The Discovery -Chapter II-

Strong Wind ushered everyone into the village, passing children and adults that began to rejoice in their presence. Connor sat in silence as he studied his onlookers. He had never seen such a sight. Everyone in Strong Wind's Tribe was of a different skin tone. Many of the people were just as fair skinned as Rolling Thunder. Some, very light tanned while others were very tan, but he noticed that no one was the same dark color that he himself was. The men and male children wore breechcloths and moccasins. Most men, blanketed with tattoos from the head down the face not stopping until the bottom of their torsos, also had earrings along both earlobes. Their hair, shaven around the head except for a topknot that they wore long with a feather or two placed in the hair at the scalp.

All the women and girls wore short deerskin skirts. However, most women were bare-chested, the few that had their bosom covered, were the ones in age. Connor thought that it was more or less for the light chill in the air. In contrast to the men in the tribe, the women only had one earring in each ear. They wore their hair long as well, braided down on either side of their face with some tying the braids on top of their heads.

Their dwellings were not what he was expecting either. These people lived as the colonists did, in log cabins. There were at least sixty homes easily, surrounding a larger seven sided cabin and a huge fire pit that both lay on raised ground. Strong Wind lowered himself and motioned to the others to follow in suit. Everyone dismounted as many of the villagers gathered staring and whispering over their arrival with company.

"Connor, come brother, it is a little tight for words here." Strong Wind placed a hand on Connor's shoulder.

Connor nodded, as he walked, he glanced over his other shoulder for the girl. The women of the tribe were hauling her off in the opposite direction.

Strong Wind noticed Connor's distraction, "don't worry. They are going to make sure that she is not, I don't know how to say, not been hurt? You understand?"

Connor watched as each of the ten women hugged her then entered one by one. The girl started in last, but suddenly stopped to turn and look at him. She stood there for a second holding his gaze, then lowered her head and shyly smiled. She turned back around to enter, took one last glance over her shoulder, and then, hurried in. The fact that the girl turned to look for him gave him delight, and force down pride.

"When will they be finished looking her over?" A curious Connor asked, now focusing his attention on Strong Wind.

"It will not be long, as long as nothing has happen to her." The older man commented. "Now Connor, we must take you to our Chief, he will like to know of her arrival."

The two walked past the large fire in the middle of the village, which was burning low at this moment, but the tribeswomen were beginning to put limbs next to the pit, readying it for a bonfire. The young females smiled as the visitor passed. Connor did not notice them. He only had his mind on seeing the Chief and finding out how much longer his presence here need be. The home to the left of the odd shaped cabin was their destination.

Strong Wind walked in and motioned to Connor. "Come. Now we talk."

Once they entered the house, it was rather nice. They were in the large kitchen, which smelled rich of food cooking over the fire that was straight in front of them. To Connor's left he noticed many different cookware and dinnerware stacked on wooden selves. To the right of them, the home opened up. First, there was a spacious room that Connor knew they used for many purposes. It contained a large woven rug that had three children running around on top of it. He could hear women laughing and talking further back in the cabin, behind multiple doors that were on either side of an elongated hall. This dwelling actually reminded him of the Longhouses of his village, but much, much smaller. The men walked further into the large room were the children were playing. The children stopped.

"Adadoda (Father)!" The three children screamed as they ran to hug the man.

He squatted down to hug them all at once. "Where is your grandmother?"

The children ran to find her.

"You have young, Connor?" Strong Wind asked as he stood.

Connor looked to the ground, "no."

The older man placed his hand on the young man, "you should start, my friend. There is nothing better than to have a family. There are many beautiful girls here. Maybe you should take one for your woman. They seem to like you a lot. I can show you many in my clan."

Connor smirked.

"Unless you have a woman back in your homeland," noticing the man's reaction.

Connor shook his head. "No."

"Good, I have many females in my family that are good. They are young, and ready to be married. I shall show you tonight." Strong Wind happily stated.

The children came back pulling their grandmother by her skirt. When the woman saw the men, she hurried to Strong Wind. "You are back my son, and you have found my child, for this I must thank you, stranger," looking at Connor. "Come, eat. I shall fix you your place."

She demanded that the men go and sit, for she would serve them their food. As they went to sit, the children also joined them. "Go play, father has business to tend to." The children left for the tone of his voice.

The woman came back with three bowls full of a delicious smelling stew. She placed each one in front of the men, then another in front of Connor. He furrowed his brow.

"Now I leave you to talk." As Strong Wind's mother left, a rather muscular middle-aged man walked in from behind them.

"Strong Wind, son," the man's voice was very powerful and demanding.

Connor and Strong Wind both rose to their feet. The older man first shook Strong Wind's hand then extended his arm to Connor.

"So you are the young man that brings back my child safely? Her parents will be very happy when you give her back over to them tonight." The two shook hands. "Now, my sister has made us a good smelling stew. Let us eat and you tell me, young man how your travels were."