North Woods Love
At the beginning of the 18th century 12 year old Evie is kidnapped by Indians, taken to Montreal, and forced to marry an older Mohawk man. Years later she escapes and stumbles upon a man with red hair and sun-kissed skin.
Adam Webster, eldest son of an Irishman and an Abenaki woman, discovers the wild child he captures, and vows to protect, is really a young woman who barely remembers English.
Evie’s gratitude to Adam soon turns to love, but she fears she can’t give him the family he deserves. After Adam’s cousin, Tabid, rescues her from a bear attack, he requests marriage as his payment. But Evie’s heart yearns for Adam. Before she can make a choice a deceitful white man may make it for her.
She didn’t want to be an adult. She wanted a hug, a kind word, to be allowed to rest and have someone else do chores. Just once.
Evelyn leaned her forehead against the warm hide of the cow she milked. “My brother scrapes his knee, howls like a wild Indian, and Mother pets and soothes him. I feel like you’ve been stomping on my belly and I’m to ignore it.” She let out a trembling sigh. “It’s not fair, Gertie. You probably don’t feel it’s fair to be milked each day. Then, again, mayhap you don’t mind.” She patted the lean flank. “My bosoms have been hurting. Is that part of it?”
She would have asked her mother, but the woman would only say, “We don’t talk about that, Evelyn. It is a part of life you need to accept.”
Finished with Gertie, Evelyn rose from the small stool to set the bucket aside before moving on to the next cow. A movement at the side had her looking up and freezing in place. A dark-skinned man with long black hair stood inside the barn door. A swath of deerskin hung from his waist. More covered his legs and a drab brown blanket was over his shoulders. “You come me.”
Evelyn dropped the bucket, ignoring the milk that splashed over her feet. She shook her head and shuffled back a step.
The Indian motioned with his hand. “You come. Allez!”
“P-please.” She held a hand out in front of her as if to ward him off.
The man took two long steps, grabbed her arm, and forced her out of the barn. She opened her mouth and his free hand slapped over it, muffling her scream. He tucked her under his arm, tight to his side. Evelyn had to walk on her toes to keep from being dragged as he took her away from her home.
“Wh-where are you—”
Soon they were deep in the woods on the outskirts of the small village close to her family’s home. A dozen or so of her neighbors were gathered. The oldest, Goodwife Barnes, leaned against her youngest son, Benjamin, who was four years Evelyn’s senior. The youngest was five-year-old Jacob Mathis. There were as many Indians as whites.
The Indians said nothing, seeming to communicate with each other silently. They surrounded Evelyn and the others, prodding them to move in a line through the forest.
A boy, about ten and six years, demanded he be allowed to return home. One of the braves clubbed the boy with his musket. Goodwife Barnes cried out, throwing herself over the injured boy. She was given a whack in the middle of the back with the same musket. Then both were shoved under the brush while the rest were herded along.
Evelyn couldn’t stop the tears running down her face. She wrapped her arms around her chest, pulling her shawl tight. Never had she been so frightened.
Benjamin Barnes stepped up next to her placing a gentle hand on her shoulder. She made no mention of the tears coursing down his cheeks, merely placed her small hand over his larger one, grateful for the shared comfort.
Evelyn was convinced she would die this day after all.