Chapter Fifteen

Our Fears Realized!


As we approached each other, Rashad thought we were the enemy. I could not help but take my keffiyeh cloak off to reveal who I was. Mathew was ready to defend us as our challenger came charging up but was astonished to see I was not a young man but a young woman.

I yelled out “Wait, Mathew! it’s OK I know this person.” Rashad also was in the same frame of mind and was ready to attack us. Fortunately, I had the frame of mind to defuse the situation.

“Josie. What are you doing here?” said Rashad breathlessly as he gained control of his horse.

I told him that we were coming to warn him about the possible danger to Bint. I feel responsible for Bint.

“Is she okay?” I asked. “We came all this way for you and Bint, Rashad. Hadji traveled back to Cairo and confessed to his complicity with another tribe that wanted to abduct Bint.”

“It is too late Josie. Your fears have come true. I was so excited to meet the group before they camped for the night. Last night when marauders came in quietly, they took Bint from us while our party slept. It was at night when Bint was taken. Surprisingly, Bint nor any of our horses did not call out to alert us. I am beside myself Josie and I will not let this stand. I pray Allah will avenge this travesty that has befallen Bint. Josie, there is an ancient chivalrous code of raiding that allows them to drive off a number of their horses, but whoever has done this has carried this treacherous act into the tents of the Ruala. I fear we need to assemble a force to find whoever has done this. This will not stand! I vow as Allah is my witness.”

Mathew, still in shock, finding that I had withheld my identity for so long spoke out to introduce himself to Rashad. I too apologetically introduced myself as Josie Peters. Matthew said he was surprised that he did not pick that up.

“After all, I am special forces! We are trained to pick up on things like that.”

I told Rashad everything that had transpired in the last three days. We brought clues from Hadji with us about where she might have been taken.

Rashad said, “Mike, Walter, and the Doctor had gone ahead to our tents which are not far away from here to elicit help. My brothers have traveled here to assist in breaking down our camp. They have pledged to help save our precious gift to our father. They are ready to join me in discovering where they have taken our precious mare. We realized that my father is long in years. We did not want to burden him with the news of what had happened. They planned to use the excuse of helping break down the camp to have my brothers meet me here. He does not know about Bint yet.”

Matthew spoke up explaining why he was here in the desert and how he intended to recruit help from certain tribe members to discover the terrorists that have vowed to take revenge on the Americans in Beirut.

“I believe I can help you to find your horse with the help of these people.”

“If that is the case, my new friend Mathew, then Allah be praised. You are an Angel that has been sent to us. You are accompanied by another Angel, named Josie. But still, Josie, what are you doing here? And on Dazshtan!”

I told him that we had been traveling at full speed for two and a half days from Cairo once we heard from Hadji.

“Amir told me he would support me because he knew that the Doctor would understand. He had confidence in me and especially in Dazshtan. He accompanied me to the point where I needed to mount my horse for the next portion of my journey. With his blessings, knowing that I was accompanied by Matthew safely he then returned to Al Ahmann. We had been praying for such a miracle. Meeting Mathew was that miracle.”

After the remnants of the camp were taken back to the Ruala, Rashad’s brothers returned. They were ready and vowed to help.

“We depend on our horses for our way of life. We are more civilized now. Our ancestors would battle with each other to steal each other’s horses. We know what it is like to struggle for our existence.”

The history of their tribe has known the reality of warfare amongst the Anazeh Bedu whose heritage dates back more than a century of horse breeding.

Mathew spoke up and said that he would do all he could to help recover Bint.

“My family’s heritage has been involved with the Arabian horse. That is the reason why I desired to take this assignment in this part of the world. I will do all I can to rectify this situation. We must make a plan.”

Rashad gathered together his brothers to work out a plan. We regarded him as our leader. He is the future Patriarch of his tribe. We honored his wisdom. Matthew and I joined them in their planning. We found that the tracks that were left by the marauders were scant to be followed through the rocky terrain. Matthew said that he would return to his tribal allies and join them to scour the countryside. Loyalty is strong in these tribes, especially toward the horses and camels that carry them throughout their nomadic way of life. Rashad and I joined his brothers to attempt to track and follow the trail that was left.

Rashad’s mount, Basmah, was related in pedigree to the mares that carried his ancestors into battle. They were loyal and strong and would not betray their presence when observing other Bedu riders. I was concerned about my stallion. Would he communicate his presence to other horses?

I knew from my experience in the last two and a half days that he could be trusted when I asked him.

At sunup, we proceeded to mount our horses with our supplies and headed west towards the dry bed of the Wadi Rum. There we discovered the first tracks left by the thieves. There were very few of them and they were moving away hastily. There were no men on foot. There were fresh horse droppings but none left by camels. We rode all day and came upon another Wadi where we found ashes that were fresh from a campfire.
We realized then that we had scant supplies to continue our journey, it was a trackless waste in front of us. We made camp. The light of our fire had attracted a group of nomadic Bedouin and camels. It was Matthew that had brought supplies knowing that we would need them. A generous supply of camel’s milk and several skins of sheep butter. This was new to me because we had generous supplies given to us from the various tribes that we encountered but now we are entering a vast wilderness where we knew not where we would end up.

The Intel that Matthew had gathered became extremely useful, his allies have come through. They were in the process of moving their tents to supply their herds with the lush greenery they were told existed towards the east in the wadis. They had seen a group of riders with a grey mare being led.

Matthew had sent out scouts to stealthily follow the trail left behind by these riders. We knew that the trail we were following would eventually cross paths with these scouts.

Early the next morning we set out to find rain pools. We were well nourished, but the camel’s milk was not enough, for our march was brisk. It was not until we arrived at the rain pools that we watered and fed our horses with dates, camel cheese, and liquid butter. We ate and slept until midnight and headed out into the wasteland that lay ahead of us. We encountered our scouts at daybreak pointing out the hoofprints of our thieves.

A large group of riders and camels were encountered. Our scouts had cautiously followed behind them. They were a group of the many Anazeh Bedouin that inhabited this region. It was learned from them that the same group leading a grey mare had passed them. We were on the right track. Matthew learned from our scouts that they were heading towards the Bedu Petra of the Wadi Rum. The scouts said that they had words with them as they crossed through on their way to their home tents.

That is where Bdul tribal members had set about in a modern way of life. Their youth was impetuous and followed the western ways of raising horses. Amir had warned me about that when he learned of the rumors coming from that area of the arrival of Bint to Cairo. These tracks laid down by their trail have headed in that direction.

We made camp in the presence of rain pools to strategize our next moves. We sent scouts into their area to discover if there have been any new arrivals. Walter, who spoke fluent Arabic, went into the area to find the Elders. Since I was disguised as a male, I followed him. We thought that since it was the youth that was suspect, the tribal Elders might be aware of their antics.

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