Western Fiction posted May 17, 2021 Chapters:  ...18 19 -20- 

This work has reached the exceptional level
Mighty Beaver gets riled

A chapter in the book Wilderness Redemption Road

The First Cut is the Deepest

by Earl Corp

The author has placed a warning on this post for violence.

Shenanigans and hijinks on the frontier
Carter Holler, Kentucky
It seemed funny to Roseanna that even a half century later she would feel the same frustration she had with those two men at the Ohio River ferry. While she knew she had not always made wise choices in life, she was certain the one to continue on with the expedition hadn’t necessarily been a foolish one, or was it?

“Granny, did you ever doubt your decision to stay with the group instead of going back to Pittsburgh,” Mary asked.

“Child, hindsight’s 20/20 and I make no apologies. Or do I have any regrets, for what I done when I was younger and if you young’uns learn anything from me that’s the lesson I want you to remember most.”
“Yes, Granny,” they all said in unison.

“Now where was I…..”
Hill overlooking Raccoon Creek
5 days later

“Is there a reason we’re on the steep side of the hill and not on top,” Richard asked.

Doo shot him a glance and grunted. It had been Roseanna’s idea they bring Richard ahead on the scout. Doo recalled the conversation vividly.

“I think it would be good if you take my brother with you, he needs to start learning some survival skills,” she’d said.

“Thunderation! I ain’t got time to deal with someone greener than grass, and keep my hair,” Doo had argued.
“Your hair is just fine, and he won’t be a problem, you had to learn sometime too, right?”
“Well…. Yeah.”

“Good it’s settled.”

Durned woman,’ Doo thought.

“Well Richard, we stay down from the crest so we don’t skyline ourselves, men who skyline themselves don’t live long out here,” Clancy answered.

He hasn’t quit complainin’ the whole time we’ve been scoutin’ Doo thought.

A flash of light in the valley caught Doo’s attention. He immediately froze and took a knee and motioned for his companions to do the same.

Doo saw the source of the flash very quickly. A group of about 30 Shawnee were making their way across a clearing. Rifle barrels twinkled in the sunlight as they moved.

“I count 27, Hoss,” Clancy whispered.

“Yeah, and each one seems to be outfitted with a new rifle thanks to Tyler McGraw I reckon,” Doo replied dryly.

Richard understood his input was neither valued nor wanted by the two woodsmen, but he thought he’d better ask the question bubbling up in the back of his mind anyway.

“Should we head back to the camp?”

Doo and Clancy both cut a glance in his direction.

“That’s the first sensible thing that’s come out of your mouth all day,” Doo responded without taking his eyes off of the approaching Shawnees.
Smythe’s Camp
Raccoon Creek

Roseanna McCallister walked up to the shelter Clancy had rigged up for Janie. Her intention was to see if the girl wanted to go to the creek and take a bath. Since Janie had gone ahead from Pittsburgh with Doo and Clancy, she hadn’t had the opportunity to get to know the young woman. And she thought a dip in the creek would remedy that.

“Janie! Are you in there?”

“I’m here.”

“Can I come in?”

“Come ahead.”

Roseanna slipped under the tarp that was hung for a door. She found Janie sitting cross-legged and sharpening her hunting knife on a whetstone.

“I was headed to the creek to take a bath and wondered if you’d care to join me?”

“I reckon I ain’t doin’ nothin’ else at the moment,” Janie replied.

“It’s I’m not doing anything, not doin’ nothin’.”

“What are you, a schoolmarm?”

“Not at all, it’s just we should be more lady-like now they’re building the trading post.”

“The trading post and stockade don’t mean nothin’ to me, I’m leaving when Clancy and Doo head out for the winter.”

Roseanna’s eyes twinkled with merriment at that.

“Do they know that?”

“It’s a done deal, where Clancy goes I go.”

The two young women approached the bank of the creek at a bend which was partially secluded by bushes. They stepped behind some blackberry bushes and quickly shucked off the buckskins they’d been wearing for the past month.

Roseanna blushed when she saw Janie was buck naked under clothes, she looked down at the pantaloons she was wearing and thought maybe Janie was on to something.

“C’mon shuck them britches and let’s jump in,” Janie chided.

Roseanna’s face turned redder, she’d never undressed in front of anyone in her life and modesty was keeping her from doing so in front of Janie.

Janie wasn’t paying attention to Roseanna as she jumped in the creek. She went under water for a couple of seconds then broke the surface spitting a mouth full of water out as she bobbed up.

“C’mon in, the water’s fine,” she encouraged Roseanna.

Roseanna’s last crumb of modesty melted away as she removed her pantaloons then leaped in the water.
“I’m tellin’ ya I saw two wimmen swimmin’ nekkid,” Jake Lowry said to his companion.

“There ain’t but one woman on this here trip, that’s the one whut shot Bert at Pittsburgh.”

“I’m tellin’ ya I saw me a yeller haired gal with her,” Lowry insisted.

Rafe Meeker wasn’t keen on messing with the raven haired Roseanna, but the thought of a blonde intrigued him.

“I reckon we can have a look-see.”

Lowry parted the bushes to get a gander at the two young women playing in the creek.

“Glory be, will ya look at that, Rafe,” he said excitedly.

“The blonde’s kinda skimpy ain’t she,” Meeker replied.

“That’s why we thought she was a boy.”

A voice from behind them made them freeze.

“Have you two seen enough?”

Lowry and Meeker turned around to face the voice. They weren’t expecting what they saw.

“I asked you two scum, if you are through spying on those girls?” Mighty Beaver asked.

“Who’re ya callin’ scum, you savage?” an irate Lowry asked. “Just in case ya ain’t learned ta count there be two of us and just one of ya so it’d be best if ya moved on, before ya git hurt.”

“I think not, it is you who should move on and it won’t be me getting hurt.”

“Bold words , savage,” Lowry said as he drew his knife.

Meeker wasn’t a quick thinker on his feet, but when he saw Lowry pull his knife he followed suit. The two spread out and moved on Mighty Beaver from two directions.

Lowry made a huge slash at Mighty Beaver’s stomach, but the knife whisked through empty air. Mighty Beaver pulled his own knife and tomahawk to fend off the rush.

The clumsier Meeker charged with his knife raised, Mighty Beaver took two steps backward and Meeker went right past him.

Mighty Beaver hit Meeker on the back of the head with the flat of his tomahawk. Meeker went down like a poleaxed steer.

Mighty Beaver felt a burning sensation in his back. Lowry had moved in and taken another swipe at him which opened up a line across his shoulders.

Lowry grinned and moved forward to press his advantage. Mighty Beaver turned and faced him.

“I’m gonna cut you into little bits, savage,” Lowry hissed.

With that he started lunging at the Delaware. Mighty Beaver ignored the gash in his back as he circled to Lowry’s left. Lowry had his knife in his right hand in a reverse grip. By circling to Lowry’s left the warrior hoped to draw him off balance if he lunged and tried to cross slash at him.

Lowry compensated and shifted right to come face to face with Mighty Beaver. Several slashes by Lowry found nothing but air.

Mighty Beaver had a thought. When Lowry backed off a step, he dropped the knife in his right hand and juggled the tomahawk from his left to his right hand.

It was that moment Lowry made a thrust at his stomach. He avoided the knife, then brought his tomahawk down and cleaved Lowry’s hand off right above the joint.

The screech of pain Lowry let loose as blood shot out of his handless arm was barely human.
As he started to go pale from the loss of blood, the last thing he remembered before drifting into unconsciousness was Mighty Beaver’s voice.

“You dropped your knife.”




* Before anybody digs into the spelling and grammar this is written in frontier vernacular. Enjoy!
Cast of Characters
Doolittle Carter-Extremely blessed and lucky frontiersman
Clancy Sinclair- Doo's trapping partner
Mighty Beaver- Delaware Brave who partners with Clancy
Roseanna Carter-- Narrator
Janie Wolfe-Heroine, wise beyond her years, intuitive, follows her instincts
Mighty Beaver- Delaware Warrior, funny sense of humor
Godfrey Smythe- Ferret faced cad
Swooping Eagle- Hot-headed Shawnee warrior
Running Deer- Swooping Eagles's father
Jake Lowry- Your run of the mill frontier scum
Rafe Meeker-Lowry's slow witted friend
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