The Papoose of Saddleback Camp

By Tommyhawk1@AOL.COM
Artwork (c) 2007 by Eduardo.

Illustration of Papoose/Camp

It was a solemn assembly of the men of Saddleback Camp that cold January day of 1852. Snow had gripped the mountains months ago and now covered everything with six inches of cotton-like flakes that made the tree branches droop like they were crying. The squirrels were curled around with their noses buried in their fluffy tails, the geese had fled south, the elk was stepping gingerly from copse to copse in search of food, but to the men of this company, the snowfall was nothing. They had laid in winter supplies before the snows had closed the roads to travel and it didn't even end their digging for gold in this camp, for they had struck a rich vein the summer before and now had a sizeable tunnel into the mountains that they mined together in an impromptu company, each man pulling for himself what he could from the diggings. Twenty-three men were now gathered at the tunnel's mouth, for they had to decide what to do about the Papoose.

The Papoose had come with his mother the summer before, and their arrival had heralded the strike. Not that Shawnee Sal had been so much of a surprise, for there were women who clung to these mountains, eking out their living by providing to the men of the camps with the female companionship that young men, no matter where they are, crave and desire. Her claim to be Shawnee Indian in ancestry was very much in dispute, for her face and language spoke richly of a heritage that owed more to the Rio Grande than to the Snake River. But no man was foolish enough to challenge her claim for fear that she would thereafter deprive them of her services.

Shawnee Sal had been moving among the gold camps for more than a decade and her son, actual name unknown but commonly known as "the Papoose," had become a fixture of his own about the camp. He was a sturdy, tumblebug of a lad, perhaps six or seven years of age when Shawnee Sal had first appeared. The Papoose's skin was several shades lighter than his mother's, the shade of well-tanned leather instead of his mother's desert-rock complexion, but his hair was the same thick black lustrous mop and his eyes were black sparkling pearls and his smile shone like the fresh-fallen snow even in the hot summer. He had always been hanging about, eager to spend his time with the men, helping them here and there, and no matter how weary a man was at the end of his digging, he could not help but devote a few minutes of time playing a game of kick-ball with the Papoose, while his comrades went in to his mother for their own games of a much more adult nature. Now he was near a man and if this camp hadn't already made its compact before they'd arrived, may well have been one of the miners working this tunnel in company. As it was, he hunted and fished and made a few coins selling his catches to the miners for their cookpots, saving his money and waiting out the winter with them when he could maybe strike out for his own claim at last.

But the snows had come, and Shawnee Sal had fallen prey a half dozen days ago to a fever that had carried her off the night before. The Papoose had been the one who had come to tell them that his mother lay cold and unmoving under her blankets and he had watched with somber, unwatered eyes as these men used the same shovels and pickaxes they used on the rock to clear the snow and dig his mother a grave, to pile upon the mount a good set of rocks and over all that a layer of snow, and Shawnee Sal could now rest in her death in a manner that she had never been able to rest in life. Afterward, he had thanked them all solemnly, then walked back to his shelter. Unlike the miners, he resided in a tent and the men had all nodded at each other; the Papoose could not survive a mountain winter in such a flimsy shelter. Somethnig had to be done about the Papoose.

The twenty-three men of this camp had each built a small cabin for themselves, the most typical (but the term is self-defeating in any collection of individuals) being some ten feet by eight feet, big enough to hold their bedding, a box for their sundries, a fireplace built of rock cut from their tunnel to cook in and to warm their shacks, and not much else. So they had gathered in the one place that they all could, a small cavern not far from the mouth of their cave, a fire in the middle of it made it bearable for the meeting and lit the faces with a reddish, flickering tint that gave them all the seeming of demons in conclave.

"We have to do something about the Papoose." Carving James told the assemblage without much more preamble. "Little fellow can't stay in his mother's place all alone, and that place isn't fit for the heavy snows anyhow. Question is, what are we going to do for him?"

"We could build up his place." Jeff Jimmers suggested. "Shawnee Sal should have put a proper roof over that place at least, snows are going to knock it down for sure when it gets to a blizzard."

"That's no answer for the Papoose." argued Carving James. "Kid needs someone to take care of him still, just lost his mother, all alone, he'll slit his own throat out of loneliness. He's with us until the spring thaws, so like it or not, one of us is going to have to play his Daddy and stay with him until March."

It developed that nobody wanted to care for the Papoose on top of working all day in the mines. They argued about it and it finally was decided that they'd each give up, in turn, one day of work to stay in their cabin and care for the Papoose. He would migrate from cabin to cabin each evening with his small bundle of belongings, and it would be up to his new caretaker to deal with him nonstop until the following evening.

That left only how to decide who got him first. Carving James agreed to handle the Papoose for the first evening and day, and the men then set about to cut the cards. They agreed on the rules of bridge, with clubs lowest, then diamonds then hearts then spades, and so with the cards thus arranged in clear superior order, the men all drew a card, praying the deuce of clubs would grace their hand.

Whistling Jake found himself with the Queen of Spades, and he prayed that someone had pulled her husband, but he was hiding in the deck, probably nuzzling with the Jack of Diamonds, that ugly old bugger, so Jake was going to have to give up a day of digging on the richest goldurned claim in these mountains. That vein was going to give out sooner or later (they all do) and every day digging meant more gold in his pouch. But hell, they wouldn't have to draw again until near the end of February, and maybe he'd draw a club then and manage to stay out of the duty again until the snows cleared and the Papoose could be packed down the mountain and dumped in a town where he belonged.

Carving James was waiting for Jake when he came out of the tunnel, standing in that same anteroom where the meeting of the night before. "Well, here he is." He said to Jake. "He's yours until this time tomorrow night, Whistling Jake." He stopped and his mouth worked, and he said, "Unless you don't want to take him. I could take him again tonight, if'n you feel he'll be a bother."

Now this was something to be hearing! Carving James was the most practical man in the world, he'd been the one to set up their communal dig, as the tunnel started on his claim and he'd shown his practicality when the vein had promptly gone under and into his neighbor's claim and now was into the next man in line's claim if Jake had it figured right. A charitable act that in fact was making Carving James a lot richer than if he'd clung to his own claim alone.

Knowing that, Jake said laconically, "Naw, Carving James, I 'preciate it much, but I reckon I'll cool my heels tomorry and mebbe dig a little on Sunday to make up for it. 'Preciate it, though."

Carving James' mouth worked like he wanted to say more and couldn't make himself say it. Then he turned and walked off, leaving the Papoose with Jake. Jake looked into the pretty, almost angelic face beaming at him and said, "Well, come on, Papoose, you and me are bunkies for tonight, I reckon."

"Great!" the Papoose grabbed Whistling Jake's grubby hand and hauled him off toward his cabin.

Jake whistled (he did that every time something unusual was going on, it was how he'd earned his moniker, the way Carving James had earned it by his relaxation-time hobby of carving small objects out of odd pieces of wood), and said, "Looks like there's a real blizzard blowing up."

"Yeah, Uncle Jimmy says that he thinks we'll have to stay indoors the next two-three days." the Papoose grinned at Jake. "So you might have me longer than you think!"

Jake groaned. He didn't want this youngster with him to begin with (he didn't hate the kid, but a ten-by-eight cabin isn't roomy for one man, and in a blizzard.... And why did Carving James act so dejected at his refusal to let him keep the Papoose? Two or three nights? Ee-yow!

The Papoose looked around his cabin when he got inside and got the lantern lit. "You got a table and chair, too!"

"Yep." Jake agreed.

"Can I sit in the chair? Can I? Huh?"

Jake considered that the Papoose, living in camp after camp all his life, might well have not even seen a real chair very often. A man needs a place to sleep, he needs a way to eat, a way to wash his clothes. But a chair...a fellow can do without it if he has to, and the camps were a place to do without anything but absolute essentials. "Go ahead, sit your ass off there."

The Papoose jumped onto the chair and sat there, his legs dangling for it had been built for Jake's taller, larger frame, and he watched while Jake built up the fire in the cabin from the coals of the morning and when the fire was going well, he heated water for himself to bathe himself with. He usually just washed his face and hands, but the Papoose ought to learn that a man should stay as clean as possible, so he was going to set an example here. When the water (which had been with a layer of ice nearly an inch thick over it at the start) was steaming with gray wisps reaching up the chimney, he took the small pot off the fire and emptied it into his washing basin. Pulled down his suspenders and then fought his shirt buttons free.

The Papoose was watching him careful as could be. His grin never faded, but there was an oddly predatory look to his face as he watched Jake peel off his shirt and then peel back his union suit top so he was bare to the waist. When Jake did that, the Papoose leaned forward and said, "Wow!"

"What's the matter, Papoose? Didn't you ever see a man's body before?" Living with a whore for a mother, the Papoose should have been past any interest in such a thing.

"Yeah, but not as nice as yours." the Papoose got down from the chair and came over to where Jake was sluicing the water up to lave it upon his hair and face. Damned dirt and rock dust got all over a man in a tunnel, you came out browner than Shawnee Sal until you washed it all off.

The Papoose was staring at him and getting closer, while Jake washed his hair and face clean and he was working on his shoulders and upper chest when it happened. The Papoose bumped and overturned the basin which dumped the water onto Jake's stomach and soaked his pants and union suit clear through! "Aw, shit, damn, Papoose!" Jake moaned.

"I'm sorry. I was just looking!" the Papoose whined.

"Now what am I going to do?" Jake mourned. "I can't wash clothes in this weather! Have to wait until the blizzard's over!"

"I didn't mean it!" the Papoose looked about to cry, and Jake forestalled him hastily as he could.

"I know you didn't, Papoose. But now what am I going to do? These are the only clothes I got!"

The Papoose considered it. "You can hang them up in front of the fire. They ought to be dry by morning."

"But what'll I sleep in tonight?"

"You can sleep nekkid." the Papoose grinned.

"I'd freeze my nekkid bohunkus off!"

"Nu-uh! I'll be in bed with you, keep you warm. We can put my blankets over yours and keep it extra warm!"

Jake hesitated. The Papoose had an idea there at the end. "Well, I reckon we got to do it that way. But I'm putting one of those blanket between you and me, me under and you over. That way you won't be rubbing up against me or nothing."

"Awwww!" the Papoose whined.

Jake fixed his vittles, just gravy stirred up in a pan and some biscuits from a tin, a batch he'd cooked up last Sunday. He'd run out of them with two eating out of the tin instead of one, but he'd worry about that after the Papoose was out of his hair.

By the time they'd eaten, the Papoose devouring every last drop of the gravy and two extra biscuits than Jake had planned on giving him, Jake was shivering. The water had caught every bit of the coldness in the room and the fire wasn't close enough to cancel it out. He'd always felt the room stayed warm enough with his long johns and pants on, or under his blankets, but out in the open and wet like this, he was just plain cold! "I don't know about you, but I'm ready to get in that bed!" he told the Papoose!

"Yeah, yeah!" the Papoose was more than eager, he proceeded to strip his body totally bare and was climbing in the bed.

"Hey, hey, leave one of those blankets underneath you!" Jake cautioned him. The Papoose complied and Jake stripped himself more sedately. The Papoose watched him from the bed with gimlet eyes as Jake finished and then turned out the lantern. The bed was invisible to him by then but he had the rustlings of the Papoose in the bed (the mattress was filled with straw and made a hell of a racket at every movement) to guide him. Besides, he'd made this trip in darkness many, many times before.

He got under the covers and sighed. Damn but it actually felt good to get those dirty longjohns off his body! He really ought to get himself a second pair so he could wash one and wear the other. They got pretty funky by this time of winter, but better to stink than to shiver. And the blankets, his three and the Papoose's two, made his bed really, really warm in no time.

Then the Papoose's hand came over and landed on his chest, he felt bare flesh touch bare flesh. "Durn it, Papoose, I told you to keep a cover 'tween us!" he scolded the boy. "It ain't proper, a man to be buck naked in bed with another!"

"I don't mind!" The Papoose's hand was traveling down his body, feeling the muscles of his chest, his ribs, his abdomen.

"Still ain't proper!" Jake griped. "You ought to get out of this bed and get back in with a cover 'tween us."

And that's when the Papoose's hand finished its trip and ended up where it had been heading all along, wrapped around Jake's whanger!

"Oog!" Jake grunted when the Papoose's fingers encircled his dong and gripped him tightly.

"You're nice and warm." the Papoose observed. "'Specially down here." To reach him that far down, the Papoose's head had gone under the covers, and his voice was partially muffled.

"Let go of my johnson, Papoose!" Jake told him sternly. "Shouldn't ought to go around and grab a man's tool like this and...and play with it like you're a'doing!" He was acting like his mother, Jake almost said but bit his tongue before saying.

For the Papoose was working his hand up and down, pumping on Jake's prong, and Jake's poor, overlooked organ was whinnying like a stallion for joy! He hadn't had a servicing like this since...since the last time he'd paid for Shawnee Sal's services, and she'd only done it long enough to get him hard, and then she'd....

"Oh, Mother!" he moaned, because the Papoose had now taken Jake's prick into his mouth and was sucking on him better'n his mother ever had! "God bless you, boy, how'd you learn to do this so well!"

The Papoose lifted his mouth off Jake's pud and giggled. "Watching Mom."

"When did you watch your mother?" Jake asked. He knew Shawnee Sal, she'd always chased her son well out of her cabin when she had a companion. Downright careful about it, the only reason the men hadn't taken the kid from her long ago and shipped him down the mountain to an orphanage.

"When she had Mr. Nash for a client last spring."

"Nash?" Jake knew the man, he was the banker in the town down the mountain where all the miners did their banking.

"He paid Mom extra for having me watch him and her doing it. He'd ask me questions like, 'Do you see what your mother is doing? It feels real good, the way she's sucking on me.'" And the Papoose went back to work, using the lessons he'd learned, on Jake's cock.

Poor Papoose! Shawnee Sal must have been enticed by money, and then mortified after. She'd fled the town up to this camp to get away from the memories. No wonder she'd drunk most of her money away quick as she got it. The whiskey was what had left her too weak to fight off the fever when it had come.

But Jake was busily enjoying the benefits of the Papoose's precocious education. He was sliding his mouth on Jake's long-benighted prick with all the expertise any man could ask of a woman, much less a young enthusiastic lad. And while a woman would have gotten tired soon after starting the task, the Papoose's attentions were both unrelenting and insatiable.

Jake felt over and the Papoose's pud was right...about...there! He caught hold of the strong, throbbing young wiener and put his work-horned fingers to pleasuring his young lover.

The Papoose was moaning even as Jake's own pleasure surged in him greater and greater, he was well on the way to his orgasm when the Papoose turned loose and moaned in climax, spraying Jake's leg liberally with hot young jizz. Jake remembered his own youthful climaxes well, when the body was brand new and unfamiliar with ejaculation, all defenses were down, and the pleasure did more than simply delight you, it shook you to the very foundations of your being, and you roared in ecstasy unending.

And done, the Papoose was panting hard, and he was yanking his pud away from Jake in sudden pain that follows infantile orgasm. He remembered that, too. "Now, Papoose, get yourself back to nursing my dong. I figure I'll blast you a big thick load in another two or three minutes, tops!"

The Papoose returned to slurping on him and Jake was writhing in his joy in no time and he groaned, "Oh, yeah, Papoose, I'm about to blow. This dick of mine is solid dynamite, and it's going to blast the freaking cabin down if you aren't careful, so hang on tight, Papoose, don't let any of it get away!" Jake threw himself into his orgasm with complete abandon then. "Oh, oh, ah, ah, hah, uh, uh, guh, UH-UH-UH-HUH-HUH-HUHHHHHHHHH, AHHHH-GAHHH-HAHHH-AHHHH!"

And true to his promise, he squirted long and hard. The Papoose held on, though Jake's jizz squirted out his nostrils and flew onto Jake's stomach, the Papoose choked but held on, even while Jake blew a load that would choke a mule into the Papoose's mouth and throat.

When Jake finally finished, the Papoose lifted his head up and snorted, blew his nose noisily and more spunk flew onto Jake's body. The other nostril, and more jism, and then he was done and crawled up to put his face next to Jake's. "Wow, you were serious, weren't you, about how much there was!"

"I warned you fair and square." Jake allowed.

The Papoose giggled. "Yeah."

Jake reached and kissed the Papoose, and his own jizz was salty icing on the young lips. The Papoose crawled to lie on top of Jake and the spunk he'd blown out of his nostrils now smeared the both of them as he rubbed himself over Jake's brawny, muscled form with his youthful frame.

"Now get yourself some sleep, kid. We got a lot to do tomorrow."

"Yeah." the Papoose agreed.

Jake found, though, that the Papoose meant something else entirely. He'd planned some games and chores they could do together, entertain the Papoose until his shift was up. The blizzard scuttled a lot of those, like chopping wood, but the Papoose got rid of the rest. Jake was awakened again and again through the night by the Papoose's hand working on his pud and, reinvigorated and erect, again diving down to perform his oral mastery. And with the blizzard continuing to rage, there was no good reason to get out of that warm bed except to stoke the blaze again and again. And when he was done with another load from the store of wood, the Papoose was ready to stoke his own fires by feeding another load Jake's store of man-juice.

He was surprised when he heard the knock at his door, and had to hastily don his shirt and pants to answer it. He opened to find Jaybird Bill at the door. "Hey, time for me to take the brat off your hands." he said.

Jake felt distressed. He was about to lose the best damned cocksucker ever! "Oh, I don't mind keeping the Papoose here with me." He said.

Jaybird Bill laughed real hard, slapping his thigh in hilarity. "Carving James said you'd say that!" He chortled. "Told me that we was all going to have to share the Papoose and share alike. You got a problem with that, take it up at the next meeting on Saturday night."

"No, I reckon not." Jake allowed and the Papoose, who had gotten dressed while they were talking, trotted off into the still-blowing blizzard with Jaybird Bill.

Jake was lucky enough to draw another high card in the drawing they held when the Papoose had made the full rounds of the men. He yodeled in joy when he displayed the seven of spades, and found six men offering to trade cards with him and pay him for the privilege before the drawing was done.

"Only thing left to decide what to do with the Papoose when the roads are clear again in March." Carving James declared.

Jake was quick to speak up. "I say we don't do one durned thing!" he declared. "The Papoose belongs to us and we'll just keep right on taking care of him like we are!"

And twenty-two men cheered their second to his motion and it was passed by acclamation; the Papoose of Saddleback Camp was there to stay!

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