In the mid-1870s, the U. S. Army often employed Crow scouts to help patrol the western territories. The work had its dangers but there were also days of quiet routine. This is a scene that might have been repeated many times during those years: soldiers and scouts pausing to rest under the midday sun. The scout sitting on the ground has unfolded an elk hide and is recounting his war deeds painted there. The officer is listening beside him and the trooper in the background wear civilian hats. Military issue tended not to hold up to the rigors of army life. The scout wears a civilian shirt, as Native Americans commonly did at that time, as well as his war medicine amulet and necklace.