“Where are we?” asked Tommy.
“Marblehead, just outside of Salem” said Sarah. “about 17 miles from Boston.
“Are we near New Jerusalem?” asked Tommy.
Sarah looked at Little Bear, who shrugged as if to say ‘leave me out of this. These are white man’s names’ “Salem. Salem is short for New Jerusalem. When Salem was founded, they wanted to create a new holy land for Puritans. I’ve never heard anyone call it that before. Where did you hear that?”
“That is what the pirates call it. They have a plot they are hatching.”
“I knew it!” Sarah thumped Little Bear on the shoulder in triumph. “What is their plot?”
Just then, a shot rang out in the woods. It was the middle of the night, and the sound was as foreign as the sight of an elephant would have been. “give me the pistol” whispered Tommy. Little Bear handed it over as the children instinctively made for cover in the woods in the opposite direction of the gunfire. It had only been a single shot, and it had echoed long in the subsequent silence.
Once safely in the cover of the brush, Tommy began drying the inside of the pistol, and produced from his boots powder & lead balls from oilskin pouches. Sarah began to wonder what this magician would produce next.
“They will hear of your escape, and how you were aided by us.” Little Bear said. “They will come looking for us.” Sarah had not considered this.
“They have other concerns more pressing.” said Tommy.
“we shall see. We had best get back to our homes before we are missed” Little Bear said. “You are welcome at my campfire. I believe I can find an extra blanket for you”
Tommy smiled. “That would be much appreciated, Friend. I’ve not slept as a free man for some time.”
As Sarah walked home, she wondered about the turns her life had taken. She had grown to trust Little Bear, and really enjoyed their time together. He showed her secret places in the woods that were beautiful and fascinating. He taught her Indian ways such as moving quietly, reading animal tracks & being able to tell when a storm is coming. She was teaching him to read and do math. They compared religious and superstitious beliefs.
But Tommy was different. He was… dangerous. He spoke Little Bear’s language, he could use a sword, he carried ammunition in his boot! He had an air to him of someone who was hiding something. Why had the pirates locked him up? How had they captured him? How did he fit into whatever was going on? Sarah wasn’t sure she would have believed whatever plot he would have told them about.
She was glad to get home, out of her damp clothes, and into her warm bed.