Linda Wood Rondeau

Snark & Sensibility

"Indian Attack"
10/4/2019 1:00:00 AM by: Lynne Tagawa

 

 

PLEASE WELCOME

LYNNE BASHAM TAGAWA

TO

FLASH FICTION FRIDAY

Colonel James Patton peered into the iron kettle over the hearth. His hosts were out and about for the day, but before she’d left, the goodwife had tossed in salt pork or maybe bacon into the brose thick with peas and neeps. He hoped it was bacon.

He sighed and turned to the desk. He needed to catch up on the relentless correspondence—first a reply to Washington, up north, who was trying to direct a difficult defense of the frontier, then answer Governor Dinwiddie, whose constant criticism provoked him like a thorn through his buckskin breeches.

Dinwiddie. More like Dimwit. The man ate lamb and asparagus in Williamsburg and knew nothing of what they faced.

Patton took a seat at the crude kitchen table, two long planks nailed into usefulness, and fingered his sword laid on the far edge. A sword didn’t need to be loaded and primed. He picked up his quill.

“Uncle?”

The militia colonel turned to see his nephew, William Preston, who always reminded him of his deceased father, John—golden hair instead of dark, like his own, and shorter than the typical Patton frame. But the lad was earnest and faithful, also traits attributable to his godly father.

His nephew wore a decent coat for a meeting with both militiamen and area folk, befitting his rank as captain. Patton tugged at the hem of his own uniform, thinking it was a hot garment to wear this July day, but then, he wouldn’t be joining these good people in the barley harvest.

“Uncle, I’ve sewed the money in my breeches as ye said.” He wriggled slightly. “I can set a horse, I think.”

“Ye ken your errand, then?” The militiamen were a day’s ride away, and they’d need housing when they arrived. The strongest house could serve as a fort, or if need be, they’d build something. There was already at least one church building in the Shenandoah Valley constructed entirely of stone.

William nodded and slipped out into the sunshine. Patton inked his quill. The letter to Colonel Washington was quickly composed—a list of militia recruitments with a few practical observations. He was examining the governor’s last scathing note when the door darkened.

His hand grasped the hilt of his father’s claidheamh-mór before he’d fully registered what was happening.

He swung at the painted brown man once inside the confines of the cabin, but to fully engage the multiple Indians now visible through the doorway, he’d have to go outside, which also meant he’d be vulnerable to arrow or musket.

So be it. Blood fountained and spattered against the cabin’s wall. The savage didn’t know the reach of a two-handed Scottish claymore. Patton pushed past the dying man and stepped out into the sunlight. Four more—that he could see, anyway.

Help, Lord. He was a rogue, he knew that; perhaps God would have mercy upon such a one as he. For he had the feeling he’d not see another sunrise. Another Indian fell, but the others backed away, wary of his steel.

Oh, no. One of them had a musket, and the others whooped encouragement, tomahawks flashing in the sun. Perhaps, Patton wondered, he’d bought some time—he hoped Will was safe. And the folks who lived here. Maybe his death would not be in vain.

Note: In July 1755, militia colonel and former sea captain, James Patton, was killed near the New River settlement known as “Draper’s Meadow,” while his nephew escaped unharmed, being sent on an errand. You will find both William Preston and James Patton in my novel, The Shenandoah Road, and the sequel coming out next year.

ABOUT LYNNE BASHAM TAGAWA

Lynne Tagawa is married with four grown sons and four marvelous grandbabies. A biology teacher by trade, she teaches part-time, writes, and edits. She’s written a Texas history curriculum in narrative form, Sam Houston’s Republic, and two novels, A Twisted Strand and The Shenandoah Road. Lynne lives with her husband in South Texas.

Buy The Shenandoah Road: A Novel of the Great Awakening from Amazon (kindle), Grace & Truth Books, or other major booksellers.

https://www.amazon.com/Shenandoah-Road-Novel-Great-Awakening-ebook/dp/B07FK5ZQ5Z

https://graceandtruthbooks.com/product/the-shenandoah-road-lynne-tagawa/

Website:  www.lynnetagawa.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14845205.Lynne_Tagawa

ABOUT THE SHENANDOAH ROAD

John Russell’s heartaches from the loss of his wife, but the Shenandoah Valley frontiersman needs to marry again for his daughter’s sake. At first, he believes he has found the right young woman, despite their differences in background, but his faith falters when time reveals she isn’t quite what she seemed. Can he truly love her? And what about his own failings?

Unlike her disgraced sister, Abigail Williams obeys the Commandments. At least, she thinks herself a Christian until a buckskin-clad newcomer courts her. He treats her kindly but also introduces her to a sermon by the controversial preacher, George Whitefield. Her self-righteousness is shattered, and she wonders about their relationship. If she confesses her lack of faith, will John continue to love her?

“Lynne Tagawa transports readers into the faith and hope, and sorrows and fears of 18th-century colonial America. While other books feature the raw grit of frontier colonial life, this book goes deeper and reveals the heart.” —Douglas Bond, author of numerous books, including War in the Wasteland and Hostage Lands.

“The Shenandoah Road is an authentic and engaging journey back to the challenges of settling in the Shenandoah Valley” —Laura Hilton, author of Firestorm (Whitaker House, 2018)

“Raw, realistic, and historically packed, this story will make you think. If you enjoy stories with deep theological themes, you will enjoy this.” —Amber Schamel, author of Solve by Christmas, winner of the 2018 Christian Indie Award

Lynne Tagawa, author of Sam Houston’s Republic and A Twisted Strand, lives in Texas with her husband.

 

 

 

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