Day One Thousand One Hundred Ninety Four #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

There were many roving patrols we had to dodge up on these heights above the altar. And we had to set up even further back as Moglen had positioned an outpost where we hid when last we were here.

After we were in place, we sent Tomas back down the trail. From the hills on the way here we had spotted Sy’s group emerge out of the village into the wilderness. He will meet up with them and lead them up to this position.

Elijah and I made a quick trip down for a closer look. We saw that all its stone work appears to be back in place. But as of yet no golden idol.

Five days to go.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Eighty Two #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I was disappointed. Instead of being back in the hiding place and resting, we were trudging up and over hills avoiding the major pathways.

As we neared the Damascus-Jerusalem road, my attitude improved for I recovered my bearings. And soon after Quasimo took the lead as he was more familiar with these approaches to our destination.

Elijah held me back and picked up our conversation of the other day. He shared that his dreams about the end have returned and are stronger than ever. He confessed that he does not dwell on them but finds that as the time draws closer, he did not want to let the opportunity pass to thank me for my constant help and companionship.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Thirty One #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Elijah made the decision. No discussion beforehand. Of course, neither Reuben nor I objected. Rather we were more than glad to comply. Because of what Reuben had told us, we turned our back on the path before us and headed back towards the bivouac of the army of the North.

Elijah had noted another path that branched off near there, so we took that path.

It wound higher into the hills. As we continued we always chose the forks that we judged would parallel our desired course, but avoid the approaches to Sy’s redoubt.

We met no opposition, no patrols. Not even any animals, wild or otherwise.

What did slow us down were those paths that dead ended atop hills.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Twenty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Reuben skillfully tiptoed us around the lookout posts of the army of the North on these heights above the plain. However he did not know the routes nor schedules of their foot patrols, so we did have a couple of near collisions.

In the end I feel it was the hand of the Spirit that hid us from view. For I cannot fathom how otherwise one group failed to see us. They were headed down to a command outpost situated at the base of the hills, and should have been more attentive. Only one soldier at the rear of their column ever looked back. And I know, for one instant, he stared directly at me.

We pressed onwards silently rejoicing.

Day One Thousand One Hundred Twenty Seven #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

I don’t know who was more overjoyed, or relieved – Reuben or us. Perhaps it was dependent upon whoever was sharing. For we mutually encouraged one another by the good news we were each privy to.

All was well at the hiding place according to his account. And for him to hear from us that Tomas was well gave him immense satisfaction.

The fact that he was here was the result of his search for Tomas. The trail that he had pieced together to follow him, lead him to us.

He strongly considered going on to Babylon, but we dissuaded him. It was very providential to have him with us as we left the plain behind and climbed into the hills.

Day One Thousand Sixty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Our movements we feel were well beyond the army’s patrols. And the lack of drones too, was a comfort.  All the more so as we came down from the hills and onto the plain.

Sy directed us to a well by midday, but it proved a disappointment. He said the water was simply too deep to reach.

Thankfully our need is far from pressing. There was a point after Sy had spoken when I looked to Elijah, but he shook his head, so I knew that it was not quite the time.

Elam was a great help. For he had driven his tanker truck through this area many times, and knew the best places to pass over those routes undetected.

Day One Thousand Sixty Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

From our observations of yesterday we formed a good notion of how we can cross the great plain ahead and follow in the wake of the army of the world government. We shall have to continue in the hills a bit longer in order to swing beyond the limits of the patrols sent out from the forces left behind.

Sy seconded the plan, for he knows of several wells along that arc that may provide water.

He accompanied Mawuli in the forward advance while we kept up the best we could.

I walked with Mei and we fell into a conversation about former times. The topic – her former position in the army of the East and where Lung might be.

Day Seven Hundred Ninety Eight #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

We covered a good deal of ground today. The terrain changed. We have left the hills behind. Now we have entered into the prairie – still on our southwest trajectory.

Our resting place this evening finds us at a crossroads. The six of us gathered for a meeting. Each one knew before a word was spoken that a momentous shift was afoot.

Elijah looked from one to the next in succession, and lastly to me.

It fell to my lot to make the announcement.

Tomorrow, Elijah and I were to part from them. They – Mei, Raj P, Tomas and the Captain and their groups will take the road west. Elijah and I shall head south.

There were no questions, just assent.

Day Seven Hundred Seventy Five #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

The sound of two gunshots and an answering fusillade crashed out of the pathway to our left.  Before their echoes trailed off, we made our easy choice, the right-hand fork, and hurried out of the area.

Tomas ran ahead to sweep the path and to ensure we wouldn’t come up against another surprise.

Mei took up her favored position,  keeping a constant watch behind us. The Captain dropped back also to keep her company and lend additional support.

Thus we continued all day.

I walked with Elijah. With not a word between us. A whole new vista was opening up before us – the hills flattening into rolling prairie to which we could see no end.

“Almost there,” said Elijah.

Day Four Hundred Twenty Nine #DiaryoftheEndoftheWorld

Late into the night Elijah and I discussed what to do. Before turning in we concluded that we would explore our immediate surroundings.  

First on our list was the northern road that runs out of the one open gate. In the hills just outside the city we discovered a series of villages and farms. In those that were closer to the city the mark was prevalent. But further out it disappeared. Good news.

We were able to restock some foodstuffs. And gain some information. Those without the mark had been driven from the city. They uneasily await a future expulsion from their current locale.

Come that time Elijah advised them to prepare to travel north to search out the Purser.