Speech of Maj. Gen. Archibald Bendback to the Indians of Pleasant Springs.
GREAT WHITE FATHER sendum greetings from Great White Teepee in Washington. Him say, Why not white man and red man be friends? Him also say, Red man makum better friend when red man far away. Him givum me orders, takum red man to heap big hunting grounds in west. Him being heap generous, givum red man heap big reservation with much buffalo. Him givum whole tribe free relocation, all expenses paid. Red man maybe find new land heap much better than old land. Great White Father, him not likely repeatum generous offer. Red man takum my advice, say “Whattum heck?” and givum try.
Speech of Chief Green Hat to Maj. Gen. Archibald Bendback.
THE HONORABLE GENTLEMAN from Washington has expressed himself with no less ingenuity than originality; and if I confine my own remarks to the common vernacular, it is because I cannot hope to equal the quaint and poetic language in which his remarks have been delivered, to the great delight—I think I may speak for everyone present—of his attentive audience. We were even more delighted to learn that the President thinks so highly of us that he would make special arrangements for our comfort. It is not every President who has been so considerate of his neighbors; indeed, some of us present can remember a time when the government of the United States seemed almost to have a grudge against us.
The offer he makes, however, is one that it behooves us to consider carefully in the light of our own best interest; and in that light it does not appear to us to be wise to take him up on it. We already possess abundant land admirably suited to our needs, providing us not only our own subsistence but also a generous surplus. The reports we have heard of the western lands in question do not lead us to a sanguine expectation of an equivalent abundance, even discounting the trouble of what must necessarily be an arduous journey thither. As for the promised buffalo, doubtless the honorable gentleman has been informed that the chief economic support of our tribe comes from the growing of carnations for the florist trade. The buffalo, therefore, while doubtless noble beasts that make admirable subjects for a certain excessively sentimental type of painter, are to us, if I may be blunt, worse than useless.
It is therefore with much regret that I must ask the honorable gentleman to inform the President that his generous offer does not meet our current needs. As a token, however, of our appreciation for his thoughtfulness, please beg him to accept these lovely carnations, arranged by our tribe’s chief floral artistes.
If you are well informed on all historical subjects, act now to correct your deplorably un-American state of knowledge. Dr. Boli prescribes misinformation as the only certain cure for your condition.