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Title: Indian Stories Retold From St. Nicholas
Author: Various
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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Indian Stories Retold From St. Nicholas" ***

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          A mirror of Indian ideas, customs, and

          Stirring tales of the rude frontier life of
          early times.

          Heroic deeds, and especially children's
          part in them.

          Thrilling stories of the great struggle,
          both on land and sea.

          OUR HOLIDAYS
          Something of their meaning and spirit.

Each about 200 pages. Full cloth, 12mo.



_Drawing by Frederic Remington_]




          NEW YORK     MCMVII

  Copyright, 1877, 1878, 1879, by

  Copyright, 1884, 1888, 1889, 1893, 1894, 1896, 1899, 1900, 1904, by



THIS collection of Indian stories is the first in a series of volumes of
historic tales retold from "St. Nicholas."

The books do not pretend to give anything like connected history, but by
means of the story that thrills and interests they impart the real
spirit of the times they depict in a way no youthful reader will be
likely to forget.

Most of the stories in this book a boy of eight or nine can read for
himself, and these are the years of his school life when he is being
taught something of our colonial history and of the myths and legends of
primitive man. Thus these stories, while delighting many children and
tempting them to read "out of hours," will serve a very useful



  ONATOGA'S SACRIFICE                        _John Dimitry_    1

  WAUKEWA'S EAGLE                           _James Buckham_   10

  A FOURTH OF JULY AMONG THE INDIANS         _W. P. Hooper_   22

  A BOY'S VISIT TO CHIEF JOSEPH              _Erskine Wood_   43

                                      _Colonel Guido Ilges_

                                          _William M. Cary_

  FUN AMONG THE RED BOYS                     _Julian Ralph_   87

  THE CHILDREN OF ZUÑI                _Maria Brace Kimball_  100


  HOW THE STONE-AGE CHILDREN PLAYED     _Charles C. Abbott_  115

  GAMES AND SPORTS OF THE INDIAN BOY                         123
                            _Dr. Charles Alexander Eastman_

  AN OLD-TIME THANKSGIVING               _M. Eloise Talbot_  136

  SOME INDIAN DOLLS                   _Olive Thorne Miller_  155

  THE WALKING PURCHASE                     _George Wheeler_  159

  THE FIRST AMERICANS                   _F. S. Dellenbaugh_  171



    Sleep, sleep, my boy; the Chippewas
      Are far away--are far away.
    Sleep, sleep, my boy; prepare to meet
      The foe by day--the foe by day!
    The cowards will not dare to fight
      Till morning break--till morning break.
    Sleep, sleep, my child, while still 'tis night;
      Then bravely wake--then bravely wake!




ONCE, in the long ago, before the white man had heard of the continent
on which we live, red men, who were brave and knew not what fear was in
battle, trembled at the mention of a great man-eating bird that had
lived before the time told of in the traditions known of their oldest

This bird, which, according to the Indian legends, ate men, was known as

The favorite haunt of this terrible bird was a bluff on the Mississippi
River, a short distance above the site of the present city of Alton,
Illinois. There it was said to lie in wait, and to keep watch over the
broad, open prairies. Whenever some rash Indian ventured out alone to
hunt upon this fatal ground, he became the monster's prey. The legend
says that the bird, swooping down with the fierce swiftness of a hawk,
seized upon its victim and bore him to a gloomy cave wherein it made its
horrid feasts. The monster must have had an insatiable appetite or a
prolonged existence, for tradition declares that it depopulated whole
villages. Then it was that the wise men began to see visions and to
prophesy the speedy extinction of the tribe. Years of its ravages
followed one upon another, until at length, according to the legend, was
lost all reckoning of the time when first that strange, foul creature
came to scourge their sunny plains. The aged men, whose youth was but a
dim memory, could say only that the bird was as it had always been. None
like it had ever been heard of save in vague traditions.

There was one, Onatoga, who began to ponder.


Now, Onatoga was the great leader of the Illini; one whose name was
spoken with awe even in the distant wigwams north of the Great Lake.
Long had he grieved and wondered over the will of the Great Spirit; that
he should look upon the men of the Western prairies, not as warriors,
but as deer or bison, only fit to fill the maw of so pestilent a thing
as this monstrous bird! Before the new moon began to grow upon the
face of the sky, Onatoga's resolve was taken. He would go to some spot
deep in the forest where by fasting and prayer his spirit would become
so pure that the Great Master of Life would hear him and once again be
kind and turn His face back, in light, upon the Illini.

Stealing away from his tribe in the night, he plunged far into the
trackless forest. Then, blackening his face, for a whole moon he fasted.
The moon waxed full and then waned; but no vision came to assure him
that the Great Spirit had heard his prayers. Only one more night
remained. Wearied and sorrow-worn, he closed his eyes. But, through the
deep sleep that fell upon him, came the voice of the Great Spirit. And
this is the message that came to Onatoga, as he lay sleeping in body
but, in his soul, awake:

"Arise, Chief of the Illini! Thou shalt save thy race. Choose thou
twenty of thy warriors; noble-hearted, strong-armed, eagle-eyed. Put in
each warrior's hand a bow. Give to each an arrow dipped in the venom of
the snake. Seek then the man whose heart loveth the Great Spirit. Let
him not fear to look the Piasau in the face; but see that the warriors,
with ready bows, stand near in the shadow of the trees."

Onatoga awoke; strong, though he had fasted a month; happy, though he
knew he was soon to die! Who, but he, the Great Chief of the Illini,
should die for his people--for was it not death to look on the face of
the Piasau?

Binding his moccasins firmly upon his feet, he washed the marks of grief
from his face, and painted it with the brightest vermilion and blue.
Thus, in the splendid colors of a triumphant warrior, he returned
homeward. All was silent in the village when, in the gray light of early
day, he entered his lodge. Soon the joyful news was known. From lodge to
lodge it spread until the last wigwam was reached. Onatoga's quest was

Then the warriors began to gather. Furtively, even in their gladness,
they sought his lodge, for the fear of the Piasau was over all. A solemn
awe fell upon them as they gathered around the chief, who, it was
whispered, had heard the voice of the Great Spirit. Without, on that
high bluff, they knew that the fiend-bird crouched, waiting for the
morning light to reveal its prey. Within, in sorrowing silence, they
heard how the people could be saved; but the hearts of the warriors were
heavy. All knew the sacrifice demanded--their bravest and their best!


Onatoga chose his twenty warriors and appointed them their place, where
the rolling prairie was broken by the edge of the forest. Then, when the
sun shot its first long shafts of light across the level grasses, the
chief walked slowly forth and stood alone upon the prairie. The world in
the morning light was beautiful to Onatoga's eyes. The flowers beneath
his feet seemed to smile, and poured forth richest perfumes; the sun was
glorious in its golden breast-plate, to do him honor; while the lark and
the mock-bird sang his praise in joyous songs.

He had not long to wait. Soon, afar off, the dreaded Piasau was seen
moving heavily through the clear morning air. Onatoga, drawing himself
to the full measure of his lofty height, raised his death-song. The dull
flutter of huge wings came nearer, and a great shadow came rushing over
the sunlit fields. Onatoga, never ceasing his chant, faced the Piasau
fearlessly. A sudden fierce swoop downward! In that very moment, twenty
poisoned arrows, loosed by twenty faithful hands, sped true to their
aim. With a scream that the bluffs sent rolling back in sharp and
deafening echoes, the foul monster dropped dead! The Great Spirit loved
the man who had been willing to sacrifice his life for his people. In
the very instant when death seemed sure, he covered the heart of Onatoga
with a shield; and he suffered not the wind to blow aside a single arrow
from its mark,--the body of the fated Piasau.


Great were the rejoicings that followed and rich were the feasts that
were held in honor of Onatoga. The Illini resolved that the story of the
great deliverance and of the courageous love of Onatoga should not die,
though they themselves should pass away. The cunning carvers of the
tribe cut deep into the living rock of the bluff the terrible form of
the Piasau. And, in later years, when young children asked the meaning
of this great figure, so unlike any of the birds that they knew upon
their rivers and their prairies, then the fathers would tell them the
story of the Piasau, and how the Great Spirit had found, in Onatoga, a
warrior who loved his fellow-men better than he loved his own life.



ONE day, when the Indian boy Waukewa was hunting along the
mountain-side, he found a young eagle with a broken wing, lying at the
base of a cliff. The bird had fallen from an aery on a ledge high above,
and being too young to fly, had fluttered down the cliff and injured
itself so severely that it was likely to die. When Waukewa saw it he was
about to drive one of his sharp arrows through its body, for the passion
of the hunter was strong in him, and the eagle plunders many a fine fish
from the Indian's drying-frame. But a gentler impulse came to him as he
saw the young bird quivering with pain and fright at his feet, and he
slowly unbent his bow, put the arrow in his quiver, and stooped over the
panting eaglet. For fully a minute the wild eyes of the wounded bird and
the eyes of the Indian boy, growing gentler and softer as he gazed,
looked into one another. Then the struggling and panting of the young
eagle ceased; the wild, frightened look passed out of its eyes, and it
suffered Waukewa to pass his hand gently over its ruffled and draggled
feathers. The fierce instinct to fight, to defend its threatened life,
yielded to the charm of the tenderness and pity expressed in the boy's
eyes; and from that moment Waukewa and the eagle were friends.

Waukewa went slowly home to his father's lodge, bearing the wounded
eaglet in his arms. He carried it so gently that the broken wing gave no
twinge of pain, and the bird lay perfectly still, never offering to
strike with its sharp beak the hands that clasped it.

Warming some water over the fire at the lodge, Waukewa bathed the broken
wing of the eagle and bound it up with soft strips of skin. Then he made
a nest of ferns and grass inside the lodge, and laid the bird in it. The
boy's mother looked on with shining eyes. Her heart was very tender.
From girlhood she had loved all the creatures of the woods, and it
pleased her to see some of her own gentle spirit waking in the boy.

When Waukewa's father returned from hunting, he would have caught up the
young eagle and wrung its neck. But the boy pleaded with him so
eagerly, stooping over the captive and defending it with his small
hands, that the stern warrior laughed and called him his "little
squaw-heart." "Keep it, then," he said, "and nurse it until it is well.
But then you must let it go, for we will not raise up a thief in the
lodges." So Waukewa promised that when the eagle's wing was healed and
grown so that it could fly, he would carry it forth and give it its

It was a month--or, as the Indians say, a moon--before the young eagle's
wing had fully mended and the bird was old enough and strong enough to
fly. And in the meantime Waukewa cared for it and fed it daily, and the
friendship between the boy and the bird grew very strong.


But at last the time came when the willing captive must be freed. So
Waukewa carried it far away from the Indian lodges, where none of the
young braves might see it hovering over and be tempted to shoot their
arrows at it, and there he let it go. The young eagle rose toward the
sky in great circles, rejoicing in its freedom and its strange, new
power of flight. But when Waukewa began to move away from the spot, it
came swooping down again; and all day long it followed him through the
woods as he hunted. At dusk, when Waukewa shaped his course for the
Indian lodges, the eagle would have accompanied him. But the boy
suddenly slipped into a hollow tree and hid, and after a long time the
eagle stopped sweeping about in search of him and flew slowly and sadly

Summer passed, and then winter; and spring came again, with its flowers
and birds and swarming fish in the lakes and streams. Then it was that
all the Indians, old and young, braves and squaws, pushed their light
canoes out from shore and with spear and hook waged pleasant war against
the salmon and the red-spotted trout. After winter's long imprisonment,
it was such joy to toss in the sunshine and the warm wind and catch
savory fish to take the place of dried meats and corn!

Above the great falls of the Apahoqui the salmon sported in the cool,
swinging current, darting under the lee of the rocks and leaping full
length in the clear spring air. Nowhere else were such salmon to be
speared as those which lay among the riffles at the head of the Apahoqui
rapids. But only the most daring braves ventured to seek them there, for
the current was strong, and should a light canoe once pass the
danger-point and get caught in the rush of the rapids, nothing could
save it from going over the roaring falls.

Very early in the morning of a clear April day, just as the sun was
rising splendidly over the mountains, Waukewa launched his canoe a
half-mile above the rapids of the Apahoqui, and floated downward, spear
in hand, among the salmon-riffles. He was the only one of the Indian
lads who dared fish above the falls. But he had been there often, and
never yet had his watchful eye and his strong paddle suffered the
current to carry his canoe beyond the danger-point. This morning he was
alone on the river, having risen long before daylight to be first at the

The riffles were full of salmon, big, lusty fellows, who glided about
the canoe on every side in an endless silver stream. Waukewa plunged his
spear right and left, and tossed one glittering victim after another
into the bark canoe. So absorbed in the sport was he that for once he
did not notice when the head of the rapids was reached and the canoe
began to glide more swiftly among the rocks. But suddenly he looked up,
caught his paddle, and dipped it wildly in the swirling water. The canoe
swung sidewise, shivered, held its own against the torrent, and then
slowly, inch by inch, began to creep upstream toward the shore. But
suddenly there was a loud, cruel snap, and the paddle parted in the
boy's hands, broken just above the blade! Waukewa gave a cry of
despairing agony. Then he bent to the gunwale of his canoe and with the
shattered blade fought desperately against the current. But it was
useless. The racing torrent swept him downward; the hungry falls roared
tauntingly in his ears.

Then the Indian boy knelt calmly upright in the canoe, facing the mist
of the falls, and folded his arms. His young face was stern and lofty.
He had lived like a brave hitherto--now he would die like one.

Faster and faster sped the doomed canoe toward the great cataract. The
black rocks glided away on either side like phantoms. The roar of the
terrible waters became like thunder in the boy's ears. But still he
gazed calmly and sternly ahead, facing his fate as a brave Indian
should. At last he began to chant the death-song, which he had learned
from the older braves. In a few moments all would be over. But he would
come before the Great Spirit with a fearless hymn upon his lips.

Suddenly a shadow fell across the canoe. Waukewa lifted his eyes and
saw a great eagle hovering over, with dangling legs, and a spread of
wings that blotted out the sun. Once more the eyes of the Indian boy and
the eagle met; and now it was the eagle who was master!


With a glad cry the Indian boy stood up in his canoe, and the eagle
hovered lower. Now the canoe tossed up on that great swelling wave that
climbs to the cataract's edge, and the boy lifted his hands and caught
the legs of the eagle. The next moment he looked down into the awful
gulf of waters from its very verge. The canoe was snatched from beneath
him and plunged down the black wall of the cataract; but he and the
struggling eagle were floating outward and downward through the cloud of
mist. The cataract roared terribly, like a wild beast robbed of its
prey. The spray beat and blinded, the air rushed upward as they fell.
But the eagle struggled on with his burden. He fought his way out of the
mist and the flying spray. His great wings threshed the air with a
whistling sound. Down, down they sank, the boy and the eagle, but ever
farther from the precipice of water and the boiling whirlpool below. At
length, with a fluttering plunge, the eagle dropped on a sand-bar below
the whirlpool, and he and the Indian boy lay there a minute,
breathless and exhausted. Then the eagle slowly lifted himself, took the
air under his free wings, and soared away, while the Indian boy knelt on
the sand, with shining eyes following the great bird till he faded into
the gray of the cliffs.



INDIANS--real Indians--real, live Indians--were what we, like all boys,
wanted to see; and this was why, after leaving the railroad on which we
had been traveling for several days and nights, we found ourselves at
last in a big canvas-covered wagon lumbering across the monotonous


We were on our way to see a celebration of the Fourth of July at a
Dakota Indian agency.

It was late in the afternoon of a hot summer's day. We had been riding
since early morning, and had not met a living creature--not even a bird
or a snake. Only those who have experienced it know how wearying to the
eyes it is to gaze all day long, and see nothing but the sky and the

However, an hour before sunset we _did_ see something. At first, it
looked like a mere speck against the sky; then it seemed like a bush or
a shrub; but it rapidly increased in size as we approached. Then, with
the aid of our field-glass, we saw it was a man on horseback. No, not
exactly that, either; it was an Indian chief riding an Indian pony. Now,
I have seen Indians in the East--"Dime Museum Indians." I have seen the
Indians who travel with the circus--yes, and I have seen the untutored
savages who sell bead-work at Niagara Falls; but this one was
different--he was quite different. I felt sure that he was a genuine
Indian. He was unlike the Indians I had seen in the East. The most
striking difference was that this one presented a grand unwashed effect.
It must have required years of patient industry in avoiding the
wash-bowl, and great good luck in dodging the passing showers, for him
to acquire the rich effect of color which he displayed. Though it was
one of July's hottest days, he had on his head an arrangement made of
fur, with head trimmings and four black-tipped feathers; a long braid of
his hair, wound with strips of fur, hung down in front of each ear, and
strings of beads ornamented his neck. He wore a calico shirt, with tin
bands on his arms above the elbow; a blanket was wrapped around his
waist; his leggings had strips of beautiful bright bead-work, and his
moccasins were ornamented in the same style. But in his right hand he
was holding a most murderous-looking instrument. It was a long wooden
club, into one end of which three sharp, shining steel knife-blades were
set. Though I had been complaining of the heat, still I now felt chilly
as I looked at the weapon, and saw how well it matched the expression of
his cruel mouth and piercing eyes.

He passed on while we were trying to make a sketch of him. However, the
next day, an interpreter brought him around, and, for a small piece of
tobacco, he was glad to pose while the sketch was being finished. We
learned his name was "Can-h-des-ka-wan-ji-dan" (One Hoop).


A few moments later, we passed an iron post set firmly into the ground.
It marked one of the boundaries of the Indian Reservation. We were now
on a tract of land set aside by the United States Government as the
living-ground of sixteen hundred "Santee" Sioux Indians. We soon saw
more Indians, who, like us, seemed to be moving toward the little
village at the Indian agency. Each group had put their belongings into a
big bundle, and strapped it upon long poles, which were fastened at one
end to the back of a pony. In this bundle the little papooses rode in
great comfort, looking like blackbirds peering from a nest. In some
cases, an older child would be riding in great glee on the pony's back
among the poles. The family baggage seemed about equally distributed
between the pony and the squaw who led him. She was preceded by her lord
and master, the noble red Indian, who carried no load except his long

The next thing of interest was what is called a Red River wagon. It was
simply a cart with two large wheels, the whole vehicle made of wood. As
the axles are never oiled, the Red River carry-all keeps up a most
terrible squeaking. This charming music-box was drawn by one ox, and
contained an Indian, who was driving with a whip. His wife and children
were seated on the bottom of this jolting and shrieking cart.


As we neared the agency buildings, we passed many Indians who had
settled for the night. They chose the wooded ravines, near streams, by
which to put up their tents, or "tepees," which consisted of long poles
covered with patched and smoke-stained canvas, with two openings, one
at the top for a "smoke-hole" and the other for a door, through which
any one must crawl in order to enter the domestic circle of the gentle
savage. We entered several tepees, making ourselves welcome by gifts of
tobacco to every member of the family. That night, after reaching the
agency and retiring to our beds, we dreamed of smoking great big pipes,
with stems a mile long, which were passed to us by horrible-looking
black witches. But morning came at last,--and _such_ a morning!

That Fourth of July morning I shall never forget. We were awakened by
the most blood-curdling yells that ever pierced the ears of three white
boys. It was the Indian war-whoop. I found myself instinctively feeling
for my back hair, and regretting the distance to the railroad. We
lingered indoors in a rather terrified condition, until we found out
that this was simply the beginning of the day's celebration. It was the
"sham-fight," but it looked real enough when the Indians came tearing
by, their ponies seeming to enter into the excitement as thoroughly as
their riders. There were some five hundred, in full frills and
war-paint, and all giving those terrible yells.

Their costumes were simple, but gay in color--paint, feathers, and more
paint, with an occasional shirt.

For weapons they carried guns, rifles, and long spears. Bows and arrows
seemed to be out of style. A few had round shields on their left arms.

Most of the tepees had been collected together and pitched so as to form
a large circle, and their wagons were placed outside this circle so as
to make a sort of protection for the defending party. The attacking
party, brandishing their weapons in the air with increased yells, rushed
their excited and panting ponies up the slope toward the tepees, where
they were met by a rapid discharge of blank cartridges and powder. Some
of the ponies became frightened and unmanageable, several riders were
unhorsed, and general confusion prevailed. The intrenched party, in the
meantime, rushed out from behind their defenses, climbing on top of
their wagons, yelling and dancing around like demons. Added to this, the
sight of several riderless ponies flying wildly from the tumult made the
sham-fight have a terribly realistic look.

After the excitement was over, the regular games which had been arranged
for the day began.

[Illustration: THE SHAM-FIGHT]

In the foot-races, the costumes were so slight that there was nothing to
describe--simply paint in fancy patterns, moccasins, and a girdle of red
flannel. But how they could run! I did not suppose anything on two legs
could go so fast. The lacrosse costumes were bright and attractive. The
leader of one side wore a shirt of soft, tanned buck-skin, bead-work and
embroidery on the front, long fringe on the shoulders, bands around the
arms, and deep fringe on the bottom of the skirt. The legs were bare to
the knee, and from there down to the toes was one mass of fine
glittering bead-work. In the game, there were a hundred Indians engaged
on each side. The game was long, but exciting, being skilfully played.
The grounds extended about a mile in length. The ball was the size of a
common baseball, and felt almost as solid as a rock, the center being of
lead. The shape of the Indian lacrosse stick is shown in the sketch.

Then came games on horseback. But the most interesting performance of
the whole day, and one in which they all manifested an absorbing
interest, was the dinner.

At 3 A.M. several oxen had been butchered, and from that time till the
dinner was served all the old squaws had their hands full. Fires were
made in long lines, poles placed over them, and high black pots,
kettles, and zinc pails filled with a combination of things, including
beef and water, were suspended there and carefully tended by ancient
Indian ladies in picturesque, witch-like costumes, who gently stirred
the boiling bouillion with pieces of wood, while other seemingly more
ancient and worn-out-looking squaws brought great bundles of wood from
the ravines, tied up in blankets and swung over their shoulders. Think
of a dinner for sixteen hundred noble chiefs and braves, stalwart
head-men, young bucks, old squaws, girls, and children! And such
queer-looking children--some dressed in full war costume, some in the
most approved dancing dresses.

[Illustration: SHA-KE-TO-PA, A YOUNG BRAVE]


One little boy, whose name was Sha-ke-to-pa (Four Nails), had five
feathers--big ones, too--in his hair. His face was painted; he wore
great round ear-rings, and rows of beads and claws around his neck;
bands of beads on his little bare brown arms; embroidered leggings and
beautiful moccasins, and a long piece of red cloth hanging from his
waist. In fact, he was as gaily dressed as a grown-up Indian man, and he
had a cunning little war-club, all ornamented and painted. When the
dinner was nearly ready, the men began to seat themselves in a long
curved line. Behind them, the women and children were gathered. When
everything was ready, a chief wearing a long arrangement of feathers
hanging from his back hair and several bead pouches across his
shoulders, with a long staff in his left hand, walked into the center of
the circle. Taking a spoonful of the soup, he held it high in the air,
and then, turning slowly around, chanting a song, he poured the contents
of the spoon upon the ground. This, an interpreter explained to us, was
done to appease the spirits of the air. After this, the old squaws
limped nimbly around with the pails of soup and other food, serving the
men. After they were all bountifully and repeatedly helped, the women
and children, who had been patiently waiting, were allowed to gather
about the fragments and half-empty pots and finish the repast, which
they did with neatness and despatch.

[Illustration: A WAITRESS]

Then the warriors lay around and smoked their long-stem pipes, while the
young men prepared for the pony races.

The first of the races was "open to all," and more than a hundred ponies
and their riders were arranged in a row. Some of the ponies were very
spirited, and seemed fully to realize what was going to take place, and
they would persist in pushing ahead of the line. Then the other riders
would start their ponies; then the whole line would have to be reformed.
But finally they were all started, and such shouting, and such waving of
whips in the air!--and how the little ponies did jump! When the race was
over, how we all crowded around the winner, and how proud the pony as
well as the rider seemed to feel! Now we had a better chance to examine
the ponies than ever before, and some were very handsome. And such
prices! Think of buying a beautiful three-year-old cream-colored pony
for twenty dollars!

But as the hour of sunset approached, the interest in the races
vanished, and so did most of the braves. They sought the seclusion of
their bowers, to adorn themselves for the grand "grass dance," which was
to begin at sunset.

What a contrast between their every-day dress and their dancing
costumes! The former consists of a blanket more or less tattered and
torn, while the gorgeousness of the latter discourages a description in
words; so I refer you to the pictures. Of course, we were eager to
purchase some of the Indian finery, but it was a bad time to trade
successfully with the Indians. They were too much taken up with the
pleasures of the day to care to turn an honest penny by parting with any
of their ornaments. However, we succeeded in buying a big war-club set
with knives, some pipes with carved stems a yard long, a few
knife-sheaths and pouches, glittering with beads, and several pairs of
beautiful moccasins,--most of which now adorn a New York studio.


Soon the highly decorated red men silently assembled inside a large
space inclosed by bushes stuck into the ground. This was their
dance-hall. The squaws were again shut out, as, according to Santee
Sioux custom, they are not allowed to join in the dances with the men.
The Indians, as they came in, sat quietly down around the sides of the
inclosure. The musicians were gathered around a big drum, on which they
pounded with short sticks, while they sang a sort of wild, weird chant.
The effect, to an uneducated white man's ear, was rather depressing, but
it seemed very pleasing to the Indians.

The ball was opened by an old chief, who, rising slowly, beckoned the
others to follow him. In his right hand the leader carried a wooden gun,
ornamented with eagles' feathers; in the left he held a short stick,
with bells attached to it. He wore a cap of otter skin, from which hung
a long train. His face was carefully painted in stripes of blue and

[Illustration: THE DANCE]

At first, they all moved slowly, jumping twice on each foot; then, as
the musicians struck up a more lively pounding and a more inspiring
song, the dancers moved with more rapidity, giving an occasional shout
and waving their arms in the air. As they grew warmer and more excited,
the musicians redoubled their exertions on the drum and changed their
singing into prolonged howls; then one of them, dropping his drumsticks,
sprang to his feet, and, waving his hands over his head, he yelled till
he was breathless, urging on the dancers. This seemed to be the
finishing touch. The orchestra and dancers seemed to vie with each other
as to who should make the greater noise. Their yells were deafening,
and, brandishing their knives and tomahawks, they sprang around with
wonderful agility. Of course, this intense excitement could last but a
short time; the voices of the musicians began to fail, and, finally,
with one last grand effort, they all gave a terrible shout, and then all
was silence. The dancers crawled back to their places around the
inclosure, and sank exhausted on the grass. But soon some supple brave
regained enough strength to rise. The musicians slowly recommenced,
other dancers came forward, and the "mad dance" was again in full blast.
And thus the revels went on, hour after hour, all night, and continued
even through the following day. But there was a curious fascination
about it, and, tired as we were after the long day, we stood there
looking on hour after hour. Finally, after midnight had passed, we
gathered our Indian purchases about us, including two beautiful ponies,
and began our return trip toward the railroad and civilization. But
the monotonous sound of the Indian drum followed us mile after mile over
the prairie; in fact, it followed us much better than my new spotted

My arm aches now, as I remember how that pony hung back.


[Illustration: CHIEF JOSEPH]



          [NOTE: The author of the sketch "A Boy's Visit to
          Chief Joseph" was Erskine Wood, a boy thirteen
          years old. He was then an expert shot with the
          rifle, and had brought down not only small game,
          but bear, wolves, and deer. A true woodsman, he
          was also a skilled archer and angler, having
          camped alone in the woods, and lived upon the game
          secured by shooting and fishing.

          When Chief Joseph, of the Nez Percé Indians, went
          to the national capital, he met Erskine, and
          invited the young hunter to visit his camp some
          summer. So in July, 1892, the boy started alone
          from Portland, Oregon, carrying his guns, bows,
          rods, and blanket, and made his own way to Chief
          Joseph's camp on the Nespilem River.

          The Indians received him hospitably, and he took
          part in their annual fall hunt. He was even
          adopted into the tribe by the chief, and,
          according to their custom, received an Indian
          name, _Ishem-tux-il-pilp_,--"Red Moon."

          Chief Joseph's band was the remnant of the tribe
          which, under his leadership, fought the United
          States army so gallantly in 1877; they carried on
          a running fight of about eleven hundred miles in
          one summer.

          When Erskine visited him, the chief was in every
          way most kind and hospitable to his young guest.

                                            C. E. S. WOOD.]

I LEFT Portland on the third of July, 1892, to visit Chief Joseph, who
was chief of the Nez Percé Indians. They lived on the Colville Agency,
two or three hundred miles north of the city of Spokane, in the State of

I arrived at Davenport, Washington, on the fourth of July. There was no
stage, so I had to stay all night. I left for Fort Spokane next day,
arriving at about seven in the evening. As we did not start for Nespilem
until the seventh, I went and visited Colonel Cook, commanding officer
at the fort. I stayed all night, and next morning I helped the soldiers
load cartridges at the magazine. That afternoon I watched the soldiers
shooting volleys at the target range. We started for Nespilem in a wagon
at three o'clock in the morning.

The next day I went fishing in the morning, and in the afternoon I went
up the creek again, fishing with Doctor Latham. He was doctor at the
Indian agency. The next day I went down to Joseph's camp, where I stayed
the rest of the time--about five months--alone with the Indians. The
doctor and the teamster returned to the agency. During my first day in
the camp, I wrote a letter to my mother, and bought a beaded leather
belt from one of the squaws. I stayed about camp most of the first day;
but in the afternoon I went fishing, and caught a nice string of trout.

The Indian camp is usually in two or more long rows of tepees. Sometimes
two or three families occupy one lodge. When they are hunting and drying
meat for their winter supply, several lodges are put together, making
one big lodge about thirty feet long, in which are two or three fires
instead of one. They say that it dries the meat better.

When game gets scarce, camp is broken and moved to a different place.
The men and boys catch the horses, and then the squaws have to put on
the pack-saddles (made of bone and covered with untanned deer-hide) and
pack them. The men sit around smoking and talking. When all is ready,
the different families set out, driving their spare horses and
pack-horses in front of them. The men generally hunt in the early
morning; they get up at about two o'clock, take a vapor bath, get
breakfast, and start to hunt at about three. Sometimes they hunt on
horseback, and sometimes on foot. They come back at about ten or eleven
o'clock, and if they have been on foot and have been successful they
take a horse and go and bring in the game. The meat is always divided.
If Chief Joseph is there, he divides it; and if he is not there,
somebody is chosen to fill his place. They believe that if the heads or
horns of the slain deer are left on the ground, the other deer feel
insulted and will go away, and that would spoil the hunting in that
neighborhood. So the heads and horns are hung up in trees. They think,
too, that when anybody dies, his spirit hovers around the spot for
several days afterward, and so they always move the lodge. I was sitting
with Joseph in the tepee once, when a lizard crawled in. I discovered
it, and showed it to Joseph. He was very solemn, and I asked him what
was the matter. "A medicine-man sent it here to do me harm. You have
very good eyes to discover the tricks of the medicine-men." I was going
to throw it into the fire, but he stopped me, saying: "If you burn it,
it will make the medicine-men angry. You must kill it some other way."

The Indians' calendars are little square sticks of wood about eight
inches long. Every day they file a little notch, and on Sunday a little
hole is made. When any one dies, the notch is painted red or black. When
they are home at Nespilem, they all meet out on the prairie on certain
days, and have horse-racing. They run for about two miles. When they are
on the home-stretch, about half a mile from the goal, a lot of men get
behind them and fire pistols and whip the horses.

I was out grouse-hunting with Niky Mowitz, my Indian companion, and we
started a deer. We were near the camp, and he proposed to run around in
front of the deer and head it for camp. So we started, and the way he
got over those rocks was a wonder! If we had not had the dogs, we might
have succeeded; but as soon as they caught sight of the deer, they went
after it like mad, and we did not see it again. Niky Mowitz is a nephew
and adopted son of Chief Joseph; his father was killed in the Nez Percé
war of 1877. In the fall hunt the boys are not allowed to go grouse- or
pheasant-hunting without first getting permission of the chief in
command. And it is never granted to them until the boys have driven the
horses to water and counted them to see if any are missing.

The game that the boys play most has to be played out in open country,
where there are no sticks or underbrush. They get a little hoop, or some
of them have a little iron ring, about two inches across. Then they
range themselves in rows, and one rolls the ring on the ground, and the
others try to throw spears through it. The spears are straight sticks
about three feet and a half long, with two or three little branches cut
short at the end, to keep the spear from going clear through the ring.

The Indians take "Turkish," or vapor, baths. They have a little house in
the shape of a half globe, made of willow sticks, covered with sods and
dirt until it is about a foot thick and perfectly tight. A hole is dug
in the house and filled with hot rocks. The Indians (usually about four)
crowd in, and then one pours hot water on the hot rocks, making a lot of
steam. They keep this up until one's back commences to burn, and then he
gives a little yell, and somebody outside tilts up the door (a blanket),
and they all come out and jump at once into the cold mountain-stream.
This bath is taken just before going hunting, as they think that the
deer cannot scent them after it.

Only the boys indulge in wrestling. They fold their hands behind each
other's backs, and try to throw each other by force, or by bending the
back backward. Tripping is unfair, in their opinion.

The country is full of game, and we killed many deer and a cinnamon
bear. In the evening, when they come home, they talk about the day's
hunt, and what they saw and did. The one that killed the bear said that
when he first saw the bear it was about fifteen yards off, and coming
for him with open jaws, and growling and roaring like everything. He
fired and wounded it. It stopped and stood on its hind legs, roaring
worse than ever. While this was going on, the Indian slipped around and
shot it through the heart. I cut off the claws and made a necklace out
of them. The next day they dug a hole nine feet in diameter and built a
big fire in it, and piled rocks all over the fire to heat them. In the
meantime the squaws had cut a lot of fir-boughs and brought the
bear-meat. When the fire had burned down, and the rocks were red hot,
all the coals and things that would smoke were raked out, and sticks
laid across the hole (it was about three feet deep). Then the fir-boughs
were dipped in water and laid over the sticks. And then meat was laid
on, and then more fir-boughs, and then the fat (the fat between the hide
and flesh of a bear is taken off whole) is laid on, and then more
fir-boughs dipped and sprinkled with water. Then come two or three
blankets, and, last of all, the whole thing is covered with earth until
it is perfectly tight. After about two hours everything is removed, and
the water that has been put on the boughs has steamed the meat
thoroughly. Then Chief Joseph comes and cuts it up, and every family
gets a portion. I helped the squaws cook some wild carrots once (they
cook them just as they do the bear, except that they let them cook all
night), and Joseph said that I must not do squaws' work: that a brave
must hunt, fish, fight, and take care of the horses; but a squaw must
put up the tepees, cook, sew, make moccasins and clothes, tan the hides,
and take care of the household goods.

The boys take care of the horses. They catch them and drive them to and
from their watering-places; and the rest of the time they hunt with bows
and arrows (the boys don't have guns), and fish and play games. The
Indian dogs are fine grouse- and pheasant-hunters, scenting the game
from a long distance, and going and treeing them; and they will stay
there and bark until the men come. The dogs are exactly like coyotes,
except that they are smaller.


Many people have said that the Indian is lazy. In the summer he takes
care of his horses, hunts enough to keep fresh meat, fishes, and plays
games. But in the fall, when they are getting their winter meat, they
get up regularly every morning at two o'clock and start to hunt. And if
the Indian has been successful, as he usually is, he seldom gets home
before five o'clock. And the next morning it is the same thing, while
hoar-frost is all over the ground. In the Fall Hunt, I was out in the
mountains with them seventy-five miles from Nespilem (where Joseph's
camp was, and about one hundred and fifty miles from the agency), and it
was about the 15th of November; and if I had not gone home then, I would
not have been able to go until spring. So Niky Mowitz brought me in to
Nespilem, and we made the trip (seventy-six miles) in one day. We
started at about eight o'clock in the morning, on our ponies. We had not
been gone more than an hour when the dogs started a deer; we rode very
fast, and tried to get a sight of it, but we couldn't.

Chief Joseph did not go to the mountains with us on this hunt, and we
reached his tent in Nespilem at about ten o'clock. When we got to the
tent, one of Joseph's squaws cooked us some supper; and on the third day
after that, I went to Wilbur, a little town on the railroad, and from
there to Portland, where papa met me at the train.



"LITTLE MOCCASIN" was, at the time we speak of, fourteen years old, and
about as mischievous a boy as could be found anywhere in the Big Horn
mountains. Unlike his comrades of the same age, who had already killed
buffaloes and stolen horses from the white men and the Crow Indians,
with whom Moccasin's tribe, the Uncapapas, were at war, he preferred to
lie under a shady tree in the summer, or around the campfire in winter,
listening to the conversation of the old men and women, instead of going
upon expeditions with the warriors and the hunters.

The Uncapapas are a very powerful and numerous tribe of the great Sioux
Nation, and before Uncle Sam's soldiers captured and removed them, and
before the Northern Pacific Railroad entered the territory of Montana,
they occupied the beautiful valleys of the Rosebud, Big and Little Horn,
Powder and Redstone rivers, all of which empty into the grand
Yellowstone Valley. In those days, before the white man had set foot
upon these grounds, there was plenty of game, such as buffalo, elk,
antelope, deer, and bear; and, as the Uncapapas were great hunters and
good shots, the camp of Indians to which Little Moccasin belonged always
had plenty of meat to eat and plenty of robes and hides to sell and
trade for horses and guns, for powder and ball, for sugar and coffee,
and for paint and flour. Little Moccasin showed more appetite than any
other Indian in camp. In fact, he was always hungry, and used to eat at
all hours, day and night. Buffalo meat he liked the best, particularly
the part taken from the hump, which is so tender that it almost melts in
the mouth.

When Indian boys have had a hearty dinner of good meat, they generally
feel very happy and very lively. When hungry, they are sad and dull.

This was probably the reason why Little Moccasin was always so full of
mischief, and always inventing tricks to play upon the other boys. He
was a precocious and observing youngster, full of quaint and original
ideas--never at a loss for expedients.

But he was once made to feel very sorry for having played a trick, and I
must tell my young readers how it happened.

"Running Antelope," one of the great warriors and the most noted orator
of the tribe, had returned from a hunt, and Mrs. Antelope was frying for
him a nice buffalo steak--about as large as two big fists--over the
coals. Little Moccasin, who lived in the next street of tents, smelled
the feast, and concluded that he would have some of it. In the darkness
of the night he slowly and carefully crawled toward the spot where
Mistress Antelope sat holding in one hand a long stick, at the end of
which the steak was frying. Little Moccasin watched her closely, and,
seeing that she frequently placed her other hand upon the ground beside
her and leaned upon it for support, he soon formed a plan for making her
drop the steak.

He had once or twice in his life seen a pin, but he had never owned one,
and he could not have known what use is sometimes made of them by bad
white boys. He had noticed, however, that some of the leaves of the
larger varieties of the prickly-pear cactus-plant are covered with many
thorns, as long and as sharp as an ordinary pin.

So when Mrs. Antelope again sat down and looked at the meat to see if it
was done, he slyly placed half-a-dozen of the cactus leaves upon the
very spot of ground upon which Mrs. Antelope had before rested her left

Then the young mischief crawled noiselessly into the shade and waited
for his opportunity, which came immediately.

When the unsuspecting Mrs. Antelope again leaned upon the ground, and
felt the sharp points of the cactus leaves, she uttered a scream, and
dropped from her other hand the stick and the steak, thinking only of
relief from the sharp pain.

Then, on the instant, the young rascal seized the stick and tried to run
away with it. But Running Antelope caught him by his long hair, and gave
him a severe whipping, declaring that he was a good-for-nothing boy, and
calling him a "coffee-cooler" and a "squaw."

The other boys, hearing the rumpus, came running up to see the fun, and
they laughed and danced over poor Little Moccasin's distress. Often
afterward they called him "coffee-cooler"; which meant that he was
cowardly and faint-hearted, and that he preferred staying in camp
around the fire, drinking coffee, to taking part in the manly sports of
hunting and stealing expeditions.

The night after the whipping, Little Moccasin could not sleep. The
disgrace of the whipping and the name applied to him were too much for
his vanity. He even lost his appetite, and refused some very nice
prairie-dog stew which his mother offered him.

He was thinking of something else. He must do something brave--perform
some great deed which no other Indian had ever performed--in order to
remove this stain upon his character.

But what should it be? Should he go out alone and kill a bear? He had
never fired a gun, and was afraid that the bear might eat him. Should he
attack the Crow camp single-handed? No, no--not he; they would catch him
and scalp him alive.

All night long he was thinking and planning; but when daylight came, he
had reached no conclusion. He must wait for the Great Spirit to give him
some ideas.

During the following day he refused all food and kept drawing his belt
tighter and tighter around his waist every hour, till, by evening, he
had reached the last notch. This method of appeasing the pangs of
hunger, adopted by the Indians when they have nothing to eat, is said to
be very effective.

In a week's time Little Moccasin had grown almost as thin as a
bean-pole, but no inspiration had yet revealed what he could do to
redeem himself.

About this time a roving band of Cheyennes, who had been down to the
mouth of the Little Missouri, and beyond, entered the camp upon a
friendly visit. Feasting and dancing were kept up day and night, in
honor of the guests; but Little Moccasin lay hidden in the woods nearly
all the time.

During the night of the second day of their stay, he quietly stole to
the rear of the great council-tepee, to listen to the pow-wow then going
on. Perhaps he would there learn some words of wisdom which would give
him an idea how to carry out his great undertaking.

After "Black Catfish," the great Cheyenne warrior, had related in the
flowery language of his tribe some reminiscences of his many fights and
brave deeds, "Strong Heart" spoke. Then there was silence for many
minutes, during which the pipe of peace made the rounds, each warrior
taking two or three puffs, blowing the smoke through the nose, pointing
toward heaven, and then handing the pipe to his left-hand neighbor.

"Strong Heart," "Crazy Dog," "Bow-String," "Dog-Fox," and "Smooth
Elkhorn" spoke of the country they had just passed through.

Then again the pipe of peace was handed round, amid profound silence.

"Black Pipe," who was bent and withered with the wear and exposure of
seventy-nine winters, and who trembled like some leafless tree shaken by
the wind, but who was sound in mind and memory, then told the Uncapapas,
for the first time, of the approach of a great number of white men, who
were measuring the ground with long chains, and who were being followed
by "Thundering Horses" and "Houses on Wheels." (He was referring to the
surveying parties of the Northern Pacific Railway Company, who were just
then at work on the crossing of the Little Missouri.)

With heart beating wildly, Little Moccasin listened to this strange
story and then retired to his own blankets in his father's tepee.

Now he had found the opportunity he so long had sought! He would go
across the mountains, all by himself, look at the thundering horses and
the houses on wheels. He then would know more than any one in the tribe,
and return to the camp,--a hero!

At early morn, having provided himself with a bow and a quiver full of
arrows, without informing any one of his plan he stole out of camp, and,
running at full speed, crossed the nearest mountain to the East.

Allowing himself little time for rest, pushing forward by day and night,
and after fording many of the smaller mountain-streams, on the evening
of the third day of his travel he came upon what he believed to be a
well-traveled road. But--how strange!--there were two endless iron rails
lying side by side upon the ground. Such a curious sight he had never
beheld. There were also large poles, with glass caps, and connected by
wire, standing along the roadside. What could all this mean?

Poor Little Moccasin's brain became so bewildered that he hardly noticed
the approach of a freight-train drawn by the "Thundering Horse."

There was a shrill, long-drawn whistle, and immense clouds of black
smoke; and the Thundering Horse was sniffing and snorting at a great
rate, emitting from its nostrils large streams of steaming vapor.
Besides all this, the earth, in the neighborhood of where Little
Moccasin stood, shook and trembled as if in great fear; and to him the
terrible noises the horse made were perfectly appalling.

Gradually the snorts, and the puffing, and the terrible noise lessened,
until, all at once, they entirely ceased. The train had come to a
stand-still at a watering tank, where the Thundering Horse was given its

The rear car, or "House on Wheels," as old Black Pipe had called it,
stood in close proximity to Little Moccasin,--who, in his bewilderment
and fright at the sight of these strange moving houses, had been unable
to move a step.

But as no harm had come to him from the terrible monster, Moccasin's
heart, which had sunk down to the region of his toes, began to rise
again; and the curiosity inherent in every Indian boy mastered fear.

He moved up, and down, and around the great House on Wheels; then he
touched it in many places, first with the tip-end of one finger, and
finally with both hands. If he could only detach a small piece from the
house to take back to camp with him as a trophy and as a proof of his
daring achievement! But it was too solid, and all made of heavy wood and

At the rear end of the train there was a ladder, which the now brave
Little Moccasin ascended with the quickness of a squirrel to see what
there was on top.

It was gradually growing dark, and suddenly he saw (as he really
believed) the full moon approaching him. He did not know that it was the
headlight of a locomotive coming from the opposite direction.

Absorbed in this new and glorious sight, he did not notice the starting
of his own car, until it was too late, for, while the car moved, he
dared not let go his hold upon the brake-wheel.

There he was, being carried with lightning speed into a far-off, unknown
country, over bridges, by the sides of deep ravines, and along the
slopes of steep mountains.

But the Thundering Horse never tired nor grew thirsty again during the
entire night.

At last, soon after the break of day, there came the same shrill whistle
which had frightened him so much on the previous day; and, soon after,
the train stopped at Miles City.

But, unfortunately for our little hero, there were a great many white
people in sight; and he was compelled to lie flat upon the roof of his
car, in order to escape notice. He had heard so much of the cruelty of
the white men that he dared not trust himself among them.

Soon they started again, and Little Moccasin was compelled to proceed on
his involuntary journey, which took him away from home and into unknown

At noon, the cars stopped on the open prairie to let Thundering Horse
drink again. Quickly, and without being detected by any of the trainmen,
he dropped to the ground from his high and perilous position. Then the
train left him--all alone in an unknown country.

Alone? Not exactly; for, within a few minutes, half a dozen Crow
Indians, mounted on swift ponies, are by his side, and are lashing him
with whips and lassoes.

He has fallen into the hands of the deadliest enemies of his tribe, and
has been recognized by the cut of his hair and the shape of his

When they tired of their sport in beating poor Little Moccasin so
cruelly, they dismounted and tied his hands behind his back.

Then they sat down upon the ground to have a smoke and to deliberate
about the treatment of the captive.

During the very severe whipping, and while they were tying his hands,
though it gave him great pain, Little Moccasin never uttered a groan.
Indian-like, he had made up his mind to "die game," and not to give his
enemies the satisfaction of gloating over his sufferings. This, as will
be seen, saved his life.

The leader of the Crows, "Iron Bull," was in favor of burning the hated
Uncapapa at a stake, then and there; but "Spotted Eagle," "Blind Owl,"
and "Hungry Wolf" called attention to the youth and bravery of the
captive, who had endured the lashing without any sign of fear. Then the
two other Crows took the same view. This decided poor Moccasin's fate;
and he understood it all, although he did not speak the Crow language,
for he was a great sign-talker, and had watched them very closely during
their council.

Blind Owl, who seemed the most kind-hearted of the party, lifted the boy
upon his pony, Blind Owl himself getting up in front, and they rode at
full speed westward to their large encampment, where they arrived after

Little Moccasin was then relieved of his bonds, which had benumbed his
hands during the long ride, and a large dish of boiled meat was given to
him. This, in his famished condition, he relished very much. An old
squaw, one of the wives of Blind Owl, and a Sioux captive, took pity on
him, and gave him a warm place with plenty of blankets in her own tepee,
where he enjoyed a good rest.

During his stay with the Crows, Little Moccasin was made to do the work,
which usually falls to the lot of the squaws; and which was imposed upon
him as a punishment upon a brave enemy, designed to break his proud
spirit. He was treated as a slave, made to haul wood and draw water, do
the cooking, and clean game. Many of the Crow boys wanted to kill him,
but his foster-mother, "Old Looking-Glass," protected him; and, besides,
they feared that the soldiers of Fort Custer might hear of it, if he was
killed, and punish them.

Many weeks thus passed, and the poor little captive grew more despondent
and weaker in body every day. Often his foster-mother would talk to him
in his own language, and tell him to be of good cheer; but he was
terribly homesick and longed to get back to the mountains on the
Rosebud, to tell the story of his daring and become the hero which he
had started out to be.

One night, after everybody had gone to sleep in camp, and the fires had
gone out, Old Looking-Glass, who had seemed to be soundly sleeping,
approached his bed and gently touched his face. Looking up, he saw that
she held a forefinger pressed against her lips, intimating that he must
keep silence, and that she was beckoning him to go outside.

There she soon joined him; then, putting her arm around his neck, she
hastened out of the camp and across the nearest hills.

When they had gone about five miles away from camp, they came upon a
pretty little mouse-colored pony, which Old Looking-Glass had hidden
there for Little Moccasin on the previous day.

She made him mount the pony, which she called "Blue Wing," and bade him
fly toward the rising sun, where he would find white people who would
protect and take care of him.


Old Looking-Glass then kissed Little Moccasin upon both cheeks and the
forehead, while the tears ran down her wrinkled face; she also folded
her hands upon her breast and, looking up to the heavens, said a prayer,
in which she asked the Great Spirit to protect and save the poor boy in
his flight.

After she had whispered some indistinct words into the ear of Blue Wing
(who seemed to understand her, for he nodded his head approvingly), she
bade Little Moccasin be off, and advised him not to rest this side of
the white man's settlement, as the Crows would soon discover his
absence, and would follow him on their fleetest ponies.

"But Blue Wing will save you! He can outrun them all!"

These were her parting words, as he galloped away.

In a short time the sun rose over the nearest hill, and Little Moccasin
then knew that he was going in the right direction. He felt very happy
to be free again, although sorry to leave behind his kind-hearted
foster-mother, Looking-Glass. He made up his mind that after a few
years, when he had grown big and become a warrior, he would go and
capture her from the hated Crows and take her to his own tepee.

He was so happy in this thought that he had not noticed how swiftly
time passed, and that already the sun stood over his head; neither had
he urged Blue Wing to run his swiftest; but that good little animal kept
up a steady dog-trot, without, as yet, showing the least sign of being

But what was the sudden noise which was heard behind him? Quickly he
turned his head, and, to his horror, he beheld about fifty mounted Crows
coming toward him at a run, and swinging in their hands guns, pistols,
clubs, and knives!

His old enemy, Iron Bull, was in advance, and under his right arm he
carried a long lance, with which he intended to spear Little Moccasin.

Moccasin's heart stood still for a moment with fear; he knew that this
time they would surely kill him if caught. He seemed to have lost all
power of action.

Nearer and nearer came Iron Bull, shouting at the top of his voice.

But Blue Wing now seemed to understand the danger of Moccasin's
situation; he pricked up his ears, snorted a few times, made several
short jumps, fully to arouse Moccasin, who remained paralyzed with fear,
and then, like a bird, fairly flew over the prairie, as if his little
hoofs were not touching the ground.

Little Moccasin, too, was now awakened to his peril, and he patted and
encouraged Blue Wing; while, from time to time, he looked back over his
shoulder to watch the approach of Iron Bull.

Thus they went, on and on; over ditches and streams, rocks and hills,
through gulches and valleys. Blue Wing was doing nobly, but the pace
could not last forever.

Iron Bull was now only about five hundred yards behind and gaining on

Little Moccasin felt the cold sweat pouring down his face. He had no
firearm, or he would have stopped to shoot at Iron Bull.

Blue Wing's whole body seemed to tremble beneath his young rider, as if
the pony was making a last desperate effort, before giving up from

Unfortunately, Little Moccasin did not know how to pray, or he might
have found some comfort and help thereby; but in those moments, when a
terrible death was so near to him, he did the next best thing: he
thought of his mother and his father, of his little sisters and
brothers, and also of Looking-Glass, his kind old foster-mother.

Then he felt better and was imbued with fresh courage. He again looked
back, gave one loud, defiant yell at Iron Bull, and then went out of
sight over some high ground.

Ki-yi-yi-yi! There is the railroad station just in front, only about
three hundred yards away. He sees white men around the buildings, who
will protect him.

At this moment Blue Wing utters one deep groan, stumbles, and falls to
the ground. Fortunately, though, Little Moccasin has received no hurt.
He jumps up, and runs toward the station as fast as his weary legs can
carry him.

At this very moment Iron Bull with several of his braves came in sight
again, and, realizing the helpless condition of the boy, they all gave a
shout of joy, thinking that in a few minutes they would capture and kill

But their shouting had been heard by some of the white men, who at once
concluded to protect the boy, if he deserved aid.

Little Moccasin and Iron Bull reached the door of the station-building
at nearly the same moment; but the former had time enough to dart inside
and hide under the table of the telegraph operator.

When Iron Bull and several other Crows rushed in to pull the boy from
underneath the table, the operator quickly took from the table drawer a
revolver, and with it drove the murderous Crows from the premises.

Then the boy had to tell his story, and he was believed. All took pity
upon his forlorn condition, and his brave flight made them his friends.

In the evening Blue Wing came up to where Little Moccasin was resting
and awaiting the arrival of the next train, which was to take him back
to his own home.

Then they both were put aboard a lightning-express train, which took
them to within a short distance of the old camp on the Rosebud.

When Little Moccasin arrived at his father's tepee, riding beautiful
Blue Wing, now rested and frisky, the whole camp flocked around him; and
when he told them of his great daring, of his capture and his escape,
Running Antelope, the big warrior of the Uncapapas and the most noted
orator of the tribe, proclaimed him a true hero, and then and there
begged his pardon for having called him a "coffee-cooler." In the
evening Little Moccasin was honored by a great feast, and the name of
"Rushing Lightning," _Wakee-wata-keepee_, was bestowed upon him--and by
that name he is known to this day.




          [This story has been told to the children of the
          Dacotah Indians for very many years, having been
          handed down from generation to generation; and it
          is now listened to by Indian children with as much
          interest as it excited in the red-skinned boys and
          girls of a thousand years ago.]

ON the bank of one of the many branches of the Missouri River--or "Big
Muddy," as it is called by the Indians on account of the color of its
waters--there lived a little boy and a little girl. These children were
very small indeed, being no bigger than a man's finger, but very
handsome, well formed, and also quite strong, considering their size.
There were no men and women in the world at that time, and none of the
people who told the story knew how these two small folk came to be
living on the banks of the river. Some persons thought that they might
have been little beavers, or little turtles, who were so smart that
they turned into a boy and a girl; but nothing about this is known for
certain. These small people lived in a tiny lodge near the river,
feeding upon the berries that grew along the shore. These were of great
variety and many delicious flavors. There were wild currants,
raspberries, gooseberries, service-berries, wild plums and grapes; and
of most of these, one was sufficient to make a meal for both of the

The little girl was very fond of the boy, and watched over and tended
him with great care. She made him a tiny bow from a blade of grass, with
arrows to match, and he hunted grasshoppers, crickets, butterflies, and
many other small creatures. She then made him a hunting-shirt, or coat,
from the skin of a humming-bird, ornamented with brilliant little stones
and tiny shells found in the sand. She loved him so dearly that no work
was too much when done for him.


One day he was out hunting on the prairie; and, feeling tired from an
unusually long tramp, he lay down to rest and soon fell fast asleep. The
wind began to rise, after the heat of the day; but this made him sleep
the sounder, and he knew nothing of the storm that was threatening. The
clouds rolled over from the northwestern horizon, like an army of
blankets torn and ragged. With flashing lightning, the thunder-god let
loose his powers, and peal after peal went echoing loudly through the
cañons, up over the hills, and down into prairies where the quaking-asp
shivered, the willows waved, and the tall blue-grass rolled, as the
wind passed over, like a tempest-tossed sea. Only the stubborn aloes,
the Spanish-bayonet, and the prickly-pears kept their position. But the
storm was as brief as it was violent; and, gradually subsiding, it
passed to the southeast, leaving nothing but a bank of clouds behind the
horizon. Everything was drenched by the heavy rain. The flowers hung
their heads, or lay crushed from the weight of water on their tender
petals, vainly struggling to rise and rejoice that the storm had passed
away. The sage-brush looked more silvery than ever, clothed with myriads
of rain-drops, which beaded its tiny leaves. Through all the storm our
little hero slept, the feathers of his hunting-coat wet and flattened by
the rain. When the sun came out again and shone upon him, it dried and
shriveled this little coat until it cracked and fell off him like the
shell of an egg from a newly hatched chicken. He soon began to feel
uncomfortable, and woke up. Evening was fast approaching; the blue-jay
chattered, the prairie-chicken was calling its young brood to rest under
its wings for the night, the cricket had at last sung himself to sleep,
and all nature seemed to be getting ready for a long rest. Our boy,
however, had no thought of further sleep. His active mind was thinking
how he could revenge himself upon the sun for his treatment of him, in
thus ruining his coat. The shadows on the plains deepened into gloom and
darkness, but still he thought and planned out his revenge. Early in the
morning he started for home. The little girl had been anxiously watching
for him all night, and came out to meet him, much rejoiced at his safe
return; but when she saw the condition of his coat, on which she had
labored with so much care and love, she was very much grieved. Her tears
only made him more angry with the sun, and he set himself to planning
with greater determination by what means he could annoy this enemy. At
last a bright idea struck him, and he at once told it to the girl. She
was delighted, and admired him the more for his shrewdness. They soon
put their plans into practice, and began plaiting a rope of grasses.

This was a great undertaking, as the rope had to be very long. Many
moons came and went before this rope was finished, and, when the task
was completed, the next thing to be considered was, how they should
carry or transport it to the place where the sun rises in the morning.
This question puzzled them greatly, for the rope was very large and
heavy, and the distance was very great.


All the animals at that time were very small tween compared to the
field-mouse, which was then the largest quadruped in the whole world,
twice the size of any buffalo. The horse, or, as the Indians call it,
"shungatonga," meaning elk-dog, did not then exist. It was a long time
before the children could find a field-mouse to whom they could appeal
for aid. At last they found one at home, sitting comfortably under an
immense fern.


The little boy then went up to him, and, after relating his troubles,
asked if he would assist in carrying the rope. Mountains had to be
crossed, rivers swum or forded, according to their depth, wide expanses
of prairie to be passed over, forests skirted, swamps waded, and lakes
circled before the rope and its makers could reach the place where the
sun rises. The field-mouse, after much consideration, agreed to help the
pair, and they began their preparations by winding the rope into a great
coil, which they packed on the back of the field-mouse. On the top of
this the boy and girl seated themselves, and the journey began. When
they came to a river which must be crossed by swimming, the rope was
taken off the mouse and unwound; then he would take one end in his
mouth, and swim to the other side, letting it trail out after him as he
swam. This performance had to be repeated many times before the whole
rope was landed on the opposite bank. When this was done, he had to swim
across again and fetch the little pair, seating them on his forehead.

[Illustration: ON THE JOURNEY]

It was hard work for the mouse, but the little boy encouraged him to his
work by promises of reward and compliments on his extraordinary
strength. The high mountains were crossed with great toil, and while
they were on the dry plains the travelers suffered for want of water.
The sun had dried up everything, and it almost seemed as if he
understood their object, for he poured down upon them his hottest rays.
Several changes of the seasons, and many moons, had come and gone before
they reached the dense forest from behind which the sun was accustomed
to rise. They managed to arrive at this big forest at night, so that the
sun should not see them, and then they screened themselves in the woods,
resting there for several days. When, at last, they felt rested and
refreshed, they began their work at nightfall, and the first thing they
did was to uncoil the rope. The little boy then took one end of it in
his teeth, and climbed up one of the trees at the extreme edge of the
woods, where he spread it out in the branches, making loops and
slip-knots here and there all over, from one tree to another, until the
rope looked like an immense net. Then the mouse, finding his services no
longer needed, left them and wandered far away.


As morning approached, the two children quitted the wood, everything
being in readiness, and retired to a distance to watch the result of
their work. Soon they espied a pale light gleaming behind the forest and
gradually becoming brighter and brighter. On came the sun, rolling up in
all his grandeur and fast approaching the rope, while the two little
hearts were beating quickly down below. In a moment he had reached the
network of rope, and then, before he knew it, he was entangled in its
meshes, and found himself thoroughly entrapped! What a proud moment for
our hero! He compared his own size with that of the sun, and his delight
seemed beyond bounds as he and the little girl watched the sun
struggling to free himself, getting red with fury and rage, and pouring
out his burning heat on all surrounding things. The leaves shriveled and
dropped from the trees, the branches could be seen to smoke, the grass
curled up and withered, and at last the forest began to burn as the heat
became more intense. It seemed as if all nature was on fire. The joy of
the children now turned into fear. The elk, deer, and buffalo came
rushing out of the woods. The birds circled, shrieking and crying, and
all living things seemed wild with fear.

[Illustration: THE CONSULTATION]

At last the field-mouse called the animals together for a consultation
as to what was best to be done. They held a brief council, for no time
could be lost. The elk spoke up and said that as the mouse had gone to
so much trouble to carry the rope to entrap the sun, he was the one who
ought to set him free from his entanglement. This was generally agreed
to, and, besides, the field-mouse was the largest animal, and had such
sharp and strong teeth that it would be easy for him to gnaw through any

It was getting hotter and hotter: something must be done quickly. The
sun was blazing with rage! The field-mouse finally yielded to the wishes
of his fellow-animals; and, rushing into the wood, through the terrible
heat and smoke, he gnawed the rope, but in doing so was melted down to
his present size. The sun then rapidly arose, and everything soon became
all right again.

The fact of the little man trapping the sun and causing so much mischief
proved his superiority over the other animals, and they have feared him
ever since. And, according to the Indian belief, this little man and
little woman were the father and mother of all the tribes of men.



VARIOUS as are the customs of the Indians, it is their savage, warlike
natures that we are most apt to remember. Few of us, in fact, ever think
of Indian children at all, except at the sight of a picture of them.
Little has been told or written about the boy and girl red folk, and it
would puzzle most of my readers to say what they suppose these children
of nature look like, or do to amuse themselves, or how they are brought
up. It will astonish most city people to hear that red children are very
like white children, just as a lady who was out on the plains a few
years ago was astonished to find that they had skins as smooth and soft
as any lady's--no, smoother and softer than that: as delicate and lovely
as any dear little baby's here in New York. This lady was visiting the
Blackfeet in my company, and she was so surprised, when she happened to
touch one little red boy's bare arm, that she went about pinching a
dozen chubby-faced boys and girls to make herself sure that all their
skins were like the coats of ripe peaches to the touch.

Whether the Indians really love their children, or know what genuine
love or affection is, I cannot say; but they are so proud and careful of
their little ones that it amounts to the same thing so far as the
youngsters are concerned. Boy babies are always most highly prized,
because they will grow up into warriors.

The little that is taught to Indian boys must seem to them much more
like fun than instruction. They must hear the fairy stories and the
gabble of the medicine-men or conjurers, and the tales of bloody fights
and brave and cunning deeds which make the histories of their tribes.
They learn not to take what does not belong to them unless it belongs to
an enemy. They learn not to be impudent to any one stronger and bigger
than themselves; they learn how to track animals and men, how to go
without food when there is not any, how to eat up all there is _at once_
when any food is to be had, how to ride and shoot and run and paddle,
and smoke very mild tobacco. As for the rest, they "just grow," like
Topsy, and are as emotional and fanciful and wilful as any very little
white child ever was. They never get over being so. The older they grow
to be, the older children they become, for they are all very much like
spoiled children as long as they live.

The first Indians I ever saw, outside of a show, were boys at play. They
were Onondagas, on their reservation near Syracuse, New York. They were
big boys of from sixteen to twenty years old, and the game they were
playing was "snow-snakes." The earth was covered with snow, and by
dragging a stout log through this covering they had made a narrow gutter
or trough about 500 or 700 feet long. Each youth had his snow-snake,
which is a stick about eight feet long, and shaped something like a
spear. All the snow-snakes were alike, less than an inch wide, half an
inch thick, flat on the under side, rounded on top, and with a very
slight turn upward at the point to suggest a serpent's head. The
"snakes" were all smoothed and of heavy hard wood. The game was to see
who could send his the farthest along the gutter in the snow. The young
men grasped their snakes at the very end, ran a few steps, and shot the
sticks along the trough. As one after another sped along the snow, the
serpent-like heads kept bobbing up and down over the rough surface of
the gutter precisely like so many snakes. I bought a snow-snake, but,
though I have tried again and again, I cannot get the knack of throwing


But I have since seen Indian boys of many tribes at play, and one time I
saw more than a hundred and fifty "let loose," as our own children are
in a country school-yard at recess. To be sure, theirs is a perpetual
recess, and they were at home among the tents of their people, the
Canada Blackfeet, on the plains, within sight of the Rocky Mountains.
The smoke-browned tepees, crowned with projecting pole-ends, and painted
with figures of animals and with gaudy patterns, were set around in a
great circle, and the children were playing in the open, grassy space in
the center. Their fathers and mothers were as wild as any Indians,
except one or two tribes, on the continent, but nothing of their savage
natures showed in these merry, lively, laughing, bright-faced little
ragamuffins. At their play they laughed and screamed and hallooed. Some
were running foot-races, some were wrestling, some were on the backs of
scampering ponies; for they are sometimes put on horseback when they are
no more than three years old. Such were their sports, for Indian boys
play games to make them sure of aim, certain of foot, quick in motion,
and supple in body, so that they can shoot and fight and ride and hunt
and run well. To be able to run fast is a necessary accomplishment for
an Indian. What they call "runners" are important men in every tribe.
They are the messenger men, and many a one among them has run a hundred
miles in a day. They cultivate running by means of foot-races. In war
they agree with the poet who sang:

          "For he who fights and runs away
           May live to fight another day";

and afterward, if they were taken prisoners, they had a chance for life,
in the old days, if they could run fast enough to escape their captors
and the spears and bullets of their pursuers.

A very popular game that attracted most of the Blackfeet boys was the
throwing of darts, or little white hand-arrows, along the grass. The
game was to see who could throw his arrow farthest in a straight line.
At times the air was full of the white missiles where the boys were
playing, and they fell like rain upon the grass.

In another part of the field were some larger boys with rude bows with
which to shoot these same darts. These boys were playing a favorite
Blackfeet game. Each one had a disk or solid wheel of sheet-iron or
lead, and the game was to see who could roll his disk the farthest,
while all the others shot at it to tip it over and bring it to a stop.
The boys made splendid shots at the swift-moving little wheels, and from
greater distances than you would imagine.

They play with arrows so frequently that it is no wonder they are good
marksmen; yet you would be surprised to see how frequently they bring
down the birds, rabbits, and gophers which abound on the plains. The
houses of these plump little drab-colored creatures are holes in the
turf, and as you ride along the plains you will see them everywhere
around, sitting up on their haunches with their tiny fore paws held idle
and limp before them, and their bead-like, bright eyes looking at you
most trustingly--until you come just so near, when pop! suddenly down
goes little Mr. Gopher in his hole. You may be sure the Indian boys find
great sport in shooting at these comical little creatures. But the boys
take a mean advantage of the fact that the restless gophers cannot stay
still in one place any great length of time. When one pops into a hole
it is only for a minute, and during that minute the Indian boy softly
and deftly arranges a snare around the hole, so that when the gopher
pops up again the snare can be jerked and the animal captured.

We gave the boys in the Blackfeet camp great sport by standing at a
distance of a hundred yards from all of them and offering a silver
quarter to whichever boy got to us first. You should have seen the
stampede that followed the signal, "Go!" Blankets were dropped,
moccasins fell off, boys stumbled and others fell atop of them, their
black locks flew in the breeze, and the air was noisy with yelling and

These boys spin tops, but their "top-time" is the winter, when snow is
on the ground and is crusted hard. Their tops are made of lead or some
other metal, and are mere little circular plates which they cover with
red flannel and ornament with tiny knots or wisps of cord all around the
edges. These are spun with whips and look very pretty on the icy white
playgrounds. Nearly all Indian boys play ball, but not as we do, for
their only idea of the game is the girlish one of pitching and catching.
All their games are the simplest, and lack the rules which we lay down
to make our sports difficult and exciting.

The boys of the Papago tribe in the Southwest have a game which the
fellows in Harvard and Yale would form rules about, if they played it,
until it became very lively indeed. These Indian boys make dumb-bells of
woven buckskin or rawhide. They weave them tight and stiff, and then
soak them in a sort of red mud which sticks like paint. They dry them,
and then the queer toys are ready for use. To play the game they mark
off goals, one for each band or "side" of players. The object of each
side is to send its dumb-bells over to the goal of the enemy. The
dumb-bells are tossed with sticks that are thrust under them as they lie
on the ground. The perverse things will not go straight or far, and a
rod is a pretty good throw for one. The sport quickly grows exciting,
and the players are soon battling in a heap, almost as if they were
playing at foot-ball.


These are games that will not wear out while there are Indian boys to
play them. On the oldest reservations, where even the grandfathers of
the Indians now alive were shut up and fed by their government, the boys
still play the old games. But wherever one travels to-day, even among
the wildest tribes, a new era is seen to have begun as the result of
the Indian schools, and Indian boys are being taught things more useful
than any they ever knew before. The brightest boys in the various tribes
are selected to be sent to these schools, and it is hoped that what they
learn will make all the others anxious to imitate white men's ways.




          "Little Indian, Sioux or Crow,
           Little frosty Eskimo,
           Little Turk or Japanee,
           Oh, don't you wish that you were me?"

SO says the well-fed, well-dressed, well-housed little Scotchman in
Robert Louis Stevenson's rhyme. But I don't believe that the small
Indians of Zuñi would care at all to change places with the little "me"
of Edinburgh or New York. In their village of mud and stone, on the
sunny plains of New Mexico, they have lived for centuries in perfect
contentment. Fine houses, green parks, and merry streets would be
nothing to them; hats and parasols, candies and ice-cream would make
them stare; and mere cleanliness would only astonish them. Indeed, if
they saw us washing our faces and brushing our hair every day, they
would probably one and all cry out in Zuñi words:

          "Oh, don't you wish that you were _me_?"

The little half-civilized children of Zuñi so aroused our curiosity that
we drove through forty miles of sand and sage-brush, from the railroad
at Fort Wingate, to pay them a visit. As the Indians do not provide for
travelers, we took our hotel with us--tents, beds, and food--and camped
just outside their village. The village looks like a huge beehive made
of clay and stuck fast to the top of a sandy knoll. The hive is filled
with a mass of cells--three hundred single rooms, placed side by side
and piled in rows one on top of another. In each of these rooms lives a
Zuñi family. There are no inside stairways leading from story to story,
but if the boys and girls living in one row wish to pay a visit to a
house above them, they must go outdoors and climb a ladder. On the slope
between the village and the Zuñi River are a number of small
vegetable-gardens, each one inclosed by a mud wall. Zuñi has no inns, no
shops, no saloons, not even proper streets, but only narrow alleys that
thread their way through the strange town. As we walked through the
village, all the world came out to see us. Girls and boys clustered on
the roofs or sat on the ovens,--queer little cones of mud which seem to
grow up out of the house-tops,--while fathers, mothers, and babies
peered out from dark doorways, to stare at the visitors. When we had
finished our tour of the roofs and alleys, we were hospitably invited
indoors; even there the children followed us, and as we glanced up to a
hole in the ceiling which served as a window, a girl's laughing face
filled the opening. We must have looked strange enough in our hats and
gloves and long skirts.

The Zuñi child spends his early days in a cradle. But a cradle in
Zuñi-land does not mean down pillows, silken coverlets, and fluffy
laces; it is only a flat board, just the length of the baby, with a hood
like a doll's buggy-top over the head. Upon this hard bed the baby is
bound like a mummy--the coverings wound round and round him until the
little fellow cannot move except to open his mouth and eyes. Sometimes
he is unrolled, and looks out into the bare whitewashed room, blinks at
the fire burning on the hearth, and fixes his eyes earnestly on the wolf
and cougar skins that serve as chairs and beds and carpets in the Zuñi


By the time he is two or three years old, he has grown into a plump
little bronze creature, with the straightest of coarse black hair and
the biggest and roundest of black eyes. He is now out of the cradle, and
trots about the house and the village. When the weather is bad he wears
a small coarse shirt, and always a necklace of beads or turquoise.

As he grows older, he adds a pair of loose cotton trousers to his
costume, and, if anything more is needed to keep him warm, he girds on
his blanket, just as his forefathers have done in all the three hundred
years since white men first knew the Zuñis. His long hair, either flying
loosely in the wind or tied back with a band of some red stuff, serves
him both as hair and as hat.

His little sister, however, has a more elaborate dress. Her mama weaves
it for her, as she does her own, in a rude loom. She makes two square
blankets of black cotton, finishes them neatly across top and bottom,
sews them together at the sides with red yarn, and the dress is ready to
try on. It always fits perfectly, as the part which forms the skirt is
simply held in place by a sash, and the waist is made by drawing two
corners of the blankets up over the left shoulder. The sash, woven in
gay colors, is also the work of Mama Zuñi. A long, narrow piece of
cotton cloth is draped from the other shoulder, and swings easily about,
serving as pocket, shawl, or pinafore. In cold weather, moccasins,
leggings, and blankets are also worn. These articles, too, are made at
home. While the mother is the dressmaker and tailor, the father is the
family shoemaker. A few of the Zuñi girls have dresses like those of
American girls. These clothes have come to them through the
mission-school which adjoins the village.

The Zuñis have a language of their own--no very easy one for boys and
girls to learn, judging from its many-syllabled, harsh-sounding words.
They also speak a little Spanish, as does nearly everybody in New

The little Zuñis amuse themselves with running, wrestling, jumping, and
playing at grown folks, just as civilized children do. They have their
bows and arrows, their rag-dolls,--strapped like real babies to
cradles,--and their shinny sticks and balls. The children also make
themselves useful at home. The older girls take care of their younger
brothers and sisters, and the boys tend the goats. There are large herds
of goats belonging to the village, and they must be taken every morning
to graze on the plain, and brought home at night to be shut up in the
corrals, or folds, safe from prowling wolves.

The little children often go with their mothers to draw water from the
village well, about a hundred yards from the houses. At the top of a
flight of stone steps they wait, playing about in the sand, while their
mothers go down to the spring. There the women fill the jars, then,
poising them on their heads, climb the hill and mount the ladders to
their homes. As all the water used by the village has to be brought to
it in these _ollas_ (water-jars), carried on the women's heads, it is
not surprising that the boys' clothes are grimy and the girls have
apparently never known what it is to wash their faces.

The _ollas_, which answer the purpose of family china and of
kitchen-ware, are made by the Zuñi women from the clay of the
river-bank. The wet earth is shaped by hand into jars of all sorts and
sizes; the jars are then painted with gay colors, in queer patterns, and
burned. It is a pretty sight, of an evening, to see the fires of the
kilns dotted all over the terraces of the village. Each piece of pottery
is shut up inside a little wall of chips, which are set on fire; when
the chips are burned up, the article is baked and ready for use. The
Zuñi mamas make not only the jars for family use, but also clay toys for
the children, curious rattles, dolls' moccasins, owls, eagles, horses,
and other childish treasures.


The Zuñi has learned that American coffee and tobacco are better than
Indian herb tea and willow bark. As he must have ready money in order to
buy such articles, he has contrived various ways of earning a few
_reales_ (Spanish for shillings). When spring comes and the snows have
melted, he collects the jars and bowls and trinkets that have been made
during the winter, ties them up in the several corners of his blanket,
and trudges off to market at Fort Wingate, forty miles away. Bows and
arrows, and canes made from a singular cactus which grows near Zuñi, are
also added to the stock in trade. If the Indian is lucky enough to own a
burro, he and one of the boys mount the patient creature, while the
family, big and little, with some of the neighbors, complete the party.
Once in the garrison, the Zuñi family need only walk up and down to
advertise their wares; the boys and girls help to carry the jars, while
the babies follow. The group, with its bright blankets and gay
pottery, soon attracts attention and sales begin on the sidewalks and
verandas. Little is said by the Zuñi merchants, but when the bargaining
is finished, they stand silent, waiting with a hungry look for the usual
invitation to the kitchen. There, seated in a circle on the floor, they
gratefully eat and drink whatever is set before them. Their store of
words does not include "Thank you," but their faces brighten, and the
older people politely shake hands with a "Bueno, bueno, señora" ("Good,
good, madame"), while the babies munch and crumble their cake and cry
for more, just as our own white babies do. The thoughtful mamas do not
forget the miles of "home stretch" before the family, and wisely tuck
away in their blankets the last bits of cheese and crackers.

When they have looked over the fort, tasted its bread and coffee, and
sold their cargo, they cheerfully go home to their mud village and
Indian habits. Old and young, they all are children, easily pleased,
contented with things as they are, and quite certain in their own minds
that the Zuñi way is the right way to live.



ONCE upon a time, there was an Indian who lived in a big wood on the
banks of a beautiful river, and he did nothing all day long but catch
fish and hunt wild deer. Well, this Indian had two lovely little
daughters, and he named one Sunbeam, because she was so bright and
cheerful, and the other he called Starlight, because, he said, her sweet
eyes twinkled like the stars.

Sunbeam and Starlight were as gay as butterflies, and as busy as bees,
from morning till night. They ran races under the shady trees, made
bouquets of wild flowers, swung on grape-vine swings, turned berries and
acorns into beads, and dressed their glossy black hair with bright
feathers that beautiful birds had dropped. They loved each other so
much, and were so happy together, that they never knew what trouble
meant until, one day, Starlight got very sick, and before the big moon
came over the tree-tops the sweet Indian child had closed her starry
eyes in death, and rested for the last time upon her soft, little
deerskin bed. And now, for the first time, Sunbeam's heart was full of
grief. She could not play, for Starlight was gone, she knew not where;
so she took the bright feathers out of her hair, and sat down by the
river and cried and cried for Starlight to come back to her. But when
her father told her that Starlight was gone to the Spirit-land of love
and beauty, and would be happy for ever and ever, Sunbeam was comforted.

"Now," said she, "I know where darling Starlight is, and I can kiss her
and talk to her again."

Sunbeam had heard her people say that the birds were messengers from the
Spirit-land. So she hunted through the woods until she found a little
song-bird, that was too young to fly, fast asleep in its nest. She
carried it gently home, put it into a cage, and watched over it and fed
it tenderly day after day until its wings grew strong and it filled the
woods with its music. Then she carried it in her soft little hands to
Starlight's grave; and after she had loaded it with kisses and messages
of love for Starlight, she told it never to cease its sweetest song or
fold its shining wings until it had flown to the Spirit-land. She let it
go, and the glad bird, as it rose above the tall green trees, poured
forth a song more joyful than any that Sunbeam had ever heard. Higher
and higher it flew, and sweeter and sweeter grew its song, until at last
both its form and its music were lost in the floating summer clouds.

Then Sunbeam ran swiftly over the soft grass to her father, and told
him, with a bright smile and a light heart, that she had talked with
dear Starlight, and had kissed her sweet rosy mouth again; and Sunbeam
was once more her father's bright and happy little Indian girl.



NOT long since I wandered along a pretty brook that rippled through a
narrow valley. I was on the lookout for whatever birds might be
wandering that way, but saw nothing of special interest. So, to while
away the time, I commenced geologizing; and, as I plodded along my
lonely way, I saw everywhere traces of an older time, when the sparkling
rivulet that now only harbors pretty salamanders was a deep creek,
tenanted by many of our larger fishes.

How fast the earth from the valley's slopes may have been loosened by
frost and washed by freshet, and carried down to fill up the old bed of
the stream, we will not stop to inquire; for other traces of this older
time were also met with here. As I turned over the loose earth by the
brook-side, and gathered here and there a pretty pebble, I chanced upon
a little arrow-point.

Whoever has made a collection, be it of postage stamps or birds' eggs,
knows full well how securing one coveted specimen but increases
eagerness for others; and so was it with me that pleasant afternoon.
Just one pretty arrow-point cured me of my laziness, banished every
trace of fatigue, and filled me with the interest of eager search; and I
dug and sifted and washed the sandy soil for yards along the brook-side,
until I had gathered at least a score of curious relics of the
long-departed red men, or rather of the games and sports and pastimes of
the red men's hardy and active children.

[Illustration: THE HATCHET]

For centuries before Columbus discovered San Salvador, the red men (or
Indians, as they are usually called) roamed over all the great continent
of North America, and having no knowledge of iron as a metal, they were
forced to make of stone or bone all their weapons, hunting and
household implements. From this fact they are called, when referring to
those early times, a stone-age people, and so, of course, the boys and
girls of that time were stone-age children.

But it is not to be supposed that, because the children of savages, they
were altogether unlike the youngsters of to-day. In one respect, at
least, they were quite the same--they were very fond of play.

Their play, however, was not like the games of to-day, as you may see by
the pictures of their toys. We might, perhaps, call the principal game
of the boys "Playing Man," for the little stone implements, here
pictured, are only miniatures of the great stone axes and long
spear-points of their fathers.

In one particular these old-time children were really in advance of the
youngsters of to-day; they not only did, in play, what their parents did
in earnest, but they realized, in part, the results of their playful
labor. A good old Moravian missionary says: "Little boys are frequently
seen wading in shallow brooks, shooting small fishes with their bows and
arrows." Going a-fishing, then, as now, was good fun; but to shoot
fishes with a bow and arrow is not an easy thing to do, and this is one
way these stone-age children played, and played to better advantage than
most of my young readers can.

Among the stone-age children's toys that I gathered that afternoon, were
those of which we have pictures. The first is a very pretty stone
hatchet, very carefully shaped, and still quite sharp. It has been
worked out from a porphyry pebble, and in every way, except size, it is
the same as hundreds that still are to be found lying about the fields.

No red man would ever deign to use such an insignificant-looking ax, and
so we must suppose it to have been a toy hatchet for some little fellow
that chopped away at saplings, or, perhaps, knocked over some poor
squirrel or rabbit; for our good old Moravian friend, the missionary,
also tells us that "the boys learn to climb trees when very young, both
to catch birds and to exercise their sight, which, by this method, is
rendered so quick that in hunting they see objects at an amazing
distance." Their play, then, became an excellent schooling for them; and
if they did nothing but play it was not a loss of time.

The five little arrow-points figured in the second picture are among
those I found in the valley. The ax was not far away, and both it and
they may have belonged to the same bold and active young hunter. All of
these arrow-points are very neatly made.

[Illustration: ARROW-HEADS]

The same missionary tells us that these young red men of the forest
"exercise themselves very early with bows and arrows, and in shooting at
a mark. As they grow up, they acquire a remarkable dexterity in shooting
birds, squirrels, and small game."

Every boy remembers his first penknife, and, whether it had one or three
blades, was proud enough of it; but how different the fortune of the
stone-age children, in this matter of a pocket-knife! In the third
picture is shown a piece of flint that was doubtless chipped into this
shape that it might be used as a knife.

I have found scores of such knives in the fields that extend along the
little valley, and a few came to light in my search that afternoon in
the brook-side sands and gravel. So, if this chipped flint is a knife,
then, as in modern times, the children were whittlers.

[Illustration: FLINT KNIFE]

Of course, our boys nowadays would be puzzled to cut a willow whistle or
mend the baby's go-cart with such a knife as this; but still, it will
not do to despise stone cutlery. The big canoe at the Centennial, that
took up so much room in the Government Building,--a boat sixty feet
long,--was made in quite recent times, and only stone knives and
hatchets were used in the process.

I found too, in that afternoon walk, some curiously shaped splinters of
jasper, which at first did not seem very well adapted to any purpose;
and yet, although mere fragments, they had every appearance of having
been purposely shaped, and not of accidental resemblances to a hook or
sickle blade. When I got home, I read that perfect specimens, mine being
certainly pieces of the same form, had been found away off in Norway;
and Professor Nilsson, who has carefully studied the whole subject, says
they are fish-hooks.

Instead of my broken ones, we have in the fourth illustration some
uninjured specimens of these fish-hooks from Norway. Two are made of
flint, the largest one being bone; and hooks of exactly the same
patterns really have been found within half a mile of the little valley
I worked in that afternoon.

The fish-hooks shown in our picture have been thought to be best adapted
for, and really used in, capturing cod-fish in salt water, and perch and
pike in inland lakes. The broken hooks I found were fully as large; and
so the little brook that now ripples down the valley, when a large
stream, must have had a good many big fishes in it, or the stone-age
fishermen would not have brought their fishing-hooks, and have lost
them, along this remnant of a larger stream.

But it must not be supposed that only children in this bygone era did
the fishing for their tribe. Just as the men captured the larger game,
so they took the bigger fishes; but it is scarcely probable that the
boys who waded the little brooks with bows and arrows would remain
content with that, and, long before they were men, doubtless they were
adepts in catching the more valuable fishes that abounded, in Indian
times, in all our rivers.

So, fishing, I think, was another way in which the stone-age children

[Illustration: FISH-HOOKS]



          [These are actual recollections of the wild life.
          The Indian boy whose experiences are described
          wrote them out himself many years afterward when,
          having graduated at Dartmouth College and the
          Boston University School of Medicine, he had
          become an educated man, and a physician among his
          own people.]

THE Indian boy was a prince of the wilderness. He had but very little
work to do during the period of his boyhood. His principal occupation
was the practising of a few simple but rigid rules in the arts of
warfare and the chase. Aside from this, he was master of his time.

Whatever was required of us boys was quickly performed; then the field
was clear for our games and plays. There was always keen competition
between us. We felt very much as our fathers did in hunting and
war--each one strove to excel all the others. It is true that our savage
life was a precarious one, and full of dreadful catastrophes; however,
this never prevented us from enjoying our sports to the fullest extent.
As we left our tepees in the morning, we were never sure that our scalps
would not dangle from a pole in the afternoon! It was an uncertain life,
to be sure. Yet we observed that the fawns skipped and played happily
while the gray wolves might be peeping forth from behind the hills,
ready to tear them limb from limb.

Our sports were molded by the life and customs of our people--indeed, we
practised only what we expected to do when grown. Our games were feats
with the bow and arrow, foot and pony races, wrestling, swimming, and
imitations of the customs and habits of our fathers. We had sham fights
with mud balls and willow wands, we played lacrosse, made war upon bees,
shot winter arrows (which were used only in that season), and coasted
upon ribs of animals and buffalo-robes.

Our games with bow and arrow were usually combined with hunting; but as
I shall take hunting for the subject of another letter, I will speak
only of such as were purely plays.

No sooner did the boys get together than they divided into squads, and
chose sides; then a leading arrow was shot at random into the air.
Before it fell to the ground, a volley from the bows of the
participants followed. Each player was quick to see the direction and
speed of the leading arrow, and he tried to send his own with the same
speed and at an equal height, so that when it fell it would be closer
than any of the others to the first.

It was considered out of place to shoot an arrow by first sighting the
object aimed at. This was usually impracticable, because the object was
almost always in motion, while the hunter himself was often on the back
of a pony in full gallop. Therefore, it was the offhand shot that the
Indian boy sought to master. There was another game with arrows which
was characterized by gambling, and was generally confined to the men.

The races were an every-day occurrence. At noon the boys were usually
gathered by some pleasant sheet of water, and as soon as the ponies were
watered, they were allowed to graze for an hour or two, while the boys
stripped for their noonday sports. A boy might say, "I can't run, but I
challenge you for fifty paces," to some other whom he considered his
equal. A former hero, when beaten, would often explain his defeat by
saying, "I had drunk too much water!" Boys of all ages were paired for
a "spin," and the little red men cheered on their favorites with spirit!
As soon as this was ended, the pony races followed. All the speedy
ponies were picked out, and riders chosen. If a boy said, "I cannot
ride," what a shout went up! Such derision!

Last of all came the swimming. A little urchin would hang to his pony's
long tail, while the latter held only his head above water and glided
sportively along. Finally the animals were driven into a fine field of
grass, and we turned our attention to other games.

Lacrosse was an older game, and was confined entirely to the Sisseton
and Santee Sioux. Shinny, such as is enjoyed by white boys on ice, is
now played by the western Sioux. The "moccasin-game," although sometimes
played by the boys, was intended mainly for adults.

The "mud-and-willow" fight was rather a severe and dangerous sport. A
lump of soft clay was stuck on one end of a limber and springy willow
wand, to be thrown with considerable force--as boys throw apples from
sticks. When there were fifty or a hundred on each side, the battle
became warm; but anything to arouse the bravery of Indian boys seemed to
them a good and wholesome sport.

Wrestling was largely indulged in by all of us. It may seem odd, but the
wrestling was by a great number of boys at once--from ten to any number
on a side. It was really a battle, but each one chose his own opponent.
The rule was that if a boy sat down, he was let alone; but as long as he
remained standing within the field he was open to an attack. No one
struck with the hand, but all manner of tripping with legs and feet and
hurting with the knees was allowed; altogether it was an exhausting
pastime--fully equal to the American game of foot-ball. Only the boy who
was an athlete could really enjoy it.

One of our most curious sports was a war upon the nests of wild bees. We
imagined ourselves about to make an attack upon the Chippewas or some
other tribal foe. We all painted and stole cautiously upon the nest;
then, with a rush and a war-whoop, sprang upon the object of our attack
and endeavored to destroy it. But it seemed that the bees were always on
the alert, and never entirely surprised; for they always raised quite as
many scalps as did their bold assailants! After the onslaught upon the
bees was ended, we usually followed it by a pretended scalp-dance.

On the occasion of my first experience in this mode of warfare, there
were two other little boys who also were novices. One of them,
particularly, was too young to indulge in such an exploit. As it was the
custom of the Indians, when they killed or wounded an enemy on the
battle-field, to announce the act in a loud voice, we did the same. My
friend Little Wound (as I will call him, for I do not remember his
name), being quite small, was unable to reach the nest until it had been
well trampled upon and broken, and the insects had made a counter charge
with such vigor as to repulse and scatter our numbers in every
direction. However, he evidently did not want to retreat without any
honors; so he bravely jumped upon the nest and yelled:

"I, brave Little Wound, to-day kill the only fierce enemy!"

Scarcely was the last word uttered when he screamed as if stabbed to the
heart. One of his older companions shouted:

"Dive into the water! Run! Dive into the water!" for there was a lake
near by. This advice he obeyed.


When we had reassembled and were indulging in our mimic dance, Little
Wound was not allowed to dance. He was considered not to be in
existence--he had been "killed" by our enemies, the Bee tribe. Poor
little fellow! His tear-stained face was sad and ashamed, as he sat on a
fallen log and watched the dance. Although he might well have styled
himself one of the noble dead who had died for their country, yet he was
not unmindful that he had _screamed_, and that this weakness would be
apt to recur to him many times in the future.

We had some quiet plays which we alternated with the more severe and
warlike ones. Among them were throwing wands and snow-arrows. In the
winter we coasted much. We had no "double-rippers" nor toboggans, but
six or seven of the long ribs of a buffalo, fastened together at the
larger end, answered all practical purposes. Sometimes a strip of
bass-wood bark, four feet long and half a foot wide, was used with much
skill. We stood on one end and held the other, using the inside of the
bark for the outside, and thus coasted down long hills with remarkable

Sometimes we played "Medicine Dance." This to us was almost what
"playing church" is among white children. Our people seem to think it an
act of irreverence to imitate these dances, but we children thought
otherwise; therefore we quite frequently enjoyed in secret one of these
performances. We used to observe all the important ceremonies and
customs attending it, and it required something of an actor to reproduce
the dramatic features of the dance. The real dances usually occupied a
day and a night, and the program was long and varied, so that it was not
easy to execute all the details perfectly; but the Indian children are
born imitators.

I was often selected as choirmaster on these occasions, for I had
happened to learn many of the medicine songs, and was quite an apt
mimic. My grandmother, who was a noted medicine woman, on hearing of
these sacrilegious acts (as she called them), warned me that if any of
the medicine men should learn of my conduct, they would punish me
terribly by shriveling my limbs with slow disease.

Occasionally we also played "white man." Our knowledge of the pale-face
was limited, but we had learned that he brought goods whenever he came,
and that our people exchanged furs for his merchandise. We also knew,
somehow, that his complexion was white, that he wore short hair on his
head and long hair on his face, and that he had coat, trousers, and
hat, and did not patronize blankets in the daytime. This was the picture
we had formed of the white man. So we painted two or three of our number
with white clay, and put on them birchen hats, which we sewed up for the
occasion, fastened a piece of fur to their chins for a beard, and
altered their costume as much as lay within our power. The white of the
birch-bark was made to answer for their white shirts. Their merchandise
consisted of sand for sugar, wild beans for coffee, dried leaves for
tea, pulverized earth for gunpowder, pebbles for bullets, and clear
water for dangerous "fire-water." We traded for these goods with skins
of squirrels, rabbits, and small birds.

When we played "hunting buffalo" we would send a few good runners off on
the open prairie with meat and other edibles; then start a few of our
swiftest runners to chase them and capture the food. Once we were
engaged in this sport when a real hunt by the men was going on near by;
yet we did not realize that it was so close until, in the midst of our
play, an immense buffalo appeared, coming at full speed directly toward
us. Our mimic buffalo hunt turned into a very real "buffalo scare"! As
it was near the edge of a forest, we soon disappeared among the leaves
like a covey of young prairie-chickens, and some hid in the bushes while
others took refuge in tall trees.

In the water we always had fun. When we had no ponies, we often had
swimming-matches of our own, and we sometimes made rafts with which we
crossed lakes and rivers. It was a common thing to "duck" a young or
timid boy, or to carry him into deep water to struggle as best he might.

I remember a perilous ride with a companion on an unmanageable log, when
we both were less than seven years old. The older boys had put us on
this uncertain bark and pushed us out into the swift current of the
river. I cannot speak for my comrade in distress, but I can say now that
I would rather ride on a wild bronco any day than try to stay on and
steady a short log in a river. I never knew how we managed to prevent a
shipwreck on that voyage, and to reach the shore!

We had many curious wild pets. There were young foxes, bears, wolves,
fawns, raccoons, buffalo calves, and birds of all kinds, tamed by
various boys. My pets were different at different times, but I
particularly remember one. I once had a grizzly cub for a pet, and so
far as he and I were concerned our relations were charming and very
close. But I hardly know whether he made more enemies for me or I for
him. It was his custom to treat unmercifully every boy who injured me.
He was despised for his conduct in my interest, and I was hated on
account of his interference.




LITTLE PRUDENCE stood by the window, with her face pressed hard against
it. She was not looking out; she could not do that, for the
window-frame, instead of being filled with clear panes of glass, had
oiled paper stretched tightly across it.

It was a very curious window, indeed, and it transmitted a dull light
into a very curious room. The floor was of uncovered boards; the walls
were built of logs of wood with the bark still clinging to them in
places, and overhead were great rafters from which hung suspended many
things--swords and corselets, coats, bundles of dried herbs, pots and

The furniture was very simple. In the center of the room was a wooden
table, scoured to whiteness, stiff-backed chairs were ranged against the
wall, and a dresser, where pewter cups and platters stood in shining
rows, adorned the farther corner. In a wide chimney-place a royal fire
was blazing, and before it stood Prudence's mother, carefully stirring
some mixture in an iron pot which hung upon a crane. Within the circle
of the firelight, which played upon her yellow hair and turned it to
ruddy gold, Mehitable, Prudence's sister, stepped rapidly to and fro,
her spinning-wheel making a humming accompaniment to the crackling of
the blaze.

Prudence turned to watch her, pushing farther back a little white cap
which pressed upon her short curls; for she was a little Puritan maiden,
living in the town of Plymouth, and it was not the present year of our
Lord, but about two hundred and eighty-four years ago. She was a very
different Prudence from what she would have been if she had been living
now, and it was a very different Plymouth from the pleasant town we know
to-day, with its many houses climbing up the hill, and the busy people
in its streets. There were only seven houses then, and they stood in one
line leading to the water, and there was but one building besides--a
square wooden affair with palisades, which served as a church on
Sundays, a fort when enemies were feared, and a storehouse all the
time. Beyond these nothing could be seen but woods--trackless, unknown
forests--and, away to the east, the ocean, where the waves were booming
with a lonesome sound.

It was not quite a year before that Prudence's father had stood with the
other brave colonists on the deck of the _Mayflower_, and had looked
with eager eyes upon the shore of the New World. This first year in
Massachusetts had on the whole been a happy one for Prudence. During the
cold winter which followed their landing, she had indeed cast longing
thoughts toward the home in Holland which they had left; and especially
did she long for the Dutch home when she was hungry, and the provisions
which had been brought on the ship were scanty; but she had forgotten
all such longings in the bounty given by the summer, and now it seemed
to her there was no more beautiful place in the world than this New

It was Prudence's father who opened the door and came in, carrying on
his shoulder an ax with which he had been felling trees for the winter's
fuel. Prudence never could get over the queer feeling it gave her to see
her father thus employed. When they lived in Holland, he was always
writing and studying in books of many languages, but here he did little
else than work in the fields, for it was only so that the early settlers
obtained their daily bread. He leaned his ax in a corner, and came
toward the fire, rubbing his hands to get out the cold.

"I have news for you, dear heart, to-night," he said to his wife. "I
have just come from the granary, and indeed there is goodly store laid
up of corn and rye, and game that has been shot in the forest. The
children's mouths will not hunger this winter."

"Praised be the Lord!" replied his wife, fervently. "But what is your

"The governor hath decided to hold a thanksgiving for the bountiful
harvest, and on the appointed day is a great feast to be spread; and he
hath sent a messenger to bid Massasoit to break bread with us."

"Massasoit the Indian?"

"Ay; but a friendly Indian. He will come, and many of his braves with
him. You will be kept busy, my heart, with the other housewives to bake
sufficient food for this company."

"Oh, mother, _may_ I go?" cried Prudence, her eyes dancing with
excitement, clutching at her mother's skirts; but her father continued:

"How now, Mehitable? The news of a coming feast does not seem to make
you merry as it was wont to do in Holland."

Mehitable was grave, and there was even a tear in her eye.

"I know," cried Joel, who was two years older than Prudence; "she is
thinking of John Andrews, who is across the sea."

But the father frowned, and the mother said, "Peace, foolish children!"
as she placed the porridge on the table.

So Prudence and Joel drew up their benches, and said no more. Chairs and
conversation did not belong to children in those days; they sat on
little stools and kept silence. That did not keep them from thinking. A
thanksgiving feast! What could it be? The only thanksgiving they knew
about meant such long prayers in church that the little people grew very
tired before the end--but a feast!--that would be something new and

The feast was to be held on the following Thursday; so, during all the
days between, the house was full of the stir of brewing and baking.
Prudence polished the apples, and Joel pounded the corn, in eager
anticipation; but when the day arrived a disappointment awaited them,
for their father decreed that they should remain at home.

"You are over-young, my little Prudence, and Joel is over-bold; besides
which, he must stay and care for you."

"And do neither of you leave the house while your father and I are
away," added the mother. "I shall not have a moment's peace of mind, if
I think you are wandering outside alone."

"I will bring you back a Dutch cake, my little sister," whispered
Mehitable, who looked sweeter than ever in her best attire of black silk
and a lace kerchief, which with an unwilling heart she had put on in
obedience to her mother's command.

But when the elders were gone the disappointment and loneliness were too
much for the children. Prudence, being a girl, sat down in a corner and
cried; while Joel, being a boy, got angry, and strode up and down the
room with his hands in his pockets.

"It is too bad!" he burst out suddenly. "The greedy, grown-up people, I
believe they want all the food themselves! It's a downright shame to
keep us at home!"

"Joel!" gasped Prudence, horrified--"father and mother!"

"Well, I know," admitted Joel, more mildly; "but they need not have shut
us up in the house as if we were babies. Prudence, let's go out in the
yard and play, if we can't do anything else."

"But mother forbade us," said Prudence.

"I know. But then, of course, she only meant we must not go into the
woods for fear of wild beasts. There is no danger here by the doorsteps,
and father won't care; _he's_ not afraid!"

"I--don't--know," faltered Prudence.

"Well, _I'm_ going, anyway," said Joel, resolutely, taking his hat from
the peg. "Ah, do come too, Prudence!" he added persuasively.

So Prudence, though she knew in her heart it was a naughty thing to do,
took off her cap, and tying her little Puritan bonnet under her chin,
followed Joel through the door.

Once outside, I am afraid their scruples were soon forgotten. All the
sunshine of the summer and the sparkling air of the winter were fused
together to make a wonderful November day. The children felt like colts
just loosed, and ran and shouted together till, if there had not been a
good deal of noise also at the stone house where the feast was being
spread, their shrill little voices must surely have been heard there.

All at once Joel caught Prudence by the arm.

"Hush!" he exclaimed. "Look!"

A beautiful gray squirrel ran across the grass in front of them. It
stopped, poising its little head and intently listening.

"I'm going to catch him," whispered Joel, excitedly. "Father said if I
could catch one, he would make me a cage for it. Come along."

He tiptoed softly forward, but the squirrel heard and was up and away in
an instant. Joel pursued, and Prudence ran after him. Such a chase as
the little creature gave them--up on the fence, under the stones, across
the fields, and finally straight to the woods, with the children panting
and stumbling after, still keeping him in sight. Breath and patience
gave out at last; but when they stopped, where were they? In the very
heart of the forest, where the dead leaves rustled, and the sunlight
slanted down upon them, and the squirrel, safe in the top of a tree,
chattered angrily.

"Never saw--anything run--so fast," panted Joel in disgust.
"I--give--him up. We had better go back, Prudence. Why--but--I don't
think I know the way!"

Prudence's lip quivered, and her eyes filled.

"That's just like a girl!" said Joel, harshly, "to go and cry the first

"I don't care," cried Prudence, indignation burning away her tears; "you
brought me into this, anyhow, Joel, and now you ought to get me out."

This was so obviously true that Joel had no retort at hand. Besides, he
did not like to see Prudence unhappy. So, after a moment, he put his arm
around her.

"Never mind, Prue," he said; "I think if we try together, we can find
the way home."

But though they walked until their feet were weary, they could find no
familiar spot.

When they came out of the woods at last, it was only to find themselves
unexpectedly on the sandy beach of the ocean. They sat down on two
stones, and looked at each other in silence. Joel began to feel even his
bravery giving way. All at once they heard a sound of soft feet, and a
low, sweet voice said:

"How do, English!"

A little Indian boy stood before them. He wore a garment of skins, and a
tiny bow and quiver hung upon his back. His feet were bare, and he
walked so lightly that the children could hardly hear his tread.
Prudence, in fright, shrank close to her brother; but Joel had seen many
Indians during their year in the New World, and the stranger's eyes were
so bright and soft that the white boy returned the Indian's salutation.
Then, plunging his hand into his pocket, Joel brought forth a handful of
nut-meats, and held them out for an offering.

[Illustration: "'HOW DO, ENGLISH!'"]

The little Indian smiled delightedly, and politely took a few--not all.
Having munched the kernels gravely, the new-comer began to dance.

It was a most remarkable dance. It was first a stately measure,
accompanied by many poisings on his toes, and liftings of his head, from
which the wind blew back his straight black hair; but gradually his
motions grew faster and more furious, his slow steps changed to running,
he turned, he twisted his lithe body into all possible contorted shapes,
he threw his arms high above his head, waving them wildly, he took great
leaps into the air, and finally, when his dance had lasted about fifteen
minutes, several amazing somersaults brought him breathless, but still
smiling, to the children's feet.

His spectators had been shouting with delight during the whole
performance, and now asked him eager questions. What was his name? How
did he learn to dance? Could he not speak any more English? But to all
their inquiries he only shook his head, and at last sat down beside
them, motionless now as any little bronze statue, and looked steadily
out to sea.

Prudence's head drooped upon her brother's shoulder.

"I'm rather tired, Joel," she said wistfully; "don't you think we could
get to Plymouth pretty soon?"

"I don't know," said Joel, despondently.

At the words the Indian boy sprang to his feet. He ran toward the woods,
then stopped, and beckoned them to follow.

"He is going in the wrong direction, I am sure," said Joel, shaking his

The boy stamped on the ground with impatience, and, running back, seized
Prudence's hand, and gently pulled her forward.

"Plymout'!" he said, in his strange accent.

The children looked at each other.

"We might as well try him," said Joel.

The boy clapped his hands together, and ran on before them into the
forest. It was a weary journey, over bogs and fallen trees, and seemed
three times as long as when they had come. A wasp once stung Prudence on
the cheek, making her cry out with pain; but quick as thought the little
Indian caught up a pellet of clay, and plastered it upon the wound, and,
marvelous to relate, before many minutes the sharp pain had quite gone

The woods seemed gradually to grow a little more open, and pretty soon
they heard the distant tinkle of a cow-bell. At last (Prudence held her
breath for fear it might not be true) they emerged suddenly into the
clearing, and home lay before them.

They found they had made a complete circle since they started.

Their little guide stooped and picked up a gaudy-colored feather from
the ground. He examined it closely, and then he shouted aloud, and began
to run toward the storehouse as fast as his sturdy legs could carry him.

"I want to see mother," said Prudence, half crying with fatigue; so they
ran all together across the clearing.

All this while the feast had been progressing. About noontime the great
Massasoit, chief of the Indian tribe called the Wampanoags, had emerged
from the forest with all his tallest braves in single file behind him.
They wore their best beaver-skins, and their heads were gay with nodding
feathers. They were received at the door of the storehouse by their
English entertainers, who also wore the bravest attire that Puritan
custom allowed. They gave the braves a hearty welcome.

Within, the long table fairly groaned with abundance of good cheer; for
the housewives had vied with one another to provide the fattest game and
the daintiest dishes that Dutch or English housewifery had taught them.

After asking a blessing, they all sat down, the stalwart colonists and
their fair-haired women side by side with the taciturn Indians. The
white men felt that the best way to thank God for the harvest was to
share it with their dark-skinned brethren, who had first taught them to
plant and raise the maize which now furnished the table.

Governor Bradford sat at the head of the table. He hoped much from this
feast; first, that it might cement the friendship between the colonists
and their Indian neighbors, the Wampanoags; and, second, that the news
of it might induce the neighboring tribes, which were still partly
hostile, to live in peace with the settlers. But though food and talk
passed blithely round among the other guests, the governor saw, with
growing dismay, that the great Massasoit sat frowning and depressed. The
governor was not long in learning the cause. The interpreter, observing
the governor's uneasiness, whispered in his ear that in a recent war
with the Narragansetts, Massasoit's only child, a boy, was missed and
was thought to have been taken prisoner, and of course put to death,
after the cruel savage custom.

Toward the end of the feast, drink was served to every guest. For the
first time Massasoit showed animation. He seized his cup, and lifted it
in the air, and cried aloud in his native tongue, as he sprang to his

          "May plague and famine seize the Narragansetts!"

At that very moment the house-door opened, and a pretty group appeared
upon the threshold. Two English children stood there, as fair and rosy
as the May-time, and between them a dark, lithe little Indian with
sparkling eyes.

Prudence ran straight to her mother.

Massasoit paused and trembled; then, as his cup fell and shivered upon
the ground, he crossed the room in one stride, and caught the Indian boy
in his arms, looking at him as if he could never see enough.

Governor Bradford knew in an instant that the lost child had been
restored, even without the Indian warrior's shout of triumph, and
Massasoit's passionate exclamation: "Light of my eyes--staff of my
footsteps!--thou art come back to me--the warmth of my heart, the
sunlight of my wigwam!"


The rejoicing was so great that no one thought of chiding Joel and
Prudence for their disobedience. The governor himself gave Joel a
large slice of pudding, and Prudence told all her adventures, throned
upon her father's knee, wearing around her neck a string of wampum which
the grateful Massasoit had hung there.

"And, oh!" she exclaimed, "while the Indian boy was dancing for Joel and
me, I looked out to sea, and I saw such a wonderful bird--a great white
bird, flying along close to the water, and rising up and down. It was
many times greater than the swans in Amsterdam!"

"Was it, my little maid?" said the good governor, laying his hand on her
head, and then he exchanged a keen look with Prudence's father, saying
nothing more. But when the guests had departed, bearing home the Indian
boy in triumph, none was so early as the governor to reach the seashore;
and it was his call that brought the colonists to see the good ship
_Fortune_ (Prudence's "great white bird") already rounding the point,
and making ready to cast anchor in Plymouth harbor.

Ah, then indeed the great guns rang out from the shore to hail the ship,
and the ship's cannon boomed a quick reply, and the whole little town
was full and running over with glad welcome for the second English
vessel to land upon our Massachusetts coast.

In the evening a happy circle gathered round the fire in the house of
Prudence's father, and there was eager talk, for all had much to learn
and to tell.

"I know now," said Joel to Prudence, as they sat side by side--"I know
now what Thanksgiving means. It means plenty to eat."

Prudence looked at the dear faces around her, at Mehitable's sweet
smile, and at the shining eyes of John Andrews, for he had been a
passenger by the _Fortune_.

"Perhaps," she replied; "but I think, Joel, that we have Thanksgiving
because we are so glad to be all together once more."

This first Thanksgiving happened long ago, but out of it all our later
ones have grown; and when we think of the glad meetings of long-parted
parents and sons and daughters, of the merry frolics with brothers and
sisters and cousins, which come upon Thanksgiving Day, in spite of our
bountiful dinner-tables we shall agree with Prudence that it is the
happy family party which makes the pleasure, after all.



AMONG the wild Indians of our country is surely the last place one would
look for toys, and travelers have said they had none; but a closer look
brings some to light. On the desk before me sit two dear creatures, just
arrived from Dakota Territory. They were made by some loving mother of
the Gros Ventre tribe of Indians. But the unfortunate little redskin
girl for whom they were intended never received them after all, for they
were bought by a white man, and sent to New York to sit for their
picture for you.

They are a queer-looking pair, dressed in the most elegant Gros Ventre
style. They are eighteen inches tall, made of cloth, with their noses
sewed on, and their faces well colored; not only made red, like the
skin, but with painted features. The Indian doll has a gentle
expression, with mild eyes, but the squaw has a wild look, as though
she were very much scared to find herself in a white man's tepee. Both
have long hair in a braid over each ear, but the brave has also a
quantity hanging down his back, and a crest standing up on top--perhaps
as "scalp-lock."


The dress of the lady resembles, in style and material, a bathing-suit.
It is of blue flannel, trimmed with red braid, a long blouse and
leggings of the same. She has also moccasins, and a string of blue beads
around her neck, besides little dots of beads all over her waist. The
suit of the warrior is similar in style, but the blouse is of unbleached
muslin, daubed with streaks of red paint, and trimmed with braid, also
red. Across his breast he wears an elaborate ornament of white beads,
gorgeous to behold.

Beside these Gros Ventre dolls stand another pair, from a Canada tribe;
the squaw dragging a six-inch-long toboggan loaded with tent and poles,
while the warrior carries his snow-shoes. She is dressed in red and
black flannel, with calico blouse and cloth hood; tin bracelets are on
her arms, and her breast bears an ornament like a dinner-plate, also of
tin. Her lord and master wears a dandyish suit of white canton-flannel,
fuzzy side out, a calico shirt, red necktie, and likewise a hood and tin
dinner-plate. They are made of wood, with joints at hip and shoulder,
and the faces are carved and painted. Wild dolls are curious and
interesting. Let me tell you of a few others I have seen.

The little Moquis girls have wooden dolls of different sizes and
degrees. The best have arms and legs, are dressed in one garment of
coarse cotton, and instead of hair have feathers sticking out of their
heads, like the ends of a feather duster.

A lower grade of Moquis doll has no limbs, but is gaily painted in
stripes, and wears beads as big as its fist would be, if it had one.
This looks as you would with a string of oranges around your neck. The
poorest of all, which has evidently been loved by some poor little
Indian girl, has in place of a head a sprig of evergreen. How did the
white man get hold of a treasure like this? Is the little owner grown
up? Is she laid to sleep under the daisies? Or was this doll left behind
in a hurried flight of the Moquis village before an enemy?

It isn't an Edison doll; it can't talk,--so we shall never know.



IN the early twilight of a September morning, more than one hundred and
sixty years ago, a remarkable company might have been seen gathering
about a large chestnut-tree at the cross-roads near the Friends'
meeting-house in Wrightstown, Pennsylvania. It is doubtful whether any
one of us could have guessed what the meeting meant. Most of the party
were Quakers in wide-brimmed hats and plain dress, and if it had been
First-day instead of Third-day, we might have thought they were
gathering under the well-known tree for a neighborly chat before
"meeting." Nor was it a warlike rendezvous; for the war-cry of the
Lenni-Lenape had never yet been raised against the "Children of Mignon"
(Elder Brother), as the followers of William Penn were called; and in a
little group somewhat apart were a few athletic Indians in peaceful
garb and friendly attitude. But it evidently was an important meeting,
for here were several prominent officials, including even so notable a
person as Proprietor Thomas Penn.

In 1686, fifty-one years before this, William Penn bought from the
Lenni-Lenape, or Delaware Indians, a section bounded on the east by the
Delaware, on the west by the Neshaminy, and extending to the north from
his previous purchases "as far as a man can go in a day and a half." No
effort was made to fix the northern boundary until the Indians, becoming
uneasy at the encroachments of the settlers, asked to have the line
definitely marked. On August 25, 1737, after several conferences between
the Delawares and William Penn's sons, John and Thomas, who, after their
father's death, became proprietors of Pennsylvania, the treaty of 1686
was confirmed, and a day was appointed for beginning the walk. This
explains why the crowd was gathering about the old chestnut-tree in the
early dawn of that day, September 19, 1737.

"Ready!" called out Sheriff Smith.


At the word, James Yeates, a native of New England, "tall, slim, of much
ability and speed of foot," Solomon Jennings, "a remarkably stout and
strong man," and Edward Marshall, a well-known hunter, over six feet
tall, and noted as a walker, stepped from the crowd and placed their
right hands upon the tree.

Thomas Penn had promised five pounds in money and five hundred acres of
land to the walker who covered the greatest distance; and these three
men were to contest for the prize. Just as the edge of the sun showed
above the horizon, Sheriff Smith gave the word, and the race began.

Yeates quickly took up the lead, stepping lightly. Then came Jennings,
accompanied by two Indians, who were there to see that the walking was
fairly done. Closely following them were men on horseback, including the
sheriff and the surveyor-general. Thomas Penn himself followed the party
for some distance. Far in the rear came Marshall, walking in a careless
manner, swinging a hatchet in one hand, "to balance himself," and at
intervals munching a dry biscuit, of which he carried a small supply. He
seemed to have forgotten a resolution he had made to "win the prize of
five hundred acres of land, or lose his life in the attempt."

Thomas Penn had secretly sent out a preliminary party to blaze the
trees along the line of the walk for as great a distance as it was
thought possible for a man to walk in eighteen hours. So, when the
wilderness was reached, the walkers still had the best and most direct
course clearly marked out for them. The Indians soon protested against
the speed, saying over and over: "That's not fair. You run. You were to
walk." But the treaty said, "As far as a man can _go_," and the walkers
were following it in letter, if not in spirit, as they hurried along.
Their protests being disregarded, the Indians endeavored to delay the
progress by stopping to rest; but the white men dismounted, and allowed
the Indians to ride, and thus pushed on as rapidly as ever. At last the
Indians refused to go any farther, and left the party.

Before Lehigh River was reached Jennings was exhausted, gave up the
race, and lagged behind in the company of followers. His health was
shattered, and he lived only a few years.

That night the party slept on the north side of the Lehigh Mountains,
half a mile from the Indian village of Hokendauqua. Next morning, while
some of the party searched for the horses which had strayed away during
the night, others went to the village to request Lappawinzoe, the
chief, to send other Indians to accompany the walkers. He angrily
replied: "You have all the good land now, and you may as well take the
bad, too." One old Indian, indignant at the stories of how the white men
rushed along in their greed to get as much land as possible, remarked in
a tone of deep disgust: "No sit down to smoke; no shoot squirrel; but
lun, lun, lun, all day long."

Scarcely had the last half-day's walk begun before Yeates, who was a
drinking man, was overcome by the tremendous exertions and intemperance
of the previous day. He stumbled at the edge of Big Creek, and rolled,
helpless, down the bank into the water. When rescued he was entirely
blind, and his death followed within three days.

Marshall still pressed on. Passing the last of the blazed trees which
had hitherto guided him, he seized a compass offered by Surveyor-General
Eastburn, and by its aid still continued his onward course. At last,
Sheriff Smith, who for some time had frequently looked at his watch,
called, "Halt!" Marshall instantly threw himself at full length, and
grasped a sapling. Here was the starting-point for the northern boundary
of the purchase of 1686, sixty-eight miles from the old chestnut-tree
at Wrightstown, and very close to where Mauch Chunk stands to-day. The
walk was twice as long as the Indians expected it to be.

Unfortunately for the Delawares, they knew too little of legal
technicalities to notice that the deed did not state in what direction
the northern boundary was to be drawn. They naturally expected it to be
drawn to the nearest point on the Delaware. But the surveyor-general, to
please Penn, decided that the line should run at right angles to the
direction of the walk, which was almost exactly northwest. Draw a line
from Mauch Chunk to the Delaware so that if extended it would pass
through New York city, and another to the point where New York, New
Jersey, and Pennsylvania meet. The first is the Indian's idea of the
just way to lay out the northern boundary; the second is the line which
Surveyor-General Eastburn actually finished marking out in four days
after Marshall's walk ended.

And so the three hundred thousand acres which the Indians would have
given to the Penns as the result of Marshall's walk were increased to
half a million by taking selfish advantage of a flaw in the deed.


The Lenni-Lenape had loved and trusted William Penn because he always
dealt openly and fairly with them. "We will live in love with William
Penn and his children," said they, "as long as the sun and moon shall
shine." But the wrongs inflicted on them in the "walking purchase"
aroused the deepest indignation. "Next May," said Lappawinzoe, "we will
go to Philadelphia, each one with a buckskin to repay the presents and
take back our land again." It was too late, however, for this to be

At last, in 1741, the Indians determined to resort to arms to secure
justice. But the Iroquois, to whom the Delawares had long been subject,
came to the aid of the Penns, and the last hope of righting the wrong
was gone forever.

There seems a sort of poetic justice in the later experiences of the
principal men in the affair. Marshall never got his five hundred acres
of land, and his wife was killed in an attack by the Indians. Eastburn
was repudiated by Thomas Penn, and his heirs were notified that they
"need not expect the least favor." Penn himself was brought before the
king and forced to disown many of his acts and agents in a most
humiliating manner.

But all this did not repair the injury to the Delawares, and they never
again owned, as a tribe, a single inch along the river from which they
took their name.

A small monument, erected by the Bucks County Historical Society, marks
the spot where the old chestnut-tree formerly stood. In order that this
might not seem to condone an unworthy deed, the monument was dedicated,
not to those who made or conducted the walk, but to the Lenni-Lenape
Indians--"not to the wrong, but to the persons wronged."

The inscription on the stone reads:

                   THIS SPOT, THE STARTING-POINT
                              OF THE

                          "INDIAN WALK,"

                        September 19, 1737.



IN the middle of the sixteenth century, when the Spaniards who had
followed Columbus and Cortes to the New World worked their way northward
into the region that is now New Mexico and Arizona, they found to their
surprise a people dwelling there in well-constructed, flat-roofed houses
of stone. They gave to these people the name of _Pueblos_, or villagers,
to distinguish them from the wild tribes; and by this name they have
been known in general ever since, though each village and cluster of
villages has its distinctive title.

The Pueblos, instead of roaming about, subsisting on chance game,
cultivated Indian corn so largely that they ordinarily were able to
store a supply to provide against the possibility of future famine; and
such is still their custom. Not only had they made this progress in
agriculture and architecture, but they had also done something in the
way of manufacturing, especially in the making of pottery and weaving of
blankets. Their pottery was varied in shape and ornamentation and
skilfully modeled without the aid of a wheel. Of the potter's wheel they
are ignorant to this day, still following the practice of their
forefathers in this matter as in many others. Their blankets of cotton
were unique in their designs; and these designs are perpetuated to-day
in woolen material, as well as in cotton, though the latter is now used
principally in the sacred ceremonies.

Those towns nearest to Santa Fé (which itself was originally a Pueblo
village and is, probably, the oldest town inhabited by white people in
the United States) came most directly under the influence of the
Spaniards. They made Santa Fé their seat of government, and gradually
many Spanish customs prevailed among the natives in this part of the
country. The Spanish priests, following the army of invasion, soon made
converts, and eventually the barbarous rites of the people in the towns
near Santa Fé were abolished in favor of Christianity. Churches of
adobe, or sun-dried brick, were erected, and the Christian religion was
in time accepted by numerous communities.

The towns at a distance were not so easy of access, and hence longer
maintained their independence, supporting and favoring the smoldering
discontent of those in other localities whose prejudices or patriotism
resented the Spanish dominion. These native patriots believed the
salvation of their country demanded the expulsion of these domineering
foreigners from their land. We cannot blame them for thus regarding the
Spaniards, for we should certainly resent any interference by foreign
powers with our affairs, and the Pueblos were, in many respects, a
civilized people and had governed themselves for centuries before the
Spaniards appeared in their territories. Secretly, these patriots worked
to arouse their fellow-countrymen against the intruders, hoping to
succeed in a revolution which should annihilate the Spanish power and
restore the ancient rites and customs. Several of these conspiracies
were discovered by the Spanish Governor-General, and the conspirators
paid for their patriotism with their lives; but, in a few years, others
took their places, and while peace seemed to smile on all the land, a
volcano was seething under the very feet of the invaders.

There had been so much internal dissension among the Pueblos over
religion and over water-privileges (often a matter of the utmost
importance in those arid lands) before the arrival of the Spaniards,
that concerted action must have been difficult to bring about; but at
last, near the end of the seventeenth century, there was a mighty
uprising, the foreigners were driven out of the country, and retreated
into Mexico, and those villages which had been under the Spanish yoke
revived their native ceremonies, which had been in disuse for a full

Meanwhile the Spaniards were not content to let slip so easily this
accession to their king's domain. Collecting a stronger army, General
Vargas returned, and conquered village after village, until the
rebellion was extinguished for all time. Never since that day have the
Pueblos shown a warlike spirit, having accepted their subjugation as
inevitable. They were made citizens by Spain, but since their territory
became a portion of the United States they have ranked politically with
the other Indians. The last locality to be brought under subjection was
the Province of Tusayan, the home of the Mokis.


At that time this province was so difficult to reach, that the horses
of the Spanish general's troops were completely demoralized, and he was
therefore obliged to omit a visit to Oraibi, the largest and furthest
removed of the villages. He had, however, met with little resistance
from the inhabitants, and, doubtless, did not deem the Mokis a warlike
race. After the departure of Vargas, the Mokis continued their old ways
and were seldom visited, so that even now, three and a half centuries
after the first visit of the Spaniards, they remain nearly in their
original condition.

Next to the Moki towns, the Pueblo of Zuñi maintained its primitive
customs to the greatest extent, and from similar causes.

The illustration is from a photograph made in Zuñi by Mr. Hillers,
photographer of the Bureau of Ethnology, and shows one of the natives,
dressed in the costume of to-day, beside an eagle-cage. The costume is
composed of simple materials, the trousers being of unbleached cotton,
the shirt of calico, and the turban generally of some soft red cloth.
The Mokis wear their hair cut straight across the eyebrows in a sort of
"bang," then straight back even with the bottom of the ear, the rest
being made up into a knob behind. All are particular about their
ornaments, caring little for any common sorts of beads, but treasuring
coral, turquoise, and silver.

The eagle is sacred among Pueblos who have not abandoned their native
religion, and the feathers are used in religious ceremonies. For this
reason the eagle is protected and every feather preserved. His
nesting-places are carefully watched, and often visited, so that a
supply of feathers, from little downy ones no larger than a twenty-five
cent piece to the stiff and long ones from the wing and tail, are
preserved in every family,--the first, or downy ones, to breathe their
prayers upon; the larger ones for other sacred uses. Sometimes several
"prayers" are fastened to one little twig that all may proceed together
to their destination. There is something very poetic in this breathing
of a prayer upon a feather from the breast of an eagle--in flight the
king of birds, familiar with regions which man can know only through

The Navajos have no reverence for the bird. They make raids upon the
nesting-places where for centuries the Mokis have obtained feathers, and
these raids are a common source of trouble between the two tribes.

None of the present buildings of the Pueblos are equal in masonry to the
ruins common throughout the region. These were ruins even when the
Spaniards arrived, and, consequently, it is supposed that a superior
people once occupied the country, who may, however, have been either
ancestors or kindred to the Pueblos. In time the question may be solved
through the numerous legends illustrated in pottery decoration, for all
the decorations have a meaning, and the legends are handed down by word
of mouth from father to son. Once when the legends were being discussed,
Pow-it-iwa, an old Moki, poetically remarked to a friend of mine, "Many
have passed by the house of my fathers, and none has stopped to ask
where they have gone; but we of our family live to-day to teach our
children concerning the past."





    Interesting facts about animals in general.

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    Stories of our island dependencies and of many other islands.

    Descriptions of natural wonders, curious places and unusual sights.

    Tales of shipwreck and adventures at sea.

    Pictures, scenes and stories of our Sunny South.

          Each about 200 pages. 50 illustrations.
          Full cloth, 12mo.
          THE CENTURY CO.

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Note:

Page 134, "racoons" changed to "raccoons" (fawns, raccoons, buffalo)

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Indian Stories Retold From St. Nicholas" ***

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