Lakota Princess

Lakota Princess by Karen Kay

Book: Lakota Princess by Karen Kay Read Free Book Online
Authors: Karen Kay
at the expression she glimpsed on his face when a section of the trellis came off in his hand.
    He grabbed at another handhold, but it was too late. They fell backward through the air, Estrela face first. She screamed as she watched the ground come ever closer.
    An awning caught their fall, yet still it didn’t break the speed of their descent. With a bounce, they flew through the air, up, up and over the awning; down, down, closer and closer to the ground. Estrela screamed and tightly closed her eyes.
    Thud! Splash! They crashed down into cold, cold water over their heads, and unprepared for it, Estrela gulped water into her lungs.
    But with a powerful kick, Black Bear swam up to the surface, still clutching his prize.
    Only then did Estrela dare to peep her eyes open. They were surrounded by water; dizzying, cold water. The fish pond, she thought, grimacing.
    Still Black Bear didn’t relinquish her. He tread water a moment before lashing out in a strong stroke toward the side of the pond, the ducks, the geese and swans quacking at his interference.
    He pulled himself and her up onto the shore. And getting to his feet, he stood, the both of them sopping wet. He gave her an odd, amused glance before commenting, “Was easy to steal you.”
    And throwing her over his shoulder once again, he fled through the bushes and flowers, around another pond and straight into the manicured garden of tall bushes.
    And so intent were they upon their own getaway that neither one heard the gardener’s quiet applause as the Indian fled with his captive through the maze of the hedged labyrinth…

Chapter Six
    “Ah! Children, children, there you are.”
    The Duchess of Colchester met the Indian and his captive as they emerged from the gardened labyrinth. Both were wet, haggard, and Estrela’s silken sheet lay in shreds around her as she remained thrown over the Indian’s scratched body. Snatches of branches clung to Black Bear’s hair and to his clothing, and the Duchess frowned at them.
    “Old Indian game,” Black Bear said by way of explanation.
    The Duchess looked skeptical. All she said, however, was, “What unusual games you play.” Ignoring their appearance, the Duchess placed her hand through the Indian’s free arm. “And I daresay the exercise must be good for you. What? Do you agree?”
    Black Bear would have cursed at this moment, if there had been words for such a thing in his language. However, the Indian language allowed for no such words and so all Black Bear said was, “Hau, good morning.”
    “Why, bless me, yes, but it is a good morning.” The Duchess of Colchester chanced a glance at Estrela as she lay over Black Bear’s shoulder, then looking quickly away, said, “Why, my dear, I must see to your maid at once. She must dress you more properly in the morning or is this part of your game? Well, no matter, I will see that she is sent to your room at once. Oh, my, but what fun it is to have you here. But come now, we’ve all been waiting for you in the breakfast parlor. Come along, you must hurry and dress.”
    Estrela made a face of pure perplexity before saying, “Thank you, Your Grace.”
    And the Duchess, apparently unwilling to glance in Estrela’s direction again, said, “Yes, of course, my dear.” She pulled Black Bear along with her as they strode toward the house. “Come now. I will send servants to your room at once. You needn’t think I will give you no help. After all, we are your sponsors now. We are responsible for you. Dear me, but it is so delightful. Come now. Don’t hold back. I will walk you both to your rooms. Oh, we will have such fun today. My, but I grow more and more excited.”
    Estrela, her bottom swaying in the air, contemplated her lack of choice. Black Bear would carry her into the house, accompanied all the while by the Duchess of Colchester, who insisted on chattering the entire way.
    And to her credit, though the Duchess might have thought it unusual to see the Indian wet,

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