While based on fact, this is a work of fiction.
Mucha Cueva - Teijas - 1820s
I was naked, or nearly so, I had wrapped myself in a smooth sheet. I had never done this before, lie with a man and have sex. Although my older sister Caroline had shared her experience. Experience, singular experience ... I was uncertain exactly what to expect. Caroline said that her lover had been gentle with her. Loving, knowing what to do and when, but never moving too fast for her.
She said that he seemed to enjoy touching her naked skin, touching her bosom. That his happy touching of her seemed to make her desire his contact, to want him to touch her even more. Her lover wanted to touch her nether regions. That as good as his touch on a breast was, his touch on her private places normally hidden beneath her skirts and petticoats was even better.
That his touch caused her bliss and make her feel no pain. Well, only a short sharp pain as her maidenhead was breached. But he knew it would happen and he prepared her. He made her desire what he did. She would have thrown herself off of a cliff had he not continued. She wanted him to enter her, to become one with her, to plant his seed in her.
She told me how they became one as he slid his male part into her. How their hidden unseen parts beneath breeches and unmentionables fit one into another as if they were meant to be fit one into another. She told me how her lover had said that they were meant to fit together and that it was all a part of God’s holy plan. That they were meant to be together, and do just as they were doing.
Caroline told me how wonderful having her lover inside of her felt. That after that quick moment of pain subsided he felt magnificent within her depths. His movement in and out of her made her body react, and that she wanted him in her deeper than deep. She wanted him to move faster than fast. She felt the heat from his appendage, the heat from his breath, even heat from his eyes.
She told me that her lover had made her feel as if she was the center of existence. She felt bliss, and she looked into his eyes and saw bliss there as well. They moved together, truly as one flesh. He made her feel a feeling that she had never, ever felt before. Something that she could not have imagined existing before. As he planted his seed in her she knew he had felt it too.
Caroline told me all of this only this morning, but it had only happened yesterday. It had been really hard for me and my sister to leave the Carmelite Mission at Rio Bela a week ago. Hard to say goodbye to the three Brothers, Clarence, Michael and Gabriel who had saved us from the Bayblonchera and their great war-chief. War-Chief Nimrod who burned the community of Zeboim to the ground. Lawrence, our father called the monks who saved us “his guardian angels.”
Unlike us, father was ready to leave the mission. Part of it was fear, he was afraid that either War-Chief Nimrod or Chief Kedorlaomer would seek to drive all the “foreigners” out of the valley, and attack the undefended mission. He felt guilty, although he should not have. He had tried to negotiate an understanding between the natives, and those traveling the Chihuahua Trail and establishing their trading posts. Above all, he felt responsible for mom’s death.
Daddy tried to walk a middle road, it was a big land, big enough for us all. The Chiefs did not really control their Braves, nor did either the Meijican or American government control the settlers. Daddy thought that mutual agreements between honorable persons on both sides would end the selfishness and cheating on the one hand, and the impetuous violence on the other. Instead he managed to make everyone hate us.
We were holed up in a small cabin at the trading post when the three Brothers arrived. The Abbot had sent them to Zeboim when almost all of the natives left his Mission at Chief Kedorlaomer’s request. The Brothers arrived just as an angry mob was threatening to, or at least talking about lynching daddy. They implored the settlers to evacuate the town before the war party arrived.
We were attacked on the way out of town, because we had spent too much time trying to save all of those others who would not listen. They all died when the settlement was burned. I really miss mom, as do Caroline and Lawrence. Neither she nor daddy bear any moral responsibility for that arrow that took her life. But, just like the settlers at Zeboim, she had been warned by the Brothers, daddy’s “guardian angels,” but chose to ignore reason.
Sometimes I just get so mad. Harriet, our mother, didn’t listen to those who knew this country far better than we did. She was used to being in charge. The Brothers were unarmed, they wouldn’t fight, and it was pointless for two adults to take on a whole war party. They told us to leave everything behind, and just get ourselves into the wagon. She brought three chests out; getting them slowed us down. Putting them on the wagon slowed us down; the weight slowed us down.
Fanny, I am Fanny, would not be here in this angry, confused and guilty state of mind if mom had just listened to reason. I miss her, and I feel guilty for being mad at her for getting herself killed. We had a rifle and two pistols, the brothers were unarmed. They were correct, we should have traveled light and fast. Instead we got loaded down with meaningless stuff. Useless stuff that it just makes me sad to look at without her.
Lawrence and Fanny went to the back of the wagon. She loaded the rifle, the Warriors were well out of pistol range, and daddy fired it. It just doesn’t make sense. We had seven people Until a very well aimed arrow struck her. We buried mother just outside the mission walls, then we tore our clothing and sat thinking about mother. Dad couldn’t wait to leave Rio Bela and Adamaha County, but he honored his wife and our mother properly.
The Brothers were so kind, and they offered to let us stay. They told daddy about opportunities around Rio Bela so that we would have a reason to stay. But daddy decided that this was a divine message. That he had erred in leaving Brahm’s company so many years ago. Daddy decided that we were going to Edwards where his aunt and uncle were very successful goatherds. So we traveled by wagon along the Chihuahua Trail up out of Zoar, through the hills, just the three of us together.
Daddy was not young, and the pain of losing mom and his feelings of responsibility for it all were draining him physically and emotionally. We stopped at a place he felt was safe near Much Cuvea an abandoned home built into a hillside cave. My sister and I made a hearty stew, our dinner over an open fire, and we talked. We had both been betrothed in Zeboim, but our future husbands chose their kin over us when father could not get ten settlers to sign the agreement that he had negotiated. Now they were both dead.