Part 5 of Indian John
There was another time Indian John cared for the farmer and two children of a Republic County, Kansas family who was ill with a high fever. During that week Indian John spent there nursing the family, he indicated a place near their homestead where a well could be dug to help the family and their neighbors of the hardship of carrying water a full mile from their high land claims. When the farmer recovered and was able to explore the spot, he than found the clean water that Indian John had promised. Many stories about the medicine man refer to his highly developed physical senses and suggest that he had a kind of second sight. Indian John had a uncanny gift for diagnosis. He was said to be able to see or smell a sickness, or to identify the nature of a illness by examining a object from the sickroom, or by a piece of bedding that was brought to him by a young Bohemian, who did not speak English. Indian John quickly put the fabric in the stove and told the visitor to quickly get out of the house., explaining that the cloth came from a room that had smallpox. Later he was proven to be right. Indian John once told a assistant, that all common ailments and diseases have from one to five odors that only a trained nose can identify. But smell was not the only sense he relied on, he was also said to be able to diagnose through an intermediary, a friend or relative of a sick person who was not present, or just by looking at a photograph. His exceptional powers of perception were combined with an extensive knowledge of prairie plants unfamiliar to most settler’s, and he honored equally both his Native American teachers spiritual beliefs and traditional Christianity. Thus these Indian John was not always understood by his neighbors. There was a rumor that he was involved in a secret spiritualist organization, and he was asked to perform which craft. He always refused, citing the Bible’s prohibition against such practices. Indian John denied that his powers were supernatural and insisted, I do not heal with divine power, Nevertheless, he made a subtle distinction and recognized a spiritual source of his healing arts. He was remembered to have said, I prayed to God for powers to serve mankind, and, my work is to make sick people well. It’s God gift to me. The medicine man’s reputation grew and his practice matured with the steady settlement of the region. At the height of his career, Indian John was sending medicines to clients in every state. He produced an advertising almanac containing some of his recipes. In his later years, he no longer rode his circuit, his patients came to him instead. Scores of automobiles and large crowds filled his yard on Sunday afternoons. Here he would gather about a dozen people in a semicircle before him. Without listening to symptoms or complaints, but instead speaking to each in turn, he would diagnosed their aliments and than prescribe the appropriate herbal medicine for them. Witnesses on one Sunday afternoon saw him rub an egg sized tumor on a boy’s arm and then watched it disappear.
Well the last part of Indian John tomorrow. What a great man and herbalist.