Title: Gee, Stell, Them Indian Pictures Made Fay Want to Be Scalper

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"An' here comes a long string of white covered wagons across the plains, filled with white folks comin' West. The wagons look like they got sunbonnets on. But, horrors, here comes an' Indian along on horseback an' the minute he spies them wagons he flops the horse down on its side and lays down by it, so the folks in the wagon can't see him, an' he watches awhile an' then he scoots off to tell the other Indians.

The wagon train comes to a stop and they start fixin' up a camp for the night. They unfasten the horses and take the rows from in back of the wagons. Then the women folks start the camp fires and they don't know what's in store for them. And the first thing you know, quicker than a flash, here comes the Indians tearing down over the plain, and they gallop around the camp, hollering and shooting, and the white folks don't stand a ghost of a show.

They kill off the white men and take the white women prisoners. They tie a rope around 'em and make 'em walk long side of the horse. Gee, your hair just stands on your head and you want to scream, Stell. And they burn all the wagons.

Next morning, Colonel Cody, our dear old Buffalo Bill, comes ridin' along an when he sees what has been done he's mighty sore at the redskins, an' when he finds a woman's shoe he knows that the Indians have taken the white women as prisoners, an' he sets out on their trail.


The Indians take the women to their camp, but the women have managed to drop bits of their dresses by the way, and Colonel Cody finds these an' he manages to arrive just in time to save one of the women from bein' killed, but the Indians had killed the other one already —

Oh, I tell you, Stell, you just thrill through and through when you see Buffalo Bill tearin' in on the scene just like the hero in a melodrama. You just want to jump right into the picture and kiss him!

An' say! You ought to see where Buffalo Bill meets Yellow Hand, the Indian chief that just hated him worse than anything. You see, Yellow Hand with his gang was headin' toward Buffalo Bill and his gang, an' when he sees Big Chief Cody he just came dashin' right on ahead with a big knife in his mitt, an' Cody just tore up to him, too, an' when they came together they hopped off their ponies an' had it out right then an' there. They struggled together rough an' tumble until OUR BILL monogrammed Yellow Hand's heart an' the redskin took his vacation in The Happy Hunting Grounds.


An', Stell, gee them Indians was easy! You see how this great last Rebellion started was the Indians was mighty poor, their crops had failed an' they was sore at the world in general and at the white men in particular. When along comes a feller who says he's a Messiah, returned to help the Indians. He tells 'em that he will provide them with big crops, lots of buffalo an' it turned out to be a lot of Buffalo Bills, an' he told 'em that he'd help them get even with the white men. He gave them a part of a shirt that when made of white and blessed by the medicine man was supposed to be bullet proof. Well, an' they fell for that guy's monologue an' got so excited over their new good fortune that they started one of those seven-day war tangoes.

An' say, Stell, you ought to see them fat squaws do the Wig Wam Wiggle! I just sat there an' holered [sic]! An' the costumes — class, kid — class! Why those Indians could give Gaby cards an' spades when it comes to wild head gear. The squaws were all togged out in their regular scenery, too. An' maybe you think those togs aren't worth a handful of beans, but let me tell you, they are all trimmed with elk teeth and some of them are worth a couple of thousand dollars.


Well, anyway, Stell, they got so anxious to get the white folks' goat that they started out after them, but, of course, Buffalo Bill an' the rest of the American soldiers was right on the job, an' say, if you want to have new thrills just set through that Indian war an' listen to that bugle, an' all the national airs, not to mention the Indian music — Good night! You just think you're right there, that's all. Why, it's all you can do to keep from marchin' up an' down the isle [sic], scalpin' the audience!

There's a lot of thrillin' fightin' right down on the battle field. You can see every bit of it. You see the calvary [sic] charge this way and that, and run across the plain until it looks like a great band of mourning. You see the Indians come running at full speed on their ponies and fall like a log to the ground, dead! By goll, Stells, those Indians can act!

You see the Indians driven into a ravine an' the Hotchkiss gun turned on them, an' it kills 'em like flies! They used to call it the "gun that shoots today and kills tomorrow" because the bullets don't explode until they reach their destination.

Well, finally the Indians surrender. The soldiers take them to Wounded Knee and there camp is pitched for the night. The Indians are all on one side an' the soldiers on the other. An' there's a guard of soldiers around the Indians as close as posts in a fence.


When dawn breaks they make the Indians give up their arms. An' they do until one tough old buck reniggs [sic], an' say, Stell, in a jiffy that place is turned into a slaughter house. That field looked like a piece of fly paper on a hot day, when the skirmish was over.

Well, after that the war was over an' then the different commanders escorted the various tribes to their reservations. That's one great sight — to see those long parades of Indians in their gally-galorious costumes slowly riding behind the soldiers, with the fat, funny squaws trudging along, draggin' the wig wams behind them.

Aw, an' that ain't half all that's great. Now, Stell, for goodness sakes, don't you an' Steve miss seein' them war pictures, 'cause if you don't, you're goin' to regret it for the rest of your life. They are the greatest ever, an' they'll be at the Tabor Grand Opera House all this week. Now, take it from your little pal, and go see 'EM!

Buffalo Bill himself is there, too! an' you'll lose your heart to him, sure, Stell — I always do!

Title: Gee, Stell, Them Indian Pictures Made Fay Want to Be Scalper

Source: McCracken Research Library, Buffalo Bill Center of the West, William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody Collection, MS6, OS Box 50, page 30

Topics: Buffalo Bill on Film

People: Stella King, Fay Yellow Hand, 1850?-1876 Wovoka, approximately 1856-1932 Gaby Steve

Places: Wounded Knee (S. D.) Tabor Opera House

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