Why did Archilde decide not to tell authorities that his mother murdered Dan Smith in The Surrounded?

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Archilde protects his mother, Catharine, after she kills the game warden because she is family and her murdering of the game warden was an emotional reaction to his shooting Louis and killing him. Archilde and Catharine then take Louis body home and simply tell people that they found him dead in the mountains.

Archilde's act is one of family and tribe devotion, a symbol of his new found identity. As a person of mixed race, educated outside of the tribal system, Archilde’s development as a character represents the confusion he feels for both white authority and tribal unity. In fact, one of the primary themes of The Surrounded is the human entanglement of these various characters, cultures, and ways of life.

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