As Xavier, one of the protagonists reflects in the novel, the number three is especially relevant not only to Native culture but Europeans alike. It would appear to Xavier that the number three can be found everywhere. There is the front line, the support line, and the reserve line, for example. There is the infantry, the cavalry, and the artillery. In moments off battle, there is food, then rest, then women. In church, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. There is even superstition about lighting three cigarettes with one match. Xavier remembers specifically though, about what his aunt Niska told him about those ready for death having to walk the Three Day Road. In the novel, we accompany Xavier on what would seem to be his Three Day Road; his journey back to his home with Niska and her stories trying to heal him.
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