My great-grandmother strides ahead of us, staff in hand as though she is leading the lost to a promised land. From my vantage point, she is elderly, square and solid. Even in the wild terrain of this box canyon, she wears a housedress with roll-up hose and sensible shoes. She is tireless on this long walk to gather up horses gone afar. When she stops to look into the distance, I wonder what she sees because, to my young eyes, there is only open sky, sage and red dirt. She turns to check on my cousin and I sitting atop our bareback horses. All her leathery wrinkles crinkle up when she smiles and I see the twinkle in her blue eyes.
Marrying Quanah Parker
We live in Indian Country but I’m not afraid. A frequent visitor for dinner is an Indian. Father says he is a great man for a lost cause but I’m not sure what he means. Brother Earl tries to scare me by telling me he’s a fierce Comanche warrior. Sometimes, our friend comes dressed in all his Indian finery and sometimes, he wears clothes like Father’s. There is a strange opposition in his person. He sits quite straight on his horse and looks extremely stern when he rides up to the house but once he sees us waiting on the porch, he breaks into a beautiful smile. He’s really a gentle man who laughs readily at Stanley’s tall tales. I don’t know where Stanley comes up with them. Tonight, our guest sits on the floor with May and Bessie showing them a game that Indian children play. Earlier, he told me that my name means star. I think he’s rather handsome and wish that someday I could marry him but that is a wish I have to keep secret because Mother and Father would never approve. Mother says that one should never marry outside of one’s own kind and I do like the boy that’s come to work for Father. After all, what would one do married to a man like Quanah Parker?