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By Sally Springmeyer Zanjani
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She watched Truckee ride over to the emigrant camp. ‘‘Quite a number of white men came out to him. I saw him take out the paper he called his rag friend and give it to one of the men who stood looking at it; then he looked up and came toward him and held out his hand to my grandfather, and then the rest of the white men did the same all round. ’’ Nothing frightening had happened, and the Indian children stopped being afraid, all but Thocmetony. The sight of her grandfather with the white owls sickened her.
Truckee declared that the friendly reception accorded to him and the gift of crackers demonstrated the powers of his rag friend. ‘‘Just as long as I live and have that paper which my white brothers’ great chieftain has given me, I shall stand by them, come what will,’’ he declared, kissing his rag friend and holding it aloft. ‘‘Oh, if I should lose this, we shall all be lost. ’’ This last was aimed at Thocmetony, who continued to cry and hid under the rabbit-skin robes. When nothing calmed Thocmetony’s hysterics over the possibility 26 The San Joaquin of actually meeting the dreaded white men, Tuboitony, her older children, and several other women pleaded with Truckee not to camp beside the white people.
After the meal, one of Thocmetony’s brothers told Tuboitony that Scott wanted them to sleep inside the inn, where the women would learn dishwashing, sewing, and other household work. Tuboitony’s brothers would accompany Scott on a trip to the mountains to check on Truckee and the herd. As he spoke, Tuboitony and Mary began to sob. Tuboitony tearfully said, ‘‘Dear son, you know if we stay here sister will be taken from us by the bad white man. ’’ Mary would only be safe, she felt, if the whole family went to the mountains with Scott.
Sarah Winnemucca by Sally Springmeyer Zanjani