All American Western 115 – Johnny Thunder fords the stream

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Swift Deer, the young Cheyenne boy who has become Johnny Thunder’s sidekick, makes his second appearance in the Kanigher, Toth and Giella story in All American Western 115 (Aug./Sept. 50).

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While some of the children at John Tane’s school continue to bully the boy, others, such a Kit Dunbar, are more welcoming.  Kathy Dunbar gets a cameo in this story, painting Swift Deer’s portrait.

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Tane seems to teach the American Revolution, over and over and over again.  In this story, he talks about Washington crossing the Delaware river, and Swift Deer comments that that sounds like something a Cheyenne might do.  Apparently very few cultures cross rivers.  At any rate, when thieves use that tactic to elude their pursuers, some of the townspeople believe that Swift Deer is sharing these secret military tactics that he is learning with the other Cheyenne, who are putting them into practice.

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The story takes this all very seriously, ignoring the absurdity.  It does emphasize the manipulative racism of the thieves, who are eventually exposed as the men in town who are most vocal in blaming the Cheyenne.

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