Robert Brooks and his sons sat at the table as his Cherokee wife brought bread, beer, and butter to add to the meat and fruit that was already there. Robert looked at Castor’s wolf and asked, “She ran you off?”
Castor rubbed the young she-wolf’s ears and said, “She said it should have been Pol.”
Robert nodded his head and said “She’s always been like that. Good looking woman, but she’s got a deep streak of mule-headed meanness in her. If life don’t happen how she likes it, everybody suffers. ”
Robert cut the bread with a man-killer sized knife and shared it out along with the fresh butter. He pointed the knife at Pollux and said, “Where you two going?”
“You tell us,” Pollux said between mouthfuls of meat and bread.
Robert smiled, “North to Tsuwa’tel’da. It’s the only place your brother can learn about his gifts.”
“Good guess, or did you dream it?” Pol asked.
“I saw you and your brother walk here with his wolf. The rest is just knowing what you two have to do now,” Robert answered.
Robert’s wife came forward and poured them some more small beer and as she went to go back to the kitchen, Robert pulled her close and whispered in her ear. She nodded and walked to the back of the house.
Waiting for her to leave, Pol said, “We’re out of supplies, Father. Can you help us?”
Robert quickly answered, “Of course. I’ll make sure you have enough supplies to get you to the mountains, another set of clothes and a mule to carry it all.”
“Thank you father,” Castor said. “We’re truly grateful.”
“I also dreamed something else,” Robert said.
Pol and Castor gave their father their undivided attention.
“Gali!” Robert called to the back of the house. “Bring them here.”
From the back of the house, Robert’s wife came forward carrying two long-rifles, powder horns, and pouches of bullets. The boys’ eyes lit up with surprise and delight.
Pollux was the first to jump up and accept one of the rifles from Gali, lightening her load. Castor was not far behind and they quickly examined the weapons, running their hands down the barrels, marveling at their uniform straightness and perfection.
“Those guns are Pennsylvania,” Robert said. “The best you can get here in the Colonies. They’re rifled for a longer, truer shot and the flints are new.”
“Father,” Pol said reverently. “These are priceless. How can we thank you?”
“I’ll teach you how to shoot and reload tomorrow,” Robert said. “Learn to shoot straight. That will be enough.”