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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

LA FAMILLE Chapter 5

Indian Maiden

Lucas thought about what the grandfather had told him, and could see how important Little Dove (Elisa) had been to him.  The Grandfather still referred to her as Little Dove for it was the name he had given to her.  

He decided that he should tell Jean about Elise so he wouldn’t think she was just an unlearned Indian squaw.  
She had been educated at the catholic school and wasn’t illiterate.  He went on and told Jean that she did indeed have blue eyes and her hair was Brunette and how she became to be three fourth white.  

Jean said, “Whether white or Indian she is very beautiful.”  Lucas said; “Aye that she is.”

From that point on Jean had most of the heavy work done by others who lived on the post.  Jean knew the lodgers at the post needed a little something to look forward to each day so he allowed them to have one drink at the end of each day until all was gone.

Jean suspected that some of them were trying to make some liquor so he searched all the sleeping area in the fort.  He did find some homemade paraphernalia to make some whiskey but couldn’t prove who it belonged to.

He smashed it and gave them the warning that he would kick the whole bunch out if he found out they were doing it again.  He went on, “The only way to save yourself is to come and tell me what is going on.”

Elise kept busy cleaning and decorating the living quarters of the post.  It needed a woman’s touch for it was pretty crude as it stood.  Her grandfather kept the fires going so it was warm as toast inside while it was freezing outside.

Elise had been cooking for her grandfather and herself separately from what she fixed for the men.  One evening Jean came in as they were getting ready to eat and she invited him to eat with them.  At first he hesitated but after giving it a second thought he said, “Why not?”

As it turned out it was the best meal he had since he left his mother’s table. He had expected the meal to be something the Indians would prepare ordinarily but it was similar to what he would eat at home.  E
Elise told him if he wanted he could eat with him all the time.  

She said, “It would be good if I could have access to more of your larder instead of the few things I now have.”  He said, “I would want to think about that.”

“Well,” she said, “You are welcome to eat with us anytime you want to.”

She and her grandfather went out one day and killed a Bison and then she came back to get a sled and a mule.  Jean saw what she was doing and wanted an explanation.  

She told him she had shot a Bison and grandfather was gutting it out and keeping the wolves away while she was getting a way to haul it back to the post.  He was skeptical that she could shoot well enough to bring down an animal that large.

She said for him to get his gun and go with her to help get the Bison on the sled.  He said okay and a few minutes later they were on their way.

When they arrived there were some wolves grandfather had been able to keep at a distance.  They loaded the fresh meat on the sled and headed home.

Grandfather said the wolves will feast on the guts and the head he had chopped off.  

When back at the post Jean said you have done enough.  I will get a couple of the men here to skin it and cut it up.  

From now on the men can cook on their own, and we will give them part of the fresh meat.  After this the men took a genuine liking to Elise and watched over her like their little sister.

The men were so embarrassed by her hunting skills and the success she had, that they asked her how she did it.  Soon after which they began to bring home some new kills, providing fresh meat for the rest of the winter.  

Every so often Elise would cook a large pot of meat and dumplings for them, and this only endeared her even more to them.  
The word was that no one should bother or try to molest her for it would mean death for them.  

To be Continued.

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