When Miller prepared the caption to accompany this painting for William T. Walters, he related a story that he had heard while at the rendezvous, but one that he dared not ask Walker about because “he did not care to risk his friendship.” The story is one of “exquisite revenge” that the Indians perpetrated on Walker. As the story goes, Walker had defeated the members of a certain tribe in battle, with a loss of life on both sides. Miller continued,
The Indians, finding themselves worsted, proposed to bury the tomahawk and invited him to a feast and pipe smoking. Of course, the worthy Captain was ready to make friends and smoke the pipe of peace, for no matter how hard you may pound in battle, you must of necessity receive some pounding in return, and the Captain felt sore from the loss of some of his men. The feast was plentiful, and our Capt. always with a good appetite enjoyed it, doing full justice to their hospitality, & after a hearty smoke, returned to his men,–but horror of horrors! In a short time they had let him know that he had partaken of a meal composed of his own men!
Miller concluded that, “We thought of asking him the particulars of this matter, but prudence forbade.” Walker biographer Bil Gilbert could not document the story and concluded that it is apocryphal. (Ross, 1968, text accompanying plate78; Gilbert, 1983, p. 169)