"Ready already?" Nashua asked as Zella rode in the ranch on Choco.
"Yep," Zella smiled.
Soon they were sitting in the living room.
That is how she was where she was now. All alone except a horse traveling with her to the east land where no Nez Perce ever dared venture except for this one. Manzie was scared they would come and follow her and take her back where they thought she belonged. But to her they were not her people any longer. No not since Onacona disowned her. So she tried to put as many miles to them as she could. She had probably traveled around 30 to 40 miles since she hadn't stopped for rests until a few minutes ago. She hadn't lit a fire either when she had rested. She was too afraid either the Nez Perce or Cherokee would see her.
Manzie did not know anything about the Cherokee except what she heard from Rulon yesterday. So She had decided to keep her distance as far from them as was possible. She did not want to meet up with them.
Manzie traveled 10 miles when she stopped at a creek to rest. She sat down a few feet from some mulberry bushes to eat what remained in her pack. That is when she heard movement in the bushes as the leaves rustled. She froze in fear as a roar sounded in them. Manzie jumped up as quick as she could and ran toward the creek.
A cougar jumped out toward her baring its white gleaming teeth. He was hungry. Anyone could see it in those black eyes. Some how it was the same cougar who had slain Yana.
"Go away with you!" Manzie screamed at the creature who was in position to pounce.
He lunged at her and she wasn't fortunate enough to escape his flesh tearing claws. He ripped her right shoulder and arm open.
Desperately Manzie crawled toward the creek, shoulder and arm on fire. She knew almost she was about to meet Yana. Manzie tried not to cringe as her arm dragged on the rocks.
The cougar leaped onto her back. And she screamed as pain seered through her back.
"Somebody help me!" she screamed in agony.
An arrow hissed through the air.
The cougar darted away from her.
There were male voices talking in foreign languages unlike she ever heard. A deep voice said the words , "A-ge-yu-tsa ha-wi-(na) di-tiv ni-la-dv-yi!" Which meant 'Girl in creek!' but Manzie did not know that.
The cougar lay a few inches from her dead.
Manzie was saved!
Warriors lined the outer skirts of the trees a few yards away. These people looked and sounded very foreign. They must be the Cherokee.
Manzie wanted to flee but she was too weak.
Everything went black."
"Wow," Zella mused.
"What?" Nashua asked, arching an eyebrow.
"I didn't know you were such a good storyteller," Zella told him.
"This isn't exactly a story, Zella. It's more like history being told," Nashua corrected.
"Well, you're telling it like a story not like it's from a history book," Zella laughed.
"Well, that's because it's not in a history book. Its my heritage," he said, changing his sitting position.
"Well let's continue please," Zella suggested.
"Alright," Nashua said.
Manzie awoke to night and a campfire crackling beside her. A man sat beside her gently packing a leafy mix on her wounds. She flinced and he knew she was awake.
"You are quit the lucky one to survive such a cougar attack," the man smiled at Manzie. His words were heavily accented but still they were pure, perfect Nez Perce.
"You speak my language? You are no Nez Perce. What tribe are you?" Manzie asked him honestly.
"Cherokee, I am from the Wolf Clan. We have runaway west to escape white man and his taking our land," he said.
"I thought that was what you were," She said, winching.
"There you are. What is you're name?" he asked softly, finished with her wounds, "I've already got your back."
"Thanks. My name is Manzie daughter of chief of the Nez Perce," Manzie smiled at him. She felt no threat around him. In fact she felt safe and was comforted by his presence.
"I am Lando Chochize, son the Wolf Clan chief also the warrior leader," Lando got up and went over to Bow.
There were 20 warriors besides Lando. They all looked at her like she was from a different world.
Lando offered Manzie to come to his camp a few days later after she healed slightly. Manzie agreed, having no where else to go."
Zella had been smiling ever since Nashua said the Cherokee warrior leader's name was Lando Chochize.
"Why are you smiling so big?" Nashua inquired, playfully.
"Manzie is going to end up marrying Lando isn't she?" Zella asked.
"I'm not saying nothing," Nashua insisted even as she pushed him, playfully.