“Minister Anderson, come quick! We need help. Someone spotted Pastor Cal stuck between some trees on the river bank!” Vernon came in screaming.
D’Cerner panicked. Her heart pounded so loud she could barely hear what others were saying. All the men headed for the door with ropes. For a moment, she thought she was going to faint, but somehow, she reached deep down inside, took a deep breath and got up. She felt like she was outside of herself, looking at what was going on, but had no control over it. She got her raincoat and hat and went out the door before anyone could stop her. She started walking, battling the wind and the rain, barely able to see directly in front of her. She prayed—for guidance, wisdom, and strength to find Cal. The closer she got to the river bank, the slower she was able to move because of the rising water. By the time, she reached the farthest point she could go, she had to stop. She called him.
“Cal,” she yelled, trying to be louder than the wind. “Cal, where are you?”
She waited, hoping to hear a response, but getting none, she plodded through the water a few feet north of where she was standing. She called again and again, no answer. She kept this up for almost an hour and then just as she was about to give up, she heard him.
“Cal, where are you?”
“Dee, I’m over here hanging onto a branch. I can’t hold on much longer.”
“Cal, hold on! I’m coming. Keep talking to me so I can find you!” She sloshed through water already above her waist. She listened to him, talking to her, but his voice was fading.
“Cal, keep talking, I’m getting closer. Don’t you give up on me!”
“Dee, go back! The water is too deep! Go back!”
“I am not going back without you. Just hold on!”
“I am holding on, but I’m getting tired. Can’t hold on much..”
“Hold on, you hear me! Hold on!”
“Dee, I love you! I’ll always love you!”
“I love you, too, now hold on! I’m coming to get you!”
By the time she reached a clearing where she could see him, she heard the snap of a branch and then saw him floating by holding onto the branch, but his head was sinking under the water. That was the last she saw of him. She heard herself screaming and then she knew nothing.
She collapsed in the water and would have been swept away by the fast-moving current, but the men who were looking for Cal to save him were right behind her and two grabbed her, while the others waded out further, tied to each other in order to hopefully reach Cal before he was carried further out into the river. They watched him bobbing in and out of the water for about fifty feet when suddenly he stopped moving.