1870: The Blackfoot Writer

“Ellie!” I jumped in my chair as my best friend Elizabeth barged in the door.
“There’s a gathering at James’s house tonight, everyone will be there. We have to go!” My best friend since 3rd grade, had brown hair, brown eyes and was a little taller than I. She was never capable of resisting a social gathering. She was the complete opposite of me. Elizabeth always pushed me to make new friends and be a bit of a rebel, but I always enjoyed the comfort of my quiet room. When I was 14 she convinced me to skip church with her and instead go to the creek instead. Then at 15, she stole gum from the local grocery store, and had me lie for her to her parents…
“Ellie! Would you stop daydreaming and writing in that dumb journal, and pay attention to me?”
“When is it?”
“Tonight! After sundown.”
“Elizabeth, we will never be able to convince our parents to let us go, besides I’d rather stay here, I still have to finish reading Romans 4.”
“C’mon Ellie you can stop reading for one night! Please…please come with me! We can sneak out, after dark.”
“Elizabeth… I don’t think it’s a good idea, but I’ll go”
“Yes! Here’s the plan, after sundown, be watching out your window, when you see me, climb out and we’ll be back just after midnight.”
“Ok, deal.”
Unlike most 17 year olds, I spent my Saturday watching the small children during church. Sitting in the chair I remembered my childhood. Most children played with toys, outside and colored-not I. As soon as I was able to read and write, I kept a diary of small stories and sketches. My father wanted me to be a doctor and my mother just agreed with him to make her life easier. Writing had been and always would be my dream.
“New York seems like the perfect place to be a writer! I could write articles in the New York Times, or publish a book there!…And there’s plenty of things to write about there! Stuff is always happening.”
Elizabeth looked at me as if I was loosing my mind.
“Ellie, you’ve gotta be kidding me.” I stared at her with a blank expression.
“I know you better than you know yourself, and you hate anything crowed, and people! New York is a big City, very crowded, and has a ton of people! Besides, you hate the cold.”
“I can learn to get used to it! And must I add I don’t hate the cold, I just dislike it.”
“Ellie whenever it snows here or gets cold, you bundle up and turn into a cotton ball with arms!”
“Okay well, when y’all get hypothermia don’t ask me for a spare jacket…Cause I’ll be wearing them all.”
Elizabeth giggled, proceeded to roll her eyes, and walked to the kitchen.
While standing just before the doorway of my fathers office, I repeated in my head what I was going to say. Before I came downstairs I had practiced in my room for the past hour what I would say to him. You’d think that being a good writer would make it easy to know what to say to your own father. Unfortunately nothing prepared me to tell my father his lifelong dream of me being a Doctor wasn’t going to happen. I took a deep breath and entered the office.
“Yes dear?”
“May I have a moment to talk with you?”
“Well, certainly.”
“I’ve been thinking about being a doctor or being a writer, and being a writer has always been my dream. And I know it’s not what you want, but it’s what makes me happy. Nothing you can say will change my mind. I’m going to New York and taking my chances.”
“Ellie, dear, I want what is in your best interest. I realize that for years I’ve struggled to accept your passion for writing cause you do it so well. But New York is a long ways from home.”
“I’ll take Elizabeth with me! We can stay together! This is really what I want!”
“You may go, but you must keep in touch, and please find a church to attend, and remember to let God lead you.
“I will father! I Promise!”
That went way easier than I thought, Elizabeth and I had agreed on going together a day later. She convinced her parents that she was going to be a nurse at the best school in New York. Which didn’t take her parents long to say yes, too.
I walked into a diner on the corner of Spring Street. Elizabeth got a job as a waitress there and I had a job at the The New York Times as an article editor. We shared a small apartment with a large window overlooking the city. New York was a wonderful place and yes I grew to accept the large amounts of people and extreme cold. We had live here for a year so far. Elizabeth was dating someone and I had no interest in dating at this moment. I sat down to fill out a post card to my family back in Alabama. Postcards were the new thing, they came out in October and were very nice. On them was a picture, and on the back you were able to write a small note to whoever you were sending it too.
As I looked up from my Newspaper I caught a young man staring at me. I told myself to look away but I couldn’t. He had light brown hair, hazel eyes and a gentle smile. While I only had blonde hair and blue eyes. Oh no! He’s standing up, wait, is he coming over here?! I began to panic.
“Excuse me miss, may I sit here?”
“umm…sure, I mean yes!”
To think I was just telling myself I had no interest in dating and now I’m letting a man sit with me?
“My name is Carter…Carter Johnson. You?”
“Oh…I’m Ellie Fieldman.”
“Well miss Fieldman where are you from?”
“I’m from a small town in Alabama.”
“Ahh…I grew up in Montana, enlisted in the forces and am here in New York on a leave.”
“Really?! That’s amazing! I came here with my best friend to be a writer.”
“Would you like to go out sometime how about tomorrow night?”
“I would love that.”
“See you tomorrow night Miss Fieldman.”
If I must tell you Carter and I fell madly in love with each other. He met my parents and I still had yet to meet his. My father loved him because his dream was to become a doctor after the war.
“Ellie Fieldman?”
“Yes Carter?”
As he bent down on one knee I knew what was about to happen, I screamed inside as he pulled out the small black box from his jacket pocket.
“Will you marry me?”

Carter was called out on a mission to serve under Major Eugene Baker. I didn’t know little details except something about revenge on a group of people who killed Clarke, a white man who traded horses or something like that.
Three months later on the news I heard about a group of soldiers that killed closed to 200 people mainly women and children. Along the Marias River in Montana. They were from a tribe called the Piegan Indians. My heart dropped to my stomach and thought of how heart broken the survivors would be and the families of those killed, especially being children. I prayed for them and asked God to be with them. I also prayed that Carter would be safe and would guide my life just as I promised my father I would. Then I remembered Carter would arrive home tomorrow which kept me happy.
“So can you tell me anything about the mission?”
I was always curious about the war, which is something you can always write about. From personal stories of the soldiers to bigger events or political things.
“Nope, I’m sworn to secrecy.”
“Really not one thing?”
“I was in Montana. That’s all I can say. Now let’s go…”
“…you mean you were a soldier that killed those women and children?”
“How did you know about that? It was publicized at all?!”
“A small article was written about it but they decided not to publish it, but I was still asked to edit it.”
“Don’t worry about it Ellie. I was just doing my job.”
“You killed almost 200 women and children over some stupid revenge! Over one man!… Children just little children you killed them!”
“It was my job I couldn’t disobey.”
That day I broke off my engagement to Carter Johnson. I found out that he choose to be a part of that mission knowing what might happen. It broke my heart to leave because I loved him so much.
It’s been 4 years since the Blackfoot, and since I left Carter. After a year I saw nothing written about it. I published a book about it and won an award for a best seller. My dream of having a book published and my name as the author came true. I’m also now the owner of my own library. I quit my job at the New York Times, my last article was about Ada Kepley, she became the first female law graduate on June 30. It was a big milestone for women and I was honored to publish it. For years I prayed that God would lead my life and I would always depend on him. I always remembered to keep that promise to my father. The lord has blessed me and guided me way beyond my understanding.
If I may also add Elizabeth got married to James the guy from the gathering. They have two children and she is a nurse at a local hospital. We both still live in New York and keep in touch, in February a month after the Blackfoot, we went and saw the first motion picture in Philadelphia. It was great! And yes she still makes me do ridiculous things out of my comfort zone. Just last week she set me up on a blind date with a guy who is obsessed with tomatoes. I hate tomatoes!