Almost over already! I feel a let down on the rise.
We’re in Day SIX of the FanstRAvaganza 3 in THE FANFIC tagteam chain! If you missed
Day Five , check out the posts at http://flyhigh-by-learnonline.blogspot.com/
Also in Day SIX my partner’s post http://thearmitageeffect.wordpress.com/
Okay ladies left ya hanging again- wow I could get really used to this soap opera writing- okay not funny-Declan's in big trouble but he has more a-comin' and there's a little surprise close to the end.
speaking of the end - as promised it was left for you to create- so read on and I'll give more details about the options on the flip side!!!!
Ya'll got your popcorn, ice cold drink and hanky right?
btw- please excuse typos I'm really tired.
SURRENDER MY HEART part 3
As the sun rose over the horizon Jenna, who had spent the entire night sitting on the veranda, was awakened by the gentle touch of a hand on her cheek. “He’s made through the night.” Rose said as Jenna opened her eyes. “We’ve moved him into one of the bedrooms. He drifts in and out of consciousness but you can go see him.”
“Thank you,’ Jenna replied and darted into the house and up the stairs. She knocked lightly on the door then opened it, poking her head in first before going all the way in. The Captain was lying quietly beneath a faded patchwork quit. She tiptoed across the room and sat beside the bed and put her hand on his. He slowly opened his eyes. “Lie still,” she told him, “You’re badly hurt. You’ve been shot and Uncle Seamus pulled the arrow head from your side.” She struggled to keep the tears from falling. She did not want him to see her cry. “He said he had never seen an arrowhead like it before.”
Declan took a labored breath. “Not Indians,” he said then drifted into unconsciousness once more.
Jenna sat with both her hands clamped tightly around his. She wondered what he meant, not Indians? Who then, if they weren’t Natives? He was sweating heavily, a sign that his body was fighting an infection. She wiped his face with a cold wet cloth. “I’m very thankful you survived,” she whispered as she caressed his cheek. “Sleep now, you can tell us what happened later,” she leaned over him and kissed him ever so gently on his lips. Rose had mixed an herbal poultice to ward off infection and put it on the wounds which were now cleaned and bandaged. There was nothing more anyone could do but keep the patient comfortable. Rest and time were all that he needed now.
The two women went on with daily chores as normal, collecting the eggs from the henhouse, cleaning, dusting, washing, all had to be done as well as cooking for ten hungry ranch hands. Every so often one of them would go up and check on the Captain. Around noon the fever began to drop, much to Jenna’s delight.
Since arriving in Montana, Jenna had taken on the habit of going riding every afternoon. Today, though she was apprehensive about leaving the Captain, but had decided to put the activity to good use and try to follow the blood trail he left behind. Much to her disappointment once she reached the edge of her uncle’s land, where the tall prairie grass grew, it became difficult to tell where the trail was.
By evening the Captain was fully conscious and though the pain was excruciating he insisted on sitting up in the chair. “I have to get back on my feet as soon as I can. I have something I have to do,” he told Seamus in an agitated tone.
“What would that somethin’ be?” Seamus gave him suspicious glance as he poured a glass of whiskey for each of them. “It wouldn’t have somethin’ to do with that arrow I pulled out of you, would it?” Declan swallowed down the drink then just stared out the window. “Never seen one like that before, it definitely was not Lakota or Cheyenne. What’s happening out there?”
“I had almost convinced Red Cloud to stop the raids and voice his protests to the council without bloodshed.”
“Then what happened? I know Red Cloud well enough, if he wanted revenge on you he might’ve attacked your men but he would have kept you alive so you would have to live with the images of the dead in your memory. From the looks of the wounds I doctored somebody wanted to be sure you were dead. I’m surprised you made it back here at all.”
“So am I.”
“This wasn’t Red Cloud.” Seamus said more as a statement than a question.
“No. They were dressed like Lakota but they weren’t riding Indian horses.”
“Red Cloud keeps the horses of his dead enemies. Every one knows that.”
“But his warriors would never ride out without their own horses they rely on the animal’s spirit for strength.”
“So there’s a band of white men out there posing as Indians?”
“Not just Wasicun, but blue coats.” Declan sighed. “This band all had Calvary mounts. Every single one of them.”
“But why?” Seamus poured Declan another glass of whiskey.
“That’s what I intend to find out. I have a theory as to who is behind this. I need you to do two things for me.”
“Get word to Red Cloud, I need to speak with him.”
“And two?” Seamus swallowed his drink.
“Spread the word that I’m dead. Make sure it gets to every post.”
“If that’s what you want.” Seamus closed up the whiskey bottle and handed it to Declan.
“Ask Jenna to come up here, would you?” The Captain said as Seamus opened the door. “I have to tell her something.”
Seamus gave him a sideways glance then grinned. “If this is what I think it is, its been a long time coming, lad, should’ve asked her that weeks ago.”
“I know.” Declan nodded in agreement.
Red Cloud came to the ranch to see Declan several times over the next two months while the Captain recovered. What they discussed Jenna had no idea but she was sure it was something dangerous. Red Cloud’s warriors seized the petty raids on the settlers, but other Lakota tribes as well as the Cheyenne and Arapaho continued their violent protesting. The chief did not, however, stop the raids on the Army posts. Once he felt stronger Declan started to go along with Red Cloud and his warriors. He had even started dressing like them. “So you’ve made you choice?” she asked him one day as Red Cloud rode away.
“Yes,” he put his arm around her. “I know where I belong.”
“Does that make me a renegade too?” she leaned her head against his shoulder.
“Only if you want it to,” he answered. “Does this mean you’re changing sides now?”
“A Finnian heart and a Lakota’s strength.” Declan pressed his lips against the top of her head. “That’s strong medicine.”
Seamus, Declan, Red Cloud his chiefs would gather in the kitchen, till the wee hours of the morning, pouring over stolen or intercepted telegraph messages, maps, news papers and any other form of information they could get their hands on as they planned out various raids on the building sites of the new forts.
There were two problems the Army faced at this point. Though Carrington had command of two battalions chocked full of experienced fighting men, retainees from the Civil War, he himself had no combat experience. The other problem was that the men had never fought the Indians before and in light of that thought the Natives would be easily subdued. It didn’t take Carrington long before he realized the true strength of the People and came to respect the fighting capacity of his foes, their better knowledge of the terrain, and most importantly, their vastly superior numbers. Still, Colonel Carrington was determined to build the proposed forts inspite of Indian interference. Red Cloud and his warriors along with the Cheyenne hit Carrington’s troops as hard and as often as they could and he offered little resistance.
In early December Red Cloud and Declan planned a raid on a wagon train near Lodge Trail Ridge. This train, which carried the wood that was to be used as winter fuel for Fort Phil Kearney, was to be guarded by the 2nd Calvary and 2nd Lt. Horace Bingham, the commander, was once a good friend of Declan’s. Jenna did not approve, in the beginning the raids seemed justifiable but she was beginning to think that Declan was getting in too deep. “What if someone sees you, just because you no long wear the uniform doesn’t mean they won’t recognize you. Carrington never met you, Lt. Bingham knows you, if he sees you…” Jenna paused and let out a worried sigh, “You’ve had too many close calls already.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll be fine. No one is going to recognize me.” He said softly as he kissed her cheek and quickly mounted his horse. “I’ll be back as soon as I can.”
Red Cloud sent a small decoy party to attack the train but had the rest of the warriors waiting in the hills. The plan was that that attack party would lead the soldiers into the hills where they would ambush them. Bingham had only 30 men with him, an easy target for Red Cloud and his warriors.
The plan worked, however Jenna’s much feared scenario came to pass and even though Declan dressed like a warrior and had let his hair grow longer, Bingham recognized him immediately when they came face to face. “Gainey! I thought you were dead!” they circled around each looking for the perfect moment to pounce on the other.
“Captain Gainey is dead.” Declan growled. “Fetterman’s masquerade party killed him.” Declan swung at him with his knife. Out of ammunition the Lieutenant dropped his pistol on the ground and pulled his own knife from his belt.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Bingham said.
“I’m sure you had nothing to do with Fettermen’s sending men dressed like Sioux warriors out to attack his own soldiers.”
“I swear, Gainey, on my honor, I had no idea!” Bingham shouted as Declan came at him. Declan tackled him and they struggled on the ground. Bingham managed to pin Declan under him. “You turned traitor, Dec, why?” Declan struggled to get free but Bingham had him clamped down tight. “If you had come in you could have brought him up on charges.”
“I didn’t turn traitor he did. He turned on both sides. He talked peace at the council then set them up to die. I tried to be loyal to the Calvary but not when they do this. I will never again betray my people.”
“What do mean your people?” Bingham let down his guard for one second and Declan immediately overtook him, restraining him in a chock hold.
“I’m a half-breed, Cherokee. Did you never wonder how I could influence them when no one else could? You know I can’t risk being discovered, my friend, not yet. And I can’t let you lie for me, I’m sorry,” with those words Declan slit his friend’s throat and let out a loud war cry.
The entire company had been slaughtered, thirty men in all. Only two of the warriors were lost. Red Cloud’s men tried collect scalps but Declan refused to let the men be desecrated. “We’ve left enough of a message,” he told Red Cloud then headed back across the prairie to the ranch.
Jenna dropped the laundry basket full of wet bed sheets on the ground and ran up the road the second she saw Declan coming across the field. Declan leapt from his horse and lifted her in his arms. “You’re safe!” she said excitedly as she squeezed him with all his strength.
“You didn’t miss me did you?” he smiled and kissed her lips.
“I was so worried.”
“Well, I’m fine,” replied with slight apprehension.
“Is something wrong?
He glanced up at the sky and tightly clenched his jaw. “I had to kill a friend.” He shut his eyes and breathed deeply.
“Yeah,” he said as he removed the bridle for the horse.
“I’m sorry.” Jenna’s instinct was to comfort him with a hug but that was not his way, so she decided it would be best to leave him to his grief and went back to her chores.
A few days later a Sergeant Wilson and three other men showed up with orders for more horses to replace the ones lost in the raids. In addition, they brought a mandate that said anyone discovered assisting Red Cloud, Crazy Horse or any other renegade would be arrested and charged with treason. Declan stayed hidden while the soldiers were around but unfortunately his horse, which carried a Lakota mark on its hind quarter was noticed almost immediately. “Search everywhere,” the sergeant told the men.
“Look, Sergeant, I told you we found him wandering around the barn.” Seamus explained once more. “It was probably a lone ride that got himself killed or something. There are no renegades here.”
“Well, O’Reilly were just gonna take a look anyway.” Wilson stared him down.
Rose was watching from an upstairs window and rushed to Declan’s room. “There’s soldiers outside.” she said when Jenna stopped her at the top of the staircase. The two of them burst into his room. “Soldiers!” Jenna said in a panic.
He looked out his window. “I don’t know any of them,” he said as he watched them going from the barn to the bunkhouse. “Get my uniform.”
“Why? You’re not going out there are you?”
“You want them snooping around the house and find all the intelligence we have?” he said as he threw on his coat.
“Well, no, but what if the recognize your name?” Jenna pleaded.
“I‘ll use a different one.” He grabbed his hat and started for the door. Jenna stopped him.
“Please don’t do this, if it doesn’t work…” Declan cut her off.
“If it doesn’t work I’ll be arrested,”
“And charged with desertion!” she added.
“They have to prove it first.” He held her close and kissed the top of her head. “I love you.”
Declan stormed though the front door with the arrogance of an officer and walked straight up to the Sergeant, who saluted when he saw him coming. Declan returned the gesture. “What is this all about? Why are you tearing through this man’s private property?”
“Sir, we were charged with buying six horses from this man but we found a horse in the corral with an Indian brand painted in it. He claims it was found wandering around the barn but we have orders to arrest anyone who harbors any of the renegades.”
“Does it look like there are any Indians here, Sergeant?”
“Well the man’s story just happens to be true because I’m the one who found it early this morning. Now that you know I’m here and not any renegade natives you can stop searching.”
“If you’ll excuse me Sir, but just who are you?”
“Lt. James O’Reilly, 1st Calvary. I’m visiting with my cousin Seamus here. What’s your name?” Declan turned the tables on him.
“Sergeant Roy Wilson, Sir, 18th Calvary.”
“Well, Sergeant Wilson, you had best get your horses and get back to your post. Traveling along the trail these days isn’t very safe.”
“Seamus here is always happy to do business with Colonel Carrington.” Declan smile.
“Yea, happy to oblige the U.S. Calvary,” Seamus chuckled nervously, “Especially at these prices.”
The soldiers went on with their business. They inspected the herd and chose the six they wanted, the hands quickly branded them then Sergeant Wilson and his crew were on their way back to Fort Laramie.
Sometime in the night Sergeant Wilson woke suddenly from his sleep with the realization that if there was a Calvary officer visiting the ranch there should have been a horse in the corral wearing with the Calvary brand on it and did not see one. “Damn fool!” he scolded himself. “Why didn’t you notice that before?” He woke the Corporal. “Get the men up and get these animals on the move.”
“Now Sergeant? It’s the middle of the night…” The Corporal started to complain but Wilson cut him off. “Now! Corporal! That’s an order.”
Sergeant Wilson walked over to one of the other men and kicked him in order to wake him. “Pack it up, soldier. You’re coming with me.”
The soldier looked up groggily, “Where we going Sarge?”
“Back to that ranch.”
The boys were just beginning to trickle into the house for breakfast after doing the early morning chores. Rose and Jenna were dishing out grits and cornbread when Seamus and Declan came down. They had slept in because one of the newer horses had tried to jump the fence during the night and broke its leg. Seamus had no choice but to shoot it, then he and Declan drug it out onto the prairie and buried it. As they all congregated in the kitchen as they did every morning someone called out from outside. Rose peeked through the window. “It’s that sergeant, he’s come back.”
“What in the hell does he want now?” Seamus mumbled as he went out to meet him. “What can I do for you today Sergeant Wilson?” he said loudly as he stepped out on to the porch. “Did one of the horses have a problem?”
“No, Mr. O’Reilly, the horses are just fine. I want speak with the Lieutenant if you don’t mind.”
“He’s already left, packed up before dawn and headed back to his post.” Seamus didn’t know what else to say.
The Sergeant nodded to the other soldier and they both dismounted. “What post would that have been, O’Reilly?”
“Uh, Phil Kearney,” Seamus stuck his hands in his pocket, “I believe that’s what he said.”
“I see. I’ll tell you I may not know every soldier out here but my duties let me get around quite a bit and I know for a fact that no one from 1st Calvary has been assigned to Phil Kearney, they’re all at Fort Laramie. And if he were heading there I should have passed him on the trail on my way here. He was no Officer, Who is he?”
“Now hold on there, he most certainly is a Calvary Officer.” Seamus was trying to stall him so Declan could get away. “I’m just not sure what post he said he was going to. We were hitting whiskey last night and my memory’s not so steady this mornin’,”
“Maybe some hot coffee with help your memory.” The Sergeant start towards the house, “I’ll join you, I could really use some about now.”
Seamus couldn’t stall any longer.
“You have get out,” Jenna said to Declan when she saw that her uncle could not deter the soldier form coming inside.
“What!” she spewed, “Surely you’re not seriously goin’ to let him arrest you? They’ll charge you with desertion and treason? They hang you!”
“If I run, he’ll just take Seamus, and hold him until I surrender. I can’t let that happen.” Declan held her close. “Bingham was right, I should have gone back and charged Fettermen. But I’m not sorry for joining Red Cloud.” He explained just as the Sergeant entered behind Seamus.
“We meet again,” Wilson grinned. “I see you’ve change allegiance since yesterday.” The sergeant referred to the buckskin shirt Declan was wearing and the eagle feathers in his hair. “So, who are really?”
“Tashunke Ohitika.” Declan answered with the Sioux name Red Cloud had given him after their first raid, Brave Horse.
“Your real name, soldier,” the Sergeant ordered.
“Lieutenant Declan Gainey, U.S, 1st. Calvary.” Jenna spoke up as she knew Declan would not answer.
“Well Lieutenant Gainey, you seem to have gotten yourself into a heap of trouble,” Sergeant Wilson nodded toward his man, who tied Declan’s hands. “You are under arrest for conspiring with the enemy, desertion, murder and treason.”
“No!” Jenna gasped. She tried to reach out for Declan but Rose held her back. “Please let me say good-bye,” she begged the Sergeant with tears streaming down her cheeks. “Please?”
“Seeing as how he’s going hang I’ll give you one minute, ma’am,” Wilson smirked.
Jenna went to Declan and kissed him. “Why didn’t you just run?” she whispered as she cupped his cheek in her hand. “I once swore I would never love a soldier, but I never expected to find a man like you. I never dreamed I would surrender my heart so easily to such a brave warrior.”
Declan wiped the tears from her eyes and cradles her head in his hands. “I love you.” He kissed her again then put his hands against her stomach. “If it’s a girl her an Irish name, if it’s a boy give him a good strong Cherokee name.”
The Sergeant grabbed Declan by the arm and pulled him away. Seamus mumbled sarcastically under his breath but loud enough for the soldiers to hear, “A right soft heart there, that one.”
“You’re coming too, O’Reilly,” the sergeant looked at him. “for aiding and abetting a one of the renegades.”
“No,” Declan halted, “Let him go. You have who you’ve been looking for these past few months. Leave them all out of it.”
“And who, exactly do I have?”
“Red Cloud’s right hand,” Declan said firmly.
Declan was supposed to meet Red Cloud and Crazy Horse later that afternoon to make plans for a raid on another wagon train. Winter was in full swing by this time and the Army was running low on wood for fuel by now thanks to the last raid. Instead of Declan, Red Cloud was met by Jenna and Rose. The ladies explained what had happen that morning, Rose did most of the talking as Jenna had not learned enough of the Sioux language to hold a full conversation.
“We will bring him back.” Red Cloud told her. “You will go to our winter camp where we can protect you and your child.”
“But what about my uncle?” she asked, “He’s in trouble with the soldiers too. Someone has to look after him. I’ll stay here.”
“No, you go with us, you are a warrior’s wife, my people will keep you safe.”
The expression on Rose’s face told Jenna that there was no arguing with Red Cloud so she packed her things and went off with Rose and several warriors.
By noon the next day Red Cloud and his warriors had caught sight of Declan and the soldiers. Two soldiers, no matter how well armed are no match for twenty Sioux warriors. At the request of Brave Horse, they were allowed to return to Fort Laramie and warn Captain Fettermen that his days were numbered.
A week later another wagon train full of wood for fuel went out. With it went Captain Fettermen and 49 hand picked infantry men with orders from Colonel Carrington to maintain a defensive posture only. “Do not provoke an attack,” he was told. Following close behind was a second defense of twenty-seven calvarymen headed by Lieutenant Grummond with the same orders.
More than 1500 warriors lay in waiting, for the wagon to train to come by. Crazy Horse’s warriors circled around the entire line and Red Cloud and Brave Horse with their warriors blocked the road in both directions. They made no attempt to move, just a show of numbers, but Fettermen’s ego took control and against his orders, he instructed his men to attack. The smoke from the guns quickly created a small gray cloud above the wagons. But for the most part the Indians were out of range and they were just wasting their fire power. Two of Crazy Horse’s warriors shot flaming arrows into the wagons, including the one filled ammunition. The burning wood and the explosion from the ammunition filled the air with a smoke screen which concealed the renegades approach. Warriors rode down the hill screeching their war cries while the chiefs perched up on the hill watching. Brave Horse had only one target which he sought out with the deliberation of a wildcat hunting a rabbit. Amidst the smoke and cries for help from the soldiers he at last came face to face with William Fettermen.
At the sight of him Brave Horse’s need for justice turn in the deep seeded hunger for revenge that only the sight of this man’s scalp would satisfy. “It was bad enough that you tried to kill me,” he growled at Fettermen. “But you tried to make it look like the Sioux did it. You want a war that badly, I’ll give it to you,” he leapt at Fettermen. As he did the man’s pistol got off a shot. Brave Horse flew backwards to the ground. Fettermen stood over him ready to pull the trigger again when he lurked forward and then fell on top of Brave Horse. Quickly the soldier’s body was tossed aside and Brave Horse sat up to see Red Cloud standing over him. The chief gave him a hand up. Brave Horse, who had always expressed his dislike for the tradition of taking scalps took his first one, Fettermen’s.
In only a matter of minutes both companies, Fettermen’s infantry and Grummond’s calvarymen were wiped out.
“You have your justice?” Red Cloud asked.
“Not yet,” Brave Horse climbed up on his horse. “There’s something else I have to do. Look after them for me.”
“What do I tell her?” Red Cloud rode up beside him.
“If I’m not back by the next moon, I won’t be coming back.”
“I will come with you.” Red Cloud told him.
“No, I must do this alone.” He said and rode off towards Fort Laramie.
After two weeks of continuous pestering from Jenna, Red Cloud and a party of warriors rode out to Fort Laramie. Red Cloud said he wanted to talk peace. What he really wanted to do was find out what happened to Brave Horse. At the first meeting with Colonel Carrington he was told that the man he was looking for was in prison waiting to be court marshaled for treason. He was allowed to see him.
“How are they?” were the first words out of Declan lips.
“They are good.” Red Cloud told him. “We will help you escape.”
|this is so my fav pic- he's just to die for|
“Do you want to see your wife and child?”
“Of course I do but this is not the way to peace.”
“This is the way of a warrior, I did not come to talk peace.” Red Cloud would not take no for an answer. “You will come with us.”
Okay fill in the the rest - Our hero can either continue to refuse to escape and face a court marshal with a happy ending or court marshal with a teary ending -they still did hang traitors and deserters back then.
or he can escape and join Red Cloud and Crazy Horse in continuing the war - and who knows what can happen then-or he and Jenna can do a Dances with Wolves and go off on thier own to hide in mountians until it's safe- which for a deserter means never- or pick a road of your own- but finish the story the way you like it then one day next week I'll post the ending I chose on my short story page
For more of THE FANFIC in FanstRA 3, see my partner’s post at http://thearmitageeffect.wordpress.com/
Yesterday’s posts http://flyhigh-by-learnonline.blogspot.com/ and http://memythoughtsandwhoknows.wordpress.com/
Tomorrow, THE HOBBIT tagteam continues at http://flyhigh-by-learnonline.blogspot.com/ and http://gratianads90.wordpress.com/
All F3 links can be found here.