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mountain tailoring, and a pair of nance of old Killbuck, as he watched trousers of the well-known material the antics of the “bourgeois" hunter. ealled "shepherd's plaid ;” a broad. He thought at first that the dandy brimmed Panama shaded his face, rifleman had really discovered game which was ruddy with health and in the bottom, and was nothing loth exercise; a belt round the waist sup- that there was a chance of his seeing ported a handsome bowie-knife, and meat; but when he understood the à double-barrelled fowling-piece was object of such manceuvres, and saw slung across his shoulder.
the quarry the hunter was so care. His companion was likewise dressed fully approaching, his mouth grinned in a light shooting-jacket, of many from ear to ear, and, turning to La pockets and dandy cut, rode on an Bonté, he said, “Wagh! he's someEnglish saddle and in boots, and was he is !" armed with a superb double rifle, Nothing doubting, however, the glossy from the case, and bearing few stranger approached the tree on which marks of use or service. He was a the bird was sitting, and, getting well tall, fine-looking fellow of thirty, with under it, raised his rifle and fired. light hair and complexion ; a scrupu- Down tumbled the bird ; and the suclous beard and mustache; a wide- cessful hunter, with a loud shout, awake hat, with a short pipe stuck in rushed frantically towards it, and bore the band, but not very black with it in triumph to the camp, earning the smoke; an elaborate powder - horn most sovereign contempt from the two over his shoulder, with a Cairngorm trappers by the achievement. in the butt as large as a plate; a blue T he other stranger was a quieter handkerchief tied round his throat in character. He, too, smiled as he a sailor's knot, and the collar of his witnessed the exultation of his shirt turned carefully over it. He younger companion, (whose horse, had, moreover, a tolerable idea of his by the way, was scampering about very correct appearance, and wore the plain,) and spoke kindly to Woodstock gloves.
the mountaineers, whose appearance The trappers looked at them from was clear evidence of the sufferings head to foot, and the more they looked they had endured. The snakes by the less could they make them out. this time were cooked, and the trap
“H-!" exclaimed La Bonté em- pers gave their new acquaintances the phatically.
never-failing invitation to " sit and " This beats grainin' bull - hide eat." When the latter, however, unslick," broke from Killbuck as the derstood what the viands were, their strangers reined up at the fire, the looks expressed the horror and disgust younger dismounting, and staring with they felt. wonder at the weather-beaten trap- "Good God !” exclaimed the elder, pers.
"you surely cannot eat such disgust"Well, my men, how are you?" ing food ?" he rattled out. "Any game here? " This niggur doesn't savy what By Jove !" he suddenly exclaimed, disgustin is," gruftly answered Killseizing his rifle, as at that moment a buck; “but them as carries empty large buzzard, the most unclean of paunch three days an' more, is glad birds, flew into the topmost branch of to get "snake-meat,' I'm thinkin." a cottonwood, and sat, a tempting "What! you've no ammunition, shot. “By Jove, there's a chance !" then ?" cried the mighty hunter; and, bend- “ Well, we haven't.” ing low, started off to approach the "Wait till the waggons come up, unwary bird in the most approved and throw away that abominable fashion of northern deer-stalkers. The stuff, and you shall have something buzzard sat quietly, and now and then better, I promise," said the elder of stretched its neck to gaze upon the the strangers. advancing sportsman, who on such “ Yes," continued the younger, occasions threw himself flat on the " some hot preserved soup, hotchground, and remained motionless, in potch, and a glass of porter, will do dread of alarming the bird. It was you good.” worth while to look at the counte. The trappers looked at the speaker, who was talking Greek (to them.) fire, and the skillets emptied of their They thought the bourgeois were bread - the contents of the former making fun, and did not half like it, poured in large flat pans, while paniso answered simply, “Wagh! h-'s kins were filled with smoking coffee. full of hosh-posh and porter."
The two trappers needed no second Two large waggons presently came invitation, but, seizing each a panful up, escorted by some eight or ten stout of steaming stew, drew the butcher Missourians. . Sublette was amongst knives from their belts, and fell to the number, well known as a moun- lustily - the hospitable Scotchman tain trader, and under whose guidance plying them with more and more, and the present party, which formed a administering corrective noggins of pleasure expedition at the expense of brandy the while; until at last they a Scotch sportsman, was leisurely were fain to cry enough, wiped their making its way across the mountains knives on the grass, and placed them to the Columbia. As several moun- in their sheaths-a sign that human taineers were in company, Killbuck nature could no more. How can and La Bonté recognised more than pen describe the luxury of the smoke one friend, and the former and Sublette that followed, to lips which had not were old compañeros. As soon as the kissed pipe for many months, and animals were unhitched, and camp how the fragrant honey-dew from Old formed on the banks of the creek, a Virginia was relishingly puffed ! black cook set about preparing a meal. But the Scotchman's bounty did not Our two trapping friends looked on stop here. He soon elicited from the with astonishment as the sable func- lips of the hunters the narrative of tionary drew from the waggon the their losses and privations, and different articles he required to furnish learned that they now, without amforth a feed. Hams, tongues, tins of munition and scarcely clothed, were preserved meats, bottles of pickles, of on their way to Platte Fort, to hire porter, brandy, coffee, sugar, flour, themselves to the Indian traders in were tumbled promiscuously on the order to earn another outfit, wherewith prairie; whilst pots and pans, knives, once more to betake themselves to their forks, spoons, plates, &c. &c. displayed perilous employment of trapping. their unfamiliar faces to the moun- What was their astonishment to see taineers. “Hosh-posh and porter” their entertainer presently lay out upon did not now appear such Ūtopian the ground two piles of goods, each articles as they had first imagined; consisting of a four-point Mackinaw, but no one can understand the relish, two tin canisters of powder, with corbut those who have fared for years responding lead and flints, a pair of on simple meat and water, with which mocassins, a shirt, and sufficient buckthey accepted the invitation of the skin to make a pair of pantaloons ; Capen (as they called the Scotchman,) and how much the more was the to it take a horn of liquor.” Killbuck wonder increased when two excellent and La Bonté sat in the same position Indian horses were presently lassoed as when we first surprised them asleep from the cavallada, and with mountain under the shadow of Independence saddle, bridle, and lariats complete, Rock, regarding the profuse display of together with the two piles of goods comestibles with scarce-believing eyes, described, presented to them “ on the and childishly helpless by the novelty prairie” or “ gift-free," by the kindof the scene. Each took the proffered hearted stranger, who would not even half-pint cup, filled to the brim with listen to thanks for the most timely excellent brandy-(no tee-totallers and invaluable present. they!)-looked once at the amber- Once more equipped, our two huncoloured surface, and with the usual ters, filled with good brandy and fat mountain pledge of “here's luck!" buffalo meat, again wended on their tossed off the grateful liquor at a way; their late entertainers continuing breath. This prepared them in some their pleasure trip across the gap of measure for what was yet in store for the South Pass, intending to visit the them. The Scotchman bestirred the Great Salt Lake, or Timponogos, of cook in his work, and soon sundry the West. The former were bound steaming pots were lifted from the for the North Fork of the Platte, with
the intention of joining one of the grizzly bear's. Before them a thounumerous trapping parties which ren- sand miles of dreary desert or wilderdezvous at the American Fur Com- ness, overrun by hostile savages, pany's post on that branch of the river. thirsting for the white man's blood; On a fork of Sweet Water, however, famine and drought, the arrows of not two days after the meeting with wily hordes of Indians-and, these the Scotchman's waggons, they en- dangers past, the invasion of the countered a band of a dozen moun- civilised settlements of whites, the taineers, mounted on fine horses, and least numerous of which contained ten well armed and equipped, travelling times their number of armed and along without the usual accompani bitter enemies, - the sudden swoop ment of a mulada of pack-animals, upon their countless herds of mules two or three mules alone being packed and horses, the fierce attack and with meat and spare ammunition. bloody slaughter;—such were the conThe band was proceeding at a smart sequences of the expedition these bold rate, the horses moving with the gait mountaineers were now engaged in. peculiar to American animals, known Fourteen lives of any fourteen enemies as " pacing" or "racking," in Indian who would be rash enough to stay file- each of the mountaineers with a them, were, any day you will, carried long heavy rifle resting across the in the rifle barrels of these stout felhorn of his saddle. Amongst them lows; who, in all the proud consciousour two friends recognised Markhead, ness of their physical qualities, who had been of the party dispersed neither thought, nor cared to think, months before by the Blackfeet on of future perils; and rode merrily one of the head streams of the Yellow on their way, rejoicing in the dangers Stone, which event had been the they must necessarily meet. Never origin of the dire sufferings of Kill- & more daring band crossed the buck and La Bonté. Markhead, mountains; a more than ordinary after running the gauntlet of numer- want of caution characterised their ous Indians, through the midst of march, and dangers were recklessly whose country he passed with his and needlessly invited, which even usual temerity and utter disregard the older and more cold - blooded to danger, suffering hunger, thirst, mountaineers seemed not to care to and cold—those every-day experi- avoid. They had, each and all, many ences of mountain life-riddled with a debt to pay the marauding Indians. balls, but with three scalps hang- Grudges for many privations, for ing from his belt, made his way wounds and loss of comrades, rankled to a rendezvous on Bear River, whence in their breasts; and not one but had he struck out for the Platte in early suffered more or less in property and spring, in time to join the band he person at the hands of the savages, now accompanied, who were on a within a few short months. Threats of horse-stealing expedition to the Mis- vengeance on every Redskin they met sions of Upper California Little were loud and deep; and the wild warpersuasion did either Killbuck or La songs round their nightly camp-fires, Bonté require to join the sturdy free- and grotesque scalp-dances, borrowed booters. In five minutes they had from the Indians, proved to the inigone “ files-about," and at sundown tiated that they were, one and all, were camping on the well-timbered "half-froze for hair." Soon after bottom of - Little Sandy," feasting Killbuck and La Bonté joined them, once more on delicate hump-rib and they one day suddenly surprised a tender loin.
band of twenty Sioux, scattered on For California, ho !
a small prairie and butchering some Fourteen good rifles in the hands of buffalo they had just killed. Befourteen mountain men, stout and true, fore they could escape, the whites on fourteen strong horses, of true In- were upon them with loud shouts, dian blood and training-fourteen cool and in three minutes the scalps of heads, with fourteen pairs of keen eleven were dangling from their sadeyes in them, each head crafty as an dle-horns. Indian's, directing a right arm strong Struggling up mountains, slipping as steel, and a heart as brave as down precipices, dashing over prairies which resounded with their Indian rich buffalo or grama grass was songs, charging the Indians wherever exchanged for a coarser species, they met them, and without regard to on which the hard-worked animals their numbers; frightening with their soon grew poor and weak. The lusty war-whoops the miserable Dig- thickets of plum and cherry, of boxgers, who were not unfrequently sur alder and quaking ash, which had prised while gathering roots in the hitherto fringed the creeks, and where mountain plains, and who, scrambling the deer and bear loved to resortup the rocks and concealing themselves, the former to browse on the leaves like sage rabbits, in holes and corners, and tender sboots, the latter to devour peered, chattering with fear, as the wild the fruit—now entirely disappeared, and noisy troop rode by. Scarce draw. and the only shrub seen was the ing rein, they passed rapidly the heads eternal sage-bush, which flourishes of Green and Grand Rivers, through every where in the western regions in a country abounding in game and uncongenial soils where other vegetain excellent pasture; encountering in tion refuses to grow. The visible the upland valleys, through which change in the scenery had also a meandered the well-timbered creeks on sensible effect on the spirits of the which they made their daily camps, mountaineers. They travelled on in many a band of Yutahs, through whom silence through the deserted plains; they dashed at random, caring not the hi-hi-hiya of their Indian chants whether they were friends or foes. was no longer heard enlivening the Passing many other heads of streams, line of march. More than once a they struck at last the edge of the Digger of the Pi-yutah tribe took himdesert, lying along the south-east- self and hair, in safety, from their ern base of the Great Salt Lake, path, and almost unnoticed; but as and which extends in almost unbroken they advanced they became more sterility to the foot of the range of cautious in their movements, and the Sierra Nevada-a mountain chain, testified, by the vigilant watch they capped with perpetual snow, that kept, that they anticipated hostile bounds the northern extremity of a attacks even in these arid wastes, singular tract of country, walled by They had passed without molestation mountains and utterly desert, whose through the country infested by the salt lagoons and lakes, although bolder Indians. The mountain Yutes, fed by many streams, find no outlet not relishing the appearance of the to the ocean, but are absorbed in the hunters, had left them unmolested; spongy soil or thirsty sand, which but they were now entering a country characterise the different portions of inhabited by the most degraded and this deserted tract. In the “Grand abject of the western tribes; who, neverBasin," it is reported, neither human theless, ever suffering from the extreminor animal life can be supported. No ties of hunger, have their brutish wits oases cheer the wanderer in the un- sharpened by the necessity of procurbroken solitude of the vast wilderness. ing food, and rarely fail to levy a conMore than once the lone trapper has tribution of rations, of horse or mule penetrated, with hardy enterprise, flesh, on the passenger in their ininto the salt plains of the basin; hospitable country. The brutish but no signs of beaver or fur-bearing cunning and animal instinct of animal rewarded the attempt. The these wretches is such, that although ground is scantily covered with coarse arrant cowards, their attacks are unwholesome grass that mules and more feared than those of bolder horses refuse to eat; and the water Indians. These people-called the of the springs, impregnated with the Yamparicas or Root-Diggers-are, impurities of the soil through which it nevertheless, the degenerate descenpercolates, affords but nauseating dants of those tribes which once draughts to the thirsty traveller. overran that portion of the con
In passing from the more fertile tinent of North America now comuplands to the lower plains, as they prehended within the boundaries of descended the streams, the timber Mexico, and who have left such on their banks became scarcer, startling evidences in their track of a and the groves more scattered. The comparatively superior state of civilisation. They now form an outcast of their two pack-mules for food, game tribe of the great nation of the not having been met with for several Apache, which extends under various days ; but the animal was so poor, names from the Great Salt Lake along that it scarcely afforded more than the table-lands on each side the one tolerable meal to the whole party. Sierra Madre to the tropic of Cancer, A short time before the dawn of where they merge into what are day an alarm was given; the animals called the Mexican Indians. The were heard to snort violently; a loud whole of this nation is characterised shout was heard, followed by the by most abject cowardice; and they sharp crack of a rifle, and the tramp even refuse to meet the helpless of galloping horses plainly showed Mexicans in open fight-unlike the that a stampede had been effected. Yutah or Camanche, who carry bold The whites instantly sprang to their and open warfare into the territories arms, and rushed in the direction of their civilised enemy, and never of the sounds. The body of the shrink from hand to hand encounter, cavallada, however, had luckily turnThe Apaches and the degenerate ed, and, being headed by the mounDiggers pursue a cowardly warfare, taineers, were surrounded and secured, hiding in ambush, and shooting the with the loss of only three, which had passer-by with arrows; or, dashing probably been mounted by the Inupon him at night when steeped in dians. sleep, they bury their arrow to the Day breaking soon after, one of feather in his heaving breast. As the their band was discovered to be Mexicans say, “ Sin ventaja, no sa- missing; and it was then found that len;" they never attack without odds. a man who had been standing horseBut they are not the less dangerous guard at the time of the attack, enemies on this account; and by the had not come into camp with his small bands of trappers who visit their companions. At that moment a thin country, they are the more dreaded spiral column of smoke was seen to by reason of this coward and wolfish rise from the banks of the creek, system of warfare.
telling but too surely the fate of the To provide against surprise, there- missing mountaineer. It was the signal fore, as the hunters rode along, flank- of the Indians to their people that a ers were extended en guerilla on each “coup" had been struck, and that an side, mounting the high points to enemy's scalp remained in their triumreconnoitre the country, and keeping phant hands. a sharp look-out for the Indian sign. “H- !" exclaimed the trappers in At night the animals were securely a breath; and soon imprecations and hobbled, and a horse-guard posted threats of revenge, loud and deep, round them a service of great dan were showered upon the heads of the ger, as the stealthy cat-like Diggers treacherous Indians. Some of the are often known to steal up silently, party rushed to the spot where the under cover of the darkness, towards guard had stood, and there lay the the sentinel, shoot him with their body of their comrade, pierced with arrows, and, approaching the animals, lance and arrow, the scalp gone, cut the hobbles and drive them away and the body otherwise mutilated unseen.
in a barbarous manner. Five were One night they encamped on a quickly in the saddle, mounted upcreek where was but little of the on the strongest horses, and flying coarsest pasture, and that little scat- along the track of the Indians, who tered here and there; so that they had made off towards the mounwere compelled to allow their animals tains with their prize and booty. to roam farther than usual from camp We will not follow them in their work in search of food. Four of the hun- of bloody vengeance, save by sayters, however, accompanied them to ing that they followed the savages guard against surprise; whilst but half to their village, into which they of those in camp laid down to sleep, charged headlong, recovered their the others, with rifles in their hands, stolen horses, and returned to camp remaining prepared for any emer- at sundown with thirteen scalps danggencies. This day they had killed one ling from their rifles, in payment
VOL. LXIV.-NO. CCCXCV.