Bruce Brown's 100 Voices...
Frank Grouard recalls Crazy Horse, #2
CRAZY HORSE, like the other members of his family, was remarkably white for an Indian, and many who met him imagined he was not a fullblooded Sioux. His hair, which was a sandy brown, was unlike any other man's in the tribe. Grouard says the Oglala chief was a fine-looking savage in 1873, when he first met him. A trifle less than six feet tall, he was straight as an arrow. He was naturally spare and could stand any amount of hardship. He was proud of his people and their history and, like Sitting Bull, was opposed to any and all intercourse with the whites.
Grouard says Crazy Horse was the bravest man he ever met. Reserved at all times, his council was greatly sought after, and even in the most solemn deliberations of the Oglalas he spoke only through some chosen friend. In reality, he was an hereditary chief. His battles with the whites proved his prowess, and the honors which he brushed aside in savagery were thrust upon him by the "advanced guard of civilization." He possessed nothing but his native intelligence and cunning. He gave no thought to the acquisition of wealth, as that bauble is not understood by the savage. He was a warrior at all times and in all places, and he left the counting of his coups to those who were as familiar with them as himself. Quick to act, he was the first in battle and shrank from no danger. It was to this man's tipi that Grouard went and found shelter and protection when Sitting Bull sought to destroy him, and the regard the two men had for each other transcended the affection of brothers. Crazy Horse was the Napoleon among the Sioux, and the death knell of savagery was sounded in his murder.
Grouard tells many interesting anecdotes concerning Crazy Horse. From his boyhood he was greatly attached to Lone Bear and Hump, or the Spotted War Bonnet. As children the three were always together; in youth they were firm friends; in manhood they were inseparable; in battle they fought side by side. Lone Bear was always the unfortunate one of the trio. He was never known to enter a battle but what he received a wound. At the Phil Kearny Massacre he was so desperately wounded that he could not crawl from the place where he lay, and through the awful storm and bitter cold weather which succeeded the battle, Lone Bear was at the mercy of the elements. When found by his trusty companions, he was given all the care they could shower upon him, but the poor savage was beyond human aid, for besides his wounds, his limbs and body were frozen terribly. He died in the arms of Crazy Horse while Hump stood by, weeping. Thus the trinity of savage love was shattered, and Lone Bear was laid away to rest. That was in 1866.
During the year 1873, twelve Oglala Sioux, among whom were Crazy Horse and Hump, to revenge themselves upon the Shoshones for some injury inflicted, went to the camp of the latter on the Wind River Reservation and in the darkness fired into a tipi, killing several of Chief Washakie's warriors. A running battle resulted, the Sioux making a determined stand and desperate fight on Badwater Creek, many miles from the scene of the reservation killing. Here Hump was killed, and the Sioux said that Crazy Horse was beside himself with grief and rage. He fought like an enraged bear, rescuing the body of his friend and placing it on the back of his own horse while he fought. He gave the bridle rein to one of his own tribe and sent him toward the Oglala village with Hump's body while he, in desperation, ran in among the Shoshones and with his quirt put them to flight. From that very hour, said his nearest friends, Crazy Horse sought death.
He had a superstitious belief -- an abiding faith -- that he would never be killed by a bullet, and this encouraged him in all his conflicts, whether with opposing tribes or the whites. He had no desire to live, his two friends hav ing passed to the Great Beyond, and he wooed death at all times. He avowed this on many occasions to intimate friends.
Grouard relates a touching instance of the Oglala chief's parental affection. Crazy Horse had but one child -- a little girl about four years of age [They Area Afraid Of Her] whom, in his savage way, he idolized. While the village was located between the Little Big Horn and the Rosebud in 1873, the chief went out with a war party against the Crows. In his absence the little girl was taken sick and died. The camp was moved from the valley of the Little Big Horn toward the Little Missouri on Tongue River before the Oglala warriors returned. When Crazy Horse learned of the death of his child, his grief, Grouard says, was pathetic. The child's body was buried seventy miles from the place where the Sioux camp was then located, and large parties of warring Crows infested the intervening country. But Crazy Horse had determined to visit the grave of his loved little girl, and he asked Grouard to accompany him. It took them two days to reach the place of sepulcher. Crazy Horse asked Grouard to select a site for a camp while he visited the grave of his child. He went alone to the raised bier (or platform on which the body had been placed), crawled up beside the little girl's remains, and there stayed for three days and nights, mourning for the departed one. On the morning of the fourth day, Grouard says, Crazy Horse woke him at sunrise and told him he was ready to depart. Not a mouthful of food or drop of water had passed that father's lips during those three awful days and nights of mourning, and he rode back to his people and desolate tipi with a heavy heart but stolid face. None of the tribe knew where he had been, and he never whispered the object of his errand.
More than a month before his tragic end, he told Grouard he was looking for death and believed it would soon come to him. He had a dream, and the vision to him was pregnant with promise of eternal quietude. He said he thought he stood upon some lofty height and saw a mighty eagle soaring far above him. He watched it as it floated in the quiet sky, and presently it seemed to fold its wings and fall. The eagle's body anchored at his feet, and when he looked upon it, it was himself. An arrow had pierced its body, and its life was gone. Only a little month, and the mighty chief had found the peace his soul had thirsted for so long. A hasty thrust with a sword or bayonet -- it makes no difference now which -- and Crazy Horse was no more. In the hour when death found him, he lay with his head pillowed upon his father's breast, lost to all thought of fear in his approaching dissolution and happy in the contemplation that the spirits of those he loved were awaiting his coming in the far-off Happy Land.
Life and Adventures of Frank Grouard by Joe DeBarthe, University of Oklahoma Press 1958 p 180 - 182
Frank Grouard, also spelled Frank Gruard among other variants, was called Yugata by the Sioux. He was the half Tahitian son of a Mormon missionary who became a personal friend -- and ultimately mercinary betrayer -- of both Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse. He should not be confused with Fred Gerard, another U.S. Cavalry scout during the summer of 1876.
Frank Huston said Grouard was married to one of Sitting Bull's daughters.
-- Brown Bruce