You see, I had been riding with the storm clouds, and had come to earth as rain, and it was drought that I had killed with the power that the Six Grandfathers gave me.
You remember that my great vision came to me when I was only nine years old, and you have seen that I was not much good for anything until after I had performed the horse dance near the mouth of the Tongue River during my eighteenth summer.
When I got back to my father and mother and was sitting up there in our tepee, my face was still all puffed and my legs and arms were badly swollen but I felt good all over and wanted to get right up and run around.
To use the power of the bison, I had to perform that part of my vision for the people to see.
They told me I had been sick twelve days, lying like dead all the while, and that Whirlwind Chaser, who was Standing Bear's uncle and a medicine man, had brought me back to life.
There can never be peace between nations until there is first known that true peace which is within the souls of men.
The soldiers did go away and their towns were torn down and in the Moon of Falling Leaves (November), they made a treaty with Red Cloud that said our country would be ours as long as grass should grow and water flow.
The fear that was on me so long was gone, and when thunder clouds appeared I was always glad to see them, for they came as relatives now to visit me.
The boys of my people began very young to learn the ways of men, and no one taught us we just learned by doing what we saw, and we were warriors at a time when boys now are like girls.
Sometimes dreams are wiser than waking.
So I took the bright red stick and at the center of the nation's hoop I thrust it in the earth.
Now suddenly there was nothing but a world of cloud, and we three were there alone in the middle of a great white plain with snowy hills and mountains staring at us and it was very still but there were whispers.
Now I knew the sixth Grandfather was about to speak, he who was the Spirit of the Earth, and I saw that he was very old, but more as men are old.
Now and then the voices would come back when I was out alone, like someone calling me, but what they wanted me to do I did not know.
My friend, I am going to tell you the story of my life, as you wish and if it were only the story of my life I think I would not tell it for what is one man that he should make much of his winters, even when they bend him like a heavy snow
If you will read again what is written, you will see how it was.
I was sixteen years old and more, and I had not yet done anything the Grandfathers wanted me to do, but they had been helping me.
I was painted red all over with black lightning on my limbs. I wore a black mask, and across my forehead a single eagle feather hung.
I was four years old then, and I think it must have been the next summer that I first heard the voices.
I think I have told you, but if I have not, you must have understood, that a man who has a vision is not able to use the power of it until after he has performed the vision on earth for the people to see.
I looked below and saw my people there, and all were well and happy except one, and he was lying like the dead - and that one was myself.
Grown men can learn from very little children for the hearts of little children are pure. Therefore, the Great Spirit may show to them many things which older people miss.
Grandfather, Great Spirit, once more behold me on earth and lean to hear my feeble voice.
But I think I have done right to save the vision in this way, even though I may die sooner because I did it for I know the meaning of the vision is wise and beautiful and good and you can see that I am only a pitiful old man after all.
And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and I understood more than I saw for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being.