Title: His First Indian

Periodical: The Washington Post

Date: March 4, 1906

More metadata


Unusual Experience of an American and an English Boy in London.

"The first American Indian I ever saw," said an American, "was in London, at Buffalo Bill's Wild West show.

"I had gone out to the grounds where the show was early, so as to look around a little in advance, and while I was doing this I saw this Indian step out of his tepee, and he fixed my eye in a minute, and I just stood there and looked at him.

"He was the real red man of the forest, all right, the kind you read about in Indian stories, and he looked it all over, tall and straight and lithe and all that, and he just stood there in front of his tent like a bronze figure, silent and immovable, never saying a word.

"Next there stepped out of the tent a little Indian, five or six years old, maybe. He was the big Indian's son, probably, and a straight little chap he was. He stepped up alongside of his father, and stood there just as still and silent, and that certainly made a remarkable pair of Indians, and I stood and looked at them with great interest.

"And while I was standing there looking at them, a little London cockney lad, maybe twelve or fourteen years old, came along, and stopped and looked at them, too, with interest, but with a different sort of interest from mine. He had in his hand a biscuit, or a bun, or something, and after he'd been standing there a minute or two, he began picking little bunches out of this bun and rolling them in dough pills between his fingers and flicking these pills at the smal lIndian.

"Neither the big Indian nor the little one stirred or said a word while this was going on. They just stood there just the same, until finally the little cockney lad landed one of those pills square in the little pappoose's eye. And the big Indian spoke.

"He didn't move, he didn't stir, he didn't shift a hair; but he didn't need to take any action; what he said was enough. And he didn't say 'Ugh! Ugh! or talk any sort of Indian at all.

"But standing there perfectly still, never moving a muscle, and speaking quietly and coldly, he proceeded to tell the lad, in detail, not in Indian, but in straight New York gashouse, precisely what he would do to him if he plugged another pill at the little Indian.

"If a statue had spoken to me in that sort of language I couldn't have been any more surprised than I was to hear the Indian talking it; and what with the surprise of it and, still more, I guess the very particular nature of the warning in it for him the Indian's speech hit the little cockney lad hard. He certainly did not throw any more pellets at the pappoose, and pretty soon he passed on, and I went on myself not long after that, leaving the Indian still standing there and still unmovable."

Title: His First Indian

Periodical: The Washington Post

Date: March 4, 1906

Topics: Lakota Performers

Keywords: American Indians Cultural relations Indian children Indians of North America

Place: 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.

Editorial Statement | Conditions of Use

TEI encoded XML: View wfc.nsp01954.xml

Back to top