February 11, 2012

White Woman Face: 5 of 8

In all her life, White Face Woman knew only tender love. She never knew harsh discipline—only gentle correction. That is Indian child training. The Indian completely won his child’s love and friendship without the rod. That is the best and easiest way. This form of child training became ineffective after the Indian child was compelled to attend the white school.
          Today a terrible thing had happened to White Face Woman, an adult woman. She was publicly assaulted, not by a parent, or kin, but by a stranger with whom she had bargained, when he swore by heaven that he loved her. “This very night,” she swore, “I escape, or die by my own hand in the attempt.”
          She kept a sharp watch and when the guard entered the outhouse she moved quickly. In less time than it takes to tell, she was climbing the stockade. Someone was steadying the poles she used in climbing—she did not look back to see who it was till she reached the top. Throwing her robe over the sharp pointed poles of the stockade, she rested on it, and looked down.
          There she saw a Red Coat, in his underwear, still holding her ladder and smiling up at her. Returning a big smile, she whispered, “Tokala Nehima” (the Secret Kit-Fox) and dropped over the wall. (This Red Coat, J. H. Thomson, married a Sioux maiden, Pretty Smile, and lived wit her at Wood Mountain, where both lived and died of old age.)
          Someone caught White Face Woman as she dropped. She nearly fainted. She thought it was the major. When she turned with a drawn knife, she saw the young brave who had caused all the trouble.
Without a word to the man, she quickly ran home with the man at her side. He carried a Custer rifle. When entering the Sioux camp, White Face Woman ordered him to “go get your pone and come to me. You are escorting be back to the Black Hills country.”
          Several people were moving about when White Face Woman and her escort left camp separately. The woman’s pony, Warrior, a splendid animal, a noted runner with great endurance, was acting strangely. He pranced more than usual and was constantly looking about, as though looking for someone to attack. He gave his mistress comfort, confidence, and strength to bear her great trial and lighten her heart. A mile southeast of the post, she and her escort met; from there they went with some speed southwest. The country ahead, for fifty miles, was rough, rolling hills and made good cover.
White Face Woman packed a buffalo robe, a large sheet of smoke tipi leather, and a flint bag in which sinew, awl, fire implements, and medicinal stuff were contained, also a wooden bowl, a cup, and a bone spoon in another bag.
          Her escort rode a beautiful pony, as proud looking as his master. This pony, too, had great speed and endurance and was thoroughly trained for hunting, buffalo running, and war. Along with the Custer rifle, he carried bow and arrows. His pack consisted of the same articles as that of his companion. He picked the route and called the pace. Neither carried any provision. Lightly and smoothly they lope, walked and loped, never trotting. Thus they traveled till they crossed the international boundary. Then, for White Face Woman’s sake, he called a halt for the day.
          A useful temporary shelter for an individual could be made when needed. Green creek willows were used—ten, or more, the size of a man’s forefinger and 10- or 12-feet long, the butt ends were sharpened. They were set in the ground in a circle, or an oval, to fit one’s length. The willows were bent and locked down to one’s sitting height by twisting opposite together, two at a time, lacing them crisscross. This frame was covered with a hide, or sheet, and a draw cord around the lower edge could tighten into a snug little shelter.

2 comments:

  1. Anonymous6:06 AM

    After reading today's devotional in Daily Guidposts I'm wondering how Alice is doing. And how can we keep updated on her condtion when, sadly, you will not be a contributor in the 2014 GP.Thank you and the very best to you in 2014.

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    1. Can you email me? I'd love to give you an update! Brenda

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