|Publisher:||University of Oklahoma Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.12(w) x 7.48(h) x (d)|
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The Old couple came in without knocking. It was nearly dinner time, the morning was very frosty. Though not tied, their lank, small horses stood by the hitching rack, their heads drooped in resignation. The man was old, but wide and powerful of frame, his wife was a large stately woman; she walked a little heavily. As I watched her fold her shawl about her ample bosom, the handsome marked lines of her face visible in profile, I remembered that it was said about the camps that once, in her youth, a man had been shot for her sake. They shook hands as with special meaning. They gave us searching looks, veiled smiles. Their faces were kindly; his decidedly aged. Sitting uncomfortably on the edge of a chair the old man talked to us in the Indian sign language, using his gnarled, dark hands. It seemed that he had brought a gift. We stood in front of him grasping at his meaning. Christmas was just past, and in the dance hall there had been the usual tree, laden with appropriate and plentiful gifts sent from the East by compassionate friends. A few years ago the tribe had had no trees, no gifts. It was wonderful, he thought, that these friends who now supplied them had never seen him nor his people. He understood that they lived very, very far away, and yetthey gave, and in the dark, as it seemed to him.He thought they might as well have stood at the headwaters of some stream and flung in their possessions as to give thus strangely to unknown aliens. And see with what rejoicing their presents were received. He and his wife, for instance, were an old couple and poor; he was often sick, himself. Yes, it was his side that troubled himand almost constantly, just here, a growth, hedidn't understand it. But one day, to better it, he had sat down on the floor of his teepee, had stripped...