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"Don't fear, everything is going to be all right, Son." His father's voice, dark, calm, reassuring.
Adam wasn't afraid. Yes, there were Indians, their howling audible even above the sound of gunfire, the swishing of their arrows like whiplashes in the air; and yes, there were angry white men with rifles and grim faces – but Pa had said all would be fine, don't fear.
Adam crouched at the back of the room and watched the fight with almost curious interest.
"Here, take the baby," he heard Inger; and then Hoss was in his arms, sleeping through the ruckus like only a newborn can.
"Don't fear, I'll be right back." Her words were strained, but quiet and confident.
Adam wasn't afraid. Yes, he saw how his mother took a rifle from a fallen man and stepped into the middle of the battle – but she had said she'd be right back, don't fear.
Then there was one swish too many, one arrow that found its target, and Pa wept over Mama's dead body, people murmured soothing words and squeezed Pa's shoulder, Hoss slept peacefully ignoring that he now was a half-orphan just like Adam; and Adam sat in the far corner, clutched his baby brother to his chest and did not fear.
No, honest. He didn't.
Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow. ~ Mary Anne Radmacher