|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.41(d)|
Read an Excerpt
White Buffalo Woman
By Dolores Richardson
Trafford PublishingCopyright © 2012 Dolores Richardson
All right reserved.
Chapter OneOutside the orphanage, a storm raged through the City of London. The wind screeched and whistled as it loosened rooftop slates and dislodged flower pots from their usual doorway moorings. Rain clattered on the cobblestone streets sounding much like marbles hitting the glass windows of the building. Thunder boomed and lightning lit up the sky.
Inside Bethany Orphanage for Destitute Children, the children in the Dormitory whimpered and cried occasional quiet sobs as if trying not to attract the storm's notice. Children crawled into bed with other children so they would not have to listen to the shattering noises alone. Some of them whispered their prayers. Others hummed softly. A few were so frightened they remained totally still and unmoving.
Down the hall, the Nursery stood empty, devoid of children under the age of three. Its door yawned open like a cavity admitting all the world to view its deserted bassinettes and cradles. That is, until something, maybe it was the noises from the storm outside caused the door to slam shut. Then, perhaps because of a lock being turned open there began a back and forth movement of opening and closing. "BAM-BOP" sounded the door as it opened and then closed with a bang. "BAM-BOP" was just enough to startle not only the whimpering children in the Dormitory, but also Mrs. Adelaide Grimm, Supervisor and Administrator of the Orphanage that she referred to as "BODC" for Bethany Orphanage for Destitute Children.
Mrs. Grimm's room was downstairs on the first floor near her Office. From that location all she could hear besides the screeching winds was the "BAM-BOP, BAM-BOP" of the door of the Nursery. She crawled into her bed and pulled the covers up and over her head to shut out the noise.
Upstairs, down the hall from the Nursery and the Dormitory rooms, Marcy Ann, Ruby, and Esther were shivering in their beds, praying for protection, not in the least remembering the frightened children they had been hired as child care workers to look after and keep safe.
Marcy Ann, tall and bone thin at age forty-seven, was promising God that she would never stick her tongue out at ugly people anymore if only God would make the storm stop.
Ruby, soft and plump with thinning hair at age twenty-five, was repeating over and over for God to have mercy on her soul, have mercy on her soul, have mercy on her soul. She said it so many times it had begun to sound like "Od ha mersee un me sul." She wondered if the sound of it could carry over the storm, or even if God would notice.
Esther, with waist long ash brown hair in two braids at age eighteen, shivered. Even her tongue was shivering between her clenched teeth. She just knew they were all dying, or would die. She dared the lightning to pierce her in her heart, Then she dared it to stop its flashing in the high window of the room and light up in her head. Thunder sounded with a BOOM, and then a CRACK CRACK CRACK followed. She wondered about her best friend, Dorothy and she immediately challenged the storm to kill them both. "Go ahead," she hissed into the crackling air, "Kill us all, I dare you. Kill me. Kill Dorothy. I dare you." As if she could back the weather down with a challenge.
Dorothy, whose room was across the hall from Esther, was writing in her diary, "This morning at 5:15 A.M. London time, October 10, 1838, my baby girl was born. She is perfect all over. Every inch of her is so beautiful, from her heart-shaped face with its dot of an upturned nose, pink bow lips, jade green eyes, coral colored hair all tightly curling around her head. And all the way down her peachy white body, tiny hands clenching and opening, down to her legs which will one day stretch straight and strong. Then on down to her feet and delicately formed toes. Thank You, God, for such a miracle! I have waited so long to...." There the writing stopped. Like a long trail the ink dripped in a gash straight down the page as Dorothy's hand held on, trying, so it seemed, to stay straight across instead of down the page.
With a long sigh, Dorothy Jean Perkins exhaled from way deep inside her being and slid halfway to the floor off the bed. There she remained with hands holding fast. There is where she was found later after the storm had ended. By then, it was 7:05 A.M. and the stiffness of rigor mortis had set in so that one hand was still holding to the thick comforter on her bed while the other was holding the book.
Esther knocked, and then opened the door to Dorothy's room. She gasped at the sight of her friend sprawled half on the floor in a pool of blood and half on the bed with her hands still holding to the bedspread, to the book. She could not take in what her eyes were seeing. She gasped again. She heard the mewing from the bundle beyond Dorothy's hands. She wondered how a cat got into the building. She looked closer to see the diary. She read its last entry, words that refused to sink in. Gingerly Esther reached over to pull the corner of the soft flannel from the baby's face. She gasped a third time, and then breathed, "A baby...." How could there be a baby?
Esther looked down onto the top of her friend's chestnut hair, so soft and shiny, spread across her snowy face, her eyes blankly staring.... focused.... set, her mouth softly curved up into a half smile as if appreciating some private knowing not available to anyone else.
Esther shivered harder than she had during the storm. For one crazy minute, Esther believed her challenge for the lightning to kill Dorothy had worked. She wondered why it had not killed her as well. They had promised to share everything.
Both Dorothy and Esther had longed to be free of the work, the demanding Mrs. Grimm, the sad squalling children, the loneliness of never having strong arms caress and hold you. They had felt a kinship. They had become close as sisters. Both had promised what happened to one would happen to the other.
Then jealousy and wonder stirred Esther. Dorothy HAD experienced enough freedom to get pregnant. Dorothy HAD known what it was to be caressed and held. Esther gasped again. She would never have guessed that about her friend. Then, stepping backwards, Esther's leg accidentally touched Dorothy's dead body and its rock hardness jolted her into reality.
Esther jumped backwards again and went flying down the hall screaming for all to hear, "A baby, Dorothy's had a baby, Dorothy's dead." All the way down the hall, then down the stairs. Then past the surly cook holding a spatula who was exiting Mrs. Grimm's room, and on through the open door where Mrs. Grimm stood holding her nightgown up to her abundant bosom. "Dorothy's had a baby." Esther announced matter of factly. "Dorothy is dead."
There was palpable silence in the room. Mrs. Grimm seemed to hold her breath while reaching for her clothes, not able to mix together what she was hearing with what she was thinking and feeling. Perhaps not wanting the worker girl, Esther, to see her shameful nakedness so fresh from the cook's porky hands.
Then just as suddenly, Adelaide Grimm came to herself and, eyeing Esther, she announced. "Well, thank you for interrupting my morning even further after that hideous storm! Get back upstairs and tend the baby. Or go to your work. Or whatever it is you're supposed to be doing." She paused as if to determine what Esther ought to be doing. "Tend the children as you should," she dictated further, finally sounding more like herself. "Do just leave the body, uh ... or bodies, whatever, for the doctor." She looked straight at Esther who was still looking at her. She took a step forward then after she was fully clothed. "Get out of here, girl, and do your work! Now! Now! Go on!" She shook her hand as if dismissing the whole thing.
Esther did as she was told. She left Mrs. Grimm's room and slammed the door behind her. She became aware then of her heart beating, of her veins throbbing, of the blood coursing through her young healthy body. Finally, she was beginning to feel alive again. She was not dead, thank God, like poor Dorothy. Then guilt set in for feeling such relief. God, like poor Dorothy. Then guilt set in for feeling such relief.
As she walked slowly back up the stairs, Esther remembered the pungent smell. She wondered how she could look at Dorothy again kneeling in all that blood. She wondered if she herself might ever be in such danger, and even whether every woman who had a baby was in such danger. Esther vowed never to get pregnant herself if that was so. Oh, but how awful it would be never to feel a man's embrace. Oh, it was just too horrible to think about. Suddenly, like a banshee encircled by its enemies, Esther laughed a twisted, stinging laugh. She knew she would not do it like Dorothy had anyway. No indeed. No indeed. No.
Excerpted from White Buffalo Woman by Dolores Richardson Copyright © 2012 by Dolores Richardson. Excerpted by permission of Trafford Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
ContentsChapter 1 During a rainstorm in London, England, Jane Ann is born to Dorothy Perkins, a child care worker at the Bethany Orphanage....................1
thru 9 Chapter 2 During the snowstorm of 1838 in the Sioux territory two medicine men (Sioux Grandfather and Crow Crazy Dog) gather the children and go to the Mountains for shelter and story telling....................10
thru 13 Chapter 3 Jane Ann is sent to work at Pennyworth's. She climbs up to look at the sun out a high window and she falls. Jeremy helps carry her to Dr. Rogers....................14
thru 19 Chapter 4 Dr. and Mrs. Rogers keep Jane Ann and Jeremy because Jane Ann is too badly hurt and Jeremy is almost emaciated. Both improve health, but Jane Ann continues to have headaches....................20
thru 28 Chapter 5 Jane Ann does a painting of Grandmother Rogers after Agnes Rogers hires an art teacher for Jane Ann. Then Emma and Harold (Percy's brother and sister-in-law arrive to find Jane Ann finishing a painting of Grandmother Rogers. They adopt Jane Ann and take her to live with them. As time goes by, her paintings get lots of attention when Harold hangs them in the Bank. Then they decide to go to America and to look for gold out west....................29
thru 37 Chapter 6 Jane Ann makes friends on ship with twins going to Boston. George and Georgette are two years older than Jane. A guide and an outfitted wagon are not waiting for Harold, Emma and Jane Ann in St. Louis as Harold had requested. They pick out things for the wagon; nobody remembers bullets. They head out anyway north instead of west and get trapped in an avalanche....................38
thru 47 Chapter 7 Jane wakes trapped in the dark. Then she wakes hearing voices. Four Sioux hunters rescue Jane and take her and the white buffalo who had sheltered her from the weather. They return Jane Ann, the buffalo and other animals to Chief Sitting Bull's camp. Grandfather, the Medicine Man, and Rena Grandfather's helper, take Jane Ann to tend her wounds....................48
thru 56 Chapter 8 Jane Ann's seriously wounded foot and leg are tended by Grandfather and Rena. Red Cloud comes to visit and he brings her lavender flowers. Jane moves in and out of sleep while she heals. She forgets her Mother and Father died. The Cavalry from where the Fort is being built come to eat with Sitting Bull's people but they do not stay long. Jane begins to learn the Sioux language. Sitting Bull comes to see Jane Ann and asks her to sit around his campfire and tell the people about White Buffalo Woman talking to her. Red Cloud pays his flute for Jane Ann....................57
thru 71 Chapter 9 Jane Ann wants drawing materials. Red Cloud leaves with Sitting Bull after he brings Jane Ann a gift. He has left Jane Ann a walking stick. Grandfather tells Jane the story about the walking stick. When Jane gets anxious to get up, Grandfather cautions her to be patient. Rain goes to look for drawing materials for Jane. Jane Ann was dreading to talk around the campfire but Grandfather told her not to hide her gift of hearing White Buffalo Woman Didn't Sitting Bull call her The Sioux Blessing Girl already?....................72
thru 79 Chapter 10 Jane Ann is feeling better and joins others more easily. She is beginning to feel at home. Jane Ann has a headache and knows White Buffalo Woman wants to speak at the campfire with Sitting Bull. She tells Chief Sitting Bull what could happen in the future. Red Cloud will be trapped by Cavalry who start shooting, and he is forced to kill 19 men. She tells other incidents the Sioux will be involved in. And, she tells them about a war back East which will take many white men away for awhile. Peace will be hard won with the Cavalry. Immediately afterwards, Jane Ann wants to get up and run fast away from there....................80
thru 88 Chapter 11 Jane reaches the walking stick and stands upright. She is dizzy but determined to leave where she thinks she's given bad news to people who saved her. She gathers bits of food, and the dried bark and charcoal Rain had brought her. She finds a pony and the camp almost deserted. She heads for the Grande River or the creek she'd heard about. She runs into a raiding party of Crow warriors already resting there. She asks for water but they ignore her. One brave cuts a large piece out of her red curls and pins it in his hair. Then one of them picks her up and carries her to their camp. She ends up in the death house where she's led out by another white girl. While crawling to get away, they stop to rest. A man in Cavalry uniform kills the girl who helped Jane. He picks Jane up. And walks to the campfire where the others are sitting and drinking....................89
thru 96 Chapter 12 Pandemonium breaks out for a few minutes then, and the Crow brave grabbed Jane. When he yelled at the Cavalry officer, he was stabbed and then the brave's mother came to get him. Then the brave who had her hair pinned to his grabbed her and on his way to a tipi he said "I know who you are and why you came to Sioux country."....................97
thru 103 Chapter 13 Medicine Man, Crazy Dog, tends Jane's twice broken ankle. The Cavalry Officer demands Jane's return. Bear Claw refuses. Jane has a headache. White Buffalo Woman warns Jane. Crazy Dog finds Jane's stick that Red Cloud had given her....................104
thru 112 Chapter 14 Sioux raiding party attacks Crow renegade village and frees Jane Ann. Red Cloud takes Jane back to Chief Sitting Bull's camp. She is welcomed back And Sitting Bull wants her to sit around the campfire again. He calls her Sioux lessing Girl....................113
thru 120 Chapter 15 Two Crow braves visit Sitting Bull's camp. Jane Ann pins faces she's drawn and painted all around her tipi. That will help Red Cloud and the Crow visitor understand her decision. Will there be a wedding in Sitting Bull's camp?....................121
thru 128 Chapter 16 Sitting Bull gets a look at faces in Jane Ann's tent. Jane Ann and husband go to live in Red Cloud's Camp. Jane Ann has a baby. Then she is kidnapped....................129
thru 136 Chapter 17 Jane Ann meets an old friend. Then she returns to Indian Territory, but not yet,....................137
thru 144 Chapter 18 Jane finds her own way back home....................145
thru 148 Chapter 19 Jane Ann meets the future governor of the Indian Territories, then she goes to Laramie....................149
thru 157 Chapter 20 Jane Ann will go to England and become a Famous artist showing the American Sioux as they really are in her paintings....................158
thru 162 Chapter 21....................163
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I received this book as a gift. It is such a heartwarming story. The characters will have you crying and laughing. It is a must read for the summer.