The Scouts in St. Louis (Christmas Eve 1872)
The second stop of The Scouts of the Prarie tour starring Buffalo Bill and Texas Jack hit St. Louis from December 23rd to the 28th. The following article appeared in the Tuesday, December 24, 1872 issue of the St. Louis Missouri Democrat.
The intense, piercing cold of last evening, and the irregular trips of the cars, worked seriously to the detriment of the theatre, and the audiences, with one exception, were discouragingly small/
GRAND OPERA HOUSE - A new sensational drama, from the pen of Ned Buntline, and written to perpetuate by living representatives, the heroism of himself, Buffalo Bill, and Texas Jack was well mounted and excellently well played.
The title is "Scouts of the Prairie," and the object is to display "Red Deviltry As It Is," and probably three gentlemen could not be found who combine histrionic talent with actual experience in the high state of perfection to which the heroes of this drama have attained. The play introduces, in scenery and dialogues, all of prairie life that can be exposed within the limited confines of an ordinary stage. The characters make no particular strain after effect, are perfectly natural, and rely upon their own experiences for their dramatic situations.
Mademoiselle Morlacchi, as Dove Eye, and Senorita Eloa Carfano, as Hazel Eye, assume the parts of Indian maidens, and play them with a wonderful fidelity to nature, and the other parts are judiciously distributed among gentlemen of artistic taste and unqualified genius. But the burden of the representation lies heaviest upon the gentlemen of the auxiliary corps, whose functions are varied and extensive. They are disguised as Indians, armed and well up in their parts, which are times involve the most heroic actions, and stoical indifference to personal inconvenience. They are lassoes, stabbed, shot, and pulled off the field of battle by their limbs, yet they constantly return to the charge, and win the sympathy of the audience for their patriotism and faithfulness to this text.
In one thing the play is deficient. It is the aim of the stage to encourage the triumph of virtue; yet these gentlemen, who possess the virtues of patience and forbearance, courage and humility of spirit, are invariably defeated in the laudable undertakings by the superior aim of their adversaries. This deficiency is in a manner made up in the extent of the shooting accomplished by the players, and in the death of Cale Durg, which was finely drawn and loudly applauded.
The play is billed for the whole week.