Buffalo Bill Cody
Buffalo Bill Cody, a boasting Wild West hero and performer in florid buckskin clothes. At times presenting himself as the friend of the American Indians and at other times proudly telling about his killing of Indians and of buffalo, he is an unstable character. Buffalo Bill fails both to bring the Ol’ Time President to Sitting Bull’s Indian reservation and to enhance mutual understanding between Sitting Bull and the senators. He experiences feelings of guilt for having shot so many buffalo and for having deprived the Indians of their traditional way of life. After unsuccessfully speaking out for the Indians in negotiations with the senators, he ends up justifying the government’s Indian policy.
Sitting Bull, a disillusioned but still proud, powerful, and cunning Indian chief who formerly appeared in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show. Sitting Bull considers himself a friend of Buffalo Bill, whom he does not blame for the injustice done to the Indians. He formerly killed General Custer and now lives on a reservation. He asks to see the president, the Great Father, to demand that the whites fulfill their side of the Indian treaties. In the negotiations with the senators, he asks that Indians get all the comforts and wealth enjoyed by whites and insults the president’s representatives, an act for which he is killed, by order of the government, in the massacre by Colonel Forsyth’s army. After his death, Sitting Bull briefly reappears, reaffirming his pride and his friendship for Buffalo Bill.
John Grass, an Indian in Sitting Bull’s reservation who has been educated in a white school. In the negotiations with the senators, he calmly demands that the whites give the Indians what was agreed on in treaties, explains that what the Indians have so far received from the whites is inadequate, and...
(The entire section is 783 words.)