The Call of a Bloody Past – Extended Epilogue

Lisa and Lorna May gathered as many jars of milk in their arms as they were able to hold. Lorna May sighed in a frustrated way, shaking her head. “There’s no way we can carry all these,” she said breathlessly.

“Not all the way there, no. But we aren’t walking all the way there anyway, so why are you worried?”

Lisa grinned at her friend. “That’s true. I’m not thinking straight. Here, put yours in this basket. I’ll put mine in that one. It will make it easier to carry everything we need once we get there.”

Lorna May examined the basket. “This is a nice basket. Maybe they’ll be in need of it, too. Should we gift it to them?”

Lisa raised her eyebrows, impressed by her friend’s generosity. The basket did come from her store, after all, and giving it away would cost a few cents. Lorna May and her family weren’t wealthy like Lisa’s, but the cost of a basket or two certainly wouldn’t put them out on the streets.

The two ladies were on the way to the Comanche village to deliver supplies ahead of the coming winter months. It had been two years since Oscar had gifted the land to the Indians, and they had remained close to the Red River community ever since. Lisa expected the goodwill to last a lifetime. It would if she and Oscar had anything to do with it. 

Lisa was nearly seven months pregnant with her and Oscar’s first child. She was handling the pregnancy rather well, which Lorna May vocally envied, having seen one of her sisters have a terrible time during hers, constantly sick and in pain. Lisa didn’t feel any different, health-wise. She was aware of the child growing in her belly, had felt him move (she was certain it was a boy), and had gained the appropriate amount of weight according to her doctor. But she had no complications, was never sick, and didn’t feel much different than she did when she wasn’t with child. 

Despite Oscar’s constant concern, Lisa went about her normal routine every day. She told Oscar she would continue to do so until she felt like she was weakening. If she grew tired or fatigued, she would slow down, she told him. And she would—if that ever happened. 

She had only seven weeks left till her delivery date. She hadn’t slowed down yet and was still moving around the same way she had before and likely would after. She found pregnancy to be a wonderful experience and was sad for mothers who had a rough time of it. 

Before they stepped out in the cool weather, Lisa wrapped her body in the biggest coat she’d ever had. She threw a six-foot scarf around her neck, pulling it up to her nose to keep her face warm. A stiff breeze was blowing through the streets and she didn’t want to breathe that cold air in. 

“Don’t you even think about carrying that out to the buggy,” Lorna May said in a warning voice behind her. She’d been about to pick up the basket with four bottles of milk and some other items Lisa had thrown in for good measure. “I’ll take it out there. You’ve done enough.”

Lisa had stopped arguing with her friend and Oscar about how much work she was doing. When they told her to ease up, she did so to please them, even though she knew she could go on just fine. She left the basket where it was and allowed Lorna May to make two trips to get the baskets into the back of the buggy. 

Her friend was also driving, she was told. She climbed into the passenger seat and sat docilely while Lorna May finished up what she was doing and closed up the general store. The sun was right up above their heads but it wasn’t doing much to warm the countryside. It was cold and would only get colder as winter pulled in.

Lisa didn’t really mind, though. She was wrapped up nice and warm and the Indians would have fires in their tents she could warm up next to when they got to the village. She enjoyed the snow and was ready to see its beauty and stomp around in it. She would have her child by the new year and there was snow expected throughout January and February so she would have her fun then. Hopefully, Oscar would stay inside with the newborn.

Her thoughts made her smile and Lisa watched as Lorna May pulled up in the seat to drive the horses on. They would reach the village in no time. They’d traveled that road so many times. 

Lisa and Lorna May were expected by several of the women who were also pregnant. There were four Indian ladies with child, and they had welcomed Lisa into their group as if she was one of their own. They’d been attending to Lisa’s needs every month, checking on the baby as if they were doctors themselves. There were two midwives in Red River. Lisa had asked Lorna May’s aunt Jean to attend to her in her hometown. 

Lisa was surprised to see Oscar and Sid in the village almost as soon as they entered. The two men were seated in front of the chief’s tent, talking with him. Or more like listening. The chief liked to talk, which endeared him to Lisa more than he knew. His English was broken but completely understandable. He told a good story and if he said something was true, they knew it absolutely was. He also told fables and fiction stories. If he didn’t tell them it was made-up, there was no way for them to know.

“Stop here, Lorna May,” she said softly, reaching over and setting one hand on her friend’s arm. 

Lorna May pulled the horses to a stop and let her out. “I’ll let them know you’re over here.”

“Okay, thank you.” Lisa smiled at her friend. 

“There’s a beautiful woman over there.” Lisa heard her husband’s voice and smiled as she turned to look at him. He had stood up and was jerking on Sid’s arm to make his tall friend stand up, too. Sid looked awkwardly in her direction and then cast an irritated look at Oscar that made Lisa giggle.

“Howdy, missus.” Sid grinned, widening his eyes at her in a silly gesture, his British accent making the word sound strange to her ears. He didn’t often use it in greeting. “How are you feeling today?”

“Not bad at all, Sid. And you?”

“Oh, I’m right as right as always.” He slapped his chest heartily several times.

Oscar put his arm around her and pulled her close to his side. She looked up at him, smiling. So many years had passed and it felt like she was fourteen again, looking up at Oscar’s handsome sixteen-year-old face. 

She wondered if she would always see him that way, even when his hair had turned gray and there were wrinkles around his eyes and along his forehead. Would he have hair in his ears like her grandfather had? 

Lisa laughed softly.

“What? Do I look funny?” Oscar’s expression turned slightly worried, but that only made Lisa laugh more. 

“No, not at all, my love,” she responded. “I was thinking something funny. About you. When you’re really old. Maybe you’ll have hair coming out your ears like Pappy does.”

Oscar rolled his eyes and let out a sharp breath. “Oh, God forbid! Why are you aging me, wife? I’m still young. I’m… I’m very young, in fact.”

“That’s right, Oscar.” Sid took up the conversation. “You keep telling yourself that. You’ll never be old if you convince yourself of that on a daily basis.”

Lisa thought that was sound advice, even if Sid meant it to be funny. She gave Oscar a more sober look. “Why are you two here today? I thought you weren’t coming back until you had a baby to bring them and show off.”

She was taken aback by the sudden look of seriousness that came to his face, as well as Sid’s and the chief’s. 

“There’s been some rumbling in town again. Chief’s been getting some threats. Kotoni getting threats when he goes in the barbershop. We’ve been asked to say something to a couple of folks.”

Lisa frowned, moving her eyes to Chief Kewatsana. “Again? That’s ridiculous. Who is starting this up?”

The chief gave her a sympathetic look, which she found interesting considering it was his people under threat and not hers. “You must understand these men, Lisa. They will not change their minds once they are set. We will never be white men. They fear those they do not understand.”

“Then they should get to understand you like you understand them. It makes me mad. I wish they would just stop behaving like such fools!” Lisa spat out the words, causing Oscar to squeeze her shoulders, leaning to kiss the side of her head. 

“We’ll talk with them, Lisa. Don’t you worry. There will be no—”

A sharp pain struck Lisa’s lower back, making her grunt in pain and bend forward slightly. She lowered her head. It was too early for her baby to be coming. Fear flooded her mind and heart. She looked at Oscar, who had frozen in place, his eyes wide and staring. 

“Lisa?” he said her name breathlessly. 

“Oscar…” she returned with his name. “It hurts. It’s too soon to hurt.” Tears clogged her throat as panic set in.

Before she could blink, Chief Kewatsana had sprung to his feet, his loud whistle piercing the air around them. 

Pain struck Lisa again and she couldn’t keep back her frightened tears. She could hear Oscar murmuring it would be all right, hear Sid barking orders as if he knew what was needed, hear the women gathering around her at the chief’s request.

Lisa was shuffled into a nearby tent, one she recognized as belonging to one of the medicine women. She was surprised to feel some of her fear ebbing away as she watched the village women move around her, bringing towels, wiping her forehead, speaking softly to her in their language as if she knew what they were saying. She didn’t need to know—she could tell they were consoling her. 

One of the oldest women in the village knelt beside the cot she was laying on and took her hand. She had no idea what had happened to Oscar. She imagined he was pacing in front of the tent she was in, worrying about her and their child. 

She wanted everything to be all right but her head was swimming. Fear and sadness were overwhelming. She was mourning her child when she hadn’t lost the child. 

Onokina, one of the medicine women who spoke English, came toward her carrying a cup by the handle, her other hand underneath it to make sure it didn’t tip. She knelt by the old woman and handed the cup to Lisa.

“Drink this. You will feel better.”

“Will it stop the pains?”

“I believe it will. You will not have your child yet. You still have some time to go. This should help the pains stop until the right time for the child.”

Lisa drank from the cup willingly, even in the midst of a sharp pain in her lower back. She hated it. She hated the pain. When it was time, she would welcome it, but right now, she just wanted it to go away. 

“You must relax now, missus,” Onokina said softly, reaching out to brush some of Lisa’s dark hair from her forehead. “You relax and you will feel better.”

“Will you let Oscar in?” Lisa asked softly. There were some tents men were not allowed to enter. Onokina looked around at the other women in the tent, who all gave Lisa sympathetic looks and nodded. 

“Yes, we will let him in. We will give you time alone. Is that good?”

“Yes, thank you so much!” Lisa gushed.

Oscar busted into the room like he’d been holding his breath till he could enter. He was by her side in seconds, resting one hand on her belly and one on her shoulder.

“Are you all right? You’re both all right?”

“The pains have stopped,” Lisa told him truthfully and thankfully. “I think everything will be all right now.”

“If that happens again, we’re coming right back here,” Oscar said anxiously. He turned his eyes away, looking thoughtful. “Maybe we should just stay here till the baby comes. Just to make sure.”

Lisa laughed delightedly. “We can’t just stay here, Oscar. We have lives to lead in Red River. We’ll be all right. It’s a short ride and I’ll have Onokina send me home with some of this obnoxious but effective potion. Okay?”

Oscar still looked skeptical but he nodded. “Okay, Lisa. Whatever you say, my dear. I just want what’s best for you and our baby. I love you, you know.”

Lisa smiled warmly, her emotions making her tingle all over. “I love you, too, Oscar. So very much.”

THE END


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11 thoughts on “The Call of a Bloody Past – Extended Epilogue”

    1. Absolutely loved the story!!! Great turn of events especially when Lisa put it all together and solved who killed Oscars family. I did not like the way the story ended. You should have waited u til after she had the baby and they felt with the trouble me makers in Red River!!! But great story.

      1. Thank you so much for your kind words and support, Paula. I truly appreciate it!

        So glad you enjoyed the story! Make sure to stay tuned because I have more coming!

    2. Another awesome story Derek! Absolutely loved the story!!! Great turn of events especially when Lisa put it all together and solved who killed Oscars family. I did not like the way the story ended. You should have waited u til after she had the baby and they felt with the trouble me makers in Red River!!!

      1. Thank you so much for your kind words and support, Paula. I truly appreciate it!

        So glad you enjoyed the story! Make sure to stay tuned because I have more coming!

  1. Nice story and hated to put it down till I had read it all the way to the end. Good mystery till it was revealed that Oscar was part Indian and how they help him in the end.

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