Saturday, August 29, 2009

Scene 30

Myron is watching Charlene swing her way to the women’s bathroom. She disappears behind a divider. Sighing, Myron turns back to his beer.

Little Turtle has materialized in Charlene’s seat.

“Jesus!” gasps Myron.

The Indian nods.

Myron looks dully around the table. “Where did you come from!”

“My Indian name is Mishiekonga. You know me as Little Turtle.”

“What?” Myron claws back through the alcohol to something like a clear head. He remembers something. “Hey. Yeah, you’re an actor. You’re that guy from the reenactment.”

“That is where we met, so to speak.”

“Is this your hobby? You dress up and pretend to be some famous chief.”

Little Turtle shrugs.

“But what,” asks Myron, “are you doing here?”

“We have come to see you.”

“Oh, you have.” Myron cranes his neck to see if Charlene has emerged from behind the divider.

“She’s going to be back here any minute, Chief.”

Little Turtle is unmoved.

Myron turns away from him. “Come on. Go find some other--”

“You are full of anguish.”

Myron looks at the Indian.

“There has been a betrayal. Yes? The men you worked for. They are brothers.”


“You have been mistreated, you seek redress.” Little Turtle picks up one of Charlene’s cigarettes and lights it. “Ecch,” he says. “Menthol.”

LT stabs the cigarette out and waves at the smoke. “Listen to me, Myron.”

“How do you know my name?”

The Indian shrugs. “I know things.”

Myron drains his beer.

“I know your heart,” says Little Turtle. “You wish to right wrongs.”

“These jerks marched in and bought things up. The company where I worked, and nearly everything else in my town.” Myron gestures grandly. “Wanton theft. Even if they did pay cash.” Myron looks at the Indian.

“What do I call you. Injun Joe?”


“Misheh--. I’m drunk. Mish. That’s all I can handle.”

“You are dispossessed.”

“Mish. You’re a clever one. You have the lingo down. Blinky would love you.” Myron leans in on him. “I’m telling you, they’re still at it.”

“These brothers.”

“They will not rest. No.They want it all.”

“I know the story,” offers Mishiekonga.

“I bet you do.”

“Treaties. Pledges. Promises.”

“That’s right,” agrees Myron. “At first, what do you do, you go along. You cooperate with them. Because they make assurances. You believe them.” Myron is pleased with the sound of his story.

“But then they betray you,” adds the Indian. “And you resist.”

“You’re damn right you do.”

“We resisted bravely. We did not surrender for a long time. We shed blood. We defied them.”

“That’s better than I did.”

“We stalked St. Clair’s army. 1791. We ambushed them in the woods. We filled them with terror, Mr. Myron. The screaming. They ran headlong, afraid, but we caught them. We killed them among the oaks. We cut them down. We peeled their scalps. We butchered them.”

“Who are you, really?” asks Myron.

“And later Wayne butchered us.”

Little Turtle takes a drink of Charlene’s whiskey sour.

“I sought peace.” He looks at the drink. “Firewater. But fruity,” says Mish.

Myron is stupefied.

“Defeat followed victory. Ah, the indignities. I was lucky enough to die before they relocated us. But later my grave was defiled. Two men digging a basement in Fort Wayne, Indiana disturbed my grave. They played with my bones. They sold my effects.”

“When was that,” says Myron, a little flatly.

“1911,” answers Little Turtle. “Fort Wayne. Think of it. My ancestral home, renamed for my foe. The man who vanquished me. The humiliation.”

Myron leans in toward the Indian. “We’re not going to let them get away with it, Mish!” Then he says, “I’m going to run for office. Or get appointed, or something.”

“Here is what I have to tell you, Myron.”


“The righting of wrongs. The redress. Forget it.”

“What do you mean,” says Myron.

“Cut the best deal you can, and figure it won’t last.”

LT motions with his eyes. “She’s coming back.”

Myron looks back toward the restrooms. Poof, the Indian disappears. Myron turns back around, and he’s looking at an empty chair. “Jesus!”

Charlene is walking back to the table.

LT reappears down on the bar level, at the video poker machine.

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