WOMAN’S WIT OUTWITS INDIANS
By Mrs. Belle Platz Cox
I came to Nebraska in a covered wagon, drawn by oxen, from Minnesota in 1871. In 1872 I was married to Orv. C. Harris and started housekeeping in a “soddy” one and one-half miles from Arborville in York county, and sixteen miles from Lone Tree, now Central City. Our “house” of one room had one small window and the latch on the board door was a raw-hide string which we pulled inside and fastened to a crooked nail. There was not another “house” in sight, and many is the time I have ridden my pony to Lone Tree, fording the mile wide Platte river and seeing nothing but Indians and buffalo roaming the prairie.
About two months after I was married, Mr. Harris, then a county commissioner, had to go to Lincoln, via. horseback, on county business. I stayed alone. The first evening I had done our few chores and was just ready to go to bed when someone tapped on my window. I looked up and saw a huge Indian, his face crowned with feathers, pressed against the small glass. Two squaws were with him. They knew we had a cow and he demanded milk. I was too frightened to speak. I blew out my candle light and was as quiet as the proverbial mouse. They talked among themselves and finally rode away, dragging their teepee poles. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep that night. I was up early the next morning, and as I finished milking, here they rode up our path. The Indian buck got off his pony, pushed back my sun bonnet from my face, and demanded the bucket of milk I was carrying. I gave them the milk, then told them to leave. He only laughed. I went to the “soddy” and took down my rifle, and aimed it at a small board which had been left in the crotch of a small tree. I was so frightened my hands shook, but I fired and my aim was perfect. Out the lane they went, and as far as I know they are still going, at least I never saw them again, and have never wanted to!