Thursday, June 5, 2008

An Arapahoe's Meal


The Indian's Appetite Held Out as Long as the Meat Lasted.

"For feats of downright big eating I'll back the North American Indian against the world," said a Colorado man. "I recall in particular an Arapahoe Indian who visited our camp by the Fontaine qui Bouille river one night. We had killed a buffalo calf that day — a good sized fat calf 4 or 5 months old — and having skinned and dressed the carcass had hung it up on a wagon pole. We had carved enough off one shoulder to go along with mountain trout, bacon, bread and coffee for our party of four at supper. The rest of the meat was all there. The Indian came riding up after we had eaten, and he looked pretty tired and empty. He had evidently traveled a long way with little to eat, for he was dusty, haggard and thin as a shoestring, and there was no doubt when he asked by signs for food that he wanted it badly. He pointed to the buffalo calf, and with his knife he cut off some slices of meat, laid them on the embers, and as soon as they were a little scorched ate them ravenously and began again with the calf.

"He was still cutting and cooking meat and eating when we wont off to sleep, and, so far as we could tell, he spent the entire night in that occupation, for whenever one or another of us woke up enough to look around the Indian was either cutting at the calf or eating by the fire. When we turned out in the morning, we found that all that was left of that buffalo calf was its skeleton hanging from the pole. The Indian had not carved away its joints and ribs, as a white man would have done, but had hacked the meat off in small pieces till all was gone.

"The Indian looked like another person. His all night feed had fattened him up so that he looked well filled out, and he moved about with a different air. He greeted our rising with a 'How,' and sat stolidly by the fire until one of us gave him a tin cup of coffee, which he took with another 'How.' While we were at breakfast he mounted his horse and slipped away so silently that we scarcely noticed his going." — Chicago Times.

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