The Chickasaw – Part 6


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Authors Note:  I have tried to construct the stories about the Chickasaws’ told by Ma, Aunt Vina and my daddy so that I may create a written legacy to share the lives of my ancestors with my readers and the general public.  Thank you for your support.  EAJM

The Chickasaw – Part 6

Hawk Over-Town searched for work every day since their escape from the march West, Sipsee knew that she needed to change, learn the language; but Hawk refused and no one would hire an Indian that could not speak English.  One morning in early summer he just up and left; it was eight weeks before he returned home; he entered their yard with a team of eight horses.  He told Sipsee that he had found a wild herd and that he broke them before returning.  Sipsee suspected someone farther south was missing eight horses

He did find work at a nearby logging camp after he returned, they had a logging mill shack, food and firewood for cooking and keeping warm; what more did they need.  He quickly became one of the top loggers and with the finest horse team to pull logs out of the forest to the mill.  It did not take long for another logger who was jealous to wage a bet with him; the bet…loser got the other loggers team of horses.  Wes was a man that had killed many men, or he bragged about it, he wanted this Indian dead.

The day of the pulling race the mill yard was full of people.  The logging skids were loaded, both skids were suppose to have the same amount of weight in logs.  Unknown to Hawk deep within the logs on his skid were heavy iron bars that would almost double the weight on his team.

Sipsee and ten-year-old Jane found a place to stand at the starting line.  Jane could feel her mother shaking, her hand sweaty, and knew that she was scared for Hawk.  He begin to hitch his team to the skid, he and the other logger steadied themselves on the skid behind their horses.  It was then that a large hawk circled his skid spreading his massive wings; the sounds the hawk was frantic.  Hawk fleetingly thought about his quest and the large Red Tail Hawk his protector.

Hawk turned to look at Sipsee and Jane, he smiled; the starting shot from the pistol of the mill owner started the race.  Hawk knew when his team lurched forward that his skid carried more weight than it was suppose too.   However, within seconds the teams were side by side, Hawk pulled ahead and saw the bloody cuts on the backs of McCartee’ horses left by the brutal lashing of the whip.  He wanted the whipping to end, Hawk urged his team on and they quickly went across the finish line.

It was then that some men in the crowd yelled in surprise, “That Injun won”.   Hawk leaped from his skid and jumped upon McCartee skid jerking his whip from him; beating him until gashes like the horses covered his face.  He walked back to his own team.

Gasp from spectators filled the air when they saw a pistol drawn.  Sipsee pulled Jane closer to her covering her face with her dress as she screamed Hawks’ name.  The pistol fired until the chamber was empty.  Hawks back was covered with blood, he fell on one of his horses; the team he found in a pasture of a wealthy plantation owner deep in southern Alabama Territory.

Sipsee and Jane ran to his side, he was dead; they lay on top of him crying until several Indian women pulled them away.  Hawks’ friends both white and Indian carried him home, but not before Sipsee unhooked the horses from the skid taking them with her.  As she walked away the drunken voice of Wes McCartee rang threw the air.

“Well, guess we just rid ourselves from another dirty injun”.  He laughed loudly.

Sipsee walked over to him saying softly, “No, you did not kill a dirty Indian, you murdered a Chickasaw Warrior.

To be continued…

Story Resources:

Storyteller – Jane Over-Town “Overton” 1848-1954 at the age of 106 her mind was Like a steel trap, she never forgot anything, It was her body that was ready for death; she lay down for an afternoon nap and woke only to say goodbye to the grandson she raised, my father.

Grandson – Roy C. Johnson

Granddaughter – Vina Evans-Quinn

Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree Great – Granddaughter

 

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Author: Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree

Artist/Writer of Fiction, Poetry, Prose and Thoughts, Opinions Born in Alabama to a Native American (Chickasaw) father and an emotionally absent mother since the Author's birth, raised by her father, her Native American great-grandmother and an African-American woman whom were all grand storytellers. As early as four years old she was roaming the countryside around her home alone or with her father; and at night she sat at the feet of these strong-minded individuals listening to the stories of their lives. Summers she lived with her fathers' sister in Birmingham, Alabama; it was that she would discover a library, and mingle with her aunt's circle of friends that included local writers, artist, and politicians. A cabin deep within the Black Warrior Forest was her playground on the weekends. Her aunt encouraged her imagination by introducing her to journaling, which she filled with stories over the summer. Planted was the desire to write, a seedling waiting to spurt from the warm southern heart of a child. Her love of art and painting came through the teachings of a grammar school teacher which she pursues when the well of words dry up when writing. Throughout the years along with her father, great-great-grandmother, and her beloved Aunt Francis, other influences were her high school English teacher Mrs. S. Odom, writers Faulkner, Capote, Fitzgerald, and Harper Lee. Later in life, she discovered the warm and comic writing of Grace Paley. The vivid poetry of William Carlos Williams; the strong poetry of Phyllis McGinley, and the world's most exciting women, Maya Angelou are some of the poets at the top of her list. Nonetheless, with adulthood, the desire to write buried itself deep within, the dream wilted but did not die. It laid dormant, gaining experiences all written in hidden journals. These experiences, the contents of these journals became short stories and poetry reading to share with the world. She writes of many life experiences in poetry format; questioning everything from Mother Nature to God...the poetry is raw and may not be understood by all. Yet, it comes from deep within and reads of truth within her soul. The harshness that shrouded her life would cause her to withdraw from most of the world; it fills the pages of her writing, the heartache, the abuse, and the denial her mother frankly portrayed. Today, she enjoys her children, grand and great grandchildren, her four-legged companion Mason, they live in Southern Wisconsin...far from her southern roots; however she continues to write and paint daily. Ann has published in Kindle eBooks and paperbacks at Amazon.com: Book #1 Echoing Images from the Soul 2012 Book #2 Beyond the Voices 2012 Book #3 Reflections of Poetry 2013 Book #4 Honeysuckle Memories 2013 Book #5 Sachets of Poetry on Adoration, Anger, Asylums and Aspirations 2014 Book #6 My Journey into Art 2014 Book #7 Asterial Thoughts