Welcome to another Tuesday and a Free Give-Away. Today I’ll be giving away a free copy of the mass market copy of WAR CLOUD’S PASSION. If you go to our main page, you’ll see a link to the guidelines that we use here at Petticoats & Pistols. Just be sure to check back on Wednesday or Thursday to see if you are the winner, because we don’t usually notify you — we count on you coming back.
One of the facets of the American Indian culture that fascinates me is the scout. Many times the hero of my stories is a scout — not a chief or a medicine man — but a scout. Why? I hope that by the end of this blog, you’ll have a really good understanding of why this particular being in the American Indian culture was so very, very important.
Traditionally, the North American Indian called their scouts wolves. It was a compliment. These scouts were the most trusted individuals within the tribe, belonging to a mysterious medicine society (medicine meaning a cause for wonder — often involving healing or mystery). Upon their trusted words stood the well-being and safety of every person within the tribe, from chief on down to the tiny baby. Even chiefs bowed to the wisdom and opinions of the scout. These men were warriors, trackers, and trailblazers. But most of all these were men of incredible skill and pride.
The identity of the scout was sometimes unknown to many others in the tribe, because the scout was often in disguise. He used the tools that he was given by nature to affect these disguises — mud placed all over his body (sometimes the scout even made “ears” like a wolf out of the mud), a wolf-pelt, buffalo belt, etc. He faded into the environment so much that he was often never detected. It was an honor for a scout to fool another scout — a very hard thing to do.
I have several books that are dedicated to the scout. Chief amongst them is THE PRINCESS AND THE WOLF, a tale that encompasses two different continents. In this book, I go into great detail about the scout and how he operated. Other of my books that tell the story through a scout’s perspective are: THE SPIRIT OF THE WOLF, THE ANGEL AND THE WARRIOR
There is a book on the market that you can buy, THE WAY OF THE SCOUT by author and scout, Tom Brown. In this book, one is introduced to the way of the scout by Tom, who, as a boy, was taken under the wing of an old Apache scout and was taught the ways of the scout. But let me mention a few of the abilities that these scouts possessed. They could see miles in the distance, often stumping their white contemporaries. They could sneak up on a person with such silence that one wouldn’t have even known a scout was there. They were expert trackers and could tell not only each tribe by their prints (as all hunters and warriors could also), they could tell the state of health of the person who made the track. They could tell the time of day the track was made and could even discern the thoughts of the person who made the track. Was that person worried, happy, fearful? They could even tell what organs of the body were not good or where they might fail– all from a track.
They were so attuned to nature and the ebbs and flows of all around them that they could tell when something disturbed it, which means that they could detect a stranger into the environment. Scouts loved water and mastered a technique of using water as a medium for scouting in what they lovingly called the water dance of the scout.
Scouts were trained hard and diligently by their elders and were trained to their profession as young boys, often given such chores as tracking ants — tracking animals over rocks, etc. Scouts were honest to a fault — they had to be, because, as mentioned above, the entire safety and well-being of the tribe depended upon their observations and recommendations.
The Way of the Scout: honesty, integrity, not being afraid to state what you know or have seen, certainty of observation and a deep love of every member of his tribe. These were all the traits of the old scout. Some in military or government today like to think that they know The Way of the Scout. Not so. Not so at all. The scout was noted for his compassion for all living creators — he did not kill his own kind, be they of his own tribe or a stranger wholly unknown to him. And unless he had to eat, he didn’t kill other creatures either, nor did he press advantage for the skills and means that he had. He used his skills to help his tribe, not to harm others without just cause.
Can you imagine a government made up of such men of integrity today? In the current atmosphere of 180 degree reverse vectors, it seems almost impossible, even laughable. And yet in the old days, it was so. May we never forget.