The Life of Ten Bears: Comanche Historical Narratives

By Francis Joseph Attocknie; Thomas W. Kavanagh | Go to book overview

3   Uhta Hookne
THE ROBE ENTRENCHMENTS
| 1837 |

One day in the past on the South Canadian River, which is known as Isahunubi to the Comanches, a spear-armed Comanche horse-warrior came upon two strange foot-warriors going up a sand dune, one following the other. He stopped his horse and watched them. Finally, the one in the back saw the Comanche and stopped. The one in front took several more steps before he noticed that his companion had stopped; looking back and following his companion’s gaze, he too saw the Comanche, whose horse was almost uncontrollable with battle excitement.

The horse-warrior, to confirm his suspicions asked them in the sign language of the Plains what was their tribe? They made stripes along their arms to denote that they were Cheyennes. He made signs asking what they were looking for. They signed that they were looking for the “snakes traveling backwards,” which is the identifying sign for the Comanches. He asked why they looked for Comanches. Because they wanted to fight them. He made the signs that he understood and that he was what they were looking for, a Comanche, so now they would have the fight that they had come looking for.

He sprang off his horse and quickly battle-braided his mount’s tail. At this his two enemies also hastily prepared for action, discarding any extra weight, buffalo skin robes and such. The Comanche was now charging them, sand flying. One Cheyenne had a muzzle-loading gun, which he fired at the oncoming Comanche. The other Cheyenne was armed with a bow and arrows. The Comanche made two or three spear charges and wounded one of the Cheyennes before they ran and jumped into a deep ditch that led into the main river. The bow-armed enemy had given a good account of himself as he had not only wounded the Comanche but also his brave war horse. The other Cheyenne had apparently been unable to reload after his opening shot.

When his enemies were in the ditch where his horse would be almost useless for fighting, the Comanche sign-told them that they had defeated him, as he was afraid to fight them anymore. The Cheyennes gallantly

-39-

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