Posts Tagged: Huron

Historical Fiction and the Wyandot

12 October 2015 Comments (2)

The alliance of the Wyandot People from the northern side of the Lake Ontario—Huron as we came to know them in the modern recorded history—got significantly less attention than the famous great League of the Five Iroquois Nations.

In fact, the little that we do know about these people, seems to come to us through their relationship with the Great League—a troublesome relationship at that—and their role in the later-day struggle for power between the English, French, and Dutch newcomers.

Not much information, and certainly with no detail that is unrelated to the mentioned struggle of powers, or the earlier times.

The mainstream notion places the formation of the Wyandot union somewhere around the 15th century, with the first two to join the forces being Attignawantans/People of the Bear and Attigneenongnahacs/People of the Cord. Probably larger and more dominant, these two nations might have initiated the union, with the remaining Wyandot, Tahontaenrats/People of the Deer, and Arendarhonons/People of the Rock joining somewhat later, either on equal terms or as ‘younger brothers.’

Yet, there are sources that dispute this claim. The greater reach of the modern-day’s science, archeological studies, and deeper cultural research already moved the date of the famous Iroquois Great League a few centuries earlier, from the same 15th century accepted until some decades ago all the way to the August of 1142. The evidence like the exact location of a certain key event combined with the NASA records of full solar eclipses of the area provided us with definite dates, as opposed to the earlier less definite hunches. When it comes to the Wyandot, though, the concrete evidence is harder to find, as no records of their earlier times seem to be available. All we know is the fact that they did have a union and that their enmity with the Great League of the Iroquois seemed to go back centuries and more.

No political body, this alliance might have been lacking in mutual government, but their largest settlement Ossossane was recorded to be ‘boasting’ its status as a capital of all Wyandot People. So maybe they were united more closely than we came to believe they were.

In this novel, the third book of the People of the Longhouse series, I wanted to explore the possible causes of this union’s formation and possible difficulties its founders had to face. Due to the glaring lack of records, some literary license has to be taken, sometimes lavishly—not a problem when it comes to a hardcore historical factionalist only too eager to welcome such challenge—but sincere efforts have been made to keep as close as possible to every available record or documentation, along with the historical and cultural traits of the nations involved and the general history that has been retold.

The question of who his mother was puzzled Ogteah, but not to the extent of bothering him for real. His other troubles, the results of his life as a gambler and a lightweight, breezy and free of responsibility, were the ones to land him in trouble time after time. The people of his own hometown frowned, more and more direfully as the summers passed, until his mounting transgressions made him leave for good, mainly to stop embarrassing his father.

A great leader and a very dedicated person, his father was working hard to create an alliance between their own people and their various neighbors, an alliance that was supposed to keep their side of the Great Lake safe from the traditional enemy, the notorious Longhouse People and their Great League’s threatening presence. Concerned with none of this, Ogteah wandered far north, settling in the lands of the people his father wanted an alliance with. Only to run into more trouble.

Gayeri wasn’t concerned with political developments, powerful leaders, or their less successful sons, either. No troublesome newcomers entered her thoughts or caught her attention, certainly not a good-for-nothing gambler with a mysterious past. Having survived a brutal kidnapping but determined to forget all about it, she was busy carving a new life in her new surroundings, set on ensuring that it would shelter her from any more dangerous happenings. Protection was her first priority, and keeping away from men was a large part of it. Large-scale politics were of no consequence, whether those of her former Longhouse People or her new Crooked Tongued countryfolk. Her personal safety was most important, at the expense of everything else. .

And yet, the formation of the four Wyandot nations’ union was to interrupt their lives, to demand their involvement and participation, causing them to influence each other’s lives more than any of them could have imagined or foreseen

An excerpt from “Troubled Waters”, People of the Longhouse Series, book #3.

“The gathering of our nations will be held with the coming of the new moon. It will not be delayed, and it will not be put off.”

Encircling his audience with a piercing gaze, Hainteroh fought the urge to lick his lips, his mouth dry, craving a gulp of water. He had been speaking for too long by now, orating, then answering people’s questions. So many of them, coming from far and wide, listening avidly, but with enough doubt clouding their faces.

His venture into the Deer People’s lands was not proving worthwhile, not yet. Maybe not ever. These people, enemies of his people until not long ago, were wary of their enterprising neighbors. The offer to stop warring was one thing. No one hesitated for too long to accept the temporary cease of hostilities. But a union, an actual union that should make their leaders meet on a constant basis, oh, that smelled of dependence to this smaller nation, he knew. They did not trust, neither his Bear People nor the powerful dwellers from the shores of another Great Lake, the People of the Cord.

“We should all join in this union, an alliance of brother-nations. We are brothers, and we belong together, not apart.”

From his elevated position, he could see them, a lake of faces, crowding the hill, pushing closer, trying not to miss a word. A good thing. The Deer People may have been a smaller nation, but their location made them important, their presence in the projected alliance imperative. Also, they didn’t look too small and insignificant when touring their forests, visiting their settlements. The town he had been trying to convince, the place who were ready to offer hospitality, was as large as his own, with as many longhouses and a sturdy palisade. Yes, better to have these people on their side.

“Like our longhouses, with our families living together, sharing much, yet maintaining their independence, having each a fire of its own, so will be our union, an alliance of nations, tied by mutual management, yet independent, accountable first of all to their own leading people, towns, and clans councils.”

He encircled them with his gaze again, seeking out faces of those who stood closer, seeing their interest, their attention, but their wariness as well. They weren’t ready to trust an outsider, a leader of the neighboring people, with a long history of violence and half-hearted agreements. His being neither one of theirs nor a total foreigner made him lose on both counts.

It would have made them listen more readily had he been a savage from across the Great Lake, or maybe a dubious ally like the Long Tails People from the mists of the southwest. The Peacemaker was right. No one was ready to trust one of their own. But for this man still being around! He pushed the irrelevant thoughts away.

“No nation will be forced into our alliance, or threatened into doing this. And yet, why not elect a representative, even of your town alone, to travel to Ossossane, to witness our gathering, if not actively participate? The Deer People will benefit from joining our union. They will not regret listening to our proposals.”

More humming voices, more fascinated murmuring. He suppressed a shrug. After addressing this crowd since the sun was high in the sky, he was beginning to repeat himself. Time to break the meeting.

Historical Fiction and the conflict around Lake Ontario

14 May 2015 Comments (0)

The confederacy of the Five Iroquois Nations was an outstanding political body, an impressive democracy that the world was yet to see anywhere around the globe for quite a few centuries to come.

The intricate set of laws that reached for every aspect of life, the complicated system of checks and balances that made sure no nation or individual people gained more power than the others, the direct and indirect involvement of people from every status and stance of the society, the equality of genders, all this and more manifested itself in the creation of the Great Peacemaker who had come to these lands maybe as far as eight centuries ago, crossing Lake Ontario, leaving his original people, the Wayndot nations, or Crooked Tongues, as they were referred by the dwellers of the other side. Known to us in many great details, the Great League of the Iroquois keeps drawing the historians’ attention.

But what about the other side?

Much less known, the Wyandot People seemed to be divided into four nations, organized in an alliance as well, maybe not as one political body with mutual set of laws and closer ties, but like any other alliance, an organization that was designed to meet economical, trading, and probably military needs. It is assumed that this alliance was formed later, much later, maybe as far as the 15th century, but with no concrete evidence pointing either way, it is difficult to determine.

What we seem to know for certain was the fact that both sides of the Great Lake did not get along, did not form an alliance, even though their ways of life were strikingly similar, even the languages they spoke belonging to one linguistic group.

And yet, temporary peace agreements might have been reached over the centuries of co-existence, and this is the possibility I wanted to explore in this and the following novels.

Back in the Great League’s lands, trouble was brewing. The notorious Crooked Tongues from the other side of Lake Ontario, rumored to now be organized into a sort of an alliance, were posing a threat, more so than ever before. And yet, the War Chief, out of all people, was the one advocating negotiations, insisting on seeking a peaceful solution to the generations-long hostility and war. His followers were puzzled, the opposition outraged.

Meanwhile, Kentika has her own troubles to face. Was it ever easy for a foreigner to fit into a new life? For a girl who never even fit in among her own people, the challenge was becoming nearly impossible. But then, on top of it all, the political trouble hit.

An excerpt from “The Foreigner”, People of the Longhouse Series, book #2.

“Oh, please.” Watching a group of people who went past them, unhurried and at ease, their voices carrying with the wind, as did their laughter, she waved a buzzing fly away. “The foreigners. I hoped they would leave before the ceremony.”

Her companion’s face lost some of its good-natured beam as well. “Yes, they better go back to their distant lands and leave our men and leaders alone. They can’t possibly try to suggest what has been whispered around the town. It would be too inconceivable.”

Seketa felt the remnants of her well-being evaporating. “My husband thinks they might be allowed to state their case before the Great Council, when our respectable elders are due to meet again, after the Cold Moons.” She watched the round, good-natured face closing up, turning blank, in too familiar of a fashion. She had seen it happening many times since the arrival of the accursed delegation. “There is no harm in foreigners speaking to our leaders. The laws of the Great Peacemaker provide for this opportunity, as much as for any other. Remember that should a nation outside our union make known their disposition to obey the laws of the Great Peace, they may be invited to trace the roots to the Tree of Peace, and if their minds are clean, and they are obedient and—”

“Yes, Seketa, I know the laws as well as you do. And yet,” the woman shrugged, “our War Chief is an outstanding man, trusted and admired, a leader our people have been following for quite a long time. He is a good man, that husband of yours, a great leader, and yet, he has been insisting on listening to all sorts of foreigners for too long. There will be no peace with the Crooked Tongues. We all know it, and but for his insistence, we would have been better prepared, less surprised with the escalation of things.” A rough, weathered palm came up, displaying the evidence of long summers of working the land. Partly successful, it managed to stop Seketa’s indignant protests that were about to erupt. “Yes, I know, I know. We all know that when these people came over to raid our lands again, after so many summers of quiet, your husband did not hesitate in retaliating, doing so brilliantly, yes, punishing the enemy hard. And yet …” The loud sigh was accompanied by another wave of large hands, this time palms up, relating gloomy doubt. “His heart is not in those raids, Sister. One can see that. He still hopes to achieve peace with the enemy, somehow. And it’s not a good state of affairs, not good at all. We need our War Chief to be aggressive, spoiling for a fight. We can’t have him thinking of peace, planning for this possibility while organizing his raids. He needs to focus on how to humble the enemy, how to hurt them. Not how to make them talk peace as they did for some very short time, after the Messenger of the Great Spirits left our world all those long summers ago.”

She wanted to close her ears, to push the words away, not to let them enter her mind, for she knew her companion was right. Brilliant in everything he ever did, from organizing the Great Council’s meetings to managing many smaller affairs of the entire union, he was just as good at making war. On the rare occasions he had authorized, and then organized the warriors’ parties to head across the Great Lake, he did it well, like everything he undertook.

And yet, this woman was right. His heart was not in the warfare. The persistent hope to reach an agreement with the Crooked Tongues, her and the Peacemaker’s original people, to have their representatives sitting under the shade of the Great Tree of Peace, taking a part in the greatest union, his most admired hero’s creation, oh, but these hopes did color his deeds, did influence his decisions.

She wanted to shut her eyes, or maybe scream in frustration. He was loyal to the memory of a man who had been dead for many summers, gone, disappeared. He risked everything in order to save this man once, but in the long run, it brought him no good.

The Rise of the Iroquois, Part IV – back to the other side

22 October 2014 Comments (1)

The legend of the Peacemaker ends with the creation of the Great League, when the first gathering of the Five Nations and their fifty representatives were presented with the insignia of their office and told about their duties and responsibilities. There was little that the Peacemaker’s wonderfully detailed constitution didn’t cover. Composed of almost hundred and fifty laws and clauses, it gave clear direction as to the way of conducting themselves and their nations in order to preserve peace and concord.

Longhouse

So all was well among the Five Nations for the time being, but what about the Peacemaker himself?

Evidently, he didn’t participate in the government he himself has created. The names of the original founders were to be passed down to their successors in the office – this was one of the laws – however, as typically, the elected representative would stay to serve his people for life, such direction did not create a problem. For example, the person who came to succeed the deceased Hionhwatha was to be called “Hionhwatha”, inheriting this great man’s name along with the vastness of his responsibilities. This is how we came to know the names of the original founders.

And yet, the Peacemaker’s name, although passed down to us as a part of his story, was never inherited, showing that he did not sit in the Great Council he created.

But then, where did he go?

Various versions of the legend did not address this question at all, concentrating on the First Gathering and the set of great laws he had delivered to be passed on to the future generation, instead. Some do mention that this great man went back the Creators, to the Great Spirits he came to represent here on earth. Does it mean that he died? Disappeared?

Two Clubs

If allowed to question the legend and the mysterious aspect of it, I think these questions are important. People were always people, and divine intervention or not, some might have grown jealous of the power this man had wielded. Particularly Tadodaho, who according to every angle and every version of the legend was not a likeable man, not above using violence and dirty means. Hionhwatha’s family and what happened to it prior to the Peacemaker’s coming, serves as an example; them and the fact that the Onondaga People were the last to join the League, difficult to convince only because of this man’s resistance. What if he tried to get rid of the Peacemaker after the Great Council began functioning, looking as though it is going to hold on?

And there is another aspect. Wyandot/Huron People, those whom the Five Nations came to call Crooked Tongues – the Peacemaker’s original country-folk – seemed to be as busy and not idle at all. Composed of four nations as opposed to the five on the other side of Lake Ontario, they were reported to form a confederacy as well, the one that might have been functioning on the similar basis. We don’t have knowledge of when exactly this confederacy was formed. Like with the Great League, the dates are jumping centuries back and forth, with no conclusive evidence, but unlike the Five Nations we don’t have an event as the full solar eclipse to help us out. Nor do we have a recorded story. Only the repeated claim that the Wyandot confederacy of four nations did exist.

Which bring us to another question. Why didn’t the Peacemaker try to bring his own people into the Great Law of Peace of his own creation. After all, according ot his own words it was open to every person or nation with a willingness and a right set of mind “… If any man or any nation outside the Five Nations shall obey the laws of the Great Peace and make known their disposition to the Lords of the Confederacy, they may trace the Roots to the Tree and if their minds are clean and they are obedient and promise to obey the wishes of the Confederate Council, they shall be welcomed to take shelter beneath the Tree of the Long Leaves…”

Why didn’t he make sure his own people had a place under the Great Tree of Peace?

Or maybe he did. Maybe he did try to bring his former people, the Five Nations’ sworn enemy, in and maybe this was what served as his downfall, or made him leave in any other way.

An excerpt from “The Peacekeeper”, The Peacemaker Series, book #4.

And so here he was, stuck with the strenuous task of organizing this important gathering, while the three most important people in his life were threatened, dangerously exposed.

“I’m not underestimating that poison-dripping snake.” Two Rivers’ voice cut into his thoughts, not calming or reassuring, not this time. “I’m watching him as closely. Just in case. But he is not as powerful as he used to be, Old Friend. So don’t fret about him that much. He can hate us all he likes, but he can do nothing to interrupt our work, nothing at all. Mainly because it will go against him, too, if something goes wrong. Having received such a high position in our Great League, he can’t jeopardize the entire thing. He wants it working well as badly as we do.” Sucking on his pipe, the Crooked Tongues man chuckled. “It’s good to be back. Running all over those western lands reminded me of our previous Awakening Season. We didn’t get much rest back then, did we?”

“No, we did not.” Making another tremendous effort, Tekeni tried to push his misgivings aside, if only for this short part of the morning.

“He may not be as powerful as before, yes, but he is still vicious and unscrupulous. He hasn’t changed. His pride demands that he lead our union, so if he finds a way to be rid of you in order to replace you as our spiritual leader as well as the Head of the Great Council, he would do this as quickly as you can say ‘Great Sparkling Water’.”

“Yes, I’m aware of that.” Two Rivers exhaled loudly, in an exasperated manner. “Credit me with more wisdom than that. I’m not a simple-minded child.” He studied his pipe, a skillfully carved and painted affair of many patterns, another gift from this or that grateful community, probably. “I’m not disregarding your advice, Old Friend. I trust your judgment more than I trust the judgment of anyone else on both sides of the Great Lake. I know you are right about Tadodaho. I know he would have gotten rid of me if he could. But the thing is, he can’t. He needs me. After the second, and maybe the third gathering, when it all works and all the laws are firm and solid, and our union looks like the unshakeable structure that it should be, maybe then he’ll decide that I may be of no use to him anymore. Then I will keep him in my eyesight, and I will be careful not to turn my back on him. But until then, I’m safe. He is too wise not to appreciate my usefulness for now.”

“Unless the opportunity to get rid of you presents itself, too tempting not to exploit, even if it might come too early to be of convenience.”

Oh, curse this persistent bad feeling to the underworld of the Evil Twin. Two Rivers was probably right. He was the wisest man of them all. He could see beyond the obvious and above it, flying like an eagle, seeing the great picture and the smallest details at once, his eyes as good as those of that magnificent creature, and his mind as sharp as the most polished flint, the best arrowhead. Wasn’t he the man who had brought this magnificent vision to life, giving his, Tekeni’s, people so many great laws and rules?

“This Crooked Tongues delegation may be that thing, that opportunity, to tempt the evil snake into pouncing, even if your dubious trip to visit the western people did not,” he muttered, hating his gut feeling and his logic, wishing they both would go away and leave him alone, so he could enjoy the company of his friend, or the warm arms of his woman at nights, without the nagging worry.

Historical fiction and the Great League of the Iroquois

13 July 2014 Comments (0)

I am happy to announce the release of another new book

The Peacekeeper

The after-story of the Great Peacemaker’s legend is not clear. Some versions refer to his disappearance briefly, off-handedly, stating that after bringing the Law of the Great Peace to the people, he went back to the Sky World.

Other versions do not mention his departure at all, concentrating on the events of the First Gathering and the elaborate set of laws he had given the people on this opportunity.

What is clear and agreed upon by all versions of the story is the fact that he did not participate in the government he created, did not sit among the fifty representatives he went to such great pains to guide and direct.

The names of the original fifty became titles, to be passed to each office’s successor and become his to use for the time the man would be expected to hold his position—a lifetime in many cases. These important dignitaries could be replaced by the Clan Mothers of the towns they represented, but there was no limited time for them to officiate if they did so in a satisfactory manner. Thus, the man who was chosen to replace Hionhwatha assumed the name of this great man, and the man who was honored to officiate as the Head of the Great Council was to be called Tadodaho as long he stayed in the office. And so on.

Yet, the Peacemaker’s name was not passed down through the generations. He was clearly not among the original fifty who had formed the first Great Council. A clear indication that he did not remain to see the confederacy of his creation functioning, blossoming as the years passed.

But where did he go?

Wyandot, or Wendat, people from across Lake Ontario—the Great Sparkling Water—or Crooked Tongues as they were honored to be called by the other side of the lake, his original people, were reported to have a confederacy as well. They were four nations of similar-sounding languages, and their union seemed to be of the same nature, maybe on a smaller scale, but not by much. There is no clear evidence as to the time their union might have been formed, not like with the Five Nations, thanks to the solar eclipse and the many recorded versions of the story, but we do know that such a union did exist.

So he might have died, or disappeared, but he also might have gone to his former people, to do for them what he had done for their enemies? It would be strange if, after declaring his intentions of bringing all peoples under the shade of the Great Tree of Peace, he would not have tried to do so starting with his own ‘Crooked Tongues.’

And even if he failed, as, historically, we know that there was no peace between the League of the Five Nations and the Wyandot (Huron) from the other side, he might have tried to do that at least, to attempt to unite his former people into a similar sort of a union.

With the Great Peace established, new laws delivered, and important agreements reached, Two Rivers and Tekeni could now sit back and enjoy the fruits of their work, watching the union of Five Nations alive and kicking, functioning, maintaining the Peacemaker’s wonderful vision. Or so they thought…

Tekeni had never trusted the power-hungry Tadodaho, now the Head of the Great Council. Yet, Two Rivers dismissed such warnings lightly, too lightly for Tekeni’s peace of mind. The devious man was up to something. Tekeni’s gut instincts screamed danger, but the Peacemaker kept waving his hand in dismissal, claiming that everything was under control.

And then, the Crooked Tongues entered the scene…

An excerpt from “The Peacekeeper”, The Peacemaker Series, book #4

She said nothing, her palm pressing his shoulder, giving warmth, but not enough of it. Nothing would fill the void the incredible man from across the Great Sparkling Water would leave when gone, back to the Great Spirits he clearly belonged to. He was their messenger, the temporary guest here.

“He didn’t finish his work, you know.” He felt silly, like a complaining child, whining about things he couldn’t have. “He said five nations was just a beginning. He went to see Long Tails from the west, somewhere upon the shores of another Great Lake. We barely hear of these people, but the People of the Mountains knew, and they told him. So he went there. Like in the good old times, but alone. I was busy organizing the Second Gathering.” It was easier to keep talking, it kept his grief in some sort of control. “And the Crooked Tongues, of course. He wanted to have them as a part of our union. He invited their delegation, but it was not enough, he said. Not a pitiful delegation from one or two towns. He wanted to go there in the summer, to organize them like he did with our people. Then we could talk to them properly, he said.”

Sighing, he smiled at the memory, not a happy smile.

“He said he did not believe I would like to come. I told him, damn right, I would never cross the Great Sparkling Water again, not if I could help it. But I would have now, you know? If it was the way to save him, to make him change his mind, I would be sailing our Sparkling Water before the sun was to kiss the treetops of the eastern side of it.”

The pressure of the gentle palm was gone.

“He wanted to go and organize the Crooked Tongues?” she asked, suddenly excited.

“Yes, he did.”

“Alone?”

“I suppose so.”

She coiled into her previous position again, pressing her knees with her arms, but not sobbing now, deep in thought.

“What?”

“Wait. Let me think!”

“Think about what, Kahontsi?”

“I think I may have a solution. But you won’t like it.”

“There is no solution.”

“Maybe there is.” Her eyes shone at him like two bright stars, their excitement barely contained. “Like the test of the falls, eh? It was wild, but was worth a try. And we did it. And it worked.”

He felt his own excitement beginning to stir. “Tell me.”

Historical fiction and the Iroquois

1 September 2013 Comments (0)

I am happy to announce the release of another new book

Two Rivers

The Great League of the Iroquois existed for centuries before both Americas had been discovered by the other continents. Composed of five nations known to us under the names of Mohawks, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga and Seneca, the Iroquois Confederacy had occupied most of the present-day upstate New York and more, spilling into the southeastern Canada.

What made this confederacy special was their amazingly detailed, well-defined constitution. Recorded by a pictographic system in the form of wampum belts, the league’s laws held on for centuries, maintaining perfect balance between five powerful nations.

More than a few modern scholars believe that USA constitution was inspired by the Iroquois. To what degree, this is another question, but Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and some other Founding Fathers were, undoubtedly, very well-versed in the laws of the Great League, with Franklin advocating a federal system akin to that of the Iroquois and Adams leading a faction that favored more centralized government but still citing some of the Iroquois laws in the process.

So what was this remarkable constitution, and how did it come to life?

The year is 1140 and the war is raging on, relentless, uncompromising, a ferocious warfare, with every nation fighting each other, raiding one another’s towns, seeking revenge against offenses, imaginary or real. Five sister-nations caught in the web of violence and retaliation, unable to escape the hopeless loop.

To settle their differences and make them talk, someone with courage and unusually broad thinking was needed. Maybe a prophet. Maybe just an outstanding man. But an outsider, on that all the versions of the legend agree.

The Great Peacemaker, indeed, according to all sources crossed Lake Ontario, heading from the lands of the Huron/Wyandot people, present day southeastern Canada. For reasons unknown, his own country folk did not want to listen to his message.

However, the time the first novel in the trilogy is dealing with, the main bulk of the work was yet awaiting him. To cross the Lake Ontario was a brave decision. But what made him do that? Did he leave willingly or was he forced to do so?

Tekeni, a captive youth from across the Great Sparkling Water (Lake Ontario), adopted but finding it difficult to fit into his new life, gets caught in the middle of his new country folk politics when a game of lacrosse goes wrong. An act of violence, commenced out of an impulse puts him outside the law, hated by all but one man who is also frowned upon.

Two Rivers was an esteemed hunter and warrior, a local man of impressive abilities and skills, but a strange person with strange ideas that he never bothered to keep to himself. He claimed that the constant warfare was a wrong way of life, that the struggle between the neighboring nations – even the enemy across the Great Lake! – should stop. He maintained that the peaceful existence was possible. A notion that made even his friends shake their heads in doubt. What he said made no sense.

Yet, the man was insistent, arguing with his peers and his elders and betters, even the members of the Town and War Councils, and the Mothers of the Clans. Many eyebrows were raised in disapproval, but now that he was defending an enemy cub guilty of crime, the general displeasure began to turn into anger and hatred. Just whom this man thought he was?

With their trouble mounting and the revengefulness of some people around them growing, both Tekeni and Two Rivers find themselves pushed beyond limits.

An excerpt from “Two Rivers”, The Peacemaker Series, book #1.

Turning abruptly, she faced him, her face barely visible in the faint moonlight, mainly the outline of the beautiful cheekbones, high and oh-so-well defined.

“What do you want?” he asked tiredly, squatting upon the cold sand.

“Me? Nothing! I want nothing from you.”

“Then why did you wait for me here?”

“I didn’t say I was waiting for you!” The fringes decorating her dress jumped angrily as her chest rose and fell. “I came to enjoy some peace and quiet. I was here first.”

He snorted. “Peace and quiet? You don’t look so peaceful. And you were waiting for me here, fuming and getting angrier with every heartbeat.”

The hiss of her breath tore the silence. “I just came to tell you that if you will go on defending the dirty whelp that tried to kill my brother, you will regret it dearly.”

He didn’t turn his head, not surprised.

“Your brother is not dead yet. He may heal. And he was the one to attack this boy. I was there, I saw it all. He grabbed the boy by his throat, and he threatened to kill him, after he hit him in the middle of the game. It was quite a blow, and I’m surprised he didn’t break this youth’s arm. And maybe he did. It was all blue and swollen, but no one paid attention, of course. No one cared for the dirty foreigner. They were busy fussing around your brother, the impeccable Wyandot man.” He raised his hand as she tried to say something, glaring at her in his turn, truly angry now. “Well, I did not intend to defend the wild cub. He was certainly guilty of the charges against him. All I did was to tell the true story when I was called by the Town Council to testify. But now, after talking to you, I may very well do that, try to help that boy. He was treated badly enough, this afternoon, if not through his previous moons here. He was adopted formally, turned into one of us. But he is not treated as one of us now, is he?”

“If my brother dies, he’ll die,” she said stubbornly, turning away and peering at the dark mass of the water below her feet. “Adopted or not, one of us or not. And I’m warning you. Keep out of it. Many people are angry with you as it is. Your attitude is bad enough, without making matters so much worse by helping the filthy cub.” She paused, and he could imagine her lips pressing tightly, unpleasantly thin, an ugly sight, although she was a beautiful woman. “The boy is lost, anyway. If my brother recovers, he will not let this incident pass unavenged. He will kill the boy by his own hand.”

“He can’t take the law into his hands. We are no savages. We have councils to settle such matters.”

A shrug was his answer. He tried to keep his anger at bay.

“How is he now?” he asked instead.

She shrugged again. “He is vomiting, and he cannot see clearly. He is murmuring, coming around, and then going back into the worlds of the Spirits.”

“Not good.” He sighed and more felt than saw her doing the same. “But he still may heal. I’ve seen people recover from head injuries like that. It takes time.”

“I hope you are right.” Her voice stiffened again, turning freezing cold. “But if he doesn’t, this boy will wish he were never born.”

The hatred, he thought, feeling the familiar twisting in his stomach. Always hatred. So much of it. And it is ruling our lives, this ever present sense of being wronged, this persistent need of revenge, this hopeless urge to take our frustrations out on something or someone. And always anger, anger, lakes of anger, not a peaceful moment for anyone, harmful, destructive, corruptive, ruining people and nations. Can’t they truly see the wrong in it?”

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