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It is not only the white man who breaks the sixth commandment…. Evil and ugly things have been committed against the will of God on both sides.

Parson Elder directs this quote towards True Son during their conversation in Chapter 9. It is the only point in the novel in which a character speaks out against the violence perpetrated by both Indians and whites, and yet it expresses a crucial truth about the frontier and the novel itself. Although the whites were greedy settlers who encroached upon Indian land and murdered many Indians, they too did not deserve to have their innocent children massacred. The perpetual violence caused by both sides has simply led to more despair, and Parson Elder, although he clearly has a bias toward white culture, is one of the only characters to understand this. At the time Parson Elder tells him this, True Son vehemently denies that Indians have done anything wrong. The point at which he realizes that Indians have been killing white children drastically affects True Son's way of thinking.