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"Their bellies are full from a successful night's hunt," explained Charlie.

After the flurry had past, Charlie and Jo peered out from the sleeping bag. Sure enough, bat excrement dotted the top of their shelter.

"At least they're healthy," muttered Charlie, getting out from under the sleeping bag.

Jo's face was weary with pain.

"It's time I set off," announced the young woman. "I'm going to leave behind my backpack, because I want to make good time. If I don't get back before dusk, get under the sleeping bag, and stay low until the bats leave."

"I can't do it, by myself!" cried Jo, frantically.

"Yes, you can," insisted Charlie. "You're an old pro, now. You've done it twice before, and I know you can do it, again. I'm leaving you some water, which you shouldn't drink fast, and all the warm clothes, except this sweater. I'll hurry as fast as I can, all right?"

Jo reached up for a hug and then released her rescuer.

Charlie stepped into the sunlight, and, using the rope she had attached the night before, climbed up to the top of the precipice facing the cave opening. She breathed in the fresh air, untainted by the smell of bat guano, and began following the trail she had marked earlier with hair scrunchies.

One brightly colored scrunchy led to the next, as she began to run across rocks and vegetation, through tall lumbering trees, and past startled wildlife. Where Charlie couldn't run, she climbed. By mid-afternoon, she figured she might have reached a third of the distance back to the main trail.

All was going smoothly until Charlie jumped from one boulder to the next, and caught her foot just as she was pushing off. She felt herself falling, and then crashing into the hard surface below. Charlie cried out in pain, and rubbed her ankle. After taking a moment to calm down, she got to her feet and tried to put weight on the ankle. It immediately lit up with pain.

"Great," muttered Charlie, leaning against a large rock. "Why did you let this happen, God? This is just going to slow me down!"

Then she remembered the words, "we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose."

"Okay," she breathed in acquiescence to His will. "You know best."

Taking the sweater, Charlie wound it about her ankle, giving it some support, so she could stand on it with a degree of bearable pain. This however, had greatly slowed her progress. One step at a time, Charlie made her way to the next hair scrunchy, until at last, the pain in her ankle forced her to rest.

When she pulled off the sweater, Charlie saw that her ankle was turning color and swelling. She fought back the tears. She had been so brave in the cave with the bats and the darkness, only to melt into puddles in broad daylight. Feeling herself silly, Charlie bound up her foot again, and resumed the trip back. After a few painful steps, Charlie heard the wonderful sound of a helicopter, passing overhead.

"Over here!" she cried, waving her arms frantically.

Suddenly, she remembered the handheld flare she had brought with her from the emergency kit in her backpack, and quickly sent a stream of red smoke into the atmosphere. The helicopter veered from its course, and slowly circled in the sky above Charlie.

"Yes!" she exclaimed. "They see me!"

It took a few minutes for the pilot to find a place to land the helicopter, but when he did, three men jumped from the cabin with emergency gear and raced to the young woman. While one of the men taped Charlie's swollen ankle, she told them of Jo.
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