What if Promise Amrose, known to the Indians as Yellow Star, had drafted to the west under a hazy sky that blocked the sun har to get off course for Fort Laramie? How differently would her adventure and her story have ended if this had happened?
Promise glanced down to Moon and said, “Moon, I wish you knew where we are, I haven’t seen Mateo Tepee for days, I do wish the sun breaks through the hazy sky and warm my nervous heart.”
Days later, the sun was in full force. It brightened up the land where she and her dog were traveling oven Yellow grass had more green to it; purple crocuses were peeking out around rocks. Small ribbons of melting snow streamed down hill sides, giving them water, Moon took off on her own to hunt. Promise didn’t worry about Moon for she knew Moon was a skilled hunter.
While waiting for Moon, Promise went out to cut sagebrush for burning. She picked up whatever she found since no trees were available near the area. She remembered the instance when she travelled with Ben Reed and found no wood to burn that she to grit her teeth and pick up buffalo pies. She did get used to picking up the sundried pies. It worked fine as fuel and they always had fire to warm themselves every time they would stop to take a rest.
Moon came bouncing back with a game bird in her mouth. Promise took the bedroll off her back and dressed the bird. With flint and steel from a pouch hanging off her belt, she made fire. As they ate, “My name is Promise Amrose and my Indian name is Yellow Star. I belong to Chief Father Fox’s Lakota tribe” Promise looked far ahead and saw the mountain tops. “I wonder, Moon, if we are ever going to be able to cross mountains, Ben never said anything about mountain, I thought we’d be traveling on the plains to Fort Laramie, Keep Mateo Tepee at your back and travel south”, he said, “since we didn’t have sun for many days I’m sure I’m off course, For how much? I don’t know, I do know the sun comes up in the east and goes down in the west, we’ve been traveling west we need to go south.” Moon gave Promise a wet kiss with her tongue on her cheek and gave her one of her goofy smiles.
Mountains they did climb and rivers they forged. They huddled at nighttime wish her deer cape over them. One early morning from traveling several nights using only the moon and stars for light, she rose from her sleeping spot and realized they were on ridge of a lower mountain. Below she saw a huge long rock, or was it a beached whale? A circle of covered wagons with smoke rising from camp fires were positioned next to it. “Moon, look. . . People! I need to clean up, we went to past a small creek not far from here. I’ll clean up there.”
At the creek, she used sand to wash up with in the cold water and combed her long hair with her fingers. She braided her scalp-lock and made sure her feather disc was secure. Using damp sand at the water edge, she rubbed it on her doe-skin dress trying to spruce it up.
After a short travel, a boy pointed his finger at the silhouette of a lone girl and a dog, “Ma, look!”, the boy exclaimed. In response, Promise raised her hand in greeting. The excitedly ran to her happy to see the boy, Moon began smiling and snoozing with her long tail wagging so hard that it hit her sides. The boy stopped. He was quite shocked and a bit scared. The friendly gestures of Promise’s companion were quite foreign to him. “Moon, you are scaring the boy,” Promise declared, “Moon won’t hurt you,” she assured the boy. The boy’s mother came and asked Promise to partake in their morning meal. Promise felt her mouthwatering. While licking her lips, she said, “I’d be proud too.” No one asked her any questions. It seemed a lot of ladies dropped by, and so did men and children. No one stared except for the youngsters hiding behind their mother’s dresses but one could see darting eyes of the adults. To answer their unasked question of why a white girl dressed in Indian garb is out here along with only a dog, Promise sat her tin plate down and stood, “My name is Promise Amrose and my Indian name is Yellow Star, I belong to Chief Father Fox’s Lakota tribe”, “Ah,” she heard from a few, “I’m traveling to Fort Laramie to seek my father and aunt and I fear that I’m off course.” “You Sure are, young lady. . . Way off,” said a tall man wearing a slouch hat. He took it on himself to tell her where she’ll have to go to head for the fort. “But,” he said, “While you are here, please help use celebrate Independence Day.” He pointed to the rock and told her that was what is called Independence Rock. “We aim to be here on July fourth. That helps us to know we are on course. You should climb on it and see the thousands of names of those who have passed through here. In fact, Miss Amrose, you can carve your name or names on it too.”
Promise felt welcome from the emigrants. Children hung on to her, feeling her doeskin and her beaded belt. They admired her knife with the elf antler handle and went on touching her scalp lock and feathers.
By afternoon, fires were built up and wild game were put on skewers over fires while older boys turned the handles on the skewers to turn the meat to cook. The men were sounding more boastful as a jug or two were passed around. Women prepared food to go with the meat. Shots were being fired, smell of gun powder hung in the air. The Fourth of July celebration was on. Soon, fiddles were being played. Women were grabbed to dance around the fire. Their dresses stirred up dust but no one cared more but to laugh at the joy of fun. Children Chased each other, playing tag, while Moon was in the middle of them. Promise set back and enjoyed watching the festivity. When food was ready, the Wagon Master bowed his head with hat in hand and gave thanks for their safe journeys. “For America’s freedom may all men be of one, God Bless America!”, he declared. More shots rang out. Fiddlers got louder while singing and laughter was shared by all.
Under one of the wagons, Promise laid on her bed roll with a tired Moon beside her. She then spoke to her mother in heaven. “Celebrated with strangers, this Fourth of July, out in the middle of nowhere by a huge, long rock, was wonderful, Mother I pray God protects them with rest of their journey.”
How would this scenario change Promise’s life if it had happened?
Read “Yellow Star” by Judy A. King and find out!