We tell them to ask for money in a loud voice and then come here and buy more land. “
“No trouble,” said Little Dog, then listened again to Snapping Turtle. “It says we don’t threaten anyone. When our people go to the whites to trade, white men stick coins in the bark of trees and tell our men to keep the coins if they hit them with their arrows. Some of us say this is an insult, but Snapping Turtle allows it. He says at least some of us will keep some of us in practice with bows and arrows. ”Little Light came into the hut with a man in a frayed cotton shirt, stained brown woolen trousers, and a red handkerchief around his forehead. She said this was Nepepaqua, Sleepwalker, a Sauk, and the Medicine Man.
Sleepwalker wasn’t a man who spoke a lot. “She says you are a doctor.”
Shaman nodded. He and Rachel left Keyser with Snapping Turtle, just fetched the doctor’s bag, and then followed the medicine man.
As they walked through the place, Shaman looked for impressions that corresponded to his memory. He saw no teepees, but behind the huts were some hedonoso-te. Most of the people wore shabby white clothes, only the moccasins were as he remembered them, but many of the Indians wore work shoes or army boots.
Sleepwalker took them to a hut at the far end of the settlement. Inside her, a thin young woman lay on the floor, writhing, hands on her fat belly. Her eyes were glassy and she looked like she was out of her mind. She didn’t respond when Shaman asked her something. Her pulse was fast and erratic. He feared the worst, but when he took her hands in his, he felt more vitality than he had expected.
She was Watwaweiska, climbing squirrel, said Sleepwalker, his brother’s wife. It was her first birth and she went into labor yesterday morning. Before that, she had already chosen a soft, dry place in the forest, and that was where she went. The pain came over and over again, and she crouched down, as her mother had shown her. When the water came, her legs and dress got wet, but nothing else happened. The pain had not passed and the child had not come. When night fell, other women would have looked for her and brought her here. Sleepwalker couldn’t help her.