The small hours lend themselves to contemplation. Ideas flow slowly, allowing the person the luxury savor and flavor.
This evening, or morning, as one can view it, I drifted with Pandora Radio. Some Ella Fitzgerald, a little Armstrong, some Blues, and drifted.
Given the time of year; all outside work completed as we ready for winter, temps falling and the mind stilling, hands idle, I wondered.
I wondered if, in the world of adversary, a native would share coffee with memories, no matter how contrived, simply a tale made from whole cloth and imagination.
A local man walked into the chosen coffee shop of the locals carrying a flintlock rifle and dressed in buckskin clothing; bed roll slung, powder horn riding comfortably on his hip; bowie knife snug to his thigh; and though his head gear wasn’t ‘coon, it was of fur. The man was a complete throw back to the 1500’s and not ashamed of his appearance.
Now, lined up at tables across the windows of this coffee shop were more than a few Native Americans and crowding the tables further back were white Americans, among whom sat the Sheriff.
The Sheriff addressed the new comer, asking: “You ready?”
The reply came casually: “Just wanted coffee first”, while leaning his rifle against the wall, he started to lower himself into a chair, but was halted by the appearance of a stately woman with long black hair, tall and dark of eye.
She held in her hands a bowie knife, sheathed in buckskin casing, mangled tassel dangling. Halting with her back to the white’s, and profiled to the Native Americans, she silently offered the knife in both hands to the figure in buckskin garb.
The man gazed keenly at the woman, scanned the sheathed knife, turned toward the Native Americans eyebrows raised and received quiet looks, everyone was looking at him.
The man contemplated the knife again and undid the belt holding his bowie knife to his leg, holding the cased instrument at waist level, he spoke: “This knife is young. I made it in my shop at home. Up there near the mountains. I made the blade and tang of very good steel and it takes and keeps an edge. The hand guard is machine steel from a piece of enemy armor taken from the battle field, the butt end is casing from artillery shells from yet another, the grips are from a buck deer a Native gave to me in exchange for food.
The silence continued from throughout the coffee shop, most eyes pinned on the man, and that stately woman.
Laying the knife in its casing across his palms, the man turned from the woman to a far older Native woman sitting among her kind, and offered her the weapon, saying: “It is an honorable weapon. It has served well and will continue to do so.”
The woman peered closely at the man before her for a period and slowly ran a finger along the fringes of the sheathing, gently touched with single finger the bead work on the casing and just as slowly extended both hands, accepting the knife made by the white man.
The man just as slowly turned, now empty handed to the lovely woman still standing near his selected table and extended his hands; she, with due deliberateness depositing the knife she held into his care.
Part One of as many as necessary
From the reaches,