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expe’rience, that which happens to any one.
regard’, look at; consider.
robust’, sound in health.
ben’efit ed, made better; helped.
moc’ca sin, a kind of shoe made of deer-skin.
tem’po ra ry, for a time.
pe cul’iar, strange; unusual.
in tel’li gent, showing good sense.
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In the summer of 1862, while we were living in the State of Minnesota, I had an experience which I regard as one of the most remarkable that I ever met with.
We lived at Lac Qui Parle, or rather quite close to it, for we were about a mile from the place.
There were only three of us—father, mother, and myself. We had moved to Minnesota three years before, the main object of my parents being to restore their health; for they were feeble and needed a change of climate.
The first year, both father and mother were much benefited; but not long after, father began to fail.
I remember that he used to take his chair out in front of the house in pleasant weather and sit there, with his eyes turned toward the blue horizon, or into the depths of the vast wilderness which was not more than a stone’s throw from our door.
Mother would sometimes go out and sit beside father, and they would talk long and earnestly in low tones. I was too young to understand all this at the time, but it was not long afterward that I learned the truth.
Father was steadily and surely declining in health; but mother had become strong and robust, and her disease seemed to have left her altogether. She tried to encourage father, and really believed his weakness was only temporary.
Scarcely a day passed that I did not see some of the Sioux Indians who were scattered through that portion of the State. In going to, and coming from the agency, they would sometimes stop at our house.
Father was very quick in picking up languages, and he was able to converse quite easily with the red men.
How I used to laugh to hear them talk in their odd language, which sounded to me just as if they were grunting at each other.
But the visits used to please father and mother, and I was always glad to see some of the rather ragged and not over-clean warriors stop at the house.
I remember one hot day in June, when father was sitting under a tree in front of the house, and I was inside helping mother, we heard the peculiar noises which told us that father had an Indian visitor. We both went to the door, and I passed outside to laugh at their queer talk.