Memoirs

Abe's Story by Anthony Renwick McGill

By Anthony Renwick McGill

When medical professional Aaron Bell made the adventure from Boston to Pierre, South Dakota, to be on the deathbed of his brother, Abe, he couldn't have anticipated to return into ownership of a stirring chronicle: his brother's hand-written account in their adolescence west of the Missouri within the final 3 a long time of the nineteenth century and the influence on them either one of a impressive guy, Reverend Eli Bell. Aaron, a full-blooded Sioux, and Abe, orphaned early in lifestyles, have been drawn jointly in a unprecedented kinfolk that introduced religion and braveness to 2 cultures. The mysterious disappearance of Eli had unexpected implications for either one of the brothers. Set in an imposing panorama, Abe's tale recounts via new eyes the turbulent years that observed the extinguishing of the tradition of the Plains Indians and the robbery and desecration in their land.

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I was forcefully reminded that I could actually read, write and count, play with other children and laugh out loud. I came to understand that I could be loved for no reason other than simply being me. On Friday morning I signed my name to a paper in the judge’s chambers, and walked out as the legally adopted son of Eli Bell. Then my new father and I went to the graveyard, where my natural parents and younger sister lay under a headstone he had arranged to have put there. On it was the simple legend: ‘KARL AND KATE SECKERT AND THEIR DAUGHTER AMY.

The glorious summer weather filled the children with youthful joy as we plunged out of one sun-filled day into another, with pauses only for bodily refuelling and indispensable sleep time. On Saturday there was the customary riding out with my father to the outskirts of town, while Sunday was devoted to the service of the Lord. On a Sunday morning, the second week after our return to Sioux Falls, I was laying out my best clothes when Eli turned from the open window and exhaled a deep breath of the bracing morning air.

Abe,” I tried again. The long neck craned towards me, the bright eyes never leaving mine. “Abe Seckert,” I advanced. “A-aah, yes,” he nodded. ” I nodded. “… Di …” I began to blurt out the nickname – ‘Ding-Dong’ – that the children of Sioux Falls had for him. ” My hand edged again towards the roasting rabbit. “Before we take food, let us lower our heads and thank the Lord for that which He has provided this night …” I bowed my head in acquiescence. “… Lord, we thank You for Your gift of this food that we have before us.

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