|We watched them dance. I was holding my breath.
I looked at the captain and could see the flames of the campfire dancing in his eyes. He had his mouth open. He looked ten years old.
“Look at them!” he hissed.
I restrained myself from shushing him.
“They dance in the fire's rhythm!” he continued.
I put my hand on his left sleeve and nodded to the side of his face. His eyes were steady on the scene below.
“They dance with the fire, and to it.”
I looked down the hill to see what he was seeing. He was right. The men—maybe fifty in number, golden brown and naked, hunched their backs and curled and rose in the fire's reflection. Long sinewy arms reached up and then retreated as unseen drums beat a slow steady rhythm.
“The drums are rain drops,” the captain said.
If he was talking to anybody, I didn't feel it was me.
The gold braid on his uniform caught the light of the fire below. I squeezed his arm and still he wouldn't look over.
The men circled the flames of the fire-pit as the woman sat with young wide-eyed children along the outside edge. Dogs approached the three hissing buffalo carcases atop the fire's coals and instantly the dogs were sent scampering out of the ring only to return again sniffing the air, their tails between their legs.
“We got to go now, Captain!” I finally said.
He looked at me sadly and nodded his head. He nodded to the boy on his left and the man raised his silver bugle and sounded the charge
We went down the hill firing. They all ran, but not far.
© Copyright 2010 Winchester Jones (UN: ty.gregory at Writing.Com).
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