Written By: D’be-D’be
Colt felt like he was being punished for something he didn’t do. Luke had told him to drag behind so he could pick up any strays that for one reason or other couldn’t keep up with the rest of the herd. Colt hated this part of the job. It was lonely and a time consuming task. He’d rather be with Luke at the front of the drive. He loved pulling his mount in next to his lover and take in the whole essence of what made up the man, Luke Morgan. His voice, his smile, his overall command of every situation was a real turn on for the younger man, who at times had a hard time controlling his male urges. He knew however, if he didn’t control himself, he’d find himself over Luke’s lap and that was one place Colt didn’t want to be.
He was about to go down into a steep gully to free some cows trapped in the bushes when something flashing above him, caught his eye. What he saw almost made him loose his breakfast. Up on the mountain looking down on him was a lone member of the Sioux Nation. The warrior didn’t seem to be making a move to come towards him. He just sat on his white majestic horse, his eyes scanning the territory below. Colt had the impression the warrior was more interested in the six cattle caught up in the bushes than he was of the cowboy trying to free them.
“Okay, Colt,” he muttered to himself. “Luke would probably want you to get back to camp for help, but I can’t leave these cattle behind. After all, as Luke reminds us over and over again, every head counts at roundup time. However if I don’t go now, that Indian up there will probably soon be joined by more members of his tribe and that will be a whole new situation.”
Colt knew Luke would be terribly upset by the danger Colt was putting himself in and that it would no doubt lead to a long round of discipline. But if he ran away now, he would get the reputation of being a coward and not being able to take care of himself. The choice was abruptly taken away from him by the sound of a horse’s hoofs making their way down the mountain.
“Oh fuck!” Colt cursed under his breath. “Now what am I supposed to do?” Instinctively the young cowboy reached for his gun but didn’t pull it out of its holster. He didn’t want to antagonize the lone Sioux who was making his way toward him.
The Indian held his bow and arrow close to his side but like the white man before him, didn’t want to show aggression. After all he was far from his camp and alone. This went directly against the rules of the man who took care of him. Although he didn’t see any other white men close, the signs of the dust being kicked up let him know more white men were around. This boy was probably a member of the cattle drive he’d been shadowing for the last three days.
As the young brave approached Colt, the cowboy couldn’t help but be impressed by the Indian’s presence. His black hair was in two braids and he was dressed in only a breechcloth and leggings but no shirt. His bare chest rippled with muscles and his black eyes gave away no emotion. By the way he sat his mount Colt guessed he was around his own age and height.
When the Indian was about three feet away from Colt, he raised his hand and in a deep, assuring voice spoke one word, “Ta’nishi.”
Having been on a few scouting missions with the drive’s chief scout, Colt knew the young man was saying hello, so he gave his best ‘I’m-not-afraid-of-you’ smile as he returned the greeting. “Hello there. A little far from home, ain’t ya?” Colt hoped his voice didn’t sound as shaky as he felt.
The handsome Native just smiled as he dismounted and in perfect English, replied, “I am out hunting for food for my people and thanks to these misdirected cows I have found some.”
Relieved, Colt asked; “You speak English? Where did you learn it?”
“We had some white men staying in our village for a time and I picked up their mother tongue.”
Not wanting to know why white men were in the Sioux village, Colt changed the subject. “I can’t let you have these cows ‘cause they don’t belong to me”
“Who do they belong to?”
“A group of men in Texas; I’m just taking them to auction to be sold.”
“Just you alone are taking these cows?”
“You know dang well I’m part of the drive that came through here yesterday.”
The Native gave a low chuckle as he moved towards the bushes and began to free the cattle.
“Please don’t do that. Move away from there!” Colt stated in the most forceful voice he could.
The young Sioux stopped and turned towards the cowboy. “Tanasin Casoine? I mean, what is your name?”
“I go by Colt. What is yours?”
“Papewe,” the other man answered as he kept moving towards the cattle. “Listen Colt, the buffalo hunt has been poor this year. Thanks to the white hunters, my people are going hungry. These few cows would go along way to ease their hunger. You have many cows; surely your boss would not miss a few.”
Colt knew that Luke would never begrudge the tribe a few head but that wasn’t his decision to make; it was Luke’s. He knew he was going against the rules by making a decision like this on his own, but Luke wasn’t here and he was. Colt was sure the trail boss would understand when he learned of the plight of the destitute people.
Dismounting himself, Colt moved towards the bushes to assist in freeing the cattle. “Are you by yourself, Papewe?” he wanted to know.
The warrior, for some reason, trusted the cowboy standing before him so he told him the truth. “Yes, and as a matter of fact I will probably be in a little trouble when I return to camp. You see, I was told not to go out on my own. The man I stay with, Chief White Eagle, knew about the cattle drive coming through and believed it would be dangerous for any of his braves to go out of their own. I was afraid that by the time a hunting party was formed, the drive would be to far away, so I slipped out on my own and began following your trail.”
“Are you the Chief’s son?”
“No, he…ah..,” Colt heard the hesitation in the young brave’s voice as he struggled with how to answer the question. “He takes care of me. My father was his best friend, but both he and my mother were killed in a raid on our camp by some cowardly men who attacked when most of our braves were out on a hunting trip. My mother was in labor at the time, so my father and White Eagle stayed behind. They managed to hold the enemy at bay until she could give birth. My father fell just as my first cries were heard. White Eagle was wounded and unable to assist my mother. As he laid bleeding and struggling to get back on his feet, my mother’s death cries were heard. For some reason known only by the great spirits, my life was spared as our hunting party returned and our enemies were killed. White Eagle took me to his lodge and named me Papewe, which is Sioux for ‘Lucky One’.
“Do you have any brothers or sisters?” Colt didn’t know why but he felt compelled to learn all he could about this young brave standing before him. He felt a bond growing between them.
“Uh, no; White Eagle does not lay down with women.” Papewe’s gaze shifted downward to the ground. He was unsure of how a complete stranger would react to this statement.
Colt couldn’t believe his ears, or his luck. Out here in the middle of nowhere he had found a soul mate; someone else who understood what it was like to love a man. Colt had often longed to discuss his relationship with someone outside the drive. “You mean to tell me that you and White Eagle are….ah, that is…you lie down together?” Colt asked excitedly. “Oh my, Papewe; that is wonderful as I also lie down with a man and he is the chief of our drive. His name is Luke Morgan.”
Papawe’s face broke into a huge grin. His smile only added to his good looks and charm.
Colt took a deep breath before he ventured on to the next topic. Throwing caution to the wind, he shyly inquired, “Papewe, you stated you broke a rule by going out on your own. Does White Eagle punish you? What I mean is….?”
Papewe saved his new friend further embarrassment. “You want to know if I get spanked. Why; do you?”
Colt let out a chuckle as memories of past discipline sessions ran through his mind. “You better believe it! Luke is a kind, warm-hearted man and I love him very much, but he sure has a hard hand at times and he has no problem laying that hard hand on my unprotected backside.”
Papewe moved towards Colt and gave him an understanding punch on the shoulder as he confessed he also has felt a hard hand on his bare bottom more times that he cared to remember.
The two men continued talking while they freed the cattle before stringing them together so they would not get away again.
Colt looked over his shoulder in the direction of where he figured the drive had camped for the night. He knew if he wasn’t back in camp by dusk, Luke would be concerned and start looking for him. In a decision he would come to regret later, Colt made the decision to not only give Papewe the cattle, but to also help him get them home by accompany him back to the village.
He took off the red scarf Luke had given him and tied it to a bush along with a note telling Luke where he was going and that he would meet up with the drive in a couple of days. When that was done, the new friends made their way to the Sioux encampment.
White Eagle was beside himself with worry. What was that young pup trying to prove, going out on his own with dozens of white men near by. Was he trying to prove his manhood to the rest of the people or was he trying to let White Eagle know he was growing up and didn’t need to be so protected and sheltered? No matter what the reason, it didn’t change the fact that he had broken one of the rules, which as Papewe well knew would lead to punishment. The Chief, in spite of the medicine man’s advice to stay put, was about to mount his horse and search for his young companion, when the sound of cattle mooing could be heard in the distance.
The village came alive as Papewe and a white boy rode in with a string of six cows behind them. The young braves surrounded the white boy and stared in curiosity. The children began running around the cows and pushing each other away in order to gain the advantage of being the first to touch the four-legged creatures. The women came out of their dwellings but remained at the entrances, as was their place.
Colt knew in an instant which one of the few men, who stayed standing in the middle of the village, was White Eagle. The Chief stood at least six feet, three inches tall with long, black hair falling on broad shoulders. His hands were on his hips and his legs were spread apart in a strong, leadership stance. There was no doubt as to whom was in command in this camp. Although his handsome, noble face was devoid of emotion, his dark eyes gave him away. They practically glowed with anger as he approached the young brave still sitting on his horse.
Colt could feel the shivers of apprehension running through his new friend as they both watched the Chief’s approach. Seeing Luke in that very mood many times before, Colt knew exactly what was in store for the young Sioux sitting next to him. He waited for Papewe to dismount before getting off his own horse. As soon as his feet hit the ground, his arms were grabbed by two rather unfriendly-looking Indians.
“Leave him be!” Papewe ordered. “He is my friend and if not for him, I would not have these cattle to help feed us all.”
The two braves looked over at White Eagle and only let their captive go when the Chief gave them the nod to do so.
Allowing a smile to come to his face, White Eagle placed a huge arm around his Brat’s shoulder and turned his attention to the white boy standing next to him.
“Welcome to our village and thank you for the gift of these fine cattle. I am sure you are hungry and tired after your long ride, please follow me to the medicine man’s tee-pee where you will be feed and allowed to rest while Papewe and I discuss a small matter. He will join you shortly.”
Colt was greeted by another tall, powerful man at the entrance to a huge dwelling that lay in the centre of the village next to the Chief’s. Before he entered he looked back over his shoulder at his friend being hauled into his own lodge. Papewe, feeling Colt’s eyes on him, turned to look at his friend. Colt smiled as he recognized the expression. He knew Luke had seen it on his own face many times moments before discipline was handed out.
White Eagle grabbed Papewe by the arm and growled “Pi’htikwe” (enter) as he pulled the young man into the home they shared.
“Well, my young brave, you must be proud of yourself for finding food for the village.”
“Yes, my Chief, I do feel very proud.”
“That is good and so you should for you have accomplished a great deed.”
The young brave was taken aback by White Eagle’s praise. Maybe the big man wasn’t angry at all and maybe a spanking wasn’t in his future. That wishful thought was swept away by White Eagle’s next statement.
“Although I am proud of the results, I am not pleased by the way this brave act was carried out. When our relationship grew into what it is today, we had a discussion, did we not?” White Eagle waited for the young man to nod his understanding of the question then he continued. “At that time we agreed our relationship was going to be more that just a sexual one; that it would entail rules and discipline. If you don’t mind, my little brave, please recite those rules to me so I will be sure you have not forgotten them.”
With a trembling voice, Papewe responded to the request. “I am to show you nanahihtamowin (obedience), kisteyitamowin (respect) and sakehitowin (love). I am to display tapahteyimowin (humility) by not trying to prove myself better than anyone else just because I am with the Chief. I cannot do what other braves are not allowed to do. Finally, I am to show maskawisewin (strength) by controlling my desires to do things on my own without discussing them with you first.”
“Very good, my young brave, and did you follow all these rules when you went out searching for food on your own and not waiting for the hunting party?”
With eyes filling up with tears, the young Sioux looked up at the man towering over him. “No, my Chief, I did not,” he humbly admitted.
“I’m glad you recognize that fact. Are you prepared for the results of breaking our rules?”
“I am,” the younger man murmured without hesitation.
White Eagle moved over to the layers of skins and fur that made up their bed and sat down in the middle of it.
When Papewe had removed his breechcloth and leggings, he walked meekly over to where White Eagle sat and lied down without complaint over the big Chief’s lap.
Colt jumped as he heard the familiar sound of a hand striking bare skin along with the howls of pain and discomfort coming from the adjacent dwelling. He also noted however, that the man sitting next to him seemed unfazed by the sounds. Looking out the entrance at what he could see of the rest of the village, he was amazed how the people, also having heard the discipline going on, went about their daily chores as if nothing was out of the ordinary.
Seeing the confusion on the young cowboy’s face, the medicine man explained that what was happening was an acceptable part of their life. The fact that the Chief was disciplining the young brave was expected by the others and was not a matter of concern to them. They knew rules had to be followed and if the Chief has showed favoritism and not disciplined his unruly partner, it then would have been a matter of concern, but White Eagle was a great Chief and because of his actions, was respected by all.
Colt continued to eat the meagre meal of stew and corn bread that was offered to him and kept count of the number of slaps coming from Papewe’s dwelling. After fifty slaps, the village became silent except for the muffled sobs and low mumbles of ‘I’m sorry’.
Fifteen minutes later, the flap of the other tee-pee opened and Papewe stepped into the Medicine Man’s home.
Colt smiled when he saw his new friend take the plate of food given him but remain standing while eating. “I couldn’t help hearing White Eagle’s reaction to your breaking the rules.”
“Yes, he was not too pleased with me, but he made up for his displeasure after the discipline was carried out.”
“Did he show you comfort and love?”
“Always, he shows me all is forgiven and forgotten. He also proves to me how much he loves me. Does your Chief do that as well?”
“All the time and it’s the best part of the whole event.”
“Tell me, Colt; do you feel better after the discipline is placed on you?”
“It’s strange and I don’t think anyone who isn’t in our position would understand this, but yes I feel like a load has been lifted from me. I need the discipline Luke gives me. It makes me whole as well as makes me feel loved. Is it that way for you?’
“It certainly is and I couldn’t have explained it better.”
The two young men were about to help themselves to another plate of stew when the thunder of horse beats sounded throughout the village. Colt didn’t have to look to know whose horse had entered the village. He just knew; he could just feel Luke’s presence.
Papewe looked out to see a tall, handsome, but thoroughly irate-looking, white man getting off his horse. White Eagle came out of his lodge and approached the man, a slight smile tugging at his lips. After the discipline was over, he and his partner had taken time to chat and Papewe told him all about his newly found blood-brother and how Colt was also in the same type of relationship as they were. By the look in this white man’s eyes, the Chief knew without asking, that this was Luke Morgan.
“You are here for the young cowboy called Colt, are you not?”
“Yes, I am. My name is Luke Morgan and I’m the Trail Boss of the drive that Colt worked for. I understand by the note he left me, that he gave you six of my cattle.”
Becoming suddenly weary of the white man standing in front of him, White Eagle pushed his shoulders back in a fighting stance as he replied. “He did just that. Are you about to relief me of those animals?”
Realizing his angry tone had given the Chief the wrong impression, Luke took a deep breath. He was angry at Colt for putting himself in danger and for making a decision that wasn’t his to make. He wasn’t angry that the cattle were given away; just the exact opposite. Although he was angry at Colt’s actions, he was still proud of the young man for the generous gesture he had made.
“Of course the cattle are yours, Chief, ah Chief who?”
“Of course the cattle are yours, Chief White Eagle. As a matter of fact when I leave here, if you would be so kind to allow a couple of your braves to accompany me, I am willing to give you fifteen more head. Winter is coming and I know the game will be even scarcer than it is now.”
“I am overwhelmed by your generosity. I, along with Colt’s new acquaintance, Papewe, will be proud to go back with you for the cattle. Before you go however, please do me the honor of taking a meal with us. We have much to discuss.”
Colt had stepped out of the tee-pee but had waited along side his new friend until he was sure Luke and the Chief had finished their business. Papewe had told him it was a sign of respect not to run up to or interrupt the Chief when he was greeting a stranger.
When Colt was sure the discussion was over, he ran up to Luke and threw his arms around him. “I know you’re angry, Luke, and I know I’m probably in for it, but I’m proud of what I did. I not only helped some proud, brave people, I also made a new friend. We have so much in common. It’s like we’re blood brothers.”
White Eagle laughed at the look of confusion and concern on Luke’s face at Colt’s obvious open show of affection in front of these complete strangers. It all became clear to him when White Eagle explained to him over a plate of stew, that he and Papewe were in the same type of relationship as he and Colt.
A feeling of relief swept over Luke. He quickly found himself relaxing and enjoying the company as well as the conversation. It was a nice feeling, talking to another man about the challenges and pleasures of dealing with partners such as Colt and Papewe. Luke hated to see the evening end but knew if they did not leave now it would put the drive behind schedule.
As they mounted up, Luke asked White Eagle if he would mind waiting an hour before following them. White Eagle understood completely and agreed to wait. It was decided they would meet at the small rock canyon in an hour’s time.
Colt felt a touch of sadness as the Sioux village faded further and further away. His feelings of sadness were all too soon replaced by one of trepidation as Luke led the way into the canyon and got off his horse. Before Colt could dismount, he felt himself being dragged off his mount. Within seconds his pants were being pulled down and he was placed over Luke’s lap.
He had known it was coming sooner or later, he just wished it was later. Colt felt all of Luke’s feeling of worry and concern in every slap that reined down on his unprotected bottom.
Luke questioned Colt as he laid a hard slap on first his left cheek then his right. “Do you have any idea of how worried I was when you didn’t return? Then to have my worry compounded by the knowledge that you went into a Sioux village not knowing what would happen to you when you got there?”
“But, Luke, I was with a friend. Owww, that hurts!” Colt screamed out as he tried to explain his actions.
“But I didn’t know that, Colton, until I reached the village.”
“Owww, I’m sorry. I know I should have put that in the note. Owww, okay…okay…I’m sorry I went in the first place without talking with you before hand. I should have taken Papewe to our camp. Please Luke, Owww, I’m sorry. Please…Stop!”
Huge sobs shook the young man’s body as Luke continued the painful onslaught. When Luke heard these final words, he stopped spanking his wayward lover, lifted him up and sat him on his lap. The two men stayed that way as long as time would permit.
As Colt sat cuddled up in Luke’s arms, he became aware of another’s presence. He pulled away and looked up. What he saw made him blush and smile at the same time. Papewe and White Eagle were standing in the clearing, patiently waiting for Luke and Colt’s time together to end before they came any closer.
Luke motioned them in and mounted his horse.
Colt did the same as Papewe moved in along side him with a huge grin on his face. “I bet you’d rather walk than ride right now, would you not?”
“Don’t you know it, and I guess we’re even, my friend,” Colt commented.
“What do you mean by that?”
“Well, I witnessed your discipline and now you’ve witnessed mine.”
“Oh yes, I see what you mean.” A few seconds passed before Papewe attracted his friend’s attention again. “Colt?”
“Yes, my blood brother.”
“Aren’t we a couple of lucky guys?”
“We sure are, my friend, we sure are!” Colt laughed as he patted Pawene on the shoulder.
The four men rode back to the drive’s base, talking and laughing, comfortable and relaxed in each other’s company. Approaching the camp, Colt came to the realization being sent to hunt for cattle wasn’t a bad thing after all.