I traveled through time to Enchantment Rock off Ranch Road near Fredricksburg, Texas
|There he was! Sleek, black, beautiful, and mine!
Sitting on the corral fence I watched the stallion pacing to and fro. Sometimes he shook his long mane, nostrils flared. He pawed at the ground kicking up a pile of dust. Jumping off the fence, with trepidation, I slowly walked to his side.
"Hey there Ebony, are you ready for a ride today?"
He gave a little whinny, shook his head, and trotted around the corral. Walking to his side, I patted him gently then pulled the blanket off the rail and put it on his back. I fastened the saddle, then the bit and bridle. He patiently waited, knowing what was to come. Placing my foot in the stirrup I slung my leg over his back and felt the power beneath me. We circled the pen several times then went to the gate and exited.
"Careful with that one, Toby!", called Dad from the barn.
I nodded my head, tipped my hat, gently nudged Ebony and we were galloping away. We headed to Enchantment Rock, not far from the Ranch. Her pink granite dome glistened in the distance. Many stories about the rock were told by old timers around a blazing fire in the middle of the night. It was told that an Indian Maiden jumped off the rock to her death after her family was killed. Now ghost fires flicker on top of the dome and on a clear day, after a rain, it glitters. It was said that a pale man melted into the rock and emerged an Indian.
Skirting the perimeter of the rock they headed to Texas Hill Country, specifically Edwards Plateau region in Central Texas. Here the terrain become more rugged and rocky; shrub oak and tumbleweeds covered the ground. Ebony slowed his pace, the uneven ground a challenge to navigate through. Suddenly an unexpected branch grabbed Toby, unseating him from the stallion. He reached out but there was nothing to grab onto and he fell, hitting his head on a rock. Then blackness!
Waking, Toby felt the lump on the back of his head which pounded. He sat up trying to get his bearings. Not far away, Ebony was drinking from a spring that cascaded down the side of the canyon. Getting to his feet, he stumbled to the stallion when he heard a barrage of gun shots coming from inside the canyon. He recognized where they were as he had been there many times. It was named Bryant's Gap. The canyon was narrow and tall and once inside, there was no exit. Quickly he grabbed Ebony's reins and they hid behind some stone boulders.
The shooting went on for some time and then suddenly voices yelled, "Are they all dead?"
Another voice, "Yes, all six of them."
"Good, we finally are rid of the Texas Rangers once and for all. Now, find the scout that led them to us"
"Here he is Butch," came the reply.
"Shoot him," yelled Butch. If he brought them to us, he is just as likely to turn against us."
One more shot rang out and Toby was shaking behind the boulder.
Galloping hoofbeats were heard and out of the canyon stormed a bunch of horsemen, all with bandanas covering their faces. Off they rode in the distance and Toby heaved a sigh of relief.
Grabbing the reins, Toby led Ebony out of the shelter. "Let's see what's going on in there. Wait, what's this."
A lone horseman appeared, seemingly from nowhere, and raced into the canyon. Toby could see it was an Indian. "What the heck, there aren't any Indians around here anymore?"
Thinking he had stumbled onto a movie set, he led the stallion into the mouth of the canyon where several bodies lie on the ground. The Indian jumped off his horse and began digging graves, then piling stones on top of the ground and marking them with crosses. "Hello," Toby called.
The Indian turned, "Who are you?" he said in broken English.
"Toby, I live down the road about 10 miles. What is going on here? Who are you?"
"My name is Tonto. I am friend of The Rangers, the Cavendish Gang has killed them."
"I don't understand, there are no gangs here, not today."
"Kid, you go home now. It not safe here. Now I must help friend, he saved me once. He only one alive."
"I can help you, tell me what to do," Toby said.
"You help. Good. My friend there." He pointed to the spring. "Keep him cool with water."
"Who is he?" Toby asked.
"I call him Lone Ranger. He is trusted scout. He saved me when our camp was ambushed and my people were killed."
Several days they nursed the man and when he awoke he vowed that he would dedicate the rest of his life to capturing the bad men. "I will not kill them", he said, "I will bring them to justice. They think I am dead but I will wear a mask made from my dead brother's clothes."
"I will ride with you Ke mo sabe."
"Thank you for helping Tonto, my friend," said the masked man. "You too," he said, nodding at Toby.
The three rode out of the canyon when shots rang out from the cliffs above.
"It is man who turned us in," stated Tonto. "He must have survived."
Toby felt a sting in his arm and when he grabbed his shoulder it was covered in blood. He dismounted and passed out from the pain. When he woke, Ebony was drinking from the Spring and Toby reached for his shoulder which was hurting.
Walking to the stallion he said, "Ebony, let's go home, I have a lump on my head and my shoulder hurts. I've had the most strange dream ever."