Light in the Forest “Sequel”

     

“Ahead of him ran the rutted road of the whites. It led, he knew, to where men of their own

volition constrained themselves with heavy clothing like harness, where men chose to be slaves to their

own or another’s property and followed empty and desolate lives far from the wild beloved freedom of

the Indian.”

 

3 Months Later

                The boy was now almost seventeen, and alone. He had never fully recovered from his

banishment but he still had his Indian instincts and soul to count on to survive. True Son’s arms were

filled with firewood and his bearskin he had skinned himself. He had watched his Indian father do it a

million times. In a neatly dug hole, he placed the wood for the fire. Then he laid his bearskin in the flat

opening between  the branches and trunk of the tree. He was wearing his stolen Indian clothes: colorful

beaded leather moccasins, long tan Indian pants with red stitching, and soft, comfortable deer skin shirt.

He had made some adjustments to them since they were plainly the clothes of a Mohawk but he added

the symbols and colorful beads of the Lenni Lenape.  He had snatched the clothes line of a trader the

day after his banishment. He strapped his leather whip and quiver for his bow and arrow on his back

after he slipped on his white-man’s clothes. He kept them when Thitpan casted him out because they

come in handy when he went into the white man’s town looking for food to smuggle out of their prison

fields.

                True Son made his way through the forest, following the path towards the nearest town. He

hated the feel of the restricting clothes on his skin but he did it to survive. He walked in hope that

another Indian might not seriously think he was a white boy and kill him. This thought made him

paranoid — causing him to jump from the slightest noise or movement. Suddenly he heard faint voices

by a creek and realized they were Mohawk Indian boys. He took cover, hiding in the shadows

of a large oak tree

True Son couldn’t understand everything the Mohawks said but he could make out, “  Neeweew

wiisaawii  maxki nxah…….. seke pentamen naalan.” The rest were not familiar to True Son. But what the

Indian was saying was, “ My father said the town was blackened…… the whites were paid back.”

“ Ah hooahh! Yes!” The other Mohawk echoed his excitement. True Son didn’t like the

sound of that. He thought the Lenni Lenape, the Mohawks, and the Shawanose were at peace with the

whites. But that truce broke long ago when they scalped Little Crane.

Once the Mohawks left, True Son began running to his destination. Running through bushes

jumping over logs and dancing like an Indian would.  He finally came to the outskirts of the town. He

entered a field and to his surprise no white man was guarding it. Then his question was answered—

everyone was running around frantically gathering their belongings and riding away on their horses. He

got closer to see what it was all about. He looked beyond on the hills and saw Indian riders racing

towards the town. He hid in the fields, watching to see what was going to happen.

                The Indians, he knew, came for another attack. He had never seen his tribe do this to a white

town. He could take no more he grabbed an arrow and let fly at an Indian who was about to scalp a little

boy. It struck and killed the Indian butwhen he came up to see what tribe he was from he saw that it

was a Lenni Lenape Indian. And the one he killed was Niskitoon, the tattooed Indian. True Son

swallowed hard and tasted blood in his mouth. He never knew it would come down to killing his family.

He wanted to throw up. Then he caught the eye of Thitpan, who was leading the attack. He lost all

 his sorrow and felt his eyes burn red with anger. True Son couldn’t help but stare but then he

had to run for he didn’t want to be recognized. Thitpan stared at him all the way but then turned away

convinced it was no one he knew.

                True Son pulled out his tomahawk and whip. He threw the tomahawk at another Indian and

used his whip to pull the other away from a chance for a scalp. The Indian he killed was no one he knew

but when he saw the face of the other Indian—it was Half Arrow. He looked over Half Arrow in disgust

and said in Lenni Lenape, “ I thought you were better than this.” Half Arrow didn’t understand what the

strange Indian looking/white boy was talking about. True Son grabbed Half Arrow’s face and whispered,

“ You never saw me, alright?” Half Arrow grunted and nodded in confusion. At that True Son grabbed his

weapons and raced through the fields and disappeared.

                True Son was breathing hard while he was sprinting through the woods. He was no longer

safe once the massacre of the white men had started.

True Son heard a wisp of air and then felt a small needle strike his shoulder. His eyes

 went dim and he fell to the ground.

                True Son woke to see himself surrounded by Indians… wearing white

 man clothes? The boy gasped. True Son noticed that the boys were wearing white trousers,

 black shined boots, and their midnight black hair was neatly combed to the sides. They looked

 like respectable white men but seemed oddly unhappy.  They were plainly Indians but

they dressed like a white man, talked like a white man, and gestured like a white man. True Son

 couldn’t help but scream. The nearest Indian man grabbed his mouth, “ Quiet!

 You don’t want those savages to come back and find us, do ya?” True Son stared

 in disgust and disbelief. An Indian insults himself?

                “ But you have the skin and looks of an Indian, tell me brother why do you

speak about our race such way?”

                “ Our race? Boy, I’m white and so are you! What do you mean?”

                “ Look at her face and look at his, they have the smooth faces of Indians.”

                “ Well, at one time in my life I was a captive baby of the Indians but these

 nice white people came and killed my tribe and rescued all the children and

 raised them here.”

                “ I am sorry, but you are Indian and I am Indian. You’ re face shows you are

 a  Munsee or a Delaware speaker. They are related to the Lenni Lenape, which I

am.”

                “ You are crazy! You are wearing white clothes and don’t have much of an

 accent anymore. Prove it!” At that, True Son pulled off his white shackles and

restriction and showed off his Indian outfit. The other Indians who were dressed as whites stared in

suprise.

                “ Well, Indian boy did you help in that massacre?” The man’s jaws clenched tight.

                “ No! I tried to help you’re people but I couldn’t help that much. That was my tribe I was

 banished from.” The Indian man’s hand came down on True Son’s face with a loud crack. True

Son was impressed, the Indian still had an Indian’s strength. “ Ahhh!” The Indian man pulled out

 a tomahawk and put it up to True Son’s neck.

                “ No! Papa, don’t he’s just a boy. He doesn’t deserve it.” A girl that looked to be about

 sixteen stopped her father’s rage. True Son was surprised that any of the Indians showed any

pity for him.

                “ You are lucky this time, Injun boy.”

                True Son coughed and said, “ I will help you stop these Indians. I am one but not as

 savage but I can think like one and track them. If you want revenge then we will meet them

 and  get our revenge.”

                The Indian/white man stared at True Son with dark, unpredictable eyes. “ Alright, you

 have a deal… what is your name?”

                “ True Son, and yours?”

                “ Philip. Ok True Son you have a deal.” They shook hands.

Thitpan cleaned the dried blood off of his tomahawk with a grin. He sharpened the

blade and tied the weapon to his back. Oddly the massacre of the town didn’t put out his burning

flame of hatred of white people– it only fueled it. He instructed his men to rest for a minute

because they would ride to the next town which was ten miles away.

                Thitpan’s brother in law came up to him, “ Thitpan, what do we do with the prisoner?”

                “ Cuyloga? Oh bring him to me he will ride next to me during the battle but afterwards

 you will carry him on your horse.” Thitpan had kept Cuyloga prisoner ever since he banished

 True son. He gets his anger out on him by beating and whipping Cuyloga. But as a noble soldier

 and a tough Lenni Lenape Indian, Cuyloga did not once gasp, cry, or grunt in pain. This angered

 Thitpan more. He wanted Cuyloga to feel his pain for he had lost his brother to the whites

 because of Cuyloga’s son, True Son.

                Thitpan ordered his men to ride towards the next town. He was longing for more whites

to slaughter to cure his pain for Little Crane. But no matter how many he had to kill he just

wanted more.

                They rode through the forests and across flat fields. Thitpan barged open a small house

at the edge of an open field. No none was there, because many whites who escaped in time

 warned the other towns and people in lone cabins. The ten miles now came to one. They

were riding down a hill and Thitpan could see many whites running, screaming, and grabbing

 their children. He made an Indian call, “ Hop hoahh ahh hoahh.” Their horses raced down the

hill. Cuyloga was held back by Thitpan’s brother in law.

     

  The excitement gave Thitpan a rush of boiling blood and the pounding of his heart.

Thitpan jumped off his horse and swung his tomahawk at a man. He then took his hair. He next

 burst into a house and took the family’s hair and burnt their house to the ground.  Thitpan

grinned from ear to ear. Their pain and faces of terror were Thitpan’s power and enjoyment.

He slashed, burned and scalped without any mercy. He grabbed a young boy who was running

for his horse and slaughtered him and took his hair.  “ For Little Crane!” He yelled. “ Ha ha ha,

run, rats run. You kill my brother I kill yours!” Black Fish, Half Arrow’s father, looked at Thitpan

in disgust and disbelief. But he dare not question his chief even though he knew killing was

 wrong unless, it had a purpose.

                Thitpan hopped back on his horse. He turned around and saw a boy that looked at the

most seventeen. The boy shot an Indian with his arrow which was an Indian fashioned bow.

 This mysterious boy looked familiar to him, because he looked like an Indian but wore a white

man’s shirt and trousers. Thitpan had his tomahawk at the ready and called, “ Who are you?

What are you, white or Indian?” But the boy had already disappeared. Thitpan turned his horse

around and insisted that it was no one he knew. Riding towards the edge of the town to wait

 for his men, Thitpan came across Half Arrow. He looked dazed in confusion. “ Good job Half

 Arrow you earned your prizes valiantly.” Half Arrow looked down at his scalps that consisted of

two small boys, a young girl, and an old woman. He nodded back and Thitpan gave him a hard

nod back.

                Thitpan led his men to the edge of the town and they rode on through the night.

 Thitpan felt a tear trickle down his cheek. He knew there was no way of saving himself. He just

missed Little Crane and he felt the only way to stop his anger is to take it out on those who did

But it only made it worse. His massacres only became more terrible and more brutal than

 the last. He wiped the tear away and made sure no one saw it on his cheek.

 

                Philip helped True Son steal a horse so they could all ride behind the Indians. True Son

 led the white Indians back through the devastation of the last massacre and across empty

grasslands. When they came to a small forests edge it was dark. True Son decided to stop their

in case of an ambush in the dark.

                “ So, you are a white man but you were originally an Indian?” True Son asked Philip who

was on night watch with him.

                “ Well, I am white now but unfortunately I was a sad child of the Indians.”

                “ Being an Indian is not bad, why do you say a sad child?”

                “ Because  how could a small white army kill my entire tribe and take all the children?

 Why would being an Indian be good if you have white devils that hunt you.”

                “ But you don’t like Indians, and now you don’t like whites?”

                “ I don’t like the savage vengeance of the Indians and I don’t like the restricting, careless

 ways of the whites. The Indians kill and the whites kill. They both have good and bad in them.”

                “ I never thought of it like that?” True Son soon remembered how great it was to have a

 little brother like Gordie. He remembered his white parents who did care about him but they

just didn’t understand his Indian spirit. And he remembered what it was like to read and write.

But he still didn’t have a white soul. He could never be  himself and live in some of their ways. If

only he could show both. “What’s your name Philip?” They started walking deeper into the

forest.

   “Philip Jacob Davenport.”

                “ No, what’s your real name Philip?”

                “ Itchoawak. It means Free River. My daughter’s name is Elena, in case you wanted to

 know since you seem to look steadily at her while we ride.” True Son’s face turned red. “If I

 were Indian again I would have name her Leona, which means Starlight, in Delaware.”

                True Son gasped, “ I think I see a fire ahead. It might be the Lenni Lenape Camp.”

They said no more and came closer to see if they were right. It was the Lenni Lenape’s camp.

 They had tepees and a weapons rack for other warriors to trade with one another and a big

 mound of wood for fire in the middle. “Let us hear what they say so we can know where their

 next massacre will be so we can get their before they do.” True Son suggested.

“ Split up, you go to that tent and I go to this one meet by that tree once you have

 enough information.”Philip whispered and True Son nodded.

                True Son crawled towards the tepee and put his ear up close to listen.

                “ Thitpan we must ride only at night, many other armies from afar could come for us.

 We are a famous massacring Indian tribe. Many no of us and would create a white army to kill

us.” Black Fish suggested.

                “Nay, we too strong for any measly band of whites.” Thitpan responded arrogantly. True

Son gritted his teeth at Thitpan’s pride.  “ Besides, we strike to much fear into those cowardly

 whites to have them raise an army against us.”

                “ If you call riding around killing any town in sight striking fear, then you obviously don’t

know the story of many of the white armies stationed on our borders or how about the

 Peshtank (Paxton) township? If it is fear you want Thitpan then if we kill the Conestogo

 murders and the rest of the small towns on the outskirts of them then fear you will give.” True

 Son’s eyes lit up and he soon remembered Gordie, and Bejance. He had to stop them now or

 their innocent lives will be crushed. But he knew it would make him stand up to his own family.

                “ Very well, Black Fish you bring good point. We will ride towards Peshtank tomorrow.”

Thitpan laughed at the thought of Little Cranes killers at his feet begging.

                True Son was about to make his way back to Philip when he saw… his father, Cuyloga,

 laying outside of Thitpan’s tent. He ran over to him and whispered, “ Father.” He hugged his

 father and then saw that he was a prisoner. Cuyloga was chained to a stake in the ground. To

 True Son’s horror he saw that his father had been beaten many times. He had burn marks,

bruises, cuts, and whipping scars. True Son gasped, “ Father, you alright, you still live?”

                Cuyloga answered, “ My son, oh my last wish was granted. True Son you go live free. I

 will always consider you my son no matter if banished. True Son.” His voice was cracking

because he was crying. “ My boy so grown up, I will always be proud of you even if you turn and

 go to the whites ways. True Son. But promise me you won’t let our home and family fall to

Thitpan. True Son. Now you go, do what you got to do to live free. Stop Thitpan. Goodbye…

True Son.” Cuyloga said his final words then closed his eyes and died. True Son gasped. His eyes

 flooded with tears. He kissed his father on the head and stood up to let the Great Spirit take his

 father’s spirit away. True Son’s jaw tightened, he clenched his fists, and his eyes turned red.

                “ Thitpan you better pray to the Great Spirit, to save you because you’re going to wish

 you hadn’t of done that. It will be the last thing you do.” True Son whispered this and swore on

 his life that he will live up to his word to kill Thitpan. “ I will live up to you father.”

                True Son met with Philip at the tree he said and they raced back to their camp to get a

 day’s head start towards Peshtank township.

 

                 Once True Son and Philip reached their camp they rallied their people and rode towards

Peshtank township.

                “ Will Elena fight with us?” True Son asked Philip.

                “ Yes, and all the other girls will too. Elena is not a weak girl for she is one of the best

 swordsman I know and she is quick with a bow and arrow. She’s not afraid to fight. And the

 others, no of course not, we have tough Indian and white blood. Not the blood of the weaker

 whites or the weaker Indians.” True Son smiled at Philip who was already grinning back.

                They rode on throughout the night. Ignoring the wind, and rain. The sun finally came up when

they were not a mile away from Paxton township.  “This is going to be hard to get these people to

believe we are on their side. But at least we look white with our clothes.” True Son joked for he knew

 this town wouldn’t believe them even if they had blonde hair and blue eyes. Especially if he was there.

They walked their horses into the town and no one noticed their presence or stared at them.

                They hopped of their horses. “ Philip, gather everyone and discuss plans for the battle to them. I

 will warn the people.” Philip nodded.

                True Son took a deep breath and knocked on his white parents front door. The door swung open

and Gordie was there. “ True Son! I mean Johnny! Is that really you?”

                “ Yes, Gordie? Is that you?”

                “ Yeah! You are alive and have you come back to stay?”

                “ Gordie listen, we can talk later where’s… dad?” He felt obligated to say dad in front of Gordie.

                Gordie was already racing up the stairs and dragging Harry Butler down with him, “ Dad, Johnny

 is back, he’s back!”

                Soon, True Son was standing in front of his white father again, “ Hello, dad.” He said.

                “ Hello, Johnny! Oh thanks god you are back!”

                “ Wait, you are happy I am back yet I scalped Uncle Wilse, stole your gun, and ran away?”

                “ Of course, you are my son, and Uncle Wilse is alright he just has a scar on his forehead. And we

 did worse things and we understood that after you left. We deserved worse than a scar on my brother

in laws head.” He laughed.

                “ Prepare your guns father, get everyone ready—sharpen swords and get more arrows. We have

 a massacre coming our way. My old Indian tribe is now led by an evil, revenge, and bloodthirsty, savage

by the name of Thitpan. He is Little Crane’s brother, who is seeking revenge after Little Crane was killed

here. I have gathered other Indians who will fight alongside me and we need more will you fight with us,

father?” True Son offered his father a gun.

                “ Yes! I will get all the men ready. And I will get the women and children to safety. I’m with you

boy.” Mr. Butler took the gun.

By the afternoon all the women and children were hid in cellars of their houses. The Indians

 didn’t have enough knowledge of the whites to know there was such thing as a cellar. True Son

stationed the best archers to be on the top of buildings. The best swordsmen would ride on horseback

 and hid in the fields and behind buildings to charge the Indians in a surprise attack. Harry Butler spilled

oil around some of the entrances to the town and soon it would be lit by a torch.

                By evening they spotted the Lenni Lenape on the hills beyond. True Son told himself he would

 kill Thitpan and any other who challenged him. But if Half Arrow or Black Fish crossed his path he would

 not kill them. The rest of the army was not anyone he knew but Half Arrow, Black Fish, and, Thitpan. He

would kill Thitpan and any other unlucky Lenape.

The Indians reached the town when the torch hit the oil and forced some Indians to either jump

over it or go around the long way. Archers let go of their arrows. And the men on horseback charged at

the Indians with a loud battle cry. True Son charged at an Indian who already had a man in a headlock—

ready to scalp him. True Son used his whip to yank the Indian his direction and he then punched him in

 the face and knocked out the Indian. The women and children in the cellar could hear the loud battle

 cries and the thunderous pounding hooves of the horses. True Son was now pinned on the ground by a

 large Indian who had a knife only three inches away from True Son’s neck. True Son had his arms

crossed to block the knife. He kneed the Indian in the stomach and stabbed him with his own knife.

True Son put the knife in his belt and while he was panting he cried out, “ Thitpan show yourself! I know

you know I have been waiting for you! Come out, come out and fight me, you coward.” At that note

Thitpan who was fighting three archers on the roof of the church, slid down the roof, flipped in the air

 and landed gracefully on one knee with his hands supporting him.

                “ Oh well, well. It is the little Injun boy. Actually little white boy who was took by Indians but

 wasn’t good enough so they spat him back out to the whites.” Thitpan grinned an evil smile.

                True Son gave a loud battle cry and lashed his sword at Thitpan who easily deflected it. True Son

 threw his tomahawk at Thitpan’s head but he missed and the tomahawk hit the ground. Thitpan lunged

 at True Son with his sword and True Son reacted with three deflects. They danced back and forth with

 their swords slashing at each other. They were breathing hard in a minute but nothing had changed—

one would deflect the other block then slash again to find his move blocked. Thitpan blocked True Son’s

 sword and then punched him in the face knocking True Son backwards. Thitpan grabbed the tomahawk

 True Son had thrown before and put it at True Son’s throat. True Son crossed his arms in order to stop

 Thitpan from slitting his throat. Thitpan only laughed in mockery. True Son kicked Thitpan off of him

and then jumped back up. True Son reached for his dagger. Thitpan yelled and swung the tomahawk at

True Son but True Son used his forearm to block the blow and drove the dagger into Thitpan’s stomach

 to the hilt. True Son whispered, “ For my father, Cuyloga.”

         

True Son picked up his knife again ready to let it plunge into a boy’s back. But then their

eyes met and True Son froze, he recognized the eyes. They were eyes like his own; eyes of sadness. It

 was the boy who everyone in the tribe liked to pick on. He never enjoyed being an Indian and always

 longed to go back to his white home. True Son knew he had shared the same eyes when his parents

forced the white man’s ways on him. True Son dropped the knife. True Son and the boy looked

around and found themselves surrounded by burning buildings. The town was full of the smell of death.

Dead bodies including Black Fish, Harry Butler, and Philip lay in the streets. Horses lay dead alongside

Their riders. They knew……the boy and True Son…. knew this fighting and destruction would solve

nothing. Because in the end it only brought more sorrow. No matter what,… “the wild beloved freedom

of the Indian”…would never find peace with the civilized culture of the whites. However, this madness

could stop with an understanding and an appreciation for what each culture presented. True Son pulled

off his quiver of arrows and his dagger and dropped them to the ground. The boy did the same. They

started to walk away and then stopped to look at each other one last time. Then they turned, one

 walking towards the west and the other into the woods.

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