Meanwhile, during the morning hours back in Four Corners, Judge Travis arrived in town. He was greeted by Mary, JD and Casey.
"Judge, we have to talk...now!" Mary nervously informed.
"Where?" Judge Travis questioned as he eyed the soldiers about town.
"Out at Nettie Wells'," JD chimed in.
"I'll meet y'all there," the judge said as he began to turn his horse around.
The judge headed out towards the Wells homestead. JD, Casey and Mary garnered a couple of horses and a carriage. After hooking the horses up to the carriage's reins, they climbed in and rode off toward Casey's aunt's place. Nettie was outside feeding chickens when the three riders came up.
"Ma'am," the judge greeted Nettie Wells with a tip of his hat.
"Judge!?" Nettie replied shocked. "To what, do I owe this pleasure?"
"Casey, Mary and JD asked me to meet them here to talk," Judge Travis filled her in.
With that, Casey, Mary and JD rode up in the horse and carriage. Greetings were exchanged and all met on Nettie's front porch.
"So, what'd y'all need to talk about?" Nettie asked.
"The soldiers are here for Vin!" JD blurted out.
"Because of Tuscosa?" Judge Travis questioned.
"No, they say he has Comanche blood in him," Mary answered.
"Comanche?" Responded the judge.
"Yeah...they took custody of Vin and Ezra. They locked Ezra in jail as they beat Vin. Colonel Dunn..," JD began to explain.
"Colonel Dunn?" questioned Judge Travis. "Any relation, JD?"
"Yeah, my uncle," JD answered solemnly.
"It gets worse," Mary interjected.
"Yeah, he says he knows Vin's birth right because he's his father," JD continued to explain. "He says he was seduced by Vin's mother, a half-breed. Uncle Jonathan...I mean, Colonel Dunn, says Vin's wanted by the cavalry for crimes committed against white folk. He didn't say as to what. Ezra had me get their horses out in back of the jail. They escaped and left town yesterday. Don't know where they were headed. Some of the soldiers and the colonel left at daybreak to continue after them. Vin was hurt pretty bad. I don't know how far they'll get," JD nervously stated.
"Anybody have any ideas as to where Ezra and Vin might've gone?" Judge Travis asked everyone.
Each person present looked at one another and silence befell them. They all began to think, trying to recall anything either might have told them over time that might lead to a clue as to where they may be hiding out.
Judge Travis broke the silence, "Well, we might as well get back to town and keep our eyes and ears open to any news regarding their whereabouts and that of the cavalry,"
"When's Chris and Buck due back, Judge?" Nettie asked.
"Probably in a couple of weeks, unfortunately. We could use them," the judge responded.
"Maybe Vin told Chris about all this and where he'd hide," JD pondered aloud.
No one responded to JD's comment. Judge Travis mounted his steed and headed for town. JD said goodbye to Casey, as she stayed home with her aunt. Mary awaited him in the carriage. After a goodbye kiss on the cheek, JD climbed into the carriage and he and Mary headed back to town.
The threesome of Ezra, Josiah and Nathan arrived at the cave, where Ezra left Vin, just as day became night. The cavern was dark except for the streaks of moonlight that glowed upon the walls and reflected off the eyes of Vin's horse. Nervous of unknown strangers, the horse grunted, startling Vin.
Preparing his gun for fire with his right hand, he asked, rather nervously, "Who's there?"
Ezra responded quickly, as to not frighten, or give any undue stress to his friend, "Vin, it's me...Ezra. I have Nathan and Josiah with me,"
Josiah looked about the outside of the mouth of the cave for something he could use as a torch. Once lit, the three entered the cave and tended to Vin. Nathan attempted to determine his injuries in this near dark atmosphere. His prognosis was simple. Vin's greatest pain came from several, if not all, ribs that were fractured and a broken left collar bone - the reason for which he had little or no use of his left arm. The pain from his ribs and shoulder were excruciating. Nathan wrapped his ribs tightly to keep them at minimal movement.
"When did this happen?" Nathan questioned Ezra.
"About a week ago," Ezra responded.
Nathan felt Vin's shoulder by pressing his fingers about the broken bone, "Split in two. I'll have to set it. This is gonna hurt, Vin,"
Nathan placed a leather strap in Vin's mouth and instructed him to bite down hard when he felt pain. He had Josiah sit in front of Vin to help hold him still. Ezra stood by just in case he was needed. Nathan moved to behind Vin and sat behind him. He placed his hands firmly on Vin's shoulders and a knee in the center of Vin's back. Vin already was clamping down hard on the leather strap. With a quick thrust of his hands, Nathan quickly pulled Vin's shoulders back towards him. Vin, in complete and utter pain, gasped loudly as he dropped the leather strap and tried to keep from screaming. He attempted to not let his friends see the pain in his eyes, but his salty tears betrayed him as they made a path down his agonized face. Ezra cringed at the sight...and sound of the ordeal his friend just endured. Nathan withdrew his knee, allowing Vin to lean backwards and rest against him.
"It will continue to be very painful, as will your ribs, until they completely heal. Try to refrain from using your left arm as much as possible," Nathan warned.
Vin could not speak. He gasped for every breath. Josiah made a makeshift sling to help keep Vin's arm as still as could be expected. Nathan then tended to the various cuts and bruises on his body, especially worrisome of the still swollen lump on his head and the constant headache he complained of.
"Ezra, has he been losing consciousness off and on? You know going to sleep unexpectedly?" Nathan queried.
"Yes, I do believe he has," Ezra remembered.
"Hmmmm...probably has a concussion from the looks of that lump and his constant headache," Nathan observed. "Well, can't do anything about it, just have to let it heal in its own time. We'll just have to keep an eye on him; so, he don't fall and get hurt worse."
Nathan pulled himself out from beneath Vin and laid him on the floor of the cave with a blanket beneath his head.
"Get some rest, now," he told Vin. "If you need anything, just holler."
Nathan, Josiah and Ezra found their way outside and each sat about on a large rock just outside the cave entrance. Josiah asked Ezra to relate the whole story of how Vin came to this state and how they came to be hiding out in a cave. Ezra did just that. He told them of the soldiers, Colonel Dunn being JD's uncle and Vin's father, the Comanche half-breed mother that Dunn claims Vin to have and how they narrowly escaped. Nathan then asked to see Ezra's wrists as he rubbed them as he related the jail escape. The pain in his wrists, he thought, was nothing compared to Vin's pain. He almost forgot about them. Nathan examined them, finding the flesh to be torn, but healing.
"Have you kept the wounds clean?" Nathan asked.
"I attempted to wash the cloth I have them wrapped in whenever we found water," Ezra explained.
Nathan nodded his head, "Well, they look good, except you'll have some nasty scars because they were not cleaned up and tended to by a doctor,"
Nathan referred to the bits of flesh that were shredded by the twisting of Ezra's hands to free them of the ropes that bound them during the escape from the jail.
Next morning, Vin, Ezra, Nathan and Josiah ate the breakfast Josiah rounded up. They discussed the situation and how they would attempt to handle it.
"Vin, Ezra says you don't know or remember any of your kinfolk. Is that true?" Josiah questioned.
I don't really know my mother. She died when I was five from disease. I don't really remember anything prior to the age of six," Vin explained.
"What about the scars on your back?" Nathan asked remembering the marks he saw and felt while tending to Vin's injuries the night before. "I know those kinds of marks, Vin. They're from a horsewhip. Do you remember any of the beatings?"
"I'm not sure. I have nightmares that seem real enough to be mem'ries - maybe it's the other way around?" Vin answered almost questioning himself. "I remember the beatings I got once at the hands of the cavalry, but I had the scars before that," he explained.
"Who reared you, Vin?" Ezra asked.
"Red Dog of the Quohadie Tejas tribe in Texas, but they're all on the reservation in Oklahoma territory, now. He was a Little Chief of a small band of Comanches in Texas," Vin informed.
"Well, seems to me, he might be able to clear this dilemma up for us," Ezra stated.
"You mean go ask 'em?" Vin asked.
"Why not?" Nathan questioned.
"Y'all need to let someone know that you're aw'ight, though," Vin expressed concern for Josiah and Nathan, as they were not on the run and were expected back in Four Corners.
"He's right. Chris and Buck are liable to come back wondering why JD's by himself tending to the town with a regiment of cavalrymen," Ezra stated.
"Well, next town we come up on, Nathan and I will wire Four Corners. We'll tell 'em su'um come up an' we'll be longer than expected. We'll wire them when we can," Josiah planned out loud.
"Yeah, that should work," Nathan agreed.
"So, we're off to find Little Chief Red Dog," Ezra concluded turning to Vin, who just returned a smile to him. it was Vin's way of thanking his friends for their much needed help to resolve the situation he happened into.
In Four Corners, Colonel Dunn and his men returned a second time. Unable to locate Vin and Ezra, they had decided to wait for the reinforcements that had been sent for before they left. On the same day, Chris and Buck returned to Four Corners. The pair made their way through town to the sheriff's office. Chris was uneasy about the soldiers.
"Buck?" Chris began with concern in his voice.
"Yeah?" Buck's answer slowed a bit as he scanned the town.
"Whaddya suppose is goin' on?" Chris spoke softly.
The twosome dismounted and tied their horses to a hitchin' post at the front porch of the sheriff's office. Seeing this, Mary and JD quickly made their way to Chris and Buck.
"Y'all come over here, and bring your horses," Mary instructed.
Looking at each other, then at Mary and JD, Chris and Buck followed her instructions. They followed them to the livery stable. Once in the livery stable, the horses were tended to as the four friends conversed.
"What's goin' on here, Mary?" Buck asked petting his horse and glancing out the window.
"Vin and Ezra have fled because of the soldiers," JD told them.
"What!?" Chris questioned, surprise in his voice.
"They said Vin's wanted by the cavalry," JD stated.
"Not for Tuscosa, though, because they claim he's one quarter Comanche. They claim he's dangerous and wanted by them for crimes against whites," Mary added.
"That's ridiculous," Buck condescended.
"Does the judge know?" Chris asked, getting a bit agitated.
"Yes, he's been trying to deal with the soldiers and keep the town calm," Mary informed.
"Damn! Does anyone know where they are now?" Chris inquired sternly.
"No," JD answered, "We were hoping one of 'em said something to one of you about Vin's origin or where they'd go if they had to hide,"
JD and Mary proceeded to tell the two men of the eventful day that brought the soldiers and took Vin and Ezra away. They informed Chris and Buck the colonel was JD's uncle and apparently, by his own admission, Vin's father. Chris was absolutely fuming at the description of this tragedy. The fact all this happened while he was gone; he wasn't here to protect Vin. But, still, what could he do against all the soldiers? He could've at least been here. Buck knew what Chris was thinking; they knew each other long enough for him to know that much. He knew Chris would be blaming himself.
"Chris," Buck started, "you can't blame yourself. There's nothing you could've done. We couldn't have protected him anyway,"
"No," Chris agreed, "but if we were all here, we could've tried!"
"By the way, JD, what's this about the colonel being your uncle?" Buck asked.
JD explained, "He's my father's brother. My mother told me about him before she died. She said he and my father decided, on a whim, to go west. They left her pregnant with me in New York. She added the "e" to the end of my father's name in order to distance us from them. I met Uncle Jonathan once, when the Butterfield stopped off in Gainesville, Texas. He told me stories of the Comanches that run wild up and down the Red River. He warned me against them. But, my mother warned me against both my uncle and father."
"And now he says he's Vin's father?" Chris asked.
"Yeah," JD answered.
"Guess that means you and Vin are cousins, then. We got family between us!" Buck exclaimed.
"Yeah, guess so," JD responded.
"Yeah, well, that doesn't help Vin and Ezra right now, does it?" Mary quipped.
"Have Josiah and Nathan returned yet?" Chris asked.
"Josiah and Nathan won't be back for a while," a voice said.
All turned towards the door of the livery stable.
"Judge," Mary said, surprised, "how do you know?"
"I just received a wire from them. They said something came up and they'll be delayed. They said they don't know how long, but they'd try to wire us when they could," the judge informed the group.
"Great, just great! Now what the hell are we suppose to do?" asked Chris irritated. "How are we suppose to help Vin and Ezra?"
"I don't know," Judge Travis responded. "I've got wires out to various agencies and groups about the situation. I also have requested to be temporarily relieved of my duties until I can get this town in order."
"What'd they say?" Buck questioned.
"Well, the temporary relief went through ok. I'm still waiting to hear from Indian Affairs and the US Army. I told them of Vin's good work here protecting the folks of this town. I've spoken with the folks here in town regarding the situation. They've stated they're willing to vouch for Vin and get the cavalry out as soon as possible," informed Judge Travis.
"Judge, sir?" a man said as he walked up behind the judge.
The judge turned to see Dalton Smith, a young man with round spectacles. Dalton worked several odd jobs in town; one job was to deliver messages, if need be, for the telegraph office.
"Dalton, what is it?Do you have a message?" Judge Travis asked.
"Yessir," he answered.
"Well, boy, let's have it," Chris spoke up.
"Indian Affairs office said they don't show a Vin or Laura Mae Tanner, but they do show an Amanda Tanner as being the wife of Red Dog, an insignificant chief. They say she's a captive, but she refused to leave when they were put on the reservation. They tried to take her, and she attempted to kill herself. They let her stay because she's old now, and she's been with them since she was 10 years old. The US Army said they're sending someone to hold a hearing here. They said they are wanting to hear Vin's side, Four Corners' side and the cavalry's side to determine whether or not Vin has to be retained for further prosecution. They said Vin can bring anyone he wants to represent him and his story," Dalton informed them of the two wires just received.
"How the hell are we suppose to get the message to Vin and Ezra to come back?" Chris asked.
"Well, we'll have to wait on them and see if we can't persuade the army ourselves," Judge Travis answered.
"Maybe we can send a wire to the surrounding towns for several miles explaining that if they see Vin and Ezra to get the message to them?" Mary pondered.
"I dunno; do you think that'd work and Vin and Ezra would be safe?" Chris questioned the judge.
"I suppose it wouldn't hurt," the judge responded, "as for them being safe, that's a gamble anyway because we don't know whether they're safe now, let alone alive. I'll go prepare a message and get it out," Judge Travis stated as he walked out the door.
Mary followed the judge figuring she could help with the message. Chris and Buck went to get themselves settled back into town. JD went along just for the company, as he was missing all his friends since Vin and Ezra left.
Josiah, Nathan, Vin and Ezra rode into Oklahoma Territory. They rode until they reached Fort Sill. There they inquired about the whereabouts of the Quohadie Tejas tribe Red Dog belonged to. They were asked why they were looking for them. Josiah informed the army personnel that Red Dog was needed to clear up some questions being asked of a particular individual that they were trying to defend. Feeling they were doing their duty helping the law, the soldiers gave them directions to the reservation. The four men followed the directions given to them. They arrived at the reservation just before nightfall. They entered the reservation explaining again the story they told at Fort Sill. A young Kiowa boy overheard the story and approached Ezra.
"You are looking for Red Dog, mister?" the boy asked.
"Yes, we are, son, do you know where we might find him?" Ezra answered returning the question.
"Follow me," the boy said as he tugged on Ezra's shirt.
"Gentlemen," Ezra called to the others motioning to follow the boy.
Josiah, Nathan and Vin followed Ezra's instruction to follow the Kiowa boy. They soon came to a tepee with an old man sitting outside. He was chanting in his native tongue when he abruptly stopped, although, his eyes remained closed.
"Vin Tanner," he stated; then, he opened his eyes to greet the boy, now a man, he raised.
"Gran'paw?" Vin sounded a little unsure. He hadn't seen him in a while; he appeared much older than Vin remembered.
The old man slowly rose to his feet and approached Vin. He then put his hands on Vin's arms as a welcome.
"You are injured," the old man said.
"I'll be ok, now," Vin answered glancing at Nathan for his approval.
Nathan nodded yes.
"Come," the old man instructed.
The four men entered the tepee behind the old man.
"Sit," he told them as he began to slowly sit upon the dirt floor.
They all sat about him in a circle; Vin sat beside him.
"Vin, I was expecting you."
"How'd you know I was coming?"
"I have had visions each night for seven days," the old man said. "They were very disturbing."
Vin introduced each of the men he was with to the old man, for this was Little Chief Red Dog. With introductions over, Vin explained the events over the last several weeks. He explained about Colonel Dunn, the cavalry and the claims they made against him.
"Gran'paw, is what they say true?" Vin asked.
The old Indian drew a deep breath, "My grandson, it is part true. Colonel Dunn is your father, Laura Mae Tanner was your mother and my daughter by my wife, Amanda...Amanda Tanner. Many years ago, Amanda's family left Georgia with other families. When they reached Texas, the wagon train was stopped. All except Amanda was murdered by some Apaches. Amanda was 10 years old. She hid from the Apaches. She was found and rescued by Kind Heart of the Wichita's. Two years later, I was sent with others to help defend them against the Mexicans. I met her and loved her since. I offered three ponies for her. She came willingly. We were married two years later. Laura Mae was one of our daughters. She was taken from us by soldiers. Jonathan Dunn was a captain then. He took her to an army fort. She was 14. We heard stories from other captives who had escaped. I pieced together what happened. He raped her many times. She gave him three sons and four daughters. The two oldest sons were killed by the soldiers when they were 15 and 10 years old. They claim they tried to escape, but others say Dunn didn't want his blood to be killing the white man if they escaped and came to fight for the Quohadie. The two oldest daughters were passed around to the soldiers for money by Dunn. They were raped until they bled to death. They were 14 and 12 years old. The two daughters born together, just before Vin, are Savannah and Georgia. Savannah has been missing since she was 10 years old. Georgia is now the wife of Little Bear. Vin, Little Bear is your cousin. His father, Soaring Eagle, is my cousin. Our fathers were brothers. Vin, you are the last child born. Laura Mae died when you were 5. You were told she died from disease; this was wrong. I am sorry. I did not know if you could handle the truth. You were very fragile when we found you. Your mother died the same as her daughters; she bled to death from being raped. Vin, you escaped, according to Georgia, when you were 6. We found you sitting by the Red River staring, with no emotion, into it. You were about 7 years old. We questioned you. All you told us was your name was Vin Tanner. When you asked what to call me, I told you to just call me Gran'paw. You didn't remember much of your life prior to this, but you knew enough to hate the white man. I know you must have known pain; you had the scars of the white man's whip on your back. I knew it would be hard for you if the white man found you living among us; so, I sent you away to live with the white man. We rescued Georgia when she was 10 years old. She did not know the whereabouts of Savannah. The two were named for Amanda's original home. She use to tell Laura Mae about it when she was a child. You were one of our best hunters, Vin; so, I called you Lone Wolf. With the exception of Little Bear, you were always alone. I guess deep down you knew your blood was more white. You hunted alone most of the time, too. This is why I call you Lone Wolf - a hunter who hunts alone with no real sense of belonging. My heart is sick for you. It is hard to be one of our people; it is harder to be like you, Vin - between two worlds. I figured, if you and the white man did not know of your family blood, you would be accepted by them. I did not know your father would hunt you down," Red Dog related the story.
"So, the soldiers were right," Vin stated, not really asking a question.
"Yes, my grandson," Red Dog answered anyway.
"I still don't see why I wasn't told," Vin said, the anger in his voice evident.
"I told you. You already hated the white man; I did not want to give you a reason to kill," Red Dog stated."There is already to much pain and hatred in you. There has been too much of my family's blood spilt. I feared you would kill the white man until he killed you. Your father is a cruel, hateful man. You need not know him. He seems to want to know and kill you. Many times your father has tried to get to you. He was a major when you were held by the cavalry for being with us once. After Gentle Rain died and left you with Ethan, you were both taken prisoners by the cavalry. He was there when Ethan was tortured and murdered. He did not care the boy was his grandson. He only knew that Ethan's white blood was tainted with our blood. Family blood did not matter to him,"
"You knew this, and still you kept it from me?" anger was still present in Vin's voice.
"My, grandson, what would you have done if I told you?" the old man asked.
"Kill the bastards!" Vin exclaimed, his disgust very obvious.
"Then you know why I could not tell you," he answered, quietly.
Josiah, Nathan and Ezra just sat quietly in awe of the story they just unfolded about their friend. The old chief attempted to calm Vin, which seemed to work. Red Dog arranged for them to stay for a few days. They decided they needed to try to figure out just what they were going to do now that the soldiers were right about Vin.
Meanwhile, General Sanderson arrived in Four Corners. He informed Colonel Dunn the reinforcements he sent for would not be coming. General Sanderson told Colonel Dunn that he and a panel of US Army officers and a couple of representatives from Indian Affairs would be conducting a hearing to decide the matter of Vin Tanner. General Sanderson then met with Judge Travis, Chris, Buck and Mary.
"Judge, I think you ought to know Mr. Tanner and the three other men accompanying him arrived at Fort Sill in Oklahoma Territory several days ago," the general informed.
"Three others? Are they two white men and a Negro?" Chris asked.
"Yes, you know 'em?" the general confirmed and asked.
"Ezra, Josiah and Nathan. Has to be," JD responded.
"They don't know it, but they were followed from Fort Sill per my instructions. I told the men not to approach them or harm them," General Sanderson explained. "I just want to know where Mr. Tanner is when we need him. I wired Fort Sill upon getting here. They are bringing them all back here along with any Comanche that wishes to come in Mr. Tanner's defense. I suspect his grandfather, Red Dog, will come."
"So, I guess we're just waiting then?" Buck asked.
"Yes, sir. That's what we're doing," the general confirmed.
Before the soldiers from Fort Sill took Josiah, Vin, Ezra and Nathan into custody, Ezra and Vin had a few words alone accompanied only by Vin's cousin and blood brother since his youth, Little Bear.
"We have been through a tremendous ordeal over the past several weeks," Ezra stated.
"Yeah, we have," Vin answered.
"So, what is the status of our association to one another?" Ezra questioned.
"You saved my life, Ezra. I won't forget that. I owe ya," Vin stated.
Ezra sat stunned and staring at Vin.
"What's the matter?" Vin questioned.
"Bewildered! I mean, I did nothing to deserve such adulation. I did nothing heroic. I..,"
"Ezra, you could've left back at the river when I told you to, but you didn't. You could've left me at the cave, but you remained," Vin interrupted.
"I cannot say as to why," Ezra said still in amazement, not only at Vin but also at himself.
Ezra wondered why he did stay. Why all this loyalty to a man he thought he didn't know?
"Ezra," Vin began as he put his arm around his friend, "thanks for all you've done for me. Thanks for being there. In fact, see that?" Vin asked his friend as he raised his sleeve to reveal a scar on his forearm.
"That is an awful scar, Vin," concluded Ezra.
"Naw, it represents friendship...blood deep. It represents an understanding between two people to protect one another to their death. It is respect and honor. It is what me and Little Bear have had since our youth,"
"You two must have been close growing up," Ezra stated.
"We still are," Little Bear answered.
He knew what Vin was getting at. He knew what Vin was about to ask Ezra to do. Little Bear began to take out his knife.
"What, may I ask, are your intentions with that?" Ezra queried.
"Ezra, I'd like me an' you to have that same respect," Vin answered.
"You have got to be joking, my dear friend," Ezra stated nervously.
"Ezra, I'm serious. This is how I'd like to repay my debt to you and show my thanks. I've thought about how I was gonna repay you since we were at the river that first night after we escaped."
"Mr. Tanner, this is not necessary. You need not repay me. There is no debt, for you, I'm sure, would have done the same for me," Ezra insisted, as he thought of how this exercise would affect him - the pain and loss of blood.
"You don't understand, Ezra. It's much more than allowing our blood to flow together as one," Vin explained.
Little Bear reached into his medicine bag, something all Comanches carry, and removed some peyote buttons. He gave one to Ezra and instructed him to eat it; it would help mask the pain of the knife. Ezra did so as he made a face of disapproval to its taste. Vin told him not to worry that they get better as you eat more. Little Bear gave Ezra another button as Ezra told him he felt nothing with the first one. He again chewed the button with the same wrinkled face. This time Ezra informed Vin he was beginning to feel a little dizzy. Vin told Little Bear to begin. The peyote was beginning to take its toll on Ezra. While Ezra was feeling the power and affects of the peyote, Little Bear took his right hand. With a quick downward motion the knife sliced into Ezra's forearm. Little Bear then did the same to Vin. Little Bear then placed the men's arms together. They were bound together with a leather strap to allow the blood to flow together as one. Little Bear began chanting in Comanche. Vin repeated all that Little Bear said.
Little Bear than repeated the vow of friendship to Ezra in English, "Are you willing to give your life...your blood, if needed, for Vin? Are you willing to stand beside him, right or wrong? Respect him, honor him and protect him; even if it means having your blood spilt to save his?"
Ezra once again looked into Vin's deep blue eyes, just as he had done before this whole mess began. This time the trouble he saw in them weeks ago was gone. It was replaced with peace, serenity and happiness. Ezra could not betray him now.
"I am willing to do all that you have said," Ezra finally replied.
Vin smiled and whispered, "Thanks, my brother."
Ezra, too, smiled, "You are welcome, dear brother."
Little Bear unwrapped the leather strap and tended to the wounds on each man's forearm just as Josiah and Nathan strode up to witness the bonding between the two men.
"So, does this mean we are blood brothers?" Ezra asked.
"It means we are the closest we can be without being the same person," Vin said then paused and continued, "You'll see, in time."
Vin again grinned at his friend, just as he always had - kind of mischievously.
Please note, although, I am not a Historian, I have, however, tried to find out as much as I could to be fairly accurate regarding certain aspects of realistic time and people. The one aspect I am not sure of and cannot guarantee the accuracy of is the practice of any Indian, Comanche or otherwise, actually participating in the ritual of "blood brothers." I just thought it fit in and was cool. I also watch a lot of westerns!
Comments to KYLPTTY44@aol.com