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Title: Wigwam and War-path; Or the Royal Chief in Chains - Second and Revised Edition
Author: Meacham, A. B. (Alfred Benjamin)
Language: English
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Ex-Superintendent of Indian Affairs and Chairman of the Late Modoc
Peace Commission.

Illustrated by Portraits of
The Author, Gen. Canby, Dr. Thomas, Capt. Jack, Schonchin,
Scar-Faced Charley, Black Jim, Boston Charley,
Tobey and Riddle, Eleven Other
Spirited and Life-Like Engravings,
of Actual Scenes from Modoc Indian Life, as
Witnessed by the Author.


John P. Dale and Company,
27 Boylston Street.

Entered according to act of Congress, in the year 1875, by
A. B. Meacham,
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington.

Press of
Rockwell and Churchill,
33 Arch Street, Boston.


The Hon. A. B. Meacham has committed to me the difficult and delicate, yet
delightful task of revising the manuscript and arranging the table of
contents of the present work.

I have endeavored to review every page as an impartial critic, and have,
as far as possible, retained, in all its simplicity and beauty, the
singularly eloquent and fascinating style of the gifted author. The
changes which I have made have been, for the most part, quite
immaterial——no more nor greater than would be required in the manuscript
of writers commonly called “learned.” In no case have I attempted (for the
attempt would have been vain) to give shape and tone to the writer’s
thoughts. His mind was so full, both of the comedy and the tragedy of his
thrilling narrative, that it has flowed on like a mighty torrent, bidding
defiance to any attempt either to direct or control.

None, it seems to me, can peruse the work without being charmed with the
love of justice and the fidelity to truth which pervade its every page, as
well as the manly courage with which the writer arraigns _Power_ for the
crime of crushing _Weakness_——holding our Government to an awful
accountability for the delays, the ignorance, the fickleness and treachery
of its subordinates in dealing with a people whose very religion prompts
them to wreak vengeance for wrongs done them, even on the innocent.

For the lover of romance and of thrilling adventure, the work possesses a
charm scarcely equalled by the enchanting pages of a Fennimore Cooper;
and, to the reader who appreciates truth, justice, and humanity, and
delights to trace the outlines of such a career as Providence seems to
have marked out for the author, as well as for the unfortunate tribes
whose history he has given us, it will be a reliable, entertaining, and
instructive companion.

Mr. Meacham’s thirty years’ experience among the Indian tribes of the
North-west, and his official career as Superintendent of Indian affairs in
Oregon, together with his participation in the tragic events of the Lava
Bed, invest his words with an authority which must outweigh that of every
flippant politician in the land, who, to secure the huzzas of the mob,
will applaud the oppressor and the tyrant one day, and the very next day
clamor mercilessly for their blood.

                                                    D. L. EMERSON.

BOSTON, Oct. 1, 1874.


The chapter in our National history which tells our dealings with the
Indian tribes, from Plymouth to San Francisco, will be one of the darkest
and most disgraceful in our annals. Fraud and oppression, hypocrisy and
violence, open, high-handed robbery and sly cheating, the swindling agent
and the brutal soldier turned into a brigand, buying promotion by
pandering to the hate and fears of the settlers, avarice and indifference
to human life, and lust for territory, all play their parts in the drama.
Except the negro, no race will lift up, at the judgment-seat, such
accusing hands against this nation as the Indian. We have put him in
charge of agents who have systematically cheated him. We have made
causeless war on him merely as a pretext to steal his lands. Trampling
under foot the rules of modern warfare, we have made war on his women and
children. We have cheated him out of one hunting-ground by compelling him
to accept another, and have robbed him of the last by driving him to
frenzy, and then punishing resistance with confiscation. Meanwhile,
neither pulpit nor press, nor political party, would listen to his
complaints. Congress has handed him over, gagged and helpless, to the
bands of ignorant, drunken and brutal soldiers. Neither on its floor, nor
in any city of the Union, could his advocate obtain a hearing. Money has
been poured out like water to feed and educate the Indian, of which one
dollar in ten may have found its way to supply his needs, or pay the debts
we owed him.

To show the folly of our method, examine the south side of the great
lakes, and you will find in every thirty miles between Plymouth and Omaha
the scene of an Indian massacre. And since 1789 we have spent about one
thousand million of dollars in dealing with the Indians. Meanwhile, under
British rule, on the north of those same lakes, there has been no Indian
outbreak, worth naming, for a hundred years, and hardly one hundred
thousand dollars have been spent directly on the Indians of Canada. What
is the solution of this astounding riddle? This, and none other. England
gathers her Indian tribes, like ordinary citizens, within the girth of her
usual laws. If injured, they complain, like other men, to a justice of the
peace, not to a camp captain. If offenders, they are arraigned before such
a justice, or some superior court. Complaint, indictment, evidence, trial,
sentence, are all after the old Saxon pattern. With us martial law, or no
law at all, is their portion; no civil rights, no right to property that a
white man is bound to respect. Of course quarrel, war, expense,
oppression, robbery, resistance, like begetting like, and degradation of
the Indian even to the level of the frontiersman who would plunder him,
have been the result of such a method. If such a result were singular, if
our case stood alone, we should receive the pitiless curses of mankind.
But the same result has almost always followed the contact of the
civilized and the savage man.

General Grant’s recommendation of a policy which would acknowledge the
Indian as a citizen, is the first step in our Indian history which gives
us any claim to be considered a Christian people. The hostility it has met
shows the fearful demoralization of our press and political parties.
Statesmanship, good sense and justice, even from a chief magistrate can
hardly obtain a hearing when they relate to such long-time victims of
popular hate and pillage as our Indian tribes. Some few men in times past
have tried to stem this hideous current of national indifference and
injustice. Some men do now try. Prominent among these is the author of
this volume. Thirty years of practical experience in dealing with Indians
while he represented the Government in different offices; long and
familiar acquaintance with their genius, moods, habits and capabilities,
enable and entitle him to testify in this case. That, having suffered, at
the hands of Indians, all that man can suffer and still live, he should
yet lift up a voice, snatched almost miraculously from the grave, to claim
for them, nevertheless, the treatment of men, of citizens, is a marvellous
instance of fidelity to conviction against every temptation and injury.
Bearing all over his person the scars of nearly fatal wounds received from
Indians, he still advocates Grant’s policy. Familiar with the Indian
tribes, and personally acquainted with their chiefs, with the old and
young, men and women, their sports and faith, their history and
aspirations, their education and capacity, their songs, amusements,
legends, business, loves and hates, his descriptions lack no element of a
faithful portrait; while his lightest illustrations have always beneath
the surface a meaning which cannot fail to arrest the attention of the
American people, and enable them to understand this national problem.
Never before have we had just such a witness on the stand. Brilliant and
graphic in description, and exceedingly happy in his choice of topics, he
gives us pages startling and interesting as a novel. While his appeals
stir the heart like a clarion, he still keeps cautiously to sober fact;
and every statement, the most seemingly incredible, is based on more than
sufficient evidence. I _commend this book to the public_——study it not
only as accurate and striking in its pictures of Indian life, but as
profoundly interesting to every student of human nature,——the picture of a
race fast fading away and melting into white men’s ways. His contribution
to the solution of one of the most puzzling problems of American
statesmanship is invaluable. Destined no doubt to provoke bitter
criticism, I feel sure his views and statements will bear the amplest
investigation. His volume will contribute largely to vindicate the
President’s policy, and to enable, while it disposes, the American people
to understand and do justice to our native tribes.


                                                 WENDELL PHILLIPS.

                         LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.


  HON. A. B. MEACHAM                                   _Frontispiece._

  GEN. CANBY                                                       480

  DOCTOR THOMAS                                                    512

  THE LONE INDIAN SENTINEL                                           8

  THE BULL-DOG TRADE                                                26

  FAREWELL TO ONEATTA                                               73

  THE BIRTHPLACE OF INDIAN LEGENDS                                 142

  GRAND ROUND AGENCY                                               109

  THE HORSE RACE                                                   197

  CAPT. JACK                                                       295

  TOBEY AND RIDDLE                                                 320

  MODOCS ON THE WAR-PATH                                           404

  WI-NE-MAH (TOBEY)                                                444

  ASSASSINATION SCENE                                              492

  BRINGING IN THE WOUNDED                                          531

  WARM SPRING INDIAN PICKETS                                       568

  SCHONCHIN AND JACK IN CHAINS                                     588

  BOSTON CHARLEY                                                   641

  BLACK JIM                                                        495

  SCAR-FACE CHARLEY                                                632


                               CHAPTER I.



    The Author’s Fears and Hopes——A Bit of Personal History——Two
      Great Wrongs——Early Reflections——Removal of Pow-e-shiek’s Band
      in 1844——The Lava Beds——Gen. Canby and Dr. Thomas referred to——
      Even-handed Justice——Captain of an Ox Team——Sad Scene
      Preparatory to Pow-e-shiek’s Departure——The White Man Wanted
      It——It is a Fair Business Transaction——A Gloomy Picture——
      Government Officials Move Slow——(The Lone Indian Sentinel)——A
      Fright in Camp——The Welcome——Cupid’s Antics——An Indian
      Maiden’s Ball Dress——The Squaw’s Duties——The Indian’s
      Privileges——End of the Journey——The Return——The Conscientious
      Church Member——Throngs of Emigrants——A Great Contrast and a
      Glowing Picture——Yankee Boys and Western Girls——A Strange
      Mixture——The People of Iowa——The Nation’s Perfidy towards the
      Savage                                                         1

                              CHAPTER II.

                       OVERLAND——BLOOD FOR BLOOD.

    Pow-e-shiek Visits his Old Home——His Recognition of the Writer——
      He Spends the Winter——His Character——The Ceremonial Smoke, and
      the Writer’s Mistake——Pow-e-shiek’s Return——“Van,” the Indian
      Pony——Crossing the Plains——Indian Depredations——What Provokes
      Them——The Murdered Indian——The Loaned Rifle——Arresting Indians
      on “General Principles”——They are Slain on “General
      Principles,” also——The Butchery of Indian Women and Children——
      The Bloody Deeds of White Men——The Indian’s Revenge           24

                              CHAPTER III.

                          INDIANS AND MINERS.

    Two Letters——Why they are Introduced——Lee’s Encampment——Gold
      Fields of Idaho and Eastern Oregon, in 1863——Tides of
      Adventurers——Means of Transportation——Umatilla City——The
      Saddle Train——The “Kitchen Mule”——Walker’s Line——Novel Method
      of Securing Ponies——Indians Hunting Lost Horses——Sublime
      Mountain Scenery——Punch and Judy——A Stalwart Son of Erin——He
      Buys an Indian Pony——His Rich Experience Therewith——A Scene
      Worthy of the Pencil of a Bierstadt——“Riding a Bottle”——The
      Indian’s Friends Denounced——Indian Integrity——Striking
      Examples——Tin-tin-mit-si, the Rich Old Indian Chief——“Why
      White Men are Fools”                                          32

                              CHAPTER IV.


    Treaty with the Government——The Annual Visits——Indians and
      Whiskey——The White Man’s Advantage, and the Indian’s
      Privilege——Punishment for Intoxication——Indian “Muck-a-muck”——
      The Salmon and their Haunts——Ludicrous Scenes——Financial
      Revenge——The Oregon Lawyer’s Horseback Ride——He is Sadly
      Demoralized——His Scripture Quotations——Fourth of July
      Celebration——Disappointed Spouters——Homli’s Sarcastic Speech——
      His Eloquence and His Resolve——A Real Change——Three Tribes
      Unite——A Fair Treaty——Umatilla Reservation——Gorgeous
      Description of an Earthly Paradise——Homli’s Return            45

                               CHAPTER V.

                     POLICIES ON TRIAL——“ONEATTA.”

    The Author Appointed Superintendent of Indian Affairs——Not a
      Political Friend of President Johnson——An Indian “Agency”——
      Description of a Hunting-Ground——Shipwrecks——Signal Fires——Why
      they are Built——A Tradition——Perilous Adventure of Two
      Chieftains——A “Big Canoe” Saved from Wreck——They are Rewarded
      with many Curious Gifts——The Squaw’s Surprise——The Pappoose’s
      Fears——The Chase——Squaws Disrobed——A Good Time Generally——The
      Chiefs Fright——He is Reassured——Comes Alongside the Ship——Love
      at First Sight——A Battle without the War-whoop——The Chief
      Boards the Ship——The Scene on Deck——The Chief’s Departure——The
      Lovers, Oneatta and Theodore——The Chief’s Consent——The Dance——
      Lover’s Conquest——The Betrothal——The Ship Ready to Depart——The
      Marriage on Board——Farewell to Oneatta                        57

                              CHAPTER VI.

                        WAY OF PAYING PENALTIES.

    The Legend in the Last Chapter——Why it is Introduced——Siletz
      Agency——Oyster Beds and Timber Lands——The same “Old Story”
      Rehearsed——The Boat Race——Indian _vs._ United States Senator——
      The Horse Race——Congressional Avoirdupois——Crossing the Siletz
      River——Civilized Indians——A Rare Scene——Euchre Bill——Biting
      off Heads——The Indian School——Too-toot-na——His Wife Jinney——
      Her Financial Skill——Her Husband’s Hope——Doomed to
      Disappointment——Indian Court Day——Hickory Clubs _vs._
      Blackstone——The Attendants at Court——The First Case——A Woman’s
      Quarrel——Appropriating a Horse——Wounded Honor——An Agreeable
      Penalty——The Lone Chief——Indian Bashfulness——The Agent’s
      Fears——Old Joshua Speaks——His Eloquence——His Request is
      Granted——Religious Influences——A Language of One Hundred
      Words——Christianity and Common Sense——The Dialogue——Logs on
      Indian Graves——Why Placed there——Religions of the Indians
      Discussed Further On——Indian Agent Ben Simpson——His Report——He
      Arraigns the Government——Joel Palmer’s Report——Political
      Preacher and the Christian Agent——The Treachery of the Former——
      A Plea for the Siletz Indians——Base White Men and a Cruel
      Government——The Sad Story Repeated——A Ray of Hope——Alsea
      Agency——The Alsea Indians——Their Character Peaceable and
      _therefore_ Neglected——Crime Rewarded by the Government——
      Virtue Punished——The Destiny of the Alsea Tribe——A Stern
      Rebuke and a Prophecy                                         74

                              CHAPTER VII.


    Grand Round Agency——Indian Houses——Cost of a Board——Gen. Phil
      Sheridan——A Romance of a Young Chief——The Family from
      Missouri——The Red-skinned Archer and Pale-face Gunner——Their
      Trial of Skill——Fight with the Grizzly——The Wounded Hunter——
      The “Medicine Man”——Santiam and the Pale-faced Maiden——The
      Disappointment——Faithful to Her Vows——Description of the
      Valley Resumed——The Writer’s First Visit——The Indians There——
      Their Progress in Civilization——Ceremonious Hand-shaking——The
      Writer’s Remarks——Replies by Joe Hutchins and Louis Neposa——A
      Peculiarity of Indian Eloquence——Speeches by Black Tom and
      Solomon Riggs——The Writer’s Speech——Its Effect——Wapto Davis’s
      Plain Talk——Joe Hutchins’ Sarcasm——Result of the Council     101

                             CHAPTER VIII.

                       STOPPING THE SURVEY——WHY.

    Official Correspondence——What the Indians Need——Important
      Questions Asked——Commissioner Parker’s Reply. (See Appendix)——
      The Mills Built——Indian Laborers——A Misunderstanding——The
      Indian’s Rights——They are Wronged——A Protest——Interesting
      Letter Relating to Allotment of Lands. (See Appendix)——
      Singular Request——Reason for It——An Act of Justice——The Indian
      Parade——The Indian’s Speech in English——The Writer’s Reply——
      Wapto Speaks——Catholics _vs._ Methodists——Father Waller——An
      Episode——Leander and Lucy——Love and Law——Old and New——The
      usual Course of True Love——Marriage Ceremony——No Kissing——The
      Dance——The Methodist Pastor and the Priest——The Catholics
      Liberal (?)——A Stupid Preacher——Common Sense in Religion——
      Indian Comments——Defective Schools——Unwritten History of Grand
      Round Agency——Old and Forsaken                               120

                              CHAPTER IX.


    The Scene Changes——The River Steamer——The Railroad——The Battle
      Ground——Causes of War and Slaughter——A Legend of the Cascades——
      Battles——Divine Interpositions——Soul-stirring Traditions——The
      Waiting Dead——Sacrilegious Hunters——McNulty, the Noble
      Captain——Mount Hood——Mount Adams——Sublime Scenery——The Dalles——
      The Salmon Fishery——Its Value——Habits of the Salmon——
      Commencement of the Fishing Scenery——Indian Superstition——
      Methods of Catching and Curing Salmon                        138

                               CHAPTER X.

                      DANGEROUS PLACE FOR SINNERS.

    Warm Spring Agency——Indians in Treaty Council——Intimidated by
      Government Troops——Pledges Unfulfilled——John Mission and Billy
      Chinook——They become Converts to Christianity——Treachery of
      the Government——Why? because the Indians are Peaceable——
      Journey to the Agency Continued——Crossing the Stream——Fire and
      Brimstone——A Perilous Descent——The Author’s Report——This
      Agency a Fraud——Climate of Warm Springs——Character of the
      Indians Here——The Two Treaties——The Indians Declare they were
      Deceived——A Great Injustice——Unfitness of the Warm Spring
      Agency——Captain John Smith——His Character——His Communication——
      A Careful Perusal Urged                                      150

                              CHAPTER XI.


    Captain Smith’s Letter——His Opinion of Catholics——The Indian
      Council——An Indian Leads in Prayer——Appearance of this
      Council——It was like a Methodist Revival Scene——The Head
      Chief’s Speech——He abjures Polygamy——The Author’s Reply——Mark
      wants to Change his Name——He selects the Name of Meacham——
      Marks’ Second Wife, Matola——Her Speech——John Mission speaks——
      Speech of Billy Chinook——Hand-shaking and Enrolling Names——
      Pi-a-noose——His Speech——Two Kinds of Indians on this Agency——
      The Trial Policy of the Government                           160

                              CHAPTER XII.


    Umatilla Agency——The Council——Its Object——The Purchase by the
      Government of the Reservation——A. B. Meacham’s Speech——Many
      Indian Speeches (See Appendix, Chap. XII.)——The Council Fairly
      Conducted——Religion of the Umatilla Indians——Wealth a Curse to
      Them——They Take the First Prizes——They are Haughty, Proud and
      Intractable——“Susan,” the Widow——Her “Receptions”——The Dance——
      Women’s Rights——Susan a Good Catholic.                       181

                             CHAPTER XIII.


    Indian Sportsman——How-lish-wampo, the Famous Horseman——Pat and
      the Indians Once More——French Louie, the Confident Sport——He
      is Beaten and Fleeced——Returns on Ponies Given in Charity——Joe
      Crabb and His Important Race-Horse——His Groomsmen and
      Attendants——Skirmishing Preparatory to the _Great Race_——Joe
      Crabb is Shrewd——The Wild Indian is Shrewder——Indian Method of
      Training Horses——Intense Interest in the Race——Throngs of
      Visitors——Holding the Stakes——Indian Honor——Indians not Always
      Stoical——They are _Enthusiastic_ Gamblers——Never Betray their
      Emotions——Consummate Strategy of Indian “Sports”——The
      Appearance of the two Race-Horses——Preliminary Manœuvres——The
      Start——The Indian Horse Ahead——Wild Excitement——The Fastest
      Time on Record——All Good Indians Three Feet Under Ground——Fine
      Opportunity for Sport——Challenge to Commodore Vanderbilt,
      Robert Bonner, Rev. W. H. H. Murray, _or Any Other Man_——
      Habits of the Indian Horses——The Cayuse Horse——An Indian
      Train——The Squaw’s Outfit——Indian Etiquette——Indian Wives who
      Want to be Widows——Indian Maidens——Many of the Umatillas
      Civilized——The Prospect of the Umatillas                     185

                              CHAPTER XIV.


    The Snake War——Alleged Cause of the War——Manner of Warfare——
      Charley Winslow and Nathan Dixon——H. C. Scott and Family, and
      Wheeler, all Victims of the War——Eighty Chinamen Murdered——
      Indians Butchered in Turn——Jeff Standiford and His Band of
      Butchers——Stone Bullets and Iron Slugs——The Art of Killing
      Indians——Joaquin Miller——General Lee——Stonewall Jackson——
      General Grant——Capture of the Daughter of a “Warm Spring”
      Chief——General Crook calls for Indian Scouts——The Bounty
      Offered——The McKay Brothers——A White Chief Fights like a
      Savage——Privilege of Scalping Granted——On the War Path——The
      Last Battle——The Surrender——A Pile of Scalps——Snake Hair
      Playing Switch for White Ladies——Visit to Snake Country——After
      a Long Leap Coming Out Smiling——Castle Rock——Old Castle of Jay
      Cook——Panting Charger——A Game Chicken in the River——Adams
      Laughing and Weeping——A Real Native American——In a Basket——In
      College——Baking Bread in a Frying Pan——Jimmy Kane the Indian
      Cook——Making Mathematical Calculations——The Test——Seasoning
      the Supper——Clothes Don’t make the Man——General Crook under a
      Slouch Hat——Tah-home and Ka-ko-na——Transmutation——Fine
      Feathers——Arrival at Camp Harney                             207

                              CHAPTER XV.


    A Camp Scene——Peace Council with the Snake Indians——Announcing
      the Presence of Ka-ko-na——Their Representations——Colonel Otis——
      Old Winnemucca Sent For——A Bloodthirsty Chief——His Wives——
      Their Savage Mode of Life——Indian Women Socially——Result of
      the Council——Both Parties Came Armed——The Medicine Man——A
      White and Red Doctor Disagree——A Warning——Incantation of a
      Medicine Man——Strange and Cruel Treatment of the Sick——“Big
      Foot”——A Beautiful Custom——The Fire Telegraph——Spiritualism——
      O-Che-Oh and Allen David——A Peaceful Talk in Seven Tongues——
      The Old Squaw and Her Heartless Sons——A Gloomy Picture of
      Savage Life——The Snakes’ Home——Their Future a Problem——Climate
      of this Region——Enemies to——Novel Method of Capturing them——
      Crickets for Food——A Cricket Press——Warriors who Eat their
      Foes——An Embryo Indian War——How it Can be Avoided——Tah-home
      and Ka-ko-na in Tribulation——Power of Medicine Men——Stronger
      than love——Wild Men Shrewd in Such Matters——Heart-Broken
      Squaw——Proposition to Elope——Fear of Pursuit——No Compromise

                              CHAPTER XVI.

                    OVER THE FALLS——FIRST ELECTION.

    Resuming the Journey——Klamath Reservation——Saying Prayers——The
      Accident——Value of a Dead Mule——Different Tribes on the
      Reservation——Klamaths never Enemies of the Whites——Lindsey
      Applegate——The First Election——White Men Imitated——The Result——
      Allen David Elected Chief——His Character——He is an Orator of
      Great Power——Preparation for the “Big Talk”——The Scenes in the
      Council——The Big Camp Fire——Tah-home and Ka-ko-na in Great
      Distress——Indian Strategy Winked at by an Officer——It
      Succeeds——The Lovers in a Snow-storm——Outwitted and Glad of
      It——Allen David Opens the Council——His Thrilling Speech——The
      Author’s Official Report——Another Speech from the Red-skinned
      Orator——The Author’s Reply——Joe Hood——Various Speeches Bearing
      on the Indian Question——Official Correspondence——Address to
      the Klamath Indians——Their Attention——The Indian Allen David——
      His Wonderful Eloquence——Extracts——The Author’s Reply——Speech
      of Joe Hood——The Reconciliation——The Preparation——The Speeches
      of Allen David and Captain Jack——The Author’s Views of
      Thieving Officials——An Appeal for Justice——The Request of
      Klamaths                                                     245

                             CHAPTER XVII.


    Wife Robbery——Divorce made Easy——Names of Uniformed Officers
      Withheld——Why——Blo’s Searching Questions——The Law One-sided——
      Little Sally——The New Court——A Novel Scene——The Court Opened——
      Sally’s Complaint——Her Husband’s Views——The Baby’s Heart half
      his and half his Wife’s——Sally and her Husband Want to be
      Re-married——The Bride’s Outfit——A Serious Ceremony——A Pledge
      that White Men don’t Take——Indian Modesty——Who Kissed the
      Bride——Case Number Two——The Sentence——The Dance——Indian
      Theatre——The Actor——A Wild, Exciting Play——The Indian’s
      Dramatic Power                                               262

                             CHAPTER XVIII.


    Indian Games——Long John, the Gambler——The Wocus Fields——How it
      is Prepared for Food——Egging and Fishing——A Bird’s Nest
      Described——Trout-fishing——Various Kinds of Trout——Game——Big
      Klamath Lake——Link River——Nature’s Steam-power——The Country of
      the Modocs——A Grand Scene——Bound for the Home of Captain Jack

                              CHAPTER XIX.

                     TWENTY YEARS BEFORE A HARVEST.

    The Modoc War——The Origin of the Modocs——The La-la-kas——The
      Great Indian Rebellion and the American Revolution——The Office
      of Indian Chief——Captain Jack——Form of Government among Indian
      Tribes——The Home of the Modocs——Why Modocs Rebelled——The
      Modocs in 1846——Schonchin——The Father of Captain Jack——Account
      of the Latter——Cruelties Perpetrated by the Modocs——Causes of
      the First Modoc Wars——Two Sides of the Question——Chief
      Schonchin’s Reason for Killing White Men——The “Ben Wright”
      Massacre——Slaughter of Emigrants——Horrible Cruelties——The
      Squaw’s Jealousy——Ben Wright——His Character——His Infamous Act
      of Treachery——Treaty with the Modocs in 1864——Why it was not
      kept by Captain Jack——The Oregon Superintendent makes a
      Treaty——It is now being Ratified——Captain Jack understood the
      Treaty——He Rebels——Says he was Deceived——Attempt to Force him
      to return to the Reservation——His Insulting Language——Lost
      River——A Fish Story——Difficulties in the way of meeting
      Captain Jack                                                 289

                              CHAPTER XX.


    Captain Jack’s Apology——He Makes a Camp for his Visitors——The
      Modoc Women not Slaves like other Indian Women——Sage Brush——
      The Modocs would not Eat First——The Reason——Tobey and Frank
      Riddle——Riddle’s Romantic Career——Truth Stranger than Fiction——
      He Discards his First Love——His Indian Wife——They act a part
      in his Story——Captain Jack’s Falsehood Exposed——The Government
      Appropriations——Captain Jack Quibbles but Yields——He is
      Overruled by the Medicine Man——A Critical Moment——Indian
      Vocabularies——Tobey’s Good Sense and Loyalty——Riddle and Tobey
      Avert a Scene of Blood——Mr. Meacham’s Bold Speech to Captain
      Jack——The Strategy of Meacham’s Party——Two Powers Invoked——
      Representatives of Elijah and Ahab——The Soldiers who are sent
      for do not Respond as Ordered——They, too, are under the
      Influence of _Spirits_——They Rush into Camp——An Exciting
      Scene——The Parley with the Modocs and its Results——Queen Mary——
      Her Rare Opportunities——She Pleads for her Brother, and Gains
      her Point——Jack Surrenders——An Incident——Arrival at the
      Klamath Reservation——Reconciliation between Two Chieftains——
      Ceremony of Burying the Hatchet——Allen David, the Famous
      Indian Orator——His Remarkable Speech——Captain Jack’s Reply——
      Allotment and Distribution of Goods——“Head and Pluck”——Indian
      Mode of Cooking Meats——A Gorgeous Scene——A Big Council Talk——
      Link River Joe’s Solemn Speech——An Impressive Watch-meeting——
      The Writer’s Peculiar Position——The Dim Fore-shadowing       311

                              CHAPTER XXI.


    A Settlement of Old Difficulties——Trouble Ahead——The Modocs
      Taunted with their Poverty——Agent Knapp——His Character——
      Captain Jack Applies to Knapp for Protection——Is Treated
      Coolly——Schonchin John——Captain Jack and his Band Leave
      Klamath——Old Schonchin Removes to Yainax——Captain Jack
      Contemplates making his Home there——An Unfortunate Occurrence
      Prevents——One more Effort for Peace——Jesse Applegate——Letter
      of Instructions to John Meacham——It is Conciliatory but Firm——
      Departure of The Commission——Humanity and Common Sense——
      Fortunately the Commissioners go well Armed——Assassination
      Intended——Prevented by Captain Jack——His Loyalty Doubted by
      the Modocs——Schonchin Intrigues for the Chieftainship——Captain
      Jack only a Representative Chief——Republican Ideas for once a
      Curse——Captain Jack Argues the Cause of his People with Great
      Skill and Force——He Refuses to go on to the Reservation again——
      Agrees to go to Lost River——How Bloodshed Might Have Been
      Avoided——The Author’s Reports referred to——The Modocs become
      Restless——They Violate their Pledges——The White Settlers
      Annoyed——They demand Redress and Protection——Captain Jack not
      blamed by the Whites——He was Powerless                       342

                             CHAPTER XXII.


    Change in the Indian Superintendency——T. B. Odeneal Appointed——
      His Qualifications for the Office——Did not Understand the
      Indians——The Modocs Ordered to Klamath Reservation——They
      Refuse to go——Captain Jackson Ordered to the Modoc Camp——
      Twelve Settlers go to see the Fun——Character of Frontiersmen——
      Who are Responsible for Indian Wars——Situation of Jack’s Camp——
      Number of his Braves——Arrival of the Soldiers and Citizens——
      They come Unexpected——A Fatal Mistake——First Gun of the Modoc
      War——First Battle——Modocs Victorious——Fight on the other side
      of the River——Inglorious Results to the White——Reinforcements
      sent for by Major Jackson——Captain Jack and his Braves retire
      to the Lava Beds——Scar-face Charley remains behind——His
      Strange Motive for so doing——John A. Fairchild——He learns an
      Important Lesson——His Humanity and Wisdom——White Citizens cry
      for Vengeance——Fourteen Modocs agree to return to Klamath——Why
      they rejoined Captain Jack——The latter always for Peace——The
      curly-haired Doctor wanted War——He and other Modocs Commit
      Horrid Crimes——Seventeen Whites Butchered——The Scene that
      followed——The Victims of the Slaughter——Friends of the
      Murderers——The Author’s Authority for many of his Statements——
      Captain Jack denounces the Murderers, and demands that they
      shall be surrendered to the Whites——Is overruled             361

                             CHAPTER XXIII.


    “Wails of Anguish”——“Intense Excitement”——“A Scene of Woe seldom
      Equalled”——“A Sublime Portraiture of Frontier Life”——“Who
      shall say Vengeance on The Avenger”——“The Government called to
      a Rigid Account”——“War Succeeds Sorrow”——“The Grand Army of
      Two Hundred”——“Opinions that _are_ Opinions, and the Reasons
      for them”——“A Job before Breakfast not accomplished”——“Benefit
      of the War to Oregon and California”——“The Politicians and
      Speculators’ Opportunity”——“Four Hundred White Soldiers”——
      “Proposition to slay Modoc Women and Children”——“A Little
      Gray-eyed Man Objects”——“A good deal of Buncombe and of
      anticipated Glory”                                           377

                             CHAPTER XXIV.

                             MODOC INDIANS.

    A Descent to the Lava Bed——Tule Lake——The Lone Woman with a
      Field Glass——The Deserted White House——The Dark Bluff——The
      Red-skinned Loyal Soldiers——The Solitary Tree——Description of
      the Lava Bed——Link River Jack the Natural Traitor——Council
      among the Modocs——Jack Still for Peace——Earnest Speeches on
      both sides——The Curly-headed Doctor decides the Momentous
      Question——The Vote is for War——How the Doctor makes Medicine——
      Captain Jack Plans the Battle——A Lost Warning to the Sleepers

                              CHAPTER XXV.


    4 A.M., January 17, 1873——Preparation for the Battle——The
      Conflict Begins——The Deadly Modoc’s Bullets——Where are the
      Volunteers——The Battle Rages with fearful Loss of Life——Orders
      to Retreat——The Wounded to be Rescued——Vain Attempt, the
      Victims Scalped——Modoc Rejoicings——Speeches of the Victors——
      Captain Jack not so Enthusiastic——General Wheaton’s Defeat——
      Comments of the Volunteers——The Sarcasm of the Gray-eyed Man

                             CHAPTER XXVI.


    The Peace Commission Appointed——Terms of Peace unwisely Proposed
      to the “Modocs”——The “Modocs” seem to accept the Terms——Joy in
      Camp——It is suddenly Dampened——The Great Mistake of Steele,
      the Messenger——The Fearful Crisis——A Most Suitable Time to say
      Prayers——Honor among Savages——The Messenger’s Strategy——It
      Saves his Life——His Report——The Author’s Dispatch to
      Washington——The Reply——Anxiety and Gloom in Camp——Modoc
      Messengers——What they Propose——Commission in the hands of
      General Canby——Prejudiced against Tobey——The Modocs offer to
      Surrender——Wagons sent to Receive Them——Their Intentions——They
      Fail to Agree——Modoc Horses Captured——General Canby won’t
      return them                                                  413

                             CHAPTER XXVII.


    The New Camp——The Modocs Allowed to Visit the Camp——Reasons for
      it——The Seven Hours’ Talk with Captain Jack——The Diplomatic
      Savage——His Skill in Debate——His Logic and his Eloquence——He
      has Right on his Side——This the Only Extended Talk with the
      Modocs——Capt. Jack’s Graphic Description of the “Ben Wright”
      Massacre——This Cold-blooded Butcher Rewarded by our
      Government——Full Report of this Meeting——Another Effort for
      Peace——Tobey’s Mission——The Result——She is Warned by a
      peace-loving Modoc——The Reports to the Commission——Some do not
      Believe Her——The Indiscretion of Rev. Dr. Thomas——Stirring
      News from the other Camp——Assassination Intended——Tobey is
      Sent for by the Modocs——She Goes——Affecting Farewell to
      Husband and Child——A Thrilling Scene in the Modoc Camp——True
      Heroism——“I am a Modoc Woman; Shoot Me if You Dare”——The Camp
      Moved——Strange Surroundings and Sad Reflections——An Incident——
      Peace Council with the Modocs——Their Hostile Intentions
      Foreshadowed——The Storm——Proposal to Adjourn——It is Treated
      with Contempt by Jack——Says he shall not Melt like Snow——The
      Council Adjourns                                             443

                            CHAPTER XXVIII.

                    WHO HAD BEEN THERE——WHO HAD NOT.

    General Gilliam’s Opinion about Taking the Modocs——Colonel
      Mason’s Opinion——Difference in Judgment——Another Discussion
      Going On——Colonel Greene Speaks——Colonel Tom Wright in
      Commissioners’ Tent——A Growl——Wager Offered——Proposition to
      Send Away Nine Hundred Soldiers——Waiting for the Warm Springs——
      Desertion——Common Soldiers’ Opinion——They Want Peace——
      Commissioners’ Cooking——Work Divided——Canby Enjoys a Joke——
      “Don’t Throw Off on Bro. Dyer”                               457

                             CHAPTER XXIX.


    New Efforts for Peace——Dr. Thomas’ Faith——It Avails Little——
      Riddle Appealed to——The Author’s Fatal Absence——Modoc Cunning——
      The Guileless Betrayed——The Author’s Fears——The Compact Made——
      The Last Breakfast——The Indian Judas——He Wants Meacham to Wear
      his New Boots——The Modoc Council——Captain Jack and Scar-face
      Oppose the Massacre——The Former Taunted with being a White
      Squaw——Being only a Representative Chief he Yields to the
      Majority——The Bloody Work Allotted to Each——Another Butchery
      Agreed upon——The Warning Repeated but Unheeded——Canby and Dr.
      Thomas are Determined to go——The Latter Seems Doubtful of the
      Result——The Farewell Letter——Tobey and Riddle Implore them not
      to go——Meacham Makes One More Effort to Save Life——He Pleads
      with Dr. Thomas and General Canby——A Sad Scene and a Terrible
      Resolution——The Derringer Pistol——Departure for the Scene of
      Slaughter                                                    462

                              CHAPTER XXX.

                      SMOTHERED BY BLOOD——RESCUED.

    The Scene near the Council Tent——Several Desperate Modocs
      Described——Preparing for the Carnival of Death——The Boy
      Murderers and their Weapons——Bogus and Boston Announce the
      Approach of the Commission——Why does Meacham Remove his
      Overcoat——The Modocs Suspiciously Cordial——Fighting a Battle
      with Pride——Appearance of the Commissioners——Hooker Jim’s
      Strange Movements——The Intruder Near the Council Tent——The
      Butchery for the Time Being Averted——Hooker-Jim’s Ominous
      Movements——He puts on Meacham’s Overcoat——“Me old man Meacham
      now”——This Act is instantly Interpreted——All are Conscious of
      their Impending Doom——Reflections During the Fleeting Moments——
      What will General Canby Say——Will he Accede to the Demand of
      the Modocs and thus Avert Death——Will he Take the Soldiers
      Away——He Breaks the Silence——Duty Dearer than Life——Death
      before Dishonor——Dr. Thomas’s Last Speech——What will Captain
      Jack do now——Will he Give the Signal——He Changes Places with
      Schonchin——The Manner of the Latter——The Attack Begins——
      General Canby the First to Fall——His Horrible Death——Dyer is
      Shot at by Hooker-Jim——He Makes his Escape——Riddle Pursued by
      Black Jim——The Latter Fires at Random——The Reason——The Bloody
      Work of Boston and Hooker-Jim——Dr. Thomas’s Tragic End——His
      Murderers Taunt him with his Religion——Why don’t he Turn the
      Bullets——Schonchin, his Dagger and his Pistol——Meacham
      Attacked by Schonchin——Slolux and Shack-Nasty Jim——The
      Struggle for Life——Tobey’s Efforts to save Him——The Dreadful
      Scene of the Tragedy——Boston as a Scalper——The Squaw Tobey——
      Her Strategy——Another Bloody Tragedy Planned but not Executed——
      Lethargy followed by Vigorous Action——Meacham Discovered——The
      Stretcher——Brandy——“No Time for Temperance Talk”——The Council
      Tent a Winding-sheet——Rewards to the Couriers——The
      Eighty-three Mile Race——The Gray and the Pinto——The Exultant
      Winner                                                       478

                             CHAPTER XXXI.


    Making Coffins in the Lava Bed——The Patient in the Hospital——A
      Broken Finger will not Disfigure a Corpse——The Commotion in
      the Modoc Camp——The Disputes——Common Interest a Strong Bond——
      The Great Medicine Dance——The Modocs Exultant——The Wife’s
      Suspense——The Dreadful News——Its Effect on Wife and Children——
      First Robbed by the Government, then its Defenders——Our
      Nation’s Perfidy——The Sorrowful Hearts at Home——Prayer and
      Praise in Camp——A Lesson for Bigots and Cowards to Learn——The
      Medicine Man in the Modoc Camp——He Fires the Modoc Heart——
      Capt. Jack Despondent——Long Jim——Novel Scene in the Soldier’s
      Camp——The Murder of the Commission to be Avenged——Long Jim
      Escapes——Much Powder Wasted——“Nary a Wound”                  508

                             CHAPTER XXXII.


    Preparations for Another Battle——Stretchers for the Wounded——
      Mattresses and Lint——The Wounded Man in the Hospital Expects
      Company——The Iowa Veteran——The Signal for Battle——It Begins——
      Re-echoing of Cannon——The Assault——No Response Yet——Volleys
      from the Concealed Foe——The Retreat——The Dead and Wounded——The
      PAT-riotic Sutler——The Walking Sage Brush——The Wounded Pony——
      Pat’s Head in Danger——The _Flat_ Assaulted——Lieut. Eagan
      Falls——The Two Stages——The Remains of the Lamented Dead——The
      Bereaved Widow and the Stricken Wife——The Wounded Warm Spring
      Indian——He Ridicules Modoc Powder——The Modocs out of Water——
      The Lady Passenger——Sympathy Extended——On Her Way to the Lava
      Beds——The Welcome Letter——Still Alive, but Handsome No Longer——
      The Battle for Water——The Fair-haired Boy——His Terrible
      Presentiment——Courage Triumphs——His Lost Messages to Friends——
      The Dread Reality——The Unexploded Shell does Execution——A
      Scalp Cut to Suit——The Indian Plays Squaw——He is Suspected and
      _Numerously_ Scalped——Military Bombast——Mourning for the Dead——
      Remains of Canby and Thomas——The Stricken Parent——The Wife’s
      Disappointment and Anguish——The Modocs Withdraw——The Soldiers
      Deceived——They Surround Vacant Caves                         522

                            CHAPTER XXXIII.


    Watching and Disappointment——Visit of Pia-noose to Meacham——Gen.
      Canby’s Remains in Portland, Oregon——Burial of Dr. Thomas——
      Burying a Leg——Col. Wright’s Opinion of the Modocs——Modocs in
      New Camp——Young Hovey’s Father Informed of his Death——Modocs
      Attack Gilliam’s Camp——“You can Play Dead, Old Man”——Scar-Face
      an Artillery Officer——The Gray-eyed Man——Proposition to Bury
      “The Old Man” Alive——Burial of Young Hovey——Extermination——
      Indian Sympathy with Capt. Jack——Warm Spring Messenger to
      Linkville——Another Disappointment for Mrs. Meacham——Twenty
      Chances in a hundred for Life——The Twenty Chances Win——Hope
      Dawns——Another Messenger Sent——Donald McKay in Camp——Reading
      News to Meacham——Fairchild’s Opinion of Oregon Press——Ferree’s
      Warning to Fairchild——His Reply——Gov. Grover Calls out
      Volunteers——Meacham’s Departure for Home——Storm on the Lake——
      Old Fields——A Sailor——Dr. Cabanis a Joker——Mrs. Meacham
      Watching the Boat——Her Thoughts——The Meeting——Ferree’s
      Introduction——Meacham on an Ambulance——Arrival at Linkville——
      Big-hearted Men——Soft Hand and a Whispered Prayer            543

                             CHAPTER XXXIV.


    Meacham at Ferree’s——Then and Now——Capt. Jack——Another Scene in
      the Hospital——Maybridge——Bunker Bildad——Modocs Impatient to be
      on the Warpath——Gen. Canby’s Remains in San Francisco——The
      Silver-haired Man in Iowa——The Warning against the Klamaths——
      Old Father Jones and Brother Congar——The Misunderstanding——
      Administering Saltpetre——Army Recruiting——Making Another
      Coffin——Meacham Again in Danger——Iowa Veteran Ready to Dose
      out Blue Pills——Location of Modocs——Reconnoissance Ordered——
      Defeat of Thomas and Wright——Scenes of the Slaughter——Warm
      Springs to the Rescue——Cranston’s Death——Thirty-four Modocs
      Fighting Eighty Soldiers——Peace Commissioners not in the Way——
      Lt. Harris’s Mother in Camp——Gen. Davis’s Report of the Fight——
      Modocs Leave the Lava Beds——Dry Lake Battle——Modocs said to be
      Whipped for Once——Treason of Hooker Jim to Bogus——Gen. Davis’s
      Summary of Succeeding Events                                 562

                             CHAPTER XXXV.

                           BUTCHERS OUTDONE.

    Vivid Account of the Surrender of the Modoc Chiefs——Butchery by
      “_Brave Civilized_” White Men——Oregon Laws——The White Butchers
      not Arrested——Men who have Political Influence——The Gallows——A
      Strange Sight to the Modocs——The Harmless Cannon——The Wails of
      Anguish——Legal Justice——The Most Bloody Hands Escape——The
      Courier’s Arrival——General Disappointment——A Summary of Scenes
      and Events                                                   582

                             CHAPTER XXXVI.

                     BAYONETS——WEAKNESS IN CHAINS.

    A Fort Turned into a Court-House——The Prisoners at the Bar——
      Those Glittering Bayonets——The Prisoners Arraigned——The Trial
      Begins——A. B. Meacham in Court——Have the Prisoners no
      Counsel?——Schonchin and Capt. Jack——They Extend their Hands to
      Meacham——He Repels Them——The Reason for it——Meacham Advised by
      his Physician not to Appear as Prisoner’s Counsel——The Trial
      Goes On——Indian Testimony——They Seek to Shift the
      Responsibility——Capt. Jack not Himself; “He cannot Talk with
      Irons On.”——Hooker-Jim’s Weak Defence——The Modoc’s Attorney
      Arrives Too Late——The Most Guilty Modocs Escape Punishment——
      The Mistake of the Judge Advocate——The Finding of the Court——
      The Death Sentence                                           607

                            CHAPTER XXXVII.


    Modocs in the Prison and Stockade——New Hanging-Machine——The
      Announcement of the Death Sentence——The Fallen Chief——His
      Speech——Boston Charley’s Speech——Schonchin’s——The Enraged
      Modocs——The Unfettered Traitors——Scar-faced Charley——A Solemn
      Scene and an Eloquent Prayer——A White Man in Tears over Red
      Men’s Sorrows——Once Proud, Now Humble——Thunder-bolt from a
      Clear Sky——Marble Tomb and Pearly Gate——Jumbled Theology——
      Whirling Tempest——Roaring Cannon——Lightning Flashing and
      Darkened Homes——Passing under the Cloud Alone——Anxious for a
      Good Seat——Six Graves——Boston has a Rare Privilege——Short
      Questions and Short Answers——More than Bogus could Stand——A
      Sheriff among Soldiers——State Rights——United States——A Big
      Offer for a Corpse——Under the Eye of Uncle Sam——The Prisoners
      Waiting for Marching Orders——The Command: “Come Forth”——Then
      and Now——Leaving Living Tombs for Permanent Homes——Solving the
      Problem of _Six_ Graves and _Four_ Coffins——In Sight of the
      Scaffold——Last in Crime——First to Mount the Ladder——The Chains
      Drop Off——Six Graves——Six Ropes——Six Prisoners——Four Coffins——
      Four Unfettered Convicts——Suspense Succeeds Certain Death——
      Last March——A Single Strand and a Gleaming Axe——On the Drop
      Waiting——Sitting on a Coffin Watching——Justice Making a
      Protest——Forty Millions of People Talking at Once——What They
      Say——The Problem Solved——Justice Surprised——The Last Prayer——
      The Drop——Calling the Modoc Roll——The Missing——Where They Are——
      Tragedy Ended                                                636

                            CHAPTER XXXVIII.

                            THE TWO GIBBETS.

    Mementoes of the Horrid Butchery——A Nation’s Justice towards the
      Strong, and its Tyranny over the Weak——Grant’s Humane Policy——
      On Whom should the Blame Fall——The Answer——Witnesses Summoned
      to Prove the White Man’s Perfidy——O. C. Applegate——His Record
      of Bloody Deeds——Hon. J. W. Nesmith——His Intimate Acquaintance
      with Indian Affairs——His Unequivocal Testimony——Dr. Wm. C.
      McKay’s Testimony——General Harney Bears Witness to the
      Indian’s Good Faith——The Indians Not the Aggressors in the
      Oregon War——Testimony of Hon. Geo. E. Cole——Mutual Fear
      resulting in Butchery——The Rogue River War——The Result——
      Another Unimpeachable Witness, Gen. Joel Palmer——His Terrible
      Arraignment of the Whites——Judge Steele——Ben Wright’s Plot to
      Poison the Indians——Colonel Whiting——Forty-nine Indians
      Butchered——A Tribute to Frontier Men——A Simple Remedy for the
      _Great Wrong_                                                663

                          WIGWAM AND WARPATH.

                               CHAPTER I.


“Oh, that mine enemy would write a book!” With that ominous warning
ringing in my ears, I sit down to write out my own observations and
experiences, not without full appreciation of the meaning and possible
reiteration of the above portentous saying. In so doing I shall endeavor
to state plain facts, in such a way, perhaps, that mine enemies will avail
themselves of the privilege.

Hoping, however, that I may disarm all malice, and meet with a fair and
impartial criticism, based on the principles of justice both to myself and
to the peoples of whom I write, I begin this book with the conviction that
the truths which I shall state, though told in homely phrase, will
nevertheless be well received by the reading public, and will accomplish
the purposes for which it is written; the first of which is to furnish
reliable information on the subject under consideration, with the hope
that when my readers shall have turned the last leaf of this volume they
may have a better understanding of the wrongs suffered and crimes
committed by the numerous tribes of Indians of the north-west.

Born on the free side of the Ohio river, of parents whose immediate
ancestors, though slave-holders, had left the South at the command of
conscientious convictions of the great wrong of human bondage, my earliest
recollections are of political discussions relating to the crime against
God and humanity; of _power_ compelling _weakness_ while groaning under
the oppression of wrongs to surrender its rights.

Coupled with the “great wrong” of which I have spoken, occasionally that
other wrong, twin to the first, was mentioned in my father’s family;
impressed upon my mind by stories I had heard of the treatment of Indians
who had in early days been neighbors to my parents, driven mile by mile
toward the setting sun, leaving a country billowed by the graves of their
victims mingled with bones of their own ancestors. What wonder, then,
that, while rambling through the beech woods of my native State, I should
speculate on the remnants of ruined homes which these people had left
behind them, and walk in awe over the battle-fields where they had
resisted the aggressive march of civilization?

While yet in childhood my parents migrated to what was then the “Far
West.” Our new home in Iowa was on the outskirts of civilization, our
nearest neighbors being a band of Sacs and Foxes,——“Saukees.” This was the
beginning of my personal acquaintance with Indians.

The stories that had kindled in my heart feelings of sympathy and
commiseration for them were forgotten for a time in the present living
history before my eyes.

I was one of a party who in 1844 assisted the Government in removing
Pow-e-shiek’s band from the Iowa river to their new home in the West. The
scenes around the Indian village on the morning of their departure were
photographed on my mind so plainly that now, after a lapse of thirty
years, they are still fresh in my memory, and the impressions made on me,
and resolves then made by me, have never been forgotten, notwithstanding
the terrible dangers through which I have since passed.

The _impression_ was, that _power_ and _might_ were compelling these
people to leave their homes against their wishes, and in violation of
justice and right. The resolution was, that, whenever and wherever I
could, I would do them justice, and contribute whatever of talent and
influence I might have to better their condition.

These impressions and resolutions have been my constant companions through
a stormy life of many years on the frontier of Iowa, California, and

The bloody tragedy in the Lava Beds, April, 1873, through which the
lamented Christian soldier, Gen. Canby, and the no less lamented eminent
preacher, Dr. Thomas, lost their lives, and by which I had passed so close
to the portals of eternity, has not changed my conviction of right, or my
determination to do justice to even those who so earnestly sought my life.
Narrow-minded, short-sighted men have said to me, more than once, “I
reckon you have suffered enough to cure all your fanatical notions of
humanity for these people!”

I pity the heart and intelligence of any man who measures principles of
justice and right by the gauge of personal suffering or personal
interest. It is unworthy of enlightened Christian manhood.

“By their works ye shall know them.” So may these people of whom I write
be adjudged in the lights of 1874; so shall this nation be adjudged; so
judge ye the author of this book.

The spring of 1845, Pow-e-shiek’s band of Sacs and Foxes were removed from
their home on Iowa river, twenty-five miles above Iowa City, Iowa, to
Skunk river, one hundred miles west. Eighteen or twenty teams were hired
by the Government to convey the household goods and supplies.

Among the number who furnished teams, my father was one, and I went as
captain of the ox-team. The Indians were assembled at the “Trading Post”
preparatory to starting. While the wagons were being loaded, some of them
were gathering up their horses and packing their goods, ready for
shipment; others were making the air vocal with wails of grief over the
graves of their friends, or from sadness, consequent on leaving the scenes
of a life-time.

I wonder not that they should reluctantly yield to inexorable fate, which
compelled them to leave their beautiful valley of the Iowa. “_The white
man wanted it_,” and they must retreat before the onward march of empire,
notwithstanding their nationality and their ownership of the country had
been acknowledged by the Government, when it went into treaty-council with
them for the lands they held. This was not on the plea of “eminent
domain,” but on account of the clamor for more room for the expanding
energies of a growing population.

“The white man wanted it,” tells the story, as it has been repeated, time
after time, since the founding of the Colonies in America.

I do not know that, in this instance, any advantage was taken of these
Indians, except that advantage which the powerful always have over the
weak. But I do know that if they had been allowed a choice, they never
would have consented to leave the graves of their fathers. ’Twas easy to
say, “It was a fair transaction of selling and buying.”

So is it a business transaction when a man buys the lots adjoining your
own, and builds high walls on three sides, erects powder magazines and
glycerine manufactories, corrupts city councils, and, by means of extra
privileges and excessive taxation, compels you to sell your valuable
property for a mere song, by saying, “Take my price for your property, or
run the risk of being blown up.”

Is it a fair “business transaction,” after he has thus forced the trade?

What though he does faithfully pay the contract-price? Does it atone for
the first moral wrong, in legally forcing the sale? And how much more
aggravated the injury becomes, when, through his agents, or his sons, he
“legitimately,” under various pretences, permits the unfortunate seller to
be robbed, by paying him off in “chips and whetstones,” that he does not
desire nor need, so that in the end he is practically defrauded out of his
property, and finds himself at the last payment, homeless and penniless.

All done, however, under the sanction of law, and in the shade of
church-steeples, and with sanctimonious semblance of honesty and justice.

The picture is not overdrawn. The illustration is fair, or, if deficient
at all, it has bean in excess of advantage to the principal, not the
victim. The latter has accepted the situation and suffered the

To return to Pow-e-shiek’s band leaving their home. Who shall ever recount
the sorrows and anguish of those people, while they formed in line of
march, and turned their eyes for the last time upon the scenes that had
been all the world to them? What mattered it though they realized all the
pangs their natures were capable of, in those parting hours, with the
uncomfortable promises that the ploughshare of civilization would level
down the graves of their fathers, before their retreating footprints had
been obliterated from the trail which led them sadly away? They were
“Injins;” and they ought to have been in better luck than _being_

Such was the speech of a white man in whose hearing I had said some word
of sympathy on the occasion. I did not like the unfeeling wretch then, and
have not much respect for him, or for the class he represents. Now I may
have charity and pity, too, for all such. Charity for the poverty of a
soul so devoid of the finer sensibilities of “common humanity that make
mankind akin;” pity for a heart overflowing with selfishness, made
manifest in thoughtless or spiteful speech.

The trying hour in the lives of these Indian people had come, and the long
cavalcade moved out along the line of westward march, wagons loaded with
corn and other supplies. The old men of the tribe, with darkened brows and
silent tongue, sat on their horses; the younger ones, with _seeming_
indifference, in red blankets, feathers, and gaudy paints, moving off on
prancing ponies, in little squads, to join the funeral pageant; for so it
was. They were leaving the cherished scenes of childhood to hunt for
sepulchres in the farther West.

The women, young and old, the drudges of the Indian household, as well as
homes, where the sunlight of civilization _should_ warm the hearts of men,
and move them to truer justice, were gathered up, and preparing their
goods for transportation, while bitter tears were flowing and loud
lamentations gave evidence of the grief that would not be repressed, and
each in turn, as preparations were complete, would lift the
pappoose-basket with its young soul to altitudes of mother’s back or
horse’s saddle, and then, with trembling limbs, climb to their seats and
join the sad procession, adding what of woful wailing seemed necessary to
make the whole complete with sights and sound that would bid defiance to
painter’s skill or poet’s words, though, in the memory of those who beheld
it, it may live as long as the throbs of sympathy which it kindled shall
repeat themselves in hearts that feel for human sorrow.

The first day’s journey measured but four miles; the next, six; and at
most never exceeded ten or twelve. I did not understand, then, why we went
so slow. It may have been necessary to “kill time,” in order to use up the
appropriation for the removal. When “camp” was reached, each day the
wagons were “corralled;” that is to say, were drawn together in a circle,
one behind another, and so close that when the teams were detached, the
“pole” laid upon the hind wheel of the next forward wagon would close up
the gap, and thus complete the “corral,” which was to answer the double
purpose of “penning the oxen when being yoked up,” and also as an
extempore fort in case of attack by the Sioux Indians.

The wick-e-ups——Indian tents——were scattered promiscuously around, as each
family might elect. After dinner was over the remainder of Uncle Sam’s
time was spent in various ways: horse-racing, foot-racing, card-playing,
shooting-matches by the men, white and red, while the women were doing
camp-work, cooking, getting wood, building lodges, etc.; for be it
understood, an old-style Indian never does such work any more than his
white brother would rock the cradle, or operate a laundry for his wife.
The old men would take turns standing guard, or rather sitting guard. At
all events they generally went out to the higher hills, and, taking a
commanding position, would sit down all solitary and alone, and with
blanket drawn around their shoulders and over their heads, leaving only
enough room for vision and the escape of smoke from their pipes.

In solemn silence, scanning the surroundings, hour after hour thus wore
away. There was something in this scene suggesting serious contemplation
to a looker-on, and I doubt not the reveries of the lone watchman savored
strongly of sadness and sorrow, _may be_ revenge.


Approaching one old fellow I sought to penetrate his mind, and was
rewarded by a pantomimic exhibition, more tangible than “Black Crook” ever
witnessed from behind the curtains, while recuperating his wasted
energies that he might the more seemingly “play the devil.”

Rising to his feet and releasing one naked arm from his blanket, he
pointed toward the east, and with extended fingers and uprising, coming
gesture quickly brought his hand to his heart, dropping his head, as if
some messenger of despair had made a sudden call. He paused a moment, and
then from his heart his hand went out in circling, gathering motion, until
he had made the silent speech so vivid that I could see the coming throng
of white settlers and the assembling of his tribe; and then, turning his
face away with a majestic wave of his hand, I saw his sorrow-stricken
people driven out to an unknown home; while he, sitting down again and
drawing his blanket around him, refused me further audience. Perhaps he
realized that he had told the whole story, and therefore need say no more.

Often at evening we would gather around some grassy knoll, or, it may be,
some wagon-tongue, and white and red men mingled together. We would sit
down and smoke, and tell stories and recount traditions of the past.
Oftenest from Indian lips came the history of wars and dances, of scalps
taken and prisoners tortured.

At the time of which I write the “Saukies” were at variance with the
“hated Sioux,” and, indeed, the latter had been successful in a raid among
the herds of the former, and had likewise carried away captives. Hence the
sentinels on the outpost at evening.

Just at dusk one night, when the theme had been the “Sioux,” and our
thoughts were in that channel, suddenly the whole camp was in a blaze of
flashing muskets. We beat a hasty retreat to our wagons——which were our
only fortifications——with mingled feelings of fear and hope; fear of the
much-dreaded Sioux, and hope that we might witness a fight.

My recollection now is that _fear_ had more to do with our gymnastic
exercises round about the wagon-wheels than _hope_ had to do with getting
a position for observation. But both were short-lived, for soon our
red-skinned friends were laughing loud at our fright, and we, the victims,
joined in to make believe we were not scared by the unceremonious flight
of a flock of belated wild geese, inviting fire from the warriors of our
camp; for so it was and nothing more. Still it was enough to make
peace-loving, weak nerves shake, and heated brain to dream for weeks after
of Sioux and of Indians generally. I speak for myself, but tell the truth
of all our camp, I think.

The destination of our chief, Pow-e-shiek, and his band was temporarily
with “Kisk-ke-kosh,” of the same tribe, whose bands were on Desmoines
river. There is among all Indians, of whom I have any knowledge, a custom
in vogue of going out to meet friends, or important personages, to assure
welcome, and, perhaps, gratify curiosity.

When we were within a day or two of the end of our journey, a delegation
from Kisk-ke-kosh’s camp came out to meet our party, and, while the
greeting we received was not demonstrative in words, the younger people of
both bands had adorned themselves with paint, beads, and feathers, and
were each of them doing their utmost to fascinate the other. The scene
presented was not only fantastic, but as civilized, people would exclaim,
“most gay and gorgeous,” and exhilarating even to a looker-on.

At night they gathered in groups, and made Cupid glad with the battles
lost and won by his disciples. Then they danced, or, to ears polite,
“hopped,” or tripped the light fantastic moccasin trimmed with beads, to
music, primitive, ’tis true, but music made with Indian drums and rattling
gourds. They went not in waltz, but circling round and round, and always
round, as genteel people do, but round and round in single row, the
circling ends of which would meet at any particular point, or all points,
whenever the ring was complete, without reference to sets or partners, and
joining in the hi-yi-yi-eia-ye-o-hi-ye-yi; and when tired sit down on the
ground until rested, and then, without coaxing or renewed invitation,
joining in, wherever fancy or convenience suited; for these round dances
never break up at the unwelcome sound of the violin,——not, indeed, until
the dancers are all satisfied.

The toilets were somewhat expensive, at least the “outfit” of each maiden
cost her tribe several acres of land,——sometimes, if of fine figure,
several _hundred_ acres,——and not because of the long trails or expensive
laces, for they do not need extensive skirts in which to dance, or laces,
either, to enhance their charms; for the young gentlemen for whom they
dressed were not envious of dry goods or fine enamel, but rather of the
quality of paint on the cheeks of laughing girls; for girls will paint,
you know, and those of whom I write put it on so thick that their beaux
never have cause to say, “That’s too thin.”

The boys themselves paint in real genuine paint, not moustaches alone,
but eye-brows, checks, and hair. They wore feathers, too, because they
thought that feathers were good things to have at a round dance; and they
followed nature, and relieved the dusky maidens of seeming violation of
nature’s plain intention.

As I shall treat under the head of amusement the dances of Indians more at
length, I only remark, in this connection, that the dance on this
occasion, while it was a real “round dance,” differed somewhat from round
dances of more high-toned people in several ways, and I am not sure it was
not without advantage in point of accommodation to the finer feelings of
discreet mammas, or envious “wall-flowers.” At all events, as I have said
on former pages, the whole set formed in one circle, with close rank,
facing always to the front, and enlarged as the number of the dancers
grew, or contracted as they retired; but each one going forward and
keeping time with feet and hands to the music, which was low and slow at
first, with short step, increasing the music and the motion as they became
excited, until the air grew tremulous with the sounds, rising higher and
wilder, more and more exciting, until the lookers-on would catch the
inspiration and join the festive ring; even old men, who at first had felt
they could not spare dignity or muscle either, would lay aside their
blankets until they had lived over again the fiery scenes of younger days,
by rushing into the magnetic cordon, and, with recalled youth, forget all
else, save the soul-storming fury of the hour, sweetened with the charm of
exultant joy, over age and passing years.

And thus the dance went on, until at last by degrees the dancers had
reached an altitude of happiness which burst forth in simultaneous shout
of music’s eloquence, complete by higher notes of human voice drawn out to
fullest length.

The dance was over, and the people went away in groups of twos and threes.
The maidens, skipping home to the paternal lodge without lingering over
swinging gates, or waiting for answering maids to ringing bells, crept
softly in, not waking their mammas up to take off for them their
lengthened trails, but perhaps with wildly beating hearts from the dance
to dream-land.

The young braves gathered their scarlet blankets around them, and in
couples or threes, laughing as boys will do at silly jest of awkward maid
or swain, went where “tired Nature’s sweet restorer” would keep promise
and let them live over again the enchanting scenes of the evening, and
thus with _negative_ and photograph would _feel_ the picture of youth
their own.

The older men, whose folly had led them to display contempt for age, went
boldly home to lodge where the tired squaws had long since yielded to
exhausted nature, and were oblivious to the frolics of their _liege

Mrs. Squaw had no rights that a brave was bound to respect. It was _her_
business to carry wood, build lodges, saddle his horse, and lash the
pappoose in the basket, and do all other drudgery. It was _his_ to wear
the gayest blanket, the vermilion paint, and eagle-feathers, and ride the
best horses, have a good time generally, and whip his squaws when drunk
or angry; and it was nobody’s business to question _him_. He was a _man_.

Now, if my reader has failed to see the picture I have drawn of Indian
dances, I promise you that, before our journey is ended, I will try again
a similar scene, where the music of tall pine-trees and tumbling torrents
from hoary mountains will give my pencil brighter hues and my hand a
steadier, finer touch.

The arrival of our train at the camp of Kisk-ke-kosh called out whatever
of finery had not been on exhibition with the welcoming party who had come
out to meet us. And when the sun had gone down behind the Iowa prairies
the dances were repeated on a larger scale.

The following day we were paid off and signed the vouchers. Don’t know
that it was intended; don’t know that it was not; but I do remember that
we were allowed the same number of days in which to return that we had
occupied in going out, although on our homeward journey we passed each day
two or three camps made on the outward journey. I ventured to make some
remark on the subject, suggesting the injustice of taking pay for more
time than was required for us to reach home, and a nice kind of a
churchman, one who could drive oxen without swearing, said in reply, “Boys
should be seen and not heard, you little fool!”

He snubbed me then, but I never forgot the deep, earnest resolve I made to
thrash him for this insult when “_I got to be a man._” But, poor fellow,
he went years ago where boys _may_ be heard as well as seen, and I forgive

We met the rushing crowds who were going to the “New Purchase”; so eager,
indeed, that, like greedy vultures which circle round a dying charger and
then alight upon some eminence near, or poise themselves in mid air,
impatient for his death, sometimes swoop down upon him before his heart
has ceased to beat.

So had these emigrants encamped along the frontier-line, impatient for the
hour when the red man should pull down his wigwam, put out his
council-fires, collect his squaws, his pappooses, and his ponies, and turn
his back upon the civilization they were bringing to take the place of
these untamed and savage ceremonies. While the council-fire was dying out,
another was being kindled whose ruddy light was to illuminate the faces,
and warm the hands of those who, following the westward star of empire,
had come to inherit the land, and build altars wherefrom should go up
thanks to Him who smiled when he created the “beautiful valley” of the

How changed the scene! Then the gray smoke from Indian lodge rose slowly
up and floated leisurely away. Now from furnace-blast it bursts out in
volume black, and settles down over foundry and farm, city and town,
unless, indeed, the Great Spirit sends fierce tempests, as an omen of his
wrath, at the sacrilege done to the red man’s home.

_Then_ the forest stood entire, like harp-strings whereon the Great Spirit
might utter tones to soothe their stormy souls, or rouse them to deeds in
vindication of rights he had bequeathed.

_Now_ they live only in part, the other part decaying, while groaning
under the pressure of the iron heel of power.

Bearing no part in sweet sounds, unless indeed it be sweet to hear the
iron horse, with curling breath, proclaiming the advance of legions that
worship daily at Mammon’s shrine, or bearing forward still further
westward the enterprising men and women who are to work for other lands a
transformation great as they have wrought for this.

Then on the bosom of the river the red man’s children might play in light
canoe, or sportive dive, to catch the mimic stars that seemed to live
beneath its flow, to light the homes of finny tribes who peopled then its
crystal chambers.

_Now_, it is turgid and slow, and pent with obstructions to make it flow
in channels where its power is wanted to complete the wreck of forests
that once had made it cool, fit beverage for nature’s children, or is
muddied with the noisy wheels of commerce, struggling to rob the once
happy home of Pow-e-shiek, of the charms and richness of soil that
nature’s God had given.

The prairies, too, at that time, were like a shoreless sea when, half in
anger, the winds resist the ebb or flow of its tides; or they may be
likened to the clouds, which seem to be mirrored on their waving surface,
sporting in the summer air, or, at the command of the Great Spirit, hurry
to join some gathering tempest, where He speaks in tones of thunder, as if
to rebuke the people for their crimes.

Where once the wild deer roamed at will is enlivened now by the welcome
call of lowing herds of tamer kind.

The waving grass, and fragrant flowers, too, gave way to blooming maize of
finer mould.

The old trails have been buried like the feet that made them, beneath the
upturned sod.

And now, while I am writing, this lovely valley rings out a chant of
praise to God, for his beneficence, instead of the weird wild song of
Pow-e-shiek and his people at their return from crusades against their

Who shall say the change that time and civilization have wrought, have not
brought nearer the hour, “When man, no more an abject thing, shall from
the sleep of ages spring,” and be what God designed him, “pure and free?”

No one, however deeply he may have drank from the fount of justice and
right, can fail to see, in the transformation wrought on this fair land,
the hand of Him whose finger points out the destiny of his peculiar
people, and yearly gives token of his approbation, by the return of
seasons, bringing rich reward to the hands of those whom he has called to
perform the wonders of which I write, in compensation for the hardships
they endured, while the transit was being made from the perfection of
untamed life to the higher state of civilization.

While we praise Him who overrules all, we cannot fail to honor His

The brave pioneers, leaving old homes in other lands to find new ones in
this, have made sacrifices of kindred, family ties, and early
associations, at the behest of some stern necessity (it may be growing out
of bankruptcy of business, though not of pride and honor, or manly
character), or ambition to be peers among their fellows.

Or, mayhap, the change was made by promptings of parental love for
children whose prospects in life might be made better thereby, and the
family unity still preserved by locating lands in close proximity, where
from his home the father might by some well-known signal call his children
all around him. Where the faithful watch-dog’s warning was echoed in every
yard, and thus gave information of passing events worthy of his attention
enacting in the neighborhood. Where the smoke from cabin chimneys high
arose, mingled in mid air, and died away in peaceful brotherhood. Where
the blended prayer of parent and child might go up in joint procession
from the school-house-churches through the shining trees that answered
well for steeples then, or passing through clouds to Him who had made so
many little groves, where homes might be made and prepared the most
beautiful spots on earth for final resting-place, where each, as the
journey of life should be over, might be laid away by kindred hands, far
from the hurrying, noisy crowds, who rush madly along, or stop only to
envy the dead the ground they occupy, and speculate how much filthy lucre
each sepulchre is worth.

Others went to the new country with downy cheeks of youth, and others
still with full-grown beards, who were fired with high ambition to make
name, fame, home, and fortune, carrying underneath their sombre hats
bright ideas and wonderful possibilities, with hearts full of manly
purposes, beating quickly at the mention of mother’s name or father’s
pride, sister’s prayer or brother’s love.

And with all these to buoy them up, would build homes on gentle slope, or
in shady grove, and thus become by slow degrees “one among us.”

I was with the first who went to this new country, and I know whereof I
write. I know more than I have told, or will tell, lest by accident I
betray the petty jealousies that cropped out; when Yankee-boys, forgetting
the girls they left behind them, would pay more attention to our western
girls than was agreeable to “us boys.”

Others there were who had followed the retreating footsteps of the
Indians. These were connecting links between two kinds of life, savage and
civilized. Good enough people in their way, but they could not bear the
hum of machinery, or the glitter of church-spires, because the first drove
back the wild game, and the devotees who worshipped beneath the second,
forbade the exercise of careless and wicked noises mingling with songs of

A few, perhaps, had fled from other States to avoid the consequences of
technical legal constructions which would sadly interfere with their
unpuritanical ways. But these were not numerous. The early settlers, taken
all in all, possessed many virtues and qualifications that entitled them
to the honor which worthy actions and noble deeds guarantee to those who
do them. They had come from widely different birth-lands, and brought with
them habits that had made up their lives; and though each may have felt
sure their own was the better way, they soon learned that honest people
may differ and still be honest. And to govern themselves accordingly, each
yielded, without sacrifice of principle, their hereditary whims and
peculiar ways, and left the weightier matters of orthodoxy or heterodoxy
to be argued by those who had nothing better with which to occupy their
time than to muddle their own and other people’s brains with abstruse

The “early settlers” were eminently practical, and withal successful in
moulding out of the heterogeneous mass of whims and prejudices a common
public sentiment, acceptable to all, or nearly so. And thus, they grew,
not only in numbers but in wealth, power, intelligence, and patriotism,
until to-day there may be found on the once happy home of Pow-e-shiek a
people rivalling those of any other State, surpassing many of them in that
greatest and noblest of all virtues, “love for your neighbor.”

No people in all this grand republic furnished truer or braver men for the
holocaust of blood required to reconsecrate the soil of America to freedom
and justice, than those whose homes are built on the ruins of
Pow-e-shiek’s early hunting-grounds. Proud as the record may be, it shall
yet glow with names written by an almost supernal fire, that warms into
life the immortal thought of poets, and the burning eloquence of orators.

We are proud of the record of the past, and cherish bright hopes of the
future. But with all our patriotic exultations, memory of Pow-e-shiek’s
sacrifices comes up to mingle sadness with our joy. Sadness, not the
offspring of reproach of conscience for unfair treatment to him or his
people by those who came after he had gone at the invitation of the
Government, but sadness because he and his people could not enjoy what
other races always have, the privilege of a higher civilization; sadness,
because, while our gates are thrown wide open and over them is written in
almost every tongue known among nations, “Come share our country and our
government with us,” it was closed behind him and his race, and over those
words painted, in characters which he understood, “Begone!”

                              CHAPTER II.

                       OVERLAND: BLOOD FOR BLOOD.

In 1846 Pow-e-shiek came with his band to visit his old home. We were
“early settlers” then, and had built our cabins on the sloping sides of a
bluff overlooking the valley below. From this outpost we descried the
bands of piebald ponies and then the curling smoke, and next the poles of
his wick-e-ups (houses); and soon we saw Pow-e-shiek coming to make known
his wish that he might be permitted to pasture his stock on the fields
which we had already robbed of corn. The recognition in me of one who had
assisted in removing his people seemed to surprise and please him, and for
a moment his eye lit up as if some fond reality of the past had revived
the friendship that had grown out of my sympathy for him in his dark hour
of departure from his home. And when I said, “This is my father, and my
mother, these my sisters and my brothers, and this place is our home,” he
gave to the welcoming hands a friendly grasp in evidence of his good
intentions, and then assured us that no trouble on his part should grow
out of his coming, and that, if his young men should do any dishonest
acts, he would punish them; that he had come back to spend the winter once
again near his haunts of olden times, perhaps to kill the deer that he
thought white men did not care about since they had so many cattle and
swine. We accepted his assurance, and believed him to be just what he
pretended,——a quiet, honest old chief, who would do as he agreed, nor seek
excuse for not doing so.

The dinner hour had passed, but such as we had my mother set before him,
and he did not fail to do full justice to everything upon the table. He
made sure that his pappooses should complete what he began by making a
clean sweep into one corner of his blanket to bear it to his lodge. After
dinner he drew out his pipe, and filling it with Kin-ni-ki-nick (tobacco),
and lighting it with a coal of fire, he first sought to propitiate the
Great Spirit by offering up to him the first puff of smoke; next the
devil, by blowing the smoke downward, and saved the third for himself; and
after that he offered to the fourth person in his calendar, my father, the
privilege of expressing his approval. But, as he was not a smoker himself,
he passed the pipe to his oldest son, intimating his desire that he should
be represented by proxy. I, willing to do his bidding, in friendship for
our guest, _it may be_, or perhaps from other personal motives, soon
reduced the Kin-ni-ki-nick to ashes and handed back the empty pipe to
Pow-e-shiek. I knew not that I had transgressed the rules of politeness
until afterwards, when I offered a pipe to our strange-mannered guest, he,
with dignity, drew a puff or two and then passed it back, with an
expression of countenance which declared unmistakably that it was meant
for reproof.

If I felt resentment for a moment that a savage should presume to teach me
manners, I do not feel that I was the only one who might be greatly
benefited by taking lessons of unsophisticated men and women of other
than white blood; not alone in simple politeness, but also in regard to
right and justice, whose flags of truce are never raised _ostensibly_ to
insure protection, but _really_ to intimidate the weak and defenceless,
who dared to stand up for the God-given rights to home and country.

Pow-e-shiek made preparations to return to his lodge, and we, boy-like,
followed him out of the cabin door, and while he was saying good-by he
espied a fine large dog that we had, named Van, though the name did not
indicate our politics. Pow-e-shiek proposed to trade a pony for “old Van,”
and we were pleased at first, because we thought the pony would do to ride
after the “breaking team” of dewy mornings in the spring. But when we
learned that “Van” was wanted by the chief to furnish the most substantial
part of a feast for his people, we demurred. “Old Van,” too, seemed to
understand the base use to which he was to be put, and reproached us with
sullen side-looks; and the trade was abandoned, and would have been
forgotten only that Van was ever afterward maddened at the sight of
Pow-e-shiek or any of his race.

The winter passed, and our red neighbors had kept their promise, for
although neither the granary nor any other building was ever locked,
nothing had been missed, and our mutual regard seemed stronger than when
the acquaintance was renewed. When spring had fully come, Pow-e-shiek,
punctual to his promise, broke up his camp and went away.

[Illustration: BULL-DOG TRADE.]

Occasionally, for years afterwards, his people came back to visit; but _he
no more_.

Years have passed, and he has joined the great throng in the happy

When the gold fever was at its height, in 1850, in company with others I
journeyed overland to the new Eldorado. While en route, we heard much of
Indians, of their butcheries and cruelties; I think there was good
foundation for the stories. Indeed, we saw so many evidences of their
handiwork, in new-made graves and abandoned wagons demolished, that there
could be no reasonable doubt of their savage treatment of those who came
within their power.

While _I do not now, never have, and never will attempt to justify their
butcheries, yet it is but fair that both sides of the story be told_.

When our party was at “Independence Rock,” in 1850, and no Indians had
disturbed the passing travellers, near where we were then, we “laid over”
a day, and within the time a man came into camp and boasted that he had
“knocked over a _buck_ at a distance of a hundred yards,” and when the
query was made as to the whereabouts of his game he produced a _bloody
scalp_. He gave as an excuse that the Indians had frightened an antelope
he was trying to kill, and that he shot the Indian while the latter was
endeavoring to get away. Is it unreasonable to suppose that the friends of
the murdered Indian, when he came not to the lodge at nightfall, would
hunt him up, and that, when his brother or friend saw his scalpless head,
he should avow to avenge his death?

Doubtless he did avenge both himself and his tribe, and he may have slain
many innocent persons in retaliation for this foul deed.

As to the cause of the Indian troubles on the Humbolt river, during the
summer of 1850, I know nothing. Probably they originated in some lawless
act similar to the one above described. In September following I loaned a
rifle to a miner who was going out on a prospecting tour. On his return he
proposed to buy it, saying that “it was a good one, he knew, because he
tried it on an Indian, shooting from one bluff to another; and,” said this
civilized white man, “I dropped him into the river, and he went where all
good Injuns go.”

Later in the season two friendly Indians came into the town of “Bidwell’s
Bar,” and, although no evidence was produced against them, they were
arrested on “general principles,” it was said; and while threats were made
of hanging them on “general principles” too, _better_ counsels prevailed,
and they were placed in charge of a guard, who were to convey them to
“Long’s Bar,” and turn them over to the sheriff to be held for trial.

_The guard returned in a short time, and reported that the prisoners had
“slipped down a bank and were drowned.”_ It was, however, understood that
they were killed by the guard “to save expense.” Following this accident
several white men were murdered by Indians, it was said, although the
murdered men, it was evident, had met death through _other instrumentality
than bows and arrows_.

A company was raised to go out and punish the offenders. On their return
they reported grand success in finding Indian rancheros, and in the
wholesale butchery they had committed. Do you wonder that twenty or thirty
white men were _riddled with arrows within a short time, after such manly
conduct, by the brave butchers of Indian women and children_?

I have not at hand the data from which to mention in detail the various
Indian wars that harassed the miners of California. Suffice it that they
were of frequent occurrence, and, indeed, continued until the mountain
bands of Indians were broken up. If the truth could be heard from the lips
of both the living and the dead, we should hear many things _unpleasant to
the ears of white men_ as well as Indians, and, perhaps, discreditable to
both. I doubt not such revelation would support the declaration I here
make,——that _bad white men_ have always been the instigators of the bloody
deeds through which so many innocent persons have passed on to the other

The proofs are not wanting in almost every instance in support of this
statement. That the Indian is vindictive, is true; that he is brave,
cunning, and inhuman to his enemies is also true; but that he is faithful
to his compacts, whenever fairly dealt with, is _not less true_.

                              CHAPTER III.

                          INDIANS AND MINERS.

                                    WALLA-WALLA, WASHINGTON TERRITORY,

                                                   February 4th, 1863.

  DEAR BROTHER (_Suisun City, Cal._):——

I have found a good country and more business than I can manage alone;
come and help me. Better leave your family until you can see for yourself.
You may not like it, though I do. Money is plenty, everything new, and
prices keyed up to old “forty-nine” times.

                                                    Your brother,

                                                    H. J. MEACHAM.

                               ON TOP OF BLUE MOUNTAIN, March 6, 1863.

  MY DEAR WIFE (_Suisun, Cal._):——

“Eureka.” Come; I am camping in four feet of snow, and cooking meals in a
frying-pan, and charging a dollar; selling “slap jacks” two bits each;
oats and barley at twelve cents, and hay at ten cents per pound, and other
things at same kind of prices; can’t supply the demand. Go to William
Booth, San Francisco, and tell him to ship you and the children with the
goods, to Walla-Walla, Washington Territory, via Portland, Oregon, care
Wells, Fargo & Co.’s Express.

                                                    A. B. MEACHAM.

These two letters are copied here, to carry the reader and the writer over
a period of twelve years, leaving behind whatever may have transpired of
interest to the work now in hand, to be taken up on some other page, in
proper connection with kindred subjects of later date.

Lee’s Encampment is located near the summit of the Blue Mountains in
Oregon, on the great highway leading from the Columbia river to the rich
gold fields of Idaho and Eastern Oregon. It is fifty miles south of
Walla-Walla, and is also one of the out-boundaries of the Umatilla Indian
Reservation, occupied by the Walla-Walla, Cayuse and Umatilla Indians.

The roads leading out from the several starting-points on the Columbia
river, to the mines above-mentioned, converge on the Reservation, and,
climbing the mountain’s brow, on the old “Emigrant trail,” cross over to
Grand Round valley.

During the spring of 1863, the great tide of miners that flowed inland, to
reach the new gold fields, necessarily passed through the Reservation, and
thence via Lee’s Encampment. This circumstance of location gave abundant
opportunity for observation by the writer. Of those who sought fortunes in
the mines, I might write many chapters descriptive of the motley crowds of
every shade of color and of character, forming episodes and thrilling
adventures. But my purpose in this work would not be subserved by doing
so, except such as have bearing on the subject-matter under consideration.

Of the thousands who landed at Umatilla City and Walla-Walla, en route to
the “upper country,” few brought means of transportation overland. There
were no stages, no railroads; and what though Haley & Ish, Stephen Taylor,
and many others, advertised “saddle trains to leave for the mines every
day of the week, at reasonable rates,” which were, say, sixty dollars, on
ponies that cost perhaps forty dollars; yet there were hundreds that could
not get tickets even at those rates. The few who engaged _reserved seats_
were started off on saddle-horses of various grades, under the charge of a
“conductor,” whose principal duty was, not to collect fares, but to herd
the kitchen mules,——every train had with it one or more animals on whose
back the supplies and blankets were carried,——and indicate the camping
places by pulling the ropes that loosed the aforesaid kitchens and
blankets, when, like other trains, at the pull of the rope, the whole
would stop, and not be startled into unnecessary haste by “twenty minutes
for dinner” sounded in their ears. One or more nights the camp would be on
the Reservation, thus bringing travellers and Indians in contact.

I have said that many could not get places, even on the backs of mules, or
Cayuse ponies. Such were compelled to take “Walkers’ line,” go on foot and
carry blankets and “grub” on their backs. The second night out would find
them also on the Reservation, and those who had the wherewith, purchased
horses of the Indians; some, perhaps, without consulting the owners. Not
stealing them! No. A white man would not do so mean a thing; but ropes are
suspicious things when found in the pack of one of “Walker’s” passengers,
and if a pony was fool enough to run his head into a noose, the handiest
way to get clear of him was to exchange with some other man of similar
misfortune, and then it was not stealing in the eyes of honest white men.

If the Indian missed his property, and, hunting along the line, found him
under a white man, you might suppose he could recover his horse. Not so,
my lord! Not so. The white man had proof that he had bought him of some
other man, may be an Indian. Such was sometimes the case, for I do not
believe that all men are honest, white or red; and these red men were not
behind the white in sharp practice; and it is safe to say, that those of
whom I am writing now were peers of those who sought to outwit, them.

The horses of saddle trains would sometimes “stray away,”——often those of
freighters,——and, since time was money, and strangers might not understand
the “range,” the Indians were employed to hunt for the straying animals,
and paid liberally if they succeeded; and thus it _made the stock of other
trains restless_, _and often they_ would run away——and so the business
increased, and the Indians grew wealthier, notwithstanding their own
sometimes followed off a rope in the hands of white men.

The road, along which this stream of miners poured, left the valley of
Umatilla on the Reservation, leading up the mountains. Near the foot of
the hill, but with a deep ravine or gulch intervening, and on another
hill,——part really of the valley, though sloping toward the former,——was
The “Trading Post,”——Indian’s sutler store. ’Twas here that saddle trains
and “Walker’s line,” halted for the night, or “to noon” and rest, after
travelling a fourteen-mile “stretch.”

The “Walker” passengers were already worn out, with heavy packs of picks
and pans, bottles and blankets. The situation of the post, with reference
to the mountain, was to an observer like standing on the sloping roof of
one house and measuring the “pitch” of the one adjoining, making it seem
much steeper than it really is. So with this mountain. True, it required a
broad upward sweep of vision to take in the height. On the first bench,
one mile above, the trains and men seemed to be transformed into dogs and
boys. On the second bench, two miles up, they looked still smaller. On the
third, three miles up, they very closely resembled Punch and Judy driving
a team of poodles. The Indians found here a market for their horses, and
sometimes did a livery business, in Indian style.

A stalwart son of Erin, standing against the wall of the store to “rest
his pack,” after looking at the trail leading up the mountain, said to the
merchant doing business there, “I say, misther, is it up that hill we go?”
Hearing an affirmative answer, he looked again at each bench, his brow
growing darker the higher his eye went; at length he gave vent to his
estimate of the undertaking by saying, “By the howly St. Patrick, if me
own mother was here in the shape of a mule, I’d ride her up that hill,
sure! I say, Misther Injun, wouldn’t you sell us a bit of a pony for to
carry our blankets an’ things over the mountain with?”

The Indian had been in business long enough to understand that, and
replied, “Now-wit-ka mi-ka pot-luetch. Chic-a, mon, ni-ka is-cum,
cu-i-tan!”——“Och! Mister Injun, don’t be makin’ fun of a fellow,
now, will ye? It’s very sore me feet is, a-carrying me pick and
pan and cooking-traps. Why don’t you talk like a dacent American
gentleman?”——“Wake-ic-ta-cum-tux,” said Tip-tip-a-noor, the Indian. “Don’t
be playin’ your dirty tongue on me now, or I’ll spoil your beautiful face
so I will.”

Drawing his arms out of the straps that had kept the pack in position on
his shoulders, and lowering it “aisy,” to save the bottle, he began to
make demonstrations of hostile character, when Mr. Flippin, the
post-trader, explained that Tip-tip-a-noos had replied to his first
request, “Yes, you show the money, and I will furnish the horse;” and he
had replied to the second, “I don’t understand you.”——“And is that all he
says? Shure, he is a nice man, so he is. Shan’t I swaten his mouth wid a
dhrop from me bottle?”——“No,” says Flip., “that won’t do.”——“Away wid yees;
shure, this is a free counthry, and can’t a man do as he plases with his
own?”——“Not much,” replied Flip. “I say now, Mike, will you join me in the
byin’ of a bit of a pony for to carry our blankets and things?”

The man addressed as Mike assented to the proposal, and soon
Tip-tip-a-noos brought a small pinto calico-colored horse; and after some
dickering the trade was completed by Pat, through pantomimic signs, giving
Tip to understand, that if he would follow down into the gulch, out of
sight of Flip., he would give him a bottle of whiskey, in addition to the
twenty dollars.

The pony was turned over to Pat and Mike. The next move was to adjust the
packs on the Cayuse. This was not easily done. First, because the pony did
not understand Pat’s jargon; second, they had not reckoned on the absence
of a pack-saddle. Flip., always ready to accommodate the travelling
public, for a consideration, brought an old cross-tree pack-saddle, and
then the lash-ropes,——ropes to bind the load to the saddle. Pat approached
the pony with outstretched hands, saying pretty things in Irish brogue;
while Mike, to make sure that the horse should not escape, had made it
fast to his waist with a rope holding back, while Pat went forward, so
that at the precise moment the latter had reached the pony’s nose, he
reared up, and, striking forward, gave Pat a blow with his fore-foot,
knocking him down. Seeming to anticipate the Irishman’s coming wrath, he
whirled so quick that Mike lost his balance and went down, shouting,
“Sthop us, sthop us; we are running away!” Pat recovered his feet in time
to jump on the prostrate form of Mike, going along horizontally, at a
furious gait, close to the pony’s heels. The Cayuse slackened his speed
and finally stopped, but not until Mike had lost more or less of clothing,
and the “pelt” from his rosy face.

When the two Irishmen were once more on foot, and both holding to the
rope, now detached from Mike’s waist at one end, and buried into the
wheezing neck of the Cayuse at the other, a scene occurred that Bierstadt
should have had for a subject. I don’t believe I can do it justice, and
yet I desire my readers to see it, since the renowned painter
above-mentioned, was not present to represent it on canvas.

Think of two bloody-nosed Irish lads holding the pony, while he was
pulling back until his haunches almost touched the ground, wheezing for
breath, occasionally jumping forward to slacken the rope around his neck,
and each time letting Pat and Mike fall suddenly to the ground, swearing
in good Irish style at the “spalpeen of a brute” that had no better
manners, while Mr. Indian was laughing as he would have done his
crying,——away down in his heart. Flip., and _others_ looking on, were
doing as near justice to the occasion as possible, by laughing
old-fashioned horse-laughs, increasing with each speech from Pat or Mike.

Occasionally, when the Cayuse would suddenly turn his heels, and fight in
pony style, Pat would roar out Irish, while the horse would compel them to
follow him, each with body and limbs at an angle of forty-five degrees,
until his horseship would turn again, and then they were on a horizontal
awhile. Securing him to a post, Pat said, “Now, be jabers, we’ve got him.”
After slipping a shirt partly over his head, to “blind” him, they proceed
to sinche——fasten——the pack-saddle on him, and then the two packs. When
all was lashed fast, and a hak-i-more——rope halter——was on his nose, they
untied him from the post, and proposed to travel, but Cayuse did not
budge. Mike pulled and tugged at the halter, while Pat called him pretty
names, and, with outspread hands, as though he was herding geese, stamping
his foot, coaxed pony to start. No use. Flip. suggested a sharp stick. Pat
went for his cane, like a man who had been suddenly endowed with a bright
idea. After whittling the end to a point, he applied it to the pony.

The next speech that Irishman made was while in half-bent position. With
one hand on the side of his head, he anxiously addressed Tip. “Meester
Injun, is me ear gone——Meester Injun, what time of night is it now? I say,
Meester Injun, where now is the spalpeen of a pony?”

Mike had let go of the rope soon after Pat applied the sharp stick, and
was following the retreating blankets and bottles, ejaculating, “The
beautiful whiskey! The beautiful whiskey!”

When Pat’s eyes were clear enough, Meester Injun, without a smile, pointed
to the valley below, where frying pans and miners tools were performing a
small circus, much to the amusement of a band of Cayuse horses, who were
following Pat’s pony with considerable interest.

I don’t think the goods, or the whiskey either, were ever recovered by Pat
and Mike, but I have an idea that “Tip-tip-a-noor” had a big dance, and
slept warm under the blankets, and possibly a big drunk.

Of course, reader, you do not blame Irishmen for their opposition to “The
Humane Policy of the Government.”

The Indian, however, if detected in unlawful acts, was sure of punishment
under the law, no matter though he may have been incited to the deed by
whiskey he had bought of white men, who vended it in violation of law.
This commerce in whiskey was carried on extensively, notwithstanding the
efforts of a very efficient agent to prevent it.

Men have started out on “Walker’s line,” carrying their blankets, and in a
day or two they would be well mounted, without resorting to a “rope” or
money to purchase with, and obtain the horses honestly too; that is to
say, when they practised self-denial, and did not empty the bottles they
had concealed in their packs. One bottle of whiskey would persuade an
Indian to dismount, and allow the sore-footed, honest miner, who carried
the bottle, to ride, no matter though the horse may have belonged to
other parties. I have heard men boast that they were “riding a bottle,”
meaning the horse that bore them along had cost that sum.

Such things were common, and could not be prevented. Young “Black Hawk”
learned how to speak English, and make brick, and various other arts,
through the kindness of the Superintendent of the State’s Prison. These
things he might never have known, but for the foresight of some fellow who
disliked the fare on “Walker’s” line.

The question is asked, “What was the agent doing?” He was doing his duty
as well as he could, with the limited powers he possessed. But when he
sought to arrest the white men who were violators of the laws of the
United States, he was always met with the common prejudices against Indian
testimony, and found himself defeated. But, when he was appealed to for
protection against Indian depredations, he found sympathy and support, and
few instances occurred where guilty Indians escaped just punishment.

I knew the agent well, and doubted not his sense of justice in his efforts
to maintain peace.——If he did not mete out even-handed justice in all
matters of dispute between white men and Indians, the fault was not his,
but rather that of public sentiment. When colored men were “niggers,” the
Indian “had no rights that white men were bound to respect.”

He who proclaimed against the unjust administration of law so unfavorable
to the Indians, in courts where white men and Indians were parties, was
denounced as a fanatical sentimentalist, and placed in the same category
with “Wendell Phillips” and “Old John Brown,” whose names, in former
times, were used to deride and frighten honest-thinking people from the
expression of sentiments of justice and right.

I wish here to record that, although we did a large amount of business
with white men and Indians, we never had occasion to complain of the
latter for stealing, running off stock, or failing to perform, according
to agreement, to the letter, even in matters left to their own sense of

On one occasion, “Cascas,” a Reservation Indian, who was under contract to
deliver, once in ten days, at Lee’s Encampment, ten head of yearlings, of
specified size and quality, as per sample, at the time of making the
bargain, brought nine of the kind agreed upon and one inferior animal.
Before driving them into the corral, he rode up to the house, and calling
me, pointed to the small yearling, saying that was “no good;” that he
could not find “good ones” enough that morning to fill the contract, but
if I would let the “Ten-as-moose-moose”——small steer——go in, next time, he
would drive up a “Hi-as-moose-moose”——big steer——in place of an ordinary
yearling. If I was unwilling to take the small one, he would drive him
back, and bring one that would be up to the standard.

I assented to the first proposition. Faithful to the promise, he made up
the deficiency with a larger animal next time, and even then made it good.

Another circumstance occurred which asserted the honesty of these Indians.
After we had corralled a small lot of cows purchased from them, one
escaped and returned to the Indian band of cattle, from which she had
been driven. Three or four years after, we were notified by the owner of
the band that we had four head of cattle with his herd. True, it was but
simple honesty, and no more than any honest man would have done; but there
are so many who would have marked and branded the calves of that little
herd, in their own interest, that I felt it worthy of mention here to the
credit of a people who have few friends to speak in their behalf.
Notwithstanding their lives furnish many evidences of high and honorable
character, yet they, very much like white men, exhibit many varieties.

In pressing need for a supply of beef for hotel use, I called on
“Tin-tin-mit-si,” once chief of the Walla-Wallas (a man of extraordinary
shrewdness, and possessed of great wealth, probably thirty thousand
dollars in stock and money), to make a purchase. He, silently, half in
pantomime, ordered his horse, that he might accompany me to the herds.
Taking with us his son-in-law, John McBerne, as interpreter, we soon found
one animal that would answer our purpose. The keen-eyed old chief, with
his blanket drawn over his head, faced about, and said, “How much that cow
weigh?”——“About four hundred and fifty pounds,” I answered. “How much you
charge for a dinner?”——“One dollar,” I responded. “How much a white man
eat?” said “Tin-tin-mit-si.” I read his mind, and knew that he was
thinking how to take advantage of my necessity, and, also, that he was not
accustomed to the white man’s dinner. I replied, “Sometimes one
pound.”——“All right,” quoth Indian; “you pay me four hundred dollars, then
what is over will pay you for cooking.”——“But who will pay me for the
coffee, sugar, butter, potatoes, eggs, cheese, and other things?” I

While Johnny was repeating this speech the old chief moved up closer, and
let his blanket slip off his ears, and demanded a repetition of the
varieties composing a Christian dinner; and, while this was being done, he
looked first at the interpreter, then at me, and said, in a surly, dry
tone, “No wonder a white man is a fool, if he eat all those things at
once; an Indian would be satisfied with beef alone.”

After some mathematical calculations had been explained, he agreed to
accept forty-five dollars, a good, round price for the cow. And I drove
away the beast, while “Tin-tin-mit-si” returned to his lodge to bury the
money I had paid him along with several thousand dollars he had saved for
his sons-in-law to quarrel over; for the old chief soon after sent for his
favorite horse to be tied near the door of his lodge, ready to accompany
him to the happy hunting-grounds, where, according to Indian theology, he
has been telling his father of the strange people he had seen.

                              CHAPTER IV.


It was understood, in the treaty stipulation with the Government and these
people, that they were to have the privilege of hunting and grazing stock
in common with citizens on the public domain. In the exercise of this
right, they made annual journeys to Grand Round and other valleys, east of
the Blue mountains, driving before them, on these journeys, their horses.
They were often thus brought in contact with white settlers, and sometimes
difficulties occurred, growing, generally, out of the sale of intoxicating
liquors to them by unprincipled white men.

Indians are not better than white men, and, when drunk, they exhibit the
meaner and baser qualities of their nature as completely as a white man.
Deliver us from either, but of the two, an intoxicated white man has the
advantage; he is not held responsible to law. The Indian has one privilege
the civilized white brother is not supposed to enjoy. He can abuse his
family, and as long as he is sober enough can whip his squaw; but woe be
to him when he gets past fighting, for then the squaw embraces the
opportunity of beating him in turn, and calls on other squaws to assist in
punishing her lord for past as well as present offences.

The chiefs generally watch over their men, to prevent the purchase of
liquor by them. “Homli,” chief of the Walla-Wallas, sometimes punished
his braves in a summary manner for getting drunk, using a horsewhip in the
public streets. However worthy the example, I believe that it was not
often followed by others of either race.

The annual visits of which I have spoken occurred in the latter part of
June, when the mountain sides of Grand Round valley were offering tempting
inducements in fields of huckleberries. The valley, too,——where not
enclosed and turned to better use,——was blooming with Indian
“muck-a-muck,” a sweet, nutritious root called ca-mas, with which the
Indian women filled baskets and sacks, in which to carry it to their homes
for winter use.

The beautiful river of Grand Round was inviting the red men to war against
the shining trout and salmon, that made yearly pilgrimage to greater
altitudes and cooler shades, there to woo and mate, and thus to people the
upper waters with finny children, who would, in time of autumn leaves, go
to the great river below, and come again when mountain snows, now changed
to foaming torrents, hastened to the river’s mouth, and tempting salmon
flies had come from their hiding places, and swarmed on bush and bank, to
lure the fish onward and upward, or beguile them to the fisher’s net, or
hidden spear, if, perchance, they were warned away from angler’s line, or
escaped the lightning arrow of Indian boys.

Then, too, this beautiful garden of the mountains wore its brightest hues
on plain and sloping hills and cultured field. The farmers were idle then,
and often went to join the red men in racing horses, and chasing each
other in mimic wars. Sometimes the two would engage in trades of wild
Cayuses (Indian horses), teaching each other how to tame these fiery
steeds. Great circus shows were these, in which the red man might for once
laugh at the white man’s clumsy imitations of red men’s daily recreations.

Again, the red man had sweet revenge for sharper practice which he had
felt at the hands of his white brother. Selecting some ill-natured beast,
whose tricks he well knew, he would offer him at a price so low, that some
white man who was tired of going to his neighbors for a ride, or had a
hopeful son anxious to imitate little Indian boys in feats of
horsemanship, would purchase him. Then fun began, to witness which the
town sometimes turned out. The colt, unused to civilized bit or spur,
would, like his former owner, show contempt for burdens he was not made to
bear without “bucking.” When, with bridle and saddle, and rider, all new,
surrounded by scenes unlike his coltship’s haunts, he was called upon to
forward move, he would stand as if turned to marble, until by persuasion
of whip and spur he’d change his mind. Then, with a snort, a bound, or
upward motion of his back, his nostrils buried in the dust, he’d whirl and
whirl until the rider dizzy grew, of which circumstance he seemed aware,
when, with all his power brought into quick use, he sent the rider in
mid-air or overhead, and straightway bent each bound toward his former
home, followed by loud shouts of laughter, made up of voices joined of
every kind and age, except perhaps that of the disgusted father——who had
sundry dollars invested in furniture on the runaway’s back——and the crying
boy in the dust.

The chances against the new owner’s boy ever “putting on much style” on
that pony were not very numerous. Fearing as much, the next proposition
was to sell the pony back to “Mr. Injun” at a heavy discount; which was
done much against the wishes of the dethroned boy, whose aspirations for
western honor were thereby “nipped in the bud.”

A lawyer of “La Grande,” celebrated for his shrewdness in business
generally, and who was the father of several enterprising sons, made an
investment in Cayuse stock, for the benefit of the aforesaid boys, and
fearing that he, too, might go in mourning over the money thus spent, in
fatherly tenderness determined that he himself would ride the pony first.

The horse was saddled, and led by a long rope to the office door. The
lawyer said, “Now, Charley, I’ll fool that pony, sure. I’m little, you
know, and he’ll think I’m a boy.” The rope was made fast to an
awning-post, and then, in presence of a hopeful audience, he mounted
slowly, though in full lawyer’s dress, a bell-crowned “plug” (hat)
included. When softly springing in the stirrups, to assure himself all was
right, and confident that his “nag” was there, subject to his will, he
essayed to display his horsemanship. But pony was not ready then. The
lawyer called for whip and spurs, and without dismounting they were
furnished, and while holding out his foot to have the spur put on,
remarked that “he did not half like the white of the pony’s eye. But, boys,
I’ll stick while the saddle does.” With sober face and eye fixed on the
ears in front, he coaxed again, and with soft speech sought to change the
pony’s mind. But he was not ready now, until he felt the rowel stick into
his sides, and then away went horse and rider together, to the end of the
rope, where the pony stopped, though the lawyer did not, until his head
had struck the crown of his hat; and not then even, but, going at a
furious rate, the lawyer, hat, and torn trowsers had landed all in a heap
on the other side of the street; the awning-post gave way, and the
lawyer’s Cayuse went off, with a small part of the town following him.

The language used by him on this occasion consisted not of quotations from
Blackstone, or the Bible either, unless in detached words put strangely in
shape to answer immediate use. It is not safe to say anything about
fooling ponies, in court or elsewhere, in the town of La Grande, unless
the speaker wants war. That lawyer, although a stanch Republican, and
liable to be a candidate for Congress, is strongly opposed to President
Grant’s peace policy with Indians,——the Umatilla Indians in particular.

To say that Chief Homli and his tribe enjoyed little episodes, growing out
of horse-trading with the citizens of La Grande, is too gentle and soft a
way of telling the truth, and have it well understood, unless we add the
westernism “hugely.”

These visits had other beneficial results than those growing out of trade,
since they extended over the Fourth of July, when all the people of the
valley came together to celebrate the “nation’s birthday,” when, with fife
and drum, the country-folks would join with those in town, who “marched up
a street and then marched down again,” to the willow-covered stand, where
readers and orators would rehearse, one, the history of the “Declaration,”
the other, repeat some great man’s speech.

The tables groaned beneath the loads of viands, spread by gentle women’s
hands. The reader and the orator of the day would take positions at either
end, and the meek chaplain in between, while the bashful country boys
would lead up their girls, until the table had been filled. Homli and his
people, dressed in Fourth-of-July regalias, would look on from respectful
distance, and wonder what the reader meant, when he said, “All men are
born free and equal,” and wondered more to hear a wicked orator protest
that the “flag above was no longer a flaunting lie.” The Indians were then
serving in the house of a foolish old man, named Esau. When fair lips
refused longer to taste, and manly breast was filled too full for
utterance, Homli and his people were invited to partake. Some of his
people accepted the gift of the remnants; but he, Homli, never.

In the absence of better pastime, the crowd would come again to the grand
stand, to give opportunity for disappointed spouters to ventilate pent-up
patriotism. Homli, too, made a speech, and with keen rebuke referred to
days gone by, when white men had come to his lodge, and craved his
hospitality; how his women had culled their berry-baskets to find
something worthy of the white man’s taste, and how the finest trout had
been offered in proof of friendship for the stranger guest, and boasted
that he had given the finest horses of his band to help the stranger on,
and sent an escort of trusty braves to direct him over all doubtful
trails. He boasted, too, that no white man’s blood had ever stained his
hand, even when he was strong, and they were weak; then, with well-made
gesture, pointed to the valley, once all his own, and covered with
antelope and feathery tribes. No houses, fields, or barns marred then the
beautiful valley of the mountain. Turning half around, he gazed at people
and town, and sadly motioned to the mountain-sides, robbed of fir and
pine, and seemed to drink in, what, to him, was desolation made complete.
With eye half closed, he mused a moment, and then broke forth like some
brave soul that had mastered self, and was reconciled to the inexorable
destiny that his mind had seen in store, declared that he would be a man
himself, with white man’s heart, and that his people would yet join with
pride in the coming celebrations.

The triumph of civil hopes over savage mind was complete, and when the
change was realized by the lookers-on, they gathered round the chieftain,
and gave him welcome to a brotherhood born of a nation’s struggles to
redeem mankind, when the white men were few and Homli’s people numerous as
the stars that looked down on the rivers of this beautiful land. Who shall
remember the mild reproof of Homli, when he, under the humane and
enlightened policy of the Government, shall have made good this
declaration to be a white man in heart and practice?

Little things sometimes move in harmony until they unite, and make up an
aggregate of causes, whose combined power becomes irresistible for good or
ill to peoples, tribes, and nations.

The chieftain of whom I write had, at various times, felt the thongs that
bound him to his savage habits loosening, little by little, until at last,
under the influence of the patriotic joy of freemen, he himself had
stepped from under a shadow that was once a benison, but had now, because
of his enlightenment, become a barrier to his happiness.

The change was real, and the heart that had come laden with reproach to
his neighbor, and felt the sting of slighted manhood, now exulted in the
recognition he had found in the sunshine of American Independence, and the
warm hands of freedom’s sons, who bade him welcome to a better life.

No human brain can correctly measure the influence of such events. Homli,
as I have said, was a chief of the Walla-Wallas, who, in conjunction with
the Umatillas and Cayuses, occupied the reservation spoken of as
“Umatilla” (horse-heaven), it being the original home of the tribe bearing
that name. In 1856, the three tribes above named united in treaty council
with the Government, represented by the lamented J. I. Stevens and General
Joel Palmer.

This treaty was conducted with firmness and on principles of justice, the
Indians having, in this instance at least, half “the say.” By the terms
agreed upon, a portion of country was reserved by the three tribes for a
permanent home, to be held jointly by them. It is located on one of the
tributaries of the Columbia, known as the Umatilla river. The
out-boundaries measured one hundred and three miles, covering a country
possessing many natural advantages, conducive to Indian life, and of great
value in the transfer of these people from a barbarous to a civilized

Its surface is diversified with rich prairie lands, producing an excellent
quality of bunch grass,——so called because of its growing in
tussocks,——covering not more than half the surface of the round, the
remainder being entirely devoid of vegetation, very nutritious and well
adapted to grazing.

The mountains are partly covered with forests of pine and fir, valuable
for commercial and building purposes. The streams are rapid, with bold
shores, abounding in latent power, waiting for the time when labor and
capital shall harness its cataracts to machinery, whose music will denote
the transformation process going on in the forest of the mountain; the
fleeces from the plain, and in the cereals they contain, in embryo, for
better use than shading herds of cattle and Indian horses, or its fleeces
made traffic for traders and shippers, who enrich themselves by taking
them in bulk and returning in manufactured exchanges; or for its fields to
lie dormant and idle, while commerce invites and starving people clamor
for bread they might be made to yield.

True, its almost unbroken wilderness, echoing the call of cougar or cayote
(ki-o-te); its tall grass plains, tangled and trembling with the tread of
twenty thousand horses; its valleys decked with carpets of gorgeous
flowers,——fit patterns for the costumes of those who dance thereon,——or
speckled with baby farms, belonging to red-skinned ploughmen, or shaded by
the smoke of council wigwams; its waters sometimes shouting, as if in
pain, while hurrying headlong against the rock, or, laughing beneath the
balm-wood trees at the gambols of its own people, or, divided into an
hundred streams, go rushing on, still playing mirror for the smiling faces
of the youths, whose hearts and actions take pattern after its own
freedom; true, indeed, that this lovely spot of earth seems to have been
the special handiwork of the Almighty, who had withheld from other labors
the choicest gems of beauty, that he might make a paradise, where youth
could keep pace with passing years, until the change of happy
hunting-grounds should be noted only by the wail of weeping widows, or
sighs of sorrowing orphans.

’Twas to this Indian paradise that Homli returned from his summer visit,
his heart laden with new feelings of pride; for he had been recognized as
a man. If he did not then begin to enjoy the realization of his hopes,
there were reasons why he did not that few have understood.

Born to a wild, free life, possessed of a country such as few over enjoy,
with a channel of commerce traversing his home; brought in constant
contact with white men, some of whom, at least, he found to be soulless
adventurers, ever ready to take advantage of his ignorance of trade;
confused and bewildered by the diversity of opinions on political and
religious subjects; witnessing the living falsehood of much of civilized
life; but half understanding the ambitions of his “new heart,” or the
privilege he was entitled to; with the romance of his native education in
matters of religion, its practical utility to satisfy his longings that
reached into the future, or to meet the demands of conscience, where duty
led him, or anger at insult drove him; the performance of its ceremonies,
connecting social with religious rites,——added to these the power that his
red brethren who were yet untouched by the finger of destiny, and were
luxuriating in idle, careless life, enhanced by the sight of the hardened
hands and sweating brows of those who sought to find admission to circles
where labor insures reward; confused when witnessing the enforcement of
laws “that are supposed to be uniform in operation,” by the outrageous
partiality shown; treated with coldness and distrust, because of his
color; envied of his possessions, to which he had an inalienable right, by
deed from God, and confirmed by the government of the United States;
compelled to hear the constant coveting of others for it, and to hear
government denounced because it did not rob him of his home; to see
distrust in every action toward him; his manhood ignored, or crushed by
cruel power; his faith shaken; treated as an alien, even in his
birthplace; taunted with the threat that when he planted his feet on
higher plains, he should be crowded off, or forced to stand tottering on
the brink; his fears aroused by the threats he overheard of being finally
driven away; of speculations on the future towns that should spring up
over the graves of his fathers, when he was not there to defend
them,——added to all these discouragements the oppressions of his would-be
teachers, in moral ethics and religion; demanding his attendance on
ceremonies that were intangible, incomprehensible, to his mind, made more
unbearable by the tyranny of his red brethren, growing out of their
recognition of church-membership, and the consequent arrogance, even
contempt, with which they spoke of his religious habits and ceremonies;
unable to reconcile the practices of these people with the precepts of
their priest; ostracised from those, who, while untouched by the hand of
Christianity, had mingled voice and prayer with him in wilder worship;
finding friends among white men, whose hearts were true, but who, instead
of soothing his troubled feelings by patiently teaching him charity and
liberal-minded views touching matters of religious practice of his
Catholic friends and their ministers, would pile the fagots on the burning
altar ’twixt him and them, increasing distrust, making the breach wider,
thus becoming alienated from the other chiefs, How-lish-wam-po, of Cayuse,
and We-nap-snoot, of the Umatillas, and those of their tribes who had been
led, by ministrations of priest and chief, to the solemn masses of the
church: if then Homli failed to be a “white man” in heart, on whom does
the responsibility rest?

I have not dealt in fiction, but have stated the circumstance plainly, the
truth of which will not be questioned by those whose personal knowledge
qualifies them for passing judgment, unless, indeed, it be those whose
minds have been trained to run in narrow, bigoted grooves, whose hearts
have never felt the warming influences of the high and pure love for truth
that characterizes a noble Christian manhood, and whose measure of right
is made by the petty and selfish interest of himself, who, with the
judgment of a truckling demagogue, barks for pay in popular applause or
political reward.

For the present, I leave my readers to chide Homli for his failure, if,
indeed, they can, with the facts before them. As to the responsibility, I
shall discuss the subject fully and fearlessly on some future page of this
work, where the argument for and against the several “policies” may be
made and applied in a general way in the consideration of the subject of
“Indian civilization.”

                               CHAPTER V.

                     POLICIES ON TRIAL——“ONEATTA.”

In the fall of 1866, the “Oregon Delegation,” in Washington, proposed the
name of the author of this book for appointment as Superintendent of
Indian Affairs in Oregon.

President Johnson, on inquiry, learned that he was not a “Johnson man,”
and, of course, refused to make the nomination.

The recommendation of the author’s name was made without his solicitation
or knowledge. On the accession of President Grant, the recommendation was
renewed, the nomination was made and confirmed by the Senate of the United
States; bonds filed, oaths of office administered, and notice given to my
predecessor; and on the 1st of May, 1869, I assumed the duties of the
office indicated.

The new administration had the Indian question in transit, between three
policies: The old way, “_Civil Service_,” “_The War Department Policy_,”
and General Grant’s “_Quaker Policy_.”

With good intention, doubtless, the several policies were put on trial.

Oregon superintendency and all its agencies were assigned to the tender
care of the War Department policy, and I was ordered to turn over my
office to an officer of the army, even before I had performed an
important official duty. Remonstrance was made by the people of Oregon
against the change.

A compromise was effected. I was retained as Superintendent, and Hon. Ben.
Simpson, Agent at Siletz, and Capt. Charles Lafollette, Agent at Grand
Round also of the civil service policy. The remainder of the agencies were
assigned to officers of the army. This mixing up of elements was somewhat
embarrassing for a time.

I began again my official duties. From the records in the Superintendent’s
Office, Salem, Oregon, I learned the location and something of the
condition of the several agencies under my charge.

“_The Coast Reservation_,” covering three hundred miles of the Pacific
coast, embraced several stations, or agencies, comprising not more than
one-third the territory within its boundaries. It had never been ceded to
the Government, neither acquired by conquest, but was set apart by an act
of Congress for the benefit of the several tribes of the Willamette
valley. It is partly timbered and generally mountainous. It abounds in
resources suitable to Indian savage life.

Once this wild region had been peopled with deer and elk, whose plaintive
call had led the cougar to his feast, or quickened the steps of the
huntsman, whose steady nerves enabled him to glide through the tanglewood,
bearing with him images of his children (who, dependent upon his archery,
awaited his return); and of faithful clutchmen (squaws), whose eyes would
kindle at sight of hunter, laden with fruits of the chase, that were to be
food and clothing for her little ones. These forest trees had stood
sentinels, guarding its people, from the gaze of tamer huntsmen, and from
the rough ocean winds that sweep the coast; or, uttering hoarser sounds,
or sighing songs, warning of coming storms, that sometimes beat the
white-winged ship, laden with merchandise, from foreign lands, against the
rocky shore (whose caverns were the refuge of sea-lions), or, echoing back
Pacific’s roar, were waiting for the debris from wrecks of stately crafts,
or coming of sea-washed mariners.

Then, at such perilous times, the peoples of this wild western verge of
continent would, in pure charity, build warning-fires on higher bluffs, at
nightfall, and thus give signals of danger; or, mayhap, they sometimes
built them to decoy, in order to avenge insult (or wrong, real, or
imaginary) of some former seaman, who had repaid them for good will by
treacherous act of larceny of some dusky maiden, or black-eyed boy, or
stalwart warrior, carried away to other lands.

Tradition’s living tongue has furnished foundation for the pictures I have
made. And many times to listening ears the story has been told, changed
only in the name of maiden, or boy, or braves, as date or location gave
truth to the sorrowing tale.

Living still, on a home set apart by the State, are two chieftains of a
western tribe, whose people tell, in story and in song, how, at a certain
sign of danger to a ship, they went out over the breakers in a hollow-tree
canoe, to meet the white “tyee” of the “great canoe,” and in pity for the
poverty of his knowledge of sea line had proffered him shelter in a quiet
nook of land-locked ocean, until such time as the Great Spirit might give
evidence of anger past, by smiling on the boisterous waves that had made
sport of man’s puny efforts to control his own going.

These chieftains, in dainty craft, had won the captain’s confidence, and,
by consent of favoring winds and rolling seas, with trust he follows past
lone rocks that stand above the sunken reef, and through the foamy
passage, guarded by “headlands” on either side; past bars, unseen, that
break huge rollers into waves of shorter measure; past, still past, the
homes of fishermen on shore, until at last his sails flapped approval on
the mast, the keel complains of unaccustomed touch, and anchors dropped in
fathoms short to the bed of a bay that gives evidence of welcome, by
sending its sands to surface, speckled with mica or sparkling with grains
of gold.

Thus the white man’s big canoe found rest, and sailors crowded the rail to
give signs of gratitude to the strange, strong-armed pilots.

The captain let down his stairs, that they might come on deck and exchange
mutual feelings of each heart. On the one hand, that of thankfulness, that
misfortunes make mankind akin, and used such occasions to teach the lion
that the mouse may be his master when circumstances bring his ability into

The white man felt gratitude, and made proof of it by loading the red
man’s “hollow tree” with rich stores of choice sugars from the islands,
blankets made in colder zones; with clothing that illy fitted the red
man’s limbs; with lines, and nets, and hooks, and spears of foreign make,
and with weapons of fiery breath and noisy mouth, that poorly mated the
bow and arrow, though mating good by force of execution the loss in
warning talk.

The chieftains, too, gave back, with answering hand and smiling face, the
gladness of their hearts that they had found opportunity to serve the
white man.

When they departed, the “tyee” bade them come _again_. This was a great
day for the chieftain’s _household_, when they landed beneath the willow
trees near their e-li-he (home). The women, with great, wondering eyes at
the sight of so many ic-tas (goods), began to unload the “hollow-tree
canoe,” and, as each article new to them came in sight, they would wonder
and chatter and try them on, until at last they stood clothed in sailor’s
garb, of jacket, pants and shoes. To their camps they came, loaded with
the precious freights, and, coming to their own, the little ones would cry
and run, shouting, “Hal-lu-me, til-li-cum” (strangers); nor would they
trust to their mothers’ voices until they had put aside their costumes.

These chiefs still laugh at the surprise they felt at sight of what they
supposed to be the new-found friends, until the merry cluchmen (women)
shouted, “Cla-hoy-em-six, tyee?” (How do you do, chief?) They quickly rose
from their cougar skin and panther’s pelt, caught the bogus sailors, and
quickly robbed them of their borrowed clothes.

That night, while the sun was going to rest in his bed of flaming billows,
on the ship’s deck and on the sand of the red man’s floor, happy hearts
bade each “Good-night.” The white man was happy now that his home was
gently rocked by flowing tides. The red men, happy with their
til-li-cums, retailing in guttural notes their great adventures, and
dancing the pot-lach dance (giving dance), would stop, and with their
hands divide the prizes won, without thought of shells, or Indian coin, or
white man’s chick-a-mon (money). When “to-morrow’s sun” had climbed over
the craggy ledges of the coast mountain, and sent out his fiery messengers
to announce his coming, they came to the vessel’s deck, and found no
watchman there. They peeped into the forecastle and cabin, and waked the
slumberers up to welcome the new morn begun on the bosom of Ya-quina Bay.

At the Indian lodge, the soft voice of cluchman, mingling with the murmur
of rippling rills, that from snow-banks high on the mountain side came
hurrying down to quench the thirst of sailor or of savage; maybe, the
briny lips of the sea-monster or salmon fish, that come in to rest from
surging waters and bask awhile in the smooth currents of the bay.

The chiefs arose and made breakfast on foreign teas and island sugars, and
when in new attire, with cluchman in beads and fine tattoo (an adornment
of savage tribes), with noses pierced by long polished shells, that made
an uncouth imitation of a dandy’s moustache, with pappoose in basket hung
with bells, or lashed to boards with wild-deer thongs, and slung on
mother’s back, secured with sealskin belts worn on the brow. To make the
whole a complete picture of Indian life, the dogs were taken in, and then
sitting in the prow to give command, the “hollow-tree canoe” was pointed
toward the ship. The loud hurrah of sailors, that was intended to give
welcome, was at first construed to be a warning, and quick the
“hollow-tree canoe” was turned about, each paddle playing in concert to
carry the frightened visitors away, while cluchmen and maidens, with
woman’s privilege, screamed in terror of expected harm.

The chief soothing them, and looking back descried the tyee captain, with
beckoning hand and signs recalling him to fulfil his purpose, and make the
visit. He bade the oarsman cease, and, while his canoe moved on from
acquired motion, though slower going, while he backward gazed, he, with
noiseless paddle, again brought the prow towards the sides of the “big

Slowly and cautiously he, with his precious cargo, floated nearer and
nearer still, with eyes wide open, to detect any sign of treachery,
sometimes half stopping at suggestions of frightened mothers or timid
maidens, and then anon would forward move; still, however, with great
caution, until at last the two canoes were rocking on the gentle tide in
closest friendship.

The seamen who made this welcome port came on deck, with a sailor’s pride
of dress, wide-legged trowsers, and wider collars to their shirts over
their shoulders falling, and with wide-topped, brimless caps. When the
new-comers had passed their fright, and the old chief had climbed on deck
to be sure that all was safe, he called his family, and, though the jolly
tars went down to assist them, they remained waiting for some further
proof of friendship.

While their eyes were upward turned, and Jack’s were downward bent, two
pairs (at least) met midway, and told the old, old tale over again.

On deck, and leaning over the rail, stood a youthful sailor, with deep,
earnest eyes. These had met the gaze of another, the daughter of the pilot
chief. Silently the arrows flew; and, without honeyed word, or war-whoop,
the battle went on, until, by special invitation of looks, Oneatta came
aboard, and stood beside the smiling pale-face; and soon the older women
followed with the baby baskets until all were there except the dogs, who
cried at the partiality shown to the master and his family.

The scene on deck was novel. The tyee captain and the chief were teaching
each other the words with which to give token of hospitality and
gratitude; half-sign, half-word language ’twas, though, in which exchanges
of friendly sentiments were told.

The sailors, with the women and maidens, had organized a school, on a
small scale. Merry laughter often broke at the clumsy efforts of white
man’s tongue to imitate Indian wa-wa (talk). The little ones received the
touch of rough fingers on dimpled chin, and turned like frightened fawns
away to listen to the tinkling of the little bells above their heads.

The chief had brought with him richest offerings of venison and fish; the
women, specimens of handiwork in beads and necklaces, which they offered
in exchange for such articles of bright-hued colors as the sailors might
have bought in other lands.

The bargains were quickly made, each side proud of success in securing
something to remind them of the visit.

The chief signified his intention to return to his home on the beach, when
the good captain, not to be outdone in matters of courtesy, brought fresh
supplies of various kinds, and had them stowed away in the “hollow-tree

When the parting came, to prove his good will, the tyee captain promised
to return the visit. Oneatta had said to Theodore, the sailor, “Come;” and
he, with eyes doing service for his lips, had made promise. The red chief
and his family withdrew, and soon they were riding the laughing waves in
the “hollow-tree canoe.”

Thus the day had passed and joined the happy ones gone before it; and
bells had called the sailors to the deck, and the Indian chief reposed his
limbs on the uncut swath of willow grass, and waited for the approach of
night, that he might, by signal fires, call his kinsmen to the pil-pil
dance; a dance in honor of each Indian maiden when she “comes out.”

Oneatta had demanded of her parents this honor, and, since custom allowed
this privilege, she on that day reached an era in her life, when she chose
to be no longer a child.

Her father, the chief, wondered at this sudden change of manner wrought,
but, yielding to his doating child, gave his assent. The picture I am
making now is true to the life of many a maiden, who may follow Oneatta’s
history, whose faces take their hue of colors that give token of their

Some of them may recall their “coming out” ‘neath dazzling chandeliers, on
carpets of finest grain, in dresses trailing long, in which they stepped
with timid gait to softest music, of silver lyre, or flute, or many-voiced

But Oneatta’s parlor was lighted up with glittering stars, that had done
service long, and brighter grew to eyes of each new belle, who had, from
time to time, lent first a listening ear to soft-voiced swain.

The carpets were brightest green, and sanded by waves stranded on the
beach at the flowing of the tide.

The music was grandly wild, a combination of the hoarse drum, or angry
roar of sea-lions, mingling with the deep bass voice of waves, breaking on
the rocks, while, soft and low, the human notes came in to make the
harmony complete to ears long trained to nature’s tunes.

The maiden, whose heart was now tumultuous as the scenes around her, had
dressed with greatest care in skirts of scarlet cloth, embroidered with
beads and trimmed with furs of seal and down of swan. Her arms, half
bared, were circled with bands of metals; her neck, with hoofs of fawns,
or talons of the mountain eagle; pendent from her ears, rattles of the
spotted snake; the partition of her nose held fast a beautiful shell of
slender mould; her cheeks, rosy with vermilion paints; while in her raven
hair she wore a gift from her pale-faced lover, brought from some far-off
shore, intended for some other than she who wore it now. It was but a
tinsel, yet it fitted well to crown her whose eyes were dancing long
before her beaded slippers had touched time upon the sanded floor.

The circular altar, built of pebbles of varied colors, was lighted up with
choicest knots of pine from fallen trees.

The watch on board the “big canoe” was set, and down its swinging stairway
the tyee captain, mate, and sailors descended to the waiting boat; then
softly touched the oars to smiling waves, and steady arms kept time to
seamen’s song in stern and bow, guided, meanwhile, by the altar fire. Over
the glassy bridge they flew, and touched the bank beside the “hollow-tree

With hearty hand the chieftains bade them welcome, and gave silent signal
for the dance to begin, while the tyee captain and his men took station at
respectful space. The dancers came, and, forming round the maiden’s altar
fires, awaited still for her to come from lodge.

The pale-faces, lighted up with blaze from knotty wood, with folded arms
and curious wonder stood gazing on the scene.

One among the number had scanned the merry circle of bashful Indian boys
and timid girls; his face bespoke vexation at his disappointment, for he
had failed to catch the eye of Oneatta.

She came, at length, tripping toward the festive throng, and spoke to him
ere the dance began, not by smile, or deed, or word, but in Cupid’s own
appointed way, that never lies. He, as every other swain can do, read it
in her eyes, and made answer in ways that do not make mistake.

When the circle had closed round the altar, the song of gladness broke
forth from the lips of the tattooed and painted red chins, and from the
drum of hoarser sound, and then the happy dancers, without waiting for
partners, went with lithesome step in gay procession round. Louder rang
the music, quicker grew the steps, each time round; the little invisible
arrows flew from sailor-boy to Indian maiden, and from maiden to
sailor-boy; glancing each against the other, would rustle and then go
straight to target sent, until at last the maiden tired grew, her bosom
overladened with the arrows Cupid’s quiver had supplied. She bade the
dancers stop, and with native grace, and stately step, she stood beside
her lover without a thought of wrong; for she was Nature’s child, and had
not felt the thongs of fashion’s code, which forbid her to be honest.

Her tiny hand was pressed between the hard palms of the captive sailor,
for he had been fighting a battle where each is conquered only to be a

Oneatta led the sailor-boy to join those who, with wondering eyes, had
waited for her return. He took his place beside his tutor now, to learn
how a step unused by tamer people might make speech for joy and gladness.

The dance was ended. Pale faces, and red ones, too, had lost sight of the
stars, and were lulled to sleep by the rocking tides or muffled song of
rippling waters, or by the breakers beating the rocky shores of Ya-quina.

Day followed day, and each had a history connecting it with its yesterday
and prophesying for the morrow. The sailor-boy went not on duty now, for
his “chummies” stood his watch. He spent much time at the e-li-he of the
tree chief, or with Oneatta went out in a small canoe to watch the
fishermen spear the fattened salmon.

Sometimes they rambled on the mountain side beneath the mansinetta trees,
and exchanged lessons in worded language. He told her of his home, where
cities and towns were like the forest of her native home; of people who
outnumbered the stars above, and of bright-colored goods, of beautiful
beads and shells; and by degrees he won her consent to go from her native
land, to leave country and kindred, all for the sake of the promised
happiness he could give.

The sailor made confident of his captain, and glowing pictures painted of
his princess, and what he would do with her when to his mother’s home he

The honest captain found objection to the plan of carrying her away, and
sent for “Tyee John” (for so they called the chieftain then), and made him
understand how the young people had become betrothed.

The face of Tyee John grew dark at first, and he was impatient to be gone;
but kindly words and presents hinted at brought him to consider. He
proposed that the sailor-boy should become one of his tribe, and make his
home with them, and then he could be his son.

The conference was transferred to the e-li-he of Tyee John. The sailor
would not consent to remain on this wild shore, and made vows to come
again and bring Oneatta.

At length by rich presents given, and promises of more when he should
come, the compact was made, to the joy of the Indian maiden and her sailor

The sea gave a favoring breeze. The sails repaired, the tyee captain made
known his will to ride again the bounding waves. Oneatta bade farewell to
sorrowing mothers, sisters, brothers, giving each a token to keep until
her coming. O foolish Oneatta! you know not what you do! You act now from
example of your fairer sisters, who listen to the wooing notes of foreign
lips. We pity you as we do them. You have not thought how strange will be
the customs, manners and life of those with whom you are to mingle. A time
may come when you will long for the caresses of your rude mother, to hear
the merry shouts of brothers, to gaze into the face of your dark-eyed
father; perhaps long to hear love in native accents spoken by the young
brave who has given you choicest gems of ocean’s strand and mountain

We see you yet when your kinsmen tell of you in song, or story, your dark
eyes brimming with tears of hope and sorrow mingled.

You reach the side of the “big canoe.” We see the brave and manly
sailor-boy, who hastened to catch your trembling hand, and help you up the
swinging steps, and when on deck you stand, we see the sailor’s chums,
from the ship-yards above, gaze down on you and him, with glances half of
envy, and half of pleased surprise.

And now we see you startle at the fierce command of the mate, to heave the
anchor up, then their response drawn out in lengthened “Aye-aye, sir,” and
singing, while they work, the seamen’s song; and how wide your dark eyes
open at sight of whitened sails, outspreading like some monster swan, and
the troubled, anxious look you give to the humble e-li-he of childhood, as
it passed away, as if moving in itself, and the headlands that seem
floating towards you, and the great water that came rushing to meet you.

We see, too, your father, Tyee John, in his “hollow-tree canoe,” leading
the way, and pointing to some sunken rock, or shallow bar, or hidden reef,
until he rounds to in proof of danger past to the “big canoe.”

How its huge white wings fold up at a signal from the tyee captain! And
then your father comes board, and stands in mute attention to the
ceremonies of seamen’s marriage law. And you, in innocence, give heed to
word or sign until you are bound in law to the fortunes and freaks of a
roving sailor-boy.

When Tyee John turns away, hiding his tears in his heart, while yours run
down your cheeks, we see him reach his canoe, and you hanging over the
sides of the ship to catch a last glance of his eye.

[Illustration: FAREWELL TO ONEATTA.]

And then the white wings are spread again, and soon he grows so small that
his paddle seems but a dark feather in his hand, and your old home
recedes, and you have caught the last glimpse you ever will, of the
mountain sinking in the sea, and you, _alone_,——no, not alone, for your
sailor-boy is with you, now drying the tears from your dusky cheeks.

Oneatta, we leave you, with a prayer that your life may not be as rough as
the seas that drove the “big canoe” into Quina bay. Whether your hopes
have blossomed into fruition, or have been blasted, we know not, nor if
you still live to be loved or loathed. We only know that your
silver-haired sire sits on the stony cliff, overlooking the mouth of the
harbor, and watches passing sails, or hastens to meet those that anchor,
and repeat the old question over and over, Me-si-ka, is-cum,
ni-ka-hi-ak-close, ten-as-cluchman, Oneatta? (Have you brought back my
beautiful daughter, Oneatta?)

When Cupid comes with pale-faced warrior to the dusky maiden now, they
repeat the warning tale, with Ni-ka-cum-tux Oneatta. (I remember

                              CHAPTER VI.

                        WAY OF PAYING PENALTIES.

The story I have related is but one of the many that belong to this
region, and for the truth of which, witnesses still live, both whites and
Indians; another reason I introduce it here is to show my readers who may
think otherwise, that Indians——savage as they are at times, often made
savage by their religion——have _hearts_. Again and again shall I refer in
this work to the red man’s emotional nature, and to his religion. I cannot
do so too often, as the reader will admit before he turns the last leaf.

This agency is located west of the coast range of mountains, and bordering
on the Pacific Ocean. The valleys are small, irregular in shape, fertile
and productive, with prairies interspersed with forests of fir;
picturesque almost beyond description. At some points the mountains reach
out into the ocean, forming high headlands whereon are built light-houses,
to guard mariners against the dangers of the coast. Long white sandy
beaches stretch away for miles, and are then cut off by craggy bluffs.

At the southern boundary of Siletz——two miles from the line——may be found
a beautiful bay, navigable inland for thirty miles. The banks are varied
in altitude; undulating hills, with rich alluvial bottom lands
intervening. The greatest width of bay is perhaps four miles, and
occasionally cut into channels by beautiful islands narrowing inland to
receive the small river Ya-quina. Midway between the mouth of the river
and the ocean entrance to the bay, extensive oyster-beds exist.

This “Chesapeake” of the Pacific was once a part of Siletz reservation.
The discovery of the oyster-beds, and also of the numerous forests of
timber accessible to navigation, attracted the attention of the white men;
and the old, old story was again rehearsed,——“_The white men wanted

That it was wanted by the white men was _sufficient_, and no ambitious
candidate for Legislature or Congressional honors _dare_ oppose the
violation of a solemn compact between the United States Government and the
Indians, who had accepted this country in compensation for their homes in
Umpyua and Rogue river valley. It was _cut off_, and given to commerce and
agriculture in 1866.

That an equivalent was ever made to the Indian does not appear from any
records to which I have had access. It is, however, asserted, that a small
sum was invested in stock cattle, for the benefit of Siletz Indians. There
are two approaches to Siletz from the valley of Willamette; the principal,
via Ya-quina river and bay; the other, over the mountain by trail. My
first visit was by the former. In September, 1869, in company with Hon.
Geo. H. Williams, then U. S. Senator, now Attorney General of the United
States, Judge Odeneal, since my successor in office, and other citizens,
we reached the head of navigation late on the evening of the 12th. We
remained over night at “Elk Horn Hotel.” The following morning, in the
absence of steamer, we took passage in small row-boats, propelled by

The adventures of the day were few, only one of which I shall refer to
now. Our U. S. Senator, who had done much for reconstruction in the
Senate, challenged one of our Indians for a trial of muscle at the oars.
The challenge was accepted, and senatorial broadcloth was laid aside, and
brain and muscle put to the test. After a short race the prow of our boat
ran into the bank on the side where brains was at work. For once at least,
muscle proved more than a match for brains, and, besides, an Indian had
won a victory over a great tyee. Now although our senator had proven
himself a match for other great senators in dignified debate, he was
compelled to listen to the cheers of our party in honor of a red man’s
triumph over him. I doubt if those who of late defeated him, when a
candidate for the highest seat in our halls of justice, felt half the
gratification that “To-toot-na-Jack” did that morning when the tyee
dropped the oar, exhausted and disgusted with his failure to hold even
hand with a red brother, who was _not a senator_.

After a row of twenty miles, we landed within a half hour’s ride of
Siletz. The agent, Mr. Simpson, met our party with saddle-horses.

While en route a horse-race was proposed; the dignified gentleman turning
jockey for the nonce. In fact, the entire party engaged in a run. The road
passed over low hills, covered with timber and tall ferns. While the
Congressional and Indian Departments were going at a fearful speed, a
representative of the latter went over his horse’s head, and soon felt
the weight of the United States Senate crushing the Indian Department
almost to death.

The parties referred to will recognize the picture.

This was not the first time, or the last either, that the Senate of the
United States has “been down on the Indian Department.”

Without serious damage, both were again mounted, and soon were fording
Siletz river,——a deep, narrow stream, whose bed was full of holes,
slight——“irregularities,” as defaulters would say.

We crossed in safety, except that one horse carried his rider into water
too deep for wading. It matters not who the rider was, or whether he
belonged to Congress or the Indian Department.

On reaching the prairie a sight presented itself, that gives emphatic
denial to the oft-repeated declaration, that Indians cannot be civilized.

Spread out before us was a scene that words cannot portray. The agency
building occupied a plateau, twenty feet above the level of the valley.
They were half hidden by the remnants of a high stockade that had been
erected when the Indians were first brought on to the agency fresh from
the Rogue-river war. At that time a small garrison was thought necessary
to prevent rebellion among the Indians, and to secure the safety of the
officers of the Indian Department.

It was, doubtless, good judgment, under the circumstances. Here were the
remnants of fourteen different tribes and bands, who had been at war with
white men and each other, and who, though subjugated, had not been
thoroughly “_reconstructed_.”

They were located in the valley, within sight of the agency, and were
living in little huts and shanties that had been built by the Government.

Each tribe had been allotted houses separated from the others but a few
hundred yards at farthest. They drew their supplies from the same
storehouse, used the same teams and tools, and were in constant contact.
They had come here at the command of the United States Government, in
chains, bearing with them the trophies of war; some of them being
fair-haired scalp-locks, and others were off red men’s heads. Think for a
moment of enemies meeting and wearing these evidences of former enmity;
shaking hands while each was in possession of the scalp-locks of father or
brother of the others!

But, at the time of the visit referred to, no sentinel walked his rounds.
No bayonet flashed in the sunshine on the watch-tower of the stockade at
Siletz. The granaries and barns were unbarred; even Agent Simpson’s own
quarters were unlocked day and night. Fire-arms and tools were unguarded;
Indians came and went at will, except that Agent Simpson had so taught
them that they never entered without a preliminary knock. The Indian men
came not with heads covered, but in respectful observance of ceremony.

The kitchen work and house-keeping were done by Indian women, under the
direction of a white matron. The agent’s table afforded the best of
viands. Tell the world that Indians cannot be civilized! Here were the
survivors of many battles, who, but a few short years since, had been
brought under guard, some of them loaded with chains, and with blood on
their hands, who were living as I have described.

Sometimes, it is true, the remembrance of former feuds would arouse the
sleeping fires of hatred and desire for revenge amongst themselves, and
fights would ensue. But no white man has ever been injured by these people
while on the Reservation, since their location at Siletz.

This statement is made in justice to the Indians themselves, and in honor
of those who had control of them, both of whom merit the compliment.
Amongst these people were Indian _desperadoes_, who had exulted in the
bloody deeds they had committed. One especially, braver than the rest,
named Euchre Bill, boasted that he had _eaten the heart of one white man_.

This he did in presence of Agent Simpson, during an effort of the latter
to quell a broil. The agent, always equal to emergencies, replied, by
knocking the fellow down, handcuffing him, and shutting him up in the
guard-house, and feeding him on bread and water for several days, after
which time he was released, with the warning that, the next time he
repeated the hellish boast, he would “not need handcuffs, nor bread and
water.” Bill understood the hint. The agent remarked to us that “Bill was
one of his main dependants in preserving order.”

During our visit we went with the agent to see Euchre Bill. He was hewing
logs. On our approach he dropped the axe, and saluted the agent with
“Good-morning, Mr. Simpson,” at the same time extending his hand. When
informed of the personality of our party, Bill waved his hat, and made a
slight bow, repeating the name of each in turn.

We looked in on the school then in progress; we found twenty-five children
in attendance. They gave proof of their ability to use the English
language, and understand its power to express ideas; the lessons were all
in primary books. Their recitations were remarkable. Outside of books they
had been instructed in practical knowledge, and answered readily in
concert to the questions, Who is President of the United States? What city
is the capital? Who is Governor of Oregon? Where is the capital located?
Who is Superintendent of Indian Affairs? What year is this? How many
months in a year? When did the count of years begin? Who was Jesus Christ?
And many other questions were asked and readily answered. The boys were
named George Washington, Dan Webster, Abe Lincoln, James Nesmith, Grant,
Sherman, Sheridan,——each answering to a big name. “Dan Webster” delivered
in passable style an extract from his great prototype’s reply to Hayne.
The school also joined the teacher in singing several Sunday-school hymns,
and popular songs. Short speeches were made by visitors and teachers. We
were much encouraged by what we saw, and left _that_ school-house with the
belief that Indian children can learn as readily as others when an
opportunity is given them. I have not changed my conviction since; much of
its prosperity was due to the teacher, William Shipley, who was fitted for
the work and gave his time to it. We also called at some of the little
settlements. The agency farm was tilled in common; notwithstanding we saw
many small gardens around the Indian houses, growing vegetables, and in
one or more “_tame flowers_.” At one place several men were at work on a
new house, some of them shingling, others clinking cracks. One man was
hewing out, with a common axe, a soft kind of stone for a fire-place.

We entered the house of “Too-toot-na Jack,” the champion oarsman. He
welcomed his vanquished rival in the boat-race above referred to, and his
friend, and offered one an arm-chair, and stools to the remainder. His
wife came in, and Jack said, “This is my woman, Too-toot-na Jinney. She is
no fool either. She has a cooking-stove in the kitchen.” Jinney was much
older than her husband; but that was not unusual. She was a thrifty
housewife, and was a financier,——had saved nearly one thousand silver
half-dollars; and what she lacked in personal charms, on account of
tattooed chin and gray hairs, she made up, like many a fairer woman, in
the size of the buckskin purse wherein she kept her coin. Jack seemed
fully to appreciate the good qualities of his “woman;” not because he had
access to her fortune, but because _she_ was old and _he_ was young, and
the chances were that _he_ would be at _her_ funeral.

That hope has made many a better fellow than Too-toot-na behave with
becoming reverence for his wife. But “many a slip ’twixt cup and lip”
applies to all kinds of people. Jack never realized on _his investment_.
_He_ went _first_, and Jinney is now a rich widow, and has no doubt
marriage offers in abundance.

We were present on “court day,” the agent holding it for the adjustment of
all kinds of difficulties among his people. In such cases he appoints
juries from among the bystanders, always taking care to select such as had
no tribal affinities with the parties to the suit. He had a sheriff in
every tribe, and on occasions where their own friends were interested he
summoned others to act. He _himself_ was the _court and high sheriff_, and
always _sat_ with a large hickory cane, called “Old Moderator.”

My readers may smile at this kind of a gavel; but it was a practical and
useful thing to have in such courts,——much more potential than Blackstone
or any other kind of commentaries, unless, indeed, it be the last revised
edition of Samuel Colt.

The records of that court were sometimes made on untanned parchment; by
which I mean, my poor, unsophisticated reader, that these Indian citizens
would sometimes forget very willingly to observe the decorum due before
that august tribunal, and fall to making a record for themselves and on
one another with fists, clubs, whips, knives, pistols, and other lively
weapons, until the good Judge Simpson completed that record by a vigorous
application of the aforesaid hickory club, and some of the citizens had
editions for personal adornment.

The walls of the court-room had transcript fragments done in carmine,——or,
to be better understood, in “claret.” Court day had been announced to the
visitors while at breakfast. The senator had been a successful lawyer
before entering the political arena; the judge was then in the enjoyment
of a lucrative practice; the superintendent had done something in the law
line in county courts before justices of the peace.

The court-room was crowded, the doorways and windows were occupied, and
black shining eyes were glistening through every crack, all anxious to see
and hear. These people, of Siletz especially, were apt imitators, and
more readily fell in with the vices and frivolities of civilization than
with its virtues and proprieties.

The assembly was composed of the greatest variety of character, color,
costume, and countenance ever found in any court-room. Women were there,
learning law. Perhaps, they had, woman-like, intuitively snuffed the purer
air of freedom that is soon to sweep over our beautiful country and blast
the hopes of demagogues who now _rule_, without _representing_, the better
portion of the people.

Old chiefs were there to learn wisdom, to take with them to the
hunting-grounds above. Don’t chide them, reader. They never had an even
chance in this life; let them have it in the next, if possible.

The boys were there, and why not? They were looking forward to a time when
an Indian will be as good as a negro, if they behave as well. They had an
eye to political and pecuniary affairs. In fact, the people were all there
except camp-watchers and sick ones.

When our party were seated, the “Moderator” touched the floor, and soon
all was silent.

These Indians are fond of “law,” and since the old law and new——that is to
say, Indian and white men’s——were somewhat mixed up, it was a difficult
matter to execute justice uniformly. Agent Simpson, being a practical man,
had not sought to enforce the white men’s law any further than the Indian
comprehended it.

The Indian lawyers were on hand ready for business. The first case called
was for assault and battery. The court and the visitors had been partial
witness of the little fight, which occurred the day previous to the trial,
on the “Plaza,” in front of the agent’s head-quarters. The contestants
were clutchmen (women); _the cause of war_, the only thing that women ever
fight about,——_a man_.

The statement in court was to the effect that one woman had stolen another
woman’s husband. The parties were arraigned, the statement made concerning
the case, and the matter compromised by sending both parties to the “Sku
Kum” House (Guard House).

The next case called was that of a man charged with unlawfully using a
horse belonging to some one else. The accused was ordered to pay for the
offence about what the real service of the animal was worth; no damages
were allowed. The third case was somewhat similar to the first.

One of Joshua’s people——name of a tribe——claimed damage for insulted
honor, and destruction of his domestic happiness.

A Rogue-river Indian had, very much after the fashions of civilized life,
by presents and petty talk, persuaded the wife of the aforesaid warrior to
elope with him. The old history of poor human nature had been repeated.
The villain deserted his victim, and she returned to her home. Her
husband, with observing eyes discovered more ic-tas (goods) in the woman’s
possession than could be accounted for on honorable grounds, and demanded
an explanation. She made “a clean breast,” and agreed to go into court
with her husband and claim _damages_, not divorce; for I have before
remarked that Indians were eminently practical. The husband demanded
_satisfaction_. The accused, whose name was “Chetco Dandy,” would have
accorded him the privilege of a fight; but that was not the satisfaction
demanded. The husband had made his ultimatum. _Two horses_ would settle
the unpleasantness. Chetco, however, owned but one. The court decided that
he should make ten hundred rails, and deliver the horse to the injured
husband, with the understanding that the latter was to _board_ him while
doing the work.

I can’t resist a query: how long a white man, under such arrangements,
would require to make ten hundred rails. The husband was satisfied, his
honor was vindicated, and he owned another horse. After the docket was
cleared, a council talk was had.

These people had been placed here by the Government, in 1856, numbering
then, according to Superintendent Nesmith’s report for 1857, 2,049 souls,
representing fourteen bands; and although, in 1869, they numbered little
more than half as many, they kept up tribal relations, at least so far as
chieftainship was concerned. In the council that day one or two of the
chiefs represented tribes in bands of ten or twenty persons; and one poor
follow, the last of his people, stood alone without constituency. He was a
chief, nevertheless.

I cannot report here the reflection that such a circumstance
suggests,——only that he, with the usual solemn face of an Indian in
council, seemed the personification of loneliness.

The speeches made by these people evinced more sense than their appearance
indicated. They were dependent on the Government, and felt their
helplessness. When the usual speeches had been made preliminary to
business talk, I said to them that I was gratified at the advancement they
had made, considering the circumstances, and that I was willing for them
to express their wishes in regard to the expenditure of money in their

They were loth to speak on this matter, because they had never been
consulted, and a recognition of their manhood was more than they had
expected. After some deliberation, during which they, like bashful boys,
asked one another, each nudging his neighbor to speak first, old Joshua at
last arose, half hesitatingly, and said, “Maby, I don’t understand you. Do
you mean that we may say what we want bought for us? Nobody ever said that
before, and it seems strange to me.”

I had consulted the agent before making this experiment, and he had
doubted the propriety; not because he was unwilling to recognize their
manhood in the premises, but he feared they would betray weakness for
useless articles, and thereby bring derision on his efforts to civilize
them. Perhaps it might establish a precedent that would be troublesome

He exhibited great anxiety when Old Joshua rose, lest he would disgrace
his people by asking for beads, paint, and powder, and lead, and scarlet
cloth. I can see that agent yet, with his deep-set eyes fixed on the
speaker, while he rested his chin on his cane. Old Joshua spoke again,
and, though he was considered a “terrible brave on the warpath,” and had
passed the better portion of his life in that way, now when, for the first
time in his life, he was called upon to give opinions on a serious
matter, concerning the investment of money for his people, he appeared to
be transformed into a _man_. He _was_ a man. Hear him talk:——

“I am old; I can’t live long. I want my people to put away the old law
(meaning the old order of things). I want them to learn how to work like
white men. They cannot be Indians any longer. We have had some things
bought for us that did us no good,——some blankets that I could poke my
finger through; some hoes that broke like a stick. We don’t want these
things. We want _ploughs_, _harness_, chick-chick (_wagons_), _axes_, good
hoes, a few blankets for the old people. These we want. We have been
promised these things. They have not come.”

The agent’s face relaxed; his eyes changed to pleased surprise. Other
chiefs spoke also, but after the pattern that Joshua had made, except that
some of them complained more, and named a former agent, who came poor and
went away rich. No Indian suggested an unwise investment. We assured them
that they should have the tools and other goods asked for; and _that
promise was kept_, much to the gratification of the Indians and agent.

I have not the abstract at hand, but I think I purchased for them soon
after $1,200 worth of tools and twenty sets of harness, and that a few
blankets were issued.

But, to resume the council proceedings. These people were clamorous for
allotments of land in severalty. Their arguments were logical, they
referring to the promises of the Government to give each man a home. The
land has been surveyed, and, if not allotted to them, I do not know why
it has not been done.

The subject of religion was discussed at some length. The agent, willing
to advance “his people,” had given them lessons in the first principles of
Christianity. He had taught them the observance of Sunday, had forbidden
drinking, gambling, and profanity. He invited ministers to preach to them,
and, when necessary, had been their interpreter. There were several
languages represented in the council; the major portion of the Indians
understood the jargon, or “Chi-nook,” a language composed of less than one
hundred words; partly Indian, Spanish, French, and “Boston.” The latter
word is in common use among the tribes of Oregon and Washington Territory
to represent white men or American.

The Christian churches have enjoyed the privilege of ministry to these
people since they were first located on the Reservation.

The Catholic priests, who had baptized some of these people, were very
zealous. Occasionally, the Methodist itinerant called and preached to
them. The labors of neither were productive of much good, because they did
not preach with simplicity, and could not, therefore, preach with power.
It would be about as sensible for a Chinaman to preach to Christians, as
for the latter to preach to Indians in high-flown words, abstruse
doctrines, or abstract dogmas. One case will illustrate.

A very devout man of God visited the agency, with, I doubt not, good
intentions. He preached to these people just as he would have done to
white men. He talked of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world; besought
them to flee from the wrath to come; that Jesus Christ was the Saviour of
the red men as well as white men; that he had died for the sins of the
world; that he rose again the third day and ascended into heaven.

The discourse was interpreted to the Indians by an employé on the
Reservation. A few days after, a Si-wash, the usual word for Indian, who
answered to the name of Push-wash, entered into conversation with the
above-named employé, by saying, “What you think about that Sunday-man’s
talk,——you think him fool?”——“No; he is a good man; he has plenty of
sense.”——“What for he swear all time?”——“He did not swear; he talked

“What for he say Jesus Christ so many times? All the time he talk the

“That was all right; he told the truth; he did not talk wrong.”

“You think me fool? What for a good man die for me? I am not a bad man. I
did not tell him to die.”

“The Jews killed him, they did not like him.”

“You say Jews kill good man?”

“Yes, they kill him, and he come to life again on the third day.”

“You think he came to life? I don’t believe they kill him. He not live any

“Yes; everybody will live again some time.”

“You suppose a bad Indian get up, walk ’bout again, all the same a good

“They will all rise, but they won’t all be good.”

“What for the Sunday man tell that? He say Jesus Christ die for bad Indian
too? Say he go to heaven all the same as a good Indian, good white man;
that aint fair thing. I don’t no like such religion.”

A few days afterwards the man who reported this dialogue passed near the
grave of an Indian, and found it covered with stones and logs. He learned
afterwards, that Push-wash had explained to other Indians the meaning of
the “Sunday-man’s talk,” and they had piled stones and logs on the graves
of their enemies, to prevent them rising from the dead.

The reader will thus appreciate the necessity for sending ministers who
are qualified to preach to these people; otherwise they may do the savage
more harm than good. Farther on in the work I shall discuss more fully
this most important of all questions, with special reference to the
difficulties in the way of treating with the Indians, in consequence of
their numerous and peculiar religious beliefs, which few white men know
anything about.

I left Siletz with a favorable opinion of the people, and the prospects
before them. Notwithstanding the many impediments in the way of their
civilization, the transformation from a wild savage to a semi-civilized
life had been wrought in fourteen years.

In this connection I submit the last annual report of Hon. Ben.
Simpson,[1] late United States Indian agent at Siletz. I do so, because
whatever of progress these people may have made was under his
administration as Indian agent, and believing the short history presented
by him will be of interest to my readers.

[1] See Appendix.

He is a gentleman of unimpeachable integrity, though blessed with enemies
whose assaults have polished his character like a diamond. Whatever vices
these Indians may have exhibited to his successor,——Gen. Palmer,——they
were not the results of Mr. Simpson’s management, or example; but rather
the natural consequences of association with profligate soldiers and other
white men, during the first years of their residence on the Reservation.

Gen. Joel Palmer was recommended as Mr. Simpson’s successor by the
Methodist Church. He went to his duty with long experience, and in many
respects well fitted for the work.

Scarcely had he assumed the duties of his office, with a new set of
employés, before he was made to realize that poor human nature will in
most cases control human action. Ingratitude is said, by Indian haters, to
be characteristic of those people. Better be honest and say it of mankind.

I have said that he selected a new set of officers. Among them was one
chosen on account of his religious habits,——habits, I say, not
character,——who had lent a listening ear to the call, “Go preach my Gospel
to all nations.” This man answered this urgent call, and Agent Palmer
employed him. No sooner had he unfurled the banner of Christianity among
these people, than he began in a clandestine way to undermine Agent
Palmer. Unfortunately for the agent, this preacher had been recommended by
the same church for position. This gave him influence. He made use of it.
He proposed to other officers of the agency that if they would assist in
ousting Palmer he would retain them in their respective positions.

To consummate this act of religious villany, he circulated reports against
the man, whose kindness fed him and his family, that he (Palmer) had men
in his employ who were “not, strictly speaking, Christians; that he was
not competent to discharge the duties of his office.” The agent found,
what nearly every officer has learned sooner or later, that his position
was of doubtful tenure, and felt the sting of this man’s treachery so
severely that he proposed to resign.

“Brother ———— is determined to oust me, and I reckon I will let him have
the position. He wants it, and I don’t care to worry my life out fighting
for an Indian agency.”

This is the substance of the speech Agent Palmer made to me as
superintendent. I said to him, “Do no such thing. Go back to your agency
and tell that man to roll his blankets and be off, or you will put him in
irons. Then discharge every accomplice he has, and select good, true men

Brother Palmer replied that “the church recommended Brother ————, and I
don’t like to do such a thing.” I prevailed on him to withdraw his
resignation; and on his return to Siletz, he discharged Brother ————. But
the war was continued against him until Agent Palmer demanded a successor
to relieve him; and after a short administration he retired without having
christianized the Siletz Indians.

I have mentioned this episode for the reason that I desire full justice
done a man who meant well, with a sincere hope that those having the
appointing power may be made to reflect a moment before making
nominations for office in deference to the demands of any church, and
without regard to the fitness of the appointee.

I have due respect for church members, and recognize the necessity of
having men of moral character among the wards of this Government.

Gen. Palmer, with his long experience, was, in many respects, qualified
for his position; but he was a poor judge of character. I may be censured
for making these comments, but they are just, nevertheless; as was the
opinion I gave of the aforesaid Brother ————, when his name was proposed
as a missionary to the Siletz Indians, by the presiding elder of the

I answered him, “That man’s face says he would undermine his father, to
forward his own interests.”

The elder said in reply, “Brother Meacham, you must be mistaken; he is a
good, Christian man, and will be a great help to Brother Palmer.” In
courtesy to the presiding elder, I consented, with the remark, “Try him;
but he will make a thorny bed for Brother Palmer.”

Here is the history. It is not written to bring ridicule on the church
nominating him.

Siletz agency has been established fourteen years, during which time five
agents have represented the Government. Some of them have been good men
for the position.

Although these Indians are not up to the standard of moral character, or
church requirements, a great change has been wrought, and credit should be
given to whom it is due.

Uncouth these Indians on Siletz may be, but let truth speak for them, and
you will hear of how they came to this new home captives, and in chains,
under guard of bayonets, borne on shoulders of men wearing the uniform of
the U. S. A.

You will hear how these men were stationed among them to guard them, and
compel obedience to the mandates of a Government that permitted the
grossest outrages on their rights, and made no effort to redress their

You would hear, too, of a people living in careless indolence on Umpyua
and Rogue rivers, in southern Oregon, when disturbed by the advent of
white men, who came with prejudices against them, who disregarded their
rights, denied them the privilege of living on the land God had given
them, who failed to protect them from the outrages committed by vicious
white men; of the indiscriminate warfare that was carried on against them
for resenting such insults; of their native land left in ruins, where the
wail of weeping pale-faces over slain friends mingled with their own
lamentations on taking leave of the homes of their earliest life.

Truth would tell of the many crimes committed by and against them, since
their residence at Siletz; of how they have been punished for their own
misdeeds, and have seen those who sinned against them go unpunished.

Be patient, you half-savage people! Death is rapidly healing your wounds
and curing your griefs. Those who survive may, in time, be given homes.
The lands have been surveyed for these people, but have not yet been
allotted. Nothing could do more to revive them than the consummation of
this promise.

Some of them have lived with white men as laborers, and have learned many
things qualifying them for this great boon. Surely a magnanimous
Government will complete this great act of justice to a helpless people.
May God speed the day!

                             ALSEA AGENCY.

It is located on the coast Reservation south of Yaquina bay. The people
are “salt chuck,” or saltwater Indians, and the majority of them were born
on the lands they now occupy; hence they are the most quiet and
well-behaved Indians in Oregon.

They are easily controlled, and are making progress in civilization. But
few in number, and of the character I have named, they have never taken
part in any of the many wars that have made Oregon “the battle-ground of
the Pacific coast.”

A sub-agency was established over them in 1866. The pay of sub-agent is
$1,000 per annum, without subsistence or other allowance. The Alsea people
being non-treaty Indians,——that is to say, they have no existing treaty
with the Government; no funds being appropriated especially for
them,——they are sustained entirely from the “Incidental Funds” for Oregon

The fact that the Alsea Indians have always been easily managed has been
to their disadvantage in securing Government aid. Had they been more
refractory, they would have been better treated. This sounds strangely,
and yet I declare it to be true. Why should Government reward them for
being peaceable? They have asked for buildings; the Government gave them
huts. They asked for schools and churches; but no school-house stands out
in the bleak ocean winds of their home; no church-bell calls them to hear
the wonderful story of a Saviour’s love. Notwithstanding the wealth of
their successors peals forth in loud strains which echo on foreign shores,
no hammer rings out its cheering notes on anvil of theirs.

This little agency demonstrates the fact, that the only _sure_ way for
Indians to secure attention is _through blood_. Our Government follows the
example of the father of the Prodigal Son, with this remarkable
difference, that it abuses its dutiful children, while it fawns upon and
encourages the red-faced reprobates, by _rewarding_ them for their
rebellious deeds.

The department farm at Alsea was made by Government, on Indian land,
ostensibly for the Indians’ benefit. It is located on a bleak plain, that
stretches away from the ocean surf to the foot of the coast range
mountains. It produces potatoes and oats. The mountains are high and
rugged, and covered with dense forests of fir and cedar timber; much of
the former has been “burnt.” A heavy undergrowth has become almost
impenetrable except for wild animals or Indian hunters.

The cedar groves cover streams of water that will in time be of great
value, when turned on to machinery with which to convert the cedars into
merchandise for foreign markets. The streams are plentifully supplied with
fish. No long list of employés answer to the command of an agent at Alsea.
In some respects it is the better way, inasmuch as it is to the interest
of the agent to teach his wards the more common arts of handiwork. In this
way, the improvements have been made by Indian labor, under the direction
of an agent; and now, while I write, these people are coming slowly up
towards the gate that _should_ open to them a way to the brotherhood of

Efforts are being made to reduce the area of the Reservation, and, should
they succeed, these people who have cost the Government so little of blood
or treasure, will be compelled to yield; only repeating, “Might versus
Right.” I am not opposed to reduction of the limits of the coast
Reservation, if these people, who have already given up so much beautiful
country, shall be provided with schools, churches, shops, and other means
whereby they may be compensated, and, in the mean time, prepared by
civilization for the new life that awaits the survivors, that, a few years
hence, may be left to represent their people.

The Government owes to these humble Indians all I have suggested, and, in
addition, a home marked out and allotted in severalty, made inalienable
for one or two generations.

But, however deserving they may be, it is doubtful if they ever enjoy the
boon they crave. Few in number, peaceable in disposition, unknown to the
world by bloody deeds, the probabilities are that the white man will
encroach on their lands, a few miles at a time, until at last, hemmed in
by a civilization they cannot enjoy, they will gradually mix and mingle,
becoming more licentious and corrupt by association with vicious white
men, and in a generation or two will be known only by a few vagabonds, who
will wander, gipsy-like, through the country, a poor, miserable fag-end of
a race.

Perhaps a few may take humble positions as laborers, and attain to a
half-way station between savage and civilized life. Another few will
become slaves to King Alcohol, and their chief men, lying around whiskey
mills, drunken, debauched, despised, will drop back again to mother earth,
mingling with the soil their fathers once owned.

Thus the people of Alsea will pass away. I pity you, humble, red-skinned
children of the Pacific surf! You were happy once, and carelessly rode in
your canoes over the shining sands of your native beach, or chased the
game on the mountain side, little dreaming of the coming of a human tide
which would swallow you and your sea-washed home, or carry both away out
on the boundless expanse of a civilization whose other shores you could
not see had sepulchres ready for your bones. You have spent your lives
with your feet beating the paths your fathers made centuries ago; but your
children shall follow newer trails, that lead to more dangerous jungles
than those trod by your ancestors. Strange demons they will meet, before
whom they will fall to rise no more.

Your fathers watched the shadows of Alsea mountain moving slowly up its
western front, making huge pictures on its sides, and gazed without fear
on the sun dropping under the sea, wondering how it found its way under
the great ocean and high mountains, to come again with so much regularity;
or perhaps they believed, as others do, that the Great Spirit sent a new
“fire-ball” each day, and nightly quenched it in the sea. You now see the
shadows climb the mountain, fitting emblem of the white man’s presence in
your land, and read in the setting sun the history of your race. Better
that you had never heard the sweet sounds of civilized life than that
you, with feet untrained, should follow its allurements to your

You, that once gave to the beautiful mountain streams smile for smile, are
now haggard and worn, giving only grim presages of your doom.

Others of your race have avenged their ill-fortunes with the tomahawk,
and, in compliance with their religion, have rejected offers of a better
life than they knew. But you——you have yielded without war, and, like
helpless orphans thrown on the cold world, have accepted the mites given
grudgingly by your masters, who treat with contempt and ridicule your
cherished faith, who misconstrue your peaceful lives into cowardice. They
have fixed their eyes on your home. They will make Alsea river transform
the forest on its banks into houses, towns, and cities. They will make the
valley where you now follow the government plough, to yield rich harvests
of grain, and they will convert the ocean beach into a fountain of golden
treasure. A few years more, and the noise of machinery will wake you early
from your slumbers. The roar of ocean’s breakers will mingle with the hum
of busy life in which you may have no part. The white man’s eyes will
dance with gladness at the sight of your mountains dismantled of their
forests, and the glimmer of coming sails to bear away the lofty pines.
Yours will weep at the sacrilege done to your hunting grounds; theirs will
gaze on the wide Pacific, and see there the channels that will bring
compensation to them for the spoils of your home. Yours will recognize it
only as the resting-place for the bones of your people. The white man
says, “Your fate is fixed,——your doom is sealed.” Few hearts beat with
sympathy for you; you are unknown and unnoticed. You must pass away,
unless, indeed, the white race shall, from the full surfeit of vengeance
upon you and yours, at last return to you a measure of justice.

He who dares appeal in your behalf is derided by his fellows. A proud,
boastful people, who claim that human actions should be directed by high
motives and pure principles, treat with contempt every effort made to save
you from destruction. Strong may be the heart of the Indian Chief to
resist the encroachments on his people’s rights, but stronger still the
arm of a Government that boasts rebellion against oppression as its
foundation stone.

                              CHAPTER VII.


                       GRAND ROUND INDIAN AGENCY.

I Made my first official visit to this agency in the latter part of
September, 1869. Captain Charles La Follette was then acting agent.

The road from Salem was over a beautiful country, settled by white men,
who had transformed this once wild region into a paradise. The first view
of the agency proper was from a high ridge several miles distant. On the
right and left were clustered the houses of the several tribes, each one
having been assigned a location. Their houses were built of logs or
boards, and rudely put together. Every board had cost these poor people an
acre of land; every log counted for so much money given in compensation
for their birthrights to the soil of the matchless valley of the

As we stood on the dividing ridge separating this agency from the great
valley I have mentioned, looking toward the west, we beheld, nearest on
the left, old Fort Yamhill, with its snowy cottages, built for the
accommodation of the officers of the army in the days when the gallant
Sheridan was a lieutenant, and walked its parade-grounds with a simple
sword dangling by his side and bars on his shoulder, holding beneath his
military cap a brain power waiting for the sound of clanking chains and
thundering cannon to call him hence to deeds of valor that should compel
the laurel wreath of fame to seek his brow, little thinking then, while
guarding savages, that, away off in the future, his charger would
impatiently call him from repose, and bear him into the face of a
victorious enemy with so much gallantry that he would turn an apparent
defeat into a glorious victory.

Immediately on our right were the huts of the people for whose especial
intimidation the costly palaces and beautiful cottages had been built. The
huts or houses were built on the hillside sloping toward the valley. They
presented the appearance of a small, dilapidated inland town that had been
“cut off” by a railroad; but they were peopled with Indians who were
trying to imitate their masters.

Farther away on the left was another little group of houses, occupied by
the chief of the Santiams and his people. The sight of this man’s home
recalled a part of his own history, suggestive of romance, wild, it is
true, but real, nevertheless.

Many years ago, this chief was a young warrior, and his people were at
peace with the white race, and were not then “wards of the Government,”
but were living on their native hills, in the vicinity of Mount Jefferson,
standing sentinel over the snowy peaks of the Cascade mountains, on whose
sides were sitting, like great urns, clear, cold lakes, sending forth
little streamlets, murmuring and whispering, and sometimes leaping, like
boys going home from play, joining other merry, laughing streamlets,
rushing madly along through forests of firs and sugar-pines, whose
dropping cones startled the wild game from their repose.

’Twas here this young warrior’s home was nestled, beneath the
outstretched arms of giant cedars, or sheltered by some quiet nook or
cove. Here he had learned the arts of his own people, and passed the
winters by, until alone he could chase the fawns or climb the
mountain-peak, and gather trophies with which to ornament his neck or fill
his quiver.

A pale-face man from distant Missouri had come to this far country to
escape the familiar sounds of civilization, where he might imitate the
Indian in his freedom and his pleasures. He brought with him his family,
and built his cabin near a fountain, to which medicine men would sometimes
come or send their patients for recovery.

This white man had a son, with down just cropping on his chin, who, “chip
of the old block,” as he was, seemed half Indian already, and, fond of
wild sports, soon made the acquaintance of young Santiam. The friendship
grew, and the rivalry of _archer_ and _gunner_ often drew them into
dispute. Still they were friends.

The archer claimed that he could creep, and noiselessly shoot from cover,
without giving alarm, until his quiver should be empty, and thus bring
down the chary buck or spotted fawn. The gunner would aver that he could
do better execution at greater distance. These trials of skill were often
made, and each time the difference ’twixt white and red skin seemed to
diminish. The young pale-face would sling his gun and straightway bend his
steps toward the camp of Santiam. By signs that he had learned, he took
the young chief’s trail, and followed through wooded plains, or up the
mountain side, until they would hail each other, and then, by agreement,
would separate to meet again at some appointed place, laying a wager who
would be most successful in the chase of black-tailed deer or mountain

The hill-sides had put on autumn hues, and the loftier hills were dressed
in winter’s garb, and gave warning to the denizens who spent their summers
near their peaks, that cold weather would soon drive them to the hills
beneath for refuge from the blasts that howl above the roar of mountain
lion or jumping torrents.

The keeper of the fleecy clouds had given sign of readiness, and, in fact,
had begun to spread the winter’s carpet down, to preserve the tender
grasses for the antlered herd, which would return in open spring to train
their limbs for daring feats, in defiance of the feathered arrow, or his
neighbor, the loud-talking gun.

Santiam, to anticipate their coming, had started in the early morn, while
yet the sun was climbing the eastern slope of Jefferson, and, leaving a
sign imprinted in the snow, for his friend to read, hurried on, hoping
that from ambush he might send his arrow home to the panting heart of the
bounding deer. His friend, anticipating the coming of his rival, had
already gone by another route to the trysting place; while waiting there
for valley-going game, he spied a grizzly bear, and, without knowing the
habits of the monster, he took deliberate aim and fired, but failed to
bring his bearship to the ground.

These fellows, when undisturbed, are sure to run; but when the leaden ball
had pierced this one’s pelt, he exhibited the usual bearish indications of
resentment for insult offered. The pale-face hunter stood his ground, and
sent another ball, merely to persuade his enemy to desist. To those
accustomed to this kind of fight, I need not say that every shot made the
matter worse. These kings of the Cascades yield not to showers of leaden
hail or flocks of flying arrows until the life of their enemy or their own
gives victory. With lumbering gait and open mouth, he closed upon the
hapless hunter, and had borne him to the ground, when Santiam reached the
scene. He hesitated not on which side he would volunteer. Snatching from
his belt a hatchet, and a well-tried knife, he, too, closed on the
grizzly, and drew his attention from his friend, who, in turn, would
attack the wounded monster, and thus alternating between two enemies, he
grew more furious and regardless of consequences.

Rallying again to renew the desperate struggle, though his life was ebbing
fast, he threw his great body on the pale-faced hunter, when Santiam, with
well-aimed steel at his heart, closed the battle. His friend had been
severely wounded, and lay prostrate on the ground; his torn garments
dripping in blood, his own, and that of his dread enemy, mingled. The
young chief soon had a blazing fire, and then tying up the wounds of his
friend, to stop the flow of blood, he hastened to his home for aid.

Returning with a cluchman of his tribe, he found his friend sinking fast.
Making a hasty litter of pine limbs, they bore the wounded hunter to his
home. The mother, at the sight of her son so mangled, like a true heroine,
overcame her fear, and made preparation for his comfort. The sister, in
her quiet way, brought refreshment for her brother, and while the father
and his comrade, the “medicine man,” were joining their skill to provide
remedies for the wounded one, young Santiam, acting from the precepts of
his people, had hurried back to the battle-ground, and, with his
cluchman’s help, soon stripped the pelt from the dead beast, and brought
it to the home of his white rival, and then the “medicine man,” with faith
based on tradition’s usage, bound up the wounds therewith.

The days went slowly by, until the danger was passed. Santiam went not to
the chase, unless for choicest food for his friend, but waited beside the
couch of his comrade for his recovery; sometimes joining with the sick
man’s sister in watching his slumbers, or, may be, touching hands in
ministering to his wants.

She, with missionary spirit, sought to teach Santiam words, and the
history, too, of her people, their ways, and higher life than he had
known. He was apt at learning, as my reader may discover by his speech,
recited in this book, made in council years after. His dark eye kindled as
some new knowledge found way to his understanding, and his heart grew
warmer at the sound of voice from pale-faced cluchman. If history be true,
her eye kindled too, at the coming of the quiet step of the young comrade
of her brother, and her heart felt a new, strange fire, that sent its
flame to her cheeks in tell-tale roses.

Novice though he was in civilized ways, he was a man, and with quick
perception made the discovery that he now cared more for his comrade’s
sister than for him; and that even the sister thought of her brother in
the third person.

This Missouri man had not yet recognized the growing love between his
daughter and young Santiam; and the mother, too, without recalling the
youthful days of her own wooing,——perhaps she had none, but years before,
in obedience to a custom of her own people, had listened to a proposal,
and accepted, because she might “do no better,”——did not recognize the
signs of coming trouble to her household, in the rustic courtship going
on. Why do parents so soon forget their wooing days, and hide the history
from their children, when so nearly all that human nature endures of woes,
or enjoys of bliss, comes through the agency of the emotions and
affections of the heart?

This guileless girl, cut off from association with her own people by
action of her father, and in gratitude for the young chief’s kindness to
her brother, had, under the prompting of the richest emotions that God had
given, opened her heart in friendship first and invited the visitor to
share so much; little dreaming that, when once the guest was there, he
would become a constant tenant, against whose expulsion she would herself

The young chief himself did not realize that the finest, warmest feelings
of the human heart are supposed by greater men to be confined to the same
race or color. Perhaps he thought the Great Spirit had made all alike, not
fixed the difference in the hue of the skin. He was a free man; did not
know that civilization had raised a barrier between the races. He had,
without knowing what he did, found the barrier down, and passed beyond in
natural freedom, and, without thought of wrong, had given full freedom to
his heart.

The winter passed, and spring had sprinkled the hill-side with flowers.
The wilder herds had fled from the huntsman’s horn, and climbed again to
pleasure-grounds, where the tender grasses cropped out from retreating
snow-fields. The rival hunters had again resumed the chase, and spent
whole days in telling stories of the past, or living over the battle of
the preceding autumn. Each rehearsal made them better friends, and
confidence grew mutual. Santiam, with freedom, spoke to his white brother
of the “fire in his heart,”——so these people speak of love,——of the sister
whom he loved. Who ever told a fellow that he loved his sister without
making friendship tremble for the result?

The pale-face boy of whom I am writing still lives, though grown into gray
manhood, to verify this story. When Santiam had told his story, her
brother was quiet and thought in silence, while the warrior talked on, of
how he would be a “white man” and put away his wild habits, and be his
brother. The other promised that he would consult his family, and thus
they parted for the night.

The morning found Santiam at the cabin of the “settler,” little dreaming
that the friendship they had shown him was so soon to be withdrawn. He saw
the ominous word refusal in the cold reception that he met. One pair of
eyes alone talked in sympathetic glances. He waited to hear no more.

I would like to accommodate my youthful readers with what would make this
romantic story run on until some happy denouement had been found, and then
resume my work; but I dare not be false to history. The white man moved
away. The Indian remained until, through misunderstanding between his
people and the white race, war ensued; the frontier rang out the fearful
challenge of battle, and victims of both races were offered up to appease
insult and thirst for vengeance. The white hunter and his father united
with others in a war of extermination against the Indians, while they left
a home defenceless.

Young Santiam refused to war against the white man. He gave protection to
the cabin that sheltered his love of other days. The maiden is maiden yet;
and, though gray hair crowns her head, she is still faithful to the vows
made to her Indian lover in her girlhood. Whether she condemns the usage
of society that forbade her marriage, or blesses it because it saved her
from a savage life, we know not. She may blame her parents for their
short-sighted action in isolating her from those congenial to her heart,
by locating on the frontier where she met Santiam; surely, not for
prohibiting her marriage to him.

Santiam, at the close of the war, removed with his people to Grand Round
Agency, where he has lived since. Hear him talk in the Salem council of
1871, and judge him by his speeches. Faithful to his compacts, he remains
on his home. Few of those who meet him when he visits Salem know of this
romance of his life, but hundreds give him the hand of friendship.

[Illustration: GRAND ROUND AGENCY.]

To resume, Grand Round valley, the name of which suggests its size and
shape, lay stretched out before us, a beautiful picture from Nature’s
gallery, embellished by the touches that Uncle Sam’s greenbacks had given
to this agency in building churches, halls, and Indian houses, together
with a large farm for general use, and small ones for individuals.

At every change of Government officers, Reservation Indians show the
liveliest interest, and have great curiosity to see the new man. My
arrival was known to all the people very soon. The Indians of this agency
were more advanced in civilization than those of any other in Oregon. They
had been located by the Government, fifteen years previously. Many of them
were prisoners of war, in chains and under guard, and had been subjugated,
through sheer exhaustion; others were under treaty. Their very poverty and
the scanty subsistence the Government gave, was to them a blessing.
Permitted to labor for persons who lived “outside,” passes were given each
for a specified time. Thus their employers became each a civilizer.

At the time of my first official visit, they had abandoned Indian costume,
and were dressed in the usual garb of white men; many of them had learned
to talk our language. At my request, messengers were sent out, and the
people were invited to come in at an early hour the following day. Before
the time appointed they began to arrive. A few were on foot, the remainder
in wagons, or on horseback; the younger men and women coming in pairs,
after the fashion of white people around them, all arrayed in best attire,
for it was a gala day to them. I noticed that in some instances the women
were riding side-saddles, instead of the old Indian way, astride.

The children were not left at home, neither were they bound in thongs to
boards, or swinging in pappoose baskets; but some, at least, were carried
on the pummel of the father’s saddle. They were clothed like other
children. Strange and encouraging spectacle, to witness Indian men, who
were born savages, conforming to usages of civil life. When once an Indian
abandons the habits and customs of his fathers, and has tasted the air
which his more enlightened brother breathes, be never goes back so long as
he associates with good men.

These people, in less than twenty years, under the management of the
several agents, had been transformed, from “Darwin’s” wild beasts, almost
to civilized manhood, notwithstanding the croaking of soulless men who
constantly accuse United States agents of all kinds of misdemeanors and

When they were first located, they numbered about twenty-one hundred
souls. At the time of which I write, they had dwindled away to about half
that number.

When the hour for the talk arrived the people filled the council house,
and crowded the doors and windows, so that we found it necessary to
adjourn to the open air for room and comfort. The agent, La Follette, went
through the form of introducing me to his people, calling each one by

This ceremony is always conducted with solemnity; each Indian, as he
extends the hand, gazing steadfastly into the eye of the person
introduced. They seem to read character rapidly, and with correctness
equal to, and sometimes excelling, more enlightened people.

First, a short speech by Agent La Follette, followed by the “Salem
tyee,”——superintendent. I said that “I was pleased to find them so far
advanced in civilization; that I was now the ‘Salem tyee.’ You are my
children. I came to show you my heart, to see your hearts, to talk with
you about your affairs.”

Jo Hutchins——chief of Santiams——was first to speak. He said: “You see our
people are not rich; they are poor. We are glad to shake hands with you
and show our hearts. You look like a good man, but I will not give you my
heart until I know you better.” Louis Neposa said: “I have been here
fifteen years. I have seen all the country from here to the Rocky
Mountains. I had a home on Rogue river; I had a house and barn; I gave
them up to come here. That house on that hill is mine;” pointing towards
the house in question.

Indian speeches are remarkable for pertinency and for forcible expression,
many of them abounding in flights of imagination and bursts of oratory.
Much of the original beauty is lost in the translation, as few of them
speak in the English language when delivering a speech. Interpreters are
often illiterate men, and cannot render the subject-matter with the full
force and beauty of the original, much less imitate the gesture and voice.

During my residence in the far West, and especially while in Government
employ, I have taken notes, and in many instances, kept verbatim reports,
the work being done by clerks of the several agencies. I have selected,
from several hundred pages, a few speeches, made by these people, for use
in making up my book. It will be observed that the sentences are short,
and repetitions sometimes occur. In fact, these orators of nature follow
nature, and repeat themselves, as our greatest orators do, and their skill
in the art of repetition is something marvellous. This is peculiar to all
Indian councils, though not always recorded. The following are word for
word, especially Wapto Dave and Jo Hutchins’ speeches:——

Black Tom said: “I am a wild Injun. I don’t know much. I have not much
sense. I cannot talk well. I feel like a man going through the bushes,
when he is going to fight; like he was thinking some man was behind a
bush, going to shoot him. I have been fooled many times. I don’t know
much. Some tyees talk well when they first come. I have seen their
children wearing shirts like those they gave me; may be it was all right.
I don’t know much.”

Solomon Riggs——chief of the Umpyuas——said: “I am not a wild man. I have
sense. I know some things. I have learned to work. I was born wild, but I
am not wild now. I live in a house. I have a wagon and horses that I
worked for. They are mine. The Government did not give them to me. That
woman is my wife, and that is my baby. He will have some sense. I show you
my heart. I want you to give me your heart. I don’t want to be a wild
Injun.” See speech of Solomon Riggs in Salem Council.

All the “head men” made short speeches, after which we came to business
talk. Superintendent Meacham said: “I see before me the remnants of a
great people. Your fathers are buried in a far country. I will show you my
heart now. You are not wild men. You are not savages. You are men and
women. You have sense and hearts to feel. I did not come here to dig up
anything that is buried. I have nothing to say about the men who have
gone before me. That is past. We drop that. We cannot dig it up now. We
have enough to think about. I do not promise what I will do, except I will
do right as I see what is right. I may make some mistakes. I want to talk
with you about your agent. I think he will do right. He is a good man. I
will help him. He will help me. You will help us. You are not fools. You
are men. You have a right to be heard. You shall be heard. We are paid to
take care of you. Our time belongs to the Indians in Oregon. The
Government has bought our sense; that belongs to you. The money in our
hands is not ours, it is yours. We cannot pay you the money. The law says
we must not; still it is yours. You have been here long enough to have
sense. You know what you want. You can tell us. We will hear you.

“If you want what is right we will get it for you. You need not be afraid
to speak out. The time has come when a man is judged by his sense, not his
skin. In a few years more the treaty will be dead. Then you must be ready
to take care of yourselves. You need not fear to speak. Nobody will stop
your mouth. We are ready now to hear you talk. We have shown our heart.
Now talk like men. I have spoken.”

A silence of some moments followed. The chiefs and head men seemed taken
by surprise. They could not comprehend or believe that the declarations
made were real; that they were to be allowed to give an opinion in matters
pertaining to their own interests. I would not convey the idea that my
predecessors had been bad men. They were not; but they had, some of them,
and perhaps all of them, looked on these Indians as wards, or orphan
children. They had not recognized the fact that these people had come up,
from a low, degraded condition of captive savages, to a status of
intelligence that entitled them to consideration. The people themselves
had not dared to demand a hearing. They were subjugated, and felt it too;
but I know in their hearts they often longed for the boon that was offered
to them.

It is due to the citizens who occupy the country adjoining this agency, in
whose employ the Indians had spent much time in labor on farm, wood-yards,
and various other kinds of business, that they had, by easy lessons, and,
with commendable patience, taught these down-trodden people that they had
a right to look up. “Honor to whom honor is due.”

Wapto Dave, a chief of a small band of Waptos, was the first to speak. He
delivered his speech in my own language: “The boys all wait for me to
speak first; because me understand some things. We hear you talk. We don’t
know whether you mean it. Maybe you are smart. We have been fooled a heap.
We don’t want no lies. We don’t talk lies. S’pose you talk straight. All
right. Me tell you some things. All our people very poor; they got no good
houses; no good mills. No wagons; got no harness; no ploughs. They get
some, they work heap. They buy them. Government no give em. We want these
things. Maybe you don’t like my talk. I am done.”

Jo Hutchins——Chief of Santiams——said, “I am watching your eye. I am
watching your tongue. I am thinking all the time. Perhaps you are making
fools of us. We don’t want to be made fools. I have heard tyees talk like
you do now. They go back home and send us something a white man don’t
want. We are not dogs. We have hearts. We may be blind. We do not see the
things the treaty promised. Maybe they got lost on the way. The President
is a long way off. He can’t hear us. Our words get lost in the wind before
they get there. Maybe his ear is small. Maybe your ears are small. They
look big. Our ears are large. We hear everything. Some things we don’t
like. We have been a long time in the mud. Sometimes we sink down. Some
white men help us up. Some white men stand on our heads. We want a
school-house built on the ground of the Santiam people. Then our children
can have some sense. We want an Indian to work in the blacksmith shop. We
don’t like half-breeds. They are not Injuns. They are not white men. Their
hearts are divided. We want some harness. We want some ploughs. We want a
saw-mill. What is a mill good for that has no dam? That old mill is not
good; it won’t saw boards. We want a church. Some of these people are
Catholics. Some of them are like Mr. Parish, a Methodist. Some got no
religion. Maybe they don’t need religion. Some people think Indians got no
sense. We don’t want any blankets. We have had a heap of blankets. Some of
them have been like sail-cloth muslin. The old people have got no sense;
they want blankets. The treaty said we, every man, have his land. He have
a paper for his land. We don’t see the paper. We see the land. We want it
divided. When we have land all in one place, some Injun put his horses in
the field; another Injun turn them out. Then they go to law. One man says
another man got the best ground. They go to law about that. We want the
land marked out. Every man builds his own house. We want some apples. Mark
out the land, then we plant some trees, by-and-by we have some apples.

“Maybe you don’t like my talk. I talk straight. I am not a coward. I am
chief of the Santiams. You hear me now. We see your eyes; look straight.
Maybe you are a good man. We will find out. So-chala-tyee,——God sees you.
He sees us. All these people hear me talk. Some of them are scared. I am
not afraid. Alta-kup-et,——I am done.”

Here was a man talking to the point. He dodged nothing. He spoke the
hearts of the people. They supported him with frequent applause. Other
speeches were made, all touching practical points. The abstract of issues
following that council exhibit the distribution of hardware, axes, saws,
hatchets, mauls, iron wedges; also, harness, ploughs, hoes, scythes, and
various farming implements. The reasonable and numerous points involved
many questions of importance, which were submitted to the Hon.
Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Washington city.[2]

[2] See Appendix.

                             CHAPTER VIII.

                       STOPPING THE SURVEY——WHY.

Without waiting for red tape, we proceeded to erect a new saw-mill. The
Indians performed much of the necessary labor. With one white man to
direct them, they prepared all the timber, built a dam, and cut a race,
several hundred yards in length, and within ninety days from “breaking
ground” the new saw-mill was making lumber.

The Indians formed into working parties and delivered logs as fast as the
mill could saw them. Mr. Manrow, a practical sawyer, was placed in charge
of the mill, and, with Indian help only, he manufactured four to eight
thousand feet of lumber per day. He subsequently remarked that “they were
as good help as he wanted.”

The understanding before commencing work on the mill was to the effect
that it was to belong to the Indians on Grand Round Agency, when
completed. Those who furnished logs were to own the lumber after sale of
sufficient quantity to pay the “sawyer,” the whole to be under control of
the acting agent.

Misunderstandings seem to have arisen between the agent and Indians,
growing out of the sale of lumber manufactured by the mill. The only
misunderstanding that could have arisen, was that wherein the Indians
claim that “the Government would pay the expense of running it,”——the
saw-mill,——and they——the Indians——should have the lumber to dispose of as
they thought best, claiming the right to sell it to the whites outside of
the Reservation.

It was so agreed and understood as above stated, that the Government agent
was to manage the business, pay the sawyer, and meet such other expenses
as might _accrue, out of the sale of lumber, and the remainder to belong
to parties furnishing logs_, with the privilege of selling to persons
wherever a market could be found. If any other plan has been adopted, it
is in violation of the agreement made with the Indians at the council that
considered the question of building the mills. A full report of that
council was forwarded to the Commissioner at Washington (see page 162),
was filed in the office of Superintendent of Indian Affairs, Salem,
Oregon, and was, or should have been, recorded on the books at Grand Round

The _Indians_ of Grand Round _own_ the _mills_. The funds invested in
their erection did not belong to agent or Government. It was the Indians’
money, and was so expended by their knowledge and request. The sweat of
these people was dropped in the long race, cut for the mills. Every stick
of timber in them was prepared, partly at least, by Indian labor. They had
accepted this little valley at the bidding of a powerful Government, who
had promised them mills (see treaty of 1866), and had constructed inferior
machinery, at enormous expense, that had never been worth one-half the
greenbacks they had cost.

These people have advanced more rapidly in civilization than any other
Indian people on “the coast.” They had learned a great amount of useful
knowledge while working for the white men, to make a living for their
families, when the Government had failed to furnish subsistence for them.
They were now ready to take care of their interests, when men paid to
instruct them had performed their duty.

If these Indians are ever to manage for themselves, why not begin with
easy lessons, while they have, or are supposed to have, an agent, whose
duty it was to stand between them and the stronger race with whom they are
to mingle and associate?

I repeat that these Indian men own the mills, and are entitled to the
proceeds, and that it is, and was, an agent’s duty to transact such parts
of the business as the Indians could not themselves. What if it did
require labor and care to prevent confusion? The agent was paid for his
time, his business talent, and, if he was unwilling or incompetent, he was
not in a proper position.

The agent says, “I have allowed them one-half the lumber made, when they
wished to use it for building purposes, retaining the other half for the
department, until such time as it can be used in improvement, or otherwise
disposed of for their common benefit.” If the department required lumber,
let the Indians be the _merchants_, and receive the pay. To dispose of it
for their benefit was to compel those who were willing to labor to support
those who were not. Working parties were organized among them by agent La
Follette, and they were to enjoy the privilege, of furnishing saw-logs in
turn; thus encouraging enterprise among them. Klamath Indian mill
furnished several thousand dollars’ worth of lumber for the Military
Department at Fort Klamath, and for outside people too, and the proceeds
were paid to the Indians who did the work, or it was invested in stock
cattle for them. In the name of justice I protest, as a friend of the
Indians, against the confiscation, by our Government, of labor and lumber
belonging to the Indians of Grand Round Agency.

Reference has been made to the allotment of land to these people. The
letter following will give the reader some idea of the manner in which it
was done, and the various questions that were to be considered in
connection with this important episode in the lives of these people.[3]

[3] See Appendix.

The enrolment referred to was completed. The surveying was done by Col. D.
P. Thompson, United States Deputy Surveyor.

While he was engaged in doing this work, the Indians assisted materially,
and followed him in crowds, each anxious to see where the lines would run,
whether they would conform to their preconceived hopes or not.

The thoughts of these men——for they were men——must have been very
comforting at the prospect of promises being at last fulfilled. Many years
had passed, _waiting, waiting_, waiting for the time to come when they
should have homes “like white men.” They well understood the arrangement
in regard to the amount of land that was to be given to each. I have not
the “Willamette Treaty” before me, but, from memory, state, that each
_grown person_ was to have twenty acres, with ten acres additional for
each minor child.

Col. Thompson, the surveyor, relates, that while engaged in surveying near
the house of a “Wapto” Indian, said Indian came to him with a very serious
face, and requested the suspension of the work. The colonel, being a
humorous man, and patient withal, entertained the petition, but demanded
to know the reason why the survey should stop.

“Wapto” said, in jargon, “Indian Neeseka-nan-itch-mi-ka, is-cum, twenty
acres; Nika cluchman is-cum, twenty acres; Ni-ka ten-us-cluchman is-cum,
ten acres; Nika ten-us-man is-cum, ten acres; Ma-mook, sixty acres; Al-ka.
You see I get twenty acres, my squaw get twenty acres, my daughter get ten
acres, my son get ten acres, making sixty acres in all. Spose Mesika Capit
mamook icta elihe, Kau-yua nika is cum, seventy acres. Suppose you stop
surveying, and wait awhile, I can get seventy acres, may be eighty acres.

The colonel took the hint, when the Indian pointed to the small lodge,
fitted up expressly, as the custom among these people is, for important
occasions of the kind intimated above.

Whether he changed his course in surveying, he did not say, but went on to
relate, that a few days after the above conversation, the same Indian came
to him and said, “Nika-is-cum, Ten-is-man”——“I have another
boy.”——“Klat-a-wa-ma-mook-elihe”——“Go on with the survey.”——“Nika is-cum,
seventy acres”——“I get seventy acres.” He seemed much elated with the new
boy, and the additional ten acres of land.

The surveying was completed, but “red tape” was in the way of allotment,
much to the satisfaction of some of the people, who were hoping for as
good fortune as “Wapto,” in the same way; others, who were hopeless of
such luck, were anxious for the lands to be set apart at once, because
each new-comer made the chances less in securing good homes, by being
crowded of to make room for the additions that such events demanded.

The allotment has finally been made. The people are overjoyed, and they
start off on this new order of life with commendable zeal. I have no doubt
of their ability to maintain themselves, when they shall have been
admitted to the new relationships in life. While they have been long in
bondage, treated as dependents, and begrudged the valley wherein they have
been placed by the Government, they have, nevertheless, attained to a
status of manhood that entitles them to consideration. They fully
appreciate such evidences of recognition, and should be consulted in
regard to the expenditure of their funds, the appointment of agents and
employés, the selection of church ministries and school teachers.

During one of my official visits they assembled to the number of nearly
one hundred, and paraded on horseback, for a grand demonstration. They
were well dressed, and well mounted on good horses. After performing
various evolutions, they drew up in front of the agency office in a half
circle. The leader then made a speech, a portion of which I copy here,
from the memoranda made at that time. It was in American language, and
began, “Mr. Meacham: You our chief. We look on you as our father. We show
you how we get along. We think we white men now. We no Injuns now. We all
Republicans. We know ’bout the big war. We no Democrats. One man he live
with me——he Democrat——us boys all laugh. He get shamed; he good ‘publican
now. These all our horses, we work for ’em. S’pose you want us work road,
all right; s’pose you tell us pay the tax, all right. Sometime we vote
just like a white man. All right. S’pose the President want soldier, we
are white men; we know all about everything; we can fight. We are not
boys; we know about law. That’s all right.

“We want to hear you talk. You talk all the same; you talk to white men.
Some of these people don’t understand, we tell them; you go ahead, talk
all the time;” meaning I should make a speech without waiting to have it

I felt then that I was their servant. The Government was paying me for my
time, and whatever of ability I might have. I was not there to make a
hurried call, and go away without doing them good.

My remarks were, substantially, that I was glad to see them appear so much
like white men; that the Government would give them lands, and would do
right by them. A few years ago, a great many black people were slaves; now
everybody is free. Every man is counted by his sense and conduct, _not_ by
his color. You men are almost white in your habits. You are doing well;
you have made a good start. After the land is allotted, you will each have
a home, and in four years the treaty will be dead; then you can come up
with the white man. You will pay taxes and vote.

Dave said: “There is something else we want you to talk about. Some of us
Injuns are Catholic; some of us are not. The Catholics don’t want to go to
the other meetings. They don’t talk all the same. We want to understand
about this religion.”

The agency was, at that time, under the supervision of the Methodist
Church. A Catholic priest had been laboring with these people for many
years, and had baptized a large number of them.

The assignment of agencies was made without proper knowledge of the
religious antecedents of the people. Many of them had been, from time to
time, under the teaching of other churches, especially the Methodist
Episcopal Church. They had also formed their ideas from association with
the farmers, for whom they had worked at various times. I realized then,
as I have often done, the very embarrassing circumstances that surrounded
the subject.

If I have ever doubted the feasibility of the church policy, it was
because no well-defined regulations were ever made. Regarding these
matters it is a doubtful question which of the churches named had priority
of right to minister to the people of Grand Round Agency. Though the
Catholics had been many years among them, the Methodists had, at an
earlier date, taught them in matters pertaining to religion.

I fully realized the importance of Dave’s request, and so deferred action
until the Catholic father could be summoned. Father Waller, one of the
early founders of Methodist missions in Oregon, was present. When the
former arrived, the subject was again brought up. In the mean time,
however, a new question arose, and an incident occurred worthy of a place
in this connection.

The habits of these people are their lives really, and when an old custom
is abolished, the substitute may be clumsily introduced, and not well
understood. I refer to the marriage law. The old way was to buy the girl,
or make presents to the parents until they gave consent for the marriage.
The new order of things forbade this way of performing this sacred rite.

The hero of this episode——Leander——was a fine, handsome young fellow, who
belonged to Siletz Agency, and from his agent had learned something of the
working of the law. Siletz and Grand Round Agencies are within one day’s

The heroine——Lucy——lived on the latter, with her parents, who were

Leander had obtained a pass——permission——from his agent, stating the
object of the visit, and had been well drilled in regard to his rights
under the “new law.” He had proposed, and, so far as the girl’s consent
was concerned, been accepted. But the parents of Lucy could not be so
easily conciliated.

It is true they had assented to the new law, but were reluctant to see
Lucy marry a man, and go away to another agency to live. I think, however,
the absence of presents had something to do with their reluctance. Leander
had promised his agent that he would stand by the new law,——make no
presents to the parents.

The “old folks” founded their objection on other grounds when submitting
the case for settlement. Leander requested a private interview with me. He
then stated that he was willing to pacify the old folks by making a
present or two, if he thought Mr. Simpson would not find out about it. He
declared he never would return to Siletz without Lucy; said he thought she
was a good young cluchman; he loved her better than any on Siletz. “She
is stout; she can work; she can keep house like a white woman. She is no
squaw. I want her mighty bad. You s’pose you can fix it all right? I don’t
want them old folks mad at me. They say if she goes away now she get no
land. Can’t she get land at Siletz? They don’t care for her. They want
some ictas (presents); they want me to wait until you give the land;
that’s what they want.”

I promised to arrange the matter for him somehow, although I could see the
difficulties that embarrassed the marriage, as indicated by Leander’s

Had the allotment of lands been made, no objections would have been had on
that score. The father and mother called upon me, wishing advice. Grand
Round was, at this time, without a general agent, and was running in
charge of a special agent,——Mr. S. D. Rhinehart; hence the duties of an
agent were devolved upon the superintendents, and one of the important
duties is to hear the complaints, and adjust all matters of difference.

The “old folks” were much excited over this affair of their daughter Lucy,
who had, as her white sisters sometimes do, given evidence of her interest
in the question, by declaring she would marry Leander, and possibly said
something equivalent to the “there now” of a spoiled girl.

They were much affected. The father’s chief objection, I think, was to
prospective loss of ten acres of land; the mother’s, the companionship and
services of her daughter, added to a mother’s anxiety for the welfare of
her child. She shed some real tears, woman-like.

The father said, when he would wake up in the morning and call “Lucy,”
she could not hear him, and that he would be compelled to go for his horse
when he wanted to ride. Lucy had always done that kind of work for him.

The conference was protracted, for I recognized in this affair a precedent
that might be of great importance to the Indians of Grand Round Agency
hereafter. I foresee, in the future, some stony-hearted Indian hater,
scowling while he reads this mention of sentiment and feeling on the part
of Indians. Scowl on, you cold-blooded, one-sided, pale-face, protected in
your life, your rights, and even your affections, by a great, strong

Finally, all the parties interested were taken into the council. The
mother put some pertinent questions to Leander.

“Do you ever drink whiskey? Do you gamble? Will you whip Lucy when you are
mad? Will you let her come to see me when she wants to?”

Leander’s answers were satisfactory, and, I think, sincere. He promised,
as many a white boy has to his sweetheart’s mother, what he would not have
done to a mother-in-law. That relationship changes the courage, and
loosens the tongue of many a man.

Lucy was not slow to speak her mind on the subject. “Leander,
Clat-a-wa-o-koke-Sun-Siletz. E-li-he, hi-ka-tum-tum, ni-ak-clut-a-wa.
(Leander goes to Siletz, my heart will go with him, to-day.)
Ni-ka-wake-clut-or-wa-niker, min-a-lous.” (“If I don’t go, I will die.”)
This settled the question.

Being the first marriage under the new law, it was decided to make it a
precedent that would have proper influence on subsequent weddings. The
ladies resident at the agency, were informed of the affair, and requested
to assist the bride in making preparations for the ceremony.

Leander was well dressed, but he required some drilling. Dr. Hall, the
resident-physician, assumed the task, and calling two or three boys and
girls to the office, the ceremony was rehearsed until Leander said,
“That’s good. I understand how to get married.”

The people came together to witness the marriage. The men remounted their
horses, and formed in a half circle in front of the office, women and
children within the arc, all standing. The porch in front of the office
was the altar. Father Waller, with his long white hair floating in the
wind, stood with Bible in hand. A few moments of stillness, and then the
office door opened, and Leander stepped out with Lucy’s hand in his.

The doctor had arranged for bridesmaids and groomsmen. As they filed out
into the sunlight, every eye was fixed on the happy couple. The attendants
were placed in proper position, and then the voice of Father Waller broke
the silence in an extempore marriage service. Leander and Lucy were
pronounced man and wife, and, the white people leading off, the whole
company passed before the married pair and offered congratulations.

Great was the joy, and comical the scene. One of the customs of civilized
life was omitted, that of kissing the bride. Father Waller could not,
consistently, set the example, the doctor would not, and, since no white
man led the way, the Indian boys remained in ignorance of their

The horsemen dismounted and paid the honor due, each following the exact
model, and if one white man had kissed the bride, every Indian man on the
agency would have done likewise.

One young man asked the bridegroom in Indian,
“Con-chu-me-si-ka-ka-tum-tum?” (“How is your heart now?”)
“Now-wit-ka-close-tum-tum-tum-ni-ka.” (“My heart is happy now.”) I have
witnessed such affairs among white people, and I think that I have not
seen any happier couple than Leander and Lucy.

The dance, in confirmation of the event, was well attended. It being out
of Father Waller’s walk in life, and my own also, we did not participate
in the amusement. But we looked on a few moments, and were surprised to
see the women and girls dressed in style, somewhat grotesque, ’tis true,
but all in fashion; indeed, in several fashions.

Some of them wore enormous hoops, others long trails, all of them
bright-hued ribbons in their hair. Some with chignons, frizzles, rats, and
all the other paraphernalia of ladies’ head-gear. The men were clad in
ordinary white man’s garb, except that antiquated coats and vests were
more the rule than the exception. Black shining boots and white collars
were there. A few had gloves,——some buckskin, some woollen; others wore
huge rings; but, taken all in all, the ball would have compared favorably
with others more pretentious in point of style, and even elegance.

These people were apt scholars in this feature of civilization. The music
on the occasion was furnished by Indian men, with violins. Few people are
more mirthful, or enter with more zest into sports, when circumstances are
favorable, than do Indians.

The day following the wedding, a general council, or meeting, was held.
Father Waller of the Methodist, and Father Croystel of the Catholic
Church, being present, the subject of religion was taken up and discussed.
The facts elicited were, that many of the Indians, perhaps a majority,
were in favor of the Catholic Church. The remainder were in favor of the
Methodist, a few only appearing indifferent.

Neither of the fathers took part in the “talks.” My own opinion, expressed
then and since, on other occasions, was, that the greatest liberty of
conscience should be allowed in religious practice. That the people should
honor all religions that were Christian. No bitter feelings were
exhibited. I attended, at other times, the Catholic Church exercises,
conducted by Rev. Father Croystel. The Indians came in large numbers, some
of them on horses, but the majority in wagons; whole families, cleanly
clad and well behaved.

Those who belonged to the Catholic Church were devout, and assisted the
father in the ceremonies and responses. The invitation was extended to any
and all denominations to preach; on one occasion a minister came by
invitation, and preached in the office. The attendance was not large, but
the employés of the agency monopolized all the available benches. They
seemed to think that the Indians had no rights. The preacher began his
discourse, and, after dilating on the word of God, with a prosy effort to
explain some abstruse proposition in theology, for half an hour, my
patience became exhausted, and I arose and made the suggestion that,
since the meeting was for the benefit of the Indians, something should be
said which they might understand. More seats were provided, and the
preacher started anew, and when a sentence was uttered that was within the
comprehension of those for whom the preaching was intended, it was
translated. This meeting, however, did not do them very much good, because
it was not conducted in a way that was understood by the Indians.

The man who was trying to do good had undoubtedly answered when some one
else had been called of God to preach the gospel. He would, perhaps, have
made a passable mechanic, but he had no qualifications for preaching to
Indians. He was not human enough. He was too well educated. He knew too
much. Had he been _less learned_, or possessed more _common sense_, he
might have been competent to teach great grown-up children, as these
Indian people are, in the Christian religion.

A short colloquy overheard between two of the red children he had been
preaching to would have set him to thinking. The talk was in the Indian
language, but, translated, would have run in about the following style:——

“Do you understand what all that talk was about?”——“No; do you? Well, he
was talking wicked half the time, and good half the time. He was telling
about a man getting lost a long time ago. Got lost and didn’t find himself
for forty years. That’s a big story, but maybe it is so. I don’t know.
Never heard of it before.”

I need not say to the reader, that this minister had been preaching about
Moses. Perhaps he was not to be censured. He may have done the best he
could. He did not know how to reach an Indian’s heart.

The schools at this agency were not flourishing. The reason was that the
mode was impracticable. Schools were taught with about as much sense and
judgment as the preaching just referred to.

After several years of stupid experimenting, at an expense of many
thousands of dollars, there was not among these Indians half a dozen of
them who could read and understand a common newspaper notice. The fault
was not with the pupils; it was the system.

The Indians of this agency are farther advanced than those of any others
in Oregon, in everything that goes to make up a civilized people. They
have, since the allotment of lands, made rapid progress, and bid fair to
become rivals of other people in the pursuit of wealth, and other
characteristics that make a people prosperous. Some of them are already
the equals of their white neighbors in integrity of character and business
tact. They have abandoned their old laws and customs, and have been
working under civil laws. They elect officers and hold courts, somewhat
after the manner of a mock Legislature; in other words, they are
practising and rehearsing, in anticipation of the time when they shall
become citizens.

Like all other races, they learn the vices much quicker than the virtues
of their superiors. It cannot be denied that they follow bad examples
sometimes, especially intemperance; but when considered fairly, taking
note of the influences that have been thrown around them; the many
different agents, and kinds of policies under which they have lived; the
fact that they were wild Indians sixteen years ago; that they have been
kept in constant fear of being removed; hope deferred so often and so
long; that they were remnants of many small tribes; that their numbers
have decreased so rapidly,——then they stand out in a new light, and
challenge commendation.

Lift your heads, Indians of Grand Round! you are no longer slaves; you are

This agency, with the people who are there now, and who have been there as
Government officers and employés, would furnish material for volumes of
real live romance; racy stories, sad tales, great privations, disease,
death and suffering make up the history of such places. No character
required to make a thrilling drama, a bloody tragedy, or comic
personality, would be wanting. Better live only in tradition, or fireside
story, than in printed page. The latter would embarrass men who have
passed through some of the chairs of office, and poor fellows, too, who
have sponged a living off of “Uncle Sam,” and cheated the people of
thousands of dollars, and months of labor, that they were paid for doing.
Let the history die untold, since it could not restore justice to either
Government or people. Some of those who have administered on Grand Round
Agency have left the Indians in much better condition than they found
them, and will live forever in the memory of those they served so

Before leaving this agency I would state one feature of Indian life that
exists everywhere, but it is less prominent on this than other agencies.

I refer to the _poor_ and the _old_. Perhaps the last Christian virtue
that finds lodgment in Indian hearts is regard or reverence for age,
especially old women. They are drudges everywhere, and when too old to
labor are sometimes neglected.

Poor, miserable-looking old women, blind, lame, and halt, charity would
shed more tears at your death than your children would. While this
deplorable indifference for them exists to a fearful extent, there are
notable exceptions, particularly among the Grand Round Indians. In every
council they were found standing up and pleading for something to be done
for the old and poor. These old creatures nearly always hobble to the
meetings, and although they seem fair specimens of the Darwinian theory,
they, nevertheless, have feelings and gratitude even for small favors. A
grasp of the hand seems to impart a ray of sunshine to their benighted

A few years more, and all the old ones will be gone, and their successors
will take the vacant places with prospects of more humane treatment than
they have hitherto received.

Heaven pity the _poor_ and old, for man has little for them that casts
even a glimmer of hope, save on their waiting tombs!

                              CHAPTER IX.


The scene changes, and we stand on the deck of a river steamer with its
prow pointed eastward.

For hours we have steamed along in the shadows of the Cascade mountains,
through deep, dark cañons, with walls so high that the smoke-stack of our
little boat seemed like a pipe-stem. “Puny thing” it is. Yet it bears us
over boiling eddies and up rapids that shoot between high rocks like
immense streams of silver from the great furnace of creation.

We are startled at the sound of the whistle on our deck, and grow anxious
when the nearest cañon answers back, and still another takes up the sound,
and the echo turns to its original starting-point, and finds its own
offspring talking back in fainter voice, until it dies away like the
rumbling of some fast-retreating train rushing through the open field or
wooded glens.

Soon we are on board the thundering train, whirling away toward the upper
cascades, swinging around curves and beneath ledges, and overhanging the
rushing floods hundreds of feet below. As we fly swiftly along, the
conductor, or some one familiar with this cascade country, points out the
battle-grounds where the red men fought white men for their homes. The
battle was a fierce one, and lasted several days, when the Indians

There are traditions yet among Indians and white settlers; and it is
related that in former times the Indians who lived along the banks of the
Columbia were employed to assist the white men in transporting goods over
the portages (or carrying places), and they were ill-treated by their
employers, and their rights disregarded.

The invasion of the country was not the most grievous complaint. They were
furnished whiskey, were debauched, and corrupted as a people, until virtue
was unknown among their women; the men themselves selling their wives and
daughters for the basest purposes. Degraded, polluted, and in despair,
they sought to wreak vengeance on their seducers.

If those who debased them were the only victims, no just condemnation
could be pronounced against them.

There is a feeling of respect for the man, though a savage he may be, who
defends his home, and resents imposition even at the risk of life. But
humanity revolts against the butchery of innocent persons, no matter what
the color may be, or the cause of provocation of race against race.

A few survivors of the Cascade tribes may be found now on Warm Springs and
Yak-a-ma agencies.

The traveller on the Columbia meets, occasionally, a man and his family,
still lingering around their old homes, living in bark-covered huts,
sometimes employed in laboring for the Steam Navigation Company, who
transport the commerce that passes through the mountain at this point.
These stragglers are poor, miserably degraded savages, and are not fair
specimens of their race.

An old Indian legend connected with the Cascades has been repeated to
tourists over and over again. It has been written in verse, in elegant
style and forceful expression, by S. A. Clark, Esq., of Salem, Oregon,
published in February number of Harper’s Magazine for 1874. The poem is
worthy of perusal, and ought to make the author’s fame as a poet.

The substance of the legend is to the effect, that many, many years ago,
before the eyes of the pale-faces had gazed on the wonders of the
Cascades, the river was bridged by a span of mountains, beneath which it
passed to the ocean; that to this bridge the children of Mount Hood on the
south, and those of Mount Adams on the north, made yearly pilgrimage, to
worship the Great Spirit, and exchange savage courtesies, and to lay in
stores of fish for winter use. The Great Spirit blessed them, and they
came and went for generations untold.

They tell how the exchange of friendship continued, until at length a
beautiful maiden, who had been chosen for a priestess, was wooed and won
by a haughty Indian brave of another tribe. On her withdrawal from the
office her people became indignant, and demanded her return. This was
refused, and when, on their annual visit, they came from the north and
from the south, bitter quarrels ensued, until, at last, fierce wars raged,
and the rock spanning the river became a battle-ground. Soch-a-la
tyee——God——was vexed at the children, and caused the bridge to fall. Thus
he separated them, and bade each abide where he had placed them.

The legend still lives fresh in the memory of these Indians, and they
respect the command. Few have changed their residences. The ragged
mountains on either side support well the historic tale. High, bald
summits stand confronting each other, and it requires no effort of the
imagination to see the Great Bridge as it is said once to have stood, and
to hear rising on the winds, the weird, wild songs of the people at the
time of sacrifice.

At the place where this legend had its origin the “Columbia” is crowded by
its banks into so narrow a channel that an Indian might, with his sling,
make a stone to trace the curves of the ancient arch. The waters rush so
swiftly that the keenest sight can scarcely keep the course of timber
drift in view. The river’s bosom is smooth above this rapid flow, and,
widening, takes the semblance of a lake, in whose depth may be seen the
trees that once were growing green, but now to stone have turned; they
never move before the breeze; they sway not, nor yet can yield to the
gentle currents, still standing witnesses of the legend’s truth.

Midway between the shores an island stands, fashioned and fitted for a
burial-ground of the tribes that had oft, in ages past, made use of it at
nature’s invitation, and had borne to this resting-place the warriors
whose spirits passed up to the happier lands; while the body resting here
might wait for the coming of some Great Prophet, who should bid the bones
to rise and become part and parcel of human forms, and mingle with those
who remain to build the nightly fires and feed the mouldering bodies of
their dead, until the great past should be re-born and live again attended
by all the circumstances of savage life.


Sitting in the pilot-house of the steamer “Tenino,” beside “McNulty,” her
captain, hear him tell how these people come, at certain times, to pay
honor to their dead; how, in years gone by, from the “Tenino” he could see
the old sachems sitting bolt upright in their wooden graves and calmly
waiting, watching, with sightless eyes, for the coming hour foretold
before they died; how, with fleshless hands, they clutched the rotting
handle of the battle-axe of flint or fishing-spears.

Then see his eye kindle while he tells you of relic-hunters from the East,
who came on board the “Tenino” with boxes and lines and other devices for
relic-hunting, and requested that he would land them on the shores of this
lone island. You will feel the fire of that eye warming your heart towards
the dead, and living too, when it declares in full sympathy, with the rich
Irish voice, “That while he commands the ‘Tenino’ _no grave-robbers_ shall
ever disturb the old heroes who sit patiently waiting for their
resurrection. No sacrilegious foot shall leave his vessel’s deck to
perpetrate so foul a deed!”

You will honor him still better when you learn that, in his whole-hearted
generosity, he declares that “No man shall ever disturb the repose of the
congregated dead, on that little island, while he lives, and escape

Brave, fearless captain, many years have you passed daily in sight, and
scanned their sepulchres; self-appointed guardian, you have been true to
the impulse of a noble heart; you have exalted our opinion of the race you
represent; and for your fidelity to the cause of a common humanity, and
especially to the race whose dark faces seldom light up from recognition
by those whose power has been but the destruction of their own, do we
thank you.

May many winters come and go before their snows shall bring to you old
age; and when, at last, the “Tenino” shall be laid aside, may you still be
guardian of this spot, so sacred to many a sad and hopeless heart.

Leaving behind, on our upward journey, the burial-ground of the mountain
tribes, in charge of the faithful McNulty, we pass beneath high rock
cliffs, sometimes near beautiful valleys, with farm cottages and lowing
cattle on hill-side pastures. Through the deep cañons that cut the table
mountains in twain, as if made on purpose for tourists’ delight, Mount
Hood, the father mountain, comes suddenly in view; the beauty much
enhanced when seen through nature’s telescope, made by rifts in solid
rocks, with sky-lights reaching to the stars above. Words may not give
even a faint outline of the scene. McNulty, though for years he has gazed
on this sublime painting,——at morning, when the shadows cover the
telescope, but light the mountain up; and at evening, too, when both were
shaded,——sees new beauties at every sight; and, not content to worship all
alone, he rings his call to the engineer, and the vessel slackens her
speed, and “rounds to” in proper place, while the captain calls his guests
to the grandest banquet that earth affords, and points out the beauties as
each one paints the panorama on his soul.

See, there the old Father Hood stands, with his wreath of snow, which he
has worn since the time when man was unknown. Sometimes he hides his
hoary head in clouds, unwilling to witness the injustice done the puny
children who have played around his feet for generations past. We see his
own sons, still in primeval manhood, with heads crowned with fir or
laurel, standing at his side and looking up, are ever ready to bear the
winter’s burdens that from his shoulders fall.

Again we glide on the smooth surface of the shining river until we hear
repeated the captain’s call to witness now how impartial God has been, and
to prevent any jealousy that might arise, has made on the other shore,
looking northward, twin telescope to the first, and twin mountain, too,
for now we see another hoary head, rich in clustered snow-banks that
ornament her brow. Mother Adams stands calmly overlooking her daughters,
who modestly wear garlands of wild wood-vines, and heavy-topped fragrant
cedars. She feels her solitude, and when “Hood” draws his mantle over his
majestic shoulders, she, too, puts on a silvery veil of misty wreath, or,
in seeming anger, drapes in mourning and weeps; the deluge of her tears
giving signs of willingness to make friends again. And then these two old
mountains smile and nod, and looking above the clouds that covered the
heads of younger ones, they, giants in solitude, become reconciled. The
lesser ones then peep through the rising mist, and smile to catch their
estranged parents making up.

Leaving these grand scenes, the mountains, smaller, waste away into gentle
hills, and we feel that we have passed the portals of a paradise, shut out
from ocean storms by great barriers of rocks. The river grows narrow, the
banks are perpendicular walls of solid rocks of moderate height. Rounding
a turn in the river, suddenly comes to view “The Dalles,” a small city
near the river brink, nestling in an amphitheatre, formed by curved walls
of rocky bluffs. In times past _The Dalles_ was a starting-point for the
mines of Eastern Oregon and Idaho, and was, also, the seat of a United
States fort. Its streets have felt the tread of merchant princes, and
miners of every grade and color; of the tramping of bands of Indian ponies
brought here to be sold or to parade some red man’s wealth; of heavily
ladened wheels bearing merchandise.

Busy throngs peopled then its streets, but now they are less merry;
business has taken long strides toward surer success and larger life. Long
years ago it was a great resort for Indians, who came to feast and gamble,
and exchange captive slaves. Many old legends date from this post, and
some of them are rich in historic truths; others in romance of human
lives, and, others still, of fairy tales and ghostly stories.

A few miles above the city the river passes between almost perpendicular
walls of stone, while through the narrow gorge the water leaps from ledge
to ledge in quick succession, making huge billows of the rushing current,
so rapid that no steamer or canoe has ever upward passed, though both have
downward been in perfect safety. At this point the great schools of
salmon, on their journey to the lakes and smaller streams, halt to rest,
and thus prepare themselves for more severe struggles and more daring
feats. Here the red men have, year after year, come to lay in supplies of

These fisheries are of great value, and, when the Portland, Dalles, and
Salt Lake Railroad is completed, will become sources of untold wealth,
furnishing Eastern markets with choicest salmon. Before leaving this
fishery, I would state, for the information of by readers, that the
Indians have some peculiar ideas about salmon. They “run” at regular
seasons of the year, and the Indians gather on the banks and make
preparations for catching and preserving them; but they do not take the
_first_ that come up, because they believe that, since the “Great Spirit”
furnishes them, they should be permitted to pass, in his honor, and
because the _first_ that come are supposed to be bolder, and will succeed
in getting to better spawning-grounds in higher streams.

The females always precede the males, who follow several weeks later. No
Indian would make use of the first fish caught, because of the sacrilege.
As soon, however, as the “run” fairly begins, the Indians, in their way,
give thanks, by dancing and singing. The ceremonies of opening the fishing
seasons are serious and solemn in character.

The manner of taking salmon varies. Sometimes they use dip nets, attached
to long poles resting in a crotch or fork, or, maybe, pile of rocks, as a
fulcrum. Others, with spears made of bone, pointed at each end, attached
by a strong cord of sinew at the middle to a shaft made of hard wood, with
three prongs in the end, of each of which a socket is made, wherein one
end of the bone spear is thrust, the cord attachment being of sufficient
length to permit the escape from the socket of the spear.

Thus equipped a fisherman thrusts the three-tined spear into the water at
random, and when a salmon is struck, the spear leaves the shaft; but,
still secure, turns athwart the fish, and his escape is impossible. When
he is landed the fisherman’s work is done. The fish is turned over to the
women and boys, and carried to a convenient camp, where the work of drying
them is performed by first beheading and then splitting them in two
lengthwise. They are spread on long scaffolds built on poles, and with
occasional turning are soon dried by the air and sun. The average weight
of salmon at this fishing is about fifteen pounds, though sometimes much
greater. Some have been taken weighing sixty-five pounds each, and many of
them forty pounds.

Another noticeable fact is that the nearer the ocean they are taken the
better. Those which succeed in stemming the many rapids en route to the
head-waters are poor and thin, and of little value. They often ascend
streams so small that they can be caught with the hand. It is doubtful
whether they ever return to the ocean.

                               CHAPTER X.

                      DANGEROUS PLACE FOR SINNERS.

Leaving “The Dalles” early one morning in February, 1870, with Dr. W. C.
McKay as guide, I set out on my first visit to Warm Springs Agency. Our
route was over high grassy plains, undulating, and sometimes broken by
deep cañons, occasionally wide enough to furnish extensive farm lands.
Tyghe valley is traversed by two rivers that flow eastward from the foot
of the Cascade mountains. It was, originally, a very paradise for Indians.
It is a paradise still; but not for them. “White men wanted it;” hence our
present visit to Warm Springs.

In 1855 the several Indian tribes occupying the country east of the
Cascade mountains, as far up as John Day’s, south of the Columbia river,
and north of the Blue mountain, met in Treaty Council those who had been
selected as the representatives of the Government.

The Indians confederated, settling all their difficulties as between
different tribes, and also with the Government. They went into this
council to avoid farther hostilities. From Dr. W. C. McKay I learned that
a body of troops were present; that the Indians insisted on Tyghe valley
as a home; that the Government refused, and that the council continued
for several days; that, finally, under threats and intimidations, the
Indians agreed to accept a home on what is now “Warm Springs Reservation,”
the Government agreeing to do certain things by way of furnishing mills,
shops, schools, farms, etc.

At this time certain members of the Tenino band were in possession of, and
had made improvements of value near, “The Dalles.” Under special
agreements in treaty council these improvements were to be paid for by the

Nineteen years have passed, and John Mission and Billy Chinook have not
yet received one dollar for the aforesaid improvements. These men were
converts to Christianity under the ministration of Father Waller and
others, who were sent out by the Methodist Church as missionaries. These
Indians are still faithful to the vows then taken.

Here is a good subject for some humane, sentimental boaster of national
justice to meditate upon.

Had these men broken their compact with the Government, they would have
been punished; and, had they been like other Indians who have figured in
history, they would have been at last rewarded; not because the Government
is prompt to do them justice, but because they would have _compelled_
justice to come to them, though filtered by blood through the bones of
innocent settlers and sweetened by tears and groans of widows and orphans.

Strong language this, I admit; but history supports the declaration. For
nineteen years have these two humble red-skinned men waited patiently for
remuneration; for nineteen years have they waited in vain. Poor fellows, I
pity you! Had you a vote to give, your claim might have been paid years
ago. Then some ambitious politician, anxious to secure your suffrage,
would have importuned the department at Washington to do you justice; and
the department, anxious for influence in Congress, would have recommended
payment, and some member would have found it to his interest to “log-roll”
it through. But you are unfortunate; you cannot vote. You are no trouble;
you are peaceable and faithful, and you _dare_ not now make any noise
about your claim. You are dependent on a Government that has so much more
important business to look out for, you are unknown.

Rebel once against your masters, and millions would be expended to punish
you. A few thousands would make you rich, and would redeem the honor of
the other “high contracting power.” But you will not be made glad now in
your old age, because you are but “Injuns,” and the good ones of your
people “are all under ground.” So say your white brethren, who now own
what was once your country. Be patient still. The God, of whom you learned
from the lips of the honored dead, will yet compel a nation of conquerors
to drink the bitter dregs of repentance, and though you may never handle
one dollar of the money due you, your children may. And somewhere in the
future your race may come upon the plane where manhood is honored without
the question of ancestry being raised.

Climbing a steep bluff, going south from Tygh valley, we look out on an
extensive plain, bordered by mountain ranges, facing us from the further
side. Forty miles brings us, by slow and ever-increasing easy grades, to
the summit of the plain, where the road leads down a mountain so steep,
that two common-sized horses cannot even manage a light carriage without
rough-locking the wheels. From the starting-point into the chasm below, a
small stream, looking like a bright ribbon that was crumpled and ruffled,
may be seen. Down, down we go. Down, still down, until, standing on the
bank of Warm Springs river, we behold the ribbon transformed into a rapid
rushing current of snow-water, whose very clearness deceives us in respect
to its depth. We drive into it at a rocky ford, and we are soon startled
with the quick breathing of our team, while the water seems to rise over
their backs, and we, standing on the seat, knee deep, encourage our horses
to reach the other shore.

For nineteen years has the business of this agency been transacted through
this current. We are on the other side, vowing that “Uncle Sam” _must_ and
_shall_ have this stream bridged. So vowed our predecessors, and so our
successors, too, would have vowed had they ever passed that way. A few
miles from the crossing and near our road we see steam ascending, as if
some subterranean monster was cooking his supper and had upset his kettle
on the fires where it is supposed wicked people go. The nearer we came to
the caldron the more we were convinced that our conjectures were correct,
and stronger was our resolve to keep away from such places. Brimstone in
moderate quantities scattered along the banks of this stream adds to our
anxiety to reach a meeting-house, where we may feel safe.

This spring gives name to the Reservation, though twelve miles from the
agency; to reach which, we climb up, up, up once more to another high
sterile plain, devoid of everything like vegetation save sage bush. Mile
after mile we travel, until suddenly the team halts on a brink, and we, to
ascertain the cause, alight. Looking down, away down below glimmer a dozen
lights. Tying all the wheels of our vehicle together and walking behind
our team for safety, we go down into this fearful opening in the surface
of the earth, and find “Warm Springs Agency” at the bottom of the chasm.

The country comprising this Indian Reservation is desolate in the extreme;
the only available farming lands being found in the narrow cañons hemmed
in by high bluffs. The soil is alkaline and subject to extreme drought.

The Indian farms are small patches, irregular in shape and size. They were
originally enclosed by the Government at great expense.

Remnants of the old fences may be seen, bearing witness of the way in
which Government fulfilled its promises: round blocks of wood, on some of
which the decaying poles still lie, the blocks being from ten to twenty
feet apart; above them other poles were staked, and thus the fences were

Calculation on the cost of this fencing would probably exhibit about five
dollars per rod. In later years the Indians have rebuilt and improved
fences and houses.

The department farm occupies the _best_ portion of the valley, and is
cultivated for the benefit of the _department_; seldom, if ever,
furnishing supplies or seed for Indians. The government buildings are
generally good, substantial and comfortable for the employés.

The schools are not well attended, and are of but little value to the
Indians,——the fault, however, resting principally with the Indian parents,
who seem to have but little control over their children, and do not compel

A large number of the Indians are professedly Christian, and are making
progress in civilization. The remainder are followers of “Smoheller,” the
great dreamer,——a wild, superstitious bigot,——whose teachings harmonize
with the old religions of these people. The Christian Indians are anxious
for their young men to learn trades, and become like white men in
practices of life.

The others are tenaciously clinging to the old habits of wild
Indians,——isolating themselves from the Christian Indians and the agent.

Thus a wide difference is manifest among these people, apparently growing
out of their religions. This is the real cause of difference; but why this
difference exists is a question that is not difficult to answer.

The Indians who were located near the agency, where they could attend
Christian service, were almost all of them Christianized; while those
whose houses were remote from the agency, thus left to care for
themselves, were followers of “Smoheller.” Had these people been permitted
to select Tygh valley, in 1855, _all_ of them might have been civilized;
because then all would have had productive farms and been under the
immediate eye of the agent.

If, then, they were compelled to accept homes that did not furnish them
the means of subsistence and employment, it is the natural conclusion and
the legitimate result of the bad management of the Government when making
the treaty under which the Indians accepted this great fraud in lieu of
their own beautiful homes.

The climate of Warm Springs differs materially from that of Grand Round,
Siletz, or Alsea, being sheltered by the Cascade mountains from the heavy
rains of the Willamette valley, but, being much higher, is dryer, and in
winter much colder. The mountains act as a great refrigerator; hence snows
are common, though seldom to an extent that prevent cattle and horses from
living through without being fed.

The people are somewhat different in physique and habit. They are braver,
and more warlike, and, in times past, have demonstrated their right to
that character. Since they became parties to the treaty of 1855, they
have, in the main, been faithful to the compact, the exceptions being
those who were led away by the religion of “Smoheller.” Nothing serious
has yet grown out of this “new departure.” What may occur hereafter
depends entirely on the management of the department.

In the treaty of 1855 the confederated bands of middle Oregon reserved the
right to the fishery at “The Dalles,” of which I have written at some
length, on a former page. In 1866 a supplemental treaty was made with them
by my predecessor,——the late Hon. J. W. P. Huntington,——by which the
Indians released all claim to said fishery. The consideration was paltry,
but was promptly paid by the Government, and has long since been expended.

The Indians who were parties to the two treaties referred to declare, most
emphatically, that they did not understand the terms of the latter one;
that they only consented to relinquish, so far as the _exclusive right_ to
take salmon was considered; but that they supposed and understood that
they were still to enjoy the privilege in common with other people. A
careful examination of the said treaty discloses the fact that they had
entirely alienated all their right and interest thereto.

When the lands covering these fisheries were surveyed and selected as
State lands, they were taken up by white men and enclosed with fences,
preventing the Indians and others from having access thereto except on
payment of a royalty or rental. The Indians, not understanding the right
of the parties in possession, opened the enclosure, and really, in
violation of law, went to the grounds where they and their fathers had
always enjoyed, what was to them almost as dear as life, the privilege of
taking salmon.

A compromise was made, the Indian Department paying the claimant the
damage done to the growing crops through which the Indians had passed to
the fishery. I submitted the question of releasing this land to the
department at Washington, and also to the State land officers. The
Government, and State land agent, Col. Thos. H. Cann, manifested a
willingness to do justice to the wards of the Government.

No further action was ever taken, to my knowledge, by the federal
authorities. I suppose that it was overlooked and forgotten. The injustice
stands yet a reproach to a forgetful government.

“A bargain is a bargain,” so says the white man; and truly enough it may
be held right in a legal view to compel the Indians to submit to whatever
they may agree to. But there was a wrong done them in this instance that
ought to have been undone. The plea, that so long as they were permitted
to make annual visits to the Columbia river to take fish, would interfere
with their civilization, because of the bad influences of vicious white
men with whom they came in contact, and urged in justification of the
treaty whereby they yielded their rights in the premises, was a severe
commentary on American Christian civilization, but may have been just.

It is a fact that cannot be questioned, that the virtue of the natives,
until debauched by association with _low whites_, is far above that of the
latter, and that the Indian suffers most by the contact. Had the
commissioners who conducted the treaty of 1855 consented to select Tygh
valley for a Reservation, no necessity would have existed for the Indians
to obtain fish for subsistence.

Warm Springs Agency I have and ever will declare to be unfit for civilized
Indians to occupy. Since they were compelled to take up their abode
thereon, not one season in three, on an average, has been propitious for
raising farm products. When a people hitherto accustomed to ramble
unrestrained, are confined on a reservation that has not the necessary
resources to sustain them, they should be permitted the privilege of going
outside for subsistence.

Shame on a powerful people who would deny them this privilege; yet it is
done. While these Indians on Warm Springs have had many hindering causes
why they should not progress, they have nevertheless made decided
advancement in the march from savage to civilized life. The fact of their
living on unproductive soil has not been the only impediment in their
way. To enable my readers to understand more fully this subject, I will
introduce the subjoined letter from the present acting agent on Warm
Springs Reservation,——Captain John Smith. Early in February, 1874, I
addressed a letter to him, stating my purpose of writing this volume, and
requested him to furnish me with such facts as he would be willing to have
appear in my book over his own signature.

                              CHAPTER XI.


To my readers of the Pacific coast, I need say nothing in commendation of
this writer. He is too well known to require an introduction. But that his
communication may be appreciated by those who do not know “The Captain,”
it may be well to state that he is a member of the old-school Presbyterian
church, has long resided West, is respected by all who know him, as a man
of unimpeachable honor and integrity. His heart is in his work, and he
talks and acts toward the Indians under his charge more as a father than
as an officer. A zealous churchman and partisan, he is positive in
character, and fearless as a speaker; while he may be lacking in some
minor qualities, he has so many important and useful ones that qualify him
for his position, that the deficiency, if any, is not felt. As a christian
civilizer of Indians he ranks with Father Wilber, of Yakama, and other
noble-hearted men.

Warm Springs has been assigned to the Methodist Church; yet so much
confidence has Captain Smith inspired by his success, that they have not
recommended his removal. In this they have consulted the higher and purer
motives that should, and often do, control men in important matters. _He_
should be permitted to hold his office _during life_.

This communication, coming from such a man, is worthy of careful
consideration; touching, as it does, the key-notes of the great question
of the Christianization of the Indians.

                                          WARM SPRINGS AGENCY, OREGON.

    HON. A. B. MEACHAM:——

    MY DEAR SIR,——Believing that the work you contemplate publishing
    is designed to teach the minds of men the capability of the
    Indian race to be morally, religiously and socially advanced;
    and having had the experience of a residence of some seven years
    among the confederate tribes and bands of Middle Oregon, as
    agent; and further believing that I have in some degree mastered
    the great problem of their civilization, I willingly contribute
    anything that may serve to give your readers a correct idea of
    the progress they have really made; and they are still going

    It will be necessary to go back to the time I first came among
    them. A more degraded set of beings I am sure did not exist on
    the earth, nor was the condition of most of the Indians on this
    coast much better.

    The mind of man would not conceive that human beings could get
    so low in the scale of humanity as they were; and I am sure, if
    they had been left to the instincts of their own wild and savage
    natures, they could never have been so low down as they were.

    God’s holy Sabbath was set apart as a day of licentiousness and
    debauchery. Drinking and gambling had become common. Their women
    were universally unchaste, and were taught to believe that
    lewdness was a commendable practice, or even a virtue.

    Diseases and death were entailed on their posterity. The men had
    to submit at the point of the bayonet; the consequence was, the
    Indians had lost all confidence in the honesty and integrity of
    white men.

    This state of affairs was principally owing to the military
    being brought into close proximity to them. Some of the officers
    had built houses, and were living with Indian women.

    After I came here (the military having been removed previously)
    the Snake Indians commenced making raids on the Reservation.

    I was asked “if I wished the military to protect us.” I
    answered, “No.” I preferred the raids of the Snake Indians to
    the presence of the soldiers; for I doubted if I would be able
    in twenty years to wipe out the evidences of the military having
    been amongst them; and I am sorry to say, that the agents and
    employés set over them to teach them had also contributed
    largely to their degradation.

    One of the agents has been frequently heard to say, “that he
    thought the best way to civilize the Indians was to _wash out_
    the color.” They had accomplished what they were able to in that
    line. While it is certain that one agent came here a poor man,
    and went away wealthy, to say nothing of the lesser pickings
    which employers and contractors were allowed to take.

    How to restore the lost confidence in the white man seemed on my
    arrival a herculean task. My first work was to get rid of all
    contaminating influences, by discharging bad men and filling
    their places with good, moral, and religious persons. The
    reformation at first seemed slow, but gradually increased from
    day to day. I was soon able to start a Sabbath school, and
    divine services were held every Sabbath.

    The Indians, old and young, were placed in classes, and
    appropriate teachers set over them. Soon our large and
    commodious house of worship was filled to its utmost capacity by
    old and young, male and female, all seemingly eager to pick up
    the crumbs of comfort that fell from God’s holy word; and from
    Sabbath to Sabbath this was continued.

    Then came a change; officers from the army were ordered to
    relieve agents. The Sabbath was soon disregarded; Christian and
    moral men had their places made unpleasant, and were compelled
    to resign. Their places were filled by others who cared for
    nothing of the kind, and everything was relapsing into its
    former condition.

    When I was again permitted to return I found things but little
    better than when I first came. However, I immediately set to
    work again, and, I think I can truly say, with full success. We
    have now three Bible-classes that read a verse around, and seem
    to comprehend very well what they read.

    The old men are all in a class, and a person is appointed to
    read a chapter and explain it to them every Sabbath day. Many
    who cannot read can quote a large amount of Scripture. Quite a
    number, both men and women, lead in prayer, and many families
    maintain family worship, seemingly living Christian lives. We
    give out a psalm; many of the young people find it about as
    readily as we do, and can lead the music. The first week of the
    new year was observed as a national prayer-meeting, which was
    well attended; some for the first time acknowledging Christ as
    their Saviour. We have at this time nearly one hundred
    professing to live Christian lives, and we seem to be adding,
    from day to day, such as I hope will be saved. Our day-school
    has been a great success for the last two years; before that it
    was a failure, and I am now convinced that it was the fault of
    the teachers not understanding the management of Indian
    children. We have quite a number of children who read and speak
    fluently, commit to memory easily, using the slate to advantage,
    demonstrating their capability to learn as readily as white
    children, provided they can have the same advantages.

    There are white children in the school who do not advance as
    rapidly as some of the Indian children, thus exploding the
    general opinion that, as a race, they are merely imitative
    beings, but cannot originate an idea. The true Indian character,
    I fear, is very little understood, and still it seems almost
    anybody can write lectures on it, and with about as much truth
    in them as Æsop’s fables contain.

    I have found them much more susceptible of moral and religious
    advancement than the white man, giving them the same
    opportunities; and I account for it in the fact that you never
    find an infidel among them unless made so by white men. They all
    acknowledge a Supreme Being that overrules all things. They may
    have a very crude notion of the worship due to such a Creator,
    but so soon as they are taught the true worship, they become
    very zealous, and they have no scoffers to discourage them.

    One fatal error has been in admitting them into churches,
    without any change of heart, to enjoy all its privileges;
    consequently they were not restrained by any inward principle,
    and never became any better. To make a Christian religious,
    intelligence, as well as zeal, is necessary. If we are to be
    judged by God’s law, we should be acquainted with it, and it is
    as needful for an Indian as for a white man to know _that_ law
    in order to become a Christian.

    The Catholics take them into the church, whether converted or
    not; and they are never made any better, but rather worse, for
    they are kept ignorant and superstitious. This was the case
    here, and these Indians are well aware of these facts. I have my
    doubts if a single Indian can be found on this coast that has
    been made any better by the Catholics.

    I am credibly informed that they say mass in the morning, then
    run horses and play cards the remainder of the day; and all this
    under the eye of the priest.

    At the time of my coming here polygamy was indulged to the
    fullest extent. Their women were bought and sold, and used as
    beasts of burden, and when old, were kicked out at pleasure, to
    get their living as best they could, or die of want.

    I immediately set myself to work to remedy this evil, by telling
    them it was in violation of God’s holy word; then I was asked
    why we did not put a stop to it among the Mormons. I finally
    succeeded in securing a law prohibiting it in the future;
    allowing all who had more than one wife to get rid of her as
    best they could, but any one violating the law should be
    punished by fine or imprisonment.

    I was soon after enabled to pass an amendment that where there
    was more than one wife, if one wished to leave, their husbands
    had no control over them. Under this rule nearly all had left.

    On last Sabbath, a woman got up in church and said she was fully
    convinced that she had been living in violation of God’s holy
    word. She had lived with her husband a long time; he had always
    treated her well, and she loved him,——but she loved her Saviour
    more, and for the sake of heaven and happiness she had to give
    him up. She was much affected. I was reminded of the words of
    our Saviour when he said, he had “found no such faith, no, not
    in Israel.”

    Her confession has led others to the same conclusion; and I
    think we can truly say, the days of polygamy are ended among
    these people, or soon will be. The merchandise of their women
    was a source of great annoyance to them. Their girls brought
    from three to ten head of horses, owing generally to the manner
    their parents were able to dress them for the market. This
    system was very hard to get rid of, but it has entirely ceased
    for the last three years. By law they are required to be married
    by the agent; for violation of this law they are punished. No
    divorces are granted, except in cases of adultery. Cards, or any
    other devices for gambling, found about their premises, make
    them liable to a fine of twenty-five dollars, or ten days’ work
    on the highway; as does, also, gambling, or drinking ardent
    spirits, and refusing to tell where it was obtained. Adultery is
    severely punished; and now I am able to add another law entirely
    prohibiting polygamy.

    Our court consists of the “Head Chief” and six selected men,——
    the agent presiding, an Indian acting as sheriff, who arrests
    and brings into court all offenders, and subpœnas witnesses. The
    councils are always opened by prayer by some of the Indians.

    Their agricultural affairs and social relations have undergone a
    great change. When I came among them they were wrapped up in
    their filthy blankets, eating their meals——if meals they could
    be called——off the ground like the pigs.

    They had but few houses. Their crops probably did not exceed
    three hundred bushels in any season; they were living on the
    roots they digged in the mountains and the fish they caught in
    the streams, and not one pound of anything on the Reservation. I
    purchased for them a limited amount of seed——they packing it
    forty miles. This enabled them to raise five thousand bushels of
    wheat, with a good supply of assorted vegetables.

    This seemed to give them new life, and they have been steadily
    increasing ever since.

    Their crop, the last season, has been estimated at from twelve
    to fifteen thousand bushels of wheat, with an abundance of
    vegetables of all kinds.

    Now they have some forty houses, with logs hauled and lumber
    partly sawed for perhaps twenty more.

    Many families sit around tables well furnished with the luxuries
    common with white people. As to their dress, they will compare
    very favorably with many country congregations.

    The women and children come to church clean and nice, many of
    them dressed equal to white women.

    I have built a house, 18 × 42 feet, for a female school. In this
    house, if I shall remain here a short time longer, I shall
    expect to accomplish much, as I propose to teach their women
    domestic economy,——a thing they are very little acquainted with,
    as are they also with the preparation of vegetable foods, to
    make them palatable; and for this reason they are less used
    than they should be, and they depend too much on the chase and

    This makes it necessary to leave their homes at times, and keeps
    up filthy habits, and their homes are not made comfortable as
    they would be if they looked to the ground for support; and they
    could be better induced to give up the chase and become settled
    and comfortable, much to the benefit of their health.

    During the last year probably less than one half of the usual
    number left the Reservation in search of food, and I find the
    increase in numbers has been surprising. In roaming around,
    their children can never be educated, as they only come to
    school in the winter months, and forget what they learn by the
    next winter.

    The sooner Indians can be brought to look to the earth for a
    support, the better; or, in other words, the Bible and the
    plough are the only civilizers of the human family.

    That has been my experience with these Indians, notwithstanding
    the scoffs and jeers of infidels, who would like to bring all
    mankind down to a level with the wild and barbarous Indians; and
    these are generally the kind of men who wish them transferred
    from the civil to the military authorities.

    This experiment has been tried, and we have seen the result.
    They may have been in some measure controlled, but never made
    any better,——always worse. Their object has been to control
    them,——not to civilize them.

    President Grant’s humane policy _has done more towards
    civilizing the Indians than all things heretofore done_; and it
    is yet in its infancy, while everything that could be has been
    brought to bear against it, to make it unpopular if possible.

    Here let me say a word in regard to yourself. I have the fullest
    confidence that the earnest manner in which the work was
    seconded and pushed forward during your superintendency has
    greatly contributed to its success among the Indians of Oregon,
    who, I think, can compare favorably with any others in the
    United States.

    Good results were apparent among these Indians, and I presume
    also others, immediately after the holding of that general
    council at Salem in the fall of 1871. What they saw and heard
    there gave them faith in the good intentions of the Government
    towards them, and encouraged them to try and do something for
    themselves; and your general manner of treating and talking to
    them was well calculated to inspire them with confidence and a
    desire for improvement.

    These Indians have been repeatedly advised to leave the
    Reservation by designing men, on the ground that under the
    fourteenth amendment to the Constitution they are citizens,
    entitled to both settle where they please, and to enjoy all
    other rights appertaining to citizenship.

    They have succeeded in drawing away something over a hundred,
    who are roaming over the country; and some fears are entertained
    that should the military attempt to force them to return there
    may be trouble, and perhaps a repetition of Modoc scenes.

    If this should be the case, the fault clearly would not be with
    the policy of the administration, but with its enemies, who by
    their mischievous interference have induced the Indians to

    I think the facts will bear me out in the statement that if the
    only contact of the Indians with the whites had been with true
    Christian men, there never would have been any, or, at least,
    very little trouble with them.

    The cases are not wanting where men of high moral and Christian
    character have succeeded admirably in controlling Indians, by
    showing decision and firmness where it was needed, leniency and
    favor where it was appreciated, and dealing honestly and
    honorably in all things.

    The results shown, where the contact was between them and such
    men, even though it did not continue for any great length of
    time, indicate clearly enough what might have been the present
    condition of these “wards of the nation” if none but good
    influences had been brought to bear upon them. We should have
    heard fewer details of revolting massacres, there would have
    been fewer costly wars and campaigns, that now go to fill up the
    pages of U. S. history; and it is no idle fancy, but a logical
    deduction, to presume that they might at present be
    self-supporting, instead of at the expense they now are, and
    must be for some time to come; if indeed they were not able to
    contribute something to the support of the Government. Very much
    might be said on this subject, but as you probably prefer facts
    to theories, incidents to deductions, I will not intrude mine
    upon you.

    Hoping that your work may be successful in assisting to lead
    people to form just and correct conclusions and ideas in regard
    to the Indian question,

                                             I remain,

                                               Yours respectfully,

                                                 JOHN SMITH,

    _U. S. Indian Agent at Warm Springs, Oregon._

Here is a man talking of a subject who knows whereof he writes; so far at
least as relates to his own experience and observation.

His success, as declared by his letter, is established by many living
witnesses, and the anthems of praise that go up from this mountain home of
the red men.

The reader who peruses the foregoing letter will not fail to discover that
Captain Smith’s heart is in the work, and that he is animated by a true
Christian spirit in his labors with his people.

I do not, however, endorse all his strictures on the effects of the
Catholic Church, in its labors in behalf of the Indian race. I know many
worthy men, who are honestly laboring for them, who are members of the
Catholic Church. There is a difference in the polity of that and
Protestant Churches, and, however strong my own prejudices may be in favor
of the latter, I am not insensible to the fact that the Catholic Church
has manifested a great interest in these people. Let them be judged by
their works.

Unfortunately for the world, Christianity has not, and does not, divest
its followers of the common inheritance of poor weak human nature, and of
the passions and prejudices that close our eyes to the virtues and honor
due those who differ from us. More charity, more justice, preached and
practised, would make man far happier.

In December, 1871, I visited Warm Springs Agency. I remained several days;
during which time a series of meetings were held at the agency. From the
record kept of that meeting I make a short synopsis. Agent Smith, when his
people were assembled in the school-house, called on an Indian to offer
prayers. I confess that I was somewhat surprised to witness the response,
by a man whose childhood had been passed in a wild Indian camp, and whose
youth had witnessed scenes of warfare against the white man, and who had
been compelled to accept this poor home, in lieu of the beautiful prairies
of “John Day’s” river country,——the name of a branch of the Columbia. A
hymn was sung by the people. Nowhere have I ever seen exhibited a more
confiding trust in God than was shown by them.

After the preliminaries were over, a discussion was opened on the several
matters pertaining to the interests of the Indians,——their church, school,
business matters, investment of funds, etc.

The social and civil customs were brought up. We insisted that polygamy
was a great crime, and that they should abolish the law permitting it.

The meeting increased in interest and earnestness for several days. We
finally proposed that those of them who were willing should come out
squarely and renounce all their old ways, and take new names, or, at
least, add to their old ones a plain American name. The people were warmed
in their hearts. The occasion was one of intense interest. Here were those
who had come up from a low, debased condition, through the labors of
Christian white men, until they stood on the threshold of a higher life
than they had as yet known. It was to them an important step.

The speeches made gave evidence of thought and forecast of mind. They did
not rush blindly forward without counting the cost.

This scene reminds me of a Methodist camp meeting in olden time, when
people were moved by some invisible power to flee from the wrath to come;
when the preacher would call, and exhort, and pray, and a great
overshadowing presence touched all hearts, and drove away careless
thoughts and selfish purposes, and the multitude would seem to melt and
mingle in common sympathy; when saints could throw their arms around
sinners, and make them feel how much they loved them, and how earnestly
they desired their salvation; when brave old sinners hesitated, faltered
and trembled, and strong, brave Christians would then renew the contest in
behalf of religion. Men who had knocked elbows for life would meet at a
common altar, or gather in knots and surround some stubborn, hard-hearted
sinner, who, with thoughtful brow, would whittle sticks and spit, and
whittle again, sometimes throwing the chips away from him, indicating “I
won’t;” and then, when some more pointed word of argument, or love, was
sent home to the sinner’s heart, he would turn the stick and whittle the
chips toward him, thus saying, “I may;” until at last, when the preacher
calls, “Who will be the next?” the repentant one drops his stick, shuts
his knife, draws his bandanna to his eyes, starts forward, escorted by his
pious exulting friends, who clear the way for the now penitent man.

The preacher comes down from the stand, clapping his hands, and with
streaming eyes shouts, “Thank God, another sinner has turned to the Lord!”
extends his hand, and utters a few kind words in the listening ear, and
resumes, “Who will be the next?”

A cowardly sinner, who dares not come out from the world, and is not brave
enough to stand before the battery of divine power, turns and flees, not
from the wrath to come, but from the means that are intended to make him
whole. He is followed by kind-hearted Christian friends and brought back,
and he, too, surrenders; and the preacher says, “Thank the Lord!” and the
brethren shout, “Amen! Amen.”

And thus the work goes on until all are converted, or give evidence of
penitence, save, perhaps, some strong-willed, hard-hearted, cool-headed
one, and then especial efforts are made in his behalf. If he does, at
last, yield his stubborn will, the joy is unbounded.

This picture I have made, is a true one of western camp-meetings, and
equally true of the Indian meeting held at Warm Springs in December, 1871.
I was to that what the presiding elder was to a camp-meeting. Capt. Smith
was the “preacher in charge.” After one or two days of speech-making, when
all hearts were thoroughly aroused, the proposition above referred to was
made. I shall never forget the scene that followed. “Who will be the first
to throw away his Indian heart, laws, customs, and be from this day
henceforth a white man in everything pertaining to civilization?” Silence
reigned; all eyes turned toward “Mark,” head chief. He realized the
situation, saw how much of the welfare of his people depended on his
example. He saw, besides, his three wives and their ten children.

He arose slowly, half hesitating, as though he had not fully made up his
mind what to do. The presence of his women embarrassed him. He said, “My
heart is warm like fire, but there are cold spots in it. I don’t know how
to talk. I want to be a white man. My father did not tell me it was wrong
to have so many wives. I love all my women. My old wife is a mother to the
others, I can’t do without her; but she is old, she cannot work very much;
I can’t send her away to die. This woman,” pointing to another, “cost me
ten horses; she is a good woman; I can’t do without her. That woman,”
pointing to still another, “cost me eight horses; she is young; she will
take care of me when I am old. I don’t know how to do; I want to do right.
I am not a bad man. I know your new law is good; the old law is bad. We
must be like the white man. I am a man; I will put away the old law.”

Captain Smith, although a Presbyterian, behaved then like an old-fashioned
Methodist, shouting, “Thank God! Thank God, the ice is broke!”

Mark remained standing, and resumed: “I want you to tell me how to do
right. I love my women and children. I can’t send any of them away; what
must I do?” The old chief was moved, and his upheaving breast gave proof
that he was _a man_. Silence followed, while he stood awaiting the
answer,——a silence that was felt.

Here was a people, in the very throes of a new life, making effort to
overcome the effects of savage birth and education. The heart of this
question was bared. This old superstition was still lingering in their
lives, part and parcel of the very existence of the people. It remained
with them even after they had put away their religious faith and accepted
that of their Christian teachers.

We had long before seen the struggle that it would cost,——the
embarrassments that polygamy threw into the question. Our mind was made
up, or we thought it was, and, motioning the chief to be seated, we arose
and said:——

“I know how much depends on my words. This is a great question. It has
always been a hard thing to manage. My heart is not rock. I sympathize
with you; Captain Smith feels for you. We will tell you what to do. No man
after this day shall ever marry more than one woman. No woman shall ever
be sold. The men that have more than one wife must arrange to be lawfully
married to one of them. The others are to remain with him until they are
married to other persons, or find homes elsewhere. If they do not marry
again, the husband must take care of them and their children.”

After a few moments, the chief arose, and said, “I understand; that is
right. I will give all my wives a choice. I will be a white man from this
day;” and then, advancing toward the desk, he was welcomed by friendly
greeting from the white men present.

Holding him by the hand I said to him, “I welcome my red brother to our
civilization. You are now a man; our people do not consider the color of a
man; it is his heart, his life. What name will you take?”

He hesitated, looking down for a moment; then raising his eyes to my own
with earnest gaze, he inquired if he might take my name, saying that he
liked it because it sounded well.

Acknowledging the compliment, I extended my hand, and addressed him as Mr.
Mark Meacham, which was greeted with great applause. His second wife,
Matola, arose and made a short speech, inquiring what was to become of her
and her children. “Is your heart made of stone? Can I give Mark up? No I
won’t; he will want my children. I want them. I won’t go away. I am his
wife. I am satisfied with being his second wife; we did not know it was
wrong. Nobody told us so. We get along well together. I won’t leave him; I
am his wife.” The plan was explained, and she was reconciled. John Mission
was next to follow Mark, saying, “that when he was a small boy, he first
heard about the new law. He had waited for the time when his people would
come to it. They have come now. I am glad in my heart. I give you my

Billy Chinook said, “I throw away the law my fathers made. I take this new
law. I have two wives. They are both good. If anybody wants one of my
wives, he can have her; if he don’t, she can stay. Long time I have waited
for the new law. It has come. I give you my hand.”

Hand-shaking was renewed, and then one after another arose and made short
speeches, and came forward and were enrolled; the captain growing warmer
and more enthusiastic as each new name was entered on the roll. Nearly one
hundred had come out squarely, and we adjourned the meeting to the
following day.

On reassembling, next morning, the invitation was renewed, and nearly all
of the men present surrendered. Sitting moody, gloomy, silent, was a tall,
fine-looking fellow, with a blanket on his shoulders. His name was

He had been called on several times, but had not responded until near the
close of this civil revival. Unexpectedly he laid aside his blanket and
arose. Every eye was turned on this man, because he had opposed every new
law. While he was a peaceable, quiet man, he was a strong one, and had
always exercised great influence, especially with the younger men.

He began to talk,——breaking a breathless silence, because it was supposed
that he would take a stand against the new law,——the Indian way of
speaking of all new rules. His speech was one of vast importance to his
hearers, and was as follows:——

“I was born a wild Indian. My father was a wild Indian. A long time I have
fought you in my heart. I have not talked much; I wanted to think. I have
thought about the new law a great deal. I thought I would not have the new
law. My heart says No! I cannot fight against it any longer. I am now
going to be a white man. I will give up the old law.”

He advanced towards the desk, and the captain, unable to restrain his
emotions of pleasure, gave vent to exclamations of gladness by slapping
his hand on the desk, while tears came to his eyes in proof of his
pleasure. The hand-shaking that followed was of that kind which expressed
more than words. A throng gathered around Pi-a-noose, congratulating him.

Here was a scene that would have touched the heart of man possessed of
any feeling,——a savage transformed into a man! The world scoffs at such
sentiments, because it seldom witnesses a spectacle so grand in human
life. Indians who have passed into that new life are like white men newly
converted to Christianity. Our meeting adjourned with great demonstrations
of pleasure on the part of all interested.

The captain called his employés together for prayer-meeting. A few Indians
were present, taking part in the exercises. Strange sounds,——those of
prayer going up from an Indian agency, where, in years agone, shouts of
revelry and bacchanalian songs arose from throats that were used to the
language of the debauchee; even officers, if history be true, had taken
part in the disgraceful orgies.

This agency has two classes of Indians——one that are anxious to advance;
the other who, adopting the religion of white men, are loth to abandon
their old habits. The former are fast coming up to the estate of
civilized, Christianized manhood. A few years more and the treaty will
expire, and then those who are qualified should be admitted to
citizenship, and the remainder removed to some locality where they could
find suitable lands for cultivation. This will not probably be done. The
Government owes these people a debt that it may be slow in paying.

The Dalles fishery should be returned to them, and a peaceful enjoyment of
its privileges guaranteed. Captain Smith should be permitted to remain
with those for whom he has done so much, and who regard him with
reverence. This may not be either, because the success of party will
require another change in the policy.

A new administration may change the whole plan of civilization, and remand
these Indians back to the care of their first masters, or into the hands
of the politicians. In either event, it will be a misfortune to those who
have advanced so much under the humane policy of the present
administration. Warm Springs has had but two agents in eight years. This
agency has legends and romantic stories connected with its people, one of
which I propose to give in other connections.

                              CHAPTER XII.


Umatilla Agency has been mentioned on former pages. I return to it now to
say something more of its people. It is under the management of the
Catholic Church. It has had but _four_ agents in ten years, is on a great
thoroughfare between the Columbia river and Idaho. It has a good climate,
abundant resources, and is of great value. An effort was made during 1871,
to induce the Indians to consent to a removal.

The council convened at Umatilla Agency, Oregon, August 7th, 1871,
consisting on the part of the Government, of Superintendent A. B. Meacham,
Agent N. A. Cornoyer, of Umatilla Agency, and John S. White, a citizen of
Umatilla County, Oregon.

Hon. Felix Brunot, chairman of Indian Commission, was present; also, many
of the citizens of the surrounding country. The council was organized with
A. B. Meacham, president, Mathew Davenport, secretary, Donald McKay and P.
B. Pamburn, as interpreters. The council continued six days, during which
time the questions at issue were fully discussed. A few of the speeches
made will be sufficient to give a correct understanding of the argument
for and against the sale of their lands.[4]

[4] NOTE.——See Appendix to Chapter XII. for the several speeches on the
subject of removal.

The Indians were entirely untrammelled, and spoke without intimidation.
After the council had been in session four days, in reply to the remarks
of a chief, that they were not ready to talk yet, it was said, “We want
you to talk first all you have to say.”

This council was conducted on fair terms. The Indians freely expressed
their wishes and mind on the subject, and the white men accepted the

On all the western coast there is not a fairer land than Umatilla. I do
not wonder that the Indians love their homes on this reservation. They
are, however, somewhat divided in religious practice; one part being
members of the Catholic Church, the remainder Dreamers,——followers of
Smoheller. Some of them have made advancement in civil life.

Wealth has been to them a curse, and not a blessing. Many of them have
large herds of horses and cattle, and have not felt the necessity for
labor. The few who have farms are prosperous, the land being of excellent
quality, climate favorable, and market convenient. At the Oregon State
Fair, 1868, some of them were awarded first prizes for vegetables.

Surrounded, as they are, by white men, they have been worsted by the

Unlike the Indians of Grand Round, who owe much of their prosperity to the
citizens for whom they labored, the Indians of Umatilla are a rich,
thrifty, proud people. They are fond of sports and games, and yield slowly
to the advice of agents to abandon their habits. A few noticeable
instances, however, to the contrary, are How-lish-wam-po, We-nap-snoot,
and Pierre, together with a few others, who live in houses like citizens.
Another instance is that of the widow of Alex McKay, a half-breed. This
woman, of Indian blood, has been educated by white persons, keeps house in
a respectable manner, dresses after fashion’s style, though about one year
behind it. When white ladies adopt new fashions this “Susan” waits to see
whether it is perpetuated, and then adopts it just about the time her
fairer sisters abandon it. During one of my official visits, I was invited
to “a social” at Susan’s house. In company with the agent and his family I
attended. The refreshments served would have done credit to any house-wife
in any frontier country, though the manner of serving them was rather
comical. Each person went to the table, taking edibles in hand, while
coffee for twenty persons was served in, perhaps, half-a-dozen cups,
passing from one to another.

The Indian women who were present were dressed “a la Boston:” painted
cheeks, high chignons, immense tilting hoops, and high-heeled bootees.

The men were in citizen costume, Susan refusing to admit either man or
maiden in Indian dress.

The dance, or _hop_, was also Boston, with music on a violin by a native
performer. The first was an old-fashioned “French four.” When the set was
formed, they occupied the floor, leaving little room for wall-flowers.
Dancing is a part of Indian life in which they take great pleasure.

In this instance the music was slow, very slow at the commencement, but
increased in time, growing faster, while faster went the flying hoops, and
faster yet went the music; and then the dancers would chase each other in
quick succession through the figure until the fiddles failed and the
dancers, exhausted, sat down. No cold kind of amusement, that.

After refreshments were again served, another set was formed, and gone
through in the same manner. I noticed in this affair that the maidens
selected partners.

Susan, in reply to the remark on the change, said that “the boys liked all
the girls for partners, but the girls don’t always like all of the boys
for partners. The boys have had their own way long enough.” This is an
enterprising woman, and believes in woman’s rights. She is doing her
people much good, in their amusements especially. Nature’s children, as
well as those of higher society, are blessed with joyful spirits, and a
longing for recreation.

Susan has sense enough to know that she cannot, even if she would, prevent
dancing, and wisely concludes to draw her people away from the old,
uncouth, senseless dances of savages. Being herself a good Catholic, she
is zealous for her church, and, since dancing is not prohibited, she
succeeds in leading them into communion with religious people.

Whether the hearts of these converts are changed, I know not; their
manners and customs are, and their ideas of right and justice much
improved. For this reason, I commend this woman for her efforts to break
up old, heathenish customs.

                             CHAPTER XIII.


Umatilla is known to be a great country for horses. I doubt if anywhere on
this continent there can be found horses of greater speed or powers of

The feats performed by those people on horseback are wonderful, and past
belief by those who know western horses.

How-lish-wam-po, chief of the Cayuse (Kiuse), is owner of several thousand
horses. He is a stout-built man, has a dark complexion, wears his hair
just clear of his shoulders, and is now past middle age.

This man is a natural horseman, and a match for any man of any race in
matters pertaining to horses. He is really king of the turf in the
Umatilla country.

In conversation with him regarding horses, he remarked to me that he had
horses that could carry a man one hundred miles in a day, and bring him
home the next day. I shook my head, when he proposed to back his judgment
by betting twenty horses. I am satisfied that he could have won the wager.

The racing habits of these people are well known, and many a white man has
found more than his match.

I remember, one day in the spring of 1867, a man and boy passing my
residence on the mountain bordering the Reservation. They were leading a
fine-looking horse, with a fancy blanket over him. I suspected his
purpose, and inquired his destination. In his answer I detected a rich
Irish brogue and a tone that sounded somewhat familiar.

“It’s meself that’s going down to the Umatilla ‘Risivation,’ to have a bit
of sport with the ‘Injuns.’ You see, I’ve been in Idaho this few years,
and I’ve made me a nice bit of a stake; and I thought that, when I’d be
going home, I might stop off at the Umatilla, and get even with them
red-skinned boys that swindled me and Mike Connelly out of a few dollars
when were going up,——so they did.”

A few words of explanation, and I recognized him as the fellow who had, in
partnership with another, bought an Indian pony, of which mention has been
made in a previous chapter. I felt sympathy for him during his first
adventure, and I did this time also, and said to him, “Be careful, Pat;
you will lose all your money.”

“Och! never fear; that fellow there has claned them all out in the Boi-se
basin. Oh, but he is a swange cat, so he is; and he will show them how to
take a poor man in when he’s foot-sore and tired, so he will, too. Now, do
you mind what I’m telling yous? That lad here can tell you how he flies.
Och! but he’s a swate one, so he is.”

Pat went on his way with his heart full of hope. A few days after, the boy
who had gone down with him returned homeward. To my inquiry about how Pat
made out, racing horses, he shrugged his shoulders and replied, that “_the
Injuns cleaned us out!_”

Another party, who had heard of the Umatilla race horses, passed down
toward the Reservation. This man’s name was French Louie. He had several
fine racers with him. I learned his destination, and gave him a few words
of caution. But he replied that he “knew what he was about.” He had “a
horse that had ‘_swept the track_,’ all the way from the Missouri river,
at Denver City, Salt Lake, Boi-se, and Baker City. Never fear. I’ll teach
those Indians something they never knew, before I get through with them.”

Poor fellow, I felt sorry for him. On his arrival on the Reservation he
found chances to invest his money. The men he came to teach were apt
scholars in tricks that are shrewd.

He led out a horse, and made a small bet and _lost_, as he _intended_ to.
The next run the Indians played _him_ the same game, until, thinking he
had learned the speed of their horses, Louie proposed to wager all his
money, horses, saddles, and, in fact, stake everything upon one race.

That man and his attendants went home on little ponies which the Indians
gave them in charity.

How-lish-wam-po, chief of the Cayuses, is the owner of a horse with which
he has challenged any and every sporting man in the country.

Several parties have visited Umatilla, bringing with them men and boys to
drive home the herds of Indian horses they were “going to win.”

One party imported a horse for the express purpose. He made known his
desire, and he, too, soon found opportunity for an investment. The
preliminaries were arranged, and the race was to be run over the Indian
race-course, which was located on the bottom lands of Umatilla river,
smooth, level turf, over two miles and a half in length.

At one end of this course a post was planted, round which the racers were
to turn, and come back to the starting-point, making a distance of a
little over five miles and a quarter.

Joe Crabb, the owner of the imported horse, had been present at a race
months previous, when How-lish-wam-po had _permitted_ his horse to be
beaten; and as he had measured the distance, marked the time, and
subsequently tested the speed of his horse with the winner, on that
occasion, he, of course, had a “dead thing.”

The white men came with groom and riders, making a camp near the Indian,
standing guard over his own horse, to prevent accident.

The Indians were not so careful of their horse; at least Joe Crabb thought
they were not, and, since everything is fair in gambling as in war, he
concluded to _know_ for himself how the speed of these two horses would

He thought, as thousands of other white men have, that it was no harm to
cheat an “Injun,” no matter by what means.

There is a general belief that Indians sleep when their eyes are shut, and
especially just _before daylight_.

Sending a careful, trusty man to get the Indian horse, leaving another in
his place, he led his own out on the prairie, and made a few trials of
speed with the two. The result was satisfactory. He found that his horse
was able to distance the other.

Now How-lish-wam-po was the owner of two horses very nearly alike,——one
the racer; the other half-brother to him, but not so fleet. They were
“Pinto”——spotted horses; so the deception was complete.

The Indian horses are never stabled, groomed, shod, or grain-fed. Their
system of training differs from a white man’s very much. After a race is
agreed upon, the animal is tied up to a stake or tree, and if he is fat,
they starve him down, giving him only water. If, however, he is in good
condition, they lead him out to grass, an hour or so, each day, and at
nightfall they run him over the course.

In this instance the half-brother was tied up and put in training, and
left _unguarded_, with the _hope_ that Crabb would steal him out, and try
his speed. Sure enough, he fell into the trap that How-lish-wam-po set for
him. The real race-horse was miles away, under proper training.

The fame of this wonderful winner had spread far and wide, as did the news
of the approaching contest.

When the morning agreed upon arrived, the roads leading to the valley of
Umatilla gave full proof of the interest the people of the surrounding
country had in this important affair.

They came from places several hundred miles distant, and from the
settlements surrounding the Reservation.

The little towns furnished their quota, and the farmers excused themselves
for going, hoping, as they told their wives at home, that they should meet
some one with whom they had business. And through various devices nearly
every man, and a part of the women, also, found excuse to be there.

I know how that was done; at least, I heard men tell how they managed.

People who never gambled with dollars, and would blush to own they were
fast people, found their way to Umatilla.

The race-course which I have described was parallel with a low range of
grassy hills, that rose by gentle slopes from the valley to an altitude of
fifty to one hundred feet.

Long before the time for the race, carriages, buggies, wagons, and horses,
might be seen standing on the hills, or driving over the green sward,
while at the standing-point was assembled a great motley crowd, on foot
and horseback.

The Indians were in their gala-day dress,——paints, feathers, long hair,
red blankets; in fact, it was a dress-parade for white and red men too.

The manner of betting at an Indian race differs somewhat from affairs of
the kind among white men. One man is selected as a stake-holder for all
moneys. Horses that are wagered are tied together and put under care of
Indian boys. Coats, blankets, saddles, pistols, knives, and all kind of
personal effects, are thrown into a common heap and tied together.

As the starting-hour approaches, two judges are elected,——one white man
and one Indian. But two are required, since the horses run out, turn the
stake, and come back to the starting-point. The first horse to get home is
winner. No account is made of the start, each party depending on his
shrewdness to get the better in this part of the race.

Indians are enthusiastic gamblers, and have a certain kind of pride, and
to do them justice, honor, as well, in conducting their races. No
disputes ever arise among themselves, and seldom with white men, growing
out of misunderstandings, either about starting or the outcome. They take
sides with their own people always, and bet, when the chances are against
them, from pride.

The prevailing idea that they are always cool and stoical is not correct.
They become very much excited at horse-races, but not generally until the
race begins. While the preliminaries are being arranged, they are serious,
even solemn-looking fellows, and with great dignity come up with the money
to bet. “Capable of dissembling,” I should think they were, from the cool
face of How-lish-wam-po, when the money is being counted out by the
hundreds, in twenty-dollar gold-pieces,——not a few, but handfuls of
twenties. One could not have detected the slightest twinkle in his eye, or
other sign that he knew that Joe Crabb had _stolen his horse_, and _run_
him secretly. Cool, calm, earnest as if he were saying mass, this
chieftain came up and handed over his money to the stake-holder, while
numerous bets were being arranged between the other Indians and white men.
Horses were wagered, and tied together, and led away. Many a fellow had
brought extras with him, for the express purpose of gambling, expecting of
course to take home twice the number in the evening.

Crabb had confided his secret about his stolen run to a few friends, and
advised them to _go in_, and win all the horses they wanted. There was no
danger; he knew what he was talking about. He had the Indian’s horse’s
speed by time, and also by trial.

This thing leaked out, and was communicated from one to another. Some
pretty good men, who were not accustomed to betting, became anxious to win
a pony or two, and laid wagers with the Indians.

The trick that Crabb had played was finally made known to How-lish-wam-po.
He and his people were cooled down, and seemed anxious to have the race
come off before more betting was done.

This made the white men more anxious, and they urged, boasted, and
ridiculed, until, in manifest desperation, the Indians began to bet again,
and the _noble_ white man generously took advantage of the Indian’s hot
blood, and forced him to make many bets that he appeared to shun.

The horses were brought out to start, and while the imported horse of
Crabb’s looked every inch a racer, the other stood with head down, a
rough-haired, uncouth brute, that appeared then to be a cross between ox
and horse.

The presence and appearance of the horses was the signal for another
charge on the Indians, and a few white friends they had, who, having
learned from the chief, the truth of Crabb’s trick, came, in sympathy for
the Indian, to his rescue.

Money, coats, hats, saddles, pistols, pocket-knives, cattle, horses, and
all kinds of property, were staked on the race.

The Indians, in their apparent desperation, drove up another band of
ponies, and in madness wagered them also.

Those of my readers who are accustomed to exhibitions around our “fair
grounds,” on days of “trials of speed,” may have some idea of the scene I
am trying to describe, except that few of them have ever seen so many
horses tied together, and so large a pile of coats, blankets and saddles,
as were staked upon this occasion.

When the final starting-time came, a pure-minded, innocent man would have
felt great pity for the poor, dejected-looking Indians, at the sight of
their faces, now so full of anxiety; and, certainly, the Pinto, who stood
so unconcerned, on which they had staked so much, did not promise any
hope; while his competitor was stripped of his blanket, disclosing a nice
little jockey saddle, and silver-mounted bridle, his whole bearing
indicating his superiority.

His thin nostrils, pointed ears, and arched neck, sleek coat, and polished
limbs, that touched the ground with burnished steel, disdaining to stand
still, while his gayly-dressed rider, with white pants tucked into boots
embellished with silver-plated spurs; on his head, a blue cap, and with
crimson jacket, was being mounted, requiring two or three experts to
assist, so restless was this fine, thorough-bred to throw dirt into the
eyes of the sleepy-looking Indian horse, which stood unmoved, uncovered,
without saddle or bridle, or anything, save a small hair rope on his lower
jaw, his mane and tail unkempt, his coat rough and ill-looking.

On his right side stood a little Indian boy, with head close-shaved, a
blanket around him, and to all appearances unconscious that anything
unusual was expected.

The other rider’s horse was making furious plunges to get away.

How-lish-wam-po was in no hurry, really; indeed things were going very
much to the satisfaction of that distinguished individual.

He was willing to see the other man’s horse chafe and fret,——the more the
better; and he cared nothing for the sponge that was used to moisten the
mouth of the great racer.

Look away down the long line of white men and Indians; and on the low
hills, above, see the crowd eager to witness the first jump!

The chief gives a quiet signal to the Indian boy. The blanket dropped from
the boy’s shoulders, and a yellow-skinned, gaunt-looking sprite bestrode
the Indian horse, holding in his left hand the hair rope, that was to
serve him for a bridle, and in his right a small bundle of dried willows.

Presto! The stupid-looking brute is instantly transformed into a beautiful
animated racer. His eyes seemed almost human. His ears did not droop now,
but by their quick alternate motion giving signs of readiness, together
with the stamping of his feet, slowly at first, but faster and more
impatiently the moment it was intimated he might go; and the other was
making repeated efforts to escape, his masters manœuvring for the

The little Indian boy managed his horse alone as the chief gave quiet
signs. Three times had they come up to the scratch without a start. Crabb
seemed now very solicitous about the race. I think, probably, he had by
this time found the “hornet in his hat;” at all events, he was pale, and
his rider exhibited signs of uneasiness.

At length, thinking to take what western sportsmen call a “bulge,” he
said, “Ready!”——“Go,” said the little Indian boy, and away went twenty
thousand dollars in the heels of the Indian horse, twenty feet ahead
before the other crossed the mark, making the gap wider at every bound.

Away they sped, like flying birds. The crowd joined in shouts and hurras,
hundreds of all colors falling in behind and following up.

[Illustration: THE HORSE RACE.]

Away go the flying horses, and several thousand eyes following the _yellow
rider_, still ahead, as they grow smaller and smaller in the distance,
until the Indian horse turns the stake at the farther end in advance. Now
they come, increasing in size to the eye as they approach, the _yellow
rider_ still in advance. Crabb gasps for breath, and declares that his
horse “will yet win.”

The eagle eye of the old chief lights up as they come nearer, his rider
still leading. Excitement is now beyond words to tell. Look again!——the
Indian boy _comes alone_, rattling his dry willows over a horse that was
making the fastest time on record, considering the nature of the turf.

The Indians along the line fell in, and ran beside the victorious racer,
encouraging him with wild, unearthly shouts, while he comes to the
starting-point, running the five miles and one-fourth and eighty-three
yards in the unprecedented time of _nine minutes_ and _fifty-one seconds_;
winning the race and money, much to the joy of the Indians and their few
friends, and to the grief of Crabb and his many friends. He, without
waiting to hear from judges, ran down the track nearly a mile, and,
rushing up to the gay jockey, with silver spurs, white pants, blue cap,
and crimson jacket, who had dismounted, and was leading the now docile,
fine-blooded English racer by his silver mountings, inquired, “What’s the
matter, Jimmy?”——“Matter? Why, this hoss can’t run a bit. That’s what’s
the matter.”

Do my readers wonder now that so many white men, along the frontier line,
declare that all good “Injins are three feet under the ground”?

Before leaving this subject, it is proper to state that How-lish-wam-po
gave back to Crabb the saddle-horse he had won from him, and also money to
travel on; and with a word of caution about stealing out his competitor’s
horse, and having a race all alone, remarking dryly, “Me-si-ka wake
cum-tux ic-ta mamook ni-ka tru-i-tan klat-a-wa (You did not know how to
make my horse run). Cla-hoy-um, Crabb” (Good-by, Crabb).

I will further state that many years ago these Indians had exchanged
horses with emigrants going into Oregon, across the plains, and that this
celebrated Indian race-horse is a half-breed.

The old chief refused to sell him, saying, “I don’t need money. I have
plenty. I am a chief. I have got the fastest horses in the world. I bet
one thousand horses I can beat any man running horses.”

He refused an offer of five thousand dollars for this renowned courser.
Several efforts have been made to induce him to take his horse to the
State fair.

He at one time consented, saying, “I will take my horse just to show the
white men what a race-horse _is_.” But he was unwell when the time came,
and failed to go.

The question has been raised, whether this horse actually made the time
reported. _I believe_ he did. Competent white men have measured the
course carefully, and several persons kept the time, none of whom marked
over ten minutes, while others marked less than nine-fifty.

If any man is sceptical, he can find a chance to leave some money with
How-lish-wam-po. The chief don’t need it, because he has thousands of
dollars _buried_, that once belonged to white men.

But he is human, and will take all that is offered, on the terms Joe Crabb
made with him.

If there are real smart sports anywhere who desire a fine band of Indian
horses, they have here a chance to obtain them, without stealing. Take
your race-horses to Umatilla, and you won’t wait long. The probabilities
are, that you may be disgusted with the _country very soon_.

For the benefit, it may be, of some of my readers, I would suggest that
you have only to lead out the horse you propose running, and name the
amount and distance. The Indians will find the horse to match the amount
and distance, anywhere from fifty yards to one hundred miles. Don’t be
tender-hearted if you should win a few hundred ponies. They won’t miss
them. They only _loan_ them to you to gamble on.

Having a long-standing acquaintance with How-lish-wam-po, as a neighbor,
and subsequently as his “high tyee chief,” I am authorized to say to
Commodore Vanderbilt, Robert Bonner, “Uncle” Harper, Rev. W. H. H. Murray,
or any other horse-fancier, clerical or unclerical, that a sufficient
forfeit will be deposited by How-lish-wam-po, and his friends, in any bank
in Oregon, to defray the expenses of any party who will measure speed
with his horse, on his own turf, five and a quarter miles, turning a stake
midway the race; said expense to be paid on the condition that the said
parties win the race; in which event they can return with ponies enough to
overload the Union Pacific Railroad, and make business for the “Erie” for
a long time to come; with the proviso that How-lish-wam-po’s race-horse is
alive and in condition to make the run, as we believe that he is at this
present writing, 1874.

Parties seeking investments of the kind will receive prompt attention by
addressing How-lish-wam-po, chief of Cayuse, Umatilla Reservation, Oregon,
_care Joe Crabb, Esq._

This latter gentleman has been hunting this kind of a contract, in behalf
of How-lish-wam-po, for several months, _unsuccessfully_.

The Umatilla Indians rear horses by the thousands, never feeding or
stabling, but always herding them, when the owner has enough to justify
the expense of hiring an Indian herder. The horses run in bands of fifty
to one hundred, and seldom mix to any considerable extent. If however,
there should be several bands corralled together, the master-horse of each
band soon separates them. When turned out on the plains they are very
exacting, and many a battle is fought by these long-maned captains, in
defence, or to prevent the capture, by the others, of some one of their

Cayuse horses are small, from twelve to fifteen hands high; are of every
shade of color, and many of them white or spotted, bald-faced,
white-legged and glass-eyed. They are spirited, though easily broken to
the saddle or harness. As saddle-horses they are far superior to the
common American horse, and for speed and power of endurance they have no

The Indians are accurate judges of the value of their animals and have
strong attachments for them; seldom disposing of a favorite except in case
of real necessity.

The small scurvy ponies are sold in large numbers, for prices ranging from
five to twenty dollars each. A medium-sized saddle-horse sells for about
forty dollars; a first-rate horse, one hundred dollars; and if a
well-tried animal that can make one hundred miles one day, and repeat it
the next, one hundred and fifty dollars.

The small, low-priced ponies are capable of carrying a common man all day
long, without spur or whip. They are bought by white men for children’s
use, and for ladies’ palfreys. They are docile, tractable, and fond of
being petted. I know a small white pony, with long mane, and not more than
forty inches in height, that was taught many tricks,——going through the
hotel dining-room, kitchen, and parlor; sometimes following his little
mistress upstairs; lying down and playing dead horse, kneeling for
prayers, asking for sugar, by signs; in fact,——a fine pet. And yet the
little fellow would canter off mile after mile with his mistress.

Major Barnhart, of Umatilla, owned a small Cayuse, about thirteen hands
high, that would gallop to the Columbia river, thirty-one miles, in two
hours, with a man on his back, and come back again at the same gait.

I once made an investment of five dollars in an unbroken pony, paid an
Indian one dollar to ride her a few minutes, took her home and gave her
to a little daughter, who named her “Cinderella.” After a few days’
petting, she often mounted and rode her fearlessly.

This one was a bright bay, with a small star in the forehead, with long
mane extending below the neck, a foretop reaching down to its nose.

The Indians teach their horses, by kindness, to be very gentle. Often on
the visits which they make to old homes, a little pic-i-ni-ne (child) is
securely fastened to the Indian saddle, and the horse is turned loose with
the band.

On all their journeys they drive bands of ponies, presenting a grotesque
scene: horses of all ages, sizes, and colors; some of them loaded with
camp equipage, including cooking arrangements, tin pans, kettles, baskets;
also bedding of blankets, skins of animals; always the rush matting to
cover the poles of the lodge, and going pell-mell, trotting or galloping.
The women are chief managers, packing and driving the horses.

An Indian woman’s outfit for horseback riding is a saddle with two
pommels, one in front, the other in the rear, and about eight inches high.
The saddles are elaborately mounted with covers of dressed elk-skins,
trimmed profusely with beads, while the lower portion is cut into a
fringe, sometimes long enough to reach the ground.

These people seldom use a bridle, but, instead, a small rope, made of
horsehair, in the making of which they display great taste. It is fastened
with a double loop, around the horse’s lower jaw. They carry, as an
ornament, a whip, differing from ladies’ riding-whips in this, that the
Indian woman’s whip is made of a stick twelve inches long, with a string
attached to the _small_ end, to secure it to the wrist. The other, or
larger end, is bored to a depth of a few inches, and in the hole is
inserted two thongs of dressed elk-skin, or leather, two inches wide and
twenty in length.

The Indian woman is last to leave camp in the morning, and has, perhaps,
other reasons, than her duties as drudge, to detain her; for she is a
woman, and depends somewhat on her personal appearance especially if she
is unmarried. If, however, she is married, she don’t care much more about
her appearance than other married women, unless, indeed, she may have
hopes of being a widow some day. Then she don’t do more than other folks
we often see, who wish to become widows, said wish being expressed by
feathers, and paint on the face and hair.

However, these Umatilla Indian maidens, who have not abandoned the savage
habits of their people, are proud and dressy, and they carry with them, as
do the young men, looking-glasses, and pomatums, the latter made of deer’s
tallow or bear’s grease.

They also, I mean young people especially, carry red paints. Take, for
illustration, a young Indian maiden of Chief Homli’s band, when on the
annual visit to Grand Round valley.

Before leaving camp she besmears her hair with tallow and red paint, and
her cheeks with the latter. Her frock, made loose, without corset or
stays, is richly embroidered with gay-colored ribbons and beads, and rings
of huge size, with bracelets on her wrists and arms.

Then suppose you see her mount a gayly caparisoned horse, from the
right-hand side, climbing up with one foot over the high saddle, sitting
astride, and, without requiring a young gent to hold the horse, place her
beaded-moccasined feet in the stirrups, and, drawing up the parti-colored
hair rope, dash off at what some folks would call breakneck speed, to join
the caravan.

No young man had ever caught up her horse from the prairie, much less
saddled it. But, on the other hand, she has probably brought up and
saddled for her father, brother, or friend, a horse and prepared it for
the master’s use.

The young men who are peers of this girl do not wait to see her mounted
and then bear her company. Half an hour before, they had thrown themselves
on prancing steeds, and with painted cheeks, hair flowing, embellished
with feathers, and necklaces of bears’ claws, and brass rings, and most
prominent of all, a looking-glass, suspended by a string around the neck.

The women manage the train and unpack the horses, make the lodge in which
to camp, while their masters ride along carelessly, and stop to talk with
travellers whom they meet; or it may be dismount at some way-side house
and wait until it is time to start for the camp, where the lodge is built
for the night.

There are, however, Indian men who are servants, and these assist the

When the site of the camp is reached, our young squaw dismounts, and,
throwing off her fine clothes, goes to work in earnest, preparing the
evening meal, while the gay young men, and the old ones, too, lounge and
smoke unconcerned.

Remember, I am speaking now of Homli’s band of the Walla-Wallas. There are
Christianized Indians on Umatilla Reservation, that have left behind them
their primitive habits,——men of intelligence, whose credit is good for any
reasonable amount in business transactions, and who occupy houses like
civilized people. But the major portion are still wrapped in blankets, and
thoroughly attached to the old customs and habits of their ancestors. They
have a magnificent country, and are surrounded by enterprising white men,
who would make this land of the Umatilla the most beautiful on the Pacific

It may be many years before these people will consent to remove. In one
sense it does seem to be a wrong, that so many prosperous homes as this
should afford, must be unoccupied.

In another sense it is right, at least in that those who live upon it now
are the lawful owners, and therefore have a right to raise horses on land
that is worth five, ten, and twenty dollars per acre, if they choose. So
long as they adhere to their old ways, no improvements may be expected.
They will continue to raise horses and cattle, to drink whiskey and
gamble, becoming more and more demoralized year by year; and in the mean
time vicious white men will impose on them, often provoking quarrels,
until some political change is made in the affairs of the Government, and
the present humane policy toward them will be abandoned, and then their
land will become the spoils of the white man. It were better for these
people that they had a home somewhere out of the line of travel and
commerce; or, at least, those who continually reject civilization. It is
not to the disadvantage of those whose hearts are changed that they should
remain. While the Government protects them they will enjoy the advantage
of intercourse with business men. With those, however, who do not evince a
willingness to become civilized, it is only a question of time, when they
will waste away, and finally lose the grand patrimony they now possess.

I do not mean that it will ever be taken by force of arms, for the
sentiments of justice and right are too deeply seated in the hearts and
lives of the people of the frontier to permit any unjustifiable act of
this kind to be committed; but designing men will, as they have ever done,
involve good citizens in difficulties with Indians, who, so long as they
cling to their superstitious religion, will retaliate, shouting “blood for
blood;” and then the cry of extermination will be extorted from good men,
who do not and cannot understand or recognize this unjust mode of redress.

Under the treaty with these Indians, they are to enjoy the privilege of
hunting and grazing on the public domain in common with citizens; but this
right is scarcely acknowledged by the settlers of places they visit, under
the treaty.

                              CHAPTER XIV.


The southwestern portion of Oregon is a vast plain, whose general altitude
is nearly four thousand feet above the level of the sea. A greater part of
it is an uninhabited wilderness of sage-brush desert. A few hundred
Indians have held it for generations, except the narrow belts of arable
lands along the streams. There, Indians are commonly called “Snakes,”
deriving the name from the principal river of the country.

The overland route to Oregon traverses this region for hundreds of miles.
Many years ago the emigrants became engaged in a war with the few
scattering bands of Indians along the route, and for many years
hostilities continued. The origin of the first trouble is not known by
white man’s authority. The Indian story is to the effect that white men
began it to recover stock, which they, the Indians, had purchased from
other tribes. This may be correct, and may not; but that a relentless war
was carried on for years there is no doubt, and, that in the aggregate,
the Indians got the better of it.

The great overland route to the mining regions of Idaho in early days
passed through this hostile country. Many valuable lives were lost, and a
great many hundreds of horses, mules, and cattle were stolen. The Snakes
were daring enemies, and brave fellows on the warpath, successful in
making reprisals, and, having nothing but their lives to lose, were bold
and audacious scouts. They kept a frontier line of several hundred miles
in length in constant alarm. Life was unsafe even within the lines of

Owyhee-Idaho country was one of the bloody battle-grounds, the Indians
waylaying travellers along the roads, and from cover of sage-brush, or
ledge of rocks, firing on them, and, in several instances, attacking
stages loaded with passengers. At one time the stage was fired into on the
road between Boise City and Silver City. The driver——Charley Winslow——and
four passengers were killed and scalped. At another time, within ten miles
of a mining town of two thousand inhabitants, Nathan Dixon, the driver of
a stage-coach, was shot through the body and fell in the boot of the
stage, a passenger by his side taking the lines and driving the stage-load
of passengers out of danger. Poor “Nate!”——he paid the penalty of too
brave a heart. He had been offered an escort at the station but one mile
away, and declined it, saying, “He was not made to be killed by Indians.”

H. C. Scott, a ranchman living on Burnt river, Oregon, with his family,
consisting of a wife and two children, went in a two-horse wagon to visit
a neighbor two miles away. On their return they were fired on by Snake
Indians. Mr. Scott received his death-wound; his wife was also shot
through the body, but with heroic coolness took the lines of the team, and
drove home, with her murdered husband struggling in death on the floor of
the wagon, his blood sprinkling her children and herself. She lived but a
few hours and was buried with him. The children were unharmed, although
several volleys were discharged after the flying team and its load.

On the road from “The Dalles” to Cañon city many skirmishes were had with
these Indians. On one occasion they attacked the stage carrying passengers
and the United States mail. The driver, Mr. Wheeler, was shot with a slug
cut from an iron rod that had been used to secure the tail-board of a
freight-wagon. The slug passed through his face, carrying with it several
teeth from both sides of his upper jaw. Strange to relate, he drove his
team out of further danger.

Not unfrequently freighters would lose the stock of entire trains,
numbering scores of animals. Packers, too, lost their mule-trains. Lone
horsemen were cut off, and murder, blood and theft reigned supreme in the
several routes through the “Snake country.”

A party of eighty-four Chinamen were killed while en route to the mines of
Idaho. Helpless, unarmed Chinamen, they are game for the savage red men,
and the noble-hearted white men also. One man, commenting on this
occurrence, remarked that, “they had no business to be Chinamen. The more
the Indians killed, the better.” Instances of Indian butchery might be

But, on the other hand, they in turn suffered in the same inhuman manner.
Independent companies were organized to punish them, and punishment was
inflicted with ruthless vengeance. Innocent, harmless Indians were
murdered by these companies. Women were captured, or put to death. One
circumstance will illustrate this feature of Indian warfare, as carried
on by the white men. Jeff Standiford, of Idaho City, went in pursuit of
savages with a company of white men and friendly Indians.

A camp was found and attacked. The men escaped, the women and children
were captured. The old, homely women were shot, and killed; the children
were awarded to the whites who distinguished themselves in their great
battle against helpless women and children. The better-looking squaws were
sold to the highest bidder for gold dust to pay the expenses of the
expedition. But the fame of the company was established as “Indian
fighters.” When we hear of Indians doing such deeds, we cry
“extermination,” nor stop to learn the provocation.

This kind of Indian war continued several years, during the “great
rebellion.” One feature or sanitary cure on the part of the Snake Indians
I do not remember to have seen in print. While they were poorly armed, and
were cut off from supplies of ammunition, and especially of lead, they cut
up iron rods from captured wagons, without any forges, into bullets. On
the persons of Indian warriors who were killed and captured,——I say
captured, because many were killed and carried off by their friends, to
prevent mutilation, and because of their fidelity to each other,——were
found iron slugs, stones that were cut into the shape of balls, and wooden
plugs one or two inches in length, and one inch in diameter. These latter
were used by them to stop hemorrhage. When a warrior was struck by a
bullet, he immediately inserted a wooden stopper in the wound. Rude
surgical treatment this, and yet they claim it to be of great value.

This “Snake war” afforded abundant opportunity for frontiersmen to learn
the manly art of killing Indians; and they did learn it, and learned it
well. Volunteer companies were enlisted to stand between the white
settlers and the Snake Indians, while the regular army was withdrawn to
assist in putting down the rebellion; and they _stood_ there, some of
them, and others _lay_ there, and they _are_ lying there to this day.

The famous Oregon poet, Joaquin Miller, earned his spurs as a war-man out
on the plains fighting Snake Indians, and many others of less celebrity
did likewise. But the handful of Snake Indians were harder to conquer than
General Lee or Stonewall Jackson. General Lee touched his military hat
with one hand, and passed over his sword with the other to General Grant,
under the famous apple-tree, some months before.

E-he-gan, We-ah-we-wa and O-che-o had pulled down their war-feathers in
presence of General Crook. When the drums of the Union army were beating
the homeward march, General Crook was ordered to the frontier to whip the
Snakes. Some of the regiments of the regular army were sent out to relieve
the volunteers who garrisoned the military posts. Many a brave fellow who
had returned from fighting rebels went out there to die by Snake bullets,
and in some instances to be scalped.

They found a different enemy, not less brave, but more wily and cunning,
who were careful of the waste of ammunition. These Snake Indians were not
content to make war on white men, but continued to invade the territory of
other Indians; particularly that of Warm Springs Reservation, and
occasionally of the Umatilla; also, to capture horses and prisoners.

Among the exploits in this line, the carrying off a little girl, daughter
of a chief of the Warm Springs, was the most daring, and perhaps the most
disastrous, in its results to the Snakes; daring, because committed in
broad daylight, and inside the lines of white settlements.

The affair created great excitement when it was known among the friends of
the child’s parents. No people are more intensely affected by such
occurrences than Indians. This feeling is very much enhanced by the
knowledge that captives are often sold as slaves into other tribes. Hence
this capture was disastrous to the Snake Indians, because it aroused the
fire of hate among the “Warm Springs,” and sent many of their braves to
the warpath.

General Crook being the _right man in the right place_, and finding that
his regulars could not successfully cope with the Snakes, called for
volunteers from Umatilla and Warm Springs Reservation. A company of Cayuse
Indians, under the leadership of the now famous Donald McKay, went from
the former, and another company, under command of Dr. Wm. C. McKay, an
older brother of Donald’s, from the latter agency. I know nothing of the
theology of Gen. Crook, whether he is posted about the war-policy of his
Satanic Majesty, but he struck it this time,——“fighting the devil with

These Indians were enlisted with the understanding that they were to have,
as compensation for their services, the booty won from the “Snake
Indians;” but were armed and rationed by the Government.

The father of the captured girl promised to award the brave who should
recapture her, with her hand; or, in other words, she was to be the wife
of the man who brought her in.

In those days, no well-established Indian law recognized the necessity for
a marriage ceremony, neither prevented a brave from taking as many wives
as he was able to buy, or otherwise obtain.

Hence this captive girl became a prize within reach of any brave who went
on the warpath, and could succeed.

This tempting bounty, together with a love of plunder and the thirst for
revenge, added to the ambition of the Indians to do something that would
entitle them to the recognition of their manhood by white men, made
recruiting easy to accomplish, and the two companies were quickly made up.
The enlisted Indian scouts, when supported by the Government and furnished
with arms and ammunition, clothed and mounted, were just the thing Crook
had been wanting.

The Snakes had learned that soldiers in blue were poor marksmen, and that
they could drive them by strategy. But as one of the chiefs related
afterward, when they saw blue coats slip from their horses and take to the
brush, giving back shot for shot, they were astonished. Then, too, the
scouts under the McKays, Indians themselves, tracked them over plain and
mountain, until they were forced to fortify, and, they became desperate.

Meanwhile this wily general, divested of his official toga, was out with
his Indian scouts, one of whom said he looked like “a-cul-tus-til-le-cum”
(a common man), but he “mum-ook-sul-lux-ic-ta-hi-as-tyee-si-wash,”
(“makes war like a big Indian chief.”)

General Crook, giving his Indian scouts permission to take scalps and
prisoners, under savage war custom, very soon compelled the Snake chiefs
to sue for peace.

This result was brought about by the “Warm Springs” and “Umatillas,” under
the leadership of the McKay brothers, who advised a winter campaign.
General Crook, with rare good sense, availing himself of their wisdom and
experience, pursuing the Snakes, in mid-winter, over the high sage brush
plains, and through the mountains.

The Snakes were under the leadership of three several chiefs. E-E-gan’s
band, infesting the frontier on Burnt and Owyhee rivers, Eastern Oregon,
numbering never more than three hundred warriors, had been reduced to less
than two hundred, by the casualties of war; We-ah-we-wa’s band, of about
the same number, swinging along between Burnt river and the Cañon City

Against these Donald McKay, with the Umatilla Indian scouts, was sent,
supported by a company of the United States cavalry.

Donald was eminently successful in his scouting expedition, in recapturing
horses, taking scalps, and, what has since been of more importance to him,
in also retaking the captured daughter of the Warm Spring chief.

She was not found with her original captors, it being a common practice
with Indians, and especially when at war, to pass captives out of the
hands of the original captors, and, whenever practical, in exchange for
other slaves.

Those who may meet this famous scout, Donald McKay, and his pretty little
Indian wife, Zu-let-ta (Bright Eyes), would never suspect that she had
served three years as a slave among the Snake Indians, and that the great
stalwart fellow was her deliverer; yet such is the truth.

The third division of the Snake tribe was under the famous chief Pe-li-na,
whose battle-grounds and warpaths were east of the Cascade mountains, and
south of the Warm Spring Reservation.

During one of the engagements incident to this Snake war, he was killed in
a fight with Dr. McKay’s Warm Spring scouts. He was probably the most
daring and successful leader the Snake Indians have ever had.

On his death, a chief named O-che-o assumed command, and conducted the
last battle fought by this band. Harassed and driven by the combined power
of United States soldiers and their Indian allies, they made at last a
stand, and fought bravely, but were overpowered, and finally compelled to

When they came in with hands dyed with the blood of innocent victims, and
offered to shake hands with General Crook, he refused; and placing his own
behind him, coolly said, “When you prove yourselves worthy——not till

They were subjugated, and accepted the terms, “unconditional
surrender”——without treaty or promise, except that of protection or
subsistence on the part of the Government and an acknowledgment of its
authority, and the promise of obedience on the part of the Indians.

At Warm Springs Agency an Indian, who had been with Crook, invited me to
visit the department barn with him.

He led the way, climbing up gangways and ladders, until we reached the
upper garret. He pointed to a dark-looking pile in one corner resembling a
black bear-skin. On examination I found they were scalps. The scout
remarked that he did not know how many were there now, because white men
carried them off, and Capt. Smith, the agent, forbade them from touching
them; that when they came home from “Crook’s war,” at the great
scalp-dance they had sixty-two. He appeared to regret that the men who had
cut them off the hated Snakes’ heads could not be permitted to ornament
their shot-pouches with them. I selected one or two as reminders of the
handiwork of the scouts, and also as specimens of the long black hair of
the Snake Indians. I haven’t them now. For a while they hung in my office;
but the doors were sometimes left unlocked, and they were missing. Pretty
sure, they are now playing switch for a couple of handsome ladies
residing,——well, no odds where.

If my reader will accompany me awhile we will visit the “Snake country,”
and see it for ourselves. From the home office at Salem, Oregon, our route
leads us down the beautiful Willamette valley, via Portland; thence once
again up the Columbia by steamer and rail, through “the Cascades,” seeing
new beauties each time in things we had not noticed on former trips. On
the right a mountain stream leaps off a rock six hundred feet, and turns
to mist, forming a perpetual cloud, that hides its main course, but pours
its constant rain into a great pool below, and, overflowing, leaps again
two hundred feet, and lighting on stony bed, made deeper and softer each
century, it comes out to a smiling, sparkling silver sheet beneath the
evergreen forests, and joins the river in its flow to the briny deep.

On the left we see Castle Rock, on which Jay Cooke built a fine air-castle
when the North Pacific Railroad was built _upon paper_, intending to match
the ideal with the real in time, to sit on its summit, and, from the tower
of his mansion, wave his welcome to the panting iron charger on his
arrival from Duluth, en route to the great metropolis of the northwest.

Jay Cooke failed; the iron courser is stabled at Duluth; the metropolis is
covered with heavy forests, and the hum of busy life is not heard very
much at Puget Sound, and Castle Rock stands solitary and alone like some
orphan boy.

So it will stand, for its mother mountains look on it with contempt, from
its very insignificance. It is a pity Cooke can’t build the castle,——pity
for this lonely rock, who bathes his feet in the boiling waters of the

“Rooster Rock” is still worse off, for he is surrounded by water too deep
for him to wade, though he may keep his head above the flood.

Onward, upward we go, passing old rock towers and Indian burial-grounds,
catching a glimpse of Father Hood, who seems in ill-humor now, and frowns,
with dark clouds on his brow. Maybe he is angry with Mother Adams, on the
north, who smiles beneath her silvery cap, while he scolds and thunders.
The tables may yet turn with these mountain monarchs, and Hood may laugh
while Mother Adams weeps. We will keep an eye on them for a few days, as
our journey leads us toward the “Snake country.”

We are at “The Dalles.” Our commissary, Dr. W. C. McKay has made
preparation for the journey; we are no longer to be hurried by steam so
fast we cannot have the full benefit of the scenes we pass.

The doctor is a native of the mountains, and boasts that he is “no
emigrant or carpet-bagger either;”——that his father’s blood was mixed with
Puritan stock from Boston, and his mother knew how to lash him to the baby
board and swing him to her back with strong cords, while she promenaded
behind her husband, or gathered the wild huckleberries.

He is now, 1874, en route for the east with a troupe of Indians from Warm
Springs and the Modoc Lava Beds.

Few who meet him will suspect he is the one of whom I write, unless I
describe him more accurately. Educated in Wilbraham, Mass., at his
father’s expense, he graduated with honor, and returned to his native land
a strong, well-built, handsome gentleman. He married a woman of his own
blood, fully his equal in culture.

The doctor has taken part in nearly all the important Indian affairs of
Oregon and Washington Territory for a quarter of a century; sometimes as
interpreter or secretary for treaty councils, and sometimes as United
States Resident Physician, and again as leader of friendly Indians against
hostile ones. His experiences have more the character of romance than any
man in the northwest.

He meets us at the wharf and says, “Come, you are my guest,” and leads the
way to the high, rocky bluffs overlooking the city of “The Dalles.” Our
entertainment was made complete through the hospitality of the lady-like,
dark-eyed woman who presided at a table whereon we found an elegant

We light our pipes, and stroll out to the tents of the teamsters, packers,
and hands who are to accompany our expedition. An Indian boy is baking
bread by a camp-fire with frying-pans. Near by the door of the
cooking-tent we see our kitchen, a chest or box,——and by its side stands a
fifty-pound sack of self-rising flour, with the end open, and, resting on
the flour, a lump of dough.

Jimmy Kane, the Indian cook, twists off a chunk, and, by a circling motion
peculiar to himself, and one would say entirely original, he soon gives it
the shape of a thin, unbaked loaf. See the fellow measuring the frying-pan
with his eyes, first scanning the loaf and then the pan, until, in his
judgment, they will fit each other well; then, holding the limp loaf in
his left hand, with the other he slips a bacon rind over the inside of the
pan, to prevent the dough from sticking, and claps the latter in; and,
patting it down until the surface is smooth, he pulls from his belt a
sheath-knife, and makes crosses in the cake to prevent blistering. Next,
the frying-pan goes over the fire a moment or two until the bottom is
crusted. Meantime the cook has drawn out coals or embers, standing the pan
at an angle, and propping it in position with a small stick, with one end
in the ground and the other in the upper end of the pan-handle. Meanwhile
the coffee-pot is boiling, and in some other frying-pan the meats are
cooking. But see that mess of dough, how it swells and puffs up, like an
angry mule making ready for a bucking frolic. Jimmy takes the pan by the
handle, and, with a peculiar motion, sends the now steaming loaf round and
round the pan; then jerking a straw or reed from the ground, thrusts it
into the heart of the loaf, and, quickly withdrawing it, examines the
heated point. If no dough is there, the loaf is “done,” and then Jimmy
throws it on his hand, and keeps it dancing until he lands it in the
bread-sack, which is stored away among bed-blankets to keep it hot; while
he proceeds to put another lump of dough through the same process.
Sometimes the first loaf may be stood on end before the fire while the
other loaves are taking their turn in the pan.

Perhaps a dozen cakes are standing like plates in a country woman’s
cupboard, all on edge, while we look at the Indian cook setting the table
on the ground. First spreading down a saddle-blanket, and then a table of
thick sail-cloth, he draws the kitchen near, and pitches the tin plates
and cups, knives, and spoons around, and, placing an old sack in the
centre, sets thereon the frying-pan full of hot “fryins.” But Jimmy has
everything on the table, and is waiting for the boys to come.

Listen, and you will hear the tramping feet of our band of horses and
mules with which we are to make our journey. They come galloping into
camp, seasoning the supper with dust.

On the following morning we are on the road toward the summit of the Blue
Mountain, riding over high, rolling prairies, sometimes crossing deep,
dark cañons, and out again on the open plain. On the evening of the
second day we pitched our camp in Antelope valley.

While Jimmy is preparing supper, a man approaches our camp from the open
plain. He carries on his shoulders a breech-loading shot-gun, and, hanging
by his side, a game-bag, through which the furry legs of Jack rabbits and
the feathers of prairie chickens may be seen; and also in his left hand a
string of mountain trout. The man declares himself a hunter by his spoils;
but there is something else that causes us to stare at him,——the soft felt
hat slouched over his face, flannel blouse, denim overalls stuffed into
the top of his boots, a small pointer dog that keeps close to his heels,
altogether presenting a spectacle not common in appearance.

As he comes near our camp, we recognize, in the sunburnt face and flaxen
hair, a man whose heroic deeds have placed his name high on the roll of
honor as a chieftain. This plain-looking, rough-clad, sunburnt hunter is
_George Crook_, commander of the Department of the Columbia.

He is just the man that we wished to meet at this time. After a pleasant
chat on every-day topics, the general threw himself down on a pile of
blankets, and gave us his opinion of the Indian question, so far as
concerned those we were going to meet. His experience made his views of
great value, and we fully realized it within a few days.

We see, coming over the hill from Warm Springs Agency, a small cavalcade
of Indians. They are to be of our party for the Snake expedition.

Foremost in the trail rode a young Indian, who had been with McKay’s
scouts under Gen. Crook. The general quietly extended his hand to the
new-comer, in token of recognition.

This man’s name was Tah-home (burnt rock). He had been successful, during
the war, in capturing a little Snake Indian squaw of about twelve years of
age. He had subsequently adopted her as his wife. Dr. McKay had arranged
for Tah-home to bring his captive wife for the purpose of interpreter, it
being presumed that she would, of course, be able to talk in her native
tongue, having been only two years a captive.

It should be understood that nearly every tribe has a language distinct
from its neighbors, and it was feared that some difficulty would arise in
managing a council with a people who were so little known to other tribes,
except by their daring acts of warfare; hence this arrangement with
Tah-home and his squaw Ka-ko-na (lost child).

It required some strong promises to reassure Tah-home of the safety of
this trip, in so far as it affected his property interest in the squaw;
for at this time his thoughts were confined to this view of the case. When
assured that, in the event the Snakes should claim his wife, and succeed
in persuading her to remain with them, he should have _two horses_, he was
satisfied to proceed.

One or two days after we encamped near Cañon City, and, in pity for the
poorly clad squaw, we had her dressed in a full suit of new clothes. From
that time henceforth Tah-home seemed to be very much attached to his wife.
“Fine feathers make fine birds” among Indian people as elsewhere.

Pursuing our journey, we at last stand on the summit of the Blue
Mountains, one hundred and eighty miles south of “The Dalles.” Looking
northward, spread out before us, a great high plain appears in full view,
though hundred of miles away; high mountains, looking in the distance like
a wooded fringe, and their high peaks, like taller trees that had outgrown
their neighbors, were clothed in snow, making a marked contrast with their
shining tops. To the south an elevated plateau of open country, bleak and
dreary in its aspect. A few miles on we find a boiling spring of clear
water, and near it a cool one.

Passing south of the summit, about fifty miles, we reach “Camp Harney,” a
three-company military post established here to guard the Indians. There
was a time when it was necessary. Indeed, it may be again.

                              CHAPTER XV.


On our arrival we made our camp one mile below the post, on the bank of a
small stream. No Indians were visible until the day appointed for the
council we had ordered. Messengers had been sent out to the several Indian
camps, notifying them of our presence.

They came at the appointed time in full force, men, women, and children.
The council was held near our camp, in a large army hospital tent. The
Snakes were represented by their great war chiefs, We-ah-we-we, E-he-gan,
and O-che-o.

Before opening council, and while arranging the preliminaries, we
announced the presence of Ka-ko-na,——the captive wife of Tah-home,——and
the purpose for which she had been brought along.

This announcement created great excitement among the Snake Indians. They
collected around the tired little squaw, and scanned her closely, for the
purpose of identification. She was frightened, and shrunk from their
questions, saying to Tah-home that she was “No Snake.” She had either
really lost her native language, or was afraid to acknowledge that she
could speak it.

Meanwhile, through the kindness of Gen. Crook, while we were encamped at
Antelope valley, sending for Donald McKay, who was in Government employ,
we were supplied with an interpreter. Donald is not only a scout, but he
is a linguist in Indian tongues,——speaking seven of them fluently,——the
“Shoshone Snake,” included. Ka-ko-na, satisfied that she would not be
forced to go with her own people, listened to the Snake talk; suddenly, as
though waking from a dream, she began talking it herself, and was soon
recognized and identified as a sister of one of “O-che-o’s” braves.

Her father had been killed, her mother had died, and her relatives all
gone, save this one brother. Stoical as they appear to be, there is,
nevertheless, deep feelings of human affection pervading the hearts of
these people; especially for brother and sister, and even to cousins; but,
strangely enough, they carry their ideas of practicability beyond common
humanity in their treatment of mothers, by casting them off as worn-out
beasts of burden when too old for labor.

This is even worse than among civilized people, who pray for the death of
mothers-in-law and step-mothers.

The fathers are treated with great kindness,——at least when they are
possessed of worldly goods, and even when poor they are exempt from
labor,——are buried with the honors due them, and their graves held sacred
as long as the graves of other fathers generally.

After the usual preliminaries of smoking the peace-pipe, both parties
proffering pipes, and after drawing a puff or two, then exchanging,
passing the pipes around the circle, until all had proclaimed friendly
intention by smoking, Col. Otis, commander of the District of the Lakes,
present, together with a number of officers from the post,——we opened the
talk by saying, substantially, that we were there to represent another
department of the Government; that we knew all about the history of the
past, and had come to offer them a home on a Reservation, and to provide
for their wants; and that we were prepared to assist them in removing to
the new homes at Yai-nax, on Klamath Reservation.

The chiefs were suspicious and wary, not disposed to talk, but were good
listeners. After two days, passed in “making heart,” they said they could
not give an answer without “Old Win-ne-muc-ca,” the head chief of all the
Shoshones, Snakes.

The council was adjourned, and this celebrated old fraud was sent for, a
distance of one hundred miles.

Meanwhile we waited for his appearance, sometimes visiting the Indian
camps several miles away.

On one occasion I went on horseback and alone with We-ah-we-wa. He seemed
anxious to give warning to his people of our coming, and sent runners
ahead on foot for that purpose. As we rode away from our camp I had some
misgivings, when I remembered that the man beside me was one of the most
bloodthirsty savages that had ever led a band of braves to a banquet of
blood. He it was who had directed, and assisted too, in the many scenes of
robbery and murder on the Cañon City road.

He was more than an ordinary man in mental power, had in former years,
while a captive, lived on Warm Springs Reservation, had learned the
Chinook jargon, and could speak “Boston” sufficiently well to make himself

After leaving our camp, and while en route to his, he told me of his
capture years before; of his confinement in a guard-house, and exhibited
the scars that had been made by the fetters he had worn; then of his
escape and subsequent adventures, and narrow escape from recapture and

He did not appear to shrink from mention of his own crimes and exploits,
but sought to impress me constantly that he had only acted in defence of
his own rights. There was in the face of this man a cunning, treacherous
look that was anything but reassuring.

On crossing a little stream fringed with willows, we came suddenly on his
camp. Not a house, tent, or lodge was to be seen, but scattered around
among the sage bushes were several half-circular wind-brakes, made of
sage-brush and willows. The women and children ran out at our approach.
The chief called them back. They came shyly, and with wondering eyes gazed
on the man who had come to move them to a new home. I learned from him
that _they_ had never been to the post, and that few white men had ever
called on him; hence the curiosity they had on being close enough to see
how a white man looked. This chief was the owner of three sleek, fat,
healthy-looking wives; they lived on roots, fish, and grasshoppers. The
entire outfit for house-keeping was carried from one camping place to
another on the backs of the squaws.

They were dressed in long loose frocks, made of deer-skins, trimmed with
furs, and, woman-like, embellished with trinkets; in this instance of
pieces of tin, cut by them, feathers and claws of wild animals. The
sleeves were small, and in the seams a welt of dressed deer-skin, two
inches deep, and cut into fringes of one-fourth inch wide. They made their
toilets at the little brook beneath the willows. These people maintained
all their old customs. I noticed a woman’s work-basket, differing somewhat
from that of those who were blessed with sewing-machines. Their needles
were pointed bones, resembling an awl, and were used as such.

The threads were made of sinews of animals, cured and prepared for the
purpose, very strong, but not fine enough for fancy work on silk or
cambrics; and yet they make beautiful moccasins and bead-work, without
other thread or needle.

The children were also clad in deer-skin clothes, as were the men; the
latter being dressed with the hair and fur retained. All these people of
whom I write are copper-colored, though varying in shades about as much as
white people do, some of them being much darker than others; all have
black eyes, and long black hair, and smooth features, except high-cheek
bones. They differ in stature; those near the seacoast being smaller than
those of the high lands; the latter averaging as large as white men. The
women are much larger than white women.

Their habits are simple, and their morals beyond question, so far as the
honor of their women is concerned. I learned from good authority that the
Indian women who have never been contaminated by association with low
white men are chaste. The law penalty of these people for violation of
this virtue is death. One or two instances of the enforcement of this
rigid rule have come within my own personal knowledge on reservations in

Sixteen days after the opening of the councils, Win-ne-muc-ca arrived, and
the council was again opened. The great chief spoke to his people in
private, but declined to make a speech in our joint councils; the others
speaking, however, for the people. O-che-o accepted our offer of a home,
on the condition that we should return the captives that had been taken
during the late war. This promise was made on our part. With this
assurance, he and his band made ready for removal. The others did not. We
used all our argumentative ability to obtain their consent, but
unsuccessfully. They came to the council with war-paint on their bodies
and arms concealed under deer-skin robes. Our party were armed, and all
were on the keen look-out for trouble. Toward the close of the
council-talks the medicine-man of the Snakes drew his knife, and, dropping
his robe from his shoulders, displayed, what we well understood to be
war-painting on his body and arms, and, thrusting his knife into the
ground, said, “We have made up our minds to die before we will go to any
place away from our country.”

This action and speech brought all parties to a standing posture very
quickly. The situation was a very doubtful one for a few moments. The
proximity of troops prevented a fight. Had we been a few miles from
assistance, I doubt not blood would have been spilled.

We-ah-we-wa himself would have consented to go to a Reservation, but the
medicine-man was not willing. Their chief requested that his reasons for
not complying should be made known to the “big chief” at Washington, which
request was granted and complied with.

The council ended, and we made preparation to remove O-che-o’s band to
Yai-nax, Klamath Reservation.

Before leaving camp we had demonstrated the superiority of our doctor’s
skill, by healing a sick Indian against the will of the Snake

The Snakes had demanded the return of their people who had been captured
during the war. This we refused unless they would go on to the
Reservation. These two circumstances had produced bad blood.

Before our departure a Snake woman, the wife of a half-breed, gave us
warning that an attempt would be made to capture our party while on the
way to Camp Warner. I made requisition for an escort of troops, which was
honored, and we took up the line of march. We passed safely through this
wild, unsettled region, and, on arrival at Warner, O-che-o gathered his
people, and, _without_ escort, we continued the journey to Yai-nax.

We enjoyed the rare spectacle of seeing the medicine-man practise on a
patient who was taken suddenly ill and supposed to be poisoned. The
treatment was novel. He made a sage-brush fire, and waited until it had
burned down to embers. Meanwhile the patient was divested of clothing. The
assistants of the doctor formed in a circle around the fire, and four men
were selected to manage the victim of this savage practice. The prayers,
songs and dances commenced simultaneously, increasing in earnestness. The
patient was lying, with his face downward, on a blanket, with a slight
covering over him. The medicine-man made a sign of readiness, when the
sick man was seized by the four Indians, by the hands and feet, and, amid
the noise of prayers and songs and dances, he was drawn forward and
backward, face down, over the hot coals, until he was burnt the length of
his body, so that great blisters were raised soon after.

This man did not wince or mutter or shrink from the fearful ordeal. His
faith made him whole. A day or two after he was apparently well.

Belonging to O-che-o’s band was one named “Big Foot,” who would, with a
cane four feet long, capture sage-brush hare, incredible as it may seem,
when the fleetness of these animals is considered. He would actually run
on to them and knock them down with the cane.

Our route from Warner to Yai-nax led us over a high, dry country, with
occasional groves of mountain mahogany, or spruce, the whole great plateau
being from four to five thousand feet above the sea level. Small lakes lay
basking in summer’s sun or covered with winter’s ice. They are bountifully
supplied with fish of the trout species.

On the day before our arrival we were met by a delegation of Klamath
Indians, who came out to meet and give us welcome. It is a beautiful
custom among Indians to send in runners to announce the approach of
visitors, and then messengers are returned, or perhaps, as in this
instance, the chief and his head men go in person to meet them.

They were impatient to “look into the eyes and see the tongue” of the new
superintendent. Whether the Indians of our party had telegraphed our
coming, or sent runners in advance, I do not now remember. The great
Caucasian race justly honors the names of _Franklin_, _Morse_, and
_Field_. These people of whom I write had been using fire as a medium of
communication for untold generations. Spiritualism is also common among

We were treated with some exhibitions of this incomprehensible phenomenon
while on this journey. The séance was not conducted with the aid of pine
tables or the laying on of hands; the medium, or clairvoyant, working
himself by wild motions of his arms and head into the proper condition. He
announced that the Klamaths were at that minute encamped at a certain
place, and designated the day on which they would meet us.

Subsequent investigation established the correctness of the prophecy.
Whether the knowledge was obtained through fire-signals, or by the medium
of spirit communication, this deponent sayeth not. There is a general
understanding among them as to fire-signals, even when they have no
knowledge of each other’s language.

The meeting with the Klamaths and Snakes was one of interest to all
parties, from the fact that they had been enemies, and the chiefs had not
met in person since peace was restored. Living in the country intervening
was a small tribe of Wal-pah-pas, who were half Snake and half Klamath.
They were mediators, though sometimes fighting on alternate sides, as
interest or affront gave occasion.

The Klamath chief and his people had made camp, and were awaiting our
arrival. The chief first addressed me, as the high chief, stating that he
had heard of me, and was anxious to “see my eyes and heart, and welcome me
to Klamath.” I replied by saying, “I have brought with me a man of your
own color. He comes to live on Klamath.” Then, extending my hand, the
chief of the Klamaths advanced and exchanged greetings with me, and also
with O-che-o, chief of the Snakes. This man I consider a remarkable
character. Mild-mannered, smooth-voiced, unassuming, unused to ceremonies
that were not savage, he exhibited traits of character worthy of emulation
by more pretentious people.

In this informal council he responded to Allen David, the Klamath chief:
“I met this white man. He won my heart with strong words. I came with him.
I once thought I could kill all the white men. I have lost nearly all my
young men fighting. I am tired of blood. I want to die in peace. I have
given my heart all away. I will not go to war. I am poor. I have few
horses. I do not know how to work. I can learn. We will be friends. I will
live forever, where this new chief places me. I am done.”

After these greetings and the supper over, we gathered around huge fires
of pine and spruce logs, and talked in a friendly manner. Singular
spectacle, away out on the unsettled plains of Eastern Oregon, to see a
meeting wherein were representatives of two races and seven different
tribes, speaking as many different languages, sitting in peace and
harmony, without fear of harm, telling stories, some of which were
translated into the several tongues.

To illustrate how these talks were conducted: a white man speaks in his
own language, a Warm Spring Indian repeats it to his own people, who, in
turn, tell it to a Klamath, he to a Modoc, and then it goes through the
Wal-pah-pa’s mouth to the Snake’s. Often three or four sentences, of
different sense, are being translated at the same time. Some wild stories
are told; but oftener the white man furnishes the subject, at the
solicitation of some red men asking information.

The night wears away, the fires grow dim, and, one by one, the talkers
drop out of the circle, and retire to sleep unguarded. The morning sun
finds the camp active, and preparation being made for moving forward. The
horses and mules are driven into camp, about as motley a band as the
people who were squatting around the various breakfast tables on the
ground. The scenes of such a camp are enlivening indeed. Tents falling,
lodges taken down, horses neighing and losing company, all bustle and
confusion, while the teams are being harnessed, and the mules and Indian
ponies are being saddled and packed,——the spectacle presented is an
exhilarating one. But if you would enjoy the full benefit of it, take a
position on the side of the camp from which we take our departure, and,
while you rest your elbows on your saddled horse, take items.

See the anxiety of each to be off first, and hear the driver of the mule
teams talking in an undertone until the bells on the leaders strike a note
that is in tune with the road, and then each mule settles to the collar
and the wheels move. Anxious squaws are jabbering to their horses,
children and dogs, lazy Indian men sitting unconcerned, astride the best
horses. Stand still a little longer, and see the last man run to the fire
for a coal to light his pipe, and then away to overtake his company.

The camp is now deserted, the fires are burned out, and the places where
tents and lodges stood look smooth, and where the weary limbs have lain
the fresh broken trees tell who were there. And now our horse, with his
impatient feet, bids a hasty “good-by” to a spot that was our home for a
night; we leave it behind us to be seen no more.

Our charger, now more impatient, still hurries to join the departed
throng, while we turn up our coat-collar to keep the frost from our ears.
Soon we come upon the lame and lazy, and perhaps an old squaw, with her
basket of household treasures that has been with her through her hard
life, the basket suspended on her back by a strap around her forehead, and
a stick in her hand, and her body bent forward. She plods along until the
sound of approaching hoofs startle her, and instinctively she looks around
and stops for us to pass. Poor, miserable old link of Darwin’s mystic
chain, we pity you; for you are, at least, half human, and your sons, with
no filial love and no shame, are on prancing horses just ahead of you,
wearing red blankets and redder paints, with feathers flying, and
thoughtless of their mother; your lot is hard, but you don’t know it,
because in your youth you played Indian lady, while your mother wore the
shoes of servitude that you are now wearing.

As we ride on, passing little squads of old people on foot, and women with
baby baskets, ponies groaning under two or three great lazy boys, teams
with jingling bells, we find, nearer the front of the train, the lords of
this wild kind of creation, laughing and sporting as they ride, apparently
unconscious of the fact that slavery and bondage have fettered old age,
and compelled it to drag weary limbs over stony roads.

We arrive at Yai-nax, the future home of a war-chief, who has cost the
Government much of blood and treasure, though docile now. A lone hut marks
the spot, near a large spring that runs off in a northerly direction to
Sprague’s river. A beautiful valley spreads out for miles, covered with
grass and wild flax; snowy mountains lie south, west, and north, the
valley ascending the mountain east so gradually that we can scarcely see
where the one ends and the other begins. The cavalcade halts near the
spring, and soon the throng becomes busy making preparations for the

The next morning’s sun finds a busy camp; every able-bodied man is ordered
to work; trees are falling, axes plying, and log cabins rise in rows, and
the new home of the Snake Indians begins to appear to the eye a real,
tangible thing.

Six days pass, and the smokes from thirteen Indian houses join in
procession and move off eastward, borne by the breeze that sings and
sighs, or howls in anger among the trees around Yai-nax. A council is
called, and O-che-o speaks: “My heart is good. I will stay on the land you
have given me. This is my home. When you come again you will find O-che-o

Since leaving Camp Harney nothing has been said until this evening about
captives. O-che-o now raises the question again. We meet him with the
assurance that all the captives that can be found shall have the privilege
of returning to their people. I was not altogether prepared for the scene
that was opening. O-che-o remarked, through an interpreter, that he
believed me, and that he expected that I would secure the return to him
of his captured son, who was somewhere in the north; but, to make his
heart easy on the subject, he would try me with a case now before us;
referring to Ka-ko-na.

It was a regular bombshell. We were on the eve of departure. Ka-ko-na and
Tah-home had become very strongly attached to each other, and were not
willing to be separated.

O-che-o had assented to the new law which I had introduced forbidding the
sale of women; but he was nevertheless anxious to detain her, unless she
was _paid for_. This last feature he did not avow, but I well knew the
meaning of his speech. He insisted that she should be brought before the
council, and in the presence of the people make her choice, to go or stay.
Tah-home was almost wild with fear of losing her, and reminded me of my
promise at Antelope valley. Ka-ko-na was consulted, while I was
endeavoring to evade the trying scene. I was satisfied that she preferred
going with Tah-home; but I well knew the mysterious power of the
medicine-man, and I feared that, if she was brought into his presence, she
would be so much under the power of his will, through her own
superstitious faith in him, that she would not have the courage to elect
to go with Tah-home.

O-che-o was informed that she preferred to go with her husband. “All
right; but let her come here to say so before all the people,” insisted
O-che-o. I clearly saw that any further attempt at evasion would impair
his confidence in my integrity.

This episode was of that kind which enlists the sympathies of all classes
of men. Tah-home had won the good will of our entire party, during the
trip from Antelope Valley, by his unceasing industry as a herder and

Ka-ko-na had also improved much in her manners, and had learned the art of
laundress to some extent. No unseemly act had she committed to forfeit the
respect due her as a woman; consequently now, when the two had become so
thoroughly infatuated with each other that it was noticeable to even
casual observers, a general feeling of pity and regret at the untoward
circumstances was manifest throughout the camp.

The teamsters and other employés were willing to make up a purse to buy
her of her people,——in fact, the project was put on foot to do so. I
confess I was not insensible to the common feeling of regret, mixed with
the fear for the result.

When the trying moment could no longer be delayed, Ka-ko-na and her master
lover were brought into the circle. The moon was shining brightly, and,
added to this, the light of the council fire made up a picture of romantic
interest. Speeches were made on the occasion worthy of the subject.

An appeal was made to O-che-o’s better nature, in behalf of the anxious
pair. He is really a noble fellow, and, to his credit be it told, a
kind-hearted man, though untrained in civil ways.

He acknowledged that it was wrong to separate those who loved each other,
but said “he must look in Ka-ko-na’s eyes while she made her choice.” He
was not willing that Tah-home should even stand beside her while the
matter was under discussion.

The latter asked the privilege of speaking, which, being granted, he
poured out a speech that I little thought him capable of making. It was
replete with the wild poetry of love, very impassioned, and full of
pathos. Finally, Ka-ko-na was ordered to make a choice,——to go with
Tah-home, or stay with her people.

The Snake medicine-man took a position in front of her, and, fixing his
eyes on hers, stood gazing in her face. The whole council circle was
stilled. A suspense that was very intense pervaded every mind. Silence
reigned; every eye was watching the movement of the woman’s lips. The
power of the medicine-man was more than she could stand, even when love
for Tah-home was pleading.

She answered, “_I stay_,” and burst into tears. Tah-home turned as white
as an Indian could. The white men present felt a cold chill fall on them.
Ka-ko-na and Tah-home returned to their tent, she weeping bitterly. The
council was broken up, and the excited camp was again quiet, save the
sobbing of the heart-broken Ka-ko-na.

An hour or two before daybreak, I was awakened by Tah-home, who, in a low
whisper, made an enterprising proposition, which was no less than to elope
with his wife. I dare not assent, though strongly tempted to do so. When I
refused, he then wished me to prevent pursuit. This I could not do. The
poor fellow returned to his tent, and the sobbing changed to paroxysms of

Our next point of destination being Klamath Agency, we had despatched part
of our teams the evening previous. On one of these wagons Ka-ko-na’s goods
had been placed by her friends, with the intention, no doubt, of making an
excuse for her to follow. When the morning came for our departure,
O-che-o was invited to accompany our party to the agency, and repay the
visit of the Klamaths. The fact that Ka-ko-na’s clothing had preceded her
in wagons was urged as a reason why she should go also.

O-che-o consented. We placed the camp in charge of a trustworthy white
man, and turned from this new settlement with feelings of pride, and with
a prayer and hope for its success. Whether O-che-o and his people shall
ever reach manhood’s estate depends entirely on the policy of the
Government, and the men who are selected to educate them in the
rudimentary principles of civilization.

Two years afterward I again visited the settlement. I found O-che-o
_there_, contented. He was glad to see me, and repeated his declaration
that he would “Go no more on the warpath.” I found twenty-eight log
houses, with chimneys, doors, and windows, occupied by the Snake Indians;
also, comfortable buildings for Government employés, and a farm of three
hundred acres of land, under a substantial fence, together with corrals
and barns.

This country is about forty-four hundred feet in altitude, and,
consequently, the seasons are short. When not cut down by frost, wheat and
barley yield abundantly, unless, indeed, another enemy should
interfere,——the cricket. They are about one and one-half inches long, a
bright black color, very destructive, marching in grand armies, eating the
vegetation nearly clean as they go. These crickets made their appearance
in the neighborhood of Yai-nax, and threatened destruction to the crops.
The commissary in charge consulted O-che-o and Choe-tort. They ordered
their people to prepare for the war on this coming army. Circular
bowl-shaped basins, six feet in diameter, were made in the ground, and
paved with cobble-stones; large piles of dry wood, brush and grass were
collected near the pits. All the available forces were armed with baskets,
sacks, and other implements, and ordered on to the attack. The forces were
put in position, and the alarm sounded, and this strange battle began. Let
us stand by one of the basins, or pits, and witness the arrival of the
victors, who come laden with the wounded and maimed enemies. Those in
charge of the slaughter-pens, or basins, throw in wood, dry grass and sage
brush, and when burnt down, the ashes are swept out with long willow
brooms; then a fire is built around the upper rim of the basin, and as
each captor comes with her load of thousands, they are thrown into the
basin on the heated rocks. The children, especially the girls, are
stationed around the circle to drive back the more enterprising crickets
that succeed in hopping over, or through the fiery ring surrounding this
slaughter-pen. Think, for a moment, of the helpless, writhing mass of
animated nature in a hot furnace,——a great black heap of insects being
stirred up with poles until they are roasted, while their inhuman
torturers are apparently unconscious of the fact that these crickets are
complete organisms, each with a separate existence, struggling for life.

I don’t know that it was any more inhuman than a “Yankee clam-bake,” where
brave men and fair women murder thousands of animated bivalves without a
thought of inflicting pain. The Indians had the advantage in a moral point
of view, for the crickets were their enemies. When the _bake_ is over
they shovel them into home-made sacks, and then, sewing them up, put them
to press.

An Indian cricket-press does not work by steam, with huge screws. Plat
rocks are placed on the ground, and the sack full of cooked crickets is
placed thereon, and then another rock is laid on the sack; finally stones,
logs, and other weighty things are placed upon the pile, until the work is
complete. Meanwhile, look away down the sloping plane and see the line of
battle, with sprightly young squaws on the outside, deployed as
skirmishers. See how they run, and laugh, and shout, until the enemy is
turned, and then the victory is followed up, each anxious to secure
trophies of the battle. This is one kind of war where the women wield
implements of destruction quite as well as their masters.

The battle has been fought and won, and the intruders routed and driven
into the rapid current of Sprague’s river. The people rest from the siege
contented, for the growing crop——carrots, and turnips——has been saved.
This is not the only cause of gratulation, for now comes the best part of
the war. The luscious cakes of roasted crickets are taken from the rude
presses, and the brave warriors of this strange battle celebrate the
victory with a feast of fresh crickets, and a grand dance, where sparkling
eyes and nodding feathers, and jingling bells keep time to Indian drums.

Fastidious reader, have you ever been to a clam-bake, and seen the gay
dancers celebrate the funeral of a few thousand sightless
bivalves?——things that God had placed in hardened coffins and buried on
the shore, while godlike man and woman brought them to a short-lived

Well, then, you understand how little human sympathy goes out for helpless
things, and how much of thoughtless joy is experienced in this civilized
kind of feasting. The Indian has the advantage, for his roasted crickets
_are sweet_ and nutritious. I speak from “the card,” as a Yankee would

O-che-o and Choc-toot are safe from want. The compressed cakes are
“cached” away for winter use; that is to say, they are buried in a
jug-shaped cellar, dug on some dry knoll, and taken out as necessity may
require. The cakes when taken from the bag——as Yankee people would say,
for they call everything a bag that western people call a sack——present
the appearance of a caddy of foreign dates or domestic plums when dried
and put in shape for merchandise.

Since my-visit to Yai-nax, at the time of locating O-che-o and his people,
others have been added to the station. Old Chief Schonchin, the legitimate
leader of the now notorious tribe of Modocs, has taken up his residence at

At the time of planting this Indian settlement, it was not known that any
adverse claim could be set up to this portion of Klamath Reservation;
since then, however, a military road company has laid claim to alternate
sections of land, granted them by an act of the Oregon Legislature, by
virtue of congressional legislation, giving lands to certain States to
assist in making “internal improvements.”

The Government has been apprised of the state of affairs, and may take
action to meet the emergency. There is, however, an embryo Indian war in
this claim, unless judiciously managed.

In the treaty of 1864 this land was set apart as a home for the Klamath
Indians, and such other tribes as might be, from time to time, located
thereon by order of the United States. Subsequently the grant in aid of
internal improvements was made. Suppose the Government concedes the right
to the road company to sell and dispose of these lands, to which the
Government has never had a title, and the purchaser takes possession; thus
occupying alternate sections, of the country belonging to these Indian
tribes, and giving them nothing in compensation. The result might be
another cry of extermination, and another expensive spasmodic effort to
annihilate a tribe who, in desperation, fight for their rights.

The land never did belong to the United States; else why treat with its
owners for it? If the road company are entitled to lands for constructing
a military road through this Indian Reservation, give them other lands in
lieu thereof, or make the compensation to the Indians equivalent to the
sacrifices they may make; otherwise more blood will be shed.

Their nationality and manhood were recognized in making the treaty by
which this tract of country was reserved from sale to the United States.
Let it be recognized still; treat them with justice, and war and its
bloody attendants will be avoided.

                              CHAPTER XVI.

                    OVER THE FALLS——FIRST ELECTION.

Taking up our narrative, let us resume our journey to Klamath Agency,
accompanied by O-che-o and a few of his head men; Tah-home and Ka-ko-na
taking charge of the loose stock, and riding, for once in their lives, _a
la_ white people, side by side. This was a sad day to them; they were,
human-like, more ardently in love than ever, as the hour for departure

The route from Yai-nax to Klamath Agency follows down the valley of
Sprague’s river for twenty miles, over rich prairies skirted with timber.
To the eye it is a paradise, walled in on the north and south by ranges of
mountains five miles apart, traversed by a stream of clear water, and
covered with bunch-grass and wild flax. It is the natural pasture land of
elk, who run in bands of fifty to one hundred over its beautiful plains.
Leaving the river, the road crosses a range of low hills passing down to
Williamson’s river,——a connecting link between the “Great Klamath Marsh”
and “Big Klamath Lake.” At the crossing it is one hundred yards wide; the
ford being on the crown of a rocky ledge of twenty feet in width, over
which the water thirty inches’ depth runs very swiftly, and falls off
about two feet into deeper water below. The Indians cross on their ponies
without fear; but white men with trembling limbs, with an Indian on each
side. We made the trip with a silent prayer to Heaven for safety as we
went through. Not so, however, with the driver of one of our six-mule
teams. The wagon was partly loaded with infantry soldiers, who were
returning to Fort Klamath from some duty, and had been granted the
privilege of riding. The driver, when about midway, became dizzy, and for
the moment panic-stricken and wild; drew the leaders’ line so strongly
that, mule-like, they jumped off into the boiling flood below. The
soldiers leaped from the wagon before it crossed the precipice.

Soon the six mules and the driver were struggling in thirty or forty feet
depth of water. The wagon rolled over and over down the water-covered,
rocky slope, finally resting on the bottom. The driver and five mules were
saved by the heroism of a quiet little fellow named Zip Williams. He had
driven his team through, and was out of danger. Seeing the other going
over the falls, he quitted his own, and throwing off his boots, drawing
his knife and clasping it between his teeth, he rushed among the
struggling mass of floundering mules, and succeeded in cutting the
harness, thereby liberating five of the animals. The remaining one,
attached to the wagon tongue, being tall, would touch the bottom with his
hind feet occasionally, and, with his head and front feet out of water a
portion of the time, would plead earnestly for succor; but his struggles
were so furious that even the heroic Zip could not extricate him. Those
present witnessed with regret this brave old mule sink beneath the flood.
The wagon and part of the harness were recovered, and also the “big-wheel
mule;” but the latter “was not of much account,” as Zip expressed it,
“except to make a big Indian feast,” to which purpose he was applied.

From Williamson river our route lay through a heavy forest. The agency is
situated on the east side of a small river which rises at the foot of a
long ridge extending west to the Cascade Mountains. This stream runs
several thousand inches of water, and would afford immense power. The
buildings were made of logs, and are arranged in a row, one hundred feet
apart, resembling one side of a street. The long row of twenty whitewashed
houses fronting east was a welcome sight for those of our party who had
for three months been almost entirely out of society, and, in fact, away
from civilization.

Klamath Agency is new, it having been established in 1865; the Indians who
occupy it numbering, in 1869 (the time of my first official visitation),
fourteen hundred. They are “Klamaths,” “Modocs,” “Yahooshin,” “Snakes,”
“Wal-pah-pas,” and “Shoshone Snakes.” The Klamaths number seven hundred.
They were the original owners of the country; have never been engaged in
wars against the white race.

They are a brave, enterprising, and ambitious people. In former times they
were often in the warpath against other Indian tribes; and among their
ancient enemies are those who now occupy the country in common with them.

The practice of calling the Indians together for a “big talk” on occasions
of the visits of officials was also observed in this instance.

This agency has been under the management of Lindsay Applegate, of
Oregon,——a man who was well qualified by nature, and a long residence on
the frontier, for the office.

He had taken charge of them when they were only savages; and, during the
short time he was in power, he, with the assistance of his subordinates,
had advanced them greatly in civilization. Under his tuition they had
abandoned the old hereditary chieftainships, and had elected new chiefs by
popular vote.

They were slow to yield to the new plan; but when the election was
ordered, they entered into the contest with earnestness and enthusiasm.

The manner of voting did not admit of ballot-box stuffing,——no mistake
could occur,——but so natural is it to cheat and corrupt the great
franchise, that even those wild Indians made clumsy imitation of white

There were two candidates for the office of head chief,——each anxious for
election, as in fact candidates always are, no matter of what race. They
made promises,——the common stock in trade everywhere with people hunting
office,——of favors and patronage, and even _bought votes_.

This, the first election on this Reservation, was one of great excitement.
There was wire-working and intriguing to the last minute. When the
respective candidates walked out and called for votes, each one’s
supporters forming in line headed by the candidate, the result was soon
declared, and Bos-co-pa was the lucky man.

Agent Applegate named him “David Allen;” but, Indian like, they transposed
the names and called him “Allen David,” by which name he is known and has
become, to some extent, identified with the recent Modoc war. He is a man
of commanding appearance, being over six feet in height, large,
well-developed head, naturally sensible, and, withal, highly gifted as an
orator and diplomat.

He had met our party as we came in with O-che-o’s band of “Shoshone
Snakes,” and, on our arrival at Yai-nax, had come on home in advance to
prepare his people for the big council talk. He called them together the
day after our arrival.

The weather was cold,——the ground covered with a few inches of snow. Allen
David’s people began to assemble. Look from the office window on the
scene: here they come, of all ages less than a century; some very old
ones, lashed on their horses to prevent them falling off; others who were
blind, and one or two that had not enjoyed even the music of the
_thunder-storm_ for years; others, again, whose teeth were worn off smooth
with the gums. Not one of the motley crowd was _bald_; indeed, I never saw
an Indian who was. They came in little gangs and squads, or families,
bringing with them camp equipages.

As each party arrived they pitched their camps. In the course of the day
several hundred had come to see the “New tyee.” Some were so impatient
they did not wait to arrange camp, but hurried to pay honors to their new
chief. They brought not only the old, the young, their horses and dogs,
but also their troubles of all kinds,——old feuds to be raked up, quarrels
to be reopened, and many questions that had arisen from time to time, and
had been disposed of by the agent, whose verdict they hoped might be

The camp at nightfall suggested memories of Methodist camp meetings in the

Here and there were little tents or lodges, and in front of some of them,
and in the centre of others, fires were built, and round them, sitting and
standing, long-haired, dusky forms, and, in a few instances, the children
lashed to boards or baskets.

I have selected this agency and these people to quote and write from, with
the intention of mentioning, more in detail, the characteristics of the
real Indian, in preference to any other in Oregon, for the reason that
minutes and reports in my possession, of the councils, are more complete;
also, because the people themselves present all the traits peculiar to
their race. To insure the comfort of the people large pine logs were
hauled up with ox-teams, with which to build fires, the main one being one
hundred feet in length, and several logs high, and when ablaze, lighted up
the surrounding woods, producing a grand night-scene, with the swarthy
faces on each side changing at the command of the smoke and flames.

My reader may not see the picture because of my poverty of language to
describe it. Suffice it to say, that these people were there to see and
hear for themselves. Men, women and children came prepared to “stay and
see it out,” as frontier people say.

While preparations for the council were being made, a portion of the
department teams, which we had used on the Snake expedition, was
despatched for Warm Springs Reservation.

A high dividing ridge of the Blue Mountains separates the waters of the
Klamath basin from Des Chutes and Warm Spring country.

The snows fall early on this ridge, and sometimes to great depth; hence it
was necessary that the teams should leave without delay, otherwise they
might get into a snow blockade, and be lost.

Tah-home was ordered to accompany the train as a guide. He remonstrated,
because he had about made up his mind to remain and join O-che-o’s band
sooner than be separated from Ka-ko-na.

I knew if he remained it would be to his disadvantage, and probable ruin;
and for that reason refused him his request, after fairly explaining the
reasons therefor.

He acknowledged the validity of my arguments, and with a quick, quiet
motion withdrew. I caught his eye, and read plainly what was in his mind.
He had determined to take Ka-ko-na with him at every hazard.

Half suppressing my own convictions of right in the premises, I shut my
eyes to what was passing; in fact, I half relented in my determination to
enforce the new law in regard to buying women. I felt that the trial was a
little too severe on all the Indian parties to this transaction.

The evening before the departure, in company with Capt. Knapp (the agent),
I called at Tah-home’s tent, and found Ka-ko-na still weeping. Tah-home
was downcast and sober-faced, and renewed his petition for the privilege
of remaining. I confess that was tempted to suspend the new law, but
steadied myself with the belief that some way, somehow, Tah-home would
succeed without my aid, and without the retraction of the law, though I
could not see just how. I was “borrowing trouble,” for, as I subsequently
learned, the arrangement for Tah-home to get away with his wife had
already been made through the intervention of a “mutual friend,” and at
the time I visited his camp, Tah-home and Ka-ko-na were playing a
part,——throwing dust in my eyes.

This mutual friend had satisfied O-che-o by giving him one of Tah-home’s
horses, his rifle, and a pair of blankets, all of which had been sent off
to O-che-o’s camp.

The snow began falling before morning, and in the meantime Tah-home and
Ka-ko-na silently left camp for Warm Springs. On the following morning,
when the teams were drawn up to start, I missed Tah-home and Ka-ko-na. Of
course I needed no one to tell me that at that moment they were miles
away, towards the summit of the mountain.

Having, at that time, no assurance that O-che-o had been “seen,” I
hastened to his lodge. I found him sleeping, or pretending to sleep. On
being aroused he sprang to his feet, and inquired the cause of my early
visit. I think that no looker-on would have detected, in his looks or
manner, anything but surprise and indignation, when the escape of Tah-home
and his wife was made known to him. Reproach was in his eyes and his
actions while he dressed himself. I was alarmed lest they should be

A “_mutual friend_” is, sometimes, a handy thing in life; in this instance
the “mutual,” seeing that I was in the dark, and liable to make some rash
promises, touched me on the arm, and called me away. I followed him.
O-che-o _did not follow me_. If my memory is correct, the matter was not
again referred to by either of us; but there was considerable sly
laughing all over the camp, at the way in which the “tyee” (myself) had
been outwitted by Indians.

“Such is life.” We are living a lie when we seem most honest, and justify
ourselves with the assurance that “of two evils choose the least,” will
whitewash us over to all other eyes. To the present writing, conscience
has not kept my eyes open when I wished to sleep, because I shut them on
Tah-home and O-che-o’s trick.

The grand council was opened by Allen David, the chief, saying, “Hear me,
all my people——open your ears and listen to all the words that are
spoken——I have been to the head of Sprague’s river, to meet the new
tyee——I have looked into his eyes——I have seen his tongue——he talks
straight. His heart is strong——he is a brave man——he will say strong
words. His ears are large——he hears everything. He does not get tired. He
does not come drunk with whiskey. What you have heard about him shaking
hands with every one is true. His eye is good——he does not miss
anything——he saw my heart. He washed my heart with a strong law——he
brought some new laws that are like a strong soap. Watch close and do not
miss his words——they are strong. We will steal his heart.”

The subjoined report to my superior in office was made on my return to
Salem, and since it is an official communication, written years ago, it
may be worthy of a place in this connection; supplementing which I propose
to write more in detail matters concerning this visit and the series of
meetings referred to. I make this statement here, because I do not wish
the readers to be confused by the mixing of dates, since to finish this
report in full without explanation would exclude incidents that are of
interest in a book, though not justifiable in official reports.

                                 OFFICE SUPERINTENDENT INDIAN AFFAIRS,
                                       SALEM, OREGON, Jan. 20th, 1870.

    SIR:——After the completion of the Snake expedition and previous
    to starting on the Modoc trip, I held a series of meetings and
    talks with the Klamaths.

    I understand, and have so represented on every occasion, that
    President Grant meant what he said in his inaugural address:
    that his policy in regard to Indians would be to prepare them by
    civilization for citizenship. Acting from this principle, so
    perfectly in accordance with my own judgment, I stepped out of
    the track of my predecessors, and said to them that my first
    business is to settle the financial affairs of the agency; then,
    to issue such goods as I had provided; and then to deliver a
    message from Mr. Parker to you; that I am ready to hear any and
    all complaints; settle any and all difficulties; decide any and
    all vexed questions; to tell you about the white people’s laws,
    customs, habits, religion, etc., etc.; in a word, I propose to
    remove the barrier that a condition has held between the
    different stations in life. Civilization may be yours——manhood——
    the American standard of worth. The course is clear and open to
    you Indian people——for the whole family of man.

    I had never stood, until now, before a people just emerging from
    the chrysalis of savage life, struggling earnestly and manfully
    to leave behind them the traditions and customs of an ancestry
    known only to mankind by the history of bloody acts and deeds
    of savage heroism.

    I would that I could portray these scenes: these dark-eyed men
    with long hair, women naturally good-looking, but so sadly
    debauched that virtue makes no pretensions among them; children
    of every _shade_,——all gathered around a huge fire of pine logs,
    in a forest of tall trees, in mid-winter, with the little camp
    fires here and there; and notwithstanding the ground was covered
    with snow and thermometer sometimes below zero, these people
    would sit, or stand, for hours, with eyes, ears, and hearts all
    open to hear; catching with great eagerness the story of my
    superior in office, to whom I made all my reports and from whom
    I received instructions, who, by his own energy, had elevated
    himself to a level with the great men of the age; and that he,
    Parker, was of “_their own race_.”

    The Klamath chief, Allen David, arose to reply amid surroundings
    characteristic of Indian life,——a perfect solemn silence broken
    only by his voice.

    I then heard the notes of natural oratory, coming in wild, but
    well-measured words, and recognized for the first time fully
    that nature does sometimes produce noble men _without_ the line
    of civilized life. I send you a verbatim report of his speech as
    taken by Dr. McKay; because I understand we are all trying to
    solve the problem of civilization for Indians. _I am not,
    myself, longer sceptical_ on that subject; but I know that a
    large proportion of our public men _are_; and you would not
    wonder, either, could you visit some reservations and see for
    yourself the inside workings of moral law.

    But I assert that the Indians are not to blame; let censure
    fall where it belongs; viz., on the men who are entrusted with
    the care and responsibility of leading and protecting these
    people, yet wink at and tolerate, in subordinates, the most
    demoralizing habits, and may be, in some cases, participants
    themselves. I do not speak of this agency in particular.

    Said Allen David,——“I see you. All my people see you.——I saw you
    at Sprague river.——I watched your mouth.——I have seen but one
    tongue.——I have looked into your eyes.——I have seen your heart.——
    You have given me another heart.——All my people will have white
    hearts.——When I was a little boy I lived here.——I have always
    lived here.——A long time ago a white man told me I could be like
    him. I said my skin is red, it cannot change; it must be my
    heart, my brain, that is to be like a white man.——You think we
    are low people.——May be we are in your eyes.——Who made us so?——
    We do not know much; we can learn.——Some of the officers at the
    fort (referring to Fort Klamath, six miles from the agency) have
    been good men——some of them have been bad men.——Do you think a
    good white man will take an Indian wife?——A white man that will
    take an Indian wife is worse blood than Indian.——These things
    make our hearts sad.——We want you to stop it.... Your ears are
    large.——Your heart is large.——You see us.——Do not let your heart
    get sick.

    “Take a white man into the woods, away from a store; set him
    down, with nothing in his hands, in the woods, and without a
    store to get tools from; and what could he do?

    “When you lay down before us the axes, the saws, the iron wedges
    and mauls you have promised us, and we do not take them up,
    then you can say we are ‘cul-tus’——lazy people.——You say your
    chief is like me——that he is an Indian——I am glad. What can I
    say that is worth writing down?——Mr. Parker does not know me.——
    When you do all Mr. Huntington promised in the treaty, 1864, we
    can go to work like white men.——Our hearts are tired waiting for
    the saw-mill.——When it is built, then we can have houses like
    white men.——We want the flour-mill; then we will not live on
    fish and roots. We will help to make the mills.——We made the
    fences on the big farms.——We did not get tired....

    “Give us strong law; we will do what your law says. We want
    strong law——we want to be like white men. You say that Mr.
    Parker does not want bad men among our people.——Is B. a good
    man?——he took Frank’s wife——is that good? We do not want such
    men. Is ———— a good man?——he took Celia from her husband——is that
    right?——Applegate gave us good laws——he is a good man.——
    Applegate told us not to gamble. Capt. ———— won thirty-seven
    horses from us. He says there is no law about gambling.——
    Applegate said there was.——Which is right?”...

    Mr. Meacham said, “You need not be afraid to talk——Keep nothing
    back. Your people are under a cloud. I see by their eyes that
    their hearts are sick; they look sorrowful. Open your hearts and
    I will hear you; tell me all, that I may know what to do to make
    them glad.”

    Allen David said, “I will keep nothing back.——I have eyes——I can
    see that white men have white hands.——Some white men take our
    women——they have children——they are not Indian——they are not
    white——they are shame children.——Some white men take care of
    their children.——It makes my heart sick.——I do not want these
    things.——Indian is an Indian——we do not want any more shame
    children. A white man that would take an Indian squaw is no
    better than we are.

    “Our women go to the fort——they make us feel sick——they get
    goods——sometimes greenbacks.——We do not want them to go there——
    we want the store here at the agency; then our women will not go
    to the fort.... Last Sunday some soldiers went to Pompey’s——they
    talked bad to the women.——We do not want soldiers among our
    women.——Can you stop this? Our women make us ashamed.——We may
    have done wrong——give us strong law.”...

    Joe Hood (Indian), at a talk seven days after, said: “Meacham
    came here. Parker told him to come. He brought a strong law. It
    is a ‘new soap,’ it washed my heart all clean but a little place
    about as big as my thumb-nail. Caroline’s (his wife) heart may
    not all be white yet. If it was, my own would be white like
    snow. Parker’s law has made us just like we were new married. I
    told these Indians that the law is like strong soap; it makes
    all clean. I do not want but one wife any more.”...

    Allen David said: “You say we are looking into a camp-fire; that
    we can find moonlight. You say there is a road that goes toward
    sunrise. Show me that stone road. I am now on the stone road. I
    will follow you to the top of the mountain. You tell me come on.
    I can see you now. My feet are on the road. I will not leave it.
    I tell my people follow me, and I will stay in the stone

    I have given you a few extracts, that you may judge from their
    own mouths whether they can become civilized. If Lindsay
    Applegate, and his sons, J. D. and Oliver, could take wild
    savage Indians, and, against so much opposition, in the short
    space of four years bring them to this state, I know they can be
    civilized. If good men are appointed to lead and teach them,——
    _not books alone_, but civilization, with all that civilization
    means,——men whose hearts are in the work, and who realize that,
    as soon as duties devolve on them, great responsibility
    attaches; men who have courage to _stand squarely_ between these
    people and the villains that hang around reservations from the
    lowest motives imaginable; men paid fair salaries for doing
    duty; that will not civilize the people by “mixing blood;”
    married men of character who will practise what they preach, and
    who can live without smuggling whiskey on to the Reservation;
    ten years from to-day may find this superintendency
    self-supporting, and offering to the world seven thousand

    I am conscious that this is strong talk, but it is surely true.
    I have not overdrawn this side of the case; nor will I attempt
    to show what _has been done_, or will be done, with
    superintendents, agents, and employés in charge placed there as
    a reward for political service.

    The past tells the story too plainly to be misapprehended. While
    I am responsible for the advancement of these people, I beg to
    state my views and make known the result of observation and
    experience. As a subordinate officer of the Government, I expect
    to have my official acts scrutinized closely. I respectfully ask
    that I may be furnished the funds to keep faith with a people so
    little understood,——people so much like children that when they
    are promised a saw-mill they go to work cutting logs, only to
    see them decayed before the mill is begun, but with logic enough
    to say, “When you have got us the things you promised, then you
    may blame us if we don’t do right.”

    I have now no longer any doubts about President Grant’s “Quaker
    Policy,” if it is applied to Indians once subjugated. These
    people have mind, soul, heart, affection, passion, and impulses,
    and great ambition to become like white men. There are more or
    less men in each reservation who are already superior to many of
    the white men around them. At Klamath they are now working under
    civil law of trial by jury,——with judge, sheriff, civil
    marriage, divorce; in fact, are fast assuming the habiliments of

    I spent seven days, talking, and listening, and making laws,
    marrying and divorcing, naming babies, settling difficulties,
    etc., and finally started, accompanied on my journey by a large
    delegation of Klamaths, who insisted that I should come again
    and remain longer, and make _laws_, and that I would build the
    mills, and tell them more about our religion; all of which I
    promised, if possible; but realizing fully and feeling deeply
    how much depended on the man who is in _immediate charge_ of
    these poor, struggling people.

                                    I am, very respectfully,
                                      Your obt. servt.,
                                        A. B. MEACHAM,
                                           _Supt. Indian Affairs_.

    HON. E. S. PARKER, _Commissioner_,
        WASHINGTON, D. C.

In Allen David’s speech, he refers to the “Fort,” meaning Fort Klamath,
six miles distant from the agency. It was established for the protection
of the settlers on the Klamath frontier. Two and sometimes three companies
have been stationed at this fort for several years.

The remarks of this chief need no comment; _they tell the tale_. If
confirmation was wanting of the crimes intimated in his speech, a visit to
Klamath Indian Agency, and even a casual glance at the different
complexions of the young and rising generation, would proclaim the
correctness of Allen David’s charges.

                             CHAPTER XVII.


The Reservation furnishes abundance of real romance, mixed with tragedy,
sufficient to make up a volume. The Indians tell, and white men confirm,
the story of an officer of the fort, who loved an Indian’s wife, and how
he sought to win her from home by presents; and, failing in this, came
with armed soldiers, and, with threats of death to the husband, compelled
him to give her up. This officer took this woman to the fort, dressed her
in styles common among white women, and refused to return her to her
husband. When the officer was “ordered away” to some other duty the squaw
went home, bearing in her arms an infant not more than half Indian. Her
husband refused to receive her. She was turned away from his lodge, and
became a vagabond of the worst class. Fortunately for father, mother, and
infant, too, the latter died a few months thereafter.

Another young officer of the United States army, who was stationed at Fort
Klamath, was a party to an elopement in high life,——as all life is _high_
at an altitude of forty-five hundred feet above the sea level; the other
party being the wife of a handsome young Indian living on Klamath
Reservation. However, they had but a few miles to travel, in order to
reach a “_Chicago_” for divorces. All people without law are a law unto

The Indian husband appealed for redress, but found no one to listen to his
appeals. His wife returned to him when the regiment to which the officer
belonged was ordered away, bringing with her many fine clothes; her feet
clad in good American gaiters, and with an armful of childhood, in which
the Indian husband claimed no interest. The mother was turned away from
what was once a happy home; and to-day, with her little girl, wanders from
lodge to lodge, seeking shelter where she may. This woman was really
good-looking, and had proved herself an apt scholar in learning the
civilized arts of house-keeping and dress-making; she also learned
something of our language, in which she tells the story of her own shame
and the fatherhood of her child.

I am giving these statements as made to me by white men, who are
responsible, and will answer, when called upon, for their authenticity. In
respect to the families of these United States officers, not through fear
of the men themselves, I withhold their names. In this connection I
remember a conversation with a sub-chief of the Klamaths, who could speak
“Boston” quite well. His name was “Blo.” He said, “Meacham, I talk to you.
S’pose an Injun man, he see a white man’s wife. He like her. He give
presents; he win her heart; he talk to her sometime. He tell her, “Come go
with me.” She come. He take her away. White man come home. He no see his
wife. He see him children cry. He get mad. He take a gun. He hunt ’em. He
find em. He ‘shoot ’em, one Injun man. What you think? You think white
man law hang him?” We were travelling horseback, and “Blo” came up close
to me, leaning from his saddle, and, peering into my eyes, continued,
“What you think?” I looked into his face, and read murder very plainly.
Had he been a white man I might have given him a negative answer. Half
savage as he was, he was seeking for encouragement to commit a bloody deed
in vindication of his honor. I replied that “the law would punish the
Indians for stealing the white man’s wife. But if the white man was wise
he would not kill the Indian, because the laws would take hold of him.” I
felt that I was concealing a part of the truth, but I dared not do

“Blo” was not so easily put off. He replied with a question that
intensified my perplexity, “S’pose white man steal Injun’s wife, s’pose
law catch _him_?” Harder to answer than the first one. If I said “Yes,” he
would have demanded that the law be enforced in his case, that had come
under my own observation; and that, I knew, was impossible, with public
sentiment so strongly against the Indians that white men would have
laughed at the absurdity of calling one of their race to account for so
trifling a thing as breaking up an Indian’s family, and leaving his
children worse than orphans; yet knowing full well that the whole power of
the United States would have been evoked to punish an Indian for a like
offence. If I said “No,” I stultified myself and my Government. I could
only reply, “Suppose a woman run away,——let her go. Get a divorce, and
then another wife.”

“Now-wit-ka, Ni-kanan-itch.” “Yes, I see. Law not all the time same. Made
crooked. Made for white man. Aha, me see ’em now.”

During the seven days’ council, “Little Sallie” came into the office, and
in plain “Boston” said, “I want divorce; my man, Cho-kus, he buy another
woman. I no like him have two wife. I want divorce.”

We had just completed the organization of a court, composed of the head
chief and his eight subordinates. This was the first case on the docket,
and the beginning of a new history with this people,——a new way of
settling difficulties. The agent provided a book for making record of all
proceedings. A sheriff was appointed from among the Indians. Each
sub-chief was entitled to a constable, but, in all matters pertaining to
their respective bands, as between themselves and others, neither
sub-chief nor constable was permitted to take any part in the proceedings
of the court.

Novel scenes indeed!——Indians holding court after the fashion of white
men. The chief made a short speech on taking the middle seat on “The
Bench.” He removed his hat, saying “that he knew but little about the new
law, but he would endeavor to make it run straight, and not run around his
own people,” referring to those of his band. The sub-chiefs took their
places on either side, and we gave instructions to the sheriff to open
court, ordering a white man to show him through, saying, “Oh-yes! Oh-yes!
The Klamath Court is now open.”——“Now-witka, Now-witka, Muck-u-lux,
Klamath, Mam-ook, Bos-ti-na Law, O-ko-ke, Sun,” rang out the Indian

“Little Sallie” was the first to appear before the bar of justice, and,
without an attorney, she filed a complaint against her husband, the
substance of which was to the effect, that “Cho-kus”——her master——had made
arrangements to buy another wife, paying two horses; and that these horses
belonged to her individually, and she was not willing to furnish horses to
buy another woman, because it would leave but one horse in the family, and
that Cho-kus and the new wife would claim that one, and she would be
compelled to go on foot. If Cho-kus had plenty of horses she might not
object; but she thought that she could dig roots, and gather “wokus”——wild
rice——enough for the family, and Cho-kus did not need another “nohow.”
But, if he persisted, then she wanted a Boston divorce, otherwise she did

Cho-kus was required to show cause why “Sallie” should not be made free.
He appeared in person, and expressed willingness for the separation, but
asked to know who would be awarded the baby,——a little fellow twelve
months old. The court decided that “Sallie” should have possession of the
child. Cho-kus took it from its mother’s arms, and, holding it in his own,
looked very earnestly and silently into its face for a moment. His speech
ran in something like the following words: “Now half this baby’s heart is
mine, half its heart belongs to ‘Sallie.’” Then slowly drawing the little
finger of one hand from its forehead down its face and body, he went on to
say, “I want this child’s heart, and ‘Sallie’ wants it; if we cut into it
it will die; I can’t give up my part of it.” Sallie attempted to snatch it
away, saying, “I won’t give up my part of the baby.” This brought the
husband to terms. He said he would give up taking another wife. Sallie
agreed, and the court proposed that, instead of being divorced, they
should be married over by “Boston law.” They consented. The ceremony was
deferred in order to make preparation for the approaching nuptials, under
the auspices of the new law.

The white ladies of the agency, some of whom were unmarried, proposed to
adorn the bride, while the employés furnished enough Sunday clothes to
dress the husband in good style. Employés and Indians were notified of the
important affair, and the court adjourned to the big camp-fire, in order
to perform the marriage ceremony in the presence of all the people. The
presiding judge _pro tem._ ordered the parties to appear.

The groom, dressed in a borrowed suit, was the first to stand up. Sallie
hesitated; the husband insisted. The bride was reluctant, saying she
wanted to know how long the new law would hold “Cho-kus.”——“Is it a strong
law? Won’t he buy another wife some time?” When all the questions were
answered to her satisfaction, she passed her child over to another woman,
and stood beside her _lover_. Yes, her lover; for he then discovered that
he really loved her, just as many a white-faced man has in similar cases,
when he realized the danger of losing her.

The official reporter, on this occasion, did not furnish an account of the
bride’s dress, but for the satisfaction, it may be, to my young lady
readers, I will say that the toilet was elaborately gotten up a-la-mode,
consisting of immense tilting hoops, bright-hued goods for dress, paint in
profusion on her cheeks, necklace of beads, and shells, and tresses of
dark hair, “_all her own_,” ornamented with cheap jewelry. This being the
first marriage under the new law, the chief remarked that be wished them
“tied very strong, so they could not get away from each other.”

We extemporized the ceremony as follows: “Cho-kus, do you agree to live
forever with Sallie, and not buy another squaw? To do the hunting and
fishing, cut wood and haul it up, like white man? Never to get drunk, or
talk bad to other women, and to be a good, faithful husband?” When the
ceremony was interpreted, he answered, “Now-wit-ka ni-hi;” yes, I do.
Sallie said, “Hold on,——I want him married to me so he won’t whip me any
more.” We adopted the supplement suggested, and Cho-kus again said,
“Now-wit-ka.” The bride said, “All right,” and promised to be a good wife,
to take care of the lodge and the baby, to dress the deer-skins, and dry
the roots.

Cho-kus also suggested a supplement, which was, that Sallie must not “_go
to the fort_” any more without _him_. She assented, with a proviso that he
would not go to see “old Mose-en-kos-ket’s” daughter any more.

The covenant was now completed, to the satisfaction of bride and
bridegroom, and the Great Spirit was invoked to witness the pledges made;
their hands were joined, and they were pronounced husband and wife. A
waggish white man whispered to Allen David, the chief, that the bride must
be saluted. The chief inquired whether that was the way of the new law,
saying he wanted “a real Boston wedding.” We said to Cho-kus, “Salute your
bride.” He replied he thought the ceremony was over; but, when made to
understand what the salute meant, replied that it was not modest; that no
Indian man ever kissed a woman in public. We urged that it was right under
the new law. He remarked that somebody else must kiss her; he didn’t
intend to. Our waggish friend again whispered in the ear of the chief,
telling him that the officiating clergyman must perform the duty to make
the marriage legal. With solemn face, the chief insisted that the whole
law must be met.

The parties remained standing while this controversy was going on. The
bride was willing to be saluted, but the question was, _who_ was to
perform that part of the closing ceremony. The record don’t mention the
name of the individual, and it is perhaps as well. The bride, however, was

No, _I_ didn’t, indeed; I——don’t press the question——but I di——. No, no,
it was not m——, indeed it wasn’t; but I won’t tell anything about it. As a
faithful reporter, I will only add that the happy couple received the
congratulations of friends. They are still married, and Cho-kus hasn’t
bought another wife yet.

The next case called was a young man who had stolen the daughter of a
sub-chief. He was arraigned, “plead guilty,” and by the court sentenced to
wear six feet of log-chain on his leg for nine months, to have his hair
cut short, and to chop wood for the chiefs, who were to board and clothe
him in the mean time. Care was taken to protect the convict’s right, in
that he should not work in bad weather or on Sundays, or more than six
hours each day. He objected to having his hair cut short, but otherwise
seemed indifferent to the sentence.

The chiefs were satisfied, because they saw large piles of wood in
prospect. However, long before the expiration of the term of sentence they
united in a petition for his pardon.

Cases of various kinds came into court and were disposed of, the chief
exhibiting more judgment than is sometimes found in more pretentious
courts of justice.

They were instructed, in regard to law, that it was supposed to be _common
sense and equal justice, and that any law which did not recognize these
principles was not a good law_.

This court is still doing business under the direction of a Government
agent. The wedding of Cho-kus and Sallie was celebrated with a grand
dance. Who shall say these people do not civilize rapidly? The occasion
furnished an opportunity for the Indian boys to air their paints,
feathers, and fine clothes; also for Indian maidens and women to dress in
holiday attire.

Chief Allen David had given orders that this “social hop,” commemorating
the first marriage in civil life, should be conducted in civil form. The
white boys were willing to teach the red ones and their partners the steps
of the new dance.

The ballroom was lighted up with great pine wood fires, whose light shone
on the green leaves of the sugar pines and on the tan-colored faces of the
lookers-on. Singular spectacle!——children of a high civilization leading
those of wilder life into the mazes of this giddy pastime; and they were
apt scholars, especially the maidens. The music was tame; too tame for a
people who are educated to a love of exciting sports.

The chiefs stood looking on, and, when occasion required, enforcing the
orders of the floor-managers, who were our teamsters, turned, for the
nonce, to dancing masters. I doubt if they would have been half as zealous
in a Sabbath school. But since dancing is a part of American civilization,
acknowledged as such by good authority, and since Indians have a natural
fondness for amusements, and cannot be made to abandon such recreation,
perhaps it was well that our teamster boys were qualified to teach them in
this, though they were not for teaching higher lessons. At our request we
were entertained with an Indian play. No phase of civilized life exists
that has not its rude counterpart in Indian life. This entertainment of
which I am writing was given by _professional_ players, who evinced real
talent. All the people took great interest in the preparations, inasmuch
as we had honored them by making the request. The theatre was large and
commodious, well lighted with huge log fires. The _foot-lights_ were of
pitch wood. The _boards_ were sanded years before, and had been often
carpeted with velvet green or snowy white. The “_Green-rooms_” were of
white tent cloths, fashioned for the purpose by brown hands, and were in
close proximity to the scene. The front seats were “reserved” for invited
guests. The rest was “standing room.” Circling round in dusky rows stood
the patient throng. Nor stamps, nor whistles, nor other hideous noises
gave evidence of bad-breeding or undue impatience. No police force was
necessary _there_ to compel the audience to respect the players or each
other’s rights.

As the time to begin comes round a silence pervades the assembly. No huge
bill-posters, or “flyers,” or other programme had given even an inkling of
the play. This was as it should be everywhere, for then no promises were
made to be broken, and no fault could be found, whether the play was good
or bad. The knowing ones, aware, by signs we did not see, that soon the
performance would commence, by motion of hand or eye would say, “Be

Now we hear a female voice, soft and low, singing, and coming from some
unseen lodge. It grows more distinct each moment and more plaintive, and
finally the singer comes into the circle with a half dance, the music of
her voice broken by occasional sobs, makes the circuit of the stage,
growing weary and sobbing oftener; she at last drops down in weary,
careless abandonment. This maiden was attired in showy dress, of wild
Indian costume, ornamented with beads and tinsel. Her cheeks and hair were
painted with vermilion. The frock she wore was short, reaching only to the
knee. Close-fitting garments of scarlet cloth, richly trimmed with beads,
and fringe of deer-skin she wore upon her ankles, with feet encased in
dainty moccasins. When she sat down, the picture was that of one tasting
the bitter with the sweets of life, in which joy and sorrow in alternate
promptings came and went. The sobbing would cease while she gathered
flowers that grew within her reach, arranging them in bunches, seemingly
absorbed in other thoughts, occasionally giving vent in half-stifled,
child-like sobs, or muttering in broken sentences, with parting lips,
complaints against her cruel father, giving emphasis with her head to her
half-uttered speech.

Following the eyes of our Indian interpreter, whose quick ear had caught
the sound of coming steps, we saw a fine-looking young brave enter the
ring, crouching and silent as a panther’s tread, and, scanning the
surroundings, he espies the maiden. We hear a sound so low that we imagine
it is but the chirping of a tiny bird; but it catches the maiden’s ear,
who raises her head and listens, waiting for the sound, and then relapses
into half-subdued silence. Meanwhile the young brave gazes, with bright
eyes and parted lips, on the maiden. Again he chirps. Now she looks around
and catches his eye, but does not scream, or make other noises, until, by
pantomimic words, they understand they are alone.

The warrior breaks out in a wild song of love, and, keeping time with his
voice, with short, soft, dancing step, he passes round the maiden, who
plays coquette, and seems to be fully on her ground. He grows more
earnest, and raises his voice, quickens his steps, and, passing close
before her, offers his love, and proposes marriage, speaks her name, and,
turning quickly again, passes back and forth, each time pleading his case
more earnestly, until the maiden, woman-like, feigns resentment, and he,
poor fellow, thinks she means what she does not, and slowly and sadly, in
apparent despair, retreats to the farther side of the stage. When he came
upon the scene, clad in his dress of deer-skins, hunting-shirt and
leggings, with moccasins trimmed with beads and scarlet cloth, his long
hair ornamented with eagle feathers, and neck encircled with the claws of
wild cayotes, his arms with a score of rings, his scarlet blanket girded
round his waist, and reaching nearly to the ground,——swinging to his
back, his quiver full of painted arrows, whose feathered ends shone above
his shoulder; his left hand clasping an Indian bow, while his right held
his blanket in rude drapery around him,——he was the very image of the real
live young Indian brave. But now, with blanket drawn over his shoulder,
covering his arms, while the feathers in his hair and the arrows were held
tightly to his head and neck, he seemed the neglected lover he thought

Poor Ke-how-la, you do not appear to know that Ganweta is playing prude
with you. Ke-how-la breaks out afresh, in song and dance, and, circling
around the maiden, gives vent to his wounded pride, declares that he will
wed another, and, as if to retire, he turns from her. Ganweta, as all her
sex will do, discovers that she has carried the joke too far, springs up,
and, throwing a bunch of flowers over his head, begins to tell, in song,
that she dare not listen to his words, because her father demands a price
for her that Ke-how-la cannot pay, since he is poor in horses; but that,
if left to choice, she would be his wife, and gather roots, and dress
deer-skins, and be his slave.

Ke-how-la listens with head half turned, and then replies that he will
carry her away until her father’s anger shall be passed.

Ganweta tells how brave and strong her father is, and that he intends to
sell her to another.

Ke-how-la boasts of his skill in archery, and, dropping his blanket from
his shoulder and stringing his bow, quickly snatches an arrow from his
fawn-skin quiver, and sends it into a target centre, and then another by
its side, and still another, until he makes a real bouquet of feathered
arrows stand out on the target’s face, in proof of his ability to defend
her from her father’s wrath.

Snatching his arrows, and putting them in place among their fellows, save
one he holds in his hand, he motions her to come, and, bounding away like
an antlered deer, he runs around the circle with Ganweta following like a
frightened fawn. They pass off the scene. The braves sent by the father
come on stealthily, scanning the ground to detect any sign that would be
evidence that the lovers had been there. Stooping low and pointing with
his finger to the tracks left, a warrior gives signal that he has found
the trail, and then the party starts in quick pursuit, following round
where Ke-how-la and Ganweta had passed, who, still fleeing, come in on the
opposite side, and, walking slowly backward, he, stepping in her tracks,
intending thus to mislead the pursuers, then, anon, throwing his arm
around her, would carry her a few steps, and, dropping her on the ground,
they would resume the flight.

The pursuers appear baffled; but with cunning ways they find the trail,
and resume with quickened steps the chase.

Suddenly Ke-how-la stops and listens. His face declares that he has
knowledge of the coming struggle,——that he must fight. Bidding Ganweta
haste away, he takes a station near a tree, and awaits the pursuers. They
seem to be aware that he is there, and, drawing their bows, prepare to
fight. See Ke-how-la expose his blanket, the pursuers letting two arrows
fly, one of them striking it, the other the tree. A twang from Ke-how-la’s
bow, and a howl of pain, and a red-skinned pursuer in agony has an arrow
in his heart, and then the arrows fly in quick succession, until the hero
sends his antagonists to the happy hunting-ground of their fathers, and
with apparent earnestness he scalps his foes.

With his trophies hanging to his belt, he calls, “Ganweta, Kaitch Kona
Ganweta!”——Beautiful Ganweta; but he calls in vain. While Ke-how-la was
fighting, a brave of another tribe carries off the shrinking maiden, and
escapes to his people.

Ke-how-la takes the trail, and follows by the signs Ganweta had left on
her involuntary flight, and discovers her surrounded by his enemies. He
returns to his own people for assistance. He finds friends willing to
follow him. Ganweta’s father is reconciled with him, and gives his consent
to his marriage when he shall have brought Ganweta home. A party is
formed, and after the war-dance and other savage ceremonies, they go on
the warpath. Then we see the warriors fight a sham battle with real
war-whoops and scalping ceremonies. The arrows fly, and the wounded fall,
and the victors secure the scalps and also the captive maiden, and, with
wild sports, return to the lodge of Ganweta’s father.

This performance lasted about three hours, and from the beginning to the
end the interest increased, winding up with a scalp-dance.

I have never witnessed a play better performed, and certainly never with
imitation so close to reality. It demonstrated that talent does not belong
to any privileged race; that Indians are endowed with love for amusements,
and that they possess ability to create and perform.

If it is urged that such plays foster savage habits among the Indians,
the excuse must be that they were true to the scenes of their own lives
and in conformity with the tastes of the people, as all theatricals are
supposed to be.

It had one merit that many plays lack. Its actors were natural, and no
unseemly struts and false steps, or rude and uncouth exhibitions of
dexterity or unseemly attitudes, that make modest people hide their eyes
in very shame, were indulged in by the players.

The Indians of Oregon and of the Pacific coast wear long hair; at least,
until they change their mode of life, they have a great aversion to
cutting it, and, in fact, it is almost the last personal habit they give
up. Before leaving this agency, I proposed to give a new hat to each man
who would consent to have his hair cut short. The proposition was not well
received at first, because of their old-time religious faith, which in
some way connected long hair with religious ceremony. It is safe to
assert, that, whenever an Oregon Indian is seen without long hair, he has
abandoned his savage religion. Before leaving, however, I was assured that
I might send out the hat for over one hundred.

The following summer, when making an official visit, I took with me four
hundred hats. When the question was brought up, and the hats were in
sight, a flurry was visible among the men. The chief, Allen David, led the
way, begging for a long cut. A compromise was made, and it was agreed that
the hair should be cut just half-way down. With this understanding, the
barber’s shop was instituted, and long black hair enough to make a Boston
hair merchant rich was cut off and burned up.

The metamorphosis was very noticeable. Many ludicrous scenes were
presented in connection with, and grew out of, this episode. A great step
forward had been made, and one, too, that will not “slip back.”

When O-che-o came out of the room, after his head had been for the first
time in his life under a barber’s hands, he presented a comical spectacle.
His children did not know him; some of his older friends did not recognize
in him the chief of other days.

                             CHAPTER XVIII.


An Indian game of ball is not exactly like America’s great game of base
ball. It resembles, somewhat, the old game of shindy or bandy. The field
is one-fourth of a mile in length, and one-eighth in width. Stakes are
planted at either end, and also in the middle. The players pair off until
all are chosen who desire to play. Captains are elected who command the
players of each side, and take their stations at the middle stakes,
arranging their men on either side, each of whom is provided with a club
three feet in length, having a short crook at the lower end. The ball is
fashioned out of a tough knot of wood, and is about three inches in
diameter, and burnt by fire until it is charred slightly, thus making it
of black color. This game is called “ko-ho,” and is won by the party who
succeeds in knocking the ball with the club to the home base at the
opposite end of the ground.

A game of “ko-ho” attracts much attention; old and young, deaf, dumb, and
blind, all go to witness the sport; the latter, probably, to hear the
boisterous shouts that attend the playing. Sometimes it is made the
occasion for gambling, and then the excitement becomes intense.

Another game is played, with two pieces of wood six inches long and about
one inch in diameter, securely connected by a thong of rawhide, about
four inches apart; the game, as in “ko-ho,” being to toss this plaything
with straight clubs to a home base; the parties struggling as in the other
game. Foot-ball is not uncommon, and great contests are had over this game

Civilized American gambling cards are common, and are played in games that
have no existence among white people; though Indians are expert in all
common games, and become, like their white brother, infatuated, and gamble
with desperation. Gambling seems to be a passion among them. It is not
uncommon to see the younger men of tribes that are uncivilized, seated on
the ground, and, with a blanket spread over their limbs, all pointing
toward a common centre, gambling with small sticks of wood, the parties
alternately mixing their hands under the blanket, changing the sticks from
one hand to the other while they sing a low melody; and, when withdrawing
the hands, the other Indians point to the hand they suppose to be the
holder of the sticks, thus indicating the one selected as the winning
hand. When the bets are all made the holder opens both hands, and thus
declares the result. The favorite sport of the Indians is horse-racing;
but, like other people, they gamble on almost everything. Among them are
natural professional gamblers. This passion is a fruitful source of
poverty; and many complaints are made by young, green ones, against
_red_-legged sharps.

An Indian woman filed a complaint against “Long John,” an Indian gambler,
charging him with having swindled her son, a boy of eighteen or twenty
years of age, out of a number of horses that belonged to the family. She
asserted that they were poor; that the loss was too much to bear in
silence, and that, since her son was a boy, not a man, “Long John” ought
to return the horses. This famous gambler was ordered to appear. The case
was investigated. “Long John” pleaded guilty as charged in the indictment,
but offered the old Indian law as an excuse. He finally proposed to return
the horses, on condition that the boy would abandon the habit. The boy
promised; the property was returned; and the old woman went away happy in
the possession of her restored fortune; for it was to her what business
and home are to wealthy people. Under the new law gambling is prohibited
by a fine; but the Indians find ways to avoid the law, and gambling is
now, and will continue to be, common among them.

These people have a beautiful country, with a cold climate, being at an
altitude of four thousand feet above the sea level. Snows of two to four
feet deep are not uncommon. The rivers and lakes are well supplied with
fish, the mountains with game, the land with berries and wild roots.

Big Klamath marsh is situated twenty miles north of the Great Klamath
lake. It is six miles wide and twenty long, and receives its water from
the south side of the Blue mountains. This marsh is covered with a growth
of pond-lilies, that furnish immense supplies of wo-cus (seed of lily). It
is a great rendezvous for several tribes who come to gather wo-cus. The
main stem of this plant first blossoms on the top of the water, and, as
the seasons advance, the flower matures and rises above the surface one or
two feet, and forms a large pod, of four inches in length and three in
diameter. The Indians go out among the lilies in canoes, and gather the
bowls or pods while green, spread them out in the sun, and when cured they
are beaten with sticks until the seeds fall out. These are put in sacks
and carried home, cached (buried in cellars) until required for use. Then
the seeds are thrown into a shallow basket, with live coals of fire, and
roasted, after which it is ground by hand on flat rocks.

It is a nutritious food, and, when properly prepared, not unpalatable. The
Klamaths use it in soups, and often prepare it by mixing like flour into
cakes, which they bake in the ashes. This article of wo-cus is abundant,
available, and altogether sufficient to furnish subsistence for all the
Indians in Oregon. To this wo-cus field the natives have for generations
past gone for supplies, and in the mean time to exchange slaves, gamble,
and hold great councils. Many stirring scenes have been enacted at this
place that would furnish foundation for romantic story or bloody tragedy.

The lakes of Klamath are great resorts for the feathery tribes, which come
with the spring and sojourn through the summer. The people luxuriate on
the eggs of these wild fowls. They go out into the tall tule (grass) in
canoes, and collect them in large quantities. _“The egg season” lasts
until the hatching season is over_, the Indians cooking unhatched birds,
and eating them with as much avidity and as little thought of indecency as
New England people cook and eat clams, oysters, or herrings.

The young fowls are captured in nets. The arrangement is quite cunning,
and, although primitive in construction, evinces some inventive genius. A
circular net is made three feet in diameter, and to the outer edge are
attached eight or ten small rods of half-inch diameter, and about fifteen
inches in length; three inches from the lower end, which is sharpened to a
point, the net is attached. The upper end of the rods are bevelled on one
side, and inserted into a rude socket, in the end of a shaft ten feet

Armed with this trap, the hunter crawls on the ground until he is within
safe distance of the mother-bird and her little flock, when, suddenly
springing up, the old birds, geese or ducks, as the case may be, fly away,
while the little ones flee toward the water. The Indian launches the shaft
with the net attached in such a way that the net spreads to its utmost
size, the sharpened points of the rods pierce the ground, and, the upper
end having left the socket on the shaft, stand in circular row, holding
the net and contents to the ground.

The Klamath mode of taking fish is peculiar to the Indians of this lake
country. A canoe-shaped basket is made, with covering of willow-work at
each end, leaving a space of four feet in the middle top of the basket.
This basket is carried out into the tules that adjoin the lakes, and sunk
to the depth of two or three feet. The fishermen chew dried fish eggs and
spit them in the water over the basket, until it is covered with the eggs,
and then retire a short distance, waiting until the whitefish come in
large numbers over the basket, when the fishermen cautiously approach the
covered ends, and raise it suddenly, until the upper edge is above the
water, and thus entrap hundreds of fish, that are about eight inches in
length. These are transferred to the hands of the squaws, and by them are
strung on ropes or sticks and placed over fires until cured, without salt,
after which they are stored for winter use. This fish is very oily and
nutritious, and makes a valuable food. Indeed, this country is more than
ordinarily fruitful, and abounds in resources suited to Indian life.

The lakes are well supplied with various kinds of trout. They are taken in
many ways; mostly, however, with hook and line. I remember, on one
occasion, going to a small slough making out of the lake among the tules.
Being prepared with American equipment of lines and flies, I was sanguine
of success; but I was doomed to disappointment so far as catching trout
with fly-hooks was concerned. I finally succeeded in capturing a pocketful
of large black army-crickets. The first venture with this bait was
rewarded by a fine trout of six pounds’ weight. In one hour and a half I
had twenty-four fish, whose aggregate weight was one hundred and four
pounds. They were mostly golden trout, a species peculiar to Klamath lake.
They are similar to other trout, except in the rich golden color of their
bodies, and in the shape of their fins. Silver trout are sometimes caught
also, they taking their name from their silver sides and the color of
their flesh. Lake trout, another species, are very dark; they are sharp
biters, and very game when hooked. Salmon trout, as the name indicates,
resemble salmon in every way; so much so that none but an expert could
distinguish the two.

Still another kind of the trout family are also in abundance, called dog
trout. They live on the younger fish of their own species; do not run in
schools, but solitary and alone, devouring the small ones. I have caught
them with the tails of little fish sticking in their mouths. Brook trout
may be found in the smaller streams; they are identical with those of New

The wild game consists of deer and elk, which are still abundant and
furnish subsistence; and, until these people sold their birthrights and
received in exchange therefor clothing and blankets,——a mere mess of
pottage,——afforded material for warming their bodies. These sources of
supply, together with the wild fowls, which congregate in innumerable
quantities, all go to make up a country well adapted to wild Indian life,
requiring but reasonable exertion to secure subsistence and clothing.

Although the country is high and cold, and the major portion covered in
winter with deep snows, there are small valleys and belts of country where
snow never lies on the ground for any considerable length of time, and the
stock cattle and horses live through the winter without care.

When the railroad shall have been built, connecting the lake country with
the outside world, it will afford large supplies of fish, game, wild
fowls, eggs, feathers, ice, and lumber of the choicest kinds. Already has
the keen eye of the white man discovered its many inducements and tempting
offers of business.

Big Klamath lake is twenty miles wide and forty miles long; a most
beautiful sheet of water, dotted with small islands. Its average depth is,
perhaps, forty feet, surrounded on two sides with heavy forests of timber;
on the others, with valleys of sure and productive soil, when once
science shall have taught the people how to accommodate the agriculture to
the climate. This lake has a connection with those below, called Link
river, a short stream of but four miles, through which vast volumes of
water find outlet, over sweeping rapids, falling at the rate of one
hundred feet to the mile.

The power that wastes itself in Link river would move machinery that would
convert the immense forests into merchandise, and put music into a million
spindles, giving employment to thousands of hands who are willing to toil
for reward.

Nature has also favored this wonderful country with steam-power beyond
comparison; great furnaces under ground, fed by invisible hands, send the
steam through rocky fissures or escape-pipes to the surface. Near Link
river, two of these escape-pipes emit the stifling steam constantly.
Approaching cautiously, a sight may be had of the boiling waters beneath.
Lower down the hill it arises in a stream, sufficient to run a saw-mill,
coming out boiling hot, and flowing away in rippling current. Along the
banks of this stream flowers bloom the year round, and vegetation is ever
green for several rods from the banks. The scene from the ridge on the
north that overlooks Link valley is one of rare beauty.

Standing in snow two feet deep, on a cold morning in December, 1869, my
eyes first took in the landscape. Surrounded by lofty pines, and, looking
southward, we caught sight of the Lost river county, the home of the
Modocs, bathed in sunshine, clear, cold sunshine; the almost boundless
tracts of sage-brush land, stretching away to the foot of the Cascade
mountains on the right, until sage-brush plain was lost in pine-wood
forest. On the left front we caught sight of Tu-le lake, lying calmly
beneath its crystal covering of glittering ice; and, still left,
Lost-river mountains, and beside them the stream whose water drank up the
blood of many battles in times past. Following its line toward its source,
we see a mountain cleft in twain to make passage for the waters of Clear
lake, after they have tunnelled Saddle mountains for ten miles, and come
again to human sight.

We had been so entertained with the splendor of the winter scene, that we
had overlooked its grandest feature, until our fretful horses, which had
caught sight of it before we had, became restless and impatient to bathe
their icy hoofs in the beautiful valley at our feet, and refused longer to
wait for us to paint on our memory the panorama.

Dismounting, we, too, caught sight of one of nature’s wonderful freaks.
Down below us, in the immense amphitheatre, we discovered columns of steam
rising from the smooth prairie hill-side, ascending in fantastic puffs,
and mixing with the atmosphere; sometimes cut off, by sudden gusts of cold
winds, into minute clouds, that swing out and lose themselves in strange
company of fiercer breath from the mountains covered with snow and ice.

Look again to the right, and see the constant steam vapor that comes with
hot breath from the boiling spring, where it runs in grandeur, and
gradually warms the soil and shrubbery that surrounds its channel.
Following the curve of this stream, see the clouds of steam decrease as it
flows out on the plain, until, at last, its warm breath is lost to sight
in the high tule grass of Lower Klamath lake. Come back along the line
and see the fringe of grass and flowers that exult in life, despite the
winter’s cold; and other of nature’s children, too, are standing with feet
in the soft banks, and inhaling the warm breath. See the long line of
sleek cattle and horses that have driven away the mule, deer and antlered
elk, and now claim mastership of what God has done for this strange
valley. Even dumb brutes enjoy this refuge from the cold storms of the
plains; thus cheating old winter out of the privilege of punishing them.

Yielding to the importunity of our restless steed, we remount, and, giving
rein, are carried rapidly down the mountain side, at a pace that would be
dangerous on clumsy eastern ponies, until reaching the valley, and feeling
the soft turf beneath us, we improve the invitation to warm our hands at
this gentle outlet to one of nature’s seething caldrons.

Gathering a bouquet of wild flowers from this fairy garden, surrounded by
snows and ice, we resume our journey, for we are now bound for the home of
Captain _Jack_.

                              CHAPTER XIX.

                     TWENTY YEARS BEFORE A HARVEST.

Since we are now en route to the Modoc country, and since they have taken
a place in modern history as a warlike people, and have enrolled their
names on the record of stirring events, it is well to give them something
more than a passing notice.

In so doing, I shall confine my remarks to such facts as have come under
my own observation, and also those that are well authenticated. In memory
of the late tragedy in the “Lava Beds,” in which I so nearly lost my life,
I approach this subject with a full determination to present the facts
connected therewith in a fair and impartial manner, without fear of
criticism from the enemies of the red man, or a desire to court undue
favor from his friends.

The Modocs are a branch from a once powerful tribe of the Pacific coast,
and known as “La-la-cas,” inhabiting the country drained by Klamath river
and lakes, also including the “Lost-river Basin,” and extending inland
from the coast proper about three hundred miles, covering the territory of
what is now Siskiyou county, Cal., and parts of Jackson and Josephine
counties, of Oregon. They were warlike, as most uncivilized nations are,
when they become powerful. Surrounded with peoples of similar character,
they were often on the “warpath.”

The history of the great battles fought by the La-la-cas of olden time is
a fruitful subject for Indian stories by the descendants of the Klamaths
and Modocs; and from them, years ago, I learned about the rebellion so
nearly cotemporaneous with the American Revolution.

That rebellion sprang from causes so nearly of the same kind as those
which prompted our forefathers to take up arms against Great Britain, that
the coincidence is strange indeed, though it could not have any connection
with the white man’s war. To those who have given the subject of Indian
history a careful study, it is not new, that, while a monarch exercised
arbitrary power across the Atlantic, and dictated government and law to
the American colonies, many petty monarchs, also claiming the hereditary
right to rule on the strength of royalty and blood, were the governing
nations on the continent of America. This kind of royalty seems to have
been acknowledged and disputed by turns, for many generations; and,
perhaps, the La-la-cas may have passed through as many revolutions as
enlightened political organizations, though no other history than
tradition has made a record thereof. At all events it is part of the
history of the Modocs and Klamaths, that feuds and revolutions have been
of common occurrence, growing out of the desire for power. After all,
human nature is pretty much the same in all conditions of society, without
regard to color or race.

The office of chief, among Indians of former times, was to the chieftain
what the crown was to a king. The function of chieftain among
semi-civilized Indians of to-day is to him what the office of President is
to General Grant, or it may be likened to the position of Louis Philippe
a few years ago, half attained through royal right, and half by force or
consent of the governed.

This comparison is apropos according to the status of traditional and
hereditary law.

With the La-la-cas, one hundred years ago, the prerogative of royalty,
though, perhaps, acknowledged in the abstract, was often disputed in the
distribution of honors.

This “bone of contention,” so fruitful of blood with civilized nations,
was one of the principal and moving causes of the separation of a band of
La-la-cas, who are now known as Modocs, from the tribe who are now called

There is a curious resemblance between the political customs of savage and
civilized nations. The royal house from whence came the hero of the Modoc
war——Captain Jack——was not exempt from the contentions common to royal
households, and it may be said, too, that while the branch to which he
belonged had furnished their quota of braves for many wars, they resisted
the taxes levied on them, and at last openly rebelled, and separated from
their ancient tribe on account of the exactions of tyrannical chiefs.

That my readers may properly understand the subject now under
consideration, it is well to state, in a general way, that Indian nations,
singularly enough, follow in the footsteps of the people of Bible history.
Whether they derive the custom from traditional connection or not, I leave
to antiquarians to answer.

Every nation is divided into tribes, and tribes are divided into bands,
and bands into smaller divisions, even down to families; each nation has,
or is supposed to have, a head chief; each tribe a chief; each band a
sub-chief; and so on, down, until you reach family relations.

Each tribe, band, and even family, has in times of peace an allotted home,
or district of country that they call their own. They claim the privileges
that it affords, and are very jealous of any infringement on their rights.

The Modocs inhabited that portion of country know, as “Lost-river
Basin,”——perhaps forty miles square,——lying east of the foot of “Shasta
Butte,” possessing many natural resources for Indian life. It is doubtful
whether any other country of like extent affords so great and so varied a
supply as this district.

Lost river is a great fishing country, affording those of a kind peculiar
to Tule lake and Lost river, in so great abundance as to be almost beyond

But to resume the history of this band of Modocs. At or about the time
indicated as cotemporaneous with “the great event” in American civilized
history, the head chief of all the La-la-cas demanded of Mo-a-doc-us, the
chief of the Lost-river band of the La-la-cas, not only braves for the
warpath, but also that supplies of fish from Lost river should be

This demand was refused. Following the refusal, war was declared; and
Mo-a-doc-us issued his declaration of independence, throwing off his
allegiance from and to the head chief of the La-la-cas. The war that
followed was one of a character similar in some respects to the American
Revolution; the one party struggling to hold power, the other fighting for
freedom,——for such it was in reality.

[Illustration: CAPTAIN JACK.]

The Modocs and Klamaths tell of many battles fought, and brave men killed;
how the survivors passed their allotted time in mourning; how, at last,
the La-la-cas were defeated; and though no formal acknowledgment or
recognition of the independence of Mo-a-doc-us was ever bulletined to the
world, yet it was, in modern political language, “an accomplished fact.”

The followers of the La-la-cas have since been termed Klamaths.

Without tracing the history of the Mo-a-docs through their many wars, I
pass over the intervening feuds until 1846, at which time they numbered
six hundred warriors, and were subdivided into bands, governed by
“Schonchin,” a head chief, although his authority seems even then to have
been disputed, on the ground that he was not a legitimate descendant of
the great Mo-a-doc-us, and consequently not of royal blood. He won his
position as chief by his great personal bravery in battle.

The father of Captain Jack was the former chief of the Lost-river Modocs.
He was killed in battle with the Warm Spring and Te-ni-no Indians, near
the head-waters of the Des-chutes river, in Oregon, at which time
Ki-en-te-poos (Captain Jack) was a small boy.

I have taken some pains to ascertain reliable data as to the parentage and
birthplace of a man whose name has been on every tongue for the past year,
and state, most positively, that Captain Jack’s parents were both Modocs
of royal blood, and that Captain Jack was born on Lost river, near the
“Natural Bridge,” and very near the ground on which was fought the first
battle of the late Modoc war; and, further, that he never lived with any
white man; that he never has learned to speak any other than the language
of the ancient La-la-cas, or Mo-a-docs, although he may have understood
many words of the English tongue.

You will have observed that the regard for royal honors was not extinct at
the time of the death of Jack’s father, who seems to have left in the
hearts of his people the ambition to restore the ancient order of things,
by re-establishing the hereditary right to the chieftainship. This
sentiment, thus perpetuated, undoubtedly found a lodgment in the heart of
the boy, Ki-en-te-poos.

To resume the review of the first war: As told by white men, it would
appear that a wanton thirst for blood impelled the Modocs to murder
defenceless emigrants. I doubt not that many innocent persons lost their
lives; still, with my knowledge of Indian character, I am not ready to say
that provocation was wanting. While I would be careful in making up my
estimate on the validity of Indian statements, I am still willing that the
Modocs’ side of the causes of the first wars should be heard.

Old Chief Schonchin says that it grew out of a misunderstanding as to the
identity of the _Modocs_, _Snakes_, and _Pitt-river_ Indians. The
emigrants had difficulties with the Snake Indians, through whose country
they passed in reaching Oregon and California; and that he never knew what
was the cause of the first troubles between them. The Snake Indians
captured horses and mules from the emigrants, and sold them, or gambled
them, to the Pitt-river Indians, who in turn transferred them, through the
same process, to the Modocs; and that the animals found by emigrants in
possession of the Modocs were recaptured, and hence war was at last
brought about. The story seems plausible, and is certainly entitled to
some respect, coming, as it does, from a man of the character of old Chief
Schonchin. I know there is a disposition to discredit any statement made
by an Indian, simply because he _is an Indian_, and more particularly when
it comes in conflict with our prejudices to accept it as the truth. Some
white men are entitled to credit; others are not. So it is with Indians,
and, if it were possible, the disparity is even greater among them than
among white men.

Chief Schonchin, of whom I am speaking, commands respect from those who
know him best, and have known him longest. He does not deny that he was in
the early wars; that he did all in his power to exterminate his enemies.
In speaking of the wars with white men, he once remarked, in an evening
talk around a camp-fire: “I thought, if we killed all the white men we
saw, that no more would come. We killed all we could; but they came more
and more, like new grass in the spring. I looked around, and saw that many
of our young men were dead, and could not come back to fight. My heart was
sick. My people were few. I threw down my gun. I said, I will not fight
again. I made friends with the white man. I am an old man; I cannot fight
now. I want to die in peace.” To his credit be it said, that no act of
his, since the treaty of 1864, has deserved censure. He is still in
charge of the loyal Modocs, at Yai-nax station, grieving over the
waywardness of his brother John and Captain Jack.

He was not in the “Ben Wright” affair, although he was near when the
massacre occurred. His reason for not being present was because he
mistrusted that treachery was intended on the part of Wright; and,
further, that a “treaty of peace” was proposed by him, which was to be
accompanied with a feast, given by the white man; but that the talk was
“too good,”——“_promised too much_,”——and that, suspicious of the whole
affair, he kept away; that forty-six Modocs accepted the invitation to
feast with their white brethren, and that but five escaped the wholesale
butchery. Of these five, the last survivor was murdered, June, 1873,
during the cowardly attack on Fairchild’s wagon, containing the Indian
captives, near Lost river, after the surrender of Captain Jack.

Now, whether the Indian version of the Ben Wright affair is correct, or
not, that forty Indians were killed while under a flag of truce in the
hands of white men of the Ben Wright party, in 1852,——_there can be no
doubt_. The effects of this act can be traced all the way down from that
day to this, and have had much to do with making the Modocs a revengeful

The friends of Ben Wright deny that he committed an act of treachery; yet
there are persons in California who state positively that he _purchased
strychnine previous to his visit to the Modoc country, with the avowed
intention of poisoning the Indians_. Others, who were with him at the time
of the massacre, testify that _he made the attempt at poisoning_, and
finally, abandoning it, he resorted to the “peace talk” to accomplish his
purpose. The excuse for this unwarrantable act of treachery was to punish
the Modocs for the murdering of emigrants at Bloody Point, a few days

This unparalleled slaughter was perpetrated on the shore of Tu-le lake, in
September, 1852. It occurred directly opposite the “Lava Bed,” at a point
where the emigrant road touches the shore of the lake, after crossing a
desert tract of several miles, and where the mountains forced the road to
leave the high plains to effect a passage. For several hundred yards the
route ran along under a stony bluff, and near the waters of the lake. The
place was well-adapted for such hellish purposes.

The emigrant train consisted of sixty-five men, women, and children, and
the whole line of wagons was driven down into this position before the
attack was made. The Indians, secreted in the rocks at either end of the
narrow passage, attacked their hapless victims both in front and rear.
Hemmed in by high rocky bluffs on one side and the lake on the other, they
were butchered indiscriminately. Neither age nor sex were spared, save two
young girls of twelve and fourteen years of age respectively, who were
taken prisoners, and one man, who escaped.

This massacre was attended with all the circumstances of savage warfare.
Men were killed outright and scalped. Women were treated with indignities
_that words may not reveal. Even fiendish torture was surpassed, and human
language is too tame to express the horrible outrages committed on them._
Children were tortured, some of them mutilated and dismembered, while yet
alive, before the eyes of their mothers. No page in all the bloody history
of Indian cruelties exceeds that of the massacre of emigrants at Bloody
Point, by the Modocs, in September, 1852.

The two girls who were taken prisoners were allotted to some of the brave
warriors as wives. They survived for several years, and, according to
Modoc stories, were reconciled to their fate, adopting the manners and
customs of their captors. It is said that they taught the Modocs many
things pertaining to a civilized life, and that they exercised great
influence over them; that the Modoc women became jealous of their power,
and put them to death.

Near the residence of Mr. Dorris, on Cottonwood Creek, is a rocky cliff
overlooking the valley. It was from this cliff the unfortunate captives
were thrown to the rocks below, ending their lives as victims to the
jealousy of the wives and mothers of their savage captors. Evidences of
this tragedy are in existence; human skulls, and, within a few years,
locks of long hair, unlike that of Indians, have been found on the spot
indicated as the place where these captives were destroyed.

Ben Wright was a citizen of Y-re-ka. He was esteemed as a man of good
character and standing among his fellows in that early day. Born a leader,
he was selected by the miners to command a company of volunteers, who were
enlisted without authority of the Government of the United States, the
State of California, or the County of Sys-ki-you.

This company was formed, under the common law of self-protection, in the
early days of California, when Indian outrages were of common occurrence.
In the absence of regular provision for protection, the miners and
settlers, in a spirit of patriotism, volunteered to punish Indians as well
as to guard the peace of the country. Be it remembered that the massacre
at “Bloody Point” was not the only act of savage ferocity committed by the
Modocs. For five years had they been murdering the worn-out emigrants who
were en route to California and Oregon.

It was in harmony with frontier ideas of right, to punish these people for
their crimes, without taking into consideration the causes that may have
impelled them to bloody deeds. The victims were not responsible for the
acts of their predecessors on the line of travellers. However humane and
just we may feel, we cannot object to Ben Wright’s motive, though all men
who possess correct ideas of justice may deprecate the manner of avenging
the wrongs committed. Had he slain the entire tribe in fair battle, no
just condemnation could have been pronounced against him. Had he avenged
their horrible crimes by ambushing them, by his skill and cunning, no man
would have censured him; _but to violate a flag of truce, under pretence
of peace-making_, was a wrong that fair-minded men, everywhere, condemn as
an _outrage against humanity and civilization_.

If the Modocs had first been guilty of such acts of treachery,
“extermination” would justly have been the cry. Savage warfare is unworthy
of any people; but certainly it should never be surpassed by those
professing Christian civilization. Even in war they should endeavor to
teach the savage the higher laws that govern mankind.

Without stopping to moralize further, let us pursue the main facts, as
they come following each other in succession. After the Ben Wright
massacre, hostilities were continued until 1864; at which time Elisha
Steel, Esq., of Y-re-ka, who was then acting superintendent for the
northern district of California, made an informal treaty with the various
bands of Indians, and who seems to have been more an arbitrator than a
government commissioner. At all events the articles of agreement were not
ratified by Congress.

This treaty did not set forth that any consideration would be paid by the
Government for the possession of the Modoc country. Neither did it seek to
alienate the country from the Indians, but referred to the localities
where certain bands of Modocs, Schas-tas, Schas-ta-sco-tons, and Klamaths
should reside. There was also an agreement to keep peace with each other
and the whites.

It was in this council that Captain Jack was first acknowledged as a
chief, and then only after an election was had by the band that had
repudiated Schon-chin; after which Steele declared him a chief, and named
him “Captain Jack,” on account of his resemblance to a miner bearing that
name. That the Steele treaty was somewhat indefinite and unauthorized, was
given as a reason why it never was recognized by the general Government.

There may have been other and more potent reasons, however; for the Modoc
country proper is about equally divided between Oregon and California,
though the home of Captain Jack and Schon-chin was on the Oregon side of
the line. At that time the hearts of our people were much moved in behalf
of the “poor Indian.” Each State was anxious to furnish a home for him.
Whether Steele’s treaty reached Washington before or after, does not
appear. The Superintendent of Oregon was instructed to “negotiate a treaty
with all the Indians in the Klamath country, including the Modocs.”

This council met in October, 1864. The Klamaths, and also the Modocs, were
represented in the council by their chiefs; the latter by Schon-chin and
his brother John, who was afterwards associated with Captain Jack.

Captain Jack was recognized as a sub-chief. He participated in the
council; and, when terms were agreed upon, he signed the articles of
treaty in his Indian name,——Ki-en-te-poos. The idea that he was deceived
in the meaning of the treaty is absurd; though it has been repeated by
good men, without proper knowledge of the facts.

An unwarrantable sympathy for Captain Jack has been the result,——unless,
indeed, all the Indians who were parties to the treaty are to be
commiserated for having sold their birthright for an insufficient
compensation. Old chief Schon-chin has never claimed any other than the
plain meaning of the words of the treaty; which was, substantially, that
what is known as Klamath Reservation was to be the joint home of the
Klamaths and Modocs. All the other country claimed by the two tribes was
ceded to the United States, on condition that certain acts should be
performed by the Government, in a specified time. All of which has been,
and is being done, to the satisfaction of the Indians who have remained on
the Reservation. I assert this to be substantially correct. That they
made a bargain that Captain Jack wished to repudiate is true. I do not
wonder that he should do so, in view of his inherent love of royalty and
his great ambition to be a chief, and the uncertainty of his tenure of
office should he remain on the Reservation, the discipline of which was
humiliating for one whose life had been free from restraint.

The head men of the Klamaths all agree and state positively that the
treaty was fully interpreted and fairly understood by all parties, and
that Captain Jack and the whole Modoc tribe shared in the issue of goods
made at the council-ground by Superintendent Huntington, at the time of
making the treaty. The plea that Captain Jack was deceived, as
before-mentioned, is wholly unfounded. He not only understood and assented
to it, but took up his abode on the Klamath Reservation, where he remained
long enough to realize that Reservation life was not healthy for royalty.

Perhaps he had begun to see that he was to change his mode of life; also
that Schon-chin was recognized as his superior in office; and it may be
that he discovered that Klamath was not as good a country for Indian life
as the Lost-river region. It is equally certain that he raised the
standard of revolt, and finally withdrew from the Reservation, and took up
his abode at his old home on Lost river; soon after which he stated to Mr.
John A. Fairchilds that he had been cheated, and that “the treaty was a
lie;” that he had not sold his country.

He made the same statement to Esquire Steele, of Y-re-ka, who is a man of
a large and charitable heart, and who exercised great power over the
Indians, and, with his former knowledge of Captain Jack, accredited his
story concerning the swindle or cheat, and probably stated to Captain Jack
that he would try to have the matter adjusted for him.

Steele wrote several letters to the department at Washington on this
subject, and also gave letters to Jack and his people, repeating therein
Jack’s story about his being cheated, and commending him to the friendly
consideration of white people with whom he might come in contact.

Some of these letters are still in existence. I myself have read several
of them, the tenor of which was in keeping with the statement already
made,——that Jack still claimed the country, and that he was a
well-disposed Indian, etc.; but there was not _one line_, so far as I
know, that could be construed to mean that the treaty _could or should he

That Steele had friendship for Jack, there can be no doubt; and that Jack
recognized Steele as his friend and adviser is equally certain; and
whatever influence Steele’s advice may have had, it never was intended to
justify Jack in removing from the Reservation to which he belonged. I have
been thus particular in this matter, because Jack has used the name of
Steele in a way to mislead public opinion in regard to Steele’s connection
with the Modoc rebellion. Jack’s reason for leaving the Reservation in
1864 was, simply and substantially, that he had made a compact with which
he was dissatisfied. He not only misconstrued the friendship of Steele and
others, but misrepresented them in such a way as to rid himself of the
responsibility as much as possible.

Following his career, we find that, in 1865, at the request of the
citizens of Lost-river Basin, Capt. McGreggor, commander of Fort Klamath,
made an unsuccessful attempt to return Jack’s band to the Reservation;
and, also, that sub-agent Lindsay Applegate sought to remove him in 1866;
also, that in 1867 Superintendent Huntington visited the “Modoc country,”
and that Capt. Jack and his warriors took a position on the opposite side
of Lost river, and said to him that, if he attempted to cross over, he
“would fire on him.” Huntington, being unsupported, made no attempt at
crossing. He reported the matter, as others had done, to the department at
Washington; but no action was ordered. It will be seen that this same
rebel chief had eluded and defied the authority of the Government on these
three successive occasions; and yet the clemency and forbearance of the
Government were misconstrued by him and his misinformed sympathizers.

In the latter part of 1869, while on an official visit to Klamath Agency,
the Modocs first engaged my attention; and hearing then the fact above
referred to, as a reason why he had refused to obey the commands of the
government, and believing that his return, without military force, was
possible, a consultation with Agent O. C. Knapp was held. We decided to
make another effort; accordingly a courier was despatched with a message
that we would meet him at Link river. The reply was to the effect that if
we wanted to see him we must come to his country; and, further, that he
did not care to see us.

Notwithstanding this insult, we decided to visit the Modoc country in
person. Believing in the power of the right to accomplish the purpose,
even if force was necessary, we determined to go, “bearing the olive
branch;” and, also, at the same time, recognized the necessity of being
prepared for personal defence should any attack be made. A requisition was
made on Capt. Goodale, commander at Fort Klamath, for a detachment of

To the first request we received a doubtful answer, because “he had not
the men to spare.” I did not inquire of Capt. Goodale what the duties of
the soldiers were; but from others I learned that they were required for
“police duty,” or sentry duty, which meant, probably, that one-half the
soldiers were needed to guard the other half, and maybe were to wait on
the officers of the fort. A few days previous, a number of enlisted men
had deserted, and those sent in pursuit “had failed to put in an
appearance at roll-call.”

Finally, the Klamath Indians succeeded in arresting the deserters and
bringing them under guard to the fort, receiving therefor a reward for so
doing. This fort was built, and has been kept up at an enormous expense,
to secure the peace of the country. It has been an advantage to both white
men and Indians,——the one finding a market for hay and grain; the other, a
market for the articles manufactured by their women,——moccasins, etc.; and
the men an opportunity to make greenbacks by hunting and arresting

Capt. Goodale finally detailed a small squad of men, under command of a
non-commissioned officer, for the purpose requested, as stated heretofore.

We left Klamath Agency on the morning of the third of December, 1869,
destined for the home of the Modocs, accompanied by Agent O. C. Knapp, of
Klamath, I. D. Applegate in charge of Yai-nax, and W. C. McKay, together
with teamsters, guides, and interpreters; also, two Klamath Indian women.
Ordering the soldiers to follow us as far as Link river, there to await
further orders, we pushed on, leaving the teams with our supplies to
follow into the Modoc country on the morning of the twenty-second of
December, 1869.

The route from Link river is through a sage-brush plain, and following
down the west bank of Lost river.

Lost river is the outlet or connecting link between Clear lake and Tule
lake. After leaving the former, it flows under ground several miles, and
again coming to the surface, empties into the latter. For this reason it
was named “Lost river.” It is a deep, narrow stream, with but few
fording-places. In March of each year it is a great fishery. None of the
same species of fish are found elsewhere; it possesses the appearance of a
species of white trout, excepting the head and mouth, which is after the
sucker species. The flesh is rich and nutritious, and so abundant are they
that they are taken with rude implements, such as sharpened sticks and
pitchforks, and are even caught with the hand, when they are running over
the ripples or fords.

A courier sent by the Modoc Peace Commission, with despatches to Yai-nax,
having occasion to cross Lost river while en route, reported, on his
return, having difficulty in crossing this stream on account of the
immense numbers of fish running against the horse’s legs, and frightening
him. A pretty big fish story, but not incredible.

When within a few miles of the Modoc camp, we espied four Indians coming
on ponies. As we approached, they, forming a line across the road,
exclaimed “Kaw-tuk!” (Stop!) They were each armed with a rifle and
revolver. Our party carried, each man, a Henry rifle and a navy
six-shooter. A short parley ensued, they determining to know our business,
and would allow no farther advance until their demand was recognized.

We stated, in substance, that we were anxious to see Captain Jack and his
people on important business.

The Indians replied, “that they did not wish to talk with us; they had no
business with us, and that we had better turn back.” Three times had they
defied, intimidated, or eluded officers of the Government previously, and
were now trying to evade a meeting by bluffing our party.

We had started to visit these people, and, in western parlance, “we were
going.” Pushing past the Indians, we started on a brisk gallop, they
turning around and running ahead of us. After a brisk ride of four miles
we came in sight of the Modoc town, situated on the western bank of the
river about one mile above the “Natural Bridge,” and within sight of the
newly-made mounds of the State line.

The “Natural Bridge” is a ledge of rocks, twenty feet in width, spanning
the river. It was used in early days of emigration, to cross the river. At
the time of our visit it was two feet under water, but on either bank,
approaching the bridge, were unmistakable evidences of wagon travel. On
the western side the old road leads out through the sage-brush plains, and
may be easily traced with the eye for several miles. This “Natural
Bridge” has been gradually sinking. The early emigrants crossed over it
when it was a few feet above the water; then, at a later date, the water
had risen one or two feet above it; and yet neither the river nor the lake
appear to be higher than they were when first visited by white men.

                              CHAPTER XX.


The Modoc town was composed of thirteen lodges, built after the model of
Klamath’s Indian houses. A circular, oblong excavation, twenty or thirty
feet in length and twelve wide, is first made. Then posts, two feet apart,
are set in the centre and at each end. On these posts are placed timbers
running lengthwise of the structure. Poles, or split logs, fifteen feet in
length, are placed, with the lower end resting on the ground, while the
upper end is fastened to the tops of the posts. Matting, made of “tule
grass,” is spread over the slanting timbers, and then the earth thrown
out, in making the excavation, is piled upon the matting to a depth of
twelve inches. No windows are made, and there is but one entrance which
opens between the timbers mentioned as resting on posts at the top of the
lodge. This long, narrow opening is approached from the outside by steps
made in the earthen covering. From the inside hangs a ladder made of
rawhide ropes. The windows, door, and chimneys are one and the same. The
first glance at these houses suggests war, and a second confirms the idea
that these people are always ready for an attack.

On our arrival at the town it appeared to be deserted, excepting the few
Indians who returned with us. They having dismounted, one of them rushed
up the rude stairway outside the largest lodge, and disappeared. This was
the home of the “Chief.” Our party dismounted and prepared to follow our
guide. A watchman on the house-top said, “One man come! no more!” I had
partly ascended the steps when the peremptory order came. It sounded
ominous, and recalled “Bloody Point,” and “Ben Wright.” It was too late to
turn back in the presence of savages.

When I reached the door, at the top of the lodge, and through the opening
met the eyes of fifty painted warriors, I felt as if I was in the wrong
place; but I dare not then show any signs of fear, or retrace my steps. I
may not find words to express my thoughts and feelings as I descended the
rawhide ladder, half expecting a shower of arrows, or bullets;
half-wondering how they would feel. _I did not know then,——I have learned
since._ On descending, I was met with a cold reception, that froze my
blood; a feeling I cannot describe. Captain Jack looked in my face with a
sullen glitter in his eye, that no white man could imitate. He refused to
shake hands, to speak, or smoke, and in fact it was evident that I was not
only an unwelcome visitor, but was looked upon as an enemy.

Coolly lighting my pipe, I began trying to make the best of a bad job;
meanwhile enduring the stare from all eyes,——and a stare of that kind that
none can understand who has never felt the same; an expression cold and
scornful, but burning with hatred, was on every countenance. I have beheld
but one other scene that was more indescribable, and that was the “Lava
Bed” tragedy on April 11th, 1873. A terrible kind of loneliness came over
me, and for a while I thought the chances _about even_ whether I would
get out again or not.

Finally “Scarfaced Charley” broke the stillness by asking, “What you want?
What for you come? Jack he not send for you! He got no business with you!
He no don’t want to talk! He in his country! What for you come here? You
not him ty-ee! He don’t know you! Hal-lu-i-me-til-li-cum,——(you stranger)!
Captain Jack want to see you, him come your home! He no want you come
here! You go away! Let him ’lone! He no want talk you! You go away!”

This is substantially the first Modoc speech I ever heard. The result,
however, was to break the ice, to open the way for conversation. I stated
then that I was a new chief, sent by the President, to care for all the
Indians, Modocs included, and that I was _their_ ty-ee. I had some new
things to talk about. Whether they were my friends or not, I was their
friend. I had come to see my boys, and I wanted a hearing. I was not
afraid to talk, not afraid to hear Captain Jack talk; I was a big chief,
and did not ask my own boys when to talk. When I had ended my first speech
to the Modocs, Captain Jack replied:——

“I have nothing to say that you would like to hear. All your people are
_liars_ and _swindlers_. I do not believe half that is told me. I am not
afraid to hear you talk.” I then proposed to have my friends, who were
waiting outside, come in. This was agreed to, and Captain Jack produced a
parcel of papers, that had been given to him by various persons, including
letters from “Steele,” also from Esq. Potter, and John Fairchild. These
were submitted to me, and treated with consideration, thereby securing a
certain kind of respectful hearing, on the part of Captain Jack, to the
proposition for him to provide a camp for our company.

Having thus started negotiations, Jack proffered the use of his lodge,
saying that he had no muck-a-muck (meaning provision) that we could eat;
that his stores afforded only roots and dried fish, that he had no flour,
no coffee, no sugar, no _whiskey_, and did not think a white chief could
get along without these things, etc. He, however, ordered a camp prepared
for us, which was done by making small holes in the ground, two or three
feet apart, with “camas sticks,”——a sharp-pointed instrument, of either
iron, bone, or hard wood, and about three feet long, with a handle at the
upper end, generally in the shape of a cross, and is used very much as a
gardener does a spade, by Indian women in digging roots. Into these holes
were inserted willows, eight feet in length, forming a circle twenty feet
in diameter, lapping past at one point,——thus making an entrance, very
much like the opening of a circus pavilion,——the whole surrounded with
mattings, the upper part drawn in, thus contracting the yielding tops of
the willow poles until the camp was made to resemble a huge bowl, with
bottom out, in an inverted position. This kind of work is usually done by
Indian women; but, to the credit of the young men of the Modoc tribe be it
said, that they, in this instance at least, assisted them, and did not
allow their women to be mere help-meets, but principals in mechanical
enterprises of the kind named, including also “getting wood.” Sage brush
is the principal fuel in this region of country; and since so much of the
Great Basin lying between the Rocky mountains on the east, and Sierra
Nevada, and Cascade mountains on the west, is covered with this kind of
growth, and since comparatively few of my readers may have ever seen it
for themselves, I may remark here, by way of explanation, that this “sage
brush” is a soft, flexible shrub, the woody part being porous, and filled
with a gummy substance; the bark is of a grayish color, soft and ragged,
and easily stripped off; the leaf is small, of such a color, shape and
taste as very much resembles the domestic plant, from which it takes its
name; the body is short, crooked and forked, seldom exceeds four inches in
diameter or four feet in height; burns readily, either green or dry,
making a very hot fire, though of short life, yielding abundant ashes and
beds of coals.

A plentiful supply of this fuel was piled up around our camp. A fresh fish
was taken from the river by the Indians, which, when roasted in the
sage-brush embers, made a not unpalatable meal. We spread our
saddle-blankets down for bedding, placed one of the party “on guard,”
while the remainder slept, or went through the motion of sleeping; for we
would not have cared for the Indians to know that we could not and dare
not sleep. The morrow came, and the wagons having brought our supplies, we
were prepared to offer a feast of coffee and sugar, hard-bread, beef, and

_No Modoc would eat_ until our party had partaken. Some folks may think
their good-breeding had taught them to defer to their superiors; but such
was not the case. The reason was expressed in these few words: “Remember
Ben Wright;” which was said in the Modoc language, thus explaining why
they did not partake. When, however, they had witnessed that the
provisions prepared for the feast were eaten by our party, they were
reassured, and another point was gained.

Nothing so quickly dissolves the ice in an Indian breast as a feast. The
council was opened with Frank Riddle and his Modoc woman, Tobey, as
interpreter. I mention this fact, because they have become prominent
characters in the history of the late Modoc war. They had been sent for by
Captain Jack; in fact, he was not willing to proceed without them.

Frank Riddle is a white man, about thirty years of age, a native of
Kentucky. He anticipated Greeley, going West when a very young man, and
engaged in mining at Y-re-ka, Cal. Twelve years ago, on a bright morning
in March, an old Indian rode up to Frank’s cabin, and stopped before the
door. On a small pony behind the old man sat a young Indian girl, of Modoc
blood, twelve years of age.

The man was of royal lineage, being a descendant of Mo-a-doc-us, founder
of the tribe, and was uncle of the now famous Captain Jack. After sitting
in silence, Indian fashion, staring in the cabin door for a few minutes,
he made a motion by a toss of his head, and pouted out his lips toward the
young squaw behind him. This pantomime said to Frank, “Do you want to buy
a squaw?”

Frank was a fine-looking, dark-eyed young fellow, and withal a clever man,
of genial disposition, with native pride of ancestry, still holding to the
memory of his home, and the image of a fair-haired girl who had “swung
school-baskets” with him in the beach woods of Shelby county, Kentucky.
He shook his head. The old man’s face indicated his disappointment. The
girl on the pony slowly turned away, followed by her father.

Four days passed, and this Indian girl and her father again appeared at
Frank’s cabin. In sign language she made known her wish to be his slave,
and that he would buy her from her father. The young Kentuckian,
chivalrous as his people always are, treated her kindly; but, remembering
his fair-haired girl, refused to instal this Indian maiden as mistress of
his home. Ten days passed; the dark-eyed girl came again, _alone_,
bringing with her a wardrobe, consisting of such articles as Indian women
manufacture,——sashes and baskets, shells, beads, and little trinkets.

She was attired with woman’s taste, conforming to the fashions of her
people. Her dark eyes, with long lashes, smooth, round, soft face, of more
than usual pretensions to beauty, lithe figure, and dainty feet in
moccasins, all combined to give a romantic air to the jaunty young maiden;
and, when animated with the promptings of love for the young Kentuckian,
made her an eloquent advocate in her own behalf. The chivalrous fellow
_hesitated_. He _pitied_. He _trembled_ on the brink. The dark eyes before
him pleaded. The blue eyes, far away, dissolved reproachingly from view.
The hopes of youth, and the air-castles that two loving hearts had built
in years agone, began to vanish. They disappeared, and——and in their stead
a rude cabin in romantic wilds, with a warm-hearted, loving, dusky-faced
companion, became a living, actual _reality_.

The day following, the father of this Indian woman was richer by two
horses. The cabin of Frank Riddle put on a brighter air. The mistress
assumed charge of the camp-kettle and the frying-pan. The tin plates were
cast aside, and dishes of finer mould mounted the tables at the command of
a pair of brown hands.

Riddle, having broken his vows, and forsaken his boyhood idol, set to work
now to make the untamed girl worthy to fill the place in his heart from
which she had driven another. She was apt at learning, and soon only the
semblance of a squaw remained in the dusky cheeks and brown hands. Seven
years pass, and Frank Riddle and his woman Tobey appear in the Modoc
council on Lost river, December, 1869.

[Illustration: TOBEY AND RIDDLE.]

We made the opening speech in that council, setting forth the reasons for
our visit and producing the treaty of 1864. Here Captain Jack began to
manifest the same kind of disposition that has been so prominent in his
subsequent intercourse with government officials,——a careful, cautious
kind of diplomacy, that does not come to a point, but continually seeks to
shirk responsibility.

He denied that he was a party to the treaty of October, 1864, or that he
signed the paper. Doctor McKay, old Chief Schonchin, and sub-Chief Blo of
Klamath were brought forward, and his allegations disproved completely; we
fully and clearly establishing the fact that he was present at that treaty
council, and that he put his hand to the pen, when his mark was made; that
he accepted and shared with the other Indians the goods issued by
Superintendent Huntington in confirmation of the treaty. The amount of
goods issued I cannot state; but I find that Huntington had an
appropriation of $20,000, to meet the expenses of said treaty council,
and, I doubt not, issued $5,000 or $10,000 worth of goods. All agree that
it was a liberal supply of goods, and I believe it to be true.

Captain Jack, seeing that “he was cornered,” began to quibble about what
part of the Reservation he was to go on to. This was met with the
proposition that he could _have any_ unoccupied land. Finding his
objections all fairly met, he finally said, that, if he could live near
his friend, Link-river Jack, he _would go_. We began to “breathe easy,”
feeling that the victory was ours, when the Modoc medicine-man arose, and
simply said, “Me-ki-gam-bla-ke-tu,” (We won’t go there); when, presto!
from exultation every countenance was changed to an expression of anxiety,
and every hand grasped a revolver.

The moment was fraught with peril. The least wavering then, on our part,
would have precipitated a fight, the result of which would have been
doubtful as to how many, and who, of our party would have come out alive.
It is quite certain that, had a fight ensued, what has since startled our
people would have been anticipated, and that the name of Captain Jack
would have passed away with but little notice from among the savage

It was there I first heard those terrible words, a part of which have
since become famous, uttered but a moment before the attack on the Peace
Commission, on April 11, 1873——“Ot-we-kau-tux-e,”——meaning, in this
instance, “I am done talking;” or, when used in other connections, “All
ready!” or, “The time has come!” or, “Quit talking.” The vocabularies of
all Indian languages are very small; hence, a word depends, to a great
extent, on its connection, for its meaning and power. It was just at this
point that the woman, Tobey Riddle, who has since proved her sagacity and
her loyalty, arose to her feet, and said in Modoc tongue to her people:
“Mo-lok-a ditch-e ham-konk lok-e sti-nas mo-na gam-bla ot-we,”——(“The
white chief talks right. His heart is good or strong. Go with him now!”)
Frank Riddle joined the woman Tobey in exhorting the Modocs to be quiet,
to be careful, using such words as tend to avert, what we all saw was
liable to happen any instant, a terrible scene of blood.

Dr. McKay, whose long experience had given him much sagacity, arose
quickly to his feet, saying in English, “Be on your guard! Don’t let them
get the drop on us.” Captain Jack started to retire when I intercepted
him, saying, “Don’t leave me now; I am your friend, but I am not afraid of
you. Be careful what you do! We mean peace, but are ready for war. We will
not begin; but if you do, it shall be the end of your people. You agreed
to go with us, and you shall do it. We are ready. Our wagons are here to
carry your old people and children. We came for you, and we are not going
back without you. You must go!”

He asked “what I would do, if he did not.” I told him plainly that we
would _whip him_ until he was willing. He then wanted to know _where_ my
men were that was to whip him. I pointed to my small squad of men. I shall
never forget his reply. “I would be ashamed to fight so few men with all
my boys.” I replied, that it was force enough to kill _some Modocs_,
before we were all dead; that when we were killed more white men would

Not having very strong faith in his _pride_ about fighting so few men, I
informed him that I had soldiers coming to help us, but that we came on to
try _talking first_, and then when that failed we would send for them to
come; finally stating to him that he could make up his mind to _go_ with
us on the morrow, or _fight_, and that in the meanwhile we would be ready
at any time for him to begin, if he wished to. He said then what he
repeated many times to Peace Commissioners on last spring,——that “he would
not fire the first shot,” but if we did, “he was not afraid to die.” It
was finally agreed that he should have until the next morning to make
answer what he would do, and that at that time he should report his

This ended my first official council with the Modocs. Captain Jack
withdrew to his lodge to have a grand “pow-wow,” leaving our party to
determine what was the next thing for us to do. We realized that we were
“in great danger.” No one dissented from the opinion that peril was
menacing our party. Our only hope was to put on a brave front. Retreat at
that hour was impossible, with even chances for escape. We despatched a
messenger, under pretence of hunting our horses,——we dared not send him
boldly on the mission without excuses,——with orders for our military squad
at Linkville, twenty-five miles from Modoc camp, to rendezvous at a point
within hearing of our guns, and that, in the event of alarm, to “charge
the camp,” but in _no other_ event to come until the next morning.

Having despatched the courier, we carefully inspected our arms,
consisting of Henry rifles and navy revolvers. Captain Knapp’s experience
as an officer of the rebellion and McKay’s longer experience as an Indian
fighter, together with the frontier life of the remainder, made our little
party somewhat formidable, though inadequate to what might at any moment
become a fearful trial of strength.

In this connection it should be understood that at that time the Modocs
were very poorly armed with old muskets, and a few rifles and
old-fashioned pistols.

The Indians have great reverence and unlimited faith in their
“medicine-men.” This is peculiar to all Indians, but to none more so than
the Modocs. While our party were invoking Almighty aid and preparing for
the worst that might come, the Modoc medicine-man was invoking the spirits
of departed warriors for aid. While the medicine-man was making medicine,
Captain Jack was holding a council with his braves, discussing the
situation, depending somewhat on the impression to be made from the
medicine camp, and fully trusting therein. I have since learned that the
same man, who subsequently proposed the assassination of the Peace
Commission in the “Lava Bed,” in 1873, made the proposition to kill our
party in 1869, which, to the credit of Captain Jack, he promptly opposed
at that time as he did the other.

Now, if there had been a trial of strength between the good and the bad,
we should not have been worthy to represent Elijah; but the Modocs filled
the position of Ahab, and they made medicine and called loudly on their
gods, but failed therein, as Baal did Ahab. As men will do, our soldier
squad disregarded or overlooked the instruction to await the signal to
“charge camp,” for the charge _was made_ in a style that would have done
great credit at any subsequent period in the late Modoc war. There was
_spirit_ at the bottom of this unexpected movement of the soldiers; not
such spirits as the Modoc medicine-man invoked, but regular “forty-rod

On leaving Link river, they had secured the “company of a bottle,” and,
the night being cold, they had resorted to its warming influences. The
consequence was that, when they arrived at the appointed place to await
orders, they forgot to stop, and came into the camp on full gallop. The
horses’ feet on the frozen ground, the breaking of sage brush, rattling of
sabres, all combined, made a noise well calculated to produce sudden fear
in the minds of all parties. Our men were all under arms and discussing
the situation.

The medicine-man was going through his incantations, accompanied by the
songs of the old women, whose sounds still linger on my ear, as they came
to our camp, wafted by the breeze from the lake. It was past midnight, and
still the great council was in session, debating the treachery proposed;
it had not been voted on at that time. Subsequent reports declare that
Schonchin’s John had spoken in favor of the measure. Captain Jack was
making a speech against it at the time the soldiers appeared.

For a few moments the scene was one of indescribable confusion; the
medicine-man cut short his prayers; the war council was broken up; and
Indian braves came out of the lodge without waiting for the ceremonies of
even savage courtesy, but “pell-mell” they went into the sage brush, each
one taking with him his arms. A guard was immediately placed, surrounding
the whole camp; Capt. Knapp giving orders to allow no one to pass the
picket lines.

Few eyes closed in sleep that night; daylight disclosed a complete circle
of bayonets, and inside about two hundred men, women, and children; but
the brave Captain Jack was not there; nor was “Schonchin’s John,” or
“Ellen’s Man,” or “Curly Head Doctor;” they had retired to the “Lava Bed.”
We issued an order for all Indians to form in a line; they were reassured
that no one should be harmed; that they should be protected, clothed, and
cared for, but that all the arms must be delivered up. This request
brought out professions and promises of friendship; but the order had been
made and must be obeyed.

The Indians refused compliance, and a file of soldiers was ordered to
seize the arms; for a few moments the excitement was intense; every man of
our party stood ready for “business,” while the arms of the Modocs were
seized, and a guard placed over them. The aspect presented by the Modoc
camp was one that will not soon be forgotten by our party; the old, the
young, the middle-aged, the crippled, and ragged, nearly all making
professions of loyalty, and rejoicing at the turn events had taken.

Provisions were issued for them, and order made for them to gather up the
ponies and prepare for removal. This morning was the first time I heard
“Queen Mary’s” voice; she is a sister of Ki-en-te-poos,——Captain
Jack,——and this fact gave her great power over him. She has been
pronounced “Queen of the Modocs,” on account of her beauty and power; she
was, probably, the most sagacious individual belonging to the band. This
Indian queen has had many opportunities for _improvement_, having been
sold to five or six white men in the last ten years.

While she has induced so many different men to buy her of her brother, she
has made each one, in turn, anxious to return her to her people; but not
until she had squandered all the money she could command. It has been
denied that Captain Jack was ever a party to these several matrimonial
speculations; but more strongly asserted, by those who ought to know, that
“Queen Mary” has been a great source of wealth to him. I am of that
opinion myself, after weighing all the facts in the case.

On the morning in question Mary appeared to plead for her absent brother,
that he might be forgiven, saying that he was no coward, but that he was
scared; that he was not to blame for running, and that she could induce
him to return. It was finally arranged that she should go to the “Lava
Bed” in company with our guide, Gus Horn, and assure her brother that no
harm had befallen the camp, and none would fall on them.

One day was spent in collecting the Indian ponies, taking Indian
provisions from the “caches,” and negotiating with the runaways for their
return, which was not accomplished. The following morning the camp was
broken up, and all the Indians, big and little, old and young,——as we
supposed at the time,——were started to the Reservation. Some were on
ponies, many of them on our wagons, and perhaps a few on foot.

We reached Link river, where fires had been made, beef and flour
prepared, and by nine, P.M., everybody seemed contented, except the
personal friends of the runaways.

Messengers were kept on the road between our camp and the “Lava Beds”
almost constantly for the three days we remained at Link river. Finally
the great chief surrendered, and “came in,” on assurances that “the
Klamaths should not be permitted to make sport of him, and call him a
coward for running from our small force.” This, then, was the ultimatum,
and was accepted, and, as far as possible, kept faithfully on our part.

The sight presented by Captain Jack and his men, when they arrived at Link
river, if it could have been witnessed by those who have taken so great an
interest in him, would have dispelled all ideas of a “Fennimore Cooper

I cannot forbear mentioning an incident characteristic of the Modocs.
While waiting for Jack and his remaining braves, I accidentally learned
that an old woman had been left in camp on Lost river, and, asking for the
reason, was told that she was too old to dig roots, or to work, and they
had left her some wood and water, and a “little grub,” enough for her to
die easy on. A pair of new blankets, bread, sugar and meat, were prepared
to send her; also a horse to ride, and volunteers asked for, to bring the
old woman in. Not a volunteer came forward, save a “young buck,” who was
willing, _provided_ he could have the blankets and pony, should he find
her dead, or if she should die on the road. It needed no reflection to
understand that _that_ meant _murder_.

After much difficulty, the family to whom the old squaw belonged was
found, and a man and woman sent after her, with the warning, that if they
failed to bring her they must suffer the consequences. They insisted on
being _paid_ in advance for their labor. They _were not paid_, but they
brought her in alive, but so weak that she had to be held on the horse,
the squaw sitting behind her. It is said the Indian has no gratitude, but
this old woman refuted that assertion.

On the arrival of Captain Jack’s party, arrangements were made to proceed
at once to Klamath Reservation. On the morning of Dec. 27th we started on
our way. At the request of Captain Jack and his representative men, the
squad of soldiers were sent forward to the fort; the Indians claiming that
their presence made the women and children afraid; and that, having
surrendered their arms, they were powerless to do harm, and had no desire
to turn back. It may be thought a strange concession to make; but with
their arms in our possession, we _made it_; thus proving our confidence in
Indian integrity, by relieving them of the presence of the soldiers. We
were safe, and had no fear of the result.

The morning was intensely cold, and the road led over a high mountain
covered with snow to the depth of twenty inches. On the 28th we arrived at
Modoc Point, Klamath Reservation. We were met by a large delegation of
agency Indians. The meeting and peace-making of these people, who had been
enemies so long, was one of peculiar interest and full of incident, worthy
of being recorded. I pass over the first day, by saying that the Klamaths
were much chagrined when we issued an order, at the request of Jack,
against gambling.

Had we not done so, much confusion of property and domestic relation would
have ensued. These people are inveterate gamblers, and in fits of madness
have been known to stake their wives and daughters on the throw of a
stick, sometimes a card. The second day we set apart for a meeting of
reconciliation. A line was established between the Modoc and Klamath camp,
and a place designated for the forthcoming meeting, at the foot of a
mountain and beneath a wide-spreading pine tree.

The Klamaths formed on one side of the line, and awaited the arrival of
the Modocs, who came reluctantly, apparently half afraid; Captain Jack
taking a position fronting Allen David,——the Klamath chief,——and only a
few feet distant. There stood these warrior chieftains, unarmed, gazing
with Indian stoicism into each other’s faces. No words were spoken for a
few moments. The thoughts that passed through each mind may never be
known, but, perhaps, were of bloody battles past, or of the possible

The silence was broken on our part, saying, “You meet to-day in peace, to
bury all the bad past, to make friends. You are of the same blood, of the
same heart. You are to live as neighbors. This country belongs to you, all
alike. Your interests are one. You can shake hands and be friends.”

A hatchet was laid in the open space, a twig of pine was handed each
chieftain,——Allen David and Captain Jack,——as they advanced, each stooping
and covering the axe with the pine boughs; planting their feet upon it,
they looked into each other’s eyes a moment, and shook hands with a
long-continued grasp, but spoke no word. As each retired to his position
outside of the line, the sub-chiefs and head men came forward, two at a
time, and followed the example of the chieftains, until all had exchanged
the pledge of friendship, and then resumed their respective places. Allen
David broke the silence in a speech of great power,——and such a speech as
none but an Indian orator can make. I have listened to some of the most
popular speakers in America, but I do not remember ever having heard a
speech more replete with meaning, or one much more logical, and certainly
none exhibiting more of nature’s oratory. It was not of that kind taught
inside brick walls, but that which God gives to few, and gives but
sparingly. I repeat it as reported by Dr. McKay.

Fixing his eye intently on Captain Jack, and raising himself to his full
proportion of six feet in height, he began in measured sentences full of
pathos: “I see you. I see your eyes. Your skin is red like my own. I will
show you my heart. We have long been enemies. Many of our brave muck-a-lux
(people) are dead. The ground is black with their blood. Their bones have
been carried by the ‘Cayotes,’ to the mountains, and scattered among the
rocks. Our people are melting away like snow. We see the white chief is
strong. The law is strong. We cannot be Indians longer. We must take the
white man’s law. The law our fathers had is dead. The white chief brought
you here. We have made friends. We have washed each other’s hands; they
are not bloody now. We are friends. We have buried all the bad blood. We
will not dig it up again. The white man sees us. Soch-e-la Ty-ee.——God is
looking at our hearts. The sun is a witness between us; the mountains are
looking on us.” Turning to the great tree, with a sublime gesture: “This
pine-tree is a witness, O my people! When you see this tree, remember it
is a witness that here we made friends with the Mo-a-doc-as. Never cut
down that tree. Let the arm be broke that would hurt it; let the hand die
that would break a twig from it. So long as snow shall fall on Yai-nax
mountain, let it stand. Long as the waters run in the river, let it stand.
Long as the white rabbit shall live in the man-si-ne-ta (groves), let it
stand. Let our children play round it; let the young people dance under
its leaves, and let the old men smoke together in its shade. Let this tree
stand there forever, as a witness. I have done.”

Captain Jack, on assuming an attitude peculiar to himself, with his eye
fixed intently on the Klamath chief, began in a low, musical voice,
half-suppressed, half hesitatingly: “The white chief brought me here. I
feel ashamed of my people, because they are poor. I feel like a man in a
strange country without a father. My heart was afraid. I have heard your
words; they warm my heart. I am not strange now. The blood is all washed
from our hands. We are enemies no longer. We have buried the past. We have
forgotten that we were enemies. We will not throw away the white chief’s
words. We will not hide them in the grass. I have planted a strong stake
in the ground. I have tied myself with a strong rope. I will not dig up
the stake. I will not break the rope. My heart is the heart of my people.
I am their words. I am not speaking for myself. I speak their hearts. My
heart comes up to my mouth. I cannot keep it down with a sharp stick. I am

No doubt that, at the time of making this speech, Captain Jack really
meant all he said; and if he failed to make good his promises, there were
reasons that may not entitle him or his people to censure for the failure.
Certainly no peace-making could have been more sincere, or promised more
for the settlement of the Modoc troubles. The remainder of the day was
passed in exchanging friendships (ma-mak-sti-nas). Preparations were
completed for issuing annuity goods to the Modocs.

Other Indians had been previously served, but this was but the second time
that the Modocs had ever received goods from the Government, in conformity
with the treaty stipulations of 1864. For five years the goods had been
regularly furnished and distributed to the Klamaths and the few Modocs who
remained faithful to the compact. If Captain Jack’s band had not received
goods, it was not the fault of the Government or its agents, but because
they wilfully refused to obey the orders of Government officers, by
remaining away from the home they had accepted.

The goods provided were of the best quality, delivered on contract, and
with packages unbroken, and in presence of Capt. Goodale, U. S. Army, then
in command of Fort Klamath; and they were distributed among his people.
Captain Jack and his head men were seated in the midst of a semi-circle,
with the other men on each side, the women in front, in half-circular
rows; the children still in front of these, on either hand. When all were
seated, the packages were broken, and the goods prepared for issue.
Captain Jack and his sub-chiefs received two pairs of blankets each, one
pair to each of his head men, and one blanket to every other man, woman,
and child, except _six very small children, who were given one-half a
blanket each_. They were all-wool, “eight-pound” Oregon blankets, and
overweighed, by actual test, nearly one-half pound per pair. In addition,
each man received a woollen shirt and cloth for one pair of pants; each
woman and child, one flannel dress pattern, with liberal supply of thread,
needles, and buttons. I have been thus particular about the facts
concerning this issue, because much sympathy has been manifested for the
Modocs on account of the wrongs said to have been practised against them.
After the distribution, the Modocs, proud of their new goods, retired to
their camps, on the shores of the lake.

The “Peace Tree,” under which the issue was made, was on a sloping
hill-side, overlooking the valley, and commanding a view of the camp of
Captain Jack. Let us see them, as they trudge homeward, with their rich
prizes. They do not go like the Indians with their blankets around them,
and feathers streaming in the wind. Since their retreat from the
Reservation they have associated with and learned many of the manners and
customs of civilized white people. Nevertheless they presented a
picturesque appearance,——old and young, loaded down with goods, flour and
beef, apparently happy; and I doubt not they were happy.

Their camps, scattered promiscuously along the edge of the water, were
constructed of various materials. A few were ordinary tents, others made
over a frame of willow poles, covered with matting, blankets, wagon
sheets, and such other material as could be pressed into service. The
ponies are scattered over the plain, cropping the winter grass, or tied up
waiting for the owner’s return.

The inside of the camps are always “cluttered,”——a Yankee word, which
means in confusion and disorder. The women proceed to stow away the new
dresses in baskets and sacks, or spread them for bedding; the men to smoke
and wait until the feast is made ready from the supplies of flour and beef
provided. They have been cheated out of what some eastern people would
consider the best part of the beef,——the “head and pluck.” That delectable
part of the animal had been captured by the waiting Klamath squaws at the
time of the slaughtering. Squaws have the smelling qualities of a war
horse, “that scents the battle from afar.” At every slaughter they were
sure to arrive in time to secure the aforesaid “head and pluck,” which,
with them, means everything except dressed meat. Even the feet are eaten.
First throwing them on the fire and burning them awhile, they then cut off
the scorched parts to eat. The foot is again conveyed to the fire, until
fairly charred; again stripped, and so on, until but little is left, and
that little does not resemble an ox’s foot very much.

The head is cooked in better shape. A hole is dug in the ground, in which
a fire is made, and, when burned down, the embers are removed, and the
head of the old Government ox is dropped in just as it left the butcher’s
hands. Hair, horns, and all are covered up with ashes and coals, a fire
made over it and left to cook. After a few hours it is removed, and is
then ready to serve up; or rather it (the head) is placed upon the ground,
and the hungry Indians, each armed with a knife, surround it and proceed
to carve and eat. Portions that may be too raw are then thrown on the
coals and charred; even the bones are eaten. Among the old and poor
people, they carefully preserve their respective ox’s feet, and, when in
want, throw them on the coals, and the meal is prepared in short order.

Uncivilized Indians have no regular hour for meals, but generally each one
consults convenience, seldom eating together except on feast occasions.
Neither have they regular hours for sleeping or rising, each member of a
family or tribe consulting their own pleasure.

While we watch the novel scenes of Indians “getting wood,” water, cooking,
and eating, we see the enterprising young Klamaths——now released from the
order forbidding their hurrying down to the Modoc camps——hasten there,
some to renew old acquaintance, others to tell in soft tones to the
listening ears of Modoc maidens the tale that burdened their hearts, and
to negotiate for new wives; or it may be, through the mediation of a
“deck” of greasy cards, to persuade the Modocs to divide goods with them.

These Klamath boys had received their new clothes a few days previous, and
had soiled them enough to make them comport well with Indian toilets.
While we are engaged making observations, cast the eye westward over the
valley of the Klamath, and see the huge shadows approach like great moving
clouds, until suddenly they start up the sloping hill-side towards us.
Look closely now at the sun resting a moment on the summit of Mount
McGlaughlin. See it settle slowly, as though splitting the crown of the
mountain in twain, until, while you gaze, he drops quickly out of sight.
Little children say he has burned a hole in the mountain, and buried
himself there. But, oh, the shadows have crept over us, and we feel the
chill which ensues. Look above and behind us, and see them climb the rocky
crags until we are all “in the shadow.”

We now see our teamster boys piling high the pitch-pine logs, and soon the
crackling flames begin to paint fresh shadows round us. The dark forms of
long-haired men gather in circles round the fire; for we are to have a
“cultus wa-wa,” (a big free talk). White men and Indians change their base
as smoke or flame compels, and all, in half gloomy silence, wait the
signal to begin. A white man speaks first of his people, their laws,
religion, and habits; tells how law is made; how the white man found his
religion; the history of the Bible; extols his own faith, and labors to
reconcile in untutored minds the difference betwixt good and bad, right
and wrong, and by simple lessons to instil the great precepts of

The red man listens with sober face and thoughtful brow. When opportunity
is made, he puts queries about many things they do not know. This is not
an official council, so all feel free to speak. An old Indian, with his
superstitious habits and ideas clinging to him, like a worn-out blanket in
tatters, clutching the old with one hand, and with the other reaching out
for the new, rises, and with great dignity tells of the religious faith of
his fathers, and makes apology for their ignorance and his own; says, “I
have long heard of this religion of the white man. I have heard about the
‘Holy Spirit’ coming to him. I wonder if it would ever come to my people.
I am old, I cannot live long. May be it has come now. I feel like a new
kind of fire was in my heart. May be you have brought this ‘Holy Spirit.’

“I think you have. When you came here first we were all in bad blood. Now
I see Klamaths, Modocs, Snakes, and Ya-hoo-skins, all around me like
brothers. No common man could do this. May be _you are a holy spirit_.
When I was a young man I saw a white man on his knee telling the ‘Holy
Spirit’ to come. May be the Great Spirit sent you with it.”

This old man, whose name was Link-river Joe, had attended a meeting held
by Rev. A. F. Waller, at the Dallas Methodist Mission, twenty years
before, and had still retained some of the impressions made at that time.

Old man Chi-lo-quin said he had often heard that the white man could tell
when the sun would turn black a long time before it happened,——referring
to the eclipse,——and inquired how the white man knew so much. This was
explained until the old fellow said he thought he knew how it was; but I
doubt it. Thus the last night of 1869 wore away with questions and
answers. Finally we mentioned that “to-morrow will be the New Year.” The
question was asked, how we knew it was so. Never have I seen an audience
of five or six hundred persons so eager for information. We proposed to
explain, and, holding up a watch, said to them, that when all the “little
sticks” on its face were in a row together, the old year would die in the
west, and another would be born in the east. The watch was passed around
while the explanation was being made. Allen David requested that, since
all could not see the watch, we should fire a pistol at the exact moment.
After assurance that it would cause no alarm, we held the pistol upward
above our heads, and announced,——“five minutes more and 1869 will be
dead,——four minutes now,——now but three.” The stillness was almost
painful,——“Two minutes more, now but one,”——and five or six hundred red
men were holding breath to catch the signal,——all eyes watching the finger
that was to announce, by a motion, the event; the three hands on the face
of the watch were in range,——the finger crooked,——a blaze of light flashed
over the dusky faces, and a report went reverberating up the rocky cañons,
and before it died away, six hundred voices joined in an almost unearthly
farewell to “1869,” and, quickly facing to the east, another wild shout of
welcome to “1870.”

The crowd slowly dispersed, leaving one white man and an interpreter
sitting by the smouldering fire, talking over the wonders of the white
man’s knowledge and power, accompanied by old Chief Schon-chin, Captain
Jack, Allen David, and O-che-o. Thus was begun the year 1870. I was
surrounded then with elements of power for mischief that were only waiting
for the time when accident or mismanagement would impel one of these
chieftains——Captain Jack——to open a chapter with his finger dipped in the
heart’s blood of one of the noblest of the American army, the lamented
Christian soldier, General Canby, who was then quietly enjoying a respite
from the labors of the rebellion, with the honors of a well-spent life
gathering in a clustering wreath around the great warrior’s brow, settling
down so lightly that he scarcely seemed aware that he wore a coronet made
of heroic deeds and manly actions. He was looking hopefully to a future of
rest in the bosom of his family, and consoling himself that life’s hardest
battles were over, and that when, in a good old age, the roll-call should
be sounded for him, his friends would answer in salutes of honor over his

While we were shedding little rays of light on the darkened minds of our
hearers, a beardless Indian boy, with face almost white, was sporting with
his fellows, or quietly sleeping in his father’s lodge, soothed to rest by
the rippling waters of Klamath lake. This boy——Boston Charley——was to send
the messenger of death through the heart of the eminent divine——Dr.
Thomas. That night Dr. Thomas was with his friends, watching on bended
knees before a sacred altar, waiting for the death of 1869 and the birth
of a new year, little dreaming that the crimson current of his life was so
soon to mingle with the blood of the other hero in recording the tragic
event of the year 1873.

He, too, had fought the good fight of the cross for thirty long years, and
now felt the honors of his church gathering around his gray locks, and was
looking steadily forward to the hour when his Great Commander should call
him to his reward; hoping quietly and peacefully to gather up his feet in
God’s own appointed time, and, bearing with him his sheaves, present them
as his credentials to a mansion of eternal rest. While old Chief
Schon-chin, with his long gray hair floating in the winds of the new-born
year, was opening his heart to the influx of light, sitting quietly by
the dying council fire, his brother John was brooding over his broken
hopes of careless life or high ambition, sitting moody and gloomy over his
own camp-fire, or dreaming of a coming hour when he might avenge the
insults offered his race. It may be he was living over the scenes of his
stormy life, while the hand that had that day received from my hands
pledges of friendship and Government faith was in three short years to
fire eleven shots at the heart that beat then in kindliest sympathy with
his race.

The last hours of the dying year and the first of the new one had I given
from my life for the advancement of a race, whose very helplessness
enhanced the zeal with which I labored for them. I could not draw aside
the veil that hid the future, and see the gleaming eyes of Schon-chin
John, nor his left hand clutching a dagger while his right discharged
repeated shots at my breast. I did not then see my own body prostrate and
bleeding in the rocks of the Lava Bed, or my own beloved family surrounded
with sympathizing friends, eagerly watching the electric sparks speaking
words of hope and despair alternately; but I did see, somewhere in the
future, my hand running over whited page, telling the world of the way I
passed the watch-night of 1869.

                              CHAPTER XXI.


On the morning of January 1st, 1870, Captain Jack’s band of Modoc Indians
was placed in charge of Captain Knapp, under favorable circumstances.
Supplies of beef and flour were secured and issued to them in sufficient
quantities. Indeed, they were better fed than other Indians belonging to
the agency. They had brought with them fish and roots, which, in addition
to rations issued as above referred to, was altogether sufficient; and,
having obtained from Agent Knapp the necessary implements, they began work
in good earnest, by cutting saw logs, making rails, and hewing house logs,
preparing to make a permanent settlement at Modoc Point. The arrangements
had been fully explained to the Klamaths, Wal-pah-pas, Snake Indians and
Modocs, at the peace-making under the great witness tree, and fully agreed
to by all parties.

It was further agreed and understood, with the consent of the Link-river
Klamath Indians, who partially occupied the land so taken for the Modoc
home, that the Modocs were to share equally with them in the use of the
timber on the side of the mountains nearest to the new settlement.

The land was designated lying adjacent, and the Modocs were to select the
particular tract that each might desire for a home, with the understanding
that they were to be the owners thereof, and that, when allotments of
land in severalty should be made, by order of the Government, as
stipulated in the treaty of 1864, the selection then made should be
ratified and confirmed to the occupant. With this understanding, Jack and
his people began improvements for a new home, and, I believe, with a full,
settled determination to make it permanent.

No semi-savages ever went to work more cheerfully than did these people.
Whatever may have been their faults, or what of crime attached to them
since, this fact should be remembered,——that they did then acknowledge the
obligations of the treaty. Mark the succession of events, and you will
have some conception of the motives and reasons why the late unfortunate
Peace Commissioners, with the lamented Gen. Canby, continued its labors,
and protracted its efforts, to secure peace with the Modocs, even when
hope seemed forlorn, and the public press were hurling denunciations
against the “Peace policy,” and the Commissioners especially.

Gen. Canby knew all the circumstances, as did Dr. Thomas and myself, and
with a firm resolve to be just, we maintained silence, recollecting a
memorable saying, “Let them alone; they know not what they do.”

The Modocs worked with a will, and had made several hundred rails, and
hewn logs for houses, when avarice, stimulated by envy, brought about
quarrels between the Link-river Indians and Modocs; the former taunting
the latter, calling them hallo-e-me, tilli-cum (strangers); claiming the
timber, though admitting that they had agreed that the Modocs might cut
it, nevertheless, saying, “It is our timber; you may use it, but it is
ours. You make the rails, but we want some of them.”

Captain Jack’s people recalled the understanding on the day of
peace-making. The quarrel grew warm, and Agent Knapp was appealed to, by
Captain Jack, to settle the difficulties. This was one of the
turning-points of a history that is reeking with blood.

Capt. Knapp was an army officer who had been assigned to duty as Indian
agent. That he was a brave soldier, and had made a good record, is beyond
question. In his official dealings with the Indians he was honest, I doubt
not. He is the only agent that has ever had charge of Captain Jack’s band
since the fall of 1864.

Captain Jack and his friends have published to the world that they were
starved and cheated by Government agents while on Klamath Reservation in

I believe the assertion wholly unfounded. Agent Knapp came to the work
having no heart in it; no knowledge of the Indian character; no faith in
them or their manhood; no ambition to elevate them. It is not to be
wondered at that he took but little pains with them beyond seeing that
rations were issued,——which I believe was done _promptly_.

The position was unsought and undesirable, and one he wished to vacate.
Had Capt. Knapp been every way qualified for this duty; had his experience
given him knowledge of Indian character; had he sought the position, or
been selected for it on account of his fitness for this kind of labor, and
had his heart been in it; had he been fired with an ambition to do good,
by elevating a poor, unfortunate race,——he would have exercised more
patience when appealed to by Captain Jack in February, 1870, for redress;
he would have prevented all these bloody chapters in Indian history.

Had Agent Knapp promptly interfered, tempering his action with justice, by
punishing Link-river Jack for annoying the Modocs, then the Modoc
rebellion would have been prevented.

When Captain Jack appealed to Agent Knapp, the latter refused to admit
Jack within his office, heard his complaints impatiently, and sent him
away with orders to “go on with his work;” “that he would make it all

Jack returned to his home, and, naturally enough, the quarrel was renewed.
The Link-river Klamaths, having received neither reprimand nor punishment,
were emboldened, and became more overbearing than before.

Captain Jack again applied for protection from further insult, and this
time Agent Knapp proposed to change the location of the Modocs to a point
on Williamson river, a few miles distant, and nearer the agency.

For the sake of peace, and in obedience to orders, the Modocs changed
camp, and again began preparation for making homes.

This brought Klamaths and Modocs in contact, and after Jack had made a few
hundred rails, and prepared a few hewn logs for houses, the Klamaths
rehearsed the Link-river speeches to them,——taunting them with being poor,
and claiming the country, though patronizingly saying, “You can stay here;
but it is our country.” “Your horses can eat the grass; but it is _our_
grass.” “You can catch fish; but they are _our_ fish.” When reminded by
the Modocs of the treaty and subsequent peace-making, the Klamaths
replied: “Yes, we know all that.” “You can have timber, grass, and fish;
but don’t forget they are ours.” “We will let you stay.” “It is all
right.” Captain Jack went a _third_ time to Agent Knapp, who proposed to
_move them_ again, remarking that “next time he would _stay moved_,” he
proposing to Jack to find a new location.

Jack went to search for one; but whether he could not find a location, or
whether the constant annoyance on account of quarrels and removals had
killed his faith both in agents and Indian friendship, makes no
difference. He returned to his camp on Williamson river, called his people
together, and laid the whole matter before them.

I have a report of that meeting by “Charley,” a brother of Toby
Riddle,——an Indian who commands the respect of all who know him
personally. Although this report was made several months afterwards, I
believe it to be in the main correct. The substance was, that after all
were assembled, including the women and children and Link-river people,
Captain Jack stated the case, mentioning the several points as already
recited, and saying that he had looked at all the country, but did not
find any that he liked as well as Modoc Point, and that he had made up his
mind to leave the Reservation unless he could have that place for a house.

Blo, a sub-chief of the Klamaths, said, “Tell Knapp so.” Jack replied that
he _had talked_ to Knapp already three times; and that Knapp had _no
heart_ for him; and that he was afraid he was a bad man; that “he would
not keep the superintendent’s words;” “that he intended to leave the
Reservation,” and asked, “Who will go with me? Who wants to stay with a
man who has no heart for us?”

Then ensued a protracted discussion, Charley Riddle and Duffy insisting on
remaining. The discussion was a stormy one, and continued until a late
hour; but in all the speeches no charge of starving or cheating was made.

Finally the question went to a vote, and the proposition to leave was
carried by a large majority. It may be here remarked that neither of the
Schonchins was present, Schonchin John being at that time loyal, and
opposed to the rebellion; and that is about the only thing that can be
mentioned in his favor, except that he was a _poor shot_, as _I can

As soon as the vote was put and result known, active preparation was made
for departure; in fact, the result had been anticipated, for the horses
were all ready, the goods packed, and daylight next morning found Jack and
his people retracing the road they had gone over so hopefully eleven weeks

I will not spend time speculating on what were the thoughts and feelings
of that unfortunate band of people, while fleeing stealthily from their
new homes, but will simply say, that the little cavalcade carried with
them elements that have developed into hatred and revenge, which has since
shocked the moral sense of mankind by bloody deeds of savage warfare that
stand out on the country’s history without a parallel.

Returning to the old home on Lost river, and feeling that he was not under
obligations to obey law any longer, Captain Jack seems to have begun where
he left off; his young men and women visiting Y-re-ka and the mining
camps adjacent.

A few weeks later Jack went to Y-re-ka himself, meeting his old friends,
who gave him welcome. The Modoc trade may have had something to do with
the success of more than one merchant in Y-re-ka. The presence of the
Modocs was hailed with pleasure, no doubt, by another class whose social
status in society was little better than the Modocs themselves. To these
people the Modocs told falsehoods about reservation life, and received in
return sympathy for their reputed wrongs, and encouragement in repeating
the falsehoods. In this way the belief that they were misused by
Government officials has obtained; an unjust censure has been publicly
aimed against worthy men. What more natural than the fact that the
dissolute portion of the Y-re-ka people should espouse the Modoc cause,
and that the better part of society should form their opinions from
stories circulated by friends of Modoc women?

Mankind are prone to be swayed in the direction of self-interest, and,
when encouraged, any poor mortal may tell a falsehood so often that he
really believes it to be true. That Jack, too, confirmed such reports is
true, because in the sympathy he found were mingled words of
justification. Indeed, a plain, truthful statement of the facts, as they
were, was enough to insure him sympathetic advisers.

It is true, then, when Captain Jack returned to Lost river, he was
strengthened and confirmed in his ideas of justification, and his
determination to remain off the Reservation.

Nothing of grave import transpired until the spring of 1871, although
efforts were made in the mean time by the Indian Department, and by old
chief Schonchin, to induce Captain Jack to return.

A home at Yai-nax was proposed, and in order that no reasonable excuse on
the part of Captain Jack could be found on account of Klamath Indians, and
to remove every obstacle, the Reservation was divided into distinct
agencies; the western portion being assigned to “Klamath” Indians, and the
eastern portion to “Snakes,” “Walpahpas,” and “Modocs.” A district of
country was set apart exclusively for the latter. To this new home old
Schonchin removed with his people; and a portion of Captain Jack’s band,
meanwhile, also, taking up homes. Commissary Applegate, at one time, was
hopeful that the whole Modoc tribe could be induced to come to the new
home at Yai-nax. Captain Jack visited it, and talked seriously of settling
on this location; but while he was hesitating as to what he should do, an
unfortunate tragedy was enacted, so natural to a savage state, which
completely changed the current of events.

Captain Jack employed an Indian doctor to attend a sick child, and paid
the fees in advance,——which, be it understood, secured from the doctor a
guaranty; and in case of failure to cure, the life of the Indian doctor
was in the hands of the friends of the deceased. The child died, and
Captain Jack either killed the doctor, or ordered him to be killed.

Under the old Indian laws this would have been an end of the affair; but
under the new order of things it was a crime. The friends of the murdered
man claimed that Captain Jack should be arrested and punished under white
men’s laws for the offence.

An unsuccessful attempt was made to arrest him. The country was in a state
of alarm; it was evident that war would be the result.

Knowing all the facts in the case, I determined to make one more effort to
prevent bloodshed. Capt. Knapp had been relieved by an order of the Army
Department, and I was instructed by the Indian Department to place a man
in charge. Accordingly, John Meacham was sent by me to take Capt. Knapp’s
place. About this time I received a letter from Hon. Jesse Applegate, in
regard to Modoc matters. His long experience as a frontier man gave his
opinion weight. He represented the Modocs with whom he had met, as willing
to meet me in council for the purpose of settling the difficulties then
existing. He further suggested, that the only sure way for permanent peace
was to give them a small Reservation at the mouth of Lost river,——the old
home of Captain Jack. He, being a practical surveyor, furnished my office
with a small map of the proposed Reservation.

Realizing how much depended then on conciliatory measures, and having
confidence in Jesse Applegate’s judgment, I forwarded his letter to Gen.
Canby, commander of the Department of the Columbia, with a request that
military action be delayed until another effort could be made to settle
the difficulties then existing between Captain Jack’s band of Modocs and
the Reservation Indians.

Gen. Canby issued the orders desired, and the command to make the arrest
was revoked.

The following letter of Instruction to Commissary Meacham will explain the
situation. I associated with him on this mission, Ivan D. Applegate, who
was then in charge of Yai-nax station, Klamath Reservation. I also
requested Hon. Jesse Applegate to go with them. He did not find it
convenient, however, and the Commissioners named proceeded under the
following letter of instruction, Ivan Applegate being notified of his
appointment from my office in Salem.

                                 OFFICE SUPERINTENDENT INDIAN AFFAIRS,
                                        SALEM, OREGON, August 2, 1871.

    JOHN MEACHAM, _Commissary, Klamath Agency_:——

    I wish you to proceed at once to the Modoc country, and make one
    more effort for peace. I am induced to make this request on
    reading a long and intelligent letter from Hon. Jesse.
    Applegate, who has had a talk with Captain Jack and Black Jim.

    It appears that they are anxious to see me, and that they are
    willing to talk this matter over, and if possible avoid
    bloodshed. It is impossible for me to go at present, on account
    of “Umatilla Council.”

    You can say to them that you represent _me_,——my _heart_, my
    _wishes_, my _words_; and that I have authorized you to talk for

    You are familiar with all the facts in the case, and do not need
    especial instructions, except on one or two points: First, that
    I will try to get a small reserve for them in their country; but
    it will require some time to bring it about, and until such time
    I desire them to go on to any unoccupied lands on Klamath
    Reservation; that I will lay the whole matter before the
    department at Washington, and put it through, if possible; that
    you will protect them from insult or imposition from either
    Klamaths, Snakes, or whites, until such time as the authorities
    shall order otherwise.

    I mean by this that Captain Jack and men shall be free from
    arrest until I am ordered to investigate the affair, and that he
    shall, if ever arrested, have the benefit of trial by his peers
    or white men, under civil law; on the condition, however, that
    he and his people return to Klamath, and remain there, subject
    to the authority of the Indian Department; that, if ordered to
    trial, he will surrender himself and accomplices.

    You can say to him that, in the event I succeed in getting a
    home for them on Lost river, they will be allowed their
    proportion of the Klamath and Modoc treaty funds, with the
    privilege of the mill at Klamath Agency to make lumber, etc.;
    that, if I fail in this, they may elect to go into the Snake
    country beyond Camp Warner, on the new Reservation to be laid
    out there this fall.

    You can say further that, while I do not approve of their
    conduct, I am not unmindful of their bad treatment by Captain
    Knapp and the Klamaths, and that I do not wish to have them
    destroyed; but, if they refuse to accept these terms, they will
    be under military control and subject to military laws and

    You will confer with I. D. Applegate, and also with the
    commander at Fort Klamath. I will request General Canby to delay
    any order now out for the arrest of Jack until you have made
    this effort to prevent war.

    I have requested I. D. Applegate to accompany you, and advise
    with you, but this you will understand,——that _you_ are charged
    with the mission. I think going as my _brother_ may give you
    more influence.

    The Modocs can appreciate that, inasmuch as the Superintendent
    could not come, he sent his _brother_.

    I have confidence in your coolness and sense of justice, and,
    with I. D. Applegate as counsellor, I hope you may bring this
    unhappy trouble (so heavy laden with death to many persons) to a
    peaceful solution.

    Do not take more than two or three persons with you, and,
    whatever the result of “the talk,” you will be _faithful_ and
    _true_ to _yourself_ and the _Indians_. Mr. Jesse Applegate is
    somewhere out in that country. He is a _safe adviser_. I have no
    doubt he will assist you in this hazardous undertaking. You will
    report the result of this visit to this office promptly.

    In the event that the military commander at Fort Klamath may
    have already gone after Jack and opened hostilities, I do not
    wish you to take any desperate chances.

    This matter I leave to the circumstances that may exist on
    receipt of this letter. I see clearly, from Jesse Applegate’s
    letter, that hostilities are imminent, and that many good men
    may lose life and property unless the threatened hostilities are

    I have never seen the time when we could have done otherwise
    than as we have; but I fully realize that we may be held
    responsible by the citizens of that country, who do not
    understand the power and duties of the Indian Department.

    Go on this mission realizing that you carry in your hand the
    lives and happiness of many persons, and the salvation of a
    tribe of people who have been much wronged, and seldom, if ever,

                                      Very respectfully,
                                        Your obedient servant,
                                          A. B. MEACHAM,
                                            _Supt. Ind. Affairs_.

Under the foregoing letter of instructions the commissioners appointed
went into the Modoc country, having previously arranged, through Indian
messengers, to meet Captain Jack and five or six of his men. No agreement
was made in reference to arms, each party following the dictates of common
sense,——by being ready for _peace_, but prepared for _war_. The
commissioners took with them two persons, making up a party of four
well-armed men. It is humane and Christian to carry always the
olive-branch of peace, but it is unwise to depend on its sanctity for
protection when dealing with enraged savages. Well for Commissioner
Meacham and I. D. Applegate that they had forethought enough to go
prepared to defend themselves; for, had they not, the list of killed in
the Modoc war would have read somewhat different from its present roll of
names. There is no doubt that at the time these two young men went out to
meet these people, “Schonchin John,” “Hooker Jim,” and “Curly-haired
Doctor” were in favor of assassinating them, and were only prevented by
Captain Jack and Scarface Charley. The information comes through Indian
lips, but I believe it to be true.

I desire the reader to note that this was the second time assassination
was proposed by these people, and each time frustrated by Captain Jack;
and, further, that I was subsequently informed each time of their intended
acts of treachery by Tobey Riddle, through her husband.

The council was held in a wild, desolate region of country, many miles
from the nearest white settlement. Captain Jack and nearly all his men
were present, and _all armed_.

It should be understood that at that time, as afterward in the Lava Bed,
the Modocs were suspicious of Captain Jack’s firmness in carrying out the
wishes of his people. This feeling was augmented by Schon-chin John, who
was ambitious for the chieftainship, and constantly sought to implant
distrust of Jack’s fidelity in the minds of the Modocs. This accounts for
more than the number agreed upon in this, and, in fact, in all subsequent
meetings. Jack, nevertheless, was the acknowledged chief, but not on the
old basis of theory of absolute power; he was only a representative chief.
That he had not absolute control over them was owing to his own act of
teaching them the republican idea of a majority ruling; or it may be that
the band had demanded this concession on his part.

Nearly all of them had associated with white men, and had thereby acquired
crude ideas of American political economy.

It was in this case of the Modocs a _curse_, instead of a _blessing_. Had
Jack exercised the old despotic prerogative of Indian chiefs, no war would
have ensued, no great acts of treachery would ever have been committed. He
could and would have buried in the grave, with other wrongs, the “Ben
Wright” affair; and while he would have clamored for liberty, in its
common-sense meaning, he would have held his people in check until such
times as our Government would have recognized his manhood and granted him
the priceless boon of a citizen’s privileges.

Captain Jack came into this council simply as a diplomatic representative
chief, and was not at liberty to do or say more than he was authorized by
the Indians in council. He set forth the grievances of his people,——which
were principally against the Klamath Indians, on account of the treatment
he had received while on the Reservation; and against the Government, for
not protecting him according to my promise made to him in December,
1869,——arguing that, since the Government failed to keep its compact, he
was released from his obligation to obey its laws; further, that the crime
of which he was charged——killing the Indian doctor——was not a crime under
the Indian laws, and that he should not be held amenable to a law that was
not _his law_. He declared that he could not live in peace with the
Klamaths; that his people had made up their minds to try no more, since
they had made two attempts.

He said he “should not object to the white men settling in his country,”
and that he “would keep his people away from the settlements, and would
prevent any trouble between white men and his Indians.”

The commissioners again offered him a home on any part of Klamath
Reservation that was unoccupied. This he positively declined. He was
assured of protection, but he referred to former promises broken. A
proposition was made, for him to prevent his people going into the
settlement until the whole subject could be submitted to the authorities
at Washington, and that a recommendation would be made to grant him a
small home at the mouth of Lost river. A rude map was made, showing the
proposed Reservation. With this he was satisfied, and made promises of
keeping his people away until such time as an answer could be had.

The proposition was fully explained, and he was made to understand the
uncertainties as to when a decision would be made in this matter; he
agreeing that, if the decision was adverse to granting the new home on
Lost river, his people would go on to Klamath, at Yai-nax.

With this agreement, well understood, the council closed, and the two
commissioners reported substantially as detailed. They escaped with their
lives because they were prepared to defend them.

Hostilities were averted for the time being, and would have been for all
time had prudence and justice been exercised by those who held the power
to do this simple act.

Ignorance of the true state of the case cannot be pleaded; the whole
matter was laid by me before the authorities at Washington, and the
recommendation made in conformity with the promise to the Modocs.

In my official report for 1871 (see Report Commission Indian Affairs,
pages 305 and 306) I used the following language:——

“The Modocs belong by treaty to Klamath Agency, and have been located
thereon; but, owing to the overbearing disposition of the Klamath Indians,
they refuse to remain.

“Unavailing efforts have been made to induce them to return; but they
persist in occupying their original homes, and, in fact, set up claim
thereto. During the past summer they have been a source of annoyance and
alarm to the white settlers, and at one time hostilities appeared

“The military commander at Fort Klamath made an unsuccessful effort to
arrest a few of the head men. Two commissioners were sent from the Indian
Department, and a temporary arrangement made whereby hostilities were
averted. The Modocs cannot be made to live on Klamath Reservation, on
account of the ancient feuds with the Klamaths. They are willing to locate
permanently on a small reservation of six miles square, lying on both
sides of the Oregon and California line, near the head of the Tule lake.
In equity they are entitled to a portion of the Klamath and Modoc annuity
funds, and need not necessarily be a burden to the Government; but,
according to the ruling of Commissioner Parker, they have forfeited these
rights. I would recommend that they be allowed a small reservation at the
place indicated above, and also a pro-rata division of the Klamath and
Modoc treaty funds for employés and annuities; otherwise they will
doubtless be a source of constant expense to the Government, and great
annoyance to the white settlements near them. Though they may be somewhat
responsible for not complying with the treaty, yet, to those familiar with
Indian superstition, it is not strange or unreasonable that great charity
should be extended to these people.”

Gen. Canby was also informed in regard to the arrangement made by the
commissioners; the order for their arrest was entirely withdrawn.

Thus matters were in abeyance until the spring of 1872. The Modocs,
however, growing restless and impatient for a decision, began to annoy the
white settlers in the Lost-river country, doing various acts that were not
in harmony with the compact made with the commissioners in August
preceding. The white men, unwilling to endure the insolence of the Modocs,
petitioned for redress. These petitions were addressed to the Indian
Department, and to the Military Department, also to the civil authorities
of the State of Oregon. They recited the acts of which the Modocs were
accused, some of which were, “that they demanded rents for the lands
occupied by white men; claiming pay for the use of the stock ranches;
demanding horses and cattle; visiting the houses of settlers, and, in the
absence of the husbands, ordering the wives to prepare meals for them,
meanwhile throwing themselves on the beds and carpets, and refusing to pay
for the meals when eaten; feeding their horses with the grain of the
settlers, and, in some instances, _borrowing_ horses without asking the

To the credit of Captain Jack be it told that _he_ was never charged with
any of these outrageous acts; but he was powerless to prevent his men from
annoying these people who had settled the country at the invitation of the

This state of affairs could lead to but _one result_,——blood. The
petitions could not be disregarded. Action must be had, and that without
delay. General Canby was appealed to; having rescinded the order for the
arrest of Captain Jack the previous summer, he was slow to issue another
looking to the same end. He believed, as I did, that any attempt to compel
the Modocs to return to Klamath would endanger the peace of the country.
Captain Jack had failed to keep his part of the late contract, and had
thereby forfeited any claim to further clemency.

                             CHAPTER XXII.


While matters were thus in suspense a change was made in the office of
Superintendent of Indian Affairs for Oregon, T. B. Odeneal, Esq., of
Oregon, succeeding to the Superintendency. He was a lawyer of ability, but
had a limited knowledge of Indian character, and still less of the merits
and demerits of this Modoc question.

When appealed to he laid the matter before his superior in office at
Washington City, who was also a new incumbent, and had perhaps a slight
knowledge of the Modoc troubles.

In a letter, dated April 11th, 1872, he instructed Superintendent Odeneal
to remove the Modocs to Klamath Reservation, _or locate them on a new
home_. In reply, Odeneal suggested that, since Klamath was the home set
apart for them in common with other Indians, it was the proper place for
them, and suggested they be removed thereto. In compliance with this
recommendation, he was instructed, in a letter of September 6th, 1872, to
remove the Modocs to the Klamath Reservation; _peaceably_ if you can,
_forcibly_ if you must.

Meanwhile the Modocs were kept posted by the white men, who sympathized
with them, of the proposed movements.

Captain Jack and his men sought advice of Judges Roseborough and Steele,
of Y-re-ka. Both these gentlemen advised them not to resist the authority
of the Government, but also promised, as _attorneys_, to assist them in
getting lands, provided they would dissolve tribal relations. I have
sought diligently, as a commissioner, for information on this subject, and
conclude that nothing further was ever promised by either Roseborough or
Steele. The hope thus begotten may have caused the Modocs to treat with
less respect the officers of the Government, and made them more insolent
toward settlers; but nothing of wilful intent can be charged to Steele or

It is in evidence that Superintendent Odeneal despatched messengers to the
Modoc camp on Lost river, November 26th, 1872, to order Captain Jack and
his people to go on to the Reservation, with instruction to the messengers
that, in the event of the refusal of the Modocs to comply, to arrange for
them to meet him (Odeneal) at Linkville, twenty-five miles from the Modoc

They refused compliance with the order, and also refused to meet
Superintendent Odeneal at Link river, saying substantially “that they did
not want to see him or talk with him; that they did not want any white man
to tell them what to do; that their friends and advisers were in Y-re-ka,
Cal. They tell us to stay here, and we intend to do it, and will not go on
the Reservation (meaning Klamath); that they were tired of talk, and were
done talking.” If credit were given to these declarations, it would appear
that some parties at Y-re-ka were culpable. Careful investigation
discloses nothing more than already recited, so far as Roseborough and
Steele were concerned, but would seem to implicate one or two other
parties, both of whom are now deceased; but even then no evidence has been
brought forth declaring more than sympathy for the Modocs, which might
easily be accounted for on the ground of personal interest, dictating
friendship toward them as the best safeguard for life and property; but
nothing that could be construed as advising resistance to legal authority;
and their statement in regard to advisers in Y-re-ka should not be
entitled to more credit than Captain Jack’s subsequent assertion that “no
white man had ever advised him to stay off the Reservation.” This latter
declaration was made during the late trials at Klamath by the “military
commission,” at a time when the first proposition made to Superintendent
Odeneal’s messengers in regard to Y-re-ka advices would have secured the
Modocs then on trial some consideration.

The only thing said or done by any parties in Y-re-ka that has come well
authenticated, that could have had any influence with the Modocs in their
replies to Odeneal’s message, is the proposition above referred to as
coming from Roseborough and Steele, to assist them as _attorneys_ to
secure homes _when_ they should have abandoned tribal relations, paid
taxes, and made application to become citizens. The high character both
these gentlemen possess for loyalty to the Government, and for integrity,
would preclude the idea that any wrong was intended.

On receiving Captain Jack’s insolent reply to his message, Superintendent
Odeneal made application to the military commander at Fort Klamath for a
force to “compel said Indians (Modocs) to go upon the Klamath
Reservation;” reciting the following words from the honorable Commissioner
of Indian Affairs: “You are hereby directed to remove the Modoc Indians to
Klamath Reservation; _peaceably_ if you possibly can, but _forcibly_ if
you must,” and saying: “I transfer the whole matter to your department
without assuming to dictate the course you shall pursue in executing the
order aforesaid; trusting, however, that you may accomplish the object
desired without the shedding of blood, if possible to avoid it.”

He received the following reply:——

                     HEAD-QUARTERS, FORT KLAMATH, November 28th, 1872.

    SIR:——In compliance with your written request of yesterday, I
    will state that Captain Jackson will leave this post about noon
    to-day, with about thirty men; will be at Link river to-night,
    and I hope before morning at Captain Jack’s camp.

                      I am, sir, very respectfully,
                        Your obedient servant,
                          JOHN GREEN,
                            _Major First Cavalry Commanding Post_.

    MR. T. B. ODENEAL, _Superintendent Indian Affairs_.

These movements were intended to be made without the knowledge of the
Modocs. Superintendent Odeneal sent messengers to warn the settlers of the
proposed _forcible experiment_. Complaint has justly been made that there
were several parties unwarned.

The Modocs had one especial friend in whom they relied for advice and
warning. This man’s name was Miller.

They called on him the day previous to Major Jackson’s appearance at the
Modoc camp, and he, being ignorant of the movement told them, that “no
soldiers were coming.” Some twelve settlers were unwarned, who lost their
lives thereby.

Neglect on the part of those having the management of this matter resulted
in much blood.

When Major Jackson was en route to the Modoc camp, some twenty-five white
men from Linkville and the surrounding country assembled and proposed to
accompany the expedition.

It has been said that they went for the purpose of “seeing Major Jackson
and his thirty-five men get licked.” At all events they were armed with
Henry rifles and revolvers.

Frontier men are fond of sport, and the more it is embellished with danger
the more captivating it is to _them_. I do not say this with disrespect to
frontier men, but simply state a fact that is not generally understood.

While it is true that they _play_ with dangerous weapons as carelessly as
a city dandy does with a switch cane or ivory opera-glass, they are,
nevertheless, as a class, true, honest, enterprising, great brave-hearted
men, who would scorn to do a mean thing.

They have among them men who are irresponsible vagabonds, reckless fellows
who are driven from the cities and towns on account of their crimes. These
latter characters beget strife among the people, and when truth comes to
the front and speaks out, it declares that they are the _sole_ cause of
any difficulty between good white men and Indians. They are the first to
volunteer on occasions like this. As a class they are brave, fearless,
desperate, having little regard for human life, caring not how much bad
blood they evoke. But the idea that seems to prevail with eastern people,
that all frontier men are rough, bad men, is outrageously false in the
premises. Better men, braver men, more honorable, more enterprising men
cannot be found on this continent than thousands who ride on the swelling
breakers of advancing emigration. A moment’s consultation with _justice_
and _right_ would compel the law-makers, book-writers and newspaper
reporters, instead of constant, sweeping insinuations against frontier
men, to say encouraging words in their behalf, and to offer them every
facility to successfully plant the foundations of prosperous society on
the verges of American civilization. Honor to whom honor is due.

The party of citizens who went down Lost river on the morning of the 27th
of November, 1872, were, _with one or two exceptions_, good, responsible
settlers. Their motives were honorable, their intentions were good; and if
serious results came out of the fact of their presence it was not because
they as a party were “bloodthirsty desperadoes.”

They went on the opposite side of the river, and took a commanding
position on a bluff overlooking the Modoc camp; which was located on the
very spot where my party met Captain Jack in 1869.

The Modoc camp was divided by the river, Captain Jack, and fourteen men
with their families, occupying the west bank, where the plain slopes
gradually down to the water’s edge; the background being covered with a
growth of sage brush.

With Captain Jack was “_Schonchin John_,” so named from being a younger
brother of the “Old chief Schonges;” “_Scar-face Charley_,” so named on
account of a scar on his face; “_Black Jim_,” so named on account of his
dark color; “_One-eyed Mose_,” so called on account of defect in one eye;
“_Watchman_,” who was killed in the first battle; “_Humpty Joe_,” “_Big
Ike_,” “_Old Tails_,” “_Old Tails’ boy_,” “_Old Long-face_,” and four

On the east side of the river was the “_Curly-haired Doctor_;” “_Boston
Charley_,” named on account of his light color; “_Hooker Jim_” had lived
with old man Hooker; “_Slolax_,” and ten others, with their families.

Major Jackson, with his force, arrived at Jack’s camp at about daybreak on
the morning of the 30th November, 1872. At the same time the citizen party
arrived opposite and near the camp of the Curly-haired Doctor.

The Modocs were taken by surprise,——although they had reason to expect the
soldiers would come within a few days.

They have since asserted that Odeneal’s messengers had agreed to come
again before bringing soldiers; and, if possible, bring Supt. Odeneal with

It was a mistake that he did not go in person,——either with the messengers
in the first instance or after their return to Linkville.

He might not have accomplished any good, but he would have prevented
severe criticism, and much blame that was laid at his door; inasmuch as
Jack subsequently asserted “that he would not have resisted, had Odeneal
come himself to him and made everything plain.” Again, they had relied on
Miller for warning; hence his death.

When Maj. Jackson arrived at the camp, and while he was placing his men in
position, an Indian, who was out hunting, made the discovery of Jackson’s
presence, and either accidentally, or purposely, discharged his gun. This
called the Indians to their feet, and they instantly grasped their arms on
seeing themselves so nearly surrounded by soldiers.

Maj. Jackson quietly commanded the Modocs to lay down their arms. Captain
Jack complied, and told his men to obey the order of Maj. Jackson.

A parley ensued of half an hour, Captain Jack pleading for Jackson to
withdraw his men, while the major was explaining his order, and assuring
the Modocs that ample preparation had been made for them at Yai-nax. The
whole affair seemed to be settled satisfactorily, and I. D. Applegate, who
was with Maj. Jackson, went down to the banks of the river and told
_One-armed Brown_, the regular messenger of the Indian Department, who was
with the citizen party on the east side, that “everything was settled.”
Brown mounted his horse, and started to make known the good news to Supt.
Odeneal, who was awaiting the result at Linkville.

All the Modocs on the west side of the river had laid down their arms,
except Scar-face Charley, who was swearing and making threats. Maj.
Jackson commanded him, “Put down your gun.” Scar-face refused; the major
ordered Lieut. Boutelle to disarm him,——who, on advancing to execute the
order, repeated it in emphatic words, not in harmony with savage notions
of decorum and decency. “Scarface” was enraged at the vile epithets
applied to him, and perhaps remembered just then that he had once seen,
from a chapparel thicket, a sight that had haunted him from his childhood,
namely, nothing less than armed white men chasing _his father_ with a
_lasso_ and catching him. He saw them hang him without a trial, or even
any proof that he was guilty of any crime. At all events, he drew his
pistol, and, saying that he “would kill one white man,” discharged it at
the advancing officer; but so nearly simultaneous with Boutelle’s pistol,
that even the latter does not know who fired first. This was the opening
gun of the Modoc war; the beginning of what ended on the gallows on the
third of November, 1873.

Without stopping now to call up the intervening pictures, let us see how
the battle went. Very soon the entire force of soldiers was firing into
the Indian camps, and the fourteen Indian men were fighting back with
muzzle-loading rifles.

The battle lasted three hours; the Indians, having taken cover of the sage
brush, finally withdrew, carrying with them the watchman who was killed,
and escaping with all their women and children.

Maj. Jackson lost ten killed and five wounded; and on the reappearance of
the Indians, a few hours later, drew off his forces, leaving the Modocs in
possession of the battle-field.

While all this was enacting on the west bank of Lost river, let us see how
the boys who went down to “take a look” got along as spectators. Mr.
Brown, hearing the report of arms, returned just in time to take an
active part in a performance that was not in the programme of fun as laid
out in the early morning.

The citizens and Modocs on the east side could not stand the
pressure,——looking on and seeing a fair fight, within a couple of hundred
yards, without taking a part. The Modocs caught up their guns and rushed
down to the river, intending to reinforce Captain Jack. The citizens
sought to prevent them getting into their canoes; and, _somehow_, they
became very much interested in matters nearer home than Maj. Jackson’s

Who began the battle on the east side is a question of doubt,——both
parties denying it; but a lively fight was the result, and the citizens
drew off, leaving _three_ or _four dead friends_ on the ground
and——and——_one dead squaw_, with an infant corpse in her arms.

It is not in evidence who was victor, but there is the record. The major
dispatched a messenger for reinforcements, who run the gauntlet of Indian
bullets, and barely escaped.

From Indian lips I learn that in the first battle of which I have spoken,
Captain Jack did not fire a shot himself, though he directed the fight.

On the occasion of the messenger being sent off by Maj. Jackson, Captain
Jack, who was secreted in the sage brush, ran after him and fired one or
two shots.

Let us look now to the Modocs with Captain Jack. They did not go on the
warpath, but hastened to gather up their women and horses, and retired to
the Lava Bed.

Scarface Charley remained behind, for a purpose that can scarcely be
credited. Those who doubt any real genuine manhood among Indians may
wonder when I declare that he remained to warn white men of the danger
threatening them. In two instances he saw white men, who were his personal
friends, going, as he knew, into certain death. In both instances he laid
hold of the bridle-reins of the riders’ horses and turned them around,
and, pointing to the road whence they came, bade them “ride for life.”

They lost no time in heeding the warning given, and also in notifying the
settlers en route of the existence of open hostilities.

By this means John A. Fairchild was notified of the dangers that
surrounded him and his family.

Mr. Fairchild’s name has become intimately connected with the Modoc war;
indeed, he played some of the thrilling parts of this tragic drama. He is
a man of forty years of age, a native of Mississippi; went West when a
boy, and engaged in mining. In the course of time he became a large
stock-raiser, and went, ten years ago, with his herds of cattle and
horses, into the Modoc country.

_He_ soon learned a lesson that our Government has _not_, viz., that it is
cheaper to _feed_ Indians than to _fight_ them. Soon after his arrival he
arranged a treaty with the Modocs, paying them a small compensation for
the use of the country for stock uses. During the time, he has made the
personal acquaintance of nearly every Indian of Captain Jack’s band.

His home is situated on Hot Creek, near its rise at the foot of the
mountains that divide the Modoc from the Shasta country.

It will be remembered that the head-quarters of the Peace Commission was
at Fairchild’s ranch during the first days of its organization. This was
also the original home of a part of Jack’s band.

At the beginning of the late Modoc war some fourteen warriors and their
families were living near Mr. Fairchild’s house; by his management of them
they were prevented from joining Captain Jack for several days. He,
together with Mr. Press Dorris, who lives near him, and is also a
stock-raiser, called together these fourteen men, including “Bogus
Charley” (who gets his name from his birthplace on Bogus creek),
“Shacknasty Jim” (so named from his mother), “Steamboat Frank” (so called
in honor of his squaw, whose name was Steamboat, because of her great size
and her habit of puffing and blowing like the aforesaid vessel), Ellen’s
man George, and ten others,——who all distinguished themselves in the
war,——and started with them and their families to Klamath Reservation.
They notified Agent Dyer, of Klamath, of their coming, and requested him
to meet them and take charge of the Indians.

Dyer responded, and, hastening to meet them on Klamath river, passed
through Linkville en route. While there he heard intimations of the danger
of passing through the town with the above-named Modocs.

The news of the battle had reached Linkville, and the people were aroused
to madness at the sight of the mangled bodies of the soldiers and citizens
that had been brought in. It is not strange that such sights should call
out a demand for vengeance; that the citizens, feeling outraged, should
make threats.

It is certain that a party left Linkville before Agent Dyer arrived, and
went in the direction of Bob Whittle’s, where Fairchild and Dorris were
guarding the Hot Creek Modocs, now so anxious to reach the Reservation
that they might escape any kind of entanglement with the rebels.

The party found Fairchild and Dorris fully prepared to protect those under
their charge, and no attack was made, whatever may have been the first
intention. On Mr. Dyer’s arrival at this time, he stated his fears to
Fairchild and Dorris, which the Indians overhearing, _stampeded_, and went
directly to the Lava Beds, thus adding fourteen warriors to Captain Jack’s
forces. All of them were brave men, and bad men, too, as the sequel will
show. The fright they had received at Bob Whittle’s appears to have made
them even more anxious for war than those who had been engaged in the
Lost-river battle, on the 30th of November, 1872.

Indian proof is abundant that Captain Jack, in anticipation of the coming
of the soldiers, had advised his men to surrender rather than fight; but,
even if forced to resist, in no event to attack citizens, saying, “If we
must, we will fight soldiers, not white men,” meaning citizens.

It is a fact that, so far as he was concerned, he sought to avoid
conflict. The Curly-haired Doctor was eager for blood——or, at all events,
he was rebellious, and constantly advised resistance to the authority of
the Government.

His interference in the council of December, 1869, referred to in a former
chapter, and his sanction to the proposition to murder our party at that
time, and the subsequent proposal to assassinate the Commissioners sent
out in August, 1871, to arrange matters with them, all stand against him
previous to the opening of the war.

But to return to the battle of Lost river. After a sharp fight, the
citizens having withdrawn to Dennis Crawley’s house, the Modoc braves
assembled, and, through the advice of Hooker Jim, the Curly-haired Doctor,
with Steamboat Frank and three or four others, started on a mission of

The acts of savage butchery committed by them are well known to the
world,——how they went to Mr. Boddy’s house with their garments covered
with the life-blood of their victims, and, taunting the women, boasted of
their heroism, saying, “This is Boddy’s blood; but we are Modocs; we do
not kill women and children. You will find Boddy in the woods. We will not
hurt you.”

Thus from house to house they went, after killing the husbands and
fathers, until they had slaughtered thirteen persons,——Brotherton,
Schiere, Miller, and others, including one small boy, who resisted them.

The reign of terror was complete. Who shall ever find words to describe
the horror of the night following this treacherous butchery? The women
left their homes to hunt for their murdered friends. In one instance, the
presence of a team without a driver gave the awful tidings.

Leaving their dead, through the long dark night that followed, they made
their way through the trackless sage-brush plains to the nearest
settlement. With these people the Modocs had been on friendly terms, and
had never had any misunderstandings with the Indians. On the contrary,
they had shown by many acts of kindness their _good will_. They were
personally acquainted with the men who composed the murderous gang. This
was especially the case with Mr. Miller; he had been their steadfast
friend for years, and had furnished them provisions and ammunition but a
few days previously, and had further interested himself in their behalf,
in conjunction with Esquire Steele of Y-re-ka, in securing to them the
right to take up lands in common with other people.

The murder of Miller seems the more inhuman when it is remembered that he
was killed by Hooker Jim. The latter declares that he did not know that he
was shooting at Miller. Otherwise he would not have committed the
treacherous deed. Miller had been on especial good terms with this

With my knowledge of Indian character, I am of the opinion that Hooker Jim
designedly killed Mr. Miller, because he believed that the latter had
purposely withheld from the Modocs the movement of Major Jackson.

Loaded with plunder, and mounted on the horses they had captured, these
bloodthirsty savages made their way around the east side of Tule lake;
meeting Captain Jack and his warriors in the Lava Bed. I am indebted to
the Modocs themselves for many items of importance in this connection. I
give them for what they are worth, with the authority announced. Some of
them are doubtless correct, according to the authority quoted.

On the arrival in the Lava Bed, Captain Jack denounced the murderers for
their bloody work, and particularly for the killing of Mr. Miller; he then
declared that the men who committed this outrageous crime should be
surrendered to the white men for trial; that a great mistake had been
made; and that unless these men were given up, the whole band would be
lost. The councils held were noisy and turbulent, threatening strife and
bloodshed. While this matter was under discussion, the Hot-Creek Indians,
who had stampeded from Whittle’s Ferry, while they were en route to
Klamath Agency, arrived in the Lava Bed, adding fourteen braves to the
little band of desperadoes. The Hot-Creek Modocs, having become
demoralized by the threats they had overheard made against them, and being
influenced by the Curly-haired Doctor’s promise of making medicine to
protect them, were ready to espouse the cause of the murderers. The whole
number of braves at this time was fifty-three, including the chief
himself. Thus, when the discussion was ended and the question was
submitted to a vote, a large majority was opposed to the surrender of the
Lost-river murderers.

                             CHAPTER XXIII.


Leaving the Modocs to wrangle over their troubles, suppose we listen now
to the wails of anguish and grief that burdened the air of the Lost-river
country, and especially at Linkville, when the mutilated bodies of the
slain citizens were brought in for interment.

When the news of the Lost-river battle had spread over the
sparsely-settled country, a feeling of terror pervaded the hearts of the
people; but when, on the following morning, the grief-stricken,
heart-broken Mrs. Boddy, Mrs. Schiere and Mrs. Brotherton, arrived at
Linkville, after a long night of horrors, the excitement became intense.
Armed parties, taking with them wagons, repaired to the scene of this
awful tragedy.

Let those whose lives are spent where they are protected by the strong arm
of law, go with me for a day, while we hunt up the victims of this
wholesale murder.

Perhaps, if we are honest, and our hearts are open to conviction of truth,
and we are actuated by the impulses of Christian sympathy, we may suspend
our charitable emotions for the “noble red man,” by the time we hear the
dull thud of the clods at Linkville cemetery mingle with the sobs and
shrieks of the widows and orphans.

From one who was with a party who went out on this sorrowful mission, I
learned something of the scenes that met them.

On arriving at the grove of timber where Brotherton was killed, they found
his body lying stark and cold, with his glassy eyes wide open. He had been
pierced by four Modoc bullets. Near him was found his axe, with the handle
painted with his own blood. Then another was found on a wagon, lying
across the coupling poles, with his face downwards. He, too, was stripped
of his clothing.

Another was found a few rods from his work, with his bowels beside him,
and his heart taken from his body, and hacked to pieces. This was the work
of Hooker Jim.

Thus the party went on from one to another, until thirteen bodies were
found. Some of them were off from roads, where they had evidently run in
their attempts to escape.

While the kind-hearted settlers were performing this sad duty, they were
continually on the lookout for an attack. Let us follow this heavily-laden
train of wagons, and be with them when they arrive at Linkville. Can human
language depict the agony of that hour? We may tell of the outburst of
grief, when the widows gather around that solemn train, preparing to
unload its ghastly freight, and how, with frantic movements, they threw
themselves on the remains of husband, brother and father. But we may not
tell of the grief that overwhelmed their hearts in that darkest hour, when
beholding loved ones mangled and mutilated by the hands that had so often
received gifts from them, now so stiff and cold in death.

There are moments in life when the great fountains seem broken up as if by
some terrific explosion, until even the very streams that otherwise would
flow out are dried up.

Oh, how dark the world becomes to the wife and mother when the sunlights
of life go out, and they stand amid the gloom, unable to recognize the
hand of our heavenly Father!

Slowly and sadly the sorrowing friends start up the hill with the remains
of Boddy and Schiere, while the bereaved and heart-broken widows follow
the sad funeral pageant.

How can we bear to hear the cry of anguish that parts their lips when the
first clod of earth falls, with sepulchral noise, on the coffin lids that
cover the faces of their dead forever!

My humane, kind-hearted reader, who has a soul overflowing with kindness
that goes out for “Lo! the poor Indian,” look on this scene a moment, and
in your mind exchange your happy home for a cabin on the frontier wilds,
where you meet these Indian people, and where, from the fulness of a great
heart overflowing with “good will to man,” you have uttered only kind
words, while you shared your homely fare with them in sympathy for their
low estate. Remember how often you have almost ruined your own family that
you might in part compensate them for their lost homes; how you have
dropped from your hands your own duties as a wife or mother that you might
teach these dark, sad-eyed savage women the little art of housewifery.
Think how many hours you have labored teaching them the ways of civil life
in dress and manners; while your memory of childhood’s lessons in
Christianity reconciled you to the labor and the sacrifice with this
comforting assurance, “Inasmuch as ye did it unto the least of these, ye
did it also unto me.” Remember all these, and then gaze on the dark
emblems of sorrow that envelop Mrs. Boddy, Mrs. Schiere, Mrs. Brotherton,
and tell me, have you still Christianity that enables you to say, “Thy
will be done,” nor let your lips breathe out a prayer for power to avenge
your bursting heart? Will you censure now the brave and manly friends on
whose arms these widows lean, while they go back to a home with the
sunlight gone? If these friends, in sympathy with the bereaved, do swear
to anticipate a tardy justice, do you still have hard words for the
pioneers who brave danger and drink deeply from the fountain of bitter
grief when in madness they cry for revenge?

It is one thing to sit through a life-time under the persuasive eloquence
of ministers who have never walked side by side with such sorrow, and
gradually form an ideal or real monitor in the soul, until human nature
seems lost in the divine power that prepares humanity for higher life, and
until we think we can at all times, when smitten on one cheek, turn the
other. It is quite another thing to break old family associations, and,
leaving the scenes of childhood behind you, with strong and brave hearts,
open the way for emigration; plant way-marks that point to a future of
prosperity; sow the seeds of civilization in unbroken wilds, fairly to
represent your race before the savage, and live in the exercise of a
religious faith that honest dealings and the overshadowing exercise of
brotherly love will be a sure guaranty of final reward. To go out on the
bleak plains of Lost river, and by industry and economy transform the
sage-brush deserts into fruitful fields, to rear the unpretentious cabins,
and open your doors to the thirsty and hungry of every race and color, and
then, when you have done all this, to stand in your cabin-door and smile
back at the waving fields, and listen to the lowing herds, while you
rejoice in your instrumentality in making the great transformation;
looking hopefully to a future, when, from neighboring valleys, shall come
up sounds of friendly recognition; longing for the hour when you may catch
sight of children returning from the country school, and for the advent of
the itinerant minister, who will bring with him a charter under which you
may work toward a brotherhood, whose ties will bind on earth and reunite
in heaven,——when, suddenly, more direful than mountain torrents or heaving
earthquake, comes athwart your life a scene like that enacted on Lost
river, _November 30th, 1872_.

That scene, with all its horrors, has been repeated over and over again,
and will continue to be until this Government of ours shall come squarely
up to the performance of its duty, and shall have clothed worthy men with
power to do and make good its promises of fair and impartial justice to
each and all those who sit down under the shadow of its flag.

Tell me truly, do you still feel scorn for the frontier people, whose
lives are embellished with episodes and tragedies like these that I have
here painted in plainest colors, and nothing borrowed from
imagination,——no, not even using half the reality in making up the

My words cannot call back the dead, or flood the rude cabins of the
stricken and bereaved with sunshine and hope. No. There, on the hill,
beside Linkville, the thirteen little mounds lie out in winter’s storm and
summer’s sun; and they who prematurely sleep there will wake _no more_.

There, on the plains, stand the vacant cabins where these once lived.
There, walking with the spirits of the departed by their sides, the widows
go; while orphans’ faces wear reproach, in saddened smiles, against a
Government that failed to deal justly, and who, with light and careless
hand, pointed out its ministers of law without thinking once how much of
human woe and misery might be avoided by a few well-studied words of

The dead are buried, and the notes of coming strife succeed those of
bitter wailing; the winter’s sun gleams from the brass mountings of
officers; the zephyrs of the mountain are mingling with martial music; the
great plains of sage brush are glittering with polished bayonets. The
United States are at length aroused. The State of Oregon, _too_, is waxing
very wroth. The doom of the Modocs is sealed; and _war!_ _war!_ _war!_ is
the word.

From the half-dozen little military posts in the Lake country is seen
coming a grand army of——well——_two hundred soldiers_. “That’s enough to
eat up Jack’s little band. Keep cool, my dear friends. Let ’em go for ’em.
They need a _lickin’_ bad. There won’t be a grease-spot left of ’em.”

(Such was the speech in a hotel not far from Linkville, Oregon.)

“Look-er here, stranger, I’ll bet you a hundred head of cows, that
Captain Jack licks them there two hundred soldiers like h——l; so I will. I
know what I’m talking about, _I do_. I tried them Modoc fellows long time
ago; they won’t lick worth a d——m; so _they won’t_. If Frank Wheaton goes
down there a puttin’ on style like a big dog in ‘tall rye’, he’ll catch
h——l; _so he will_. I’m going down just to _see_ the _fun_.”

“You’re a crazy old fool. Frank Wheaton with two hundred soldiers will
wipe ’em out ‘fore breakfast,” suggested a listener.

“Look-er here if I’m crazy the cows aint; come come, if you think I’m
crazy, come, up with the squivlents, and you can go into the stock-raisin’
business cheap. _You can._

“Major Jackson went down there tother day with forty men, and Jack hadn’t
but fourteen bucks with him, and he licked Jackson out of his boots in no
time, and that was in open ground, and Jackson had the drap on the Ingens
at that; and by thunder he got the worst lickin’ a man ever got in this
neck woods; _so he did_. Then another thing, Captain Jack aint on open
ground now; not by a d————d sight. He is in the all-firedest place in the
world. You’ve been to the ‘Devil’s garden,’ at the head of Sprague river,
haven’t you? Well, that place aint a patchen to that ere place where the
Injuns is now. I’ve been there, and I tell you, it’s nearly litenin’, all
rocks and caves, and you can’t lead a horse through it in a week,——and
then the Injuns knows every inch of the ground, and when they get in them
there caves, why it taint no use talking, I tell you, you can’t kill nary
an Ingen,——_you can’t_. I’m a-going down just to _see_ the _fun_.”

The reporter who furnished me the foregoing speeches did not learn whether
a bet was made, or whether any army officers overheard the talk; but the
truth is, those who had this nice little breakfast job on hand were
somewhat of the opinion of the fellow whose “cows were not crazy, if he
was.” They were willing to have _help_.

This little Modoc affair was a favorable thing for Oregon and California,
in more ways than one. To the politician it was a windfall; for no matter
what the cause of war may have been, it is always popular to have been in
favor of the last war. It makes opportunity for brave men to win laurels
and undying fame. It clothes their tongues with themes for public harangue
until the last war is superseded by another. Then again it was a _heroic_
thing to rush up to the recruiting office and _volunteer_ to _whip the

It is not at all likely that the movement of armies over railroads, or
toll-roads, or steamboat lines, was a desirable thing for a country where
there was no money in it. Then no man was base enough to wish for war for
motives so mean; neither could it be possible that any sane man, with
ordinary judgment, could see any speculations or chances for greenbacks in

Californians did intimate that the Oregonians were a little mercenary in
their anxiety for war; but with what unanimity our press repelled the mean

_Our Governor_ very promptly sent forward two or three companies of
volunteers,——California, _but one_.

Listen, ye winds, to the neighing steeds and clashing sabres, and see the
uniformed officers and the brave boys, all with faces turned toward the
Lava Beds, going down to vindicate the honor of the State whose soil had
been _invaded_ by a ruthless savage foe.

The regulars are in camp near the Modocs, waiting for the volunteers to
come up. They come, with banners flying, and steeds prancing, and hearts
beating triumphant at the prospect of a fight.

Some of these men were living several years ahead, when they could from
“the stump” tell how they bared their bosoms to the Modoc hail; how they
carried away Modoc scalps; how the ground was bathed in mingled blood of
Modoc and white men.

The army now numbering four hundred, all told, of enlisted men, approaches
the Lava Beds. One or two companies encamp at Fairchild’s. They drill;
they go through the mimic charges; they espy a few Modoc women and
children encamped on the creek near Fairchild’s house,——they propose to
take them in. “Knits make lice,——let’s take them, boys,——here goes.”

A middle-sized grey-eyed man, with his whiskers dyed by twenty years’
labor on “the coast,” steps out and says, “No you don’t, not yet. _Take me
first._ No man harms defenceless women where I am, while I am standing on
my perpendiculars.”

“Who are you?” says one fine-looking young fellow.

“Try me, and you will find out that I am John Fairchild.” These brave
fellows had not lost any Indians just then, they hadn’t. Bah!

“Who are your officers?” said Fairchild.

The information was furnished, and soon the grey-eyed man was reading a
chapter not found in the Talmud, or the Bible either. As reported, it was
_eloquent_, though not _classical_.

Preparations were being completed for a forward movement. One-half the
army was to move to the attack from the south, while the other was to move
down from the north. The 16th of January, 1873, the two wings were within
a few miles on either side. Orders were given to be in motion before
daylight the following morning. Some spicy little colloquies were had
between the members of the volunteer companies; some, indeed, between

One brave captain of volunteers said to another, “I have but one fear, and
that is that I can’t restrain my men, they are so eager to get at ’em;
they will eat the Modocs up raw, if I let ’em go.”

“Don’t fret,” said Fairchild; “you can hold them; they wont be hard to
keep back when the Modocs open fire.”

“I say, Jim, are you going to carry grub?”

“No. I am going to take Modoc _Sirloin_ for my dinner.”

“I think,” said a burly-looking fellow, “that I’ll take mine _rare_.”

Another healthy-looking chap said he intended capturing a good-looking
squaw for a——dishwasher. (Good-looking squaws wash dishes better than
homely ones.)

A number of humane, chivalrous, civilizing, kind people intended to
capture some little _Ingens_ for servants. One fellow declared that
Captain Jack’s _pacing hoss_ should be his.

To have heard the camp talk the night before the battle, you would have
supposed that sundown, next day, would find these brave men loaded with
Indian plunder and military glory, going toward home in fine style, with
great speeches in rehearsal to deliver to the gaping crowds, who would
hang, with breathless interest, on the words that they would deal out with
becoming modesty.

That night was a long one to ambitious, noisy men; and, sad to say, a
_last_ one to some of the bravest of the army.

But the guard is stationed for the night, the council of officers has been
held, and the moon settles slowly away; the soldiers sleep. The orders for
the morrow are understood, and quiet reigns throughout the hopeful camp.

No doubt crosses the minds of the men, and, perhaps, of but few officers,
so sanguine are they of success. The greatest fear expressed was, that the
fight would not last long enough to give _all a fair show_ to win

Rest quiet, my poor, deluded countrymen! Some of you are taking your last
sleep but one,——the sleep of death.

If you had asked the opinion of Maj. Jackson and John Fairchild, or Press
Dorris, they would have set your hearts at ease, about having an
opportunity to fight a little on the morrow. You will have a chance to try
your metal, never fear, my dear friends.

                             CHAPTER XXIV.

                             MODOC INDIANS.

Leaving our soldier friends to dream of glory to be won in the coming
battle, let us pick our way from their camp to the head-quarters of
Captain Jack.

Our starting-point now is from a little grove of mountain mahogany trees
on a high plateau, a few miles south of the California and Oregon boundary
line, and within a short distance of the extreme southern end of lower
Klamath lake. The trees are dwarfed, stunted, and bent before the stormy
winds that have swept over them so continually.

As we leave this military camp, a long, high, sharp ridge extends
northward and southward, falling away at either end to hills of lesser
height. Climbing to the top, and looking eastward, we see Tule lake, named
on the maps of this country Rhett lake. It is a beautiful sheet of water,
of thirty miles from north to south, and fifteen from west to east. We see
also, with a field-glass, across the lake, the lone cabins where the
strong hands of Boddy, Brotherton, and others have laid the foundation of
future homes. They stand like spirit sentinels on the plain.

Look again at the trail leading out of the sage-brush plains; follow with
your glass down to where a high stone bluff crowds against the lake, and
forces the wagon trail into the edge of the water, until it disappears in
the high tule grass.

In September, 1852, a long train of wagons, drawn by worn-out oxen, driven
by hardy, venturesome pioneers, came down that trail.

_They never came out again_, save the two or three persons, as related in
a former chapter.

That place is _Bloody Point_.

Turn your glass northward, and see the trail emerge from the tule grass;
follow it until it turns suddenly westward and reaches the natural bridge
on Lost river. Turn your glass up the river one mile, and you see the
favorite home of Captain Jack, where we found him in 1869, and where Major
Jackson found him on the morning of “November 30th, 1872;” and, had you
been looking at that spot at 4 P.M. of the 23d day of April, 1873, you
would have descried a four-horse ambulance, with a mounted escort of six
men on either side, and standing in the front end of that ambulance a
woman, with a field-glass, eagerly scanning the surface of the lake. That
woman shows anxiety in her blue eye and earnest face while she changes the
direction of the glass, expecting each moment to catch sight of a boat
crossing the lake. She is cool, calm, and self-possessed, although no
other lady is nearer than twenty-four miles.

There is a reason for her presence there; and she will need all her
self-command when the looked-for boat arrives. Why, that lone woman is
there, on that 23d day of April, we will tell you in good time.

Turn your glass back now to Bloody Point, and follow down the shore of the
lake. Ah! there stands a white-looking object near a bluff that is black
with a low growth of trees. The white object is Miller’s house, just as he
left it the morning before his _friend, Hooker Jim, murdered him_. The
black-looking bluff near it is where _Ben Wright_ met the Modocs, in a
peace talk, in 1852. Swing your glass round to the right, following the
shore of the lake, and, at the extreme southern end, you will see the
cabins of Lou-e Land, and near them Col. Barnard’s head-quarters.

The white tents of the soldiers look like tiny playthings, even under a
field-glass. Col. Barnard is there with one hundred “regulars,” and one
company of “volunteers.” Look closely, and you will see that half the
volunteers are red-skinned men. Their captain is a tall, fine-looking
white man, who addresses them in the ancient jargon of the Klamaths,——this
is Oliver Applegate.

See the Indian soldiers, with each a white badge on his head; it is not an
army regulation cap, but is simply to prevent accident; that is, it is a
mark to distinguish the white man’s ally from his enemy.

In this camp are men about as anxious to march on the Modocs as those on
the north side; some of these red soldiers are the boys who made Jack’s
stay on Klamath Reservation, in 1870, so uncomfortable. _They_ are
_loyal_, though, to the Government, and are willing to help the white men
exterminate their cousins (the Modocs). Then the _pro rata_ of annuity
goods will be so much the larger. They don’t mean any harm to the Modocs,
although since 1864 they have been receiving regularly the price the
Government has paid for _the home of the Modocs_; except on one or two
occasions, when the latter were present.

These red-skinned boys are anxious to capture the Modoc ponies; for,
running with Jack’s band of horses, are several that once carried these
Klamath boys flying over the plains; until, in an evil moment, they were
weak enough to stake them, as many a poor, weak-minded, infatuated white
man has done his home, all on the hazardous chance of certain cards
turning up at the right time. Well, let these fellows take rest, for they
will need all their nerve before another day passes.

Move your glass round to the right, what a sight do we see! A great
flat-looking valley stretches out south and west from the ragged shore
line of the lake. On the further boundary see the four low buttes standing
in a line; while behind Mount Shasta raises his white head, overlooking
the country around on all sides for hundreds of miles.

This valley, lying so cold and cheerless, seems to have been once a part
of the lake. It is devoid of timber, save one lone tree, that stands out
on what appears to be a plain, of almost smooth prairie; but we forget we
are one thousand feet above this valley.

Let us follow now the zigzag trail that leads to the gap just where the
valley and the lake unite.

Better dismount, for wagons never have been, nor ever will go down that
bluff. Horses, indeed, need a _rough-lock_ to get down in safety. Oh! but
this _is_ steep; we are now half-way down,——let us rest, and meanwhile
take your field-glass and “see what we can see.” Why! it don’t look as it
did from the top of the bluff. Oh! I see now why you call this place the
“Lava Beds.” From this stand-point it presents the appearance of a broken
sea, that had, when in wild commotion, suddenly frozen or crystallized;
except that the surface is a grayish color. Sage brush grows out from the
crevices of the rock, and, occasionally, “bunch grass” may be seen.

Near the foot of the bluff is a small flat of a few acres that is free
from rocks. A bay from the lake makes up into the rocky field; then a long
point of stony land runs out into the lake.

Follow the shore-line, and another bay, or arm of the lake, runs out into
the lava rocks. Look carefully, and, on the next point of lava rocks,
running into the lake, you will discover a gray smoke rising. There, if
you will steady your glass, you will see dark forms moving round about the

They are not more than two miles from our point of observation, and this
is the 16th day of June, 1873.

See that man standing above the others. He is talking. Wonder who he is,
and what he is saying. Since we are talking of Indians, suppose we adopt
Indian spiritualism, and in that invisible capacity we will hear and see
what is going on.

We will pick our way over the dim, crooked trail, first in real person,
and take items as we pass along. The trail is very dim, it is true——only
seen by the rocks misplaced to make footing for the Indian ponies. Now we
wind around some low stony point, and pick our way down into a rocky

Slowly rising, we climb up twenty feet of bluff, and out on a plateau.
Looking carefully for the road, we follow a half-round circle of two
hundred feet on the left; and, sloping from every direction, the broken
lava rocks tend toward a common centre, forty feet below the level of the
plateau. As we pursue our way another great basin is in sight, of similar
character and proportion; and thus this plateau, that appeared almost
smooth from the mountain-top, is made up of a succession of basins, all
lined with broken rock, from the size of a dry-goods box to that of a

Just ahead, we see rising above the rocky plain a craggy ledge, standing
like an immense comb, the spikes of lava forming great teeth. On the right
and left it looks as if the teeth-like crags are broken midway, and our
trail is pointing to one of these breaks.

Before reaching it, we see on either hand where the breaks are filled with
stones, piled in such a way that port-holes are left, through which the
Modocs propose to fire on the advancing foes when they come to the attack.

Passing between upright spires of lava, we come out on a smooth plain of
fractured stones; and, passing near the end of the second little bay, we
find rough, sharp ledges rising to intercept our way.

Picking our steps, we stand on the summit of the ledge. Shut your eyes now
while we pass over a chasm of thirty feet in depth, and with walls almost
perpendicular. Our bridge has been made by a gorge of loose rocks that
fill the chasm to its lips. Some of these have been rolled in by Indian
hands, and some by old Vulcan himself, when he spilled the lava there.

Come, follow the trail,——now we stand a moment and, looking right and
left, we see great fissures and caverns that look dark and forbidding;
suggesting ambush. No danger here now,——_we left the Modoc sentinel behind
us_, at the huge comb-like ledge. He is not afraid of us, and all the
other Modocs are in council. Climbing a cliff that overlooks a deep, wide
chasm, we catch sight of the sage-brush fire, and suddenly half a hundred
warriors, in half dress of “Boston,” half of savage costume,——some of them
are bare-armed, and have curious-looking figures on them made of paint.

This is not safe now, for sharp eyes scan the surroundings, and while this
council is going on, the Modoc women are doing duty. Some of them are
piling on the sage brush to keep the fire going. Others are standing,
apparently pillars of stone; sphinx like, they gaze outward, for although
this council is being held in a place secure from gaze of pale-faced man,
the Modocs, Indian like, are ever on the alert, and do not intend to be
taken by surprise. Since this is not safe for us, we had better play
Indian spirit, if we would see and hear what is going on. What we lack in
catching the words in the spirit correctly, we will obtain from some
friendly Indian hereafter. See that fellow there; his face looks familiar;
yet he is not a Modoc. Oh! yes; we recognize him now; we saw him at the
peace meeting, taking the Modocs by the hand then, and afterwards taunting
them with their poverty and cowardice while they were on Klamath
Reservation in 1870. That fellow is _Link-river Jack_. He is a natural

He has crept cautiously into the Modoc camp to give them warning of the
soldiers coming. He is the Modocs’ _friend now_; he tells them that a
large army is coming; that they are on the bluff almost within sight.

This was not news; for the Modocs had counted the soldiers, man by man,
and knew exactly how many was in either camp. They knew, too, that half
the soldiers were citizens with whom they had dealt for years. Link-river
Jack tells them of the feeling outside against them; that peace may be had
on the surrender of the Modocs who killed the settlers. We did not hear
him tell them that if they would hold out a few days, the Klamaths and
Snakes would join them; but our friendly Indian asserts that he did.

All eyes turn now to the chief, Captain Jack. He rises with stately mien
and says, “We have made a mistake. We cannot stand against the white men.
Suppose we kill all these soldiers; more will come, and still more, and
finally all the Modocs will be killed; when we kill the soldiers others
will take their places; but when a Modoc gets killed no man will come to
take _his_ place; we must make the best terms we can. I do not want to
fight the white man. I want no war; I want peace. Some of the white men
are our friends. Steele and Roseborough are our friends; they told us not
to fight the white men; we want no war; soon all the young men will be
killed. We do not want to fight.”

Old Schonchin John arose; his face was full of war; _he_ was in for a
fight. He recalled the “Ben Wright” massacre; he said, “We have nothing to
expect from the white men. We can die, but we will not die first. I won’t
give it up; I want to fight. I can’t live long. I am an old man.”
Schonchin sat down. He had no hope for his life; his crimes were all
arrayed against him, and he knew it.

Scar-face Charley rose to talk. He said, “I was mad on Lost river; my
blood was bad. I was insulted. I have many friends among the white men. I
do not want to kill them. We cannot stand against the white men. True, I
am a Modoc. What their hearts are, my heart is. May be we can stop this
war. I want to live in peace.”

Curly-haired Doctor, who was with the murdering gang in Lost river, arose
and said, “I am a Modoc. My hands are red with white man’s blood. I was
mad when I saw the dead women and children on Lost river. I want war. I am
not tired. The white men cannot fight; they shoot in the air. I will _make
a medicine that will turn the white man’s bullets away from the Modocs_.
We will not give up. We can kill all that come.”

The discussion is ended, and now comes the vote. They divide off,——those
who were for war walked out on one side, and those who favor peace on the
other. These people are democratic; _the majority rules_.

The vote is of vast importance to others than the Modocs. One hundred and
fifty soldiers and many citizens are interested in that vote. Gen. Canby,
Dr. Thomas, and your writer, are to be very much affected by that vote.
Millions of dollars hang on the decision.

Hold your breath while each man elects for himself. The chief, Captain
Jack, walks boldly out on the side of peace, but, O my God, few dare
follow him. The majority vote for blood, and gather around Schonchin John,
and the Curly-haired Doctor. The die is cast, war is inevitable; let us
see who is with Captain Jack. There goes “Scar-face Charley,” “William”
(the wild gal’s man), “Miller’s Charley,” “Duffey,” “Te-he Jack,” “Little
Poney,” “Big Poney,” “Duffey’s Boy,” “Chuckle-head,” “Big Steve,” “Big
Dave,” “Julia’s man,”——fourteen men, no more.

The bloodthirsty villains who held the balance of power are, “Schonchin,”
“Curly-head Doctor,” “Bogus Charley,” “Boston Charley,” “Hooker Jim,”
“Shacknasty Jim,” “Steamboat Frank,” “Rock-Dave,” “Big Joe,” “Curly Jack,”
and the remainder of the band, numbering thirty-seven, all told. There are
two strange Indians there, also; they are Pitt river thieves, they do not
vote. The doctor’s speech has done the work. These infuriated thirty-six
men believe in him, and his promise to make medicine that will turn the
bullets of the white men. This has more power than the clear, logical
reasoning of Captain Jack. Having turned the current of so many lives, the
doctor, exulting in his success, repaired to his cave to fulfil his

Suppose we follow him and see how this thing is done. He calls the singing
women of the band together, and, having prepared roots and religious
meats, he builds a fire, and, with a great deal of ceremony, he places the
sacrifice thereon; then inhaling the smoke and odor of the burning mess,
he begins his religious incantations; calling down the good spirit,
calling up the bad spirit, and calling loudly for the spirits of the dead
Indians to come; while the women, having pitched a tune to his words,
begin to sing, and with their shoulders touching each other, they start
off in a rough, hobbly kind of a dance, singing meanwhile; and a drummer,
too, joins in with a hideous noise, made on a drain of peculiar shape,
with but one head of dried rawhide, or untanned buckskin, drawn tightly
over a rough-made hoop.

Round go the singing dancers, and louder grow the voices of the doctor and
the women; both increasing in fury until exhausted nature gives proof of
the presence of the various spirits.

The braves stand looking on to see what the prospects are; satisfied that
the medicine is getting strong enough, they saunter back to the cave of
the chief, where he sits with thoughtful brow, planning in a low voice the
defence of the morrow; repeating again, “This is the last of my people; I
must do what their hearts say; I am a _Modoc_, and I am not afraid to
die.” Then giving orders for the fight,——designating where each man should
be stationed, and appointing women to carry water and ammunition to the
various stations, while they fight,——he inspects the arms, and estimates
how long the powder and lead will last, tells the women to mould bullets
for the old-fashioned rifles; he then turns sadly away to his sister,
Queen Mary, and declares that he is now going to do what he thought he
never would do,——“fight the white man.”

We leave the howling doctor and the sad chief and return to the soldier
camp on the top of the bluff. The sentinels are walking the rounds; all is
quiet, and the boys are taking their rest,——some of them their last rest
save one. Ah! Jerry Crook, you jumped down from a stage-driver’s box to
help whip the Modocs. Your heart is beating steadily now; it will beat
wildly for a few minutes to-morrow afternoon, and then its pulsations will
cease forever. George Roberts, too, has left a good position to come on
this mission, promising, as he fondly hopes, a dream of glory, which he
will share with his comrades when hereafter he cracks his whip over the
teams of the Northwest Stage Company. Enjoy it now, my dear fellow, for
the vote in yonder camp has sealed your fate. Others may tell how bravely
you died, but you will not live to tell of the shout of victory that the
M-o-d-o-c-s will send over your dead body to-morrow night. Sleep soundly,
my soldier boys; thirty of you will not answer the roll-call after the
battle of the morrow.

Brave Gen. Frank Wheaton, why do you still walk back and forth, arm-in-arm
with Col. John Green and Maj. Jackson? You do not feel so sanguine about
to-morrow. Jackson has said something that has driven sleep from your
eyes. You might find comfort in consulting Gens. Miller and Ross, and Col.
Thompson, of the “Salem Press,” and Capt. Kelley, of the “Jacksonville
Times.” They are State militia officers, it is true, but they are old
Indian fighters, and can tell you how quickly you can whip Captain Jack in
the morning. They are leading men, who may be _hard to restrain_, but they
will take the advance. Don’t say a word to Capt. John Fairchild; he knows
the Modocs, as does Press Dorris. They know the Lava Beds, too; they have
hunted cattle over this country, and understand the lay of it better than
any white men in the camp.

_They_ are not so _very confident_. They said, to-day, to some impatient
boys, “Don’t fret; you will get enough _to do you_ before you see your
mother again. The Modocs are _on it_ sure!”

                              CHAPTER XXV.


Four A.M., _January 17th, 1873_.——The tattoo is beaten, and the soldiers
throw aside their blankets. They dress themselves; the blankets are rolled
together; the men sit around, the mess-table on the ground, and partake of
coffee and “hard tack.” The volunteer State militia also jump out from
under _their_ blankets, and, making their toilets as soldiers do, prepare
for _duty_ and _glory_.

The weather is cold, very cold. Breakfast is over, and the order to “Fall
in” sounds through the camp. The blue uniforms take places like
automatons; the roll is called. “Here!” “Here!” comes out along the line.
Poor fellows! somebody else must answer for some of you to-morrow; you
cannot do it for yourselves.

The line of march is taken. The California volunteers, under the gray-eyed
man, lead the way toward the bend of the ridge. Cautiously they approach
the river. It is not daylight yet; they _must go slow_. Look over the
valley below us——the day begins to dawn. Oh, yes; you are looking at the
upper side of a great bank of fog. The signal that was to be given Col.
Barnard “to move” cannot be made. But he will come to the attack on the
south at the same time with the assault from the north.

The soldiers are unencumbered by blankets and knapsacks; they have left
them with a guard at camp, _expecting_ to return in a few hours. They move
cautiously down the bluff into the misty scene below. The cavalry-men are
dismounted, leaving their horses in camp, and answer to the call of the
bugle. The two hundred men are at the foot of the bluff, at the edge of
the Lava Beds.

The lines are formed; each company is assigned a position. In the dim
daylight, mixed with fog, they look like ghostly mourners out on the
rampart of the spirit world. Hark! “Forward——_march!_” rings out in the
cold morning air, and the bugle repeats “Forward——march!” The line moves,
stretching out along the foot of the bluff. The regulars advance very
steady, for Maj. Jackson’s company that was in the Lost-river fight were
in no great hurry to hear the music of battle again.

The volunteers start off rapidly, while Gen. Ross and Col. Thompson say,
“Steady, boys,——steady.” “Steady, my boys,” repeats Capt. Kelley, of the
Oregon volunteers.

“Go slow, boys, go slow. You’ll raise ’em directly,” says the gray-eyed
man, who commands the Californians. Cautiously the line moves over the
rocky plain. On, still on——no Modocs yet. On again they go through the
thick fog. “Just as I expected; they’ve left. I knew they wouldn’t stand
and fight when the volunteers got after them.”——“They knew we was a
comin’.” Such speeches were made by men who were hungry for “_Modoc
sirloin_.” “Steady there; we’ll raise them pretty soon,” says gray eyes.
“They haint run; they’re _thar sure_. Go slow, boys; keep down, boys——keep
down _low_, boys.”

Hark! again; what is that rumble, like a train crossing a great bridge?
Bang——bang——bang——bang comes through the fog bank. “Barnard’s opened on
’em. Now we will go. Hurrah! We will take ’em in the rear. Hurrah! hurrah!
hurrah for h——l,” sings out a Modoc-eating fellow.

“That’s right; every man hurrah for the country he’s going to,” comes from
a quiet regular on the left.

Through the mist a gleam shoots out, and then a rattle of muskets just in
front of the advancing line. Hey! what means that? Did Roberts stumble and
fall? Yes, he fell, but he cannot get up again; his blood is spurting from
his neck on the rocks. Look to the right. Another has fallen to rise no

“Fire!” says Col. Green. “Fire!” says the bugle. “Fire!” say the volunteer
officers, and a blaze of light burst forth along the line. To see the
flame from the guns, one would suppose they saw the enemy on some cliff
above them, although the Modoc flame was on a level.

[Illustration: MODOCS ON THE WARPATH.]

Perhaps the Modocs have changed their base. No, that cannot be, for, see!
again it blazes out just in front, and, oh, see the soldiers fall.

On the right of our line, among the rocks, a level blaze follows the Modoc
volley. There is somebody there who knows what he is about. “Charge!”
rings out the voice of Green. “Charge!” repeats the bugle. The line moves
forward at a double-quick, over the rough waves of hardened lava.

On, on, still on the shattered line moves, for several hundred yards.
Still no howl of pain from Modoc lips.

“They’ve run,” exultingly shouts a voice; but before the echo of that
voice had repeated the lie, through the rocky caves another blazing line
appears in front. Bang, bang, now comes from the further side; again a
charge is ordered, and, climbing over chasms and caverns, the now broken
line move as best they can; no groan of agony tells of Modocs with
bayonets or bullets pierced. No eye has seen a redskin, but four hundred
pairs of ears have heard the Modoc’s war-whoop, and four hundred hearts
have trembled at the sound.

The line still moves forward, firing at the rocks, and——and another brave
white man falls.

The investment must be completed; junction must be made with Col. Barnard.
Where are the volunteers? The gap in the line must be closed. Where is
Capt. ————? The caves answered back, “Where?”

But Donald McKay, the scout, says “They are behind the ledge yonder, lying

“Order them up,” says Gen. Frank Wheaton.

An aide-de-camp fails to open communication with them.

The gallant Green is trying now to close up the line. “Forward, my men,”
he shouts. “Mount the cliff.” The foremost man falls back pierced with
Modoc bullets. Green quickly leaps upon the cliff——a dozen rifles from the
cave send flame and balls at him. “Come, my men. Up, up,” and another man
reels and falls. “Come up,” again shouts the brave colonel, still standing
with the bullets flying around him. Another blue blouse appears, and it,
too, goes backward; thus the little mound of dead soldiers grew at the
foot of the cliff, until, at last, the gray-eyed man, taking in the
situation, points out to his men the Indian battery that commanded this
position, and then the sharp, quick rifles, mingle smoke and bullets with
the muskets and howitzers, and Green’s men pass over the cliff.

The fog is lifting now, but scarce an Indian yet seen. Still the circle of
bayonets contracts around the apparently ill-starred Modoc stronghold.

Take a station commanding a view of the battle. Do you hear, amid all this
din of exploding gunpowder, the shrieks of mangled white men, and the
exulting shouts of the Modocs? Look behind you; the sun is slowly sinking
behind Mount Shasta, tired of the scene. The line is broken again, and,
where a part of it had stood, see the writhing bodies in blue, half
prostrate, some of them, and calling loudly for comrades to save them.

A council is called by Gen. Wheaton; the fighting goes on; the line next
the lake gives back. “Draw off your men!” is the order that now echoes
along the faltering lines; the bugles sound “Retreat.” The men are
panic-stricken. Hear the wounded, who understand the bugle-call, shouting
to comrades, “Do not leave us.” The volunteers halt; they return to the
rescue. The Modoc fire is fearful. One of the wounded men is reached in
safety, but when two of his comrades lift him up, one of them drops.

Fairchild’s men now go to the rescue, crawling on their faces; they almost
reach the two wounded men; one of the rescuers falls; they cannot be
saved. One wounded man begs to be killed. “Don’t leave me alive for the
Modocs.” The cry is in vain. _The army of four hundred men are on the
retreat._ They fall back, followed by the shouts and bullets of the
Modocs, and soon leave the voices of the wounded behind them. Is it true
that our army is retreating now from fifty savages?

Is it possible that our heroes, who _were to dine on “Modoc sirloins,”_
are scrambling over the rocks on empty stomachs, after a ten-hour fight?
Is it true that the cries for help by wounded soldiers are heard only by
the _Modocs_? Yes, my reader, it _is_ true. Every effort to save them cost
other lives.

Our army grope their way in darkness over the rocks they had passed so
hopefully a few hours since. They climb the bluff, expecting an attack
each minute; the wounded, who are brought off the field, are compelled to
await surgical aid until the army can be placed in a _safe position_.

The camp on the north is reached, and, without waiting for morning, they
fall back to “Bremer’s” and “Fairchild’s.”

When the roll is called in the several companies thirty-five regulars and
volunteers fail to answer. Their dead bodies lie stark and cold among the
rocks. The Modoc _men_ disdain to hunt up victims of the fight. The squaws
are permitted to do this work. It is from Modoc authority, that they found
two men alive at daylight next morning, and that they stoned them to
death; finally ending this long night of horror by one of the most cruel
deaths that savage ingenuity could suggest. Look now in the Modoc camp
when the squaws come in, bearing the arms and clothing of the fallen
United States soldiers. See them parade these before the Indian braves.
See those young, ambitious fellows, with those curious-looking things.
Here are “Hooker Jim,” “Bogus Charley,” and “Boston Charley,” “Shacknasty
Jim,” “Steamboat Frank,” and several others, holding aloft these specimens
of God’s handiwork and their own.

You ask, What are they?

Go to yesterday’s line of battle, scan the rocks closely, and you will see
some of them are dyed with human gore; look closely, and you will see a
bare foot, may be a hand, half-covered with loose stones; examine
carefully, move the rocks, and you will find a mutilated white body there,
and if you will uncover the _crushed head_ you will see where the articles
came from that the Modoc braves are showing with so much pride.

Suppose you count the Modoc warriors now. We know they had fifty-three
yesterday morning, for we have the names of all the men of the whole
tribe, and we have taken pains to ascertain that every man who did not
belong to Captain Jack’s band was at “_Yai-nax_,” under the eye of the old
chief “Schonchin” and the Government agent, while the battle of yesterday
was going on, except three Modocs——Cum-ba-twas——and they were with Capt.
Oliver Applegate’s company during the fight. There is no miscount.
Fairchild, Applegate, Dorris, and Frank Riddle know every one personally.
Call the roll in Jack’s camp, and _every man will answer to his name_,
except one man who was wounded in a skirmish on the 15th, with Col.
Perry’s company of regulars. This statement is correct, notwithstanding
the Telegraph said the Modocs had _two hundred men in the fight_.

Listen to Curly-haired Doctor. He is saying, in his native tongue, “I
promised you a medicine that would turn the white man’s bullets. Where is
the Modoc that has been struck with the white man’s bullets? I told you
‘Soch-a-la Tyee,’ the Great Spirit, was on our side. Your chief’s heart
was weak; mine was strong. We can kill all the white men that come.”

Schonchin John says: “I felt strong when I saw the fog that our
medicine-man had brought over the rocks yesterday morning. I knew we could
kill the soldiers. We are _Modocs_.”

The chief (Captain Jack) arose, all eyes turn toward him, and in
breathless silence the council awaits his speech.

He does not appear to share in the general rejoicing. He is thoughtful,
and his face wears a saddened look. He feels the force of the doctor’s
speech; Schonchin’s also. He knows they are planning for his removal from
the chieftainship.

“It is true we have killed many white men. The Modoc heart is strong; the
Modoc guns were sure; the bullets went straight. _We are all here_; but
hear me, O muck-a-lux (my people). The white men are many; they will not
give up; they will come again; more will come next time. No matter how
many the Modocs kill, more will come each time, and we will all be killed
after a while. I am your voice. My blood is _Modoc_. I will not make peace
until the Modoc heart says ‘_peace_,’ We will not go on the warpath again.
Maybe the war will stop.”

After the several braves have recounted the various exploits they have
performed, the council adjourns.

See the squaws bringing great loads of sage brush. They are preparing for
a grand scalp dance. This is to be a great demonstration. The women dress
in best attire and paint their faces, while the men, now wild with
triumph, prepare for the ceremonies of rejoicing.

The drum calls for the dance to commence. They form around the fire on the
bare rocks, each warrior painted in _black and red_, in figures rudely
made on their arms and breast, indicating the deeds they may boast of.
Each bears on the ramrod of his gun the scalps _he_ has _taken_. The
medicine-man begins a kind of prayer or thanksgiving to the Great Spirit
above, and to the bad spirit below, for the success they have won. The
dances begin,——a short, upright hop, singing of the great deeds of the
Modocs, the warriors meanwhile waving the ramrods with the scalps.

Round and round they move, stepping time to the rude music, until they are
exhausted. The blood of the warriors is at fighting heat.

The chief takes no part. He is ill at ease; his mind is busy with great
thoughts concerning the past and the future of the Modoc people.

Leaving the Modocs to exult and quarrel alternately, let us hunt up our
disappointed army. A part of them have returned to Col. Barnard’s camp at
Lone Lands; another part, the volunteers, have collected at Fairchild’s
ranch. Great, unauthorized councils are being held; a hundred men give
wise opinions. Gen. Frank Wheaton is declared “incompetent,” and some
underhand work is going on to have him relieved of his command. It will
succeed, although he was brave and skilful, and did as well as any other
man could have done under the circumstances.

But that is not the question now, he _must_ be relieved; it is enough that
he did not succeed, and it is necessary now to send a new man and let him
_learn_ something of the country. True, Gen. Wheaton has experience and
would know how to manage better than a new man. Political power is
triumphant, and this worthy man is humbled because he could not perform an
_impossibility_. He had raw recruits, that were unskilled in Indian wars,
and he was attacking with this force the strongest natural fortress on the

Let us listen to some of the pretty speeches being made in the volunteer

“I tell you aint them Modocs nearly thunder though? But the ‘regulars’
fired from the hip; they could not _get down_ and draw a fine bead.”

“It takes _Volunteers_ to fight Ingens. Ruther have one hundred volunteers
anytime than a regiment of ‘regulars.’”

“The captain says he’s going to raise a new company, picked men; and then
the Modocs will get h——l. Won’t they though?”

Our unpopular gray-eyed man strolled into the volunteer camp. He is a
little caustic sometimes. Sauntering up to the fellow who was so brave a
few days before, he said:——

“How did you like your ‘Modoc sirloin,’ eh? putty good, eh? didn’t take it
raw, did you? Where’s that feller who was going to bring home a
good-looking squaw for a——dishwasher? Wonder how he likes her about this
time? Where’s that _other_ fellow who was going to ride Captain Jack’s
_pacing hoss_?

“Wonder if those boys who were spoiling for a fight are out of danger?

“Say, boys, there’s some old squaws over there near the spring; they aint
got any guns, aint no bucks there; may be you can take _them_.” Tossing
his head a little to one side, a habit of his when full of sarcasm, he
went on to ask the captain of a certain company, “if he found any
difficulty in holding his boys back. Where was _you_ during the fight,
anyhow? I heard Gen. Wheaton asking for you, but nobody seemed to know
where you was, ’cept Donal’ McKay, and he said you was down on the point;
said he saw your general there with a mighty nice breech-loading _bird
gun_, and that once in a while some of you would raise your heads and look
round, and then Shacknasty Jim would shoot, and you would all lie down

“Now, captain, let me give you a little bit of advice; it won’t cost you
nothing. When you raise _another_ company to fight the _Modocs_, don’t you
take any of them fellows that you can’t hold back, nor them fellows who
want to eat Modoc steaks _raw_; they aint a good kind to have when you get
in a tight place. Why, Shacknasty Jim could whip four of them at a time.
Them kind of fellers aint worth a continental d——m for fightin’ Modocs.
Better leave them fellers with their mammies.”

                             CHAPTER XXVI.


A few days after this battle Captain Jack sent a message to John Fairchild
and Press Dorris, proposing a “talk,” telling them that they should not be
molested, and agreeing to meet them at the foot of the bluff, near the
Modoc camp. Messrs. Fairchild and Dorris, accompanied by one other white
man and an Indian woman (Dixie), visited the Lava Beds.

The meeting, as described by Fairchild, was one of peculiar interest.
Those who _had been_ friends, and _then enemies_ and at war, without any
formal declaration of peace, coming together in the stronghold of the
victorious party, presents a phase of Western life seldom witnessed. The
white men, fully armed, ride to the Indian camp with the squaw guide. The
Modocs had observed them with a field-glass while they were descending the
bluff, two miles away.

On their arrival, the men who had so earnestly sought each others’ lives
stood face to face. A painful silence followed, each party waiting for the
other to speak first. The Modocs approach and offer to shake hands. “No,
you don’t, until we understand each other,” said Fairchild; and continued,
“We came here because we learned that you wanted to talk peace. We are not
afraid to talk or to hear you talk. We were in the battle. We _fought you,
and we will fight_ again unless peace is made.”

Captain Jack replied, that “the Modocs knew all about who was in the big
battle, but that should not make trouble now. We are glad you come. We
want you to hear our side of the story. We do not want any war. Let us go
back to our homes on Lost river. We are willing to pay you for the cattle
we have killed. We don’t want to fight any more.”

Such was the substance of Captain Jack’s speech; to which Fairchild and
Dorris replied, that they were not authorized to make any terms, but would
do all they could to prevent further war.

These men visited the Modoc camp from humane and kindly motives; yet
tongues of irresponsible parties dared to speak slanderous words against
these men who ventured where their vilifiers would not have gone for any
consideration. Their motives were questioned, and insinuations unworthy
the men who made them, never would have been made had the characters of
Fairchild and Dorris been better understood.

The results of the battle of Jan. 17th had startled the public mind, and
especially the authorities at Washington City. On investigating the cause
of the war, it was thought that some mistake had been made. The citizens
of Oregon who were then in Washington, headed by Gen. E. L. Applegate,
consulted with Attorney-General Williams on the subject of the Modoc
troubles. Inasmuch as a vast amount of ink has since been wasted in
expressing indignation against the Modoc Peace Commission, I herewith
submit the subjoined letter from Gen. Applegate, of Oregon, to the “Oregon
Bulletin,” which gives a fair, and, I believe, true statement of the
circumstances attending its conception. I was not present at the
conference referred to, neither was I consulted as to the propriety of the
movement, either by the Honorable Secretary or the Oregon delegation.
Secretary Delano is qualified to defend his own action, and I only suggest
that, with the representations set forth, he acted wisely in the course he

Although I did not advise the appointment of a Peace Commission, I declare
that it was right, and no blame can be justly attached to either the
Commission or the appointing power, if it was not a success.

The principle of adjusting difficulties by such means is in harmony with
justice and right. Let those who _burned_ the Honorable Secretary in
effigy remember the continued stream of denunciation that was poured out
against the Commission by a portion of the secular press of the Pacific
coast, and the reason why the peace measures failed may be better

                      LETTER FROM WASHINGTON CITY.

    _How the “Peace Commission,” was formed——An Account from General
      Applegate——His Agency in the Matter._

                                WASHINGTON, D. C., January 29th, 1873.

EDITORS BULLETIN: I “arise to explain” that, since coming to this city I
have been meddling somewhat with public affairs. You know the Indian
question is one which I think I have a right to express an opinion upon. I
ought to know something of Indians and Indian affairs; and, believing that
a wrong policy in regard to the Modocs might involve the country in a
tedious and expensive Indian war, without a sufficient degree of good
being accomplished by it to justify the losses, delays, and expenses
incurred, could not avoid undertaking such action as I believed might the
most quickly hasten a settlement of the trouble.

The fame abroad of Indian wars and dangers in our State is very injurious
to the cause of immigration. A great many good people are confirmed in an
opinion, which has been very considerably entertained heretofore, namely,
that Oregon is yet an Indian country, and that the settlements are at all
times in imminent danger of the tomahawk and scalping-knife.

My policy with Indians may be denominated the “pow-wow” policy. A matter
has not only to be thoroughly explained to an Indian, but it must be
explained over and over; and the fact is, that thirty years of observation
convince me that Indians can be talked into any opinion or out of it by
the men in whom they have confidence, and who understand the proper style
of Indian talk. Consequently, I was in favor of sending some man as a
Peace Commissioner to the Modoc country to pow-wow with these Indians and
settle the difficulty. “Jaw-bone” is cheaper than ammunition; and the fact
is, that all comes round to this at last, and always has. This might just
as well be done at first, it seems to me, as to go through all the ups and
downs, and expense of blood and treasure and long-delayed peace, with the
bad effects abroad on the State, and then come to it.

I was, therefore, in favor of sending Mr. Meacham to that country
immediately as a peace officer, to turn the whole thing into a “big
talk,” instead of letting it go on and getting into a big war.

This policy was agreed upon by as many of the Oregonians as could be got
together. Styling ourselves an “Oregon delegation,” we called upon
Attorney-General Williams, and submitted the matter to him. We promptly
received a note from the attorney-general, stating that Secretary Delano
would be glad to see us in regard to this matter, and on Saturday, the
25th, we called upon him. We found him a pleasant gentleman, with a very
serious business expression about his face. He heard our statements and
opinions with great patience, and requested a statement in writing of our
views, for the purpose of bringing the matter before the cabinet and
President. The following is the said document, which was signed by the
aforesaid Oregon delegation:——

                                WASHINGTON, D. C., January 27th, 1873.

  _Hon._ C. DELANO, _Secretary Interior_:——

DEAR SIR: We would most respectfully submit the following notes or
memoranda, in compliance with your request, on the 25th, that we should
embody in writing the views which we had just expressed on the situation
of affairs in the Klamath and Modoc country, in Southern Oregon:——

The Indians and military are incompatible. They cannot peaceably dwell in
contact. Soldiers should not be allowed to go on an Indian Reservation at
all. An agent in charge of an Indian Reservation should have the right to
determine who should be about the Reservation.

The Modocs and the Klamaths have been at war as far back as tradition
knows. The Klamaths persecute the Modocs when the Modocs are on the
Klamath Reservation, because this Reservation is in the country of the
Klamaths. This is a most irritating cause of discontent with the Modocs.
The near vicinity of the Modocs to the ancient home of their fathers adds
to their discontent. Moreover, the Modocs do not understand that they have
justly parted ownership with their old home. The Modocs are desperate.
Their disposition now is to sell their lives as dearly as possible; not to
submit to the military. Active military operations should be suspended
immediately. Soldiers should remain in guard only (the regulars) of the
settlements against a raid by those Indians until a peace officer reports
on the situation.

_Because_ to undertake to drive those Indians to the Reservation by force
would involve a considerable loss of life and property, and great expense
to the Government.

_Because_ war and bloodshed in such close proximity to Klamath and Yai-nax
would produce disaffection among all those Indians, which would
continually augment the force of the insurgents, and even endanger a
general uprising and breaking up of those Reservations; and discontented
Indians from everywhere would seek the hostile camp, and make out of a
little misunderstanding a great war.

_Because_ to force Indians on to a Reservation by arms, and keep them
there against their will, would require a standing army or a walled-up

_Because_ those Indians already know that the Government is able to
annihilate them. There is nothing, therefore, to be gained in merely
making them feel its power. Their extermination would not be worth its
cost. And, moreover, they look to the Government to protect them against
local mistake and wrong.

_Because_ they cannot, under the present juncture of affairs, be taught by
force the justice of the Government; for, to them, it is an attempt by
force to enforce an injustice——to force them to abandon their own home and
leave it unoccupied, while they are quartered upon the Klamaths; to use
the wood, water, grass, and fish of their ancient enemies, and endure the
humiliation of being regarded as inferior, because dependants; and
particularly so since those Indians had been quieted for some time with
the assurance that their request for a little Reservation of their own
would be favorably considered. They, therefore, considered the appeal to
the military to be premature, as a definite answer to their petition had
never been had. Different tribes of Indians can be better harmonized
together where none can claim original proprietorship to the soil.

The Klamaths, Yai-nax, and Modocs all ought to be removed to the Coast
Reservation, a portion of which, lying between the Siletz and Tillamook,
west of the Grand Ronde, capable of sustaining a large population, remains
unoccupied, abounding in fish, game, and all the products of the soil to
which Indians are accustomed.

A peace commissioner should hasten to the scene of trouble as coming from
the “Great Father” of all the people, both whites and Indians, with full
authority to hear and adjust all the difficulties.

On account of his personal acquaintance with those Indians and their
implicit confidence in him, we would respectfully suggest and recommend
Hon. A. B. Meacham as a proper man to appoint as a peace commissioner for
the adjustment of difficulties with those tribes and the carrying out of
the policy herein indicated.——[SIGNED AS ABOVE STATED.]

       *       *       *       *       *

The day following the filing of the above set of “_Becauses_” and
recommendations, I received a note inviting me to the Interior Department.
When notified of my appointment as Chairman of the Commission, I then
expressed doubts of its success, giving, as a reason, the intense feeling
of the western people against the Modocs and any peace measures; also as
to the safety of the commission in attempting to negotiate with a people
who were desperate, and had been successful in every engagement with the
Government forces.

It is well known at the department in Washington that I accepted the
appointment with reluctance, and finally yielded my wishes on the urgent
solicitation of the Hon. Secretary of the Interior. The fact that I knew
the Modocs personally, and that I had been successful, while
Superintendent of Indian Affairs for Oregon, in managing them peaceably in
1869, was given as one reason. Another was, the sympathy I had for them on
account of the treatment of them by the Klamaths; and another still,
humanity for the soldiers whose lives were imperilled by the effort to
make peace through blood, and charity for a poor, deluded people, whose
religious infatuation and hot blood had forfeited their right to life and
liberty. My heart was in sympathy, too, with the poor, bereaved wives and
mothers, made so by Modoc treachery; but I did not believe that doubling
the number of widows and orphans would make the griefs of the mourners
less, or lighter to be borne.

The sands of the sage-brush plains had drank up the blood of a score of
manly hearts; immersing the lava rocks in blood could not make the dead
forms to rise again.

With these feelings, and fully realizing the danger attending, and
anticipating the opposition that would be raised against the commission, I
left Washington on the 5th of February, 1873, with the determination to do
my whole duty, despite these untoward circumstances. The other members of
the commission were Hon. Jesse Applegate, a man of long experience on the
frontier, possessed of eminent qualities for such a mission, aside from
his personal knowledge of existing hostilities, and personal acquaintance
with the Modocs, and Samuel Case, who was then acting Indian Agent at
Alsea, Oregon. Mr. Case has had long experience and success in the
management of Indians; these qualities were requisite in treating with a
hostile people. _Both these appointments were made on my own
recommendation, based on a personal acquaintance with these gentlemen,
believing them fitted for the difficult task assigned the commission._ I
accepted the chairmanship more cheerfully, when informed that Gen. Canby
would act as counsellor to the commission, knowing, as I did, his great
experience among Indians, and the ability and character which he would
bring to bear upon the whole subject of the Modoc trouble. I knew him to
be humane and wise, and I had not the slightest doubt of his integrity.

The following letter of instructions was furnished for the guidance of the

With these, and the appointment of Messrs. Applegate and Case, I went to
the head-quarters of Gen. Canby, then at Fairchild’s Ranch, twenty-five
miles from the Modoc camp in the Lava Beds.

I arrived at Fairchild’s Ranch on the 19th of February, where I found
General Canby, Hon. Jesse Applegate, and Agent Samuel Case.

The Commission was duly organized, and immediately began operations
looking towards the objects sought to be accomplished.

Communication with the rebel camp had been suspended after the visit of
Fairchild and Dorris. To reopen and establish it was the first work. This
was not easy to do under the circumstances. There were several Modoc
Indian women encamped near head-quarters; but it was necessary to have
some messenger more reliable. Living but a few miles distant, was a man
whose wife was a Klamath, and who was on friendly terms with the Modocs.
This man, “Bob Whittle,” was sent for, with a request to bring his wife
with him. On his arrival, we found him to be a man of sound judgment, and
his wife to be a well-appearing woman; understanding the English language
tolerably well.

A consultation was had, and we decided to send this Indian woman and her
husband, Bob Whittle, and “One-eyed Dixie,” a Modoc woman, with a message
to the Modocs in the Lava Beds. The substance of this message was, that a
commission was then at Fairchild’s ready to talk over matters with them.
This expedition was very hazardous.

These messengers left head-quarters early on the morning of the 21st of
February, all of them _expressing doubt about ever returning_. Fairchild’s
Ranch (our head-quarters) is situated at the foot of a mountain
overlooking the route to the Lava Beds, for several miles. We watched the
mounted messengers until we lost sight of them in the distance, wondering
whether we should ever see them again.

Talk of _heroism_ being confined to race, color, or sex! nonsense; here
were two women and a man, venturing where few men would have _dared_ go.

They returned late on the same day, unharmed, and reported having been in
the Modoc camp; and bringing with them, in response to our message, the
reply, that the Modocs were willing to meet John Fairchild and Bob
Whittle, at the foot of the bluff, for the purpose of arranging for a
council talk with the commission.

Messrs. Fairchild and Whittle were despatched on the following morning,
accompanied by Matilda Whittle and “One-eyed Dixie.” Mr. Fairchild was
instructed to announce the object of the commission, and, also, who were
its members, and to arrange to meet the representative men of the Modocs,
on some midway ground, with such precautionary measures as he might
consider necessary.

He was also instructed to explain to them the meaning of an
armistice,——that _no act of war would be committed by us, or permitted by
them, while negotiations for peace were going on_. The meeting with
Captain Jack was had by Fairchild and party; the object stated, and the
_personnel_ of the commission made known. Captain Jack’s reply was that he
was _ready to make peace_; that he did _not wish to fight_, but he was not
willing to come out of the Lava Beds to meet us. “I understand you about
not fighting, or killing cattle, or stealing horses. Tell your people they
need not be afraid to go over the country while we are making peace. My
boys will stay in the rocks while it is being settled; _we will not fire
the first shot_. You can go and hunt your cattle; no one will shoot you.
We will not begin again first. I want to see Esquire Steele. I am willing
to meet the commissioners at the foot of the bluff, but I don’t want them
to come with soldiers to make peace. The soldiers frighten my boys.”

The messengers returned, accompanied by two Modoc warriors, who were to
carry back our answer. These Modocs were Boston Charley and Bogus Charley.
We refused to go to the foot of the bluff unless accompanied by an escort
of soldiers, but proposed to meet them on open ground, “_all armed_” or
“_all unarmed_.” It was agreed that Esquire Steele should be sent for.
Bogus and Boston returned to the Modoc camp with the results of the
interview. Steele was invited to head-quarters. Gen. Canby requested by
telegraph the appointment of Judge A. M. Roseborough as a commissioner;
the request was granted, and, on the morning of the 23d, Steele and
Roseborough arrived.

The commission now numbered four. The Modocs had refused to accept all
propositions for a meeting that had been made them, so far. Communication
was now had, almost daily, between the commissioners and Captain Jack,
Frank Riddle and his wife Tobey acting as messengers and interpreters. The
Modocs came to our camp in small numbers,——there they came in constant
communication with “squaw men” (white men who associate with Indian
women), whose sympathy was with them.

From these they learned of the almost universal thirst for vengeance,——of
the indictments by the Jackson county courts against the “Lost-river”
murderers; the feelings of the newspaper press; the protest of the
Governor of Oregon; all of which was carried into the Modoc camp by such
men as Bogus and Boston Charley. I stop here to say that these two men
were well fitted for the part they played in the tragic event of which I
am writing. Bogus Charley was a full-blooded Modoc, whose father was lost
in some Indian battle. This boy was born on a small creek, called by the
miners Bogus creek; hence his name. He was not more than twenty-one years
old at this time. He had lived with white men at various times,——knew
something of civilized life,——was naturally shrewd and cunning; the
Indians called him a “double-hearted man;” and my readers will honor them
for their intelligence by the time we reach the gibbet, where Captain Jack
answered for this man’s crimes.

His counterpart may be found in civil life in finely dressed and
smooth-talking white men,——who are the scourges of good society,——persons
who are all things to all men, and true to none. Boston Charley was still
younger,——not over nineteen at the time justice caught him by the neck and
suspended him over a coffin at Fort Klamath, November 3d, 1873. He was so
named on account of his light complexion and his cunning; and as the
Indian said, “Because he had two tongues; one Indian and one white.” His
father, a Modoc, died a natural death. He had no personal cause for his
treachery, and perhaps charity should have been extended _to him_, and his
life spared, because he was “_a natural-born traitor,_” according to Modoc
theology, and not to blame for his acts.

However, such were the two principal messengers from the Modoc camp to
ours,——plausible fellows, who could lie without the slightest scruples.
They came, and were fed and clothed; they _went_, with their hearts full
of falsehoods that had been told them by whiskey-drinking white villains.
They, too, were plausible fellows; talked with the old-fashioned
“D————n-nigger-any-how” sort of a way.

Under such circumstances it was a somewhat difficult thing to arrange a
council with the Modocs on reasonable terms. True, the Modocs did say that
they had been told by white men that if Gen. Canby and the commissioners
ever got them in their power they would _all_ be hung. But who would
believe a Modoc? This was simply an excuse; and, then, no one in all that
country would have done such a thing. That was a Modoc lie. Nobody but
Modocs ever tell lies. On the contrary, _every white man was honest_. They
all wanted _to stop the war_. Of course they did. Intimate anything else,
and you would get a hundred invitations to “target practice” in
twenty-four hours; or else you would _fall in a fit_, and never get up
again, caused by _remorse_ of conscience for injuring some unnamed

On the arrival of Judge Roseborough and Esquire Steele the commission was
convened; a canvass of the situation was had. The proposition was made for
Mr. Steele to visit the Modoc camp. He consented to go, believing that he
could accomplish the object we had in view. He was _unwisely_ instructed
to offer terms of peace. This should not have been done. No terms ever
should have been offered through a _third party_,——Messrs. Roseborough,
Case, and Applegate voting for this measure. No one questioned Mr.
Steele’s integrity or his sagacity, but many did question the propriety of
sending propositions of peace to the Modocs through a third party. This
gave them the advantage of refusal, and of the advantage of discussion in
offering alternatives. Mr. Steele was authorized to say that an amnesty
for all offenders would be granted on the condition of removal to a new
home on some distant Reservation, to be selected by the Modocs; they,
meanwhile, to be quartered on “Angel Island,” in San Francisco harbor, as
_prisoners_ of war, and fed and clothed at Government expense. Mr. Steele
was accompanied on this mission by Fairchild and “Bill Dad” (correspondent
of the “Sacramento Record”), and also one or two other newspaper
correspondents,——Riddle and wife as interpreters.

They went prepared to remain over night, taking blankets and provisions.
The Modocs received them with evident pleasure.

After the usual preliminaries were over, the peace talk began. Captain
Jack made a long speech, repeating the history of the past, throwing all
the responsibility on to the messengers sent by Superintendent Odeneal,
denying that either he or his people had ever committed crime until
attacked by the soldiers; that he was anxious for peace. Mr. Steele made
the proposition to come out of the Lava Beds and go to a new home.

Steele’s speech was apparently well received, and an arrangement was made
whereby several Modocs were to return with him to the head-quarters of the
commission. Nothing of an alarming character occurred. The party returned
in the afternoon of the second day, accompanied by “Queen Mary” (sister of
Captain Jack), “Bogus Charley,” “Hooker Jim,” “Long Jim,” “Boston
Charley,” “Shacknasty Jim,” “Duffy,” “William,” “Curly-haired Jack.”

We were on the lookout, and when the now enlarged party came in sight they
made an imposing appearance. Steele was in advance, and, raising his hat,
saluted our ears with the thrilling words, “They accept peace.” Couriers
to ride to Y-re-ka were ordered, despatches prepared for the departments,
and the various newspapers. A general feeling of relief was manifest
everywhere around camp. We felt that a great victory over blood and
carnage had been won, and that our hazardous labors were nearly over.
Letters of congratulation were being prepared to send to friends, and all
was happiness and joy, when our gray-eyed friend, who was with the party,
put a sudden check on the exuberant feelings, by saying, “I don’t think
the Modocs agreed to accept the terms offered. True, they responded to
Steele’s speech, but _not in that way_. I tell you they do not understand
that they have agreed to _surrender yet, on any terms_.”

Mr. Steele repeated his declaration, and the speeches, as reported by
“Bill Dad,” were read, from which it appeared they had greeted Steele’s
peace-talk with applause. The Modocs, who came in with Steele and his
party, were called up and questioned as to the understanding. They were
reticent, saying they came out to _hear_ what was said, and not to _talk_.

No expression could be obtained from them. Of the success of his mission,
Steele was so confident that he proposed to return the next day to Captain
Jack’s camp, and reassure himself and the commission. He accordingly
started early the next morning, accompanied by the Modocs who came out
with him, and “Bill Dad” (the scribe). Mr. Fairchild was invited, but he
declined with a peculiarly slow swinging of his head from side to side,
that said a great deal; especially when he shut his eyes closely, while so
doing. Riddle, also, objected to going, but consented to let his wife
Tobey go.

The party left behind them some minds full of anxiety, especially when
reflecting on Fairchild’s pantomime.

The Modocs, who were returning with Steele, reached the stronghold some
time before he did. On his arrival, the greeting made his “_hair stand on
end_,”——he saw fearful possibilities. It required no words to convince him
that he had been _mistaken_. He realized, in a moment, the great peril of
the hour. The slightest exhibition of fear on his part would have closed
up his career, and the scribe’s, also. Steele’s long experience with the
Indians had not fully qualified him to understand them in council; but it
_had_ taught him that _real_ courage commands respect even from infuriated

He sought to appear indifferent to the changed manner, and extended his
hand to the chief, who exchanged the greetings with great caution, though
giving Steele to understand that he was still his friend.

The council was opened, the chief remarking that they had _not yet shown
their hearts_; that his friend Steele had missed some of his words.

Steele replied that he was their friend, and that he would not, knowingly,
misrepresent them.

Schonchin accused him of being a traitor to the Modocs, and of telling
falsehoods about them; and, more by manner than by word, intimated that he
was done talking peace, showing a bad heart in his action, sufficiently to
enlighten Steele on the most important thing in the world to him, namely,
that Schonchin did not intend to give Steele another opportunity to
misrepresent the Modocs.

Steele’s courage and coolness saved him. He said to Schonchin, “I do not
want to talk to a man when his heart is bad. We will talk again

The council was dissolved, the Modocs scattering about the camp, or
gathering in little squads, and talking in low tones.

The indications were, that the time for saying prayers had come, at least
for Steele and Bill Dad.

Captain Jack and Scar-faced Charley demonstrated that manhood and fidelity
may be found even in Indian camps. They, without saying in words that
Steele and Bill Dad were in danger, told them to sleep in Jack’s camp, and
proceeded to prepare the night-bed. Our messengers trustingly lay down to
rest, if not to sleep, while Scar-faced Charley, Jack and Queen Mary,
stood guard over their friends. Several times in the night, Steele looked
from under the blankets, to see each time his self-appointed guards
standing sentinel in silence.

All night long they remained at their posts, and it was well for Steele
and Bill Dad that they did; otherwise they would have been sent off, that
very night, to the other side of the “dark river.”

The morning came and the council reassembled; the signs of murder were not
wanting. Angry words and dark hints told the feeling.

Steele, relying on the friendship of Captain Jack and Scarface Charley,
proposed that he would return to the head-quarters of the commission, and
_bring with them all the commissioners the next day_.

This strategy was successful. He was permitted to depart on his promise to
lead the commission to the Modoc slaughter-pen. On his arrival at our camp
he looked some older than when he left the morning previous.

He admitted that he had been mistaken, detailing, without attempt at
concealment, that he had escaped only by promising that the commission
should visit the Lava Beds unarmed; but with candor declared that if they
went they would be murdered; that the Modocs were desperate, and were
disposed to recall the Ben Wright affair, and dwell upon it in a way that
indicated their thirst for revenge.

The department at Washington was informed by telegraph, and also by
letter, of the progress of negotiations from time to time, and _always,
without exception, by the advice and approbation of Gen. Canby_.

On Steele’s return, as Chairman of the Peace Commission, I telegraphed
the facts above referred to, and that it was the opinion of the
commission, concurred in by Gen. Canby, that treachery was intended, and
that the mission could not succeed, and that we were awaiting orders; to
which we received the following reply:——

                            DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, March 5, 1873.

    A. B. MEACHAM, _Fairchild’s Ranch, via Yreka, Cal._:

    I do not believe the Modocs mean treachery. The mission should
    not be a failure. Think I understand now their unwillingness to
    confide in you. Continue negotiations.

    Will consult President, and have War Department confer with
    General Canby to-morrow.

                                                    C. DELANO,

The camp wore a gloomy aspect. The soldiers who had been with Maj. Jackson
on Lost river, and with Gen. Wheaton in the Lava Beds, were anxious for
peace on any terms.

Another fight was not desirable. They were real friends to the Peace
Commission. The field-glasses were often turned toward the trail leading
to the Lava Beds.

Late one evening, a small squad of Modocs were seen coming. Hope began to
dawn again on the camp. When they arrived, “Queen Mary,” speaking for her
brother, proposed, that if Gen. Canby would send wagons and teams to meet
them half way, the Modocs would all come out and surrender.

The proposition was accepted, the commission decided _three to one_, to
turn the whole matter over to Gen. Canby; meanwhile awaiting the
confirmation of the Secretary of the Interior of the above action.

Gen. Canby, accepting the charge conferred by this unwarranted action of
our board, assumed the management of affairs; and the chairman could only
look on, giving opinions when requested by Gen. Canby, though confident
that it was not the intention of the Department of the Interior to
transfer this matter to the Department of War at that time. The telegraph
station was at Y-re-ka, sixty-miles from head-quarters; hence two to three
days were required to receive replies to telegrams.

Gen. Canby, anxious for peace,——as, indeed, he always was, from humane
motives toward his soldiers and the Indians also, because he believed in
the principle,——attempted to settle the difficulties, and, knowing it to
be the policy of the President, accepted the terms offered. Mary and the
men who came out with her returned to the Lava Beds, with the distinct
understanding that the teams would be sent _without_ a squad of soldiers
to a point designated, and that on the following Monday all the Modocs
would be there.

When Gen. Canby assumed the control of this affair, he conducted his
councils without Riddle and his wife as interpreters, although they were
present, and were in Government employ by the commission.

For some reason he became prejudiced against them, and did not recognize
them as interpreters. This fact was observed by the Modocs, and they were
anxious to know why this was so.

Before leaving, “Boston,” who was with Mary, signified to Tobey (Mrs.
Riddle), that she would not see him again, saying: “If you ever see me, I
will pay you for the saddle I borrowed.”

Tobey, feeling incensed at the treatment received, was reticent, and,
Indian-like, kept quiet, saying nothing of her suspicions.

The day before the time for surrender another messenger came from the
Modocs, saying that they could not get ready, that they were burning their
dead, but promising that two days hence they would surely come.

Gen. Canby accepted the apology, and assured the messenger that the teams
would be sent.

Meanwhile, the report went out that the war was over, much to the disquiet
of those who were anxious to secure U. S. greenbacks.

The day previous to the proposed surrender, Riddle and his wife expressed
to me their opinion, that if the teams were sent they would be _captured_,
or that no Modocs would meet them, to surrender.

I sought an interview with Gen. Canby, giving him the opinions I had
formed from Riddle’s talk.

The general called Riddle and his wife to his quarters. They repeated to
him what they had previously said to me. He consulted Gen. Gilliam, and
concluded that Mrs. Riddle either did not know, or was working into the
hands of the Modocs, or, perhaps, was influenced in some way by those who
were opposed to peace.

At all events, on the morning fixed upon, the teams were sent out, under
charge of Mr. Steele. Many an anxious eye followed them until they passed
out of sight.

The hours dragged slowly by for their return; but so sanguine were Gen.
Canby and Gen. Gilliam that tents were prepared for their accommodation,
one was designated as “Captain Jack’s Marquee,” another “Schonchin’s,” and
so on, through the row of white canvas tents.

Mr. Applegate was so certain that they would come that he left the
head-quarters for home, and reported en route: “The war is over. The
Modocs have surrendered.”

The soldiers were ready and anxious to welcome the heroes of the Lava
Beds. The sentiment was not universal that the wagons would return loaded
with Indians.

Our keen-sighted, gray-eyed man shook his head. “I don’t think they will
come. They are not going to Angel Island, as prisoners of war, just yet.”

Riddle and wife were in distress; their warning had been disregarded,
their opinions dishonored, their integrity doubted.

Every field-glass was turned on the road over which the wagons were to
come. _Four o’clock P.M._, no teams in sight. _Five_,——no Indian yet; and,
finally, as the shadow of the mountain fell over the valley, the glasses
discovered, first, Mr. Steele alone, and soon the empty wagons came slowly
down the road.

Darkness covered the valley, and also the hearts of those who really
desired peace. But a new hope was now revived in the hearts of those who,
from near and afar, were clamoring for the blood of the Modocs.

Another delegation arrived from the Modoc camp, saying, “The Modocs could
not agree; they wanted more time to think about it.”

The truth is, that they failed to agree about capturing the teams. Jack
and Scar-face were opposed to it. The authorities at Washington were
informed of this failure, also; and they replied to the commission,
“Continue negotiations.” Mr. Case resigned; Judge Roseborough returned to
his duties on the bench.

Gen. Canby notified the Modocs that no more trifling would be tolerated.
Recruits were coming daily,——one company, passing near the Lava Beds,
_captured about thirty Modoc ponies_. Gen. Canby moved his head-quarters
to Van Bremen’s, a few miles nearer the Lava Beds.

I suggested to General Canby, that the capture of horses was in violation
of the armistice, and that they should be returned. The general objected,
saying, that they should be well cared for and turned over when peace was

Dr. Eleazer Thomas, of California, at the request of Senator Sargent, was
added to the commission, as was, also, Mr. Dyer, agent of the Klamath

Dr. Thomas brought with him a long and successful experience as a minister
of the Methodist Church. He had lived on the Pacific coast for eighteen
years; but he had little experience or knowledge of Indians. Being a man
of great purity of character and untiring energy, coupled with a humane
heart and active hand, he threw himself into this new mission with
earnestness, and was impatient to begin to do something towards the
accomplishment of _peace_.

Gen. Canby was sending out exploring parties of armed mounted men
occasionally,——the ostensible object of which was to obtain a better
knowledge of the country around the Lava Beds, with a view to moving the
army nearer the Modocs. The commission was not informed of these
expeditions, or their objects, by Gen. Canby, but through other parties.

On one occasion, Dr. Thomas went out with a company, and while surveying
the Lava Beds at a distance, they met several Modocs, with whom he talked,
and succeeded in reopening communication.

A delegation of Indians visited the new camp at Van Bremens. Every effort
made through them to secure a meeting with the Board of Commissioners and
Modocs failed.

Gen. Canby notified the Modoc chief of his intention to change the
position of the army, so that the communications might be more easily
made; and, also, that he would not commence hostilities against them
unless they provoked an attack.

Captain Jack’s reply was, that he would not “fire the first shot;” but,
through his messengers, he asked a return of his horses.

Indians have great love for their horses. When a small company of the
Modoc women came in asking for their ponies, they were denied them, but
were permitted to go under guard to the corral and see them. It was a
touching scene,——those Indian women caressing their ponies. They turned
sadly away, when compelled, by orders, to leave the corral.

The fact is, several of these ponies had already been appropriated for the
use of _young_ soldiers, at home, when the war should be over.

On the last day of March, 1873, the camp at Van Bremens was broken up, and
the army was put in motion for the Lava Beds.

I was never shown any order from either department, at Washington city,
that authorized this movement, though I do not doubt Gen. Canby felt
justified in so doing.

The commission was notified——not consulted. We were under instructions “in
no wise to interfere with the army movement, but always, as far as
possible, to confer and co-operate with Gen. Canby.”

Four days were occupied in moving. We arrived at the top of the bluff
overlooking this now historic spot of rocks, about noon of the second day.

How little we knew then of the near future, when Gen. Canby and Dr. Thomas
would be carried, in rough-made coffins, _up_ the zigzag road that we went
down on that day!

Our new camp was pitched near the foot of this high bluff, and immediately
on the shore of the lake. From it, with a field-glass, we could see Capt.
Jack’s people moving around their rocky home, not more than one mile and a
half, air-line, though two miles around by land.

While my memory is still green with the scenes that followed, and I have
not justified and will not justify or seek to palliate the crimes of the
Modocs, still I cannot forget some of the meditations of the half hour I
sat with Dr. Thomas, when half-way down the bluff, up which I was not to
go at all, and the doctor only as a corpse.

I have recollections yet of a part, at least, of the conversation between
us. We were representing one of the most powerful governments in the
world, and bearing peace and human kindness in our hearts, while passing
us, as we sat, were the sinews of war,——armed soldiers by the hundred.
Cannon were being dragged down the hill, tents were being erected, and all
the circumstance of military power and display was at our feet or above
us, hastening to compel an infuriated, misguided people to acknowledge the
authority of our Government.

Over yonder, within range of our glasses, were a half-hundred men,
unlettered, uncivilized, and infuriated by a superstitious religious
faith, that urged them to reject the “olive-branch” which we came to offer

We could see beyond them another army of ten times their number, camping
nearer to them.

The doctor was moved by deep feeling of compassion for them, and spoke
very earnestly of their helpless condition,——benighted in mind, without
enough of the great principles of Christian justice and power to recognize
and respect the individual rights of others. Doomed as a race, hopeless
and in despair, they sat on their stony cliffs, around their caves, and
counted the men, and horses, and guns, that came down the hill to _make
peace_ with them, turning their eyes only to see the sight repeated.

Look nearer at the boys with blue dress, as they pass us, bearing camp
equipage. Many of the men are going down this hill to _stay_, unless we
can make peace with the Modocs. Our hearts grow sick at the thoughts
suggested by our surroundings.

Mutually pledging anew to stand together for peace as long as there was a
hope, we slowly followed down to the camp.

I cannot forbear mentioning an accident of the evening.

Gen. Canby’s tent was partly up when I passed near him. He said, “Well,
Mr. Meacham, where is your tent?”——“It has not come,” I replied.

The general ordered the men to pull up the pins and move his tent to the
site we had selected for ours. It was only by the most earnest entreaty on
our part that he countermanded the order, and then only on our promise to
share his tent with him, if ours was not put up in time for us to occupy
for the night.

On the day following our arrival a meeting was had with the Modocs. On our
part, Gen. Canby, Gen. Gilliam, Dr. Thomas, Mr. Dyer and myself, Frank
Riddle and Tobey as interpreters. Some of our party were armed; others
were not. Riddle and his wife Tobey were suspicious of treachery, and
said, as we went, “Be sure to mix up with the Modocs; don’t let them get
you in a bunch.”

“Boston,” who had come to our camp to arrange for the meeting, led the
way. We saw arising, apparently out of the rocks, a smoke. When we arrived
we found Captain Jack, and the principal men of his band, and about
half-a-dozen women standing by a fire built in a low, rocky basin.

Dr. Thomas was the first to descend. He did not seem to observe, indeed he
did not observe, that we were going entirely out of sight of the
field-glasses at our camp.

The place suggested treachery, especially after Riddle’s warning. I
scanned the rocks around the rim of the basin, but did not see ambushed
men; nevertheless, I had some misgiving; but it was too late to retreat
then, and to have refused to join the council would have invited an
attack. The greetings were cordial; nothing that indicated danger except
the place, and the fact that there were three times as many Indians as
“Boston” had said would be there. One reassuring circumstance was the
presence of their women. But this may have been only a blind. After
smoking the pipe of _peace_ the talk opened, each one of our party making
short speeches in favor of peace, and showing good intentions. The chief
replied in a short preliminary talk; Schonchin also. We stated our object,
and explained why the soldiers were brought so closely,——that we wanted to
feel safe.

Thus passed nearly an hour, when an incident occurred that caused some of
our party to change position very quietly.

Hooker Jim said to Mr. Riddle, “Stand aside,——get out of the way!” in
Modoc. Some of us understood what it meant. Tobey moved close to our party
and reprimanded Hooker. Captain Jack said to him, “Stop that.”

This lava bed country being at an altitude of four thousand five hundred
feet, and immediately under the lee of high mountains on the west, is
subject to heavy storms.

While we were talking, a black cloud overspread the rocks and a rain-storm
came on.

Gen. Canby remarked that “We could not talk in the rain.” Captain Jack
seemed to treat the remark with ridicule, though the interpreters omitted
to mention the fact. He said “The rain was a small matter;” that “Gen.
Canby was better clothed than he was,” but “he (Jack) would not melt like

Gen. Canby proposed to erect a council tent on half-way ground, where
subsequent meetings could be held.

This proposition was agreed to, and just as the storm was at its height.

No agreement was made for another meeting, although it was understood that
negotiations would be continued.

                             CHAPTER XXVII.


On the following day the council tent was erected in a comparatively
smooth plot of land, in the Lava Beds, care being taken to select a site
as far as possible from rocks that might answer for an ambuscade.

This place was less than one mile from our camp, and a little more than a
mile from the Modocs. Meanwhile the signal corps had established
communication between the two army camps. The signal station at our camp
was half way up the bluff, and commanded a view of the council tent, and
of the trail leading to it from the Modoc stronghold, as it did of the
entire Lava Beds.

Col. Mason’s command being on the opposite side of Captain Jack’s
head-quarters, from our camp, the three were almost in a line.
Communication was also established between the army camps, with boats
going from one to the other, and, in doing so, passing in full view of the

The Modocs were permitted to visit the head-quarters during the day, and
to mix and mingle with the officers and men. The object of this liberty
was to convince them of the friendly intentions of the army, and also of
its power, as they everywhere saw the arms and munitions of war. They were
also permitted to examine the shell mortars and the shells themselves.

On one occasion Bogus Charley and Hooker Jim observed the signal telegraph
working, and inquired the meaning of it. They were told by Gen. Gilliam
that he was talking to the other camp; that he knew what was going on over
there; they were also informed that Col. Mason would move up nearer to
their camp in a few days, and that he, Gen. Gilliam, would move his camp
on to the little flat very near Captain Jack’s. “But don’t you shoot my
men. I won’t shoot your men, but I am going over there to see if
everything is all right.” Gen. Gilliam also informed them that, “in a few
days, one hundred Warm Spring braves would be there.”

These things excited the Modocs very much. Bogus Charley questioned
General Gilliam, “What for you talk over my home? I no like that. What for
the Warm Springs come here?” Receiving no satisfactory reply, they went to
Fairchild, who was in camp, and expressed much dissatisfaction on account
of the signal telegraph, and the coming of the Warm Spring Indians.

On the 5th of April Captain Jack sent Boston Charley, with a request for
old man Meacham to meet him at the council tent, and to bring John
Fairchild along. This message was laid before the board. It was thought,
both by Gen. Canby and Dr. Thomas, to be fraught with danger. I did not,
and I assumed the responsibility of going this time; inviting Mr.
Fairchild, and taking Riddle and his wife as interpreters, I went.

[Illustration: WI-NE-MAH (TOBEY).]

Judge Roseborough arrived in camp, and came on after we had reached the
council tent.

Captain Jack was on the ground, accompanied by his wives and seven or
eight men. On this occasion he talked freely, saying, substantially, that
he felt afraid of Gen. Canby, on account of his military dress; and, also,
of Dr. Thomas, because he was a Sunday doctor; but “now I can talk. I am
not afraid. I know you and Fairchild. I know your hearts.” He reviewed the
circumstances that led to the war, nearly in the order they have been
referred to in this volume, and differing in no material point, except
that he blamed Superintendent Odeneal for not coming in person to see him
while on Lost river, saying, “that he would not have resisted him. Take
away the soldier, and the war will stop. Give me a home on Lost river. I
can take care of my people. I do not ask anybody to help me. We can make a
living for ourselves. Let us have the same chance that other men have. We
do not want to ask an agent where we can go. We are _men_; we are not

I replied, that, “since blood has been spilled on Lost river, you cannot
live there in peace; the blood would always come up between you and the
white men. The army cannot be withdrawn until all the troubles are

After sitting in silence a few moments, he replied, “I hear your words. I
give up my home on Lost river. Give me this lava bed for a home. I can
live here; take away your soldiers, and we can settle everything. Nobody
will ever want these rocks; give me a home here.”

Assured that no peace could be had while he remained in the rocks, unless
he gave up the men who committed the murders on Lost river for trial, he
met me with real Indian logic: “Who will try them,——white men or Indians?”

“White men, of course,” I replied, although I knew that this man had an
inherent idea of the right of trial by a jury of his peers, and that he
would come back with another question not easy to be answered by a citizen
_who believed in equal justice to all men_.

“Then will you give up the men who killed the Indian women and children on
Lost river, to be tried by the Modocs?”

I said, “No, because the Modoc law is dead; the white man’s law rules the
country now; only one law lives at a time.”

He had not yet exhausted all his mental resources. Hear him say: “Will you
try the men who fired on my people, on the east side of Lost river, by
your own law?”

This inquiry was worthy of a direct answer, and it would seem that no
honest man need hesitate to say “Yes.” _I did not_ say yes, because I knew
that the prejudice was so strong against the Modocs that it could not be
done. I could only repeat that “the white man’s law rules the
country,——the Indian law is dead.”

“Oh, yes, I see; the white man’s laws are good for the white man, but they
are made so as to leave the Indian out. No, my friend, I cannot give up
the young men to be hung. I know they did wrong,——their blood was bad when
they saw the women and children dead. _They_ did not begin; the white man
began first; I know they are bad; I can’t help that; I have no strong
laws, and strong houses; some of your young men are bad, too; _you_ have
strong laws and strong houses (jails); why don’t you make your men do
right? No, I cannot give up my young men; take away the soldiers, and all
the trouble will stop.”

I repeated again: “The soldiers cannot be taken away while you stay in the
Lava Beds.” Laying his hand on my arm, he said, “Tell me, my friend, what
I am to do,——I do not want to fight.” I said to him, “The only way now for
peace is to come out of the rocks, and we will hunt up a new home for you;
then all this trouble will cease. No peace can be made while you stay in
the Lava Beds; we can find you another place, and the President will give
you each a home.” He replied, “I don’t know any other country. God gave me
this country; he put my people here first. I was born here,——my father was
born here; I want to live here; I do not want to leave the ground where I
was born.”

On being again assured that he “must come out of the rocks and leave the
country, acknowledge the authority of the Government, and then we could
live in peace,” his reply was characteristic of the man and his race:——

“You ask me to come out, and put myself in your power. I cannot do it,——I
am afraid; no, I am not afraid, but my people are. When you was at
Fairchild’s ranch you sent me word that no more preparation for war would
be made by you, and that I must not go on preparing for war until this
thing was settled. I have done nothing; I have seen your men passing
through the country; I could have killed them; I did not; my men have
stayed in the rocks all the time; they have not killed anybody; they have
not killed any cattle. I have kept my promise,——_have you kept yours_?
Your soldiers stole my horses, you did not give them up; you say ‘you
want peace,’ why do you come with so many soldiers to make peace? I see
your men coming every day with big guns; does _that_ look like making

Then, rising to his feet, he pointed to the farther shore of the lake: “Do
you see that dark spot there? _do you see it?_ Forty-six of my people met
Ben Wright there when I was a little boy. He told them he wanted to make
peace. It was a rainy day; my people wore moccasins then; their feet were
wet. _He smoked the pipe with them._ They believed him; they set down to
dry their feet; they unstrung their bows, and laid them down by their
sides; when, suddenly, Ben Wright drawing a pistol with each hand, began
shooting my people. Do you know how many escaped? _Do you know?_” With his
eye fixed fiercely on mine, he waited a minute, and then, raising one
hand, with his fingers extended, he answered silently. Continuing, he
said: “One man of the five——Te-he-Jack——is now in that camp there,”
pointing to the stronghold.

I pointed to “Bloody Point,” and _asked him how many escaped there_? He
answered: “Your people and mine were at war then; they were not making

On my asserting that “Ben Wright did wrong to kill people under a flag of
truce,” he said: “_You_ say it is wrong; but your _Government_ did not say
it was wrong. It made him a tyee chief. Big Chief made him an Indian

This half-savage had truth on his side, as far as the Government was
concerned; as to the treachery of Ben Wright, that has been emphatically
denied, and just as positively affirmed, by parties who were cognizant of
the affair. It is certain that the Modocs have always claimed that he
violated a flag of truce, and that they have never complained of any
losses of men in any other way. I have no doubt that this massacre had
been referred to often in the Modoc councils by the “Curly-haired Doctor”
and his gang of cut-throats, for the purpose of preventing peace-making.

Captain Jack, rising to full stature, broke out in an impassioned speech,
that I had not thought him competent to make:——

“I am but one man. I am the voice of my people. Whatever their hearts are,
that I talk. I want no more war. I want to be a man. You deny me the right
of a white man. My skin is red; my heart is a white man’s heart; but I am
a _Modoc_. I am not afraid to die. I will not fall on the rocks. When I
die, my enemies will be under me. Your soldiers begun on me when I was
asleep on Lost river. They drove us to these rocks, like a wounded deer.
Tell your soldier tyee I am over there now; tell him not to hunt for me on
Lost river or Shasta Butte. Tell him I _am over there_. I want him to take
his soldiers away. I do not want to fight. I am a Modoc. I am not afraid
to die. I can show him how a Modoc can die.”

I advised him to think well; that our Government was strong, and would not
go back; if he would not come out of the rocks the war would go on, and
all his people would be destroyed.

Before parting, I proposed for him to go to camp with me, and have dinner
and another talk. He said “he was not afraid to go, but his people were
afraid for him. He could not go.”

This talk lasted nearly seven hours, and was the only full, free talk had
with the Modocs during the existence of the Peace Commission.

I left that council having more respect for the Modoc chief than I had
ever felt before. No arrangement was made for subsequent meetings, he
going to his camp, to counsel with his people. We returned to ours, to
report to the Board of Commissioners the talk, from the notes taken. Judge
Roseborough, who had been present a portion of the time, and Mr.
Fairchild, agreed with me that Captain Jack himself wanted peace, and was
willing to accept the terms offered; but he, being in the hands of bad
men, might not be able to bring his people out of the rocks.

Gen. Canby, Dr. Thomas, and Mr. Dyer were of the opinion that, inasmuch as
Captain Jack had abandoned his claim to Lost river, which he had always
insisted on previously, he might consent to a removal. We did not believe
that his people would permit him to make such terms. We were all more
anxious than before to save Captain Jack and those who were in favor of
peace. Accordingly, it was determined to make the effort, Gen. Canby
authorizing me to say, through a messenger, that, if Captain Jack and the
peace party would come out, he would place the troops in position to
protect him while making the attempt.

Tobey Riddle was despatched to the Modoc camp with the message, fully
instructed what to say. On her arrival, Captain Jack refused a _private_
conference, saying, “I want my people all to hear.” The proposition was
made, the vote was taken, and but eleven men voted with Jack to accept the
terms, the majority giving warning that any attempt to escape would be
attended with chances of death to all who dared it. Captain Jack replied
to the message: “I am a _Modoc_, and I cannot, and will not, leave my
people.” The reason was evident——he _dared_ not, knowing that his own life
and that of his family would pay the penalty.

This vote in Tobey’s presence gave a knowledge as to the number of peace
men in the Modoc camp. On her return to our camp, one of the peace men
(the wild girl’s man), having secreted himself behind a rock near the
trail, as she passed, said to her: “Tell old man Meacham and all the men
not to come to the council tent again——they get killed.” Tobey could not
stop to hear more, lest she should betray her friend who was giving her
the information. She arrived at the Peace Commission tent in camp in great
distress; her eyes were swollen, and gave evidence of weeping. She sat on
her horse in solemn, sullen silence for some minutes, refusing to speak
until her husband arrived. He beckoned me to him, and, with whitened lips,
told the story of the intended assassination. The board was assembled, and
the warning thus given us was repeated by Riddle, also the reply of
Captain Jack to our message. A discussion was had over the warning, Gen.
Canby saying that they “might talk such things, but they would not attempt
it.” Dr. Thomas was inclined to believe that it was a sensational story,
got up for effect. Mr. Dyer and myself accepted the warning, accrediting
the authority.

On the day following, a delegation composed of “Bogus,” “Boston,” and
“Shacknasty,” arrived, and proposed a meeting at the council tent; saying
that Captain Jack and four other Indians were there waiting for us to meet
them. I was managing the talks and negotiations for councils, and without
evincing distrust of Boston, who was spokesman, said we were not ready to
talk that day. While the parley was going on, an orderly handed Gen. Canby
a despatch from the signal station, saying, “_Five Indians at the council
tent, apparently unarmed, and about twenty others, with rifles, are in the
rocks a few rods behind them_.” This paper was passed from one to another
without comment, while the talk with Boston was being concluded. We were
all convinced that treachery was intended on that day.

Before the Modocs left our camp, Dr. Thomas unwisely said to Bogus
Charley, “What do you want to kill us for? We are your friends.” Bogus, in
a very earnest manner, said, “Who told you that?” The doctor evaded. Bogus
insisted; growing warmer each time; and finally, through fear, or perhaps
he was too honest to evade longer, the doctor replied, “Tobey told it.”
Bogus signalled to Shacknasty and Boston, and the three worthies left our
camp together; Bogus, however, having questioned Tobey as to the
authorship of the warning, before leaving. Riddle and his wife were much
alarmed now for their own personal safety. Up to this time they had felt
secure. The trio of Modocs had not been gone very long, when a messenger
came demanding of Tobey to visit the Modoc camp. She was alarmed, as was
Riddle. They sought advice of the commission,——they thought there was
great danger. _I did not._

A consultation was had with General Canby, who proposed to move
immediately against the Modocs were Tobey assaulted. With this assurance
she consented to go. In proof of my faith in her return I loaned her my
overcoat, and gave her my horse to ride. She parted with her little boy
(ten years old) several times before she succeeded in mounting her
horse,——clasping him to her breast, she would set him down and start, and
then run to him and catch him up again,——each time seeming more
affected,——until at last her courage was high enough, and, saying a few
words in a low voice to her husband, she rode off on this perilous
expedition to meet her own people. Riddle, too, was very uneasy about her
safety; with a field-glass in hand he took a station commanding a view of
the trail to the Modoc camp. This incident was one of thrilling interest.
We could see that Indian woman when she arrived in the Modoc camp, and
could see them gather around her. They demanded to know by what authority
she had told the story about their intention to kill the commission. She
denied that she had; but the denial was not received as against the
statement of Bogus. She then claimed that she dreamed it; this was not
accepted. The next dodge was, “The spirits told me.” Believers as they are
in _Spiritualism_, they would not receive this statement, and began to
make threats of violence; declaring that she should give the name of her
informer, or suffer the consequences. Rising to a real heroism, she
pointed with one hand, saying, “There are soldiers there,” and with the
other, “There are soldiers there; you touch me and they will fire on you,
and not a Modoc will escape.” Smiting her breast, she continued: “I am a
Modoc woman; all my blood is Modoc; I did not dream it; the spirits did
not tell me; one of your men told me. I won’t tell you who it was. _Shoot
me, if you dare!_”

On her return she gave an account of this intensely thrilling scene as
related, and it has been subsequently confirmed by other Modocs who were
present. Captain Jack and Scar-face Charley interfered in her behalf, and
sent an escort to see her safely to our camp. She repeated her warning
against going to the peace tent.

                            CHAPTER XXVIII.

                    WHO HAD BEEN THERE——WHO HAD NOT.

Let us change the scene, and transfer ourselves to the marquee of Gen.
Gilliam. Gen. Canby is sitting on a camp-chair, and near him Col. Barnard.
On the camp-bedstead sits Gen. Gilliam, and by his side Col. Mason; the
chairman of the Peace Commission on a box almost between the parties. The
talk is of Modocs, peace, treachery, Ben Wright, battle of 17th January,
the stronghold. Gen. Gilliam remarks, addressing Gen. Canby: “Well,
general, whenever you are through trying to make peace with those fellows,
I think I can take them out of their stronghold with the loss of
_half-a-dozen men_.” Canby sat still, and said nothing. Gilliam continued:
“Oh, we may have some casualties in wounded men, of course; but I can take
them out whenever you give the order.” Silence followed for a few moments.

Gen. Canby, fixing his cigar in his mouth and his eye on Col. Mason, sat
looking the question he did not wish to ask in words.

Col. Mason, seeming to understand the meaning of the look, said: “With due
deference to the opinion of Gen. Gilliam, I think if we take them out with
the _loss of one-third of the entire command, it is doing as well as I

The portly form of Col. Barnard moved slowly forward and back, thereby
saying, “I agree with you, Col. Mason.” Col. John Green came in, and, to
an inquiry about how many men it would cost, he replied evasively, saying,
“I don’t know; only we got licked on the 17th of January like ————. Beg
your pardon, general.” Canby continued smoking his cigar, without fire in
it. Here were four men giving opinions. One of them had fought rebels in
Tennessee, and was a success there; the other three fought rebels also
successfully, and Modocs in the Lava Beds _unsuccessfully_. They knew
whereof they were talking. The opinions of these men doubtless made a deep
impression on the mind of the commanding general, and, knowing him as I
did, I can well understand how anxious he was for peace when he had the
judgment of soldiers like _Green_, Mason, and Barnard, that, if war
followed, about one in three of the boys who idolized him _must die to
accomplish peace through blood_.

Move over one hundred yards to another marquee; the sounds betoken a
discussion there also. Young, brave, ambitious officers are denouncing the
Peace Commission, complaining that the army is subjected to disgrace by
being held in abeyance by it.

Their words are bitter; and they mean it, too, because fighting is their
business. Col. Green, coming in, says, in angry voice, “Stop that! the
Peace Commission have a right here as much as we have. They are our
friends. God grant them success. I have been in _the Lava Beds once_.
Don’t abuse the Peace Commission, gentlemen.” The fiery young officers
respect the man who talks; they say no more.

Come down a little further. Oh, here is the Peace Commission tent, and
around a stove sits the majestic Dr. Thomas, grave, dignified, thoughtful.
Mr. Dyer is there also, quiet and meditative, with his elbows on his
knees, and his face is buried in his hands; Meacham occasionally
recruiting the sage-brush embers in the stove with fresh supplies of fuel.
A rap on the tent-pole. “Come in,” and a fine-looking, middle-aged officer
enters. Once glance at his face, and we see plainly that he has come for a

After the compliments are passed, Col. Tom Wright——for it was he——begins
by saying that he wanted to growl at some one, and he had selected our
camp as the place most likely to furnish him with a victim. “All right,
colonel, pitch in,” says Meacham.

The doctor just then remembered that he had a call to make on Gen. Canby.
“Well,” says the gallant colonel, “why don’t you leave here, and give us a
chance at those Modocs? We don’t want to lie here all spring and summer,
and not have a chance at them. Now you know we don’t like this delay, and
we can’t say a word to Gen. Canby about it. I think you ought to leave,
and let us clean them out.”

I detailed the conversation had in Gen. Gilliam’s marquee, and also
expressed some doubts on the subject.

“Pshaw!” says Col. Wright. “I will bet two thousand dollars that Lieut.
Eagan’s company and mine can whip the Modocs in _fifteen minutes_ after we
get into position. Yes, I’ll put the money up,——I mean it.”

“Well, my dear colonel, you might just say to Gen. Canby that he can send
off the other part of the army, about nine hundred men besides your
company and Eagan’s. As to our leaving we have a right to be here, and we
are under the control of Gen. Canby; and as to moving on the enemy, Gen.
Canby _is not ready until the Warm Spring Indians arrive_. I am of the
opinion that no peace can be made, and that you will have an opportunity
to try it on with the Modoc chief.” The colonel bade me “good-night,”
saying that he felt better now, since he had his growl out.

It is morning, and our soldier-cook has deserted us, and deserted the army
too. It seems to be now pretty well understood that no peace can be made
with the Modocs, and several of the boys have deserted. Those who have
_met_ the Modocs have no desire to meet them _again_. Those who have not,
are demoralized by the reports that others gave; and since the common
soldiers serve for pay, and have not much hope of promotion, they are not
so warlike as the brave officers, who have their stars to win on the field
of battle. Money won’t hire a cook, hence we must cook for ourselves.
Well, all right; Dyer and I have done that kind of thing before this, and
we can again.

While we are preparing breakfast a couple of soldiers come about the fire.
“I say, capt’n, have you give it up tryin’ to make peace with them Injuns

“Don’t know; why?” we reply.

“Well, ’cause why them boys as has been in there says as how it’s nearly
litenin’; them Modocs don’t give a fellow any chance; we don’t want any
Modoc, we don’t.”

“Sorry for you, boys; we are doing all we can to save you, but the
pressure is too heavy; guess you’ll have to go in and bring them out.”

Squatting down before the fire, one of them, in a low voice, says, “Mr.
Commissioner, us boys are all your fre’ns,——_we are_; wish them fellers
that wants them Modocs whipped so bad would come down and do it
theirselves; don’t you? Have you tried everything you can to make peace?”

“Yes, my good fellow, we have exhausted every honorable means, and we
cannot succeed.”

“Bro. Meacham, where did you learn to make bread? Why, this is splendid.
Bro. Dyer, did you make this coffee? It’s delicious.” So spoke our good
doctor at breakfast.

“Good-morning, Mr. Meacham,” said Gen. Canby, after breakfast. “Who is
cooking for your mess now?”

“Co-pi, ni-ka,——myself.”

“What does Mr. Dyer do?”

“He washes the dishes.”

“Ha, ha! What does the doctor do?”

“Why, he asks the blessing.”

The general laughed heartily, and as the doctor approached, said to him,
“Doctor, you must not throw off on Bro. Dyer.”

Explanations were made, and these venerable, dignified men enjoyed that
little joke more heartily than I had ever seen either of them, on any
other occasion.

                             CHAPTER XXIX.


The commission had on all occasions expressed willingness to meet the
Modocs on fair terms, saying to them, “Bring all your men, all armed, if
you wish to; station them one hundred yards from the council tent. We will
place a company of equal number within one hundred yards on the other
side. Then you chiefs and head men can meet our commission at the council
tent and talk.” To this and all other offers they objected. The commission
and the general also were now convinced that no meeting could be had on
fair terms. The authorities at Washington were again informed of this
fact. Dr. Thomas was a man of great perseverance, and had great faith in
the power of prayer. He spent hours alone in the rocks, near our camp,
praying. He would often repeat: “One man with faith is stronger than an
hundred with interest only.” Few men have ever lived so constantly in
religious practice as did Dr. Thomas. The Modocs, having been foiled in
their attempt to entrap the commission, sent for Riddle, saying they
“wanted his advice.” Riddle went, under instructions, and talked with
them. Nothing new was elicited. Riddle again warned the commission of the
danger of meeting the Modocs unless fully armed for defence. He confirmed
the opinion already expressed, that _Captain Jack_, was in favor of peace;
but that he was in the hands of bad men, who might compel him to do what
was against his judgment. Gen. Canby, always acknowledged as having power
to control the commission, nevertheless conceded to it the management of
the councils. He never presided, and seldom gave an opinion, unless
something was said in which he could not concur; but _no action was had_,
or _message sent_, or _other business ever done, without his advice and

On the morning of April 10th I left head-quarters, to visit Boyle’s camp,
at the southern end of the lake, leaving Dr. Thomas in charge of the
affairs of the Peace Commission, little dreaming that action of so great
importance would be had during my absence. After visiting Maj. Boyle’s, I
returned by Col. Mason’s camp, and there learned, through the signal
telegraph, that a delegation of Modocs was at the commission tent,
proposing another meeting. I arrived at the head-quarters late in the
evening, and then learned from Dr. Thomas that an agreement had been made
to meet five unarmed Indians at the council tent on the following day at
noon. I demurred to the arrangement, saying, “that it was unsafe.” The
doctor was rejoicing that “God had done a wonderful work in the Modoc
camp.” The Modoc messengers, to arrange for this unfortunate council, were
not insensible to the fact of the doctor’s religious faith, and they
represented to him that “_they had changed their hearts; that God had put
a new fire in them, and they were ashamed of their bad hearts_. They now
wanted to make peace. They were willing to surrender. They only wanted the
commission to _prove their faith in the Modocs by coming out to meet them

This hypocrisy caught the doctor. He believed them; and, after a
consultation with Gen. Canby, the compact was made. The doctor was shocked
at my remark, that “God has not been in the Modoc camp this winter. If we
go we will not return alive.” Such was my opinion, and I gave it
unhesitatingly. The night, though a long one, wore away, and the morning
of _Good Friday, April 11th, 1873_, found our party at an early breakfast.

While we were yet at the morning meal Boston Charley came in. As the
doctor arose from his breakfast this imp of the d————, from the Modoc
camp, sat down in the very seat from which the doctor had arisen, and ate
his breakfast from the _same plate_, drank from the _same cup_, the doctor
had used.

While Boston was eating he observed me changing boots, putting on old
ones. I shall not soon forget the curious twinkle of this demon’s eyes,
when he said, “What for you take ’em off new boots? Why for you no wear
’em new boots?” he examined them carefully, inquired the price of them,
and again said, “Meacham, why for you no wear ’em new boots?” The villain
was anxious for me to wear a pair of twenty-dollar boots instead of my old
worn-out ones. I understood what that fellow meant, and I did not give him
an opportunity to wear my new boots.

From Indian testimony it is evident that in the Modoc camp an excited
council had been held on the morning of the 11th. Captain Jack, Scar-face
Charley, and a few others had opposed the assassination, Jack declaring
_that it should not be done_. Unfortunately, he was in the minority. The
majority ruled, and to compel the chief to acquiesce, the murderous crew
gathered around him, and, placing a woman’s hat upon his head, and
throwing a shawl over his shoulders, they pushed him down on the rocks,
taunting him with cowardice, calling him “a woman, white-face squaw;”
saying that his heart was changed; that he went back on his own words
(referring to majority rule, which he had instituted); that he was no
longer a Modoc, the white man had stolen his heart. Now, in view of the
record this man had made as a military captain, his courage or ability can
never be doubted, and yet he could not withstand this impeachment of his
manhood. Dashing the hat and shawl aside, and springing to his feet, he
shouted, “I am a Modoc. I am your chief. It shall be done if it costs
every drop of blood in my heart. But hear me, all my people,——this day’s
work will cost the life of every Modoc brave; we will not live to see it

When he had once assented he was bloodthirsty, and with coolness planned
for the consummation of this terrible tragedy. He asserted his right to
kill Gen. Canby, selecting Ellen’s man as his assistant.

Contention ensued among the braves as to who should be allowed to share in
this intended massacre.

Meacham was next disposed of.

Schonchin, being next in rank to Captain Jack, won the _prize_; glad he
did, for he was a _poor shot_ with a pistol. Hooker Jim was named as his
second in this _ex parte_ affair; sorry for that, for he was a marksman,
and had he kept the place assigned him, some one else would have written
this narrative.

Dr. Thomas, the “Sunday Doctor,” was the next in order. There were several
fellows ambitious for the honor, for so they esteemed it. Boston Charley
and Bogus were successful. These two men had accepted from the doctor’s
hands, on the day preceding, each a suit of new clothes.

To Shacknasty Jim and Barncho was assigned the duty of despatching Mr.
Dyer. Black Jim and Slo-lux were to assassinate Gen. Gilliam. When
Riddle’s name was called up, Scar-face Charley, who had declared this
“whole thing to be an outrage _unworthy_ of the Modocs,” positively
refused to take any part, arose and gave notice that he would defend
Riddle and his wife, and that if either were killed he would avenge their

These _preliminaries_ being arranged, Barncho and Slo-lux were sent out
before daylight, with seven or eight rifles, to secrete themselves near
the council tent.

The manner of the assault was discussed, and the plan of shooting from
ambush was urged but abandoned, because it would have prevented those who
were to conduct the pretended council, from sharing in the honors to come
from that bloody scene. The details completed, Captain Jack said to his
sister Mary, and to Scar-face Charley, “It is all over. I feel ashamed of
what I am doing. I did not think I would ever agree to do this thing.”

When this tragedy was planned, another was also agreed upon. Curly-haired
Doctor and Curly Jack, and a Cumbatwas, were to decoy Col. Mason _from his
camp, and kill him also_.

Bogus Charley had come into our camp the evening previous, and remained
until the next morning. He was there to ascertain whether any steps were
taken to prevent the consummation of the hellish design. Boston’s visit
was for the same purpose. It is almost past belief that these two men,
who had received at the hands of Gen. Canby, Gen. Gilliam, and the Peace
Commission, so many presents of clothing and supplies, could have planned
and executed so treacherous a deed of blood. Bogus was the especial
favorite of Generals Canby and Gilliam; indeed, they recognized him as an
interpreter instead of Riddle and wife. He was better treated by them than
any other of the Modoc messengers. It is asserted, most positively, that
_Bogus was the man who first proposed the assassination of Canby and the
Peace Commissioners_.

The morning wears away and the commissioner seems loath to start out. The
Modoc messengers are urgent, and point to the council tent, saying, that
“Captain Jack and four men waiting now.” Look at our signal station half
way up the mountain side. The men with field-glasses are scanning the Lava
Beds. Gen. Canby has given orders that a strict watch be kept on the
council tent and the trail leading to it from the Modoc camp. The officers
of the signal corps were there when the morning broke. They have been
faithful to the orders to watch. The sun is mounting the sky. It is almost
half way across the blue arch. Bogus and Boston are impatient; saying that
“Captain Jack, him get tired waiting.” Gen. Canby and Dr. Thomas have been
in consultation. Riddle is uneasy and restless, and as Canby and Thomas
walk slowly to Gen. Gilliam’s head-quarters, he says to Meacham, “Do not
go. I think you will all be killed if you do.”——“Then come to Gen.
Gilliam’s tent and say so there,” suggests Meacham.

The commissioners approach the tent. Gen. Canby meets Col. Green and one
or two other officers, stopping at the tent door, and continued talking,
while the remainder of the commissioners enter. Gen. Gilliam is reclining
on his bed, he is sick this morning, _very sick_. Gen. Canby remarks from
the tent door; “Go on, gentlemen, don’t wait for me; I will be in

Riddle again repeats the warning: “Gentlemen, I have been talking with my
wife; she has never told me a lie, or deceived me, and she says if you go
to-day you will be killed. We wash our hands of all blame. If you must go,
_go well armed_! I give you my opinion, because I do not want to be blamed
hereafter.” Riddle retires and Gen. Canby enters. Riddle’s warning is
repeated to him. The general replies: “I have had a field-glass watching
the trail all the morning; there are but four men at the council tent. I
have given orders for the signal station to keep a strict watch, and, in
the event of an attack, the army will move at once against them,”——meaning
the Modocs. Dr. Thomas expressed his determination to keep the compact,
saying that he is in the hands of God, and proposes to do his duty and
leave the result with his Maker. He thinks Riddle and his wife are
excited; that they are not reliable. “I differ from you, gentlemen; I
think we ought to heed the warning. If we do go, we must go armed;
otherwise we will be attacked. I am opposed to going in any other way.”

Mr. Dyer says: “I agree with Mr. Meacham; we ought to go prepared for
defence. We ought to heed the warning we have had.” Gen. Canby repeats,
“With the precaution we have taken there can be no danger.” Dr. Thomas
also saying, “The agreement is to go unarmed; we must be faithful on our
part to the compact, and leave it all in the hands of God.”

Previous to starting, Dr. Thomas goes to the sutler’s store and pays for
some goods bought for the Modocs the day previous, when this compact was
made. From this act it would appear that he has doubts about the result.
Indeed, to another gentleman he says that he is not _sure that he will
return_; but “I will do my duty faithfully, and trust God to bring it out
all right.” Gen. Canby is holding council with Gen. Gilliam and other
officers. He leaves them, coming to his own marquee, says something to his
faithful orderly,——Scott,——then to Monahan, his secretary, and then, in
full dress he walks to the “Peace Commission tent,” where he is joined by
Dr. Thomas and _starts for the council tent_. Side by side they walk away.

The doctor is dressed in a suit of light-gray Scotch tweed. The officers
and men are standing around their tents, talking of the danger ahead. They
differ in opinion, and all declare their readiness to fly to the rescue in
the event of treachery. Bogus is with the general and the doctor. He
carries a rifle; it is his own. In that rifle is a ball that will crush
through the brain of Dr. Thomas in less than two hours. Having seen them
start, Bogus hastens to the council tent, scanning the route as he goes,
to make sure that no soldiers are secreted among the rocks.

A few moments since, Meacham and Fairchild were in earnest conversation.
Meacham says, “John, what do you think? is it safe to go?”——“Wait here a
minute, and let me have another talk with Bogus; I think I can tell,” says
Fairchild. After a few minutes he returns, whittling a stick. Slowly
shaking his head, he says, “I can’t make out from Bogus what to think. I
don’t like the looks of things; still he talks all right; may be it’s all
on the square.” Meacham replies, “_I must go_ if the general and the
doctor do.” Fairchild goes again to Bogus; but the general and doctor are
starting. Bogus is impatient, and cuts short the talk. Meacham is hurrying
to the tent. He seats himself on a roll of blankets, and with a pencil
writes,——let us look over his shoulder and see what:

                                          LAVA BEDS, April 11th, 1873.


    You may be a widow to-night; you shall not be a coward’s wife. I
    go to save my honor. John A. Fairchild will forward my valise
    and valuables. The chances are all against us. I have done my
    best to prevent this meeting. I am in no wise to blame.

                                               Yours to the end,


    P. S.——I give Fairchild six hundred and fifty dollars, currency,
    for you.

                                                          A. B. M.

“Here, John, send these to my wife, Salem, Oregon, if I don’t get back.”

Mr. Dyer approaches, and says, “Mr. Fairchild, send this parcel to Mrs.
Dyer.”——“Mr. Dyer, why do you go, feeling as you do? I would not if I were
in your place. I must go, since I am the chairman of the commission, or be
disgraced.” Mr. Dyer replies, “_If you go, I am going. I will not stay, if
all the rest go._”

By the tent door the Indian woman is weeping, while holding a horse by a
rope. Standing beside her is a white man, and also a boy ten years old.
They are talking in Modoc, and we may not know what they are saying. That
little group is Frank Riddle and his wife Tobey, and their little boy
Jeff. Their warning has been disregarded. They are loth to give up their
efforts to save the commissioners and Canby.

“Tobey, give me my horse; we must go now.”

“Meacham, you no go; you get kill. You no get your horse. The Modocs mad
now; they kill all you men.” She winds the rope around her waist, and
throws herself upon the ground, and, in the wildest excitement, shrieks in
broken sobs, “Meacham, you no go; _you no go! You get kill! you get

Can the man resist this appeal to save his friends and himself? His lips
quiver and his face is white; he is struggling with his pride. His color
changes. Thank God, he is going to make another effort to prevent the doom
that threatens! He calls to Canby and Thomas. They await his approach.
Laying a hand on the shoulder of each, he says, “_Gentlemen, my cool,
deliberate opinion is that, if we go to the council tent to-day, we will
be carried home to-night on the stretchers; all cut to pieces_. I tell
you, I dare not ignore Tobey’s warning. I believe her, and I am not
willing to go.”

The general answers first: “Mr. Meacham, you are unduly cautious. There
are but _five_ Indians at the council tent, and they dare not attack us.”

“General, the Modocs _dare do anything. I know them better than you do,
and I know they are desperate. Braver men and worse men never lived on
this continent than we are to meet at that tent yonder._”

The general replies, “I have left orders for a watch to be kept, and, if
they attack us, the army will move at once against them. We have agreed to
meet them, and we must do it.”

Dr. Thomas remarks, “I have agreed to meet them, and I _never break my
word. I am in the hands of God. If He requires my life, I am ready for the

Meacham is still unwilling to go, and says, “If we must go, let us be well

“Brother Meacham, the agreement is to go _unarmed_, and we must do as we
have agreed.”

“_But the Modocs will all be doubly armed. They won’t keep their part of
the compact; they never have, and they won’t now._ Let John Fairchild go
with us, him and me with a revolver each, and I will not interpose any
more objections to going. Do this, and I pledge you my life that we bring
our party out all right. I know Fairchild. I know he is a dead shot, and
he and I can whip a dozen Indians in open ground with revolvers.”

“Brother Meacham, you and Fairchild are fighting men. _We are going to
make peace, not war._ Let us go as we agreed, and trust in God.”

“But, doctor, _God does not drop revolvers down just when and where you
need them_.”

“My dear brother, you are getting to be very irreligious. _Put your trust
in God. Pray more, and don’t think so much about fighting._”

“Doctor, I am just as much of a peace man as you are, and I am as good a
friend as the Indians ever had on this coast, and I know in _whom to put
my trust in the hour of peril_; but I know these Modocs, and I know that
they won’t keep their word, and I want to be ready for trouble if it
comes. I don’t want to go unarmed.”

“The compact is to go unarmed, and I am not willing to jeopardize our
lives by breaking the compact.”

“Well, since we must go, and I am to manage the talk, I will grant to them
any demand they make, rather than give them an excuse; that is, if they
are armed,——as I know they will be,——and more than five Indians will be
there, too.”

Gen. Canby replied, “Mr. Meacham, I have had more or less connection with
the Indian service for thirty years, and I _have never made a promise that
could not be carried out. I am not willing now to promise anything that we
don’t intend to perform._”

“Nor I,” breaks in the doctor. “That is why Indians have no confidence in
white men. I am not willing to have you make a promise that we don’t
intend to keep.”

“Hear me, gentlemen, I only propose doing so in the event that the Modocs
have broken the compact by being armed. I don’t believe in false promises
any more than you do, only in such an event; and I tell you I would
promise anything an Indian demanded before I would give him an excuse to
take my life, or yours. I say that is not dishonest, and my conscience
would never condemn me for saving my life by such strategy.”

The general and the doctor both insist on making no promise that is not
_bona fide_. Meacham’s efforts to prevent the meeting fails. He turns
slowly, and with hesitating steps goes towards the peace tent in the camp.
Canby and Thomas start off side by side. Meacham turns again:——

“Once more, gentlemen, I beg you not to go. I have too much to live for
now; too many are depending on me; I do not want to die. If you go, I must
go to save my name from dishonor.”

“That squaw has got you scared, Meacham. I don’t see why you should be so
careful of your scalp; it is not much better than my own.”

“Yes, the squaw _has_ scared Meacham; that’s true. _I am afraid; I have
reason to be._ But we will see before the sun sets who is the worst

O my God! They refuse to turn back. Their fate is sealed. The action of
these few minutes involves so much of human woe; so much blood, so many
valuable lives, so much of vast importance to _two_ races. Oh, how many
hearts must bleed from the decision of that hour! We feel sad as they walk
away. Is it true that the stately form of the gallant Christian soldier is
to fall on the rocks, pierced with Modoc bullets, and that savage hands
will in two short hours rudely strip from him the uniform he so proudly
wears? Can it be that a Modoc bullet will go crashing through the head
that has worn well-earned laurels so long? Must the noble heart that now
beats with kindest throbs for even those who are to murder him so soon,
beat but two hours more, and then alone on the gray rocks of this wild
shore cease its throbbing forever? Can it be that the lofty form of Dr.
Thomas will fall to rise no more; that the lips that have so eloquently
told of a Saviour’s love will turn white until the blood from his own
wounds smothers the sound of his last prayer, while impious hands strip
him of his suit of gray, and mock him in his dying moments?

Let us not look at that picture longer, but follow the other commissioner
back to the waiting, anxious friends who gather around the door of the
Peace Commission tent. He does not step with his usual quick motion; his
heart is heavy, and visions of a little home, with weeping wife and
children, enter his mind. Funeral pageants pass and mourning emblems hang
now over his soul. But he is firm, and his closed lips declare that his
mind is made up.

“Fairchild, promise me upon your sacred honor, one thing. Will you

The gray-eyed man with earnest face answered,——

“I promise you anything in my power, Meacham.”

“Promise me, then, that, if my body is brought in mutilated and cut to
pieces, you will bury me here, so that my family shall never be tortured
by the sight. Do you promise?”

“O Meacham, you will come back all right.”

“No, no; I won’t. I feel now that I won’t; there is no chance for that. I
tell you, John, there is but one alternative,——_death_ or _disgrace_. I
can die; but my name never has been and never shall be dishonored.”

Fairchild draws his revolver from his side and says, “Here, Meacham, take
this; you can bang brimstone out of ’em with it.”

“No, no; John, I won’t take it, although I would rather have it than all
your cattle; but if I take that revolver, everybody will swear that I
precipitated the fight by going armed in violation of the compact. No,
John, I wouldn’t take it if I knew I never could come back without it, and
taking it would save me. I won’t do it. My life would not be worth a cent
if I did. I wanted you to go, but the general and the doctor objected; so
there’s no use in talking; I am going.”

A man passes close to Meacham and drops something in a side pocket of his
coat. His hand grasps it, and his face indicates hesitation. The other
says, in a low tone, “It’s sure fire;——it’s all right.” ’Tis a small
Derringer pistol, and it is not thrown out of the pocket. Dyer caught
sight of this little manœuvre, and he goes into his tent and quickly slips
a Derringer into his pocket.

The Indian woman is weeping still. She refuses to let go the rope of
Meacham’s horse, until the command is repeated, and then she grasps his
coat, and pleads again: “You no go; you get kill.”

“Let go, Tobey. Get on your horse. All ready? Mr. Dyer, there is no other
way to do.”

Riddle is pale, but cool and collected. He says, “I’m a-goin’ a-foot; I
don’t want no horse to bother me.” The Indian woman embraces her boy again
and again, and mounts her horse. Meacham, Dyer, Riddle, and his wife are

Fairchild says, “Meacham, you had better take my pistol. I would like to
go with you, but I s’pose I can’t.”

“No; I won’t take it. Good-by. Keep your promise.”

“Good-by, Maj. Thomas. Cranston, good-by. Good-by, Col. Wright. Be ready
to come for us; we’ll need you.”

“Don’t go off feeling that way. I wouldn’t go if I felt as you do,” says

“We will have an eye out for you,” says another.

They are gone, and we will follow. Canby and Thomas are just rising out of
a rocky chasm near the council tent. Meacham and his party are going
around by the horse trail. Words can never tell the thoughts that pass
through their minds on that ride. The soldier who goes to battle takes
even chances in the line of his profession; the criminal may march with
steady nerve up the steps that lead him to the gallows; but who can ever
tell in words the thoughts, feelings, and temptations of these men, going
to meet a people under a flag of truce that had been dishonored by their
own race within sight of the spot where they are to meet these people,
after the earnest warning they had received?

                              CHAPTER XXX.

                      SMOTHERED BY BLOOD——RESCUED.

While these two parties are wending their way to the council tent, let us
see what is going on around it. On the side opposite from the camp a small
sage-brush fire is burning. It is not at the same spot where the fire was
built when Meacham and Roseborough had the long talk with Captain Jack a
few days since. Why this change? Think a moment. The council that day was
in _full view of the signal station_. This fire is _behind the council
tent, and cannot be seen from the station_. Around the fire loose stones
are placed. This looks suspicious. But who are those fellows dressed like
white men, sitting around that fire? Ah! they are Modocs waiting for the
commissioners. That man with a slouched hat and well-worn gray
coat,——nearest the tent, is Captain Jack. He looks sad and half
melancholy, and does not seem at ease in his mind.

Near him sits old Schonchin, the image of the real savage. His hair is
mixed with gray. His face indicates that he is a villain.

That fellow who appears restless, and walks back and forth, is Hooker Jim.
He is not more than twenty-two; _his_ face tells you, at a glance, that he
is a _cut-throat_. He is tall, stout-built, very muscular, and would be an
ugly customer in a fight. He is accredited with being the best
“_trailer_,” and the closest marksman in the Modoc tribe.

That other young fellow, with feminine face, and hair parted in the
middle, is a brave and desperate man. That is Shacknasty Jim.

That dark-looking man, who reminds you, at the first view, of a snake, is
Black Jim. He is of royal blood, and half-brother of Captain Jack. His
hair is cut square below the ears, and, take him altogether, he is a
bad-looking man.

The light-colored, round-faced, smooth-built man, who stands behind the
chief; is “Ellen’s Man.” He is young, and is really a fine-looking fellow.
He does not _appear_ to be a bad man, but he _is_; and you will think him
the worst of the company before we lose sight of him.

The talk around that council fire would freeze your blood could you hear
it. They are making arrangements for the carnival of death that they
propose holding.

The chief is nervous, and speaks of his regret that this thing is to be.
“Ellen’s Man” proposes to take his place if he lacks courage. “I do not
lack courage, but I do not feel right to kill those men. If it is the
Modoc heart, it shall be done,” replies the chief.

Walk out towards the Modoc camp forty steps, and lying behind a low ledge
of rocks are two boys, Barncho and Slolux. They are very quiet, but under
each one we see several rifles. They are both young, and have
_volunteered_ to play this part in the tragedy soon to be enacted.

Near them is another man, crouching low, and in his hand he holds a gun,
with its muzzle pointing towards the tent. His face indicates a much
older man than he really is. He is not there to take a part in the
proceedings of the coming meeting, except in a certain contingency. There
is a something about him that declares him to be a man of more than
ordinary stamp. This is Scar-face Charley, and if, in the slaughter that
is to ensue, Riddle or his wife should fall, the rifle that that man
grasps will talk in vengeful tone, with deadly effect, upon the murderer.

Look behind you at the council fire. Eight Indians are there now, and the
new-comers have familiar faces. They are _Bogus_ and _Boston_, just
arrived from head-quarters. They are telling the others who are coming,
that they are all unarmed.

Boston intimates something like regret or faltering in the purpose. Bogus
declares that he will “Do it alone, if all the others back out. Kill these
men, and the war will stop. It will scare all the soldiers away.”

Hist! here comes Gen. Canby, with the brass buttons on his coat glittering
in the sunlight; and Dr. Thomas, also, who is so well worthy to walk by
the side of the general. The Indians arise and greet them cordially. Gen.
Canby takes from his pocket a handful of cigars, offering one to each.
They accept them from his hand, while in their hearts they have determined
on his death. The general and all the Indians are smoking now. The
thoughts of the general will never be known; not even whether he had any
suspicion of their intentions.

[Illustration: GEN. CANBY.]

Meacham and his party are approaching. They ride up very near the council
fire,——Meacham to the right, Dyer and Mrs. Riddle to the left. Riddle
passes to the left of the tent, looking in as he comes to the council.

Meacham is taking off his overcoat before dismounting. Why is this? The
weather is not warm. There is a reason for this strange action.

Before reaching the tent the matter had been discussed by the four persons
of that party. Riddle declared that if attacked he would save himself by
running, Mr. Dyer saying there was no hope of escape in any other way.
Meacham considered running impracticable and hopeless, and suggested that,
“if we stand together, we can, with the aid of the Derringer, get a
revolver for Riddle, and then we can all be armed in quick time.” Dyer and
Riddle adhered to the plan of escape they had proposed, Meacham still
saying that it was hopeless, and adding, “I cannot run; but I will sell my
life as dearly as possible.” The Derringer is in his _under coat_.

As they ride up, they see clearly that the council fire is _behind_ the
tent, _out of sight of the signal station_, and that the Modocs are all
armed with revolvers secreted under their clothing.

The Indians welcome the party with a cordiality that is very suspicious.
They are good-humored, too; another confirmation of the worst fears. Even
before the party dismount, they are saluted by the Modocs with
hand-shaking and other demonstrations.

Dyer is the first to alight from his horse. He looks a little pale. Tobey
quietly dismounts, securing her horse to a small sage brush near the
council. Meacham still sits upon his horse, apparently listless, as if in
doubt. He is fighting a battle with his pride. His family are in his
thoughts, and also another family of little orphans of a much-loved
brother. He glances at the face of Gen. Canby and Dr. Thomas. His mind is
made up. He dismounts, dropping the halter of the horse upon the ground.
He intends that “Joe Lane” (the horse) shall have a chance for escape. But
“Joe Lane” is well known among the Modocs. They have seen him before, and
they fix their eyes on him now, impatient to feel him flying over the
plains. Perhaps they are making a calculation of his value as an offset to
several of the ponies captured from them by Maj. Biddle a few days

See the manœuvring going on by both parties. The Modocs are seeking to
separate themselves from the white men, while Dyer, Meacham and Riddle are
seeking to prevent the formation of a tableau of white men. Canby stands
erect and firm, not seeming to notice the game that is playing before his
eyes. His pride will not permit him to notice or to shun what is evidently
the intention of the Modocs. Dr. Thomas does not see what is going on, or,
if he does, so strong is his faith in God that he does not fear. Dyer and
Riddle are outside on either hand, not wishing to join the group.

Meacham, now satisfied that the party are entrapped, is walking carelessly
a few steps towards the camp. Perhaps he is going to make a signal to
those at the lookout. If that was his intention, he abandons it; for just
beside him are a pair of small, bullet eyes that watch his every movement.

The party _feel_ that not the motion of even an eye is lost by the Modocs.
They see everything, and, while all are apparently on the best of terms,
all are on the lookout for any sign or intimation of danger. Not a motion
is made unobserved. Still, no unkindly words are spoken; indeed, all
parties _appear_ to be in cheerful humor.

Appearances are deceitful sometimes, and especially in this instance. One
party is intending to commit an unparalleled crime; the other, suspicious
of their intention, awaits the issue, not quite without hope, but almost
in despair.

The white men do not seem anxious to begin the council. The Modocs are
trying to appear careless.

What does that mean? Bogus is going out towards a low cliff, carrying his
rifle with him. Watch him a moment. While standing on a prominent rock, he
is scanning the ledge that runs towards the soldiers’ camp. _Ah, yes! he
is looking for sage brush with which to feed the fire._ Now he has laid
down his gun and breaks off the brush and returns to the council. That,
then, was the _pretended_ object of his trip. Curious that in _all former
councils_ the Modoc women have performed this work, but that _none_ of
them are here _now_!

Hooker Jim is on the alert, and if you will watch his eye you will see
that it glances often in the direction of the soldiers’ camp. Something
excites his suspicion, and the other Indians, except Captain Jack, follow
his gaze; and the white men, too, discover some one’s head above the
rocks. All arise to their feet. Is the terrible affair to begin now? Wait
a moment and keep your eyes divided, watching the _intruder_ and the
Modocs. The former is looking around him, as if hunting for some lost
article. The latter are nervous, and a hateful fire is burning in their
eyes. The moment is one of intense peril. The least motion of distrust
now on the part of the white men will precipitate the bloody scene,
awaiting only for a signal to begin.

Mr. Riddle recognizes the intruder as Mr. Clark, who is hunting lost

“Why for he come here? We no want him,” says Boston Charley.

“Mr. Dyer, will you go out to Mr. Clark and send him back?” requests Mr.

Mr. Dyer rides out to the man, and, after explaining to him the desire of
the commissioners, returns to the council fire. Oh, how near we were to
witnessing a horrible murder! But it is averted for the moment, and we
breathe again.

Meacham is in charge of the council talk, and finally sits down near the
fire, and Captain Jack takes a seat directly opposite him, and so close
that their knees almost touch. The council talk begins.

Meacham says, “We have come to-day to hear what you have to propose. You
sent for us, and we are here to conclude the terms of peace, as your
messengers of yesterday requested.”

To this Captain Jack replies, “We want no more war. We are tired, and our
women and children are afraid of the soldiers. We want them taken away,
and _then_ we can make peace.”

Meacham says, “Gen. Canby is in charge of the soldiers. He is your friend.
He came here, because the President sent him to look out for everybody and
to see that everything goes on all right.”

Captain Jack replies, “We do not want the soldiers here. They make our
hearts afraid. Send them away, and we can make everything all right.”

Meacham continues, “Gen. Canby has charge of the soldiers. He cannot take
them away without a letter from the President. You need not be afraid. We
are all your friends. We can find you a better home than this, where you
can live in peace. If you will come out of the rocks and go with us, we
will leave the women and children in camp over on Cottonwood or Hot Creek,
and then we shall need the soldiers to make other folks stay away, while
we hunt up a new home for you.”

Riddle and his wife are both essential to a careful rendering of the
speeches. Riddle is interpreting the Modocs’ speeches into “Boston talk,”
and Tobey is translating the white men’s speeches into the
“Mo-a-doc-us-ham-konk”——(Modoc language). Hence they are both giving
closest attention. Riddle stands now just behind the chairman of the
commissioners. Tobey is sitting a little to the left. Gen. Canby seats
himself upon a rock on Meacham’s right, about three feet distant. Old
Schonchin sits down in front of him. Dr. Thomas bends a sage bush, and,
laying his overcoat upon it, also sits on the left and in the rear of

Hooker Jim is restless and very watchful; sometimes standing immediately
behind Captain Jack, and occasionally walking off a few steps, he scans
the rocks in the direction of the soldiers’ camp, and saunters back again,
always, however, in front of the white men. Keep an eye on him; he is
making now a declaration by his acts that will stop your heart’s blood.

“Joe Lane,” the horse, is just behind Captain Jack, standing a mute and
unsuspecting witness of the act now being played.

Watch that demon, Hooker Jim! See him stoop down, and while his eye is
fixed on Meacham, he is securing “Joe Lane” to a sage bush, pushing the
knot of the halter close to the ground. He slowly rises, and, while
patting the horse on the neck, calling him by name, and telling him he is
a “fine horse,” still keeping his eye on Meacham, with his left hand he
takes the overcoat from the saddle, and with a stealthy, half-hesitating
motion, slowly inserts his arm in the sleeve, and then without changing
his position or his eyes, quickly thrusts his right arm in the other
sleeve, and with a heavy shrug jerks the coat squarely on his shoulders;
and, having buttoned it up from top to bottom, smiting his breast with his
hand, he says, “Me old man Meacham, now. Bogus, you think me look like old
man Meacham?” My dear reader, he does not fasten that horse for Meacham.
He does not put on the coat because he is cold, nor merely as a joke. No,
he does not mean anything of that kind. He intends to make sure of the
horse and coat, and, at the same time, provoke a quarrel, and make the way
easy for the bloody attack.

Meacham fully understands the import and intention of this side-play, but,
with assumed indifference, remarks, “Hooker Jim, you had better take my
hat also,” at the same time lifting it from his head. Watch the play on
that scoundrel’s face as lie replies, “No. Sno-ker gam-bla sit-ka
caitch-con-a bos-ti-na chock-i-la”——(“I will, by-and-by. Don’t hurry, old

This speech completes the declaration of what they intended to do. There
can be no longer any doubt as to the purpose of these bloodthirsty
desperadoes. O God! is there no help now? Can nothing be done to save our
friends? They read their fate in Hooker’s action. They realize how
fearfully near the impending doom must be. Every face is blanched; but no
words of fear are uttered. Dyer, with a face of marble, walks slowly to
his horse, now on the right of the group, and, going to the farthest side
of him, pretends to be arranging the trappings of his saddle with his face
towards the council fire. Riddle, pale and aghast, makes excuse to change
the fastenings of the saddle on his wife’s horse, which stands behind Dr.
Thomas. Tobey, who has been sitting in front of the doctor, with a half
child-like yawn throws herself carelessly at full length on the ground,
resting on her elbows. Every act tells, too plainly to be mistaken, how
each one feels and what they are expecting.

Both Dyer and Riddle intend to be covered by their horses when they start
on a run for life. Tobey evidently does not intend to be in the way of the
bullets that are now lying quietly on their beds of powder in the little
iron chambers of the pistols under the coats of the red devils. She sees
clearly that the storm, which is evidently coming up with a great black
hurrying cloud from the west, will precipitate the effusion of blood that
is now leaping and halting in the veins of the doomed men who sit almost
motionless, waiting, watching, listening for the signal of death to be
given, wondering how it will come. Will it be from ambushed men, a volley,
a sting, and a war-whoop; and then, while the soul is making its exit,
will the eye, growing dim, behold the infuriated monsters, with gleaming
knives uplifted, spring on the helpless body? Will the ear, as life ebbs
away, be lulled by streams of blood trickling on the rocks? Are angels
hovering near to convey their souls away? Is God omnipresent? Is He
omniscient? Is He omnipotent? Does he hear prayer? Will not God interpose
now when human aid is beyond reach?

Oh, how the mind recalls the past, outstripping the lightning flash, while
it passes in review the scenes from the cradle to this hour!——all the
bright and happy days; the dark clouds and direful storms that have swept
over the soul, and realizing the still more awful agony of the farewell
greetings of sad-faced Hope leaving the heart; for until this last act of
Hooker Jim’s she had lingered lovingly on the threshold undecided. Words
may not tell the anguish, the gloom, the terrible loneliness without her
presence. Every heart breathes a prayer for her return. “Oh, come back to
us now; be with us in this expiring hour of life’s last midnight!”

Thank Heaven, she comes again clad in garments, not as in days past, made
up of ambitions and worldly dreams, but in shining robes of spotless
purity and immortal light, and she whispers, “Be of good cheer, the
journey is short, and it is but a change from one life to another;” and
though the voyage be stormy and the night be dark it will end in a morning
of eternal day in the beautiful sunlit summer-land where sorrows come no

Meacham turns towards Gen. Canby and invites him to talk. Every movement
is scrutinized by the Modocs. Meacham has made an excuse to look Gen.
Canby in the face. He sees plainly that the general understands the
situation. Will he, oh! will he not promise to remove the soldiers on the
demand that has been so often made? It would avert the tragedy. It would
save the lives that are banging on his words. Will he do it? Surely, now,
when convinced, as he must be, that the threat will be executed, will he
not feel justified in yielding? Now that the Modocs have absolved him from
all obligations to them, will he grant their request; or will the high and
extraordinary sense of honor that controlled his reply to Meacham in the
morning, when the latter proposed to grant “any demand made, rather than
give the assassins an excuse for murder,” control him now? Every eye is on
him. The Modocs understand that he is chief.

He stands upright in form, and character as well. He looks the great man
he is. His face alone shows the intensity of his feelings. His lip quivers
slightly, as it always does under excitement. He speaks slowly:——

“Tobey, tell these people that the President of the United States sent the
soldiers here to protect them as well as the white men. They are all
friends of the Indians. They _cannot be taken away without the President’s
consent_. Tell them that when I was a young man I was sent to move a band
of Indians from their old home to a new one. They did not like me at
first, but when they became acquainted with me they liked me so well that
they made me a chief, and gave me a name that signified ‘Friend of the
Indian.’ I also removed another tribe to a new home; and they, too, made
me a chief, and gave me a name that meant ‘The tall man.’ Many years
afterwards I visited these people, and they came a long distance to meet
me, and were very glad to see me. Tell them I have no doubt that sometime
the Modocs will like me as those people did, and will recognize me as
their friend.”

As the general sits down, Meacham turns to Doctor Thomas, and invites him
to speak. _The doctor drops forward on his knees_, and, with his right
hand on Meacham’s left shoulder, says, “Tobey, tell these people, for me,
that I believe the _Great Spirit_ put it into the heart of the President
to send us here to make peace. We are all children of one Father. Our
hearts are all open to him. He sees all we do. He knows all our hearts. We
are all their friends. I have known Gen. Canby eight years; I have known
Mr. Meacham fourteen years, and I have known Mr. Dyer four years. I know
all their hearts are good. They are good men. We do not want any more
bloodshed. We want to be friends of yours. God sees all we do. He will
hold us all responsible for what we do.”

The doctor resumes his seat. Captain Jack is ill at ease. His men are
watching him closely. They evidently distrust him.

Meacham has almost decided in his mind that when the attack is made
Captain Jack will throw himself in the breach, and, if he takes part at
all, it will be with the white men.

The chief is slow to give the signal to begin. He is not in position
according to the programme arranged in the morning. He had hoped that the
demand for the withdrawal of the troops would be complied with. He sits
now with his hands on his knees, staring into Meacham’s face. He meets a
gaze intense as his own. What are the thoughts of his mind? He is
wavering. Perhaps he may refuse to sanction the butchery. He feels that
his own people are watching him. Suddenly, rising to his feet, he turns
his back on the white men. He is walking away from them. See! he stops!
Schonchin springs to the seat Captain Jack has left, and, with eyes
gleaming with the pent-up fury of hell, begins to talk. His voice is loud,
and betokens great excitement. How savage he looks now, while he says,
“Give us Hot Creek for a home, and take the soldiers away.”

“Maybe we cannot get Hot Creek for you,” replies Mr. Meacham.

Then Schonchin says, “I have been told we could have Hot Creek.”

Meacham asks, “Did Fairchild or Dorris say you could have it?”

“No,” replied Schonchin; “but Nate Beswick said we could have Hot Creek.”

“Hot Creek belongs to Fairchild and Dorris,” says Meacham. “We can see
them about it, and if we can get it you may have it.”

“_Take away your soldiers and give us Hot Creek, or quit talking. I am
tired of talking. I talk no more_,” shouts Schonchin in loud tones, and
with eyes burning with passion.

The interpreter is rendering the speech, but, before it is finished,
Captain Jack, who has returned to the group, and is standing a step behind
Schonchin, gives a signal, and the Modoc war-whoop starts every one
present to his feet (except Tobey, who lays close to the ground); catching
the sound, and oh! the sight, too, of Barncho and Slolux coming with the

“Jack, what does that mean?” demands Meacham.

The answer came quickly. Captain Jack, thrusting his right hand under the
left breast of his coat, draws a six-shooter, and shouts in a loud voice,
“_Ot-we-kau-tux!_”——(“All ready!”)


  1. General Canby.
  2. Colonel Meacham.
  3. Doctor Thomas.
  4. Tobey Riddle, reclining.
  5. Frank Riddle.
  6. Mr. Dyer.
  7. Captain Jack.
  8. Schonchin.
  9. Boston Charley.
  10. Shacknasty Jim.
  11. Hooker Jim.
  12. Ellen’s Man.
  13. Bogus Charley.
  14. Black Jim.
  15. Horse held by Riddle.
  16. Horse held by Dyer.
  17. Horse.]

Holding the barrel with his left hand, and cocking the pistol with his
right, he points it at Gen. Canby’s head, touches the trigger, and
explodes the cap, but does not the powder. Quickly he revolves the
cylinder, and again presents it to the petrified general, who stands
unmoved. Why, oh, why does he not close on the monster, and wrench the
weapon from him? Quick, general, quick! He is too late. Another instant,
and a shot is passing through his head. He does not fall, but turns and
flees. Jack and “Ellen’s Man” pursue him until he falls on the rocks. They
close on him. Captain Jack holds him by the shoulder, while the other cuts
him across the neck. In the fall his chin struck on the rocks and
shattered his lower jaw. The monsters strip him of every article of
clothing, while he is struggling in the agonies of death. Barncho comes up
now, and “Ellen’s Man” snatches a rifle from his hands, and, pointing at
the general, discharges it, and another ball passes entirely through his
head. They turn him on his face, and leave him in the last agony of a
horrible death, while, with his uniform on their arms, they go back to the
council tent.

Look towards the soldiers’ camp. Two men are running. The foremost one is
Dyer, and following him is Hooker Jim, who fires repeatedly at Dyer, who
turns, and pointing his pistol, Jim drops to avoid the shot. Dyer resumes
his run for life, and the other follows until Dyer has widened the space
between them so much that Hooker Jim, fleet as he is, abandons the chase,
and returns to join the other murderers.

Over towards the lake two other men are running. The foremost one is Frank
Riddle. The pursuer is Black Jim, who fires rapidly at Riddle; in fact, he
is not trying to hit him, because he knows that Scar-face Charley is
watching, and if Riddle falls by a shot from Black Jim, Black Jim himself
will fall by Scar-face Charley’s rifle.

[Illustration: BLACK JIM.]

Simultaneously with Jack’s first attack on General Canby, Boston Charley’s
first shot struck Dr. Thomas in the left breast, above the heart. The
doctor drops partly down, and catches with his right hand, and with the
other uplifted towards his assassin, begs him to shoot no more, as he has
already received a death-wound. Bogus joins Boston. They permit the doctor
to get upon his feet, and start to run, when they trip him and he falls
again. They taunt him with his religion, saying, “Why don’t you turn the
bullets? Your medicine is not strong.” The doctor rises again and walks a
few steps, when they push him down, still ridiculing him. Again he pleads
for them to spare his life. They laugh in his face and say, “Next time you
believe a squaw, won’t you?” Once more——and it is the last time that he
will ever walk in that bruised and mangled body——the doctor rises to his
feet, and, going a few steps, pleading with his inhuman tormentors for
mercy, and with his Maker for mercy on them, he falls to rise no more.
Slolux joins them, and Bogus, placing the muzzle of a gun towards the
doctor’s head, sends another bullet crashing through it. The red devils
now strip him of his clothing, jesting and mocking his words of prayer,
and finally turn him face downwards, while through the blood from the
wounds on his lips he cries, “Come, Lord——” and the prayer is smothered

When the signal for the attack was given, Schonchin was in position, and,
springing to his feet, he draws a revolver from his left side, and, with
his other hand, unsheathes a knife. He is so near his victim that he dare
not trust to a pistol alone. He is very much excited, and is not so quick
as the others in cocking his pistol.

Meacham draws his Derringer, and pushing the muzzle squarely against the
heart of Schonchin, pulls the trigger, but, alas! it does not fire. Why?
Oh! why? He tries again, and still the hammer does not fall. He now
discovers that it is but _half-cocked_. Too late! too late! Schonchin
thrusts _his_ pistol forward, almost touching Meacham’s face. The latter
jumps back and stoops, while the ball from Schonchin’s pistol tears
through the collar of his coat, vest, and shirt on the left shoulder, so
close that the powder burns his whiskers and the bullet bruises him. He
runs backwards with the pistol now ready for use, but with Schonchin
pursuing him and firing as fast as he can until his pistol is empty. Now
he drops it on the ground, and, _drawing another from his right side_, he
continues the attack, but dare not close on the Derringer still in the
hands of Meacham. Why does not the pursued man fire? He is a good shot.
Why don’t he drop the old scoundrel? He was very much frightened when the
attack began, but, like a soldier in battle, he has passed that, and is
terribly cool now. He dare not risk his only shot, for fear of missing
Schonchin, and because of the danger of hitting Tobey, for she is now
interposing for his life, and, putting her hand on Schonchin’s pistol,
turns it away again and again, while pleading, “Don’t kill him! don’t kill
Meacham! He is the friend of the Indians.” Slolux joins Schonchin, and,
with his gun, strikes the woman on the head, while Shacknasty, snatching
it from him, says, “I’ll fetch him,” at the same time sitting down and
taking deliberate aim. Meacham, striking his breast with his left hand,
shouts, “Shoot me there, you cowardly red devil!” Tobey strikes down the
gun. Shacknasty threatens her, and again takes aim and fires just as
Meacham leaps over a low ledge of rocks and falls. “I hit him, high up! He
is all right!” shouts Shacknasty.

Meacham now decides to fire his _only_ shot, and pushing the pistol up
over the rocks, carefully raises his head, with it thrown back, and just
as his eye comes above the rocks, he sees Schonchin sitting with his
revolver resting on his knee. Instantly a flash and a sting, and a ball
strikes Meacham in the forehead, between the eyes. Strange freak of the
bullet that passes under the eye-brow and out over the left eye, but does
not blind the other eye. Meacham now fires at Schonchin, who leaps up and
falls on the rocks, wounded. Almost at the same instant a ball passes
through Meacham’s right arm. The pistol drops. Another ball cuts away the
upper part of his right ear, and still another strikes him on the right
side of the head and glances off. He quivers, and his limbs are
outstretched, denoting the death-struggle. Shacknasty is the first to
reach him, and he proceeds to strip him of his clothing, first pulling
his boots off, then his pantaloons, and, while taking off his coat, tears
the vest down at the side and throws it away. Then he strips him of his
shirt, for it is a good one, and Shacknasty saves it for his own use.

While he is unbuttoning the shirt at the neck, Slolux comes up, and,
placing the muzzle of the gun close to the temple of the wounded man, sets
the hammer, and as he raises it up to his face to get it in range,
Shacknasty pushes it away, saying in Modoc, “You needn’t shoot. He is
dead. He won’t get up.” Hearing the voice of Captain Jack calling, they
leave the scene, saying to Tobey, “There lies another of your brothers,
you white-hearted squaw! Go and take care of him. You are no Modoc.”

This hour seems to have inherited even the wrath of the Almighty. The
blackness of unnatural night hangs over this scene of blood. Gen. Canby’s
limbs have straightened on yonder rocks, but a few steps to the west, and
his stark body looks ghastly in the awful gloom. Twenty yards to the east
the form of Dr. Thomas, his body half stripped and covered with blood, is
still convulsing, while his face presses the cold rocks.

The chief calls again to the red-handed demons and bids them flee to the
stronghold. They gather around him with the clothing of the slain still
dripping blood upon their feet. They are exulting by wild shouts of
half-satiated thirst for blood. While glancing towards the soldiers’ camp
they reload their arms.

“I am going to have old man Meacham’s scalp to put on my shot-pouch,” says
Boston, passing the doctor’s clothing to a companion standing near.

“_He has no scalp_,” breaks in Hooker Jim, “_or I would have it myself_.”

Boston now runs to where the bleeding man is lying, and takes from his
pocket a small two-bladed, black-handled knife which had been taken from
the pocket of a soldier who was killed in the January battle. The Indian
woman is wiping the blood from the mutilated face, now upturned with
closed eyes. Boston thrusts her aside, and with his left hand, still red
with the blood of Dr. Thomas, grasps the largest locks, and makes a stroke
with the knife. The woman remembers that the prostrate man over whom
Boston is bending has been _her_ benefactor, and that through his official
action, in 1869, he compelled Frank Riddle to make her a _lawful wife_,
and that, had it not been for this man, she would now, perhaps, be a
_cast-off squaw_. She cannot restrain her indignation, but rushes against
the red cut-throat and hurls him back on to the rocks. He rises and
threatens to take her life if she again interferes, taunting her with
being a “white woman.” Stamping on the prostrate man’s head, he places one
foot on his neck, and renews his attempt to secure an _ornament for his
shot-pouch_, swearing because he found no better scalp, but saying that he
would take one ear with it. With his left hand resting on the head, he
cuts square down to the skull a long, half-circular gash preparatory to
taking off the side lock and ear, too, with his knife.

Tobey now resorts to strategy to accomplish what she cannot do otherwise.
Looking towards the soldiers’ camp she claps her hands and shouts,
“Bos-tee-na soldiers. Kot-pumbla!”——(“The soldiers are coming!”) Boston,
without waiting to ascertain the truth of the warning, starts suddenly
and leaves the woman alone with the dead.

Tobey’s warning to Boston has reached the ears of the band of murderers at
the council fire, who, hastily putting the slightly wounded old sinner,
Schonchin, on “Joe Lane,” while the blood-stained uniform of Gen. Canby
and the gray suit of the doctor, together with Meacham’s clothes, are
lashed on Dyer’s horse, turn away, leaving Boston behind, who grasps the
rein of Tobey’s horse. She shouts to Jack, who turns and orders Boston to
leave him.

Jack and his party scamper over the rocks, looking back, expecting to hear
the guns of the white soldiers who are coming to the rescue.

Tobey again wipes the blood from the face of her benefactor, and, stooping
down, places her hand over his heart. “It stop! It stop!” she cries. With
her finger she opens his eyes. They do not see her. They are overflowing
with blood from the wound in his face and on his head. Again with her
dress she wipes the blood from his face. She straightens his limbs and
body. Then, standing alone a moment, with three dead men in sight, she
sorrowfully mounts her horse and starts for the soldiers’ camp.

While this scene of terror is being enacted at the council tent, another,
a little less bloody, is in progress on the opposite side of the Modoc
stronghold, the plans for which have been mentioned. Curly-haired Jack
(Cum-ba-twas) and Curly-haired Doctor have gone out towards Col. Mason’s
camp, with a flag of truce, to decoy the “Little Tyee” (Col. Mason) among
the rocks. But he is an old Indian fighter, and cannot be caught by such

Maj. Boyle is there, and, notwithstanding the fact that on the day before
Meacham had told him of the threatened treachery, he proposes to Lieut.
Sherwood to go out and meet the flag of truce. The major was Indian agent
at Umatilla, and had been successful in managing peaceable Indians. He had
been with Gen. Crook in Arizona, also; and, having confidence in his
sagacity to manage still, he volunteered to go now.

Having obtained the consent of Col. Mason, they leave the picket-line
behind them and the guard of the day on the lookout. They go cautiously,
and, when within hailing distance, the Modocs, under cover of the flag of
truce, ask for the “Little Tyee.”

“He will not come,” replies Boyle. The quick eye of the major catches
sight of a musket behind the flag of truce. He turns and flees, calling on
Sherwood to “Run! run for your life!”

They run. But see! Sherwood falls! A bullet from the musket of
Curly-haired Jack has broken his thigh. The guard rush to the rescue. The
Modocs fire a volley, and then flee to their stronghold, pursued by the
guard. The signal-station at Mason’s camp says, “Boyle and Sherwood
attacked, under a flag of truce.” Capt. Adams, of the signal corps, on the
bluff above Gilliam’s camp, receives and dictates it to his secretary,
who, after writing, sends it to Gen. Gilliam, in the camp, one hundred
yards below. The general reads the dispatch, and calls for Dr. Cabanis to
come in, while he writes a message to send by the doctor, informing the
commissioners of the attack on Mason’s men. The general has written but a
line, when Maj. Biddle, who has the other glass at the signal station,
shouts, “_Firing on the commissioners!_” The officers order the men to
“Fall in!” Soon the bugle repeats the assembly call. The men spring to
their arms, and in a few moments the five hundred men are ready to rush to
the rescue. Each company forms in line in the order in which they are
encamped,——Col. Miller’s company occupying the left front, Lieut. Eagan’s
next on the left, and Maj. Throckmorton taking his position behind Eagan’s
company; the cavalry companies are on the right.

Gen. Gilliam is astounded, petrified. He hesitates; he does not give the
order to march; he seems bewildered. Maj. Biddle rushes down from the
signal station and cries, “I saw Canby fall.” The men are frantic. They do
not understand the delay. The officers swear, and threaten to move
_without_ orders.

Gen. Gilliam now awakes from his lethargy, and gives the order, “March,
and deploy from the left in skirmish line!”

“_Forward!_” shouts Col. Miller.

“Forward!” rings out along the lines, while Maj. Riddle’s bugle sounds
“Forward!” Maj. Thomas is ordered to remain with his battery and guard the

Now that the order to march is given, the men go flying towards the scene
of blood in skirmish line. Behind the army are the surgeons with the

The newspaper reporters are there, also, and foremost among them “Bill
Dad” of the “Sacramento Record.” While waiting for orders Bill Dad says to
a citizen, “I will give you fifty dollars to carry my message to Yreka
ahead of all others. Yes, seventy-five!”

“All right,” responds the man, anxious to make money out of the occasion.
Other reporters engage couriers.

Col. Miller nears the council tent, urging his men on. He is behind them,
pushing them forward, expecting every moment to see a Modoc blaze of fire
in front. They soon after meet Dyer, who, breathless, says, “They are all
killed but me.” Soon after they discover Riddle, who cries, hurriedly,
“They are all killed.” But now they meet Tobey, who sobs, “_Canby, Thomas,
Meacham, all_ ‘kill.’”

Thirty minutes have passed, and Meacham is struggling to get upon his
feet. He hears a voice. “Up, on the left! Forward, my boys!” Faintly the
sound reaches his ears. “Steady, right! Up! up on the left, you d————d
scoundrels!” Distinctly and clearly he hears the words, “Steady, right!
Guide, centre!” Then the sound of men’s feet on the rocks mingles with the
words of command. The men near the centre level their guns.

“That’s an Indian,” says one of the men.

“Don’t shoot, he’s a white man!” shouts Col. Miller.

The line passes over the wounded man still in skirmish order, as they
expect a Modoc volley. As they pass, Dr. Cabanis comes up and says, “Bring
a stretcher here. Take Meacham. He’s not dead.”

“I am dead! I am dead!” murmurs the wounded man.

The soldiers lift the mutilated body on a stretcher.

“Water! water! give me water!” moans the wounded man.

The doctor puts a canteen of _brandy_ to his lips. The lips refuse.

“_I can’t drink brandy._ I am a temperance man,” says Meacham.

“Stop your nonsense. No time for temperance talk now. Down with it! down
with it!” cries the doctor.

“Am I mortally wounded, doctor?” asked Meacham. The surgeon hastily
thrusts his finger into the several wounds and replies, “Not unless you
are wounded internally.”

“I am shot through the left shoulder,” said the wounded man.

“Now, boys, for the hospital! Quick! Lose no time, and we will save him,”
cries the doctor.

“I hit Schonchin in the right side. He fell over just in front of me,”
says the man on the stretcher.

“Never mind Schonchin,” says the doctor. “We’ll look out for him. Here,
take some more brandy. Now, boys, quick! He’ll stand it until you reach
the hospital.”

Four pairs of strong hands grasp the handles of the stretchers, and four
other pairs carry the arms, and walk beside to relieve the carriers. A
soldier covers the man with his coat as they hurry along. Listen, now, to
the sad wail of young Scott, Canby’s orderly, who was with him through the
war of the Rebellion. When he reaches the body of his beloved general, who
was more than a father to him, he throws himself on the prostrate form,
and, frantic with grief, raves like a madman. “Bill Dad” and a soldier
lift him up and cover the body with their coats.

Men with stretchers come up, and, while they lift the general, Bill Dad
cuts the side of the council tent out and covers him over. Strange that
this council tent should become Gen. Canby’s winding-sheet! The body of
Dr. Thomas is also placed on a stretcher, and it, too, is covered with a
part of the tent. It is his winding-sheet, also.

While these affairs are taking place at the scene of the terrible tragedy,
the quartermaster, at the camp, is putting the hospital in order for the
reception of patients, ordering cooks to prepare food for the men, packing
mules with supplies, stretchers, water-casks, and such other things as are
necessary for the men while fighting, never doubting but that they will be
needed. The animals are ready and waiting for orders from the general

But lo! behold! The glistening bayonets above the rocks _come nearer_! The
army of five hundred men are _returning to camp_. “Why is this?” ask the
men. “Why did we not follow the murderers to their den?” demand the

“We shall not be ready to attack them until the Warm Spring Indians come,”
replies the general, who a few days since thought “he could take the
Modocs out with the loss of half-a-dozen men.” Why did not Col. Mason
follow up the Modocs who attacked Sherwood and Boyle? _Because he could
not move without orders, and the orders were not given._

Three or four horsemen are waiting while a dozen pencils are rattling over
paper. The burden of each despatch is the assassination. “Modoc treachery!
Gen. Canby and Dr. Thomas killed; Meacham mortally wounded; Dyer and
Riddle escape.” How much these hasty lines will tell, and how many hearts
will feel a dark shadow fall over them when the electric tongue of fire
repeats this message to the world!

“Fifty dollars extra, if you get my despatch into the telegraph office
ahead of the others,” says Bill Dad, as he hands the paper to his courier.
Away goes the courier up the steep and rugged bluff.

“One hundred dollars if you get to the office in Y-re-ka, first,” says
another reporter, in a whisper, to his courier, who dashes off close
behind the first.

Another rider is mounted and waiting for the word to start. Gen. Gilliam’s
adjutant hands this man a sealed envelope. It contains an official
telegram for the authorities.

“Lose no time! Off with you!” says Adjutant Rockwell. And now three riders
are urging their horses up the hill. Y-re-ka is eighty-three miles
distant. A long race is before them. The evening is dark and gloomy, but
the clouds pass away, and the moon shines on three men galloping together,
mile after mile. Sunrise finds two of them still together. One of them, as
they near a ranch, swings his hat and shouts. A man in shirt-sleeves runs
to a stable and brings a fresh horse to the man who signalled him. The
rider dismounts, and, while changing the saddle from his horse to the
fresh one, tells the awful tidings. The other rider urges his horse on,
on, for he, too, has a fresh horse but a few miles ahead. On he goes, and
looking behind him sees his rival coming. He comes up and passes, saying,
“Good-by, George!”

Twenty minutes more and both are mounted on fresh horses, one leading, but
now in sight of each other. One is casting an eye backwards over his
shoulder; the other is pressing the sides of his horse. The gap closes
up. Y-re-ka is now in sight, and they are galloping side by side. Both are
sitting erect, and the music of jingling spurs is in harmony with the
stride of the horses. One mile more, and somebody wins. It all depends on
“bottom.” The spurs cease to jingle. They are muffled in the bleeding
sides of the panting horses.

What a race! One is an iron-gray, the other a Pinto horse. The rider of
the gray, reaching back with his spurs, rakes his horse from the flank
forward, leaving a vermilion trail where the spurs have passed. With
extended head and neck, and lengthened stride, he goes ahead a few yards.
With another application of spurs, the switch of the horse’s tail touches
his rider’s back.

“Ah, ha! I’ve got you now!” shouts the rider of the Pinto, as he comes up
like the moving of a shadow, and leaves the gray and his rider behind. One
hour more, and the lightnings of the heavens are repeating the messages,
and sending them over mountains and plains, to almost the farthest ends of
the earth.

                             CHAPTER XXXI.


It is night, and in the solders’ camp a wail of anguish is heard coming
from the tent nearest Gen. Canby’s late quarters. Grief weighs down the
heart of Orderly Scott, who is giving vent to his anguish in stifled sobs
and vows of vengeance on the perpetrators of the foul deed. He rises from
his bed, and, with face half buried in his hands, looks again on the
mangled form of his benefactor, and, in renewed paroxysms of grief, is
borne away by his friends.

The sound of hammer and saw disturbs the midnight hour, while the
carpenters are transforming the wooden gun-cases into coffins for the
dead. Two are in progress, but the mechanics are economizing the rough
boards, for the probabilities are that the _third_ will be needed on the

The steward is holding a lamp while Drs. Semig and Cabanis are dressing
the wounds of the only patient in the hospital tent. He is unconscious,
while the ugly, ragged wound in his face is being carefully bound, and the
long crooked cut on the left side of the head is being closed with the
silver threads, and his ear is being stitched together. He flinches a
little when the flexible silver probe is following the trail cut through
his right arm made by the pistol ball that struck it outside of the
wrist, and, passing between the bones of the fore arms, came out on the
inside, midway between the hand and elbow. The left hand is laid out on a
board, and the wounded man is told that “the forefinger must come off.”

“Make out the line of the cut, doctor,” says Meacham.

“There, about this way,” the doctor replies, while with his scalpel he
traces a cut nearly to the wrist.

“I can’t hold still while you do that, without chloroform,” says Meacham.

The doctor feels his pulse, and says, “You have lost too much blood to
take chloroform.”

“Then let it stay until I am stronger,” rejoins Meacham.

For once doctors agree, one of them saying, “The finger would not
disfigure a corpse very much.”

“Please ask Gen. Gilliam to send to Linkville for my wife’s brother, Capt.
Ferree,” comes from the bloodless lips of the wounded man.

“My dear fellow,” replies the kind-hearted doctor, “the general sent a
courier for him hours ago.”

This thoughtful act of kindness, on the part of Gen. Gilliam, has touched
the heart of the sufferer. When he awakes again Capt. Ferree was bending
over him and remarking, “He will be blind if he recovers, won’t he,

“He won’t be very handsome, that’s a fact,” says the nurse.

In the Modoc camp, when the murderous bands arrive with their scanty
plunder, a general quarrel ensues, and bitter reproaches are heard against
Hooker Jim for not securing Mr. Dyer, and against Curly Jack and
Curly-haired Doctor, for the escape of Maj. Boyle, and on account of the
clothing taken from the murdered men. Captain Jack claims the uniform of
Gen. Canby. Bogus and Boston divide the clothing taken from Dr. Thomas,
and Shacknasty Jim, Hooker Jim and old Schonchin are awarded the clothing
and effects of Meacham.

Preparations are making for defence, as the Indians do not doubt that an
attack will be made immediately. Many bitter recriminations are uttered;
but it is war, war to the last man! They hush all their quarrels in the
necessity for united action. They pledge themselves to fight until the
_last man_ is dead. The Curly-haired Doctor calls his assistants around
him and begins the _Great Medicine Dance_. All night long the sound of
drum and song is heard. The Modocs expect every moment to hear the signal
of their sentinel on the outposts announcing the “soldiers!” No sleep
comes to this camp to-night.

The morning comes, but no blue-coats are seen among the rocks. The army of
one thousand men _are not ready yet_.

The Modocs exult; they are jubilant; they have _scared_ the Government.
“_It is afraid. It will grant us, now, all we ask._” Captain Jack and
Scar-face Charley do not assent to this unreasonable view of the

“The soldiers will come. Our victory is not complete. We must fight now
until all are dead. The Modoc heart says ‘We must fight!’” Captain Jack

Saturday morning, April 13th, finds the three camps side by side, and each
on the lookout for an attack.

Strong hands are bearing two rough-looking boxes up the steep bluff. In
the foremost one is the body of Gen. Canby; in the other, all that is
mortal of Dr. Thomas. Slowly they mount the rugged hill. They reach the
waiting ambulances. The bodies are each assigned an escort. Sitting beside
Gen. Canby’s coffin are his adjutant, Anderson, and the faithful Scott.

How changed the scene! a few hours since all were hopeful. Now, all are in
despair, crushed under the affliction of the hour. While they move
cautiously under escort, the terrible news is flashing along thousands of
miles of telegraph lines, over mountains, under rivers and oceans. Before
the sun sets the hearts of millions of people are beating in sympathy with
the bereaved. Extras and bulletins are flying from a thousand presses. The
newsboys of America are shouting the burden of the terrible telegram. The
Indians along a thousand miles of the frontier have already learned that
something of dreadful import has happened.

About the middle of the afternoon of this day a woman sitting in her room
on State street, Salem, Oregon, raises her eyes, turning them towards the
street. Perhaps the sound of steps on the wooden pavement attracts her
attention. She sees two familiar faces turned towards her window. “Oh, see
her! How pale she is!” She drops her work, and runs hastily to meet the
two gentlemen.

“Is he dead? Is he dead? Tell me! Has my husband been killed by the
Modocs?” the woman cries.

The gentlemen are speechless for the moment, while the lady pleads. They
dare not speak the truth too plainly, now; she cannot bear it.

[Illustration: DOCTOR THOMAS.]

One of them replies, “Gen. Canby and Dr. Thomas have been killed by the
Modocs, and Mr. Meacham is sli——” “mortally wounded!” shrieks the lady
sinking to the floor.

Three young persons are coming home. The eldest is a young lady of
eighteen. The lad that walks beside her is her brother of sixteen; and the
other is an auburn-haired girl of fourteen. There is something in her
appearance that connects our thoughts with the mutilated, almost bloodless
man who is lying in the hospital in the Lava Beds.

They turn the corner leading out of the Plaza and in sight of home. They
see men and women hurrying across the front yard.

“Has father been killed by the Modocs?” bursts from their lips as they

Dr. Hall meets them and says, “Your father is slightly wounded. He is not

The three frightened children gather around the _tearless_, pale-faced
mother, who says, “Don’t deceive me. I am strong now. I can bear it. Tell
me the worst.”

The friends exchanged glances. Dr. Hall shakes his head, slightly
motioning towards the elder girl, whose face is buried in the bosom of
Mrs. Dr. Smith.

“George, run to the telegraph office and bring the despatch,” says the
mother to her son. “I must know the truth.”

The boy bounds away towards the office, and is met by Prof. Powell, who
says, “Come back, George. I will go home with you, and tell your mother
all about it.”

The two return, and the professor, with faltering voice reads the
despatch: “Canby and Thomas killed. Meacham mortally wounded.” The
marble-faced wife arises, saying, “I am going to my husband.” Her friends
remonstrate with her.

“I am going to my husband. Do not hinder me,” she repeats.

“My father! my father!” cries the elder daughter, as she is borne to her

“My father will not die. He must not die. _My father will live_,” the
younger daughter insists. Her brother is trying to hide his tears while he
talks hopefully.

“Father is a very strong man. He may get well. I think he will,” he says.

It is midnight, and sympathizing friends are in the sitting-room and
parlor. The daughters and son have sobbed themselves to sleep. The mother
and wife, with bloodless face, is on bended knees, and, with uplifted
hands clasped, is whispering a prayer.

At this moment her brother is bending over her husband three hundred miles
away, watching his breathing; while thoughts of a widowed sister and her
orphan children sadden the heart of the veteran who has passed through the
war of the Great Rebellion. A silent tear drops on the mangled face
beneath him.

Donald McKay, “the scout,” with seventy-two picked men, is dismounting at
Col. Mason’s camp. Leaving them, he is challenged by the picket guard and,
passing in, reports himself to the officer of the day.

His men stand waiting his return. Meanwhile we will go close enough to
inspect them. They are dressed in the uniform of the soldiers of the
United States. Their arms are the same, and in the moonlight they appear
to be “Regulars.” If the wounded man in the hospital were here they would
salute him with, “Tuts-ka-low-a?” (“How do you do, old man Meacham?”) And
he would reply, “Te-me-na, Shix-te-wa-tillicums.” (“My heart is all

These boys are Warm Spring Indians, and the same men who were in the
council tents in 1856, when the Government swindled them and their fathers
out of their homes in the beautiful “Valley of the Tygh.” They were also
in the revival meeting at the Warm Springs Agency in 1871, when the
Superintendent of Indian Affairs, who now lies in yonder hospital, and
Agent John Smith, took so many red hands in their own and recognized a
brotherhood with them. They are the same men, too, who have for years
past, each Sunday morning, joined their beloved agent in prayer and song.
They have left behind them humble homes, in a poor country, where the
Government placed them, and where it still keeps them by the strong arm of
the law, without consulting their wishes,——a home they cannot leave, even
for a day, without a “pass.” Their manhood was acknowledged in making a
treaty; but denied as soon as the compact was completed, until in 1866,
when the Government found it had an expensive war on hand with the Snake
Indians, and then it offered these men the privilege of volunteering to
whip the Snake Indians. This offer they accepted, and were rewarded for
their services with a few greenbacks, worth fifty cents on a dollar, and
an invitation to a new treaty council, in which they were _cheated_ out of
a reserved right to the fisheries on the Columbia river, near “The
Dalles;” and then they were summoned back to their unsought homes, subject
to the whims and caprices of Government officers, who were given positions
as a reward for political services. True, they agreed to the terms, and
they must be made to stand by them whether their pledges were made freely
and voluntarily, or under the shining bayonets of an army, and by reason
of the superior diplomatic talent of the Government officials who
outwitted them. It makes no difference. They are Indians, and
three-fourths of the people of the United States _believe_ and _say_ that
“the best Indians are all under ground.”

Anxious to demonstrate their loyalty to a Government that has been so good
to them, and to establish their right to manhood’s privileges, when an
opportunity offered, they enlisted by the advice and consent of their
agent, and, followed by his prayers, they are here to-night under the
famous scout, Donald McKay.

He evidently is not a “Warm Spring Indian,” yet they trust him, knowing,
from their experience with him in the Snake campaign of 1866, that he is
thoroughly reliable. Donald McKay is half brother to Dr. Wm. C. McKay. His
mother was a Cayuse woman. Being a man of extraordinary endowments, which
fit him for a leader, he has taken an active part in all recent Indian
wars of the Northwest. His _name alone_ carries a warning to refractory

As Donald approached his men on his return from head-quarters, several
voices inquire if “old man Meacham is dead.” Quietly leading their horses
inside the picket line, they unpack the kitchen, mule and blanket ponies.

It is now Sunday morning, the 13th of April. The sun finds couriers on the
road to Y-re-ka, bearing despatches announcing that “Meacham is sinking.
The surgeons have extracted four bullets from his wounds. The Modocs
cannot get away.”

A sad, anxious woman is leaving the depot at Salem, Oregon, destined for
the Lava Beds. At home her children are in tears, realizing how dark the
clouds of sorrow may become.

The childless widow of Gen. Canby sits with _broken heart_, in her parlor
in Portland, Oregon.

The family of Dr. Thomas, in Petaluma, Cal., are kneeling around the
family altar, and a bereaved widow is praying for resignation to this
dispensation of Providence,——is praying for strength to say “Thy will be
done on earth as it is in heaven.”

Monday morning, April 14th, opens amid the noises of camp life; the drum
and bugle calls, and human voices join in songs of praise. They are
strange sounds for a military camp on the eve of battle. There is an
uncommon accent to them, but they sound familiar. What! The sounds come
from the lips of men who were born in wild camps among the mountains of
Eastern Oregon. Can it be that these red men have so far advanced in
Christian civilization that they are now doing what not one of the five
hundred white men have the courage to do? Yes, my reader, _it is true_
that the Warm Spring Indians, who have learned from Agent John Smith these
songs of praise and the honor that is due to God, are faithful to their
pretensions, and _are worshipping_ Him, and seeking strength to sustain
them in the coming strife.

Blush, now, will you not, you who prate so loudly of the superiority of
the white men! of his sense of right controlling his actions! Here are
_red men_, who are but a few years removed from savage life, _living_ the
“_new religion_”——Christians in real earnest, and shaming the hypocritical
pretenders whose cant and whine make liberal-minded people turn away in
disgust. You Christian Indian-hater, look at these red-skinned people, and
learn a lesson in Christian honesty and moral courage!

The shadows of Van Bremers mountain come slowly over the Lava Beds. In the
Modoc camp the “medicine-man” is conducting the war-dance and working the
blood of Modoc hearts up to fighting heat. He promises his people that he
will make a medicine that will turn the soldiers’ bullets away. He points
to the great battle of January, and its results, to inspire confidence in
him. The chief is saddened, and fully realizes the situation. He is
desperate, and is resolved to fight to the bitter end. He has already
appointed the places for each of the warriors. He tells his people that
the hated Warm Spring Indians are now in the soldiers’ camp. He reminds
them that these people are their enemies; that it was the Warm Spring and
Tenino Indians who killed his father. He counsels them to remember his
father’s death. He knows that a thousand white soldiers are there and that
the “big guns” will reach his stronghold.

Some of his followers have superstitious faith enough in the medicine-man
to believe that they will outlive the war, and to believe the white men
are conquered already. The chief knows better.

In the soldiers’ camp preparations are making for the assault. The
Coehorn shell-guns are made ready for putting on the backs of mules. Food
for the soldiers has been prepared. The guard is stationed. The soldiers
in either camp well understand that the morrow’s sun will witness another
bloody struggle. Those of them who were in former battles shrink from this
one, knowing how nearly impregnable the “stronghold” will be.

“I say, old man, there is a little bit of fun going on. I wish you could
be up to see it.” Thus spoke Capt. Ferree to Meacham, and continued, “You
know Long Jim——a Modoc prisoner——is under guard. Well, the boys are going
to give him a _chance_ to run for his life without the knowledge of Gen.
Gilliam. They have everything all fixed, and I’ll bet fifty dollars he
‘makes it!’ They have him in the stone corral, and the plan is to station
the boys outside next to the Lava Beds and leave one or two men to guard
him. They will pretend to sleep, and Jim will jump the wall, and then the
boys will let him have it. Two to one he gets away! I thought I would just
tell you, so you wouldn’t get scared to death, thinking the Modocs were
attacking the camp.”

This man, Long Jim, had pretended to desert the Modoc camp during the
peace negotiations. He had a bullet extracted from his back while in the
commissioners’ camp, several weeks before. He was afterwards caught while
acting as an emissary to other Indians, and, by order of Gen. Canby, was
being detained under guard as a prisoner. Hence his presence. He stoutly
denied having any desire to return to Captain Jack’s camp.

The officers are assembled in Col. Green’s quarters. They are celebrating
a half-solemn, half-sentimental ceremony that is sometimes indulged in
before an engagement. To a listener who lies in a hospital it sounds
somewhat as does the medicine war-dance in the middle camp. Indeed, its
results are the same, although the design is different. In the Modoc camp,
the dance and medicine are for the purpose of invoking spiritual aid and
stimulating the nerves of the braves to heroic deeds. In the soldier camp
the intention is to celebrate the stirring scenes passed, to exchange
friendship, to blot out all the personal differences that exist, and
pledge fidelity for the future.

They tell stories and pass jokes and witticisms until a late hour. Before
adjournment they join in singing a song that is sung nowhere else and by
no other voices. The wounded man in the hospital tent hears only the
refrain. It sounds melancholy, and has a saddening effect.

      “Then stand by your glasses steady,
        This world’s a round of lies——
      Three cheers for the dead already,
        And hurrah for the next who dies”——

rings out from the lips of brave men who dread not the strife of battle
under ordinary circumstances; but to meet an enemy who is so thoroughly
protected by chasms and caverns of rock does not promise glory that
inflates men’s courage previous to battle.

Col. Tom Wright and Lieut. Eagan drop into the hospital, and, sitting down
beside the wounded commissioner, assure him that they will remember Canby
and Thomas, and will avenge his own sufferings. They retire with
expressions of hope for his recovery. They meet Maj. Thomas and Lieut.
Cranston coming to pay a visit. Exchanges of sympathy and friendship
follow, and they return to quarters to sleep before the battle, leaving
behind them but one wounded man. He is peering into the future, wondering
_who_ of all the five hundred men and officers will be his _first

The camp is quiet. Midnight has passed. The relief guard has been
stationed. In the corral Long Jim is _sleeping_. He shows no sign of any
intention to escape. The guard _is discouraged_. The boys outside are
impatient. What if Jim should not make the attempt? It would be a huge
joke on the boys who planned this little side scene. Truth is, nearly
everybody who is in the secret is cursing Jim for a fool that he don’t try
to escape. A consultation is held. Something must be done. “I’ll fix it,”
says a “little corporal.” Going to the corral he says, “Don’t go to sleep
and let the prisoner get away.” Everything becomes quiet and the two
guards sit down, one at each side of the corral.

“I’m so d——d sleepy I can’t keep awake,” says one to the other.

“Sleep, then. I won’t say a word,” rejoins his companion. “He can’t get
away from me. He’s sleeping himself.”

The first speaker soon hangs his head and _sleeps_. Soon the other’s chin
rests on his breast and he begins to _snore_. Long Jim slowly raises _his_
head. All is quiet. There sit the two guards, sleeping. One is snoring.
Jim listens. His love for his own people and for liberty burns in his
heart. He has picked up many items that would be valuable. He knows that
the attack will be made on the morrow. His friends must be notified. He
listens a moment, and then, cautiously laying aside his blanket, he stands
erect. One of the guards sits in the gateway of the corral. The wall
around him is higher than his head. He cannot see over it. Laying his
hands on the stone and summoning all his strength he _springs_. A blaze at
either end of the corral, then bang! bang! go the guns outside like the
firing, of a string of China crackers, only louder. Twenty shots are
fired, and still Jim does not fall. He reaches the outer picket line. _Two
more guns are fired off_, lighting up the track for the runaway, and still
he flies. The boys reload and send a parting volley in the direction Jim

“_He ‘made it’; and a madder set of fellows you never saw._ I knew they
couldn’t hit him. I’ve tried that thing, and it can’t be done.” I need not
tell my readers who uttered this remark.

You may suppose that this little episode, “just before the battle,” roused
the camp. No such thing occurred. Gen. Gilliam, it is true, jumped to his
feet, but was reassured when he was told that it was nothing——only Long
Jim escaping.

Before daylight this distinguished individual was “a-tellin’ the Modocs
the news,” as one of the sleeping guard declared. So he was, with his
clothing pierced by half-a-dozen bullets, but “with nary a wound.”

                             CHAPTER XXXII.


It is four o’clock on the morning of Tuesday, the 14th of April. The men
are silently falling into line. The mules are groaning under the heavy
weight of “mounted pieces,” or loaded with stretchers and other
contrivances for carrying the dead and wounded. The soldiers do not seem
to realize that some of their number will _return on these mules_, wounded
and helpless, or dead. Perhaps each one thinks and hopes that it will be
some one other than himself. From the immense preparations for war it
would seem that Captain Jack and his followers must be taken in a few
minutes. One thousand men and seventy-two Warm Spring Indians are taking
position around the ill-starred chieftain’s fortress. He is not ignorant
of their presence. His old women and children are hidden away in the caves
of the Lava Beds. The young women are detailed to attend the warriors with
water and ammunition. The Modocs are better armed than during the last
battle. Some of their guns were captured from fallen soldiers on the 17th
of January. A large quantity of ammunition that was taken has been changed
to suit the old rifles.

The men are at the stations assigned them. They are divested of all
unnecessary clothing, and their limbs are bandaged by folds of rawhide.
They are awaiting the attack. Each warrior holds a position made
impregnable by the formation of the rocks, or the condition in which the
great convulsions of nature which produced this indescribable country,
left them.

The sun is driving away the darkness, and soon the battle must begin.

In the hospital a veteran of the Second Iowa Cavalry is sitting beside the
wounded man, and preparing him for the shock that his nerves will feel.

“Don’t get scared, old man! It will begin very soon, and you will
presently have company enough,” he says.

The hospital attendants are making ready to care for the wounded.
Mattresses are placed in rows on either side. In a small tent, near by, a
surgeon is laying out lint and bandages.

The Iowa veteran is standing at the door, saying to Meacham, “I will tell
you when it opens. I can see the fire before you will hear the sound and
feel the jar. Don’t get frightened, and think that the mountain is coming
down on you, old man. There goes the signal rocket. Now look out!”

An instant more and the shells and howitzers join in a simultaneous demand
for the Modoc chief to surrender. The earth trembles while the reports are
reverberating around and through the chasms and caverns of the Lava Beds,
and before they have finally died away, or the trembling has ceased,
another sound comes in a continuous roar, proceeding from the left, and by
the time the belt of fire has made the circuit, it repeats itself again
and again. But no smoke of rifles is seen coming from the stronghold.
“Charge!” rings out by human voice and bugle blast, and a returning
series of bayonets converge. On they go, nearing a common centre. No
Modocs are yet in sight. The soldiers, now upright, are hurrying forward,
when suddenly, from a covert chasm and cavern, a circle of smoke bursts
forth. The Modocs have opened fire. The men fall on the right and left,
around the circle. “Onward!” shout the officers. “Onward!” But the men are
falling fast. The charge must be abandoned. The bugle sounds “Retreat!”
The line widens again, the soldiers bearing back the dead and wounded.
They now seek cover among the rocks. The wounded are sent to the hospital,
by way of the lake, in boats or on the mule-stretchers. The battle goes
on. The wounded continue to arrive. The shadows of the mountains from the
west cover the Lava Beds, and still the fight goes on. A volley is heard
near the hospital.

“What’s that?” asked the startled patient.

“Burying the dead,” quietly responds the veteran nurse.

A few minutes pass, and another volley is fired, and another soldier is
being laid away to rest forever. Still another, and another yet; until
five volleys announce that five of the boys who started out with United
States rifles in the morning are occupying the narrow homes that must be
theirs forever.

At irregular intervals during the night the fight is continued. The Modocs
are constantly on duty. The soldiers relieve each other, and are in
fighting condition when Tuesday morning comes. No cessation of firing
through the day. No rest for the Modocs.

One of the camp sutlers, well known all over the West as a game fellow,
unable to restrain his love for sport, and being PAT-riotic, goes to
quartermaster Grier and demands a _breech-loader_, and also a _charger_ to
ride, saying he wanted to do something to help whip the Modocs. Mr. Grier
informed _Pat_ that he could _not_ issue arms without an order. Pat was
indignant, and made application successfully to a citizen for the
necessary outfit for war. He mounted Col. Wright’s mule and repaired to
the scene of action.

On reaching the line of battle he looked around a few minutes, and, to a
word of caution given him by an officer, replied, “Divil an Indian do I
see. I came out to git a scalp, and I’m not goin’ home without it.”

The officer who had given him the friendly advice watched the bold sutler
as he kept on his way with his “Henry,” ready to pick off any Modoc who
might be imprudent enough to show his head. The soldiers shout, “Come
back! come back!” but on goes the fearless sutler, carefully picking his
way. Look very closely, now, and we can see what appears to be a _moving
sage-bush_. Slowly, almost imperceptibly, it creeps over the ledges. If
Pat would only look in the right direction he could see it and have a
chance at the travelling bush; and as he is a good shot, he _might_
scatter the leaves, besides boring a hole through _Steamboat Frank’s_
head. A puff of smoke comes out of the now immovable bush, and the report
mingles with the roar of battle. Pat’s mule _drops_ under him, and he
slips off and takes cover behind a low rock. The mule recovers its feet,
and, with almost human sense, makes its way back to the soldiers’ line.
Pat, anxious to discover his man, raises his head above the rocks. Whiz!
comes another bullet, so close that Pat drops back quietly,——indeed, so
very quietly that the soldiers report him dead; and noble-hearted Pat is
named among the slain. But let us see how he really is. After lying
contented awhile, he again slowly lifts his head, and another shot comes
so close that Pat again drops behind the rock, and a second time the
soldiers shout, “They’ve got him this time, sure!”

Not so, however. Pat is not hurt yet. Again and again he attempts to move
from behind the rock, scarcely large enough to protect him, and each time
Steamboat fires. No one who knows Pat McManus ever doubted his courage,
but he deserves credit, also, for remembering that “Discretion is the
better part of valor.” He finally arranges himself for a “quiet snooze
behind the rock,” as he expressed it, and awaited the welcome shades of
evening. He then crawls out to the soldier line. It is said that he stood
the fire of the soldiers who mistook him for an Indian, until he shouted
to them, “Dry up, there! It’s me! Don’t you know a white man on his knees
from an Injun on his belly?”

Directly west of Captain Jack’s stronghold is a flat an almost level plain
of lava rocks of six hundred yards in width, but commanded by the
stronghold, while it does not offer protection to those who attempt to
hold it. To complete the investment it is necessary to take this “flat.”
Lieut. Eagan is ordered to the execution of this enterprise. He is a
daring leader, and, calling to his men to follow, moves forward. It is
known to be a hazardous undertaking, but Eagan is just the man. Away he
goes, jumping from one rock to another, calling to his men: “Come, my
boys! come!” he cries. But suddenly the Lava Rocks in front belch forth
Modoc bullets, and the gallant lieutenant _drops_. Then a soldier, and
then another. Eagan shouts, “Fall back!” Pell-mell they go, stooping,
jumping and shouting, leaving the brave fellow alone, while his men take a
position where they can prevent the Modocs from capturing their leader.

Dr. Cabanis,——who seems to bear a charmed life, hearing of Eagan’s fall,
goes to him. The Modocs open fire on him. Steadily the gallant doctor
moves forward, sometimes taking cover as best he can, again moving, half
bent, from rock to rock, and when he reaches the wounded man a shout goes
up from the soldiers. The wound is dressed, and the doctor, unable to
_carry_ his patient, leaves him and returns again to the line.

While this battle is going on, two coaches of the Northwest Stage Company
meet, one going north and the other south. Observing a custom common among
western stage people, they halt and exchange news items. In the stage
going north is the body of Gen. Canby, in charge of his adjutant,
Anderson, and Orderly Scott. In the other stage is Mrs. Meacham,
accompanied by a stranger. Indeed, she has found a new escort at almost
every station, who would announce himself as “your husband’s brother.”
Members of this brotherhood have been informed by telegraph all along the
road that “A Brother’s Wife is _en route_ for the Lava Beds. Look out for
her wants. See that she is escorted and send the bills to No. 50, F. A.
M., Salem.”

Anderson goes to the other coach. Mrs. Meacham anxiously inquires, “Did
you see my husband after he was wounded?”

“I sat beside him half an hour,” he replies. “He is doing well.”

“Will he recover?” questions Mrs. Meacham. “Is he mortally wounded?”

“We hope he will get well. His wounds are not necessarily fatal,” replies
the adjutant. “A great deal,” he continues, “depends on good treatment.
_Your brother_ is with him. Everything that can be done is being done.”

Anderson walks sadly back to his charge of the lamented general.

The driver of the other stage dismounts and accosts Mr. Anderson as he
resumes his seat.

“Is there any hope for Mr. Meacham?” he asks.

“Not the least in the world; but his wife must not know it now,” replies
Anderson, in a low voice; but O my God! _loud enough for the quick_ ears
of Mrs. Meacham to catch the words.

The drivers take up the lines. The stages pass. In one Gen. Canby’s body
is being borne to his heart-broken wife. In the other a heart-broken wife
is going to her husband, with the thought that she would be northward
borne in a few days, with her husband confined in a dark coffin. The
southern-bound stage reaches Jacksonville. The strange gentleman assists
Mrs. Meacham to alight, and attends to her baggage while the change of
coaches is being made. He then introduces another stranger to Mrs. Meacham
as “your husband’s brother, who will go to Y-re-ka with you.”

It is Wednesday evening when the stage is slowly climbing Siskiyou
mountain. The occupants are but two, one a lady. She does not speak. _She
has no hope now._ The gentleman is silent. He, too, has lost hope in the
recovery of the lady’s husband.


Lieut. Eagan is being carried to his tent. The hospital is full of
patients groaning with pain. Near the door lies a Warm Springs Indian
scout. The surgeons are probing his wound, while he laughs and talks to
the attendants, making sarcastic remarks about “the Modocs using powder
that couldn’t shoot through his leg.”

The Iowa veteran announces to his brother-in-law that his wife will be in
Y-re-ka that night.

The Modocs are out of water. The ice they had stored in the caves is
exhausted. They determine to cut their way to the lake, but a few hundred
yards distant. They concentrate their forces, and, enveloped in sage
brush, they crawl up near the line of soldiers and open fire in terrible
earnest. Soldiers fall on right and left. The Modocs yell and push their
line. The white soldiers are massing to resist. The fire is awful. Peal
after peal, volley after volley, and still the Modocs hold their ground.
All night long the Modoc yell mingles with the rattle of musketry, and the
shouts of defiance from the soldiers. One party is fighting in
desperation; the other from duty.

While this battle is raging, the stage-coach from the North arrives at
Y-re-ka, and stops at the hotel. A gentleman says a few words to the
driver. The street-lamp before Judge Roseborough’s door throws its light
on the faces of several ladies and gentlemen who stand waiting to receive
the lady passenger. She is met with warm-hearted kindness, although every
face is new. Supper is waiting. Every effort is made for the lady’s
comfort. She weeps now, although this great sorrow of her life had seemed
to dry up the fountain of tears until the warm hearts and kind words of
strange voices had touched, with melting power, her inner soul. A short
sleep, and she arises, to find a four-horse carriage awaiting to bear her
to the Lava Beds. A new escort takes his place beside her.

Just after daylight, and while leaving the Shasta valley, a few miles out
of Y-re-ka, the driver announces a courier coming from the Lava Beds. As
he approaches, he draws from his “cantena”——a leather pocket carried on
the saddle-front——a paper, and, waving it while he checks his panting
horse, says, “For Mrs. Meacham.” Oh, the power of a few words! How they
can change darkness into light! The letter read as follows:——

                                    LAVA BEDS, Tuesday Eve., April 15.

    DEAR SISTER: Your husband will recover. His wounds are doing
    well, but he will never be very handsome any more.

                                                   Your brother,

                                                     D. J. FERREE.

This inveterate joker cannot resist the temptation to mix the colors of
the rainbow in all he does. But we forgive him.

This morning, as the sun dispels the darkness, the Modocs abandon the
attempt to reach the lake. For two days and nights they have fought
without sleep. They are suffering from thirst and long-continued fighting;
but _no signs of surrender are anywhere visible_. The chief has called a
council. It is decided to evacuate on the approach of night, and the
braves are ordered to hold their fire unless to resist a charge.

A few of the Modocs have passed outside the lines by way of the “open
flat,” and are crawling towards the soldiers’ camp at the foot of the
bluff. Gen. Gilliam, Dr. McEldry and others have passed over the route
unharmed. The horse-stretchers have passed and repassed with their mangled
freight. The pack-ponies are all busily engaged, and the team horses, that
were ordered by the quartermaster into service, are employed in carrying
the dead. The pack-trains and teams belong to private citizens, and have
been employed by the Government in carrying and hauling supplies. It was
not expected, however, that they would be required to carry bleeding and
mangled human freight.

“Necessity knows no law.” In the beginning of the battle, the citizen
teamsters were ordered to this place for duty. Among them was a
fair-haired boy of nineteen years of age, who had trained his team horses,
on the first and second days of the battle, to walk between the poles that
made the mule-stretchers. The poles were about twenty feet long, and at
either end a stout strap was attached to each. These straps were thrown
across the saddles on the horses, one being immediately in front of the
other, and between them canvas was secured to the poles, thus constituting
a “horse-stretcher.” This boy had proved himself very efficient, and had
won the commendation of the officers, and the gratitude of the wounded
men. Dr. McEldry had requested the quartermaster to continue young Hovey
in the service, because in managing the stretchers he was careful and

A presentiment had this morning filled the mind of this noble young fellow
with dread. He made application to Quartermaster Grier to be excused from
further duty with the stretchers, stating his reasons. Mr. Grier expressed
his sympathy with him and endeavored to allay his fears, remarking that
Dr. McEldry had paid him a high compliment for his efficiency and
requested him——Mr. Grier——to send him out again this morning.

The boy——_too brave to refuse_, although no law could have compelled him
to go, though his horses might have been pressed into service——assented,
remarking that, notwithstanding he had made _several trips safely_, he
should _not get back from this one_.

After preparing his horses for this unpleasant labor he goes to a citizen
friend, and gives him his watch and other valuables, saying that he _did
not expect to return_, as he had had a presentiment that he would not; and
he gave to this friend a message to his father, another for his mother,
and mentioning the names of his _brothers and sisters_, left a _few words
of love for each_. The grandeur of character and heroism exhibited by this
boy stand out among the few instances that are given to mankind in proof
of the divinity that controls human action. Nothing but godlike attributes
could have sustained young Hovey when calmly performing those manly
actions which entitle his name to be enrolled among the heroes of the age.
So let it be recorded, and let it stand with the nineteen summers he had
lived, _accusing_ and _condemning_ those who so _wildly howled_ for blood
when the Peace Commissioners were laboring to prevent what might have
been only a terrible phantasmagoria, but which has become an awful

Young Hovey, accompanied by one assistant only, started on his way to the
battle-field with four horses and two stretchers. No guard was deemed
necessary, because it was understood that the Modocs were surrounded and
“could not escape,” and it was so reported, by the general commanding, to
his superiors. Hovey and his companion had passed by the scene of the
tragedy of the Peace Commissioners but a few rods, and but a few hundred
yards behind Gen. Gilliam, when, from the cover of the rocks, a Modoc
bullet, shot by Hooker Jim, went with a death-dealing power through his
head. The monsters, not content with his death and the capture of his
horses, rush upon him, and while he is yet alive, scalp him, strip him of
his clothing, and then, with inhuman ferocity, the red fiends crush his
head to a shapeless mass with huge stones. His companion escapes unhurt.

This outrage was committed almost within sight of the army, which was
investing the stronghold, and the camp at the bluff.

Having despatched young Hovey, the Modocs then turned towards the latter
camp. Lieut. Grier, who was in command, immediately telegraphed to Col.
Greene, in command at the Lava Beds, that “The Modocs were out of the
stronghold and had attacked the camp.” He, also, called together the
citizens and his own forces, as Assistant Acting Quartermaster, and,
arming them, prepared to resist. But a few shots were fired by the
Indians; however, one or two balls landed among the tents near the
hospital. The Modocs presently withdrew.

The day is passing away with the almost useless expenditure of powder and
shells. However, there was a _shell sent_ in yesterday that did not
explode when delivered, and the Modocs are anxious to see what is inside
of it. How to do so is a question in the Modoc mind. Several plans are
tried unsuccessfully, until an old Cum-ba-twas, with jaws like a cougar,
taking it in his hands and clinching the plug with his teeth, produces a
combustion that _he does not anticipate_. _That shell does execution. In
fact_, _it is worth about five hundred thousand dollars to the
Government_, rating its services pro rata with the total cost of killing
Modoc Indians. When the plug starts, the head of the old fellow who is
holding it goes off his body in a damaged condition. Another younger man,
who stands by waiting the result of the experiment, is blown all to
pieces, cutting his scalp into convenient sizes for the soldiers to divide
to advantage.

Two or three old Indian women pass through the lines to the water. A young
brave dons woman’s clothes and comes to the line. After slaking his thirst
he starts to return. Something in his walk creates a suspicion.

“That’s a man,” says a soldier.

The Indian runs. _A dozen rifles command, “Halt!” The Indian halts._ The
soldiers _take five or six scalps off that fellow’s head_, and would have
taken more, had the first ones been less avaricious. However, soldiers are
kind-hearted and unselfish fellows, and the scalps are _again divided_, so
that, at last, ten or twelve are happy in the possession of a scalp.

It is now five P.M. Let us see how the several parties are situated at
this time. Couriers are _en route_ to Y-re-ka with despatches, telling the
world about the terrible slaughter, and, _by the authority_ of the general
in command, assuring the powers that be, in Washington, “The Modocs cannot
escape. They are in our power. It is only a question of time. We have them

In Portland, Oregon, an immense concourse of citizens are awaiting the
arrival of the train bearing the remains of Gen. Canby. The streets are
hushed. The doors of business houses are closed. A general feeling of
sorrow is everywhere manifest. Officers of the army and a delegation from
a Great Brotherhood are there. On every hand flags are at half mast.
Emblems of sorrow meet the eye. The grief-stricken widow sits in her room,
cold, comfortless, inconsolable.

The Fraternal and Church Brotherhoods and thousands of mourning friends
crowd the wharf in San Francisco, eagerly watching the coming of a steamer
from Vallejo with flags at half mast. This boat is bringing home for
interment the body of another great man, whose spirit went to its Maker in
company with the Christian General, for whom the city of Portland, Oregon,
mourns. Nearest to the dark tabernacle two young men are standing. They
are the sons of Dr. Thomas.

While the two cities of the western coast are exchanging telegraphic words
of sympathy, kind-hearted friends are filling a parlor where three
sorrowing children are weeping without the presence of parents. The
friends are repeating the hopeful telegrams of the Iowa veteran, and
assuring them that their mother is with their father by that time as she
left Y-re-ka the previous morning.

At this hour a young physician is hurrying to the bedside of an aged man,
who has passed threescore years and ten, near Solon, Iowa. A glance at his
face and we are reminded of the wounded Peace Commissioner in the Lava
Beds, three thousand miles away. Five days ago he had read the telegram
that said, “Meacham mortally wounded.” He threw himself on his bed then,
saying, “If my son dies I never can rise again,——my first-born soil who
went with me through all my dark hours on the frontier, twenty-five years
ago. Must he die? Can I bear it? Thy will be done, O Lord!”

For five days has he laid hanging between life and death. His physician
has watched the telegraph, and now, with the words of the Iowa veteran, he
is hurrying to the bedside of his patient.

“Your son will recover!” the doctor exclaims before reaching him.

The white-haired man rises on his elbow, saying, “Do I dream? Is it true,
doctor? Will my son live?”

About this hour, away up on Wild Horse Creek, Umatilla County, Oregon, a
young man is writing a letter that seems to come from an overcharged heart
submerged in grief. The letter runs as follows:——

                    MEACHAM RANCH, WILD HORSE CREEK, April 17th, 1873.

    MY DEAR NEPHEW:——I have just heard of the death of your
    father.... Eleven months since we kneeled with him beside your
    Uncle Harvey’s coffin and pledged our lives to care for his
    widow and orphan children.... You and I, George, are all that
    are left to care for two widows and two families of orphans. ...
    The stroke is heavy to be borne.... I will try to be a father to
    them. We must be men.

                                                   Your uncle,

                                                     JOHN MEACHAM.

Again we stand on the bluff, at this hour, overlooking the Lava Beds. In a
little tent among the hundred others the Iowa veteran is telling his
brother-in-law that his wife will be in camp by seven. A courier arrives
saying that the Modocs are hanging about the trail leading down the
mountain. The officers are aware of the near approach of Mrs. Meacham.
They decide that she cannot come to the camp with safety. A detachment is
ordered to escort Commissioner Dyer up the mountain to meet her and take
her to Linkville.

While he is working his way under escort, the Modocs are seen creeping
towards the road. At the top of the mountains Dyer meets the ambulance. He
assures the woman that she cannot reach the camp; that her husband is well
cared for, and that she must go back to a place of safety.

She remonstrates, saying, “I must——I _will_ go to my husband.” She alights
from the ambulance and starts on foot, but is intercepted and forced to go
again to the ambulance, with the assurance that “_her husband will be sent
out to her within a day or two_”.

No language can portray the feelings and emotions of this woman when,
after travelling three hundred miles on stages and in ambulances over the
Cascade mountains, through a hostile country, she is compelled to turn
back when within three miles of her wounded husband, with those ominous
words saying, like a funeral dirge, “_Your husband will be sent out to you
in a few days_”.

While she is yet pleading for the privilege of seeing him the mountain’s
sides reverberate with the sounds of rifle shots coming up from a point
half way to the camp, volley answering volley. While she is in a
half-unconscious condition, the team drawing the ambulance is turned
about, and the guard take their places on either side, and the team moves
away towards the frontier.

When the woman returns to consciousness, she exclaims, “Take me to my
husband! I must see him before he dies.”

The kind heart of Mr. Dyer is moved. He pleads with her to abandon the
attempt, consoling her with Christian assurances that “God does all things
well.” With the guard in skirmishing order the party hurries away.

The mutilated body of young Hovey is lying stark and cold, beside the road
where he fell.

Sundown is announced by the repeated volleys of musketry at the cemetery,
as the bodies of the soldiers are laid away in their last sleep.

The friends of the young lad obtain permission, and the necessary
facilities, from the quartermaster, to bring in his body. A coffin is
prepared, and in it is placed what was, a few hours since, a noble-hearted
youth full of life.

A part of the army is resting, and a part is bombarding the Modocs.
Captain Jack has kept the “flat” cleared, and now, while the shot and
shell are being tumbled in around his camp, he draws his people out under
cover of darkness, and leaves the soldiers to fire away at his empty caves
until morning, when another order to charge is made, and the lines close
slowly up with great care, like fishermen who feel sure they have a big
haul, until they land the seine, and discover that a great rent has let
the prize escape. See the soldiers’ line! How carefully it contracts to
the centre, the soldiers expecting each moment that the Modocs will make a
break, until, at last, the lines come together like a great draw-string,
only to reveal the fact that _no Indians are there_, except one old man,
whom all declare to be Schonchin, who was wounded by Meacham’s Derringer
last Friday. _He shall not escape_, and a dozen bullets pass through him.
He falls over, and the men gather around and scalp the old fellow.

“Meacham shall have a lock of his hair,” says one; and he cuts it from
_one of the scalps_.

Then the old Indian’s head is severed from his body, and kicked around the
camp like a foot-ball, until a surgeon interferes, and saves it from
further indignities by sending it to the camp, where the face was
carefully skinned off, and “put to pickle” in alcohol. The men shout and
hurrah while exploring the caves, expecting to find Captain Jack, like a
wolf at bay, somewhere, determined to “die in the last ditch.” Instead of
Modocs, they find the remains of soldiers who have been killed, ammunition
that had been captured, and dried beef that had not been required; but no
evidence of any “_Modoc bodies having been burned_.”

While they were rejoicing in the capture of this great natural fortress of
the Modoc chief, _he_ was in a new position with his people, resting and
recruiting from the three days’ battle, and so near his old “stronghold”
that he could hear the reports of the soldiers’ muskets when they finished
up the supposed Schonchin.

                            CHAPTER XXXIII.


The expectant man has waited, watched, listened for the sound of a voice
that would bring joy to him. His attendant carefully breaks the
disappointment, fearing the consequences.

Friday morning, and a Warm Springs soldier is sitting beside the
commissioner. A look at his face, and we recognize him as the man who
stood out so long in the meeting at Warm Springs Agency, in 1871.

Pia-noose had come in to vent his feelings and to express his friendship.
After the usual ceremony of salutation on his part, he remarked that the
white men did not know how to fight Modocs. “_Too much music._ Suppose you
take away all the music, all the big guns, all the soldiers, and tell the
Warm Springs, ‘Whip the Modocs,’ _all right_. Some days we get two men,
some days we get more, and by and by we get all the Modocs. Warm Springs
don’t like so much music,”——referring to the bugle.

This morning Gen. Canby’s remains are lying in state in Portland, and a
whole city weeps with the widow who does not——cannot look on the beloved

In San Francisco bells are tolling, and a vast concourse of sad-hearted
citizens are following the dark-plumed hearse that conveys the Rev. Dr.
Thomas to his last resting-place in Lone Mountain Cemetery.

Mrs. Meacham is sitting in a small parlor at Linkville, and expecting each
moment the arrival of a courier that will confirm her worst fears. Mrs.
Boddy——whose husband was murdered last November by the Modocs——is with
her. The two mingle their tears. They are kindred, now that sorrow has
united them.

Gen. Gilliam has called a council of war, and plans for future operations
are being discussed. The hospital gives out a sad murmur of mingled moans,
curses, and groans. Two soldiers are going toward the burying-ground; one
carries a _spade_, the other a small, plain, straight box, in which is the
leg of a soldier going to a waiting-place for him. Riddle and his wife,
Tobey, are cooking and washing for the wounded. Riddle often calls on
Meacham, bringing refreshments prepared by his wife. Col. Tom Wright calls
on Meacham this morning. A spicy colloquy ensues. He remarks that the
Modocs are nearly “h——l.” Meacham says, “Where is your two thousand
dollars now? Suppose you and Eagan took them in fifteen minutes, didn’t
you?” Col. Wright: “Took ’em, _not much_,——we got the prettiest licken
ever an army got in the world.” Meacham: “What kind of a place did you
find, anyhow, colonel?” Col. Wright: “It’s no use talking; the match to
the Modoc stronghold has not been built and never will be. Give me _one
hundred picked men_, and let me station them, and I will _hold_ that place
against _five thousand men,——yes, ten thousand_, as long as ammunition and
subsistence last. That’s about as near as I can describe it. Oh, I tell
you it is the most impregnable fortress in the world! Sumter was nowhere
when compared with it.” Meacham: “What kind of a fighter is Captain Jack,
colonel?” Col. Wright: “Fighter; why, he’s the biggest Ingen on this
continent. See what he’s done; licked a thousand men, killed forty or
fifty, and has not lost more than _three_ or _four_ himself. We _starved_
him out, we _didn’t whip_ him. He’ll turn up in a day or two, ready for
another fight. I tell you, Jack’s a big Ingen.”

Let us see where this distinguished individual and this gallant band of
heroic desperadoes are at this time. From the signal-station on the
mountain side, above Gilliam’s camp, we can look over the spot, but they
are so closely hidden that we cannot locate them; not even a curl of smoke
is seen. Follow the foot of the bluff around three miles, and then strike
off south, or left, two miles more, and amid an immense jumble of lava
rocks we find them. Go carefully; Indian women are on the picket-station,
while the warriors sleep. Since sundown last evening they passed _between_
the soldier camp and the council tent and brought water to the famishing.
A man sits upon a jaded horse, at the gate of a farm-house, near Y-re-ka.
Children are playing in the front yard. A watch-dog springs to his feet
and gives warning by loud barking. A stout-built man looks out from a barn
to ascertain the meaning, while a middle-aged woman comes to the kitchen
door. The whole, together, is the picture of a western farmer’s
home,——happiness and contentment. The horseman takes in the scene, and
while he views the photograph he recognizes in it the home of young
Hovey. A painful duty is his. He hesitates. He knows that his words will
send a dark shadow over this household. The farmer comes towards him. The
dog is hushed; the children cease their sports; the mother stands waiting,
waiting, listening, and the throbbing of her own heart prepares her for
the awful tidings. “Is this Mr. Hovey?” the horseman says, while from his
inside coat pocket he withdraws a letter. “That is my name,” the farmer
replies. “I have a letter for you, Mr. Hovey?” The children gather around
the father, looking attentively at him and the horseman, while the latter,
with trembling hand, passes the envelope that is so heavy ladened with
sorrow. “Where’s the letter from?” asks the anxious mother, while the
father tears it open. “The Lava Beds,” replies the horseman, turning away
his face. The paper shakes in the hands of the farmer, while his face
changes to ashy paleness. “What is it, father? Oh, what does the letter
say?” cries the mother, as she comes to his side and glances over his arm.
Let us not intrude on this scene of sorrow.

Hanging to _Hooker Jim’s_ belt is a fair-haired scalp, still fresh; the
blood of young Hovey still undried upon Hooker’s clothing, giving him no
more concern than if it had come from the veins of a deer or an antelope.
The lock of hair had once been blessed by the hands of a tender mother,
who for nineteen years had watched over her first-born son. Now it is
dishonored, used only as a record by which a savage makes proof of
excellence in performing feats of fiendish heroism.

The “Iowa Veteran,” with an eye always out for sport, remarks, “Old man,
there’s going to be some lively fun in a few minutes; wish you could see
it. There’s fourteen Indians going for water, and a company has started
out to capture them. Two to one the Modocs lick ’em.” Taking a station at
the tent door, he continued: “I’ll keep you posted, old man; keep cool.
The Modocs are taking position. They aint more than _eight hundred_ yards
from here. Now look out,——the fun will begin pretty soon.” _Bang_, _bang_,
and there is a rattling of rifles mixed with the Modoc war-whoop. “Here
they come back, _carrying_ three men; but the Modocs are following up.
Don’t that beat the devil and the Dutch?” remarks the irate veteran;
“you’ve seen a big dog chase a cayote until the cayote would turn on him,
and then the big dog would turn tail and run for home with the cayote
after him, haven’t you? Well, that’s exactly what’s going on out here now.
This whacks anything I ever witnessed, by Jupiter! _Two_ to one, the
Modocs take the camp. By gorry, old man, don’t know what we are to do with
you. You can’t run; you can’t fight; you are too big for me to carry;
_wish I had a spade_, _I’d bury you now until the fun_ is all over; but
it’s too late. Can’t help it, old man, you needn’t dodge; it won’t do any
good; just lay still, and if they come, _play dead on ’em again_. _You can
do that to perfection_, and there aint a darn bit of danger of their
trying to get another scalp off of you. Too big a prairie above the timber
line for that. ‘Boston’ was a darn fool to try it before.”

While this speech is being made, the Modocs are coming towards the soldier
camp, firing occasional shots in among the tents. “By Goshens, we’ll have
fun now. They’re a-going; shell ’em; ha! ha! ha! Shell a dozen Modocs!
_Ha! ha! ha! don’t_ that beat _sulphur king_ out of his boots? Ha! ha! ha!
Steady, old man, steady now. Keep cool. They’re ready to fire. The Indians
are in plain sight! Yip-se-lanta; there it goes, screeching, screaming,
right in among the rocks where the Modocs are, and explodes.” The smoke
clears up. The Indians come out from behind the rocks, and, turning
sideways to the soldier camp, pat their shot-pouches at the Boston
soldiers. Shell after shell is fired and each time the Modocs take cover
until they explode, and then, with provoking insolence, they pat their
shot-pouches at an army of five hundred men,——that is, what is left of
that army. “Cease firing!” commands Gen. Gilliam, from the signal-station.
The shell guns are covered with the nice canvas housing. The Modocs now
organize an artillery battery, and, taking position, elevating their
rifles to an angle mocking the shell guns, Scar-faced Charley stands
behind and gives the order, “Fire!” and the Modoc battery is now playing
on a camp where there are no rocks for cover. Several shots spit down
among the Boston soldiers.

“I went with Grierson through Alabama, with Sherman through Georgia, but
that whacks anything ever I saw. _Two_ to one they attack the camp, by
thunder! and if they do they’ll take it sure. B’gins to look pretty
squally, old man. If they come, your only show is to play dead. You can do
it. I don’t like to leave you, but I’ll have to do it, no other chance.
We’ll come back and bury what they don’t burn up.”

The gray-eyed man, Fairchild, comes to the tent-door and engages the
veteran in a talk. “I say, captain, don’t you wish we had Capt. Kelly’s
volunteers here now? Wouldn’t they have a chance for Modoc steaks, eh?
They’re the fellows that could take the Modocs. I’ve been out home and
just come in. Where are the Warm Springs’ scouts all this time?” The
veteran——Capt. Ferree——replies: “Oh, they are out on the other side of the
Lava Beds _surrounding_ the Modocs; to keep them from getting away.”
Fairchild: “They aint going to leave here, no fear of that. But did you
ever see anything like this morning’s performances?——fourteen Indians come
out, kill three men, insult the whole camp, mock the shell guns, threaten
the camp, scare everybody most to death, and then retire to their own
camp. That caps the climax. Say, old man Meacham, how you making it,
anyhow? Going to come out, aint you? You wasn’t born to be killed by the
Modocs, that’s certain. That old bald head of yours is what saved you, old
man, no mistake.” Veteran: “I’ve just been telling him that I’ll have a
spade on hand next time the Modocs come, so I can _bury_ him until the
fun’s over.” Fairchild: “Bully! that’ll do; just the thing. I think you
had better _have_ the hole _ready_. No telling what _might happen_. Them
Modocs mighty devilish fellers; just like ’em to attack the camp; and if
they do they’ll take it, sure; wish we had the Oregon volunteers here now
to protect us.”

Four P.M.——and a long line of carriages are returning from Lone Mountain,
leaving Dr. Thomas with the dead.

Another long line of mourners are following a hearse down Front street,
Portland, to the steamer Oriflamme, which has been detailed by Ben
Holliday to bear the remains of Gen. Canby to San Francisco. The widow is
supported by the arms of officers. Anderson and Scott walk beside the
hearse. A city is weeping, while they pay respect to the memory of the
noble-hearted Christian General, who hears not the signal gun of
departure. Couriers are bearing despatches to Y-re-ka. “The Modocs cannot
escape; we have them surrounded. The Warm Springs scouts are out on the
outpost. The Modocs cannot escape. Lieut. Sherwood died last night. Lieut.
Eagan, improving. Meacham may recover, though badly mutilated and blind.”
The salute of honor over the grave of young Hovey announces his burial by
the kindly band of army officers.

“Extermination to the Modocs!” says Gen. Sherman. “Extermination,” repeat
the newspapers. “Extermination,” says an echo over the Pacific coast.
Extermination is the watchword everywhere. “It does look like
extermination, that’s a fact, with half a hundred upheaving graves filled
with soldiers near the camp; a hospital overflowing with wounded; an army
demoralized, and lying passive seven days after the assassination of Gen.
Canby and Dr. Thomas; while every day the Modocs waylay and kill unguarded
men almost in sight of camp, strip and scalp them, and then heap rocks on
their bodies. This looks like extermination, but not of the _Modocs_.
Perhaps it suits those who were so free with denunciation of the Peace
Commission. But whether it does, or not, this condition of the plan of
_extermination_ is to some extent attributable to the infuriated,
senseless, cowardly, and unmanly opposition that was made against Canby
and the Peace Commissioners, who _saw_ and _felt how costly in human life
a peace made through the death-dealing bullets must be_.

Saturday morning, and Modoc emissaries are crawling into the camps of the
_Klamaths_, _Snakes_, and Wall-pa-pahs, endeavoring to induce these people
to join the Modocs in the war. They paint in glowing colors the great
success they have had, and declare that the time has come when red men
should unite against a common enemy. It cannot be denied that in every
Indian camp along the frontier line _there were sympathizers with the
Modocs_; but nowhere were they in sufficient force to precipitate a
general war, although the new religion proclaimed by “Smoheller” had found
followers everywhere, and was gaining strength by every victory won by
Captain Jack. How nearly the frontier came to witnessing a great Indian
war is not understood by the people of the Pacific coast.

A Warm Springs Indian, who does not belong to the scouts, is going
carefully along the northern shore of the lake. His destination is
Linkville. His mission is to bear a letter to Mrs. Meacham. The letter
contains a message that will cause her almost to leap for joy:——

                              LAVA BEDS, Saturday, April 19, 1873.

    ... Hire an escort and meet us at the mouth of Lost river
    to-morrow at noon, and we will deliver your _handsome husband_
    over to you in pretty good shape.... We will cross the lake in a
    boat. Be on time....

                                                 D. J. FERREE.

Saturday passes away without an episode that is worthy of record. Not a
Modoc has been seen. The scouting parties have brought no tidings of them.
The sentinels walk the rounds. The surgeons are visiting the wounded. The
hospital gives out moans, and furnishes another victim for the grave-yard,
and a volley of muskets says, “Farewell, comrade!” Meacham is counting the
hours as they pass. He is impatient. The long night wears away, and
morning breaks at last. Another messenger is stealing away along the lake
shore. An ambulance, with a mounted escort of citizens, is drawing toward
the mouth of Lost river. “Are you ready to take me to meet my wife?” says
a voice in a small tent. “No; the surgeon says _the air is raw_, _and the
lake is too rough_. We have sent a message to your wife that we can’t go,”
replies Capt. Ferree. After a few minutes’ silence the disappointed man
replies, “_That is not the reason. The wind does not blow._” Very serious
thoughts are passing through the minds of both the hearer and the
speakers. “I want to know why I am not going.”——“The doctor says you could
not stand it to go; the lake is too rough.”——“You and the doctor are
cowardly. You think I am going to die.”——“If you force me to be candid, I
must tell you the truth. The doctor says you have not more than _twenty
chances in a hundred to recover_.”

Another silence of a few minutes, and the invalid replies, “_I’ll take the
twenty chances._ I must live; I have so many depending on me.”

“If you pass midnight, the doctor says you _may live_.”

The ambulance, with the mounted escort, is standing on the battle-ground
of November 30th, 1872. A woman is in the front end, with a field-glass,
scanning the lake. No boat is in sight. Her hopes and fears alternate,
when she suddenly catches sight of the messenger on the lake shore. The
glass drops from her hands, and she sinks down on the seat and waits the
coming of the messenger. He holds out the letter. The woman grasps it, and
as she reads, her lips quiver. “Why, oh why is this? _The air is not
chilly. The lake is not rough._” Words are too poor to express the
torturing suspense that follows while the ambulance carries her back to
Linkville. Hope sets alternately with despair in the heart. For ten days
has this woman felt the presence of each as circumstances bade them come
and go. Two more days is she yet to walk beneath a sky that is half hidden
by dark clouds. ’Tis midnight, Sunday. The surgeon, De Witt, and Capt.
Ferree are sitting beside the woman’s husband.

“I can tell you in another hour. If he comes out of this well, he is all
right.” Dr. De Witt, with his finger on the patient’s pulse, nods to
Ferree, “He is all right.” The patient awakes, and finds the doctor there.
“How am I, doctor, shall I live?”——“I think you will, my dear fellow. _You
have passed the crisis._” “Thank God!” comes from every lip. “Keep quiet;
don’t get excited. We can save you now, but you had a very close call. _If
you had been a drinking man all the surgeons in Christendom could not have
saved you._ Rest quiet until morning, and I will come in again.” Oh, what
a change a few hours have wrought! Yesterday the sun went behind a dark
cloud, and the invalid withstood the shock of “_Twenty out of a hundred_”
for life. Now the sun of life comes again, and makes the vision clear of a
loving family, home and friends. The transitions from despair to hope
have been so frequent with this man that he can scarcely realize that he
is again led by the angel of hope.

It is morning. Dr. De Witt and Capt. Ferree are in council. “I think he is
on the safe side if he is careful,” remarks the doctor. Another messenger
is despatched to Linkville, with a letter making another appointment at
the mouth of Lost river for the next day.

Donald McKay is in camp to receive orders. He reports that his scouts have
circled the Lava Beds. “The Modocs have not escaped; they must be in there
somewhere.” Couriers arrive bringing newspapers, containing obituary
notices of Gen. Canby, Dr. Thomas, and _A. B. Meacham_. Fairchild, Riddle,
and Ferree were in Meacham’s tent, reading. Ferree remarks, “See here, old
man, they have had you dead. You can know what the world will say about
you when you _do_ die. Some of them say very nice things. Here’s one
fellow that knows you pretty well.... ‘Meacham _was_ a man of strong will
and positive character, who made warm friends and bitter enemies.’” ...
“There, that will do; when I die I want those words put on my tombstone,”
replies Meacham. “Here, how do you like this? ... ‘_Served him right._ He
knew the Modocs better than any other man; why did he lead Canby and
Thomas to their death? On his skirts the blood must be,’ ... Here is
another that’s pretty good. This fellow has found out you aint dead, and
he is mad about it. It’s a Republican organ, too, at that.... ‘If Meacham
could be made to change places with Canby or Thomas few tears would be
shed. He is responsible for all this blood. _He knew_ the Modocs. _They_
did not. We are not disappointed. We expected that this fanatical
enthusiast would do some foolhardy thing, and we can only regret that he
did not suffer instead of innocent men.’ ... There, how do you like that,
old man? That’s what you get for not being a general or a preacher. They
pay you a high compliment,——sending Canby and Thomas to their death. Big
thing, old man! You are somebody. Now, I’ll tell you if you don’t get
through to straighten this thing out I’ll do it, if it costs my
life.”——“Call on me, captain, I know that Meacham did all in his power to
prevent the meeting,” says Riddle. Fairchild remarks, “If they had
listened to Meacham, they would have been alive now. I know what I am
saying, I know all about the whole thing, and I know that Meacham did his
best to keep them from going. I can tell those newspaper men some things
they would not like to hear. They abused Meacham all the way through,
while Canby escaped their slander, when he was in truth as much a peace
man as Meacham, and more too. I have been with the commission. All I have
to say is that it was a d————d cowardly contemptible thing from the
beginning to the end the way the Oregon papers ‘_went for_’ the peace
policy. I guess they are satisfied now. They wanted war, and they’ve got
it. The _Modoc-eating_ Oregon papers and volunteers haven’t lost any Modoc
themselves. Better send some more volunteers down here to eat up the
Modocs, like Capt. ————’s company did the day that Shacknasty Jim held a
whole company for seven hours in check, d————n ’em.” Capt. Ferree replies,
“Fairchild, you had better go slow. Almost every editor in Oregon is a
_fighting man_. Two or three of them were down here once, and they may
come again for more Modoc news, and if they run across you you’re gone
up.” Fairchild: “Yes, they’re ‘_on it_,’ seen ’em try it. Shacknasty tried
’em. One of them came down here looking for Squire Steele, of Y-re-ka, and
when a man pointed out Steele to him, this fighting editor rode out of his
way to keep from meeting him. It’s a fact! An other one was going to scalp
old Press Dorris. He didn’t fail for the same reason that Boston Charley
did on the old man there,——cause he hadn’t any hair;——no, that wasn’t the
reason. He rode _too good a horse himself_; that’s why. Press was around
all the time. He didn’t keep out of the way; fact is, Press was anxious
for the scalping to begin. If any of those fighting editors come down
here, well, set Shacknasty after them, and then you’ll see them _git_. Bet
a hundred dollars he can drive any two of them before him.”——“Look here,
here’s something rich,” says Ferree, turning the paper: ... “‘Gov. Grover
will call out volunteers to assist the regulars. They will make short work
of it. The regulars are eastern men, and cannot fight Indians
successfully.’” Fairchild says, “_That’s rich. One thousand soldiers here
now_, and more Oregon volunteers coming, to _whip fifty Modocs_. All
right; the more comes the _more scalps_ the Modocs will take; that’s about
what it’ll amount to.”

Monday passes slowly away to join the unnumbered days of the past. No
sound of war is heard. Quiet reigns until the sunset volley announces that
the decomposed lava is covering up another one of the fruits of the demand
for blood, and the cry for vengeance went up so loudly that even the
Modocs in the Lava Beds heard it.

_Tuesday morning._ The ambulance is leaving Linkville, escorted by a
mounted guard of citizens, destined to the Lost-river battle-ground. Hope
is leading the woman who is making this second journey to this historic
place. The miles are long to her who has been so many days alternating
between joy and sadness. Surely, she will not be disappointed this time.

“Old man,” Dr. DeWitt says, “_you cannot go this morning_. I think it is
unsafe, and it may cost your life.”——“_I’m going; I’ll take the risk. I
cannot bear to disappoint my wife again._” A stretcher is brought to the
side of the mattress whereon the speaker lay. Strong arms lift the
mattress and man upon it. When he was carried on the stretcher, a few days
since, he weighed one hundred and ninety-six pounds, less the blood he
left on the rocks. Now he weighs one hundred and fifty pounds. “Lieut.
Eagan’s compliments, with a request for Mr. Meacham to _call on him before
leaving_.” The stretcher is carried into Lieut. Eagan’s tent, and set
beside the wounded officer’s cot. The salutations commonly given are
omitted, or half performed. Eagan lays his hand on Meacham’s arm and says,
“How do you make it, old man?”——“First-rate, I guess. I am going home. Are
you recovering from your wound?”——“Very fast. Be about in a few days. Want
to help finish up this job before I go home.”——“Good-by,
Eagan.”——“Good-by, Meacham.”

These men were old-time friends, and this parting was suggestive of sad
thoughts. Both wounded. Will they ever meet again?

As the latter is being borne to the shore of the lake, a half cry is heard
from Tobey. “I see him, Meacham, one time more. May be him die. I no see
him ’nother time.” A small white hull boat is waiting in the little bay.
Lieut. M. C. Grier, A. A. Q. M., is managing the preparations for the
departure. With thoughtful care every possible arrangement is made.
Mattresses, awnings, oarsmen, buckets for bailing, and arms for defence
are provided; and while many officers of the army gather around the boat,
the wounded man is carried on the stretcher and carefully laid on a
mattress. “Old Fields” is placed in command. Dr. Cabanis sits in the
stern; the veteran beside the wounded. The departure is made with “God
bless you!” from the officers. A small squad of armed men are starting up
the lake shore to prevent the possibility of the Modocs capturing the
party in the boat.

Steadily the soldier oarsmen pull along near the land, while the
inveterate jokers, Dr. Cabanis and Capt. Ferree, beguile the time in
story-telling and witticisms; some of them at the expense of the man on
the mattress. “Say, Meacham, what will you give me not to tell _how much
brandy_ you drank the other day while you was on the stretcher at the
council tent? It’s all right for you to humbug the Good Templars by saying
that you never drink; but you can’t pull the wool over my eyes. No man
ever drank a _canteen full_ the _first drink_, as you did that day; it
won’t do, Meacham.”

Suddenly a dark cloud moves up, and a strong wind comes off the shore.
Landing is out of the question; to put to sea in a whitehall boat with
eight men in it, and nearly to the edge, is hazardous. But there is no
alternative. The prow cuts across the waves, the water leaps over the bow.
Fields, Ferree, and two of the oarsmen, bail for life, now, while Cabanis
holds her head to the sea. “Steady, boys, or we’ll swamp her,” says
Fields. “Old man, _playing dead_ won’t save you this time; if we swamp her
you had better _pray like old Joe Meek did_. Promise the Lord to be a good
man if he will save us this one time more.”——“Save the brandy, doctor, we
may need it if we get out into the water,” says Fields, and continues,
“Steady, boys, steady! I’ll be ———— if she don’t swamp. Look out, boys,
what you’re doin’.” The waiting woman in the ambulance catches sight of
the boat as it rises on the crest of a wave and sinks again into the
trough of the sea. Language is not competent to describe her emotions as
she holds the glass on the threatening scene before her. One moment,
hope,——another, _despair_; there, again, as the boat comes in sight, she
thanks God; a moment more, and prayer moves her lips. “Can it be that he
could live through all he has suffered only to be drowned?”

“Fear not, brave woman, the Hand that was let down out of the dark cloud
that passed over the bloody scene when your husband was in a storm of
bullets, will calm these waters. Your husband’s work is not yet finished!”

“That was a close call, boys. _I tell you it was_; but we are all right
now,” says old Fields. “They are there waiting for us,” remarks Ferree.
“Is Mrs. Meacham there? Can you see her?”——“Yes, yes, old man; she is
there, standing in the wagon, looking at us with a glass. Lay still, old
man, she is there. You’ll be with her pretty soon.”——“Thank God!” goes up
from the mattress. “How far off are we now, Fields?”——“’Bout a mile. Be
patient. Yes, old man, there’s your wife, sure. She is standing on the
ground now, looking through a glass. Be patient, old man; I’ll introduce
you to her. She wouldn’t know who it was,——if I didn’t tell her.”

The “old man” was wondering if it is possible; shall I see her again? Am I
dreaming? Is this a reality? Won’t I wake and find it all a delusion? Oh,
how slow this boat! “How far now?”——“Only a little piece; keep cool,
you’ll be there in a few minutes,” quietly remarks Fields. Ferree, putting
his finger on his lips, nods and smiles at his sister.

That smile has lifted despair once more from this woman’s heart. But a
moment since she had caught sight of the whitened face of her husband, so
motionless and pale. She felt a pain in her heart, for she thought him
dead. Now, her brother’s smile has reassured her; but “Why does my husband
lie so still?” The keel of the boat grinds on the gravelled margin of the
river. Fields jumps ashore, with rope in hand. The woman stands beside the
ambulance; she does not come to meet the party. Her joy is too great; she
must not, dare not, now express her feeling.

“Well, Orpha, here’s the old man; he is not very pretty, but he’s worth a
dozen dead Modocs yet.” The “old man” is carried to the ambulance, and
placed on a mattress, and his wife sits beside him, reunited after a
separation of five months, during which time one of them had passed so
close to the portals that death had left the marks of his icy fingers
upon him; and the other through a terrible storm of grief and suspense.
The driver mounts his box; the veteran beside him. The escort mount their
horses and range themselves on either side. The Modocs have not been heard
of for several days and may be looking around their old home to waylay
travellers. “Old Dad Fields” calls his crew; Dr. Cabanis cautions the
driver about fast-driving, and also “the old man” about humbugging
temperance people. The boat leaves the shore, the oars dip the waters. The
driver cracks his whip, and one party is returning to the soldiers’ camp;
the other is crowding forward to Linkville, half expecting to see a blaze
of rifles from the sage bush. Twenty-five miles yet to-night. Over all the
smooth road they go at a gallop. At midnight a light glimmers in the
distance. It is Linkville. The moon is up, and shines now on _thirteen
little mounds_ by the roadside, beneath which sleep thirteen men who were
killed by the Modocs last November. Uncle George’s nurse is waiting at the
hotel door to receive the old man Meacham once more. Thank God for big,
noble-hearted men like Uncle George and his partner, Alex. Miller! “The
old man” is sleeping, but wakes up with a start as he has done every hour
since the eleventh of April. The glaring eyes of old Schonchin, the horrid
yells, the whizzing bullets, all come fresh to the brain when left without
direction of his will. He wakes with a sudden start to find himself in a
comfortable room, a soft hand on his brow; a familiar voice of affection
reaches his ear, and he falls away to sleep again, soothed by the low
murmur of a woman’s prayer.

                             CHAPTER XXXIV.


Ten _o’clock, Wednesday morning_, April 22d, Meacham is being transported
to Ferree’s ranch at the south end of the Klamath lake twelve miles from
Linkville. We have been here before. It was on the 27th of December, 1869,
when conducting Captain Jack’s band on to Klamath Reservation. _Then_
Captain Jack acknowledged the authority of the Government and was
endeavoring to be a man. _Now he is an outlaw._ After a stormy passage
across Tule lake last night, Fields and Dr. Cabanis landed at Gilliam’s
camp. The surgeons are visiting the hospitals. Some of the patients are
improving, but on one poor fellow we see the signet of the grim monster.
The sunset gun tonight will not disturb him.

Lieut. Eagan is still improving. Fairchild is in camp, and assuring Gen.
Gilliam that as “soon as the Oregon volunteers arrive, the Modocs will
throw down their guns and come right out and surrender;” Riddle and wife
in camp also, and assisting to care for the sick. “Muybridge,” the
celebrated landscape artist, of San Francisco, is here with his
instruments, photographing the “Lava Beds,” the council tent, and the
scene of the assassination. “Bunker,” of the “San Francisco Bulletin,” is
on the ground reporting for his paper. “Bill Dad,” with his long hair
floating in the wind and a pipe in his mouth, slipshod and sloven, still
hovers around to keep the readers of the “Record” posted.

Gen. Gilliam is consulting with his officers; they are indignant at the
inaction manifested. Donald McKay and his Warm Springs Indians are
scouting under the direction of army officers. Both Donald and his men are
disgusted with the _red-tape way of fighting_ Modocs.

Captain Jack and his people are quiet this morning. They are so closely
hidden that even the sharp eyes of Donald McKay cannot discern their
whereabouts. Captain Jack’s men are anxious to be on the warpath; but the
chief restrains them. They, in turn, reproach him with want of courage. He
insists that they must act on the defensive. Bogus, Boston, Shacknasty Jim
and Hooker Jim are rebellious and threaten to desert. Couriers are bearing
despatches to Y-re-ka announcing that “_the Modocs cannot escape_.”

A gun from the deck of the “_Oriflamme_” tells the people of San Francisco
of her arrival with the remains of Gen. Canby. An immense concourse of
citizens escort the hearse to the head-quarters of the army.

The widow sits in a carriage, with unmoistened eyes, while the populace
pay homage to the great character of her husband. The body of Dr. Thomas
is quietly resting with the dead, while he in spirit is enjoying the
glories of eternal life; his last sermon preached, his trials over.

The three children of Meacham are drying their tears, and thanking God
that they are not fatherless, and for the love of a brotherhood that
brings to their home sunshine in the faces and words of Secretary
Chadwick and Col. T. H. Cann, who have called this morning.

Away up in Umatilla, a young man, who has been bowed down with grief over
a second great bereavement, this morning reads to the little orphans that
climb on his knees, and their widowed mother, the telegram signed by Capt.
Ferree, announcing the recovery of his brother. His joy is unbounded. A
great load has been lifted from his shoulders and his heart.

Midway between the oceans and near Solon, Iowa, in the sitting-room of an
old homestead, a group is kneeling around a family altar. The bent form of
a silver-haired man is surrounded by his aged second wife, his two living
daughters; and perhaps, too, the invisible presence of _two_ daughters and
two sons that have gone before, and _their own_ mother, are also there.
His voice is tremulous while he leads in prayer and recounts that half of
his family has gone and half remains; blesses God that the dark sorrow
that threatened them has passed away, and invokes Heaven’s blessings on
the living loved ones.

_Thursday morning_, and we are in a cabin at Ferree’s ranch. The
proprietor enters, holding a letter in his hand. “See here, old man, I
don’t know but what you have jumped out of the frying-pan into the fire.
How does this suit you?”

                         KLAMATH AGENCY, Thursday morning, April 23.

    FRIEND FERREE:——Be on your guard. The Klamath Indians were in
    war council last night.... We have sent our women and children
    to Fort Klamath for safety....

                                                L. S. DYER,
                                                  _Agent Klamath_.

“That don’t look wholesome for us, old man; but you are all right, you can
_play dead_ on ’em again, and they _can’t scalp you nohow_. We are pretty
well stockaded and well armed. We can play them a merry string, if they do
come. If we have to fight, why, you can’t do much, that’s so, except as
old man Jones did at the camp-meeting last year. He said he couldn’t
_preach_, he couldn’t pray _much_, but he could say _Amen_ as well as
anybody; and all through the meeting old Father Jones was shouting ‘Amen!’
‘_A-men!_’ until they stopped the old fellow. Didn’t I never tell you
about that? Well, brother Congar was preaching brimstone pretty lively,
and Father Jones was shouting Amen occasionally. Brother Congar was saying
to the congregation, ‘If you don’t repent and be baptized, you’ll all go
to hell, shure as you’re born,’——‘Amen! Thank God!——Amen!’ shouts Father
Jones. Brother Congar stops. ‘Father Jones, you didn’t understand what I
was a-sayin,’——‘Yes, I guess I did, Bro. Congar, you told me if we come
over here that, whenever you said anything powerful smart, I was to say
‘Amen!’ You said you couldn’t preach _worth a cent_ unless I did, and I’ve
done it, so I have. If it aint satisfactory, I quit and go back
home,’——‘Amen!’ shouted brother Congar, and went on with the preaching.
Now all we will ask of you, ‘old man,’ is to say ‘Amen,’ but don’t act the
fool about it like Father Jones did, that’s all. We’ll tend to
administering sulphur in broken doses, if they try to take us in. Don’t
think there’s any danger though. Dyer isn’t over the scare he got in the
race with _Hooker Jim_ yet.”

_Friday morning, April 24th._——The army at the Lava Beds is performing
some masterly feats of inactivity that would have been a credit to Gen.
McClellan on the peninsula. The wild fowls that fly over the Lava Beds
look down on the army of a thousand recuperating after the big battle of
last week. Col. Miller is in charge of Captain Jack’s stronghold. The Warm
Springs are divided up, and assigned to duty with the different squadrons
of cavalry. Quartermaster Grier is having a coffin made and a grave
prepared for a soldier that is dear to somebody somewhere, who is in
blissful ignorance of his fate.

_Ferree’s Ranch, Sunday morning, April 25, ’72._——A horseman arrives, and,
taking Ferree aside, he informs him that a reliable friendly Indian had
come in to Linkville and reported that it was understood that Meacham had
killed Schonchin, and that some of Schonchin’s friends had been to
Yai-nax——an Indian station on Klamath Reservation——and learned that
Meacham was at Ferree’s. Further, that it was thought advisable that he be
immediately removed to Linkville, lest the Modocs should make an attack on
the ranch, seeking revenge for the death of Schonchin. The ambulance is
ordered out, and the convalescent Peace Commissioner was again on wheels.
Here we take leave of our inveterate joker——the Iowa veteran——Capt. Ferree
leaving him to administer “_saltpetre_ and _blue-pills_” to the red skins
in the event of an attack.

_Lava Beds, Gilliam’s Camp, Sunday morning, April 26th._——Something is to
be done to-day. The location of the Modocs has been ascertained through
the efforts of the Warm Springs Indian scouts. A reconnoissance of the new
stronghold is ordered. The detachment designated for this purpose
consisted of sixty-six white men and fourteen Warm Springs Indians under
McKay; the whole under command of Capt. E. Thomas of 4th Artillery. First
Lieut. Thomas Wright——spoken of in this volume as Col. Wright of Twelfth
Infantry, a son of the gallant old General Wright——is of the party, and in
immediate command of his own and Lieut. Eagan’s companies.

Lieut. Arthur Cranston and Lieut. Albion Howe of Fourth Artillery, Lieut.
Harris also of the Fourth, Assistant Surgeon B. Semig, H. C. Tichnor as
guide, Louis Webber, chief packer, and two assistants; the whole,
exclusive of Warm Springs scouts, seventy-six. I may be pardoned for
making more than mere mention of this expedition and the manner of its
organization, because of its results; to understand it fairly, it should
be stated that the parties named, except the Warm Springs scouts, were all
of the army camp at the foot of the bluff, the head-quarters of Gen.
Gilliam, commander of the army in the Modoc campaign.

The Warm Springs scouts were encamped near the old Modoc stronghold, and
had been ordered to join the command of Capt. Thomas, while _en route_, or
at the point of destination, which was a low butte or mound-like hill, on
the further side of the Lava Beds, from the several camps. The outfit of
this reconnoitring party, aside from the men and arms, consisted of a
small train of pack mules. This train of packs was suggestive. Tacked on
to the _apparahos_——pack-saddles——were subsistence and medical stores for
the party, and also several _stretchers_. The object of the reconnoissance
was to ascertain whether the field-pieces could be planted so as to
command the new position of the _Modoc General, Jack Kientpoos_. Shells
had done _wonderful execution_ in the three days’ battle, and, of course,
were _the thing to fight_ MODOCS with; provided, however, that the fools
of the Modoc camp were not all dead; for it is an undoubted fact that out
of only two or three hundred tossed into the Modoc stronghold, _one of
them had done more execution_ than _all the bullets fired by the soldiers_
in the three days.

Capt. Thomas was instructed, in “no event, to bring on an engagement.” The
point of destination was in full view of the signal station at Gilliam’s
camp, and not more than three miles distant. The command proceeded with
skirmishes thrown out, and proper caution, until their arrival at the foot
of the butte. The Warm Springs scouts had not joined the command. Capt.
Thomas remarked that, since no Indians were to be seen, the command would
take lunch. Lieut. Wright replied, that “_when you don’t see Indians is
just the time to be on the look out for them_.” The skirmish guards were
called in, and the whole command, except Lieut. Cranston and twelve men,
sat down to bivouac for an hour; Cranston, in the mean time, remarking
that he “was going to raise some Indians,” proceeded to explore the
surroundings. In so doing he passed entirely out of sight of the main
party. The foot of the butte is similar to other portions of the Lava
Beds, thrown into irregular ledges, or cut into chasms and crevices.


Now Cranston has passed over a ledge, when suddenly from the rocks, that
had been so quiet, a volley of rifles opens on both parties. It is not
known whether Cranston and his men all fell on the first fire; it is,
however, probable that _he_ did not, as his remains were afterwards found
several rods from where he was last seen by the survivors. Capt. Thomas’s
party were thrown into confusion. He ordered Lieut. Harris to take a
position on the hill-side, and when the point was reached, Harris found
that the enemy was _still above_ him and commanding his new position. His
men were falling around him, and he was compelled to fall back, leaving
two dead and wounded.

In making the retreat, Lieut. Harris was mortally wounded. The scene that
followed is without a precedent in Indian warfare. Every commissioned
officer was killed, except Surgeon Semig, who was wounded; and of the
sixty-six enlisted men but _twenty-three_ reached head-quarters.

Donald McKay and his scouts hurried to the scene, and arrived in time to
prevent the annihilation of the entire party. That the soldiers were
demoralized at the suddenness of the attack, there is no doubt. It seems
to have had an unusual combination of circumstances attending the carnage.
That Capt. Thomas should have permitted himself to be surprised by an
enemy, for whose destruction he was at that time seeking a location for
the batteries, is strange, especially after the warning suggestions of
Lieut. Wright, whose long experience on the frontier——of almost a
life-time——should have given weight to his views. Strange, too, that
_every officer_ should have fallen so early in the attack, and that Donald
McKay, with his Warm Springs, should have been thirty minutes behind time,
and then, when coming to the rescue, should have been held off by the fire
of the soldiers, who mistook him and his men for Modocs, and compelled
them to remain out of range so long that the soldiers were nearly all
killed or wounded before Donald was recognized.

Singular that this butchery should have continued three hours in sight of
the signal station before reinforcements were ordered to the rescue.
Indeed, it is stated on good authority, that soldiers who escaped made
their way into camp one or two hours before Col. Green was ordered to go
to the scene with his command. Singular, indeed, that fifty-three men were
killed or wounded by twenty-four Modocs, on ground where the chances were
even for once, and _not one of the twenty-four Modocs was wounded_.

What is still more unaccountable is, that the Modocs should have become
_surfeited_ with the butchery, and desisted from satiety, calling out in
plain Boston English,——“_All you fellows that aint dead had better go
home. We don’t want to kill you all in one day._”

This speech was heard by soldiers who still live, and for the truth of
which abundant evidence can be had. We have it on Modoc authority that
Scar-face Charley made this speech, and repeated it several times, and
that he insisted that the Modocs should desist, because his “heart was
sick seeing so much blood, and so many men lying dead.”

Follow the advancing wave of civilization from ocean to ocean, and no
parallel can be found living, on printed page, or tradition’s tongue.
_Seventy-six well-armed men_, with equal chances for cover, shot down by a
mere handful of red men, until in charity they _permitted twenty-three_ to
return to camp!

Can we understand how this was done? It seems incredible, and yet it is
true. While we shudder, and in our rage vow vengeance on the perpetrators,
we are compelled to admit that there was behind every Modoc gun _a man_
who was far above his white brother in fighting qualities. Much as we are
inclined to underrate the red man, we are forced to admit that
_twenty-four men_ leaving a stronghold, and going out among rocks that
gave even chances against them, was an act of heroism that if performed by
white men would have immortalized every name, and inscribed them among the
bravest and most successful warriors that this country has produced.
Performed by a band of red-handed Indians, it is scarcely worthy of
mention. While we do most _emphatically_ condemn all acts of treachery, no
matter by whom committed, we are not insensible to emotions of admiration
for acts of bravery, no matter by whom performed. In speaking of this
battle Gen. Jeff. C. Davis says, “It proved to be one of the most
disastrous affairs our army has had to record. Its effects were very
visible upon the morale of the command, so much so that I deemed it
imprudent to order the aggressive movements it was my desire and intention
to make at once upon my arrival, in order to watch the movements of the

What, is it so, that with all the slaughter reported from time to time,
Captain Jack still has men enough left to cause an army of _one thousand_
to wait for recuperation and reinforcements before again attacking him?

This battle was fought on the 26th of April, ten days after the three
days’ battle. Curious that “the press,” or that portion of it that was so
loud in denunciation of the Peace Commissioners, did not find fault, and
enter “_protest_” against the delay. The commission has been “_out of the
way_” since the 11th inst., and three days’ battle has been fought, and
one day’s slaughter withstood, and it has not cost much over half a
hundred lives, that were required to satisfy the clamor for vengeance, and
now why not raise your trumpet notes again, brave editors, and a
proportionate howl for vengeance? You are safely seated behind your
thrones, where no shot could reach you.

Why don’t you howl with rage because a few “_cut-throats_” have murdered
ten per cent. of an army of a thousand, _“who were hired to fight and die
if need be”? You did not want peace except “through war.”_ You have done
your part to secure the shedding of blood. Are you satisfied now when,
through the failure of the Peace Commission, so many men have yielded up
their lives? This short apostrophe is intended for those who _appropriate_
it; not for the really brave editors who were fearless enough to defend
“The humane policy of the President and Secretary Delano,” in the face of
a clamor that filled the country from the 1st of February to the 11th of
April 1873.

                          BATTLE OF DRY LAKE.

_Morning of the 10th, of May, 1873._——Fourteen days have passed, and Gen.
Canby has been placed in his tomb, Indianapolis, Indiana. The widow,
grief-stricken and heart-broken, is with her friends. Orderly Scott has
been ordered to report at Louisville, Kentucky; Adjutant Anderson, to
head-quarters, Department Columbia. The emblems of mourning are everywhere
visible around the home of Dr. Thomas. Meacham is at his home in Salem,
Oregon, recovering rapidly, and with a heart full of gratitude and kindly
feelings to Dr. Calvin DeWitt, U. S. A., who brought him safely through
the hospital at the Lava Beds.

The mother of Lieut. Harris is sitting beside her wounded son, in the
hospital at Gillam’s Camp. Gen. Jeff. C. Davis has assumed command of the
expedition against the Modocs. Captain Jack and his people have left the
Lava Beds. Dissensions are of every-day occurrence among them. Bogus and
Hooker Jim, Shacknasty, and “Ellen’s man” are contentious and quarrelsome.

Read the telegram of Jeff. C. Davis to Gen. Schofield, and we may know
something of what has occurred:——

             HEAD-QUARTERS IN THE FIELD, Tule Lake, Cal., May 8, 1873.

    I sent two friendly squaws into the Lava Beds day before
    yesterday; they returned yesterday, having found the bodies of
    Lieutenant Cranston and party, but no Indians. Last night I sent
    the Warm Springs Indians out. They find that the Modocs have
    gone in a southeasterly direction. This is also confirmed by the
    attack and capture of a train of four wagons and fifteen animals
    yesterday P.M. near Supply Camp, on east side of Tule lake. The
    Modocs in this party reported fifteen or twenty in number;
    escort to train about the same; escort whipped, with three
    wounded. No Indians known to have been killed. I will put the
    troops in search of the Indians with five days’ rations.

                        JEFF. C. DAVIS,

                          _Col. Twenty-Third Infantry, Com. Dept._

In his final report, Nov. 1st, 1853, he says:——

    Hasbrouck’s and Jackson’s companies, with the Warm Springs
    Indians, all under command of the former, were immediately sent
    out in pursuit, and signs of Indians were found near Sorass
    lake, where the troops camped for the night. On the morning of
    the 10th the Indians attacked the troops at daylight; they were
    not fully prepared for it, but at once sprang to their arms, and
    returned the fire in gallant style. The Indians soon broke and
    retreated in the direction of the Lava Beds. They contested the
    ground with the troops hotly for some three miles.

    The object of this hasty movement of the troops was to overhaul
    the Indians, if out of the Lava Beds, as reported, and prevent
    them from murdering settlers in their probable retreat to
    another locality. This object was obtained, and more. The troops
    have had, all things considered, a very square fight, and
    whipped the Modocs for the first time. But the whole band was
    again in the rocky stronghold....

Gen. Davis does not state all the facts in the case. While it is generally
admitted that Captain Jack _was whipped_ this _time_, it is also true that
Donald McKay and his Warm Springs Indian boys turn up _at the right time
again_ and assist in driving the Modocs three miles, recapturing the
horses that were taken from the escort a few days since. Two Warm Springs
scouts were killed in this fight, but their _names have never been

Captain Jack appears in this fight in Gen. Canby’s uniform. One Modoc was
certainly killed this morning, because _his body was captured_. There can
be no mistake; several persons saw it with their naked eyes,——so they did,
oh! This Modoc, whose name was George, “Ellen’s man,” was Captain Jack’s
assistant in the murder of Gen. Canby. His death was the signal for new
quarrels among the Modocs, which ultimated in the division of the band,
and made it possible for the _thousand_ men to _whip_ the _remainder_.
The seceding Modocs, who are double-dyed traitors, were _Bogus Charley_,
_Hooker Jim_, _Shacknasty Jim_, _Steamboat Frank_, and ten others, mostly
Hot Creek Indians, and the same, except Hooker Jim, who were driven back
to the Lava Beds after they had started under escort of Fairchild and
Dorris to the Klamath Reservation, last December, ten days after the
Lost-river battle, by the howl for _blood that came_ up from every
quarter. At that time they had committed no crimes; had not been in battle
or butchery. After joining Captain Jack they had espoused the cause of the
murderers who killed the Lost-river settlers. They were not indicted, and
had less excuse than any other Modocs. Their home in “Hot Creek” was
several miles from any scene of slaughter on either side. They had
steadily opposed every peace measure offered, while Bogus had played his
part so well that he was the favorite of the army officers, and had
friends among the white citizens; he had instigated the assassination of
the Peace Commissioners, laid the plans, and even slept in the camp of
Gen. Canby, and ate his breakfast off the general’s table, and to his
friend Fairchild declared, even after Canby and Thomas had started for the
Lava Beds, that there was no intention of killing the Peace Commissioners.

The cause of the quarrel between these men and Captain Jack was the fact
that the few deaths that had occurred among the Modocs had been of those
who did not belong to Jack’s immediate family or band. They accused him of
placing the outside Indians——Hot Creek and Cum-ba-twas warriors——in the
front of the battles.

He replied that they had voted every time for war and against peace
proposals. The quarrel increased, and after the defeat at Dry Lake,
Captain Jack rebuked them for forcing the band into that fight against
their will. The death of “Ellen’s man” brought the crisis. We see the band
who started into the war with fifty-three braves, after having
accomplished more than any band of an equal or proportionate number of
men, of any race or color, in any age or country, quarrelling among
themselves, now divided into two parties; one of whom, with _fourteen_
men, _every one of whom had_ voted for war, turning traitor to his chief,
and offering themselves as scouts against him _without promise of amnesty_
or other reward. Such perfidy stands unparalleled, and _alone_, as an act
that has no precedent to compare it with. The succeeding events are
clearly told in Gen. Davis’ report.

    The chief could no longer keep his warriors up to the work
    required of them, lying on their arms night and day, and
    watching for an attack. These exactions were so great, and the
    conduct of the leader so tyrannical, that insubordination sprang
    up, which led to dissensions, and the final separation of the
    band into two parties; they left the Lava Beds bitter enemies.
    The troops soon discovered their departure, and were sent in
    pursuit. Their trails were found leading in a westerly
    direction. Hasbrouck’s command of cavalry, after a hard march of
    some fifty miles, came upon the Cottonwood band, and had a sharp
    running fight of seven or eight miles. The Indians scattered, in
    order to avoid death or capture. The cavalry horses were
    completely exhausted in the chase, and night coming on he
    withdrew his troops a few miles’ distance to Fairchild’s ranch
    for food and forage.

    Indians captured in this engagement expressed the belief that
    this band would like to give themselves up if opportunity were
    offered. When given this, through the medium of friendly
    Indians, they made an effort to obtain terms, but I at once
    refused to entertain anything of the kind; they could only be
    allowed safe-conduct through the camp to my head-quarters when
    they arrived at the picket-line. They came in on the 22d of May,
    and laid down their arms, accompanied by their old women and
    children, about seventy-five.

    To learn the exact whereabouts of the Indians was now very
    important, and I determined to accept of the offered services of
    a Modoc captive; one who, up to the time of their separation,
    was known to be in the confidence of his chief, and could lead
    us to the hiding-place of the band. He was an unmitigated
    cut-throat, and for this reason I was loth to make any use of
    him that would compromise his well-earned claims to the halter.
    He desired eight others to accompany and support him, under the
    belief his chief would kill him on sight; but three others only
    were accepted, and these of the least guilty ones. They were
    promised no rewards for this service whatever. Believing the end
    justified the means, I sent them out, thoroughly armed for the

    After nearly three days’ hunting they came upon Jack’s camp on
    Willow creek, east of Wright lake, fifteen miles from
    Applegate’s ranch, to which I had gone, after separation from
    them at Tule lake, to await their return and the arrival of the

    The scouts reported a stormy interview with their angry chief.
    He denounced them in severe terms for leaving him; he intended
    to die with his gun in his hand; they were squaws, not men. He
    intended to jump Applegate’s ranch that night (the 28th), etc.

    On the return of these scouts, I immediately sent Capt. E. V.
    Sumner, aide-de-camp, back to the rendezvous, at Tule lake, with
    orders to push forward Capts. H. C. Hasbrouck’s and James
    Jackson’s commands to Applegate’s ranch, with rations for three
    days in haversacks, and pack-mules with ten days’ supply. All
    arrived and reported by nine o’clock A.M., the 29th, under
    command of Maj. John Green, their veteran cavalry leader since
    the commencement of the Modoc war, in excellent spirits. The
    impenetrable rocky region was behind them; the desperado and his
    band were ahead of them, in comparatively an open country.

    After allowing the animals an hour’s rest the pursuit was
    renewed, and about one o’clock P.M. Jack and band were “jumped”
    on Willow creek near its crossing with the old emigrant road.
    This stream forms the head-waters of Lost river. It was a
    complete surprise. The Indians fled in the direction of Langell
    valley. The pursuit from this time on, until the final captures,
    June 3d, partook more of a chase after wild beasts than war;
    each detachment vying with each other as to which should be
    first in at the finish.

    Lieut. Col. Frank Wheaton, Twenty-first Infantry, reported to
    me, in compliance with his orders, from Camp Warner, on the 22d,
    at Fairchild’s ranch. He was placed in command of the District
    of the Lakes, and the troops composing the Modoc expedition.

    After making necessary disposition of the foot troops and
    captives at Fairchild’s ranch, he came forward to Clear lake,
    and joined me at Applegate’s with Perry’s detachment of cavalry;
    these troops were at once sent to join the hunt. Most of the
    band had by this time been run down and captured; but the chief
    and a few of his most noted warriors were still running in every

    It fell to the lot of these troopers to catch Jack. When
    surrounded and captured he said his “legs had given out.” Two or
    three other warriors gave themselves up with him.

    Though called for, no reports have been received of these
    operations from the different detachment commanders; hence
    details cannot be given.

    As soon as the captives were brought in, directions were given
    to concentrate the troops, and all captives, etc., at Boyle’s
    camp on Tule lake. There the Oregon volunteers, who had been
    called into the field by the governor, turned over a few
    captives they had taken over on their side of the line. It is
    proper to mention, in this connection, that these volunteers
    were not under my command. They confined their operations to
    protecting the citizens of their own State. Yet on several
    occasions they offered their services informally to report to me
    for duty in case I needed them. No emergency arose requiring me
    to call upon them.

    By the 5th of June the whole band, with a few unimportant
    exceptions, had been captured, and was assembled in our camp on
    Tule lake, when I received orders from the General of the Army
    to hold them under guard until further instructions as to what
    disposition would be made of them. It was my intention to
    execute some eight or ten of the ringleaders of the band on the
    spot; these orders, however, relieved me of this stern duty,——a
    duty imposed upon me, as I believed, by the spirit of the orders
    issued for the guidance of the commander of the Modoc
    expedition, immediately after the murder of the Peace
    Commissioners; as well as by the requirements of the case,
    judging from my stand-point of view, a commander in the field. I
    was glad to be relieved from this grave responsibility. I only
    regretted not being better informed of the intentions of the
    authorities at Washington, in regard to these prisoners after
    capture. In accordance with instructions, as soon as the
    attorney-general’s decision was received, I ordered a military
    commission for their trial, and with that view moved them to
    Fort Klamath, as a more suitable place to guard and try them.
    Six were tried and convicted of murder; four have been executed;
    two have had their sentences commuted to imprisonment for life
    by the President.

    A few days after these executions took place at Fort Klamath, on
    the 3d ultimo, the remainder of the band was started to their
    new homes in Wyoming territory; they are probably there by this

    The number of officers killed in this expedition is eight;
    wounded, three; total, eleven. Enlisted men killed, thirty-nine;
    wounded, sixty-one; total, one hundred. Citizens killed,
    sixteen; wounded, one; total, seventeen. Warm Springs Indian
    scouts killed, two; wounded, two; total, four. Grand total,
    killed and wounded, one hundred and thirty-two. A large number
    of the killed were murdered after being wounded and falling into
    the hands of the Indians. (See accompanying list of killed and
    wounded, marked D.)

    During the Modoc excitement many of the Indian tribes of Oregon,
    Idaho, and Washington territory showed a very discontented
    feeling, and strong sympathies with the hostile tribe. The
    settlers seemed much alarmed in some localities. To meet this
    state of affairs I thought it best to organize as large a force
    as practicable, and make a tour through the country en route to
    the proper stations of the troops. The march was made through
    Eastern Oregon and Washington territory; it was about six
    hundred miles. The cavalry was commanded by Maj. John Green, the
    foot-troops by Maj. E. C. Mason. The march was well conducted by
    these commanders, and well performed by the troops. I was
    gratified to see that with the capture of the Modoc band the
    excitement ceased. All the tribes throughout the department are
    now perfectly quiet.

                             CHAPTER XXXV.

                           BUTCHERS OUTDONE.

For an account of the immediate circumstances attending the final
surrender of the Modoc chieftain, I subjoin the following from the pen of
Samuel A. Clarke, of Salem, Oregon, who was on the ground, and had
abundant opportunity to learn the facts and incidents connected therewith.
He was correspondent for the “New York Times,” from which paper of June
17, 1873, this graphic account of one of the most important events of 1873
is taken:——

                             BOYLE’S CAMP, TULE LAKE, Modoc Country,
                                              Tuesday, June 3, 1873.

    The Modoc campaign is considered at an end. The eight or ten of
    the lately hostile band who have not been captured dare not
    commit any depredations, and efforts are being made to secure
    them without further contest. It remains to sum up the last few
    days, and present the facts of the capture of Captain Jack and
    his band, and I am now prepared to give a full and complete
    statement of the closing movements of the campaign.

    The beginning of the end was when Bogus Charley and his band of
    Cottonwoods and Hot Springs Indians, which means those who were
    brought up in the vicinity of Dorris’ and Fairchild’s ranches,
    which are on the creeks so called, came in and surrendered,
    about two weeks ago. The attempt made to surprise the train and
    camp at Sorass lake, over three weeks ago, was a failure, and
    though the Indians inflicted some damage, they still suffered
    defeat, being driven off with the loss of most of their own
    horses and their loads. This discouraged them, and disaffection
    took place. The troops followed them up persistently; many who
    had supported the war with reluctance complained of their fate;
    bickerings led to separation, and Captain Jack was left with
    scarce more than half his force to carry on the desperate
    struggle as he could.

    I have described the manner of the campaign in former letters,
    and told how three squadrons of cavalry and artillery mounted,
    accompanied by detachments of Warm Springs Indians, have been
    put in the field. Then came the startling proposition from Bogus
    Charley, Steamboat Frank, Hooker Jim, and Shacknasty Jim, that
    they would join the troops and act as guides, and lead them to
    Captain Jack. They gave it as their opinion that Jack and his
    men would be either at Willow creek, in the cañon east of Clear
    lake, or at Cayote Springs, south-east of there, or at a place
    ten miles from Boiling Springs, on Pitt river, hard to find and
    easily defended; or, fourth, at a cañon near Goose lake, much
    further off, on the very verge of Modoc territory. They inclined
    to the opinion that he was at Willow creek, because it is a
    strong natural position, and in a good neighborhood for a supply
    of roots, herbs, game, and fish; and the result proved that
    their first surmise was correct.

    General Davis and a squad of cavalry left with them eight days
    ago, and proceeded to Boyle’s camp, east and south of the Lava
    Beds, whence the four renegades proceeded on their way Tuesday,
    a week ago, to hunt for the Modoc trail. They were entirely
    successful, and returned the next day with an interesting
    account of their expedition. Striking out south of Tule and
    Clear lakes, they found and followed the trail to Willow creek
    cañon, fifteen miles east of Applegate’s ranch on Clear lake. As
    they approached they found Modoc pickets out four miles in
    advance; the pickets went with them to within about a quarter of
    a mile of the Modoc camp, and the Modoc warriors, twenty-four in
    all, came out and formed a line. Jack ordered the spies to give
    up their guns; but they refused to do so, and retained their
    guns in their hands during all the talk that followed. The
    Modocs wanted to know what they came for, and who sent them;
    they recognized that they rode Fairchild’s horses, and wanted to
    know how that came. The four Peace Commissioners gave for answer
    the precise facts that had occurred; stated the fact of the
    surrender of Fairchild’s place, of all the Cottonwoods, and the
    way they had been treated, and advised them all to give up the
    war and do the same.

    At that point Bogus Charley and his comrades wanted to have a
    free talk with their old friends, but Captain Jack forbade it.
    He said he would never surrender; he didn’t want to be hung like
    a woman, without resistance, but was determined to die fighting
    with his gun in his hand, as a warrior should. He told them not
    to talk any more about surrender, to go back to the whites and
    stay with them if they wanted to, but never to come back to him
    again, for if they did he would certainly kill them. He wanted
    to receive no more messages and hear no more talk.

    But Jack’s power was evidently on the wane; he was no longer a
    dictator, with unlimited confidence and authority. Scar-faced
    Charley and some of the rest very deliberately declared they
    would talk; they told Bogus they were tired of fighting, and
    didn’t want to be driven around all the time, afraid of their
    lives, and obliged to live like dogs. They complained bitterly
    of their hardships and poverty, and that they could not see
    their friends as of old time. Bogus told them that the soldiers
    and Warm Springs Indians were coming right after them; that Gen.
    Davis had ordered them to hunt the Modocs down, and they would
    do so. Then they wanted to know when the soldiers would come;
    the answer was, at any place and at any moment. Some of them
    bitterly asked if they four were intending to bring the soldiers
    there; but Bogus evaded that by saying the soldiers would come
    anyhow. Despite Jack’s command, and his refusal to talk, the
    four spies had a long, free conversation with their old
    associates, and the result was to greatly increase the
    demoralization existing in their ranks. The talk ended without
    any promise being made, and the four spies returned the next
    afternoon, and were intercepted at Applegate’s ranch, on Clear
    lake, Gen. Davis having in the mean time removed to that place.
    The spies were detained there, and word was sent to have the
    troops immediately move, and the next morning (Thursday), at
    daybreak, they were in motion, bound for the last Modoc

    The Modoc spies seem to have acted in the most perfect good
    faith. They, with Fairchild in company, went with the troops,
    which were under command of Col. Green, and led them directly
    to the place, warning them as they drew near that they might be
    ambushed, and advising every necessary precaution. The troops,
    in three squadrons, each with a detachment of Warm Springs
    Indians, moved to within three miles of the Modoc camp about
    eleven o’clock Thursday morning, and were then divided.
    Hasbrouck and his command, guided by Hooker Jim, taking the
    north side of the cañon; Col. Green and the remaining force,
    with Steamboat Frank as their guide, going on the south side;
    Fairchild and the other two spies being in company. The Modocs
    seem not to have dreamed that the troops could reach them so
    soon, and had no strict watch out. No one was seen until within
    less than a mile of Jack’s centre, when the troops ran on four
    Modoc sentinels. Frank gave advice to surround the camp by
    sending men around and over a little mountain, and, this being
    done, a march was ordered and the Warm Springs got within three
    hundred yards of three Modocs, who hallooed not to shoot, and
    wanted to know what they were bringing so many men there for;
    they wanted to talk. Fairchild and the Modoc guides were sent
    for, and a talk had. Boston Charley came over to see Fairchild,
    and laid his gun down; the Warm Springs Indians all laid their
    guns down, and came over and shook hands with him in the most
    amicable manner. Movements were stopped to give opportunity for
    the surrender of the band, and a talk was progressing, when an
    unfortunate accident made the Modocs scatter in apprehension.
    Modoc Frank, one of the guides, happened to have his gun
    accidentally discharged by the hammer catching as he turned his
    horse. The Modocs evidently supposed that Boston Charley, who
    had been sent to talk, had been shot, and that caused a
    stampede, and prevented the surrender that evening. Boston said
    they all wanted to quit the fight, and he was told to go back
    and tell them all to come in and lay down their arms. While he
    was attempting to do this, Hasbrouck’s men closed up on the
    other side and made him prisoner, not knowing the errand he was
    engaged on. Donald McKay sent word over to let him go free, as
    the Indians wanted to come in; but Boston had been delayed an
    hour and a half, and he came back at dark with word that the
    Indians had all run away, except seven squaws, including Captain
    Jack’s sister and some children, who were captured.

    At early day, on Friday, the troops moved up each side of the
    cañon, skirmishing for three miles, when scouts came in and
    reported that the trail led off north, toward Gainox, and laid
    on high ground, where it was difficult to track. The troops
    followed it until noon, when they struck Langell’s valley in
    twelve miles. The Modocs were in scattered bands. About one
    o’clock Fairchild, the Modoc guide, and some Warm Springs
    Indians struck a plain trail, and followed it for about six
    miles north-east, and discovered three bucks ahead, who called
    back and then ran away. They were headed off, and ran down into
    a cañon and hid. During the day thirteen bucks and a number of
    women got into the same cañon, and were discovered by the Warm
    Springs Indians. A few shots were fired by Captain Jack himself,
    but it was thought that he didn’t try to hit anybody, and only
    fired to keep them off. They called to each other, and
    Scar-faced Charley came down off the bluffs and talked with Dr.
    Cabanis. Scar-face said Captain Jack was there, and they all
    wanted to give up. Dr. Cabanis went up and talked with Jack, who
    wanted to know what they would do with him. He said he would
    surrender the next morning; it was late then, and their women
    were tired. He said they were out of food and clothes; that
    their feet were sore, and that all hands would come in in the
    morning and give up their guns.

    That happened on Friday evening, the 30th of May. The troops
    then went down to Lost river, five miles, and camped. Dr.
    Cabanis and Modoc Mose, one of the captured Indians, afterwards
    went back to the Modoc camp, and carried them a supply of bread,
    and stayed all night. They returned the next morning with the
    word that Jack had gone before their return, and left behind
    some pretext that he went to find a better camp on the bluff.
    But that morning Scar-faced Charley came in and laid his gun
    down, and did it with an exceeding sorrowfulness, as if he felt
    and understood all that he surrendered in doing so. Scar-face is
    more respected than any other Indian, and there is much sympathy
    felt for him among the whites, as he went to war unwillingly,
    and has done his work in open warfare, and not been engaged in
    any savage and merely murderous work. He is considered the best
    and bravest of the entire Modoc band of braves. Next came
    Sconchin John, the old villain, who drove the tribe to war more
    than almost any other man, and who is considered responsible for
    many of the inhuman acts committed. He laid down his repeating
    rifle, with a look of the most profound and savage mistrust and
    gloomy sorrow. His manner was untranslatable, for he had much
    to dread, and all his fears and half his hate of white men were
    visible in his sullen manner. The lesser lights then came up in
    turn, and went through the form of surrender. There were twelve
    or thirteen in all who gave up their guns, and all of them gave
    evidence of gloomy terror. They were shown a place to camp on
    Lost river, in Langell’s valley, and the next morning were sent
    with Fairchild, Lieut. Taylor, of the artillery, and sixteen
    mounted light-battery men, to Gen. Davis’ quarters, at Jesse
    Applegate’s, on Clear lake.

    In the mean time Gen. Davis had sent Maj. Trimble, with his
    squadron, including some Warm Springs scouts, with young
    Applegate and Jesse Applegate’s nephew, Charley Putnam, as
    guides, to intercept Captain Jack, in an easterly direction.
    They struck the trail ten miles north-east, and followed it five
    miles south, back to the Willow creek cañon, below the first
    Modoc place of retreat or stronghold. Then part of the force
    crossed to the south side and skirmished up the cañon. The
    scouts soon discovered a Modoc man, named Humpy Joe, a
    hunchback, who is half-brother to Captain Jack. He asked for
    Fairchild, and Charley Putnam told him he was on the other side
    of the creek, and asked where Captain Jack was. Humpy said he
    was down the creek, hid in the rocks, and would surrender
    to-morrow. Charley said they had him surrounded, and he must
    surrender now. He and Maj. Trimble went with Humpy Joe, who
    called for Captain Jack to come forth, and the famous chief
    stepped boldly out on a shelf of rock, with his gun in his hand.
    He showed no timid fear or trepidation, and his conduct
    commanded the admiration of those who were his captors, for a
    certain sort of native dignity was apparent, and even in defeat,
    and at the moment of his surrender, the great Modoc chief was
    self-possessed, and acted a manly part. Major Trimble went up to
    him and demanded his gun. He also asked if Fairchild was there,
    and, learning that he was near, gave up his trusty Springfield
    rifle, a remodelled breech-loader. Thus ended the Modoc war, for
    its soul and leading spirit of evil stood there a captive, with
    his arms given up, and powerless for future evil. There were two
    others with him, and four squaws and their children made up the
    list of prisoners taken at that time. Captain Jack had two
    wives, and one of them had a bright little girl of six years

    Captain Jack then walked coolly up to where the Warm Springs
    Indians were, and they, with a commendable spirit of
    forbearance, and no doubt with an appreciation of the heroism
    that had so long and successfully resisted them, laid down their
    guns, and all around shook hands with the Modoc chief. They
    talked some with him; but he is not much of a talker either in
    English or Chinook, and his half brother, Humpy Joe, did most of
    the talking. Captain Jack then called up the squaws and
    children, and they were all mounted behind the Warm Springs
    Indians, and started for Gen. Davis’ camp, ten miles distant. It
    would seem as if the Modoc chief must have felt crest-fallen,
    and have been humiliated to find himself mounted in the same
    manner; but those who saw it say that, mounted behind a Warm
    Springs Indian, he still bore himself with dignity, and sat
    there like a Roman hero, as my informant graphically expressed
    it. He never moved a muscle or bore evidence in his look that he
    felt humiliated at his defeat. He bowed to Fairchild as he
    passed him, but made no other sign.

    Captain Jack was looking rather shabby when discovered, and was
    allowed to don his better suit before being taken to
    head-quarters; for it is not too much to say that the chieftain
    was in a very dirty guise; his favorite wife, too, was looking
    rather untidy; the wife improved her attire by the very simple
    process of donning a new delaine dress, not exactly made in the
    latest style, but she put it on over the plainer calico, which
    was too much soiled to be presentable. I do not learn that any
    portion of Gen. Canby’s dress was found when he was taken.


    He was taken, under guard, to the Modoc camp on Clear lake,
    where the rest of the prisoners were placed. This happened
    Sunday afternoon, June 1. The Warm Springs Indians were jubilant
    over the fact that they had finally run the fox to earth.
    Captain Jack’s stoical fortitude must have been sorely tried as
    he rode, a captive, behind one of them; for, as the procession
    moved, it assumed the appearance of a triumph, and he formed a
    part of and listened to the triumphal chant, the song of
    victory, that swelled along the line of his captors as they bore
    him away to await his fate. But they who saw it say he gave no
    token, by look, or word, or act, that would have shown that he
    was interested, or that he resented the rejoicing over his
    defeat. Again the song of triumph rose and swelled as they
    approached the camp on Clear lake, and rode into the presence of
    Gen. Davis and Gen. Wheaton. The commander-in-chief can
    certainly congratulate himself that his well-directed efforts
    have been successfully rewarded, and that the efficiency of the
    army has been maintained under extraordinary circumstances. The
    Warm Springs band came up to head-quarters, ranged in a long
    line, with their strange, wild chant ringing on the air, and
    delivered their prisoners, who were ordered under guard with the

    A greater humiliation still awaited the discomfited Modoc chief.
    Gen. Davis ordered leg-shackles to be made for Captain Jack and
    Schonchin, and toward evening they were led out to be ironed.
    Great excitement pervaded the Modoc camp as these leaders were
    taken from it, and led away, they knew not where. They were
    taken to the blacksmith under a guard of six men, and for the
    first time Jack showed apprehension. As his guards passed where
    Fairchild stood, he stopped and asked his old friend where they
    were taking him. I allude to Fairchild here as his friend,
    because, while he has never excused their war conduct, he has
    been always, for many years, well acquainted with them, and has
    possessed great influence over them. They have learned to place
    great confidence in him, and have never found it misplaced. So
    in all their movements of surrender they have wanted to have him
    present, and have done it at his advice when otherwise no one
    could have induced it. He gave Captain Jack no answer but to
    tell him kindly to go on with the men, and he went on
    unhesitatingly. He may have thought he was going to execution,
    but he went on nevertheless. At Fairchild’s suggestion,
    Scar-face Charley was sent for to act as interpreter. Scar-face
    speaks good English, and he explained to Jack and Schonchin that
    they were to be shackled to prevent any attempt at escape. They
    made the most earnest protestations that they had surrendered in
    good faith; that they had no desire to get away, and under no
    circumstances should make such an attempt. It was really an
    affecting scene to witness the grief with which they submitted
    to have the shackles placed on them; but when they saw that
    their fate was inexorable, they made no complaint or resistance,
    though they keenly felt the indignity, but stood silently to let
    the rivets tighten to bind them in chains they will never cease
    to wear, for it is probable they will be tried by a military
    tribunal, and that they will suffer the penalty of their crimes
    as soon as the form of a trial and securing of evidence to
    convict them can be gone through with.

    The short and decisive campaign that has resulted in practically
    ending the Modoc war has been a rough one. The troops were fully
    equipped, and the horses all shod and in good order; but the ten
    days’ scouting through a terribly rough country has left men and
    horses considerably worse for wear. It is now ordered that the
    troops under Col. Mason shall move to this place from
    Fairchild’s ranch. This place will be head-quarters until the
    whole matter is wound up. There are still eight or ten Modoc
    warriors out; but they will not undertake to make a fight, and
    only time and good management are required to lead them also in
    and bring the end.

    Captain Jack maintains a gloomy reserve, and will not converse
    with his captors on any subject. It is safe to say that he will
    make no explanation or revelations, but die and make no sign.
    Bogus Charley says all the men expect to die, and await their
    fate without fear. Captain Jack himself has no fears of what the
    result may be, and waits it with stoical fortitude. He will die
    heroically, I have no doubt, for he has evidently less regard
    for life than the rest of the Modoc warriors.

This was substantially the end of the great Modoc war. The closing scenes
were very exciting. Some of them are worthy of mention as having an
immediate bearing on the question of Peace and War as between the
_superior race_ and the original _inheritors_ of the soil.

Time, June 8th, 1873. Location of the scene, Rocky Point, near the mouth
of Lost river.——Characters in this tragedy: first, _Civilized
Christianized white men_; second, Helpless Modoc captives.

James Fairchild——a brother to John A., the “gray-eyed man”——left
Fairchild’s ranch on the morning of the 8th, with a four-mule team, and a
wagon filled with Modoc _men_, _women_, and _children_, who had
surrendered and were entirely unarmed.

Very little things sometimes turn the current of great events. When
leaving Fairchild’s ranch on the morning in question, the entire party
consisted of seventeen Modoc captives and the brothers Fairchild. Among
the captives were Bogus Charley and Shacknasty Jim. Before arriving at
Lost river the party divided, James Fairchild driving the team and going
by a longer route, on account of crossing Lost river at a wagon ford; John
A. Fairchild, together with Shacknasty Jim and Bogus on horseback, going
by a shorter route. The latter party, not mistrusting danger, continued on
their way, not waiting for the team to come up to the junction of the

While James was crossing the river he encountered a body of Oregon
volunteers, under command of Capt. Hizer. The soldiers gather around the
wagon and question Fairchild. He explains to them that the Indians under
his care are Modoc captives, all of them Hot Creeks; that he is taking
them to the head-quarters of General Davis on “the peninsula,” to deliver
them up; that none of them have been accused of being parties to any
murder or assassination. This seems to satisfy the soldiers, and they
retire to their camp. Fairchild passes on towards his point of
destination. After proceeding a few miles he sees two men going towards
the road, with the evident intention of intercepting him. The Indians in
the wagon also make the discovery, and beg Fairchild to turn back, to save
them. He feels that trouble is brewing. He looks in vain for his brother
John and the Indians that are with him. The two men have halted by the
roadside. Fairchild comes up to them. They order him to halt, and
accompany the order with a heavy “_persuader_” in close proximity to his
head. The music made by “_spring steel_” under the manipulation of a man’s
hand has but two notes,——a short tick and a long click; and then the
“_persuader_” is ready for business. Fairchild, hearing this kind of
music, _halts_, and to the “Get down, you old white headed ————,” etc.,
demands, “By whose authority?” “By mine. I am going to kill them Ingens,
and you too, ———— you!”

One of the civilized white men cuts the mules clear of the wagon.
Fairchild leaps to the ground, still clinging to the lines. The unarmed
captive women beg for mercy. They plead with Fairchild to save them. They
raise imploring hands and cry, “Don’t kill! don’t kill!” The four Indian
warriors are mute; they know resistance is in vain. Fairchild entreats the
white men to desist. The muzzle of a needle-gun is within six inches of
his ear. A shot, and _“Little John’s” brains_ are scattered over the women
and children. Another, and “_Te-hee Jack_” is floundering among them.
Another, and “_Poney’s_” blood is spurting over his wife and children.
Still another shot, and “_Mooch_” falls among shrieking squaws. One more,
and _“Little John’s” wife_ is shot through the shoulder. The five are
writhing in the death agony together, and the blood of the victims is
streaming through the floor of the wagon and dropping in puddles on the
ground beneath. A dust is seen rising from the road. The civilized white
murderers decamp in haste, leaving Fairchild holding to his mules, while
the uninjured Modoc women are extricating themselves from the dead bodies
which had fallen on them. The blood of this civilized butchery still drops
from the wagon. Sergeant Murphy and ten men, Battery A, of the Fourth
Artillery, came upon the scene. The civilized _butchers_ are fleeing. _No
effort_ is made to arrest them. Sergeant Murphy had not been ordered to
arrest them, and, of course, he had no right to arrest _white men without
an order_. Capt. Hizer’s company of Oregon volunteers is within a few
miles also. The country is open; the murderers have but a few miles the
start. But Capt. Hizer has _no orders_ to arrest white men either. He is
not there for that purpose; and no one can censure him because he did not
catch the civilized _white murderers_. Those men were seen by Fairchild
before and behind the wagon. They were on the watch for _John Fairchild_.
Had he and his party been with the team when the attack was made, the
census return of that county would not have been quite so large as it is,
especially on the Anglo-Saxon civilized list. _Pity he was not there_, for
_he_ is “a dead shot.” The commiseration is due, however, to the community
that furnished homes for the fellows who covered themselves with glory by
performing this heroic feat. True, they dare not boast of it _now_, but
they will by and by. The grand jury of Jackson County _did not_ find bills
of indictment against them. No effort has ever been made to discover the
names of the perpetrators of this deed. True, there were those that
claimed to know who the persons were, but they never tell; neither would
they tell, if placed on the witness stand. I would not have my reader
suppose that the _people_ of Oregon approved of the crime——very far from
it. They condemned it in unstinted terms, and with one voice shouted,
“Shame! Shame!” So they would have done if the tables had been turned. No
State in the Union has a more orderly, law-abiding, peace-loving people
than Oregon; none that venerates justice more highly. True, they have
sometimes been lenient to the white men of bad character. But no more so
than other States where votes are necessary to elevate men to power. Like
all other peoples they are tender-hearted towards _all_ men who control
votes. As a people they are brave, without a doubt; but among them
occasionally may be found specimens of _cut-throats_, who kill unarmed
people; and once in a great while, just as in the States of Massachusetts
or New York, an editor who does the same kind of work with his pen, when
he thinks he can do it with impunity. But the respectable editors, there
as elsewhere, have learned sense enough to let a man alone when he is
down, until they are sure he can’t get up before they kick him. With great
unanimity those of Oregon and the whole Pacific coast denounce the killing
of helpless, unarmed Indians, as they did the killing of settlers after
the battle of Lost river, Nov., 1873,——only not quite strong enough to
_justify_ the authorities in making _any_ efforts to bring the offenders
to _justice_.

The scene changes to a military camp on the “peninsula,” at the south end
of Tule lake. A hundred white tents declare this to be the head-quarters
of the army that whipped the Modocs,——that is to say, the army to whom the
Modoc traitors turned over their chief. One hundred and twenty poor,
miserable specimens of humanity are under guard. There is great rejoicing
over the victory. The Modoc women and, children are contented, in one
sense at least,——they are well fed, and have rest. The Government teams
have just arrived from the mountains with timber. The quartermaster’s
forces are engaged in rough carpenter work. Curious-looking building they
are erecting,——looks something like a country butcher’s windlass; but it
is not that, for there is more of it. The Modoc captains wonder what it is
for. They are unsophisticated in civilized modes of appeasing outraged

Scar-face Charley asks a soldier, “What for that thing they make?”

“To hang Modocs,” laconically replies Mr. Soldier.

A wail of savage woe breaks the air. The medicine-man says he “can beat
that thing.”

“May be so, Curly-haired Doctor; but unless some other medicine interferes
you can have a chance to try it, and, in the mean time, to reflect on the
inhuman manner in which you and Hooker Jim killed Brotherton, Boddy, and

Not far from the gallows we see an artist with his camera, and going
toward it two men under guard. One of them shouted “Kau-tux-ie” at the
council tent the 11th of April. The other one was his right-hand man then.
They are inseparable now, as they have been for years past; but this time
a few links of log chain, as well as bloody crimes, unite them. They cast
anxious eyes towards the gibbet. They meet John Fairchild, and ask him
where they are going. “Go on; it’s all right,” he replies. They take
places before the camera. The artist lifts his velvet cloth, and Captain
Jack looks squarely at what appears to him to be “a big gun.” To his
surprise the big gun is again covered up, and he is then assured that it
will not shoot. It was under such circumstances that the likeness of
Captain Jack, which accompanies this book, was taken. Old Schonchin is
next made a target. They smile when led away, for they had _expected to

Some satisfaction to know that the old fellow endured suspense, even if it
was temporary. They are taken back to the guard-house, and, as they march
under escort, they see Hooker Jim, Bogus Charley, Shacknasty Jim, and
Steamboat Frank, walking around unfettered, unguarded, well clothed, well
fed, and well armed. The chief restrains himself until he arrives at the
tent used for guard-house, then he gives way to a tempest of passion, and,
in true Indian style, declaims against the injustice of what he sees and
feels. True, Captain Jack, you are wearing chains that _properly belong to
those villains_. True, you pleaded with all your eloquence for peace, and
against the assassination of the commissioners. True, they voted against
you. True, that Bogus first proposed to kill Gen. Canby, and that he was
also first to betray you to your enemies. It is also true, that for this
double treachery he is now being rewarded with liberty. True enough, that
that cut-throat, Hooker Jim, is the very man that put the woman’s hat on
your head, and taunted you to madness, until at last you yielded against
your judgment, and consented to commit the first great crime of your life.
True, that he was the man who followed your trail, day and night, like a
hound, until he pointed the steps of the soldier to your last
hiding-place. It is for this _damnable act of treachery to you that he is
now being rewarded_. True, also, that Steamboat Frank and Shacknasty Jim
fired as many shots at the commissioners as you did; and that they, too,
voted against you while you were trying to make peace, and that they boast
yet of the number of soldiers they have scalped. They joined Bogus and
Hooker Jim in hunting you, carrying each a breech-loading rifle, and
wearing the uniform of the United States soldiers, and were with your
captors when your star fell. It is for these last-named heroic acts that
they are now enjoying the boon for which you have pleaded all your life,
from the same Government that pets them, and almost fawns upon them as
heroes. Certainly your cup is full of grief, while theirs runs over with
joy. If you were a _white man_ we would commiserate you, and half the
people of America would join in an effort to save you; but you are an
Indian. No Indian can be an “honorable man;” the idea is an insult to
every _Irishman_, and _German_, and the whole Caucasian race besides. You
are simply unfortunate in being born in the land of the free, and the home
of the brave, with a _red skin_. Better you had been born across the sea,
and with any brogue in the world on your tongue. If you had only been
blessed with a _white skin_, and had that kind of manhood that would have
permitted you to wear some rich man’s collar, fawn upon and toady to the
whims and caprices of your masters, at the sacrifice of your own
self-respect, and that of the rest of mankind, then your crimes might have
been condoned. But you are _now_ a _citizen_, and you may enjoy a
citizen’s privilege of being punished for other men’s crimes as well as
your own.

Gen. Davis has invited the settlers of the Lost-river country, to “come in
and identify the murderers, and stolen property captured from the
Modocs.” Among others who availed themselves of the opportunity are two
women. We have seen them before,——the first time on the afternoon of
November 29th, 1872, when the red-handed villain who walks around camp,
the _lion_ of the day,——Hooker Jim,——came to them with his hands red with
the heart’s blood of their husbands; and again, when a funeral procession
was slowly wending its way to the Linkville cemetery. We recognize them as
Mrs. Boddy and her widowed daughter, Mrs. Schiere. Gen. Davis, with the
heart of a true man and soldier, receives them kindly, and assigns them to
a tent; patiently listens to the sad story of their great bereavement.

He calls on them again, taking with him Hooker Jim and Steamboat Frank.
Mrs. Boddy identifies Hooker as one of the Indians concerned in the
massacre. When questioned as to the robbery of Mrs. Boddy’s house, Hooker
Jim replies, “I took the short purse, and _Long Jim_ took the other

The women are much excited and are crying. They lose self-control. Mrs.
Boddy, drawing from her pocket a knife, dashes at Hooker Jim’s breast.
Mrs. Schiere, with a pistol, attempts to shoot Steamboat Frank. The man
who would not brook insult from Gen. Nelson could not see these women
commit a crime; with almost superhuman strength and agility he disarms
both women before they have sipped from the cup of revenge, accidentally
receiving a slight wound in one hand from the knife held by Mrs. Boddy.
The savages stand unmoved and make no effort to escape. Let the reader be
charitable in judgment on the actions of these widows. They were alone in
the world. Their protectors had fallen by the hands that have since been
washed by a _just Government_, when in its dire necessity it accepted
their services as traitors. Ah! double traitors to a reluctant, but brave
leader. If the men who killed the unarmed captives in Fairchild’s wagon
yesterday can go unpunished after killing Indians that had not harmed
them, let charity extend to these broken-hearted women, nor censure them
for a thirst for vengeance, especially when they realized that justice has
hid her face to these inhuman monsters who are reeking with blood, and
guilty of the most damnable treachery. True, these are women; but the
accident of sex does not change nature, and never should be urged against
those whose wrongs drive them to desperation.

The quarter-master’s carpenters are putting on the finishing strokes to
the extempore instrument of a _partial_ justice to be administered without
even the farce of an _ex-parte_ trial. The _trap_ is being arranged. Eight
or ten ropes are hanging from the beam. Gen. Davis is preparing a
statement of the crimes committed _by the_ captives, and, also, his
verdict, which he proposes to read to these unfortunate subjugated
warriors before he tests the strength of the dangling ropes with
live-weight. A courier arrives from Y-re-ka. A message is received by Gen.
Davis, ordering him to hold the prisoners subject to further instructions
from Washington.

The work on the hanging-machine is suspended. The Modoc medicine-man
assures his friends that he has won another victory. Gen. Davis is
thoroughly chagrined. _The disappointment is great._ Modocs enjoy it;
white man does not. The brittle thread of life has been strengthened for
the temporary benefit of a few vagabonds whose existence is no blessing to
mankind outside of the Modoc blood; whose death would cause a shout of joy
over the civilized world. Not because it would bring back the dead, and
cause them to stand in the flesh again, but because justice has been done
to a man with a red skin who dared claim the privileges of manhood; and,
being denied, had resisted a good Government in which he had no part.

The scaffold stands untried. Nobody knows whether it is a good
hanging-machine or not. The camp is broken up; the war is over, and the
Modocs are _now_ where they can be _controlled_. They are _en route_ to
Fort Klamath, under guard.

The chieftain who, a few weeks since, was over-matching the best military
talent of the army, holding in abeyance twenty times the number of his own
forces, and defying a great, strong Government, is now a captive and in
chains, compelled to travel under an _escort_ over the route he had passed
so often in the freedom of days gone by. Familiar objects greet his eyes
as he raises them from the last look he will ever take of the scene of his
glory as a chief; and his shame as an outlaw.

The first place of historical interest on this last ride of the Modoc
chief, as he leaves “the peninsula,” is where Ben Wright killed nearly as
many warriors as Captain Jack has had in his command. If the angel of
justice accompanies this conquering army with its dejected captives, she
will cover her face while it passes the spot where Modoc blood watered
the ground _under_ a _flag_ of _truce_, when she remembers that the
perpetrators of that deed were _honored_ for the act. A few miles only,
and the vacant cabin of Miller stands, accusing Hooker Jim, the murderer
of its builder and owner, for _his_ treachery, and upbraiding a Government
that excuses _his_ crimes, because he can be made useful in hunting to the
death the chief who led where such a villain forced him to go.

Justice uncovers her face when this army reaches Bloody Point, for now she
remembers that it was here that a train of emigrants were waylaid and
cruelly butchered, and she shows no favors to the descendants of those who
committed the crime. Again the eye of the conquered chief glances over the
scene of his childhood, and, too, over the field where he fought his first
battle. Since it would be pronounced sickly “sentimentalism” to ponder
over the scenes of such a man’s boyhood, and lest we should offend some
_white man’s_ fine sense of pride that he is a white-skinned man, though
he may have little else of which to boast, we pass along up Lost river,
with simply recalling the fact, that this man’s——Captain Jack’s——early
home abounds with _traditional literature_ connecting his name with the
savage scenes of the past, and linking it with the tragic events of

The conquering army marches over the spot where the white murderers “wiped
out” some of the wrongs committed against _our race_. The tramping of
soldiers’ feet and the iron-shod hoofs of mule teams erases the dark spots
in the road, where the tokens of requited vengeance were painted by the
dropping blood from Fairchild’s wagon on the eighth of June.

_This blood does not cry out_ loud enough to catch the ear of the sober,
honest-faced angel who has been perching on the victorious emblem of the
free white American! No danger that those dark spots will ever trouble
that great angel. The blood that made them was drawn from the wrong kind
of veins for that.

While the army marches over the trail, effacing footprints of the fleeing
avenger, a shot is heard. Quick almost as lightning flash every soldier’s
hand grasps his arms. The thought that the Modocs are attempting escape
passes through every mind. “Halt!”——rings out the cavalry bugle. Above one
of the Government wagons a small puff of smoke is rising in the clear
morning air, while behind and beneath it the spattered drops of blood
announce that another tragedy is now being enacted. The wagon halts, and
now through the floor the current runs in streams, while its splashing on
the ground makes melody for ears of white men and soothes the dying senses
of _Curly-haired Jack_.

A few words of explanation, and the fact is established that _treason_ is
still among the Modocs, treason to the Government of the United States,
committed _by Curly-haired Jack_, in blowing out his own brains, thus
cheating the aforesaid government out of the great privilege of hanging
him for the murder of Lieut. Sherwood, under a flag of truce, on the
eleventh of April, 1873.

Poor, conscience-stricken self-murderer! his body is mixed up again with
his native land, and his friends are denied the privilege of mourning for

The army, with its costly coterie of famous guests, encamps at Modoc camp
on Klamath Reservation. This is the spot where Captain Jack and his people
settled in the beginning of 1870. How changed the fortunes of this man!
_Then_ his limbs were free, though his manhood was half disputed; _now_
every motion of his limbs rings clanking music in his ear, constantly
reminding him that his manhood has obtained recognition at the cost of
life and liberty. _Then_ he was restless under the restraints of
civilization, because it denied to him a clear pathway to its privileges
and blessings; _now_ he is passive under the persuasive influence of a
power that compels his crushed spirit to submission. _Then_ he was the
hero chief of Hooker Jim and Bogus Charley, and the daring band that
surrounded him; _now_ he is the humbled, crest-fallen victim of _their

_He_ sits behind a guard whose glittering bayonets warn him of the folly
of resistance. _His betrayers_, unfettered, ramble over the ground where
the Modocs had begun their new home in 1870.

_He_ steals glances at the great witness tree where Modocs and Klamaths
buried the hatchet. _They_ dance with joy over the results of its

The army moves out of camp. The captive chief catches sight of four
rough-hewn timbers on the left of the road. These were once designed for
use in making that chief a house, wherein he was to have passed through
probation, looking toward his ultimate attainment of citizenship under the
“Humane Policy of the Government.”

The Klamaths, who badgered him into the abandonment of his new home in
1870, have not disturbed the house-logs referred to. They never will; and
the probabilities are that these logs will remain as monuments, marking
the sepulchure of broken hopes.

A few miles before reaching Fort Klamath the cavalcade passes through
_Council Grove_,——the place where Klamaths and Modocs made the treaty of
1864 with the United States.

At last the shattered companies of soldiers reach the fort, having left
behind them many of their comrades; but having in charge a distinguished
prisoner and his companions. When they pass inside the irregular circle of
forest trees that shut Fort Klamath up into a grand amphitheatre, the
outside is shut out from four, at least, of the prisoners forever.

                             CHAPTER XXXVI.


A Portion of Fort Klamath, mentioned in the last chapter, is used as a
court-room. A long, narrow table stands near the middle of the hall. At
the farther end of the table sits Lieut.-Col. Elliott, First Cavalry, to
his right Capt. Hasbrouck of Fourth Artillery, and Capt. Robert Pollock,
Twenty-first Infantry. On the left, Capt. John Mendenhall, Fourth
Artillery, and Second Lieut. George Kingsbury, Twelfth Infantry. These
officers are all in new uniform, and make a fine impression of power. At
the other end of the table sits Maj. H. P. Curtis, Judge Advocate; also in
uniform near him, Dr. E. S. Belden, short-hand reporter. To the right of
Col. Elliott, sitting on a bench, four men,——_red men_,——Captain Jack,
Schonchin, Black Jim, Boston Charley. All these men were at the council
tent the 11th of April last, and participated in the murder of Gen. Canby
and Dr. Thomas. Lying on the floor are two others. They are the men who
jumped from the ambush with the rifles, and uttered the yell that sent
terror to the hearts of the Peace Commissioners,——Barncho and Slolux.
Behind Maj. Curtis two other familiar faces,——Frank Riddle and his wife

At a side table reporters are sitting. At either end of the room a file of
soldiers stand with muskets ornamented with polished bayonets. These are
necessary, for the prisoners might kill somebody if the bayonets were not
there! Hooker Jim, Bogus, Shacknasty and Steamboat are standing near the
door, unfettered and unguarded. _They_ don’t need guarding, for they are
soldiers now themselves, and have done more to close up the Modoc war than
the “Army of a Thousand.”

They are real live heroes, and they feel it too. If anything is yet
wanting to make this scene complete, it is fully made up by the soldiers,
who now enjoy a safe look into the eyes of the Modoc chief.

                              SECOND DAY.

                                         FORT KLAMATH, July 5, 1873.

    The commission met at 10 A.M., pursuant to adjournment.

    Present, all of the members of the commission, the
    judge-advocate, and prisoners.

    The proceedings of the last meeting were read and approved.

    The judge-advocate then read before the commission the order
    convening the commission, which is interpreted to the prisoners.

    The commission then proceeded to the trial of the prisoners:
    Captain Jack, Schonchin, Black Jim, Boston Charley, Barncho
    (_alias_ One-Eyed Jim), and Slolux, Modoc Indian captives, who
    being called before the commission, and having heard the order
    convening it read, it being interpreted to them, were severally
    asked if they had any objection to any member present named in
    the order, to which they severally replied in the negative.

    The members of the commission were then duly sworn by the
    judge-advocate; and the judge-advocate was then duly sworn by
    the president of the commission; all of which oaths were
    administered and interpreted in the presence of the prisoners.

    The judge-advocate asked the authority of the commission to
    employ T. F. Riddle and wife as interpreters, at $10 a day,
    which authority was given by the commission.

    T. F. Riddle and wife (Tobey) were then duly sworn to the
    faithful performance of their duty in the interpretation of the
    evidence and proceedings as required, in the presence of the
    prisoners, which oath was interpreted to the prisoners.

    The judge-advocate then presented to the commission E. S.
    Belden, the official short-hand reporter, who was then duly
    sworn to the faithful performance of his duty; which oath was
    duly interpreted to the prisoners.

    The prisoners were then severally asked by the judge-advocate if
    they desired to introduce counsel; to which they severally
    replied in the negative; and that they had been unable to
    procure any.

    The prisoners were then severally duly arraigned on the
    following charges and specifications:——

    _Charges and specifications preferred against certain Modoc
      Indians commonly known and called as Captain Jack, Schonchin,
      Boston Charley, Black Jim, Barncho, alias One-Eyed Jim, and
      Slolux, alias Cok._

    CHARGE FIRST.——“Murder in violation of the laws of war.” The
    specification in substance was the murder of Gen. E. R. S. Canby
    and Dr. Eleazer Thomas.

    CHARGE SECOND.——“Assault with intent to kill in violation of the
    laws of war.” Specification second. “Assault on the
    Commissioners. Attempt to kill A. B. Meacham and L. S. Dyer.”

    “All this at or near the Lava Beds, so-called, situated near
    Tule Lake, in the State of California, on or about the 11th day
    of April, 1873.”

    To which the prisoners severally pleaded as follows:——

    To first specification, first charge, “Not guilty.”
    To second specification, first charge, “Not guilty.”
    To first charge, “Not guilty.”
    To first specification, second charge, “Not guilty.”
    To second specification, second charge, “Not guilty.”
    To second charge, “Not guilty.”

    T. F. RIDDLE, a citizen and witness for the prosecution, being
    duly sworn by the judge-advocate, testified as follows:——

    _Question by judge-advocate._ Were you present at the meeting of
    the commissioners and General Canby, referred to in the charges
    and specifications just read? _Answer._ Yes, sir.

    _Q._ On what day was it? _A._ On the 11th of April, I believe,
    as near as I can recollect.

    _Q._ Were the prisoners at the bar present on that occasion?
    _A._ Yes, sir.

    _Q._ You identify them all? _A._ Yes, sir; I identify all but
    Barncho and Slolux. I saw them, but I didn’t know them. They
    were some seventy-five yards behind me; they came up behind.

    _Q._ Is Captain Jack the principal man in this Modoc band? _A._
    Yes, sir.

    _Q._ What is he? Describe him. _A._ He is a chief amongst them.
    He has been a chief since 1861, I believe.

    _Q._ What position did Schonchin hold among the Modocs? _A._ I
    never knew him to be anything more than just a common man
    amongst them until, within the last year, he has been classed as
    Captain Jack’s sub-chief, I believe; they call it a “Sergeant.”

    _Q._ Black Jim? _A._ He has been classed as one of his
    watch-men, they call them.

    _Q._ Boston Charley? _A._ He is nothing more than a high

    _Q._ Barncho? _A._ He is not anything.

    _Q._ Slolux? _A._ He is not anything.

    _Q._ Are they all Modocs? _A._ Yes, sir; they are classed as
    Modocs; one of them is a Rock Indian, or a “Cumbatwas.”

    _Q._ Were they all present at this meeting of the 11th of April?
    _A._ Yes, sir. Barncho and Slolux was not in the council. They
    came up after the firing commenced.

    _Q._ What connection did you have with the peace commissioners
    from the beginning? _A._ I was employed by General Gilliam to
    interpret, and then from that I was turned over to the peace
    commissioners; but I acted as interpreter all of the time——all
    through their councils.

    _Q._ Did you ever receive any information which led you to
    suppose it was a dangerous matter for the commissioners to
    interview these men? _A._ Yes, sir; the first that I learned was
    when I stopped at Fairchild’s. They agreed to meet the wagons
    out between Little Klamath and the Lava Beds, and all of them
    come in, women and children. They said Captain Jack
    sent word that if General Canby would send his wagons out there,
    they would send his women and children in.

    _Q._ Where you present at the killing of General Canby and Mr.
    Meacham? _A._ Yes, sir.

    _Q._ Had you received any information which led you to think
    that it was dangerous? _A._ Yes, sir, I had; my woman, some week
    or ten days before that, went to carry a message into Jack’s
    cave, where he was living, and there was an Indian called
    William——he followed her after she started for home back to
    camp, he followed her out.

    _Q._ How do you know this? _A._ My woman told me.

    _Q._ In consequence of some information which you received, what
    did you then do? Did you speak to the commissioners about it?
    _A._ Yes, sir; I told them I received information, and then I
    went to the peace commissioners and told them it was dangerous
    to go out there any more to meet them, and I advised them not to
    go. While I was at Fairchild’s, this Hooker Jim, he came there
    and took me out one side and told me, “If you ever come with
    them peace commissioners to meet us any more, and I come to you
    and push you to one side, you stand back one side and we won’t
    hurt you, but will murder them.”

    _Q._ Do I understand you to say you then cautioned the
    commissioners? _A._ Yes; I told them of it.

    _Q._ What did you say? _A._ I told them what Hooker Jim told me;
    and I said I didn’t think it was of any use to try to make peace
    with those Indians without going to the Lava Beds, right where
    they were. I said, “I think the best way, if you want to make
    peace with them, is to give them a good licking, and then make

    _Q._ Did you tell them what Hooker Jim said? _A._ Yes, sir; and
    at another time, I believe it was the very next time after we
    were out in the Lava Beds——after General Gillam had moved over
    to the Lava Beds——we met, and Hooker Jim came to me after we got
    to the ground where we were to hold our council, and he took
    hold of me and said, “You come out here and sit down;” and he
    pushed me as he said he would. I said “No.”

    _Q._ When was this? _A._ I don’t remember the date; it was some
    time in April.

    _Q._ The first or second meeting? _A._ The first meeting after
    Hooker Jim had told me this at Fairchild’s.

    _Q._ Where they the same, or other commissioners? _A._ It was
    General Canby, Dr. Thomas, and Mr. Dyer, and Judge Roseborough,
    I believe, was along, if I am not mistaken; I won’t be positive.
    Hooker Jim came to me and caught hold of me, and pushed me one
    side, and said, “You stand out here.” I told him “No;” that I
    had to go and talk and interpret for them; and my woman here
    spoke up to him to behave himself, and not go doing anything
    while he was there; and he then said, “Well, go and sit down.”

    _Q._ Did you visit the Lava Beds before the massacre; and, if
    so, did you go alone, or with some one else? _A._ The first time
    I went in there was with Squire Steele. Fairchild——

    _Q._ (Interrupting.) Very shortly before the massacre, did you?
    _A._ Well, I was in there.

    _Q._ State why you went in there. _A._ I was in there on the
    10th of April. My woman and me went in there, and took a written
    message in there from the peace commissioners. I read and
    interpreted it to Captain Jack, and I told him then, after I
    interpreted it to him, that I gave him a notice; and I told him
    to bring it the next day when he met the commissioners, to bring
    it with him. He threw it on the ground, and he said he was no
    white man; he could not read, and had no use for it. He would
    meet the commissioners close to his camp——about a mile beyond
    what they called the peace tent. He said he would meet them
    there and nowhere else.

    _Q._ A mile nearer the Lava Beds than the peace tent? _A._ Yes;
    he said that was all he had to say then. I could hear them
    talking around, and sort of making light of the peace
    commissioners——as much as to say they didn’t care for them.

    _Q._ What was the tenor of this message you say you read? _A._
    It was a statement that they wished to hold a council with them
    at the peace tent next day, to have a permanent settlement of
    the difficulties between the whites and the Indians; they wanted
    to make peace, and move them off to some warm climate, where
    they could live like white people.

    _Q._ Where is that note you carried? _A._ It is lost.

    _Q._ Did Captain Jack say anything about arms in reference
    to the meeting? _A._ Yes, sir; he said he would meet
    them five men without arms, and he would do the same——he would
    not take any arms with him.

    _Q._ That he would meet them at the place he fixed——one mile
    nearer the Lava Beds? _A._ Yes, sir; one mile nearer the Lava

    _Q._ Five men, without arms, and he would also go without arms?
    _A._ Yes, sir.

    The COURT. Five, including himself? _A._ Yes, sir.

    The JUDGE-ADVOCATE. What did he say about the proposition to
    move him from the Lava Beds? _A._ He said he knew no other
    country only this, and he did not want to leave it.

    _Q._ Did he say anything about a desire for peace? _A._ Yes; he
    said if they would move the soldiers all away he would make
    peace then, and live right there were he was, and would not
    pester anybody else; he would live peaceably there.

    _Q._ Was Captain Jack alone in this interview when you talked
    with him? _A._ No, sir; these other men were around with him,
    sitting down.

    _Q._ These prisoners here now? _A._ Some of them.

    _Q._ Did he do all or only a part of the talking? _A._ That
    evening he done all of the talking——that is, he was the only one
    that had anything to say to me in regard to this affair.

    _Q._ Did you see anything there which led you to suppose that
    they intended hostilities? _A._ Yes, sir; I did; I saw that they
    had forted up all around the cave.

    _Q._ Did they seem to be well provisioned? _A._ They had just
    been killing several beeves there that day.

    _Q._ Which of these men were there at the time? _A._ Boston was
    there——most all of these that are here.

    _Q._ Can’t you name them? _A._ There was Boston, Black Jim was
    there, and Barncho; I don’t remember whether Schonchin was there
    or not at the time the conversation was going on.

    _Q._ Did you go back to the commissioners then? _A._ Yes, sir.

    _Q._ State the facts about it. State what followed after your
    return to the commissioners. _A._ I went back and went to the
    peace commissioners’ tent with Jack’s message that he would meet
    them five unarmed, and he would do the same; he would have five
    men with himself, and go without arms; and I told him they
    were forted all around there, and they had been killing
    beef; and I thought it was useless to try to make peace any
    longer; and if Captain Jack would not agree to meet at the tent,
    and if I were in their places I would not meet them any more.

    _Q._ What did the commissioners then reply or decide upon? What
    decision did they come to? _A._ They held a council between
    themselves. I was not at their council.

    _Q._ Was your visit the day before the assassination? _A._ Yes,
    sir; I seen General Canby that evening,; and I told him I had a
    proposition to make to him. He was out, and I met him, and he
    wanted to know what it was; I told him that if I was in his
    place, if I calculated on meeting them Indians, I would send
    twenty-five or thirty men near the place were I expected to hold
    the council, to secrete themselves in the rocks there; that they
    would stand a good show to catch them, if they undertook to do
    anything that was wrong. General Canby said that that would be
    too much of an insult to Captain Jack; that if they knew of
    that, they might do an injury then; he would not do that.

    _Q._ Did you hear him say that? _A._ Yes.

    _Q._ Did they determine to meet him, or not? _A._ they sent to
    me the next morning, then, to come down to the peace
    commissioners’ tent.

    _Q._ Was Captain Jack informed that they would not go to that
    place one mile nearer? _A._ Yes, sir; Bogus Charley went in that
    evening before the murder, right ahead of me, into General
    Gilliam’s camp and stayed all night. He staid at my camp, and
    the next morning the peace commissioners decided that they would
    not meet Captain Jack in this place where he wanted to meet
    them, and sent a message out by Bogus and Boston for them to
    meet him at the peace commissioners’ tent, the peace tent, and
    they were gone about an hour; and they came back again and said
    that Captain Jack was there with five men.

    _Q._ (Interrupting). You heard it? _A._ Yes.

    _Q._ Jack was to meet them where; he was where? _A._ He was at
    the peace tent.

    _Q._ Captain Jack sent back a message then by Bogus and Boston
    that he would meet them at the peace tent with five men? _A._
    Yes, sir; but they were not armed, and he wanted the peace
    commissioners to go without arms.

    _Q._ He sent that message, and you heard it? _A._ Yes, sir.

    _Q._ What advice, if any, did you then give the commissioners?
    _A._ My woman and me went down to the peace commissioners’ tent
    and she went to Mr. Meacham; I saw her myself at the first,
    though I told him not to meet them.

    _Q._ Were you at the peace commissioners’ tent when you gave
    them this advice? _A._ The peace commissioners’ tent in General
    Gillam’s camp.

    _Q._ Not the large peace tent? _A._ No; the peace commissioners’
    tent. He wanted to know why, and I told him they intended to
    murder them, and that they might do it that day if everything
    was not right; and my woman went and took hold of Mr. Meacham
    and told him not to go; and held on to him and cried. She said,
    “Meacham, don’t you go!”——I heard her say so myself——“for they
    might kill you to-day; they may kill all of you to-day;” and Dr.
    Thomas, he came up and told me that I ought to put my trust in
    God; that God Almighty would not let any such body of men be
    hurt that was on as good a mission as that. I told him at the
    time that he might trust in God, but that I didn’t trust any in
    them Indians.

    _Q._ Did any of the other commissioners make any reply? _A._ Mr.
    Meacham said that he knew there was danger, and he believed me,
    every word I said, and he believed the woman, and so did Mr.
    Dyer. He said he believed it; and he said that he felt like he
    was going to his grave. I went then to General Canby and asked
    him if General Gillam was going out. He said “No.” I said, I
    want your commissioners then to go to General Gillam’s tent with

    _Q._ Did they go? _A._ Yes, sir.

    _Q._ Was Tobey with you? _A._ No, sir; she was not with me then;
    she was standing holding her horse.

    _Q._ State what occurred at General Gillam’s tent. _A._ We went
    down with Mr. Meacham, General Canby, Dyer, and Dr. Thomas; and
    General Canby walked down with us. General Canby did not go into
    the tent, but the other three went in; that is, Mr. Dyer,
    Meacham, and Dr. Thomas, and I went in to General Gillam and
    said, “General Gillam, these men are going out to hold council
    with them Indians to-day, and I don’t believe it is safe. If
    there is anything happens to them, I don’t want no blame laid on
    me hereafter, because I don’t think it is safe for them
    to go, and after it is over I don’t want nothing laid on me;”
    said I, “I am not much afraid of the Indians; but I will go
    before I will be called a coward.”

    _Q._ State what followed then. _A._ Well, before we got through
    the conversation there, General Gillam——that is, there was not
    anything more——and then General Gillam gave a big laugh, and
    said if the Indians done anything, that he would take care of
    them, and we started out, and General Canby and Dr. Thomas
    started on ahead; Mr. Meacham went to Tobey (my wife), and asked
    her if she thought the Indians would kill him; and she said, “I
    have told you all I can tell you;” she said, “they may kill you
    to-day, and they may not.”

    _Q._ You heard this? _A._ Yes. “But,” says she, “don’t go.” By
    that time General Canby and Dr. Thomas had got some one hundred
    yards ahead of us. Bogus Charley walked out; General Canby and
    Dr. Thomas walked; Mr. Dyer, Meacham, and Tobey rode horseback.

    The COURT. Did Bogus Charley walk out with you? _A._ Yes; him
    and me were behind.

    The JUDGE-ADVOCATE. Where was Boston Charley at this time? _A._
    If I am not mistaken he was with General Canby and Dr. Thomas.

    _Q._ Did you finally arrive at the peace tent? _A._ Yes, sir.

    _Q._ And whom did you find there? _A._ I found Captain Jack,
    Schonchin, and Black Jim (Ellen’s man), who is dead, they say,
    Shacknasty Jim, and Hooker Jim.

    _Q._ Were there any others? _A._ There were no others; well,
    Boston, he went out with us, and Bogus Charley; there were eight
    of them there.

    _Q._ Eight were there in the party? _A._ In the council; yes,

    _Q._ What took place after you met these Modocs whom you have
    named——between the commissioners and they? _A._ Well, we all sat
    down around a little fire we had there, built, I suppose, some
    twenty or thirty feet from the peace tent. There was some sage
    brush thrown on, and we were all sitting around the little fire,
    and General Canby gave them all a cigar apiece, and they all sat
    around there and smoked a few minutes, and then they went to
    talking; General Canby, I think, though I won’t be certain,
    made the first speech, and told them that he had been dealing
    with the Indians for some thirty years, and he had come there to
    make peace with them and to talk good; and that whatever he
    promised to give them that he would see that they got; and if
    they would come and go out with him, that he would take them to
    a good country, and fix them up so that they could live like
    white people.

    _Q._ Did you interpret all of this to the Indians? _A._ Yes,

    _Q._ So that they understood it? _A._ Yes, my wife and me did

    _Q._ Was that the summary of General Canby’s speech? _A._ That
    was about the substance of his speech, with the exception that
    he told them that he had a couple of Indian names; that he had
    taken Indians on to a reservation once before, and that they all
    liked him, and had given him a name.

    _Q._ General Canby said that? _A._ Yes. They sat and laughed
    about it. I disremember the name now.

    _Q._ Do you know who spoke next? _A._ Mr. Meacham spoke next,
    and he told them he had come there to make peace with them; that
    their Great Father from Washington had sent him there to make
    peace, and wipe out all of the blood that had been shed, and to
    take them to some country where they could have good homes, and
    be provided with blankets, food, and the like.

    _Q._ That was Mr. Meacham’s speech? _A._ Yes, sir. Dr. Thomas,
    he said a few words. He said the Great Father had sent him there
    to make peace with them, and to wipe out all the blood that had
    been shed, and not to have any more trouble, to move them out of
    this country here,——that is, the place where they were stopping.

    _Q._ Mr. Riddle, do you know whether the Lava Beds are in the
    State of California? _A._ Yes, sir; they are. I could not be
    certain what the extent of them is; it may be possible a small
    portion of them is in Oregon.

    _Q._ How near the Lava Beds was General Gillam’s camp? _A._ It
    was about two miles and a half from Jack’s stronghold.

    _Q._ How near to the Lava Beds was the peace tent? _A._ It was
    right on the edge of it.

    _Q._ What distance from General Gillam’s quarters or camp? _A._
    I think about three-quarters of a mile.

    _Q._ Did any Modocs reply to those speeches? _A._ Captain Jack

    _Q._ What did he say; can you remember? _A._ Yes, I can
    recollect some of what he said. He said that he didn’t want to
    leave this country here; that he knew no other country than
    this; that he didn’t want to leave here; and that he had given
    up Lost river; and he asked for Cottonwood and Willow Creek;
    that is over near Fairchild’s.

    _Q._ Is Cottonwood Creek the same as Hot Creek? _A._ They are
    two different creeks.

    _Q._ What did he mean by giving up Lost river? _A._ He said
    there was where the fight had taken place; and that he didn’t
    want to have anything more to do there. He said he thought that
    was what the fight took place about,——that country there; he
    said the whites wanted it.

    _Q._ What fight do you refer to? _A._ The first fight, where
    Major Jackson went down to bring them down on the Reservation;
    that was in November, 1872.

    _Q._ Did Captain Jack demand Willow Creek and Cottonwood Creek?
    _A._ Yes, sir.

    _Q._ That is, the land around this place? _A._ Yes.

    _Q._ To live on? _A._ Yes, sir; he wanted a reservation there.

    _Q._ Then what was said, or what occurred? _A._ Mr. Meacham,
    then he made another speech, and he told Captain Jack: “Jack,
    let us talk like men, and not like children,” and he sort of hit
    him on the knee or shoulder,——probably hit him on the shoulder
    once or twice, or tapped him,——he said, “Let us talk like men,
    and not talk like children.” He said, “You are a man that has
    common sense; isn’t there any other place that will do you
    except Willow Creek and Cottonwood?” And Mr. Meacham was
    speaking rather loud, and Schonchin told him to hush,——told him
    in Indian to hush; that he could talk a straight talk; to let
    him talk. Just as Schonchin said that, Captain Jack rose up and
    stepped back, sort of in behind Dyer’s horse. I was interpreting
    for Schonchin, and I was not noticing Jack. He stepped a few
    steps out to one side, and I seen him put his hand in his bosom

    _Q._ (Interrupting). Did you perceive, as soon as you got there,
    that these men were armed? _A._ Yes, sir; I did; I could see
    some of them were.

    _Q._ In what way did you observe that? _A._ I saw these sticking
    out of their clothes.

    _Q._ You saw what? _A._ They were revolvers.

    _Q._ Did Captain Jack at this interview represent this band?
    _A._ Yes, sir.

    _Q._ And these other men listened and appeared to concur? _A._
    Yes, sir.

    _Q._ Were they there as representatives of the band? _A._ Yes,
    sir; I suppose they were.

    _Q._ You say Captain Jack got up and went to the rear, and you
    saw him put his hand to his breast? _A._ Yes, sir.

    _Q._ What then occurred? _A._ Well, he stepped back and came
    right up in front of General Canby, and said, in Indian, “All
    ready, boys,”——and the cap bursted, and before you could crack
    your finger he fired.

    _Q._ You say this? _A._ Yes, sir; and after the cap bursted,
    before you could crack your finger, he fired and struck General
    Canby under the eye, and the ball came out here (showing). I
    jumped and ran then, and never stopped to look back any more. I
    saw General Canby fall over, and I expected he was killed, and I
    jumped and ran with all my might. I never looked back but once,
    and when I looked back Mr. Meacham was down, and my woman was
    down, and there was an Indian standing over Mr. Meacham and
    another Indian standing over her, and some two or three coming
    up to Mr. Meacham. Mr. Meacham was sort of lying down this way
    (showing), and had one of his hands sticking out.

    _Q._ You saw General Canby fall, you say? _A._ Yes, sir.

    _Q._ Did he continue to lie where he fell? _A._ He was not when
    they found him; he was about thirty or forty yards from there. I
    did not see him get up.

    _Q._ As soon as Captain Jack fired, what then occurred? _A._
    They commenced firing all around. I could not tell who was
    firing except Schonchin here; I see him firing at Mr. Meacham,
    but the others were kind of up in behind me, and they were
    firing, and I did not turn around to look to see who it was. I
    thought it was warm times there.

    _Q._ Did any other Indians come up? _A._ Just as the fire
    commenced I see two Indians coming up packing their guns.

    _Q._ What do you mean by “packing their guns”? _A._ They were
    carrying them along in their arms.

    _Q._ How many had each man? _A._ I could not tell; it looked
    like they had some two or three apiece.

    _Q._ Can you identify those men? _A._ No, sir, I cannot. I did
    not stop to look to see who they were. I saw they were Indians.

       *       *       *       *       *

    TOBEY, Riddle’s wife, an Indian, called for the prosecution,
    being duly sworn, testified as follows:——

    _Question by the judge-advocate._ What is your name; is your
    name Tobey? _Answer._ Yes.

    _Q._ Did you think they were going to kill the commissioners
    that day? _A._ Yes.

    _Q._ What made you think so? _A._ There was one of the other
    Indians told me so.

    _Q._ Who told you? _A._ William; Whim they call him.

    _Q._ How long before the meeting did Whim tell you this? _A._ It
    was about eight or ten days.

    _Q._ What did Whim say to you? _A._ He said not to come back any
    more; to tell the peace commissioners not to meet the Indians
    any more in council; that they were going to kill them.

    _Q._ Did you tell General Canby not to go? _A._ I did not tell
    General Canby; I told Meacham and Thomas.

    _Q._ Did Mr. Meacham believe you? _A._ Yes, sir.

    _Q._ Did he say he believed you? _A._ Yes.

    _Q._ What was done with the bodies of Dr. Thomas and General
    Canby? _A._ They stripped their clothes off of them.

    _Q._ Did you see them do that? _A._ I seen them strip Dr.
    Thomas. I saw Steamboat Frank taking Dr. Thomas’s coat.
    Steamboat Frank was one of the three that came up.

       *       *       *       *       *

    The above questions and answers were duly interpreted to the
    prisoners by the sworn interpreter, Riddle.

    The judge-advocate then asked the prisoners severally if they
    desired to cross-examine the witness, to which they replied in
    the negative.

    The commission had no question to put to the witness.

    L. S. DYER, a citizen, called for the prosecution, being duly
    sworn, testified as follows:——

    _Question by the judge-advocate._ State your name. _Answer._ L.
    S. Dyer.

    _Q._ What is your business? _A._ I am a United States Indian

    _Q._ Of the Klamath agency? _A._ Yes, sir.

    _Q._ Does that include the Modocs? _A._ Yes, sir.

    _Q._ Do you recognize the prisoners at the bar? _A._ I do.

    _Q._ Do you recognize them all? _A._ No, sir.

    _Q._ Who is that one with a handkerchief on his head? _A._
    Captain Jack.

    _Q._ Who is the next one this way? _A._ John Schonchin.

    _Q._ And this one? _A._ Boston,——sometimes called Boston

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Question by commission._ I understood you to say that
    Superintendent Meacham got these Modocs back into the
    Reservation once or twice before. _Answer._ Once before.

    _Question by commission._ With or without the assistance of the
    military? _Answer._ He had a few soldiers. I only know this from
    the records and reports in the office.

       *       *       *       *       *

    The foregoing questions and answers were all duly interpreted to
    the prisoners.

    The commission thereupon adjourned to meet on Monday next, the
    7th instant, at 10 A.M.

                                       H. P. CURTIS,
                                     _Judge-Advocate of Commission_.

                               THIRD DAY.

                               FORT KLAMATH, OREGON, July 7, 1873.

    The commission met pursuant to adjournment.

    Present, all the members named in the order, the judge-advocate,
    and the prisoners.

    The proceedings of the previous session were read and

    SHACKNASTY JIM, a Modoc Indian, a witness for the prosecution,
    having been first cautioned by the judge-advocate of the
    punishment of false swearing, was then duly sworn.

    _Question by judge-advocate._ What is your name? _Answer._
    Shacknasty Jim.

    _Q._ Do you remember when General Canby was killed? _A._ Yes; I

    _Q._ Were you present. _A._ Yes.

    _Q._ Did you know that he and the commissioners were to be
    killed. _A._ Yes.

    _Q._ How did you know it? _A._ They had a talk at night.

    _Q._ When was this talk? How long before? _A._ The evening

    _Q._ Who talked? _A._ Most of the Indians; the two chiefs were

    _Q._ What two chiefs? _A._ Captain Jack and Schonchin.

    _Q._ Did you hear them state they meant to kill them? _A._ I
    didn’t hear them say they were going to kill them.

    _Q._ What did you hear them say? _A._ I heard them talking about
    killing the commissioners: that is all I heard them say. I
    didn’t hear them say who was going to do it.

    _Q._ How long before the meeting of the peace commissioners when
    General Canby was killed was this talk? _A._ I almost forget. I
    don’t want to lie. I have forgotten how many days it was.

    _Q._ What Indians were at that meeting of April 11, when General
    Canby was shot? _A._ Schonchin, Captain Jack, Ellen’s man
    (dead). I was there, and Black Jim, Boston, Bogus Charley, and
    Hooker Jim; there were eight.

       *       *       *       *       *

    STEAMBOAT FRANK, a Modoc witness for the prosecution, duly
    sworn, being duly warned against the consequences of perjury.

    _Question by judge-advocate._ What is your name? _Answer._ I am
    called Steamboat Frank.

    _Q._ Were you present at the death of General Canby? _A._ Yes.

    _Q._ How did you get there? _A._ I was about as far as from
    here to the end of the stables (about four hundred
    yards) when the firing commenced.

    _Q._ Whom, if any one, were you with there? _A._ With Scar-faced

       *       *       *       *       *

    The judge-advocate now called BOGUS CHARLEY as witness for the
    prosecution, who, being first cautioned of the consequence of
    perjury, was duly sworn, and testified as follows:——

    _Question by judge-advocate._ What is your name as commonly
    called? _Answer._ Bogus Charley.

    _Q._ Were you present at the death of General Canby?

    _A._ Yes.

       *       *       *       *       *

    HOOKER JIM, a Modoc, a witness for the prosecution, being first
    cautioned of the consequence and punishment for perjury, was
    duly sworn.

    _Question._ What is your English name? _Answer._ Hooker Jim.

    _Q._ Were you present when General Canby was killed? _A._ I was.

    _Q._ Did you know he and the commissioners were to be killed?

    _A._ I did.

    _Q._ Are you now a friend to Captain Jack? _A._ I have been a
    friend of Captain Jack, but I don’t know what he got mad at me

    _Q._ Have you ever had a quarrel or fight with him? _A._ I had a
    quarrel and a little fight with him over to Dry lake, beyond the
    Lava Beds.

    _Q._ How did you know the commissioners were going to be killed?

    _A._ Captain Jack and Schonchin——I heard them talking about it.

    _Q._ Where were they when you heard them? _A._ At Captain Jack’s

    _Question by commission._ What part were you detailed to take in
    it, if any, in murdering the commissioners? _Answer._ I ran Dyer
    and shot at him.

    _Question by commission._ Had you agreed to kill one of the
    parties before the attack?

    _Answer._ I said I would kill
    one if I could.

    _Question by judge-advocate._ Do you like Captain Jack now, or
    dislike him?

    _Answer._ I don’t like him very well now.

       *       *       *       *       *

    The judge-advocate then asked each one of the prisoners,
    successively, if they desired to cross-examine this witness, to
    which they replied in the negative.

       *       *       *       *       *

    WILLIAM (WHIM), Modoc, called for the prosecution, and warned
    against the penalties of perjury, was then duly sworn.

    _Question by judge-advocate._ What is your name? _Answer._ Whim,
    or William.

    _Q._ Were you with the Modoc Indians in the Lava Beds? _A._ Yes.

    _Q._ Do you remember when General Canby was killed? _A._ Yes, I
    know that they went to kill him.

    _Q._ Did you know that he was going to be killed? _A._ Yes, I
    knew they were going to kill him.

    _Q._ Did you know they were going to kill the peace
    commissioners? _A._ Yes.

    _Q._ Were you at the killing? _A._ No, I didn’t go.

    _Q._ How did you know they were going to kill them? _A._ I heard
    Jack and Schonchin talking about it.

    _Q._ Any one else? _A._ That is all that I heard say anything
    about it.

    _Q._ How long was this before the killing? _A._ I don’t know
    exactly, but it was eight or ten days.

    _Q._ Did you speak to anybody about it? _A._ Yes, I told about

    _Q._ Whom? _A._ I told this woman here (Tobey, Riddle’s wife).

    _Q._ What did you tell her? _A._ I told her to tell the peace
    commissioners not to come; that I did not want to see them

       *       *       *       *       *

    The judge-advocate then asked each prisoner, successively, if he
    desired to cross-examine this witness; each answered in the
    negative. The commission desired to put no questions.

       *       *       *       *       *

While this man is under examination as a witness, A. B. Meacham enters the
court-room. The prisoners fix their eyes on him steadfastly.
Until now, they had doubted his recovery from his wounds.

       *       *       *       *       *

    A. B. MEACHAM, citizen, called for the prosecution, duly sworn,
    testified as follows:——

    _Question by judge-advocate._ What is your name? _Answer._
    Alfred B. Meacham.

    _Q._ Are you a citizen of the United States? _A._ I am.

    _Q._ What position did you hold in connection with the late war
    with the Modocs? _A._ I was appointed by Secretary Delano as
    chairman of the peace commissioners, as special commissioner.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Q._ Now state what occurred next.

    _A._ During the day the propositions that were made by Boston,
    that is, on Thursday, were accepted by Dr. Thomas, and an
    agreement made to meet Captain Jack and five men, unarmed, at
    eleven o’clock; all parties unarmed at the council tent on
    Friday. I knew this agreement to have been made by Dr. Thomas on
    the evening of the 10th, on my return from Boyle’s camp that

    _Q._ Did he give it to you officially?

    _A._ Yes, sir. When I started on the visit to Boyle’s camp, I
    said to Dr. Thomas, if occasion requires my presence in any
    business, you will act in my capacity as chairman of the
    commission; and as acting chairman of the commission he made
    this arrangement, and so notified me.

    _Q._ After that what followed?

    _A._ I protested against the meeting, but subsequently yielded
    to the opinions of Gen. Canby and Dr. Thomas,——Mr. Dyer and I

    _Question by judge-advocate._ Had General Canby a weapon on his

    _A._ Not that I am aware of.

    _Q._ Had Dr. Thomas?

    _A._ I know he had not.

       *       *       *       *       *

    All the foregoing testimony was faithfully interpreted to the

    The commission thereupon adjourned to meet at 9:30 A.M.
    to-morrow morning.

The prisoners are remanded to the guard-house. They hesitate, and cast
anxious glances at Meacham, who is exchanging salutations with members of
the court.

MEACHAM. “Have the prisoners no counsel?”

Col. ELLIOTT. “They have been unable to obtain counsel. The usual question
was asked them.”

MEACHAM. “It seems to me that, for the honor and credit of the Government,
and in order to have all the facts drawn out and placed on record, counsel
should have been appointed.”

Col. ELLIOTT. “We are perfectly willing, and would much prefer it; but
there is no lawyer here, and we must go on without.”

MEACHAM. “I have no disposition to shield the prisoners from justice, but
I do feel that to close up all gaps, and make the record complete, all the
circumstances should be drawn out. Not because anything could be shown
that would justify their crimes, but because it is in harmony with right
and justice. Sooner than have it said that this was an ex-parte trial, I
will appear myself as their counsel,——by your consent.”

Col. ELLIOTT. “Certainly, we are willing, and if you say you will appear
as their counsel, we will have your name entered on the record. Certainly,
Mr. Meacham, we are more than willing. It would be an act of magnanimity
on your part that is without a precedent. You know all the facts in the
case and could, perhaps, bring them out better than any other man.”

MEACHAM. “I know that my motives would be misconstrued, and I would have
another storm of indignation hurled upon me by the press. But that does
not intimidate me; I only fear my strength is not sufficient. It is only
sixty days since the assassination, and I have been twice across the
continent, and am still feeble. However, I will report to you to-morrow
morning my conclusion.”

Judge-Advocate CURTIS remarks: “Mr. Meacham, I wish you would take hold of
this matter; there is no one else that can; and, if you will, every
courtesy shall be extended to you. The witnesses can be recalled for
cross-examination. I should be better satisfied to have counsel for the

MEACHAM. “I will take the matter under consideration, and in the mean time
I desire an interview with the prisoners.”

Col. ELLIOTT. “Most certainly, you can apply to the ‘officer of the day,’
and he will make the necessary order.”

In the guard house, Captain Jack and Schonchin are brought out of the cell
chained together. There is music in the clanking chain that sounds harsh,
severe, and causes a shudder, which soon gives way before the logic of
justice. These chieftains come with slow steps and eyes fixed intently on
Meacham. They