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Another war with the Sioux was looming on the horizon and the army wanted Digger McGilvery. He had lived with the Sioux for ten years and he only took the job because he hoped to be of help to both sides. He understood the Sioux, but he had trouble understanding his own kind. It was with the help of a woman that he gained some of that understanding…but would it be enough to keep them alive.
He was the son of Scottish parents who braved all odds and settled in the Sioux territory. They were the first to settle on the land that the Sioux claimed and although the Sioux were very territorial and defended their land vigorously they saw no harm from this white man, so they let him and his family stay as they watched and studied their ways.
Angus McGilvery was a tough Scotsman, tough on those who crossed him but gentle with his family and others. This was how he treated the Sioux who showed up. At first it upset the Sioux when they saw him plowing the earth, to them he was cutting open their mother earth but he explained that he was allowing her to breathe and give new life to the world. They were skeptical until they had a chance to taste for the first time some of the vegetables that Angus had planted.
Not all the Indians in the area were friendly and when a marauding band of Cheyanne came by they left with the bodies of Angus and Mary McGilvery laying in the garden they prized so much. The Sioux took the McGilvery children, Dawson and Belle, to their camp and that is where Digger got his name. The ten years he spent being raised by a man named Wakíŋyaŋ and his wife Wičháȟpi had taught him much about their ways and thinking.
He left the Sioux when he was eighteen and went to work with the army as a scout. Even then he had hopes that there could be peace among both sides, but he was soon to learn that peace was not the only thing the government wanted from the Plains Indians.
When he finally understood this he could no longer stand the hypercritical ways of the handling of his friends the Sioux so he took what money he had and started his own ranch. Life was good for him until the Army wanted him again. He had matured some and could now handle the name of ‘Indian Lover’, in fact he wore the name Digger they had given him with pride.
Things had worsened between the Sioux and the army and now the thought that he could be of help for both sides rose in him again. He had no friends among the men he served and didn’t care to make any…until he laid eyes on a girl named Melissa.
She was the daughter of the camp commander and although he didn’t know it anything between them was doomed from the start. Her father wanted more for her then what he saw in Digger McGilvery so he sent him on a dangerous mission with no hope of coming back even if he lived through it.
Jules and James Merchant did their best to make sure he didn’t live through it but with the help of a woman, who knew little of the men of the west and nothing of the Lakota Sioux he was brought back among the living. He swore the gunrunning Merchant brothers would pay for what they did even if it meant giving up his own life.