To get a close-up of present conditions after a long absence from the Sioux country, an invitation to join in the last Sun Dance which was planned to take place in the fall of 1928, was accepted. There was to be a "fifty-years' " celebration at the old Rosebud Agency where the ceremony of the sun dance, stopped by the Government forty-five years ago, was to be performed. All the old-time Indians were to be there. It required a long night-drive from the railroad station to reach the old post, and there was no hotel, no lighting system. The accommodations consisted of an abandoned officer's house and a cot set up by an amiable boarding house proprietress by the light of a candle. There was neither water, light nor furniture, but plenty of accumulated dust, and it was cold. But breakfast was promised at the boarding house in the morning. When daylight came it proved to be likewise an abandoned structure that one time was a sort of soldiers' barracks. It was sadly in need of repair, for one had to be cautious in walking over the veranda floors to avoid falling through. An orange, bacon and eggs, cakes and fried potatoes were served by a Cheyenne boy and a Sioux girl in the former sitting room, where the two breakfast tables were spread with their red damask covers and ornamented with the circle castors, pea-green service dishes and blue-bordered plates.

The landlady was kind-hearted and a good cook, which made up for the many other failures in a first rate hostelry. Anyway we came to see Indians. Nothing else mattered.

Stepping out on the wabbly [sic] porch for a look around the old agency compound, a wrinkled old man in slouch hat and white man's discarded coat stood leaning on a long staff. He had part of a loaf of stale bread enclosed in his left arm, held closely as if it was precious, and from it he tore off chunks with his right hand and stuffed them into his mouth and ravenously gulped them down.

It was pathetic to see. Turning to the landlady for an explanation, she said the man was Chief Black Thunder, and she had given him the bread because she could not bear to see him suffering from hunger and cold; he was eighty-four and nearly blind from trachoma. In the brick building across the parade ground, a short distance from the eating place, stood the agency office, and nearby was the commissary and storehouses of the government, representing the nearly two billions of money and property belonging to the Indians, administered by the more than five thousand agents, employees, superintendents and welfare experts of the Indian Bureau, on salaries high and low, much of which was taken from the Indians' funds.

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