|About the Book|
No matter how little money and how few possessions you own- Having a dog makes you rich - Louis Sabin Anneee had no feeling in her arm. It hung limp by her side, blood dripping from her fingers to stain the freshly fallen snow. Pure stubborn determination, or as her father would say, her Irish drove her on. It was late October, 2003, the seasons first light flurry in the low country had been sticking to the ground since noon. The sun has just begun to set over the few inches of soft powder covering the prairie. The wind bothered her most- it cut through her lightweight, government-issued windbreaker. She hadnt planned on being out in a storm and wasnt dressed for it, but she couldnt allow the intruders to go unchallenged. The invaders had discovered her and shot her in the shoulder. The loss of blood was catching up with her- she was feeling cold and dizzy. With true Montana-grit she pushed on. She had to make it to the railroad tracks beyond the distant granite bluff before the Mountain Ball Express arrived. There were children aboard the train and she had to save them. Save the children became a mantra she repeated to herself, and it filled her with magic. And with the magic, providence seemed to move in to help. When she slipped down a ravine she rolled about a hundred feet in the right direction. At the bottom, Frosty, her beloved Dalmatian, was suddenly at her side licking her face. How did you get out of the cabin, Frosty? How did you find me? she asked. Frosty responded with happy pants and more wet kisses. His presence gave her renewed strength, allowing her to struggle to her feet and press on. Within an hour she reached her goal, the tracks just before Big MountainsCharm Tunnel, which came out at Flathead River Gorge -- nicknamed Hells Canyon by the local whitewater rafting club. Since 9-11, the Mountain Ball Express was the only train that the National Park Service allowed to pass through Glacier National Park. And this was the best place to stop the train, given that Amtrak regulations mandate the engineer slow to fifteen miles per hour before entering the tunnel. Anneee planned to build a signal fire, but first she had to stop the blood loss before she passed-out. She sat on the cold steel track, opened her windbreaker and blouse to examine her wound and, given it felt like her last day on the planet, thought of what Alaskans called the first snow fall of the season -- termination dust. Frosty licked at her wound and it felt good -- the antiseptic miracle of a dogs saliva. She thought of the subtle difference between a man and a dog- youre good to a dog one day and it remembers you for life, youre good to a fellow human for life and they forget you one day. The track beneath her began to vibrate with the rapid approach of the Express. She had only minutes to start the fire. She tried to get up, but dizziness engulfed her, and she fell backward, hitting her head on the rail. She came to rest outside the track, but the brim of her Park Ranger hat rested on the rail, her face inches away.