Sunday, May 8, 2016
Nest noticed John Walker as spending much time with her little brother. It was usually the mother's uncles who taught the young boys. He had stepped in to fill the gap. John helped him practice with a bow. He taught him how to make arrowheads, finding the best stones. They fished in the river together often bringing a fresh catch for supper. He showed him how to use the buckeye pulp, the crushed plant, to stun the fish so they would float to the surface. John hardly looked at Nest, except when Joseph Sevier was leaving. Nest did not like the look in his eye, almost of hate. She would ask her brother why his friend did not like Treaty-Maker's son. Did he have hate in her heart toward all the whites like Dragging Canoe? Nest did not want her brother to be around braves like that.
That night she demanded to know, "What is John Walker teaching you? Why does he look with hate on our friend Joseph/ Does he want to join the likes of Raven or Doublehead?
At first her little brother crossed his arms and glared. Then he said, "He is not like that. He spends much time with father and me. I don't think he likes the time Joseph spends with you."
"What do you mean? What's wrong with Joseph? I thought you liked him."
"Walker says he is old enough to be your father. He does not like him bringing you flowers. I heard him tell Father so."
"That half-breed needs to mind his own business."
Her brother jumped up with anger shining in his eyes and his hand in fists.
"Who are you calling a half-breed?"
She turned to find John Walker standing behind her.
Nest was speechless, still anger, but she bit her tongue.
"Nancy's mother was from England, but her father was one of our chiefs. Do you call her a half-breed too? Your brother's father is a trader, just like mine. Do you call your brother a half-breed? Is this the kind of thing you learned while staying at the Seviers?"
Nest hung her head. His words stung her heart. "I am sorry. Your words are arrows in my heart
because you speak truth." Nest tried to think what her mother would say. Then she lifted her head and looked up at his long black hair and dark piercing eyes which were still on fire. "I was afraid you were leading my brother in the way of the Cherokee who have left their clans to fight the white men. I saw the way you looked at Joseph Sevier, and it caused me fear. I know you are a warrior who has killed the whites.
"And Joseph has killed the Cherokee. I do not choose to kill the son of the governor now, but that does not mean I trust him. And yes, I do not like the way his eyes watch you. He is too hold a man for you. Besides, he has another wife and children. Let him use his eyes to find them."
Nest glared back at Walker angrily defensive. "I trust my father and the Seviers are his friends, just as they are the Beloved Woman's friends. Be careful who you look at with hate. Besides, if Joseph were still married, he would tell me. If he wants to bring me flowers, I will let him."
"I bring you fish. You can eat fish, but you throw the flowers away. I leave you the flowers still blooming on the river bank for you. I not only bring you fish, but teach your brother how to fish and to be a good hunter. Does Joseph Sevier even notice that you have a brother?"
"Nest knew he had hit her weak spot. She loved her brother with the fierceness of a mama grizzly bear. She tried to change her tone. "I have seen you often take my brother under your wing, and I thank you. If you truly have anything against my friends, tell it to my father."
Nest realized for the first tie she was calling the trapper her father.
Nest shadowed Nancy the next day as soon as her brother was willing to lose sigh to her. He had missed her and clung to her fringe almost like when he was little. Was she doing the same with Nancy? She had questions that she could not put into words, even with the Beloved Woman. As they worked in the garden, Nancy finally put her basket aside and patted the ground beside her in the shade. After they shared the gourd of water, they talked.
"Tell me about your time with the Seviers. Has it stirred up a hornet's nest in your heart?"
"Yes. The worst sting is that he led the raid that killed my mother. How could I have enjoyed being in their home?" Tears streamed down the girl's cheeks.
"Many of my people have been killed in his raid as well. Terrible acts have been done on both sides since the last treaty. First our warriors gather by the hundreds, even thousands, then Sevier and other scallop an army to beat them back. The young men do not know how to gain honor if they do not show such acts of bravery. Others seek revenge. Many of Treaty-Maker's b
at 7:59 AM