Saga of Darkness Vision of Light
by Dennis R. Cook
None of us hesitated. There was little time for
thought or argument, just agreement. Indeed, our
lives depended on it. We joined hands and
"Precious Lord Jesus," Old Blackgoat began, "we
gathered here before you in need of a great
miracle. We believe in you. Now, therefore,
from this present evil, as your Word has said.
if you will, you can send us back to my sheep
Old Blackgoat's voice trailed away as there came
rushing of what sounded like a mighty wind. I lost
I don't know how long I was out, but when I came
heard excited voices, and someone was calling
"Joseph, we made it. Wake up!" the voice urged.Through blurred eyes I could see Steven standing over
I couldn't make anything else out.
"Where are we?" I asked groggily.
"We're back on the mountain, Joseph," Steven told
enthusiastically. "We all made it!"
"All of us?" I asked, startled at the
revelation. "Even Ketchum and all his men?" I
"That's exactly right," Joseph, Steven said.
"Sarah, Old Blackgoat, Prometheus, and yes,
Ketchum and all his men."
"How long have I been out, Steven?" I asked.
"Just a few minutes," Steven said. "You haven't
anything. We've only been here a short time."
"Well," I said, pausing, "guess we better go
the sheep." I laughed as I rose to my feet.
"I'll go bring my 4X4," Steven said.
The next few days brought a blur of frenzied
activity. Harold Yazzie brought his cattle truck
could move the sheep back down the mountain to
valley behind Old Blackgoat's church. That
Dr. Sheolman's disappearance was. His
disappearance brought the Navajo police to our front
They, of course, had a lot of questions, and
course, were their prime suspects for a while.Ketchum, bless his heart, finally convinced them to
off. What a relief! We were all very
that wasn't the end of our problems.
All of Old Blackgoat's parishioners left him.
right, left him! The first Sunday morning
service after our deliverance from all those things
on this present world, Mrs. Begay showed up,
only long enough to announce that she, along with the
rest of the congregation, could no longer support
Blackgoat as their pastor. "There are too many
circulating throughout the area about the lot
you," she said. "Frankly," she admitted, "we are
scared of you. We don't know any of you any
and we don't want our lives to be in peril
because of any association with you."
We tried to question her further, but she
wouldn't say anything else. She left, leaving all
open mouthed, dumbfounded.
Old Blackgoat took it in stride, though. "You
the old sage said in his learned,
philosophical way. "Sometimes wolves drive sheep from
flock, and you can't find the sheep anywhere.
can search for them for days and days. You know
can't have been eaten because their carcasses
be found either.
"I have learned this lesson about lost sheep.
they do not come home to you they have most likely
another flock of sheep somewhere on the other
of the valley, and that's alright with me."
Sarah, as it turned out, had a similar problem.
In fact, learning of her situation shocked me.
Perhaps it was my former chauvinism. She owned a
ranch..., that's right, a horse ranch..., made good
apparently. That is why we saw so little of
while we helped Old Blackgoat pursue Dr.
Sheolman, and unravel the mystery surrounding the
missing sheep on the reservation. It also
hurry to return home the night she was kidnapped.
had a business appointment. Small wonder, huh?
But that was only the half of it. After our
became "news," and her good ol' boy rancheros
learned of her relationship to Old Blackgoat,
well..., she arose one morning to find her hired
gone. I guess Navajo horsemen are
superstitious, too. Small wonder, huh?
As I said, the few weeks after our deliverance
all those things coming on this present world,
blur, so much so, that I didn't have any
opportunity to reflect. When things finally calmed
realized I had numerous questions that needed
addressed. For instance, how were we instantly
transported from what was most certainly a location
southern California to a mountain in New Mexico
several hundred miles away? I had heard
read accounts of the Lord's servants being
transported from one geographic location to another
twinkling of an eye, but, did that happen to
Perhaps, I'm not sure. Could be, our faith
the natural ebb and flow of the vortex, and it
transported us to safety.
There was one thing for sure I was confident of,
participated in various bizarre, and quite
supernatural events. Our experiences were real,
perception about everything we thought we saw,
somehow flawed. Nevertheless, I, personally,
it a point to take a pragmatist's perspective
it all, that is, figure out how I was
benefitted by the experiences, remember that, and put
rest behind me.
Here is how I summarized it. God is faithful,
don't give up your faith in Him, no matter what.
matter what your experience with evil in this
present world, continue believing in God to the end.
The Holy Spirit added this: "Because men
perceive not the need for my love, to give them my
is to forgive them."
Profound, huh? Not really..., its all in that
we call the Bible. But hey, it is comforting
the Lord to talk to us from time to time, and for
was nice to have at least one corner of my
squared away. There were other, more personal
matters, I had to tend to.
For example, who was I really? I knew who I
wasn't. I wasn't the silver-tongued-whiz-kid from
who, while seated atop the world from his
corporate office, devised schemes sales teams could
advance corporate goal's of achieving greater
greater percentages of sales in the automobile
No, I wasn't that guy any more, I was a
different creature altogether. From the day I had
the voice tell me I was saved in Astarte's
hacienda, I had become a different person. It
seemed, the trial by the devil had served as a
circumcision of sorts, for my not-so-pure-heart.
I lost the will to peek at verboten literature,
found a new love in my heart, even for my enemies.
astounding! I mean, I found myself loving Mrs.
even as she turned her back on us, and walked
the door. I could go on, but you get the picture.
a new found freedom in love, one that sets you
from the constant bitterness and hassles of
unforgiveness and hatred in the world.
So what was I supposed to do with my new life?
I had become a person eager to talk about a simpler,
humbler way of living, one, Steven or Old Blackgoat
was more in harmony with relevant ethereal
ecological realities. (Not really). They
paraphrased Paul..., "Walk in the Spirit..., and...
Steven had been right on with his analysis of my
condition that day I had visited him with Reverend
back in Palo Alto. Somehow, he knew I would
be satisfied with less than time-honored
service in my Father's house, but..., faxing my
resignation to Mammonmoto was a hard thing.
I had some doubts. In a way, I felt like the
young ruler who had turned away from the Lord
because he couldn't bear to part with his
possessions. He couldn't. His possessions
They were his life, perhaps even his way of
Had they become mine, or were they still mine? I
needed to know.
Could I turn my back on the world and walk away?
I part with my perfect home, job,
automobile for uncertainty, at best? It was a
call. I knew that greater men than me had been
with the same challenge, as I, and flunked
"O.K., Lord," I finally said, "I'll work for you
full-time, but I don't know what I'm going to do, or
am going to make a living, I'm just going to
you to provide."
And you know what, He did! Sarah's life had
changed in a hurry after her rancheros left her.
desperate for help. She still had a business to
and she found she couldn't run it by herself.
"Granddad," she said, "do you think you could talk
and Joseph into bunking up here and helping me for
awhile? And Granddad..., could you move your sheep
And Granddad, I really could use those strong
of Prometheus to build fence."
Sarah really turned on the charm, so much so I
thought she could have made a rattle snake smile
she turned it into a handbag! We didn't mind,
though. We had all become sort of like family.
The transition to life on a thriving horse ranch
smoothly, but after settling into the routine, I
felt something was amiss, and for some strange
felt the answer had to do with Ketchum.
We had heard a rumor that the G-man had resigned
the force. Seems his superiors gave him a poor
performance report because of the way he handled the
Sheolman affair. Seems he was tagged with the
reputation of being the only agent in the history of
Federal Bureau of Investigation to lose two
hundred million tons of evidence. Ironic, huh?
Fortunately, for the sake of my intuition,
wasn't the last we heard of the man.
A couple of weeks after Old Blackgoat, Steven,
Prometheus and I moved up to Four Corners to help
run her horse ranch, this Texan, driving a
Cadillac and pulling an air-conditioned, livestock
trailer, drives up to the front door and marches in
he owns the place...
"I heard some woman here by
name of Sarah was lookin' for a foreman," the
began. "Ma'am, my name is William Ketchum.
Friends call me Will for short. I have been workin'
since I was just a pup back in Waco, Texas.
much obliged if you would give me the
opportunity to work your herd."
"Might be able to double as a security guard,
I added, poking my head in through the front
"Well, Joseph, what in Sam--hill
are you doin'
"As if you didn't know, you wily old fox. What
have up your sleeve, anyway?"
"I just got to thinkin' after I retired from the
we all made quite a team..., and since you
made a believer out of me, well, it'd suit me
fine to work alongside you fellas', even if it's
shoveling horse manure."
"We sure have plenty of that," I laughed.
"What do ya' say, Sarah? Can I hang my hat out
"Well, you all just make yourself at home right
there," Sarah mimicked, doing her best to let
Ketchum know she wasn't nearly the shrew, she, at
seemed to be.
"So how did Sarah get this ranch, anyway?" I
Steven later that evening as we were preparing a
wing-ding to celebrate Ketchum's arrival.
"Her mother and father died in a plane crash
around Flagstaff a few years ago," Steven told
"And in case you are wondering..that's why
been distant,...just a touch of bitterness.
judging from the way she responded to Ketchum
afternoon, I would say having a family again has
care of that little problem."
"The question, Steven...answer my question."
"She inherited the ranch, Joseph, all 3700 acres and
everything on it. You see, her dad, Sherman
Blackgoat was Old Blackgoat's only child. To hear
Blackgoat tell it, Sherman's success in the horse
business was remarkable, but there's time for that
later. We've got to get those steaks on or
Prometheus will want to eat the barn door."
"Same old Steven," I thought to myself, as we
carried steaks toward the Bar B'Q' pit.
How did Prometheus fit in on a horse ranch? For
thing, he needed anonymity. The ranch afforded
that. We were six miles off the main highway.
loved animals, and animals loved him. He could
to them you know, and they really appreciated it
he would find just that special morsel they had
We continued to enjoy Shep's company, too. She
become part of the family. Old Blackgoat had
offered to return her to Harold Yazzie, but Harold
laughed, saying, he didn't want to be thought of as
Indian giver. He's still a good friend.
As for Steven and me? We souped up the bunkhouse
the latest in computer technology and went on
looking for any sign someone was in need of our
Then, of course, there was the remaining smidgeon
pure oil of lamb's blood, pure faith,
whatever, that remained unaccounted for. We never
the bootblack can containing the supposedly
precious ointment. However, if Sarah was around
topic came up, she put on an "air," if you know
mean. We all suspected, if she didn't have
stuff in her possession, she knew where to find
It didn't matter, though, we had learned a
valuable lesson from Old Blackgoat. The Word of
very powerful weapon against dark forces when
upon by Spirit-filled-believer-types. It was
our weapon of choice. And we all knew we would
it again one day, we just didn't know how soon.
Nevertheless, we knew it would come soon enough.
"I have a message from two genetic researchers
desperate for our help," Ike yelled one early
morning. "Says their last name is Christman,
they live somewhere off the beaten path in
Alabama. What shall I tell them?"
To be continued ...
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