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´╗┐Title: Army Letters from an Officer's Wife, 1871-1888
Author: Roe, Frances Marie Antoinette Mack
Language: English
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ARMY LETTERS FROM AN OFFICER'S WIFE


By Frances M. A. Roe



PREFACE

PERHAPS it is not necessary to say that the events mentioned in the
letters are not imaginary--perhaps the letters themselves tell that!
They are truthful accounts of experiences that came into my own
life with the Army in the far West, whether they be about Indians,
desperadoes, or hunting--not one little thing has been stolen. They
are of a life that has passed--as has passed the buffalo and the
antelope--yes, and the log and adobe quarters for the Army. All flowery
descriptions have been omitted, as it seemed that a simple, concise
narration of events as they actually occurred, was more in keeping with
the life, and that which came into it. FRANCES M. A. ROE.



ARMY LETTERS FROM AN OFFICER'S WIFE


KIT CARSON, COLORADO TERRITORY, October, 1871.

IT is late, so this can be only a note--to tell you that we arrived here
safely, and will take the stage for Fort Lyon to-morrow morning at six
o'clock. I am thankful enough that our stay is short at this terrible
place, where one feels there is danger of being murdered any minute.
Not one woman have I seen here, but there are men--any number of
dreadful-looking men--each one armed with big pistols, and leather belts
full of cartridges. But the houses we saw as we came from the station
were worse even than the men. They looked, in the moonlight, like huge
cakes of clay, where spooks and creepy things might be found. The hotel
is much like the houses, and appears to have been made of dirt, and a
few drygoods boxes. Even the low roof is of dirt. The whole place is
horrible, and dismal beyond description, and just why anyone lives here
I cannot understand.

I am all upset! Faye has just been in to say that only one of my trunks
can be taken on the stage with us, and of course I had to select one
that has all sorts of things in it, and consequently leave my pretty
dresses here, to be sent for--all but the Japanese silk which happens to
be in that trunk. But imagine my mortification in having to go with
Faye to his regiment, with only two dresses. And then, to make my
shortcomings the more vexatious, Faye will be simply fine all the time,
in his brand new uniform!

Perhaps I can send a long letter soon--if I live to reach that army post
that still seems so far away.

FORT LYON, COLORADO TERRITORY, October, 1871.

AFTER months of anticipation and days of weary travel we have at last
got to our army home! As you know, Fort Lyon is fifty miles from Kit
Carson, and we came all that distance in a funny looking stage coach
called a "jerkey," and a good name for it, too, for at times it seesawed
back and forth and then sideways, in an awful breakneck way. The day was
glorious, and the atmosphere so clear, we could see miles and miles in
every direction. But there was not one object to be seen on the vast
rolling plains--not a tree nor a house, except the wretched ranch and
stockade where we got fresh horses and a perfectly uneatable dinner.

It was dark when we reached the post, so of course we could see
nothing that night. General and Mrs. Phillips gave us a most cordial
welcome--just as though they had known us always. Dinner was served soon
after we arrived, and the cheerful dining room, and the table with its
dainty china and bright silver, was such a surprise--so much nicer than
anything we had expected to find here, and all so different from the
terrible places we had seen since reaching the plains. It was apparent
at once that this was not a place for spooks! General Phillips is not a
real general--only so by brevet, for gallant service during the war. I
was so disappointed when I was told this, but Faye says that he is very
much afraid that I will have cause, sooner or later, to think that
the grade of captain is quite high enough. He thinks this way because,
having graduated at West Point this year, he is only a second lieutenant
just now, and General Phillips is his captain and company commander.

It seems that in the Army, lieutenants are called "Mister" always, but
all other officers must be addressed by their rank. At least that is
what they tell me. But in Faye's company, the captain is called general,
and the first lieutenant is called major, and as this is most confusing,
I get things mixed sometimes. Most girls would. A soldier in uniform
waited upon us at dinner, and that seemed so funny. I wanted to watch
him all the time, which distracted me, I suppose, for once I called
General Phillips "Mister!" It so happened, too, that just that instant
there was not a sound in the room, so everyone heard the blunder.
General Phillips straightened back in his chair, and his little son gave
a smothered giggle--for which he should have been sent to bed at once.
But that was not all! That soldier, who had been so dignified and stiff,
put his hand over his mouth and fairly rushed from the room so he could
laugh outright. And how I longed to run some place, too--but not to
laugh, oh, no!

These soldiers are not nearly as nice as one would suppose them to be,
when one sees them dressed up in their blue uniforms with bright brass
buttons. And they can make mistakes, too, for yesterday, when I asked
that same man a question, he answered, "Yes, sorr!" Then I smiled, of
course, but he did not seem to have enough sense to see why. When I
told Faye about it, he looked vexed and said I must never laugh at an
enlisted man--that it was not dignified in the wife of an officer to do
so. And then I told him that an officer should teach an enlisted man
not to snicker at his wife, and not to call her "Sorr," which was
disrespectful. I wanted to say more, but Faye suddenly left the room.

The post is not at all as you and I had imagined it to be. There is no
high wall around it as there is at Fort Trumbull. It reminds one of a
prim little village built around a square, in the center of which is a
high flagstaff and a big cannon. The buildings are very low and broad
and are made of adobe--a kind of clay and mud mixed together--and the
walls are very thick. At every window are heavy wooden shutters, that
can be closed during severe sand and wind storms. A little ditch--they
call it acequia--runs all around the post, and brings water to the trees
and lawns, but water for use in the houses is brought up in wagons from
the Arkansas River, and is kept in barrels.

Yesterday morning--our first here--we were awakened by the sounds of
fife and drum that became louder and louder, until finally I thought the
whole Army must be marching to the house. I stumbled over everything
in the room in my haste to get to one of the little dormer windows, but
there was nothing to be seen, as it was still quite dark. The drumming
became less loud, and then ceased altogether, when a big gun was fired
that must have wasted any amount of powder, for it shook the house and
made all the windows rattle. Then three or four bugles played a little
air, which it was impossible to hear because of the horrible howling
and crying of dogs--such howls of misery you never heard--they made
me shiver. This all suddenly ceased, and immediately there were lights
flashing some distance away, and dozens of men seemed to be talking
all at the same time, some of them shouting, "Here!" "Here!" I began
to think that perhaps Indians had come upon us, and called to Faye, who
informed me in a sleepy voice that it was only reveille roll-call, and
that each man was answering to his name. There was the same performance
this morning, and at breakfast I asked General Phillips why soldiers
required such a beating of drums, and deafening racket generally, to
awaken them in the morning. But he did not tell me--said it was an
old army custom to have the drums beaten along the officers' walk at
reveille.

Yesterday morning, directly after guard-mounting, Faye put on his
full-dress uniform--epaulets, beautiful scarlet sash, and sword--and
went over to the office of the commanding officer to report officially.
The officer in command of the post is lieutenant colonel of the
regiment, but he, also, is a general by brevet, and one can see by
his very walk that he expects this to be remembered always. So it
is apparent to me that the safest thing to do is to call everyone
general--there seem to be so many here. If I make a mistake, it will be
on the right side, at least.

Much of the furniture in this house was made by soldier carpenters here
at the post, and is not only very nice, but cost General Phillips
almost nothing, and, as we have to buy everything, I said at dinner last
evening that we must have some precisely like it, supposing, of course,
that General Phillips would feel highly gratified because his taste
was admired. But instead of the smile and gracious acquiescence I had
expected, there was another straightening back in the chair, and a
silence that was ominous and chilling. Finally, he recovered sufficient
breath to tell me that at present, there were no good carpenters in the
company. Later on, however, I learned that only captains and officers of
higher rank can have such things. The captains seem to have the best of
everything, and the lieutenants are expected to get along with smaller
houses, much less pay, and much less everything else, and at the same
time perform all of the disagreeable duties.

Faye is wonderfully amiable about it, and assures me that when he gets
to be a captain I will see that it is just and fair. But I happen
to remember that he told me not long ago that he might not get his
captaincy for twenty years. Just think of it--a whole long lifetime--and
always a Mister, too--and perhaps by that time it will be "just and
fair" for the lieutenants to have everything!

We saw our house yesterday--quarters I must learn to say--and it is
ever so much nicer than we had expected it to be. All of the officers'
quarters are new, and this set has never been occupied. It has a hall
with a pretty stairway, three rooms and a large shed downstairs, and
two rooms and a very large hall closet on the second floor. A soldier is
cleaning the windows and floors, and making things tidy generally. Many
of the men like to cook, and do things for officers of their company,
thereby adding to their pay, and these men are called strikers.

There are four companies here--three of infantry and one troop of
cavalry. You must always remember that Faye is in the infantry. With
the cavalry he has a classmate, and a friend, also, which will make
it pleasant for both of us. In my letters to you I will disregard army
etiquette, and call the lieutenants by their rank, otherwise you would
not know of whom I was writing--an officer or civilian. Lieutenant
Baldwin has been on the frontier many years, and is an experienced
hunter of buffalo and antelope. He says that I must commence riding
horseback at once, and has generously offered me the use of one of his
horses. Mrs. Phillips insists upon my using her saddle until I can get
one from the East, so I can ride as soon as our trunks come. And I am to
learn to shoot pistols and guns, and do all sorts of things.

We are to remain with General and Mrs. Phillips several days, while our
own house is being made habitable, and in the meantime our trunks and
boxes will come, also the colored cook. I have not missed my dresses
very much--there has been so much else to think about. There is a little
store just outside the post that is named "Post Trader's," where many
useful things are kept, and we have just been there to purchase some
really nice furniture that an officer left to be sold when he was
retired last spring. We got only enough to make ourselves comfortable
during the winter, for it seems to be the general belief here that these
companies of infantry will be ordered to Camp Supply, Indian Territory,
in the spring. It must be a most dreadful place--with old log houses
built in the hot sand hills, and surrounded by almost every tribe of
hostile Indians.

It may not be possible for me to write again for several days, as I will
be very busy getting settled in the house. I must get things arranged
just as soon as I can, so I will be able to go out on horseback with
Faye and Lieutenant Baldwin.

FORT LYON, COLORADO TERRITORY, October, 1871.

WHEN a very small girl, I was told many wonderful tales about a grand
Indian chief called Red Jacket, by my great-grandmother, who, you will
remember, saw him a number of times when she, also, was a small girl.
And since then--almost all my life--I have wanted to see with my very
own eyes an Indian--a real noble red man--dressed in beautiful skins
embroidered with beads, and on his head long, waving feathers.

Well, I have seen an Indian--a number of Indians--but they were not Red
Jackets, neither were they noble red men. They were simply, and only,
painted, dirty, and nauseous-smelling savages! Mrs. Phillips says that
Indians are all alike--that when you have seen one you have seen all.
And she must know, for she has lived on the frontier a long time, and
has seen many Indians of many tribes.

We went to Las Animas yesterday, Mrs. Phillips, Mrs. Cole, and I, to do
a little shopping. There are several small stores in the half-Mexican
village, where curious little things from Mexico can often be found,
if one does not mind poking about underneath the trash and dirt that is
everywhere. While we were in the largest of these shops, ten or twelve
Indians dashed up to the door on their ponies, and four of them,
slipping down, came in the store and passed on quickly to the counter
farthest back, where the ammunition is kept. As they came toward us in
their imperious way, never once looking to the right or to the left,
they seemed like giants, and to increase in size and numbers with every
step.

Their coming was so sudden we did not have a chance to get out of their
way, and it so happened that Mrs. Phillips and I were in their line of
march, and when the one in the lead got to us, we were pushed aside with
such impatient force that we both fell over on the counter. The others
passed on just the same, however, and if we had fallen to the floor, I
presume they would have stepped over us, and otherwise been oblivious to
our existence. This was my introduction to an Indian--the noble red man!

As soon as they got to the counter they demanded powder, balls, and
percussion caps, and as these things were given them, they were stuffed
down their muzzle-loading rifles, and what could not be rammed down the
barrels was put in greasy skin bags and hidden under their blankets. I
saw one test the sharp edge of a long, wicked-looking knife, and then
it, also, disappeared under his blanket. All this time the other Indians
were on their ponies in front, watching every move that was being made
around them.

There was only the one small door to the little adobe shop, and into
this an Indian had ridden his piebald pony; its forefeet were up a step
on the sill and its head and shoulders were in the room, which made it
quite impossible for us three frightened women to run out in the street.
So we got back of a counter, and, as Mrs. Phillips expressed it, "midway
between the devil and the deep sea." There certainly could be no mistake
about the "devil" side of it!

It was an awful situation to be in, and one to terrify anybody. We were
actually prisoners--penned in with all those savages, who were evidently
in an ugly mood, with quantities of ammunition within their reach, and
only two white men to protect us. Even the few small windows had iron
bars across. They could have killed every one of us, and ridden far away
before anyone in the sleepy town found it out.

Well, when those inside had been given, or had helped themselves to,
whatever they wanted, out they all marched again, quickly and silently,
just as they had come in. They instantly mounted their ponies, and all
rode down the street and out of sight at race speed, some leaning so far
over on their little beasts that one could hardly see the Indian at all.
The pony that was ridden into the store door was without a bridle, and
was guided by a long strip of buffalo skin which was fastened around his
lower jaw by a slipknot. It is amazing to see how tractable the Indians
can make their ponies with only that one rein.

The storekeeper told us that those Indians were Utes, and were greatly
excited because they had just heard there was a small party of Cheyennes
down the river two or three miles. The Utes and Cheyennes are bitter
enemies. He said that the Utes were very cross--ready for the blood of
Indian or white man--therefore he had permitted them to do about as they
pleased while in the store, particularly as we were there, and he
saw that we were frightened. That young man did not know that his own
swarthy face was a greenish white all the time those Indians were in the
store! Not one penny did they pay for the things they carried off. Only
two years ago the entire Ute nation was on the warpath, killing every
white person they came across, and one must have much faith in Indians
to believe that their "change of heart" has been so complete that these
Utes have learned to love the white man in so short a time.

No! There was hatred in their eyes as they approached us in that store,
and there was restrained murder in the hand that pushed Mrs. Phillips
and me over. They were all hideous--with streaks of red or green paint
on their faces that made them look like fiends. Their hair was roped
with strips of bright-colored stuff, and hung down on each side of their
shoulders in front, and on the crown of each black head was a small,
tightly plaited lock, ornamented at the top with a feather, a piece of
tin, or something fantastic. These were their scalp locks. They wore
blankets over dirty old shirts, and of course had on long, trouserlike
leggings of skin and moccasins. They were not tall, but rather short and
stocky. The odor of those skins, and of the Indians themselves, in that
stuffy little shop, I expect to smell the rest of my life!

We heard this morning that those very savages rode out on the plains in
a roundabout way, so as to get in advance of the Cheyennes, and then had
hidden themselves on the top of a bluff overlooking the trail they knew
the Cheyennes to be following, and had fired upon them as they passed
below, killing two and wounding a number of others. You can see how
treacherous these Indians are, and how very far from noble is their
method of warfare! They are so disappointing, too--so wholly unlike
Cooper's red men.

We were glad enough to get in the ambulance and start on our way to the
post, but alas! our troubles were not over. The mules must have felt
the excitement in the air, for as soon as their heads were turned toward
home they proceeded to run away with us. We had the four little mules
that are the special pets of the quartermaster, and are known throughout
the garrison as the "shaved-tails," because the hair on their tails is
kept closely cut down to the very tips, where it is left in a square
brush of three or four inches. They are perfectly matched--coal-black
all over, except their little noses, and are quite small. They are full
of mischief, and full of wisdom, too, even for government mules, and
when one says, "Let's take a sprint," the others always agree--about
that there is never the slightest hesitation.

Therefore, when we first heard the scraping of the brake, and saw that
the driver was pulling and sawing at the tough mouths with all his
strength, no one was surprised, but we said that we wished they had
waited until after we had crossed the Arkansas River. But we got over
the narrow bridge without meeting more than one man, who climbed over
the railing and seemed less anxious to meet us than we were to meet him.
As soon as we got on the road again, those mules, with preliminary kicks
and shakes of their big heads, began to demonstrate how fast they
could go. We had the best driver at the post, and the road was good and
without sharp turns, but the ambulance was high and swayed, and the pace
was too fast for comfort.

The little mules ran and ran, and we held ourselves on our seats the
best we could, expecting to be tipped over any minute. When we reached
the post they made a wonderful turn and took us safely to the government
corral, where they stopped, just when they got ready. One leader looked
around at us and commenced to bray, but the driver was in no mood for
such insolence, and jerked the poor thing almost down.

Three tired, disheveled women walked from the corral to their homes; and
very glad one of them was to get home, too! Hereafter I shall confine
myself to horseback riding--for, even if John is frisky at times, I
prefer to take my chances with the one horse, to four little long-eared
government mules! But I have learned to ride very well, and have a
secure seat now. My teachers, Faye and Lieutenant Baldwin, have been
most exacting, but that I wanted. Of course I ride the army way, tight
in the saddle, which is more difficult to learn. Any attempt to "rise"
when on a trot is ridiculed at once here, and it does look absurd after
seeing the splendid and graceful riding of the officers. I am learning
to jump the cavalry hurdles and ditches, too. I must confess, however,
that taking a ditch the first time was more exciting than enjoyable.
John seemed to like it better than I did.

FORT LYON, COLORADO TERRITORY, November, 1871.

IN many of my letters I have written about learning to ride and to
shoot, and have told you, also, of having followed the greyhounds after
coyotes and rabbits with Faye and Lieutenant Baldwin. These hunts exact
the very best of riding and a fast horse, for coyotes are very swift,
and so are jack-rabbits, too, and one look at a greyhound will tell
anyone that he can run--and about twice as fast as the big-eared
foxhounds in the East. But I started to write you about something quite
different from all this--to tell you of a really grand hunt I have been
on--a splendid chase after buffalo!

A week or so ago it was decided that a party of enlisted men should
be sent out to get buffalo meat for Thanksgiving dinner for
everybody--officers and enlisted men--and that Lieutenant Baldwin, who
is an experienced hunter, should command the detail. You can imagine how
proud and delighted I was when asked to go with them. Lieutenant Baldwin
saying that the hunt would be worth seeing, and well repay one for the
fatigue of the hard ride.

So, one morning after an early breakfast, the horses were led up from
the stables, each one having on a strong halter, and a coiled picket
rope with an iron pin fastened to the saddle. These were carried so that
if it should be found necessary to secure the horses on the plains, they
could be picketed out. The bachelors' set of quarters is next to ours,
so we all got ready together, and I must say that the deliberate way
in which each girth was examined, bridles fixed, rifles fastened to
saddles, and other things done, was most exasperating. But we finally
started, about seven o'clock, Lieutenant Baldwin and I taking the lead,
and Faye and Lieutenant Alden following.

The day was very cold, with a strong wind blowing, so I wore one of
Faye's citizen caps, with tabs tied down over my ears, and a large silk
handkerchief around my neck, all of which did not improve my looks
in the least, but it was quite in keeping with the dressing of the
officers, who had on buckskin shirts, with handkerchiefs, leggings, and
moccasins. Two large army wagons followed us, each drawn by four mules,
and carrying several enlisted men. Mounted orderlies led extra horses
that officers and men were to ride when they struck the herd.

Well, we rode twelve miles without seeing one living thing, and then
we came to a little adobe ranch where we dismounted to rest a while. By
this time our feet and hands were almost frozen, and Faye suggested that
I should remain at the ranch until they returned; but that I refused
to do--to give up the hunt was not to be thought of, particularly as
a ranchman had just told us that a small herd of buffalo had been seen
that very morning only two miles farther on. So, when the horses were a
little rested, we started, and, after riding a mile or more, we came to
a small ravine, where we found one poor buffalo, too old and emaciated
to keep up with his companions, and who, therefore, had been abandoned
by them, to die alone. He had eaten the grass as far as he could reach,
and had turned around and around until the ground looked as though it
had been spaded.

He got up on his old legs as we approached him, and tried to show fight
by dropping his head and throwing his horns to the front, but a child
could have pushed him over. One of the officers tried to persuade me to
shoot him, saying it would be a humane act, and at the same time give
me the prestige of having killed a buffalo! But the very thought of
pointing a pistol at anything so weak and utterly helpless was revolting
in the extreme. He was such an object of pity, too, left there all alone
to die of starvation, when perhaps at one time he may have been leader
of his herd. He was very tall, had a fine head, with an uncommonly long
beard, and showed every indication of having been a grand specimen of
his kind.

We left him undisturbed, but only a few minutes later we heard the sharp
report of a rifle, and at once suspected, what we learned to be a
fact the next day, that one of the men with the wagons had killed him.
Possibly this was the most merciful thing to do, but to me that shot
meant murder. The pitiful bleary eyes of the helpless old beast have
haunted me ever since we saw him.

We must have gone at least two miles farther before we saw the herd we
were looking for, making fifteen or sixteen miles altogether that we had
ridden. The buffalo were grazing quietly along a meadow in between low,
rolling hills. We immediately fell back a short distance and waited for
the wagons, and when they came up there was great activity, I assure
you. The officers' saddles were transferred to their hunters, and the
men who were to join in the chase got their horses and rifles ready.
Lieutenant Baldwin gave his instructions to everybody, and all started
off, each one going in a different direction so as to form a cordon,
Faye said, around the whole herd. Faye would not join in the hunt, but
remained with me the entire day. He and I rode over the hill, stopping
when we got where we could command a good view of the valley and watch
the run.

It seemed only a few minutes when we saw the buffalo start, going from
some of the men, of course, who at once began to chase them. This kept
them running straight ahead, and, fortunately, in Lieutenant Baldwin's
direction, who apparently was holding his horse in, waiting for them
to come. We saw through our field glasses that as soon as they got
near enough he made a quick dash for the herd, and cutting one out, had
turned it so it was headed straight for us.

Now, being on a buffalo hunt a safe distance off, was one thing, but to
have one of those huge animals come thundering along like a steam
engine directly upon you, was quite another. I was on one of Lieutenant
Baldwin's horses, too, and I felt that there might be danger of his
bolting to his companion, Tom, when he saw him dashing by, and as I was
not anxious to join in a buffalo chase just at that time, I begged Faye
to go with me farther up the hill. But he would not go back one step,
assuring me that my horse was a trained hunter and accustomed to such
sights.

Lieutenant Baldwin gained steadily on the buffalo, and in a wonderfully
short time both passed directly in front of us--within a hundred feet,
Faye said. Lieutenant Baldwin was close upon him then, his horse looking
very small and slender by the side of the grand animal that was taking
easy, swinging strides, apparently without effort and without speed, his
tongue lolling at one side. But we could see that the pace was really
terrific--that Lieutenant Baldwin was freely using the spur, and that
his swift thoroughbred was stretched out like a greyhound, straining
every muscle in his effort to keep up. He was riding close to the
buffalo on his left, with revolver in his right hand, and I wondered why
he did not shoot, but Faye said it would be useless to fire then--that
Lieutenant Baldwin must get up nearer the shoulder, as a buffalo is
vulnerable only in certain parts of his body, and that a hunter of
experience like Lieutenant Baldwin would never think of shooting unless
he could aim at heart or lungs.

My horse behaved very well--just whirling around a few times--but Faye
was kept busy a minute or two by his, for the poor horse was awfully
frightened, and lunged and reared and snorted; but I knew that he could
not unseat Faye, so I rather enjoyed it, for you know I had wanted to go
back a little!

Lieutenant Baldwin and the buffalo were soon far away, and when our
horses had quieted down we recalled that shots had been fired in another
direction, and looking about, we saw a pathetic sight. Lieutenant
Alden was on his horse, and facing him was an immense buffalo, standing
perfectly still with chin drawn in and horns to the front, ready for
battle. It was plain to be seen that the poor horse was not enjoying
the meeting, for every now and then he would try to back away, or give
a jump sideways. The buffalo was wounded and unable to run, but he could
still turn around fast enough to keep his head toward the horse, and
this he did every time Lieutenant Alden tried to get an aim at his side.

There was no possibility of his killing him without assistance, and
of course the poor beast could not be abandoned in such a helpless
condition, so Faye decided to go over and worry him, while Lieutenant
Alden got in the fatal shot. As soon as Faye got there I put my fingers
over my ears so that I would not hear the report of the pistol. After
a while I looked across, and there was the buffalo still standing, and
both Faye and Lieutenant Alden were beckoning for me to come to them. At
first I could not understand what they wanted, and I started to go over,
but it finally dawned upon me that they were actually waiting for me to
come and kill that buffalo! I saw no glory in shooting a wounded animal,
so I turned my horse back again, but had not gone far before I heard the
pistol shot.

Then I rode over to see the huge animal, and found Faye and Lieutenant
Alden in a state of great excitement. They said he was a magnificent
specimen--unusually large, and very black--what they call a blue
skin--with a splendid head and beard. I had been exposed to a bitterly
cold wind, without the warming exercise of riding, for over an hour, and
my hands were so cold and stiff that I could scarcely hold the reins,
so they jumped me up on the shoulders of the warm body, and I buried
my hands in the long fur on his neck. He fell on his wounded side,
and looked precisely as though he was asleep---so much so that I
half expected him to spring up and resent the indignity he was being
subjected to.

Very soon after that Faye and I came on home, reaching the post about
seven o'clock. We had been in our saddles most of the time for twelve
hours, on a cold day, and were tired and stiff, and when Faye tried
to assist me from my horse I fell to the ground in a heap. But I got
through the day very well, considering the very short time I have
been riding--that is, really riding. The hunt was a grand sight, and
something that probably I will never have a chance of seeing again--and,
to be honest, I do not want to see another, for the sight of one of
those splendid animals running for his life is not a pleasant one.

The rest of the party did not come in until several hours later;
but they brought the meat and skins of four buffalo, and the head of
Lieutenant Alden's, which he will send East to be mounted. The skin
he intends to take to an Indian camp, to be tanned by the squaws.
Lieutenant Baldwin followed his buffalo until he got in the position he
wanted, and then killed him with one shot. Faye says that only a cool
head and experience could have done that. Much depends upon the horse,
too, for so many horses are afraid of a buffalo, and lunge sideways just
at the critical moment.

Several experienced hunters tell marvelous tales of how they have
stood within a few yards of a buffalo and fired shot after shot from a
Springfield rifle, straight at his head, the balls producing no effect
whatever, except, perhaps, a toss of the head and the flying out of a
tuft of hair. Every time the ball would glance off from the thick skull.
The wonderful mat of curly hair must break the force some, too. This
mat, or cushion, in between the horns of the buffalo Lieutenant Alden
killed, was so thick and tangled that I could not begin to get my
fingers in it.

FORT LYON, COLORADO TERRITORY, December, 1871.

OUR first Christmas on the frontier was ever so pleasant, but it
certainly was most vexatious not to have that box from home. And I
expect that it has been at Kit Carson for days, waiting to be brought
down. We had quite a little Christmas without it, however, for a number
of things came from the girls, and several women of the garrison sent
pretty little gifts to me. It was so kind and thoughtful of them
to remember that I might be a bit homesick just now. All the little
presents were spread out on a table, and in a way to make them present
as fine an appearance as possible. Then I printed in large letters, on a
piece of cardboard, "One box--contents unknown!" and stood it up on the
back of the table. I did this to let everyone know that we had not been
forgotten by home people. My beautiful new saddle was brought in, also,
for although I had had it several weeks, it was really one of Faye's
Christmas gifts to me.

They have such a charming custom in the Army of going along the line
Christmas morning and giving each other pleasant greetings and looking
at the pretty things everyone has received. This is a rare treat out
here, where we are so far from shops and beautiful Christmas displays.
We all went to the bachelors' quarters, almost everyone taking over some
little remembrance--homemade candy, cakes, or something of that sort.

I had a splendid cake to send over that morning, and I will tell you
just what happened to it. At home we always had a large fruit cake made
for the holidays, long in advance, and I thought I would have one this
year as near like it as possible. But it seemed that the only way to get
it was to make it. So, about four weeks ago, I commenced. It was quite
an undertaking for me, as I had never done anything of the kind, and
perhaps I did not go about it the easiest way, but I knew how it should
look when done, and of course I knew precisely how it should taste.
Eliza makes delicious every-day cake, but was no assistance whatever
with the fruit cake, beyond encouraging me with the assurance that it
would not matter in the least if it should be heavy.

Well, for two long, tiresome days I worked over that cake, preparing
with my own fingers every bit of the fruit, which I consider was a fine
test of perseverance and staying qualities. After the ingredients were
all mixed together there seemed to be enough for a whole regiment, so we
decided to make two cakes of it. They looked lovely when baked, and just
right, and smelled so good, too! I wrapped them in nice white paper that
had been wet with brandy, and put them carefully away--one in a stone
jar, the other in a tin box--and felt that I had done a remarkably fine
bit of housekeeping. The bachelors have been exceedingly kind to me,
and I rejoiced at having a nice cake to send them Christmas morning. But
alas! I forgot that the little house was fragrant with the odor of spice
and fruit, and that there was a man about who was ever on the lookout
for good things to eat. It is a shame that those cadets at West Point
are so starved. They seem to be simply famished for months after they
graduate.

It so happened that there was choir practice that very evening, and that
I was at the chapel an hour or so. When I returned, I found the three
bachelors sitting around the open fire, smoking, and looking very
comfortable indeed. Before I was quite in the room they all stood up
and began to praise the cake. I think Faye was the first to mention
it, saying it was a "great success"; then the others said "perfectly
delicious," and so on, but at the same time assuring me that a large
piece had been left for me.

For one minute I stood still, not in the least grasping their meaning;
but finally I suspected mischief, they all looked so serenely contented.
So I passed on to the dining room, and there, on the table, was one of
the precious cakes---at least what was left of it, the very small piece
that had been so generously saved for me. And there were plates with
crumbs, and napkins, that told the rest of the sad tale--and there was
wine and empty glasses, also. Oh, yes! Their early Christmas had been
a fine one. There was nothing for me to say or do--at least not just
then--so I went back to the little living-room and forced myself to
be halfway pleasant to the four men who were there, each one looking
precisely like the cat after it had eaten the canary! The cake was
scarcely cold, and must have been horribly sticky--and I remember
wondering, as I sat there, which one would need the doctor first, and
what the doctor would do if they were all seized with cramps at the same
time. But they were not ill--not in the least--which proved that the
cake was well baked. If they had discovered the other one, however,
there is no telling what might have happened.

At half after ten yesterday the chaplain held service, and the little
chapel was crowded--so many of the enlisted men were present. We sang
our Christmas music, and received many compliments. Our little choir
is really very good. Both General Phillips and Major Pierce have fine
voices. One of the infantry sergeants plays the organ now, for it was
quite too hard for me to sing and work those old pedals. Once I forgot
them entirely, and everybody smiled--even the chaplain!

From the chapel we--that is, the company officers and their wives--went
to the company barracks to see the men's dinner tables. When we entered
the dining hall we found the entire company standing in two lines, one
down each side, every man in his best inspection uniform, and every
button shining. With eyes to the front and hands down their sides they
looked absurdly like wax figures waiting to be "wound up," and I did
want so much to tell the little son of General Phillips to pinch one and
make him jump. He would have done it, too, and then put all the blame
upon me, without loss of time.

The first sergeant came to meet us, and went around with us. There
were three long tables, fairly groaning with things upon them: buffalo,
antelope, boiled ham, several kinds of vegetables, pies, cakes,
quantities of pickles, dried "apple-duff," and coffee, and in the center
of each table, high up, was a huge cake thickly covered with icing.
These were the cakes that Mrs. Phillips, Mrs. Barker, and I had sent
over that morning. It is the custom in the regiment for the wives of
the officers every Christmas to send the enlisted men of their husbands'
companies large plum cakes, rich with fruit and sugar. Eliza made the
cake I sent over, a fact I made known from its very beginning, to keep
it from being devoured by those it was not intended for.

The hall was very prettily decorated with flags and accoutrements,
but one missed the greens. There are no evergreen trees here, only
cottonwood. Before coming out, General Phillips said a few pleasant
words to the men, wishing them a "Merry Christmas" for all of us.
Judging from the laughing and shuffling of feet as soon as we got
outside, the men were glad to be allowed to relax once more.

At six o'clock Faye and I, Lieutenant Baldwin, and Lieutenant Alden
dined with Doctor and Mrs. Wilder. It was a beautiful little dinner,
very delicious, and served in the daintiest manner possible. But out
here one is never quite sure of what one is eating, for sometimes
the most tempting dishes are made of almost nothing. At holiday time,
however, it seems that the post trader sends to St. Louis for turkeys,
celery, canned oysters, and other things. We have no fresh vegetables
here, except potatoes, and have to depend upon canned stores in the
commissary for a variety, and our meat consists entirely of beef, except
now and then, when we may have a treat to buffalo or antelope.

The commanding officer gave a dancing party Friday evening that was most
enjoyable. He is a widower, you know. His house is large, and the rooms
of good size, so that dancing was comfortable. The music consisted of
one violin with accordion accompaniment. This would seem absurd in the
East, but I can assure you that one accordion, when played well by a
German, is an orchestra in itself. And Doos plays very well. The girls
East may have better music to dance by, and polished waxed floors to
slip down upon, but they cannot have the excellent partners one has at
an army post, and I choose the partners!

The officers are excellent dancers--every one of them--and when you are
gliding around, your chin, or perhaps your nose, getting a scratch now
and then from a gorgeous gold epaulet, you feel as light as a feather,
and imagine yourself with a fairy prince. Of course the officers were in
full-dress uniform Friday night, so I know just what I am talking about,
scratches and all. Every woman appeared in her finest gown. I wore my
nile-green silk, which I am afraid showed off my splendid coat of tan
only too well.

The party was given for Doctor and Mrs. Anderson, who are guests of
General Bourke for a few days. They are en route to Fort Union,
New Mexico. Mrs. Anderson was very handsome in an elegant gown of
London-smoke silk. I am to assist Mrs. Phillips in receiving New Year's
day, and shall wear my pearl-colored Irish poplin. We are going out now
for a little ride.

FORT LYON, COLORADO TERRITORY, January, 1872.

WHEN we came over on the stage from Kit Carson last fall, I sat on top
with the driver, who told me of many terrible experiences he had passed
through during the years he had been driving a stage on the plains, and
some of the most thrilling were of sand storms, when he had, with great
difficulty, saved the stage and perhaps his own life. There have been
ever so many storms, since we have been here, that covered everything in
the houses with dust and sand, but nothing at all like those the driver
described. But yesterday one came--a terrific storm--and it so happened
that I was caught out in the fiercest part of it.

As Faye was officer of the day, he could not leave the garrison, so
I rode with Lieutenant Baldwin and Lieutenant Alden. The day was
glorious--sunny, and quite warm--one of Colorado's very best, without a
cloud to be seen in any direction. We went up the river to the mouth of
a pretty little stream commonly called "The Picket Wire," but the real
name of which is La Purgatoire. It is about five miles from the post
and makes a nice objective point for a short ride, for the clear water
gurgling over the stones, and the trees and bushes along its banks, are
always attractive in this treeless country.

The canter up was brisk, and after giving our horses the drink from the
running stream they always beg for, we started back on the road to the
post in unusually fine spirits. Almost immediately, however, Lieutenant
Baldwin said, "I do not like the looks of that cloud over there!" We
glanced back in the direction he pointed, and seeing only a streak
of dark gray low on the horizon, Lieutenant Alden and I paid no more
attention to it. But Lieutenant Baldwin was very silent, and ever
looking back at the queer gray cloud. Once I looked at it, too, and was
amazed at the wonderfully fast way it had spread out, but just then John
shied at something, and in managing the horse I forgot the cloud.

When about two miles from the post, Lieutenant Baldwin, who had fallen
back a little, called to us, "Put your horses to their best pace--a sand
storm is coming!" Then we knew there was a possibility of much
danger, for Lieutenant Baldwin is known to be a keen observer, and our
confidence in his judgment was great, so, without once looking back to
see what was coming after us, Lieutenant Alden and I started our horses
on a full run.

Well, that cloud increased in size with a rapidity you could never
imagine, and soon the sun was obscured as if by an eclipse. It became
darker and darker, and by the time we got opposite the post trader's
there could be heard a loud, continuous roar, resembling that of a heavy
waterfall.

Just then Lieutenant Baldwin grasped my bridle rein on the right and
told Lieutenant Alden to ride close on my left, which was done not a
second too soon, for as we reached the officers' line the storm struck
us, and with such force that I was almost swept from my saddle. The wind
was terrific and going at hurricane speed, and the air so thick with
sand and dirt we could not see the ears of our own horses. The world
seemed to have narrowed to a space that was appalling! You will think
that this could never have been--that I was made blind by terror--but I
can assure you that the absolute truth is being written.

Lieutenant Baldwin's voice sounded strange and far, far away when he
called to me, "Sit tight in your saddle and do not jump!" And then
again he fairly yelled, "We must stay together--and keep the horses from
stampeding to the stables!" He was afraid they would break away and
dash us against the iron supports to the flagstaff in the center of the
parade ground. How he could say one word, or even open his mouth, I do
not understand, for the air was thick with gritty dirt. The horses were
frantic, of course, whirling around each other, rearing and pulling, in
their efforts to get free.

We must have stayed in about the same place twenty minutes or longer,
when, just for one instant, there was a lull in the storm, and I caught
a glimpse of the white pickets of a fence! Without stopping to think of
horse's hoofs and, alas! without calling one word to the two officers
who were doing everything possible to protect me, I shut my eyes tight,
freed my foot from the stirrup, and, sliding down from my horse, started
for those pickets! How I missed Lieutenant Alden's horse, and how I got
to that fence, I do not know. The force of the wind was terrific, and
besides, I was obliged to cross the little acequia. But I did get over
the fifteen or sixteen feet of ground without falling, and oh, the joy
of getting my arms around those pickets!

The storm continued for some time; but finally the atmosphere began
to clear, and I could see objects around me. And then out of the dust
loomed up Lieutenant Baldwin. He was about halfway down the line and
riding close to the fence, evidently looking for me. When he came up,
leading my horse, his face was black with more than dirt. He reminded me
of having told me positively not to jump from my horse, and asked if
I realized that I might have been knocked down and killed by the crazy
animals. Of course I had perceived all that as soon as I reached safety,
but I could not admit my mistake at that time without breaking down and
making a scene. I was nervous and exhausted, and in no condition to be
scolded by anyone, so I said: "If you were not an old bachelor you would
have known better than to have told a woman not to do a thing--you would
have known that, in all probability, that would be the very thing she
would do first!" That mollified him a little, but we did not laugh--life
had just been too serious for that.

The chaplain had joined us, and so had Lieutenant Alden. The fence I had
run to was the chaplain's, and when the good man saw us he came out and
assisted me to his house, where I received the kindest care from Mrs.
Lawton. I knew that Faye would be greatly worried about me, so as soon
as I had rested a little--enough to walk--and had got some of the dust
out of my eyes, the chaplain and I hurried down to our house to let him
know that I was safe.

At every house along the line the heavy shutters were closed, and not
one living thing was to be seen, and the post looked as though it might
have been long abandoned. There was a peculiar light, too, that made the
most familiar objects seem strange. Yes, we saw a squad of enlisted men
across the parade ground, trying with immense ropes to get back in place
the heavy roof of the long commissary building which had been partly
blown off.

We met Faye at our gate, just starting out to look for us. He said that
when the storm first came up he was frightened about me, but when the
broad adobe house began to rock he came to the conclusion that I was
about as safe out on the plains as I would be in a house, particularly
as I was on a good horse, and with two splendid horsemen who would take
the very best care of me. My plait of hair was one mass of dirt and was
cut and torn, and is still in a deplorable condition, and my face looks
as though I had just recovered from smallpox. As it was Monday, the
washing of almost every family was out on lines, about every article of
which has gone to regions unknown. The few pieces that were Caught by
the high fences were torn to shreds.

FORT LYON, COLORADO TERRITORY, January, 1872.

OUR little party was a grand success, but I am still wondering how it
came about that Mrs. Barker and I gave it together, for, although we
are all in the same company and next-door neighbors, we have seen very
little of each other. She is very quiet, and seldom goes out, even for
a walk. It was an easy matter to arrange things so the two houses could,
in a way, be connected, as they are under the same long roof, and the
porches divided by a railing only, that was removed for the one evening.
The dancing was in our house, and the supper was served at the Barkers'.
And that supper was a marvel of culinary art, I assure you, even if it
was a fraud in one or two things, We were complimented quite graciously
by some of the older housekeepers, who pride themselves upon knowing how
to make more delicious little dishes out of nothing than anyone else.
But this time it was North and South combined, for you will remember
that Mrs. Barker is from Virginia.

The chicken salad--and it was delicious--was made of tender veal, but
the celery in it was the genuine article, for we sent to Kansas City for
that and a few other things. The turkey galantine was perfect, and the
product of a resourceful brain from the North, and was composed almost
entirely of wild goose! There was no April fool about the delicate
Maryland biscuits, however, and other nice things that were set forth.
We fixed up cozily the back part of our hall with comfortable chairs and
cushions, and there punch was served during the evening. Major Barker
and Faye made the punch. The orchestra might have been better, but the
two violins and the accordion gave us music that was inspiring, and gave
us noise, too, and then Doos, who played the accordion, kept us merry by
the ever-pounding down of one government-shod foot.

Everyone in the garrison came--even the chaplain was here during the
supper. The officers Were in full-dress uniform, and the only man in
plain evening dress was Mr. Dunn, the post trader, and in comparison to
the gay uniforms of the officers he did look so sleek, from his shiny
black hair down to the toes of his shiny black pumps! Mrs. Barker and
I received, of course, and she was very pretty in a pink silk gown
entirely covered with white net, that was caught up at many places
by artificial pink roses. The color was most becoming, and made very
pronounced the rich tint of her dark skin and her big black eyes.

Well, we danced before supper and we danced after supper, and when we
were beginning to feel just a wee bit tired, there suddenly appeared in
our midst a colored woman--a real old-time black mammy--in a dress
of faded, old-fashioned plaids, with kerchief, white apron, and a
red-and-yellow turban tied around her head. We were dancing at the time
she came in, but everyone stopped at once, completely lost in amazement,
and she had the floor to herself. This was what she wanted, and she
immediately commenced to dance wildly and furiously, as though she was
possessed, rolling her big eyes and laughing to show the white teeth.
Gradually she quieted down to a smooth, rhythmic motion, slowly swaying
from side to side, sometimes whirling around, but with feet always flat
on the floor, often turning on her heels. All the time her arms were
extended and her fingers snapping, and snapping also were the
black eyes. She was the personification of grace, but the dance was
weird--made the more so by the setting of bright evening dresses and
glittering uniforms. One never sees a dance of this sort these days,
even in the South, any more than one sees the bright-colored turban.
Both have passed with the old-time darky.

Of course we recognized Mrs. Barker, more because there was no one else
in our small community who could personify a darky so perfectly, than
because there was any resemblance to her in looks or gesture. The
make-up was artistic, and how she managed the quick transformation
from ball dress to that of the plantation, with all its black paint and
rouge, Mrs. Barker alone knows, and where on this earth she got that
dress and turban, she alone knows. But I imagine she sent to Virginia
for the whole costume. At all events, it was very bright in her to think
of this unusual divertissement for our guests when dancing was beginning
to lag a little. The dance she must have learned from a mammy when a
child. I forgot to say that during the time she was dancing our fine
orchestra played old Southern melodies. And all this was arranged and
done by the quietest woman in the garrison!

Our house was upset from one end to the other to make room for the
dancing, but the putting of things in order again did not take long, as
the house has so very little in it. Still, I always feel rebellious when
anything comes up to interfere with my rides, no matter how pleasant it
may be. There have been a great many antelope near the post of late,
and we have been on ever so many hunts for them. The greyhounds have not
been with us, however, for following the hounds when chasing those fleet
animals not only requires the fastest kind of a horse and very good
riding, but is exceedingly dangerous to both horse and rider because of
the many prairie-dog holes, which are terrible death traps. And besides,
the dogs invariably get their feet full of cactus needles, which cause
much suffering for days.

So we have been flagging the antelope, that is, taking a shameful
advantage of their wonderful curiosity, and enticing them within rifle
range. On these hunts I usually hold the horses of the three officers
and my own, and so far they have not given me much trouble, for each one
is a troop-trained animal.

The antelope are shy and wary little creatures, and possess an abnormal
sense of smell that makes it absolutely necessary for hunters to move
cautiously to leeward the instant they discover them. It is always an
easy matter to find a little hill that will partly screen them--the
country is so rolling--as they creep and crawl to position, ever mindful
of the dreadful cactus. When they reach the highest point the flag
is put up, and this is usually made on the spot, of a red silk
handkerchief, one corner run through the rammer of a Springfield rifle.
Then everyone lies down flat on the ground, resting on his elbows, with
rifle in position for firing.

Antelope always graze against the wind, and even a novice can tell when
they discover the flag, for they instantly stop feeding, and the entire
band will whirl around to face it, with big round ears standing straight
up, and in this way they will remain a second or two, constantly
sniffing the air. Failing to discover anything dangerous, they will take
a few steps forward, perhaps run around a little, giving quick tossings
of the head, and sniffing with almost every breath, but whatever they
do the stop is always in the same position--facing the flag, the strange
object they cannot understand. Often they will approach very slowly,
making frequent halts after little runs, and give many tossings of the
head as if they were actually coquetting with death itself! Waiting for
them to come within range of the rifle requires great patience, for the
approach is always more or less slow, and frequently just as they are at
the right distance and the finger is on the trigger, off the whole
band will streak, looking like horizontal bars of brown and white! I am
always so glad when they do this, for it seems so wicked to kill such
graceful creatures. It is very seldom that I watch the approach, but
when I do happen to see them come up, the temptation to do something to
frighten them away from those murderous guns is almost irresistible.

But never once are they killed for mere pleasure! Their meat is tender
and most delicious after one has learned to like the "gamey" flavor.
And a change in meat we certainly do need here, for unless we can have
buffalo or antelope now and then, it is beef every day in the month--not
only one month, but every month.

The prairie-dog holes are great obstacles to following hounds on the
plains, for while running so fast it is impossible for a horse to see
the holes in time to avoid them, and if a foot slips down in one it
means a broken leg for the horse and a hard throw for the rider, and
perhaps broken bones also. Following these English greyhounds--which
have such wonderful speed and keenness of sight--after big game on vast
plains, is very different from running after the slow hounds and foxes
in the East, and requires a very much faster horse and quite superior
riding. One has to learn to ride a horse--to get a perfect balance that
makes it a matter of indifference which-way the horse may jump, at any
speed--in fact, one must become a part of one's mount before these hunts
can be attempted.

Chasing wolves and rabbits is not as dangerous, for they cannot begin
to run as fast as antelope. And it is great fun to chase the big
jack-rabbits. They know their own speed perfectly and have great
confidence in it. When the hounds start one he will give one or two
jumps high up in the air to take a look at things, and then he commences
to run with great bounds, with his enormously long ears straight up like
sails on a boat, and almost challenges the dogs to follow. But the
poor hunted thing soon finds out that he must do better than that if
he wishes to keep ahead, so down go the ears, flat along his back, and
stretching himself out very straight, goes his very fastest, and then
the real chase is on.

But Mr. Jack-Rabbit is cunning, and when he sees that the long-legged
dogs are steadily gaining upon him and getting closer with every jump,
he will invariably make a quick turn and run back on his own tracks,
often going right underneath the fast-running dogs that cannot stop
themselves, and can only give vicious snaps as they jump over him. Their
stride--often fifteen and twenty feet--covers so much more ground
than the rabbit's, it is impossible for them to make as quick turns,
therefore it is generally the slow dog of the pack that catches the
rabbit. And frequently a wise old rabbit will make many turns and
finally reach a hole in safety.

The tail of a greyhound is his rudder and his brake, and the sight is
most laughable when a whole pack of them are trying to stop, each tail
whirling around like a Dutch windmill. Sometimes, in their frantic
efforts to stop quickly, they will turn complete somersaults and roll
over in a cloud of dust and dirt. But give up they never do, and once
on their feet they start back after that rabbit with whines of
disappointment and rage. Many, many times, also, I have heard the dogs
howl and whine from the pain caused by the cactus spines in their feet,
but not once have I ever seen any one of them lag in the chase.

But the pack here is a notoriously fine one. The leader. Magic, is a
splendid dog, dark brindle in color, very swift and very plucky,
also most intelligent. He is a sly rascal, too. He loves to sleep
on Lieutenant Baldwin's bed above all things, and he sneaks up on it
whenever he can, but the instant he hears Lieutenant Baldwin's step on
the walk outside, down he jumps, and stretching himself out full length
in front of the fire, he shuts his eyes tight, pretends to be fast
asleep, and the personification of an innocent, well-behaved dog! But
Lieutenant Baldwin knows his tricks now, and sometimes, going to the
bed, he can feel the warmth from his body that is still there, and if he
says, "Magic, you old villain," Magic will wag his tail a little, which
in dog language means, "You are pretty smart, but I'm smart, too!"

With all this outdoor exercise, one can readily perceive that the
days are not long and tiresome. Of course there are a few who yawn
and complain of the monotony of frontier life, but these are the
stay-at-homes who sit by their own fires day after day and let cobwebs
gather in brain and lungs. And these, too, are the ones who have time to
discover so many faults in others, and become our garrison gossips! If
they would take brisk rides on spirited horses in this wonderful air,
and learn to shoot all sorts of guns in all sorts of positions,
they would soon discover that a frontier post can furnish plenty of
excitement. At least, I have found that it can.

Faye was very anxious for me to become a good shot, considering it
most essential in this Indian country, and to please him I commenced
practicing soon after we got here. It was hard work at first, and I had
many a bad headache from the noise of the guns. It was all done in a
systematic way, too, as though I was a soldier at target practice. They
taught me to use a pistol in various positions while standing; then
I learned to use it from the saddle. After that a little four-inch
bull's-eye was often tacked to a tree seventy-five paces away, and I
was given a Spencer carbine to shoot (a short magazine rifle used by the
cavalry), and many a time I have fired three rounds, twenty-one shots in
all, at the bull's-eye, which I was expected to hit every time, too.

Well, I obligingly furnished amusement for Faye and Lieutenant Baldwin
until they asked me to fire a heavy Springfield rifle--an infantry gun.
After one shot I politely refused to touch the thing again. The noise
came near making me deaf for life; the big thing rudely "kicked" me over
on my back, and the bullet--I expect that ball is still on its way to
Mars or perhaps the moon. This earth it certainly did not hit! Faye is
with the company almost every morning, but after luncheon we usually
go out for two or three hours, and always come back refreshed by the
exercise. And the little house looks more cozy, and the snapping of the
blazing logs sounds more cheerful because of our having been away from
them.

FORT LYON, COLORADO TERRITORY, April, 1872.

SOME of the most dreadful things have occurred since I wrote you last,
and this letter will make you unhappy, I know. To begin with, orders
have actually come from Department Headquarters at Leavenworth for two
companies of infantry here--General Phillips' and Captain Giddings'--to
go to Camp Supply! So that is settled, and we will probably leave this
post in about ten days, and during that time we are expected to sell,
give away, smash up, or burn about everything we possess, for we have
already been told that very few things can be taken with us. I do not
see how we can possibly do with less than we have had since we came
here.

Eliza announced at once that she could not be induced to go where there
are so many Indians--said she had seen enough of them while in New
Mexico. I am more than sorry to lose her, but at the same time I cannot
help admiring her common sense. I would not go either if I could avoid
it.

You will remember that not long ago I said that Lieutenant Baldwin was
urging me to ride Tom, his splendid thoroughbred, as soon as he could be
quieted down a little so I could control him. Well, I was to have ridden
him to-day for the first time! Yesterday morning Lieutenant Baldwin had
him out for a long, hard run, but even after that the horse was nervous
when he came in, and danced sideways along the officers' drive in his
usual graceful way. Just as they got opposite the chaplain's house, two
big St. Bernard dogs bounded over the fence and landed directly under
the horse, entangling themselves with his legs so completely that when
he tried to jump away from them he was thrown down on his knees with
great force, and Lieutenant Baldwin was pitched over the horse's head
and along the ground several feet.

He is a tall, muscular man and went down heavily, breaking three ribs
and his collar bone on both sides! He is doing very well, and is as
comfortable to-day as can be expected, except that he is grieving
piteously over his horse, for the poor horse--beautiful Tom--is utterly
ruined! Both knees have been sprung, and he is bandaged almost as much
as his master.

The whole occurrence is most deplorable and distressing. It seems so
dreadful that a strong man should be almost killed and a grand horse
completely ruined by two clumsy, ill-mannered dogs. One belongs to the
chaplain, too, who is expected to set a model example for the rest of
us. Many, many times during the winter I have ridden by the side of Tom,
and had learned to love every one of his pretty ways, from the working
of his expressive ears to the graceful movement of his slender legs. He
was a horse for anyone to be proud of, not only for his beauty but as a
hunter, too, and he was Lieutenant Baldwin's delight and joy.

It does seem as if everything horrible had come all at once. The order
we have been expecting, of course, as so many rumors have reached us
that we were to go, but all the time there has been hidden away a little
hope that we might be left here another year.

I shall take the greyhound puppy, of course. He is with Blue, his
mother, at Captain Richardson's quarters, but he is brought over every
day for me to see. His coat is brindled, dark brown and black--just like
Magic's--and fine as the softest satin. One foot is white, and there is
a little white tip to his tail, which, it seems, is considered a mark of
great beauty in a greyhound. We have named him Harold.

Nothing has been done about packing yet, as the orders have just been
received. The carpenters in the company will not be permitted to do one
thing for us until the captain and first lieutenant have had made every
box and crate they want for the move. I am beginning to think that it
must be nice to be even a first lieutenant. But never mind, perhaps Faye
will get his captaincy in twenty years or so, and then it will be all
"fair and square."

FORT LYON, COLORADO TERRITORY, May, 1872.

EVERYTHING is packed or disposed of, and we are ready to start to-morrow
on the long march to Camp Supply. Two large army wagons have been
allowed to each company for the officers' baggage, but as all three
officers are present with the company Faye is in, and the captain has
taken one of the wagons for his own use, we can have just one half of
one of those wagons to take our household goods to a country where it is
absolutely impossible to purchase one thing! We have given away almost
all of our furniture, and were glad that we had bought so little when
we came here. Our trunks and several boxes are to be sent by freight to
Hays City at our own expense, and from there down to the post by wagon,
and if we ever see them again I will be surprised, as Camp Supply is
about one hundred and fifty miles from the railroad. We are taking
only one barrel of china--just a few pieces we considered the most
necessary--and this morning Faye discovered that the first lieutenant
had ordered that one barrel to be taken from the wagon to make more room
for his own things. Faye ordered it to be put back at once, and says it
will stay there, too, and I fancy it will! Surely we are entitled to all
of our one half of the wagon--second choice at that.

I am to ride in an ambulance with Mrs. Phillips, her little son and her
cook, Mrs. Barker and her small son. There will be seats for only four,
as the middle seat has been taken out to make room for a comfortable
rocking-chair that will be for Mrs. Phillips's exclusive use! The dear
little greyhound puppy I have to leave here. Faye says I must not take
him with so many in the ambulance, as he would undoubtedly be in the
way. But I am sure the puppy would not be as troublesome as one small
boy, and there will be two small boys with us. It would be quite bad
enough to be sent to such a terrible place as Camp Supply has been
represented to us, without having all this misery and mortification
added, and all because Faye happens to be a second lieutenant!

I have cried and cried over all these things until I am simply hideous,
but I have to go just the same, and I have made up my mind never again
to make myself so wholly disagreeable about a move, no matter where we
may have to go. I happened to recall yesterday what grandmother said to
me when saying good-by: "It is a dreadful thing not to become a woman
when one ceases to be a girl!" I am no longer a girl, I suppose, so I
must try to be a woman, as there seems to be nothing in between. One can
find a little comfort, too, in the thought that there is no worse place
possible for us to be sent to, and when once there we can look forward
to better things sometime in the future. I do not mind the move as much
as the unpleasant experiences connected with it.

But I shall miss the kind friends, the grand hunts and delightful rides,
and shall long for dear old John, who has carried me safely so many,
many miles.

Lieutenant Baldwin is still ill and very depressed, and Doctor Wilder is
becoming anxious about him. It is so dreadful for such a powerful man as
he has been to be so really broken in pieces. He insists upon being up
and around, which is bad, very bad, for the many broken bones.

I will write whenever I find an opportunity.

OLD FORT ZARAH, KANSAS, April, 1872.

OUR camp to-night is near the ruins of a very old fort, and ever
since we got here, the men have been hunting rattlesnakes that have
undoubtedly been holding possession of the tumble-down buildings, many
snake generations. Dozens and dozens have been killed, of all sizes,
some of them being very large. The old quarters were evidently made of
sods and dirt, and must have been dreadful places to live in even when
new.

I must tell you at once that I have the little greyhound. I simply took
matters in my own hands and got him! We came only five miles our first
day out, and after the tents had been pitched that night and the various
dinners commenced, it was discovered that many little things had been
left behind, so General Phillips decided to send an ambulance and two
or three men back to the post for them, and to get the mail at the same
time. It so happened that Burt, our own striker, was one of the men
detailed to go, and when I heard this I at once thought of the puppy I
wanted so much. I managed to see Burt before he started, and when asked
if he could bring the little dog to me he answered so heartily, "That
I can, mum," I felt that the battle was half won, for I knew that if
I could once get the dog in camp he would take care of him, even if I
could not.

Burt brought him and kept him in his tent that night, and the little
fellow seemed to know that he should be good, for Burt told me that he
did not whimper once, notwithstanding it was his first night from his
mother and little companions. The next morning, when he was brought to
me, Faye's face was funny, and after one look of astonishment at the
puppy he hurried out of the tent--so I could not see him laugh, I think.
He is quite as pleased as I am, now, to have the dog, for he gives
no trouble whatever. He is fed condensed milk, and I take care of him
during the day and Burt has him at night. He is certainly much better
behaved in the ambulance than either of the small boys who step upon
our feet, get into fierce fights, and keep up a racket generally. The
mothers have been called upon to settle so many quarrels between their
sons, that the atmosphere in the ambulance has become quite frigid.

The day we came from the post, while I was grieving for the little
greyhound and many other things I had not been permitted to bring with
me, and the rocking-chair was bruising my ankles, I felt that it was not
dignified in me to submit to the treatment I was being subjected to, and
I decided to rebel. Mrs. Barker and her small son had been riding on the
back seat, and I felt that I was as much entitled to a seat here as the
boy, nevertheless I had been sitting on the seat with Mrs. Phillips's
servant and riding backward. This was the only place that had been left
for me at the post that morning. After thinking it all over I made up my
mind to take the small boy's seat, but just where he would sit I did not
know.

When I returned to the ambulance after the next rest--I was careful
to get there first--I sat down on the back seat and made myself
comfortable, but I must admit that my heart was giving awful thumps, for
Mrs. Barker's sharp tongue and spitfire temper are well known. My head
was aching because of my having ridden backward, and I was really cross,
and this Mrs. Barker may have noticed, for not one word did she say
directly to me, but she said much to her son--much that I might have
resented had I felt inclined. The small boy sat on his mother's lap and
expressed his disapproval by giving me vicious kicks every few minutes.

Not one word was said the next morning when I boldly carried the puppy
to that seat. Mrs. Barker looked at the dog, then at me, with great
scorn, but she knew that if she said anything disagreeable Mrs. Phillips
would side with me, so she wisely kept still. I think that even Faye has
come to the conclusion that I might as well have the dog--who lies
so quietly in my lap--now that he sees how I am sandwiched in with
rocking-chairs, small boys, and servants. The men march fifty minutes
and halt ten, each hour, and during every ten minutes' rest Harold and I
take a little run, and this makes him ready for a nap when we return to
the ambulance. From this place on I am to ride with Mrs. Cole, who has
her own ambulance. This will be most agreeable, and I am so delighted
that she should have thought of inviting me.

Camping out is really very nice when the weather is pleasant, but the
long marches are tiresome for everybody. The ambulances and wagons are
driven directly back of the troops, consequently the mules can never go
faster than a slow walk, and sometimes the dust is enough to choke us.
We have to keep together, for we are in an Indian country, of course.
I feel sorry for the men, but they always march "rout" step and seem to
have a good time, for we often hear them laughing and joking with each
other.

We are following the Arkansas River, and so far the scenery has been
monotonous--just the same rolling plains day after day. Leaving our
first army home was distressing, and I doubt if other homes and other
friends will ever be quite the same to me. Lieutenant Baldwin was
assisted to the porch by his faithful Mexican boy, so he could see
us start, and he looked white and pitifully helpless, with both arms
bandaged tight to his sides. One of those dreadful dogs is in camp and
going to Camp Supply with us, and is as frisky as though he had done
something to be proud of.

This cannot be posted until we reach Fort Dodge, but I intend to write
to you again while there, of course, if I have an opportunity.

FORT DODGE, KANSAS, May, 1872.

IT was nearly two o'clock yesterday when we arrived at this post, and
we go on again to-day about eleven. The length of all marches has to be
regulated by water and wood, and as the first stream on the road to
Camp Supply is at Bluff Creek, only ten miles from here, there was no
necessity for an early start. This gives us an opportunity to get fresh
supplies for our mess chests, and to dry things also.

There was a terrific rain and electric storm last evening, and this
morning we present anything but a military appearance, for around each
tent is a fine array of bedding and clothing hung out to dry. Our camp
is at the foot of a hill a short distance back of the post, and during
the storm the water rushed down with such force that it seemed as though
we were in danger of being carried on to the Arkansas River.

We had just returned from a delightful dinner with Major and Mrs.
Tilden, of the cavalry, and Faye had gone out to mount the guard for the
night, when, without a moment's warning, the storm burst upon us. The
lightning was fierce, and the white canvas made it appear even worse
than it really was, for at each flash the walls of the tent seemed to
be on fire. There was no dark closet for me to run into this time, but
there was a bed, and on that I got, taking the little dog with me for
company and to get him out of the wet. He seemed very restless and
constantly gave little whines, and at the time I thought it was because
he, too, was afraid of the storm. The water was soon two and three
inches deep on the ground under the tent, rushing along like a mill
race, giving little gurgles as it went through the grass and against the
tent pins. The roar of the rain on the tent was deafening.

The guard is always mounted with the long steel bayonets on the rifles,
and I knew that Faye had on his sword, and remembering these things made
me almost scream at each wicked flash of lightning, fearing that he
and the men had been killed. But he came to the tent on a hard run, and
giving me a long waterproof coat to wrap myself in, gathered me in his
arms and started for Mrs. Tilden's, where I had been urged to remain
overnight. When we reached a narrow board walk that was supposed to run
along by her side fence, Faye stood me down upon it, and I started to do
some running on my own account. Before I had taken two steps, however,
down went the walk and down I went in water almost to my knees, and then
splash--down went the greyhound puppy! Up to that instant I had not been
conscious of having the little dog with me, and in all that rain and
water Faye had been carrying me and a fat puppy also.

The walk had been moved by the rushing water, and was floating, which
we had no way of knowing, of course. I dragged the dog out of the
water, and we finally reached the house, where we received a true army
welcome--a dry one, too--and there I remained until after breakfast
this morning. But sleep during the night I did not, for until long after
midnight I sat in front of a blazing fire holding a very sick puppy. Hal
was desperately ill and we all expected him to die at any moment, and I
was doubly sorrowful, because I had been the innocent cause of it. Ever
since I have had him he has been fed condensed milk only--perhaps a
little bread now and then; so when we got here I sent for some fresh
milk, to give him a treat. He drank of it greedily and seemed to enjoy
it so much, that I let him have all he wanted during the afternoon. And
it was the effect of the milk that made him whine during the storm, and
not because he was afraid of the lightning. He would have died, I do
believe, had it not been for the kindness of Major Tilden who knows all
about greyhounds. They are very delicate and most difficult to raise.
The little dog is a limp bunch of brindled satin this morning, wrapped
in flannel, but we hope he will soon be well.

A third company joined us here and will go on to Camp Supply. Major
Hunt, the captain, has his wife and three children with him, and they
seem to be cultured and very charming people. Mrs. Hunt this moment
brought a plate of delicious spice cake for our luncheon. There is a
first lieutenant with the company, but he is not married.

There is only one mail from here each week, so of course there will be
only one from Camp Supply, as that mail is brought here and then carried
up to the railroad with the Dodge mail. It is almost time for the tents
to be struck, and I must be getting ready for the march.

CAMP SUPPLY, INDIAN TERRITORY, May, 1872.

THIS place is quite as dreadful as it has been represented to us. There
are more troops here than at Fort Lyon, and of course the post is very
much larger. There are two troops of colored cavalry, one of white
cavalry, and three companies of infantry. The infantry companies that
have been stationed here, and which our three companies have come to
relieve, will start in the morning for their new station, and will use
the transportation that brought us down. Consequently, it was necessary
to unload all the things from our wagons early this morning, so they
could be turned over to the outgoing troops. I am a little curious to
know if there is a second lieutenant who will be so unfortunate as to be
allowed only one half of a wagon in which to carry his household goods.

Their going will leave vacant a number of officers' quarters, therefore
there will be no selection of quarters by our officers until to-morrow.
Faye is next to the junior, so there will be very little left to select
from by the time his turn comes. The quarters are really nothing more
than huts built of vertical logs plastered in between with mud, and the
roofs are of poles and mud! Many of the rooms have only sand floors. We
dined last evening with Captain and Mrs. Vincent, of the cavalry,
and were amazed to find that such wretched buildings could be made so
attractive inside. But of course they have one of the very best houses
on the line, and as company commander, Captain Vincent can have done
about what he wants. And then, again, they are but recently married, and
all their furnishings are new and handsome. There is one advantage
in being with colored troops--one can always have good servants. Mrs.
Vincent has an excellent colored soldier cook, and her butler was
thoroughly trained as such before he enlisted. It did look so funny,
however, to see such a black man in a blue Uniform.

The march down from Fort Dodge was most uncomfortable the first two
days. It poured and poured rain, and then poured more rain, until
finally everybody and everything was soaked through. I felt so sorry for
the men who had to march in the sticky mud. Their shoes filled fast with
water, and they were compelled constantly to stop, take them off,
and pour out the water. It cleared at last and the sun shone warm and
bright, and then there was another exhibition in camp one afternoon, of
clothing and bedding drying on guy ropes.

All the way down I was on the lookout for Indians, and was laughed at
many a time for doing so, too. Every time something unusual was seen in
the distance some bright person would immediately exclaim, "Oh, that
is only one of Mrs. Rae's Indians!" I said very little about what I saw
during the last day or two, for I felt that the constant teasing must
have become as wearisome to the others as it had to me. But I am still
positive that I saw the black heads of Indians on the top of ever so
many hills we passed. When they wish to see and not be seen they crawl
up a hill on the side farthest from you, but only far enough up to
enable them to look over, and in this position they will remain for
hours, perfectly motionless, watching your every movement. Unless you
notice the hill very carefully you will never see the black dot on top,
for only the eyes and upper part of the head are exposed. I had been
told all this many times; also, that when in an Indian country to be
most watchful when Indians are not to be seen.

Camp Supply is certainly in an Indian country, for it is surrounded by
Comanches, Apaches, Kiowas, Cheyennes, and Arapahoes--each a hostile
tribe, except the last. No one can go a rod from the garrison without an
escort, and our weekly mail is brought down in a wagon and
guarded by a corporal and several privates. Only last week two
couriers--soldiers--who had been sent down with dispatches from Fort
Dodge, were found dead on the road, both shot in the back, probably
without having been given one chance to defend themselves.

We are in camp on low land just outside the post, and last night we
were almost washed away again by the down-pouring rain, and this morning
there is mud everywhere. And this is the country that is supposed never
to have rain! Mrs. Vincent invited me most cordially to come to her
house until we at least knew what quarters we were to have, and Captain
Vincent came early to-day to insist upon my going up at once, but I
really could not go. We have been in rain and mud so long I feel that I
am in no way fit to go to anyone's house. Besides, it would seem selfish
in me to desert Faye, and he, of course, would not leave the company as
long as it is in tents. We are delighted at finding such charming people
as the Vincents at this horrid place.

CAMP SUPPLY, INDIAN TERRITORY, June, 1872.

WE are in our own house now and almost settled. When one has only a few
pieces of furniture it does not take long to get them in place. It is
impossible to make the rooms look homelike, and I often find myself
wondering where in this world I have wandered to! The house is of logs,
of course, and has a pole and dirt roof, and was built originally for an
officers' mess. The dining room is large and very long, a part of which
we have partitioned off with a piece of canvas and converted into a
storeroom. We had almost to get down on our knees to the quartermaster
before he would give us the canvas. He is in the quartermaster's
department and is most arrogant; seems to think that every nail and tack
is his own personal property and for his exclusive use.

Our dining room has a sand floor, and almost every night little white
toadstools grow up all along the base of the log walls. All of the logs
are of cottonwood and have the bark on, and the army of bugs that hide
underneath the bark during the day and march upon us at night is to be
dreaded about as much as a whole tribe of Indians!

I wrote you how everyone laughed at me on the march down because I was
positive I saw heads of Indians on the sand hills so many times.
Well, all that has ceased, and the mention of "Mrs. Rae's Indians" is
carefully avoided! There has been sad proof that the Indians were there,
also that they were watching us closely and kept near us all the way
down from Fort Dodge, hoping for a favorable opportunity to steal the
animals. The battalion of the --th Infantry had made only two days'
march from here, and the herders had just turned the horses and mules
out to graze, when a band of Cheyenne Indians swooped down upon them and
stampeded every animal, leaving the companies without even one mule!
The poor things are still in camp on the prairie, waiting for something,
anything, to move them on. General Phillips is mightily pleased that the
Indians did not succeed in getting the animals from his command, and I
am pleased that they cannot tease me any more.

My ride with Lieutenant Golden, Faye's classmate, this morning was very
exciting for a time. We started directly after stable call, which is at
six o'clock. Lieutenant Golden rode Dandy, his beautiful thoroughbred,
that reminds me so much of Lieutenant Baldwin's Tom, and I rode a troop
horse that had never been ridden by a woman before. As soon as he was
led up I noticed that there was much white to be seen in his eyes, and
that he was restless and ever pawing the ground. But the orderly said he
was not vicious, and he was sure I could ride him. He did not object in
the least to my skirt, and we started off in fine style, but before we
reached the end of the line he gave two or three pulls at the bit, and
then bolted! My arms are remarkably strong, but they were like a child's
against that hard mouth. He turned the corner sharply and carried me
along back of the laundress' quarters, where there was a perfect network
of clothes lines, and where I fully expected to be swept from the
saddle. But I managed to avoid them by putting my head down close to the
horse's neck, Indian fashion. He was not a very large horse, and lowered
himself, of course, by his terrific pace. He went like the wind, on
and up the hill in front of the guard house. There a sentry was walking
post, and on his big infantry rifle was a long bayonet, and the poor
man, in his desire to do something for me, ran forward and held the
gun horizontally right in front of my horse, which caused him to give a
fearful lunge to the right and down the hill. How I managed to keep my
seat I do not know, and neither do I know how that mad horse kept right
side up on that down jump. But it did not seem to disturb him in the
least, for he never slackened his speed, and on we went toward the
stables, where the cavalry horses were tied to long picket ropes, and
close together, getting their morning grooming.

All this time Lieutenant Golden had not attempted to overtake me,
fearing that by doing so he might make matters worse, but when he saw
that the horse was running straight for his place on the line, he pushed
forward, and grasping my bridle rein, almost pulled the horse on his
haunches. He said later that I might have been kicked to death by the
troop horses if I had been rushed in among them. We went on to the
stables, Lieutenant Golden leading my horse, and you can fancy how
mortified I was over that performance, and it was really unnecessary,
too. Lieutenant Golden, also the sergeant, advised me to dismount and
try another horse, but I said no! I would ride that one if I could have
a severer bit and my saddle girths tightened. Dismount before Lieutenant
Golden, a cavalry officer and Faye's classmate, and all those staring
troopers--I, the wife of an infantry officer? Never! It was my first
experience with a runaway horse, but I had kept a firm seat all the
time--there was some consolation in that thought.

Well, to my great relief and comfort, it was discovered that the chin
chain that is on all cavalry bits had been left off, and this had made
the curb simply a straight bit and wholly ineffective. The sergeant
fastened the chain on and it was made tight, too, and he tightened the
girths and saw that everything was right, and then Lieutenant Golden and
I started on our ride the second time. I expected trouble, as the horse
was then leaving his stable and companions, but when he commenced to
back and shake his head I let him know that I held a nice stinging whip,
and that soon stopped the balking. We had to pass three long picket
lines of horses and almost two hundred troopers, every one of whom
stared at me with both eyes. It was embarrassing, of course, but I was
glad to let the whole line of them see that I was capable of managing my
own horse, which was still very frisky. I knew very well, too, that the
sergeant's angry roar when he asked, "Who bridled this horse?" had
been heard by many of them. Our ride was very delightful after all its
exciting beginning, and we are going again to morrow morning. I want
to let those troopers see that I am not afraid to ride the horse they
selected for me.

I shall be so glad when Hal is large enough to go with me. He is growing
fast, but at present seems to be mostly legs. He is devoted to me, but
I regret to say that he and our old soldier cook are not the dearest
friends. Findlay is so stupid he cannot appreciate the cunning things
the little dog does. Hal is fed mush and milk only until he gets his
second teeth, and consequently he is wild about meat. The odor of a
broiling beefsteak the other day was more than he could resist, so he
managed to get his freedom by slipping his collar over his head, and
rushing into the kitchen, snatched the sizzling steak and was out again
before Findlay could collect his few wits, and get across the room to
stop him. The meat was so hot it burned his mouth, and he howled from
the pain, but drop it he did not until he was far from the cook. This
I consider very plucky in so young a dog! Findlay ran after the little
hound, yelling and swearing, and I ran after Findlay to keep him from
beating my dog. Of course we did not have beefsteak that day, but, as I
told Faye, it was entirely Findlay's fault. He should have kept watch
of things, and not made it possible for Hal to kill himself by eating a
whole big steak!

Yesterday, Lieutenant Golden came in to luncheon, and when we went in
the dining room I saw at once that things were wrong, very wrong. A
polished table is an unknown luxury down here, but fresh table linen we
do endeavor to have. But the cloth on the table yesterday was a sight
to behold, with big spots of dirt all along one side and dirt on top.
Findlay came in the room just as I reached the table, and I said,
"Findlay, what has happened here?" He gave one look at the cloth where
I pointed, and then striking his knuckles together, almost sobbed out,
"Dot tamn dog, mum!" Faye and Lieutenant Golden quickly left the room
to avoid hearing any more remarks of that kind, for it was really very
dreadful in Findlay to use such language. This left me alone, of course,
to pacify the cook, which I found no easy task. Old Findlay had pickled
a choice buffalo tongue with much care and secrecy, and had served it
for luncheon yesterday as a great surprise and treat. There was the
platter on the table, but there could be no doubt of its having been
licked clean. Not one tiny piece of tongue could be seen any place.

The window was far up, and in vain did I try to convince everyone that
a strange dog had come in and stolen the meat, that Hal was quite too
small to have reached so far; but Findlay only looked cross and Faye
looked hungry, so I gave that up. Before night, however, there was
trouble and a very sick puppy in the house, and once again I thought he
would die. And every few minutes that disagreeable old cook would
come in and ask about the dog, and say he was afraid he could not get
well--always with a grin on his face that was exasperating. Finally,
I told him that if he had served only part of the tongue, as he should
have done, the dog would not have been so ill, and we could have had
some of it. That settled the matter--he did not come in again. Findlay
has served several enlistments, and is regarded as an old soldier, and
once upon a time he was cook for the colonel of the regiment, therefore
he sometimes forgets himself and becomes aggressive. I do not wonder
that Hal dislikes him.

And Hal dislikes Indians, too, and will often hear their low mumbling
and give little growls before I dream that one is near. They have a
disagreeable way of coming to the windows and staring in. Sometimes
before you have heard a sound you will be conscious of an uncomfortable
feeling, and looking around you will discover five or six Indians, large
and small, peering at you through the windows, each ugly nose pressed
flat against the glass! It is enough to drive one mad. You never know
when they are about, their tread is so stealthy with their moccasined
feet.

Faye is officer of the guard every third day now. This sounds rather
nice; but it means that every third day and night--exactly twenty-four
hours--he has to spend at the guard house, excepting when making the
rounds, that is, visiting sentries on post, and is permitted to come
to the house just long enough to eat three hurried meals. This is doing
duty, and would be all right if there were not a daily mingling of white
and colored troops which often brings a colored sergeant over a white
corporal and privates. But the most unpleasant part for the officer of
the guard is that the partition in between the officer's room and guard
room is of logs, unchinked, and very open, and the weather is very hot!
and the bugs, which keep us all in perpetual warfare in our houses, have
full sway there, going from one room to the other.

The officers say that the negroes make good soldiers and fight like
fiends. They certainly manage to stick on their horses like monkeys. The
Indians call them "buffalo soldiers," because their woolly heads are so
much like the matted cushion that is between the horns of the buffalo.
We had letters from dear old Fort Lyon yesterday, and the news about
Lieutenant Baldwin is not encouraging. He is not improving and Doctor
Wilder is most anxious about him. But a man as big and strong as he was
must certainly get well in time.

CAMP SUPPLY, INDIAN TERRITORY, June, 1872.

IT seems as if I had to write constantly of unpleasant occurrences, but
what else can I do since unpleasant occurrences are ever coming
along? This time I must tell you that Faye has been turned out of
quarters--"ranked out," as it is spoken of in the Army. But it all
amounts to the same thing, and means that we have been driven out of our
house and home, bag and baggage, because a captain wanted that one set
of quarters! Call it what one chooses, the experience was not pleasant
and will be long remembered. Being turned out was bad enough in itself,
but the manner in which it was done was humiliating in the extreme. We
had been in the house only three weeks and had worked so hard during
that time to make it at all comfortable. Findlay wanted to tear down the
canvas partition in the dining room when we left the house, and I was
sorry later on that I had not consented to his doing so.

One morning at ten o'clock I received a note from Faye, written at the
guard house, saying that his set of quarters had been selected by a
cavalry officer who had just arrived at the post, and that every article
of ours must be out of the house that day by one o'clock! Also that, as
he was officer of the guard, it would be impossible for him to assist
me in the least, except to send some enlisted men to move the things.
At first I was dazed and wholly incapable of comprehending the
situation--it seemed so preposterous to expect anyone to move everything
out of a house in three hours. But as soon as I recovered my senses I
saw at once that not one second of the precious time must be wasted, and
that the superintendence of the whole thing had fallen upon me.

So I gathered my forces, and the four men started to work in a way that
showed they would do everything in their power to help me. All that was
possible for us to do, however, was almost to throw things out in a side
yard, for remember, please, we had only three short hours in which to
move everything--and this without, warning or preparation of any kind.
All things, big and small, were out by one o'clock, and just in time,
too, to avoid a collision with the colored soldiers of the incoming
cavalry officer, who commenced taking furniture and boxes in the house
at precisely that hour.

Of course there was no hotel or even restaurant for me to go to, and
I was too proud and too indignant to beg shelter in the house of a
friend--in fact, I felt as if I had no friend. So I sat down on a chair
in the yard with the little dog by me, thinking, I remember, that the
chair was our own property and no one had a right to object to my being
there. And I also remember that the whole miserable affair brought to
mind most vividly scenes of eviction that had been illustrated in
the papers from time to time, when poor women had been evicted for
nonpayment of rent!

Just as I had reached the very lowest depths of misery and woe, Mrs.
Vincent appeared, and Faye almost immediately after. We three went to
Mrs. Vincent's house for luncheon, and in fact I remained there until we
came to this house. She had just heard of what had happened and hastened
down to me. Captain Vincent said it was entirely the fault of the
commanding officer for permitting such a disgraceful order to leave his
office; that Captain Park's family could have remained one night longer
in tents here, as they had been in camp every night on the road from
Fort Sill.

There came a ludicrous turn to all this unpleasantness, for, by the
ranking out of one junior second lieutenant, six or more captains and
first lieutenants had to move. It was great fun the next day to see the
moving up and down the officers' line of all sorts of household goods,
for it showed that a poor second lieutenant was of some importance after
all!

But I am getting on too fast. Faye, of course, was entitled to two
rooms, some place in the post, but it seems that the only quarters he
could take were those occupied by Lieutenant Cole, so Faye decided at
once to go into tents himself, in preference to compelling Lieutenant
Cole to do so. Now it so happened that the inspector general of the
department was in the garrison, and as soon as he learned the condition
of affairs, he ordered the post quartermaster to double two sets
of quarters--that is, make four sets out of two--and designated the
quartermaster's own house for one of the two. But Major Knox divided
off two rooms that no one could possibly occupy, and in consequence has
still all of his large house. But the other large set that was doubled
was occupied by a senior captain, who, when his quarters were reduced
in size, claimed a new choice, and so, turning another captain out, the
ranking out went on down to a second lieutenant. But no one took our old
house from Captain Park, much to my disappointment, and he still has it.

The house that we are in now is built of cedar logs, and was the
commanding officer's house at one time. It has a long hall running
through the center, and on the left side Major Hunt and his family have
the four rooms, and we have the two on the right. Our kitchen is across
the yard, and was a chicken house not so very long ago. It has no floor,
of course, so we had loads of dirt dug out and all filled in again with
clean white sand, and now, after the log walls have been scraped and
whitened, and a number of new shelves put up, it is really quite nice.
Our sleeping room has no canvas on the walls inside, and much of the
chinking has fallen out, leaving big holes, and I never have a light in
that room after dark, fearing that Indians might shoot me through those
holes. They are skulking about the post all the time.

We have another cook now--a soldier of course--and one that is rather
inexperienced. General Phillips ordered Findlay back to the company,
saying he was much needed there, but he was company cook just one
day when he was transferred to the general's own kitchen. Comment is
unnecessary! But it is all for the best, I am sure, for Farrar is very
fond of Hal, and sees how intelligent he is, just as I do. The little
dog is chained to a kennel all the time now, and, like his mistress, is
trying to become dignified.

Faye was made post adjutant this morning, which we consider rather
complimentary, since the post commander is in the cavalry, and there are
a number of cavalry lieutenants here. General Dickinson is a polished
old gentleman, and his wife a very handsome woman who looks almost as
young as her daughter. Miss Dickinson, the general's older daughter, is
very pretty and a fearless rider. In a few days we two are to commence
our morning rides.

How very funny that I should have forgotten to tell you that I have a
horse, at least I hope he will look like a horse when he has gained some
flesh and lost much long hair. He is an Indian pony of very good size,
and has a well-shaped head and slender little legs. He has a fox
trot, which is wonderfully easy, and which he apparently can keep up
indefinitely, and like all Indian horses can "run like a deer." So,
altogether, he will do very well for this place, where rides are
necessarily curtailed. I call him Cheyenne, because we bought him of
Little Raven, a Cheyenne chief. I shall be so glad when I can ride
again, as I have missed so much the rides and grand hunts at Fort Lyon.

Later: The mail is just in, and letters have come from Fort Lyon
telling us of the death of Lieutenant Baldwin! It is dreadful--and seems
impossible. They write that he became more and more despondent, until
finally it was impossible to rouse him sufficiently to take an interest
in his own life. Faye and I have lost a friend--a real, true friend. A
brother could not have been kinder, more considerate than he was to both
of us always. How terribly he must have grieved over the ruin of the
horse he was so proud of, and loved so well!

CAMP SUPPLY, INDIAN TERRITORY, September, 1872.

THE heat here is still intense, and it never rains, so everything is
parched to a crisp. The river is very low and the water so full of
alkali that we are obliged to boil every drop before it is used for
drinking or cooking, and even then it is so distasteful that we flavor
it with sugar of lemons so we can drink it at all. Fresh lemons are
unknown here, of course. The ice has given out, but we manage to cool
the water a little by keeping it in bottles and canteens down in the
dug-out cellar.

Miss Dickinson and I continue our daily rides, but go out very early in
the morning. We have an orderly now, as General Dickinson considers it
unsafe for us to go without an escort, since we were chased by an Indian
the other day. That morning the little son of General Phillips was with
us, and as it was not quite as warm as usual, we decided to canter down
the sunflower road a little way--a road that runs to the crossing of
Wolf Creek through an immense field of wild sunflowers. These sunflowers
grow to a tremendous height in this country, so tall that sometimes you
cannot see over them even when on horseback. Just across the creek there
is a village of Apache Indians, and as these Indians are known to be
hostile, this particular road is considered rather unsafe.

But we rode on down a mile or more without seeing a thing, and had just
turned our ponies' heads homeward when little Grote, who was back of
us, called out that an Indian was coming. That was startling, but
upon looking back we saw that he was a long distance away and coming
leisurely, so we did not pay much attention to him.

But Grote was more watchful, and very soon screamed, "Mrs. Rae, Mrs.
Rae, the Indian is coming fast--he's going to catch us!" And then,
without wasting time by looking back, we started our ponies with a bound
that put them at their best pace, poor little Grote lashing his most
unmercifully, and crying every minute, "He'll catch us! He'll catch us!"

That the Indian was on a fleet pony and was gaining upon us was very
evident, and what might have happened had we not soon reached the
sutler's store no one can tell, but we did get there just as he caught
up with us, and as we drew in our panting horses that hideous savage
rode up in front of us and circled twice around us, his pony going like
a whirlwind; and in order to keep his balance, the Indian leaned far
over on one side, his head close to the pony's neck. He said "How"
with a fiendish grin that showed how thoroughly he was enjoying our
frightened faces, and then turned his fast little beast back to the
sunflower road. Of course, as long as the road to the post was clear
we were in no very great danger, as our ponies were fast, but if that
savage could have passed us and gotten us in between him and the Apache
village, we would have lost our horses, if not our lives, for turning
off through the sunflowers would have been an impossibility.

The very next morning, I think it was, one of the government mules
wandered away, and two of the drivers went in search of it, but not
finding it in the post, one of the men suggested that they should go
to the river where the post animals are watered. It is a fork of the
Canadian River, and is just over a little sand hill, not one quarter of
a mile back of the quarters, but not in the direction of the sunflower
road. The other man, however, said he would not go--that it was not
safe--and came back to the corral, so the one who proposed going went on
alone.

Time passed and the man did not return, and finally a detail was sent
out to look him up. They went directly to the river, and there they
found him, just on the other side of the hill--dead. He had been shot
by some fiendish Indian soon after leaving his companion. The mule has
never been found, and is probably in a far-away Indian village, where
he brays in vain for the big rations of corn he used to get at the
government corral.

Last Monday, soon after luncheon, forty or fifty Indians came rushing
down the drive in front of the officers' quarters, frightening some of
us almost out of our senses. Where they came from no one could tell, for
not one sentry had seen them until they were near the post. They rode
past the houses like mad creatures, and on out to the company gardens,
where they made their ponies trample and destroy every growing thing.
Only a few vegetables will mature in this soil and climate, but melons
are often very good, and this season the gardeners had taken much pains
with a crop of fine watermelons that were just beginning to ripen. But
not one of these was spared--every one was broken and crushed by the
little hoofs of the ponies, which seem to enjoy viciousness of this kind
as much as the Indians themselves.

A company of infantry was sent at once to the gardens, but as it was not
quite possible for the men to outrun the ponies, the mischief had been
done before they got there, and all they could do was to force them back
at the point of the bayonet. Cavalry was ordered out, also, to drive
them away, but none of the troops were allowed to fire upon them, and
that the Indians knew very well. It might have brought on an uprising!

It seems that the Indians were almost all young bucks out for a frolic,
but quite ready, officers say, for any kind of devilment. They rode
around the post three or four times at breakneck speed, each circle
being larger, and taking them farther away. At last they all started for
the hills and gradually disappeared--all but one, a sentinel, who could
be seen until dark sitting his pony on the highest hill. I presume there
were dozens of Indians on the sand hills around the post peeking over to
see how the fun went on.

They seem to be watching the post every second of the day, ready to
pounce upon any unprotected thing that ventures forth, be it man or
beast. At almost any time two or three black dots can be seen on the top
of the white sand hills, and one wonders how they can lie for hours in
the hot, scorching sand with the sun beating down on their heads and
backs. And all the time their tough little ponies will stand near them,
down the hill, scarcely moving or making a sound. Some scouts declare
that an Indian pony never whinnies or sneezes! But that seems absurd,
although some of those little beasts show wonderful intelligence and
appear to have been apt pupils in treachery.

CAMP SUPPLY, INDIAN TERRITORY, October, 1872.

THIS place is becoming more dreadful each day, and every one of the
awful things I feared might happen here seems to be coming to pass.
Night before last the post was actually attacked by Indians! It was
about one o'clock when the entire garrison was awakened by rifle shots
and cries of "Indians! Indians!" There was pandemonium at once. The
"long roll" was beaten on the infantry drums, and "boots and saddles"
sounded by the cavalry bugles, and these are calls that startle all who
hear them, and strike terror to the heart of every army woman. They mean
that something is wrong--very wrong--and demand the immediate report
for duty at their respective companies of every officer and man in the
garrison.

Faye jumped into his uniform, and saying a hasty good-by, ran to his
company, as did all the other officers, and very soon we could hear the
shouting of orders from every direction.

Our house is at the extreme end of the officers' line and very isolated,
therefore Mrs. Hunt and I were left in a most deplorable condition, with
three little children--one a mere baby--to take care of. We put them all
in one bed and covered them as well as we could without a light, which
we did not dare have, of course. Then we saw that all the doors and
windows were fastened on both sides. We decided that it would be quite
impossible for us to remain shut up inside the house, so we dressed our
feet, put on long waterproof coats over our nightgowns as quickly and
silently as possible, and then we sat down on the steps of the front
door to await--we knew not what. I had firm hold of a revolver, and felt
exceedingly grateful all the time that I had been taught so carefully
how to use it, not that I had any hope of being able to do more with it
than kill myself, if I fell in the hands of a fiendish Indian. I believe
that Mrs. Hunt, however, was almost as much afraid of the pistol as she
was of the Indians.

Ten minutes after the shots were fired there was perfect silence
throughout the garrison, and we knew absolutely nothing of what was
taking place around us. Not one word did we dare even whisper to each
other, our only means of communication being through our hands. The
night was intensely dark and the air was close--almost suffocating.

In this way we sat for two terrible hours, ever on the alert, ever
listening for the stealthy tread of a moccasined foot at a corner of the
house. And then, just before dawn, when we were almost exhausted by the
great strain on our strength and nerves, our husbands came. They told us
that a company of infantry had been quite near us all the time, and that
a troop of cavalry had been constantly patrolling around the post. I
cannot understand how such perfect silence was maintained by the troops,
particularly the cavalry. Horses usually manage to sneeze at such times.

There is always a sentry at our corner of the garrison, and it was
this sentinel who was attacked, and it is the general belief among the
officers that the Indians came to this corner hoping to get the-troops
concentrated at the beat farthest from the stables, and thus give them
a chance to steal some, if not all, of the cavalry horses. But Mr.
Red Man's strategy is not quite equal to that of the Great Father's
soldiers, or he would have known that troops would be sent at once to
protect the horses.

There were a great many pony tracks to be seen in the sand the next
morning, and there was a mounted sentinel on a hill a mile or so away.
It was amusing to watch him through a powerful field glass, and we
wished that he could know just how his every movement could be seen.
He sat there on his pony for hours, both Indian and horse apparently
perfectly motionless, but with his face always turned toward the post,
ready to signal to his people the slightest movement of the troops.

Faye says that the colored troops were real soldiers that night, alert
and plucky. I can readily believe that some of them can be alert, and
possibly good soldiers, and that they can be good thieves too, for last
Saturday night they stole from us the commissary stores we had expected
to last us one week--everything, in fact, except coffee, sugar, and such
things that we keep in the kitchen, where it is dry.

The commissary is open Saturday mornings only, at which time we are
requested to purchase all supplies we will need from there for the
following week, and as we have no fresh vegetables whatever, and no
meat except beef, we are very dependent upon the canned goods and other
things in the commissary.

Last Saturday Mrs. Hunt and I sent over as usual, and most of the
supplies were put in a little dug-out cellar in the yard that we use
together--she having one side, I the other. On Sunday morning Farrar
happened to be the first cook to go out for things for breakfast, and
he found that the door had been broken open and the shelves as bare as
Mother Hubbard's. Everything had been carried off except a few candles
on Mrs. Hunt's side, and a few cakes of laundry soap on mine! The
candles they had no use for, and the thieves were probably of a class
that had no use for soap, either.

Our breakfast that morning was rather light, but as soon as word got
abroad of our starving condition, true army hospitality and generosity
manifested itself. We were invited out to luncheon, and to dinner, and
to breakfast the next morning. You can see how like one big family
a garrison can be, and how in times of trouble we go to each other's
assistance. Of course, now and then we have disagreeable persons with
us--those who will give you only three hours to move out of your house,
or one who will order your cook from you.

CAMP SUPPLY, INDIAN TERRITORY, January, 1873.

ALL that remained of Captain White was carried to the little cemetery
yesterday, with all the military honors possible at such a far-away
post We have no chaplain, therefore one of the cavalry officers read
the service for the dead at the house, just before the march to the
cemetery. Almost all of the cavalry of the garrison was out, mounted,
Captain White's own troop having the lead, of course, and the greater
part of the infantry was out also, and there was a firing detail, with
guns reversed.

The casket, covered with a large flag, was carried on a caisson, and
his horse, led by an orderly, was covered with a large blanket of black
cloth. Over this was the saddle, and on top of the saddle rested his
helmet--the yellow horsehair plume and gold trimmings looking soiled by
long service. His sabre was there, too, and strapped to the saddle on
each side were his uniform boots, toes in stirrups--all reversed! This
riderless horse, with its pall of black, yellow helmet, and footless
boots, was the saddest sight imaginable.

I did not go to the cemetery, but we heard distinctly the firing of the
three volleys over the grave and the sounding of taps on the bugles. The
garrison flag had been drawn to half mast almost the moment of Captain
White's death, but at the last sound of taps it was immediately pulled
up to full mast, and soon the troops came back to their quarters, the
field music playing lively airs.

This seemed so unnecessarily cruel, for Mrs. White must have heard every
note, and she is still so wretchedly ill. The tiny baby has been
taken from the house by the motherly wife of an officer, and the other
tots--four in all--are being cared for by others. We have all been
taking turns in sitting up nights during the illness of husband and
wife, and last night three of us were there, Captain Tillman and Faye in
one room, and I with Mrs. White. It was a terrible night, probably the
one that has exacted, or will exact, the greatest self-control, as it
was the one before the burial.

In civil life a poor widow can often live right on in her old home, but
in the Army, never! Mrs. White will have to give up the quarters just
as soon as she and the little baby are strong enough to travel. She has
been in a warm climate many years, and her friends are all in the North,
so to-morrow a number of us are to commence making warm clothing for her
and the children. She has absolutely nothing of the kind, and seems to
be pitifully helpless and incapable of thinking for herself.

Soon after I got home this morning and was trying to get a little sleep,
I heard screams and an awful commotion across the hall in one of Mrs.
Hunt's rooms, and running over to see what was the matter, I found Mrs.
Hunt standing upon a chair, and her cook running around like a madman,
with a stick of wood in his hand, upsetting furniture and whacking
things generally. I naturally thought of a mouse, and not being afraid
of them, I went on in and closed the door. I doubt if Mrs. Hunt saw me,
she was so intently watching the man, who kept on upsetting things.
He stopped finally, and then held up on the wood a snake--a dead
rattlesnake! We measured it, and it was over two feet long.

You can see how the house is built by the photograph I sent you, that
there are no chimneys, and that the stovepipes go straight up through
the pole and sod roof. The children insist that the snake came down the
pipe in the liveliest kind of a way, so it must have crawled up the logs
to the roof, and finding the warmth of the pipe, got too close to the
opening and slipped through. However that may be, he got into the room
where the three little children were playing alone. Fortunately, the
oldest recognized the danger at once, and ran screaming to her mother,
the other two following. Mrs. Hunt was almost ill over the affair,
and Major Hunt kept a man on top and around the old house hunting for
snakes, until we began to fear it would be pulled down on our heads.

This country itself is bad enough, and the location of the post is most
unfortunate, but to compel officers and men to live in these old huts
of decaying, moldy wood, which are reeking with malaria and alive with
bugs, and perhaps snakes, is wicked. Officers' families are not obliged
to remain here, of course.

But at dreadful places like this is where the plucky army wife is most
needed. Her very presence has often a refining and restraining influence
over the entire garrison, from the commanding officer down to the last
recruit. No one can as quickly grasp the possibilities of comfort in
quarters like these, or as bravely busy herself to fix them up. She
knows that the stay is indefinite, that it may be for six months, or
possibly six years, but that matters not. It is her army home--Brass
Button's home--and however discouraging its condition may be, for his
sake she pluckily, and with wifely pride, performs miracles, always
making the house comfortable and attractive.

FORT DODGE, KANSAS, January, 1873.

OUR coming here was most unexpected and very unpleasant in every way.
General Phillips and Major Barker quarreled over something, and Major
Barker preferred charges against the general, who is his company
commander, and now General Phillips is being tried here by general court
martial. Faye and I were summoned as witnesses by Major Barker, just
because we heard a few words that were said in front of our window late
one night! The court has thoughtfully excused me from going into the
court room, as I could only corroborate Faye's testimony. I am so
relieved, for it would have been a terrible ordeal to have gone in that
room where all those officers are sitting, in full-dress uniform, too,
and General Phillips with them. I would have been too frightened to have
remembered one thing, or to have known whether I was telling the truth
or not.

General Dickinson and Ben dark, his interpreter, came up in the
ambulance with us, and the poor general is now quite ill, the result of
an ice bath in the Arkansas River! When we started to come across on the
ice here at the ford, the mule leaders broke through and fell down
on the river bottom, and being mules, not only refused to get up, but
insisted upon keeping their noses under the water. The wheelers broke
through, too, but had the good sense to stand on their feet, but they
gave the ambulance such a hard jerk that the front wheels broke off more
ice and went down to the river bottom, also. By the time all this had
occurred, I was the only one left inside, and found myself very busy
trying to keep myself from slipping down under the front seat, where
water had already come in. General Dickinson and Faye were doing
everything possible to assist the men.

Just how it was accomplished would make too long a story to tell, but
in a short time the leaders were dragged out and on their feet, and the
rear wheels of the ambulance let down on the river bottom, and then we
were all pulled up on the ice again, and came on to the post in safety.
All but General Dickinson, who undertook to hold out of the water the
heads of the two leaders who seemed determined to commit suicide by
keeping their noses down, the general forgetting for once that he was
commanding officer. But one of those government mules did not forget,
and with a sudden jerk of his big head he pulled the general over and
down from the ice into the water, and in such a way that he was wedged
tight in between the two animals. One would have expected much objection
on the part of the mules to the fishing out of the general, but those
two mules kept perfectly still, apparently satisfied with the mischief
that had already been done. I can fancy that there is one mule still
chuckling over the fact of having gotten even with a commanding officer!
It is, quite warm now, and the ice has gone out of the river, so there
will be no trouble at the ford to-morrow, when we start back.

There is one company of Faye's regiment stationed here, and the officer
in command of the post is major of the Third, so we feel at home. We are
staying with Lieutenant Harvey, who is making it very pleasant for us.
Hal is with us, and is being petted by everybody, but most of all by the
cavalry officers, some of whom have hunted with Magic, Hal's father.

Last evening, while a number of us were sitting on the veranda after
dinner, a large turkey gobbler came Stalking down the drive in front of
the officers' quarters. Hal was squatted down, hound fashion, at the
top of the steps, and of course saw the gobbler at once. He never moved,
except to raise his ears a little, but I noticed that his eyes opened
wider and wider, and could see that he was making an estimate of the
speed of that turkey, and also making up his mind that it was his duty
as a self-respecting hound to resent the airs that were being assumed
by the queer thing with a red nose and only two legs. So as soon as the
turkey passed, down he jumped after him, and over him and around him,
until really the poor thing looked about one half his former size. Then
Hal got back of the turkey and waited for it to run, which it proceeded
to do without loss of time, and then a funny race was on! I could have
cried, I was so afraid Hal would injure the turkey, but everyone else
laughed and watched, as though it was the sporting event of the year,
and they assured me that the dog would have to stop when he got to
the very high gate at the end of the line. But they did not know that
greyhound, for the gate gave him still another opportunity to show the
thing that had wings to help its absurd legs along what a hound puppy
could do. When they reached the gate the turkey went under, but the
puppy went over, making a magnificent jump that landed him yards in
advance of the turkey, thereby causing him the loss of the race, for
before he could stop himself and turn, the gobbler had very wisely
hidden himself in a back yard.

There was a shouting and clapping of hands all along the line because
of the beautiful jump of so young a dog, but I must confess that all I
thought of just then was gratitude that my dog had not made an untimely
plucking of somebody's turkey, for in this country a turkey is something
rare and valuable.

Hal came trotting back with his loftiest steps and tail high in the air,
evidently much pleased with his part in the entertainment. He is
very tall now, and ran by the ambulance all the way up, and has been
following me on my rides for some time.

CIMARRON REDOUBT, KANSAS, January, 1873.

WHEN Faye was ordered here I said at once that I would come, too, and
so I came! We are at a mail station--that is, where the relay mules
are kept and where the mail wagon and escort remain overnight on their
weekly trips from Camp Supply to Fort Dodge. A non-commissioned officer
and ten privates are here all the time.

The cause of Faye's being here is, the contractor is sending big trains
of grain down to Camp Supply for the cavalry horses and other animals,
and it was discovered that whisky was being smuggled to the Indians in
the sacks of oats. So General Dickinson sent an officer to the redoubt
to inspect each sack as it is carried past by the ox trains. Lieutenant
Cole was the first officer to be ordered up, but the place did not agree
with him, and at the end of three weeks he appeared at the post on a
mail wagon, a very sick man--very sick indeed! In less than half an hour
Faye was ordered to relieve him, to finish Lieutenant Cole's tour in
addition to his own detail of thirty days, which will give us a stay
here of over five weeks.

As soon as I heard of the order I announced that I was coming, but it
was necessary to obtain the commanding officer's permission first. This
seemed rather hopeless for a time, the general declaring I would "die
in such a hole," where I could have no comforts, but he did not say I
should not come. Faye did not want to leave me alone at the post, but
was afraid the life here would be too rough for me, so I decided the
matter for myself and began to make preparations to come away, and that
settled all discussion. We were obliged to start early the next morning,
and there were only a few hours in which to get ready. Packing the mess
chest and getting commissary stores occupied the most time, for after
our clothing was put away the closing of the house was a farce, "Peu de
bien, peu de soin!" Farrar was permitted to come, and we brought Hal and
the horse, so the family is still together.

The redoubt is made of gunny sacks filled with sand, and is built on
the principle of a permanent fortification in miniature, with bastions,
flanks, curtains, and ditch, and has two pieces of artillery. The
parapet is about ten feet high, upon the top of which a sentry walks all
the time. This is technically correct, for Faye has just explained it
all to me, so I could tell you about our castle on the plains. We have
only two rooms for our own use, and these are partitioned off with
vertical logs in one corner of the fortification, and our only roof is
of canvas.

When we first got here the dirt floor was very much like the side of a
mountain--so sloping that we had difficulty in sitting upon the chairs.
Faye had these made level at once, and fresh, dry sand sprinkled
everywhere.

We are right in the heart of the Indian country, almost on the line
between Kansas and the Indian Territory, and are surrounded by any
number of villages of hostile Indians. We are forty miles from Camp
Supply and about the same distance from Fort Dodge. The weather is
delightful--sunny and very warm.

I was prevented from finishing this the other day by the coming of a
dozen or more Arapahoe Indians, but as the mail does not go north until
to-morrow morning, I can tell you of the more than busy time we have had
since then.

For two or three days the weather had been unseasonably warm--almost
like summer--and one evening it was not only hot, but so sultry one
wondered where all the air had gone. About midnight, however, a terrific
wind came up, cold and piercing, and very soon snow began to fall, and
then we knew that we were having a "Texas norther," a storm that is
feared by all old frontiersmen. Of course we were perfectly safe from
the wind, for only a cyclone could tear down these thick walls of sand,
but the snow sifted in every place--between the logs of the inner wall,
around the windows--and almost buried us. And the cold became intense.

In the morning the logs of that entire wall from top to bottom, were
white inside with snow, and looked like a forest in the far North. The
floor was covered with snow, and so was the foot of the bed! Our rooms
were facing just right to catch the full force of the blizzard. The
straightening-out was exceedingly unpleasant, for a fire could not be
started in either stove until after the snow had been swept out. But a
few soldiers can work miracles at times, and this proved to be one
of the times. I went over to the orderly room while they brushed and
scraped everywhere and fixed us up nicely, and we were soon warm and
dry.

The norther continued twenty-four hours, and the cold is still freezing.
All the wood inside was soon consumed, and the men were compelled to
go outside the redoubt for it, and to split it, too. The storm was so
fierce and wholly blinding that it was necessary to fasten the end of a
rope around the waist of each man as he went out, and tie the other
end to the entrance gate to prevent him from losing his direction and
wandering out on the plains. Even with this precaution it was impossible
for a man to remain out longer than ten minutes, because of the terribly
cold wind that at times was almost impossible to stand up against.

Faye says that he cannot understand why the place has never been made
habitable, or why Lieutenant Cole did not have the wood brought inside,
where it would be convenient in case of a storm. Some of the men are
working at the wood still, and others are making their quarters' a
little more decent. Every tiny opening in our own log walls has been
chinked with pieces of blanket or anything that could be found, and the
entire dirt floor has been covered with clean grain sacks that are held
down smooth and tight by little pegs of wood, and over this rough
carpet we have three rugs we brought with us. At the small window are
turkey-red curtains that make very good shades when let down at night.
There are warm army blankets on the camp bed, and a folded red squaw
blanket on the trunk. The stove is as bright and shining as the strong
arm of a soldier could make it, and on it is a little brass teakettle
singing merrily.

Altogether the little place looks clean and cheerful, quite unlike the
"hole" we came to. Farrar has attended to his part in the kitchen also,
and things look neat and orderly there. A wall tent has been pitched
just outside our door that gives us a large storeroom and at the same
time screens us from the men's quarters that are along one side of the
sandbag walls.

On the side farthest from us the mules and horses are stabled, but one
would never know that an animal was near if those big-headed mules did
not occasionally raise their voices in brays that sound like old squeaky
pumps. When it is pleasant they are all picketed out.

At the first coming of the blizzard the sentry was ordered from the
parapet, and is still off, and I am positive that unless one goes on
soon at night I shall be wholly deaf, because I strain my ears the whole
night through listening for Indians. The men are supposed to be ever
ready for an attack, but if they require drums and cannon to awaken them
in a garrison, how can they possibly hear the stealthy step of an Indian
here? It is foolish to expect anything so unreasonable.

CIMARRON REDOUBT, KANSAS, January, 1873.

FANCY our having given a dinner party at this sand-bag castle on the
plains, miles and miles from a white man or woman! The number of guests
was small, but their rank was immense, for we entertained Powder-Face,
Chief of the Arapahoe Nation, and Wauk, his young squaw, mother of his
little chief.

Two or three days ago Powder-Face came to make a formal call upon the
"White Chief," and brought with him two other Indians--aides we would
call them, I presume. A soldier offered to hold his horse, but he would
not dismount, and sat his horse with grave dignity until Faye went out
and in person invited him to come in and have a smoke. He is an Indian
of striking personality--is rather tall, with square, broad shoulders,
and the poise of his head tells one at once that he is not an ordinary
savage.

We must have found favor with him, for as he was going away he announced
that he would come again the next day and bring his squaw with him.
Then Faye, in his hospitable way, invited them to a midday dinner! I was
almost speechless from horror at the very thought of sitting at a table
with an Indian, no matter how great a chief he might be. But I could say
nothing, of course, and he rode away with the understanding that he was
to return the following day. Faye assured me that it would be amusing to
watch them, and be a break in the monotony here.

They appeared promptly, and I became interested in Wauk at once, for she
was a remarkable squaw. Tall and slender, with rather a thin, girlish
face, very unlike the short, fat squaws one usually sees, and she had
the appearance of being rather tidy, too. I could not tell if she was
dressed specially for the occasion, as I had never seen her before, but
everything she had on was beautifully embroidered with beads--mostly
white--and small teeth of animals. She wore a sort of short skirt, high
leggings, and of course moccasins, and around her shoulders and falling
far below her waist was a queer-shaped garment--neither cape nor
shawl--dotted closely all over with tiny teeth, which were fastened on
at one end and left to dangle.

High up around her neck was a dog collar of fine teeth that was really
beautiful, and there were several necklaces of different lengths hanging
below it, one of which was of polished elk teeth and very rare. The
skins of all her clothing had been tanned until they were as soft as
kid. Any number of bracelets were on her arms, many of them made of tin,
I think. Her hair was parted and hung in loose ropes down each shoulder
in front. Her feet and hands were very small, even for an Indian, and
showed that life had been kind to her. I am confident that she must have
been a princess by birth, she was so different from all squaws I have
seen. She could not speak one word of English, but her lord, whom she
seemed to adore, could make himself understood very well by signs and a
word now and then.

Powder-Face wore a blanket, but underneath it was a shirt of fine skins,
the front of which was almost covered with teeth, beads, and wampum. His
hair was roped on each side and hung in front, and the scalp lock on top
was made conspicuous by the usual long feather stuck through it.

The time came when dinner could no longer be put off, so we sat down.
Our menu in this place is necessarily limited, but a friend at Fort
Dodge had added to our stores by sending us some fresh potatoes and
some lettuce by the mail wagon just the day before, and both of these
Powder-Face seemed to enjoy. In fact, he ate of everything, but Wauk was
more particular--lettuce, potatoes, and ham she would not touch. Their
table manners were not of the very best form, as might be expected, but
they conducted themselves rather decently--far better than I had feared
they would. All the time I was wondering what that squaw was thinking
of things! Powder-Face was taken to Washington last year with chiefs of
other nations to see the "Great Father," so he knew much of the white
man's ways, but Wauk was a wild creature of the plains.

We kept them bountifully supplied with everything on the table, so our
own portion of the dinner would remain unmolested, although neither Faye
nor I had much appetite just then. When Farrar came in to remove the
plates for dessert, and Powder-Face saw that the remaining food was
about to disappear, he pushed Farrar back and commenced to attend to the
table himself. He pulled one dish after another to him, and scraped each
one clean, spreading all the butter on the bread, and piled up
buffalo steak, ham, potatoes, peas--in fact, every crumb that had been
left--making one disgusting mess, and then tapping it with his finger
said, "Papoose! Papoose!" We had it all put in a paper and other things
added, which made Wauk almost bob off her chair in her delight at having
such a feast for her little chief. But the condition of my tablecloth
made me want to bob up and down for other feelings than delight!

After dinner they all sat by the stove and smoked, and Powder-Face told
funny things about his trip East that we could not always interpret, but
which caused him and Wauk to laugh heartily. Wauk sat very close to him,
with elbows on her knees, looking as though she would much prefer to be
squatted down upon the floor.

The tepee odor became stifling, so in order to get as far from the
Indians as possible, I went across the room and sat upon a small trunk
by the window. I had not been there five minutes, however, before that
wily chief, who had apparently not noticed my existence, got up from
his chair, gathered his blanket around him, and with long strides came
straight to me. Then with a grip of steel on my shoulder, he jerked me
from the trunk and fairly slung me over against the wall, and turning to
Faye with his head thrown back he said, "Whisk! Whisk!" at the same time
pointing to the trunk.

The demand was imperious, and the unstudied poise of the powerfully
built Indian, so full of savage dignity, was magnificent. As I calmly
think of it now, the whole scene was grand. The rough room, with its
low walls of sand-bags and logs, the Indian princess in her picturesque
dress of skins and beads, the fair army officer in his uniform of
blue, both looking in astonishment at the chief, whose square jaws and
flashing eyes plainly told that he was accustomed to being obeyed, and
expected to be obeyed then!

Faye says that I missed part of the scene; that, backed up against
sand-bags and clinging to them on either side for support, stood a
slender young woman with pigtail hanging down one shoulder, so terrified
that her face, although brown from exposure to sun and wind, had become
white and chalky. It is not surprising that my face turned white; the
only wonder is that the pigtail did not turn white, too!

It was not right for Faye to give liquor to an Indian, but what else
could be done under the circumstances? There happened to be a flask of
brandy in the trunk, but fortunately there was only a small quantity
that we had brought up for medicinal purposes, and it was precious, too,
for we were far from a doctor. But Faye had to get it out for the chief,
who had sat there smoking in such an innocent way, but who had all the
time been studying out where there might be hidden some "whisk!" Wauk
drank almost all of it, Powder-Face seeming to derive more pleasure in
seeing her drink his portion than in drinking it himself. Consequently,
when she went out to mount her horse her steps were a little unsteady,
over which the chief laughed heartily.

It was with the greatest relief I saw them ride away. They certainly had
furnished entertainment, but it was of a kind that would satisfy one for
a long time. I was afraid they might come for dinner again the following
day, but they did not.

Powder-Face thought that the pony Cheyenne was not a good enough horse
for me, so the morning after he was here an Indian, called Dog, appeared
with a very good animal, large and well gaited, that the chief had sent
over, not as a present, but for a trade.

We let poor Cheyenne go back to the Indians, a quantity of sugar,
coffee, and such things going with him, and now I have a strawberry-roan
horse named Powder-Face.

Chief Powder-Face, who is really not old, is respected by everyone,
and has been instrumental in causing the Arapahoe nation to cease
hostilities toward white people. Some of the chiefs of lesser rank have
much of the dignity of high-born savages, particularly Lone Wolf and his
son Big Mouth, both of whom come to see us now and then. Lone Wolf is no
longer a warrior, and of course no longer wears a scalp lock and strings
of wampum and beads, and would like to have you believe that he has ever
been the white man's friend, but I suspect that even now there might
be brought forth an old war belt with hanging scalps that could tell
of massacre, torture, and murder. Big Mouth is a war chief, and has the
same grand physique as Powder-Face and a personality almost as striking.
His hair is simply splendid, wonderfully heavy and long and very glossy.
His scalp lock is most artistic, and undoubtedly kept in order by a
squaw.

The picture of the two generations of chiefs is unique and rare. It
shows in detail the everyday dress of the genuine blanket Indians as we
see them here. Just how it was obtained I do not know, for Indians
do not like a camera. We have daily visits from dozens of so-called
friendly Indians, but I would not trust one of them. Many white people
who have lived among Indians and know them well declare that an Indian
is always an Indian; that, no matter how fine the veneering civilization
may have given him, there ever lies dormant the traits of the savage,
ready to spring forth without warning in acts of treachery and fiendish
cruelty.

CIMARRON REDOUBT, January, 1873.

IT was such a pleasant surprise yesterday when General Bourke drove up
to the redoubt on his way to Camp Supply from dear old Fort Lyon. He
has been ordered to relieve General Dickinson, and was taking down
furniture, his dogs, and handsome team. Of course there was an escort,
and ever so many wagons, some loaded with tents and camp outfits. We
are rejoicing over the prospect of having an infantry officer in command
when we return to the post. The general remained for luncheon and seemed
to enjoy the broiled buffalo steak very much. He said that now there
are very few buffalo in Colorado and Kansas, because of their wholesale
slaughter by white men during the past year. These men kill them for the
skins only, and General Bourke said that he saw hundreds of carcasses on
the plains between Lyon and Dodge. They are boldly coming to the Indian
Territory now, and cavalry has been sent out several times to drive them
from the reservation.

If the Indians should attempt to protect their rights it would be called
an uprising at once, so they have to lie around on the sand hills and
watch their beloved buffalo gradually disappear, and all the time they
know only too well that with them will go the skins that give them
tepees and clothing, and the meat that furnishes almost all of their
sustenance.

During the blizzard two weeks ago ten or twelve of these buffalo hunters
were caught out in the storm, and being unable to find their own camps
they wandered into Indian villages, each man about half dead from
exposure to the cold and hunger. All were suffering more or less from
frozen feet and hands. In every case the Indians fed and cared for them
until the storm was over, and then they told them to go--and go fast
and far, or it would not be well with them. Faye says that it was truly
noble in the Indians to keep alive those men when they knew they had
been stealing so much from them. But Faye can always see more good in
Indians than I can. Even a savage could scarcely kill a man when he
appeals to him for protection!

There is some kind of excitement here every day--some pleasant, some
otherwise--usually otherwise. The mail escort and wagon are here two
nights during the week, one on the way to Fort Dodge, the other on the
return trip, so we hear the little bits of gossip from each garrison.
The long trains of army wagons drawn by mules that carry stores to the
post always camp near us one night, because of the water.

But the most exciting times are when the big ox trains come along that
are taking oats and corn to the quartermaster for the cavalry horses and
mules, for in these sacks of grain there is ever a possibility of liquor
being found. The sergeant carefully punches the sacks from one end to
the other with a long steel very much like a rifle rammer; but so far
not a thing has been found, but this is undoubtedly because they
know what to expect at this place now. Faye is always present at the
inspection, and once I watched it a short distance away.

When there are camps outside I always feel a little more protected from
the Indians. I am kept awake hours every night by my uncontrollable fear
of their getting on top of the parapet and cutting holes in the canvas
over our very heads and getting into the room that way. A sentry is
supposed to walk around the top every few minutes, but I have very
little confidence in his protection. I really rely upon Hal more than
the sentry to give warning, for that dog can hear the stealthy step
of an Indian when a long distance from him. And I believe he can smell
them, too.

We bought a beautiful buffalo-calf robe for a bed for him, and that
night I folded it down nicely and called him to it, thinking he would be
delighted with so soft and warm a bed. But no! He went to it because I
called him and patted it, but put one foot on it he would not. He gave
a little growl, and putting his tail up, walked away with great dignity
and a look of having been insulted.

Of course the skin smelled strong of the tepee and Indians. We sunned
and aired it for days, and Farrar rubbed the fur with camphor and other
things to destroy the Indian odor, and after much persuading and any
amount of patience on our part, Hal finally condescended to use the
robe. He now considers it the finest thing on earth, and keeps close
watch of it at all times.

We have visits from Indians every day, and this variation from the
monotony is not agreeable to me, but Faye goes out and has long powwows
with them. They do not hesitate to ask for things, and the more you give
the more you may.

The other morning Faye saw a buffalo calf not far from the redoubt, and
decided to go for it, as we, also the men, were in need of fresh meat.
So he started off on Powder-Face, taking only a revolver with him. I
went outside to watch him ride off, and just as the calf disappeared
over a little hill and he after it, an Indian rode down the bluff at the
right, and about the same distance away as I thought Faye might be, and
started in a canter straight across in the direction Faye had gone. Very
soon he, also, was back of the little hill and out of sight.

I ran inside and called the sergeant, and was trying to explain the
situation to him as briefly as possible when he, without waiting for me
to finish, got his rifle and cartridge belt, and ordering a couple
of men to follow, started off on a hard run in the direction I had
designated. As soon as they reached the top of the hill they saw Faye,
and saw also that the Indian was with him. The men went on over slowly,
but stopped as soon as they got within rifle range of Faye, for of
course the Indian would never have attempted mischief when he knew that
the next instant he would be riddled with bullets. The Indian was facing
the soldiers and saw them at once, but they were at Faye's back, so he
did not know they were there until he turned to come home.

Faye says that the Indian was quite near before he saw him at all, as he
had not been thinking of Indians in his race after the little buffalo.
He came up and said "How!" of course, and then by signs asked to see
Faye's revolver, which has an ivory handle with nickel barrel and
trimmings, all of which the Indian saw at once, and decided to make his
own without loss of time, and then by disarming Faye he would be master
of things generally.

Faye pulled the pistol from its holster and held it out for the Indian
to look at, but with a tight grip on the handle and finger on trigger,
the muzzle pointed straight to his treacherous heart. This did not
disturb the Indian in the least, for he grasped the barrel and with a
twist of the wrist tried to jerk it down and out of Faye's hand. But
this he failed to do, so, with a sarcastic laugh, he settled himself
back on his pony to await a more favorable time when he could catch Faye
off guard. He wanted that glistening pistol, and he probably wanted the
fat pony also. And thus they sat facing each other for several minutes,
the Indian apparently quite indifferent to pistols and all things,
and Faye on the alert to protect himself against the first move of
treachery.

It would have been most unsafe for Faye to have turned from the crafty
savage, and just how long the heart-to-heart interview might have lasted
or what would have happened no one can tell if the coming in sight
of the soldiers with their long guns had not caused him to change his
tactics. After a while he grunted "How!" again, and, assuming an air of
great contempt for soldiers, guns, and shiny pistols, rode away and soon
disappeared over the bluff. There was only the one Indian in sight, but,
as the old sergeant said, "there might have been a dozen red devils just
over the bluff!"

One never knows when the "red devils" are near, for they hide themselves
back of a bunch of sage brush, and their ponies, whose hoofs are never
shod, can get over the ground very swiftly and steal upon you almost as
noiselessly as their owners. It is needless to say that we did not have
fresh buffalo that day! And the buffalo calf ran on to the herd wholly
unconscious of his narrow escape.

We expect to return to Camp Supply in a few days, and in many ways I
shall be sorry to leave this place. It is terrible to be so isolated,
when one thinks about it, especially if one should be ill. I shall miss
Miss Dickinson in the garrison very much, and our daily rides together.
General Dickinson and his family passed here last week on their way to
his new station.

CAMP SUPPLY, INDIAN TERRITORY, February, 1873.

UPON our return from the Cimarron we found a dear, clean house all
ready for us to move into. It was a delightful surprise, and after the
wretched huts we have been living in ever since we came to this post,
the house with its white walls and board floors seems like fairyland. It
is made of vertical logs of course, the same as the other quarters, but
these have been freshly chinked, and covered on the inside with canvas.
General Bourke ordered the quartermaster to fix the house for us, and I
am glad that Major Knox was the one to receive the order, for I have not
forgotten how disagreeable he was about the fixing up of our first house
here. One can imagine how he must have fumed over the issuing of so much
canvas, boards, and even the nails for the quarters of only a second
lieutenant!

Many changes have been made during the few weeks General Bourke has been
here, the most important having been the separating of the white troops
from the colored when on guard duty. The officers and men of the colored
cavalry have not liked this, naturally, but it was outrageous to put
white and black in the same little guard room, and colored sergeants
over white corporals and privates. It was good cause for desertion. But
all that is at an end now. General Dickinson is no longer commanding
officer, and best of all, the colored troops have been ordered to
another department, and the two troops of white cavalry that are to
relieve them are here now and in camp not far from the post, waiting for
the barracks to be vacated.

We have felt very brave since the camp has been established, and two
days ago several of us drove over to a Cheyenne village that is a mile
or so up the creek. But soon after we got there we did not feel a bit
brave, for we had not been out of the ambulance more than five minutes,
when one of their criers came racing in on a very wet pony, and rode
like mad in and out among the tepees, all the time screaming something
at the top of his voice.

Instantly there was a jabbering by all of them and great commotion. Each
Indian talked and there seemed to be no one to listen. Several tepees
were taken down wonderfully quick, and a number of ponies were hurried
in, saddled, and ridden away at race speed, a few squaws wailing as they
watched them go, guns in their hands. Other squaws stood around looking
at us, and showing intense hatred through their wicked eyes. It was soon
discovered by all of us that the village was really not attractive, and
four scared women came back to the garrison as fast as government mules
could bring them! What was the cause of so much excitement we will
probably never know--and of course we should not have gone there without
an officer, and yet, what could one man have done against all those
savages!

We were honored by a visit from a chief the other day. He was a Cheyenne
from the village, presumably, and his name was White Horse. He must
have been born a chief for he was young, very dignified, and very
good-looking, too, for an Indian. Of course his face was painted in a
hideous way, but his leggings and clothing generally were far more
tidy than those of most Indians. His chest was literally covered with
polished teeth of animals, beads, and wampum, arranged artistically in
a sort of breastplate, and his scalp lock, which had evidently been
plaited with much care, was ornamented with a very beautiful long
feather.

Fortunately Faye was at home when he came, for he walked right in,
unannounced, except the usual "How!" Faye gave him a chair, and this he
placed in the middle of the room in a position so he could watch both
doors, and then his rifle was laid carefully upon the floor at his right
side. He could speak his name, but not another word of English, so,
thinking to entertain him, Faye reached for a rifle that was standing in
one corner of the room to show him, as it was of a recent make. Although
the rifle was almost at the Indian's back the suspicious savage saw
what Faye was doing, and like a flash he seized his own gun and laid it
across his knees, all the time looking straight at Faye to see what he
intended to do next. Not a muscle of his race moved, but his eyes were
wonderful, brilliant, and piercing, and plainly said, "Go ahead, I'm
ready!"

I saw the whole performance and was wondering if I had not better run
for assistance, when Faye laughed, and motioned the Indian to put his
rifle down again, at the same time pulling the trigger of his own to
assure him that it was not loaded. This apparently satisfied him, but he
did not put his gun back on the floor, but let it rest across his knees
all the time he sat there. And that was for the longest time--and never
once did he change his position, turn his head, or, as we could see,
move an eyelid! But nevertheless he made one feel that it was not
necessary for him to turn his head--that it was all eyes, that he could
see up and down and across and could read one's very thoughts, too.

The Indian from whom we bought Powder-Face--his name is Dog, you will
remember--has found us out, and like a dog comes every day for something
to eat. He always walks right into the kitchen; if the door is closed he
opens it. If he is not given things he stands around with the greatest
patience, giving little grunts now and then, and watches Farrar
until the poor soldier becomes worn out and in self-defense gives him
something, knowing full well all the time that trouble is being stored
up for the next day. The Indian never seems cross, but smiles at
everything, which is most unusual in a savage.

With the white cavalry is a classmate of Faye's, Lieutenant Isham,
and yesterday I went out to camp with him and rode his horse, a large,
spirited animal. It was the horse's first experience with a side saddle,
and at first he objected to the habit and jumped around and snorted
quite a little, but he soon saw that I was really not a dangerous person
and quieted down.

As Lieutenant Isham and I were cantering along at a nice brisk gait we
met Faye, who was returning from the camp on Powder-Face, and it could
be plainly seen that he disapproved of my mount. But he would not turn
back with us, however, and we went on to camp without him. There is
something very fascinating about a military camp--it is always so
precise and trim--the little tents for the men pitched in long straight
lines, each one looking as though it had been given especial attention,
and with all things is the same military precision and neatness. It was
afternoon stables and we rode around to the picket lines to watch the
horses getting their grooming.

When I got home Faye was quick to tell me that I would certainly be
killed if I continued to ride every untrained horse that came along! Not
a very pleasant prospect for me; but I told him that I did not want to
mortify him and myself, too, by refusing to mount horses that his own
classmates, particularly those in the cavalry, asked me to ride, and
that I knew very well he would much prefer to see me on a spirited
animal than a "gentle ladies' horse" that any inexperienced rider could
manage. So we decided that the horse, after all, was not a vicious
beast, and I am to ride him again to-morrow.

Last evening we gave a delightful little dance in the hall in honor of
the officers and their wives who are to go, and the officers who have
come. We all wore our most becoming gowns, and anyone unacquainted with
army life on the frontier would have been surprised to see what handsome
dresses can be brought forth, even at this far-away post, when occasion
demands. There are two very pretty girls from the East visiting in the
garrison, and several of the wives of officers are young and attractive,
and the mingling of the pretty faces and bright-colored dresses with the
dark blue and gold of the uniforms made a beautiful scene. It is not in
the least surprising that girls become so silly over brass buttons. Even
the wives get silly over them sometimes!

CAMP SUPPLY, INDIAN TERRITORY, April, 1873.

IN the last mail Faye heard from his application for transfer to another
company, and the order will be issued as soon as the lieutenant in that
company has been promoted, which will be in a few weeks. This will
take us back to Fort Lyon with old friends, and Faye to a company whose
captain is a gentleman. He was one of Faye's instructors at West Point.

I have a new horse--and a lively one, too--so lively that I have not
ridden him yet. He was a present from Lieutenant Isham, and the way in
which he happened to possess him makes a pretty little story. The troop
had been sent out on a scout, and was on its way back to the post to be
paid, when one evening this pony trotted into camp and at once tried
to be friendly with the cavalry horses, but the poor thing was so
frightfully hideous with its painted coat the horses would not permit
him to come near them for some time. But the men caught him and brought
him on to the stables, where there was trouble at once, for almost every
man in the troop claimed ownership. So it was finally decided by the
captain that as soon as the troop had been paid the horse should be
raffled, that each man in that one troop could have the privilege of
buying a chance at one dollar, and that the money should go in the troop
fund. This arrangement delighted the men, as it promised something new
in the way of a frolic.

In due time the paymaster arrived, the men were paid, and then in a few
minutes there was brisk business going on over at the quarters of
the troop! Every enlisted man in the troop--sergeants, corporals, and
privates, eighty-four in all--bought a chance, thus making a fine
sum for the fund. A private won the horse, of whom Lieutenant Isham
immediately bought him and presented him to me.

He is about fifteen hands high and not in the least of a pony build, but
is remarkably slender, with fine head and large intelligent eyes. Just
what his color is we do not know, for he is stained in red-brown stripes
all over his body, around his legs, and on his face, but we think he is
a light gray. When he wandered to camp, a small bell was tied around
his neck with a piece of red flannel, and this, with his having been so
carefully stained, indicates almost conclusively that he was a pet. Some
of the soldiers insist that he was a race pony, because he is not only
very swift, but has been taught to take three tremendous jumps at the
very beginning of his run, which gives him an immense advantage, but
which his rider may sometimes fail to appreciate. These jumps are often
taught the Indian race ponies. The horse is gentle with Faye and is
certainly graceful, but he is hard to hold and inclined to bolt, so I
will not try him until he becomes more civilized.

The Indians are very bold again. A few days ago Lieutenant Golden was in
to luncheon, and while we were at the table we saw several Kiowas rush
across the creek and stampede five or six horses that belonged to our
milkman, who has a ranch just outside the garrison. In a few minutes an
orderly appeared with an order for Lieutenant Golden and ten men to go
after them without delay, and bring the horses back.

Of course he started at once, and chased those Indians all the
afternoon, and got so close to them once or twice that they saw the
necessity of lightening the weight on their tired ponies, and threw off
their old saddles and all sorts of things, even little bags of shot, but
all the time they held on to their guns and managed to keep the stolen
horses ahead of them. They had extra ponies, too, that they swung
themselves over on when the ridden beasts began to lag a little. When
night came on Lieutenant Golden was compelled to give up the chase, and
had to return to the post without having recovered one of the stolen
horses.

One never knows here what dreadful things may come up any moment.
Everything was quiet and peaceful when we sat down to luncheon, yet in
less than ten minutes we saw the rush of the Indians and the stampede of
the milkman's horses right from our dining-room window. The horses were
close to the post too. Splendid cavalry horses were sent after them,
but it requires a very swift horse to overtake those tough little Indian
ponies at any time, and the Kiowas probably were on their best ponies
when they stampeded the horses, for they knew, undoubtedly, that cavalry
would soon be after them.

DODGE CITY, KANSAS, June, 1873.

WE reached this place yesterday, expecting to take the cars this morning
for Granada, but the servant who was to have come from Kansas City on
that train will not be here until to-morrow. When the time came to say
good-by, I was sorry to leave a number of the friends at Camp Supply,
particularly Mrs. Hunt, with whom we stayed the last few days, while we
were packing. Everyone was at the ambulance to see us off--except the
Phillips family.

We were three days coming up, because of one or two delays the very
first day. One of the wagons broke down soon after we left the post,
and an hour or so was lost in repairing it, and at Buffalo Creek we were
delayed a long time by an enormous herd of buffalo. It was a sight that
probably we will never see again. The valley was almost black with the
big animals, and there must have been hundreds and hundreds of them on
either side of the road. They seemed very restless, and were constantly
moving about instead of grazing upon the buffalo grass, which is
unusually fine along that valley, and this made us suspect that they had
been chased and hunted until the small bands had been driven together
into one big herd. Possibly the hunters had done this themselves, so
the slaughter could be the greater and the easier. It is remarkable that
such grand-looking beasts should have so little sense as to invariably
cross the road right in front of moving teams, and fairly challenge
one to make targets of them. It was this crossing of large numbers that
detained us so long yesterday.

When we got out about fifteen miles on the road, an Apache Indian
appeared, and so suddenly that it seemed as if he must have sprung up
from the ground. He was in full war dress--that is, no dress at all
except the breech clout and moccasins--and his face and whole naked body
were stained in many colors in the most hideous manner. In his scalp
lock was fastened a number of eagle feathers, and of course he wore two
or three necklaces of beads and wampum. There was nothing unusual
about the pony he was riding, except that it was larger and in
better condition than the average Indian horse, but the one he was
leading--undoubtedly his war horse--was a most beautiful animal, one of
the most beautiful I ever saw.

The Apache evidently appreciated the horse, for he had stained only his
face, but this had been made quite as frightful as that of the Indian.
The pony was of a bright cream color, slender, and with a perfect head
and small ears, and one could see that he was quick and agile in every
movement. He was well groomed, too. The long, heavy mane had been parted
from ears to withers, and then twisted and roped on either side with
strips of some red stuff that ended in long streamers, which were blown
out in a most fantastic way when the pony was running. The long tail
was roped only enough to fasten at the top a number of strips of the red
that hung almost to the ground over the hair. Imagine all this savage
hideousness rushing upon you--on a yellow horse with a mane of waving
red! His very presence on an ordinary trotting pony was enough to freeze
the blood in one's veins.

That he was a spy was plainly to be seen, and we knew also that his band
was probably not far away. He seemed in very good spirits, asked for
"tobac," and rode along with us some distance--long enough to make a
careful estimate of our value and our strength. Finally he left us and
disappeared over the hills. Then the little escort of ten men received
orders from Faye to be on the alert, and hold themselves and their
rifles ready for a sudden attack.

We rode on and on, hoping to reach the Cimarron Redoubt before dark, but
that had to be given up and camp was made at Snake Creek, ten miles the
other side. Not one Indian had been seen on the road except the Apache,
and this made us all the more uncomfortable. Snake Creek was where the
two couriers were shot by Indians last summer, and that did not add to
our feelings of security--at least not mine. We were in a little coulee,
too, where it would have been an easy matter for Indians to have sneaked
upon us. No one in the camp slept much that night, and most of the men
were walking post to guard the animals. And those mules! I never heard
mules, and horses also, sneeze and cough and make so much unnecessary
noise as those animals made that night. And Hal acted like a crazy
dog--barking and growling and rushing out of the tent every two minutes,
terrifying me each time with the fear that he might have heard the
stealthy step of a murderous savage.

Everyone lived through the night, however, but we were all glad to make
an early start, so before daylight we were on the road. The old sergeant
agreed with Faye in thinking that we were in a trap at the camp, and
should move on early. We did not stop at the Redoubt, but I saw as we
passed that the red curtains were still at the little window.

It seems that we are not much more safe in this place than we were in
camp in an Indian country. The town is dreadful and has the reputation
of being one of the very worst in the West since the railroad has been
built. They say that gamblers and all sorts of "toughs" follow a new
road. After breakfast this morning we started for a walk to give Hal a
little run, but when we got to the office the hotel proprietor told us
that the dog must be led, otherwise he would undoubtedly be stolen right
before our eyes. Faye said: "No one would dare do such a thing; I would
have him arrested." But the man said there was no one here who would
make the arrest, as there certainly would be two or more revolvers to
argue with first, and in any case the dog would be lost to us, for if
the thief saw that he could not hold him the dog would undoubtedly be
shot. Just imagine such a thing! So Hal was led by his chain, but he
looked so abused and miserable, and I was so frightened and nervous, our
outing was short, and here we are shut up in our little room.

We can see the car track from the window, and I wonder how it will seem
to go over in a car, the country that we came across in wagons only
one year ago. From Granada we will go to the post in an ambulance, a
distance of forty or more miles. But a ride of fifty miles over these
plains has no terrors for me now. The horses, furniture, and other
things went on in a box car this morning. It is very annoying to be
detained here so long, and I am a little worried about that girl. The
telegram says she was too sick to start yesterday.

FORT LYON, COLORADO TERRITORY, June, 1873.

IT has been impossible for me to write before, for I have been more than
busy, both day and night, ever since we got here. The servant for whom
we waited at Dodge City, and who I had hoped would be a great assistance
to me in getting settled, came to us very ill--almost too ill to be
brought over from Granada. But we could not leave her there with no one
to take care of her, and of course I could not remain with her, so there
was nothing else to be done--we had to bring her along. We had accepted
Mrs. Wilder's invitation to stay with them a few days until we could get
settled a little, but all that was changed when we got here, for we were
obliged to come directly to our own house, unpack camp bedding and the
mess chest, and do the best we could for ourselves and the sick girl.

The post surgeon told us as soon as he had examined the girl that she
had tuberculosis in almost its last stage, and that she was threatened
with double pneumonia! So you can imagine what I have been through in
the way of nursing, for there was no one in the garrison who would come
to assist me. The most unpleasant part of it all is, the girl is most
ungrateful for all that is being done for her, and finds fault with
many things. She has admitted to the doctor that she came to us for
her health; that as there are only two in the family, she thought there
would be so little for her to do she could ride horseback and be out of
doors most of the time! What a nice arrangement it would have been--this
fine lady sitting out on our lawn or riding one of our horses, and I
in the kitchen preparing the dinner, and then at the end of the month
humbly begging her to accept a little check for thirty dollars!

We have an excellent soldier cook, but the care of that miserable girl
falls upon me, and the terrible experience we passed through at Dodge
City has wholly unfitted me for anything of the kind. The second night
we were there, about one o'clock, we were awakened by loud talking and
sounds of people running; then shots were fired very near, and instantly
there were screams of agony, "I'm shot! I'm shot!" from some person
who was apparently coming across the street, and who fell directly
underneath our window. We were in a little room on the second floor, and
its one window was raised far up, which made it possible for us to hear
the slightest sound or movement outside.

The shooting was kept up until after the man was dead, many of the
bullets hitting the side of the hotel. It was simply maddening to have
to stay in that room and be compelled to listen to the moans and death
gurgle of that murdered man, and hear him cry, "Oh, my lassie, my poor
lassie!" as he did over and over again, until he could no longer speak.
It seemed as though every time he tried to say one word, there was the
report of a pistol. After he was really dead we could hear the fiends
running off, and then other people came and carried the body away.

The shooting altogether did not last longer than five or ten minutes,
and at almost the first shot we could hear calls all over the wretched
little town of "Vigilante! Vigilante!" and knew that the vigilantes were
gathering, but before they could get together the murderous work had
been finished. All the time there had been perfect silence throughout
the hotel. The proprietor told us that he got up, but that it would have
been certain death if he or anyone else had opened a door.

Hal was on the floor in a corner of our room, and began to growl after
the very first scream, and I was terrified all the time for fear he
would go to the open window and attract the attention of those murderers
below, who would undoubtedly have commenced firing at the window and
perhaps have killed all of us. But the moans of the dying man frightened
the dog awfully, and he crawled under the bed, where he stayed during
the rest of the horrible night. The cause of all the trouble seems to
have been that a colored man undertook to carry in his wagon three or
four men from Dodge City to Fort Dodge, a distance of five miles, but
when he got out on the road a short distance he came to the conclusion,
from their talk, that they were going to the post for evil purposes,
and telling them that he would take them no farther, he turned his team
around to come back home. On the way back the men must have threatened
him, for when he got in town he drove to the house of some colored
people who live on a corner across from the hotel and implored them to
let him in, but they were afraid and refused to open the door, for by
that time the men were shooting at him.

The poor man ran across the street, leaving a trail of blood that
streamed from his wounds, and was brutally killed under our window.
Early the next morning, when we crossed the street to go to the cars,
the darky's mule was lying on the ground, dead, near the corner of the
hotel, and stuck on one long ear was the murdered man's hat. Soon after
we reached Granada a telegram was received giving an account of the
affair, and saying also that in less than one half hour after the train
had passed through, Dodge City was surrounded by troops of United States
cavalry from Fort Dodge, that the entire town was searched for the
murderers, but that not even a trace of one had been discovered.

When I got inside a car the morning after that awful, awful night, it
was with a feeling that I was leaving behind me all such things and that
by evening I would be back once more at our old army home and away
from hostile Indians, and hostile desperadoes too. But when I saw that
servant girl with the pale, emaciated face and flushed cheeks, so ill
she could barely sit up, my heart went down like lead and Indians seemed
small trials in comparison to what I saw ahead of me.

Well, she will go in a few days, and then I can give the house some
attention. The new furniture and china are all here, but nothing has
been done in the way of getting settled. The whole coming back has been
cruelly disappointing, and I am so tired and nervous I am afraid of my
own shadow. So after a while I think I will go East for a few weeks,
which I know you will be glad to hear.

FORT LYON, COLORADO TERRITORY, August, 1873.

WE have just come in from a drive to the Purgatoire with Colonel Knight
behind his handsome horses. It makes me sad, always, to go over that
familiar road and to scenes that are so closely associated with my
learning to ride and shoot when we were here before. The small tree that
was my target is dead but still standing, and on it are several little
pieces of the white paper bull's eyes that Faye and Lieutenant Baldwin
tacked on it for me.

We often see poor Tom. The post trader bought him after Lieutenant
Baldwin's death, so the dear horse would always have good care and not
be made to bring and carry for a cruel master. He wanders about as he
chooses and is fat, but the coat that was once so silky and glossy is
now dull and faded, and the horse looks spiritless and dejected. Poor
Tom! The greyhound, Magic, still remembers their many, many hunts
together when the horse would try to outrun the dog, and the hound often
goes out to make him little visits, and the sight is pathetic. That
big dog of the chaplain's is still here, and how the good man can
conscientiously have him about, I cannot understand.

Colonel Knight has two large dogs also, but they are shut in the stable
most of the time to guard his pair of valuable horses. The horses are
not particularly fast or spirited, but they are very beautiful and
perfectly matched in color and gait.

Ever since Hal has been old enough to run with a horse, he has always
gone with me riding or driving. So the first time we drove with Colonel
Knight I called Hal to go with us and he ran out of the house and over
the fence with long joyful bounds, to be instantly pounced upon, and
rolled over into the acequia by the two big dogs of Colonel Knight's
that I had not even heard of! Hal has splendid fighting blood and has
never shown cowardice, but he is still a young dog and inexperienced,
and no match for even one old fighter, and to have two notoriously
savage, bloodthirsty beasts gnawing at him as though he was a bone was
terrible. But Hal apparently never thought of running from them, and
after the one howl of surprise gave his share of vicious growls and
snaps. But the old dogs were protected by their heavy hair, while Hal's
short coat and fine skin were easily torn.

We all rushed to his rescue, for it looked as though he would be torn in
pieces, and when I saw a long cut in his tender skin I was frantic. But
finally the two black dogs were pulled off and Hal was dragged out of
the ditch and back to the house, holding back and growling all the time,
which showed plainly he was not satisfied with the way the affair had
ended. The drive that day I did not enjoy!

Hal was not torn so deeply as to have unsightly scars, for which I was
thankful. From that day on, however, he not only hated those dogs,
but disliked the man who cares for them, and seemed to consider him
responsible for their very existence. And it was wonderful that he
should recognize Cressy's step on the ground as he passed at the side of
our house. Several times when he would be stretched out on the floor,
to all appearances fast asleep, I have seen him open his eyes wide and
growl when the man and dogs were passing, although it was perfectly
impossible for him to have seen them.

One morning about ten days ago when I was on the second floor, I heard
an awful noise downstairs--whines, growls, and howls all so mingled
together one would have thought there were a dozen dogs in the house.
I ran down to see what could possibly be the matter, and found Hal at a
window in the dining room that looked out on the back yard, every hair
on his brindled back standing straight up and each white tooth showing.
Looking out I saw that Turk, the more savage of the two black dogs, was
in the yard and could not get out over the high board fence. Cressy
was probably on guard that day, and sentry over the prisoners who had
brought water. The dog must have followed him in and then managed to get
left.

Hal looked up at me, and for one instant kept perfectly still, waiting
to see what I would do. His big brown eyes were almost human in their
beseeching, and plainly said, "You cannot have forgotten--you will
surely let me out!" And let him out I did. I opened the doors leading
to the yard, and almost pushing me over he rushed to the black dog with
great leaps and the most blood-curdling growls, jumping straight over
him, then around him, then over him again and again, and so like a
whirlwind, the poor black beast was soon crazy, for snap as fast as he
might, it was ever at the clear, beautiful air. Hal was always just out
of reach.

After he had worried the dog all he wanted to Hal proceeded to business.
With a greyhound trick, he swung himself around with great force and
knocked the big dog flat upon the ground, and holding him down with his
two paws he pulled out mouthful after mouthful of long hair, throwing it
out of his mouth right and left. If the dog attempted to raise his big
head Hal was quick to give a wicked snap that made the head fall down
again. When I saw that Hal had actually conquered the dog and had proved
that he-was the splendid hound I had ever considered him to be, I told
West to go out at once and separate them. But for the very first time
West was slow--he went like a snail. It seemed that one of the dogs had
snapped at his leg once, and I believe he would have been delighted if
Hal had gnawed the dog flesh and bone. He pulled Hal in by his collar
and opened the gate for Turk, and soon things were quite once more.

All that day Hal's eyes were like stars, and one could almost see a grin
on his mouth. He was ever on the alert, and would frequently look out on
the yard, wag his tail and growl. The strangest thing about it all is,
that not once since that morning has he paid the slightest attention to
Cressy or the two dogs, except to growl a little when they have happened
to meet. Turk must have told his companion about the fight, for he, too,
finds attractions in another direction when he sees Hal coming.

Some of our friends have found pleasure in teasing me about my sporting
taste, private arena, and so on, but I do not mind so very much, since
the fight brought about peace, and proved that Hal has plenty of pluck.
Those two Knight dogs are looked upon as savage wolves by every mother
in the garrison, and when it is known that they are out, mothers and
nurses run to gather in their small people.

Hal has developed a taste for hunting that has been giving trouble
lately, when he has run off with Magic and the other hounds. So now he
is chained until after guard mounting, by which time the pack has gone.
The signal officer of the department was here the other day when Faye
and men from the company were out signaling, and after luncheon I told
West to go out to him on Powder-Face and lead King, so he could ride
the horse in, instead of coming in the wagon with the men. Late in the
afternoon West came back and reported that he had been unable to find
Faye, and then with much hesitation and choking he told me that he had
lost Hal!

He said that as they had gone up a little hill, they had surprised a
small band of antelope that were grazing rather near on the other side,
and that the hound started after them like a streak, pulling one down
before they had crossed the lowland, and then, not being satisfied,
he had raced on again after the band that had disappeared over a hill
farther on. That was the last he saw of him. West said that he wanted
to bring the dead antelope to the post, but could not, as both horses
objected to it.

My heart was almost broken over the loss of my dog, and I started for my
own room to indulge in a good cry when, as I passed the front door that
was open, I happened to look out, and there, squatted down on the walk
to the gate was Hal! I ran out to pet him, but drew back in horror when
I saw the condition he was in. His long nose and all of his white chest
were covered with a thick coating of coarse antelope hair plastered in
with dried blood. The dog seemed too tired to move, and sat there with
a listless, far-away look that made me wish he could tell all about his
hunt, and if he had lost the second poor little antelope. West almost
danced from joy when he saw him, and lost no time in giving him a bath
and putting him in his warm bed. Greyhounds are often great martyrs to
rheumatism, and Deacon, one of the pack, will sometimes howl from pain
after a hunt. And the howl of a greyhound is far-reaching and something
to be remembered.

Very soon now I will be with you! Faye has decided to close the house
and live with the bachelors while I am away. This will be much more
pleasant for him than staying here all alone.

FORT LYON, COLORADO TERRITORY, October, 1873.

THE trip out was tiresome and seemed endless, but nothing worth
mentioning happened until I got to Granada, where Faye met me with an
ambulance and escort wagon. It was after two o'clock in the morning when
the train reached the station, and as it is the terminus of the road,
every passenger left the car. I waited a minute for Faye to come in, but
as he did not I went out also, feeling that something was wrong.

Just as I stepped off the car, Mr. Davis, quartermaster's clerk,
appeared and took my satchel, assuring me that Faye was right there
waiting for me. This was so very unlike Faye's way of doing things, that
at once I suspected that the real truth was not being told. But I went
with him quickly through the little crowd, and on up the platform, and
then I saw Faye. He was standing at one corner of the building--all
alone, and I recognized him instantly by the long light-blue overcoat
and big campaign hat with brim turned up.

And I saw also, standing on the corner of the platform in front of him,
a soldier with rifle in hand, and on the end of it glistening in the
moonlight was a long bayonet! I had lived with troops long enough to
know that the bayonet would not be there unless the soldier was a sentry
guarding somebody or something. I naturally turned toward Faye, but was
held back by Mr. Davis, and that made me indignant, but Faye at once
said quietly and in a voice just loud enough for me to hear, "Get in
the ambulance and ask no questions!" And still he did not move from
the corner. By this time I was terribly frightened and more and more
puzzled. Drawn up close to the farther side of the platform was an
ambulance, also an escort wagon, in which sat several soldiers, and
handing my trunk checks to Mr. Davis, I got, into the ambulance, my
teeth chattering as though I had a chill.

The very instant the trunks were loaded Faye and the sentry came, and
after ordering the corporal to keep his wagon and escort close to us,
and telling me to drop down in the bottom of the ambulance if I heard
a shot, Faye got on the ambulance also, but in front with the driver.
Leaning forward, I saw that one revolver was in his hand and the other
on the seat by his side. In this way, and in perfect silence, we rode
through the town and until we were well out on the open plain, when we
stopped just long enough for Faye to get inside, and a soldier from the
wagon to take his seat by the driver.

Then Faye told me of what had occurred to make necessary all these
precautions. He had come over from Fort Lyon the day before, and had
been with Major Carroll, the depot quartermaster, during the afternoon
and evening. The men had established a little camp just at the edge of
the miserable town where the mules could be guarded and cared for.

About nine o'clock Faye and Mr. Davis started out for a walk, but before
they had gone far Faye remembered that he had left his pistols and
cartridge belt on a desk in the quartermaster's office, and fearing
they might be stolen they went back for them. He put the pistols on
underneath his heavy overcoat, as the belt was quite too short to fasten
outside.

Well, he and Mr. Davis walked along slowly in the bright moonlight past
the many saloons and gambling places, never once thinking of danger,
when suddenly from a dark passageway a voice said, "You are the man I
want," and bang! went a pistol shot close to Faye's head--so close, in
fact, that as he ducked his head down, when he saw the pistol pointed at
him, the rammer slot struck his temple and cut a deep hole that at once
bled profusely. Before Faye could get out one of his own pistols from
underneath the long overcoat, another shot was fired, and then away
skipped Mr. Davis, leaving Faye standing alone in the brilliant
moonlight. As soon as Faye commenced to shoot, his would-be assassin
came out from the dark doorway and went slowly along the walk, taking
good care, however, to keep himself well in the shadow of the buildings.

They went on down the street shooting back and forth at each other, Faye
wondering all the time why he could not hit the man. Once he got him in
front of a restaurant window where there was a bright light back of
him, and, taking careful aim, he thought the affair could be ended right
there, but the ball whizzed past the man and went crashing through
the window and along the tables, sending broken china right and left.
Finally their pistols were empty, and Faye drew out a second, at the
sight of which the man started to run and disappeared in the shadows.

As soon as the shooting ceased men came out from all sorts of places,
and there was soon a little crowd around Faye, asking many questions,
but he and Major Carroll went to a drug store, where his wounds could be
dressed. For some time it was thought there must be a ball in the deep
hole in his temple. When Faye had time to think he understood why he had
done such poor shooting. He is an almost sure shot, but always holds his
pistol in his left hand, and of course aims with his left eye. But that
night his left eye was filled with blood the very first thing from the
wound in his left temple, which forced him unconsciously to aim with his
right eye, which accounts for the wild shots.

The soldiers heard of the affair in camp, and several came up on a run
and stood guard at the drug store. A rumor soon got around that Oliver
had gone off to gather some of his friends, and they would soon be at
the store to finish the work. Very soon, however, a strange man came in,
much excited, and said, "Lieutenant! Oliver's pals are getting ready
to attack you at the depot as the train comes in," and out he went. The
train was due at two o'clock A. M., and this caused Faye four hours of
anxiety. He learned that the man who shot at him was "Billy Oliver," a
horse thief and desperado of the worst type, and that he was the leader
of a band of horse thieves that was then in town. To be threatened by
men like those was bad enough in itself, but Faye knew that I would
arrive on that train. That was the cause of so much caution when the
train came in. There were several rough-looking men at the station, but
if they had intended mischief, the long infantry rifles in the hands of
drilled soldiers probably persuaded them to attend to their own affairs.
A man told the corporal, however, that Oliver's friends had decided not
to kill Faye at the station, but had gone out on horseback to meet him
on the road. This was certainly misery prolonged.

The mules were driven through the town at an ordinary gait, but when we
got on the plain they were put at a run, and for miles we came at that
pace. The little black shaved-tails pulled the ambulance, and I think
that for once they had enough run. The moonlight was wonderfully bright,
and for a long distance objects could be seen, and bunches of sage bush
and Spanish bayonet took the forms of horsemen, and naturally I saw
danger in every little thing we passed.

One thing occurred that night that deserves mentioning. Some one told
the soldiers that Oliver was hidden in a certain house, and one of them,
a private, started off without leave, and all alone for that house. When
he got there the entire building was dark, not a light in it, except
that of the moon which streamed in through two small windows. But the
gritty soldier went boldly in and searched every little room and every
little corner, even the cellar, but not a living thing was found. It may
have been brave, but it was a dreadful thing for the trooper to do, for
he so easily could have been murdered in the darkness, and Faye and
the soldiers never have known what had become of him. Colonel Bissell
declares that the man shall be made a corporal upon the first vacancy.

The man Oliver was in the jail at Las Animas last summer for stealing
horses. The old jail was very shaky, and while it was being made
more secure, he and another man--a wife murderer--were brought to
the guardhouse at this post. They finally took them back, and Oliver
promptly made his escape, and the sheriff had actually been afraid to
re-arrest him. We have all begged Faye to get out a warrant for the man,
but he says it would simply be a farce, that the sheriff would pay no
attention to it. The whole left side of Faye's face is badly swollen and
very painful, and the wound in his ankle compels him to use a cane.
Just how the man managed to shoot Faye in the ankle no one seems to
understand.

Granada must be a terrible place! The very afternoon Faye was there a
Mexican was murdered in the main street, but not the slightest attention
was paid to the shooting--everything went right on as though it was an
everyday occurrence. The few respectable people are afraid even to try
to keep order.

Dodge City used to be that way and there was a reign of terror in the
town, until finally the twelve organized vigilantes became desperate
and took affairs in their own hands. They notified six of the leading
desperadoes that they must be out of the place by a certain day and
hour. Four went, but two were defiant and remained. When the specified
hour had passed, twelve double-barreled shotguns were loaded with
buckshot, and in a body the vigilantes hunted these men down as they
would mad dogs and riddled each one through and through with the big
shot! It was an awful thing to do, but it seems to have been absolutely
necessary and the only way of establishing law and order. Our friends
at Fort Dodge tell us that the place is now quite decent, and that a
man can safely walk in the streets without pistols and a belt full of
cartridges.

FORT LYON, COLORADO TERRITORY, October, 1873.

ONE naturally looks for all sorts of thrilling experiences when out
on the frontier, but to have men and things mix themselves up in a
maddening way in one's very own house, as has recently been done in
mine, is something not usually counted upon. To begin with, Mrs. Rae is
with us, and her coming was not only most unlocked for up to two days
ago, but through a wretched mistake in a telegram she got here just
twenty-four hours before we thought she would arrive. Ordinarily this
would have been a delightful surprise, but, unfortunately, things had
begun to "mix!"

Faye had suffered so much from the wound in his head that very little
attention had been given the house since my return from the East,
therefore it was not in the very best of order. It was closed during my
two months' absence, as Faye had lived down with the bachelors. The very
day that Mrs. Rae came the quartermaster had sent a man to repair one of
the chimneys, and plaster and dirt had been left in my room, the one I
had intended Mrs. Rae to occupy. And then, to make matters just as bad
as possible, there was a sand storm late in the afternoon that had, of
course, sifted dust over all things.

But this was not all! My nerves had not recovered from the shock at
Granada, and had given out entirely that day just before dinner, and
had sent me to bed with an uncomfortable chill. Still, I was not
disheartened. Before I went East many things had been put away, but West
had unpacked and polished the silver several days before, and the glass
was shining and the china closets in perfect order, all of which had
been attended to with my own hands. Besides, the wife of one of the
sergeants was to come the next morning to dust and clean the little
house from top to bottom, so there was really nothing to worry about,
as everything would be in order long before time for the stage to arrive
that would bring Mrs. Rae.

But after the chill came a fever, and with the fever came dreams,
most disturbing dreams, in which were sounds of crunching gravel, then
far-away voices--voices that I seemed to have heard in another world. A
door was opened, and then--oh! how can I ever tell you--in the hall came
Faye's mother! By that time dreams had ceased, and it was cruel reality
that had to be faced, and even now I wonder how I lived through the
misery of that moment--the longing to throw myself out of the window,
jump in the river, do anything, in fact, but face the mortification of
having her see the awful condition of her son's house!

Her son's house--that was just it. I did not care at all for myself, my
only thought was for Faye whose mother might find cause to pity him for
the delinquencies of his wife! First impressions are indelible, and
it would be difficult to convince Mrs. Rae ever that the house was not
always dusty and untidy. How could she know that with pride I had ever
seen that our house, however rough it might have been, was clean and
cheerful. And of what use would it be to arrange things attractively
now? She would be justified in supposing that it was only in its company
dress.

I was weak and dizzy from fever and a sick heart, but I managed to
get dressed and go down to do the best I could. West prepared a little
supper, and we made things as comfortable as possible, considering the
state of affairs. Mrs. Rae was most lovely about everything--said she
understood it all. But that could not be, not until she had seen one of
our sand storms, from the dust of which it is impossible to protect a
thing. I have been wishing for a storm ever since, so Mrs. Rae could see
that I was not responsible for the condition of things that night.

Now this was not all--far, far from it. On the way out in the cars, Mrs.
Rae met the colonel of the regiment--a real colonel, who is called a
colonel, too--who was also on his way to this post, and with him was
Lieutenant Whittemore, a classmate of Faye's. Colonel Fitz-James was
very courteous to Mrs. Rae, and when they reached Kit Carson he insisted
upon her coming over with him in the ambulance that had been sent to
meet him. This was very much more comfortable than riding in the old
stage, so she gladly accepted, and to show her appreciation of the
kindness, she invited the colonel, also Lieutenant Whittemore, to dine
with us the following evening!

Yes, there is still more, for it so happens that Colonel Fitz-James
is known to be an epicure, to be fussy and finical about all things
pertaining to the table, and what is worse takes no pains to disguise
it, and in consequence is considered an undesirable dinner guest by
the most experienced housekeepers in the regiment. All this I had often
heard, and recalled every word during the long hours of that night as
I was making plans for the coming day. The combination in its entirety
could not have been more formidable. There was Faye's mother, a splendid
housekeeper--her very first day in our house. His colonel and an
abnormally sensitive palate--his very first meeting with each of us.
His classmate, a young man of much wealth--a perfect stranger to me. A
soldier cook, willing, and a very good waiter, but only a plain everyday
cook; certainly not a maker of dainty dishes for a dinner party. And
my own experiences in housekeeping had been limited to log huts in
outlandish places.

Every little thing for that dinner had to be prepared in our own house.
There was no obliging caterer around the corner where a salad, an ice,
and other things could be hurriedly ordered; not even one little market
to go to for fish, flesh, or fowl; only the sutler's store, where their
greatest dainty is "cove" oysters! Fortunately there were some young
grouse in the house which I had saved for Mrs. Rae and which were just
right for the table, and those West could cook perfectly.

So with a head buzzing from quinine I went down in the morning, and with
stubborn determination that the dinner should be a success, I proceeded
to carry out the plans I had decided upon during the night.

The house was put in splendid order and the dinner prepared, and Colonel
Knight was invited to join us. I attempted only the dishes that could
be served well--nothing fancy or difficult--and the sergeant's wife
remained to assist West in the kitchen. It all passed off pleasantly
and most satisfactorily, and Colonel Fitz-James could not have been more
agreeable, although he looked long and sharply at the soldier when he
first appeared in the dining room. But he said not a word; perhaps he
concluded it must be soldier or no dinner. I have been told several
nice things he said about that distracting dinner before leaving the
garrison. But it all matters little to me now, since it was not found
necessary to take me to a lunatic asylum!

Mrs. Rae saw in a paper that Faye had been shot by a desperado, and
was naturally much alarmed, so she sent a telegram to learn what had
happened, and in reply Faye telegraphed for her to come out, and
fearing that he must be very ill she left Boston that very night. But we
understood that she would start the next day, and this misinterpretation
caused my undoing--that and the sand storm.

That man Oliver has at last been arrested and is now in the jail at
Las Animas, chained with another man--a murderer--to a post in the dark
cellar. This is because he has so many times threatened the jailer. He
says that some day he will get out, and then his first act will be to
kill the keeper, and the next to kill Lieutenant Rae. He also declares
that Faye kicked him when he was in the guardhouse at the post. Of
course anyone with a knowledge of military discipline would know this
assertion to be false, for if Faye had done such a thing as that, he
might have been court-martialed.

The sheriff was actually afraid to make the arrest the first time he
went over, because so many of Oliver's friends were in town, and so he
came back without him, although he saw him several times. The second
trip, however, Oliver was taken off guard and was handcuffed and out of
the town before he had a chance to rally his friends to his assistance.
He was brought to Las Animas during the night to avoid any possibility
of a lynching. The residents of the little town are full of indignation
that the man should have attempted to kill an officer of this garrison.
He is a horse thief and desperado, and made his escape from their jail
several months back, so altogether they consider that the country can
very well do without him. I think so, too, and wish every hour in the
day that the sheriff had been less cautious. Oliver cannot be tried
until next May, when the general court meets, and I am greatly
distressed over this fact, for the jail is old and most insecure, and he
may get out at any time. The fear and dread of him is on my mind day and
night.

FORT LYON, COLORADO TERRITORY, December, 1873.

EVERYONE in the garrison seems to be more or less in a state of
collapse! The bal masque is over, the guests have departed, and all that
is left to us now are the recollections of a delightful party that gave
full return for our efforts to have it a success.

We did not dream that so many invitations would be accepted at far-away
posts, that parties would come from Fort Leavenworth, Fort Riley, Fort
Dodge, and Fort Wallace, for a long ambulance ride was necessary from
each place. But we knew of their coming in time to make preparations
for all, so there was no confusion or embarrassment. Every house on
the officers' line was filled to overflowing and scarcely a corner left
vacant.

The new hospital was simply perfect for an elaborate entertainment.
The large ward made a grand ballroom, the corridors were charming for
promenading, and, yes, flirting, the dining room and kitchen perfect for
the supper, and the office and other small rooms were a nice size for
cloak rooms. Of course each one of these rooms, big and small, had to
be furnished. In each dressing room was a toilet table fitted out with
every little article that might possibly be needed during the evening,
both before and after the removal of masks. All this necessitated
much planning, an immense amount of work, and the stripping of our own
houses. But there were a good many of us, and the soldiers were cheerful
assistants. I was on the supper committee, which really dwindled down
to a committee of one at the very last, for I was left alone to put the
finishing touches to the tables and to attend to other things. The vain
creatures seemed more interested in their own toilets, and went home to
beautify themselves.

The commanding officer kept one eye, and the quartermaster about a dozen
eyes upon us while we were decorating, to see that no injury was done
to the new building. But that watchfulness was unnecessary, for the many
high windows made the fastening of flags an easy matter, as we draped
them from the casing of one window to the casing of the next, which
covered much of the cold, white walls and gave an air of warmth and
cheeriness to the rooms. Accoutrements were hung everywhere, every bit
of brass shining as only an enlisted man can make it shine, and the long
infantry rifles with fixed bayonets were "stacked" whereever they would
not interfere with the dancing.

Much of the supper came from Kansas City--that is, the celery, fowls,
and material for little cakes, ices, and so on--and the orchestra
consisted of six musicians from the regimental band at Fort Riley. The
floor of the ballroom was waxed perfectly, but it is hoped by some of
us that much of the lightning will be taken from it before the hospital
cots and attendants are moved in that ward.

Everybody was en masque and almost everyone wore fancy dress and some
of the costumes were beautiful. The most striking figure in the rooms,
perhaps, was Lieutenant Alden, who represented Death! He is very tall
and very slender, and he had on a skintight suit of dark-brown drilling,
painted from crown to toe with thick white paint to represent the
skeleton of a human being; even the mask that covered the entire head
was perfect as a skull. The illusion was a great success, but it made
one shiver to see the awful thing walking about, the grinning skull
towering over the heads of the tallest. And ever at its side was a red
devil, also tall, and so thin one wondered what held the bones together.
This red thing had a long tail. The devil was Lieutenant Perkins, of
course.

Faye and Doctor Dent were dressed precisely alike, as sailors, the
doctor even wearing a pair of Faye's shoes. They had been very sly about
the twin arrangement, which was really splendid, for they are just about
the same size and have hair very much the same color. But smart as they
were, I recognized Faye at once. The idea of anyone thinking I would not
know him!

We had queens and milkmaids and flower girls galore, and black starry
nights and silvery days, and all sorts of things, many of them very
elegant. My old yellow silk, the two black lace flounces you gave me,
and a real Spanish mantilla that Mrs. Rae happened to have with her,
made a handsome costume for me as a Spanish lady. I wore almost all the
jewelry in the house; every piece of my own small amount and much
of Mrs. Rae's, the nicest of all having been a pair of very large
old-fashioned "hoop" earrings, set all around with brilliants. My comb
was a home product, very showy, but better left to the imagination.

The dancing commenced at nine o'clock, and at twelve supper was served,
when we unmasked, and after supper we danced again and kept on dancing
until five o'clock! Even then a few of us would have been willing
to begin all over, for when again could we have such a ballroom with
perfect floor and such excellent music to dance by? But with the new day
came a new light and all was changed, much like the change of a ballet
with a new calcium light, only ours was not beautifying, but most trying
to tired, painted faces; and seeing each other we decided that we could
not get home too fast. In a few days the hospital will be turned over to
the post-surgeon, and the beautiful ward will be filled with iron
cots and sick soldiers, and instead of delicate perfumes, the odor of
nauseous drugs will pervade every place.

I have been too busy to ride during the past week, but am going out this
afternoon with the chaplain's young daughter, who is a fearless
rider, although only fourteen. King is very handsome now and his gait
delightful, but he still requires most careful management. He ran away
with me the other day, starting with those three tremendous strides,
but we were out on a level and straight road, so nothing went wrong. All
there was for me to do was to keep my seat. Lieutenant Perkins and Miss
Campbell were a mile or more ahead of us, and after he had passed them
he came down to a trot, evidently flattering himself that he had won a
race, and that nothing further was expected of him.

He jumps the cavalry hurdles beautifully--goes over like a deer, Hal
always following directly back of him. Whatever a horse does that dog
wants to do also. Last spring, when we came up from Camp Supply, he
actually tried to eat the corn that dropped from King's mouth as he
was getting his supper one night in camp. He has scarcely noticed
Powder-Face since the very day King was sent to me, but became devoted
to the new horse at once. I wonder if he could have seen that the new
horse was the faster of the two!

FORT LYON, COLORADO TERRITORY, May, 1874.

THERE is such good news to send you to-day I can hardly write it fast
enough. The Territorial Court has been in session, and yesterday
that horse thief, Billy Oliver, was tried and sentenced to ten years'
imprisonment in the penitentiary! The sheriff and a posse started for
Canon City this morning with him and another prisoner, and I hope that
he will not make his escape on the way over. The sheriff told Faye
confidentially the route he intended to take, which is not at all the
one he is supposed to be going over, and threw out strong hints to the
effect that if he wanted to put an end to the man's vicious career there
would be no interference from him (the sheriff) or his posse. He even
told Faye of a lonesome spot where it could be accomplished easily and
safely!

This was a strange thing for a sheriff to do, even in this country of
desperadoes, and shows what a fiend he considers Oliver to be. He said
that the man was the leader of a gang of the lowest and boldest type
of villains, and that even now it would be safer to have him out of the
way. Sheriffs are afraid of these men, and do not like to be obliged to
arrest them.

The day of the trial, and as Faye was about to go to the court room, a
corporal came to the house and told him that he had just come from Las
Animas, where he had heard from a reliable source that many of Oliver's
friends were in the town, and that it was their intention to kill Faye
as he came in the court room. He even described the man who was to do
the dreadful work, and he told Faye that if he went over without an
escort he would certainly be killed.

This was simply maddening, and I begged Faye to ask for a guard, but he
would not, insisting that there was not the least danger, that even a
desperado would not dare shoot an army officer in Las Animas in a public
place, for he knew he would be hung the next moment. That was all very
well, but it seemed to me that it would be better to guard against the
murder itself rather than think of what would be done to the murderer. I
knew that the corporal would never have come to the house if he had not
heard much that was alarming.

So Faye went over without a guard, but did condescend to wear his
revolvers. He says that the first thing he saw as he entered the court
room were six big, brawny cavalrymen, each one a picked man, selected
for bravery and determination. Of course each trooper was armed with
large government revolvers and a belt full of cartridges. He also saw
that they were sitting near, and where they could watch every move of
a man who answered precisely to the corporal's description, and as he
passed on up through the crowd he almost touched him. His hair was long
and hung down on his shoulders about a face that was villainous, and he
was "armed to the teeth." There were other tough-looking men seated near
this man, each one armed also.

Colonel Bissell had heard of the threat to kill Faye, and ordered a
corporal, the very man who searched so bravely through the dark house
for Oliver at Granada, and five privates to the court, with instructions
to shoot at once the first and every man who made the slightest move to
harm Faye! Those men knew very well what the soldiers were there for,
and I imagine that after one look at their weather-beaten faces, which
told of many an Indian campaign, the villains decided that it would be
better to keep quiet and let Oliver manage his own affairs.

A sergeant and one or two privates were summoned by Oliver to give
testimony against Faye, but each one told the same story, and said most
emphatically that Faye had not done more than speak to the man in the
line of duty, and as any officer would have done. Directly after guard
mounting, and as the new guard marches up to the guardhouse, the old
guard is ordered out, also the prisoners, and the prisoners stand in the
middle of the line with soldiers at each end, and every man, enlisted
man and prisoner, is required to stand up straight and in line. It was
at One of these times that Oliver claimed that Faye kicked him, when
he was officer of the day. Faye and Major Tilford say that the man was
slouching, and Faye told him to stand up and take his hands out of his
pockets. A small thing to murder an officer for, but I imagine that any
sort of discipline to a man of his character was most distasteful.

Of course Faye left the court room as soon as his testimony had been
given. When the sentence was pronounced the judge requested all visitors
to remain seated until after the prisoner had been removed, which showed
that he was a little afraid of trouble, and knew the bitter feeling
against the horse thief in the town. Several girls and young officers
from the post were outside in an ambulance, and they commenced to cheer
when told of the sentence, but the judge hurried a messenger out to
them with a request that they make no demonstration whatever. He is a
fearless and just judge, and it is a wonder that desperadoes have not
killed him long ago.

Perhaps now I can have a little rest from the terrible fear that has
been ever with me day and night during the whole winter, that Oliver
would escape from the old jail and carry out his threat of double
murder. He had made his escape once, and I feared that he might get out
again. But that post and chain must have been very securely fixed down
in that cellar.

FORT LYON, COLORADO TERRITORY, June, 1874.

BY this time you have my letter telling you that the regiment has been
ordered to the Department of the Gulf. Since then we have heard that it
is to go directly to Holly Springs, Mississippi, for the summer, where
a large camp is to be established. Just imagine what the suffering will
be, to go from this dry climate to the humidity of the South, and from
cool, thick-walled adobe buildings to hot, glary tents in the midst
of summer heat! We will reach Holly Springs about the Fourth of July.
Faye's allowance for baggage hardly carries more than trunks and a few
chests of house linen and silver, so we are taking very few things with
us. It is better to give them away than to pay for their transportation
such a long distance.

Both horses have been sold and beautiful King has gone. The young man
who bought him was a stranger here, and knew absolutely nothing about
the horse except what some one in Las Animas had told him. He rode him
around the yard only once, and then jumping down, pulled from his pocket
a fat roll of bills, counted off the amount for horse, saddle, and
bridle, and then, without saying one word more than a curt "good
morning," he mounted the horse again and rode out of the yard and
away. I saw the whole transaction from a window--saw it as well as
hot, blinding tears would permit. Faye thinks the man might have been
a fugitive and wanted a fast horse to get him out of the country. We
learned not long ago, you know, that King had been an Indian race pony
owned by a half-breed named Bent. He sent word from Camp Supply that I
was welcome to the horse if I could ride him! The chaplain has bought
Powder-Face, and I am to keep him as long as we are here. Hal will go
with us, for I cannot give up that dog and horses, too.

Speaking of Hal reminds me of the awful thing that occurred here a few
days ago. I have written often of the pack of beautiful greyhounds owned
by the cavalry officers, and of the splendid record of Magic--Hal's
father--as a hunter, and how the dog was loved by Lieutenant Baldwin
next to his horse.

But unless the dogs were taken on frequent hunts, they would steal off
on their own account and often be away a whole day, perhaps until after
dark. The other day they went off this way, and in the afternoon, as
Lieutenant Alden was riding along by the river, he came to a scene
that made him positively ill. On the ground close to the water was
the carcass of a calf, which had evidently been filled with poison for
wolves, and near it on the bank lay Magic, Deacon, Dixie, and other
hounds, all dead or dying! Blue has bad teeth and was still gnawing at
the meat, and therefore had not been to the water, which causes almost
instant death in cases of poisoning by wolf meat.

As soon as Lieutenant Alden saw that the other dogs were past doing for,
he hurried on to the post with Blue, and with great difficulty saved her
life. So Hal and his mother are sole survivors of the greyhounds that
have been known at many of the frontier posts as fearless and tireless
hunters, and plucky fighters when forced to fight. Greyhounds will
rarely seek a fight, a trait that sometimes fools other dogs and brings
them to their Waterloo. When Lieutenant Alden told me of the death of
the dogs, tears came in his eyes as he said, "I have shared my bed
with old Magic many a time!" And how those dogs will be missed at the
bachelor quarters! When we came here last summer, I was afraid that the
old hounds would pounce upon Hal, but instead of that they were most
friendly and seemed to know he was one of them--a wanderer returned.

ST. CHARLES HOTEL, NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA, September, 1877.

LIFE in the Army is certainly full of surprises! At Pass Christian
yesterday morning, Faye and I were sitting on the veranda reading the
papers in an indifferent sort of way, when suddenly Faye jumped up and
said, "The Third has been ordered to Montana Territory!" At first I
could not believe him--it seemed so improbable that troops would be sent
to such a cold climate at this season of the year, and besides, most of
the regiment is at Pittsburg just now because of the great coal strike.
But there in the Picayune was the little paragraph of half a dozen
lines that was to affect our lives for years to come, and which had the
immediate power to change our condition of indolent content, into one of
the greatest activity and excitement!

Faye went at once to the telegraph office and by wire gave up the
remainder of his leave, and also asked the regimental adjutant if
transportation was being provided for officers' families. The distance
is so great, and the Indians have been so hostile in Montana during the
past two years, that we thought families possibly would not be permitted
to go.

After luncheon we packed the trunks, carefully separating things so
there would be no necessity for repacking if I could not go, and I can
assure you that many an article was folded down damp with hot tears--the
very uncertainty was so trying. In the evening we went around to
say "good-by" to a few of the friends who have been so cordial and
hospitable during the summer. Early this morning we came from Pass
Christian, and soon after we got here telegrams came for Faye, one
ordering him to proceed to Pittsburg and report for duty, and another
saying that officers' families may accompany the regiment. This was
glorious news to me. The fear and dread of having to be left behind had
made me really ill--and what would have become of me if it had actually
come to pass I cannot imagine. I can go--that is all sufficient for
the present, and we expect to leave for Pittsburg this evening at nine
o'clock.

The late start gives us a long day here with nothing to do. After a
while, when it is not quite so hot outside, we are going out to take a
farewell look at some of our old haunts. Our friends are all out of the
city, and Jackson Barracks is too far away for such a warm day--besides,
there is no one there now that we know.

It seems quite natural to be in this dear old hotel, where all during
the past winter our "Army and Navy Club" cotillons were danced every two
weeks. And they were such beautiful affairs, with two splendid military
orchestras to furnish the music, one for the dancing and one to give
choice selections in between the figures. We will carry with us to the
snow and ice of the Rocky Mountains many, many delightful memories of
New Orleans, where the French element gives a charm to everything. The
Mardi-Gras parades, in which the regiment has each year taken such
a prominent part--the courtly Rex balls--the balls of Comus--the
delightful Creole balls in Grunewald Hall--the stately and exclusive
balls of the Washington Artillery in their own splendid hall--the
charming dancing receptions on the ironclad monitor Canonicus, also the
war ship Plymouth, where we were almost afraid to step, things were
so immaculate and shiny--and then our own pretty army fetes at Jackson
Barracks--regimental headquarters--each and all will be remembered, ever
with the keenest pleasure.

But the event in the South that has made the deepest impression of all
occurred at Vicksburg, where for three weeks we lived in the same house,
en famille and intimately, with Jefferson Davis! I consider that to have
been a really wonderful experience. You probably can recall a little of
what I wrote you at the time--how we were boarding with his niece in her
splendid home when he came to visit her.

I remember so well the day he arrived. He knew, of course, that an
army officer was in the house, and Mrs. Porterfield had told us of his
coming, so the meeting was not unexpected. Still, when we went down to
dinner that night I was almost shivering from nervousness, although the
air was excessively warm. I was so afraid of something unpleasant coming
up, for although Mrs. Porterfield and her daughter were women of culture
and refinement, they were also rebels to the very quick, and never
failed at any time to remind one that their uncle was "President" Davis!
And then, as we went in the large dining room, Faye in his very bluest,
shiniest uniform, looked as if he might be Uncle Sam himself.

But there was nothing to fear--nothing whatever. A tall, thin old man
came forward with Mrs. Porterfield to meet us--a courtly gentleman of
the old Southern school--who, apparently, had never heard of the Civil
War, and who, if he noticed the blue uniform at all, did not take the
slightest interest in what it represented. His composure was really
disappointing! After greeting me with grave dignity, he turned to Faye
and grasped his hand firmly and cordially, the whole expression of his
face softening just a little. I have always thought that he was
deeply moved by once again seeing the Federal Blue under such friendly
circumstances, and that old memories came surging back, bringing with
them the almost forgotten love and respect for the Academy--a love that
every graduate takes to his grave, whether his life be one of honor or
of disgrace.

One could very easily have become sentimental, and fancied that he was
Old West Point, misled and broken in spirit, admitting in dignified
silence his defeat and disgrace to Young West Point, who, with Uncle
Sam's shoulder straps and brass buttons, could be generously oblivious
to the misguidance and treason of the other. We wondered many times if
Jefferson Davis regretted his life. He certainly could not have been
satisfied with it.

There was more in that meeting than a stranger would have known of. In
the splendid dining room where we sat, which was forty feet in length
and floored with tiles of Italian marble, as was the entire large
basement, it was impossible not to notice the unpainted casing of
one side of a window, and also the two immense patches of common gray
plaster on the beautifully frescoed walls, which covered holes made by
a piece of shell that had crashed through the house during the siege
of Vicksburg. The shell itself had exploded outside near the servants'
quarters.

Then, again, every warm evening after dinner, during the time he was at
the house, Jefferson Davis and Faye would sit out on the grand, marble
porch and smoke and tell of little incidents that had occurred at West
Point when each had been a cadet there. At some of these times they
would almost touch what was left of a massive pillar at one end,
that had also been shattered and cracked by pieces of shell from U.S.
gunboats, one piece being still imbedded in the white marble.

For Jefferson Davis knew that Faye's father was an officer in the Navy,
and that he had bravely and boldly done his very best toward the undoing
of the Confederacy; and by his never-failing, polished courtesy to
that father's son--even when sitting by pieces of shell and patched-up
walls--the President of the Confederacy set an example of dignified
self-restraint, that many a Southern man and woman--particularly
woman--would do well to follow.

For in these days of reconstruction officers and their families are not
always popular. But at Pass Christian this summer we have received the
most hospitable, thoughtful attention, and never once by word or deed
were we reminded that we were "Yank-Tanks," as was the case at Holly
Springs the first year we were there. However, we did some fine
reconstruction business for Uncle Sam right there with those pert
Mississippi girls--two of whom were in a short time so thoroughly
reconstructed that they joined his forces "for better or for worse!"

The social life during the three years we have been in the South has
most of the time been charming, but the service for officers has often
been most distasteful. Many times they have been called upon to escort
and protect carpetbag politicians of a very low type of manhood--men
who could never command one honest vote at their own homes in the
North. Faye's company has been moved twenty-one times since we came from
Colorado three years ago, and almost every time it was at the request of
those unprincipled carpetbaggers. These moves did not always disturb us,
however, as during most of the time Faye has been adjutant general of
the District of Baton Rouge, and this kept us at Baton Rouge, but during
the past winter we have been in New Orleans.

Several old Creole families whose acquaintance we made in the city last
winter, have charming old-style Southern homes at Pass Christian, where
we have ever been cordially welcomed. It was a common occurrence for me
to chaperon their daughters to informal dances at the different cottages
along the beach, and on moonlight sailing parties on Mr. Payne's
beautiful yacht, and then, during the entire summer, from the time we
first got there, I have been captain of one side of a croquet team, Mr.
Payne having been captain of the other. The croquet part was, of course,
the result of Major Borden's patient and exacting teaching at Baton
Rouge.

Mentioning Baton Rouge reminds me of my dear dog that was there almost
a year with the hospital steward. He is now with the company at Mount
Ver-non Barracks, Alabama, and Faye has telegraphed the sergeant to see
that he is taken to Pittsburg with the company.

We are going out now, first of all to Michaud's for some of his
delicious biscuit glace! Our city friends are all away still, so there
will be nothing for us to do but wander around, pour passer le temps
until we go to the station.

MONONGAHELA HOUSE, PITTSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA, September, 1877.

ONCE again we have our trunks packed for the long trip to Montana, and
this time I think we will go, as the special train that is to take us
is now at the station, and baggage of the regiment is being hurriedly
loaded. Word came this morning that the regiment would start to-night,
so it seems that at last General Sherman has gained his point. For
three long weeks we have been kept here in suspense--packing and then
unpacking--one day we were to go, the next we were not to go, while the
commanding general and the division commander were playing "tug of war"
with us.

The trip will be long and very expensive, and we go from a hot climate
to a cold one at a season when the immediate purchase of warm clothing
is imperative, and with all this unexpected expense we have been forced
to pay big hotel bills for weeks, just because of a disagreement between
two generals that should have been settled in one day. Money is very
precious to the poor Army at present, too, for not one dollar has been
paid to officers or enlisted men for over three months! How officers
with large families can possibly manage this move I do not see--sell
their pay accounts I expect, and then be court martialed for having done
so.

Congress failed to pass the army appropriation bill before it adjourned,
consequently no money can be paid to the Army until the next session!
Yet the Army is expected to go along just the same, promptly pay Uncle
Sam himself all commissary and quartermaster bills at the end of each
month, and without one little grumble do his bidding, no matter what the
extra expense may be. I wonder what the wise men of Congress, who were
too weary to take up the bill before going to their comfortable homes--I
wonder what they would do if the Army as a body would say, "We are
tired. Uncle, dear, and are going home for the summer to rest. You will
have to get along without us and manage the Indians and strikers the
best way you can." This would be about as sensible as forcing the Army
to be paupers for months, and then ordering regiments from East to West
and South to North. Of course many families will be compelled to remain
back, that might otherwise have gone.

We are taking out a young colored man we brought up with us from Holly
Springs. He has been at the arsenal since we have been here, and Hal has
been with him. It is over one year since the dog saw me, and I am almost
afraid he will not know me tonight at the station. Before we left Pass
Christian Faye telegraphed the sergeant to bring Hal with the company
and purchase necessary food for him on the way up. So, when the company
got here, bills were presented by several of the men, who claimed to
have bought meat for the dog, the sum total of which was nine dollars
for the two days! We were so pleased to know that Hal had been so well
cared for. But the soldiers were welcome to the money and more with it,
for we were so glad to have the dog with us again, safe and well.

We have quite a Rae family now--Faye and I--a darky, a greyhound, and
one small gray squirrel! It will be a hard trip for Billie, but I have
made for him a little ribbon collar and sewed securely to it a long tape
which makes a fine "picket rope" that can be tied to various things
in various places, and in this way he can be picketed and yet receive
exercise and air.

We are to go almost straight north from the railroad for a distance
of over four hundred miles, and of course this will take several weeks
under the most favorable conditions. But you must not mind our going
so far away--it will be no farther than the Indian Territory, and the
climate of Montana must be very much better than it was at Camp Supply,
and the houses must certainly be more comfortable, as the winters are so
long and severe. I shall be so glad to have a home of my own again, and
have a horse to ride also.

Faye has just come from the station and says that almost everything has
been loaded, and that we are really to start to-night at eight o'clock.
This is cheering news, for I think that everyone is anxious to get
to Montana, except the poor officers who cannot afford to take their
families with them.

CORINNE, UTAH TERRITORY, September, 1877.

WE were almost one week coming out, but finally got here yesterday
morning. Our train was a special, and having no schedule, we were often
sidetracked for hours at a time, to make way for the regular trains. As
soon as possible after we arrived, the tents were unpacked and put up,
and it was amazing to see how soon there was order out of chaos. This
morning the camp looks like a little white city--streets and all. There
is great activity everywhere, as preparations have already commenced for
the march north. Our camp "mess" has been started, and we will be very
comfortable, I think, with a good soldier cook and Cagey to take care of
the tents. I am making covers for the bed, trunk, and folding table,
of dark-blue cretonne with white figures, which carries out the color
scheme of the folding chairs and will give a little air of cheeriness
to the tent, and of the same material I am making pockets that can be
pinned on the side walls of the tent, in which various things can be
tucked at night. These covers and big pockets will be folded and put in
the roll of bedding every morning.

There are not enough ambulances to go around, so I had my choice between
being crowded in with other people, or going in a big army wagon by
myself, and having had one experience in crowding, I chose the wagon
without hesitation. Faye is having the rear half padded with straw and
canvas on the sides and bottom, and the high top will be of canvas drawn
over "bows," in true emigrant fashion. Our tent will be folded to form
a seat and placed in the back, upon which I can sit and look out through
the round opening and gossip with the mules that will be attached to
the wagon back of me. In the front half will be packed all of our camp
furniture and things, the knockdown bed, mess-chest, two little stoves
(one for cooking), the bedding which will be tightly rolled in canvas
and strapped, and so on. Cagey will sit by the driver. There is not one
spring in the wagon, but even without, I will be more comfortable than
with Mrs. Hayden and three small children. They can have the ambulance
to themselves perhaps, and will have all the room. I thought of Billie,
too. He can be picketed all the time in the wagon, but imagine the
little fellow's misery in an ambulance with three restless children for
six or eight hours each day!

Hal is with us--in fact, I can hardly get away from the poor dog, he is
so afraid of being separated from me again. When we got to the station
at Pittsburg he was there with Cagey, and it took only one quick glance
to see that he was a heart-broken, spirit-broken dog. Not one spark was
left of the fire that made the old Hal try to pull me through an immense
plate-glass mirror, in a hotel at Jackson, Mississippi, to fight his
own reflection (the time the strange man offered one hundred and fifty
dollars for him), and certainly he was not the hound that whipped the
big bulldog at Monroe, Louisiana, two years ago. He did not see me as I
came up back of him, and as he had not even heard my voice for over
one year, I was almost childishly afraid to speak to him. But I
finally said, "Hal, you have not forgotten your old friend?" He turned
instantly, but as I put my hand upon his head there was no joyous bound
or lifting of the ears and tail--just a look of recognition, then a
raising up full length of the slender body on his back legs, and putting
a forefoot on each of my shoulders as far over as he could reach, he
gripped me tight, fairly digging his toe nails into me, and with his
head pressed close to my neck he held on and on, giving little low
whines that were more like human sobs than the cry of a dog. Of course I
had my arms around him, and of course I cried, too. It was so pitifully
distressing, for it told how keenly the poor dumb beast had suffered
during the year he had been away from us. People stared, and soon there
was a crowd about us with an abundance of curiosity. Cagey explained the
situation, and from then on to train time, Hal was patted and petted and
given dainties from lunch baskets.

He was in the car next to ours, coming out, and we saw him often. Many
times there were long runs across the plains, when the only thing to
be seen, far or near, would be the huge tanks containing water for the
engines. At one of these places, while we were getting water. Cagey
happened to be asleep, and a recruit, thinking that Hal was ill-treated
by being kept tied all the time, unfastened the chain from his collar
and led him from the car.

The first thing the dog saw was another dog, and alas! a greyhound
belonging to Ryan, an old soldier. The next thing he saw was the dear,
old, beautiful plains, for which he had pined so long and wearily. The
two dogs had never seen each other before, but hounds are clannish and
never fail to recognize their own kind, so with one or two jumps by way
of introduction, the two were off and out of sight before anyone at the
cars noticed what they were doing. I was sitting by the window in our
car and saw the dogs go over the rolling hill, and saw also that a dozen
or more soldiers were running after them. I told Faye what had happened,
and he started out and over the hill on a hard run. Time passed, and we
in the cars watched, but neither men nor dogs came back. Finally a long
whistle was blown from the engine, and in a short time the train began
to move very slowly. The officers and men came running back, but
the dogs were not with them! My heart was almost broken; to leave my
beautiful dog on the plains to starve to death was maddening. I wanted
to be alone, so to the dressing room I went, and with face buried in a
portiere was sobbing my very breath away when Mrs. Pierce, wife of Major
Pierce, came in and said so sweetly and sympathetically: "Don't cry,
dear; Hal is following the car and the conductor is going to stop the
train."

Giving her a hasty embrace, I ran back to the end of the last car, and
sure enough, there was Hal, the old Hal, bounding along with tail high
up and eyes sparkling, showing that the blood of his ancestors was still
in his veins. The conductor did not stop the train, simply because the
soldiers did not give him an opportunity. They turned the brakes and
then held them, and if a train man had interfered there would have been
a fight right then and there.

As soon as the train was stopped Faye and Ryan were the first to go for
the dogs, but by that time the hounds thought the whole affair great fun
and objected to being caught--at least Ryan's dog objected. The porter
in our car caught Hal, but Ryan told him to let the dog go, that he
would bring the two back together. This was shrewd in Ryan, for he
reasoned that Major Carleton might wait for an officer's dog, but never
for one that belonged to only an enlisted man; but really it was the
other way, the enlisted men held the brakes. The dogs ran back almost
a mile to the water tank, and the conductor backed the train down after
them, and not until both dogs were caught and on board could steam budge
it ahead.

The major was in temporary command of the regiment at that time. He is
a very pompous man and always in fear that proper respect will not be
shown his rank, and when we were being backed down he went through our
car and said in a loud voice: "I am very sorry Mrs. Rae, that you
should lose your fine greyhound, but this train cannot be detained any
longer--it must move on!" I said nothing, for I saw the two big men in
blue at the brake in front, and knew Major Carleton would never order
them away, much as he might bluster and try to impress us with his
importance, for he is really a tender-hearted man.

Poor Faye was utterly exhausted from running so long, and for some time
Ryan was in a critical condition. It seems that he buried his wife quite
recently, and has left his only child in New Orleans in a convent, and
the greyhound, a pet of both wife and little girl, is all he has left
to comfort him. Everyone is so glad that he got the dog. Hal was not
unchained again, I assure you, until we got here, but poor Cagey almost
killed himself at every stopping place running up and down with the dog
to give him a little exercise.

It is really delightful to be in a tent once more, and I am anticipating
much pleasure in camping through a strange country. A large wagon
train of commissary stores will be with us, so we can easily add to
our supplies now and then. It is amazing to see the really jolly mood
everyone seems to be in. The officers are singing and whistling, and we
can often hear from the distance the boisterous laughter of the men. And
the wives! there is an expression of happy content on the face of each
one. We know, if the world does not, that the part we are to take
on this march is most important. We will see that the tents are made
comfortable and cheerful at every camp; that the little dinner after the
weary march, the early breakfast, and the cold luncheon are each and
all as dainty as camp cooking will permit. Yes, we are sometimes called
"camp followers," but we do not mind--it probably originated with some
envious old bachelor officer. We know all about the comfort and cheer
that goes with us, and then--we have not been left behind!

RYAN'S JUNCTION, IDAHO TERRITORY, October, 1877.

WE are snow-bound, and everyone seems to think we that we will be
compelled to remain here several days. It was bright and sunny when the
camp was made yesterday, but before dark a terrible blizzard came up,
and by midnight the snow was deep and the cold intense. As long as we
remain inside the tents we are quite comfortable with the little conical
sheet-iron stoves that can make a tent very warm. And the snow that had
banked around the canvas keeps out the freezing-wind. We have everything
for our comfort, but such weather does not make life in camp at all
attractive.

Faye just came in from Major Pierce's tent, where he says he saw a funny
sight. They have a large hospital tent, on each side of which is a row
of iron cots, and on the cots were five chubby little children--one a
mere baby--kicking up their little pink feet in jolly defiance of their
patient old mammy, who was trying to keep them covered up. The tent was
warm and cozy, but outside, where the snow was so deep and the cold
so penetrating, one could hardly have believed that these small people
could have been made so warm and happy. But Mrs. Pierce is a wonderful
mother! Major Pierce was opposed to bringing his family on this long
march, to be exposed to all kinds of weather, but Mrs. Pierce had no
idea of being left behind with two days of car and eight days of the
worst kind of stage travel between her husband and herself; so, like a
sensible woman, she took matters in her own hands, and when we reached
Chicago, where she had been visiting, there at the station was the
smiling Mrs. Pierce with babies, governess, nurses, and trunks, all
splendidly prepared to come with us--and come they all did. After the
major had scolded a little and eased his conscience, he smiled as much
as the other members of the family.

The children with us seem to be standing the exposure wonderfully well.
One or two were pale at first, but have become rosy and strong, although
there is much that must be very trying to them and the mothers also. The
tents are "struck" at six sharp in the morning, and that means that we
have to be up at four and breakfast at five. That the bedding must be
rolled, every little thing tucked away in trunks or bags, the mess chest
packed, and the cooking stove and cooking utensils not only made ready
to go safely in the wagon, but they must be carried out of the tents
before six o'clock. At that time the soldiers come, and, when the bugle
sounds, down go the tents, and if anything happens to be left inside, it
has to be fished out from underneath the canvas or left there until the
tent is folded. The days are so short now that all this has to be done
in the darkness, by candle or lantern light, and how mothers can get
their small people up and ready for the day by six o'clock, I cannot
understand, for it is just all I can manage to get myself and the tent
ready by that time.

We are on the banks of a small stream, and the tents are evidently
pitched directly upon the roosting ground of wild geese, for during the
snowstorm thousands of them came here long after dark, making the most
dreadful uproar one ever heard, with the whirring of their big wings and
constant "honk! honk!" of hundreds of voices. They circled around so
low and the calls were so loud that it seemed sometimes as if they
were inside the tents. They must have come home for shelter and become
confused and blinded by the lights in the tents, and the loss of their
ground. We must be going through a splendid country for game.

I was very ill for several days on the way up, the result of
malaria--perhaps too many scuppernong grapes at Pass Christian, and
jolting of the heavy army wagon that makes a small stone seem the size
of a boulder. One morning I was unable to walk or even stand up, and
Faye and Major Bryant carried me to the wagon on a buffalo robe. All of
that day's march Faye walked by the side of my wagon, and that allowed
him no rest whatever, for in order to make it as easy for me as
possible, my wagon had been placed at the extreme end of the long line.
The troops march fifty minutes and halt ten, and as we went much slower
than the men marched, we would about catch up with the column at each
rest, just when the bugle would be blown to fall in line again, and then
on the troops and wagons would go, Faye was kept on a continuous tramp.
I still think that he should have asked permission to ride on the wagon,
part of the day at least, but he would not do so.

One evening when the camp was near a ranch, I heard Doctor Gordon tell
Faye outside the tent that I must be left at the place in the morning,
that I was too ill to go farther! I said not a word about having heard
this, but I promised myself that I would go on. The dread of being left
with perfect strangers, of whom I knew nothing, and where I could not
possibly have medical attendance, did not improve my condition, but fear
gave me strength, and in the morning when camp broke I assured Doctor
Gordon that I was better, very much better, and stuck to it with so much
persistence that at last he consented to my going on. But during many
hours of the march that morning I was obliged to ride on my hands and
knees! The road was unusually rough and stony, and the jolting I could
not endure, sitting on the canvas or lying on the padded bottom of the
wagon.

It so happened that Faye was officer of the day that day, and Colonel
Fitz-James, knowing that he was under a heavy strain with a sick wife in
addition to the long marches, sent him one of his horses to ride--a very
fine animal and one of a matched team. At the first halt Faye missed
Hal, and riding back to the company saw he was not with the men, so he
went on to my wagon, but found that I was shut up tight, Cagey asleep,
and the dog not with us. He did not speak to either of us, but kept on
to the last wagon, where a laundress told him that she saw the dog going
back down the road we had just come over.

The wagon master, a sergeant, had joined Faye, riding a mule, and the
two rode on after the dog, expecting every minute to overtake him. But
the recollection of the unhappy year at Baton Rouge with the hospital
steward was still fresh in Hal's memory, and the fear of another
separation from his friends drove him on and on, faster and faster, and
kept him far ahead of the horses. When at last Faye found him, he was
sitting by the smoking ashes of our camp stove, his long nose pointed
straight up, giving the most blood-curdling howls of misery and woe
possible for a greyhound to give, and this is saying much. The poor
dog was wild with delight when he saw Faye, and of course there was
no trouble in bringing him back; he was only too glad to have his old
friend to follow. He must have missed Faye from the company in the
morning, and then failing to find me in the shut-up wagon, had gone back
to camp for us. This is all easily understood, but how did that hound
find the exact spot where our tent had been, even the very ashes of our
stove, on that large camp ground when he has no sense of smell?

I wondered all the day why I did not see Faye and when the stop for
luncheon passed and he had not come I began to worry, as much as I could
think of anything beyond my own suffering. Late in the afternoon we
reached the camp for the night, and still Faye had not come and no
one could tell me anything about him. And I was very, very ill! Doctor
Gordon was most kind and attentive, but neither he nor other friends
could relieve the pain in my heart, for I felt so positive that
something was wrong.

Just as our tent had been pitched Faye rode up, looking weary and
worried, said a word or two to me, and then rode away again. He soon
returned, however, and explained his long absence by telling me briefly
that he had gone back for the dog. But he was quiet and distrait, and
directly after dinner he went out again. When he came back he told me
all about everything that had occurred.

Under any circumstances, it would have been a dreadful thing for him to
have been absent from the command without permission, but when officer
of the day it was unpardonable, and to take the colonel's horse with him
made matters all the worse. And then the wagon master was liable to have
been called upon at any time, if anything had happened, or the command
had come to a dangerous ford. Faye told me how they had gone back for
the dog, and so on, and said that when he first got in camp he rode
immediately to the colonel's tent, turned the horse over to an orderly,
and reported his return to the colonel, adding that if the horse was
injured he would replace him. Then he came to his own tent, fully
expecting an order to follow soon, placing him under arrest.

But after dinner, as no order had come, he went again to see the colonel
and told him just how the unfortunate affair had come about, how he had
felt that if the dog was not found it might cost me my life, as I was so
devoted to the dog and so very ill at that time. The colonel listened
to the whole story, and then told Faye that he understood it all, that
undoubtedly he would have done the same thing! I think it was grand
in Colonel Fitz-James to have been so gentle and kind--not one word of
reproach did he say to Faye. Perhaps memories of his own wife came to
him. The colonel may have a sensitive palate that makes him unpopular
with many, but there are two people in his regiment who know that he has
a heart so tender and big that the palate will never be considered again
by them. Of course the horse was not injured in the least.

We are on the stage road to Helena, and at this place there is a fork
that leads to the northwest which the lieutenant colonel and four
companies will take to go to Fort Missoula, Montana. The colonel,
headquarters, and other companies are to be stationed at Helena
during the winter. We expect to meet the stage going south about noon
to-morrow, and you should have this in eight days. Billie squirrel has
a fine time in the wagon and is very fat. He runs off with bits of my
luncheon every day and hides them in different places in the canvas, to
his own satisfaction at least. One of the mules back of us has become
most friendly, and will take from my hand all sorts of things to eat.

Poor Hal had a fit the other day, something like vertigo, after having
chased a rabbit. Doctor Gordon says that he has fatty degeneration of
the heart, caused by having so little exercise in the South, but that he
will probably get over it if allowed to run every day. But I do not like
the very idea of the dog having anything the matter with his heart. It
was so pathetic to have him stagger to the tent and drop at my feet,
dumbly confident that I could give him relief.

CAMP NEAR HELENA, MONTANA TERRITORY, November, 1877.

THE company has been ordered to Camp Baker, a small post nearly sixty
miles farther on. We were turned off from the Helena road and the rest
of the command at the base of the mountains, and are now about ten miles
from Helena on our way to the new station, which, we are told, is a
wretched little two-company post on the other side of the Big Belt
range of mountains. I am awfully disappointed in not seeing something of
Helena, and very, very sorry that we have to go so far from our friends
and to such an isolated place, but it is the company's turn for detached
service, so here we are.

The scenery was grand in many places along the latter part of the march,
and it is grand here, also. We are in a beautiful broad valley with
snow-capped mountains on each side. From all we hear we conclude there
must be exceptionally good hunting and fishing about Camp Baker, and
there is some consolation in that. The fishing was very good at several
of our camps after we reached the mountains, and I can assure you
that the speckled trout of the East and these mountain trout are not
comparable, the latter are so far, far superior. The flesh is white and
very firm, and sometimes they are so cold when brought out of the water
one finds it uncomfortable to hold them. They are good fighters, too,
and even small ones give splendid sport.

One night the camp was by a beautiful little stream with high banks, and
here and there bunches of bushes and rocks--an ideal home for trout, so
I started out, hoping to catch something--with a common willow pole and
ordinary hook, and grasshoppers for bait. Faye tells everybody that I
had only a bent pin for a hook, but of course no one believes him. Major
Stokes joined me and we soon found a deep pool just at the edge of
camp. His fishing tackle was very much like mine, so when we saw Captain
Martin coming toward us with elegant jointed rod, shining new reel, and
a camp stool, we felt rather crestfallen. Captain Martin passed on and
seated himself comfortably on the bank just below us, but Major Stokes
and I went down the bank to the edge of the pool where we were compelled
to stand, of course.

The water was beautifully clear and as soon as everybody and everything
became quiet, we saw down on the bottom one or two trout, then more
appeared, and still more, until there must have been a dozen or so
beautiful fish in between the stones, each one about ten inches long.
But go near the hooks they would not, neither would they rise to Captain
Martin's most tempting flies--for he, too, saw many trout, from where he
sat. We stood there a long time, until our patience was quite exhausted,
trying to catch some of those fish, sometimes letting the current take
the grasshoppers almost to their very noses, when finally Major Stokes
whispered, "There, Mrs. Rae there, try to get that big fellow!" Now as
we had all been most unsuccessful with the little "fellows," I had no
hope whatever of getting the big one, still I tried, for he certainly
was a beauty and looked very large as he came slowly along, carefully
avoiding the stones. Before I had moved my bait six inches, there was
a flash of white down there, and then with a little jerk I hooked that
fish--hooked him safely.

That was very, very nice, but the fish set up a terrible fight that
would have given great sport with a reel, but I did not have a reel, and
the steep bank directly back of me only made matters worse. I saw that
time must not be wasted, that I must not give him a chance to slacken
the line and perhaps shake the hook off, so I faced about, and putting
the pole over my shoulder, proceeded to climb the bank of four or
five feet, dragging the flopping fish after me! Captain Martin laughed
heartily, but instead of laughing at the funny sight, Major Stokes
jumped to my assistance, and between us we landed the fish up on the
bank. It was a lovely trout--by far the largest we had seen, and Major
Stokes insisted that we should take him to the commissary scales, where
he weighed over three and one half pounds!

The jumping about of my big trout ruined the fishing, of course, in that
part of the stream for some time, so, with a look of disgust for things
generally, Captain Martin folded his rod and camp stool and returned
to his tent. I had the trout served for our dinner, and, having been
so recently caught, it was delicious. These mountain trout are very
delicate, and if one wishes to enjoy their very finest flavor, they
should be cooked and served as soon as they are out of the water. If
kept even a few hours this delicacy is lost--a fact we have discovered
for ourselves on the march up.

The camp to-night is near the house of a German family, and I am writing
in their little prim sitting room, and Billie squirrel is with me and
very busy examining' things generally. I came over to wait while
the tents were being pitched, and was received with such cordial
hospitality, and have found the little room so warm and comfortable that
I have stayed on longer than I had intended. Soon after I came my kind
hostess brought in a cup of most delicious coffee and a little pitcher
of cream--real cream--something I had not tasted for six weeks, and she
also brought a plate piled high with generous pieces of German cinnamon
cake, at the same time telling me that I must eat every bit of it--that
I looked "real peaked," and not strong enough to go tramping around with
all those men! When I told her that it was through my own choice that
I was "tramping," that I enjoyed it she looked at me with genuine pity,
and as though she had just discovered that I did not have good common
sense.

We start on early in the morning, and it will take two three days to
cross the mountains. The little camp of one company looks lonesome after
the large regimental camp we have been with so long. The air is really
wonderful, so clear and crisp and exhilarating. It makes me long for
a good horse, and horses we intend to have as soon as possible. We are
anticipating so much pleasure in having a home once more, even if it
is to be of logs and buried in snow, perhaps, during the winter. Hal
is outside, and his beseeching whines have swelled to awful howls that
remind me of neglected duties in the tent.

CAMP BAKER, MONTANA TERRITORY, November, 1877.

IT was rather late in the afternoon yesterday when we got to this
post, because of a delay on the mountains. But this did not cause
inconvenience to anyone--there was a vacant set of quarters that
Lieutenant Hayden took possession of at once for his family, and where
with camp outfit they can be comfortable until the wagons are unloaded.
Faye and I are staying with the commanding officer and his wife. Colonel
Gardner is lieutenant colonel of the --th Infantry, and has a most
enviable reputation as a post commander. As an officer, we have not
seen him yet, but we do know that he can be a most charming host. He
has already informed Faye that he intends to appoint him adjutant and
quartermaster of the post.

We are in a little valley almost surrounded by magnificent, heavily
timbered mountains, and Colonel Gardner says that at any time one can
find deer, mountain sheep, and bear in these forests, adding that there
are also mountain lions and wild cats! The scenery on the road from
Helena to Camp Baker was grand, but the roads were dreadful, most of the
time along the sides of steep mountains that seemed to be one enormous
pile of big boulders in some places and solid rock in others. These
roads have been cut into the rock and are scarcely wider than the wagon
track, and often we could look almost straight down seventy-five feet,
or even more, on one side, and straight up for hundreds of feet on the
other side.

And in the canons many of the grades were so steep that the wheels of
the wagons had to be chained in addition to the big brakes to prevent
them from running sideways, and so off the grade. I rode down one of
these places, but it was the last as well as the first. Every time
the big wagon jolted over a stone--and it was jolt over stones all
the time--it seemed as if it must topple over the side and roll to the
bottom; and then the way the driver talked to the mules to keep them
straight, and the creaking and scraping of the wagons, was enough to
frighten the most courageous.

In Confederate Gulch we crossed a ferry that was most marvelous. A heavy
steel cable was stretched across the river--the Missouri--and fastened
securely to each bank, and then a flat boat was chained at each end to
the cable, but so it could slide along when the ferryman gripped the
cable with a large hook, and gave long, hard pulls. Faye says that the
very swift current of the stream assisted him much.

The river runs through a narrow, deep canon where the ferry is, and at
the time we crossed everything was in dark shadow, and the water looked
black, and fathoms deep, with its wonderful reflections. The grandeur of
these mountains is simply beyond imagination; they have to be seen to
be appreciated, and yet when seen, one can scarcely comprehend their
immensity. We are five hundred miles from a railroad, with endless
chains of these mountains between. All supplies of every description are
brought up that distance by long ox trains--dozens of wagons in a train,
and eight or ten pairs of oxen fastened to the one long chain that pulls
three or four heavily loaded wagons. We passed many of these trains on
the march up, and my heart ached for the poor patient beasts.

We are to have one side of a large double house, which will give us as
many rooms as we will need in this isolated place. Hal is in the house
now, with Cagey, and Billie is there also, and has the exclusive run of
one room. The little fellow stood the march finely, and it is all owing
to that terrible old wagon that was such a comfort in some ways, but
caused me so much misery in others. These houses must be quite warm;
they are made of large logs placed horizontally, and the inner walls are
plastered, which will keep out the bitter cold during the winter. The
smallest window has an outside storm window.

CAMP BAKER, MONTANA TERRITORY, December, 1877.

THIS post is far over in the Belt Mountains and quite cut off from the
outside world, and there are very few of us here, nevertheless the days
pass wonderfully fast, and they are pleasant days, also. And then we
have our own little excitements that are of intense interest to us, even
if they are never heard of in the world across the snow and ice.

The Rae family was very much upset two days ago by the bad behavior of
my horse Bettie, when she managed to throw Faye for the very first time
in his life! You know that both of our horses, although raised near this
place, were really range animals, and were brought in and broken for us.
The black horse has never been very satisfactory, and Faye has a battle
with him almost every time he takes him out, but Bettie had been lovely
and behaved wonderfully well for so young a horse, and I have been so
pleased with her and her delightful gaits--a little single foot and easy
canter.

The other morning Faye was in a hurry to get out to a lumber camp and,
as I did not care to go, he decided to ride my horse rather than waste
time by arguing with the black as to which road they should go. Ben
always thinks he knows more about such things than his rider. Well,
Kelly led Bettie up from the corral and saddled and bridled her, and
when Faye was ready to start I went out with him to give the horse a few
lumps of sugar. She is a beautiful animal--a bright bay in color--with
perfect head and dainty, expressive ears, and remarkably slender legs.

Faye immediately prepared to mount; in fact, bridle in hand, had his
left foot in the stirrup and the right was over the horse, when up went
Miss Bet's back, arched precisely like a mad cat's, and down in
between her fore legs went her pretty nose, and high up in the air went
everything--man and beast--the horse coming down on legs as rigid
and unbending as bars of steel, and then--something happened to Faye!
Nothing could have been more unexpected, and it was all over in a
second.

Kelly caught the bridle reins in time to prevent the horse from running
away, and Faye got up on his feet, and throwing back his best West Point
shoulders, faced the excited horse, and for two long seconds he and Miss
Bet looked each other square in the eye. Just what the horse thought no
one knows, but Kelly and I remember what Faye said! All desire to laugh,
however, was quickly crushed when I heard Kelly ordered to lead the
horse to the sutler's store, and fit a Spanish bit to her mouth, and to
take the saddle off and strap a blanket on tight with a surcingle, for I
knew that a hard and dangerous fight between man and horse was about to
commence. Faye told Cagey to chain Hal and then went in the house, soon
returning, however, without a blouse, and with moccasins on his feet and
with leggings.

When Kelly returned he looked most unhappy, for he loves horses and
has been so proud of Bettie. But Faye was not thinking of Kelly and
proceeded at once to mount, having as much fire in his eyes as the horse
had in hers, for she had already discovered that the bit was not to her
liking. As soon as she felt Faye's weight, up went her back again,
but down she could not get her head, and the more she pushed down, the
harder the spoon of the bit pressed against the roof of her mouth. This
made her furious, and as wild as when first brought from the range.

She lunged and lunged--forward and sideways--reared, and of course tried
to run away, but with all the vicious things her little brain could
think of, she could not get the bit from her mouth or Faye from her
back. So she started to rub him off--doing it with thought and in the
most scientific way. She first went to the corner of our house, then
tried the other corner of that end, and so she went on, rubbing up
against every object she saw--house, tree, and fence--even going up the
steps at the post trader's. That I thought very smart, for the bit
was put in her mouth there, and she might have hoped to find some kind
friend who would take it out.

It required almost two hours of the hardest kind of riding to conquer
the horse, and to teach her that just as long as she held her head up
and behaved herself generally, the bit would not hurt her. She finally
gave in, and is once more a tractable beast, and I have ridden her
twice, but with the Spanish bit. She is a nervous animal and will always
be frisky. It has leaked out that the morning she bucked so viciously,
a cat had been thrown upon her back at the corral by a playful soldier,
just before she had been led up. Kelly did not like to tell this of a
comrade. It was most fortunate that I had decided not to ride at that
time, for a pitch over a horse's head with a skirt to catch on the
pommel is a performance I am not seeking. And Bettie had been such a
dear horse all the time, her single foot and run both so swift and
easy. Kelly says, "Yer cawn't feel yerse'f on her, mum." Faye is
quartermaster, adjutant, commissary, signal officer, and has other
positions that I cannot remember just now, that compel him to be at his
own office for an hour every morning before breakfast, in addition to
the regular office hours during the day. The post commander is up and
out at half past six every workday, and Sundays I am sure he is a most
unhappy man. But Faye gets away for a hunt now and then, and the other
day he started off, much to my regret, all alone and with only a rifle.
I worry when he goes alone up in these dense forests, and when an
officer goes with him I am so afraid of an accident, that one may shoot
the other. It is impossible to take a wagon, or even ride a horse among
the rocks and big boulders. There are panthers and wild cats and wolves
and all sorts of fearful things up there. The coyotes often come down
to the post at night, and their terrible, unearthly howls drive the dogs
almost crazy--and some of the people, too.

I worried about Faye the other morning as usual, and thought of all the
dreadful things that could so easily happen. And then I tried to forget
my anxiety by taking a brisk ride on Bettie, but when I returned I found
that Faye had not come, so I worried all the more. The hours passed and
still he was away, and I was becoming really alarmed. At last there was
a shout at a side door, and running out I found Faye standing up very
tall and with a broad smile on his face, and on the ground at his feet
was an immense white-tail deer! He said that he had walked miles on the
mountain but had failed to find one living thing, and had finally come
down and was just starting to cross the valley on his way home, when
he saw the deer, which he fortunately killed with one shot at very long
range. He did not want to leave it to be devoured by wolves while he
came to the corral for a wagon, so he dragged the heavy thing all the
way in. And that was why he was gone so long, for of course he was
obliged to rest every now and then. I was immensely proud of the
splendid deer, but it did not convince me in the least that it was safe
for Faye to go up in that forest alone. Of course Faye has shot other
deer, and mountain sheep also, since we have been here, but this was the
first he had killed when alone.

Of all the large game we have ever had--buffalo, antelope, black-tail
deer, white-tail deer--the mountain sheep is the most delicious. The
meat is very tender and juicy and exceedingly rich in flavor. It is very
"gamey," of course, and is better after having been frozen or hung for
a few days. These wary animals are most difficult to get, for they are
seldom found except on the peaks of high mountains, where the many big
rocks screen them, so when one is brought in, it is always with great
pride and rejoicing. There are antelope in the lowlands about here, but
none have been brought in since we came to the post. The ruffed grouse
and the tule hens are plentiful, and of course nothing can be more
delicious.

And the trout are perfect, too, but the manner in which we get them this
frozen-up weather is not sportsmanlike. There is a fine trout stream
just outside the post which is frozen over now, but when we wish a few
nice trout for dinner or breakfast. Cagey and I go down, and with a
hatchet he will cut a hole in the ice through which I fish, and usually
catch all we want in a few minutes. The fish seem to be hungry and rise
quickly to almost any kind of bait except flies. They seem to know that
this is not the fly season. The trout are not very large, about eight
and ten inches long, but they are delicate in flavor and very delicious.

Cagey is not a wonderful cook, but he does very well, and I think that
I would much prefer him to a Chinaman, judging from what I have seen of
them here. Mrs. Conrad, wife of Captain Conrad, of the --th Infantry,
had one who was an excellent servant in every way except in the manner
of doing the laundry work. He persisted in putting the soiled linen in
the boiler right from the basket, and no amount of talk on the part of
Mrs. Conrad could induce him to do otherwise. Monday morning Mrs. Conrad
went to the kitchen and told him once more that he must look the linen
over, and rub it with plenty of water and soap before boiling it. The
heathen looked at her with a grin and said, "Allee light, you no likee
my washee, you washee yousel'," and lifting the boiler from the stove he
emptied its entire steaming contents out upon the floor! He then went to
his own room, gathered up his few clothes and bedding, and started off.
He knew full well that if he did not leave the reservation at once he
would be put off after such a performance.

CAMP BAKER, MONTANA TERRITORY, February, 1878.

HOME seems very cozy and attractive after the mountains of snow and ice
we crossed and re-crossed on our little trip to Helena. The bitter cold
of those canons will long be remembered. But it was a delightful change
from the monotonous life in this out-of-the-way garrison, even if we did
almost freeze on the road, and it was more than pleasant to be with old
friends again.

The ball at the hall Friday evening was most enjoyable, and it was
simply enchanting to dance once more to the perfect music of the
dear old orchestra. And the young people in Helena are showing their
appreciation of the good music by dancing themselves positively thin
this winter. The band leader brought from New Orleans the Creole music
that was so popular there, and at the ball we danced Les Varietes four
times; the last was at the request of Lieutenant Joyce, with whom I
always danced it in the South. It is thoroughly French, bringing in the
waltz, polka, schottische, mazurka, and redowa. Some of those Creole
girls were the personification of grace in that dance.

We knew of the ball before leaving home, and went prepared for it, but
had not heard one word about the bal masque to be given by "The Army
Social Club" at Mrs. Gordon's Tuesday evening. We did not have one
thing with us to assist in the make-up of a fancy dress; nevertheless we
decided to attend it. Faye said for me not to give him a thought, that
he could manage his own costume. How I did envy his confidence in man
and things, particularly things, for just then I felt far from equal to
managing my own dress.

I had been told of some of the costumes that were to be worn by friends,
and they were beautiful, and the more I heard of these things, the
more determined I became that I would not appear in a domino! So Monday
morning I started out for an idea, and this I found almost immediately
in a little shop window. It was only a common pasteboard mask, but
nevertheless it was a work of art. The face was fat and silly, and
droll beyond description, and to look at the thing and not laugh was
impossible. It had a heavy bang of fiery red hair. I bought it without
delay, and was wondering where I could find something to go with it in
that little town, when I met a friend--a friend indeed--who offered me
some widths of silk that had been dyed a most hideous shade of green.

I gladly accepted the offer, particularly as this friend is in deep
mourning and would not be at the ball to recognize me. Well, I made this
really awful silk into a very full skirt that just covered my ankles,
and near the bottom I put a broad band of orange-colored cambric--the
stiff and shiny kind. Then I made a Mother Hubbard apron of white
paper-cambric, also very stiff and shiny, putting a big full ruche of
the cambric around neck, yoke, and bottom of sleeves. For my head I made
a large cap of the white cambric with ruche all around, and fastened it
on tight with wide strings that were tied in a large stiff bow under the
chin. We drew my evening dress up underneath both skirt and apron
and pinned it securely on my shoulders, and this made me stout and
shapeless. Around this immense waist and over the apron was drawn a wide
sash of bright pink, glossy cambric that was tied in a huge bow at the
back. But by far the best of all, a real crown of glory, was a pigtail
of red, red hair that hung down my back and showed conspicuously on the
white apron. This was a loan by Mrs. Joyce, another friend in mourning,
and who assisted me in dressing.

We wanted the benefit of the long mirror in the little parlor of the
hotel, so we carried everything there and locked the door. And then
the fun commenced! I am afraid that Mrs. Joyce's fingers must have been
badly bruised by the dozens of pins she used, and how she laughed at me!
But if I looked half as dreadful as my reflection in the mirror I must
have been a sight to provoke laughter. We had been requested to give
names to our characters, and Mrs. Joyce said I must be "A Country
Girl," but it still seems to me that "An Idiot" would have been more
appropriate.

I drove over with Major and Mrs. Carleton. The dressing rooms were
crowded at Mrs. Gordon's, so it was an easy matter to slip away, give my
long cloak and thick veil to a maid, and return to Mrs. Carleton before
she had missed me, and it was most laughable to see the dear lady go
in search for me, peering in everyone's face. But she did not find me,
although we went down the stairs and in the drawing-room together, and
neither did one person in those rooms recognize me during the evening.
Lieutenant Joyce said he knew to whom the hair belonged, but beyond that
it was all a mystery.

That evening will never be forgotten, for, as soon as I saw that no one
knew me, I became a child once more, and the more the maskers laughed
the more I ran around. When I first appeared in the rooms there was a
general giggle and that was exhilarating, so off I went. After a time
Colonel Fitz-James adopted me and tagged around after me every place; I
simply could not get rid of the man. I knew him, of course, and I
also knew that he was mistaking me for some one else, which made his
attentions anything but complimentary. I told him ever so many times
that he did not know me, but he always insisted that it was impossible
for him to be deceived, that he would always know me, and so on. He was
acting in a very silly manner--quite too silly for a man of his years
and a colonel of a regiment, and he was keeping me from some very nice
dances, too, so I decided to lead him a dance, and commenced a rare
flirtation in cozy corners and out-of-the-way places. I must admit,
though, that all the pleasure I derived from it was when I heard the
smothered giggles of those who saw us. The colonel was in a domino and
had not tried to disguise himself.

We went in to supper together, and I managed to be almost the last one
to unmask, and all the time Colonel Fitz-James, domino removed, was
standing in front of me, and looking down with a smile of serene
expectancy. The colonel of a regiment is a person of prominence,
therefore many people in the room were watching us, not one suspecting,
however, who I was. So when I did take off the mask there was a shout:
"Why, it is Mrs. Rae," and "Oh, look at Mrs. Rae," and several friends
came up to us. Well, I wish you could have seen the colonel's face--the
mingled surprise and almost horror that was expressed upon it. Of course
the vain man had placed himself in a ridiculous position, chasing around
and flirting with the wife of one of his very own officers--a second
lieutenant at that! It came out later that he, and others also, had
thought that I was a Helena girl whom the colonel admires very much.
It was rather embarrassing, too, to be told that the girl was sitting
directly opposite on the other side of the room, where she was watching
us with two big, black eyes. And then farther down I saw Faye also
looking at us--but then, a man never can see things from a woman's view
point.

The heat and weight of the two dresses had been awful, and as soon as
I could get away, I ran to a dressing room and removed the cambric. But
the pins! There seemed to be thousands of them. Some of the costumes
were beautiful and costly, also. Mrs. Manson, a lovely little woman of
Helena, was "A Comet." Her short dress of blue silk was studded with
gold stars, and to each shoulder was fastened a long, pointed train of
yellow gauze sprinkled with diamond dust. An immense gold star with a
diamond sunburst in the center was above her forehead, and around her
neck was a diamond necklace. Mrs. Palmer, wife of Colonel Palmer, was
"King of Hearts," the foundation a handsome red silk. Mrs. Spencer
advertised the New York Herald; the whole dress, which was flounced
to the waist, was made of the headings of that paper. Major Blair was
recognized by no one as "An American citizen," in plain evening dress. I
could not find Faye at all, and he was in a simple red domino, too.

I cannot begin to tell you of the many lovely costumes that seemed most
wonderful to me, for you must remember that we were far up in the Rocky
Mountains, five hundred miles from a railroad! I will send you a copy
of the Helena paper that gives an account of the ball, in which you will
read that "Mrs. Rae was inimitable--the best sustained character in the
rooms." I have thought this over some, and I consider the compliment
doubtful.

We remained one day longer in Helena than we had expected for the
bal masque; consequently we were obliged to start back the very next
morning, directly after breakfast, and that was not pleasant, for we
were very tired. The weather had been bitter cold, but during the night
a chinook had blown up, and the air was warm and balmy as we came across
the valley. When we reached the mountains, however, it was freezing
again, and there was glassy ice every place, which made driving over the
grades more dangerous than usual. In many places the ambulance wheels
had to be "blocked," and the back and front wheels of one side chained
together so they could not turn, in addition to the heavy brake, and
then the driver would send the four sharp-shod mules down at a swinging
trot that kept the ambulance straight, and did not give it time to slip
around and roll us down to eternity.

There is one grade on this road that is notoriously dangerous, and
dreaded by every driver around here because of the many accidents that
have occurred there. It is cut in the side of a high mountain and has
three sharp turns back and forth, and the mountain is so steep, it is
impossible to see from the upper grade all of the lower that leads down
into the canon called White's Gulch. This one mountain grade is a mile
and a half long. But the really dangerous place is near the middle turn,
where a warm spring trickles out of the rocks and in winter forms thick
ice over the road; and if this ice cannot be broken up, neither man nor
beast can walk over, as it is always thicker on the inner side.

I was so stiffened from the overheating and try-to-fool dancing at Mrs.
Gordon's, it was with the greatest difficulty I could walk at all on the
slippery hills, and was constantly falling down, much to the amusement
of Faye and the driver. But ride down some of them I would not. At
Canon Ferry, where we remained over night, the ice in the Missouri was
cracked, and there were ominous reports like pistol shots down in the
canon below. At first Faye thought it would be impossible to come over,
but the driver said he could get everything across, if he could come at
once. Faye walked over with me, and then went back to assist the driver
with the mules that were still on the bank refusing to step upon the
ice. But Faye led one leader, and the driver lashed and yelled at all of
them, and in this way they crossed, each mule snorting at every step.

There were the most dreadful groans and creakings and loud reports
during the entire night, and in the morning the river was clear, except
for a few pieces of ice that were still floating down from above. The
Missouri is narrow at Canon Ferry, deep and very swift, and it is
a dreadful place to cross at any time, on the ice, or on the cable
ferryboat. They catch a queer fish there called the "ling." It has three
sides, is long and slender, and is perfectly blind. They gave us some
for supper and it was really delicious.

We found everything in fine order upon our return, and it was very
evident that Cagey had taken good care of the house and Hal, but Billie
grayback had taken care of himself. He was given the run of my room, but
I had expected, of course, that he would sleep in his own box, as usual.
But no, the little rascal in some way discovered the warmth of the
blankets on my bed, and in between these he had undoubtedly spent most
of the time during our absence, and there we found him after a long
search, and there he wants to stay all the time now, and if anyone
happens to go near the bed they are greeted with the fiercest kind of
smothered growls.

The black horse has been sold, and Faye has bought another, a sorrel,
that seems to be a very satisfactory animal. He is not as handsome as
Ben, nor as fractious, either. Bettie is behaving very well, but is
still nervous, and keeps her forefeet down just long enough to get
herself over the ground. She is beautiful, and Kelly simply adores her
and keeps her bright-red coat like satin. Faye can seldom ride with me
because of his numerous duties, and not one of the ladies rides here,
so I have Kelly go, for one never knows what one may come across on the
roads around here. They are so seldom traveled, and are little more than
trails.

CAMP BAKER, MONTANA TERRITORY, March, 1878.

THE mail goes out in the morning, and in it a letter must be sent to
you, but it is hard--hard for me to write--to have to tell you that my
dear dog, my beautiful greyhound, is dead--dead and buried! It seems so
cruel that he should have died now, so soon after getting back to his
old home, friends, and freedom. On Tuesday, Faye and Lieutenant Lomax
went out for a little hunt, letting Hal go with them, which was unusual,
and to which I objected, for Lieutenant Lomax is a notoriously poor shot
and hunter, and I was afraid he might accidentally kill Hal--mistake him
for a wild animal. So, as they went down our steps I said, "Please do
not shoot my dog!" much more in earnest than in jest, for I felt that
he would really be in danger, as it would be impossible to keep him with
them all the time.

As they went across the parade ground, rifles over their shoulders, Hal
jumped up on Faye and played around him, expressing his delight at being
allowed to go on a hunt. He knew what a gun was made for just as well as
the oldest hunter. That was the last I saw of my dog! Faye returned long
before I had expected him, and one quick glance at his troubled face
told me that something terrible had happened. I saw that he was unhurt
and apparently well, but--where was Hal? With an awful pain in my heart
I asked, "Did Lieutenant Lomax shoot Hal?" After a second's hesitation
Faye said "No; but Hal is dead!" It seemed too dreadful to be true, and
at first I could not believe it, for it had been only such a short time
since I had seen him bounding and leaping, evidently in perfect health,
and oh, so happy!

No one in the house even thought of dinner that night, and poor black
Cagey sobbed and moaned so loud and long Faye was obliged to ask him
to be quiet. For hours I could not listen to the particulars. Faye
says that they had not gone out so very far when he saw a wild cat some
distance away, and taking careful aim, he shot it, but the cat, instead
of falling, started on a fast run. Hal was in another direction, but
when he heard the report of the rifle and saw the cat running, he
started after it with terrific speed and struck it just as the cat fell,
and then the two rolled over and over together.

He got up and stood by Faye and Lieutenant Lomax while they examined the
cat, and if there was anything wrong with him it was not noticed. But
when they turned to come to the post, dragging the dead cat after them,
Faye heard a peculiar sound, and looking back saw dear Hal on the ground
in a fit much like vertigo. He talked to him and petted him, thinking he
would soon be over it--and the plucky dog did get up and try to follow,
but went down again and for the last time The swift run and excitement
caused by encountering an animal wholly different from anything he had
ever seen before was too great a strain upon the weak heart.

Before coming to the house Faye had ordered a detail out to bury him,
with instructions to cover the grave with pieces of glass to keep the
wolves away. The skin and head of the cat, which was really a lynx, are
being prepared for a rug, but I do not see how I can have the thing in
the house, although the black spots and stripes with the white make the
fur very beautiful. The ball passed straight through the body.

The loneliness of the house is awful, and at night I imagine that I hear
him outside whining to come in. Many a cold night have I been up two and
three times to straighten his bed and cover him up. His bed was the skin
of a young buffalo, and he knew just when it was smooth and nice, and
then he would almost throw himself down, with a sigh of perfect content.
If I did not cover him at once, he would get up and drop down again,
and there he would stay hours at a time with the fur underneath and
over him, with just his nose sticking out. He suffered keenly from the
intense cold here because his hair was so short and fine. And then he
was just from the South, too, where he was too warm most of the time.

It makes me utterly wretched to think of the long year he was away from
us at Baton Rouge. But what could we have done? We could not have had
him with us, in the very heart of New Orleans, for he had already been
stolen from us at Jackson Barracks, a military post!

With him passed the very last of his blood, a breed of greyhounds that
was known in Texas, Kansas, and Colorado as wonderful hunters, also
remarkable for their pluck and beauty of form. Hal was a splendid
hunter, and ever on the alert for game. Not one morsel of it would he
eat, however, not even a piece of domestic fowl, which he seemed to look
upon as game. Sheep he considered fine game, and would chase them
every opportunity that presented itself. This was his one bad trait, an
expensive one sometimes, but it was the only one, and was overbalanced
many times by his lovable qualities that made him a favorite with all.
Every soldier in the company loved him and was proud of him, and would
have shared his dinner with the dog any day if called upon to do so.

NATIONAL HOTEL, HELENA, MONTANA TERRITORY, May, 1878.

TO hear that we are no longer at Camp Baker will be a surprise, but
you must have become accustomed to surprises of this kind long ago.
Regimental headquarters, the companies that have been quartered at the
Helena fair grounds during the winter, and the two companies from Camp
Baker, started from here this morning on a march to the Milk River
country, where a new post is to be established on Beaver Creek. It is
to be called Fort Assiniboine. The troops will probably be in camp until
fall, when they will go to Fort Shaw.

We had been given no warning whatever of this move, and had less than
two days in which to pack and crate everything. And I can assure you
that in one way it was worse than being ranked out, for this time there
was necessity for careful packing and crating, because of the rough
mountain roads the wagons had to come over. But there were no accidents,
and our furniture and boxes are safely put away here in a government
storehouse.

At the time the order came, Faye was recorder for a board of survey
that was being held at the post, and this, in addition to turning over
quartermaster and other property, kept him hard at work night and day,
so the superintendence of all things pertaining to the house and
camp outfit fell to my lot. The soldiers were most willing and
most incompetent, and it kept me busy telling them what to do. The
mess-chest, and Faye's camp bedding are always in readiness for ordinary
occasions, but for a camp of several months in this climate, where it
can be really hot one day and freezing cold the next, it was necessary
to add many more things. Just how I managed to accomplish so much in
so short a time I do not know, but I do know that I was up and packing
every precious minute the night before we came away, and the night
seemed very short too. But everything was taken to the wagons in very
good shape, and that repaid me for much of the hard work and great
fatigue.

And I was tired--almost too tired to sit up, but at eight o'clock I got
in an ambulance and came nearly forty miles that one day! Major Stokes
and Captain Martin had been on the board of survey, and as they were
starting on the return trip to Helena, I came over with them, which not
only got me here one day in advance of the company, but saved Faye the
trouble of providing for me in camp on the march from Camp Baker. We
left the post just as the troops were starting out. Faye was riding
Bettie and Cagey was on Pete.

I brought Billie, of course, and at Canon Ferry I lost that squirrel!
After supper I went directly to my room to give him a little run and
to rest a little myself, but before opening his box I looked about for
places where he might escape, and seeing a big crack under one of the
doors, covered it with Faye's military cape, thinking, as I did so, that
it would be impossible for a squirrel to crawl through such a narrow
place. Then I let him out. Instead of running around and shying at
strange objects as he usually does, he ran straight to that cape, and
after two or three pulls with his paws, flattened his little gray
body, and like a flash he and the long bushy tail disappeared! I was en
deshabille, but quickly slipped on a long coat and ran out after him.

Very near my door was one leading to the kitchen, and so I went on
through, and the very first thing stumbled over a big cat! This made me
more anxious than ever, but instead of catching the beast and shutting
it up, I drove it away. In the kitchen, which was dining room also, sat
the two officers and a disagreeable old man, and at the farther end was
a woman washing dishes. I told them about Billie and begged them to keep
very quiet while I searched for him. Then that old man laughed. That was
quite too much for my overtaxed nerves, and I snapped out that I failed
to see anything funny. But still he laughed, and said, "Perhaps you
don't, but we do." I was too worried and unhappy to notice what he
meant, and continued to look for Billie.

But the little fellow I could not find any place in the house or
outside, where we looked with a lantern. When I returned to my room I
discovered why the old man laughed, for truly I was a funny sight. I had
thought my coat much longer than it really was--that is all I am willing
to say about it. I was utterly worn out, and every bone in my body
seemed to be rebelling about something, still I could not sleep, but
listened constantly for Billie. I blamed myself so much for not having
shut up the cat and fancied I heard the cat chasing him.

After a long, long time, it seemed hours, I heard a faint noise like a
scratch on tin, and lighting a lamp quickly, I went to the kitchen and
then listened. But not a sound was to be heard. At the farther end a
bank had been cut out to make room for the kitchen, which gave it a dirt
wall almost to the low ceiling, and all across this wall were many rows
of shelves where tins of all sorts and cooking utensils were kept, and
just above the top shelf was a hole where the cat could go out on the
bank. I put the lamp back of me on the table and kept very still and
looked all along the shelves, but saw nothing of Billie. Finally, I
heard the little scratch again, and looking closely at some large tins
where I thought the sound had come from, I saw the little squirrel.
He was sitting up in between two of the pans that were almost his own
color, with his head turned one side, and "hands on his heart," watching
me inquisitively with one black eye.

He was there and apparently unharmed, but to catch him was another
matter. I approached him in the most cautious manner, talking and cooing
to him all the time, and at last I caught him, and the little fellow was
so glad to be with friends once more, he curled himself in my hands,
and put two little wet paws around a thumb and held on tight. It was
raining, and he was soaking wet, so he must have been out of doors. It
would have been heartbreaking to have been obliged to come away without
finding that little grayback, and perhaps never know what became of
him. I know where my dear dog is, and that is bad enough. We heard just
before leaving the post that men of the company had put up a board at
Hal's grave with his name cut in it. We knew that they loved him and
were proud of him, but never dreamed that any one of them would show so
much sentiment. Faye has taken the horses with him and Cagey also.

The young men of Helena gave the officers an informal dance last night.
At first it promised to be a jolly affair, but finally, as the evening
wore on, the army people became more and more quiet, and at the last
it was distressing to see the sad faces that made dancing seem a farce.
They are going to an Indian country, and the separation may be long. I
expect to remain here for the present, but shall make every effort to
get to Benton after a while, where I will be nearly one hundred and
fifty miles nearer Faye. The wife of the adjutant and her two little
children are in this house, and other families of officers are scattered
all over the little town.

COSMOPOLITAN HOTEL, HELENA, MONTANA TERRITORY, August, 1878.

YOU will see that at last I decided to move over to this hotel. I made
a great mistake in not coming before and getting away from the cross
old housekeeper at the International, who could not be induced by
entreaties, fees, or threats, to get the creepy, crawly things out of
my room. How I wish that every one of them would march over to her
some fine night and keep her awake as they have kept me. It made me so
unhappy to leave Mrs. Hull there with a sick child, but she would not
come with me, although she must know it would be better for her and the
boy to be here, where everything is kept so clean and attractive. There
are six wives of officers in the house, among them the wife of General
Bourke, who is in command of the regiment. She invited me to sit at her
table, and I find it very pleasant there. She is a bride and almost a
stranger to us.

The weather has been playing all sorts of pranks upon us lately, and we
hardly know whether we are in the far North or far South. For two
weeks it was very warm, positively hot in this gulch, but yesterday
we received a cooling off in the form of a brisk snowstorm that lasted
nearly two hours. Mount Helena was white during the rest of the day, and
even now long streaks of snow can be seen up and down the peak. But a
snowstorm in August looked very tame after the awful cloud-burst that
came upon us without warning a few days before, and seemed determined to
wash the whole town down to the Missouri River.

It was about eleven o'clock, and four of us had gone to the shops to
look at some pretty things that had just been brought over from a boat
at Fort Benton by ox train. Mrs. Pierce and Mrs. Hull had stopped at a
grocery next door, expecting to join Mrs. Joyce and me in a few minutes.
But before they could make a few purchases, a few large drops of rain
began to splash down, and there was a fierce flash of lightning and
deafening thunder, then came the deluge! Oceans of water seemed to be
coming down, and before we realized what was happening, things in the
street and things back of the store were being rushed to the valley
below.

All along the gulch runs a little stream that comes from the canon above
the town. The stream is tiny and the bed is narrow. On either side of
it are stores with basements opening out on these banks. Well, in an
alarmingly short time that innocent-looking little creek had become
a roaring, foaming black river, carrying tables, chairs, washstands,
little bridges--in fact everything it could tear up--along with it
to the valley. Many of these pieces of furniture lodged against the
carriage bridge that was just below the store where we were, making a
dangerous dam, so a man with a stout rope around his waist went in the
water to throw them out on the bank, but he was tossed about like a
cork, and could do nothing. Just as they were about to pull him in the
bridge gave way, and it was with the greatest difficulty he was kept
from being swept down with the floating furniture. He was dragged back
to our basement in an almost unconscious condition, and with many cuts
and bruises.

The water was soon in the basements of the stores, where it did much
damage. The store we were in is owned by a young man--one of the beaux
of the town--and I think the poor man came near losing his mind. He
rushed around pulling his hair one second, and wringing his hands the
next, and seemed perfectly incapable of giving one order, or assisting
his clerks in bringing the dripping goods from the basement. Very unlike
the complacent, diamond-pin young man we had danced with at the balls!

The cloud-burst on Mount Helena had caused many breaks in the enormous
ditches that run around the mountain and carry water to the mines on the
other side. No one can have the faintest conception of how terrible a
cloud-burst is until they have been in one. It is like standing under
an immense waterfall. At the very beginning we noticed the wagon of a
countryman across the street with one horse hitched to it. The horse was
tied so the water from an eaves trough poured directly upon his back,
and not liking that, he stepped forward, which brought the powerful
stream straight to the wagon.

Unfortunately for the owner, the wagon had been piled high with all
sorts of packages, both large and small, and all in paper or paper bags.
One by one these were swept out, and as the volume of water increased in
force and the paper became wet and easily torn, their contents went in
every direction. Down in the bottom was a large bag of beans, and
when the pipe water reached this, there was a white spray resembling a
geyser. Not one thing was left in that wagon--even sacks of potatoes and
grain were washed out! It is a wonder that the poor horse took it all as
patiently as he did.

During all this time we had not even heard from our friends next door;
after a while, however, we got together, but it was impossible to return
to the hotel for a long time, because of the great depth of water in the
street. Mrs. Pierce, whose house is on the opposite side of the ravine,
could not get to her home until just before dark, after a temporary
bridge had been built across the still high stream. Not one bridge
was left across the creek, and they say that nothing has been left at
Chinatown--that it was washed clean. Perhaps there is nothing to be
regretted in this, however, except that any amount of dirt has been
piled up right in the heart of Helena. The millionaire residents seem
to think that the great altitude and dry atmosphere will prevent any ill
effects of decaying debris.

We went to the assay building the other day to see a brick of gold taken
from the furnace. The mold was run out on its little track soon after we
got there, and I never dreamed of what "white heat" really means, until
I saw the oven of that awful furnace. We had to stand far across the
room while the door was open, and even then the hot air that shot out
seemed blasting. The men at the furnace were protected, of course. The
brick mold was in another mold that after a while was put in cold water,
so we had to wait for first the large and then the small to be opened
before we saw the beautiful yellow brick that was still very hot, but we
were assured that it was then too hard to be in danger of injury. It
was of the largest size, and shaped precisely like an ordinary building
brick, and its value was great. It was to be shipped on the stage the
next morning on its way to the treasury in Washington.

It is wonderful that so few of those gold bricks are stolen from the
stage. The driver is their only protector, and the stage route is
through miles and miles of wild forests, and in between huge boulders
where a "hold-up" could be so easily accomplished.

CAMP ON MARIAS RIVER, MONTANA TERRITORY, September, 1878.

AN old proverb tells us that "All things come to him who waits," but
I never had faith in this, for I have patiently waited many times for
things that never found me. But this time, after I had waited and waited
the tiresome summer through, ever hoping to come to Fort Benton, and
when I was about discouraged, "things come," and here I am in camp with
Faye, and ever so much more comfortable than I would have been at the
little old hotel at Benton.

There are only two companies here now--all the others having gone with
regimental headquarters to Fort Shaw--otherwise I could not be here, for
I could not have come to a large camp. Our tents are at the extreme end
of the line in a grove of small trees, and next to ours is the doctor's,
so we are quite cut off from the rest of the camp. Cagey is here, and
Faye has a very good soldier cook, so the little mess, including the
doctor, is simply fine. I am famished all the time, for everything
tastes so delicious after the dreadful hotel fare. The two horses are
here, and I brought my saddle over, and this morning Faye and I had a
delightful ride out on the plain. But how I did miss my dear dog! He was
always so happy when with us and the horses, and his joyous bounds and
little runs after one thing and another added much to the pleasure of
our rides.

Fort Benton is ten miles from camp, and Faye met me there with an
ambulance. I was glad enough to get away from that old stage. It was
one of the jerky, bob-back-and-forth kind that pitches you off the seat
every five minutes. The first two or three times you bump heads with the
passenger sitting opposite, you can smile and apologize with some grace,
but after a while your hat will not stay in place and your head becomes
sensitive, and finally, you discover that the passenger is the most
disagreeable person you ever saw, and that the man sitting beside you is
inconsiderate and selfish, and really occupying two thirds of the seat.

We came a distance of one hundred and forty miles, getting fresh horses
every twenty miles or so. The morning we left Helena was glorious, and I
was half ashamed because I felt so happy at coming from the town, where
so many of my friends were in sorrow, but tried to console myself with
the fact that I had been ordered away by Doctor Gordon. There were
many cases of typhoid fever, and the rheumatic fever that has made Mrs.
Sargent so ill has developed into typhoid, and there is very little hope
for her recovery.

The driver would not consent to my sitting on top with him, so I had
to ride inside with three men. They were not rough-looking at all, and
their clothes looked clean and rather new, but gave one the impression
that they had been made for other people. Their pale faces told that
they were "tenderfeet," and one could see there was a sad lacking of
brains all around.

The road comes across a valley the first ten or twelve miles, and
then runs into a magnificent canon that is sixteen miles long, called
Prickly-Pear Canon. As I wrote some time ago, everything is brought up
to this country by enormous ox trains, some coming from the railroad at
Corinne, and some that come from Fort Benton during the Summer, having
been brought up by boat on the Missouri River. In the canons these
trains are things to be dreaded. The roads are very narrow and the
grades often long and steep, with immense boulders above and below.

We met one of those trains soon after we entered the canon, and at the
top of a grade where the road was scarcely wider than the stage itself
and seemed to be cut into a wall of solid rock. Just how we were to pass
those huge wagons I did not see. But the driver stopped his horses and
two of the men got out, the third stopping on the step and holding on to
the stage so it was impossible for me to get out, unless I went out
the other door and stood on the edge of an awful precipice. The driver
looked back, and not seeing me, bawled out, "Where is the lady?" "Get
the lady out!" The man on the step jumped down then, but the driver
did not put his reins down, or move from his seat until he had seen me
safely on the ground and had directed me where to stand.

In the meantime some of the train men had come up, and, as soon as the
stage driver was ready, they proceeded to lift the stage--trunks and
all--over and on some rocks and tree tops, and then the four horses were
led around in between other rocks, where it seemed impossible for them
to stand one second. There were three teams to come up, each consisting
of about eight yoke of oxen and three or four wagons. It made me almost
ill to see the poor patient oxen straining and pulling up the grade
those huge wagons so heavily loaded. The crunching and groaning of the
wagons, rattling of the enormous cable chains, and the creaking of the
heavy yokes of the oxen were awful sounds, but above all came the yells
of the drivers, and the sharp, pistol-like reports of the long whips
that they mercilessly cracked over the backs of the poor beasts. It was
most distressing.

After the wagons had all passed, men came back and set the stage on
the road in the same indifferent way and with very few words. Each man
seemed to know just what to do, as though he had been training for years
for the moving of that particular stage. The horses had not stirred and
had paid no attention to the yelling and cracking of whips. While coming
through the canons we must have met six or seven of those trains, every
one of which necessitated the setting in mid-air of the stage coach. It
was the same performance always, each man knowing just what to do, and
doing it, too, without loss of time. Not once did the driver put down
the reins until he saw that "the lady" was safely out and it was ever
with the same sing-song, "balance to the right," voice that he asked
about me--except once, when he seemed to think more emphasis was needed,
when he made the canon ring by yelling, "Why in hell don't you get the
lady out!" But the lady always got herself out. Rough as he was, I felt
intuitively that I had a protector. We stopped at Rock Creek for dinner,
and there he saw that I had the best of everything, and it was the same
at Spitzler's, where we had supper.

We got fresh horses at The Leavings, and when I saw a strange driver on
the seat my heart sank, fearing that from there on I might not have
the same protection. We were at a large ranch--sort of an inn--and just
beyond was Frozen Hill. The hill was given that name because a number of
years ago a terrible blizzard struck some companies of infantry while
on it, and before they could get to the valley below, or to a place of
shelter, one half of the men were more or less frozen--some losing legs,
some arms. They had been marching in thin clothing that was more or
less damp from perspiration, as the day had been excessively hot. These
blizzards are so fierce and wholly blinding, it is unsafe to move a step
if caught out in one on the plains, and the troops probably lost their
bearings as soon as the storm struck them.

It was almost dark when we got in the stage to go on, and I thought it
rather queer that the driver should have asked us to go to the corral,
instead of his driving around to the ranch for us. Very soon we were
seated, but we did not start, and there seemed to be something wrong,
judging by the way the stage was being jerked, and one could feel, too,
that the brake was on. One by one those men got out, and just as the
last one stepped down on one side the heads of two cream-colored horses
appeared at the open door on the other side, their big troubled eyes
looking straight at me.

During my life on the frontier I have seen enough of native horses to
know that when a pair of excited mustang leaders try to get inside a
stage, it is time for one to get out, so I got out! One of those men
passengers instantly called to me, "You stay in there!" I asked, "Why?"
"Because it is perfectly safe," said a second man. I was very indignant
at being spoken to in this way and turned my back to them. The driver
got the leaders in position, and then looking around, said to me that
when the balky wheelers once started they would run up the hill "like
the devil," and I would surely be left unless I was inside the stage.

I knew that he was telling the truth, and if he had been the first man
to tell me to get in the coach I would have done so at once, but it so
happened that he was the fourth, and by that time I was beginning to
feel abused. It was bad enough to have to obey just one man, when
at home, and then to have four strange men--three of them idiots,
too--suddenly take upon themselves to order me around was not to be
endured. I had started on the trip with the expectation of taking care
of myself, and still felt competent to do so. Perhaps I was very tired,
and perhaps I was very cross. At all events I told the driver I would
not get in--that if I was left I would go back to the ranch. So I stayed
outside, taking great care, however, to stand close to the stage door.

The instant I heard the loosening of the brake I jumped up on the step,
and catching a firm hold each side of the door, was about to step in
when one of those men passengers grabbed my arm and tried to jerk me
back, so he could get in ahead of me! It was a dreadful thing for anyone
to do, for if my hands and arms had not been unusually strong from
riding hard-mouthed horses, I would undoubtedly have been thrown
underneath the big wheels and horribly crushed, for the four horses were
going at a terrific gait, and the jerky was swaying like a live thing.
As it was, anger and indignation gave me extra strength and I scrambled
inside with nothing more serious happening than a bruised head. But that
man! He pushed in back of me and, not knowing the nice little ways of
jerkies, was pitched forward to the floor with an awful thud. But after
a second or so he pulled himself up on his seat, which was opposite
mine, and there we two sat in silence and in darkness. I noticed the
next morning that there was a big bruise on one side of his face, at the
sight of which I rejoiced very much.

It was some distance this side of the hill when the driver stopped his
horses and waited for the two men who had been left. They seemed much
exhausted when they came up, but found sufficient breath to abuse the
driver for having left them; but he at once roared out, "Get in, I
tell you, or I'll leave you sure enough!" That settled matters, and we
started on again. Very soon those men fell asleep and rolled off their
seats to the floor, where they snored and had bad dreams. I was jammed
in a corner without mercy, and of course did not sleep one second during
the long wretched night. Twice we stopped for fresh horses, and at both
places I walked about a little to rest my cramped feet and limbs. At
breakfast the next morning I asked the driver to let me ride on top with
him, which he consented to, and from there on to Benton I had peace and
fresh air--the glorious air of Montana.

Yesterday--the day after I got here--I was positively ill from the awful
shaking up, mental as well as physical, I received on that stage ride.
We reached Benton at eleven. Faye was at the hotel with an ambulance
when the stage drove up, and it was amusing to look at the faces of
those men when they saw Faye in his uniform, and the government outfit.
We started for camp at once, and left them standing on the hotel porch
watching us as we drove down the street. It is a pity that such men
cannot be compelled to serve at least one enlistment in the Army, and be
drilled into something that resembles a real man. But perhaps recruiting
officers would not accept them.

FORT SHAW, MONTANA TERRITORY, October, 1878.

MY stay at the little town of Sun River Crossing was short, for when
I arrived there the other day in the stage from Benton, I found a note
awaiting me from Mrs. Bourke, saying that I must come right on to Fort
Shaw, so I got back in the stage and came to the post, a distance of
five miles, where General Bourke was on the lookout for me. He is in
command of the regiment as well as the post, as Colonel Fitz-James is
still in Europe. Of course regimental headquarters and the band are
here, which makes the garrison seem very lively to me. The band is out
at guard mounting every pleasant morning, and each Friday evening there
is a fine concert in the hall by the orchestra, after which we have a
little dance. The sun shines every day, but the air is cool and crisp
and one feels that ice and snow are not very far off.

The order for the two companies on the Marias to return to the Milk
River country was most unexpected. That old villain Sitting Bull, chief
of the Sioux Indians, made an official complaint to the "Great Father"
that the half-breeds were on land that belonged to his people, and were
killing buffalo that were theirs also. So the companies have been sent
up to arrest the half-breeds and conduct them to Fort Belknap, and to
break up their villages and burn their cabins. The officers disliked the
prospect of doing all this very much, for there must be many women and
little children among them. Just how long it will take no one can tell,
but probably three or four weeks.

And while Faye is away I am staying with General and Mrs. Bourke. I
cannot have a house until he comes, for quarters cannot be assigned
to an officer until he has reported for duty at a post. There are two
companies of the old garrison here still, and this has caused much
doubling up among the lieutenants--that is, assigning one set of
quarters to two officers--but it has been arranged so we can be by
ourselves. Four rooms at one end of the hospital have been cut off from
the hospital proper by a heavy partition that has been put up at the
end of the long corridor, and these rooms are now being calcimined and
painted. They were originally intended for the contract surgeon. We will
have our own little porch and entrance hall and a nice yard back of the
kitchen. It will all be so much more private and comfortable in every
way than it could possibly have been in quarters with another family.

It is delightful to be in a nicely furnished, well-regulated house once
more. The buildings are all made of adobe, and the officers' quarters
have low, broad porches in front, and remind me a little of the houses
at Fort Lyon, only of course these are larger and have more rooms. There
are nice front yards, and on either side of the officers' walk is a
row of beautiful cottonwood trees that form a complete arch. They are
watered by an acequia that brings water from Sun River several miles
above the post. The post is built along the banks of that river but I
do not see from what it derived its name, for the water is muddy all the
time. The country about here is rather rolling, but there are two large
buttes--one called Square Butte that is really grand, and the other is
Crown Butte. The drives up and down the river are lovely, and I think
that Bettie and I will soon have many pleasant mornings together on
these roads. After the slow dignified drives I am taking almost every
day, I wonder how her skittish, affected ways will seem to me!

I am so glad to be with the regiment again--that is, with old friends,
although seeing them in a garrison up in the Rocky Mountains is very
different from the life in a large city in the far South! Four companies
are still at Fort Missoula, where the major of the regiment is in
command. Our commanding officer and his wife were there also during the
winter, therefore those of us who were at Helena and Camp Baker, feel
that we must entertain them in some way. Consequently, now that everyone
is settled, the dining and wining has begun. Almost every day there is
a dinner or card party given in their honor, and several very delightful
luncheons have been given. And then the members of the old garrison,
according to army etiquette, have to entertain those that have just
come, so altogether we are very gay. The dinners are usually quite
elegant, formal affairs, beautifully served with dainty china and
handsome silver. The officers appear at these in full-dress uniform, and
that adds much to the brilliancy of things, but not much to the comfort
of the officers, I imagine.

Everyone is happy in the fall, after the return of the companies from
their hard and often dangerous summer campaign, and settles down for the
winter. It is then that we feel we can feast and dance, and it is then,
too, that garrison life at a frontier post becomes so delightful. We
are all very fond of dancing, so I think that Faye and I will give a
cotillon later on. In fact, it is about all we can do while living in
those four rooms.

We have Episcopal service each alternate Sunday, when the Rev. Mr. Clark
comes from Helena, a distance of eighty-five miles, to hold one service
for the garrison here and one at the very small village of Sun River.
And once more Major Pierce and I are in the same choir. Doctor Gordon
plays the organ, and beautifully, too. For some time he was organist in
a church at Washington, and of course knows the service perfectly. Our
star, however, is a sergeant! He came to this country with an opera
troupe, but an attack of diphtheria ruined his voice for the stage, so
he enlisted! His voice (barytone) is still of exquisite quality, and
just the right volume for our hall.

FORT SHAW, MONTANA TERRITORY, January, 1879.

THERE has been so much going on in the garrison, and so much for me to
attend to in getting the house settled, I have not had time to
write more than the note I sent about dear little Billie. I miss him
dreadfully, for, small as he was, he was always doing something cunning,
always getting into mischief. He died the day we moved to this house,
and it hurts even now when I think of how I was kept from caring for him
the last day of his short life. And he wanted to be with me, too, for
when I put him in his box he would cling to my fingers and try to get
back to me. It is such a pity that we ever cracked his nuts. His lower
teeth had grown to perfect little tusks that had bored a hole in the
roof of his mouth. As soon as that was discovered, we had them cut off,
but it was too late--the little grayback would not eat.

We are almost settled now, and Sam, our Chinese cook, is doing
splendidly. At first there was trouble, and I had some difficulty in
convincing him that I was mistress of my own house and not at all afraid
of him. Cagey has gone back to Holly Springs. He had become utterly
worthless during the summer camp, where he had almost nothing to do.

Our little entertainment for the benefit of the mission here was a
wonderful success. Every seat was occupied, every corner packed, and we
were afraid that the old theater might collapse. We made eighty dollars,
clear of all expenses. The tableaux were first, so the small people
could be sent home early. Then came our pantomime. Sergeant Thompson
sang the words and the orchestra played a soft accompaniment that made
the whole thing most effective. Major Pierce was a splendid Villikins,
and as Dinah I received enough applause to satisfy anyone, but the
curtain remained down, motionless and unresponsive, just because I
happened to be the wife of the stage manager!

The prison scene and Miserere from Il Trovatore were beautiful. Sergeant
Mann instructed each one of the singers, and the result was far beyond
our expectations. Of course the fine orchestra of twenty pieces was a
great addition and support. Our duet was not sung, because I was seized
with an attack of stage fright at the last rehearsal, so Sergeant Mann
sang an exquisite solo in place of the duet, which was ever so much
nicer. I was with Mrs. Joyce in one scene of her pantomime, "John
Smith," which was far and away the best part of the entertainment. Mrs.
Joyce was charming, and showed us what a really fine actress she is. The
enlisted men went to laugh, and they kept up a good-natured clapping and
laughing from first to last.

It was surprising that so many of the Sun River and ranch people came,
for the night was terrible, even for Montana, and the roads must have
been impassable in places. Even here in the post there were great drifts
of snow, and the path to the theater was cut through banks higher than
our heads. It had been mild and pleasant for weeks, and only two nights
before the entertainment we had gone to the hall for rehearsal with
fewer wraps than usual. We had been there about an hour, I think, when
the corporal of the guard came in to report to the officer of the day,
that a fierce blizzard was making it impossible for sentries to walk
post. His own appearance told better than words what the storm was. He
had on a long buffalo coat, muskrat cap and gauntlets, and the fur from
his head down, also heavy overshoes, were filled with snow, and at each
end of his mustache were icicles hanging. He made a fine, soldierly
picture as he brought his rifle to his side and saluted. The officer
of the day hurried out, and after a time returned, he also smothered
in furs and snow. He said the storm was terrific and he did not see how
many of us could possibly get to our homes.

But of course we could not remain in the hall until the blizzard had
ceased, so after rehearsing a little more, we wrapped ourselves up as
well as we could and started for our homes. The wind was blowing at
hurricane speed, I am sure, and the heavy fall of snow was being carried
almost horizontally, and how each frozen flake did sting! Those of us
who lived in the garrison could not go very far astray, as the fences
were on one side and banks of snow on the other, but the light snow had
already drifted in between and made walking very slow and difficult. We
all got to our different homes finally, with no greater mishap than
a few slightly frozen ears and noses. Snow had banked up on the floor
inside of our front door so high that for a few minutes Faye and I
thought that we could not get in the house.

Major Pierce undertook to see Mrs. Elmer safely to her home at the
sutler's store, and in order to get there they were obliged to cross a
wide space in between the officers' line and the store. Nothing could be
seen ten feet from them when they left the last fence, but they tried
to get their bearings by the line of the fence, and closing their eyes,
dashed ahead into the cloud of blinding, stinging snow. Major Pierce
had expected to go straight to a side door of the store, but the awful
strength of the wind and snow pushed them over, and they struck a corner
of the fence farthest away--in fact, they would have missed the fence
also if Mrs. Elmer's fur cape had not caught on one of the pickets, and
gone out on the plains to certain death. Bright lights had been placed
in the store windows, but not one had they seen. These storms kill so
many range cattle, but the most destructive of all is a freeze after a
chinook, that covers the ground with ice so it is impossible for them
to get to the grass. At such times the poor animals suffer cruelly. We
often hear them lowing, sometimes for days, and can easily imagine that
we see the starving beasts wandering on and on, ever in search of an
uncovered bit of grass. The lowing of hundreds of cattle on a cold
winter night is the most horrible sound one can imagine.

Cold as it is, I ride Bettie almost every day, but only on the high
ground where the snow has been blown off. We are a funny sight sometimes
when we come in--Bettie's head, neck, and chest white with her frozen
breath, icicles two or three inches long hanging from each side of her
chin, and my fur collar and cap white also. I wear a sealskin cap with
broad ear tabs, long sealskin gauntlets that keep my hands and arms
warm, and high leggings and moccasins of beaver, but with the fur
inside, which makes them much warmer. A tight chamois skin waist
underneath my cadet-cloth habit and a broad fur collar completes a
riding costume that keeps me warm without being bungling. I found a
sealskin coat too warm and heavy.

No one will ride now and they do not know what fine exercise they are
missing. And I am sure that Bettie is glad to get her blood warm once
during the twenty-four hours. Friends kindly tell me that some day I
will be found frozen out on the plains, and that the frisky Bettie
will kill me, and so on. I ride too fast to feel the cold, and Bettie I
enjoy--all but the airs she assumes inside the post. Our house is near
the center of the officers' line, and no matter which way I go or what
I do, that little beast can never be made to walk one step until we get
out on the road, but insists upon going sideways, tossing her head,
and giving little rears. It looks so affected and makes me feel very
foolish, particularly since Mrs. Conger said to me the other day: "Why
do you make your horse dance that way--he might throw you." I then asked
her if she would not kindly ride Bettie a few times and teach her to
keep her feet down. But she said it was too cold to go out!

We have much more room in this house than we had in the hospital, and
are more comfortable every way. Almost every day or evening there is
some sort of an entertainment--german, dinner, luncheon, or card party.
I am so glad that we gave the first cotillon that had ever been given
in the regiment, for it was something new on the frontier; therefore
everyone enjoyed it. Just now the garrison seems to have gone cotillon
crazy, and not being satisfied with a number of private ones, a german
club has been organized that gives dances in the hall every two weeks.
So far Faye has been the leader of each one. With all this pleasure, the
soldiers are not being neglected. Every morning there are drills and a
funny kind of target practice inside the quarters, and of course there
are inspections and other things.

FORT ELLIS, MONTANA TERRITORY, January, 1879.

IT is still cold, stinging cold, and we are beginning to think
that there was much truth in what we were told on our way over last
fall--that Fort Ellis is the very coldest place in the whole territory.
For two days the temperature was fifty below, and I can assure you
that things hummed! The logs of our house made loud reports like pistol
shots, and there was frost on the walls of every room that were not near
roaring fires. No one ventures forth such weather unless compelled to
do so, and then, of course, every precaution is taken to guard against
freezing. In this altitude one will freeze before feeling the cold, as
I know from experience, having at the present time two fiery red ears of
enormous size. They are fiery in feeling, too, as well as in color.

The atmosphere looks like frozen mist, and is wonderful, and almost at
any time between sunrise and sunset a "sun dog" can be seen with its
scintillating rainbow tints, that are brilliant yet exquisitely delicate
in coloring. Our houses are really very warm--the thick logs are
plastered inside and papered, every window has a storm sash and every
room a double floor, and our big stoves can burn immense logs. But
notwithstanding all this, our greatest trial is to keep things to eat.
Everything freezes solid, and so far we have not found one edible that
is improved by freezing. It must be awfully discouraging to a cook to
find on a biting cold morning, that there is not one thing in the house
that can be prepared for breakfast until it has passed through the
thawing process; that even the water in the barrels has become solid,
round pieces of ice! All along the roof of one side of our house are
immense icicles that almost touch the snow on the ground. These are a
reminder of the last chinook!

But only last week it was quite pleasant--not real summery, but warm
enough for one to go about in safety. Faye came down from the saw-mill
one of those days to see the commanding officer about something and to
get the mail. When he was about to start back, in fact, was telling me
good-by, I happened to say that I wished I could go, too. Faye said:
"You could not stand the exposure, but you might wear my little fur
coat" Suggesting the coat was a give-in that I at once took advantage
of, and in precisely twenty minutes Charlie, our Chinese cook, had been
told what to do, a few articles of clothing wrapped and strapped, and
I on Bettie's back ready for the wilds. An old soldier on a big corral
horse was our only escort, and to his saddle were fastened our various
bags and bundles.

Far up a narrow valley that lies in between two mountain ranges, the
government has a saw-mill that is worked by twenty or more soldiers
under the supervision of an officer, where lumber can be cut when needed
for the post. One of these ranges is very high, and Mount Bridger, first
of the range and nearest Fort Ellis, along whose base we had to go, has
snow on its top most of the year. Often when wind is not noticeable at
the post, we can see the light snow being blown with terrific force
from the peak of this mountain for hundreds of yards in a perfectly
horizontal line, when it will spread out and fall in a magnificent spray
another two or three hundred feet.

The mill is sixteen miles from Fort Ellis, and the snow was very
deep--so deep in places that the horses had difficulty in getting their
feet forward, and as we got farther up, the valley narrowed into a
ravine where the snow was even deeper. There was no road or even trail
to be seen; the bark on trees had been cut to mark the way, but far
astray we could not have gone unless we had deliberately ridden up the
side of a mountain. The only thing that resembled a house along the
sixteen miles was a deserted cabin about half way up, and which only
accentuated the awful loneliness.

Bettie had been standing in the stable for several days, and that, with
the biting cold air in the valley, made her entirely too frisky, and she
was very nervous, too, over the deep snow that held her feet down. We
went Indian file--I always in the middle--as there were little grades
and falling-off places all along that were hidden by the snow, and I was
cautioned constantly by Faye and Bryant to keep my horse in line. The
snow is very fine and dry in this altitude, and never packs as it does
in a more moist atmosphere.

When we had ridden about one half the distance up we came to a little
hill, at the bottom of which was known to be a bridge that crossed the
deep-cut banks of one of those mountain streams that are dry eleven
months of the year and raging torrents the twelfth, when the snow melts.
It so happened that Faye did not get on this bridge just right, so down
in the light snow he and Pete went, and all that we could see of them
were Faye's head and shoulders and the head of the horse with the awful
bulging eyes! Poor Pete was terribly frightened, and floundered about
until he nearly buried himself in snow as he tried to find something
solid upon which to put his feet.

I was just back of Faye when he went down, but the next instant I had
retreated to the top of the hill, and had to use all the strength in my
arms to avoid being brought back to the post. When Bettie saw Pete go
down, she whirled like a flash and with two or three bounds was on
top of the hill again. She was awfully frightened and stood close to
Bryant's horse, trembling all over. Poor Bryant did not know what to do
or which one to assist, so I told him to go down and get the lieutenant
up on the bank and I would follow. Just how Faye got out of his
difficulty I did not see, for I was too busy attending to my own
affairs. Bettie acted as though she was bewitched, and go down to the
bridge she would not. Finally, when I was about tired out, Faye said we
must not waste more time there and that I had better ride Pete.

So I dismounted and the saddles were changed, and then there was more
trouble. Pete had never been ridden by a woman before, and thinking,
perhaps, that his sudden one-sidedness was a part of the bridge
performance, at once protested by jumps and lunges, but he soon quieted
down and we started on again. Bettie danced a little with Faye, but
that was all. She evidently remembered her lost battle with him at Camp
Baker.

It was almost dark when we reached the saw-mill, and as soon as it
became known that I was with the "lieutenant" every man sprang up from
some place underneath the snow to look at me, and two or three ran over
to assist Bryant with our things. It was awfully nice to know that I was
a person of importance, even if it was out in a camp in the mountains
where probably a woman had never been before. The little log cabin built
for officers had only the one long room, with large, comfortable bunk,
two tables, chairs, a "settle" of pine boards, and near one end of the
room was a box stove large enough to heat two rooms of that size. By the
time my stiffened body could get inside, the stove had been filled to
the top with pine wood that roared and crackled in a most cheerful and
inviting manner.

But the snow out there! I do not consider it advisable to tell the exact
truth, so I will simply say that it was higher than the cabin, but that
for some reason it had left an open space of about three feet all around
the logs, and that gave us air and light through windows which had been
thoughtfully placed unusually high. The long stable, built against
a bank, where the horses and mules were kept, was entirely buried
underneath the snow, and you would never have dreamed that there was
anything whatever there unless you had seen the path that had been
shoveled down to the door. The cabin the men lived in, I did not see at
all. We were in a ravine where the pine forest was magnificent, but one
could see that the trees were shortened many feet by the great depth of
snow.

Our meals were brought to us by Bryant from the soldiers' mess, and as
the cook was only a pick-up, they were often a mess indeed, but every
effort was made to have them nice. The day after we got there the cook
evidently made up his mind that some recognition should be shown of
the honor of my presence in the woods, so he made a big fat pie for my
dinner. It was really fat, for the crust must have been mostly of lard,
and the poor man had taken much pains with the decorations of twisted
rings and little balls that were on the top. It really looked very nice
as Bryant set it down on the table in front of me, with an air that the
most dignified of butlers might have envied, and said, "Compliments
of the cook, ma'am!" Of course I was, and am still, delighted with the
attention from the cook, but for some reason I was suspicious of that
pie, it was so very high up, so I continued to talk about it admiringly
until after Bryant had gone from the cabin, and then I tried to cut it!
The filling--and there was an abundance--was composed entirely of big,
hard raisins that still had their seeds in. The knife could not cut
them, so they rolled over on the table and on the floor, much like
marbles. I scooped out a good-sized piece as well as I could, gathered
up the runaway raisins, and then--put it in the stove.

And this I did at every dinner while I was there, almost trembling each
time for fear Bryant would come in and discover how the pie was being
disposed of. It lasted long, for I could not cut off a piece for Faye,
as Bryant had given us to understand in the beginning that the chef
d'oeuvre was for me only.

Nothing pleases me more than to have the enlisted men pay me some
little attention, and when the day after the pie a beautiful little gray
squirrel was brought to me in a nice airy box, I was quite overcome.
He is very much like Billie in size and color, which seems remarkable,
since Billie was from the far South and this little fellow from the far
North. I wanted to take him out of the box at once, but the soldier said
he would bite, and having great respect for the teeth of a squirrel, I
let him stay in his prison while we were out there.

The first time I let him out after we got home he was frantic, and
jumped on the mantel, tables, and chairs, scattering things right and
left. Finally he started to run up a lace window curtain back of the
sewing machine. On top of the machine was a plate of warm cookies
that Charlie had just brought to me, and getting a sniff of those the
squirrel stopped instantly, hesitated just a second, and then over he
jumped, took a cookie with his paws and afterwards held it with his
teeth until he had settled himself comfortably, when he again took it
in his paws and proceeded to eat with the greatest relish. After he had
eaten all he very well could, he hid the rest back of the curtain in
quite an at-home way. There was nothing at all wonderful in all this,
except that the squirrel was just from the piney woods where warm sugar
cakes are unknown, so how did he know they were good to eat?

I was at the saw-mill four days, and then we all came in together and on
bob sleds. There were four mules for each sleigh, so not much attention
was paid to the great depth of snow. Both horses knew when we got to
the bridge and gave Bryant trouble. Every bit of the trail out had
been obliterated by drifting snow, and I still wonder how these animals
recognized the precise spot when the snow was level in every place.

We found the house in excellent order, and consider our new Chinaman
a treasure. A few days before Faye went to the mill I made some Boston
brown bread. I always make that myself, as I fancy I can make it very
good, but for some reason I was late in getting it on to steam that
day, so when I went to the kitchen to put it in the oven I found a
much-abused Chinaman. When he saw what I was about to do he became very
angry and his eyes looked green. He said, "You no put him in l'oven."
I said, "Yes, Charlie, I have to for one hour." He said, "You no care
workman, you sploil my dee-nee, you get some other boy."

Now Charlie was an excellent servant and I did not care to lose him, but
to take that bread out was not to be considered. I would no longer have
been mistress of my own house, so I told him quietly, "Very well," and
closed the oven door with great deliberation. The dinner was a little
better than usual, and I wondered all the time what the outcome would
be. I knew that he was simply piqued because I had not let him make the
bread. After his work was all done he came in and said, with a smile
that was almost a grin, "I go now--I send 'nother boy," and go he did.
But the "other boy" came in time to give us a delicious breakfast, and
everything went on just the same as when old Charlie was here. He is in
Bozeman and comes to see us often.

This Charlie takes good care of my chickens that are my pride and
delight. There are twenty, and every one is snow white; some have heavy
round topknots. I found them at different ranches. It is so cold here
that chicken roosts have to be covered with strips of blanket and made
flat and broad, so the feathers will cover the chickens' feet, otherwise
they will be frozen. It is a treat to have fresh eggs, and without
having to pay a dollar and a half per dozen for them. That is the price
we have paid for eggs almost ever since we came to the Territory.

FORT ELLIS, MONTANA TERRITORY, June, 1880.

EVERYTHING is packed and on the wagons--that is, all but the camp outfit
which we will use on the trip over--and in the morning we will start
on our way back to Fort Shaw. With the furniture that belongs to the
quarters and the camp things, we were so comfortable in our own house
we decided that there was no necessity to go to Mrs. Adams's, except
for dinner and breakfast, although both General and Mrs. Adams have been
most hospitable and kind.

The way these two moves have come about seems very funny to me. Faye
was ordered over here to command C Company when it was left without an
officer, because he was senior second lieutenant in the regiment and
entitled to it. The captain of this company has been East on recruiting
service, and has just been relieved by Colonel Knight, captain of Faye's
company at Shaw; as that company is now without an officer, the senior
second lieutenant has to return and command his own company. This
recognition of a little rank has been expensive to us, and disagreeable
too. The lieutenants are constantly being moved about, often details
that apparently do not amount to much but which take much of their small
salary.

The Chinaman is going with us, for which I am most thankful, and at his
request we have decided to take the white chickens. Open boxes have been
made specially for them that fit on the rear ends of the wagons, and
we think they will be very comfortable--but we will certainly look like
emigrants when on the road. The two squirrels will go also. The men of
the company have sent me three squirrels during the winter. The dearest
one of all had been injured and lived only a few days. The flying
squirrel is the least interesting and seems stupid. It will lie around
and sleep during the entire day, but at dark will manage to get on some
high perch and flop down on your shoulder or head when you least expect
it and least desire it, too. The little uncanny thing cannot fly,
really, but the webs enable it to take tremendous leaps. I expect
that it looks absurd for us to be taking across the country a small
menagerie, but the squirrels were presents, and of course had to go, and
the chickens are beautiful, and give us quantities of eggs. Besides, if
we had left the chickens, Charlie might not have gone, for he feeds them
and watches over them as if they were his very own, and looks very cross
if the striker gives them even a little corn.

Night before last an unusually pleasant dancing party was given by
Captain McAndrews, when Faye and I were guests of honor. It was such a
surprise to us, and so kind in Captain McAndrews to give it, for he is a
bachelor. Supper was served in his own quarters, but dancing was in the
vacant set adjoining. The rooms were beautifully decorated with flags,
and the fragrant cedar and spruce. Mrs. Adams, wife of the commanding
officer, superintended all of the arrangements and also assisted in
receiving. The supper was simply delicious--as all army suppers are--and
I fancy that she and other ladies of the garrison were responsible for
the perfect salads and cakes.

The orchestra was from Bozeman, so the music was very good. Quite a
party of young people also, many of them friends of ours, came up from
Bozeman, which not only swelled the number of guests, but gave life to
the dance, for in a small garrison like this the number of partners is
limited. The country about here is beautiful now; the snow is melting
on the mountains, and there is such a lovely green every place, I almost
wish that we might have remained until fall, for along the valleys and
through the canons there are grand trails for horseback riding, while
Fort Shaw has nothing of the kind.

FORT SHAW, MONTANA TERRITORY, July, 1880.

WE are with the commanding officer and his wife for a few days while our
house is being settled. Every room has just been painted and tinted and
looks so clean and bright. The Chinaman, squirrels, and chickens are
there now, and are already very much at home, and Charlie is delighted
that the chickens are so much admired.

The first part of the trip over was simply awful! The morning was
beautiful when we left Ellis--warm and sunny--and everybody came to see
us oft. We started in fine spirits, and all went well for ten or twelve
miles, when we got to the head waters of the Missouri, where the three
small rivers, Gallatin, Jefferson, and Madison join and make the one big
river. The drive through the forest right there is usually delightful,
and although we knew that the water was high in the Gallatin by Fort
Ellis, we were wholly unprepared for the scene that confronted us when
we reached the valley. Not one inch of ground could be seen--nothing
but the trees surrounded; by yellow, muddy water that showed quite a
current.

The regular stage road has been made higher than the ground because of
these July freshets, when the snow is melting on the mountains, but it
was impossible to keep on it, as its many turns could not be seen,
and it would not have helped much either, as the water was deep. The
ambulance was in the lead, of course, so we were in all the excitement
of exploring unseen ground. The driver would urge the mules, and if the
leaders did not go down, very good--we would go on, perhaps a few yards.
If they did go down enough to show that it was dangerous that way, he
would turn them in another direction and try there. Sometimes it was
necessary almost to turn around in order to keep upon the higher
ground. In this way mules and drivers worked until four o'clock in
the afternoon, the dirty water often coming up over the floor of the
ambulance, and many times it looked as if we could not go on one step
farther without being upset in the mud and water.

But at four we reached an island, where there was a small house and a
stable for the stage relay horses, and not far beyond was another island
where Faye decided to camp for the night. It was the only thing he
could have done. He insisted upon my staying at the house, but I finally
convinced him that the proper place for me was in camp, and I went on
with him. The island was very small, and the highest point above water
could not have been over two feet. Of course everything had to be
upon it--horses, mules, wagons, drivers, Faye and I, and the two small
squirrels, and the chickens also. In addition to our own traveling
menagerie there were native inhabitants of that island--millions and
millions of mosquitoes, each one with a sharp appetite and sharp sting.
We thought that we had learned all about vicious mosquitoes while in the
South, but the Southern mosquitoes are slow and caressing in comparison
to those Montana things.

It was very warm, and the Chinaman felt sorry for the chickens shut up
in the boxes, where fierce quarrels seemed to be going on all the time.
So after he had fed them we talked it over, and decided to let them
out, as they could not possibly get away from us across the big body of
water. There were twenty large chickens in one big box, and twenty-seven
small ones that had been brought in a long box by themselves. Well,
Charlie and one of the men got the boxes down and opened them. At once
the four or five mother hens clucked and scratched and kept on clucking
until the little chicks were let out, when every one of them ran to its
own mother, and each hen strutted off with her own brood. That is the
absolute truth, but is not all. When night came the chickens went back
to their boxes to roost--all but the small ones. Those were left outside
with their mothers, and just before daylight Charlie raised a great
commotion when he put them up for the day's trip.

When we were about ready to start in the morning, a man came over from
the house and told Faye that he would pilot us through the rest of the
water, that it was very dangerous in places, where the road had been
built up, and if a narrow route was not carefully followed, a team would
go down a bank of four or five feet. He had with him just the skeleton
of a wagon--the four wheels with two or three long boards on top, drawn
by two horses. So we went down in the dirty water again, that seemed to
get deeper and deeper as we splashed on.

Now and then I could catch a glimpse of our pilot standing up on the
boards very much like a circus rider, for the wagon wheels were twisting
around over the roots of trees and stones, in a way that required
careful balancing on his part. We got along very well until about noon,
when a soldier came splashing up on a mule and told Faye that one of the
wagons had turned over! That was dreadful news and made me most anxious
about the trunks and chests, and the poor chickens, too, all of which
might be down under the water.

They got the ambulance under some trees, unfastened the mules and led
them away, leaving me alone, without even the driver. The soldier had
thoughtfully led up Pete for Faye to ride back, and the mules were
needed to assist in pulling the wagon up. Fortunately the wagon was
caught by a tree and did not go entirely over, and it so happened, too,
that it was the one loaded more with furniture than anything else, so
not much damage was done.

Our pilot had left us some time before, to hurry on and get any
passengers that might come in the stage that runs daily between Helena
and Bozeman. As soon as I began to look around a little after I was left
alone in the ambulance, I discovered that not so very far ahead was an
opening in the trees and bushes, and that a bit of beautiful dry land
could be seen. I was looking at it with longing eyes when suddenly
something came down the bank and on into the water, and not being
particularly brave, I thought of the unprotected position I was in. But
the terrible monster turned out to be our pilot, and as he came nearer,
I saw that he had something on the wagon--whether men or women or mere
bags of stuff I could not tell.

But in time he got near enough for me to see that two men were with
him--most miserable, scared tourists--both standing up on the seesawing
boards, the first with arms around the pilot's neck, and the second with
his arms around him. They were dressed very much alike, each one
having on his head an immaculate white straw hat, and over his coat
a long--very long--linen duster, and they both had on gloves! Their
trousers were pulled up as high as they could get them, giving a fine
display of white hose and low shoes. The last one was having additional
woe, for one leg of his trousers was slipping down, and of course it was
impossible for him to pull it up and keep his balance. Every turn of
the wheels the thick yellow water was being spattered on them, and I can
imagine the condition they were in by the time they reached the little
inn on the island. The pilot thought they were funny, too, for when he
passed he grinned and jerked his head back to call my attention to them.
He called to know what had happened to me, and I told him that I was a
derelict, and he would ascertain the cause farther on.

After a while--it seemed hours to me--Faye and the wagons came up, and
in time we got out of the awful mess and on dry land. It was the Fourth
of July, and we all wished for a gun or something that would make a loud
noise wherewith we could celebrate--not so much the day as our
rejoicing at getting out of the wilderness. The men were in a deplorable
condition, wet and tired, for no one had been able to sleep the night
before because of the vicious mosquitoes and the stamping of the poor
animals. So, when Faye saw one of the drivers go to a spring for water,
and was told that it was a large, fine spring, he decided to camp right
there and rest before going farther.

But rest we could not, for the mosquitoes were there also, and almost
as bad as they had been on the island, and the tents inside were covered
with them as soon as they were pitched. If there is a person who thinks
that a mosquito has no brain, and is incapable of looking ahead, that
person will soon learn his mistake if ever he comes to the Missouri
River, Montana! The heat was fierce, too, and made it impossible for us
to remain in the tents, so we were obliged, after all, to sit out under
the trees until the air had cooled at night sufficiently to chill the
mosquitoes.

The chickens were let out at every camp, and each time, without fail,
they flew up to their boxes on the wagons. Charlie would put in little
temporary roosts, that made them more comfortable, and before daylight
every morning he would gather up the little ones and the mothers and
put them in the crates for the day. He is willing and faithful, but has
queer ideas about some things. Just as I was getting in the ambulance
the second morning on the trip, I heard a crunching sound and then
another, and looking back, I saw the Chinaman on top of the mess chest
with head bent over and elbows sticking out, jumping up and down with
all his strength.

I ran over and told him not to do so, for I saw at once what was the
matter. But he said, "He velly blig--he no go downee--me flixee him,"
and up and down he went again, harder than ever. After a lengthy
argument he got down, and I showed him once more how to put the things
in so the top would shut tight. There were a good many pieces of broken
china, and these Charlie pitched over in the water with a grin that
plainly said, "You see--me flixee you!" Of course the soldiers saw it
all and laughed heartily, which made Charlie very angry, and gave him a
fine opportunity to express himself in Chinese. The rest of the trip was
pleasant, and some of the camps were delightful, but I am afraid that I
no longer possess beautiful white chickens--my Chinaman seems to be the
owner of all, big and small.

FORT SHAW, MONTANA TERRITORY, August, 1880.

THE company has been ordered to "proceed without delay" to Fort
Maginnis, a post that is just being established, and to assist another
company in building temporary log quarters. The other company will go
from Fort Missoula, and has to remain at the new post during the winter,
but Faye's company will return here in November. We were all ready to go
to the Yellowstone Park next week with General and Mrs. Bourke, but this
order from Department Headquarters upsets everything. The company was
designated there, and go it must, although Faye has been at Fort Shaw
only six weeks. He has command, of course, as Colonel Knight is East on
recruiting service, and the first lieutenant is abroad.

General and Mrs. Bourke could not understand at first why I would not
go with them to the park, just the same, but I understood perfectly, and
said at once that I would go to Maginnis with Faye. For, to go in one
direction where there is only a weekly mail, and Faye to go in another
direction where there is no mail at all, and through an Indian country,
was not to be considered one second. I was half afraid that the
commanding officer might forbid my going with Faye, as he could have
done, but he did not, and when he saw that I could not be persuaded to
change my mind, an ambulance was ordered to go with the command, so I
can have a shelter when it storms, for I shall ride Bettie on the trip.

The distance over is one hundred and fifty miles right across mountains
and valleys, and there will be only a faint trail to guide us, and I am
anticipating great delight in such a long horseback ride through a wild
country. We will have everything for our comfort, too. Faye will be in
command, and that means much, and a young contract surgeon, who has been
recently appointed, will go with us, and our Chinese cook will go also.
I have always wanted to take a trip of this kind, and know that it
will be like one long picnic, only much nicer. I never cared for real
picnics--they always have so much headache with them. We have very
little to do for the march as our camp outfit is in unusually fine
condition. After Charlie's "flixee" so much mess-chest china, Faye had
made to order a complete set for four people of white agate ware with
blue bands. We have two sets of plates, vegetable dishes, cups and
saucers, egg cups, soup plates, and a number of small pieces. The plates
and dishes, also platters, can be folded together, and consequently
require very little room, and it is a great comfort to know that these
things are unbreakable, and that we will not be left without plates for
the table when we get in the wilds, and the ware being white looks very
nice, not in the least like tin. It came yesterday, just in time.

The two squirrels I carried to the woods and turned loose. I could
not take them, and I would not leave them to be neglected perhaps. The
"Tiger" was still a tiger, and as wild and fierce as when he came from
the saw-mill, and was undoubtedly an old squirrel not to be taught new
tricks. The flying thing was wholly lacking in sense. I scattered pounds
of nuts all about and hope that the two little animals will not suffer.
The Chinaman insisted upon our taking those chickens! He goes out
every now and then and gives them big pans of food and talks to them in
Chinese with a voice and expression that makes one almost want to weep,
because the chickens have to be left behind.

We are to start on the eighteenth, and on the nineteenth we had expected
to give a dinner--a very nice one, too. I am awfully sorry that we could
not have given it before going away, for there are so many things to
do here during the winter. The doctor has had no experience whatever in
camp life, and we are wondering how he will like it. He looks like a man
who would much prefer a nice little rocking-chair in a nice little room.

CAMP NEAR JUNOT'S, IN THE JUDITH BASIN, August, 1880.

THIS will be left at a little trading store as we pass to-morrow
morning, with the hope that it will soon be taken on to Benton and
posted.

So far, the trip has been delightful, and every bit as nice as I had
anticipated. The day we left the post was more than hot--it was simply
scorching; and my whole face on the right side, ear and all, was
blistered before we got to the ferry. Just now I am going through a
process of peeling which is not beautifying, and is most painful.

Before we had come two miles it was discovered that a "washer" was
lacking on one of the wheels of a wagon, and a man was sent back on a
mule to get one. This caused a delay and made Faye cross, for it really
was inexcusable in the wagon master to send a wagon out on a trip like
this in that condition. The doctor did not start with the command, but
rode up while we were waiting for the man with the washer. The soldiers
were lounging on the ground near the wagons, talking and laughing; but
when they saw the doctor coming, there was perfect silence over there,
and I watched and listened, curious to see what effect the funny sight
would have upon them. First one sat up, then another, and some stood
up, then some one of them giggled, and that was quite enough to start
everyone of them to laughing. They were too far away for the laughing
and snickering to be disrespectful, or even to be noticed much, but I
knew why they laughed, for I laughed too.

The doctor did not present a military appearance. He is the very
smallest man I ever saw, and he was on a government horse that is known
by its great height--sixteen hands and two inches, I believe--and the
little man's stirrups were about half way down the horse's sides,
and his knees almost on the horse's back. All three of us are wearing
officers' white cork helmets, but the doctor's is not a success, being
ever so much too large for his small head, consequently it had tilted
back and found a resting place on his shoulders, covering his ears and
the upper part of his already hot face. For a whip he carried a little
switch not much longer than his gauntlets, and which would have puzzled
the big horse, if struck by it. With it all the little man could not
ride, and as his government saddle was evidently intended for a big
person, he seemed uncertain as to which was the proper place to sit--the
pommel, the middle, or the curved back. All during that first day's
march the soldiers watched him. I knew this, although we were at the
head of the column--for every time he would start his horse up a little
I could hear smothered laughter back of us.

It was late when we finally got across the Missouri on the funny
ferryboat, so we camped for the night on this side near the ferryman's
house. It was the doctor's first experience in camp, and of course he
did not know how to make himself comfortable. He suffered from the
heat, and became still warmer by rushing up and down fanning himself
and fighting mosquitoes. Then after dinner he had his horse saddled,
a soldier helped him to mount, and he rode back and forth bobbing all
sorts of ways, until Faye could stand it no longer and told him to show
some mercy to the beast that had carried him all day, and would have to
do the same for days to come.

Most of the camps have been in beautiful places--always by some clear
stream where often there was good trout fishing. In one or two of these
we found grayling, a very gamey fish, that many epicures consider more
delicate than the trout. We have a fine way of keeping fish for the
following day. As soon as possible after they have been caught we pack
them in long, wet grass and put them in a cool spot, and in this way
they will keep remarkably fresh.

We have had an abundance of game, too--all kinds of grouse and prairie
chicken, and the men killed one antelope. The Chinaman thought that
Faye shot quite too many birds, and began to look cross when they were
brought in, which annoyed me exceedingly, and I was determined to stop
it. So one evening, after Faye had taken some young chicken to the cook
tent, I said to the doctor, "Come with me," and going over to the tent
I picked up the birds and went to some trees near by, and handing the
doctor one, asked him to help me pick them, at the same time commencing
to pull the feathers out of one myself. The poor doctor looked as though
he was wishing he had made a specialty of dementia, and stood like a
goose, looking at the chicken. Charlie soon became very restless--went
inside the tent, and then came out, humming all the time. Finally he
gave in, and coming over to us, fairly snatched the birds from me and
said, "Me flixee him," and carried the whole bunch back of his tent
where we could not see him. Since that evening Charlie has been the most
delighted one in camp when Faye has brought birds in.

All the way we have had only a faint trail to follow, and often even
that could not be seen after we had crossed a stream. At such places
Faye, the doctor, and I would spread out and search for it. As Bettie
and I were always put in the middle, we were usually the finders. One
day we came up a hill that was so steep that twelve mules had to be
hitched to each wagon in order to get it up. Another day we went down
a hill where the trail was so sidling, that the men had to fasten big
ropes to the upper side of each wagon to hold it right side up as it was
drawn down. Another day we made only a few miles because of the deep-cut
banks of a narrow little stream that wound around and across a valley,
and which we had to cross eight times. At every crossing the banks had
to be sloped off and the bed built up before the wagons could be drawn
over. Watching all this has been most entertaining and the whole trip is
making a man of the doctor.

To-night we are in camp in the Judith Basin and by the Judith River--a
beautiful stream, and by far the largest we have seen on the march. And
just across the river from us is a stockade, very high and very large,
with heavy board gate that was closed as we came past. We can see the
roof of the cabin inside, and a stovepipe sticking up through it. Faye
says that he has just heard that the place is a nest of horse thieves of
the boldest and most daring type, and that one of them is coming to see
him this evening! He was told all this by the Frenchman, Junot, who has
a little trading store a mile or so from here.

Faye and the doctor rode over there as soon as the tents had been
pitched, to ascertain if the company from Missoula had passed. Our trail
and the one from the Bitter Root valley fork there. The company passed
several days ago, so we will go on in the morning; otherwise we would
have been obliged to wait for it.

I had to stay here all alone as Faye would not consent to my going with
him. He gave me one of his big pistols, and I had my own small one,
and these I put on a table in the tent, after they had gone, and then
fastened the tent flaps tight and sat down to await events. But the tent
soon became stifling, and it occurred to me that it was foolish to shut
myself up so I could not see whatever might come until it was right upon
me, so putting my pistol in my pocket and hiding the other, I opened the
tent and went out. The first thing I saw was a fishing pole with line
and fly, and that I took, and the next was the first sergeant watching
me. I knew then that Faye had told him to take care of me.

I went over to tell him that I was going for a fish, and then on down to
the beautiful river, whose waters are green and very much the color of
the Niagara River. I cast the fly over on the water, and instantly a
large fish came up, took the fly, and went down again so easily and
gracefully that he scarcely made a ripple on the water until he felt
the pull of the line. That was when I forgot everything connected with
camp--Faye, horse thieves, and Indians! I had no reel, of course, and
getting the big fish out of the water was a problem, for I was standing
on a rather high and steep bank. It jumped and jerked in a way that made
me afraid I might be pulled down instead of my pulling the fish up, so I
began to draw him in, and then up, hand over hand, not daring to
breathe while he was suspended in the air. It called for every bit of my
strength, as the shiny thing was so heavy. But I got him; and his length
was just twice the width of my handkerchief--a splendid salmon trout.
I laid it back of a rock in the shade, and went on down the stream,
casting my one fly, and very soon I caught another trout of precisely
the same size as the first, and which I landed the same way, too. I put
it by the rock with the other.

I kept on down the river, whipping it with my lucky fly every few steps,
but I caught no more fish, neither did I get a rise, but I did not mind
that, for I had the two beauties, and I was having a grand time too. I
had caught both large fish without assistance and with a common willow
pole. All that serenity was upset, however, when I heard my name called
with such a roar that I came near jumping over the bank to save myself
from whatever was after me, but the "What are you doing so far from
camp?" came just in time to stop me.

It was Faye, of course, and he was cross because I had gone so far
alone, and had, in a way, disregarded his instructions--had done as I
pleased after he had left me alone. I wanted to go to Junot's, therefore
was not one bit sorry that I had frightened him, and said not a word
to his sputtering about the danger from Indians and horse thieves as we
started back to camp. After we had gone a little distance up I said, "I
left something by that rock." I tried to lift the big fish to show him,
but they were too heavy, and I had to hold up one at a time as I
said, "This is Mr. Indian and this Mr. Horse Thief!" Faye was almost
speechless over my having caught two such large trout, and started
to camp with them at such a pace I had to run, almost, to keep up. He
thought of something of great importance to say to the first sergeant,
simply because he wanted to show them to the company. Some beautiful
trout have been brought in by the enlisted men who went up the river,
and I am so glad, for now they will have such a nice supper.

The horse thieves undoubtedly knew this country well, when they selected
this valley for their hiding place. They have an abundance of delicious
fish the year round at their very door, and there is any amount of
game near, both furred and feathered, and splendid vegetables they
can certainly raise, for they have just sent Faye a large grain sack
overflowing with tender, sweet corn, new beets, turnips, cabbage, and
potatoes. These will be a grand treat to us, as our own vegetables gave
out several days ago. But just think of accepting these things from a
band of desperadoes and horse thieves! Their garden must be inside the
immense stockade, for there is nothing of the kind to be seen outside.
They probably keep themselves in readiness for a long siege by sheriff
and posse that may come down upon them at any time without warning. And
all the time they know that if ever caught stealing horses, their trial
will last just as long as it will take to drag them to a tree that has a
good strong branch.

Charlie says that he is a mason and reads every evening in a book that
is of his own printing. It is really wonderful. Every evening after
dinner he sits out in front of his tent with a large silk handkerchief
over his head, and perhaps another with which to fight the ever-present
mosquitoes, and reads until dark. He is the only literary person in the
command and we are quite proud of him. He is a great comfort to Faye and
me, for his cooking is delicious. The doctor has a camp appetite now and
is not as finicky as when we started on the trip.

FORT MAGINNIS, MONTANA TERRITORY, September, 1880.

IT is almost one week since we got here, but I have not written before
as no mail has been sent out. I hope that the letter left with Junot has
been received, also the two or three notes that were given to horsemen
we met on their way to Fort Benton.

At first, Faye did not tell me all that he knew about those horse
thieves in the Judith Basin, but it finally came out that the trader,
Junot, had told him a most blood-curdling tale of events to come. He had
declared most positively that the desperadoes were planning to attack
the command, the very next morning while crossing the Judith Mountains,
with a hope, of course, of getting the animals. He also told Faye that
one of them would be in camp that evening to ask permission to go with
him to Maginnis. Faye said the whole story was absurd, particularly
the attack, as those horse thieves would never dare attack government
troops. Besides, he had over fifty good men with him, and probably there
were only ten or twelve horse thieves. So not much attention was paid to
what the old Frenchman had said.

But after dinner, when we were sitting outside and Faye and the doctor
were smoking, a man came around the corner of the tent with long,
swinging strides, and was in our midst before we had dreamed of anyone
being near. He spoke to Faye courteously, and declining a chair, dropped
down full length on the ground, with elbows in the grass and chin on the
palms of his hands. His feet were near the tent and his face out, which
placed him in a fine position to observe everything in the camp without
anyone seeing that he was doing so, especially as his eyes were screened
by a soft, broad-brimmed hat. It was impossible to see their color, of
course.

He was young--not over twenty-eight or thirty--and handsome, with a face
that was almost girlish in its fairness. His hair was neatly cut, and so
was his light mustache, and his smooth face showed that he had recently
shaved. He was tall and lithe, and from his chin to his toes was dressed
in fine buckskin--shirt, trousers, leggings, and moccasins--and around
his neck was tied a blue cotton handkerchief, new and clean. That the
man could be a horse thief, an outlaw, seemed most incredible.

He talked very well, too, of the country and the game, and we were
enjoying the change in our usual after-dinner camp conversation, when
suddenly up he jumped, and turning around looked straight at Faye, and
then like a bomb came the request to be allowed to go with him to Fort
Maginnis! He raised the brim of his hat, and there seemed to be a look
of defiance in his steel-blue eyes. But Faye had been expecting this,
and knowing that he was more than a match for the villain, he got up
from his camp stool leisurely, and with great composure told the man:
"Certainly, I will be very glad to have some one along who knows
the trail so well." To be told that he knew the trail must have been
disconcerting to the man, but not one word did he say in reference to
it.

After he had gone, Faye went over to the company, where he remained some
time, and I learned later that he had been giving the first sergeant
careful instructions for the next day. I could not sleep that night
because of horrible dreams--dreams of long, yellow snakes with fiery
eyes crawling through green grass. I have thought so many times since of
how perfectly maddening it must have been to those horse thieves to have
twenty-two nice fat mules and three horses brought almost within the
shadow of their very own stockade, and yet have it so impossible to
gather them in!

At the appointed time the buckskin-man appeared the following morning
on a beautiful chestnut horse with fancy bridle and Mexican saddle, and
with him came a friend, his "pal" he told Faye, who was much older and
was a sullen, villainous-looking man. Both were armed with rifles and
pistols, but there was nothing remarkable in that; in this country it
is a necessity. We started off very much as usual, except that Faye kept
rather close to the "pal," which left Bettie and me alone most of the
time, just a little at one side. I noticed that directly back of the
horse thieves walked a soldier, armed with rifle and pistol, and Faye
told me that night that he was one of the best sharpshooters in the
Army, and that he was back of those men with orders to shoot them down
like dogs if they made one treacherous move. The buckskin man was one of
the most graceful riders I ever saw, and evidently loved his fine mount,
as I saw him stroke his neck several times--and the man himself was
certainly handsome.

Faye had told me that I must not question anything he might tell me
to do, so after we had crossed the valley and gone up the mountains a
little distance he called to me in a voice unnecessarily loud, that I
must be tired riding so far, and had better get in the ambulance for
a while. I immediately dismounted, and giving the bridle rein to a
soldier, I waited for the ambulance to come up. As I got in, I felt that
perhaps I was doing the first act in an awful tragedy. The horsemen and
wagons had stopped during the minute or two I was getting in, but I saw
soldiers moving about, and just as soon as I was seated I looked out to
see what was going on.

A splendid old sergeant was going to the front with four soldiers, whom
I knew were men to be trusted, each one with rifle, bayonet, and belt
full of cartridges, and then I saw that some of the plans for that day's
trip had not been told to me. The men were placed in front of everyone,
four abreast, and Faye at once told the thieves that under no conditions
must one ever get in front of the advance guard. How they must have
hated it all--four drilled soldiers in front of them and a sharpshooter
back of them, and all the time treated by Faye as honored guests!

There were four men at the rear of the wagons, and the posting of these
rear and advance guards, and placing men on either side of the wagons,
had been done without one order from Faye, so my dismounting must have
been the signal for the sergeant to carry out the orders Faye had given
him the night before. Not by one turn of the head did those outlaws show
that they noticed those changes.

In that way we crossed the range. We met a dozen or more men of the very
roughest type, each one heavily armed. They were in parties of two and
three, and Faye thinks that a signal was passed between one of them and
the "pal." But there was no attack as had been predicted! What might
have taken place, however, if Faye had not been prepared, no one can
tell. Certainly part of Junot's story had been carried out--the horse
thief came to the tent and came with us to Maginnis, and it was not
because he wanted the protection of the troops. Faye insists that an
attack was never thought of, but as he was responsible for government
property, including the animals, he had to make preparation to protect
them. Of course those men wanted only the animals. We passed many places
on the divide that were ideal for an ambush--bluffs, huge boulders, and
precipices--everything perfect for a successful hold up.

The men came on to the post with us, and were in camp two nights with
the soldiers. The second day from the Judith, we stopped for luncheon
near a small stream where there were a great many choke-cherry bushes,
and "Buckskin Joe"*--that was his name--brought large bunches of
the cherries to me. His manner showed refinement, and I saw that his
wonderful eyes could be tender as well as steely. Perhaps he had sisters
at the old home, and perhaps, too, I was the first woman he had seen
in months to remind him of them. I shall always believe that he is from
good people some place East, that his "dare-devil" nature got him into
some kind of trouble there, and that he came to this wild country to
hide from Justice. The very morning after we got here, not long after
our breakfast, he appeared at our tent with a fine young deer slung
across the back of his horse, which he presented to us. He had just
killed it. It was most acceptable, as there was no fresh meat in camp.
He and his "pal" stayed around that day and night, and then quietly
disappeared. Not one of the soldiers, even, saw them go.

*About six years after this occurrence, there was a graphic account
in the Western papers of the horrible death of "Buckskin Joe," who
was known as one of the most daring and slippery horse thieves in the
Territory. After evading arrest many times, he was finally hunted down
by a sheriff's posse, when his fiendish fighting excited the admiration
of those who were killing him. A bullet broke one of his legs, and
he went down, but he kept on shooting--and so fast that no one dared
approach him. And when the forearm of his pistol hand was shattered, he
grasped the pistol with the other hand and continued to shoot, even
when he could not sit up, but had to hold himself up by the elbow of his
broken arm. He was finally killed, fairly riddled with bullets. He knew,
of course, all the time what his fate would be if taken alive, and he
chose the cold lead instead of the end of a rope.


It was pleasant to meet our old friends here. Colonel Palmer is in
command, and I was particularly glad to see them. After Mrs. Palmer had
embraced me she held me off a little and said: "What have you been doing
to your face? my, but you are ugly!" The skin on the blistered side has
peeled off in little strips, leaving the new skin very white in between
the parched brown of the old, so I expect I do resemble a zebra or an
Indian with his war paint on. The post, which is only a camp as yet,
is located at the upper end of a beautiful valley, and back of us is a
canon and mountains are on both sides. Far down the valley is a large
Indian village, and we can distinctly see the tepees, and often hear the
"tom-toms" when the Indians dance. There are other Indian camps near,
and it is not safe to go far from the tents without an escort. It seems
to be a wonderful country for game--deer, grouse, and prairie chicken.
Twice we have seen deer come down from the mountains and drink from the
stream just below the post. Bettie and I have scared up chicken every
time we have taken little runs around the camp, and Faye has shot large
bags of them. They are not as great a treat to us as to our friends, for
we had so many on the way over.

We have two wall tents, one for sitting room and one for bedroom, and in
front a "fly" has been stretched. Our folding camp furniture makes the
tents very comfortable. Back of these is the mess, or dining tent, and
back of that is the cook tent. Charlie has a small range now, which
keeps him squeaking or half singing all the time. One morning, before
we got this stove from the quartermaster, breakfast was late, very late.
The wind was blowing a gale, and after waiting and waiting, we concluded
that Charlie must be having trouble with the little sheet-iron camp
stove. So Faye went back to see what was the matter. He returned
laughing, and said he had found a most unhappy Chinaman; that Charlie
was holding the stove down with a piece of wood with one hand, and with
the other was trying to keep the breakfast on the stove.

You know the stovepipe goes up through a piece of tin fastened in the
roof of the tent, which is slanting, and when the canvas catches the
wind and flops up and down and every other way, the stovepipe naturally
has to go with it. The wind was just right that morning to flop
everything--canvas, pipe, stove, and breakfast, too--particularly the
delicate Saratoga chips Charlie had prepared for us, and which, Faye
said, were being blown about like yellow rose leaves. The poor little
heathen was distracted, but when he saw Faye he instantly became a
general and said at once, "You hole-ee him--me takee bleckfus." So Faye
having a desire for breakfast, held down the stove while Charlie got
things together. The Saratoga chips were delicate and crisp and looked
nice, too, but neither the doctor nor I asked Faye if they were some of
the "rose leaves" or just plain potatoes from a dish!

Charlie is splendid and most resourceful. Very near our tent is a small
stream of cold, clear water, and on one side of this he has made a
little cave of stones through which the water runs, and in this he
keeps the butter, milk, and desserts that require a cool place. He is
pottering around about something all the time. There is just one poor
cow in the whole camp, so we cannot get much milk--only one pint each
day--but we consider ourselves very fortunate in getting any at all. I
brought over fourteen dozen eggs, packed in boxes with salt. We are to
start back the first of November, so after we got here I worked out a
little problem in mathematics, and found that the eggs would last by
using only two each day. But Charlie does better than this; he will
manage to get along without eggs for a day or two, and will then
surprise us with a fine omelet or custard. But he keeps an exact account
and never exceeds his allowance.

The doctor is still with us, and shows no inclination to join the
officers' mess that has just been started. He seems to think that he is
one of the family, and would be greatly surprised, and hurt probably, if
he should discover that we would rather be alone.

FORT MAGINNIS, MONTANA TERRITORY, September, 1880.

THERE is a large village of Cree Indians in the valley below, and for
several days they were a great nuisance in the garrison. One bright
morning it was discovered that a long line of them had left their tepees
and were coming in this direction. They were riding single file, of
course, and were chanting and beating "tom-toms" in a way to make one's
blood feel frozen. I was out on one of the little hills at the time,
riding Bettie, and happened to be about the first to see them. I started
for the post at once at a fast gait and told Faye and Colonel Palmer
about them, but as soon as it was seen that they were actually coming to
the post, I rode out again about as fast as I had come in, and went to a
bit of high ground where I could command a view of the camp, and at the
same time be screened by bushes and rocks. And there I remained until
those savages were well on their way back to their own village.

Then I went in, and was laughed at by everyone, and assured by some that
I had missed a wonderful sight. The Crees are Canadian Indians and are
here for a hunt, by permission of both governments. They and the Sioux
are very hostile to each other; therefore when four or five Sioux
swooped down upon them a few days ago and drove off twenty of their
ponies, the Crees were frantic. It was an insult not to be put up
with, so some of their best young warriors were sent after them. They
recaptured the ponies and killed one Sioux.

Now an Indian is shrewd and wily! The Sioux had been a thief, therefore
the Crees cut off his right hand, fastened it to a long pole with the
fingers pointing up, and with much fuss and feathers--particularly
feathers--brought it to the "White Chief," to show him that the good,
brave Crees had killed one of the white man's enemies! The leading
Indian carried the pole with the hand, and almost everyone of those that
followed carried something also--pieces of flags, or old tin pans or
buckets, upon which they beat with sticks, making horrible noises. Each
Indian was chanting in a sing-song, mournful way. They were dressed
most fancifully; some with red coats, probably discarded by the Canadian
police, and Faye said that almost everyone had on quantities of beads
and feathers.

Bringing the hand of a dead Sioux was only an Indian's way of begging
for something to eat, and this Colonel Palmer understood, so great tin
cups of hot coffee and boxes of hard-tack were served to them. Then they
danced and danced, and to me it looked as though they intended to dance
the rest of their lives right on that one spot. But when they saw that
any amount of furious dancing would not boil more coffee, they stopped,
and finally started back to their village.

Faye tells me that as he was going to his tent from the dancing, he
noticed an Indian who seemed to be unusually well clad, his moccasins
and leggings were embroidered with beads and he was wrapped in a
bright-red blanket, head as well as body. As he passed him a voice said
in the purest English, "Lieutenant, can you give me a sear spring for my
rifle?" The only human being near was that Indian, wrapped closely in
a blanket, with only his eyes showing, precisely as one would expect to
see a hostile dressed. Faye said that it gave him the queerest kind of a
sensation, as though the voice had come from another world. He asked the
Indian where he had learned such good English and technical knowledge
of guns, and he said at the Carlisle school. He said also that he was
a Piegan and on a visit to some Cree friends. This was one of the many
proofs that we have had, that no matter how good an education the Indian
may receive, he will return to his blanket and out-of-the-pot way of
living just as soon as he returns to his people. It would be foolish to
expect anything different.

But those Cree Indians! The coffee had been good, very good, and they
wanted more, so the very next morning they brought to Colonel Palmer
an old dried scalp lock, scalp of "White Chief's enemy," with the same
ceremony as they had brought the hand. Then they sat around his tent and
watched him, giving little grunts now and then until in desperation he
ordered coffee for them, after which they danced. The men gave them bits
of tobacco too. Well, they kept this performance up three or four days,
each day bringing something to Colonel Palmer to make him think they had
killed a Sioux. This became very tiresome; besides, the soldiers were
being robbed of coffee, so Colonel Palmer shut himself in his tent and
refused to see them one day, and an orderly told them to go away and
make no noise. They finally left the post looking very mournful, the men
said. I told Colonel Palmer that he might better have gone out on the
hills as I did; that it was ever so much nicer than being shut up in a
tent.

Bettie is learning to rear higher and higher, and I ride Pete now. The
last time I rode her she went up so straight that I slipped back in my
saddle, and some of the enlisted men ran out to my assistance. I let her
have her own way and came back to the tent, and jumping down, declared
to Faye that I would never ride her again. She is very cute in her
badness, and having once discovered that I didn't like a rearing horse,
she has proceeded to rear whenever she wanted her own way. I have
enjoyed riding her because she is so graceful and dainty, but I have
been told so many times that the horse was dangerous and would throw me,
that perhaps I have become a little nervous about her.

A detail of soldiers goes up in the mountains twice every day for poles
with which to make the roofs of the log quarters. They go along a trail
on the other side of the creek, and on this side is a narrow deer path
that runs around the rocky side of a small mountain. Ever since I have
been here I have wanted to go back of the mountain by that path. So,
when I happened to be out on Pete yesterday afternoon at the time the
men started, I at once decided to take advantage of their protection and
ride around the little mountain.

About half a mile up, there were quantities of bushes eight and ten feet
high down in the creek bed, and the narrow trail that Pete was on was
about on a level with the tops of the bushes. At my left the hill was
very steep and covered with stones. I was having a delightful time,
feeling perfectly safe with so many soldiers within call. But suddenly
things changed. Down in those bushes there was a loud crashing and
snapping, and then straight up into the air jumped a splendid deer!
His head and most of his neck were above the bushes, and for just one
instant he looked at us with big inquisitive eyes before he went down
again.

When the deer went up Pete went up, too, on the steep hill, and as I
was on his back I had to go with him. The horse was badly frightened,
snorted, and raised his tail high, and when I tried to get him down on
the trail, the higher up he went on the rolling stones. I could almost
touch the side of the mountain with my whip in places, it was so steep.
It was a most dangerous position to be in, and just what elevation I
might have been carried to eventually I do not know, had not the deer
stopped his crashing through the bushes and bounded up on the opposite
bank, directly in front of the first team of mules, and then on he
streaked it across a plateau and far up a mountain side, his short white
tail showing distinctly as he ran. With the deer, Pete seemed to think
that the Evil One had gone, too, and consented to return to the trail
and to cross the stream over to the wagons.

The corporal had stopped the wagons until he saw that I was safely down,
and I asked him why he had not killed the deer--we are always in need of
game--and he said that he had not seen him until he was in front of the
mules, and that it was impossible then, as the deer did not wait for
them to get the rifles out of their cases on the bottom of the wagons.
That evening at the whist table I told Colonel Palmer about the deer and
Pete, and saw at once that I had probably gotten the poor corporal in
trouble. Colonel Palmer was very angry that the men should even think
of going several miles from the post, in an Indian country, with their
rifles cased and strapped so they would have been practically useless in
case of an attack.

Faye says that the men were not thinking of Indians, but simply trying
to keep their rifles from being marred and scratched, for if they did
get so they would be "jumped" at the first inspection. Colonel Palmer
gave most positive orders for the soldiers to hold their rifles in their
hands on their way to and from the mountains, which perhaps is for the
best.

But I am afraid they will blame me for such orders having been issued.

FORT MAGINNIS, MONTANA TERRITORY, October, 1880.

IT is not surprising that politicians got a military post established
here, so this wonderful country could be opened and settled, for the
country itself is not only beautiful, but it has an amount of game every
place that is almost beyond belief. Deer are frequently seen to come
down from the mountains to the creek for water, and prairie chicken
would come to our very tents, I fancy, if left to follow their
inclinations.

Faye is officer of the day every third day, but the other two days there
is not much for him to do, as the company is now working on the new
quarters under the supervision of the quartermaster. So we often go off
on little hunts, usually for chicken, but sometimes we go up on one of
the mountains, where there are quantities of ruffed grouse. These are
delicious, with meat as tender and white as young chicken, and they are
so pretty, too, when they spread the ruffs around their necks and make
fans of their short tail feathers.

Yesterday we went out for birds for both tables--the officers' mess and
our own. The other officers are not hunters, and Faye is the possessor
of the only shotgun in the garrison, therefore it has been a great
pleasure to us to bring in game for all. Faye rides Bettie now
altogether, so I was on Pete yesterday. We had quite a number of
chickens, but thought we would like to get two or three more; therefore,
when we saw a small covey fly over by some bushes, and that one bird
went beyond and dropped on the other side, Faye told me to go on a
little, and watch that bird if it rose again when he shot at the others.
It is our habit usually for me to hold Faye's horse when he dismounts to
hunt, but that time he was some distance away, and had slipped his hand
through the bridle rein and was leading Bettie that way. Both horses are
perfectly broken to firearms, and do not in the least mind a gun. I have
often seen Bettie prick up her ears and watch the smoke come from the
barrel with the greatest interest.

Everything went on very well until I got where I might expect to see the
chicken, and then I presume I gave more thought to the bird than to the
ground the horse was on. At all events, it suddenly occurred to me that
the grass about us was very tall, and looking down closely I discovered
that Pete was in an alkali bog and slowly going down. I at once tried to
get him back to the ground we had just left, but in his frantic efforts
to get his feet out of the sticky mud, he got farther to one side and
slipped down into an alkali hole of nasty black water and slime. That
I knew to be exceedingly dangerous, and I urged the horse by voice
and whip to get him out before he sank down too deep, but with all his
efforts he could do nothing, and was going down very fast and groaning
in his terror.

Seeing that I must have assistance without delay, I called to Faye to
come at once, and sat very still until he got to us, fearing that if I
changed my position the horse might fall over. Faye came running, and
finding a tuft of grass and solid ground to stand upon, pulled Pete by
the bridle and encouraged him until the poor beast finally struggled
out, his legs and stomach covered with the black slime up to the flaps
of my saddle, so one can see what danger we were in. There was no way
of relieving the horse of my weight, as it was impossible for me to jump
and not get stuck in the mud myself. This is the only alkali hole we
have discovered here. It is screened by bunches of tall grass, and
I expect that many a time I have ridden within a few feet of it when
alone, and if my horse had happened to slip down on any one of these
times, we probably would have been sucked from the face of the earth,
and not one person to come to our assistance or to know what had
happened to us.

When Faye heard my call of distress, he threw the bridle back on Bettie,
and slipping the shotgun through the sling on the saddle, hurried over
to me, not giving Bettie much thought. The horse has always shown the
greatest disinclination to leaving Pete, but having her own free will
that time, she did the unexpected and trotted to a herd of mules not far
off, and as she went down a little hill the precious shotgun slipped out
of the sling to the ground, and the stock broke! The gun is perfectly
useless, and the loss of it is great to us and our friends. To be in
this splendid game country without a shotgun is deplorable; still,
to have been buried in a hole of black water and muck would have been
worse.

Later. Such an awful wind storm burst upon us while I was writing two
days ago, I was obliged to stop. The day was cold and our tents were
closed tight to keep the heat in, so we knew nothing of the storm until
it struck us, and with such fierceness it seemed as if the tents must go
down. Instantly there was commotion in camp--some of the men tightening
guy ropes, and others running after blankets and pieces of clothing
that had been out for an airing, but every man laughed and made fun
of whatever he was doing. Soldiers are always so cheerful under such
difficulties, and I dearly love to hear them laugh, and yell, too, over
in their tents.

The snow fell thick and fast, and the wind came through the canon back
of us with the velocity of a hurricane. As night came on it seemed to
increase and the tents began to show the strain and one or two had
gone down, so the officers' families were moved into the unfinished log
quarters for the night. Colonel Palmer sent for me to go over also, and
Major Bagley came twice for me, saying our tents would certainly fall,
and that it would be better to go then, than in the middle of the night.
But I had more faith in those tents, for they were new and pitched
remarkably well. Soon after we got here, long poles had been put up on
stakes all along each side of, and close to, the tents, and to these the
guy ropes of both tents and "fly" covers had been securely fastened, all
of which had prevented much flopping of canvas. Dirt had been banked
all around the base of the tents, so with a very little fire we could be
warm and fairly comfortable.

The wind seemed to get worse every minute, and once in a while there
would be a loud "boom" when a big Sibley tent would be ripped open,
and then would come yells from the men as they scrambled after their
belongings. After it became dark it seemed dismal, but Faye would not go
in a building, and I would not leave him alone to hold the stove down.
This was our only care and annoyance. It was intensely cold, and in
order to have a fire we were compelled to hold the pipe down on the
little conical camp stove, for with the flopping of the tent and fly,
the pipe was in constant motion. Faye would hold it for a while, then I
would relieve him, and so on. The holding-down business was very funny
for an hour or two, but in time it became monotonous.

We got through the night very well, but did not sleep much. The tearing
and snapping of tents, and the shouting of the men when a tent would
fall upon them was heard frequently, and when we looked out in the
morning the camp had the appearance of having been struck by a cyclone!
Two thirds of the tents were flat on the ground, others were badly torn,
and the unfinished log quarters only added to the desolation. Snow was
over everything ten or twelve inches deep. But the wind had gone down
and the atmosphere was wonderfully clear, and sparkling, and full of
frost.

Dinner the evening before had not been a success, so we were very prompt
to the nice hot breakfast Charlie gave us. That Chinaman has certainly
been a great comfort on this trip. The doctor came over looking cross
and sick. He said at once that we had been wise in remaining in our
comfortable tents, that everybody in the log houses was sneezing and
complaining of stiff joints. The logs have not been chinked yet, and, as
might have been expected, wind and snow swept through them. The stoves
have not been set up, so even one fire was impossible. Two or three of
their tents did go down, however, the doctor's included, and perhaps
they were safer in a breezy house, after all.

The mail has been held back, and will start with us. The time of going
was determined at Department Headquarters, and we will have to leave
here on the first--day after to-morrow--if such a thing is possible. We
return by the way of Benton. It is perfectly exasperating to see prairie
chicken all around us on the snow. Early this morning there was a large
covey up in a tree just across the creek from our tent, looking over at
us in a most insolent manner. They acted as though they knew there was
not a shotgun within a hundred miles of them. They were perfectly safe,
for everyone was too nearly frozen to trouble them with a rifle.

Camping on the snow will not be pleasant, and we regret very much that
the storm came just at this time. Charlie is busy cooking all sorts of
things for the trip, so he will not have much to do on the little camp
stove. He is a treasure, but says that he wishes we could stay here;
that he does not want to return to Fort Shaw. This puzzles me very much,
as there are so many Chinamen at Shaw and not one here. The doctor will
not go back with us, as he has received orders to remain at this post
during the winter.

FORT SHAW, MONTANA TERRITORY, November, 1880.

THE past few days have been busy ones. The house has received much
needed attention and camp things have been looked over and put away,
ready for the next move. The trip back was a disappointment to me and
not at all pleasant. The wagons were very lightly loaded, so the men
rode in them all the way, and we came about forty miles each day, the
mules keeping up a steady slow trot. Of course I could not ride those
distances at that gait, therefore I was compelled to come in the old,
jerky ambulance.

The snow was still deep when we left Maginnis, and at the first camp
snow had to be swept from the ground where our tent was pitched. But
after that the weather was warm and sunny. We saw the greatest number of
feathered game--enormous flocks of geese, brant, and ducks. Our camp one
night was near a small lake just the other side of Benton, and at dusk
hundreds of geese came and lit on the water, until it looked like one
big mass of live, restless things, and the noise was deafening. Some
of the men shot at them with rifles, but the geese did not seem to mind
much.

Charlie told me at Maginnis that he did not want to return to Shaw, and
I wondered at that so many times. I went in the kitchen two miserable
mornings back and found him sitting down looking unhappy and
disconsolate. I do not remember to have ever seen a Chinaman sitting
down that way before, and was afraid he might be sick, but he said at
once and without preamble, "Me go 'way!" He saw my look of surprise and
said again, "Me go 'way--Missee Bulk's Chinee-man tellee me go 'way." I
said, "But, Charlie, Lee has no right to tell you to go; I want you
to stay." He hesitated one second, then said in the most mournful of
voices, "Yes, me know, me feel vellee blad, but Lee, he tellee me go--he
no likee mason-man." No amount of persuasion could induce him to stay,
and that evening after dinner he packed his bedding on his back and went
away--to the Crossing, I presume. Charlie called himself a mason, and
has a book that he made himself which he said was a "mason-man blook,"
but I learned yesterday that he is a "high-binder," no mason at all,
and for that reason the Chinamen in the garrison would not permit him to
remain here. They were afraid of him, yet he seemed so very trustworthy
in every way. But a highbinder in one's own house!

There has been another departure from the family--Bettie has been sold!
Lieutenant Warren wanted her to match a horse he had recently bought.
The two make a beautiful little team, and Bettie is already a great
pet, and I am glad of that, of course, but I do not see the necessity of
Lieutenant Warren's giving her sugar right in front of our windows! His
quarters are near ours. He says that Bettie made no objections to the
harness, but drove right off with her mate.

There was a distressing occurrence in the garrison yesterday that I
cannot forget. At all army posts the prisoners do the rough work, such
as bringing the wood and water, keeping the yards tidy, bringing the
ice, and so on. Yesterday morning one of the general prisoners here
escaped from the sentry guarding him. The long-roll was beaten, and as
this always means that something is wrong and calls out all the troops,
officers and men, I ran out on the porch to see what was the matter,
fearing there might be a fire some place. It seemed a long time before
the companies got in line, and then I noticed that instead of fire
buckets they were carrying rifles. Directly every company started off
on double time and disappeared in between two sets of barracks at one
corner of the parade ground. Then everything was unusually quiet; not
a human being to be seen except the sentry at the guardhouse, who was
walking post.

It was pleasant, so I sat down, still feeling curious about the trouble
that was serious enough to call out all the troops. It was not so very
long before Lieutenant Todd, who was officer of the day, came from the
direction the companies had gone, pistol in hand, and in front of him
was a man with ball and chain. That means that his feet were fastened
together by a large chain, just long enough to permit him to take short
steps, and to that short chain was riveted a long one, at the end
of which was a heavy iron ball hanging below his belt. When we see a
prisoner carrying a ball and chain we know that he is a deserter, or
that he has done something very bad, which will probably send him to the
penitentiary, for these balls are never put on a prisoner who has only a
short time in the guardhouse.

The prisoner yesterday--who seemed to be a young man--walked slowly to
the guardhouse, the officer of the day following closely. Going up the
steps and on in the room to a cot, he unfastened the ball from his belt
and let it thunder down on the floor, and then throwing himself down on
the cot, buried his face in the blankets, an awful picture of woe and
despair. On the walk by the door, and looking at him with contempt,
stood a splendid specimen of manhood--erect, broad-chested, with clear,
honest eyes and a weather-beaten face--a typical soldier of the United
States Army, and such as he, the prisoner inside might have become in
time. Our house is separated from the guardhouse by a little park
only, and I could plainly see the whole thing--the strong man and the
weakling.

In the meantime, bugles had called the men back to quarters, and very
soon I learned all about the wretched affair. The misguided young man
had deserted once before, was found guilty by a general court-martial,
and sentenced to the penitentiary at Leavenworth for the regulation time
for such an offense, and to-morrow morning he was to have started for
the prison. Now he has to stand a second court-martial, and serve a
double sentence for desertion!

He was so silly about it too. The prisoners were at the large ice house
down by the river, getting ice out for the daily delivery. There were
sentinels over them, of course, but in some way that man managed to
sneak over the ice through the long building to an open door, through
which he dropped down to the ground, and then he ran. He was missed
almost instantly and the alarm given, but the companies were sent to the
lowland along the river, where there are bushes, for there seemed to be
no other place where he could possibly secrete himself.

The officer of the day is responsible, in a way, for the prisoners, so
of course Lieutenant Todd went to the ice house to find out the cause
of the trouble, and on his way back he accidentally passed an old
barrel-shaped water wagon. Not a sound was heard, but something told
him to look inside. He had to climb up on a wheel in order to get high
enough to look through the little square opening at the top, but he is
a tall man and could just see in, and peering down he saw the wretched
prisoner huddled at one end, looking more like an animal than a human
being. He ordered him to come out, and marched him to the guardhouse.

It was a strange coincidence, but the officer of the day happened to
have been promoted from the ranks, had served his three years as an
enlisted man, and then passed a stiff examination for a commission. One
could see by his walk that he had no sympathy for the mother's baby.
He knew from experience that a soldier's life is not hard unless the
soldier himself makes it so. The service and discipline develop all the
good qualities of the man, give him an assurance and manly courage he
might never possess otherwise, and best of all, he learns to respect law
and order.

The Army is not a rough place, and neither are the men starved or
abused, as many mothers seem to think. Often the company commanders
receive the most pitiful letters from mothers of enlisted men,
beseeching them to send their boys back to them, that they are being
treated like dogs, dying of starvation, and so on. As though these
company commanders did not know all about those boys and the life they
had to live.

It is such a pity that these mothers cannot be made to realize that army
discipline, regular hours, and plain army food is just what those "boys"
need to make men of them. Judging by several letters I have read, sent
to officers by mothers of soldiers, I am inclined to believe that weak
mothers in many cases are responsible for the desertion of their weak
sons. They sap all manhood from them by "coddling" as they grow up, and
send them out in the world wholly unequal to a vigorous life--a
life without pie and cake at every meal. Well! I had no intention of
moralizing this way, but I have written only the plain truth.

FORT SHAW, MONTANA TERRITORY September, 1881.

THERE has been quite a little flutter of excitement in the garrison
during the past week brought about by a short visit from the Marquis
of Lome and his suite. As governor general of Canada, he had been
inspecting his own military posts, and then came on down across the line
to Shaw, en route to Dillon, where he will take the cars for the East.
Colonel Knight is in command, so it fell upon him to see that Lord Lome
was properly provided for, which he did by giving up absolutely for his
use his own elegantly furnished quarters. Lord Lome took possession at
once and quietly dined there that evening with one or two of his staff,
and Colonel Knight as his guest.

The members of the suite were entertained by different officers of the
garrison, and Captain Percival of the Second Life Guards was our guest.
They were escorted across the line to this post by a company of Canadian
mounted police, and a brave appearance those redcoats made as they rode
on the parade ground and formed two lines through which the governor
general and his staff rode, with the booming of cannon. Colonel Knight
went out to meet them, escorted by our mounted infantry in command of
Lieutenant Todd.

The horses of the mounted police were very small, and inferior in every
way to the animals one would expect the Canadian government to provide,
and it did look very funny to see the gorgeously dressed police with
their jaunty, side-tilted caps riding such wretched little beasts!

Our officers were on the parade to receive the governor general, and the
regimental band was there also, playing all sorts of things. Presently,
without stop, and as though it was the continuation of a melody, the
first notes of "God Save the Queen" were heard. Instantly the head
of every Englishman and Canadian was uncovered--quietly, and without
ostentation or slightest break in hand-shaking and talking. It was
like a military movement by bugle call! Some of us who were looking on
through filmy curtains thought it a beautiful manifestation of loving
loyalty. They were at a military post of another nation, in the midst of
being introduced to its officers, yet not one failed to remember and to
remind, that he was an Englishman ever!

Mrs. Gordon saved me the worry of preparing an elaborate dinner at this
far-away place, by inviting us and our guest to dine with her and her
guests. I am inclined to think that this may have been a shrewd move on
the part of the dear friend, so she could have Hang to assist her
own cook at her dinner. It was a fine arrangement, at all events, and
pleased me most of all. I made the salad and arranged the table for her.
Judging from what I saw and heard, Hang was having a glorious time. He
had evidently frightened the old colored cook into complete idiocy, and
was ordering her about in a way that only a Chinaman knows.

The dinner was long, but delicious and enjoyable in every way. Lord
Bagot, the Rev. Dr. MacGregor, Captain Chater, and others of the
governor general's staff were there--sixteen of us in all. Captain
Percival sat at my right, of course, and the amount he ate was simply
appalling! And the appetites of Lord Bagot and the others were equally
fine. Course after course disappeared from their plates--not a scrap
left on them--until one wondered how it was managed. Soon after dinner
everyone went to Colonel Knight's quarters, where Lord Lome was holding
a little reception. He is a charming man, very simple in his manner, and
one could hardly believe that he is the son-in-law of a great queen and
heir to a splendid dukedom.

He had announced that he would start at ten o'clock the next morning,
so I ordered breakfast at nine. A mounted escort from the post was to
go with him to Dillon in command of Faye. It has always seemed so absurd
and really unkind for Americans to put aside our own ways and
customs when entertaining foreigners, and bore them with wretched
representations of things of their own country, thereby preventing them
from seeing life as it is here. So I decided to give our English captain
an out and out American breakfast--not long, or elaborate, but dainty
and nicely served. And I invited Miss Mills to meet him, to give it a
little life.

Well, nine o'clock came, so did Miss Mills, so did half after nine come,
and then, finally ten o'clock, but Captain Percival did not come! I was
becoming very cross--for half an hour before I had sent Hang up to call
him, knowing that he and Faye also, were obliged to be ready to start
at ten o'clock. I was worried, too, fearing that Faye would have to go
without any breakfast at all. Of course the nice little breakfast was
ruined! Soon after ten, however, our guest came down and apologized very
nicely--said that the bed was so very delightful be simply could not
leave it. Right there I made a mental resolution to the effect that if
ever a big Englishman should come to my house to remain overnight, I
would have just one hour of delight taken from that bed!

To my great amusement, also pleasure. Captain Percival ate heartily of
everything, and kept on eating, and with such apparent relish I began to
think that possibly it might be another case of "delight," and finally
to wonder if Hang had anything in reserve. Once he said, "What excellent
cooks you have here!" This made Miss Mills smile, for she knew that Hang
had been loaned out the evening before. Faye soon left us to attend to
matters in connection with the trip, but the three of us were having a
very merry time--for Captain Percival was a most charming man--when
in the room came Captain Chater, his face as black as the proverbial
thundercloud, and after speaking to me, looked straight and reprovingly
at Captain Percival and said, "You are keeping his excellency waiting!"
That was like a bomb to all, and in two seconds the English captains had
shaken hands and were gone.

The mounted police are still in the post, and I suspect that this is
because their commander is having such a pleasant time driving and
dining with his hostess, who is one of our most lovely and fascinating
women. I received a note from Faye this morning from Helena. He says
that so far the trip has been delightful, and that in every way and by
all he is being treated as an honored guest. Lord Lome declined a large
reception in Helena, because the United States is in mourning for its
murdered President. What an exquisite rebuke to some of our ignorant
Americans! Faye writes that Lord Lome and members of his staff are
constantly speaking in great praise of the officers' wives at Shaw,
and have asked if the ladies throughout the Army are as charming and
cultured as those here.

Our young horses are really very handsome now, and their red coats are
shining from good grooming and feeding. They are large, and perfectly
matched in size, color, and gait, as they should be, since they are half
brothers. I am learning to drive now, a single horse, and find it very
interesting--but not one half as delightful as riding--I miss a saddle
horse dreadfully. Now and then I ride George--my own horse--but he
always reminds me that his proper place is in the harness, by making his
gait just as rough as possible.

FORT SHAW, MONTANA TERRITORY, December, 1881.

YOU will be greatly surprised to hear that Faye has gone to Washington!
His father is very ill--so dangerously so that a thirty-days' leave
was telegraphed Faye from Department Headquarters, without his having
applied for it so as to enable him to get to Admiral Rae without delay.
Some one in Washington must have asked for the leave. It takes so long
for letters to reach us from the East that one never knows what may
be taking place there. Faye started on the next stage to Helena and at
Dillon will take the cars for Washington.

Faye went away the night before the entertainment, which made it
impossible for me to be in the pantomime "Villikens and Dinah,"
so little Miss Gordon took my place and acted remarkably well,
notwithstanding she had rehearsed only twice. The very stage that
carried Faye from the post, brought to us Mr. Hughes of Benton for a few
days. But this turned out very nicely, for Colonel and Mrs. Mills, who
know him well, were delighted to have him go to them, and there he is
now. The next day I invited Miss Mills and Mr. Hughes to dine with me
informally, and while I was in the dining room attending to the few
pieces of extra china and silver that would be required for dinner (a
Chinaman has no idea of the fitness of things), Volmer, our striker,
came in and said to me that he would like to take the horses and the
single buggy out for an hour or so, as he wanted to show them to a
friend.

I saw at once that he and I were to have our usual skirmish. There is
one, always, whenever Faye is away any length of time. The man has a
frightful temper, and a year ago shot and killed a deserter. He was
acquitted by military court, and later by civil court, both courts
deciding that the shooting was accidental. But the deserter was a
catholic and Volmer is a quaker, so the feeling in the company was so
hostile toward him that for several nights he was put in the guardhouse
for protection. Then Faye took him as striker, and has befriended him
in many ways. But those colts he could not drive. So I told him that the
horses could not go out during the lieutenant's absence, unless I went
with them. He became angry at once, and said that it was the first team
he had ever taken care of that he was not allowed to drive as often
as he pleased. A big story, of course, but I said to him quietly, "You
heard what I said, Volmer, and further discussion will be quite useless.
You were never permitted to take the colts out when Lieutenant Rae was
here, and now that he is away, you certainly cannot do so." And I turned
back to my spoons and forks.

Volmer went out of the room, but I had an uncomfortable feeling that
matters were not settled. In a short time I became conscious of loud
talking in the kitchen, and could distinctly hear Volmer using most
abusive language about Faye and me. That was outrageous and not to be
tolerated a second, and without stopping to reason that it would be
better not to hear, and let the man talk his anger off, out to the
kitchen I went. I found Volmer perched upon one end of a large wood box
that stands close to a door that leads out to a shed. I said: "Volmer,
I heard what you have been saying, as you intended I should, and now
I tell you to go out of this house and stay out, until you can speak
respectfully of Lieutenant Rae and of me." But he sat still and looked
sullen and stubborn. I said again, "Go out, and out; of the yard too."
But he did not move one inch.

By that time I was furious, and going to the door that was so close to
the man he could have struck me, I opened it wide, and pointing out
with outstretched arm I said, "You go instantly!" and instantly he
went. Chinamen are awful cowards, and with the first word I said to the
soldier, Hang had shuffled to his own room, and there he had remained
until he heard Volmer go out of the house. Then he came back, and
looking at me with an expression of the most solemn pity, said, "He
vellee blad man--he killee man--he killee you, meb-bee!" The poor little
heathen was evidently greatly disturbed, and so was I, too. Not because
I was at all afraid of being killed, but because of the two spirited
young horses that still required most careful handling. And Faye might
be away several months! I knew that the commanding officer, also the
quartermaster, would look after them and do everything possible to
assist me, but at the same time I knew that there was not a man in the
post who could take Volmer's place with the horses. He is a splendid
whip and perfect groom. I could not send them to Mr. Vaughn's to run, as
they had been blanketed for a long time, and the weather was cold.

Of course I cried a little, but I knew that I had done quite right, that
it was better for me to regulate my own affairs than to call upon the
company commander to do so for me. I returned to the dining room, but
soon there was a gentle knock on the door, and opening it, I saw Volmer
standing in front of me, cap in hand, looking very meek and humble. Very
respectfully he apologized, and expressed his regret at having offended
me. That was very pleasant, but knowing the man's violent temper, and
thinking of coming days, I proceeded to deliver a lecture to the effect
that there was not another enlisted man in the regiment who would use
such language in our house, or be so ungrateful for kindness that we had
shown him. Above all, to make it unpleasant for me when I was alone.

I was so nervous, and talking to a soldier that way was so very
disagreeable, I might have broken down and cried again--an awful thing
to have done at that time--if I had not happened to have seen Hang's
head sticking out at one side of his door. He had run to his room again,
but could not resist keeping watch to see if Volmer was really intending
to "killee" me. He is afraid of the soldier, and consequently hates him.
Soon after he came, Volmer, who is a powerful man, tied him down to his
bed with a picket rope, and such yells of fury and terror were never
heard, and when I ran out to see what on earth was the matter, the
Chinaman's eyes were green, and he was frothing at the mouth. For days
after I was afraid that Hang would do some mischief to the man.

It is the striker's duty always to attend to the fires throughout the
house, and this Volmer is doing very nicely. But when Faye went away he
told Hang to take good care of me--so he, also, fixes the fires, and at
the same time shows his dislike for Volmer, who will bring the big wood
in and make the fires as they should be. Just as soon as he goes out,
however, in marches Hang, with one or two small pieces of wood on his
silk sleeve, and then, with much noise, he turns the wood in the stove
upside down, and stirs things up generally, after which he will put in
the little sticks and let it all roar until I am quite as stirred up
as the fire. After he closes the dampers he will say to me in his most
amiable squeak, "Me flixee him--he vellee glood now." This is all very
nice as long as the house does not burn.

Night before last Mrs. Mills invited me to a family dinner. Colonel
Mills was away, but Mr. Hughes was there, also Lieutenant Harvey to whom
Miss Mills is engaged, and the three Mills boys, making a nice little
party. But I felt rather sad--Faye was still en route to Washington, and
going farther from home every hour, and it was impossible to tell when
he would return, Mrs. Mills seemed distraite, too, when I first got to
the house, but she soon brightened up and was as animated as ever. The
dinner was perfect. Colonel Mills is quite an epicure, and he and Mrs.
Mills have a reputation for serving choice and dainty things on their
table. We returned to the little parlor after dinner, and were talking
and laughing, when something went bang! like the hard shutting of a
door.

Mrs. Mills jumped up instantly and exclaimed, "I knew it--I knew it!"
and rushed to the back part of the house, the rest of us running after
her. She went on through to the Chinaman's room, and there, on his cot,
lay the little man, his face even then the color of old ivory. He had
fired a small Derringer straight to his heart and was quite dead. I did
not like to look at the dying man, so I ran for the doctor and almost
bumped against him at the gate as he was passing. There was nothing that
he could do, however.

Mrs. Mills told us that Sam had been an inveterate gambler--that he had
won a great deal of money from the soldiers, particularly one, who had
that very day threatened to kill him, accusing the Chinaman of having
cheated. The soldier probably had no intention of doing anything of the
kind, but said it to frighten the timid heathen, just for revenge. Sam
had eaten a little dinner, and was eating ice-cream, evidently, when
something or somebody made him go to his room and shoot himself. The
next morning the Chinamen in the garrison buried him--not in the post
cemetery, but just outside. Upon the grave they laid one or two suits
of clothing, shoes--all Chinese, of course--and a great quantity of
food--much of it their own fruits. That was for his spirit until it
reached the Happy Land. The coyotes ate the food, but a Chinaman would
never believe that, so more food was taken out this morning.

They are such a queer people! Hang's breakfast usually consists of a
glass of cold water with two or three lumps of sugar dissolved in it and
a piece of bread broken in it also. When it is necessary for Hang to be
up late and do much extra work, I always give him a can of salmon, of
which he seems very fond--or a chicken, and tell him to invite one or
two friends to sit with him. This smooths away all little frowns and
keeps things pleasant. Volmer killed the chicken once, and Hang brought
it to me with eyes blazing--said it was poor--and "He ole-ee hin," so
I found that the only way to satisfy the suspicious man was to let him
select his own fowl. He always cooks it in the one way--boils it with
Chinese fruits and herbs, and with the head and feet on--and I must
admit that the odor is appetizing. But I have never tasted it, although
Hang has never failed to save a nice piece for me. He was with Mrs.
Pierce two years, and it was some time before I could convince him that
this house was regulated my way and not hers. Major Pierce was promoted
to another regiment and we miss them very much.

FORT SHAW, MONTANA TERRITORY, July, 1882.

THE garrison seems lonesome since the two companies have been out, and I
am beginning to feel that I am at home alone quite too much. Faye was in
Washington two months, and almost immediately after he got back he was
ordered to command the paymaster's escort from Helena here, and now he
is off again for the summer! The camp is on Birch Creek not far from the
Piegan Agency. The agents become frightened every now and then, and ask
for troops, more because they know the Indians would be justified in
giving trouble than because there is any.

An officer is sent from the post to inspect all the cattle and rations
that are issued to them--yet there is much cheating. Once it was
discovered that a very inferior brand of flour was being given the
Indians--that sacks with the lettering and marks of the brand the
government was supposed to issue to them had been slipped over the sacks
which really held the inferior flour, and carefully tied. Just imagine
the trouble some one had taken, but there had been a fat reward, of
course, and then, where had those extra sacks come from--where had the
fine flour gone?

Some one could have explained it all. I must admit, however, that anyone
who has seen an Indian use flour would say that the most inferior grade
would be good enough for them, to be mixed in dirty old pans, with still
dirtier hands. This lack of cleanliness and appreciation of things by
the Indians makes stealing from them very tempting.

The very night after the troops had gone out there was an excitement in
the garrison, and, as usual, I was mixed up in it, not through my own
choosing, however. I had been at Mrs. Palmer's playing whist during the
evening, and about eleven o'clock two of the ladies came down to the
house with me. The night was the very darkest I ever saw, and of this we
spoke as we came along the walk. Almost all the lights were out in the
officers' quarters, making the whole post seem dismal, and as I came in
the house and locked the door, I felt as if I could never remain
here until morning. Hang was in his room, of course but would be no
protection whatever if anything should happen.

Major and Mrs. Stokes have not yet returned from the East, so the
adjoining house is unoccupied, and on my right is Mrs. Norton, who is
alone also, as Doctor Norton is in camp with the troops. She had urged
me to go to her house for the night, but I did not go, because of the
little card party. I ran upstairs as though something evil was at my
heels and bolted my door, but did not fasten the dormer windows that
run out on the roof in front. Before retiring, I put a small, lighted
lantern in a closet and left the door open just a little, thinking that
the streak of light would be cheering and the lantern give me a light
quickly if I should need one.

Our breakfast had been very early that morning, on account of the troops
marching, and I was tired and fell asleep immediately, I think. After
a while I was conscious of hearing some one walking about in the room
corresponding to mine in the next house, but I dozed on, thinking to
myself that there was no occasion for feeling nervous, as the people
next door were still up. But suddenly I remembered that the house was
closed, and just then I distinctly heard some one go down the stairs.
I kept very still and listened, but heard nothing more and soon went to
sleep again, but again I was awakened--this time by queer noises--like
some one walking on a roof. There were voices, too, as if some one was
mumbling to himself.

I got the revolver and ran to the middle of the room, where I stood
ready to shoot or run--it would probably have been run--in any
direction. I finally got courage to look through a side window, feeling
quite sure that Mrs. Norton was out with her Chinaman, looking after
some choice little chickens left in her care by the doctor. But not one
light was to be seen in any place, and the inky blackness was awful to
look upon, so I turned away, and just as I did so, something cracked and
rattled down over the shingles and then fell to the ground. But which
roof those sounds came from was impossible to tell. With "goose flesh"
on my arms, and each hair on my head trying to stand up, I went back to
the middle of the room, and there I stood, every nerve quivering.

I had been standing there hours--or possibly it was only two short
minutes--when there was one loud, piercing shriek, that made me almost
scream, too. But after it was perfect silence, so I said to myself that
probably it had been a cat--that I was nervous and silly. But there came
another shriek, another, and still another, so expressive of terror
that the blood almost froze in my veins. With teeth chattering and limbs
shaking so I could hardly step, I went to a front window, and raising it
I screamed, "Corporal of the guard!"

I saw the sentinel at the guardhouse stop, as though listening, in front
of a window where there was a light, and seeing one of the guard gave
strength to my voice, and I called again. That time the sentry took it
up, and yelled, "Corporal of the guard, No. 1!" Instantly lanterns were
seen coming in our direction--ever so many of the guard came, and to our
gate as they saw me at a window. But I sent them on to the next house
where they found poor Mrs. Norton in a white heap on the grass, quite
unconscious.

The officer of the day was still up and came running to see what the
commotion was about--and several other officers came. Colonel Gregory,
a punctilious gentleman of the old school--who is in command just
now--appeared in a striking costume, consisting of a skimpy evening
gown of white, a dark military blouse over that, and a pair of military
riding boots, and he carried an unsheathed saber. He is very tall and
thin and his hair is very white, and I laugh now when I think of how
funny he looked. But no one thought of laughing at that time. Mrs.
Norton was carried in, and her house searched throughout. No one was
found, but burned matches were on the floor of one or two rooms, which
gave evidence that some one had been there.

In the yard back of the house a pair of heavy overshoes, also government
socks, were found, so it was decided that the man had climbed up on the
roof and entered the house through a dormer window that had not been
fastened. No one would look for the piece of shingle that night, but in
the morning I found it on the ground close to the house.

All the time the search was being made I had been in the window. Colonel
Mills insisted that I should go to his house for the remainder of the
night, but suggested that I put some clothes on first! It occurred to me
then, for the first time, that my own costume was rather striking--not
quite the proper thing for a balcony scene. Everyone was more than kind,
but for a long time after Miss Mills and I had gone to her room my teeth
chattered and big tears rolled down my face. Mrs. Norton declares that I
was more frightened than she was, and I say, "Yes, probably, but you did
not stop to listen to your own horrible screams, and then, after making
us believe that you were being murdered, you quietly dropped into
oblivion and forgot the whole thing."

Just as the entire garrison had become quiet once more--bang! went a
gun, and then again we heard people running about to see what was the
matter, and if the burglar had been caught. But it proved to have been
the accidental going off of a rifle at the guardhouse. The instant
that Colonel Gregory ascertained that a soldier had really been in Mrs.
Norton's house, check roll-call was ordered--that is, the officer of the
day went to the different barracks and ordered the first sergeants
to get the men up and call the roll at once, without warning or
preparation. In that way it was ascertained if the men were on their
cots or out of quarters. But that night every man was "present or
accounted for." At the hospital, roll-call was not necessary, but they
found an attendant playing possum! A lantern held close to his face did
not waken him, although it made his eyelids twitch, and they found that
his heart was beating at a furious rate. His clothes had been thrown
down on the floor, but socks were not to be found with them.

So he is the man suspected.. He will get his discharge in three days,
and it is thought that he was after a suit of citizen clothes of the
doctor's. Not so very long ago he was their striker. No one in the
garrison has ever heard of an enlisted man troubling the quarters of
an officer, and it is something that rarely occurs. I spend every night
with Mrs. Norton now, who seems to have great confidence in my ability
to protect her, as I can use a revolver so well. She calmly sleeps on,
while I remain awake listening for footsteps. The fact of my having
been at a military post when it was attacked by Indians--that a man
was murdered directly under my window, when I heard every shot, every
moan--and my having had two unpleasant experiences with horse thieves,
has not been conducive to normal nerves after dark.

During all the commotion at Mrs. Norton's the night the man got in her
house, her Chinaman did not appear. One of the officers went to his room
in search of the burglar and found him--the Chinaman--sitting up in his
bed, almost white from fear. He confessed to having heard some one in
the kitchen, and when asked why he did not go out to see who it was,
indignantly replied, "What for?--he go way, what for I see him?"

I feel completely upset without a good saddle horse. George is
developing quite a little speed in single harness, but I do not care for
driving--feel too much as though I was part of the little buggy instead
of the horse. Major and Mrs. Stokes are expected soon from the East, and
I shall be so glad to have my old neighbors back.

CAMP ON BIRCH CREEK, NEAR PIEGAN AGENCY, MONTANA TERRITORY, September,
1882.

BY this time you must have become accustomed to getting letters from all
sorts of out-of-the-way places, therefore I will not weary you with long
explanations, but simply say that Major Stokes and Faye sent for Mrs.
Stokes and me to come to camp, thinking to give us a pleasant little
outing. We came over with the paymaster and his escort. Major Carpenter
seemed delighted to have us with him, and naturally Mrs. Stokes and I
were in a humor to enjoy everything. We brought a nice little luncheon
with us for everybody--that is, everyone in the ambulance. The escort of
enlisted men were in a wagon back of us, but the officer in charge was
with us.

The Indians have quieted down, and several of the officers have gone on
leave, so with the two companies now here there are only Major Stokes,
who is in command, Faye, Lieutenant Todd, and Doctor Norton. Mrs. Stokes
has seen much of camp life, and enjoys it now and then as much as I do.
The importance of our husbands as hosts--their many efforts to make us
comfortable and entertain us--is amusing, yet very lovely. They give
us no rest whatever, but as soon as we return from one little excursion
another is immediately proposed. There is a little spring wagon in camp
with two seats, and there are two fine mules to pull it, and with this
really comfortable turn-out we drive about the country. Major Stokes is
military inspector of supplies at this agency, and every Piegan knows
him, so when we meet Indians, as we do often, there is always a powwow.

Three days ago we packed the little wagon with wraps and other things,
and Major and Mrs. Stokes, Faye, and I started for a two days' outing
at a little lake that is nestled far up on the side of a mountain. It
is about ten miles from here. There is only a wagon trail leading to
it, and as you go on up and up, and see nothing but rocks and trees, it
would never occur to you that the steep slope of the mountain could be
broken, that a lake of good size could be hidden on its side. You do
not get a glimpse of it once, until you drive between the bushes and
boulders that border its banks, and then it is all before you in amazing
beauty. The reflections are wonderful, the high lights showing with
exquisite sharpness against the dark green and purple depths of the
clear, spring water.

The lake is fearfully deep--the Indians insist that in places it is
bottomless--and it is teeming with trout, the most delicious mountain
trout that can be caught any place, and which come up so cold one can
easily fancy there is an iceberg somewhere down below. Some of these
fish are fourteen or more inches long.

It was rather late in the afternoon when we reached the lake, so we
hurriedly got ourselves ready for fishing, for we were thinking of a
trout dinner. Four enlisted men had followed us with a wagon, in which
were our tents, bedding, and boxes of provisions, and these men
busied themselves at once by putting up the little tents and making
preparations for dinner, and we were anxious to get enough fish for
their dinner as well as our own. At a little landing we found two
row-boats, and getting in these we were soon out on the lake.

If one goes to Fish Lake just for sport, and can be contented with
taking in two or three fish during an all day's hard work, flies should
be used always, but if one gets up there when the shadows are long and
one's dinner is depending upon the fish caught, one might as well begin
at once with grasshoppers--at least, that is what I did. I carried a box
of fine yellow grasshoppers up with me, and I cast one over before the
boat had fairly settled in position. It was seized the instant it
had touched the water, and down, down went the trout, its white sides
glistening through the clear water. For some reason still unaccountable
I let it go, and yard after yard of line was reeled out. Perhaps, after
all, it was fascination that kept me from stopping the plunge of the
fish, that never stopped until the entire line was let out. That brought
me to my senses, and I reeled the fish up and got a fine trout, but I
also got at the same time an uncontrollable longing for land. To be in
a leaky, shaky old boat over a watery, bottomless pit, as the one that
trout had been down in, was more than I could calmly endure, so with
undisguised disgust Faye rowed me back to the landing, where I caught
quite as many fish as anyone out in the boats.

One of the enlisted men prepared dinner for us, and fried the trout in
olive oil, the most perfect way of cooking mountain trout in camp. They
were delicious--so fresh from the icy water that none of their delicate
flavor had been lost, and were crisp and hot. We had cups of steaming
coffee and all sorts of nice things from the boxes we had brought from
the post. A flat boulder made a grand table for us, and of course each
one had his little camp stool to sit upon. Altogether the dinner was a
success, the best part of it being, perhaps, the exhilarating mountain
air that gave us such fine appetites, and a keen appreciation of
everything ludicrous.

While we were fishing, our tents had been arranged for us in real
soldier fashion. Great bunches of long grass had been piled up on each
side underneath the little mattresses, which raised the beds from the
ground and made them soft and springy. Those "A" tents are very small
and low, and it is impossible to stand up in one except in the center
under the ridgepole, for the canvas is stretched from the ridgepole
to the ground, so the only walls are back and front, where there is an
opening. I had never been in one before and was rather appalled at its
limitations, and neither had I ever slept on the ground before, but I
had gone prepared for a rough outing. Besides, I knew that everything
possible had been done to make Mrs. Stokes and me comfortable. The air
was chilly up on the mountain, but we had any number of heavy blankets
that kept us warm.

The night was glorious with brilliant moonlight, and the shadows of the
pine trees on the white canvas were black and wonderfully clear cut, as
the wind swayed the branches back and forth. The sounds of the wind were
dismal, soughing and moaning as all mountain winds do, and made me think
of the Bogy-man and other things. I found myself wondering if anything
could crawl under the tent at my side. I wondered if snakes could have
been brought in with the grass. I imagined that I heard things moving
about, but all the time I was watching those exquisite shadows of the
pine needles in a dreamy sort of way.

Then all at once I saw the shadow of one, then three, things as they ran
up the canvas and darted this way and that like crazy things, and which
could not possibly have grown on a pine tree. And almost at the same
instant, something pulled my hair! With a scream and scramble I was soon
out of that tent, but of course when I moved all those things had moved,
too, and wholly disappeared. So I was called foolish to be afraid in a
tent after the weeks and months I had lived in camp. But just then Mrs.
Stokes ran from her tent, Major Stokes slowly following, and then it
came out that there had been trouble over there also, and that I was
not the only one in disgrace. Mrs. Stokes had seen queer shadows on her
canvas, and coming to me, said, "Will says those things are squirrels!"
That was too much, and I replied with indignation, "They are not
squirrels at all; they are too small and their tails are not bushy."

Well, there was a time! We refused absolutely, positively, to go back
to our tents until we knew all about those darting shadows. We saw that
those two disagreeable men had an understanding with each other and were
much inclined to laugh. It was cold and our wrappers not very warm,
but Mrs. Stokes and I finally sat down upon some camp stools to await
events. Then Faye, who can never resist an opportunity to tease, said to
me, "You had better take care, mice might run up that stool!" So the cat
was out! I have never been afraid of mice, and have always considered it
very silly in women to make such a fuss over them. But those field mice
were different; they seemed inclined to take the very hair from your
head. Of course we could not sit up all night, and after a time had to
return to our tents. I wrapped my head up securely, so my hair could not
be carried off without my knowing something about it. Ever so many times
during the night I heard talking and smothered laughter, and concluded
that the soldiers also were having small visitors with four swift little
legs.

We had more delicious trout for our breakfast; that time fried with tiny
strips of breakfast bacon. The men had been out on the lake very early,
and had caught several dozen beautiful fish. The dinner the evening
before had been much like an ordinary picnic, but the early breakfast up
on the side of a mountain, with big boulders all around, was something
to remember. One can never imagine the deliciousness of the air
at sunrise up on the Rocky Mountains, It has to be breathed to be
appreciated.

Everyone fished during the morning and many fish were caught, every one
of which were carefully packed in wet grass and brought to Birch Creek,
to the unfortunates who had not been on that most delightful trip to
Fish Lake. After luncheon we came down from the mountain and drove to
the Piegan Agency. The heavy wagon came directly to camp, of course.
There is nothing remarkable to be seen at the agency--just a number of
ordinary buildings, a few huts, and Indians standing around the door of
a store that resembles a post trader's. Every Indian had on a blanket,
although Major Stokes said there were several among them who had been to
the Carlisle School.

Along the road before we reached the agency, and for some distance after
we had left it, we passed a number of little one-room log huts occupied
by Indians, often with two squaws and large families of children; and at
some of these we saw wretched attempts at gardening. Those Indians are
provided with plows, spades, and all sorts of implements necessary for
the making of proper gardens, and they are given grain and seeds to
plant, but seldom are any of these things made use of. An Indian scorns
work of any kind--that is only for squaws. The squaws will scratch up a
bit of ground with sticks, put a little seed in, and then leave it for
the sun and rain to do with as it sees fit. No more attention will be
paid to it, and half the time the seed is not covered.

One old chief raised some wheat one year--I presume his squaws did all
the work--and he gathered several sackfuls, which was made into flour at
the agency mill. The chief was very proud. But when the next quarterly
issue came around, his ration of flour was lessened just the amount his
wheat had made, which decided all future farming for him! Why should he,
a chief, trouble himself about learning to farm and then gain nothing
in the end! There is a fine threshing machine at the agency, but the
Indians will have nothing whatever to do with it. They cannot understand
its workings and call it the "Devil Machine."

As we were nearing the Indian village across the creek from us, we came
to a most revolting spectacle. Two or three Indians had just killed an
ox, and were slashing and cutting off pieces of the almost quivering
flesh, in a way that left little pools of blood in places on the side.
There were two squaws with them, squatted on the ground by the dead
animal, and those hideous, fiendish creatures were scooping up the
warm blood with their hands and greedily drinking it! Can one imagine
anything more horrible? We stopped only a second, but the scene was too
repulsive to be forgotten. It makes me shiver even now when I think
of the flashing of those big knives and of how each one of the savages
seemed to be reveling in the smell and taste of blood! I feel that they
could have slashed and cut into one of us with the same relish. It was
much like seeing a murder committed.

Major Stokes told us last evening that when he returned from the East
a few weeks ago, he discovered that one of a pair of beautiful pistols
that had been presented to him had been stolen, that some one had gone
upstairs and taken it out of the case that was in a closet corresponding
to mine, so that accounts for the footsteps I heard in that house the
night the man entered Mrs. Norton's house. But how did the man know just
where to get a pistol? The hospital attendant who was suspected that
night got his discharge a few days later. He stayed around the
garrison so long that finally Colonel Gregory ordered him to leave the
reservation, and just before coming from the post we heard that he had
shot a man and was in jail. A very good place for him, I think.

We expect to return to the post in a few days. I would like to remain
longer, but as everybody and everything will go, I can't very well. The
trout fishing in Birch Creek is very good, and I often go for a little
fish, sometimes alone and sometimes Mrs. Stokes will go with me. I do
not go far, because of the dreadful Indians that are always wandering
about. They have a small village across the creek from us, and every
evening we hear their "tom-toms" as they chant and dance, and when the
wind is from that direction we get a smell now and then of their dirty
tepees. Major Stokes and Mrs. Stokes, also, see the noble side of
Indians, but that side has always been so covered with blankets and
other dirty things I have never found it!

FORT SHAW, MONTANA TERRITORY, November, 1882.

YOU will be shocked, I know, when you hear that we are
houseless--homeless--that for the second time Faye has been ranked out
of quarters! At Camp Supply the turn out was swift, but this time it
has been long drawn out and most vexatious. Last month Major Bagley came
here from Fort Maginnis, and as we had rather expected that he would
select our house, we made no preparations for winter previous to his
coming. But as soon as he reached the post, and many times after, he
assured Faye that nothing could possibly induce him to disturb us, and
said many more sweet things.

Unfortunately for us, he was ordered to return to Fort Maginnis to
straighten out some of his accounts while quartermaster, and Mrs. Bagley
decided to remain as she was until Major Bagley's return. He was away
one month, and during that time the gardener stored away in our little
cellar our vegetables for the winter, including quantities of beautiful
celery that was packed in boxes. All those things had to be taken down
a ladder, which made it really very hard work. Having faith in Major
Bagley's word, the house was cleaned from top to bottom, much painting
and calcimining having been done. All the floors were painted and
hard-oiled, and everyone knows what discomfort that always brings about.
But at last everything was finished, and we were about to settle down to
the enjoyment of a tidy, cheerful little home when Major Bagley appeared
the second time, and within two hours Faye was notified that his
quarters had been selected by him!

We are at present in two rooms and a shed that happened to be
unoccupied, and I feel very much as though I was in a second-hand shop.
Things are piled up to the ceiling in both rooms, and the shed is full
also. All of the vegetables were brought up from the cellar, of course,
and as the weather has been very cold, the celery and other tender
things were frozen. General and Mrs. Bourke have returned, and at
once insisted upon our going to their house, but as there was nothing
definite about the time when we will get our house, we said "No." We are
taking our meals with them, however, and Hang is there also, teaching
their new Chinaman. But I can assure you that I am more than cross. If
Major Bagley had selected the house the first time he came, or even
if he had said nothing at all about the quarters, much discomfort and
unpleasantness would have been avoided. They will get our nice clean
house, and we will get one that will require the same renovating we have
just been struggling with. I have made up my mind unalterably to one
thing--the nice little dinner I had expected to give Major and Mrs.
Bagley later on, will be for other people, friends who have had less
honey to dispose of.

The splendid hunting was interrupted by the move, too. Every October in
this country we have a snowstorm that lasts usually three or four days;
then the snow disappears and there is a second fall, with clear sunny
days until the holidays. This year the weather remained warm and the
storm was later than usual, but more severe when it did come, driving
thousands of water-fowl down with a rush from the mountain streams and
lakes. There is a slough around a little plateau near the post, and for
a week or more this was teeming with all kinds of ducks, until it was
frozen over. Sometimes we would see several species quietly feeding
together in the most friendly way. Faye and I would drive the horses
down in the cutter, and I would hold them while he walked on ahead
hunting.

One day, when the snow was falling in big moist flakes that were so
thick that the world had been narrowed down to a few yards around us,
we drove to some tall bushes growing on the bank of the slough. Faye was
hunting, and about to make some ducks rise when he heard a great whir
over his head, and although the snow was so thick he could not see just
what was there, he quickly raised his gun and fired at something he saw
moving up there. To his great amazement and my horror, an immense swan
dropped down and went crashing through the bushes. It was quite as
white as the snow on the ground, and coming from the dense cloud of snow
above, where no warning of its presence had been given, no call sounded,
one felt that there was something queer about it all. With its enormous
wings spread, it looked like an angel coming to the earth.

The horses thought so, also, for as soon as it touched the bushes they
bolted, and for a few minutes I was doubtful if I could hold them. I was
so vexed with them, too, for I wanted to see that splendid bird. They
went around and around the plateau, and about all I was able to do at
first was to keep them from going to the post. They finally came down
to a trot, but it was some time before I could coax them to go to the
bushes where the swan had fallen. I did not blame them much, for when
the big bird came down, it seemed as if the very heavens were falling.
We supplied our friends with ducks several days, and upon our own dinner
table duck was served ten successive days. And it was just as acceptable
the last day as the first, for almost every time there was a different
variety, the cinnamon, perhaps, being the most rare.

Last year Hang was very contrary about the packing down of the eggs for
winter use. I always put them in salt, but he thought they should be put
in oats because Mrs. Pierce had packed hers that way. You know he had
been Mrs. Pierce's cook two years before he came to me, and for a time
he made me weary telling how she had things done. Finally I told him he
must do as I said, that he was my cook now. There was peace for a while,
and then came the eggs.

He would not do one thing to assist me, not even take down the eggs, and
looked at Volmer with scorn when he carried down the boxes and salt. I
said nothing, knowing what the result would be later on if Hang remained
with me. When the cold weather came and no more fresh eggs were brought
in, it was astonishing to see how many things that stubborn Chinaman
could make without any eggs at all. Get them out of the salt he simply
would not. Of course that could not continue forever, so one day I
brought some up and left them on his table without saying a word. He
used them, and after that there was no trouble, and one day in the
spring he brought in to show me some beautifully beaten eggs, and said,
"Velly glood--allee same flesh."

This fall when the time came to pack eggs, I said, "Hang, perhaps we had
better pack the eggs in oats this year." He said, "Naw, loats no glood!"
Then came my revenge. I said, "Mrs. Pierce puts hers in oats," but he
became angry and said, "Yes, me know--Missee Pleese no know--slalt makee
him allee same flesh." And in salt they are, and Hang packed every one.
I offered to show him how to do it, but he said, "Me know--you see." It
gave him such a fine opportunity to dictate to Volmer! If the striker
did not bring the eggs the very moment he thought they should be in,
Hang would look him up and say, "You bling leggs!" Just where these
boxes of eggs are I do not know. The Chinaman has spirited them off to
some place where they will not freeze. He cannot understand all this
ranking out of quarters, particularly after he had put the house in
perfect order. When I told him to sweep the rooms after everything had
been carried out, he said: "What for? You cleanee house nuff for him;
he no care," and off he went. I am inclined to think that the little man
was right, after all.

There have been many changes in the garrison during the past few months,
and a number of our friends have gone to other posts. Colonel and Mrs.
Palmer, Major and Mrs. Pierce, and Doctor and Mrs. Gordon are no longer
here. We have lost, consequently, both of our fine tenors and excellent
organist, and our little choir is not good now. Some of us will miss in
other ways Colonel Palmer's cultivated voice. During the summer four of
us found much pleasure in practicing together the light operas, each one
learning the one voice through the entire opera.

When we get settled, if we ever do, we will be at our old end of the
garrison again, and our neighbors on either side will be charming
people. There is some consolation in that; nevertheless, I am thinking
all the time of the pretty walls and shiny floors we had to give up, and
to a very poor housekeeper, too. After we get our house, it will take
weeks to fix it up, and it will be impossible to take the same interest
in it that we found in the first. If Faye gets his first lieutenancy in
the spring, it is possible that we may have to go to another post, which
will mean another move. But I am tired and cross; anyone would be under
such uncomfortable conditions.

FORT ELLIS, MONTANA TERRITORY, March, 1883.

THE trip over was by far the most enjoyable of any we have taken between
Fort Shaw and this post, and we were thankful enough that we could come
before the snow began to melt on the mountains. Our experience with the
high water two years ago was so dreadful that we do not wish to ever
encounter anything of the kind again. The weather was delightful--with
clear, crisp atmosphere, such as can be found only in this magnificent
Territory. It was such a pleasure to have our own turn-out, too, and to
be able to see the mountains and canons as we came along, without having
our heads bruised by an old ambulance.

Faye had to wait almost twelve years for a first lieutenancy, and now,
when at last he has been promoted, it has been the cause of our leaving
dear friends and a charming garrison, and losing dear yellow Hang, also.
The poor little man wept when he said good-by to me in Helena. We had
just arrived and were still on the walk in front of the hotel, and of
course all the small boys in the street gathered around us. I felt very
much like weeping, too, and am afraid I will feel even more so when I
get in my own home. Hang is going right on to China, to visit his mother
one year, and I presume that his people will consider him a very rich
man, with the twelve hundred dollars he has saved. He has never cut his
hair, and has never worn American clothes. Even in the winter, when
it has been freezing cold, he would shuffle along on the snow with his
Chinese shoes.

I shall miss the pretty silk coats about the house, and his swift,
almost noiseless going around. That Chinamen are not more generally
employed I cannot understand, for they make such exceptional servants.
They are wonderfully economical, and can easily do the work of two
maids, and if once you win their confidence and their affection they are
your slaves. But they are very suspicious. Once, when Bishop Tuttle was
with us, he wanted a pair of boots blackened, and set them in his room
where Hang could see them, and on the toe of one he put a twenty-five
cent piece. Hang blackened the boots beautifully, and then put the money
back precisely where it was in the first place. Then he came to me
and expressed his opinion of the dear bishop. He said, "China-man no
stealee--you tellee him me no stealee--he see me no takee him"--and then
he insisted upon my going to see for myself that the money was on the
boot. I was awfully distressed. The bishop was to remain with us several
days, and no one could tell how that Chinaman might treat him, for I
saw that he was deeply hurt, but it was utterly impossible to make him
believe otherwise than that the quarter had been put there to test his
honesty. I finally concluded to tell the bishop all about it, knowing
that his experience with all kinds of human nature had been great in his
travels about to his various missions, and his kindness and tact with
miner, ranchman, and cowboy; he is now called by them lovingly "The
Cowboy Bishop." He laughed heartily about Hang, and said, "I'll fix
that," which he must have done to Hang's entire satisfaction, for he
fairly danced around the bishop during the remainder of his stay with
us.

Faye was made post quartermaster and commissary as soon as he reported
for duty here, and is already hard at work. The post is not large,
but the office of quartermaster is no sinecure. An immense amount of
transportation has to be kept in readiness for the field, for which
the quartermaster alone is held responsible, and this is the base of
supplies for outfits for all parties--large and small--that go to
the Yellowstone Park, and these are many, now that Livingstone can be
reached from the north or the south by the Northern Pacific Railroad.
Immense pack trains have to be fitted out for generals, congressmen,
even the President himself, during the coming season. These people
bring nothing whatever with them for camp, but depend entirely upon the
quartermaster here to fit them out as luxuriously as possible with tents
and commissaries--even to experienced camp cooks!

The railroad has been laid straight through the post, and it looks very
strange to see the cars running directly back of the company quarters.
The long tunnel--it is to be called the Bozeman tunnel--that has been
cut through a large mountain is not quite finished, and the cars are
still run up over the mountain upon a track that was laid only for
temporary use. It requires two engines to pull even the passenger trains
up, and when the divide is reached the "pilot" is uncoupled and run down
ahead, sometimes at terrific speed. One day, since we came, the engineer
lost control, and the big black thing seemed almost to drop down the
grade, and the shrieking of the continuous whistle was awful to listen
to; it seemed as if it was the wailing of the souls of the two men being
rushed on--perhaps to their death. The thing came on and went screaming
through the post and on through Bozeman, and how much farther we do
not know. Some of the enlisted men got a glimpse of the engineer as he
passed and say that his face was like chalk. We will not be settled for
some time, as Faye is to take a set of vacant quarters on the hill until
one of the officers goes on leave, when we will move to that house, as
it is nicer and nearer the offices. He could have taken it when we came
had he been willing to turn anyone out. It seems to me that I am waiting
for a house about half the time, yet when anyone wants our house it is
taken at once!

For a few days we are with Lieutenant and Mrs. Fiske. They gave us an
elegant dinner last evening. Miss Burt and her brother came up from
Bozeman. This evening we dine with Major and Mrs. Gillespie of the
cavalry. He is in command of the post--and tomorrow we will dine with
Captain and Mrs. Spencer. And so it will go on, probably, until everyone
has entertained us in some delightful manner, as this is the custom in
the Army when there are newcomers in the garrison. I am so sorry that
these courtesies cannot be returned for a long time--until we get really
settled, and then how I shall miss Hang! How I am to do without him I do
not quite see.

FORT ELLIS, MONTANA TERRITORY, July, 1884.

THIS post is in a most dilapidated condition, and it--also the country
about--looks as though it had been the scene of a fierce bombardment.
And bombarded we certainly have been--by a terrific hailstorm that made
us feel for a time that our very lives were in danger. The day had been
excessively warm, with brilliant sunshine until about three o'clock,
when dark clouds were seen to be coming up over the Bozeman Valley, and
everyone said that perhaps at last we would have the rain that was so
much needed, I have been in so many frightful storms that came from
innocent-looking clouds, that now I am suspicious of anything of the
kind that looks at all threatening. Consequently, I was about the first
person to notice the peculiar unbroken gray that had replaced the black
of a few minutes before, and the first, too, to hear the ominous roar
that sounded like the fall of an immense body of water, and which could
be distinctly heard fifteen minutes before the storm reached us.

While I stood at the door listening and watching, I saw several people
walking about in the garrison, each one intent upon his own business and
not giving the storm a thought. Still, it seemed to me that it would be
just as well to have the house closed tight, and calling Hulda we soon
had windows and doors closed--not one minute too soon, either, for the
storm came across the mountains with hurricane speed and struck us with
such force that the thick-walled log houses fairly trembled. With the
wind came the hail at the very beginning, changing the hot, sultry air
into the coldness of icebergs. Most of the hailstones were the size of
a hen's egg, and crashed through windows and pounded against the house,
making a noise that was not only deafening but paralyzing. The sounds of
breaking glass came from every direction and Hulda and I rushed from
one room to the other, not knowing what to do, for it was the same scene
everyplace--floors covered with broken glass and hail pouring in through
the openings.

The ground upon which the officers' quarters are built is a little
sloping, therefore it had to be cut away, back of the kitchen, to make
the floor level for a large shed where ice chest and such things are
kept, and there are two or three steps at the door leading from the shed
up to the ground outside. This gradual rise continues far back to the
mountains, so by the time the hail and water reached us from above they
had become one broad, sweeping torrent, ever increasing in volume. In
one of the boards of our shed close to the steps, and just above the
ground, there happened to be a large "knot" which the pressure of the
water soon forced out, and the water and hailstones shot through and
straight across the shed as if from a fire hose, striking the wall of
the main building! The sight was most laughable--that is, at first it
was; but we soon saw that the awful rush of water that was coming in
through the broken sash and the remarkable hose arrangement back of the
kitchen was rapidly flooding us.

So I ran to the front door, and seeing a soldier at one of he barrack
windows, I waved and waved my hand until he saw me. He understood at
once and came running over, followed by three more men, who brought
spades and other things. In a short time sods had been banked up at
every door, and then the water ceased to come in. By that time the
heaviest of the storm had passed over, and the men, who were most
willing and kind, began to shovel out the enormous quantity of
hailstones from the shed. They found by actual measurement that they
were eight inches deep--solid hail, and over the entire floor. Much
of the water had run into the kitchen and on through to the butler's
pantry, and was fast making its way to the dining room when it was cut
off. The scenes around the little house were awful. More or less water
was in each room, and there was not one unbroken pane of glass to be
found, and that was not all---there was not one unbroken pane of glass
in the whole post. That night Faye telegraphed to St. Paul for glass to
replace nine hundred panes that had been broken.

Faye was at the quartermaster's office when the storm came up, and while
it was still hailing I happened to look across the parade that way, and
in the door I saw Faye standing. He had left the house not long before,
dressed in a suit of immaculate white linen, and it was that suit that
enabled me to recognize him through the veil of rain and hail. Sorry as
I was, I had to laugh, for the picture was so ludicrous--Faye in those
chilling white clothes, broken windows each side of him, and the ground
covered with inches of hailstones and ice water! He ran over soon after
the men got here, but as he had to come a greater distance his pelting
was in proportion. Many of the stones were so large it was really
dangerous to be hit by them.

When the storm was over the ground was white, as if covered with
snow, and the high board fences that are around the yards back of the
officers' quarters looked as though they had been used for targets and
peppered with big bullets. Mount Bridger is several miles distant, yet
we can distinctly see from here the furrows that were made down its
sides. It looks as if deep ravines had been cut straight down from peak
to base. The gardens are wholly ruined--not one thing was left in them.
The poor little gophers were forced out of their holes by the water,
to be killed by the hail, and hundreds of them are lying around dead. I
wondered and wondered why Dryas did not come to our assistance, but he
told us afterward that when the storm first came he went to the stable
to fasten the horses up snug, and was then afraid to come away, first
because of the immense hailstones, and later because both horses were so
terrified by the crashing in of their windows, and the awful cannonade
of hail on the roof. A new cook had come to us just the day before the
storm, and I fully expected that she would start back to Bozeman that
night, but she is still here, and was most patient over the awful
condition of things all over the house. She is a Pole and a good cook,
so there is a prospect of some enjoyment in life after the house gets
straightened out. There was one thing peculiar about that storm. Bozeman
is only three miles from here, yet not one hailstone, not one drop of
rain did they get there. They saw the moving wall of gray and heard the
roar, and feared that something terrible was happening up here.

The storm has probably ruined the mushrooms that we have found so
delicious lately. At one time, just out of the post, there was a long,
log stable for cavalry horses which was removed two or three years
ago, and all around, wherever the decayed logs had been, mushrooms have
sprung up. When it rains is the time to get the freshest, and many a
time Mrs. Fiske and I have put on long storm coats and gone out in the
rain for them, each bringing in a large basket heaping full of the most
delicate buttons. The quantity is no exaggeration whatever--and to be
very exact, I would say that we invariably left about as many as we
gathered. Usually we found the buttons massed together under the soft
dirt, and when we came to an umbrella-shaped mound with little cracks
on top, we would carefully lift the dirt with a stick and uncover big
clusters of buttons of all sizes. We always broke the large buttons off
with the greatest care and settled the spawn back in the loose dirt for
a future harvest. We often found large mushrooms above ground, and these
were delicious baked with cream sauce. They would be about the size of
an ordinary saucer, but tender and full of rich flavor--and the buttons
would vary in size from a twenty-five-cent piece to a silver dollar,
each one of a beautiful shell pink underneath. They were so very
superior to mushrooms we had eaten before--with a deliciousness all
their own.

We are wondering if the storm passed over the Yellowstone Park, where
just now are many tents and considerable transportation. The party
consists of the general of the Army, the department commander, members
of their staffs, and two justices of the supreme court. From the park
they are to go across country to Fort Missoula, and as there is only a
narrow trail over the mountains they will have to depend entirely upon
pack mules. These were sent up from Fort Custer for Faye to fit out for
the entire trip. I went down to the corral to see them start out, and
it was a sight well worth going to see. It was wonderful, and laughable,
too, to see what one mule could carry upon his back and two sides.

The pack saddles are queer looking things that are strapped carefully
and firmly to the mules, and then the tents, sacks, boxes, even stoves
are roped to the saddle. One poor mule was carrying a cooking stove.
There were forty pack mules and one "bell horse" and ten packers--for of
course it requires an expert packer to put the things on the saddle so
they are perfectly balanced and will not injure the animal's back. The
bell horse leads, and wherever it goes the mules will follow.

At present Faye is busy with preparations for two more parties of
exceedingly distinguished personnel. One of these will arrive in a day
or two, and is called the "Indian Commission," and consists of senator
Dawes and fourteen congressmen. The other party for whom an elaborate
camp outfit is being put in readiness consists of the President of
the United States, the lieutenant general of the Army, the governor of
Montana, and others of lesser magnitude. A troop of cavalry will escort
the President through the park. Now that the park can be reached by
railroad, all of the generals, congressmen, and judges are seized with a
desire to inspect it--in other words, it gives them a fine excuse for an
outing at Uncle Sam's expense.

CAMP ON YELLOWSTONE RIVER, YELLOWSTONE PARK, August, 1884.

OUR camp is in a beautiful pine grove, just above the Upper Falls and
close to the rapids; from out tent we can look out on the foaming river
as it rushes from one big rock to another. Far from the bank on an
immense boulder that is almost surrounded by water is perched my tent
companion, Miss Hayes. She says the view from there is grand, but how
she can have the nerve to go over the wet, slippery rocks is a mystery
to all of us, for by one little misstep she would be swept over the
falls and to eternity.

Our party consists of Captain and Mrs. Spencer, their little niece, Miss
Hayes, and myself--oh, yes, Lottie, the colored cook, and six or
eight soldiers. We have part of the transportation that Major General
Schofield used for this same trip two weeks ago, and which we found
waiting for us at Mammoth Hot Springs. We also have two saddle horses.
By having tents and our own transportation we can remain as long as we
wish at any one place, and can go to many out-of-the-way spots that the
regular tourist does not even hear of. But I do not intend to weary
you with long descriptions of the park, the wonderful geysers, or the
exquisitely tinted water in many of the springs, but to tell you of
our trip, that has been most enjoyable from the very minute we left
Livingstone.

We camped one night by the Fire-Hole River, where there is a spring I
would like to carry home with me! The water is very hot--boils up a foot
or so all the year round, and is so buoyant that in a porcelain tub of
ordinary depth we found it difficult to do otherwise than float, and its
softening effect upon the skin is delightful. A pipe has been laid
from the spring to the little hotel, where it is used for all sorts of
household purposes. Just fancy having a stream of water that a furnace
somewhere below has brought to boiling heat, running through your
house at any and all times. They told us that during the winter when
everything is frozen, all kinds of wild animals come to drink at the
overflow of the spring. There are hundreds of hot springs in the park, I
presume, but that one at Marshall's is remarkable for the purity of its
water.

Captain Spencer sent to the hotel for fresh meat and was amazed when the
soldier brought back, instead of meat, a list from which he was asked to
select. At that little log hotel of ten or twelve rooms there were seven
kinds of meat--black-tail deer, white-tail deer, bear, grouse, prairie
chicken, squirrels, and domestic fowl--the latter still in possession
of their heads. Hunting in the park is prohibited, and the proprietor
of that fine game market was most careful to explain to the soldier that
everything had been brought from the other side of the mountain. That
was probably true, but nevertheless, just as we were leaving the
woods by "Hell's Half Acre," and were coming out on a beautiful meadow
surrounded by a thick forest, we saw for one instant a deer standing on
the bank of a little stream at our right, and then it disappeared in the
forest. Captain Spencer was on horseback, and happening to look to the
left saw a man skulking to the woods with a rifle in his hand. The poor
deer would undoubtedly have been shot if we had been a minute or two
later.

For two nights our camp was in the pine forest back of "Old Faithful,"
and that gave us one whole day and afternoon with the geysers. Our
colored cook was simply wild over them, and would spend hours looking
down in the craters of those that were not playing. Those seemed to
fascinate her above all things there, and at times she looked like a
wild African when she returned to camp from one of them. Not far from
the tents of the enlisted men was a small hot spring that boiled lazily
in a shallow basin. It occurred to one of the men that it would make a
fine laundry, so he tied a few articles of clothing securely to a stick
and swished them up and down in the hot sulphur water and then hung
them up to dry. Another soldier, taking notice of the success of that
washing, decided to do even better, so he gathered all the underwear,
he had with him, except those he had on, and dropped them down in the
basin. He used the stick, but only to push them about with, and alas!
did not fasten them to it. They swirled about for a time, and then
all at once every article disappeared, leaving the poor man in dumb
amazement. He sat on the edge of the spring until dark, watching and
waiting for his clothes to return to him; but come back they did not.
Some of the men watched with him, but most of them teased him cruelly.
Such a loss on a trip like this was great.

When we got to Obsidian Mountain, Miss Hayes and I decided that we would
like to go up a little distance and get a few specimens to carry home
with us. Our camp for the night was supposed to be only one mile farther
on, and the enlisted men and two wagons were back of us, so we thought
we could safely stay there by ourselves. The so-called mountain is
really only a foothill to a large mountain, but is most interesting from
the fact that it is covered with pieces of obsidian, mostly smoke-color,
and that long ago Indians came there for arrowheads.

A very narrow road has been cut out of the rocks at the base of the
mountain, and about four feet above a small stream. It has two very
sharp turns, and all around, as far as we could see, it would be
exceedingly dangerous, if not impossible, for large wagons to pass. Miss
Hayes and I went on up, gathering and rejecting pieces of obsidian that
had probably been gathered and rejected by hundreds of tourists before
us, and we were laughing and having a beautiful time when, for some
reason, I looked back, and down on the point where the road almost
doubles on itself I saw an old wagon with two horses, and standing
by the wagon were two men. They were looking at us, and very soon one
beckoned. I looked all around, thinking that some of their friends must
certainly be near us, but no one was in sight. By that time one man
was waving his hat to us, and then they actually called, "Come on down
here--come down, it is all right!"

Miss Hayes is quite deaf, and I was obliged to go around rocks before
I could get near enough to tell her of the wagon below, and the men not
hear me. She gave the men and wagon an indifferent glance, and then went
on searching for specimens. I was so vexed I could have shaken her. She
will scream over a worm or spider, and almost faint at the sight of a
snake, but those two men, who were apparently real tramps, she did not
mind. The situation was critical, and for just one instant I thought
hard. If we were to go over the small mountain we would probably be
lost, and might encounter all sorts of wild beasts, and if those men
were really vicious they could easily overtake us. Besides, it would
never do to let them suspect that we were afraid. So I decided to go
down--and slowly down I went, almost dragging Miss Hayes with me. She
did not understand my tactics, and I did not stop to explain.

I went right to the men, taking care to get between them and the road
to camp. I asked them if they were in trouble of any kind, and they said
"No." I could hardly control my voice, but it seemed important that I
should give them to understand at once who we were. So I said, "Did
you meet our friends in the army ambulance just down the road?" The two
looked at each other and then one said "Yes!" I continued with, "There
are two very large and heavily loaded army wagons, and a number of
soldiers coming down the other road that should be here right now." They
smiled again, and said something to each other, but I interrupted with,
"I do not see how those big wagons and four mules can pass you here, and
it seems to me you had better get out of their way, for soldiers can be
awfully cross if things are not just to suit them."

Well, those two men got in the old wagon without saying one word and
started on, and we watched them until they had disappeared from sight
around a bend, and then I said to Miss Hayes, "Come!" and lifting my
skirts, I started on the fastest run I ever made in my life, and I kept
it up until I actually staggered. Then I sat upon a rock back of some
bushes and waited for Miss Hayes, who appeared after a few minutes. We
rested for a short time and then went on and on, and still there was
nothing to be seen of the meadow where the camp was supposed to be.
Finally, after we had walked miles, it seemed to us, we saw an opening
far ahead, and the sharp silhouette of a man under the arch of trees,
and when we reached the end of the wooded road we found Captain
Spencer waiting for us. He at once started off on a fine inspection-day
reprimand, but I was tired and cross and reminded him that it was he who
had told us that the camp would be only one mile from us, and if we
had not listened to him we would not have stopped at all. Then we all
laughed!

Captain and Mrs. Spencer had become worried, and the ambulance was just
starting back for us when fortunately we appeared. Miss Hayes cannot
understand yet why I went down to that wagon. The child does not fear
tramps and desperadoes, simply because she has never encountered them.
Whether my move was wise or unwise, I knew that down on the road
we could run--up among the rocks we could not. Besides, I have the
satisfaction of knowing that once in my life I outgeneraled a man--two
men--and whether they were friends or foes I care not now. I was wearing
an officer's white cork helmet at the time, and possibly that helped
matters a little. But why did they call to us--why beckon for us to
come down? It was my birthday too. That evening Mrs. Spencer made some
delicious punch and brought out the last of the huge fruit cake she made
for the trip. We had bemoaned the fact of its having all been eaten,
and all the time she had a piece hidden away for my birthday, as a great
surprise.

We have had one very stormy day. It began to rain soon after we broke
camp in the morning, not hard, but in a cold, penetrating drizzle.
Captain and Mrs. Spencer were riding that day and continued to ride
until luncheon, and by that time they were wet to the skin and shaking
from the cold. We were nearing the falls, the elevation was becoming
greater and the air more chilling every minute. We had expected to reach
the Yellowstone River that day, but it was so wet and disagreeable that
Captain Spencer decided to go into camp at a little spring we came to in
the early afternoon, and which was about four miles from here. The tents
were pitched just above the base of a hill--you would call it a mountain
in the East--and in a small grove of trees. The ground was thickly
carpeted with dead leaves, and everything looked most attractive from
the ambulance.

When Miss Hayes and I went to our tent, however, to arrange it, we
found that underneath that thick covering of leaves a sheet of water
was running down the side of the hill, and with every step our feet sank
down almost ankle deep in the wet leaves and water. Each has a little
iron cot, and the two had been set up and the bedding put upon them by
the soldiers, and they looked so inviting we decided to rest a while and
get warm also. But much to our disgust we found that our mattresses were
wet and all of our blankets more or less wet, too. It was impossible to
dry one thing in the awful dampness, so we folded the blankets with the
dry part on top as well as we could, and then "crawled in." We hated to
get up for dinner, but as we were guests, we felt that we must do
so, but for that meal we waited in vain--not one morsel of dinner was
prepared that night, and Miss Hayes and I envied the enlisted men when
we got sniffs of their boiling coffee. Only a soldier could have found
dry wood and a place for making coffee that night.

When it is at all wet Faye always has our tents "ditched," that is, the
sod turned up on the canvas all around the bottom. So just before dark
I asked Captain Spencer if the men could not do that to our tent, and it
was done without delay. It made a great difference in our comfort, for
at once the incoming of the water was stopped. We all retired early that
night, and notwithstanding our hunger, and the wet below and above us,
our sleep was sound. In the morning we found several inches of snow on
the ground and the whole country was white. The snow was so moist and
clinging, that the small branches of trees were bent down with its
weight, and the effect of the pure white on the brilliant greens was
enchanting. Over all was the glorious sunshine that made the whole
grand scene glisten and sparkle like fairyland. And that day was the
twenty-sixth of August!

It was wretchedly cold, and our heaviest wraps seemed thin and light.
Lottie gave us a nice hot breakfast, and after that things looked much
more cheerful. By noon most of the snow had disappeared, and after
an early luncheon we came on to these dry, piney woods, that claim an
elevation of nine thousand feet. The rarefied air affects people so
differently. Some breathe laboriously and have great difficulty in
walking at all, while to others it is most exhilarating, and gives them
strength to walk great distances. Fortunately, our whole party is of the
latter class.

Yesterday morning early we all started for a tramp down the canon. I
do not mean that we were in the canon by the river, for that would have
been impossible, but that we went along the path that runs close to the
edge of the high cliff. We carried our luncheon with us, so there was no
necessity for haste, and every now and then we sat upon the thick carpet
of pine needles to rest, and also study the marvelous coloring of the
cliffs across the river. The walls of the canon are very high and very
steep--in many places perpendicular--and their strata of brilliant
colors are a marvel to everyone. It was a day to be remembered, and no
one seemed to mind being a little tired when we returned late in the
afternoon. The proprietor of the little log hotel that is only a short
distance up the river, told Captain Spencer that we had gone down six
good miles--giving us a tramp altogether, of twelve miles. It seems
incredible, for not one of us could walk one half that distance in less
rarefied air.

Just below the big falls, and of course very near our camp, is a nature
study that we find most interesting. An unusually tall pine tree has
grown up from between the boulders at the edge of the river. The tree is
now dead and its long branches have fallen off, but a few outspreading
short ones are still left, and right in the center of these a pair of
eagles have built a huge nest, and in that nest, right now, are two dear
eaglets! The tree is some distance from the top of the cliff, but it is
also lower, otherwise we would not have such a fine view of the nest and
the big babies. They look a little larger than mallard ducks, and are
well feathered. They fill the nest to overflowing, and seem to realize
that if they move about much, one would soon go overboard. The two old
birds--immense in size--can be seen soaring above the nest at almost any
time, but not once have we seen them come to the nest, although we have
watched with much patience for them to do so. The great wisdom shown by
those birds in the selection of a home is wonderful. It would be utterly
impossible for man or beast to reach it.

Another nature study that we have seen in the park, and which, to me,
was most wonderful, was a large beaver village. Of course most people of
the Northwest have seen beaver villages of various sizes, but that one
was different, and should be called a city. There were elevated roads
laid off in squares that run with great precision from one little
house to the other. There are dozens and dozens of houses--perhaps a
hundred--in the marshy lake, and the amount of intelligence and cunning
the little animals have shown in the construction of their houses and
elevated roads is worth studying. They are certainly fine engineers.

We take the road home from here, but go a much more direct route, which
will be by ambulance all the way to Fort Ellis, instead of going by the
cars from Mammoth Hot Springs. I am awfully glad of this, as it will
make the trip one day longer, and take us over a road that is new to
us, although it is the direct route from Ellis to the Park through Rocky
Canon.

FORT ELLIS, MONTANA TERRITORY, November, 1884.

ONLY a few days more, and then we will be off for the East! It is over
seven years since we started from Corinne on that long march north,
and I never dreamed at that time that I would remain right in this
territory, until a splendid railroad would be built to us from another
direction to take us out of it. Nearly everything is packed. We expect
to return here in the spring, but in the Army one never knows what
destiny may have waiting for them at the War Department. Besides, I
would not be satisfied to go so far away and leave things scattered
about.

The two horses, wagons, and everything of the kind have been disposed
of--not because we wanted to sell them, but because Faye was unwilling
to leave the horses with irresponsible persons during a long winter in
this climate, when the most thoughtful care is absolutely necessary to
keep animals from suffering. Lieutenant Gallagher of the cavalry bought
them, and we are passing through our second experience of seeing others
drive around horses we have petted, and taught to know us apart from all
others. George almost broke my heart the other day. He was standing in
front of Lieutenant Gallagher's quarters, that are near ours, when I
happened to go out on the walk, not knowing the horses were there. He
gave a loud, joyous whinnie, and started to come to me, pulling Pete and
the wagon with him. I ran back to the house, for I could not go to him!
He had been my own horse, petted and fed lumps of sugar every day with
my own hands, and I always drove him in single harness, because his
speed was so much greater than Pete's.

My almost gownless condition has been a cause of great worry to me,
but Pogue has promised to fix up my wardrobe with a rush, and after
the necessary time for that in Cincinnati, I will hurry on to Columbus
Barracks for my promised visit to Doctor and Mrs. Gordon. Then on home!
Faye will go to Cincinnati with me, and from there to the United States
Naval Home, of which his father is governor at present. I will have to
go there, too, before so very long.

We attended a pretty cotillon in Bozeman last evening and remained
overnight at the hotel. Faye led, and was assisted by Mr. Ladd, of
Bozeman. It was quite a large and elaborate affair, and there were
present "the butcher, the baker, and candlestick maker." Nevertheless,
everything was conducted with the greatest propriety. There are five
or six very fine families in the small place--people of culture and
refinement from the East--and their influence in the building up of the
town has been wonderful. The first year we were at Fort Ellis one would
see every now and then a number, usually four numerals, painted in
bright red on the sidewalk. Everyone knew that to have been the work
of vigilantes, and was a message to some gambler or horse thief to get
himself out of town or stand the shotgun or rope jury. The first time I
saw those red figures--I knew what they were for--it seemed as if they
had been made in blood, and step over them I could not. I went out in
the road around them. We have seen none of those things during the past
two years, and for the sake of those who have worked so hard for law and
order, we hope the desperado element has passed on.

FORT SHAW, MONTANA TERRITORY, May, 1885.

IT is nice to be once more at this dear old post, particularly under
such very pleasant circumstances. The winter East was enjoyable and
refreshing from first to last, but citizens and army people have so
little in common, and this one feels after being with them a while, no
matter how near and dear the relationship may be. Why, one half of them
do not know the uniform, and could not distinguish an officer of the
Army from a policeman! I love army life here in the West, and I love all
the things that it brings to me--the grand mountains, the plains, and
the fine hunting. The buffalo are no longer seen; every one has been
killed off, and back of Square Butte in a rolling valley, hundreds of
skeletons are bleaching even now. The valley is about two miles from the
post.

We are with the commanding officer and his wife, and Hulda is here also.
She was in Helena during the winter and came from there with us. I am
so glad to have her. She is so competent, and will be such a comfort a
little later on, when there will be much entertaining for us to do. We
stopped at Fort Ellis two days to see to the crating of the furniture
and to get all things in readiness to be shipped here, this time by
the cars instead of by wagon, through mud and water. We were guests of
Captain and Mrs. Spencer, and enjoyed the visit so much. Doctor and Mrs.
Lawton gave an informal dinner for us, and that was charming too.

But the grand event of the stop-over was the champagne supper that
Captain Martin gave in our honor--that is, in honor of the new adjutant
of the regiment. He is the very oldest bachelor and one of the oldest
officers in the regiment--a very jolly Irishman. The supper was
old-fashioned, with many good things to eat, and the champagne frappe
was perfect. I do believe that the generous-hearted man had prepared at
least two bottles for each one of us. Every member of the small garrison
was there, and each officer proposed something pleasant in life for
Faye, and often I was included. There was not the least harm done to
anyone, however, and not a touch of headache the next day.

As usual, we are waiting for quarters to avoid turning some one out. But
for a few days this does not matter much, as our household goods are
not here, except the rugs and things we sent out from Philadelphia.
Faye entered upon his new duties at guard mounting this morning, and I
scarcely breathed until the whole thing was over and the guard was on
its way to the guardhouse! It was so silly, I knew, to be afraid that
Faye might make a mistake, for he has mounted the guard hundreds of
times while post adjutant. But here it was different. I knew that from
almost every window that looked out on the parade ground, eyes friendly
and eyes envious were peering to see how the new regimental adjutant
conducted himself, and I knew that there was one pair of eyes green from
envy and pique, and that the least faux-pas by Faye would be sneered at
and made much of by their owner. But Faye made no mistake, of course. I
knew all the time that it was quite impossible for him to do so, as he
is one of the very best tacticians in the regiment--still, it is the
unexpected that so often happens.

The band and the magnificent drum major, watching their new commander
with critical eyes, were quite enough in themselves to disconcert any
man. I never told you what happened to that band once upon a time! It
was before we came to the regiment, and when headquarters were at Fort
Dodge, Kansas. Colonel Mills, at that time a captain, was in command.
It had been customary to send down to the river every winter a detail of
men from each company to cut ice for their use during the coming year.
Colonel Mills ordered the detail down as usual, and also ordered the
band down. It seems that Colonel Fitz-James, who had been colonel of the
regiment for some time, had babied the bandsmen, one and all, until they
had quite forgotten the fact of their being enlisted men.

So over to Colonel Mills went the first sergeant with a protest against
cutting ice, saying that they were musicians and could not be expected
to do such work, that it would chap their lips and ruin their delicate
touch on the instruments. Colonel Mills listened patiently and then
said, "But you like ice during the summer, don't you?" The sergeant
said, "Yes, sir, but they could not do such hard work as the cutting of
ice." Colonel Mills said, "You are musicians, you say?" The unsuspicious
sergeant, thinking he had gained his point, smilingly said, "Yes, sir!"
But there must have been an awful weakness in his knees when Colonel
Mills said, "Very well, since you are musicians and cannot cut ice, you
will go to the river and play for the other men while they cut it
for you!" The weather was freezing cold, and the playing of brass
instruments in the open air over two feet of solid ice, would have been
painful and difficult, so it was soon decided that it would be better to
cut ice, after all, and in a body the band went down with the other men
to the river without further complaint or protest.

It is a splendid band, and has always been regarded as one of the very
best in the Army, but there are a few things that need changing, which
Faye will attend to as quickly as possible, and at the same time bring
criticism down upon his own head. The old adjutant is still in the post,
and--"eyes green" are here!

FORT SHAW, MONTANA TERRITORY, August, 1885.

MY ride this morning was grand! My new horse is beginning to see that
I am really a friend, and is much less nervous. It is still necessary,
however, for Miller, our striker, to make blinders with his hands back
of Rollo's eyes so he will not see me jump to the saddle, otherwise I
might not get there. I mount in the yard back of the house, where no one
can see me. The gate is opened first, and that the horse always stands
facing, for the instant he feels my weight upon his back there is a
little flinch, then a dash down the yard, a jump over the acequia, then
out through the gate to the plain beyond, where he quiets down and I fix
my stirrup.

There is not a bit of viciousness about this, as the horse is gentle and
most affectionate at all times, but he has been terribly frightened by
a saddle, and it is distressing to see him tremble and his very flesh
quiver when one is put upon his back, no matter how gently. He had been
ridden only three or four times when we bought him, and probably by a
"bronco breaker," who slung on his back a heavy Mexican saddle,
cinched it tight without mercy, then mounted with a slam over of a
leather-trousered leg, let the almost crazy horse go like the wind, and
if he slackened his speed, spurs or "quirt," perhaps both, drove him on
again. I know only too well how the so-called breaking is done, for
I have seen it many times, and the whole performance is cruel and
disgraceful. There are wicked horses, of course, but there are more
wicked men, and many a fine, spirited animal is ruined, made an "outlaw"
that no man can ride, just by the fiendish way in which they are first
ridden. But the more crazy the poor beast is made, the more fun and
glory for the breaker.

Rollo is a light sorrel and a natural pacer; he cannot trot one step,
and for that reason I did not want him, but Faye said that I had better
try him, so he was sent up. The fact of his being an unbroken colt, Faye
seemed to consider a matter of no consequence, but I soon found that it
was of much consequence to me, inasmuch as I was obliged to acquire a
more precise balance in the saddle because of his coltish ways, and at
the same time make myself--also the horse--perfectly acquainted with the
delicate give and take of bit and bridle, for with a pacer the slightest
tightening or slackening at the wrong time will make him break. When
Rollo goes his very fastest, which is about 2:50, I never use a stirrup
and never think of a thing but his mouth! There is so little motion to
his body I could almost fancy that he had no legs at all--that we are
being rushed through the air by some unseen force. It is fine!

Faye has reorganized the band, and the instrumentation is entirely new.
It was sent to him by Sousa, director of the Marine Band, who has been
most kind and interested. The new instruments are here, so are the two
new sets of uniform--one for full dress, the other for concerts and
general wear. Both have white trimmings to correspond with the regiment,
which are so much nicer than the old red facings that made the band look
as if it had been borrowed from the artillery. All this has been the
source of much comment along the officers' quarters and in the barracks
across the parade ground, and has caused several skirmishes between Faye
and the band. It was about talked out, however, when I came in for my
share of criticism!

The post commander and Faye came over from the office one morning and
said it was their wish that I should take entire charge of the music
for services in church, that I could have an orchestra of soft-toned
instruments, and enlisted men to sing, but that all was to be under my
guidance. I must select the music, be present at all practicings, and
give my advice in any way needed. At first I thought it simply a very
unpleasant joke, but when it finally dawned upon me that those two men
were really in earnest, I was positive they must be crazy, and that I
told them. The whole proposition seemed so preposterous, so ridiculous,
so everything! I shall always believe that Bishop Brewer suggested
church music by the soldiers. Faye is adjutant and in command of the
band, so I was really the proper person to take charge of the church
musicians if anybody did, but the undertaking was simply appalling. But
the commanding officer insisted and Faye insisted, and both gave many
reasons for doing so. The enemy was too strong, and I was forced to give
in, the principal reason being, however, that I did not want some one
else to take charge!

In a short time the little choir was organized and some of the very
best musicians in the band were selected for the orchestra. We have
two violins (first and second), one clarinet, violoncello, oboe, and
bassoon, the latter instrument giving the deep organ tones. There have
been three services, and at one Sergeant Graves played an exquisite solo
on the violin, "There is a green hill far away," from the oratorio of
St. Paul. At another, Matijicek played Gounod's "Ave Maria" on the oboe,
and last Sunday he gave us, on the clarinet, "Every valley shall be
exalted." The choir proper consists of three sergeants and one corporal,
and our tenor is his magnificence, the drum major!

Service is held in a long, large hall, at the rear end of which is a
smaller room that can be made a part of the hall by folding back large
doors. We were just inside this small room and the doors were opened
wide. On a long bench sat the four singers, two each side of a very
unhappy woman, and back of the bench in a half circle were the six
musicians. Those musicians depended entirely upon me to indicate to them
when to play and the vocalists when to sing, therefore certain signals
had been arranged so that there would be no mistake or confusion. There
I sat, on a hot summer morning, almost surrounded by expert musicians
who were conscious of my every movement, and then, those men were
soldiers accustomed to military precision, and the fear of making a
mistake and leading them wrong was agonizing. At the farther end of
the hall the Rev. Mr. Clark was standing, reading along in an easy,
self-assured way that was positively irritating. And again, there was
the congregation, each one on the alert, ready to criticise, probably
condemn, the unheard-of innovation! Every man, woman, and child was at
church that morning, too--many from curiosity, I expect--and every time
we sang one half of them turned around and stared at us.

During the reading of the service I could not change my position, turn
my head, or brush the flies that got upon my face, without those six
hands back of me pouncing down for their instruments. It was impossible
to sing the chants, as the string instruments could not hold the tones,
so anthems were used instead--mostly Millard's--and they were very
beautiful. Not one mistake has ever been made by anyone, but Sergeant
Moore has vexed me much. He is our soprano, and has a clear, high-tenor
voice and often sings solos in public, but for some unexplainable reason
he would not sing a note in church unless I sang with him, so I had to
hum along for the man's ear alone. Why he has been so frightened' I do
not know, unless it was the unusual condition of things, which have been
quite enough to scare anyone.

Well, I lived through the three services, and suppose I can live through
more. The men are not compelled to do this church work, although not
one would think of refusing. There is much rehearsing to be done, and
Sergeant Graves has to transpose the hymns and write out the notes for
each instrument, and this requires much work. To show my appreciation of
their obedience to my slightest request, a large cake and dozens of eggs
have been sent to them after each service. It is funny how nice things
to eat often make it easy for a man to do things that otherwise would be
impossible!

FORT SHAW, MONTANA TERRITORY, July, 1886.

MY trip to Helena was made alone, after all! The evening before I
started Mrs. Todd told me that she could not go, frankly admitting that
she was afraid to go over the lonesome places on the road with only the
driver for a protector. It was important that I should see a dentist,
and Mrs. Averill was depending upon me to bring her friend down from
Helena who was expected from the East, so I decided to go alone. The
quartermaster gave me the privilege of choosing my driver, and I asked
for a civilian, a rather old man who is disliked by everyone because
of his surly, disagreeable manner. Just why I chose him I cannot tell,
except that he is a good driver and I felt that he could be trusted. The
morning we started Faye said to him, "Driver, you must take good care of
Mrs. Rae, for she asked for you to drive on this trip," which must have
had its effect--that, and the nice lunch I had prepared for him--for he
was kind and thoughtful at all times.

It takes two days to go to Helena from here, a ride of forty-five miles
one day and forty the second; and on each long drive there are stretches
of miles and miles over mountains and through canons where one is far
from a ranch or human being, and one naturally thinks of robbers and
other unpleasant things. At such places I rode on top with the driver,
where I could at least see what was going on around us.

Just before we crossed the Bird-Tail divide we came to a wonderful
sight, "a sight worth seeing," the driver said; and more to gratify him
than because I wanted to, we stopped. An enormous corral had been put up
temporarily, and in it were thousands of sheep, so closely packed that
those in the center were constantly jumping over the others, trying to
find a cooler place. In the winter, when the weather is very cold, sheep
will always jump from the outer circle of the band to the center, where
it is warm; they always huddle together in cold weather, and herders
are frequently compelled to remain right with them, nights at a time,
working hard every minute separating them so they will not smother. One
of the men, owner of the sheep, I presume, met us and said he would
show me where to go so I could see everything that was being done, which
proved to be directly back of a man who was shearing sheep. They told
me that he was the very fastest and most expert shearer in the whole
territory. Anyone could see that he was an expert, for three men were
kept busy waiting upon him. At one corner of the corral was a small,
funnel-shaped "drive," the outer opening of which was just large enough
to squeeze a sheep through, and in the drive stood a man, sheep in hand,
ever ready to rush it straight to the hands of the shearer the instant
he was ready for it.

The shearer, who was quite a young man, sat upon a box close to the
drive, and when he received a sheep it was always the same way--between
his knees--and he commenced and finished the shearing of each animal
exactly the same way, every clip of the large shears counting to the
best advantage. They told me that he gained much time by the unvarying
precision that left no ragged strips to be trimmed off. The docility of
those wild sheep was astonishing. Almost while the last clip was
being made the sheep was seized by a second assistant standing at the
shearer's left, who at once threw the poor thing down on its side, where
he quickly painted the brand of that particular ranch, after which it
was given its freedom. It was most laughable to see the change in the
sheep--most of them looking lean and lanky, whereas in less than one
short minute before, their sides had been broad and woolly. A third man
to wait upon the shearer was kept busy at his right carefully gathering
the wool and stuffing it in huge sacks. Every effort was made to keep it
clean, and every tiny bit was saved.

About four o'clock we reached Rock Creek, where we remained overnight at
a little inn. The house is built of logs, and the architecture is about
as queer as its owner. Mrs. Gates, wife of the proprietor, can be, and
usually is, very cross and disagreeable, and I rather dreaded stopping
there alone. But she met me pleasantly--that is, she did not snap my
head off--so I gathered courage to ask for a room that would be near
some one, as I was timid at night. That settled my standing in her
opinion, and with a "Humph!" she led the way across a hall and through
a large room where there were several beds, and opening a door on the
farther side that led to still another room, she told me I could have
that, adding that I "needn't be scared to death, as the boys will sleep
right there." I asked her how old the boys were, and she snapped, "How
old! why they's men folks," and out of the room she went. Upon looking
around I saw that my one door opened into the next room, and that as
soon as the "boys" occupied it I would be virtually a prisoner. To be
sure, the windows were not far from the ground, and I could easily jump
out, but to jump in again would require longer arms and legs than I
possessed. But just then I felt that I would much prefer to encounter
robbers, mountain lions, any gentle creatures of that kind, to asking
Mrs. Gates for another room.

When I went out to supper that night I was given a seat at one end of
a long table where were already sitting nine men, including my own
civilian driver, who, fortunately, was near the end farthest from me.
No one paid the slightest attention to me, each man attending to his
own hungry self and trying to outdo the others in talking. Finally they
commenced telling marvelous tales about horses that they had ridden and
subdued, and I said to myself that I had been told all about sheep that
day, and there it was about horses, and I wondered how far I would have
to go to hear all sorts of things about cattle! But anything about
a horse is always of interest to me, and those men were particularly
entertaining, as it was evident that most of them were professional
trainers.

There was sitting at the farther end of the table a rather young-looking
man, who had been less talkative than the others, but who after a while
said something about a horse at the fort. The mentioning of the post
was startling, and I listened to hear what further he had to say. And
he continued, "Yes, you fellers can say what yer dern please about yer
broncos, but that little horse can corral any dern piece of horseflesh
yer can show up. A lady rides him, and I guess I'd put her up with the
horse. The boys over there say that she broke the horse herself, and I
say! you fellers orter see her make him go--and he likes it, too."

By the time the man stopped talking, my excitement was great, for I was
positive that he had been speaking of Rollo, although no mention had
been made of the horse's color or gait. So I asked what gait the horse
had. He and two or three of the other men looked at me with pity in
their eyes--actual pity--that plainly said, "Poor thing--what can you
know about gaits"; but he answered civilly, "Well, lady, he is what we
call a square pacer," and having done his duty he turned again to his
friends, as though they only could understand him, and said, "No cow
swing about that horse. He is a light sorrel and has the very handsomest
mane yer ever did see--it waves, too, and I guess the lady curls it--but
don't know for sure."

The situation was most unusual and in some ways most embarrassing,
also. Those nine men were rough and unkempt, but they were splendid
horsemen--that I knew intuitively--and to have one of their number
select my very own horse above all others to speak of with unstinted
praise, was something to be proud of, but to have my own self calmly and
complacently disposed of with the horse--"put up," in fact--was quite
another thing. But not the slightest disrespect had been intended, and
to leave the table without making myself known was not to be thought of.
I wanted the pleasure, too, of telling those men that I knew the gait
of a pacer very well--that not in the least did I deserve their pity. My
face was burning and my voice unnatural when I threw the bomb!

I said, "The horse you are speaking of I know very well. He is mine, and
I ride him, and I thank you very much for the nice things you have
just said about him!" Well, there was a sudden change of scene at that
table--a dropping of knives and forks and various other things, and I
became conscious of eyes--thousands of eyes--staring straight at me, as
I watched my bronco friend at the end of the table. The man had
opened his eyes wide, and almost gasped "Gee-rew-s'lum!"--then utterly
collapsed. He sat back in his chair gazing at me in a helpless,
bewildered way that was disconcerting, so I told him a number of things
about Rollo--how Faye had taken him to Helena during race week and
Lafferty, a professional jockey of Bozeman, had tested his speed, and
had passed a 2:30 trotter with him one morning. The men knew Lafferty,
of course. There was a queer coincidence connected with him and Rollo.
The horse that he was driving at the races was a pacer named Rolla,
while my horse, also a pacer, was named Rollo.

All talk about horses ceased at once, and the men said very little to
each other during the remainder of the time we were at the table. It was
almost pathetic, and an attention I very much appreciated, to see how
bread, pickles, cold meat, and in fact everything else on that rough
table, were quietly pushed to me, one after the other, without one word
being said. That was their way of showing their approval of me. It was
unpolished, but truly sincere.

I was not at all afraid that night, for I suspected that the horsemen at
the supper-table were the "boys" referred to by Mrs. Gates. But it was
impossible to sleep. The partition between the two rooms must have been
very thin, for the noises that came through were awful. It seemed as
though dozens of men were snoring at the same time, and that some of
them were dangerously "croupy," for they choked and gulped, and every
now and then one would have nightmare and groan and yell until some one
would tell him to "shut up," or perhaps say something funny about him
to the others. No matter how many times those men were wakened they were
always cheerful and good-natured about it. A statement that I cannot
truthfully make about myself on the same subject!

It was not necessary for me to leave my room through the window the next
morning, although my breakfast was early. The house seemed deserted,
and I had the long table all to myself. At six o'clock we started on
our ride to Helena. I sat with the driver going through the long
Prickly-Pear canon, and had a fine opportunity of seeing its magnificent
grandeur, while the early shadows were still long. The sun was on many
of the higher boulders, that made them sparkle and show brilliantly in
their high lights and shadows. The trees and bushes looked unusually
fresh and green. We hear that a railroad will soon be built through that
canon--but we hope not. It would be positively wicked to ruin anything
so grand.

We reached Helena before luncheon, and I soon found Miss Duncan, who was
expecting me. We did not start back until the second day, so she and
I visited all the shops and then drove out to Sulphur Spring. The way
everybody and everything have grown and spread out since the Northern
Pacific Railroad has been running cars through Helena is most amazing.
It was so recently a mining town, just "Last Chance Gulch," where
Chinamen were digging up the streets for gold, almost undermining the
few little buildings, and Chinamen also were raising delicious
celery, where now stand very handsome houses. Now Main street has many
pretentious shops, and pretty residences have been put up almost to the
base of Mount Helena.

The ride back was uneventful, greatly to Miss Duncan's disappointment.
It is her first visit to the West, and she wants to see cowboys and all
sorts of things. I should have said "wanted to see," for I think that
already her interest in brass buttons is so great the cowboys will
never be thought of again. There were two at Rock Creek, but they were
uninteresting--did not wear "chaps," pistols, or even big spurs. At the
Bird-Tail not one sheep was to be seen--every one had been sheared, and
the big band driven back to its range. Miss Duncan is a pretty girl, and
unaffected, and will have a delightful visit at this Western army post,
where young girls from the East do not come every day. And then we have
several charming young bachelors!

FORT SHAW, MONTANA TERRITORY, December, 1887.

THE excitement is about over. Our guests have returned to their homes,
and now we are settling down to our everyday garrison life. The wedding
was very beautiful and as perfect in every detail as adoring father and
mother and loving friends could make it. It was so strictly a military
wedding, too--at a frontier post where everything is of necessity "army
blue"--the bride a child of the regiment, her father an officer in the
regiment many years, and the groom a recent graduate from West Point,
a lieutenant in the regiment. We see all sorts of so-called military
weddings in the East--some very magnificent church affairs, others at
private houses, and informal, but there are ever lacking the real
army surroundings that made so perfect the little wedding of Wednesday
evening.

The hall was beautifully draped with the greatest number of flags of all
sizes--each one a "regulation," however--and the altar and chancel rail
were thickly covered with ropes and sprays of fragrant Western cedars
and many flowers, and from either side of the reredos hung from their
staffs the beautifully embroidered silken colors of the regiment. At the
rear end of the hall stood two companies of enlisted men--one on each
side of the aisle--in shining full-dress uniforms, helmets in hand. The
bride's father is captain of one of those companies, and the groom a
lieutenant in the other. As one entered the hall, after passing numerous
orderlies, each one in full-dress uniform, of course, and walked up
between the two companies, every man standing like a statue, one became
impressed by the rare beauty and military completeness of the whole
scene.

The bride is petite and very young, and looked almost a child as she and
her father slowly passed us, her gown of heavy ivory satin trailing
far back of her. The orchestra played several numbers previous to the
ceremony--the Mendelssohn March for processional, and Lohengrin for
recessional, but the really exquisite music was during the ceremony,
when there came to us softly, as if floating from afar over gold lace
and perfumed silks and satins, the enchanting strains of Moszkowski's
Serenade! Faye remained with the orchestra all the time, to see that
the music was changed at just the right instant and without mistake. The
pretty reception was in the quarters of Major and Mrs. Stokes, and there
also was the delicious supper served. Some of the presents were elegant.
A case containing sixty handsome small pieces of silver was given by the
officers of the regiment. A superb silver pitcher by the men of Major
Stokes's company, and an exquisite silver after-dinner coffee set by the
company in which the groom is a lieutenant. Several young officers came
down from Fort Assiniboine to assist as ushers, and there were at the
post four girls from Helena. An army post is always an attractive place
to girls, but it was apparent from the first that these girls came for
an extra fine time. I think they found it!

They were all at our cotillon Monday evening, and kept things moving
fast. It was refreshing to have a new element, and a little variety
in partners. We have danced with each other so much that everyone has
become more or less like a machine. Faye led, dancing with Miss Stokes,
for whom the german was given. The figures were very pretty--some of
them new--and the supper was good. To serve refreshments of any kind
at the hall means much work, for everything has to be prepared at the
house--even coffee, must be sent over hot; and every piece of china and
silver needed must be sent over also. Mrs. Hughes came from Helena on
Saturday and remained with me until yesterday.

You know something of the awful times I have had with servants since
Hulda went away! First came the lady tourist--who did us the honor to
consent to our paying her expenses from St. Paul, and who informed me
upon her arrival that she was not obliged to work out--no indeed--that
her own home was much nicer than our house--that she had come up to see
the country, and so forth. We found her presence too great a burden,
particularly as she could not prepare the simplest meal, and so invited
her to return to her elegant home. Then came the two women--the mother
to Mrs. Todd, the daughter to me--who were insulted because they
were expected to occupy servant's rooms, and could not "eat with the
family"--so Mrs. Todd and I gave them cordial invitations to depart.
Then came my Russian treasure--a splendid cook, but who could not be
taught that a breakfast or dinner an hour late mattered to a regimental
adjutant, and wondered why guard mounting could not be held back while
she prepared an early breakfast for Faye. After a struggle of two months
she was passed on. A tall, angular woman with dull red hair drawn up
tight and twisted in a knot as hard as her head, was my next trial. She
was the wife of a gambler of the lowest type, but that I did not know
while she was here.

One day I told her to do something that she objected to, and with her
hands clinched tight she came up close as if to strike me. I stood
still, of course, and quietly said, "You mustn't strike me." She looked
like a fury and screamed, "I will if I want to!" She was inches
taller than I, but I said, "If you do, I will have you locked in the
guardhouse." She became very white, and fairly hissed at me, "You can't
do that--I ain't a soldier." I told her, "No, if you were a soldier you
would soon be taught to behave yourself," and I continued, "you are in
an army post, however, and if you do me violence I will certainly call
the guard." Before I turned to go from the room I looked up at her
and said, "Now I expect you to do what I have told you to do." I fully
expected a strike on my head before I got very far, but she controlled
herself. I went out of the house hoping she would do the same and never
return, but she was there still, and we had to tell her to go, after
all. I must confess, though, that the work she had objected to doing she
did nicely while I was out. Miller told me that she had three pistols
and two large watches in her satchel when she went away.

Then came a real treasure--Scotch Ellen--who has been with us six
months, and has been very satisfactory every way. To be sure she has had
awful headaches, and often it has been necessary for some one to do her
work. She and the sergeant's wife prepared the supper for the german,
and everything was sent to the hall in a most satisfactory way--much to
my delight. Nothing wrong was noticed the next morning either, until she
carried chocolate to Mrs. Hughes, when I saw with mortification that she
looked untidy, but thinking of the confusion in her part of the house, I
said nothing about it.

Our breakfast hour is twelve o'clock, and about eleven Mrs. Hughes and
I went out for a little walk. In a short time Faye joined us, and just
before twelve I came in to see if everything was in its proper place on
the table. As I went down the hall I saw a sight in the dining room that
sent shivers down my back. On the table were one or two doilies, and
one or two of various other things, and at one side stood the Scotch
treasure with a plate in one hand upon which were a few butter balls,
and in the other she held a butter pick. The doors leading through
pantry into the kitchen were open and all along the floor I could see
here and there a little golden ball that had evidently rolled off
the plate. I could also see the range--that looked black and cold and
without one spark of fire!

Going to the side of the table opposite Ellen I said, "Ellen, what is
the matter with you?"--and looking at me with dull, heavy eyes, she
said, "And what is the matter wit' you?" Then I saw that she was drunk,
horribly drunk, and told her so, but she could only say, "I'm drunk,
am I?" I ran outside for Faye, but he and Mrs. Hughes had walked to the
farther end of the officers' line, and I was compelled to go all that
distance before I could overtake them and tell of my woes. I wanted the
woman out of the house as quickly as possible, so that Miller--who is a
very good cook--and I could prepare some sort of a breakfast. Faye went
to the house with his longest strides and told the woman to go at once,
and I saw no more of her. Mrs. Hughes was most lovely about the whole
affair--said that not long ago she had tried a different cook each week
for six in succession. That was comforting, but did not go far toward
providing a breakfast for us. Miller proved to be a genuine treasure,
however, and the sergeant's wife--who is ever "a friend indeed"--came to
our assistance so soon we scarcely missed the Scotch creature. Still, it
was most exasperating to have such an unnecessary upheaval, just at
the very time we had a guest in the house--a dainty, fastidious little
woman, too--and wanted things to move along smoothly. I wonder of what
nationality the next trial will be! If one gets a good maid out here the
chances are that she will soon marry a soldier or quarrel with one, as
was the Case with Hulda. For some unaccountable reason a Chinese laundry
at Sun River has been the cause of all the Chinamen leaving the post.

Now I must tell of something funny that happened to me.

The morning before Mrs. Hughes arrived I went out for a little ride, and
about two miles up the river I left the road to follow a narrow trail
that leads to a bluff called Crown Butte. I had to go through a large
field of wild rosebushes, then across an alkali bed, and then through
more bushes. I had passed the first bushes and was more than half way
across the alkali, Rollo's feet sinking down in the sticky mud at every
step, when there appeared from the bushes in front of me, and right in
the path, two immense gray wolves. If they had studied to surprise me in
the worst place possible they could not have succeeded better. Rollo saw
them, of course, and stopped instantly, giving deep sighs, preparing
to snort, I knew. To give myself courage I talked to the horse, slowly
turning him around, so as to not excite him, or let the timber wolves
see that I was running from them.

But the horse I could not deceive, for as soon as his back was toward
them, head and tail went up, and there was snort after snort. He could
not run, as we were still in the alkali lick. I looked back and saw that
the big gray beasts were slowly moving toward us, and I recognized the
fact that the mud would not stop them, if they chose to cross it. Once
free of the awful stickiness, I knew that we would be out of danger, as
the swiftest wolf could never overtake the horse--but it seemed as if it
were miles across that white mud. But at last we got up on solid ground,
and were starting off at Rollo's best pace, when from out of the bushes
in front of us, there came a third wolf! The horse stopped so suddenly
it is a wonder I was not pitched over his head, but I did not think of
that at the time.

The poor horse was terribly frightened, and I could feel him tremble,
which made me all the more afraid. The situation was not pleasant, and
without stopping to think, I said, "Rollo, we must run him down--now do
your best!" and taking a firm hold of the bridle, and bracing myself
in the saddle, I struck the horse hard with my whip and gave an awful
scream. I never use a whip on him, so the sting on his side and yell in
his ears frightened him more than the wolf had, and he started on again
with a rush. But the wolf stood still--so did my heart--for the beast
looked savage. When it seemed as though we were actually upon him I
struck the horse again and gave scream after scream as fast as my lungs
would allow me. The big gray thing must have thought something evil was
coming, for he sprang back, and then jumped over in the bushes and did
not show himself again. Rollo came home at an awful pace; but I looked
back once and saw, standing in the road near the bushes, five timber
wolves, evidently watching us. Just where the other two had been I will
never know, of course.

We have ridden and driven up that road many, many times, and I have
often ridden through those rosebushes, but have never seen wolves or
coyotes. Down in the lowland on the other side of the post we frequently
see a coyote that will greet us with the most unearthly howls, and will
sometimes follow carriages, howling all the time. But everyone looks
upon him as a pet. Those big, gray timber wolves are quite another
animal, fierce and savage. Some one asked me why I screamed, but I could
not tell why. Perhaps it was to urge the horse--perhaps to frighten the
wolf--perhaps to relieve the strain on my nerves. Possibly it was just
because I was frightened and could not help it!

FORT SHAW, MONTANA TERRITORY, May, 1888.

SUCH upheaval orders have been coming to the post the past few days,
some of us wonder if there has not been an earthquake, and can only sit
around and wait in a numb sort of way for whatever may come next.

General Bourke, who has been colonel of the regiment, you know, has been
appointed a brigadier general and is to command the Department of the
Platte, with headquarters at Omaha, Nebraska. This might have affected
Faye under any circumstances, as a new colonel has the privilege of
selecting his own staff officers, but General Bourke, as soon as he
received the telegram telling of his appointment, told Faye that he
should ask for him as aide-de-camp. This will take us to Omaha, also,
and I am almost heartbroken over it, as it will be a wretched life for
me--cooped up in a noisy city! At the same time I am delighted that Faye
will have for four years the fine staff position. These appointments are
complimentary, and considered most desirable.

The real stir-up, however, came with orders for the regiment to go to
Fort Snelling, Minnesota, for that affects about everyone here. Colonel
Munson, who relieves General Bourke as colonel of the regiment, is in
St. Paul, and is well known as inspector general of this department,
which perhaps is not the most flattering introduction he could have
had to his new regiment. He telegraphed, as soon as promoted, that he
desired Faye to continue as adjutant, but of course to be on the staff
of a general is far in advance of being on the staff of a colonel. The
colonel commands only his own regiment--sometimes not all of that, as
when companies are stationed at other posts than headquarters--whereas
a brigadier general has command of a department consisting of many army
posts and many regiments.

The one thing that distresses me most of all is, that I have to part
from my horse! This is what makes me so rebellious, for aside from my
own personal loss, I have great sorrow for the poor dumb animal that
will suffer so much with strangers who will not understand him. No
one has ridden or driven him for two years but myself, and he has been
tractable and lovable always. During very cold weather, when perhaps he
would be too frisky, I have allowed him to play in the yard back of the
house, until all superfluous spirits had been kicked and snorted off,
after which I could have a ride in peace and safety. Faye thinks that
he is entirely too nervous ever to take kindly to city sights and
sounds--that the fretting and the heat might kill him.

So it has been decided that once again we will sell everything--both
horses and all things pertaining to them, reserving our saddles only.
Every piece of furniture will be sold, also, as we do not purpose to
keep house at all while in Omaha. How I envy our friends who will go
to Fort Snelling! We have always been told that it is such a beautiful
post, and the people of St. Paul and Minneapolis are most charming.
It seems so funny that the regiment should be sent to Snelling just as
Colonel Munson was promoted to it. He will have to move six miles only!

We know that when we leave Fort Shaw we will go from the old army life
of the West--that if we ever come back, it will be to unfamiliar scenes
and a new condition of things. We have seen the passing of the buffalo
and other game, and the Indian seems to be passing also. But I must
confess that I have no regret for the Indians--there are still too many
of them!

FORT SHAW, MONTANA TERRITORY, May, 1888.

THERE can be only two more days at this dear old post, where we have
been so happy, and I want those to pass as quickly as possible, and have
some of the misery over. Our house is perfectly forlorn, with just a few
absolute necessaries in it for our use while here. Everything has been
sold or given away, and all that is left to us are our trunks and army
chests. Some fine china and a few pieces of cut glass I kept, and even
those are packed in small boxes and in the chests.

The general selling-out business has been funny. No one in the regiment
possessed many things that they cared to move East with them, and as we
did not desire to turn our houses into second-hand shops, where people
could handle and make remarks about things we had treasured, it was
decided that everything to be sold should be moved to the large
hall, where enlisted men could attend to the shop business. Our only
purchasers were people from Sun River Crossing, and a few ranches
that are some distance from the post, and it was soon discovered that
anything at all nice was passed by them, so we became sharp--bunching
the worthless with the good--and that worked beautifully and things sold
fast.

These moves are of the greatest importance to army officers, and many
times the change of station is a mere nothing in comparison to the
refitting of a house, something that is never taken into consideration
when the pay of the Army is under discussion. The regiment has been on
the frontier ten years, and everything that we had that was at all nice
had been sent up from St. Paul at great expense, or purchased in Helena
at an exorbitant price. All those things have been disposed of for
almost nothing, and when the regiment reaches Fort Snelling, where
larger quarters have to be furnished for an almost city life, the
officers will be at great expense. Why I am bothering about Snelling
I fail to see, as we are not going there, and I certainly have enough
troubles of my Own to think about.

This very morning, Mrs. Ames, of Sun River Crossing, who now owns dear
Rollo, came up to ask me to show her how to drive him! Just think of
that! She talked as though she had been deceived--that it was my duty
to show her the trick by which I had managed to control the horse, and,
naturally, it would be a delightful pleasure to me to be allowed to
drive him once more, and so on. Mrs. Ames said that yesterday she
started out with him, intending to come to the post to let me see
him--fancy the delicate feeling expressed in that--but the horse went so
fast she became frightened, for it seemed as though the telegraph poles
were only a foot apart. She finally got the horse turned around and
drove back home, when her husband got in and undertook to drive him, but
with no better success; but he, too, started the horse toward his old
home.

Mr. Ames then told her to have Rollo put back in the stable until she
could get me to show her how to drive him. I almost cried out from pure
pity for the poor dumb beast that I knew was suffering so in his longing
for his old home and friends who understood him. But for the horse's
sake I tried not to break down. I told her that first of all she must
teach the horse to love her. That was an awfully hard thing to say, I
assure you, and I doubt if the woman understood my meaning after all.
When I told her not to pull on his mouth she looked amazed, and said,
"Why, he would run away with me if I didn't!" But I assured her that he
would not--that he had been taught differently--that he was very nervous
and spirited--that the harder she pulled the more excited he would
become--that I had simply held him steady, no more. I saw that Mrs. Ames
did not believe one word that I had said, but I tried to convince her,
for the sake of the unhappy animal that had been placed at her mercy.

I have often met and passed her out on the road, and the horse she
drives is a large, handsome animal, and we had supposed that she was a
good whip; so, when Mr. Ames appeared the other day and said his wife
had asked him to come up and buy the sorrel horse for her we were
delighted that such a good home had been found for him--and for Fannie
too. Mr. Ames bought the entire outfit. Fannie is beautiful, but wholly
lacking in affection, and can take care of herself any place.

All sorts of people have been here for the horses--some wanted both,
others only one--but Faye would not let them go to any of them, as he
was afraid they would not have the best of care. Rollo had been gone
only an hour or so when a young man--a typical bronco breaker--came to
buy him, and seemed really distressed because he had been sold. He said
that he had broken him when a colt at Mr. Vaughn's. It so happened that
Faye was at the adjutant's office, and the man asked for me. I was very
glad, for I had always wanted to meet the person who had slammed
the saddle first on Rollo's back. I told him that it was generally
considered at the post that I had broken the horse! I said that he had
been made cruelly afraid of a saddle, and for a long time after we
had bought him, he objected to it and to being mounted, and I did not
consider a horse broken that would do those things. I said also,
that the horse had not been gaited. He interrupted with, "Why, he's
a pacer"--just as though that settled everything; but I told him that
Rollo had three perfectly trained grades of speed, each one of which I
had taught him.

The young man's face became very red and he looked angry, but I had a
beautiful time. It was such a relief to express my opinion to the man
just at that time, too, when I was grieving so for the horse. I saw at
once that he was a bronco breaker from his style of dress. He had on
boots of very fine leather with enormously high heels, and strapped
to them were large, sharp-pointed Mexican spurs. His trousers were of
leather and very broad at the bottom, and all down the front and outside
was some kind of gray fur--"chaps" this article of dress is called--and
in one hand he held a closely plaited, stinging black "quirt." He wore a
plaid shirt and cotton handkerchief around his neck. That describes the
man who rode Rollo first--and no wonder the spirited, high-strung colt
was suspicious of saddles, men, and things. I watched the man as he rode
away. His horse was going at a furious gallop, with ears turned back, as
if expecting whip or spur any instant, and the man sat far over on one
side, that leg quite straight as though he was standing in the long
stirrup, and the other was resting far up on the saddle--which was of
the heavy Mexican make, with enormous flaps, and high, round pommel in
front. I am most thankful that Rollo has gone beyond that man's reach,
as everything about him told of cruelty to horses.

Yet, Mrs. Ames seemed such a cold woman--so incapable of understanding
or appreciating the affection of a dumb animal. During the years we
owned Rollo he was struck with the whip only once--the time I wanted him
to run down a wolf up the river.

The Great Northern Railroad runs very near Fort Shaw now--about twenty
miles, I think--and, that will make it convenient for the moving of the
regiment, and all of us, in fact. We will go to St. Paul on the special
train with the regiment, for Faye will not be relieved as adjutant until
he reaches Fort Snelling, where we will remain for a day or two. It will
be a sad trip for me, for I love the West and life at a Western post,
and the vanities of city life do not seem attractive to me--and I shall
miss my army friends, too!

Perhaps it is a small matter to mention, but since I have been with the
Army I have ridden twenty-two horses that had never been ridden by a
woman before! As I still recollect the gait and disposition of each
horse, it seems of some consequence to me, for unbroken as some were, I
was never unseated--not once!

THE PAXTON HOTEL, OMAHA, NEBRASKA, August, 1888.

ALMOST five weeks have passed since we left dear Fort Shaw! During that
time we have become more or less accustomed to the restrictions of a
small city, but I fancy that I am not the only one of the party from
Montana who sometimes sighs for the Rocky Mountains and the old garrison
life. Here we are not of the Army--neither are we citizens. General and
Mrs. Bourke are still dazzled by the brilliancy of the new silver star
on the general's shoulder straps, and can still smile. Faye says very
little, but I know that he often frets over his present monotonous
duties and yearns for the regiment, his duties as adjutant of the
regiment, the parades, drills, and outdoor life generally, that make
life so pleasant at a frontier post.

Department Headquarters is in a government building down by the river,
and the offices are most cheerless. All the officers wear civilian
clothes, and there is not one scrap of uniform to be seen any
place--nothing whatever to tell one "who is who," from the department
commander down to Delaney, the old Irish messenger! Each one sits at his
desk and busies himself over the many neatly tied packages of official
papers upon it, and tries to make the world believe that he is
happy--but there are confidential talks, when it is admitted that life
is dreary--the regiment the only place for an energetic officer, and
so on. Yet not one of those officers could be induced to give up his
detail, for it is always such a compliment to be selected from the
many for duty at headquarters. Faye and Lieutenant Travis are on the
general's personal staff, the others belong to the department. Just now,
Faye is away with the department commander, who is making an official
tour of inspection through his new department, which is large, and
includes some fine posts. It is known as "The Department of the Platte."

Everyone has been most hospitable--particularly the army people at Fort
Omaha--a post just beyond the city limits. Mrs. Wheeler, wife of the
colonel in command, gave a dancing reception very soon after we
got here, and an elegant dinner a little later on--both for the new
brigadier general and his staff. Mrs. Foster, the handsome wife of the
lieutenant colonel, gave a beautiful luncheon, and the officers of the
regiment gave a dance that was pleasant. But their orchestra is far from
being as fine as ours. In the city there have been afternoon and evening
receptions, and several luncheons, the most charming luncheon of all
having been the one given by my friend, Mrs. Schuyler, at the Union
Club. One afternoon each week the club rooms are at the disposal of the
wives of its members, and so popular is this way of entertaining,
the rooms are usually engaged weeks in advance. The service is really
perfect, and the rooms airy and delightfully cool--and cool rooms are
great treasures in this hot place.

The heat has been almost unbearable to us from the mountains, and one
morning I nearly collapsed while having things "fitted" in the stuffy
rooms of a dressmaker. Many of these nouveaux riches dress elegantly,
and their jewels are splendid. All the women here have such white skins,
and by comparison I must look like a Mexican, my face is so brown from
years of exposure to dry, burning winds. Of course there has been much
shopping to do, and for a time it was so confusing--to have to select
things from a counter, with a shop girl staring at me, or perhaps
insisting upon my purchasing articles I did not want. For years we had
shopped from catalogues, and it was a nice quiet way, too. Parasols
have bothered me. I would forget to open them in the street, and would
invariably leave them in the stores when shopping, and then have to go
about looking them up. But this is the first summer I have been East in
nine years, and it is not surprising that parasols and things mix me up
at times.

Faye has a beautiful saddle horse--his gait a natural single foot--and
I sometimes ride him, but most of my outings are on the electric cars. I
might as well be on them, since I have to hear their buzz and clang both
day and night from our rooms here in the hotel. The other morning, as
I was returning from a ride across the river to Council Bluffs, I heard
the shrill notes of a calliope that reminded me that Forepaugh's
circus was to be in town that day, and that I had promised to go to the
afternoon performance with a party of friends. But soon there were other
sounds and other thoughts. Above the noise of the car I heard a brass
band--and there could be no mistake--it was playing strong and full one
of Sousa's marches, "The March Past of the Rifle Regiment"--a march
that was written for Faye while he was adjutant of the regiment, and
"Dedicated to the officers and enlisted men" of the regiment. For almost
three years that one particular march had been the review march of the
regiment--that is, it had been played always whenever the regiment
had passed in review before the colonel, inspector general of the
department, or any official of sufficient rank and authority to review
the troops.

The car seemed to go miles before it came to a place where I could get
off. Every second was most precious and I jumped down while it was still
in motion, receiving a scathing rebuke from the conductor for doing so.
I almost ran until I got to the walk nearest the band, where I tagged
along with boys, both big and small. The march was played for some time,
and no one could possibly imagine, how those familiar strains thrilled
me. But there was an ever-increasing feeling of indignation that a
tawdry coated circus band, sitting in a gilded wagon, should presume to
play that march, which seemed to belong exclusively to the regiment, and
to be associated only with scenes of ceremony and great dignity.

The circus men played the piece remarkably well, however, and when it
was stopped I came back to the hotel to think matters over and have a
heart-to-heart talk with myself. Of course I am more than proud that
Faye is an aide-de-camp, and would not have things different from what
they are, but the detail is for four years, and the thought of living in
this unattractive place that length of time is crushing. But Faye will
undoubtedly have his captaincy by the expiration of the four years, and
the anticipation of that is comforting. It is the feeling of loneliness
I mind here--of being lost and no one to search for me. I miss the
cheery garrison life--the delightful rides, and it may sound funny, but
I miss also the little church choir that finally became a joy to me.
Sergeant Graves is now leader of the regimental band at Fort Snelling,
and Matijicek is in New York, a member of the Damrosch orchestra. It is
still something to wonder over that I should have been on a street car
that carried me to a circus parade at the precise time the Review March
was being played! It seems quite as marvelous as my having been seated
at a supper table in a far-away ranch in Montana, the very night a
number of horse breakers were there, also at the table, and one of them
"put up" Rollo and me to his friends. I shall never forget how queer
I felt when I heard myself discussed by perfect strangers in my very
presence--not one of whom knew in the least who I was. It made me think
that perhaps I was shadowy--invisible--although to myself I did not feel
at all that way.

Faye wrote to Mr. Ames about Rollo, thinking that possibly he might buy
him back, but Mr. Ames wrote in reply that Rollo had already been sold,
because Mrs. Ames had found it impossible to manage him. Also that he
was owned by the post trader at Fort Maginnis, who was making a pet of
him. So, as the horse had a good home and gentle treatment, it was once
more decided to leave him up in his native mountains. It might have
been cruel to have brought him here to suffer from the heat, and to be
frightened and ever fretted by the many strange sights and sounds. But I
am not satisfied, for the horse had an awful fear of men when ridden or
driven by them, and I know that he is so unhappy and wonders why I no
longer come to him, and why I do not take him from the strange people
who do not understand him. He was a wonderfully playful animal, and
sometimes when Miller would be leading the two horses from our yard to
the corral, he would turn Rollo loose for a run. That always brought
out a number of soldiers to see him rear, lunge, and snort; his turns
so quick, his beautiful tawny mane would be tossed from side to side
and over his face until he looked like a wild horse. The more the men
laughed the wilder he seemed to get. He never forgot Miller, however,
but would be at the corral by the time he got there, and would go to his
own stall quietly and without guidance. Poor Rollo!

CAMP NEAR UINTAH MOUNTAINS, WYOMING TERRITORY, August, 1888.

TO be back in the mountains and in camp is simply glorious! And to see
soldiers walking around, wearing the dear old uniform, just as we used
to see them, makes one feel as though old days had returned. The two
colored men--chef and butler--rather destroy the technique of a military
camp, but they seem to be necessary adjuncts; and besides, we are not
striving for harmony and effect, but for a fine outing, each day to be
complete with its own pleasures. It was a novel experience to come to
the mountains in a private car! The camp is very complete, as the camp
of a department commander should be, and we have everything for our
comfort. We are fourteen miles from the Union Pacific Railroad and six
from Fort Bridger, from which post our tents and supplies came. Our ice
is sent from there, also, and of course the enlisted men are from that
garrison.

The party consists of General and Mrs. Bourke, Mrs. Hall, Mrs. Bourke's
sister, Mrs. Ord of Omaha, General Stanley, paymaster, Captain Rives,
judge advocate--both of the department staff--Lieutenant Travis, junior
aide-de-camp, Faye, and myself. Mrs. Ord is a pretty woman, always wears
dainty gowns, and is a favorite with Omaha society people. I know her
very well, still I hesitated about wearing my short-skirted outing suit,
fearing it would shock her. But a day or two after we got here she said
to me, "What are we to do about those fish, Mrs. Rae? I always catch the
most fish wherever I go, but I hear that you are successful also!"

So with high spirits we started out by ourselves that very morning,
everyone laughing and betting on our number of fish as we left camp. I
wore the short skirt, but Mrs. Ord had her skirts pinned so high I
felt that a tuck or two should be taken in mine, to save her from
embarrassment. The fishing is excellent here and each one had every
confidence in her own good luck, for the morning was perfect for trout
fishing. Once I missed Mrs. Ord, and pushing some bushes back where
I thought she might be, I saw a most comical sight. Lying flat on the
ground, hat pushed back, and eyes peering over the bank of the stream,
was Mrs. Ord, the society woman! I could not help laughing--she was so
ridiculous in that position, which the pinned-up dress made even more
funny--but she did not like it, and looking at me most reproachfully
said, "You have frightened him away, and I almost had him." She had been
in that position a long time, she said, waiting for a large trout to
take her hook. The race for honors was about even that day, and there
was no cause for envy on either side, for neither Mrs. Ord nor I caught
one fish!

Our camp is near Smith's fork of Snake River, and not far from the camp
is another fork that never has fish in it--so everyone tells us. That
seemed so strange, for both streams have the same water from the stream
above, and the same rocky beds. One day I thought I would try the
stream, as Smith's fork was so muddy we could not fish in that. There
had been a storm up in the mountains that had caused both streams
to rise, so I caught some grasshoppers to bait with, as it would be
useless, of course, to try flies. I walked along the banks of the
swollen stream until I saw a place where I thought there should be a
trout, and to that little place the grasshopper was cast, when snap!
went my leader. I put on another hook and another grasshopper, but
the result was precisely the same, so I concluded there must be a snag
there, although I had supposed that I knew a fish from a snag! I tried
one or two other places, but there was no variation--and each time I
lost a leader and hook.

In the meantime a party had come over from camp, Faye among them, and
there had been much good advice given me--and each one had told me that
there were no fish ever in that stream; then they went on up and sat
down on the bank under some trees. I was very cross, for it was not
pleasant to be laughed at, particularly by women who had probably never
had a rod in their hands. And I felt positive that it had been fish that
had carried off my hooks, and I was determined to ascertain what was the
matter. So I went back to our tent and got a very long leader, which I
doubled a number of times. I knew that the thickness would not frighten
the fish, as the water was so cloudy. I fixed a strong hook to that,
upon which was a fine grasshopper, and going to one of the places where
my friends said I had been "snagged," I cast it over, and away it all
went, which proved that I had caught something that could at least act
like a fish. I reeled it in, and in time landed the thing--a splendid
large trout! My very first thought was of those disagreeable people who
had laughed at me--Faye first of all. So after them I went, carrying the
fish, which gained in weight with every step. Their surprise was great,
and I could see that Faye was delighted. He carried the trout to camp
for me, and I went with him, for I was very tired.

The next morning I went to that stream again, taking with me a book of
all sorts of flies and some grasshoppers. The department commander went
over also. He asked me to show him where I had lost the hooks, but I
said, "If you fish in those places you will be laughed at more than I
was yesterday." He understood, and went farther down. The water was much
more clear, but still flies could not be seen, so I used the scorned
grasshopper. In about two hours I caught sixteen beautiful trout, which
weighed, en masse, a little over twenty-five pounds! I cast in the very
places where I had lost hooks, and almost every time caught a fish. I
left them in the shade in various places along the stream, and Faye and
a soldier brought them to camp. A fine display they made, spread out on
the grass, for they seemed precisely the same size.

The general caught two large and several small trout--those were all
that day. It was most remarkable that I should have found the only good
places in the stream at a time when the water was not clear. Not only
the right places, but the one right day, for not one trout has been
caught there since. Perhaps with the high water the fish came up from
Snake River, although trout are supposed to live in clear water. We can
dispose of any number of birds and fish here, for those that are not
needed for our own large mess can be given to the soldiers, and we often
send chicken and trout to our friends at Fort Bridger. The farther one
goes up the stream the better the fishing is--that is, the fish are more
plentiful, but not as large as they are here.

About sixteen miles up--almost in the mountains--was General Crook's
favorite fishing ground, and when he was in command of the department
he and General Stanley, who also is an expert fisherman, came here many
times, consequently General Stanley is familiar with the country about
here. The evening after my splendid catch, General Stanley said that
he would like to have Mrs. Ord and me go with him up the stream several
miles, and asked if I would be willing to give Mrs. Ord the stream, as
she had never used a fly, adding that she seemed a little piqued because
I had caught such fine fish. I said at once that I would be delighted to
give her the lead, although I knew, of course, that whoever goes second
in a trout stream has very poor sport. But the request was a compliment,
and besides, I had caught enough fish for a while.

The next day we made preparations, and early on the morning of the
second we started. The department commander had gone to Omaha on
official business, so he was not with us, and Faye did not go; but the
rest of the party went twelve miles and then established a little camp
for the day, and there we left them. Mrs. Ord and I and General Stanley,
with a driver, got on a buckboard drawn by two mules, and went five
miles farther up the stream, until, in fact, it was impossible for even
a buckboard to go along the rocky trail. There we were expected to take
the stream, and as soon as we left the wagon, Mrs. Ord and I retired
to some bushes to prepare for the water. I had taken the "tuck" in my
outing skirt, so there was not much for me to do; but Mrs. Ord pulled up
and pinned up her serge skirt in a way that would have brought a small
fortune to a cartoonist. When we came from the bushes, rods in hand, the
soldier driver gave one bewildered stare, and then almost fell from
his seat. He was too respectful to laugh outright and thus relieve his
spasms, but he would look at us from the side of his eye, turn his face
from us and fairly double over--then another quick look, and another
double down again. Mrs. Ord laughed, and so did I. She is quite stout
and I am very thin, and I suppose the soldier did see funny things about
us. We saw them ourselves.

I shall never forget my first step in that water! It was as chilling as
if it had been running over miles of ice, and by comparison the August
sun seemed fiery; but these things were soon forgotten, for at once the
excitement of casting a fly began. It is almost as much pleasure to put
a little fly just where you want it, as it is to catch the fish. My rod
and reel were in perfect condition--Faye had seen to that--and my book
of flies was complete, and with charming companions and a stream full
of trout, a day of unusual pleasure was assured. We were obliged to wade
every step, as the banks of the stream had walls of boulders and thick
bushes. Most of the stream was not very deep, but was a foamy, roaring
torrent, rushing over the small rocks and around the large ones, with
little, still, dark places along the banks--ideal homes for the mountain
trout. We found a few deep pools that looked most harmless, but the
current in them was swift and dangerous to those who could not always
keep their balance. It was most difficult for me to walk on the slippery
stones at first, and I had many a fall; but Mrs. Ord, being heavy,
avoided upsets very nicely. At times we would be in water above our
waists, and then Mrs. Ord and I would fall back with General Stanley for
protection, who alternately praised and laughed at us during the whole
day. Mrs. Ord was very quick to learn where and how to cast a fly, and
I was delighted to let General Stanley see that grasshoppers were not at
all necessary to my success in fishing.

We sat upon a big, flat rock at luncheon, and were thankful that General
Stanley was a tall man and could keep the box of sandwiches from getting
wet. When we toppled over he always came to our assistance, so at times
his wading boots were not of much use to him. Mrs. Ord was far ahead of
me in number of fish, and General Stanley said that I had better keep
up with her, if I wished. The stream had broadened out some, so finally
Mrs. Ord whipped the left side, which is easier casting, and I whipped
the right. We waded down the entire five miles, and Mrs. Ord, who
had the stream most of the time, caught sixty-four trout and I caught
fifty-six, and General Stanley picked up fourteen, after our splashing
and frightening away the fish we did not catch. The trout were small,
but wonderfully full of fight in that cold water. Of course General
Stanley carried them for us. The driver had been ordered to keep within
call on the trail, as General Stanley thought it would be impossible for
Mrs. Ord and me to wade the five miles; but the distance seemed short to
us; we never once thought of being tired, and it was with great regret
we reeled in our lines.

There was a beaver dam above the picnic camp, and before we came to it I
happened to get near the bank, where I saw in the mud the impression of
a huge paw. It was larger than a tea plate, and was so fresh one could
easily see where the nails had been. I asked General Stanley to look at
it, but he said, "That? oh, that is only the paw of a cub--he has been
down after fish." At once I discovered that the middle of the stream was
most attractive, and there I went, and carefully remained there the rest
of the way down. If the paw of a mere "cub" could be that enormous size,
what might not be the size of an ordinary grown-up bear, paws included!
Mrs. Ord declared that she rather liked little bears--they were so
cunning and playful--but I noticed she avoided the banks, also.

We had left dry clothing at the small camp, and when we returned we
found nice little retreats all ready for us, made of cloaks and things,
in among the boulders and bushes. There were cups of delicious hot tea,
too; but we were not cold, and the most astonishing thing about that
whole grand day is, we did not feel stiff or the slightest discomfort
in any form after it. The tramp was long and the water cold, and my own
baths many. I might have saved myself, sometimes, from going all the way
down had I not been afraid of breaking my rod, which I always held high
when I fell. The day was one to be remembered by Mrs. Ord and me. We had
thought all the time that General Stanley was making a great sacrifice
by giving up a day's sport for our amusement, and that it was so kind of
him, for, of course he could not be enjoying the day; but it seems that
he had sport of which we knew nothing until the following day--in fact,
we know nothing about it yet! But he began to tell the most absurd
stories of what we did, and we must have done many unusual things, for
he is still entertaining the camp with them. He was very proud of us,
nevertheless, and says so often. The ride of twelve miles back to camp
seemed endless, for as soon as the excitement of the stream was over we
found that we were tired--awfully tired.

We have only a few weeks more of this delightful life. The hunting is
excellent, too, and Faye and Captain Rives often bring in large bags of
mountain grouse and young sage hens. The sage chicken are as tender and
delicious as partridge before they begin to feed upon wild sage in the
fall, but one short day in the brush makes them different birds and
wholly unpalatable. We often send birds, and fish also, to friends at
Fort Bridger, who were most hospitable the day we arrived, and before
coming to camp.

I had quite forgotten the wedding yesterday! It was at Fort Bridger, and
the bride, a daughter of the post trader, is related to several families
of social position at Omaha. We put on the very prettiest gowns we had
with us, but the effect was disappointing, for our red faces looked
redder than ever above delicate laces and silks. The ceremony was
at noon--was very pretty--and everything passed off beautifully. The
breakfast was delicious, and we wondered at the dainty dishes served so
far from a caterer. The house was not large, and every bit of air had
been shut out by darkening the windows, but we were spared the heat and
smell of lamps on the hot day by the rooms being lighted by hundreds
of candles, each one with a pretty white shade. But some of us felt
smothered, and as soon as the affair was over, started immediately for
the camp, where we could have exhilarating mountain air once more.

It was really one whole day stolen from our outing! We can always have
crowded rooms, receptions, and breakfasts, wherever we happen to be in
the East, but when again will we be in a glorious camp like this--and
our days here are to be so few! From here we are to go to Salt Lake City
for a week or two.

THE WALKER HOUSE, SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH. September, 1888.

THE weather is still very warm, but not hot enough to keep us from going
to the lake as usual this morning. The ride is about eighteen miles
long, and is always more or less pleasant. The cars, often long trains,
are narrow gauge, open, and airy. The bathing is delightful, but wholly
unlike anything to be found elsewhere. The wonderfully clear water is
cool and exhilarating, but to swim in it is impossible, it is so heavy
from its large percentage of salt. So every one floats, but not at all
as one floats in other waters. We lie upon our backs, of course--at
least we think we do--but our feet are always out of the water, and our
heads straight up, with large straw hats upon them.

They have a way of forming human chains on the water that often startles
one at first. They are made by hooking one's arms close to the shoulder
over the ankles of another person, still another body hooking on to you,
and so on. Then each one will stretch his or her arms out and paddle
backward, and in this way we can go about without much effort, and can
see all the funny things going on around us. As I am rather tall,
second position in a chain is almost always given to me, and my first
acquaintance with masculine toes close to my face came very near being
disastrous. The feet stood straight up, and the toes looked so very
funny, with now and then a twitch back or front, that soon I wanted
to laugh, and the more I tried not to the more hysterical I became. My
shoulders were shaking, and the owner of the toes--a pompous man--began
to suspect that I was laughing and probably at the toes. Still he
continued to twist them around--one under the other--in an astonishing
way, that made them fascinating. The head of the chain--the pompous
man--became ominously silent. At last I said, almost sobbing, "Can't
you see for yourself how funny all those things are in front of us? They
look like wings in their pin-feather stage--only they are on the wrong
side--and I am wondering if the black stockings would make real black
wings--and what some of us would do with them, after all!" After that
there was less pompous dignity and less hysteria, although the toes
continued to wigwag.

It is a sight that repays one to watch, when dozens of these
chains--some long, some short--are paddling about on the blue water that
is often without a ripple. It is impossible to drown, for sink in it you
cannot, but to get the brine in one's nose and throat is dangerous, as
it easily causes strangulation, particularly if the person is at all
nervous. We wear little bits of cotton in our ears to prevent the
water from getting in, for the crust of salt it would leave might cause
intense pain.

Bathing in water so salt makes one both hungry and sleepy, therefore it
is considered quite the correct thing to eat hot popcorn, and snooze
on the return trip. We get the popcorn at the pavilion, put up in
attractive little bags, and it is always crisp and delicious. Just
imagine a long open car full of people, each man, woman, and child
greedily munching the tender corn! By the time one bag full has been
eaten, heads begin to wobble, and soon there is a "Land of Nod"--real
nod, too. Some days, when the air is particularly soft and balmy,
everyone in the car will be oblivious of his whereabouts. Not one stop
is made from the lake to the city.

Faye and I were at the lake almost a week--Garfield Beach the bathing
place is called---so I could make a few water-color drawings early in
the morning, when the tints on the water are so pearly and exquisitely
delicate. During the day the lake is usually a wonderful blue--deep
and brilliant--and the colors at sunset are past description. The sun
disappears back of the Oquirah Mountains in a world of glorious yellow
and orange, and as twilight comes on, the mountains take on violet and
purple shades that become deeper and deeper, until night covers all from
sight.

There was not a vacant room at Garfield Beach, so they gave us two large
rooms at Black Rock--almost one mile away, but on the car line. The
rooms were in a low, long building, that might easily be mistaken for
soldiers' barracks, and which had broad verandas with low roofs all
along both sides. That queer building had been built by Brigham Young
for his seven wives! It consisted of seven apartments of two rooms each,
a sitting room and sleeping room; all the sitting rooms were on one
side, opening out upon the one veranda, and the bedrooms were on the
other side and opened out upon the other veranda. These apartments did
not connect in any way, except by the two porches. Not far from that
building was another that had once been the dining room and kitchen
of the seven wives. These mormon women must be simply idiotic, or have
their tempers under good control!

It was all most interesting and a remarkable experience to have lived
in one of Brigham Young's very own houses. But the place was
ghostly--lonesome beyond everything--and when the wind moaned and sighed
through the rooms one could fancy it was the wailing of the spirits
of those seven wretched wives. When we returned at night to the dark,
unoccupied building, it seemed more spooky than ever, after the
music and light at Garfield Beach. Our meals were served to us at the
restaurant at the pavilion. I made some very good sketches of the lake,
Antelope Island, and a number of the wonderful Black Rock that is out in
the lake opposite the Brigham Young house.

About two miles from the city, and upon the side of the Wasatch
Mountains, is Camp Douglas, an army post, which the new department
commander came to inspect. The inspection was in the morning, and we
all went to see it, and were driven in the post with the booming of
cannon--the salute always given a brigadier general when he enters a
post officially. It was pretty to see the general's wife partly cover
her ears, and pretend that she did not like the noise, when all the time
her eyes were sparkling, and we knew that every roar of the big guns
added to her pride. If all those guns had been for Faye I could never
have stayed in the ambulance.

It is charming up there--in the post--and the view is magnificent. We
sat out on a vine-covered porch during the inspection, and watched the
troops and the review. It made me so happy, and yet so homesick, too, to
see Faye once more in his uniform. The inspection was all too short, and
after it was over, many officers and their wives came to call upon us,
when wine and delicious cake was served. We were at the quarters of the
colonel and post commander. That was the second post we had taken Mrs.
Ord to, and she is suddenly enthusiastic over army people, forgetting
that Omaha has a post of its own. But with us she has been in the tail
of the comet--which made things more interesting. Army people are nice,
though, particularly in their own little garrison homes.

There is only one mormon store here, and that is very large and
cooperative. Every mormon who has anything whatever to sell is compelled
to take it to that store to be appraised, and a percentage taken from
it. There are a few nice gentile shops, but mormons cannot enter them;
they can purchase only at the mormon store, where the gentiles are ever
cordially welcomed also. Splendid fruit and vegetables are grown in this
valley--especially the fruit, which is superior to any we ever saw. The
grapes are of many varieties, each one large and rich with flavor, and
the peaches and big yellow pears are most luscious. Upon our table down
in the dining room there is always an immense glass bowl of selected
fruit--peaches, pears, and grapes, and each time we go down it seems to
look more attractive.

We have been to see the tabernacle, with its marvelous acoustic
properties, and the temple, which is not yet finished. The immense pipe
organ in the tabernacle was built where it now stands, and entirely by
mormons. From Brigham Young's old home a grand boulevard runs, through
the city, across the valley, and over the hill far away, and how much
beyond I do not know. This road, so broad and white, Brigham Young said
would lead to Jerusalem. They have a river Jordan here, too, a little
stream that runs just outside the city.

There are grand trees in every street, and every old yard, and one
cannot help feeling great indignation to see where in some places the
incoming gentiles have cut trees down to make space for modern showy
buildings, that are so wholly out of harmony with the low, artistic
white houses and vine-covered walls. It is such a pity that these high,
red buildings could not have been kept outside, and the old mormon city
left in its original quaint beauty.

We will return to Omaha soon now, and I shall at once become busy with
preparations for the winter East. I have decided to go home in October,
so I can have a long, comfortable visit before going to Washington.
Faye wishes me to join him there the last of December. I am not very
enthusiastic over the prospect of crowded rooms, daily receptions and
"teas," and other affairs of more formality. But since I cannot return
to the plains, I might as well go to the city, where we will meet people
of culture, see the fascinating Diplomatic Corps, and be presented
to the President's beautiful young wife. Later on there will be the
inauguration--for we expect to pass the winter in Washington.

THE END





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