Monday, June 13, 2016

CC (part 10) - Little Big Man

Little Big Man/

Little Big Man, also known as Charging Bear, really existed.

He was a fearless Oglala Lakota warrior, who fought under, then rivaled Crazy Horse. When Crazy Horse was murdered, Little Big Man was a suspect.  But one of the notable battles Little Big Man fought was the Battle of Little Big Horn in the Montana Territory. 

* for more info: Little Big Man at


 June 25, 1876 marked the Battle of the Little Big Horn, also know as Custer's Last Stand. And we've coming up on its 140th anniversary. 

Many stories and movies (fact, fiction, legends, lies) were made about this battle as well as General Custer and many of the key players.

One of my favorites is this oldie from the 1970s...

Little Big Man - the movie

The Little Big Man  movie (1970), starred Dustin Hoffman and Chief Dan George. It's not a story about Charging Bear. But it's the story of a 121 year old Jack Crabb, in hospice, telling his recollections of the Old West to a reporter. His tale included being adopted by the Cheyenne, adventures in the Wild West, culminating in the Battle of the Little Big Horn. (reference: synopsis with spoilers)

And I make some references to the movie as well as the battle in The Commander and the Chief series, such as a quoted line from the scene below:

At time 1:40 in the clip, the frustrated preacher's wife offers to give Jack Crabb, who was rescued from Indians, a bath.  Asking him to take off his clothes, she assures him:

But I shall avert my eyes at the necessary moment.

At time 3:35, she reassures him when the bath is done:

I shall avert my eyes, of course.

And here's how I work that all in....


From Book 1, His Tribe of One in The Commander and the Chief series. 

In this scene, the Commander wakes up in guest room of the Chief, as she's assembling her team:

Reggie rolled his good eye to Colonel Jack Sheffield. “Where am I, Jacko?”

“A very posh suite in the Gladstone Hotel.” The Colonel put a hand on Reggie’s shoulder. “At least you woke up in a high class place this time.”

cover by Davis Creative, Becki Davis
“How’d I end up here?”

“We collected you off the street and had one bugger of time getting you up here. Wise got a baggage cart, and we took you up the lift.”

Wise pressed a plastic bag of ice to the left side of Reggie’s face. “You know, Commander, this reminds me when I was in Her Majesty’s service, and one of the lads fell in love with one of the local women, and he got into quite a row with one of her male relatives who took offense…”

Reggie peeked under his blanket. “Where are my clothes?”

“If you pardon me, you were rather soaked to the bone, old boy, so we took the liberty of stripping your wet garments while you were…indisposed.”

“So you left me bloody naked?”

“Your clothes are being laundered.” Wise picked up a plush white robe from the end of the couch. “Meanwhile, the hotel has provided this.” Then Wise signaled the women to look away.

I shall avert my eyes,” Nova said in a put-on southern accent as she gave a sidelong smile to Wise.

Avert your eyes?” Reggie wrinkled his nose.

“It’s a joke between us. My client, she’s part Cheyenne.” Lord Wise grinned at Commander Barrett. “The line comes from the old American movie, Little Big Man.

“The one that ends with General Custer meeting his Waterloo, Reg,” Jack explained.

From His Tribe of One, Part 1, Chapter 9: Wake Up Call


Back to the movie...

And later, Jack Crabb becomes a scout for General Custer during the Battle of the Little Big Horn. And Jack issued this report to the General:

Custer's response?

Still trying to outsmart me, aren't you, mule-skinner. 
You want me to think that you don't want me to go down there, 
but the subtle truth is you really don't want me to go down there!

And General Custer goes down there and goes down in history, but not in the blaze of glory he had hoped for.

And so Custer met his Waterloo. Only he did not survive. Napoleon did.


Back to the book....

Later in His Tribe of One, Lord Wise, the Chief's confident, finds out she's been betrayed by their guide. And Kaya Stillwater, the Chief's loyal friend of the family quietly knits as Wise interrogates Omar:

Wise pushed Omar inside a tent where Kaya sat on a campstool, knitting. She no longer had her burka on, but was dressed in khakis. And as her needles clicked, she was stealing glances at their guide. Omar whined, “Why you take me to woman’s tent—it’s unclean.”

“That’s the least of your worries, old boy.” Wise pointed Omar’s face toward Kaya. “Surely you remember my client’s companion? She’s been suspicious of you since the day we hired you back in Adam.”

“She’s a woman.”

“Not just any woman. She’s Cheyenne, one of the Native American Indians. Ever hear of General Custer?”

“Don’t know no American generals.”

“Then let me tell you. This general lived 150 years ago. Fought in the American Civil War. And he was a big hero back then, until he came across the Cheyenne, her people. The ancestors of this woman killed all the American soldiers that had attacked them at the Battle of the Little Big Horn.”

Kaya gave Omar an icy stare, then coolly resumed knitting.

Wise held Omar’s face in Kaya’s direction and continued, “And when her people slaughtered all the soldiers, they left the mutilation of their bodies to the women, women such as this woman you see in front of you.”

“What do you mean?” Omar was sweating.

“See those knitting needles?” Wise eyed Kaya. “She can do things with those that would make the most hardened man break down and weep like a whipped puppy.”

Kaya gave Omar another icy stare as her needles clinked together.

Wise continued, “Oh, yes. I was with MI6, so I know how to interrogate. And Kaya, she knows how to loosen a man’s tongue. So Omar, I ask you this: Do you want it said that a woman broke you and made you squeal like a pig? Or do you wish to talk to me and keep your manhood intact?”

“Wh-what do you want?” Omar quavered.

Wise flashed a grin. “Information.”

And Omar talked as Kaya knitted.

From His Tribe of One, Part 8, Chapter 2, Little Big Horn, Revisited.


If this has piqued your intererst, please feel free to read the book.

His Tribe of One, now available:

* Paperback:  CreateSpace

* eBook:   Kindle

Your readership is much appreciated. 

Sequel is coming soon and I'll keep you posted.

S. K. Smith



and                Davis Creative, Becki Davis

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