Under The Infinite Firmament | Teen Ink

Under The Infinite Firmament

August 11, 2019
By ZHENSHENGLI, Shenyang, Other
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ZHENSHENGLI, Shenyang, Other
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 I am old now, so old that I cannot go up the stairs to my room without panting. I am no longer the reckless, handsome young man. I live now in a bustling little town. The only pastime I have in my dull days is to look back upon the exciting days of my youth. It was full of adventures that I feel I must write them down as truly as I can. My dearest son, I feel that it is the right time to tell you about my early days, and your dear mother. I promise you that you will love my story, although you will find great difficulty in believing it. My story is indeed so extraordinary that even I, myself, have great doubt upon the authenticity of it.

  Long before you were born, long before I became old, and long before your poor mother died, the world back then and today are as far apart as Heaven and Hell.

The mountain which the train carries minerals passes every day, with the dreariest sound I have ever heard and a very unpleasant smell of coal, was long time ago the gateway to the largest and most beautiful grassland I have ever seen in my entire life. If you just take a look at it, you will believe without even the slightest suspicions that you are dreaming the most pleasant dream you have ever had.

It was full of lovely animals. The horses were strong and beautiful, the birds were singing with sounds sweet as silver bells. If you look up at the sky, which was so blue and so clear that you may feel that you can see Heaven through it! And the owner of the grassland was the strongest Indian tribe of the far west, Sioux. The men were skilful hunters. And they were also fierce fighters when their territory was needed to be protected. Look at your prominent nose and thick eyebrows, and look at your dark beautiful eyes and black hair. You are the son of the best Indian female fighter and the grandson of the strongest and wisest Indian chief, whose name means the most powerful eagle across the grassland in English, for that their totem was a giant eagle with feathers all over its body. Both his bravery and his wisdom were well known throughout the west.

  My mother, who was your grandmother, died shortly after I was born and I have but only very vague memories of her. Dad said that she was a British Algerian beauty whom he met in England. Dad had kept a tiny lock of her hair, which was as soft as silk. It was dad who led me to all of the adventures of my youth.

Now, writing this letter, I feel that I can almost see his tall figure and athletic outline. I remembered sailing to America from England with him on a large vessel in my childhood in the sea. The trip was long and dangerous. One day there was a terrible tempest in the ocean, the waves hit on our ship so fierce that we were unable to stand up. Then, we all knew that our lives were in danger. A woman with a baby in her breast started to cry and pled God to have mercy on her for the sake of her child. A priest knelt on his knees and read his Bible aloud in a horrified tone. I was so frightened that I couldn’t help shuddering. Dad, who was the only one who didn’t have the slightest change in countenance, held me against his strong broad shoulders and calmed me down by assuring me that nothing bad will happen. Our captain asked every able man to help him control the ship, for our hapless vessel was going directly into an enormous eddy. Dad was about to go, but I grasped his large hand and shouted; ‘don’t go father, or you may fall down into the terrible ocean and die!’ He replied in a steady voice, ‘Every one of us must go to help, or we will all fall to the eddy.’ With this reply he shook me off and ran onboard of the violently shaking ship. I remembered cries of men who were pulling our ship with all their might and later I became dizzy and fell asleep. When I woke up, I felt that our ship is moving peacefully again. The old priest was kneeling down piously again with tears in his eyes and cried, ‘Jesus Christ, you are so merciful!’ The young woman was kissing her child and laughing delightedly. I heard talks of the men who succeeded in pulling the ship out from the eddy. They were tapping each other on the shoulders and drinking some whiskies. One of them, a stout old fellow, whom I recognized instantly as the captain, came in with my father. They walked in my cabin and he said, ‘Oh, here is your son. I hope he will be as brave and smart as you.’ And he said to me while touching me gently on the head, ‘Kid, you will be proud of your father, won’t you? He saved your life and mine and the lives of everybody else in this ship.’ He then turned to my father, and said, ‘I hope you will be proud of him one day too.’ They both laughed.

I was a small boy, only big enough to speak and walk, didn’t understand what happened. He later explained to me that it was him who cut the cable at the very crucial moment that our ship might escape from the eddy. He is also the one who thought of this idea and did it so that he literally saved all of the lives of the people who were on the ship. I became proud of him more than ever.

Dad was gorgeous, he told me how to hunt and stories of the west, which was full of Indians and wild animals. It was a beautiful but also dangerous world. He told me many stories of the days of his youth when he was a mercenary.  We lived as highly skilled hunters. In those days hunters made great money. We hunt beavers and herds of deer, and sell its skin for money to those who would resell it to those who live in Europe. I grew stronger and stronger. When I looked in the mirror, I saw a young man with golden hair and dark blue eyes, tall and broad shouldered.

  Dad was great, but even great men like dad gets old. And when you get very old, you are vulnerable to illness. Even a small cold can kill you. Dad’s strength left him slowly. One severe winter he was compelled to stay in bed all day. The doctor diagnosed him as a man who got typhoid fever. I stayed with him by his bed and looked after him as careful as he looked after me when I got sick when I was a boy, but I must make myself accept that I was losing him. By his deathbed, he asked me to get near him, and said in a weak but fearless tone, ‘My bonny lad, I am already proud of you.’ And he sank into his bed and never raised his eyelids again. I kissed his fevered forehead, held his right hand, which was once so strong, and bade his farewell.

  During the several boring months after my dear dad’s death, I stayed in the pub in which dad and I spent a lot of our time chatting with each other to drink whiskies every day by myself. Thinking about what I should do without dad. Both of my parents were died, dad left me lots of money. I may have chosen to leave the continent and go back to Europe, and I was able to live a sumptuous life there with dad’s money. But I didn’t. It was mainly because of the conversation I overheard in the very pub at the very day. A group of four guys with guns on their belts came in, and chatted for very long time. They were basically saying that there was very good business in the west. In those days, there were already many people who go to west to seek for gold and business opportunities. They usually carry guns and some food supplies with them for the trip was usually long and dangerous. I moved my chair to their table and joined in their conversation. They were both as young and active as I was and invited me to join them. One of them, a very tall and husky fellow, said, ‘We will go together, and come back as rich men.’ He finished his sentence with a grin. We all laughed, and agreed with him. I told them of my job as a hunter, and the recent death of my beloved father. One of them patted me on the shoulder as a sign of sympathy. They encouraged me to go with them. And I happily agreed.

The next day, we were on our way to a big shop. On our horses, we talked to each other. I learned that they are all working for a boss. The tall husky fellow’s name was Curtis. His father used to be a big boss in England, and died several years ago. Since then, he got to the continent and worked in a shop of furs. The other five of us entered the shop. It was beautifully furnished. There were over a hundred coats made of bear skin hanging on the wall. The floor was covered in thick occidental carpets with colorful pictures on them. And Deer horns were placed on a large table, by which sat a big strong middle aged man. Through the eddying white clouds from his long pipe, I saw a dark stalwart middle aged man with beards all over his face. His eyes were as bright and small as a hawk’s. Curtis stepped forward and said, ‘Boss, this is our new friend. Frank is his name. He has been in the same business as us for a long time and is a sharpshooter. Frank, this is Mr. Morstan,’ The man leaned back on his chair, and raised his small but bright eyes towards mine, asked in a hoarse voice, ‘Boy, how long have you been in this business?’ ‘Almost nine year sir, I learned from my father.’ I replied. He then surveyed me for a long time, and stood up, and said, ‘Why do you want to go with us? The west is a tough country.’ ‘I heard from one of your boys that the west is a good place to make your fortune, though very dangerous.’ ‘You are right. But do you mind riding long hours without rest and sleep in tents rather than comfortable beds?’ he asked. ‘No, I am used to this style of life.’ I replied. He then rummaged in the drawer, took out a little yellow paper, and handed it to me. ‘Sign it.’ He said. I looked at the paper for a moment or two. It was made of buffalo skin, and full of some names signed by somebody else. In which I found the names of my four newly made friends. The man then handed me a feathered pen, and said, ‘This is our agreement. There will be twenty of us to set up for the west tomorrow. We will not be back for several months, but the money is worth it. As you know, my lad, that if you hunt down a bear and cut its skin off, you can sell it for at least twenty dollars. And there is one species which will make you very rich. ‘Look here.’ He showed me a hat which seemed to be made of fur. And asked me with a grin on his face, ‘Guess which animal this hat is made from?’ I told him that I thought it was made from buffalo skin. But he shook his head from one side to another. I think from his countenance that he was not expecting the right answer. He said at last, ‘It is made from Indians’ scalp.’ I was startled, and said to him in a terrified tone, ‘What? My father never told me about hunting Indians. Isn’t it a felony to kill someone, let alone cutting off his or her scalp?’ I never really finished my speech, for it was interrupted by a mingled guffaw from the man and his boys. Curtis, who was drinking a cup of whiskies, spilt out the mouthful that he took and caught himself in a terrible cough in his great merriment. The other three laughed so violently that none of them could stand still. The man himself sank back in his chair and said in a sarcastic manner, ‘My dear kind hearted lad, so you are saying that those savages running with half naked bodies here and there and shouting gibberish to one another are human beings like us, who were created by God and saved by the holy blood of our lord Jesus? By hell no! I swear to you on my own salvation that they are no more than the imps of Satan! They worship some goddamn spirits, and burned our forefathers alive when they tried to save them from perdition.’ He paused a little, and continued, ‘See here.’ He handed me a thin white paper which said 100 dollars for a scalp of a male Indian, 50 for a woman, and 25 for a child. The man took the paper back from me, and said with a wide smile, ‘Our nation needs the resources of the west, those Indians keep hindering us and killed many of us with their dreadful spears and arrows. Wouldn’t it be better for us to wipe them out entirely from the surface of the Earth?’ My four friends answered in unison, ‘Yes!’

The man sat down with a slothful gaze, and asked, ‘Will you sign it or not?’ With great curiosity in my heart of the west and those whom he described as savages, I agreed to join them, and answered, ‘Of course I will sign.’ My four friends seemed happy at my response.

We stayed that night with the man and chatted together all night. They told me stories of wars between Indians and cowboys, and courageous miners who were busily in seek of gold. I was greatly fascinated and couldn’t wait to see for myself.

The next day, sixteen more young men gathered in the shop with their guns and food supplies. We left the town early in the morning, with the man, Curtis, and I riding in the front.

We crossed mountains that scrape the sky and canyons that were like tunnels without end. I always considered that our journey was worthwhile even without making any money.

One day, we stopped at a little inn ran by an old miner. Knowing we would pay him well, he welcomed us in with great kindness. We left three of the guys to go hunting since they were drunk and laid on the table like those who were paralyzed. Now, writing to you this letter, I felt as guilty as a man who was condemned to eternal damnation. We were lucky, and came back at dusk with not less than five huge bear with skin cut off. Curtis, who couldn’t wait to show them our success, flung the door open and shouted out loud in an excited voice, ‘Guys, come and see what we’ve got!’ But there was no answer. We searched everywhere, and saw a sight that scared our wits out. Our landlord was laying face down with three or four arrows in his back. The three of us who had the misfortune of staying there were stabbed to death. Curtis and I shouted like madmen. They came in immediately, and were clearly as frightened as we were. Our leader commanded to us while grinding his teeth, ‘The savages. They came here from their village. Come, we will let them pay us back with their blood and scalps.’ With this command, he ran out and flung himself on to his horse. We followed him and approached a small Indian village in which around a dozen of strong adults were staying in their cottages made of wood. And small children were playing outside. They thought that the men they murdered were unaccompanied by other people. Suddenly four guys came out with arrows and spears. Mr. Morstan cried out loud, ‘Kill them.’ Five of us shot the Indians dead. And we sprung out on our horses towards the unprepared Indians. The children were shot dead instantly and we had a short fight with the men inside the cottage, which ended up in the Indians were all killed. A lady knelt down before us and begged us pardon. But six of our men pinned her down and pulled her out. There, she was beaten to her death. Mr. Morstan seemed satisfied with his results, and said, ‘Now, bring me their scalps.’ With great energy, they cut off the Indians’ scalps. I joined them, for that I also started to consider the Indians only half humans after witnessing the death of three of my friends.

We came back to the town several months later and sold the Indians’ scalps and bear skin. I took the three thousand dollars that I deserved and have been on many journeys to the west enjoying both its danger and harshness. We hunted animals, and Indians. We would attack an Indians’ village and turn it into a slaughterhouse. And take back with us their scalps as war trophies. We became more mercenaries than hunters.

  It was a warm summer, and I formed a resolution to have another trip to the far west. This time, I went with 22 of my best friends to look for a golden mountain, which was said to be located in the great plain. Our journey lasted two and a half months. And one day, while travelling in a thick forest with trees like giant towers, a heavy rain fell upon us. And made the ground under our feet as wet as a quagmire. We were so dead beat that one of us proposed to have some rest, which all of us acquiesced. Suddenly, a thunderstorm broke out. My pals and I cut down quite a few tall trees after which we and our horses would be able to rest in peace with little fear of being struck by lightning. So there we were, sat around in a circle with the horses standing beside, listened to the deafening sound of the thunder, and watched the flashes of lightning which turned the sky into two pieces. I am still not certain why we weren’t aware that danger was upon us. Maybe it was because of the mist which prevented us to see them, or it was because of our weariness. While I was sitting calmly, Max and another six men were falling drowsily asleep. But they suddenly gave out screams of pain. When we looked at them, we found nothing wrong but an addition of several long arrows with feathers on the end in their backs. With loaded guns, we sprung as fast as we could to our saddles and fired bullets at every direction for we couldn’t see anything through the mist. In return, more arrows that came from nowhere killed another eight of our friends. Until then we didn’t realize that we were greatly outnumbered and surrounded. ‘Break through the mist!’ I shouted, and rushed forward on my horse. If dad was there, he would have been more proud of me than ever. 

Nine of us broke through the thick mist. Around twenty Indians were waiting for us with their arrows and spears. Each of us took two pistols, and we fired in one shot. Eighteen bullets flew to them before they could set themselves. We made our horses gallop as fast as they could. The Indians were chasing us like a group of wolves following their prey. None of us could see each other in the mist nor hear each other because of the thunder. By dawn, I looked about me, and saw only Curtis who was severely injured with two arrows in his left thigh. The rest of our friends were all died.

The two of us continued our journey. After walking over a plateau we reached a steep mountain. I helped Curtis climb up. We took a good look at the top. The infinite firmament was just above us! It was so blue and so clear! When we looked down, we saw a great plain with waves of grass like an ocean. With some difficulties, we got down. The plain seemed to have no end. Curtis, Charlie, and I cantered forward for another day. Curtis, who went with me on every one of my journey was a tall sturdy young fellow with a physique both like a strong wrestler and boxer and has never retreated from any danger or hardship, was coughing like a very sick man. ‘Damn those Indians!’ cried him with a painful expression on his face. ‘I can’t go any further, why not stay here tonight?’ continued him drowsily. We had to agree. So we sat down, and surrounded ourselves with a circle of fire.. Curtis had hurt an artery, and blood was streaming out like a fountain. I pulled the two arrows out and tried to stop the blood by using two bandages that I carried with me. But my efforts were vain. Soon, the bandages were covered in red and I haven’t got any more. I took my clothes off and tied around his leg. But it didn’t work too. Curtis, who was lying beside me, said with a half smile in his face in a very faint voice that contrasted greatly to his usual sonorous voice due to physical weakness, ‘You know, my friend, I think you are the only one among us who has a chance of going back to the civilized world. Live to the last.’ With this his head drooped and died. I was lying on my back and looking at the countless stars in the infinite firmament while falling slowly asleep. I buried my friend next day deep inside the soil and prayed for his soul to go to Heaven. My sorrow was so great that even the grass seemed to be bending their waists then to pity me.

Curtis’s death left me alone in the unfamiliar world. I heard a sound as if an earthquake took place. When I looked ahead of me, I saw a large group of buffaloes coming to me at a tremendous speed. Without another thought, I sprung to my saddle and hit my horse twice with my whip to make it gallop fast enough to avoid being trampled by the buffaloes. My horse galloped from morning to noon, and its speed slowed down gradually. The buffaloes were closer and closer. Suddenly, an eagle with the most beautiful set of feathers I’ve ever seen flew over me. And a brown horse with a man with feathers all over his head galloped past me towards the buffaloes. The man got down calmly and turned his back towards them. And spread his arms out in a V shape. To my surprise, the buffaloes spread out in the directions that his two arms pointed at. Soon, the buffaloes were all gone, and the eagle flew to his palm. I saw a several horses then galloped to me, the first one was with a girl on it, whose beauty was unable for me to describe in words. Hair that was so dark and long flew all over her shoulders in the wind. Her big dark broody eyes with the color of midnight were staring at me under their thick black brows. When her eyes twinkled, I saw that the eyelashes were very long and very fine, like a thin silk made of the color black. Her nose was both cute and prominent. In her mouth, there was trumpet made of buffalo bone. She wore a coat made of animal skin. She carried a casket filled with arrows beautifully decorated with feathers. The old man asked me something in a language that I couldn’t comprehend. I was taken out of my daydream immediately when I found out that eight Indian arrows were pointing at me. And I instinctively put my hands on the triggers of my pistols. But the old man who saved my life came forward, and signed me with a gesture to follow him.

I followed them, and we trotted for a long time until hundreds of large tents made of buffaloes’ skin came in sight. Butterflies with colorful wings were flying here and there. Little kids were playing with their small bows and buffaloes’ horns outside. Pretty women talking to each other merrily were everywhere. Young men were busily cutting buffaloes’ meat and telling jokes to one another. It was just like the Garden of Eden.

They stared at me with wide open eyes. I suppose unlike the Indians who live closer to us, they haven’t seen many white men in their lives before. The beautiful woman talked to me in an exceedingly friendly manner. I saw her white gleaming teeth when she smiled lovingly. The old man with a lot of feathers was their great chief kymoron. He invited me to his tent, on which carved a huge eagle. I asked him in gesture to let me stay there for some time, since I was confused and didn’t know what to do next after the events that took place two days ago. I wanted to go back to the east, but I would have to find some way to avoid meeting those terrible Indians. So I considered it best to give myself some time and think it out. The chief said something to other members of their tribe. I didn’t have any idea of what he said although I wanted to for my own sake, but his tone and physical gesture seemed for me that he understood me and answered my request in the affirmative. 

Many days went by like a bullet shot from my pistol. I learned their language and hunted with them. They had a profound understanding of the nature and animals. They could communicate with them in some language that I could not understand.

I hunted with them in the days and slept in a tent made specifically for me. At first, I found the bed made of straw not as comfortable as that in my home. But I got used to it. They liked me because of my skills with my guns, because those skills enabled me to hunt big games as easy as they could with their bows and arrows. The beautiful young `woman was the chief’s daughter. They were not at all savages.

I hunted with her. We rode by each other’s side under the firmament that seemed infinite to me. I was very happy to be able to see her lovely face and long black hair that floats all over her face and body in the cool breeze of the grassland every day. She enjoyed very much my company and I gave up gradually the thought of going back to the east. Her name was chinakg, which means a beautiful girl whose beauty will never be gone.

Three years passed like one day. Our relationship grew more and more intimate. She told me about her childhood and adventures in the plains of the far west. And I told her my early days and exciting stories in the noisy towns of the east. She told me about her father, who was the most courageous hunter and the wisest man of her tribe. Her father understood eagles and reared them. He could also in a sense talk to buffaloes. And whenever he slept in the plains, he would always stand with his back towards the sun when day breaks. I listened with great interest. They also had a deep understanding of herbs and medicine. One day, an old man broke his leg, and the chief wipe some herbs across the man’s leg. Several days later, the man recovered fully.

I described to her about London, the lives of people who live there, and about my beloved father who brought me to this continent and saved the lives of many people on a ship. She seemed to enjoy my story very much and asked me many questions about it. She said that her father has told her a little bit about the European explorers. I explained to her of the fur trade in the east and my fight with the Indians that were very aggressive on the journey which took me here and how my friend Curtis died. She felt sorry for me and consoled me by saying that I might stay there as long as I am pleased to.

One day, the great Indian chief invited me to his tent. I entered, he was by himself. After watching me for some time, he asked me in his high voice, ‘When are you going back?’ He asked me the question which I ceased to ask myself. And before I could answer it, he said to me again, ‘My daughter will be very sad if you propose to leave. I had great difficulty in making her understand that you belong to the east and we have no reason to keep you here if you do not wish to stay. She then told me that she would go with you if you must go. The choice is yours. I will give you some food that is necessary for your trip and lend you some of my men to lead you until you can find your way if you chose to leave. But please leave the grassland early in the morning quickly so that my daughter would not take notice. The east part is too dangerous for an Indian girl to go. And I assuredly don’t want my daughter to risk her life.’ Without any hesitation, I answered, ‘I would like to stay here if you let me.’ He replied, ‘It is an honor for us to have you as our friend. But my daughter would love very much to have you as more than a friend. S he would like you as her husband. She said that she admires your snowy skin, hair with the color of sun, and eyes with the color of ocean. Would you be happy to have her as a wife?’ ‘Of course I would.’ I answered. The chief appeared to be delighted.

I later knew that the chief told his daughter about my reply that day since at that very night she flew to me in an ecstasy. Next morning, I experienced an exotic wedding ceremony. People threw lovely flowers at us. Sounds of laughter and Indians’ drums echoed around the grassland. The chief came to us, placed one of his hands on me, and the other on his daughter, and blessed us both.

We lived happily together. One day, she told me that she was pregnant. And one early morning she gave birth to you. You were a cute child with black eyes, dark hair, and creamy skin. All of the members of the tribe liked you. But nobody knew that a disaster was waiting for the tribe.

Two days after you were born, I went with your mother to the eastern part of the grassland. We rambled for a long time, and reached the part which my dear friend Curtis died. I descended from my horse and walked to the mountain, beyond which 21 bright young lads were killed. Your mother and I climbed up the mountain. To our horror, we saw on the mountain dead bodies of the Indians. I realized that something was wrong. But it was too late. I heard a shot and felt a bullet stuck in my shoulder. Immediately afterwards, two pistols pointed at our heads. The two cowboys tied us up and took us to their camp on the mountain. Around twenty of them were waiting there. One of them stared at your mother with evil eyes, and struck hard on the face which made her mouth bleeds. I asked them to stop. He laughed back at me, and said, ‘Oh, I forgot you. You consider yourself strong enough to protect that witch of yours?’ And he punched me so hard on the stomach that I vomited painfully. Your mother cursed at them. Her large beautiful eyes sparkled with anger. He said to his two wicked friends, ‘Tie her to that tree and I will teach her cleaner manners.’ His two friends obeyed him. They tied her limbs and back on the tree trunk. He took a long whip and thrashed her very hard on her back. She stared at him fearlessly. The man said finally, ‘How dare you little witch to look at me like that.’ He turned to one of his friends and said, ‘Bring me an axe, so that I can see what is inside her brain.’ He raised his axe as high as his arms allowed him to. But he fell down suddenly with a long spear through his body. The two men who were standing beside reached for their pistols. But before their hands even touched the holsters, each of their necks was pierced by an arrow. A fat man who was sitting slothfully on a large rock gave out a yell of horror, which brought three of them to us. The four of them shot at the trees. Then, all of a sudden, a man jumped to the ground from one of the trees and cut the throat of the fat man from behind. Your mother shouted both in surprise and delight, ‘Father!’ The three men turned back and met six arrows that stuck deep in their chests. The rest of them hid behind rocks and trees and pointed their pistols in different directions. A tree shook behind them. They all fired in that direction and reached the tree cautiously. An Indian sprung forward from behind them and chopped four of them dead with two tomahawks. Two of the cowboys who were nearby fought hand to hand with the Indian, but were stabbed to their death within a few seconds. There were only two of the cowboys left. One of them rushed towards your mother. But his journey was stopped by an arrow. The other tried to run away, but the Indian chief got out of the trees and threw a tomahawk at him, which broke his skull. He cut the ropes that tied us. I fainted due to loss of blood.

The next thing that I remembered was lying on the bed with your mother looking after me. The chief came in, and asked several men to take me with a bunch of old people and children to a mountain inside the plain. The men told me that a big war was taking place. I had to seek for refuge because I was seriously injured.

The old people stayed inside the cave of the mountain. Despite my injury, I climbed up to the best vantage point of the mountain with the children so that I could see what will happen. I saw ten thousand of cowboys rode on their horses across the plain. And when I looked straight down, I saw almost two thousand Indians were on their horses waiting for a tough fight. Both sides charged to each other. I could hear nothing but the sounds of horses’ hooves resonant on the grassland, and the sound of shots came from pistols and the cries of Indian warriors and cowboys. I heard the talks of some children. A boy asked his older brother, ‘Will dad beat them.’ ‘Of course he will. Dad is one of the best fighters in the grassland. We will congratulate him when he comes back.’ Unfortunately, whoever their dad might be, he never came back.

The war was short and bloody one. The guns of the white men were much quicker than the arrows of the Indians. The bullets were even too fast for the Eagle’s in the grassland.

Next day, the grassland was covered with the bodies of one thousand Indian warriors and over eighty white men. The several hundred white men who won the battle climbed up the mountain and took us as prisoners. They made us go down to the grassland, and were very much astonished when they saw a white man a white baby among us. Two of them took you and me away from the crowd of prisoners. They made the rest of the prisoners stand in one line. And their leader shouted ‘Fire’. The prisoners were shot died instantly. I tried to explain to them that they killed my wife and they should be killed for doing it. They took you and me away. They made me stay in an asylum for three months since they thought that I was obviously mentally deranged to be able to consider an Indian woman as my wife.

Three months later, I went out of the asylum, and took you with me to the east. Now, I told you all about what happened under the infinite firmament. And who was your mother. The sons of the totem of Eagle didn’t all die since you are still alive.

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