I could not believe my eyes.
Two armed men--each one, a foot taller than me, at least--had been reduced to the size of boys' action-figures in less than a minute. With the arrows seemingly responsible (and still sticking out of their ass cheeks), now the size of toothpicks!
And, the Native American woman who had fired those arrows wore nothing but a pair of form-fitting blue jeans; a pair of deerskin boots; and a long-sleeved, red plaid shirt. With the front shirt tail knotted above her midriff (thereby exposing her navel).
"Uhm!" I nervously began: "I know this is going to sound lame. But, I'm not with these guys. In fact, I've never seen them before in my life!"
The Native American woman (who looked about five years younger than me) smiled.
"I know. I'm Drew Swift Arrow of the Wind River Shoshoni."
"And, I'm Adam Applegate. The Confused Caucasian! How the frig...?!"
She grinned: "Ancient tribal secret. One that the women of my clan having been using, for centuries, on behalf of He Who Keeps Pace With The Wind. And, all his descendants."
She pointed behind me, and I turned to look over my right shoulder. There, at the tree line marking Yellowstone's southwestern boundary, stood the white stallion. Looking straight at me, and moving his head up and down. As if nodding at me in gratitude!
When I turned to look back at Drew, I saw her removing her toothpick-sized arrows from the still-unconscious "doll men." Following which, she put the doll men, themselves, in a small burlap pouch!
"Is it also an ancient tribal secret as to what you're going to do with those two?"
"Let's just say it'll be harsh-but-appropriate," she replied: "Yet, definitely non-lethal. After all; my people are _not_ savages!"
I gave a rueful lopsided grin (suddenly feeling guilty for dressing like a cowboy). So, in a deliberate change of subject, I told her that she and her clan could count on me to keep the secret of the white stallion's existence. And, she nodded.
"I saw that, for myself, the moment you risked life and limb to interpose yourself in front of these men."
She held up the pouch, again.
"To express my thanks," she continued: "...I wish to give you this."
Whereupon, she draped her compound bow over her right shoulder (next to the quiver), so she could use her right hand to remove something from her shirt's left breast pocket. She then walked up to Little Buckaroo, and handed it to me.
Leaning down in my saddle, to accept it, I took it in my left hand and brought it up to my eyes for a closer inspection. It was about the size and shape of a shirt button. But, it looked to be made of silver, with a centerpiece of turquoise.
"Lovely workmanship! But, what is it?"
"A gift from a Navajo girl, who was my roommate at Dartmouth," Drew replied: "According to the lore of her people, it's supposed to bring good luck. Well, I was certainly lucky enough to meet you, Mr. Applegate! And, now, I pass it on to you. So, it may increase your good fortune."
Putting it inside the right-hand pocket of my gray wind-breaker, I used my left hand to grasp the front of my Stetson hat's brim as both a gesture of thanks and a departing salute.
"It was nice meeting you, Ms. Swift Arrow."
She smiled and nodded back: "Likewise, Mr. Applegate."
I then turned Buck one hundred-eighty degrees, and rode him back, at a canter, to the Northgate Ranch.