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Friday, August 29, 2014



The evening of the day Rison left we needed a fire for more than cooking. There were a few trees near the cabin and I decided to cut a little more wood in case we had an unusually cold winter.
After a couple of months I was glad I did. There were some nights when Selma crawled in bed with me to help keep warm. The fire would die down before morning and the cabin would start to get cold.
In the morning she would stir the fire up and add some wood and come back to bed. She would be cold and want to snuggle up to me. I kinda enjoyed her doing that but that was as far as it went for a while.

As the weeks went on boredom began to set in and I would go out hunting to relieve the stress.
Then one day a young buffalo came by and I shot and killed him.
We had to work fast because of the cold weather. By the time we got him skinned and cut up he was beginning to freeze. It was good to have some fresh meat and it lasted for many days.
Since the creek was frozen over we had to warm some water and settle for sponge baths.
On one cold night we were snuggling and we went too far. This happened a few times until she was worried about something and cold or not she didn’t come to my bed again.
Just before Rison returned she seemed relieved. She would run me off for a while saying she needed some privacy. Shortly she would say I could come back in so I did.
Several things she did confused me but I remembered what Rison had said about it being some womanly stuff which I didn’t need to know about. Then it came to me, I remembered some things about when I was in Indian camp and things I saw the squaws do.
We were getting low on some things when Rison returned so we were glad to see him. He looked at Selma and then at me. Then he said, “You ain’t been up to no mischief have you?”
I said, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
He turned and walked away while chuckling and I turned red as Selma was. He knew I was guilty of something but never said anything else about it which was a relief to me.
I was also glad to have our horses back. They were a little feisty at first but Selma got them settled down. She could ride almost anything including a young buffalo we roped. Then it was back to shooting and skinning.
All the spring and summer we had fresh meat though it seemed a shame to see all that meat we couldn’t eat go to waste. About mid-summer some Indians started following us around and were drying a lot of the buffalo meat after we skinned it out. It made us a bit nervous but they never bothered us.
Selma talked to some of the women but wouldn’t tell me what they were talking about until much later because part of it concerned me. By the time the snow began to fall I had enough of buffalo hunting.
It got to the place where you couldn’t get the smell off of you even with lye soap. We went into town and sold the last of our hides and divided up our money and after several baths and new clothes we were normal smelling again.
I rented a room out behind the livery stable for me and Selma until I went to work for the stable owner then it was free and free board for our horses.
Selma went to work at the general store doing menial tasks until the owner’s wife taught her how to sell and charge people for the goods. She had never handled real money so it took a while to understand how it worked.
We hid our gold coins under the floor of our room and just lived on the money we earned. Eating at the restaurant was a new experience for Selma. She had never had some of the different food they served but adjusted to it.
We usually cooked our breakfast instead of eating at the restaurant for it was cheaper but it was mostly oatmeal and side meat.
I now always carried my six gun with me along with my skinning knife. I had become a good shot at close range. I was used to dropping a buffalo at up to two hundred yards so a hundred or so feet was close range to me.
Once in a while some of the men would get too friendly with Selma but the wife of the owner of the store would soon straighten them out. I had some trouble with a few of them since Selma was pretty enough to attract men’s attention.
Usually cracking them over the head with my gun settled the issue although it went further a couple of times.
She couldn’t understand why all the fuss was about being pretty. In camp where she was raised the thing that was important about a squaw was if she could properly dry meat for jerky and turn skins into soft buckskin and keep a buck happy in his tent. Looks had very little to do with it.
There were more than one who wanted to marry her and didn’t mind being called “Squaw man” but she wasn’t interested in them.
The owner’s wife said Selma should have her own room since we weren’t married, in fact she insisted on it. She and her husband lived upstairs over the store and had an extra room so it was decided she would move up there with them.
After that I didn’t see as much of Selma as before. She was adapting to the city ways and wasn’t the Indian girl that ran away with me anymore. After breaking several horses for the army they hired me on as a scout.
I stayed at the fort most of the time unless the regular scouts weren’t available for some reason and they needed me to scout for them. It was a short distance from the fort to the town so there were a lot of the soldiers in town when they had leave.
Selma (Blue Eyes) did not look Indian
The owner’s wife took the braids from Selma’s hair and fixed it like the white women wore theirs.
With her blue eyes and hair fixed she didn’t look like an Indian any more. She went to the dances that were held once or twice a month and became very popular.
I would show up but seldom got to dance with her which was a bit disturbing to me.
One night two of the soldiers tried to take advantage of her and she stabbed them to get them off of her.
The fort commander had her arrested and was going to put her in a federal prison.
All of her pleas of self-defense were ignored and I decided that prison just wasn’t going to happen.

To be Continued

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