Infomotions, Inc.When Buffalo Ran / Grinnell, George Bird, 1849-1938

Author: Grinnell, George Bird, 1849-1938
Title: When Buffalo Ran
Publisher: Project Gutenberg
Tag(s): buffalo; lodge; camp; uncle; rode; arrows; tribe; horses; killed
Contributor(s): Bishop, Julia Truitt [Editor]
Versions: original; local mirror; HTML (this file); printable
Services: find in a library; evaluate using concordance
Rights: GNU General Public License
Size: 30,131 words (really short) Grade range: 9-11 (high school) Readability score: 73 (easy)
Identifier: etext15189
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Title: When Buffalo Ran

Author: George Bird Grinnell

Release Date: February 27, 2005 [EBook #15189]

Language: English

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_Copyright, 1920, by
Yale University Press._

_First published, 1920._

_Table of Contents._

Introduction: The Plains Country
The Attack on the Camp
Standing Alone
The Way to Live
Lessons of the Prairie
On a Buffalo Horse
In the Medicine Circle
Among Enemy Lodges
A Grown Man
A Sacrifice
A Warrior Ready to Die
A Lie That Came True
My Marriage

_List of Illustrations._

People Looking from the Lodges
Hunting in the Brush along the River
My Grandmother Lived in Our Lodge
My Grandfather ... Long before Had Given up the Warpath
I Killed Many Buffalo and My Mother Dressed the Hides
Holding the Pipe to the Sky and to the Earth
"Do Not Go, Wait a Little Longer"
Watch the Men and Older Boys Playing at Sticks

_The Plains Country._

Seventy years ago, when some of the events here recounted took place,
Indians were Indians, and the plains were the plains indeed.

Those plains stretched out in limitless rolling swells of prairie until
they met the blue sky that on every hand bent down to touch them. In spring
brightly green, and spangled with wild flowers, by midsummer this prairie
had grown sere and yellow. Clumps of dark green cottonwoods marked the
courses of the infrequent streams--for most of the year the only note of
color in the landscape, except the brilliant sky. On the wide, level river
bottoms, sheltered by the enclosing hills, the Indians pitched their
conical skin lodges and lived their simple lives. If the camp were large
the lodges stood in a wide circle, but if only a few families were
together, they were scattered along the stream.

In the spring and early summer the rivers, swollen by the melting snows,
were often deep and rapid, but a little later they shrank to a few narrow
trickles running over a bed of sand, and sometimes the water sank wholly
out of sight.

The animals of the prairie and the roots and berries that grew in the
bottoms and on the uplands gave the people their chief sustenance.

In such surroundings the boy Wikis was born and grew up. The people that he
knew well were those of his own camp. Once a year perhaps, for a few weeks,
he saw the larger population of a great camp, but for the most part half a
dozen families of the tribe, with the buffalo, the deer, the wolves, and
the smaller animals and birds, were the companions with whom he lived and
from whom he learned life's lessons.

The incidents of this simple story are true.

The life of those days and the teachings received by the boy or the girl
who was to take part in it have passed away and will not return.

_The Attack on the Camp._

It is the first thing that I can recollect, and comes back to me now
dimly--only as a dream. My mother used to tell me of it, and often to laugh
at me. She said I was then about five or six years old.

I must have been playing with other little boys near the lodge, and the
first thing that I remember is seeing people running to and fro, men
jumping on their horses, and women gathering up their children. I remember
how the men called to each other, and that some were shouting the war cry;
and then that they all rode away in the same direction. My mother rushed
out and caught me by the hand, and began to pull me toward the lodge, and
then she stopped and in a shrill, sweet voice began to sing; and other
women that were running about stopped too, and began to sing songs to
encourage their husbands and brothers and sons to fight bravely; for
enemies were attacking the camp.

I did not understand it at all, but I was excited and glad to hear the
noise, and to see people rushing about. Soon I could hear shooting at a
distance. Then presently I saw the men come riding back toward the camp;
and saw the enemy following them down toward the lodges, and that there
were many of these strangers, while our people were only a few. But still
my people kept stopping and turning and fighting. Now the noise was louder.
The women sang their strong heart songs more shrilly, and I could hear more
plainly the whoops of men, and the blowing of war whistles, and the reports
of guns.

Presently one of our men fell off his horse. The enemy charged forward in a
body to touch him, and our few men rushed to meet them, to keep them from
striking the fallen one, and from taking the head. And now the women began
to be frightened, and some of them ran away. My mother rushed to the lodge,
caught up my little sister, and threw her on her back, and holding me by
the hand, ran toward the river. By this time I was afraid, and I ran as
hard as I could; but my legs were short and I could not keep up, even
though my mother had a load on her back. Nevertheless, she pulled me along.
Every little while I stumbled and lost my feet; but she dragged me on, and
as she lifted me up, I caught my feet again, and ran on.

Before long I began to tire, and I remember that I wanted to stop. In after
years mother used to laugh at me about this, and say that I had asked her
to throw away my sister, and to put me on her back and carry me instead.
She used to say, too, that if she had been obliged to throw away either
child I should have been the one left behind, for as I was a boy, and would
grow up to be a warrior, and to fight the enemies of our tribe, I might
very likely be killed anyway, and it might as well be earlier as later.

When we reached the river, my mother threw herself into it. Usually it was
not more than knee-deep, but at this time the water was high from the
spring floods, and my mother had to swim, holding my sister on her back,
and at the same time supporting me, for though I could swim a little, I was
not strong enough to breast the current, and without help would have been
carried away.

After we had crossed the river and come out on the other side, we looked
back toward the village, and could see that the enemy were retreating. They
might easily have killed or driven off the few warriors of our small camp,
but not far from us there was a larger camp of our people, and when they
heard the shooting and the shouting, they came rushing to help us; and when
the enemy saw them coming, they began to yield and then to run away. Our
warriors followed and killed some of them; but the most of them got away
after having killed four warriors of our camp, whose hard fighting and
death had perhaps saved the little village.

After the enemy had retreated, my mother crossed the river again, being
helped over by a man who was on the side opposite the camp, and who let us
ride his horse, while he held its tail and swam behind it.

In the village that night there was mourning for those who had lost their
lives to save their friends. Their relations cried very pitifully over the
dead; and early the next day their bodies were carried to the top of a hill
near the village, and buried there.

After the mourning for the dead was ended, the people had dances over the
scalps that had been taken from the enemy, rejoicing over the victory. Men
and women blackened their faces, and danced in a circle about the scalps,
held on poles; and old men and old women shouted the names of those men who
had been the bravest in the fight. We little boys looked on and sang and
danced by ourselves away from the circle.

It was soon after this that my uncle made me a bow and some blunt-headed
arrows, with which he told me I should hunt little birds, and should learn
to kill food, to help support my mother and sisters, as a man ought to do.
With these arrows I used to practice shooting, trying to see how far I
could shoot, how near I could send the arrow to the mark I shot at; and
afterwards, as I grew a little older, hunting in the brush along the river,
or on the prairie not far from the camp with the other little boys. We
hunted the blackbirds, or the larks, or the buffalo birds that fed among
the horses' feet, or the other small birds that lived among the bushes and
trees in the bottom. If I killed a little bird, as sometimes I did, my
mother cooked it and we ate it.


This was a happy time for me. We little boys played together all the time.
Sometimes the older boys allowed us to go with them, when they went far
from the village, to hunt rabbits, and when they did this, sometimes they
told us to carry back the rabbits that they had killed; and I remember that
once I came back with the heads of three rabbits tucked under my belt,
killed by my cousin, who was older than I. Then we used to go out and watch
the men and older boys playing at sticks; and we had little sticks of our
own, and our older brothers and cousins made us wheels; and we, too, played
the stick game among ourselves, rolling the wheel and chasing it as hard as
we could; but, for the most part, we threw our sticks at marks, trying to
learn how to throw them well, and how to slide them far over the ground.


I remember another thing--a sad thing--that happened when I was a very
little boy.

It was winter; the snow lay deep on the ground; a few lodges of people were
camped in some timber among the foothills; buffalo were close, and game was
plenty; the camp was living well. With the others I played about the camp,
spinning tops on the ice, sliding down hill on a bit of parfleche, or on a
sled made of buffalo ribs, and sometimes hunting little birds in the brush.
All this I know about from having heard my mother tell of it; it is not in
my memory. This is what I remember: One day, with one of my friends, I had
gone a little way from the camp, and down the stream. A few days before
there had been a heavy fall of snow, and after that some warm days, so that
the top of the snow had melted. Then had come a hard cold, which had frozen
it, so that on the snow there was a crust over which we could easily run.

As we were playing we went around the point of a hill, and suddenly, close
to us, saw a big bull. He seemed to have come from the other side of the
river, and was plowing his way through the deep snow, which came halfway up
to the top of his hump. When we saw the bull we were a little frightened;
but as we watched him we saw that he could hardly move, and that after he
had made a jump or two he stood still for a long time, puffing and blowing,
before he tried to go further. As we watched him he came to a low place in
the prairie, and here he sank still deeper in the snow, so that part of his
head was hidden, and only his hump showed above it. My friend said to me,
"Let us go up to this bull, and shoot him with our arrows." We began to go
toward him slowly, and he did not see us until we had come quite close to
him, when he turned and tried to run; but the snow was so deep that he
could not go at all; on each side it rose up, and rolled over, away from
him, as the water is pushed away and swells out on either side before a
duck that is swimming. My friend was very brave, and he said to me, "I am
going to shoot that bull, and count a coup on him"; and he ran up close to
the bull, and shot his blunt-headed arrow against him, and then turned off.
The bull tried hard to go faster, but the snow was too deep; and when I saw
that he could not move, I, too, ran up close to him, and shot my arrow at
him, and the arrow bounded off and fell on the snow. Again my friend did
this, and then I did it; and each time the bull was frightened and
struggled to get away: but the last time my friend did it the bull had
reached higher ground, where the snow was not so deep, and he had more
freedom. My friend shot his arrow into him, and I was following not far
behind, expecting to shoot mine; but when the bull felt the blow of the
last arrow, he turned toward my friend and made a quick rush; the snow was
less deep; he went faster; my little friend slipped, and the bull caught
him with his horns and threw him far. My friend fell close to me, and where
he fell the snow was red with his blood, for the great horn had caught him
just above the waist, and had ripped his body open nearly to the throat.

I went up to him in a moment, and, catching him, pulled him over the smooth
crust, far from the bull; but when I stopped and looked at him, he was
still, his eyes were dull, and he did not breathe; he was dead.

I did not know what to do. I had lost my friend, and I cried hard. Also, I
wished to be revenged on the bull for what he had done; but I did not wish
to be killed. I covered my friend with my robe, and started running fast to
the camp, where I told my mother what had happened. Soon all the men in the
camp, and some of the women, had started with me, back to where the bull
was. My friend's relations were wailing and mourning, as they came along,
and soon we reached his body, and his relations carried him back to the
camp. Two of the men went to where the bull stood in the snow and killed
him; and after he was dead I struck him with my bow.

_Standing Alone._

Always as winter drew near, the camps came closer together, and the people
began to make ready to start off on the hunt for buffalo. By this time food
was scarce, and the people needed new robes; and now that the cold weather
was at hand, the hair of the buffalo was long and shaggy, so that the robes
would be soft and warm, to keep out the winter cold.

I remember that before the tribe started there used to be a great ceremony,
but I was too young to understand what it all meant, though with the others
I watched what the old men did, and wondered at it, for it seemed very
solemn. There was a big circle about which the people stood or sat, and in
the middle of the circle there were buffalo heads on the ground, and before
them stood old men, who prayed and offered sacrifices, and passed their
weapons and their sacred implements over the skulls, and then people
danced; and not long after this the women loaded their lodges and their
baggage on the horses, and put their little children into the cages on the
travois, or piled them on the loaded pack horses; and then presently, in a
long line, the village started off over the prairie, to look for buffalo.

Most of the way I walked or ran, playing with the other little boys, or
looking through the ravines to try and find small birds, or a rabbit, or a
prairie chicken. Sometimes I rode a colt, too young yet to carry a load, or
to be ridden by an older person, yet gentle enough to carry me. In this way
I learned to ride.

When buffalo were found, the young men killed them, and then the whole
camp, women and children, went out to where the buffalo lay, and meat and
hides were brought in to the camp, where the women made robes, and dried
meat. Food was plenty, and everybody was glad.

My grandmother lived in our lodge. She was an old woman with gray hair, and
was always working hard. Whenever there were skins in the lodge she worked
at them until they were tanned and ready for use. Often she used to talk to
me, telling me about the old times; how our tribe used to fight with its
enemies, and conquer them, and kill them; and how brave the men always
were. She used to tell me that of all things that a man could do, the best
thing was to be brave. She would say to me: "Your father was a brave man,
killed by his enemies when he was fighting. Your grandfather, too, was
brave, and counted many coups; he was a chief, and is looked up to by
everyone. Your other grandfather was killed in a battle when he was a young
man. The people that you have for relations have never been afraid, and you
must not be afraid either. You must always do your best, because you have
many relations who have been braves, and chiefs. You have no father to tell
you how you ought to live, so now your other relations must try to help you
as much as they can, and advise you what to do."


She used to tell me of the ancient times, and of things that happened then,
of persons who had strong spiritual power, and did wonderful things, and of
certain bad persons and animals, who harmed people, and of the old times
before the people had bows, when they did not kill animals for food, but
lived on roots and berries. She told me that I must remember all these
things, and keep them in my mind.

Sometimes my grandmother had hard pains in her legs, and it hurt her to
walk, and when she had these pains she could not go about much, and could
not work. When this happened, sometimes she used to ask me to go down to
the stream and fetch her a skin of water; and I would whine, and say to
her, "Grandmother, I do not want to carry water; men do not carry water."
Then she would tell us some story about the bad things that had happened to
boys who refused to carry water for their grandmothers; and when I was
little these stories frightened me, and I would go for the water. So
perhaps I helped her a little in some things after she was old. Yet she
lived until I was a grown man; and so long as she lived she worked hard;
except when she had these pains.

Sometimes my mother and some of her relations would go off and camp
together for a long time; and then perhaps they would join a larger camp,
and stay with them for a while. In these larger camps we children had much
fun, playing our different games. We had many of these. Some, like those I
have spoken of, we played in winter, and some we played in summer. Often
the little girls caught some of the dogs, and harnessed them to little
travois, and took their baby brothers and sisters, and others of the
younger children, and moved off a little way from the camp, and there
pitched their little lodges. The boys went too, and we all played at living
in camp. In these camps we did the things that older people do. A boy and
girl pretended to be husband and wife, and lived in the lodge; the girl
cooked and the boy went out hunting. Sometimes some of the boys pretended
that they were buffalo, and showed themselves on the prairie a little way
off, and other boys were hunters, and went out to chase the buffalo. We
were too little to have horses, but the boys rode sticks, which they held
between their legs, and lashed with their quirts to make them go faster.
Among those who played in this way was a girl smaller than I, the daughter
of Two Bulls--a brave man, a friend to my uncle. The little girl's name was
Standing Alone; she was pretty and nice, and always pleasant; but she was
always busy about something--always working hard, and when she and I played
at being husband and wife, she was always going for wood, or pretending to
dress hides. I liked her, and she liked me, and in these play camps we
always had our little lodge together; but if I sat in the lodge, and
pretended to be resting longer than she thought right, she used to scold
me, and tell me to go out and hunt for food, saying that no lazy man could
be her husband. When she said this I did not answer and seemed to pay no
attention to her words, but sat for a little while, thinking, and then I
went out of the lodge, and did as she said. When I came in again, whether I
brought anything or not, she was always pleasant.

Once, when we were running buffalo, one of the boys, who was a buffalo,
charged me when I got near him, and struck me with the thorn which he
carried on the end of his stick, and which we used to call the buffalo's
horn. The thorn pierced me in the body, and, according to the law of our
play, I was so badly wounded that I was obliged to die. I went a little way
toward the village, and then pretended to be very weak. Then my companions
carried me into the camp, and to the lodge, and Standing Alone mourned over
her husband who had been killed while hunting buffalo. Then one of the
boys, who pretended that he was a medicine man, built a sweat lodge, and
doctored me, and I recovered.

_The Way to Live._

I must have been ten years old when my uncle first began to talk to me.
Long before this, when he had made a bow and some arrows for me, he had
told me that I must learn to hunt, so that in the time to come I would be
able to kill food, and to support my mother and sisters. "We must all eat,"
he had said, "and the Creator has given us buffalo to support life. It is
the part of a man to kill food for the lodge, and after it has been killed,
the women bring in the meat, and prepare it to be eaten, while they dress
the hides for robes and lodge skins."

My uncle was a brave man, and was always going off on the warpath,
searching for the camps of enemies, taking their horses, and sometimes
fighting bravely. He was still a young man, not married; but was quiet and
of good sense and all the people respected him. Even the chiefs and older
men used to listen to him when he spoke; and sometimes he was asked to a
feast to which many older men were invited.

All my life I have tried to remember what he told me this first time that
he talked with me, for it was good advice, and came to me from a good man,
who afterwards became one of the chiefs of the tribe.

One day, soon after he had returned from one of his warpaths, he said to
me, early in the morning: "My son, get your bow and arrows, and you and I
will go over into the hills, hunting. We will try to kill some rabbits, and
perhaps we may find a deer."

I was glad to go with my uncle; no grown man had ever before asked me to go
with him, and to have him speak to me like this made me feel glad and
proud. I ran quickly and got my bow, and we set out, walking over the
prairie. We walked a long way, and I was beginning to get tired, when we
came to a place where we started first one rabbit and then another, and
then a third. I shot at one, but missed it; and my uncle killed all three.
After this we went up to the top of a high hill, to look over the country.
We saw nothing, but as we sat there my uncle spoke to me, telling me of the
things that he had done not long before; and after a time he began to tell
me how I ought to live, and what I ought to do as I grew older.

He said to me: "My son, I am going to tell you some things that will be
useful to you; and if you listen to what I say, your life will be easier
for you to live; you will not make mistakes, and you will come to be liked
and respected by all the people. Before many years now you will be a man,
and as you grow up you must try more and more to do the things that men do.
There are a few things that a boy must always remember.

"When older people speak to you, you must stop what you are doing and
listen to what they say, and must do as they tell you. If anyone says to
you, 'My son, go out and drive in my horses,' you must go at once; do not
wait; do not make anyone speak to you a second time; start at once.

"You must get up early in the morning; do not let the sun, when it first
shines, find you in bed. Get up at the first dawn of day, and go early out
into the hills and look for your horses. These horses will soon be put in
your charge, and you must watch over them, and must never lose them; and
you must always see that they have water."

"You must take good care of your arms. Always keep them in good order. A
man who has poor arms cannot fight."

"It is important for you to do all these things. But there is one thing
more important than anything else, and that is to be brave. Soon you will
be going on a warpath, and then you must strive always to be in the front
of the fighting, and to try hard to strike many of the enemy. You must be
saying all the time to yourself, 'I will be brave; I will not fear
anything.' If you do that, the people will all know of it, and will look on
you as a man."

"There is another thing: if by chance you should do anything that is great,
you must not talk of it; you must never go about telling of the great
things that you have done, or that you intend to do. To do that is not
manly. When you are at war you may do brave things, and other people will
see what you have done, and will tell of it. If you should chance to
perform any brave act, do not speak of it; let your comrades do this; it is
not for you to tell of the things that you have done."

"If you listen to my words you will become a good man, and will amount to
something. If you let the wind blow them away, you will become lazy, and
will never do anything."

So my uncle talked to me for a long time, and just as he had finished his
talking, we saw, down in the valley below us, a deer come out from behind
some brush, and feed for a little while, and then it went back into another
patch of brush, and did not come out again.

"Ah," said my uncle, "I think we can kill that deer." We went around a long
distance, to come down without being seen to where the deer was, and we had
crept up close to the edge of the bushes before the deer knew that we were
there. When we reached the place we walked around it, he on one side and I
on the other; and presently the deer sprang up out of the bushes, and my
uncle shot it with his arrow; and after it had run a distance it fell down,
and when we got to it, was dead. I also shot at it with one of my
sharp-pointed arrows, but I did not hit it. After we had cut up the meat of
the deer, and made it into a pack, done up in the hide, we started back to
the camp. I felt proud to have gone on a hunt with a man and to be carrying
the rabbits.

As we walked along to the camp that night, my uncle told me other things.
He said: "Always be careful to do nothing bad in camp. Do not quarrel and
fight with your fellows. Men do not fight with each other in the camp; to
do that is not manly."

You see, my uncle thought that I was now old enough to be taught some of
the things a man ought to do, and he tried to help me; for my father was
dead, and I had no one else to teach me. The words he spoke were all good
words, and I have tried always to remember them.

The white people gather up their children and send them all to one place to
be taught; but that is not the way we Indians do. Nevertheless, we try to
teach our children in our way; for children must be taught, or they will
not know anything, and if they do not know anything they will have no
sense, and if they have no sense they will not know how to act.

When our children are small, the mother tries to keep them from making a
noise. It is not fitting that young children should disturb older people. I
am telling you about the way I was taught in the old times, when there were
but few white people in the country.

Because we have no schools, like the white people, we have to teach our
children by telling them what to do; it is only in this way that they can
learn. They have lived but a short time, and cannot know much. We older
ones, after we have lived many years, and have listened to what our fathers
and brothers have taught us, know a good many things; but little children
know nothing. We want them to be wise, so that they may live well with
their people. But we want them to be wise also, so that when they are the
chiefs and braves of the tribe they may rule the people well. We remember
that before very long we ourselves shall no longer be here; and then the
ones who are caring for the people's welfare will be these children that
now are playing about the camps. Their relations, therefore, talk to the
children, for they want their lives to be made easier for them; and they
want also to have the next generation of people wise enough to help all the
people to live. The men must hunt and go to war; the women must be good
women, not foolish ones, and must be ready to work, and glad to take care
of their husbands and their children. This is one of the reasons why we
like to have them play at moving the camp, harnessing the old dogs to the
travois, pitching the lodges, making clothing for the dolls; while the boys
play at hunting buffalo and at making war journeys against their enemies.
All are trying to learn how to live the life that our people have always

My grandfather was an old man, who long before this had given up the
warpath. He spent most of his time in the camp, and he used to make
speeches to the little and big boys, and give them much good advice. Once I
heard him talk to a group of boys playing near the lodge, and this is what
he said: "Listen, you boys; it is time you did something. You sit here all
day in the sun, and throw your arrows, and talk about things of the camp,
but why do you not do something? When I was a boy it was not like this;
then we were always trying to steal off and follow a war party. Some of
those who did so were too little to fight; but we used to follow along, and
try to help. In this way, even though we did nothing, we learned the ways
of warriors. I do not want you boys to be lazy. It is not a lazy man who
does great things, so that he is talked about in the camp, and his name is
called aloud by all the people, when the war party returns."


_Lessons of the Prairie._

Once when I was a little older, I was out on the hills one day, watching
the horses. They were feeding quietly, and I lay on a hill and went to
sleep. Suddenly I was awakened by a terrible crash close to my head, and I
knew that a gun had been fired close to me, and I thought that the enemy
had attacked me and were killing me, and would drive off the horses. I was
badly frightened. I sprang to my feet, and started to run to my horse, and
in doing this I ran away from the camp, but before I reached the horse I
heard someone laughing, and when I looked around my uncle sat there on the
ground, with the smoke still coming from his gun. He signed to me to come
to him and sit down, and when I had done so, he said:

"My son, you keep a careless watch. You do not act as a man ought to do.
Instead of sitting here looking over the prairie in all directions to see
if enemies are approaching, or if there are any signs of strange people
being near, you lie here and sleep. I crept up to you and fired my gun, to
see what you would do. You did not stop to see where the noise came from,
nor did you look about to see if enemies were here. You thought only of
saving your body, and started to run away. This is not good. A warrior does
not act like this; he is always watching all about him, to see what is
going to happen, and if he is attacked suddenly, he tries to fight, or, if
he cannot fight, he thinks more of giving warning to the people than he
does of saving himself."

When my uncle spoke to me like this he made me feel bad, for of all people
he was the one whom I most wished to please, and with him I wished to stand
well. I considered a little before I said to him: "I was trying to run to
my horse, and if I had got him I think I should have tried to reach the
camp, and perhaps I should have tried to drive in some of the horses; but I
was badly frightened, for I had been asleep and did not know what had

"I think you speak truly," said my uncle, "but you should not have gone to
sleep when you were sent out here to watch the horses. Boys who go to sleep
when they ought to be looking over the country, and watching their horses,
or men who get tired and go to sleep when they are on the warpath, never do
much. I should like to have you always alert and watchful."

I made up my mind that I would hold fast to the words which my uncle spoke
to me, and after this would not sleep when I was on herd.

It was not long after this that my uncle again told me to get my arrows,
and come and hunt with him. He told me also to take my robe with me, and
that we would go far up the river and be gone one night. I was glad to go,
and we started.

All through the day we traveled up stream, going in low places, and
traveling cautiously; for, although we were close to the camp, still my
uncle told me no one could be sure that enemies might not be about, and
that we might not be attacked at any time; so we went carefully. If we had
to cross a hill, we crept up to the top of it, and lifted our heads up
little by little, and looked over all the country, to see whether people
were in sight; or game; or to see what the animals might be doing.

Once, when we stopped to rest, my uncle said to me: "Little son, this is
one of the things you must learn; as you travel over the country, always go
carefully, for you do not know that behind the next hill there may not be
some enemy watching, looking over the country to see if someone may not be
about. Therefore, it is well for you always to keep out of sight as much as
you can. If you have to go to the top of the hill, because you wish to see
the country, creep carefully up some ravine, and show yourself as little as
possible. If you have to cross a wide flat, cover yourself with your robe,
and stoop over, walking slowly, so that anyone far off may perhaps think it
is a buffalo that he sees. In this respect the Indians are different from
the white people; they are foolish, and when they travel they go on the
ridges between the streams, because the road is level, and the going easy.
But when they travel in this way everyone can see them from a long way off,
and can hide in the path, and when they approach can shoot at them and kill
them. The white people think that because they cannot see Indians, there
are none about; and this belief has caused many white people to be killed."

As I walked behind my uncle, following him over the prairie, I tried to
watch him, and to imitate everything that he did. If he stopped, I stopped;
if he bent down his head, and went stooping for a little way, I also
stooped, and followed him; when he got down to creep, I, too, crept, so as
to be out of sight.

That day, as the sun fell toward the west, my uncle went down to the river,
and looked along the bank and the mud-bars, trying to learn whether any
animals had been to the water; and when he saw tracks he pointed them out
to me. "This," he said, "is the track of a deer. You see that it has been
going slowly. It is feeding, because it does not go straight ahead, but
goes now in one direction, and then in another, and back a little, not
seeming to have any purpose in its wandering about, and here," showing me a
place where a plant had been bitten off, "is where it was eating. If we
follow along, soon we will see its tracks in the mud by the river." It was
as he had said, and soon, in a little sand-bar, we saw the place where the
animal had stopped. "You see," he said, "this was a big deer; here are his
tracks; here he stopped at the edge of the water to drink; and then he went
on across the river, for there are no tracks leading back to the bank. You
will notice that he was walking; he was not frightened; he did not see nor
smell any enemies."

Further up the river, on a sand-bar, he showed me the tracks of antelope,
where the old ones had walked along quietly, and other smaller tracks,
where the sand had been thrown up; and these marks, he said, were made by
the little kids, which were playing and running.

"Notice carefully," he said, "the tracks that you see, so that you will
remember them, and will know them again. The tracks made by the different
animals are not all alike. The antelope's hoof is sharp-pointed in front.
Notice, too, that when his foot sinks in the mud there is no mark behind
his footprint; while behind the footprint of a deer there are two marks, in
soft ground, made by the little hoofs that the deer has on his foot."

We kept on further up the river, and when night came we stopped, and sat
down in some bushes. All day long we had seen nothing that we could kill;
but from a fold in his robe my uncle drew some dried meat, and we built a
little fire of dried willow brush, that would make no smoke, and over this
we roasted our meat, and ate; and my uncle talked to me again, saying: "My
son, I like to have you come out with me, and travel about over the
country. You have no father to teach you, and I am glad to take you with
me, and to tell you the things that I know. It is a good thing to be a
member of our tribe, and it is a good thing to belong to a good family in
that tribe. You must always remember that you come of good people. Your
father was a brave man, killed fighting bravely against the enemy. I want
you to grow up to be a brave man and a good man. You must love your
relations, and must do everything that you can for them. If the enemy
should attack the village, do not run away; think always first of defending
your own people. You have a mother, and sisters, who will depend on you for
their living, and for their credit. They love you, and you must always try
to do everything that you can for them. Try to learn about hunting, and to
become a good hunter, so that you may support them. But, above all things,
try to live bravely and well, so that people will speak well of you and
your relations will be proud.

"You are only a boy now, but the time will come when you will be a man, and
must act a man's part. Now your relations all respect you. They do not ask
you to do woman's work; they treat you well. You have a good bed, and
whenever you are hungry, food is given you. Do you know why it is that you
are treated in this way? I will tell you. Your relations know that you are
a man, and that you will grow up to go to war, and fight; perhaps often to
be in great danger. They know that perhaps they may not have you long with
them; that soon you may be killed. Perhaps even to-night or to-morrow,
before we get back to the camp, we may be attacked, and may have to fight,
and perhaps to die. It is for this cause that you are treated better than
your sisters; because at any moment you may be taken away. This you should

After we had eaten it began to grow dark, and pretty soon my uncle stood up
and tied up his waist again, and we set out once more, going up the river.
I wanted to ask my uncle where we were going, but I knew that he had some
reason for moving away from the camp, and before I had spoken to him about
it we had gone a mile or two, and it was quite dark, and we stopped again
in another clump of bushes. Here we sat down, and my uncle said to me: "My
son, here we will sleep. Where we stopped and ate, just before the sun set,
was a good place to camp, but it may be that an enemy was watching from the
top of some hill, and may have seen us go into those bushes. If he did,
perhaps he will creep down there to-night, hoping to kill us; and if there
were several persons they may go down there and surround those bushes. I
did not want to stop there where we might have been seen, and so when it
grew dark we came on here. We will sleep here, but will build no fire."

The next morning, before day broke, my uncle roused me, and we went to the
top of a high hill not far off. We reached it before the sun rose, and lay
on top of it, looking off over the prairie. From here we could see a long
way. Many animals were in view, buffalo and antelope, and down in the river
bottom a herd of elk. For a long time we lay there watching, but everywhere
it was quiet. The animals were not moving; no smokes were seen in the air;
birds were not flying to and fro, as if waiting for the hunter to kill a
buffalo, or for people to fight and kill each other, when they might feed
on the flesh.

After we had watched a long time, my uncle said: "I see no signs of people.
Let us creep down this ravine, and get among the bushes, and perhaps we can
kill one of these elk." We did as he had said; and before very long had
come near to the elk. Then he told me to wait there. I stopped and for a
few moments I could see him creeping up nearer and nearer to the elk.
Presently they started and ran; and one cow turned off to cross the river,
and as she was crossing it she fell in the water.

My uncle stood up and motioned to me to go down to where the elk lay. We
met there and cut up the elk, and my uncle took a big load of meat on his
back, and I a smaller load, and we started back toward the village.

As we were returning, he spoke to me again, saying: "I want you to remember
that of all the advice I give you the chief thing is to be brave. If you
start out with a war party, to attack enemies, do not be afraid. If your
friends are about to make a charge on the enemy, still do not be afraid.
Watch your friends, and see how they act, and try to do as the others do.
Try always to have a good horse, and to be in the front of the fighting. To
be brave is what makes a man. If you are lucky, and count a coup, or kill
an enemy, people will look on you as a man. Do not fear anything. To be
killed in battle is no disgrace. When you fight, try to kill. Ride up close
to your enemy. Do not think that he is going to kill you; think that you
are going to kill him. As you charge, you must be saying to yourself all
the time, 'I will be brave; I will not fear anything.'

"In your life in the camp remember this too; you must always be truthful
and honest with all your people. Never say anything that is not true; never
tell a lie, even for a joke--to make people laugh. When you are in the
company of older people, listen to what they say, and try to remember; thus
you will learn. Do not say very much; it is just as well to let other
people talk while you listen. If you have a friend, cling close to him; and
if need be, give your life for him. Think always of your friend before you
think of yourself."

That night we reached the camp again. My uncle left the meat that he had
killed at my mother's lodge.

_On a Buffalo Horse._

I had lived twelve winters when I did something which made my mother and
all my relations glad; for which they all praised me, and which first
caused my name to be called aloud through the camp.

It was the fall of the year, and the leaves were dropping from the trees.
Long ago the grass had grown yellow; and now sometimes when we awoke in the
morning it was white with frost; little places in the river bottom, where
water had stood in the springtime, and which were still wet, were frozen in
the morning; and all the quiet waters had over them a thin skin of clear
ice. Great flocks of water birds were passing overhead, flying to the
south; and many of them stopped in the streams, resting and feeding. There
were ducks of many sorts, and the larger geese, and the great white birds
with black tips to their wings, and long yellow bills; and the cranes that
fly over, far up in the sky, looking like spots, but whose loud callings
are heard plainly as they pass along. Often we saw flocks of these walking
on the prairie, feeding on the grasshoppers; and sometimes they all stopped
feeding and stuck up their heads, and then began to dance together, almost
as people dance.

We boys used to travel far up and down the bottom, trying to creep up to
the edge of the bank, or to the puddles of water, where the different birds
sat, to get close enough to kill them with our arrows. It was not easy to
do this, for generally the birds saw us before we could get near enough;
and then, often, even if we had the chance to shoot, we missed, and the
birds flew away, and we had to wade out and get back our arrows.

One day I had gone with my friend a long way up the river, and we had tried
several times to kill ducks, but had always missed them. We had come to a
place where the point of a hill ran down close to the river, on our side,
and as we rounded the point of this hill, suddenly we saw close before us
three cranes, standing on the hillside; two of them were gray and further
off, but one quite near to us was still red, by which we knew that it was a
young one. I was ahead of my friend, and as soon as I saw the cranes I drew
my arrow to its head, and shot at the young one, which spread its wings and
flew a few yards, and then came down, lying on the hillside, with its wings
stretched wide, for the arrow had passed through its body. I rushed upon it
and seized it, while the old cranes flew away. Then I was glad, for this
was the largest bird that I had ever killed; and you know that the crane is
a wise bird, and people do not often kill one.

After my friend and I had talked about it, I picked up the bird and put it
on my back, holding the neck in one hand, and letting the legs drag on the
ground behind me; and so we returned to camp. When we reached the village
some of the children saw us coming, and knew me, and ran ahead to my
mother's lodge, and told her that her boy was coming, carrying a great
bird; and she and my sisters came out of the lodge and looked at me. I must
have looked strange, for the crane's wings were partly spread, and hung
down on either side of me; and when I had nearly come to the lodge, my
mother called out: "What is the great bird that is coming to our lodge? I
am afraid of it," and then she and the children ran in the door. Then they
came out again, and when I reached the lodge, all looked at the bird, and
said how big it was, and how fine, and that it must be shown to my uncle
before it was cooked. They sent word to him, asking him to come to the
lodge, and soon he did so, and when he saw what I had killed, he was glad,
and told me that I had done well, and that I was lucky to have killed a
crane. "There are many grown men," said he, "who have never killed a crane;
and you have done well. I wish to have this known."

He called out in a loud voice, and asked Bellowing Cow, a poor old woman,
to come to the lodge and see what his son had done; and he sent one of the
boys back to his lodge, telling him to bring a certain horse. Soon the boy
returned, leading a pony; and when Bellowing Cow had come, my uncle handed
her the rope that was about the pony's neck, and told her to look at this
bird that his son had killed.

"We have had good luck," he said; "my son has killed this wise bird; he is
going to be a good hunter, and will kill much meat. In the time to come,
after he has grown to be a man, his lodge will never lack food. His women
will always have plenty of robes to dress."

Then Bellowing Cow mounted her horse and rode around the village, singing a
song, in which she told how lucky I had been; that I had killed a crane, a
bird that many grown men had not killed; and that I was going to be a good
hunter, and always fortunate in killing food. My uncle did not give the
bird to Bellowing Cow; he kept it, and told my mother to cook it; and he
said to her: "Save for me the wing bones of this bird, and give them to me,
in order that I may make from them two war whistles, which my son may carry
when he has grown old enough to go to war against his enemies."

I was proud of what had happened, and it made me feel big to listen to this
poor old woman as she rode through the village singing her song.

What he did at this time showed some things about my uncle. It showed that
he liked me; it showed that he was proud of what I had done; and it showed,
too, that he was a person of good heart, since he called to see what I had
done a poor old woman who had nothing, and gave her a horse. It would have
been as easy for him to have called some chief or rich man who had plenty
of horses, and then sometime this chief or rich man would have given him a
horse for some favor done him.

I had killed the crane with a pointed arrow, of which I had three, though
in my hunting for little birds I still used blunt arrows. My uncle had made
me another bow, which was almost as large as a man's bow; and I was
practicing with it always, trying to make my right arm strong, to bend it,
so that it might send the arrow with full force.

The next summer, when the tribe had started off to look for buffalo, I
spoke one night to my uncle, as he was sitting alone in his lodge, and said
to him: "Father, is it not now time for me to try to kill buffalo? I am
getting now to be a big boy, and I think big enough to hunt. I should like
to have your opinion about this." For a time he sat smoking and
considering, and then he said: "Son, I think it is time you should begin to
hunt; you are now old enough to do some of the things that men do. I have
watched you, and I have seen that you know how to use the bow. The next
time that we run buffalo, you shall come with me, and we will see what we
can do. You shall ride one of my buffalo horses, and you shall overtake the
buffalo, and then we shall see whether you are strong enough to drive the
arrow far into the animal."

It was not long after this that buffalo were found, and when the tribe went
out to make the surround, my uncle told me to ride one of his horses, and
to keep close to him. As we were going toward the place where the surround
was to be made, he said to me: "Now, to-day we will try to catch calves,
and you shall see whether you can kill one. You may remember this, that if
you shoot an arrow into the calf, and blood begins to come from its mouth,
it will soon die, you need not shoot at it again, but may go on to overtake
another, and kill it. Then, perhaps, after a little while you can chase big
buffalo. One thing you must remember. If you are running buffalo, do not be
afraid of them. Ride your horse close up to the buffalo, as close as you
can, and then let fly the arrow with all your force. If the buffalo turns
to fight, your horse will take you away from it; but, above all things, do
not be afraid; you will not kill buffalo if you are afraid to get close to

We rode on, and before the surround was made we could see the yellow calves
bunched up at one side of the herd. My uncle pointed them out to me, and
said, "Now, when the herd starts, try to get among those calves, and
remember all that I have told you."

At length the soldiers gave the word for the charge, and we all rushed
toward the buffalo. They turned to run, and a great dust rose in the air.
That day there were many men on fast horses, but my uncle's horse was
faster than all; and because I was little and light, he ran through the big
buffalo, and was soon close to the calves. When he was running through the
buffalo I was frightened, for they seemed so big, and they crowded so on
each other, and their horns rattled as they knocked together, as the herd
parted and pushed away on either side, letting me pass through it.

In only a short time I was running close to a yellow calf. It ran very
fast, and for a little while I could not overtake it; but then it seemed to
go slower, and my horse drew up close to it. I shot an arrow and missed it,
and then another, and did not miss; the arrow went deep into it, just
before the short ribs, and a moment afterward I could see blood coming from
the calf's mouth; and I ran on to get another. I did kill another, and then
stopped and got down. The herd had passed, and I began to butcher the last
calf; and before I had finished my uncle rode up to me and said, "Well,
son, did you kill anything?" I told him that I had killed two calves; and
we went back and looked for the other. He helped me to butcher, and we put
the meat and skins of both calves on my horse and then returned to the

When we reached there, my uncle stood in front of the lodge, and called out
with a loud voice, saying: "This day my son has chased buffalo, and has
killed two calves. I have given one of my best horses to Red Fox." This he
called out several times, and at the same time he sent a young man to his
lodge, telling him to bring a certain good horse, which he named. Before
very long the young man came with the horse, and about the same time the
old man Red Fox, who was poor and lame, and without relations, was seen
limping toward the lodge, coughing as he came.

In his young days Red Fox had been a brave and had done many good things,
but he had been shot in the thigh, in battle, and his leg had never healed,
so that he could not go to war. After that, his wife and then his children
one by one had died, or been killed in battle, and now he had nothing of
his own, but lived in the lodge with friends--people who were kind to him.
After Red Fox had mounted his horse, and had ridden off about the circle of
the lodges, singing a song, in which he told what I had done, and how my
uncle was proud of my success, and of how good his heart was toward poor
people, so that when he made gifts he gave them to persons who had nothing,
and not to people who were rich and happy, my uncle turned about and went
into the lodge. He told the young man who had brought the horse to go out
and call a number of his friends, and older people, to come that night to
his lodge, to feast with him.

After they had come, and all had eaten, and while the pipe was being
smoked, my uncle said: "Friends, I have called you to eat with me, because
this day my son has killed two calves. He has done well, and I can see that
he will be a good man. His lodge will not be poor for meat nor will his
wife lack skins to tan, or hides for lodge skins. We have had good luck,
and to-day my heart is glad; and it is for this reason that I have asked
you to come and hear what my son has done, in order that you may be
pleased, as I am pleased."

When he had finished speaking, Double Runner, an old man, whose hair was
white, stood up on his feet and spoke, and said that I had done well. He
spoke good words of my uncle because he had a kind heart and was generous,
and liked to make people happy. He spoke also of my father, and said that
it was bad for the tribe when the enemy killed him; but, nevertheless, he
had died fighting, as a brave man would wish to die.

From that time on, so long as the buffalo were seen, I went out with the
men of the camp. Sometimes I went alone, or with companions of my own age,
and we tried to kill calves, but more than once I went with my uncle. The
second time I rode with him he said to me that I had killed calves, and now
I must try to kill big buffalo. I remembered what he had said about riding
close to the buffalo, but I was afraid to do this, and yet I was ashamed to
tell him that I was afraid. When the surround was made, my uncle and I were
soon among the buffalo. I was riding my uncle's fast buffalo horse. My
uncle rode on my right hand, and when we charged down and got among the
buffalo we soon passed through the bulls and then drew up slowly on the
cows, and those younger animals whose horns were yet straight. I thought we
were going to pass on through these, and kill calves, but suddenly my uncle
crowded his horse up close to me, and, pointing to a young bull, signed to
me to shoot it. I did not want to, but my uncle kept crowding his horse
more and more on me, and pushing me close to the bull. I was afraid of it;
I thought that perhaps it would turn its head toward me and frighten my
horse, and my horse could not get away because of my uncle's horse, and
then my horse, and perhaps I, myself, would be killed; but there was not
much time to think about it. I felt that I was not strong enough to kill a
buffalo; I did not want to try; but all the time my uncle was signing to
me, "Shoot, shoot." There was no way for me to escape, and I drew the arrow
and shot into the buffalo. The point hit the animal between the ribs, and
went in deep, yet not to the feathers. When I shot, my uncle sheered off,
and I followed him; and in a moment, looking back, I saw that the blood was
coming from the bull's nose and mouth; and then I knew that I had killed
it. In a few moments it fell, and I went back to it. Then truly I thought
that I had done something great, and I felt glad that I had killed a big
buffalo. I forgot that a little while before I had been frightened, and had
wanted to get away without shooting. I forgot that, except for my uncle, I
should not have made this lucky shot. I felt as if I had done something,
and something that was very smart and great. You see, I was only a boy.

This feeling did not last very long; after a little I remembered that
except for my uncle I should have still been afraid of big buffalo, and
should not have dared to go near enough to kill one, but should have been
content to kill calves. My mind was still big for what I had done, and I
felt thankful to my uncle for making me do it. I wanted to pass my hands
over him--to express my gratitude to him--for all his kindness to me. No
father could have done more for me than he had done, and always did.

That night when we came back to the camp my horse was carrying a great pile
of meat; and when I stopped in front of the lodge, I called out to my
mother to come and take my horse, and take the meat from it; for so my
uncle had told me to do. "Now," he said, "you have become a man; you are
able to hunt, and to kill food, and you must act as a man acts."

When my mother came out of the lodge she was astonished; she could hardly
believe that it was I who had killed this buffalo. Nevertheless, she took
the rope from me, and began to take the meat from the horse; and I went
into the lodge and lay down on the bed by the fire to rest, for this too
was what my uncle had told me to do.

The next time the camp made a surround, I rode alone, and this time I did
not do so well. It is true that I killed a cow, but also I shot another
animal, which carried away three of my arrows. It was afterward killed by a
man a long way off, and the next day he gave me back my arrows, which he
had taken from the cow. I felt ashamed of this, but, nevertheless, I kept
on, and before the hunt was over I killed many buffalo, and my mother
dressed the hides.


_In the Medicine Circle._

Soon after I had killed my big buffalo, my uncle had sent for me and when I
had gone to his lodge, he said, "Come with me"; and we walked out on the
prairie where his horses were feeding. He carried a rope in his hand, and,
throwing it over the fast buffalo horse, that he had told me to ride when I
first hunted buffalo, he put the rope in my hand, and said: "Son, I give
you this horse; he is fast, and he is long-winded. You have seen that he
can overtake buffalo. I tell you now that he is a good horse for war. If
you ride him when you go on the warpath, you can get up close to your
enemy, and strike him; he will not be able to run away from you."

This was the first horse I had, and I was proud to own it. Also, later, my
uncle said to me, "My son, if you need horses for riding, catch some of
those out of my band, and use them." This I did, sometimes. My uncle had
plenty of horses, and was always going to war and getting more.

I was now a big boy, and began to think more and more about going to war.
Ever since I had been little I had talked with my companions, and they with
me, about the time when we should be big enough to do the things that our
fathers and uncles did; and the thing that we most wished to do was to go
to war against the enemy, and to do something brave, so that we should be
looked up to by the people. As we grew older the wish to do this increased.
That summer, when the old men used to come out of their lodges, and sit in
the sun, smoking, or to gather in little groups, and gossip with one
another, I used to listen to their talk of the things that had happened in
past years, when they were young. They told of many strange things that had
happened; of war; journeys that they had made against their enemies, of
fights that they had had, and horses that they had taken. They spoke, too,
of treaties that they had made with other tribes; and told how they had
visited the camps of people who lived far off, whose names I had heard, but
of whom I knew nothing.

Sometimes, too, I was present in my uncle's lodge when he gave a feast to
friends; and often among them were chiefs and older men, who in their day
had done great things, and brought credit to the tribe. At such feasts,
after all had eaten, and my uncle had filled the pipe, and pushed the
tobacco board back under the bed, he gave the pipe to some young man, who
lighted it and handed it back to him; and then he smoked, holding the pipe
to the sky, and to the earth, and to the four directions, and made a prayer
to the spirits, and then passed the pipe along to the end of the circle on
his left; and, beginning there, each man smoked and made a prayer, and the
pipe passed from hand to hand. After this the guests talked and joked, and
laughed, and stories were told, perhaps of war or adventure, perhaps of
hard times when food was scarce and the cold bitter, perhaps of those
mysterious persons who rule the world, and of the kindly or the terrible
things that they have done.


I remember well one such feast, when for the first time my uncle told me to
sit on his right hand, and behind him; and when he had filled it, told me
to light the pipe. I reached over to the fire, and with a tongs made of
willow took up a small coal and lighted the pipe, and after it was going
well, passed it to my uncle. And so I lighted all the pipes that were
smoked that night. It was during the second of these pipes that an old man,
Calf Robe, told a story of a thing that had happened in the tribe long ago,
when he was a young man. He was a little man, thin and dried up, but in his
time he had been a great warrior. Now he was old and poor, his left arm
thin, withered and helpless, and on his side a great scar, much larger than
my two hands, where people said his ribs on that side had all been torn
away. I had heard of his adventures, how once the animals had taken pity on
him, and brought him, after he was sorely wounded on a war journey, safe
back to his people and his village. It was on this night that I first heard
the story of the Medicine Circle. This was what he said:

"It was winter. The people were camped on Lodgepole Creek near the Big Horn
Mountains. Buffalo were close and small game plenty. The snow was deep, and
the people did not watch their horses closely, for they thought no war
parties would be out in such cold and in such deep snow.

"The chief of this camp had strong mysterious power. On the ground at the
right of his bed in his lodge was always a space, where red painted wooden
pegs were set in the ground in a circle. Above this hung the medicine
bundles. No one was allowed to step or sit in this circle. No one might
throw anything on the ground near it. No one might pass between it and the
fire. It was sacred.

"It was a very cold night. The wind blew the snow about so that one could
hardly see. The chief had gone to a feast in a lodge near his own, and his
wives were in bed, but one of them was still awake. The fire had burned
down, and the lodge was almost dark. Suddenly the curtain of the doorway
was thrown back. A person entered, passed around to the back of the lodge,
and sat down in the medicine circle.

"'Now what is this?' the woman thought; 'why does this person sit in the
medicine circle?'

"She said to him: 'You know that is the medicine circle. Quick! get up, and
sit down somewhere else. My husband will be angry if he sees you there.'

"The person did not speak nor move, so the woman got up and put grass on
the fire, and when it made a light, she saw that the man was a stranger,
for his clothing was different from ours; but she could not see his face;
he kept it covered, all but his eyes. The woman went out and ran to the
lodge where her husband was, and said to him: 'Come quickly! A stranger has
entered our lodge. He is sitting in the medicine circle.'

"The chief went to his lodge, and many with him--for chiefs and warriors
had been feasting together--and they carried in more wood and built a big
fire. Then the stranger moved toward the fire, nearer and nearer, and they
saw he was shaking with cold. His moccasins and leggings were torn and
covered with ice, and his robe was thin and worn.

"The chief was greatly troubled to see this person sitting in his medicine
circle, and he asked him in signs, 'Where did you come from?'

"He made no answer.

"Again he asked, 'Who are you?'

"The stranger did not speak. He sat as close to the fire as he could get,
still shivering with cold.

"The chief told a woman to feed him; and she warmed some soup and meat over
the fire, and set it before the stranger. Then he threw off his robe, and
began to eat like a dog that is starved; and all the people sat and looked
at him. He was a young man; his face was good, and his hair very long; but
he looked thin, and his clothes were poor.

"The stranger ate all the soup and meat, and then he spoke, in signs: 'I
came from the north. I was with a large party. We traveled south many days,
and at last saw a big camp by a river. At night we went down to it, to take
horses, but I got none, and my party rode off and left me. They told me to
go with them and they would give me some of the horses that they had taken,
but I was ashamed. I had taken no horses, and I could not go back to my
people without counting a coup. So I came on alone, and it is now many days
since I left my party. I had used up all my arrows, and could kill no food.
I began to starve. To-day I saw your camp. I thought to take some horses
from you, but my arrows are gone; I should have starved on the road. My
clothes are thin and torn; I should have frozen. So I made up my mind to
come to your camp and be killed.

"'Come, I am ready. Kill me! I am a Blackfoot.'

"A pipe was filled, lighted, and passed around. But the chief sat thinking.
Everyone was waiting to hear what he would say.

"At last he spoke: 'An enemy has come into our camp. The Blackfeet are our
enemies. They kill us when they can. We kill them. This man came here to
steal our horses, and he ought to be killed. But, you see, he has come into
my lodge and sat down in the medicine circle. Perhaps his medicine led him
to the place. He must have a powerful helper.

"'There are many lodges in this camp, and in each of these lodges many
seats, but he has come to my lodge, and has sat down in my medicine circle.
I believe my medicine helped him too. So now I am afraid to kill this man,
for if I do, it may break my medicine. I have finished.'

"Everyone said the chief's talk was good. The chief turned to the Blackfoot
and said: 'Do not be afraid; we will not kill you. You are tired. Take off
your leggings and moccasins, and lie down in that bed.'

"The Blackfoot did as he was told, and as soon as he lay down he slept; for
he was very tired.

"Next morning, when he awoke, there by his bed were new leggings for him,
and warm hair moccasins, and a new soft cow's robe; and he put these on,
and his heart was glad. Then they ate, and the chief told him about the
medicine circle, and why they had not killed him.

"In the spring a party of our people went to war against the Crows and the
Blackfoot went with them, and he took many horses. He went to war often,
and soon had a big band of horses. He married two women of our tribe, and
stayed with us. Sometimes they used to ask him if he would ever go back to
his people, and he would say: 'Wait, I want to get more horses, and when I
have a big band--a great many--I will take my lodge, and my women and
children, and we will go north, and I will make peace between your tribe
and the Blackfeet.'

"One summer the people were running buffalo. They were making new lodges.
One day the men went out to hunt. At sundown they came back, but the
Blackfoot did not return. Next day the men went out to look for him, and
they searched all over the country. Many days they hunted for the
Blackfoot, but he was never seen again. Some said he had gone back to his
people. Some said that a bear might have killed him, or he might have
fallen from his horse and been killed, and some said that a war party must
have killed him and taken the horse with them. Neither man nor horse was
seen again."

_Among Enemy Lodges._

It was late in the winter, when I was fifteen years old, that I made my
first trip to war. We were camped on a large river, and not far from our
camp was a village of the Arapahoes.

One day I went to visit their camp, taking with me only my buffalo robe and
my bow and arrows. At the camp I found a number of young men of my tribe,
and I went into the lodge where they were sitting, and sat down near the
door. Soon after I had entered a young man of my tribe proposed that our
young men should gamble against the young men of the Arapahoes, and when
they had agreed, we all left the lodge where we were sitting, and went off
to that owned by Shaved-head. I followed along after the others, and when I
entered the lodge I found that they were making ready to gamble. The
counters were lying between the lines, ten of the sticks lying side by
side, and two lying across the ten.

When all was ready, the leader of the Arapahoes threw down on the ground
the bone they were to gamble with, and the leader of our young men threw
down his bone, and then all the young men of both parties began to sing,
and dance, and yell, each trying to bring luck to his side. Some of them
danced all around the lodge, singing as hard as they could sing. After a
time all sat down, and then one of the Arapahoes chose a man from his side,
and called him out and told him to sit down in front of his line. The
leader took up the bone, and held it up to the sun, and to the four
directions, praying that his side might win, and then handed it to this
man, who let the robe fall back from his shoulders, rose to his knees, and
after rubbing his hands on the ground, began to pass the bone from one hand
to the other. Then the leader of our party stood up, and looked over his
men, to choose someone who was good at guessing. He chose a man, and called
him out in front of the line, to guess in which hand the Arapahoe held the
bone. Then everybody began to sing hard, and four young men pounded with
sticks on a parfleche, in time to the music. Presently our man guessed and
guessed right. Then our people chose a man to pass the bone for them, and
when the Arapahoes guessed, they guessed wrong. So it kept on. The
Arapahoes did not win one point, and our people won the game. Then the
Arapahoes would play no more, and the gambling stopped. Afterward they had
a dance. It was now night. I had heard the young men talking to one
another, and I knew that they were about to start off to war. After the
dance was over, one of them said to the others, "Come, let us go about the
camp to-night, and sing wolf songs." They did so, and I went with them.
Every little while they would stop in front of some lodge and sing; and
perhaps the man who owned the lodge would fill a pipe, and hold it out to
them, and all would smoke; or someone would hand out a bit of tobacco, or a
few arrows, or five or six bullets, or some caps, or a little powder. In
this way they sang for a long time; and then, when they were tired, they
went to the different lodges and slept.

The next morning I saw them making up the packs which they were to carry on
their backs, and packing the dogs which they had with them to carry their
moccasins. I watched them, and as I looked at them I wished that I, too,
might go to war; and the more I thought about it the more I wished to go.
At last I made up my mind that I would go. I had no food, and no extra
moccasins, but I looked about the camp, and found some that had been thrown
away, worn out; and I asked one kind-hearted woman to give me some
moccasins, and she gave me three pairs. By this time the war party had
started, and I followed them.

The snow still lay deep on the ground; and as we marched along, one after
another, each man stepped in the tracks of the man before him. We traveled
a long way, until we came to some hills, from which we could see a river;
and before we got down to the river's valley we stopped on a hill, and took
off our packs, and looked about and rested. After a time someone said,
"Well, let us go down to the river and camp." They all started down the
hill, but I remained where I was, waiting to see what they would do. You
see, I did not belong to the party, and I did not know how the others felt
toward me; so I was shy about doing anything; I wanted to wait and see what
they did.

When the others reached the level ground near the stream they threw down
their packs and began to go to work. Some of the men scraped away the snow
from the ground where they were to sleep; others went off into the timber,
and soon returned with loads of wood on their backs, and started fires;
others brought poles with which to build lodges; others, bark from old
cottonwood trees, and others, still, brush. Everyone worked hard.

Presently I grew tired of sitting alone on the hill, and went down to the
others. When I reached there, I found that they were building three war
lodges, and as I drew near, all the young men began to call out to me, each
one asking me to come over to him. I was the littlest fellow in the party,
and they all wanted me, thinking that I might bring them luck. When they
called to me, they did not speak to me by my name, but called me Bear
Chief, the name of one of the greatest warriors of the tribe. They were
joking with me, to tease me.

When I was near the lodges I stopped, uncertain what to do, or where to go,
and Gray Eyes, a man a little older than the others, walked up to me, and
took me by the arm, saying: "Friend, come to our lodge. If you go to one of
the others, the young men will be making fun of you all the time." I went
to his lodge, and he told me to sit down near the door. This lodge was well
built, warm and comfortable. They had taken many straight poles and set
them up as the poles of a lodge are set up, but much closer together. Then
the poles were covered with bark and brush, so as to keep out the wind; and
within, all about the lodge, were good beds, with bark and brush under
them, so as to keep those who were to sleep there from the snow. A good
fire burned in the middle of the lodge.

When I grew warm I began to wonder what we should have to eat. We had
traveled all day, and I was hungry; yet I had no food, and could see none,
and there was nothing to cook with, not even a kettle. A man sitting by the
fire seemed to know what was in my mind, and said to me, "Take courage,
friend, soon you shall have plenty to eat." A little while after this, a
man called out, saying, "If anyone has food to eat, let him get it out."
When he said that, the young men began to open their packs. While they were
doing this, someone cried, "The hunters are coming"; and when I looked I
saw three or four men coming, each with an antelope on his back. When these
men had come near to the camp, everyone rushed for them, and they threw
their loads on the snow, and each man cut off meat for his lodge. Then they
cut it into pieces and it was set up on green willow twigs, stuck in the
ground near the fire, to roast. One of the men in our lodge said, "Let our
young friend here be the first one to eat," and someone cut a piece of the
short ribs of an antelope, and gave it to me. So we all ate, and were warm
and comfortable. That night we slept well, lying with our feet to the fire,
as people always lie in a war lodge.

The next day we traveled on. Just before we camped at night I heard the
sound of guns, and someone told me that the young men were killing buffalo.
Soon after we had made camp, they began to come in, some carrying loads of
meat on their backs, and others dragging over the snow a big piece of
buffalo hide, sewed up into a sack, and full of meat. Everyone was
good-natured, and each young man was laughing and joking with his fellows,
and sometimes playing tricks on them. That night a friend took a piece of
buffalo hide and sewed it up, and partly dried it over the fire, and then
turned it inside out, and stuffed it full of meat, and gave it to me,
saying, "Here is a pack for you to carry."

We traveled on for several days; but it was not long after this that the
scouts came in, and told us that they had seen signs of people, a trail
where a large camp had passed along only a few days before. When I heard
this I was a little frightened, for I thought to myself, "Suppose we were
to be attacked, how could I run away with this big pack on my back?" But I
said nothing, and no one else seemed to be afraid; all were happy because
there was a chance that we might meet enemies. They laughed and talked with
one another, and said what a good time we should have if there should be a
fight. Nevertheless, that night the leader told the young men to bring logs
out of the timber, and pile them up around the war lodges, so that if we
should be attacked we might fight behind breast works. Also, he told them
that if we should be attacked we must not run out of the lodges, but must
stay in them, where we could fight well, and be protected and safe. Also,
he said, "Everyone must be watchful; it may be that enemies are near;
therefore, act accordingly."

The next morning the leader sent out two parties of scouts, to go in two
directions to look for enemies. He told them where they should go, and
where they should meet the main party, which was to keep on its way,
traveling carefully, and out of sight.

At night, after we had reached the appointed place, and had camped there,
the scouts came in, and told us that they had found the enemy, and that
their camp was not far off. When the leader learned that, he said, "It will
be well for us to go to-night to the camp of these enemies, and try to take
their horses." The distance was not great, and after we had eaten, all set
out. When we had come near to the camp, we could see in some of the lodges
the fires still burning, and knew that all the people had not gone to bed.
In a low place we stopped, and there put down all our things. Here the
leader told us what we must do, calling out by name certain men who should
go into the camp, and certain other men, younger, who should go about
through the hills and gather up loose horses, and drive them to the place
where we had left our packs. My name he did not speak, and I did not know
what to do. While I sat there, doubtful, all the others started off. Then I
made up my mind that I, too, would go into the camp, and would try to do
something, and I followed the others. After a little time I overtook them,
and followed along, and as we went on and drew nearer and nearer to the
camp, men kept turning off to one side, until presently, when we were quite
near the camp, most of them had disappeared into the darkness; but I could
still see some, walking along ahead of me. Presently we reached the outer
circle of the lodges, and a moment or two after that I could see none of
our people. I was walking alone among the lodges. Now I was afraid, for I
did not know how to act, nor what I wanted to do, and I thought that
perhaps one of the enemy might see me, and see that I did not belong to his
tribe, and attack me and kill me. I held my head down, and walked straight
along. Not many people were about, and no one passed me. Presently I came
to a lodge in which a little fire was burning, and not very far away was
another lodge, in which people were singing and drumming, as if for a
dance. I stopped, and looked into the first lodge. The fire was low, but
still it gave some light, and I could see plainly that no one was there.
Then suddenly it came to me that I would go into this lodge, and take
something out of it, which should show to my friends that I, too, had been
in the camp. I did not think much of the danger that someone might come in,
but, stooping down, entered the lodge, and looked about. Hanging over the
bed, at the back of the lodge, was a bow-case and quiver full of arrows. I
stepped quickly across and took this down, and putting it under my robe,
went out of the lodge, and walked back the way I had come.

As I had entered the camp I had seen horses standing, tied in front of the
lodges, and now, as I was going back, I stooped down in front of a lodge,
where all was dark, cut loose a horse, and walked away, leading it by its
rope. No one saw me, and when I had passed beyond the furthest lodge I
mounted the horse and rode along slowly. After I had gone a little further,
I went faster, and soon I was at the place where we had left our things.
There were many horses there, brought in by the younger men that had been
looking for loose horses, and some cut loose by those who had gone into
camp. Every minute other men kept coming up, and presently all were there.
The young men had filled their saddle-pads with grass, and now each one
chose a good horse, and mounting it drove off the herd. I had only one
horse, yet my heart was glad, for it was the first I had ever taken.

For a time we rode slowly, but presently, faster; and when day had come we
had gone a long way. The horses were still being driven in separate
bunches, so that each man should know which were his--the ones he had
taken; but soon after day broke, and there had been time for each to look
over his animals, they were bunched together, and we went faster.
Nevertheless, the leader said to us: "Friends, do not hurry the horses too
much; they are poor, and we must not run them too hard. The horses on which
the Crows will follow us are poor also, and they cannot overtake us."

We rode fast until afternoon, when we came down into the valley of a river,
and there stopped to let our horses feed. Two young men with fresh horses
were left behind, on top of the highest hills, to watch the trail, to see
whether the enemy were following us. After we had been there for a time,
and the horses had eaten, the leader called out, "Friends, the enemy are
pursuing; we must hurry on the horses." In a moment we had caught our
animals, and mounted, and were driving on the herd; for, far back, we could
see the scouts who had been left behind coming toward us, riding fast, and
making signs that people had been seen. After we had left the valley, and
were among the hills, the leader left two other young men, on fresh horses,
behind, to see whether the enemy crossed the river, and followed; while we
went on with the horses. We rode all that night and part of the next day,
and then stopped again; and that night, in the middle of the night, the
scouts overtook us, and told us that the enemy had not crossed the river,
where we had first slept, but had turned about there, and had gone back.
"There were only a few of them," they said. "We two were almost tempted to
attack them, but we had been told only to watch them, and we thought it
better to do that." Four days afterward we reached our village.

I had no saddle, and when I reached the camp I was very sore and stiff from
riding so long without a saddle. Nevertheless, I was pleased, for I had
taken a horse that was fast, long-winded and tough; and I had taken also a
fine bow and arrows, with an otter-skin case. The leader spoke to me, and
told me that I had done well to go into this lodge. He said to me, "Friend,
you have made a good beginning; I think that you will be a good warrior."
Also, when we reached the village, my uncle praised me, and said that I had
done well. He looked at the bow and the arrows, and told me that to have
taken them was better than to have taken a good horse, and that he hoped
that I would be able to use them in fighting with my enemies. Such was my
first journey to war.

_A Grown Man._

That summer my uncle gave me a gun, and now I was beginning to feel that I
was really a man, and I hunted constantly, and had good luck, killing deer
and elk, and other game.

One day the next year, with a friend, I was hunting a two days' journey
from the camp. We had killed nothing until this day, when we got a deer,
and toward evening stopped to cook and eat. The country was broken with
many hills and ravines, and before we went down to the stream to build our
fire I had looked from the top of a little hill, to see whether anything
could be seen. My friend was building a fire to cook food, and I had gone
down to the fire and spread my robe on the ground, and was lying on it,
resting, while our horses were feeding near by, when suddenly I had a
strange feeling. I seemed to feel that I was in great danger, and as if I
must get away from this place. I was frightened. I felt there was danger;
that something bad was going to happen. I did not know what it was, nor why
I felt so, but I was afraid. I seemed to turn to water inside of me. I had
never felt so before. I sat up and looked about; nothing was to be seen. My
friend was cutting some meat to cook over the little fire, and just beyond
him the horses were feeding. My friend was singing to himself a little war
song, as he worked.

My feelings grew worse instead of better. I stood up, took my gun, and
walked toward a little hill not far from where we were, and my friend
called out to me, "Where are you going? I thought you wished to rest." I
said to him, "I will go to the top of that little hill, and look over it."
When I got there I looked about; I could see nothing. It was early summer,
and the grass was green. The soil was soft and sandy. For a long time I
looked about in all directions, but could see nothing, but then I could not
see far, for there were other little hills, nearly as high, close to me.

Presently I looked at the ground a few steps before me, and I thought I saw
where something had stepped. It was hard for me to make up my mind to walk
to this place, but at length I did so. When I got there I saw where a horse
had stood--a fresh horse track. Near it were two tracks made by a man, an
enemy. I could see where he had stood, with one foot advanced before the
other. When I saw these tracks I knew what had happened; an enemy had stood
there looking over at us, and when he saw me with my gun start toward the
top of the hill he had gone away. Standing where he had stood, I looked
back toward our horses; I could hardly see their backs, but a man taller
than I could have seen more of them, and the heads of the two men. I turned
to follow the tracks a little way, and as I walked, it did not seem to me
that my bones were stiff enough to support my body; I seemed to sway from
side to side, and felt as if I should fall down. I was frightened.

I saw where the man had led his horse a little way back from the hill, and
then had jumped on it and ridden off as hard as he could gallop. A little
further on was the place where another horse had stood; it, too, had turned
and gone off fast; its rider had not dismounted. One of the men had said to
the other: "You wait here, and I will go up and take a look. If these
people sleep here we will attack them when it is dark, and kill them and
take their horses."

I cannot tell you how much I wanted to run back to my friend and tell him
what I had seen; but I had courage enough to walk. I felt angry at myself
for being so frightened. I said to myself: "Come, you are a man; you belong
to brave people; your uncle and your father did not fear things that they
could not see. Be brave. Be strong." It was no use for me to say this; I
was so frightened I could hardly control myself. I felt as if I must run

I walked until I was close to my friend. He was cooking meat, and was still
singing to himself. When I was pretty near to him I said, "Friend, put the
saddle on your horse, and I will saddle mine, and we will go away from
here." He turned and looked at me, and in a moment he had dropped the meat
that he was cooking, and was saddling up. He told me the next day that my
face had changed so that he hardly knew me; my face was like that of one
dead. I said to him, "Do you go ahead, and go fast, but do not gallop." He
started off without a word, and I followed him. It was now growing dark,
but you could still see a long way. As I rode I seemed to have three heads,
I looked in so many different directions. We traveled fast. My courage did
not come back to me. I was still miserable.

About the middle of the night I said to my friend, "Let us stop here, so
that the horses may eat." We stopped and took off our saddles, and held the
ropes of our horses in our hands, and lay down on the ground together,
looking back over the trail that we had come. My friend's horse was eating,
but mine stood with his head high, and his ears pricked, and kept looking
back toward where we had come from. Every now and then he would snort, as
if frightened. Sometimes he would take a bite or two of grass, and then
would again stand with his head up, looking and snorting. This made me more
afraid than ever; and now my friend was as badly frightened as I.

At last I could stand it no longer, and I said to him, "Let us turn off the
trail, and go along a divide where no one is likely to follow us." We
started, loping. After we had gone some distance we stopped, took off our
bridles, and again lay down, looking back over the way we had come. The
night was dark, but we could see a little, and we watched and listened.
Still my horse would not eat, but kept looking back over the trail.
Suddenly, my friend said, "There he is. Do you see?" I looked, and looked,
but could see nothing. "Where is it?" said I. With my head close to the
ground I looked in the direction in which he pointed, but could see
nothing. My friend saw it move, however. I said to him, "Here, let us
change places;" and I moved to his place, and he to mine. Then I looked,
and in a moment I saw just in front of my face a weed-stalk, and when I
moved my head the stalk moved. This was what he had seen.

For the first time since this feeling had come over me in the afternoon I
laughed, and with a rush my courage came back to me. I felt as brave and
cheerful as ever. All through the evening I had not wished to smoke, and if
I had wished to, I should have been afraid to light my pipe. Now I filled
my pipe, lighted it, and we smoked. When I laughed my friend's courage came
back too. We lay down and slept, and the next day went on to the village.

_A Sacrifice._

During the next two years I went to war five times, always as a servant,
but always I had good luck. This was because early, after my first trip to
war, I had asked an old man, one of my relations, to teach me how to make a
sacrifice which should be pleasing to those spirits who rule the world.

It was in the early summer, when the grass was high and green, not yet
turning brown, that, with this old man, Tom Lodge, I went out into the
hills to suffer and to pray, to ask for help in my life, and that I might
be blessed in all my warpaths. Tom Lodge had told me what I must do, and
before the time came I had cut a pole, and brought it and a rope, and a
bundle of sinew, and some small wooden pins near to the place where we were
to go, and had hidden them in a ravine.

It was before the sun had risen that we started out, and when we came to
the hill where the things were, I carried them to the top of the hill, and
there Tom Lodge and I dug a hole in the soil with our knives, and planted
the pole, stamping the earth tightly about it, and then putting great
stones on the earth, so that the pole should be held firmly. Then Tom Lodge
tied the rope to the pole, and with sinew tied the pins to the rope, and
then holding the pins and his knife up to the sun, and to the sky, and then
placing them on the earth, he prayed to all the spirits of the air, and of
the earth, and of the waters, asking that this sacrifice that I was about
to make should be blessed, and that I should have help in all my
undertakings. Then he came and stood before me, and taking hold of the skin
of my breast on the right side, he pinched it up and passed his knife
through it, and then passed the pin through under the skin, and tied the
end to the rope with another strand of sinew. In the same way he did on the
left side of my breast. Then he told me that all through the day I should
walk about this pole, always on the side of the pole toward which the sun
was looking, and that I should throw myself back against the rope and
should try to tear the pins from my skin. Then, telling me to pray
constantly, to have a strong heart, and not to lose courage, he set out to
return to the village.

All through the long summer day I walked about the pole, praying to all the
spirits, and crying aloud to the sun and the earth, and all the animals and
birds to help me. Each time when I came to the end of the rope I threw
myself back against it, and pulled hard. The skin of my breast stretched
out as wide as your hand, but it would not tear, and at last all my chest
grew numb, so that it had no feeling in it; and yet, little by little, as I
threw my whole weight against the rope, the strips of skin stretched out
longer and longer. All day long I walked in this way. The sun blazed down
like fire. I had no food, and did not drink; for so I had been instructed.
Toward night my mouth grew dry, and my neck sore; so that to swallow, or
even to open my mouth in prayer hurt me. It seemed a long time before the
sun got overhead and the pole cast but a small shadow; but it seemed that
the shadow of the pole grew long in the afternoon much more slowly than it
had grown short in the morning.

I was very tired, and my legs were shaking under me, when at last, as the
sun hung low over the western hills, I saw someone coming. It was my
friend, Tom Lodge; and when he had come close to me, he spoke to me and
said, "My son, have you been faithful all through the day?" I answered him,
"Father, I have walked and prayed all day long, but I cannot tear out these
pins." "You have done well," he said; and, drawing his knife, he came to
me, and taking hold first of one pin and then of the other, he cut off the
strips of skin which passed about the pins, and set me free. He held the
strips of skin that he had cut off, toward the sky, and toward the four
directions, and prayed, saying: "Listen! all you spirits of the air, and of
the earth, and of the water; and you, O earth! and you, O sun! This is the
sacrifice that my son has made to you. You have heard how he cries to you
for help. Hear his prayer." Then at the foot of the pole he scraped a
little hole in the earth and placed the bits of skin there, and covered
them up. Then he gave me to drink from a buffalo paunch waterskin that he
had brought.

"Now, my son," said he, "you shall sleep here this night, and to-morrow
morning, as the sun rises, leave this; hill, and everything on it, as it
is, and return to the camp. It may be that during the night something will
come to you, to tell you a thing. If you are spoken to in your sleep,
remember carefully what is said to you."

After he had gone I lay down, covering myself with my robe, and was soon
asleep, for I was very tired. That night, while I slept, I dreamed that a
wolf came to me, and spoke, saying: "My son, the spirits to whom you have
cried all day long have heard your prayers, and have sent me to tell you
that your cryings have not been in vain. Take courage, therefore, for you
shall be fortunate so long as these wars last. You shall strike your
enemies; your name shall be called through the camp, and all your relations
will be glad.

"Look at me, and consider well my ways. Remember that of all the animals,
the wolves are the smartest. If they get hungry, they go out and kill a
buffalo; they know what is going to happen; they are always able to take
care of themselves. You shall be like the wolf; you shall be able to creep
close to your enemies, and they shall not see you; you shall be a great man
for surprising people. In the bundle that you wear tied to your necklet,
you shall carry a little wolf hair, and your quiver and your bow-case shall
be made of the skin of a wolf." The wolf ceased speaking, yet for a time he
sat there looking at me, and I at him; but presently he yawned, and stood
up on his feet, and trotted off a little way, and suddenly I could not see

So then in these five times that I went to war, once I counted the first
coup of all on an enemy; and three times I crept into camp and brought out
horses, twice going with other men who went in to cut loose the horses, and
once going in alone. For these things I came to be well thought of by the
tribe. My uncle praised me, and said that the time was coming when I would
be a good warrior. All my relations felt proud and glad that I had such
good luck.

I knew why all this had come to me. I had done as the wolf had said, and
often I went out from the camp--or perhaps I stopped when I was traveling
far from the village--and went up on a hill, and, lighting a pipe, offered
a smoke to the wolf, and asked him not to forget what he had said to me.

I was now a grown man, and able to do all the things that young men do. I
was a good hunter; I had a herd of horses, and had been to war, and been
well spoken of by the leaders whose war parties I went with. I was old
enough, too, to think about young girls, and to feel that some day I wanted
to get married, and to have a lodge and home of my own. There were many
nice girls in the camp; many who were hard workers, modest, and very
pretty. I liked many of them, but there was no one whom I liked so much as
Standing Alone. I often saw her, but sometimes she would not look at me,
and sometimes she looked, but when she saw me looking at her she looked
down again; but sometimes she smiled a little as she looked down. It was
long since we had played together, but I thought that perhaps she had not
forgotten the time, so many years ago, when she pretended to be my wife,
and when she had mourned over me once when I was killed by a buffalo.

As I grew older I felt more and more that I wished to see and talk with
her. Of course I was too young to be married yet, but I was not too young
to want to talk with Standing Alone. I used to go out and stand by the
trail where the women passed to get water, hoping that I might speak to
her, but often there was no chance to do so. Sometimes she was with other
girls, who laughed and joked about me, and asked whom I was waiting for.
They could not tell who was standing there, for my robe or my sheet covered
my whole body, except the hole through which I looked with one eye. But one
day when Standing Alone was going by with some girls, one of them
recognized the sheet that I had on, and called out my name, and said that
she believed that I was waiting for Standing Alone. I was surprised that
she should know me, and felt badly, but I did not move, and so I think
neither she nor the girls with her knew that she had guessed right; and the
next time I went I wore a different sheet, and different moccasins and

One evening I had good luck; all the women had passed, and Standing Alone
had not appeared. I supposed that all had got their water, and was about to
go away when she came hurrying along the trail, and passed me and went to
the water's edge. She filled her vessel and came back, and when she passed
me again I took hold of her dress and pulled it, and dropped my sheet from
my head. She stopped and we stood there and talked for a little while. We
were both of us afraid, we did not know of what, and had not much to say,
but it was pleasant to be there talking to her, and looking at her face.
Three times she started to go, but each time I said to her, "Do not go;
wait a little longer"; and each time she waited. The fourth time she went
away. After that, I think she knew me whenever I stood by the trail, and
sometimes she was late in coming for water, and I had a chance to speak to
her alone.


In those days I was happy; and often when the camp was resting, and there
was nothing for me to do, I used to go out and sit on the top of a high
hill, and think about Standing Alone, and hope that in the time to come I
might have her for my wife, and that I might do great things in war, so
that she would be proud of me; and might bring back many horses for her, so
that she could always ride a good horse, and have a finely ornamented
saddle and saddle-cloth. If I could take horses enough, I should be rich,
and then whatever Standing Alone might desire, I could give a horse for it.

_A Warrior Ready to Die._

It was not long after this that buffalo were found, and we began to kill
them, as we used to do in the old times; and then a great misfortune
happened to me.

One day I was chasing buffalo on a young horse, and as it ran down a steep
hill, it stumbled among the stones, and fell down, rolling over, and I was
thrown far; and, as I fell to the ground, my knee struck against a large
stone. When I got up my leg was useless, and I could not walk, but I
managed to catch my horse, and crawling on it I reached the camp. After a
little my knee got better, and then again worse, and then better again.
Still I could not walk, and for two years I stayed in the camp, crippled,
and unable to go from place to place, except when I was helped on my horse.
I grew thin and weak, and thought that I should die.

Many of the young men of my age, my friends, were sorry for me. They used
to come to my lodge and eat and talk, telling me the news. Sometimes, when
I was sitting out in the shade of the lodge, looking over the camp, and
feeling the pleasant breeze blow on my face, or the warm sun shine on my
body, I saw the young men and boys walking about, and running, and
wrestling, and kicking, and jumping on their horses and galloping off, and
it made me feel badly to think that I could no longer do the things that I
used to do; could no longer hunt, and help to support my relations; could
no longer go off on the warpath with my fellows, to fight the enemy, or to
take plunder from them. I was useless.

Often during this time, older men--my uncle's friends--used to come to the
lodge, and stop there and talk with me for a little time, to cheer me up,
for I think they too felt sorry for me. The doctors tried hard to cure my
leg, but though they did many things, and I and my uncle paid them many
horses, and saddles and blankets, they could not help me. Once in a while,
in the morning, after all the men had gone out to chase buffalo, or to hunt
for smaller animals, deer or elk or antelope, Standing Alone would come to
my mother's lodge, perhaps bringing some little present for her, and would
sit and talk with her, and sometimes look at me, and I could see that her
eyes were full of tears, and that she too felt sorry. Sometimes she spoke
to me, but not often; but it always made me glad to see her, and made me
feel more than ever that she had a good heart.

At the end of two years I sent word to my uncle, asking him to come to see
me; and when he had come and sat down, I asked my mother and my sisters to
leave the lodge, and when they had gone I spoke to my uncle. "Father, you
have seen how it has been with me for two years; that I am no longer able
to go about; that I am a cripple, lying here day after day, useless to my
relations, and very unhappy. Now, I have thought of this for a long time,
and I have made up my mind what I shall do. It is time for me to go off
with some of the young men on the warpath, and when we meet the enemy, I
will ride straight into the midst of them, and will strike one, and he
shall kill me. I am no longer glad to live, and it will be well for me to
die bravely."

For a long time my uncle said nothing, but sat there looking at the ground.
After he had thought, he raised his head and spoke to me, saying: "Son, you
can remember how it has been with us since you were a little boy. You have
been my son, and I have loved you. I have been glad when you went to war,
and glad when you returned with credit; yet I should not have mourned if
you had been killed in battle, for that is the way a man ought to die. I
have seen your sufferings now for two years, and I know how you feel. I
think that it will be well for you to do as you have said, and for you to
give your body to the enemy, and to be killed on the open prairie, where
the birds and the beasts may feed on your flesh, and may scatter it over
the plain. Now, when you are ready to do this, tell me, so that I may see
that you go to war as becomes a warrior who is about to die."

It was not very long after this that a party of young men set out to war,
all mounted, to go south to look for the Utes. Among them was the one who
had been my close friend, and to him I had told what was in my mind; and
when I spoke to the leader of the party, he was glad to have me go with
him, as were all of them.

I told my uncle, and he gave me his best war horse to ride, and gave me
also a sacred headdress that he wore, which had in it some of the feathers
of the thunder bird. I took with me no arms, except a stone axe that my
father had had from his father, and he from his father, and which had come
down in our family through many generations.

The party started, and we traveled fast and far to the south. At first I
was very weak, and got very tired during the long marches, but after a time
I grew stronger, and could eat better, and felt better; but my leg was as
bad as ever.

We had been out many days and were still traveling south, east of the
mountains, when, one day our scouts came upon the carcasses of buffalo that
had been killed only a little time before, and the meat cut from the bones.
From this we knew that enemies were close by, and we went carefully. Not
far beyond these carcasses, as we rode up on a hill, we saw before us in
the valley two persons butchering a buffalo, and as we watched them at
their work, we could see that they were Utes--enemies. All the young men
jumped on their horses, and we charged down on them. Before we were near
them they had seen us, and had run to their horses, and jumped on them and
ridden away. By this time I was far ahead of my friends, for my horse was
the fastest of all; and soon I was getting close to these enemies. They
rode almost side by side, but one a little ahead of the other.

The one who was on the left and a little behind carried a bow and arrows,
while the man on the right had a gun. I said to myself: "I will ride
between these two persons, and the man with the bow will then have to shoot
toward his right hand, and will very likely miss me, while I may be able to
knock him off his horse with my axe." I was not afraid, for I had made up
my mind to die.

Before long I had overtaken the Utes, and, riding between them, made ready
to strike them. The man with the arrows turned on his horse, and shot at
me, but I bent to one side, and the arrow passed by without hitting me, and
I struck him with my axe and knocked him off his horse. Then the man with
the gun turned and was aiming at me, but when he pulled the trigger his gun
snapped and did not go off. I was close to him and caught the barrel in my
hand, and struck him with my axe, and knocked him off his horse. Then I
rode on, holding his gun in my hand. Before the two men whom I had struck
could get on their horses again, my friends had overtaken and killed them.

We traveled on further, but found no more enemies, and at last we gave up,
and returned to our village. All the time, as we were journeying about, and
going back, I kept feeling better and better. I grew stronger slowly. The
swelling on my knee began to go down, so that before we reached the village
I could rest my weight on that foot a little. At last we arrived, and when
we came in sight of the camp, we could see people looking from the lodges
to see who were coming.

As we rode down the hill to charge upon the village, the leader told me to
ride far in front, "For," he said, "you are the bravest of all." When we
came into the village the men and the women and the children came out to
meet us. All of them shouted out my name, and my heart grew big in my
breast, for I felt that all the people thought that I had done well. Among
the women who came out to meet us, I saw Standing Alone, running along by
my mother, and both were singing a glad song. And when I saw this, I came
near to crying.

At last I reached my lodge, and before it stood my uncle; and as I rode
toward him he called out in a loud voice, and asked a certain man named
Brave Wolf to come to his lodge and see his son who had given his body to
the enemy, desiring to be killed, but who had done great things and had
survived. And when Brave Wolf came to the lodge, my uncle gave to him the
best horse that he had, a spotted war pony, handsome and long-winded and

All that day I sat in the lodge and rested, and talked to my uncle. I told
him about our journey to war, and while he did not say much I could see
that his heart was glad. Before he got up to leave the lodge, he said to
me, "Friend, you have done well; I am glad to have such a son." This made
me feel glad and proud--more proud, I think, than I felt when I heard the
people shout out my name. I loved my uncle and it seemed good that I had
done something that pleased him.

All day long people were coming to our lodge and talking about what had
happened to us while on our journey. Those who came were my relations and
friends, but, besides these, older men, good warriors, people to whose
words all the tribe listened, came and sat and talked with me for a little
while. My mother and one or two of her relations were busy all day cooking
food for the visitors. It was a happy time.

The leader of our war party sent word to me that this night there would be
a war dance over the scalps that had been taken. Although I could walk a
little, I could not dance, yet I wished to go to the dance and watch the
others. All through the afternoon boys and young men were bringing wood to
a level place in the circle of the camp, and there they built what we call
a "skunk," piling up long poles together in a shape somewhat like a lodge,
so that when finished the "skunk" looked like a war lodge.

Late in the night the people gathered near the "skunk," called together by
the sound of the singing and the drumming. Leaning on a stick, I walked
down there, and before long the "skunk" was lighted, and the members of our
war party and the young women began to dance. Although I could not dance,
my face was painted black like those of other men of the war party, and I
sat there and watched the young people dance and saw the old men and women
carry about the scalps. That was one of the last of the old-fashioned war
dances that I ever saw held.

The days went by, and before the birds had flown over on their way to the
south, and the weather became cold, I could walk pretty well, and could
ride easily. One day about this time a doctor whom I had given many
presents a year or two before to cure my sickness came to my lodge and
asked me if I did not think I ought to give him a present because he had
cured me of the swollen knee that I had had so long. I said to him that I
believed that not he but the Great Power, to whom I had prayed and to whom
I had offered my body as a sacrifice, had cured me. The doctor said that
this was a mistake; that really he had cured me, but that his power had not
had time to work until after I had started on my warpath.

I did not think that this was true, but I remembered that this man
possessed mysterious power, and I felt that perhaps it would not be wise to
refuse what he asked. I told him I must have time to think about this, and
that in seven days he should return and I would talk further with him about
it. Not long after this I told my uncle what the doctor had said. At first
he was angry and said that I would do well to refuse what had been asked of
me, but after we had talked about it, he came to think as I thought, that
perhaps it would be better to make the doctor a present, rather than to
have his ill will, for it was possible that he might be able to harm us. My
uncle, therefore, told me to give the doctor a certain horse, and a day or
two after that he sent me the horse, to be put with my band and later to be
given to the doctor. When he received the horse, the doctor was glad, and
he told me that after this he would protect me in case any danger
threatened me.

The winter passed, the snow melted, the birds went north in spring, and the
buffalo began to get poor. It seemed to me now that I was as strong and
well as ever I had been. I walked alike on both legs, and was as active as
any of the young men. During this summer I joined one of the soldier
societies of the tribe, and in this I followed the advice of my uncle, who
had belonged to this same society.

_A Lie That Came True._

Soon after this something strange happened.

I had a friend named Sun's Road. He was a little younger than I, perhaps
eighteen or twenty years old, big enough to have a sweetheart, and there
was a girl in the camp that he wished to please. He had been more than once
to war and had done well, but he wanted to do still better. He was eager to
do great things, to make the people talk about him and say that he was
brave and always lucky. Like most other young men, he wished to become a
great man.

Our camp was on the South Platte River, a big village of near two hundred
lodges. All these had been made during the summer, and were new, white and
clean. The camp looked nice, but now the buffalo had all gone away. None
were to be found and the people were hungry. They had eaten all the food
they had saved and now they were eating their dogs, and most of these were
already gone.

One day two boys, each the son of a chief, were out on the prairie hunting,
and each killed an antelope and took it to his father's lodge. After these
had been cooked the chiefs were called together to feast. There was not
enough food to allow them to call any others except the chiefs.

I heard of all this at the time, but it was a good deal later that Sun's
Road told me what he had done and what happened to him about this time. He
did not wish me to tell anyone about it, but it is a long time ago and
those who were important people at that time are now dead, so I think no
harm can be done by telling of it.

After these chiefs had eaten, they talked of the suffering of the people
and tried to think what could be done to help them. After a time one of the
chiefs came out of the lodge and walked through the camp crying aloud to
the people, saying, "Listen, listen, you people; we will all stay in this
camp." This he called out again and again as he walked around the circle,
so that all might hear him.

After a time Sun's Road heard his name called, and the old man shouted:
"Sun's Road, Sun's Road; the chief wishes you to go to his lodge. He wishes
you to go out to look for buffalo."

Sun's Road went to the chief's lodge and when he had entered they told him
where he should sit, by the door, and gave him a little piece of antelope
meat to eat. After he had finished eating, the chief said to him: "We want
you to-night to go across the river to the other side, and you shall go to
where the pile of bones is, where we had the fight with the Pawnees. On the
other side of that hill for a long distance the country is level. Look over
that country and see if you can see any buffalo and come back and let us
know what you have seen. If you see no buffalo do not go farther; come back
from there."

The pile of bones was a breastwork of buffalo bones built on the top of a
very high hill by some Pawnees who many years before had been surrounded
there by men of our tribe.

Sun's Road started on his journey. When he came to the river he took off
his leggings and moccasins and waded across. It was cold, for by this time
it was late in the night. On the other side of the river he put on his
leggings and moccasins again and walked on north, sometimes walking, and
sometimes trotting for a little way. After he had walked a long distance
and it was beginning to get toward morning he felt tired and thought that
he would rest for a little while. He looked about for a place to lie down,
and found a little bunch of brush behind a small bank, and there unbelted
his robe and lay down to sleep for a little while. He had not slept long
when his feet became cold and this woke him, and when he raised his head he
saw that day was beginning to break. He said to himself: "I must not stay
here longer. I am out looking for buffalo for people who are starving. I
must not lie here," so he rose and tied up his waist and started on.

He walked on and on and at length he saw the high hill and on it the pile
of bones. As he went on he came nearer and nearer, and he walked up the
hill until he was close by the pile of bones. Then he stopped, for he was
afraid. He was afraid that when he looked over the hill he would see
nothing. He wanted to make a great man of himself, and to take back the
news that he had seen buffalo, so that the people would call his name and
all would say that Sun's Road was smart and was lucky. He was so afraid
that he would see nothing when he looked over the hill that he stopped and
stood there and thought. He said to himself: "If I shall not see anything
and go back, they will all hear of it and my girl will hear of it. They
will not think much of me. If I could only see plenty of buffalo, what a
great man I should be!"

He went on and when he came to the top of the hill and peeped over, there
down below him he saw and counted thirty bulls and a calf. He looked at
them and said, "Those are bulls; they are not much, but something." He
looked another way, and presently he saw one bull, and then two, and then
others far off, scattered--in all five or six. He said again, "These are
not many, but they will be some help to the people." A little to his right
and down the hill a point of the bluff ran out a little way and this point
hid a part of the country beyond, and Sun's Road walked down there just a
few steps to see what was over that way. When he got there he looked out
into a very pretty, level basin with a stream running through it, and said
to himself: "This is a pretty place, a good place for buffalo. There ought
to be a great many of them here."

At first he could see none, but he kept on looking and at last far off,
just specks, he saw a few--a very few, perhaps ten or fifteen--cows.

For a long time he stood there trying to think what he should tell the
chiefs when he went back to the camp. He said to himself: "If I go back and
tell them just what I have seen it will be nothing to tell. Now, I want
people to think that I am a great man, and I am going to tell them a lie.
Yes, I shall have to tell them a lie. I shall tell them that when I looked
over the hill I saw those thirty bulls with one calf, but beyond I saw many
buffalo--hundreds. I know it is a lie, but I shall have to tell it." Then
he turned about and went back.

He traveled fast, walking and trotting, and sometimes running, for he
wished to reach the camp before night. It was late in the afternoon when he
came to the river, waded across and reached the camp. He went into his
father's lodge and sat down. His father was at work making a whetstone. He
looked up at his son, and said, "Ha, you have returned," and he turned to
his wife and said, "Give our son something to eat." His mother was cooking
a little dog, the last one they had, and she gave Sun's Road a piece of it
and he ate. Then he took off his moccasins, went over to his bed and lay
down, covered himself, and went to sleep. He did not speak, and he made no
report to the chiefs. Some children were playing in the lodge, and making a
little noise, and his father spoke to them, saying, "Go out, you will wake
my son; he is tired and has gone to sleep." Sun's Road slept only for a
short time, for the lie that he was going to tell troubled him. Pretty soon
he heard one of the old chiefs coming--old Double Head. He could hear him
coming, coughing and groaning and clearing his throat, and he knew who it
was by the sound. The chief entered the lodge and sat down, and said to
Sun's Road's father, "Has your son returned?" The father replied, "Yes, he
is asleep." He filled the pipe and Double Head smoked. Sun's Road lay
still. In a few moments he heard another old man coming towards the lodge
grunting. He knew who it was--White Cow. He came in, sat down, asked the
same question that Double Head had asked, and smoked.

White Cow called to Sun's Road, "Nephew, get up now and tell us what you
saw; we are starving."

Sun's Road rolled over, pulled the robe from his head, raised himself on
his elbow and said: "I went to the hill of the pile of bones, and on the
other side of the hill right over beyond the bones I saw thirty bulls and a
calf. Just beyond them, as I looked over, I saw many buffalo."

The old men stood up and went out. Soon he heard them crying out through
the camp so that all the people should hear: "Sun's Road has come in. On
the other side of the pile of bones he saw thirty bulls and a calf, and
just below this he saw many buffalo. Gather in your horses. Get them up.
Women, sharpen your knives. Men, whet your arrow points. Tie up your
horses, and early in the morning we will go after buffalo. The camp will
stay here. All will go on horseback."

Sun's Road was frightened when he heard this, but it was now too late to be
sorry for what he had done. Next morning just at break of day, before it
was light, all the people were out. The old crier was still shouting out,
"Saddle your horses; make ready to start, men, women and all."

Soon all were saddled, and they crossed the river and went on. The chiefs
rode first and everyone was behind them. No one rode ahead of them. They
went pretty fast, for all were eager to get to the buffalo.

Pretty soon they came in sight of the pile of bones. Sun's Road could hear
the old chiefs talking and saying to each other, "There are the bones; soon
we will be there at the buffalo." All the time he kept thinking of the lie
that he had told, and remembering that there were only a few buffalo, while
he had said that there were many. He did not know what he should do.

When they reached the foot of the hill close to the bones, the chiefs
stopped and everyone behind them stopped. All the chiefs got off their
horses and sat down in a row and filled the pipe and began to smoke. Soon
Sun's Road heard one of them call out: "Sun's Road, Sun's Road, go up to
the pile of bones and see if you can see your buffalo now. Let us know if
they are there." Then Sun's Road was still more frightened. When he first
heard his name called, his heart seemed to stop and then it began to beat
so fast that it almost choked him. He did not know what to do. He did not

Soon old Standing Water, another chief, called out sharply, "Sun's Road, go
to the pile of bones and see if you can see those buffalo; come back and
tell us what you see."

Then Sun's Road started and rode up towards the pile of bones. Just as he
did so a raven flew over him and began to call "Ca, Ca, Ca." He kept riding
on, his heart beating fast, but as he rode he held up his hands to the
raven and prayed, "Ah, raven, take pity on me and fetch the buffalo." He
held his hands up higher and prayed to the Great Power, "O He amma wihio,
you are the one who made the buffalo; take pity on me; you know what I
need." Then he rode up to the top of the hill.

The moment his head got to where he could see over the hill, he looked and
there he saw thirty bulls and the calf. They had hardly moved at all. Then
he went on a step or two further, so that he could see beyond them, and the
place that he had seen the day before was just full of buffalo. Again he
held up his hands to the sky and said: "O raven, O He amma wihio, you have
made my words true. The lie that I told you have made come true."

He turned and rode down the hill towards the chiefs. Before he had reached
them, one of them called to him to come right to the middle of the line
where they were sitting, and when he had come near, they told him to get
off his horse and lead it off to one side and then to come back to the
middle of the line. They sent a young man to bring a buffalo chip and he
brought one and put it down on the ground before the old chief Standing
Water, and then went away. The chief placed it on the ground in front of
him, about the length of his arm distant from his knees. Then he filled a
pipe. Sun's Road still stood out in front of the line, in sight of all the
people. He was still badly frightened, for he did not know what they were
going to do. He was young, and did not know the ceremonies.

When the pipe was filled, the old chief lighted it and pointed the stem to
the east, to the south, to the west and to the north, then up to the sky,
and then down to the ground. Then he rested the bowl of the pipe on the
buffalo chip and said, "Sun's Road, come here." When he had come close, the
chief said, "Take hold of this pipe and draw on it five times." The old man
held the pipe, and so did Sun's Road, until he had drawn five times on the
pipe. Then the chief said, "Now do you hold the pipe," and Sun's Road held
it while the old man took his hands away, and he said: "Sun's Road, pass
your hands all down the stem and over the pipe, and then rub your hands
over your face and head, and over your arms and body and legs. Then hand me
the pipe." Sun's Road did as he was bade. Then the old man put his hand on
the buffalo chip and said to Sun's Road, "Did you see bulls?"

And Sun's Road answered, "I saw them."

The old man pulled in the chip a little way toward himself.

"Did you see cows?"

"I saw them."

The chief moved the chip a little further toward himself.

"Did you see two-year-olds?"

"I saw them."

Standing Water moved the chip a little further toward himself.

"Did you see yearlings?"

"I saw them."

"Did you see small calves?"

"I saw them."

After each answer the chip was moved nearer the chief, and when all the
questions had been answered it was close to his body. Then Standing Water
lifted up his hands toward the sky and thanked He amma wihio for all his
goodness to the people.

Standing Water cleaned out the pipe, emptied the ashes on the chip in four
piles and left them there. He put his pipe in its sheath and said to the
people: "Now, let none of you people go around toward the left and pass in
front of this chip--between it and the camp. Back off and all go around
behind it, on the side toward the buffalo. If you should pass in front of
it that might make the buffalo all go away." All the people went around it,
as they had been told to do.

The chiefs mounted and all rode up on the ridge and all saw the buffalo.
The chiefs said: "Now here we will divide into two parties; let half go to
the right and half to the left. The chiefs will go straight down from here.
Let one party go around below the buffalo, and the other party on the upper
side. When you get to your places let all make the charge at the same

Sun's Road watched where his girl was riding, and when he saw that she went
to the right he went that way too, and she saw him on his fine horse. They
charged down on the buffalo and he rode close to a fat cow and killed it.

The people killed plenty of buffalo and took much meat back to the camp and
ate, and all were happy.

A day or two afterward someone who was out saw the buffalo quite close and
coming toward the river. They went out and chased them and again killed
plenty. Two or three days later the buffalo began to come down to the river
and then to cross the river and to feed in the hills about the camp. The
people stayed in this camp for a long time and killed many buffalo and made
plenty of robes.

_My Marriage._

The next summer I went with a party to war against the Mexicans. There were
seventeen men, and two of them, Howling Wolf and Red Dog, had taken their
wives with them. We took many horses, and were coming back, when, while we
were passing through the mountains, two of the young men who had been sent
ahead as scouts came hurrying back and told us that they had been seen by a
camp of enemies, and that many of them were coming. We had a little time,
and perhaps if the leaders of the party had been willing to give up the
horses we were driving and had told each man to catch his fastest horse, we
might have run away, but the leaders did not like to leave the horses and
determined to fight those who were coming. Before long we saw them, Utes
and Mountain Apaches, a large party--too many for us to fight with. We
started to run.

Our horses were tired, and it was not long before our enemies began to
overtake us and some of them to strike us with their whips, counting coups.
Howling Wolf, a brave man, rode behind us all, trying to defend us, riding
back and forth fighting off the enemy and whipping up the slower horses. As
we ran, partly surrounded by the enemy and all in confusion, the girth on
the saddle of Howling Wolf's wife broke and she fell off her horse with the
saddle, and was left behind and taken prisoner. One of the Utes captured
her and took her up behind him on his horse.

After they had taken this prisoner the enemy stopped, and presently one of
our men called out to Howling Wolf, saying, "Look, look, there is your
wife! They have taken her prisoner!" Howling Wolf said, "Can that be?" and
then as he looked he threw down his empty gun, calling out, "Someone pick
up that gun." He drew his bow and strung it, and alone charged back on the
man who had his wife. The Utes had gathered in a little group about this
woman, and Howling Wolf rode straight for this crowd, shooting right and
left with his arrows, when he got close to them. He ran against one man,
and his horse knocked down horse and rider. He passed through the crowd up
to the man who had his wife as prisoner, and shot an arrow through him, and
then shot another man who tried to lead off the horse the woman was riding.
A third ran up to take the bridle and he shot an arrow through his head.
Then all the Utes made a rush at Howling Wolf and his wife. Their horses
were separated, and the woman pushed off to one side. All the Utes were
shooting at Howling Wolf, and he fought until all his arrows were gone, and
then he was pushed off further, and rode to us. We never knew how many of
the Utes were wounded. Howling Wolf was not hurt, but his horse was shot
through the mane with an arrow.

Long afterwards, we were told that the Utes said to this woman, "Who is
that man who is doing all this fighting?" She answered proudly, "That man
is my husband." When she said that the Utes rushed upon her and shot her
with arrows, so that she died.

The enemy did not follow us further. They had killed two more of our men
and this woman, and had captured all the horses we were driving. Perhaps
they were satisfied.

For the last year I had been thinking a great deal about Standing Alone. I
saw and spoke to her sometimes, but in these later days not so often as
when I had been younger and had not been so often going on the warpath
against my enemies. Yet she knew how I felt and her family and my mother
also knew how I felt. She was wearing a ring of horn that I had given her
and I wore her ring.

Three times in the last two years when I had come back from my war journeys
with horses I had driven the horses to Two Bulls' lodge and left them
there, and had sent him a message telling him that those horses were his. I
had not given any present to Standing Alone.

In summer of this year I spoke to my uncle and told him that I wished to
send horses to Two Bulls, and to ask him to give me his daughter for my
wife. My uncle felt that this would be good and advised me to do it, saying
that if I had not so many horses as I wished to send I should go to his
band and take any that I liked. I told him that this need not be done for
I, myself, could furnish the horses. Besides, my relations would give such
other presents as might be needed.

So it happened that about the time the leaves of the cottonwoods began to
turn yellow, my aunt, my mother's oldest sister, went to Two Bulls' lodge
taking ten horses, which she tied before the lodge, and then, entering,
gave the message, saying that Wikis wished Standing Alone for his wife.
After she had said this, my aunt returned to her lodge.

That night Two Bulls sent for his relations and told them what I had said.
They counseled together and agreed that the young woman should be given to
me. When I learned this my heart was stirred.

The news came to my lodge through one of the women of Two Bulls' family,
and my mother and sisters prepared our lodge for the coming of Standing

It was about the middle of the day when they told me that she was coming.

Standing Alone, finely dressed, was riding a handsome spotted horse led by
one of her relations, and other women were coming behind, leading other
horses which bore loads.

The horse ridden by Standing Alone was led up close to the lodge and my
mother ran out to it. Standing Alone put her arms around my mother's neck
and slipped out of the saddle on my mother's back. My sisters caught her
feet and supported Standing Alone, who was thus carried on my mother's back
into the lodge and her feet did not touch the ground. Then she was carried
around to the back of the lodge where my sleeping place was and seated next
to me on my bed. Presently food was prepared and for the dish to be offered
to Standing Alone my mother cut up the meat into small pieces, so that she
should have no trouble in eating her food. Then Standing Alone and I ate
together and so I took her for my wife.

Many of the gifts that Two Bulls had sent with Standing Alone were
distributed among my relations.

That day all my near relations came, bringing gifts of many sorts to us who
were newly married. They brought us a lodge and much lodge furniture--robes
and bedding, backrests, mats and dishes--all the things that people used in
the life of the camp. Of these presents some were sent to the relations of
Standing Alone and they in turn sent other presents to us, so that as
husband and wife Standing Alone and I began our life well provided with all
that we needed.

I did not again go to war that year, but spent much of my time
hunting--providing food for my own family and often leaving meat at my
father-in-law's lodge.

Up to this time, as I look back on it to-day, it seems to me that life had
been easy for me and for the tribe. We had many skins for robes, lodges and
clothing. Food was plenty. If we needed horses we made journeys to war
against our enemies to the south and took what we required--but hard times
were coming.

It was but a few years after I took Standing Alone for my wife, when my
oldest boy was four years old, that the wars were begun between the white
people and my tribe.

This was a hard time. It is true we killed many white people and captured
much property, but though most of the tribe did not seem to see that it was
so, my uncle and I felt that the Indians were being crowded out, pushed
further and further away from where we had always been--where we belonged.
After each expedition through the country by white troops and after each
fight that we had with the white men, we felt as if some great hand that
was all around my tribe and all the other tribes, was closing a little
tighter about us all, and that at last it would grasp us and squeeze us to

Of that bad time and of what followed that time, I do not wish to speak,
and so my story ends.

End of Project Gutenberg's When Buffalo Ran, by George Bird Grinnell


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This file was acquired from Project Gutenberg, and it is in the public domain. It is re-distributed here as a part of the Alex Catalogue of Electronic Texts ( by Eric Lease Morgan (Infomotions, Inc.) for the purpose of freely sharing, distributing, and making available works of great literature. Its Infomotions unique identifier is etext15189, and it should be available from the following URL:

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