Stewart, A. B.
Stories of the Old West as told and painted by the cow puncher and artist, Ed. Borein, pp. 44-53
STORIES OF THE OLD WEST and buffalo hunter, told the story when he found his way into Borein's studio. "It's a funny thing," he added, "but of the hundred or more horses left dead on the field, more than half were white. Now, an Indian admires a white horse above all others, and as it was found out later, the Government had just issued a lot of snow-white ones to the Chey- ennes and the Kiowas as a reward for their being good Indians." "When did you first hear of the fight?" asked the host, an insati- able hunter after Western lore. "Oh," Hathaway said simply, "I was in it." E VERYONE knows of the conquest of the West, but it takes Ed. Borein to tell what made the conquest possible. He is preemi- nently a painter of horses, and as such it incenses him to hear the exploits of Western heroes wherein no mention is made of the cayuse. The horse was brought into Mexico by Cortez and his follow- ers. Those that escaped the Spaniards formed the nucleus of the herds of wild horses which later roamed the West. The Northern Indian has had the horse only upward of a hundred years. The Comanches were the first tribe to use them, walking hundreds of miles down into old or New Mexico to steal them. The Indian has not even a name for the horse in his language, calling it "big dog;" for the red man, like the Esquimo, formerly used dogs. It was the coming of the horse which made of him a traveler. If the horse proved useful to the Indian, it was an utter necessity to the white man. Without its help the early Spanish explorers could never have come into the country from the South, nor could the later explorers and frontiersmen have reached the Far West, much less have held it. Many a hunter and cow puncher owes his life to his horse. Out on the open plains where there is no cover, a thrown horse makes the only possible rampart. To shoot a horse and crouch behind it has been the means of saving hundreds of lives in frontier warfare. If hard pressed and held up for a long time, men have been known to eat the meat of their own horses without leaving cover, a grim enough procedure. "Eating the fort," it has been termed in racy Western parlance. Mr. Borein would have considered his work incomplete without a drawing of the cayuse which "served as a rampart when dead." The heroes of the West were not merely "scrappers," they were also business men. There were the trader, the trapper and the hunter, who brought civilization to the wilderness, and sent the spoils of the wilderness back to civilization. There was the prospector, who started all the mining camps from Arizona to Washington, with the S1
Based on the date of publication, this material is presumed to be in the public domain.| For information on re-use see: http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/Copyright