by Ernest Thompson Seton
The Two Captives
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
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
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
The Birch Bark Roll