I saw kids die of tuberculosis, influenza, pneumonia and broken hearts at St. Jerome’s. I saw young boys and girls die standing on their own two feet. I saw runaways carried back, frozen solid as boards. I saw bodies hung from rafters on thin ropes. I saw wrists slashed and the cascade of blood on the bathroom floor and, one time, a young boy impaled on the tines of a pitchfork that he’d shoved through himself. I watched a girl calmly fill the pockets of her apron with rocks and walk away across the field. She went to the creek and sat on the bottom and drowned. That would never stop, never change, so long as that school stood in its place at the top of that ridge, as long as they continued to pull Indian kids from the bush and from the arms of their people. So I retreated. That’s how I survived. Alone. When the tears threatened to erupt from me at night I vowed they would never hear me cry. I ached in solitude. What I let them see was a quiet, withdrawn boy, void of feeling.