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 Page: 239
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HuSTioiRY OP" TEXAS. :
for example, a horse from a buffalo, a horse
without a rider, etc., quicker than an Indian
The journey proceeded with its varied
scenes of excitement, danger and interest for
four months, and the barometer of the party
was the little Comanche princess. The object
of the expedition was to see the lead
chief of the Comanches, and of course, as the
search was to be made in the boundless prairies,
it was no easy or certain task; yet they
could tell the distance from or proximity to
tlhe Comanches by the conduct of the little
girl. When news came that the Indians were
near, the childish voice would not be heard
in its joyous freshness, .caroling round the
fire; but when news arrived that they could
not be found, her spirits would revive, and
her joy would show itself in gamibols as
mierry as those of the innocent fawn that
sports around its mother on the great bosoim
of the prairie.
At last the goal was reached, and the party
was in the Comanche camp, the village of
Pay-ha-hai-co, the head chief of all the (omanches.
Maria's time liad come, bult tlie
little girl tried to avoid notice and kept as
close as possible. IIer appearance, however,
was the cause of great sensation, and a few
days fixed the fact that she was the daughter
of the former lihead chief of the nation, who
dibd on the forks of the Brazos, from wounds
received -at the battle of Plum creek in 1840.
Thus, unknown to her or themselves, they liad
been associating with the royal princess, Nosa-co-oi-ash,
the long-lost and beloved child
of the nation. This extraordinary good luck
for the little girl brought no assuagement to
her grief. Her joy was gone. She spoke
not a word of Comanche, and could not reciprocate
the warm greetings she received.
On arriving at the village, Bill Hockley
determined that lie would not talk Comllanclie,
although lie spoke it perfectly well, not having,
like Maria, forgotten his native language.
During the week they remained in tlie village.
Bill, contrary to'his usual custom, kept close
to the party, and did not speak a word to
those around himn; nor could he ble induced
to do so. On one occasion a woman brought
a roasting ear, which was of great value in
her eyes, as it had come probably 150 miles.
and presented it to Bill, who sat in one of
the tents. The boy gave not the slightest attention
to the woman or her gift, but kept
llis eye fixed on the ground. Finally she put
the roasting ear under his eyes, so that a, he
looked down hlie iust see it. Then, talking
all the tiiie, she walked off and watched
hlimi. Plut Bill, fromll under his eyes, noted
lier movements, andl not until she was out of
sight did he get up and say, ' Tlhat ugly old
woian is not maininie, but I will eat her
When the chief came home (lie was abse(it
for several days after tite party arrived),
lie asked to see thle children; and wlheni they
were presented lie spoke to Bill iin a very
peremptory tone of voice, and Bill at once
answered, being the first word of Comanche
lie had spoken since his arrival. This broke
the ice, and the boy went among his people,
not returning to his white friends until lihe
was wanted to take part in the ceremony of
being finally delivered over to hlis tribe, and
afterward never going to tell them good by.
So there and then Bill IIockley passed from
The day before the grand council with the
Comanches, the skill and ingenuity of the
party of the three white men were taxed to
their fullest extent to make a suitable dress
for the Comanche princess, whose clothes, it
may be supposed, had become old and shabby.
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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, book, 1893; Chicago. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29785/m1/244/?rotate=270: accessed July 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .