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his reminiscences of the old Indian life before and have failed, and are now very properly disthe conquest, all of which were answered couraged. Stock-raising is the natural indusgravely and without boasting. It was on his try of the country, and that is the proper pursuit statesmanlike mind, however, to make clear of these people. They are only now recoverto me the condition of his people, and I heard ing by natural increase from the reverses which him through. Though not versed in the sci- they suffered in their last outbreak. It is hard ence of government, I was interested in the for them to start cattle herds, as their ration old man's talk. He had just returned from a is insufficient, and one scarcely can expect conference of the tribes which had been held a hungry man to herd cattle when he needs in the Cherokee country, and was full of the the beef to appease his hunger. Nevertheless, importance of the conclusions there evolved. some men have respectable herds and can The Indians all fear that they will lose their afford to kill an animal occasionally without land, and the council advised all Indians to taking the stock cattle. In this particular they do nothing which would interfere with their display wonderful forbearance, and were they tenure of the land now held by them. He told properly rationed for a time and given stock with pride of the speech he made while there cattle, there is not a doubt but in time they and of the admiration with which he was re- would become self-supporting. The present garded as he stood, dressed in the garb of the scheme of taking a few boys and girls away wild Indian, with his tomahawk in hand. from the camps to put them in school where However, he is a very progressive man, and they are taught English, morals, and trades explained that while he was too old to give has nothing reprehensible about it, except that up the methods of life which he had always it is absolutely of no consequence so far as solvobserved, yet his son would be as the civilized ing the Indian problem is concerned. The few Cherokees are. The son was squatted near, boys return to the camps with their English,
their school clothes, and their short hair. They know a trade also, but have no opportunity to be employed in it. They loaf about the forts for a time with nothing to do, and the white men
talk pigeon English to them and the wild Indians sneer at them. Their virtues
unappreciated, and, as a natural con
sequence, the thousands of years of barbarism which is bred in their nature overcome the three little seasons of school
training. They go to the camps, FREDERIC Nominytex
go back to the blanket, let their hair grow, and forget their English.
In a year one cannot tell a schooland I believed his statement, as the boy was boy from any other little savage, and in the large of stature and bright of mind, having whole proceeding I see nothing at all strange. enjoyed some three years' schooling at a place The camp will not rise to the school-boy, which I have now forgotten. He wore white and so Mahomet goes to the mountain. If it men's clothes and had just been discharged comes to pass that the white race desires to from the corps of scouts at Reno. When I aid these Indians to become a part of our soasked the boy why he did not plow and sow cial system instead of slowly crushing them and reap, he simply shrugged his shoulders at out of it, there is only one way to do it. The my ignorance, which, in justice to myself, I so-called Indian problem is no problem at all must explain was only a leading question, for in reality, only that it has been made one by a I know that corn cannot be raised on this reser- long succession of acts which were masterly in vation with sufficient regularity to warrant the their imbecility and were fostered by political attempt. The rainfall is not enough; and where avarice. The sentiment of this nation is in white men despair, I, for one, do not expect favor of no longer regarding the aborigines of wild Indians to continue. They have tried it this country as a conquered race; and except
that the great body of our citizens are apathetic say, in its scope. If these measures of relief are of things so remote as these wards of the Gov- at all tardy, before we realize it the wild Indian ernment, the people who have the adminis- tribes will be, as some writer has said, “ loaftration of their destinies would be called to ers and outcasts, contending with the dogs account. No one not directly interested ever for kitchen scraps in Western villages.” They questioned that the Indian Department should have all raised stock successfully when not have been attached to the War Department; interfered with or not forced by insufficient but that is too patent a fact to discuss. Now rations to eat up their stock cattle to appease the Indian affairs are in so hopeless a state of their hunger, and I have never heard that Indry-rot that practical men, in political or in dians were not made of soldier stuff. A great military circles, hesitate to attempt the rôle of many Western garrisons have their corps of reformers. The views which I have on the Indian scouts. In every case they prove effisubject are not original, but are very old and cient. They are naturally the finest irregular very well understood by all men who live in cavalry on the face of this globe, and with an the Indian countries. They are current among organization similar to the Russian Cossacks army officers who have spent their whole lives they would do the United States great good on the Indian frontier of the far West, but are and become themselves gradually civilized. not often spoken, because all men realize the An irregular cavalry is every year a more and impotency of any attempt to overcome the more important branch of the service. Any active work of certain political circles backed good cavalry officer, I believe, could take a by public apathy and a lot of theoretical In- command of Indians and ride around the world dian regenerators. If anything is done to relieve without having a piece of bacon, or a cartridge, the condition of the Indian tribes it must be a or a horse issued by his Government. So far as scheme which begins at the bottom and takes effective police work in the West is concerned, the “ whole outfit,” as a Western man would the corps of Indian scouts do nearly all of that
service now. They all like to be enlisted in the round it, giving much the effect of a New service, universally obey orders, and are never England village. Wagons, saddled ponies, and disloyal. But nothing will be done; so why Indians are generally disposed about the vicontinue this?
cinity and give life to the scene. Fifteen native For hours we sat in the ramada of the old policemen in the employ of the agency do the chief and conversed, and when we started to work and take care of the place. They are go I was much impressed by the discovery uniformed in cadet gray, and with their beaded that the old Indian knew more about Indians, white moccasins and their revolvers are neat Indian policy, and the tendencies and impulses and soldierly looking. A son of old Bent, the of the white men concerning his race than any famous frontiersman, and an educated Indian other person I had ever met.
do the clerical work, so that the agent is about The glories of the reign of an Indian chief- the only white man in the place. The goods tain are past. As his people become more and which are issued to the Indians have changed more dependent on the Government his pres- greatly in character as their needs have become tige wanes. For instance, at the time of our more civilized. The hatchets and similar artivisit to this camp the people were at logger- cles of the old traders are not given out, on the heads regarding the locality where the great ground that they are barbarous. Gay colored annual Sun Dance, or, more literally, “ The clothes still seem to suit the esthetic sense of Big Medicine,” should be held. The men of the people, and the general effect of a body of the camp that I visited wanted it at one place, modern Indians is exceeding brilliant. Arabs and those of the “upper camp” wanted it at could not surpass them in this respect. another. The chief could not arrange the They receive flour, sugar, and coffee at the matter, and so the solution of the difficulty great agency building, but the beef is issued was placed in the hands of the agent.
from a corral situated out on the plain at some The Cheyenne agency buildings are situated distance away. The distribution is a very about a mile and a half from Fort Sill. The thrilling sight, and I made arrangements to see great brick building is imposing. A group of it by procuring a cavalry horse from Colonel stores and little white dwelling-houses sur- Wade at the fort and by following the ambu
lance containing an army officer who was de- be given out. With loud cries the cowboys tailed as inspector. We left the post in the in the corral forced the steers into the chute, early morning, and the driver "poured his and crowding and clashing they came through lash into the mules" until they scurried along into the scales. The gate of the scales was at a speed which kept the old troop-horse at a opened and a half-dozen frightened steers neat pace.
crowded down the chute and packed themThe heavy dew was on the grass, and clouds selves in an unyielding mass at the other end. lay in great rolls across the sky, obscuring the A tall Arapaho policeman seized a brandingsun. From the direction of the target range iron, and mounting the platform of the chute the “stump" of the Springfields came to our poised his iron and with a quick motion forced ears, showing that the soldiers were hard at it on the back of the living beast. With a wild their devotions. In twos, and threes, and but useless plunge and a loud bellow of pain groups, and crowds, came Indians, converg- the steer shrunk from the hot contact; but
ing on the beef corral. The corral is a great it was all over, and a long black “I. D.” disragged fence made of an assortment of boards, figured the surface of the skin. poles, scantling, planks, old wagons, and at- Opposite the branding-chute were drawn up tached to this is a little house near which the thirty young bucks on their ponies, with their weighing scales are placed. The crowd col- rifles and revolvers in hand. The agent shouted lected in a great mass near the gate and the Indian names from his book, and a very enbranding-chute. A fire was burning, and the gaging lot of cognomens they were. A policecattle contractors (cowboys) were heating man on the platform designated a particular their branding-irons to mark the “I. D.” on steer which was to be the property of each the cattle distributed, so that any Indian hav- man as his name was called. The Indian came ing subsequently a hide in his possession would forward and marked his steer by reaching over be enabled to satisfy roving cattle inspectors the fence and cutting off an ear with a sharp that they were not to be suspected of killing knife, by severing the tail, or by tying some old stock.
rag to some part of the animal. The coldThe agent came to the corral and together blooded mutilation was perfectly shocking, and with the army officer inspected the cattle to I turned away in sickened disgust. After all
had been marked, the terrified brutes found dodged off to one side, and the young fellow the gate at the end of the chute suddenly opened who was in his way, by a very clever piece of by the police guard; but before this had been horsemanship, avoided being run over. The done a frantic steer had put his head half through whole affair demonstrated to me that the Indian the gate, and in order to force him back a red- boys could not handle the revolver well, for hot branding-iron was pushed into his face, they shot a dozen rounds before they killed burning it horribly. The worst was over; the poor beast. Under their philosophic outthe gates flew wide, and the maddened brutes ward calm I thought I could see that they poured forth, charging swiftly away in a wild were not proud of the exhibition they had impulse to escape the vicinity of the crowd of made. After the killing, the squaws followed humanity. The young bucks in the group broke the wagons and proceeded to cut up the meat. away, and each one, singling out his steer, fol- After it had been divided among themselves, lowed at top speed, with rifle or six-shooter by some arrangement which they seemed to in hand. I desired to see the whole proceed- understand, they cut it into very thin pieces ing, and mounting my cavalry horse followed and started back to their camps. two young savages who seemed to have a steer Peace and contentment reign while the beef possessed of unusual speed. The lieutenant holds out, which is not long, as the ration is had previously told me that the shooting at insufficient. This is purposely so, as it is exthe steers was often wild and reckless, and ad- pected that the Indians will seek to increase vised me to look sharp or I might have to a scant food supply by raising corn. It does “pack a bullet.” Puffs of smoke and the “pop! not have that effect, however. By selling ponies, pop!” of the guns came from all over the plain which they have in great numbers, they manNow a steer would drop, stricken by some lucky age to get money; but the financial future of shot. It was buffalo-hunting over again, and the Cheyennes is not flattering. was evidently greatly enjoyed by the young Enlistment in the scouting corps at Reno is a men. My two fellows headed their steer up method of obtaining employment much sought the hill on the right, and when they had gotten after by the young men. The camp is on a hill him far enough away they “turned loose," as opposite the post, where the white tepees are we say. My old cavalry horse began to exhibit arranged in a long line. A wall tent at the end a lively interest in the smell of gunpowder, and is occupied by two soldiers who do the clerplunged away until he had me up and in front ical work. The scouts wear the uniform of the of the steer and the Indians, who rode on each United States army, and some of them are side. They blazed away at the steer's head, and I strikingly handsome in the garb. They are could hear a misdirected bullet “sing” by un- lithe and naturally “well set up," as the soldiers comfortably near. Seeing me in front, the steer phrase it. They perform all the duties of sol