Author: griffonnage PM
Daniel tells a story. This is just for fun. DB Characters: Daniel, Mingo, Yadkin, Cincinnatus, Becky, Israel, & Jemima.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Humor - Chapters: 3 - Words: 11,968 - Reviews: 5 - Published: 12-24-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5606765
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
As I remember, it was a crisp Kentucky night in early spring. A full moon hung in a clear night sky spangled with stars. Returning from a long hunt, I was wrapped in a blissful oneness with Nature. The wind was brisk upon my face, the see and saw of the forest serenaded me, the zest of pine zinged my nose. It was a state of dreamy alertness to which I was accustomed when from afar a delinquent discord, a noxious rumbling grumbling brew, fell upon my ears--a Friday night at Cincinnatus's tavern. As I was jolted from my reverie, I knew the ruckus would likewise disturb the Shawnee night hunters along the dark Kentucky River and cause them to curse my name.
Oh reader, I beg thee to listen with non-judging hearts to my unpardonable tale of gender dissonance upon the American frontier. Do not judge too harshly the unhitched feller loose from the civilizing forces of society with nothing but a pocket of dreams hinged upon an acre of hard dirt clods and stubborn briar patches. Nor take to heart the inhospitable treatment elicited by the occasional rarefied Eastern visitor to our savage isolated fort. Think upon this: would the reception be any kinder for a buckskin-clad feller with a dead raccoon atop his head at a governor's ball in Williamsburg? I think not.
At the stroke of midnight every Friday and Saturday in the small hamlet of my namesake, Boonesborough, as if controlled by some unearthly demonic command, the rowdies at the tavern would get to fighting and tearing the place up. Fists, bodies, tables, and chairs would fly. This particular Friday, that was about the time I strolled through the fort gates. I wanted to leave the pelts I carried with Cincinnatus. Recognizing the familiar raucous noise, I approached the tavern door to see if I could lend a hand. As I reached for the latch, the door flung open upon me and the brawl fell into the fort's yard.
Yelping men crammed through the narrow doorway like hornets leaving a hive on fire with Cincinnatus a-hollering after them threatening to put bullets in their backsides. They hopped, skipped and brushed at their backs and britches like they were on fire. That cantankerous innkeeper was not below sticking fire ants down the shirt backs of his unruly patrons.
I waited for the grumbling, stumbling men to find their way to their individual cabins. Some collapsed in the yard unable to remember where they lived.
Cincinnatus stood with his arms akimbo, a black fringed hulk silhouetted in the doorway. "That you, Dan'l?" he called out.
"Yep," I answered. "The usual Friday night mayhem?"
"Those bucks are goin' to be the ruin o' me."
"Ah, now Cincinnatus, surely they didn't break nothin' that can't be fixed."
"They knocked in two barrels of good whiskey that I can now only use to mop the floor. Then they broke nine jars of molasses practicin' some fool game of rollin' a cannonball."
The haggard proprietor shook his gray head and thrust his hands into the air as if pleading to the god of tavern keepers. He let me in then quickly barred the door behind me.
The place stank of whiskey and molasses.
"Have you talked to them when they're sober?" I asked.
"Aye, I've talked and talked and talked till I'm blue in the face. Oh, now, they'll apologize in the mornin' when they show up all sheepish like for breakfast, but do they offer to fix what they broke or clean-up their mess? No, siree. Me and Jericho is left to spend every Sunday afternoon doin' that."
I dropped my load of pelts on the counter. "You can add these to my credit tomorrow. I'm plumb tuckered-out. Think I'll be makin' my way home."
"Sure thing, Dan'l."
"Shall I call a parley with those boys?" I asked.
"Nope. I got me a plan and I've put it into action." Cincinnatus hitched his pants up with confidence and straightened his rough cotton apron.
The idea of Cincinnatus with a plan sent a shiver of anxiety through me like a night fright. "Care to share it?"
"Nay. I don't want to count my fish before they're fried. You'll see soon enough."
A month of Fridays and Saturdays went by and Cincinnatus's plan never materialized. I soon forgot about it. Mingo and Yadkin accompanied me to Salem to deliver a haul of pelts. On the way home, we were feeling lighter without our burden, just three friends without a care in the world. Me and Mingo was discussing the benefits of using molasses to lure deer, a sticky issue between us, when I noticed Yadkin was hanging back and moping along behind. "Yad, what's the matter, something ailing you?"
"Nah. I'm just sorry to be leavin' Salem behind."
"May I ask why?" Mingo said with a puzzled look. "What does Salem have that Boonesborough doesn't have?"
Yadkin raised his blond brows and hollered to be certain that all our adversaries for miles could hear, "What does Salem have that Boonesborough don't have! Why it's a regular mee-trop-o-lis. It's got two taverns, two inns, two general stores, people a-comin' and a-goin' with business from all over and you know what Salem has for sure that Boonesborough don't have?"
Mingo and I hadn't a clue. We looked at each other and shrugged.
"Women! Salem's got women a gaddin' about all prissy like with their little fans and hats. (We couldn't help chuckling at Yadkin's imitation of what he had witnessed.)
"How many o' them creatures do you see in Boonesborough?" Yad asked all solemn-like.
I couldn't answer as I was in a full tilt of laughter until the tears came to my eyes, but Mingo asked stoically, "Yadkin, why would this presence of women matter to you of all people? You always run away when any woman shows the least interest in you."
"All the same, Mingo. There's somethin' about them just bein' there. I'm not sayin' anythin' about livin' with one o' them. I'm just sayin' they sort a-brighten a place up."
Mingo chuckled and shook his head. "You have a point there, but I'm surprised it materialized in your dura mater."
Yadkin screwed his face up and furrowed his brow. "Mingo, why the gol-dang-it do you have t'use them fer-in words? A feller cain't ferret your meanin'. You might as well be jawin' Cherokee."
Mingo snapped his head up and cocked one dark eyebrow in contemplation as if he was going to launch into a debate with our lesser-learned friend, but he must have thought better of it. He smiled and shook his head and dropped his eyes back to the dusty trail before him.
"I could not imagine Chota without the women," Mingo said. "It would be a dull and lifeless place. So, Yadkin, when will we have the pleasure of meeting your new love in Salem?"
"Huh? My new what? Have you gone fool crazy? I ain't got no such disorder."
Mingo couldn't keep from laughing with me. Yad didn't seem to know that he was a lure for the female kind. He was a big strong feller with a shock of blond hair and eyes like robins' eggs. Just what women could take a shine to.
We continued our journey silently contemplating the aspect of a place with no women and how it differed from one blessed with the fair sex when behind us came a thump and rattle announcing the approach of a wooden-wheeled conveyance. When we turned it was nigh upon us and we had to scramble and tumble and leap spread eagled to get out of the road before a mad pair of horses with bared teeth and flaring nostrils ran us down.
The team was pulling a wagon full of flying, bouncing mounds of pattern, color and ribbon. I was sorely alarmed as I watched it zig and zag. It ran off the road and into a ditch where it came to an abrupt halt throwing baggage and crates everywhere. We approached the vehicle warily as it was manned—ah—or womanned--by three ladies each with flailing arms grabbing at bonnets, skirts and screaming like piglets loose from their pen.
I was the first to approach and I did so with great caution. "Are you ladies all right?"
The women stopped their fussing for a moment at the sound of my voice. They each turned and stared me up and down as if I was a wild animal they had nary seen before.
"Why, ah—who are you?" asked a strong alto voice. The owner of the voice was finely dressed in a dark green traveling gown with a big-feathered hat that cast a dark shadow concealing her eyes. She hurriedly tried to brush the dust from her skirt with her gloved hands but it only created a cloud that made her sneeze with a high-pitched "Ka-Choo!"
"Bless you, ma'am. The name's Dan'l Boone. This here's my friend Mingo and that there's my friend Yadkin."
The lady dabbed at her nose with a white laced handkerchief that appeared like magic right out of her sleeve. "Dear me, what funny names you have. I suppose they go with your costumes, though." She brushed the back of her hand across her forehead allowing us a glimpse of her fine thinly drawn pale features ornamented by two coal-black orbs for eyes.
"Lawdy, Corinthe, the least you could do is introduce us," the red-head said with a punching loud voice that carried an air of disdain. "Gentlemen, my name is Priscilla Prinkle and this here is my friend Bitsy Sue." She tipped her hand to the very blonde lady scrunched between her and Corinthe. Bitsy Sue blinked at us in silence. Priscilla had meat on her bones. She had the tanned skin and reddish cheeks to show she was healthier than her companions and looked like she may have worked a farm at some point in her life. She could certainly holler like one who had called the hogs more'n a few times.
Priscilla continued, "We are glad to make your acquaintance. As you can see we are in a bit of a predicament. Our buggy seems to have become stuck. We would surely appreciate your assistance if you would be so kind?" Her beaming smile made her eyes twinkle.
I lifted my coonskin cap a little as way of acknowledging the woman's introduction. Yadkin echoed me with his feathered cocked hat. "My friends and I would be mighty glad to help. Mingo, Yad, you boys get the front end of this contraption and I'll push from back here."
The three of us soon had the wagon out of the ditch and back on the road. Yadkin and Mingo proceeded to recover the loose baggage and crates.
I took a breather and leaned on Ticklicker. I couldn't fathom a reason in my head why these three ladies would be traveling west on this trail all alone without a man in sight. I figured they must've taken a wrong turn and were now lost. "Where are you ladies headed?" I asked.
"Hades," Corinthe spat.
"Boonesborough," Priscilla said with a cold stare at Corinthe.
"Mr. Boone," Priscilla said, "my good friend Bitsy Sue can tell you exactly where we are going and to whom we are intending to rendezvous." She pursed her full lips and glanced askance at Corinthe.
Bitsy Sue took that as a cue to pull a piece of folded paper from her beaded handbag tied at her wrist. She cleared her throat then proceeded to speak in a bird-like voice that made my ears want to crawl back into my head. "We are to meet a Mr. Jones at the Boonesborough Trading post west of Salem over the Cumberland Pass."
She looked up with a wide grin pleased with her performance. Priscilla cleared her throat and nudged the proud orator. Bitsy Sue stared perturbed at her friend at first and then as if just remembering something, she turned over the paper and squealed, "Wait! Wait! There's more." She flapped the paper and her hands in the air, and then read carefully, "We are to take the Boone trace off the main road. It's marked by three white boulders." She looked up brightly with blue eyes flashing under her dainty white lace cap. "Is that near here?" she whined.
I glanced behind me at my friends for guidance. They were making like two bewildered moose with their jaws hanging open. I turned back to the ladies and smiled. "Well you are in luck. Me and my friends are headed to that exact same place."
"Dan'l," Yad hollered making me jump, "we cain't drive that painted up ox-cart over this trail. Have you gone plumb loco?"
"However," I said, addressing the women calmly with a smile, "on second thought, you ladies have half-day's journey ahead of you and it's a mite rough for a fancy buggy like yours. Perhaps we should accompany you back to--" The women were paying no mind to my words. Priscilla and Bitsy Sue's faces beamed with joy.
"The good lord has blessed our travels," Bitsy squealed.
"Either that, or these are the devil's henchmen," Corinthe said in her deep voice. She followed her words with a smirk my way that made my toes curl.
"Now, Corinthe," Priscilla said softly, "you surely don't mean to slight these three angels of mercy who have clearly been placed here by Good Providence for the purpose of seeing us safely to our destination? I think we ALL could show them a little of our civility. Bitsy Sue and I have an abundance of unbridled courtesy as we are southern girls but you being from the colder part of the colonies might have to work at it. Surely, you have a little to share?"
"Humph," Corinthe breathed. "What rot! This is a God-forsaken country. Why should I believe these highwaymen are angels?"
Bitsy Sue shared a look with Priscilla then turned up her pug nose. "Shame, shame, Corinthe." They both shook their heads in unison like two squirrels on a tree limb chastising a dog.
Mingo dropped a crate, startling us all. A pile of black books spilled to the dirt road. Bitsy bolted straight up to her full height, which was quite astonishing. She twisted her pencil-thin form around to face the rear and perched herself on the buggy seat like a blue jay. "Oh! Oh!" she sputtered, "sir, please be careful, those are my journals."
Mingo peered up with a quizzical look on his comely bronze face.
"I write. Those are my writing journals."
The Cherokee smiled and nodded as if he understood what she spoke and carefully returned the books to their container. "So you keep a journal of your travels?" he asked.
"She is a writer, Mr. Mingo," Priscilla said. "All of these crates are full of her poems and prose. The concrete evidence of her bountiful God-given talent."
"Amazing how you can know that having only known the woman for three days. I'd say you're the one with the talent," Corinthe mumbled.
Priscilla put her muscular arm around Bitsy Sue and squeezed the thin woman making me wince for fear she would snap her like a twig. "Bitsy Sue and I are bosom friends."
Mingo smiled at the ladies, but ducked his head and stole a secret frown at me as if to ask what he was to make of this. Mingo was always doing that—expecting me to answer for some peculiarity of the white race as if he wasn't half white himself. I gave him my silent 'beats-me' shrug to let him know I was in no way privy to the explanation he sought.
After the baggage was loaded, Yadkin and Mingo took seats at the rear with their legs dangling and their backs to the women, while I squeezed into the seat between Corinthe and Bitsy Sue and took the reins. After slapping the leather across the animals backs and reaching a comfortable speed I asked, "So, ladies, are your husbands coming along after you?"
The three ladies frowned at each other, then glared at me. I felt like I had just asked the Pope if he was Christian.
"We are not in possession of husbands, Mr. Boone," Corinthe offered.
Along the way, I learned that Priscilla was a widowed schoolteacher and Bitsy Sue a spinster that spent her young years caring for her invalid parents. I learned the shy side of nothing about Corinthe. Her accent placed her from Boston. I surmised she was a blue-blood by the fact that she could talk without moving her upper lip. A talent known to be taught in the finest finishing schools back east. I was growing more and more curious as to their purpose with Cincinnatus. Finally, the question burst forth from my lips, "What business do you three women have in Boonesborough?"
Corinthe snapped, "Our ill-fated business is with Mr. Cincinnatus Jones." I took that to mean I was not to ask. So I sat quietly while Priscilla and Bitsy Sue 'oohed and aahed' at every turn of the road then yapped about places they had been and things they knew. Priscilla was a fount of useless knowledge. I couldn't help glancing now and then to each side to take in what sort of creatures I was bringing home. The women were not particularly old and not particularly young. They weren't too ugly and they weren't too pretty either. Of course, there was no woman on earth equal to my Rebecca with the bright red hair.
As we approached the Boonesborough fort, the tall gates opened and suddenly the chattering ladies went dead quiet. I guided the traumatized horses to the front of the tavern. All the settlers gathered around to gawk at the newcomers. My family—Becky, Jemima and Israel--did the same as they followed Cincinnatus out of the tavern. As I assisted the women down from the wagon one by one, I was shocked to discover that each were nearly as tall as I. Looking out over the sea of heads before them like well-dressed mongoose, they were as timid as cabin flies in sight of a flyswatter.
Cincinnatus took a special interest in the women. He circled them, scratched his beard and ran his beady gray eyes up and down each one.
Becky didn't miss it. She planted her hands on her hips. "Cincinnatus, if I didn't know better, I'd think you were planning to put these women on your store shelf and sell them."
The proprietor stopped his prowling real quick, cleared his throat, and peered shyly at Becky.
"Cincinnatus," I said, "this here is Bitsy Sue Harper, Priscilla Prinkle and Corinthe—I'm sorry I didn't catch your last name?"
"Haggleworth," Corinthe offered with a tired sigh.
"Welcome to Boonesborough, ladies, my name is Cincinnatus Jones. If you'd be so kind to please step into my office." The old codger swung his arm out towards the tavern door and bowed to the women as if they were royalty.
Becky frowned and looked at me for an explanation. I shrugged.
Cincinnatus talked privately with the ladies in his backroom making everyone itch with curiosity. All the settlers at the fort started talking at once, pondering who those women were and why they had come to Boonesborough. I could only plead ignorance, which earned me chiding looks of disbelief from the womenfolk and chuckles from the menfolk. I did remember Cincinnatus's plan though and that had me a mite worried.
The next day the women moved into a vacant but completely furnished cabin in the fort. No one could recall seeing who had furnished the cabin, so it was the conclusion of the fort gossips that it was done on the sly for ill-purpose in the darkness of night.
Becky rose early to make an extra pot of Irish stew. I chided her from the bed for letting her curiosity lead her nose where it shouldn't go. In answer, she merely flipped her red head up and asked, "What would you like me to find out, Mr. Boone?"
I turned my back to my wife pretending to sleep awhile longer and mumbled, "This ain't no place for women without husbands. Why would they come here and what has Cincinnatus got to do with them?"
After lunch, Becky picked up her pot of stew and marched out with her spruced-up children in tow, headed for the fort. I was left to wait in nervous anticipation.
I only had to wait a couple of hours, when I saw my family returning. I hurried out and started chopping the wood. "So?" I asked upon their approach, as if I didn't care.
"Pa! Pa! She called me a pumpkin!" Israel shouted as he approached at full gallop.
"Israel Boone, you hold on there young man!" Becky hollered. "You can speak when you are spoken to." Becky grabbed the boy's shirt collar bringing him to an abrupt halt.
"So what, Dan?" Becky asked as if she didn't care.
I leaned on my axe and wiped my brow with my handkerchief, then turned my most perplexed look upon my wife.
"Dan, I don't know why they are here," she sputtered with a pout.
"Didn't you ask?
"I asked Pa," Jemima announced, "but Ma didn't give them a chance to answer."
"Jemima Boone, I'm relating this to your Pa."
Jemima crossed her arms and rolled her blue eyes to the sky.
"Dan, these children of yours require socialization. Why I can't take them anywhere. The minute we entered the tall one--"
"They are all tall, Becky."
"Yes, well, the blonde one, Bitsy Sue. She went to gushing all over us." Rebecca mimicked Bitsy Sue's bird-like chirp. 'Oh, what cute little children, and to think Priscilla, these are Mr. Boone's offspring. That angel in buckskin that saved our lives on the road. Now, what's your name little pumpkin?'"
"She pinched my nose and called me a pumpkin, Pa!" Israel howled as he crossed his arms defiantly over his pint-size chest and stomped his booted foot on the ground.
"Well, son, I reckon I wouldn't appreciate being called a pumpkin either."
"I had to pat your son's bottom to remind him of his manners," Becky said flustered. "Then Israel demonstrated for the ladies a seemingly total lack of education. Priscilla simply offered a bit of grammar instruction: 'I am not a pumpkin, Israel, not 'I ain't no pumpkin'--"
"I told her I knows you ain't no pumpkin," Israel whined, "I ain't no dufus, either."
My son was clearly most grieved with his treatment at the hands of these new females.
I completely understood the boy's point, but Becky scrunched her eyes into two determined blue slits. She was out of patience with MY children, so I kept my mouth shut and commenced to pick at the splinters on the log I had half chopped.
Becky continued, "Well, then Priscilla took that heavy pot of stew right out of my hand like it was a mere trifle and deposited it on the table. That Corinthe is a strange one, Dan. She just sat in the corner looking glum. She barely even acknowledged our presence."
"Bitsy Sue said Corinthe is a tad mopey…most of the time," Jemima added, "to which Corinthe replied, 'Who would not be mopey who left a comfortable town home on the finest street in Boston to be deposited in a filthy backward place like this? What rot!'" Jemima did a fine job of mimicking the deep-voiced Bostonian.
"So, I thought," Becky said, "that was my opportunity to get them on the subject of why they were in Boonesborough. I asked most kindly, 'So, you're from Boston?' I received a very curt 'Yes'."
"Priscilla intervened to prevent Corinthe from talking to us," Jemima said, "but she did ask us to stay and share the stew--"
"And of course I properly declined saying that we had to get back to our chores at home," Becky added as if on the same breath as her daughter. I just marveled at how the two of them could keep a conversation up in the air without breathing for longer than I could keep my head under water.
Becky continued, "I welcomed them to the community and asked them to please come and visit our home anytime. Cincinnatus could show them the way. They received that well, but remained completely silent staring at us. I knew Jemima was anxious to see her beau, Jericho, so I started to ask them their purpose in Boonesborough when YOUR daughter--"
"I just asked the obvious question," Jemima opined. "I said Ma wants to know why ya'll are here."
That sounded sensible to me. I was quite proud of my sensible daughter.
"Jemima's impatience got the better of her manners," Becky said.
Now, I was confused. Why can't you just ask a woman a simple question and get a simple answer?
My daughter puckered her button nose and said, "Priscilla had the nerve to say—'now Jemima you appear to be old enough to know that YA'LL is not a proper form of address.'"
Once again, Jemima was the perfect mimic. I could hear Priscilla like she was standing right there in front of me.
"Pa, she was correcting my English, just like a school marm," Jemima continued. "It was rude."
"YOUR daughter fixed her blue eyes upon Priscilla and said as surly as Yadkin, 'I don't know where you come from, but around here ya'll is as proper as anything'. Well, all I could do then is hurriedly exit the cabin with these two and spank their behinds."
"Ma was mad at us." Jemima said, "because she had to come home and tell you she didn't know why those women were in Boonesborough."
I had to drop my head and chuckle at that revelation, but I did my best to conceal it.
"Jemima Boone!" Becky yelled, "You best start thinking on how to get back on my good side if you want that new dress in time for the spring dance."
"Oh, Ma," Jemima said with a pout.
"You and Israel go tend to your chores this instant," Becky ordered.
Well, I knew what I needed to know. If Becky Boone didn't find cause to take up for those women, then there was trouble ahead for Boonesborough. Maybe Cincinnatus had hired him some barmaids.
When Friday night came around the local men filled the tavern as usual. Much to their surprise, Priscilla, Bitsy Sue and Corinthe were there. Priscilla was knitting stockings, Bitsy Sue was scribbling in one o' her journals and Corinthe was just sitting with her nose in the air. If they were barmaids, they were in sore need of training. The men were real gentlemanly as they scuffled in. They doffed their hats and said "howdy do."
Me, Mingo and Yadkin were there enjoying an ale and planning a fishing trip in the mountains. The normally rowdy patrons were unusually silent. I looked around and caught the eye of Corinthe who smiled and winked at me. That was most discomforting. I jerked my head back around to discover Yadkin grinning from ear to ear.
"Looks like you got an admirer, Dan'l," the big blond trapper said with glee.
I was most perturbed.
Mingo asked, "Did you find out why those women are here, Daniel?"
"No." I was unable to hide the frustration in my voice.
"Would it not be a simple task to inquire of them?" the Cherokee asked.
"If you think it's so simple, why don't you try it," I responded.
"All right." Mingo arose and strode to the fireplace as if he were chilled and needed its warmth. Priscilla was sitting next to the hearth, still knitting. Me and Yadkin watched the Oxford-educated Cherokee carefully, fully expecting him to have an easy time chatting with the women with his fine gentlemanly language.
Priscilla greeted Mingo with a smile. "You were with Mr. Boone yesterday were you not?"
"That is correct, Mrs. Prinkle."
"Oh, please, call me Priscilla. You saved our lives. Doesn't that make us friends? I am eternally grateful."
"Priscilla it is. I cannot help but be curious Priscilla as to your purpose in Boonesborough. This is very rough country for such fine ladies."
Priscilla looked up with big green eyes that reflected the fire light. Those eyes roamed up and down the native man then returned to rest on his eyes. "We are only seeking companionship, Mr. Mingo. No different than anyone else here I presume."
The native frowned. "Call me Mingo."
"Oh, of course. I do not know the proper address for Injuns."
Mingo's dark brows arose sharply. "Where did you live before?" he asked.
"Williamsburg. I'm a widow. I taught school there. My husband died--"
"I offer my condolences for your loss. Did it happen recently? How did he die?"
"No, it happened a couple of years ago. His heart just stopped…in bed." Priscilla dropped her head and knitted furiously.
It took Mingo a second to realize what she was telling him, but me and Yadkin were quietly chuckling to ourselves.
"Oh. I see," Mingo said. "Did you come here to teach school? There are several children in the community."
"No. I do not suppose they would have me as a teacher. The parent's never liked my peculiar ways."
Bitsy Sue had stopped writing and was studying on Mingo. The tall native caught her eye and offered her his dimpled smile in return. I knew right then he was stepping in a snare laid by the craftiest of creatures: a woman. She seemed a mite too taken with his charms. He stepped over and slid down beside her like a panther conversing with a lamb before his dinner. "May I ask what you are writing?" he said in his silky deep voice. I just shook my head in disbelief at his apparent naivety.
"Observations," Bitsy Sue said shyly trying to hide the page with her delicate long hands.
"What kind of observations?" Mingo frowned. "Are you a newspaper writer or a pamphleteer?"
"A newspaper? A pamphleteer?" she squealed causing all heads to turn towards the couple. "Who would pay little ol' me to write?" she squeaked and giggled. "Heavens t'Betsy no. I was just painting a picture with words."
"Really?" the Cherokee asked intrigued. "what sort of picture?"
"I'm describing how beautiful a certain young native warrior appeared standing with the fire at his back."
"Oh." The native's face darkened as he realized his folly, increasing our mirth. "Well, I will leave you to it." Mingo quickly arose and returned to us avoiding the sulky Corinthe all together.
"Well?" Yadkin asked impatiently. "Why are they here, Mr. Mingo Injun?"
"I don't know. Yadkin were you not telling us on the road just the other day that you missed having women in Boonesborough?" Mingo threw his arm out towards the room. "Observe, my friend, women."
"What happened to that simple task?" I asked with a chuckle.
The Cherokee shook his head and smirked.