Crooked “oil sharks” led by a man named Hunt have stolen an Indian tribe’s lease to their land and given them 24 hours to vacate. Furious, the Indian chief orders that the first white man who enters their encampment be killed. A butterfly collector (Keaton) unwittingly wanders in while chasing a butterfly. They tie him to a stake and collect wood. When he frees himself, the Indian warriors give chase. During the pursuit, he finds some asbestos and fashions himself some fireproof underwear. As a result, when they catch him and try to burn him at the stake, he remains unharmed. Awed by this, the Indians adopt him and give him the title “Little Chief Paleface”.
He subsequently leads the tribe in a confrontation with the crooks. When a brawl breaks out, the crooks’ leader Hunt flees. The Indians give chase, with Little Chief Paleface bringing up the rear. Hunt captures the hero, forces him to switch clothes and gets away in disguise. After being nearly skewered by arrows from his own tribe, Little Chief Paleface finds the deed to the land in a pocket. As his reward, he chooses a pretty Indian maiden.
Edward F. Cline and Buster Keaton / First National Pictures [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons