|Little Miami River through Clifton Gorge (Source)|
Just audible over the burbling of the small brook there was a cry. Not the sort of noise made by a four legged animal. It was a human sound. A cry of terror.
And of pain.
Weeish looked at me for a moment, eyebrow cocked.
A quick nod from me and we headed towards the sound.
A musket shot, another scream, we were close.
Staying under cover we drew near, in time to see the last of the whites fall to the ground, his musket still in his hand, the long arrow protruding from his chest signifying that his hair would be decorating a lodge pole before nightfall.
Weeish and I stayed under cover, there was nothing we could do for the small party of men who even now were being plundered of whatever useful items their conquerors might make use of.
The Onandowagas moved off, exultant as they headed back for their village. They now had muskets and powder. Fine knives of steel and heavy wool clothing to cover themselves in winter. It was a good kill.
"Weeish..." I murmured as I stepped out of the brush, signaling him to keep his eyes open.
I heard a small moan, there under a small bush was one of the church fathers. His face was bloody, his cassock torn, but he was alive. Barely.
Kneeling beside him, he moaned again as he beheld my visage, no doubt thinking me one of the people of this land. For I had lived many years with the People, I dressed like them, I ate the same foods. All that was left of my native France was my name, Alain.
I put my finger to the man's lips, motioning that he should remain silent and that I was no threat. I checked his wounds, they were mortal. There was no doubt in my mind that he would soon be standing before the Great Spirit.
I was ready to leave him to his fate and began to stand when he grabbed my sleeve.
"My child, do not leave me like this..." he managed to gasp.
I leaned close to his ear, there was no telling who was about in these woods, Weeish and I were a long way from our home.
"Father, you must be quiet, soon you will see Jesus."
He shifted slightly, causing blood to flow anew. He was killing himself faster by trying to speak.
"My name is..."
"Shhh, be quiet Father, your name is not..."
"My name is Father Etienne Gaudry, I am of France and I carry dispatches for the commander at Fort Pontchartrain du Détroit, they must..."
Gasping again, the priest pushed a wad of bloody papers into my hands.
"Take these, please..."
And then he breathed his last.
Weeish was now at my side.
"Brother, we must go. The Onandowagas are coming back."
Swiftly we melted back into the woods from whence we had come. Not knowing what to do with them, and not wanting to leave any sign for the Onandowagas to follow, I shoved the bloody papers under my shirt. I would think on them when we were safely back at our hearth.
Colonel Louis Alain Gaudry shifted in his saddle as he looked out over the fields, littered with the dead, the dying and the detritus of war. His aide coughed to get his attention.
"Be patient Michel, les Anglais are in no hurry to move and the Prussian dogs are already howling down the road to France. We are in no danger at the moment."
Knowing that those words were false as soon as he uttered them, the old dragoon turned his horse. Leaving his regiment behind, most of them still on the field. Dead or soon to be.
All was lost.
His father had been right after all, he should never have left America.
So I have decided to try my hand at writing a novel. All the cool kids are doing it.
I have been toying with this idea for years. I've written a chapter here and there, some of them were good, some, not so much. Not a single one was related to any of the other things I had written. I was playing at being a writer.
Then along came the blog. This blog. I was writing more or less every day. I say more or less because some of my posts have been very pictorial in nature with just a few words tossed in to glue together the pictures. Not really writing but creative nevertheless.
Write what you know they say. So this won't be about flying, or tanks, or science fiction. Nope, it will be about people. The people who make things work, not the movers and the shakers but the "little" guy, the guy who goes to work every day, pays his taxes and just wants to be left alone.
Until the movers and shakers go too far.
Then the "little" guy shoulders his musket and makes a stand.
Whether this turns into a book or a series of books remains to be seen. I have lots of stuff in my head and the rough beginnings of a plot stretching over a bit less than a century.
From the dark primordial forests of North America in the years just prior to the Seven Years War to the rolling plains of Belgium as the last cannon sound out on the field of Waterloo. That's the stage upon which my characters will walk, that is the setting for my story.
I mean I have the beginning and the ending. All I need to do now is fill in all the bits between.
Should be simple.