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that region and fall into the Gulf of can • shine' with this child, I tell you. California.
I've tried him onest, an' fout him to In 'the valley of the Bear River clawin' away to Eustis,* and if I they found beaver abundant, and draws my knife agin on such varmint, trapped their way westward until I'll raise his hair, as sure as shootin'.” they came upon the famed locality of Spite of the reputed dangers of the lothe Beer and Soda Springs—natural cality, the trappers camped on the spot, fountains of mineral water, renowned and many a draught of the delicious amongst the trappers as being “ me- sparkling water they quaffed in honour dicine" of the first order.
of the “ medicine" of the fount. Rube, Arriving one evening, about sunhowever, sat sulky and silent, his huge down, at ibe Beer Spring, they found form bending over his legs, which a solitary trapper sitting over the were crossed, Indian fashion, under rocky basin, intently regarding, and him, and his long bony fingers spread with no little awe, the curious pheno. over the fire, which had been made menon of the bubbling gas. Behind handy to the spring. At last they him were piled his saddles and a pack elicited from him that he had sought of skins, and at a little distance a this spot for the purpose of “ making hobbled Indian pony
was feeding medicine,” having been persecuted by amongst the cedars which formed a extraordinary ill luck, even at this liule grove round the spring. As the early period of his hunt,—the Indians three hunters dismounted from their having stolen two out of his three anianimals, the lone trapper scarcely mals, and three of his half-dozen noticed their arrival, his eyes being traps. He had, therefore, sought the still intently fixed upon the water. springs for the purpose of invoking Looking round at last, he was in- the fountain spirits, which, a perfect stantly recognised by one La Bonté's Indian in his simple heart, he im. companions, and saluted as “Old plicitly believed to inhabit their mysRube." Dressed from head to foot in terious waters. When the others buckskin, his face, neck, and hands ap- had, as he thought, fallen asleep, Lapeared to be of the same leathery tex. Bonté observed the ill-starred trapper ture, so nearly did they assimilate in take from his pouch a curiously carved colour to the materials of his dress. red stone pipe, which he carefully He was at least six feet two or three charged with tobacco and kinnik-kinin bis mocassins, straight-limbed and nik. Then approaching the spring, he wiry, with long arms ending in hands walked three times round it, and of tremendous grasp, and a quantity gravely sat himself down. Striking of straight black hair hanging on his fire with his flint and steel, he lit his shoulders. His features, which were pipe, and, bending, the stem three undeniably good, wore an expression several times towards the water, he of comical gravity, never relaxing into inhaled a vast quantity of smoke, and, a smile, which a broad good-humoured bending back his neck and looking mouth could have grinned from ear to upwards, puffed it into the air. He
then blew another puff towards the What, boys,” he said, “ will four points of the compass, and you be simple enough to camp here, emptying the pipe into his band, cast alongside these Springs ? Nothing the consecrated contents into the good ever came of sleeping here, I tell spring, saying a few Indian “medicine you, and the worst kind of devils are words of cabalistic import. Having in those dancing waters.”
performed the ceremony 10 his satis“Why, oli hos,” cried La Bonté, faction, he returned to the fire, smoked "what brings you hyar then, and a pipe on his own book, and turned camp at that?"
into his buffalo robe, conscious of hav“ This niggur," answered Rubeing done a most important duty. solemnly, “has been down’d upon a In the course of their trapping expesight too often 10 be skeared by what dition, and accompanied by Rube, who can come out from them waters; and knew the country well, they passed thar arn't a devil as hisses thar, as near the vicinity of the Great Salt Lake
A small lake near the head waters of the Yellow Stone, near which are some curious thermal springs of ink-black water.
8 vast inland sea, whose salitrose southern shores of the Salt Lake to the waters covers an extent of upwards of borders of Upper California. La one hundred and forty miles in length, Bonié, with three others, determined by eighty in breadih. Fed by several to follow the thieves, recover their ani. streams, of which the Big Bear River mals, and then rejoin the other two is the most considerable, this Jake (Like and Rube) on a creek two presents the curious phenomenon of a days' journey from their present camp. vast body of water without any Starting at sunrise, they rode on at a known outlet. According to the rapid pace all day, closely following trappers, an island, from which rises the trail
, which led directly to the a chain of lofty mountains, nearly di- north west, through a wretched sandy vides the north-western portion of the country, without game or water. lake, whilst a smaller one, within Froin ihe appearance of the track, the twelve miles of the northern shore, Indians must still have been several rises six hundred feet from the level hours ahead of them, when the fatigue of the water. Rube declared to his of their horses, suffering from want of companions that the larger island was grass and water, compelled them to known 10 the Indians 10 be inhabited camp near the head of a small waterby a race of giants, with whom no course, where they luckily found a communication had ever been held by hole containing a little water, and mortal man; and but for the casual whence a broad Indian trail passed, wafting to ibe shores of the lake of apparently frequently used. Long logs of gigantic trees, cut by axes of before daylight they were again in extraordinary size, the world would the saddle, and, after proceeding a few never have known that such a people miles, saw the lights of several fires a existed. They were, moreover, white short distance ahead of them. Haltas themselves, and lived upon corn ing here, one of the party advanced on and fruits, and rode on elephanis, &c. foot 10 reconpoitre, and presenily re.
Whilet following a small creek at turned with the intelligence that the the south-west extremity of the lake, party they were in pursuit of had joined they came upon a band of miserable a village numbering thirty or forty buts. Indians, who, from the fact of their Loosening their girths, they persubsisting chiefly on roots, are called mitied their tired animals to feed on the Diggers. At first sight of the the scanty herhage which presented whites, ihey immediately fled from itself, whilst they refreshed themselves their wretched huls, and made towards with a pipe of tobacco-for they had the mountain; but one of the trappers, no meat of any description with ihem, galloping up on his borse, cut off their and the country afforded no game. retreat, and drove them like sheep As the first streak of dawn appeared before him back to their village. Å in the east, they mounted their horses, few of these wretched creatures came after firsi examining their rifles, and into camp at sundown, and were re. moved cautiously towards the Indian galed with such meat as the larder af. village. As it was scarcely light forded. They appeared to have no other enough for their operations, they food in their village but bags of dried wai'ed behind a sandhill in the vicinity, ants and their larvæ, and a few roots until objects became more distinct, of the yampah. Their huts were con- and then, emerging from their cover structed of a few bushes of grease-wood, with loud war-whoops, they charged piled up as a sort of break wind, in abreast into the midst of the village. which ihey huddled in their filthy As the frightened Indians skins. During the night, they crawled scarcely risen from their beds, no up to the camp and stole two of the opposition was given to the daring horses, and the next morning not a mountaineers, who, rushing upon the sign of them was visible. Now La Aying crowd, discharged their rifles at Bonté witnessed a case of mountain close quarters, and then, springing law, and the practical effects of the from their horses, attacked them knife
lex talionis ” of the Far West. in band, and only ceased the work of
The trail of the runaway Diggers butchery when nine Indians lay dead bore to the north-west, or along the upon the ground. All this time ihe skirt of a barren waterless desert, women, half dead with fright, were which stretches far away from the huddled together on the ground, howl.
ing piteously; and the mountaineers Lake, a vast desert extends for advancing to them, whirled iheir lassos hundreds of miles, unbroken by the round their heads, and throwing the slightest vegetation, destitute of game open nooses into the midst, hauled and water, and presenting a cheerless out three of them, and securing their expanse of sandy plain, or rugged arms in the rope, bound them to a mountain, thinly covered with dwarf tree, and then proceeded to scalp the pine or cedar, the only evidence of dead bodies. Whilst they were en- vegetable life Into this desert, ignogaged in this work, an old Indian, rant of the country the trappers struck, witbered and grisly, and bardly bigger intending to make their short cut; than an ape, suddenly emerged from and, travelling on all day, were coma rock, holding in his left hand a bow pelled 10 camp at night, without water and a bandful of arrows, whilst one or pasture for their exhausted animals, was already drawn to the head. Run- and themselves ravenous with hunger ning towards them, and almost before and parched with thirst. The next the hunters were aware of his pre. day three of their animals "gave oui,” sence, he discharged an arrow at a few and they were fain to leave them beyards' distance, which buried itself in hind; but imagining that they must the ground not a foot from La Bonié's soon strike a creek, they pushed on head as he bent over the boily of the until noon, but stiil no water presented Indian he was scalping, and bardly itself, nor a sign of game of any debad the whiz ceased, when wbirr flew scription. The animals were nearly another, striking him in his right exhausted, and the horse which could sboulder. Before the Indian could scarcely keep up with the slow pace fit a bird arrow 10 his bow, La Bonié, of the others was killed, and its blood sprang upon him, seized him by the greedily drunk; a portion of the flesh middle, and spinning the pigmy form being eaten raw, and a supply carried of the Indian round bis head, as easily with them for future emergencies. as he would have twirled a tomahawk, The next morning two of the horses he threw him with tremendous force lay dead at their pickets, and one only on the ground at the feet of one of remained, and ibis in such a miserable his companions, who, stooping down, state that it could not possibly have coolly thrust his knife into the Indian's travelled six miles further. It was, breast, and quickly tore off his scalp. therefore, killed, and its blood drunk,
The slaughter over, without casting of which, however, the captive squaws an eye to the captive squaws, the refused 10 pariake. The men began trappers proceeded to search the vil. to feel the effects of their consuming Jage for food, of which they stood much thirst, which the hot horse's blood in need. Nothing, however, was found only served to increase ; ibeir lips bebut a few bags of dried ants, which, came parched and swollen, their eyes after ealing voracionsly of, but with bloodshot, and a gidiy sickness seized wry mouths, they threw aside, saying them at intervals. About mid-day the food was worse than “poor bull.” they came in sight of a mountain on They found, however, the animals their right hand, which appeared 10 be they had been robbed of, and two more thickly clothed with vegetation ; more besides,-wretched hall-starved and arguing from this that water creatures; and on these mounting would be found there, they left their their captives, they þurried away on course, and made towards it
, although their journey back to their companions, some eight or ten miles distant. On the distance being computed at three arriving at the base the most minule days' travel from their present posi- search failed to discover the slighiest tion. However, they thought, by tak- traces of water, and the vegetation ing a more direct course, they might merely consisted of dwarf piñon and find better pasture for their animals, cedar. With their sufferings increased and water, besides saving at least half by the exertions they had used in a day hy the short cut. To their cost, reaching the mountain, they once they proved the truth of the old say. more sought the trail, but every step ing. that" a short cut is always a long told on their exhausted frames. The road," as will be presently shown. sun was very powerful, ihe sand over
It has been said that from the south. which they were floundering deep and Western extremity of the Great Salt heavy, and, to complete their suffer
ings, a high wind was blowing it in It was nearly sunset when La their fac-s, filling their mouths and Bonté returned to the camp, where he noses with its searching particles. already espied one of his companions
Still they struggled onwards man. engaged in cooking something over it. fully, and not a murmur was heard Hurrying to the spot, overjoyed with until their hunger had entered the the anticipations of a feast, he obsecond stage attendant upon starva. served that the squaws were gone; tion. They had now been three days but, at the same time, thought it was without food, and three without water; not improbable they had escaped under which privation nature can during their absence. Approaching hardly sustain herself for a much the fire, he observed Forey broiling longer period. On the fourth morning, some meat on the embers, whilst at a the men looked wolfish, their captives little distance lay what he fancied was following behind in sullen and perfect the carcass of a deer. indifference, occasionally stooping Hurrah, boy !” he exclaimed, as down to caich a beetle if one presented he drew near the fire. “ You've made' itself, and greedily devouring it. A a • raise' I see." man nained Forey, a Canadian hall. “ Well, I have,” rejoined the other, breed, was the first to complain. • If turning his meat with the point of his this lasted another sundown,” he said, butcher knife. There's the meat, “ some of them would be rubbed out;' hos—help yourself.”. that meat had to be · raised' anyhow; La Bonté drew the knife from bis and for his part, he knew where to scabbard, and approached the spot his look for a feed, if no game was seen companion was pointing 10; but what before they put out of camp on the was his horror 10 see the yet quivering morrow; and meat was meat, anyhow body of one of the Indian squaws. with they fixed it."
a large portion of the flesh buichered No answer was made to this, though from it, and part of which Forey was his companions well understood him: already greedily devouring. The knife tbeir natures as yet revolted against the dropped from his hand, and his beart last expedient. As for the three squaws, rose io his throat. all of them young girls, they followed The next day he and his companion behind their captors without a word of struck the creek where Rube and the camplaint, and with the stoical indiffer- other trapper had agreed to await ence to pain and suffering, which alike them, and whom they found in camp characterizes the haughty Delaware of with plenty of meat, and about the north and the miserable stunted to start again on their hunt, baving Digger of the deserts of the Far West. given up ihe others for lost. From On the morning of the fifth day, the the day ihey parted nothing was ever party were sitting round a small fire heard of La Bon!é's two companions, of piñon, hardly able to rise and com- who doubtless fell a prey to utter ex
their journey, the squaws haustion, and were unable to return squatting over another at a little dis- to the camp. And thus ended the lance, when Forey commenced again Digger expedition. to suggest, that is nothing offered, they It may appear almost incredible must either take the alternative of that men having civilized blood in starving to death, for they could not their veins could perpetrate such wan. hope 10 last another day, or have ton and cold blooded acts of aggression recourse to the revolting extremity of on the wretched Indians, as that desacrificing one of the party to save the tailed above ; but it is a fact that the lives of all. To this, however, there mountaineers never lose an opportuwas a murmur of dissent, and it was nity of slaughtering these miserable finally resolved that all should sally Diggers and attacking their villages, out and hunt; for a deer-irack hail often for the purpose of capturing been discovered near the camp, which, women, whom they carry off, and not although it was not a fresh one, proved unfrequently sell to other tribes, or to that there must be game in the vic each other. In these allacks neither cinity. Weak and exhausted as they sex nor age is spared; and your were, they took their rifles and started mountaineer has as little compunction for the neighbouring, uplands, each in taking the life of an Indian Woman, taking a different direction.
as he would have in sending bis rifle
ball through the brain of a Crow or against. The naked form of the Indian Blackfoot warrior.
twisted and writhed in his grasp, as La Bonté now found himself with. he sought to avoid the trapper's upout animals, and fairly “afoot;" con- lifted knife. Many of the latter's sequently nothing remained for him companions advanced to administer bui to seek some of the trapping bands, the coup-de-grace to the savage, but and bire himself for the hunt. Luckily the trapper cried to them to keep off: for him, he soon fell with Roubi. “If he couldn't whip the Injun," he deau, on his way to Uintah, and was said “ he'd go under.” supplied by him with a couple of At length be succeeded in throwing animals; and thus equipped, started him, and, plunging his knife no less again with a large band of trappers, ihan seven times into his body, tore who were going to hunt on the waters off his scalp, and went in pursuit of of Grand River and the Gila. Here the flying savages. In the course of they fell in with ano:her nation of In. an hour or two, all the pariy returned, dians, from which branch out the and sitting by the fires, resumed their innumerable tribes inhabiting North- suppers, which had been interrupted ern Mexico and part of California. in the manner just described. Walker, They were in general friendly, but lost the captain of 'he band, sat down by no opportunity of stealing horses or the fire where he had been engaged in any articles left lying about the camp. the struggle with the Indian chief, On one occasion, being camped on a whose body was lying within a few northern affluent of the Gila, as they paces of it. He was in the act of sat round the camp fires, a volley of fighting the battle over again 10 one arrows was discharged amongst them, of his companions, and was saying severely wounding one or two of the that the Indian haid as much life in party. The attack, however, was not him as a buffalo bull, when to the reneweit, and the next day the camp horror of all present, the savage, who was moved further down the stream, had received wounds sutficient for where beaver was tolerably abundant. twenty deaths, suddenly rose to a Before sundown a number of Indians sitting postare, the fire shedding a made their appearance, and making glowing light upon the horrid spectacle. signs of peace, were admitted into the The face was a mass of clotted blood, camp.
which flowed from the Jacerated and The trappers were all sitting at their naked scalp, whilst gouts of blood suppers over the fires, the Indians streamed from eight gaping wounds in looking gravely on, when it was re- the naked breast. marked that now would be a good op Slowly this frightful figure rose to a portunity to retaliate upon them for sitting posture, and, bending slowly the trouble their incessant attacks bad forward to the fire, the mouth was entailed upon the camp. The sugges- seen to open wide, and a hollow gurtion was highly approved of, and in. gling-owg-b-b-broke from it. stantly acted upon. Springing 10 their “H—!” exclaimed the trapper-and feet, the trappers seized their rifles, jumping up, he placed a pistol to the and commenced the slaughter. The ghastly head, the eyes of wbich sternly Indians panic struck, fled without fixed themselves on his, and pulling resistance, and numbers felt before the the trigger, blew the poor wretch's death-dealing rifles of the moun. head to atoms. taineers. A chief, who had been sit The Gila passes through a barren, ting on a rock near the fire where the sandy country, with but liule game, leader of the trappers sal, had been and sparsely inhabited by several dif. singled out by the latter as the first ferent tribes of the great nation of the mark for his rifle.
A pache. Unlike the rivers of this Placing the muzzle to his heart, he western region, this stream is, in most pulled the trigger, but the Indian, parls of its course, particularly to. with extraordinary tenacity of life, wards its upper waters, entirely hare Tose and grappled with his assailant of timber, and the bottom, through The white was a tall powerful inan, which it runs, affords but little of the but, notwithstanding the deadly coarsest grass. Whilst on this stream, wound the Indian bad received, he the trapping party lost several animals oad his equal in strength to contend from the want of pasture, and many