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Young Crow Raider

Young Crow Raider
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Title: Young Crow Raider
Release Date: 2019-03-15
Type book: Text
Copyright Status: Public domain in the USA.
Date added: 27 March 2019
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Young Crow Raider

FRANCIS LYNDE KROLL

YOUNG
CROW
RAIDER

(uncaptioned)

ILLUSTRATED BY CHARLES H. GEER

GROSSET & DUNLAP
NEW YORK

Copyright 1954 by Lantern Press, Inc.
By arrangement with Lantern Press. Inc.

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOG NUMBER: 54-10746
PUBLISHED SIMULTANEOUSLY IN CANADA BY
GEORGE J. MCLEOD, LIMITED, TORONTO
MANUFACTURED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

TO V H K
F L K

CONTENTS

CHAPTER ONE 13
CHAPTER TWO 30
CHAPTER THREE 48
CHAPTER FOUR 65
CHAPTER FIVE 82
CHAPTER SIX 98
CHAPTER SEVEN 114
CHAPTER EIGHT 130
CHAPTER NINE 144
CHAPTER TEN 162
CHAPTER ELEVEN 179

ILLUSTRATIONS

Bent Arrow raised his head until he could see 24
{Bent Arrow leaned toward the buffalo and fired the arrow} 40
Flying Arrow led the way out of camp 68
He tried to gauge how many warriors were in the party 72
Bent Arrow continually looked up at the eagle 87
Bent Arrow fought to keep his seat 103
{The two Crows crept to the top of the hill} 120
Arrows whistled around his head 148
Bent Arrow edged into the passage 173

YOUNG CROW RAIDER

13


CHAPTER ONE

Bent Arrow drove himself forward with allhis strength. For a few steps he seemed tobe closing the gap between himself and thetwo older boys ahead. The next moment theold pain beat up through his right leg. He hadto choke back a gasp as he nearly stumbled.

He forced himself to keep running, althoughthe pain had slowed him so much thatthe two ahead were rapidly outdistancing him.From the corner of his eye, he saw Sly Fox andLaughing Deer draw even with him and try topass. In spite of the pain in his leg, BentArrow wasn’t going to be last. He lungedforward, barely managing to cross the finishline ahead of the other two.

14

As soon as he had crossed the line, BentArrow turned toward the crowd of warriorssurrounding the winner. The warriors wereso close to the runner that Bent Arrowcouldn’t see who it was. Then he caught sightof Running Elk standing at one side, so heknew that Lone Eagle was the winner.

Bent Arrow saw his uncle, Flying Arrow,at the edge of the circle of warriors. He turnedin that direction. He had to grit his teeth tokeep from limping, but he was determinedthat his uncle shouldn’t think he was usinghis injured leg as an excuse for not winning.

“I’m sorry you have to be ashamed becauseI can’t win a race,” Bent Arrow said as soonas he was beside his uncle.

“Ashamed!” Flying Arrow exclaimed. “I’mnot ashamed. I’m proud that you were ableto beat two runners as good as Sly Fox andLaughing Deer. Running Elk and Lone Eagleare a summer older than you. When you arein your fourteenth summer, you will be aneven better runner.”

15

Bent Arrow gulped and bent his head.Only girls cried. Certainly a boy of thirteensummers didn’t, but Flying Arrow’s unexpectedpraise had brought tears very close toBent Arrow’s eyes.

“When your leg is completely healed, you’llbe one of the best runners in the whole CrowNation,” Flying Arrow went on. “You aremuch improved since your last race.”

“I’ll keep practicing,” Bent Arrow vowed.

“Clawing Bear wants to see you,” FlyingArrow told him.

Bent Arrow glanced at his uncle’s face. Hecould see nothing there to tell him what themedicine man wanted. Was he to hear badnews about his leg? He would have liked toask Flying Arrow why the medicine manwanted to see him, but Crow boys were notexpected to ask questions.

“I’ll go now,” he agreed.

16

He turned from his uncle and went past thewarriors who were still gathered around LoneEagle, and on toward the camp. It wasn’t alarge camp. There were only about twentytepees, set up in two irregular lines. This wasa hunting party out to lay in a supply of buffalomeat for the winter which was not too faraway. The hunters had brought their squawsalong. The women would take care of curingand drying the meat that the hunters brought.

The medicine man’s tepee was the last onein the back row and was placed a little apartfrom the others. Clawing Bear was sitting infront of his tepee.

“Come in, Bent Arrow,” Clawing Bear invited,getting slowly to his feet.

Bent Arrow followed the medicine man intothe tepee. Clawing Bear sat near the fire andmotioned Bent Arrow to sit beside him. Theboy sat quietly while the medicine man selecteda pipe, filled it, and lighted it with abrand from the fire. Clawing Bear inhaleddeeply, and slowly blew the smoke to the east.After a pause, he took a second puff and blewit to the south. In the same way he blew smoketo the west and to the north. Then he laid thepipe aside.

17

“You ran a good race today,” he said.

“I didn’t know you were watching,” BentArrow answered.

“I don’t miss many races,” Clawing Bearreplied with a smile. “I am pleased that youare running better.”

“Your treatment is making my leg better,”Bent Arrow explained. “That is why I am ableto run faster.”

“It is about your leg that I wanted to talkwith you,” Clawing Bear told him.

Bent Arrow held himself as motionless aspossible while the medicine man again filledthe pipe and again blew smoke in the directionsof the four winds.

“When you were very small, only in yoursecond summer,” Clawing Bear finally began,“your parents took you with a hunting partylike this one. One day, when most of the hunterswere gone, the Sioux attacked the camp.There were not enough Crow warriors incamp to protect it. When Flying Arrow andthe other hunters returned, they found thecamp destroyed and, apparently, everyone init slain.”

18

The medicine man stared silently at the firefor a long time.

“It was while the hunters were holding thedeath ceremonies for our people,” ClawingBear resumed, “that Flying Arrow found you.Your right leg was badly injured. Your uncleset it as carefully as he could. Several Crowwarriors looked at you. Each of them shook hishead.

“‘It would be better for the small boy tofollow his parents to the Happy HuntingGrounds,’ one of the warriors told your uncle.”

Clawing Bear stopped and looked at BentArrow.

“The lot of a cripple is bad,” he saidgruffly.

Bent Arrow nodded without speaking.

“‘I shall take him to my friend, ClawingBear, the medicine man,’ your uncle toldthem.

“He did. I have given you every treatmenthanded down by Crow medicine men sincethe Great Spirit walked on earth and taughtwarriors how to live. Your uncle has seen thatyou have had every needed exercise. Todayyou outran two fine racers. The Great Spirithas been kind to you.”

19

“I am grateful to you and my uncle, too,”Bent Arrow said. “How can I ever repay you?”

“When you are completely cured, we shallbe repaid,” Clawing Bear answered.

Apparently the medicine man had completedhis story, but he didn’t make the sign ofdismissal. Bent Arrow waited.

“I have had a medicine dream about you,”Clawing Bear resumed. “Not all of it was clear.However, there will be trouble with the Sioux.You and Flying Arrow will be in great danger.There was something about an eagle or aneagle feather, it wasn’t clear which. Yet I sawyou running swiftly. I saw that your leg waswell.”

Bent Arrow’s face glowed. He hardly heardthe words about danger. The medicine man’sdream meant that he would be well. Alreadyhe could see himself winning a great race andearning a new name much better than BentArrow.

20

“How are you doing with your swimminglessons?” Clawing Bear interrupted histhoughts.

Bent Arrow shivered at the memory of themorning’s icy dip. There hadn’t actually beenice on the water, but there had been frost onthe grass along the path to the river. Crow boyswere required to swim every day until the iceon the river was too thick to be broken.

“I swim well,” Bent Arrow explained, “butmy diving isn’t very good. The other boysducked me again this morning.”

Clawing Bear nodded understandingly.

“Keep practicing,” he advised. “It won’t belong until you dive well enough so that theboys will have no excuse to duck you.”

“I don’t know why it is so hard for me tolearn to do things,” Bent Arrow said, with atouch of complaint in his voice. “My uncledoes everything well.”

“Your uncle learned the same way you arelearning,” Clawing Bear answered sharply.“Every Crow is expected to do his best. Seethat you are a good Crow.”

21

“I’ll do my best,” Bent Arrow promised.

Clawing Bear made the sign of dismissal.Bent Arrow got to his feet and stepped out ofthe tepee. He looked about the camp to seewhat the other boys were doing. There weretwo younger boys playing near one of thetepees, but Bent Arrow could see none of theboys of his own age. He remembered that theyhad planned to hunt rabbits. He knew wherethey would be hunting, but it was too late tojoin them. The sun was so warm that BentArrow decided this would be a good time topractice diving. He hurried through the campand along the path to the river.

Usually, the chief in charge of a huntingparty selected a place along the river for acamp. Chief Barking Wolf had chosen a placenear a spring and back a short distance fromthe river. Bent Arrow went to the top of thelow hill which was between the camp and theriver. As soon as he was at the top of the hill,he began to run. He raced to the riverbank,leaped high, and dived into the water. It wasa clean dive, barely making a splash.

22

“If I dive that well tomorrow, the otherboys won’t get to duck me,” he thought, as herose to the surface.

He climbed out of the river, went up thehill, and again made a running dive. Thiswas a good dive, too. He climbed up onto thebank and rested. The camp swimming teacherhad been urging the boys to practice swimmingunder water. Bent Arrow decided thathe would make one more practice dive. If itproved as good as the others, he would see howfar he could swim under water.

To make the practice more fun, he pretendedthat he was escaping from enemies.When he was ready to dive, he bent low andran as hard as he could. His dive carried himwell out into the river. He knifed into thewater with no more splash than a jumping fishwould have made. He held his breath andswam under water with the current. He stayedunder until it seemed his lungs would burst.At last he let his head rise above the surfaceenough so that he could breathe. While hegulped fresh air, Bent Arrow’s eyes were measuringthe distance he had covered. He hadswum much farther under water than he hadsupposed he could. Keeping up his game ofescape, he sank below the surface again.

23

The next time he was forced to raise hishead, he found that he was below the firstbend. That was almost as well as a warriorcould do. He noticed a clump of brush overhangingthe river near him. If he really were awarrior trying to escape from enemies, thatwould be the place to leave the water. Heswam toward the shore and managed to graspone of the low-hanging branches. Carefully hepulled himself out of the water onto the bank.He crept behind the clump of brush andstretched out to rest.

Bent Arrow lay still, letting the sun warmand dry him. As long as he pretended thatenemies were following him, it was easy forhim to lie quiet. Suddenly he heard a faintsplash which sounded as though it might benear the other bank of the river. He was almostcertain that the splash had been made by ajumping fish, but an escaping warrior wouldneglect no precaution. Cautiously Bent Arrowraised his head until he could see between thebranches of the sheltering bush. He jerkedhis head down as suddenly as though he wereducking an arrow. He had seen a Sioux warriorbending down to drink on the other sideof the river.

24

Bent Arrow raised his head until he could see

25

Bent Arrow knew that he must carry a warningto camp. Sioux warriors this near a Crowcamp meant danger. He turned his headenough to

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