Non-Fiction collection: Golden Fleece June 1939 can be found in Magazine Entry


WHEN, on occasion, an army man raises a glass, the movement is invariably accompanied by the word How!" rather than "Here's Luck" or Mud in your eye" or other civilian equivalent. This curious custom has its origin in the Everglades of Florida almost a century ago.

In the winter of 1841 during the latter part of the Seminole War, several companies of the Eighth Infantry, and Company I of the Second Regiment of Dragoons, (now Troop I, 2d Caavalry), were encamped on the bank of the Kissimmee. Micco, an Indian guide, had been sent into the swamps to inform Coacooche, (Wild Cat), that Colonel Worth, command the Eighth Infantry, desired the chief's presence at a pow-wow. Coaccooche was finally located and agreed to meet the Colonel on the 5th of March at an army post near Big Cypress Swamp.

On the appointed day, the chief appeared with his entourage. Sometime previously the Indians had attacked a theatrical troupe near St. Augustine, the plunder including a gorgeous stage wardrobe, so Coacooche arrayed in all his glory, wore the nodding plumes of the Prince of Denmark, while close to his elbow appeared Horatio, and another aide wrapped in the robes of King Richard. The colonel's officers managed to suppress any untoward mirth and the conference was conducted with fitting solemnity. Partly because of the importance of making a treaty and partly because of the genuine respect that one warrior feels toward another, Coacooche was treated as an honored guest.

During his stay the chief observed that the officers, before drinking, always said "Here's looking at you" of something of the sort. Puzzled, he turned to Gopher John, a run-away slave who had lived for years among the Seminoles, and was now employed by the Army as an interpreter. The negro did not know but ventured ...

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