He forced himself to partake of some dried meat and fruit, but it was tasteless. The world would be tasteless without Mara, he thought. Ehyeh, what are you trying to show me? To teach me?
He worried more, then waited more, then prayed more—with increased fervency as the hours passed, though he really didn’t know what to pray for. He couldn’t find words. Two thoughts raced continually through his mind: dear Ehyeh, help me with her, and dear Ehyeh, I thank you for her. So he continued through the night, repeating his thoughts, his supplications, his gratitude.
Morning dawned. Dixon hadn’t slept at all, which meant he’d now gone two nights without any, since he’d not awakened Mara the previous night to take her watch. Still, his prayers buoyed him, sustained him. He felt he couldn’t sleep now, even if he wanted to.
The sun advanced in the east. Slowly, the sky turned mauve, then rose. In time it changed to blue.
Still, she lay motionless.
He had to maintain his strength. There was no telling when she’d regain consciousness.
He retrieved more dried meat from her saddlebag. It would sustain him—in body, at least.
While sitting silently, the sky turned from blue, to gray. Bad weather approached. He needed to attend to details, but first, should water the horses. He did so, then collected more firewood. After accumulating a sufficient stack, he retrieved a canvas sheet from his bag. In a pinch, it would shelter them from rain.
He tied ropes to each of the four corners of the canvas, then tied the other ends to nearby trees. At least we’ll stay dry . . . or mostly so anyway.
The day wore on and still, Mara did not move.
The rain came and went, and still, she did not move.
The rain moved on. She remained motionless.
Once again, night fell.
Dixon fed the fire regularly, holding Mara whenever he could.
She did not move.
Night turned to morning, with no changes.
Another day and night came and went, but Mara’s condition stayed the same.
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