Manuscripts/Mixed Material [Interview with O. W. McCuistion]
A grand and exciting sight, Mr. McCuistion reminisced, as these stages rushed madly by his slowly moving caravan.
It was while his wagon train was on their way, near Julesburg, Nebraska, that his men came on-to the body of a dead Indian. The body had been stripped of clothing and the head was missing. On arriving at the town and upon inquiry, it was learned a band of Indians had raided a stage stand with the view of driving off the horses. The soldiers had given chase and this dead Indian was the result of the fray, the soldiers taking his head back to camp with them.
Horrified at such a deed, I asked, “But why did they cut off his head, that was dreadful,” at which Mr. McCuistion smilingly replied, “They [wanted?] to be sure the Indian wouldn't carry it off on his shoulders again.” At that remark I was reminded of hearing that an Indian resorted to “playing dead” when surrounded by enemies, thinking there-by, to [make?] his escape.
He relates another episode when he, together with two other men had been down south on Carizzo Creek hunting cattle and were returning home [to?] the Palo [Planco?] Ranch at Kiowa Springs, when they met a band of Ute [Indians?] out hunting for a Mexican who had killed an Indian boy of their tribe. They were infuriated, and were giving the country a tho'rough search, hoping to find the Mexican. The men had seen nothing of the killer, so went their way.
That night, the Indians also, arrived at Mr. McCuistion's ranch still in search of the Mexican. The band stopped some distance from the house and the Chief went alone to the house to talk to Mr. McCuistion, who gave them a beef which they butchered and ate.
The Indians built a large bonfire and held a war dance over the body of the boy killed by the Mexican. This dance took place in front of Mr. McCuistion's house and lasted all night. When daylight came, the dancing ceased and the Indians went on their way, the slayer of their boy still roaming at large.