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white river poems 381
-- `The Utes
with the pious Piah at their head,'
wrote William Byers in his Denver paper
`held a scalp dance
last evening near Sloane's Lake,
over three bloody Cheyenne topknots,
which dangled
from three poles. (It was
disgusting to notice among the spectators
ladies prominent
in church and society circles
straining for a sight of the reeking scalps.)'
How it was
to be Piah: head of a minor band
never settling on what to call yourselves --
you were White River Utes,
Uncompaghres sometimes, Denver Utes for that summer
(lured there
along with other sub-chiefs, by offi
busy at weakening Ouray's hold on the Utes)
knocked this way and that
in Ute and Ute-White politics
it was no part of your purposes to understand --
`Me great warrior,'
you tell the Governor, `warriors no plow.
Me go to Washington and see John Grant.