Andie’s mouth fell open. She and the others gasped and backed up. The biggest Indian picked Charlie up by his shirt. He said something that none of the children could make out. Ethanael clenched his fists. “How dare those Indians hurt my brother!” He waded through the shallow water up to the Indians. With hands shaking and a pounding heart, Ethanael stood up to the Indians and said in a creaky voice, “Let him go! He’s my brother!”
One of the Indians smirked. "Wie denkt u dat u bent? Ieder van u... mannen white uhen meisje met ons gaan!" He said in Native American.
Ethanael looked up at him as if he were crazy. “Huh? What did you say? I speak no Indian. Just white man’s tongue.”
Mark glared at him, “And leave Charlie up with them?! No way I would leave, even if Charlie is sometimes mean!”
Ethanael blushed with embarrassment at leaving his older brother. He said nothing. Fred suddenly jumped into action, “Boys,” he said, “I know that at your age you are going to want to save Charlie, fight the Indians, and run home. But, well, there are at least five big Indians over there and five kids aren’t....well, we wouldn’t last long with fighting. Besides, those Indians have weapons, and what do we have in our defense? I say we need to obey them for now, and then maybe we’ll have a chance to escape.”
“But-“ Ethanael started, but then he stopped as David gave him a “Obey-your-elders” look.
“Sure.” Said David, “That’s a good idea. We don’t want to-“
“Hurry, you white men! We are waiting!” Shouted the tall Indian from the bank of the creek. “Do you want us to fire our arrows?!”
Fred gathered up the children and called, “No, friend, do not worry. We are coming!” The group splashed through the water once again to the bank. Charlie stood with the Indians, trembling. For once Andie felt sorry for him.
“You,” Said the tall Indian to Fred, “You man, you are too old for us. These children,” He said, pointing to Charlie, Ethanael, Andie, David, and Mark, “Are going with us. They can become Indians like us. But you,” He pointed to Fred, “You cannot become Indian. You too old. The young can marry and be a part of our tribe. We will tie you up to this tree so you cannot follow us. When you do get free, go straight home! If you don’t we will kill all the children, hear me?”
Fred’s face turned red and he glared at the Indian. “I will not allow you to take the children! Take me, I-“
The tall Indian pulled out his spear. “Be quiet! You are staying here, and if you follow us, you all will die! The children are safe with us, we will not harm them.” He and a younger Indian not much older than David grabbed some rope. They made Fred sit down and they tied him tight to a tree.
“Be good.” Fred whispered as they tied him. “Take care of Mark, David. And don’t do anything dumb.”
David nodded, his eyes filling with tears. “God be with you, big brother.”
Fred smiled. “God be with you. You’re the one who...never mind.”
Andie looked at the brothers and realized that they might never see each other again. Andie thought of herself. All her sisters were far away at the creek. Charlie has Ethanael, David has Mark, but who do I have? She looked up at the sky. God. She whispered.