The signs in the forest were clear – two broken twigs hanging from the young pine at the third fork of the doe’s pathway: paleskin on the way! Red Planet turned and ran through the field of thorns surrounding his tribe’s camp. He whistled like a chickadee – the sound of alert for the warriors of the camp. Weapons were produced and positions taken.
The buckskin-clad man was grabbed from behind by two of the gentle warriors and escorted to the camp and to the tent of the Chief.
“Chief, I want peace with you,” the young man said to Grey Hawk, chief of the Kiowa Mound Builders. His son, Hawkeye, nodded his head and spoke, “They have invited us to share a feast of thanksgiving to the Great Spirit.”
The old chief rose from the floor, walked to the center of the large tent and sat down. All of the men of the camp sat down in a large circle around the central fire. Nattie Bumpo received the invitation to sit at the Chief’s right hand. After the pipe of peace was passed around the circle, the Chief spoke quietly, “I can see it is a time of Manifest Destiny where the white man will think that his iron horse technology gives him the right to our land. He will do it in the name of his gods. He will waive idols of silver and gold before him. Vainly will he call upon the name of his gods. He will not rest from labor until the great fire. He will not honor the peace of his mothers and fathers. He will kill us. He will seduce and rape our women. He will steal what is ours. He will lie about us to the generations to come. He will not stop coveting our land until it is nearly consumed. But, what the heck, I’m hungry. Thursday’s okay by me.”
Nattie Bumpo bowed low to the Chief and left the tent. As he walked off into the encroaching night, he knew he had won a victory and a friend.
Welcome, Chief Grey Hawk!” Nattie Bumpo exclaimed as he raised his wine glass in a toast.
“Amen!” said many of the crowd of 120 people at the large table constructed of rough hewn lumber.
“Chief, we would like you to say the prayer of Thanksgiving.”
The Chief rose, held out his hands toward the heavens and spoke quietly, “The heavens declare the glory of the Great Spirit; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens He has pitched a tent for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat (with the exception of certain space- based telescopes). Oh yeah!”
The food on the table was incredible. For the many people around the table, there were thirty-five fowls, from wild turkeys to small birds that seemed to go uneaten. There were large bowls of wild rice. And freshly baked white bread with newly churned butter. And twenty-seven pies, many cakes, and hot puddings. All four jugs of wine (the complete harvest for that year) were opened for this great event.
Bill Torque put down the old frontier book. “Your food has been prepared properly, Mr. Torque,” said Mr. Robotto as he rolled back to the campfire to continue serving the survivors of the latest Compol attack. They were now free. Compol did not know where they were, they had a star ship, and now they had Mad Hack, the ultimate in technical support – an escapee from Gigacorp during the confusion of “the Merge”.
“Tell me, Torque,” said Mad Hack as he passed Bill a can of his personal pork and beans, “Pudge really became C.E.O.?”
“Yes, he moved from traffic planning, right up the ladder.”
“So much for the master race!” Mad Hack threw back his head and laughed.