Lone Ranger gets his Name

RonButters at AOL.COM RonButters at AOL.COM
Wed Feb 20 23:58:32 UTC 2008

I have found only two cites on the internet where the naming of LR and Tonto
are discussed. Both indicate that, in the memories of the writers, the
earliest versions of the radio program show Tonto giving LR his name, "They all dead.
... You the Lone Ranger, now." One indicates that the story also explained
that "kemosabe" was "a Pottawatomie Indian word meaning 'trusty scout' or
'faithful friend'.

Neither suggests that Tonto meant 'stupid'--and, indeed, it would have been
really out of tone for the story for that to have been the case.

The transcripts do not appear to be online, though many of the early radio
shows can be purchased on CD or CD-MP3.

!. At <http://archiver.rootsweb.com/th/read/WORDS/2000-04/0954969325>:

From: "Willard Solie" <willk at dfn.com>
Subject: [WORDS] Tonto
Date: Wed, 5 Apr 2000 15:15:25 -0600

Gary writes: Since the Lone Ranger was a masked man, I like the "he whom no
one knows" definition of Kemosabe, right or wrong.

I do not take issue with this. The Lone Ranger was indeed "he whom nobody
knows" to all the folks had contact with. The mask, you know. But this does not
apply to Tonto! He knew the Lone Ranger, unmasked, and face to face. Consider
the first radio episode of The Lone Ranger.

Butch Cavendish and his band of outlaws was being pursued by the local head
of the Texas Rangers and a posse of his men. Among the head ranger's men was
his younger brother, a tyro ranger. The wily Butch Cavendish knew he was being
pursued and led his men up a dead end canyon. When he reached the end of the
canyon, he deployed his men to ambush the rangers. The rangers rode unwittingly
into the trap, into a dreadful massacre. They dropped from their horses, one
by one.

A day later a wandering Indian discovered the carnage. He searched for living
souls, but found only one. It was the young brother of the Ranger Chief. The
young man was still breathing but was grievously wounded. Carefully the
Indian, his name was Tonto, constructed a travois and transported the one survivor
of the massacre to a sheltered nook where he could try to nurse the young man
back to life.

Days later the young man had recovered enough to talk - to ask questions. The
foremost question in his mind was about his brother. "Were there any others
alive?" he asked Tonto. Sadly the Indian shook his head. "The chief ranger? He
was dead too?" Tonto intoned, "All dead. They all dead. You," he almost
whispered, "you the only one alive." After a pause Tonto spoke again, solemnly, "You
the Lone Ranger"

2. The Lone Ranger, Freemasonry
and Texas Ranger Ethics
By: James A. Marples, Longview, TX
Dallas Scottish Rite Bodies - AASR
Scottish Rite News for the Valley
of Dallas, Orient of Texas
Published by the Dallas Scottish Rite Bodies of the Ancient and Accepted
Rite of Freemasonry of the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States of
October, November, December, 2006 Issue, p6
at <www.dallasscottishrite.org/newsletter/files/October%20SR%20News%2006.pdf>

... This character had a past history as a lawman
--as a Texas Ranger. He was shot down in an
ambush, along with five other Texas Rangers.
As he lay near death, an American Indian named
"Tonto" comes across the scene and observes
that one Ranger was still breathing, and brings
him water and nurses him back to health.
Around the Ranger's neck was a necklace bearing
an symbol that Tonto had given a young white
boy years earlier. Tonto says: "You are kemosabe."
(a Pottawatomie Indian word meaning
"trusty scout" or "faithful friend") The Ranger
vaguely remembers his childhood nickname. He
remembers Tonto and their memories of youth.
The Ranger, John Reid sees his brother (a fellow
Texas Ranger) Dan Reid among the five dead
Rangers. Together, Tonto and the Ranger dig six
graves to make it appear to the outlaws that there
were no survivors. As the sole survivor, Tonto
makes the astude pronouncement to his friend:
"You the Lone Ranger, now."
      Before burying his fellow Texas Rangers, the
surviving Ranger cut a strip of black fabric from
his brother Dan's vest and fashioned it into a
mask to put across his face to conceal his identity.
As "The Lone Ranger", he vowed: First, to
bring to Justice the members of the Cavendish
Gang who did the dastardly deed. And, Second,
to help bring Law & Order to the rugged
American Frontier as well as a level of stability
to its citizenry. The Lone Ranger had his trusty
horse, Silver ...and Tonto had beautiful paint
horse named Scout.

Ideas to please picky eaters. Watch video on
AOL Living.


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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