her heart, a tear that she couldnít prevent slowly trickles down her face.

 

"Hey look! Whatís that a tear? Sheís crying." One of the men say. Then they all burst into laughter.
"Whatís the matter, does it hurt?" The deputy asks playfully.
"You want to act like a man, then take it like a man." They all laughed out loud.

But Norny couldnít help it. After all she was a caring feeling woman with a heart sometimes too big for her own good.

She had come into this town with good intentions, to do a good deed and return something she found, and they attacked her and Poco as criminals and stripped of her few worldly possessions.

 

At this moment Norny needed Daniel more than ever. She wanted to bury her face in his chest and feel his powerful arms close around her safe and secure where no harm could come to her, while she cried her eyes out

Norny never needed this sort of comforting more then she did right now. Even as a child she never had a mother or father who would kiss her wounds and make her well when she felt the need.

In her life she was deprived of that luxury. The tribe was her family, but no one person spread their arms wide open for her to hide herself in sanctuary until Daniel came along.

And until she met Daniel, she never knew how good it could feel to have someone protect and pamper her and be there to anticipate her needs.

Perhaps this is what brought forth the strong emotional feelings she possesses for him.

They had no idea of the caliber of person they had there. Not only was the decency of this woman genuine and unlike anyone they had ever known. She was more of a man than anyone in the room.

And she could whip any man in the room, one at a time or all at once. For this little lady had more backbone then all the men in the room combined. But to them she was just an unusual kind of a woman who possessed extraordinary fighting skills.

And respect was something they lacked for the woman that called herself Norny.

 

"Well letís take car of business." The sheriff says, "First of all whatís your name?"
"Norny." She says. The other two prisoners laugh.
"Your full name." He says
"That is my full name."
"OK."
Then the sheriff starts asking Norny about where she was two days ago. Norny tells him everything she can. Including how and where she found the money. But they had already made up their minds that she was guilty, and possibly a murderer.
"One last question. Where did you learn to handle yourself like that?" After all, a normal woman would have no need of those types of skills.
Norny just looked at him for a moment, and then said, "My big brothers."
"Your big brothers? Well I sure hope they donít come looking for you here."

"Well you must be hungry. You want some dinner?" The sheriff asks
"No, Iím not hungry." So they fed the other two prisoners and Norny went without.

That night Norny had to sleep on the hard floor in the same position they left her in. No blankets or pillow or any of the normal comforts, but thatís were she fooled them. She always slept on the floor. Itís just she wished she could have had a blanket or moved her arms.

 

The next morning came around and the sheriff was just coming in to relieve the deputy from the night watch.

"Hey! How do I take care of my personal business?" Norny asks
"Well, if you promise not to try anything, Iíll let you use the outback. "

So Norny promised and she was escorted.

 

Later that day the telegraphs that the sheriff sent to Cotterville and to Cromwell came back with the answers he was looking for. Her story checked out, but they still werenít sure until the Marshall came into town. When he heard about Norny, he remembered seeing her trailing them and put the whole thing together.

"Youíve got the wrong person in there. She didnít have anything to do with it. Besides the telegram from Cromwell said there were only three of them, and I got them yesterday. I left their bodyís over in Wells. They must have tossed the money before I got to them and she found it"

The sheriff thanked the Marshall for the information and asked him if he was going to be around for a day or so. But the Marshall told him he had to get back to Tombstone where he had another problem brewing.

 

So the sheriff comes into tell Norny " Your story checks out, and your free to go."
So they undo her cuffs, and help her to her feet. Norny walks over to the desk.
"Hereís the pocket watch and the money you had on you." As he takes it from the drawer and lays it in front of her.

While she puts them in her pockets, she asks, "Now, whereís my horse?"
"Sorry I canít help you with that, your horse is already gone."
"Gone! Gone where?"
"We ship all the horses south to Ely. We have a government contract for horses on a monthly basis."
"You had no right to take my horse."
"Look heís just a horse, you can always get another one."
As she is going out the door Norny replies " No, yours is just a horse."
"Your saddle and tack are down at the stable if you want them."
From back in the cell Norny can hear one of the cell mates yell out, "Bye sweety, hope to see you again soon." Then they both laughed hard out loud.

 

As Norny walks down to the stable she attracts looks from everyone in town. She doesnít pay any attention though, she can only think about finding Poco and getting him back.

Norny picked up the rest of her belongings and asked the man at the stable, "How far to Ely?"
"Its over a hundred miles that way." Pointing to the south.
"A HUNDRED MILES!!" Norny shouts
"When did they take my horse from here?" She asks.
"Yesterday afternoon; but it will take at least three to four days to get the herd there." He says

So Norny picks up her saddle and blanket and sarts walking down the road towards Ely.

As she leaves the stable with her saddle over her shoulder, a woman standing on the sidewalk across the street was trying to get her attention., "Oh Miss, Miss." She said. So Norny walked over to the woman and just stood there looking at her.
"When you were fighting with those men yesterday, you dropped this." And she held out her hand and showed her the earring.

Norny dropped the saddle and with wide and grateful eyes she reached out for the earring, "Oh thank you so much." She said as she reached for it. Her heart rushed with glee. The chain had been broken so she put it into her pocket for safe keeping.

Norny thanked the woman again as she picked up the saddle and headed down the road and out of town.

 

Norny felt that her good deed had been betrayed, and she wanted to feel sorry for herself, but that wouldnít do her any good.

Right now her head hurt and she was tired from having to lay in one spot for so long, and if that wasnít enough, she feared she might not see Poco again.

As she is walking along her emotions are starting to sneak up on her and she didnít know why.

As strong and confident as Norny was, she was still a female. Capable of emotions that even she didnít understand. And now she had tried to do the right thing and she regretted it. She felt she had been wronged by the white civilization. Now the words about the white mans false truths were becoming clear to her.

The ways of the white man were confusing. They had made her the criminal without even listening to reason. She might of understood their rough treatment of her if they thought she was really guilty. But her horse was surely innocent and they had no reason to be rough with Poco. Or to send him away. Its just that they wanted to punish the innocent before they proved her guilty and part of that was by showing their lack of respect for her animal.

That was wrong in her world. And she couldnít bare to see Poco mistreated by anyone. Poco was hers and hers alone.

These were supposed to be intelligent men, they were the law. But they couldnít even use common sense to deduce the obvious.

What bank robber would ride into town, with a money bag from a bank that had just been robbed hanging over the saddle horn? Even a stupid thief wouldnít do that.

They had tried her in their own minds and found her guilty, then treated her as the criminal. It was supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, but it wasnít like that at all. It is always guilty until proven innocent.

They attacked her and her horse and hurt her physically, and now its OK it was all just a mistake. No apology, no sorry for the inconvenience. Just, well your free to go. And without all her property (her horse was gone). Norny realizes that the white mans justice was truly blind and there is no balance to the scale.

The elders were right, the white world is full of illusions.

 

Norny continued on foot up the road for hours. She would stop for a few moments every so often to rest. Poco was on her mind all the time. There was a sick feeling inside her that she wonít find Poco or that something might happen to him. How could this have happened she thought. It was all a misunderstanding that got out of control. And now for the first time ever, her and Poco are apart. This will be the first day to go by since she got Poco that they would not be together.

And Poco, how must he feel right now. Iíve got to keep moving she thought.

Nornyís head is really throbbing with pain. She puts her hand up under her hat and touches the wound. Its bleeding again.

 

Sheís got to keep moving, she tells herself. After another couple of hours, Norny hears something coming. She turns to see that finally, its a man with a wagon.
"I could use some company." The man says.
"So could I ." Norny says. And she throws her saddle and things in the back, and climbs up along side the man.
"How far ya going?" He asks
"Ely."
"Ely? Well Iím not going that far, but Iíll take you as far as I can."
"Thank you." Norny says
"What kind of business do you have in Ely, if you donít mind my asking?"
"Well, its kind of a long story, but it all started yesterday."

And Norny went on to tell the man all that had happened.

"I guess they were so sure of your guilt that they went ahead and sent your horse out with the rest of the herd for this month. After all they get paid by the head. I hope you find your horse. Iím sure they havenít even gotten your horse there yet. And I donít think theyíll move the herd from Ely for at least a week after that." He said, "That would give you plenty of time to get there."

That made Norny feel a little better.

The two of them rode together for a couple of hours, before the man had to turn off towards another direction. He dropped Norny and wished her luck.

Norny slung the saddle over her shoulder and started walking.

The sun was starting to sink down into the evening hours. Norny decided she would keep on going as long as she could see and still walk. Even after the sun had set, there was enough of a moon that she could make out the road. Finally she had to rest. She found a little clearing along side the road, and laid down.

 

The sunlight was already an hour old when Norny woke. She must have been exhausted to sleep that late, and she was. Her head is aching and its bleeding again. Slowly she gathers herself together and hits the road. She has to make some good time today to get to Ely. She feels hungry, but she has no food or provisions of any kind.

Best not to think about her pain or her hunger. Besides all she really can think about is Poco.

Norny keeps moving on into the noon hour. She is starting to feel weak and dizzy. She thinks she hears someone coming a ways down the road. There is a small hill to the road in front of her, its not very high but it is high enough that she canít see over it.

She starts up the incline which is only about fifty feet long to the top. All of a sudden, over the top of the incline comes a horse and buggy driven by a woman. Sheís hauling as fast as she can. So fast that Norny almost gets run down. If Norny hadnít jumped out of the way at the last moment she would have been hit.

The woman pays no attention to Norny even though she almost hit her. She appears to be a young looking woman, rather pretty but obviously with a careless attitude. Norny just watches her roll off into the distance, no excuse me or acknowledgment of any kind. Where ever she is headed sheís in a big hurry.

Norny bends down and picks up her saddle and starts on up over the incline. When she gets to the top, she can see a house with a barn and a couple of other small buildings about a mile up ahead.

She could use some water if they can spare it. So she heads towards the house.

After a few moments Norny hears the buggy coming back, so she turns to look behind her and sees that it is someone else heading her way.

Norny steps out to stop the buggy. The man driving the buggy pulls back on the reins and stops for Norny.

"Climb in Miss." The man says
Norny sets her saddle in the back and climbs on board.
"Iím Doctor John, who are you?"
"They call me Norny." She says
"Where are you headed?"
"Well Iím going to Ely, but at the moment Iím going to that house down there for a drink of water."
"Thatís the Willis place. Thatís where Iím headed to right now. Miss, Norny is it?"
"Just Norny."
"You know you have blood on your forehead, are you hurt?"
"No, Iím OK. I just got a little bump on the head."
" Well as long as Iím here, Iíll take a look at it."

A few minutes later they arrive at the house. As they are getting out of the buggy the Doctor says,

"There is a pump over there. Get yourself some water while I go have a look at Henry. Iíll be back down here to look at you in just a minute. So wait here for me."

Norny gets the water and waits for the Doctor like he told her.

While she waits she has a look around the place. This man obviously has money or is well off by some means. The two story house and the barn are beautifully built and painted white with blue gray trim. The area around the house is fenced off at about a five acre area. After about twenty minutes the Doctor returns. He seems a little saddened by something.

"Well lets have a look at your head."
She removes her hat so the Doc can see the wound.
"Oh, this doesnít look too good... Who did these stitches on you?"
"Someone back in that little town, I think it was called Oasis." Norny says
"Well he wasnít a Doctor, I can see that. Miss this is more serious than you think it is. The wound had never been cleaned and it looks like it might be getting infected. And to get a head wound like this you could have a concussion. Have you been feeling sick, or dizzy or light headed?"
"Yes, I have a little."
"Thatís what I thought. Come here sit down. Letís get those stitches out and clean that wound."

So the Doctor starts removing the stitches, and while he does he starts telling Norny about Mr. Willis, the man who lives here.

"The poor man was kicked in the head by a horse. He has internal head injuries, and the brain is swelling in size. Its causing problems with his sight and now he is becoming delusional. Heís not going to make it. He may last another day maybe two. The woman you must have seen just a little bit before me was his gold digging wife Nora."

Norny remembers how she almost ran her over.

"Well Nora only stayed with him for the money, and I think Henry really knew it deep down, but he loved her anyway. Nora would have walked out on Henry along time ago if she could have gotten her hands on his money. I guess he couldnít stand the idea of loosing her. And I guess you canít really blame Nora either, because a gold digger never sees herself that way. In her mind there is some sort of trade off."

"Well anyway, Henry took good care of Nora, and made sure she wanted for nothing. But a woman like her is never satisfied with anything. She would always want more and more. Henry always wanted an heir, and he thought that Nora would give him one. But she never bothered to tell Henry that she couldnít have children."

"She knew that somewhere in this house he has a fortune stashed or at least thatís what she thinks. I guess she couldnít stand to just sit here and wait for him to go, so she headed into town for some fun. And Iím sure sheíll be back when she thinks heís gone."

"Nora cheated on Henry all the time. She would head into town looking for stray cowboys to have her fling with while Henry worked hard to see that she was comfortable. Henry use to own shares in the railroad, but eventually sold them off to help build our little town. He built the church and school house and even put up the money for a few necessary businesses to get started. The whole town has a lot of respect for Henry. But Nora canít wait to get her greedy little hands on all his possessions and turn them into cash. But she doesnít even have the common decency to stay with the man until he goes."

"Thatís too bad." Norny says "And after all that here he is dying alone."
"Look Norny, you have to rest for a couple of days, or your head wound could become more serious."
"NO! I canít rest. I have to get to Ely before its too late and my horse is gone."
"Your horse?" The Doctor asks
"They sent my horse to Ely, and he is going to be sold off or worse unless I get there and take him back."
"I donít understand?" The Doctor says.

So Norny tells him the whole story. After hearing Nornyís tale, the Doctor understands her urgency.

 

"Listen, Norny, no matter what, you have to rest or your head wound could become very serious and you might not make it anyway. So here is what I suggest. You stay here and rest for a couple of days and watch Henry in case he goes. Out there in the barn is a good fast horse. Heís yours, Henry wonít need him. And the horse will get you to Ely much faster, in fact it will make up for the lost time." He pauses for a moment, " I have to re-stitch your wound Norny, but let me put a little something on it first so you wonít feel it much... Well, what do you say Norny? The town is a days ride from here, and I havenít got time to go find someone and bring them back."

She thought about it for a moment and realized it made sense to do as the Doctor asked, "OK Doc. Iíll stay."

"Good, there has been a mine cave in about fifty miles from here, and quite a few men are trapped in it, so I donít know when I can get back. Iím sure Henry will be gone by then... Look; Norny when he goes can you do something with the body? How ever you want to dispose of it, what ever you do Iíll back you up.

"OK." She says

The Doc finishes with Nornyís wound and puts a bandage on it.

"Well your head should heal if you let it. Lets get your stuff out of my buggy and Iíll get started."

Norny gets her saddle and blanket.

"Thank you Norny, your doing the right thing here, and it wonít go unrewarded. Good luck with your horse."

"Good-bye Doc." Norny says. And he was off.

 

Norny takes her saddle out to the barn, she sees the big beautiful black horse that Doc was talking about. They probably paid a lot of money for a horse like that, but Norny didnít equated dollars to anything of value yet. That was the white mans value system and she wasnít quit use to it. A strong healthy animal was just that.

Norny goes over to introduce herself to the animal and see that it has feed and water. He a powerful looking animal much like Poco was in his younger day. He should be able to fly me to Ely she thought.

 

Norny heads back to the house and proceeds to go inside. The main room is big and is filled with what looks to be unusual things. She slowly walks through the house on the first floor. There are many strange and interesting things to look at. Most of which she doesnít have a clue what they are.

On the wall there is a photo of a dozen or so men dressed in union army uniforms. In the middle of the group of men was a soldier with long light colored hair and a large mustache. The names listed below the picture showed Henry Willis standing next to the light haired officer in the middle. But there were only initials for the light- haired man which were G.A.C..

And hanging on a hook next to it on the wall is a cavalry officers hat and a saber.

On the floor there is a large spherical looking object on a pedestal that turns when you push it. It has a band of lines in degrees and numbers all around it. And the strangest thing about it is that it has the same shape images on it that hung on the wall in Mrs. Bealeís classroom. Emilly had told Norny that the images were the continents. But this thing doesnít look anything like the map Norny saw. This was an odd looking ball.

Then there is another photo on the wall. It shows two locomotives nose to nose and dozens of men standing around and all over the trains. The caption on the bottom says "Where east meets west The Golden Spike" She didnít know what that meant, but she assumed that the men laid the tracks, and she was right about that.

Then it occurred to her that one of these men might be Daniel. She studied the photo very closely to try and make out the faces. But they were tiny. However she thought she saw a man that could have been Daniel in his younger days.

After she covers the first floor she goes upstairs to the second. She walks through a room at a time until she come to the room with Henry. Norny stands in the door way looking in. The man is uttering something and moaning occasionally. Slowly she walks over to get a closer look at him.

He is a pleasant looking man appearing to be late fifties or early sixties. He has a very kindly face. He is just lying there in a large bed with a brass and wood carved head board. On the night stand next to him is a picture of him and what must be Nora.

Norny picks up the picture and looks closely at its occupants. He had a nice smile while she looked bored. It pretty much tells the whole story.

She notices beads of perspiration on Henryís forehead while he lay there in a semiconscious state. There is a wash bowl and a towel on the night stand. Norny picks up the towel, dips it into the water and wrings it out. Then she gently mops up the perspiration on his forehead. She didnít know what she was doing, but it seemed like the thing to do.

 

He seems to be all right at the moment... so Norny goes down stairs to find something to fill her empty stomach with. There is a kitchen area and it is filled with a lot of thing. So she looked around until she found something she recognized.

She notices there is a water pump in a sink. How clever, she thought, did they build the house over the well, or how did they get the water to come out here? She wondered.

It's getting to be late afternoon and Norny is looking at the view through the kitchen window. She sees out on the horizon there are dark storm clouds coming this way. Norny goes outside to see that the barn is all closed up. As she is walking back towards the house sheís wondering where Poco is right now and if he is OK.

There is a smell of moisture and a warm dampness in the air. The wind is starting to pick up. I guess it was a good thing I stayed here after all. she thought.

As the dark clouds are rolling in, the house is getting dark. So she looks for a way to light the lanterns and candles. About an hour later its pretty dark outside and the first crack of rolling thunder breaks the silence. Norny takes a candle and goes back upstairs to keep an eye on Mr. Willis.

 

He is moving around a little bit, squirming while he lay there. There is a rocking chair across the room from the bed, so Norny sits there and just watches. What can she do, heís beyond help and sheís no doctor. All she can do is sit there, so she does.

While she looks at the helpless man sheís thinking, what kind of a woman would leave her mate at a time like this. Especially someone who has given so much to them and tried to make their life a comfortable one. To allow another to give their heart completely while the other only pretends to share their feelings isnít right.

If Henry Willis could have only noticed at the beginning of the relationship, that she did not share the interest in him that he had in her. He would have realized that it was all one sided, and could only end in disaster. But she had her reasons to play along with him. The least she could have done is pretend a little longer. Just long enough to allow him die feeling he had someone who really cared for him.

Mr. Willis is moaning, and rolling his head from side to side. He must be in pain. There is a little blood trickling out of his ear.

Norny goes over and wets the towel and lays it over his forehead, thinking the dampness might soothe him just a little. She sits back down and wonders what kind of a man he must have been.

He was successful by the white mans standards, but was he fulfilled inside? she asks herself. Was his heart full? She couldnít see how it would have been having a partner like Nora.

She would think that this man must of had friends from the fact that he had contributed so much to others. But where are they now? How strange that here and now at the end of his mortality, I am his only friend. A stranger who is just passing through. Its not fair, he deserves better than this.

But obviously life is anything but fair as Norny had just found out a couple days ago.

The thunder is sounding a little louder and more frequently now and the rain is starting to come down heavy.

Mr. Willis is delirious, heís calling for Nora. He is unaware that Norny is there watching him.
"Oh Nora, Nora, Nora."
"Please Nora, ... I need you." Then he moans a little more.
"Please donít leave me Nora,." And he whimpers.

How sad this is Norny thinks.

 

Norny sits and waits as witness for this man as he is about to vacate his mortality. To cross over into the spiritual plain. While the person who would be obliged to be here to comfort his last moments is absent. This isnít right.

If Norny let him cross over alone when she could have done something to ease his pain and give him the support he needs, she would bare the guilt forever.

It is time to tally the returns for the good deeds and compassion he has given to others in his lifetime.

But he is being deprived of the right he has earned as a loyal and caring husband, by the selfish greedy woman that he has trusted to be his friend, lover and confidant.

For the love Nora had professed to this good man was a sham. They were worthless words. But he refused to believe that. And it appears his reason for hanging on to life now is for the affirmation of that. And to go knowing that he has shared his love with his chosen someone.

 

Henry is restless and in some sort of agony. Whether it is physical or pain from within the heart it is difficult to determine. But his last remaining hours of life are filled with torment.

"Oh Nora, please, where are you. I love you, I need you."

He was definitely crying. And the tears on his face were real.

Norny just looked at the poor man. It was painful to see this. Norny sat there and listened as long as she could. She couldnít stand to watch his suffering any longer. She had to do something for this man. Norny bends forward in the chair and removes her boots. Then she stands up and takes off her vest. She slowly walks over to the bed, then climbs in and lays down next to Mr.Willis.

Slowly but carefully, she puts her arms around him, and lays her head up next to his. Norny holds herself tight against him Then softly she whispers, "Iím here Henry, Iím here."

Henry starts whimpering a little harder.

There is no more serious moment in a person's life than that moment when they are about to confront the truth, as Henry Willis is about to do. When he realizes the sum total of his entire life in an instant. And Norny now has no choice but to play an important role in his finality.

"Oh Nora, I love you so much." He says

"I love you too Henry." She says

Norny just sent those three little words on their maiden voyage, but it is all just pretend. Not to the one who grips her soul and lingers in her thoughts and desires. But to a total stranger whom she has never spoke to and whom knows not of her. This is not something she would do lightly. But her conscious gave her no choice. This was a difficult thing for Norny to say. She did not say things she didnít mean. And she would never use words without meaning.

For love is a word that Norny has never used except to Poco. She has never uttered that word to another human being. Possibly in a dream, but never in reality. For to Norny the word is a serious one with powerful meaning.

A word that brings with itself a consequence for its use.

A word that brought forth feeling from deep within her heart that were sacred and holy.

A word that would be used sparingly in a lifetime in order to preserve the value of its meaning.

A word that was growing gradually within her heart for someone she could only hope to be with again someday.

When she would allow the word in conjunction with others to burst forth in full force and profess her true feeling for that one special man. To shower him with emotions that mere words fall far short in describing.

Feelings she can barely contain within her soul. The ever consuming longing in her heart for Daniel.

But this was different. This poor man was in need of something, and Norny thought of a way of giving it to him. Perhaps there was some reason that Norny was meant to stay here, and this was it. Some grander scheme of things that was not totally evident yet. What ever it was, Norny didnít hesitate to gratify this mans heart with words he needed to hear, so that his inner torture would subside. To her it seemed like such a small price to pay to help ease another man's suffering.

 

"Oh Nora, Nora, I knew you couldnít leave me, I knew you really loved me."

"No Henry, I would never leave you, and I will always love you." She says

Henry is crying, but it is a happy cry. His tears are tears for joy. Though he is delirious it is very real to him and he is coming to a peaceful place in his heart and mind.

Norny remains with her arms wrapped tightly around him, and he is aware of it. But it is his Nora that he feels holding him.

The reality of Nora was overlooked by Henry for all the years they were together. This is what they probably mean when they say that love is blind. There were so many obvious things about their relationship that were visible to everyone but him.

One of the most obvious was the fact that when Noraís birthday came around, Henry never forgot it and always made a big deal about it. Nora loved her birthdays. She was always showered with gifts and attention like you would a small child. Henry always saw to it. But Nora didnít even know when Henryís birthday was. Nor did she care, she was always thinking of herself and what she wanted. Henry would always say he didnít like anyone to make a big deal about his birthday and he would just as soon forget about it. But the truth is, deep down that he would have given anything if Nora would have remembered just once.

Henryís eyes are closed and he is mumbling. "I thought you had left me, and I wouldnít see you again." Henry says.

"No Henry I could never leave, I will always love you, you must believe that."

"I do Nora, I do."

 

Words are becoming more difficult for Henry to speak as his condition is worsening.

Norny just lay there with Henry for a while. She holds him tight so that he will feel her as the loving and caring wife he believes Nora to be. And she can tell that he thinks Nora is there holding him in his final hours. He feels that he is blessed to have her there with him now.

And he is far more blessed then he will ever know, to feel the compassion from a total stranger who cares more for him at this moment then his Nora ever did. A very special, selfless woman whoís feelings for her fellow man can never be compromised.

"Nora, listen very carefully. If anything happens to me, look under the desk in my study. There is more then enough money there to take care of you for the rest of your life. Do you hear me Nora?" "Nora?"
"I hear you Henry."
"I love you so much Nora, youíve made my life complete."
"Your a fine man, and a wonderful husband Henry, you deserved better than me." Norny says
"I had my doubts about your love for me, but you do love me Nora, you do. Thank you for that."

And Norny raised herself up a little and kissed him on the forehead. And right at that point a peaceful contented smile came over Henryís face as he took one deep last breath and faded away.

 

Norny lay there with him for a few minutes more holding him and thinking about the seriousness of what just happened. How quickly life ends. This wasnít a play acting role. This was a mans life, and she had to fix his earthly problems before his soul could journey onward in peace.

No wonder Poco survived. Norny knew exactly what to do at the point where the material evaporates into the spiritual. She understood better then the white man about these things. She was raised in belief of life in the spiritual world before and after death.

Norny had gone beyond the call of humanity to ease this mans suffering and erase the mistakes that his unfaithful wife had made. Nornyís conscious was clear and free, and Henryís soul was finally at peace.

Henry Willis will never know of Nornyís kind deed, but it will be recorded somewhere in time and noted.

For the rest of the night Norny sat back in the rocking chair listening to the angry night and thinking about Henryís life until she fell asleep in the chair.

 

The following morning when Norny awoke, she knew what she had to do with Henry. So Norny went down stairs and gathered a few things that spoke loudest of Henry Willis. The things that Henry had made himself into and would remain him for all eternity. She took those things upstairs and carefully placed them with his body.

Norny crossed Henryís arms on his chest so that his hands came together. Under his hands she put the handle of the saber with the blade pointing straight down at his feet. Then on his chest above his crossed arms she laid the photo of Nora and him. Over his face she placed his cavalry hat. Then taking one last long look at it, she put the photo of the Golden Spike across his stomach and over the saber blade.

There, this is a respectable way for a white warrior to journey to his next life, she thought.

 

Norny goes down stairs and gathers a few provisions to take with her on the trail. She was going to need some food and water. She takes everything out to the barn and saddles the horse and make ready her ride.

She brings her speedy mount out in front and ties him to the rail. Then she goes back in for one final check. She goes to the foot of Henry Willis bed and stares at him for a moment. His torment is over. Then she says.

"Peaceful journey Henry Willis." Then she turns and heads back down stairs.

Norny stands in the middle of the room looks around, then she takes a match from her pocket, strikes it and drops it on the carpet on the floor.

Norny was giving Henry a proper burial. And sense he really had no heirs, she felt it was the right thing to do.

Had Nora stood by her man till the end, she would have learned the secrete location of the wealth she wanted so desperately. Norny never thought of the greedy woman as an heir. And by Nornyís definition she was not a relative or loved one, so it didnít matter. Henryís fortune went with him.

Norny climbs on the big black horse, gives him the go and they gallop out of there like a bat out of hell heading south for Ely.

Norny rode hard for two days. She didnít want to waste another minute of precious time getting to Poco... Hoping it wasnít too late already.

 

Up on a rocky ridge were three Apaches waiting for a passer by that they could go after and ambush. They spotted Norny and the black horse moving flat out and leaving a long, plume of dust on the trail behind them. From up there she looked like some cowboy in a hurry. But Nornyís steed was a fast and powerful one, and at the speed they were traveling at, the Apaches knew they would never be able to catch them, so they just let them go by.

 

It was all desert around Ely. It was flat and the brush was low. But there were some rock hills around it where Norny rode up to the top to see if she could spot a large herd. She did. And she charged down the hill full speed to get there.

When she arrived she was looking at all the horses but she couldnít see Poco. She was also looking for who was in charge. She sees a wrangler and rides over to him.

"I Ďm looking for my horse in your herd that you took by mistake. Who do I talk to about that?" She says.
"You see that cowboy over there in the gray hat and blue shirt. Go talk to him."
So Norny rides over, introduces herself and tell the man the mistake, "All I want is to get my horse out of your herd."
"Well I donít know that I can do that maíam, these horses were sold to the army and are all accounted for. That is the ones that are healthy enough. The others the weak and the older ones get sold to private industry for various needs." ( That means the glue factory in other words. )
" Look, the horse I rode in on is young and healthy and you can have him in trade for my horse. Poco is old, he would be of know use to anyone else. "

What Norny didnít say was that whether he went for the deal or not Poco was coming with her. This is the one thing that Norny wouldnít take no for an answer about. No one had the right to what was so obviously hers alone.

The man looks at the horse Norny came in on, and he realizes that it is a prize animal, worth a lot of money, "OK, well which one of these horses is yours?"

Norny looked carefully at the herd.

There were so many horses, there must have been several hundred. But where was Poco? It was hard to tell with so many animals all together like that.

"I donít know she says."

"Well Miss maybe he isnít here, but we canít take the time to sort through all these horses for you. We have a schedule to keep. Iíll tell you what. You can have any horse here you want. Just pick him out."
"Thanks, but there is only one horse I want. My horse Poco." Norny wouldnít trade her aging friend for the whole herd.

Norny stands up on the rail so she could get a better look. Then Norny lets out a loud whistle. As long and loud as she could. There was nothing, so she does it again and then yells, " Poooo Cooo!!" Then again " Poooo Cooo!!" She worried when all of a sudden from out in the middle of the herd, Poco stands up on his back legs to peer over the other horses, and see if that was his Norny that he heard calling him.

"Poco over here boy." She waves her hands in the air so Poco could see her.

There was no doubt about the intelligence of her animal compared to the rest. Poco knew who he was and where he belonged.

" Yep! Iíd say that must be your horse there Miss."

 

When Norny saw Poco her heart leaped into flight, he was here and he was OK.

Poco was causing quit a commotion with the other horse as he forced his way through the herd. Then he breaks out and charges straight over to the fence where Norny was, excited to see his companion. Norny jumps over to the other side of the fence and throws her arms around Pocoís neck.

"Poco, I found you. Iím sorry I let them take you."

"Are you my pretty big boy?"


chapter

10

sedona

(click on Norny's face to see sketch detail)