Chapter 7

The night of his arrival at the Butlers', True Son lies awake in a strange room as Del sleeps nearby. The boy feels as if he is in a grave because the air is so stale and constricting. He thinks about how living in such confined spaces must cause the white people to be so colorless, and he considers how different Indians are from the English.

True Son cannot sleep because he can feel the presence of the whites around him. He keeps thinking about the story his Indian father told him about the Peshtank or Paxton boys. During the month of December, these white men massacred a group of Conestoga Indians who had converted to Christianity and were living peacefully in a white community. The surviving Indians fled to the white town of Lancaster and begged for help and safety, but the whites refused to recognize the Conestogas as brothers. A few fays after Christmas the Paxton boys struck again, this time killing innocent children and maiming their victims. As True Son remembers the story, he becomes full of rage. He is unable to sleep until he finally slips off the bed and lies covered by his bearskin on the floor.

When True Son comes downstairs the next morning still wearing Indian garments, his Aunt Kate orders "Johnny" to wash and change into proper English clothes. Although he despises his aunt and feels disgraceful carrying the bucket of water upstairs like a woman, True Son finally concedes. He regards the clothes with repulsion since they further imprison him in white culture.

Later in the day, True Son is called down to meet a dozen of his white relatives. He is eventually left with his Uncle George Owens and his fat and strong-looking Uncle Wilse, whom True Son has learned was a leader of the Paxton boys. Uncle Wilse remarks with suspicion that True Son still looks like an Indian; he clearly does not trust the boy and says that True Son is probably scheming of ways to steal and kill at that very moment. When True Son is unresponsive to Uncle Wilse, the man asks whether True Son only knows "scrub" Indian language. True Son finally speaks to his uncle through Del's translation, angrily stating that his Indian father has showed him how Delaware is a rich language and that white men use some Delaware words.

In response to this speech, Uncle Wilse makes a harsh statement about Cuyloga, causing True Son to become incensed with hatred. In broken English he talks directly to Uncle Wilse, accusing Uncle Wilse of killing Indian women and children even though he claims to be a good Christian. Uncle Wilse bursts with rage, declaring that the Indians got what they deserved. He tells True Son's white father to watch out for his evil, deceptive son, and he warns True Son that his Indian friends had better not show their faces in Paxton Township. For the first time in the conversation, True Son's other uncle speaks. He tells True Son that he, Uncle Wilse, and Mr. Butler are good, Christian citizens, but that their experiences with Indians have forced them to take the law into their own hands. Uncle Owens explains that if an Indian kills a white he simply goes to Buck's County or Philadelphia where he is not punished. If a white kills and Indian, however, it is considered murder and the white person is hanged.

The words of Uncle Owens do not seem to affect True Son. In a scornful tone True Son asks Uncle Wilse if Wilse is the brother of David Owens, a white man who killed his Indian wife and children for scalp money. In response to this Uncle Wilse violently slaps True Son in the face. He says that he wishes he was the brother of that David Owens since the man had been loyal to his country and believed in "getting rid of vermin." True Son eventually regains his composure, but tells himself that he must not say anything more that day.