Two Little Savages
By Ernest Thompson Seton

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Public Domain Books

XXXII

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, “Tm-tum–tm-tum–tm-tum–tm-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.”

 

INDEX

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
Droser (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 Pelopus, 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

 

Part I  •  II  •  III  •  IV  •  V  •  VI  •  VII  •  VIII  •  IX  •  X  •  XI  •  XII  •  XIII  •  XIV  •  Part II  •  II  •  III  •  IV  •  V  •  VI  •  VII  •  VIII  •  IX  •  X  •  XI  •  XII  •  XIII  •  XIV  •  XV  •  Part III  •  II  •  III  •  IV  •  V  •  VI  •  VII  •  VIII  •  IX  •  X  •  XI  •  XII  •  XIII  •  XIV  •  XV  •  XVI  •  XVII  •  XVIII  •  XIX  •  XX  •  XXI  •  XXII  •  XXIII  •  XXIV  •  XXV  •  XXVI  •  XXVII  •  XXVIII  •  XXIX  •  XXX  •  XXXI  •  XXXII  • 

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By Ernest Thompson Seton
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