The Cowboy Who Didn't Speak Indian

by Lubrican

Chapters : 1 | 2

A reader who goes by the name Susan wrote to me a while back and presented a challenge. She imagined a man and woman meeting who did not speak the same language, and yet had to spend a lot of time together doing something or other. How would they interact? How would they communicate? What if they developed feelings for each other? I reflected on that, and thought up a number of different scenarios that matched her challenge. Here is one of them.

Chapter One

Charles Franklin Peabody, who introduced himself only as Slim, was slumped in the saddle as the roan gelding he was currently riding ambled along through the scrub and sagebrush, picking its route by some mysterious process Slim didn't understand.

Or care about, for that matter.

What he cared about right now was just staying in the saddle. Not long before, he'd had high hopes of getting himself a mail bag full of cash, when he stopped the train and robbed it. It hadn't occurred to him that the people on the train might take offense to the mail car being robbed, and he for sure hadn't thought they'd unlimber their guns and shoot at him. He'd gotten away, but took a bullet in the process. Since he hadn't actually gotten anything from the train, he hoped to high hell that nobody had gotten a horse out of the stock car and taken out after him.

He was pretty sure the bullet that had hit him in the side under his right arm had passed completely through him, but it hurt like fire and he'd lost a lot of blood. All he could do was move on, though, until he found water. That was because he was also pretty sure that, once he got down off his horse, he wasn't getting back up on it for a spell. He needed a place to lay up for a while, and that meant water.

He was half passed out when the screaming roused him. It was female screaming, and it was pretty much nonstop, the kind of gut wrenching scream that made a man's legs turn to water. Later on, he would credit that screaming for saving his life, because he was pretty sure it covered the sound of his approach to the shady copse of trees the screaming was coming from.

While it bothered Slim enough to grip the handle of his six shooter, the horse didn't care a whit, and walked right on into the little grouping of trees. Slim's eyes took in a sight that made his gut tighten.

The girl was staked out naked on the bare ground, her arms and legs spread wide and tied so she couldn't resist. A man stood between her legs, in the act of pushing jeans down. It was pretty obvious what he planned on doing. The girl's face looked over to the new arrival, and she took in a shuddering breath to scream again. The black cowboy hat on the rapist's head turned, exposing a bearded face. His eyes widened as he saw Slim, and he bent, reaching for the gun belt on the ground by his feet.

Slim's reaction was instinct. There was no honor in waiting for the man to actually have the gun in his hand. Letting that happen was only inviting death. He drew his Colt and shot the man three times, aiming carefully, watching the dust jump from the man's body where the slugs hit him.

The girl screamed again, a long, drawn out bloodcurdling scream, as the man who would have raped her fell to land across one of her thighs. She drew in breath and kept screaming, mindlessly. Now that the immediate danger was gone, Slim's eyes picked out additional information. The girl was Indian. Straight, black hair framed the dusky skin of her face and neck. The skin on her breasts and stomach looked lighter. Her buckskin dress was lying several feet away from her. It looked like it had been cut off of her.

Slim looked around and saw the narrow gleam of water further into the trees. A creek. He hoped the girl didn't kill him when he released her, because he was pretty sure he wasn't going to be able to do much to stop her if she tried.

He fell, more than dismounted from his horse, landing hard on his side and grunting with agony as the pain made the sun flash behind closed eyelids. He lay there for several minutes. The screaming kept on, and it was annoying enough that he rolled over and started crawling toward the girl. He happened to get to her left foot first and, fumbling his hunting knife from its sheath, he cut the rawhide strips that had been drawn so tight around her ankle they drew blood.

The screaming stopped, and was replaced by gasping sobs.

He barely made it to her left hand, which was opening and closing frantically, but then stopped as his knife approached. He couldn't get the tip of the knife under the rawhide around her wrist, so he reached to cut it between her hand and the stake. Pain streaked through him as he pulled the knife blade across the string, and as it parted he couldn't hold on to the knife any longer.

With a groan, he collapsed, as everything went dark.

When he became conscious again, it was suddenly, as if he was waking from a night's sleep. His instincts were in good shape, and told him to keep his breath slow and even, while he listened. He cracked his eyes open. Based on the quality of the light, he thought it must be early evening. He heard nothing except the wind in the trees, and the faint sound of trickling water. Then the sound of a foot on sand startled him enough that he opened his eyes. He looked up to see the Indian girl standing above him, looking down at him. She appeared to be upside down, and his knife was in her hand.

"Yo toh hey," she said. Considering the tone of her voice the last time he'd heard her use it, that voice was amazingly soft and melodious.

Slim didn't speak Indian.

"Howdy," he said. His voice cracked through a dry throat.

She moved off, out of his sight. Slim rolled his head to see what she was doing. In doing so he realized he was lying on his back, his head propped on (and crushing) his hat. His shirt was gone. She must have taken it off of him, and arranged him thus, which meant she didn't plan on killing him. Not right away, anyhow. She could have done that already, if that was her intent. Considering what she'd been through, he wouldn't have blamed her. Flies buzzed about the wound under his arm.

She came back with a mass of cloth in her hand, dripping as she hurried across the sand. It looked like a shirt, but it wasn't his.

"To nah weh hata," she said, kneeling beside him.

He started to say "I don't understand," but when he opened his mouth to speak, her hands brought the dripping cloth over his face and she squeezed. It rained all over his face and he sputtered, turning his head. A little got in his mouth, though, and he swallowed it automatically.

"Shey tah!" said the girl, louder. She was frowning. She went away again, and returned with the cloth dripping again. She opened her mouth wide, as if she were going to swoop down and bite him. He stared at her. She closed her mouth and opened it again.

"To nah weh hata!" she said, obviously trying to tell him something. She opened her mouth wide again.

He aped her, and she brought the cloth over his face again. Then he got it, and as she squeezed, he tried to catch as much of the water in his mouth as he could. She smiled and nodded. It took her three more trips before he lifted a hand to keep her from going again. It wasn't a very efficient way of drinking, but it worked.

"Thank you," he said.

She shook her head. "Tee tee ya nagen ho," she said.

"I guess we don't understand each other," he said, more to himself than to her. "I appreciate it, though."

He examined her. He must have been out for a while, because she'd had time to get her dress and cut strings off of it to use to stitch it all back together again. It covered her body now. It had been beautiful at one time, almost white and thin as though made from the hide of something very young. When she stood up again, his eyes slid up the inside of one bare leg to darkness that didn't quite hide the black hair between her legs. His eyes shifted to find that she had been looking at his face, and knew where his eyes had just been. Her face revealed nothing about how she felt about that, but he said "Sorry," instinctively. She said nothing, but moved backwards so he couldn't see up her dress any more.

He tried to sit up, and the pain was like someone had hit him with a tree trunk. His shoulders fell back to the ground, just as her hand pressed on his chest. She was frowning, shaking her head. It was clear she was telling him not to try to get up. She stood and pushed her hand flat at him, like he knew some men did when telling a dog to 'stay.' His hat was off to one side of his head and he reached for it, to prop up his head again. That was when he realized it was black, and not his hat at all. It was the other man's.

He lifted his head, looking for the man he'd shot. It hurt, but his curiosity was stronger than his aversion to pain. What he saw didn't make sense at first. The man's clothes and kit were all piled up in one place. His eyes analyzed the marks on the ground, and he came to the realization that something heavy had been dragged away. Looking around, he saw his horse tied to a tree, his lariat lying uncoiled on the ground nearby.

She had cut the clothes off the man and dragged his body away with the horse.

He was thinking about trying to crawl to the pile, which included the man's gun belt, when the girl walked up to it, bent down, and pulled the six shooter out of the holster. She walked away again and then returned, leading another horse. It must have been the dead man's.

He wasn't prepared when she calmly cocked the pistol, placed the end of the barrel between the horse's eyes, and pulled the trigger.

His yell was drowned out by the report of the pistol. The horse dropped like a stone and flopped, bonelessly on the dusty ground. He watched in horror as she took his knife and skinned the corpse, butchering it and folding the meat into the hide, which she dragged away from the remains. Then, taking his rope again, she tied it onto one leg of the carcass. His horse wanted no part of the dead animal, or her, covered in blood as she was, but she was firm as she tied the other end of his lariat to the saddle horn and pulled his horse, making it drag the body out away from where it had been killed.

When she returned, she tied up his horse again, put together a fire, which she lit with, of all things, a lucifer she took from a small metal box. Her movements in lighting the match, however, indicated she was not well practiced in doing so, which convinced him the box was loot from the dead man's belongings.

By the time she had cooked some of the horsemeat over the fire, Slim's stomach was at war with his mind. When she approached him with the meat, he turned his head and said "No!" She pushed it at him, and he said "No!" again and covered his mouth. His stomach told him he was much too hungry to be picky about what was available to it. Besides, he needed food to heal. When she offered a third time, he dropped his hand and closed his eyes. He felt her push the meat between his teeth, and just tried not to think of what it was. He was surprised that it tasted good, and his eyes popped open. Instead of thinking of what he was eating, as she fed him, he examined her more closely.

He hadn't been around that many Indian maidens. He assumed this one was a maiden, because she looked like a girl to him, quite a bit like any settler girl he'd ever seen, except for her skin color. And the way she was dressed, of course. Her hair was tied back, making a very long pony tail that she had tied with a number of pieces of rawhide, several inches apart up and down the length of it. Young though she might be, however, her form was fully that of a woman, with proud, thrusting breasts. His memory of seeing her naked, staked out, was a bit fuzzy. He remembered her nipples were dark brown, but that was about it. It seemed like her breasts hadn't looked as big then as they did now. The repairs she'd made to her dress had been hasty. Apparently she'd just poked holes along where the dress had been cut off her, and then used pieces of fringe to tie the edges back together. Now that she was close to him, he could see her smooth skin through the gaps.

She was pretty, and his body acknowledged that. He didn't feel bad about that. His dick got stiff any time he saw a pretty girl or woman. It had done that since he had grown hair down there. He didn't know for sure how old he was, but he was pretty sure he had a couple of years on this Indian girl. Not that it mattered. He'd shot her rapist. He wasn't about to try to take the man's place.

When she brought him water again, though, he figured out the shirt she was using was that of the man he'd killed. He balked at drinking that way, and took it from her, throwing it off to one side. She looked confused. He pointed to his horse and then made as if he had a cup and was tipping it to drink from. She looked from him to the horse and back. She clearly didn't understand.

"Help me up," he said, holding out his hand to her. She stood there, on her knees, watching him. He reached for her hand and gave it a little tug as he tried to lift his torso off the sand. She shook her head, and gave him the 'stay' sign again. He shook his head too and pointed at the horse.

It took half an hour, but she finally helped him sit up by pulling on his good arm. He pantomimed drinking from a cup again, which she didn't get. But when he cupped his hand and drank from that, he saw the understanding rush into her eyes. He pointed again, jabbing his finger toward his horse.

She rose and investigated his kit, tied on behind the saddle. When she figured out how to untie it, she brought it to him, watching as he unrolled it. She understood the purpose of the battered blue enameled cup immediately, and went to the creek with it. He watched her drink two cups herself, before she brought him one. Then she drank another one, and brought him one. He pointed at the horse again and drew in the sand, trying to make the likeness of a canteen. She watched, and then shook her head, but more as if sadly, rather than to say she didn't understand. He jabbed his finger at the drawing and then at the horse. She stood, went to the horse and brought him his canteen. Then he understood why she'd shaken her head. A bullet had struck it, apparently from great distance, because the bullet rattled around inside the empty - and now useless - container.

Sitting up strained his resources, but he looked around, able to see more. He saw his shirt and hat, piled neatly off to one side. His horse looked okay. He wished he could get the saddle off. If he hobbled the beast, it could forage without getting too far away. It needed water too. When he tried to get up, though, the pain made him see spots again. She was there, kneeling beside him, her hands fluttering about him, trying to make him stay down.

In the end, he signed for her to bring the horse to him. It didn't step on him, but when he extended his arm he still couldn't reach the cinch buckle. She understood, though, and worked at it for him, until the saddle was loose. Her movements suggested she had done this before, and it was then he remembered the horse she'd shot for food had no saddle on it.

He held up a hand to stop her and pointed to the pile of leather and metal that she had taken off the dead horse's head. When she brought it to him, he made hobbles from the bridle. Again, she seemed to know their use, and she took them from him and put them on his horse. Then he motioned for her to tip the saddle off next to him.

By the time it got dark, he'd seen the horse drink and then move off toward a patch of good grass. She had also cooked him more meat, and he had gotten his spare shirt out of his kit, as well as his blanket. She disappeared off into the trees and he took that opportunity to scoop a hole in the sand and pee into it, covering it up again. It was the best he could do.

Exhausted, he was trying to arrange the blanket over himself when she returned. She plucked the blanket from his hands and, to his astonishment, lay down beside him, covering them both. Placing one leg over his, and an arm over his chest, she pushed those big, soft breasts into his good side, and used his shoulder for a pillow.

She was softly snoring before he could fall asleep himself.

The next morning he awoke stiff, but in a little less pain. She was gone, but the fire was going again. She had made a circle of rocks around it. He was able to roll over onto his good side easily this time, and dig another hole for his morning water. After covering it up, he tried scooting away from that place, and was able to get a few feet away without too much trouble. He still felt weak, though, and decided not to try getting up yet.

The girl appeared, as if by magic, with a cup full of water, which she handed him. He saw meat, skewered on a small branch, propped where the fire could cook it. She picked up the stick and bit a piece of meat, testing it, before she put it back. Then she sat and looked at him.

He talked to her because just sitting there silently made him feel foolish. He still felt foolish, speaking a language he knew she didn't understand, but it was better than just staring at each other.

"You sure are pretty," he said. "I kin see why that feller was taken with you. That ain't no excuse for what he done, but I kin see it."

She just stared back at him.

"An' I sure do 'ppreciate you helpin' me. I'd have been a gonner fer sure iffen' not fer you."

She crawled over to him and unbuttoned his shirt. He was confused by that until she tried to look at his wound. Then he understood. She examined him, and nodded. He looked down and was horrified to see little wriggling white worms covering the place where the bullet had come out of him. He yelled, and swiped at them with his good hand, but she grabbed him, holding his hand tightly.

"Shey tah!" she said, shaking her head.

"Them's maggots!" he wailed, trying to get his hand free. He was too weak, though.

"Shey tah!" she said again, her voice soothing. She said something else, a string of words that made no sense at all. But she closed up his shirt, as if nothing at all was wrong. He was too weak to argue, but the idea of maggots on his body bothered him intensely. Still, every time he tried to move his hand, she gripped it tightly, shaking her head. Eventually, exhausted again, he drifted off to sleep.

He awoke this time to a high sun, the beams of which shone through the trees, dappling the ground with bright spots of light. He had sat up before he even realized it. There was pain, but not debilitating pain. The girl was gone again, but his horse was in view, which made him feel better.

This time he decided to try to at least get to his knees, which he accomplished much more easily than he had anticipated, so much more that he went on to stand. He was weaving a bit, but shifting a foot to a wider stance stabilized him sufficiently that he was pretty sure he wouldn't just fall down. He eyed a sapling a few feet away and, judging he could make it, staggered toward it, reaching for it with his good hand. He had a bout of dizziness, but it passed. He felt pretty good, all things considered.

The girl was suddenly standing in front of him, frowning and chattering in a way any man would understand, even if he didn't know the meaning of a single word. She was upbraiding him. She looked strong and beautiful, even though she was frowning. He grinned at her.

She stopped talking and stood, looking him up and down. Then, stepping closer to him, she pushed her face near his chest and sniffed. She opened his shirt again and leaned in to sniff at his wound. Steeling himself, he made his eyes look. There were still maggots, but not nearly as many. She sniffed again and pushed at the skin near the maggots, but softly, looking up at him to see if she caused pain. He forced himself to grin again. She stood back, folded her arms, and just stared at him. She suddenly said three words, and he got the distinct impression she had just said he was stupid. Her eyes sparkled and her breasts rose and fell.

"Damn, you're pretty," he said, still grinning. "I do believe I'll call you Little Flower, seein' as how you're as pretty as a flower."

Then she was coming toward him, ducking under his good arm and pulling his hand away from the sapling, until his arm was over her shoulders. She led him toward the creek, supporting him, but letting him walk as much as he could. When they got there, he was surprised to see a fairly large pool, a foot or two deep. She stopped him at the edge and turned to push his shirt off his shoulders. When she went to work on the buttons on his jeans, he realized she intended to undress him for a bath. He remembered her sniffing him.

"Hell, woman!" he complained. "I don't smell that bad."

He was half stiff by the time she pulled his pants down. He was a mite worried that she might take offense and do him harm. After all, the last one of these she'd seen stiff had been intended to rape her with, and she had screamed like a banshee then. But even though the thing bobbed right by her face as she shoved his pants down, she ignored it. She had to seat him to get his boots and pants off, and he felt foolish sitting there naked.

Until she stood and lifted the dress over her head .. and was naked too.

His immediate thoughts brought his penis to full hard. She didn't ignore it now. She stared right at it as she extended her hands to him and pulled him up to his feet. He watched her looking at it as she led him into the water. When they got to the deepest part, though, she looked up at his face. He wasn't grinning now.

"Sorry," he said.

She said the same three words she'd said before .. the ones he was sure meant he was a fool.

Then she put her hands on his chest and pushed him over backwards into the water.

Most cowboys didn't swim in those days. Slim was no exception. Apparently Indians did swim, and she expected him to be able to swim, because he was half drowned by the time she helped him to his feet, muttering words that might have been an apology.

Little Flower helped him get to where it was only a foot deep, and eased him down to sit on the bottom. He coughed a few more times and she looked contrite. She stood, to wash her body, and he watched. His cock had gone limp when he was drowning, but now it came back strong as he examined her hanging breasts, with their stiff, long nipples. He'd only had one woman in his life, and she had taught him to suck at her breasts like a baby before fucking him. She had been their neighbor, in town, back east, and she was the reason he was on his own, out west. When her husband caught them, he had sworn to kill the stripling who fouled his bed. Slim had fled town, and never looked back.

The girl washed between her legs, and glanced at him. She didn't pause, but noted his intense gaze. He felt like he should look away, but could not. Besides, she had no shame. Apparently the wild Indians dispensed with modesty, even among strangers. He wondered if she had ever been with a man.

And it was at that moment that, for the first time, Charles Franklin Peabody wondered how this Indian Girl came to be in the middle of nowhere, in the process of being raped, while he happened to come along and change her future. He wasn't a philosopher, like his father, but he did reflect for a few minutes on the strange series of events that had brought the two of them together. His decision to rob the train had been one made on the spur of the moment, as the train climbed slowly past him going up a grade. He was broke, with no job and no prospects. He had a dozen cartridges left for his pistol, a horse and his gear and that was all he owned in the world.

Who knew where she had come from, but it was pretty plain she'd been taken from her people. He imagined she'd been at another stream somewhere, when that man came along and seen her bathing. The man had taken her, with evil intent. But surely she'd screamed then too. Where, then, were her people?

She left off washing herself and moved to stand behind him. Her hands smoothed quickly over his skin and he jerked. His cock hardened even more and he brushed at her hands, washing himself. She came back to stand in front of him, her sex positioned only a foot from his face. He looked up at her and she smirked at him. His eyes darted to her breasts and he licked his lips, wondering how those fat, brown nipples would feel in his mouth. Mrs. Abernathy's had felt wonderful. Being inside her had felt wonderful too.

The girl motioned to him to stand, and he did so, his cock waving drunkenly at her. She helped him step out of the pool and bent to pick up his clothes. Rather than hand them to him, though, she walked away from him with them tucked under her arm. She paused, looking over her shoulder at him.

It wouldn't occur to him for two more baths that she always let nature dry them before they dressed again. This time, he just followed her, stepping gingerly on bare feet, while she moved ahead of him, her naked hips swaying as she walked.

When they got back to the fire pit, she picked up the dead man's blanket and shook it out before laying it out on the ground. She pointed at it and he understood he was to lie on it. He wondered what was going to happen, and his young mind supplied one answer that caused is prick to clench and bob. He felt the need to fist it as he lay down. Had he been alone, he would have stroked it until it spit. But the girl was watching him, so he just held it and squeezed.

He thought he saw the ghost of a smile on her lips, and then she was kneeling beside him. Before he could adjust, she had batted his hand away and replaced it with her own. She stroked him expertly and he gasped with both shock and joy.

Within a minute she was milking his balls dry.

Slim lay, gasping for air as Little Flower sat back on her calves. His cum was on her hand, and she looked at it curiously, before licking at it. She looked at him and said something, which of course he didn't understand. Then she stood up, picked up her dress and dropped it over her head. When she was finished arranging it around her body, she picked up his clothes and tossed them onto the blanket where she had just knelt to pleasure him.

"Damn!" he panted, sitting up to reach for his shirt. He was surprised to find that the pain was much less now. Being in the water had helped. He looked down at his bullet wound, which was now free of maggots and a healthy, shocking pink looking. Lifting his arm he tried to see the entrance wound, but all he could see was some bruising back there.

By the time he'd gotten his jeans on the pain was worse. He wondered at the actions of the girl. Why had she done that? And why would she do that rather than help him get dressed. The whole time he'd been struggling into his clothes, she'd been walking around picking up wood for the fire. He saw that while he'd slept, she'd constructed a rack of interwoven green branches, upon which strips of meat were drying over the fire. She was making travel rations out of the horse meat before it spoiled.

Sitting Indian style, he called to her. She looked at him and he beckoned. When she came to kneel beside him, he drew in the sand. He made two stick figures to one side, and then a group of ten or fifteen stick figures a foot away. He drew a couple of wigwams by the group. He pointed at one of the first pair and then at himself. Then he pointed at the second, and at her. She nodded. He pointed at her and then the group. She spoke, but he couldn't understand her, so he pointed at her and then at the tribe again.

"Where?" he asked. He pointed at the tribe and then off to the west. "There?" He pointed at the tribe and then to the north. "There?" He saw the understanding come into her eyes and she pointed south, and a little west. It took some time, but he drew a picture of the two of them, on his horse, moving toward the tribe. She grew excited and smiled and nodded.

He didn't know how far it was, but then that really didn't matter. He had nothing else to do anyway. He would take her to her people. Hopefully, she would still be happy with him when they got there, and would speak well of him. You never knew, when it came to Indians. They might think he was the one who took her in the first place, and kill him. All he could do was hope she'd stop them from doing that.

She got up and got him some meat. It was too hot to hold in his fingers, so he bit it with his front teeth and blew air around it. She laughed at him, but the next piece she gave him was cooler.

When it came time to put out the fire, she did so and, in the fading light, came to stand beside him. She lifted the dress off of her body again, and folded it up to become his pillow. Kneeling, her fingers worked at the unfamiliar buttons that closed his fly, until she could reach in and extract his organ. He was hard, of course. Again, she stroked him, but this time more slowly, as if she enjoyed playing with his manhood. When he gasped and grunted, he was astonished to see her lean down and take the tip into her mouth. As he spurted he heard her swallowing, and he groaned as he tried to spurt more.

As he panted to get his breath back, she again lay down next to him. Pulling his blanket over them both, she lay her head on his shoulder and draped an arm and leg over him, as before.

And, like the previous night, she was firmly asleep before his whirling mind could let him even contemplate slumber.

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