Black Elk Speaks: The Complete Edition

By John G. Neihardt; Black Elk | Go to book overview

15 THE DOG VISION

We stayed there near the mouth of the Tongue until the end of the Moon of Making Fat (June). Then the soldier chief1 told us that we could not be in that country because we had sold it and it was not ours any more.2 We had not sold it; but the soldiers took all the rest of our horses from us3 and what guns we had and loaded us on a big fire-boat that carried us down the Yellowstone and the Missouri to Fort Yates.4 There they unloaded us, and it was one of the new reservations they had made for the Lakota. Many of Sitting Bull’s and Gall’s people were there, but Gall and Sitting Bull were still in Grandmother’s Land. The soldiers had taken the ponies away from all our people, and they said the Great Father in Washington would pay us for them; but if he ever did I have not heard of it.

I learned that my own band, the Ogalalas, had been taken back to the country where we are now, and I decided that I ought to go there and perform my duty. So in the Moon When the Plums Are Scarlet (September)5 I started with three others. We had to go afoot and we had only bows and arrows for weapons.

The Brules had been taken to the place where they are now on Rosebud Creek while I was in Grandmother’s Land, and we set out first for where they were, camping seven times on the way.

One evening we crossed Smoky Earth River (the White) and camped on the south side. We camped by a plum thicket, and the plums were ripe. That is all we had to eat. There was a bluff close by, and I went up there alone and sat down with my face to where the sun was setting. It was a clear evening with no wind, and it seemed that everything was listening

-110-

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