The Go-log shouted with amazement, for accurate shooting with their old rifles was impossible at that range. Two of the riders charged off to recover the game, and she looked into the eyes of the tall rider.
"I have another such rifle, and if we are friends, it is yours."
"I could kill you and take them both."
She returned his look. "They," she said, indicating the others, "might take it from me. You would not, for you are a man of honor, and I would kill you even as they killed me."
She had no doubt of her position, and her chance of ever leaving this place was remote. Whatever was done, she must do herself.
He gestured toward the wreck. "Get what you wish, and come with us."
Her shooting had impressed them, and now her riding did also, for these were men who lived by riding and shooting. Lok-sha, a jyabo or king of the Go-log people, did not kill her. Escape being impossible, she married him in a Buddhist ceremony, and then to satisfy some Puritan strain within her, she persuaded Tsan-Po, the lama, to read over them in Kansu dialect the Christian ceremony.
Fortunately, the plane had not burned, and from it she brought ammunition for the rifles, field glasses, clothing, medicines, and her father's instrument case. Best of all, she brought the books that had belonged to her father and uncle.
Having often assisted her father, she understood the emergency treatment of wounds and rough surgery. This knowledge became a valuable asset and solidified her position in the community.
As soon as Anna's son was born, she realized the time would come when, if they were not rescued, he would become jyabo, so she began a careful record of migration dates, grass conditions, and rainfall. If it was in her power, she was going to give him the knowledge to be the best leader possible.
Excerpted from Beyond the Great Snow Mountains by Louis L'Amour. Copyright© 1999 by Louis and Katherine L'Amour Trust. Excerpted by permission of Bantam Books, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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