Being liberated, he engaged with the Spaniards and Sioux Indians in a war against the Pawnees; then returned to Missouri, and had acted by turns as sheriff, trader, trapper, until he was enlisted as a leader by Captain Bonneville.
The Kansas resemble the Osages in features, dress, and language; they raise corn and hunt the buffalo, ranging the Kansas River, and its tributary streams; at the time of the captain's visit, they were at war with the Pawnees of the Nebraska, or Platte River.
The latter was squatted on his buffalo robe, his strong features and red skin glaring in the broad light of a blazing fire, while he recounted astounding tales of the bloody exploits of his tribe and himself in their wars with the Pawnees; for there are no old soldiers more given to long campaigning stories than Indian "braves."
The Omahas were once one of the numerous and powerful tribes of the prairies, vying in warlike might and prowess with the Sioux, the Pawnees, the Sauks, the Konsas, and the Iatans.
The Pawnee republicans had inflicted a gross indignity on a favorite and distinguished Omaha brave.
"Have the pale-faces eaten their own buffaloes, and taken the skins from all their own beavers," continued the savage, allowing the usual moment of decorum to elapse, after the words of greeting, before he again spoke, "that they come to count how many are left among the Pawnees?"
"The Siouxes are thieves, and they live among the snow; why do we talk of a people who are so far, when we are in the country of the Pawnees?"
"If the Pawnees are the owners of this land, then white and red are here by equal right."
A band of Pawnees or of Blackfeet may occasionally traverse it in order to reach other hunting-grounds, but the hardiest of the braves are glad to lose sight of those awesome plains, and to find themselves once more upon their prairies.
"We have passed the Pawnees, and there are no other tribes until we cross the great mountains."
He had been listening to stories of attacks upon the trains by the Sioux and Pawnees
Lay a row of moccasins before me - Pawnee
, Sioux, Shoshone, Cheyenne, Blackfoot, and as many other tribes as you please - and I can name the tribe every moccasin belongs to by the make of it.