Prairie's Children, Return to the West -- Chapter 5


Quickly locating the water trough, Annie set about to see about some supplies for themselves.  Ruth decided to just wander around the area not looking for anything in particular.  She walked by a young Indian with some skins to peddle.

What have you around your neck?” he asked.  Ruth stopped, surprised at his good English. He looked to be about 20 years old and was very handsome.

Touching the necklace the Indian chief had given her for bravely and was wearing for luck, she replied, “This was given me by a friend.”

“You must be Fighting Wildcat,” said the Indian.....

 

 

Prairie’s Children

Return to the West

Chapter 5
 

                                                            By Starla Anne Lowry

As the two women slowly traveled southwest, Ruth noticed the changes in the terrain The hills began to lower and the forests diminished.  Mostly traveling in silence, Annie often glanced at Ruth and observed the worry on her face, sometimes tears rolling down a cheek. Finally, she spoke.

“I know it is hard on you, but we are going to find the baby. I just know it.”
 
“I know.  I am trying to keep faith in God, but we are going so slow. Why did God allow this to happen?” answered Ruth.

“I don’t know, but I have heard that faith works miracles,” stated Annie, hoping to give Ruth some hope.  Even to Annie, it seemed hopeless, but this young lady needed someone with her.  Her condition indicated that it was imperative that she have a traveling companion.

“Looks like we are coming to a trading post,” mentioned Annie.  “Those things are going out of style in a hurry. I think we ought to stop. You need some rest and I think I do, too. Besides our horses need some water and something to eat.”

Ruth nodded her head in agreement. If it wasn’t for the presence of Annie, Ruth would have probably have driven herself into the ground -- literally.

Quickly locating the water trough, Annie set about to see about some supplies for themselves.  Ruth decided to just wander around the area not looking for anything in particular.  She walked by a young Indian with some skins to peddle.

Ruth did not look at him until he spoke.

“What have you around your neck?” he asked.  Ruth stopped, surprised at his good English. He looked to be about 20 years old and was very handsome.

Touching the necklace the Indian chief had given her for bravely and was wearing for luck, she replied, “This was given me by a friend.”

“You must be Fighting Wildcat,” said the Indian as he continued to show knowledge of the English language.

Ruth was stunned.  “How did you know?’

“We have all heard of the Fighting Wildcat. She has become a legend among us.”

“But, it happened a few years ago. You don’t look very old.”

“Yes, but word travels fast among the Indian people. We heard that you had left us. Did not know where you went -- maybe to the happy hunting grounds?”

“No, I moved to a state called Alabama.  Some people kidnapped my baby and I am looking for them.  Think they have headed west and maybe to Mexico.”

“Tell me about it,” requested the young Indian.

Ruth retold the events again, but she did not mind.  Each time someone asked about it, there was an offer of some kind of assistance. This time was not an exception.

“A papoose is very special to me.  During my life, I have seen much killings.  I dedicated my life to work to preserve life after missionaries came to our camp and taught us about a man named Jesus. They taught me your language and I was able to go to a school and learn more of the white man’s ways.  They taught the Bible at that school and I believe I am to carry the message to my people,”

Ruth eyed the skins that the young man had for sale.  He noticed that and continued, “I have these as an excuse to be here at the trading post-- gives me a chance to talk to people about Jesus. I am on my way westward, too.  Mind if I join you?  I may be able to help find your papoose.”

Annie walked up as the young man offered his assistance.  

“I don’t know.  We are just two women traveling alone,” stating Ruth, suddenly realizing she may have said too much mentioning two women alone to a strange man.

Annie noticed her confusion and walked away, motioning to Ruth to join her.

“Let me think about it,” Ruth hastily said as she retreated to the side of Annie who was now out of hearing distance of the young man.

“I was just thinking.  It might be a good thing to have him along.  I am sure he learned many of the ways of the Indians and he may be of help.  I am a pretty good judge of character and he seems okay.  Anyway, there are two of us and seems like you gained a reputation -- Fighting Wildcat?”

“Well, that is another story.  Seems like I jumped on an Indian who was about to kill my husband and happen to win the battle,” answered Ruth.

“You what?  How many were there?”

“Oh, about six, I guess.”

“You attacked an Indian warrior with six other warriors around?  Bet he was embarrassed.”

“Not as much as he was when we got to his camp.  The chief was so impressed that I became a blood sister and given the name, Fighting Wildcat.”

“Well, I’ll be,” said Annie as she looked strangely at Ruth.  “You whipped an Indian warrior and afraid to have one join us on our journey -- one who may be of help?”

“Well,...” said Ruth as she twisted her toes in the sand in a half moon position, back and forth.

“I am going to invite him.  I think the two of us can handle one man if he gets out of hand.  The Fighting Wildcat might do it by herself. Was that the only reason you were made an blood sister?  I never heard of a blood sister.”

“I don’t want to talk about it,” Ruth spoke softly.

“So there is another reason.  Well, I will let it go now, but I am nosey.  I will find out,” smiled Annie.

Approaching the young Indian, Annie reported, ”It is settled.  You are going west and we are going west.  We will pleased for you to travel with us.  I am Annie and this is Ruth. What is your name?”

“Well, the missionaries gave me the name, Joseph, based on the Bible. My tribal name is Stinking Skunk. The missionaries did not like that name,” answered the young man.

“Why Stinking Skunk?  Never mind. I can guess.”

Annie thought it would be the time to ask another question. “Do you know why Ruth was named Fighting Wildcat?”

“Because she defeated one of our most powerful warriors.”

“That the only reason?”

“Well, another of our warrior told about her meeting a man in the street and outdrawing him.”

“What?  A cowhand?”

“No, he was a dangerous gunfighter. One of the best.”

“Well,” said Annie as she turned to look strangely at Ruth, “so that is what you did not want to tell me.”


Ruth blushed as she stood there looking embarrassed.

“Well, I must say. We are going to have a very unusual trio riding together.  I am good with shooting all kinds of guns.  You, Ruth, outdrew a gunfighter and whipped an Indian Warrior. And Joseph here is experienced in Indian ways.  Can anything stop us?”

---- To be continued

The story continues on:

http://www.fictioneer.org/content/prairies-children-return-west-chapter-6

Copyright 2010 by Starla Anne Lowry
 

Prairie's Children, Return to the West -- Chapter 5

Will be most interesting to find out why he has that most interesting name,

May Your Light Forever Shine

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