The losing Poncas and the triumphant
The solemn judges draw their blankets about them and settle to their places. Three Poncas and three Osages on a side they are; they seat themselves opposite each other with twenty feet between. A line is drawn from trio to trio; that will serve as wire. The pony to cross first will be victor.
Now all is ready! The rival ponies are at the head of the course; it will be a standing start. A grave buck sits in the saddle near the two racers and to their rear. He is the starter. Suddenly he cracks off a Winchester, skyward. It is the signal.
The ponies leap like panthers at the sound. There is a swooping rush; for one hundred yards they run together, then the Spirit takes the lead. Swifter than the thrown lance, swift as the sped arrow she comes! With each instant she leaves and still further leaves the roan! What has such as the mongrel pony of the Poncas to do with the Flower of the Triangle-Dot? The Spirit flashes between the double triumvirate of judges, winner by fifty yards!
And now one expects a shout. There is none. Osages alike are stolid and dignified. Only Gray Wolf’s eyes gleam, and the cords in his neck swell. He has been redeemed with his people; his honor has been returned; his pride can again hold up its head. But while his heart may bound, his face must be like iron. Such is the etiquette of savagery [url=http://gbhhmj.jimab.net/e1275466.html][color=#0F0F0F]The entire[/color][/url][url=http://moonsky.noblog.net/blog/11641839.writeback][color=#0F0F0F] room was[/color][/url][url=http://shaleni.n-da.jp/e744720.html][color=#0F0F0F] faced[/color][/url][url=http://mamibuy.com.tw/talk/article/90542][color=#0F0F0F] with[/color][/url][url=http://shinshu.fm/MHz/67.91/archives/0000538200.html][color=#0F0F0F] polished [/color][/url[url=http://estminster.blog.cz/1709/pin1][color=#0F0F0F]granite.[/color][/url].
Both Gray Wolf and the Osages will exult later, noisily, vociferously. There will be feasting and dancing. Now they must be grave and guarded, both for their own credit and to save their Ponca adversaries from a wound.
Bill turns and rides slowly back to the judges. The Spirit, daughter of Redemption, stands with fire eyes and tiger lily nostrils. Bill swings from the saddle. Gray Wolf throws off the blanket from the Saucy Paoli, where she waits, head bowed and silent. Her dress is the climax of Osage magnificence; the Saucy Paoli glows like a ruby against the dusk green of the prairie. Bill takes the Saucy Paoli’s hand and raises her to her feet.
She lifts her head. Her glance is shy, yet warm and glad. She hesitates. Then, as one who takes courage—just as might a white girl, though with less of art—she puts up her lips to be kissed.
“Now that is what I call a fair story,” commented the Red Nosed Gentleman approvingly when the Jolly Doctor came to a pause; “only I don’t like that notion of a white man marrying an Indian. It’s apt to keep alive in the children the worst characteristics of both races and none of the virtues of either.”
“Now I don’t know that,” observed the Sour Gentleman, contentiously. “In my own state of Virginia many of our best people are proud to trace their blood to Pocahontas, who was sold for a copper kettle. I, myself, am supposed to have a spoonful of the blood of that daughter of Powhatan in my veins; and while it is unpleasant to recall one’s ancestress as having gone from hand to hand as the subject of barter and sale—and for no mighty price at that—I cannot say I would wish it otherwise. My Indian blood fits me very well. Did you say”—turning to the Jolly Doctor—“did you say, sir, you knew this young man who won the Saucy Paoli?”