There were two women involved in the escape and recapture of courtroom killer Brian Nichols in Atlanta.

The first was the female deputy from whom Nichols wrested the gun he used to make his dramatic escape and with which he killed four people. We’ve heard very little about the female deputy, but for those of us who aren’t blinded by political correctness, the issue of whether a woman should have been in that position arises quite naturally.

The media instead coupled the Nichols rampage with the tragic murder of a Chicago judge’s husband and mother, playing it as a trend story: Our Judges Are in Danger. Nobody dared to raise the question of whether guarding Nichols was the right duty for a woman.

The second woman was Ashley Smith, a young widow and heroine who helped bring Nichols (back) to justice. She did it in the most womanly way possible, even reading aloud to Nichols from the work of a Baptist preacher.

Although the Atlanta newspaper is inaccessible without registration, a religion site has excerpted the highlights of Ashley Smith’s rendezvous with destiny:

“’I feel like I’m a warrior. The people of my color have gone through a lot.’

“But he says he’s had enough. ’I don’t want to hurt anybody anymore,’ he tells her. ’I don’t want to kill anybody. I want to rest.’

“The atmosphere becomes more normal, as normal as it could be.

“Smith asks if he would mind if she reads.

“Nichols says OK. She gets the book she’d been reading, ’The Purpose Driven Life.’ It is a book that offers daily guidance. She picks up where she had left off — the first paragraph of the 33rd chapter.

“‘We serve God by serving others. The world defines greatness in terms of power, possessions, prestige and position. If you can demand service from others you’ve arrived. In our self serving culture with its me first mentality, acting like a servant is not a popular concept.’

“He stops her and asks her to read that again. …”

Eventually, Ashley Smith was able to call the police and return Nichols to custody.