Danger awaits in an undiscovered wilderness.
A canoe shot swiftly along the river where crocodiles lounged and bright birds circled overhead.The breathless jungle leaned far out,taking every inch and wanting more.In the back of the canoe,Carla fought to stay conscious.She pressed her hand against the wound in her arm and prayed.
Ahead of her the blue black skin of her native guide shimmered in the sunlight.Togo dug the paddle deep into the water and did not turn when he heard the sound of Carla falling.
Togo rowed on through the moonless night.He thought about throwing the woman to the crocodiles.If she had not saved his daughter from the fever he would have done so.They escaped the headhunters attack but the Doctor was wounded.Now he headed for the white man's compound.Stopping the canoe some distance from the light and noise of the camp,Togo waited.He knew the woman was alive by her labored breathing.He was afraid of the white hunters at this place so he was patient until the camp was still.
Slipping the canoe silently ashore,Togo lifted the girl and laid her gently on the dock.Then taking a large stone with him into the canoe he let out a horrible scream and threw the stone at the nearest tent.The place was immediately in an uproar but the guide was already around the next bend in the river.
Carla woke up inside a stifling tent the next afternoon.She sat up and looked around and realized her wounded arm had been expertly bandaged.She stood up shakily and went to look out at the compound.It was silent except for the distant chattering of monkeys in the trees.Fear tugged at her heart,had the warring tribes been here too.Where she wondered was Togo?She was beginning to panic when she heard someone singing.
It was a man's voice singing a Spanish song with great gusto.She leaned against a tree and gathered her strength.She had so many unanswered questions.She headed toward the lilting sound steadying herself along the way.
There at the river she saw a strange sight,a man with a rifle sat singing on the end of the dock.In the water around him,women and children worked and played.She stood watching for a long moment and then made her way to the water's edge.
Women laughed and talked while scrubbing their clothes on the rocks in the stream.Children splashed and played around their mothers with great delight.Carla thought about the people of her little village and tears came to her eyes.She had been down river with Togo caring for sick children in another village.When they neared their own dock,Togo yelled for her to duck but she had not acted fast enough.A spear ripped into her arm but Togo did not stop.They could see that the whole place was on fire.Togo knew the headhunters ways.He knew they would not bother to chase the two of them down .He was right.
Carla broke out of her reverie and walked toward the guard on the dock.The man stood and pointed his rifle at her head."You go back now.You wait for the captain."he yelled.All the people in the water turned to stare at her.A woman approached the spaniard from behind, and said "Sapo, dejala hablar." The woman, just a few years older than Carla, pushed down gently on the gun, and turning to Carla she said "I am sorry for my husbands reaction, but we are careful when it comes to outsiders. I am Elena, and this is my husband Octavio but we call him sapo. You look better. Is there anything we can do for you?" Carla nodded weekly, and said "Yes, I'm hungry, and very thirsty." Elena nodded, and said "I will prepare a meal for you, and you will recover your strength." Elena took a few steps towards camp, and said "Come." Carla followed her to a large tent, and walked in behind Elena. Elena motioned to a table, and said "Sit, I will serve you." Carla sat down, and tried to rub the pain in her arm away. Elena served up a large plate of meat stew, and sat it in front of Carla. "Eat, and enjoy." Elena said with a smile, and turned to pour her some water. She sat the water down on the table, and continued "When you are done, you must rest. Your arm is not healed, and your strength not fully returned." Elena left the tent, and Carla dug in to the stew enjoying every delicious bite.
For a moment Carla allowed herself to forget about everything but the safety of this place and the meal before her.Back in her own tent the terrible truth came back to plague her.How could she sit here doing nothing when her village had been wiped out.She had to talk to someone who could help her to go back.She hoped to retrieve some of her medical equipment and perhaps there were survivors.People like her who had escaped to the jungle or the river. Maybe they were wounded and needed her now more than ever.
She was about to do something drastic like steal a boat and try to go alone when the tent flap opened.In the doorway stood a big man with a gun in his hand and blood on his shirt."Well hello there Sweetheart."he said with a wide grin on his face."You are looking a lot better today.Come out and see what we shot for dinner."