I know it has been months. I won't tell you my reasons behind it all. I'm sorry it's a bit short but I knew this was way too long overdue.

Enjoy! Ideas welcome. Looking for serious editors.

Chapter 21:

If Leanne would have looked behind her she would have seen a lone Indian on a horse following slowly behind.

Yuma silently kept behind her. He didn't want her to know but he was making sure Caleb Wycliffe wasn't going to try something rash. He knew the kind of man Wycliffe was.

Leanne was nervous about going home. What was she going to say to Henry and Mae? She couldn't outright say she had been with a family of Indians all this time. And what of the gunshot wound? That would be interesting…and frightening.

She inwardly gulped and gripped Fast Runner's mane tighter.

What was she getting into? She almost made herself turn right around and go back to the Indian camp but then realized she couldn't. It was no more than a skeleton now. It would furthermore be selfish of her to try to go back. She had to help Mustang Eyes even if afterward her Pa locked her away for the rest of her life.

She stopped when she was in front of the long pathway to her ranch. She decided then that there was nothing to tell except the truth. She couldn't lie. Even if her Pa ended up hating her all her life for loving an 'injun'.

Leanne dismounted from Fast Runner and slapped the stallion smartly on his rump. The appaloosa made a gallop back toward his home.

She took an intake of breath and began walking down the drive, very aware of what she was wearing. She looked Nez Perce through and through if it wasn't for her strawberry red hair and pale skin.

Her side was beginning to hurt rather severe and she knew she needed to let her Ma look at it and maybe even see the doc in town.

"Leanne? Leanne!" calls were sounded from different sides of the yard.

No turning back now. She told herself as she walked toward her parents. Both looking as if they saw a ghost.

The cowhands took close to the barn but could still get a good view of their boss' daughter dressed up like an Indian squall. Jason was the only one that didn't have his mouth open in shock.

"Where have you been and what in God's green earth are you wearing girl?" Henry Baines was turning five shades of unbecoming red. It was all Leanne could do not to back away and flee. She knew she was in it deep.

Leanne opened her mouth and then shut it. She touched her side. "First I think I need to be tended to.

They looked puzzled at first until she drew her hand back showing spots of blood on her hand.

Mae gasped and ushered her daughter in the room. "How did this happen?"

"I was accidentally shot," Leanne said truthfully, not saying who exactly shot her. She prayed in her head her mother wouldn't ask.

Mae sucked in a breath. "How did this happen?" Leanne could tell she was trying to be calm.

"I saved a man and in the process I got shot." She relaxed knowing Mae wasn't going to ask who.

Mae Baines was quiet for the rest of the time it took for dressing Leanne's wound. She knew it wasn't over yet and could only hope she could escape tonight and try to visit Mustang Eyes at Fort Mackall.