Born on the Pass, October 1950
The woman of the people cried out her silent dying prayer high into the heavens, and Eagle awoke from his endless slumber…Coyote grinned!
Child of Destiny
Jonathan Knight paced the walls of the cabin with his two-year-old son Will in his arms. He was no doctor. He was concerned that his wife, Sara, was having a difficult time these last few hours. A decision had to be made. Although the baby wasn’t due for at least another week, they had planned to drive up to Grangeville three days ago. That was when this unexpected round of early storms blew in from the elevations. John was beginning to get worried. “That baby was ready to be born.”
Hearing Sara’s scream, John quickly put Will into his cradle and ran to the loft where Sara lay. He looked down at her face, awash in perspiration, and felt a rush of panic as he noticed her lap was immersed in liquid.
“Relax, John, my water just broke,” Sara said as she smiled up at him through a face full of pain. “Studebaker’s packed for the trip, so let’s just take William over to Tom’s and get headed to Grangeville.”
John looked at Sara with a worried expression and said, “Sara, with the weather outside, it’ll be a difficult ride across the pass, and that baby looks like it wants to come now.”
Thirty minutes later, they had dropped off Little William at the neighbors and were headed northbound on US Highway 95 out of Riggins. The winds were gusting and snow fell steadily, but John knew that his snow tires were in sound condition and he could feel them getting the traction needed to grip the asphalt.
John took a breath as they passed through the town of White Bird. His anxiety grew as the pass loomed ahead, and he knew this would be the most treacherous part of the trip. White Bird Pass on Highway 95 was infamous for being possibly the most dangerous north and south piece of highway in America. He had traveled the pass many times in bad weather and knew the Studebaker was right for these roads.
As they rolled out of town, John quickly checked the back where Sara lay wrapped up in every blanket they owned. Although the temperature was below freezing, John knew she was wrapped warmly, and the truck camper provided protection from the weather outside. He was focusing his concentration so intently on the hairpin curves that he barely registered Sara’s scream. “Damn, damn, damn!” John bellowed as his mind raced. Okay, be calm, he thought to him¬self. Just pull off around the next curve. He knew there was a gravel pullout just up ahead.
Once he was safely off the road, he got out and jumped in the back. With a surge of trepidation, he noticed that Sara was white as a sheet. Beneath her wrappings, blood saturated the innermost blanket.
As John sat there almost in a state of shock, Sara’s hand reached out and grabbed his shoulder. He looked into her amazingly calm eyes as she said, “John, I’m going to have this baby right here. You know what needs to be done.”
John was an outdoorsman and had worked farms all his life. He had delivered many of his foals by his own hands, as well as sheep and cattle, through often-difficult births. His camper was well supplied for the necessary requirements. They camped out often as a couple and recently as a family. In ten minutes, he had spread out the bur¬lap awning behind the truck, forming a lean-to, and had water on the camp stove boiling. Once he began the process, the birth went amazingly well. Sara’s dilations seemed reasonable, and the baby was in the proper position. John had never witnessed a delivery go as smoothly. As he wrapped the baby in a small blanket and put him in his mother’s arms, he was able to staunch Sara’s blood flow as he carefully covered her snugly in the heavy blankets, concerned about the ashen pallor on his wife’s face.
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