Amber Quill Press
Amber Quill Press
Black Bear, fierce, indomitable Sioux warrior and future chief of his Lakota band, is given a vision by the Great Spirit decreeing he shall go to war with a white woman possessing hair the color of midnight and eyes like the sparkling lakes of the sacred Black Hills. The vision is not entirely clear, for he has never laid eyes on the beauty who haunts his dreams. It is unthinkable that he, an Oglala warrior, should walk the shameful path of his adopted grandfather--a great man who shamed himself and his people by daring to love a white woman. Nonetheless, fate and prophecy have dictated She-With-Hair-of-Midnight shall feel the mighty paw of the bear upon her belly.
Panic seared through Jen's breast as she watched the melee from behind the gingham curtains of their cabin. Stealthily and steadily, Indians breached the walls of the fort. The few soldiers left inside engaged in hand to hand combat, but the odds were against them from the start. Only a small garrison had been left behind to protect those inside the stronghold. Smoke and dust filled the air, blocking her vision at times.
"Jesus God, this can't be happening," she whispered, squeezing her eyes shut. She had to get Doe Eyes out before it was too late. The girl wasn't being held prisoner by any means, but Jen very much doubted anyone would believe she and Brad took the maid in simply because she was injured. Whites did not help Indians. Those who did were labeled 'injun lovers', shunned and humiliated by decent society.
In light of her choices, Jen made a split second decision to take advantage of the ensuing confusion. Rushing into the bedroom, Jen helped Doe Eyes out of bed, putting a finger to her lips for silence while motioning for the girl to follow. The pair slipped from the cabin, making a mad dash around the corner. There, Jen halted to size up the situation. The gate was only about twenty feet away but at the moment those twenty feet seemed like twenty miles. Jen held tightly to Doe Eyes hand, blinking against the churning dust that burned her eyes. Behind her, Doe Eyes smiled in wonderment as they stole along the stockade wall, as if their furtive flight were some kind of game.
Jen hardly dared to breathe. She was petrified someone would spot them. From the outside, the gate appeared to be part of the fort wall. As they approached the portal without incident, Jen turned to Doe Eyes, her tone urgent. "Doe Eyes, ya. Go, hurry. Run." Then she lifted the crossbar from the door.
The hatchway crashed in on them, knocking both women backward. Painted warriors exploded through the opening. One grabbed Doe Eyes, whisking her through the gate while another seized Jen.