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Indian Fighters

This is an account of a battle between mountain men 
pinned down by Apaches...

Indian Fighters

In soaring heat
A scene unfolds
Of conflict, pain and death.
Before us now
The stage is set
Where hard men draw their breath.

From our hilltop
Vantage point
We overlook the plain.
The sound of guns
Clearly heard
Repeats a sharp refrain.

As we draw near
This flatland fight
Combatants we can see.
Hard-bit mountain
Men pinned down
By gunfire, They can't flee.

The trackers lie
In shallow spots
Barely hid from sight.
The depressions
In hard turf
Helps the white-eyes fight.

The two pinned down
Are Jones and Schulz,
And last night they were three.
But their partner
In terror ran.
Alas, poor man, Mcgee!

Mcgee ran fast
Into the night.
The two heard no shots sound.
But his loud cries
Chilled both their blood,
By warriors he'd been found!

Throughout the night
His voice was heard,
In agony he cried.
He cursed and spat,
Reviled them all.
By morning he had died.

By noon today
Both Jones and Schulz
Are hot, and deadly tired!
They watch yet still
And warriors fall
For each shot they have fired.

The sun is high
And sky hot brass,
An oven the bottom land.
Yet through all this
Apaches hide,
Making an unseen band.

Jones watches close
While schulz lies back,
His Sharps as hot as coals.
He slowly cleans
It of all dust.
Onto his side he rolls.

His squinting eyes
Take in the shapes
Of shadows, rocks and such.
He knows these men
Are rarely seen
Until one feels their touch!

What is that there?
A dark brown foot
He sees not far away;
His Sharps is fired,
A man cries out.
The warrior's cold clay.

By unseen foes
Are arrows shot.
A deadly rain of flint.
Jones rolls to left
As arrows strike
To right. His strength is spent.

Schulz is awake
Winchester up,
Alert for action now.
Though hot an tired,
Dry and quite weak,
Hot furrows he will plow.

About them both
The scene is still,
As silence reigns the land.
Apaches have
All disappeared,
And hidden bodies tanned.

Their canteens are 
But half-full now,
Each man takes minute sips.
They long to drink
And quench the thirst,
Instead, they wet their lips.

The jerky and
The hardtack too
Are dangerously low.
Though their hunger
Know no respite,
They do no let it show.

The test for them,
A patience one.
Without it they will fall.
Their dark-skinned foes
Are experts here,
Fighting men are they all.

Unseen by Jones,
Out of Schulz' sight,
Six indians still lay.
Led by the one
Called "Ghost That Walks",
Steadily stalk their prey.

These two white men
Were a surprise,
Their skill in combat, great.
Squaws of Lone One,
Sky, Whelp and Bear
Will loudly mourn their fate.

Yet still remain
Strong Wind and Scar,
And Wolf That Stands Upright.
With Cunning Dog, Two Feet Of Clay
And Eagle they will fight.

The waiting game
Continues still,
Apaches still as stones.
The whites must fall
To Ghost That Walks,
Where sun will bleach their bones.

The braves hide low
In open sight
Of Jones and Schulz' view.
Earth-brown bodies
Covered with dust
Are unseen by the two.

As brave-to-be,
These men had played
At hunting  games, times past.
To deal with thirst
And heat and ache,
They can these two outlast!

Cunning Wolf aims
And looses a
Shaft into the wallow.
It nicks the leg
Of Shulz to right.
But the wound is shallow.

As night moves in
The war party
Makes a desperate play.
They do not want
To fight at night.
If death strikes, make it day!

For if a brave
In battle falls
At night, his soul is lost.
Therefore to fight
After the dark
Can bring too great a cost.

A silent rush
Of all six men
Against the hard-bit two.
The death shafts fly,
While shots are fired.
The trapper's aim was true.

Two Feet Of Clay
Is down with a
Bullet, shot through his chest.
Now he is in
Great hunting grounds,
With daylight death he's blest.

But Ghost That Walks
Can clearly see,
Another trapper's hit.
Dead or alive
He cannot tell.
But has time come to quit?

Now but five braves
Remain  of ten,
Hidden safe on the earth.
And Ghost That Walks
Is plagued with doubts.
His magic seems a curse.

The three white ones,
They should have been
An exercise at best!
And easy chance
For counting coup.
This fight has been a test!

As nightfall comes
He makes his choice,
The cost has been too high.
The magic of
The mountain men
Has caused his braves to die.

In silence now
He gives the sign
And quickly they pull out.
Taking their dead
Unseen by Schulz.
They've had enough, no doubt!

Schulz les stock still
Alert for moves
To signal his demise.
Waiting for them
To rush again.
Like ghosts before his eyes.

Night has come down,
As dark as pitch
And still they have not come.
In spite of fear
He dozes off,
In dreams deep tom-toms thrum.

The day dawns clear
With no attack.
Apaches have all gone!
And Schulz alone
He buries Jones.
A bitter victory won.

In weariness
He gathers up
Food, water, his old pack,
And starts the trek
Towards Houston-town.
He walks off down the track.

In the village
Of Ghost That Walks
Mourning women are loud.
For those who fell
To magic strong.
For the dead, they stand proud.

In soaring heat
A scene unfolds
Of peace, silence and wind.
The land goes on
Just as before,
While men to death will tend.

Light a shuck back home....

Ghosts' Tales Of The West: