Before Anglos came and, to Russell’s way of thinking, despoiled the land, the Western Indians lived a life that was simple, yet rich beyond reckoning. At his peak, the plains warrior, independent, fearless and self-sufficient, counted his wealth in horses. Horse wealth varied from tribe to tribe—a rich Plains Cree might own five horses, a rich Blackfoot forty or fifty. Estimated according to his needs, then the wealth of the plains warrior portrayed by Russell was substantial indeed.