General Fiction posted February 11, 2019 Chapters:  ...3 4 -5- 6 


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City life turns out not to be what it's cracked up to be

A chapter in the book Wilderness Redemption Road

Don't Go Breakin' My Heart

by Earl Corp




Background
Roseanna Carter is relating a story of shenanigans and hijinks on the frontier to her grandchilren.



Roseanna got up from her chair to stretch her legs.

"You young'uns hold on a minute, I'll be right back."

"You going to the privy Granny?" Andy Jackson Carter asked.

"Jest you never a 'mind where I'm a'goin'"

Roseanna went into the kitchen where her son, Zachary's, wife was taking a sheet of cookies out of the oven.

"Are those cookies ready to go Emily?"

"Yes'm, I've got a couple dozen cooling now."

"Well let's put them on a plate and pass them out: they're best when they're warm."

Roseanna returned to her rocker with a plate of cookies, she handed them off to Mary.

"Here Mary, pass these out amongst the young'uns."

Anxious hands snatched at the sweet treats, Roseanna smacked one she thought had more than their fair share.

"Dan'l, I'll tan your hide with a switch if you try to grab all them cookies for yourself again."

"Yes'm," the boy said sheepishly while rubbing his hand.

"Now where was I? Oh, that's right Doo almost killed the ferret-faced stranger."


*****
"What do you think you're doing Doolittle, I didn't raise you to hang," Zachary Carter said.

"Thunderation pa, he manhandled this young lady and called her a nasty name."

Zack Carter had lived over half his life on the frontier. He'd been with Roger's Rangers during the French and Indian War and marched off to the Revolution with Captain Samuel Morehead's Independent Rifle Company.

Zack had walked with a limp ever since losing two toes at Valley Forge. After mustering out of the Army after serving until 1780. He moved his family west of the Allegheny's the following year. With the help of his three sons, he carved out a 200-acre farm north of Pittsburgh.

Even though the farm was successful, Zack felt drawn toward running a store. At first, he had operated a small trading post near the Shenango River. With the success of this post, Zack had opened a mercantile in Pittsburgh. Leaving his sons Benjamin, Jebediah, and Doolittle to run the farm.

Just as there were few men on the frontier Doo had to look up to there were fewer yet that he was afraid of. Zack Carter qualified on both counts.

"Ma'am I'm sorry for my son's indiscretion and running off your beau."

Roseanna McCalister's eyes had never left Doo's. She had already forgotten about Godfrey Smythe, who had slunk away after Doo had let him go. A chill had run up and down her spine when Doo had looked at her.

"It's fine sir, he wasn't my beau, just a boy I had walked with through the marketplace.

"You're the McCallister girl ain't you?'

"Yes sir, I'm Roseanna."

"I know your pa well he's a good man, we served in the Rangers against the French together."

"Are you Zack Carter? He said you were bigger than life and he wasn't joking."

'Yes I am, and this big lout here is my son Doolittle."

Doo felt color creeping into his cheeks, and he felt tongue tied in front of the beautiful dark-haired girl.

What's the matter with you? You never run short of words talking to the wenches in Muldoon's Tavern. Then the thought struck him, She ain't a tavern wench, this is a proper lady.

Roseanna held her hand out to Doo. She was more than a little shocked when he brought it up to his lips and kissed the back of her hand.

This earned Doo a cuff in the back of the head from Zack.

"You blasted idjit! She wanted you to shake her hand, not kiss it."

Doo started rubbing the back of his head while Roseanna began to giggle. Doo's face felt flushed and he began to sweat. Clancy cracked a wide grin at Doo's embarrassment.

"Ho Doo, you better learn some manners," he crowed.

Zack Carter turned abruptly and faced Clancy and fixed him with a glare, his blue eyes glittered.

"And just where were you,Sinclair you were willing to let Doo get hung over trash like Godfrey Smythe."

It was now Clancy's turn to flush and break out in a sweat. While Clancy would never admit it, Zack Carters cared  the hell out of him as well.

"Doo moved too fast for me sir; he had him by the throat before I realized what he was doing Mr. Carter."

Then a thought struck Clancy.

"Mr. Carter, how did you know that dandy's name?"

"That's a story for another time; suffice to say I know the young popinjay."

Zack turned towards Roseanna and Doo. Roseanna's eyes had never left Doo's, a fact which wasn't lost on Janie.

"Ma'am, I'm sure my oaf of a son would be more than happy to see you get home safely."

Roseanna broke her eye contact with Doo. It was her turn to flush.

"Oh, that won't be necessary, Mr. Carter; I'll be fine on my own."

"I'm sure you would be, but it's the least he could do after running your escort off the way he did right, Doolittle?"

An elbow in the ribs prompted the first sound Doo had made in the exchange.

"Ooof... Yeah, Pa it would be a pleasure."

Doo offered his arm to Roseanna, who slipped her arm in his.

"Where to milady?"

"Up the north hill."

Doo's eyebrows arched when he heard he'd be escorting Miss McCallister to the richest part of the settlement. There were real houses on the north hill, no log cabins.

"Doolittle meet us back at the store, and don't dawdle."

"Yes pa."

As the couple walked away, Zack turned toward Janie, Clancy, and Mighty Beaver.

"And who might this young lady be?"

"Mr. Carter may I introduce you to Miss Janie Wolfe, we found her and Doo wandering around lost north of here," Clancy said.

"YOU MOST CERTAINLY DID NOT."

Zack chuckled at the way Janie went after Clancy. He didn't believe his son had been lost either. He had appeared bareheaded, minus the furs he was supposed to have brought with him, and no rifle. There was a story there. He wasn't sure he'd get a non-biased version from either Clancy or his son.
He knew Mighty Beaver was as truthful as they come, but he was actually interested in Janie's version.

"Miss Wolfe would you like to come to my mercantile and I think we can get you outfitted a little better than you are presently."

Zack looked the girl up and down. She was wearing boys britches, an over large linsey-woolsey shirt, and he wasn't quite sure what was on her feet.
He held his arm out for Janie, who slipped her arm in his.

"And off we go."

Clancy and Mighty Beaver turned to head back towards lower town and the tavern they'd been hunting for to drop off the meat they'd gotten before finding Doo and Janie.

"Just where do you two think yore goin'?"

Clancy turned and answered.

"Red Mike is expecting some fresh meat from us, sir."

"Drop it off and meet us at my place, I want to hear your version of the facts."

"Yes sir."
*****
Godfrey Smythe rubbed his throat where Doo had gripped him.

Never had he'd been manhandled like that before, especially by someone with such a lack of breeding as that buckskin clad behemoth.

As for that trollop, Roseanna, it was good riddance as far as he was concerned, he'd only been squiring about as a favor to his father. Though she is a
ripe berry ready to be plucked,
he thought.

As he rubbed, he vowed there would be a reckoning with that savage, who stuck his nose where it didn't belong. After all he had barely touched the girl.

As far as the girl went, she had stayed behind with all those big people as if she needed protection from him. There would be consequences meted out to her as well.

As he walked through lower town, he considered some options on his revenge. This had been a bad day for him. He had been tasked by his father,
Sterling Smythe, to purchase Zack Carter's mercantile. Zack had turned him down cold without even hearing his offer. Sterling would be less than

pleased with his failure.

Then the run-in with Doo and Roseanna's betrayal just made the day unbearable. It was this mood he carried into the Crowing Rooster Tavern.

The Crowing Rooster was in a rundown building near the docks. It was a gathering place for some of the more seedy citizens of Pittsburgh. Most of the patrons were willing to slit someone's throat for a two bit piece.

The tavern was owned by Percy Smithers. Smithers had been a Tory before the Revolution and he had sat the war out in Canada. Realizing there was money to be made in the fledgling United States,he returned.

He knew it wouldn't be wise to return to Philadelphia, he'd left there a step ahead of a mob hell bent on tarring and feathering him for his political views. That was the reason for his exile west of the Alleghenies.

The Crowing Rooster was the place to go if you wanted someone robbed or killed in Pittsburgh. Smythe had two reasons for entering the tavern. First, he would find someone to take care of Carter and Rosanna. Second, there was a harlot he was partial to.
*****
As Doo and Roseanna walked along, Doo was very quiet. Roseanna noticed this and wondered if she'd been too forward.

"I'm sorry your father made you escort me, I can make it from here on my own."

"That's not it."

"Then why aren't you talking to me?"

"Ma'am, the only proper woman I've ever talked to was my ma."

Roseanna's laugh came from her belly.

"Is that all? Just talk to me you big lunk."

"All right, so why were you with ferret face?"

"Ferret face? Oh you mean Godfrey, my father had asked him to escort me to the market and he suggested a carriage ride, but it was a ruse to get me alone in the woods."

"He's not your beau?"

Roseanna laughed again. Doo liked the way she laughed it was a genuine laugh of a confident woman, not a fake giggle of a girl.

"Hardly, it took a slap in the face to get him to bring me back to the settlement."

It was Doo's turn to laugh. He threw his head back and let go, when he was finished he looked at Roseanna admirably.

"I'd of paid to see that."

"How much?" Roseanna asked with a mischievous grin.

"I don't know, what's the going price?"

"Let me think, on that."

The couple walked along in silence. Doo became alert to someone following them. He turned around just in time to see two shabbily dressed men dart into doorways. Wishing for a pistol, Doo became wary and very aware of his surroundings.

Roseanna noticed the change in Doo.

"Is something wrong?" she whispered.

"I think we're being followed by two cut purses, they're going to be sorely disappointed I don't have a cent on me," he whispered back.

As he walked, Doo looked for something with some reach that he could use as a weapon. Nothing stuck out as something he could use to fend off an attack.

He heard a rush of footsteps behind him. As he turned to face the attackers he saw sunshine glinting off knife blades. He reached for his knife and got it out just in time as the faster of the two robbers reached him. He felt a burning along his ribs; he knew first blood had been drawn.

The would-be robber moved to close with Doo, probably in hopes to finish this quickly. He wasn't expecting the bite of Doo's blade as he buried it up to the hilt in the would-be robber's stomach.

A shot rang out as Doo was pulling his knife free. He turned towards Roseanna who was holding a small pistol with smoke curing out of the barrel. Her attacker had also taken a belly wound.

"Silly him, bringing a knife to a gun fight," Roseanna said.

"Thunderation! Where did that come from?"

"My purse, my father doesn't let me leave the house without it."

Doo shook his head in disbelief. Not only had she shot the robber, but she kept her wits about her and looked like a lady doing it. She and Janie should get along famously.

The two cut purses were lying on the ground groaning. Doo didn't intend to give them a second chance to come after them again. He intended to slit their throats where they laid then get Roseanna home.

"Doolittle what are you doing?"

"Finishing what we started."

"You're going to kill them in cold blood? They're out of the fight."

"It's not a good idea to let enemies live to come after you again, they might succeed next time."

"Please, don't kill them, just get me home."

"This is yore lucky day pond scum, you heard the lady, git."

Doo was alert for any shenanigans as he watched the one he stabbed help the one Roseanna had shot to his feet, and start back down the hill.
*****

"Dammit Godfrey I told you not to hurt her," Smithers said as he looked down at the dead whore on the bed.

"She's not hurting, is she?" 

Smithers wanted to slap the grin off of Smythe's face. Not only had he killed one of his top money makers, but he'd made a helluva mess to boot.

Smythe flipped a $5 Half Eagle to Smithers.

"That should take care of it."

"What do I do with the body?"

"Throw her in the Ohio, the current should take care of it for you."

"This is the last one Godfrey I draw the line at three, you're not welcome here any longer."

"I'm good with that."
*****
Zack opened the door to his store for Janie. She entered and took in the smells of licorice, new clothing, and pickles.

"Have a seat there Miss Janie, while I rustle you up a dress and some shoes."

Janie sat down on a keg of nails.

Zack rummaged around in the back until he found what he was looking for. He came back out front and held up a forest green dress in front of him.

"This looks like it may fit, if you want to step into the storeroom and try it on."

"I couldn't take that Mr. Carter; I have no way to pay you."

"Don't fret about that my dear, it's not new I took it in as a trade, It's been gathering dust back there for about a year. Let me see if I have some shoes that will fit you, what is it you have on your feet child?"

"Mighty Beaver fashioned me some moccasins so I wouldn't cut my feet up any more, and Doo and Clancy wouldn't kill each other."

"Why were your feet cut up?"

"I'd had to leave my shoes behind when Doo and I jumped off the boat to escape the Shawnees."

"Boat? Shawnees? What are you talking about girl?

"My pa fished Doo out of the Ohio about two days north; he said he'd been chased for some days by a band of Shawnees before he'd stepped off a cliff to get away from them."

"Why'd you jump off of the boat? And where's yore pa?"

The last question almost made Janie squeeze out a couple tears, at the memory of her pa.

"The injuns killed him because he didn't decide to stand no guard at night, Doo killed one with his knife and I shot one."

Zack looked at Janie with admiration.

"You shot one?"

"Yes sir I did, then Doo and I jumped off the boat and the injuns set fire to it. Me and Doo started walking towards Pittsburgh and we run into Clancy and Mighty Beaver."

"Were you lost when Clancy and Mighty Beaver found you?"

"No sir we wasn't lost, I reckon we'd have made it fine without them."

This made Zack chuckle.

"I reckon you would have at that."
*****
Shawnee village near Raccoon Creek

Lonesome Owl stood outside Swooping Eagle's bark house.

"Ha-ho Swooping Eagle my friend, may I enter?"

"Come in Lonesome Owl my Friend."

It had not gone well for Swooping Eagle since returning to their village. His father, Running Deer, is the civil chief of the band. He'd advocated for Swooping Eagle being banished for losing over half of his war party and not capturing the white man who had killed his brother.

"Sit my friend; tell me of the council's decision."

"As you know losing your brother, Black Hoof, and Stalking Panther was not in your favor, letting the white man get away twice also did not go over well with the elders."

"What of my father? Did he speak on my behalf?"

Lonesome Owl thought long and hard before answering his friend.

"Your father still grieves the loss of Laughing Otter."

"Did he speak on my behalf?' Swooping Eagle asked again forcefully.

"He cast his vote to banish you."

Swooping Eagle leaped to his feet. Lonesome Owl saw the anger in his friend's face, he also stood to block Swooping Eagle from leaving his house and doing something he'd be sorry for.

"Ho, my friend that was not the council's decision."

This stopped Swooping Eagle.

"What was their decision?"
"You are no longer a war chief and will not be until you bring the white man before the council for Shawnee justice."

Swooping Eagle sat back down, he looked into the fire. The next words he spoke were both menacing and chilling to Lonesome Owl.

"This will be done, I swear to Our Grandmother, he will pay."


Recognized


Here you go, Had to take a break from the lists book. Thisis getting easier to write. Be kind.

Those wondering about the references to Our Grandmother, the Shawnees believed in a female deity they called Our Grandmother. Anna found this out while reading the chapter for me.
Ha-ho is a traditional greeting between the Shawnees

Cast of Characters
Roseanna Carter- narrator
Doolittle Carter-Extremely blessed and lucky frontiersman.
Janie Wolfe-Heroine, wise beyond her years, intuitive, follows her instincts, knows how to swim.
Roseanna McCallister- Heroine who will figure a lot more heavily into the story. Knows how to shoot, ride, and yes swim.
Swooping Eagle= Shawnee Warrior, vengeful but listens to the voice of reason, knows how to swim.
Wise Owl- Shawnee Warrior, the voice of reason, knows how to swim.
Running Deer- Civil Chief of the Shawnee and Swooping Eagle's father' Not happy with Swooping Eagle for getting his favorite son killed. Knows how to swim.
Mighty Beaver- Delaware Warrior, funny sense of humor,knows how to swim
Clancy Sinclair-Happy -go-lucky friend of Doolittle, knows how to swim
Godfrey Smythe- Ferret faced cad, probably knows how to swim.
Zachary "Zack" Carter- The Carter family patriarch and quite possibly the toughest man on the frontier. Men fear him and women want to be with him. Knows how to swim.
Percy Smithers- Owner of the Crowing Rooster Tavern. He's crooked as a dog's leg but looks like a straight arrow compared to Godfrey Smythe. Might know how to swim.
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