Her cloth petticoat was richly decorated with ribbons, and her leggins and mocassins proved that she had spent much time and labor on the adorning of a person naturally well formed, and graceful.
“Why have you wished to meet me, Harpstenah?” said the young man, gloomily. “Have you come to tell me of the presents Cloudy Sky has made you, or do you wish to say that you are ashamed to break the promise you made me to be my wife?”
“I have come to say again that I will be your wife,” she replied: “and for the presents Cloudy Sky left for me, I have trampled them under my feet. See, I wear near my heart the brooches you have given me.”
“Women are ever dogs and liars,” said Red Deer, “but why do you speak such words to me, when you know you have agreed to marry Cloudy Sky? Your cousin told me your father had chosen him to carry you into the teepee of the old man. Your father beat you, and you agreed to marry him. You are a coward to mind a little pain. Go, marry the old medicine man; he will beat you as he has his other wives; he may strike you with his tomahawk and kill you, as he did his first wife; or he will sell you to the traders, as he did the other; he will tell you to steal pork and whiskey for him, and then when it is found out, he will take you and say you are a thief, and that he has beaten you for it. Go, the young should ever mate with the young, but you will soon lie on the scaffold, and by his hand too.”
“The proud eagle seeks to frighten the timid bird that follows it,” said the maiden; “but Red Deer should not speak such angry words to the woman that will venture her life for him. Cloudy Sky boasts that he is the friend of the thunder bird; in my dreams, I have seen the fairy of the waters, and he told me that Cloudy Sky should die by my hand. My words are true. Cloudy Sky was once with the sons of the thunder birds when they fought against Unktahe. He killed a son of the water god, and the spirits of the water have determined on his death.
“Red Deer, my heart is strong. I do not fear the medicine man, for the power of Unktahe is greater than his. But you must go far away and visit the Tetons; if you are here, they will accuse you of his death, and will kill you. But as I have promised to marry him, no one will think that I have murdered him. It will be long ere I see you again, but in the moon that we gather wild rice, [Footnote: September] return, and I will be your wife. Go, now,” she added, “say to your mother that you are going to visit your friends, and before the day comes be far away. To-morrow Cloudy Sky gives a medicine feast, and to-morrow night Haokah will make my heart strong, and I will kill the medicine man. His soul will travel a long journey to the land of spirits. There let him drink, and boast, and frighten women.”
Red Deer heard her, mute with astonishment. The color mantled in her cheek, and her determined countenance assured him that she was in earnest. He charged her to remember the secret spells of the medicine man. If she loved him it was far better to go with him now; they would soon be out of the reach of her family. To this she would not listen, and repeating to him her intention of executing all she had told him of, she left him.