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The Ordeal of Plenty Horses
Caught between two cultures, a young Sioux sought to make himself a hero—by killing an army officer
December 1974 | Volume 26, Issue 1
I am an Indian. Five years I attended Carlisle and was educated in the ways of the white man.… I was lonely. I shot the lieutenant so I might make a place for myself among my people. Now I am one of them. I shall be hung and the Indians will bury me as a warrior. They will be proud of me. I am satisfied.
But Plenty Horses did not make a place for himself among his people. Today old Indians on the Rosebud Reservation dimly remember him as a lonely figure living quietly with his wife, Josephine, and son, Charles, in a one-room log cabin on Oak Creek, “quite unloved” by neighbors and acquaintances. Agency files record his death on June 15, 1933, a year after the death of his wife and son. For Plenty Horses the fame he had sought with his people had flashed as briefly as it had brightly.