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  • The gentle lullaby of the twin diesels and the rolling motion was what Jack noticed as he opened his eyes to the dark night. He was nice and warm with a wool blanket covering him. He reached for his bandaged wound and she grabbed his hand to stop the motion.

    "Leave it alone. I've cleaned the wound and put a couple of butterfly bandages across it. Try to go back to sleep until we reach port in the morning. We can talk then," she told him from the shadows. Jack didn't argue. He was still weak and so tired. At least he seemed safe for the moment.

    Carrie watched as he processed what she told him. He seemed to accept her at her word as he nestled back down on the bed of netting and fell asleep. She tucked the blanket around him and watched for a moment before entering the wheelhouse.

    "What do you think, girl? Is he going to make it?"

    She lifted her hand and made an asi asi motion, "He's very weak and needs more attention than we can give him."

    "I know, but I'm afraid to use the radio to call ahead for help. If he's escaped from whoever shot him, I don't want to lead them back to him. We'll just have to wait until we get to Tom's place for help."

    He showed Carrie his old Colt, "You don't think he's dangerous?"

    "No Dad" Carrie laughed, "Not in his present condition. Besides, when's the last time you fired that old thing? The ammunitions so old it would probably blow up in your face." she smiled at him and gave him a hug as she poured him a cup of day old coffee.

    Poor Dad. Always worried about her welfare. He didn't see the rough hands and weathered face from all the salt air. He still thought of her as a prize catch that he had to protect from suitors.

    She shook her head. Sadly those days were in the past and had been since before she returned to live with him after Mom died. She didn't want him to be alone. It seemed like the right thing to do at the time, only now any chance at attracting a mate seemed long gone.

    Carrie poured herself a mug and went back out to sit by the injured man. She wondered who he was and if anybody was missing him tonight. When they reached Pitt's landing, Dad would get Tom, the sheriff and they would move him over to Doc's place. The sheriff was Dad's best friend and Doc may only be a veterinarian, but he was used to treating humans as well as animals. That's what happens when you're the only Doc for a hundred miles.

    The man didn't know it yet, but he was gaining support while he slept...
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