“I stayed to guard you. Quests are no longer safe in the Sacred Mountains unless one is guarded. I came here because I’m a scout for the Crazy Dog society. We’re on the warpath against the Piegans. They attacked bands of our people who were living east on the plain. These bands have come here and together we have the strength to drive the Piegan from the Sacred Mountains.”
I reined in Good Thunder and looked around. “I thought I heard something.”
Masheka also stopped. “Ride ahead of me.” As I passed Masheka on the narrow ledge, he said, “They’re near. I’ll try to hold them off so you can escape.”
I urged Good Thunder into a gallop and twisted my hands in his mane. I heard a war cry and turned to see Masheka fighting a Piegan warrior with his tomahawk. I brought Good Thunder to a stop and pulled out my bow. My hands shook as I notched an arrow, drew it back and released it. The arrow missed because I was so frightened. Fitting another arrow, I took a deep calming breath and I concentrated on the Piegan warrior. I moved to a place beyond fear, focusing only on what I had to do.
The arrow flew through the air, hitting the warrior in the chest. He screamed as he fell from his horse over the side of the mountain. Another member of the war party rode around the now riderless horse on the narrow ledge and Masheka found himself fighting a new opponent. I fitted an arrow into my bow but before I could fire it, Good Thunder reared up as a warrior dropped from the ledge above onto the trail in front of us. I lost my balance and tumbled from Good Thunder’s back, almost going over the ledge. The Piegan warrior sprang at me with his war club; I scrambled to my feet, pulling out my knife.
Wind Chaser rushed past me and leapt at the warrior. He fell over backwards with the wolf-dog on top, throwing up his arm to protect his throat. Wind Chaser tore into his arm, growling fiercely.
The warrior drove him off with his war club and regained his feet. I stood facing him with my knife drawn. He swung his war club at me and I jumped back. Wind Chaser dove at him again.
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