The hidden years,130, tribal problems

Door San-Daniel gepubliceerd op Tuesday 18 August 14:34


Tribal problems

The bar was blue with smoke and a number of men turned around. Bill walked over to the bar and I followed a few steps away. Four men broke away from the bar and walked to meet Bill and I felt a Queen's situation forming. With one big difference, in the Queen's came mainly whites to drink, you had at times tedious Indians. Here visitors were all Indians and we were the weirdos and then a bunch of offensive ones at that, who had entered and insulted indians without reason. They stayed a few steps from us and blocking the passage. ‘Hey white man,’ said the middle one being a head taller than the rest, ‘what have you got with Blackfoot people?’ ‘Are you a Blackfoot’ asked Bill? ‘No,’ the man said and continued proudly, ‘I am Cree.’ ‘Good,’ Bill said, ‘then I have no problems with you’ ‘Come boy,’ he continued while he turned around, ‘the coffee is waiting and so is our work.’ ‘There is no coffee for you,’ said a second man now, standing near the Cree, ‘not here in peace hills. ‘This is where tribes gathered in peace.'There was more than just an embarrassing situation arising, Bill could not just say that it had been a joke, it was too late for that and we would look ridiculous but something ugly was happening we were heading for a sound thrashing. ‘Let me guess,’ said Bill, ‘you are indeed a Blackfoot, I can smell it from here.’ Some men laughed. ‘You stop people who want to work and have a coffee ', because this is peace hill and you block their way with a lot of talking,’ Well? I smelled it well, you're a Blackfoot?’

‘I'm sharp arrow, a Blackfoot warrior and defend the name of my tribe to my death if necessary’. There was a silence. I'm Bill and I am hungry and want coffee and I am from the tribe of those who have to travel far every day to pay for their coffee and if you want to make from peace  hill a battlefield, that's fine. But then after my coffee break,’ and he pushed the bewildered sharp arrow away. The girl behind the counter recognized me and raised her hand, ‘everything okay?’ She asked? We had now stepped passed the Blackfoot and stood in front of the bar. Bill spoke in a loud voice, ‘we would  like two coffee and some breakfast and I want to offer the brave warrior sharp arrow something, like a peace gift. Because he will not be afraid to die to defend the name of his tribe. The girl looked past us, 'hey Arrow ‘she cried,’ do you want a drink of these gentlemen. ‘There was no answer, ‘then go elsewhere to mess things up,’ continued the girl. When two steaming coffees were standing in front of us, I thought the danger had passed.

Out of nowhere came sharp arrow and he grabbed Bill's coffee and held it upside down so that it clattered to the floor. ‘That was it, arrow boy,’asked Bill?’ without turning around. ‘Girl,’ shouted Bill, ‘the brave warrior Sharp arrow has spilled his coffee and I'm still waiting for mine. ‘Now jeers rang came from all sides. I’ll wait for you outside, white trash,’ hissed sharp arrow and when you're open then I’ll pull your guts out. ‘See you then,’ Bill said, and he waved his hand to his side. There is something about men who are not afraid, they make the other party always uncertain and receive immediate support from spectators. I was not so sure of the situation and thought how I’d go further if Arrow would make short work of Bill. I did not even know exactly where the truck was going and I would probably be stranded here to testify. This was the last thing I had wanted. ‘Bill, I said, ‘You don’t  understand the situation well, sharp arrow will be standing outside.’ It would surprise me if it were not so, ‘Bill laughed,’ just pass me the salt to please. ‘ I reached out and shook my head in amazement, Bill was either very brave or very stupid and I realized that this combination often went hand in hand.


When the girl asked if I wanted a refill I took it gladly. Bill, observed me with a smile, ‘you must not worry,’ he said, ‘do you think I would have reached my age if I could not take care of myself?’ Bill paid up and we walked to the door. I knew that whatever would come was inevitable. Some curious Cree men went to the window to stand first line and not to miss anything while we stepped out through the doorway. Bill had his hands loosely in his coat pockets and walked a few paces ahead of me with dignity and we walked towards the truck. ‘Hey white trash,’ sounded loud and clear, I'll avenge the name of my tribe now’. Sharp arrow came from behind the lorry.

‘What's up Arrow,’ Bill, ‘asked, ‘ have you put on the big pants today, the men's trousers or are your moccasins pinching you ?. ‘You will now see the Great Spirit,’ said Sharp arrow and drew his knife. ‘Watch closely Arrow,’ said Bill, ‘this is not difficult,’ while he took his right hand and held it up open, this is the peace sign and everyone in the bar sees it from a distance. Now look at my left hand in my pocket.' I looked and saw that the left no longer dangled loosely in the pocket but had something that pointed upwards. Arrow also looked and saw what I saw. Bill continued, ‘this is a caliber 22 revolver which is now focused on your chest, with luck it will be a shot in the  heart, and you won’t suffer much. A bit besides there I’ll always hit your lungs or the stomach area, you'll be shrinking  in pain when you are with the Great Spirit, listen carefully, ‘and I heard what Arrow also heard the click of the lock that was snapped back by Bill's thumb. ‘Now it is on sharp,’ said Bil, ‘if I sneeze or if I move my index finger, then you're dead.’ There were beads of sweat forming on Arrow's head.

‘Brave Arrow,’ Bill said seriously now, ‘I have nothing against you, everything that happened was not my intention, if you want to live, drop your knife and take three steps back and raise your hand in the peace sign. ' After what seemed like an eternity but in severity but must have been seconds, the knife fell to the ground and Arrow’s  hand opened above his head in the peace sign. ‘Grab your knife in your left hand and put it away.’ `Arrow, you've defended your honor,’ continued Bill, ‘the men in the bar at a distance have seen a white man and an Indian make peace and you've defended your tribe. ‘Now get this, I know nothing of the Blackfoot and have nothing against them, but I have respect for you’ ‘Go white man,’ said Arrow and do not cross my path anymore. ‘Hau’ and he turned and walked back to the pub.

Moments later the heavy duty diesel growled to life and I worked my way through the gears, while Bill was watching me with an approving smile.'That was damn good coffee,’ he said, and thus  what had happened belonged  to the past.

San Daniel 2015

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