Ernest Hemingway wrote a short tale called “Indian Camp.” The tale initially appeared in Ford Madox Ford’s literary journal Transatlantic Review in Paris in 1924 and was then reprinted by Boni & Liveright in Hemingway’s first American collection of short stories, In Our Time, in 1925. In “Indian Camp,” narrated from his point of view, Hemingway’s semi-autobiographical character Nick Adams—a youngster in just this story—makes his first appearance.
Nick Adams’ father, a rural doctor, is summoned to a Native American or “Indian” camp to deliver a baby, according to the account. At the camp, the father is compelled to use a jackknife to perform an emergency caesarean section, with Nick as his assistance. Following the procedure, the woman’s husband is discovered dead, having sliced his neck.
The storey demonstrates Hemingway’s developing restrained style and the use of contrast. “Indian Camp” is an initiation narrative that incorporates themes like childbirth and death dread that recur across much of Hemingway’s future work. The tale’s quality of writing was observed and applauded when it was released, and academics consider “Indian Camp” to be an essential piece inside the Hemingway canon.
Nick Adams, his father, uncle, as well as their Indian escorts row across a lake to a nearby Indian camp inside the pre-dawn hours of the morning. Nick’s father, who is a doctor, has been summoned to deliver a baby for a woman who has been in labour for several days.
They locate the woman in a cabin, laying on the bottom bunk bed, alongside her husband, who has a wounded foot, above her. Because the baby is breech, Nick’s father is compelled to execute a caesarian procedure on the mother with such a jack-knife; he begs Nick to assist by holding a basin. Throughout the procedure, the lady yells, and when Nick’s uncle tries to restrain her, she bites him. Nick’s father turns to the woman’s husband on the top bunk just after the baby is delivered as well as discovers that he fatally sliced his neck with such a straight razor from ear to ear during the procedure. Nick has escorted out the cabin, and his uncle departs with two Natives, never to be seen again.