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INDIAN REMINISCENCES

BY A. D. P. VAN BUREN

Uncle Billy's son Jerry, like his father, had the strength and muscle of an athlete in wrestling, jumping or "pulling sticks. " While the young Indian boys were as lithe and agile as panthers at all athletic sports, Jerry could generally "down them" at a "back hold, " but at a "rough and tumble, " the Indian's "foot was on his native heath, and there he usually came off victor. Among the Indian playmates of Jerry were Pe-ne-moo's sons, whose friendship for him continued till his death a few years ago. After Jerry was married these friends' of his boyhood would each summer spend a week or two with him. The following incident is so illustrative of an Indian trait that we give it here: A son of Pe-ne-moo had informed Uncle Billy that he was about to get married. Then you come here with your wife, " says Billy, "and I kill dog; make big feast for you. " This was agreed to. During the "bridal tour" to their friend's home on Climax, young Pe-ne-moo and his wife camped in the woods over night near a settler's clearing. In the morning the young Indian's fine broadcloth coat was missing, and could not be found. On reaching Billy's hospitable home the story of losing the coat was told, and that "a che-moke-a-man had stolen it, " for Pe-ne-moo had traced out the thief, who was the settler living near where they had slept over night. The latter denied taking the coat; and drove the Indian off. This excited a spirit of revenge in the Indian, and nothing but revenge could now satisfy him. Says he to his friend, "Me kill him for stealing Indian's coat. " Uncle Billy was alarmed, for he knew Indian revenge would find satisfaction, and that young Pe-ne-moo would kill this settler.

Michigan


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