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Old Indian Days by Charles Alexander Eastman

Produced by Judith Boss

OLD INDIAN DAYS

By Charles A. Eastman

(Ohiyesa)

To My Daughters DORA, IRENE, VIRGINIA, ELEANOR, AND FLORENCE I Dedicate these Stories of the Old Indian Life, and especially of the Courageous and Womanly Indian Woman

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

PART I. THE WARRIOR

I. THE LOVE OF ANTELOPE II. THE MADNESS OF BALD EAGLE III. THE SINGING SPIRIT IV. THE FAMINE V. THE CHIEF SOLDIER VI. THE WHITE MAN'S ERRAND VII. THE GRAVE OF THE DOG

PART II. THE WOMAN

I. WINONA, THE WOMAN-CHILD II. WINONA, THE CHILD-WOMAN III. SNANA'S FAWN IV. SHE-WHO-HAS-A-SOUL V. THE PEACE-MAKER VI. BLUE SKY VII. THE FAITHFULNESS OF LONG EARS VIII. THE WAR MAIDEN

GLOSSARY

PART ONE. THE WARRIOR

I. THE LOVE OF ANTELOPE

I

Upon a hanging precipice atop of the Eagle Scout Butte there appeared a motionless and solitary figure--almost eagle-like he perched! The people in the camp below saw him, but none looked at him long. They turned their heads quickly away with a nervous tingling, for the height above the plains was great. Almost spirit-like among the upper clouds the young warrior sat immovable.

It was Antelope. He was fasting and seeking a sign from the "Great Mystery," for such was the first step of the young and ambitious Sioux [who wished to be a noted warrior among his people].

He is a princely youth, among the wild Sioux, who hunts for his tribe and not for himself! His voice is soft and low at the campfire of his nation, but terror-giving in the field of battle. Such was Antelope's reputation. The more he sought the "Great Mystery" in solitude, the more gentle and retiring he became, and in the same proportion his courage and manliness grew. None could say that he was not a kind son and a good hunter, for he had already passed the "two-arrow-to-kill," his buffalo examination.

On a hot midsummer morning a few weeks later, while most of the inmates of the teepees were breakfasting in the open air, the powerful voice of the herald resounded among the pine-clad heights and green valleys.

"Hear ye, hear ye, warriors!" he chanted loudly. "The council has decreed that four brave young men must scout the country to the sunsetward of the camp, for the peace and protection of our people!"

All listened eagerly for the names of the chosen warriors, and in another moment there came the sonorous call: "Antelope, Antelope! the council has selected you!"

The camp was large--fully four hundred paces across; but in that country, in the clear morning air, such an announcement can be heard a great way, and in the silence that followed the hills repeated over and over the musical name of Antelope.


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