Adam's little nun companion ended up being a real boon to the threesome. She knew wild edible plants and could make something to eat out of nothing over a tiny non-smoke fire. Sister also walked like an angel hovering over the ground and slept like a soldier at night. The two men felt comfortable with this small nun.
Adam had to decide whether God was calling him to hide out for the duration of these initial terrible times, or try and find Father Gibson and work with him.
He also knew that the type of knowledge he had of the inner workings of the president's circle of advisers, something he learned both from Karen and his dad, would mean that he would be considered dangerous.
About a day and a half from St. Richard's Reservation, Adam came to his decision.
He woke up Chuck just before dawn. "What is the reality of me making it to the Ohio mission and following Father Gibson's path?"
Chuck rolled out of his sleeping bag. "Dunno. You could make it from here in two days to the monastery just over the Pennsylvania border, stay with the brothers, and go on from there. Last I heard, there were three still there. Father is working on the other side of the Ohio, near where Steubenville used to be. You could make it in a week or less, walking. But, the brothers may have a car."
Adam sat down on a log. "Would you mind taking Sister to the reservation alone?"
Chuck was honest. "Moving one is easier than moving two. No, not at all and I need a break."
The young man sat on a log and listened to the wind in the fir trees. No birds.
He knew that his heart was with Father Gibson and the priest's missionary work. He longed for the rhythm of prayer and Mass.
Chuck spoke up. "I don't think there is anything for you to do up north here. I think you need to move on west."
Adam stood up and packed his things. "I think I have learned from this dear woman how to live off the land." He smiled.
Chuck stood up as well. "Let us not wake her. Goodbye and good luck. You may be surprised and find help on the way."
Adam nodded and turned away. He was taking a huge chance to try and get to the monastery at the border of New York and Pennsylvania in good time. But, he had to try.
He turned back and waved. Chuck was watching him. Adam began a new journey, alone, but not alone. For some of his friends, it was "adieu" and for some "au revoir".
About two miles down the path of the foothills, Adam saw one of the most beautiful sun dogs he had ever seen. It reminded him of one he had seen years ago in England, on a train, on one of the coldest days of that year. His heart ached for his cousins in Poland, who had met him that year in Surrey, in that cold winter. He could not but believe that for them his goodbye was "au revoir". He looked over a clearing to the west away from the sun dogs in the east, turned his back on the sign, and began his descent into the lower lands towards the monastery.
To be a Catholic in these times meant a completely different viewpoint than the previous generations had. One could choose clearly to be a saint. Adam had made his choice.