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CHAPTER SUMMARY AND NOTES
Albert Left Hand is a silent and surly old man. When he talks, he whines about life and berates Tom for being lazy. Still Tom finds a peace and contentment working for him, for he enjoys being out in the sage flats with the sheep. He learns to help the ewes struggling with giving birth, and through his efforts, most of the lambs are saved. In the spring he helps with the shearing and travels to Bayfield to sell the wool
Tom finds peace and contentment at Albert Left Handís in spite of the man being a surly old man of few words. He finds peace in nature. He helps ewes struggling in giving birth and manages to save most of the lambs. They shear the lambs in spring and decide to visit Bayfield to sell the skins.
Tom enjoys his job as a shepherd, for he loves being out in nature amongst the variety of flora and fauna. He finds that the sage flats in which he works are almost as lovely as the area on Bald Mountain where he lived previously. When Tom is out in the wild, he always feels happy and peaceful. Even the grumpy attitude of Albert Left Hand does not spoil his contentment. Tom truly enjoys caring for the sheep and saving the little lambs during birthing; as a result, he is successful at what he does.
In Bayfield, Tom spots an attractive saddle in a shop and recognizes the bridle as one he made in school. He is amazed to see that the saddle and bridle are so expensive, especially since he received no pay for making the bridle. It is an example of how the white man exploited the skills of Indians.
While in Bayfield, two cowhands bully Tom and challenge him to ride a wild horse, promising him a quarter if he succeeds. Tom stays on the horse, but Slim, his challenger, falls off. As a result, Slim offers Tom a dollar if he can ride the horse again without falling off. Tom successfully repeats his performance. After the two successful rides, Tom is approached by Red Dillon, who makes his living by breaking broncos. He offers Tom a job in New Mexico, where he owns a herd of wild horses. Red promises to help the boy learn all about bronco taming and riding. Tom is eager to take the job, but he tells Red that he must first talk to his current employer, Albert Left Hand.
This chapter is important, for Tom meets Red Dillon, who will have a very significant impact on the rest of Tomís life. Red is impressed with Tomís ability with horses and offers him a job in New Mexico. The boy is eager to take the job; but he tells Red he must first tell Albert about his decision to leave.
Also in the chapter, the author reveals how Indians were exploited and treated poorly treated by white men. Tom sees a bridle that he made in school with an expensive price tag, but he received no pay for making it; however, the white man will make a handsome profit by selling it. In addition, the white cowhands ridicule and bully Tom, just because he is an Indian.