Along The Road Before We Reached The Agency, And For Some Distance
After We Had Left It, We Passed A
Number of little one-room log huts
occupied by Indians, often with two squaws and large families of
At some of these we saw wretched attempts at gardening.
Those Indians are provided with plows, spades, and all sorts of
implements necessary for the making of proper gardens, and they are
given grain and seeds to plant, but seldom are any of these things
made use of. An Indian scorns work of any kind - that is only for
squaws. The squaws will scratch up a bit of ground with sticks, put a
little seed in, and then leave it for the sun and rain to do with as
it sees fit. No more attention will be paid to it, and half the time
the seed is not covered.
One old chief raised some wheat one year - I presume his squaws did all
the work - and he gathered several sackfuls, which was made into flour
at the agency mill. The chief was very proud. But when the next
quarterly issue came around, his ration of flour was lessened just the
amount his wheat had made, which decided all future farming for him!
Why should he, a chief, trouble himself about learning to farm and
then gain nothing in the end! There is a fine threshing machine at the
agency, but the Indians will have nothing whatever to do with it. They
cannot understand its workings and call it the "Devil Machine."
As we were nearing the Indian village across the creek from us, we
came to a most revolting spectacle. Two or three Indians had just
killed an ox, and were slashing and cutting off pieces of the almost
quivering flesh, in a way that left little pools of blood in places on
the side. There were two squaws with them, squatted on the ground by
the dead animal, and those hideous, fiendish creatures were scooping
up the warm blood with their hands and greedily drinking it! Can one
imagine anything more horrible? We stopped only a second, but the
scene was too repulsive to be forgotten. It makes me shiver even now
when I think of the flashing of those big knives and of how each one
of the savages seemed to be reveling in the smell and taste of blood!
I feel that they could have slashed and cut into one of us with the
same relish. It was much like seeing a murder committed.
Major Stokes told us last evening that when he returned from the East
a few weeks ago, he discovered that one of a pair of beautiful pistols
that had been presented to him had been stolen, that some one had gone
upstairs and taken it out of the case that was in a closet
corresponding to mine, so that accounts for the footsteps I heard in
that house the night the man entered Mrs. Norton's house.
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