In early October 1874, the Adair’s meet formally with a band of starving Ogalala Sioux. The couple asks permission to follow behind, so that John can watch how they hunt and bag his own trophy. The Indians’ reply is more than they bargained for…
It makes my heart feel glad to see a lot of big men sitting down with us. I will now tell you something. Look at all my people and tell my Great Father that we had nothing to eat at the Agency, and that we have come here to hunt buffalo. We have always done so, and shall continue to do so as long as buffalo exist.
“You tell me that the Whites are good to our people. But when I look at my children I don’t like to see them starving . We love this country, and we cannot leave it so long as the buffalo are here. The Whites like their country. We do the same and do not want to get rid of it.
“Tell the Great Father to stop the white men from killing the buffalo only for the sake of their hides. So long as there were any buffalo left we were told we might kill them.
“This is all I have to say.”
Fire Thunder (Ogalala Sioux)
October 8, 1874
On the South Platte River