Two Captives




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by Ernest Thompson Seton

 The Two Captives
A Comedy

This is the Indian Mutt and Jeff Dance. A very short fat boy and a long lanky boy are best, but any will do if they are natural comedians. The accessories are a couple of short ropes, 6 or 8 straw clubs and 2 shields. The shields are not essential.

The scene opens in the Council Ring with a roll of the drum. The Chief announces: "Our warriors are returning victorious from the warpath. They will soon be here (Applause). Here they come (Loud shouting heard).

And to show what the enemy was like, they have brought two captives--two of the most valiant of the enemy. Here they are."

In march the warriors, pushing about two captives whose hands are tied behind and whose heads hang low. The victors give them club-whacks from time to time and hustle them about unmercifully (Great Applause).

"Look at them!" shouts the Chief. "Now what shall we do with them? Shall we keep them for slaves, or hand them over to the women, or tie them to trees and shoot them full of arrows? Or shall we have some fun right now by making them fight each other?"

All--"Right now! Let's have some fun! Let's make them fight each other."

Chief-"All right."

Then with a mixture of signs and grunts he explains to the two captives that they must fight each other and the winner is to go home free. "But so one will not get killed too soon and spoil the fun, we'll keep a rope on each and pull them apart if they clinch."

The captives' hands are untied and a rope tied to the belt of each. They are given each a straw club and a shield, and told to go at it. A warrior hangs on to each rope and another guards the doorway.

Then they begin an opera bouffe fight, a great deal of prance and yelling, grimacing, etc., once in a while a whack from a club.  When they grapple, they are pulled apart by the ropes.

The fight is carried on to the beating of the tom-tom and guttural chant of the crowd.  It must be made as grotesque as possible.

After one or two clinches, they are pulled apart.  Then the Chief shouts, "They have shown such fine spirit. that we will not have either of them killed, but will adopt them into our tribe as brothers."

"How Kola!"  All Shake hands and grin.  They live happily ever after.

The Birch Bark Roll






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Flower Planting ] Hiawatha ] Legger Snake ] Tree Planting ] [ Two Captives ]

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Last modified: October 15, 2016.