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STORY AND SONG OF THE MOTHER'S
It was a warm day of early spring on the Upper Missouri, when the subtle joy of awakening life stirs the blood and rouses the fancy. The brown outline of the bare trees was already broken by little leaves that were shaking themselves in the bright sunlight. Flowers were peering through the vivid green of the freshly sprung grass, the birds had come, and the silence of the year had passed. It was a day to enjoy outdoor life, to indulge in hope and happy thoughts. The sky was so blue between the rolling white clouds that one forgot they could ever become portentous of storm. The tents of the Indians, dotted along the banks of the stream, stood like tall white flowers among the trees. Women and children were chatting and calling to each other. Men moved sedately about, busy with preparations for the coming summer days. Young men and maidens were thinking of each other; for the morning song of the lover had been heard, and the signal flash of the mirror* had revealed his watching-place to the dark-eyed girl
* Young men carried small looking-glasses with which they flashed signals.