In the Land of the Grasshopper Song: Two Women in the Klamath River Indian Country in 1908-09

By Mary Ellicott Arnold; Mabel Reed | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IX
Indian Gambling, and Other Topics of the Day in Indian Country

The pack train came in this Sunday. Yes, it did. It was hard to believe, but there it was, for anyone to see. It is the first pack train to arrive since we came to the Rivers in January, and it is now July. We saw it straggling up the trail as we stopped at the Somes store for a minute, after the Carrie Sunday school--fifty mules loaded with all the things we didn't have during the winter and couldn't buy for love or money.

Everyone was a bit abstracted at the Kot-e-meen Sunday school, and of course, we thought it was because of the arrival of the pack train, but when Sunday school was over, after we had sung all the now familiar white hymns, nobody stayed for the Indian singing; the crowd drifted over to the Essie cabin. There had been an unusual number of men and boys among the congregation and we were keeping an eye on what was going on, because, as Mart would say, we didn't want "no row" as a finishing attraction to Sunday school. Then Essie came over.

"They are gambling Indian way," Essie told us. "They've got the drums and everything. You come over and we'll watch."

Jimmy Johnson and Willis Conrad were squatting down facing each other and a large circle of Indian men and boys were crowded around them. As we made our way through the chapparal we could hear the sound of drumming. As we came into the circle, Willis was facing us but Jimmy had

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