I was an American History teacher for twenty-five years and fell in love with the American Revolution and the history of our great country.
More Books by
This story takes place during the American Revolution and includes battles that occurred during this period. Julia Townset is a very unhappy newly married bride who comes to America with her military husband. She has been given the task of teaching a Seneca Indian guide Ki to write and read. As they work together, they build a relationship that will last a lifetime. Ki overhears a plan by Julia's husband to kill her because he has only married Julia for her money, but Ki has other plans because he wants Julia for himself. As the story progresses Julia and her sister Megan, learn what it is to become American.
The Indian and Me
Julia and Ki's interracial and multicultural romance will take your heart on a rollercoaster journey.
Book Excerpt or Article
“Today, we shall learn to eat politely, so I have set the table as we do in England. We will learn how to grasp a fork, spoon, or knife, and why more than one of each is needed.” Julia used her most cheerful voice while holding up the utensils. Ki regarded the silverware as he would a new snake he had never seen before.
“Unfold your napkin, and place it in your lap. Unwind your feet from the chair legs, please. We will begin with the soup.” Julia was still ladling soup into his bowl when he picked it up with both hands and started drinking from the vessel. Julia lifted it out of his grasp and replaced it on the table. This action caused her to blush, which brought a smile to Ki's face.
“No. You must use proper silver to eat from the dish. But even before you can begin, you must sit up perfectly straight” Julia demonstrated this with her back straight as an arrow. “Then we pick up the spoon like this. Dip the leading edge into the soup, and follow through smoothly. Hold your elbow slightly away from your body, and bring it to your mouth.” Ki wanted to take this seriously for Julia's sake, but a snigger almost escaped. He brought spoon to mouth, and he carefully slurped up every drop with smacking lips.
“No, no, no!” Julia stifled a giggle. “You must not make a noise! Just try to get it into your mouth without making a sound.” Finding this funny also, Julia realized how ridiculous all this was. But if she failed to teach him their customs, and he ever ate with white men at a table, he would be mocked. Why his humiliation should unsettle her, she could not say, but it did.
“Now put your bowl aside, and I will serve the meat and vegetables.” Julia was enjoying herself. She piled food on his plate. Julia showed him how to pick up the fork and hold it, reminding him to keep his back straight and elbows out slightly. His efforts pleased her until she showed him how to use the knife. He kept holding it in his fist, so Julia got up and tried to place it into his hand correctly. As their hands met, she nearly gasped at the spark she felt. She quickly demonstrated the act of cutting the meat and sat back down quickly. Her low-cut dress had allowed his breathing to hit her breasts, causing them to blush and sweat at the same time. He smiled at her, knowing what had just happened. Julia tried to ignore it and act as if nothing had happened.
“Thanking Providence for this food, let us eat.” Julia slowly began. Ki hurriedly began to shovel food in his mouth. “No, you have to eat unhurriedly.”
“I starving.” Ki's look of dissent told her wolfing down food was the normal mode in his culture.
“I know. But you must behave as though you are not hungry. Eat slowly.”
Ki looked at her in bewilderment. “Why?” He found this dishonesty incomprehensible. Ki was looking at Julia with such confusion and wonder that Julia could not contain her laughter. She shook her head and held her hand to her mouth so food wouldn’t fly out. “I don’t know why! Our customs seem ridiculous now that I think of it. Even aristocrats get very hungry. Oh, for heaven's sake! Since you are starved, then I give you leave to gobble it. I think you will enjoy the dessert.”
“Yes, it is a blueberry pie.”
“No.” This made Julia feel embarrassed, for she did not know how to cook.
“Mrs. Adams made it.”
“You make this food?” Ki asked curiously.
“No. Mrs. Adams made it.” Julia's gaze fell to the napkin in her lap. She suspected that all the women of his clan were taught from a young age how to cook and this must seem utterly strange to him.
“You know to make food?” Ki's curiosity rose. He had never known a woman who could not cook. Most women of the tribe even dressed out the animals brought in by hunters. To cover the awkward minute, Julia quickly cut the pie and handed Ki a piece. He grabbed the big fork. Julia put her hand on his without thinking. Once again, she felt the intimacy and quickly withdrew it.
“Don’t eat it with the large fork. That is only for the main course. This small fork is for dessert.”
“Why?” now Ki looked utterly astonished. Julia could not help but laugh. It felt so good to laugh and have an enjoyable time, for she had been unhappy for so long. All Julia could do was shrug and dig into her pie. Ki had eaten the white man's desserts before, even though he was not used to eating a lot of sweet food, but this was good. The Indians used berries to sweeten foods having no access to sugar, only honey.
“Do you like it” Julia looked hopefully at Ki?
“Yes. A lot to wash.” Ki was moving his hand over the entire table, and once more laughter bubbled out of her as Julia shook her head.
“I know! I never realized how unnecessary these customs are until now.” Good God! It felt good to really laugh and be herself and not play games of intrigue and mystery, always trying to guess the hidden meaning behind someone's words.
“Well, this concludes our lesson today. I really should help Mrs. Adams with all these additional dirty dishes.” Julia began to laugh again. She stopped to smile at Ki. “See you tomorrow?”
More Articles and Excerpts by
and other authors
Teri M Brown