She dashed blindly through the woods. Tree limbs, vines and bushes scratching and grabbing at her as if they were bony hands reaching out for her from the darkness.The terrain dropped steeply, and she ran and tumbled down the side of the mountain as fast as she could. It was almost impossible for her to regain her footing because of the pine needles and loose stones. As of yet she had not even found the trail. She beat wildly at the limbs, stopping for a moment to fight back at them as if they had a life of their own. With flailing arms she tried to defend herself, against what she did not know. She dropped to the ground and began to crawl around in circles, over fallen logs and rocks looking frantically for the trail. Jumping up to her feet she darted to the left, then the right. A fallen limb caught her ankle and she fell again. Where was the trail?
Blood. She reeked of it. It was hot and sticky between her fingers. It had soaked through her shirt and splattered on her khaki pants so her clothes clung to her. In her right hand she held a hunting knife in an iron grip, unaware that the tip of the blade was broken off.
All she could think of was she had to get away, get out of these woods. She knew which way she and Jeff had come and where they had parked the camper. All she had to do was calm down, and backtrack. Calming down was easier said than done.She was crying, praying, and babbling, "let him go, let him go. Oh God save us......Go away, let him go," as she groped her way along, stooping under limbs, clambering over more logs, and pushing her way through tangled thickets in the dark.
At last she found the trail, a narrow, hoof-trodden route of dirt and gravel descending steeply along the hillside which turned back and forth through the tall pines and firs. She followed it carefully not wanting to get lost again. All the way she murmured to herself. "Oh God....Oh God help me."
Mary stayed on the steep trail for miles, taking step after jarring, downhill step until at last the trail ended onto the logging road she and Jeff and followed. Having made it this far, her desperation gave way to exhaustion and her knees buckled. She sank to the ground on the side of the road, too numb with shock to weep, too emotionally spent to pray. By now the blood that soaked her clothing had mingled with sweat, and the night wind drew heat from her body until she began to shiver.
Had he not been forced to slow down due to the poor condition of the road, the trucker would probably not have seen Mary in time. As it was he had to brake quickly when his headlights caught her, lying like a bloody corpse on the road. The rig came to a grinding halt about 10 feet away from the prone body. As he eased himself down from the cab the trucker could feel himself begin to shake. He could almost feel the fear coming from her and that startled him. He was a big man, not afraid of anything or anybody, but looking at this site he could feel he had rolled up on something he had never seen before. It was dark and he was alone, and somehow he knew there was more to this than he could see. He approached the motionless body expecting to find a hunting accident, or perhaps the remains of a bear attack. Maybe it was a raped, mutilated body dumped here by some pervert. He stopped and looked around wondering if the attacker was still around.
Mary stirred and moaned into the ground. The trucker quickly stepped back and looked at her. Then he moved over to her and stooped down gently turning her over. She was limp, her eyes closed and her face was swollen. He cradled her head and felt of her neck. Her pulse was strong and she was breathing. He asked her if she could hear him.
She awoke with a start as her eyes popped open quickly. She did not know who or where she was, or who was holding her. All she could focus on was the imposing grill and the rumbling of the diesel engine. And especially the glaring headlights---they looked like eyes to her. With a terrible shriek she broke free from the trucker and jumped to her feet. Staggering with exhaustion, stained with blood, her right hand still wielding her knife, the broken blade flashing in the headlights. Stunned the trucker stood in the road watching the woman as with crazed eyes and a cougar-like scream she attacked the truck with her knife. Shrieking, kicking, lashing at the huge truck the blade made a clanging sound as it struck the grill. Knowing he had to act or the woman would hurt herself the trucker grabbed her and was able to wrestle the blade away from her. Finally Mary went limp and fell to ground. She was too tired to fight anymore, and too scared to care.