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Literature is abundant about the guns and ammunition used by Westerners in the 19th century, but it is harder to find booksthat deal with bows and arrows, mainly because bullets proved deadlier than arrows and the West was “won” with firearms. Indesperately trying to defend their homelands, American Indians also made use of guns. But bows and arrows continued to playa role in warfare on the Plains (at the Little Bighorn and elsewhere), and these primitive weapons still hold a certain fascinationfor many people. They certainly do for H. Henrietta Stockel, who is also the author of Survival of the Spirit and Women ofthe Apache Nation. “This little book may reflect my wish to return to less complex times,” she admits. Not that getting shotwith an arrow was often a pleasant experience. “Those who did not die immediately from the wound itself often suffered fromcomplications,” she writes. “Wildfire infections caused by arrow wounds brought an agonizing death. The Indians, at least,could seek spiritual surcease in the form of culturally sanctioned ceremonies.” Arrows, she points out, were only occasionallypoisoned. “The Indians were such skilled bowmen that any enhancements to the basics was normally unnecessary,” she adds.The thrust of the book deals with tales about arrow wounds, and the methods used by Army doctors and others in the secondhalf of the 19th century to treat them. “In some cases the surgeon had to be both skillful and creative to devise a method ofremoval,” she says. In August 1869, for example, two military physicians operated on a Kiowa named Satamore and from hisbladder removed a stony mass that turned out to be mostly an arrowhead (he had been shot in the buttock by a Pawnee arrowseven years earlier). Stockel delivers both humorous and serious (even gory at times) information in fine fashion. She even getsinto scalping and head wounds (one of her chapters is called “The Mother of All Headaches”). It’s all not as grim as it seems,maybe because not too many people die of arrow wounds these days and because collecting arrowheads is so cool.