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Far from home in a land foreign to them, kidnapped Apache siblings Wind That Knocks Down Lodges and Cactus Flower are at the mercy of the Army soldiers they have grown to despise. When ordered to dispose of the children or else, the Army soldiers waste no time in depositing them at the nearest Catholic orphanage, where unlikely alliances are forged and Knocks Down must make a decision: conform to the Pale Face world or risk everything for an unlikely chance at escape.
“A new garrison,” Cactus translated, though she didn’t have to. I was rolling the pale face words off my tongue easier with each passing sunset. “Wants to see the …prisoners?” Her word tweaked up at the end, turning it into a question. She looked at me. “Do they mean us?”
Glancing over the seat again, I could see that they did. “They’re coming with a big man that is red in the face and whose head is covered in silver hair, like the cunning fox. Sit up and look like one of The People.”
Cactus Flower did as I said, just as the dirty canvas pulled back. The red faced man peered in, a brown wad that looked like a fat twig clenched in his teeth. He must have held it there often, because a brown stain from the juice had crusted on his lips. “Kids!” he spat, flinging the wad of juicy brown paper and leaves into the back of the wagon with us. Neither Cactus nor I flinched. “Brats! Whelps, they are.”
Silence covered the men like the burial shroud had covered my mother.
The big man with the hair like the silver fox continued, his face growing redder with each breath he sucked in. “You call these Injuns prisoners? It’s no wonder why the general saw fit to relieve you bunch of misfits. Me and my men are taking over. Now.”