Title: Untitled [Are English wives the best in the world?]

Periodical: Umpire

Date: September 18, 1892

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Are English wives the best in the world? This is the question we are brought face to face with in a daily paper every morning before breakfast. Some people think so. Some of the savages of the fiery untamed prairie think so. One of Buffalo Bill's tip-top Indians thinks so. His professional name, when on the war-path, is "Blackheart," which somehow seems to suggest either one of the villains in a Pettitt melodrama, or a popular breed of cherry. It is quite a little romance. Regardez-vouz!

* * *

When the last cartridge is fired in Buffalo Billiam's arena, when the red and blue fires have flickered and finally died out, then darkness falls over the little Indian and Gaucho and Don Cossack encampment. A blue-black darkness, coupled with silence, except for the rumble of distant trains. Then the red and yellow-ochred Indians steal silently forth from their tents. They do not fold their tent like the Arabs—they simply leave their tents and come out on the impassive and dignified mash. They glide through the dark avenues in the neighbourhood of their encampment, wrapped in their dignity and their blankets. They wander generally in companies of three, along those dark, dull streets of huge stucco houses near the Earl's Court-road. The solitude here is as intense for them, as they glide along in their mocassins and their ghostly blankets, as if they had already passed to the happy hunting grounds of their father. You cannot hear them coming; they are upon you before you know where you are. Save for on thing. The British female, of all classes, is for ever on their track. The British female is for ever on the track of "Lo," the poor Indian, as you shortly hear. It is worthy of any mere penny journal that is published.

* * *

"Blackheart"—the melodramatic villain or the cherry—wrapped his blanket around him and took his walks abroad. Blackheart is a Sioux chief, and goodness knows how many people he has scalped, and burned, and tortured in the ordinary practice of his profession. But he was amenable to the love of a pure English girl, as the female correspondents of the "Delirium Tremens" might put it. Whether he wooed her, and discussed 'neath the moon his previous experiences in the torture department, or whether she wooed him and mashed him, as only English girls can woo and mash, I can't say. But the Sioux chief and the English girl have now been man and wife for over a year, the English girl living all the time in a tent with her ochre-bedaubed husband. "And how do they get on together?" I asked of my friend, Dr. Maitland Coffin, who is the medical attendant to the whole Wild West Show. "Splendidly," he replied. "The young wife has learnt the Sioux tongue and can speak it perfectly, and she seems devoted to her Indian husband. An if you come this way, I, having the entrée to the tent, will show you a happy, smiling papoose."

It is a roundabout way of pointing a moral; but the is that, in the opinion of even a Sioux chief, a true-hearted English wife is the best after all. Let all the unappreciated young women who write to the "D. T." to complain that they can't get married, make early application to the dusky-coloured chiefs of the Indian tribes attached to the Buffalo-Billeries.

* * *

Title: Untitled [Are English wives the best in the world?]

Periodical: Umpire

Source: McCracken Research Library, Buffalo Bill Center of the West, William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody Collection, MS6, MS6.3778.128.01 (1892 London)

Date: September 18, 1892

Also appeared as:

  Title: Are English Wives the Best in the World? |

  Date: September 30, 1892

Keywords: American Indians Arabs British Don Cossacks Exhibitions Gauchos Historical reenactments Indians of North America--Social life and customs Indians of North America Lakota dialect Lakota Indians Marriage Scrapbooks Spouses Tents Traveling exhibitions Women--Great Britain

Places: Earl's Court (London, England) London (England)

Sponsor: This project is supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Geraldine W. & Robert J. Dellenback Foundation.

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