The Life of Ten Bears: Comanche Historical Narratives

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

24   Attocknie Gets Half a Scalp

Attocknie, on horseback, was sent by his war party to take an early before sun-up look from a high, bald hill. As he neared the hill, he cautiously slowed down to look over the area surrounding the hill. As he carefully approached, he suddenly became aware of two other horsemen approaching the same hill but from opposite sides. Attocknie stopped, concealed from the sight of the other two unidentified horsemen. These others, apparently unaware of each other or any other early-morning scout, continued meanwhile to mount the bald hill, drawing ever nearer to each other as they approached the impartial hill’s summit.

While Attocknie intently watched, the two riders suddenly saw each other. The one to Attocknie’s left pulled hard on his mount’s head, seeming to lift it; the other rider quirted and heel-thumped his mount, causing it to leap forwards and toward the other horse and rider. This quick charge by the other caused the one on Attocknie’s left to wheel his horse around and speedily retreat back down the hill with the other in close pursuit. Staccato horse hoofbeats and the sound of quirt lashes accompanied this early-morning action.

As the two other riders fast disappeared into the trees and bushes at the base of the bald hill, Attocknie hurried after them to find out what he could. He rode along some little distance, on the alert for any eventualities, and then he saw two riderless mounts standing together. He rode toward the horses and saw a warrior sitting on the ground under the horses, watching him approach. Attocknie slowed down his mount and the warrior on the ground made no move to retreat or even get up.

Attocknie, who was then near enough, saw that it was a Comanche who had pursued and killed an Osage mounted scout and had scalped it and was now unconcernedly sitting by the corpse watching Attocknie approach. The two Comanche horse-warriors greeted each other, then the one on the ground got up and held out the ill-fated Osage scout’s scalp to Attocknie. When he took a hold of it, the other Comanche cut it in half, graciously sharing his victim’s scalp with Attocknie. After exchanging information the two horse-warriors returned to their respective war parties.

-166-

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