Red Cloud, the Solitary Sioux_ A Story of the Great Prairie
THE SOLITARY SIOUX.
A Story of the Great Prairie.
AUTHOR OF “THE GREAT LONE LAND,” “THE WILD NORTH LAND,”
All night in a waste land, where no one comes,
Or hath come, since the making of the world.”
|Our home in Glencar—A glimpse at the outside world—Myparents—My schoolmasters—Donogh—Cooma-sa-harn—Theeagle’s nest—“The eagle is coming back to thenest”—Alone in the world—I start for the Great Prairie—Good-byeto Glencar||1|
|Sunset in the wilds—Our first camp—Outlooks—The solitarySioux—Losses—The Sioux again—A new departure—Thecache at the Souri—The story of Red Cloud—Thered man’s offer||28|
|To the West—Wapiti in sight—A stalk—A grand run—Thesand-hills in sight—The finish—A noble beast—Agorgeous sunset—A vast landscape—The Hills of Lifeand Death||52|
|We reach the hills of the Wolverine—Something moves farout upon the plains—The wounded Cree—His story—Adventurewith a grizzly bear—Left alone—A long crawl[vi]for life—Hunger, thirst, and travail—A grizzly again—“TheGreat Spirit, like an eagle, looks down upon theprairie”—Saved—Watched||67|
|An Assineboine camp—The trader McDermott—The chief“Wolverine”—Fire-water and finesse—The Assineboinewar-party—A chance of a Cree scalp—The trader hearsa well-known name—A big bid for murder, two hundredskins!||82|
|The Sioux forecasts our course—On the watch—Directions—Weseparate—Red Cloud is seen far out on the plains—Rivaltactics—Scent versus sight—A captured scout—Theedge of the hills again—The signal fire||97|
|The watched one halts—A light to the north-east—TheStonies find their mistake—Distant thunder—A light inthe dark—The fire wind—Sauve qui peut—How the firewas lighted—We ride across the fire field—Enemies insight—A dilemma—Between friend and foe—The scoutthrows in his lot with us—We ride to the rescue||111|
|The fight—The Sioux and the swamp—The trader’striumph—Red Cloud fights on foot—The trader finds hehas other foes to reckon with—The Assineboine draws astraight arrow—The trader’s flight—Our losses and gains—Wintersupplies—Our party is completed—“All’s wellthat ends well.”||129|
|We again go West—Hiding the trail—Red and whitefor once in harmony—Peace and plenty—An autumn holiday—Weselect a winter’s camp—The Forks—Hut-building—Ourfood supply—The autumn hunt—The GreatPrairie—Home thoughts—Indian instincts—The Lake ofthe Winds—Buffalo—Good meat—A long stalk—Themonarch of the waste—A stampede—Wolves—The redman’s tobacco||144|
|Winter—Wolves—A night’s trapping—A retreat—In theteeth of the north wind—The carcajou—A miss and ahit—News of Indians—Danger ahead—A friendly storm—Thehut again||177|
|Winter comfort—Snowshoe-making—Snow and storm—Themoose woods—A night camp—Memories—A midnightvisitor—Maskeypeton the Iroquois—Danger—A moosehunt—Indian stalking—The red man’s happyhunting-grounds—Plans—Raft-building||191|
|The winter draws to an end—A keen look-out—Signs—Thebreak-up of the rivers—An ice block—The evening approaches—Anoiseless arrow—The ice still fast—The ice-floes—Thewar-cry of assault—A parley—We embark onthe rafts—The hut in flames—On shore again—Freedom—Wintergone||212|
|Horses wanted—New plans—We start south—The Prairiein Spring—No buffalo in sight—Starvation—A last resort—Buffaloat last—We fall in with Blood Indians—Thecamp—Tashota—A trade—Rumours of war—We departfrom the Blood camp||228|
|On the trail—A pursuit—The mark is overshot—A nightmarch—Morning—The curtain rises—We are prisoners—Blackfeet—Penoquam—TheFar-Off Dawn—His history—Hismedicine robe—Interrogations—New arrivals—Thetrader again||247|
|The council of the nation—The wager of battle—Signs offriendship—A private interview—A fair field and nofavour—The trader on the scene—I leave the camp—Icamp alone—The rock on the hill—The skulking figure—Preparationsfor the start—The race for life—The snakein the grass—A desperate strait—The odds are madeeven—Hand to hand—A last chance—Out of range||260|
|Revulsion—Home again—New plans—We depart for themountains—The Hand hills—The great range—Homememories—A murderous volley—Donogh sees “theland beyond the grave”—Vain regrets—We enter themountains—The island—A lonely grave—The Indian’shome||279|
|Signs of trouble—Reconnoitring—Precautions—We retireinto the island—Daylight—The enemy shows himself—Asearch—He prepares to attack the island—A midnightstorm—The raft—“Aim low, and fire fast”—In the whirl ofwaters—On the lip of the fall—The end of crime||297|
|The beginning of the end—Deeper into the mountains—Thewestern slope—On the edge of the snow—The goldenvalley—It is all mine—Night thoughts—Last words—Isee him no more||315|
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
THE SOLITARY SIOUX.
Our home in Glencar—A glimpse at the outside world—Myparents—My schoolmasters—Donogh—Cooma-sa-harn—Theeagle’s nest—“The eagle is coming back to the nest”—Alonein the world—I start for the Great Prairie—Good-bye toGlencar.
Far back as I can remember anything I can remember ourcottage in Glencar. It was a small thatched house, withplenty of June roses and white jessamine trailing over twosides of it, through wooden trellis-work. The ground rosesteeply behind the house, until the trees that covered it gaveplace to scattered clumps of holly bushes, which finallymerged into open mountain, heather-covered, and sprinkledhere and there with dwarf furze bushes. In front of thecottage the little lawn sloped downwards to a stream, thebed of which was strewn with great boulders of rock, whichwere bare and dry in summer, but in winter scarcely showedover the surface. Between the big rocks there were poolsand shallows, in which trout rose briskly at the midges inthe early summer evenings. Whenever I think of that cottagehome now, it seems to me to be always sunshine there.There must have been dark days, and wet ones, too, but Ican’t call them to mind. There was a large flat rock in themiddle of the lawn half way down to the stream; one endof this rock was imbedded in the earth, the other leant outfrom the ground, giving shelter underneath. The only darkthing I can remember about the whole place was thathollow under the big stone. I used to sit in there on thevery hot days, looking out across the stream upon the oneroad that led from the outer world into Glencar. When theweather was not too warm I lay on the top of the rock,looking at the same view. The road came into the glenover a hill that was four miles distant from our cottage; youcould see the white streak crossing the crest of ridge, flankedon each side by the dark heather mountain. You caughtsight of the road again as it came down the hillside, andhere and there at turns, as it wound along the valley to theold five-arched bridge over the Carragh river, and thendisappeared around the hill on which our cottage stood.When in the summer days I used to lie on the rock, orbeneath its shadows, I was always thinking of the countrythat lay beyond the boundary ridge, the land to which thewhite road led when it dipped down behind the hill: thatwas the outside world to me, the glen was the inside one.As I grew older I came to know more of the outside world;I was able to climb higher up the steep hill behind thehouse, to get beyond the holly bushes out into the heather,and at last one day I reached the mountain-top itself. Thatwas a great event in my life. It took me a long while to getup; the last bit was very steep; I had to sit down oftenamid the rocks and heather for want of breath. At last Igained the summit, and sank down quite exhausted on anold weather-beaten flat rock; I was just ten years old thatday. Thirty years have gone by since then. I have climbedmany a lofty mountain, lain down for weeks alone in forestsand on prairies, but never have I felt so proudly consciousof success as I did that day. It was my first view of theoutside world. How vast it seemed to me. The glen, myworld, lay below, winding away amid the hills. All thestreams, all the lakes, were unfolded to my sight, and outbeyond the boundary ridge was the great open country.That was on one side—the glen side; but as I turned roundto look beyond the mountain I had come up, I saw a sightthat filled me with utter astonishment. Below me on thatside there lay another glen, smaller than ours; then the hillrose again, but not to the height of the ridge on which Istood; and then, beyond the hill, there spread a great, vastwaste of blue water—out—out, until I could see no more,where the sky came down upon it—the end of the world.It was the sea!
It was getting dark when I reached home that day. Iwent straight to my mother. “Mother,” I said, “I havebeen to the top of Coolrue, and have seen the end of theworld.” I was fearfully tired; I had fallen over rockscoming down, and was