Chapter 1

Caution: This Drama Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa, Consensual, Romantic, Heterosexual, Fiction, Historical, Tear Jerker, Harem, .

Desc: Drama Sex Story: Chapter 1 - A young Scottish 'laird' fosters and fathers a wild tribe of the native hundred nations.This tale contains crude humor, early American terms for our dark skinned brethren and hopefully an eye into the conditions, behavior and reasoning of our revolutionary war era forefathers. PS Napoleon was here. Watch for quotes. latter chapters rely on generational progression, then shamanism.

This tale contains crude humor, early American terms for our dark skinned brethren and hopefully an eye into the conditions, behavior and reasoning of our revolutionary war era forefathers. PS Napoleon was here. Watch for quotes.

The tale of the remittance man is an interesting one—privileged young englishmen who otherwise would be jailed for their crimes were released to their families. These men were sent overseas and given an allowance-known as a remittance-to support themselves with the understanding that they would never be seen in the country of their birth again due to the embarrassment that they caused their families. The remittances were normally distributed monthly and were marginal in amount. Their lifestyles usually consisted of an orgy of debauchery on payday followed by nearly a month of poverty. Their rooming houses knew when the remittances were due and promptly arranged for their monthly payment to keep from being bilked. The reputation of a remittance man was not a good one. Here is a variant on the tale...

Let me introduce myself. Here in the colonies I am named Howard Smithson. I was baptized in 1790 as Duncan Stuart of the royal Scottish Stuart line. I was educated at the University of Edinburgh in philosophy, medicine, Latin and logic. I was brought up to be a gentleman and to govern with wisdom. Then my damned eyes witnessed an injustice from which my upbringing would not allow me to turn away. I had but seventeen years.

I witnessed a rake cut the breasts and face off a woman that displeased him one night in London. It was the occasion of her first cotillion, and the boor wished to take liberties with her.

I did not call him out. I cut him down like the animal he was. It did not matter that the woman he disfigured for life was the daughter of a duchess. The dog was Charles, scion of the Duke of York. I was forced to flee for my life.

May all blessings fall upon the armsmen of my father. They had taught me the knife, spear, staff, saber and bow. Their lessons have stood me well through the years. At the time I fled North to my father's lands and the lands of his men. I spent four years hiding in various holdings positioning myself as an apprentice at many skills. I have been lessoned as a farrier, coppersmith, baker, blacksmith, cooper and tanner. The Duke's men eventually tracked me down, and I fled to the sea and points west.

My time at tradesman's apprenticeships taught me patience, acceptance of my place and gave me a physique to do whatever I put my mind to.

The sailors aboard ship punished me for my ignorance of their craft, yet I persevered. After pummeling the stoutest bully among them to a wretched bleeding wreck I nursed him back to health and doctored to the rest. I gained their acceptance and eventual friendship. One, a small, quick octaroon taught me to throw a wicked little knife with great accuracy. We were well matched in speed. I taught him the Italian method of fighting with two sticks.

It was his friendship that bought me the confidence of the black gang—the men manning the cannon and lower decks.

I sailed over two years with that ship. My nerve left me and I jumped ship in Quebec.

I sent clandestine word to my father as to my straits and well being. I disguised my letter as a proctor's report of profit and loss, hoping that my disingenuousness would not be smelled by the Duke's dogs. I succeded in my duplicity. In the return post, only six months later, I received five hundred and fifty gold sovereigns under the family crest accompanied by a brace of pistols and a letter explaining that the duchess whose daughter had been mutilated had taken issue with the Duke of York and his family to the tune of several thousands of pounds.

Since the Duke was quite intransigent in his thirst for my blood a bank could not be involved. York was involved in finance at too high a level. I was advised to keep myself under moderate maintenance until the Duke's interest or health flagged. I preferred the latter as it was less fickle.

It was the year of our lord 1813.

I crossed the fresh lakes to the south and West to the greater plains of pines and hardwoods that bordered them. I proceeded South along the greater finger lake until finding a small port town with a beautiful sheltered harbor. There I disembarked. I bought supplies and a mule in harness thence struck inland.

It was high summer.

After two weeks of arduous travel I woke in a large glade surrounded by forest giants.

A moderate stream chattered just to the South, and the glade itself was protected on all sides by stony rills. Somehow, it spoke of Scotland. I would make it my home.

With axe, shovel, froe, mattock and cudgel I dug, built and roofed a stout cabin. I mudded in a fieldstone fireplace and built a forge with one wall common to the whole. With a view to the coming winter, I used the adjoining walls of the forge and cabin to construct a manger and deep shelter for the mule. I dug a larder beneath the cabin and constructed a cold box over the stream The trips I made to the port town were many and arduous, yet I did not consider them penance for some unknown crime—simply a miserable task to be endured. I established my homestead and was proud of the results of my sweat and labors. I purchased my supplies and filled the larder in anticipation of being frozen in for the duration.

A storm woke me before dawn. The sound of the rain and wind carried down the chimney was quite loud in the otherwise silent cabin. The lightning provided almost constant illumination thru the cracks of the shutters. I rose and dressed in the dark, then made my way outside. The wind nearly wrenched the heavy iron and ash door from my grasp, yet I held it firm, thus allowing myself to be pulled along and exposed to the furies of the night.

The sound of the fir trees crashing in the wind formed a constant background to the sight of them being battered about will ye-nil ye. The lightning did not strike so much as force the swirling clouds to flash and glow constantly. The first furious rain had stopped. I could smell the sweet balsam on the wind tempered with the musty smell of the decomposing needle bed and the sharp smell of the storm itself.

I sat upon a stump to observe the rest of the storm unfold. A brutal gust seemed to drop straight down from the heavens, bringing with it a steep drop in temperature. What had been a hot, still night was replaced by an incredibly violent storm that was still gaining in power. The sky took a on a pervasive green glow while clouds began racing overhead from left to right, faster and faster. A rumbling, roaring sound approached from the South-West. Bits of fir branches and needles began to pelt me as the wind picked up. I retreated to the shelter of the leeward side of a huge forest giant, resting my back upon its ancient bark. I could feel the core of the tree bending and twisting as its crown was beaten and thrashed by the fury of the storm.

The air was hazy with flying dirt and debris carried on the wind. The noise grew to shake the forest floor beneath my feet. I could feel the giant tree twist almost asunder beneath my back.

Sudden silence engulfed the woods as the wind died and the trees stilled. My ears popped several times as I stood in awe witnessing trees spinning and falling above me like the feathers of a dove struck by a hawk. I could hear crashes all about my homestead as the trees landed.

The wind suddenly picked up in the opposite direction, slashing branches and stones into my unprotected face and chest. I dashed to the safe harbor of the lee of my protecting tree. Looking up, I witnessed the sky twisting and spinning, then settling down to speed in the opposite direction that it had been pursuing. With the suddenness of the dashing of a bucket I found myself soaked in a freezing rain. I fled for the dubious safety of my cabin, and then my bed. I slowly dried and fell into a fitful sleep.

Upon the morning I explored what the storm had wrought. A channel tens of yards wide of fallen trees pointed directly at my cabin from two directions, miraculously skipping over my poor glade.

Two thoughts fought in my mind for ascendancy: I would not have to cut trees for firewood for ages, and someone on a higher plane approved my choice of homestead.

The event unnerved me to the point that I lay in bed and wondered at the mercy of our savior.

One day I was confronted by a nearly naked man, a deerskin covered his modesty and a spear was in his hand. My grey eyes met his brown. I reached out my hand in greetings.

"Hello, neighbor." His eyes widened and his fingertips touched mine. He inspected me curiously, then motioned with his hands, touching my chest, then motioning at my cabin, twisting his head in curiosity. I smiled, touched my chest, then the earth at my feet. For some reason unknown to me to this day, I took a handful of soil and rubbed it into my chest. I then motioned at the path of destruction traversing the forest, motioned a lift over the glade and continued to the retreating path. He seemed visibly impressed. He soon left. That was but the first of many curious visitors.

Indians visited me several times during my labors. I greeted them politely yet spoke to their eyes, as a warrior, not a slave. After a misunderstanding or two we met as equals. They were fascinated by my blacksmithing. One stayed with me for over a moon to learn the skills of a smith. When he left, I gifted him with a hammer and tongs.

Thinking back to those times, I truly cast bread upon the waters. I heard later of the thieving nature of the natives, yet in my many trips back to the port I never had any trouble with theft or pillage.

The Indians taught me the use of the travois. I forged many arrowheads for their tribe and brought many, many yards of hemp cord and rope for them. They were hungry to gamble. Their winter skills fascinated me, and their sliding of a stick in the snow was laughable as a sport, yet it gave them one more thing to gamble upon.

--1816--

During the hungry times—our Easter—the tribe was simply out of food. Upon observing their condition and attending the funeral rites for a starved infant, I pocketed a handful of gold and slogged my way back to the port with four braves. I bought smoked fish by the bushel and three of the most disagreeable equine nags it has ever been my displeasure to make the acquaintance upon with which to haul the supplies. I also secured many yards of rope and canvas.

Our return was met with as much jubilation as their enervated condition could accommodate. Their chief did not wish to accept the food until I made it clear that the children came first. That cracked his reserve. The poor man cried like a child, knowing that the rest of the children would not have to follow the ones that had died of hunger in their sleep during the past weeks.

Following on my status as benefactor, on the next warm day I helped them strip the great communal wigwam of rotting branches and cover it with canvas, then wrapped it within rope.

They slept warm and dry for the first night in many days. I stayed with them over the next month until the bulbs came up. We barbecued those miserable nags and had many a wonderful feast.

I learned much of their language during this visit.

During a lazy spring afternoon I took up one of their 'snow snake' sticks and its throwing stick. Out of sheer perversity I reversed it and cast it thru the air.

It flew for an amazing distance! Several of the boys watched and were gob-smacked.

One young man had the presence of mind to run for his father. I was sitting there bemused when suddenly I was surrounded by most of the braves of the village.

I was presented with the stick I had previously thrown and diligently observed.

The devil must have twisted my ear, for as I looked about for a target I observed a camp dog many yards away. I took a bead, drew back and bashed the poor dumb animal into its next life. The camp was utterly silent. Then a roar built up.

I then closed my eyes to make my final observance to my maker when the warriors began to strike my back and shoulders. I thought that they were to pummel me to death, yet they relented. As the day played itself out, I was made to understand that the bow was difficult to make, the bowstring difficult to maintain and the arrow a perfect nightmare in both respects. Straight black willow could be cut almost at will and made perfect flights...

It seemed that I was some sort of hero. Well, God bless.

I forged many giant arrowheads to accommodate the six foot flights. For myself, I forged over a dozen the length of my hand with spines the size of a reed. I honed them and stitched two bracers for them. they made for an admirable set of weapons, both as iron-spined bracers and set of darts with which I could pierce an eye at twenty paces.

I explored the path of the stream near my homestead with an eye towards gaining an easier route to the giant lake which harbored my port town. It took over two months of harrow and shovel work to deepen various places, yet my labors came to fruition in the form of a blessedly less arduous path whose mouth came out within 3 miles of the port. Reaching August by this time, I enquired of a local proctor if the vessel my father had advised me to expect had docked recently.

Regrettably it had not. I took up residence with a widow desirous of a boarder and commissioned a lap-built flat-bottom jolly boat of moderate size and high gunnels, built for poling. I then sent word about that I was desirous of a cooking stove with water boiler, iron furniture, pig iron and as much coal as was available. (Iron furniture being pots and pans)

My profligate purchases attracted the attention of several men whose habit was to prey upon others. I was disagreeably informed of these affairs when suddenly set upon one night. I had taken my fathers' advice to heart— an unarmed man deserves his beating. Bearing a sword had gone out of fashion since the end of the war, so I bore shorter weapons. I was armed like a pirate beneath my greatcoat. Two cudgels, a brace of pistols and a baker's dozen of throwing blades, as well as my old sword breaker, as a gule-sinister.

A blow from the dark caught me unawares across the shoulder. It stunned me a bit, coming as it did from nowheres and being a cunning blow. I dropped and rolled towards where the blow came from, kicking off from one foot. I came up with my sword breaker and a throwing blade. I heard the "whoop" of the cudgel coming in for a second strike and seized it with my sword breaker.

I plunged my blade under the arm that swung it and ripped across. Upon hearing a grunt I slashed at where I presumed his throat was.

Damn, I missed my saber.

I heard a curse and at least three shuffle in the dark. I somehow felt for where the next one stood and carefully threw my blade, drew a pistol, cocked and fired at the belly of the next. I caught a flash of two down and two on their feet in the flare of the pistol's muzzle blast. I pocketed the pistol, drew and fired again, backing up.

I stumbled over the staff the first brigand had dropped. With a note of thanks to our maker I thrust my last pistol back into my pocket, seized the staff and laid about myself with a great vigor. I struck about hearing howls and the snap of bones for a measure, then all was quiet. I stood panting, leaning on the staff. I then beat upon a door, calling out "Bring a light! I've waylaid four ruffians that would have waylaid me!"

Soon, I was accompanied by several men with lanterns. I retrieved my blade, then bent to search the bodies, for bodies they were.

"Say now, That's for the constable!"

"Well, now, why don't you toddle off and snivel to the constable that someone poached his candy, then?" I came back.

I found freshly minted gold on all four of them. I felt as if I'd been doused with ice water. I quickly hid the gold. Each had the calluses of a soldier or guardsman. Two had the forearms of swordsmen. If they had been better armed I would have been a dead man. I vowed to arrange for a saber and a back harness and be damned with custom. After the actions of this night, Napoleon was back in Paris.

I vowed to the others that I would speak to the constable in the morning and quickly strode off to my lodgings. Sleep did not come easy that night.

After breaking fast the next morn I found the constable. He began the morning as a disagreeable wretch until I stated my case.

"By God, man, I was waylaid by four and did for them in defense. You should rather afford me a medal!" I caught him aflush and vowed to be right with him, as he seemed a veteran doing his job. He asked my name and how I supported myself.

He bristled when I admitted that I was a remittance man. However, when I bristled and claimed house Stuart I heard the damnedest thing from him—"House Frasier recognizes house Stuart. Confusion to the English!" and he grinned like a dog in the chicken house. I showed him my discoveries of the corpses—the calluses and marks of a swordsman. He liked it no more than I did.

"You'll not be bringing your feuds here!"

"Constable, if they come, they'll disappear quietly into the woods, never to be seen again. I've a tribe of warriors beholden to me close against my homestead.

The Yorkies will follow Cornwallis."

The good man looked to heaven and said with false piety "One must take one's blessings wheresoever God sees fit."

By the middle of the month the Sweet Anne made port. I discussed my arrangement with the purser and received a shock—There was a passenger for me! Lady Katherine Howard, the poor girl that I'd rescued all these years ago!

With my remittance came a letter explaining all— Katherine's disfigurement had dis-heartened her to the point of ultimate melancholy.

She saw in me her rescuer and victim of my action upon her benefit in the same motion.

She wished to stay with me, despite the primitive conditions.

The seclusion in the woods was exactly what she wished.

What could I say? I could not refuse her. This was not a contract to be haggled.

She was begging sanctuary and on the Stuart name there was no agency short of Sweet Christ himself that would force me to turn her away.

I took charge of my passenger and greeted her. She was heavily veiled in white linen and wore a simple grey linen shift. I held out my hands to her to greet her properly. Much to my surprise she flowed into my arms and hugged me as if she hungered for contact. I gently held her, rocking her in my arms.

"Easy, girl. I'll take care of you. You have nothing to fear now. I hugged her tightly for a bit, then relaxed, still holding her.

"I must purchase a few things, as I did not expect your presence. If you will come with me, I will take you to the house of the widow that I room with here. She will be glad to care for you for the hours I must be away from you. Tomorrow, we can begin our travel into the woods."

She said nothing.

"Katherine, can you speak?" a delicate "yes" came forth.

"Hmm. Have you luggage?"

"Yes two cases."

"Fine. I have a new stove to take back with us. The rest of mine can wait for the next trip. Come, now. Let us get you washed up after your long trip."

She hugged me again, then relaxed and took my hand. The poor thing must have been isolated the entire voyage.

I talked the purser into selling me two boarding cutlasses and a flintlock shotgun from ships' stores as the town was too small for such supplies. Oh, I could purchase lead, powder and such, but firearms or good steel? No.

Katherine looked askance at my purchases, yet said nothing. I did not wish to alarm her after her voyage so said nothing of my brutal exercises.

The widow Jeffries took Katherine under her wing like a hen with adopted chicks.

I was dragooned into hauling clean water in, hot water to the tub and dirty water out. I really couldn't complain. I made note to obtain some form of tub for the cabin. Where would she sleep? What would she eat? Did she drink tea?

A rough bachelor's life was not something I wished to inflict upon her. A life in the woods would be hard enough on the poor girl after the life of a lady in London.

I vowed to search out whatever books were available in the village and order more to be shipped in at the earliest opportunity.

I had been instructed in violin. I must determine if she played any instruments and order same before the ship left harbor! And sheet music! Oh, may the very God have mercy on my soul.

What about clothing?

The silks, satins, wools and linens of the London houses were unobtainable here and would not survive a single day. Perhaps the women of the native village could outfit her. I had seen beautiful quillwork on their garments Perhaps some could be traded for?

She played the cello! I ordered a violin, cello, books and sheet music courtesy of my father and the Lady Howard, Katherine's mother.

I made a house-to-house enquiry of the village, begging to buy a bit of tea, a cone of sugar, a china service, a sleeping robe, a whale oil lantern and oil for its use, all reimbursed with good english pounds in gold.

I stopped at the harness maker to provide me a pair of waxed leather holsters with weather flaps for my pistols and a shoulder harness for a cutlass.

I bought many pounds of swan shot and powder. I would not be found short now that I had another to care for.

I loaded the jolly boat with her chests, the stove, four covered iron pots and a gallon jug of sweet oil with which to season the pots then took the rope over my shoulder to begin the trek home.

"Duncan, cannot you be seated within the boat?"

"No, I fear not. The weight at the stern would not let me pole it safely, and I would fear for your health in the water."

She seemed to relax in the boat as the day passed.

"You may remove your veil if you wish."

"I am ugly."

"No, you are cut. You are not ugly."

It was silent for a long time.

I softly spoke—"Please, you can show me. After all events, I know and will not be horrified. This begins your healing. I will not pity you. I will accept you."

I kept my back to her to give her confidence and I continued to pull the boat.

"The sun feels nice on my face."

"Good. Do not get burned by the sun if you have been covered all season."

"Oh!"

"A wide hat will help. Do you have one?"

"No, I fear not."

"I will approach the native women to construct one for you. I have seen them weave fine baskets. It cannot be that much different."

Silence ruled for a period.

"Native women?"

"Yes. I have aided a tribe of natives near our homestead. The tribe has been growing steadily, with others joining because food is available. I doctor their illnesses and injuries. They make beautiful garments that will not be destroyed by the woods. I have learned much from them and I am certain that you will as well."

Silence again.

"Are they fierce?"

"I shall not prevaricate. They can be fierce. They can be as children. They can be as wolves in the night. They can also be loyal friends, as I have found them to be. I will bring you to them as my wife and you will be safe."

"I would like that."

I turned and smiled, looking into her eyes. I finally saw how she had healed.

The original foil cut was horrible—it had bisected her nose and lips, drawn from hair to chin, then a flick to draw up her cheek. At the time of the injury I could see her teeth thru her upper and lower lip, and her teeth thru the slash thru her cheek. The flap of her nose had been laid aside.

Now, there was a thick darkened scar drawn bisecting her face and across her cheek and cheekbone. The flesh surrounding the scar was puckered and drawn in surrounding the entire length of the scar, yet her nose had healed together, as had her lips and cheek closed. I could see how her lips had become drawn away from each other at the scar. She looked bravely back at me, yet her lips trembled. I did the only thing a gallant gentleman could do at the time. I dropped the rope and waded back to her, took her into my arms and kissed her fully upon the lips gently, slowly, once, and yet again. She clutched me and wept inconsolably. I softly stroked her hair. Dear God, may her strength be up to her tasks. You have tested her fearfully and damaged her spirit. If you were a man I would thrust my saber thru your anus to your throat for what you have allowed to happen.

Soon, she gathered herself. I gave her a little pat. "Feel better? I would much rather kiss you than your mother. After all, I have seen your mother."

"Wicked man."

"If it please you, I have seen better looking dried turnips."

"Brigand. Soldier. Actor."

"Oohh! Cut thru the heart."

I stole a kiss and went back to towing the boat.

It was well after dark of the third day when we reached the homestead.

The moon had risen and was a third across the sky before I struck the cross-rope with my chest.

"Katherine. Katherine?" I rocked the boat until I heard her scrambling about, having been awakened from a sound sleep. "NO DO NOT STAND UP!"

She froze, then relaxed. "Yes, Duncan."

I shifted the prow of the boat to the shore, tied it off to a standing tree and handed handed her out. I then took her hand and led her up the hardscrabble hill to the glade. The moon illuminated our homestead beautifully. She gasped.

"It is truly beautiful!"

"The moonlight covers many sins." I expressed wryly.

I led her to the cabin, fished out the string and preceeded her inside. I lit a candle and ushered her within. She stood mute, looking about. My heart wrenched, watching her take in her new home. The raw wood walls soaked up the light and the packed earthen floor expressed its uneven wretchedness with every flicker of the candle. The rush mattress over a puncheon bed was at least clean. The sturdy table and chairs were well-made and the high-backed bench before the fireplace looked inviting with its folded comforters upon the deep, wide seat that could accommodate a sleeper or two on a cold evening before the fire. A tinned copper dry sink sat polished beneath a window.

"Sit and be welcome. I understand your trepidation—it is small and mean.

However, I did not anticipate hosting a lady and had no chance to make amends before you could witness my poor cabin. I have arranged for books and instruments before the snow comes, and a proper bathing tub. There is yet time to expand it into another room this season. I shall arrange for a sleeping pallet for myself yet tonight. Please take the bed and be comforted."

I know that I was dithering, attempting to explain away the inexcusable.

I must have looked miserable, for she patted my cheek as a mother comforts a child. "It will suffice."

Her bravery gave even me heart. I grinned, turned and returned to the boat. I fetched her luggage, the new stores and a bucket of water. I closed and drew in the door knot, settled upon the firebench and we both slept until the morn.

After breaking fast I began to make the cabin more attractive. I presented my guest with the china, tea and sugarcake that I had procured for her, which gained me a kiss upon the cheek. I vowed to hold the linens, milled soap and robe for another kiss that evening.

With great labor and the aid of a wheeled barrow our new stove arrived at the cabin. After the spots left my eyes I leveled the stove between the fireplace and bed, then began pecking a hole in the chimney for the stove pipe. Once it was mudded in we broke for luncheon. That afternoon I broke limestone with a hammer and filled a pickle jar with the fines, then put it in the smithy fire and began pumping the bellows.

Katherine found me still pumping the bellows as night fell. I was anxious to halt for the evening as it had been long since I had pumped the bellows for so long and was fatigued.

"What motivates your diligence, Duncan?"

"I burn limestone to form quicklime so that I may whitewash within the cabin and glaze the floor."

"Thank you, Duncan."

She was enraptured with the oil lamp, linens, soap and robe.

"Duncan, you have given me a hope chest without the chest!

Are you proposing to me, despite my mother?"

I spoke quietly. "Yes, if you will have me."

I suddenly found my arms filled with a delighted woman. pressing me down upon the bed, bruising my lips and tugging at my hair.

"Gently, woman! I've given my consent! You need not rip out my hair to gain my confession!"

She spoke not yet expressed herself fully by covering my chest with her tears.

"I thought never to wed. My face is horrible to look upon, and my charms— Oh, Duncan! My breasts were ripped away by that animal! I have no figure but that of a man and cannot suckle a child!

I held her close and spoke to her fears. "Be strong. Revenge yourself by grasping what good you can find and clutch it to you. Make it yours. Do not wait for your life to come to you—do not retreat from it. Set a trap to take it! You have made a famous beginning. Do not cease now!

With that I kissed her with all my passion. When she responded I reached out and squeezed her buttocks, drawing her close to me. She squeaked and fought, then groaned into my mouth with her kiss as I kneaded her firm small fundament. The rest of the evening passed delightfully in a haze of unfulfilled passion and tender moments. I knew not to press her over her chest. It was a point of agony deep in her spirit whose healing would take many, many days, perhaps years.

I awoke in the early hours of the morning with her draped over my chest, asleep with a gentle smile upon her lips.

I awoke her with a kiss upon her brow.

"Arise, wife, and greet the day."

I witnessed her stretch with a groan and nuzzle into my chest.

"My husband makes a wonderful pillow, yet the buckles leave much to be desired."

I replied "That can be remedied this night". She flushed a most entrancing shade and struck my chest with her small fist, not knowing whether to laugh or cry. I settled the matter by slapping her fundament and running out the door to her indignant cries.

After my ablutions I carried several buckets of water to the cabin so that the boiler attached to our new stove might be heated for washing and laundry, then returned to my task of calcination of the limestone. With diligent heating and careful crushing with an iron rod I judged my task complete by late afternoon.

Allowing the flask to cool, I began the construction of a large brush from a carved branch and several rope ends. I hoped that my meager supply of boiled linseed oil would suffice as a binding agent. I would first paint the ceiling to brighten the cabin.

That evening, with Katherine's blessing, I dressed for the hunt, then proceeded to stalk and kill two button bucks—one for the tribe, one for us. Dragging a gutted buck into the native camp after dusk caused a commotion that was soon stilled. I presented the still-warm carcass to the chief with the news that I had taken a wife.

His ribald comments were to the effect that he was surprised that it was only one.

I closed my eyes in a moment of epiphany and opened them with a smile. I then sternly remarked that I would be pursuing a second wife that could nurse as my first wife had been injured in combat. His long stare became uncomfortable until his grin undid him.

"Bring your wife at the full of the moon for a feast. We shall speak then."

I wondered what my foolish mouth had gotten me into. I vowed to teach Katherine the staff and blade soonest. We had most of a month to prepare.

Dawn saw me stripping the carcass and stretching the hide of the buck. I searched for and found a punky tree trunk of sufficient size, the hewed it into a target and set it within the glade, then set a firm post near it for haulk practice.

Hah. Little was I to know that my innocent, demure wife could take me three of four with a short blade. Her mother the duchess had decreed that any lady should be able to defend herself in the boudoir and make her opinion the last heard.

This had been accomplished by eight years practice with a French fencing master.

With a bit of practice I was certain that she would provide more than adequate the straight cutlass, being borne as a short saber. Her shoulder strength was the only difficulty.

My lovely Katherine took to the throwing blades as if born to them. I smithed her a set for her hand, finished in a lovely sheen with a brass brush while they were cooled just past glowing from the forge.

I took my life into mine own hands when I attempted to teach her the staff. One mis-placed blow to her shin told me immediately that my dearest was deep down at heart a redhead. I almost lost my life to a whistling blow neck high, which thankfully I avoided by diving for the ground. Her apology lasted long into the night and left me without the will to rise come morning.

Soon the moon had turned and came full. The harvest festival was upon us.

Thru diligent argument and tender words I convinced Katherine to go bare-faced with her hair braided. She carried herself regally, with a brace of knives at her wrists and an ash staff at hand.

I took another buck and brought it along with a heavy parcel of enormous arrowheads as a gift for the tribe and a plug of tobacco for the chief.

The chief witnessed my concern when Katherine was whisked off with the wives upon our reaching camp. Her narrowed eyes and flaring nostrils had me concerned more for the wives than her...

Springing Buck took my shoulder and guided me to his wigwam, witnessing that the wives knew of such a spirit in other wives and convinced me to take my ease with him.

I was given a dyed vest and clout to wear as a gift and for the feast.

Soon, dusk found us making our way to the festival grounds. Special mats had been made which intrigued me. This was new to the tribe and the skill of their making had come from the west. My curiosity bought me answers the next day. However, that night brought more that I could have possibly dreamt.

After being seated a group of wives approached, obscuring one within their number.

They parted to reveal Katherine, yet not as I had ever seen her. Lovely in the firelight, long and slender of limb, garbed in a deerskin vest beautifully decorated in porcupine quills, her lean, muscular belly exposed above a breechclout about her hips, dyed ocher and black. Her forearms covered in her bracers completed a vision of barbaric splendor. She was presented to me and the tribe as Scary Bitch.

She flushed and kept her eyes at her feet, hands clutched before her.

I rose and took her chin in my hand, forcing her to meet my eyes.

"Never turn your eyes down from me. I would witness the love I see within them for the rest of my days."

We kissed, there before God, the tribe and everyone.

I found myself seated with my wife astride me, our hearts beating as one, our cheeks pressed together.

Back among the wives stood a tribeswoman bearing Katherine's staff. Knowing what little I did of the tribal customs I became alert.

"Dearest, have arrangements been made that I am unaware of?"

"Oh. I have been offered a wet nurse and maid."

"Ahh. Tribal custom follows that any that may bear your weapons are of your family. My dear, Will ye or nil ye, you have accepted a wife for us."

She stiffened in my arms, then laughed. The woman remains incorrigible to this day.

"You never did inform me of your natal day. Happy birthday, dearest."

I was hoist and there was naught to do about it. Rather than twist in the wind I opened my arm to our new wife and gathered her to our bosom. My mother would never understand hence she must NEVER be told. In choosing a wife, a man does not renounce his mother, and still less is he justified in breaking her heart.

The little gnarled medicine man kept peering at us as the night passed, muttering to himself. We feasted, drank and welcomed our new mate gently to our care with gentle kisses and smiles. I fed her from my hand like a falcon, for wild thing she was. She started at the touch of any other and never left our side. I was told that she was taken as a child by a raiding party and made her way back the previous summer, telling none of her trials, yet arriving with a spear and dagger nine years after her capture. She had killed two men that had tried to take her as property, killed quickly and without remorse. Her child name had been walks with deer. After her return she was named walks alone.

When she fell asleep pillowed at my thigh the medicine man keened out "Aieee! Another wolf tribe! Earth Mother hide us, Sky Father protect us!" and crept off to his wikiup.

I had had much too much harvest beer, and suddenly decided to give the little witch doctor a taste of his own. I panted for a bit, then inhaled and gave forth the clan battle cry—the howl of a wolf. When I had finished and caught my breath I gathered that I had done something unusual. We were the center of every eye in the camp. I heard another "Aieeee!" from somewhere within the camp, finished my beer and took my wives to bed, Katherine laughing quietly beneath my arm, guiding me to safety.

I awoke buried beneath a mass of female limbs. I must confess it was most enjoyable and as I lay there I plotted as to how to regularly experience it. A blonde mane lay upon one side and a black one upon the other. I noticed Katherine waking.

"Thank you for the lovely natal day present, love. Perhaps we can awaken in this fashion again if I have been particularly good?"

Our embrace awakened walks who startled and tried to escape, then relaxed into our arms. After sufficient stroking and kissing I swear before God the father that she purred.

We soon rose to face the world and see what the previous evening's shenanigans might hold for us.

Upon throwing back the hide to the sleeping lodge we were faced by most of the warriors in camp, waiting for us. The bellowed forth a poor but enthusiastic wolf howl that soon had them laughing upon the ground. I then showed them how it was done with a fine, grey wolf howl that echoed thru the trees. Again I heard a distant "Aieeeee!" which had tears flowing from the eyes of the braves in their gaiety.

The crowd dispersed and we obtained bowls of grain gruel fortified with bits of meat unconsumed by the previous evening's festivities. It was truly a handsome repast by measure of the village.

We broke for the homestead soon, Walks burdened by her sleeping furs. We arrived by mid-day and my tasks began to insure the comfort of our newly expanded family.

Out came the axe, shovel, mattock, saw and drill. I labored mightily to expand the cabin from 14'X 20' to 14'X 45' with three rooms, doubled outer doors and a giant raised box bed for the three of us and room for more. To this day I do not know if I anticipated dogs, children or more mates when I sized that thing. It had the appearance of a small cricket pitch. My wives were delighted. I then turned to other tasks about the cabin.

Our larder became prodigious. I built a substantial smokehouse in the lee of the smithy.

Walks alone educated Katherine in the foodstuffs of the forest while Katherine reciprocated with lessons in staff and cutlass. The ringing sound of sword practice complimented the sound of my hammer at the forge, forming new hinges, spikes and latches.

Leaving the shot-gun and two confident wives behind, I ventured forth for the port. I spent little time there, procuring previously ordered victuals and supplies, then making for home. Seven more times I made the trip before the last regular trading vessel of the season, bringing many heavy cases as well as a huge trunk from England, marked house of Howard. I obtained from the mercantile two more oil lamps for our rooms, as well as a ten gallon tin of oil. I admit it was a chancy trip bringing that behemoth of a trunk to the cabin without over tipping it into the river, from which no single man could have righted it into a small boat.

Elizabeth was ecstatic with her dame's package, yet she laughed until her belly ached upon opening a wrapper containing a ball gown. We hung it upon the wall as a decoration. We were supplied for the season with books, music, instruments and another five thousand pounds gold. It was an embarrassment of riches.

She vowed to write her mother, the lady, immediately as to her fortune, conditions and spirit. The letter proved to be most entertaining. We read it to each other before sending it off and had each other in such gales of laughter as to cause our native bride to doubt our sanity.

I did not inform my brides as to the commissions I left at last passage. I wished them to remain secret. I had commissioned a shipment of woolen blankets from England and six treated winter bearskins from the upper lakes to be ready by Christmas.

Once harvest had finished and the acorns were in baskets, my wives commenced looming great reed mats from cattails after harvesting the bulbous roots. This promised a comfortable bed and warm feet during winter's worst chill which brought no complaint from this poor sinner.

The moisture gathered upon the walls and ceiling of the cabin provided an excellent base for the second coat of whitewash, applied late in November. The brightening of the walls and ceiling made the cabin much more welcoming and easier to tolerate in our seasonal confinement.

Before the snow grew too prodigious in depth I ventured the trek to port town.

Great fortune befell me as the bearskins and woolens awaited me, as well as a bushel of dried apples and a demi-barrel of brandy. A lady of the town was gracious enough to sell me two dozen eggs and I arranged for an assortment of spices and sugar from the apothecary. Without the slick covering of snow to aid me I could not have transported that prodigious load no matter how mightily I strove.

My sledge and I broke thru into the glade on my fourth day of travel. Our reunion was heartfelt and passionate.

I had been slowly exposing my dearest to the arts of the kitchen. She was enthusiastic yet the skill of long practice was not yet hers. She was gracious enough to realize this, and watched avidly as I prepared the dough and filling for an apple pie.

Her look askance was positively enchanting as she observed me sprinkle sugar across the crust and brush it with a whipped egg. Both of them positively groaned at the smell of the baking confection and their child-like delight at its appearance when done was worth all the plotting, planning and labor. We still had supplies for five more pies and several cinnamon-apple jumbles. Next year, raisins! Puddings!

Cookies!

I gifted walks alone with two prime bearskins for sleeping furs. Her tears spoke volumes.

I convinced Elizabeth to cut up several perfectly serviceable new wool blankets to provide material for long over-shirts to cover all of us. Their durable warmth proved again worth the expense, and when covered by a canvas over-shirt to the ankles we remained comfortable despite the cold and winds of the depths of winter.

We finally celebrated our wedding in the bathing tub. The warmth and sheer comfort in the depth of winter gained me my wife's sweetest gift—her one and only pearl. Our time together was sweet and magical, then somehow very needy and necessary.

We serenaded the native camp with fiddle and cello one cold, clear, crisp night upon which the moon afforded good seeing. We played many old standards and several Christmas carols. Our neighbors were entranced. The sound of the strings upon the crisp night air was as if the Greek gods had struck the first notes in harmony upon the first lyre.

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