Western Fiction posted January 10, 2018 Chapters:  ...5 6 -7- 8... 


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A student has a crush on Sarah.

A chapter in the book The West

Dark Waters

by Thomas Bowling


Previously:

Sarah has been taken captive by a band of Comanche. She started teaching the children and is trying to teach them the ways of the whites.

Chapter 7

One young student was taken by Sarah more than the rest. Dark Waters had a schoolboy crush on her.

“The Great Father sent her to us to show us what spirits look like,” he told his friends. “One day, she and I will fill the earth with spirit children. I have seen it in a vision.”

The boy started following Sarah everywhere. “Sarah, where are you going?” he called out to her one day.

“To the river to wash clothes.”

“I'll go with you. To make certain you are doing it the right way.”

“I know how to wash clothes.”

“But do you know the Indian way?”

“Everyone washes clothes the same way.”

“Still, I will watch.”

“Would you like to help?”

“No, that is women's work. A brave does not do women's work.”

The other children would follow the two, and recite Indian love poems.

Sarah couldn't help but notice Dark Waters' infatuation with her. The idea of a Comanche being attracted to her repulsed her, but she tried not to let it show.

Dark Waters would follow Sarah as she did her chores. He was happy to watch her, but he would never help. It wasn't the Indian way to mix the work of a man and woman.

One day, Sarah said, “I'm curious, you're older than the other children yet . . .”

Dark Waters interrupted, “I'm not a child.”

“Of course, you're not. You're a young man. What I meant was, you're older than the others who I teach. I was wondering why you come to be taught by a woman at your age. The other young men refuse to let me help them.”

“They are fools. I am smarter than all of them. Already the other chil . . . braves look to me for leadership. One day, I will be Chief. A Chief must learn from anyone he can, even a white woman.

“If I am going to know how to kill whites, and drive them from our land, I must know how they think. You are helping me to understand the whites. It is not your fault that you're one of them. The Great Father has sent you to me, so I will learn how to fight the white devils.”

A chill ran up Sarah's spine.

Dark Waters noticed. “So, maybe you no longer want to teach me, now that you know my purpose.”

“Of course, I want to teach you, because I want you to understand that our way is better.”

“If the Great Spirit had desired me to be a white man, he would have made me so in the first place. It is not necessary for eagles to be crows. Tell me, Sarah, what can be better than the Comanche way?”

“Civilization is better. Not killing people is better.”

“You talk of civilization, yet here you are among us, living the Comanche way, and one day, you will be a Comanche's wife.”

“No! Never!” Sarah couldn't hide her emotions.

“The thought fills you with dread, doesn't it? Now I see you for what you are. You live with us, but you hate us. You teach us because you feel it is some punishment you have been given to pay for a past evil. I was a fool to want you for my wife.”

It was all Sarah could do to keep from crying out. She hung her head. She couldn't deny the words of Dark Waters. Dark Waters never followed Sarah again. He still came to her teaching circle, but both he and Sarah knew why he was there. At every opportunity, he disrupted the class and tried to upset Sarah with lewd comments.

“Why does she live among us, but dress like a white woman? Take those silly clothes off and be one of us.”

“Yes,” the other children would join in. “Take your clothes off.”

The children would strip naked and dance. “Join us, white woman. Be Comanche.”

“Children, put your clothes back on. We're not done yet.” The children would run away, laughing. “We are Comanche. Sarah is white. We are Comanche. Sarah is white.”

The adult Indians laughed at Sarah's frustration, in her attempts to make their children white, and the children's attempts to make her Indian.

Running Horse, an older brave, watched with amusement. “Who is winning the battle today?”

“The children are winning today, but the war isn't over yet. I will win in the end.”

“And when will that be?”

“Soon, you'll see. Before long, these children will have proper manners.”

“And then will they be permitted to sit at your table?”

Sarah didn't have an answer for Running Horse. She knew no Indian would ever be welcome in her home.

When Running Horse decided to take Sarah as his wife, her first thought was to kill herself. The beautiful children she and Tom had hoped for would be half-breed Comanche. It was more than she could bear, but then she thought, God must have a plan. She prayed that at the least, she would be barren. Every night she prayed, “God, let me die first. I know it would be a sin to take my own life, but please, God, let me die.”


To be continued . . .



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