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New-York tribune. (New York [N.Y.]) 1866-1924, July 05, 1908, Image 24

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Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83030214/1908-07-05/ed-1/seq-24/

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a band of one hundred youngsters, no more than
twenty years old. to serve as police, he would uni
form, arm. and equip them, and would make Sword
chief of the band. "But, mind." explained the
agent to Sword, ""if any of your own nearest rela
tions do wrong, and I send you out to arrest them.
you must bring them in, dead or aKve!" All this
was nuts for Sword; for it not only gave an impor
tant command to a man then only a warrior, but
gave him. as executor of the agent's orders, general
authority • vei even the elders and chiefs of the
And little did the tribe like it, i Id or young: for
it was not long until the police, aided materially
i v Inspector Conley, made important recoveries 01
stolen stock and interfered seriously with their
predatory pleasures and profits.
Jealousy at the Agency
BUT ; ;-- .- 1 began to feel that I could see a safe
solution of the Indian end of our problem,
trouble loomed up from an unexpected quarter.
Both Doctor McGillicuddy and Inspector ( onley
v t n men - f a hair trigger temper, the f< •rmer wedded
to and the latter divorced from everything that
stood lor punctilious formalities. So it was not
l« ng until they fell foul of each other
Presently one day early in June, the same mail
i rought metwo brief letters.— one from the doctor,
El iting that it" I did not recall my inspector imme
diately, he would have him run otf the reservation
by the Indian police; the other from Conley, say
ing that unless I gave him authority to leave the
agency pretty quick, he reckoned he'd have to kill
the ag« nt. , . . , .
Neither gave any explanation; from which l in
ferred that the difficulty was purely personal and
temperamental, of a sort possible oi patching.
So that evening I forked a bronco and hit the
trail for the agency, sixty miles away, where 1
arrived early the next morning.
\v<\ 1 found myself come none too soon. Ihe
agent was about ready to order the inspectors ex
pulsion by the police, and the inspector was quite
ready to kill the agent it" he attempted anything d
the son and then take his chances oi shooting his
way through the police to escape,— in the carrying
out of which uncomplicated strategy the odds
would have been ten thousand to
one against Conley; for the entire
tribe would have welcomed a chance
to pot him. However, about a
little matter of odds men of Conley s
breed never worried, where the
stakes were no more than one's
< wn life.
And this highly tense, really
deadly situation had its origin in
what"' In the fact that Conley had
developed the friendly habit oi
coming unbidden to the doctor's
« ffice, rolling and smoking cigarettes
unasked, and roosting his feet com
fortably on the doctor's desk, pre
ferably on a corner of his writing
The differences were not hard to
adjust. Secretly each respected the
other, knew the other was doing
good work and a man all through.
Conley was sorry he had "mussed
the dorter's humany frills"; the
doctor, that he had resented Con
ley's notion of sociability. So by
the second day 1 had them at hand
shakes and the best of friend i
Getting Ready for the Dance
THAT evening three army offia rs
arrive. l. Major [ohnG. Bourk*
of the Third Cavalry, and Lieuten
ants Waite and Goldman oi th<
Fifth Cavalry. Major Bourke was
well chosen for the task that
broughi him. viz., a. study of the sui
dance, due to begin the next morn
ing; for his previous studies and
writingson M<'ki snake dancing, Zuni
fire worship, and Apache medicine
men remain the most valuabl«
contributions to the literature oi
thes< subjects.
On a bench above ami t" the east
of the narrow valley of White Clay
t reek stood the agency. Within a
low wall, topped by a picket fern <
and nearest the creek, stood Doctoi
McGillicuddy's office; a hundred teei east, tvs
residence; beyond that, the great Wakan-pomani
building, — the "Mysterious Give Away House," the
warehouse or storehouse thai held the supplii
by the Government for distribution h\ the agent,
probably firsi called Wakan (nij teriou by the
>!ou\ because to them it musi have been .i matter
<i mystery howevei such vast store '-t riches could
be assembled at one tune and place. Across the
io. id from the Wakan- pomanx stood the store oi
the licensed [ndian trader, Mr. Blanchard
In mnl forenoon oi the next day all of us were
assembled in l>ort..i M« Cullu udd> V. office, by his
invitation, to arrange t>> g" to the dame. Major
Bourke, Lieutenants Waite and Goldman, Mr.
Blanchard, Charlie Conley, and myself. Mr. Lord,
the doctor's clerk, and Louis Changro, his half
breed interpreter, were alsi in the office.
Sword, chief of police, had been about wivh sev
eral of his men; but at the moment was outside.
His men. and usually he himself, were unifcimed
neatly in blue jackets and trousers and soft
But this morning Sword was a sartorial wonder.
Above beautifully beaded moccasins of golden
yellow buckskin rose the graceful lines of weß fitting
dark blue broadcloth trousers, circled at the waist
by a beaded belt carrying two six-shooters and a
knife, topped by a white shirt, standing collar, and
black bow- tie, "and by a perfectly made vest and
cutaway coat matching the trousers, the vest dec
orated -with a metal watch chain yellow as the
moccasins. He was crested by a well brushed silk
top hat : while from beneath the hat defiantly swung
Sword's scalp lock, a standing challenge to whom
soever dared try to take it.
And Vtt. despite this opera boufife rig, S
with the bronze of his handsome features nt by the
flash of piercing black eyes, supple oi nw vein li nl
soft of tread, dignified in bearing, stood a serious
and even a heroic figure, — the man that dared court
the most bitter tribal opposition and enmity by
undertaking the enforcement of white men's law
as administered by Agent BfcGdHcuddy.
On the 'Warpath
"W7IIILE we were quietly chatting, the rest ■ f OS
"^ pumping Bourke and the doctor for what they
had of sun dance lore, suddenly we were interrupted
by the startlingly quick entry of Sword, who slipped
in softly and swiftly as a shadow, and began a low
spoken, hurried statement to Changro.
Presently Changro turned and interpreted,
"Sword he say heap Injun come down White Clay.
Ride war ponies. All Brules. Sword he no like
And after a glance out of the door. I am sure
none of us liked the looks of tilings —of the things
most actively animate in our immediate landscape
any more than Sword did. A band of between
three hundred and four hundred bucks sat <>n their
war ponies about three hundred yards from the
gate. A thick cloud of dust behind and south of
them showed that they had approached at top speed,
and had just stopped, evidently for a conference.
Presently ten advanced slowly toward the office
"It You Dont tiivc
Us Grub. 11l Kilt
Every White Man
tin This Reservation ! "
ui.iV the rest ol the band withdrew the way
they had come, ultimately stopping about eight
hundred yards awa)
By Doctor McGillicuddy's advice, .ill oi '.is re
sumed our i
Acting almost in unison, curiously, evidently
i!i>'\v<l at the same moment by the same thought,
several ol us proceeded to take on a bit oi cxtr.i
insurance, by slipping spare cartridges mt<> the
hammer chamber <>t cur pistol cylinders, usually
carried empt> for purposes ot better safety »gfti"sl
accidental discharge lam sure 1 should have beea
glad to have a pistol iri t> • which 1 could have emp
tied the entire contents of my full belt; for the
odds against us looked rather long.
The Brules, two thousand oi wh«>m had come
ovei from Rosebud to attend the son dance, wen
well known for an ugly, desperate lot. Indeed,
they had been spoiled by an agent that lacked
most of the good qualities McGflHcnddy possessed
Honest enough in his administration, he was afraid
of his charges, and they knew it ar.<i took advas
tage therefrom when and how they pleased.— evea
to the point of subjecting him to downright BHofij
At Rosebud Agency, not the agent but Spotted
Tail exercised authority. Indeed, it was corr.:r.c3
report thai more than once Spot forced the agesfcto
read to him letters written the Indian Bureau abet:
agency affairs, and snatched and tc re v.? several he
did not like and threw them in the agent s face.
And it was a band of these bronze beauties
approaching, with some demand sure to be arro
gant and utterly unreasonable.
A Strenuous Lesson
PRESENTLY they entered the office, theteacj
them, each with the outline of a rifle showa|
beneath his blanket, granted a grail "How!*aal
squatted on the rloor facing the agent, with ttet
backs against the north wail of the room, cearest
the door,— a scowling, sinister lot plainly cornea
no honest errand.
After sitting in absolute silence fully ten mic-tes,
the Brute chief, whose name I have forgotten.' a TO
powerful buck of forty-five, with narrow set. eV: -;
ferret eyes, turned to Changro the interpreter, sm
growled. "You tell agent we want grab-* ••I
•'You tell him. Louis." replied XtcGillicnddy, 1
am advised by his agent that he and h:s people
come fully rationed for the round trip. '
- You tell agent he must give us grub! -NO*;
now!" fiercely demanded the chief. . ...
Looking the chief straight in the < ye. a ca^
smile on "his face. McGillicuddy quietly .inhered.
■• Louis, just tell him to go to hades! H' gets nogrsa
at this agency!" . .. ,
Instantly the chief bounded to his :• et, f\"^
crossed to* the doctor's chair, and, angrily s..a.cr,
his fist in the latter"s face, hoarsely s shouted. -«
you don't give us grub now, I'll till every TCn;.e
man on this reservation!" . „.
For an age, it seemed, the chief stoi d and jkj
Gillicuddy sat confronting each other, a
scowl on the chief's face, a smile on McC flhcwwT*
Presently I saw Me's jaws tighten. -and :ren j
without .i "word, he sprang upon the chier/soaw
him by the throat, and shook him till his nfie £j
to the* Boor, then rushed him to the d r, wfiflWi
him round till a full if not a fair target wasp*
sented, and then landed duly upon - 1 target a
hard a kick as any I ever aw delivered on a try
for goal, sending the chief sprawling near ? ten *en
from the door, hurt of person and spirit i the uifflj?
nity and half smothered from the choking, a httletßO
maddest, most hideously snarling thing L ever sax
Immediately his nine henchmen r.:: 1 . out ad
helped him to his feet. , . '•- :
Instinctively we all lined up outside the uccr,
backs to the "wall, and among us. t<> our **"£**!
came by magic about a dozen of Sword- yyUJS***
policemen, each fingering rirs-t the trigger an< *^J
the hammer of his rifle, like a guitar player tru~>
ming for the key to a tune. . .
"Reckon the ball's plumb open novr. an ~j
'swing partners.'" drawled Charlie C ■'>'•""
only remark made by anyone I can now recall.
The Dread Wasting
COR a few minutes it was touch and g<' ! ' ' :s -. •
A single shot, and it would have Wen aB over fl'
very few minutes. Escape was quite as "'ipos^
as help, Indeed, the one troop of caValry at re.»
Sheridan, eighteen miles away, and the two trcCr*
at Fort Robinson* sixty miles distant, ii F re^**
would not have lasted an hour, if the ball esce
opened. It was therefore a great if onlv=a tem
porary relief when presently the chief and r.:s «"- e
sullenly withdrew through the gate and retcM
toward his band. y
"Mama! but won't hades pop good and ?'*-•£
in about half an hour, when th.tt old coffee «**•
gits back with his bunch to finish the ball! V~\
we'll sure make 'em think we can dance some M**,
the music stops!" expressed Conley's v. holly «•'
perienced view of the situation. v
"Major Bourke." said the doctor. ' yot: are If,
senior officer present. Will yon assume O ::.Tnanu
"No. doctor." answered Bourke, ">• ■ -ff ' *
supreme authority here. lam on duty det.u hedo
my arm of the service; and." with a'grirn ? t *?~ ( g
approval, "yon seem to me to be doing quite
enough. Command me as your aide.' ..%-•>-
Without a word. Sword and his men had cBS^:
peared toward th« camp below the Muff. ' ih " n g
yards distant, as boon as the Brtiles '■<■;'■'■ -,
withdrawal was no small source of anxiety;
notwithstanding their apparently excellent
through the crisis just past, nevertheless this «asw'
first really serious test of the loyalty of his Pf v *%.
However we were not long left in douK. J~^
deed, our doubt was most gratefully relieveii--«»J
we got over the violent attack of heart ai*r
induced by the manner of their return. $
We had been watching the Brule chie t ar.a »
band like hawks. Apparently none had ****£a
tached, and they were still in conference se«
hundred yards away. . .^ 3
Mrs. McGillicuddy and Mrs Blanchard had
brought to the office. fi>r whatever poor protecw
we could give them. . fl( j
Suddenly out of the hidden valley beneath a^
west of us rose %l thunder of hoofs that seetne
Comttaned en pap 17

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