Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown. Page: 109 of 894
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INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
later confusion seemed to prevail, and many voices
were heard. Bee said to Eldridge: "See the setting
sun, old fellow! It is the last we shall ever
see on earth! " At the same instant approaching
footsteps were heard. Each of the three sprang to
his feet, a pistol in each hand, when "dear old"
Acoquash burst into the tent and threw himself
into the arms of Eldridge. Bee and Torrey
thought the old Spartan had come to redeem his
pledge and die with them, but in a moment realized
that his convulsive action was the fruit of uncontrollable
joy. The next moment the Delawares
rushed in exclaiming, "Saved! saved!" "Oh!
God! can I ever forget that moment! To the
earth, from which we came, we fell as if we had
been shot, communing with Him who reigns over
a scene that might be portrayed on canvas,
but not described! Prostrate on the earth lay the
white man and the red man, creatures of a common
brotherhood, typified and made evident that day
in the wilderness; not a word spoken; each bowed
to the earth -brothers in danger and brothers in
the holy electric spark which caused each in his
way to thank God for deliverance." [Gen. Bee to
After this ordeal had been passed, succeeded by
a measure of almost heavenly repose, the interpreters,
now fully reconciled toEldridge, explained
that after that solemn silence of four hours, Payhayuco
had eloquently espoused the cause of
mercy and the sanctity of the white flag borne by
the messengers of peace. His appeal was, perhaps,
as powerful and pathetic as ever fell from the lips
of an untutored son of the forest. Upon conclusion,
amid much confusion and the hum of
excited voices, he took the vote per capita and was
sustained by a small majority. The sun sank at
the same moment, reflecting rays of joy upon the
western horizon, causing among the saved a solemn
and inexpressibly grateful sense of the majesty and
benignity of the King of kings-our Father in
As darkness came, the stentorian voice of Payhayuco
was successively heard in the four quarters
of the town, its tones denoting words of command.
Our countrymen demanded of the interpreters to
know what he was saying. The latter answered:
c He is telling them you are under his protection
and must not, at the peril of their lives, be hurt."
A hundred warriors were then placed in a circle
around the tent, and so remained till next morning.
No Indian was allowed to enter the circle.
When morning came they were invited to the
council, when Capt. Eldridge delivered the message
of friendship from President Houston, and invited
them to accompany him in and meet the council at
Bird's Fort; but this was the 11th of August, a
day after the date heretofore fixed for the assemblage,
and a new date would be selected promptly
on their arrival, or sooner if runners were sent in
advance. The presents were then distributed and
an answer awaited.
On their arrival the little Comanche boy had been
given up. He still remembered some of his mother
tongue and at once relapsed into barbarism. But
now Capt. Eldridge tendered to the chief, little
Maria, a beautiful Indian child, neatly dressed,
who knew no word but English. A scene followed
which brought tears to the eyes of not only the
white men, but also of the Delawares. The
child seemed horrified, clung desperately and imploringly
to Capt. Eldridge, and screamed most
piteously; but the whole scene cannot be described
here. It was simply heartrending. She was taken
up by a huge warrior and borne away, uttering
piercing cries of despair. For years afterwards she
was occssionally heard of, still bearing the name of
Maria, acting as interpreter at Indian councils.
Succeeding this last scene they were informed
that the council had refused to send delegates to
the proposed council. Payhayuco favored the
measure, but was overruled by the majority.
Within an hour after this announcement (August
11th, 1843) our friends mounted and started on
their long journey home
fully five hundred miles,
through a trackless wilderness. I pass over some
exciting incidents occurring at the moment of their
departure between a newlv arrived party of Delaware
traders, having no connection with Eldridge,
and a portion of the Comanches, in regard to a
Choctaw negro prisoner bought from the Comanches
by the traders. It was dreaded by our friends as a
new danger, but was settled without bloodshed by
the payment of a larger ransom to the avaricious
Without remarkable incident and in due
time, our friends arrived again at the principal
Wichita village (at or near the present Fort Sill)
and were again kindly received. The day fixed for
the treaty having passed, Eldridge knew the President
would be disappointed and impatient; so,
after .consultation, it was agreed that Torrey, with
Jim Shaw, John Connor and the other Indian
attaches, still with them, should return on the route
they had gone out, gather up the tribes first mentioned
in this narrative, and conduct them to Bird's
Fort; while Eldridge, Bee and their most trusted
Delaware hunter, with Jim Second Eye as guide,
would proceed directly to the fort. Thus they
separated, each party on its mission, and tQ
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas / by John Henry Brown., book, ; Austin, Tex.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/109/: accessed April 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .