I have been neglectful (lazy) this week and haven’t published the next portions. I will try to catch up over the next few days…
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There was a loud “Uh Oh!” as he went over the edge. Johnny saw the top of his head disappear and quickly jumped in after him.
Susie echoed Stanley’s “Uh Oh!” as she looked down at the two boys and realizing that they were headed out of the eddy and into the main flow of the river. She jumped in after them, so that she could help them get back to shore.
In spite of Susie & Johnny’s best intentions, Stanley was very frightened and struggled so much that neither of them could get a good hold on him before they were all caught in the current and heading rapidly downstream.
Pastor Tom Johnson and his wife, while talking intently with some members had also kept an ear tuned into the sound of their children’s voices. When they heard the first “Uh Oh!”, their heads turned simultaneously in the direction of the sound. When they heard the second “Uh Oh!” they ran simultaneously in the direction of the sound.
Upon reaching the rock where their children had been, they saw them struggling in the swift water and moving fast down river too far away to jump in and swim after. So, like any good father, Pastor Johnson called loudly to the other men of the church and headed down to the riverbank in an effort to follow the children and rescue them. He didn’t stop to see if anyone followed him. He just ran as fast as his legs would carry him through the trees and the underbrush toward his vanishing children.
Susie, Johnny and Stanley were all struggling to keep their heads above water so that they could breath. Susie and Johnny, though each was trying as hard as they could to reach Stanley were carried deeper into the current because of their greater size. Stanley bobbed along closer to the shore and his shirt was snagged by an overhanging branch. His father caught up with him just in time to see the heads of the other two disappear around a bend in the river.
He lost sight of them as he was retrieving Stanley from the branch. “Got one, lost two. Protect them Lord and please bring them back to me”, he prayed as he gathered his son into his arms to carry him up onto the riverbank.
Both Susie and Johnny were good swimmers but the current was too strong for them to fight. They had both seen Stanley get snagged by the overhanging tree but could not reach the shore. They then tried to concentrate on breathing and keeping an eye on the other.
Rapidly they approached another bend in the river. If they could maneuver to the west side of the river, they might be able to grab one of the large rocks and get to shore. Johnny was the first to try. As he was carried near the rock he launched himself with all of his might but he missed and was turned around backwards for his effort.
He again felt out of control and breathed a quick prayer. “Lord please save me!”
Was that a prayer for forgiveness and salvation or was it just to get him out of the river? Time will tell. No sooner had he gotten those words out of his mouth when everything went black.
Susie had been behind Johnny in the current and had seen what happened to him. She did not make the same mistake. She went for the next rock and was able to grab hold but could not see where Johnny had gone. Once she got her breath, she climbed up on the rock and made her way to shore.
On getting there she noticed another eddy pool similar to the one that they had been fishing in and something, no someone was floating in it. It was Johnny! She raced over to it and grabbed him by the shirt, turned him over to get his face out of the water and pulled him over to the sandy shore. Once there she rolled him on his side. Johnny convulsed and some water came out of his mouth in a rush. He then started breathing in rapid gulps.