Greene seems to be intrigued with Lehman’s liveliness. He likes the way Lehman deals openly with sex. He doesn’t seem to object when Lehman systematically kills every white man he runs across. He likes Lehman’s life-long attachment to Indian religion. But I get the feeling he would have been more comfortable had Lehman artificated himself a little more. Here Lehman is talking about Negro soldiers: We called them “buffalo soldiers” because they had curly, kinky hair and heads like bisons. Our arrows would not penetrate their skulls. I remember hearing our chief instruct his warriors at one time that in fighting the buffalo soldiers never to shoot them in the head. He said: “Skull too hard; turn arrows, mash bullets, break spears, dull lances. Shoot him through the heart; kill him easy.” Then Greene sees fit to tell us: . . . shooting a Negro soldier in the head was just as effective a way of killing him as shooting a white soldier in the head. .. . This is another of the legends of the white world which Herman seems to have accepted and applied to the Indian world. Possibly the Indians believed it, but reality should have taught them rather quickly that it wasn’t a fact.” In addition to telling us \(in case we turn bullets at all, Greene has assumed perfectly serious. My wife and I used to publish a weekly paper on the reservation. A middle-aged white lady there took us to task for publishing stuff that “made the Indian hate the white man.” Which was ridiculous. Indians don’t need one white man to teach them to hate another white man. And blacks are white to Indians. In most Indian languages, the old term Negro was “black white man.” I’ve heard Indians tell a lot of derogatory jokes about white people white and black and that’s what this sounds like to me. Indians can take care of their own prejudices without the white man to help them. I also object a little to Greene’s use of Herman Lehman’s first name throughout the book. There seems to me to be something condescending about that. And the caption to one photograph is a nightmare of unconscious \(I hope, caption reads beneath a beautiful young woman, “Herman’s chief tried to get him to marry a beauty like this.” THE FIRST OF The Last Captive is taken up with Lehman’s capture and his first few weeks with the Indians. Quickly he comes to consider himself an Indian. The killings he lists take on something of a 22 The Texas Observer chant-like quality. In one or two sentences he tells us about killing teamsters and cowboys, housewives and children. He has one story about killing a man and woman who were making love in a tent. He thinks that was sort of funny. It’s refreshing to anyone OD’d on noble children of nature books. He likes women. He thinks it’s pretty funny when one night he is with a young woman and gets kicked on his bare ass by her father. Women get their noses cut off for infidelity. Men, women and everybody get drunk on liquor they get from the white man and on beer they make themselves. Drunk parties go on for several days out there somewhere on the staked plains. It is a drunk party and resulting killing that finally drive Lehman from the Apaches. He kills a medicine man and leaves in fear of his life. He falls in with the Comanches and stays with them becoming the adopted son of Quanah Parker until the army finds him out on the Oklahoma reservation and sends him home. Apparently for the rest of his life Lehman lived as a white Indian. But the book covers his years as a white turned Indian and is as classic an example of that as I’ve seen. ONE OF THE MOST interesting white Indian books I’ve seen is a Houghton Mifflin book, now out in Ballantine paperback called Tough Trip Through Paradise. Andrew Garcia was another Texan of Spanish, very Catholic, descent. From El Paso. As a young man in 1876, he went to Montana and lived out his days there, becoming in his old age a character of some color given to wearing shoulder length hair and buckskins and being written about in newspapers. Garcia worked for the army as a herder and packer and in 1878 met a middle-aged man named Beaver Tom who proposed to take him on a trading expedition into Indian country. In later years he wrote out the story of that trip and its aftermath and stored the manuscript in dynamite boxes. Bennett H. Stein found the manuscript in 1948 and edited it into Tough Trip Through Paradise. Paradise is Indian life. In calling it a tough trip, he is to some extent being literal; he is also looking back as an old man on his boyhood adventure and trying to determine just how tough it was. Garcia provides the money for the venture and Beaver Tom is supposed to provide the experience, but Beaver Tom soon proves to be a useless old drunk and Garcia is left alone to maintain his trading post among tribes he knows very little about. He is befriended by a squaw man from a Pend d’Oreille band and he sort of falls in with the Pend d’Oreilles. The squaw man camps near Garcia’s store, bringing with him his whole family including his daughters. Garcia’s relationships with the daughters, a girlfriend of the daughters, and with a Nez Perce girl he ultimately marries make up most of the book. He says: I had been watching several young squaws in the camp on the sly. Beaver Tom had been throwing it at me. He said that I had developed a serious case of squaw fever. He did not have a thermometer, but from past experiences, he swore my temperature went up to one hundred and five degrees. When it got that high, the case was hopeless unless the victim got .a squaw to nurse him out of it. Garcia has a galloping case of the fever. If the squaw man’s daughters wanted to be resisted, he would have a hard time resisting them. But they don’t want to be resisted at all. He is in love with InWhoLise, a Nez Perce girl who lives with the Pend d’Oreilles; and the daughters, in addition to carrying on with him themselves, want him to marry a Pend d’Oreille friend of theirs. InWhoLise lives some miles away at the camp while the daughters live next door. And the girls are always fixing him up with their friend. They try to get him drunk; they show off for him; they try to impress him; they trick him into being alone with them. Every one of their guiles works. When the one he loves isn’t there, he loves the one who is. It’s awfully hard on his Catholic conscience. The girls’ father finally finds out what’s going on and is mad, but nothing really comes of it. Garcia marries InWhoLise, but the others don’t give up, and he disposes of them in the book by simply no longer talking about them. IN HIS LATER years Andrew Garcia returned to white life. He married a white woman and raised fruit for a living. But for twenty years, he labored over the manuscript that Tough Trip Through Paradise came from; his labor was prompted by dissatisfaction and a need to understand what had happened to him in those days among the Indians. Garcia was caught squarely in Deloria’s fundamental difference in the white and Indian worlds. His Christianity wanted him to watch out for his immortal soul; his Indian women friends led him to enjoy his mortal life. Those Indian women were nowhere near tame enough for a museum; nowhere near innocent enough to be children of nature; and too interested in being alive to get involved with abstractions like third world politics. Which is an apt description, a hundred years later, of the qualities of the American Indian the qualities which the white man is either honestly ignorant of or chooses for his own purposes to pervert and ignore.
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