Friday, August 10, 2007


At breakfast everyone was too curious about Boeing's swollen and blackening eye to notice that Diana was only picking at her food. Uncharacteristically, Boeing had no convoluted story about what had happened and only muttered something about a low branch in the dark. Coyote, all innocence, offered to go into the woods with a hatchet and cut a few tree limbs. Sachi fussed about sympathetically, darting the occasional look at Will to see if he noticed.

Will was more concerned with helping Diana hide her nausea. Seeing that she was able to nibble a tortilla with no ill effects, he gave her an extra one of his. Finally Diana stood up, mumbling something about having eaten enough, and began walking back toward their tent. After motioning for Will to stay put, Amalia went after her.

Will helped himself to more coffee, trying to ignore the way Sachi was looking at him.

"That wife of yours going to be at practice this morning?" she asked.

"I expect she will."

"Has she been practicing?"

"I don't know."

Sachi turned to Boeing. "I bet she hasn't."

"We'll see," Boeing said.

"Maybe she's good enough she don't need much practice," Coyote offered.

"There's no such thing. You've got to practice to be any good." She turned to Will. "Isn't that right?"

"Practice is important," he agreed, getting to his feet. "If you don’t got any natural talent." He walked away, leaving Sachi staring after him in annoyance.

He found Diana in Amalia's tent, sipping a straw-colored liquid from a tin cup. "Ginger," Amalia explained. "It settles the stomach."

"You feeling a little better?"

Diana shrugged. "I guess so. I don't know if I can drink all of this, though."

"Just do your best," Amalia said. "Your body will tell you how much you need."

"How long before I quit feeling this way?"

"It should pass in another few minutes or so. How long did the nausea last the other times?"

"That's not what I meant."

"Oh." Amalia shook her head. "I think you'll stop getting sick in another few weeks, but maybe you should ask Macy or Cascabel. I could get the midwife, if you want."

"No." Diana set the cup down and looked from Amalia to Will. "I'm sure she knows her business, but I don't want everyone knowing about this. Not yet. I'm not ready."

Will took her hand. "We won't tell anyone until you think we should."

Amalia agreed. "That woman in town is such a gossip, we should keep her out of this if we can."

"The girls might brutal when they find out," Will said.

"I don't think they'd be extra hard on her. If anything, it might settle them down a bit."

"That's just what I don't want," Diana said. She reached for the cup and took another sip. "I'd rather they hate me than pity me."

"They don't hate you." Will patted her hand.

"Sachi seems to."

Will looked away. "She asked if you would be at practice this morning."

Diana studied him. "I'm ready."

1 comment:

Alice Audrey said...

But what did Coyote do? Must have really been something to be so effective on Boeing.