The Ordeal of Plenty Horses


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.