Eva approached Sarah and Mattie just before breakfast. They had already prepared coffee on the fire, along with a mixture of hardtack and salt pork.
“I want to go with you.”
“Go with us?” Sarah gave her a puzzled look. “You are already with us.”
“No, I mean to go with you and Mattie and General Howard.”
Sarah scowled. “I promised Captain Bernard to take you to the Stone House and that I have done.”
“Yes, I know,” said Eva, “and I’m so very grateful. But I had a very bad dream last night. I’ve dreamed this very same dream for two nights. It’s like a warning – an omen. Sarah, death is going to take my Jim if I don’t get to him in time.”
Sarah raised her eyebrows as a look of intrigue crossed her face. “Tell me more about your dream.” So Eva told her about the bedraggled Indian on the pony, the turkey feather on his head, the dirty blanket over his shoulders, the war club. She spoke as if she’d really seen him, and when she finished, she was trembling.
Sarah was silent for a few moments, seemingly lost in thought. “Many of my family,” she said, “dream of things before they happen. When I was a little girl, my father once told my people a fearful dream, as he called it. He said, ‘I dreamed the same dream for three nights. I saw the greatest emigration that has yet been through our country. I looked north and south and east and west, and saw nothing but dust, and I heard a great weeping. I saw women crying, and I also saw my men shot down by the white people. They were killing my people with something that made a great noise like thunder and lightning, and I saw the blood streaming from the mouths of my men that lay all around me. I saw it as if it was real. Oh, my dear children! You may all think it is only a dream, nevertheless, I feel that it will come to pass.’”
Sarah put the coffeepot down. “Even as he said it would happen, it came to pass.”
“It’s as if God had warned your people,” said Eva.
“And maybe God is warning you,” said Sarah. “My people heard my father’s dream and later they were sad because it came true. Let us pray that it is not too late for your Sergeant Jim.”
“You mean I can go with you?”
“I did not say that.”
“Oh, please, Sarah, let me go with you. I’ll help you. I’ll do whatever you wish.”
“You do not know how to survive in the desert. You do not know where to find water. You do not know our language. Even your skin is a different color. Why should I want you to go with us? You will only get in the way and slow us down. I will find your Sergeant Adams and send him back – if he is still alive. You are better off in Fort Boise until this war is over.”
Eva clenched her fists. “I won’t go to Fort Boise! I’ll get a horse and I’ll find Jim, no matter what!” Glaring, she turned her back and stormed angrily away.
Sarah and Mattie continued their breakfast in silence.
All at once, Mattie stopped and uttered the oddest thing Sarah had ever heard her say.
“I think she is an angel.”
“Eva,” answered Mattie. “I think she is an angel. Do you remember the story your Grandfather told us about our forefather and mother?”
Sarah was completely taken by surprise but kept her calm. She thought for a while and then remembered. “Yes, long ago, Grandfather gathered all his people together and told the story. It is a tradition of our people.”
“Oh, Sarah, would you please tell it to me again?”
“Of course,” replied Sarah, “but what does that have to do with angels?”
“You’ll see.” Mattie leaned forward. “I will listen carefully…”