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the story of suffering and stern endurance when he went out with a search expedition. Savages were manoeuvring to cut them off, and every night, exhausted as they were, they had to improvise a rude breastwork of fallen trees and vegetable rubbish. When the provisions finally gave out they were saved almost by a miracle, driving some half-starved buffalo on to the ice, where they slipped, fell, and were slaughtered. They could scarcely make head against the blasts of icy wind, yet that wind proved their salvation, for their lives depended on their horses, and the only grazing the poor animals could find was where some scrap of coarse pasturage had been swept by the blizzard. But those brave fellows felt amply rewarded for their sufferings when they happily lighted on the missing men. Bonneville returned to civilisation after a three years' absence. He seems to have come back with the conviction that beyond certain limits it was hopeless to contend with the Hudson Bay Company. Organisation, discipline, ample capital, above all, established posts, and an effective chain of communications with Canada, gave the great association an unassailable superiority.

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Parkman went "on the Oregon trail In in 1846. preface to the fourth edition, published nearly thirty years afterwards, he says, "The mountain trapper is no more, and the grim romance of his wild, hard life is a memory of the past." Even in 1846 the survivors of the race had been

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changing their habits, and, like the stage-coachman when run off their boxes by the rail, had been betaking themselves to other pursuits more or less congenial. The hatters of St James's and the Rue St Honoré had taken to using silk instead of beaver. The United States had been garrisoning forts in the wilderness, and many of the mountain boys attached themselves to these as hunters, guides, and scouts. In rare cases they had softened their manners without losing anything of their dash and courage. Parkman placed himself in the hands of Henry Châtillon, famous among frontier men for his shooting and scouting. He found him a staunch comrade, a chivalrous gentleman, and a devoted husband and father to boot, though he had sought a wife in a wigwam. But the old types of rugged and undaunted brutality were by no means extinct-men who were doggedly fearless because absolutely unimaginative. Adroit tacticians, they were careless of strategy; they scanned the ground at their feet for "sign" and never looked abroad. Parkman met two of them at Fort Laramie, and their conduct was so characteristic of the old breed that it is worth noting. The Arapahoes having refused to give up a murderer, had gone out on the war-path and were circumventing the fort. Each outlet was watched by eager eyes, and the smoke from the Indian fires went up from all directions. But a couple of trappers - Rouleau and Seraphin - had arranged for a start, and would not be

deterred. Vain were the warnings of friendly Indians; they laughed at the danger and went on with their preparations. Parkman paints them to the life :

"Seraphin was a tall, powerful fellow, with a sullen and sinister countenance. His rifle had very probably drawn other blood than that of buffalo or Indians. Rouleau had a broad, ruddy face, marked with as few traces of thought or care as a child's. His figure was square and strong, but the first joints of both his feet were frozen off, and his horse had lately thrown and trampled on him, by which he was severely injured in the chest. But nothing could subdue his gaiety, and he had an unlucky partiality for squaws. Like other trappers, his life was one of contrast and variety; but when once in pursuit of the beaver, he was involved in extreme privations and perils. Hand and foot, eye and ear, must be always alert. Frequently he must content himself with devouring his evening meal uncooked, lest the light

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of his fire should attract some wandering Indian; and sometimes, having made the rude repast, he must leave his fire still blazing, and withdraw to

a distance, under cover of the darkness, that his disappointed enemy, drawn thither by the light, may find his victim gone, and be unable to trace his footsteps in the gloom. This is the life led by scores of trappers in the Rocky Mountains. I once met a man whose breast was marked with the scars of six bullets and arrows, one of his arms broken by a shot, and one of his knees shattered; yet still, with the mettle of New England, he continued to follow his perilous calling."

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He paints the red braves in their white buffalo robes, with their gaily bedizened squaws, as they stalked about the precincts of the forts; he blends sentiment with romance, as he recalls his impressions of blizzards and thunderstorms, and of lonely night quarters, when bivouacking on the plains, serenaded by owls and coyotes. He passed the mountains in company of a band of Sioux warriors, and "one morning's march was not to be forgotten. It led us through a sublime waste, a wilderness of mountains and pine forests, over which the spirit of loneliness and silence seemed brooding. Above and below, little could be seen but the same dark green foliage. It overspread the valleys and enveloped the mountains, from the black rocks that crowned their summits to the

streams that circled round their bases." Such vivid sketches present us with the surroundings in which the trapper passed his existence. And we see him at home-if he had a home-in his hours of idleness at St Louis, when getting rid of his dollars or looking out for a new engagement. There he was cock of the walk in the motley multitude, walking arsenals of rifle, pistol, and bowieknife, the floating population of that base of operations for prairie traders and pioneers of agriculture. He had his favourite houses of call among the drinking and gambling saloons, where night and day, over the decks of cards, he fraternised or quarrelled in chronic intoxication. There have been more


refined societies, but none more 650 miles west of Leavenworth

exclusive, for the outsider would be a bold man who dared intrude upon the unhallowed revels.

If St Louis was the prairie capital, Independence sprang up, some sixty miles to the westward, as St Louis's prairie port. Thence trains of the heavy waggons, called prairie schooners, carried on the lucrative trade opened up with the Mexican settlements. They ran extraordinary risks, and required strong convoys. The country was perpetually raided by In dians, who had safe retreats in the western mountains. As the valuable cargoes were passing in transit, the Indians had no inducement to let them go by. They missed no opportunity of making captures, and massacres were of frequent occurrence. Moreover, capable guides were indispensable, for there were no regular tracks across the stony deserts, and in the dry season water was scarce. The waggons were in charge of Missouri teamsters, stout men of their hands, but unskilled as children in prairie navigation and frontier fighting. So, just when the trapping business had gone to the bad, the trappers came into request as hunters and guards to the caravans. The services of such a man as Kit Carson were invaluable; he made money fast, and had the wisdom to invest it. Another famous band of brothers took to speculating as traders and employers of trappers with great success. William, familiarly known as Bill Bent, gave his name to two forts he built on the Arkansas,

in Kansas. There he ruled as a sort of warden of the marches, and those outworks of civilisation, resorted to by mountain men and Indians, were restingplaces where the caravans broke their journeys. Parkman went as far south in the course of his wanderings. He gives a graphic Idea of the rude manner of living, and of the utter absence of discipline and precautions in what was regarded as an irregular military post. In fact, the occupants trusted to their rifles, their scouts, and their luck. "The Pueblo was а wretched species of fort of most primitive construction." The slender stockades were breached or broken down, and the gate dangled loosely on its wooden hinges. "We saw the large Santa Fé waggons standing together. gether. . . . Richard conducted us to the state apartment, a small mud room. There were no chairs, but instead of them a number of chests and boxes ranged round the walls." Other writers have described the scenes there. When the trappers were away on their hunts it was often dull enough. When they rallied for the autumn rendezvous there was incessant gambling, brawling, and fighting. In the palmy days, when "beaver was up," they would sometimes bring in a thousand dollars' worth of peltries. They never carried away a cent—all had passed into the hands of the traders. Not a few of those trapping worthies were illustrious in their generation, and have left their memorials on the Western maps,

standing sponsors to streams, ing-knife, his friends, who were bluffs, and cañons. Perhaps looking on helplessly from their the most celebrated of those lurking-place, could not detect who had little more than the a quiver in his muscles. Of instinct of the sagacious brute similar stuff were Uncle John was old Bill Williams. As the Smith, Uncle Dick Wooton, veteran mountaineer, he was Kit Carson, and many another. painted to the life in Ruxton's They played their lives as they 'Far West.' Familiar with staked their dollars, and it was every rood of ground, he could their pride not to flinch when have threaded any of the passes the game went against them. blindfold. A misanthrope, he The chief characteristic of the preferred to hunt alone; yet trapper was the iron nerve that when the fancy took him to never failed, the presence of mind head a party, his followers con- that never deserted him. Such fided themselves blindly to his as he was, he was always equal guidance. Bill in his younger to himself, and was at his best days had been a Methodist in moments of imminent peril. preacher in Missouri; latterly What gave him his superiority he believed firmly in the trans- over the Indian was his swift migration of souls. After in- determination in extreme diffinumerable, almost miraculous culties, which seemed indeed to escapes, the pitcher was broken sharpen his faculties to the utthat had gone so often to the most. Absolutely indifferent well, and the old man went to paralysing superstitions, he under. An even more remark- doubled the Indian sagacity and able career was that of Rube craft, with infinitely greater dash Stevens. Rube's family had and daring. He was prompt to been massacred by Indians. seize opportunities which the Red They spared the boy, but cut braves let slip. Embodying the out his tongue. He escaped to hardihood and dauntless perswear undying vengeance, and severance of the American charwell he kept his vow. On one acter, these trappers constituted occasion, in a fight, three against themselves into a faculty of State thirty, after killing the chief of surveyors, and were the veritthe savages in a desperate rough- able makers of the empire of and-tumble grapple, Rube fell the West. into their hands. Tied to a pine-stem and confronted by a gigantic Indian with a scalp

The last of them had gone some thirty years ago, having pioneered the way for the gold-seekers and the ranchers.



WHAT surprises me most when I recall those days is my own rapid development. The tiny inarticulate pensive creature of Ireland is, as if by magic, turned into a turbulent adventurer, quick with initiation, with a ready and violent word for my enemies, whom I regarded as many, with a force of character that compelled children older than myself to follow me; imperious, passionate, and reckless. How did it come about? It needed long months of unhappiness at home to make me revolt against the most drastic rule, and here it sufficed that a nun should doubt my word to turn me into a glorified outlaw.

I confess that whatever the deficiencies of my home training, I had not been brought up to think that anybody lied. My mother never seemed to think it possible that any of her children could lie. In fact, lying was the last vice of childhood I was acquainted with. You

told the truth as you breathed, without thinking of it, for the simple reason that it could not possibly occur to you not to tell the truth. This was, I know, how I took it, though I did not reason so. I believe it was that villain Frank who broke a statue of an angel, and behind my back asserted that he had seen me do it. I had no objection in the world to break forty

statues if it came in the day's work, and so far from concealing my misdeeds, I was safe to glory in any iniquity I could accomplish. So when charged with the broken angel, I said, saucily enough I have no doubt

oh! I have no wish to make light of the provocations of my enemies that "I hadn't done it."

The Grand Inquisitor was a lovely slim young nun, with a dainty gipsy face, all brown and golden, full-cheeked, pinklipped, black-browed. I see her still, the exquisite monster, with her long slim fingers, as delicate as ivory, and the perfidious witchery of her radiant dark smile.

"You mustn't tell lies, Angela. You were seen to break the statue."

I stood up in vehement protest, words poured from me in a flood; they gushed from me like life-blood flowing from my heart, and in my passion I flung my books on the floor, and vowed I would never eat again, but that I'd die first, to make them all feel miserable because they had murdered me. And then the pretty Inquisitor carried me off, dragging me after her with that veiled brutality of gesture that marks your refined tyrant. I was locked up in the old community-room, then reserved for guests, a big white

1 Copyright, 1898, by Dodd, Mead & Co. in the United States of America.

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