The other wanted ’em drove further off and shet up tighter till they died out of themselves; but they wuz both agreed in bein’ horrified and disgusted at the Injuns darin’ to fight the whites.
And first I knew Krit jest waded right into the talk. He waded polite, but he waded deep right off the first thing.
And, sez he, “Before they all die I hope they will sharpen up their tommyhawks and march on to Washington, and have a war-dance before the Capitol, and take a few scalps there amongst the law-makers and the Injun bureau.”
He got kinder lost and excited by his feelin’s, Krit did, or he wouldn’t have said anything about scalpin’ a bureau. Good land! he might talk about smashin’ its draws up, but nobody ever hearn of scalpin’ a bureau or a table.
But he went on dretful smart, and, sez he, “Gentlemen, I have lived right out there amongst the Injuns and the rascally agents, and I know what I am talkin’ about when I say that, instead of wonderin’ about the Injuns risin’ up aginst the whites, as they do sometimes, the wonder is that they don’t try to kill every white man they see.
“When I think of the brutality, the cheatin’, the cruelty, the devilishness of the agents, it is a wonder to me that they let one stick remain on another at the agencies—that they don’t burn ’em up, root and branch, and destroy all the lazy, cheatin’, lyin’ white scamps they can get sight of.”
The two men acted fairly browbeat and smut to hear Krit go on, and they sez—
“You must be mistaken in your views; the Goverment, I am sure, tries to protect the Injuns and take care of ’em.”
“What is the Goverment doin’,” sez Krit, “but goin’ into partnership with lyin’ and stealin,’ when it knows just what their agents are doin’, and still protects them in their shameful acts, and sends out troops to build up their strength? Maybe you have a home you love?” sez Krit, turnin’ to the best lookin’ of the men.
“Yes, indeed,” sez he; “my country home down on the Hudson is the same one we have had in the family for over two hundred years. My babies are to-day runnin’ over the same turf that I rolled on in my boyhood, and their great-great-grandmothers played on in their childhood.
“My babies’ voices raise the same echoes from the high rock back of the orchard, the same blue river runs along at their feet, the sun sets right over the same high palisade. Why, that very golden light acrost the water between the two high rocks—that golden line of light seems to me now, almost as it did then in my childhood, the only path to Heaven.
“Heaven and Earth would be all changed to me if I had to give up my old home. Why, every tree, and shrub, and rock seems like a part of my own beloved family, such sacred associations cluster around them of my childhood and manhood. And the memories of the dear ones gone seem to be woven into the very warp and woof of the stately old elm-trees that shade its velvet lawns, and the voice of the river seems full of old words and music, vanished tones and laughter.