Avonaco & Dolly Fess Up

Avonaco & Dolly Fess Up

As she walked through the fields, her heart was pounding. Would she be able to go through with it when she saw Avonaco? Would she have the courage to tell him that they couldn’t spend time together anymore and that she would get someone else from the tribe to continue to teach her how to read? Maybe one of the elders or Dakotah.

Then, she remembered how Avonaco reacted when he found out that she had been talking to Dakotah. It had been very obvious that he didn’t approve. And he had even told her that it was unwise for her to be alone with Dakotah or any of the other men. But who could she get to teach her? None of the women spoke English. What was she going to do?

When she reached where she knew he would be sometimes, he was there. Her heart skipped a beat and intense heat coursed through her body when she saw that he was half-naked. “I-I got to talk to you,” she said. She could hardly think straight with her heart beating so fast. The breeze was blowing his long, black hair. It wasn’t so hot, standing in the shade.

“I have to talk to you too.”

“What about?” she wondered.

“You tell me first what you want to talk to me about.”

She wrung her hands. “I don’t think you should teach me to read anymore.”

“I agree.”

She stared at him, crestfallen. She had expected him to object or to insist that he continued to teaching her but not for him to agree with her. “Why do you agree?” she demanded. “Don’t you want to teach me no more?”

Any more,” he promptly corrected her.

“Why don’t you want to teach me anymore?”

“I think it would be best if I did not.”

“Best for you?”

“Best for both of us.”

“Why is it best for both of us?”

“You know why.”

“Do I?” she challenged. It occurred to her that she was being foolish but she couldn’t help being upset that he seemed so eager to stop teaching her. Was it because he had gotten tired of doing it? Was it because of Eyota? Did she have a problem with him teaching the runaway slave woman and wanted him to let someone else do it? Was he no longer going to teach her to please Eyota? Had he decided to marry Eyota? The thought pained her. “Is Eyota the reason why you won’t teach me no-any more?”

He looked surprised. “Eyota?”

“Yes. Did she tell you not to teach me anymore?”

His expression hardened. “No one tells me what to do,” he informed her.

“Are you going to marry her?”

“You asked me if I was going to marry her, Chepi or Hateya.”

“Dakotah said you should choose Eyota.”

“And you said that I should marry the one I love.”

“And you tole me that you didn’t love any of them.”

“You said that marriage will not be based on love but on a partnership.”

“I asked you if you would marry for love and you said that you believe that people should marry for love.”

“Who are you goin’ to marry–Chepi, Eyota or Hateya?”

“Which one do you think I should marry?”

She turned away. “I–I don’t know.”

“Do you want me to marry one of them?”

She closed her eyes. “No,” she admitted. “I don’t want you to marry one of them or all three.”

“All three?”

“Yes, Dakotah said that you could have three wives if you want to.”

“I do not want three wives.”

She could sense that he was standing behind her and her breath caught in her throat when she felt his hands on her shoulders. “How-how many wives do you want?”

“Only one.”

“Eyota?”

“No.” He turned her around so that she was facing him. “You.”

Her eyes widened. “Me?”

“I want to marry for love too.”

Her mouth dropped open. “You mean…?”

“Yes, Dolly. I love you.”

“Avonaco…” She could hardly believe it but he loved her.

“Do you love me?”

She nodded vigorously. “Yes, I love you and…”

The rest of her words were smothered by his lips.