Gateway to the Classics: Davy Crockett by Frank Lee beals
Davy Crockett by  Frank Lee beals

Davy and Comanche Indians

T HE indians were in full war paint. They moved in a circle around Davy.

The Indian with the largest feathered headpiece stopped his pony and dismounted.

"This must be the chief," said Davy to himself as he took firm hold of Old Betsy.

The Indian walked up to Davy and reached out and placed his hand on Davy's rifle.

"This gun fine gun," he said. "Give it to me."

"No, I will not give it to you," said Davy. "It is my gun."

"Give it to me," repeated the chief.

"Are you a friend of the white man?" asked Davy sharply.

"Yes. Comanche is friend of white man," answered the chief.

"Would you rob a friend?" asked Davy.

"No. Comanche help friend," said the chief.

"Good!" said Davy. "I am your friend. How did you find me?"

"Saw smoke from your fire. Why you here?"

"I am on my way to the Alamo in Bexar. My horse ran away last night. I am lost."

The old chief laughed. All the other Indians joined in the laughter. The Indians dismounted and came in closer to Davy.

"U-g-h! U-g-h!" exclaimed one of the Indians.

The chief turned toward him. The Indian pointed to the ground. He was standing by the dead panther. The chief looked at the panther and then at Davy.

"You kill him?" the chief asked.

"Yes. I killed him last night," said Davy.

"Good hunter, brave man," said the chief. "I will make you Comanche."

"Thank you, Chief. You are doing me an honor, I know, but I cannot wait. I must go on to Bexar."

"You have no horse. I give you one."

The chief called to one of his braves. In a moment the brave came leading a horse.

"Your horse," said the chief. "You brave man. We ride with you to Colorado River."

As soon as the horse was saddled, Davy mounted. Davy and the Indians were on their way. Davy rode in front with the chief.

As they rode on they came to a herd of wild horses. One of the Indians took a lasso and began to swing it over his head. The lasso was made of buffalo hide. To one end a ring was attached. Through this ring the rope was passed to make a noose.

The Indian rode toward the herd. The horses snorted and ran away—all except one mustang. The Indian rode near enough to him to throw his lasso. However, the mustang quickly lowered his head between his front legs. The pony made no attempt to escape. The Indian walked up to the pony, patted him, and put the loop of his lasso around the pony's neck.

"That's my mustang!" exclaimed Davy as he dismounted and went to meet the returning Indian.

The chief rode up to Davy. "Yours?" he asked pointing to the mustang.

"Yes," said Davy. "How could your brave catch him so easily?"

"He has been captured by lasso before," answered the chief. "Wild horse never forgets first time he is captured."

"What do you mean?" asked Davy.

"First time wild horse is lassoed he is thrown to ground. Wild horse never forget that. Horse may run wild for years, but when he sees or hears lasso again he is tame. He does not forget first time."

Davy changed his saddle and bridle to his own mustang. He rode with his Comanche friends all day. As evening neared they came upon a herd of buffalo.

The Indian chief told Davy how to kill a buffalo. He told Davy to race alongside a buffalo and shoot him just behind the left foreleg. When Davy had learned to race beside a buffalo, he killed one with his first shot.

The party halted. The buffalo was skinned and quartered. Some of the meat was roasted. Davy sat beside the chief while they ate supper. After supper the Indians sang and danced for their white friend.

The Indians rode with Davy for several days. Each brave in the party tried to do some special act of friendship for Davy. To them he was brave and strong.

When they came to the Colorado River, Davy said to the chief, "You have been very kind to me. You have traveled many miles out of your way. I thank you."

"Many unfriendly Indians here," said the chief. "We do not leave you here. We take you to where old Spanish trail crosses river. You follow old Spanish trail to Bexar."

Davy and the chief rode along side by side. Suddenly, the chief stopped and pointed. Smoke was rising skyward. The chief made a sign. The Indians divided into two parties. One party went to one side of the grove of mesquite, the second party went to the other side. As they closed in they formed a circle. Davy and the chief rode toward the mesquite.

A man was sitting beside a smoldering fire. His head was leaned forward on his hands. The chief gave the Comanche war cry. The man jumped to his feet. The braves rushed in.

Davy pulled himself up in his saddle and looked over the heads of the Indians. Davy called out and held up his hand. The chief shouted an order to his braves. Davy spurred his mustang through the circle of Indians. He rushed up to the man in the center of the circle and dismounted. The man was Thimblerig.

"Friend! Friend!" called Davy.

Davy and Thimblerig talked for a minute, and then Davy walked over to the chief. "My friend," and he pointed to Thimblerig, "tells me that another friend will be here soon. When he comes the three of us can go on."

Thimblerig handed Davy a long knife. Davy held it out to the chief.

"Take this bowie knife," he said. "In Bexar I shall meet the man who made this knife famous. His name is Colonel James Bowie, and the knife is called a bowie knife."

The chief took the knife and felt the edge.

"Thank you, White Friend," he said. "I keep it. I remember Great White Hunter."

The chief mounted his pony, gave a signal to his braves, and they were off across the prairie.

"Tell me," said Davy, "did Bee Hunter ever tell you why he left us so suddenly?"

"The same day you left?" asked Thimblerig. "Yes," answered Davy.

"He saw a bee," said Thimblerig. "He took after it and followed it for miles. Then he came back. Why didn't you come back?"

"It is a long story and I will tell you when Bee Hunter gets here," said Davy.

When Bee Hunter returned he was carrying a wild turkey.

"Well, Davy Crockett," he cried. "How did you find us?"

"More of that later," said Davy. "Let's fix that turkey."

"I have been worried about you, Davy," said Bee Hunter. "Not because you couldn't take care of yourself, but when I ride up to the Alamo I want to ride with Davy Crockett."

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