The Life of Ten Bears: Comanche Historical Narratives

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

20   Pukumahkuh’s Two Escapes

Two of the very last Comanche raids into Texas had almost identically tragic conclusions. Each had about a dozen original members, each had at least one woman along, and each had two non-Comanches along at the start. And each raiding band at least one Comanche to escape with his life. It is from those Comanche escapees that these tragic tales reach us. The non-Comanches in each instance also made their escapes.

Another common instance connected with these events was the presence of Pukumahkuh, and each time Pukumahkuh somehow made his escape. Although Pukumahkuh lived to report his two escapes from the Texans, he later was dispatched with finality by Colonel Mackenzie’s Man-eater Tonkawa scouts and U.S. Cavalry at McClellan Creek in the Texas Panhandle in 1872.

      ▸▸▸

Some Comanches were camped along a creek about five miles west of what is now Apache, Oklahoma, and about a mile south. Querherbitty, the younger sister of Cheevers, was at this Comanche camp and saw the war party make its almost casual departure. She was somewhere near the present location of the Cache Creek Indian Mission as the mounted Comanches made their way in a southwest direction, heading for the Wichita Mountain foothills. They were not exactly strung out in a long line; they looked more like several different parties of two or three each, but all were headed in the same general direction.

The ones in the lead had reached a point about a mile or so southwest of where Cache Creek Mission is now located and might have been out of sight from the camp, when the attention-attracting sight of a red-blanketed figure of a woman, Hoovoo—Roxie Hovarithka’s grandmother—was seen following after the war party. The figure in red attracted all the more attention because she was following after the mounted party on foot.

The intentions and names of the war party members being common knowledge throughout the camp, the identity of the red-blanketed figure of a woman was quickly placed as the wife of Pisamaka, one of the war-party leaders. Another leader of the group was Tahkuh, the son of Quanah’s sister, Quanah’s ara or nephew.1 Another was Pahtsookoo Kwah-

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