I am soooooooooo sorry about the long time it took me to update. I promise I will eventually finish this story. So, here's the next chapter.
I watched Kocoum pick up his sharpened dagger and run off into the woods. Yes, I did feel a little guilty for sending him after Pocahontas, but what else could I have done? I knew I never could have forgiven myself if something had happened and I could have stopped it. I had covered for Pocahontas many times throughout our friendship, but I just couldn't this time. I was worried about her, but at the same time I was angry. She had put me in an impossible position. I could either betray my friend, or betray my tribe. Maybe she could turn her back on our people, but I couldn't.
I slowly wandered back to my hut. I had just reached the door when I heard a deafening noise coming from the woods. It was like the noise we heard when Namontack was injured by the new men. All the people had heard it, including Chief Powhatan. He immediately called for his warriors who ran into the woods, armed. My grandmother hobbled out of the hut, and she and I exchanged nervous glances.
"Please retreat to your homes!"Powhatan called. People nervously walked back into their homes, mothers picking up their small children, and men picking up their bows to protect their family should the need arise. I was so anxious to know if Pocahontas was alright, I just kept standing and craning my neck to see the forest. My grandmother tugged at my arm.
"Come, Nakoma." she said. "You need to be where it is safe." Reluctantly, I walked into our home, my heart still pounding anxiously. My grandmother decided to try to return to sleep, but I knew my efforts would be futile. I just kept pacing, until I heard the return of the warriors. My grandmother awoke and followed me out of the hut.
I saw the men gathering in front of Powhatan, all sounding distressed. The women were standing back near the doors of their homes. I pulled away from my grandmother and walked to the crowd of warriors. I moved through the crowd so I could see what was going on. My heart sopped dead in my chest when I saw a warrior come forward carrying a body. It was Kocoum's. I heard wails from some villagers, as Powhatan saw his finest warrior fallen.
"Who did this?" he called out, and more warriors appeared. They were dragging with them the white man. The one who Pocahontas had disappeared with earlier.
"Pocahontas was out in the woods. Kocoum went to find her and this white man attacked him." said one of the warriors. It was somewhat hard to believe that this man who Pocahontas had befriended could have murdered Kocoum. But the white man had been known to be dangerous.
Powhatan looked down at the man. He pressed his spear to his throat. I had never seen Powhatan so angry.
"Your weapons are strong." he said. "But now our anger is stronger. At sunrise, he will be the first to die!" Some of our warriors cheered. But then I saw Pocahontas. She had just ran up from the woods."
"But father-" she pleaded. Powhatan cut her off.
"I told you to stay in the village. You disobeyed me! You have shamed your father." he yelled.
"I was only trying to help." She said. Powhatan had never scolded her this way before.
"Because of your foolishness, Kocoum is dead!" I winced. "Take him away!" Powhatan commanded. With that, the villagers and warriors, lead by Powhatan, took the man into the center of the village, leaving Pocahontas behind. I saw her standing here, and then she sank to her knees.
I didn't know what to say. I felt so guilty. I told Kocoum she had left. I had sent Kocoum to his death. I just stood in front of Pocahontas until she raised her head.
"Kocoum was just coming to protect me." she said. I couldn't stand to see her this way.
"Pocahontas, I sent Kocoum after you." I said. She looked up at me. I didn't know what the emotion on her face was. Anger? Confusion?
"I was worried about you." I crumpled to my knees next to her. "I thought I as doing the right thing." Her expression softened.
"All his happened because of me." she said. So she didn't blame me. She blamed herself. "and now I'll never see John Smith again." John Smith. Just the way she said his name told me so much. She was sneaking off to see this man because she was in love with him. I had let her down once. I knew I wouldn't do it again. Then it occurred to me that I could possibly help her see John Smith again. I took her hand.
"Come with me."
I led her to the middle of the village where I knew they would keep John Smith until sunrise. Of course, to see him, I would have to phrase my request in the right way.
"Pocahontas wants to look into the eyes of the man who killed Kocoum." I think the guards knew that Pocahontas was betrothed to Kocoum, so they let her in.
"Be quick." they said and drew back the curtain. I waited at the entrance. From what I could see before the drape fell back was the man who was bound to the center pole and Pocahontas kneeling down beside him. I stood, waiting. I couldn't hear very much, but the way they spoke was so sad, so loving. The guards were becoming impatient.
"Pocahontas?" I called softly. She caressed his face one last time and he kissed her palm before she retreated out of the hut. She walked by me without a word.
"I'm sorry." I called after her. She turned and took my hand. She smiled sadly but gratefully, then turned away again. She then headed to the shore and I saw her get into a canoe and paddle into the river, the moon reflecting off the water.
"I'm sorry." I whispered again.