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A Mountain Man's Tale, Part VI

VI. When his pa had died, Reid had just felt fear, he’d been a child, the pain overwhelming, but to see Eagle Vision lying dead… he felt a blind rage that left him seething. “Who did this?”he asked, in a voice like death, his mother looked up and said, “The Cheyenne. It was Red Wolf, with his braves at his side, they took horses and shot at any man.” Reid just nodded, took out all his gold coins, gave them to his mother and turned around, grabbed up his rifle and mounted his horse, with cold silence raced out to open ground. He didn’t wonder where the Crow men went, if they were gearing up for a revenge raid, his mind was too red to think about that, he pressed on alone, consumed by a rage. Reid knew exactly where the Cheyenne were, Mink had mentioned she was of Red Wolf’s band, by whatever means, he’d get to that chief, and when he did he would murder the man. He rode several days, travelled mostly by night, until he came on the place he recalled, but he had no thought of lovely Mink now, only that the bastard Red Wolf would fall. When he got close, he slinked through the tall grass, left his horse to wander, he’d have no need, he didn’t expect he would survive this, that was fine, so long as Red Wolf did bleed. By cover of night he slipped past sentries, sulked through the shadows, seeking the best lodge, that would be the chief, inside he did leap, his knife flashing like an angry god. Screams of women rose at his intrusion, but he ignored them and focused his rage, grabbed a sleeping man firm by his long hair, and to his throat put the edge of his blade. “Eagle Vision says to send his regards,” snarled Reid as the man struggled and gasped, he tightened his grip to slit the man’s throat, when a voice cried out, “Please! Don’t kill my dad!” The words themselves wern't what stopped Reid’s hand, it was the voice the young man recognized, he saw his sweet Mink, next to her mother, saw the abject terror there in her eyes. He did not release Red Wolf from his grasp, but felt frozen at the truth he now knew, the woman he loved was daughter of Red Wolf, his mind raced, he did not know what to do. He didn’t dare release the chief right now, the man’s life was the only leverage left him, but outside men rose, seeking out the noise, the situation looked utterly grim. But it was then the Mink did step forwards, said, “You seek vengeance, but I plead for his life. I have no husband to raise my child, I’ll need his help, so please, put down the knife.”

Copyright © | Year Posted 2022

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