Wagon Train Diaries...2
Dead Crow's Valley
The Wagon Train Diaries...
Dead Crow’s Valley
Historian’s Note: These stories take place in the late 1860's.. a wagon train’s historical notes.
The Indian scout led the way through the narrow, cramped corridors created by the wagon trains. The Wagon Master was in tow after hearing a scream which carried through the night sky.
The Wagon Master was a bantam size cowboy with very strong features. His mere presence commanded respect. They were headed for wagon 13. That’s where the screams came from. Usually it was always White Deer, who followed the Wagon Master dutifully.
White Deer was a seasoned scout. He had been a scout for the calvary for over fifteen years. He wasn’t as big as Alastar Brown, but that never slowed him down. He would stand up to anyone, at anytime. He was a very important piece to Alastar’s wagon train.
Watching the chaos that reigned as the other travelers pushed and shoved their way through the gathering crowd to get a peek of what was happening. To firmly establish control over a growing group, the Wagon Master fired two shots into the air. It was a customary action in order for the crowd to identify the leader of the train.
"Settle down!" he shouted.
A young woman came rushing toward the Wagon Master. Her body and spirit cried out for action. It took every ounce of control she had to settle down and tell Alastar what had happened.
"He did it," she huffed. "He did it."
"What?" asked the Wagon Master.
"My brother, my brother, he killed his wife and six of his seven children."
The crowd rumbled, and even those who didn’t really hear what she said felt the shock of what had happened. White Deer, looking to the Wagon Master, he tried to draw strength from his apparent calm. He tried to emulate his strength, his control.
"Dead Crow’s Valley,"Someone shouted.
"We have to turn back!"
"Settle down, it’s not Dead Crow’s Valley," said the Wagon Master. "We just have a man gone nuts."
Two cowboys brought the killer to the Wagon Master and held him there. In the killer’s eyes, Alastar saw no disappointment, no remorse, only acceptance, madness.
"I feel the devil in my body," whispered the killer.
"You murdered children..." White Deer grunted.
Suddenly, the killer knew. The realization struck him like a physical blow. His wife and children were dead. He had killed them. It took every ounce of his sanity to retain his control. To keep the pounding of his heart from overpowering him. He wanted the Wagon Master to end his life. To shoot him in the head.
The Wagon Master turned toward the Indian scout’s scrutiny. His gaze was steady and serene, acknowledging the lawless situation.
"Kill him!" shouted the crowd.
The Wagon Master fired two shots into the air again. Finally, a kind of order was established. A stillness settled on the crowd. A despair.
"Take him to the supply tent," he ordered. "We’ll drop him off at the next town where he will stand trial for the murder of his wife and children."
A few moments earlier, the wagon train travelers had seen justice in the face of their Wagon Master. After all, they were in a territory without law. But now those same faces were full of horror and disappointment...
To Read the first part click here http://frankatanacio.hubpages.com/hub/The-Wagon-Train-Dairies
© 2011 Frank Atanacio
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