Night Wolf Ch. 07byLady_Blackhawk©
Disclaimer: I have tried to make sure my historical information is correct and I'd like to think I haven't offended any Native Americans peoples with the telling of this tale. I am 1/8th Cherokee and am proud of that heritage. I'm not trying to show any Native Americans in a bad light... that is not my intention.
Author's Note: The English-Cheyenne word translations come from the Cheyenne Language Web Site, one that I've found extremely helpful for the telling of this tale.
Nénáasêstse: Come here
Tâhéovešêstse: Go to sleep (or Get some sleep)
Né'áahtovêste: Listen to me!
Mahpetana'ôtse: Falling Water
Néá'eše: Thank you
Taa'evâho'nehe: Night Wolf
Va'ôhtama, néséne: Welcome, my friend
Tósa'e nétao'sêtsêhe'ôhtséme: Where are you going?
Nóxa'e: Wait here
Né'éstséhnêstse: Come in!
Épéva'e: Good (It's good)
Pêhéveéšeëva, naaxaa'éhéme: Good day, my sister
Hénová'etse: What is it?
Néméhotatséme- I love you.
Na-éhame- my husband
Na-méhósené- my love
Móné-me'ó'-he-tonêšé'tovâtse! - I will not harm (lit. do anything) to you!
Héehe'e, nésé'e- Yes, my friend (spoken female to female)
Néséne- my friend (spoken male to male)
Hotóhké'e- Star Woman (Star)
Pêhévevóonä'o- Good Morning
Népévomóhtâhehe- Are you feeling good?
Náheševéhe- my name is
Pêhéve'hetóeve, na-méhósené- Good evening, my love. (Not exactly sure if the translation for 'good evening' is correct, though.
It was now the morning after Night Wolf had brought her to his village. He had awakened early, as he always did. Though this morning it was harder to pull himself up out of the blankets and away from the incredible woman that slept peacefully beside him. He watched her for a few moments, drinking in the sheer beauty of her delicate features. He recalled the passion they'd shared the night before. She was perfect in every way. She had accepted his feral thrusts and cried out for more. It boggled his mind how quickly he'd fallen in love with her. The revelation made him want to run through the village like a crazy man, screaming it to the heavens above.
Not wanting to wake her just yet, he silently left their sleeping pallet and donned his breechcloth and moccasins. Kneeling down, he began to chant his morning prayers outside the lodge, watching the sun as it peeked over the horizon to begin a new day. He thanked the Great Spirit for bringing Falling Water to him. He thanked him for the many graces he had been given, for good life and plentiful food, also for his family and friends. Once he finished, he grabbed up his weapons and headed to the lodge of his best friend, Sun Bear. He knew the woman of Sun Bear would help him further teach Falling Water the language and customs of his people. Sky Eyes knew what it was like to adjust to life in a Cheyenne village. Sky Eyes, Amanda Rourke to the white people, had come to Sun Bear willingly after she'd found him injured in the foothills near where her trapper father had forged a cabin. She nursed him back to health and joined him when he returned to his home. The tiny cabin and her father were gone now, but she had Sun Bear and that was all she needed to be happy. Night Wolf often had to smirk when he saw the two together. How could two people so different in proportion and personality find such happiness? Sky Eyes was ten years older than Sun Bear. The top of her head, crowned with drab brown hair often hung limply even when plaited into long braids, barely reached Sun Bear's upper chest. Her plump curves and boyishly proportioned breasts made her look even more diminutive next to her tall slender husband. Night Wolf often wondered what had attracted his best friend to such a homely female, but he knew Sun Bear was happy with Sky Eyes. They'd been together for several years and were eagerly anticipating the birth of their first child around the time the leaves began changing colors.
And despite the fact that Sky Eyes was often high strung at times and tended to squawk endlessly like a magpie, he knew she would willingly do anything for someone in need. She had a very generous nature. He knew she would willingly become Falling Water's teacher. Wisely he would caution her to never tell Falling Water that Night Wolf understood and could speak her English words. Sky Eyes must teach Falling Water the ways and the language of his people. It was paramount to her survival here. He knew it would aid her in fitting in and finding a place within the tribe. Many of the women would not readily accept her. They had lost children, husbands, or both to the encroachment of the white man on their land.
Night Wolf headed across the village to his best friend's lodge. Everyone he passed had a greeting for him. The village bustled with activity. Women scurried around preparing the morning meal. The few children that were up this early dashed about, some laughing and playing while others gathered wood and performed other chores for their mothers. Dogs barked and scuffled over scraps of meat and bone. The aroma of roasting meat blended with the pungent odor of hides being smoked over a fire.
His thoughts were still full with his woman. She had to adapt to her new life here. It wasn't a simple or easy decision to ask of her, but she was young and resilient; willful too. Her mind and body was strong. However, once she realized she'd be taken care of, he knew she'd willingly abide his wishes.
"Taa'evâho'nehe, it is good to see you. My daughter spoke of your return last evening," Big Pine, the tribal war chief, called out as Night Wolf passed him by.
Night Wolf stopped for the moment, glancing at Big Pine pensively. "Yes, I have returned. My hunt was successful. I added three war ponies to my growing herd and three fresh scalps to my lodgepole, but I don't know why Prairie Flower would be keeping tabs on my whereabouts. I have no interest in your daughter."
"Have you not been courting her like she has told us? She told me you played your flute for her before you left on your hunt and when you returned you would make an offer for her. She favors you above all other warriors. She will be a good wife to you. Many braves have approached me for her to join with them, but none are as great as you. She has refused many ponies for she says her heart belongs to you. You will make a great war chief one day. It would be an honor to have my son-in-law follow in my footsteps."
Taken aback, Night Wolf stared at him in surprise. "I already have a wife. I need to have Coyote say a few words to make it binding by tribal law, but in my heart, she has been my wife since I first claimed her. Falling Water is all I want. She's all I'll ever need."
Big Pine flashed a furious look. "You lead my daughter on and then take a white woman as a wife. Have you no honor?"
"I have never had an interest in Prairie Flower. I've never played my flute for any female in this village. When I sought my vision quest ten winters ago, my destiny was shown to me, even the woman with whom I would spend my life. I found her recently and have brought her to my lodge."
Big Pine shook his fist at Night Wolf. "You shame my daughter by bringing a white woman to your lodge. You have no heart," he charged incredulously.
"Ma'heo'o gave her to me. I have told you I have never made any indication that I was interested in Prairie Flower. She must've lied about playing the flute for her. I have done no such thing for her or any maiden. I've known for ten years who the love of my life was and I waited patiently to claim her. My words are true, for the chief's son would tell no lies. Falling Water is my destiny and my love. The Great Spirit would not steer me wrong."
"Ma'heo'o works in mysterious ways. I warn you to be watchful. My daughter is often spiteful and may seek revenge for shaming her," Big Pine offered before he walked away. Night Wolf gave a fleeting look in the war chief's direction before continuing on his way.
He rattled the bones near the hide flap of a large ornate lodge decorated with paintings of yellow suns, great savage grizzlies and Sun Bear's many coups then waited to be invited in. He knew his friend's were awake due to the pot that rested upon a cooking tripod over a smoldering fire. The aroma of meat and onions wafted from inside.
"Night Wolf, come in, my friend," Sun Bear greeted elatedly as he opened the hide door flap and motioned his friend to join them. "It is good to see you again. What brings you to my lodge this beautiful morning?"
"I am in need of your help, Sky Eyes, to teach Falling Water our ways." Night Wolf turned to his friend's wife and smiled.
"Who is Falling Water?" Sky Eyes asked, pulling her gaze from the frybread that sizzled within her cast iron skillet.
"My new wife, I found her over seven suns ago. The Crow had killed her family. She was slave to a Crow warrior. I rescued her from him, but the most important thing about her is that she is my vision woman."
"Her entire family is gone?" Sky Eyes questioned as sympathy filled her expression. "The poor girl must've been so scared."
"They are all dead, but one. She says one of the Crow warriors carried her sister away. She has spent many nights crying for her sister and her need to find her. She doesn't know I can understand her words and I have no plans to tell her. She has to learn our ways and our language in order to belong here." Night Wolf cautioned.
"Was she... " Sky Eyes started, "Did the warrior rape her before you took her from him?"
"No, he hadn't, but it wasn't for lack of trying. She is a fierce fighter. She gave that gift to me. I cherish her more every day." Pride glowed in the handsome warrior's eyes. "Therefore I need you to teach her to become a proper Cheyenne woman, Sky Eyes."
"I will be honored to help, Night Wolf." Sky Eyes smiled widely as she fed Sun Bear his morning meal. "I think it shall be nice to have one of my kind for company."
Sun Bear shot her a stern look. "Are you not happy here, my wife? Do you not enjoy the company of our Cheyenne sisters?"
"Héehe'e, na-éhame." Sky Eyes explained, "I love my life here. I have many Cheyenne friends, but I miss my people too. I came to you by choice. It is just nice to have another white woman to talk to. I love you."
"Néméhotatséme," Sun Bear smiled at her lovingly.
"Falling Water is not the only other white female here now. Another was with her when I rescued her from the Crow. They seem to be good friends and were traveling together when attacked by the Crows. She is with Black Horse. He joined up with us as I was returning home. She is called Star," he replied then he continued, turning back to Sky Eyes. "Néá'eše. This means the world to me. I do have one more favor to ask. Falling Water needs a dress to wear. The Crow tore her clothing so she is wearing the extra clothes taken from the packs of the ones who held her. It is amusing to see my woman dressed as a male, though it would be better if she did not."
Sky Eyes giggled behind her hand and reached into a pouch. She pulled from it a butter colored tunic then handed it to Night Wolf. "This should suffice until enough hides are gathered to fashion her one of her own. I will instruct her in that as well." Sky Eyes stood and arched her back, running her hands over her enlarged belly. A groan slipped from her lips. "Our son grows stronger every day, na-méhósené. He kicks with the force of a bull buffalo."
"My son will be strong." Sun Bear beamed proudly and touched his wife's belly. "Shall we work those new ponies today while my woman teaches your woman our ways?"
"Yes, my friend. I had hoped to do that today," Night Wolf nodded as his belly growled. "But first, I must eat the morning meal. I shall meet you there when the sun peeks above the trees."
"Does Falling Water know how to cook?" Sky Eyes asked, mentally making a list of the simpler things she could start with.
Night Wolf shrugged his shoulders. "I have done all the cooking since she has been with me."
"I will come by shortly then." Sky Eyes smiled, "By the way, does she need moccasins, too?"
"Yes." Night Wolf accepted them from her and inclined his head. "I shall see you soon, néséne."
With that he took his leave of their lodge then returned to his own. As he stepped inside, he smiled as he watched his woman sleeping. What a precious sight she was. He had been so fortunate to find her when he did. If it hadn't been for the screams he followed he wouldn't have found her. He had only gone on the hunting trip when he did to alleviate tensions between him and his older brother.
Eagle Feather was the eldest of Medicine Bull's two sons and next in line to be chief. As it was, though, Eagle Feather held a great jealousy of his brother's physical prowess. Night Wolf had always been the fastest runner, the better hunter and even been more successful in battle. Night Wolf's personal herd of horses was even larger. To top it off, most of the village maidens desired Night Wolf for their husband, though he showed no interest in any of them.
Eagle Feather's jealousy had driven a wedge between them and no matter what Night Wolf did to make amends; his brother wanted no part of it. His jealousy was harbored deep in his heart. It had grown and festered, becoming malignant. The great divide between them often caused Night Wolf heartache. He longed for the congenial relationship that their other siblings had. There was not this overwhelming animosity between Hummingbird and Little Sage.
Ione was sleeping peacefully still. Night Wolf knelt beside her and softly touched her fiery red hair, stroking it silkiness. Her eyes flew open with a start and she let out a small shriek. The noise died in her throat as her eyes focused upon Night Wolf. His hand dropped to her face, caressing her cheek. "Do not be afraid, my love. Móné-me'ó'-he-tonêšé'tovâtse," he murmured in his native language.
"You scared me witless," she replied, despite the fact she didn't understand a word of what he said.
He nuzzled her, covering her with his larger body, and caressed her face. "You have nothing to fear from me."
The sound of his voice soothed her. Ione snuggled into him and wrapped her arms around his neck. She smiled shyly up at him. A shiver coursed through her as he rubbed his cheek against hers and whispered sweet words of love into her ear. She knew what would come next and a bright red blush covered her skin. Certainly he couldn't be thinking of doing that now. It was daytime. She withdrew her hands and pushed at his shoulders. "No," she murmured. "We can't."
Night Wolf arched an eyebrow at her as his eyes met hers. He knew she was right despite the stirring he felt within his loins. He wasn't an animal. He wouldn't ravage her. Night Wolf nodded and moved to sit beside her. He grabbed the tunic and moccasins Sky Eyes had given him then handed them to Ione. "Get dressed," he motioned with his hands and stood up. Quickly he built a fire then placed a cooking tripod over it. To the tripod he attached a buffalo paunch and added water.
As Ione dressed in the pretty doeskin dress Night Wolf had brought her, she watched him begin to cook their morning meal. Frowning, she shooed him away and took over the duty. Cooking wasn't a man's job. Her father had never cooked anything his whole life. Surely a proud Cheyenne warrior would feel demeaned by having to complete the task for his woman. Searching through the nearby pouches, she located some herbs and pulled some dried meat from another pouch. Using the herbs and water, she hydrated the haunch, cutting it into chucks. She added a few vegetables and let it cook.
In another pouch she found some honey. She set it aside and looked in canvas pouch. It contained flour. She smiled and used some of it to make the same kind of skillet bread Night Wolf had made during their journey here.
Glancing over at him, Ione smiled again. He was so handsome. She wouldn't ever get tired of looking at him. Night Wolf sensed her eyes upon him and looked up at her. He met her gaze evenly and returned the smile. He had been focusing upon the leatherwork in his hands, though when she smiled, she commanded his attention. He would never get enough of her.
As Ione served Night Wolf his morning meal and had eaten as well, he motioned for her to follow him. He took her on a brief stroll through the village, thus continuing her language lesson. He pointed out many things and told her the Cheyenne word for each, making sure she could repeat it with the proper inflection before they moved on to something else. Ione was a quick study. Her young mind was like a sponge, absorbing everything he had to tell her before wringing out what she didn't need. She needed to learn his language. There were so many things she ached to tell him, mainly her feelings. There was also much she needed to hear from him. She wanted to know what the sweet soft words he whispered to her at night meant, though she had a gut feeling what he was saying.
During their stroll, they encountered Black Horse and Tessa. Ione embraced her friend tightly and was very happy to see her best friend. Ione's high pitched squeal caused several of the more reserved members of the Cheyenne village to glare sternly at her. She ignored their stares then walked along with Tessa, chatting merrily.
"You look so beautiful. Has Black Horse been treating you well?" Ione beamed as she looped her arm around Tessa's thin waist and headed in the direction of the river.
"Héehe'e, nésé'e, he treats me wonderfully. I have learned many words from him and his mother. She is a beautifully sweet woman and wishes the best for her son. She accepted me right away," Tessa replied in a mixture of Cheyenne and English. "I am still learning."
Ione nodded, "Night Wolf is patient with me, but I think I surprised him when I pushed him aside this morning and took over cooking our breakfast."
Tessa flashed a knowing look at Night Wolf and beamed, "Épéva'e! A warrior shouldn't do woman's work, not when the woman is capable. I'm sure he appreciated that."
"I think so. We were having a language lesson before we met up with you," Ione replied and grinned at her friend. "We should wash quickly before returning to Night Wolf and Black Horse."
"Black Horse is taking me to meet Coyote later." A pretty flush covered Tessa's face. "I think he will marry me during that meeting. I want you and Night Wolf to be there as witnesses. I think Black Horse was going to ask Night Wolf."
Ione squealed happily. "Of course I'll be there for you. Do you have a nice dress to wear?"
"Winter Bird gave me her daughter's wedding dress. She said her daughter died of the white man's coughing sickness and wanted me to have it. They don't talk about loved one's who have died. Mentioning their names will anger the spirits. She said I am her daughter now. She knows I have lost my family and says that she will be my mother and she welcomes the thought of any children Black Horse and I might have."
Ione hugged Tessa tightly before she knelt down along the river bank to wash her hands and face. "What about Chloe? Is Black Horse going to help you find her?"
"Yes, he is organizing a war party to go against the Crow. He believes he knows which band it is that took her and wants to bring her home to me."
Ione smiled wanly, "Maybe they'll find Samantha, too."
"I don't know if Night Wolf is going with them," Tessa admitted. "Night Wolf and Black Horse belong to different warrior societies."
Ione cocked an eyebrow, "What do you mean?"
"I don't fully understand it myself because Black Horse didn't explain it to me, but there are separate warrior types within the tribe. They play different roles during the battles they fight. I don't know what society Black Horse belongs to because he said it was a man's job to know about the fighting and a woman's job to take care of the man. He kind of made me mad with his arrogance about it, but he made up for it when we retreated to our blankets." Tessa replied then removed her doeskin dress. She waded into the water, knowing full well Black Horse was on the lookout for anyone else coming along. She splashed about, washing her hair and body before climbing out and donning her dress. "Wow that felt brisk!"