Dream of: 07 October 2001 "Battle Hymn"

I was with a group of about 20 people who were being attacked by American Indians; we were completely surrounded. I was particularly concerned about two or three women in our group. When two cowboys found a passage through the Indians and temporarily visited us, I thought the women might be able to escape with the cowboys; but before I could get the attention of the women, the cowboys departed back through the Indians.

We had taken refuge in what appeared to be a train car sitting alone, exposed to attack. I had a hand revolver with a long silver barrel. For the first time I began to understand why I had heard people say that it was important to make sure you saved the last bullet for yourself. The Indians were known for their cruelty and if I were in danger of being taken prisoner, it would be better to kill myself first. I wondered how many of George Custer's men had killed themselves at Little Big Horn, rather than being taken prisoner. Hopefully I wouldn't be somehow knocked unconscious during the attack, only to wake up to being tortured by the Indians. And how should I kill myself? With a bullet in the side of the head? Through the eye? In the mouth? None of the alternatives seemed attractive.

As we waited, everyone sat down in some fold-up chairs, arranged in rows toward one end of the car. One of the women stood up in front and began singing the Battle Hymn of the Republic. In excellent voice, she sang out, "He is treading out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored." I particularly noticed the word "treading" – I felt sure the word wasn't properly used in the song. I began going over the song in my mind, starting with, "Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord," trying to remember where this line fit into the song.

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