A Grain Of Wheat
: epilogue by Ben Colder
To all who has asked me for an epilogue.
Here you go Earl.
LOST RIVER REST HOME.,
The year, 1909.
Seated on a bench beneath a large Elm, J B Wright hears the gentle voice of his nurse saying, "Mr. Wright, you have a visitor."
The Lost River home for the elderly housed the eighty-seven-year-old, former trapper and Army Scout, J B Wright.
He wiped his eyes with a handkerchief to clear his vision as a well-dressed man approach. He strained to focus the visitor's face while trying to understand who he was.
He questioned, I have seen this face before, but not sure?
The man stood silently while staring knowing J B was having trouble seeing.
An invitation to sit was offered as the host scooted over on the long bench.
They sat apart as J B asked, "What can I do for you?"
With a questionable voice the man responded, "You do not know who I am, do you?"
J B grinned and then spoke, "I'm trying hard to place you, your face is familiar, but no, I suppose not."
The man spoke, "Think back to 1865, I was ten years of age and Lottie Hamilton was my Mother."
The moment was like standing on the summit of a mountain inhaling the coolness of fresh air as J B spoke, "Are you little Norman Hamilton?"
The man chuckled and patted his large belly, "Yes, sir, but not so little anymore. City life and owning a newspaper has spoiled me. Last week, I had my fifty first birthday and seeing you one more time was my wish."
J B asked, "How did you know where I was?"
Norman chuckled, "We newspaper people have ways. No, I am kidding. I'm doing a story on some of the old forts and came upon your name at Fort Rice, so I began asking questions and was told you were still alive and living here."
J B was silent before asking. "How are your mother and John?"
Norman responded, "They are both gone, John died Christmas day in 99 and mother passed away last year. You know, I am not sure if you ever knew but Mother was very fond of you and sometimes talked about my real father and how you and he grew up as boys. I suppose she never knew what really happened to you before learning a few years later about your capture."
J B sighed, "Well, all that is now water running down the mountain. How about you? Do you have a family?"
"Yes, I would like to bring them here to meet you. I have spoken often about the times we had together and how you taught me how to ride."
J B sat trying to remember that day while asking do you still ride?"
"No, much to busy but someday, maybe if I ever find the time. We have automobiles now."
"Yea, I have seen them, a doctor here has one. Too much smoke and they make too much noise. They'll never out do a well, gated horse not in a million years."
Norman remarked, "I read where you were involved with that big fight with Gall and helped with settling things, would you care to talk about that? I would like to do a story and honor you. "
"Honor me? There were more than me there that day. No, I need no honor and if you really want people to know the truth of the matter, I was one of five scouts there to be part of another massacre. Tell your readers this. If they are looking to blame the Indians then they should sweep out their own house, the tribes were only trying to hang on to their lands which the Great Spirit had given them."
Norman realized the conversation was causing anger and quickly changed his line of questioning. "Did you ever find time to get married?"
"Yes, to a pretty little thing. She was of the Crow nation. I had a son too, I called him Little Shirt."
"What ever happened to them? Are they living somewhere on the reservation? I would like to meet them."
J B remained silent until his nurse appeared wanting to take him back inside, but before leaving he remarked, "Son, the white man's sickness took them. They called it an epidemic of Indian cholera."
It was noon and time was fading. The nurse interrupted asking Norman if he would visit another time. He complied and promised to bring his family the following week.
That evening as J B sat in the parlor reminiscing the day and relishing the seeing of Little Norm, he leaned his head back in the Chip & Dale chair and closed his eyes for the last time.
A few days later, the obituary section in the Denver Star announced. "TODAY A SPECIAL FRIEND HAS DEPARTED THIS EARTH FOR A MORE PEACEFUL EXISTENCE.
J B Wright, A HALF BREED CHEYENNE, TRAPPER, AND U.S. ARMY SCOUT DEPARTED THIS WORLD INTO THE PEACE PROMISED FROM His PERSONAL BELIEF. AMERICAN HISTORY WILL ALWAYS BARE HIS NAME AND I AM HONORED TO HAVE BEEN HIS FRIEND."
August, 11th, 1909.
Owner, and Editing Chief.
Norman L. HAMILTON.
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