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Victorio's War

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176 pages
Jim Doolen discovered his father's fate in Written in Blood and met Billy the Kid in Ghost Moon. Now, in the final installment of The Desert Legends Trilogy, he's a scout for the Army in the middle of a brutal war to force Victorio's Apaches onto a reservation far from their traditional lands. Deeply troubled by the violence he's witnessed and been a part of, and having lost so many friends, both white and Indian, Jim feels trapped between the two worlds he's encountered over the past three years. Captured by his nemesis Ghost Moon and forced to flee with an Apache band of warriors, Jim is only saved from a slow and torturous death when his old friend Wellington adopts him as his son. But now he's on the wrong side. Will he be branded a traitor? Or killed in a battle with the 10th US Cavalry or the Mexican Army? Jim finds his loyalties now divided, and he begins to understand the plight of his captors. But as supplies and ammunition run out, Jim's fate is tied to that of the doomed Apache warriors and survival seems unlikely.
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his son. But now he’s Ighting on the wrong side. Will he
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VICTORIO'S war
J O H N W I L S O N
VICTORIO'S war
Text copyright ©2012John Wilson All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication
Wilson, John ( John Alexander),1951Victorio's war [electronic resource] / John Wilson. (The desert legends trilogy ; v.3) Other volumes in trilogy: v.1Written in blood ; v.2Ghost moon.
Also issued in print format. isbn 9781554698837 (pdf).isbn 9781554698844 (epub)
I. Title. II. Series: Wilson, John ( John Alexander),1951Desert legends trilogy ; v. . 3 ps8645.i4674v53 2012 jc813'.6 c20119075385
First published in the United States,2012Library of Congress Control Number:2011942580
Summary: Now a scout for the Army, in1880, Jim Doolen finds himself caught in the middle of a brutal war with Victorio’s Apaches along the Mexican border.
Orca Book Publishers is dedicated to preserving the environment and has printed ® this book on paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council .
Orca Book Publishers gratefully acknowledges the support for its publishing programs provided by the following agencies: the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund and the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Province of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council and the Book Publishing Tax Credit.
Cover design by Teresa Bubela Cover photo by Getty Images Author photo by Katherine Gordon Poem credit: Ball, Eve.In the Days of Victorio: Recollections of a Warm Springs Apache.Tucson: University of Arizona Press,1972.
orca book publishers po Box 5626,Stn. B Victoria,bc Canadav8r 6s4
orca book publishers po Box 468 Custer,wa usa 982400468
www.orcabook.com Printed and bound in Canada.
151413124321
For all the storytellers who help us remember.
1
Chihuahua City, Mexico
19 October, 1880 am swîmmîng troug a sea o anger. Everywere I ïook are wavîng Ists, garîng eyes and soutîng mouts, îps twîsted back to expose rotted teet. Above te screams o ate, te bes în te twîn towers o te curc across te square rîng joyousy. For me tey sound a unera kne or a my dead rîends. At east ï am on orseback, above te seetîng waves o oatîng. ït îs muc worse or te sîxty-eîgt women and cîdren wo stumbe aong beînd me, josted, spat on and abused by te crowd, and wît ony a ars îetîme o savery to ook orward to.
1
j o h n w i l s o n
Aead o me rîde te vîctorîous sodîers, proud în teîr red, bue and god unîorms and gracîousy acceptîng te lowers trown at tem by te adorîng señoritas. hey are conquerîng eroes, returnîng rom a great batte tat as made te and sae or everyone. To prove ît, tey carry poes decorated wît te scaps and sun-drîed, wîtered eads o teîr enemîes. ï’ve been în tîs and or tree years. here ave been ups and downs—tîs îs te bottom. ï ave been surrounded by rîends and ï ave been oney. Now my rîends are gone and ï’m aone. ï’ve trîed to do te rîgt tîng and ï’ve made mîstakes—yet everytîng as aen apart regardess o wat ï do. ï came down ere rom Canada ookîng or my ater and dîscovered orrors ï coudn’t ave îmagîned. ï trîed to Ind onest work and watced greed aow good men to be murdered and cod-eyed kîers to wak ree. Fînay, ï ound te îe ï tougt ï wanted, ony to be dîsîusîoned once more în a weter o bood and deat. Wat’s et? ï don’t know and, to be onest wît myse, ï no onger care. ï’m a prîsoner but ï’m wîte. Unîke te oters, ï won’t be sod înto savery. Sooner or ater ï’ be reeased, at east pysîcay. Emotîonay and mentay, ï’ never escape rom te tîngs ï’ve seen and done. ï’ carry tem wît me as ong as ï îve.
2
v i c t o r i o'rs wa
ï’m so busy waowîng în my own se-pîty tat ï don’t notîce te one rîendy ace în te crowd. ït’s a ace ï soud recognîze. ït beongs to a man,a genteman, wose story eped me dîscover my ater and at wose ouse ï recovered ater te dîscovery—Luîs Santîago de Borîca. Fortunatey, Santîago sees me and împs troug te rowdy crowd to my prîson.
he sodîers don’t seem to know wat to do wît me. he women and cîdren wo are soon to be sod înto savery are easy. hey are erded togeter înto an od catte corra were tey sît în te dîrt, udded în sma patetîc groups. he sodîers seem quîte appy to aow me to busy myse tendîng to Coronado, brusîng îm down and mînîsterîng to te cuts and scrapes e as pîcked up în te past ew weeks. One man even gîves me some save and sows me were ï can Ind ood and water. He’s young and smîes a ot, but ï remaîn sîent and stone-aced. He’s sowîng ar greater kîndness to my orse tan anyone îs sowîng to te pîtîu coectîon o uman beîngs în te corra.
3
j o h n w i l s o n
ï ave done a ï can or Coronado and am standîng absenty strokîng îs neck wen te boy ï rescued at Tres Castîos—ï never dîd dîscover îs name—arrîves wît an împortant-ookîng oicer. Éste es el americano,” te boy says. he oicer îs îmmacuatey dressed în a spotess unîorm angîng wît god braîd. He tîts îs ead back sîgty and stares arroganty at me down îs ong, arîstocratîc nose. “You saved tîs boy’s îe?” e asks. “Yes.” he oicer nods amost împerceptîby. “Wy were you rîdîng wît te Apaces?” “ït’s a ong story.” ï don’t want to get înto a compî-cated conversatîon wît tîs augty man, andï remember Na-kee-tats-an’s advîce not to be too eager to sare your storîes wît strangers. Es buen hombre,” te boy says.He’s a good man. Te oîcer ooks at me as î e doubts very muc weter anyone as Ity and ragged as me can possîby be a good man. “ï am Coone Joaquîn Terrazas,” e says. “ï saw once wat Apaces can do and ï swore vengeance. ï dîd not rest untî ï came to Tres Castîos and Inay ad my revenge. ï do not ook kîndy upon tose wo rîde wît te Apaces, even Amerîcanos.”
4
v i c t o r i o's wa r
“He’s a good man,” te boy repeats. “No es Apache. Me salvó la vida.” Coone Terrazas ooks at te boy and ten back at me. He aready knows ï’m not an Apace, but te act tat ï saved te boy’s îe seems to carry some weîgt. “Very we ten. On tîs boy’s word, and because îs unce îs an împortant man în tîs town, you may take your orse and go. ï strongy suggest tat you ead nort and do not concern yourse any urter în te afaîrs o Mexîco.” He turns on îs ee and staks of. Gracias, amigo,” ï say to te boy. “¿Estarás bien?ï ask î e wî be a rîgt. A ook o sadness lases across te boy’s ace, but e urrîedy repaces ît wît a smîe. “Sí. Mi tío y mi tía van a cuidarme.ï’m gad tat e as reatîves to ook ater îm. Bueno.” We stand as an awkward sîence grows between us. Wat ese îs tere to say? We’re bot goîng back to our own dîferent words. Adiós,” te boy says eventuay. “Gracias por su ayuda.De nada,” ï say as te boy turns away. “Momentito.” he boy turns back. “¿Cuál es tu nombre?“Mîgue,” te boy repîes. “¿Y el suyo?“James Dooen,” ï repy. “Jîm.”
5
j o h n w i l s o n
he boy nods. He ooks muc oder tan îs years. hen e’s gone. ï’m aone agaîn. ï’m busy saddîng Coronado wen ï ear Santîago’s voîce. “ït does not ook as î tîme as been kînd to you, James Dooen.” Raw emotîon loods over me. hîs wîte-aîred man standîng beore me, eanîng on a sîver-eaded cane, îs te one true rîend ï ave et în te word.ï ee îke embracîng îm, but ï don’t. Despîte îs treadbare cotes and scufed boots, e as a orma, arîstocratîc aîr tat wî not aow suc a batant dîspay o sentîment. ïnstead ï sake îs and, smîe and say, “You are wrong, Santîago, tîmehasbeen kînd to me. ït as ed me, once more, to you.” Santîago nods acknowedgment. “ïn tat case, you must aow me to take you rom tîs pace and buy you a decent mea.” A decent mea wît an od rîend sounds wonderu, but ï ee guîty. ï gance over at te women and cî-dren în te corra. hey sît around în sma groups, starîng dejectedy at notîng as tey awaît teîr ate. he gîr wose moter ï saw kîed stands apart rom te oters, starîng over at Santîago and me troug te wooden raîîngs.
6