Harper's Weekly Magazine
26 August 1871


In the picture on page 789 the [hunting] party have reached the higher land, and have suddenly halted. Not far off has appeared, on the crest of a hillock a little above them, the first buffalo, which has gladdened their eyes and made the pulse of all beat faster. There stands the monster, stock-still, gazing at them with the strong, steady, majestic gaze of his tribe. He is the forerunner, outpost, picket, of his particular herd, browsing and keeping guard on the frontier of their domain. A great, tough-ribbed, hard and hairy headed, and bearded bull, he is one of that outer circle of buffaloes which is always found around the cows and young, who browse in the centre of this circle, which consists of the males. He watches for two enemies; for the white or Kiota wolf--a cruel, sly, rapacious beast, which infests the haunts of the buffaloes, and stealthily pounces as he may upon their young, their feeble, or their wounded--and for man, in the shape of Indians, who vie with the Kiota in their cunning and their greed. For, while the white man boldly, with true Anglo-Saxon grit and love of "a fair fight and no favor," attacks the buffalo face to face in open day, the red man resorts to stratagem to entrap his prey. He poisons his arrows, and conceals them in his breast; he envelops himself in the Kiota's skin, and imitating the sneaking movements of the wolf, will follow and hang about a herd, often for miles, biding the moment of assault. When they get within proper range the Indians suddenly rise to their feet, dart forward with their lightning speed--they are the swiftest runners on earth--and thrust their arrows again and again through the coarse-haired hides of their victims. The Indian is tiger-like in his ferocity when hunting the buffalo: his eyes gleam, his mouth foams, and his hideously painted countenance fairly glows with the heat of his passion.