Last time, Waka Mani escaped the “captive” bedroom and found himself a nice little spot on top of an old house. As a result, Cleola became a voyeur and we can hardly blame her.
Sometime later, there’s a standoff at the dining room door: Miss Cooper vs. five male students. “No one eats without haircuts…shirt and tie.” Precognition is not needed to predict how this will end. “They’ve traveled a long way.” Who appointed you advocate Lewis (Rugg Williams)? “Yesterday, they traveled a long way.” Miss Copper will not accept excuses.
Waka Mani, Simon Crow and Jumping Elk enjoy the exchange. Alpha Richard tries to take control with his usual snobbery. “It was explained, Miss Cooper.” Who does he think he’s talking to? She shoots him a look. “Not well enough, Mr. Singletary.” Snap, crackle and pop.
“Ma’am couldn’t you…” Waka Mani places a restraining hand on Lewis’ shoulder. “We will wear the ties.” He bows to Miss Cooper and says, “Winchi Tonka (sp?).” Years ago, I knew what this meant. It involved a buffalo, a sacred animal; hence, not an insult. Miss Cooper’s not entirely sure about him, but is willing to see how events unfold.
Meanwhile, Cleola, Anna, Junius, and Isaac (Aaron Knight) are waiting impatiently at the dining room table.
Back in the room that’s so easy to escape, Waka Mani is fighting a losing battle with the tie. Simon Crow’s hair has already been chopped off. Lewis is butchering Jumping Elk’s. Waka Mani is thoroughly disgusted. **sounds of an independent ponytail coming into being** It’s done and Waka Mani looks ready to kill somebody and I’m thinking he’s gunning for his two companions. Lewis gives Jumping Elk his dearly departed ponytail.
Richard is sitting on the bed. An enraged Waka Mani aggressively grabs Richard by shirt, forcing him to his feet. He tries unsuccessfully to get the damn tie on correctly. “No!” Even Richard knows “no” is a complete sentence. Waka Mani turns away from him and continues struggling with the tie in front of the mirror. Richard approaches and gets popped in the face by Waka Mani’s hair. “It’s not like that. You loop one end.” Frustration runs amuck. “I don’t understand!” Richard takes charge, stands behind Waka Mani and turns the piece of cloth into a proper tie. Waka Mani is irriated, both at his inability to master the tie and the overall situation. I feel the same when someone actively tries to “whitewash” me.
“There.” Richard couldn’t possibly be more self-satisfied. Waka Mani inspects himself for cooties and whips his hair back again. “Good. Now we both wear the white man’s clothes.” Pay attention folks. The plan has always been simple: divide, conquer, and overwrite.
Richard’s far from stupid. He’s not only aware of what’s at stake, but also the consequences for failing to adapt. Waka Mani still thinks he can defeat his enemies. Richard knows they’re outnumbered and outgunned. “Your hair.” Richard is hungry. Waka Mani stares straight ahead. “The others were willing.” Waka Mani locks gaze with his rival alpha. “That is why they’re not chiefs.” True that. I’ve never seen a flock of sheep herd themselves.
The action has moved back to the corridor leading to the dining room. Miss Cooper begins her inspection with Simon Crow. He passes. Jumping Elk passes. She gives Waka Mani special attention, taking note of his hair. It’s bound in a ponytail over his left shoulder. Waka Mani peers at this own hair, leans towards her, meets her eyes, and explains. “My ancestors would be shamed, Winchi Tonka.”
Miss Cooper understands. If someone like him so easily caves, then there’s no hope for their people and she knows it. “You may pass.” Waka Mani, Jumping Elk, and Simon Crow all bow as they pass. Lewis comes up the rear, stops in front of her, says, “Winchi Tonka,” bows himself and then follows the others. Miss Cooper sighs. It’s hilarious.
Richard wasn’t in the corridor for inspection. He’s sitting at the head of the table. He offers the new students a place at the table, much to Junius’ mortification. In a huff, he gets the hell out. He won’t eat with Indians. In my house, he’d never eat then. Anyway, Lewis puts more chairs around the table and everyone sits down to enjoy the meal. Waka Mani sits at the opposite end of the table, heading it. Richard asks Isaac to lead the prayers. The Christians bow their heads in thanks. “Oh Lord, this is a very special day…” Cleola grasps his arm. “Put an amen to it.” This draws a genuine smile from Waka Mani. Richard disapproves. Isaac complies. “Thank you for this bounty. Amen.”
Cleola gives Richard the bowls and he ladles a spoonful of whatever into them. Waka Mani inspects a glass. Richard drones on about the classes and matches up the two crews. Lewis Trottingham and Simon Crow. The bromance is officially off and running. Jumping Elk and Junius. Hee. “And you and I will be together.” Waka Mani does not care for this plan. These two alphas are on a collision course. Cleola passes the bowl and says, “It’s stone cold.” The meal or Richard’s choices?
Master Richard informs new students that they’ll be expected to help with the chores. Jumping Elk asks a pertinent question. “Is that learning?” Smugness continues. “Here at Beckwourth’s, every student works. It builds character.” Lewis and I are thinking along the same lines. “At least, that is the theory.” We haven’t seen much proof of that though. It’s probably a good thing that Junius is gone.
Simon Crow digs into his meal of whatever. Literally. With an awkward hold on the spoon, he shoves the food into his mouth. He’s a guy. He’s hungry. Who gives a hoot how he holds the spoon? I don’t. The alleged upper-class students of Beckwourth’s do. Isaac and Anna laugh. Both fail home training 101. Simon Crow doesn’t get it. Cleola is not pleased by this rudeness. Waka Mani goes into terminator mode. Instead of grabbing a knife and killing everyone, he opts to toss aside his spoon that he was holding correctly and dig into the goo with his fingers. They asked for it.
Everyone freaks, including Simon Crow and Jumping Elk. Napkins shoot to lips. Anna whines. “Stop it!” Richard does a good imitation of a gasket blowing. “For goodness sake, man!” Didn’t hear him chastising Anna and Isaac. The maid doesn’t say a word. No sass or anything. Waka Mani, looking as devilish as he can, pretends ignorance. “I don’t understand.” Richard is miffed.
Cleola interrupts to put an end the rudeness. “He understands.” Waka Mani looks like a child caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Cleola’s does a good imitation of Miss Cooper. “You do understand, don’t you?” She raises her spoon and gestures. Shamed by his antics, Waka Mani slowly lowers the bowl and removes his fingers. Richard is pleased, thinking his girl is a force to be reckoned with. That is, as long as she doesn’t want to study the Classics. Waka Mani tries to put on a brave face. Must be hard to acknowledge he was defeated in battle by a woman. Richard offers up an ugly face. No one wants to see that.
At some point after dinner, the next day, or who knows when, Waka Mani is in the library searching for a book. He finds the one he wants and flips through it quickly.
He finds a page with a map and uses his fingers to trace the mighty Mississippi River. This river will lead him back home. He hears two pairs of footsteps. He puts the book back on the shelf and hides next to a case. It’s Cleola and Miss Cooper, who surveys the room, and even takes the time to look behind the door for naughty young men. Yet, she doesn’t notice Waka Mani’s sleeves. Maybe Miss Copper needs glasses. Cleola stands by the door holding an armload of books, looking all prim and proper. Miss Cooper rings a small bell and leaves it on the shelf. Apparently, the library is as dangerous as the “captive” room.
Miss Cooper leaves and Cleola puts the books on the shelf. One falls out of her arms and Waka Mani catches it. Cleola resumes that orgasmic breathing thing again. He’s affecting her in ways I’m sure she never knew was possible. “Oh, you startled me.” Bye Richard. Your time is up. Waka Mani moves in. “Where is your guard?” Cleola moves away from him. He narrows the gap between them again. “During the day, we’re on our honor not to be alone with…” He finishes for her. “…a savage?” She’s indignant. “A student of the opposite sex.”
Waka Mani hones in on her hair. Cleola is fast becoming uncomfortable. She turns away from him, accidentally giving him a better look at her kitchen naps. “You’re afraid.” She feigns innocence. “A little. Should I be?” He breathes down her neck. “Not at all.” He whispers in her ear. “I killed two soldiers at Twin Fork.”
Cleola’s non-reaction is telling. “Did you scalp them?” Offended, he straightens and turns away. She ruins the mood. He randomly selects a book, turns his back to her and flips through it. “The killing was enough.” Cleola doesn’t run away from the nonchalant way in which he addresses the taking of someone else’s life. Instead, she clutches her book and leans over his shoulder to see what he’s reading.
“The Declaration of Independence?” she inquires. He peers at the book’s cover, closes it and turns slowly back to her. Does she step away? Nope. Not at all. This virgin is as formidable as any warrior on the battlefield. “Jumping Elk says we should learn the ways of our enemies.” Right on. She has advice for him. “Then you should read the Constitution of the United States, too.” She lifts a book from the shelf and offers it to him. He accepts it with both hands. Sexual tension. Sexual tension. He moves his fingers down the length of hers. Take that, Vulcans. If there ever was a squirrel looking for a nut. *swoons* Miss Cooper! Miss Cooper! Cleola’s virginity is at stake!
Hot and bothered, Cleola beats a hasty retreat, claiming she has sewing at 10:00. The look on Waka Mani’s face clearly reflects his intention of “getting some of that” before he escapes. Constitution in hand, he leaves the library, too. He must have a rendezvous with Richard at 10:00.
The action has moves outdoors. Junius is propped against the brick wall of the school. Cleola, Isaac and Lewis are seated and are reading. Miss Cooper is monitoring. Simon Crow, Jumping Elk and Waka Mani are playing La Crosse. Waka Mani forgot his shirt and I’m thrilled. The pants, held up by suspenders, make him like a tad bit dorky though.
Junius isn’t reading. He’s drinking water and giving the Indians the stink eye. Cleola is only pretending to read her book. Her real eye is on His Hotness because she’s thrilled his shirt is MIA, too.
Everyone seems content with their playing, reading and spying. The maid leaves with a tray. I didn’t even know she was there. The “ball” hits the ground and so do the guys. Simon Crows lands on it. They get up. The ball is gone. It’s hidden under Simon Crow’s arm. Waka Mani calls out. “Coji.” The others call out, too, and take off running. Cleola’s eyes alternate between the book and the hotness. Jumping Elk inadvertently tosses the ball too close to Cleola. It’s intercepted by Waka Mani. Cleola is priceless. “Oh… tarnation.” Simon Crow and Jumping Elk look worried.
Unanticipated sexual tension erupts. Waka Mani eyes her intensely. *shivers*
Maybe he’s wondering why she hadn’t started running and screaming or why she hasn’t gone all WTF on them. Or maybe he realizes that she recognizes that they’re people. Perhaps none of the others saw how close it was and he was waiting to see if she’d tattle. I can’t care. I’m indulging in the heat.
Miss Cooper belatedly calls out her name. Waka Mani exits the frame with Cleola watching. Miss Cooper waits for an answer. Cleola conjures up some bull. “I want to be a new woman.” She can’t resist looking at her prey. Miss Cooper notices this. “Very commendable.” Miss Cooper may yet be a shipper. Cleola continues. “Anna says that foolishness is for white women.” Hah! “But what about Mary Church Terrell or Ida B. Wells." Mary Church Terrell was the first African-American woman to earn a college degree and Ida B. Wells was the mother of the civil rights movement.
Miss Cooper has an answer. “When Mrs. Wells was here, her husband had to watch their son for hours.” Woot! Play continues in the background. Waka Mani is positioned near Cleola again. She manages to multi-task, playing a role with her guardian and keeping an eye on her future man. Miss Cooper continues. “Mr. Singletary is going to be too important to do that.” Cleola’s gaze creeps back over to Waka Mani. “But her life means something. She’s a true race woman.” Miss Cooper isn’t swayed. “So is being a good wife and mother.” Cleola makes a face. She’s not convinced and she can’t keep her eyes off Waka Mani.
Lewis appears on lawn. He’s such a little “joiner.” Assimilation is underway. A smiling Waka Mani gives him a stick. “Waste (ye)lo.” Lewis mimics him. They toss the ball around. Laughing, Waka Mani partners Lewis with his soul mate, Simon Crow. Jumping Elk finds it pretty amusing, too.
Play is underway. Lewis and Simon Crow are tossing the ball back and forth, heading for the goal. Cleola is losing her breath again. This girl and her micro-orgasms. Isaac cheers on Lewis. Waka Mani goes on the defensive. Lewis scores a goal. Isaac bounces up and down like he’s won the lottery.
Miss Cooper finally notices that Cleola all hot and bothered. “Perhaps we should go inside.” Cleola ignores her. Waka Mani shoulder bumps Lewis. He hits the ground. There’s a hitch in Cleola’s breathing. Junius moves forward ominously to monitor the situation. Waka Mani extends a hand to Lewis. His muscles are so distracting. Lewis has a bump on the head and is initially weary, but accepts Waka Mani’s gesture in good faith. The two treat each other like men, like equals. Cleola likes what she sees. The men resume the game. Cleola offers some commentary. “It’s very exciting, don’t you think.”
She’s openly watching. Miss Cooper does her job. “We’re going in now!"Cleola doesn’t move. “Miss!” Cleola’s devastated. Junius turns his stink eye on her.
NOTE: key components of the United States Constitution were derived from Indigenous American societies. Click here for today's homework assignment. Mind you, this is only the beginning.
(to be continued)
Try purchasing your own copy of this amazing movie here ($40.00) or here ($20.00 plus shipping and handling). I don't know which one works the best. I used the first link years ago.
DISCLAIMER: Unbowed is the copyright and intellectual property of FILMANTHROPIC and Mildred Lewis. No copyright infringement is intended, only thoughtful discussion. Perhaps a few more people will secure a copy of this marvelous film themselves.