Smoke twisted and curled across the field, unnaturally quiet now that the screams had stopped. Crows were the first to claim the spoils of the dead as the buzzards circled high above, waiting for their inevitable feast. John Franklin lay quietly in the mud and breathed slow, trying to will the musket-ball out of his gut. A weathered hand touched his shoulder and fierce eyes stared into his young face.
“You belong to the Muscogee,” the old man said. “I will heal you and you will work in the field you helped sowed with the French and my sons’ blood.”