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´╗┐Title: Stories About Indians
Author: Anonymous
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive/American Libraries.)



                    STORIES
                     ABOUT
                    INDIANS.

                  CONCORD, N.H.

                 RUFUS MERRILL.



                    STORIES
                     ABOUT
                    INDIANS.

                 [Illustration]

                 CONCORD, N.H.:
         PUBLISHED BY MERRIAM & MERRILL
                     1854.



[Illustration: The above picture represents Indians hunting Buffalo.]



STORIES
ABOUT
INDIANS.


The Indians were formerly lords of the soil we now occupy, and obtained a
subsistence principally by hunting and fishing.

They generally lived in villages, containing from fifty to five hundred
families. Their houses, called _wigwams_, were usually constructed of
poles, one end being driven into the ground, and the other bent over so
as to meet another fastened in like manner; both being joined together at
the top, and covered with the bark of trees. Small holes were left open
for windows, which were closed in bad weather with a piece of bark. They
made their fire in the centre of the wigwam, leaving a small hole for a
chimney in the top of the roof.

[Illustration: Indian Village.]

They had no chairs, but sat upon skins, or mats, spread upon the ground,
which also served them for beds. Their clothes were principally made of
the skins of animals, which in winter were sewed together with the fur
side turned inwards.

The Indians were very fond of trinkets and ornaments, and often decorated
their heads with feathers, while fine polished shells were suspended from
their ears.


A PAWNEE BRAVE.

The following anecdote is related of a Pawnee brave, or warrior, (son of
Red Knife.)

At the age of twenty-one, the heroic deeds of this brave had acquired
for him in his nation the rank of the bravest of the braves. The savage
practice of torturing and burning to death their prisoners existed in this
nation. An unfortunate female of the Paduca nation, taken in war, was
destined to this horrid death.

[Illustration: Pawnee Brave.]

Just when the funeral pile was to be kindled, this young warrior, having
unnoticed prepared two fleet horses, with the necessary provisions, sprang
from his seat, liberated the victim, seized her in his arms, placed her on
one of the horses, mounted the other himself, and made the utmost speed
toward the nation and friends of the captive! The multitude, dumb and
nerveless, made no effort to rescue their victim from her deliverer. They
viewed it as the immediate act of the Great Spirit, submitted to it
without a murmur, and quietly retired to their village.


INDIAN GRATITUDE.

As an Indian was straying through a village on the Kennebec, he passed a
gentleman standing at his store door, and begged a piece of tobacco. The
person stepped back, and selected a generous piece, for which he received
a gruff "tank you," and thought no more of the affair. Three or four
months afterwards, he was surprised at an Indian's coming into the store
and presenting him with a beautiful miniature birch canoe, painted and
furnished with paddles to correspond. On asking the meaning of it, he was
told, "Indian no forget; you give me tobacco; me make this for you." This
man's gratitude for a trifling favor had led him to bestow more labor on
his present than would have purchased him many pounds of his favorite
weed.

[Illustration: Indian Chief.]


INDIAN OBSERVATION.

On his return home to his hut one day, an Indian discovered that his
venison, which had been hung up to dry, had been stolen. After going
some distance, he met some persons, of whom he inquired if they had seen a
_little, old, white_ man, with a short gun, and accompanied by a small dog
with a bob-tail. They replied in the affirmative; and upon the Indian's
assuring them that the man thus described had stolen his venison, they
desired to be informed how he was able to give such a minute description
of a person whom he had not seen. The Indian answered thus:

"The thief I know is a _little_ man, by his having made a pile of stones
in order to reach the venison from the height I hung it standing on the
ground; that he is an _old_ man, I know by his short steps, which I have
traced over the dead leaves in the woods; that he is a _white_ man, I know
by his turning out his toes when he walks, which an Indian never does; his
gun I know to be short by the mark which the muzzle made by rubbing the
bark of the tree on which it leaned; that his dog is small, I know by his
tracks; and that he has a bob-tail I discovered by the mark of it in the
dust where he was sitting at the time his master was taking down the
meat."


INDIAN STRATAGEM.

In one of the frequent wars among the different tribes of Indians, a
Pequot was pursued by a Narraganset Indian. The Pequot skulked behind a
rock, and raising his hat on his gun, held it up just above the rock, so
that the hat alone was visible on the other side.

The Narraganset, who was at some distance, perceiving the hat, and
supposing of course that the head of the Pequot was in it, crept softly up
within a few feet and fired. But directly he had the mortification to find
that he had thrown away his powder. The Pequot's gun was still loaded, and
he discharged it to effect upon the poor Narraganset.

[Illustration: Oregon Indians.]


RED JACKET.

It happened, during the Revolutionary war, that a treaty was held with the
Indians, at which Lafayette was present. The object was to unite the
various tribes in amity with America. The majority of the chiefs were
friendly, but there was much opposition made to it, more especially by a
young warrior, who declared that when an alliance was entered into with
America, he should consider the sun of his country as set forever. In his
travels through the Indian country, when lately in America, it happened at
a large assemblage of chiefs that Lafayette referred to the treaty in
question, and turning to Red Jacket, said, "Pray, tell me, if you can,
what has become of that daring youth, who so decidedly opposed all our
propositions for peace and amity? Does he still live--and what is his
condition?" "I myself am the man," replied Red Jacket, "the decided enemy
of the Americans as long as the hope of opposing them with success
remained, but now their true and faithful ally until death."

[Illustration: Red Jacket Chief.]


INDIAN SHREWDNESS.

When General Lincoln went to make peace with the Creek Indians, one of the
chiefs asked him to sit down on a log. He was then desired to move, and in
a few minutes to move still further. The request was repeated until the
general got to the end of the log. The Indian still said, "Move further,"
to which the general replied, "I can move no further." "Just so it is with
us," said the chief; "you have moved us back to the water, and then ask us
to move further."

[Illustration: Indian Council, with white men, making a treaty]


AN INDIAN'S JOKE.

During the time of Indian troubles, a friendly Indian visited Governor
Jenks, of Rhode Island, when the governor took occasion to request him to
let him know if any strange Indian should come to his wigwam. This the
Indian promised to do, and the governor agreed to give him a mug of flip
if he should give such information. Some time after, the Indian came
again, and said, "Well, Mr. Gubernor, strange Indian come to my house last
night." "Ah," said the governor, "what did he say?" "He no speak," replied
the Indian. "What, not speak at all?" inquired the governor. "No, he no
speak at all." "That looks suspicious," said his excellency, and inquired
if he was there still. Being told that he was, the governor ordered the
promised mug of flip. When this was disposed of, and the Indian was about
to depart, he mildly said, "Mr. Gubernor, my squaw have child last night."
The governor, finding the strange Indian was a new-born pappoose, was glad
to find there was no cause for alarm.

[Illustration: Indian with his Bow and Arrow]


INDIAN CHARACTER.

The following striking display of Indian character occurred some years
since in a town in Maine. An Indian of the Kennebec tribe, remarkable for
his good conduct, received a grant of land from the state, and fixed
himself in a township, where a number of families settled. Though not ill
treated, yet the common prejudice against the Indians prevented any
sympathy with him. This was shown at the death of his only child, when
none of the people came near him. Shortly afterwards he went to some of
the inhabitants, and said to them, "When white man's child die, Indian man
be sorry--he help bury him: when my child die, no one speak to me--I make
his grave alone--I can't live here."

He gave up his farm, dug up the body of his child, and carried it with him
two hundred miles through the forest, to join the Canada Indians. What
energy and depth of feeling does this specimen of Indian character
exhibit!

[Illustration: Indian with his Tomahawk.]


INDIAN INTEGRITY.

A Spanish traveller met an Indian in the desert; they were both on
horseback. The Spaniard, fearing that his horse, which was none of the
best, would not hold out till the end of his journey, asked the Indian,
whose horse was young, strong, and spirited, to exchange with him. This
the Indian refused. The Spaniard therefore began a quarrel with him. From
words they proceeded to blows. The aggressor being well armed, proved too
powerful for the native. He seized his horse, mounted him, and pursued his
journey.

He was closely followed to the nearest town by the Indian, who immediately
complained to a judge. The Spaniard was obliged to appear, and bring the
horse with him. He treated the Indian as an impostor, affirming that the
horse was his property, that he had always had him in his possession, and
that he had raised him from a colt.

There being no proof to the contrary, the judge was about dismissing the
parties, when the Indian cried out,--"The horse is mine, and I'll prove
it!" He immediately took off his mantle, and with it instantly covered
the head of the animal; then addressing the judge,--"Since this man," said
he, "affirms that he has raised the horse from a colt, command him to tell
of which eye he is blind." The Spaniard, who would not seem to hesitate,
instantly answered, "Of the right eye." "He is neither blind of the right
eye," replied the Indian, "nor of the left."

The judge decreed him the horse, and the Spaniard to be punished as a
robber.


INDIAN POLITENESS.

The politeness of these people in conversation is indeed carried to
excess; since it does not permit them to contradict or deny the truth of
what is asserted in their presence. By this means they indeed avoid
disputes; but then it becomes difficult to know their minds, or what
impression you make upon them. When any of them come into our towns, our
people are apt to crowd around them, gaze upon them, and incommode them
when they desire to be private; this they esteem great rudeness, and the
effect of the want of instruction in the rules of civility and good
manners. "We have," say they, "as much curiosity as you, and when you come
into our towns, we wish for opportunities of looking at you; but for this
purpose we hide ourselves behind bushes where you are to pass, and never
intrude ourselves into your company."





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