The Scout & Free Give Away


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.

apachescout3Traditionally, 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.

indians on the hillThe 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

Wolf on the HillThere 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.

wolf in the woodsThey 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.

imagesCA9921J1The 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 governmheaderent 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.

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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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53 thoughts on “The Scout & Free Give Away”

  1. Interesting information. I had never thought about the scouts being in disguise. Seems like such a dangerous job.

  2. Wow Karen, you did it again, stumping me and everybody else by the abundance of material, trivia and most importantly thoughts we have of misguided information about different Indians and their Tribes. It is great because we always see the scout as totally opposite it most of history, films, books and just our general idea as nowhere near as trained totally in nature, medicine, metaphysics and more. Now with our eyes opened it is easier to repicture all we see, hear and read from now on. You are right the Scout was and always will be a unique individual and VIP to the tribe whether they knew who it was or not. Like the essence of a Ninja, SEAL, Black Ops, Shaman and more. Thanks Karen, now you want me to read and know about a Scout even more now. To blend in camouflaged everywhere imagine.

    • Hi Elaine!

      Great information. Interestingly, the scout never killed anybody unless he was attacked — nor did he kill other creatures unless attacked. I think this differs from the Ninja, SEAL, Black Ops, Shaman, etc. He was trained to hunt out vital information and report it back to the tribe — and not to engage in combat unless forced to. Interesting…

      • That truly is the big difference, valuing every life not taking it for sure. Wondering what neat new info stumper you have for us next? Haha we all love your unique spin on topics everybody else gets wrong and corrects our misconceptions about real life back when in indian tribes and their history. Keep it coming Karen and thanks again.

        • You know, Elaine, I love true history — it is colorful and full of surprises — not the history — which is almost complete propaganda — that one is taught in schools. All peoples have so much worth to their societies — just like all peoples have their good and their bad. I love to glean out this information — for truly, if we don’t know real, honest to goodness what really happened history, how are we to ever learn so that no longer may genocide or mass murders ever occur on this planet. My take on it.

  3. Such interesting information as always Karen. I will admit to always having a healthy skepticism about the scouts abilities and if they could really do everything it was claimed they could.

    • I would leave it to you to decide this or not. You might pick up the book, THE WAY OF THE SCOUT at Amazon and have a read and then tell me what you think. Is it real?

      After reading the book, I think it is. But that’s up to each one individually to decide, I think. : )

            • I think you’ll really enjoy it. Another book by Tom Brown, Jr., is GRANDFATHER. It’s an incredibly beautiful book — another one I recommend highly.

            • There are other books out there by other authors, but few of them cover the scouts. Another one to read and follow is Charles Eastman, who was instrumental in the formation of the Boy Scouts that we have today…well, maybe not today — but he was there to help form it in its inception. I think today that it is not the same organization of the past. Sad…

    • Actually I think we have many — but not in government, I fear. I think those in government who had integrity have either changed sides (guess that’s no integrity, isn’t it) or killed or run out of town. When the Federal Reserve was passed in 1913, one of its main opponents was run out of town with threats of tar and feathering. True.

  4. I love all the fascinating information we gather from this blog! Tracking ants, what a way to start a youngster in his learning process. Besides the govt gaining integrity, kids could use a dose of coming back to the real world too!

    • But you know it was true about tracking ants. I’ve learned this from a couple of different sources. I think there is so much to learn that we haven’t ever been exposed to — so it makes it seem like it couldn’t be — it would be too hard. But apparently, this was the start of their training. : )

  5. Wow, that is amazing ability! I only wish we had that kind of integrity somewhere in today’s world. It is in shortage, that is for sure.

    • Yes it is in shortage — in government and banking perhaps — but I think there are still parts of the world where this is still alive and well. : )

  6. i think we should go back in time and have a do over,,this country is in such a mess,,our forfathers would never went thru some of what they did if they knew what it would become over a hundred years later

    • Yeah, I think so, too. I like to think they would have gone through it anyway. They called it the great experiment. And it was a great experiment and it allowed generations of people to grow up knowing what it means to be free — and this is really a good thing.

  7. I simply can’t imagine a government, no what time period or place we might be talking about, made up of men of that much integrity. Power and integrity go rarely hand in hand, unlike power and corruption.

    • Gosh, Minna, so well said. So very well said. And yet, this did exist in the scout. I have read so many accounts of this kind of activity in the realm of the scout. But then, it wasn’t government as we think of it today — all these tribes were villages — not something that was big and central.

      • Well, the more people there are, the easier it is for someone to do as they please instead of what is right. I would imagine, that when the number of people were more limited than they are now, it was harder to get away with anything, though probably not impossible.

        • I think you’re right, Minna. There are accounts in history (not written, but passed down) of men who used their power for evil. But I think a scout, brought up in a tribe, and loving every member of it already, would be inclined to keep in his integrity and honor. Of course, there are accounts of these scouts in society, who never lost those traits of honor and honesty…ever… And I think this is beautiful.

  8. Enjoyed reading your article on scouts.
    That would be a wonderful addition to our “lame” government reps today.
    I enjoy reading your books.

  9. I never realized so much went into the training of a scout. Out of further curiosity, how was it determined, or perhaps I should phrase the question as who decided what person would be trained to be a scout? Was it a birth right or a character trait usually recognized by a Chief?

    I love your books and have a hard time putting them down. Thank you so much for this brief history lesson.

  10. Hi Carolyn!

    Yes, to some character trait that was usually noted by the scout of that particular tribe. The same was true for the shaman or medicine man of the tribe. I believe (if I have my history correct) that the scout would notice certain traits in a boy, and that boy would then go on to be trained as the scout.

    Thanks so much for the compliment — can’t tell you how much this touches my heart.

  11. I never realized how much they were in tune with the earth. Unfortunately, pretty much the opposite of most people today. Your posts are always fascinating.

  12. Great information once again Kay and wonderful pictures to boot! Especially the picture of Eric Schweig who was in “Last of the Mohicans!”

    • Hi Lisa. Thank you so much. I’m so glad that you mentioned Eric Schweig. He was wonderful in “THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS,” and in the movie he was the scout for the party. : )

  13. Very good information! I never knew that scouts had disguises. I have watched westerns that included Indian tribes and Scouts. I knew they were very quiet but nothing about disguises. Thank you for another interesting blog!!!

  14. Hi Arlene!

    Yes, they were masters at disguises. And one they often used was that of the wolf. My book THE PRINCESS AND THE WOLF goes into scouting even more. Thanks so much for your post.

  15. Hi Karen – Thanks for the scout info. Who was the Indian actor in your post?
    I really enjoyed that film, also your books always have lots of historical info.

  16. Still loves Last of the Mohicans, all were good, good looking to for Hawkeye and Uncas but tracking ants had another factor too. Ants are well known for the Patience as in my Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams and uh hmm Patience or Ant is the #1 in my totem haha. My greatest challenge has always been patience and that Animal Card is the Ant. So tracking ants was training boys into being patient scounts by tracking ants too, so knowing this makes total sense to me. Just an FYI Karen.

  17. Wow, that adds another layer onto the scout. I guess that’s why they were known for their patience — as well as their ability to memorize everything in their environment at a glance. Personally I think we as a country are too “entertained.” I think we are capable of these things — and they go untapped. : )

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