Doc Ch. 21bykingkey©
The following morning I awoke, still feeling tired and lazy, thinking I would just llay there and cuddle with my wives.
Suddenly, I heard the front door slam open, and what seemed like a stampede to the front of the house awaking all of my wives. Immediately they all turned pale and rushed out of the house to be sick.
I thought 'Well, there go my idea of some early morning playtime.'
Getting dressed, I went out to see what all the racket was.
Finding the boys out in the front room watching my wives be sick among the bushes and looking very concerned I said, "It's nothing to be real worried about, the girls aren't really sick they have what is called morning sickness because they're all going to have babies.
Standing Bear looked at his mother and said, "Mom are you okay? Are you really going to have another baby?"
"Yes, Standing Bear, we should all have babies in the coming spring."
I then checked, "Are all of you ladies okay?"
"We will be okay. Just give the few minutes to get over the nausea than we should be okay to make breakfast soon because you have a long day ahead of you."
"Is that so. Just what plans do you ladies have for me today?"
"Winter will soon be here. You, and other men need to hunt and help stockpile meat and other foods for the winter, when it is hard to hunt. You should also get with Red Cloud to make sure everything is okay at the Indian camp for winter. Red Cloud may also want to send out hunting parties to make sure everything is ready for winter," Dawn said.
"You're probably right. After breakfast, I'll go up to the Main House and talk with uncle Henry to find out how things have been. We have been gone most of the last couple months, so there's bound to be a lot of things to do. I'm just dreading the ribbing he's going to give me about all you ladies being pregnant at once."
She looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, "You're not happy to have babies in the spring?"
Quickly pulling her into a hug I said, "No I'm very happy that you're all going to have babies. The thing I will not been happy about, is the teasing I'll receive from Uncle Henry. He keeps telling me about wanting to have a lot of kids running around the place."
Giggling she said, "Then you need to tease him right back. I'm not sure she's told him yet, but Morning Dove is also going to have another baby in the spring."
I couldn't help it and just started laughing thinking that this was a chance to get a little payback on Grandpa. Pretty soon all the girls were looking at me funny with puzzled expressions so I stopped and explained how much he had laughed at me each time I had gotten married and thought it was up to me to repopulate the ranch. Now it was time for me to give him a dose of his own medicine.
I was still chuckling as we left the cabin and walked toward the Main House. After going in we discovered the family just finishing breakfast, so we stayed to have a cup of coffee with them.
I decided to bait Grandpa a bit so I said, "Guess what, Uncle Henry, coming spring I am about to become a father!"
He started laughing and said, "That's great, which one is the lucky mother?"
I looked at him and said, "All of them!"
This started him laughing so hard that he fell off his chair, so I turned to my grandmother and said, "Aunt Dove don't you have something you want to tell him?"
She looked at me and smiled and said, "Stop laughing, you old fool, Clay's not the only one is going to become a father in the spring."
This sobered Grandpa right up, his laughing suddenly stopped, and he looked at Morning Dove and said, "You mean you're going to have another baby?"
"Yup. Sometime in April little Jacob will no longer be the baby of the family. I think you'll probably have a little brother."
Right after she said this Rose, Sally and my wives all gathered around her and started making plans for the new babies.
So I turned to Grandpa and said, "Congratulations! I see I'm not the only one who is going to be populating the ranch."
He chuckled and said, "She really surprised me, this time. I thought Jake would be my last one. I'm getting up there in age you know."
"Oh you're not so old. What are you now fifty-three, fifty-four? And Aunt Dove, she's only in her late thirties, right?"
"I'm a little older than you thought. I'll be sixty in May, and Dove just turned forty-two last month."
"Wow, neither of you look it. It must be all that good food and all the exercise you get working on the ranch."
Then I told him that instead of going out on another circuit through the towns the girls had told me that I needed to go do some hunting for the winter. Furthermore, that I should check to see how Red Cloud's coming along and make sure they had no problems there.
"You know I had thought of that? The Indians don't really care that much for beef. They would much rather have wild game. I know that Red Cloud hasn't sent out many hunting parties due to the trouble after Custer. I just thought I would help supplement them with a few Steers. It might be a good idea to see if Red Cloud might want to come with us with a few of his braves hunting."
Seeing that all the women were still talking excitedly we let them know where we were going and left them do their planning.
Shortly after riding into the camp, we found Red Cloud sitting around the fire with several of the other older braves discussing things. After we greeted him. He invited us to sit and join the discussion. We sat and listened for a few minutes not wanting to just raise the suggestion about hunting right away knowing how the Indians hated to be rushed and that any decision should be discussed in detail first. Finally, after things calmed down, we told him that we were going to go hunting for a few days and invited him and some of his braves to come along.
Red Cloud said, "It is a good idea. I have been trying to hold off on sending out hunting parties because of the white man's attitude after the Custer massacre. We don't want to have them think that we are a raiding party have them calling the Army to wipe us out. We do need to hunt meat for the winter. So it is a good idea for us hunt with you then we no have problems with white eyes."
While preparations were being made for our hunt, I decided to look through the camp and see if anyone needed medical help. While doing this Spotted Owl, the twins' father, walked up and to me.
"Greetings, Two Lives, I want to ask about daughters. Are they okay? Can you have them come visit? Their mother, and I would like to see them more often? Rain miss them very much."
"Hello Spotted Owl it's good to see that you are well. I'm sorry it's been so long since your daughters have come to visit. We have been away helping sick people, but that is no excuse. I will tell the girls to come see their mother more often. I think that they will be out to see her today, to let her know the good news."
"Good news? What is good news?"
"I probably should not tell you but if you can keep a secret and act surprised when the girls tell you, they are both pregnant and should have babies in the spring."
"Is good news! Rain will be very excited to hear of new grandbabies. I will make sure to act surprised."
"If you or she are ever lonely to see them, you are always welcome to come for a visit."
"Is good. Rain misses them, and would be very happy to visit."
"I'm sure they'll be happy to see their mother, too. You know I also took Dawn as a wife, and adopted Standing Bear as my son, didn't you? What you may not know is that I've also taken a fourth wife named Moon. All four of them will be having babies in the spring," I told him, worried about how he would react.
"Is good. I hope you have many strong sons. You good man, Two Lives. I know you be good father."
"It's good that you think so. I will try to be a good husband and father."
About that time, I saw Grandpa and Red Cloud gathered with about thirty braves leading ten or so extra horses. As we got to them, I noticed that ten of them looked like young teenage boys.
I looked at Grandpa questioningly, and he said, "Once we get to where we are camping, we will split into small hunting parties. The boys will be used two at a time to ferry the kills from the hunting camp back to here."
Just as we were about to leave Jake came racing up on his pony shouting, "Dad, Clay, there's a messenger at the cabin for Clay from Deadwood, he says that Reverend Smith had three other men were ambushed on the road outside Deadwood. They say it looks like Indians did it."
Turning to Red Cloud and Grandpa I said, "It looks like I'm not going to be able to go hunting with you. I'm going to have to leave for Deadwood as soon as possible to see about catching whoever did this. Red Cloud would it be possible to borrow a couple of your best trackers?"
"I know is not any of our people who did this. I will send Spotted Owl and four of my best trackers with you to help catch and punish these people."
I had not realized that my father-in-law, Spotted Owl, was a sub-chief of the Lakota tribe. Spotted Owl immediately left the hunting party, and sent one of the boys to gather the other men who would be doing most of the tracking. As this was going on I came up to him and said, "Spotted Owl do you think that Rain might like to go and stay in my Cabin with the girls? That will give her a good chance to visit, and get reacquainted with them."
"Is good idea. Rain can talk with daughters, and help them understand more about being a mother and raising babies."
Another of the boys was then sent to go get Rain. As this was happening the other boy came back with four men. I started talking to them when I noticed two of them were looking very puzzled. It seemed that we may have a problem. I turned to Spotted Owl and said, "I don't think they understand quite what I'm saying. Do they all speak English?"
Spotted Owl started talking to them rapidly in their own language then turned to me and said, "Soaring Hawk does not speak your language, but is best tracker in camp. Tall Elk understands some of your language, but not well. Puma and Small Horse speak your language very well, and will help me translate. I can get others who speak your language but are not as good at tracking.
"No, I am sure they will do very well as long as we keep each of them with someone who does speak my language. I'm sure that I'm going to make a lot of people very angry, but I think that before we go, I need to swear you all in as deputies."
"What that mean? Swear in as deputies?
"It means that I need them to give their word that they will follow orders and help me uphold the laws of the white man's government," knowing that once a Lakota brave gave his personal word, nothing could make him break it.
Spotted Owl said, "Red Cloud already told them you in charge, they no disobey chiefs orders."
"I know that is the way of the Lakota. However, white man's rules say that I need their personal oath that they will follow the white man's laws. So could you explain it to them?"
"Seems unnecessary but I will do it." He then started speaking to the men rapidly in their own tongue than said, "They say that they promise to do as you say."
After giving them each a badge, and making sure that they were armed, we stopped off at the cabin to let the women know where we were going, as we might be gone several days. I had them pack some food as I tied my bedroll and medicine bag to my saddle. Finally we were off, headed towards Deadwood.
Edited by The Old Fart
Final Edit by TeNderLoin