In the distance I saw all kinds of birds circling over something, but I couldn't tell what from where I was. This just couldn't be good. After all, when have you ever heard of buzzards being harbingers of good news? I crested the ridge and confirmed my worst fears. The entire wagon train lay in ruins.
The carnage was complete. The corpses laid at odd angles, mothers covering children, men in the prime of life with sculls caved in, and everything they owned on God's green earth scattered to the four winds. Only the horses and livestock seemed to have escaped death. The tracks led off to the west and from the looks of it, at least thirty braves had taken their plunder and whatever hooch they could find only to head back to whatever hideout they had off the reservation.
To some extent, I couldn't really blame them for what they had done. How long had they watched their own families slaughtered or shoved aside by the white man's progress? How many of their own had they watched waste away from diseases that their medicine man couldn't cure? Diseases that came from the white man's gift of blankets. Now they were hunted like a rabid dogs on lands that had once been their home. They were bitter, cold blooded, and felt like their backs were against a wall.
Yeah, one could see how this little wagon train was a choice prize that had just wandered into their lap. These thirty-six people were merely ripe fruit to be plucked, and pluck they did.
But then it wasn't their father, mother, and sisters who lay dead in the blistering sun, their bodies bloated with gas and food for the carrion crows and buzzards. I checked my .45-70 and nudged the horse to follow their tracks.
The buzzards were going to have another meal to eat today besides my family, and may God in Heaven have mercy on my soul for what I'm about to do.
**Author's Note** This was last minute as I forgot until Tuesday morning. Looking forward to reading your's.