background image
white river poems 353
He has this conversation with Ute Jack -- so Jack reported it,
at the hearing after the massacre:
N.M. -- I am going home. Home to my house
in Greeley.
I have a letter here
which complains of Indians setting fi re to timber --
I have had others like it. Now something worse
has happened.
I came out here to help your people
to teach them a good life; save them from trouble.
But it seems no use. This letter says two Utes
have burned down a white man's home on the Bear River.
Jack -- Where dey burn dis house?
N.M. -- On the Bear River.
Jack -- We ride up dere tomorrow. You and me.
Better go see dese houses. You see dem?
N.M. -- I am an Indian Agent, not a sheriff .
Jack -- Somebody paper say Indian bad men.
You Indian Agent, you go see, maybe bad,
maybe not. Maybe paper lie. You see.
N.M. -- I am going home. Let the government handle it.
Remarks by Mr. R.D. Coxe, posse-man,
on arriving at the Agency
August 22, 1879, in search
of the two Utes accused
of arson on Bear River:
(the massacre is now 5 weeks away)
Facing the Agency buildings, under fence,
was a fi fty-acre fi eld, with garden truck
and corn; around were signs of the practical farmer,
and under the sheds of the Agency, the latest
in agricultural implements. Thought I,