“You must send them away to school,” the Indian Agent insisted. He gestured toward the four children clustered behind John Pollock and his wife in the dusty Agent’s office. “It’s the law.”
“Not Navajo law,” John Pollock said.
“How else are they going to learn to read and write?”
“I will teach them.”
“You speak American, but—”
“I also read and write it.”
“All adult Navajos are illiterate. Everyone knows that.”
John’s eyes glinted with amusement. “If you say so.”
“The soldiers will throw you into prison.”
John’s wife stiffened, but John smiled gently. “We will see,” he said, turning to leave.
“We’ll stop your rations.”
John opened the office door. “We have mutton and corn.” He gestured his family through the doorway and nodded politely. “Good day to you. I expect we will not meet again.”
“Educated Indians,” the Agent muttered as the door closed. “God help me!”
Copyright © 2015 Loretta Miles Tollefson