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white river poems 351
Jane -- Well, what are you paid money for,
if not to work for us?
N.M. -- Ah, I shall put it this way;
I am being paid to show you how to work.
Jane -- But the Utes have heaps of money, from the treaty.
What is the money for if it is not to have work done for us?
N.M. -- It is to hire me,
and the rest of us here, to show you how to farm
and get an income, like white folks, by work.
Jane -- Ain't all these cattle ours and all this land?
N.M. -- The cattle, yes. Now listen to me, Jane:
the land will stay yours only if you use it.
To hold it you must work it like white men
or white men will come in and by and by
you will have nothing. Do you understand?
Jane -- Yes. But Mr. Meeker, I can't tell you
how bad you make me feel.
July: he refl ects on Ute ownership of horses:
All winter they had grazed over this valley
and when the snow began to disappear
they covered all the sunny slopes and gulches,
then the whole range within a half-day's ride
except where they had eaten it out. The fact is
a confl ict exists between the horses and cattle
for the best part of the range; as in such confl icts
in all pastoral countries from the days
of Lot and Abraham, one or the other
has to give way.
The greatest obstacle
to civilizing the Utes, I have concluded, is
their horses. For the only Utes who work
are those who have few horses or none. A Ute
with a band of horses gives them all his time.
A Ute is wealthy, and has standing, precisely