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and Jack, with a small band of followers,
camped up the river. They often were among us,
begging and trading and hanging around the camp.
Numerous fi res were burning all about us --
I recall three up in the high timber
and two in the foothills. I asked Colorow
why they had kindled all these fi res. He said
it was "to make heap grass next spring, for ponies."
But most of these fi res, I told him, were burning high
in the mountains, where no grass grows. And he was silent.
I said they must be trying to destroy
the value of the country for the white man --
no fi res were set inside the Reservation --
which Colorow did not deny.
-- You mean
they were particular to burn the timber
on the lands north and east, but not within
the Reservation? -- A. Yes, sir. -- Q. They distinguished
between the two? -- A. Yes, sir; and with exactness.
The Byers testimony has spiralled in to the point where he is describing a visit to
the White River Reservation with a sheriff 's party in search of some stolen horses.
The time is twelve months before the massacre:
During our talk that afternoon I saw
the fi rst signs of the Ute dissatisfaction
with Agent Meeker. When Mr. Meeker spoke --
and he was mostly silent -- the Utes were quick
to manifest displeasure. At the end
of the parley, when we once again demanded
that they return the horses, Meeker said, "Yes,
they must be given up," and Colorow
sprang to his feet and said, "Meeker, you
no talk; we no want you talk. Let Pius [Byers] talk,"
and Indians all around the room grunted