Monday, August 1, 2011
From "Firehawk" by Nancy Morse
“I heard about German Flats. And the boy you saved from a Huron war party. And the farmer’s daughter you rescued from Abnakis. And the party you guided through enemy territory to Fort William Henry. At the Blue Bell they told those stories like they were myths, and they talked about you like you were some kind of hero.”
“I ain’t no hero,” he said suddenly. “I’m just an ordinary man.”
“Who do you think is fighting the French?” she said, a challenge in her tone that matched the tilt of her chin. “Farmers and settlers and blacksmiths and coopers. Men who left their homes and families to fight for something they believe in. Would you call them heroes?”
“Damn right, they are.”
“Would you also call them ordinary men?”
He didn’t answer.
“My pack is ready. I’ll get dressed and we can go.” She began to walk back to the longhouse.
She stopped and looked back at him.
“I won’t let any harm come to ya as long as I draw breath.”
In that instant she saw the old Nathaniel, the brave, fearless, ordinary man she trusted with her life. She nodded and turned away with a smile.