The second week at Canyon De Chelly, Kathey and I did everything we could to be friends with a woman we just meet. We meet her early one morning when she knocked on our door and asked if we had some flour she could use to make some bread.
I said, hold on, and got her a bag of flour. She said she only needed two cups. I told her it was extra and she could have it. She said she would bring over some of her bread later.
Kathey and I spent the day checking out Wheat field lake that the campground host told us about. It was small but beautiful it had over 50 camping spots with no services like electricity or water. Just fire pits and dirt, that’s it. One of the things I loved about the place was all of the wild horses running all around us! My aunt Kathey was in heaven.
Everyone who knew my aunt knew how much she loved horses. I loved hearing her stories of swimming her horse over to Johnny Cashes place on the lake. Or horse back riding with Elvis! I love hearing all about the adventures my aunt had.
When we got back the woman, we gave the flour to came over with some Navajo Frybread. Her name was Edith, and her husband’s name was Mark. He was a huge man, I would say 6 foot 8, about 300 pounds. She sat down and began to spill the beans, as my aunt Kathey would say. For some reason, strangers will pour their hearts out to Kathey and me.
She was Navajo, her husband was white. Her family disowned her for marrying a white man. She and her husband become homeless when her family kicked them out. They had been married four months and homeless for three months living in a tent at the campground. They had a Great Dane named Casper. He was black with a white circle around his right eye.
She went back to her tent and Kathey, and I liked her. She was very friendly. She came over the next day and asked if I would like to learn how to make some Navajo Frybread. I said sure. It was so good.
The next day there’s another knock on the door. It’s Mark, her husband. He tells me I need to do something for him. He’s not asking. He’s telling me what I am going to do. I think not I am telling myself in my head! He informs me that I need to drive him to a food bank where he will go inside and distract the workers. While I fill up baskets full of food and hide it in the back outside, we will come back at night and get the food!
I tell him he must be a comedian! I start to laugh and close the door! Let me tell you, Kathey, and I soon find out what a horrible person Mark was. I don’t like to talk wrong about people, but this guy was a piece of crap!
The very next day, Edith shows up with a black eye! She said she tripped over the dog. But Kathey and I could hear Mark cursing and yelling at her in the tent the night before! So we said what we could do to help? She said could I drive her and Mark to the automotive store. I told her I was sorry but did not feel comfortable taking them to the store. She said she understood.
We did not see them for a couple of days. The day before we were going to leave, Edith should up. She told us that instead of going to the automotive store, they went to a bar. Mark got into a fight, and they both got arrested. Mark was still in jail. Kathey grabs Edith by the hand. Spoke softly, praying for God to intervene. Kathey says God thank you for all your blessings. Please bless Edith. Amen. Before we left, we got Edith’s phone number and said we would check up on her.
We loved spending time in Canyon De Chelly. It is a very Spiritual place! Three days went by, and we called Edith. She answered on the first ring. I asked how she was doing? She replies, you won’t believe what happened next after you left. I asked what happened? She says her sister called and asked if she would like to come home. I said that was great. Are they ok with Mark being there? She says it does not matter because he’s dead! Kathey whispers in my ear. Did she just say Marks dead? Did she kill him?
I was afraid to ask, but I did. She says he got ran over by a train! I say your kidding loudly! She says yep, he got out of jail and came back to the camped ground. I was gone. He got mad got some meth, and booze got wasted. Mark and Casper were walking on the tracks. The train killed Mark, but Casper got away.
Kathey yells yea, for Casper! After Kathey and her talked for several hours. We said a prayer for her and never heard from her again.
Based on a true story.
By Michael Vance Pemberton
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