[Illustration: Nos. 4 and 5, female and male killed; 6 and 7, boy and girl killed.]
[Illustration: No. 8, that he has killed his enemy; 9, that he has cut the throat of his enemy, and taken the scalp; 10, that he was the third that touched the body of his enemy after he was killed; 11, the fourth that touched it; 12, the fifth that touched it.]
[Illustration: No. 13, been wounded in many places by this enemy; 15, that he has cut the throat of the enemy.]
The above represents the feathers from the war eagle. They are worn in the hair of the warriors, as honors.
The above represents the only way that the Sioux have of writing an account of an engagement that has taken place.
The children among the Sioux are early accustomed to look with indifference upon the sufferings or death of a person they hate. A few years ago a battle was fought quite near Fort Snelling. The next day the Sioux children were playing foot-ball merrily with the head of a Chippeway. One boy, and a small boy too, had ornamented his head and ears with curls. He had taken the skin peeled off a Chippeway who was killed in the battle, wound it around a stick until it assumed the appearance of a curl, and tied them over his ears. Another child had a string around his neck with a finger hanging to it as an ornament. The infants, instead of being amused with toys or trinkets, are held up to see the scalp of an enemy, and they learn to hate a Chippeway as soon as to ask for food.
After the battle, the mother of a Sioux who was severely wounded found her way to the fort. She entered the room weeping sadly. Becoming quite exhausted, she seated herself on the floor, and said she wanted some coffee and sugar for her sick son, some linen to bind up his wounds, a candle to burn at night, and some whiskey to make her cry! Her son recovered, and the mother, as she sat by and watched him, had the satisfaction to see the scalps of the murdered Chippeways stretched on poles all through the village, around which she, sixty years old, looked forward with great joy to dance; though this was a small gratification compared with her recollection of having formerly cut to pieces the bodies of sundry murdered Chippeway children.
A dreadful creature she was! How vividly her features rise before me. Well do I remember her as she entered my room on a stormy day in January. Her torn mocassins were a mocking protection to her nearly frozen feet; her worn “okendo kenda” hardly covering a wrinkled neck and arms seamed with the scars of many a self-inflicted wound; she tried to make her tattered blanket meet across her chest, but the benumbed fingers were powerless, and her step so feeble, from fatigue and want of food, that she almost fell before the cheerful fire that seemed to welcome her. The smile with which she tried to return my greeting added hideously to the savage expression of her features, and her matted hair was covered with flakes of the drifting snow that almost blinded her.