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Chapter 18 – She Will Not Suffer the Way She Did

As Great Eagle sat in his teepee with the other elders, Ayira suddenly appeared in front of him, standing at the entrance. Stunned, Great Eagle stared at her anxiously.

“Please, leave me.”

The elders stared at Great Eagle in confusion, but he waved at them to go. Ayira looked at Great Eagle and smiled.

All of the elders left and, sadly, Great Eagle smiled and said, “It is good to see you again – my friend...”

“It is good to see you too.”

“I asked to speak with you over and over, but you never came. I was worried about you.”

“I have my reasons...”

“And now you come?”

Ayira looked down, saddened, and said, “I came to say goodbye.”

“You are leaving?”

Ayira sadly nodded and said, “There is something I need to do...”

She thought to herself, before glancing anxiously at Great Eagle, and then continued, “I cannot say much, but I can say that your people will be safer up north – past the lakes.”

“Chief White Hawk will not agree to move north. He wants to stay here and fight... Is something bad going to happen?”

Ayira looked down sadly again. Great Eagle quickly smirked and continued, “Yellow Feather would be pleased to hear that I spoke with you.”

Ayira anxiously glanced at Great Eagle again, and he continued, “He has not been the same. Why did you not tell me you were going to sacrifice yourself?”

“You would have stopped me... You all would have stopped me and they would have been killed. I had to – there was no other way. Yellow Feather was going to be killed in that battle and I could not let him die.”

She looked upset, but continued, “I would have rather died than see him killed. It was the only way – all the other ways – they would have still been killed. You must understand – he must understand...”

“He does understand – he just does not want too.”

She looked around, and then said, “It is so quiet now – so peaceful...”

Great Eagle nodded and she continued, “I cannot stay – I have to go back.”

“Go back to where?”

She appeared desperate as she replied, “I have to help my sister, Malaika. She is going to have a child and the child… She will be just like me.”

Great Eagle seemed stunned, but she continued, “I must guide her and protect her. Protect her from my father...”

“Your father? You should have gotten rid of him a long time ago.”

Sadly, Ayira said, “You were right... I should have sent him back to where he belonged, but I felt sorry for him. I felt that I deserved everything he did to me.”

“You punished yourself and now your sister’s child will be punished too.”

Ayira, suddenly angry, said, “I will not let him hurt her... She will not suffer the way I did... I must go.”

Great Eagle looked disappointed and said, “I will miss you – we will all miss you.”

Ayira smirked. He laughed and continued, “Even White Hawk...”

Smiling proudly, she replied, “I will miss you too – all of you... Tell Yellow Feather I had never been so happy in my whole life until I met him...”

Great Eagle had tears in his eyes and he nodded. “Goodbye.”

“Goodbye – my friend.”

Months later, at a new day’s dawn, the air was cool and the sun peeked through the thick trees that surrounded Tapiwa as he quietly walked through the forest. He quickly stopped when he noticed two wolves ahead of him, sniffing around a small area. He ducked down and watched them.

Suddenly, he heard a gunshot and the wolves quickly ran away. Startled, he looked around. A white man dressed in dirty and torn clothing appeared. The man quickly ran up to the small area and picked up a bag made from animal skins. He looked through the bag and stopped.

“You shits wasn’t going to get my whiskey.”

The man sat down against a tree and pulled a flask from the bag. He drank from it, savoring every sip. Tapiwa remained on his knees to watch the man. After he finished drinking his whiskey, he yelled out in Tapiwa’s direction.

“I’m getting tired of sitting here. Do you have him yet?”

Tapiwa looked confused because he did not understand what the man meant. Suddenly, he was startled by another man standing right behind him.

The second man yelled, “Not yet...”

Then he quickly hit Tapiwa in the face with the butt of his rifle, knocking Tapiwa unconscious. The man said, “Now I got him...”

The first man instantly got to his feet and yelled, “Finally – I can’t believe he didn’t notice us.”

He laughed. The second man also laughed, and then yelled, “I thought he saw us at the stream, but I guess not.”

The first man walked over to them and said, “He doesn’t look like a runaway – he’s dressed like an Indian.”

“It doesn’t matter. Let’s go,” said the second man.

The two men picked up Tapiwa by his arms and legs and carried him through the woods. A couple of days later, as he sat in the back of a wagon with his hands and feet tied together and his face still bruised and swollen, the sun beamed down on him and he was sweating profusely.

The road was rough and bumpy, but then suddenly became smoother; Tapiwa looked over at the sides the road and noticed that the grass was shorter and neater then he was used to seeing.

He then noticed a tall black man standing on the side of the road with a shovel in his hand. The black man stared at Tapiwa with no emotion and then started to dig. As the wagon continued down the road Tapiwa noticed three more black men far to his left. They stared at him and then quickly looked away. Tapiwa had tears in his eyes, as he looked around, terrified.

The wagon continued down that road; less than a mile away at the end of it was a huge white mansion surrounded by miles and miles of fields.

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