The men deliberate as to what to do about the Napikwans. In the last thirteen years they have had two treaties, but the Napikwans have failed to honor them. Now, more and more Napikwans are invading their land, and they have not been properly paid for the land they have already agreed to sell.
The Lone Eaters know that the Napikwans will never honor any treaty they sign. The Napikwans will continue to invade their land, and there is little they can do to fight or resist.
The young braves are eager to fight. To surrender to the Napikwans “is not the way of the Pikunis,” the young men say, and they are ready to drive them from their land. Rides-at-the-door agrees with the young men, but he is hesitant to engage the Napikwans. He says that with the end of the war in the east more Napikwans are headed to their land, and the seizers have already “rubbed out” the Parted Hairs people to the east. “Sun Chief favors the Napikwan,” Rides-at-the-door says. He tells them that it is natural to what to fight the enemy, but they are “up against a force they cannot fight.”
Rides-at-the-door is referring to the Civil War, and now that the government is not otherwise engaged, they have turned their attention to the natives. Additionally, countless settlers have moved West looking for work, land, or gold since the end of the war, and the seizers are eliminating the native tribes along the way. Unfortunately, the Pikunis are next in line, and they are no match for the seizers.