Herding Cattle Leads to Papoose Offer

Indian offers ponies for daughter during family's trek herding cattle.

| Good Old Days

My parents moved from Texas to Missouri in April 1880. Mother went by train and took the younger children, including me, but my father went over the Chisholm Trail by wagon. He was herding cattle to Caldwell, Kansas, to market. They had two wagons, and my two older brothers and four older sisters were along. The younger two girls were 9 and 11. One had black hair and the other had blonde. After they had crossed Red River into the Indian Territory, an Indian man rode up leading two ponies.

He looked the family over, pointed to my blonde sister and to the ponies. He held up two fingers and said, "Ponies for papoose."

"No, no, can't trade papoose," said my father. Finally, the Indian left. Father stayed awake all night, fearing he might try to come back and take her.

The next morning early, the Indian was back with four ponies and tried to trade them for Sister. When he saw it was no use, he rode away waving and seemed to bear no ill will. They never saw him again, but we often called Sister "Papoose."

Mrs. C. S. Luellen
Hinton, Oklahoma

Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then CAPPER’s Weekly asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from CAPPER’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community. 

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