Jos gave it, and the Agent began to write it in the book. "Stop him." cried Alessandro, agitatedly to Jos. "Don't let him write, till I know what he puts my name in his book for!"
"Wait," said Jos. "He doesn't want you to write his name in that book. He wants to know what it's put there for."
Wheeling his chair with a look of suppressed impatience, yet trying to speak kindly, the Agent said: "There's no making these Indians understand anything. They seem to think if I have their names in my book, it gives me some power over them."
"Wall, don't it?" said the direct-minded Aunt Ri. "Hain't yer got any power over 'em? If yer hain't got it over them, who have yer got it over? What yer goin' to do for 'em?"
The Agent laughed in spite of himself. "Well, Aunt Ri," -- she was already "Aunt Ri" to the Agent's boys,-- "that's just the trouble with this Agency. It is very different from what it would be if I had all my Indians on a reservation."
Alessandro understood the words "my Indians." He had heard them before.
"What does he mean by his Indians, Jos?" he asked fiercely. "I will not have my name in his book if it makes me his."
When Jos reluctantly interpreted this, the Agent lost his temper. "That's all the use there is trying to do anything with them! Let him go, then, if he doesn't want any help from the Government!"