KAREN KAY aka GEN BAILEY is the multi-published author of American Indian Historical Romances. She has written for such prestigious publishers as AVON/HarperCollins, Berkley/Penguin/Putnam and Samhain Publishing. KAREN KAY’S great grandmother was Choctaw Indian and Kay is honored to be able to write about the American Indian Culture.
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I grew up watching old movies (and I mean old 1930’s movies). And one of my favorite stars from that time period was Shirley Temple.
In researching the Blackfeet Indians for the story I’m currently writing, I came across this movie, “Susannah of the Mounties,” because, outside of the two “Indian chiefs,” all the rest of the Indians cast for the movie were Blackfeet from the Blackfeet reservation in Browning. Now, the writer of the script was not Blackfeet and so there are some things in the Indian part of the movie that just weren’t so historically. But, I love that they used Blackfeet Indians for the most part to play Blackfeet Indians. Martin Good Rider was Shirley’s child co-star in this movie and I gotta admit both Shirley and Martin steal the show. He, with his stoic remarks, and Shirley getting her feathers ruffled. Below is a publicity pict. they did for the picture.
It was said at the time that Shirley made it a rule to not make friends with her child co-stars, but she did make friends with Martin. And she became friendly with other members of the Blackfeet cast, also, and earned their respect. Indeed, she was adopted into the Blackfeet tribe.
Because I write Indian romance, I rarely get to see pictures (movies) where the two characters (male and female) are actually teasing and having fun with one another. This movie was like a breath of fresh air in that regard. Martin’s character is almost constantly teasing Shirley and the result is cute and sometimes very funny.
Like the time she tries to walk out in front of him and he won’t go with her because (and this is true at this time period in history) Indian men DID NOT walk behind women. They always went first and considered it their duty to do so. They would always be the first to confront danger by doing this.
In the movie, Shirley of course doesn’t understand this and he doesn’t inform her of the custom. But, as she is walking behind him and complaining rather louldy about it, he says, “Squaw keep quiet when walk behind Brave.”
Now, there were some things Martin Good Rider did really right, and I’m sure his elders were helping him with these things:
1) The Blackfeet men wore three, not two braids. Two in front and one in back. They got this right in the movie.
2) Martin does a bit of trick riding in the movie. This was correct, also, because Blackfeet boys practically learned how to ride as soon as they could walk.
3) There is an Indian dance scene where he is very correctly dancing in the Blackfeet traditional fashion, at least as far as I can tell.
4) Even his clothing is correct because the traders during this time period often commented on the Blackfeet style of dress and how beautiful it was because their clothing was practically bleached white.
5) His talk is very Blackfeet. His grunts and groans, etc. He would have never called her a “squaw,” however. But, still he presented a good representation of his culture.
It really is a delightful movie and you can watch it for free on YouTube. However, if I can find it somewhere, I will probably buy it. I look for the old (silent) movies. I look at the new ones, and if I do find a “romance” one, it almost always ends in a bad way. This movie doesn’t end in a bad way and both of these characters steal the show. Here’s a link if you’d like to watch it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAacHqrDZHg&t=4717s
There is almost no information about Martin Good Rider as he grew up. He remained true to his Blackfeet heritage and made this movie his only step into the Hollywood scene as far as I can discover.
But, I was fascinated at the friendship between these two children because it practically jumps off the screen.
And, historical American Indian movies that include the American Indian male and the white female — and that actually end well — are rare, in my opinion. I can probably count them at present on one hand, which includes a silent movie I saw recently.
And so I thought I’d tell you a little about this movie so that if you get the chance, you might sit down some evening and have a look at it.
On the screen you will see them saying lines to one another, but their friendship is obviously real and one can feel the humor between the two of them.
Yummmmm… Autumn — crisp air, scented delicately with falling leaves and the smoke from wood stoves; Cinnamon and fresh apple cider, pumpkin pie, turkey and cranberry sauce, apple pie, the last of the corn on the cob…
And what about the “feels” of autumn? Traipsing through leaves, racking them up and jumping in them; picking up a leaf and tracing its pattern; warm days, cool nights, the pleasure of feeling Mother Earth prepare for a few months’ sleep.
And how about the sounds of autumn? Cold nights and warm blankets, football games announcing the players; the sounds of cheerleaders and marching bands; long practices — even the quiet sound of leaves falling to the ground. How I love it.
Of course, to the people who lived close to the earth, these were all the beauties of autumn, also. So much was this the case that an entire festival of fun and merriment was devoted to autumn — and that festival was called the Harvest Festival.
Of course we are all pretty much aware that our Thanksgiving comes from the Eastern Indians, and in particular Squanto — and if you didn’t know about Squanto, I would highly recommend the movie, Squanto, starring a young and dreamy Adam Beach. Sigh…
But what was this festival called Thanksgiving? Did it happen just this one time? Or was this Thanksgiving part of an ancient celebration of the American Indians to give Thanks to He who is known as the Creator.
Thanksgiving was one of several festivals amongst the Eastern Indians — in particular I’m talking about the Iroquois. However, these ceremonies were common to all the Eastern tribes. There were many festivals throughout the year, and they tended to follow the seasons.
The Iroquois celebrated six festivals, wherein they gave thanks to the Creator for all they had. These festivals would open with speeches by leaders, teachers, and elders. And of course there was much dancing, which was done not only for the fun of simply dancing, but it was also a sense of worship. It was thought that because the Creator needed some sort of amusement, He gave the people dancing. Let me tell you a little about some of these celebrations.
In spring — early March — it was time to collect together tree bark and sap – this was needed to repair houses and other things, such as canoes, bowls, etc. Spring was also the time for planting. This was the maple festival. Next was the Planting festival. Here prayers were sent to the Creator to bless their seed.
The Iroquois’ main food source was corn, beans and squash (the three sisters), and of course deer meat or other meat when available. Family gardens were separated by borders that were broad and grassy — they would even camp on these borders and sometimes they were raise watch towers.
The next festival of the Iroquois was the Strawberry Festival. This is where the people gave thanks to the Creator for their many fruits (like strawberries). It was summertime. The women gathered wild nuts and other foods, while the men hunted, fished and provided various meats for cooking. Again, each festival was greeted with much dancing and merriment. Did you know that the some Iroquois believed the way to the Creator was paved with strawberries?
The festival after that was the Green Corn Fesitval. Again, the people thanked the Creator for the bounty of food that had been raised all through the summer. Dancers danced to please the Creator and musicians sang and beat the drum. Again there were many speeches to honor the people and the Creator. There were team sports. Lacrosse was the game that was most admired and it was played with great abandon by the men. Women played games, too and often their games were as competitive as the men’s.
The season festival following that was…are you ready? You’re right — The Harvest Festival. By this time the women had harvested the corn, beans and squash. Much of it would be dried. Much went to feed families. Husks were made into many different items. Dolls, rugs, mats. Did you know that the dolls didn’t have faces? Now was the time to gather more nuts and berries. Men were busy, too, hunting far away. Bear, moose, beaver were all sought after and hunted. Again, there was much celebration. Dancing, speeches, prayer. And of course — food. It was this particular festival that was shared with the newcomers to this continent.
Can you guess what the next festival was? Although this is a Christmas tree, it was not a celebration of Christmas — but if you guessed this, you were very close. The next and last festival of the year was New Year’s. At this time, a white dog was sacrificed as a gift to the Creator. This was also a time for renewing the mind and body. (Does that not remind you of our New Year’s resolutions?) At this time, the False Face Society members would wear masks to help others to cleanse themselves of their bad minds and restore only their good minds. There was again much celebration, much dancing, much merriment and enjoyment as each person would settle in for the long winter ahead of them.
The First Americans indeed did give this country very much, not only its festivals which we still remember to this day, but also it gave to this nation a fighting spirit for freedom. In these times when there seems to be a forgetfulness about our American roots, it is wonderful to remember that the American Indian and the Love of Freedom went hand-in-hand. What seems interesting to me is that our Thanksgiving festival still honors the custom of giving thanks for those gifts that He, The Creator, has given us. To the American Indian all of these festivals contained this special element — that of giving Thanks to our Maker.
Perhaps it’s only because this one festival was shared by American Indian and Colonist alike that set the tone of Thanksgiving for future generations. And I do believe that the love of autumn and giving thanks for that which belongs to us has its roots in The Harvest Festival, so beloved to the Eastern Indian Tribes.
What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas about this.
Now, with this said, I’d like to mention that I do have a new release which can be puirchased at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, KOBO, ITunes and Google Play. And, I’ll be giving away a free copy of this book, BLUE THUNDER AND THE FLOWER to one of you bloggers today. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment.
Be sure to leave a comment to be entered into the free give-away. Giveaway Guidelines are off to the right here on this page.
A drawing was done and we have a winner for a free e-book of BLUE THUNDER AND THE FLOWER.
And the winner is:
Congratultaions go out to Quilt Lady and I hope you will contact me at karenkay(dot)author(at)startmail(dot)com and we’ll work together to get the book to you.
Also, don’t forget the book is on sale now until September 17th at Google Paly at 20% off. You will need a coupon and that coupon is GUGZUW22LH4U1. Here’s the link to the book at Google: https://tinyurl.com/uavkxz4
Have a pleasant and enjoyable rest of the evening, and again, I loved talking to each and every one of you!
Welcome to another terrific Tuesday! Hope y’all are doing well today.
I’ll be giving away a free e-book of BLUE THUNDER AND THE FLOWER today. You only have to leave a thought on the post in order to enter into the drawing.
And I thought I’d leave you with another excerpt from the book. Hope you’ll enjoy it!
BLUE THUNDER AND THE FLOWER Excerpt
The Season of Festivals
The Forks of the Big and Little Piney Creeks
As he stood within the great circle of the many camps, the boy, Maká Cí?ala, Little Skunk, squared his shoulders and raised his head, ready to receive the honors that were due him. As was tradition, all the tribes of the Lakota people were gathered together for the summer races, games and festivals. Although it was only midday, all of his family surrounded him in the center of the circle, and, as was also tradition, his band’s highest chief, Kicízapi Wa?té, Good Fight, held the two eagle feathers that Little Skunk was to receive.
Little Skunk was proud both of himself and his nation, the Hú?kpap?a, which he represented. Although he was only twelve winters old, he was already acting as a man—he’d been a scout for several of the war parties this summer and had brought many honors to his family. But this… This was an accomplishment a boy of his age had never before won: for the past two days, he had competed with adults in his tribe’s foot races, and he’d won every event.
It was a bright day, and a warm one, with the afternoon sun shining upon him as though to touch him with the care and respect of a father. He felt the tender sunlight on the top of his head and shoulders, and he held his head high. Then, the drums began to beat, and the singers commenced to chant the honoring song.
Holding up the two feathers to the wind, the chief, Kicízapi Wa?té, said, “Today, Maká Cí?ala becomes a man. He has gained the highest achievement in our foot races, and, because he has bested even the greatest men amongst us, he has won the right to earn himself a new name. In honor of this great occasion, Maká Cí?ala’s grandfather, Waki?ya? Paza Tosa?, Blue Thunder Striking, has given his name to his grandson, who shall bear his name with great honor.”
The old chief paused as Little Skunk’s mother stepped forward to offer the chief a newly-made blanket, which the chief accepted. He nodded and, opening the blanket, threw it around Little Skunk’s shoulders before offering the two eagle feathers to him. “Blue Thunder Striking,” the chief said, “we of the Hú?kpap?a know that, from this day forward, we will look to you for many good deeds. I give you these feathers to forever tell of your accomplishments.” The old chief smiled at Little Skunk, then said in closing, “The honoring ceremony is now done.”
Blue Thunder’s mother and aunties stepped forward to give him the hand-stitched quilts that had been several months in the making. Blue Thunder smiled and accepted the many gifts from them. Traditionally, these blankets were not his to keep; rather, he was to give them to the people to honor his deeds this summer. Stepping lively toward the side of the circle where people were sitting, he paced around it, offering the gifts to as many people as he could reach until all but one of the gifts was left. This present was special, for he had made it himself. This gift was for her.
Ci?cá Wací, Dancing Child, was about two winters younger than he. But, though the distance between their ages might have been great for their young hearts, Blue Thunder couldn’t recall a time when he hadn’t loved her.
Her mother came from the Brulé band of the Lakota. However, because her mother didn’t live with the Brulé, he saw Ci?cá Wací only during the summer when she was visiting her grandmother.
He still remembered the first time he had seen her. He had been seven winters that summer and she, five, and he remembered it as a great occasion, for her grandmother had made a miniature lodge and given it to Ci?cá Wací:
She had invited him to play with her in the miniature tepee, and he’d accepted his role in her game as being her pretend husband. That day, as soon as he’d ducked down to enter the lodge, he had seen that she had placed two different dolls upon small, buckskin blankets within the little tepee.
She had cautioned him to remain silent, since the dolls were “sleeping.” Then, she’d gone to the women’s side of the tepee and had made a “soup” consisting of water and berries which she had served him in a large turtle shell. From her tanned skin to her nearly-black eyes and the two dark-haired braids which fell down her back, she had captivated him, and his young heart had rejoiced.
They had played then, pretending to be married, and had continued their game into the coming days of summer. Indeed, at summer’s close, he had begun to think of her as his wife in reality. And, on that late summer day when she had told him she was to leave the next day, he had been so distressed, he’d said to her, “Since you are my wife, I would like to give you a gift before you go.”
She giggled and looked away.
“Well, what do you say?”
She stared up at him, her black eyes round and big, and smiled at him. “I would like that.”
He didn’t know what to give her and, in the end, handed her the only possession that was truly his—a single strand of white deerskin with an image of a lone, blue prairie flower upon it. He had, himself, painted the picture of the flower on the slender string.
Taking hold of the deerskin from her, he tied it as a necklace at the back of her neck, then said, “It is yours now. I will never ask for it back.”
As she smoothed her hand over the necklace, she said, “I will love this and treasure it all my life.”
“Wa?cá Skúya, Sweet Flower; it is your new name in honor of this gift. I give it to you. It is a good name and is a better name than Dancing Child. Tell your people. It is your new name.”
“You give me great honor, and I will tell my people.”
From that day forward he had addressed her as Sweet Flower. That her own people had still called her Dancing Child hadn’t caused him any worry, for he’d always known someday he would make her his wife, and, when that day came, she would become known as Sweet Flower.
At last, he found her in the crowd of people and, stepping near her, grinned at her.
She smiled while looking down, then said, “I am very proud of you.”
He laughed. “As well you should be.”
Once again, she smiled.
Taking her hand in his, he led her toward the side of the crowd, out of view from most of the people. As soon as they reached a private spot, he turned to her and said, “I have a special gift for you.”
Her smile widened, and she looked down as a proper, young Lakota maiden was expected to do, her demeanor shy.
“Hold out your hand,” he said, reaching into a bag and extracting something from it.
She did so, and he placed two strings of blue, white and pink-beaded earrings in her hand.
“Hau, hau. There is a woman from the Oglala tribe who makes the owi?la like these. When I saw the earrings she was creating, I knew I had to make a pair for you. She taught me how to do it.”
“They are very beautiful, and I love them,” she said. “I will always love them because they are so pretty and because you made them for me. But, since I thought you might win today, I made something special for you, too. If we go to my lodge, I will show you what I crafted for you this day.”
“Hau, hau,” he said. Then, because a man must always lead a girl and never walk behind her, he added, “Follow me.”
She did as he instructed. As soon as they entered her little tepee, she stepped to the back of the lodge, and, turning so she faced him, she presented him with a recently-picked bouquet of flowers. They were prairie violets and were very pretty.
As was the Indian way, she stared down at the floor of the tepee, which was little more than grass and dirt. When he took the flowers from her and their hands touched, he felt so good inside, he knew he would love Sweet Flower always.
He said, “Have you any water, for I would keep them alive so they will always remind me of you.”
She laughed, then said, “I do have water, and it is in a pouch. It will be perfect for them. I give you not only the flowers, but my own parfleche bag.” She giggled a little and looked away from him.
Carefully, he placed a finger under her chin and turned her face toward his own. “Tell me, when we get older, will you marry me?”
Still not looking up at him, she said, “I will, if you would still want me to.”
He brought her chin up so she was forced to look into his eyes and said, “I will always want you to be my wife, for I would spend my life with you. You are first in my heart, and I swear it will always be so.”
“Ha?, ha?. I feel the same as you.”
He grinned at her. “Then let us commit ourselves to one another. I wish we could marry now, but we are still too young. Our parents would never allow it.”
“I know what we might do.”
“Hmm…” He frowned.
“Let us tattoo one another with our own design,” she suggested. “In this way we will always know we belong together.”
“This is a fine idea.” He smiled.
She grinned back at him, then said, “I have a sharp bone that I use for sewing. My grandmother gave it to me. We might use it to prick our skin.”
“This is good,” he replied. “And the violets you have given me will make a blue color for the tattoo. But what design should we make?”
She shook her head.
“It should be simple, perhaps four small dots,” he said. “One dot would show that we are of one mind; another could say we are of one heart. The third dot might be one to indicate we will be of one body when we are older, and the fourth dot should be to signify that we have met soul to soul.”
She laughed and said, “What you say is pleasing to me.”
“Do you agree?”
“Oh yes,” she laughed. “Always I will love you.”
“And I, you.”
“Stay here,” she said, “while I go to my grandmother and ask her to give me the sharp bone I use to sew.”
“I will. But where should we put the tattoo?”
“Perhaps on the neck?”
“Maybe. But, wherever we decide it should be, it must be in a place on our bodies that will be hard for others to see, for it is to be our secret…at least until we marry.”
“I know where we could put it: we will place this tattoo on the upper back, close to and within the hairline, so it will not be seen by others. Yours will be on the right side, and mine will be on the left.”
She smiled up at him shyly. “I will go at once to my grandmother and ask for my sharpened bone. Will you wait here for me?”
“Hau, I will.” He looked at her longingly. “I would wait a lifetime for you.”
She giggled and bent to leave the little lodge to run to her grandmother’s tepee. Soon, she returned with the prized bone she used for sewing.
As the afternoon turned to evening, they etched their tattoos onto each other, the small dots hidden by their hairlines. When, at last, it was done, he reached out to take her hand in his own.
“It is done,” he said. “We are married now, and someday soon we will be old enough to live together so others will know we two are of one heart.”
Shyly, she smiled at him and said, “Ha?, it is done, and I am glad of it. With all my heart, I will always love you.”
BLUE THUNDER AND THE FLOWER is now on sale at Google Play for 20% off with the coupon: GUGZUW22LH4U1
Hope your day has been lovely and filled with all good things.
Well, we do have a winner for the free e-book, but before I announce the winner, let me tell you that the book is on sale at Barnes & Noble for a short time (September 7th) at a 25% discount. You would need a coupon and that coupon code is: BNP1892
So, even if you didn’t win this time, there’s still a way to get the book discounted.
A drawing was done and the winner is:
Congratulations, Lana. If you could please email me privately at karenkay(at)startmail(dot)com — we can get that book to you.
Many thanks for coming to the blog yesterday and leaving all your terrific thoughts. I so enjoy getting to know you all.
Hope your weekend was great! I must admit that with a new release, there is so much to do, I feel slightly scatterbrained. So please bear with me, if you please.
I will be giving a free e-book of my new release, BLUE THUNDER AND THE FLOWER, to one of the bloggers here today. I hope you’ll leave me your thoughts on the excerpt I’m about to give.
So, without too much fanfare, let me leave you the short blurb of the book and an excerpt.
BLUE THUNDER AND THE FLOWER
He rescued her from danger. Then she stole his heart.
Working as a trick rider for Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show, Blue Thunder of the Lakota Nation joins forces with two Assiniboine warriors in their mission to stop a hidden enemy who means to destroy the American Indian people. As a child, he’d witnessed the massacre of his friends and family, including the girl, Sweet Flower, whom he’d vowed to marry. The loss has left him with a burning ache and a prejudice against the white man. So how can he fall for a woman like Marci Fox?
Something terrible happened to Marci when she was a child; something that keeps her from remembering her early life. She jumps at the chance to travel from England to New York with her friends working with the Wild West show. But a last minute hitch means the only way to get there is to pretend she’s married to Blue Thunder. Her attraction to him is deep, yet something stands in the way of true happiness—the ghosts from his past and his commitment to a mission that could get him killed.
But soon, Blue Thunder and his friends must discover who the true enemy is and stop his evil plans before he can harm more of their people. Could uncovering the treachery get Blue Thunder killed? And, even if he survives the threat, can Blue Thunder and Marci overcome their past and discover the sweet flower of true love?
Warning: A sensuous romance that might stir one’s heart to look for, discover and ignite a soul-stirring, forever love.
BLUE THUNDER AND THE FLOWER
It was around ten o’clock in the evening, and the show’s last performance of the day was over for the night, although the arena was still lit. It was interesting to see how the new electric lightbulbs could throw such a glow over the performance area. Looking outward and up, Marci could barely see any stars, for the reflection of the light dimmed the brilliance of the stars and moon.
It was a cool, clear evening, though it was also humid, and, as Marci sat on the bleaching boards which were sheltered under the canvas tarp, she thought back to their performance this evening. Her own and Blue Thunder’s performance had, once again, gone over well with the audience. And, this time both she and Blue Thunder had stayed behind after the others in order to accept the applause from the crowd.
At present, however, Marci was looking out upon the arena, and she was not pleased. She was seated in the southeastern section of the stands, in the third row up, watching as Blue Thunder and his friends performed an American Indian–style song. Blue Thunder and Wind Eagle were singing while Iron Wolf accompanied them with his flute. Wind Eagle and Blue Thunder also appeared to be the ones who were setting the rhythm for the song, Wind Eagle utilizing a handheld drum and Blue Thunder shaking rattles.
But, it wasn’t their singing that bothered Marci. Indeed not. Rather, it was the usual crowd of women surrounding them who were causing her displeasure. Was the young lady whom Blue Thunder had “rescued” last night one of those girls?
Soon their song ended, and the young ladies stepped into the arena and flocked toward the three young men. Holding up their programs for an autograph, the women’s giggling and laughter sounded gay and free and could be heard all the way up to where Marci sat. However, their enthusiasm was causing the opposite sentiment within her. Worse, Blue Thunder and his two friends looked as though they were thoroughly enjoying the feminine attention.
As Marci sat on the sidelines frowning at them, she was engrossed in her own thoughts. Neither Luci nor Jane was here with her. Both of them were attending to and watching their children, and, although Luci also performed with the show, since she had given birth to her son, she had taken to hurrying home as soon as the show ended, leaving her husband to attend to their horses.
“They are most popular, are they not?”
So engrossed was Marci in her thoughts, she jumped at the sound of Shooting Star’s voice. She had almost forgotten that the pretty, young maiden had come to sit down beside her.
Glancing to the side, Marci smiled at the girl who had already become a good friend. Marci answered her question, saying, “Yes, they are quite popular.”
Astutely, Shooting Star stated, “But, it is easy to see they love their wives, and so there should not be jealousy.”
“No, there shouldn’t be,” agreed Marci as she glanced away from her friend. “But, sometimes I simply can’t help it.”
“I think it would be difficult for me to see all the girls around them, too, if it were my husband down there.”
“Yes, and look at the blonde woman.” Marci’s voice sounded hard, even to her own ears. “Do you see she is putting her hands all over my husband’s chest? She’s touching him everywhere as though she were making love to him in front of everyone.”
“Yet, he does not seem to like it.”
“Doesn’t he? I don’t see him shooing her away, and he is, after all, a man.”
“But, he knows he is your husband, and he has been brought up traditionally, and in the old ways. He loves you very much. A woman has only to witness the way he looks at you to know you are in his heart.”
Marci was silent. Yes, she was in his heart…in second place. True, he had confessed this almost from the beginning and without much fanfare, but this didn’t mean her heart was not now a little grieved over it.
But, she wasn’t about to tell this story to another person, even if Shooting Star might understand. He wasn’t to blame for feeling the way he did about Sweet Flower, anyway. He had loved and lost her, and it had happened in as terrible a manner as possible. She understood why he would still love the young girl from his past.
What she still didn’t understand was why he had escorted another woman home last night. Although he claimed his action was innocent and that he was only helping the woman and her escort, Marci still didn’t know what she was going to do about it…or about him.
As she glanced down into the arena, she could see the young lady—a pretty blonde—still touching Blue Thunder, and, although he wasn’t acting in a return fashion, he also wasn’t putting her away from him or turning his back upon her.
Marci could no longer watch this without feeling a seed of revolt rising up within her. And, when the blonde began to touch him in a downward fashion, her fingers moving toward his breechcloth, Marci stood up, ready to leave. She couldn’t stay here and watch this; she also couldn’t interfere down there without causing a scene.
Or could she? Why shouldn’t she create a stir? Indeed, why shouldn’t she let all these women know she had a rightful claim upon this man? She wouldn’t be spiteful or mean about it. She would simply let it be known.
“Are you going somewhere?” asked Shooting Star, looking up at her.
“I am,” answered Marci. “I’m going down there to stand next to my husband.”
Shooting Star giggled. “This is an excellent idea. If I were the one having to endure this, I think I would do the same. Indeed, I think I will sit here and watch. I might learn something.”
Marci laughed. “Unless you’d like to come with me.”
“Thank you, but no. I will enjoy looking on as the other girls come to understand he is not free to give his love.”
Marci grinned at her friend, then, looking forward, she stepped toward the stairs which led down into the main arena.
It didn’t take Marci long to find her way onto the field and become part of the crowd of girls surrounding the three men. Threading her way through the throng toward Blue Thunder, she eventually came to his side, and, with the blonde on one side of him and she on his other, Marci stepped in toward him as closely as possible and said loudly, “Do you see how they ooze all over you?”
He looked down at her and grinned. “I am glad you have come here, my wife.”
“Wife?” The word echoed on the air around these young women.
Marci placed her hand upon Blue Thunder’s arm and murmured in as husky a voice as she could manage, “I am tired of hearing these people talk about how handsome you are, and oh-so strong.” Marci looked up at him, fluttered her eyelashes and frowned. “And the gifts they bring you. ‘I will have to bake you a cake so you will notice me…or maybe I’ll make you an apple pie.’ And then they hug you like this.” She cuddled up to him.
Although Blue Thunder was still signing the programs from the young women around him, he broke out with laughter. “How could I not notice you, my wife?”
“I don’t know,” she replied in a smooth voice. Looking toward the other side of him, she noticed the young and pretty blonde had ceased to caress him and had even backed away. “You seem to be able to do it well, my husband.”
“Indeed, this is not so.” He was still laughing, although, after a moment, his chuckling turned to a smile.
“It is how I see it,” said Marci.
“Then let me show you how I see it.”
These words, however, did not prepare her for what happened next. After Blue Thunder finished signing a program, he turned to Marci, took her in his arms and swung her around and around, even within the crowded space.
Settling her down in front of him, he murmured, “Tell me now that I take no notice of you.”
“I cannot do it now, my husband.”
“I am glad to hear it,” he said. “But”—he smiled at her suggestively—”I think we should leave here at once and attend to other ‘things.'”
“No,” she replied easily as she scooted out of his arms. “Not tonight. Maybe not tomorrow night, either. But, there are others here who seek your attention, if you dare to challenge the convictions of my Faith again this night and accompany one of these women home….”
Again, her comment was met with a round of Blue Thunder’s laughter, which appeared to be contagious, for she heard other masculine hilarity, as well. Marci looked quickly around the crowd and could see that both Wind Eagle and Iron Wolf were trying without much success to contain their own good humor.
“Do not bother coming home,” she warned Blue Thunder, “unless you intend to sleep outside our lodge…again.”
Although she knew she was teasing him relentlessly, she was yet surprised when he gave her highly-padded rear end a quick whack with one of the programs he held. When she turned around to scold him, she was met with his much-too-handsome and crooked smile. Indeed, so caught up was she with his good looks, she forgot what she had been about to say, and, instead of speaking at all, she turned her back on him and gave her long hair a quick shake as she walked away, ensuring her hips were properly wiggling.
His laughter was like music to her ears.
Well, that’s it. Hope you enjoyed the excerpt. Please do leave me your thoughts and please do come on back tomorrow evening to see if you have won the free e-book.
On sale now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, KOBO, ITunes and Google Play.
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.
And welcome to another terrific Tuesday! So…news…news… My newest release, BLUE THUNDER AND THE FLOWER, will be released on August 17th. However for a short time, the book is on sale — a pre-sale — 20% off. It’s on sale now for $3.99 until August 17th, when the book’s price will be changed to $4.99.
Well, I thought I’d post an excerpt from the book. This excerpt is a Lakota Wedding Ceremony. A word on this before I post the excerpt: many American Indian tribes did not have a wedding ceremony. Most couples were married by simply living together. Sometimes, when a marriage between them might be frowned upon, they ran away and tied the knot in private.
However, to my knowledge, both the Lakota and Cheyenne had ceremonies that could be used in order to marry them. But again, most simply invited the Creator into their marriage privately.
BLUE THUNDER AND THE FLOWER
“You are telling this to me truly? It isn’t for yourself and your…needs, alone, that you are speaking to me of divorce?”
“It is not. I say again that my intentions are honorable.”
She took several moments before speaking and he watched her closely to see if he might be able to know what her thoughts were. He didn’t obtain any insight, however. When at last she spoke up, she said, “Then, if that be the case, I do believe my answer is ‘yes.'”
He didn’t reply to her. He wasn’t certain his voice would allow him to speak. Instead, he merely nodded. After some moments, he let down his guard a little, his stance becoming more casual, and he said, “I would like to marry you in the Lakota way, I think, because if we seek the Captain of this ship to marry us, what happened between us personally will come to be known by all, and I do not believe this is good for you or me. What is private and between us should remain private. Also, if we become man and wife in the Lakota way, I will still be able to allow you to divorce me if you are unhappy with me.”
He watched her closely, trying to determine her thoughts—not only on his insistence that she could divorce him, but also to determine if she might object to the two of them making their own marriage ceremony. But, once again she seemed to be able to hide what was in her mind and he was not enlightened as to her thoughts.
However, after a moment, she stared straight at him and said, “Mr. Thunder, you have said I may divorce you many times now. Know that I won’t do it. Nor will I allow you to chase after another woman or to divorce me. And, you agree with this?”
He nodded. “Hau, hau.”
“Very well. But, I have another question for you about our marriage.”
“I am here to listen to you.”
“Very well. It is this. What do you have to gain by marrying me? Yes, yes, you speak of taking care of me. I thank you for your consideration. But, by marrying me, you will have to change your life somewhat. Why would you do this?”
He laughed aloud. But then, seeing she did not share in his humor, he said, “You must be truly innocent if you do not know how marriage to you would aid my life.”
“Then I suppose I am innocent. Oh, I admit, you would have a woman to share physical desires with. But, you have already attained this with the pretty women who encircle you and your friends, for it is no secret that many women haunt your steps. I would like to think that I would be helping you in some way, also. And, I don’t understand why you would seek to do this for me.”
He stared at her for some moments as he sought to come to terms with an answer for her. Why was he doing this? Because he cared for her? Yes. He knew this already. But, was this the only reason?
He didn’t know; he simply didn’t know.
At last, he answered her and said, “It is true that a man has…needs that are answered by having a woman in his life. But, there is more to it than this, and I should tell you what I can so you might come to understand my culture better. Often in life, a man will require the attention and care which only a woman can give. And, when a family is the result of her care, a man must dedicate himself to the support of her and their family, for, it is within the love which a woman gives him that he might grow into being who he is, in truth. And so, without his woman’s love, a man does not genuinely live.”
She became suddenly silent and stared at him…simply stared. It took several moments before she was at last able to voice her thoughts, and said, “You are a strange man, Mr. Thunder.”
He grinned at her. “You could be right, but why do you say this?”
Again, she hesitated. After a few moments, however, she uttered, “You speak of marriage and divorce as though both belong together, and you worry that I should have the right to walk away from you. And yet, you also tell me that a man without a woman is a man who doesn’t truly live. If this be so, and you really believe this, why would you try to make a divorce easy for me?”
She looked directly into his eyes, but he didn’t wish to stare back at her, for indeed, he was afraid she might see too deeply into his heart and become aware of the trauma that was always present there. Hence, he merely shrugged and said, “Because if I can, I would have you be…happy.”
Again, she became silent, and into that silence, he asked, “Do you have any other questions for me?”
“I do not.”
“Is your answer, then, still ‘yes’?”
“Hau, hau. I am happy to hear this. Are you ready to marry me in the Lakota way, then?”
At last Blue Thunder relaxed and smiled at her. “You have brought happiness and sunshine into my heart with your decision. But, I have a question.”
“You have told me you are coming to America alone and that, outside of your friendship with my ?óla’s wife, Jane, you have no one to look after you?”
“Yes, this is correct.”
“No father whom I should gift with many skins and blankets and other treasures?”
“No. Both my mother and father are dead.”
“Hau, hau. Then, come, let us marry.”
She looked up, smiled at him and whispered, “Yes.”
“I must retrieve the buffalo robe which is on the lower bunk, if you will excuse my reaching past you.”
As she stepped aside, he bent to take hold of the buffalo robe and another bag which contained a strip of rawhide, cured and painted red. Digging into another bag, he brought out his pipe. Then, standing up again, he took her hand in his and escorted her to the tiny porthole in their room; the window was still open and the morning sun shone into their little compartment.
Bringing her to stand next to him, he threw the robe around both their shoulders. And, holding out the strip of rawhide, he bound her wrist to his. As she looked up to him, he smiled, then bending again, picked up his pipe. Next, he held the pipe out to her, inviting her with gestures to grasp it, and, when she did so, he moved his hand over hers, firmly clasping it with his around the pipe’s stem.
He smiled at her again and spoke to her softly, saying, “It has been told to me by the elders of my tribe that there may be times when a man and his woman might wish to say bad words to one another. I have been warned against doing this. It was said to me, also, that it is best to go away for a day or so until a man or a woman knows he or she might speak to one another with kindness. It has also been said to me by my father that a man shows his affection for his wife and his children by being productive, by ensuring there is food to eat and skins for making clothing and a lodge to protect them against the elements. My father also told me that a husband must make certain that those things a woman believes she needs, she has. And, by doing all this, he becomes a good husband. Above all else, my father told me a husband must be kind, tolerant, faithful and must give his ear to his wife when she has concerns. I say to you now that this which has been said to me, I will do. And now, as we stand here next to each other, do you wish to give voice to what you have been told by others that makes a good marriage?”
“Yes, I think I do,” she responded. “Although I do not remember my parents or what they might have said to me about marriage, I have come to believe a woman should give her talents to her husband and family. She must take charge of the household and keep it in good order. She must be faithful to her husband and give her love only to him. She must love her children and must teach them well. All this, I will do.”
He sighed. “It is good. And now, Mitáwicu, I believe we should kiss.”
“That word you said, what does it mean?”
“’Wife.’ My wife. We are now married.”
He watched her full lips turn upward in a smile.. And, when she said in a whisper, “What a beautiful word,” he felt as if his heart expanded, at least a little.
“Mitáwicu,” he said, “It is a beautiful word for an equally beautiful ceremony that joins together two people. From this day forward we will be as one in body.”
“Yes,” she said softly, but then she frowned suddenly “I have another question, though, and it is this: in my world, when two people become married, they are required to perform the marriage act at once. If they do not do so, they are not considered married. Is this also a custom amongst your people?”
“No. It is not in the Lakota way that a marriage must be consummated at any certain time. A woman may take as long as she wishes before a man might”—he smiled at her—”shower her with his affection.”
She nodded, and he murmured, “Mitáwicu.” Then, bending, he brought his lips to hers and was surprised to feel the blood rushing to his loins. He was stunned even further when she sighed and shifted her weight inward toward him, as though she, too, were filled with pleasure.
Hau, it was good, if unexpected. Yes, he thought she was beautiful and that she needed a man’s care, yet, he knew he didn’t love her—at least, not like a husband should.
But, there was more to the ceremony, and he reached down to take the pipe out of her hand. Setting it aside, he threw off the buffalo robe. Next, he raised their bound hands up toward the little porthole, where the sun still shone beams of light into the room, and said, “Creator, do you see that we are now married?”
He didn’t expect an answer, and there was none forthcoming at this time.
Bringing her in closely to him, Blue Thunder took Marci in his arms, then dropped to his knees, carrying her with him. And, he kissed her again, holding her slightly away from him, for already his body was making its needs known to him, and it was in the most natural way a man might regard a woman who was now his wife.
But, he wasn’t ready to carry this into lovemaking and he knew she wasn’t either. It wasn’t the right time, for they had not committed themselves to one another because they were in love. So he resumed the ceremony, taking her free wrist up to his lips and placing a kiss upon the pressure point there. When he looked up at her again and beheld the passion within her gaze, he felt oddly, since he knew he wasn’t marrying her because of a sexual need for her; rather, he was doing what was necessary to ensure her safety and because she required someone to care for her. He had decided he would be that man. Yet even now, he felt himself on the verge of “convincing” her to make love with him.
But he didn’t. He wouldn’t. Hadn’t he already told her that he would be spending most of his time with the horses on this trip, and so she needn’t worry about the physical aspects of marriage?
However, he would tell her one important fact, and, holding her closely to him, he said, “I do believe I am going to enjoy our marriage. It is my hope you will, also.”
When she grinned up at him, he took advantage of her open mouth and kissed her again. This time, he let his tongue trace over her lips. That she sighed in surrender to him caused the need in his loins to press in on him; indeed, it almost undid his resolve against making love to her now. But again, he cautioned himself to respond to her in a reserved fashion, since neither of them was yet emotionally ready to carry it further. So he said simply, “Come, wife, we should see that your trunk is properly loaded onto the ship.”
And, her response was a beautiful, if simple, smile.
Well, that’s it. I hope you enjoyed the excerpt, along with a little history at the same time.
Again, the e-book is on sale for $3.99 for a short time. I’ll leave the link for you also.