Fritzie, the companion of the butcher shop’s owner, gives Fleur a black umbrella and a place to stay in the unused smokehouse. As Fleur returns to her cabin, she twirls the umbrella above her. When Fleur’s baby dies soon after birth, Eli buries the child in the branches of a tree, and Fleur climbs the tree to shelter the tiny box from the weather with the umbrella. It is said that anything that falls under the shadow of the umbrella will be cursed by the Pillagers and the lake monster as a threat to Matchimanito, and this is rumored to be cause of Napoleon Morrisey’s death. When Fleur leaves her land, it is one of the only things she takes with her.
The umbrella is a symbol of the successful ways in which Western objects might be used to the advantage of natives when they are attained without blemish or ulterior motive of the white person gifting it. Fleur is able to shade herself from the weather of the storm on her return to Matchimanito with the gift from her true friend Fritzie, and then she is able to use it to protect her dead child from the elements. Though the rest of the townspeople see the umbrella as something sinister that causes harm to those who encounter it, the umbrella is instead truly a form of unfettered protection that is provided to Fleur and those she loves, in contrast to the way the government Agent and lumber companies seek to trick Fleur into giving up her land and power to serve their own needs.