It wasn’t the heat; it was the acrid smoke that drove me out of the chapel. I rushed out into a wind that was howling, slashing, and twisting like an enraged panther. Where’d that come from? How did I not hear this before? I thought as the wind tugged my dress like an insistent toddler and whipped my braids – I’d have been blinded by my own hair if it had been hanging loose.
Around their hutes, I saw the elders standing with folded arms. The death paint on their faces was garish white in the reflected sheen of the moon and made their heads seem to hover disembodied in the shrouding darkness. Apalachees and the Spanish soldiers were waving their arms and pointing – at me or the burning chapel or both. I saw one of the Spaniards point his long gun towards me.
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