Sweet Savage Heart

Sweet Savage Heart by Janelle Taylor

Book: Sweet Savage Heart by Janelle Taylor Read Free Book Online
Authors: Janelle Taylor
demurely. Her eyes were bright and startlingly direct, as her words had been. In a lazy voice that carried undertones of mischief, he inquired, “What if Wild Wind is not wrong about me? And what if she receives only the actions she provokes?”
    Still she refused to pull her stormy gaze from his taunting one. “Ota wayata he?Inipi he?” she asked as he halted to stare at her.
    “Yes, I had enough to eat; and I am full,” he roguishly replied. “It was very good. Please thank your friend for me. You did not answer before. Can Wild Wind cook and tend a tepee?”
    Wild Wind glared at him. She was not hungry, but she ate to prevent him from thinking he had stolen her appetite. When she was finished, she cleared their platters and washed them. She wondered why this disconcerting man vacillated back and forth between insults and apologies. What crafty game was he playing with her? She set the earthenware bowl containing Lone Wolf’s meal on the flat rocks that encased the fire. She hung the water bag on a side pole. To dispel the unnerving silence in the tepee, she remarked as she worked, “The council meeting runs long. What news did you bring to my people? Why did you not attend?”
    “You know it is not permitted for a guest to sit in Oglala council. I promised your brother I would not speak of such matters to anyone. We must wait to hear their vote, and obey it with honor.”
    Wild Wind observed Travis Kincade. If he had lived in this area, she would have heard of him or seen him before. If he were a friend, why had he never visited them? she wondered. He knew the Lakota customs and laws, and he spoke of them with respect and loyalty. Yet he looked and sounded concerned by the length of the meeting. “Is it good or bad that the council talks long?” she probed curiously.
    Travis glanced over at her and shrugged. “Slolwaye sni,” he admitted, telling her he did not know. “Unkomani kte,” he added, asking her to take a walk.
    “Tell me why you come and worry, White Eagle, and I will go.”
    Travis chuckled and shook his head before remarking, “You are too clever and perceptive for such a young woman, Wild Wind. I worry because the council’s decision is important to many people. Ask me nothing more. Soon you will know all.”
    She did not heed his request. “Important to White Eagle?”
    “Yes, because it is important to someone I love and respect, and to the survival of my Lakota people,” he responded mysteriously. “Do you know anything about the white man’s guns?” he questioned as he pointed to his pistols and rifle on a buffalo mat. When she shook her head, he commanded sternly, “Then do not touch them. They are dangerous. They can injure or slay a careless or nosy whirlwind.”
    “Do they carry great magic like the warrior’s weapons?” she asked, knowing it was wrong for a woman to touch a man’s weapons and ceremonial items, especially during her monthly flow.
    “Their magic lies in their owner’s skill and use of them, nothing more. I will return later. I need fresh air and movement.”
    As Travis headed for the entrance, she called out, “Doyou wish me to go?” She wanted more information and decided that a woman’s soft hand could pick him better than a wildcat’s claws.
    Travis glanced over his shoulder and replied, “If you like.” He saw her expression change and knew that was not the right answer for this vixen. “It’s nearly dark. As I look more white than Indian and many in your camp do not know of me, perhaps it is wiser and safer for Lone Wolf’s guest if you walk beside him.” He ducked and left, eager to see if she would swallow his bait and join him. Recognizing that there indeed was truth in his conniving words, he walked slowly and cautiously.
    “The meeting lodge holds secrets and dangers this moon. The council speaks in whispers. It is not good,” she concluded worriedly as she caught up with his lengthy strides.
    Travis furtively eyed her. He could tell

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