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The Road North - the saga continues

Grizzly Dave

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NOTE: Make sure you don't miss Hawk's installment at the bottom of page one!



The fire in Grizz's belly was burning white hot again, and it wasn't just the cajun seasonings Hawk had put in last nights stew. The strategy of the chase and the fight had distracted him, but now that distraction was all but gone, and only hate remained. Hate for the man who had taken his beloved Martha from him before they'd even met.


Benton was clearing the buildings, or what was left of them while Hawk guarded the prisoners. "Tie 'em up Hawk, and don't be too gentle about it" Grizz roared as he walked over to where Dirk lay bleeding.


Grizz drove his boot heel down into Dirk's wound, causing him to scream and writhe in agony. "Now you tell me what I want to know, and I'll ease your suffering" he growled out through clenched teeth.


The last of the buildings cleared, Benton came over where Grizz was interrogating Dirk. "Now Marshal, we can't just..." Grizz silenced him with a raised left hand and looked the mountie square in the eyes.


Benton said nothing, but took a step back. "Go fetch our horses, Hawk, point out where they are" Grizz ordered.


Hawk pointed out where the horses were tied and Benton went off to collect them.


Turning his attention back to Dirk, Grizz took his foot of Dirks wound. "Where did Obermann go?" Dirk looked up, wild eyed and in pain, but didn't' answer until Grizz raised his foot up to stomp him again. "He probably went over to the old school."


Benton was back with the horses and listened intently as Grizz pulled information from Dirk. "And the old headmaster there?" Grizz asked. "Obermann killed him so he could take over." Dirk answered. "Why this new school?" Grizz demanded. "Farther away from town, so the folks couldn't see how he abused the kids" Dirk stammered. "How many men there?" Grizz continued. "Four, maybe five" Dirk rasped out softly.


Grizz eased up a bit, "So, let me see if I got this right, Obermann killed the headmaster at the old school so he could take over and move the kids here so he could work them to death and abuse them, that about it?" Dirk nodded. "You went to investigate a suspicous death of the headmaster, and Obermann paid you off and you covered it up and declared natural causes." Grizz stated as if it was fact rather than supposition. Dirk nodded again.


Benton stood there with his mouth hanging open, how could a respected officer of the law do such things? "WHY???" Benton demanded, his voice shaking. "More money than you'll ever make kid" was all the explanation that Dirk could offer. Benton pulled his sidearm and pointed it at Dirk's head. Grizz quickly moved in between the two, "no, this is not the way" he said softly.


"Let him finish me" Dirk pleaded, "you promised"


Ignoring Dirk for a moment, Grizz talked calmly to Benton, "breathe, relax, think, this is not the way." Benton holstered his weapon and let go the breath he'd been holding. Sweat was dripping off his forehead, his face was beat red.


"Finish me dammit!" Dirk shouted with all the energy he had left "you promised!"


Grizz turned and faced Dirk, smiling broadly. "I lied."


Hawk was already mounted up and held out the reins for Grizz's horse, he took them and swung up in the saddle. "Benton, guard your prisoners, we'll send help when we can."


"But you'll need me to help you take Obermann" Benton protested.


"We'll wait outside town, catch up and then we take Obermann" Grizz shouted as he and Hawk rode out.


They rode hard and didn't talk until they reached the next town. Grizz stopped long enough to leave word at the mountie post there to send help to Benton. The local mountie in charge wanted Grizz to stay until things were sorted out, Grizz had made it clear he'd be back directly.


As they walked thier horses out of town to avoid arousing further suspicion, Hawk broke the silence. "We really gonna wait for the mountie?"


"Hell no!" Grizz said as he kicked his horse to a gallop.

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"Grizz, we gonna need alot more help den Benton can give us." I said as I pulled away and headed east. Grizz reined up, "Hawk, where the hell you going now ?" He shouted. I looked at Grizz and signed "I'm going to get friends to help !" With that Grizz spurred his horse and rode on hard to the old school.


I rode up to the Sioux camp and called out, "I am Silver Hawk, friend of the Sioux, hear me !" Almost before you could blink, I was srounded by warriors. I didn't want, I offered up my rifle, dragoons, bow, arrows and fighting knife. They samed surpised by this move as it is coustomary for any Sioux member to do this, but I am Apache.


They took me to they village, a very large village indeed. I didn't speak to a soul, but was treated as one of them and giving a lodge to stay. Time passed much too long and I was worryed bout Grizz and as I tryed to leave, there was a guard posted outside my lodge's flap. Day came and went. The night was long and lonely, for I missed my dead wife and son. I remember them before the pox took them. At first light, the flap opened and a female voice said, "Two Crows will talk now. This way."


I was taken by her perfect english, the buckins she wore, mocs and moose teeth neckless. As I walked, I noticed how warriors, though not alarmed, but where watching me. I knew injuns raided each other for slaves to bring in new blood, for food and horses. I have even been on a few of these raids, but now this was differant. I walked behind her, took note of the wiggle and was startled when she stopped and said, "Sit, Two Crows comes." and took a seat far from me.


As Two Crows took a set I saw his trappings. Eagle feathers, bear claws and skull, and what looked like a white buffalo rode on his lodge wall. This was a medinice man...a very powerful medicence man. "What brings you here, Apache ?" Two Crows asked. "I am humbled to be in the presences of a great medicnce man Two Crows. Hear me !" "Hummm....are you hungery ?" he asked. "Yes" I said and with that he spoke so fast I could not understand, and the white women in buckskin went off.


In a few mintues she returned with a bowl of fryed grasshoppers and buffalo meat. "Eat" Two Crows said as he waved his hand across the food. "What is it you wish of us ?" I ate, but trying not to show I was hungery, but he knew I was. I replyed, "I wish help in the fight me and my white brother have caused on the white evil man Obermann" I said. "Hummmmm....Why do you want our help ? We left our southern range to winter up here where the soilders can not touch us. Life up here in the winter is hard ! It is all we can to just to live. Why do you want out help to help you're white brother ?"


I took a deep breath and told Two Crows the story of Grizz and me. Of our battles together and of our sweat lodge experiance. With that Two Crows took notice to what I was saying. I told him how the love of Grizz's life was lost to this Obermann due to mining Mother Earth. And I told him of the lose of my wife and son due to the pox. He drew a circle in the ash of the now dead fire. "What goes into Mother Earth shall be given again. But we can not abide this Obermann raping Mother Earth. I will speak to the Cheif, and we will help you."


"Will you stay with us another night, Silver Hawk " Two Crows asked me. I thought I would be a sitting duck out there with the bright full moon, so I said, "With you're permission, I will ride at first light." Two Crows nodded in approval, but said, pointing to his servant, "Take "Crying One. She knows this counrty well." I didn't want to be saddled down by having a women with me, I needed to get back to Grizz. "I would be honored Two Crows." I said and went back into my lodge. Crying One followed.

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Grizz's mind swirled as he rode. He was consumed with hate for Obermann, it had moved past grief for Martha, he hadn't fully let himself feel that, it blocked out the hate, and he wanted to satisfy that hate. He hoped that Benton wouldn't give into the temptation to finish Dirk off, for him to do that would ruin him as a lawman, and taint him for the rest of his life. A flicker of a thought came into Grizz's mind that he was doing the same thing, but the hate blocked it out before it had time to take root.


And now, Hawk, who was closer than any brother had abandoned him up here in the middle of Canada. Ride off for help he said, what help could there be? There were no Apache up here by all accounts, only a fairly small band of Sioux that had crossed the border to flee from the army. Likely as not they'd kill him on general principal, and besides, when had Hawk and Grizz needed help against only 5 or 6 men?


Grizz rode on well into the night, eventually falling asleep in the saddle. He awoke to the smell of a camp fire, and looked down to see an old man smiling up at him with a smile that was missing teeth. The old man was a fur trapper from the looks of him. Grizz didn't make any sudden moves lest the old man shoot him.


"Best climb on down stranger a'fore you fall out of the saddle" the old man said.


Grizz shook his legs to wake them up and then climbed stiffly out of the saddle.


"Got rabbit in the pot if you're a mind" the old man offered.


The smell of the rabbit stew reminded Grizz he hadn't eaten since the night before, and he was hungry. "Obliged" Grizz muttered taking a plateful.


The old man was indeed a trapper, and had the gift of gab. He hadn't seen another man in weeks and was eager to talk. Grizz listened while he ate, and talked a bit of his own hunting and trapping experience, but offered up no explanation as to who he was, or why he was there. The old man told Grizz his name, it sounded french and hard to pronounce, but told Grizz to just call him Pete.


"Best tend to yore horse" the old man offered, "if that's all right with you."


Grizz nodded, the exhaustion was setting in, his muscles and bones sore from long hours in the saddle. Grizz watched carefully as the old man carefully took the 73 and buffer rifle out of the scabbards, looked them over, then leaned then up against a tree before taking the saddle off and bringing it and the saddle bags over by the fire. Pete then took a towel and rubbed the animal down, massaging his legs, and taking care that Grizz hadn't seen in quite some time.



<I'll add more to this tomorrow during the day, right now I need to head for the bunkhouse, way past my beditme, I need all the beauty sleep I can get. -Grizz>

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Pete was like some of the trappers and mountain men Grizz had known over the years. It was true that some were meaner than a stirred up snake, but some were like Pete, gentle when it suited them, and ruthless when it was warranted. Something in the old man's actions told Grizz he could trust him, Hawk would have said it was the spirits speaking to him, Grizz figured it was more likely exhaustion, but whatever the case, Pete's camp would do for the night.


Belly full, Grizz dozed off in the warm firelight, Pete rattling on about trapping and prospecting.


Next thing Grizz knew, it was daylight, Pete was still rattling on as he fussed over the fire, and the smell of biscuits baking filled the air.

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"Hello, da camp....Pete you der or not !?" I hollared out. "Smelt yur bisciuts a counrty mile...Want some bear bacon wif dem bisciuts ? " Pete stood up and streched and shouted back..."Come on in, Hawk ! Been expectin' ya for sometime now." I rode in on a Appaloosa mare and Crying One was on my horse. I rode up and said "Howdy Grizz !" His eyes opened wide and said "How the hell did you know where I was Hawk ?" Crying One was opening the pack and taking some bear bacon out and put it into the frying pan already setting in the snow.


"Say Injun," Pete said to me, "You aint a full blood, mix maybe, but that there women is full blood white. How come you came by her ? Won her in a card game,...maybe traded for her ?" I sighed and said to Grizz, "Brother, did you not learn anything in da sweat lodge ? And Pete, I told her I would care fer her and she came along of her on free will !"


Grizz was still flubergassed. "Hawk, you best have a damn good reason why you took off like that !" I smiled at Crying One as she put some bear bacon to cooking and I scoop up some snow and put it in the coffee pot.


"Grizz, which direction did ole Obermann head off to ?" "He went off north east." I nodded my head yes and said, "You and me could take out 6 or 7 men. And have done so in the past. But the Sioux here said Obermann went to earth in a place he feels safe. That's his abandoned fort that he's taken over. And he now has almost tirple da man power. And he has Gatlin Guns on the coners wall houses, and more than nuff dynimaite to blow us to kingdom come ! I came by this information at Two Crows village west of here. And dat's whar I came by her too !" I said pointing to Crying One.


Grizz looked stunned and said, "Walk with me Hawk." I stood and patted Crying One on her shoulder. She knew something was wrong. As we stepped out of earshot of Pete and Crying One Grizz said "Hawk !" and I turned to caught that big hand in mine. "Still have much to learn Brother. Sweat Lodge made us as one. I know yur pain and I know yur lose. And I feel yur anger and hate. Hold on to'em all. And turn 'em loose on Obermann !"


"I was thinking of taking on 5 or 6 men on my own. Glad you set me straight and not letting me do it. But let me know first before you pull another stunt like !" And as we walked back into camp, I looked at Grizz and asked, "Would ya let me do it any how ? Mostly not !" and poured myself a hot cup of coffee.

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Grizz pulled out the map Benton's brother had given him, and with Pete's help found where the old fort was and started to study on it. While he'd gottan a fairly good night of sleep, suddenly he was very tired. Damn Hawk anyway for getting the Indians involved, and bringing that woman along. If he and Hawk got killed bringing Obermann to justice, Grizz didn't really care, but the woman has no stake in this fight, and with the Indians, well, they were on thin ice as it was with the Canadian government, if they were seen as a threat to the peace things could get tough on them in a hurry.


Grizz absently cut open a biscuit, stuffed some bacon inside and munched on it. If only he could get that gattling gun and mountain canon up here that was in his barn back in Colorado, but no, that would take a week or better, if they could even get it through without having it confiscated by the mounties. Hmmm, the mounties, Grizz wondered what sort of help they might be should he choose to invite them to the party. No, best to leave them out if at all possible, they'd have to follow the regulations, and that meant time, and Grizz wanted to end this thing as soon as possible. He drew a diagram in the dirt, showing the fort, locations of the gattling guns, and places outside where sentries would likely be posted. As he traced over possible lines of attack with that stick, an idea formed in his mind.


"Hawk, make us up a couple of bear bows, maybe thirty arrows." Grizz said. Hawk had told him once of special bows the indians used on large game, only the strongest of braves could pull the strings, and the arrows were longer and heavier, with fletching that was nearly twice the length of a normal arrow. They were harder to shoot, but the larger arrow size meant they could carry a broader cutting arrowhead to inflict maximum damage to a bear or other large game.


Hawk looked at Grizz with a puzzled look on his face, Grizz then slowly drew an arced line in his diagram, from the forest that would provide cover, to the corner of the fort where a gattling gun would be. When the stick reached the fort, Grizz scratched out the crude drawing of the gun.


Hawk smiled as he figured it out. "Even bear arrows can carry one, maybe two sticks at the most, that would have to be a direct hit to take out the gun."


Grizz looked up at Hawk, "I don't mean to take out the gun, just the platform it's sitting on." If they took out that platform, the gun would go tumbling most likely rendering it unusable. A much less precise shot was needed to accomplish that, but with the same results as hitting the gun or gunner itself.


"Might work" Hawk agreed "if they ain't shooting at us with that gun while we're trying to shoot our dynamite arrows."


Grizz scratched his beard, it was growing out nicely, back to it's shaggy norm, he'd always kept it neatly trimmed for Martha. That was true enough, With the rate of fire from a gattling gun, especially with a trained two or three man crew, it would be hard to take a careful shot.


Turning his attention to the other side of the fort, Grizz looked up at Pete "Whats over here" he said pointing to an area behind the back wall of the fort.


"Old wagon road up an over a pretty good hill to where they used to dump the garbage." Pete said. "Why?"


Hawk and Grizz both grinned. Where Pete and shown the road going into a small back gate would be shielded from the gattling guns to some extent. "Hill steep enough to roll a wagon down and have it run into the wall of the fort?" Hawk asked. "I reckon so, but them walls is too thick for a wagon to punch through them, even the gate."


"Don't need it to punch through" Grizz said, "just get there with a load of powder, then BOOM!"


Breaching that wall would do one of two things, either it would draw most of the defenders over that way expecting a charge, or at the least would provide a distraction long enough to take out the gattling guns. It was a good plan for the initial attack, but there were still a lot of things that needed to be worked out.

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"That plan may just work, cept fer one thing Grizz. The Sioux want Obermann dead as much as you do. Well, about as much as you do. And dey are willin' and able to fight him and his men or me and you. Now fight dey will, down to da last brave. I'd much rather have'em fighting wif us dan agsint us. Obermann wronged their women and children many times in da past and they want him dead. Makes no differance to the Sioux who kills Obermann, just as long as it's did and Two Crows sees his scalp."


And Grizz, we aint got nuff dynimite between us both to take out the fort's masive gate, and barely nuff to roll a wagon down to da back gate. So..whar are we gonna git powder or such exploive power to take down da gate ? Two Crows will have his warriors just outside of gun range but within sight of them evil doers. Dat ought to stir up der narvious right nice. And his braves may even help take out a few sentires to boot. I'll be nice here sayin dis brother, but yur not light on yur feet like a deer. Now, as fer as Crying One goes.....she chose me....me Grizz...ya hear Grizz...she chose me.....Just like Martha choose you !"


With that Grizz, gave pause to his thinking and realized that there was more at stake here than just his anger and thrist for Obermann's blood. He realized this fight was more than just Grizz and Obermann. This fight, he had realized, was a fight to protect his new "family". One he had come to love and respect over the years.


Grizz stood up to walk out of camp. Yes he was still tried and yes he had decided he would stay here another day, resting. What he hadn't counted on was Hawk bearing his soul to him in front of others. "Grizz,... whar to, brother ?" I said and Grizz quickly turned his back to me. I knew what was going through him now and I put my hand on his shoulder. "Going for a walk Hawk. Keep the others company for a while." I looked at his broad back and said "You aint plannin' on hitt'em now are ya ? " "You know me too damn well Hawk.......No, just need to clear my mind at bit. I'll be back soon."

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Grizz walked into the forest. Martha had chosen him, Hawks words kept running thru his mind. His plan was sound, true, they didn't have the dynamite or gunpowder needed for it, but surely they could beg, borrow or steal some. Martha had chosen him. But Hawk, as always, wanted to have the Indians help them, but with those gattling guns, they'd be cut to ribbons, it was an honor for a brave to be killed in battle, but why die needlessly? Martha had chosen him. It was selfish of her not to tell him about her illness, oh, he'd have not turned her away, but then she might have wondered if it was pity that caused Grizz to care for her.


Grizz stopped walking by a small brook in a stand of birch trees. Martha had read somewhere about recurve bows, different from a streight bow in that the ends curved away from the shooter. Martha has an insatiable hunger for learning, not just to read and to know, but to experience. Hawk had attempted to teach Grizz how to make a proper bow, but he'd never had the patience to take the time to make a weapon that would stand up for very long. A few shots and it would be done. Martha and Grizz had planned to make bows after the spring thaw, but her illness had not allowed that. Working quickly he cut down a small tree and began to fashion a bow. Out at the ends of the limbs, he flattened them out, and then carefully split them, then using sap mixed with small shavings to make glue, he bent item outward and wrapped them tightly with wet rawhide strips cut from his boot tops. As he worked he could almost hear Martha's voice as she'd talked about how they would make bows just like this, it was as if her hands were doing the work, not his.


The finished bow wasn't the masterpiece that Martha would have made, but with a string would suit the purpose, all it needed now was time to cure, a string, and some arrows. Grizz set the bow aside and started making some arrows. His mind was still racing, trying to cypher and solution to the problem at hand, but his hands moved quickly about fashioning the arrows. Martha had chosen him. Yes, the Indians might be of some use, but not in a full out attack, more in taking out sentries and providing archers so that all of the guns could be taken out fairly close together time wise.


Grizz was working on his tenth arrow when he realized he was being watched. About the same time he realized he'd been talking out loud to himself. He kept his hands about his work, and kept talking, stealing glances as he could until he saw Benton standing out in the open watching him.


"Hello Benton, you alone?" Grizz said without looking up.


"I am, yes" Benton replied. "Re-enforcements arrived, and after briefing the officer in charge, I slipped away."


"Sure you wasn't followed?" Grizz grumbled.


"Yes, oh, they tried, but I lost them, and there ain't a tracker in that bunch good enough . Who is Martha?"


Grizz looked up sharply at the young mountie. "She was to be my wife, but she died, did you kill Dirk?"


"No, I surely wanted to, but I didn't. Obermann had something to do with Martha's death?" the mountie asked, not giving up.


Grizz's eyes flared, but his hands working on the arrows, and Hawks words, Martha has chosen him, reined in his emotions. "Long story kid, but yes. We need dynamite, and gunpowder, a keg or better, and no questions, you know where we can get it?"


"I do, yes, you figure Overmann headed for the old school do ya eh? So yer gona kill Oberman then?" Benton answered, his questions about Martha done for the time being.


"No, the school is too public and not defensible, he's gone to an old abandoned fort a ways past there, you know it?" Grizz said ignoring Benton's second question. Standing up, he gathered the bow and arrows together.


"Old trading post more than a fort, but yes, I know of it." Benton answered.


Grizz turned and walked back towards camp without talking further. Benton collected his horse, rode until he caught up and then walked alongside.


Back in camp, Hawk eyed Grizz carefully, trying to read his face. Grizz smiled and clapped him on the back, "she chose me Hawk."


"I bin tellen ya that ya old fool" Hawk shot back, "why you grinning like a crazy person?"


Grizz looked up from the cookpot as he filled a plate with food and motioned towards Benton, "he knows where we can get dynamite and powder, lots of powder!"

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"And Crying One has chose me. Der, dat's settled." I said I was looking at the Bow Grizz made. "Dat twine aint gonna hold. Here try dis." I said as I went to my saddle bag and got out a very long piece of siew, tied a double knot in one end of the bow, measured it for length and cut the other end, trying a knot in it. "Here Brother, when da bow is ready, and if ya have the strenght, string it wif dis. It'll last two years longer den a rock . And dem arrows look like some injun made dem. Now, all ya need is yur name or sign on'em."


I said to Grizz, "Name or sign is several colors put on somethin' of yurn. Mine is red, yeller and gray.Red is for the raising sun, yeller is for the squash in da feilds, and gray is da color of da rocks at sunset. Now, we have some time, lets see what you want." Grizz looked at me and the bow and said to me, "Martha and you did all this work. My hands didn't know how." "But I watched you made it Grizz !" And Grizz shook his head no. "I did it, but my Martha and Hawk were my hands. I've never made a bow and arrows in my life. I liked my colts and 73. But I made a bow and some arrows."


Pete then said, "Ok folks, let's not git head of yurselfs here. Y'all still got a little trouble wif da back gate, and no explosives ta git dat job did. Now,...how y'all gonna fix it, hummm ?" Everyone turned and looked surpised at Pete. Ah, yes, Pete. I forgot here was here. "Yup, der is dat little peoblem." I said looking at Benton. "But you know how we can fix dat..........don't ya ?" I still didn't trust him and this just may tipp his hand. Ever he will come through or will lead us into a trap. I prayed to the Creator that it wasn't the latter.

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Pete looked over at Benton with great interest, Grizz got the feeling Pete knew something that he hadn't yet shared, and was waiting to see if Benton knew as well.


"The fort, as you call it, was an old trading post, it dealt mainly in illegal whiskey and shall we say ladies of the night. Both of which were in high demand, and many sought to take them by force, hence the thick walls. Since the mounted police have become more organized, we put them out of business, that is how it came to be abandoned." Benton lectured.


"Enough with the history lesson, how do we take it down?" Hawk sighed.


"Ah yes, I was getting to that. My predecessors shut it down by eliminating their suppliers at the root, before the supplies made it to the post." Benton continued.


Hawk was clearly getting tired of the history lesson, but stayed quiet when Benton rose to his feet and held out a hand to slow his coming protest. "But, only after it was abandoned did I learn how they were able to get their supplies into the post without getting stopped at our road blocks. As Grizz noted, the back gate opens to a hill, over the hill is a ravine where they threw the trash...there is a tunnel from that ravine into the post. Few know of it, I only do because I played there as a boy." Benton sat down and folded his hands in his lap and seemed pleased with himself.


Pete looked to Grizz and Hawk, "What the boy say be true, the tunnel be there, or it was anyway, have tracks for a mine car even."


"Yes of course" Benton spoke up, "I failed to mention the ore cart and track, how do you know of it Pete?"


"I ain't always been just a trapper sonny" Pete laughed.


Grizz seemed to be only half listening, as he studied the arrows his hands had made. As Hawk said, they needed to be marked, but he had no sign, no colors. His thoughts drifted back to the winter he'd spent with Martha, and how one cold week they'd been snowed in, she'd coaxed him to talk about his experience in the sweat lodge. He'd told her how the spirits, or his hallucinations of the spirits had called him the bringer of death, and how the bringer of death often also served as the bringer of life.


"Green, Yellow, and Blue!" Grizz exclaimed.


Pete and Benton looked at him like he was daffed. Hawk nodded, "The grass of the springtime and the sun and water that make it grow."


Grizz nodded. "Either that, or blood red and black."


Hawk laughed, "no my friend, I think you'd best stick with green yellow and blue."


Martha's voice in Grizz's head agreed, but part of him wanted to mark his arrows with the blood and death they were meant to bring.

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Grizz same detached from the task at hand, as Crying one, grabing one of Pete's baskets and ran out into the woods. I had noticed Benton had not told where he could lay his hands on the explosives we needed or even if he would allow us to take them. Uh, I thought, allow us, hell, we could just take'em if we wanted to .


I still didn't trust Benton. At least I got him to show us part of his hand. He wasn't going to get us or show us where the exploisves where kept. Now if we went through the tunnel, if maybe blocked by a cave in and may need the explosives. Now old Pete was sincing Benton was up to something. Now I knew Pete had fought his share of injuns before, and I knew he had even took a squaw for a wife at one time. There was just something about being with a women that rubs off on a man. It has on me and it did with Grizz and old Pete.


Crying One came back from the woods with a basket filled with sweet grass, a few beetles, red clay and some ash from our fire and gave it to Grizz. She mixed a few of them together to make red yellow green and black. She placed them on a plate and let Grizz chose. It took Grizz awhile and he came around, as if out of a fog. "Benton !" Grizz shouted up at him. "What about the explosives ?" jumping to his feet.

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Benton shrank backwards a bit with the big man suddenly in his face. "Ah yes, I was waiting for you to ask about those."


"Well spit it out man, you don't have to wait to be asked, this ain't mother Mary's boarding school!" Grizz bellowed back.


Benton pulled out his map and spread it out, Pete came over to get a better look as Benton talked. "We should be able to get a case of dynamite and a small keg of powder each at here, here, and here" he pointed to three towns along the route up to the fort. "There is a mine here," he pointed to a remote area a ways off from the main road, "where we might be able to get larger amounts of each, but I fear that they won't be willing to sell it, and may actually be part of Obermanns operation."


Pete looked over at Hawk and nodded, the information was good.


"Now as to getting all that without any questions" Benton continued, "if you buy up evrey stick of dynamite and keg of powder in the territory, there's bound to be questions."


"Well, we can't be too worried about that, but we'll get at least one case and one keg each place, if they have more than that, we'll buy no more than half their stock, that ought to help keep talk down" Grizz said looking at Benton. The mountie nodded.


"And as for that mine..." Hawk started before Grizz interrupted. "Benton, what say you go fetch us some water?" Benton looked a bit miffed that he was being dismissed while plans were still being made, but grabbed the bucket and started off towards the creek. Grizz walked along for a ways and told the young man "some things it's best you not know about, if you know what I mean..." Benton stopped and looked at Grizz "you mean if I don't know what happens at the mine I can't be called to testify about it?" "Something like that" Grizz responded, "but don't worry, while the letter of the law might be stretched, the spirit of the law will be followed." 'More or less' Grizz added silently in his own mind. The mountie walked to the stream thinking about that.


Grizz got back to camp just as Hawk and Pete were finishing talking about the mine. "I assume you can get what we need from the mine?" Grizz asked Hawk.


Hawk scoffed "you know I can."


"That I do, just remember, we don't know for certain that it's part of Obermanns' operation, best to get in and out with no killing if you can."


Grizz sat down, happy that the plan was coming together, if the tunnel was open, they had lots of options ranging from getting a man inside, to simply blowing the place up from within. He pulled over his arrows and the things Hawk's woman had collected. Looking at them a while, he settled on red, black, green and yellow, blue was just too hard to mix without berries, and those colors covered not only the bringer of death that Grizz's hate was calling him to be, but the bringer of life that Martha's small voice in the back of his head told him he was.

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"Ok, I will do what I can, but I aint makin' no dadburn promises on da killin' part ! Ifin' dey aim at me, I'm gonna aim right back. But Grizz, it's bout a hour fore sunset. I'll head out to dis mine", I said pointing to the map. " in da morning.I will git what we need and be off......I hope wif out gun play. Just keep Benton busy fer a while, ok ?" Grizz smiled and nodded he understood. He seemed to like playing this cat and mouse game with Benton. I still didn't trust him and the closer to Obermann we got, the more that distrust grew. I told Crying One to get ready for a night ride.


We headed out around 10:00pm on a moonless night. We had to be careful where the horses hoofs went as they may just step into a hole and suffer a broken leg....or worse. I would need some help to slide the explosives away from the mine and I knew just who could lend a hand. As we rode along toward Two Crow's village, I asked Crying One how she came by a red women's name when she was clearly white. She told me, in perfect english, how the Sioux had raided wagon train she was in, killing all save her. She was only three at that time.


She said that the warrior who took her had pity on her and gave her to a holy man, Two Crows, to raise and his wife to train her in the Sioux ways. She learned their lanuage and when she didn't or some one kept sercets from her she would cry....loudly ! Thus her name. Now she cryed for happyness and not sorrow. As we rode into the village, no one seemed to notice us, but Two Crows was standing outside his lodge. "Hawk ! " he called out, pointing his medince stick at me, almost shouting, "I will have words with you !" Crying One reined up next to him ad he pushed her horse back. "No Crying One....you are not my daughter anymore...you are Hawk's wife ! By his side you will remain ! Hawk, why did you do this to us ? You wed our daughter with out permission. " "Two Crows, I meant no harm ! We both where lonely and things just happened." I frown and silde off my horse.


Two Crows and I stood there face to face and he said to me, "Walk with me." We walked by a stream and he said, "You had a wife, didn't you ?" "Yup, Apache she was....had a son too. Pox took'em." Two Crows nodded and said, as he stopped my walk, "I think you will make Crying One a fine husband, but you should have giving me warning. Her Mother has been pestering me all the time !" We walked back to Two Crows lodge and Crying One looked worryed. The council had been called together and they where going to talk about my request for help. I looked at Two Crows who smiled and said, "The Spirits told me !"


After about two hours of council, Two Crows came back to the front of the lodge and his wife came out with bowls of food, and water. We sat down, I facing Two Crows and Crying One facing her mother. As we ate Two Crows spoke and said, "The council has spoken wise and true words. So have you Hawk. Obermann has paid the Ojibwe to raid us,steal our women and children and force them to work for him. We will kill this Obermann and will hang his scalp on our lodge pole. But you need our help to caught him. This we will do for you." I nodded, trying to hide a smile and swung up into the saddle. So did Crying One. "Oh Naw...I done did lost one wife...aint bout to lose another !" But yet, she swung up into her saddle. Smiling ear to ear she said, "You do not have a choice, husband !" I looked down at Two Crows who just shurrged his shoulders and walked off.


I had five braves riding with me. They knew the way to the mine, a short cut that would take thrity miutes off our ride, but it was a trail the Ojibwe used. Suddenly our lead motioned into this gulley with an overhang. "Ojibew, come !" he said. We rode into the gulley just as the sun was raisng. We slide off our horses and held our hands over their nostirls to kepp them from make nosie. I looked up and saw shadows of Ojibwe riding by,...ever so slowly. These men where on patrol, looking for Sioux to raid. They don't know how close they where to finding death.

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Benton looked surprised when Hawk and crying one rode out of camp. Grizz spoke up "they just got together, you know, they need a honey moon" answering the unasked question. Benton smiled and went back to shining his boots. "He doesn't trust me, does he" The mountie said as he worked on the boots.


"Nope, I reckon he don't, takes a lot to earn Hawks trust." Grizz said, settling down into his bedroll. Benton finished with his boots, set them aside and settled in his own bedroll. Pete had first watch as the other two slept. Benton was to have second watch, but Pete woke Grizz up instead. "I ain't sure about him yet" Pete said in hushed tones "he been straight with me every time a'fore, but with this Obermann business, I don't want to chance it." Grizz nodded and took a long watch shift, handing it back to Pete a few hours before sun up.


Benton was a bit upset in the morning, he knew what had happened, and why. "So you two don't trust me either then?"


Pete shrugged his shoulders, "Didn't say that, just gotta be sure with all this trouble a'foot"


Benton looked at Grizz who just shrugged his shoulders and said nothing.


After breakfast Benton and Grizz headed off with the pack horses to two of the towns on the map, they were as Benton had described, and they were able to buy a total of three cases of dynamite and two small kegs of powder. When chatty shopkeepers asked, Grizz just said he was up to do some mining and Benton was going to show him around on his regular patrol. Grizz watched Benton for any sign he was passing messages, but saw nothing amiss.


On the ride back to camp, Grizz could tell that Benton had something on his mind. "Spit it out boy, what's on yer mind?"


"You're not going to let me help when you take the trading post, are you?" Benton said with a resigned tone.


Grizz smiled, the kid was a quick study. "Now if we did, you'd be in hot water with your superiors now wouldn't you?"


Benton nodded, "but not much more than I am now, and besides, I know that post like the back of my hand, I could be a big help to you."


That much was true, Benton knew the post, but so did Pete, but, an extra hand would be useful. "We'll see kid, we'll see." Grizz nudged his horse along faster effectively ending the conversation.

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We arrived safe and sound about a mile away from the mine. "What here Crying One, we'll back soon." I told her. "I will go with you !" she told me and very quick the warrior I was riding with, Yellow Hand , snapped back ! "Do as you where told, Hawk's Women ! The trading post is no place for you !" as he wriled his horse around. Then we rode off toward the mine.


As we neared the mine, we stopped and smelled the air. Bear, Bobcat, Shunk, Possum and Elk could be smelled if you just knew what the smells where. But there was also a acidy kind of smell, the smell left by expolsives and rock falling. I could see Yellow Hand getting anger and he said, "They will pay with their lives for this rape of Mother Earth !" I slide off my saddle and held his horse's bridle and said to him, "Yeller Hand, remember what we are here fer. No killin' least it can't be avoided. Don't want Obermann to know bout us, just yet." "I will kill this Obermann and come back here and kill all who rape Mother Earth !" I smiled and chuckled a bit, "You have a hard time gettin passed Grizz to kill Obermann." "Oh, the bear man,ummm, I will let the Bear Man kill Obermann, then I will kill Obermann again !"


We crepted up a hill over looking the mine entrance and it seemed to me that it was a very good place for a ambush. Why would anyone put a mine enterance here ? "Yeller Hand, watch and count how many men go in and out. I'm gonna check fer a air hole or a second enterance." Yellow Hand nodded and I took off. I went wide of the mine. No telling which way the shafts run. After I found two breathing shafts, I swung round, crepted a cross the little valley the hill made and was up on the other side, almost at the enterance to the mine. I looked all over and was satisfiyed that this way the only way in and out of the mine. One way in and out, ambush from the hill, tactical mistakes indeed.


We waited till night fall and found the pay office, the bunk house, the tact barn, and supply office. Then we hit pay dirt and found the expolsives shack. "Now, dis is what we came fer !" Cases and cases of dynamite, and keg after keg of powder. No one with a goverment stamp on it, which meant it was illeagal to boot. We started carrying three cases of dynamite and three kegs of powder. On the last trip, Yellow Hand took a tree limb and rubbed out all tracks and sign we had been there. Then we built a sled and carried the explosives back to where the others where waiting. I saw a warrior point to me coming out of the woods with Yellow Hand and saw the sun in Crying One's smile. I remember thinking we just got to do something about her name.


We each pack some of the explosives and headed back to camp. But I felt uneasy and kept checking my back trail. I stopped the group, dropped my keg of powder and rode hard back the way we just came. I heard a white man riding even harder away. I could tell he was white, by the grunts he made and the brown shirt material he left on a tree. "Damn, " I thought. Grizz aint gonna like dis none at t'all !" I rejoined the others and we all rode back in Grizz's camp.


"Hello da camp...Comin' in !" Benton looked surpised when we all rode into the camp. All of the Sioux looked toward Benton as if they knew he was going to give them trouble. "Grizz....Grizz !! Whar da hell is dat man !? Grizz !!" I asked my war party to unload the dinamite and powder, but not close to the fire. Don't want no mis haps." Crying One nodded yes and told the Sioux what I wanted done. "Grizz...Whar are ya ? I swear, Whar is he ? Grizz ....."

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It's 6:45 pm, and I am waiting........


And this is on the second page?


I should be loading ammo since I don't have any for the shoot tomorrow.





:lol: :lol: Waitin fer a fix, uh ?




Ok. Der ya go !! :lol: :lol:

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Hawk got the explosives dealt with and the souix warriors on their way before checking up on Grizz any more, he didn't want to alarm the others. Grizz's bow, arrows, and 73 were gone, along with his horse.


Hawk set Crying One, Benton, and Pete to fixing dinner and slipped out of camp with a horse. Swinging up bareback he followed Grizz's trail. The trail seemed to be leading to a point about half way between where the mine was, and where the trading post was. He was part way along when he heard two horses coming his way, sliding off his horse he melted into the forest and watched and waited.


Before Hawk could see who it was, Grizz called out "c'mon out Hawk, just me and another feller, but he ain't too talkative."


Hawk slipped out into the trail to meet Grizz. Grizz was leading a horse with a dead man tied across the saddle, a dead man with a ripped brown shirt. Hawk decided to play his cards close to his vest for now, "so what this feeler do to you?"


"He got in the way of one of my arrows" Grizz laughed.


"I can see that, but why did you feel the need to let the air out of him?"


Hawk jumped back up on his horse and Grizz told the tale as they went back towards camp. He's slipped out of camp shortly after returning from town and headed up to intercept any riders from the mine should Hawks party be discovered. The man in the ripped brown shirt and come riding up at a trot, but when he saw Grizz he took off hell bent for leather. Grizz had indentified himself as a US Marshal, then remembering where he was, he'd shouted 'stop in the name of the mounted police!' Neither casue the man to slow down, so as Grizz galloped after him, he'd let an arrow fly and it had found it's mark.


"So let me get this right" Hawk questioned, "he was galloping away from you, and you shot him from the saddle of a galloping horse with your bow?"


Grizz pulled a bloody arrow from the deer skin quiver that hung across his back and showed it to Hawk, "yup, that about tells the tale it does."

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Folks, sorry as hell I can't post tonight.


Don't feel to good.


Thanks for understanding.


Apache Hawk

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(Ok folks, here we go from a hospital bed, typing one handed !)




I was impressed with Grizz. He was becoming more injun than I was. And than was a little un -settleing. I was getting away from my red roots and more into the white man's ways. Now was not the time to be thinking of such things. When the time, I would revert back to my red ways. But now, it was just-------differant.


Well, you got a way wif da bow and arrow. Like it was a extention of ya Grizz. " I told him. "Yup," he replyed. "And I got you to thank for that, Brother. Grizz said to me, looking at the bow, the bloody arrow, his sign on the arrow and his hands. They where normaly trembling slighty after any shoot, but not this time."And I felt Martha's hand on mine too !" I smiled, knowing Grizz was right.


But now they had a missing scout and missing powder . If they put two and two together, and they soon would, we would have lost our element os surpise. "Ummm, And I tryed soooo hard not to do any killin' while we was out !" I said. "Let many a scalp runnin' loose in dat minin' town. Now all dat's got to waste !!" I joked. But Grizz knew my joking was true. All element of surpise is or would soon be gone and they would know some one is out here coming for Obermann. They just would'nt knw what dicretion to look.


And maybe than was the key. Mis-direction. Make the look and fortify one place when we would hit'em from another. "Ahh yes" I thought out loud. "That's how we could still surpise Obermann. Make him look one way and hit him when his back was turned. I asked Grizz..."How much explosives did you get from the other towns ?" Grizz looked to be in a daze, looking at his hands in utter amazement. "Grizz !!" I took him by the shoulders and shook this bear of a man as hard as I could. "Snap out of it ! She'll always be there wif ya !" His hand went to his fighting knife and my hand dropped to mine. He knew he didn't stand a chance in hand to hand fighting with me, but if he pulled his fighting knife on me, I would defend myself.


"Don't Grizz, ...please !" I said to him, still had a hand on the grip of my knife. Grizz slowly looked up at me, and I could see his eyes clearing, his witts coming back to him. He then moved his hand from his knife and put that same hand out to me, offering a hand shake. I took his hand by the wrist and forearm and shook it frimly. "Don't know what came over me Hawk. I am sorry." "No need to say dat. What's done is done. Now.....let's git down to da bussiness at hand."

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Grizz came out of the fog slowly, it was as it he was back in the sweat lodge, and the bringer of death and the bringer of life were locked in a to the death battle. He had shot the man with his bow, but the man had refused an order, and was shooting at him, so it was justified, mostly. The dark hate, grief, and anger were hard to overcome. Martha was there, guiding his thoughts and hands, but with an eye for justice, not revenge. But the hate in Grizz wanted only revenge.


"Well" Grizz said as if nothing had happened, "I reckon we need to scout that tunnel, see if Obermann even knows it's there, if he don't, then that gives us lots of options."


"That it would" Hawk agreed.


They rode in silence for a bit, each lost in their own thoughts.


"What you gonna do with that feller?" Hawk said, jerking a thumb back to the corpse on the horse that Grizz was leading.


"Been pondering on that, I got a feelin ol' Benton knows him, or knows of him, he seems to know most folks up here." Grizz said.


Hawk looked alarmed. "Is that a good thing or a bad thing?"


Grizz shrugged his shoulders, the tightness and tension causing pain. "When I first started Marshaling, I made it my business to know everyone in the territory, at least by face, and the bad ones by name. I reckon Benton is the same. I reckon we'll have him take this feller back to his kin for burial."


Hawk brightened up, sending Benton away was a good thing in his book, he still didn't trust him.


Back in camp Benton indeed did know of the man, and where he was from. He didn't want to leave to take him back, but agreed when Grizz lied and promised to wait for him two days before proceeding with any attack on the trading post.

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We rode for a spell untill we came up to the mine. "Dis is whar I got dem explosives. One way in or out, a few fresh air shafts and dat's it ." I told Grizz. "Now that is strange ! Most mines have an escape tunnel or two in case of a rock fall." Grizz had is hat back, scratching his head. "Thought dat too. But you aint seen nothin' yet."


As we got closer to the trading post, we dis mounted and walked aways, then crawled on our bellies to the tunnel enterance. It was just like the mine. One way in and out. Grizz looked at me in a confused look on his face. "I only got bout 300 yards inside der.....seems ders tunnels in every dircetion. A strong breeze comin' from da right side tunnel and leavin' out da left side tunnel after bout 105 yards inside. Da sounds of diggin' and cryin'. And a strong smell of bodily fuilds to boot."


"And I noticed somethin' else Grizz, the smell of ore bout to be processed. Da same kind as what took Martha away from ya." I told Grizz and whatched his reactation. I saw him make a fist and almost pond the ground. I saw him hang his head and I told him,.."Grizz, my brother....Let's make dis right. I don't want Martha to have died fer nothing. She treated me as if I was as good as her. I loved her like a friend. But you loved her as her husband. Now, channel what you are feelin', what you saw in da sweat lodge, and yur memoirs of her. Let da Bringer of Death do his job now."


I checked both my dragoons, and 1860 Henry and levered a round into it. I looked at Grizz and his hands where moving with purpose. Swiftly and with purpose. He checked his colts, loading an extra round into each. Not the brightest thing to do....hammer resting on a live round, I did the same. But when you are about to go into battle, you take no changes. Grizz looked up at me and said "You ready to raise some hell ?" I smiled and said, "Thought yud never ask ! "

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Grizz pulled his bow and quiver off of his back and laid them out. Then he got his possibles bag and pulled out several sticks of dynamite and rigged them to arrows. Setting the arrows and bow aside where they could be grabbed quickly if they had to make a quick retreat. Next he pulled his boots off and pulled worn moccasins from the possibles bag, they were the ones the indian woman had given him after the sweat lodge, he'd worn them for a long time afterwards.


Quickly he sorted thru the things in the bag, taking out the small bundle of paint he'd had left over from his arrows, part of him wanted to put on the war paint, but there were innocents inside, likely scared, hungry and weak, and most likely deaf. He couldn't risk adding to their fears. He set the war paint aside, and instead pinned on his old beat up Marshal's badge. It didn't carry any weight up here, but it might just give the innocents a clue he could be trusted. Other than the rest of the dynamite, some fuse, and matches he set everything aside.


He then bit off the ends of two cigars and spit them out. After that he jammed several matches in the exposed end, leaving one exposed just enough to get a reliable strike. It would taste like sulphur, but they'd light and keep burning, and if they were on the move and needed to light a fuse, a burning cigar would do the job better than trying to strike a match. He handed one to Hawk and put the other in his pocket.


Lastly, he took out a scarf that had been Martha's. After breathing deep of it, taking in the fading aroma of her, he tied it around his neck.


"Let's move" Grizz whispered as they started moving towards the tunnel.


There was an armed guard near the entrance, but he was silenced quickly when Hawk snapped his neck, and cut his throat for good measure. There hadn't been a guard when Hawk had scouted, they must be on alert. But the fact that there was only one guard exposed the likelihood that they expected the attack from another direction.


There were lamps every so often that dimly lit the tunnel, without them they'd be in pitch dark.


They placed dynamite at the entrance, and about ten feet in from each tunnel intersection, before going back to explore further down the branches. The tracks of the ore cart were worn smooth and bright, they'd seen a lot of heavy traffic, and recently. There were signs of lots of foot traffic as well, some in boots, and some bare feet.


The tunnel off to the left bore tracks of wooden wheel carts, and loaded down carts at that. This must be the fresh diggings. There were no sounds coming from that tunnel, so they quickly moved to the right one where whimpers and moans could be heard.

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Part way down the right tunnel was a branch. Judging from the tracks it wasn't well used, but Hawk and Grizz could hear grunts and whimpering coming from down it. Grizz was in the lead when they craept around a corner to see a fairly large man on top of a young woman, having his way with her. Without even thinking Grizz grabbed the man by his shaggy hair and jerked him off of her, throwing him back towards Hawk who plunged a knife into his chest. Truth was the man was dead before he landed at Hawks feet, Grizz had jerked him with such force his neck was broken.


Wiping the rage from his face, Grizz forced a smile to put the girl at ease, he helped her up and tried whispering to her, with no reaction. Martha had taught him some sign language and he told the girl 'we are here to help, you are safe now, keep quiet.' The girl nodded and signed back 'my sister, the others.' 'We'll get them now' Grizz signed, how many men guarding them?' 'Two more, maybe three' she signed back.


The rest of that spur was empty, and from the smell it was often used as an outhouse or for the guards to molest the children. As Grizz turned back to Hawk, Hawk studied his old friends eyes. The tears were streaming freely, Hawk had never seen Grizz cry like this, not even when Martha had died. But along with the tears, was an icy cold look in his eyes. It was as if the bringer of death and bringer of life were wrapped into one person at the same time. His face showed both the compassion he'd just shown the girl, and the fury that would be unleashed on any who had caused her, or those like her pain.


As they worked their way back to the main tunnel, the girl clung to Grizz. When they got back to the main part of that right tunnel, Grizz pushed her away gently 'I need my hands free to fight, stay a little ways behind me.' Reluctantly the girl nodded and did as she was told.

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