From The Wagon Train Diaries
Ben Monroe was trying to have his way with Kurt Wray’s thirteen year
old daughter until he was caught. He was chased into wire like brush which was so thick that there was simply no getting through it in his condition. He was half naked and the branches were almost ripping his flesh to shreds. His heart was pounding with slow heavy beats. It was his decision to make; he could either bleed to death or get killed by father. Luck had found his way to him. The wagon master Alastar Brown helped guide him through the brush and then arrested him for assault.
The law was still largely a wagon train matter. The army maintained forts not too far from the wagon train trails, but the soldiers there were busy keeping an eye on the Indians who were becoming increasingly restless.
The wagon train scout White Deer told Alastar that the Sioux were gathering in the canyon at the wagon train’s next bend. He wasn’t sure that there was going to be a raid, but he had to warn his employer of pending danger.
Alastar saw his white horse switch his tail at a fly as he stepped down onto the ground while White Deer jumped off his black horse to face him.
The wagon train passengers caught the news and it spread like wild fire. They had their own opinions and they wanted the wagon master to hear them out.
Corey Hill got close to the wagon master’s face and expressed his discontent. He wanted the wagon master to take a bunch of men out to the canyon and catch the Indians by surprise.
“Corey, they may not even attack,” replied the wagon master.
“They’re a savage, that’s all they know,” Corey shouted back without taking White Deer’s feelings into consideration.
“I don’t think we should just kill people without knowing what they have in mind.”
“So you want to wait until our women get raped, and our children killed?”
“They don’t rape women and kill children,” White Deer added.
“Indians are savages; they’re nothing like real folks!”
The effect of that simple statement stunned White Deer. He slowly looked toward the wagon prison and saw Ben Moore with his head down in shame. “Yeah, Indians are savages.”
“I say we just wait and see,” added the wagon master.
Corey Hill began ranting hysterically at Alastar causing an up rise in the other passengers. They wanted to attack the Indians and be done with it.
“How do you know they’re going to attack us?” Alastar added. “Their fight is with the army, not us.”
“Because we’re white skinned!” Shouted Ann Reynolds from the back of the crowd. “Those beasts don’t know what good Christian folks are. They just see us as threats, when in reality, they’re the beasts. They are all devils!”
“Think of the children,” said Alma Sims, the school teacher. “We can get them while they sleep. Kill those sick bastards!”
Alastar released his breath in a stark hiss and shot her a look of outright exasperation. To his right, White Deer’s face looked tight. His mouth a shocked and rounded circle with no words coming out.
Cindy Adams dealt the wagon master a startled, questioning look. “We have a baby. I can’t believe you would risk his life. Alastar, we’re people, they’re animals.”
Alastar was standing by his horse, ferocious tension screaming from his stillness. His heart sank at the actions of his passengers. They were filled with dangerous emotions, and the hatred for another race was crystal clear.
“Let me tell you good Christian people something,” he started. “We are going back to our wagons and we’re going to forget about those Indians. If I catch anyone trying to leave the train, I will have you tied and horse whipped!”
He was dead serious so the crowd grumbled as they walked away leaving only the scout and the wagon master standing in the clearing.
“What are we going to do?” White Deer asked.
“Go back and watch their movements,” he replied. “Let me know everything that happens.”
White deer nodded and jumped back on his horse. He jerked the black stallion’s head around, his face pale with fear.
The next morning the sunlight filtered through the wagon trains. There was no breeze as the air was almost still. White Deer rode into the train and the wagon train master’s face turned sullen.
“The army slaughter the Sioux,” he said with a flat voice. “They came in while they were sleeping and they murdered every man, woman and child.”
Alastar threw a saddle on his horse and mounted. Glancing at White Deer he swore viciously.
“Alastar, there is no need to go there.”
“I know, but they’re going to hear my voice.”
White Deer thought about what the passengers said as his eyes swept the wagon trains.
© 2014 Frank Atanacio
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