Chapter Thirteen

Traveling News Arrives from the Desert


Amir and I were looking forward to news of our travelers who left three days before. As I said. “News travels quickly in the desert.” But not quickly enough! A young man named Hadji had accompanied our travelers as a groom because so many horses needed to be cared for as they traveled through the desert. The older gentleman in the crew brought this groom along because of his skill and loyalty, to help care of the horses. He was well liked by everyone. He had been with Al Ahmann for two seasons. He came from the northern tribes of the Bedu. I found him helpful as he was passionate about his Arabian horses at home as well as his charges at the Stud. To our surprise, Hadji showed up in person, returning to the Stud. He seemed agitated. The message he brought with him told of the well-being of the travelers, but he had an interesting way about him. After questioning him, we were unable to ascertain why he was acting so uneasy. He told us that he had grown very fond of Bint Shahwan. He found her special. Different from any other Arabian he had ever encountered. He told us he asked to travel back to Cairo to bring the news from the travelers. I took Hadji aside and questioned him about his uneasiness. He confessed that he had been communicating with the young members of a certain tribe, the Bdul in the Bedu Petra of the Wadi Rum, the Bedu region where the Bdul ranged their horses., about the new arrival of Bint and how special she was. The thing that surprised me, he said that youngsters were planning to kidnap Bint and keep her for their own breeding program.

“You sure about this” I asked. “Bint is my ultimate responsibility.” I told him. I could not believe what I was hearing.

“Why didn’t you tell me about this sooner, Hadji.”

He told me he had grown close to Bint and did not want anything to happen to her. Now I know what Amir was talking about when he said that there were musings about Bint’s arrival spreading through the Wadi’s.

I realized then, I had to do something about this. I have been riding Dazshtan for a long time before then. He was a capable and strong mount. I came up with a plan, I know it didn’t make much sense because I didn’t know much about the desert where she was going and about the tribes that were planning this dastardly deed. I had to warn Grandpa Mike and Walter. There are no telephones in the desert. I went to Amir and told him what Hadji had confided in me. I told him I wanted to go find the travelers and warn them of the dangers ahead of them.

“You can’t do that alone” he told me. “The only horse I knew would be capable of this journey would be Dazshtan.”

I told him “I would not be alone.”

”Yes, but the many checkpoints ahead are very dangerous.”

I appreciate Amir so much because he knew how important it was to get the news to Mike and Walter. He also had an understanding that Dr. Marsufi would understand the reasoning behind my plan.

“OK Josie. if we’re going to do this, we need to come up with a plan.”

He just said “We.” I was astonished. Amir knew that he had the responsibility for the Stud and he couldn’t leave that to just anybody. Marget was with us at the farm and with her experience she could care for everything without Amir for a time.

So, this is what we’ll do Josie. I can take you so far and get you through the checkpoints, but then I need to return back here. I know that Allah will be with us and he will provide a way. First, Josie you need to cut your hair and disguise yourself as a young man. A young lady traveling by herself, it’s very dangerous. Are you sure that your stallion is capable of making this trip? It is a long way to your destination. I can provide you with the details but you’re on your own unless you can find help along the way. Let’s get busy and prepare.”

I knew I had the ability to accomplish this and Dazshtan will also be capable. Bint is my responsibility. I knew that my faith in God would guide me along the way.

Amir and I prepared the truck and trailer and loaded it with the supplies I needed for the two days travel and the two days of riding through the desert. Amir told me of contacts he had where help would be found. I had cut my hair and my clothing was sufficient to not betray my real identity. I loaded my stallion in the trailer and we prepared to leave. Marget was very understanding and wished us well as we departed. The first leg of our trip was towards the Suez Canal where we crossed it into the Sinai Peninsula, which at the time was controlled by Israel. There was a constant threat of terrorism. Check points were very thorough and Amir helped us to traverse them. After we had crossed the Sinai and into Jordan, Amir prepared me and my stallion to make the next arduous part of the trip. This is where he had to turn around and go back to Al Ahmann.

As we were preparing, we were approached by a middle-aged man who was interesting. He was in Arab garb, looking somewhat like an Arab Bedouin. We greeted him as Arabs would traditionally. As we introduced each other I noticed that he was looking at our horse. Amir was naturally suspicious of this encounter. My first thought that he was one of the local Bedouin who was interested in our horse. Because I knew what our mission was, to potentially prevent the theft of a precious horse that we cared about, I too became suspicious of his interest in our party. Was he a conspirator of the group that planned to kidnap Bint? We were both suspicious of each other. He spoke perfect Arabic and his greeting was traditional. While motioning towards our horses, I stepped between him and our horses as to protect them. I then heard a voice that was in perfect English say to me “be not afraid. I love the Arabian horse.”

I looked at Amir and his expression changed as he noticed the demeanor of our stranger. Quietly. as he neared Dazshtan, he removed his Keffiyeh from around his head. A well-tanned, bearded middle-aged man looked in my eyes as if to say, “may I caress your beautiful stallion?” thank you Lord. I said to myself. Dazshtan and our stranger looked at each other in a quiet manner. I hadn’t seen that kind of look in my stallion’s eyes, the way those two seemed to bond right away in a long time. It reminded me of the way that Dazshtan and my grandpa Mike would greet each other with such gentleness and respect. He told us his name was Mathew as he placed his hand on my stallion’s neck.

“And what is this fine animal’s name. I have not seen this kind of quality since my family raised Arabians horses back in the states.”

This was a quiet moment amidst our urgent preparation to get on my way. My curiosity began to favor the moment. I was impressed by this man’s ability with a horse. Feeling more relaxed, Amir and I continued in our preparations, we asked many questions of our guest. My suspicions hovered still in the back of my mind. Why would he be here speaking perfect English? He asked if he could help us in our preparations. I told him that we were on our way to intercept a group of riders on the way to the tents of the Ruala tribes in the Wadi Sirhan. I was being vague because I didn’t know his intentions. Until he disclosed to us his mission and his real identity, Amir never revealed to him my true identity. I was disguised as a male. It was important for me to carry on with that façade. There was something about him that told us of his inner strength and wisdom. He told us that he liked our stallion and that he had experience with Arabian horses. Amir and I gained trust in this young man. We sat down together at a meal where we both divulged the reasons why we were here and how we encountered each other coincidentally. I told him that my father’s name was Mathew. He told us that he was here in Jordan to perform a mission, for what he called “the company.” He was from the states and belonged to the special forces of the United States. At the time he disclosed these things we had developed a trust in each other, otherwise these things wouldn’t have been made known. His family happened to be associated with Arabian horses. That is why he was impressed with Dazshtan.

We told him about the mission we were involved in, tracking down Mike and Walter and the reason why we were trying to warn them about the danger to Bint. He told us that his mission was to track down the terrorists that were planning to bomb the Marine barracks in Beirut Lebanon. He had been working with tribal Bedouin that had allied with him in this task.

“I have an idea.” He said.” Hey, I might be able to help you. I may be able to convince these Bedouin to help me find your mare. If they would help me to find the terrorists, maybe they would help us find the tribe members that were planning to kidnap Bint.”

I told him that we needed to find Mike and Walter and warn them. This was the miracle that I was praying for. Mathew agreed to accompany me and guide me through the desert. He had the use of his own horse that the Bedouin had provided him. She was considered a war mare. Because of her precious bloodlines, which date back decades during the Arab conflicts of World War One. She was a hearty soul. Her name was Kashira, which means humerous in Arabic. Even though she was a mare, and indeed was beautiful, my Dazshtan took it in stride. I knew the importance of our undertaking and he knew instinctively my thoughts. I felt very secure with these two male figures that have appeared in my life at this critical time. After a lengthy conversation with me and Amir, it was agreed that Amir would travel back to Al Ahmann and Matthew and I would proceed together.

<<<<<< The Beginning | Next Chapter >>>>>>

Want to read Book One?

The Horse Listener


Please follow and like us:

Enjoy this Story? Please spread the word :)

Get new posts by email