It was a beautiful autumn day in 1863 as Alexander Ramsey walked to his office. The Governor of Minnesota was feeling uneasy today, his political future seemed assured and with the weight of the President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln supporting him he should have been in the best of moods, but there was something deep in the back of his mind that wouldn't let this be.
He had succeeded in driving the Dakota Indians out of their land, and had hung thirty-eight of them in the largest mass execution in United States history. The rest had been imprisoned or died from starvation. All the land east of the Mississippi now belonged to the white-man.
His next move would be to rid Minnesota of the Ojibwe Indians. For this he had the promise of Lincoln to rid Minnesota of all Indians, either by killing them or pushing them further west. He wanted the rich forests of northern Minnesota and he would have it.
His thoughts turned to his future, he would become a powerful player in United States politics, but first he had to rid the land of the Ojibwe, then he would be the ruler of Minnesota, and who knew how powerful he would become. Yet there was something that was bothering him as he entered his office.
Miles away a lone figure stood on the lush banks of the Mississippi river. A man with vengeance on his mind and he would not be denied. Alexander Ramsey had become the hunted.
Ramsey had called for a meeting with General Winthrope and Winthrope had ridden to the Governors mansion to meet with Ramsey. Fort Snelling was the home of the U.S. Army and Ramsey was going to lay out his plan to Winthrope to rid Minnesota of the Ojibwe.
Winthrope walked into Ramsey office smug in the fact that he had helped destroy the Dakota a few short months before. He and Ramsey had ambitions that spread far beyond Minnesota. Neither knowing that something far more deadly would cross their path.
As Ramsey laid out his idea's of getting rid of the Ojibwe, Winthrope warned him that they were a powerful people with a reputation of being fierce warriors. They had defeated the mighty Sioux and Iroquois nations and would defend their land against all intruders. The deeply forested lands in the north was their home it would be difficult to drive them out of it.
Ramsey tells Winthrope. ''General, you know that when we succeed in killing the Ojibwe that we will control millions of acres of the best forest land in the country, then you and I will be hailed as heros''. As they laughed over this they had no knowledge that their time was much shorter then they thought. Death hovered on the banks of the Mississippi.
Ramsey was enjoying supper that night with his wife and children, giving no thought to the hundreds of Dakota that he had had killed. All he remembered was the mass public execution of the Dakota and that Lincoln was supporting him. He was a hero, and soon he would be a bigger hero as he opened the vast forests of the north to white settlers.
Yet as he dreamed of the future a chill ran through him, he didn't know what it was and laughed it off. There was no laughing off death, yet he didn't know that it was hunting him, soon he would find out that wanton killing had a price.
The lone figure got closer to the city intent on his prey, Ramsey.
Alexander Ramsey would walk to his office from his home every morning, he would have two bodyguards with him at all times. He would return home in the evening the same way. Secure in the fact that he was a hero, and his bodyguards would protect him from what, nothing, he was a hero no one would try to harm him. The guards were there to keep the crowds away from him. After all there were just citizens, many uneducated and he didn't want to trouble himself with this rabble.
On Friday evening he had stayed late at his office, his wife would be angry with him if he was late for supper. Gathering up some papers he called to his bodyguards that he was ready to head home.
As they walked west from his office the streets seemed strangely deserted. The sun was setting and the beauty of a Minnesota fall combined with the blazing sunset made him smile. A smile that soon would turn to terror.
Ahead the guards noticed four large dogs on the wooden sidewalk. Ramsey saw them and thought that they seemed to be very large for street mongrel's. He didn't notice the flashing yellow eyes as they moved towards the guards.
Henry, one of the guards pulled out his night stick to shoo the dogs away but they kept moving towards him. Funny he thought, most of the street mongrel's will run away. Then he noticed that the dogs had large manes with huge heads, their paws were massive, these are not dogs. It was to be his last thought before death took him. The beasts hurled themselves at the guards, fangs flashing in the setting sun, their huge bodies crashing into Henry sending him to the ground, he looked into the face of evil as their fangs sunk into his throat cutting off his screams.
Jake the other guard turned and tried to run but the beasts were on him, ripping his flesh from his body, showing no mercy they savaged both guards until no life remained.
Alexander Ramsey stood terrified, to terrified to run. Blood was everywhere as the beasts feasted on their kills. Ramsey was screaming for help, yet there was no one on the street to help him.
From the shadows behind the beasts came a figure. The sun setting behind him gave him a eerie look. Tall, with paint streaking his bronze face and body, red and black paint, the Ojibwe colors for war and death. Bear claws hung around his neck, his long black hair tied into two braids. In his hand was a savage looking weapon. The weapon of the Ojbiwe, the deadly bagamaagan, (ballhead war club), three feet long with a carved ball with the wolfs face carved into it. It was made of hard maple and handed down to him from his father, Thunder Water.
Alexander Ramsey was looking into the face of death in the form of Stone Hand and the Ghost Wolves. They were the protectors and vengeance seekers of the Ojibwe people.
Ramsey cried out as Stone Hand brought the bagamaagan high above his head, swinging the bagamaagan with all his strength, it crashed into Ramsey's head, splitting it open. He staggered backward, blood pouring from his wound. Stone Hand stepped forward a brought the weapon down on Ramsey again and again until he lay on wooden sidewalk, his blood staining the wood as his life ended.
Stone Hand looked down on Ramsey body. He was no longer a powerful man, he was a dead man. One that had paid for his greed with his life.
Stone Hand would let Winthrope live..Live in fear for the rest of his life, never feeling safe from the wrath of Vengeance Seekers.
Kavika 2013, all rights reserved.