Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 26, 1915.djvu/31

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21
Presidential Address.

his American Indians: "Dans ce Pays tous les Hommes se croyent également Hommes, et dans l'Homme ce qu'ils estiment le plus, c'est l'Homme."[1]

Now this manliness of the Indian carries with it a certain sense of chivalry. The savage is, as it is the British fashion to put it, a thorough "sportsman" in his way. Thus Prince Maximilian zu Wied-Neuwied relates how a war party of Cheyennes mounted on horseback fell in with some Mandans who happened to be on foot. At once the former dismount, in order that the chances of battle may be equal.[2] Nor was this an isolated act of knightly generosity, to judge from the following spirited account of a duel between a Cheyenne warrior and the Mandan Mah-to-toh-pa: "The two full-plumed chiefs, at full speed, drove furiously upon each other, both firing their guns at the same moment. They passed each other a little distance, and then wheeled, when Mah-to-toh-pa drew off his powder-horn, and by holding it up showed his adversary that the bullet had shattered it to pieces and destroyed his ammunition. He then threw it from him, and his gun also, drew his bow from his quiver and an arrow, and his shield upon his left arm. The Shienne instantly did the same. His horn was thrown off, and his gun was thrown into the air, his shield was balanced on his arm, his bow drawn; and quick as lightning they were both on the wing for a deadly combat."[3] And yet when the Indian brave has the fury of fighting upon him, he cannot be said to be altogether nice in his ways. Thus Prince Maximilian, who witnessed a battle royal between Blackfeet and Assiniboin, testifies with reference to the latter: "The enemy, with guns, arrows, spears, and knives,

  1. P. F. X. de Charlevoix, Histoire et Description Générale de la Nouvelle France (1744), iii. 342.
  2. Maximilian Prinz zu Wied-Neuwied, Travels in the Interior of North America, i. 153.
  3. G. Catlin, Letters and Notes on the Manners, Customs, and Condition of the North American Indians, i. 153.