Howdy Friends! – This morning, as I finished polishing the final pages of “Tom Named By Horse,” the sun snuck through my window carrying the song of our resident mockingbird. I couldn’t help but chuckle as I clearly heard him sing, “It’s about time,” to George Harrison’s, “Here Comes The Sun.” … I’ll need one more run through before it’s ready for public eyes, but I’d like to share here an important scene from one of the final pages … We find Tom heading home to Soft Cloud after completing the tasks asked of him by Red Cloud, but what he finds as he nears home is troubling … I hope you enjoy ~ Gitty Up, Dutch
To read earlier excerpts click HERE
He settled down just to enjoy the pleasures of a peaceful ride on a magnificent horse. Thunder’s even stride soothed Tom completely and for hours, he rode lost in daydreams of what the future might hold for he and Soft Cloud, before he saw the lodges on the prairie ahead of him.
''What's that all about, Thunder?'' They loped in the direction of the village knowing his position to be about twenty miles north of his ranch and just thirty or so miles from Fort Laramie. As they neared the Indian village, he recognized it to be the village of Red Cloud and Iron Shell. In the weeks he had been gone they must have abandoned their winter village to relocate on the open prairie, but why here?
Tom was greeted at the camp’s edge by his friend Iron Shell. Iron Shell had worked on his English and Tom had polished his Sioux. The two friends no longer needed an interpreter. Iron Shell informed Tom they had moved the village to be closer to Fort Laramie for his father was demanding to be heard by the leaders of the US Army.
''Why does Red Cloud want to speak with the Army?''
''My father is angered that the white man is now building a road to take the white man into our hunting grounds at the Black Hills beneath the Big Horn Mountain where the Powder River Runs into the Big Horn. Red Cloud told the General that was our land, wrestled from the Crow nation. He is also angered at the men who make marks on the prairie for another road. A road he has been told will be made of iron. Many Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapaho will be coming to join my father's village here near Fort Laramie. Their chiefs will speak with us one day soon of making war. They speak of a great war when thousands of braves will stop the U.S. Army. My father cannot allow these two roads into our hunting lands. This land that was our ancestors’ since before time, and we stand today on all that is left of our proud nations. Perhaps it is time now for us to make war. Perhaps it is time for us to stop the white man who only wants to take the shiny metal that is in our land. Perhaps it is time to stop the white man who kills our sacred buffalo only for it rot under the sun of the prairie.'' Iron Shell’s eyes showed his sadness.
''But your father is a leader of peace. He has not wanted to make war with the US Army.''
''My father wants only peace but most white men are greedy, they force my father to listen to the war councils. It is not for him alone to decide this great and terrible thing. My father believes that perhaps there is time still, to save our sacred buffalo. He believes it would be a terrible thing for the once mighty herd of buffalo to disappear from the great lands. But he has seen a vision that tells him the white man will one day kill all the buffalo.
''The bones of our sacred buffalo already are scattered and white over the plains. To the greedy white man, these things are not precious. To the greedy white man the buffalo means money. To the greedy white man, shiny metal means money. To the ancient Sioux the buffalo means all of life. The Sioux have no use for the shiny metals that lay buried in the great mountains. We have no need to scar the face of those mountains that were here since before the Sioux and Cheyenne, Arapaho and Crow. Grandfather Mystery has given us all these things. The white man must not be allowed to spoil them. Already there is a great gathering of Chiefs on this spot, on our grasslands near the Fort Laramie. Chief Spotted Tail, Standing Elk, and also Chief Dull Knife have come to talk with my father. Many other Chiefs and their villages will be here soon.'' Iron Shell's dark eyes burned red with sadness.
Tom felt as if Iron Shell had delivered him a tremendous physical blow.
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