Chapter Two

Bill led her to the rancher bunk house. The bunk house was fairly big and could house up to ten people inside, even though it would be a little cramped with that many people. But it was only guys living there, and they didn't mind sharing such close quarters with each other. He knocked on the door and entered, leaving Madeline to wait outside. He didn't want his daughter to see anything indecent.

A few minutes later he came back outside, but he wasn't alone. Following behind him was an old friend of his and like a second father to Madeline. It was Mikasi. He too hadn't changed that much from the last time she saw him.

What she remembered most about him were his eyes. His dark brown eyes seemed to see right though you. He had dark tanned skin and long, straight black hair that was purely Native American. His face was perfectly sculptured with a few age lines for a fifty year old, unlike her father. He was tall, lean, and well muscled from all the work he did.

He was of the Great Sioux Nation. The tribe he belonged to was the Lakota. His name, Mikasi, meant coyote. And that was exactly how he would act. He would travel back and forth, from the ranch to the tribe. He liked to have good relations with both peoples.

Bill and Mikasi met when Bill was a ranch hand for Mr. Price, before he had his very own ranch. Mikasi had been a mediator between the town and Lakota tribe, and he still was. However, the times were changing. The once peaceful ties with the Lakota were now filled with tension. Uprising and attacks from both sides were happening more and more.

Surprisingly, Bill and Mikasi got along really well. Mikasi nicknamed Bill, Pahana, lost white brother. Bill use to go with Mikasi, whenever he went to go visit his tribe, but not anymore with the high tensions. Madeline went once, but that was a long time ago. She hardly remembered that day.

When Mr. Price died, he gave all his belongs, including the ranch, to Bill. Bill offered Mikasi a job at the ranch. It was too dangerous for him to stay in town whenever he visited. The townspeople were and still are prejudice towards him.

Whenever Bill hired a new ranch hand, he made sure they were not prejudice against Mikasi. If they were, there was no job for them at the ranch. A few incidents have happened before, but nothing serious as of yet. Those people were just given the boot.

"Luyu," Mikasi said in his clam, quiet voice. "Wild Dove, is that really you?"

She ran up to him and hugged him. "It's me."

"I did not believe Pahana when he said you were back."

They let go of each other. "Why would you think that?"

"Did you not like the country side? Being able to see the green of the Earth?"

Madeline nodded. "I liked it. But I didn't like it has much as the Great Plains."

Mikasi looked at her, searching for the right answer, and then he looked to Bill and back to her. "Omakiyaka yo. You have grown so much. You are a winyan now. You come home seeking protection from marrying."

"No," she lied, hating how he hit the nail right on the mark—always.

"Pahana told me what your mother is doing tonight."

"Pa!" she yelled at him.

"It's not his fault," Mikasi said. "He does not agree with it."

"Do you?"

"I call you Luyu—Wild Dove—for a reason."

"And that is?"

"In time you will know."

A bell started ringing. "What's that?" Madeline asked.

"I think your mother is trying to get your attention," Bill said. "It's usually the bell sounding for dinner." He sighed. "But today is her special dinner."

It was then that five men walked out of the bunk house. They stopped when they saw Bill and Mikasi. They couldn't see Madeline for she was hidden behind her father.

"It ain't for us today, boys," Bill said. "Go into town to get something to eat tonight."

"Ahhh," one guy pouted. He was scruffy looking with a bushy beard around on his face. He looked to be around his late thirties. He had tiny beady eyes and a round face. He was short and round compared to the person he was standing next to.

"Why not?" asked the one standing next to bushy beard. He was tall and lean. He looked to be around twenties. He had short blond hair and bright blue eyes that matched the shirt he was wearing.

"The wife is doing something special tonight, Paul," Bill said.

"Like what?" asked another guy who looked to be around his twenties. He had good looks that probably got him all the ladies, even the married ones. His hair was dark and wavy. His eyes were a light brown that shone with happiness. His smile was to die for.

"I bet you wouldn't mind going into town, James," another ranch hand said to the good-looking one with a wink. He looked to be around Bill and Mikasi's age. He hand a slight hunch to his back, but other than that he looked to be in good shape for his age. His blond hair was turning into gray. Deep in his brown eyes, behind the fake smile in them, hid the horrible things he had seen in his life.

"Ah, Nate," said the male with the bushy beard. "You can get the girls too. Even if it's only at the whore house."

Madeline blushed, while all the guys chuckled. Nate fake punched the guy. "Shut up, Harry."

The only one who hadn't said anything was standing a little back from the group. He was Native American, probably from the Lakota tribe. His straight coarse black hair was up in a ponytail. The cowboy hat he wore had a feather hanging from it. He looked to Mikasi and they nodded at each other.

"Don't be talking like that with a lady round," Bill said. He moved and Madeline was in perfect view.

They took off their hats and nodded at her. "We didn't know she was there," said the one named Harry.

"We're real sorry, Miss," Paul said.

"It's okay," Madeline said quietly.

"It's a pleasure to meet ya, miss," said James, coming forward. He picked up her hand and lightly kissed her knuckles.

"That's enough of that," Bill warned. "Leave my daughter alone."

"Sorry, sir." James blushed, while all the other laughed. The quiet Native American looked at her curiously.

"Way ta go," Harry said, "trying to start something with the boss's daughter and getting caught."

"Ya'll go to town now," Bill said.

They nodded and all started walking away, expect for the Native American, talking amongst themselves. Harry hit James on the back. They all were laughing. All the while, the bell kept ringing.

The Native American nodded at Bill and then Madeline. "Luyu," Mikasi said. "This is Tokala—Fox."

"Nice to meet you," said Madeline.

"You have met Tokala before," Mikasi said. "You've might him, his family, his kholá, and others before, but that was many years ago."

"I'm sorry that I don't remember… What's that word you used?"

"Kholá is male friend, a good male friend. They share private information with each other and no one pries into their personal business. They do not reveal information about the other person, especially if it endangers the other."

"That sounds lovely. I want to meet my kholá."

Tokala gave a big laugh, his serious, quiet aura vanishing for a second. Madeline blushed, knowing immediately that she had said the wrong thing. Mikasi gave her small smile.

"For woman it is mashké," Mikasi said. "You will find her soon."

The ringing bell started to become frantic. Bill gave a deep sigh. "We shouldn't keep ya mother waitin'."

"I don't mind," Madeline replied.

"Let's go." Bill put his arm around his daughter.

"Nice meeting you," Madeline said to Tokala. He nodded at her. "Have a good evening, Mikasi."

"You too," he replied.

As Madeline started walking away, she heard Mikasi and Tokala talking rapidly in the Lakota language. She was curious to what they were talking about. Her Pa gave her shoulder a squeeze. She looked up at him, and he gave her a reassuring smile. She wished that she could smile back. What she was running from in Maine had finally caught up to her. She knew it would, but she didn't think it would happen this soon.

Omakiyaka yo-Tell me

Winyan-Woman

Kholá-Male friend of a male

Mashké-Female friend of a female

I got those words at a Lakota language website….can't find its name, I wrote it down and now I can't find it…. Hopefully, I'll find it, and I hope I'musing the words right.

TalesOfOld: Sorry about the melodrama...I tend to get carried away. That's true, things do change over time...i should but where it has changed... Anyways, thank you for reading and reviewing.