September 4th, 1886
It's been three weeks since I watched Pa beat that Algonquin boy to death. Pa
tied his dark hands to the fence post and whipped him until he was limp.
Since settling here, some two years ago, at least ten head of cattle have been
stolen by the Algonquins. The government men haven't gotten to this part of the
territories yet. They say it's too remote and that we'll have to clear out them Indians
Course, if Mother were still with us, she'd talk Pa into taking a more Christian tone with "them savages" as she called them. But, coming down from the north last winter was too hard on her heart, and she went to her maker some nine months ago.
Pa hasn't talked to God since. Only Pa directs Pa now.
Early this morning, at least two hours before sunup, Pa and I set out along the ridge on the north end of the homestead.
According to Pa, the Algonquins usually stick close to the creek bed, to fish and get water, when they ain't stealing our herd. We stayed back behind the tree line, so as to make sure no one could see us if they was looking up from below.
Pa reckoned that ol' trail should be pretty deserted at this time of season, and if we did run into any tomahawk throwers, he and I would be able to kill them quick. After all, I had two rifles slung on the side of my horse and an old hatchet Pa gave me some two years ago.
We led the horses farther along the ridge, keeping just close enough to see the small valley below. A set of boulders just ahead marked the clear area overlooking the Indians' settlement. Pa sniffed...