Nashoba was tracking deer along the Wichita River when a snake spooked his horse.
Ordinarily he would not have lost his balance, but lately he had fallen victim to Head In Clouds disease. He had thrown stones at She Who Loves Butterflies, and she had not responded. The horse warned him, then reared into the air. Nashoba came down hard, hit his head, and his horse was off and running, most likely back to the village where maybe She Who Loves Butterflies would notice then.
Nashoba meant wolf in Choctaw, his grandfather Restless Wanderer had been a part of the great Choctaw tribe that had broken off and came to Texas. It was hard country, but the buffalo did come through here and the wild horses ran across the plains. As Nashoba came to and got to his feet, he felt oddly out of place. Things looked different, things felt different. The river bank was somehow transformed. He must have gone further than he imagined, now he must be careful and on the lookout for renegade Apaches. He walked along the trail and ahead he saw a strange board and some sort of enclosure – proof the white men were around. What was this? There was a board with symbols: LUCY PARK. Where was the hunting ground?
All around him was brown grass, no buffalo could eat here. The trees were dying too and the river, once powerful and swift moving was low and slow. Just then, Nashoba heard a strange noise – the fair people, but they did not look like the ones he had known. He jumped behind a hedge of still alive yaupons and watched fair skinned settlers walking around. They were wearing strange clothes, and kept close along the path. Nashoba followed the small, fair skinned kids to an opening where they ran to a white woman who was also wearing strange clothes with cropped hair and painted eyes. Three large metal colored boxes sat on what looked like a large gray rock.
Nashoba had never seen anything like it, he kept rubbing his eyes. The woman took the three smaller ones and put them into the Metal Box which had the marks: YUKON. The metal box became a wagon with no horses like a moving monster and took them ahead into the distance. How could this be? Another strange emblem ahead was stamped: WATCH FOR ANIMALS. Nashoba had crossed over into another place, a place that was brown and suffering, a place where people no longer looked like any he knew. What was this? Why was he here? Nashoba must turn back, track backwards along the river, his village had to be somewhere. He had to go back.