Two Little Savages
By Ernest Thompson Seton
Public Domain Books
The New War Chief
Caleb had been very busy all the day before doing no one knew what, and Saryann was busy, too. She had been very busy for long, but now she was bustling. Then, it seems, Caleb had gone to Mrs. Raften, and she was very busy, and Guy made a flying visit to Mrs. Burns, and she had become busy. Thus they turned the whole neighbourhood into a “bee.”
For this was Sanger, where small gatherings held the same place as the club, theatre and newspaper do in the lives of city folk. No matter what the occasion, a christening, wedding or funeral, a logging, a threshing, a home-coming or a parting, the finishing of a new house or the buying of a new harness or fanning-mill, any one of these was ample grounds for one of their “talking bees"; so it was easy to set the wheels a-running.
At three o’clock three processions might have been seen wending through the woods. One was from Burns’s, including the whole family; one from Raften’s, comprising the family and the hired men; one from Caleb’s, made up of Saryann and many of the Boyles. All brought baskets.
They were seated in a circle on the pleasant grassy bank of the pond. Caleb and Sam took charge of the ceremonies. First, there were foot-races, in which Yan won in spite of his wounded arm, the city boy making a good second; then target-shooting and “Deer-hunting,” that Yan could not take part in. It was not in the programme, but Raften insisted on seeing Yan measure the height of a knot in a tree without going to it, and grinned with delight when he found it was accurate.
“Luk at that for eddication, Sam!” he roared. “When will ye be able to do the like? Arrah, but ye’re good stuff, Yan, an’ I’ve got something here’ll plase ye.”
Raften now pulled out his purse and as magistrate paid over with evident joy the $5 bounty due for killing the Lynx. Then he added: “An’ if it turns out as ye all claim” [and it did] “that this yer beast is the Sheep-killer instid av old Turk, I’ll add that other tin.”
Thus Yan came into the largest sum be had ever owned in his life.
Then the Indians went into their teepees. Caleb set up a stake in the ground and on that a new shield of wood covered with rawhide; over the rawhide was lightly fastened a piece of sacking.
The guests were in a circle around this; at one side were some skins–Yan’s Lynx and Coon–and the two stuffed Owls.
Then the drum was heard, “Túm-tum–túm-tum–túm-tum–túm-tum––" There was a volley of war-whoops, and out of the teepees dashed the Sanger Indians in full war paint.
“Ki ki–ki yi–ki yi yi yi Ki yi–ki yi–ki yi yi yi!”
They danced in exact time to the two-measure of the drum that was pounded by Blackhawk. Three times round the central post with the shield they danced, then the drum stopped, and they joined in a grand final war-whoop and squatted in a circle within that of the guests.
The Great Woodpecker now arose–his mother had to be told who it was–and made a characteristic speech:
“Big Chiefs, Little Chiefs, and Squapooses of the Sanger Indians: A number of things has happened to rob this yer nation of its noble Head Chief; they kin never again expect to have his equal, but this yer assembly is for to pick out a new one. We had a kind of whack at it the other day, but couldn’t agree. Since then we had a hard trip, and things has cleared up some, same as puttin’ Kittens in a pond will tell which one is the swimmer, an’ we’re here to-day to settle it.”
Loud cries of “How–how–how–how–” while Blackhawk pounded the drum vigorously.
“O’ course different ones has different gifts. Now who in all this Tribe is the best runner? That’s Little Beaver.”
("How–how–how–how–how–” and drum.)
“That’s my drum, Ma!” said Guy aside, forgetting to applaud.
“Who is the best trailer and climber? Little Beaver, again, I reckon.”
("How–how–how–how–” and drum.)
("He can’t see worth a cent!” whispered Guy to his mother.)
“Who was it won the trial of grit at Garney’s grave? Why, it was Little Beaver.”
("An’ got pretty badly scared doin’ it!” was Guy’s aside.)
“But who was it shot the Cat-Owl plumb in the heart, an’ fit the Lynx hand to hand, not to speak of the Coon? Little Beaver every time.”
("He never killed a Woodchuck in his life, Ma!”)
“Then, again, which of us can lay all the others on his back? Little Beaver, I s’pose.”
("Well, I can lick Char-less, any time,” was Guy’s aside.)
“Which of us has most grand coups and scalps?”
“Ye’re forgittin’ his eddication,” put in Raften to be scornfully ignored; even Little Beaver resented this as un-Indian.
“Which has most scalps?” Sam repeated with sternness. “Here’s a scalp won in battle with the inimy,” Woodpecker held it up, and the Medicine Man fastened it on the edge of the shield that hung from the post.
“Here is one tuk from the Head Chief of the hostiles,” and Caleb fastened that to the shield. “Here is another tuk from the Second Chief of the hostiles,” and Caleb placed it. “Here is one tuk from the Great Head War Chief of the Sangers, and here is one from the Head Chief of the Boilers, and another tuk in battle. Six scalps from six famous warriors. This yere is the record for the whole Tribe, an’ Little Beaver done it; besides which, he draws pictures, writes poethry and cooks purty good, an’ I say Little Beaver is the one for Chief! What says the rest?” and with one voice they shouted, “Hoorah for Little Beaver!”
“How–how–how–how–how–thump, thump, thump, thump.”
“Any feller anything to say agin it?”
“I eh–” Guy began.
–"has got to lick the Chief,” Sam continued, and Guy did not complete his objection, though he whispered to his mother, “If it was Char-less I bet I’d show him.”
[Illustration: The shield]
Caleb now pulled the cover off the shield that he fastened the scalps to, and it showed the white Buffalo of the Sangers with a Little Beaver above it. Then he opened a bundle lying near and produced a gorgeous war-shirt of buff leather, a pair of leggins and moccasins, all fringed, beaded and painted, made by Saryann under Caleb’s guidance. They were quickly put on the new Chief; his war bonnet, splendid with the plumes of his recent exploits, was all ready; and proud and happy in his new-found honours, not least of which were his wounds, he stepped forward.
[Illustration: Little Beaver, the New War Chief]
Caleb viewed him with paternal pride and said: “I knowed ye was the stuff the night ye went to Garney’s grave, an’ I knowed it again when ye crossed the Big Swamp. Yan, ye could travel anywhere that man could go,” and in that sentence the boy’s happiness was complete. He surely was a Woodcrafter now. He stammered in a vain attempt to say something appropriate, till Sam relieved him by: “Three cheers for the Head War Chief!” and when the racket was over the women opened their baskets and spread the picnic feast. Raften, who had been much gratified by his son’s flow of speech, recorded a new vow to make him study law, but took advantage of the first gap in the chatter to say:
“Bhise, ye’r two weeks’ holiday with wan week extension was up at noon to-day. In wan hour an’ a half the Pigs is fed.”
Arapahoes Arrows– How to make Individuality of Arrow-wood Illustration of Ash– White Illustration of Black
Bagg’s, Widdy, place Bald Eagle Bald-Eagle-Settin’-on-a-Rock-with-his-Tail-Hangin’-over-the-Edge Balsam Balsam-fir Balsam bark, used for tanning Boughs for bed Wood for rubbing-sticks Illustration of Banshee Basswood Usually hollow Leaf illustration Beavering Bear hunt Beaver River Beech Illustration of Blue, illustration of Biddy Birch– White Black Canoe Dishes Mahogany Sweet Black Illustration of Blackbirds, Red-winged Blackbird, purple (Jack) Black Cherry Lung balm As a remedy Blaze– Special Road Blood Robin Blood Root Bloody-Thundercloud-in-the-Afternoon Bluebird Blue-bottle Flies Plague Blue Cohosh Blue Crane (Heron) Blue-jay Bobolink Boilers Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum) Bow– How to make Bowstring Bow-drill Yan makes How to light a fire with Boyle Char-less Burns, Guy Is captured by Yan and Sam Becomes a member of the tribe His stuffed Deer His test of courage Kills the Woodchuck Name changed to Hawkeye Butterfly, black Butternuts– Used for dyeing
Caleb Clark His description of a teepee His Indian adventures Makes Indian war bonnet His standard of a good shot He tells Yan how to find his way in the woods Shows the boys how to skin a horse and how to tan skin How to make moccasins His opinion of hunters and hunting His marksmanship Encounter with Mr. Raften on the coon hunt Story of his quarrel with Mr. Raften Encounter with Bill Hennard Gets possession of his farm Calfskins, sold by boys Used as drum-heads Tanning of Cardinal flowers Cat Fight with Skunk Adopts young Squirrels Is caught in the ketch-alive Catnip– Tea How it cured the Cat Cedar, Cedar-birds Char-less (Red-squirrel) Chenopodium Chipmunk Sam’s Chipmunk capture Chickadee, cock Choke-cherry Clam shells Cohosh Connor, Kitty Coon– Hairs Hunt Tracks Cottonwood root Indians use to light fires Council, the Grand Coup, Grand Cow-bird Crawfish Creeper Crow– Split tongue Common, tracks of Cuckoo, black-billed Cypripedium
Dachshund Daddy Longlegs and the cows Dam– The boys build Dandelion roots Coffee Deer– Guy’s stuffed Shooting game De Neuville, Granny Mr. Raften buys her Pigs Her love of flowers and birds She prescribes for Sam’s leg Her herb lore Her visit from the robbers Dew-cloth Digby, Cyrus, (Blue-jay) Dipper Dog– How to tell height by track Dogans Downey’s Dump Droseræ (Fly-eating plants) Ducks, flock of Dyeing– With Butternuts With Hemlock With Goldthread With Goldenrod With Berries With Pokeweed With Elder shoots With Oak chips With Hickory bark With Birch With Dogwood With Indigo herb
Eagle Feathers As worn by Indian Warriors Elderberry-shoot, used for pipestem Ellis, Bud, is cured by Lung Balm Elm– Slippery Swamp Bark for teepees Emmy Grants Eupatorium perfoliatum (Boneset)
Fire– How to light without matches Right woods to use Signal Flicker Illustration of nest Flying-squirrel Fox– His Rabbit hunt Callaghan Frogs
Galium Garney, Bill, grave of Ginseng Goldenrod– Used for dyeing Usually points north Golden Seal (Hydrastis Canadensis) Goldthread Graybird Grip, the Dog Gyascutus
Hawk– Sharpshin Fight with King-bird Chicken Red-shouldered Sparrow Hearne, Samuel Hemlock, bark Tree Used for tanning Henbane Hennard, Bill Herb-lore, Biddy’s Granny’s Heron (Blue Crane) “Highbelier" Hornet, blue Horse, how to skin Horse-hair– Turns to a snake Humming-bird Hydrastis Canadensis (Golden Seal) Hyla pickeringii (Frog)
Indian– Sense of smell Teepees Head-dresses Telegram of good luck Meaning of Eagle feathers War bonnet Ability to foretell storms Games Tests of eyes Well Drum Smoke signs Trail signs Method of tanning skins Paints
Indian cucumber Indian cup Indian squaw– Yan’s story of Indian turnips Indigo herb Injun tobacco Ironwood
Jack-in-the-Pulpit Jewel-flower Jewelweed
Ketchalive, how to make a Kingbird Fight with Hawk Kingfishers Kingroot
Lancewood Larry, how he made brooms Lavender tea Leatherwood Lindera Benzoin (Spicebush) Little Beaver Lizard, Whistling Lobelia Long Swamp, trip to Loon Lung Balm Lynx– Yan meets Is killed in Long Swamp
Mallard Duck Mandrakes Maple Martins, Sand “Massacrees" May Apple Mink– Kills Muskrat How to catch Minnie, makes peace between Yan and Sam Minnow Moccasin– How to make Mosquitoes, how to keep out of teepee Mouse, Field Mud albums Muskrat– Killed by Mink Burrows hole in dam Mussel shells
Needles, made of Catfish bones Niagara, Yan visits North Star
Oak, pick to make holes for sewing bark Ojibwa O’Leary, Phil Osage orange Oven bird Owl, Stuffed Hoot Screech Horned Cat Horned Owls, killed by Yan and Sam How to stuff
Parlour, the Raftens’ Partridge head for Mink bait Peeper Pelopæus, Mud-wasp Peter (Peetweet) Pine Pine Grosbeak Pipsissewa Pleiades Pleurisy root Pogue, Dick Pokeweed Prattisons Prayer-sticks
Rabbit, how he escaped the Fox Rad– Unkindness to Yan Goes Lynx-hunting with Yan Raften, Bud Raften, Mrs., kindness to Yan Raften, Wm., His characteristics Helps the boys make their bed in teepee Makes friends with Caleb and helps him out of his trouble Rail Sora rails Red Squirrels Nest robbed by boys Robin– Guy kills
Sam– His collection of birds’ eggs He visits Granny de Neuville His skill with the axe Sander– Taxidermist’s shop Exhibit of birds Sage-brush root, Indians use to light fires Sandals, worn when Dear-hunting Sanger– Account of settlers Custom of framing coffin-plates Santees (Sioux) Sassafras Scarlet Tanager Sees Yan again at Granny de Neuville’s Sharp-shin Shells– Mussel Clam Shore-lark Meadow-lark, pursued by Hawk Shrew, Yan finds body of Si Lee Teaches the boys how to stuff Horned Owls Skunk, fight with Cat Skunk Cabbage Skunk-root Smoke, signs used by Indians Snake, dies at sundown Snipe, Teetering (Tipup) “Sorry-plant" Sparrow– Vesper Song Sparrow-hawk Spear-mint Spicewood (Lindera Benzoin) Spider, kill a spider to make it rain Squaw berries Stramonium Superstitious sayings, Biddy’s Swallows, shooting Keep off lightning
Taxidermy, Si Lee gives a lesson in Teepee– Is begun Does not prove satisfactory, smokes Is blown down Caleb Clark’s description Second teepee is begun Storm-cap How to place poles and ropes Should face east How to secure in a storm Toads, give warts Trails– Paper Corn Signs of Trees, points of compass indicated by How to tell height by shadow How to measure distance between trees Tree-frog Turkey feathers for arrows Turtle, mud Tutnee
Umbil, or “Sterrick-root”
Veery Vireo, Red-eyed
Wakan Rock War bonnets Wasp, mud Wesley (Blackhawk) Whangerdoodle Whippoorwill White-man’s Foot White Oak pins for teepee Whooping Crane Willow, withes for tying teepee poles Wind, how to tell direction of Wintergreen Witch-hazel– Will find water Granny de Neuville’s medicine Woodchuck– Sam’s story Guy kills the old Woodchuck Wood-duck Wood-mouse Wood-peewee Woodpecker, Red-headed Worm, measuring Wormweed
Yan– Homelife His attempts to buy Owl Love for spring How he made the last dime for his first nature book His meeting with the unknown naturalist Discovery of Glenyan Building of the shanty Imitation of Indians Makes a drawing of a Hawk Identifies Coon-hairs Is made ill by chewing leaves of strange plant His list of trees Tries to kill Wood-mouse Makes a pipe and learns to smoke Is punished for caricaturing his teacher Finds his shanty destroyed by tramps His illness Begins to recover and visits Glenyan His adventure with a Lynx Takes Rad hunting Is reproved by his mother for killing the Shore-lark He goes to Sanger His duties He sees Sam’s treasures He and Sam begin the teepee They light a fire in the teepee Which smokes them out They find the teepee blown down Their visit to Granny de Neuville Yan sees Biddy again They visit Caleb Clark They begin their second teepee The canvas is sewn by Si Lee Caleb teaches them to light a fire without matches First fire in new teepee They make bows and arrows; practice with them They build a dam Yan’s story of the Indian squaw He visits the Sanger Witch again Takes dinner with her They capture Guy Burns; admit him into the Tribe Yan fights Sam and Guy Comes to the assistance of the school trustees Goes with Sam to live in the teepee for two weeks Their first night in the woods They are joined by Guy Their foraging trip Their Deer-shooting game Their visit from Caleb They sun their blankets How they kept off Mosquitoes They clean their camp Carry their remnants of food to Wakan Rock Dig an Indian well Make an Indian drum Yan sees fight between Cat and Skunk They destroy a Red-squirrel’s nest He learns to build signal fire Caleb tells him how to find his way in the woods The boys learn how to tan skins And how to make moccasins Makes a ketchalive Their visit from Mr. Raften Yan’s story of the Boy-that-wanted-to-know The trip to Downey’s Dump They kill two Horned Owls Si Lee gives them a lesson in taxidermy Yan’s test of grit He draws the tracks near Bill Garney’s grave The Grand Council The Coon-hunt The Bear-hunt Yan finds a Shrew Is ill-treated by Bill Hennard Trouble with the Boilers He wins the fight with Blackhawk The Boilers join the Sangers Yan beats the city boy in wrestling-match They start on hard trip Yan and Pete make an exploring trip Yan finds the Indian village His fight with the Lynx Receives bounty for killing lynx Is made War Chief Yan’s Mother– Her morbidly religious nature She reproves Yan for killing Shore-lark Yellow Warbler Yew– Spanish Oregon