As promised I've been working on polishing and editing my novel, "Tom Named By Horse," a love story at its core. A story of young man's heart frozen by years of brutal abuse thawed by the tender touch of a young woman's spirit. An historical fiction set in 1865 Indian Territory, it also reflects the torment and confusion of its time. ~ I'm nearing the end of my final polish, and hope to have it published in 2 months. Working yesterday I decided to share this scene ... Tom has been injured and is recovering in Still Water's lodge. Still Water, Soft Cloud and Tom's friend Buck Hawkins are caring for him. Buck, an Army Scout has been dispatched to persuade Red Cloud to hold the peace. Still Water is a white woman, Tall Dog's wife and mother to Soft Cloud, by whom Tom is smitten ... Enjoy this scene from Chapter 35, it holds important true history.
|Kessy helping me edit|
''Red Cloud has said when the new grass comes he will move the village. He has become very troubled about the railroad. At council braves speak in favor of joining Tall Dog, this angers Red Cloud. He is also very worried, and knows he cannot stop the whites. His visions tell of great wars between the white man and his people. But Red Cloud also has visions of leaving peacefully with them. If the white man does not kill all the buffalo and does not build this railroad … Red Cloud can perhaps hold the peace.'' Still Water's eyes held the sadness and worry heavy in her heart.
''Red Cloud must convince his people not to fight, Still Water. The Indian nations can't win. The United States has just ended a great war with itself. I was part of that war. I know of the powerful weapons the Army can turn against the Indian nations. It will be the end of his people if they fight.'' Buck looked Still Water in her worried blue eyes and tried to convince her.
''The Sioux are very proud people and can be peaceful, but they can also be fierce warriors. I know them, and I know Red Cloud. I will tell you a story. The buffalo are sacred to all Sioux. Each time a white man kills for just the hide, or tongue, or just to kill, that buffalo cannot go to the next life. That weakens the Great Spirit. It also weakens the Sioux for the buffalo are the brothers and the sisters of the Sioux.
''To many times Red Cloud has seen the rotting bodies of dead buffalo which cannot go into the cloud that would welcome them into the next life. On the once happy prairie now lay the bones of too many lost buffalo. He knows the railroad will bring more whites who will kill more buffalo.
''Tall Dog knows this as well but unlike his father, Tall Dog cannot remember a time when the white man was not here. He and other younger braves grew up listening to grand stories about the times when the proud Sioux ruled over all this land and more. About time when Grandfather Mystery made the entire universe and Grandmother Earth taught the Sioux to use her for their needs. They heard the story of when Buffalo Calf Woman smiled on the Sioux and gave them their brother the buffalo, who give themselves so the Sioux may have food and hides for warmth and shelter. Now all things are threatened. Each time the braves who follow Red Cloud hear the stories of Tall Dog doing battle with the whites or killing white settlers they urge Red Cloud to join him.''
When Still Water finished Buck found he was overwhelmed. He knew the Sioux considered the buffalo their sacred brethren. But what he had not known was that Still Water might still admire Tall Dog. Watching her pretty face as she spoke of him told Buck that even though he had become a most vicious killer, and he had killed both their sons, she could still love him. Making matters worse, Buck was beginning to have feelings for Still Water. Not the silly playful urges that he would often have for women. No, what he felt for Still Water was much deeper.
''We're in quite a fix aren't we?'' Buck lamented as he handed Still Water the finished crutch for her inspection.
''This will be a great help to Tom as his leg mends.'' She spoke softly, not allowing her eyes to meet his.
In silence they walked to Still Water's lodge, each engrossed in their own thoughts about the future, the present and the past. Each worried about what they feared came next to the people of the prairie.
Gitty Up, Dutch Henry