Howdy!  And welcome to another Tuesday blog.  Before I go into the most interesting part of the blog and tell you about the awesome abilities of the American Indian scouts of old, I wanted to mention that I’ll be giving away an ebook copy of THE SPIRIT OF THE WOLF and also my most recent release, SENECA SURRENDER to two lucky bloggers.  Just leave a comment and you are automatically entered into the drawing for the book — remember to look over the Giveaway Guidelines at the right side of this page.

One other important point:  we all rely on you to come to the blog tomorrow (Wednesday — usually at night) or Thursday to see if you have won.  Unlike some other sites, we don’t contact you if you are the winner.  So please do check back.

apachescout4The reason why I’m giving away the ebook, THE SPIRIT OF THE WOLF is because it is a book about a hero who is, among other things, a scout.  In researching this profession, I ran across some extremely interesting abilities that these men of old had.  Now, I find it interesting, indeed, that these men could tell from a mere trail the thoughts, health, etc. of the man/woman/animal who had left that trail.  This information, some of which I’ll quote, comes from the book, THE WAY OF THE SCOUT, by Tom Brown, Jr., a man, who as a young boy was taken under the wing of an old Apache scout, and who was trained by that man as a scout.  Grandfather is what Mr. Brown called this old Apache scout.  So this passage is from this book.

“(Grandfather) defined the tracking that we had done as typical or novice tracking, but the tracking of the scout was defined as master tracking.  Even at the onset, the difference became obvious.  Grandfather told us that the earth was like an open book, filled with stories.  These stories were written not only in the softest ground but also on every other type of soil even on rock…”

arikarascoutMr. Brown goes on to say, “To this day, the greatest tracking thrill of my life was when Grandfather first showed me how to read track “compressions” in impossible soils and on solid rock…”

And here is where one really begins to learn about the old American Indian Scouts (those scouts who worked for the United States army were not the scouts of old).  Anyway, again, another quote from THE WAY OF THE SCOUT, “You must stop looking at the tracks as lifeless depressions in the ground. Instead, and you have noticed inside of the track is a tiny landscape.  There are hills, valleys, peaks, ridges, domes, pocks, and countless other little features.  These features the scouts developed into a science, that which they call the ‘pressure releases.’  It is through these pressure releases that the scout can know everything about the animal or man that he is tracking.  The scouts of my clan could identify and define over four thousand of these pressure releases, and I know of no peoples of the earth that have been able to do the same.”

curlycrowscoutMr. Brown goes on to explain in his book how these pressure releases can be read and identified, and he goes on to say that because man or animals are stabilized by their feet on the ground, they are always in motion and always having to keep balance — even to the tiniest of moves.  It’s because of this constant need to keep balance and shift that produces the “pressure releases.”

IndianScouts2Mr. Brown goes on to say that he and his friend, Rick, who was learning about tracking also, would start to identify their own moods and look at the pressure releases and note the difference between that mood and some other emotion — and study their own tracks — he says that everyone became a source of study.

He even goes on to say that “Grandfather taught us to expand our awareness and tracking beyond even that level.  He would stand beside a tree, point to a missing limb and ask, “How long ago was this done?  What did it and how?  What direction did the cutter come from?  Was his axe or saw dull or sharp, was he right- or left-handed, what degree of strength did he have?  Grandfather told us that we should always hold one question in our minds at all times:  What is this telling me?”

Charles EastmanIndian&boyscoutsBy the way, the picture to the left is a picture of a young Charles Eastman, a Sioux Indian, who became a lawyer for his people.  I believe (please correct me if I am wrong) that it was Charles Eastman who established the Boy Scouts long, long ago.  If he didn’t establish it, he certainly helped to create it.  Charles Eastman also wrote several books with the help of his wife, whom he met in collage.  She was white.  I believe some time ago, there was a television story concerning Charles Eastman and his wife, and I believe that Adam Beach played the part of Charles Eastman.  This was an interesting fact to learn for me, because I have never really known that the Boy Scouts came to us from the American Indian — I had never stopped to consider it until I read about it from either one of Charles Eastman’s books or another book.

adambeachascharleseastmanAt the left here is a picture of Adam Beach playing Charles Eastman.  : )

Well, that’s all for today.  Next blog I’d like to tell you a little about the water dance of the scout.  Did you know there was such a thing?  I can’t help but think sometimes that it is a shame that one culture coming in will often destroy the culture that is there already.  There is so much we could have learned from the American Indian of old.  I always look forward to these blogs so that I can tell you a little about what I’ve learned because I think it so vital to keep these things alive.

SpiritoftheWolf-The-R -- first draftAnd so today, I’m giving away a free e-book of THE SPIRIT OF THE WOLF, one of my stories that delves deeply into the scout and how this influences the heroine of the story.

I’m also giving away another book, SENECA SURRENDER, in e-book format because this is my latest book to be released.

So come on in, leave a comment, and let me know what you think of this very vital role of the American Indian culture, the Scout.


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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.
Please refer to for all contest rules.


  1. Wow! I never knew the Boy Scouts were started by an American Indian either. That’s pretty cool. Thank you for sharing.

    Cindy W.

    • You know, Cindy, I’m not too sure he started the Boy Scouts. However, I do know that it was he who came in on it in the beginning and helped to do such programs as “being prepared,” woods awareness and how to track and various things like this concerning survival in the wild. That I do know for sure. I had thought that he had started it, but upon reading more about this, I think someone started it, but he was a major player in setting up its programs and such. I need to research this a little more.

  2. This is very interesting. I had no idea the Boy Scouts were started by an American Indian. Charles Eastman has left a great legacy to the children of today.

  3. Hi Janine,

    I do need to do more research on who started this. The thing I know with certainty from Charles Eastman’s own writings is these programs of wilderness survival were done by him. That I do know. But the actual setting up of it legally and that sort of thing — I will have to research that a little more.

  4. Such a fascinating post, Karen. It is a shame so much has been lost when one culture moves in and does not respect the culture that has been there. I enjoy learning about the differences in cultures. How different the world might be if the very best of each culture was lifted up and celebrated.

  5. Hi Karen! I would love to win so I can read one of your stories. I’ve been waiting it seems forever. I would love to read the Spirit of the Wolf. Most stories don’t tell a whole lot about a scout it’s always the chief and an up-coming chief.

    • Hi Pamela!

      That is so true. It’s interesting from the point of view that in the tribes, the scout was considered one of the most important people. They were so secretive, however, that few people actually knew who their scouts were. So interesting.

  6. Interesting post! By the way, I read another interesting article in a history magazine I found in a second-hand bookstore recently: at least one Native American woman might have ended up in Iceland with the Vikings.

    • Hi Minna!

      Wow! Now that’s a turn about, isn’t it? It wouldn’t surprise me, however, as I have researched accounts of Indians coming to the European countries.

      • Well, in this case there apparently aren’t any written records (at least no one has found any so far), just DNA. Just write the words Iceland, Vikings and Native American on Google and you’ll find plenty of texts about this subject.

      • Oh, Minna, thank you so much for this — I will do this. You know, I so love the story of the Mandan Indians — George Catlin wrote so much about them in his books and he believed (because they were “white” Indians) that they were of Scottish descent, because they commonly had blond or white hair and green or blue eyes — he painted many of their pictures. No red hair, however. Maybe they could’ve been Vikings. So very interesting. But the Mandans had no written records or memory of how they came to have so many “white” features — so he had to guess and because the Mandans were almost wiped out due to smallpox infested blankets, we still don’t really know. Interesting mystery.

  7. Hey Kay, all you have to do is post me a pic of Adam Beach and I’m there. Sigh. I love this post. I had no idea emotions could be read along with the footprints! I have more and more respect for the peoples who lived these lands before we messed it up for them. Great post today, as always. xo

    • Thank you so much, Tanya. Love what you said. I know, Adam Beach is so very handsome. It’s amazing, isn’t it. Remember the first time I went to a reservation, the fellow showing me around told me the story of some children playing in a lake — and he told it all by their footprints, even down to who the children were and where they most likely lived. I was impressed.

  8. I love all books about Indians! My husband is part Cherokee and he looks like an Indian, the same coloring etc. I love your books! The ones I’ve read are fantastic!

      • I watch all kinds of Indian programs on tv, I also have many on DVD’s. Dances with Wolves, Last of the Mohicans, so many I can’t think of right now. One had an Indian woman named Tasheena, she died and when her Indian husband finally died he met her on the hanging road in the sky and they both were young and beautiful once again. That was my all time favorite ever.

        See I told you I love anything to do with Indians, my husband took me to a rondavou, I know that is spelled wrong but I can’t think how to spell it right now. There was this beautiful white ceremonial wedding dress that my husband wanted to get me but when we saw the price of $1,000.00 there was no way we could afford it. Oh how I wish we could have bought it though!

        My husband always calls me his captive, what he doesn’t realize is that I was more than willing! I love him so much.

      • Hi Starr!

        I’ve seen the movie you’re talking about over and over and over — and I can’t think of the name of the movie, now, either. Of course, I no longer watch movies or television — just don’t have the time anymore. But I read and read and read and read and my favorite all time books are those of George Catlin from the 1834’s. Love, love, love his books.

      • Is George on Amazon? Are his books in ebook? I’d at least like to check out what he has, maybe he would let me read and review for him too.

      • George Catlin was an artist and writer who went amongst the Indians in the 1830’s. He wrote about what he saw. He was one of the first people to go into the wilderness of the West and write about it. His books are probably on Amazon.

  9. Karen, I loved reading your blog about the Scouts. Very interesting! Loved all the pictures too!!! I think I have seen Adam Beach in one movie my Husband watched too. Thank you for the chance to win your books!!!

  10. Karen, I find it so interesting about the ways of the early Indians. How they could tell so much by tracking and also how they could hide/cover their own tracks. I would love to win either of these books. Also if you ever need someone to read and review for you, please consider me.

    • Hi Judy!

      Wow! What a wonderful offer. I would love for you to review my books. If you go to my website — — you can let me know which of my books you’d like to review and I can send you an e-book copy of it — how does that sound? Only thing is, I don’t have any e-book copies or hard copies of THE PRINCESS AND THE WOLF or WOLF SHADOW’S PROMISE anymore. But I do have all the others in e-book format. Just let me know. THE SPIRIT OF THE WOLF and WOLF SHADOW’S PROMISE, as well as THE ANGEL AND THE WARRIOR are the books where the hero is definitely a scout. 🙂

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