It was early morning, six o’clock to be exact, and the sun was only now starting to peep up in the eastern sky. Still, that light, dim though it might be, was enough to allow her to see the man clearly.
He turned when he detected her presence, and paced toward her casually. She frowned. Was that the hint of another smile upon his countenance?
Yes, it was. She wondered why. Wasn’t it disconcerting enough to have to be taught a skill by a man who was uneducated, a possible heathen, and whose people had been at war with her own? That he should grin at her so easily didn’t fit in with her father’s learned lectures on the nature of these people.
Yet, as she looked outward, taking in Mr. Eagle’s tall form, she thought he might possibly be one of the handsomest men of her acquaintance. Odd, that. From her father’s colorful description of the Indian, she had thought that this race of people was ugly beyond description.
But if this were so, her father had undoubtedly never met a man like Mr. Wind Eagle.
“Mr. Lou-ie.” He pronounced her name in his deep voice with a slight accent, although it was pleasant. As she gazed up at him, she caught a gleam of humor in his eye, as he continued, “Later, we will see to your accuracy with a gun. For now, we will begin your training with bow and arrows. You will need a bow to start your training, and we could borrow one of mine for today, but, I think not, for you are smaller than I.”
She nodded, and pulled her hat down over her eyes. His voice was low, slightly hushed and baritone; there was also a quality to it that caught one’s attention. What she really needed, she decided, was to stop gaping at him.
But Mr. Eagle was continuing to speak, and he uttered, “We will look in the midst of these trees for a piece of wood,” he gestured at the stand of trees behind her, “that will be of the kind we need to make your bow and arrows.”
“But—” her voiced squeaked, and she lowered it as she continued, “I thought we were going to practice shooting.”
“We are,” he agreed. “We must, as soon as we make a proper bow and some arrows for you.”
“But couldn’t I borrow or pay for a bow and some arrows from you, or your own people? After all, it seems a terrible waste of time to go to the trouble of making my own, when I would gladly pay for a product already made.”
“And have any of these people you mention ventured to suggest that you are free to borrow them or purchase them?”
“Well, no, but then I don’t know them or—“
“Among my people, it is considered ill-mannered to ask for an object of some value that has not been offered. So we will not take that path. Instead, we will find the right wood, and I will instruct you in how to make the bow and the arrows you will need. Come,” he clapped her on the shoulder, causing her to trip forward. He tsk, tsked at her. “If we are to compete in these contests, you will need to build some muscle there, my young fellow. I will teach you.” His words were filled with so much humor that she thought he might be laughing at her. But when she gazed up at him and looked into his eyes, his countenance appeared to be somber…except for that slight gleam in his eye.
“But that will take a long time.”
“Not too long,” he replied, then he winked at her. “Come, let’s see what kind of wood we can find for your new bow.” With this simple utterance, he turned and stepped into the woods.
Available in Ebook:
The Eagle and the Flame (The Wild West Series Book 1) by Karen Kay
A vision foretold his tribe’s doom. Is the flame-haired beauty the trickster or his true love?
Lucinda Glenforest’s father, a general who’d fought in the Indian Wars, taught his flame-haired daughter to out-shoot even the best men the military could put up against her. When Luci’s sister is seduced and abandoned, it’s up to Luci to defend her honor in a duel. Although she wins, the humiliated captain and his powerful family vow vengeance. The sisters’ only hope is to flee and hide until their father returns from his overseas mission. Out of money, Luci hatches a plan to disguise herself as a boy and use her sharpshooting skills in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.
The chief of the Assiniboine tribe has a terrifying vision, that someone called the deceiver, or trickster, spells doom for the children of his tribe. He enlists Charles Wind Eagle to join Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, in hopes of appealing to the President of the United States for help, and to find and stop the deceiver. When Wind Eagle is paired with a girl whom he knows is disguised as a boy, he believes she might be the deceiver. Still, she stirs his heart in ways he must resist, for he has a secret that can never be told, nor ignored. And Luci can never forget that her father would destroy Wind Eagle if she were to fall in love with him.
Forced to work together, they can’t deny their growing attraction. Will Luci and Wind Eagle find a way through the lies to find true love? Or will they be consumed by the passion of deception and slander?
Warning: A sensuous romance that might cause a girl to join the rodeo in order to find true love.