Welcome to another terrific Tuesday. Hope y’all are doing well in this ever changing world.
It’s the 10th of August. In just 7 more days, BLUE THUNDER AND THE FLOWER will be released. And, for a short time, it is on a pre-sale order for $3.99. On its release date (or shortly thereafter), the book will go on sale for $4.99. So, go ahead and order your copy today.
Well, I thought I’d leave you with another excerpt of the book. If you have read the other books in this series, you know by now that it’s called The Wild West Series because all of these books are set against the backdrop of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. The young heros in these three books — two Assiniboine Indians and one Lakota — become the most popular “act” in the Wild West Shows and often are surrounded by women (which actually did happen — mostly abroad). And so the scene I’m about to post is about the “Attack Upon a Settler’s Home,” which truly was an act performed in the show. The hero in the book and the heroine are at odds when this scene happens. So here we go. I hope you’ll enjoy the excerpt.
BLUE THUNDER AND THE FLOWER
It was afternoon and the first show of the day was in progress. The bleaching boards—which were set up beneath the canvas tents—were full of spectators, with several people having to stand on the sidelines of the field to watch the show. Oddly, some of the conversations of the crowd could be heard even down into the arena. Perhaps this was because the day was overcast, cold and dark, which suited Blue Thunder, for he was not in a good mood.
He watched as his wife took up her position in the act’s “Indian encampment,” his anger slowly becoming a boiling chaos of fury within him. Earlier, he had told her she was not to perform in this skit, which would involve a white man “rescuing” her. The enactment would necessitate the cowboy’s raising her up from the ground and settling her before him on his horse. And, the cowboy’s arms would be around her—his wife.
Yet, there she was, getting into position for the performance. Apparently, it had been at the suggestion of the maiden, Shooting Star, to substitute Marci for one of the cowgirls…something Marci had failed to mention when he had seen her earlier today.
But then, she wasn’t speaking to him.
Unfortunately, his role in the new exhibition was not that of her captor. And this was another problem for him. His role in the enactment was simply to be one of the warriors fighting with the soldiers because this kind of engagement was his specialty.
As he now stood at the eastern side of the arena, he watched his wife’s Indian ‘captor’ bend down to sweep her up onto his pony, placing her in front of him and hugging her closely to him. Was he, Blue Thunder, supposed to watch this and do nothing?
As another bout of rage stirred within him, he knew this was a casting mistake. But, he was incapable of doing nothing. Whether there was a crowd watching or not, whether his role in the enactment was different or not, he was not going to stand to the side of the arena and do nothing.
Luckily, he held the reins of his favorite pony in his hand, and, as he jumped up to his seat on the horse, he spurred his pony—a fast-running American paint—toward his wife and her captor.
Since Marci was a substitute for the cowgirl originally cast in this part, she had missed the practice which would have shown her how to accomplish this stunt properly. At present, all she knew was the advice from one of the other performers: let it happen. Do not do anything; her captor knew what to do.
So it seemed to her she was doing well since she hadn’t made a mistake. Her Indian captor had sped toward her, had lifted her up off the ground and had placed her before him on his mount. At present, she was fighting to keep her seat on the pony, and perhaps that was why she didn’t see Blue Thunder racing his own horse toward them.
But, within minutes she became aware of another pony running up to and next to her own. What was this? This wasn’t in the script. No sooner had the thought materialized, however, when she felt a strong, masculine arm come around her waist, gathering her up and lifting her off the pony she was on, and then settling her none too gently upon another pony…his pony. And, this new captor had the audacity to race away with her.
Concern and anger stirred within her; this was not a part of the act, and, in reaction, she physically fought her new “captor.”
It was Blue Thunder’s voice.
“What are you doing?” she asked. “Buffalo Bill will be furious. This is not the way this scene is supposed to be played.”
“It’s the manner in which the skit is going to be done from now on.”
But, Blue Thunder hadn’t reckoned with the other Lakota actor who was supposed to be her “captor,” and soon the original Indian who had raced away with her caught up to Blue Thunder, and, reaching out, grabbed her back onto his own mount. Blue Thunder, however, was not to be outdone.
Speeding his pony right up to the other actor’s mount once again, Blue Thunder shouted, “This is my wife. I am doing this scene. Chase me if you like, for it will add more drama to what we do, but she stays with me.”
“Hau, hau,” came the response from the other show Indian as he allowed Blue Thunder to steal Marci again and settle her onto his paint, a chase between the two of them resulting from the confusion.
“Blue Thunder, you’re going to get me in trouble,” Marci shouted above the noise of the horses.
“Wašté!” he responded. “Then maybe they’ll get someone else to play your part.”
“Blue Thunder, please don’t do this! I want to be in the play.”
She felt more than heard his sigh before he murmured, “If it be truly your wish to be a part of this, then I will not stand in your way, but I will be the one to capture you. No one else.”
“Only if Buffalo Bill approves of it.”
“Do you think I care if he approves? I will do the stunt. He will have to bow to my wishes, not the opposite.”
Blue Thunder galloped his little paint into the “Indian encampment,” and, reigning in his mount, allowed Marci to slide down off the horse. Shooting Star was already there within the “encampment,” and, in very little time, both she and Marci were enacting the pushing-and-pulling fight scene between them.
Blue Thunder started away, leaving the two women to their performance, when suddenly Ted Bigham rode into the “Indian encampment,” his mount a medium-sized roan. Worse, Bigham reached down to lift Marci up, off her feet, and placed her onto his own mount in front of him, embracing her within his arms.
Was this supposed to be part of the skit?
As he watched Ted Bigham’s “rescue” and stared at Bigham speeding away with this wife, Blue Thunder’s jealousy spun out of control. And, as the green envy of possessiveness filled his head, he knew he had to act.
She was his wife, and he didn’t want any other man’s hands upon her. This particularly included Ted Bigham.
Although Blue Thunder knew his part in this scene was to fight a soldier, fall off his horse and “die,” he decided the only man he would wage war with was no longer within the staged Indian encampment, as was called for in the enactment. No, he would fight Ted Bigham. No other.
As he jumped onto his waiting paint, Blue Thunder urged the pony into top speed, heading after Ted Bigham, and, catching up to him and his wife, pulled Marci off Bigham’s roan. Instead of depositing her onto his own pony, however, he set Marci on the ground as gently as was possible, given the fury of his mood.
Then, turning his steed back toward Bigham, he made a quick decision: if Buffalo Bill wanted a fight, he, Blue Thunder, was going to give it to him. But, this was not going to be some fake battle; this would be the real thing. And, perhaps a fight for real might cool Blue Thunder’s fury.
As Blue Thunder sped his pony up to Bigham’s, he heard the other man shout out, “Hey, don’t fight me! Not fer real! I’m not romancin’ yer wife! It’s part of the act.”
“You were with her last night!”
“Only cause she needed some em ta help her! Did ya wish me to let her roam the campground alone at that time of night? Think! My interest is in someone else!”
Even through his rage, Blue Thunder realized the truth of Bigham’s words. He’d seen the looks the other man had bestowed upon the Indian maiden, Shooting Star.
“That may be,” shouted Blue Thunder, “but, I will play this scene with my wife, not you! You are not to touch her!”
“Ya got it, partner.”
“Wašté! I am glad to hear this! Let’s make a good fight between the two of us! Let Buffalo Bill see our own script!”
They each one galloped their ponies a little apart until they were facing each other, and, like the jousting knights of old, set their horses into a run toward each other. Waving fake swords and spears in the air, and with Blue Thunder screaming his war whoops, he and Bigham set upon each other, knocking one another from their seats.
As they each one jumped to their feet, they began to wrestle and fight as though it were truly in earnest. All at once, Blue Thunder shouted out, “You will have to be the one to ‘die.’ Not I. Do you understand?”
“I do, and ya got it, partn’r!”
Then, with a simple swipe of his wooden knife, Blue Thunder took Ted Bigham down, the man lying upon the ground as though dead. Blue Thunder didn’t hesitate a moment, but jumped back onto his paint and set it racing back to where Marci stood, who he assumed had witnessed the entire scene. She didn’t try to run away. Instead, she stood still, making it easy for him to pick her up and deposit her behind him. Then, giving the traditional Lakota war whoop, he sped out of the arena with his prize neatly settled behind him.
As soon as he’d settled his pony to a halt, he felt his wife slip off the horse. He jumped down, also, and, with a few steps, came to tower over her. Without another moment passing by, he swept her into his arms and kissed her, long and hard.
Pulling away, he gulped. She did, also. And, then he kissed her again, this time sweeping his tongue into her mouth, his intention to fill her senses with his own scent and taste. She was his. No one else’s.
He took a moment away from the kiss to say, “You are mine, do you hear? If you are to be in the play, I will not forbid it, but I will be the one to capture you; I will get you as a prize. No one else. Do you understand?”
Suddenly, and to his astonishment, his wife smiled at him. And, when she uttered, “Yes, my husband. As you say, my husband,” Blue Thunder had to admit her response pleased him.
BLUE THUNDER AND THE FLOWER: https://tinyurl.com/4k6ahyfr
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