The captain of the wagon train called a halt around five thirty
The captain of the wagon train called a halt around five thirty. The sun was beginning to set as the last wagon circled together. Katherine breathed I the fresh air and let out a long frustrated sigh, which did not go unnoticed by her father.
"Come now Kate," her father smiled sadly at her, pulling on his coat and preparing to tend to the cattle. "It will be great in Oregon; we can start a new life."
"I know daddy, it's just, I miss home…" Katherine sighed again. "I better start dinner if I'll be done by the time you get back."
"All right darling, stay close, I don't want you going to the river alone." Her dad told her disappearing around the side of their wagon.
"This is for the best." Her little sister, Sara, said from behind her. "Pa has been in a much better mood lately. He hasn't been moping about, I haven't seen him this happy since-"
"Yes I can see that Sara." Snapped Katherine, desperately wanted to change the subject. "Did you get the cooking pot? Where is Nathan and Jacob?"
"Yes, yes the pot is right here, Jacob is with dad and Nathan is-" a young boy, no older than twelve came darting around the wagon, laughing. Immediately afterward another young boy came trailing after the first. "Nathan!" Sara laughed. The first boy froze and the second slammed into him.
"Have you done your chores?"
"Um…yeah." Nathan answered.
Sara gave him a knowing look. "Nathan go milk the cow."
"Go!" Katherine yelled, Nathan gave a surprised look before heading off, the smaller boy trailing after him.
"You don't need to be so harsh Kate, he is only a boy" Sara chastised, shooting off a disapproving look in her direction.
"Last time I checked, you were only two years older than him. Have you fixed father's shirt yet?"
"I can't do this all by myself you know!" Kate shouted. He back ached, her head hurt, and her feet were sore from walking. "You need to start helping now that…" Katherine stopped to collect herself. "Now that…" she trailed off unable to continue.
"Do you want to talk about it? Katherine, I haven't even seen you cry, it's not healthy."
"I am fine, you need to patch up this shirt. I'll go fill up the water bucket." Picking up the bucket she walked toward the river.
"Wait, you can't go alone..." she looked around and her voice dropped. "What about the savages?"
"I'll be fine, this needs to be done." And she set off towards the river.
The young braves watched the whites from the near by forest. The pioneers had no knowledge of the Cheyenne's presence. The warriors had found the white five days ago and had been following them since.
The whites, although a threat to their land, amused and bewildered them. They did things most strangely. The white men carried unusual weapons, and wore even more unusual clothes, but what captured the attentions of most braves was how they looked. For most of the raiding party, this was the first time they had ever set eyes on a white man, and their coloring amazed them.
Never had they seen such pale skin, or such light eyes and hair. The differences among the whites were far greater than among the Cheyenne. While all Cheyenne had dark hair and brown skin, with deep brown eyes, some whites had golden hair, some had brown; others had a mixture, and even hair of fire!
Those who got close enough to see their eyes were mesmerized. The light blues and greens were so different. Even their brown eyes were lighter than theirs… it truly was a shame it had to come to this.
Long Jaw, the lead warrior, watched a small group of braves return to camp.
"Ah! Hawk? What have you learned?" Long Jaw asked standing up to great the braves.
"We counted over two hundred, men, woman, and children, they are not prepared for a battle, most of the weapons these white men carry are for hunting, not for killing."
"Good, we shall lose little brethren tomorrow."
"Long Jaw, these white men… they have no idea what is about to hit them, they are no match for us, it will…" His voice softened and he spoke looking into Long Jaw's eyes. "It will be a slaughter."
"Yet they come to our land and threaten us. They do not heed our warnings, it is time to act." Long Jaw said with conviction and other braves nodded and murmured in agreement. "Prepare yourselves!" he addressed to the whole camp. "Soon, soon we will attack."
Katherine laughed at the men around the camp fire. They were telling stories of savages to the children, mainly stories of little scrapes they had gotten into back East.
"The savage came toward me, screaming, his knife, thrashing at me. I used my rifle to block the first slash, jumping back; his second slash hit me, cutting me, slicing through my jacket." A collective gasp was heard throughout the travelers. "He was relentless, his eyes were clouded over with the lust of death, he wished to hack me to pieces, blood was seeping through my coat, I was growing weak, but the save never let up. He let out a horrible shriek, before running at me, his knife help high, waiting to deliver the killing blow. He brought up his knife, waiting to bring the jagged stone point down into my chest." John Cambell, the teller of the story, leapt from his seat, is gun in hand, acting out the tale.
"He came down, and I swing my rifle into his hands, knocking away his knife. I brought the but of my rifle down on his head. He hit the ground, blood dripping from his nose and I shot him right between the eyes…"
"Would the savage really have killed you?" asked a small boy in wonder and fear.
"Oh yes, they are violent, vicious cruel beings, savages in every sense of the word. Don't wander off to far, they will kill you without a second thought."
"You think they are really out there?" Jacob asked with excitement. Jacob had been hoping to fight a savage since he turned fifteen. John tightened his grip on his gun and nodded looking out into the woods.
"I am sure, just waiting to scalp the lot of us."
"Scalp!" yelled a young girl, around the age of sixteen.
"That's right young missy." Said John. "But that's the least you should worry about." His voice got low, losing his joking flavor and his eyes turned grim, "wait till you hear what they do to the women-"
"That's enough, that's enough, that is enough!" Mrs. Gifford, a middle aged woman snapped. "There are children here," she looked around at them and added. "Who should be in bed right now." The younger children, most under sixteen, went off to bed, complaining along the way.
"Mr. Cambell, what would they do?" a frightened woman asked.
John opened his mouth but closed it immediately after seeing the look Mrs. Gifford was giving him.
"I think we should leave it at that. We will continue this some other time." then leaning closer to the younger girls, that remained, he whispered so Mrs. Gifford wouldn't hear. If you really wish to know, come speak to me when Mrs. Can't-keep-her-nose-out-of-other peoples-business isn't here. Jacob." He spoke up again. "Fetch that water bucket and put out this fire."
"Katherine? Katherine, are you awake?" The sun was just creeping up over the mountains in the distance.
"Yes Sara, what is it."
"Those stories," she whispered. "Do you think they are true?"
"I don't know Sara, but don't worry, ok; Dad won't let us get hurt."
"I know but when dad is away, hunting or fighting, what then… what will happen to us."
"Sara, you have nothing to worry about, as long as we stay close to the wagon train nothing will happen to you, besides, what kind of older sister would I be if I let anything happen to you?"
"You mean it?"
"Sara, I promise you, that as long as I am able I will take care of you, understand?"
"Yes, thank you Katherine," sara rolled onto her side and looked over at katherine, who was laying on her back looking over at the sun rise. "Katherine, you aren't mad at me are you?"
"No, Sara, why would you say that," Katherine asked turning her head towards Sara.
"Well, yesterday, you-you kind of yelled at me."
"Oh Sara, I am just frustrated, I feel over whelmed with…just… everything"
"So you aren't mad?"
"No Sara," and they both drifted back to sleep.
They couldn't have gone back to sleep for more than ten minutes before they were awaken to start the day. Two months of traveling and Katherine was still not used to the grueling days. Katherine, slowly started to roll up the blankets they had slept with, while Nathan, as usually skimped on his chores, and Jacob was pestering Mr. Cambell about his past battles with savages.
Sara how ever didn't try to skip out on her work today. She went right into it, putting out their fire, and putting away any pans that had been left out. Walking past Katherine, Sara smiled at her, and went on with her chores.
They all started moving around seven. The days were long, and boring, but the company along the way was nice, and she could always entertain herself with John and Mrs. Gifford's bickering.
"Katherine, mighty fine day today don't you think?" asked John Cambell from behind her.
"Yes, John it is lovely, I just wish it wasn't so hot out."
"Yes, it is quite hot, no worries though, I have an old friend of mine who lives up in Oregon, and he says it rains almost everyday."
"Is that supposed to make me feel better?" She laughed.
"Well, it was," he chuckled, "S'pose it didn't have the desired affect?"
"No sir. It didn't. I heard you and Mrs. Gifford earlier,"
"The whole damn train could here us, s'cuse my language. She was upset with me for telling little Charlotte Maple a story 'bout my ventures."
"Well, Mr. Cambell, your stories aren't really for children."
"No, but she should know, everyone should know what these animals can do."
"Why do you hate them so?"
"Back East, In south Carolina, my home, me and a friend went, hunting." John's eyes looking off into the distance, his eyes looked far away. "We were both nineteen at the time, young, and enthusiastic, just looking to have fun and get some dinner home. Well, halfway into the hunt we cam across a savage. He cam up behind me and knocked me to the ground." He sighed, usually his stories were full of emotion, but this time all he did was speak it like he'd speak of the weather but with a heavy undertone. "I couldn't do anything, the savage just, jumped on Peter and started hacking him to death, even after long after he was dead, he savage kept hacking at him. Peter had never done anything to hurt anyone."
"How did you get away?
"The savage just left, just got up when he was done, looked over at me and walked away. I was in such shock, I couldn't move, maybe an hour or two later I picked up his body and carried him home."
"but, Mr. Cambell, just because he did that, doesn't mean all Indians are like that."
"Do you really want to give them the chance to find out?"
"Don't trust them, Katherine; you are too young and far too beautiful to end up in the hands of those savages." Katherine blushed and nodded.
"Thank you. Mr. Cambell I was wondering if you would tell me about-"
"Filling her head with more of your stories John?" yelled Mrs. Gifford running up, "you should be ashamed.
"Molly! I am just speaking to her."
"Ludicrous, you are spreading more of your silly stories."
"They are not silly stories!"
"Oh yes they are, and it is ridiculous to call them accurate"
"Are you saying my stories and aren't true!"
"No what I am saying is-"
"Now, now, you two lets calm down shall we. No more of this fighting around my kids."
"Sorry, William." They both said to Katherine's fathers who smiled at them.
"No John, why don't you go talk to Jacob, I am sure he would be thrilled to hear some more stories."
"Aha, what a wonderful idea." And he jogged of towards Jacob and Mrs. Gifford just frowned at him and walked away. Katherine laughed at John and smiled at her dad.
"Thanks dad, I don't know what to do when they start fighting."
"It's fine darling, remember to stay close." He said and walked away.
Katherine woke up the next morning to screams and gun fire. She felt a strong hand clamp over her arm and pull her out of the wagon. She fell onto the ground in a daze, looking around with blurry eyes. She could hear Mrs. Gifford scream in pain among the other cries. Before she could grasp anything she was pulled to her feet. She spun around to find her father, his face covered with sweat and dirt.
"Hurry, we must hurry, Sara stay close, come one Kate." Her father dragged them behind the wagon, away from the fighting. "Savages." He said panting. "Kate, get Sara and yourself to the forest, and hide-"
"what about Jacob and Nathan?"
"They need to stay and fight." He said gruffly, looking around frantically. "and you need to go, hurry, stay down. I will find you after this; don't leave unless I come for you understand?"
"Yes father." Sara was shaking, tears dripping from her eyes. Her father grasped her shoulders in his hands and kissed her forehead.
"Everything will be fine. I will come for you soon." The shooting and gunfire got closer. "Go now, stay hidden, Sara… Katherine…" He said looking at Sara. "I love you…" he then looked directly at Katherine, right in the eye and gave her a small, sad smile. "I love you." He said slowly, and with that he turned around, grabbed his rifle and went of toward the fighting.
Katherine grabbed her sister's hand and brought her toward the forest. Looking back she felt her heart break when she saw a tall savage advance on John Cambell. Before John could reload, his gun was ripped from his hands and a knife was plunged into his shoulder, right at the base of his neck. His face contorted with pain and shock. He stared into the brave's eyes, his mouth hanging open. The Indian stared back, before pulling the knife from his neck and letting him fall to the ground.
Kate, looked at the savage's eyes, who was moving towards is next victim. She didn't see the crazed blood lust, dear, poor Mr. Cambell had spoken of, just determination and concentration.
She quickly turned around, and ran back to the forest, her breath choking in her throat. She quickly pushed her sister in between a tree and an overgrown bush, hiding them from sight. She crouched down next to her sister, hugging her knees and resting her heads on her knees. Sara was crying softly next to her.
"Katherine?" she whispered through tears. "When will he be back?"
"I don't know Sara, soon, don't worry." She felt horrible about lying to her sister, but how could she tell her, that she didn't think her father would be coming back. Sara continued to cry and Katherine wrapped her arms around Sara.
"Will Jacob and Nathan be ok?"
"O-of course… we will see them tonight, around the fire." Katherine soothed, praying to God she wasn't lying about this.
"Will Mr. Cambell tell us more stories?"
"…I-I don't know." She choked, tears burning at her eyes. Sara looking up at her, and Katherine did her best to smile, but it seemed to be enough for Sara. She smiled back and rested her head on Katherine, and closed her eyes.
Katherine didn't know how long they had been there, but it felt like hours. Sara fell asleep after their little talk, although she had no idea how, with all the shouts, screams and gun fire echoing in the background.
"Katherine?" she heard Sara ask a little while later, "is daddy here yet?"
"No Sara, just a little while longer." She said tightening her hold on Sara, "just a little while longer." The sun was beginning to set, and Katherine's sight was beginning to blur. As the day grew dark, Katherine drifted off to sleep.
Katherine had no idea how long she had been asleep, but it was dark when he woke up. She was no longer in her hiding place and found herself lying on her stomach on the ground. Her hands were bound behind her and her ankles were tied together. The rough ropes scratched and itched her skin. She looked around frantically for her little sister.
She found Sara a few feet away, in a similar position, her eyes closed. Katherine was grateful for that, who knows what Sara would have done if she had been the first to awaken.
Katherine moved closer to Sara, doing her best to nudge Sara awake. She rolled onto her side, and then back onto her stomach hitting Sara on the shoulder. Sara opened her eyes and looked at Katherine with questioning eyes.
"Just stay quiet," Katherine breathed.
"What hap-"a roar of laughter was heard from behind them and the turned their heads to see what happened. This was the first time either had noticed the savages, forty maybe fifty sat around various fires set up in the clearing. They did not seem to notice that the two girls had awakened and they continued to carry on, laughing and speaking in a most strange language.
If not for the yelp of surprise from Sara, which caused Katherine to rip her eyes from the warriors to quiet her sister, they might have noticed how similar they were in that moment. If not for the difference in skin and hair, or basic outside appearance, Katherine would not have been able to tell the difference between them and their former traveling companions.
"Kate? What do we do?" Sara whispered in fear.
"First calm down." Katherine whispered throwing a glance toward the Indians, who were still not aware they had woken up.
"I'm scared Kate." Sara whispered.
"I know, but listen it will be ok, I won't let anything happen to you." Sara nodded, slowly a tear slipping out of her eye. "You just need to be brave for me ok?" again, Sara nodded. This was hard; she herself was only seventeen, three years older than Sara. The only thing keeping her together was the way Sara kept looking at her. "Now can you crawl on your stomach? To the forest right their?" she motioned toward the tree line with her head.
"Yes." Sara said in a small voice.
"ok good, let's go, but stay quiet." Katherine glanced at the group of braves. They still did not notice the two girls inching their way into the forest. Sara and Katherine almost made it to the tree line when Katherine shot a glace back to the fire. A few braves were laughing at something another had said. To Katherine's horror a brave had looked around to where she and Sara had been when they woke up.
He stopped in mid laugh but the smile never left his face. He looked around the camp and his eyes came to rest on Sara, before his eyes drifted to Katherine. He smiled a little more as if amused at their pathetic attempts to escape. He called something out in his language and stood. Katherine and Sara moved faster, no longer caring about how much noise they made.
At the same time, strong hands grabbed onto their waists and pulled them up. Sara began to scream and cry, trying to scratch at her captor. Katherine began to fight until she felt a cold knife make contact with her neck. She froze immediately and tears stung at her eyes.
"Make stop." said one of the older braves. Katherine looked at the Indian with teary eyes and nodded her head. She looked at Sara and her breath caught. She felt like she couldn't breath, and a hard force was pressing against her chest. The cold stone rested on her throat leaving her completely venerable.
"S-Sara." She croaked. "Sara, please stop. Please stop Sara." Her voice was quiet. She feared if she spoke to loud it would drive the knife into her skin.
"Sara, please, Sara." Sara continued to struggle and weep in the Indians arms, everyone eyes except Sara's, seemed to be on her. "Sara!" she yelled and Sara froze, looking over at Katherine. Her eyes widened when she saw the knife, but she didn't move. "It's ok, Sara… just do as I say and calm down." Sara barley gave a nod.
Katherine looked over at the older brave who had spoken waiting for him to speak. The Indians looked over at her curiously, for most of them; this was the first time they had been so close to a white without killing them.
"Why you here?" he asked his voice deep.
"We were coming with my father and brothers to go to-" She choked out the sentence but stopped in the middle fear tightening it's already tight hold on her heart. "My father! My brothers! Are they alive?" Hope shined in her eyes and the brave could see it. The old Indian smiled sadly and shook his head.
"No survive." Sara broke down, she did not fight, but she sobbed. Nothing for Katherine, she felt numb. Part of her already knew the outcome, but to hear it be confirmed….
The brave holding Sara, let her go and fall to the ground. Katherine went to reach for Sara, but a stinging pain in her neck kept her from moving forward.
"WH-what do you want? What are you going to do with us?" Katherine cried, tears leaking from her eyes.
"have no fear, obey and live." Said the brave, and Katherine briefly wondered where he had learned it.
She nodded slowly and the knife was taken away from her neck. She knelt down to her sister and took her into her arms, trying to sooth her. She looked up at the brave who seemed to be in charge, to see he was addressing the group.
He spoke for a while in his language. The braves obviously had a lot of respect for the man. They didn't seem to care about the fourteen year old girl sobbing on the ground. Sara was shaking and had silent tears running down her cheeks, she was clinging to Katherine for dear life.
The braves cheered, causing Katherine to look up. They seemed to be honoring someone. He was tall, with beautiful skin and hair, with dark foreboding eyes. He had very broad shoulders and a strong frame, he was… a savage! What was she thinking? He could have killed her family for all she knew. She looked up at him with hatful eyes. He turned to look at her and her eyes went from hate to fear. He gave her a warm smile before looking down at Sara. When his eyes returned to Katherine he gave her small sympathetic smile, before walking over to them.
By now the other braves had re-seated themselves around the fires. The brave was till coming closer to her, and as he knelt in front of her, Katherine clutched Sara closer to her trying to protect her. He smiled at her and brought up his hand. Katherine did her best so shrink away but he managed to catch a strand of hair. After looking at her hair and running the stands between his fingers he took his pointer finger and ran it down her cheek.
Katherine was shaking and holding onto Sara rightly who buried her face in her chest. The brave looked down at Sara and frowned before looking at Katherine and smiling. He pointed to the tree and help up some rope.
Katherine shook her head. He frowned and pushed the rope slightly forward to reiterate and pointed at the tree again.
Katherine did not want to be tied up. No way would any good come out of that. He frowned and held the rope up and pointed again.
"Yes, I understand what you want. But I will not be tied up!" she said slowly and loudly. A few braves turned to look with confusion but turned back to the fire. The Indian in front of her shook his head. He reached down and grabbed Sara, and pulled her out of Katherine's arms. Sara started kicking and screaming again with full force, but she put up no fight for the brave. Katherine stood up to charge the brave but a strong arm wrapped around her waist holding her still.
The brave holding Sara grabbed her wrists and tied her to the tree he had pointed to. Katherine started to cry and struggle. "Don't touch her!" she yelled out in rage and panic. Sara was finally tied to the tree and the Indian turned around and began to walk towards her. Once she was tied to the tree Katherine gave up her struggle. The brave at least been kind enough to put them on the same tree, even though Katherine couldn't give Sara the hug she obviously needed.
Sara moved over so that she was as close to Katherine as she could be. The brave knelt down again, and looked at them with a neutral expression. He stared into Katherine's tearful eyes and cocked his head to the side. He frowned at Katherine before looking down at Sara where is frown deepened. Then turning back to Katherine he smiled, it wasn't sad, cruel or mocking, but it wasn't exactly happy either. He reached up and patted her head. A couple of times, causing her to blink with each pat. With that he stood and walked away, back to his camp.
"Katherine?" Came Sara's small voice.
"Yes?" she whispered back.
"I know Sara, me too, just…just stay with me, I wont let anything happen to you."
"Thank you Kate." She whispered and closed her eyes resting her head on Kate's shoulder. Katherine sagged against the tree, the day's events weighing down on her. She refused to let her tears, fall. She would be strong and brave. She would not let them win. Her heavy eye lids fell shut and everything fell to darkness.
SEVEN HOURS EARLIER.
The Cheyenne finished disposing of the bodies a couple of hours after the battle…. Well, slaughter. Many didn't like what had happened. Killing so many, wasting all those lives, it was beneath them. Especially the children…all those children.
But it needed to be done, luckily, the youngest there was six, but that didn't make them feel any better.
"Long Jaw! The bodies have been disposed of." Yelled Little Bear as he came up to Long Jaw.
"Good, now take two or three men with you and scout the grounds, some may have fled the battle." Stated long Jaw in a clipped tone. "and watch your back, we are not sure of what these white men are capable of"
"Yes, Long Jaw." Little Bear stated before walking up to a group of braves. "Brown Elk, Dancing Fox, come with me, Long Jaw says we must search for whites."
"But we killed them all!" Dancing Fox said with pride.
"Some may have fled, come along now, let us not delay." Little Bear commanded.
"How many did you kill today brown Elk?" Dancing Fox was the youngest brave in the raiding party. At sixteen, he was still very focused on fighting and battle, and he continuously worked for the others approval.
"Too many. Killing woman and children like this…" He shook his head in distaste. "There is no honor in what we did today."
"But we won! We killed them all, isn't that what we wanted." Dancing Fox asked in confusion, looking under some brush.
"Killing is not what we want. We want peace-"
"And these whites won't accept that. They ignore our warnings and continue to press on." Little Bear spoke, his scratchy voice startling Dancing Fox. "If you found no honor in killing, find honor in protecting our people."
"Yes honor in protecting my village. But do not ask me to find honor in slaughtering innocent children." Brown Elf frowned. Then after a short pause.
"I got at least thirty-"
"Dancing fox have you learned nothing?" Elk bellowed.
""Brown Elk, calm yourself." Little Bear spoke placing a hand on Elks shoulder. "He is still just a boy; you remember what you were like at his age?"
"It was not that long ago." He replied stiffly.
"No it was not," Little Bear agreed. "But we were not that different." Brown Elk shrugged off Little Bear and grunted walking forward.
It was quiet for a while before Elk through his hands up in the air. "This is pointless! No whites got away."
Little Bear was about to make an argument that they had orders when bushes rustled behind them. Brown Elk pulled out his dagger drawing closer to the bush. He pushed past the bush and was about speak before he froze. There in the bushes were two little white woman. The smaller cuddled in the arms of the older.
"Little Bear, you might with to see this." Little Bear was shocked when he saw the two girls.
"Who would have thought-"
"Woah!-" Fox yelled, but the girls didn't do so much as budge. "I've never seen one so close." He pushed forward to get a better look. "This on is pretty." He said reaching or Sara. Brown Elk grabbed him by his shirt and dragged him back.
"you wont touch them!"
"I just wanted to look at them, they look so different." Dancing Fox answered.
"Little Bear, take one, we should bring them back to Long Jaw."
"Let me carry the Golden haired one." Fox answered.
"No Dancing Fox," Little Bear chuckled. "Let us handle this." He hoisted the older one over his shoulder and Brown elk did the same with the golden haired one.
"Can we wake them up?" Fox asked again, reaching for the younger girl, but Elk smacked his hand away.
"We can't wake them, they would fight… besides, I don't think they would wake even if we wished it."
"I think this one was crying…" Dancing Fox sounded thoughtful for a moment. "Can we just try to wake them up?"
"No, they would fight." Brown Elk said again, annoyed.
"Oh come on, we could take them!" Fox said pulling out his dagger and dropping into a fighting position.
"You would fight to defenseless woman?" Elk hissed. "Where is-"
"The honor in that, I know, I know, besides I wouldn't want to hurt them… this one is pretty-" His hand was once again smacked away by Brown Elk who was now in a thoroughly bad mood.
"Remind me to never take you two anywhere together again." Said Little Bear shaking his head and smiling softly.
They got back to camp a little later. The other groups had all returned and had found nothing.
"Long Jaw, we found two white woman! The whole camp seemed to quiet and look over at them. Long jaw stood and approached them. Little Bear and brown Elk placed the girls down on the ground.
"Where were they?" asked Long Jaw gazing at the whites.
"Two miles down, about ½ a mile from where we attacked, we only found the two." Came Little Bear's raspy voice.
"You are sure? There were no more?" Long Jaw pressed.
"Yes, we are guessing that they were hidden, perhaps by a male relative, who then returned to the fighting."
"Interesting…this elder girl…she is to be given to Calling Hawk, as a reward for his brave acts and sacrifice today. She will be presented to him tonight."
"Where is calling Hawk now?"
"Scouting by the river… he will return shortly. Place the girls over there; he will pay no notice to them when he arrives."
"Brown Elk?" Came Dancing Fox's voice from behind him. Brown Elk was sitting on a log in the corner of camp, sharpening his knife and axe. The peace and quiet came thundering down as Dancing Fox sat down in front of him.
"Yes Fox?" he asked with a calm and yet slightly irritated voice.
"Why don't you ever speak about your battles, or tell us of your tales around the fires?"
"My past battles are my own memories." Elk replied.
"But you have had been honored so many times, are you not proud?"
"Dancing Fox, what you must know is I have never been honored because of killing. I was honored because I sacrificed for the greater good of my people."
"How many white men have you killed?"
"Dancing fox! I do not keep count!"
"Why not!" Fox yelled back.
"Calm down, Calm down!" Yelled Calling Hawk jogging toward them.
"Brown Elk yelled first!" Fox interjected.
"Yes I heard, now stop pestering the old man and go help Little Bear with his bow." Calling Hawk said laughing and pushing him along.
"I would hardly call myself old." Elk grumbled picking up his knife where he dropped it.
"Well, I don't know… thirty two…" He whistled. Both chuckling Hawk sat down next to Elk. "He is still young. Try to understand where he is coming."
"When we were his age, we understood what honor was!"
"Correction. You understood what honor was, if I didn't have you during my final trials I wouldn't be here now."
"yes, but I had been through it all, and I am four years older than you, and you understood that I could help and guide you, he-" Elf pressed pointing at dancing fox who was speaking to Eagle Eye. "Does not."
"Ah, but I also see you as a brother. I respect you on a more personal level than he ever could." Hawk pressed. "just give him some time." He said rising.
"I will my friend, take care." Brown Elk then moved onto sharpening his axe when long Jaw called to hawk.
"Calling Hawk." I have much to tell you."
"You will be honored tonight for you heroics."
"I did nothing a fellow brave wouldn't have done given the opportunity."
"Nonsense, tonight at sunset. We have a gift for you as well."
"A gift? Of what sort?" Hawk asked, his curiosity spiked.
"I can say no more, but it is safe to say no one else in the village has one." And with that he walked away.
Sundown came quickly. All the braves sat around a fire. All the braves were laughing and joking.
"Brown Elk. I heard you were a little short with Dancing Fox today." Eagle Eye laughed.
"Just a little, who told you?" Elk asked.
"No one, I heard you." A couple braves laughed and elk ignored them.
"It's why you will never be a teacher. You would chase out all the young ones before you could teach them anything!" Little Bear goaded with a playful smile. Everyone laughed but brown Elk kept a stony face.
"Oh, come now Brown Elk, laugh a bit." Said hawk nudging him to the side with his shoulder, laughing with everyone else.
Brown Elk looked at hawk and smiled before letting out a small chuckle.
"It's a miracle!" a couple others cried with mock shock and new laughter met everyone's ears.
"Ok, Ok, we have all had a bit of fun at my expense; let's move on now shall we?" He said laughing. He turned his head to the side to look at the whites wondering when the girl would be given to his friend. He immediately stopped laughing but the smile stayed on his face. The white girls were not where he left them but he was not worried. After all, their hands and feet were tied, how far could they go?
Glancing around he found the girls at the edge of camp, making their way on their stomachs. He looked at the small one, who didn't seem to know she was being watched, and then looked at Hawk's gift. He made eye contact with her and smiled. Had they really thought they could get away? Even if they got out of camp what would they have done?
He, tying the ropes personally, knew there was no way of them getting out of the ropes alone. The girl looked very frightened, Elk felt pity for her. She turned back around and moved faster trying desperately to get away; the whole scene was actually rather pathetic.
"Eagle Eye? Little help?" he asked rising and walking toward the girls. Eagle Eye, saw what was happening rose quickly.
Elk was quickly on the girls grabbing the younger girl and pulling her off the ground. Eagle did the same with the other girl soon after. Seeing the younger girl starting to fight, Eagle Eye brought his dagger up to her neck. Hawk's gift stopped struggling immediately and tears filled her eyes. Long Jaw walked over followed by Hawk, who looked at them curiously.
Long jaw spoke to them in their language, which he learned from a white man he met out East. Hawk watched the girl Eagle Eye held as she spoke to her companion. Her voice shook with fear and Hawk felt his heart go out to the girl.
When the girl Elk had stopped struggling, Long Jaw spoke with them for a few minutes, before the younger girl broke down. Elk let her slide to the ground and the elder girl tried to go to her, but the knife held her back.
Eagle Eye let her go and she fell to the ground next to her friend.
Long jaw then turned to the group and spoke. "As we all know, we are honoring Hawk or his contributions today and as a prize I offer you the elder girl. You have been a brave and loyal warrior. You have sacrificed much and it is time you are to be rewarded." The braves cheered and hawk smiled bowing his head.
"But Hawk, I must press you be kind to this girl, she knows none survived, her brothers and father were killed." Hawk nodded and looked down at his prize. He gave her a warm smile trying to comfort her, but it didn't seem to help at all.
His friends took their seats again and sat back down, leaving him a lone with his white. He walked over to her and she tightened her hold on her companion. Kneeling down in front of her he got a batter look at her face. She was quite pretty, with light brown hair, and light brown eyes. He brought his hand up and caught some of her hair in his hands. It was smooth, and very soft and he enjoyed how it felt.
In an attempt to sooth her he took his pointer finger and ran it down her cheek, feeling how soft and smooth her skin was. What a wonderful prize this was.
He looked at the other white and frowned, she could not be her daughter, she was too old for that, maybe friend, cousin, sister?
He looked back up at her and smiled, holding up the rope he pointed at the tree. He couldn't leave them untied. His white would try to leave and end up getting herself lost or hurt and she was his now, he had to protect her.
She spoke to him then, loud and slowly. Hawk suddenly felt anger well up inside of him. He was not stupid, he was not some ignorant savage, and she had no right to speak to him like that. He just couldn't understand her language; she was no less intelligent because she couldn't understand him, right?
He grabbed the smaller girl and wretched her out of his prize's arms. The young one was really beginning to get on his nerves, would she never stop with these damnable tears!
Brown Elk sensing trouble stood and held Hawks white in place. She yelled out, but both braves ignored her. When he was finished with the first girl he turned back and took his gift from elk. When they were both secured to the tree the young one moved closer to his woman.
Why didn't she just behave, it didn't need to be this painful…
Oh, she just didn't understand that was all, she was afraid. He would find someone who could speak her language tomorrow and explain things to her. She was short, he was much larger than her. Her eyes were soft, even after everything. He smiled at her and patted her head before rising and walking away.
Please review, I am going to finish this story regardless, but if you like this story and want me to update quickly then i need review. They inspire me.
Also... i am not a historian, and this is not meant to be historicly accurate or this would be in the historic section, so please dont attack me on that. I am also a young author, I have just turned 15, so if i made any mistakes i would appreciate constructive criticism, i love to write and hope to make a career out of it some day, so i will take all the advice and criticism i get graciously.
If anyone would like to be my Beta i would be more than open to, It is a pain reading over everything i wrote, and i dont do a great job reading my own stuff.
but please review, tell me what you think, if you like it or not, but if you hate it, please be kind in telling me..