bannerGood Morning, Afternoon or Evening (depending on when you are joining us)!

Yes, I am going to be giving away a free copy of the new Tradepaper copy of THE SPIRIT OF THE WOLF.  However, because the book isn’t due out for release as a tradepaper until July 22nd, the winner of the drawing today will have to wait a week or so before I can send out the book.

The tradepaper copy of the book is valued at about $16.00.  So do come on in and leave a message.  All one has to do to enter the drawing is to leave a comment — void where prohibited.

That said, the blog today is the 2nd in a series of blogs that I want to do concerning the Scout in Native America. SpiritoftheWolf-The-R -- first draft Because THE SPIRIT OF THE WOLF, THE PRINCESS AND THE WOLF, THE ANGEL AND THE WARRIOR and RED HAWK’S WOMAN all center upon a hero who is a scout, I thought I might say a little bit about this very important person, if only because upon the observation and word of the scout lay the survival of the tribe.  We often hear about the chiefs of the tribes, but one of the most valuable members of the tribe was the scout.

Interestingly, the scouts of the tribe belonged to a very secret society, so that most members of the tribe did not know who their scouts were.  It is my belief that this was probably a rule of survival, because in their own tribe, these men’s lives were so important that the tribe could not take a chance on jealousy risking the life of their scouts.

Much of this information (and most of what follows here) comes from the book by Tom Brown, Jr., THE WAY OF THE SCOUT, who as a boy of seven, was taken under the wing of an 83 year old Apache, whose name was Stalking Wolf.  Stalking Wolf, or Grandfather, as he is called in the book, taught Mr. Brown not only the fundamentals of tracking and hunting, but he taught him the Way of the Scout.

scoutsapacheMr. Brown notes that Grandfather was quick to point out that the old scout was NOT the scout that was hired by the U.S. army/cavalry.  The scout was the man who would “locate the game, direct the clan away from its enemies, decide where the clan would migrate and through what route, and otherwise keep the clan safe.”  From THE WAY OF THE SCOUT.

In his book Mr. Brown tells us that Grandfather would teach himself and Mr. Brown’s friend, Rick, in two different aspects about the same skill.  One was the pure physical skill itself.  The second teaching method was to teach the same skill but as “the way of the scout.”  Those skills were different from just the skill itself — and it carried with it a philosophy all its own.

He gives an example in his book.  He notes that first grandfather would teach how to build a basic shelter.  Then when that was mastered, he would teach how to make that shelter invisible in the environment one was in so that to all people — “all eyes,” it wasn’t there.

scoutingmoreaboutAs Mr. Brown notes:  “We became scout purists, where everything came from the earth and was made by our own hands.  As far as Grandfather was concerned, if we went into a survival situation with our clothing on then we were not living in survival, but camping.” From THE WAY OF THE SCOUT.

At this point, I’d like to add my own observation of what might be considered scouting.  The first time I went to a reservation, my friend and I went to a lake with a man from the tribe.  When we went to the lake, the man made several observations.  Out of the blue (for us) he said that about 2 hours ago 6 or children (I don’t remember the exact number now — but he certainly knew) had been at the lake swimming.  He named what their ages were and went on to say that they were the children from (and he named the family).  When I asked him how he knew this, he pointed to the tracks left in the sand.  He pointed out the difference in several of the prints, he pointed to places scoutthe sand had dried, where the sun was and where it had been when the prints were first dried, and from these as well as other observations, he told us not only when the children had been there, but how many there had been and eventually who those children were.  I was amazed.

In my next post, which should be in two weeks, I’m hoping to explore the realm of how a scout can tell from a single track many different things:  the age, the health, the thoughts and even the emotions of the person who made them.  It is in this book, THE WAY OF THE SCOUT, where Mr. Brown tells us about “pressure releases” and a little of how to read them in the prints left upon the earth.


On sale in ebook or tradepaper



THE SPIRIT OF THE WOLF, coming in Tradepaper July 22nd, 2015.  At present it is marked down for sale, so go have a peek.



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KAREN KAY aka GEN BAILEY is the multi-published author of American Indian Historical Romances. She has written for such prestigious publishers as AVON/HarperCollins, Berkley/Penguin/Putnam and Samhain Publishing. KAREN KAY’S great grandmother was Choctaw Indian and Kay is honored to be able to write about the American Indian Culture.
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62 thoughts on “THE SPIRIT OF THE WOLF & The Scout”

  1. A most informative and interesting post thank you. I love your covers too.


  2. I adore your books. Having done some research into your books, its occurred to me that I am missing a few 🙁 Well, that’s what birthdays are for! Lol.

  3. Congratulation on the release of “The Sprirt of the Wolf”. I look forward to reading this story. Enjoyed reading your article about the Indian scout and how important he was to the survival of the tribe.

    • Hi Catherine!

      Thanks so much. There’s more to come, you know. These men were quite gifted as far as being able spiritually. Would really like to keep posting more about them. : )

  4. Your fascinating and wonderful book interests me greatly. Congratulations and best wishes. I was captivated with the post.

    • Hi Elaina!

      Ah, thank you so much. Am hoping to go into it in more detail, because there is so much to learn — how could they know from hundreds of miles away, what was happening? Yet, they could. What was their code of ethics and why was this so important?

      Anyway, thank you.

  5. Very interesting post. You’ve been recommended to me as an excellent writer of Native American fiction. I’m looking forward to discovering your books. Congratulations and lots of success for this new book.

  6. I find your blog on the NA tribal customs and beliefs very intriguing, so can’t wait to read more abt the scout’s life within the tribe. I really enjoy your books and your writing. Keep up the good work!

  7. Hi Karen! What an intriguing post today and your new cover is stunning. I like learning about the ways of the scout and I find it fascinating all the information a scout can glean from his surroundings and the tracks that are made. Reminds me of a version of CSI in a much simpler time and with more soul.

  8. Congratulations on your upcoming release! I enjoyed this fascinating post and look forward to learning more about the way of the scout.

  9. Your posts are always fascinating. I really knew nothing about the scout and that the tribe didn’t know who it was is really astonishing. Sounds like an amazing read!

    • Hi!

      You know an interesting side-note is that in one of the books I was reading — and I can’t recall which one now — one of the boys was learning the ways of the scout, but even he didn’t know the identity of the man, because these people, when in the tribe setting, would disguise themselves — usually with mud and that sort of thing. So even this boy, who was with the man, learning about scouting, had no idea of the identity of this person. Interesting.

  10. I love reading about the history of cowboys and Indians. What a path they tread before us. Hoping to read this story!

    • Hi Melody!

      Thanks so much. Yes, they really did tread a path, didn’t they? I do believe that Tom Brown, Jr. is keeping the aspects of the true scout alive. : )

    • Hi Colleen!

      Thanks so much. I remember the first time I read this book, I was amazed, and then I noticed without even taking his classes, that I had become a little better at looking at tracks. : )

  11. Very interesting post. These scouts seem to be keenly perceptive. It’s amazing what you can learn when you take the time to really observe and study the environment around you.
    Your book cover looks beautiful!

    • Hi Sandra!

      You are so right about studying the environment. I had never been aware of any of this until I read this book, and even in just the reading of it, it seems I became more aware. Thanks for your compliments on the cover. It is beautiful, I think.

  12. Sounds like a great read. Have read westerns in the past, this might be a good book to start reading them again.

  13. Hello Karen.( CSI is Crime Scene Investigation. Interesting.) Love the Indian books and your covers are always great. It is really something the way they can learn all of this information. have to be really smart men. I would love your book to my library.
    Thanks for a chance to win it. Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com <

    • Hi Maxie!

      Ah, so that’s what CSI is. Yes, but the true scout only used his abilities for the good of the tribe — they were very respected men. : )

  14. Congrats on the new book, Kay! I love the cover. And as well, another informative post from you. As much as I like this information I can’t wait for the next time…reading emotion from a track! WOW. Hugs…

    • Hi Tanya!

      Thanks so much for your welcome post. Yes, reading emotion from a track. According to Tom Brown, Jr., it seemed to him to be almost an invasion of privacy — one could learn so much about a person from their tracks. : )

  15. We are never too old to learn and I thank you for this opportunity to learn about scouts. Although you don’t judge a book by it’s cover most of us make purchases at one time or another for this reason. The cover is very tempting.

    • Hi Mildred!

      You are so right. Truth to tell, I have bought many a book because of its cover — and I agree, this one is very tempting. Thanks so much for the comment.

  16. Will “The Sprirt of the Wolf” be available in ebook also? My poor old eyes won’t let me read print, even the larger print, now. Getting old is for the birds. lol

    • Hi Rebecca!

      Thanks so much, and thanks for your post, too. It’s funny, but this book is special to me — not certain exactly why — but it is special. : )

  17. Your books sound wonderful to read. I love to read about the Indian Romances that are set up in the Historical Settings.

  18. I have not read many American Indian historical novels and none which were romances. I appreciate the scout background as this will enhance the reading.

  19. I love it here at P & P as I always learn something new about the old west. Thank you for sharing. I love your book cover!

    Cindy W.

    countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

  20. Karen – Thanks for the info. on the scouts for the tribes. The scouts for the U.S. army/cavalry were outcast from their tribes is that correct?? Always wondered what the difference were between these native american scouts. Enjoy reading your books & the covers. Thanks, for the chance to win.

  21. Hi Lois!

    Actually I’m not sure. The difference is the difference between seeing a track and being able to follow it — and being able to read the thoughts and emotions of the people making the tracks. Also, a real scout never used his skills to kill others or bring on armies to do it…even enemies — his job was to protect the tribe from danger — and he took that job seriously. Thanks for your kind comment.

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