By DAN W. PEERY
Under the administration of President Grant, Lawrie Tatum, a prominent member of the Society of Friends or Quakers, whose home was in the State of Iowa, was appointed agent for the Kiowa and Comanche, and partially civilized Caddo, Wichita and affiliated bands of Indians. Tatum stated in his book of reminiscences entitled, Our Red Brothers, that on July 1, 1869, the care of the agency with the government property belonging to it was transferred to him. It was about that time that the Cheyenne-Arapaho agency was established by Brinton Darlington on the north bank of the Canadian river where the 98th meridian crosses that stream. All Indian tribes of the Southwest were placed under the care and keeping of the Quakers. Agent Tatum estimates that the whole number of blanket Indians placed under the care of the Friends was about 17,000.1
The Society of Friends under whose supervision these agents were serving, under authority of the government, were in the first place perhaps more interested in the spiritual welfare of these Indians than in their civilization. Their reasoning was that if one could convert the heathen to become a Christian he became at once a civilized man. These Quaker agents were mostly all educated and some of them had been successful business men. While they were fervently religious, yet most of them were practical men and not fanatics. They soon realized that Indian wars could not be averted, nor Indian problems settled by holding camp meetings among them. They learned that while it was necessary to supplant the myths and superstitions of the wild Plains Indians with the teachings of that Man of Nazareth, yet there were some practicable problems to be solved in order to civilize and make them self
supporting. These Quaker agents soon learned that even a blanket Indian knew when he was mistreated or deceived by the white man and once deceived his faith was forever gone. They had to deal fairly and squarely with them if they expected like treatment at their hands. Along with their religion most of these Friends were unselfish and had an altruistic spirit that motivated perhaps more by natural honesty and integrity than by religious zeal. They believed in prayer and that prayers would be answered in the temporal as well as the spiritual realm and, while I am not inclined to believe that there was a divine interposition in behalf of these peace-loving Quakers, yet providence at least on one occasion, seems to have had a hand in their protection and saved the lives of all of the white employes at the Darlington Indian Agency.
This story was told to Captain Seger by the Arapaho Chief to explain to him why he had become a friend to the white man and was printed in the Arapaho Bee2 about thirty years ago.
"Big Horse, the father of Hubbel Big Horse, the Indian interpreter, was recognized as one of the principal chiefs of the Arapaho tribe of Indians in the early days. He and his band secretly plotted to go to Darlington and massacre all of the whites at that Agency. Grant's peace policy had just been well inaugurated, and the following story will show that kindness can melt the hard heart of an Indian warrior.
"When this war party arrived near Darlington they camped for the night on the west side of the North Canadian, expecting on the morrow to go over and do the job they had planned. Fortunately for Grant's Quakers a cloudburst a few days before up in Beaver county raised the river so that night the banks were full. Their object in killing these em-ployees was to get the provisions and cattle and horses around the agency. They reasoned that they would lose much of the sugar and flour in crossing the river while the banks were full, so they decided
2It was also printed in an Indian journal with slight variations sometime before it appeared in the Bee, however, it was accredited to Captain Seger.—D. W. P.
to wait a day longer.
"So Big Horse said he would go over and reconnoiter the agency and find the exact location of all the white families. He met the agent, Brinton Darlington, a 70 year old Quaker, who was a very kind hearted man. He took Big Horse to dinner with him. Then he went to see another Quaker family and the little ladylike mother gave him her baby to hold. That night when he went back and they smoked the pipe around, Big Horse told how kind the people were. They had no arms and a woman had entrusted her baby to his care.
"The hot-headed young warriors, ever ready for the warpath and pillage, said, 'Squaw! Squaw!' 'Call me a squaw, if you want to,' said he, 'but you never saw the man Big Horse was afraid of.'
"On the morrow the river was still up, and he said for his warriors to stay in camp and he would go over again. This time the Quakers treated him even better than they did the day before. The little baby knew him and held out its hands to be taken. The big old savage warrior took the baby and held it in his arms until it slept and woke again.
"That night when he went back to camp and smoked the pipe around, he said: 'These people when they eat return thanks to God. This day the little baby knew me and held up its hands to come to me. I held it while it slept. My bravery has been tried on many battlefields and no one ever saw Big Horse run from an enemy. My endurance has been tested in the hunt, but there is a Great Spirit. He sends the floods when there are no clouds. He sends the fire from the skies. Of these I have no control. Now, I have a vow to make you, my warriors. Now, the Great Spirit has sent this flood when there are no clouds. I fear he does not want us to kill these people. But if the flood goes down tonight we will take it as a sign that he wants us to do what we have set out to do, and we will go over in the morning and do just what we came here to do. But if the river is still up we will return to the Washita and say that
the Great Spirit did not want these people killed.'
"The next morning the North Canadian was out of its banks and all over the bottoms and the old Chief, Big Horse, led his war party back to the plains of what is now Custer county, Oklahoma, and Grant's peace policy one time saved a handful of helpless employees and their women and children from a horrible massacre."
There were other instances to which the pacifist Quaker Friends refer in order to show that they were under a Divine protection in their dealings with the uncivilized wards of the government.
Agent Tatum used these words in which he confirms his great faith. "It seems remarkable how the Lord has protected the non-combatant Friends from hostile Indians. From the day of William Penn to the present time, I believe there is no record of a Friend being massacred by Indians, although their neighbors have been killed by them. To the Lord be all praise."3
Even though the writer does not accept the theological dogma of the divine protection that had always attended the Friends and saved them from Indian massacres, while their neighbors of other denominations were killed, yet he is fully of the opinion that the spirit of militarism has never been the real civilizing influence among the Indians. However, there have always been tribes of such hostile dispositions, as Francis Parkman said,4"The man best fitted to deal with them is an honest, judicious and determined soldier." Not only is this the case but there were turbulent and belligerent members of every tribe that required punitive measures to be used against them in order that law abiding members might live in peace and enjoy the rights and privileges of civilization. (The same could be truthfully said of Anglo-Saxon tribes of which most of us are members).
Soon after Mr. Seger had taken charge of the Arapaho school, he found that he had Indians of this type to deal with. The Indian who gave him the most trouble and perhaps the most recalcitrant Indian in the Cheyenne tribe, was one, Hippy, who had two daughters in the school. It seems from
the story told by the Cheyennes themselves that Hippy was always a trouble maker with his own people and was inclined to be iconoclastic with their Medicine men.5 The writer has talked to several persons who remember Hippy and the trouble he made with the school. Mr. Seger often told of his experiences with this Indian and how an Arapaho school boy, Neatha, had upon one occasion saved his life. I find this story of Hippy written by Mr. Seger in the University of Oklahoma Bulletin under date of March 1, 1924.
"A camp of red people is like a village—it has all kinds of people in its citizenship. There are men like Big Horse whose word was inviolate and women like Attucker's mother, who broke the bows of her truant boys— but there are also reckless men and mischievous boys to make trouble for their own people as well as for the whites.
"There was a peculiar character among our Southern Cheyennes, who had been nick-named Hippy because he had been wounded in the hip and had a hitch in his walk on account of it. Hippy was a peculiar character. He was a foolhardy man, and delighted in doing desperate things that he might be talked about, and even when the Indians were at peace Hippy was always having adventures. Several times he had been shot by white soldiers and by the Utes, and had arrow wounds in different parts of his body. He delighted in displaying these wounds and in relating his many hair-breadth escapes.
"Naturally agency life seemed very tame to him, and when the Northern Cheyennes arrived he spent most of his time in their camp listening to their account of the Custer battle, and other engagements, and lost no opportunity to display his wounds and
5Fighting Cheyennes by George Bird Grinnell, pp. 312 & 313. Several hundred Indians of different tribes in 1874, tried to dislodge and exterminate twenty-eight buffalo hunters at Adobe walls but they were repulsed after a days fighting and resulted in the death of several of the bravest warriors. Hippy, who was in the battle was so disgruntled toward a Comanche Medicine Man, who had given him bad medicine that he had made an assault on him but was prevented doing him harm by other Cheyennes. The Medicine Man declared the medicine would have been effective and the buffalo hunters would have been destroyed except for the fact that some Cheyennes killed a skunk and in this way broke his medicine.—D. W. P.
recount to them his own deeds of valor. He had two girls in school and frequently called to see them. Now the Indian men were not allowed to go in and sit down in the girls' play room and smoke, neither were the girls allowed in the boys' play room, but Hippy came into the girls' play room one day and began to fill his pipe. I saw him and told him he must go into the boys' play room if he wished to smoke. He said, 'I want to talk with my daughters, and as you do not allow the girls to go into the boys' play room, I will sit here and talk to them and take a smoke at the same time.'
" 'You must go into the other room,' I repeated. He finally went in but called his girls, telling them to come where he was. I forbade them to do so and Hippy came back into the girls' play room and commenced an insulting harangue. I told him to go out and made a demonstration as if to put him out.
"Drawing a knife he growled out, 'Come on if you want to put me out of the room.' I said to him, 'Hippy, I don't want any trouble with you,' and walked to the other side of the room away from him. Thinking he had bluffed me, he followed me up and shook his hands in my face, and said, 'Why don't you take hold of me?' At the same time he had his knife clutched in his hands, apparently ready to strike with it. Seeing that he was determined to have a quarrel, I caught the hand that held the knife with one hand and with the other I took him by the back of the neck and commenced hustling him to the door. He struggled to free the hand that held the knife and resisted my effort, but I had him going. As I neared the door which was then open, he kicked it shut and I could not open it without letting go either of his knife or his neck.
"Just when I needed him most, Keller, my cook, came into the room and asked if he could help me in any way. I told him I did not wish any help in regard to Hippy, but if he would open the door and hold it open I'd be much obliged.
"He opened the door and I slammed Hippy
through, intending to jump back into the house and shut the door.
"Hippy had foreseen the possibility of my doing so, and grimly clutched my coat collar in one hand, so firmly that I could not get free from him. I was forced to hold the hand with the knife. As long as he clung to me it was not necessary for me to hold him.
"With my free hand I slipped my coat from my shoulder, leaving him holding the collar. He struck at me with the knife, but I was on guard, and evaded the blow, and again seized the hand that held the knife. With a quick shove I sent him tumbling off the porch.
"He struck the ground some three feet below the porch floor with stunning force. I jumped upon him and taking him by the throat shut off his wind. After I had choked him until he turned black in the face I loosened my grip, and asked him if he would behave himself if I let him get up again.
"He replied, 'Pewa,' a Cheyenne word, which means, good. I supposed that he meant to say that he would be good if I let him get up, and released him but kept an eye on him. The minute he rose to his feet he plunged at me with his knife. I jumped away from him and ran. He followed me closely, striking at me at every step. Being the quicker of the two, I soon gained some ground upon him, and seeing a stone ahead of me lying on the ground I stooped and picked it up and turned and faced him. He saw the stone and stopped about ten feet distant from me. There we faced each other—he with his knife drawn and I with a stone ready to smash him. He dared me to throw the stone.
"As the stone was heavy and I knew he could easily dodge it and reach me with his knife, I looked around warily. At this moment I caught sight of a piece of lodge pole about ten feet long lying on the ground near my feet. Dropping the stone I caught up this pole. I then said, 'Hippy, the reason I did not throw the stone was because I did not want to
kill you, but now if you do not put up your knife and behave yourself, I am going to knock you over and pound you with that pole.'
"He perceived that I could easily swipe him with the pole, and that he could not touch me with his knife. He grew polite. 'If you'll throw down your pole I'll put up my knife.' As quickly as he said this I dropped the pole. His word being given he put his knife into its scabbard. I then said, 'Come with me to the agent's office.'
" 'All right,' said he, 'I am ready to do so,' and thereupon we started traveling side by side, each one eyeing the other sharply all the way. When we got to the door of the agent's office we had to climb several steps, and there was only room for one at a time.
" 'Go ahead,' said I.
"Agent Miles was there and I told him briefly what had taken place—how Hippy had drawn his knife upon me, and how we had a fight over it. I told him that several times during the scuffle I could have killed him if I had wished to do so, as I had him in my power, but I did not want to bring any trouble or disturbance upon the agency; therefore I had spared his life. 'I will not take any more chances with him,' I concluded. 'I want to give notice both to the Indians and to the agency that if he comes into my school again, I will kill him at once.'
"What I had said in regard to the affair the agent had interpreted to Hippy, and the agent asked him if that was a true statement of the case.
" 'It is,' said Hippy calmly. 'True in every particular. But I have something to add to it. I want to say that I believe I am going to die from the effects of being thrown from the porch to the ground. I felt something break inside me. I am sure I shall not live long after this, but I shall live long enough to kill
Me-o-kany. I will kill him at the first opportunity. I have been placed upon my honor in coming here. He said he would put up his club if I put up my knife, and now I have come to the office I have no more promises to keep. I am free to kill him and I will do it.'
"The agent asked me what I thought ought to be done in the matter. 'Would you advise that Hippy be turned over to the military?' he asked.
"My blood was up and I replied, 'So far as I am concerned I do not care what you do with him. I can protect myself, and I have given fair warning of what I shall do in the future in regard to him.'
"The agent sent a runner to camp asking some of the chiefs to come to his office. Big Horse and White Shield came in response to the summons.
"After hearing the case they said, 'We are not much surprised at Hippy's actions. He has been that way all his life. He is always doing mean and desperate things, and has made our people a great deal of trouble on account of it. We have no sympathy with him. It is a pity Me-o-kany did not kill him when he had such a good chance.'
"White Shield said, 'It is wiser not to have done so, for Hippy has some sons, who are as foolish as Hippy himself, and they would have taken the life of some white person in retaliation. On this account it is better that you did not kill him. We will take him to camp and will not permit him to come to the agency again. If he does you have our permission to kill him as you have threatened.'
"They took Hippy to camp and kept him there for some time. He was galled by this confinement, and tried on several occasions to slip away from those guarding him, but they were able to prevent him. On one occasion they had to knock him down to keep him from getting away.
"At last he changed his tactics and pretended to be penitent. He begged that he might be allowed to walk around the agency, provided he would not come inside the school grounds. Previous to this,
however, he had on several occasions sent messages by the young men, who were ready enough to bring them, that as soon as he could get out of camp he was coming up to the school to kill me. I sent back word that he could not come any too quick, as I had the ball in my gun with which I expected to plug him.
"At last he begged permission of his chiefs to go to see his girls. 'I'll keep out of the school grounds and take no weapons with me,' he said. The chiefs at last consented to lay the matter before the agent and myself to see if we would consent to allow him to come.
"The agent left the decision to me and I said, 'It don't make any difference how much he comes to the agency, I will not molest him outside of the school grounds, but if he as much as puts his foot inside of the school fence I'll kill him.'
"He came to the agency every day after this and walked around wistfully till he caught sight of his girls. He called them to him, and they would go to the fence and talk with him, but he did not offer to step inside. These meetings went on in this way for several weeks. I often met him on the streets of the agency, and once or twice he attempted to speak to me, but I turned my head and walked on without reply. On one trip on horseback a mile or two from the agency, I unexpectedly met Hippy. He was surprised, so was I. We eyed each other until we were safely out of gun-shot. As neither of us had a weapon at the time we were in no danger.
"Near the close of the term we announced certain closing exercises, and invited all the parents of the children to attend. We were to give them a dinner, in order to win their promise to bring the children back to school, when vacation was over.
"In looking forward to this dinner I thought about Hippy's girls—how good and obedient they had been—and my heart softened toward Hippy. I told the agent I would be willing to make an exception in this case and allow Hippy to come in and
attend the closing exercise and take his children home with him. When Miles told Hippy that I had invited him to the closing exercises and that he would be allowed inside of the school grounds without fearing anything from me, Hippy replied, 'My heart is good. Me-o-kany has made me happy, but I would like you to write me a pass to the grounds. I want you to put it in a big envelope so that when I hand it to him he will know it came from headquarters.'
"This the agent did, and as soon as he entered the school grounds Hippy held the official envelope high over his head like a flag of truce and watched me very carefully until I read the pass from the agent. I then said, 'It is all right, you need not fear anything from me this day,' which relieved him very much.
"He enjoyed his dinner and the exercises very much and when it came time to leave he came and offered his hand and said: 'I want to come again. When will you let me come?'
"'Inasmuch as you have obeyed my commands, you have behaved splendidly during the day, and you may call in two weeks.'
"At the end of the two weeks he was on hand promptly. He stayed an hour or two, visiting with his daughters, and when ready to leave asked: 'When can I come again?'
"I then asked, 'I will remove all restrictions upon you so long as you behave properly.'
"This appeared to be the first time that Hippy had ever been in any way beaten or had come out second best and the Cheyennes guyed him without mercy about it. The Northern Cheyennes (assembled in a large camp about a mile from the agency), were having dances every night, and many of the other Indians gathered there at night to share in the storytelling and fun. The Northern Cheyennes by this time were in full possession of the story of Hippy's encounter with me and whenever he rose to pose as a warrior or a desperate man, some wag always shouted, 'How about Johnny Smoker? He laid you
out.' This galled him terribly. The Indians after this began to prepare for a Sun Dance, and had invited the Comanches and Kiowas to join them. It happened that Hippy's oldest daughter was detailed in the kitchen at the school and Hippy was hard put to it to furnish his part of the feast. He told his daughter to slip out coffee and sugar and such other provisions as she could during the week and when she was allowed to visit her home on Saturday to bring them with her. She obeyed and on Saturday morning after she had started to camp an Arapaho girl told the matron all about this pilfering. When the matter was brought to my notice I put a boy on a horse and told him to tell Hippy if he did not return the coffee and sugar at once I would deduct what he had taken from the next rations.
"The Arapaho boy reached the camp just as a party had assembled to partake of the feast, which Hippy had intended giving them out of the rations his daughter had stolen. The Arapaho boy delivered my message to Hippy, accusing his daughter of stealing the rations, and demanded that they be returned at once, otherwise they would be held out of his next ration issue.
"This took place in the presence of the guests, and was very humiliating to Hippy. He denied that his daughter had stolen the rations and commanded that his wife should get their own rations that they had drawn the week before and send them to me, and said, 'I will come up to see about the matter in the evening.'
"Towards sunset he came into the school grounds with his face painted up gorgeously. His two wives were with him, also the daughter who had stolen the rations.
"I was building a wood-shed near the house and was busy sawing some boards. Hippy and his wife and daughter came and stood by me. The red people all knew that something out of the ordinary was going to happen. All the school came running to see what was going to take place.
"Hippy turned to them and said, 'Why do you children tell tales on each other? You Arapaho children should be friends to the Cheyennes. The Cheyennes and Arapahos have always stood together against the white men. Now you go and inform on my daughter and bring her into trouble when on the other hand you ought to help cover up the things she did. And if she was discovered and punished you ought to all turn in and help her fight this man. If you are not strong enough to whip him we have plenty of warriors in camp who will come in and help you.' He then turned to me, 'You have brought my family into disgrace. You have accused my daughter of stealing in the presence of the young men whom I had invited to the feast. I now have to make another feast and ask them all in again in order to keep them from throwing the thing up to me and bringing me into ridicule. My daughter has a cow in the school herd and I want to kill it in order to make the feast.'
"Hippy went on: 'Now I want you to put out my daughter's cow to me and I will kill it and make this feast.'
"I replied, 'Your daughter knows on what terms she holds this cow and what the conditions are. I don't need to have anything more to do with it. The herders are instructed what to do in caring for these cattle.'
"Upon this they held a whispered consultation to one side, and when it was over the daughter, who was a school girl, came up in front of me in a very impudent way, stuck out her tongue at me and said: 'Yea, yea, yea.'
"I glanced around as she did this and saw Hippy's two women, on either side of me, with sharp butcher knives in their hands. It was plain they expected me to take hold of the girl or slap her in punishment for her impudence. If I had done so, they would have knifed me. There would have been no witnesses except the school children and themselves, and they would have claimed that I assaulted
their daughter and that they killed me in defending her. I saw it would be foolish to bring on any engagement with them, so I dropped my saw and left them.
"Going to my room I took off my working clothes, determined to call upon the commanding officer at Fort Reno. Hippy had said to the children, however, at the commencement of our interview that he had seen the commander at the military post and that he had told him he would not take up any quarrel on my account; that he did not expect to take any part in any controversy between me and the Indians. I saw that, if this was true, it added a great deal to Hippy's feeling that I would not be protected.
"After I had made my toilet I saddled my horse and rode to Fort Reno, leaving Hippy and his two wives and daughter victorious on the school ground.
"Calling upon Major Mizer I told him what had taken place at the school. He said, 'I cannot interfere in any quarrels between you and the Indians. We have only a small force here and the Indians are worked up to a state of excitement where a very small thing might bring on an engagement. They largely outnumber us and might completely overcome us.'
"I told him that Hippy had said that he had had an interview with him and that he had told him he would not protect me in my course, and that I simply wanted to know whether that was so or not, for I was running the school under a contract with the government and was under bond to do my part; that I was not expected to fight Indians, neither was I expected to put up with the abuse of Indian men like Hippy. 'Unless I can be protected in my school work on my own grounds where I have to do the work, I will dismiss my school and ask to be relieved from my contract on the grounds that the troops cannot protect me.'
"As I rose to go he said, 'Hold on, I want you to understand that I am willing to protect the people
of the agency as long as I have a man to do so, but it seemed to me that our force is altogether too small to risk an attack at this time.'
"To this I replied, 'If that is your view of the case I will lay the matter before the Indian office and claim protection or relief from my contract.'
" 'What do you think ought to be done in this case?' he asked.
" 'Hippy should be arrested and put into the guardhouse. That will settle the whole matter.'
" 'I am satisfied if I sent a detail of soldiers to the Indian camp and demanded Hippy they would refuse to give him up. In this case I would have to acknoweldge my inability to take him, or bring on an engagement with the Indians.'
"I then said, 'If you will accept Hippy at the guardhouse and keep him there I will arrest him myself and bring him over and deliver him to you.'
" 'I don't want you to do that, but if you can get Hippy at the agency when there are very few Indians about and hold him until I can send a detail of soldiers for him I will take care of him.'
" 'All right; that suits me,' I replied. 'The first time Hippy comes to Darlington I will send you word and I will see that he is delivered over to you men.' Mounting my horse I returned to the agency only to find Hippy and his two wives and his daughter standing in the school grounds, in the same place where I had left them.
" 'Where have you been?' asked Hippy. I gave no answer.
" 'What shall my girl do—shall she go to bed or not?'
" 'She heard the bell ring, didn't she? She knows what she ought to do, and knows that the other children have gone to bed.'
" 'My girl has had no supper.'
"She was standing there when the supper bell rang, wasn't she? She knew what she should have done to get her supper.'
"The girl went to bed and Hippy and his two
wives returned to camp.
"The next day he came to the agency, evidently to find out what I had gone away for. He inferred I had been to the Post, and he was very anxious to know what I had done. Upon reaching the agency he went to the blacksmith shop and asked the smith if he knew what I had gone to the Fort for. The blacksmith said he did not know exactly what I had gone for. Hippy then went to the agent's office.
"I was watching his movements, and as soon as he went into the office I sent a courier to the Post telling the commander to send his detail of soldiers for Hippy. I then instructed Mr. Williams, the blacksmith, to stand ready to detain Hippy until the soldiers came, providing he left the Commissary.
"When Hippy entered the agent's office, Miles was talking with Ed Guery6 a half-breed Cheyenne, who not only understood Cheyenne, but also understood and spoke Comanche. When Hippy entered the agent shook hands with him and told him to be seated. The agent asked him if he would not like some rations to take home with him. Hippy said he would. The agent told the Commissary clerk to go into the Commissary and put up some rations for Hippy. The clerk understood very well that he was to be gone as long about it as possible.
"While Hippy was sitting in the agent's office a Comanche Indian came in and sat down beside him and entered into a conversation with him, which was overheard by Guery, the half-breed interpreter. Hippy related what had taken place and told him I had been to the Post but didn't know what for, though he thought I had failed to get help.
"'Everybody is very friendly to me this morning, and even the agent is more cordial than usual. He has just sent his clerk into the Commissary for some rations for me. I have got them all scared. After this when I want anything to eat, all I have
6Ed Guerrier, a well known scout for whom the town of Geary, Oklahoma, was named. The Guerrier family allotments are on the North Canadian river northeast of the town of Geary.—D. W. P.
to do is to make some threat and I can get anything I want. I wish you would come to my camp during your visit, for I will have plenty to eat and know now how to get more when I need it.'
"About this time the Commissary clerk, glancing from the window saw the ambulance and the detail of soldiers coming from the Post. He brought the rations out and gave them to Hippy, who as he left the office turned to the Comanche and said, 'Come right up to my place, I will go on and give the rations to my squaw and have her get the dinner ready.'
"He went out of the office alone, but he seemed to think that he might get some further information out of the blacksmith to satisfy himself why it was that the agency people were so friendly with him after his trouble. He did not see the soldiers coming, but the blacksmith did and knew the importance of keeping Hippy's face away from the Fort, so when he asked the blacksmith again whether he had heard anything more about my trip to the Post the night before, the blacksmith, as if he wished to get a drink, told him if he would come over to a well which was a short distance from the shop, he would tell him all about it.
"They started for the well, keeping their backs to the coming soldiers, and stepped behind the house to get a drink completely shutting the soldiers and ambulance from Hippy's view. All at once the ambulance drew up near the well and a file of soldiers jumped out and surrounded Hippy, with their bayonets pointed towards him.
"Hippy when he saw the soldiers asked, 'What are these soldiers after?'
climbed into the ambulance, the soldiers following him. They took their seats on each side of him, and the team was quickly turned towards the Post and driven rapidly away.
"Just as they were leaving the agency, Hippy seized a gun in each hand and tried to jump out of the ambulance, but the points of the bayonets were put against him and he was pushed down in his seat. This quieted his spirit and he was safely landed in the guardhouse without creating any excitement among the Indians, as they were all gathered at camp where the Sun Dance was in progress.
"Hippy's circle of friends among the Indians was not very large, since they were for the most part law-abiding and peaceful, and his arrest did not create the excitement that was expected by the commanding officer. But the humiliation of being put in the guardhouse and the second time being beaten by 'Johnny Smoker' so worked upon Hippy's feelings that he fell ill, and the commanding officer fearing he would die sent a courier to me asking if I were willing to let him be turned loose to die in camp.
"I told him that it did not matter to me, that as long as he stayed out of the school grounds it would be all right. If they would have him promise to keep out of the school I did not care. They let him out of the guardhouse to die, but as soon as he was out he changed his mind about dying and concluded to get well. As soon as he had recovered so that he could walk he came to the school grounds and to my surprise one day, I stepped out on the porch to find Hippy sitting there. I seized him and dragged him off the grounds and threw him outside the fence and gave him a kick and told him the next time he came on the school grounds I would kill him.
"He lay there for some time, but slowly got up and went to camp. He made no attempt to come to school again without my permission, but this did not end his plotting against me, for as soon as he had gotten his health he organized a party of his own boys and relatives for the purpose of killing me.
They talked the matter over night after night, and every night a party of young men rode before the school building and sat in groups on their ponies with their blankets drawn over their heads, every one of them being armed. Several days in succession I saw this party congregate in front of the building and one day I asked the school children if they knew what they were there for. A little girl who was a great favorite of mine, and who came to our room quite frequently to help my wife about her work, said she could tell me, but I must not let any one know who told me. She said, 'They are young men Hippy has got to try to kill you, they are watching to see when you go off some place away from the school building, where you will be out of sight from the white folks, when they will follow and kill you. You better not go alone while they are watching you.'
"I was pretty busy in the hay field, leaving the children who had remained with us to the matron and teachers. We had no trouble with runaways for a long time, and it was a great surprise to me when one night I came home from the hayfield to find that four or five of our children had run off to camp. I sent an Arapaho boy after them but he returned without them and said they would not come.
"I was too busy to go after them myself, if I could help it, so I went to my work without bringing they back. The next night when I came home, it was reported that fourteen more of the children had scampered back to their parents. I turned to Dan Tucker, one of our largest school boys, and one who was then herding the issue cattle, 'Dan, saddle my horse; after supper I'll go after them myself.'
" 'You better send me and Neatha7 after them.'
7Neatha was an Arapaho boy whom Mr. Seger gave credit for saving his life. . He named his son, who was born shortly after this incident occurred, for this Indian boy. This son is a prominent citizen of Blaine county and is editor and publisher of the Geary Times-Journal.—D. W. P.
"I consented to this and after I had eaten my supper and was ready to start, the boys asked me to hold their horses in order that they might get their revolvers. As herders they were allowed to carry revolvers. Supposing they wished to show off with their revolvers, and knowing that the camp we were going to was a very large one with a big dance going on, I was not surprised that they wished to take their revolvers along, as it was customary at that time for Indians to keep their arms by their sides. We rode up to a bonfire in the center of the camp, where a large number of Indians had congregated preparatory for a dance, and I looked around for the children but could not see them.
"Dan then said, 'Let Neatha and me go around camp and look for the children and see where they are; then we will come and tell you and you can come and get them. If you should go with us the chldren would see you before you saw them, and they would hide away and then you would not get them.'
"I thought the idea a good one, and told them I would remain at the fire until they returned. As soon as the boys were gone a part of some twenty-five or thirty young men gathered around me, all with their blankets over their heads, and acted as if they meditated evil to me. As I had no weapon with me, I thought it safer to be on the ground, so I slid from my horse and stood in front of him. The Indians gathered on one side of me and one young man in walking past ran against me. I treated this as a joke, though I knew it was intentional, made with the idea of provoking resistance on my part. Soon another young man passed me and gave me a shove much harder than the first one had done. This was too large a crowd for me, so I mounted my horse and started after my herd boys. I had not gone far until I met the boys coming back, and I asked them if they had found the children. They looked very serious and said, 'Yes, they are down at Hippy's camp near the river. The children are there, but
there are a lot of young men there and they are all armed and Hippy is mad and the young men are angry too, and told us to come back and send you down there, but for us not to come with you.'
"After they had delivered their message I told them I was going down to Hippy's camp.
"I told them they could go if they chose to, but if they were afraid to go they might stay back. They made no reply, but one of them rode on each side of me, until we reached Hippy's camp. I took in the situation at a glance, for there sat Hippy with a gun across his lap, surrounded by four or five young men with guns by their sides. Hippy was filling his pipe preparatory to smoking.
"Knowing the Indian customs as I did, I knew that when they are about to undertake a desperate act they take a smoke first, if possible, and that while they are smoking they consider the plan of this undertaking in all its details, and that when the smoke is finished, if they are still resolved to carry out their plan, the one who is their leader gives the signal. I knew they would not act immediately. I rode up calmly, and said, 'How' to them, to which they did not respond. I got down from my horse and stood in front of Hippy in easy reach of him. I was so intent and occupied with what I should do myself that I paid no attention to what the boys were doing, but they dismounted and took their places by my side, one on my right and one on my left, with their six-shooters in their hands.
"I did not see them do this, as my attention was upon Hippy, from whom I knew the signal for action would come. I believed I could snatch his gun away from him and kill him and jump into the bushes before the others could fire. After settling upon this
plan I stood waiting for the smoke to be finished. After the pipe had passed around and its contents were consumed, the pipe again came back to Hippy. The critical moment had arrived.
"Hippy, instead of giving the signal as I expected him to do, turned to the Arapaho boys and said, 'What are you here for? Did I not tell you to stay away? Did I not tell you I wanted to kill this white man? Don't you know that the Cheyennes and Arapahos are friends while the white men are our enemies? Don't you know that we have always been against the white man; why do you stand by this man against us?'
"When Hippy began to talk I knew that there was no immediate danger. I glanced at the boys when he addressed them, and took in the situation. They were standing resolutely by my side with their revolvers in their hands, with stern resolution on their dark faces. They were brave as lions, and my heart went out to them.
"When Hippy had ended his tirade, Dan Tucker replied, 'It is true the Arapahos and Cheyennes are friends. Is it not also true that we are at peace with the white people? We are not at the present time on the warpath against them and it is not our way to fight them and kill them when we have made peace with them. We are Arapaho boys, and we have been taught by our parents and chiefs to always obey our chiefs, and when our parents and chiefs put us in this school they said, 'Johnny Smoker is your chief—you must obey him and be true to him as you would be to a chief of your own tribe. We are now obeying the instructions of our chiefs, and you have no right to question our conduct in doing so. We are here in obedience to this man's instructions and we will stay by him and fight with him if necessary.'
"Hippy then turned to me and asked, 'Why do you whip these children?'
"'Then why were they crying as far as I could hear them when I came to camp?'
"He finally bought the children out, (they had gone to sleep in the lodge), and by this time it was nearly midnight. When I saw that he had finally given up and would let me take the children, and knowing that we would be late and that everybody would be disturbed by their return, I did a thing which another might not have done. I turned to Hippy and said, 'If you will bring these children to school by sunrise tomorrow I will not take them with me tonight.'
"He replied, 'If you will not whip them I will bring them to school by sunrise tomorrow.'
came with the fourteen children. I marched them all up on the porch and got me a whip and prepared to punish them. Hippy again interceded for his little girl and said, 'See how innocent she looks! She is already afraid and is beginning to cry.'
" 'I shall whip her all the same,' I said, for I knew Hippy had instigated all the trouble. I had now gained my point in every particular and as I passed down the line I simply tapped each child on the shoulder not enough to hurt them, and when the children saw that my whipping was merely a farce, they all began to laugh and even Hippy's grim features changed pleasantly."