Frank's horse reared. In that horrible second when the world seemed to turn upside down, he was able to rein in his mustang and control her panic. Frank looked over at Jazira as her stallion staggered and fell to the ground with a terrible sounding bray. In the space of a heartbeat, Frank's leg was over the saddle horn and he jumped down from his horse. The mustang trotted out of the way as Frank rushed over to Jazira who had collapsed underneath Al-Hattal. In one fluid movement Frank's gun was drawn and aimed towards the manor, at Lady Davenport. Their eyes met. Phillips ran towards his employer and Frank holstered his weapon. He turned to Jazira and dropped to his knees at her side. With difficulty, she was trying to pull her foot free from the stirrup and her leg out from under the frantic stallion. Frank assisted by pulling her clear of the stallion's weight. Al-Hattal tried to stand but never left the ground, finally he laid his head on the drive, his body shaking, his breath coming in sharp, short pants. Jazira pulled away from Frank and draped herself across the stallion, fruitlessly looking to see where the wound was located. Frank lay his hand along Al-Hattal's flank and knew when the horse drew his final breath. Jazira had lay her head alongside the Sheik's, she knew as well. She buried her face in his mane to stifle the sob that wrenched from her heart. Suddenly, Jazira pushed herself up and spun towards the manor. Frank rapidly got to his feet. When she saw Lady Davenport standing on the porch, the rifle in her hand at her side, Jazira lunged forward and cried out like a warrior,
As she propelled towards the woman, Frank leaped in front of her, his solid arm gripping her around the waist. Her desperate force challenged his strength, almost causing him to lose his balance as Jazira's body pulled against the hard muscles of his arm. She tried to prize herself free from his restraint crying, "Nooo!"
Frank looked up at Lady Davenport and he saw fear in her eyes.
Jazira struggled to get past Frank, but his grip was locked around her. His voice was commanding and stern as he said, "Jazira! It's what she wants! If you lay a hand on her, she'll see that you stay in England." Frank pulled Jazira against himself, "But you're not, you're coming with me."
Jazira stopped fighting and allowed Frank to tow her along as he moved toward his mustang, stopping to pick up her reticule on the way. Jazira's eyes swept over the now lifeless Al-Hattal, and she went limp. Frank quickly tied her cloth bag onto his own saddle bags. Blinded by tears, Jazira looked back towards the manor, at Lady Davenport and the groom. Then she felt Frank's arms go around her waist as he lifted her onto the mustang. She grabbed the saddle horn and doubled over in grief, barely able to hang on. Frank climbed on behind her, wrapped an arm around her pulling her tight against him, and tugged on the reins, knocking his heels against the mustang's side, saying powerfully,
Phillips was stunned. The great stallion that had crossed 3,000 miles of desert had been unable to make it across the English lawn. He stared after Frank and Jazira, but out of the corner of his eye he saw the barrel of the rifle come into his line of vision. He turned his head to see that Lady Davenport was aiming at the riders. As she lined up the shot, Phillips looked from one to the other of them, and as she fired the gun, he pushed her to the ground causing the shot to misfire. Startled, Frank wheeled his mustang around to see Lady Davenport trying to pick herself up. Phillips lifted his hand yelling,
Frank dipped his head in acknowledgement and rode towards Liverpool.
After getting on the ship, Jazira locked herself in her cabin. Frank worried about her, but even more than that, he missed her. He paced the deck on the ship, checked on his mustang below deck, stared at the ceiling in his own cabin, and tapped on the door to Jazira's room only to receive silence. He knew her heart had been broken and he understood, so he waited.
On the second day at sea, Frank leaned against the ship's railing. The sun was bright and healing in it's warmth. He looked up into the deep blue sky, set off by the pure whiteness of the clouds and closed his eyes. He could see the ranch now, his ranch. He could hear the mustangs. He could see one or two bearing Hidalgo's markings, and perhaps one that looked like a majestic Arabian stallion. He could see her, Jazira, standing on the porch welcoming him home, and then he heard her soft rhythmic voice,
Frank opened his eyes and she was standing before him. She was so beautiful as her hair danced around her face with the ocean breeze, and the wind rippling her gold colored dress to touch him. He measured her heart by looking into her eyes, and she asked with a little smile,
"What do you see, up there?"
Frank reached for her hands and took them into his own, gently pulling her towards himself. Jazira looked up into the sky, the sun caressing her face in friendship. Frank asked tenderly, "Do you see it?"
Jazira closed her eyes embracing the warmth even as Frank embraced her. She asked dreamily, "See what?"
Frank savored the look of freedom on her face and replied in a whisper, "Our future. Remember how the story goes. . . 'the cavalry scout fell in love with the chief's daughter. . ."
Jazira opened her eyes and looked at Frank. He continued in husky softness, ". . .and married her."
They smiled at one another until Frank leaned down and kissed her.
The sun had truly come from the shadows, or had it?