(Originally published under the title of Brave Buffalo Fighter: Waditaka Tatanka Kisisohitika)
"I don't want to die," I screamed. "I don't want any of us to die!"
Jerry slapped me real hard. "Don't tell me we finally made a pioneer woman out of mamma only to discover we've got a crybaby in the family," he said.
Mamma looked at me. I thought for sure she would be furious with Jerry for slapping me but she wasn't.
"Your brother did the right thing," she said. And Susan, if you must die, we expect you to die with the bravery and dignity of a Parker."
I was so astonished I forgot to be afraid. If mamma had said the bravery and dignity of a Harris, that wouldn't have surprised me at all. I didn't understand the real significance of it until Papa spoke.
"Thank you, dear," he said. "This family is closer together right now than we have ever been in our lives. No matter what happens I shall be eternally grateful to you and God for this moment."
Papa said I could look over the breastworks until the attack began. He just sat beside Mamma holding hands with her and not speaking as they looked into each other's eyes.
I saw the chief riding up and down on his white horse in front of his line of men . . . Then he raised his lance and brought it down. From the throat of all the warriors came the bloodcurdling war cry as they charged!
The Parker family leaves their home of St. Joseph, Missouri to join a wagon train west to Fort Laramie, Wyoming . Unused to pioneer life, all except Jerry are shocked by its hardships and challenges. Twelve-year-old Jerry, however, thrives on the freedom and the demands of the journey and is prepared, when the call comes, to sacrifice much for the sake of all.
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