Last of the Great Scouts HTML version

Return Of The "Wild West" To America
WHEN the "Wild West" returned to America from its first venture across seas, the sail up
the harbor was described by the New York _World_ in the following words:
"The harbor probably has never witnessed a more picturesque scene than that of
yesterday, when the `Persian Monarch' steamed up from quarantine. Buffalo Bill stood on
the captain's bridge, his tall and striking figure clearly outlined, and his long hair waving
in the wind; the gayly painted and blanketed Indians leaned over the ship's rail; the flags
of all nations fluttered from the masts and connecting cables. The cowboy band played
`Yankee Doodle' with a vim and enthusiasm which faintly indicated the joy felt by
everybody connected with the `Wild West' over the sight of home."
Will had been cordially welcomed by our English cousins, and had been the recipient of
many social favors, but no amount of foreign flattery could change him one hair from an
"American of the Americans," and he experienced a thrill of delight as he again stepped
foot upon his native land. Shortly afterward he was much pleased by a letter from
William T. Sherman-- so greatly prized that it was framed, and now hangs on the wall of
his Nebraska home. Following is a copy:
"_Dear Sir_: In common with all your countrymen, I want to let you know that I am not
only gratified but proud of your management and success. So far as I can make out, you
have been modest, graceful, and dignified in all you have done to illustrate the history of
civilization on this continent during the past century. I am especially pleased with the
compliment paid you by the Prince of Wales, who rode with you in the Deadwood coach
while it was attacked by Indians and rescued by cowboys. Such things did occur in our
days, but they never will again.
"As nearly as I can estimate, there were in 1865 about nine and one-half million of
buffaloes on the plains between the Missouri River and the Rocky Mountains; all are now
gone, killed for their meat, their skins, and their bones. This seems like desecration,
cruelty, and murder, yet they have been replaced by twice as many cattle. At that date
there were about 165,000 Pawnees, Sioux, Cheyennes, and Arapahoes, who depended
upon these buffaloes for their yearly food. They, too, have gone, but they have been
replaced by twice or thrice as many white men and women, who have made the earth to
blossom as the rose, and who can be counted, taxed, and governed by the laws of nature
and civilization. This change has been salutary, and will go on to the end. You have
caught one epoch of this country's history, and have illustrated it in the very heart of the
modern world-- London, and I want you to feel that on this side of the water we
appreciate it.