|"...she lifted Lord John Roxton's head onto her lap and breathed life back into his body..."
ADDITION TO THE KNIFE - by CAP
Her legs from the kneeling position were at first cramped, then painful
and now numb. She, Marguerite Krux, could not move before the shallow waters receded. It seemed, the slow diminishing
of the inland tide, took forever. The moment she lifted Lord John Roxton's head onto her lap and breathed life back
into his body her focus was centered on saving this human being. This man whose heart was hers for the asking, if only
The sun, hot and blazing, made it's decent into the afternoon sky.
The trees, surrounding the eroded earth near the river were twisted, bare and dead from too many river floods. The lifeless
grey-brown branches gave little shade and comfort to the man and woman, surviving underneath. Insects recently hatched
in the pockets of stagnant water lay like a haze over the low lying riverbanks and its living human contents.
Marguerite Krux leaned over John to protect his exposed eyes and face
from the heat and glare of the sun. When she moved forward she could feel insects crawling down the back of her neck
into her sweat soaked blouse.
|"Marguerite, are you alright?"
She used her left arm and hand to keep the pervasive insects from feasting
on the soft tissue of his unprotected eyes, inner nose and mouth cavity. Her right hand was pillowed under John's head
to keep him further elevated from the water. Would this afternoon ever end, she thought. The heat, the pain, the
flies, and the near death of someone so intertwined in her life brought quick moisture to her eyes and a low sob to her throat.
The head beneath her hand stirred slightly. "Marguerite, are you alright?" said a voice still raspy from the drub.
"Yes, John, I'm fine," she whispered. The fear of staying in this savage landscape threatened again to overwhelm her
previous courage. Then she looked down on a face, gentle and still strong, his eyes resting on her face with calm assuredness
and all fear and uncertainty vanished and was replaced by firmness, unswayable and unshakable. He depended on her to
make sure they get back to the treehouse alive. No time to dwell on things that can't be helped.
The lengthening shadows of the dead tree branches reached across the
sandy soil. the glint of sun shining off John's signet ring brought her out of her brief reverie. she realized
that the waters had receded slightly and a cooling breeze had sprung up, signifying the onset of dusk. John's eyes were
closed, a moment of panic assailed her, until she realized the rasping, shallow breaths of the past hours had finally stopped
and been replaced with rhythmic normal breathing. She removed her hand from under his head, flexing near numbed fingers.
"John," she quietly whispered. Then she felt the jerk of movement on her lap and realized he had turned his head.
"John," she spoke louder. His eyes instantly snapped open and aware. "Marguerite, danger?" he voiced. "John,
can you move your arms, legs, try?" The hunter focused his energy and strength into following her instructions.
|"...he was able to sit up, then stand and finally make a few small steps..."
Moments, sceonds, minutes creeped by as Lord John Roxton tested his jungle
hardened muscles, slowly at first then with more resolve. And as the sun dropped behind a small range of hills, he was
able to sit up, then stand and finally make a few small steps. Marguerite watched his struggle for supremacy over his
own unwilling body. Winning and losing in alternating patterns. A look or a smale in her direction followed his
triumphs. His failure, by downcast eyes and a slow, low curse. Strength expended momentarily, he sat beside her.
"Marguerite, I..." his eyes met hers in understanding. "Marguerite, I..." his large hand cupped her chin and brought
her face closer. Marguerite shifted away and voiced, "John, I'm a mess...look at me. I'm streaked with dirt, caked
with sweat and I'm not quite sure what species of vermin now find their hom in my hair, and..."
"Marguerite, you never looked more appealing...to me," and again his
large hand cupped her chin and pulled her closer. His hand went from her chin to her jawline and then to the small vulnerable
patch of skin at the nape of her neck. Breathing between the two quickened with the first light tentative kiss.
The taste of salt from sweat mingled with slow, held, deppening responses...
|"Marguerite, Roxton...shouted the voice of Ned Malone...Thank goodness I found you..."
"Marguerite, Roxton..." shouted the voice of Ned Malone, journalists,
author, fellow explorer and friend. Marguerite and John broke apart...but John's look at Marguerite never wavered, nor
his amile, but you could hear the damn in his voice as he yelled, "Over here, Malone."
"Thank goodness I found you...What happened?" Marguerite looked
at the young journalist and said "You will never believe this story!" And Malone, with laughing blue eyes said "I think
"Malone, I don't think John can make to back to the treehouse tonight."
"Marguerite, I brought some blankets, light provisions and weapons. That should get us through the night," said Malone.
"There's a dry spot further away from the river."
As Malone pulled together a fire with dry twigs, Marguerite began spreading
out the blankets. She noticed two curious very wet lumps of material sitting beside the makeshift fire. "Malone,
thanks for the blankets and the pemmican, but what the devil are those things?" "Oh, these...I found them on the trail,
farther back." Malone stooped and picked up the two indescribable pieces of material and presented them to Marguerite
and Roxton. "Marguerite, I believe this is yours, and Roxton, this is yours."
Both Roxton and Marguerite held the wet material in their hands and together
It was their hats.
|"Malone stooped and picked up the two indescribable pieces of material...it was their hats..."