Finding Peace
Chapter 1

Copyright© 2007 by Celtic Cowboy

Time Travel Sex Story: Chapter 1 - For years Tom Dunlap had considered himself to be something of a fish out of water - born to the wrong father in the wrong era. Someone was about to throw him back in.

Caution: This Time Travel Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa   Ma/ft   Fa/Fa   Fa/ft   Consensual   Romantic   Science Fiction   Time Travel   Tear Jerker   Polygamy/Polyamory   Interracial   White Male   First   Oral Sex   Pregnancy   Slow  

My name is Thomas Jefferson Dunlap, some of my friends call me TJ, I prefer Tom, but as the joke goes 'call me anything but late for supper'. I left my home, near Azle just outside Ft. Worth, Texas, two weeks ago on what I would describe as the trip of a lifetime. I intended to do a better job of keeping this journal but until last night I really hadn't had much to write about. Before last night basically all that's happened was this: I got up, ate breakfast, saddled Jack and the two mules, rode for ten or twelve hours, made camp, ate supper, and then went to bed when the sun went down. Exciting huh?

But last night, Wow! Last night was scary! I have never seen a storm like that one. At one point I was beginning to think my father was right and this was a very dumb idea. What was the dumb idea you ask? Well from the time that I learned to read I have been in love with the old west. My father once said I had been born one hundred fifty years too late. If he knew how many nights I had lain awake fantasising about that very thing he would never have allowed it to pass his lips.

Dad is a lawyer. Not your plain vanilla ambulance chasing shyster, nope not by a long shot. My dear old Dad was one of, if not the, most successful corporate lawyers in the world. Yes I said world. If there is one thing my Dad has in spades its ego and long ago Dad had set his sights on world business.

Unfortunately for me, I was a cornerstone of his planned empire. I was expected to go to Harvard, get my law degree and then top it off with an MBA. Never mind what I wanted. There had been many a knock down drag out fight over his plans for me. The last big fight had been over this trip.

He had wanted me to spend my summer getting a head start on my education. He had it all mapped out; go to Harvard and take classes non stop until I had both of the degrees he wanted. I'm not sure how it's going to happen but law and business are the absolute last things that I want to learn about. I like horses and I like medicine and by hook or by crook if I go to college it will be to vet school or nothing. Dear old Dad evidently hasn't heard 'you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.' That's what I had decided about Harvard, he may get me there, but he'll play hell getting me to attend class. It's funny in a way, I once heard him in an argument with a man who said he broke the law because he was forced to. My Dad responded 'you can't make a good man do a damn thing'. I wonder if he ever thought about how he was going to make me go to Harvard.

I had hoped to avoid a big fight and the only way my Mom and I saw to do that was for me to just leave without telling him. He thought I was just going to ride for two weeks and then come back. Boy howdy was he going to be surprised.

Since Dad had another one of his big meetings in Zurich, Mom and I saw him to the plane and then she dropped me off at our place outside of Azle. She hugged and kissed me and made me promise to call her regularly. I left Azle and headed northwest; my plan was to go up through the panhandle of Texas, ride as far as I could go and someone would pick me up. They would drive me to the nearest airport and then take my horses and pack mules back to Texas. Mom was pretty sure she could sell my trip if I was to miss the first week or two of summer school. Then it was going to be up to me to fight it out with Dad. The one thing I knew for sure was that Mom would support my decision whatever it was.

I hoped and dreamed that something would happen short of a knock down drag out with my Dad and I wouldn't have to go to Harvard. Can you see me at Harvard? A six foot tall cowboy that lived in blue jeans and boots topped off by a Stetson hat. Eighteen years old and as country as country can be. Yep, I would have gone over like a lead balloon. Oh, you caught that 'would have.'

Well I'm not sure what happened last night but me, Jack my lineback dun stud horse, Jill, Jack's lady, Jake and Jasper, the two mules took shelter under this over hang. When we sprinted in here yesterday afternoon trying to avoid getting hailed on there had been the two north bound lanes of a four lane highway just a few yards away. Now I don't profess to be the smartest feller alive but I haven't figured out how this little piece of rock or that highway could move.

But sure as shit stinks that highway was gone. I don't know about where you're from but where I'm from we don't normally have that kind of problem. There was something very strange about that storm last night. For one thing I woke up around midnight nauseous as all get out and I still wasn't feeling none too pert even after digging into my pill stash and taking that 25mg Promethazine for the nausea.

Still queasy I decided to forgo breakfast; I grained my animals and started breaking camp. In an hour the mules were loaded, Jack was saddled and I was ready to see what lay before me. Yesterday just before I pulled off the median to get under the overhang there had been a bridge about a hundred yards down the road. That bridge was over the Canadian River. On the other side of that bridge had been a small building. It looked like an old gas station or Caf' and now all of that was gone. I briefly entertained the thought that I'd been sent back in time and just as quickly dismissed the idea. After all, that only happened in books or some of those stories I read on SOL.

I stopped at the stream long enough to top off my canteens and water bags. Looking at the water purifier I wondered how long I could trust it if I couldn't get the needed replacement parts. I mounted up and crossed the river where the bridge had been. Then it was an uphill ride out of the river valley. When I topped out I saw a sight that absolutely took my breath away. Buffalo, hundreds, no thousands, they went as far as the eye could see. Ok, I think I'm going to have to rethink the time travel possibility.

Riding through the buffalo didn't seem the prudent thing to do so I turned right and started moving eastward, parallel to the river and towards the end of the herd. One of the things that I remembered reading was that the plains Indians would follow the herds of buffalo. That led me to get my pistols out of the pack where they normally rode. My fascination with the old west included the firearms of the day. My father, in order to curry my favour, had over the years bought me several black powder revolvers. I had made a holster that fit very comfortably in front of my jeans that held a little 1849 model Colt in .36 caliber and any time I was out riding I had it on me. With my current circumstances I decided it would be a very good idea to get out my two .44 caliber Walker revolvers. I dug them out of the pack they had rode in ever since leaving Azle. I checked the loads in the pistols and the loads in the spare cylinders and buckled on my gun belt.

One of my stops on this little ride had been a black powder shoot in Amarillo that had been a couple of days ago. So besides the two Walker Colts I had a .50 caliber Hawken rifle packed away on my lead mule and a .44 caliber cattleman's carbine on my saddle. I had two extra cylinders for each pistol and plenty of caps, powder, balls and the molds to make more, although I would have to have some more lead. That made me somewhat safer from the Indians and armed enough to get into a gunfight with a white man ... In my defense and not bragging, well no more than is normal for a Texan, I am a very good shot and pretty fast on the draw.

About noon I saw a buffalo calf standing over its dead mother. Knowing the calf didn't have much of a chance I shot it and gutted it out. It was my first time to ever gut a buffalo but the principle isn't all that different from gutting a deer. I spotted a place that looked like it would be a good place to camp. I decided to stay put long enough that I could jerk some buffalo meat. I found a little spring fed creek that ran into the river. It looked like a good place to camp for a few days. It was late enough in the day so I climbed down off Jack and started setting up camp. I rigged up a couple of racks and started drying the buffalo meat. I figured if I have been sent back in time my chances of finding a Wal-Mart had dropped to close to zero.

It was pretty obvious that I would need some more fire wood so about an hour and a half before sunset I started off down stream with one of the mules to get some more wood. I couldn't have been a half mile from camp when I saw them. Buzzards were circling about a mile or better ahead of me. Well, I could pick up wood on my way to look and see what it was. This was the most I'd walked since I'd left Azel and I was already thinking this wasn't a good idea. I had just come up over a little hill where I saw a horse grazing and something on the ground not far from the horse.

As I got closer it became clear that it was a person laying on the ground, albeit a small one. He was unconscious when I walked up on him. It was a Native American boy who looked to be about ten or eleven years old. The horse that was standing nearby was favouring his left foreleg. Since the boy was lying at the edge of a prairie dog town I figured chances were the horse had stepped in one of the holes. But the horse wasn't the only one with a bad leg. The boy's right leg was turned at an unnatural angle, and there was little doubt it was broken.

I took the canteen off the mule and knelt down next to the boy. When he came to he panicked, lucky for me his thirst over rode his fear of me. I gave him a drink and then I decided to have a look at his leg.

Before my mother would sign off on this little trail ride she made me get some first aid instruction. This trip wasn't a spur of the moment idea; I had worked for two years getting ready. So when the local volunteer fire department started an EMT, Emergency Medical Technician, training class, I got my father to throw some of his weight around and get me in the class. Since at the time I wasn't eighteen, I couldn't be an EMT but the training was great. We even got to do a rotation at the ER, Emergency Room, for some on the job training. So fixing this boy's leg wasn't going to be half as hard as getting him back to camp.

The boy had a buffalo skin that he was using as a riding pad. I took it and cut it into strips. Using a bunch of green willows I'd cut to make more racks for drying the meat, I was able to make a damn good substitute splint. I remembered from a survival book that I'd read that the willow bark has a crude form of an aspirin like compound that the Native Americans had used for pain. I stripped off some of the bark and made a small bundle. This would serve two purposes. First it would give the boy something to bite down on when I had to set his broken leg and maybe, just maybe, he would get a little pain relief. At least until I could get him back to my camp where I had better stuff to work with. Since the boy knew no English and my Comanche, I was assuming he was Comanche, was non existent, I put the bundle of bark in my mouth and bit down on it grimacing as if in pain.

I offered the bundle to the boy and he put it in his mouth. I sat down on the ground in front of the boy and moved his good leg to where I could push against it with my foot. Then taking the ankle of his broken leg I pulled; the boy was in horrible pain. The damn leg was not going into place, but I didn't quit pulling on it. The boy passed out from the pain and at that same instant the leg snapped into place.

I quickly put the splint on the boy's leg. I tied the reins of his horse to the pack mule after seeing that the horse could walk. Seeing no other way to get him back I very gently picked the boy up and carried him back to camp. I just hoped the kid didn't go into shock; otherwise I thought he would be all right.

We were just about half way back to my camp when the boy woke up and he started yelling at me. I didn't have a clue what he was saying so I just shushed him and kept on walking. By the time we got back to camp it was just starting to get dark. I made the boy a place to sleep and put us on a buffalo steak to cook.

While our supper was cooking I got my medical supplies out. I had an air splint but the willow splint was working just fine and not near as likely to cause as many questions to be asked. I did have some pain pills. It took a little bit but I finally got the boy to swallow it after he had eaten a small piece of his steak and it knocked him out like a light.

He woke up once in the middle of the night moaning and when I checked on him he had a fever. I got two aspirin and an antibiotic down his throat and kept a cool rag on his forehead trying to get the fever to break.

The fever didn't break until late the next afternoon. I had made some soup and was spooning some of it down him when eight braves rode into my camp. The one that seemed to be the leader called out something to the boy. He answered back but was still weak. The boy was sitting up using my saddle for a back rest. I sat the pan full of soup down and stood very slowly making sure my hands were in the open. It felt like my asshole was about to rip my shorts off, my pucker factor was so high.

The leader got off his horse and went to the boy and they talked back and forth for several minutes. Then the leader got up and walked over to me, for a few seconds I wasn't sure what was going to happen. I knew from my reading that the Comanche loved their children and didn't distinguish between their own or even adopted children be they white or otherwise. The very best hunter would go without food and water so that the children wouldn't have to. So I felt that if these were Comanche they would be glad that I had helped the boy.

The leader took out his knife and made a cut on the palm of his hand. Damn I thought, this is just like in the movies, so I took my knife out and cut my palm as well. He grabbed my hand and held it in his palm to palm. He turned and said something to the other braves and they let out a bunch of whooping and hollering. The leader said something else to the men and two of them disappeared while the others got off their ponies and let them graze on the grass around the stream.

I went back over to the boy and fed him some more of the soup. The leader followed me over to the boy and, just from the way he was speaking to the boy, even though I didn't know what they were saying I didn't have any problem understanding; the boy was the man's son and he was very glad that he was still alive.

About two hours after the leader had sent the two men off, they returned. They brought with them a bunch of horses, many pulling travois. There were also women and children with them and in short order they were setting up camp all around me. A woman rode up, she looked to be about the same age as the leader, and she went to the boy. Apparently she was the boy's mother.

She looked at the splint on the boy's leg and said something to the leader then both the leader and the boy pointed at me and said something else. While the woman and the leader were busy talking the boy smiled at me and motioned to his mouth that he was hungry.

I went over to the fire where I had the beans and buffalo soup cooking over the coals of the fire. I dipped the boy up a pan full and knelt beside the bed I'd made him and gave him the soup. Since he seemed a lot stronger I handed the pan to him but I put a blanket in his lap so the heat of the soup wouldn't burn him, being as how my fine china was a tin plate. He took a spoonful of the soup into his mouth and once he'd swallowed it he said something to me.

The woman's head snapped around so fast I was afraid that she had hurt herself and she came running towards us. For the first time since the Indians had got there I was scared. The woman looked genuinely pissed but the leader said something to her and she froze in her tracks. She gave him the same look that my mother used to give my dad on the times when he usually ended up in the guest room or on the couch. But a few more words from the leader and she seemed to have an attitude adjustment; I probably shouldn't have but I couldn't help but to let out a small chuckle. The boy grinned at me and then winked. I wonder if that meant the same to the Comanche.

I went over to the boy's horse; I had put a rub on it and wrapped it up last night. I unwrapped the leg and checked to see if it was tender and she didn't seem to be. I led the horse around a little to see how she did and she seemed fine. The leader walked over and said something in Comanche which of course I didn't understand. I know he was as frustrated as I was because the two of us couldn't communicate, but in his frustration he said, "hombre de medicina"

Now it was my turn to about break my neck doing a double take, "habla espanol?" I said to him.

"Si" he replied.

Well shit I thought, why didn't you tell me you spoke Spanish. Ok my Spanish wasn't all that great but it was a shit load better than my Comanche. And by a stroke of luck I even had a Spanish/English dictionary in my pack. I found out that Red Hawk, I had to look up Hawk in my dictionary, had been taught Spanish by the missionaries in Mexico. Now that we could talk he asked about the boy and I told him how I had found him and what I did. I didn't think it was that big of a deal but the chief thought very differently. He did ask me what I was doing here and I finally decided to tell him that I had got lost and that a bad storm had caused it. That buggered him even more. It seems their medicine man disappeared during that same storm. I don't mind telling you the thought of that medicine man running around in 2006 is a lot more chilling than me running around at what ever time this happens to be.

Red Hawk and I got to talking about where the other whites were. I was cussing myself for not being better informed on American history. The big river he talked about had to be the Mississippi but he talked like there were people going back and forth to what had to be Santa Fe. As near as I could remember the Santa Fe Trail was opened in the 1820's or 30's. Red Hawk also said that there was another trail farther to the north and I figured that had to be the Oregon Trail so that meant it could be the 1840's. Red Hawk had heard of the battle of the Alamo but couldn't remember exactly how long ago it had been but in talking with the other men of the tribe one thought that it happened in the spring of the year his daughter had been born and she was twelve seasons old. So with that bit of information I made it out to be around 1848. I had to decide what I wanted to do. For one thing I was now broke, the three hundred plus in cash and the credit cards hidden away on one of the mules was now worthless. I was deep in thought thinking about that fact when Red Hawk asked what was troubling me.

I figured explaining capitalism to a Comanche would be difficult if not impossible but I was wrong. They, as it turned out, had discovered the white man's weakness for the yellow metal. And as it just so happened Red Hawk knew where some was near by. Now I'm no geologist but I was pretty sure if there had ever been a gold mine in the panhandle of Texas I would have remembered it. Red Hawk wanted to show me where it was. He pointed to the shovel that was lying by one of the pack saddles and said bring it. So I saddled Jack, grabbed the shovel, and we took off followed by six of the men.

About ten miles from where we were camped we came up on the wrecked remains of some two wheeled carts. I remembered seeing pictures of carts like these that had carried supplies along the Santa Fe Trail. Red Hawk looked around a little and then said something to two of the men. Red Hawk called me over and I watched as they moved one of the big solid wood wheels. The wheel had become the roof for a kangaroo rat condo and the two rodent residents promptly hauled ass when it was removed.

Once the wheel was out of the way Red Hawk said to dig. Sure enough less than shovel deep I hit something. With a little more digging I had soon uncovered a strong box. It was about a foot and a half square and about two feet long. Inside it was filled with leather bags of coins. I found two bags that were filled with gold Eagles while the other bags had a mix of Spanish, English, and even a few French coins, but all of it gold.

While there was no doubt that the gold would fix me up; I didn't feel right about taking it. I tried to get Red Hawk to give me a small amount of gold so I could get established. Red Hawk told me about the tribe that had attacked the carts in the first place. They had taken some of the gold and ended up being given whiskey for it, and it was the ruin of the tribe. Red Hawk was worried that some of the weaker men in his tribe would find out about the gold and it would be the ruin of his tribe. He said that they would like some of the iron pots but other than that, everything they needed the buffalo could provide. I hated to think what would happen to Red Hawk and his people when the buffalo were gone. We put the gold into the packs and rode back to camp.

While we were gone some of the men had gone hunting and had killed a buffalo. Red Hawk's wife Little Deer had supper ready by the time we arrived. I had learned the boy's name, it was Grey Fox. Since I no longer had anywhere I needed to be, Harvard would have to wait a century and a half, I decided to stay with Red Hawk's band. They were willing to teach and I was more than willing to learn.

Over the next few weeks I went to school. And it was a school a whole lot of folks where I came from would have killed to get in. Red Hawk taught me Comanche and sign language, as well as hunting and tracking. We even practiced hand to hand combat and there, I was able to teach them some of the modern developments in knife fighting. Many of the Comanche's enemies used the lance. Broken Knife, Red Hawk's right hand man, and I had sparred with him using a lance against me with my O Katana. Broken Knife was very good, and I had the bruises and cuts to prove it, but over the weeks my skills and confidence had increased.

One day when we were out hunting we ran across a band of Pawnee and, as it turns out, they were spoiling for a fight. Red Hawk was just going to talk to them and had his hand up in the sign of peace. The Pawnee chief reached for a pistol on his belt and Little Wolf put an arrow in his heart. I figured real fast it was kill or be killed so I drew my pistol and started shooting. They were dropping pretty fast, it got down to one brave and he decided to haul ass. One of Red Hawk's men was going to go after him when I waved him off and pulled the .50 caliber Hawken out and got down on one knee. By this time he was a good hundred and fifty yards and going away when I pulled the trigger. All I can say is that Hawken sure packs a punch.

One of Red Hawk's men, my sparring partner Broken knife, took an arrow through the thigh so he and I headed back to camp so I could doctor him while Red Hawk and the others checked out the Pawnees.

Red Hawk and the others returned about half an hour after Broken Knife and I had returned. I was able to get the arrow out of Broken Knife's leg and get it sewed up. They understood the effect of infection but little else. Realising that I needed to husband my medical supplies I didn't give Broken Knife any antibiotics. My mother had convinced her doctor to give me a two week supply of cephalexin, I also had two big bottles of combiotic for the horses and mules, but it could be used on humans in a pinch.

One of the doctor's nurses was a close friend of my mother. She was given the job of cleaning out all of the samples that were nearing and past their expiration date. She picked out any and all that she thought I could use and brought them to me. So over the short run I was fine on drugs. The long run, well that was a different story.

When I was taking the EMT course we touched briefly on pharmacology. I found the subject fascinating. In high school I found that I had a natural affinity to chemistry. Our school was big enough that we had two separate chemistry courses, general, and organic. Then of course there was the honours class which took the same two courses and added to them.

One of the things we did in that class was make aspirin. We had a young teacher just out of college. He had his masters but had lost his sponsor and basically got booted out of the PhD program. Suffice to say he had a bit of an attitude problem which worked out great for us. We took his side and stroked his ego a bit and he pretty much let us run wild. He did nix Tommy Draper's plan to make some Ecstasy and, as it turned, out he got into plenty of trouble with us just making the aspirin and the simple antacids.

But I did learn something very valuable. If I could get the chemicals I could make a lot of different drugs. My one concession to the twenty first century was my laptop and a small solar cell that was capable of recharging it. Hell! If push comes to shove I could always invent the lead acid battery. Inside that laptop was the chemical formula of every drug I could get my hands on. The sulpha drugs would be the easiest and in their day they had been miracle drugs. The biggest problem would be getting the chemicals.

I went out one morning and killed a big buck and brought it back to camp. The women fell on it with a passion and in short order they had processed everything worth having. One of the lessons modern man could stand to learn from the Comanche was not wasting resources. There was precious little of a deer or a buffalo that went to waste.

I had been with Red Hawk's band for almost a month. They really liked my Dutch oven and there was a real need for steel knives. I told Red Hawk that if it was alright with him, that I would pack up and head towards Santa Fe the next day. There, I would get his people some of the things that would make their lives a little easier. I went to bed that night not thinking any more about it, but when I got up the next morning Red Hawk had done some thinking.

One subject that had come up more than once was the fact that I didn't have a mate. My age and status as a hunter and medicine man pretty much demanded that I have a wife or two. Now that I was about to head out, it seems I couldn't be trusted to take care of myself on my own. Another problem that came up was that I would be travelling alone and some of the other tribes that I could meet just might not be as friendly as Red Hawk's band.

In the end it was decided, I got no say in it mind you, that four braves would come with me. The part I wasn't quite as happy about was that Broken Knife's eighteen year old daughter was to be travelling with us. She had married a brave two years ago but he had been killed when his horse fell with him. If the truth be known I wasn't all that upset as she was cute as a bug's ear and I had kind of flirted with her in the past. Her name translated out to Tiny Bird, but I had started teasing her and calling her Sam, I don't know why, she just looked like a Sam. Whatever, it stuck and everyone in the tribe now called her Sam. I finally decided that if I had to have a mate, I could do a lot worse.

So, after packing up my mules, Sam, four young unmarried braves, and Broken Knife, we started off. Because he wanted to be away from his wife, yes even some Native Americans had shrews for a wife, Broken Knife was happy to be with us.

We had been on the trail for four days when the normal quiet sounds of horse and tack were shattered by the scream of a woman. That was followed quickly by a flurry of shots. We picked up the pace and headed to where there was a ridge above a small creek. Below us about twenty braves were attacking a dozen or so wagons.

Broken Knife informed me that they were Crow and apparently there was very little love lost between Red Hawk's Comanche and the Crow. We dismounted and had Sam hold the horses. I had shown Broken Knife how to load and shoot the Hawken so I handed it to him and we formed a plan. There were two big gullies, one on each side of where we were spread out on the ridge. The only way to get to us was straight up the hill. Broken Knife thought that put us pretty much in the driver's seat as their only other retreat was back towards the folks in the wagons.

I had my cattleman's carbine and the other boys their bows and we let loose. We dropped six on the first volley and four or five on the second and third volleys. They were down to three when they decided to rush us and those three didn't last long.

For some reason some idiot in the wagons started firing at us so I hollered out, "Hey asshole, don't shoot at us, we just saved your butts." Apparently he didn't understand so I informed the people below in English and Spanish that if they fired one more shot we'd start shooting back. That got through to them and I carefully stood up.

Sam brought up the horses and we mounted up and rode down to the wagons. Broken Knife and the four braves made sure none of the Crow were suffering while Sam and I checked on the folks with the wagons.

Sam and I rode up to a man who seemed to be in charge, "Howdy, this is Sam, and I'm Tom Dunlap."

"Milt Thorp, wagon master. Say, is them Comanche's you're riding with?"

"Yes they are. Who was the asshole who started shooting at us?"

"That was Mr. John J. Abernathy III," Milt responded with no small amount of disgust in his voice.

"And what exactly is his problem that he has to shoot at the people who were pulling his fat out of the fire."

Milt spat on the ground, "You name it, if there is anything good or decent, Mr. Abernathy is completely unaware of it."

"I see, well let me take a look at your wounded."

"You a doctor?" Milt asked.

"No, but I reckon I'm the closest thing to it in a hundred miles."

The Crow had caught these folks flat footed; their guide and three drivers were dead as were quite a few of their oxen. Along with the guide and drivers, two others were dead and six were wounded, three seriously.

I spoke to Sam in Comanche and asked her to bring my medical kit. Broken Knife had the four braves go and make sure we didn't get surprised again. Sam showed up with my kit and the two of us started sorting the wounded according to need.

We were interrupted by a man in his mid thirties, "Someone said that there was a physician with that bunch of savages."

"They are not savages, they are Comanche." I could already tell I wasn't going to get along with this peckerwood. Okay, so maybe I let Milt influence me some.

"Well no matter. Come with me young man, my wife has fainted," Abernathy ordered.

I was up to my elbows with a chest wound and a collapsed lung, he was having a hard time breathing so I was in no mood for this high brow prick, "Mister I'll get to her as soon as I take care of the wounded."

"Do you know who you are talking to? I'm John J. Abernathy III, and you will leave that commoner and come at once and take care of my wife."

I was supposed to be impressed I guess. I responded, "La de da," and finished cleaning the man's wounds. That's when he pulled out a pistol and pointed at us. I looked up at Milt, "Is he serious?"

Milt sighed, "He's been like that the whole trip ordering everyone around and having people wait on him and his wife hand and foot."

"Are you tired of it?" I asked Milt.

"I was hoping that he had been killed," Milt replied.

I turned back to the man in front of me to finish putting in the make shift chest tube and calmly told Broken Knife, "if that man doesn't leave, kill him," of course I told him this in Comanche. This prompted Mr. Abernathy to ask what I'd said, "Simple deal Mr. Abernathy, you have exactly five seconds to get the hell away from me or Broken Knife over there is going to kill you.

Broken Knife brought the Hawken up to his shoulder and pointed it at the man's head. I didn't think that, from less than fifteen feet away, he could miss.

Mr. Abernathy blustered for three of the five seconds. When I said "Four" he spun on his heels and left. "Does he always pull that little gun when he doesn't get his way?" I put the last stitch in the man's chest.

"Yes, I can't believe no one has called him on it. Say, you sure are young to be a doctor but I swear you're the best I've ever seen."

"I've just had some good training," I told the man. It was another hour before Sam and I had patched up all of the wounded men. I then decided it was time to go clean Mr. Abernathy's clock. The wagon master, Sam and I, walked over to the Abernathy wagon. Mrs. Lucille Abernathy was sitting in the shade fanning herself. Mr. Abernathy got up and came towards me and I hit the son of bitch as hard as I possibly could, right on the end of his nose. He hit the ground and reached inside his coat for his pistol. I had mine out before he could even get his hand clear, "If I see that pistol I'm putting a bullet right between your eyes. Do you understand me?"

His hand froze, I reached down and took it away from him and handed it to Sam, "Here you go Sam, you've needed a pistol for protection."

"You can't do that. You can't give my gun to that dirty squaw." Mr. Abernathy screamed at me.

I holstered my gun and reached down and picked Mr. Abernathy up by his collar. From there out it wasn't pretty, I beat on the poor bastard until I was too tired to hold him up. When I turned lose of him he dropped like a rock. I walked over to a nearby bucket that I thought was just a water bucket and poured the contents directly in Mr. Abernathy's face. As it turned out the bucket was the liquid his wife had put in there when she couldn't find her slop jar. No matter, piss or fresh water, it brought Mr. Abernathy around and I squatted down so he wouldn't have any trouble hearing me. "Mister you cross me one more time and you're dead, do you understand?"

He tried to speak but between the blood and the busted lips it didn't come out too clear so he nodded his head.

We were just about to walk away when he reached into his boot top to pull out a little single shot derringer. I caught the movement out of the corner of my eye; the son of a bitch was going to shoot me in the back. I was faster and Mr. Abernathy sprouted a neat little .44 caliber hole in his forehead, not that it mattered as Broken Knife had pulled the trigger on the Hawken at the same time hitting the man in the chest. Mrs. Abernathy screamed, "You murdered my husband!"

Milt Thorp the wagon master just glared at the woman, "Your husband drew first and there are a dozen witnesses." Milt turned to me and said, "There was nothing else you could do."

Abernathy wasn't the first man that I'd killed; the first white man, yes, but not the first man. I thought about it a minute and realised that it didn't matter. His habit of pointing a gun at someone every time he got upset was a sure way to get killed anyway in this day and time.

Mrs. Abernathy started screaming for someone named Jana; I turned to Milt with a questioning look. "One of her two indentured servants," he replied.

I felt my blood run cold, then I watched as she slapped the girl and another came running to the girl lying on the ground. That was it for me; I went in feelings first and slapped the good Mrs. Abernathy as hard as I could. "Sam, bring Jack over here." I turned to the prostrate Mrs. Abernathy, "You have two choices lady. Either you sell me their papers or one of those Crow braves is going to magically come back to life just long enough to put an arrow through you." She didn't seem to be moving as fast as I wanted so I yelled, "Now choose bitch!"

At first she looked like she was angry but the longer she stared at me the more fear I saw. "Twenty dollars, their mother owed us twenty dollars." She started getting up and dusting her self off, "I can't believe you would strike a lady," she said to me.

"I'd never strike a lady." She gasped and recoiled as if I had hit her again. "Now, is that twenty dollars for both girls?" She nodded, "Go get their papers right now." Mrs. Abernathy returned a few minutes later and signed the papers over. I gave her two gold Eagles. "I plan on helping Milt and these other people get to Santa Fe, if you want to go with us best you get your shit together lady because from now on if you can't do it yourself you better hire it done, ain't nobody else is going to be waiting on you."

I walked over to the girl that the woman had slapped, "You all right?" She smiled bashfully as I pulled out the bandanna from my back pocket and dabbed at the blood at the corner of her mouth. I could see the remains of a black eye on the other girl, "I heard the bitch call you Jana," looking up at the older girl, "what's your name?"

"Francis White, master"

"Whoa little lady, hold up right there. I bought your papers but as of right now the both of you are free, I'm nobody's master, understand?"

"But sir, the twenty dollars?" Fran gasped.

"If you want to thank someone you can thank Red Hawk, it was his gold technically. Who gave you that black eye?"

"Mr. Abernathy sir, when he raped me," her head went down and I heard her begin to cry.

"Was Mrs. Abernathy involved?" I turned and faced the lady who was now cowering behind me next to her dead husband.

"She held me down sir."

I was so mad that for a few seconds I couldn't even see. I got up and went to the squatting Mrs. Abernathy, "Is that true? Did you hold this girl down while your husband raped her?"

"She's just a servant," Mrs. Abernathy responded.

Sam had not fully understood all that had been said so she asked in Comanche what the woman had done to make me so angry. After I explained in Comanche what the two had done. Broken Knife shook his head, "How barbaric!"

If I hadn't have been so damn mad I might would have laughed, I looked down at the woman lying on the ground, "Well I'm not sure what to do, I guess we could have the trial here and hang her from that cottonwood over there."

"You can't hang me," she screamed.

"You were an accessory to forcible rape, the punishment for that is death." I was still glaring at the woman when one of the braves that had been out scouting rode up.

White Wolf had spotted another band of Crow headed our way. "How many and where are they coming from?" I asked. From what White Wolf told us, fifteen to twenty warriors were coming right up this small valley. Broken Knife pointed out the narrow area less than fifty yards upstream. I saw immediately what he was talking about. Milt moved the wagons to where they blocked being able to ride straight through. Then we had Milt divide the men into two groups and had them take cover on both sides of the creek. Now we had formed a cul de sac with rifles on three sides. I gave Sam my carbine and had her stay with Jana and Fran at the wagons. Broken Knife and I and the four braves stripped off our shirts as the Crow were all wearing full buckskins and warned any of the wagon train people to damn well watch where they were shooting. The six of us rode up over the top and back down the low ridge. The plan was to let them ride right up to the wagons, and then, to spring the ambush, the six of us would hit them from the rear.

Chapter 2 »