Elizabeth took a sip of her tea and softly set it down. “The tribes around where I had lived were very angry at all white people and in my opinion, had good reason to be. I saw so many try to conform to our ways so they could stay on their land and live a peaceful life. My father told us stories about colonists picking fights with the Indians, so they would have an excuse to kill them in defense. Or they’d use the law against them since Indians had no legal rights. They would accuse an Indian of being violent, so he’d be forced off his land legally. The colonists didn’t understand or even care that this was the Indians’ *home* that their family had lived on for—not hundreds—but *thousands* of years.” Elizabeth paused and folded her hands in front of her on the table. “Even in my own family. We didn’t know nor cared that we were building a house and planting crops on top of their dead and ripping apart…show more content… They’d punish the actions of one tribe, by killing people in an entirely different tribe that had no relationship at all to the other, thinking all Indians were the same.” Elizabeth wrung her hands together like they were in battle and her face heated. This was the most wound-up Mae had ever seen her. “Both sides were guilty of blaming the race as a *whole* and too many innocent people were being killed for the despicable behavior of others.” The room fell silent while they digested her heart-wrenching story.
With deflated shoulders, Elizabeth drew a breath and bowed her head. “I’m sorry to admit that I was not innocent of those feelings. After having my family savagely murdered in front of me, I too had a deep hatred and fear of all Indians for a time.”
It now became clear to Mae why Elizabeth felt content leading such a non-eventful life tucked away in these secluded mountains. It was self-contained, nearly self-sufficient and fairly safe from people with hateful