Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Friday, June 21, 2024


People familiar with this blog know that I am not a fan of the historic Wild Bill Hickok (he was a murderous s.o.b.), but that does not deter me from enjoying stories about his fictional persona, whether on television, films, books, or comic books.

This issue features four stories; only one is about the title character: "The War of the Medicine Men."  Frontier scout Johnny Barker is hired to take a census of the Indians of the Plains, but the Sioux and the Cheyenne take offense at this idea, believing that the white soldier were robbing them of good medicine.  Soon, Johnny is fleeing for his life on a wounded pony.  The blood-thirsty Cheyenne soon have Johnny trapped, but off in the distance is "a slim white man with blazing eyes and ivory handled Colt revolvers at his waist."  Wild Bill spurs his mare. Black Nell, into action.  Each shot from Wild Bill's gun salys an Indian, allowing he and Johnny to escape.  Wild Bill manages to make it to Fort Leavenworth with the badly wounded Johnny.  There, he worries about a possible Indian war.  Meanwhile, a Cheyenne medicine man, White Buffalo, is searching for a way to bring war to the soldiers.  He stuns a grazing buffalo, and while it is unconscious, White Buffalo paints the beast white.  Now that he has a sacred albino buffalo, the medicine man can convince his tribe that the Great Spirit wants them to kill the white man.  Can Wild Bill stop this nefarious plot?

Next up:  We have Chief Black Hack in "The Black Hawk Indian Tomahawk War."   This is not the Black Hawk I am familiar with from August Derleth's historical novels and nonfiction about the Black Hawk War.

This is followed by an eight-page illustrated biography of General Charles John Freemont:  "Explorer, soldier, surveyor, and Indian fighter, -- his life was one big adventure -- and he lived it to the hilt!"

Finall, we have "Kit West and the Prince of Pioneers."  Kit, a female, is taking wagons of supplies from Lexington, Kentucky, to the Missouri settlements, when she and her companion Hank are stopped by a strange-looking, dandified man.  He declares himself to be Prince Rudolph of Mordovia, and demands to speak to the officer in command.  It does not settle well with the prince when he finds that Kit is the one in command.  He says he wishes to help fight the Indians so he will be taking over command at once.  Kit laughs at him and drives on.  The prince swallows his pride and joins the group as a mere rifleman, which does not stop him from constantly complaining along the way.  The wagon caravan keeps getting into trouble -- within two days, five wagons have broken down -- could the axles have been deliberately broken?  The next week a rash of food poisoning hits the group.  Then scouting parties are slaughtered by Indians, but the Prince always manages to escape unharmed.  Is he the cause for all the trouble and heartache, or is he merely an innocent fool?

All in all, a decent issue.  Note, however, that the cover illustration has absolutely nothing to do with anything inside.


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