The Life of Ten Bears: Comanche Historical Narratives

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

9   The Red-Striped Saddle Blanket
| 1856 |

Kepasuake, a noted warrior of the Noyuhka division of Comanches, led a large mixed war party into Mexico, probably Coahuila. There were three or four women in the party. One of the women was Chaya, who died at Richard’s Spur, Comanche County, Oklahoma, in the 1920s. Tischecoddy, a Yamparika, was also in the group. Also in the group was Nanasuyo, younger brother of the leader, and Chonips, husband of Chaya.

After they got into Mexico, they made a base camp from which to make their plundering raids. At this base they left their mounts, saddles, and supplies. They started from the base on foot and began to look for booty and captives, they carried only their weapons and bridles. As the war party roved around, the Mexicans, on discovering their presence, began to gather in strength. They followed the undisguised trail of the Comanches, whose care was to stay in a compact group and to not get too strung out.

The younger members of the party had to be cautioned to keep up with the rest. But those youngsters, some of whom were on their first expedition into Mexico, had got into a bunch and were inclined to play. The experienced members stopped and, when the young members caught up, told them that the combined strength of the party was what kept the Mexicans from attacking. The leader told them there was danger of the group being cut in half if part of them lagged too far behind. After this, the younger members kept up with the rest. The group stayed compact for a while, and then the youngsters again lagged, amusing themselves by joking and throwing at objects.

Mounted Mexicans suddenly charged the stragglers with yells and loud outcries. The startled stragglers stampeded toward the rest of the war party but were being rapidly overtaken. Tischecoddy remembered that the Mexicans were known to fancy lariat throwing, attempting to rope and drag a person to death. As he fled, he kept looking back over his shoulder at the pursuing Mexicans; he held his bow ready so he could hold it over his head to ward off any loop thrown toward him.

As the young ones were still some distance from the leaders, Tischecoddy heard a shrill battle whoop and looked back to see that one of the youngsters had stopped and turned to fight. Tischecoddy also turned

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