The book opens with David Hayden talking about his father serving his second term in 1948 in Mercer Country, Montana. It talks about the type of country Montana is. *
David’s father doesn’t fit the ideal of what he should be in his occupation, and his wife didn’t think so either. She wanted him to better himself and become a lawyer. The reason that his father is the sheriff of Montana is because when David’s grandfather finally decided to retire, he handed the job down to his son; David’s father. David’s mother wanted to leave Montana for several reasons; she wanted David’s father to be fully himself and not do his job just because his father told him to, and for David; she feared for his soul, and his values and such. David and his family lived in the middle of town, which meant that David could be anywhere in a matter of minutes. David’s mother worked as a secretary in the Register of Deeds office which was in the courthouse. This meant that the family had a housekeeper who lived with them during the week. Her name was Marie Little Solider and she was a Hunkpapa Sioux who originally came from the Fort Berthold Reservation in North Dakota. She was in her early twenties and was close to six feet tall and wore cotton print dresses. David worshipped Marie’s boyfriend, Ronnie Tall Bear. Marie stayed in a small room off the kitchen. David and his parent’s room were upstairs. In mid-August 1948, is where the story finally begins. Marie had been sick that morning and had only come out to set out the lunch. David mentioned to his mother that Marie may be sick and she was instantly alarmed. His mother feared nothing more than disease or illness. So she went to check on Marie and turned out she had a cold and a fever. So they called David’s father’s brother, who is a doctor (Doctor Hayden) to come and see Marie. Marie shot up in bed and refused to see a doctor and that if she did she wants to see her doctor not Dr. Hayden. David’s mother puts David in charge of looking after Marie for the afternoon. *
David checked in on Marie often, but stayed out just like his mother ordered. Marie is talking loudly while she is dreaming. Later on she calls out to David and tells him to tell everyone that she doesn’t need a doctor. She tries to pretend that she is okay but then starts to cough and David tells her that he will tell them that she doesn’t need a doctor. *
David’s mother and father came home at 5 o’clock and had supper, then his father left again four and hour or two if the evening was peaceful. His mother checks on Marie again and she was burning up. She tells Wes, David’s father, to call Frank, the family doctor. David tells his parents that Marie doesn’t want a doctor but his father dismisses it as Indian superstition. David mentioned that his father didn’t like Indians, he didn’t hold them in a very high regard. His parents didn’t listen to David went he told them that Marie didn’t want a doctor is a defence. His father dismissed David’s comments and went rang his brother to come over. *
When his brother arrived, he rolled up his sleeves and David starts to compare his father to his brother, in which his father is bound to suffer from. *
Frank put his black bag on the kitchen table and had a drink before he went to examine Marie. Marie screamed until David’s mum, Gail, was in the room with Frank. David and his father went out to sit on the porch while Marie was examined. Not long after, Frank came out onto the porch. He explains that Marie wouldn’t let him examine her properly as she is used to a ‘medicine man’. He suspects its pneumonia or mumps. Gail persists that Marie will stay at their house so she can keep an eye on her. Once Frank left, Gail told David that she wanted to talk to his father privately. David wishes that he had either gone to the kitchen, to his room, if he had only left the porch. If he had done that he wouldn’t had heard the convosation. Gail tells Wes that the...
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