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Title: Trail Tales
Author: Gillilan, James David
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Trail Tales" ***

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[Illustration: J. D. Gillilan (signature)]






Copyright, 1915, by




  PREFACE                                                            9
  GOD'S MINISTER                                                    11
  THE WESTERN TRAIL                                                 13
  THE LONG TRAIL                                                    19
  THE DESERT                                                        31
  SAGEBRUSH                                                         39
  THE IRON TRAIL                                                    47
      A Railroad Saint in Idaho                                     49
      An Unusual Kindness                                           59
  INDIANS OF THE TRAIL                                              63
      Introductory Words                                            65
      Pocatello, the Chief                                          67
      The Babyless Mother                                           72
      Mary Muskrat                                                  76
      Bad Ben                                                       79
      A Three-Cornered Sermon                                       82
      Three Years After                                             87
      Chief Joseph and His Lost Wallowa                             92
      The White Man's Book                                          96
  LIGHTS AND SIDELIGHTS                                             99
  THE STAGECOACH                                                   107
  AMONG THE HILLS                                                  117
      The Mother Deer                                              119
      The Shepherd                                                 121
      The Feathered Drummer                                        122
  MORMONDOM                                                        123
      The Trail of the Mormon                                      125
      Some Mormon Beliefs                                          131
      Weber Tom, Ute Polygamist                                    138
      Polygamy of To-Day                                           145
  GREAT SALT LAKE                                                  149
  ARGONAUT SAM'S TALE                                              157
  THE WRAITH OF THE BLIZZARD                                       167
  THE GREAT NORTHWEST                                              175


  J. D. Gillilan                                        _Frontispiece_
  Chief Joseph, Nez Perce Indian                                    64
  Wallowa Lake                                                      94
  End of the Trail                                                 183


In his young manhood the writer of these sketches came up into this
realm of widest vision, clearest skies, sweetest waters, and happiest
people to engraft the green twig of his life upon the activities of
the mountaineers of the thrilling West.

At that time the vast plains and the barren valleys were silvered over
with the ubiquitous sage through which crept lazily and aimlessly the
many unharnessed arroyo-making streams waiting only the appearance of
their master, man. Under his scientific, skilled, and economic
guidance these wild waters, lassoed, tamed, and set to work, taking
the place of clouds where there are none, were soon to cause the gray
garden of nature to become goldened by the well-nigh illimitable acres
of grain and other home-making products.

The West has an abundant variety of life of a sort most intensely
human. Life, always so earnest in Anglo-Saxon lands, seems to have
accentuated individuality here in a wondrous and contagious degree.

These few stories, culled from the répertoire of an active life of
more than thirty years, are samples of personal experiences, and are
taken almost at random from mining camp, frontier town and settlement,
public and private life.

As a minister the writer has had wide and varied opportunities in all
the Northwest, but more especially in Utah, Oregon, and Idaho. Many a
man much more modest has far excelled him in life experiences, but
some of them have never told.

This little handful of goldenrod is affectionately dedicated to them
of the Trails.

                                                           THE AUTHOR.


                 _Dedicated to the Mountain Ministers_

           As terrace upon terrace
           Rise the mountains o'er the humbler hills
           And stretch away to dizzy heights
           To meet heaven's own pure blue;
           From thence to steal those soft and filmy clouds
           With which to wrap their heads and shoulders--
                   Bare of other cloak--
           Transforming them to rains and snows
           To bless this elsewise desert world:

           So, he who stands God's minister 'mong men,
           High reaches out above all earthly things
           And comes in contact with the thoughts of God;
           Conveys them down in blessings to mankind--
                   Richest of blessings,
                   Holiest fruit of heaven--
           Plucked fresh from off the Tree of Life
           That springs hard by the Lamb's white throne,
           And bears the plenteous leaves which grow
                   To heal the wounded nations.


                  And step by step since time began
                  I see the steady gain of man.


"An overland highway to the Western sea" was the thought variously
expressed by many men in both public and private life among the
French, English, and Americans from very early times. In 1659 Pierre
Radisson and a companion, by way of the Great Lakes, Fox, and
"Ouisconsing" Rivers, discovered the "east fork" of the "Great River"
and crossed to the "west fork," up which they went into what is now
the Dakotas, only to find it going still "interminably westward."

In 1766 Carver, an Englishman, went by the same route up the "east
fork" to Saint Anthony Falls; thence he traveled to Canada, to learn
from the Assiniboin Indians the existence of the "Shining Mountains"
and that beyond them was the "Oregan," which went to the salt sea.

As early as 1783 Thomas Jefferson wrote to George Rogers Clark to tell
him he understood the English had subscribed a very large sum of
money for exploration of the country west of the Mississippi, and as
far as California. He even expressed himself as being desirous of
forming a party of Americans to make the trip.

Twenty years later, under the direction of _President_ Thomas
Jefferson, General Clark was made a member of the Lewis and Clark
Expedition, which went up the "great river" and ultimately crossed
through Montana and Idaho to the Columbia (Oregan?) and the "salt

Zebulon Pike was turned back by the imperious Rocky Mountains in 1806.
A few years later Captain Bonneville braved the plains, the plateaus,
the mountain passes, and the deserts, and saw the Columbia. Then
continuous migrations finally fixed the overland highway known from
ocean to ocean as the Oregon Trail.

The Mormons followed this national road when they trekked to the
valley of Salt Lake in 1847--a dolorous path to many.

Because the Oregon Trail was nature's way, man and commerce made it
their way. Road sites are not like city sites--made to order; they are
discovered. For that reason the pioneer railway transcontinental also
followed this trail. The Union Pacific marks with iron what so many of
the emigrants marked with their tears and their graves. From the mouth
of the Platte to the heart of the Rocky Mountains and beyond is a
continuous cemetery of nameless tombs.

The next few pages will give some sketches of fact depicting scenes of
sunlight and shadow that fell on this highway in days not so very long


              Those mighty pyramids of stone
                That wedge-like pierce the desert airs,
              When nearer seen and better known
                Are but gigantic flights of stairs.


The Old Overland Trail from the Missouri River to the Willamette is a
distance of nearly two thousand miles. Before Jason Lee and Marcus
Whitman sanctioned its use for the migrating myriads of Americans
seeking the shores of the sunset sea, trappers and adventurers, good
and bad, had mapped out a general route over the wind-whipped passes,
where the storm stands sentinel and guards the granite ways among the
rough Rocky Mountains. They had followed the falls-filled Snake and
the calmer Columbia, which plow for a thousand miles or more among
basaltic bastions buttressing the mountain sides, or through the lava
lands where cavernous chasms yawn and abysmal depths echo back the
sullen roar of the raging rapids.

In the early forties of the nineteenth century restless spirits
from Missouri and eastward began to filter through the fingertips
of the beckoning mountains of the West and locate in the land where
storms seldom come and where the extremes of heat and cold are
unknown--Willamette Valley, Oregon.

In these early days, a farmer, whom we shall name Johnson, with wife
and son, hoping to better conditions and prolong life, thus sought the
goal toward the setting sun. Starting when the sturdy spring was
enlivening all nature, they left the malarial marshes of the
Mississippi Valley, where quinine and whisky for "fevernagur" were to
be had at every crossroads store, and in a couple of weeks found
themselves west of the muddy Missouri, where the herds of humped bison
grazed as yet unafraid among the rolling, well-wooded hills of eastern

Barring a few common hindrances, they went well and reached the higher
and hotter plains in midsummer; they were out of the sight of hills
and trees--just one weary, eternal, unchangeable vista day after day.
Mrs. Johnson had not been well, and after a few weeks that promised
more for the future than they fulfilled, she began gradually to lose

But she was made of the uncomplaining material pioneers are wrought
of, the ones who so lived, loved, and labored that the hard-earned
sweets of civilization grew to highest perfection about their graves,
and proved the most enduring monument to their memory. She never
murmured other than to ask occasionally: "Father, how much farther?
Isn't it a wonderfully long way to Oregon?"

"Just over that next range of hills, I think, from what the trappers
told me," was the reply, after they had come to the toes of the
foothills that terminate the long-lying limbs of the giant Rockies.
But he did not know the stealth of the mountains nor the fantastic
pranks the cañony ranges can play upon the stranger. A snowy-haired
peak, brother to Father Time, wearing a fringe of evergreens for his
neckruff, would play hide-and-seek with them for days, dodging behind
this eminence and hiding away back of that hill, only to reappear
apparently as far off as ever, and sometimes in a different direction
from where he last seemed to be.

After a few more days: "Father, how many more miles do you think?"

"O, not many now, I am sure!" cheerily and optimistically would come
the answer.

As they climbed, and climbed, and climbed, the ripening service-berry,
blackened by weeks of attention by the unclouded sun, and the pine-hen
and the speckled beauties from the noisy trout-streams, added to their
comforts, and for a little while appeared to enliven the tired and
fading woman. A frosty night or two, a peak newly whitened with early
snow, put an invigorating thrill and pulse into the blood of the man
and the boy, but she crept just a little nearer to the camp fire of
evenings and found herself more and more languid in responding to the
call of the day that returned all too soon for her. At last, rolling
out on the Wahsatch side of the continental backbone, they encountered
very warm but shortening days, while the nights grew chillier. Having
passed to the north of Salt Lake by the trail so well and faithfully
marked by Mr. Ezra Meeker in recent years, they began to realize that
they were with the waters that flow to the west.

One evening, after the tin plates, iron forks and knives, and the
pewter spoons had been washed and returned to their box, and as they
were getting ready for their nightly rest, Mrs. Johnson said, wearily:
"Father, it just seems to me I would be glad if I never would waken
again. It seems I would enjoy never again hearing the everlasting
squeech, squeech of the wheels in the sand, and see the sun go down
day after day so red and so far away over those new mountains. O, I am
so tired!"

"Never mind, mother, we are not far from our new home now;" and moving
over to her side as she sat leaning against the wagon-tongue, the man
slipped his own tired arm about her shoulders and let her rest against
him, for he was indeed weary, and the trail _was_ wonderfully long.

The following morning he purposely lay still just a little longer than
was his custom, although he was most prudently desirous of making as
much speed as he could while the weather continued so good; he knew
the rains might soon set in and make travel over unmade roads much
worse than it already was.

When he arose he noiselessly crept away from her side and quietly
called the boy to go and bring up the horses and the cow, cautioning
him to take off the horse-bell and carry it so as not to arouse the
mother when he came to camp. Quietly as possible he made the fire and
prepared their breakfast of fare that was daily becoming scantier.
Then, when all was ready, he tiptoed through the sand to where she lay
under the spreading arms of a little desert juniper, such as are
occasionally found in the deserts, and where she had said the night
before she wished she could sleep forever. She looked so calm and
restful he hesitated to wake her; it seemed like robbery to take from
her one moment of the longed-for and hard-earned rest. Yet it was time
they were on their road, and the day was fine; so after a few minutes
he called, gently, "Mother, you're getting a nice rest, aren't you?"

She did not stir. He then stooped to kiss the languid lips--they were
cold. She was dead. They had been seeking a home by the shores of the
sunset sea; she had found the sunrise land.

It is a sad, solemn, and sacred thing to be with our dead, but to be
alone, hundreds of miles from the face of any friend, in such an hour,
is an experience few ever have to meet. Pioneer-like, the father scans
the horizon, locating all the prominent features of the landscape. He
makes a rude map, not forgetting the juniper. As best he can he
prepares the body for the burying. And such a burying! No lumber with
which to make even a rough box; nothing but their daily clothing and
nightly bedding was to be had. The unlined grave was more than usually
forbidding. The desert demon had trailed that brave body and was now
swallowing it up. They made the grave by the juniper where she last
slept, and, sorrowing, the father and the son went on, firm in the
resolve that the loved one should not always lie in a desert grave.

Forty years later a man past middle-age, riding a horse and leading
another, to whose packsaddle was fastened a box, went slowly along
that old trail in Southern Idaho, now almost obliterated by
many-footed Progress. He was scanning the hills and consulting a piece
of age-yellowed paper, broken at all its ancient creases. It was the
son obeying the dying request of the old father--going to find, if
possible, the spot where the tired mother went to sleep so long ago,
and bring all that remained to rest by his side.

It was no easy task. Fertile fields, whose irrigated areas now
presented billowy breasts of ripening grain; mighty ditches like
younger and better-behaved rivers; a railway following the general
direction of the old trail; ranch-houses and fat haystacks indenting
the sky-line once so bare of all except clumps of sagebrush--these all
conspired to make the task next to impossible.

Man may scratch the hillsides, but cannot mar the majesty of the
mountains; they were unchanged. The map he carried was the one his
father made on the spot more than a generation before. It had been
well made and the specifications were minute. After a long while,
carefully measuring and comparing, he found the spot to him so sacred.
The juniper tree, so rare in that section, had not been disturbed by
the new owner of the land, and as the precious burden, secured at
last, was borne away, it still stood on guard--as if lonely now. Like
father, like son. Both were faithfully bound by the strongest tie in
the universe--love!


             Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
             And waste its sweetness on the desert air.

           As geographers, Sosius, crowd into the edges of
           their maps parts of the world which they do not
           know about, adding notes in the margin to the
           effect that beyond this lies nothing but sandy
           deserts full of wild beasts, and unapproachable


Much of the Old Overland Trail lay across the "Great American Desert,"
as it was named in the earlier geographies. Irrigation and progressive
energy have made these wastes in many instances literally to "blossom
as the rose"; but until that was done these stretches were weary

He who knows only the desert of the geography naturally conceives it
an absolutely forsaken and empty region where nothing but dust-storms
are born unattended and die "without benefit of the clergy." But the
desert has character and is as variable as many another creature.


An experience in an actual sand storm is food upon which the
reminiscent may ruminate many a day, being much more pleasant in
memory than in the making. First come the scurrying outriders, lithe
and limber whisking gusts, dancing and whirling like Moslem
dervishes, coyly brushing the traveler or boldly flinging fierce
fistfuls of dirt into his eyes; then off with a swish of invisible
skirts--vanishing possibly in the same direction whence they came.
They go leaving him wiping his astonished eyes disgustedly, for the
act was so sudden and tragic as to excite tears. Before he is aware of
it other and stronger gusts duplicate the dastardly deed of the first
wingless wizard of the plains, and the hapless voyager is left
gasping. Almost immediately there are to be seen the regular "desert
devils," as they are called, bringing a dozen or more whirling columns
of yellow silt rapidly through the air, each pirouetting on one foot,
assuming meanwhile all sorts of fantastic shapes.

Now for the fierce onset. Like blasts of a blizzard, the shrapnel of
the desert is hurled into eyes, face, ears, and nostrils; little
rivers pour down the back and fill every discoverable wrinkle and
cranny of the clothing with their gritty load.

If in summer, buttoning the clothing is suffocation, and the
perspiration soon makes one a mass of grime; if in winter, it is not
so unbearable, for a comfortable fencing can be made against the sand
and the cold.

The whole landscape is obliterated by and by, and the trails are so
often drift-filled that unless one is himself accustomed to such
methods of travel or has an experienced plainsman as his driver and
guide, there is danger of becoming lost, or so out of the way that
night may overtake him and compel a waterless camp for himself and


But to see the morning slip off its night clothes and step out into
daylight, or watch day don her night-wraps and snuggle down into
twilight on the quiet sand-ocean! In summer it is a scene of splendor,
often coming after a day or an evening of sandy wrath.

At early dawn, lining the eastern horizon, are the soft pencils of
bashful day over-topping the jagged sawteeth of the yet sleeping
mountains, fifty or more miles away. A faint hinting of the lightening
of the sky only deepens the blackness of the snow-streaked peaks. The
cowardly coyote's yelp comes more and more faintly, the burrowing
owl's "to-whit, to-whoo" falls dying on the moveless air, and the
white sparrow of the sagebrush starts up as if to catch the early worm
he is almost sure not to find. The loping jack rabbit slips softly to
his greasewood shelter and the prairie dog bounces barking from his
snake-infested haunt, noisily preparing for his day's digging and

The stubborn mountains begin to let the sun's forerunning rays glide
between them; the sky, now old gold, is fast transforming into
kaleidoscopic crimsons and other reds, while the swift arms of the
day-painter are reaching from between the peaks of the precipitous
crags and dyeing the scales of the mackerel sky with hues and tints
the rainbow would covet.

In the opposite direction a morning mirage inverts an image of a
stretch of trees along the far-away river and blends them top to
top till they seem greenish-black columns supporting the dun clouds
of the west, while the belated moon peers through the half-unreal


The sunset is far more gorgeous; it often reaches grandeur. Let it be
a winter evening. A suggestion of storm has been playing threats. The
western hills have reached up their time-toughened arms and carried
the burnt-out lantern of day to bed, tucking him away in gold-lace
tapestry and rose-tinted down. Then the blue, black, and brown clouds
change quickly to purple, pink, and red by turns, and the opaline sky
itself forms a background for the dissolving community of interlacing
filaments of priceless filigree, till in time too full of interest to
compute by measure, the whole heavens are aflame with a riotous orgy
of color, a prodigality of shifting scene, making one think of the
descriptions essayed by the writer of the Apocalypse.

We think of Moses who wished to see God "face to face," but was told
he would be permitted to behold only the "dying away of his glory." No
wonder the man who was forty years in the wilderness before that grand
exode, and forty more through the unsurveyed deserts, was enabled to
write the majestic prose-poems that have lived unaltered through all
these thousands of critical years! He was in the region where
inspiration is dispensed with hands of infinite wealth. God is the


             This is the forest primeval.--_Longfellow_.

       The continuous woods where rolls the Oregon.--_Bryant_.


Frequently within these pages mention has been made of the commonest
of all our native plants on the Trail--sagebrush. Botanically, it is,
_Artemisia tridentata_. The new Standard Dictionary defines sagebrush
as "any one of the various shrubby species of Artemisia, of the aster
family, growing on the elevated plains of the Western United States,
especially _Artemisia tridentata_, very abundant from Montana to
Colorado and westward." The leaf ends in three points; hence the
adjective tridentata--the three-toothed artemisia.

There are several varieties of sagebrush, and a person not well
acquainted with the desert might easily mistake one for the other.
There are the white sage, a good forage plant for sheep, and the
yellow sage, which, when properly taken, can be made useful for
cattle. Then there is the common variety, the sort named above. This
is not to be mistaken for the prickly greasewood which infests the
more alkaline regions; nor the rabbit-brush with its blossom so like
the goldenrod, but with a very disagreeable odor. No man who knows
will ever buy land where the greasewood grows thickly; it is
unproductive because of the large percentage of alkali. But the
ancient-looking sage is a pretty sure indication of fertility of soil.
Mother Nature is sometimes hard pushed to find dresses for all her
poorer areas; of course the better portions of the land east or west,
north or south, care for their clothes better than do these arid
stretches and the clothing is a richer vegetation.

This ever-gray, little hunger-pinched pygmy among trees looks about as
much like an oak as does a diminutive monkey like a grown man.

A peculiarity of this individual in treedom is that it keeps its
ash-colored leaf until it has a new set to put on in the spring, so
that all winter long it presents the same color as it does in the
summertime. Its bark is loose and shaggy, being shed rapidly, and
gives one the thought of the old grape vine; hanging in bunches, the
bole has always a ragged appearance. It is truly the dry-land plant,
always found where the alkali or water is not too abundant; but in
favored spots where there is only a little dampness and not too much
fierceness of the summer heat it grows eight or ten feet high, making
a body large enough for fence posts. This is extraordinary, for
usually these Liliputian forests do not attain a height of more than
four feet, and often much less. So diminutive are these solemn woods
that the ordinary gang-plow can walk right through them, turning the
shrubbery under like tall grass, although every tree is perfect, just
like the dwarf creations produced by the resourceful Japanese.

The seed of this tiny tree grows on stiff, upright filaments like the
broom-corn straws. These stems are very bitter and are often used by
the range-riders on long rides or roundups to excite the flow of
saliva when thirst overtakes them too far from water. Because of its
bitterness it is often called wormwood.

Not many uses have been found for the wood of these primeval forests.
In many sections the people have nothing but sagebrush for firewood.
The whole tree is used, special stoves, or heaters, being made to
accommodate the whole plant. It is gathered in the following manner:
Two immense T-rails of railroad iron are laid side by side, one
inverted, and securely fastened together; to the ends of these are
hitched two teams of horses or mules, which pulling parallel to each
other, are driven into the standing fairy forests and the swaths of
fallen timber show the track of this unnatural storm. Its roots have
such slight hold on the soil that it easily falls. Wagons and
pitchforks follow, and the whole of the felling is hauled untrimmed to
the home for hand-axing if too large; and it is all burned, top and
root. There is so much vegetable oil in this queer plant that it makes
a fine and very quick fire, green or dry.

After a summer rain there is no aromatic perfume surpassing that of
the odor of sagebrush filling the newly washed air. The mountaineer
who has had to make a trip East gladly opens his window, as his train
pushes back into the habitat of these aromatic shrubs, to get an
early whiff of the health-laden, sage-sweetened atmosphere of the
beloved Westland and homeland.


            There are hermit souls that live withdrawn
              In their houses of self-content;
            There are souls like stars that dwell apart
              In their fellowless firmament.
            There are pioneer souls that blaze their paths
              Where highways never ran.
            But, let me live by the side of the road
              And be a friend to man.
                                        --Sam Walter Foss.


The "railroad saint" was a locomotive engineer. His life was ever an
open book, yet while careful and almost severe in his personal
religious habits, he did not criticize the manners of his associates.
He simply let his well kept searchlight shine.

Though born in Ohio, his boy life was spent mainly in Nebraska, when
it was just emerging from the ragged swaddlings of rough frontierdom;
and during his young manhood he lived in Wyoming, at the time when men
"carried the law in their hip-pockets," as he graphically expressed

Early becoming an employee of the Union Pacific, he was a permanent
portion of its westward intermountain extension, and he did his life's
work among the scenic cliffs and clefts of the picturesque crags and
corrugated cañons of the wrinkled ridges in the Rocky and the Wahsatch
ranges. Opportunities for literary education were very limited to one
so engaged, and little more than what was absolutely necessary to the
railmen did he receive. But he was not ignorant by any means. In later
years he read extendedly and with careful discrimination. He had a
poet's soul, but was not visionary.

His mother had been a careful and sensible Christian. The indelible
impress she left upon him was like to that given by Jochebed to her
son Moses. He never wholly escaped from her hallowed influence,
although he descended into vicious living and became a notorious and
blatant blasphemer, sceptic, and drunkard.

Once when attending a national convention of railway engineers in an
Eastern city he noticed a little flower boy vainly attempting to
dispose of his roses. Our engineer (who always had a feeling for the
"other fellow") paid the lad for all he had left and directed him to
carry them to the hotel where the delegates were stopping, and give
them to the ladies in the parlor. This act was repeated on successive
days. It attracted attention finally, and one of the delegates asked
him if he were a Christian. Characteristically he blurted out: "Do
you see anything about me that indicates it? If so, I will take it off
at once. Why do you ask such a question?"

"Because," said the questioner, "your kindness to that pale-faced
little flower boy makes people think you are."

"Nothing at all queer about that," was the quick reply. "Common
humanity should dictate such deeds. If I myself wanted a favor, I'd
not go to any Christian for it; I'd rather tackle a bartender or a

"Well, Dr. T----, of the Methodist Church, has heard of you," remarked
his questioner, "and he says he would like to meet you for an hour or
so before you leave the city."

"But I've no desire to meet any preacher, though if it will afford the
gentleman any pleasure, I will gladly do it for that reason and no
other. What do you suppose he wants?"

The intermediary arranged a time of meeting, and after introducing the
men, left the "eagle eye" in the pleasant study of the minister, a
pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. After a few minutes
of easy conversation, the minister abruptly cut all Gordian knots and
said: "Mr.----, are you a Christian?"

"No, sir, not so you can notice it."

"Why are you not?"

"Why should I be?"

"It gives to every one who embraces true religion a better, broader,
worthier view and conception of life."

"Wherein, mister?"

"It puts purpose into his life and interprets the end to which he is

Then came up from the keen intellect-quiver of our Rocky Mountain
engineman all the stock phrases, replies, and arguments of Voltaire,
Rousseau, Ingersoll, and others whose writings he knew perfectly.

With Christian and cultivated patience the minister listened and then
said with captivating and sympathetic tenderness: "But, my dear sir,
that is all speculation on the part of those scholarly and eloquent
men whom you quote so accurately. They know no better. The religion of
Jesus is not speculation; it is practical knowledge. Would not you,
sir, like to know personally as to its truth?"

"Yes, but how can I?"

His foot had been taken in the snare of the wise trapper.

Said the preacher: "You can; and this is the way. As you leave this
city for your return to the West, get a cheap New Testament; indeed,
here is a copy; please accept it. Tear it in two in the middle,
retaining only the four Gospels--Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Read
them; you will by yourself and by this means find the way to perfect

He of the throttle, hungry for the deepest knowledge, did as directed
and advised.

Back to his cab and engine he went, under the deepest conviction. Yet
he declared that he needed no extraneous assistance to be as good as
any Christian; Jesus he considered a superfluity, and said so. The
negative influences of the atheistic authors yet warped him. He said:
"I dare any of you to watch me. I can and will be as upright as any
Christian on earth." But after a short time of exemplary conduct, he
would wake up some morning only to discover to his hearty disgust that
he had been on an extended period of dissipation. Later he would
attempt another straightening-up and try to "be good" without the
necessary becoming so, only to fall again and harder than before.

Once, after such humiliating debauch, he entered a saloon which
contained the only barber shop in the village, the railway division
point where he had his "layovers" for regular rest. He sat down for
his daily shave. It was the morning after pay-day among the employees,
and, as he stated it to the writer, "everybody, even the barber, had
been drunk." Cigar stumps, empty bottles, cards, and other plentiful
signs of the previous night's carousals covered the floor with
bacchanalian litter. Lying there, eyes shut, an Armageddon was taking
place on the stage of his perturbed soul. His story is this:

"While lying there that morning a voice said to me, 'You are not a
square-dealer.' I opened my eyes on the barber, only to see a bloated
face with impassive and mute lips; he had said nothing, I could easily
see. I closed my eyes again, only to hear, 'You do not treat me as you
would a gentleman.' I now knew that the voice was that of an unseen
person, and I replied mentally but really. 'Who are you, and what do
you want?' 'I am Jesus, whom you deny without having known, and
condemn without having attempted to prove. You have been saying all
the while you can succeed without my assistance, and you know you have
failed every time. All I want is a chance in your life that I may
prove myself to you.' Then I replied, 'If this is what you want, just
come in and we will talk it over.' He then came in never to go out
again. I went to my little shack-room and, locking the door, took out
of a little old hair-covered trunk a Bible my mother had given me; it
had lain there for thirty long years untouched. I opened it and read a
while and then got down on my knees to pray. What I said was about
like this: 'Lord, if it is really the Lord who was talking to me (I
have my doubts), you know I am a man of my word, and you can trust me.
I want to make you a proposition: I'll do the square thing by you if
you'll do the same by me. Amen!'"

"This," said he, "was the beginning of the struggle for rest to my
soul; and I found it."

An incident leading to his immediate, possibly ultimate safety, was a
conversation in a saloon. It does not always transpire that we are
benefited by the act of the talebearer, but in this case it was highly
salutary. One of his engineer friends, drinking at the bar, said:
"Never fear about H----. He will soon get over all this and be along
with us as usual."

Hearing it, he became very righteously indignant and said: "By the
grace of God, never! I'll go up to the church my wife attends and join
with her, and when they know I am a church member they'll let me
alone." He did so at once. He was saved. He lived for many years,
always happy, always helpful, and without fear he ascended the snowy
hills of old age, with their enveloping mists.

Afflicted with a creeping paralysis, he lingered long, ever cheerful,
and interested in his friends, to whom he sent many messages. To his
brothers of the Odd Fellows he sent this message: "Boys, I'll not see
you any more. I am just like a boy at Christmas Eve, who with
stocking hung up, is anxious for daylight. The shadows have come over
me. My stocking is hung up by the Father's fireplace and I am almost
impatient for the morning. I haven't the remotest idea what I will
get, but I am sure it will be something good." A few days before his
translation he was visited by one of his old-time railway associates,
who said to him: "H----, you are now up against the real thing,
according to your belief; and it looks to us the same, just as if you
would have to go some one of these days. How does it seem? What is it

Looking at the questioner lovingly, the dying man said, "Charley,
you've worked for the railway company a long time, and never had many
promotions, have you?"

"Yes, about twenty years--and no promotions."

"Well, Charley, suppose there'd come to you to-day a wire from
headquarters saying there's a big promotion waiting for you on your
arrival, and at the same time a pass for your free transportation. How
do you think that would seem to you?"

"My soul, but that'd be fine," said he.

"Well, Charley, that's just my case exactly," said the radiant man.
"I've been working for God and his company for about that same length
of time and never had much promotion so far as I could see, and now I
have a summons direct from the glory land telling me there's a big
advancement for me, and it sounds mighty good."

He was dressed for the wedding, the Christmas morning, or whatever
awaited him, and was anxious that the couriers of the King should
come. When the moment came the old engineer's headlight was undimmed,
the switch signals showed green, and when he called for the last board
at the home station the signal came back: "All's well; come on in."

He had received his coveted promotion.


               That best portion of a good man's life--
               His little, nameless, unremembered acts
               Of kindness and of love.

The Methodist locomotive engineer had died joyful. "I am so glad to
go," he said. "I am like a boy when there's a circus in town; I've got
the price, and my baggage is checked clear through."

I was holding a memorial service for him in his old home town, and at
the close a big, broad-shouldered man came forward to the altar rail
and quietly said, "You did not know that man."

The remark startled me a little, for I had been acquainted with him
for many years; in fact, had once been his pastor.

"I thought I did," replied I.

"No, you never really knew him," was the insistent rejoinder; "let me
tell you something about him. Years ago I was not living as I ought,
and I had all sorts of trouble. My wife was very sick, and we were
living in a bit of a shack back here a little way where she finally
died. I was down and out. The fellows wanted to be good to me, and
they were--in their way of thinking--but it did me no good. They would
say, 'Come, brace up, old fellow, have a drink and forget your
troubles.' But there are some troubles drink will not drown; mine was
one of them.

"One night our friend came up to my shack, and having visited a while
he said: 'Old man, you're up against it hard, ain't you?' I replied,
'Yes, I am, just up to the limit.' 'Well, let's pray about it.' I told
him I didn't believe in prayer. 'All right,' said he, 'I do, and I'll
pray any way.' You should have heard the prayer he made. It was about
like this: 'God, here's my friend, Charley; he's in an awful fix.
We'll have to do something for him. I've done all I can; now, it's up
to you to see him through. Amen.'

"Then he arose from his knees and, handing me his check book, he said,
'My wife and I ain't got much, only a couple o' thousand in the bank;
but here's this check book all signed up; take it and use it all if
you need it, and God bless you!'

"But," added the narrator of the story, "I couldn't use money like

The tears were fast falling over his bronzed cheeks as he told with
tenderness the story, and as I looked into his eyes I knew that
through knowledge of the dead engineer's kingly kindness had come to
him the knowledge of the new life.


                   Man's inhumanity to man
                   Makes countless thousands mourn.



Indian character is human character because the Indian is human. Being
human he is susceptible to all human teaching and experiences. None
yields more readily to love and kindness.

Few can speak of the Indian with absolute propriety, for very few know
him. To the mind of most Americans, I venture to say, the very name
"Indian" suggests scalpings, massacres, outrages of all kinds and an
interminable list of kindred horrors; all too true. But it must be
remembered that the Indian presented to his first discoverers a race
most tractable, tenderhearted, and responsive to kindness. He was
indeed the child of the plain, but a loving child.

The chevaliers both of Spanish and English blood taught him in the
most practical manner the varied refinements of deceit, treachery, and
cruelty. He was an apt scholar, and the devotee of social heredity,
which has here so striking an example, cannot curse the redman if the
sins of the fathers are meted out to succeeding generations.

Under definite heads I am giving some very brief sketches of living,
down-to-date aborigines, such as have come under my own observation in
Utah and Idaho.


             The nodding horror of whose shady brows
             Threats the forlorn and wandering passenger.

Fort Hall Reservation, until 1902, embraced a large territory of which
Pocatello was the center. These Idaho red people are the remnants of
the once powerful tribes of the Bannocks and Shoshones, which ranged
from the Blue Mountains in Oregon to the backbone of the Rocky
Mountains. The compressing processes used by the aggressive white
people have encircled, curtailed, and squeezed their borders so that
now they are centered at Fort Hall, half way between Pocatello and
Blackfoot. Here the government has a school for them, and the
Protestant Episcopal Church a mission.

Pocatello is named for a wily old chief of that name, who became an
outlaw to be reckoned with. He once led a cavalcade of his sanguinary
followers against the newly made non-Mormon town of Corinne, Utah;
but a Mormon who had been notified of the proposed massacre, by a
coreligionist, likewise told a friend among the Gentiles, and a
precautionary counter plan was formulated. Nothing more came of it
than an evening visit from Brigham Young and his staff, who, as
reported, pronounced and prophesied an awful and exterminating curse
upon the town and people. However, because of the warning, his curses
went elsewhere.

Until recently there lived in the region of the city of Pocatello an
old squaw-man (white man with an Indian wife). His home was within the
borders of the reservation, and he had been there since before the
time when the boundary line between the United States and England
(Canada) was settled. The old man was called "Doc," and once when
visiting him I said, "Tell me about old Pocatello, Doc, and what
became of him."

The old man, half reclining on the pile of household debris in one
corner of his shanty, permitted me to sit by the door--for there were
no chairs in the place. The four corners were occupied as follows: in
one were his saddle and accouterments for range work; in another the
accumulation of rags and blankets on which he slept (for he lived
alone now, the wife being dead); in another was his little stove, and
the last held the door where I sat. The air was fresher there, I
thought. The veteran of eighty or more years, bronzed by the winds and
roughened by the sweeping sands of the desert, lighted his pipe and
said: "It war in the days o' them freighters who operated 'tween
Corinne an' Virginny City when Alder Gulch was a-goin' chock full o'
business. The Forwardin' Company hed a mighty big lot o' rollin' stock
an' hosses to keep the traffic up. The hull kentry was Injun from
put-ni' Corinne to that there Montanny town. The Bear Rivers an' the
Fort Hall tribes, the Bannocks an' the Blackfeet uste to make life
anything but a Fourth-o'-July picnic fer them fellers an' their
drivers. Right h'yur was the natterelest campin' place fer the
Company, or, ruther, a natterel spot fer the stage-station, where they
could git the stock fresh an' new an' go on, as they hed to do, night
an' day, so's to keep business a-movin', ye see. Fer 'twas a mighty
long rout fer passengers.

"Now, Pocatello an' his bunch o' red devils got into the habit o'
runnin' off the stock, an' sometimes the Company'd haf to wait half a
day to git enough teams to go on north; or to wait till the fagged
ones'd git a little rest an' then push on wi' the same ones. Mr.
Salisbury, of Salt Lake, was the head o' the Forwardin' Company, an'
he an' his people got mighty all-fired tired o' that sort o' business.
Hosses was dear them days, but Injuns was cheap; so he told a lot o'
us'ns he'd like tarnation well if this sort o' thing'd stop kind o'
sudden like; an' we planned it might be done jist that way too.

"We kind o' laid low, an' nothin' happened fer quite a while; but one
night a fine bunch o' hosses was run off jist when they's a big lot o'
treasure goin' over the line, an' the management was sure mad. They
told us 'uns agin somethin' had to be done, an' despert quick this
time. So we got busy. We begun to round ol' Pocatello up, an' he
seemed to smell a rat or somethin' wuss, an' started up Pocatello
Crick yander, that there cañon, see? He went almighty fast too when he
got started; so did we, now I tell you, an' we jist kep' a-foller'n',
an' foller'n', an' foller'n', we did--a hull lot ov us--an'--an'--an'
Pocatello never come back."

Then the old squaw-man tapped the ashes from his pipe, and rising
said, "Well, I guess I'll cinch up the cayuse an' ride some this


  Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted,
  because they are not.--_Saint Matthew_.

One of the many signs that the Indian is human is his slowness to
learn. Ever since 1492 the whiter man has been trying to force some
supposedly useful things into the mind of him of the darker skin. One
of these is that he of the blanket has no rights that he of the dress
coat is bound to respect. The Indian rises in practical debate to this
question. His arguments are not words, but the rifle and the
scalping-knife. The whiter man demurs when he receives his justice
dished up to him in redskin style.

It is unreasonable to the Indian that the white man should take from
him his hunting grounds and limit his access to the very streams
whence his people for ages uncountable filled their pantries for the
winter. He has learned to his disgust (without place for repentance)
that equivalents are equivocations, and that the little baubles the
fathers of the tribes had for their broad acres were mostly worthless.
The civilized trick of procuring the mystic sign manual known as
signature had fastened on them the gyves of perpetual poverty.

In addition to this, the nation demanded they should send their
children to the white man's school in the far, far away Eastern land,
where they could not see them and from which so many of the red-faced
lads and lassies returned with that dread disease, pulmonary
tuberculosis. But they were only Indians, and what rights had they?
When boys and girls were not promptly surrendered, the soldiers were
sent to chase them down. It would not seem good to us to have big,
brawny Indians on horseback give chase to our children, and catch and
tie them like so many hogs, to be carted off to a land unknown to us;
but then these are only Indians. That makes all the difference

Some years ago the Fort Hall Indians went on their usual trip to the
edge of Yellowstone Park--Jackson's Hole--for the purpose of laying in
their annual supply of elk and bear meat. The government had forbidden
this, yet they went, with their indispensable paraphernalia and camp
equipage, taking the squaws (and papooses, of course) to dress and
care for whatever of provision fell into their hands.

When it was discovered that the Indians had gone in the face of the
prohibitory order the soldiers were sent to drive them out. Such
racing and chasing! "Wild horse, wild Indian, wild horseman," as
Washington Irving puts it. Every man and woman for himself now.
Papooses were slung on the saddle-horns of their mothers' horses, a
loop being fastened to the back of the board to which every little
copperfaced tike was strapped. In one of the hard flights through the
thickly fallen and storm-twisted pines, firs, and chaparral a mother,
pressed too hard by the soldiers and cavalry, lost her baby.

Her tribal friends ventured back after all was safe, and with an
Indian's trail-finding tact hunted high and low, far and wide, but no
trace was ever found of the wee baby.

"But, then, what mattered it? It was nothing but an Indian baby, and
its mother only an Indian squaw! Who cares for a squaw any way?"


  Now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; and the greatest of
  these is love.--_Saint Paul_.

When the "teacher" first went among the Indians at Fort Hall her
reception was neither cordial nor cold, for she was not received at
all. She had not been invited and she was not welcome. For the
first eighteen months after reaching the fort she could often hear
in the nighttime the movement of a moccasin, as some tired Indian
spy changed his cramped position, for she was religiously watched
and irreligiously suspected. They could not understand why she, an
unmarried white woman, should leave her home and spend time among

The braves strode by her in sullen silence, eloquently impressing
their contumelious hauteur. The no less stolid squaws, who observe
everything and see nothing, disdainfully covered their faces with
their blankets or looked in silence in the opposite direction when
the teacher met them or lifted the tent-flap.

After a long time she won her way with some of the wee ones, and thus
touched the hearts of the mothers, through whom she made a road broad
and wide into the affections of the tribe. They trusted her with the
secrets of the people, and she was at home in every teepee in the
reservation. Gathering the girls together, she taught them the
beautiful words of the Bible, and for many years she lived, loved, and
labored there.

Mary Muskrat was one of the Bannock girls in the mission school. The
little shrinking, more-than-half-wild papoose of the desert had been
toilsomely but surely trained by the teacher, that bravest of little

Pulmonary consumption is the bane of the civilized Indians. It carries
them off in multitudes. Despite their outdoor living, it seems that
few, if any, ever recover from an attack. The dread disease had
fastened itself upon Mary and she was sick unto death. Her little
shack was no fit place for a living person, and here was one dying.
Frequent visits from her teacher afforded the dying maiden her only
relief. Once, after watching her through a severe paroxysm of
coughing, it seemed that life had gone completely. Removing the
squalid bunch of rags which served as a pillow, and lowering the head,
the devoted teacher stood watching the supposed lifeless form. But she
saw the lips moving, and, bending low, she heard the dying girl
whisper, "What time I am afraid I will trust in Thee." Continuing, she
breathed out, "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.... Yea,
though I walk through the valley and the shadow of death, I will fear
no evil." Pausing, while the heart of the white woman was praising God
for his goodness to the dusky child, Mary opened her beautiful eyes,
and, seeing her protectress and benefactress standing there, said, "O,
dear teacher, the Lord is my shepherd."

Then the Shepherd came and took her to dwell in the house of the Lord


  A little child shall lead them.--_Isaiah_.

Ben's daughter, Mary[1], was the delight of the old man's heart. She
had been taken most unwillingly, so far as both were concerned, and
placed in one of the Eastern schools for Indian youths. Ben had
objected strenuously, but the stronger arm prevailed.

The teacher at the mission had never in all her many years in that
place felt fear until after Mary was taken away. When the father would
come to the school to ask for news of her, he had his face painted
black, indicating madness or war--"bad heart" he called it. The little
woman who had won the hearts of the people did not know what the
enraged man might do or when he would do it. Once, after many such
terrifying visits, he volunteered the information that he was making
him a house and a farm "all same witee man." He had built it of some
railroad ties he had found and had begun to cultivate a garden and cut
some wild hay. "Me makee heap good wikiup, all same witee man; Mary he
all same witee squaw, by 'um by."

The white plague is the only disease the Indian fears or calls
sickness. Once, when Ben went to the school where a dozen or so other
happy-faced little girls were being taught and prepared for the
Eastern school, Miss F---- was obliged to tell him Mary was sick. For
a while his savagery was apparently renewed. He became wild again. His
visits increased in frequency, and all the time the teacher was in
mental torture, for he seemed to feel that the white woman was in some
manner connected with his child's going away and her present

The dread day came when she must tell the loving father that there was
now no hope for his "lil' gal," as he affectionately called her. Then
another more dreaded day rolled round, and the last story must be
told: Mary had died. She would be buried in the far east. Poor old
father! He could not even see her then. How could he be made to

The only solution of the problem was the holding of a memorial service
for her. One of the Pocatello pastors went up to hold such a service
at the Agency and Ben was present. He was told that if he lived with
his heart clean, "no have bad heart," he would see his Mary again. No
one could tell to what extent this message found place in his mind
until later. One day he was seen approaching the mission school slowly
and apparently sorrowful. Miss F---- met him at the door. On entering
he said, "O, Miss F----, bad Injun no liky me have hay, no liky me
have wikiup all same witee man. Bad Injun burn me up; all me wikiup,
all me hay, all me everyt'ing. But me no have bad heart [that means,
"I do not hate them"], me no have bad heart, Miss F----; me no have
bad heart; me want see my lil' gal some day."

So the lonesome man went away to his one-time home to try to live
among the unchristian and unprogressive Indians without having any
hatred toward them, for he wanted to meet his Mary.


  [1] Mary is a very frequent name among the Bannocks of Fort Hall.


  So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not
  return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please,
  and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.--_Isaiah_.

                  Thy word, Almighty Lord,
                    Where'er it enters in
                  Is sharper than a two-edged sword
                    To slay the man of sin.

A peculiar wireless telegraphy has ever been in vogue among the
aborigines of many lands. The interior tribes of Africa have it and
use it to perfection. The plains Indians and those of the mountains
know its use, and messages are sent which cause much wonderment to the
white man.

In 1899 the ghost-dancing was in progress among all the Indians of the
United States. All Indiandom was excited to the highest degree.
Disturbances among them were watched and feared by the government. The
Bannocks and Shoshones of Fort Hall were nerved to a high tension and
quickly athrill to any new movement. Hearing that an unusual interest
was being displayed among the Nez Perces of the north, a committee of
the Fort Hall men was sent to ascertain what it was. It proved to be a
revival of religion conducted by the Presbyterians. The committee was
composed of heathens, but they saw, were conquered, and came home
reporting it was good, and requested that there be similar meetings
held among them. It was so planned and arranged. A Nez Perce
Presbyterian minister was to be their visitant evangelist.

The various Protestant churches in Pocatello had been by turns
supplying preaching to the people of Fort Hall's tribes, and to the
whites who were the residents at Ross Fork, the seat of the Agency. On
the particular evening when the special meetings were to begin it was
the turn of the writer to preach. The Rev. James Hays, a full-blood
Nez Perce, was there as evangelist. But he could not speak a word of
the Bannock-Shoshone mixed jargonized dialect. He had been educated in
English and could understand me so as to interpret, rather translate
into Nez Perce, but who could reach the people to whom we had the
message? There was present a renegade fellow, Pat Tyhee (big Pat, or
chief Pat), _not an Irishman_. He was a Shoshone who years before had
gone to live among the Nez Perces and had married a woman of them. He
could interpret Hays, but could he be trusted? He was a very
heathenish heathen. The missionary teacher, Miss Frost, consulted with
Mr. Hays and myself as to the wisdom of asking Pat to play interpreter
for the momentous occasion; after fervently praying we concluded to
take the risk and trust to God's leading. Pat, the heathen, was
chosen. It was a queer audience. There were some whites, some Indians.
It was odd to see Gun, the Agency policeman, there with his only
prisoner. There were Billy George, the tribal judge; and Hubert
Tetoby, the assistant blacksmith, as well as others of local
importance. To add to the excitement of the evening, it was the night
before ration day at the Agency, when all the Indians from the entire
Reservation were present--fifteen hundred of them--for their share.
It was a wild time--the raw blanketed man was there for a Saturnalia.
He knew no law but his desires. The unprotected young woman had no
security from him. Indeed, while we were gathering in the mission
house for this service, I noticed a slight stirring at my feet, and
looked, and there was Mary, a young widow, who had scuttled in silent
as a partridge and was snuggling down on the floor just back of my
feet, successful in getting away from some red Lothario who had
pursued her to the door.

The service began. I preached from the words of Martha to Mary, "The
Master is come and is calling for thee." It was an attempt to show
that Jesus needs us as living agents to work with him. Mr. Hays, I
suppose, and always have believed, translated to Pat in Nez Perce what
I said. Pat in turn interpreted to the assembled band of mixed
Indians. To be sure, I understood not a thing either said: but when I
looked at the earnest, love-ridden, and sweat-covered face of the
yearning Nez Perce, I believed that what he was saying was all I said
and more. And Pat--he was a sight! Had his hands been tied, I really
believed he could not have expressed himself at all. He is about six
feet six in his moccasins, and those long arms accompanied the lengthy
guttural expressions in an intensely effective manner. At the close of
the three-cornered sermon the question was asked, "How many of you
from this time forward are willing to follow Jesus and be known as his
assistants?" Among the most prominent and enthusiastic replies that
came were those of Hubert Tetoby, Billy George, _and Pat Tyhee, the
heathen interpreter_. Looking me straight in the eyes, swerving
neither to the one side nor the other, these madly-in-earnest men of
the mountains held their hands up high as they could reach them. And
in six weeks from that date there was a Presbyterian church there
composed of sixty-five members, of whom only one, the teacher, Miss
Frost, was white; and Pat Tyhee was made one of the elders. There had
been no Christians there at all before those meetings. It was an
Indian Pentecost.


                  Father of all! in every age,
                    In every clime adored,
                  By saint, by savage, and by sage,
                    Jehovah, Jove, or Lord.
                                --_Alexander Pope_.

Some hypercritical person, and possibly some sincere soul, may ask:
"Did such revival do any permanent good? Does not the so-near savage
easily backslide?" To this may be given this partial reply: It depends
somewhat on the sort of white folks there are in the immediate
vicinity. As elsewhere stated in these pages, the pale face has been
the great undoer of the red man. "Civilization" in some garbs is worse
than savagery. The white skin has been the password for some awful
systems of debauchery among the aborigines of America. An Indian
speaker, and chief of police of one of the Indian reservations of
Oregon, said at the Second World's Christian Citizenship Conference in
Portland, 1913: "Before the white man came the Indian had no jails or
locks on their doors. The white man brought whisky; there is now need
of both jails and locks."

About three years after the meeting at Fort Hall, where the
three-cornered sermon was delivered, Mr. Roosevelt made a visit to the
West. Major A. F. Caldwell, Agent of Indian Affairs at Fort Hall, told
the fourteen hundred red natives that if they would turn out in their
handsomest manner, he would give them all a "big eat" after the visit.
Promptly on the day designated the famous rough rider and the desert
riders were in evidence, the latter in abundance. They went far out
along the railway to meet the train, and then galloped their wiry,
pintoed ponies along by the side of the car, performing many feats of
daring horsemanship, throwing themselves from the flying bronchos and
remounting without a pause, and other stunts which they invented.
After the "pageant had fled" the expectant and hungry Indians were
herded into a large vacant lot in Pocatello, where all sorts of
provisions had been collected for the feast. I was anxious to see
them, and so were many other equally bold and possibly a wee bit
impolite people, for when they had assembled a great crowd of curious
white folks was there gazing.

The Young Men's Christian Association secretary and I overlooked the
scene from a hotel whose wall formed one side of the enclosure where
the long tables of loose planks were laid. All was hurry, bustle, and
confusion, not much unlike what everyone has witnessed at the ordinary

The Christians and the non-Christians had divided as though not of the
same tribe or blood. These had their tables on one side, those on the
opposite. When all was ready the savage part of the divided company
fell to with vim, vigor, and haste, just as white people often do at
outdoor dinners; but see the others! After all had been carefully
spread, odorous cans of tempting viands opened, and everything
adjusted, the hungry horde was seated. A low word of attention was
given by some one; every head was bowed, quiet was absolute, and Billy
George in guttural tones said something the Lord of all could
understand. When he was through these also fell to with an
unmistakable zest and the day ended merrily for the Indians and
profitably for some of the onlookers.

This Billy George was crippled by the bullets of some of the
reservation Indians who did not like his progressive ways. He had lost
one leg for this reason. One night, as he was fastening up his
animals, he stooped to lift one of the bars of his corral. Just as he
raised himself, a shot that was doubtless meant for his lowered head
struck his leg and it had to be amputated.

On the night of his conversion, when he had raised his hand high as he
could reach, he in the after meeting mimicked the white folks who had
slowly and with many side-lookings so slightly moved their hands
upward. He said, "Huh, white folks heap scared, do this way;" and he
imitated them grotesquely.

Often when leaving his teepee for the hills in order to haul his
winter wood, he would go to the home of Miss F----, the missionary,
and tell her he was going away, and at the same time asking her to be
sure to care for his squaw and papooses if he did not return; for,
said he, "Bad Injun ketchy me some day; no liky me; you savy me liky
whity man."

So fair of mind was he, and so humanely progressive, that the
government had chosen him as one of the men before whom petty cases
among the tribe were taken. If he could not solve the problems, they
were then carried to the Agent; then on up if not there adjusted.

When the Presbyterian Missionary Board assisted these Christians to
build a neat house of worship it was, and still is, known far and near
as Billy George's Church.


  Land where my fathers died.--_Smith_.

A Cornishman was once asked why there were no public houses (saloons)
in his town. He replied, "Once a man by the name of John Wesley
preached here, and there have been none since."

Once a man by the name of General O. O. Howard passed through eastern
Oregon and northern Idaho, and the country has not been the same
since. The occasion was the uprising of the Nez Perces Indians in
1877. Ridpath, the historian, tells of the long chase of the red men
and the weary pursuit of "sixteen hundred miles." It was truly a
Fabian retreat on the part of Chief Joseph and his band, but General
Howard was dealing mercifully with them; at a dozen places he could
have given battle, but he spared the useless slaughter, avoiding the
needless scaring of the white settlers and the complement of dire
scenes and death that would necessarily follow.

The story of Chief Joseph is one of the most interesting unwritten
chapters in the history of the great Northwest. The fact of the
capture of this wily Indian leader with most of his band is well
known. They were banished from the Alpine regions of eastern Oregon
and compelled to make their home across the marble cañon of the Snake
in the State of Idaho, far from their loved Wallowa.

The valley of Wallowa (an Indian name) is one of the most beautiful
spots imaginable. At its southern end stand pillared peaks, eternally
snow-crowned, rivaling the finest to be seen in Switzerland. Here lies
the limpid, glassy Lake Wallowa, near the busy town of Joseph, so
named in honor of the great chieftain. This emerald valley nestles in
the lap of the Blue Mountains, and was from time immemorial the
favorite home of the exiled natives. When Bonneville passed through
that remote region in the early thirties they were in the enjoyment of
that valley and the rugged recesses of the Imnaha between Oregon and
Walla Walla. The famous red fish, the yank, and others possibly
peculiar to the place were found in abundance in the lake. It was
their treasure house for finny food, and the hovering hills furnished
flesh of deer and bear.

At a point in the valley twenty miles north of the lake, Old Joseph,
father of the more famous son, lies buried; his bramble-covered grave
is to be seen by the roadside to-day. For this reason something more
than an instinctive affection dominated the heart of the younger man.

Not long before his death, accompanied by guards, Chief Joseph was
taken into the valley on some sort of errand, and was thus permitted
to see again the enchanting beauties of his birthplace and early home.
How hungry were his eyes as he viewed the great opaline pool which
reflected the sinewy cedars and pointed pines; as he looked upon the
surrounding glen, the ancient game-range, the distant dissolving
plain, the hills heightening through their timber-covered sides up to
the very sky! His bursting heart cried out, "I have but one thing to
ask for from the White Father: Give me this lake and the land around
it, and some few acres surrounding the grave of my father."

[Illustration: WALLOWA LAKE]

The white man's ax had cleared the timber about the old man's grave;
the white man's plow might menace the sacred sod above the mute dust
of his honored sire. He wished to protect that place hallowed by
love--his own father's grave. But his plea was denied. He was not
permitted to have what in all reason seemed his very own.

He was now an old man, with eyes that had never shed tears, a soul
that was unacquainted with fear, and a heart that had never weakened
in the presence of danger. But at the thought that he was no more to
see his lovely Wallowa his eyes melted, his soul sank, his heart

Chief Joseph died near Spokane not many years since, wailing out the
one great desire of his life, a final glimpse of the land of his
birth, the hunting ground of his manhood and the graves of his


            The book--this holy book, on every line
            Mark'd with the seal of high divinity,
            On every leaf bedew'd with drops of love
            Divine, and with the eternal heraldry
            And signature of God Almighty stampt
            From first to last--this ray of sacred light,
            This lamp, from off the everlasting throne,
            Mercy took down, and, in the night of time
            Stood, casting on the dark her gracious bow;
            And evermore beseeching men, with tears
            And earnest sighs, to read, believe, and live;
            And many to her voice gave ear, and read,
            Believed, obey'd.

Having heard the early explorers speak of God, the Bible, and
religion, and knowing that on Sundays the flag was raised and
work suspended, the Indians wanted to know more about these
things, and two chiefs, Hee-oh'ks-te-kin (Rabbit-skin Leggins)
and H'co-a-h'co-a-cotes-min (No-horns-on-his-Head) set out to find
the white missionaries who could inform their troubled minds.
They did not reach Saint Louis until 1832, where they found General
Clark, whom they had known. The messengers were of the Nez Perce
tribe. General Clark took them to the cathedral and showed them the
pictures of the saints and entertained them in the best and most
approved Christian style; but they were heart-hungry and went home
dissatisfied. One of them made the following speech to the kindly
soldier, General Clark:

"I came to you over a trail of many moons from the setting sun. You
were the friend of my fathers who have all gone the long way. I came
with one eye partly opened, for more light for my people who sit in
darkness. I go back with both eyes closed. How can I go back with both
eyes closed? How can I go back blind to my blind people? I made my way
to you with strong arms, through many enemies and strange lands, that
I might carry much back to them. I go back with both arms broken and
empty. The two fathers who came with us--the braves of many winters
and wars--we leave asleep by your great water and wigwam.[2] They were
tired in many moons, and their moccasins wore out. My people sent me
to get the white man's Book of heaven. You took me where you allow
your women to dance, as we do not ours, and the Book was not there;
you showed me the images of the good spirits and the pictures of the
good land beyond, but the Book was not among them to tell us the way.
I am going back the long, sad trail to my people of the dark land. You
make my feet heavy with the burden of gifts, and my moccasins will
grow old in carrying them, but the Book is not among them. When I tell
my poor, blind people, after one more snow, in the big council, that I
did not bring the Book, no word will be spoken by our old men or our
young braves. One by one they will rise up and go out in silence. My
people will die in darkness, and they will go on the long path to the
other hunting grounds. No white man will go with them and no white
man's Book will make the way plain. I have no more words."

It was the rumor of this address that started Jason Lee and Marcus
Whitman westward over the old Trail.


  [2] Four of their number had died, and only one reached home.


                    I love thy rocks and rills,
                    Thy woods and templed hills,
                    My heart with rapture thrills.


The Old Oregon Trail takes bold way through some of the very finest
scenery of the West. These new ships of the desert, the passenger
trains, glide gracefully down from the aerial highways of the mountain
passes into the heart of our fertile oases. Whichever way the traveler
turns he sees something absolutely new, and often in strange contrast
with what he has just been beholding. Stately, snow-crowned giants of
the lordly hills, fir-fringed up to timber line, stand motherlike, or
bishoplike, crozier-cragged, shepherding the verdant uplands and the
velvety valleys whose billowy meadows bend beneath the highland
zephyrs or fall before the scythe of the prospering farmer. Now he
beholds the ruggedest of capacious cañons where the rollicking rivers
and rhythmic rills have cut great gorges deep into the rocky ribs of
the tightly hugging hills. Another turn and he sees the hearty herds
transforming themselves automatically into gold for their happy
owners; another turn shows the lazy rivers arising from their age-long
beds and mossy couches to climb the hot hillsides and to toil and
sweat at the command of the lord of this world, as they irrigate his
arid acres. Yet another turn and the wrathful river is carrying on its
breast the tens of thousands of winter-cut logs dancing like straws on
its frothy surface on their way to the busy mills; and the turbulent
streams, their wildness tamed and harnessed, serve the needs of man
like trusted domestic servants.

But this is not the way to view mountains; it is only surface sights
we get in this manner. He who would know the beauties of the hills
must become acquainted with them personally _and on foot_. Anyone can
enjoy the lazy luxury of the cozy precincts of an upholstered,
porter-served car. He may travel horseback or donkey-back, if he cares
to visit only where such sure-footed animals can go. However, when I
want to see the stately things among the unchiseled palaces and
temples where Nature pays homage in the courts of the Divine
Architect, I dismiss all modes of conveyance, and with well-nailed
shoes, rough clothes, a staff, and a lunch, I take the kingdom by
force. When once in, I am royally entertained; for though coy and
apparently hard to woo, Nature is a most delightful companion when
once you are acquainted.

                 The distant mountains, that uprear
                   Their solid bastions to the skies,
                 Are crossed by pathways, that appear
                   As we to higher levels rise.

So sang Longfellow. Bishop Warren said that every peak tempted him as
with a beckoning finger, daring him to a climb.

To those who have never been nearer the unlocked fastnesses of our
eternal American hills than by the too common means above mentioned,
the far-away cliffs of marble or white granite, with their areas of
unmeltable snows and ices, look temptingly down on us in August,
together with the smaller and less inspiring crags. But when we
approach them, even those nearest, how they appear to recede--almost
to run away! The high peaks that looked as though climbing up and
peeping over the heads of the lower ones, either jump down and
bashfully run to hide, or the little ones rise up to protect them. So
it seems as one approaches.

Entering the mountain side by way of a yawning cañon we soon come to a
sheer precipice lying in a deep gorge with perpendicular sides, while,
leaping from the top of the declivity high above our heads, as if from
the very zenith, a stream of crystal water cleaves the air. It is
dashed into countless strands of silvery pearls before it reaches the
deep bed of moss spread down to receive it, and where it lies resting
awhile for its downward journey toward the moon-whipped ocean.

Ah, Longfellow! You have taught us how to climb some mountains, but
here we have to construct our ladders, for anyone less sure of foot
than the chamois or the mountain sheep must stay at the bottom of the
falls. Scylla and Charybdis are stationary now, and the gaping chasm
has swallowed us upward, where we reach an opening into a wide park, a
veritable fairyland. On the top of one of those ponderous laminations
tilted edgewise is the king of the gnomes of the new glen. We call
him Pharaoh. How archly he looks out over his wide domain! His kingly
cap is adorned with a cobra ready to strike, yet out on his ample
breast floats a most royal but un-Pharonic beard. This is one of the
ways the quondam haughty hills have of providing entertainment for the
bold questioner and visitor.

The scenery is always new. High rocks, whose rugged faces look as if
their titanic architect had been surprised and driven away while as
yet his task was not half completed; long gaping gulches lined with an
evergreen decoration of spruce, cedar, manzanita, and mountain
mahogany, are some of the sidelights to be found in a day's journey in
the realms adjacent to the Old Oregon Trail.


                  My high-blown pride
            At length broke under me and now has left me,
            Weary and old with service, to the mercy
            Of a rude stream, that must forever hide me.

  Sweep on, you fat and greasy citizens.... When I was at home I was
  in a better place; but travelers must be content.--_Shakespeare_.


At frequent intervals throughout the widening West may be seen the
relegated ship of the desert standing forlorn, friendless, forsaken.
The merciless claws of summer and the icy fangs of winter are
loosening the red paint, and the white canvas cover and side curtains
are flapping in the winds. The tired tongue, dumb with age and years
of use, still tells tales of hardships by the silent eloquence of its
multitude of unhealed scars.

This class of carryall was at once unique and supreme. It was the
one indispensable link in the endless chain of evolution popular and
powerful, the only public agent of the Trail and the plains until
the unconquerable initiative of the lord of the world had time to
steel a highway with trackage for more rapid transit. What a living
link was that old overland stage! To look upon an isolated and
abandoned relic of earlier pioneerdom is like standing at the marble
monument of some human pivot in the mighty march of man's progress.
Before the bold and bustling railway noisily elbowed its way into the
affections of travel and commerce and pushed aside the patient wagon
of the nation-builders, the tens of thousands of hurried travelers
enjoyed (or endured) the hospitality of its rocking thorough-braces as
they, hour by hour, day after day, and night after night, and even
week after week in the longer journeys, sat atop or inside this
leviathan of the sand-ocean making the most rapid trip possible and
under safe guidance.

Could such old hulk tell its story, could that dried-up old tongue but
begin to wag again, what tales! First would come those of the men too
often overworked and underappreciated, like our modern railmen, the
drivers of the stage. These, as the ancient Jehu, were compelled to
drive furiously on occasion, in order to keep a cramped schedule or
make up for the loss of time brought about by a breakdown, a washout,
or some Indian depredation. Few drivers there were who did not love
their work. It came to be a saying, "Once a driver, always a driver."
The coach-and-four, or more, with booted and belted man on the throne
of the swinging chariot, made every boy envious and created in him a
desire to become great some day too. Eagle and Dick, Tom and Rock,
Bolly and Bill understood the snap of the whip, or its more wicked
crack, as well as they did the tension of the line or the word of the
chief charioteer, who, with foot on the long brake-beam, regulated the
speed of the often crowded vehicle down the precipitous places which
to the novice looked very dangerous. But Jehu is no longer universal
king. A Pharaoh who knew him not has heartlessly and definitely
usurped some of his places.

In the boot of this old seaworthy craft was hauled many a load of
treasure, for the gold-hungry prospector without sextant and chain
surveyed the fastnesses of the hills as well as the illimitation of
the prairies, and a care-taking government made a way to his camp to
send him his mail. Express companies joined their traffic to that of
Uncle Sam, and he of the pick and shovel became the lodestone to
popular convenience. With many a load of treasure went a man known as
a messenger, who sat beside the driver, carrying a sawed-off gun under
his coat, ready to meet the gangster or holdup, who so often robbed
both stage and passenger.

In the hold of this old coach have ridden governors, statesmen of all
grades, men and women, good and better (some bad and worse); here were
bridal tours, funeral parties, commercial men and gamblers, miners and
prospectors, Chinamen and Indians, pleasure-seekers and labor-hunters,
officers and convicts.

                        Men of every station
                          In the eye of fame,
                        On a common level
                          Coming to the same--

is the way Saxe punningly puts it; but more of a leveler was this old
coach, for there was of necessity the forceful putting of people of
the most heterogeneous character together in the most homogeneous
manner as the omnibus (most literal word here), made up its hashy load
at the hand and command of the driver, whose word was unappealable law
as complete as that of another captain on the high seas. Prodigal,
profligate, and pure, maiden or Magdalene, millionaire or Lazarus, all
were crowded together as the needs of the hour and the size of the
passengers demanded, to sit elbow to elbow, side by side to the
journey's end.

Huddled thus, they traveled unchanged till the stage station was
reached; here the horses were exchanged for fresher ones; the wayside
inn had its tables of provisions varying and varied as the region
traversed. If in the mountains, there were likely to be trout, saddle
of deer, steaks of bear; but if through the sands, there was provided
bacon or other coarser fare. Usually these crowds were joking and
jolly, unless tempered by something requiring more sobriety, but
always optimistic, for the fellow who became grouchy the while had
generally abundant occasion to repent and mend his ways.

One day, on a road not far from where this is being written, the old
coach was toiling up a long mountainside; the driver was drowsy and
the passengers had exhausted their newest répertoire of stories and
had lapsed into stillness such as often seizes a squeezed crowd. The
horses were permitted to take their time; the dust was deep, the sun
hot, and all possible stillness prevailed.

"Halt!" ordered a low voice very near the road.

The driver, Tom Myers, did not understand the command, and simply
looked up, half asleep, and said to the horses, "Gid-dap!"

"Halt!" came the words again, louder and unmistakable.

Myers halted. Standing at the end of an elongated bunch of pines where
he had been invisible until the heads of the horses appeared stood the
highwayman, with menacing gun covering the head of the driver.

"Throw out your treasure and mail!" came the command.

"I have mail, but no treasure," said my friend Tom, as he afterward
pointed out the spot and told the story. "Come and get it."

The lone robber rifled the sacks, turned the pockets of the travelers
inside out, and bade them drive on without imitating Lot's wife; he
was never caught.

To be sure, this is a tame story, and many readers doubtless can tell
one more thrilling; but this one is true.

The stagecoach is a thing of the past, but we still have the hardy,
dust-covered, mud-daubed teamster, who yet must haul the freight far
back into hills where for ages there will be no railway. To these,
Godspeed and good cheer! They live by the Trails; they eat at the
wheel; they sleep under the wagon; they are kindly and obliging even
when their heavily belled teams of six to fourteen or more head of
horses meet another loaded caravan in some narrow pass where the
highest engineering ability is needed to get by in safety; and they
never leave a fellow-traveler in distress.


             To him who in the love of Nature, holds
             Communion with her visible forms, she speaks
             A various language;...
                                      The hills
             Rock-ribbed, and ancient as the sun.

             Not vainly did the early Persian make
             His altar the high places and the peak
             Of earth-o'ergazing mountains, and thus take
             A fit and unwalled temple, there to seek
             The Spirit, in whose honor shrines are weak,
             Upreared of human hands.... compare
             Columns and idol-dwellings, Goth or Greek
             With Nature's realm of worship.


              The ragged sky-line high in air
              Sits boundary to sight
              And seems to end the world;
              But topping it by way well worn by braver
              A fertile, home-filled dale is found
              Where love holds warm,
              And schools and churches dot the land.
              But while the slow-drawn old stagecoach
              With load of dust-clad travelers
              Crawls over jolting, stone-filled ruts,
              The puffing beasts, sweat-covered,
              Winding in and out among the stately
              (Where friendly Nature spreads her yellow
              O'er bleaching arms long since deprived of
              May now be seen a mother deer
              Half hidden 'mong the sloping boughs;
              Alert, ears high, eyes wide, body so tense
              And motionless. In silence all
              The passengers admire the instinct-love
              Which not affrights the spotted babe
              Fast sleeping at her feet.
              "There are no guns aboard!" says one.
              "But if there were, how could one's heart
              Be hard enough to murder mother-love?"
              Said I.


             The tired shepherd stands among his ewes
             That with their lambs are unafraid
             Of him and keen-eyed dogs;
             They crouch close in about his feet
             Whene'er the coyote's cry
             Or bear's low growl
             Falls tingling on the timid ear.
             Himself thrusts gun to elbow-place
             And peers amid the dust-dressed sage
             And scented chaparral so dense,
             To glimpse the fiery eyeballs
             Of the prowler of the hills;
             While all awatch the faithful collies stand
             Prepared to fend e'en with their lives
             The young and helpless not their own.


                 The wooded thicket holds a drum.
                 The air in springtime afternoons
                 Is filled with sharp staccato notes
                 Whose echoes clear reverberate
                 From precipice and timbered hills.
                 No fifer plays accompaniment;
                 No pageant proud or marching throng
                 Keeps step to this deep pulsing bass
                 Whose sullen solo booms afar.

                 A double challenge is this gage,
                 A gauntlet flung for love or war;
                 As strutting barnyard chanticleer
                 Defies his neighboring lord:
                 So calls this crested pheasant-king
                 For combat or for peace.
                 The meek brown mate upon her nest
                 Feels happy and secure
                 While thus her lord by deed and word
                 Displays his woodland bravery
                 And guards their little home.


  That fellow seems to possess but one idea, and that is the wrong
  one.--_Samuel Johnson_.

  Utah is harder than China.--_Bishop Wiley_.

  Utah is the hardest soil into which the Methodist plowshare was
  ever set.--_Bishop Fowler_.


By the Trail had gone Jason Lee, in 1834, to plant the sturdy oak of
Methodism in the Willamette Valley and the north Pacific Coast. His
task was nobly done; the developments of to-day attest the wisdom of
the church in sending him and his coequal coadjutors, Daniel Lee,
Cyrus Shepherd, and P. L. Edwards.

Over this same track went Marcus Whitman, in 1835, to found the
mission at Waiilatpu, near the present site of Walla Walla, and to
find there the early grave of honorable martyrdom at the hands of the
people he was attempting to save. The call to these two intrepid
equals, Lee and Whitman, came through the visit of the two young
Indian chiefs who, immediately after the expedition of Lewis and
Clark, had gone to Saint Louis to obtain a copy of the "white man's
Book of heaven." The names of these two, as previously stated, were
Hee-oh'ks-te-kin and H'co-a-h'co-a-cotes-min.

On the sixth day of April, 1830, in Kirkland, Ohio, Joseph Smith, Jr.,
had organized the body best known as the Mormon Church. Fourteen years
later he was mercilessly, and unjustly, mobbed at Nauvoo, Illinois,
and after three more years of drifting about from pillar to post, the
Latter-Day Saints prepared to emigrate to upper California under the
absolute domination and guidance of Brigham Young, who was often
styled the successor to the "Mohammed of the West," as Joseph Smith
was sometimes called. This cult had some queer traits. W. W. Phelps,
one of their more prominent members, thus characterized the leaders of
Mormondom: Brigham Young, the Lion of the Lord; P. P. Pratt, the
Archer of Paradise; O. Hyde, the Olive Branch of Israel; W. Richards,
the Keeper of the Rolls; J. Taylor, Champion of Right; W. Smith, the
Patriarchal Jacob's Staff; W. Woodruff, the Banner of the Gospel; G.
A. Smith, the Entablature of Truth; O. Pratt, the Gauge of Philosophy;
J. E. Page, the Sun Dial; L. Wright, Wild Mountain Ram.

Expelled from Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri, the trembling Saints
sought less turbulent surroundings by immersing their all in the wild
conditions both of men and wilderness in the untamed lands of the
great West. They were not able to sustain the physical cost of the
trek of more than a thousand miles under the hardest of circumstances.
The Trail was the home of the Sioux, the Cheyennes, the Arapahoes, the
Otoes, Omahas, Utes, and others, who knew neither law nor mercy. The
waters were often alkaline and deadly as Lethe. A thousand miles afoot
was the record some had to make. They appealed to the government, then
at war with Mexico, to permit a number of their men to enlist as
soldiers to be marched over the ancient Santa Fe Trail, and thus be
able to draw wages on the journey. This was granted. These recruits
had little, if anything, to do, but they are known in history as the
Mormon battalion. They went to California, 1847-49, and were present
when James Marshall discovered gold at Sutter's Mill.

In 1847, July 24, Mormondom threw up its first trenches in the valley
of the Great Salt Lake, as that saline body was then known and
recorded. In this salubrious region was planted the analogy of the
harem of Mohammed, and the seraglio of Brigham became the center of
the sensual system of the Latter-Day Saints. So blatant was the
apostle Heber Kimball that he said he himself had enough wives to whip
the soldiers of the United States.

Evangelical Christianity waited almost twenty years before an attempt
was made to plant the high standards of Christendom in the Wahsatch
Mountains. In the sixties went the denominations in the order here
named: Congregational, Protestant Episcopal, Methodist Episcopal; in
1871 the Presbyterians went, and then the Baptists. It was dark.
Mighty night had beclouded the intellect and obscured the spiritual
senses; civilized sensuality swayed with unchecked hand the destinies
of the masses. The blinded people groped for light in the pitchlike
blackness of the new superstition.

"None but Americans on guard" in such a night! Hear the roll call.
None but tried and true Christian soldiers were mounted on those
ramparts: Erastus Smith, the heart-winner; Thomas Wentworth Lincoln,
the scholarly but quiet Grand Army man, who always kept his patriotic
fires banked; George Ellis Jayne, another veteran of the Civil War,
tireless evangelist who possibly saw more Mormons made Christian than
any other pastor of any church in Utah; George Marshall Jeffrey,
eternally at it; Joseph Wilks, methodic, patient, sunny; Martinus
Nelson, weeping over the straying of his Norwegians; Emil E. Mörk,
rugged and steadfast; Martin Anderson and Samuel Hooper, both of
whom died by the Trail, falling at the "post of honor." Last, but not
least of these to be named, stands the energetic and "Boanergetic"
Thomas Corwin Iliff, that Buckeye stentor and patriot, who with
heart-thrilling tones has raised millions of dollars in aiding and
in establishing hundreds and hundreds of churches in these United
States. For thirty years he commanded the Methodist as well as the
patriotic redoubts of Utah and bearded the "Lion of the Lord" in
his very den.

But there were never truer watchmen on the high-towered battlements
of the real Zion than the Protestant Episcopal Bishop, Daniel S.
Tuttle; the knightly Hawkes of the Congregationalists; the truly
apostolic Baptist, Steelman; the Presbyterian leaders--who surpasses
them? See the saintly Wishard, the polemic McNiece and McLain; the
scholarly and tireless Paden!

They were loyal to the core, commanding the Christian forces as they
deployed, enfiladed, charged, marched, and stormed the trenches of
religious libertinism in the fertile and paradisaical valleys and
roomy cañons of the Mormon state of Deseret. These never surrendered,
compromised, or retreated.

Glorious Brotherhood! Permit us the honor of saluting you. Your like
may never march abreast again in any campaign! Living, you were
conquerors; dying, you are heroes.

Of these above named Messrs. Hooper, Anderson, Steelman, and McNiece
have entered the "snow-white tents" of the other shore.


  His studie was but litel on the Bible.--_Chaucer_.

            Imaginations fearfully absurd,
            Hobgoblin rites, and moon-struck reveries,
            Distracted creeds, and visionary dreams,
            More bodiless and hideously misshapen
            Than ever fancy, at the noon of night,
            Playing at will, framed in the madman's brain.
                            --_Pollok, in Course of Time_.

The abode of the dead, where they remained in full consciousness of
their condition for indefinable periods, or even for eternity, has
been the theme of many a writer both before and after the advent of
the Saviour of men. Annihilation is repugnant to the common
intelligence. Homer sends Ulysses, Dantelike, to the realms of the
dead, where he converses with them he had known in life. The Stygian
River, the dumb servitor, Charon, the coin-paid fare, are all well
known in the classics of the ancients.

In some later religio-philosophic studies the names are different;
some have tartarus, some purgatory, some paradise. The last is the
name adopted by the Mormons.

The heroes of Homer seemed never to hope for a release from the bonds
of Hades. Voluptuous Circe, the Odysseyan swine-maker, told the hero
of those tales he was a daring one:

               "... who, yet alive, have gone
               Down to the abode of Pluto; twice to die
               Is yours, while others die but once."

Many well meaning minds have tried to discover in the Bible, or
otherwise reasonably invent a second probation for the unrepentant as
an addendum to the final resurrection of the just. Not a little has
been made of the term "spirits in prison" (1 Pet. 3. 19, 20), and of
"baptism for the dead" (1 Cor. 15. 29). In the intensity of zeal, or
as a proselyting advertisement, the Latter-Day Saints proclaim the
possibility of all the inhabitants of the grave (paradise) being saved
in heaven. To this end, early in the history of the organization,
there was implanted the doctrine of preaching to the departed and that
of proxy ministrations.

From their Articles of Faith I take these two:

  3. We believe that through the atonement of Christ all mankind may
  be saved by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel.

  4. We believe that these ordinances are: First, Faith in the Lord
  Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for
  the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of
  the Holy Ghost.

Now, since without immersion there is no remission of sins, and since
they who are in prison (paradise) are eligible to salvation, therefore
some one must be baptized for them and have all the other rites of the
plan likewise administered in their name. That "all things may be done
decently and in order," there was received a "revelation" to the end
that temples must be built, recorders and other officials appointed,
and all the paraphernalia necessary for the work prepared. When these
rites are consummated some elder of the church who dies goes to the
spiritual prison house and tells the people therein confined that
these most meritorious works have been done for them on earth; in
fact, this is the chief reason for their going thither. They who will
believe this story and repent of their sins are then and there
entitled to "a right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the
gates into the city."

Not only are the people redeemed from all their sins by the pious
ministrations of the many temple-workers, who, like Samuel,
continually serve and minister therein, but as marriage relations are
to continue throughout the endless ages of eternity, and children are
to be born forever and ever, these dead have the hymeneal ceremony
performed "for eternity"; this act is known as the "sealing" process.
Men are here married--by proxy--to others than the actual living wife,
sometimes with her consent, sometimes without it. One old gentleman,
whose name is not to be mentioned, was sealed thus for eternity to
Martha Washington and to Empress Josephine. It sounds farcical and
foolish in the extreme; fit only to be counted as a silly joke,
unworthy the attention of a sane soul for a minute; but it is terribly
sober when it is remembered that there are hundreds of thousands of
innocent, honest, and unsuspecting Mormons who really and truly
believe this to be the only road to eternal life and exaltation.

Added to this is the doctrine of the deification of men. All the true
and faithful Mormons are to become gods by and by, and create and
populate new worlds; hence the value of polygamy; in fact, this world
is but one of the samples of this truth. Adam is the owner and ruler
of earth, and to him we pray. He is our God. As such he is only one in
an endless procession of such beings.

"There has been and there now exists an endless procession of the
Gods, stretching back into the eternities, that had no beginning and
will have no end. Their existence runs parallel with endless duration,
and their dominions are limitless as boundless space."[3]

Possibly the most popular hymn among these people is the following,
written by one of the wives of Joseph Smith, Eliza R. Snow. It is in
their collection and now in use:

                       HYMN TO FATHER AND MOTHER

                O my Father, thou that dwellest
                  In the high and glorious place!
                When shall I regain thy presence,
                  And again behold thy face?
                In thy holy habitation,
                  Did my spirit once reside?
                In my first primeval childhood,
                  Was I nurtured by thy side?

                For a wise and glorious purpose
                  Thou hast placed me here on earth,
                And withheld the recollection
                  Of my former friends and birth;
                Yet ofttimes a secret something
                  Whispered, "You're a stranger here";
                And I felt that I had wandered
                  From a more exalted sphere.

                I had learned to call thee Father,
                  Through thy Spirit from on high;
                But, until the Key of Knowledge
                  Was restored, I knew not why.
                In the heavens are parents single?
                  No; the thought makes reason stare!
                Truth is reason; truth eternal
                  Tells me, I've a mother there.

                When I leave this frail existence,
                  When I lay this mortal by,
                Father, mother, may I meet you
                  In your royal court on high?
                Then, at length, when I've completed
                  All you sent me forth to do,
                With your mutual approbation
                  Let me come and dwell with you.


  [3] New Witness for God, B. H. Roberts, 1895.


            Lo, the poor Indian! whose untutor'd mind
            Sees God in clouds, or hears him in the wind;
            His soul proud Science never taught to stray
            Far as the solar walk or milky way.

When Mormonism was no longer compelled to maintain the defensive it
quickly assumed the offensive. This was apparently deemed necessary
for the existence of the system. Two kinds of preaching were indulged
in by the elders on their missions, home and foreign. At home they
declared the beauty of the Smithian gospel, including the doctrine of
polygamy, a sweet morsel for the blood-thirsty Utes. They were trying
by every means, Machiavellian or otherwise, to gain the Lamanites, as
Indians were called by the Mormons, at least to an extent which would
allow them to remain undisturbed throughout the territory of Utah. Old
Kanosh and other leaders were immersed for the remission of their
sins, but they were permitted to multiply unto themselves as many
squaws as they cared for. It would take water stronger than the common
alkaline pools contained to reach the morals of a heathen Ute.

Very many of the Indians thus were made Mormons and white men were
appointed as their bishops. Brigham Young used to make visits to them
to try to instruct them in various things. For a considerable period
he was the Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the Territory. He was
such official at the time of the lamentable Mountain Meadow Massacre,
in 1857, and for which crime Bishop John D. Lee suffered death.

Possibly it was the influence of Mr. Young that kept the most of the
red men from the warpath and thus saved the scattered settlers in the
earlier days when there were so few to guard the isolated homes in the
far-away nooks and cañons of the mountains.

The other sort of preaching in which the elders indulged was that of
an absolute and unqualified denial of polygamy in Utah. Such was the
plan of the elders who went to Europe. The public denial of John
Taylor, later president of the church, is abundant evidence. When they
deny polygamy now they have the consistency of definition to back
them; to their manner of explaining, polygamy is the act of taking new
wives; to the non-Mormon, polygamy is the possessing of more than one
wife. For this reason we are very bold in saying that polygamy is
publicly practiced in Utah--witness Joseph F. Smith as chief example.

Although we may read of it, none can comprehend just what it means to
a girl-wife, two thousand miles away from her parents, to be treated
as an alien, in a land under the flag of the free. This was the case
in the strictly Mormon settlements in Utah thirty years ago. Reason
only kept the Giant Despair from the threshold of the mind. The
bravery of these women can be compared only to the English women of
the Sepoy Rebellion days of 1857 in India, or to those of our American
sisters who accompanied their valorous husbands to their isolated
posts on the Indian frontiers, resolved to share equally in the
dangers, and to die lingeringly and cruelly if necessary. Retreat and
surrender never grew in the hearts of such women. It was so in the
times that were called the "dark days" in Utah--the time when the
government applied its functions to the stamping out of polygamous
practices, 1883 to 1893--ten terrible years for the Mormon as well as
the non-Mormon.

Add to this the fact that, unannounced, a brawny, stalwart Indian
might walk in at the door. More than once has it so occurred in our
home. One day the door was suddenly opened and in walked a grinning
brave, armed with a long knife, and followed by his squaw; extending
his empty hand toward the far-from-home girl-wife, alone in the house,
he said, "How-do!" In telling us of it, she said: "I was scared to
death, I thought, but I would have shaken hands with him if I had died
in the attempt. I would not let him know I feared him." But this was
not Weber Tom.

It was in those fearsome days when the leading men of Utah--farmers,
bankers, stockmen, church dignitaries, all sorts and conditions of the
Latter-Day Saints--were being arrested and haled to the courts almost
daily, that one morning there rode up to our door the battle-scarred
old warrior, Weber Tom, chief of the Skull Valley Utes, or Goshutes.

If perfection is beauty, this Indian was most beautiful, for he was
the ugliest creature imaginable, ugly even to perfection. One eye had
been gouged out, a knife-scar extended from his ear down across his
mouth, and he was Herculean in physical proportions. I am a large man,
but once when I gave him an overcoat he tried vainly to button it over
his vast frontal protuberance, looking at me and saying, "Too short,
too short."

This giant chief dismounted, and, seeing my wife standing near,
reached the reins of the bridle to her and said, "Here, squaw, hol' my

She said, quietly, "Hold your own horse if you want him held."

Having had to accommodate himself to the rudeness of a civilized
woman, he made other provision for his cayuse and then asked her,
"Wheh yo'man?"

She told him I was down in the field, and he then proceeded to find
me. He was in the depths of trouble. He had several squaw-wives and
feared he was to be arrested for it.

Now he approached me. It was dramatic; it was high-class pantomime.
It is too bad the kinetoscope, cinematograph, or some other
moving-picture machine had not been invented. He seemed awed by a
presence, yet so emboldened by the needs of his case that he
walked stoically to his quest.

Squaring his Atlaslike shoulders, he began: "You heap big chief. You
talky this way" (at the same time extending one finger straight from
his lips). "Mormon he talky this way" (now extending two fingers, to
show he understood them to talk with double tongue). "Mormon telly me
sojer men ketchy me, put me in jug [jail]; me havy two, tree, four
squaw. You heap big chief. You telly me this way" (one finger).
Continuing, he said: "Me havy two, tree, four squaw. Mormon he telly
me, me go jug; one my squaw he know dat, he heap cry, _heap_ cry, HEAP
cry, by um by die!"

This was accompanied by gestures, throwing his body backward in
imitation of the dying woman whom fear had killed, according to his
dramatic story.

I told him something like this: "No, heap big lie. You go back Skull
Valley, you stay home, no sojer ketchy you, you be heap good Injun!"
Upon this he grunted deeply, shook hands cordially, went back to his
many-wived tents over across the creek, and soon we saw them filing
off through the sagebrush toward their Skull Valley home, many miles
over the Onaqui range.


            The man that lays his hand upon a woman,
            Save in the way of kindness, is a wretch
            Whom 't were gross flattery to name a coward.
                                          --_John Tobin_.

                       A baby was sleeping,
                       Its mother was weeping.
                       --_Samuel Lover_.

Polygamy _may_ die in Mormondom, but has never yet done so. Cases are
often reported, and from the manner of their finding it is a certainty
that new alliances are being formed continually between married men
and unmarried women.

Not long ago a very bright conversion was made in one of the missions
of an evangelical denomination. The convert was a young woman of more
than average intelligence. Some of her relatives had been polygamists,
but she repudiated the whole cult and creed. For a while this decision
made it necessary for her to find other residence than her rightful

Some time after she permitted herself to be persuaded that a young man
of her acquaintance loved her more than he did the polygamous tenet of
his church--he was a Mormon--and that he never would attempt to woo
and win another woman while she remained his wife. She consented, and
was happy in her home life. Not for a moment did she suspect him of
double-dealing. Her honest heart was above entertaining such suspicion
had it entered. Serenely she saw her children growing to useful
womanhood. Not a cloud of anxiety appeared on the calm sea of life;
all was fine sailing. One day she was making some repairs in one of
her husband's garments when a letter fell from a pocket. It bore the
postmark of a city where they both had relatives, and it was quite
natural that she should look into its contents.

What despair and agony seized her when she read therein the statement
from the "other woman" telling her "fond" husband of the birth of the

The poor, heart-stricken, and hitherto trusting wife immediately rose
to the dignity of outraged womanhood and insulted wifehood and
compelled the polygamist to choose at once between her and the
concubine. He did so, choosing the younger woman and leaving her who
had trusted him too fondly.

This is not a tale of the ancients in Utah, but a living, festering
story of the vivid present.

One way of avoiding prosecution by the law is the surreptitious,
clandestine rearing of children, whose mothers lose no prestige in the
community; for it is well understood "among the neighbors and
friends." "Public polygamy has been suspended," but the requirement of
the doctrine remains unchanged.


                   So lonely 'twas that God himself
                   Scarce seemed there to be.

                      This is truth the poet sings
            That a sorrow's crown of sorrow is remembering
                happier things.


Many stories, weird and lurid, true and untrue, have been told of this
body of saline water lying imposed on the breast of the beautiful and
scenic State of Utah. Although one of the transcontinental highways of
ocean-to-ocean travel has extended its bands of steel directly across
its wide bosom for many miles, it is still a spot where mystery

Private as well as public legends are handed down from lip to ear
rather than from page to eye. For that reason there are tales of this
wonderful salt sea to be learned only by residing in the vicinity. Its
natural moods are unlike the ocean, and its individual characteristics
would make a book.

The briny pond is but a wee thing as compared with its gigantic
dimensions in the days when its waters were sweet and had an outlet to
the north. Then its arms spread far south into Arizona, over into
Nevada and into Idaho. It was 350 miles from the northern end to the
southern, and 145 miles across from east to west. The area was 20,000
square miles. This greater lake stood 1,000 feet higher than does the
present one, although this one is 4,280 feet above the level of the
sea. Geologists have named the earlier one Bonneville, in honor of the
intrepid soldier-explorer whom Washington Irving has so well fixed in
American literature.

By some as yet unknown cataclysm a great break was made at the north
end of this inland ocean and its pent volume was poured into the cañon
of the Port Neuf toward the ravenous Snake. This reduced the level
four hundred feet, but the old beach line may still be easily noted.
Gradually this diminished body became smaller and smaller until it
reached the present stage of desiccation.

So impure is this heavy liquid that after evaporation there is a
residuum of twenty-eight pounds of solid matter in every hundred. This
is composed of salt, magnesium, and other elements carrying three
dollars of gold to the ton; the gold is not made a matter of trade or
of industry because facilities are lacking for its handling. Very
little animal life is found in this brine, and none of vegetable; in
fact, at every point where the water touches the shore vegetation
vanishes utterly. The animal life is that of a very small gnat which,
mosquito-like, lays its eggs on the surface of the water. The larvæ,
when driven shoreward, collect in such quantities as to cause a
strong, unpleasant odor observable for miles to the leeward. Myriads
of seagulls here find a dainty feast.

Salt Lake affords the finest and really the only beach-bathing resort
in the whole interocean country. The bathing is attended with little,
if any, danger. In thirty years only two persons have been lost. These
strangled before assistance reached them. One body was found after
four years, lying in the salty sand at the south end of the lake,
whither the high winds from the north had drifted it. All the parts
protected by the sand were perfectly preserved and as beautiful as if
carved from Parian marble.

The tops of a number of sunken mountains still protrude above the
surface and form islands: such are Fremont, Church, Stanbury,
Carrington, and others. Some of these are habitable, possessing fine
springs and irrigable land. Very few people live on these islands, but
some brave spirits dare to face the semiprivations of such isolation
and stay there with their herds.

Doubtless, many tales of heroism and devotion could be told of those
who have lived on these islands. One of the best known is that of Mrs.
Wenner, who, a few years after her marriage, went with her husband and
little children to live on Fremont Island. Her husband's health
failing, the oversight of the herds fell largely upon her, but she
cheerily took up the burden, the while she trained her little ones,
and was ever a true companion to him whom she daily saw slipping

The end came on a dread and fearsome day, while the faithful man who
worked for them was detained on the mainland by a raging storm. The
children and an incompetent woman could give her little assistance or
consolation. There on the lonely, storm-lashed island, with
faint-whispered words of love, the dear one closed his eyes forever.
Tenderly she cared for his body, and sadly she kept her vigil,
replenishing through the long night the two watchfires intended as a
signal to those on the mainland. On the night of the second day, the
man made his dangerous way back to the island--and with his help she
laid the loved husband in his island grave, with no service but the
tears and prayers of those who mourned.

This is but one story of desolation and sorrow--but the deep, briny
waters and the barren, forbidding shores hold in their keeping many
suggestions of mystery and of tears.


              I could a tale unfold, whose lightest word
              Would harrow up thy soul.


  "I panned him out over and over ag'in,
  But found nary sign of color,"
  Said Argonaut Sam one evening, when,
  As sitting atop of a box, to some men
  He was spinning a yarn of the gold-trail.

                                        And then,
  With arms set akimbo, he straightened his back
  And said: "'Twuz one night in the fifties I know;
  Ther' kem up the trail frum the gulch jist below
  A youngish-like feller; but steppin' so slow
  I heartily pitied him even before
  I saw his pale brow and heerd the sharp hack
  Of his troublesome cough, and plain enough lack
  Of more'n enough power to bring to my door
  That tremblin' young body.

                           "He hed a small pack--
  A blanket an' buckskin--but that wa'nt no lack
  In them days when notions an' fashions wuz slack;
  When all a man needed, besides pick an' pan,
  Wuz a wallet o' leather to tie up his dust--'R
  a place to git grub-staked (that means to git trust
  Till he found a good prospeck); an' then he'd put in
  His very best licks; fur in them days 'twuz sin
  Fer a man strong o' body, o' wind an' o' limb
  T' hang erround loafin' all day, 'twuz too thin.

  "Well, this puny feller hed grin'-stunlike grit,
  But wuz clean tuckered out when my cabin he hit;
  'N fell down a-faintin' jist inside my door--
  His eyes set 'n' glassy--he seemed done fer, shore.
  So I straightened him out, couldn't do nothin' more

  Than to put back his hair an' t' dampen his brow,
  An' to feel fer his pulse--joy! I found  it--slow
  An' flickery though, stoppin' and startin', an' now
  Gone ag'in; then it revived, but so faint, don't you know,
  That minute by minute I couldn't hev said
  Whether the feller wuz livin' or dead.

  "All night I watched by him; an' 'long a-to'rds light
  I seed that a change hed come: so, honor bright!
  I made up my mind that I'd save that young life
  If it took me all summer. I'd fight
  With grim death to a finish fer him.

                                    "An' so I begun.
  I quit workin' my claim
  Where I'd git on an average ('pon my good name)
  An ounce or more daily of number one gold.
  An' in them days we thought nothin', you see,
  Of layin' by stuff fer a rainy day; we
  Hed plenty; the diggins wuz rich, an' wuz thick
  Scattered over the kentry. Most every crick
  Hed plenty o' gold in nuggets or dust--
  An' the man who wuz stingy hed ort to be cussed.
  So I shouldered my task.

                              "It wuz wonderful how
  The new life appeared to come back to my boy;
  (Fer that's what I called him--'my boy') an' the joy
  O' perviden fer suthin' besides my lone self
  Made me happy. Y' see, th' experunce wuz new;
  Fer I'd lived all alone ever since forty-two,
  When, back in Ohio, I'd buried my wife
  An' baby. Since then I'd looked on my life
  As a weary, onfriendly, detestable load.
  So that's why I lived all alone, don't you see?
  I didn't love nothin' and nothin' loved me.

  "But now of young Josh--his name wuz Josh Clark--
  He'd come frum ol' York State--could sing like a lark--
  Wuz finely brung up, an' that mother o' his,
  A sister he tol' me, an' a girl he called Liz.
  'D a give the hull earth if they only could know
  If he wuz alive; but so hard-hearted, he
  Would never be grateful to them nur to me.
  Though I had no claim on him, yet it would seem
  After all I hed done fer him, shorely some gleam
  O' thankfulness somewhere might some time be seen.
  'Sides spendin' my all I hed broken down too,
  Wuz a shattered ol' man, though but then fifty-two;
  Fer I'd give up my health an' my strength to pull through
  My boy--fer I loved him, if ever men do.
  But, no; it appeared that he hedn't no heart.
  Not once did he thank me, and never asked why
  I nussed him to life, 'stid o' lettin' him die.

  "His wants wuz demands, his wishes commands,
  An' once in the dusk, as we set on the sands
  Of a stream that run by, he reached with his hands
  So quick an' so blamed unexpected, you see,
  Grabbed me by the hair an' out with a knife,
  An' demanded my gold. I thought fer my life
  He wuz jokin'; but no, when I seed that fierce look
  Of murder an' pillage, I knowed what I'd done;
  I'd thawed out a viper upon my hearth-stun
  An' now wuz becomin' its prey.

                               "But, I'd none:
  I'd spent all the surplus I hed to save him.
  I'd missed all the summer an' fall to nuss him
  Who now like a tiger wuz takin' my life.
  'Hol' on, my dear Josh! Hol' on, my dear boy!'
  No further I got, fer his hands clutched my throat--
  I squirmed myself loose, but grapplin' my coat
  He throwed me ag'in, now a madman, indeed.
  His dirk-knife wuz raised. I said, 'Do yer best.
  I've give you now all that I ever possessed
  But life. Take it now if you like!' An' he struck.

  "How long I laid there in the dark, I don't know;
  But when I kem to I wuz layin' in bed,
  An' the people wuz talkin' so easy an' low,
  An' I knowed by the bandages too on my head
  That I hed been nigh to the gates o' the dead.

  "An' 'Where wuz Josh Clark?' did you say? I don't know.
  He never wuz seen in the diggins below,
  Ner heerd of in them parts ag'in, fer I know
  He'd a-swung to the limb that come fust in the way;
  Fer the boys in them days hed little to say,
  But wuz mighty in doin'. So he got away.

  "So it seems that some people is jist so depraved
  There ain't a thing in 'em that ort to be saved.
  'Twuz jist so with Josh, who I loved as a son;
  He lived fer hisself an' fer hisself alone.
  'N' 'at's why I remarked at the fust of this yarn,
  The thing 'at it's cost me so dearly to larn--'I panned him out over
        an' over ag'in,
  But found nary sign of a color.'"


            The night it was gloomy, the wind it was high;
            And hollowly howling it swept through the sky.

                What matter how the night behaved?
                What matter how the north wind raved?


We dread the unseen. Fear is always enervating; sometimes even deadly.
Who has not fearsomely anticipated that which never came and wasted
valuable energy and time in building bridges none are ever to cross?
The surgical patient actually suffers more at sight of somber
white-clad nurses, and the thought of the operation, than he does from
the ordeal itself. It may be that we subconsciously dread the helpless
state of unconsciousness into which the anæsthetic plunges us, and
hesitate at a trip, no matter how short, into death's borderland,
preferring to keep our own hands as long as possible on the helm of
the ship of life.

I wonder why we become terror-stricken at the thought of ghosts. The
untutored child needs only a hint to make him shy at the dark; and a
lad has to be pretty large before he can walk far at night without
once in a while looking behind him, just to be certain there is
nothing following.

Thus spirits, spooks, bogies, wraiths, and other uncanny apparitions
are unintentional inheritances of the race; a race that knows little
more about the impending and impinging unseen than did the Saxon
fathers who gave us our spooky speech.

I once had an experience which grows in interest as the years pass by.
I had no fear or thought of fear that night, and the scenes of the
evening were absolutely unannounced; they entered upon the sleety
stage for whose violent acts I held no program.

One afternoon I was to go to one of my appointments, a mining town in
Utah. In order to relieve home cares I took with me my four-year-old
son, who thus would get some novel entertainment as well. To the buggy
I hitched Jenny, the strawberry-roan cayuse, and started for the
distant point. It was a little stormy all the way, and by the time we
had well begun the service it had thickened so that a hard snow was
setting in. It was dead in the north and continued with such strength
that soon there appeared no slant to the falling columns. By the time
church was dismissed the blizzard was on in full force, and the roads
were already so filled with the new drifts that to return with the
buggy was hardly thinkable. I borrowed a saddle, and leaving the
little lad with friends, started for home, where I was under
appointment to preach that evening. My way lay in the north, in the
very teeth of the raging storm. With head tucked down, I trusted the
reins to Jenny, who had never disappointed me in many a mountain trip,
but I had not gone far until I found the storm was at my back. Peering
sharply through the fast falling darkness, I discovered that the
mountains were on my left instead of on my right, as they should have
been. Jenny had turned tail to the storm. Feeling herself unwilling to
face the arctic onset, she was retreating.

Only the dire necessity of the occasion made me compel her to face the
torturing attack of the icy shafts that were hurling themselves on us
like steel points.

We were forced, Jenny and I, to abandon the only road, now drift-filled,
and take an unbroken way through the sagebrush, junipers, buckbrush,
and other tangled chaparral, where there was no trail at all, and
farther to the right, that I might keep an eye on the mountains and not
get turned around again. I felt the force of Cardinal Newman's
immortal hymn,

              ... amid the encircling gloom,
                Lead thou me on!
              The night is dark and I am far from home;
                Lead thou me on!

We had not gone far until I began to hear the sweetest music. I could
not imagine from whence it fell, as I knew there was not a human home
in all that plain between the two settlements. Then I heard personal
conversation; in fact, the night was full of pleasant travelers. The
awful storm seemed not to affect them in the least. They seemed to
have an open road too, while we were plunging through deep snowdrifts,
my feet already dragging along their tops.

When the first carriage load came up I saw it was only a desert
juniper. The boreal gale sweeping through its shivering branches made
converse in the music of the wild, Jenny and I being the only
seat-holders in that grand opera. Soon another caravan of belated
folks drove up; but it was only a load of hay that had been
over-tipped. Others came, but they were only bushes or some inanimate
object. There was little life out on that perishing night.

After hours of fearsome and benumbing travel, Jenny stumbled with me
into the little home town. A good feed of oats and a warm shelter
doubtless ended the story happily for her. But for me--the ghost of
the desert and the wraith of the blizzard had become real. They spoke
to me that night and I understood.


  God had sifted three kingdoms to find the wheat for this

  Westward the course of empire takes its way.--_Berkeley_.

  In the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the
  desert. And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the
  thirsty land springs of water.--_Isaiah_.


Possibly there are those who find themselves thinking that Western
tales are travelers' tales and must be taken with "a grain of salt."
Some also say that the man who crosses the Missouri never is able to
tell the truth again; this is crude, I know, and in some cases true,
but they who are so afflicted were just the same before they ever saw
the Missouri.

Our waterless areas were considered by Captain Bonneville (as told by
Washington Irving) utterly barren and forever hopeless wastes. In
Astoria--chapter thirty-four--these words are used:

"In this dreary desert of sand and gravel of the Snake here and there
is a thin and scanty herbage, insufficient for the horse or the
buffalo. Indeed, these treeless wastes between the Rocky Mountains and
the Pacific are even more desolate and barren than the naked, upper
prairies on the Atlantic side; they present vast desert tracts that
must ever defy cultivation, and interpose dreary and thirsty wilds
between the habitations of man, in traversing which the wanderer will
often be in danger of perishing."

So thought Captain Bonneville; so wrote the matchless American
_littérateur_, Washington Irving, of "Sunnyside," author and
authority, creator of The Life of George Washington, and the Broken
Heart, which made Lord Byron weep. The doughty Captain Benjamin L. E.
Bonneville, who died as late as 1878, obtaining leave of absence and a
furlough, endured the pleasure of hardships common to the explorer,
and through his happy biographer added the Trail to literature; but
his eye of vision did not see these great stones of the commonwealth,
Utah, Wyoming, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. The very region so
carefully pictured above as the dreariest of deserts, a veritable
Western Sahara, is the exact location of Idaho and a large portion of
Oregon; a region perfectly adapted to the sustenance of immense
population and intense development.

Moses understood all the wisdom of the Egyptians. We do not, but we do
know that the biggest thing in an arid country is the ditch. America's
triumph to date in the twentieth century is the completion of the
Panama Ditch. The ditch is in Idaho more valuable by far than the
land, for without it the parched soil is practically worthless, being
an area of shimmering sand, where the ash-colored and dust-covered
sagebrush breeds the loathsome horned toad, the rough-and-ready
rattlesnake, and the slinking, night-hunting coyote, which preys on
the lithe-limbed, loping jack rabbit.

The modern Western American is rapidly learning a modified wisdom of
the ancient irrigators of Egypt, and already knows how to drain the
irrigated acres and leech these old alluvial plains. From the days
when the frosty glacial plowman ran his deep basaltic furrows for the
majestic Snake and other streams, these gorges of nature had been only
mossy beds over which lazily slid the unmeasured volumes down to the
western and "bitter moon-mad sea." Now man, the mightiest of all
magicians, has lured the liquid serpents from their age-long couches,
cut them into thousands of smaller streams, and sent them bravely
abroad on the face of the protesting desert, drowning its death and
making it to bloom and blossom.

As a concrete instance of the artificial possibilities of Idaho and
contiguous regions, I will here instance a statement made for me by
the Rev. H. W. Parker, superintendent of Pocatello District, and
resident of Twin Falls, under date of October, 1914: "Where ten years
ago this very minute there was not a fence nor a furrow (only the
conditions above described by Washington Irving) there are now such
municipalities as Twin Falls, Filer, Rupert, Burley, and others soon
to be as fine. As pastor in 1904, my first official trip to Twin Falls
was made on July 14. I found one or two frame buildings and some tents
stuck around in the sagebrush; some streets had been marked out, but
no grading had been done. Dust, heat, and sagebrush were the main
features of the place. In October I preached the first sermon ever
delivered by any minister in the new village. The congregation
numbered forty-one. On February 5, 1905, I organized the first church
with seventeen members; on May 23, 1909, we dedicated the present
edifice at a cost of $18,000, exclusive of the lots.

"To-day this church has a membership of more than five hundred. This
youngster has turned back into the treasuries of the denomination in
regular collections more than $3,000. The city has to-day seven thousand
people. There are between four and five miles of asphalt-paved
streets, a perfect sewer system, and cement sidewalks throughout the
whole municipality. An investment of $120,000 has been made in two
splendidly equipped grade school buildings, besides a high school
costing a quarter of a million dollars. These combined schools have an
enrollment of over two thousand pupils with a teaching force of above
sixty; the high school graduated forty-eight last commencement. There is
not a saloon in the entire county."

Surely "progress" is here spelled in large letters.

Years ago, with the narrow strip along the Atlantic in mind,
Longfellow wrote, "God had sifted three kingdoms to find the wheat
for this planting." And as the mighty empire took its course toward
the West of limitless opportunity the good God kept the sieve running
full time, so that to-day

                        The best of the best
                        Are in the Northwest.

[Illustration: END OF THE TRAIL]

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