Notah had been listening intently to everything being said above him. He let out a sigh of relief when he finally heard her leave his prison area. Again, he had thought for such a tiny thing, she had the fearlessness of a mother mountain lion. What was he going to do with her?
“Love her,” came a faint voice in his head that he knew was Squash Blossom’s.
He smiled, “Thank you, Squash Blossom. You were my first love, and the love of my youth. I will not forget you, and I will not let our children forget you either.”
He felt a cool breeze touch his cheek and then she was gone. And this time he knew she was truly gone. She’d come to him when he needed her and she had set him free to love again, to move on with his life, and leave his grief behind.
Startled awake, Julietta sat up and clutched the side of the wagon as it rocked to a stop.
“What’s happening?” she yelled up to the private driving the wagon.
“Ambush!” he yelled back. “Stay down, Miss Stanton. We’ll handle this. A few of those damned rebel redskins who’ve jumped the reservation, probably. Just stay inside and keep your head down.”
Julietta had known such attacks before. Charlestown had been under siege at one time, and she was just as frightened now as she had been then. The gunfire brought it back all too clearly, vivid memories of cowering in her aunt’s basement while cannon fire sound from the fields.
Oh, Lord, why do people think the only solution to things are guns and wars?
But what had she expected. After all, her father was a general in the United States Army. Why did she think there wouldn’t be fighting still going on? If the country needed a standing army, that meant they expected a fight somewhere, right? Was she still so naive?