Alone and apart from their tribe dwelt four orphan brothers. They

had erected a very comfortable hut, although the materials used

were only willows, hay, birch bark, and adobe mud. After the

completion of their hut, the oldest brother laid out the different

kinds of work to be done by the four of them. He and the second

and third brothers were to do all the hunting, and the youngest

brother was to do the house work, cook the meals, and keep plenty

of wood on hand at all times.

As his older brothers would leave for their hunting very early

every morning, and would not return till late at night, the little

fellow always found plenty of spare time to gather into little

piles fine dry wood for their winter use.

Thus the four brothers lived happily for a long time. One day

while out gathering and piling up wood, the boy heard a rustling in

the leaves and looking around he saw a young woman standing in the

cherry bushes, smiling at him.

"Who are you, and where did you come from?" asked the boy, in

surprise. "I am an orphan girl and have no relatives living. I

came from the village west of here. I learned from rabbit that

there were four orphan brothers living here all alone, and that the

youngest was keeping house for his older brothers, so I thought I

would come over and see if I couldn't have them adopt me as their

sister, so that I might keep house for them, as I am very poor and

have no relations, neither have I a home."

She looked so pitiful and sad that the boy thought to himself, "I

will take her home with me, poor girl, no matter what my brothers

think or say." Then he said to her: "Come on, tanke (sister). You

may go home with me; I am sure my older brothers will be glad to

have you for our sister."

When they arrived at the hut, the girl hustled about and cooked up

a fine hot supper, and when the brothers returned they were

surprised to see a girl sitting by the fire in their hut. After

they had entered the youngest brother got up and walked outside,

and a short time after the oldest brother followed him

out. "Who is that girl, and where did she come from?" he asked his

brother. Whereupon the brother told him the whole story. Upon

hearing this the oldest brother felt very sorry for the poor orphan

girl and going back into the hut he spoke to the girl, saying:

"Sister, you are an orphan, the same as we; you have no relatives,

no home. We will be your brothers, and our poor hut shall be your

home. Henceforth call us brothers, and you will be our sister."

"Oh, how happy I am now that you take me as your sister. I will be

to you all as though we were of the same father and mother," said

the girl. And true to her word, she looked after everything of her

brothers and kept the house in such fine shape that the brothers

blessed the day that she came to their poor little hut. She always

had an extra buckskin suit and two pairs of moccasins hanging at

the head of each one's bed. Buffalo, deer, antelope, bear, wolf,

wildcat, mountain lion and beaver skins she tanned by the dozen,

and piled nicely in one corner of the hut.

When the Indians have walked a great distance and are very tired,

they have great faith in painting their feet, claiming that paint

eases the pain and rests their feet.

After their return from a long day's journey, when they would be

lying down resting, the sister would get her paint and mix it with

the deer tallow and rub the paint on her brother's feet, painting

them up to their ankles. The gentle touch of her hands, and the

soothing qualities of the tallow and paint soon put them into a

deep, dreamless steep.

Many such kind actions on her part won the hearts of the brothers,

and never was a full blood sister loved more than was this poor

orphan girl, who had been taken as their adopted sister. In the

morning when they arose, the sister always combed their long black

silken scalp locks and painted the circle around the scalp lock a

bright vermillion.

When the hunters would return with a goodly supply of beef, the

sister would hurry and relieve them of their packs, hanging each

one high enough from the ground so the prowling dogs and coyotes

could not reach them. The hunters each had a post on which to hang

his bow and flint head arrows. (Good hunters never laid their

arrows on the ground, as it was considered unlucky to the hunter

who let his arrows touch the earth after they had been out

of the quiver). They were all perfectly happy, until one day the

older brother surprised them all by saying: "We have a plentiful

supply of meat on hand at present to last us for a week or so. I

am going for a visit to the village west of us, so you boys all

stay at home and help sister. Also gather as much wood as you can

and I will be back again in four days. On my return we will resume

our hunting and commence getting our year's supply of meat."

He left the next morning, and the last they saw of him was while he

stood at the top of the long range of hills west of their home.

Four days had come and gone and no sign of the oldest brother.

"I am afraid that our brother has met with some accident," said the

sister. "I am afraid so, too," said the next oldest. "I must go

and search for him; he may be in some trouble where a little help

would get him out." The second brother followed the direction his

brother had taken, and when he came to the top of the long range of

hills he sat down and gazed long and steadily down into the long

valley with a beautiful creek winding through it. Across the

valley was a long plain stretching for miles beyond and

finally ending at the foot of another range of hills, the

counterpart of the one upon which he sat.

After noting the different landmarks carefully, he arose and slowly

started down the slope and soon came to the creek he had seen from

the top of the range. Great was his surprise on arriving at the

creek to find what a difference there was in the appearance

of it from the range and where he stood. From the range it

appeared to be a quiet, harmless, laughing stream. Now he saw it

to be a muddy, boiling, bubbling torrent, with high perpendicular

banks. For a long time he stood, thinking which way to go, up or

down stream. He had just decided to go down stream, when, on

chancing to look up, he noticed a thin column of smoke slowly

ascending from a little knoll. He approached the place cautiously

and noticed a door placed into the creek bank on the opposite side

of the stream. As he stood looking at the door, wondering who

could be living in a place like that, it suddenly opened and a very

old appearing woman came out and stood looking around her. Soon

she spied the young man, and said to him: "My grandchild, where did

you come from and whither are you bound?" The young man answered:

"I came from east of this ridge and am in search of my oldest

brother, who came over in this direction five days ago and who has

not yet returned."

"Your brother stopped here and ate his dinner with me, and then

left, traveling towards the west," said the old witch, for such she

was. "Now, grandson, come across on that little log bridge up the

stream there and have your dinner with me. I have

it all cooked now and just stepped outside to see if there might

not be some hungry traveler about, whom I could invite in to eat

dinner with me." The young man went up the stream a little

distance and found a couple of small logs which had been placed

across the stream to serve as a bridge. He crossed over and went

down to the old woman's dugout hut. "Come in grandson, and eat.

I know you must be hungry."

The young man sat down and ate a real hearty meal. On finishing he

arose and said: "Grandmother, I thank you for your meal and

kindness to me. I would stay and visit with you awhile, as I know

it must be very lonely here for you, but I am very anxious to find

my brother, so I must be going. On my return I will stop with my

brother and we will pay you a little visit."

"Very well, grandson, but before you go, I wish you would do me a

little favor. Your brother did it for me before he left, and cured

me, but it has come back on me again. I am subject to very severe

pains along the left side of my backbone, all the way from my

shoulder blade down to where my ribs attach to my backbone, and the

only way I get any relief from the pain is to have some one kick me

along the side." (She was a witch, and concealed in her robe a

long sharp steel spike. It was placed so that the last kick they

would give her, their foot would hit the spike and they would

instantly drop off into a swoon, as if dead.)

"If I won't hurt you too much, grandmother, I certainly will be

glad to do it for you," said the young man, little thinking he

would be the one to get hurt.

"No, grandson, don't be afraid of hurting me; the harder you kick

the longer the pain stays away." She laid down on the floor and

rolled over on to her right side, so he could get a good chance to

kick the left side where she said the pain was located.

As he moved back to give the first kick, he glanced along the floor

and he noticed a long object wrapped in a blanket, lying against

the opposite wall. He thought it looked strange and was going to

stop and investigate, but just then the witch cried out as if in

pain. "Hurry up, grandson, I am going to die if you don't hurry

and start in kicking." "I can investigate after I get through with

her," thought he, so he started in kicking and every kick he would

give her she would cry: "Harder, kick harder." He had to kick

seven times before he would get to the end of the pain, so he let

out as hard as he could drive, and when he came to the last kick he

hit the spike, and driving it through his foot, fell down in a dead

swoon, and was rolled up in a blanket by the witch

and placed beside his brother at the opposite side of the room.

When the second brother failed to return, the third went in search

of the two missing ones. He fared no better than the second one,

as he met the old witch who served him in a similar manner as she

had his two brothers.

"Ha! Ha!" she laughed, when she caught the third, "I have only one

more of them to catch, and when I get them I will keep them all

here a year, and then I will turn them into horses and sell them

back to their sister. I hate her, for I was going to

try and keep house for them and marry the oldest one, but she got

ahead of me and became their sister, so now I will get my revenge

on her. Next year she will be riding and driving her brothers and

she won't know it."

When the third brother failed to return, the sister cried and

begged the last one not to venture out in search of them. But go

he must, and go he did, only to do as his three brothers had done.

Now the poor sister was nearly distracted. Day and night she

wandered over hills and through woods in hopes she might find or

hear of some trace of them. Her wanderings were in vain. The

hawks had not seen them after they had crossed the little stream.

The wolves and coyotes told her that they had seen nothing of her

brothers out on the broad plains, and she had given them up for


One day, as she was sitting by the little stream that flowed past

their hut, throwing pebbles into the water and wondering what she

should do, she picked up a pure white pebble, smooth and round, and

after looking at it for a long time, threw it into the water. No

sooner had it hit the water than she saw it grow larger. She took

it out and looked at it and threw it in again. This time it had

assumed the form of a baby. She took it out and threw it in the

third time and the form took life and began to cry: "Ina, ina"

(mother, mother). She took the baby home and fed it soup, and it

being an unnatural baby, quickly grew up to a good sized boy. At

the end of three months he was a good big, stout youth. One day he

said: "Mother, why are you living here alone? To whom do all these

fine clothes and moccasins belong?" She then told him the story of

her lost brothers. "Oh, I know now where they are. You make me

lots of arrows. I am going to find my uncles." She tried to

dissuade him from going, but he was determined and said: "My father

sent me to you so that I could find my uncles for you, and nothing

can harm me, because I am stone and my name is "Stone Boy."

The mother, seeing that he was determined to go, made a whole

quiver full of arrows for him, and off he started. When he came to

the old witch's hut, she was nowhere to be seen, so he pushed the

door in and entered. The witch was busily engaged cooking dinner.

"Why, my dear grandchild, you are just in time for dinner. Sit

down and we will eat before you continue your journey." Stone boy

sat down and ate dinner with the old witch. She watched him very

closely, but when she would be drinking her soup he would glance

hastily around the room. Finally he saw the four bundles on the

opposite side of the room, and he guessed at once that there lay

his four uncles. When he had finished eating he took out his

little pipe and filled it with "kini-kinic," and commenced to

smoke, wondering how the old woman had managed to fool his smart

uncles. He couldn't study it out, so when he had finished his

smoke he arose to pretend to go. When the old woman saw him

preparing to leave, she said: "Grandson, will you kick me on the

left side of my backbone. I am nearly dead with pain and if you

kick me good and hard it will cure me." "All right, grandma," said

the boy. The old witch lay down on the floor and the boy started

in to kick. At the first kick he barely touched her. "Kick as

hard as you can, grandson; don't be afraid you will hurt me,

because you can't." With that Stone Boy let drive and broke two

ribs. She commenced to yell and beg him to stop, but he kept on

kicking until he had kicked both sides of her ribs loose from the

backbone. Then he jumped on her backbone and broke it and killed

the old witch.

He built a big fire outside and dragged her body to it, and threw

her into the fire. Thus ended the old woman who was going to turn

his uncles into horses.

Next he cut willows and stuck them into the ground in a circle.

The tops he pulled together, making a wickieup. He then took the

old woman's robes and blankets and covered the wickieup so that no

air could get inside. He then gathered sage brush and covered the

floor with a good thick bed of sage; got nice round stones and got

them red hot in the fire, and placed them in the wickieup and

proceeded to carry his uncles out of the hut and lay them down on

the soft bed of sage. Having completed carrying and depositing

them around the pile of rocks, he got a bucket of water and poured

it on the hot rocks, which caused a great vapor in the little

wickieup. He waited a little while and then listened and

heard some breathing inside, so he got another bucket and poured

that on also. After awhile he could hear noises inside as though

some one were moving about. He went again and got the third bucket

and after he had poured that on the rocks, one of the men inside

said: "Whoever you are, good friend, don't bring us to life only to

scald us to death again." Stone boy then said: "Are all of you

alive?" "Yes," said the voice. "Well, come out," said the boy.

And with that he threw off the robes and blankets, and a great

cloud of vapor arose and settled around the top of the highest peak

on the long range, and from that did Smoky Range derive its name.

The uncles, when they heard who the boy was, were very happy, and

they all returned together to the anxiously waiting sister. As

soon as they got home, the brothers worked hard to gather enough

wood to last them all winter. Game they could get at all times of

the year, but the heavy fall of snow covered most of the dry wood

and also made it very difficult to drag wood through the deep snow.

So they took advantage of the nice fall weather and by the time the

snow commenced falling they had enough wood gathered to last them

throughout the winter. After the snow fell a party of boys swiftly

coasted down the big hill west of the brothers' hut. The Stone boy

used to stand and watch them for hours at a time. His youngest

uncle said: "Why don't you go up and coast with them?" The boy

said: "They may be afraid of me, but I guess I will try once,

anyway." So the next morning when the crowd came coasting, Stone

boy started for the hill. When he had nearly reached the bottom of

the coasting hill all of the boys ran off excepting two little

fellows who had a large coaster painted in different colors and had

little bells tied around the edges, so when the coaster was in

motion the bells made a cheerful tinkling sound. As Stone boy

started up the hill the two little fellows started down and went

past him as though shot from a hickory bow.

When they got to the end of their slide, they got off and started

back up the hill. It being pretty steep, Stone boy waited for

them, so as to lend a hand to pull the big coaster up the hill. As

the two little fellows came up with him he knew at once that they

were twins, as they looked so much alike that the only way one

could be distinguished from the other was by the scarfs they wore.

One wore red, the other black. He at once offered to help them

drag their coaster to the top of the hill. When they got to the

top the twins offered their coaster to him to try a ride. At first

he refused, but they insisted on his taking it, as they said they

would sooner rest until he came back. So he got on the coaster and

flew down the hill, only he was such an expert he made a zigzag

course going down and also jumped the coaster off a bank about four

feet high, which none of the other coasters dared to tackle. Being

very heavy, however, he nearly smashed the coaster. Upon seeing

this wonderful jump, and the zigzag course he had taken going down,

the twins went wild with excitement and decided that they would

have him take them down when he got back. So upon his arrival at

the starting point, they both asked him at once to give them the

pleasure of the same kind of a ride he had taken. He refused,

saying: "We will break your coaster. I alone nearly smashed it,

and if we all get on and make the same kind of a jump, I am afraid

you will have to go home without your coaster."

"Well, take us down anyway, and if we break it our father will make

us another one." So he finally consented. When they were all

seated ready to start, he told them that when the coaster made the

jump they must look straight ahead. "By no means look down,

because if you do we will go over the cut bank and land in a heap

at the bottom of the gulch."

They said they would obey what he said, so off they started swifter

than ever, on account of the extra weight, and so swiftly did the

sleigh glide over the packed, frozen snow, that it nearly took the

twins' breath away. Like an arrow they approached the

jump. The twins began to get a little nervous. "Sit steady and

look straight ahead," yelled Stone boy. The twin next to Stone

boy, who was steering behind, sat upright and looked far ahead, but

the one in front crouched down and looked into the coulee. Of

course, Stone boy, being behind, fell on top of the twins, and

being so heavy, killed both of them instantly, crushing them to a


The rest of the boys, seeing what had happened, hastened to the

edge of the bank, and looking down, saw the twins laying dead, and

Stone boy himself knocked senseless, lying quite a little distance

from the twins. The boys, thinking that all three were

killed, and that Stone boy had purposely steered the sleigh over

the bank in such a way that it would tip and kill the twins,

returned to the village with this report. Now, these twins were

the sons of the head chief of the Buffalo Nation. So at once the

chief and his scouts went over to the hill to see if the boys had

told the truth.

When they arrived at the bank they saw the twins lying dead, but

where was Stone boy? They looked high and low through the gulch,

but not a sign of him could they find. Tenderly they picked up the

dead twins and carried them home, then held a big council and put

away the bodies of the dead in Buffalo custom.

A few days after this the uncles were returning from a long

journey. When they drew near their home they noticed large droves

of buffalo gathered on their side of the range. Hardly any buffalo

ever ranged on this east side of the range before, and the brothers

thought it strange that so many should so suddenly appear there


When they arrived at home their sister told them what had happened

to the chief's twins, as her son had told her the whole story upon

his arrival at home after the accident.

"Well, probably all the buffalo we saw were here for the council

and funeral," said the older brother. "But where is my nephew?"

(Stone boy) he asked his sister. "He said he had noticed a great

many buffalo around lately and he was going to learn, if possible,

what their object was," said the sister. "Well, we will

wait until his return."

When Stone boy left on his trip that morning, before the return of

his uncles, he was determined to ascertain what might be the

meaning of so many buffalo so near the home of himself and uncles.

He approached several bunches of young buffalo, but upon

seeing him approaching they would scamper over the hills. Thus he

wandered from bunch to bunch, scattering them all. Finally he grew

tired of their cowardice and started for home. When he had come to

within a half mile or so of home he saw an old shaggy buffalo

standing by a large boulder, rubbing on it first one horn and then

the other. On coming up close to him, the boy saw that the bull

was so old he could hardly see, and his horns so blunt that he

could have rubbed them for a year on that boulder and not sharpened

them so as to hurt anyone.

"What are you doing here, grandfather?" asked the boy.

"I am sharpening my horns for the war," said the bull.

"What war?" asked the boy.

"Haven't you heard," said the old bull, who was so near sighted he

did not recognize Stone boy. "The chief's twins were killed by

Stone boy, who ran them over a cut bank purposely, and the chief

has ordered all of his buffalo to gather here, and when they arrive

we are going to kill Stone boy and his mother and his uncles."

"Is that so? When is the war to commence?"

"In five days from now we will march upon the

uncles and trample and gore them all to death."

"Well, grandfather, I thank you for your information, and in return

will do you a favor that will save you so much hard work on your

blunt horns." So saying he drew a long arrow from his quiver and

strung his bow, attached the arrow to the string and drew the arrow

half way back. The old bull, not seeing what was going on, and

half expecting some kind of assistance in his horn sharpening

process, stood perfectly still. Thus spoke Stone boy:

"Grandfather, you are too old to join in a war now, and besides if

you got mixed up in that big war party you might step in a hole or

stumble and fall and be trampled to death. That would be a

horrible death, so I will save you all that suffering by just

giving you this." At this word he pulled the arrow back to the

flint head and let it fly. True to his aim, the arrow went in

behind the old bull's foreleg, and with such force was it sent that

it went clear through the bull and stuck into a tree two hundred

feet away.

Walking over to the tree, he pulled out his arrow. Coolly

straightening his arrow between his teeth and sighting it for

accuracy, he shoved it back into the quiver with its brothers,

exclaiming: "I guess, grandpa, you won't need to sharpen your horns

for Stone boy and his uncles."

Upon his arrival home he told his uncles to get to work building

three stockades with ditches between and make the ditches wide and

deep so they will hold plenty of buffalo. "The fourth fence I will

build myself," he said.

The brothers got to work early and worked until very late at night.

They built three corrals and dug three ditches around the hut, and

it took them three days to complete the work. Stone boy hadn't

done a thing towards building his fence yet, and there were

only two days more left before the charge of the buffalo would

commence. Still the boy didn't seem to bother himself about the

fence. Instead he had his mother continually cutting arrow sticks,

and as fast as she could bring them he would shape them, feather

and head them. So by the time his uncles had their fences and

corrals finished he had a thousand arrows finished for each of his

uncles. The last two days they had to wait, the uncles joined him

and they finished several thousand more arrows. The evening before

the fifth day he told his uncles to put up four posts, so they

could use them as seats from which to shoot.

While they were doing this, Stone boy went out to scout and see how

things looked. At daylight he came hurriedly in saying, "You had

better get to the first corral; they are coming." "You haven't

built your fence, nephew." Whereupon Stone boy said: "I will build

it in time; don't worry, uncle." The dust on the hillsides rose as

great clouds of smoke from a forest fire. Soon the leaders of the

charge came in sight, and upon seeing the timber stockade they gave

forth a great snort or roar that fairly shook the earth. Thousands

upon thousands of mad buffalo charged upon the little fort. The

leaders hit the first stockade and it soon gave way. The maddened

buffalo pushed forward by the thousands behind them; plunged

forward, only to fall into the first ditch and be trampled to death

by those behind them. The brothers were not slow in using their

arrows, and many a noble beast went down before their deadly aim

with a little flint pointed arrow buried deep in his heart.

The second stockade stood their charge a little longer than did the

first, but finally this gave way, and the leaders pushed on

through, only to fall into the second ditch and meet a similar fate

to those in the first. The brothers commenced to look anxiously

towards their nephew, as there was only one more stockade left, and

the second ditch was nearly bridged over with dead buffalo, with

the now thrice maddened buffalo attacking the last stockade more

furiously than before, as they could see the little hut through the

openings in the corral.

"Come in, uncles," shouted Stone boy. They obeyed him, and

stepping to the center he said: "Watch me build my fence." Suiting

the words, he took from his belt an arrow with a white stone

fastened to the point and fastening it to his bow, he shot it high

in the air. Straight up into the air it went, for two or three

thousand feet, then seemed to stop suddenly and turned with point

down and descended as swiftly as it had ascended. Upon striking

the ground a high stone wall arose, enclosing the hut and all who

were inside. Just then the buffalo broke the last stockade only to

fill the last ditch up again. In vain did the leaders butt the

stone wall. They hurt themselves, broke their horns and mashed

their snouts, but could not even scar the wall.

The uncles and Stone boy in the meantime rained arrows of death

into their ranks.

When the buffalo chief saw what they had to contend with, he

ordered the fight off. The crier or herald sang out: "Come away,

come away, Stone boy and his uncles will kill all of us."

So the buffalo withdrew, leaving over two thousand of their dead

and wounded on the field, only to be skinned and put away for the

feasts of Stone boy and his uncles, who lived to be great chiefs of

their own tribe, and whose many relations soon joined them on the

banks of Stone Boy Creek.