...Todd was surprised by his stern eyes,
he seemed serious about it.
Todd said, “There’s a town two days on,
my horse can take double a bit.
“But I don’t know about this ‘debt,’
I just did what any would do,
Besides that, you’re an Indian,
don’t have much in common with you.
“Can’t say I’ve ever got along
with tribes I’ve run into out here,
I think they are just too savage,
we’d be at each other’s throats, I fear.”
The man stood firm, and shook his head,
“It’s a debt I must pay in full,
pale face or not, I must do right,
so say the values of my people.”
These words struck Todd as rather strange,
he’d said his people cast him out,
so why this stubborn insistence,
why hold fast to such beliefs now?
But the man seemed quite determined,
Todd at least saw honor in that,
said, “Well then you had best hop on,
there’s just room enough on his back.”
It was a slow ride to that town,
but they made it there in good time,
the Indian, called Burning Wing,
by a doc had his foot aligned.
Todd set up shop for prospecting,
and though not that much would be earned,
he now had a brand new partner,
with Burning Wing much dirt was turned.
And though, at first, he kept close watch,
convinced at some moment he’d break,
Burning Wing proved good as his word,
did nothing but help work the stake.
From there the two would then embark
on adventures for three whole years,
the kind that could fill dime novels,
with adventures, gusto, and cheer.
They were gun-hands at a brothel,
and drove stages where bandits roamed,
they punched cattle for three ranches,
and scouted for Apache foes.
It was while doing that last part,
working for the army on horse,
that they saw a starving family,
approached as a matter of course.
When they got to ten yard’s distance,
Todd slowed down his mount to a strop,
Burning Wing looked at him strangely,
then said, “They look thirsty and hot.”
Todd frowned and said, “Their backs are turned,
they have to have heard us draw close…
something about this just seems off,
what it is yet, I do not know.
“The Apaches are quite clever,
would they leave a family out here?
Maybe we should ride around them,
get a look before drawing near.”
Burning Wing smiled at his friend,
said, “Old travelers are no threat.
My people look out for neighbors,
we can save that family from death.”
He spurred his horse forwards slowly,
Todd remained, not sure what to do,
but these people were Indians,
best to trust to his point-of-view.
CONTINUES IN PART III.
Copyright © David Welch | Year Posted 2022