A Horse Trade Story

u32_jacob-hamblin-bustWhen I was a young child I lived in Kanab, Utah and loved the feel of living in a small town where you could roam free and not be in danger of many things. Below is a story as told by Jacob Hamblin a Mormon pioneer and resident of this little town in southern Utah.

When I was about twelve years old our family lived in Kanab, Utah. A band of Piute Indians were camped a few miles away, across the wash. My father, Jacob Hamblin, the Indian missionary, said to me, “son, I want you to go to the indian camp this afternoon and trade the little bay pony for some blankets, which we will need this winter.”

When the midday meal was over, I climbed astride old, Billy, led the little bay pony, and rode bareback across the flat toward the Indian camp.

When I rode in, the chief helped me off the horse and asked, “you Jacob’s boy. What you want?”

When I told him my errand, he looked at the trade pony and grunted his assent. He led to to his wigwam where there was a pile of handwoven Indian blankets. He piled out a number of them. Determined to show my father that I was a good trader, I asked for another blanket. The chief looked at me out of the corner of his eye and added another blanket to the pile. Then I asked for another and another and still another. By now the chief was grinning broadly but added as many blankets as I demanded.

Satisfied that I had really made a good trade, I closed the deal. The chief piled the blankets on the back of old Billy and lifted me up.

Father met me in the yard and looked at the blankets. Then he made two piles of about equal size. One pile he placed on the horse and put me back on, saying, “Go back and these to the chief. You got enough blankets for two horses.”

As I approached the camp, I could see the old chief. When I rode up, he laughed out loud and said, “I know Jacob sent you back. He is an honest man. He my father as well as your father.”

Several years later when Jacob was alone with a band of angry, hostile Indians, the fact that he had always been honest with them saved his life.

Louise Lee Udall, as told by Jacob Hamblin, Jr.

Jacob Hamblin, was a wonderful example to many people.

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