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By Ralph J. Salisbury
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Additional info for The Last Rattlesnake Throw and Other Stories (American Indian Literature and Critical Studies Series)
See, now, child dead, man born. Seekwaya. Named for our scholar, who saved our ways from being forgot. Well may he live. Seek, hearing for the first time, the "Seek" and the "way" his uncle had intended in naming him, felt a pride which vanquished his hangdog subservience to his light-complected older brother, his shame at being dark-skinned and small. "Well may he"hair avalanche-snow, flung forward, white-frost-stubbled chin seeking dew-glittering brown grass"die, as a man dies, when he must.
Shooting a possum for meat or shooting to scare away a revenue officer or shooting one another. " Hungrier and more afraid than he had ever been, Seek almost forgot to keep silent, this one last night, almost answered that he couldn't sleep. "Gyppo loggers the other side of the hill, stealing what little timber is left around herestealing it off some New Page 32 York rich guy, whose greatgranddad stole it off Churakees," Seek's uncle had muttered, hearing the machine-gun stutter of chainsaws yesterday.
Later, the company would float a last barge down the mountain, break its leaseas Indian treaties had been, again and again, brokenand abandon the depleted mine, just as Seek's granddad had abandoned Granny. '' "Old as the hills," she'd said of herself, but, black as night eternal in gun barrelseyeswhich had seen a father go to one war, brothers to another, and sons to anotherhad aimed thread unerringly into needle held against glowing newspaper pages, headlined with news of new war, the pages this year's replacements for those that Granny's great-grandmother had rainproofed with lard and tacked up to replace window glass shattered by bulletsUnion forage patrols "spiteful, having found"the old woman's voice faltering, black eyes sizing up her grandson, not quite thirteen"no women," and no mules for carrying "requisitioned" corn down along Bear Creek, to provision brigades bivouacked in the valley, one of those "cuss-ed Yankees" maybe Seek's mother's greatgrandpa.
The Last Rattlesnake Throw and Other Stories (American Indian Literature and Critical Studies Series) by Ralph J. Salisbury