The old man reached into the fire and took out a glowing coal. He held it in his fingers in front of Richard’s face. “You white men lost touch with how things really are. You think the whole world belongs to you.”

He tossed the coal away and walked back to the cabin.

“Don’t let him bother you,” said Tree Owl. “He won’t bring any of that into the lodge.”

“Why am I doing this again?”

“The sweat lodge is a ritual of purification. It’s like being reborn.”

“I guess I have to die first, then?”

“That’s the idea, Rich.”


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