Short Stories » The Sky Warrior

The Sky Warrior - Page 4 of 5

" The next time she came prepared to make war upon me in order to release her husband. She appeared high up, floating among the clouds ; then suddenly gave a scream, woman-like, and shot down with all the fierceness of a warrior, coming directly toward me.

" I was getting strong now, and I shook my bow over my head at her. Then she swung upward within a few bows' length, so that I could feel the wind of her attack.

"After she had done this several times, she perched upon a near - by butte and watched. She did everything in her power to make her captive husband's heart strong. Now and then she would sail slowly over our heads, coaxing, scolding, and apparently having a loving, conjugal talk with him.

"At last I sat beside her mate and gave him some meat, which he took from my hand. She saw this feast of two warrior - friends, and came within a few paces of us. I threw her a piece of the venison, which she took, and ate of it.

" Our meat was now gone, and we moved nearer to the stream. I awoke early in the morning. Wambelee was uneasy, and stared continually into the gray dusk. I looked in the same direction, and I saw four black-tail deer approaching the water to drink. I had tied one end of Wambelee' s lariat to a young sapling, and let him sit by me, concealed under the bushes. He had a long lariat. When the deer were almost upon us, I took my sharpest arrow and shot the buck deer At the same time Wambelee secured a fawn. Now we were rich, for we had all the meat we wanted!

' When we first moved our camp, the eagle woman did not like it, because she did not understand. But again she came every day and got rations for herself and her eaglets on the nest. It was a day's run for a warrior from the Eagle's Nest butte to the place where we were upon the Wounded Knee.

" I was now strong and able to walk a short distance. Wambelee and Hooyah had become my good friends. They feared me no longer. One day I said to him :

'"My friend, you have saved my life. I am strong again, and I shall return to my people. You also must go back to your children. I have three in my lodge, and you should have as many. See, I will give you a necklace a brave's necklace before you go.”

' I took one claw from my necklace of bears' claws, and tied it about his neck with a leather thong. I also cut a little figure of a man out of a deer's hoof, and tied it to the eagle woman's neck.

" ' You have been a faithful and brave wife to my friend Wambelee,' I said to her. ' You shall have this for a token from his friend.'

" Then I released Wambelee. He stepped aside, but showed no sign of going. The eagle woman simply busied herself with cutting out a piece of venison to take to her hungry children.

' I see that you are true friends. I will take two feathers from each of you,' I said.

' I took two feathers from each and stuck them in my head. The eagle woman rose with the meat, but Wambelee still stood by me. I said, ' Go, friend, it is time,' and reluctantly he rose and followed her.

'When they had left me it was lonely, and I could not stay. I took my lariat and my weapons and walked slowly up the creek, which was then called Blacktail Creek. From that day it has been known as the Wounded Knee.

' Before sunset, Wambelee came back to see where I was. I was compelled to travel very slowly, and they watched and followed me from clay to day until I reached home. There I was as one returned from the dead.

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