SSS ( Sadie’s Short Stories): Reed; the white apache (part I)

Reed looked out of the bars of the cage he was in. The landscape was dusty and hot. There was a cactus here and there, but other than a few jackrabbits the landscape was nothing but rugged hills and dirt. 

The Apache had put him in the cage. Thank the Lord that they didn’t take his scalp right then and there. Without his Apache head-band, he would probably be dead by this time. He looked at the camp the Apache’s had set up. They didn’t live in tee-pees, rather they lived in wikiups. They were dome-shaped houses that were made of bark and weeds. There weren’t many trees around, so most of the material was dead weeds. There was some ponderosa pine around here and there, but not enough to build all the wikiups out of. 

The squaws of the warriors gathered around his cage. Their buckskin dresses were long, fringed, with some beadwork designs covering their dresses. Many wore long blankets that covered their whole body. He didn’t know how they could stand the heat in those blankets. They also wore moccasins. The Apache was a handsome tribe, the men tall and muscular. Reed looked at the women, their eyes boring into him. He looked at each of them in the eye. Most of them had cradleboards, which they carried their babies in. They hung on their backs, the cradleboards like a shelter for the babies. Most of the older children were either foot-racing or helping their families in their wikiups. Many of the older boys were with their fathers, learning the ways of the warriors or hunting. 

“Why do you stare at me?” Reed said in Apache, looking at the women. 

“You are a white man, but you are Apache?” The women were looking at the headband he wore around his large mass of red hair. He touched the beadwork, frowning slightly. He was white, but he was raised by the Apache. He had learned their ways, their traditions.

“I am one of you, but I am different colored. Does that make a difference? Consult your big chief if you don’t understand.” The women looked at the chief. He was tall and well built. He was older, his white hair shone brightly against the dull rocks of the hills. He was talking with the other warriors. Many were staring angrily at Reed. They were the ones that had put him here. The leader of the warriors argued fiercely with the old chief. His face was contorted in anger. He kept pointing at his bowie knife that was fastened to his belt, then pointing at Reed. The chief kept raising his hands in defense. 

What were they arguing about? Well, all Reed knew was that he needed to get out, and fast. The leader of the warriors, Bodaway, was still pointing at his knife. Reed looked at the many scalps that were tied to their ponies’ mane. He knew then and there they were looking to torture him and take his scalp. Shivering at the thought, he made a resolution then and there to escape tonight.  

The chief came over to the cage, the warriors following along behind him. Bodaway strutted beside the chief, his haughty glance falling on Reed. The women were forced to leave, many of them lurking nearby to hear what their chief was to say.

“Bodaway has told me that you dishonored the tribe.” The chief looked at Reed, his face grim, the many wrinkles on his forehead creased in a frown. Bodaway sneered at Reed, his muscular arms crossed across his chest.

“Bodaway has lied to you.  I was driving my horses, then they wanted to take them. Now I don’t think that was the only reason.” Reed pointed to the bowie knife that hung at Bodaway’s hip. Bodaway scoffed, cursing in Apache. The chief silenced him, then turned back to Reed.

“Dasan, do not listen to him! He lies! I did not mean to intercede him until I saw that he had stolen a few of our ponies!” Bodaway stomped angrily toward the cage. “You lie!” 

Dasan stepped forward, pushing Bodaway away from the cage. “We know you Bodaway. You have always been jealous of Keokuk!” Dasan then looked back at Reed. “ I have raised you since you came to us when you were of ten summers. I cannot protect you from them anymore.” 

“I don’t need your protection anymore, father. I have the strength to fight them off if you let me out.” Reed shook the bars of the cage, glowering angrily at Bodaway. His gun was taken away from him. He would have shot that evil Bodaway right in that pretty forehead of his.

“We did find some of our ponies in your lot.” Dasan frowned sadly at Reed, shaking his head sadly. 

“You don’t understand, they were Indian ponies I had purchased!” Reed shook the cage in anger. “You have to believe me!” 

“You will be punished, I have to grant it to Bodaway. All of them agree that you should be hung. The punishment will be dealt with in the morning.” Dasan turned away, his tall figure erect and he stood tall. He walked away, leaving Bodaway and his warriors with Reed. 

“You know I didn’t steal your horses, you woman scalper.” Reed spit on Bodaway’s foot. Bodaway kicked dirt at Reed. 

“I know, I just have always wanted to scalp you. I will just have to kill you first, then take your scalp. I will enjoy every moment of your suffering.” He sneered, laughing in glee. Many of the warriors laughed along, then trudged away to their wikiups.

Thanks so much for reading my short story! Make sure to stay tuned in to the blog, so you can see part II. I hope that this blog post was entertaining, helped you to understand more of the culture, and help you delve into the western period. Thanks again! I’m so glad you all are reading our blog, and I will continue to write more blog posts. – Sadie


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