Utes Sell Child

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Ute_warriorIn 1851 William Rice bought an indian girl, a prisoner—from a band of Utahs, and just before leaving the settlement, they stole her away, in order to sell her again at some other place. We went up to their camp to demand her, one Sunday morning. There were about a dozen of us, armed with rifles. They had sent off all the squaws and pack animals, except the wife of the chief and her pony, which she had not finished packing, leaving fifteen warriors well mounted and armed to bring up the rear. They denied all knowledge of her, and were about to leave, when John Steele, our leader, told Bob Gillispie to go and seize the squaw’s horse. He did so, and I was then sent to help him keep it. An indian rode up and struck the pony to make it break loose, but both Bob and the squaw held tight—the squaw trying to drag the horse away, jabbering all the time. The Chief had not yet mounted, but stood under a Cedar, with two of our men watching him, with finger on trigger and looking him in the eye. His men had surrounded us, each behind a bush or tree, with rifle leveled and cocked, waiting for the word from the chief. In his tight fix he could not give it, and as he stood there, looked like a very demon, his eyes flashing fire and his lip quivering. Once he made a motion as if to raise his gun, but Wm Rice lowered his muzzle a little, to cover him better, and he became quiet again.

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