FICTION SERIAL (part eighteen): Nits Make Lice

After tussling with Colonel James, Lieutenant Weldon brings back Indian prisoners, ending the scout on a sour note.

The men followed as Weldon went off toward the supposed Indian camp. They made quiet time and chanced upon the faintest light from the smallest fire in a ravine. Weldon signaled for his men to crawl on their knees, and finally their bellies, as they inched over to the boulders that concealed their progress. The small camp had a few shelters. Two braves sat at the fire.

At Weldon’s signal the soldiers fired into camp startling, but missing the two. Weldon slid, walked and tumbled after them, shot again and caught one. Another went down, but the rest escaped into the darkness. The soldiers tore the shelters and ransacked them for whatever they thought worth taking. A mother and child huddled inside one, too panicked to move. Weldon grabbed the woman and tied her hands after passing the child to another soldier.

“Shall we take the heads of the braves to show the citizens?” asked a private.

“No, let’s get the hell out of here,” Weldon replied, taking the woman by her arm as the sun rose. “We have prisoners and injured men to worry about.”

Sending two more men to stay with the sergeant, Weldon led the rest of the party back to camp just as the men there finished their morning coffee.

The colonel and the reporter shielded their eyes from the morning glare as the men came in. A shirtless James stood sipping coffee, his suspenders hanging around his legs, but the reporter trotted up for news. Weldon brushed by him. The others were happy to give their accounts of the events so far.

“Weldon, again you defied me!” James yelled, scratching the peeling sunburn at his chest.

“Sir, the sergeant is hurt but safe for now,” Weldon said with the Indian woman in tow. “I suggest we start back as soon as possible for Camp Grant.”

“Weldon, make the preparations. I’ll see to the prisoner,” James said, spilling his coffee at Weldon’s feet and handing him the cup before pulling up his trousers.

Weldon threw the tin on the ground and went to get the men from the stream.

The Apache woman screamed when the colonel cut her clothes from her. “Take a good look at that quim, boys.” James laughed, inviting the boys to poke her with their guns. No one did. The colonel took her by the hair and dragged her to his wagon. A few of James’ cronies cheered. The newsman had stopped writing and watched with his arms folded and his face dumb as stone.

“What the hell’s going on?” cried Weldon running up. “Where’s the child?”

The writer reported, “Nits make lice as they say.”

James cursed from the wagon. Weldon and a few others jumped on back but it was too late. The girl fell out before them.

“That filthy bitch bit me!” the colonel announced, jumping down. He grabbed his pistol. The men pulled at James, but he was not to be deterred. The woman tried to run but James caught up with her and knocked the butt of his gun against her skull with a heavy thud.

No one laughed now. One man vomited as the woman lay oozing blood and brain.

“Private Darlington, get rid of this mess. Pick a friend to help you,” the colonel ordered. At that moment the poor private had no friends. He tapped Jones on the shoulder and received a savage look.

“By jinks, these Indians have soft skulls,” James said. “I hardly hit her.” He glanced at his audience and once at the lifeless woman, small and soft. “Weldon, get us out of here. I’m tired of this scouting business,” the colonel stated with a touch of emotion. “You got us into this mess, now you get us out!”

James ordered a large fire set to the wagons and anything else that could not be taken along. Darlington and Jones wrapped the woman in a blanket and rolled her over a steep hill until she hit rock. The ground was too tough to dig and there wasn’t time.

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PART ONE HERE

PART TWO HERE

PART THREE HERE

PART FOUR HERE

PART FIVE HERE

PART SIX HERE

PART SEVEN HERE

PART EIGHT HERE

PART NINE HERE

PART TEN HERE

PART ELEVEN HERE

PART TWELVE HERE

PART THIRTEEN HERE

PART FOURTEEN HERE

PART FIFTEEN HERE

PART SIXTEEN HERE

PART SEVENTEEN HERE

11 thoughts on “FICTION SERIAL (part eighteen): Nits Make Lice

  1. Its just so sad that we humans have, for thousands of years, treated ‘others’ terribly. And now we know that chimpanzees do the same thing – and will murder males of ‘other’ groups, often due to wanting to enlarge their territories. That fact alone has made me believe humans will never stop warring against each other. And that’s just so sad.

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    • It’s interesting that you say males. I was watching a Danish journalist talking about the need for European men to man up and protect their European women from the rape epidemic since the refugees have arrived. During the interview they show a bunch of European men dressed in miniskirts protesting in support of their women. lol. The Danish woman explains that to Muslim men this is seen as weakness not strength and will do nothing to stop the epidemic. The interviewer insists that women should not need men to physically defend them. The Danish woman laughs, shaking her head. She says, we must remember to live in the real world.

      I remember reading early feminist writers saying if women only had the power the world would be a peaceful place . . . hmm. Not so much.

      There’s a lot to be said for the 10 commandments. Pride and greed and our inability to change our basically fallen nature proves to me that we are useless on our own.

      I just came in from feeding my goats. One of the does bit off a hunk of another doe’s fur! Males want to expand their territory. Females fight each other for supremacy in their circles 🙂

      What’s to be done, Cecile?

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    • Thanks for your thoughtful reply. You’re right – it does seem that all animals fight amongst others of their own kind for either territory or supremacy. Females for one thing, to be ‘leader of the pack, so to speak. And males for both leadership and, sometimes, for territory. My deepest wish is for human kind to see the larger picture – meaning the love that is available to all. And that there’s is a real reason we are sent here to this lovely planet. I’m not talking about any organized religion but I do honestly believe we’re here for a higher purpose… one which, pretty much, all of us fail to achieve.

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