White Heart, Lakota Spirit

( 1 )

Overview

Caught between the world of red and white, how will Grace Cummings choose?

A normal morning turns to disaster when a small war party attacks Grace Cummings' family and slaughters everyone but her. She returns to the Lakota camp filled with hatred, anger and fear, but through the help of another white woman in camp, learns the Lakota way. When white soldiers invade the camp and presume to rescue Grace, she must decide where her heart lies.

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White Heart, Lakota Spirit

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Overview

Caught between the world of red and white, how will Grace Cummings choose?

A normal morning turns to disaster when a small war party attacks Grace Cummings' family and slaughters everyone but her. She returns to the Lakota camp filled with hatred, anger and fear, but through the help of another white woman in camp, learns the Lakota way. When white soldiers invade the camp and presume to rescue Grace, she must decide where her heart lies.

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Editorial Reviews

Wendi Reviewer
White Heart, Lakota Spirit makes you believe that love really knows no bounds and that with love you can overcome anything if you only believe! What a well-written and impressive short story; this one will involve and engage you from the first page to the last. Not only did I love White Heart, Lakota Spirit, but I am also going to buy anything and everything Ginger Simpson writes. She's won me over totally! Rating: 5
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781615722518
  • Publisher: Damnation Books, LLC
  • Publication date: 12/7/2010
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.41 (d)

Meet the Author

I live in Stockton, CA and have just recently retired to devote more time to writing. Sisters in Time is my third published book, my second with Wings. I’m so fortunate to have found wonderful publishers who believe in me. Hopefully, you’ll see my name on more books in the future. I hope my stories are as enjoyable to read as they are to write. I can’t forget to mention my husband, Kelly. He’s my biggest fan.
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Read an Excerpt

Fawn's eyes flew open in terror. She gazed up at the burly soldier holding a torch directly overhead. Her body trembled.

A second man ducked through the door. "Whatta ya got here?"

Passing the flame closer, the more ragged one leaned in to glare at her. His scraggly beard and tobacco-stained teeth were clearly visible in the light, and his uniform buttons strained against his girth. He reached up and scratched his dirty hair. "Geez, Captain, this un's white."

The captain stepped closer. His appearance was one of authority. His uniform, although soiled with dust, fit him well, and his pants still maintained a razor-sharp crease. Clean-shaven, with blonde hair, he was a good-looking man. "Well, I'll be damned, Riley. I think you're right. She may be dressed like an Indian, but her hair color gives her away.

Riley reached down, grabbed Fawn's arm, and yanked her to her feet. "You speak English?"

The steely grip of his fingers dug into her skin and she fought to free herself. "Let go of me, you animal."

Riley turned and smiled at his commanding officer, then looked back to Fawn with a disgusting leer. "Look's like we got us a wild one here."

The captain tapped Riley's shoulder. "Let her go. This young lady is probably glad to see us. She's probably been waiting to be rescued."

Fawn stepped back and rubbed her arm to ease the painful grip. She glared at the man called Riley, then squaring her shoulders, she faced both soldiers and fired questions at them. "Why have you come here? Our people have done nothing to harm you. Are you in the habit of attacking women, children, and old men?"

When she thought about the war party that had left thatmorning, she swallowed hard. They haven't done anything to you ... yet!

The captain removed his hat. "Our people? May I ask your name, Miss?"

"My name is ... Dancing Fawn. I am wife of Little Elk."

"I mean your real name."

"My given name is Grace Cummings, if that's what you mean."

"How long ago were you captured?"

"I ... I was captured some time ago, but I'm here of my own free will."

Suddenly, the man's attitude changed. "I do believe this woman is delusional, Private Riley. Tie her up. We'll be taking her back to the fort with us."

Fawn fought, but she was no match for the burley man who restrained her.

* * * *

When Riley yanked Fawn outside, the sun was up. The serenity of the dawning sky and the calm flow of the nearby river belied the fact that life had suddenly turned to chaos and death. Bodies littered the camp--mostly elderly men and women who probably didn't stand a chance of escape.

As Riley dragged her along, Fawn anxiously scanned the area. Terror gripped her insides as she searched for her friends. Oh, Green Eyes, where are you? Are you safe with your son? Please God, help me. What are these men going to do with me? I know they hate me because I've been with the Indians.

They passed a corpse lying in a contorted position. The clothing was that of a woman, but the face was indiscernible from apparent blows to the head. Choking back bile, Fawn shuddered at the useless killing. She felt a tinge of relief that it wasn't her friend. The woman was much too short.

"Maybe they made it to safety," she whispered.

Her bound hands pointed at the dead person. "How could you kill a defenseless woman. Does it make you feel more like a man?"

Riley wiped tobacco spittle from his chin. "Ain't no woman, jes' a dirty squaw like you."

Springing at him like a mountain lion, Fawn pummeled his chest with her fists. "You ... you animal you. That woman was a human being. She lived and breathed just like you. What gives you the right--"

Riley pushed her so hard she tumbled backward and landed on the ground with a thud. He leered down at her. "You touch me again and you'll end up lookin' just like her."

Stunned and concerned for the safety of her child, Fawn sat for a moment. She tried to calm herself and let rational thoughts return. Just let it go. Don't make him any angrier.

She struggled to stand, and as best she could, brushed the dirt from her clothing. Angry red abrasions circled her wrists beneath the tight rawhide binding. She took a deep breath and wondered what would happen next.

A younger soldier led three horses to where they stood. His scraggly brown hair hung well beneath the worn army cap on his head, and he eyed Fawn lustfully while he spoke. "Looks like this un been layin' up with one of them savages." He turned his attention to Riley. "Cap'n says to mount up. We gotta get out of here before their men come back."

Riley shoved her toward the animals. "You heard the man. Mount up!"

Fawn struggled to pull herself astride. How she wished she had on her buckskin leggings. Her dress hiked up well past her knees. She tugged at the material, trying to cover as much as possible while hoping that her advancing stage of pregnancy would deter the craving she saw in that young soldier's eyes.

Her voice trembled. "Where are you taking me?"

Riley's ugly head jerked around and he glared at her. "We're taking you to Fort Sully."

Fawn took a deep breath. "What do you plan to do with me once we get there?"

"That's not for me to say." He leered at her. "Is that an Injun brat in yer belly?"

"How dare you! What business is it of yours?"

"I'll take that as a yes. And I suppose from your tone that you laid down with him willingly."

He could teach you a lot about being a man. She bit her tongue to keep her thoughts from tumbling out of her mouth. It would do no good to argue with the likes of him.

* * * *

The late April sun grew hot as they traversed the still lush prairie grass. Now that the troops rode in rank and file, Fawn counted thirty-five men. A small group in comparison to the war party that Lone Eagle and his braves had joined.

She wished for a drink of water, but dared not ask. Weary from the long ride, she held fast to the saddle horn as her body bounced to the rhythm of the horse's gait. Fawn worried about her friends back in the camp--Green Eyes and her son, Singing Sparrow, and the dear old medicine woman. Did they live? A new worry crept into her mind. What if Little Elk comes to my rescue? It would be certain death. He would be outnumbered ... If he's still alive.

She worried what night would bring being the only woman. Panic threatened, but she fought against it. She forced positive thoughts to come. I'll find a way out of this for my child and me and get back to my husband and friends. I just have to cling to the belief that they are all okay.

Fawn licked her dry lips. I'm so thirsty.

* * * *

The captain rode at the head of the formation. He finally raised his hand to halt the troops after a full day's ride. Fawn's every muscle ached from being in the saddle for so long. They had stopped to rest just one time, and Riley had allowed her only a sip from his canteen before he yanked it away Although the rim and the contents both smelled of tobacco and all she could picture was the dirty spittle in the corners of his mouth, she would have drained it dry if given the chance ... Thirst drove a person to do things they normally wouldn't.

She hurried and dismounted before the young soldier came and manhandled her again. The last time they had stopped, he took great delight in touching her in places he ought not while helping her down. She arched her back and moved her neck from side-to-side to work out the kinks.

The troop, all seeing to their animals and preparing for camp, left Fawn standing alone and confused. Her admirer came for the horses, and cast his usual disconcerting glance in her direction. She shivered. I can't stand the way he looks at me. Hopefully, as long as the captain is around, he'll protect me. At least he seems to have some manners.

A blanket thrown in her face disrupted Fawn's thoughts.

"Here's your bed. Pick a spot," Riley barked. "I'll untie your hands until after dinner, but then I'm gonna tie you back up. Don't want you gettin' any ideas while I'm sleepin'." He cackled like an old lady.

* * * *

Fawn fidgeted in her bedroll and tried to find a comfortable spot where the sharp pebbles beneath the grass didn't poke her in the behind. She pulled the rough army blanket up under her chin and gazed at the rising full moon, wishing for the soft buffalo robes to which she had become accustomed. The coarse covering she was given was prickly and chafed her skin.

Thoughts of Little Elk crossed her mind. Where are you, my love? Are you looking at the moon and wondering about me? Do you even know I'm still alive? Are you still alive? A sob escaped her.

She looked beyond the stars and the bright yellow orb in the sky, seeking comfort from above. "I'm scared, Lord. I don't know if I can escape ... and what if Little Elk didn't come back to camp at all? I need your help. Please. Amen."

It was hard to get comfortable with bound wrists. She rolled to her side and willed sleep to come. Her mind was tired of thinking, but still she couldn't clear her head. Judging from the setting sun, I think we're headed Northwest. I know the river is just beyond that small rise. If I follow it back, I'm sure I can find the camp. I just hope the fort isn't much farther. She rolled to her back. "Stop thinking and get some rest. You probably have another long day ahead tomorrow."

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