“I’m going down to the stream for water.” After picking up the leather water bag, I walked with Wind Chaser the short distance through the woods to the water’s edge. I was limping slightly because I was still sore from being thrown from Good Thunder. Wind Chaser sat down on the bank, watching me as I slipped off my moccasins and leggings and waded into the stream. The water was deep and fairly warm in the sun. I washed my face and hands, then began to fill the leather bag.
Wind Chaser began to growl; I whipped out my knife and swung around. A Piegan warrior rode out of the woods and came directly toward me. His cheeks were painted with black lines and he held a bow with a notched arrow ready to shoot through the air. My chest tightened, knowing I had no chance of escape.
Wind Chaser was crouched down and still growling. He leapt at the warrior. The Piegan brave fired the arrow at Wind Chaser. I screamed as the arrow hit his body. He yelped and flipped over in the air, landing on the ground. The warrior jumped off his horse and started after me.
I turned and ran through the stream. The warrior splashed in after me. I couldn’t run fast enough to get away, so I turned to face him, holding my knife threateningly toward him. What I saw frightened me even more. He wore an expression of such total confidence that I felt as if I was a deer cornered by a mountain lion. He didn’t draw a weapon but approached me with wary movements. We both knew he could easily disarm me.
He leapt at me and I stabbed him in the chest. I lost my footing, went underwater and came up coughing and gasping. He pushed me under again and I fought him desperately, beginning to panic. I’d lost my knife and had only my hands to fight with. My lungs felt as if they were going to burst and I feared that he intended to kill me.
Finally the warrior pulled me back out of the water and dragged me to shore. He was bleeding from the chest wound I’d given him, but it wasn’t a serious injury. He came down on top of me, smelling of sweat and dirt. I pummeled my fists against his chest. He repulsed me; his breath was foul and his hair matted and dirty. I scratched my nails across his face and he struck me ruthlessly. I fell back stunned, unable to stop him as he used my dress tie to bind my wrists.
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