Home Screenwriting Products Screenwriter Community Screenwriting Store
ScriptBuddy - Screenwriting Software for the Web

Screenwriter Community

Back to List of Published Screenplays
View/Leave Feedback

Mountain of Love II
by Ernie Johnson (authorernieroy@yahoo.com)

Rated: G   Genre: Action/Adventure   User Review:

The four young men, now six years older, are called back to Mount MAnhadden. What can they see now that they didn't see when they were there six years previous

This screenplay is copyrighted to its author. All rights reserved. This screenplay may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of the author.



CAL LONG sits in his living room and reads his Bible before
going to bed. Godís Holy Word is open to the book of
Jeremiah, chapter twenty-four, and when he reaches the
seventh verse he stops.
      (Reads Aloud)
For I shall give them a heart to
know me, that I am the Lord and
they shall be my people and I will
be their God: for they shall
return to me with their whole
Cal rereads the chapter and pauses once again at the very
same verse of scripture.
What are you trying to tell me,
KERRY LONG, Calís wife, is in the kitchen and she hears Cal
talking. She heads into the living room.
Did you want me, honey?
No I didnít, love, but come here a
minute, seeing as you're in the
room with me.
      (Sitting Down)
Whatís wrong?
I was just having my devotions,
honey, and it was like God was
speaking to me through His Word.
What's the scripture?
Cal shows her the passage of scripture and she reads the
words quickly.


What do you think God's trying to
say to you?
If I'm right, hon, God wants us to
go back to Manhadden.
The last time you were there was
almost six years ago and it was
you who received Godís blessing
for the most parts. Why would He
want you to go back up there now?
I donít know, sweetheart, but I'm
sure He wants us all to go back
Us, as in you, Brad, Mark, and
I think Godís wants our wives to
go up there with us.
Cal looks her square in the eye.
You can use a break from the house
for a week and youíve never been
camping before, so
it might be fun, too.
Oh Cal, I love you with all my
heart and soul, sweetie, but to go
camping in a tent, on a mountain
that has bears, mountain lions,
and who knows what else, I donít
think I could do that.
Iíll tell you what! If I can get
all of the other guys to go up
there with me, with their wives as
well, would you at least consider


Honey! Not one of the girls ever
slept in a tent before, so I doubt
theyíd even consider such an
adventure, and that is what it
would be for all of us girls, and
Please, sweetheart?
Cal leans forward to give her a kiss.
My weakness has always been your
charm, Cal, and with some
reluctance Iíll agree if all the
others girls will go up there too.
When are you going to plan this
little trip of ours?
It will take some doing, but Iíd
like to be able to go up there
sometime within the next two to
three weeks, before the
vacationing season. If we're able
to leave here on Saturday morning,
the twenty-sixth we can leave
there on Friday the second of July
before the holiday weekend crowd
goes up there.
When are you going to talk to the
I think Iíll do it tomorrow after
Do you want to invite everyone
over here tomorrow afternoon and
we can all talk it over, including
the girls?
Thatís a great idea. Let me call
the guys now and if everyone
brings as little something we can
all have dinner together and talk
about it then.


If youíre going to call them
tonight, Cal, itís eight oíclock
so you better get to it.
Kerry stands to go back into the kitchen.
What do you want to make for it so
I can let them know?
We have enough stuff for salads
and rolls, honey.
Thanks, sweetheart. Youíre an
Just remember one thing, all the
girls have to say yes before I
Youíre on!
Kerry returns to the kitchen while Cal grabs the phone and
dials Markís familiar number.
After the second ring the phone is answered.
                       LYNNE (VO)
Hi, Lynne, is Mark around? Itís
Cal Long.
                       LYNNE (VO)
Oh hi, Cal. Mark is down at the
barn feeding the horses. He
should be done in about ten or
fifteen minutes. Want him to call
you when he gets in?
That would be great!
                       LYNNE (VO)
Is anything wrong, Cal?


Not at all, thanks.
                       LYNNE (VO)
Then Iíll have him call you in a
few minutes. Good night.
Goodnight, Lynne!
Cal hangs up and immediately picks up the phone again. He
dials the number for GREG.
                       SHARON (VO)
Hello, Stone residence. SHARON
Hi, Sharon. Itís Cal. Is Greg
around, please?
                       SHARON (VO)
Heís right here. Hold on a
                       GREG (VO)
Good evening, Cal. To what do I
owe this pleasure?
Hi, Greg. I believe God is
calling us back to Manhadden. Can
you and Sharon drop over to the
house after church tomorrow? I am
trying to get everyone together so
we can talk it over.
                       GREG (VO)
Are you serious? Sure, Cal, we
can be there. Want us to bring
We're supplying the salad and
rolls, so what would you folks
like to bring?
                       GREG (VO)
If youíve got a grille Iíll bring
the steaks. How does that sound?


Iíll have mine well done. See you
guys at church in the morning.
                       GREG (VO)
Weíll see you there. Bye for now.
Cal once again hangs up the receiver and is quick to pick it
up again. This time he dials Bradís home number.
Hi, Terry, itís Cal Long. Is the
old goat at home?
Cal laughs into the receiver.
You seem to be in a good mood, and
heís not an old goat. Heíll be
right with you.
                       BRAD (VO)
So Iím an old goat, huh? Whatís
up my friend?
I think God is calling us all back
to Manhadden. I am getting the
four families together at my place
after church tomorrow. Greg is
bringing steaks and Kerry is
supplying the salad and rolls, so
can you and Terry join us?
                       BRAD (VO)
Well be there, but what would you
like us to bring?
How about dessert? I know your
wife loves to bake so Iíll leave
the dessert to you guys.
                       BRAD (VO)
Not a problem. Iíll see you in
church in the morning. Thanks for
the invite.


Donít thank me, Brad. Thank God.
See you tomorrow.
Cal places the receiver back onto the hook when the phone
rings and he answers it.
Hi, Mark!
                       MARK (VO)
How'd you know it was me?
Because I was expecting your call
right about now.
                       MARK (VO)
Iím glad I didnít disappoint you.
Whatís up?
Are you and Lynne free tomorrow
afternoon right after church?
We can be, Cal. Whatís going on?
I feel God calling us back to
Manhadden, Mark, and my gut
instinct is that heíd like the
girls to go up there with us. I
thought maybe the eight of us
could get together at my place,
after church in the morning, and
if everybody brought a little
something we could have dinner out
in the back yard and talk it over.
                       MARK (VO)
What would you like us to bring?
Well we have steak, salad, rolls,
and dessert, so name your poison.
                       MARK (VO)
Iíll have Lynne make a casserole
and weíll also bring the sodas,


Sounds great. Between you and I,
Mark, I believe God has something
in store for us and it feels like
more than just an adventure on the
                       MARK (VO)
Sounds good. You do realize that
none of the girls have ever gone
camping before, donít you?
I was pretty sure they hadnít, so
that could make it even more fun.
Iíll see the two of you at church
in the morning. Goodnight.
                       MARK (VO)
Goodnight, Cal, and God bless.
Kerry enters the living room of their modest ranch style
home and she sits on the couch beside her husband.
How did you make out, honey?
Everyone is coming over here right
after church. I would think
they'd stop at home to change into
something comfortable first
though, but we do have all the
food we need. It will be good to
have us all together again. The
last time we were all in the same
place, outside of church, was when
Sharon and Greg got married last
Yes it will, honey, and they are
all great friends. Do you think
the girls will go up there?
Are you worried they might?
Not really. While cleaning the
kitchen I remembered what you told
me about the last time you were up
there. I may not be a camper,
sweetheart, but I do love animals


                       KERRY (cont'd)
and could easily become friends
with Bandit.
Bandit became more than just a pet
to me. That raccoon knew every
inch of that mountain and he knew
all the animals too. If Bandit is
still alive Iíd love to see my
little masked friend again. It's
more likely that we would get to
see the younger raccoons who would
be adults in their own right.
What about Splinter?
Kerry sits back and listens.
Splinter was a young fawn of maybe
eight months or so. I think he
was a male, and now that six years
have passed he would be an adult
buck by now, with antlers and
Do you think heíd remember you
after all these years?
That fawn had a broken leg, Kerry,
and God healed that break in less
than eight hours. I put the
splint on his leg and it was
Splinter who came to me to have it
removed that same night. If
Splinter is alive and still on
Manhadden, I'm sure heíll remember
At nine-thirty Cal and his young wife head to bed.
The four young adult couples sit together in one pew as
Pastor Tim delivers the morning message. They all sit there
and listen to his words as he brings his message to a close.


                       PASTOR TIM
There are times when we will hear
Godís voice when we are having
devotions, praying, or even just
reading His word. All too often
we are preoccupied with the
humdrum of our everyday lives to
hear His voice when He talks to
us. Does God talk to us in a
voice we can hear with our ears?
No! How then can we hear Godís
voice? It tells us in revelation,
chapter three and verse twenty
that if any man hear my voice,
and open the door, I will come in
to him, and will sup with him, and
he with me. We hear Godís voice
with our hearts, not with our
ears. Has God spoken to you? Let
us pray.
Pastor Tim prays the closing prayer.

They all closed their eyes as the pastor prayed.

After the morning service is over, Cal and his friends get
in line to greet Pastor Tim at the door of the church as
they leave.
                       PASTOR TIM
Good morning, Cal; Mrs. Long.
Thank you for that message this
morning, Pastor. That was
directed at me.
Cal shakes Pastor Timís hand.
                       PASTOR TIM
I knew it was meant for someone
here in my congregation, Cal. That
was not the sermon I had planned
or prepared to present this
morning. Somewhere around eight
oíclock last night God spoke to me
and I changed my sermon.
Thatís amazing, Pastor, because it
was around eight oíclock when I
got a message from God. Have a
great day.


                       CAL (cont'd)
                       PASTOR TIM
Thanks, Cal.!
Cal waits for his friends outside the church. Itís a
comfortable seventy-two degrees and the sun shines bright.
Can you believe that, Cal?
Greg and Sharon joins Cal and his wife.
Letís just say that the morning
message reinforced what God said
to me last night, Greg. Do you
and Sharon want to go home first
and change? Weíll be having
dinner on the patio..
Thatís what we were planning to do
anyway.. We left the dessert at
the house. What time should we be
at your place?
One oíclock is fine.
Weíre going to head home first
too, Cal.
Mark and Lynne join the others.
Are you excited about this, Kerry?
I wasnít, at first, but with all
that is going on, I'm getting
Weíll see you at one.
Brad and Terry reach Cal.
It does look like God wants us
back up there, Cal.


It sure does. I hope the girls
go. This will be a great
opportunity for them all.
Can we run home quick and change?
Sure! Weíll meet at my place, on
the patio, at one.
Are you planning to go up there,
If all three of you go I will. I
fought it, last night, but there's
more here than just a mere camping
trip. I feel Godís presence in
this endeavor.
Good! Weíll be at the house by
one. See you there, girl.
Thanks, Terry.
By twelve forty-five Cal is outside on the patio and he
starts the grille.
All we need now are the steaks and
I can get them started, honey.
Kerry brings out the salad.
Good! I have the oven on and will
wait until the meat is almost done
before I put the rolls on. That
will only take a few minutes.
Are you getting excited?


Up until this morningís sermon I
was fighting it. Now I guess God
has me hooked.
Good girl!
Cal gives his wife a kiss.
Greg and Sharon enter the back yard.
You got the grill on? The steaks
are here.
Hi, Kerry. Are you going up there
with us?
Sharon gives her friend a hug.
I take it you're planning to go.
After all Iíve heard about this
mountain, girl, you couldnít keep
me away. Please say youíll go. I
have no idea what God has in store
for us up there, girl, but by all
accounts it has to be beautiful.
If she says she's not going, then
Iíll have to get one of the
bridles from the barn and lead her
up the mountain.
Lynne and Mark enters the Longís back yard.
Youíre going too, Lynne?
      (To Mark)
Honey! Can you put the casserole
on the table for me?
Lynne hands Mark the bowl.


Listen to me, Kerry. You ask any
one of these men and theyíll all
tell you how beautiful Mount
Manhadden is. For any place on
earth to be as close to Heaven as
that mountain is, I want to make
sure I get to see it.
      (Entering the Yard)
Count me in! Who doesn't want to
At first I didnít.
And now?
I made an agreement with Cal that
if you three girls went up there
then Iíd go too.
Good girl! Do you want to put this
stuff in the fridge until itís
time for dessert?
Terry hands Kerry one of the two bowls.
Sure! Follow me.
      (To His Friends)
Are all the girls excited about
Lynne canít wait.
Sharon wants to go, even though
sleeping in a tent is not high on
her to do list, as she puts it.
I convinced Terry last night that
taking this trip would be like
taking a trip to Heaven, Cal, and
told her about the things we saw
when we were up there the last


                       BRAD (cont'd)
time. She's going.
Then the only thing weíll need is
bigger tents. Get the girls
around the table. The steaks are
almost done.
Cal flips the steaks over for the final time.

With two picnic tables placed end to end there's enough room
for all eight of them to have a seat with room to spare.
Before we eat, gang, I think itís
appropriate we have a word of
Cal waits for them all to bow their heads.
Father God! Weíd like to thank
you for today and for friends who
know you personally. We ask now
that you bless this food to our
bodyís use and let your will be
done here this afternoon. We ask
this in your holy name, Lord,
amen. Okay, gang, dig in.
During the meal the talk is once again about their last trip
to Manhadden. Cal lets his friends talk and sits there as
the momentum builds towards their new trip and adventure.
Cal! You havenít said much at
Why donít we get the dessert out
and Iíll talk to everyone?
Want to help me, Sharon?
Iím right behind you.
Weíll clean the table off.


Lynne nods to Terry Ames.
Once the dessert is on the table, and everyone is seated
around it, Cal stands at one end.
Last night, while having my
devotions, it was like God
directed my hands. I rarely go
into the book of Jeremiah unless
it has to do with the sermon in
church. When I got to the
twenty-fourth chapter I felt
compelled to read it thoroughly
and I didnít get very far.
Why not?
When I got to the seventh verse it
was like it was the only scripture
on the entire page.
What did it say?
For I shall give them a heart to
know me, that I am their Lord and
they shall be my people and I will
be their God; for they shall
return unto me with their whole
Does that mean us?
Do we not have a heart to know
Him, that He is our Lord, and are
we not His people and He our God?
Well yes to all of that.
I agree. Then the next verse
says; we shall return to him with
our whole hearts.


How do our wives fit into this?
When we married our wives we
became one with each other and one
with God as well. My heart is
Kerryís and hers is mine. For me
to go back to Manhadden without
her I would feel like I was not
giving God my whole heart.
You continue to amaze me. I am
inclined to agree with you. Lynne
and I are one in heart and spirit.
To go there without her by my
side would be like leaving a part
of me behind.
Why God wants us there is anyoneís
guess, but I'm sure there's a good
reason Heís called us back there
after six long years.
When are you planning to go?
We all have some things to get
first, Greg. We all need larger
tents. The one-man tents we have
are fine for ourselves, but
married it would mean cramped
Thank you, Cal.
Sharon's face flushes.
Iíll second that.
Okay! So we got the girls to go,
so the least we can do is to try
and make it as comfortable for
them as we can, at least inside
the tent anyway. Itís now the
sixth of June and we would be best
to leave here either the


                       CAL (cont'd)
nineteenth or the twenty-sixth.
After that weíll likely run into
the traffic for the holiday
weekend and vacationers as well.
From there through Labor Day the
mountain will be packed with
campers. Our best bet is to be
out of there before that weekend.
Lynne and I can be ready by the
nineteenth, Cal. Iíll get Skip to
manage and run the farm for the
Iíve got two weeks vacation time
coming to me at the mill, Cal, and
I'm sure my boss would be happier
if I took it either before or well
after the summer rush. Count
Sharon and I in for the
I own my own store, Cal, so
getting time off is no problem.
Count Terry and I in for the
nineteenth as well.
That leaves only Kerry and I.
Being a salesman I make my own
hours. Weíll set our climb date
for Saturday morning the
nineteenth of this month and weíll
leave Manhadden on Saturday
morning the twenty-sixth. Iíll
make the call to the state park
and make the reservations and try
to reserve the same spaces we had
the last time we were up there.
Should we bring our fishing rods?


If you want to eat more than just
berries for the week Iíd suggest
we all did, or at least the guys
anyway. Having the women with us
will allow us to be able to bring
some food, because they can carry
some inside their backpacks, but
nothing that will spoil.
Where and when should we meet?
If itís alright with you, Mark,
weíll all meet at the ranch and
take only two cars to the State
Park. We can take mine, because
itís a van, and also your van,
Mark. We should meet somewhere
around seven oíclock and leave
your place before eight.
Why so early, Cal?
We have an hour and a halfís drive
to the state park and with you
girls it will take a good five
hours or more to get to the
Who should bring what for food?
I hadnít thought that far ahead,
yet, but we'll discuss it later
this week. I guess that just
about wraps it up for today.
Thanks, everyone, for coming and
being a part of this. It would be
a good idea if youíd all let me
know when you have everything you
need by next Sunday, specifically
about the tents.
Cal's friends stand to get ready to leave.
Weíll have a great time up there,


I know that, but something inside
me tells me this is going to be
more than just an adventure trip,
In what way?
I donít know, for sure, but just
make sure we all have our Bibles
with us, just in case we need
Both Cal and Kerry Long watch as their friends leave to go
home. As the last car pulls out of the driveway Cal turns
to his wife.
Donít you feel better now that all
the girls will be up there with
Yes I do, thank you. What were
you saying to Mark about this
being more than an adventure trip?
Maybe nothing, sweetheart, but my
gut tells me thereís more to this
trip up Manhadden than what we
witnessed up there six years ago.
Iím not going to let it bother me,
love, so letís clean up and get
inside. Itís a shame Bill Grimes
moved to Arizona three years ago.
Heís the only one missing from
this group.
Cal takes a left turn onto Manhadden Park Road with Mark
right behind him. All four girls are sound asleep as Cal
pulls up to the ranger station.
Good morning, ranger.


                       RANGER TED
Good morning, folks. Are you
folks here for the day?
No, sir. My name is Cal Long and
we have reservations for four tent
sites on Overlook Campground.
                       RANGER TED
One second, Mr. Long, let me
check. Youíre right, young man,
you do. That will be two hundred
and eighty dollars for the seven
There you go sir!
Cal hands the ranger the money.
                       RANGER TED
Is that vehicle behind you part of
your group?
Yes, sir.
                       RANGER TED
I need the license plate numbers
of both vehicles, if you would,
please. Write them down right
The ranger hands Cal a brief form.
There you go, sir.
                       RANGER TED
Your tent sites are six, seven,
nine, and ten, as you requested,
and they are clearly marked at the
campground. Hereís a map of the
park and the various trails that
run throughout. If there is an
emergency, the main ranger
facility is at the Boathouse
Campground and it is manned
twenty-four hours a day,
otherwise, Ranger Murdock will
check in on the campground
sometime on Tuesday morning. Enjoy
your stay at Manhadden. If youíre


                       RANGER TED (cont'd)
planning to do any fishing make
sure you have your fishing
licenses with you.
Thank you, ranger. We'll see you
in a week.
Cal pulls away from the shack with Mark right behind him.
      (Voice Raised)
Okay, ladies, itís time to wake up
back there.
Cal pulls into an empty parking space close to Roundabout
Weíre here already?
Sharon rubs her eyes to wake up.
It feels like I just got to sleep.
You girls fell asleep almost as
soon as we left the house. Come
on, letís get our gear out.
Did the women folk fall asleep in
your van too?
Mark exits his van.
They sure did. I take it Lynne
and Terry did as well.
As soon as we hit the highway.
Well at least they're rested.
Once all the gear is unloaded and the eight of them are
loaded up, Cal and Kerry head out behind Mark and Lynne.
Brad and Terry bring up the rear.


Almost a quarter of a mile into the woods the trail branches
off to the right with Roundabout Trail remaining to the
left. A huge sign notifies campers and hikers of the
different campgrounds on the trails to their right.

What Trail are we taking, honey?
Kerry notices the sign that reads, EDENíS TRAIL Ė ROCKY
points to the left.
Weíll follow Roundabout to Edenís
Trail and take that up the
mountain to the campground.
Moments later they come to a clearing in the woods, once
they reach the eastern side of Loomis Lake.
What a difference out here.
Thatís Loomis Lake, ladies.
They all stop to take a look.
It looks so quiet and serene.
This is what you picture Heaven to
look like.
Letís keep moving, ladies. You
can get a better look when we take
a break before we go up Edenís
Are we starting to climb uphill
now, honey?


Yes we are, sweetheart. From here
on out itís all uphill, but this
part of the climb is easy.
You call this easy?
Once we leave Roundabout Trail,
and start the climb up Edenís
Trail, youíll notice a remarkable
difference in the hike.
Remarkable, as in our legs will
hurt for sure tonight remarkable?
If we all take our time, we can
make it to the campground without
any pain at all. We're not going
to rush you girls to Overlook.
Thatís a good thing.
They approach the backside of Loomis Lake near Edenís Trail.
Okay, ladies, we will be taking a
fifteen minute break when we get
to Edenís Trail.
Cal and Greg pick up the pace for the final hundred yards to
the Trail, where the ground levels off.
Weíre here! Let me get that
backpack off you, love.
Letís all get these backpacks off
our backs and have a rest before
we start the next leg of the climb
up Edenís.
Cal removes his wifeís backpack from her shoulders.


You girls go ahead and sit on that
huge boulder and youíll get a
great view of Loomis Lake.
Mark joins his friends.
The girls seem to be doing good so
far, Cal.
Brad sets his gear on the ground.
Itís been easy so far, Brad. Now
we're going to have to take our
time. I donít want the girls so
sore that they canít enjoy
themselves up there. It would
take the four of us guys about
forty-five minutes from here to
the Cravitz Caves, but it could
take up to twice as long with the
girls. What weíll do is take a
good half-hour break when we get
If I remember right, Cal, the hike
to the caves is the hardest part
of the whole climb to Overlook.
From Cravitz to Overlook is a
climb, yes, but the trail is not
so hard from the caves to the
campground. From here to Cravitz
Caves; however, is uphill and
Shall we go and join the ladies?
The men head over to the large boulder that sits on a ledge
above Loomis Lake on the northeast corner. All four young
ladies are immersed in the beauty they observe.
Is it this beautiful at the
campground, Cal?


What you girls see here is the
beauty that surrounds Lake Loomis.
What youíll see up there, at the
campground, is like stepping into
Godís Garden of Eden. Itís a
different kind of beauty that only
our God can provide and is truly
too hard to explain unless you're
there to see it.
How are you girls doing so far?
Mark moves around to be beside his wife.
Well we havenít hit the roughest
part of the hike, or climb as you
guys call it, but so far we are
holding our own. Not bad for
inexperienced women.
The roughest part of the climb
will be the next hour or so.
Thatís why we are letting you rest
your legs for fifteen minutes
before we go on. Once we reach
the Cravitz Caves weíll take
another break but it will be about
a half hour.
Why such a long rest at the caves,
Well, for one thing, I am sure
youíll want to take a walk through
the caves while youíre up there. I
think you women call it womanís
curiosity, and by taking a half
hour it will also give your legs a
chance to rest before we continue
on to the campground.
Whatís so special about the caves?
I can answer that question. Cal
didnít go into the caves with us
the last time, but anyway itís a


                       BRAD (cont'd)
natural phenomenon the way the
caves were formed. Through most
of it you can stand straight up
and the rock formation is very
smooth as if water rushed through
it for centuries.
In other words itís another
beautiful sight to see on this
fantastic mountain.
Well, ladies, I guess itís time we
load ourselves back up and begin
our real climb.
Cal helps his wife off the large boulder.

One by one the girls are helped off the rock and they head
over to where their gear lays on the ground.
Want me to take the lead from
here, Cal?
Go right ahead.
Mark starts the climb up Edenís Trail.
By eleven-fifteen, with the girls well worn out from the
strenuous climb, the crew of eight manages to make it to the
landing outside the Cravitz Caves.
Are we finally here?
Terry unzips her backpack.
I told you youíd make it, honey.
Brad helps her off with the backpack.


The last ten minutes seemed like
it was an hour.
Mark assists her off with her own backpack.
Well, ladies, from here to the
campground should take no more
than maybe an hour and a half or
so, so go ahead and take about
thirty minutes to rest your weary
Cal takes a look into the trees around them.
What are you looking for, Cal?
I was just looking for a winged
friend, even though after six
years itís not likely heíd still
be around here.
Oh, thatís right! Of course!
Youíre looking for BJ.
Thatís the one.
Can we go into the caves, honey?
Make sure that someone goes with
you, sweetheart.
Cal continues to look into the trees.
Do you want to be alone, Cal?
I donít think it will make a
difference. Even if BJ is here,
thereís no guarantee heíll even
remember me.
Cal grabs a seat on a nearby rock.


Come on, ladies., The three of us
will take you down there.
The seven of them head down and into the depths of the
Cravitz Caves while Cal sits on the rock alone. Ten minutes
pass and Cal can hear his friends and wife as they traverse
through the buried maze of the Cravitz Caves. He feels the
warmth of the noontime sun as it shines bright on the small
ledge above the caves. From somewhere in the trees behind
him, Cal hears the chirping of a bird and out of instinct he
turns to see if itís his friend BJ.
      (Voice Raised)
Is that you, my feathered friend?
ChirpÖ chirpÖ chirp.
The bird flies down from its perch atop a branch of a nearby
white birch.
Iíd hoped youíd be here, BJ.
Cal extends his right arm for the bird to land on.
How have you been, BJ?
Cal lowers his arm so the bird can stand on his leg.
Chirp... chirp... chirp.
I missed you too, little buddy.
Cal's friends exit the caves off to his left.
My other friends are here too, BJ.
The girls draw near to where Cal sits.
I know you told me all about your
trip up here six years ago, honey,
and I knew you never lied to me,
but to see a blue jay just sitting
there on your leg is more than I


                       KERRY (cont'd)
can imagine.
You can come over here and pet
him, or her, whichever it is. This
is my friend BJ, or at least I
think it is.
ChirpÖ chirpÖ chirp.
Hi there, Mr. BJ.
Lynne kneels down on one knee in front of Cal.
Cal! I'm sure all of us wives
have heard about BJ and the other
animals that are in this mountain
whoíve taken a liking to you, but
now we are seeing it up close.
This bird is so docile, itís like
heís tamed in some way.
He, or she, sure is, and heís been
tamed by the creator of all
things, our God.
Will he or she let us pet it, Cal?
Sharon kneels beside Lynne.
My guess is that BJ knows the love
we have in our hearts and would
love you to share that love with
him. Go ahead and try, Sharon.
BJ side steps on Calís leg until he reaches his kneecap.
Did you see that? Itís like the
bird knew what you said, Sharon.
ChirpÖ chirpÖ chirp.
Bee Jay looks right into Sharonís eyes.


He does understand.
Sharon pets the birdís head.
BJ! I hate to break this up, my
friend, but we have to get to
Overlook Campground and get these
tents set up.
ChirpÖ chirp.
BJ flies off Calís leg and above them, then off in the
direction of Overlook Campground.
Just like old times, huh Cal?
In a way, Brad. I think itís a
sign that we're expected back
From a blue jay, Cal?
What better way to be greeted back
to this mountain than by the same
bird, in the same spot, as he did
six years ago.
Want us to load up now, Cal?
I think the girls have rested up
enough, right ladies?
Cal grabs his wifeís backpack.
Now I am anxious, more than ever,
to get to this place, Cal.
I can take the lead this time.
Cal starts off up the trail


With a minimal slow down, it takes cal and his friends just
a little over an hour to make it to the Bear Creek Foot
We are at the footbridge below the
campground, gang.
Cal turns to wait for the others.
How much further, Cal?
Sharon rests on the handrail of the footbridge.
We are about ten minutes from here
to the campground. Do you girls
want to take ten minutes here or
push on to the campground?
Thereís no place to sit down right
here, Cal. Letís push on to the
Iíll second that.
Kerry steps across the footbridge first.
Wait for us, Kerry.
Lynne follows her friend across the short bridge.
You girls arenít getting there
without us.
Sharon and Terry run across the wooden footbridge behind the
In a matter of seconds it became a race to see which girl
would get to the campground first. The men watch their
wives find a hidden level of energy they didnít know they


What got into them, Cal?
Mark follows his friend across the bridge, with Brad and
Greg behind him.
Letís just say that the girls made
it up here faster than we expected
them to and it all began when they
got to see BJ at the caves.
Shouldnít we run after them?
Why spoil their fun. They want to
be able to say they beat us to the
campground, so we let them. No
harm will be done if we're the
last ones up there.
Do you think Bandit will show up?
I sure hope he does. The girls
would love to be able to pet and
feed a wild raccoon.
Would he still be alive today?
I canít answer that, Mark.
We beat you guys up here, Cal.
Terry laughs as her husband and the others enter Overlook
That you did. Well done, ladies.
Cal unzips his backpack.
This place is so awesome.


Terry looks around the ledge that serves as Overlook
Itís quiet, desolate, and so
According to the rangers, this
place was not man-made. God made
this campground to be a beautiful
place to spend some quality time
alone with Him. If you want to,
ladies, go and stand out there by
the outer rail and look at the
view of Loomis Lake below here.
Weíll start to set up the tents.
Cal brings their tent to the same site he had six years

Each one of the men does the same thing and at once they
start to unpack while the girls get a good view of the
valley below the campground.

The girls finally relax. They got to the campground just
before two oíclock and when the tents are all set up itís
almost three-fifteen.
Well, ladies, what do you think?
Cal and the others join the girls by the outer rail.
Thereís no words to describe the
view from here, Cal.
This is the same way we felt when
we came up here before. To say
itís beautiful doesnít do this
place justice.
So, now that we're here in this
Heavenly place called Mount
Manhadden, whatís next for us?
I would suggest you girls find a
comfy spot near the tents and sit
down and relax. The four of us
guys will go out and get the


                       CAL (cont'd)
firewood we need so we can both
stay warm tonight and make us come
coffee as well.
Will we be safe here, alone?
Youíll be safe, Terry.
By six oíclock, with the afternoon sun dipping slowly the
western skies, all eight of them sit around the campfire and
wait for their coffee.
What will we have for supper
tonight, men?
We all brought a can of spaghetti,
so for tonight it will be a good
idea if we suffice our diets with
that. In the morning the guys
will go with me to the creek for
some fresh trout.
Cal looks around the campground.
What are you looking for, honey?
Well I was hoping to find an old
friend, but I donít see him
You donít really believe Bandit
would be up here after six long
years, do you, Cal?
Up here, on Mount Manhadden,
anything is possible, Mark. If
Bandit, himself, is not still here
than itís very likely one of his
babies could be. They would be
about his same size about now.


Why donít we start our dinner now,
Cal? Bandit showed up here, the
first time, after we ate,
I remember that, but I have a gut
feeling inside me that our masked
friend, or one of them anyway, is
around here.
Kerry reaches into her backpack and pulls out the can
Letís get the cans open and we can
heat the spaghetti right inside
the cans. Once they are heated we
can place them on paper plates so
we can eat. It will be easier to
just heat them up in the cans.
Moments later, as darkness starts to consume the campground,
eight cans of spaghetti are placed on the metal grille that
sits atop the fire.
Well what do you girls think of
Overlook Campground?
Itís every bit as beautiful up
here as Mark told me it was.
The hike up here was rough, Cal,
and Iíd be lying if I said it
wasnít. Now that weíve made it
up here, none the worse for wear
mind you, I canít think of
anyplace, outside of Heaven
itself; Iíd rather spend time
like this. My best friends are
here; God is here, so I feel I
should be too.
As for me, gang, I'm sure there is
so much more to see up here that I
can hardly wait.


At first I was the holdout on this
adventure up here. I wanted no
part of a camping experience, but
now that Iím here, with some of
the greatest friends a woman can
have, I look forward to whatever
God wants to bring our way.
It might be a while before we have
any inkling as to why God wants us
up here, ladies, but in the
meantime we can enjoy this part of
Heaven Godís given us to see.
Howís the dinner doing, Greg?
By the time the meal is over with, darkness starts to take
control of the campground as the sunís rays sink well behind
the trees to the west. After a brief devotion by the entire
group, all four of the women head to bed early.
What are we supposed to wear to
bed, Mark?
Lynne unzips the tent cover.
We didnít bring any night things.
All four guys burst out in a fit of laughter. Mark finally
regains his composure.
Up here, love, you wear what you
have on and change in the morning.
Are you serious?
This is what we call roughing it.
Roughing it isnít exactly how Iíd
phrase it, Mark. Donít you
realize we are women?


Cal and the other three guys stand together by the outer
We know you ladies are women,
Sharon, but this is not the
Sheraton Hotel, nor are we at
anyoneís home.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do,
or in this case, when at
Manhadden, do as other campers do.
Okay! Okay! I know when I am
being ganged up on.
Sharon enters her tent and the other three women follow her
lead and they each enter their own tents.
If you guys donít mind, Iím going
to get some shut-eye.
I think Iíll do the same, Cal.
Goodnight, you two.
Are you going to stay up, Cal?
I plan to for a little while. I
want to make sure the fire is out
before I hit the hay.
Then Iíll see you in the morning.
Goodnight, Brad.
Cal turns back towards the valley. A bright full moon
rises into the nightís sky and as Cal looks out into the
valley below Overlook, Loomis Lake looks like no more than a
puddle thatís outlined by the forest that surrounds it.
Cal hears the hoot of an owl in a nearby tree.
Is that you, Mr. Owl?


                       MR. OWL
HooÖ hoo.
Itís me, Mr. Owl, your friend from
long ago.
                       MR. OWL
HooÖ hooÖ hoo.
The adult owl flies into the nightís sky and lands on the
top outer rail only inches away from where Cal stands.
Youíre bigger now, Mr. Owl.
Cal gets a good view thanks to the moonís rays that shine
brightly on the campground.
                       MR. OWL
HooÖ hoo.
I guess that means you agree with
me. Do you remember me?
                       MR. OWL
HooÖ hooÖ hoo.
Mr. Owl flaps its wings and lifts off the rail and lands on
Calís left arm.
I guess you do.
Cal pets the head of the owl.
I'm happy to see you, my friend,
but it's been a long day, and I'm
sure God has another one planned
for tomorrow, so I have to say
good night. Are you going to be
around this week?
                       MR. OWL
Hoo... hoo... hoo.
Cal extends his arm and the owl flies off his arm and in
seconds is perched on the branch of a nearby tree.
Cal then makes a final check of the fire and then heads to
his tent.


The FERRIS' are about to turn onto Manhadden Park Road.
Are we almost there, daddy?
      (Gruff Voice)
Be quiet, Andy. Weíll be there in
a few minutes.
Do you have to be so rough on him,
Jack. Heís only eight years old,
and just an average boy.
Are the two of you going to hound
me all week?
Jack! You promised to take him
and he worked hard to earn the
right to be here.
Weíll talk about this later.
Thereís the ranger shack.
Andy gets out of the car.
Is that the trail weíll be taking,
      (Raised Voice)
Thatís the one, Andy. Now you
stay right here by the car, young
Lorraine Ferris heads around the car to her husband.
Let him have a good time this week
Jack, please?


If I must. Letís get our stuff
out of the car. Weíve got a good
four hours hike up the mountain to
get to the campsite.
Jack opens the trunk.
                       JACK (Cont'd)
Come here, son.
      (Sheepish Voice)
Yes, sir!
Turn around so I can put this
backpack on your shoulders and get
it hooked up.
Almost ten minutes later Jack Ferris leads the three of them
down Roundabout Trail towards Mount Manhadden.
At eight oíclock, with some daylight seeping into the
campground at Overlook, all four of the men meet outside the

Cal starts to set up the campfire.
Howíd you guys sleep?
I conked out right away.
It didnít take me very long, Cal.
I heard you out here, but I never
heard you go back into the tent.
Cal looks at Brad with a smile on his face.
Okay, Cal, what did I miss? Seeing
as I conked out, and Kerry was
already in her tent before I went
to bed, what did I miss?


Now what makes you think something
Because we know you and this
mountain, my friend.
Okay, then, Mr. Owl showed up out
by the outer guard rail. He sat
on my arm for a while.
That hoot owl is still around
after six years?
He sure is. Heís bigger than when
we saw him last, though.
Not to change the subject, Cal,
but what are we going to do for
our breakfast? We didnít eat much
last night and Iím getting hungry.
Mark! Is Lynne going to be doing
any fishing this week while weíre
up here?
She has her license with her but I
didnít bring her fishing rod. Why?
Iím just trying to see how many
fish we can catch each day. With
her that makes fifteen, and if
those fish are still as big as
they were six years ago it would
mean we would have more than
enough for the entire day. To
answer your question, Greg,
someone needs to stay here at the
campground to stay near the fire
and to be with the ladies when
they wake up.


If you guys want to, Cal, I can do
that this morning. I better go
and get the canteens filled up for
the coffee before you guys take
Greg begins to round up the canteens.
Iíll go with him, Cal. He has
more than four canteens to get
filled now that the ladies are
with us.
Weíll be right back.
Are you ready to start the fire,
Mark pulls out two of the larger pieces of wood from the
pile and places them near the spot where the fire will
Go ahead, Mark.
Cal stands up and seconds later he heads over to the outer
rail and looks towards the sky.

As soon as the fire gets going, Mark joins Cal by the outer
Whatís wrong?
God's called us up here for a
specific reason, Mark, but I canít
put my finger on what it is.
Let God have His way, my friend.
Whatever reason He had for calling
us back up here, we'll be ready
for it.
Moments later both Greg and Brad return with the filled


Are any of the ladies up yet, Cal?
I think this fresh mountain air
knocked them out.
Cal and mark join the others by the fire.
When should we get them up?
I'm pretty sure that once the fish
are cooking, and they get a whiff
of the aroma as it wafts through
the air, theyíll all get up.
Whoever isnít up, by then, their
husband can wake them. Letís get
our rods, guys, and go to the
creek and catch our breakfast.
How many fish can we catch?.
Well one of us should catch their
limit of three, and the others no
more than two. That will leave
eight fish for our evening meal.
The men grab their fishing rods.

While Greg makes the morning coffee, Cal, Mark, and Brad
waste no time in getting down to their favorite fishing
spot. Within a half-hour the three of them have the seven
trout they need for their breakfast.

The three men return to the campground and as they approach
the campfire they can see that Lynne and Kerry are already
up and enjoying their morning coffee.
Good morning, ladies.
Cal lays his two trout on the grille.
                       CAL (Cont'd)
Did you both sleep well?


Once I got used to the fact the
ground is harder to sleep on than
a nice soft mattress, I managed to
sleep like a log, Cal. Morning,
Mark bends down for a kiss.
Once you got into the tent I slept
great, sweetheart.
Kerry stands to kiss her man.
Go ahead and put the fish on the
grille, guys.
Cal gives his wife a quick kiss and then bends to get a cup
of coffee.
The fish are just about done,
whenever anyone wants to eat.
Greg flips the fish over one final time.
Would you care to bless the food
this morning, Sharon?
Iíd be glad to. Shall we bow our
Sharon waits for them to bow their heads, and then prays.
Dear Lord! We thank you for this
lovely day and for this food
youíve so graciously supplied for
us. Bless it to our bodies use,
we pray, amen.
Dig in, everyone
Cal looks around.


Are you still looking for Bandit?
I guess I'm just hoping heíll show
up, Mark.
Do you think it would be Bandit,
or one of his kids?
After six years it would probably
be one of those two babies he
brought up here to the campground.
I doubt Bandit is still alive
How did you feel when you were
with them at their cave, Cal?
Itís kind of hard to explain.
Where I've never been a parent, or
a grandparent, I canít truly
relate, but my guess would be that
I felt like a grandparent to those
little fur balls. They played
with me and then snuggled up to me
and went to sleep. I adored them.
Thereís three pieces of fish left
Cal. Help yourself.
Cal grabs one of the three remaining pieces of fish and
starts to eat.

The smell and aroma of the cooked trout wafts well into the
woods and reaches the cave that belonged to Bandit before he
died three years ago. Taking residence in the cave now are
Banditís two offspring and smelling the fish they waste no
time in heading in its direction.
I wonder, if Bandit does come will
he be alone or will he have his
whole family with him?
Greg moves the last two remaining fish away from the fire.


If he brings his whole family,
Greg, there wonít be enough fish
for the four of them.
Cal takes another look around.
Where would he be coming from,
If I remember correctly, when we
were here before, he came up
Edenís Trail from the footbridge.
      (Nervous Voice)
I donít know if one of them is
your Bandit or not, Cal, but there
are two raccoons coming our way
from Edenís Trail. What should we
Relax, Terry, this is Mount
Manhadden. Let them come to us on
their own.
Cal turns quickly to greet his friends.
Neither one of them is Bandit,
I know! Bandit was bigger, Mark.
My closest guess is that these two
are his offspring, the ones Bandit
brought up here with his mate.
You could be right. It appears
they are heading straight for you.
Well hello there!
Cal extends both hands to the two masked raccoons that walk
right up to him. Once the two raccoons lick Calís hands,
Cal is able to pet them both on the head.


                       CAL (Cont'd)
You two know me, donít you?
                       LARGER RACCOON
ChatterÖ chatterÖ chatter.
Are you two hungry?
The four girls sit opposite the fire and watch closely in
                       LARGER RACCOON
ChatterÖ chatterÖ chatter.
Well I see who wears the pants in
the family. The smaller one is a
female, gang, and by the looks of
things she's pregnant.
Are you serious, Cal?
What in the world is she doing up
here this far away from their
I am only guessing, mind you, but
it's possible she's up here to get
some food to feed her young.
Cal hands them both some of the fresh fish.
                       CAL (Cont'd)
There you go, you two.
What will you call them, Cal?
Well Bandit would be an ideal name
for them both, because of their
masks, but I'll call the male one
Bandit, because of the love I had
for his father, but I have no idea
what I could use for a name for
his mate. Iíll leave that chore
up to you girls to decide.


The two masked creatures of the woods lay on the ground by
their friends and enjoy the meal Cal gave them. They devour
the last of the fish in no time.
Kerry joins her husband and tries to help relax the pregnant
raccoon and pets her head.
They are so gentle, Cal.
Yes they are.
Bandit suddenly arises and turns towards Edenís Trail.
Whatís wrong, Bandit?
Cal chases after him when he takes off to the edge of the
ChatterÖ chatter.
Bandit looks at his mate.
ChatterÖ chatterÖ chatterÖ
Bandit looks up at Cal.
What's he doing, Cal?
I donít know, but he's now looking
down the trail. What is it,
Off in the distance, somewhere down the trail below the
campground, Cal hears a voice.
                       JACK (VO)
Andy! Where are you?
Someone's in trouble down the
trail, gang.
Cal looks at Mark, who is headed towards him.


Should we all go?
Let Sharon and Kerry stay here
with the pregnant raccoon. I
donít want her running down there,
just in case. I heard someone
calling out to someone else called
Andy, so it might be a missing
child. There it is again.
Cal hears the same male voice calling out.
Lynne, Terry, please come with us.
There may be a woman down there
who could use female friends about
Weíll stay here with this raccoon,
Sharon bends down to pet the animal.
Is Bandit going with you guys?
If heíll come we will be glad to
have his help. He would know this
mountain better than any of us
would. Letís go, gang!
Bandit leads the way down Edenís Trail on a run.
The four men and two women run to keep up with their masked
friend, but his four legs allows him to move at a
considerably faster pace and distances himself from the
We canít keep up to Bandit, Cal.
Our legs wonít let us run downhill
that fast. If you guys want to go
ahead of us, then go ahead and we
will catch up to you.


Then we will slow down, ladies. If
thereís a mother down there,
looking for her son, then she's
going to need female friends she
can turn to.
Cal starts down the trail at a slower pace.
Andy! Where are you?
I can hear him now, Cal.
I know, and by the sound of him,
he, or they, are somewhere near
the Cravitz Caves.
You donít think the boy went into
the Cravitz Caves by himself, do
At a young age, a childís
curiosity would take him just
about anywhere he wished to go.
The six of them continue to hike down the trail as fast a
walk as they can without tiring out the ladies, until the
voice calling out gets close.
ChatterÖ chatter.
Okay, Bandit, weíll take it from
here. If we need you, old buddy,
Iíll call for you, okay?


Cal kneels down in front of his masked friend.
ChatterÖ chatterÖ chatter.
Does he know what you said?
I canít say for sure, Terry, but
if heís like his father then three
chatters means a yes. One
solitary chatter means no, I
think, and two means thereís
something ahead.
Then that should mean that the man
is just ahead of us, right?
If Iím right, he is. Letís go!
Cal, Mark, Brad, Greg, Lynne, and Terry start the zig zag
course back down the trail with Bandit close behind them.
When they get to the second turn to their right they
encounter the only obstacle in the path to the Cravitz
Caves, a huge boulder they either have to climb over or
As Cal approaches the boulder, the father calls out again in
a yell.
                       JACK (VO)
Can you hear me, Andy?
                       LORRAINE (VO)
What are we going to do, Jack?
Cal steps to the edge of the boulder above the couple.
Excuse me, folks, but weíve come
to help.
Who in blue blazes are you, sir,
and who are the we you're talking
Jack looks up and sees only Cal.


My name is Cal Long and my friends
from the Holden Valley Pentecostal
Church, and I heard your yells
from the campground above here. We
came down here to see if we could
help you find your son.
Oh great! Now Iíve got a bunch of
holy rollers trying to help me.
Stop it, Jack. They didnít have
to come down here.
Jack stands there with a scowl on his face.

Lorraine then looks up at Cal.
Thank you. Our son somehow got
separated from us and we have no
idea where to look for him.
Weíll come right down. Maíam.
Cal carefully works his way around the boulder with Bandit
and the others right behind him. One by one they climb
around the boulder and Cal is the first to reach Mrs.
My name is Cal Long, maíam, and
these are my friends from the
church, Brad, Greg, Mark, Lynne,
and the last woman coming out here
is Terry.
Thank you all for coming out of
your way to help. My name is
Lorraine Ferris and the grump over
there is Jack, my husband.
How old is your son Andy, Mrs.
Heís just eight years old, miss.


Before we do anything, maíam, we'd
like to say a quick prayer for
your son, if you donít mind.
      (Bitter Voice)
You all do what you want, but Iím
going to go and look for my
missing brat.
Will you pray with us, Mr. Ferris?
You go ahead and pray, but Iíll
stay right here.
Letís hold hands and pray.
Cal forms a circle and holds hands. He bows his head, and
                       CAL (Cont'd)
Dear God! We ask right now that
you be with little Andy Ferris.
Keep him safe from harm, Lord, and
if it be your will, lead us to the
boy so he can be reunited with his
parents. We ask this in your Holy
Name, Lord, amen.
A lot of good that hogwash will
do. Iím going to go and look for
my boy.
Jack turns and starts to go back down the trail.
Wait a second, Mr. Ferris. I have
an idea that just might find your
And just what might that be, sir?
I have a friend that knows these
woods better than any human does,
and even though heís just a


                       CAL (cont'd)
raccoon, heís a pretty smart
Now Iíve heard everything. Get
lost, you idiots!
Jack turns again and starts down the trail.
Are you serious, Cal?
Iíll show you.
Cal turns around.
Come here, boy.
Bandit approaches Cal slowly and stands in front of the
puzzled Lorraine.
This is my friend Bandit, Mrs.
Ferris. Do you happen to have
anything of your sonís with you?
Cal bends down to pet his friend.
When we were at the Cravitz Caves,
Andy gave me his hat because he
was getting a warm head with it
on. I stuck it in my backpack.
Can you use that?
It has your sonís scent on it and
thatís all I should need.
Thatís a raccoon, Mr. Long, not a
Yes, maíam, this is a raccoon, but
on this mountain my furry friend
here is better than any
bloodhound. Now can I see that


                       CAL (cont'd)
Can one of you ladies pull it out
of my backpack. It should be
right on top.
Iíll get it for you.
Terry stands right next to the puzzled woman and reaches
into her backpack and finds the hat.
Thank you. Youíll have to forgive
me, right now, but I donít
remember your name.
Itís Terry, Mrs. Ferris. Here it
Where your friend is a raccoon,
Cal, how is he going to be able to
find Andy?
You said it yourself a few moments
ago. He's going to do just what a
bloodhound would do. Your sonís
scent is all over that hat, maíam,
and I am going to have Bandit
sniff it and hopefully look for
and find your sonís scent. If he
does find it then heíll be able to
locate the boy, no matter where he
Hereís the cap, Cal.
Terry hands the blue baseball cap to Cal.
Cal takes the ball cap and kneels down again by his masked
Okay, Bandit, I need some help, my
friend. Take a whiff of this hat,
boy, and try to locate his scent
from it, then find the boy it


                       CAL (cont'd)
belongs to.
Iíve heard of bloodhounds, and
other dogs doing stuff like this,
Cal, but Iíve never heard of a
raccoon doing it.
Bandit stands there and sniffs Andyís hat.
He seems to know what I asked him
to do though.
Bandit takes off down Edenís Trail towards the Cravitz
I wonder where your husband went,
Andy was behind us when we left
the Cravitz Caves, Cal, and I
believe he thinks Andy may have
doubled back and gone back there
to see them. He wouldnít let Andy
go inside and see them when we
stopped to take a break there.
Okay, everyone, letís try to
follow Bandit if we can.
From where they are, the Cravitz Caves are close to a
quarter of a mile down the zig-zagged trail. Bandit moved
ahead of them and stopped when he caught a whiff of the
boyís scent. At the fifth turn Bandit stopped and looked
straight off the trail and onto a very narrow path that
branches off and away from the main trail.
What is it, Bandit?
Cal nears his four-legged masked friend.
ChatterÖ chatterÖ chatter.
It looks like your son went in
here, Mrs. Ferris. Iíll yell and
see if he can hear me. ANDY! CAN


                       CAL (cont'd)
Cal yells as loud as his lungs will let him, while he stands
there and hears his echoes reverberate through the trees
around them.
I see you didn't find him either,
Jack Ferris approaches the group on his way back from the
                       JACK (Cont'd)
Well he wasnít down at the Cravitz
Caves and there was no sign that
he was even there.
Your son, Mr. Ferris, went down
this narrow path for some reason.
And just what makes you think
that? Are you an expert?
Iím not an expert, sir, but my
friend Bandit is. He got your
sonís scent from his ball cap and
when he got here he stopped and
waited for us until we knew where
he was going.
Youíve got to be soft as a grape,
young man, if youíre going to try
and make me believe this raccoon
is smarter than I am.
Jack! Stop it, please. Our sonís
life is at stake.
We are wasting time, sir. Okay,
Bandit, lead the way. Where did
Andy go?


Bandit once again takes off on a run and the others,
including the skeptical Jack Ferris, try to catch up.
Bandit; however, has a solid scent he's following and in a
matter of a minute the masked denizen of the forest is out
of sight.
Where did he go?
Cal and Mark wait for the others to catch up.
Cal looks at his three friends.
Whoís the fastest runner out of
you three?
I guess that would be me, Cal.
Do me a favor, Greg, and head back
down the trail and go to the
ranger station by the beach. Let
them know what's going on up here.
If and when we find the boy we
have no idea what shape heíll be
Iím on my way.
Greg turns to go back to Edenís Trail.
What about finding my son, Mr.
Know it all.
You know, Mr. Ferris, if you'd
work with us, this whole ordeal
could move a lot faster. You,
your wife, and the others follow
this trail at a pace you're
comfortable with. I'm going to
run and try to find Bandit.
Be careful, Cal. Weíll be right
behind you.


Canít you, just this once, put all
that hatred thatís inside you to
one side, Jack? These nice people
went out of their way to help us
find Andy.
Bandit traveled the narrow path that was matted down by some
of the forest animals. He went almost three-quarters of a
mile around the mountain and stops quickly as he sees the
boy lying on the ground with his head propped up against a
log. Bandit then approaches the boy at a slow pace and lies
down next to him.
Bandit, where are you?
Cal listens to his echo bounce around in the trees around
Bandit could hear his friend off in the distance, but he
stayed with the boy Andy, the child he was sent to find.
Momentís later eight-year old Andy Ferris wakes up to find a
raccoon on the ground by his side, and for a moment he's
scared and screams.
Mommy! Daddy! Thereís something
beside me.
Bandit stands up and gently nudges the boy.
ChatterÖ chatterÖ chatter.
What do you want? What are you?
Andy stands up and backs away from the raccoon.
ChatterÖ chatter.
Bandit rolls over on the ground by Andyís feet.
Do you want me to pet you?
Andy kneels down on the ground by the humbled raccoon.


                       ANDY (Cont'd)
Iím not afraid of you now.
Andy rubs Bandit's furry stomach.

Cal happens upon the scene and as he looks at the bright
young boy, tears well up in the corner of his eyes. He
approaches the child slowly.
Are you Andy Ferris?
Yes I am, but who are you, mister?
Andy continues to rub Banditís tummy.
My name is Cal Long and your mommy
and daddy are right behind me a
little ways. Are you alright,
I am fine, Mr. Cal.
How did you manage to end up way
out here?
I saw this little brown bunny
rabbit and I tried to catch him.
When I got here I couldnít see him
anywhere. I yelled for my mommy
but I guess she couldnít hear me.
I got tired so I laid down right
there, by that piece of wood. When
I woke up this animal was laying
right beside me.
That animal, Andy, is a raccoon
and heís my friend. His name is
Bandit because his eyes look like
they are wearing a mask on them.
      (Excited Voice)
Thereís my mommy and daddy.


In an instant the boy jumps to his feet and runs to his
I missed you, mommy.
Are you okay, son?
I'm fine, daddy. I was scared
when I couldnít find you and mommy
is all. That raccoon found me,
and his name is Bandit. Did you
know that?
Yes we do, Andy. Cal and his
friends sent Bandit out to look
for you.
Lorraine kneels down to hug her son.
How can we thankÖ
Mark interrupts Jack.
Thereís no need to thank us, sir.
Mark places his arm on the manís shoulder.
                       MARK (Cont'd)
The God we prayed to, He heard our
prayers and answered them. Where
your son is okay, Mr. Ferris, why
donít we start to make our way
back to the trail? I'm sure the
rangers will be coming with our
friend by the time we get out of
While Mark starts to lead the Ferrisí down the path, Cal
looks at his friends.
Now I know why God called us back


To witness to this family?
Yes, I believe it is. Come on,
letís catch up to them.
The girls stand as the rest of the party enters the
We were beginning to get worried
about you guys.
Itís a long story, dear, but to
shorten it a little, these folks
are the Ferrisí. Their son
drifted off the path behind them
and got lost in the woods above
Cravitz Caves. Bandit sniffed the
boyís ballcap and went looking for
him and found him too. After the
rangers checked him out we came
back up here. I suppose itís time
we all got officially introduced.
The Ferrisí know me. This is my
wife, folks and her name is Kerry.
You already know Greg and this
other woman is Sharon, his wife.
Thatís Lynne and Mark, and Brad
and Terry, they are both married
couples as well. Kerry! Sharon!
This is Lorraine and Jack Ferris
and their son Andy.
Nice to meet you folks.
Kerry shakes their hands.
The same here. Would you folks
like some hot coffee?


I sure could stand a cup. Thanks,
Iíll take one, and thanks.
What will we do about getting our
tent up?
The men will put it up for you,
Mrs. Ferris. You three just
relax. Youíve gone through enough
for one day.
What number is your tent site, Mr.
Itís number fifteen, Cal, and
thank you.
No problem, sir.
Lorraine sits down on the ground and as she sips her coffee
she can see a change in her husbandís attitude, but says
nothing and enjoys it.
There you go, Mr. Ferris. Be
careful, itís hot.
Terry hands him a paper cup filled with hot coffee.
Would you like another one,
I am still nurturing this one,
Thank you! Why are you people so
kind to us strangers?
Iíd like to try and answer that
for you, Mr. Ferris. Iíll give
you a couple of good reasons..


                       TERRY (cont'd)
When you first met us, down there
on the trail, you called us ĎHoly
Rollersí. Thatís not true by any
means. We are Christians, all
eight of us, and one of our Godís
Commandments says to love thy
neighbor. Though you may not
reside next door to us, in a
traditional manner, you are still
fellow human beings, and as such
we love you as people. Would God
turn his back on someone who
needed help?
If this God of yours is real, then
I'd have to say no.
Jesus was ridiculed for all the
good things He did. You ridiculed
us for wanting to pray for your
sonís safety before we went out to
look for him
I get the point, so whatís number
Not one of us are parents, Jack,
so we donít know the level of fear
that went through you when you
couldnít find Andy. Someday, when
we are parents, and if the same
situation were to come up like you
faced, we all would hope and pray
someone would find it in their
hearts to help us the way we
helped you.
That makes sense.
When the guys finish with your
tent they'll be going down to the
creek to catch some fish for our
supper. If youíll give him
permission to go, sir, I'm sure
one of the guys will take Andy and
let him catch a few trout for your
supper. We have a fire already


                       KERRY (cont'd)
built and a big grille to cook
them on, so you can cook yours
right along with ours.
Can I daddy, please?
What kind of a father would I be
if I said no. Andy! You do what
these guys tell you to do, okay?
If you want to go, and itís okay
with them, you can go.
You mean it, daddy? I can go?
Okay, Mr. Ferris, your tent is all
set up.
Cal reaches for a coffee.
When are you guys going to the
creek for supper, honey?
As soon as I've had my coffee,
Thereís a young man here who'd
like to catch some supper for his
mom and dad.
Really? Can he go, Mr. Ferris?
I already told your wife he could
go, Cal.
Would you like to come and watch
your son fish, Jack?
You wouldnít mind a bitter old man
tagging along?


That bitterness, Jack, is in Godís
hands now. You are here with
friends, and this is a happy
campground, okay? I donít mind
you coming with us at all. Iíd be
glad to have you.
Cal looks at his wife and she nods her head with some
Weíre about ready to go to the
creek, Cal.
Iíll be with you guys in a minute.
Weíve got two more going with us,
Brad. Andy and his father are
Cal rubs Andy's head and then grabs his pole.
                       CAL (Cont'd)
Weíll be back with our supper,
You be good and do what he says,
The men start down Eden's Trail towards Bear Creek.
When the guys come back with the
fish, Lorraine, we hope you and
the family will join us for
I canít speak for the men, but Iíd
like that.
Remember, Lorraine, we'll be here
all week, if you need someone to
talk to.
Thank you. I may just take you up
on that.


When the men return to the campground Andy runs over to his
I caught two fish, mom, and the
second one I caught all by myself.
Lorraine stretches her arms and gives her son a hug.
      (Slight Chuckle)
Very good, Andy. Are you going to
cook them for me too?
I think we'll leave that up to the
big boys, Lorraine
Greg lays nine trout across the grille side by side.
All those are for us, Cal?
All but two of them. There are
two of those fish for the Ferris'.
My little Andy caught those two
fish, Cal?
Well the biggest trout of the day
is about twenty-four inches long
and the smallest one just about
twenty, so even if he caught the
smallest ones, Lorraine, he did
one fine job.
Youíve made our sonís whole week,
Cal. You do know that, donít you?
I didnít do anything other than
what my good Lord would want me to
do if He was right here beside me
in the flesh.


This God of yours, Cal. No one
ever sees him, do they?
Not in the way you mean it, Jack,
but God is all around us.
Cal hears a familiar chirp in the background.
Youíll have to do better than that
to make a believer out of me.
Answer me a question, Jack.
If I can. What question?
What do you know about blue jays?
They are nothing but wild untamed
What if I were to tell you that I
have, on this mountain mind you,
one tamed and very human friendly
blue Jay that goes by the name BJ?
Even I know thatís impossible.
BJ! Come to me my friend.
Cal holds out his arm.
ChirpÖ chirpÖ chirp.
B J flies down from the branch of a nearby tree and lands
on Calís outstretched arm.
How are you, my friend?


I'm sitting here and seeing this,
but I am having a hard time
believing it.
Can I pet him, daddy?
If Cal says itís okay, then go
ahead. Now Iíve seen everything.
No, Mr. Ferris, you havenít. This
small and seemingly insignificant
blue jay is but only one of Godís
many wonders of love that youíll
get to see here on Mount
Manhadden, or for that matter,
anywhere else. Go ahead, Andy,
and pet him.
My little Andy is taking this all
in, Lynne.
Because Overlook Campground is on the western edge of the
mountain only a bright sky above gives any credence to the
sunís ascent into the morningís sky.
I wonder if our friends would let
us have a couple pieces of wood so
we can get our coffee and tea
Why donít you go over there and
ask them, Jack? They wonít bite
Can I go with you, daddy?
Come on, son, letís take a walk
over there.
The two of them head over to the other campsite.


Good morning, everyone.
Good morning, Jack. Whereís the
She is waiting for us to come
back. I just came over here to
see if I could borrow a few pieces
of wood so we can get a fire
started to make coffee.
Go on back and get the wife, Jack.
We pretty much expected you folks
to be joining us for breakfast
today anyway.
Are you sure we wonít be a bother?
Do I have to ask you again?
Thank you. Iíll go and get her.
Can I stay here, dad?
Now you stay right here. Mommy
and I will be right back.
It's noon, with the sun high into the mid-day's sky as the
Ferris' start out on their afternoon hike.
There's Cal and his friends.
Good afternoon, folks!


Good afternoon, Cal. It looks
like a wonderful day for a hike.
It sure is. Youíll get to see
some of the berry bushes up the
trail maybe a thousand yards or
so. Did you bring anything to
carry them back to camp in?
I got my baseball cap, Cal.
Iím afraid, Andy, that if thatís
all they had and they filled it
then you wouldnít take much back
to camp with you. Do we have any
empty bags with us?
No need, Cal. Kerry gave us a
couple and I brought them.
I have an extra one, Cal.
Lynne reaches into her pocket and pulls it out.
Give it to Lorraine, will you,
Iíd be glad to.
There you go, folks, now you can
have plenty of ripe berries to
snack on tonight.
How can we thank you folks?
You just take good care of your
family, Jack. Thatís all the
thanks we would ever ask for.
Lynne hands the empty plastic bag to Andyís mother.


Weíll see you all back at camp
The three of them continues on up the trail.
The sun sits high in the early afternoonís sky. The
temperature is already at eighty-four degrees as the Ferrisí
continue down the narrow trail.
      (Voice Raised)
Stay close by, Andy.
I will, ma! How far to those
Just up the path a bit, son, so
stay close.
Before long the Ferrisí come to the first row of
Are these blackberries, Jack?
They sure do look like the same as
we have at home, honey, but they
are almost three times bigger than
they are.
Can I eat some, daddy?
Let me check, first, so you don't
get sick, Andy.
Jack grabs two of the ripened berries and puts them in his
Wow! They are delicious. Go
ahead, son, and help yourself.
Andy wastes no time and grabs as many as he can fit into his
small hands.


Iím going to sit down and eat
them, dad.
You go ahead, Andy. Mom and I
will fill the bags for when we get
back to camp.
These taste really sweet, daddy.
They sure do, son. Are you about
ready to move on, Andy?
Iím ready now, dad. Want me in
You bet!
Andy takes the lead and is followed closely by his mother
and father. A few hundred yards ahead, Andy goes right by a
trail to his immediate right and doesnít see it, but his
father does.
I wonder what this trail is.
Jack looks at his son.
Hold up, son. I want to take this
trail. Come back here and stay
with us.
That looks like a rocky trail,
Jack. Iím not sure itís safe for
us to go down there, honey.
Lorraine pushes the bushes aside and can get a better look
at the hidden trail.
Weíll be alright, honey. We need
a little adventure on this trip.
You and Andy stay behind me.
Jack starts down Rocky Mountain Trail.


                       JACK (Cont'd)
There could be some interesting
things to see away from the beaten
Yeah, there might be, but Jack, it
could be dangerous as well, and we
are not experienced climbers.
Weíll take our time, dear.
Jack Ferris and his family do take their time and in a
matter of fifteen minutes are swallowed up by the forest
itself, as the trail lowers into the bowels of Manhadden
State Park.

Jack happens upon an opening with a large boulder in the
center. He steps onto it with caution and looks at the
trail below. He decides that they have gone low enough and
turns to tell both his wife and son. As he turns he is
greeted by the sunís rays and momentarily blinds him. As he
raises his hands to block the sunís rays his right foot
slips and he's thrown off balance and falls to the ground
with a thud.
As Lorraine steps onto the huge boulder she sees her husband
disappear over it.
Jack! Are you alright?
Lorraine steps further out onto the boulder.
Ouch! I think I broke my leg,
Whereíd daddy go, ma?
Stay right there, Andy. Daddy
fell off this big rock. Hang on,
Jack, weíll be right down.
Like I can go anywhere.
Jack drags himself back so that he can lean up against the
same boulder he fell from.


Follow me, Andy, and be very
Lorraine climbs around the left side of the boulder and
reaches for her sonís hand.
Let me help you down, Andy. Give
me your hand.
Okay, ma.
Andy works his way to her, with her help. Lorraine turns to
face her husband.
Weíre almost there, Jack.
Hurry up, will you. My leg is
buckled up underneath me.
Jack screams in pain.
Come on, Andy.
As Andy reaches the ground he immediately runs over to his
Are you alright, daddy?
No, son, Iím not.
Jack's face is twists in a grimace.
What can I do to help you, Jack?
Lorraine brings her hands to her mouth from the shock of
what she sees.

Jack leans up against the huge boulder with his right leg
buckled up underneath him.


I have to straighten this leg out.
My leg is not designed to bend
this way.
This is going to hurt some, Jack.
Can you lean over onto your left
I think so.
Jack lowers his body to the left as pain shoots up and down
his leg.
Lorraine tries to straighten out his right leg
Easy, Jack, Iíve just about got it
Ouch! Help me get back up,
Both Lorraine and Andy helps him get back to the sitting
position so he can lean back against the boulder.
Now what are we going to do?
Lorraine tries to wipe the tears that streak down the front
of her face as she looks at her husband.
What, son?
When I was lost, yesterday, it was
Cal and his friends who prayed to
God that they would find me, and
they did.


So? What does that have to do
with me?
Maybe I could pray to God and ask
Him to help you so we can get back
to camp.
What is he babbling about,
Maybe, for once, youíd put your
foolish pride aside, Jack, because
Andy has a point.
Okay, so letís say heís right.
None of us has any idea how to
I know what youíre thinking, ma,
and daddy is right, but Cal told
me that praying is just like
talking to God. Iíll try to pray
to God for my dad.
Go ahead, Andy!
Andy bows his head and closes his eyes.
Mr. God! I guess you know why I'm
here, sir. My daddy fell off the
big rock and he needs to see a
doctor. I donít know what you can
do, sir, but can you send us some
help? Amen.
Tears once again flow down the front and sides of Lorraineís
That was nice, Andy. What do we
do now, sit here and wait?


Andy gets up to see if he could climb back up the trail and
go for help. As he looks up at the boulder he sees a white
cloud. Standing on that cloud he thinks he sees an angel.
Mommy! Mommy, come here, quick.
Andy waits there for his mother to stand up and join him.
Whatís the matter?
Lorraine sees he's looking up into the sky above them. She
lifts her head and gasps at the sight she sees.
What is it, Lorraine?
Youíre not going to believe what
Iím seeing, Jack.
      (Raised Voice)
Well tell me already.
Jack! Iím not kidding or
delirious, but right above us,
just above the boulder and
standing on a cloud, is what looks
like an angel.
Did you say an angel? What is it,
he, or she doing here?
Just then the male angel speaks, and his words are soft and
Fear not, for the Lord thy God is
with thee. Trust in the Lord with
all your heart and lean not on
your own understanding.
What does the angel mean, mommy?
Did you hear him, Jack?


Of course I heard him, but Iíll be
hanged if I know what he meant.
Mommy! That angel showed up right
after I prayed, remember?
As a matter of fact, Andy, he did.
You donít suppose that was Godís
answer to Andyís prayer, do you
I donít care what it is, if he
will get rid of this pain. What
did this angel or whatever, do or
He said for us not to fear and
that God was with us. He also
said something about putting our
trust in Him.
Right now Iíll put my trust in
anyone who can stop the pain.
Does it hurt really bad, daddy?
Yes, son, it hurts very much.
As little Andy bends down beside his father, the Angel of
the Lord speaks to one of the natural inhabitants of the
forest. Splinter heads to where the fallen Jack Ferris
remains perched up against the huge boulder.
What in the world are we going to
do now, Jack?
Daddy! If I can climb up onto that
big boulder I can climb back to
the trail and run back to the camp
and get Cal and his friends.


I canít let you do that, son.
Those rocks are worse than I ever
imagined. I should have listened
to your mother up on the trail. If
you got hurt Iíd never forgive
Mrs. Ferris hears some rustling of bushes on the opposite
side of the trail from where her husband sits.
      (Raised Voice)
What was that?
Andy stands to get a better look.
I heard it too, ma.
Get back here, Andy. It could be
almost anything.
I just want to see, mom.
As Mrs. Ferris joins her son, the rustling of the bushes
becomes increasingly close.
What is it, Lorraine?
Jack tries to stand, but the intense pain in his right leg
forces him to abort the idea.

Andy sees a stick by his feet and picks it up.
Iíll protect you, ma. Anyway, we
are supposed to put our trust in
God, remember?
I remember.
Splinter forces his antlered head through the thick brush
that lines the opposite side of the trail, about thirty feet
away from where Lorraine and Andy stand.
Oh my God, Jack, itís a male deer
with antlers. Itís huge!


Splinter exits the forest behind him and starts to head
their way.
Can I pet him, ma?
Andy drops the stick.
No wild buck will come close to
you, Lorraine. I used to hunt
them years ago and if they even
smelled a humanís scent they would
take off for the deep woods.
Tell that to this deer, Jack. Heís
almost close enough to touch, and
he appears friendly.
Are you friendly, Mr. Deer?
Splinter gets close to the boy.
Splinter gets down on its front knees and looks at Andy with
deep brown eyes.
Mom! Youíre right, he is
Donít go near him, Andy. We canít
be sure.
Whatís going on, Lorraine?
The deer just plopped on the
ground in front of us as though he
knew us. I donít know what to do.
Lorraine keeps a close eye on the buck.
Andy takes the next step and walks over to Splinter.
Andy, donít!
Lorraine almost screams at him, but by then Andy is already
petting the buckís head.


Itís okay, mommy, heís friendly,
just like I told you.
Andy holds out his hand. Splinter adjusts his head and
licks Andyís outstretched hand like he was a family pet.
See, mommy?
I donít believe my eyes, Jack, but
that deer is just laying there and
licking Andyís hand like a house
How is that animal going to get me
out of here, Lorraine?
Daddy! I think this is the same
deer Cal told me about. He said
his name was Splinter, I think.
Are you Splinter, Mr. Deer?
Andy's eyes open wide as Splinter stands, right there in
front of him, and scruffs his right hoof across the ground.
Jack! This is unbelievable. That
deer seems to understand Andy.
Mrs. Ferris watches them both close.
Not in this lifetime. The only
things deer know are fear.
Splinter crosses the rocky trail and as Lorraine stands
beside her husband the buck goes right in front of the
injured Jack Ferris.
What does Rudolph here want?
Jack looks at the ten-pointed buck.
I think I know, daddy.
Andy moves beside Splinter.


Be careful, son.
That Angel told me not to be
afraid, and I ainít. I think
Splinter wants to take me to Cal.
      (Raised Voice)
Youíre not going nowhere, son, and
thatís that.
But daddy, youíre hurt and
Splinter can help.
Splinter lowers his head until his nose is right by Jackís
right foot and just casually nudges it.
Jack screams in intense pain.
What did you go and do that for?
As much as I hate to admit it,
Jack, that deer, or buck, whatever
he is, just told you how bad you
were. I think Andy is right.
Splinter kneels down on its front legs.
Whatís he doing now?
I think he wants me to get on his
back, daddy.
Donít try to argue, Jack. I think
heís right.
I'm coming, Splinter. Help me up,
Andy grabs one of Splinterís antlers as his mother helps him
get on his back.


Splinter stands and Lorraine looks at the buck.
I donít know if you can understand
me or not, Splinter, but I feel
foolish talking to a deer. You be
careful with Andy and take him to
Cal at the campground. Andy! You
hold onto his antlers real tight,
Okay, mommy. Letís go, splinter.
The buck turns and heads back towards the woods.
Iíll be back with Cal and his
friends as soon as I can, mommy.
Andy waves as Splinter heads through the thick brush with
her son on his back.
Lorraine stands there with her hands to her mouth at the
sight of her son on a wild buckís back.
Whatís happening up there,
Our grown-up son just left here
with that deer to go and get Cal,
Jack. Iím so proud of him.
That was a risky thing you did,
Lorraine. Thatís our only son.
Donít you think I know that? You
just sit there and rest until Cal
and his friends get here.
At the campground the men spent the last two hours
collecting wood for both their campfire and that of their
friends, the Ferris'.


Greg finishes stacking the wood near the Ferrisí tent and
returns to their campsite.
Thereís enough wood here now for
both campfires.
Thanks for stacking their wood,
Cal sips on a hot cup of coffee.
What time are we planning to go
fishing for our supper, Cal?
I want to wait until the Ferrisí
return so Andy can get to go with
us. Iíll take him down to the
pool with me.
How many do we need to catch
Well thereís going to be eleven of
Then we should get our limit.
Iím pretty sure that what we donít
eat, Bandit will, so Iíll say yes.
Are our wives still asleep?
I guess the fresh air up here
makes the girls tired, Mark. I
havenít seen one of them for over
an hour now.
With the ladies resting in their tents, Cal and the others
relax around the campfire, and they do so with fresh cups of


From the silence of the Manhadden woods that surround them,
Cal hears a familiar chirping, but he hears something
different from other times heís heard that sound.
Whatís wrong with BJ, Cal?
They all get up to see what all the commotion is about.
I donít know, but somethingís up.
Cal reaches out for his feathered friend.
                       CAL (Cont'd)
Come here, BJ.
ChirpÖ chirpÖ chirpÖ chirpÖ chirp
BJ lands on Calís outstretched arm and chirps some more. In
an instant the bird lifts back up and into the air and flies
towards Edenís Trail.
It looks like BJ wants us to
follow him, Cal.
Brad heads to the edge of the campground.
                       BRAD (Cont'd)
Thereís nothing down there.
Brad takes a quick look down the empty trail.
Then something has to be wrong,
guys. Letís get the ladies up,
and make it quick. Our quiet
afternoon is about to be
Each of the four men heads to their own tents to wake their
wives and for the next ten minutes unanswered questions are
being asked. BJ returns to the outer rail and continues to
chirp out of control.
What should we do, honey?


Before we do a thing, gang, it
would be a good idea if we brought
our feelings before God. Letís
form a prayer circle.
They all form a circle and hold hands while they bow their
heads and close their eyes.

BJ becomes quiet as Cal starts to pray.
Lord! Whatever we are about to
face this afternoon, I ask that
you give us the wisdom to address
it with your love and grace. We
ask this in your precious name,
Lord, amen.
As they let their hands go of each other a voice rings out
from somewhere below the campground on Edenís Trail.
                       ANDY (VO)
Cal! Help!
Thatís Andy, and he is yelling for
Cal runs to the edge of the campground by the trail, with
the others right behind him.
What's he doing down on this
trail, Cal?
Is that what I think it is?
Sharon gasps when she sees a full grown buck, with Andy
sitting on its back.
Come on, gang, letís go!
Cal takes off on the run and heads down the trail towards
their young friend and antlered deer.


Cal slows down by the buck and Greg is directly behind him.
Is this who I think it is, like
maybe Splinter?
Yes itís Splinter, Cal, and he
gave me the ride here. My dad is
hurt real bad.
Andy is almost out of breath.
What happened, Andy?
He fell of a big rock and he
thinks his leg is broke.
Take it easy, Andy. Youíre here
with us now. Hi, Splinter. Thanks
for the help my dear friend. Nice
to see you again.
Cal grabs Andy to lift him off.
Letís get you back to camp and you
can tell us everything.
Youíve got to hurry, Cal. Heís
hurt really bad.
Come on, Splinter. Please come
too, my friend.
Momentís later Andy, Cal, and his friends approach the
campground while Splinter brings up the rear.
Whatís going on, Cal?


Weíll know in a minute. Okay,
Andy, tell us what happened.
For the next few minutes Cal and his friends hear a childís
shortened version of what happened to his father and the
events leading up to his being on Splinterís back.
Okay, guys, letís get our gear.
Ladies! Get a couple blankets and
make sure we have a couple
canteens filled with water.
Cal rushes to his tent to get his axe.
Are you coming too, Splinter?
Splinter stands there and once again he scruffs his hoof
across the ground.
Good! That means yes. Greg! Grab
another canteen so we will have
three with us. They are both
probably thirsty about now. Lead
the way, Andy. You are the only
one who knows where that trail is.
None of us ever saw it when we
were hiking up that way.
I think I know where it is, Cal,
but if I am wrong Iíll be pretty
Andy starts up Edenís Trail North. The four men each have a
hatchet with them and the ladies have a canteen each and two
blankets and start up the trail behind Andy towards Cramerís
Pond Overlook, with Splinter in the rear.
What other trail is up here
besides the one that goes to the
lookout tower, Cal?


The only other one I know of is
the one that only experienced
climbers use, and thatís not very
What one's that?
If I remember right itís Rocky
Mountain Trail. It is supposed to
connect to Edenís Trail North
somewhere near Cramerís Pond
Overlook, but we never saw it the
last time we were up here.
But then again we never looked for
it, either.
      (Soft Voice)
True enough! If thatís the trail,
we are going to have problems,
Thatís what I was afraid of. Iíll
be praying heís okay.
Weíre almost there, Cal.
Andy slows down to look for the trail to his right.
                       ANDY (Cont'd)
Itís here somewhere, Cal.
Okay, Andy, relax buddy. Weíll
get your dad back to our camp
somehow, but first weíll have to
find him. Mark! Check that
opening up ahead, will you please?
Iím on it, Cal.
Mark moves to the opening on a run.


Okay, Andy, I want you to do me a
Cal kneels down to look him in the face.
Whatís that, Cal?
Once we find that trail I want you
to stay up here with my wife
Kerry, at least until we see how
bad the trail down to your dad is,
Okay, Cal, I will, but make sure
you let mommy know I'm okay.
I can do that my little friend.
Thatís the trail, Cal, and itís
hidden by a lot of brush, but
whatís even worse is that trail
looks mighty rough to climb down.
Okay, everyone. Listen up. Kerry!
You stay up here with Andy and
Splinter. The rest of us will
climb down and see what we have to
face down there. Splinter my
friend. Stay here and keep an eye
on these two, will you, pal.
Splinter scruffs his right hoof across the ground in
He understands you, doesnít he,
I guess so. The last time I saw
him he was about as tall as you,
Andy. Okay, everyone, letís go,
but be careful. Itís rough going
down there.


The four men and three women start down the rugged Rocky
Mountain Trail with Cal Long in the lead.
How far down are they?
I'm not really sure, but we should
be close by now. Let me call out.
Jack! Lorraine! Can either of
you hear me?
Cal waits for a reply.
They are coming for us, Jack.
Weíre down here.
Weíre on our way, so stay put.
Is Andy okay?
He's fine. Weíll be right there.
Another almost ten minutes elapses before Cal reaches the
boulder above the Ferrisí.
Weíre down here below this huge
boulder, Cal.
Lorraine waves both hands for him to see.
How did you get down there?
Over to your left you can climb
down and around the boulder.


Greg! Can you and Brad go and get
my wife and Andy, please?
Weíre on our way.
Greg and Brad start the climb back up the trail.
Weíre coming down, Lorraine. Hang
Is Andy with them?
I didnít see him, but they said he
was okay. I have no reason to
disbelieve them after what they
did for him when they met.
How in the world are they going to
get me out of this mess without
making the pain even worse than it
is now?
I have no idea, Jack. Here they
come now. Iím so sorry to trouble
you folks again.
You folks are not trouble,
Lorraine. How are you doing, Mr.
Cal looks down at his fallen friend.
Iíve had better days, Cal. I
think my leg is busted. Whereís
my son?.
I had him stay on the upper trail
with my wife until I found out if
it was safe enough for him to come
down here.


You are a smart man, Cal, ands Iím
so dumb. I never should have
attempted this trail.
Are you okay, Lorraine?
I'm just so worried about my
husband right now. Howís my
little Andy?
That son of yours is a true storm
trooper, Lorraine, and you both
should be very proud of him and
what he did alone and unselfishly.
At this moment I donít have any
idea at all, Lorraine, but before
we can even think about moving him
I am going to have to splint that
broken leg. Otherwise the move
back to camp will be excruciating
for him.
Cal surveys the situation.
Do you need two straight sticks,
If you would, Mark. I need two
about thirty-six inches long and
Iím on it.
What can we do, Cal?
Cal reaches into his pocket and pulls out a pocket knife and
hands it to Terry.
Take this knife and both you and
Sharon work together to cut me
eight strips of cloth about two
feet long out of one blanket. I


                       CAL (cont'd)
need them to secure the splints to
his leg. Iíll also need another
eight pieces more to secure the
blanket to carry him out on.
Do you want the second eight the
same length?
Yes, thanks. Do either of you
need something to drink, Lorraine?
You brought something, Cal?
All I have is water, Jack, but we
thought you might be thirsty about
You know it, and water will be
just fine.
Andy reaches the spot where his father sits.
Howís my daddy, Cal?
Your dad's been hurt, Andy, but
heís a tough guy, just like you.
While we're taking care of him,
young man, I want you to do me a
Promise me youíll keep praying to
God that heíll be okay.
I can do that. I will, I promise.
I'm so proud of you for what you
did, Andy.


His mother gives him a big hug.

When Mark returns he has two straight sticks that appear to
be strong when Cal tests them. With the strips of cloth
Terry hands him, he's ready to secure Jackís leg for the
trip back to camp.
Okay, Jack, thereís no easy way I
can do this. I have to put
splints on your bad leg so it does
not bend on the way back to the
campground. This is going to
Do what you have to do, Cal,
because I want out of here. What
can I do to help you?
I want you to just sit there and
grit your teeth when the pain
shoots up that leg. I have all
the help I need with me at this
Okay, then, go for it!
Mark! When I give the word, lift
Jacks right leg about twelve
inches off the ground. Brad! You
get on one side of him and Greg
you get on the other. When Mark
lifts the leg I want you guys to
hold the sticks up, one on each
side of his leg. Iíll start at
the lower end and tie them secure
so he cannot move or bend it. Got
it, guys?
All set here!
Weíre ready, Cal.
The five women watch in awe at the precision their amateur
doctor husbands set and secure Jackís leg in less than five


Have you guys ever practiced doing
No, nor have we ever had any
training on it either. Itís just
common sense, though.
That was less painful than I
thought it would be, guys.
Jack lays flat on the ground.
Okay, Mark, You take Brad and I
need two good sized poles about
nine feet long and straight as you
can get them. We are going to
have to Carry Jack out of here so
they need to be strong.
Weíre on it, Cal.
Mark follows Brad into the woods.
How do you guys plan on carrying
me out of here through this rough
Donít worry, Mr. Ferris. If Cal
canít come up with a plan I'm sure
God will.
Sharon! Do you have that other
Itís on the ground over here, Cal.
Do you need it?
Yes, please!
What are you going to do, Cal?


I have to wait until Mark and Brad
return first, Greg. Once we have
the two poles we need to wrap the
blanket around several times and
then it needs to be tied off in
four places for each pole. Once
they are tied then you can wrap
the poles twice more for strength.
Are you with me so far?
I sure am. Once that's done we
can carry him out of here, but
which way?
Andy knows. He went a certain way
on Splinterís back, so he should
remember how Splinter went. If he
does then he can guide us.
Cal looks at Andy.
Here come the guys now, Cal.
Greg grabs the blanket from Sharon.
                       GREG (Cont'd)
Thanks, honey.
Open it up all the way first,
Greg opens the blanket and sets it on the ground near the
fallen Jack Ferris. As they follow Calís instructions the
portable stretcher is formed in about fifteen minutes.
That looks about as sturdy as we
can make it for you, Jack. We
are not an ambulance team so the
trip back will be anything but
smooth. Are you ready to be
transferred onto this thing?
As ready as Iíll ever be. Go
ahead and do it.


Okay, guys, thereís four of us and
one of him. Will one of you ladies
fold the stretcher until we have
Jack in place? Then you can open
it up and weíll set Jack onto it.
Iíll get it, Cal
Lynne heads over to the stretcher.
Okay! On the count of three we
lift him up gently until we are
all upright. Once we have our
balance we will move him over to
the stretcher. Once Lynne opens
it we can set him down. Ready!
OneÖ twoÖ three, lift.
The four men bend down and lift the limp and sore Jack
Ferris off the ground. Once they stand straight up they
carry him the few feet to where the stretcher lays folded.
When they get there Lynne opens the stretcher and they place
his body down on it.
If you do that many more times,
Cal, Iíll be asking you to put me
out of my misery.
Well we're not going to be the
ones to put you out of your
misery, my friend, but to be
honest I donít know how weíll get
you out of here.
Oh thatís just great!
Cal! I remember the way that
Splinter brought me to the
Well before we do another thing,
Andy, we're going to pray for your
daddy, okay?


Okay! Can I hold hands with you
guys when you pray?
You sure can. Letís pray,
The five women, four men, and Andy encircle Jack Ferris and
hold hands while they bow their heads and wait for Cal to
Dear Lord! We ask now that your
presence be felt amongst us this
day. Give us guidance and wisdom,
Lord as we now seek a safe way
back to the campground that will
dull the pain in Jackís leg. Even
now, Lord, as we try to carry him
back to camp, we ask that your
healing touch be applied to the
break he sustained in the fall.
Open his eyes to your love, and to
his family as well we pray, Lord,
As Cal closes the prayer Andy is the first to hear the
rustling of bushes in the woods on the opposite side of the
rocky trail and close to where Splinter appeared earlier.
Cal! I hear some noise in the
bushes. I think Splinter came
Andy runs across the narrow trail towards the sound.
      (Raised Voice)
Wait a minute, Andy.