In his watercolor for Walters, Miller returns to the vertical orientation of earlier versions and removes the valley below with its approaching caravan. Subtle changes to the body of the horse, which appears less muscular and, consequently, less tense, eases the drama visible in Indian Scout. Miller also raises the horse’s head slightly in this version, so that he does not appear to be pulling up in apprehension so much as looking out in curiosity. Miller has also softened the drama by making the outcropping seem less steep. The viewer has an imagined access point in the form of a shallow path leading from the foreground up the side of the promontory. The swaths of gray wash in front of the promontory do not define the space as either far below or just in front of the space the horse and rider occupy.
In his note, Miller still alludes to the possibility of a distant caravan when he writes, “From the bluffs, as from an observatory, the vigilant Indian overlooks the prairie far and near…. He marks in what direction game is to be had, the approach of an enemy or emigrant train (all being fish that comes to his net),” but the text, like the image, focuses more on the Indian himself than on an encounter with white traders.
Signed LL: AJMiller. LR: no. 59
The artist; William T. Walters, Baltimore, MD; present owner by gift