Page:The Indian Dispossessed.pdf/123

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The Nez Perces

people, it clothed my heart with fear and trouble. My heart was darkened. I was heart-sick. I looked for relief as out of the question. Nothing would bring back the dead. I told them this. I thought when I heard a commission was coming here we could settle this thing and interchange ideas with good effect. My travelling around in my own country used to be unmolested; I went in happiness and peace. The killing of that Indian caused me to feel that darkness pervaded my heart. I thought, when I heard of this commission, perhaps something will be said in the council that will in a measure heal my heart. When I heard the whites had killed the Indian, I thought perhaps they had not been taught the law. By the whites causing the trouble they were brought up to justice by the law. With reference to the body of the white man who committed the deed I have made up my mind. In whatsoever manner I may think concerning the murderer you will hear of as coming from me; I have come to the conclusion to let him escape and enjoy health, and not take his life for the one he took. I am speaking as though I spoke to the man himself. I do not want anything in payment for the deed he committed. I pronounce the sentence that he shall live. I spoke to the murderer and told him I thought a great deal of the land on which he had shed the blood of one of my people. When I saw all the settlers take the murderer's part, though they spoke