My Indian son

Inspired by "How the West was won (The Family Macahan)" TV-series 1977

I was standing in the dark room, once again going through what had happened during the day. The Indian chief, arriving with his men, mother, me and my brother and sister standing helpless, at the mercy of their law. "When you dwell in our country" he said, having some difficulty to express himself in English "you must have a husband from our people." He listened to mother's explanation that she was a widow and not allowed, according to her religion, to marry again. Then his glance fell on me, the oldest daughter. "She old enough to marry. She will have my best warrior, Tall Mountain" he said. I shivered.

The chief pointed at a young man, tall, looking strong, with an aquiline nose and long black hair with a feather stuck into it. He was wearing a jacket with fringes. He looked at me with dark, impenetrable eyes. Mother tried to protest, but we soon understood that was of no use. We knew help was coming to us soon, but not until the next morning. We just had to stall. "Wedding will taka place tomorrow" the chief said. "But Tall Mountain will stay with his future bride tonight."

The chief and his men rode off, but my suitor stayed. Mother and my siblings tried to comfort me but I pretended to be calm. In reality I was not, since I was still a virgin and had only experienced some innocent kisses with a couple of young boys. "How terrible this must be for you" mother said.

But I was not only frightened, I was excited too. Those were my feelings waiting in the dark. I thought he looked handsome. How was an Indian as a man? Was the love life of Indians and white people alike? I knew of many white men who had married Indian women. If only I could make him meet me on a personal level, not with him as a hostile conquerer but just as a man who meets a woman. How could I make him understand?

The door slowly opened. He entered, looking at me with a gaze I could not interprete. His features were clear-cut and his hair dark and slightly curled. His body, under the jacket, was dark brown and muscular. I felt worry slightly mixed with excitement. I wondered how he saw me, an ordinary farmer girl with long, blond hair hold together by a ribbon, wearing a white blouse and a blue skirt.

He came close to me and touched my arms. I didn't move. He went on, caressing my shoulders and my neck, holding me closer. I lifted my hands and put them on his arms, feelings his muscles through the leather of his jacket. I touched his bare chest. The sensation was overwhelming. He bent his head to kiss my neck and I shivered. Then he kissed me on the mouth and the world began to swirl, I had never been kissed like that before. I felt like I had only to give in, and I was about to experience something I had never met before. I looked up and saw his eyes. They were no longer inscrutable – he smiled. He was happy to have found the woman he had been sent to conquer not resisting, but obliging, not rejecting, but affectionate. We couldn't speak, but we smiled at each other.

He carried me to my bed. I began to unbutton my blouse, since I didn't know if he understood such subtle clothing details. He took of his jacket, showing all his muscular body and arms. I welcomed him to my bed, though I imagined a skin rug would be more appropriate.

In the morning light Tall Mountain still slept at my side. When we woke up he showed me he had to go. I tried to tell him I did not intend to marry him and that we were going to run away, but I don't think he understood. He ran away to joint his tribe.

My family waited for me to tell them about my terrible experience, but my story was quite another one. Mother was shocked. I told them this was one of my finest experiences ever and that this was going to be a fine memory.

When the military came to rescue us later on I told them no details. The Indians were not allowed to return to us and later on we were going to leave the farm and go to town. We started packing. I wondered whether what I had experienced was never going to happen any more and if I would ever see my lover again. Then I didn't know that this was just a beginning of a long and sometimes sporadic relationship.

The last night before our departure I slept very badly. At midnight I heard a noice outside my window and a sound like the call of a bird. I looked out and saw Tall Mountain standing outside. He had sneaked out from his camp and past the guards into our garden. I opened the window. He whispered to me "Yesterday our bed, today mine." He pointed to a big tree in the corner of our garden, where he had placed a buffalo hide on the ground.

I nodded. "Yes, if we hide so nobody can see us." I crawled out the window and followed him into the bushes, my heart beating. It was so wonderful to meet him again. "This is good-bye" I said. "We will move to town." – "We perhaps meet again" he said. "Never know." Then we embraced and made love on the buffalo hide under the stars. I was perfectly happy.

When we parted he put a beaver fur around my shoulders. "For you." We kissed again and I returned to my room. He disappeared. Then there was a long time until we met again.