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A Mountain Man's Tale, Part VII

VII. Reid’s eyes widened with the realization, she was with child? How long had she known? His mind reeled and more men gathered outside, by this time his cover had been long blown. He glanced down upon red Wolf struggling, then at the woman who haunted his dreams, forced to chose between revenge or his love, just minutes ago so simple it seemed. He glanced at Mink, and she looked back at him, said, “If you will spare him, I will go with you. Take me and our child far from this place, just please do not do what you came to do.” Red Wolf argured back, speaking in Cheyenne, traded words with both his daughter and wife, then Mink said,”He says he will let me go, that I bring shame to his lodge and his life. “He says we should both ride away quickly, that if we do so he’ll delay the chase. He says a whore daughter is bad enough, but bearing your son makes me a disgrace.” Tears streamed down her face as she said the words, her mother joined in with an acid tounge, Reid felt something break through his burning rage, asked, “Do you truly carry my little one?” When Mink nodded, he pushed Red Wolf forwards, keeping his knife at the neck of the chief, the whole band stayed back as they walked through the camp, Mink ran ahead and two horses did seek. She mounted first, Reid pushed Red Wolf away, leapt on a horse and away they did sprint, the two kept riding for hours that night, pushing their mounts through second and third winds. Red Wolf, it seemed, kept his word to the two, no pursuit was launched by the Cheyenne braves, but Reid knew now he could never go home, he had failed to get revenge for the raid. In the end he took her to the white world, back to the people he’d not known since youth, and I see from your looks that you have doubts, but what I’m telling you is the plain truth. I know because my father told it to me, of how he came to Kansas with his squaw, I was not that child, I came later, Mink made Gray Fox ten times over a pa. He doesn’t talk about it all that much, most of the details mother told to me, but when he does, a look comes to his eyes, a look that’s haunting too all who might see. It’s not that he regrets moving out here, he’s lived a life that is worthy and full, but sometimes I think, when he gets like that, he regrets not slaying that damn Red Wolf.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2022

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