Today we are coming together to bid my sister and my brother in law best wishes on their journey to the north. Elders, wise and aging with stringy gray hair and wrinkling skin, take pride in this young couple. The humility and honor they taught shines bright. As He
Inkpa Duta
and Cante Waste Win, my brother in law and sister,ride out of the camp. Young boys and girls gather around, wishing them a safe journey. He Inkpa Duta’s head is held high, confident as he rides by, and eager for their four-day trek.
     A couple days went by, hoping their journey is going well and they’re making good time, I look into the distance. Coming from  the north I see He Inkpa Duta being followed by my sister,his head is hanging on his chest and eyes are low, avoiding contact, as they arrive. Days
  go by, and I notice a change in my sister and brother in law. They’re no longer seen in public together, He Inkpa Duta isn’t one who shies away from the people.
    I go to his tipi, as I approach, Cante Waste Win tells me that she is going to the river to fetch water. She picks up the buffalo bladders, slings them over her shoulder, and walks away singing. 
     The shutters are closed in their tipi, and little light comes through. I see my brother in law is sitting on the ground, crying and looking down, sniffling. I sit and put my arm around my Ciye and ask,
     “What happened to you brother? What is it that troubles you?”
     He Inkpa Duta slowly lifts his head and looks at me. Water builds in his eyes as he tries to  fight back the tears. In a trembling voice he tells me,
     “Brother, I am ashamed.”
    He shakes his head and reflects on emotions,
    “Your sister is the most traditional woman any man can ask for, but what I am going to tell you will trouble you.”
    He takes a deep breath, gasping for air as he fights back hurt emotions.
    “We were riding through the valley by the Crow camp. It was nearing sun down and the people were going back to their camp. We snuck by, by leading our horse on foot. Hoping to be undetected, and as we approached the ridge of the valley, we were spotted by a young Crow
warrior.”
     He stares to the ground, dark, deep, and emotionless. A single tear falls and he continues,
    “As he rode closer to us, I could see the fatigue in his eyes, and he could see it in mine. We were both exhausted, to tired to take each others life so we came to terms to a fist fight, the winner was determined by the last man standing on his feet. We looked at each other, fists
up, and I made the first move. I landed a punch on the right side of his face, and he went down on one knee, but quickly jumped up and tackled me.”
    His head hangs, shaking back and forth,
    “I was to tired to fight back. He sat on top me, driving his fists into my body and face. Slowly I started excepting my defeat. Your sister came running over with a knife, I thought it was in my aid, but handed it to the young man.” 
    He stops, staring at the ground as more painful memories come into his head. Swallowing down lumps of despair and heartbreak, but he continues,
    “She gave it to him and told him to cut my throat.”
    He swallows again and grabs his throat,
     “Both of us quickly rose to our feet, shocked. The young man looked at me while jumping on his horse, his eyes, confused. He shook his head as he rode off. My pride and dignity had gone with him.”
    Sniffling, He Inkpa Duta looks at me, embarrassed, and says,
    “Ever since then, nothing has been the same. I tried to continue on the way we were, but I can’t. I cannot hold my head high, for I now live in shame.”
    My blood begins to boil as I take in the pain and emotions from his story. I storm out of the tipi running towards the river. My heart begins beating fast. I feel the wind blowing pass my ears as I dodge trees, and get hit by branches. My sister is at the bank of the river, and the buffalo bladders are full of Mni. I slowly walk towards her, heart pounding and sweaty, I feel no emotion. I grab the top of her head, but her soft silky hair makes my hand slip. She screams and I start gripping a hand full of hair. I yank her head back. She looks at me, terrified, I grab my knife and put it to her throat. She screams louder, begging for her life. I pull with all my anger and might, the piercing scream stops. I can feel her body go limp. She falls to the ground, lifeless, and covered in blood. Looking at her I do not shed a single tear. I now bear
shame and dishonor.  
 


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