Part 43 (cont)
Indiana decided to save any further questions for later. Besides, he wasn’t even sure Reuben was giving him the full story, if he knew the man at all. For a moment he was tempted to reveal what Henley had told him on the ship earlier. But he didn’t want to put Reuben’s colleague into a difficult situation – perhaps he would soon find out why they were really here.
Instead, he made his way next to Marian and helped her attend to the wounded. At least he tried. There was not much he could do. He understood very little about medicine and healing practices. He had spent half his life travelling to remote regions of the world, and knew just enough to survive the basics. But when he looked around, there wasn’t a need to set a broken arm or dress a wound. These injuries were far more complicated. It was clear to both him and Marian that very few here would survive their injuries. The site of the twenty-something injured and the dozens more dead outside filled him with a cold rage, which frightened him. Ramos had done more than just kill a few people. The natives would overcome this, he was sure. But afterwards, they would never be the same. And Marian’s face had changed as well. It had transformed from a mask of fear one moment to that of anger and hatred the next.
“I simply cannot understand why anyone would do this,” she whispered.
“Me neither,” Indiana said. “But I will find out. You have my word on it.”
Marian regarded him with large, frightened eyes. “Is this truly Stan’s fault?” she whispered.
“That’s nonsense,” said Indiana.
“It’s his fault,” persisted Marian. “This would not have happened if he hadn’t come here. Or if he had simply given this criminal what he wanted in the first place. I should have made him do so.”
“Nonsense!” Indiana contradicted again, this time more forcefully than before. “You have nothing to do with this, just like me.”
Marian shook her head. Her lips trembled and her face lost color. “Maybe I…I could have prevented it,” she murmured. “I could have talked to him. Perhaps…” she broke off. Her eyes fluttered, and for a tiny moment Indiana thought she was going to lose control. But then she calmed down again.
“Of course. You are right,” she muttered. “Sorry.”
“It’s nothing” said Indiana.
Marian smiled sadly. “I feel so helpless. If only I could help these people.”
“Reuben’s men are bringing medicine and supplies,” said Indiana. “Maybe we can at least help them with their pain.”
“I don’t think so,” answered Marian. “All of this should have never happened. I could have stopped Ramos.”
Indiana pointed at his arm with a tormented smile. Since his jump off the ship, his arm hurt hellishly. “You have already tried,” he said ironically. “I am very glad. Otherwise I might be dead now.”
Marian fought back a smile, but her eyes remained serious, and Indiana saw tears gleam in them. All of a sudden he felt as helpless as Marian, but for a different reason.