Agent Out of Time (Chapter Seven - The Skull, page 1 of 4)

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Deshavi leafed through the summer dresses in the store in town. Trent would be back from the East today in the late afternoon and she wanted to look nice for him.

She turned a corner to see a man standing there. She'd never liked him and so she started to back away, before she realized that there was a man behind her and to the side of her too. She was more or less trapped unless she made a commotion of it in the store. Armed with that option of last resort she stood with her arms tightly folded, "What is it that you want Running Bear?"

He smiled nastily, his stained and broken teeth giving evidence to the bad breath that was now assailing her, as he stepped closer. "Heard you're getting married. To a white man no less! To think the granddaughter of a chief would cheapen her bloodline so!

Deshavi snorted derisively, "You're one to talk blue eyes! Are you sure you shouldn't be having this conversation with your own mother? At least I'm going to marry the man of my affections, unlike your mother."

For a moment it looked like he was about to hit her, but he regained his composure. "What you do is no business of ours, but it is, who you have picked that we find unacceptable!"

Deshavi's face turned all knowing, "You mean that you don't approve of me marrying the grandson of the man whose discovery is likely to take away your booze money don't you?"

Running Bear wasn't to be put off though. "We will only approve of the union if you first do something for us. It is well known that before your current saintly attitude that you were a thief. Steel the skull from the grandfather and see that it is destroyed and we will permit you to marry as planned."

Deshavi's temper exploded. "Why you little dirt bag weasel to come to me and threaten my right to marry whomever I will!"

Her hand found part of a clothes rack, which was leaning up against the wall, with which she proceeded to wail away at Running Bear and his two companions. They made an attempt to grab her, but retreated away from her and out of the store in the face of her wrathful whacking of them. Deshavi stormed out of the store after them, but the cowards that they were, they had already disappeared.

Her people were an honorable people, but some members of the tribe should have been thrown to the wolves long ago.

It was one week from the wedding. Tomorrow I would head back to the east with Deshavi and Trent. Ted was coming along to. I pulled Windstalker to a halt at Ted's cabin and got down. I wanted to make sure that he was ready to go in the morning. I stepped up to the door and started to knock, but stopped as I realized the door was already slightly ajar. An ominous feeling swept through me.

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