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Cody Day At The Omaha Exposition
SINCE 1893 the "Wild West" exhibitions have been restricted to the various cities of our
own land. Life in "Buffalo Bill's Tented City," as it is called, is like life in a small village.
There are some six hundred persons in the various departments. Many of the men have
their families with them; the Indians have their squaws and papooses, and the variety of
nationalities, dialects, and costumes makes the miniature city an interesting and
entertaining one.
The Indians may be seen eating bundles of meat from their fingers and drinking tankards
of iced buttermilk. The Mexicans, a shade more civilized, shovel with their knives great
quantities of the same food into the capacious receptacles provided by nature. The
Americans, despite what is said of their rapid eating, take time to laugh and crack jokes,
and finish their repast with a product only known to the highest civilization--ice-cream.
When the "Wild West" visited Boston, one hot June day the parade passed a children's
hospital on the way to the show-grounds. Many of the little invalids were unable to leave
their couches. All who could do so ran to the open windows and gazed eagerly at the
passing procession, and the greatest excitement prevailed. These more fortunate little
ones described, as best they could, to the little sufferers who could not leave their beds
the wonderful things they saw. The Indians were the special admiration of the children.
After the procession passed, one wee lad, bedridden by spinal trouble, cried bitterly
because he had not seen it. A kind-hearted nurse endeavored to soothe the child, but
words proved unavailing. Then a bright idea struck the patient woman; she told him he
might write a letter to the great "Buffalo Bill" himself and ask him for an Indian's picture.
The idea was taken up with delight, and the child spent an eager hour in penning the
letter. It was pathetic in its simplicity. The little sufferer told the great exhibitor that he
was sick in bed, was unable to see the Indians when they passed the hospital, and that he
longed to see a photograph of one.
The important missive was mailed, and even the impatient little invalid knew it was
useless to expect an answer that day. The morning had hardly dawned before a child's
bright eyes were open. Every noise was listened to, and he wondered when the postman
would bring him a letter. The nurse hardly dared to hope that a busy man like Buffalo Bill
would take time to respond to the wish of a sick child.
"Colonel Cody is a very busy man," she said. "We must be patient."
At perhaps the twentieth repetition of this remark the door opened noiselessly. In came a
six-foot Indian, clad in leather trousers and wrapped in a scarlet blanket. He wore a head-
dress of tall, waving feathers, and carried his bow in his hand.