Colleen, Chapter 16 of Lee A. Wood ‘s Novel, Fero

Copyrite `95.

SafeSurf Rated Adults Only

FERO

A novel
by
LEE A. WOOD

* * * * * * * * * *

Chapter Sixteen

Preacher
Author's note: Picture, courtesy of `MASK WORLD .COMÍ

* COLLEEN and VILMA *

After leaving Conzuela at the burned out cabin, Trevor returned to the site where he had buried the tent. It took him half a day to reassemble the ox cart and another half a day to dig up everything he had buried, and clean the dirt off it, before loading it into the cart.

Early in the morning, as the early Autumn sun was spreading across the prairies, he hitched the horses to the cart and started for the fort.

When Trevor had first come West with the Force they had been preparing to attack a group of whiskey traders who were holed up inside a barricade called Ft. Whoop Up. However word of their arrival had preceded them and the Yankees had moved South, abandoning the post.

Since the Force had taken possession of the outpost, nearly four years ago, they had expanded their posts. For awhile Trevor had been stationed at Ft. Standoff. Later the two posts were closed and all the troops were moved to Ft. Macleod.

The duties were no different than they had been before: trying; to settle disputes, negotiate treaties, and establish reserves for the; Cree, Ojibwa, and the Assiniboine Indians, when the weather was nice, and trying to feed them, when the weather was bad.

It was a long harsh winter. The weather was bad, making it difficult to deliver food to the natives. Plus the fact that the hide hunters had killed off so many buffalo, meat was hard to find. Cattle had to be bought locally but there were few ranches in the area and the weather made cattle drives difficult.

Spring dragged on interminably, the large snow fall in the mountains taking forever to melt, the rivers taking longer to become fordable.

Eventually all things come to pass and Trevor proceeded on patrol. Having been unable to get away on a long enough trip during the winter he was anxious to return to his ranch and check on Conzuela and his livestock.

Dark had just fallen when Trevor tied his horses, back in the trees, so they wouldn't communicate with horses in the corral. At the edge of the clearing he could see that Conzuela had been busy after he had left. The burnt logs had been dragged to one side and a new, smaller, cabin had been built against the rock chimney.

Quietly, wearing his moccasins, he approached the cabin, slipped the latch, and crept inside. A faint glow from a dying fire cast an amber light about the small room. Trevor could see her form beneath the blankets and, silently ,slipping to the foot of the bed, he knelt and lifted the blankets.

Slowly, licking, and nibbling, Conzuela's toes he worked his way up her legs and wondered about how much weight she had put on. Her thighs were larger than he remembered. They also seemed to be shorter, but he put it down to his urgency.

As he proceeded further he knew for sure the lady in the bed was a lady, thankfully, but it wasn't Conzuela, unless she had taken to shaving. There was hair at the top of her legs but definitely not the forest that Conzuela had.

Hoping that there wasn't a man about the house, Trevor proceeded. So far he hadn't been rebuffed and after sharing the cot with only his hand for the last few months, he wasn't about to back off unless asked to do so.

As Trevor moved the ladies legs apart he felt her begin to waken fully. She stiffened as his mouth engulfed her but then relaxed as his tongue began to probe. Within a short time she was grasping his head, moving against his mouth and hollering, "James, James."

When she collapsed Trevor continued to move, tickling her navel and caressing her small, firm, breasts. By the time he was up to her throat he had discarded the last of his clothing and slipped her nightdress over her head.

As she had wrapped her legs around his head earlier, she now lifted them and wrapped them around his hips making it easier for him to enter.

In moments, the two of them built to a peak, exploded, paused, and resumed again, building an even higher tower of passion and nerves. Climbing and climbing, like the birth of a new volcano, until it finally explodes, opening the night sky with a shower of flames and sparks.

Forcing himself sideways Trevor collapsed, his shoulders on the bed, his hips still imprisoned by her legs, her inner muscles still contracting, milking him.

Eventually Trevor caught his breath, "Hi. I'm Trevor."

She giggled, "Hi Trevor. I'm Colleen."

"Sorry, Colleen. I got carried away. I thought you were Conzuela."

"Close. I'm barely five foot and she's about five seven."

"I did kind of notice that it didn't take me as long to get from your toes to your nose as it did with her. You've got quite an Irish brogue. Do ya have red hair as well?"

"I do. Yours seems terribly short."

"That's the military for ya'. When I was in the navy it was down to my shoulders just like yours."

"So, you're a soldier then?"

"Police."

"Now that's a fine how do ya do. A member of the constabulary, breaking into me home, and raping me in me own bed."

"Raping? Actually I thought you were resisting arrest."

"And why would ya be arresting me, now?"

"Breaking and entering. This is my cabin."

"Your cabin? I'll have you know I helped build it."

"So that's what happened. I didn't think Conzuela could build it all by herself."

"Was that her name, Conzuela, the deaf mute?"

"I don't know. I just called her that. She couldn't read or write. We managed to communicate a lot of things but her name wasn't one of them."

"Yes, I saw how well you communicated. You missed seeing your daughter by two months."

"My daughter?"

"She didn't tell you? Of course, she couldn't, could she?"

"When I came last fall she was planning to leave, but she stayed and helped me. She showed me the cabin-cave but I didn't like it there, so we rebuilt this cabin."

"At a rough guess, your daughter was born on Christmas day. We had a not bad winter but it was too cold for Conzuela. As soon as the snow was gone and the horses could cross the creek she headed South. I suppose you are going to go after her."

"I had planned to patrol South and I still will. I guess I will watch for her but I got the impression she wanted something other than me."

"Maybe she wanted a husband who would stick around and not be gone all winter."

"That's the problem with being a peace officer you have to patrol the territory."

"My husband was going to be a peace officer."

"That would be James."

"How did you know?"

"You called his name."

"I suppose I thought you were him. That's probably why I let you into my bed."

"And now you want me to leave before he gets back." Trevor started to roll away but she squeezed her legs tighter.

"You don't have to leave if you don't want to. We got caught in a storm, coming through the pass. James fell and broke his arm. I didn't know how to set his arm. We made it to here. Conzuela found us, and took us to the cabin in the canyon, James caught pneumonia. I nursed him as best I could. I had no medicine and..."

Colleen tensed up and Trevor stroked her hair for a few moments until she continued, "I'm OK. It's been nearly six months now. We buried him over by the creek."

"You say he was going to be a Peace Officer?"

"We were living on the coast and he wanted to see the wild west. His uncle wrote to a friend in the Montana Territories and the Governor sent James a letter offering him a position as a U. S. Marshall."

"And now?"

"I don't know. I got the impression that Conzuela wanted me to go South with her. I probably would have if she had waited another month until the weather was better."

"I was thinking I might wait until the snow is gone in the mountains and then head back to Portland."

"But it doesn't really matter. I have no family in America."

"Technically, you're not in America. You went too far North as you came East. You are in the Northwest Territories now. Guess I'll just have to arrest you for trespassing."

"Is that so." Placing her hands on his shoulders, she suddenly tossed her small frame, rolling him onto his back. In the dark he could not see her looking down into his face. "And what if I was to resist arrest."

She lay down on top of him and tried to stop his answer, but being perched, and as short as she was, her mouth only came to his neck. Tipping her head back, the best she could do was kiss his chin.

Trevor got the hint and, by twisting his lanky frame, their mouths met. However, twisting about soon became inconvenient and kissing became of less importance. Other positions were demanded of his spine.

Later, just before falling asleep, Trevor remembered his horses and while he slipped on his boots and a shirt Colleen added some wood to the stove and made him some supper.

For the next few days Trevor stayed with Colleen while he made sojourns upstream to the canyon to check on his cattle and horses and make some repairs to his other cabin.

As well, he spent a couple of days touring the brush in the immediate neighbourhood and caroused a few head of wild cattle and a couple of horses up the creek and into his canyon pasture.

Not wanting to be too negligent of his duties he bid Colleen adieu and proceeded East into the Prairies to enforce the new regulations on the buffalo hunters.

One of the favourite methods Indians used, to kill buffalo, was to run them off a cliff, a method that had been developed hundreds of years before the North American natives had access to horses.

The braves would fan out and scare the buffalo until they would run, unheeding of what was ahead of them.

The squaws and the youngsters would be waiting below the cliffs to kill the injured and to harvest the crop.

However, this year, the government, in its infinite wisdom, had declared that it was now against the law to run buffalo over cliffs. As well they had decreed that it was against the law to kill female buffs or males under the age of two.

It was Trevor's, and his troop mates', duty to impose these new regulations on Indians and Yankees alike, neither of whom were going to take kindly to the new regulations.

As Trevor proceeded across the plains, slowly following the path of the Cut Bank River, he contemplated the battles he was about to encounter.

He knew his scarlet tunic would take the starch out of most of the natives, though they were still a danger, while on the other hand the bright red jacket made an excellent target for the Yankees who had no respect for the law, or its enforcers.

As Trevor travelled, East and South, the high rolling hills became lower and his horizon crept further away. As he topped a hill he could make out a small cluster of buildings and as he got closer he could see a figure walking towards him.

As he approached, the figure became clearer and he could see that the person was not so much walking as stumbling, a stiff legged gate. At first Trevor thought it was an elderly person and wondered why they were so far from town.

As he got closer still, he thought the person was a nigger. Then he noticed white spots and came to the incorrect conclusion that the person was some King, or Indian Shaman, decked out in colours, much as the witch doctors he had seen in Africa.

It wasn't until he was actually stopped in front of the person that he was too astonished to dismount.

For several moments he stared down at what appeared to be a young female covered with mud and feathers. The girl tried to turn her head and look at him but seemed to have trouble moving her appendages. She was also having trouble talking as all Trevor could hear was a low mumble.

Finally puling himself together, and off of his horse, he approached the girl and realized that she was covered with splatterings of tar that had been applied hot and were now congealed. Were it not for the heat of the noonday sun, keeping the tar pliable, she would not be able to move at all.

Her speech was impaired by the fact that most of her mouth was sealed by the tar. Trevor started to pick at it but this resulted in a moan of pain so he stepped back from her and surveyed the situation.

Trevor was at a total loss of how to handle the situation. He couldn't pick the tar off. No matter what part of the body it was on it would be stuck to skin.

He couldn't leave the tar on as it was still warm and was attracting the hot sun. On the other hand, if she was moved out of the sun, the tar would harden and she wouldn't be able to move at all.

While Trevor cast about for a sign, of anything, or anyone, to help, the girl kept up an uneven moan that Trevor understood to be pleadings for help.

He noticed too that her left hand seemed to be pointing at her crotch. Her right hand was stuck to her hair in an unusable, and uncomfortable, position.

Trevor thought about picking her up and taking her somewhere but he had no idea where that might be. Picking her up would almost certainly result in her being stuck to him. This would be painful for her and his uniform would be a mess of tar that would take hours to clean. And that gave him his first bright idea.

Rubbing his hands in the dirt of the trail he got them well coated with dust so the tar wouldn't stick to them. Moving behind the girl, he grasped her by the shoulders and, tipping her back, dragged her across the field, where he lay her against the side of a small hill.

Here she would be in the shade, the weight off her legs, and slightly propped up, she could still survey her surroundings, as much as she could turn her head.

With his knife he cut the hair between her hand and her head so that the weight of her arm was no longer pulling on her scalp. Next he began to cut away the hair between her legs, as luckily she had an abundant growth and most of the tar had not reached her skin. He wasn't able to remove it completely but he was able to loosen it enough that she could void her bladder which seemed to be of pressing importance to her.

Assuring her that he would return shortly, he left her to relieve herself and, mounting his horse, after ground staking his pack horses, proceeded, rapidly, towards the small community he had seen earlier.

The town, if it could be called that, seemed to take forever to reach. Trevor wondered how the girl had managed to stumble as far as she had and how long she had been out there.

There was no possibility of approaching the scattering of sod structures without being seen but Trevor tried to circle so that he was coming from behind the main buildings.

The town, built in the middle of nowhere didn't seem to have any source of water. There wasn't any sign of a creek or lake. There didn't appear to be a mine or any other form of industry. The purpose of its existence baffled Trevor.

Most of the structures, and there were very few, were only one stories tall and were made from small logs or sod blocks and topped with sod roofs.

Three structures stood taller than the rest. One was the livery, built of logs, and sporting a haymow above one end of the corral. What looked like a general mercantile, was made of boards, and seemed to have a living quarters above the store. The last building, a properly made structure, was the tallest because of the steeple that rose from one end of a peaked roof. Trevor could not see a bell in the open belfry.

The town itself consisted of one street which was actually the road itself, the buildings being scattered haphazardly along either side. The occupants of the buildings seemed to be all gathered at the church. The rest of the town seemed to be deserted.

Though decked out in his scarlet tunic, Trevor felt that no one was observing him. Tying his horse behind the livery, and finding it deserted, he helped himself to a couple of horses and hitched them to an old wagon. Backing the unsprung carry all beneath the haymow he proceeded to fill it with fresh hay.

Still not having seen or heard anything from anyone he tied his horse behind the wagon and drove to the general store. The mercantile, like the livery, was deserted and Trevor strolled the isles unaccosted. When no one appeared to help him, he began to help himself.

Trevor gathered whatever he thought he would need to help the injured girl, mostly kerosene, and scissors, to remove the tar, as well as some supplies for his ranch and some gifts for Colleen. Bandages, blankets, ammunition, flour, canned goods, yard goods, sewing supplies, dresses, hats, ladies boots.

After making several trips to the wagon and still not being interrupted he climbed aboard the solid wooden seat and proceeded out of town without passing the church.

When he had loaded the wagon he had put everything along the sides so there was space down the middle for the girl. Upon returning to her he backed the wagon in as close as he could and then removed his uniform.

Naked, he wiped dirt on his hands, arms, and front. Standing the girl up he turned her and then slid her onto the wagon, like she was a narrow coffin.

Having been lying in the shade while Trevor was gone the tar had hardened and she was now stiff as a board. Trevor was now pressed for time because if he didn't get the tar off of her she would be in need of a coffin.

With his pack horses tied behind, he urged the horses to a gallop, while trying to recall where the nearest water was. Late the day before he had crossed what he believed to be the Two Medicines River and then camped by a tributary of it which came from the South.

Turning West off the road, and bouncing across the gopher hole infested prairie, Trevor soon came to the creek he was looking for and quickly found a shallow pool.

Untying the horses from the back of the wagon, and tying them to willows along the creek, he backed the wagon to the waters edge and then slipped the girl out of the wagon into the water.

Riding in the back of the wagon the tar covered girl had been exposed to the afternoon sun and the tar had started to soften. Along with feathers the tar was now decorated with straw. As soon as Trevor lowered her into the water the tar became hard.

Trevor towed the girl through the water to a little sand bar where the water was only a couple of inches deep. Leaving her being washed by the gentle current he returned to the wagon to fetch a jug of kerosene, the scissors, and his shaving razor.

Starting at her toes and working his way to her head Trevor, over a period of two hours, patch by patch, using the contents of four jugs, the scissors, and the straight razor, soaked the tar with the kerosene, and cut any hairs that were holding the tar in place.

Trevor used the kerosene to dissolve the tar and the water to remove the kerosene. As he cleared each area he would bathe it in the clear waters of the creek to wash away the kerosene so that it wouldn't damage the raw flesh. Then he would wrap each area with bandage, until, by the time he was finished, the girl looked like an Egyptian Mummy. The bandages protected the damaged flesh from the current of the water as well as the sand beneath.

Beneath the bandages the girl was raw, pink, flesh with very little hair. Between the scissors and the razor Trevor had sliced, cut, and trimmed her anal and pubic hairs, her eyebrows and lashes, and most of the hair on her head.

With the razor, Trevor made slices in the bandages so the girl could perform bodily functions but he urged her not to talk as the bandages would rub against her raw lips.

In the bed of the wagon Trevor spread blankets over the hay until he had a thick pad that the straws wouldn't poke through. From a bolt of floral patterned cotton, that he had taken from the mercantile, he unwound several layers and spread them over the blankets to protect the girl from the rough wool.

While he had been doing this the girl had been standing, drip drying, in the warm sun. Now he lifted her and, placing her on the bed, covered her with more layers of cotton, topped with several layers of blanket. The water had reduced the heat of the tar in her bodily tissues but now he had to remove the chill of the water.

On his way out of town Trevor had spied a chicken coop and had stopped to collect some eggs. To his surprise he had found a basket full sitting by the door. Leaving it for a minute he ducked inside, gathered an armful of squawking, fluttering, hens and headed for the wagon, grabbing the basket on the way.

Although some of the hens had leaped overboard, several had made it as far as the creek. One or two were still in the wagon and the rest were pecking at the ground nearby.

Trevor grabbed the nearest hen, wrung its neck and proceed to prepare some good, old fashioned, chicken soup. That and some tea, on the inside, and the blankets, on the outside, should bring the girls temperature back to normal.

While the water was boiling Trevor unloaded his pack horses, putting everything into the wagon, except what he would need for the night and proceeded to set up camp.

There was no hurry in continuing the journey as Trevor didn't have the faintest idea where the nearest doctor would be and, from what he knew of doctors, he doubted that they could do any more for the girl than what he had already done.

After the two shared a hearty supper of chicken soup, sourdough bread, buffalo steak, and boiled potatoes, washed down with strong English tea, Trevor crawled under the blankets to help keep the girl warm.

In the wee hours of the morning, Trevor helped the girl out of the wagon. After he got her settled back in, he hitched up the horses and broke camp.

Stopping often to make soup and tea, and travelling as slow as the horses could move, it took Trevor over a week to return to the mountains. During this time the girl fought a battle with a raging fever which broke the morning the wagon turned onto the trail to the cabin.

As Trevor and Colleen were helping the girl into the cabin she was seized with paroxysms of pain. Her stomach muscles contracted as she went into labour. After a half hour of agony she gave birth.

The torture and fever that she had endured had resulted in the death, and the abortion, of an undeveloped foetus. While Colleen made the girl comfortable in the little cabin, Trevor added the little body to the cemetery by the creek.

For the next two days Trevor slept, with Colleen, in the stable. Colleen spent most of the day with the patient and Trevor worked in the stable making a bed and sleeping quarters for Colleen.

Though the girl was grateful for Trevor's having freed her from the tar she did not seem all that grateful for him having saved her life. Able to talk, though painful to do so, she refrained from telling what had happened to her. All Trevor was able to learn was that her name was Vilma and that a preacher had been the instigator of the attack upon her person.

With very little to go on Trevor returned to the town to see if he could discover the facts behind the girls torture.

Staking his pack horses outside of town he again approached from the rear of the buildings. As before, there were no inhabitants in any of the buildings, except for the church.

Starting at one end of the town and working his way to the church, Trevor visited each of the buildings, stepping inside, and checking to see who was home. Nowhere could he find anyone but at the church.

Avoiding the church and making several trips to the mercantile he poured the contents of a jug of kerosene over the outside walls of each building in town. When each building had been primed he put a match to the one on the edge of town, the one from which he had stolen the chickens.

Walking slowly up the street he stuck his head in the door of the church and hollered, "Fire."

When the last of the parishioners had left Trevor stepped inside and closed the door, baring the exit of the preacher. The servant of God was dressed in black. Brightly polished boots peeked out below a long flowing gown that ended in a high collar. On the mans head was a tall conical hat.

"Sir," He said, in a commanding tone, "You are blocking my way. There is a fire and I must be with my Flock."

"It's just a small fire," Trevor replied, "I'm sure your flock can handle it without you."

"Who are you?"

"North West Mounted Police. I want to ask you some questions about a murder."

"A murder. Who was murdered"

"Three weeks ago. A young lady was covered with tar and feathers."

The preacher took a step back, "You said murder? Is she dead?"

"What else would you expect? Her body was covered with hot tar. You literally burned her to death."

"I? I am but the hands of the Lord. She was a sinner. The lord says to cast out sinners."

"The lord says to forgive."

The man began to pontificate, "Who are you to tell me the ways of the Lord. I walk in the shadow of the Lord and I spread his word."

"You also spread tar and pain." Trevor replied as he swung his fist with the power of his shoulder behind the punch. He stepped aside as the preacher doubled over and spewed forth the contents of his stomach.

Leaving the church, through the back door, Trevor retrieved the jug of kerosene, that he had left outside, and began to douse the walls of the church, concentrating on the doors and the windows.

Trevor was leaning against a hitch rail in the center of town for sometime before someone spotted him and noticed the fire at the church. As the small crowd surged along the street Trevor placed the butt of the ten gauge, so it wouldn't bruise his shoulder, against the rail and fired a blast into the street. A cloud of dust arose and the crowd came to a halt.

Someone pointed at the church, "Reverend Blackstone."

Trevor shook his head in the negative. Not taking his eyes from the crowd he broke open the shotgun and replaced the spent shell.

"That's my Greener," came a voice from the throng, "You took that from my store."

"And the shells too," Trevor replied calmly. Closing the weapon he pointed it at the merchant, "The same place the tar came from."

The retort of, "What Tar?" was interrupted by a shrill female voice, "The girl. It's the girl."

This voice too was interrupted by a babble from the crowd but mainly by a strong male voice, "Now you just hush up Emmy."

"I will not hush up, Carl. I told you not to get involved. I told you the Lord would punish us."

"He's not the Lord Emmy. He's just some dude in a monkey suit."

"He's a Brit." Came another voice, "He ain't got no say here. You're too far South Brit."

The roar of the ten gauge drowned out the crackle, of the flames, that was drowning out the screams of the preacher trapped inside the church.

"South, North, East, don't matter what direction. The law is the law. And the law don't allow people to go around tarring people."

A voice from the back of the crowd called out, "She was a sinner. The Lord says that sinners shall be punished."

Trevor threw the book he had been holding into the street, "That book don't say nothing about no tar or no feathers as a punishment for no sins. What you have done is take the law into your own hands. If the girl had been guilty of a crime you should have called upon the law and let her stand trial. Well, the law is here now, and you are all guilty."

"That there book," Trevor pointed his weapon at the bible lying in the dust, "says an eye for an eye."

"I am not going to take the time to tar and feather each of you, I am just going to close this town. You have ten minutes, to gather your belongings, load your wagons, and get out, before I burn your houses."

"What kind of law is that?"

"The same kind of law you gave to that poor girl."

"You can't do that."

Swinging the gun's barrels towards the shack that was nothing but a smouldering pile of half burnt logs and squares of sod, then pointing them at the church, just as the steeple collapsed into the street, he replied, "It looks like I've already started. You have nine minutes left to be out of town or lose everything."

"And one more thing. When you leave, you leave in different directions. None of you leave in a group. Each family goes their own way."

More grumbling commenced and Trevor called out, "Eight minutes. And then I start with the store."

"You can't do that. I can't get all my stuff out in eight minutes."

"It didn't take you eight minutes to get the tar out." Trevor, again, pointed the shotgun at its former owner, "Seven minutes."

Slowly the crowd began to disperse, going to their homes, such as they were. Trevor felt that he was actually doing the people a favour. It was a nowhere town and would die eventually. He was just speeding the process and hopefully teaching these misguided people a lesson.

After a sufficient time had elapsed Trevor slowly strode to the side of the mercantile and, striking a sulphur match, ignited the kerosene soaked wall. Casually, taking his time, he moved from building to building, until the small community was ablaze.

Retiring to his staked horses he watched until the last of the inhabitants, along with their meagre possessions dispersed across the prairies. Then he mounted his horse and proceed East to look for buffalo hunters.

* * * * * * * * * * *

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