History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families

240 HISTORY 0? TEXAS.

Their lady friends \ oulld have leen vastly
aliused at their efforts. There was no crinoline,
corset, pull-back, wasp-waist or Dolly
Varden to be sure. Whether the body was
too long or too short, we are unable to say;
but it was one or the other! The skirt was
a success, but the sleeves would not work: so
they cut them off at the elbow. The next
morning they dressed the little princess in a
flaming-red calico dress, put strings of brass
beads on her neck, brass rings on her arms,
a wreath of prairie flowers on her hlead. tied
a red ribbon around her smooth, nicely
plaited hair, and painted lier face with vermilion,
until she looked like the real princess
that she was. All this, however, was no
pleasure to poor Maria; she was like a lamb
dressed in flowers for the sacrifice.
Finally the time canle when, in the full
council, Colonel Eldridge stood holding the
lands of the two children in front of the
chief, and said to him that as an evidence of
the desire of the great white Father (Hloliston)
to make peace, and be friendly with tlihe
great Comllanchle nation, lie sent them two
children, captives in war, back to their people.
After these words he attempted to
place the hands of both in thle extended hand
of the chief; but at that moment the most
distressing screams learst from Maria. She
ran behind Colonel Eldridge, and begged him
for God's sake not to give her to those people,
to have imerey, and not to leave her.
Then the poor child fell on her knees and
shrieked, and clung to him in all the madness
of despair. A death-like silence prevailed
in the council. The Indians stood by
in stern stoicism, the voices of the white men
were silent with emotion, and nothing but
the cries of the poor lamb of sacrifice pierced
the distance of the bloom-scented Prairies.
Her white friends, as soon as possible, at

tempted to quiet the child. Of course the
comforting words were spoken in their own
language, but they were evidently understood
by all, for theirs was the language of nature.
Finding their efforts useless, the chief said:
"'This is the child of our long-mourned chief;
she is of our blood; her aged grandmother'
stands ready to receive her; but she has forgotten
her people. She does not want to
come to us; and if the great white chief only
sent her for us to see that she is fat and well
cared for, tell him I thank him, and she can
go back."
This was an opportunity; and General Bee
suggested to Colonel Eldridge to save the
child; but, although the latter's heart was
bursting with grief and sympathy, his sense
of duty told him his work was finished, and
lie replied to the chief, as follows: "I have
been ordered to give up this child. I have
done so, and my duty is fulfilled. But you
see she is no longer a Comanche. Child in
years when she was taken from you by the
stern hand of war, she has learned the language
of another people, and I implore you
to give her to me, and let me take her to my
home and care for her all the days of my life."
"No," said the chief; "if she is my child I
will keep her." He swung her roughly behind
him into the arms of the old grandmother,
whlo bore her- screaming from the
council tent; and thus the princess was delivered
to her people; and the last sound the
party heard on leaving that Comanche camp
was the wail of the poor, desolate child I
Years afterward General Bee received a.
message from Maria, and sent her a few presents
by way of remembrance. She had become
the main interpreter of her nation, and
met the white people in council. So it ended
well at last. She became an instrument of
good, and fulfilled her destiny on the stage

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240

HISTORY F TEXAS

Lewis Publishing Company, publisher. History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families. Chicago. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29785/. Accessed July 29, 2014.