Set up: As you've already read, Grace's family has been attacked by a small war party and killed. In this scene, she's been taken back to the camp of Chief Lone Eagle and his tribe:
Lone Eagle crossed the compound in search of his son. Nearing his mother’s lodge, raised voices came from a crowd gathered at the far end of the village. He quickened his pace toward the commotion, thoughts of finding Little Cloud lost.
Six young warriors rode into camp—their faces and horses painted for war. Shock and confusion jolted Lone Eagle at seeing his nephew, Little Elk, among them. Where had the group been? He had no idea they’d left the village. He shoved his way through the throng.
His gaze shifted to the white woman tethered and stumbling behind the Appaloosa of his nephew’s closest friend, Black Crow. Each faltering step testified to her exhaustion. She struggled to
remain standing. Her chin lifted momentarily, and she looked directly at Lone Eagle. Long blonde hair hung in matted strands. Her blue eyes, barely visible beneath the dirty tresses, were wide
with fright. One sleeve of her soiled dress hung in tatters down her arm, and crimson chafe marks marred her wrists. Raw and weeping red spots peeked through the veil of dust on her bare feet.
Rage burned within Lone Eagle. He stood in the path of Black Crow’s horse and raised his hand. “As your Chief, I demand to know what you have done.”
The band dismounted. Little Elk came forward, pride shining in his eyes. “My uncle, we rode together to make war against the whites. We have brought a captive as evidence.”
Lone Eagle’s icy glare spanned the young braves. He stepped closer to Little Elk and leaned in until they were almost nose-to nose. “Your chest puffs with pride, but your actions were foolish.” He fought the urge to shake some sense into his nephew and knotted his fists at his sides. “How dare you decide something without advice of Tribal Council! You have no right to put the tribe at risk of war. By bringing a wasichu captive to our camp, you place our people in danger and bring shame upon yourselves.”
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Rhobin Lee Courtright