There are a few white settlements, including Fort Custer on the Bighorn River, a trading post or two, a couple of missionaries, and the town of Medicine Lodge, some 20 miles south of the new Crow Agency. There are two big cow outfits in the area and a couple of small ranches, all trespassing on tribal land. There are a dozen or so farmers along Medical Lodge Creek, and they're trespassing, too.
The Crow Indians are on short rations, and hungry. Every now and then, they steal a steer or two from the cowmen. The cowmen strike back and steal the Crows' horses. Once in a while, somebody gets shot. Even so, it is a marvel the situation isn't a whole lot worse, considering that red men and white men don't understand each other at all. They have mostly gotten along well...until lately.