By Franz Boas
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The fall months wore away, and it was the middle of winter. The sickness got no better. I resolved at last that I would make an attempt to save the lives of a few. If I failed it could be no worse than to stay there. I said I will take a small party and start back to my old home. If the soldiers come after us I will not fight. They can do what they please with us. Whatever they do, it can't be worse than to stay here. I told nobody of my plans but those I intended to take along. I brought away thirty persons, seven of whom were very sick when we started.
All my people were heart-broken. I was like a child. I could not help even myself, much less help them. I hunted for some white man, who knew the ways of the government, to tell me what to do. No man would tell me. At last I resolved I would go and see the Great Father. I thought surely he does not know about this. He would never allow it to be done. I went to see the Great Father and told him what had been done. He seemed very much astonished. He said he never heard of it before. He would order it investigated.
We would soon get used to the country, and then we would not be sick. I said in reply that I could only obey his orders. Then I went back to the Indian Territory and selected some land that looked good, and we moved the tribe on to it. It was now in the fall, and the sickness was worse than ever. Families had settled on separate tracts of land, and were scattered around. The whole family would be sick and no one know it. In some of these families persons would die and the others would not be able to bury them.