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17 Signs of Change As a matter of record, and for the benefit of young readers who may be contemplating authorship, I here set down the fact that notwithstanding my increasing royalties, my gross income for 1901 was precisely $3,100.Out of this we saved five hundred dollars .Neither my wife nor I had any great hopes of the future.Neither of us felt justified in any unusual expenditures, and as for speculation—nothing could induce me to buy a share of stock—or even a bond (gilt-edged or otherwise),for I owned a prejudice,my father’s prejudice, against all forms of intangible wealth. Evidences of wealth did not appeal to me. I wanted the real thing, I wanted the earth. Nothing but land gave me the needed sense of security. In my most exalted moments I began to dream of using my income from The Captain of the Gray Horse Troop in the purchase of more Oklahoma land. In imagination I saw myself in a widerimmed hat and white linen suit sitting at ease on the porch of a broad-roofed house (built in the Mexican style with a patio) looking out over my thousand acres—I had decided to have just a thousand acres, it made such a mouth-filling announcement to one’s friends. I did not go so far as to think of a life without labor (I expected to work in the North till February, then rest and ride horse-back for three months in the South),but I did hope to relieve Zulime of some of her drudgery. Now that I think back to it, I am not at all sure that my wife rejoiced over my plan to go to Weatherford to purchase another farm. It is probable that I overcame her objections by telling her that I wanted more material for my book of Indian tales; anyhow I left her in Chicago almost as soon as we arrived there,and went again to Darlington and Colony to see Major Stouch and John Seger,and to make certain observations for President Roosevelt. 203 Garland_Daughter_to press 10/20/06 3:43 PM Page 203 Seger,unskilled as he was with the pen,could talk with humor and pictorial quality,and some of his stories had so stimulated my imagination that I was eager to have more time with him among his wards.Without precisely following his narratives I had found myself able to reproduce the spirit of them in my own diction.His ability as a sign-talker was of especial service to me for, as he signed to his visitors, he muttered aloud, for my benefit,what he was expressing in gesture,and also what the red man signed in reply .In this way I got at the psychology of the Cheyenne to a degree which I could not possibly compass through an interpreter. While looking for farms during the day, I drew from Seger night by night, the amazing story of his career among the Southern Cheyennes.It was a rough and disjointed narrative, but it was stirring and valuable as authentic record of the Southwest.“The Red Pioneer,” “Lone Wolf’s Old Guard,” and many more of my tales of red people were secured on this trip. Several dealing with the Blackfeet and Northern Cheyennes, like “the Faith of His Fathers ” and “White Weasel” I gained from Stouch. None of them are true in the sense of being precisely the way they were told,for I took very few notes.They are rather free transcripts of the incidents which chanced to follow my liking—but they reflect the spirit of the original narratives and are bound together by one underlying motive which is to show the Indian as a human being, a neighbor.“We have had plenty of the ‘wily redskin’ kind of thing,” I said to Stouch. “I am going to tell of the red man as you and Seger have known him, as a man of the polished stone age trying to adapt himself to steam and electricity.” It happened that plenteous rains had made Oklahoma very green and beautiful, and as I galloped about over the wide swells of the Caddo country,I was disposed to buy all the land that joined me. Imagining myself the lord of a thousand acres, I achieved a profound joy of living.It was good to glow in the sunlight,to face the sweet southern wind,and to feel...


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MARC Record
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