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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

OUTSIDE AUSTIN - CHAPTER TWO



Too Young to Marry

There were some things going on that complicated my escape. One of the young girls had been pledged in marriage to a Chief’s son of another tribe.

The Chief’s son was impatient and didn’t want to wait until the girl reached marriageable age. He wanted her now. We had bathed together and I knew she wasn’t full grown yet.  She needed another three years at least.

She had been watching my preparations and said she knew what I was planning. She said she was going along with me for she wasn’t going to be taken by the Chief’s son for she wasn’t ready.

I was caught in a bind. If I left her she would tell on me and if I took her we would have to outsmart some fine trackers and that wouldn’t be easy to do.

I finally gave in and told her if we were caught they would do some bad things to both of us. Neither of us would be fit for marriage after they got through with us.

She said she knew what they would do but wanted to go with me anyway.

The tribe was in the middle of the next move and so I didn’t have time to argue.

I had staked out two of the best ponies and was ready to leave as soon as the moon was half dark. Still with just a half moon there was enough light to see our way.

We gathered what we could carry and led our ponies downstream for a long distance till we came to a place where the buffaloes crossed the river. There was a small herd in the process of crossing over and after watering our horses we mixed in with the herd. The tracks of the buffaloes covered our tracks and it would be hard for anyone looking for us to find us.

We stayed with the herd for two days and then l felt it would be safe to leave them.

At the next stream we headed downstream again. After a half day I said we need to eat for we only had some jerky with us. We were upwind from where someone was cooking and as we got closer to where the cooking was going on I told the girl who was with me, to wait and I would see what was going on up ahead. I made my way down to the camp and saw a buffalo hunter busy cooking his supper. As I neared his camp he said come on in but first get the Indian girl and bring her in also. 
I was amazed for I thought I had been so careful not to give away our movements.

The man said my name is Nathaniel but everyone calls me Graz. I asked him how he spotted us and he said saw us two days ago.
Once again he said, “Go get the Indian lass and you can eat before we bed down.”  I didn’t know what else to say so I said okay and went and got her.  Blue eyes came when I called her and the hunter said, “Help yourself to the vittles.” 
He continued, “I fixed more than I wanted in fact I knew you were close by so I fixed extra. I knew the smell would bring you out of your hiding place.”

We thanked the man as I divided the food between us. After we ate he asked me where we were going and I hesitated at first but then I told him the whole story about my capture and how we escaped.

I explained that Blue Eyes wasn’t ready for a man and that was the reason she was with me.

He said, “Is that the real reason she is with you or do you want her?”

I just replied; “I told you how it was.”

He said, “Okay that is the end of it.” He said he was on his last hunt for the buffalo was playing out and he wouldn’t be making another hunt. He said we could hook up with him if we wanted but would have to pull our own weight for he didn’t need two more mouths to feed.

I looked at Blue Eyes and she nodded yes for she understood what he was saying.

I said we would stay with him for a while but I wouldn’t allow anyone to touch her.

He said, “Fine with him and that would be the case.”

I asked him if he had another name because Graz sounded harsh.

He said we could call him Rosin that would do.  He pointed to the wagon and said we could sleep under it and he would bunk inside of it. I hobbled our horses so they could graze during the night and crawled under the wagon next to Blue Eyes.

As I was dozing off I was thinking she is closer to me than I liked her to be… The next morning I woke and went to relieve myself then I realized she was behind me doing likewise which was something we had done before but for some reason this time it embarrassed me.

Shortly Rosin climbed down from the wagon and put some water and coffee in the pot and put it on the fire I had made.  He told me to cut some side meat and we would have it for breakfast.

He said we would only have it once in a while for he only had enough for him until we got back to town. He threw a skinning knife in the ground next to Blue Eyes’ foot and said pick it up for you are going to learn how to skin a buffalo the right way.

He sharpened his skinning knife on a stone and showed us the right way to put an edge on our knives that would last for a day’s skinning. He then turned to me and asked if I knew how to shoot.

I started to say yes but instead just said when I was younger I hunted a lot but that was four years ago.

He took a long Sharps rifle and took it apart and made me clean it and put it back together again. He asked me if I was strong enough to shoot this Sharps 50/90 and I had to admit I don’t know.

He said we’ll find out tomorrow.

To be Continued

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