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Title: The Conquest - The True Story of Lewis and Clark
Author: Dye, Eva Emery
Language: English
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THE CONQUEST

The True Story of Lewis and Clark

by

EVA EMERY DYE


       *       *       *       *       *

     JUST READY

       [Illustration: WILLIAM CLARK]

       [Illustration: MERIWETHER LEWIS]

     THE EXPEDITION
     of
     LEWIS AND CLARK

     Reprinted from the Edition of 1814

     With an Introduction and Index
     By JAMES K. HOSMER, LL.D.

Notwithstanding that in America few names are more familiar upon the
tongue than those of Lewis and Clark, it is a singular fact that the
Journals of their expedition have for a long time been practically
unattainable. The lack thus existing, felt now more and more as the
centenary of the great exploration draws near, this new edition has
been planned to fill. The text used is that of the 1814 edition, which
must hold its place as the only account approaching adequacy.

Dr. Hosmer, well-known for his work in Western history, has furnished
an Introduction, giving the events which led up to the great
expedition and showing the vast development that has flowed from it,
in a way to make plain the profound significance of the achievement.
There has also been added an elaborate analytic Index, a feature which
the original edition lacked.

The publishers offer this work in the belief that it will fill all
requirements and become the standard popular edition of this great
American classic.

     _In two square octavo volumes, printed from new type of
     a large clear face, with new photogravure
     portraits and fac-simile maps._

     In box, $5.00 net; delivered, $5.36.

     A. C. McCLURG & CO., CHICAGO

       *       *       *       *       *


THE CONQUEST


       *       *       *       *       *

     BY MRS. DYE

     McLOUGHLIN &
     OLD OREGON
     A Chronicle

     FOURTH EDITION
     12mo.      $1.50

"A graphic page of the story of the American pioneer."--_N.Y. Mail and
Express._

       *       *       *       *       *


  [Illustration: From a Rare Painting.
   "Judith"]


THE CONQUEST

The True Story of Lewis and Clark

by

EVA EMERY DYE

Author of "McLoughlin and Old Oregon"



Chicago
A. C. McClurg & Company
1902

Copyright
A. C. McClurg & Co
1902
Entered at Stationers' Hall, London
Published Nov. 12, 1902

University Press · John Wilson
and Son · Cambridge, U. S. A.



NOTE OF ACKNOWLEDGMENT


The author hereby acknowledges obligation to the Lewis and Clark
families, especially to William Hancock Clark of Washington, D.C., and
John O'Fallon Clark of St. Louis, grandsons of Governor Clark, and to
C. Harper Anderson of Ivy Depot, Virginia, the nephew and heir of
Meriwether Lewis, for letters, documents, and family traditions; to
Mrs. Meriwether Lewis Clark of Louisville and Mrs. Jefferson K. Clark
of New York, widows of Governor Clark's sons, and to more than twenty
nieces and nephews; to Reuben Gold Thwaites of the University of
Wisconsin, for access to the valuable Draper Collection of Clark,
Boone, and Tecumseh manuscripts, and for use of the original journals
of Lewis and Clark which Mr. Thwaites is now editing; to George W.
Martin of the Kansas Historical Society at Topeka, for access to the
Clark letter-books covering William Clark's correspondence for a
period of thirty years; to Colonel Reuben T. Durrett of Louisville,
for access to his valuable private library; to Mr. Horace Kephart of
the Mercantile Library, and Mr. Pierre Chouteau, St. Louis; to the
Historical Societies of Missouri, at St. Louis and Columbia; to Mrs.
Laura Howie, for Montana manuscripts at Helena; to Miss Kate C.
McBeth, the greatest living authority on Nez Percé tradition; to the
descendants of Dr. Saugrain, and to the families and friends of
Sergeants Pryor, Gass, Floyd, Ordway, and privates Bratton, Shannon,
Drouillard, of the Lewis and Clark Expedition; also to the Librarian
of Congress for copies of Government Documents.

     E. E. D.

     OREGON CITY, OREGON,
     September 1, 1902.



CONTENTS


     BOOK I

     WHEN RED MEN RULED

                                                   PAGE

          I. A CHILD IS BORN                          1

         II. THE CLARK HOME                           7

        III. EXIT DUNMORE                            12

         IV. THE WILDERNESS ROAD                     14

          V. A BARREL OF GUNPOWDER                   17

         VI. THE FEUDAL AGE                          19

        VII. KASKASKIA                               24

       VIII. THE SPANISH DONNA                       28

         IX. VINCENNES                               32

          X. THE CITY OF THE STRAIT                  38

         XI. A PRISONER OF WAR                       41

        XII. TWO WARS AT ONCE                        43

       XIII. THE KEY OF THE COUNTRY                  47

        XIV. BEHIND THE CURTAIN                      50

         XV. THE ATTACK ON ST. LOUIS                 53

        XVI. OLD CHILLICOTHE                         60

       XVII. "DETROIT MUST BE TAKEN"                 63

      XVIII. ON THE RAMPARTS                         69

        XIX. EXIT CORNWALLIS                         72

         XX. THE OLD VIRGINIA HOME                   77

        XXI. DOWN THE OHIO                           81

       XXII. MULBERRY HILL                           87

      XXIII. MISSISSIPPI TROUBLES                    91

       XXIV. ST. CLAIR                               97

        XXV. THE SWORD OF "MAD ANTHONY" WAYNE       102

       XXVI. THE SPANIARD                           106

      XXVII. THE BROTHERS                           113

     XXVIII. THE MAID OF FINCASTLE                  119

       XXIX. THE PRESIDENT'S SECRETARY              122

        XXX. THE PRESIDENT TALKS WITH MERIWETHER    131


     BOOK II

     INTO THE WEST

          I. THE LOUISIANA PURCHASE                 139

         II. THE KNIGHT OF THE WHITE HOUSE          144

        III. RECRUITING FOR OREGON                  149

         IV. THE FEUD IS ENDED                      154

          V. THE CESSION OF ST. LOUIS               157

         VI. SERGEANT ORDWAY WRITES A LETTER        166

        VII. INTO THE LAND OF ANARCHY               167

       VIII. "THE SIOUX! THE SIOUX!"                176

         IX. THE ROMANCE OF THE MANDANS             185

          X. THE FIRST DAKOTA CHRISTMAS             192

         XI. THE BRITISH FUR TRADERS                199

        XII. FAREWELL TO FORT MANDAN                204

       XIII. TOWARD THE SUNSET                      208

        XIV. THE SHINING MOUNTAINS                  214

         XV. A WOMAN PILOT                          221

        XVI. IDAHO                                  228

       XVII. DOWN THE COLUMBIA                      235

      XVIII. FORT CLATSOP BY THE SEA                242

        XIX. A WHALE ASHORE                         249

         XX. A RACE FOR EMPIRE                      257

        XXI. "A SHIP! A SHIP!"                      259

       XXII. BACK TO CIVILISATION                   265

      XXIII. CAMP CHOPUNNISH                        272

       XXIV. OVER THE BITTER ROOT RANGE             277

        XXV. BEWARE THE BLACKFEET                   279

       XXVI. DOWN THE YELLOWSTONE                   283

      XXVII. THE HOME STRETCH                       288

     XXVIII. THE OLD STONE FORTS OF ST. LOUIS       296

       XXIX. TO WASHINGTON                          303

        XXX. THE PLAUDITS OF A NATION               307


     BOOK III

     THE RED HEAD CHIEF

          I. THE SHADOW OF NAPOLEON                 315

         II. AMERICAN RULE IN ST. LOUIS             319

        III. FAREWELL TO FINCASTLE                  322

         IV. THE BOAT HORN                          327

          V. A BRIDE IN ST. LOUIS                   331

         VI. THE FIRST FORT IN MONTANA              335

        VII. A MYSTERY                              337

       VIII. A LONELY GRAVE IN TENNESSEE            343

         IX. TRADE FOLLOWS THE FLAG                 344

          X. TECUMSEH                               352

         XI. CLARK GUARDS THE FRONTIER              360

        XII. THE STORY OF A SWORD                   369

       XIII. PORTAGE DES SIOUX                      376

        XIV. "FOR OUR CHILDREN, OUR CHILDREN"       386

         XV. TOO GOOD TO THE INDIANS                390

        XVI. THE RED HEAD CHIEF                     397

       XVII. THE GREAT COUNCIL AT PRAIRIE DU CHIEN  404

      XVIII. THE LORDS OF THE RIVERS                415

        XIX. FOUR INDIAN AMBASSADORS                421

         XX. BLACK HAWK                             429

        XXI. A GREAT LIFE ENDS                      434

        XXII. THE NEW WEST                          438



THE CONQUEST



Book I

_WHEN RED MEN RULED_



I

_A CHILD IS BORN_


The old brick palace at Williamsburg was in a tumult. The Governor
tore off his wig and stamped it under foot in rage.

"I'll teach them, the ingrates, the rebels!" Snatching at a worn
bell-cord, but carefully replacing his wig, he stood with clinched
fists and compressed lips, waiting.

"They are going to meet in Williamsburg, eh? I'll circumvent them.
These Virginia delegates! These rebellious colonists! I'll nip their
little game! The land is ripe for insurrection. Negroes, Indians,
rebels! There are enough rumblings now. Let me but play them off
against each other, and then these colonists will know their friends.
Let but the Indians rise--like naked chicks they'll fly to mother
wings for shelter. I'll show them! I'll thwart their hostile plans!"

Again Lord Dunmore violently rang the bell. A servant of the palace
entered.

"Here, sirrah! take this compass and dispatch a messenger to Daniel
Boone. Bade him be gone at once to summon in the surveyors at the
Falls of the Ohio. An Indian war is imminent. Tell him to lose no
time."

The messenger bowed himself out, and a few minutes later a horse's
hoofs rang down the cobblestone path before the Governor's Mansion of
His Majesty's colony of Virginia in the year of our Lord 1774.

Lord Dunmore soliloquised. "Lewis is an arrant rebel, but he is
powerful as old Warwick. I'll give him a journey to travel." Again he
rang the bell and again a servant swept in with low obeisance.

"You, sirrah, dispatch a man as fast as horse or boat can speed to
Bottetourt. Tell Andrew Lewis to raise at once a thousand men and
march from Lewisburg across Mt. Laurel to the mouth of the Great
Kanawha. Here are his sealed orders." The messenger took the packet
and went out.

"An Indian war will bring them back. I, myself, will lead the right
wing, the pick and flower of the army. I'll make of the best men my
own scouts. To myself will I bind this Boone, this Kenton, Morgan, and
that young surveyor, George Rogers Clark, before these agitators taint
their loyalty. I, myself, will lead my troops to the Shawnee towns.
Let Lewis rough it down the Great Kanawha."

It was the sixth of June when the messenger drew rein at Boone's door
in Powell's Valley. The great frontiersman sat smoking in his porch,
meditating on the death of that beloved son killed on the way to
Kentucky. The frightened emigrants, the first that ever tried the
perilous route, had fallen back to Powell's Valley.

Boone heard the message and looked at his faithful wife, Rebecca, busy
within the door. She nodded assent. The messenger handed him the
compass, as large as a saucer. For a moment Boone balanced it on his
hand, then slipped it into his bosom. Out of a huge wooden bowl on a
cross-legged table near he filled his wallet with parched corn, took
his long rifle from its peg over the door, and strode forth.

Other messengers were speeding at the hest of Lord Dunmore, hither and
yon and over the Blue Ridge.

Andrew Lewis was an old Indian fighter from Dinwiddie's
day,--Dinwiddie, the blustering, scolding, letter-writing Dinwiddie,
who undertook to instruct Andrew Lewis and George Washington how to
fight Indians! Had not the Shawnees harried his border for years? Had
he not led rangers from Fairfax's lodge to the farthest edge of
Bottetourt? Side by side with Washington he fought at Long Meadows and
spilled blood with the rest on Braddock's field. More than forty years
before, his father, John Lewis, had led the first settlers up the
Shenandoah. They had sown it to clover, red clover, red, the Indians
said, from the blood of red men slain by the whites.

But what were they to do when peaceful settlers, fugitives from the
old world, staked their farms on vacant land only to be routed by the
scalp halloo? Which was preferable, the tyranny of kings or the Indian
firestake? Hunted humanity must choose.

The Shawnees, too, were a hunted people. Driven from south and from
north, scouted by the Cherokees, scalped by the Iroquois, night and
day they looked for a place of rest and found it not. Beside the
shining Shenandoah, daughter of the stars, they pitched their wigwams,
only to find a new and stronger foe, the dreaded white man. Do their
best, interests would conflict. Civilisation and savagery could not
occupy the same territory.

And now a party of emigrants were pressing into the Mingo country on
the upper Ohio. Early in April the family of Logan, the noted Mingo
chief, was slaughtered by the whites. It was a dastardly deed, but
what arm had yet compassed the lawless frontier? All Indians
immediately held accountable all whites, and burnings and massacres
began in reprisal. Here was an Indian war at the hand of Lord Dunmore.

Few white men had gone down the Kanawha in those days. Washington
surveyed there in 1770, and two years later George Rogers Clark
carried chain and compass in the same region. That meant
settlers,--now, war. But Lewis, blunt, irascible, shrank not. Of old
Cromwellian stock, sternly aggressive and fiercely right, he felt the
land was his, and like the men of Bible times went out to smite the
heathen hip and thigh. Buckling on his huge broadsword, and slipping
into his tall boots and heavy spurs, he was off.

At his call they gathered, defenders of the land beyond the Blue
Ridge, Scotch-Irish, Protestants of Protestants, long recognised by
the Cavaliers of tidewater Virginia as a mighty bulwark against the
raiding red men. Charles Lewis brought in his troop from Augusta,
kinsfolk of the Covenanters, fundamentally democratic, Presbyterian
Irish interpreting their own Bibles, believing in schools, born
leaders, dominating their communities and impressing their character
on the nation yet unborn.

It was August when, in hunting shirts and leggings, they marched into
rendezvous at Staunton, with long knives in their leathern belts and
rusty old firelocks above their shoulders. In September they camped at
Lewisburg. Flour and ammunition were packed on horses. Three weeks of
toil and travail through wilderness, swamp, and morass, and they were
at the mouth of the Great Kanawha.

But where was Dunmore? With his thousand men he was to march over the
Braddock Road to meet them there on the Ohio. Rumour now said he was
marching alone on the Shawnee towns.

"And so expose himself!" ejaculated Lewis.

But just then a runner brought word from Lord Dunmore, "Join me at the
Shawnee towns."

"What does it mean?" queried Lewis of his colonels, Charles Lewis of
Augusta, Fleming of Bottetourt, Shelby and Field of Culpepper. "It
looks like a trap. Not in vain have I grown gray in border forays.
There's some mistake. It will leave the whole western portion of
Virginia unprotected."

Brief was the discussion. Before they could cross the Ohio, guns
sounded a sharp surprise. Andrew Lewis and his men found themselves
penned at Point Pleasant without a hope of retreat. Behind them lay
the Ohio and the Kanawha, in front the woods, thick with Delawares,
Iroquois, Wyandots, Shawnees, flinging themselves upon the entrapped
army.

Daylight was just quivering in the treetops when the battle of Point
Pleasant began. At the first savage onset Fleming, Charles Lewis, and
Field lay dead. It was surprise, ambuscade, slaughter.

Grim old Andrew Lewis lit his pipe and studied the field while his
riflemen and sharp-shooters braced themselves behind the white-armed
sycamores. There was a crooked run through the brush unoccupied.
While the surging foes were beating back and forth, Andrew Lewis sent
a party through that run to fall upon the Indians from behind. A
Hercules himself, he gathered up his men with a rush, cohorns roaring.
From the rear there came an answering fire. Above the din, the voice
of Cornstalk rose, encouraging his warriors, "Be strong! be strong!"
But panic seized the Indians; they broke and fled.

Andrew Lewis looked and the sun was going down. Two hundred whites lay
stark around him, some dead, some yet to rise and fight on other
fields. The ground was slippery with gore; barked, hacked, and red
with blood, the white-armed sycamores waved their ghostly hands and
sighed, where all that weary day red men and white had struggled
together. And among the heaps of Indian slain, there lay the father of
a little Shawnee boy, Tecumseh.

Cornstalk, chief of the Shawnees, Red Hawk, pride of the Delawares,
and Logan, Logan the great Mingo, were carried along in the resistless
retreat of their people, down and over the lurid Ohio, crimson with
blood and the tint of the setting sun.

On that October day, 1774, civilisation set a milestone westward.
Lewis and his backwoodsmen had quieted the Indians in one of the most
hotly contested battles in all the annals of Indian warfare.

"Let us go on," they said, and out of the debris of battle, Lewis and
his shattered command crossed the Ohio to join Lord Dunmore at the
Shawnee towns.

"We have defeated them. Now let us dictate peace at their very doors,"
said Lewis. But Dunmore, amazed at this success of rebel arms, sent
the flying word, "Go back. Retrace your steps. Go home."

Lewis, astounded, stopped. "Go back now? What does the Governor mean?
We must go on, to save him if nothing else. He is in the very heart of
the hostile country." And he pressed on.

Again the messenger brought the word, "Retreat."

"Retreat?" roared Lewis, scarce believing his ears. "We've reached
this goal with hardship. We've purchased a victory with blood!" There
was scorn in the old man's voice. "March on!" he said.

But when within three miles of the Governor's camp, Lord Dunmore
himself left his command and hastened with an Indian chief to the camp
of Lewis. Dunmore met him almost as an Indian envoy, it seemed to
Lewis.

"Why have you disobeyed my orders?" thundered the Governor, drawing
his sword and reddening with rage. "I say go back. Retrace your steps.
Go home. I will negotiate a peace. There need be no further movement
of the southern division."

His manner, his tone, that Indian!--the exhausted and overwrought
borderers snatched their bloody knives and leaped toward the Governor.
Andrew Lewis held them back. "This is no time for a quarrel. I will
return." And amazed, enraged, silenced, Andrew Lewis began his retreat
from victory.

But suspicious murmurings rolled along the line.

"He ordered us there to betray us."

"Why is my lord safe in the enemy's country?"

"Why did the Indians fall upon us while the Governor sat in the
Shawnee towns?"

"That sword--"

Andrew Lewis seemed not to hear these ebullitions of his men, but his
front was stern and awful. As one long after said, "The very earth
seemed to tremble under his tread."

All Virginia rang with their praises, as worn and torn and battered
with battle, Lewis led his troop into the settlements. Leaving them to
disperse to their homes with pledge to reassemble at a moment's
notice, he set forth for Williamsburg where news might be heard of
great events. On his way he stopped at Ivy Creek near Charlottesville,
at the house of his kinsman, William Lewis. An infant lay in the
cradle, born in that very August, while they were marching to battle.

"And what have you named the young soldier?" asked the grim old
borderer, as he looked upon the sleeping child.

"Meriwether Lewis, Meriwether for his mother's people," answered the
proud and happy father.

"And will you march with the minute men?"

"I shall be there," said William Lewis.



II

_THE CLARK HOME_


"What do you see, William?"

A red-headed boy was standing at the door of a farmhouse on the road
between Fredericksburg and Richmond, in the valley of the
Rappahannock.

"The soldiers, mother, the soldiers!"

Excitedly the little four-year-old flew down under the mulberry trees
to greet his tall and handsome brother, George Rogers Clark, returning
from the Dunmore war.

Busy, sewing ruffles on her husband's shirt and darning his long silk
stockings, the mother sat, when suddenly she heard the voice of her
son with his elder brother.

"I tell you, Jonathan, there is a storm brewing. But I cannot take an
oath of allegiance to the King that my duty to my country may require
me to disregard. The Governor has been good to me, I admit that. I
cannot fight him--and I will not fight my own people. Heigh-ho, for
the Kentucky country."

Dropping her work, Mrs. Clark, Ann Rogers, a descendant of the martyr
of Smithfield, and heir through generations of "iron in the blood and
granite in the backbone," looked into the approaching, luminous eyes.

"I hope my son has been a credit to his country?"

"A credit?" exclaimed Jonathan. "Why, mother, Lord Dunmore has offered
him a commission in the British army!"

"But I cannot take it," rejoined George Rogers, bending to press a
kiss on the cheek of his brown-eyed little mother. "Lord Dunmore means
right, but he is misunderstood. And he swears by the King."

"And do we not all swear by the King?" almost wrathfully exclaimed
John Clark, the father, entering the opposite door at this moment.

"Who has suffered more for the King than we self-same Cavaliers, we
who have given Virginia her most honourable name--'The Old Dominion'?
Let the King but recognise us as Britons, entitled to the rights of
Englishmen, and we will swear by him to the end."

It was a long speech for John Clark, a man of few words and intensely
loyal, the feudal patriarch of this family, and grandson of a Cavalier
who came to Virginia after the execution of Charles I. But his soul
had been stirred to the centre, by the same wrongs that had kindled
Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson. These were his friends, his
neighbours, who had the same interests at stake, and the same high
love of liberty.

"If the King would have us loyal, aye, then, let him be loyal to us,
his most loyal subjects. Did not Patrick Henry's father drink the
King's health at the head of his regiment? Did not Thomas Jefferson's
grandsires sit in the first House of Burgesses in the old church at
Jamestown, more than a century before the passage of the Stamp Act?
And who swore better by the King? None of us came over here from
choice! We came because we loved our King and would not bide his
enemies."

George Rogers Clark looked approvingly at his father, and yet, he owed
fealty to Lord Dunmore. Even as a stripling he had been singled out
for favours.

"I see the storm gathering," he said. "If I choose, it must be with my
people. But I need not choose,--I will go to Kentucky."

It was the selfsame thought of Daniel Boone.

"But here are the children!"

Nine-year-old Lucy danced to her brother, William still clung to his
hand, and their bright locks intermingled.

"Three red-headed Clarks," laughed the teasing Jonathan.

More than a century since, the first John Clark settled on the James,
a bachelor and tobacco planter. But one day Mary Byrd of Westover
tangled his heart in her auburn curls. In every generation since, that
red hair had re-appeared.

"A strain of heroic benevolence runs through the red-headed Clarks,"
said an old dame who knew the family. "They win the world and give it
away."

But the dark-haired Clarks, they were the moneymakers. Already
Jonathan, the eldest, had served as Clerk in the Spottsylvania Court
at Fredericksburg, where he often met Colonel George Washington. Three
younger brothers, John, Richard, and Edmund, lads from twelve to
seventeen, listened not less eagerly than Ann, Elizabeth, Lucy, and
Fanny, the sisters of this heroic family.

But George was the adventurer. When he came home friends, neighbours,
acquaintances, gathered to listen. The border wars had kindled
military ardour with deeds to fire a thousand tales of romance and
fireside narrative. Moreover, George was a good talker. But he seemed
uncommonly depressed this night,--the choice of life lay before him.

At sixteen George Rogers Clark had set out as a land surveyor, like
Washington and Boone and Wayne, penetrating and mapping the western
wilds.

To survey meant to command. Watched by red men over the hills, dogged
by savages in the brakes, scalped by demons in the wood, the frontier
surveyor must be ready at any instant to drop chain and compass for
the rifle and the knife.

Like Wayne and Washington, Clark had drilled boy troops when he and
Madison were pupils together under the old Scotch dominie, Donald
Robertson, in Albemarle.

While still in his teens George and a few others, resolute young men,
crossed the Alleghanies, went over Braddock's route, and examined Fort
Necessity where Washington had been. They floated down the Monongahela
to Fort Pitt. In the angle of the rivers, overlooking the flood,
mouldered the remains of old Fort Du Quesne, blown up by the French
when captured by the English. The mound, the moat, the angles and
bastions yet remained, but overgrown with grass, and cattle grazed
where once an attempt had been made to plant mediæval institutions on
the sod of North America. As if born for battles, Clark studied the
ground plans.

"Two log gates swung on hinges here," explained the Colonel from Fort
Pitt, "one opening on the water and one on the land side with a
mediæval drawbridge. Every night they hauled up the ponderous bridge,
leaving only a dim dark pit down deep to the water."

With comprehensive glance George Rogers Clark took in the mechanism of
intrenchments, noted the convenient interior, with magazine,
bake-house, and well in the middle.

"So shall I build my forts." Pencil in hand the young surveyor had the
whole scheme instantly sketched. The surprised Colonel took a second
look. Seldom before had he met so intelligent a study of
fortifications.

"Are you an officer?"

"I am Major of Virginia militia under Lord Dunmore."

With a missionary to the Indians, Clark slid down the wild Ohio and
took up a claim beyond the farthest. Here for a year he lived as did
Boone, beating his corn on a hominy block and drying his venison
before his solitary evening fire. Then he journeyed over into the
Scioto.

So, when the Dunmore war broke out, here was a scout ready at hand for
the Governor. Major Clark knew every inch of the Braddock route and
every trail to the Shawnee towns. When a fort was needed, it was the
skilled hand and fertile brain of George Rogers Clark that planned the
bastioned stockade that became the nucleus of the future city of
Wheeling.

Then Dunmore came by. Like a war-horse, Clark scented the battle of
Point Pleasant afar off.

"And I not there to participate!" he groaned. But Dunmore held him at
his own side, with Morgan, Boone, and Kenton, picked scouts of the
border. When back across the Ohio the Mingoes came flying, Clark wild,
eager, restless, was pacing before Dunmore's camp.

Beaten beyond precedent by the mighty valour of Andrew Lewis,
Cornstalk and his warriors came pleading for peace.

"Why did you go to war?" asked Dunmore.

"Long, long ago there was a great battle between the red Indians and
the white ones," said Cornstalk, "and the red Indians won. This nerved
us to try again against the whites."

But Logan refused to come.

"Go," said Lord Dunmore, to George Rogers Clark and another, "go to
the camp of the sullen chief and see what he has to say."

They went. The great Mingo gave a vehement talk. They took it down in
pencil and, rolled in a string of wampum, carried it back to the camp
of Lord Dunmore.

In the council Clark unrolled and read the message. Like the wail of
an old Roman it rang in the woods of Ohio.

"I appeal to any white man if ever he entered Logan's cabin and he
gave him not meat; if he ever came cold and naked and he clothed him
not. During the course of the last long and bloody war, Logan remained
idle in his cabin, an advocate for peace. Such was my love for the
whites, that my countrymen pointed as they passed and said, 'Logan is
the friend of the white man.' I had even thought to have lived with
you but for the injuries of one man. Colonel Cresap, last Spring, in
cold blood and unprovoked, murdered all the relations of Logan, not
even sparing my women and children. There runs not a drop of my blood
in the veins of any living creature. This drove me to revenge. I have
sought it; I have killed many; I have fully glutted my vengeance; for
my country I rejoice at the beams of peace. But do not harbour a
thought that mine is the joy of fear. Logan never felt fear. He will
not turn on his heel to save his life. Who is there to mourn for
Logan? Not one."

One by one, half a dozen of Clark's army comrades had dropped in
around the hickory flame, while the substance of Logan's tale
unfolded.

"And was Cresap guilty?"

"No," answered George Rogers Clark, "I perceived he was angry to hear
it read so before the army and I rallied him. I told him he must be a
very great man since the Indians shouldered him with everything that
happened."

Little William had fallen asleep, sitting in the lap of his elder
brother, but, fixed forever, his earliest memory was of the Dunmore
war. There was a silence as they looked at the sleeping child. A
little negro boy crouched on the rug and slumbered, too. His name was
York.



III

_EXIT DUNMORE_


On the last day of that same August in which Meriwether Lewis was born
and Andrew Lewis was leading the Virginia volunteers against the
Shawnees, Patrick Henry and George Washington set out on horseback
together for Philadelphia, threading the bridle-paths of uncut
forests, and fording wide and bridgeless rivers to the Continental
Congress.

It had been nine years since Patrick Henry, "alone and unadvised," had
thrilled the popular heart with his famous first resolutions against
the Stamp Act. From the lobby of the House of Burgesses, Thomas
Jefferson, a student, looked that morning at the glowing orator and
said in his heart, "He speaks as Homer wrote." It was an alarm bell, a
call to resistance. "Cæsar had his Brutus, Charles the First his
Cromwell, and George the Third"--how the staid, bewigged, beruffled
old Burgesses rose in horror!--"and George the Third may profit by
their example."

"Most indecent language," muttered the Burgesses as they hurried out
of the Capitol, pounding their canes on the flagstone floor. But the
young men lifted him up, and for a hundred years an aureole has
blazed around the name of Patrick Henry.

The Congress at Philadelphia adjourned, and the delegates plodded
their weary way homeward through winter mire. From his Indian war Lord
Dunmore came back to Williamsburg to watch the awakening of Virginia.

Then came that breathless day when Dunmore seized and carried off the
colony's gunpowder.

The Virginians promptly demanded its restoration. The minute men flew
to arms.

"By the living God!" cried Dunmore, "if any insult is offered to me or
to those who have obeyed my orders, I will declare freedom to the
slaves and lay the town in ashes."

Patrick Henry called together the horsemen of Hanover and marched upon
Williamsburg. The terrified Governor sent his wife and daughters on
board a man-of-war and fortified the palace. And on came Patrick
Henry. Word flew beyond the remotest Blue Ridge. Five thousand men
leaped to arms and marched across country to join Patrick Henry. But
at sunrise on the second day a panting messenger from Dunmore paid him
for the gunpowder. Patrick Henry, victorious, turned about and marched
home to Hanover.

Again Lord Dunmore summoned the House of Burgesses. They came, grim
men in hunting shirts and rifles. Then his Lordship set a trap at the
door of the old Powder Magazine. Some young men opened it for arms and
were shot. Before daylight Lord Dunmore evacuated the palace and fled
from the wrath of the people. On shipboard he sailed up and down for
weeks, laying waste the shores of the Chesapeake, burning Norfolk and
cannonading the fleeing inhabitants.

Andrew Lewis hastened down with his minute men. His old Scotch ire was
up as he ran along the shore. He pointed his brass cannon at Dunmore's
flagship, touched it off, and Lord Dunmore's best china was shattered
to pieces.

"Good God, that I should ever come to this!" exclaimed the unhappy
Governor.

He slipped his cables and sailed away in a raking fire, and with that
tragic exit all the curtains of the past were torn and through the
rent the future dimly glimmered.

After Dunmore's flight, every individual of the nobler sort felt that
the responsibility of the country depended upon him, and straightway
grew to that stature. Men looked in one another's faces and said, "We
ourselves are Kings."

Around the great fire little William Clark heard his father and
brothers discuss these events, and vividly remembered in after years
the lightning flash before the storm. He had seen his own brothers go
out to guard Henry from the wrath of Dunmore on his way to the second
Continental Congress. And now Dunmore had fled, and as by the irony of
fate, on the day after the signing of the Declaration of Independence,
Patrick Henry became the first American Governor of Virginia, with
headquarters at the palace.



IV

_THE WILDERNESS ROAD_


Daniel Boone threw back his head and laughed silently.

For a hundred miles in the barrier ridge of the Alleghanies there is
but a single depression, Cumberland Gap, where the Cumberland river
breaks through, with just room enough for the stream and a bridle
path. Through this Gap as through a door Boone passed into the
beautiful Kentucky, and there, by the dark and rushing water of Dick's
River, George Rogers Clark and John Floyd were encamped.

The young men leaped to their feet and strode toward the tall, gaunt
woodsman, who, axe in hand, had been vigorously hewing right and left
a path for the pioneers.

"They are coming,--Boone's trace must be ready. Can you help?" Boone
removed his coonskin cap and wiped his perspiring face with a buckskin
handkerchief. His forehead was high, fine-skinned, and white.

"That is our business,--to settle the country," answered the young
surveyors, and through the timber, straight as the bird flies over
rivers and hills, they helped Boone with the Wilderness Road.

It was in April of 1775. Kentucky gleamed with the dazzling dogwood as
if snows had fallen on the forests. As their axes rang in the primeval
stillness, another rover stepped out of the sycamore shadows. It was
Simon Kenton, a fair-haired boy of nineteen, with laughing blue eyes
that fascinated every beholder.

"Any more of ye?" inquired Boone, peering into the distance behind
him.

"None. I am alone. I come from my corn-patch on the creek. Are you
going to build?"

"Yes, when I reach a certain spring, and a bee-tree on the Kentucky
River."

"Let us see," remarked Floyd. "We may meet Indians. I nominate Major
Clark generalissimo of the frontier."

"And Floyd surveyor-in-chief," returned Clark.

"An' thee, boy, shall be my chief guard," said Daniel Boone, laying
his kindly hand on the lad's broad shoulder. "An' I--_am the people_."
The Boones were Quakers, the father of Daniel was intimate with Penn;
his uncle James came to America as Penn's private secretary; sometimes
the old hunter dropped into their speech.

But people were coming. One Richard Henderson, at a treaty in the hill
towns of the Cherokees, had just paid ten thousand pounds for the
privilege of settling Kentucky. Boone left before the treaty was
signed and a kindly old Cherokee chieftain took him by the hand in
farewell.

"Brother," he said, "we have given you a fine land, but I believe you
will have much trouble in settling it."

They were at hand. Through the Cumberland Gap, as through a rift in a
Holland dyke, a rivulet of settlers came trickling down the newly cut
Wilderness Road.

Under the green old trees a mighty drama was unfolding, a Homeric
song, the epic of a nation, as they piled up the bullet-proof cabins
of Boonsboro. This rude fortification could not have withstood the
smallest battery, but so long as the Indians had no cannon this wooden
fort was as impregnable as the walls of a castle.

In a few weeks other forts, Harrodsburg and Logansport, dotted the
canebrakes, and the startled buffalo stampeded for the salt licks.

In September Boone brought out his wife and daughters, the first white
women that ever trod Kentucky soil.

"Ugh! ugh! ugh!"

A hundred Shawnees from their summer hunt in the southern hills came
trailing home along the Warrior's Path, the Indian highway north and
south, from Cumberland Gap to the Scioto.

"Ugh! ugh! ugh!"

They pause and point to the innumerable trackings of men and beasts
into their beloved hunting grounds. Astonishment expands every
feature. They creep along and trace the road. They see the
settlements. It cannot be mistaken, the white man has invaded their
sacred arcanum.

Amazement gives place to wrath. Every look, every gesture bespeaks the
red man's resolve.

"We will defend our country to the last; we will give it up only with
our lives."

Forthwith a runner flies over the hills to Johnson Hall on the Mohawk.
Sir William is dead, dead endeavouring to unravel the perplexities of
the Dunmore war, but his son, Sir Guy, meets the complaining Shawnees.

"The Cherokees sold Kentucky? That cannot be. Kentucky belongs to the
King. My father bought it for him at Fort Stanwix, of the Iroquois.
The Cherokees have no right to sell Kentucky. Go in and take the
land." And so, around their campfires, and at the lake forts of the
British, the Shawnee-Iroquois planned to recover Kentucky.



V

_A BARREL OF GUNPOWDER_


Scarcely was Jefferson home from signing the Declaration when back
from Kentucky came little William's tall strong brother, George Rogers
Clark, elected by those far-away settlers, in June of 1776, to
represent them in the assembly of Virginia.

Cut by a thousand briars, with ragged clothes and blistered feet,
Clark looked in at the home in Caroline and hurried on to
Williamsburg.

"The Assembly adjourned? Then I must to the Governor. Before the
Assembly meets again I may effect what I wish."

Patrick Henry was lying sick at his country-home in Hanover when the
young envoy from Kentucky was ushered to his bedside. Pushing his
reading spectacles up into his brown wig, the Governor listened keenly
as the young man strode up and down his bed-chamber.

The scintillant brown eyes flashed. "Your cause is good. I will give
you a letter to the Council."

"Five hundredweight of gunpowder!" The Council lifted their eyebrows
when Clark brought in his request.

"Virginia is straining every nerve to help Washington; how can she be
expected to waste gunpowder on Kentucky?"

"Let us move those settlers back to Virginia at the public expense,"
suggested one, "and so save the sum that it would take to defend them
in so remote a frontier."

"Move Boone and Kenton and Logan back?" Clark laughed. Too well he
knew the tenacity of that border germ. "So remote a frontier? It is
your own back door. The people of Kentucky may be exterminated for the
want of this gunpowder which I at such hazard have sought for their
relief. Then what bulwark will you have to shield you from the
savages? The British are employing every means to engage those Indians
in war."

Clark knew there was powder at Pittsburg. One hundred and thirty-six
kegs had just been brought up by Lieutenant William Linn with infinite
toil from New Orleans, the first cargo ever conveyed by white men up
the Mississippi and Ohio.

"We will lend you the powder as to friends in distress, but you must
be answerable for it and pay for its transportation."

Clark shook his head,--"I cannot be answerable, nor can I convey it
through that great distance swarming with foes."

"We can go no farther," responded the Council, concluding the
interview. "God knows we would help you if we could, but how do we
even know that Kentucky will belong to us? The assistance we have
already offered is a stretch of power."

"Very well," and Clark turned on his heel. "A country that is not
worth defending is not worth claiming. Since Virginia will not defend
her children, they must look elsewhere. Kentucky will take care of
herself."

His words, that manner, impressed the Council. "What will Kentucky
do?"

To his surprise, the next day Clark was recalled and an order was
passed by the Virginia Council for five hundred pounds of gunpowder,
"for the use of said inhabitants of Kentucki," to be delivered to him
at Pittsburg. Hardly a month old was the Declaration of Independence
when the new nation reached out to the west.

"Did you get the powder?" was the first greeting of young William
Clark as his brother re-entered the home in Caroline.

"Yes, and I fancy I shall get something more."

"What is it?" inquired the little diplomat, eager as his brother for
the success of his embassy.

"Recognition of Kentucky." And he did, for when he started back Major
Clark bore the word that the Assembly of Virginia had made Kentucky a
county. With that fell Henderson's proprietary claim and all the land
was free.

With buoyant heart Clark and Jones, his colleague, hastened down to
Pittsburg. Seven boatmen were engaged and the precious cargo was
launched on the Ohio.

But Indians were lurking in every inlet. Scarce were they afloat
before a canoe darted out behind, then another and another.

With all the tremendous energy of life and duty in their veins, Clark
and his boatmen struck away and away. For five hundred miles the chase
went down the wild Ohio. At last, eluding their pursuers, almost
exhausted, up Limestone Creek they ran, and on Kentucky soil, dumped
out the cargo and set the boat adrift.

While the Indians chased the empty canoe far down the shore, Clark hid
the powder amid rocks and trees, and struck out overland for help from
the settlements. At dead of night he reached Harrod's Station. Kenton
was there, and with twenty-eight others they set out for the Creek and
returned, each bearing a keg of gunpowder on his shoulder.



VI

_THE FEUDAL AGE_


What a summer for the little forts! Dressed in hunting shirt and
moccasins, his rifle on his shoulder, his tomahawk in his belt, now
leading his eager followers on the trail of the red marauders, now
galloping at the head of his horsemen to the relief of some
beleaguered station, Clark guarded Kentucky.

No life was safe beyond the walls. Armed sentinels were ever on the
watchtowers, armed guards were at the gates. And outside, Indians lay
concealed, watching as only Indians can watch, nights and days, to cut
off the incautious settler who might step beyond the barricades. By
instinct the settlers came to know when a foe was near; the very dogs
told it, the cattle and horses became restless, the jay in the treetop
and the wren in the thorn-hollow chattered it. Even the night-owl
hooted it from the boughs of the ghostly old sycamore.

In this, the feudal age of North America, every man became a captain
and fought his own battles. Like knights of old, each borderer, from
Ticonderoga to Wheeling and Boonsboro, sharpened his knife, primed his
flintlock, and started. No martial music or gaudy banner, no drum or
bugle, heralded the border foray. Silent as the red man the stark
hunter issued from his wooden fort and slid among the leaves. Silent
as the panther he stole upon his prey.

But all at once the hill homes of the Cherokees emptied themselves to
scourge Kentucky. Shawnees of the Scioto, Chippewas of the Lakes,
Delawares of the Muskingum hovered on her shores.

March, April, May, June, July, August,--the days grew hot and stifling
to the people cooped up in the close uncomfortable forts. There had
been no planting, scarce even a knock at the gate to admit some forest
rover, and still the savages sat before Boonsboro. Clark was walled in
at Harrodsburg, Logan at Logansport.

Ammunition was failing, provisions were short; now and then there was
a sally, a battle, a retreat, then the dressing of wounds and the
burial of the dead.

Every eye was watching Clark, the leader whose genius consisted
largely in producing confidence. In the height of action he brooded
over these troubles; they knew he had plans; the powder exploit made
them ready to rely upon him to any extent. He would meet those
Indians, somewhere. Men bound with families could not leave,--Clark
was free. Timid men could not act,--Clark was bold. Narrow men could
not see,--Clark was prescient. More than any other he had the
Napoleonic eye. Glancing away to the Lakes and Detroit, the scalp
market of the west, he reasoned in the secrecy of his own heart:

"These Indians are instigated by the British. Through easily
influenced red men they hope to annihilate our frontier. Never shall
we be safe until we can control the British posts."

Unknown to any he had already sent scouts to reconnoitre those very
posts.

"And what have you learned?" he whispered, when on the darkest night
of those tempestuous midsummer days they gave the password at the
gate.

"What have we learned? That the forts are negligently guarded; that
the French are secretly not hostile; that preparations are on foot for
an invasion of Kentucky with British, Indians, and artillery."

"I will give them something to do in their own country," was Clark's
inward comment.

Without a word of his secret intent, Clark buckled on his sword,
primed his rifle, and set out for Virginia. With regret and fear the
people saw him depart, and yet with hope. Putting aside their
detaining hands, "I will surely return," he said.

With almost superhuman daring the leather-armoured knight from the
beleaguered castle in the wood ran the gauntlet of the sleeping
savages. All the Wilderness Road was lit with bonfires, and woe to the
emigrant that passed that way. Cumberland Gap was closed; fleet-winged
he crossed the very mountain tops, where never foot of man or beast
had trod before.

Scarce noting the hickories yellow with autumn and the oaks crimson
with Indian summer, the young man passed through Charlottesville, his
birthplace, and reached his father's house in Caroline at ten o'clock
at night.

In his low trundle-bed little William heard that brother's step and
sprang to unclose the door. Like an apparition George Rogers Clark
appeared before the family, haggard and worn with the summer's siege.
All the news of his brothers gone to the war was quickly heard.

"And will you join them?"

"No, my field is Kentucky. To-morrow I must be at Williamsburg."

The old colonial capital was aflame with hope and thanksgiving as
Clark rode into Duke of Gloucester Street. Burgoyne had surrendered.
Men were weeping and shouting. In the _mêlée_ he met Jefferson and
proposed to him a secret expedition. In the exhilaration of the moment
Jefferson grasped his hand,--"Let us to the Governor."

Crowds of people were walking under the lindens of the Governor's
Palace. Out of their midst came Dorothea, the wife of Patrick Henry,
and did the honours of her station as gracefully as, thirty years
later, Dolly Madison, her niece and namesake, did the honours of the
White House.

Again Patrick Henry pushed his reading spectacles up into his brown
wig and scanned the envoy from Kentucky.

"Well, sirrah, did you get the powder?"

"We got the powder and saved Kentucky. But for it she would have been
wiped out in this summer's siege. All the Indians of the Lakes are
there. I have a plan."

"Unfold it," said Patrick Henry.

In a few words Clark set forth his scheme of conquest.

"Destroy Detroit, Vincennes, Kaskaskia, and you have quelled the
Indians. There they are fed, clothed, armed, and urged to prey upon
us. I have sent spies to reconnoitre, and have received word that
assures me that their capture is feasible."

The scintillating blue eyes burned with an inward light, emitting
fire, as Patrick Henry leaned to inquire, "What would you do in case
of a repulse?"

"Cross the Mississippi and seek protection from the Spaniards,"
answered the ready chief. With his privy council, Mason, Wythe, and
Jefferson, Patrick Henry discussed the plan, and at their instance the
House of Delegates empowered George Rogers Clark "to aid any
expedition against their western enemies."

"Everything depends upon secrecy," said the Governor as he gave Clark
his instructions and twelve hundred pounds in Continental paper
currency. "But you must recruit your men west of the Blue Ridge; we
can spare none from here."

Kindred spirits came to Clark,--Bowman, Helm, Harrod and their
friends, tall riflemen with long buckhorn-handled hunting-knives,
enlisting for the west, but no one guessing their destination.

Despite remonstrances twenty pioneer families on their flat-boats at
Redstone-Old-Fort joined their small fleet to his. "We, too, are going
to Kentucky."

Jumping in as the last boat pulled out of Pittsburg, Captain William
Linn handed Clark a letter. He broke the seal.

"Ye gods, the very stars are for us! The French have joined America!"

With strange exhilaration the little band felt themselves borne down
the swift-rushing waters to the Falls of the Ohio.

Before them blossomed a virgin world. Clark paused while the boats
clustered round. "Do you see that high, narrow, rocky island at the
head of the rapids? It is safe from the Indian. While the troops erect
a stockade and blockhouse, let the families clear a field and plant
their corn."

Axes rang. The odour of hawthorn filled the air. Startled birds swept
over the falls,--eagles, sea gulls, and mammoth cranes turning up
their snowy wings glittering in the sunlight. On the mainland, deer,
bear, and buffalo roamed under the sycamores serene as in Eden.

"Halloo-oo!" It was the well-known call of Simon Kenton, paddling down
to Corn Island with Captain John Montgomery and thirty Kentuckians.

"What news of the winter?"

"Boone and twenty-seven others have been captured by the Indians."

"Boone? We are laying a trap for those very Indians," and then and
there Major Clark announced the object of the expedition.

Some cheered the wild adventure, some trembled and deserted in the
night, but one hundred and eighty men embarked with no baggage beyond
a rifle and a wallet of corn for each.

The snows of the Alleghanies were melting. A million rivulets leaped
to the blue Ohio. It was the June rise, the river was booming. Poling
his little flotilla out into the main channel Clark and his borderers
shot the rapids at the very moment that the sun veiled itself in an
all but total eclipse at nine o'clock in the morning.

It was a dramatic dash, as on and on he sped down the river,
bank-full, running like a millrace.



VII

_KASKASKIA_


Double manned, relays of rowers toiled at the oars by night and by
day.

"Do you see those hunters?"

At the mouth of the Tennessee, almost as if prearranged, two white men
emerged from the Illinois swamps as Clark shot by. He paused and
questioned the strangers.

"We are just from Kaskaskia. Rocheblave is alone with neither troops
nor money. The French believe you Long Knives to be the most fierce,
cruel, and bloodthirsty savages that ever scalped a foe."

"All the better for our success. Now pilot us."

Governor Rocheblave, watching St. Louis and dreaming of conquest, was
to be rudely awakened. All along the Mississippi he had posted spies
and was watching the Spaniard, dreaming not of Kentucky.

Out upon the open, for miles across the treeless prairies, the hostile
Indians might have seen his little handful of one hundred and eighty
men, but Clark of twenty-six, like the Corsican of twenty-six, "with
no provisions, no munitions, no cannon, no shoes, almost without an
army," was about to change the face of three nations.

Twilight fell as they halted opposite Kaskaskia on the night of July
4, without a grain of corn left in their wallets.

"Boys, the town must be taken to-night at all hazards."

Softly they crossed the river,--the postern gate was open.

"Brigands!" shouted Governor Rocheblave, leaping from his bed at
midnight when Kenton tapped him on the shoulder. It was useless to
struggle; he was bound and secured in the old Jesuit mansion which did
duty as a fort at Kaskaskia.

"Brigands!" screamed fat Madame Rocheblave in a high falsetto,
tumbling out of bed in her frilled nightcap and gown. Seizing her
husband's papers, plump down upon them she sat. "No gentleman would
ever enter a lady's bed-chamber."

"Right about, face!" laughed Kenton, marching away the Governor.
"Never let it be said that American soldiers bothered a lady."

In revenge Madame tore up the papers, public archives, causing much
trouble in future years.

"Sacred name of God!" cried the French habitants, starting from their
slumbers. From their windows they saw the streets filled with men
taller than any Indians. "What do they say?"

"Keep in your houses on pain of instant death!"

"Keep close or you will be shot!"

In a moment arose a dreadful shriek of men, women, and children,--"The
Long Knives! The Long Knives!"

The gay little village became silent as death. Before daylight the
houses of Kaskaskia were disarmed. The wild Virginians whooped and
yelled. The timid people quaked and shuddered.

"Grant but our lives and we will be slaves to save our families." It
was the pleading of Father Gibault, interceding for his people. "Let
us meet once more in the church for a last farewell. Let not our
families be separated. Permit us to take food and clothing, the barest
necessities for present needs."

"Do you take us for savages?" inquired Clark in amaze. "Do you think
Americans would strip women and children and take the bread out of
their mouths? My countrymen never make war on the innocent. It was to
protect our own wives and children that we have penetrated this
wilderness, to subdue these British posts whence the savages are
supplied with arms and ammunition to murder us. We do not war against
Frenchmen. The King of France is our ally. His ships and soldiers
fight for us. Go, enjoy your religion and worship when you please.
Retain your property. Dismiss alarm. We are your friends come to
deliver you from the British."

The people trembled; then shouts arose, and wild weeping. The bells of
old Kaskaskia rang a joyous peal.

"Your rights shall be respected," continued Colonel Clark, "but you
must take the oath of allegiance to Congress."

From that hour Father Gibault became an American, and all his people
followed.

"Let us tell the good news to Cahokia," was their next glad cry. Sixty
miles to the north lay Cahokia, opposite the old Spanish town of St.
Louis. The Kaskaskians brought out their stoutest ponies, and on them
Clark sent off Bowman and thirty horsemen.

"The Big Knives?" Cahokia paled.

"But they come as friends," explained the Kaskaskians.

Without a gun the gates were opened, and the delighted Frenchmen
joyfully banqueted the Kentuckians.

The Indians were amazed. "The Great Chief of the Long Knives has
come," the rumour flew. For five hundred miles the chiefs came to see
the victorious Americans.

"I will not give them presents. I will not court them. Never will I
seem to fear them. Let them beg for peace." And with martial front
Clark bore himself as if about to exterminate the entire Indian
population. The ruse was successful; the Indians flocked to the
Council of the Great Chief as if drawn by a magnet.

Eagerly they leaned and listened.

"Men and warriors: I am a warrior, not a counsellor."

Holding up before them a green belt and another the colour of blood,
"Take your choice," he cried, "Peace or War."

So careless that magnificent figure stood, so indifferent to their
choice, that the hearts of the red men leaped in admiration.

"Peace, Peace, Peace," they cried.

From all directions the Indians flocked; Clark became apprehensive of
such numbers,--Chippewas, Ottawas, Pottawattamies, Sacs, Foxes,
Maumees.

"The Big Knives are right," said the chiefs. "The Great King of the
French has come to life."

Without the firing of a gun or the loss of a life, the great tactician
subjugated red men and white. Clark had no presents to give,--he awed
the Indians. He devoted great care to the drilling of his troops, and
the nations sat by to gaze at the spectacle. The Frenchmen drilled
proudly with the rest.

While Clark was holding his councils Kenton had gone to Vincennes.
Three days and three nights he lay reconnoitring. He spoke with the
people, then by special messenger sent word, "The Governor has gone to
Detroit. You can take Vincennes."

Clark was ready.

"Do not move against Vincennes," pleaded Father Gibault, "I know my
people. Let me mediate for you."

Clark accepted Gibault's offer, and the patriot priest hastened away
on a lean-backed pony to the Wabash. With his people gathered in the
little log church he told the tale of a new dominion. There under the
black rafters, kissing the crucifix to the United States, the priest
absolved them from their oath of allegiance to the British king.

"Amen," said Gibault solemnly, "we are new men. We are Americans."

To the astonishment of the Indians the American flag flew over the
ramparts of Vincennes.

"What for?" they begged to know.

"Your old father, the King of France, has come to life again. He is
mad at you for fighting for the English. Make peace with the Long
Knives, they are friends of the Great King."

The alarmed Indians listened. Word went to all the tribes. From the
Wabash to the Mississippi, Clark, absolute, ruled the country, a
military dictator.

But the terms of the three-months militia had expired.

"How many of you can stay with me?" he entreated.

One hundred re-enlisted; the rest were dispatched to the Falls of the
Ohio under Captain William Linn.

"Tell the people of Corn Island to remove to the mainland and erect a
stockade fort." Thus was the beginning of Louisville.

Captain John Montgomery and Levi Todd (the grandfather of the wife of
Abraham Lincoln) were dispatched with reports and Governor Rocheblave
as a prisoner-of-war to Virginia.

On arrival of the news the Virginia Assembly immediately created the
county of Illinois, and Patrick Henry appointed John Todd of Kentucky
its first American Governor.



VIII

_THE SPANISH DONNA_


In the year that Penn camped at Philadelphia the French reared their
first bark huts at Kaskaskia, in the American bottom below the
Missouri mouth. Here for a hundred years around the patriarchal,
mud-walled, grass-roofed cabins had gathered children and
grandchildren, to the fourth and fifth generation. Around the houses
were spacious piazzas, where the genial, social Frenchmen reproduced
the feudal age of Europe. Gardens were cultivated in the common
fields, cattle fed in the common pastures, and lovers walked in the
long and narrow street. The young men went away to hunt furs; their
frail bark canoes had been to the distant Platte, and up the Missouri,
no one knows how far.

Sixty miles north of Kaskaskia lay Cahokia, and opposite Cahokia lay
St. Louis.

Now and then a rumour of the struggle of the American Revolution came
to St. Louis, brought by traders over the Detroit trail from Canada.
But the rebellious colonies seemed very far away.

In the midst of his busy days at Kaskaskia, Colonel Clark was
surprised by an invitation from the Spanish Governor at St. Louis, to
dine with him at the Government House.

Father Gibault was well acquainted in St. Louis. He dedicated, in
1770, the first church of God west of the Mississippi, and often went
there to marry and baptise the villagers. So, with Father Gibault,
Colonel Clark went over to visit the Governor.

"L'Americain Colonel Clark, your Excellency."

The long-haired, bare-headed priest stood _chapeau_ in hand before the
heavy oaken door of the Government House, at St. Louis. Then was shown
the splendid hospitality innate to the Spanish race.

The Governor of Upper Louisiana, Don Francisco de Leyba, was friendly
even to excess. He extended his hand to Colonel Clark.

"I feel myself flattered by this visit of de Señor le Colonel, and
honoured, honoured. De fame of your achievement haf come to my ear and
awakened in me emotions of de highest admiration. De best in my house
is at your service; command me to de extent of your wishes, even to de
horses in my stable, de wines in my basement. My servant shall attend
you."

Colonel Clark, a man of plain, blunt speech, was abashed by this
profusion of compliment. His cheeks reddened. "You do me too much
honour," he stammered.

All his life, the truth, the plain truth, and nothing but the truth,
had been Clark's code of conversation. Could it be possible that the
Governor meant all these fine phrases? But every succeeding act and
word seemed to indicate his sincerity.

"My wife, Madam Marie,--zis ees de great Americain General who haf
taken de Illinoa, who haf terrified de sauvages, and sent de Briton
back to Canada. And my leetle children,--dees ees de great Commandante
who ees de friend of your father.

"And, my sister,--dees ees de young Americain who haf startled de
world with hees deeds of valour."

If ever Clark was off his guard, it was when he thus met unexpectedly
the strange and startling beauty of the Donna de Leyba. Each to the
other seemed suddenly clothed with light, as if they two of all the
world were standing there alone.

What the rest said and did, Clark never knew, although he replied
rationally enough to their questions,--in fact, he carried on a long
conversation with the garrulous Governor and his amiable dark-haired
wife. But the Donna, the Donna--

Far beyond the appointed hour Clark lingered at her side. She laughed,
she sang. She could not speak a word of English, Clark could not speak
Spanish. Nevertheless they fell desperately in love. For the first and
only time in his life, George Rogers Clark looked at a woman. How they
made an appointment to meet again no one could say; but they did meet,
and often.

"The Colonel has a great deal of business in St. Louis," the soldiers
complained.

"Le great Americain Colonel kiss te Governor's sister," whispered the
Creoles of St. Louis. How that was discovered nobody knows, unless it
was that Sancho, the servant, had peeped behind the door.

Clark even began to think he would like to settle in Louisiana. And
the Governor favoured his project.

"De finest land in de world, Señor, and we can make it worth your
while. You shall have de whole district of New Madrid. Commandants,
bah! we are lacking de material. His Majesty, de King of Spain, will
gladly make you noble."

"And I, for my part," Clark responded, "can testify to all the
subjects of Spain the high regard and sincere friendship of my
countrymen toward them. I hope it will soon be manifest that we can be
of mutual advantage to one another."

Indeed, through De Leyba, Clark even dreamed of a possible Spanish
alliance for America, like that with France, and De Leyba encouraged
it.

Boon companion with the Governor over the wine, and with the
fascinating Donna smiling upon him, Colonel Clark became not
unbalanced as Mark Antony did,--although once in a ball-room he kissed
the Donna before all the people.

But there was a terrible strain on Clark's nerves at this time. His
resources were exhausted, they had long been exhausted, in fact; like
Napoleon he had "lived on the country." And yet no word came from
Virginia.

Continental paper was the only money in Clark's military chest. It
took twenty dollars of this to buy a dollar's worth of coffee at
Kaskaskia. Even then the Frenchmen hesitated. They had never known any
money but piastres and peltries; they could not even read the English
on the ragged scrip of the Revolution.

"We do not make money," said the Creoles, "we use hard silver." But
Francis Vigo, a Spanish trader of St. Louis, said, "Take the money at
its full value. It is good. I will take it myself."

In matters of credit and finance the word of Vigo was potential. "Ah,
yes, now you can haf supplies," said the cheerful Creoles, "M'sieur
Vigo will take the money, you can haf de meat an' moccasin."

Colonel Vigo, a St. Louis merchant who had large dealings for the
supply of the Spanish troops, had waited on Colonel Clark at Cahokia
and voluntarily tendered to him such aid as he could furnish. "I offer
you my means and influence to advance the cause of liberty."

The offer was gratefully accepted. When the biting winds of winter
swept over Kaskaskia, "Here," he said, "come to my store and supply
your necessities." His advances were in goods and silver piastres, for
which Clark gave scrip or a check on the agent of Virginia at New
Orleans.

Gabriel Cerré in early youth moved to Kaskaskia, where he became a
leading merchant and fur trader. "I am bitterly opposed to _les
Américains_," he said. Then he met Clark; that magician melted him
into friendship, sympathy, and aid.

"From the hour of my first interview I have been the sworn ally of
George Rogers Clark!" exclaimed Charles Gratiot, a Swiss trader of
Cahokia. "My house, my purse, my credit are at his command."

Clark could not be insensible to this profusion of hospitality, which
extended, not only to himself, but to his whole little army and to the
cause of his country.

The Frenchmen dug their potatoes, gathered the fruits of their gnarled
apple-trees, and slew the buffalo and bear around for meat. Winter
came on apace, and yet the new Governor had not arrived.

Colonel Clark's headquarters at the house of Michel Aubrey, one of the
wealthiest fur traders of Kaskaskia, became a sort of capitol. In
front of it his soldiers constantly drilled with the newly enlisted
Frenchmen. All men came to Clark about their business; the piazzas and
gardens were seldom empty. In short, the American Colonel suddenly
found himself the father and adviser of everybody in the village.



IX

_VINCENNES_


"I will dispossess these Americans," said Governor Hamilton at
Detroit. "I will recover Vincennes. I will punish Kentucky. I will
subdue all Virginia west of the mountains." And on the seventh of
October, 1778, he left Detroit with eight hundred men,--regulars,
volunteers, and picked Indians.

The French habitants of Vincennes were smoking their pipes in their
rude verandas, when afar they saw the gleam of red coats. Vincennes
sank without a blow and its people bowed again to the British king.

"I will quarter here for the winter," said Governor Hamilton. Then he
sent an express to the Spanish Governor at St. Louis with the threat,
"If any asylum be granted the rebels in your territory, the Spanish
post will be attacked."

In their scarlet tunics, emblem of Britain, to Chickasaw and Cherokee
his runners flew. At Mackinac the Lake Indians were to "wipe out the
rebels of Illinoi'." Far over to the Sioux went presents and messages,
even to the distant Assiniboine. Thousands of red-handled scalping
knives were placed in their hands. Emissaries watched Kaskaskia.
Picked warriors lingered around the Ohio to intercept any boats that
might venture down with supplies for the little Virginian army.

New Year's dawned for 1779. Danger hovered over Clark at Kaskaskia.

"Not for a whole year have I received a scrape of a pen," he wrote to
Patrick Henry. Too small was his force to stand a siege, too far away
to hope for relief. He called his Kentuckians from Cahokia, and day
and night toiled at the defences of Kaskaskia. How could they
withstand the onslaught of Hamilton and his artillery?

But hark! There is a knocking at the gate, and Francis Vigo enters.
Closeted with Clark he unfolds his errand.

"I am just from Vincennes. Listen! Hamilton has sent his Indian hordes
in every direction. They are guarding the Ohio, watching the
settlements, stirring up the most distant tribes to sweep the country.
But he has sent out so many that he is weak. At this moment there are
not more than eighty soldiers left in garrison, nor more than three
pieces of cannon and some swivels mounted."

With inspiration born of genius and desperate courage Clark made his
resolve. "If I don't take Hamilton he'll take me; and, by Heaven! I'll
take Hamilton!"

But it was midwinter on the bleak prairies of Illinois, where to this
day the unwary traveller may be frozen stark in the icy chill. Clark's
men were almost entirely without clothing, ammunition, provisions. Can
genius surmount destitution? Clark turned to Vigo.

"I have not a blanket, an ounce of bread, nor a pound of powder. Can
you fit me out in the name of Virginia?"

Francis Vigo, a Sardinian by birth but Republican at heart, answered,
"I can fit you out. Here is an order for money. Down yonder is a
swivel and a boatload of powder. I will bid the merchants supply
whatever you need. They can look to me for payment."

In two days Clark's men were fitted out and ready. Clad in skins, they
stepped out like trappers.

On the shore lay a new bateau. Vigo's swivel was rolled aboard, and
some of the guns of Kaskaskia.

"Now, Captain John Rogers," said Colonel Clark to his cousin, "with
these forty-eight men and these cannon you go down the Mississippi, up
the Ohio, and enter the Wabash River. Station yourself a few miles
below Vincennes; suffer nothing to pass, and wait for me."

On the 4th of February the little galley slid out with Rogers and his
men.

"Now who will go with me?" inquired Clark, turning to his comrades.
"It will be a desperate service. I must call for volunteers."

Stirred by the daring of the deed, one hundred and thirty young men
swore to follow him to the death. All the remaining inhabitants were
detailed to garrison Kaskaskia and Cahokia. The fickle weather-vanes
of old Kaskaskia veered and whirled, the winds blew hot and cold, then
came fair weather for the starting.

It was February 5, 1779, when George Rogers Clark set out with his one
hundred and thirty men to cross the Illinois. Vigo pointed out the
fur-trader's trail to Vincennes and Detroit. Father Gibault blessed
them as they marched away. The Creole girls put flags in the hands of
their sweethearts, and begged them to stand by "le Colonel."

"O Mother of God, sweet Virgin, preserve my beloved," prayed the Donna
de Leyba in the Government House at St. Louis.

Over all the prairies the snows were melting, the rains were falling,
the rivers were flooding.

Hamilton sat at Vincennes planning his murders.

"Next year," he exulted, "there will be the greatest number of savages
on the frontier that has ever been known. The Six Nations have
received war belts from all their allies."

But Clark and his men were coming in the rain. Eleven days after
leaving Kaskaskia they heard the morning guns of the fort. Deep and
deeper grew the creeks and sloughs as they neared the drowned lands of
the Wabash. Still they waded on, through water three feet deep;
sometimes they were swimming. Between the two Wabashes the water
spread, a solid sheet five miles from shore to shore. The men looked
out, amazed, as on a rolling sea. But Clark, ever ahead, cheering his
men, grasped a handful of gunpowder, and with a whoop, the well-known
peal of border war, blackened his face and dashed into the water. The
men's hearts leaped to meet his daring, and with "death or victory"
humming in their brains, they plunged in after.

On and on they staggered, buffeting the icy water, stumbling in the
wake of their undaunted leader. Seated on the shoulders of a tall
Shenandoah sergeant, little Isham Floyd, the fourteen-year-old drummer
boy, beat a charge. Deep and deeper grew the tide; waist deep, breast
high, over their shoulders it played; and above, the leaden sky looked
down upon this unparalleled feat of human endeavour. Never had the
world seen such a march.

Five days they passed in the water,--days of chill and whoops and
songs heroic to cheer their flagging strength. The wallets were empty
of corn, the men were fainting with famine, when lo! an Indian canoe
of squaws hove in sight going to Vincennes. They captured the canoe,
and--most welcome of all things in the world to those famished men--it
contained a quarter of buffalo and corn and kettles! On a little
island they built a fire; with their sharp knives prepared the meat,
and soon the pots were boiling. So exhausted were they that Clark
would not let them have a full meal at once, but gave cups of broth to
the weaker ones.

On the sixteenth day Clark cheered his men. "Beyond us lies
Vincennes. Cross that plain and you shall see it."

On February 22, Washington's birthday, fatigued and weary they slept
in a sugar camp. "Heard the evening and morning guns of the fort. No
provisions yet. Lord help us!" is the record of Bowman's journal.

Still without food, the 23d saw them crossing the Horseshoe
Plain,--four miles of water breast high. Frozen, starved, they
struggled through, and on a little hill captured a Frenchman hunting
ducks.

"No one dreams of your coming at this time of year," said the
duck-hunter. "There are six hundred people in Vincennes, troops,
Indians, and all. This very day Hamilton completed the walls of his
fort."

Clark pressed his determined lips. "The situation is all that I can
ask. It is death or victory." And there in the mud, half frozen,
chilled to the marrow, starved, Clark penned on his knee a letter:

     "TO THE INHABITANTS OF POST VINCENNES:

     "GENTLEMEN,--Being now within two miles of your village
     with my army, determined to take your fort this night, and
     not being willing to surprise you, I take this method to
     request such as are true citizens to remain still in your
     houses. Those, if any there be, that are friends of the
     King, will instantly repair to the fort, join the
     hair-buyer general, and fight like men. If any such do not
     go and are found afterwards, they may depend on severe
     punishment. On the contrary, those who are the friends of
     liberty may depend on being well treated, and I once more
     request them to keep out of the streets. Every one I find
     in arms on my arrival I shall treat as an enemy.

          GEORGE ROGERS CLARK."

"Take this. Tell the people my quarrel is with the British. We shall
be in Vincennes by the rising of the moon. Prepare dinner."

The messenger flew ahead; upon the captured horses of other
duck-hunters Clark mounted his officers. It was just at nightfall when
they entered the lower gate.

"Silence those drunken Indians," roared Hamilton at the sound of
guns. But the Frenchmen themselves turned their rifles on the fort.

Under the friendly light of the new moon Clark and his men threw up an
intrenchment, and from behind its shelter in fifteen minutes the
skilled volleys of the border rifle had silenced two of the cannon.

"Surrender!" was Clark's stentorian summons at daylight.

Hamilton, with the blood of many a borderer on his head,--what had he
to hope? Hot and hotter rained the bullets.

"Give me three days to consider."

"Not an hour!" was Clark's reply.

"Let me fight with you?" said The Tobacco's son, the principal chief
on the Wabash.

"No," answered Clark, "you sit back and watch us. Americans do not
hire Indians to fight their battles."

Amazed, the Indians fell back and waited.

The fort fell, and with it British dominion in the northwest
territory. Then the galley hove in sight and the flag waved above
Vincennes.

"A convoy up de _rivière_ on its way with goods, from le Detroit,"
whispered a Frenchman. Directly Clark dispatched his boatmen to
capture the flotilla.

"_Sur la feuille ron--don don don_," the _voyageurs_ were singing.

Merrily rowing down the river came the British, when suddenly out from
a bend swung three boats. "Surrender!"

Amid the wild huzzas of Vincennes the Americans returned, bringing the
captive convoy with fifty thousand dollars' worth of food, clothing,
and ammunition, and forty prisoners.

With a heart full of thanksgiving Clark paid and clothed his men out
of that prize captured on the Wabash.

"Let the British flag float a few days," he said. "I may entertain
some of the hair-buying General's friends."

Very soon painted red men came striding in with bloody scalps dangling
at their belts. But as each one entered, red-handed from murder,
Clark's Long Knives shot him down before the face of the guilty
Hamilton. Fifty fell before he lowered the British flag. But from that
day the red men took a second thought before accepting rewards for the
scalps of white men.

"Now what shall you do with me?" demanded Hamilton.

"You? I shall dispatch you as a prisoner of war to Virginia."



X

_THE CITY OF THE STRAIT_


Clark was not an hour too soon. Indians were already on the march.

"Hamilton is taken!"

Wabasha, the Sioux, from the Falls of St. Anthony, heard, and stopped
at Prairie du Chien.

"Hamilton is taken!"

Matchekewis, the gray-haired chief of the Chippewas, coming down from
Sheboygan, heard the astounding word and fell back to St. Joseph's.

The great Hamilton carried away by the rebels! The Indians were indeed
cowed. The capture of Hamilton completed Clark's influence. The great
Red-Coat sent away as a prisoner of war was an object-lesson the
Indians could not speedily forget.

Out of Hamilton's captured mail, Clark discovered that the French in
the neighbourhood of Detroit were not well-affected toward the
British, and were ready to revolt whenever favourable opportunity
offered.

"Very well, then, Detroit next!"

But Clark had more prisoners than he knew what to do with.

"Here," said he, to the captured Detroiters, "I am anxious to restore
you to your families. I know you are unwilling instruments in this
war, but your great King of France has allied himself with the
Americans. Go home, bear the good news, bid your friends welcome the
coming of their allies, the Americans. And tell Captain Lernoult I am
glad to hear that he is constructing new works at Detroit. It will
save us Americans some expense in building."

The City of the Strait was lit with bonfires.

"We have taken an oath not to fight the Virginians," said the paroled
Frenchmen.

The people rejoiced when they heard of Hamilton's capture; they hated
his tyranny, and, certain of Clark's onward progress, prepared a
welcome reception for "_les Américains_."

"See," said the mistress of a lodging house to Captain Lernoult. "See
what viands I haf prepared for le Colonel Clark." And the Captain
answered not a word. Baptiste Drouillard handed him a printed
proclamation of the French alliance.

Everywhere Detroiters were drinking, "Success to the Thirteen United
States!"

"Success to Congress and the American arms! I hope the Virginians will
soon be at Detroit!"

"Now Colonel Butler and his scalping crew will meet their deserts. I
know the Colonel for a coward and I'll turn hangman for him!"

"Don't buy a farm now. When the Virginians come you can get one for
nothing."

"See how much leather I am tanning for the Virginians. When they come
I shall make a great deal of money."

"Town and country kept three days in feasting and diversions," wrote
Clark to Jefferson, "and we are informed that the merchants and others
provided many necessaries for us on our arrival." But this the Colonel
did not learn until long after.

Left alone in command, with only eighty men in the garrison, Lernoult
could do nothing. Bitterly he wrote to his commander-in-chief, "The
Canadians are rebels to a man. In building the fort they aid only on
compulsion."

Even at Montreal the Frenchmen kept saying, "A French fleet will
certainly arrive and retake the country"; and Haldimand, Governor
General, was constantly refuting these rumours.

"Now let me help you," again pleaded The Tobacco's son to Clark at
Vincennes.

"I care not whether you side with me or not," answered the American
Colonel. "If you keep the peace, very well. If not you shall suffer
for your mischief."

Such a chief! Awed, the Indians retired to their camps and became
spectators. To divert Clark, the British officers urged these Indians
to attack Vincennes.

The Tobacco's son sent back reply, "If you want to fight the Bostons
at St. Vincent's you must cut your way through them, as we are Big
Knives, too!" Their fame spread to Superior and the distant Missouri.

"In the vicinity of Chicago the rebels are purchasing horses to mount
their cavalry."

"The Virginians are building boats to take Michilimackinac."

"They are sending belts to the Chippewas and Ottawas."

"The Virginians are at Milwaukee."

So the rumours flew along the Lakes, terrifying every Briton into
strengthening his stronghold. And this, for the time, kept them well
at home.

"Had I but three hundred I could take Detroit," said Clark. Every day
now came the word from the French of the city, "Come,--come to our
relief."

"But Vincennes must be garrisoned. My men are too few."

Then a messenger arrived with letters from Thomas Jefferson, now
Governor of Virginia, with "thanks from the Assembly for the heroic
service you have rendered," and the promise of troops.

Now for the first time were the soldiery made aware of the gratitude
of their country. Tumultuous cheers rent the air. The Indians heard,
and thought it was news of another victory.

"Let us march this day on Detroit," begged the soldiers, few as they
were. Half the population of Vincennes, and all the Indians, would
have followed.

"Too many are ill," Clark said to himself. "Bowman is dying, the lands
are flooded, the rains are falling. An unsustained march might end in
disaster. For five hundred troops, I would bind myself a slave for
seven years!"

To the soldiers he explained, "Montgomery is coming with men and
powder. Let us rendezvous here in June and make a dash at Detroit."

Leaving a garrison in the fort, in answer to imperative call, Clark
set out with six boatloads of troops and prisoners for a flying trip
to Kaskaskia.

But every step of the way, day and night, "Detroit must be taken,
Detroit must be taken," was the dream of the disturbed commander. "I
cannot rest. Nothing but the fall of Detroit will bring peace to our
frontiers. In case I am not disappointed, Detroit is already my own."



XI

_A PRISONER OF WAR_


"A prisoner of war? No, indeed, he is a felon, a murderer!" exclaimed
the Virginians, as weary, wet, and hungry the late Governor of Detroit
sat on his horse in the rain at the door of the governor's palace at
Williamsburg, where Jefferson now resided. The mob gathered to
execrate the "hair-buyer general" and escort him to jail.

There were twenty-seven prisoners, altogether, brought by a band of
borderers, most of the way on foot.

Every step of the long journey Captain John Rogers and his men had
guarded the "hair-buyer general" from the imprecations of an outraged
people.

It was the first news of Vincennes, as the startled cry ran,--

"Governor Hamilton, charged with having incited Indians to scalp,
torture, and burn, is at the door,--Hamilton, who gave standing
rewards for scalps but none for prisoners; and Dejean, Chief Justice
of Detroit, the merciless keeper of its jails, a terror to captives
with threats of giving them over to savages to be burnt alive;
Lamothe, a captain of volunteer scalping parties; Major Hay, one of
Hamilton's chief officers, and others."

"Load them with heavy fetters and immure them in a dungeon," said
Governor Jefferson. "Too many of our boys are rotting in British
prison ships." This from Jefferson, so long the humane friend of
Burgoyne's surrendered troops now quartered at Charlottesville!

The British commanders blustered and protested, but Jefferson firmly
replied, "I avow my purpose to repay cruelty, hangings, and close
confinement. It is my duty to treat Hamilton and his officers with
severity. Iron will be retaliated with iron, prison ships by prison
ships, and like by like in general."

Washington advised a mitigation of the extreme severity, but
Jefferson's course had its effect. The British were more merciful
thereafter.

And with the coming of Hamilton came all the wonderful story of the
capture of Vincennes. And who can tell it? Who has told it? Historians
hesitate. Romancers shrink from the task. Not one has surpassed George
Rogers Clark's own letters, which read like fragments of the gospel of
liberty.

Before the home fire at Caroline, John Rogers told the tale. A hush
fell. The mother softly wept as she thought of her scattered boys, one
in the west, two with Washington tracking the snows of Valley Forge,
one immured in a prison ship where patriot martyrs groaned their lives
away.

Little William heard the tale, and his young heart swelled with
emotion. John Clark listened, then spoke but one sentence.

"If I had as many more sons I would give them all to my country."

All the way from Kentucky Daniel Boone was sent to the Virginia
legislature. He said to Jefferson: "I doubt these charges against
Governor Hamilton. Last Spring I was captured by the Shawnees and
dragged to Detroit. Governor Hamilton took pity on me and offered the
Indians one hundred dollars for my release. They refused to take it.
But he gave me a horse, and on that horse I eventually made my
escape."

"Did that prevent Governor Hamilton from sending an armed force of
British and Indians to besiege Boonsboro?" inquired Jefferson.

Boone had to admit that it did not. But for that timely escape and
warning Boonsboro would have fallen.

But Boone in gratitude went to the dungeon and offered what
consolation he could to the imprisoned Governor.

The fact is, that Daniel Boone carried ever on his breast, wrapped in
a piece of buckskin, that old commission of Lord Dunmore's. It saved
him from the Indians; it won Hamilton.



XII

_TWO WARS AT ONCE_


The sunbeams glistened on the naked skin of an Indian runner, as, hair
flying in the wind, from miles away he came panting to Clark at
Kaskaskia.

"There is to be an attack on San Loui'. Wabasha, the Sioux, and
Matchekewis--"

"How do you know?"

"I hear at Michilimackinac,--Winnebagoe, Sauk, Fox, Menomonie."

Clark laughed and gave the messenger a drink of taffia. But the moment
the painted savage slid away the Colonel prepared to inform his
friends at St. Louis.

"Pouf!" laughed the careless commandant, drinking his wine at the
Government House. "Why need we fear? Are not our relation wit de
Indian friendly? Never haf been attack on San Luis, never will be. Be
seat, haf wine, tak' wine, Señor le Colonel."

"Pouf!" echoed the guests at the Governor's table. "Some trader angry
because he lose de peltry stole in de Spanish country. It never go
beyond threat."

An attack? The very idea seemed to amuse the Governor in his cups. But
Father Gibault looked grave. "I, too, have heard such a rumour."

"It may be only a belated report of Hamilton's scheming," replied
Clark. "Now he is boxed up it may blow over. But in case the English
attempt to seize the west bank of this river I pledge you all the
assistance in my power."

"T'anks, t'anks, my good friend, I'll not forget. In de middle of de
night you get my summon."

But, unknown to them, that very May, Spain declared war against Great
Britain. And Great Britain coveted the Mississippi.

Madame Marie and the charming Donna had been listeners. Colonel Clark
handed the maiden a bouquet of wild roses as he came in, but spoke not
a word. All the year had she been busy, embroidering finery for "le
Colonel." Such trifles were too dainty for the soldier's life--but he
wore them next his heart.

While the dinner party overwhelmed the victor with congratulations and
drank to his health, Clark saw only the Donna, child of the convent,
an exotic, strangely out of place in this wild frontier.

"I am a soldier," he whispered, "and cannot tarry. My men are at the
boats, but I shall _watch_ St. Louis."

Her eyes followed him, going away so soon, with Father Gibault and De
Leyba down to the river. As he looked back a handkerchief fluttered
from an upper window, and he threw her a kiss.

"I am not clear but the Spaniards would suffer their settlements to
fall with ours for the sake of having the opportunity of retaking them
both," muttered Clark as he crossed the river, suspicious of De
Leyba's inaction.

At Kaskaskia forty recruits under Captain Robert George had arrived
by way of New Orleans. Then Montgomery, with another forty, came down
the Ohio.

They must be fed and clothed directly. In the midst of these
perplexities appeared John Todd, the new Governor.

"Ah, my friend," Clark grasped his hand. "Now I see myself happily rid
of a piece of trouble I take no delight in. I turn the civil
government over to you. But our greatest trouble is the lack of
money."

"Money? Why, here are continental bills in abundance."

"Worth two cents on the dollar. 'Dose British traders,' say the
habitants, 'dey will not take five huntert to one. Dey will have
nought but skins.' This has brought our Virginia paper into disrepute.
They will not even take a coin unless it is stamped with the head of a
king."

"What have you done?"

"Done? Purchased supplies on my own credit. Several merchants of this
country have advanced considerable sums and I have given them drafts
on our Virginian agent in New Orleans. They come back, protested for
want of funds. Francis Vigo has already loaned me ten thousand dollars
in silver piastres."

"But Virginia will pay it,--she is bound to pay it. The service must
not suffer." Thus reassured that his course had been right, Colonel
Clark continued:

"Four posts must be garrisoned to hold this country,--Kaskaskia,
Cahokia, Vincennes, and the Falls of the Ohio,--not one has sufficient
defence. Colonel Montgomery's force is not half what I expected. But
if I am not deceived in the Kentuckians I shall yet be able to
complete my designs on Detroit. I only want sufficient men to make me
appear respectable in passing among the savages."

The cautious French settlers were a trial to Clark. Father Gibault
tried to persuade them, parting with his own tithes and horses to set
an example to his parishioners to make equal sacrifices to the
American cause. Altogether, Father Gibault advanced seven thousand
eight hundred livres, French money, equal to fifteen hundred and sixty
dollars,--his little all.

Governor Todd said, "If the people will not spare willingly, you must
press it."

"I cannot press it," answered Clark. "We must keep the inhabitants
attached to us by every means in our power. Rather will I sign notes
right and left on my own responsibility to procure absolute
necessities to hold Illinois, trusting to Virginia to make it right."

Then after a thoughtful pause,--"I cannot think of the consequences of
losing possession of the country without resolving to risk every point
rather than suffer it."

The bad crops of 1779 and the severity of the winter of 1780 made
distress in Illinois. Nevertheless the cheerful habitants sold their
harvests to Clark and received in payment his paper on New Orleans.

"You encourage me to attempt Detroit," Clark wrote to Jefferson. "It
has been twice in my power. When I first arrived in this country, or
when I was at Vincennes, could I have secured my prisoners and had
only three hundred men, I should have attempted it, and I since learn
there could have been no doubt of my success. But they are now
completing a new fort, too strong I fear for any force that I shall
ever be able to raise in this country."

Then he hurried back to Vincennes. Thirty only were there of the three
hundred expected. An Indian army camped ready to march at his call.

"Never depend upon Injuns," remarked Simon Kenton, reappearing after
an absence of weeks.

"Kenton? Well, where have you been? You look battered."

"Battered I am, but better, the scars are almost gone. Captured by
Shawnees, made to run the gauntlet twice, then dragged to St. Dusky to
be burnt at the stake."

"How did you escape?"

"One of your Detroit Frenchmen, Pierre Drouillard, late interpreter
for your captured Hamilton, told them the officers at Detroit wanted
to question me about the Big Knife. Ha! Ha! It took a long powwow and
plenty of wampum, and the promise to bring me back."

"Did he intend to do it?"

"Lord, no! as soon as we were out of sight he told me, 'Never will I
abandon you to those inhuman wretches,' A trader's wife enabled me to
escape from Detroit."

"Do you think I can take Detroit?"

"Take it, man? As easy as you took Vincennes. Only the day of surprise
is past. A cloud of red Injuns watch the approaches. You must have
troops."

Troops! Troops! None came. None could come. What had happened?

Taking with him one of Hamilton's light brass cannon to fortify the
Falls of the Ohio, Clark discovered that at the very time of his
capture, Hamilton had appointed a great council of Indians to meet at
the mouth of the Tennessee.

"The Cherokees have risen on the Tennessee settlements, and the
regiments intended for you have turned south."

The sword and belt of Hamilton had done their work. America was
fighting two wars at once.



XIII

_THE KEY OF THE COUNTRY_


"The Falls is the Key of the Country. It shall be my depot of
supplies. Here will I build a fort. A great city will one day arise on
this spot." And in honour of the King who had helped America, Clark
named it Louisville.

Axes, hammers, and saws made music while Clark's busy brain was
planning parks and squares to make his city the handsomest in America.
But, ever disturbing this recreation, "Detroit" was in his soul.
"Public interest requires that I reside here until provision can be
made for the coming campaign."

"Since Clark's feat the world is running mad for Kentucky," said the
neighbours in Caroline. Through all that Autumn, emigrants were
hurrying down to take advantage of the new land laws of Virginia.

"A fleet of flatboats!" shouted the workmen at the Falls. Down with
others from Pittsburg, when the autumn rains raised the river, came
Clark's old comrade, John Floyd, and his brothers and his bride, Jane
Buchanan. One of those brothers was Isham Floyd, the boy drummer of
Vincennes.

"I, too, shall build a fort," said John Floyd to his friends, "here on
Bear Grass Creek, close to Louisville."

Still emigrants were on their way, when a most terrific winter set in.
Stock was frozen, wild beasts and game died. The forests lay deep with
snow, and rivers were solid with ice.

The cabins of Louisville were crowded, the fort was filled with
emigrants. Food gave out, corn went up to one hundred and fifty
dollars a bushel in depreciated continental currency. Even a cap of
native fur cost five hundred dollars.

The patient people shivered under their buffalo, bear, and elk-skin
bedquilts, penned in the little huts, living on boiled buffalo beef
and venison hams, with fried bear or a slice of turkey breast for
bread, and dancing on Christmas night with pineknot torches bracketed
on the walls.

"Did you not say the conquerors of Vincennes waded through the drowned
lands in February?" asked a fair one of her partner at the dance.

"Yes, but that was an open winter. This, thank God, is cold enough to
deter our enemies from attempting to recover what they have lost."

"But Colonel Clark said the weather was warm?"

"Warm, did you say? Who knows what Clark would have called warm
weather in February? The water up to their armpits could not have been
warm at that time of year."

The spring waters broke; a thousand emigrants went down the Ohio to
Louisville. And carcasses of bear, elk, deer, and lesser game floated
out of the frozen forests.

During the June rise more than three hundred flatboats arrived at the
Falls loaded with wagons; for months long trains were departing from
Louisville with these people bound for the interior. Floyd's fort on
the Bear Grass became a rendezvous; the little harbour an anchorage
for watercraft.

"We must establish a claim to the Mississippi," wrote Jefferson to
Clark. "Go down to the mouth of the Ohio and build a fort on Chickasaw
Bluff. It will give us a claim to the river."

While Clark was preparing, an express arrived from Kaskaskia,--

"We are threatened with invasion. Fly to our relief."

Without money save land warrants, without clothing save skins,
depending on their rifles for food, Clark's little flotilla with two
hundred men set down the Ohio, on the very flood that was bringing the
emigrants, to clinch the hold on Illinois.

"I have now two thousand warriors on the Lakes. The Wabash Indians
have promised to amuse Mr. Clark at the Falls." De Peyster, the new
commandant at Detroit, was writing to General Haldimand at Quebec.
Even as Clark left, a few daring savages came up and fired on the fort
at Louisville.

"She is strong enough now to defend herself," said Clark as he pulled
away.

Colonel Bird, working hard at Detroit, started his Pottawattamies.
They went but a little way.

"Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Long Knives coming!" Pell-mell, back they fell, to be
fitted out all over again.

"These unsteady rogues put me out of all patience!" exclaimed the
angry Colonel Bird. "They are always cooking or counciling. Indians
are most happy when most frequently fitted out."

"Such is the dependence on Indians without troops to lead them,"
sagely remarked De Peyster. "But without them we could not hold the
country."

"It is distressing," wrote Governor Haldimand, "to reflect that
notwithstanding the vast treasure lavished upon these people, no
dependence can be had on them."

"Amazing sum!" he exclaimed when the bills came in. "I observe with
great concern the astonishing consumption of rum at Detroit. This
expense cannot be borne."

However, the Pottawattamies sharpened their hatchets and, newly
outfitted, set out for the rapids of the Ohio.

"Bring them in alive if possible," was the parting admonition of De
Peyster, warned by the obloquy of Hamilton. Vain remonstrance with
four hundred and seventy-six dozen scalping knives at Bird's command!

From every unwary emigrant along the Ohio, daily the Delawares and
Shawnees brought their offerings of scalps to Detroit, and throwing
them down at the feet of the commander said, "Father, we have done as
you directed us; we have struck your enemies."

The bounty was paid; the scalps were counted and flung into a cellar
under the Council House.

And De Peyster, really a good fellow, like André, a _bon vivant_ and
lover of books and music, went on with his cards, balls, and
assemblies, little feeling the iron that goes to the making of
nations.

"Kentuckians very bad people! Ought to be scalped as fast as taken,"
said the Indians.



XIV

_BEHIND THE CURTAIN_


"We must dislodge this American general from his new conquest," said
the British officers, "or tribe after tribe will be gained over and
subdued. Thus will be destroyed the only barrier which protects the
great trading establishments of the Northwest and Hudson's Bay.
Nothing could then prevent the Americans from gaining the source of
the Mississippi, gradually extending themselves by the Red River to
Lake Winnipeg, from whence the descent of Nelson's River to York Fort
would in time be easy."

Another strong factor in this decision was the dissatisfaction of the
British traders with the new movement that was deflecting the fur
trade down the Mississippi. The French families of Cahokia and
Kaskaskia sent their furs down to New Orleans, greatly to the
displeasure of their late English rulers, who wanted them to go to
Canada, by the St. Louis trail to Detroit.

"Why should it not continue over the old Detroit trail to Montreal?"
they questioned. "Is our fur trade to be cut off by these beggarly
rebels and Spaniards? It belongs to Canada, Canada shall have it!" So
all North America was fought over for the fur trade.

"I will use my utmost endeavours to send as many Indians as I can to
attack the Spanish settlements, early in February," said Pat Sinclair,
the British commander at Michilimackinac.

"I have taken steps to engage the Sioux under their own Chief,
Wabasha, a man of uncommon abilities. Wabasha is allowed to be a very
extraordinary Indian and well attached to His Majesty's interest."

And Wabasha, king of the buffalo plains above the Falls of St.
Anthony, _was_ an extraordinary Indian. In old days he fought for
Pontiac, but after De Peyster brought the Sioux, the proudest of the
tribes, to espouse the English cause, every year Wabasha made a visit
to his British father at Michilimackinac.

On such a visit as this he came from Prairie du Chien after hearing
that Hamilton was taken, and was received with songs and cannonading:

           "Hail to great Wabashaw!
           Cannonier--fire away,
     Hoist the fort-standard, and beat all the drums;
           Ottawa and Chippewa,
           Whoop! for great Wabashaw!
     He comes--beat drums--the Sioux chief comes.

           "Hail to great Wabashaw!
           Soldiers your triggers draw,
     Guard,--wave the colours, and give him the drum!
           Choctaw and Chickasaw,
           Whoop for great Wabashaw!
     Raise the port-cullis!--the King's friend is come."

By such demonstrations and enormous gifts, the Indians were held to
the British standard.

It was Wabasha and his brothers, Red Wing and Little Crow, who in 1767
gave a deed to Jonathan Carver of all the land around St. Anthony's
Falls, on which now stand the cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, but
no government confirmation of the deed has ever been discovered.

"The reduction of St. Louis will be an easy matter, and of the rebels
at Kaskaskia also," continued Sinclair. "All the traders who will
secure the posts on the Spanish side of the Mississippi have my
promise for the exclusive trade of the Missouri."

The Northwest red men were gathering,--Menomonies, Sacs, Foxes,
Winnebagoes,--at the portage of the Wisconsin and Fox Rivers,
collecting all the corn and canoes in the country, to set out on the
tenth of March. Again Sinclair writes, "Seven hundred and fifty men
set out down the Mississippi the second of May."

Another party assembled at Chicago to come by the Illinois,--Indians,
British, and traders.

"Captain Hesse will remain at St. Louis," continued Governor Sinclair.
"Wabasha will attack Ste. Genevieve and the rebels at Kaskaskia. Two
vessels leave here on the second of June to attend Matchekewis, who
will return by the Illinois River with prisoners."

Very well De Peyster knew Matchekewis, the puissant chief who

               "At foot-ball sport
     With arms concealed, surprised the fort,"

at Michilimackinac in Pontiac's war. It was Matchekewis himself who
kicked the ball over the pickets, and rushing in with his band fell on
the unprepared ranks of the British garrison. On the reoccupation of
Mackinac, Matchekewis had been sent to Quebec and imprisoned, but,
released and dismissed with honours and a buffalo barbecue, now he was
leading his Chippewas for the King.

All this was part of a wider scheme, devised in London, for the
subjugation of the Mississippi.



XV

_THE ATTACK ON ST. LOUIS_


Scarce had Clark time to set his men to work on Fort Jefferson, on the
Chickasaw Bluffs overlooking the Mississippi, before he received two
other expresses, one from Montgomery, one from the Spanish Governor
himself,--"Haste, haste to our relief."

Not wishing to alarm his men, Clark picked out a strong escort,--"I
shall be gone a few days. Finish the fort. Keep a constant guard."

They thought he had gone to Kentucky.

All through the year 1779 the Frenchmen remembered Clark's warning. At
last, so great became the general apprehension, that the people
themselves, directed by Madame Rigauche, the school-mistress, erected
a sort of defence of logs and earth, five or six feet high, and posted
a cannon in each of the three gates.

"Pouf! Pouf!" laughed the Governor. But he did not interfere.

But so many days elapsed, so little sign of change appeared in the
accustomed order of things, that the reassured Frenchmen went on as
usual digging in their fields, racing their horses, and clicking their
billiard balls. Night after night they played their fiddles and danced
till dawn on their footworn puncheon floors.

And all the while the Lake Indians of the North were planning and
counselling. All through the Spring they were gathering at rendezvous,
paddling down Lake Michigan's shore into the Chicago River, and then
by portage into the Illinois, where they set up the cry, "On to St.
Louis!"

So long had been the fear allayed, so much the rumour discredited,
that when old man Quenelle came back across the river, white with
excitement, the people listened to his tale as of one deranged.

"What? Do you ask? What?" His teeth chattered. "Ducharme, Ducharme the
absconder, meet me across te river an' say--'Te Injun comin'!' Fifteen
huntert down te river of te Illinois!"

Terrified was the old man. Hearers gathered round plying him with
questions. The incredulous laughed at his incoherence. "What? What?"
he gasped. "You laugh?" Some believed him. Dismay began to creep over
the more timid ones.

"What is it?" inquired the burly Governor De Leyba, bustling up.
"What? That same old yarn to frighten the people? Quenelle is an old
dotard. Take him to prison." Thus reassured, again the people went on
with work, games, festivity.

But now the people of Cahokia became excited. Early in March Colonel
Gratiot sent a boatload of goods for trade to Prairie du Chien. It was
captured by Indians on the Mississippi. Breathless half-breed runners
reported the apparition upon the waters,--"All te waves black with
canoes. A great many sauvages."

"Clark," was the spoken and unspoken thought of all. "Clark, the
invincible, where is he?"

Some said, "He is camped with his Long Knives in the American Bottom."

"No, he is building a fort at the Chickasaw Bluffs."

Hurriedly the villagers prepared an express for Clark. Charles Gratiot
was sent, the brainiest man in Cahokia, one who could speak English,
and, moreover, a great friend of Clark.

On the swiftest canoe Charles Gratiot launched amid the prayers of
Cahokia. Down he swept on the Mississippi with the precious papers
calling for succour. Safely he passed a thousand snags, safely reached
the bluffs of Chickasaw, and saw the fort. Toiling up he gave his
message.

"Colonel Clark? He is gone. We think he left for Louisville." Without
delay a messenger was dispatched to follow his supposed direction.

Meanwhile, Clark and his soldiers, joining Montgomery by land, had
hurried to Cahokia. Immediately he crossed to St. Louis. It was the
feast of Corpus Christi, May 25. Service in the little log chapel was
over.

"Come," said the people in holiday attire, "Let us gather strawberries
on the flowery mead."

From their covert, peeped the Indians. "To-morrow!" they said,
"to-morrow!"

Out of the picnic throng, with lap full of flowers, the beautiful
Donna ran to greet her lover.

"So long"--she drew a sigh--"I haf watched and waited!" Love had
taught her English. Never had the Donna appeared so fair, with shining
eyes and black hair waving on her snowy shoulders.

With tumultuous heart Colonel Clark bent and kissed her. "Vengeance I
swear on any Indian that shall ever mar this lovely head!" Then
crushing her hand with the grip of a giant,--"Wait a little, my dear,
I must see your brother the Governor."

Outside the maiden waited while Clark entered the Government House.

At last Don Francisco De Leyba was come to his senses: "I fear, but I
conceal from de people. I sent for Lieutenant Cartabona from de Ste.
Genevieve. He haf arrived with twenty-five soldier. Will you not
command of both side de river? I need you. You promised."

De Leyba wore a long scarf of crape for his lately deceased wife.
Clark had never seen him look so ill; he was worn out and trembling.
The ruffle at his wrist shook like that of a man with palsy.

Clark took the nervous hand in his own firm grasp.

"Certainly, my friend, I will do everything in my power. What are your
defences?"

"We haf a stockade, you note it? De cannon at gates? I assure de
people no danger, de rumour false; I fear dey scarce will believe
now." Together they went out to review Cartabona's soldiers and the
works of defence.

"Le Colonel Clark! Le Colonel Clark!" the people cheered as he passed.
"Now we are safe!"

De Leyba had sent out a hunter to shoot ducks for the Colonel's
dinner. And while the Governor and Clark were in discussion, the
hunter met a spy.

"Who commands at Cahokia?" inquired the stranger.

"Colonel Clark; he has arrived with a great force."

"Colonel Clark! Oh, no," answered the spy in amazement, "that cannot
be! Clark is in Kentucky. We have just killed an express with
dispatches to him there."

"I don't know about that," answered the hunter, in his turn surprised.
"Colonel Clark is at this moment in St. Louis, and I have been sent to
kill some ducks for his dinner."

The stranger disappeared.

Clark was in St. Louis about two hours. "Cartabona is here. I shall be
ready to answer his slightest signal. Be sure I shall answer." He
turned to go.

"Going? No, no, Señor Colonel, I cannot permit--" The hands of
Governor De Leyba shook still more. "I expect you to dine,--haf sent a
hunter for ducks."

But when did George Rogers Clark ever stop to eat when there was
fighting on hand? Hastily recrossing the river, he put Cahokia into
immediate defence.

The next day dawned clear and bright, but the people, wearied with
all-night dancing, slumbered late. Grandfather Jean Marie Cardinal had
not danced. He was uncommonly industrious that morning. Hastening away
in the dewy dawn, he went to planting corn in his slightly plowed
fields. Gradually others strolled out on the Grand Prairie. It was
high noon when an Indian down by the spring caught the eye of
Grandfather Jean Marie Cardinal.

"He must not give the alarm," thought the savage, so on the instant he
slew and scalped him where he stood.

Then all was tumult. The people in the village heard the sound of
firearms. Lieutenant Cartabona and his garrison fired a gunshot from
the tower to warn the scattered villagers in the fields. Erelong they
came stumbling into the north gate half dead with fright and
exhaustion.

"The Chippewas! The Chippewas!"

They had crossed the river and murdered the family of François
Bellhome.

"_Sacre Dieu! le Sauvage! la Tour! la Tour!_" cried the frantic
habitants, but the tower was occupied by Cartabona and his coward
soldiers.

Every man rushed to the Place des Armes, powder-horn and bullet-pouch
in hand.

"To arms! To arms!" was the terrified cry.

"Where is the garrison? Where is the Governor?"

But they came not forth. Cartabona and his men continued to garrison
the tower. The Governor cowered in the Government House with doors
shut and barricaded. Women and children hid in the houses, telling
their beads.

It was about noon when the quick ear of Clark, over in Cahokia, heard
the cannonading and small arms in St. Louis. He sent an express.

"Here, Murray and Jaynes, go over the river and inquire the cause."

Slipping through the cottonwood trees, the express met an old negro
woman on a keen run for Cahokia. She screamed, "Run, Boston, run! A
great many salvages!"

All together ran back, just in time to meet Colonel Clark marching out
of the east gate. In the thick woods of Cahokia Creek he caught a view
of the foe. "Boom!" rang his brass six-pounder,--tree-tops and Indians
fell together.

Amazed at this rear fire the Indians turned in confusion. One
terrified look,--"It is the Long Knife! We have been deceived. We will
not fight the Long Knife!" With one wild whoop they scurried to their
boats. The handful of traders, deserted, raised the siege and retired.

It was the period of the spring rise of the powerful and turbulent
Mississippi, which, undermining its shores, dumped cottonwood trees
into the river.

"The whole British army is coming on rafts!" In terror seeing the
supposed foe advancing, Cartabona's soldiers began firing at the
white-glancing trees on the midnight waters. On, on came the ghostly
flotilla.

"Cease firing!" demanded De Leyba emerging from his retreat.

"De cowardly, skulking old Goffner! hide heself! abandon de people!"
In wrath they tore toward him, sticks and stones flying. The Governor
fled, and the daft Spaniards, watching the river, spiked the cannon,
preparing to fly the moment the British landed.

Cahokia trembled all night long. There were noises and howls of
wolves, but no Indians. Clark himself in the darkness made the rounds
of his sentinels. Even through the shadows they guessed who walked at
night.

"Pass, grand round, keep clear of my arms and all's well," was the
successive cry from post to post in the picket gardens of old Cahokia.

With the first pale streak of dawn the sleepless habitants looked out.
All was still. The Indians were gone, but over at St. Louis seven men
were found dead, scalped by the retreating foe. Many more were being
carried off prisoners, but Clark's pursuing party rescued thirty.

The prisoners, dragged away to the north by their captors, suffered
hardships until restored at the end of the war, in 1783.

When Clark heard of the incompetence of De Leyba he was furious. On
his way to the Government House, he saw the lovely Donna at her
casement. Her hair was dishevelled, her eyes wet with tears. She
extended her hand. Clark took one step toward her, and then pride
triumphed.

"Never will I become the father of a race of cowards," and turning on
his heel he left St. Louis forever.

In one month De Leyba was dead, some said by his own hand. He knew
that Auguste Chouteau had gone to complain of him at New Orleans,--the
people believed he had been bribed by Great Britain; he knew that only
disgrace awaited him, and he succumbed to his many disasters and the
universal obloquy in which he was held. He was buried in the little
log chapel, beneath the altar, by the side of his wife, where his tomb
is pointed out to this day.

And the beautiful Donna De Leyba? She waited and wept but Clark came
not. Then, taking with her the two little orphan nieces, Rita and
Perdita, she went down to New Orleans. Here for a time she lingered
among friends, and at last, giving up all hope, retired to the
Ursuline convent and became a nun.

Presently Auguste Chouteau returned from New Orleans with the new
Governor, Don Francisco de Cruzat, who pacified fears and fortified
the town with half-a-dozen circular stone turrets, twenty feet high,
connected by a stout stockade of cedar posts pierced with loopholes
for artillery. On the river bank a stone tower called the Half Moon,
and west of it a square log tower called the Bastion, still stood
within the memory of living men.

"Next year a thousand Sioux will be in the field under Wabasha," wrote
Sinclair to Haldimand, his chief in Canada.

But the Sioux had no more desire to go back to "the high walled house
of thunder," where the cannon sounded not "Hail to great Wabashaw!"

Their own losses were considerable, for Clark ordered an immediate
pursuit. Some of the Spaniards, grateful for the succour of the
Americans, crossed the river and joined Montgomery's troops in his
chase after the retreating red men.

"The Americans are coming," was the scare-word at Prairie du Chien.
"Better get up your furs."

With Wabasha's help the traders hastily bundled three hundred packs of
their best furs into canoes, and setting fire to the remaining sixty
packs, burned them, together with the fort, while they hurried away to
Michilimackinac. Matchekewis went by the Lakes. "Two hundred Illinois
cavalry arrived at Chicago five days after the vessels left," is the
record of the Haldimand papers.

The watchfulness and energy of Clark alone saved Illinois;
nevertheless, De Peyster felt satisfied, for he thought that diversion
kept Clark from Detroit.

After the terror was all over, long in the annals of the fireside, the
French of St. Louis related the feats of "_l'année du coup_."

"Auguste Chouteau, he led te defence, he and he brother."

"No, Madame Rigauche, te school-meestress, she herself touch te
cannon."

"Well, at any rate, we hid in te Chouteau garden, behind te stone
wall."



XVI

_OLD CHILLICOTHE_


With a wrench at his hot heart stifled only by wrath and
determination, Clark strode from St. Louis. At Cahokia French
deserters were talking to Montgomery.

"A tousand British and Indians on te march to Kentucky with cannon."

"When did they start?" thundered Clark. The Frenchman dodged as if
shot.

"Dey start same time dis. Colonel Bird to keep Clark busy in Kentucky
so Sinclair get San Loui' an' brak up te fur trade."

For once in his life Clark showed alarm. "I know the situation of that
country. I shall attempt to get there before Bird does."

Drawing Montgomery aside, he said, "And you, Colonel, chase these
retreating Indians. Chase them to Michilimackinac if possible. Destroy
their towns and crops, distress them, convince them that we will
retaliate and thus deter them from joining the British again."

Without pausing to breathe after the fatigue of the last few days,
with a small escort Clark launched a boat and went flying down to
Chickasaw Bluffs. Disguised as Indians, feathered and painted, he and
a few others left Fort Jefferson.

Clark's army the year before had carried glowing news of Illinois.
Already emigration had set in. On the way now he met forty families
actually starving because they could not kill buffaloes.

A gun?--it was a part of Clark. He used his rifle-barrelled firelock
as he used his hands, his feet, his eyes, instantly, surely,
involuntarily. He showed them how to strike the buffalo in a vital
part, killed fourteen, and hurried on, thirty miles a day, fording
stream and swamp and tangled forest to save Kentucky.

Kentucky was watching for her deliverer. Into his ear was poured the
startling tale. With Simon Girty, the renegade, and six hundred
Indians, down the high waters of the Miami and up the Licking, Bird
came to Ruddle's station and fired his cannon. Down went the wooden
palisades like a toy blockhouse before his six-pounders.

"Surrender!" came the summons from Colonel Bird.

"Yes, if we can be prisoners to the British and not to the Indians."

Bird assented. The gates were thrown open. Indians flew like dogs upon
the helpless people.

"You promised security," cried Captain Ruddle.

"I cannot stop them," said Bird. "I, too, am in their power."

Madly the Indians sacked the station and killed the cattle. Loading
the household goods upon the backs of the unfortunate owners, they
drove them forth and gave their cabins to the flames.

The same scenes were enacted at Martin's Station. The Indians were
wild for more. But Bird would not permit further devastation. He could
easily have taken every fort in Kentucky, not one could have withstood
his artillery; but to his honour be it said, he led his forces out.

Loaded with plunder, the wretched captives, four hundred and fifty
men, women, and children, were driven away to Detroit. Whoever
faltered was tomahawked.

Clark immediately called on the militia of Kentucky. Hastening to
Harrodsburg he found the newcomers wild over land entries.

"Land!" they cried, "you can have all you can hold against the
Indians."

It was a grewsome joke. The Indians would not even let them survey.
Like a military dictator, Clark closed the land office,--"Nor will it
be opened again until after this expedition."

Immediately a thousand men enlisted. Logan, Linn, Floyd, Harrod, all
followed the banner of Clark. Boone and Kenton set on ahead as guides,
into the land they knew so well.

"Is it not dangerous to invade the Shawnee country?" inquired one.

"I was not born in the woods to be scared by an owl," was Clark's
sententious reply.

All the provisions they had for twenty-five days was six quarts of
parched corn each, except what they got in the Indian country.

Canoeing down the Licking, on the first day of August they crossed the
Ohio. Scarce touching shore they heard the scalp halloo. Some fell.
Within fifteen minutes Clark had his axes in the forest building a
blockhouse for his wounded. On that spot now stands Cincinnati.

On pressed Clark in his retaliatory dash,--before the Shawnees even
suspected, the Kentuckians were at Old Chillicothe. They flew to arms,
but the Long Knives swooped down with such fury that Simon Girty drew
off.

"It is folly to fight such madmen."

Chillicothe went down in flames; Piqua followed; fields, gardens, more
than five hundred acres of corn were razed to the level of the sod.

Piqua was Tecumseh's village; again he learned to dread and hate the
white man.

"That will keep them at home hunting for a while," remarked Clark,
turning back to the future Cincinnati.



XVII

_"DETROIT MUST BE TAKEN"_


Again George Rogers Clark sped through Cumberland Gap, fair as a
Tyrolean vale, to Virginia. And dashing along the same highway, down
the valley of Virginia, came the minute men of the border, in green
hunting shirts, hard-riders and sharp-shooters of Fincastle.

"Hey and away, and what news?"

The restless mountaineers of the Appalachians, almost as fierce and
warlike as the Goths and Vandals of an earlier day, answered:

"We have broken the back of Tarleton's army at King's Mountain,
Cornwallis is facing this way, and cruisers are coming up into the
Chesapeake."

"Marse Gawge! Marse Gawge!"

This time it was little York, the negro, who, peeping from the slave
quarters of old York and Rose, detected the stride of George Rogers
Clark out under the mulberry trees.

The long, low, Virginia farmhouse was wrapped in slumber, an almost
funeral pall hung over the darkened porch, as John Clark stepped out
to grasp the hand of his son.

"Three of my boys in British prisons, we looked for nothing less for
you, George. William alone is left."

"Girls do not count, I suppose," laughed the saucy Lucy, peeping out
in her night-curls with a candle in her hand. "Over at Bowling Green
the other day, when all the gallants were smiling on me, one jealous
girl said, 'I do not see what there is so interesting about Lucy
Clark. She is not handsome, and she has red hair.' 'Ah,' I replied, 'I
can tell her. They know I have five brothers all officers in the
Revolutionary army!'"

"What, Edmund gone, too?" exclaimed George. "He is but a lad!"

"Big enough to don the buff and blue, and shoulder a gun," answered
the father. "He would go,--left school, led all his mates, and six
weeks later was taken prisoner along with Jonathan and the whole
army."

That was the fall of Charleston, in the very May when Clark was saving
St. Louis.

"We are all at war," spoke up Elizabeth, the elder sister, sadly.
"Even the boys drill on mimic battlefields; all the girls in Virginia
are spinning and weaving clothes for the soldiers; Mrs. Washington
keeps sixteen spinning-wheels busy at Mount Vernon; mother and all the
ladies have given their jewels to fit out the army. Mrs. Jefferson
herself led the call for contributions, and Mrs. Lewis of Albemarle
collected five thousand dollars in Continental currency. Father has
given up his best horses, and Jefferson impressed his own horses and
waggons at Monticello to carry supplies to General Gates. All the lads
in the country are moulding bullets and making gun-powder. We haven't
a pewter spoon left."

"An' we niggers air raisin' fodder," ventured the ten-year-old York.

York had his part, along with his young master, William. Daily they
rode together down the Rappahannock, carrying letters to Fielding
Lewis at Fredericksburg. It was there, at Kenmore House, that they met
Meriwether Lewis, visiting his uncle and aunt Betty, the sister of
Washington. "And when she puts on his _chapeau_ and great coat, she
looks exactly like the General," said William.

"What has become of my captured Governors?" George asked of his
father.

"I hear that Hamilton was offered a parole on condition that he would
not use his liberty in any way to speak or influence any one against
the colonies. He indignantly refused to promise that, and so was
returned to close captivity. But I think when Boone came up to the
legislature he used some influence; at any rate Hamilton was paroled
and went with Hay to England. Rocheblave broke his parole and fled to
New York."

The five fireplaces of the old Clark home roared a welcome that day
up the great central chimney, and candles gleamed at evening from
dormer window to basement when all the neighbours crowded in to hail
"the Washington of the West."

"Now, Rose, you and Nancy bake the seed cakes and have beat biscuit,"
said Mrs. Clark to the fat cook in the kitchen. "York has gone after
the turkeys."

"Events are in desperate straits," said George at bedtime; "I must
leave at daylight." But earlier yet young William was up to gallop a
mile beside his brother on the road to Richmond, whither the capital
had been removed for greater safety.

"Is this the young Virginian that is sending home all the western
Governors?" exclaimed the people. An ovation followed him all the way.

"What is your plan?" asked Governor Jefferson, after the fiery
cavalier had been received with distinction by the Virginia Assembly.

"My plan is to ascend the Wabash in early Spring and strike before
reinforcements can reach Detroit, or escape be made over the breaking
ice of the Lakes. The rivers open first."

George Rogers Clark, born within three miles of Monticello, had known
Jefferson all his life, and save Patrick Henry no one better grasped
his plans. In fact, Jefferson had initiative and was not afraid of
untried ventures.

"My dear Colonel, I have already written to Washington that we could
furnish the men, provisions, and every necessary except powder, had we
the money, for the reduction of Detroit. But there is no money,--not
even rich men have seen a shilling in a year. Washington to the north
is begging aid, Gates in the south is pleading for men and arms, and
not a shilling is in the treasury of Virginia."

"But Detroit must be taken," said Clark with a solemn emphasis.
"Through my aides I have this discovery: a combination is forming to
the westward,--a confederacy of British and Indians,--to spread dismay
to our frontier this coming Spring. We cannot hesitate. The fountain
head of these irruptions must be cut off, the grand focus of Indian
hostilities from the Mohawk to the Mississippi."

Even as he spoke, Jefferson, pen in hand, was noting points in another
letter to Washington.

"We have determined to undertake it," wrote Jefferson, "and commit it
to Clark's direction. Whether the expense of the enterprise shall be
defrayed by the Continent or State we leave to be decided hereafter by
Congress. In the meantime we only ask the loan of such necessaries as,
being already at Fort Pitt, will save time and expense of
transportation. I am, therefore, to solicit Your Excellency's order to
the commandant at Fort Pitt for the articles contained in the annexed
list."

Clark had the list in hand. "It is our only hope; there is not a
moment to be lost."

On fleet horses the chain of expresses bore daily news to the camp of
Washington, but before his answer could return, another express reined
up at Richmond.

"Benedict Arnold, the traitor, has entered the Capes of Virginia with
a force of two thousand men."

It was New Year's Eve and Richmond was in a tumult. On New Year's day
every legislator was moving his family to a place of safety. The very
winds were blowing Arnold's fleet to Richmond.

Virginia had laid herself bare of soldiers; every man that could be
spared had been sent south.

And Arnold? With what rage George Rogers Clark saw him destroy the
very stores that might have taken Detroit,--five brass field-pieces,
arms in the Capitol loft and in waggons on the road, five tons of
powder, tools, quartermaster's supplies. Then the very wind that had
blown Arnold up the river turned and blew him back, and the only blood
shed was by a handful of militia under George Rogers Clark, who killed
and wounded thirty of Arnold's men.

"I have an enterprise to propose," said the Governor to Clark on
return. "I have confidence in your men from the western side of the
mountains. I want to capture Arnold and hang him. You pick the proper
characters and engage them to seize this greatest of all traitors. I
will undertake, if they are successful, that they shall receive five
thousand guineas reward among them."

"I cannot, Arnold is gone, I must capture Detroit."

More determined than ever, Clark and Jefferson went on planning. "Yes,
you must capture Detroit and secure Lake Erie. You shall have two
thousand men, and ammunition and packhorses shall be at the Falls of
the Ohio, March 15, ready for the early break of the ice."

Washington's consent had come, and orders for artillery. With
Washington and Jefferson at his back, Clark made indefatigable efforts
to raise two thousand men to rendezvous March 15.

Up the Blue Ridge his agents went and over to the Holston; he wrote to
western Pennsylvania; he visited Redstone-Old-Fort, and hurried down
to Fort Pitt. Fort Pitt itself was in danger.

The Wabash broke and ran untrammelled, but Clark was not ready.
Cornwallis was destroying Gates at Camden; De Kalb fell, covered with
wounds; Sumter was cut to pieces by Tarleton. The darkest night had
come in a drama that has no counterpart, save in the Napoleonic wars
that shook Europe in the cause of human liberty.

War, war, raged from the Atlantic to the Mississippi. The land was
covered with forts and blockhouses. Every hamlet had its place of
refuge. Mills were fortified, and private houses. Every outlying
settlement was stockaded. Every log house had its pickets and
portholes. Chains of posts followed the river fords and mountain gaps
from Ticonderoga to the Mohawk, from the Susquehanna to the Delaware,
to the Cumberland, to the Tennessee. Anxious sentinels peered from the
watchtowers of wooden castles. Guns stood on the ramparts. The people
slept in barracks. Moats and drawbridges, chained gates and palisades,
guarded the sacred citadels of America.

"And what if England wins?" said one to Washington.

"We can still retire to the Ohio and live in freedom," for, like the
last recesses of the Swiss Alps, it was thought no nation could
conquer the Alleghanies.

In desperation and unaware of the Virginian crisis behind him, George
Rogers Clark embarked four hundred men, all he could get of the
promised two thousand. Only a line he sent to Jefferson, "I have
relinquished all hope," but Jefferson at that hour was flying from
Tarleton, Cornwallis was coming up into Virginia, and Washington with
his ragged band of veteran Continentals was marching down to Yorktown.
There was no time to glance beyond the mountains.

All the northwest, in terror of Clark, was watching and fearing. If a
blow was struck anywhere, "Clark did it." Shawnees and Delawares,
Wyandots at the north, Choctaws and Chickasaws and Cherokees at the
south, British and Indians everywhere, were rising against devoted
Kentucky.

As Clark stepped on his boats at Pittsburg word flew to remotest
tribes,--

"The Long Knives are coming!"

The red man trembled in his wigwam, Detroit redoubled its
fortifications, and Clark's forlorn little garrisons in the prairies
of the west hung on to Illinois.

In those boats Clark bore provisions, ammunition, artillery,
quartermaster's stores, collected as if from the very earth by his
undying energy,--everything but men, men! Major William Croghan stood
with him on the wharf at Pittsburg, burning, longing to go, but honour
forbade,--he was out on parole from Charleston.

Peeping, spying, gliding, Indians down the Ohio would have attacked
but for fear of Clark's cannon. The "rear guard of the Continental
army" little knew the young Virginian, the terror of his name. For
him, Canada staid at home to guard Detroit when she might have wrested
Yorktown.

With shouts of thanksgiving Louisville greeted Clark and his four
hundred; the war had come up to their very doors. Never had the
Indians so hammered away at the border. Across the entire continent
the late intermittent cannon shots became a constant volley.

Every family had its lost ones,--"My father, my mother, my wife, my
child, they slaughtered, burned, tortured,--_I will hunt the Indian
till I die!_"

Detroit, Niagara, Michilimackinac--the very names meant horror, for
there let loose, the red bloodhounds of war, the most savage, the most
awful, with glittering knives, pressed close along the Ohio. The
buffalo meat for the expedition rotted while Clark struggled,
anguished in spirit, a lion chained, "Stationed here to repel a few
predatory savages when I would carry war to the Lakes."

But troops yet behind, "almost naked for want of linen and entirely
without shoes," were trying to join Clark down the wild Ohio. Joseph
Brandt cut them off,--Lochry and Shannon and one hundred
Pennsylvanians,--not one escaped to tell the tale.

Clark never recovered, never forgot the fate of Lochry. "Had I tarried
but one day I might have saved them!" In the night-time he seemed to
hear those struggling captives dragged away to Detroit,--"Detroit!
lost for the want of a few men!" For the first time the over-wrought
hero gave way to intoxication to drown his grief,--and so had Clark
then died, "Detroit" might have been found written on his heart.

Despair swept over Westmoreland where Lochry's men were the flower of
the frontier. Only fourteen or fifteen rifles remained in
Hannastown,--the Indians swooped and destroyed it utterly.



XVIII

_ON THE RAMPARTS_


In all his anguish about Detroit, with the energy of desperation Clark
now set to work making Louisville stronger than ever.

"Boys, we must have defences absolutely impregnable; we know not at
what moment cannon may be booming at our gates."

A new stronghold was founded, and around it a moat eight feet deep and
ten feet wide; surrounding the moat itself, was built a breastwork of
log pens, filled with earth and picketed ten feet high on top of the
breastwork. An acre was thus enclosed, and in that acre was a spring
that bubbles still in the streets of Louisville. Within were mounted a
double six-pounder captured at Vincennes, four cannon, and eight
swivels, and heaped around were shells, balls, and grapeshot brought
for the Detroit campaign. With bakehouse and blockhouse, bastion and
barrack, no enemy ever dared attack Fort Nelson.

"General Clark is too hard on the militia," the soldier boys
complained, but the hammering and pounding and digging went on until
Louisville was the strongest point beyond the Alleghanies.

Back and back came the Indians, in battles and forays, and still in
this troublous time settlers were venturing by flatboat and over the
Wilderness Road into the Blue Grass country. They seemed to fancy that
Clark had stilled the West, that here the cannon had ceased to rattle.

Emigrants on packhorses bound for the land of cane and turkeys saw
bodies of scalped white men every day. Logan and his forest rangers,
like knights of old, guarded the Wilderness Road. Kenton and his
scouts patrolled the Ohio, crossing and recrossing on the track of
marauding savages. Boone watched the Licking; Floyd held the Bear
Grass.

Fort Nelson was done,--its walls were cannon-proof. Clark's gunboat
lay on the water-front when a messenger passed the sentinel with a
letter.

In the little square room that Clark called his headquarters, the
envoy waited. The young commandant read and bowed his head,--was it a
moment of irresolution? "Who could have brought this letter?"

"Any Indian would bring it for a pint of rum," answered a well-known
voice. Pulling off a mask, Connolly stood before him.

It was as if Lord Dunmore had risen from the floor,--Connolly had been
Lord Dunmore's captain commandant of all the land west of the Blue
Ridge. What was he saying?

"As much boundary of land on the west bank of the Ohio as you may
wish, and any title under that of a duke, if you will abandon
Louisville. I am sent to you by Hamilton."

"What!" gasped Clark. "Shall I become an Arnold and give up my
country? Never! Go, sir, before my people discover your identity."

Resolved to lock the secret in his own heart, Clark spoke to no one.
But that same night a similar offer was made to John Floyd on the Bear
Grass. He mentioned it to Clark.

"We must never tell the men," they agreed; "starving and discouraged
they might grasp the offer to escape the Indian tomahawk." But years
after Clark told his sister Lucy, and Floyd told his wife, Jane
Buchanan,--and from them the tale came down to us.

As if enraged at this refusal, British and Indians rallied for a final
onslaught.

"The white men are taking the fair Kain-tuck-ee, the land of deer and
buffalo. If you beat Clark this time you will certainly recover your
hunting-grounds," said De Peyster at the council fire.

In unprecedented numbers the redmen crossed the Ohio,--station after
station was invested; then followed the frightful battle of Blue Licks
where sixty white men fell in ten minutes. Kentucky was shrouded in
mourning.

Again Clark followed swift with a thousand mounted riflemen.

Among the Indians dividing their spoils and their captives there
sounded a sharp alarm, "The Long Knives! The Long Knives!"

"A mighty army on its march!"

Barely had the Shawnees time to fly when Clark's famished Kentuckians
entered Old Chillicothe. Fires were yet burning, corn was on the
roasting sticks, but the foe was gone.

"The property destroyed was of great amount, and the quantity of
provisions burned surpassed all idea we had of the Indian stores,"
Clark said in after years.

This second destruction of their villages and cornfields chilled the
heart of the Indians. Their power was broken. Never again did a great
army cross the Ohio.

But standing again on the ruins of Old Chillicothe, "I swear
vengeance!" cried the young Tecumseh.

And Clark, the Long Knife, mourned in his heart.

"This might have been avoided! this might have been avoided! Never
shall we have peace on this frontier until Detroit is taken!"



XIX

_EXIT CORNWALLIS_


"The boy cannot escape me!"

Lafayette was all that lay between Cornwallis and the subjugation of
Virginia. The lithe little Frenchman, only twenty-three years old,
danced ever on and on before him, fatiguing the redcoats far into the
heats of June.

The Virginia Legislature adjourned to Charlottesville. In vain
Cornwallis chased the boy and sent Tarleton on his raid over the
mountains, "to capture the Governor."

Like a flash he came, the handsome, daring, dashing Colonel Tarleton,
whose name has been execrated for a hundred years.

Virginia was swept as by a tornado. Never a noise in the night, never
a wind could whistle by, but "Tarleton's troop is coming!"

"Tarleton's troop!" Little John Randolph, a boy of eight, his mother
then lying in childbed, was gathered up and hurried away ninety miles
up the Appomattox.

"Tarleton's troop!" Beside the dead body of her husband sat the mother
of four-year-old Henry Clay, with her seven small children shuddering
around her. Standing on a rock in the South Anna River, the great
preacher had addressed his congregation in impassioned oratory for the
last time, and now on a bier he lay lifeless, while the gay trooper
raided the lands of his children.

Even Tarleton was moved by the widow's pallor as he tossed a handful
of coins on her table. She arose and swept them into the
fireplace,--"Never will I touch the invaders' gold."

"Tarleton's troop!" Back at Waxhaw, South Carolina, a lad by the name
of Andrew Jackson bore through life the scars of wounds inflicted by
Tarleton's men. At that very hour, alone on foot his mother was
returning from deeds of mercy to the patriots caged in prison pens by
Tarleton. But the streams were cold, the forests dark; losing her way,
overworn and weary, sank and died the mother of Andrew Jackson.

"Tarleton's troop!" Jack Jouett at the Cuckoo Tavern at Louisa saw
white uniforms faced with green, and fluttering plumes, and shining
helmets riding by.

The fiery Huguenot blood rose in him. Before daylight Jack's
hard-ridden steed reined up at Monticello.

"Tarleton's troop, three hours behind me! Fly!"

There was panic and scramble,--some of the legislators were at
Monticello. There was hasty adjournment and flight to Staunton, across
the Blue Ridge.

Assisting his wife, the slender, graceful Mrs. Jefferson, into a
carriage, the Governor sent her and the children under the care of
Jupiter, the coachman, to a neighbouring farmhouse, while he gathered
up his State papers.

"What next, massa?" Martin, the faithful body-servant, watching his
master's glance and anticipating every want, followed from room to
room.

"The plate, Martin," with a wave of the hand Jefferson strode out from
his beloved Monticello.

With Cæsar's help Martin pulled up the planks of the portico, and the
last piece of silver went under the floor as a gleaming helmet hove in
sight. Dropping the plank, imprisoning poor Cæsar, Martin faced the
intruder.

"Where is your master? Name the spot or I'll fire!"

"Fire away, then," answered the slave. The trooper desisted.

Tarleton and his men took food and drink, but destroyed nothing. The
fame of Jefferson's kindness to Burgoyne's captured army had reached
even Tarleton, for in that mansion books and music had been free to
the imprisoned British officers.

"An' now who be ye, an' whar are ye from?"

An old woman peered from the door of a hut in a gorge of the hills,
late in the afternoon.

"We are members of the Virginia Legislature fleeing from Tarleton's
raid."

"Ride on, then, ye cowardly knaves! Here my husband and sons have just
gone to Charlottesville to fight for ye, an' ye a runnin' awa' wi' all
yer might. Clar out; ye get naething here."

"But, my good woman, it would never do to let the British capture the
Legislature."

"If Patterick Hennery had been in Albemarle, the British dragoons
would naever ha' passed the Rivanna."

"But, my good woman, here is Patrick Henry."

"Patterick Hennery? Patterick Hennery? Well, well, if Patterick
Hennery is here it must be all right. Coom in, coom in to the best I
have."

But Daniel Boone and three or four others were captured, and carried
away to Cornwallis to be released soon after on parole.

"Tarleton's troop!" cried little Meriwether Lewis, seven years old.

Sweeping down the Rivanna came the desperado to the home of Colonel
Nicholas Lewis, away in the Continental army.

"What a paradise!" exclaimed Tarleton, raising his hands.

"Why, then, do you interrupt it?" inquired Mrs. Lewis, alone at home
with her small children and slaves.

The trooper slept that night in his horseman's cloak on the kitchen
floor. At daylight Mrs. Lewis was awakened by a clatter in her
henyard. Ducks, chickens, turkeys, the troopers were wringing their
necks. One decrepit old drake only escaped by skurrying under the
barn.

Bowing low till his plume swept the horse's mane, Tarleton galloped
away.

The wrath of Aunt Molly! "Here, Pompey, you just catch that drake.
Ride as fast as you can, and present it to Colonel Tarleton with my
compliments."

On flying steed, drake squawking and flouncing on his back, the darkey
flew after the troopers.

"Well, Pompey, did you overtake Colonel Tarleton?" was Aunt Molly's
wrathful inquiry.

"Yes'm."

"What did he say?"

"He put de drake in his wallet, and say he much obleeged!"

Little Meriwether, sitting on the gate-post, laughed at his aunt's
discomfiture.

The roll of a drum broke the stillness of Sabbath in the Blue Ridge.

"Tarleton's troop!" By the bed of her sick husband sat a Spartan
mother at Staunton. Her sons were in the army at the north, but three
young lads, thirteen, fifteen, and seventeen were there.

Placing their father's old firelock in their hands, "Go forth, my
children," she said, "repel the foot of the invader or see my face no
more."

But Tarleton did not force the mountain pass,--the boys went on down
to join Lafayette.

From farm and forest, children and grandsires hurried to Lafayette.
The proud earl retired to the sea and stopped to rest at the little
peninsula of Yorktown, waiting for reinforcements.

Down suddenly from the north came Washington with his tattered
Continentals and Rochambeau's gay Frenchmen, and the French fleet
sailed into the Chesapeake. Cornwallis was bottled up at Yorktown.

The boy, Lafayette, had simply put the stopper in the bottle and
waited.

Seventy cannon rolled in on Yorktown. George Rogers Clark, all the
West, was appealing to Washington, but the great chief unmoved kept
his eye on Lord Cornwallis.

On the 19th of October, 1781, the aristocratic marquis, who had
commenced his career as aide-de-camp to a king, surrendered to the
rebels of America.

"'Wallis has surrendered! surrendered! surrendered!"

Meriwether Lewis and William Clark flung up their caps with other boys
and shouted with the best of them, "'Wallis has surrendered!"

After the surrender of Cornwallis, Washington and Lafayette and the
officers of the French and American armies went to Fredericksburg to
pay their respects to Mary, the mother of Washington. The entire
surrounding country was watching in gala attire, and among them the
old cavalier, John Clark of Caroline.

On his white horse Washington passed the mulberry trees. Quick as a
flash little William turned,--"Why, father, he does look like my
brother George! Is that why people call our George the 'Washington of
the West'?"

A provisional treaty was signed at Paris, November 30, 1782, a few
days after the return of George Rogers Clark from that last
Chillicothe raid. Slowly, by pack-horse and flatboat, the news reached
Kentucky.

The last of the British army sailed away. Washington made his immortal
farewell, and went back to his farm, arriving on Christmas Eve.
Bonfires and rockets, speeches, thanksgiving and turkey, ended the
year 1782.

But with his return from the last scene at Yorktown, the father of
Meriwether Lewis lay down and died, a martyr of the Revolution.



XX

_THE OLD VIRGINIA HOME_


Back over Boone's trace, the Wilderness Road he had travelled so many
times, went General George Rogers Clark sometime in the early Spring
of 1783, past the thrifty fields of Fincastle and the Shenandoah
Germans, with their fat cattle and huge red barns. Every year the
stout Pennsylvanians were building farther and farther up. Year by
year the fields increased, and rosy girls stacked the hay in defiance
of all Virginian customs across the Ridge.

But the man who a thousand miles to the west held Illinois by the
prowess of his arm and the terror of his name, sprang not with the
buoyant step of six years before when he had gone to Virginia after
the gunpowder. His thoughts were at Kaskaskia, Vincennes, Louisville,
where his unsustained garrisons were suffering for food and clothing.

"Peace, peace, peace!" he muttered. "'Tis but a mockery. Must Kentucky
lie still and be scalped?"

Still the savages raided the border, not in numbers, but in squads,
persistent and elusive. Isham Floyd, the boy drummer of Vincennes, had
been captured by the savages and three days tortured in the woods, and
burnt at the stake.

"My boy-brother in the hands of those monsters?" exclaimed the
great-hearted John Floyd of the Bear Grass. A word roused the country,
the savages were dispersed, but poor Isham was dead. And beside him
lay his last tormentor, the son of an Indian chief, shot by the
avenging rifle of John Floyd.

Riding home with a heavy heart on the 12th of April, a ball struck
Colonel Floyd, passed through his arm, and entered his breast. Behind
the trees they caught a glimpse of the smoking rifle of Big Foot, that
chief whose son was slain. Leaping from his own horse to that of his
brother, Charles Floyd sustained the drooping form until they reached
the Bear Grass.

"Charles," whispered the dying man, "had I been riding Pompey this
would not have happened. Pompey pricks his ears and almost speaks if a
foe is near."

At the feet of Jane Buchanan her brave young husband was laid, his
black locks already damp with the dew of death.

"Papa! Papa!" Little two-year-old George Rogers Clark Floyd screamed
with terror. Ten days later the stricken wife, Jane Buchanan, gave
birth to another son, whom they named in honour of his heroic father.

With such a grief upon him, General George Rogers Clark wended his
lonesome way through the Cumberland Gap to Virginia. Now in the
night-time he heard young Isham cry. Not a heart in Kentucky but
bewailed the fate of the drummer boy. And John Floyd, his loss was a
public calamity.

"John Floyd, John Floyd," murmured Clark on his lonely way, "the
encourager of my earliest adventures, truest heart of the West!"

Lochry's men haunted him while he slept. "Had I not written they would
not have come!"

His debts, dishonoured, weighed like a pall, and deep, deep, down in
his heart he knew at last how much he loved that girl in the convent
at New Orleans. At times an almost ungovernable yearning came over him
to go down and force the gates of her voluntary prison-house.

In May he was at Richmond. A new Governor sat in the chair of
Jefferson and Patrick Henry. To him Clark addressed an appeal for the
money that was his due.

But Virginia, bankrupt, impoverished, prostrate, answered only,--"We
have given you land warrants, what more can you ask?"

With heavy heart Clark travelled again the road to Caroline.

There was joy in the old Virginia home, and sorrow. Once more the
family were reunited. First came Colonel Jonathan, with his courtly
and elegant army comrade Major William Croghan, an Irish gentleman,
nephew of Sir William Johnson, late Governor of New York, and of the
famous George Croghan, Sir William's Indian Deputy in the West.

In fact young Croghan crossed the ocean with Sir William as his
private secretary, on the high road to preferment in the British army.
But he looked on the struggling colonists, and mused,--

"Their cause is just! I will raise a regiment for Washington."

While all his relatives fought for the King, he alone froze and
starved at Valley Forge, and in that frightful winter of 1780 marched
with Jonathan Clark's regiment to the relief of Charleston. And
Charleston fell.

"Restore your loyalty to Great Britain and I will set you free," said
Major General Prevost, another one of Croghan's uncles.

"I cannot," replied the young rebel. "I have linked my fate with the
colonies."

Nevertheless General Prevost released him and his Colonel, Jonathan
Clark, on parole. Lieutenant Edmund was held a year longer.

Directly to the home in Caroline, Colonel Jonathan brought his Irish
Major. And there he met--Lucy.

Then, with the exchange of prisoners, Edmund came, damaged it is true,
but whole, and John, John from the prison ships, ruined.

At sight of the emaciated face of her once handsome boy, the mother
turned away and wept. Five long years in the prison ship had done its
work. Five years, where every day at dawn the dead were brought out in
cartloads. Stifled in crowded holds and poisoned with loathsome food,
in one prison ship alone in eighteen months eleven thousand died and
were buried on the Brooklyn shore. And then came the General, George
Rogers, and Captain Richard, from the garrison of Kaskaskia where he
had helped to hold the Illinois.

In tattered regimentals and worn old shirts they came,--the army of
the Revolution was disbanded without a dollar.

"And I, worse than without a dollar," said General George Rogers. "My
private property has been sacrificed to pay public debts."

But from what old treasure stores did those girls bring garments,
homespun and new and woolly and warm, prepared against this day of
reunion? The soldiers were children again around their father's
hearth, with mother's socks upon their feet and sister's arms around
their necks.

Jonathan, famous for his songs, broke forth in a favourite refrain
from Robin Hood:--

     "And mony ane sings o' grass, o' grass,
         And mony ane sings o' corn,
     And mony ane sings o' Robin Hood
         Kens little where he was born.

     "It wasna in the ha', the ha',
         Nor in the painted bower,
     But it was in the gude greenwood
         Amang the lily flower."

"And you call us lily flowers?" cried Fanny, the beauty and the pet.
"The lilies of the field, they toil not, neither do they spin; and
here have we been spinning for weeks and weeks to dress you boys
again."

"And what has William been doing?"

"Learning to follow in the footsteps of my brothers," answered the lad
of thirteen. "Another year and I, too, could have gone as a drummer
boy."

"Thank God, you'll never have to," ejaculated the General solemnly.

The old house rang with merriment as it had not in years. The negroes,
York and old York and Rose his wife, Jane and Julia and Cupid and
Harry, and Nancy the cook, were jubilantly preparing a feast for
welcome.

Other guests were there,--Colonel Anderson, aide-de-camp of Lafayette,
who was to wed Elizabeth, the sister next older than William; and
Charles Mynn Thruston, son of the "Fighting Parson," and Dennis
Fitzhugh, daft lovers of the romping Fanny.

Since before the Revolution Jonathan had been engaged to Sarah Hite,
the daughter of Joist Hite, first settler of the Shenandoah.
Thousands of acres had her father and hundreds of indentured white
servants. Joist Hite's claim overlay that of Lord Fairfax; they fought
each other in the courts for fifty years. Should Hite win, Sarah would
be the greatest heiress in Virginia.

From the sight of happy courtship George Rogers turned and ever and
anon talked with his parents, "solemn as the judgment," said Fanny.

A few blissful days and the time for scattering came. Again the old
broad-porticoed farmhouse was filled with farewells,--negro slaves
held horses saddled.

"But we shall meet in Kentucky," said old John Clark the Cavalier.

George Rogers bade them good-bye, waved a last kiss back, whipped up
his horse, and entered the forest.

In October John died. A vast concourse gathered under the mulberry
trees where the young Lieutenant lay wrapped in the flag of his
country, a victim of the prison ship. Great was the indignation of
friends as they laid him away.

And now preparations were rapidly carried forward for removal to
Kentucky.



XXI

_DOWN THE OHIO_


There was truce on the border. The wondering redmen heard that the
great King had withdrawn across the Big Water and that the Long Knives
were victors in the country.

With wondering minds Shawnee and Delaware, Wyandot and Miami,
discussed around their council fires the changed situation. Very great
had the redcoats appeared in the eyes of the savages, with their
dazzling uniforms, and long, bright, flashing swords. But how terrible
were the Virginians of the Big Knives!

The continental armies had been dispersed, but now from their old
war-ravaged homes of the Atlantic shore they looked to the new lands
beyond the Alleghanies. Congress would pay them in these lands, and so
the scarred veterans of a hundred battles launched on the emigrant
trail.

In the Clark home there was busy preparation. Out of attic and cellar
old cedar chests were brought and packed with the precious linen,
fruit of many a day at the loom. Silver and pewter and mahogany
bureaus, high-post bedsteads and carved mirrors, were carefully piled
in the waggons as John Clark, cavalier, turned his face from tidewater
Virginia.

Neighbours called in to bid them farewell. Mrs. Clark made a last
prayer at the grave of her son, the victim of the prison ship.

"William, have you brought the mulberry cuttings?" called the motherly
Lucy.

"William, have you the catalpa seeds?" cried Fanny.

Leaving the old home with Jonathan to be sold, the train started
out,--horses, cattle, slaves, York riding proudly at the side of his
young master William, old York and Rose, Nancy, Jane, Julia, Cupid and
Harry and their children, a patriarchal caravan like that of Abraham
facing an earlier west two thousand years before.

Before and behind were other caravans. All Virginia seemed on the move,
some by Rockfish Gap and Staunton, up the great valley of Virginia to
the Wilderness Road, on packhorses; others in waggons, like the
Clarks, following the Braddock route down to Redstone-Old-Fort on the
Monongahela, where boats must be built.

And here at Redstone was George Rogers Clark, come up to meet them
from the Falls. In short order, under his direction, boatbuilders were
busy. York and old York took a hand, and William, in a first
experience that was yet to find play in the far Idaho.

The teasing Fanny looked out from her piquant sun-bonnet. Lucy, more
sedate, was accompanied by her betrothed, Major Croghan.

"My uncle, George Croghan, has lately died in New York and left me his
heir. I shall locate in Louisville," was the Major's explanation to
his friend's inquiry.

"And what is the news from Virginia?"

"Your old friend Patrick Henry is Governor again. Jonathan visited him
last week," was William's reply.

"And Jonathan's wife, Sarah Hite, bids fair to secure her fortune,"
added Fanny. "You see, when old Lord Fairfax heard of Cornwallis's
surrender he gave up. 'Put me to bed, Jo,' he said, 'it is time for me
to die,' and die he did. Now his lands are in the courts."

"Mrs. Jefferson, who was ill, died as a result of the excitement of
the flight from Tarleton," said Lucy. "To get away from his sorrow,
Mr. Jefferson has accepted the appointment of minister to France to
succeed Dr. Franklin, and has taken Martha and Maria with him. They
will go to school in Paris."

George Rogers Clark was a silent man. He spoke no word of his recent
trip to Philadelphia, in which Dr. Franklin had grasped his hand and
said, "Young man, you have given an empire to the Republic."

"General Washington has just returned from a horseback journey down
into this country," added Major Croghan. "He has lands on the Ohio."

"And have _you_ no word of yourself or of Kentucky?"

General Clark handed his father a notification from the Assembly of
Virginia. He read it aloud.

"The conclusion of the war, and the distressed situation of the State
with respect to its finances, call on us to adopt the most prudent
economy. You will, therefore, consider yourself out of command."

"And you are no longer in the army?"

"No, nor even on a footing with the Continentals. I was simply a
soldier of the Virginia militia, and, as such, have no claim even for
the half pay allotted to all Continental officers."

"But Virginia has ceded her western territories to Congress with the
distinct stipulation that expenses incurred in subduing any British
posts therein, or in acquiring any part of the territory, shall be
reimbursed by the United States."

"Is there any hope there? What has Congress? An empty treasury. And
who is to pay the bills incurred in the Illinois conquest? Shall I, a
private individual?"

"That would be impossible," commented the father.

"But I am not disheartened," continued George Rogers. "When the
Indians are quiet, my men hope to build a city on the land granted us
opposite the Falls. And here is something from Jefferson, written
before he left for Europe."

William stood attentive while the letter was read.

          "ANNAPOLIS, December 4, 1783.

     DEAR SIR,--I find they have subscribed a very large sum of
     money in England for exploring the country from the
     Mississippi to California. They pretend it is only to
     promote knowledge. I am afraid they have thought of
     colonising into that quarter. Some of us have been talking
     here in a feeble way of making an attempt to search that
     country, but I doubt whether we have enough of that kind of
     spirit to raise the money. How would you like to lead such
     a party? Though I am afraid our prospect is not worth the
     question.

          Your friend and humble servant,
          THOMAS JEFFERSON."

"Does he want you to lead an exploring party to the Pacific Ocean?"
inquired William with intense interest.

"That is the substance of it. And I should want you to accompany me."

Little did either then dream that William Clark would lead that party,
with another.

The boats were ready. Surmounted by the Stars and Stripes of the "old
thirteen" they started on their journey. Suddenly the Monongahela
closed with ice and locked them at Pittsburg, where flurries of snow
set the sleigh-bells ringing.

Through deep drifts, under the guns of Fort Pitt, files of
Philadelphia traders were buying up skins and tallow, to carry back
over the mountains in their packsaddles that had come out loaded with
salt and gunpowder. Squaws were exchanging peltries for the white
man's tea and sugar. A great concourse of emigrants was blocked for
the winter. Every cabin was crowded.

After great exertions George had secured quarters quite unlike the
roomy old Virginian home.

"I must be gone to make peace with those Indians who have been acting
with the British, and take steps toward securing titles beyond the
Ohio."

Accompanied by two other commissioners, General Clark set out for Fort
McIntosh. It was January before the Indians gathered with Pierre
Drouillard, interpreter now for the United States.

"By the treaty of peace with England this land belongs to the Thirteen
Fires," was the basis of argument. "You have been allies of England,
and now by the law of nations the land is ours."

"No! No!" fiercely cried Buckongahelas.

"But we will divide with you. You are to release your white captives,
and give up a part of your Ohio lands. The rest you can keep. Detroit
and Michilimackinac belong to the Thirteen Fires." Then boundaries
were drawn.

"No! No!" cried Buckongahelas. Clark heeded not.

After deliberation the chiefs signed,--Wyandot, Ottawa, Chippewa,--all
but Buckongahelas. "I am a friend of Great Britain!" roared the
Delaware King. Then to the surprise of all, suddenly striding past the
other commissioners, the swarthy chief took the hand of General Clark.
"I thank the Great Spirit for having this day brought together two
such warriors as Buckongahelas and the Long Knife." Clark smiled and
returned the compliment.

"Will the gorge break?" every frontiersman was asking when George
returned to Pittsburg.

Piled back for seventy miles the Alleghany was a range of ice, heaped
floe on floe. Where the muddy Monongahela blends with the crystal
Alleghany the boats lay locked with a hundred others, awaiting the
deluge.

Suddenly the melting snows of the Alleghanies burst; the ice
loosened, tearing and cutting the branches of trees overhanging the
river; and slowly, with the ice, moved the great fleet of flatboats.

Ever narrower and deeper and swifter, the Ohio leaped with tremendous
rush down its confined channel. The trees on the uninhabited shores,
never yet cut away, held the embankment firm, and racing down on the
perilous flood came the Clarks to the Falls of the Ohio, in March of
1785.

Fascinated by the rush of waves, fourteen-year-old William poled like
a man. Could he dream what destruction lay in their course? "_L'année
des grandes eaux_," 1785, is famous in the annals of the West as the
year of great waters. The floods came down and drowned out old Ste.
Genevieve and drove the inhabitants back to the higher terrace on
which that village stands to-day. Above, the whole American Bottom was
a swift running sea, Kaskaskia and Cahokia were submerged by the
simultaneous melting of the snows, and nothing but its high bold shore
of limestone rock saved St. Louis itself. Paddling around in his boat,
Auguste Chouteau ate breakfast on the roofs of Ste. Genevieve.

At Louisville barely could boats be pulled in to the Bear Grass.
Below, waves foamed and whirled among the rocks, that to-day have been
smoothed by the hand of man into a shallow channel.

Guided by skilful hands, many a trader's boat that year took the chute
of the Falls like an arrow; over the ledges that dammed the water
back, down, down they slid out of sight into that unknown West, where
William knew not that his brother had paved the way to Louisiana.

"Have you found us a tract?" inquired the anxious mother.

"Land, mother? I own a dukedom, my soldiers and I, one hundred and
fifty thousand acres, on the Indian side of the river. We have
incorporated a town there, Clarksville they call it. It will be a
great city,--but Louisville is safer at present."

That Spring they lived at Fort Nelson, with watchmen on the ramparts.

"But we saw no Indians in coming down!"

"True enough, the flood was a surprise so early in the year. Wait a
little, and you will hear more of this terrifying river-route, where
in low water it takes seven weeks to run from Redstone to the Bear
Grass. Then the murderous clutches of the Indians have free play among
the helpless emigrants. Let us be thankful for what you escaped."

Almost while they were speaking a band of Indians glided out of the
woods not far away, snatched a boy from a fence, and shot his father
in the field.

"Don't kill me, just take me prisoner," said little Tommy, looking up
into the warrior's face.

At that instant an elder brother's rifle felled the Indian, and the
boy was saved to become the father of Abraham Lincoln.



XXII

_MULBERRY HILL_


On a beautiful eminence three miles south of Louisville, John Clark
built his pioneer Kentucky home. Louisville itself consisted of but a
few log cabins around a fortification built by George Rogers Clark.

This family home, so far from the centre, was stockaded by itself, a
double log house, two and a half stories high, with hall through the
middle.

Every night a negro stood sentinel, there were portholes in the
pickets, and Indians hid in the canebrakes. Once while the young
ladies were out walking an Indian shot a little negro girl and they
carried her back wounded, behind the pickets at Mulberry Hill.

The floor of the long dining-room was of wood, hard as a bone, and
over the seven-foot mantel stag-horns and swords of the Revolution
were lit by the light of the cavernous fireplace.

Rigid economy and untiring industry had been the rule at the old Clark
home in Caroline, and not less was it here. There were no pianos, but
until midnight the hum of the wheel made music.

Enchanted the young people listened to tale and song and hum of wheel,
while down the great chimney top calmly smiled the pensive stars.

Little thought they of bare walls, low rafters, or small windows.
After the boys hauled in the logs on a hand-sled, and built up a great
flame, the whole world seemed illuminated. The pewter basins shone
like mirrors, and while their fingers flew in the light of the fire,
stories were told of Kaskaskia, Vincennes, St. Louis. But the Donna?
Clark never spoke of her. It was a hidden grief that made him ever
lonely. When he saw the lovelight all around him and sometimes left
the room, the mother wondered why sudden silence came upon the group.

At Mulberry Hill Lucy was married to Major Croghan, who, on a farm
five miles out, built Locust Grove, an English mansion of the olden
style, in its day the handsomest in Louisville. And Fanny? She was the
belle of Kentucky. In powdered wig and ruffles many a grave Virginian
tripped with her the minuet and contra dances of the Revolution.

More and more young William became enamoured of the Indian dress, and
went about gaily singing the songs of Robin Hood and hacking the meat
with his hunting knife.

Out over the game-trails of Kentucky, like the beaten streets of
Fredericksburg, the only city he ever knew, young William went with
the Boones, Kenton, and his own famous brother, George Rogers Clark,
in peltry cap and buckskin hunting-shirt girded with a leathern belt.

Led by them, with what eagerness he shot his first buffalo, deep in
the woods of Kentucky. Not much longer could bears, deer, and buffalo
retreat to the cane. With the coming of the Clarks an emigration set
in that was to last for a hundred years.

Even amusements partook of sportive adventure. Now it was the hunter's
horn summoning the neighbours to a bear chase in the adjoining hills.
William surpassed the Indian himself in imitating the bark of the
wolf, the hoot of the owl, the whistle of the whippoorwill.

Daniel Boone came often to Mulberry Hill in leggings and moccasins,
ever hunting, hunting, hunting beaver, bear and coon, wolves and
wild-cats, deer and foxes, and going back to trade their skins in
Maryland for frontier furniture, knives and buttons, scissors, nails,
and tea.

Upon his shot-pouch strap Boone fastened his moccasin awl with a
buckhorn handle made out of an old clasp-knife, and carried along with
him a roll of buckskin to mend his mocassins. While the grizzled
hunter stitched deftly at his moccasins, William and York sat by,
engaged in the same pastime, for wherever William went, York was his
shadow.

"Since poor Richard's uncertain fate I can never trust the boy alone,"
said his mother. "York, it is your business to guard your young
master." And he did, to the ends of the earth.

When "Uncle Daniel," rolled in a blanket, threw himself down on a bed
of leaves and slept with his feet to the fire to prevent rheumatism,
York and William lay down too, sleeping by turns and listening for
Indians.

At daylight, loosely belting their fringed hunting shirts into wallets
for carrying bread, a chunk of jerked beef, or tow for the gun, with
tomahawk on the right side and scalping knife on the left, each in a
leathern case, again they set off under the reddening forest.

Skilled in the lore of woodcraft, watchful of clouds and stars and
sun, an intimate student of insect life and own brother to the wily
beaver, bear, and buffalo, William Clark was becoming a scientist.

Returning from the chase with the same sort of game that graced the
Saxon board before the Norman conquest, he sat down to hear the talk
of statesmen. For when Clark's commission was revoked, Kentucky,
unprotected, called a convention to form a State.

Affairs that in European lands are left to kings and their ministers,
were discussed in the firelight of every cabin. Public safety demanded
action. Exposed on three sides to savage inroads, with their Virginia
capital hundreds of miles beyond forest, mountains, and rivers, no
wonder Kentucky pleaded for statehood.

In a despotic country the people sleep. Here every nerve was awake.
Discussion, discussion, discussion, made every fireside a school of
politics; even boys in buckskin considered the nation's welfare.

Before he was seventeen William Clark was made an ensign and proudly
donned the eagle and blue ribbon of the Cincinnati, a society of the
soldiers of the Revolution of which Washington himself was president.
Educated in the backwoods and by the cabin firelight, young William
was already developing the striking bearing and bold unwavering
character of his brother.

"What can have become of Richard?" Every day the mother heart glanced
down the long avenue of catalpas that were growing in front of
Mulberry Hill.

Of the whole family, the gentle affectionate Richard was an especial
favourite. He was coming from Kaskaskia to see his mother, but never
arrived. One day his horse and saddlebags were found on the banks of
the Wabash. Was he killed by the Indians, or was he drowned? No one
ever knew.

Again George Rogers Clark was out making treaties with the Indians to
close up the Revolution, but British emissaries had been whispering in
their ears, "Make the Ohio the boundary."

At last, after long delays, a few of the tribes came in to the council
at the mouth of the Great Miami, some in friendship, some like the
Shawnees, rudely suggestive of treachery.

"The war is over," explained General Clark as chairman; "we desire to
live in peace with our red brethren. If such be the will of the
Shawnees, let some of their wise men speak."

There was silence as they whiffed at the council pipes. Then a tall
chief arose and glanced at the handful of whites and at his own three
hundred along the walls of the council house.

"We come here to offer you two pieces of wampum. You know what they
mean. Choose." Dropping the beaded emblems upon the table the savage
turned to his seat by the wall.

Pale, calm as a statue, but with flashing eye, Clark tangled his
slender cane into the belts and--flung them at the chiefs.

"Ugh!"

Every Indian was up with knife unsheathed, every white stood with hand
on his sword. Into their very teeth the Long Knife had flung back the
challenge, "Peace, or War."

Like hounds in leash they strained, ready to leap, when the lordly
Long Knife raised his arm and grinding the wampum beneath his heel
thundered,--

"_Dogs, you may go!_"

One moment they wavered, then broke and fled tumultuously from the
council house.

All night they debated in the woods near the fort. In the morning,
"Let me sign," said Buckongahelas.

Smiling, Clark guided the hand of the boastful Delaware, and all the
rest signed with him.



XXIII

_MISSISSIPPI TROUBLES_


For the first time in their stormy history, the front and rear gates
of the Kentucky forts lay back on their enormous wooden hinges, and
all day long men and teams passed in and out with waggon loads of
grain from the harvest fields. So hushed and still was the air, it
seemed the old Indian days were gone for ever. At night the animals
came wandering in from the woods, making their customary way to the
night pens. Fields of corn waved undisturbed around the forts.

But the truce was brief. Already the Cherokees were slaughtering on
the Wilderness Road, and beyond the Ohio, Shawnee and Delaware, wild
at the sight of the white man's cabin, rekindled the fires around the
stake.

Thousands of emigrants were coming over the mountains from Carolina,
and down the Ohio from Pittsburg social boats lashed together rode in
company, bark canoes, pirogues, flatboats, keelboats, scows, barges,
bateaux and brigades of bateaux, sweeping down with resistless
English, Scotch, Irish, Germans, Huguenots, armed for the battle of
the races.

Still the powerful fur traders of Quebec and Montreal hung on to
Detroit and Mackinac, still De Peyster opposed giving up the
peninsulas of Michigan.

"Pen the young republic east of the Alleghanies," said France, Spain,
England, when the Peace Treaty was under consideration. But Clark's
conquest compelled them to grant the Illinois.

Before the ink was dry on the documents, Kentucky was trading down the
great river of De Soto.

"The West must trade over the mountains," said the merchants of
Philadelphia and Baltimore.

"The West will follow its rivers," answered Kentucky.

"Spain is Mistress of the Mississippi," said the Spanish King to John
Jay, the American minister at Madrid.

In vain flatboatmen with wheat and corn said, "We are from Kentucky."

"What Kaintucke?" brayed the commandant at Natchez. "I know no
Kaintucke. Spain own both side de river. I am ordered to seize all
foreign vessel on de way to New Orleong."

Without the Spaniard the trip was sufficiently hazardous. Indians
watched the shores. Pirates infested the bayous. Head winds made the
frail craft unmanageable,--snags leered up like monsters to pierce and
swallow. But every new settler enlarged the fields, and out of the
virgin soil the log granaries were bursting.

"Carry away our grain, bring us merchandise," was the cry of expanding
Kentucky.

But to escape the Indian was to fall into the hands of the Spaniard,
and the Spaniard was little more than a legalised pirate.

Even the goods of the Frenchmen were seized with the warning, "Try it
again and we'll send you to Brazil."

The Frenchmen resented this infringement on their immemorial right.
Since the days of the daring and courageous Bienville who founded New
Orleans, no man had said them nay. A tremendous hatred of the Spaniard
grew up in the hearts of the Frenchmen.

In the midst of these confiscations there was distress and anarchy in
the Illinois. The infant republic had not had time to stretch out
there the strong arm of law. Floods and continental money had ruined
the confiding Frenchmen; the garrisons were in destitution; they were
writing to Clark:--

"Our credit is become so weak among the French that one dollar's worth
of provisions cannot be had without prompt payment, were it to save
the whole country."

"And why has our British Father made no provision for us," bewailed
the Indians, "who at his beck and call have made such deadly enemies
of the Long Knives? Our lands have been ravaged by fire and sword, and
now we are left at their mercy."

"Let us drive the red rascals out," cried the infuriated settlers.

"No," said Washington, who understood and pitied the red men. "Forgive
the past. Dispossess them gradually by purchase as the extension of
settlement demands the occupation of their lands."

But five thousand impoverished Indians in the Ohio country kept thirty
thousand settlers in hot water all the time. No lock on a barn door
could save the horses, no precaution save the outlying emigrant from
scalping or capture. Red banditti haunted the streams and forests,
dragging away their screaming victims like ogres of mediæval tragedy.

Clark grew sick and aged over it. "No commission, no money, no right
to do anything for my suffering country!"

"Your brother, the General, is very ill," said old John Clark, coming
out of the sick chamber at Mulberry Hill. In days to come there were
generals and generals in the Clark family, but George Rogers was
always "the General."

Into ten years the youthful commander had compressed the exposure of a
lifetime. Mental anguish and days in the icy Wabash told now on his
robust frame, and inflammatory rheumatism set in from which he never
recovered.

"The Americans are your enemies," emissaries from Detroit were
whispering at Vincennes. "The Government has forsaken you. They take
your property, they pay nothing."

"We have nothing to do with the United States," said the French
citizens, weary of a Congress that heeded them not. "We consider
ourselves British subjects and shall obey no other power."

Even Clark's old friend, The Tobacco's Son, had gone back to his
British father, and as always with Indians, dug up the red tomahawk.

A committee of American citizens at Vincennes sent a flying express to
Clark.

"This place that once trembled at your victorious arms, and these
savages overawed by your superior power, is now entirely anarchical
and we shudder at the daily expectation of horrid murder. We beg you
will write us by the earliest opportunity. Knowing you to be a friend
of the distressed we look to you for assistance."

Such a call could not be ignored. Kentucky was aroused and summoned
her favourite General to the head of her army. From a sick bed he
arose to lead a thousand undisciplined men, and with him went his
brother William.

The sultry sun scorched, the waters were low, provisions did not
arrive until nine days after the soldiers, and then were spoiled.
Fatigued, hungry, three hundred revolted and left; nevertheless, the
Indians had fled and Vincennes was recovered.

Just then up the Wabash came a Spaniard with a boatload of valuable
goods. Clark promptly confiscated the cargo, and out of them paid his
destitute troops.

"It is not alone retaliation," said Clark, "It is a warning. If Spain
will not let us trade down the river, she shall not trade up."

Kentucky applauded. They even talked of sending Clark against the
Spaniards and of breaking away from a government that refused to aid
them.

"General Clark seized Spanish goods?" Virginia was alarmed and
promptly repudiated the seizure. "We are not ready to fight Spain."

Clark's friends were disturbed. "You will be hung."

Clark laughed. "I will flee to the Indians first."

"We have as much to fear from the turbulence of our backwoodsmen,"
said Washington, "as from the hostility of the Spaniards."

But at this very time, unknown to Washington, the Spaniards were
arming the savages of the south, to exterminate these reckless
ambitious frontiersmen.

Louisiana feared these unruly neighbours. Intriguers from New Orleans
were whispering, "Break with the Atlantic States and league yourself
with Spain."

Then came the rumour, "Jay proposes to shut up the Mississippi for
twenty-five years!"

Never country was in such a tumult.

"We are sold! We are vassals of Spain!" cried the men of the West.
"What? Close the Mississippi for twenty-five years as a price of
commercial advantage on the Atlantic coast? Twenty-five years when our
grain is rotting? Twenty-five years must we be cut off when the
Wilderness Road is thronged with packtrains, when the Ohio is black
with flatboats? Where do they think we are going to pen our people?
Where do they think we are going to ship our produce? Better put
twenty thousand men in the field at once and protect our own
interests."

The bond was brittle; how easily might it be broken!

Even Spain laughed at the weakness of a Union that could not command
Kentucky to give up its river. And Kentucky looked to Clark. "We must
conquer Spain or unite with her. We must have the Mississippi. Will
you march with us on New Orleans?"

Then, happily, Virginia spoke out for the West. "We must aid them.
The free navigation of the Mississippi is the gift of nature to the
United States."

The very next day Madison announced in the Virginia Assembly, "I shall
move the election of delegates to a Constitutional Convention." The
stability of the Union seemed pivoted upon an open river to the Gulf.

Veterans of the Revolution and of the Continental Congress met to
frame a constitution in 1787. After weeks of deliberation with closed
doors, the immortal Congress adjourned. The Constitution was second
only to the Declaration of Independence. Without kings or princes a
free people had erected a Continental Republic.

The Constitution was adopted, and all the way into Kentucky wilds were
heard the roaring of cannon and ringing of bells that proclaimed the
Father of his Country the first President of the United States.

"We must cement the East and the West," said Washington. But that West
was drifting away--with its Mississippi.

About this time young Daniel Boone said, "Father, I am going west."

Just eighteen, one year older than William Clark, in the summer of
1787, he concluded to strike out for the Mississippi.

"Well, Dannie boy, thee take the compass," said his father.

It was the old guide, as large as a saucer, that Lord Dunmore gave
Boone when he sent him out to call in the surveyors from the Falls of
the Ohio thirteen years before.

Mounted on his pony, with a wallet of corn and a rifle on his back,
Boone rode straight on westward thirty days without meeting a single
human being. Pausing on the river bank opposite St. Louis he hallooed
for an hour before any one heard him.

"Dat some person on de oder shore," presently said old René
Kiercereaux, the chorister at the village church.

A canoe was sent over and brought back Boone. As if a man had dropped
from the moon, French, Spanish, and Indian traders gathered. He spoke
not a word of French, but Auguste Chouteau's slave Petrie could talk
English.

"Son of Boone, de great hunter? Come to my house!"

"Come to _my_ house!"

The hospitable Creoles strove with one another for the honour of
entertaining the son of Daniel Boone. For twelve years he spent his
summers in St. Louis and his winters in western Missouri, hunting and
trapping.

"The best beaver country on earth," he wrote to his father. "You had
better come out."

"Eef your father, ze great Colonel Boone, will remove to Louisiana,"
said Señor Zenon Trudeau, the Lieutenant-Governor, "eef he will become
a citizen of Spain, de King will appreciate de act and reward him
handsomely."



XXIV

_ST. CLAIR_


"Kentucky! Kentucky! I hear nothing else," exclaimed the Fighting
Parson of the Revolution, who had thrown aside his prayer-book and
gown to follow the armies of Washington. "If this western exodus
continues Virginia bids fair to be depopulated." Even Jack Jouett, who
had ridden to warn Jefferson of Tarleton's raid, had gone to become an
honoured member of Kentucky's first legislature.

"Father, let me go."

Charles Mynn Thruston, the son of the Fighting Parson, had long
desired to follow Fanny Clark, but his father held him back. Smiling
now at the ardour of his son, he said, "You may go, my boy. I am
thinking of the western country myself."

Preparations were immediately made, business affairs settled, and a
farewell dinner brought friends to historic Mount Zion, the famous
Shenandoah seat of the Fighting Parson.

"A strangah desiahs to know, sah, if he can get dinnah, sah,"
announced black Sambo.

"Certainly, certainly." Parson Thruston was the soul of hospitality.
"Bring him at once to the table, Sambo."

The stranger seated himself and ate in silence.

"I perceive," remarked the Parson after the courses had been removed,
"I perceive that you are a traveller. May I inquire whence you come?"

Every ear was intent. "From Kentucky, sir," answered the stranger.

"Ah, that is fortunate. I am about to leave for that country myself,"
exclaimed young Thruston, "and shall be glad to hear such news as you
may have to communicate."

The stranger smiled and pondered. "The only interesting incident that
I recall before my departure from Louisville, was the marriage of the
Kentucky belle, Miss Fanny Clark, to Dr. O'Fallon."

As if struck by a bolt from heaven, Charles Mynn Thruston fell
unconscious to the floor.

Dr. O'Fallon was a young Irish gentleman of talent and learning. An
intimate friend of the Governor of South Carolina, just before the
Revolution he had come to visit America, but espousing the cause of
the colonists, the Governor promptly clapped him into prison.

"Imprisoned O'Fallon!" The people of Charleston arose, liberated him,
and drove the Governor to the British fleet in the harbour.

Dr. O'Fallon enlisted as a private soldier. But surgeons were
needed,--he soon proved himself one of skill unexcelled in America.
General Washington himself ordered him north, and made him
Surgeon-General in his own army. Here he remained until the close of
the war, and was thanked by Congress for his services.

And now he had visited Kentucky to assist in securing the navigation
of the Mississippi, and met--Fanny. With the charming Fanny as his
wife, Dr. O'Fallon rode many a mile in the woods, the first great
doctor of Louisville.

Other emigrants were bringing other romances, and other tragedies.
"Ohio! Ohio! We hear nothing but Ohio!" said the people of New
England.

One rainy April morning the "Mayflower," a flatboat with a second
Plymouth colony, turned into the Muskingum and founded a settlement.

"Marie, Marie Antoinette,--did she not use her influence in behalf of
Franklin's mission to secure the acknowledgment of American
independence? Let us name our settlement Marietta."

So were founded the cities of the French king and queen, Louisville
and Marietta. A few months later, Kentuckians went over and started
Cincinnati on the site of George Rogers Clark's old block-house.

Into the Ohio, people came suddenly and in swarms, "institutional
Englishmen," bearing their household gods and shaping a state.

"These men come wearing hats," said the Indians. Frenchmen wore
handkerchiefs and never tarried.

Surveyors came.

Squatting around their fires, with astonishment and fear the Indians
watched "the white man's devil," squinting over his compass and making
marks in his books. Wherever the magical instrument turned all the
best lands were bound with chains fast to the white man.

The Indians foresaw their approaching destruction and hung nightly
along the river shore, in the thick brush under the sycamores,
stealing horses and sinking boats. With tomahawk in hand, a leader
among them was young Tecumseh.

"The Ohio shall be the boundary. No white man shall plant corn in
Ohio!" cried the Indian.

"Keep the Ohio for a fur preserve," whispered Detroit at his back.

While wedding bells were ringing at Mulberry Hill, Marietta was
suffering. The gardens were destroyed by Indian marauders, the game
was driven off, and great was the privation within the walled town.

That was the winter when Governor St. Clair came with his beautiful
daughter Louisa, the fleetest rider in the chase, the swiftest skater
on the ice, and, like all pioneer girls, so skilled with the rifle
that she could bring down the bird on the wing, the squirrel from the
tree.

Creeping out over the crusty February snow, every family in the
settlement had its kettle in the sugar orchard boiling down the maple
sap. Corn-meal and sap boiled down together formed for many the daily
food.

But with all the bravado of their hearts, men and women passed
sleepless vigils while the sentinel stood all night long in the lonely
watchtower of the middle blockhouse. At any moment might arise the
cry, "The Indians! The Indians are at the gates!" and with the long
roll of the drum beating alarm every gun was ready at a porthole and
every white face straining through the dark.

When screaming wild geese steering their northern flight gave token of
returning spring, when the partridge drummed in the wood and the
turkey gobbled, when the red bird made vocal the forest and the
hawthorn and dogwood flung out their perfume, then too came the Indian
from his winter lair.

"Ah," sighed many a mother, "I prefer the days of gloom and tempest,
for then the red man hugs his winter fire."

Always among the first in pursuit of marauding Indians, William Clark
as a cadet had already crossed the Ohio with General Scott, "a youth
of solid and promising parts and as brave as Cæsar," said Dr.
O'Fallon.

Joseph Brant, Thayendanegea, presented a memorial to Congress
insisting upon the Ohio as the Indian boundary. His son came down to
Marietta.

"Ah, yes," was the whispered rumour at Marietta, "young Brant, the
educated son of the famous Mohawk leader, aspires to the hand of
Louisa St. Clair." But the Revolutionary General spurned his
daughter's dusky suitor.

The next day after New Year's, 1791, the Indians swept down on
Marietta with the fiendish threat, "Before the trees put forth their
leaves again no white man's cabin shall smoke beyond the Ohio."

"Capture St. Clair alive," bade the irate Mohawk chieftain. "Shoot his
horse under him but do not kill him." Did he hope yet to win consent
to his marriage with Louisa?

The next heard of St. Clair was when the last shattered remnant of his
prostrate army fell back on Cincinnati, a defeat darker, more
annihilating, more ominous than Braddock's.

"My God," exclaimed Washington, "it's all over! St. Clair's
defeated--routed; the officers are nearly all killed, the men by
wholesale; the rout is complete--too shocking to think of--and a
surprise into the bargain."

No wonder Secretary Lear stood appalled as the great man poured forth
his wrath in the house at Philadelphia.

Fifteen hundred went out from Cincinnati,--five hundred came back. A
thousand scalps had Thayendanegea.

The news came to Mulberry Hill like a thunderbolt. Kentucky, even
Pittsburg, looked for an immediate savage inundation,--for was not all
that misty West full of warriors? The old fear leaped anew. Like an
irresistible billow they might roll over the unprotected frontier.

From his bed of sickness General Clark started up. "Ah, Detroit!
Detroit! Hadst thou been taken my countrymen need not have been so
slaughtered."

At Marietta, up in the woods and on the side hills, glittered
multitudes of fires, the camps of savages. Hunger added its pangs to
fear. The beleaguered citizens sent all the money they could raise by
two young men to buy salt, meat, and flour at Redstone-Old-Fort on the
Monongahela. Suddenly the river closed with ice; in destitution
Marietta waited.

"They have run off with the money," said some.

"They have been killed by Indians," said others. But again, as
suddenly, the ice broke, and early in March the young men joyfully
moored their precious Kentucky ark at the upper gate of the garrison
at Marietta.



XXV

_THE SWORD OF "MAD ANTHONY" WAYNE_


"Another defeat will ruin the reputation of the government," said
Washington, as he sent out "Mad Anthony" Wayne, the uproarious Quaker
general, with ruffles, queue, and cocked hat, the stormer of Stony
Point in the Revolution.

In vain Wayne sent commissioners to treat with the Indians. Elated
with recent victories, "The Ohio shall be the boundary," was the
defiant answer.

An Indian captured and brought to Wayne said of the British: "All
their speeches to us are red, red as blood. All the wampum and
feathers are painted red. Our war-pipes and hatchets are red. Even the
tobacco is red for war."

"My mind and heart are upon that river," said Cornplanter, an Indian
chief, pointing to the Ohio. "May that water ever continue to be the
boundary between the Americans and the Indians."

Commissioned by Washington First Lieutenant of the Fourth Sub-Legion,
on the first of September, 1792, William Clark crossed the Ohio and
spent the winter at Legionville where Wayne was collecting and
drilling his army.

"I will have no six months men," said Wayne. "Two years will it take
to organise, drill, and harden them before we think of taking the
field."

"We are certain to be scalped," whispered timorous ones, remembering
St. Clair's slaughter. Hundreds deserted. The very word Indian
inspired terror.

But horse, foot, and artillery, he drilled them, the tremblers took
courage, and the government, at last awakened, stood firmly behind
with money and supplies.

"Remember, Stony Point was stormed with unloaded muskets. See! You
must know the use of the broadsword and of the bayonet, a weapon
before which the savages cannot stand."

At work went "Mad Anthony" teaching his men to load and fire upon the
run, to leap to the charge with loud halloos, anticipating all
possible conditions.

"Charge in open order. Each man rely on himself, and expect a personal
encounter with the enemy." The men caught his spirit. Wayne's Legion
became a great military school.

Now he was drilling superb Kentucky cavalry, as perfectly matched as
the armies of Europe, sorrel and bay, chestnut and gray, bush-whacking
and charging, leaping ravines and broken timber, outdoing the Indians
themselves in their desperate riding.

And with all this drill, Wayne was erecting and garrisoning forts. In
the fall of 1793, Lieutenant Clark was dispatched to Vincennes.

"It appears that all active and laborious commands fall on me," he
wrote to his brother Jonathan, in Virginia. "Not only labour, but I
like to have starved,--was frozen up in the Wabash twenty days without
provisions. In this agreeable situation had once more to depend on my
rifle."

After several skirmishes with Indians, Lieutenant Clark returned to
Fort Washington (Cincinnati) in May, to be immediately dispatched with
twenty-one dragoons and sixty cavalry to escort seven hundred
packhorses laden with provisions and clothing to Greenville, a log
fort eighty miles north of Cincinnati.

The Shawnees were watching. Upon this rich prize fell an ambuscade of
sixty Indians. Eight men were killed, the train began to retreat, when
Clark came dashing up from the rear, put the assailants to flight, and
saved the day. For this he was thanked by General Wayne.

Washington, Jefferson, the whole country impatiently watched for news
of Wayne on the Ohio.

Drill, drill, drill,--keeping out a cloud of scouts that no peering
Indian might discover his preparations, Wayne exercised daily now with
rifle, sabre, and bayonet until no grizzly frontiersman surpassed his
men at the target, no fox-hunter could leap more wildly, no swordsman
more surely swing the sharp steel home. At the sight young
Tennesseeans and Kentuckians, Virginians of the border and
Pennsylvanians of lifetime battle, were eager for the fray.

About midsummer, 1794, Wayne moved out with his Legion, twenty-six
hundred strong, and halted at Fort Greenville for sixteen hundred
Kentucky cavalry. Brigades of choppers were opening roads here and
there to deceive.

"This General that never sleeps is cutting in every direction,"
whispered the watchful Shawnees. "He is the Black Snake."

For a last time Wayne offered peace. His messengers were wantonly
murdered.

The issue at Fallen Timbers lasted forty minutes,--the greatest Indian
battle in forty years of battle. Two thousand Indians crouching in the
brush looked to see the Americans dismount and tie their horses as
they did in St. Clair's battle,--but no, bending low on their horses
with gleaming sabres and fixed bayonets, on like a whirlwind came
thundering the American cavalry.

"What was it that defeated us? It was the Big Wind, the Tornado," said
the Indians.

Matchekewis was there from Sheboygan with his warriors, the Black
Partridge from Illinois, and Buckongahelas. The Shawnees had their
fill of fighting that day; Tecumseh fell back at the wild onset,
retreating inch by inch.

William Clark led to the charge a column of Kentuckians and drove the
enemy two miles. But why enumerate in this irresistible legion, where
all were heroes on that 20th of August, 1794.

Wayne's victory ended the Revolution. Ninety days after, Lord St.
Helens gave up Ohio in his treaty with Jay, and England bound herself
to deliver the northwestern posts that her fur traders had hung on to
so vainly.

Niagara, Michilimackinac, Detroit, keys to the Lakes, _entrepôts_ to
all the fur trade of the Northwest, were lost to Britain for ever. It
was hardest to give up Detroit,--it broke up their route and added
many a weight to the weary packer's back when the fur trade had to
take a more northern outlet along the Ottawa.

It was ten o'clock in the morning of July 11, 1796, when the
Detroiters peering through their glasses espied two vessels. "The
Yankees are coming!"

A thrill went through the garrison, and even through the flag that
fluttered above. The last act in the war of independence was at hand.

The four gates of Detroit opened to be closed no more, as the
drawbridge fell over the moat and the Americans marched into the
northern stronghold. It was Lernoult's old fort built so strenuously
in that icy winter of 1779-80, when "Clark is coming" was the
watchword of the north. Scarce a picket in the stockade had been
changed since that trying time. Blockhouse, bastion, and battery could
so easily have been taken, that even at this day we cannot suppress a
regret that Clark had not a chance at Detroit!

Barefooted Frenchmen, dark-eyed French girls, and Indians, Indians
everywhere, came in to witness the transfer of Detroit. At noon, July
11, 1796, the English flag was lowered and the Stars and Stripes went
up where Clark would fain have hung them seventeen years before.

And the old cellar of the council house! Like a tomb was its
revelation, for there, mouldered with the must of years, lay two
thousand scalps, long tresses of women, children's golden curls, and
the wiry locks of men, thrown into that official cellar in those awful
days that now were ended.

The merry Frenchmen on their pipestem farms,--for every inhabitant
owned his pathway down to the river,--the merry Frenchmen went on
grinding their corn by their old Dutch windmills, went on pressing
their cider in their gnarled old apple orchards. They could not change
the situation if they would, and they would not if they could. The
lazy windmills of Detroit swung round and round as if it had been ever
thus. Still the Indians slid in and out and still the British traders
lingered, loath to give up the fur trade of the Lakes.

The next year after Wayne's victory the last buffalo in Ohio was
killed, and in 1796 the first American cabins were built at Cleveland
and Chillicothe. For the first time the Ohio, the great highway, was
safe. Passenger boats no longer had bullet-proof cabins, no longer
trailed cannon on their gunwales. In that year twenty thousand
emigrants passed down the Ohio. Astonished and helpless the red men
saw the tide. By 1800 there were more whites in the Mississippi valley
than there were Indians in all North America.



XXVI

_THE SPANIARD_


Early in April of 1793 a company of French merchants sat at a dinner
in New Orleans. Before them magnolias bloomed in the plaza. Out in the
harbour their vessels were flying the Spanish flag.

"Spain has declared war against France. A French frigate is sailing
for the Gulf."

Like a bomb the announcement burst in their midst.

The fine and handsome face of Charles De Pauw was lit with
determination. He had come over with Lafayette, and had invested a
fortune in the new world.

"My ships are in danger. I will haul down the Spanish colours and
float the American flag. Long enough have the Frenchmen of Missouri
and Illinois endured the Spanish yoke. Long enough have our cargoes
been confiscated and our trade ruined by unnecessary and tyrannical
restrictions."

"But America will not help us."

"The Kentuckians will," answered De Pauw. "Already they are begging
George Rogers Clark to march on New Orleans."

A huzza rang round the table. "We shall be here to help him."

"Every settlement that borders the Mississippi will join with us.
Spain rules to Pittsburg, dictates prices, opens and closes markets.
Will Americans endure that? From New Orleans to British America, Spain
stretches an invisible cordon, 'thus far and no farther.' All beyond
is the private park of Don Carlos IV."

"What will Congress do?"

"Congress?" echoed another. "What does it matter to those people
beyond the Alleghanies? They are very far away. Europe is not so
remote. Our interests lie with Mississippi and the sea."

"But that would dismember the Union."

"Will it dismember the Union for the Louisianians to break their
fetter from Spain and thereby give us a market clear of duty? The
Kentuckians, equally with us, are irritated at the Spanish Government.
We have a right to strike Spain."

Charles De Pauw renamed his schooner the "Maria" and sailed out of the
Gulf under the Stars and Stripes. On the way to New York he met the
frigate returning that brought the French minister, Charles Genet, to
Charleston.

Acres of flatboats lay freighted on the dimpling Ohio. Corn, wheat,
oats, rye,--the worn-out tobacco lands of Virginia knew nothing like
it. But the Spaniard stood at the gate and locked up the river.

"A King?" Americans laughed at the fancy. "A King to check or hinder
us in our rights? Who shall refuse us? Are we not Americans?"

"The Mississippi is ours," cried Kentucky. "By the law of nature, by
the authority of numbers, by the right of necessity. If Congress will
not give it to us, we must take it ourselves."

And now France--

George Rogers Clark was profoundly moved by the French crusade for
liberty. "We owe it to France to help her. Was not France our friend
in the time of trouble?"

Then he wrote to the French minister, tendering his services to France
in her arduous struggle:

     "I would begin with St. Louis, a rich, large, and populous
     town, and by placing two or three frigates within the
     Mississippi's mouth (to guard against Spanish succours) I
     would engage to subdue New Orleans, and the rest of
     Louisiana. If farther aided I would capture Pensacola; and
     if Santa Fé and the rest of New Mexico were objects--I know
     their strength and every avenue leading to them, for
     conquest.--All the routes as well as the defenceless
     situation of those places are perfectly known to me and I
     possess draughts of all their defences, and estimates of
     the greatest force which could oppose me. If France will be
     hearty and secret in this business my success borders on
     certainty.--The route from St. Louis to Santa Fé is easy,
     and the places not very distant.... To save Congress from a
     rupture with Spain on our account, we must first expatriate
     ourselves and become French citizens. This is our
     intention."

On its errand of good or ill the letter sped to the French minister to
the United States, and lo! that minister was Genet, just landed at
Charleston.

Genet had come from Revolutionary France, at this moment fighting all
Europe, so frightfully had upblazed the tiny spark of liberty borne
back by the soldiers of Rochambeau.

André Michaux was instructed to hasten to the Falls of the Ohio with
this message to George Rogers Clark:

"The French minister has filled out this blank commission from his
Government making you a Marshal of France, Major General and
Commander-in-Chief of the French Legion on the Mississippi."

Thus had Genet answered the letter.

New Orleans was watching. "The Americans are threatening us with an
army assembling on the Ohio," wrote Carondelet in alarm to Spain.

"Ill-disposed and fanatical citizens in this Capital," he added,
"restless and turbulent men infatuated with Liberty and Equality, are
increased with every vessel that comes from the ports of France."

He begged Spain to send him troops from Cuba. He begged the Captain
General of Cuba to send him troops from Havana.

Gayoso put his fort at Vicksburg in defence and Carondelet sent up a
division of galleys to New Madrid and St. Louis.

But Carondelet, the Governor of Louisiana, had his hands full.
Frenchmen of his own city were signing papers to strike a blow for
France. He would build defences,--they opposed and complained of his
measures. Merchants and others whose business suffered by the
uncertainties of commerce took no responsibility as the domineering
little Baron endeavoured to fortify New Orleans with palisaded wall,
towers, and a moat seven feet deep and forty feet wide.

"It may happen that the enemy will try to surprise the plaza on a dark
night," said the Baron.

All the artillery was mounted. Haughty Spanish cavaliers with swords
and helmets paced the parapets of the grim pentagonal bastions.
Watchmen with spears and lanterns guarded the gates below. The city
was in terror of assault. At every rise of the river Carondelet looked
for a filibustering army out of the north. By every ship runners were
sent to Spain.

News of the intended raid penetrated even the Ursuline Convent. Sister
Infelice paled when she heard it, gave a little gasp, and fainted.

"Clearly she fears, the gentle sister fears these northern
barbarians," remarked the Mother Superior. "Take her to her chamber."

And St. Louis,--not since 1780 had she been so alarmed. The Governor
constructed a square redoubt flanked by bastions, dug a shallow moat,
and raised a fort on the hill. Seventeen grenadiers with drawn sabres
stood at the drawbridge.

"Immediately on the approach of the enemy, retreat to New Madrid," was
the order of this puissant Governor.

George Rogers Clark, who had planned and executed the conquest of
Illinois, burned now for the conquest of Louisiana. And the West
looked to him; she despised and defied the Spaniard as she despised
and defied the Indian. They blocked the way, they must depart.

Clark's old veteran officers Christy, Logan, Montgomery, sent word
they would serve under his command. The French squadron at
Philadelphia was to set sail for the Gulf.

Major Fulton and Michaux, Clark's right-hand men, travelled all over
the West enlisting men, provisions, and money. De Pauw engaged to
furnish four hundred barrels of flour and a thousand-weight of bacon,
and to send brass cannon over the mountains. In December Clark's men
were already cutting timber to build boats on the Bear Grass. Five
thousand men were to start in the Spring, provided Congress did not
oppose and Genet could raise a million dollars.

In despair Carondelet wrote home, saying that if the project planned
was carried into effect, he would have no other alternative but to
surrender.

"Having no reinforcements to hope for from Havana, I have no further
hope than in the faults the enemy may commit and in accidents which
may perhaps favour us."

Carondelet gave up. In March he wrote again, "The commandant at Post
Vincennes has offered cannon for the use of the expedition."

Early in January Clark was writing to De Pauw, "Have your stores at
the Falls by the 20th of February, as in all probability we shall
descend the river at that time."

Montgomery reported, "arms and ammunition, five hundred bushels of
corn and ten thousand pounds of pork, also twenty thousand weight of
buffalo beef, eleven hundred weight of bear meat, seventy-four pair
venison hams, and some beef tongues."

With two hundred men Montgomery lay at the mouth of the Ohio ready to
cross over. Not ninety Spaniards of regular troops were there to
defend St. Louis, and two hundred militia, and the Governor had only
too much reason to fear that St. Louis would open her gates and join
the invader. All that was lacking was money. Hundreds of Kentuckians
waited the signal to take down their guns and march on New Orleans.

But the ministers of Spain and of Great Britain had not been quiet.
They both warned Washington. Could he hold the lawless West? It was a
problem for statesmen.

Jefferson wrote to Governor Shelby of Kentucky to restrain the
expedition.

"I have grave doubts," Governor Shelby answered, "whether there is any
legal authority to restrain or to punish them. For, if it is lawful
for any one citizen of the state to leave it, it is equally so for any
number of them to do it. It is also lawful for them to carry any
quantity of provisions, arms, and ammunition.--I shall also feel but
little inclination to take an active part in punishing or retaining
any of my fellow citizens for a supposed intention only, to gratify
the fears of the ministers of a prince who openly withholds from us an
invaluable right, and who secretly instigates against us a most savage
and cruel enemy."

Washington promptly issued a proclamation of neutrality and requested
the recall of Genet. From the new Minister of France Clark received
formal notice that the conquest of Louisiana was abandoned. But Spain
had had her fright. She at once opened the river, and the mass of
collected produce found its way unimpeded to the sea.

In June Congress passed a law for ever forbidding such expeditions.

"I have learned that the Spaniards have built a fort at Chickasaw
Bluff, on this side of the river," said General Wayne, one night in
September, 1795, summoning William Clark to his headquarters. "I
desire you to go down to the commanding officer on the west side and
inquire his intentions."

Why, of all that army, had Wayne chosen the young lieutenant of the
Fourth Sub-Legion for this errand? Was it because he bore the name of
Clark? Very well; both knew why Spain had advanced to the Chickasaw
Bluff.

As Washington went forty years before to inquire of the French, "Why
are you building forts on the Ohio?" so now William Clark, on board
the galiot, "La Vigilante," dropped down to New Madrid and asked the
Spaniard, "Why are you building forts on the Mississippi?"

Down came Charles De Hault De Lassus, the Commandant himself. "I
assure you we have been very far from attempting to usurp the
territory of a nation with whom we desire to remain in friendship,"
protested the courtly Commandant with a wave of his sword and a
flutter of his plume. "But the threats of the French republicans
living in the United States,"--he paused for a reply.

"Calm yourself," replied Lieutenant Clark. "Read here the pacific
intentions of my country."

None better than William Clark understood the virtues of conciliation
and persuasion. "I assure you that the United States is disposed to
preserve peace with all the powers of Europe, and with Spain
especially."

With mutual expressions of esteem and cordial parting salvos,
Lieutenant Clark left his Spanish friends with a mollified feeling
toward "those turbulent Americans."

Nevertheless George Rogers Clark had opened the river, to be closed
again at peril.

Among the soldiers at Wayne's camp that winter was Lieutenant
Meriwether Lewis, "just from the Whiskey Rebellion," he said. Between
him and William Clark, now Captain Clark, there sprang up the most
intimate friendship.

"The nature of the Insurrection?" remarked Lewis in his camp talks with
Clark. "Why, the Pennsylvania mountaineers about Redstone-Old-Fort
refused to pay the whiskey tax, stripped, tarred, and feathered the
collectors! 'The people must be taught obedience,' said General
Washington, and, after all peaceable means failed, he marched fifteen
thousand militia into the district. The thought that Washington was
coming at the head of troops made them reconsider. They sent
deputations to make terms about the time of Wayne's battle. We built
log huts and forted for the winter on the Monongahela about fifteen
miles above Pittsburg."

"And so the Spaniards have come to terms?" queried Lewis as Clark
still remained silent.

"Yes, they have opened the river."

"I came near being in the midst of that," continued Lewis. "Michaux
came to Charlottesville. I was eighteen, just out of school and eager
for adventure. Michaux was to explore the West. Mr. Jefferson had a
plan for sending two people across the Rocky Mountains. I begged to
go, and probably should, had not Michaux been recalled when the new
French minister came in."

"Rest assured," replied Clark solemnly, "no exploration of the West
can ever be made while Spain holds Louisiana."



XXVII

_THE BROTHERS_


"My claim is as just as the book we swear by."

The hero of the heroic age of the Middle West was discussing his debts
for the conquest of Illinois. "I have given the United States half the
territory they possess, and for them to suffer me to remain in poverty
in consequence of it will not redound to their honour. I engaged in
the Revolution with all the ardour that youth could possess. My zeal
and ambition rose with my success, determined to save those countries
which had been the seat of my toil, at the hazard of my life and
fortune.

"At the most gloomy period of the war when a ration could not be
purchased on public credit, I risked my own credit, gave my bonds,
mortgaged my lands for supplies, paid strict attention to every
department, flattered the friendly and confused the hostile tribes of
Indians, by my emissaries baffled my internal enemies (the most
dangerous of all to public interest), and carried my point.

"Thus at the end of the war I had the pleasure of seeing my country
secure, but with the loss of my manual activity. Demands of very great
amount were not paid, others with depreciated paper. Now suits are
commenced against me, for those sums in specie. My military and other
lands, earned by my services, are appropriated for the payment of
these debts, and demands yet are remaining, to a considerable amount
more than the remains of a shattered fortune will pay.

"This is truly my situation. I see no other recourse remaining but to
make application to my country for redress."

Brooding over his troubles, George Rogers Clark had built himself a
little cabin at the Point of Rock, overlooking the Falls of the Ohio,
and gone into a self-chosen St. Helena. The waves dashed and roared
below and the mist arose, as he looked out on Corn Island, scene of
his earliest exploit.

A library of handsome books was the principal ornament the house
contained. Reading, hunting, fishing, he passed his days, while the
old negro servants attended to the kitchen and the garden.

"I have come," answered his brother William, "I have retired from the
army, to devote myself to you. Now what can be done?"

"Done? Look at these bills. Gratiot's is paid, thank God, or he would
have been a ruined man. Monroe helped him through with that. And
Menard's? That is shelved at Richmond for fifty years." General Clark
turned the leaves of his note-book.

"And Vigo? But for him I could never have surprised Vincennes. He was
the best friend I had, and the best still, except you, William."

A singular affection bound these two brothers. It seemed almost as if
William took up the life of George Rogers where it was broken off, and
carried it on to a glorious conclusion.

"Virginia acknowledges Vigo's debt, certifies that it has never been
paid but she has ceded those lands to the Government. Who then shall
pay it but Congress? The debt was necessary and lawful in contracting
for supplies for the conquest of Illinois. Could I have done with
less? God knows we went with parched corn only in our wallets and
depended on our rifles for the rest. Tell him to keep the draft,
Virginia will pay it, or Congress, some time or other, with interest."

Again, at William's persuasion, the General came home to Mulberry
Hill. An expert horseman, everybody in Louisville knew Captain Clark,
who, wrapped in his cloak, came spurring home night after night on his
blooded bay, with York at his side, darkness nor swollen fords nor
wildly beating storms stopping his journey as he came bearing news to
his brother.

"I have ridden for brother George in the course of this year upwards
of three thousand miles," wrote the Captain to his brother Edmund, in
December, 1797, "continually in the saddle, attempting to save him,
and have been serviceable to him in several instances. I have but a
few days returned from Vincennes attending a suit for twenty-four
thousand dollars against him."

These long journeys included tours to St. Louis, Vincennes, Kaskaskia,
among the General's old debtors, proving that the articles for which
he was sued were for his troops, powder and military stores.

"The General is very ill again," said father Clark, walking up and
down the entry before the chamber door. The old man's severe
countenance always relaxed when he spoke of "the General." Of all his
children, George Rogers was the one least expected to fall into
dissipation, but now in rheumatic distress, old before his time,
George Rogers sometimes drank.

"Cover him, shield him, let not the world witness my brother's
weakness," William would say at such times, affectionately detaining
him at Mulberry Hill.

Glancing into the dining-room, the white-haired cavalier noticed Fanny
and her children and others sitting around the table. Preoccupied, the
old man approached, and leaning over a chair delivered an impressive
grace.

"Now, my children, you can eat your dinner. Do not wait for me," and
again he took up his walk in the entry outside the chamber door. A
smile wreathed the faces of all; there was no dinner; they were simply
visiting near the table.

With children and grandchildren around him, the house at Mulberry Hill
was always full. At Christmas or Thanksgiving, when Lucy came with her
boys from Locust Grove, "Well, my children," father Clark would say,
"if I thought we would live, mother and I, five years longer, I would
build a new house."

But the day before Christmas, 1798, the silky white hair of Ann Rogers
Clark was brushed back for the last time, in the home that her taste
had beautified with the groves and flowers of Mulberry Hill.

More and more frequently the old cavalier retired to his rustic arbour
in the garden.

"I must hunt up father, he will take cold," William would say; and
there on a moonlight night, on his knees in prayer, the old man would
be found, among the cedars and honeysuckles of Mulberry Hill.

"Why do you dislike old John Clark," some one asked of a neighbour
when the venerable man lay on his death-bed.

"What? I dislike old John Clark? I revere and venerate him. His piety
and virtues may have been a reproach, but I reverence and honour old
John Clark."

By will the property was divided, and the home at Mulberry Hill went
to William.

"In case Jonathan comes to Kentucky he may be willing to buy the
place," said William. "If he does I shall take the cash to pay off
these creditors of yours."

"Will you do that?" exclaimed George Rogers Clark gratefully. "I can
make it good to you when these lands of mine come into value."

"Never mind that, brother, never mind that. The honour of the family
demands it. And those poor Frenchmen are ruined."

"Indians are at the Falls!"

Startled, even now the citizens of Louisville were ready to fly out
with shotguns in memory of old animosities.

Nothing chills the kindlier impulses like an Indian war. Children
age, young men frost and wrinkle, women turn into maniacs. Every log
hut had its bedridden invalid victim of successive frights and nervous
prostration. Only the stout and sturdy few survived in after days to
tell of those fierce times when George Rogers Clark was the hope and
safety of the border. To these, the Indian was a serpent in the path,
a panther to be hunted.

"Hist! go slow. 'Tis the Delaware chiefs come down to visit George
Rogers Clark," said Simon Kenton.

In these days of peace, remembering still their old terror of the Long
Knife, a deputation of chiefs had come to visit Clark. In paint and
blankets, with lank locks flapping in the breeze, they strode up the
catalpa avenue, sniffing the odours of Mulberry Hill. General Clark
looked from the window. Buckongahelas led the train, with Pierre
Drouillard, the interpreter.

Drouillard had become, for a time, a resident of Kentucky. Simon
Kenton, hearing that the preserver of his life had fallen into
misfortune since the surrender of Detroit, sent for him, gave him a
piece of his farm, and built him a cabin. George Drouillard, a son,
named for George III., was becoming a famous hunter on the
Mississippi.

"We have come," said Buckongahelas, "to touch the Long Knife."

Before Clark realised what they were doing, the Indians had snipped
off the tail of his blue military coat with their hunting knives.

"This talisman will make us great warriors," said Buckongahelas,
carefully depositing a fragment in his bosom.

Clark laughed, but from that time the Delaware King and his braves
were frequent visitors to the Long Knife, who longed to live in the
past, forgetting misfortune.

But George Rogers Clark was not alone in financial disaster. St. Clair
had expended a fortune in the cause of his country and at last,
accompanied by his devoted daughter, retired to an old age of penury.

Boone, too, had his troubles. Never having satisfied the requirements
of law concerning his claim, he was left landless in the Kentucky he
had pioneered for civilisation. Late one November day in 1798 he was
seen wending his way through the streets of Cincinnati, with Rebecca
and all his worldly possessions mounted on packhorses.

"Where are you going?" queried an old-time acquaintance.

"Too much crowded, too many people. I am going west where there is
more elbow room."

"Ze celebrated Colonel Boone ees come to live een Louisiana," said the
Spanish officers of St. Louis. The Stars and Stripes and the yellow
flag of Spain were hung out side by side, and the garrison came down
out of the stone fort on the hill to parade in honour of Daniel Boone.

No such attentions had ever been paid to Daniel Boone at home. He
dined with the Governor at Government House and was presented with a
thousand arpents of land, to be located wherever he pleased, "in the
district of the Femme Osage."

Beside a spring on a creek flowing into the Missouri Boone built his
pioneer cabin, beyond the farthest border settlement.

"Bring a hundred more American families and we will give you ten
thousand arpents of land," said the Governor.

Back to his old Kentucky stamping ground went Boone, and successfully
piloted out a settlement of neighbours and comrades. Directly, Colonel
Daniel Boone was made Commandant of the Femme Osage District. His word
became law in the settlement, and here he held his court under a
spreading elm that stands to-day, the Judgment Tree of Daniel Boone.



XXVIII

_THE MAID OF FINCASTLE_


In the autumn days as the century was closing, William Clark set out
for Virginia, as his brother had done in other years. Kentucky was
filled with old forts, neglected bastions, moats, and blockhouses,
their origin forgotten. Already the builders had passed on westward.

The Boone trace was lined now with settlements, a beaten bridle-path
thronged with emigrant trains kicking up the dust. Through the
frowning portals of Cumberland Gap, Captain Clark and his man York
galloped into Virginia.

From the southern border of Virginia to the Potomac passes the old
highway, between the Alleghanies and the Blue Ridge. Cantering
thoughtfully along under the broad-leaved locusts and laurels, a
melody like the laugh of wood-nymphs rippled from the forest.

"Why don't he go?" cried a musical feminine voice. "Oh, Harriet,
Harriet!" With more laughter came a rustling of green leaves. Parting
the forest curtain to discover the source of this unusual commotion,
Captain Clark descried two girls seated on a small pony, switching
with all their slender energy.

"His feet are set. He will not move, Judy."

Leaping at once from his saddle, the Captain bowed low to the maidens
in distress. "Can I be of any assistance?"

The sudden apparition of a handsome soldier in tri-cornered hat and
long silk hose quite took their breath away.

"Thank you, sir knight," answered the blonde with a flush of
bewitching colour. "Firefly, my pony, seems to object to carrying two,
but we cannot walk across that ford. My cousin and I have on our satin
slippers."

The Captain laughed, and taking the horse's bridle easily led them
beyond the mountain rill that dashed across their pathway.

"And will you not come to my father's house?" inquired the maiden. "It
is here among the trees."

Clark looked,--the roof and gables of a comfortable Virginian mansion
shone amid the greenery. "I fear not. I must reach Colonel Hancock's
to-night."

"This is Colonel Hancock's," the girls replied with a smothered laugh.

At a signal, York lifted the five-barred gate and all passed in to the
long green avenue.

"The brother of my old friend, General George Rogers Clark!" exclaimed
Colonel Hancock. "Glad to see you, glad to see you. Many a time has he
stopped on this road."

The Hancocks were among the founders of Virginia. With John Smith the
first one came over "in search of Forrest for his building of Ships,"
and was "massacred by ye salvages at Thorp's House, Berkeley Hundred."

General Hancock, the father of the present Colonel, equipped a
regiment for his son at the breaking out of the Revolution. On
Pulaski's staff, the young Colonel received the body of the
illustrious Pole as he fell at the siege of Savannah.

From his Sea Island plantations and the sound of war in South
Carolina, General Hancock, old and in gout, set out for Virginia. But
Pulaski had fallen and his son was a prisoner under Cornwallis.
Attended only by his daughter Mary and a faithful slave, the General
died on the way and was buried by Uncle Primus on the top of King's
Mountain some weeks before the famous battle.

Released on parole and finding his fortune depleted, Colonel George
Hancock read Blackstone and the Virginia laws, took out a license,
married, and settled at Fincastle. Here his children were born, of
whom Judy was the youngest daughter. Later, by the death of that
heroic sister Mary, a niece had come into the family, Harriet
Kennerly. These were the girls that Captain Clark had encountered in
his morning ride among the mountains of Fincastle.

"Your brother, the General, and I journeyed together to Philadelphia,
when he was Commissioner of Indian affairs. Is he well and enjoying
the fruits of his valour?" continued the Colonel.

"My brother is disabled, the result of exposure in his campaigns. He
will never recover. I am now visiting Virginia in behalf of his
accounts with the Assembly,--they have never been adjusted. He even
thought you, his old friend, might be able to lend assistance, either
in Virginia or in Congress."

"I am honoured by the request. You may depend upon me."

Colonel George Hancock had been a member of the Fourth Congress in
Washington's administration, and with a four-horse family coach
travelled to and from Philadelphia attending the sessions.

Here the little Judy's earliest recollections had been of the
beautiful Dolly Todd who was about to wed Mr. Madison. Jefferson was
Secretary of State then, and his daughters, Maria and Martha, came
often to visit Judy's older sisters, Mary and Caroline.

Judy's hair was a fluff of gold then; shading to brown, it was a fluff
of gold still, that Granny Molly found hard to keep within bounds.
Harriet, her cousin, of dark and splendid beauty, a year or two older,
was ever the inseparable companion of Judy Hancock.

"Just fixing up the place again," explained Colonel Hancock. "It has
suffered from my absence at Philadelphia. A tedious journey, a tedious
journey from Fincastle."

But to the children that journey had been a liberal education. The
long bell-trains of packhorses, the rumbling Conestogas, the bateaux
and barges, the great rivers and dense forests, the lofty mountains
and wide farmlands, the towns and villages, Philadelphia itself, were
indelibly fixed in their memory and their fancy.

Several times in the course of the next few years, William Clark had
occasion to visit Virginia in behalf of his brother, and each time
more and more he noted the budding graces of the maids of Fincastle.



XXIX

_THE PRESIDENT'S SECRETARY_


The funeral bells of Washington tolled in 1800. President Washington
was dead. Napoleon was first Consul of France. The old social systems
of Europe were tottering. The new social system of America was
building. The experiment of self-government had triumphed, and out of
the storm-tossed seas still grandly rode the Constitution. Out of the
birth of parties and political excitement, Thomas Jefferson came to
the Presidency.

The stately mansion of Monticello was ablaze with light. Candles lit
up every window. Not only Monticello, but all Charlottesville was
illuminated, with torches, bonfires, tar-barrels. Friends gathered
with congratulations and greeting.

As Washington had turned with regret from the banks of the Potomac to
fill the first presidency, and as Patrick Henry, the gifted, chafed in
Congressional halls, so now Jefferson with equal regret left the
shades of Monticello.

"No pageant shall give the lie to my democratic principles," he said,
as in plain citizen clothes with a few of his friends he repaired to
the Capital and took the oath of office. And by his side, with
luminous eyes and powdered hair, sat Aaron Burr, the Vice-President.

Jefferson, in the simplicity of his past, had penned everything for
himself. Now he began to feel the need of a secretary. There were many
applicants, but the President's eye turned toward the lad who nine
years before had begged to go with Michaux to the West.

"The appointment to the Presidency of the United States has rendered
it necessary for me to have a private secretary," he wrote to
Meriwether Lewis. "Your knowledge of the western country, of the army
and of all its interests, has rendered it desirable that you should
be engaged in that office. In point of profit it has little to offer,
the salary being only five hundred dollars, but it would make you know
and be known to characters of influence in the affairs of our
country."

Meriwether was down on the Ohio. In two weeks his reply came back from
Pittsburg. "I most cordially acquiesce, and with pleasure accept the
office, nor were further motives necessary to induce my compliance
than that you, sir, should conceive that in the discharge of the
duties, I could be serviceable to my country as well as useful to
yourself."

As soon as he could wind up his affairs, Captain Lewis, one of the
handsomest men in the army, appeared in queue and cocked hat, silk
stockings and knee buckles, at the President's house in wide and windy
Washington to take up his duties as private secretary.

From his earliest recollection, Meriwether Lewis had known Thomas
Jefferson, as Governor in the days of Tarleton's raid, and as a
private farmer and neighbour at Monticello. After Meriwether's mother
married Captain Marks and moved to Georgia, Jefferson went to France,
and his uncle, Colonel Nicholas Lewis, looked after the finances of
the great estate at Monticello.

Under the guardianship of that uncle, Meriwether attended the school
of Parson Maury, the same school where Jefferson had been fitted for
college.

He remembered, too, that day when Jefferson came back from France and
all the slaves at Monticello rushed out and drew the carriage up by
hand, crowding around, kissing his hands and feet, blubbering,
laughing, crying. How the slaves fell back to admire the young ladies
that had left as mere children! Martha, a stately girl of seventeen,
and little Maria, in her eleventh year, a dazzling vision of beauty.
Ahead of everybody ran the gay and sunny Jack Eppes to escort his
little sweetheart.

Both daughters were married now, and with families of their own, so
more than ever Jefferson depended on Meriwether Lewis. They occupied
the same chamber and lived in a degree of intimacy that perhaps has
subsisted between no other president and his private secretary.

With his favourite Chickasaw horses, Arcturus and Wildair, the
President rode two hours every day, Meriwether often with him,
directing the workmen on the new Capitol, unfinished still amid stone
and masonry tools.

Washington himself chose the site, within an amphitheatre of hills
overlooking the lordly Potomac where he camped as a youth on
Braddock's expedition. Washington, Jefferson, Madison, riding ever to
and from Mount Vernon, Monticello, and Montpelier, discussed the plans
and set the architects to work. Now it fell to Jefferson to carry on
what Washington had so well begun.

Thomas Jefferson was a social man, and loved a throng about him. The
vast and vacant halls of the White House would have been dreary but
for the retinue of guests. Eleven servants had been brought from
Monticello, and half-a-dozen from Paris,--Petit, the butler, M.
Julien, the cook, a French _chef_, Noel, the kitchen boy, and Joseph
Rapin, the steward. Every morning Rapin went to the Georgetown market,
and Meriwether Lewis gave him his orders.

"For I need you, Meriwether, not only for the public, but as well for
the private concerns of the household," said the President
affectionately. "And I depend on you to assist in entertaining."

"At the head of the table, please," said the President, handing in
Mrs. Madison. "I shall have to request you to act as mistress of the
White House."

In his own youth Jefferson had cherished an affection for Dolly
Madison's mother, the beautiful Mary Coles, so it became not difficult
to place her daughter in the seat of honour.

There were old-style Virginia dinners, with the art of Paris, for ever
after his foreign experience Jefferson insisted on training his own
servants in the French fashion. At four they dined, and sat and talked
till night, Congressmen, foreigners, and all sorts of people, with the
ever-present cabinet.

James Madison, Secretary of State, was a small man, easy, dignified,
and fond of conversation, with pale student face like a young
theologian just out of the cloister. Dolly herself powdered his hair,
tied up his queue, and fastened his stock; very likely, too,
prescribed his elegant knee breeches and buckles and black silk
stockings, swans' down buff vest, long coat, and lace ruffles. "A very
tasty old-school gentleman," said the guests of the White House.

Albert Gallatin, Secretary of the Treasury, born and bred a scholar,
was younger than either Madison or Jefferson, well read, with a
slightly Genevan accent, and a prominent nose that marked him a man of
affairs.

But everything revolved about Jefferson, in the village of Washington
and in the country at large. Next to General Washington he filled the
largest space in public esteem.

Slim, tall, and bony, in blue coat faced with yellow, green velveteen
breeches, red plush waist-coat and elaborate shirt frill, long
stockings and slippers with silver buckles,--just so had he been ever
since his Parisian days, picturesquely brilliant in dress and speech,
talking, talking, ever genially at the White House.

Before the "Mayflower" brought the first Puritans to New England the
Jeffersons had settled in Virginia. The President's mother was a
Randolph of patrician blood. A hundred servants attended in Isham
Randolph's, her father's house. Peter Jefferson, his father, was a
democrat of democrats, a man of the people. Perhaps Thomas had felt
the sting of Randolph pride that a daughter had married a homely
rawboned Jefferson, but all the man in him rose up for that Jefferson
from whom he was sprung. Thomas Jefferson, the son, was just such a
thin homely rawboned youth as his father had been. Middle age brought
him good looks, old age made him venerable, an object of adoration to
a people.

Always up before sunrise, he routed out Meriwether. There were
messages to send, or letters to write, or orders for Rapin before the
round disk of day reddened the Potomac.

No woman ever brushed his gray neglected hair tied so loosely in a
club behind; it was Jeffersonian to have it neglected and tumbled all
over his head. Everybody went to the White House for instruction,
entertainment; and Jefferson--was Jefferson.

Of course he had his enemies, even there. Twice a month Colonel Burr,
the Vice-President, the great anti-Virginian, dined at the White
House. Attractive in person, distinguished in manner, all looked upon
Colonel Burr as next in the line of Presidential succession. He came
riding back and forth between Washington and his New York residence at
Richmond Hill, and with him the lovely Theodosia, the intimate friend
of Dolly Madison and Mrs. Gallatin.

Lewis understood some of the bitter and deadly political controversies
that were smothered now under the ever genial conversation of the
President, for Jefferson, the great apostle of popular sovereignty,
could no more conceal his principles than he could conceal his
personality. Everything he discussed,--science, politics, philosophy,
art, music. None there were more widely read, none more travelled than
the President.

But he dearly loved politics. Greater, perhaps, was Jefferson in
theory than in execution. His eye would light with genius, as he
propounded his views.

"Science, did you say? The main object of all science is the freedom
and happiness of man, and these are the sole objects of all legitimate
government. Why, Washington himself hardly believed that so liberal a
government as this could succeed, but he was resolved to give the
experiment a trial. And now, our people are throwing aside the
monarchical and taking up the republican form, with as much ease as
would have attended their throwing off an old and putting on a new
suit of clothes. I am persuaded that no Constitution was ever before
so well calculated as ours for extensive empire."

To Jefferson it had fallen to overthrow church establishment and
entail and primogeniture in Virginia, innovations that were followed
by all the rest of the States.

"At least," pleaded an opponent, "if the eldest may no longer inherit
all the lands and all the slaves of his father, let him take a double
share."

"No," said Jefferson, "not until he can eat a double allowance of
food and do a double allowance of work. Instead of an aristocracy of
wealth, I would make an opening for an aristocracy of virtue and
talent."

"But see to what Mr. Jefferson and his levelling system has brought
us," cried even John Randolph of Roanoke, as one after another of the
estates of thousands of acres slid into the hands of the people.

He prohibited the importation of slaves, and, if he could have done
it, would have abolished slavery itself before it became the despair
of a people.

"Franklin a great orator? Why, no, he never spoke in Congress more
than five minutes at a time, and then he related some anecdote which
applied to the subject before the House. I have heard all the
celebrated orators of the National Assembly of France, but there was
not one equal to Patrick Henry."

And then, confidentially, sometimes he told a tale of the Declaration
of Independence. "I shall never cease to be grateful to John Adams,
the colossus of that debate. While the discussion was going on,
fatherly old Ben Franklin, seventy years old, leaning on his cane, sat
by my side, and comforted me with his jokes whenever the criticisms
were unusually bitter. The Congress held its meetings near a livery
stable. The members wore short breeches and thin silk stockings, and
with handkerchief in hand they were diligently employed in lashing the
flies from their legs. So very vexatious was the annoyance, and to so
great impatience did it arouse the sufferers, that they were only too
glad to sign the Declaration and fly from the scene."

Two visits every year Jefferson made to his little principality of two
hundred inhabitants at Monticello, a short one early in the Spring and
a longer one in the latter part of Summer, when he always took his
daughter Martha and family from Edge Hill with him, for it would not
seem home without Martha to superintend.

Here Jefferson had organised his slaves into a great industrial
school, had his own carpenters, cabinet-makers, shoe-makers, tailors,
weavers, had a nail forge and made nails for his own and neighbouring
estates,--his black mechanics were the best in Virginia. Even the
family coach was made at Monticello, and the painting and the masonry
of the mansion were all executed by slaves on the place.

On the Rivanna Jefferson had a mill, where his wheat was manufactured
into flour and sent down to Richmond on bateaux to be sold for a good
price, and cotton brought home to be made into cloth on the
plantation. No wonder, when the master was gone, so extensive an
industrial plant ceased to be remunerative.

Jefferson was always sending home shrubbery and trees from
Washington,--he knew every green thing on every spot of his farm; and
Bacon, the manager, seldom failed to send the cart back laden with
fruit from Monticello for the White House.

While the President at Monticello was giving orders to Goliah, the
gardener, to Jupiter, the hostler, to Bacon and all the head men of
the shops, Lewis would gallop home to visit his mother at Locust Hill
just out of Charlottesville.

Before the Revolution, Meriwether's father, William Lewis, had
received from George III. a patent for three thousand acres of choice
Ivy Creek land in Albemarle, commanding an uninterrupted view of the
Blue Ridge for one hundred and fifty miles. Here Meriwether was born,
and Reuben and Jane.

"If Captain John Marks courts you I advise you to marry him," said
Colonel William Lewis to his wife, on his death-bed after the
surrender of Cornwallis. In a few years she did marry Captain Marks,
and in Georgia were born Meriwether's half brother and sister, John
and Mary Marks.

Another spot almost as dear to Meriwether Lewis was the plantation of
his uncle Nicholas Lewis, "The Farm," adjoining Monticello. It was
here he saw Hamilton borne by, a prisoner of war, on the way to
Williamsburg, and here it was that Tarleton made his raid and stole
the ducks from Aunt Molly's chicken yard.

A strict disciplinarian, rather severe in her methods, and very
industrious was Aunt Molly, "Captain Molly" they called her. "Even
Colonel 'Nick,' although he can whip the British, stands in wholesome
awe of Captain Molly, his superior in the home guards," said the
gossiping neighbours of Charlottesville.

As a boy on this place, Meriwether visited the negro cabins, followed
the overseer, or darted on inquiry bent through stables, coach-house,
hen-house, smoke-house, dove cote, and milk-room, the ever-attending
lesser satellites of every mansion-house of old Virginia.

"Bless your heart, my boy," was Aunt Molly's habitual greeting, "to be
a good boy is the surest way to be a great man."

A tender heart had Aunt Molly, doctress of half the countryside, who
came to her for remedies and advice. Her home was ever open to
charity. As friends she nursed and cared for Burgoyne's men, the
Saratoga prisoners.

"Bury me under the tulip tree on top of the hill overlooking the
Rivanna," begged one of the sick British officers. True to her word,
Aunt Molly had him laid under the tulip tree. Many generations of
Lewises and Meriwethers lie now on that hill overlooking the red
Rivanna, but the first grave ever made there was that of the British
prisoner so kindly cared for by Meriwether Lewis's Aunt Molly.

"Meriwether and Lewis are old and honoured names in Virginia. I really
believe the boy will be a credit to the family," said Aunt Molly when
the President's secretary reined up on Wildair at the gate. The
Captain's light hair rippled into a graceful queue tied with a ribbon,
and his laughing blue eyes flashed as Maria Wood ran out to greet her
old playfellow. Aunt Molly was Maria's grandmother.

"Very grand is my cousin Meriwether now," began the mischievous Maria.
"Long past are those days when as a Virginia ranger he prided himself
on rifle shirts faced with fringe, wild-cat's paws for epaulettes, and
leathern belts heavy as a horse's surcingle." Lifting her hands in
mock admiration Maria smiled entrancingly, "Indeed, gay as Jefferson
himself is our sublime dandy, in blue coat, red velvet waistcoat,
buff knee breeches, and brilliant buckles!" and Meriwether answered
with a kiss.

Maria Wood was, perhaps, the dearest of Meriwether's friends, although
rumour said he had been engaged to Milly Maury, the daughter of the
learned Parson. But how could that be when Milly married while
Meriwether was away soldiering on the Ohio? At any rate, now he rode
with Maria Wood, danced with her, and took her out to see his mother
at Locust Hill.

The whole family relied on Meriwether at Locust Hill. While only a boy
he took charge of the farm, and of his own motion built a carriage and
drove to Georgia after his mother and the children upon the death of
Captain Marks.

Back through the Cherokee-haunted woods they came, with other
travellers journeying the Georgia route. One night campfires were
blazing for the evening meal, when "Whoop!" came the hostile message
and a discharge of arms.

"Indians! Indians!"

All was confusion. Paralysed mothers hugged their infants and children
screamed, when a boy in the crowd threw a bucket of water on the fire
extinguishing the light. In a moment all was still, as the men rushed
to arms repelling the attack. That boy was Meriwether Lewis.

"No brother like mine," said little Mary Marks. "Every noble trait is
his,--he is a father to us children, a counsellor to our mother, and
more anxious about our education than even for his own!"

Charles de St. Memin, a French artist, was in Washington, engraving on
copper.

"May I have your portrait as a typical handsome American?" he said to
the President's secretary.

Meriwether laughed and gave him a sitting. The same hand that had so
lately limned Paul Revere, Theodosia Burr, and the last profile of
Washington himself, sketched the typical youth of 1801. Lewis sent the
drawing to his mother, the head done in fired chalk and crayon, with
that curious pink background so peculiar to the St. Memin pictures.



XXX

_THE PRESIDENT TALKS WITH MERIWETHER_


Hours by themselves Jefferson sat talking to Lewis. With face sunny,
lit with enthusiasm, he spoke rapidly, even brilliantly, a dreamer, a
seer, a prophet, believing in the future of America.

"I have never given it up, Meriwether. Before the peace treaty was
signed, after the Revolution, I was scheming for a western
exploration. We discussed it at Annapolis; I even went so far as to
write to George Rogers Clark on the subject. Then Congress sent me to
France.

"In France a frequent guest at my table was John Ledyard, of
Connecticut. He had accompanied Captain Cook on his voyage to the
Pacific Ocean, and now panted for some new enterprise. He had
endeavoured to engage the merchants of Boston in the Northwest fur
trade, but the times were too unsettled. 'Why, Mr. Jefferson,' he was
wont to say, 'that northwest land belongs to us. I felt I breathed the
air of home the day we touched at Nootka Sound. The very Indians are
just like ours. And furs,--that coast is rich in beaver, bear, and
otter. Depend upon it,' he used to say, 'untold fortunes lie untouched
at the back of the United States.'"

"I then proposed to him to go by land to Kamtchatka, cross in some
Russian vessel to Nootka Sound, fall down into the latitude of the
Missouri, and penetrate to and through that to the United States.
Ledyard eagerly seized the idea. I obtained him a permit from the
Empress Catherine, and he set out; went to St. Petersburg, crossed the
Russian possessions to within two hundred miles of Kamtchatka. Here he
was arrested by order of the Empress, who by this time had changed her
mind, and forbidden his proceeding. He was put in a close carriage,
and conveyed day and night, without ever stopping, till they reached
Poland; where he was set down and left to himself. The fatigue of this
journey broke down his constitution, and when he returned to me at
Paris his bodily strength was much impaired. His mind, however,
remained firm and he set out for Egypt to find the sources of the
Nile, but died suddenly at Cairo. Thus failed the first attempt to
explore the western part of our northern continent.

"Imagine my interest, later, to learn that after reading of Captain
Cook's voyages the Boston merchants had taken up Ledyard's idea and in
1787 sent two little ships, the 'Columbia Rediviva' and the 'Lady
Washington' into the Pacific Ocean.

"Barely was I back and seated in Washington's cabinet as Secretary of
State, before those Boston merchants begged my intercession with the
Court of Spain, for one Don Blas Gonzalez, Governor of Juan Fernandez.
Passing near that island, one of the ships was damaged by a storm, her
rudder broken, her masts disabled, and herself separated from her
companion. She put into the island to refit, and at the same time to
wood and water. Don Blas Gonzalez, after examining her, and finding
she had nothing on board but provisions and charts, and that her
distress was real, permitted her to stay a few days, to refit and take
in fresh supplies of wood and water. For this act of common
hospitality, he was immediately deprived of his government, unheard,
by superior order, and placed under disgrace. Nor was I ever able to
obtain a hearing at the Court of Spain, and the reinstatement of this
benevolent Governor.

"The little ships went on, however, and on May 11, 1792, Captain
Robert Gray, a tar of the Revolution, discovered the great river of
the west and named it for his gallant ship, the 'Columbia.'

"In that very year, 1792, not yet having news of this discovery, I
proposed to the American Philosophical Society that we should set on
foot a subscription to engage some competent person to explore that
region, by ascending the Missouri and crossing the Stony Mountains,
and descending the nearest river to the Pacific. The sum of five
thousand dollars was raised for that purpose, and André Michaux, a
French botanist, was engaged as scientist, but when about to start he
was sent by the French minister on political business to Kentucky."

Meriwether Lewis laughed. "I remember. I was then at Charlottesville
on the recruiting service, and warmly solicited you to obtain for me
the appointment to execute that adventure. But Mr. André Michaux
offering his services, they were accepted."

Both were silent for a time. Michaux had gone on his journey as far as
Kentucky, become the confidential agent between Genet and George
Rogers Clark for the French expedition, and been recalled by request
of Washington.

"Meriwether," continued the President, "I see now some chance of
accomplishing that northwest expedition. The act establishing trading
posts among the Indians is about to expire. My plan is to induce the
Indians to abandon hunting and become agriculturists. As this may
deprive our traders of a source of profit, I would direct their
attention to the fur trade of the Missouri. In a few weeks I shall
make a confidential communication to Congress requesting an
appropriation for the exploration of the northwest. We shall undertake
it as a literary and commercial pursuit."

"And, sir, may I lead that exploration?"

"You certainly shall," answered the President. "How much money do you
think it would take?"

Secretary Lewis spent the next few days in making an estimate.

"Mathematical instruments, arms and accoutrements, camp equipage,
medicine and packing, means for transportation, Indian presents,
provisions, pay for hunters, guides, interpreters, and contingencies,--
twenty-five hundred dollars will cover it all, I think."

Then followed that secret message of January 18, 1803, dictated by
Jefferson, penned by Lewis, in which the President requested an
appropriation of twenty-five hundred dollars, "for the purpose of
extending the external commerce of the United States."

Congress granted the request, and busy days of preparation followed.

The cabinet were in the secret, and the ladies, particularly Mrs.
Madison and Mrs. Gallatin, were most interested and sympathetic,
providing everything that could possibly be needed in such a perilous
journey, fearing that Lewis might never return from that distant land
of savages. The President's daughters, Mrs. Randolph and Mrs. Eppes,
were there, handsome, accomplished, delicate women, who rode about in
silk pelisses purchasing at the shops the necessaries for
"housewives," pins, needles, darning yarn, and the thousand and one
little items that women always give to soldier boys.

Dolly Madison, in mulberry-coloured satin, a tulle kerchief on her
neck and dainty cap on her head, stitched, stitched; and in the
streets, almost impassable for mud, she and Martha, the President's
daughter, were often mistaken for each other as they went to and fro
guided by Dolly's cousin, Edward Coles, a youth destined to win renown
himself one day, as the "anti-slavery governor" of Illinois.

In his green knee pants and red waistcoat, long stockings and
slippers, the genial President looked in on the busy ladies at the
White House, but his anxiety was on matters of far more moment than
the stitchery of the cabinet ladies.

Alexander Mackenzie's journal of his wonderful transcontinental
journey in 1793 was just out, the book of the day. It thrilled
Lewis,--he devoured it.

Before starting on his tour Alexander Mackenzie went to London and
studied mathematics and astronomy. "It is my own dream," exclaimed
Lewis, as the President came upon him with the volumes in hand. "But
the scientific features, to take observations, to be sure of my
botany, to map longitude--"

"That must come by study," said Jefferson. "I would have you go to
Philadelphia to prosecute your studies in the sciences. I think you
had better go at once to Dr. Barton,--I will write to him to-day."

And again in the letter to Dr. Barton, Meriwether's hand penned the
prosecution of his fortune.

"I must ask the favour of you to prepare for him a note of those lines
of botany, zoölogy, or of Indian history which you think most worthy
of study or observation. He will be with you in Philadelphia in two or
three weeks and will wait on you and receive thankfully on paper any
communications you may make to him."

Jefferson had ever been a father to Meriwether Lewis, had himself
watched and taught him. And Lewis in his soul revered the great man's
learning, as never before he regretted the wasted hours at Parson
Maury's when often he left his books to go hunting on Peter's Mount.
But proudly lifting his head from these meditations:

"I am a born woodsman, Mr. Jefferson. You know that."

"Know it!" Jefferson laughed. "Does not the fame of your youthful
achievements linger yet around the woods of Monticello? I have not
forgotten, Meriwether, that when you were not more than eight years
old you were accustomed to go out into the forest at night alone in
the depth of winter with your dogs and gun to hunt the raccoon and
opossum. Nor have I forgotten when the Cherokees attacked your camp in
Georgia." The young man flushed.

"Your mother has often told it. It was when you were bringing them
home to Albemarle. How old were you then? About eighteen? The Indians
whooped and you put out the fire, the only cool head among them. A boy
that could do that can as a man lead a great exploration like this.

"Nor need you fret about your lack of science,--the very study of
Latin you did with Parson Maury fits you to prepare for me those
Indian vocabularies. I am fortunate to have one so trained. Latin
gives an insight into the structure of all languages. For years, now,
I have been collecting and studying the Indian tongues. Fortune now
permits you to become my most valued coadjutor."

And so Lewis noted in his book of memorandum, "Vocabularies of Indian
languages."

"You ought to have a companion, a military man like George Rogers
Clark. I have always wished to bring him forward in Indian affairs; no
man better understands the savage."

"But Clark has a brother," quickly spoke Lewis, "a brave fellow,
absolutely unflinching in the face of danger. If I could have my
choice, Captain William Clark should be my companion and the sharer of
my command."

Two years Lewis had been Jefferson's private secretary, when,
appointed to this work, he went to Philadelphia to study natural
science and make astronomical observations for the geography of the
route. This youth, who had inherited a fortune and every inducement to
a life of ease, now spent three months in severest toil, under the
instruction of able professors, learning scientific terms and
calculating latitude and longitude.

Early in June he was back at Washington. Already the President had
secured letters of passport from the British, French, and Spanish
ministers, for this expedition through foreign territory.

"The object of your mission is to explore the Missouri River, and such
principal streams of it, as, by its course and communication with the
waters of the Pacific Ocean, whether the Columbia, Oregon, Colorado,
or any other river, may offer the most direct and practicable
water-communication across the continent, for the purpose of
commerce."

Far into the June night Jefferson discussed his instructions, and
signed the historic document.

"I have no doubt you will use every possible exertion to get off, as
the delay of a month now may lose a year in the end."

Lewis felt the pressure; he was packing his instruments, writing to
military posts for men to be ready when he came down the river, and
hurrying up orders at Harper's Ferry, when a strange and startling
event occurred, beyond the vision of dreamers.



Book II

_INTO THE WEST_



Book II

_INTO THE WEST_



I

_THE LOUISIANA PURCHASE_


"Spain, knowing she cannot hold Louisiana, has ceded it to France!"
The winds of ocean bore the message to America.

"Napoleon? Is he to control us also?"

Never so vast a shadow overawed the world. Afar they had read of his
battles, had dreaded his name. Instantly colossal Napoleon loomed
across the prairies of the West.

Napoleon had fifty-four ships and fifty thousand troops, the flower of
his army, sailing to re-establish slavery in Hayti. But a step and he
would be at the Mississippi. He was sending Laussat, a French prefect,
to take over New Orleans and wait for the army.

"Shall we submit? And is this to be the end of all our fought-for
liberty, that Napoleon should rule America?"

The fear of France was now as great as had been the admiration.

Gaily the flatboats were floating down, laden with flour and bacon,
hams and tobacco, seeking egress to Cuba and Atlantic seaports, when
suddenly, in October, 1802, the Spanish Intendant at New Orleans
closed the Mississippi. Crowding back, for twenty thousand miles
inland, were the products of the Autumn.

The western country blazed; only by strenuous effort could Congress
keep a backwoods army from marching on New Orleans. A powerful
minority at Washington contended for instant seizure.

Pittsburg, with shore lined with shipping, roared all the way to the
gulf, "No grain can be sold down the river on account of those
piratical Spaniards!"

Appeal after appeal went up to Jefferson, "Let us sweep them into the
sea!"

What hope with a foreign nation at our gates? Spain might be got rid
of, but France--Monroe was dispatched to France to interview Napoleon.

"The French must not have New Orleans," was the lightning thought of
Jefferson. "No one but ourselves must own our own front door."

And Jefferson penned a letter to Livingstone, the American minister at
Paris:

     "There is on the globe but one single spot, the possessor
     of which is our natural and habitual enemy. It is New
     Orleans, through which the produce of three-eighths of our
     territory must pass to market. France placing herself in
     that door assumes to us the attitude of defiance. Spain
     might have retained it quietly for years. Not so France.
     The impetuosity of her temper, the energy and restlessness
     of her character, render it impossible that France and the
     United States can continue friends when they meet in so
     irritating a position. The day that France takes possession
     of New Orleans--from that moment we must marry ourselves to
     the British fleet and nation."

As Jefferson placed that letter in the hands of Monroe he added:

"In Europe nothing but Europe is seen. But this little event, of
France's possessing herself of Louisiana,--this speck which now
appears an invisible point on the horizon,--is the embryo of a
tornado.

"I must secure the port of New Orleans and the mastery of the
navigation of the Mississippi.

"We must have peace. The use of the Mississippi is indispensable. We
must purchase New Orleans."

"You are aware of the sensibility of our Western citizens," Madison
was writing to Madrid. "To them the Mississippi is everything. It is
the Hudson, the Delaware, the Potomac, and all the navigable rivers of
the Atlantic States, formed into one."

But Napoleon's soldiers were dying at San Domingo, the men with whom
he would have colonised Louisiana. At that moment the flint and steel
of France and England struck, and the spark meant--war. England stood
ready to seize the mouth of the Mississippi.

After the solemnities of Easter Sunday at St. Cloud, April 10, 1803,
Napoleon summoned two of his ministers.

"I _know_ the full value of Louisiana!" he began with vehement
passion, walking up and down the marble parlour. "A few lines of
treaty have restored it to me, and I have scarcely recovered it when I
must expect to lose it. But if it escapes from me," the First Consul
shook his finger menacingly, "it shall one day cost dearer to those
who oblige me to strip myself of it, than to those to whom I wish to
deliver it. The English have successively taken from France, Canada,
Cape Breton, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and the richest portions of
Asia. They _shall not have_ the Mississippi which they covet. They
have twenty ships of war in the Gulf of Mexico, they sail over those
seas as sovereigns. The conquest of Louisiana would be easy. I have
not a moment to lose in putting it out of their reach. I know not
whether they are not already there. I think of ceding it to the United
States. They only ask one town of me in Louisiana but I already
consider the colony as entirely lost, and it appears to me that in the
hands of this growing power it will be more useful to the policy and
even to the commerce of France, than if I should attempt to keep it."

He turned to Barbé-Marbois, who had served as Secretary of the French
Legation at Philadelphia during the whole war of the American
Revolution.

"We should not hesitate to make a sacrifice of that which is about
slipping from us," said Barbé-Marbois. "War with England is
inevitable; shall we be able to defend Louisiana? Can we restore
fortifications that are in ruins? If, Citizen Consul, you, who have by
one of the first acts of your government made sufficiently apparent
your intention of giving this country to France, now abandon the idea
of keeping it, there is no person that will not admit that you yield
to necessity."

Far into the night they talked, so late that the ministers slept at
St. Cloud.

At daybreak Napoleon summoned Barbé-Marbois. "Read me the dispatches
from London."

"Sire," returned the Secretary, looking over the papers, "naval and
military preparations of every kind are making with extraordinary
rapidity."

Napoleon leaped to his feet and strode again the marble floor.

"Irresolution and deliberation are no longer in season. I _renounce_
Louisiana. It is not only New Orleans that I will cede, but the whole
colony without reservation. I _know_ the price of what I abandon. I
renounce it with regret. To attempt to retain it would be folly. I
direct you to negotiate this affair with the United States. Do not
even await the arrival of Mr. Monroe; have an interview this very day
with Mr. Livingstone; but I require a great deal of money for this
war, and I would not like to commence it with new contributions. I
want fifty millions, and for less than that sum I will not treat.
To-morrow you shall have your full powers."

The minister waited.

"Mr. Monroe is on the point of arriving," continued Napoleon. "Neither
this minister, nor his colleague, is prepared for a decision which
goes infinitely beyond anything they are about to ask of us. Begin by
making them overtures, without any subterfuge. Acquaint me, hour by
hour, of your progress."

"What will you pay for all Louisiana?" bluntly asked Barbé-Marbois
that day of the astonished Livingstone.

"_All Louisiana!_ New Orleans is all I ask for," answered Livingstone.
So long had Talleyrand trifled and deceived, the American found
himself distrustful of these French diplomatists.

"But I offer the province," said Barbé-Marbois.

Surprised, doubtful, Livingstone listened. "I have not the necessary
powers."

The next day Monroe arrived.

"There must be haste or the English will be at New Orleans," said
Barbé-Marbois. "How much will you pay for the whole province?"

"The English? Fifteen millions," answered the Americans.

"Incorporate Louisiana as soon as possible into your Union," said
Napoleon, "give to its inhabitants the same rights, privileges, and
immunities as to other citizens of the United States.

"And let them know that we separate ourselves from them with regret;
let them retain for us sentiments of affection; and may their common
origin, descent, language, and customs perpetuate the friendship."

The papers were drawn up and signed in French and in English.

"We have lived long, but this is the noblest work of our lives!"
exclaimed Livingstone, as he and Barbé-Marbois and Monroe arose and
shook hands across the document.

"This accession of territory strengthens for ever the power of the
United States," said Napoleon, coming in to look at the treaty. And as
he affixed that signature, "NAPOLEON," he smiled,--"I have just given
to England a maritime rival, that sooner or later will humble her
pride."

And on that day the Mississippi was opened, to be closed by a foreign
power no more for ever.

But no sooner had Napoleon parted with Louisiana than he began to
repent. "Hasten," the ministers warned Jefferson, "the slightest delay
may lose us the country."

The word reached America.

"Jefferson--bought New Orleans? bought the Mississippi? bought the
entire boundless West?"

Men gasped, then cheered. Tumultuous excitement swept the land. On
July 3, 1803, an infant Republic hugging the Atlantic, on July 4, a
world power grasping the Pacific!

"A bargain!" cried the Republicans.

"Unconstitutional!" answered the Federalists.

"The East will become depopulated."

"Fifteen millions! Fifteen millions for that wilderness! Why, that
would be tons of money! Waggon loads of silver five miles long. We
have not so much coin in the whole country!"



II

_THE KNIGHT OF THE WHITE HOUSE_


And Meriwether Lewis was ready to start. The night before the Fourth
of July he wrote his mother:

     "The day after to-morrow I shall set out for the western
     country. I had calculated on the pleasure of visiting you,
     but circumstances have rendered it impossible. My absence
     will probably be equal to fifteen or eighteen months. The
     nature of this expedition is by no means dangerous. My
     route will be altogether through tribes of Indians friendly
     to the United States, therefore I consider the chances of
     life just as much in my favour as I should conceive them
     were I to remain at home. The charge of this expedition is
     honourable to myself, as it is important to my country. For
     its fatigues I feel myself perfectly prepared, nor do I
     doubt my health and strength of constitution to bear me
     through it. I go with the most perfect pre-conviction in my
     own mind of returning safe, and hope therefore that you
     will not suffer yourself to indulge any anxiety for my
     safety,--I will write again on my arrival at Pittsburg.
     Adieu, and believe me your affectionate son,

          MERIWETHER LEWIS."

The Jefferson girls had returned to their homes. Dolly Madison and
Mrs. Gallatin supervised the needle department, having made
"housewives" enough to fit out a regiment. Joseph Rapin, the steward,
helped Lewis pack his belongings, Secretary Gallatin contributed a map
of Vancouver's sketch of the Columbia mouth, and Madison rendered his
parting benediction.

Out of the iron gate in the high rock wall in front of the White House
Meriwether went,--fit emblem of the young Republic, slim and lithe,
immaculate in new uniform and three-cornered _chapeau_, his sunny
thick-braided queue falling over the high-collared coat,--to meet the
Potomac packet for Harper's Ferry. All around were uncut forests, save
the little clearing of Washington, and up the umbrageous hills
stretched an endless ocean of tree-tops.

The wind blew up the Potomac, fluttering the President's gray locks.
"If a superior force should be arrayed against your passage, return,
Meriwether," was the anxious parting word. "To your own discretion
must be left the degree of danger you may risk."

But Meriwether had no fears.

"Should you reach the Pacific Ocean,--endeavour to learn if there be
any port within your reach frequented by sea-vessels of any nation,
and to send two of your trusted people back by sea, with a copy of
your notes. Should you be of opinion that the return of your party by
the way they went will be dangerous, then ship the whole, and return
by way of Cape Horn or the Cape of Good Hope. As you will be without
money, clothes or provisions, I give you this open letter of credit
authorising you to draw on the Executive of the United States or any
of its officers in any part of the world. Our consuls at Batavia in
Java, at the Isles of France and Bourbon, and at the Cape of Good Hope
will be able to supply you necessities by drafts on us."

For where in the world the Missouri led, no man then knew!

"I have sometimes thought of sending a ship around to you," said
Jefferson, "but the Spaniards would be certain to gobble it, and we
are in trouble enough with them already over this Louisiana Purchase."

Too well Lewis knew the delicacy of the situation. Spain was on fire
over the treachery of Napoleon. "France has no right to alienate
Louisiana!" was the cry from Madrid. But what could she do? Nothing
but fume, delay, threaten,--Napoleon was master.

"Under present circumstances," continued the President, "I consider
futile all effort to get a ship to your succour on those shores. Spain
would be only too glad to strike a blow. But there must be trade,
there is trade,--all through Adams's administration the Russians were
complaining of Yankee skippers on that northwest coast.

"Russia has aided us, I may call the Emperor my personal friend." With
pardonable pride the President thought of the bust of Alexander over
his study door at Monticello. "Though Catherine did send poor Ledyard
back, Alexander has proved himself true, and in case any Russian ship
touches those shores you are safe, or English, or American. This
letter of credit will carry you through.

"And above all, express my philanthropic regard for the Indians.
Humanity enjoins us to teach them agriculture and the domestic arts."

And after Lewis was fairly started, the President sent on as a great
secret, "I have received word from Paris that Mr. Broughton, one of
the companions of Captain Vancouver, went up Columbia River one
hundred miles in December, 1792. He stopped at a point he named
Vancouver. Here the river Columbia is still a quarter of a mile wide.
From this point Mt. Hood is seen twenty leagues distant, which is
probably a dependency of the Stony Mountains. Accept my affectionate
salutations."

On the Fourth of July the same hand that drew up the Declaration of
Independence had drawn for Meriwether Lewis a Letter of Credit,
authorising him to purchase anything he needed on the credit of the
United States in any part of the world. Was Jefferson thinking of
those days when George Rogers Clark gave drafts on New Orleans for the
conquest of Illinois? This again was another venture into a dark
unwritten West.

The next day Lewis "shot all his guns" at Harper's Ferry, examined
extra locks, knives, tomahawks, accoutrements that had been
manufactured at his special direction. The waggoner from Philadelphia
came jolting by with Indian presents, astronomical apparatus, and
tents on the way to Pittsburg.

Pittsburg? A cloud of smoke hung even then over the embryotic city.
Two thousand miles inland, it already had a flourishing ship-yard.
Several large vessels lay on the stocks and builders were hammering
day and night.

"The 'Louisiana,' three hundred tons, is waiting for the next rise of
the river," said a strapping tar. "In May a fleet of schooners went
out to the Caribbees. You are too late for this summer's freshet."

     "Come, gentlemen, gentlemen all,
       Ginral Sincleer shall remem-ber-ed be,
     For he lost thirteen hundred me-en all
       In the Western Tari-to-ree."

Captain Lewis took a second look at the singer,--it was George Shannon
standing on the dock.

"Why, Captain Lewis! Where are you going?"

George was an old friend of Meriwether's, and yet but a lad of
seventeen. His father, one of those "ragged Continentals" that marched
on Yorktown, had emigrated to the far Ohio.

Jane Shannon was a typical pioneer mother. She spun, wove, knit, made
leggings of skins, and caps and moccasins, but through multitudinous
duties found time to teach her children. "To prepare them for
college," she said, "that is my dream. I'd live on hoe-cake for ever
to give them a chance." Every one of her six boys inherited that
mother's spirit, every one attained distinction.

At fourteen George was sent to his mother's relatives on the
Monongahela to school. Here he met Lewis, forted in that winter camp.
The gallant Virginian captured the boy's fancy,--he became his model,
his ideal.

"And can you go?" asked Captain Lewis.

"Go? I will accompany you to the end of the world, Captain Lewis,"
answered George Shannon. "There is no time for mails,--I know I have
my parent's consent. And the pay, that will take me to college!"
Shannon enlisted on the spot, and was Lewis's greatest comfort in
those trying days at Pittsburg.

The boat-builders were drunkards. "I spent most of my time with the
workmen," wrote Lewis to the President, "but neither threats nor
persuasion were sufficient to procure the completion before the 31st
of August." Loading the boat the instant it was done, they set out at
four o'clock in the morning, with John Collins of Maryland, and George
Gibson, Hugh McNeal, John Potts, and Peter Wiser, of Pennsylvania,
recruits that had been ordered from Carlisle. Peter Wiser is believed
to have been a descendant of that famous Conrad Weiser who gave his
life to pacifying the Indian.

By this time the water was low. "On board my boat opposite Marietta,
Sept. 13," Lewis writes,--"horses or oxen--I find the most efficient
sailors in the present state of navigation," dragging the bateaux over
shallows of drift and sandbars.

And yet that same Spring, when the water was high, Marietta had sent
out the schooners "Dorcas and Sally," and the "Mary Avery," one
hundred and thirty tons, with cheers and firing of cannon. When Lewis
passed, a three-mast brig of two hundred and fifty tons and a smaller
one of ninety tons were on the point of being finished to launch the
following Spring, with produce for Philadelphia.

George Shannon was a handsome boy, already full grown but with the
beardless pink and white of youth. His cap would not fit down over his
curls, but lifted like his own hopes. Nothing would start the boats at
daylight like his jolly, rollicking

     "Blow, ye winds of morning,
     Blow, blow, blow,"

rolling across the tints of sunrise. His cheeks glowed, his blue eyes
shone to meet the wishes of his captain.

Past the fairy isle of Blennerhassett with its stately mansion
half-hid behind avenues of Lombardy poplar and tasteful shrubbery,
Captain Lewis came on down to Fort Washington, Cincinnati, where brigs
had lately taken on cargoes and sailed to the West Indies.

Bones? Of course Lewis wanted to look at bones and send some to the
learned President. Dr. Goforth of Cincinnati was sinking a pit at the
Big Bone Lick for remains of the mammoth, and might not mammoths be
stalking abroad in all that great land of the West? Mystery,
mystery,--the very air was filled with mystery.



III

_RECRUITING FOR OREGON_


"Now that I have accepted President Jefferson's proposal to be
associated with Captain Lewis in this expedition, it will oblige me to
accept brother Jonathan's offer of ten thousand dollars cash for
Mulberry Hill," William Clark was saying at Louisville. "That will
help out brother George on his military debts, satisfy his claimants,
and save him from ruin."

At the time of sale the old home was occupied by General Clark and
William Clark, and their sister Fanny and her children. The departure
of William for the Pacific broke up and dispersed the happy family.

The General went back to the Point of Rock, fifty feet above the
dashing Ohio. That water was the lowest ever known now, men could walk
across on the rocks. Three or four locust trees shaded the cabin, now
painted white, and an orchard of peach and cherry blossomed below.
Negro Ben and his wife Venus, and Carson and Cupid, lived back of the
house and cultivated a few acres of grain and garden.

All of Clark's old soldiers remained loyal and visited the Point of
Rock, and every year an encampment of braves, Indian chiefs whom he
had subdued, came for advice and to partake of his hospitality.

Grand and lonely, prematurely aged at fifty-one when he should have
been in his prime, General Clark sat overlooking the Falls when
Captain Lewis pulled his bateaux into the Bear Grass.

Captain Clark and nine young men of Kentucky were waiting for the
boat,--William Bratton, a blacksmith, formerly of Virginia, and John
Shields, gunsmith, the Tubal Cain of the expedition, John Coalter, who
had been a ranger with Kenton, the famous Shields brothers, Reuben and
James, William Warner and Joseph Whitehouse, all experts with the
rifle, Charles Floyd, son of that Charles Floyd that rode with his
brother from the death-stroke of Big Foot, and Nathaniel Pryor, his
cousin.

Twenty years had passed since that fatal April morning when John Floyd
was laid a corpse at the feet of Jane Buchanan. That posthumous child,
ushered so sadly into the world, John Floyd the younger, now a
handsome youth, was eager to go with his cousins--but an unexpected
illness held him back--to become a member of Congress and Governor of
Virginia.

And York, of course York. Had he not from childhood obeyed John
Clark's command, "Look after your young master"? With highest elation
York assisted in the preparation, furbished up his gun, and prepared
to "slay dem buffaloes."

"An interpreter is my problem now," said Captain Lewis, "a man
familiar with Indians, trustworthy, and skilled in tongues."

"I think my brother will know the man,--he has had wide experience in
that line," said William; and so down to the Point of Rock the
Captains betook themselves to visit George Rogers Clark.

"Dignity sat still upon his countenance and the commanding look of
Washington," wrote a chronicler of that day.

"An interpreter?" mused General Clark. Then turning to his brother,
"Do you remember Pierre Drouillard, the Frenchman that saved Kenton?
He was a man of tact and influence with the Indians, and, although he
wore the red coat, a man of humanity. He interpreted for me at Fort
McIntosh and at the Great Miami. He comes with Buckongahelas."

William Clark remembered.

"That old Frenchman has a son, George, chip of the old block, brought
up with the Indians and educated at a mission. He is your man,--at St.
Louis, I think."

"Always demand of the Indians what you want, William, that is the
secret. Never let them think you fear them. Great things have been
effected by a few men well conducted. Who knows what fortune may do
for you?" It was the self-same saying with which twenty-four years
before he had started to Vincennes. "Here are letters to some of my
old friends at St. Louis and Kaskaskia," added the General.

All the negroes were out to weep over York, whom they feared to see no
more,--old York and Rose, Nancy and Julia, Jane, Cupid and Harry, from
the scattered home at Mulberry Hill.

General Jonathan Clark and Major Croghan were there, the richest men
in Kentucky, and General Jonathan's daughters who stitched their
samplers now at Mulberry Hill; and Lucy, from Locust Grove, the image
of William, "with face almost too strong for a woman," some said. All
the city knew her, a miracle of benevolence and duty, and by her side
the little son, George Croghan, destined to hand on the renown of his
fathers.

William Clark's last word was for Fanny, a widow with children. "It is
my desire that she should stay with Lucy at Locust Grove until my
return," said the paternal brother, kissing her pale cheek.

"And I want Johnny with me at the Point of Rock," added the lonely
General, who, if he loved any one, it was little John O'Fallon, the
son of his sister Fanny.

"Bring on your plunder!"

The Kentuckians could be recognised by their call as they helped the
bateaux over the rapids and launched them below. George Rogers Clark
stood on the Point of Rock, waving a last farewell, watching them down
the river.

While Captain Clark went on down the Ohio, and engaged a few men at
Fort Massac, Captain Lewis followed the old Vincennes "trace" to
Kaskaskia.

In that very September, Sergeant John Ordway, in Russell Bissell's
company, was writing home to New Hampshire:

"Kaskaskia is a very old town of about two hundred houses and ruins of
many more. We lie on the hill in sight of the town, and have built a
garrison here.--If Betty Crosby will wait for my return I may perhaps
join hands with her yet. We have a company of troops from Portsmouth,
New Hampshire, here."

Captain Lewis came up to the garrison. Out of twenty volunteers only
three possessed the requisite qualifications. But Sergeant Ordway was
one, Robert Frazer of Vermont, another, and Thomas P. Howard, of
Massachusetts, the third.

Oppressed and anxious in mind over the difficulty of finding suitable
men, Captain Lewis was one morning riding along when into the high
road there ran out a short, strong, compact, broad-chested and
heavy-limbed man, lean, sprightly, and quick of motion, in the dress
of a soldier. His lively eye instantly caught that of Captain Lewis.
Perceiving that the soldier was evidently bent on seeing him, Lewis
checked his horse and paused.

With military salute the man began: "Me name is Patrick Gass, sorr,
and I want to go with you to the Stony Mountings, but my Commander,
sorr, here at the barracks, will not consint. He siz, siz he, 'You are
too good a carpenter, Pat, and I need you here.'"

His build, his manner, and the fact that Pat was a soldier and a
carpenter, was enough. Men must be had, and here was a droll one, the
predestined wit of the expedition.

"I knew you, sorr, when I saw your horse ferninst the trees. I
recognised a gintleman and an officer. I saw you whin I met Gineral
Washington at Carlisle out with throops to suppriss the Whiskey
Rebillion. I met Gineral Washington that day, and I sid, siz I,
'Gineral, I'm a pathriot mesilf and I'll niver risist me gover'm'nt,
but I love ould Bourbon too well to inlist agin the whiskey byes.'"

"And have you never served in the field?" roared Lewis, almost
impatient.

"Ah, yis; whin Adams was Prisident, I threw down me jackplane and
inlisted under Gineral Alexander Hamilton, but there was no war, so
thin I inlisted under Major Cass."

Patrick glanced back and saw his Captain. "Hist ye! shoulder-sthraps
are comin'!"

Lewis laughed. "Go and get ready, Patrick; I'll settle with your
Captain." And Patrick, bent on a new "inlistment" and new adventures,
hied him away to pack his belongings. For days in dreams he was
already navigating the Missouri, already he saw the blue Pacific. As
he told the boys afterward, "And I, siz I to mesilf, 'Patrick, let us
to the Pecific!' Me Captain objicted, but I found out where Captain
Lewis was sthopping and sthole away and inlisted annyhow."

Captain Lewis had made no mistake. Patrick Gass, cheerful, ever brave,
was a typical frontiersman. His had been a life of constant roving.
Starting from Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, when he was five years old,
the family crossed the Alleghanies on packhorses. On the first horse
was the mother, with the baby and all the table furniture and cooking
utensils; on another were packed the provisions, the plough-irons and
farming utensils; the third was rigged with a packsaddle and two large
cradles of hickory withes. In the centre of these sat little Pat on
one side and his sister on the other, well laced in with bed-clothes
so that only their heads stuck out.

Along the edges of precipices they went,--if a horse stumbled he would
have thrown them hundreds of feet below. On these horses they forded
mountain streams, swollen with melting snows and spring rains. Daily
were hairbreadth escapes, the horses falling, or carried down with the
current and the family barely snatched from drowning.

The journey was made in April when the nights were cold and the mother
could not sleep. There was so much to do for the children. As the
tireless father kept guard under the glow of the campfire, little
Patrick's unfailing good-night was, "Hist, child! the Injuns will come
and take you to Detroit!"

There were several of these moves in his childhood. Here and there he
caught glimpses of well-housed, well-fed hirelings of the British army
watching like eagles the land of the patriot army. At last they turned
up at what is now Wellsburg in West Virginia. While yet a boy Gass was
apprenticed to a carpenter and worked on a house for a man by the name
of Buchanan, while around him played "little Jimmy," the
president-to-be. "Little Jimmy was like his mother," said Gass.

In December Lewis and Clark dropped down before the white-washed walls
and gray stone parapets of the old French town of St. Louis. With
fierce consequential air a Spanish soldier flourished his sword
indicating the place to land.

"We will spend the winter at Charette, the farthest point of
settlement." That was the town of Daniel Boone.

But the Governor, Don Carlos De Hault De Lassus, barred the way.

"By the general policy of my government I am obliged to prevent
strangers from passing through Spanish territory until I have received
official notice of its transfer."

Nothing could be done but to go into winter camp opposite the mouth of
the Missouri, just outside of his jurisdiction, and discipline the
men, making ready for an early spring start.

Beyond the big river was foreign land. Did the Spaniard still hope to
stay?



IV

_THE FEUD IS ENDED_


Hark! Is that the boom of distant cannon? The American troops are
falling into line outside the walls of New Orleans on this 20th day of
December, 1803. The tri-colour of France floats on the flagstaff; the
sky shines irradiant, like the "suns of Napoleon."

It is high noon; another salute shakes the city. "Ho, warder, lower
the drawbridge!"

With chain-pulleys rattling down goes the bridge, never to be lifted
again. The fortress bell strikes its last peal under the flag of
France, or Spain. With thundering tread American dragoons file under
the portcullis of the Tchoupitoulas gate, followed by cannoneers and
infantry in coonskin caps and leathern hunting shirts.

Curiously these sons of the forest look upon the old world forts and
donjons of masonry. The moat is filled with stagnant water. The
ramparts of New Orleans are filled with soldiers from Havre and
Madrid. The windows and balconies are filled with beautiful women
weeping, weeping to see the barbarians.

Laussat was looking for Napoleon's soldiers, not a sale. Pale as death
he hands over the keys. Slowly the tri-coloured flag of France at the
summit of the flagstaff in the plaza descends. Slowly the
star-spangled banner uplifts; half-way the two linger in one another's
folds.

As the flags embrace, another boom, and answering guns reply from ship
and fort and battery around the crescent of New Orleans. The flags are
parting,--it is a thrilling moment; up, up, steadily mounts the emblem
of America and bursts on the breeze.

The band breaks into "Hail, Columbia," amid the roar of artillery and
shouting of backwoodsmen. The map of France in the new world has
become the map of the United States.

"The flag! the flag!" Veterans of the French army receive the
descending tri-colour, and followed by a procession of uncovered heads
bear it with funereal tread to Laussat.

"We have wished to give to France a last proof of the affection which
we will always retain for her," with trembling lip speaks the
flag-bearer. "Into your hands we deposit this symbol of the tie which
has again transiently connected us with her."

And Laussat with answering tears replies, "May the prosperity of
Louisiana be eternal."

But of all in New Orleans on this historic day, none fear, none
tremble like Sister Infelice, in the cloister of the Ursulines. She
seems to hear the very sabres beat on the convent wall. When a tropic
hurricane sweeps up the gulf at night she falls on the cold stone
floor and covers her head, as if the very lightning might reveal that
form she loved so well, the great Virginia colonel. To Infelice he was
ever young, ever the heroic saviour of St. Louis. That time could have
changed him had never occurred to her,--he was a type of immortal
youth.

Infelice never speaks of these things, not even to her father
confessor; it is something too deep, too sacred, a last touch of the
world hid closer even than her heart. And yet she believes he is
coming,--that is the cause of all this tumult and cannonading. Her
hero, her warrior wants _her_, and none can stay him.

And when the cession is fairly over and he comes not, the
disappointment prostrates her utterly. "He cares, he cares no more!
The Virginians? Did you say the Virginians had come?"

From that bed of delirium the Mother Superior of the Ursuline house
sent for the Mayor.

"I beg to be allowed to retire with my sisterhood to some point under
the protection of His Catholic Majesty of Spain."

"Going!" exclaimed Monsieur le Mayor of New Orleans. "For why? You
shall not be disturbed, you shall have full protection."

"Do you stand for France, revolution and infidelity?" gasped the aged
mother, denouncing the Mayor.

The people pled, the Mayor went down on his knees. "Do not abandon our
schools and our children!" But the Mother Superior was firm.

Twenty-two years had the Donna De Leyba been a nun. The old official
records are lost, but out of twenty-five nuns in the establishment we
know the sixteen of Spain went away.

All New Orleans gathered to see them depart. When the gun sounded on
Whitsunday Eve, sixteen women in black came forth, heavily veiled. The
convent gardens were thronged with pupils, slaves knelt by the
wayside, the Mayor and populace followed until they embarked on the
ship and sailed to Havana.

The old Ursuline convent of New Orleans is now the archbishop's
palace. Sister Infelice is gone, but near some old cloister of Cuba we
know her ashes must now be reposing. Henceforth the gates were open.
The wall decayed, the moat was filled, and over it to-day winds the
handsomest boulevard in America.

The flatboatmen came home with romantic tales of the land of the
palmetto and orange, luxuries unknown in the rigorous north. The tide
of emigration so long held in check burst its bounds and deluged
Louisiana.

Among other Americans that settled at New Orleans was the Fighting
Parson. His son Charles Mynn Thruston had married Fanny.



V

_THE CESSION OF ST. LOUIS_


"Glass we must have, and quicksilver. Wife, let me have the mirror."

The Madame threw up her hands. "The precious pier glass my dead mother
brought over from France? What shall we have left?"

"But Rosalie, this is an emergency for the government. The men must
have thermometers, and barometers, and I have no glass."

"The President will pay for the glass, Madame; he would consider it
the highest use to which it could be put," said Captain Lewis.

"And you shall have a better one by the next ship that sails around
from France."

So as usual to everything the Doctor wished, the good woman consented.
None had more unbounded faith in Dr. Saugrain's gift of miracles than
his own wife.

The huge glass, that had reflected Parisian scenes for a generation
before coming to the wilds of America, was now lifted from its gilt
frame and every particle of quicksilver carefully scraped from the
back. Then the pier plate was shattered and the fragments gathered,
bit by bit, into the Doctor's mysterious crucible, making the country
people watch and wonder.

So long had Meriwether Lewis been with Jefferson, that he had imbibed
the same eager desire to know, to understand. When he met with Doctor
Saugrain it was like a union of kindred spirits. Saugrain, the pupil,
friend, and disciple of the great Franklin, was often with the
American scientist when he experimented with his kites, and drew down
lightning to charge his Leyden jars. Three times Dr. Saugrain came to
America, twice as guest of Dr. Franklin, before he settled down as
physician to the Spanish garrison at St. Louis in 1800. With him he
brought all his scientific lore, the latest of the most advanced city
in the world. When all the world depended on flint and steel, Paris
and Dr. Saugrain made matches. He made matches for Lewis and Clark
that were struck on the Columbia a generation before Boston or London
made use of the secret.

Bitterly the cheerful, sprightly little Royalist in curls lamented the
French Revolution. "Oh, the guillotine! the guillotine! My own uncle,
Dr. Guillotine, invented that instrument to save pain, not to waste
life. But when he saw his own friends led up to the knife, distressed
at its abuse he died in despair!"

Sufficient reason had Dr. Saugrain to be loyal to Louis XVI. For more
than two hundred years his people had been librarians, book-binders,
and printers for the King. Litterateurs and authors were the Saugrains
for six continuous generations, and out of their scientific and
historical publications came the bent of Dr. Antoine François Saugrain
of St. Louis. But when the Bastile was stormed, Saugrain left France
for ever. An _emigré_, a royalist, with others of the King's friends
he came to the land that honoured Louis XVI.

Between the Rue de l'Église and the Rue des Granges, at the extreme
southwestern limit of the old village of St. Louis, stood Dr.
Saugrain's modest residence of cement with a six-foot stone wall
around it and extensive gardens. In his "arboretum" Dr. Saugrain was
making a collection of the most attractive native trees he found
around St. Louis, and some there, imported from Paris, cast their
green shadows on the swans of his swimming pond, an old French fancy
for his park.

In this happy home with its great library, Captain Lewis became a
welcome guest in that winter of 1803-4 while waiting for the cession.
Under the Doctor he pursued his scientific studies, medicine, surgery,
electricity, for not even Dr. Barton in Philadelphia could surpass the
bright little Frenchman so strangely transplanted here in this
uttermost border.

The Doctor's taper fingers were always stained with acids and sulphur;
busy ever with blowpipe and crucible, he fashioned tubes, filled in
quicksilver, graduated cases, and handed out barometers and
thermometers that amazed the frontier.

"Great Medicine!" cried the Indians when he gave them a shock of
electricity. How Dr. Saugrain loved to turn his battery and electrify
the door-knobs when those bothersome Indians tried to enter! Or,
"Here, White Hair, is a shilling. You can have it if you will take it
out." The Osage chieftain plunges his arm into a crock of electrified
water to dash off howling with affright.

With intense interest Captain Lewis stood by while the
chemist-physician dipped sulphur-tipped splints of wood into
phosphorus, and lo! his little matches glowed like Lucifer's own. "You
can make the sticks yourself," he said. "I will seal the phosphorus in
these small tin boxes for safety."

"And have you any kine-pox? You must surely carry kine-pox, for I hear
those Omahas have died like cattle in a plague."

"President Jefferson particularly directed me to carry some kine-pox
virus," replied Captain Lewis, "but really, what he gave me seems to
have lost its virtue. I wrote him so from Cincinnati, but fear it
will be too late to supply the deficiency."

Out of his medicine chest in the corner, the little Doctor brought the
tiny vials. "Sent me from Paris. Carry it, explain it to the Indians,
use it whenever you can,--it will save the life of hundreds." And
other medicines, simple remedies, the good savant prescribed, making
up a chest that became invaluable in after days.

Other friends were Gratiot and the Chouteaus, Auguste and Pierre. It
was Auguste that had planned the fortifications of St. Louis, towers
and bastions, palisades, demilunes, scarps, counter-scarps, and sally
ports, only finished in part when the city was handed over.

Long since had Carondelet offered rewards to the traders of St. Louis
to penetrate to the Pacific. Already the Chouteau boats had reached
the Mandan towns, but freely they gave every information to the
American Captain.

"I send you herewith enclosed," wrote Lewis to the President, "some
slips of the Osage plum and apple. Mr. Charles Gratiot, a gentleman of
this place, has promised that he would with pleasure attend to the
orders of yourself, or any of my acquaintances who may think proper to
write him on the subject. I obtained the cuttings now sent you from
the gardens of Mr. Peter Chouteau, who resided the greater portion of
his time for many years with the Osage nation.

"The Osage might with a little attention be made to form an ornamental
and useful hedge. The fruit is a large oval plum, of a pale yellow
colour and exquisite flavour. An opinion prevails among the Osages
that the fruit is poisonous, though they acknowledge they have never
tasted it."

The leaders of all the French colonies on the Mississippi were
gentlemen of education and talent. They saw what the cession meant,
and hailed it with welcome. But the masses, peaceable, illiterate,
with little property and less enterprise, contented, unambitious, saw
not the future of that great valley where their fathers had camped in
the days of La Salle. Frank, open, joyous, unsuspecting, wrapped in
the pleasures of the passing hour, they cared little for wealth and
less for government provided they were not worried with its cares.
Their children, their fruits and flowers, the dance--happy always were
the Creole habitants provided only they heard the fiddle string.
Retaining all the suavity of his race, the roughest hunter could grace
a ballroom with the carriage and manners of a gentleman.

Meanwhile Captain Clark was drilling the men at camp after the fashion
of Wayne. Other soldiers had been engaged at Fort Massac and
elsewhere,--Silas Goodrich, Richard Windsor, Hugh Hall, Alexander
Willard, and John B. Thompson, a surveyor of Vincennes.

Never had St. Louis such days! Hurry, hurry and bustle in the staid
and quiet town that had never before known any greater excitement than
a church festival or a wedding,--never, that is, since those days of
war when George Rogers Clark saved and when he threatened.

But now Lewis and Clark made a deep impression on the villagers of the
power and dignity of the United States Government. Out of their
purchases every merchant hoped to make a fortune; the eager Frenchmen
displayed their wares,--coffee, gunpowder, and blankets, tea at prices
fabulous in deerskin currency and sugar two dollars a pound.

But Lewis already had made up his outfit,--richly laced coats, medals
and flags from Jefferson himself, knives, tomahawks, and ornaments for
chiefs, barrels of beads, paints and looking-glasses, bright-coloured
three-point Mackinaw blankets, a vision to dazzle a child or an
Indian, who is also a child.

George Drouillard was found, the skilled hunter. There was a trace of
Indian in Drouillard; his French fathers and grandfathers had trapped
along the streams of Ohio and Canada since before the days of Pontiac,
in fact, with Cadillac they had helped to build Detroit.

Every part of America was represented in that first exploring
expedition,--Lewis, the kinsman of Washington, and Clark from the
tidewater cavaliers of old Virginia, foremost of the fighting stock
that won Kentucky and Illinois, Puritan Yankees from New England,
Quaker Pennsylvanians from Carlisle, descendants of landholders in the
days of Penn, French interpreters and adventurers whose barkentines
had flashed along our inland lakes and streams for a hundred years,
and finally, York, the negro, forerunner of his people.

Cruzatte and Labiche, canoemen, were of old Kaskaskia. Pierre Cruzatte
was near-sighted and one-eyed, but what of that? A trusted trader of
the Chouteaus, he had camped with the Omahas, and knew their tongue
and their country. Could such a prize be foregone for any defect of
eyesight?

Accustomed to roving with their long rifles and well-filled bullet
pouches, nowhere in the world could more suitable heroes have been
found for this Homeric journey.

News of the sale had reached St. Louis while Captain Lewis was
struggling with those builders at Pittsburg.

"_Sacre! Diable!_" exclaimed the French. Some loved France, some clung
to Spain, some shook their heads. "De country? We never discuss its
affaires. Dat ees de business of de Commandante."

The winter of 1803-4 was very severe. In November the ice began
running and no one could cross until February. Then Captain Amos
Stoddard, at Kaskaskia with his troops, sent a letter to Don Carlos De
Hault De Lassus by a sergeant going on business to Captain Lewis.

On top of the hill a double stockade of logs set vertically, the space
between filled with dirt, a two-story log building with small windows
and a round stone tower with a pointed cap of stone,--that was the
fort where the Spanish soldiers waited.

Down below, inhabitants in blue blanket capotes and blue kerchiefs on
their heads, now and then in red toque or a red scarf to tie up their
trousers, wandered in the three narrow lanes that were the streets of
St. Louis, waiting. Before them flowed the yellow-stained,
eddy-spotted Mississippi, behind waved a sea of prairie grass
uninterrupted by farm or village to the Rockies.

Spring blossomed. Thickets of wild plum, cherry, wild crab-apples,
covered the prairie. Vanilla-scented locust blooms were shaking
honey-dew on the wide verandas of the old St. Louis houses, when early
in the morning of May 9, American troops crossed the river from
Cahokia, and Clark's men from the camp formed in line with fife and
drum, and colours flying. At their head Major Amos Stoddard of Boston
and Captain Meriwether Lewis of Virginia led up to the Government
House.

Black Hawk was there to see his Spanish Father. He looked out.

"Here comes your American Father," said the Commandant De Lassus.

"I do not want _two_ Fathers!" responded Black Hawk.

Dubiously shaking his head as the Americans approached, Black Hawk and
his retinue flapped their blankets out of one door as Stoddard and
Captain Lewis entered the other.

Away to his boats Black Hawk sped, pulling for dear life up stream to
his village at Rock Island. And with him went Singing Bird, the bride
of Black Hawk.

"Strange people have taken St. Louis," said the Hawk to his Sacs. "We
shall never see our Spanish Father again."

A flotilla of Frenchmen came up from Kaskaskia,--Menard, Edgar,
Francis Vigo, and their friends. Villagers left their work in the
fields; all St. Louis flocked to La Place d'Armes in front of the
Government House to see the transfer.

In splendid, showy uniforms, every officer of the Spanish garrison
stood at arms, intently watching the parade winding up the limestone
footway from the boats below.

With its public archives and the property of a vast demesne, Don
Carlos De Hault De Lassus handed over to Major Stoddard the keys of
the Government House in behalf of France. A salvo of cannonry shook
St. Louis.

"People of Upper Louisiana," began De Lassus in a choked and broken
voice, "_by order of the King_, I am now about to surrender this post
and its dependencies. The flag which has protected you during nearly
thirty-six years will no longer be seen. The oath you took now ceases
to bind. Your faithfulness and courage in upholding it will be
remembered for ever. From the bottom of my heart I wish you all
prosperity."

De Lassus, Stoddard, Lewis, Clark, and the soldiers filed up the
yellow path, past the log church, to the fort on the hill. The Spanish
flag was lowered; De Lassus wept as he took the fallen banner in his
hand, but as the Lilies of France flashed in the sun the Creoles burst
into tumultuous cheers. Not for forty years had they seen that flag,
the emblem of their native land. Cannon roared, swords waved, and
shouts were heard, but not in combat.

The gates were thrown open; out came the Spanish troops with knapsacks
on their backs, ready to sail away to New Orleans. The old brass
cannon and munitions of war were transported down the hill, while the
American soldiers in sombre uniforms filed into the dingy old fort of
Spain.

Major Stoddard sent for the French flag to be taken down at sunset.

"No, no, let it fly! Let it fly all night!" begged the Creoles, and a
guard of honour went up to watch the flickering emblem of their
country's brief possession.

All night long that French flag kissed the sky, all night the guard of
honour watched, and the little log church of St. Louis was filled with
worshippers. All the romance of Brittany and Normandy rose to memory.
René Kiercereau the singer led in ballads of La Belle France, and the
glories of fields where their fathers fought were rehearsed with
swelling hearts. Not the real France but an ideal was in their hearts,
the tradition of Louis XIV.

That was the last day of France in North America. As the beloved
banner sank the drums gave a long funeral roll, but when, instead, the
red, white, and blue burst on the breeze, the fifes struck into lively
music and the drums rained a cataract.

"Three cheers for the American flag!" cried Charles Gratiot in the
spirit of the Swiss republic, but there were no cheers. The Creoles
were weeping. Sobs, lamentations arose, but the grief was mostly from
old Frenchmen and their wives who so long had prayed that the Fleur de
Lis might wave above San Loui'. Their sons and daughters, truly, as
Lucien Bonaparte had warned Napoleon, "went to bed good Frenchmen, to
awake and find themselves Americans."

The huge iron cock in the belfry of the old log church spun round and
round, as if it knew not which way the wind was blowing. In three days
three flags over St. Louis! No wonder the iron cock lost its head and
spun and spun like any fickle weather vane.

In the same square with the Government House stood one of the Chouteau
mansions. Auguste Chouteau had been there from the beginning, when as
a fearless youth with Laclede he had penetrated to the site of the
future San Loui' in 1764. He was a diplomat who met Indians and made
alliances. He had seen the territory pass under Spain's flag, and in
spite of that had made it more and more a place of Gallic refuge for
his scattered countrymen. He had welcomed Saugrain, Cerré, Gratiot, in
fact,--he and his brother Pierre remembered the day when there was no
San Loui'.

A band of Osage chiefs had come in to see their great Spanish father.
With wondering eyes they watched the cession, and were handed over to
Captain Lewis to deal with in behalf of the United States. A French
messenger was sent ahead with a letter to the tribe.

"The Americans taken San Loui'?"

Manuel Lisa, the Spaniard, was disgusted,--it broke up his monopoly of
the Osage trade. "We will not haf the Americans!"

The Osages burnt the letter.



VI

_SERGEANT ORDWAY WRITES A LETTER_


The winter of 1802-3 had been uncommonly severe. Unknown to George
Shannon, that winter his father hunting in the dense woods of Ohio
lost his way in a snow-storm and was frozen to death. Unaware of the
tragedy at home, unaware also of his own inherited facility for
getting lost, the boy set out up the winding staircase of the wild
Missouri.

An older brother, John, nineteen years of age, became the stay of that
widowed mother with her seven small children, the least a baby, Wilson
Shannon, twice the future Governor of Ohio and once the Governor of
Kansas.

With a pad on his knee every soldier boy wrote home from the camp on
River Dubois opposite the mouth of the Missouri. Down through the
years Sergeant Ordway's letter has come to us.

          "CAMP RIVER DUBOIS, April the 8th, 1804.

     "HONOURED PARENTS,--I now embrace this opportunity of
     writeing to you once more to let you know where I am and
     where I am going. I am well thank God and in high Spirits.
     I am now on an expedition to the westward, with Capt. Lewis
     and Capt. Clark, who are appointed by the President of the
     United States to go on an Expedition through the interior
     parts of North America. We are to ascend the Missouri River
     with a boat as far as it is navigable and then to go by
     land to the western ocean, if nothing prevents. This party
     consists of twenty-five picked men of the armey and country
     likewise and I am so happy as to be one of them picked from
     the armey and I and all the party are if we live to return
     to receive our discharge whenever we return again to the
     United States if we choose it. This place is on the
     Mississippi River opposite to the mouth of the Missouri
     River and we are to start in ten days up the Missouri
     River, this has been our winterquarters. We expect to be
     gone 18 months or two years, we are to receive a great
     reward for this expedition when we return. I am to receive
     15 dollars a month and at least 400 ackers of first rate
     land and if we make great discoveries as we expect the
     United States has promised to make us great rewards, more
     than we are promised, for fear of accidents I wish to
     inform you that [personal matters].

     I have received no letters since Betseys yet but will write
     next winter if I have a chance.

          "Yours, etc.,
          "JOHN ORDWAY, _Segt._

     "TO STEPHEN ORDWAY,
     Dumbarton, N.H."



VII

_INTO THE LAND OF ANARCHY_


The boats were ready, the red pirogue and the white, from St. Louis,
fresh painted, trim and slim upon the water, and the big bateau,
fifty-five feet from stem to stern, with setting poles, sweeps, a
square sail to catch the breeze, and twenty-two oars at the rowlocks.

Down under the decks and in the cabins, had been packed the precious
freightage, government arms, rifles made at Harper's Ferry under
Lewis's own superintendence, tents, ammunition, bales and boxes of
Indian presents, provisions, tools. Into the securest lockers went
Lewis's astronomical instruments for ascertaining the geography of the
country, and the surgical instruments that did good service in the
hands of Clark.

Nothing was forgotten, even small conveniences, candles, ink, mosquito
bars. It took half a million to send Stanley to Africa. For
twenty-five hundred dollars Lewis and Clark made as great a journey.

To assist in carrying stores and repelling Indian attacks, Corporal
Warfington and six soldiers had been engaged at St. Louis and nine
French boys of Cahokia, inured to the paddle and the camp.
Feather-decked and beaded they came, singing the songs of old Cahokia
to start the little squadron.

The Americans had knives in their belts, pistols in their holsters,
knapsacks on their backs, powder horns and pouches of ammunition, ink
horns and quills, ready to face the wilderness and report. Lewis
encouraged every one to keep a journal.

"I niver wint to school but nineteen days in me boyhood and that was
whin I was a man," said Patrick Gass. But what Pat lacked in books he
made up in observation and shrewd reasoning; hence it fell out that
Patrick Gass's journal was the first published account of the Lewis
and Clark expedition. All honour to Patrick Gass. Of such are our
heroes.

The cession was on Wednesday, May 9, 1804, and all the men were there
but a few who guarded camp. At three o'clock the following Monday, May
14, Captain Clark announced, "All aboard!" The heavy-laden bateau and
two pirogues swung out, to the voyageurs' _chanson_, thrilling like a
brass band as their bright new paddles cut the water:

     "A frigate went a-sailing,
       _Mon joli coeur de rose_,
     Far o'er the seas away,
       _Joli coeur d'un rosier,
       Joli coeur d'un rosier_."

And hill and hollow echoed,

     "_Mon joli coeur de rose_"

"San Chawle!" cried Cruzatte the bowsman at two o'clock, Wednesday,
when the first Creole village hove in sight. At a gun, the signal of
traders, all St. Charles rushed to see the first Americans that had
ever come up the Missouri. And straggling behind the Frenchmen came
their friends, the Kickapoos of Kaskaskia, now on a hunt in the
Missouri.

"Meet us up the river with a good fat deer," said Captain Clark. The
delighted Kickapoos scattered for the hunt.

Five days the boats lay at St. Charles, waiting for Captain Lewis who
was detained fixing off the Osage chiefs at St. Louis.

Patrick Gass wrote in his journal, "It rained." Sergeant Floyd adds,
"Verry much Rain." Captain Clark chronicles, "Rain, thunder, and
lightning for several days." But never on account of a flurry of rain
did the sociable French of St. Charles fail in polite attentions to
their guests on the river bank.

On Sunday, boats were descried toiling up from St. Louis with a dozen
gentlemen, who had come to escort Captain Lewis and bid "God speed!"
to the expedition. Captain Stoddard was there, and Auguste Chouteau,
availing himself of every opportunity to forward the enterprise.
Monsieur Labbadie had advice and Gratiot and Dr. Saugrain, little and
learned, with the medicine chest.

With throbbing hearts the captains stole a moment for a last home
letter to be sent by the returning guests.

"My route is uncertain," wrote Clark to Major Croghan at Locust Grove.
"I think it more than probable that Captain Lewis or myself will
return by sea."

"_Bon voyage! bon voyage, mes voyageurs!_" cried all the French
habitants of St. Charles, waving caps and kerchiefs to answering
cheers from the crew and the guns. "_Bonsoir et bon voyage_--tak' care
for you--_prenez garde pour les sauvages_." With a laugh the voyageurs
struck up a boat song.

The boats slid away into the west, that West where France had
stretched her shadowy hand, and Spain, and England. The reign of
France fell with Montcalm on the Heights of Abraham, flickering up
again only in that last act when Napoleon gave us Louisiana.

"The Kickapoos! The Kickapoos!" Through bush and brier above St.
Charles, the bedraggled Indians came tugging down to the shore four
fine fat deer. Bacon fare and hardtack were relegated to the hold.
From that hour Lewis and Clark threaded the gameland of the world.

"Joost wait onteel dey get ento de boofalo!" commented those wise
young voyageurs, Cruzatte and Drouillard, nodding at one another as
the cooks served out the savoury meat on the grass, and every man drew
forth his long hunting-knife and little sack of salt.

"Where is my old friend, Daniel Boone?" inquired Captain Clark, three
days later at Charette, the last settlement on the Missouri border.
This, but for Spanish interference, would have been their camping
station the previous winter. Colonel Boone, six miles from the
Missouri, was holding court beneath his Judgment Tree.

The June rise of the Missouri was at hand. Days of rain and melting
snows had set the mad streams whirling. The muddy Missouri, frothing,
foaming, tore at its ragged banks that, yawning, heavily undermined,
leaped suddenly into the water. Safety lay alone in mid-stream, where
the swift current, bank-full and running like a millrace, bore down
toward the Mississippi.

To stem it was terrific. In spite of oars and sails and busy poling,
the bateau would turn, raked ever and anon with drifts of fallen
trees. And free a moment, some new danger arose. Down out of sight,
water-soaked logs scraped the keel with vicious grating. And above,
formidable battering-rams of snags sawed their black heads up and down
defiantly, as if Nature herself had blockaded the way with a _chevaux
de frise_.

Poles broke, oars splintered, masts went headlong, the boat itself
careened almost into the depths. It was a desperate undertaking to
stem the mad Missouri in the midst of her wild June rise.

But that very rise, so difficult to oppose upstream, was a sliding
incline the other way. May 27, two canoes loaded with furs came
plunging full tilt out of the north.

"Where from? What news?"

"Two months from the Omaha nation, seven hundred miles up the river,"
sang out the swiftly passing Frenchmen bound for St. Louis.

Behind them a huge raft,--

"From the Pawnees on the Platte!"

And yet behind three other rafts, piled, heaped, and laden to the
water's edge,--

"From the Grand Osage!"

Such alone was greeting and farewell, as the barks, unable to be
checked, went spinning down the water.

What a gala for the winter-bound trapper! Home again! home again!
flying down the wild Missouri in the mad June rise! They stopped not
to camp or to hunt, but skimming the wave, fairly flew to St. Louis.
They came, those swift-gliding boats, like visions of another world,
the world Lewis and Clark were about to enter.

June 5, two more canoes flashed by with beaver,--

"From eighty leagues up the Kansas river!"

June 8, boats with beaver and otter slid by, and rafts of furs and
buffalo tallow,--

"From the Sioux nation!"

Dorion, an old Frenchman on a Sioux raft, engaged to go back with
Lewis and Clark to interpret for them the language of his wife's
relations.

A thousand miles against the current! Now and then a southwest wind
would fill out the big square-cut sail and send the heavy barge
ploughing steadily up. Again, contrary winds kept them on the walking
boards all day long, with heads bent low over the setting-pole.

Warm and warmer grew the days. Some of the men were sunstruck. The
glitter of sun on the water inflamed their eyes. Some broke out with
painful boils, and mosquitoes made night a torture.

Now and then they struck a sand-bar, and leaping into the water the
voyageurs ran along shore with the _cordelle_ on their shoulders,
literally dragging the great boat into safety.

"_Mon cher_ Captinne! de win' she blow lak' hurricane!" cried the
voyageurs.

Down came the prairie gale, almost a tornado, snapping the timber on
the river-banks, and lashing the water to waves that surged up, over,
and into the boats. The sky bent black above them, the fierce wind
howled, and the almost exhausted men strained every nerve to hold the
rocking craft.

"I strong lak' moose, not 'fraid no t'ing," remarked Cruzatte,
clambering back into the boat wet as a drowned kitten.

Hot and tired, June 26 they tied up at the mouth of Kansas River. "Eat
somet'ing, tak' leetle drink also," said the voyageurs. On the present
site of Kansas City they pitched their tents, and stretched their
limbs from the weariness of canoe cramp.

"The most signs of game I iver saw," said Patrick Gass, wandering out
with his gun to find a bear. "Imince Hurds of Deer," bears in the
bottoms, beaver, turkeys, geese, and a "Grat nomber of Goslins," say
the journals, but not an Indian.

"Alas!" sighed the old voyageurs with friendly pity. "De Kansas were
plaintee brave people, but de Sac and de Sioux, dey drive 'em up de
Kansas River."

Cæsar conquered Gaul, but the mercatores were there before him. Lewis
and Clark ascended the Missouri, but everywhere the adventurous
Frenchmen had gone before them, peddlers of the prairie, out with
Indian goods buying skins.

But now Americans had come. The whippoorwill sang them to sleep, the
wolf howled them awake. The owl inquired, "Who? Who? Who?" in the dark
treetops at the mouth of the Kansas River.

On, on crept the boats, past grand old groves of oak and hickory, of
walnut, ash, and buckeye, that had stood undisturbed for ages. Swift
fawn flitted by, and strange and splendid birds that the great Audubon
should come one day to study. On, on past the River-which-Cries, the
Weeping Water, the home of the elk. Tall cottonwoods arose like
Corinthian columns wreathed with ivy, and festoons of wild grape
dipped over and into the wave.

The River-which-Cries marked the boundary of two nations, the Otoes
and Omahas. Almost annually its waters were reddened with slaughter.
Then came the old men and women and children from the Otoe villages
on the south and from the Omahas on the north and wept and wept there,
until it came to be known as Nehawka, the Weeping Water.

July came and the waters were falling. With a fair wind, on the 21st
they sailed past the mouth of the great river Platte. In the summer
evening Lewis and Clark in their pirogue paddled up the Platte.

"Here I spen' two winter wit' de Otoe," said Drouillard the hunter.
"De Otoe were great nation, but de Sioux an' de 'Maha drove dem back
on de Pawnee."

"And the Pawnees?"

"Dey built villages an' plant corn an' wage war wid de Osage."

Ten days later preparations were made to meet the Otoes at Council
Bluffs. On a cottonwood pole the flag was flying. A great feast was
ready, when afar off, Drouillard and Cruzatte were seen approaching
with their friends.

"Boom," went the blunderbuss, and the council smoke arose under an
awning made of the mainsail of the bateau. Every man of the
expedition, forty-five in all, paraded in his best uniform.

Lewis talked. Clark talked. All the six chiefs expressed satisfaction
in the change of government. They begged to be remembered to their
Great Father, the President, and asked for mediation between them and
the Omahas.

"What is the cause of your war?"

"We have no horses," answered the childlike Otoes. "We borrow their
horses. Then they scalp us. We fear the Pawnees also. We very hungry,
come to their village when they are hunting, take a little corn!"

The Captains could scarce repress a smile, nor yet a tear. Thefts,
reprisals, midnight burnings and slaughter, this was the reign
immemorial in this land of anarchy. In vain the tribes might
plant,--never could they reap. "We poor Indian," was the universal
lament.

Severely solemn, Lewis and Clark hung medals on the neck of each
chief, and gave him a paper with greetings from Thomas Jefferson with
the seals of Lewis and Clark impressed with red wax and attached with
a blue ribbon.

"When you look at these, remember your Great Father. You are his
children. He bids you stop war and make peace with one another." In
1860, the Otoe Indians exhibited at Nebraska City those identical
papers, borne for more than half a century in all their homeless
wanderings, between flat pieces of bark and tied with buckskin thongs.

Then gifts were distributed and chiefs' dresses. With more
handshakings and booming of cannon, the flotilla sailed away that
sultry afternoon one hundred years ago. The chiefs stood still on the
shore and wonderingly gazed at one another.

"These are the peacemakers!"

A week later Lewis and Clark entered the Omaha country and raised a
flag on the grave of Blackbird. Encamping on a sandbar opposite the
village, Sergeant Ordway and Cruzatte were dispatched to summon the
chiefs. Here Cruzatte had traded two winters. Up from the river he
found the old trails overgrown. Breaking through sunflowers, grass,
and thistles high above their heads, they came upon the spot where
once had stood a village. Naught remained but graves.

The Omahas had been a military people, feared even by the Sioux, the
Kansas, and the far-away Crows. Strange mystery clung to Blackbird.
Never had one so powerful ruled the Missouri. At his word his enemy
perished. Stricken by sudden illness, whoever crossed the will of
Blackbird died, immediately, mysteriously.

Then came the smallpox in 1800. Blackbird himself died and half his
people. In frenzy the agonised Omahas burnt their village, slew their
wives and children, and fled the fatal spot,--but not until they had
buried Blackbird. In accord with his last wish, they took the corpse
of the Omaha King to the top of the highest hill and there entombed
him, sitting upright on his horse that he might watch the traders come
and go.

And one of those traders bore in his guilty heart the secret of
Blackbird's power. He had given to him a package of arsenic.
Blackbird and Big Elk's father went to St. Louis in the days of the
French and made a treaty. A portrait of the chief was then painted
that is said to hang now in the Louvre at Paris.

A delegation of Otoes had been persuaded to come up and smoke the
peace-pipe with the Omahas. But not an Omaha appeared. And the Otoes,
released from overwhelming fear, Big Horse and Little Thief, Big Ox
and Iron Eyes, smoked and danced on the old council ground of their
enemies, whose scalps they had vowed to hang at their saddle bow.

Sergeant Floyd danced with the rest that hot August night, and became
overheated. He went on guard duty immediately afterward, and lay down
on a sandbar to cool. In a few moments he was seized with frightful
pains.

Nathaniel Pryor awakened the Captains.

"My cousin is very ill."

All night Lewis and Clark used every endeavour to relieve the
suffering soldier. At sunrise the boats set sail, bearing poor Floyd,
pale and scarce breathing. There was a movement of the sick boy's
lips,--

"I am going away. I want you to write me a letter."

And there, on the borders of Iowa, he dispatched his last message to
the old Kentucky home. When they landed for dinner Floyd died.

With streaming tears Patrick Gass, the warm-hearted, made a strong
coffin of oak slabs. A detail of brother soldiers bore the body to the
top of the bluff and laid it there with the honours of war, the first
United States soldier to be buried beyond the Mississippi, and on a
cedar post they carved his name.

With measured tread and slow the soldiers came down and camped on
Floyd's River below, in the light of the setting sun.

Years passed. Around that lovely height, Floyd's Bluff, Sioux City
grew. Travellers passed that way and said, "Yonder lies Charles Floyd
on the bluff." Relic hunters chipped away the cedar post. Finally, the
Missouri undermined the height, and the oakwood coffin came near
falling into the river, but it was rescued and buried farther back in
1857. Recently a magnificent monument was dedicated there, to
commemorate his name and his mission for ever,--the first light-bearer
to perish in the West.

A few days later a vote was cast for a new sergeant in the place of
Floyd, and Patrick Gass received the honour. Every day Floyd had
written in his journal, and now it was given into the hand of Captain
Clark to be forwarded, on the first opportunity, to his people.



VIII

_"THE SIOUX! THE SIOUX!"_


"What river is this, Dorion?" Captain Lewis had thrown open his
infantry uniform to catch the cooling gust down a silver rift in the
shore.

"_Petite Rivière des Sioux._ Go to Des Moines country. Pass tro te
Lake of te Spirit, full of islands. Lead to Dog Plain, Prairie du
Chien, four days from te Omaha country. Des Sioux--"

Dorion drew his forefinger across his throat and lapsed into silence.
They were his people, he would not traduce them. But his listeners
understood,--the Sioux were "cut-throats," this was their name among
the tribes.

The voyageurs trembled, "_Bon Dieu! le Sioux sauvage_, he keel de
voyageur an' steal deir hair!"

The Sioux, the terrible Sioux, were dog Indians, ever on the move,
raiding back and forth, restless and unsleeping. Almost to Athabasca
their _travoises_ kicked up the summer dust, their dog trains dragged
across the plains of Manitoba. On the Saskatchewan they pitched their
leather tents and chased the buffalo; around Lake Winnipeg they
scalped the Chippeways. At the Falls of St. Anthony they spread their
fishing nets, and at Niagara Falls the old French Jesuits found them.

Now they were stealing horses. For horses, down the Mississippi they
murdered the Illinois. For horses, the Mandan on the upper Missouri
heard and trembled. "The Sioux! the Sioux!" The Ponca paled in his mud
hut on the Niobrara, the Omaha retreated up the Platte, the Cheyenne
hid in the cedar-curtained recesses of the Black Hills.

More puissant than the Six Nations of the Iroquois, the Sioux
Confederacy dominated from the Red River of the North to the Red River
of Texas. Wilder than the Comanches they rode, more cunning in theft
than the Crows, more bloodthirsty than the Blackfeet. On the red man's
triple plea for war,--horses, scalps, and wives,--the Sioux were
pirates of the streams and despots of the prairie.

Mettlesome with the bow, fiery in battle, strong, brave, wild, kings
of the hills and monarchs of the trails, they ruled the earth in
splendid savagery. The buffalo was theirs, the beaver and the deer,
and woe betide the rival that poached on their preserves. Did the poor
Shoshone venture beyond the Rockies, he was flayed and burned alive.
No lake, no stream, no river between the Mississippi and the Rockies
remained unstained by their red hatchet.

And what a chapter when the traders came! Unwritten yet are those days
of fierce and constant battle.

Even Dorion himself dreaded the daring freebooters into whose tribe he
had married. His own offspring partook of the wild fierce spirit of
their people. Like eaglets or young panthers, they clutched at him
with claws and talons,--with difficulty the little Frenchman held them
back as the lion-tamer holds the whelps.

Of Dorion's possessions the Sioux took what they pleased. For the
privilege of trading he smiled and gave them all, then in generosity
he was heaped with skins. Dorion knew the Sioux, knew their best and
worst. Somewhere in this Sioux country his faithful spouse was
waiting; he was looking for her now,--a model squaw, a tireless slave
who dug his roots and made his garments, brought his wood and water,
and, neglected, bore his children.

"Pilicans! pilicans!"

It was the voice of Patrick Gass, beyond the Little Sioux. A low sand
island was covered with huge, white, web-footed beauties fishing in
the chocolate Missouri.

When the scrimmage was over two handsome birds lay in the bateau, one,
the queen of the flock, brought down by Lewis himself. She was a
splendid specimen, six feet from tip to tip, pure white with a tinge
of rose, and an enormous pouch full of fish under her bill.

"Out with the fish. Let us measure that pouch."

Lewis's enthusiasm was contagious. All hands gathered while he poured
in water, five gallons.

"The average capacity is but two," said Captain Clark. "We must
preserve this trophy."

To-day that beautiful bird, of strong maternal instincts, is the
emblem of the State of Louisiana.

Again Lewis put the question, "What stream, Dorion?"

"Te Great Sioux! Two hundret mile to te Sioux Fall, an' beyont--almost
to St. Peters."

A smile relaxed old Dorion's leathern face,--

"Below te Fall, a creek from te cliffs of red rock. All Indian get te
peace-pipe. No battle dere, no war."

Of the famous red pipestone quarry old Dorion spoke, the beautiful
variegated rock out of which resplendent Dakota cities should be built
in the future.

"Te rock ees soft, cut it wit te knife, then hard and shining."

All tribes, even those at war, could claim asylum at the red
pipestone. The Sioux came, and the Pawnee, to camp on its banks and
fashion their calumets. The soft clay pipes, hardened into things of
beauty, were traded from tribe to tribe, emblems and signals of peace.
Captain Lewis himself had one, bought in St. Louis, brought down from
that quarry by some enterprising French trader.

"Buffalo! buffalo! buffalo!" A grand shout arose at sight of the
surging herds. "Plaintee boofalo now," said the voyageurs. Upon the
led horses along shore, Clark and Joseph Fields dashed away for a
first shot.

Again rejoicing cooks went hunting up the kettles, and the whole
expedition paused a day for a grand hunt.

"Te Yankton Sioux!" joyfully announced old Dorion, as they neared the
familiar chalk bluffs of "des rivière Jaques, tat go almost to te Red
Rivière of te Winnipeg." All over these streams old Dorion had trapped
the beaver.

With Sergeant Pryor and another, Dorion set out for the Indian camp.
The Yankton Sioux saw the white men approaching and ran with robes to
carry them in state to camp.

"No," answered the Sergeant, "we are not the commanders. They are at
the boats."

Dorion led the way to his wigwam. His polite old squaw immediately
spread a bearskin for them to sit on. Another woman killed a dog, cut
it up, and boiled it and gave it to them to eat, a token of
friendship.

Forty clean and well-kept lodges were in this Yankton village, of
dressed buffalo and elk skin, painted red and white and very handsome.
And each lodge had a cooking apartment attached.

Under the Calumet bluffs the flag was flying when the Yankton Sioux
came down in state and crossed the river to the council. The Yankton
Sioux were reputed to be the best of their nation, and brave as any,
with their necklaces of bear's claws, paints, and feathers. They were
kingly savages, dignified and solemn, with heads shaved to the eagle
plume, and arrayed in robes wrought with porcupine quills.

With Dorion as interpreter Captain Lewis delivered the usual speech,
and presented flags, medals, and a chief's dress, a richly laced coat,
cocked hat, and red feather. The ceremonious Indians withdrew to
consider a suitable answer.

The next morning again the chiefs assembled, solemnly seated in a row
with enormous peace-pipes of red stone and stems a yard long, all
pointing toward the seats intended for Lewis and Clark.

But the great Indian diplomats did not hasten.

"Ha!"

Even the stoic Sioux could not refrain from an ejaculation of
admiration as they half rose, pipe in hand, to gaze in awe and wonder
as the white chiefs entered the council. No such traders ever came up
the Missouri, no such splendid apparitions as the Red Head Chief and
his brother, pink and white as the roses on the river Jaques.

Captain Lewis habitually wore his sunny hair in a queue; to-day it was
loosened into a waving cataract, and Clark, slipping off his eelskin
bag, let his red locks fall, a strange and wondrous symbol. No such
red and gold had ever been seen in the Indian country. With pale
berries they stained their porcupine quills, with ochre painted the
buffalo lodges, with vermilion rouged their faces, but none like these
growing on the heads of men!

Seating themselves with all due dignity, Lewis and Clark scarce lifted
their eyes from the ground as the Grand Chief, Weucha, extended his
decorated pipe in silence. A full hour elapsed before Weucha, slipping
his robe to give full play to his arm, arose before them.

"I see before me my Great Father's two sons. We very poor. We no
powder, ball, knives. Our women and children at the village no
clothes. I wish my brothers would give something to those poor people.

"I went to the English, they gave me a medal and clothes. I went to
the Spanish, they gave me a medal. Now you give me a medal and
clothes. Still we are poor. I wish you would give something for our
squaws."

Then other chiefs spoke. "Very poor. Have pity on us. Send us traders.
We want powder and ball."

Deadly as were the Sioux arrows,--one twang of their bowstring could
pierce a buffalo,--yet a better weapon had crossed their vision.
Firearms, powder, ball, fabulous prices, these problems changed Indian
history.

Congratulating themselves on this favourable encounter with the
dreaded Sioux, and promising everything, Lewis and Clark went forward
with renewed courage.

More and more buffaloes dotted the hills, and herds of antelope,
strange and new to science.

"I must have an antelope," said Lewis.

At that moment he saw seven on a hilltop. Creeping carefully near,
they scented him on the wind. The wild beauties were gone, and a
similar flock of seven appeared on a neighbouring height.

"Can they have spanned the ravine in this brief time?"

He looked, and lo! on a third height and then a fourth they skimmed
the hills like cloud shadows, or winged griffins of the fabled time,
half quadruped and half bird.

"A cur'ous lill animal here, Captain," said one of the hunters,
handing him a limp little body. Its head was like a squirrel's. Lewis
stroked the long fine hair.

"What is it?"

Cruzatte, the bowman, paddle in hand, leaned over, peering with his
one near-sighted but intelligent eye.

"Ha! ha! ha! _le petit chien!_" he laughed. "Live in te hole een te
prairie. Leetle dog. Bark, yelp, yelp, yelp, like te squirrel. All
over te countree, whole towns," spreading his brown hands
expressively.

After this lucid explanation the Captains, Lewis and Clark, set out
for a prairie-dog town. A few yelps, heels in air, the town was
deserted save for the tiny mounds that told where each had hidden.

"Let us drown one out."

Forthwith, every man came puffing up with big brass kettles full of
water.

"Five barrels," says Clark in his journal, "were poured into the holes
but not a dog came out," and Patrick Gass adds, "Though they worked at
the business until night they only caught one of them."

More and more the hills were thronged with buffalo. Even York, Captain
Clark's black servant, went out and killed two at one ride.

On the top of a high bluff the men had found the skeleton of a huge
fish, forty-five feet long and petrified.

     "Blow, ye winds of morning,
     Blow, blow, blow--"

George Shannon, the boy of the expedition, had enlivened many a
sunrise with his jolly, rollicking Irish songs. But Shannon was lost!
On the 28th of August he had gone out to look for the strayed horses.
It was now September. Captain Lewis was wild, for at his request
George had joined the expedition and at his order he had gone after
the horses. Hunters had sought in every direction, guns had been fired
and the blunderbuss, and smokes had been kindled from point to point.

"Shannon!" A great shout went up as the forlorn boy, emaciated and
weary, came dragging into camp on the 11th of September.

It was a short story, soon told. He found the horses and followed by
mistake the trail of recent Indians, which he mistook for footprints
of the party. For days he followed the trail, exhausted his bullets,
and lived on wild grapes and a rabbit he killed with a stick. But he
heard no guns, saw no smoke.

In despair at last he came down to the river, to discover that all
this time he had been travelling ahead of the boats! The fatted
buffalo-calf was killed and great was the rejoicing, and at daylight
next morning, Shannon's

     "Blow, ye winds of morning,
     Blow, blow, blow,"

rang again joyously over the Missouri.

"Danger! Quick! The bank is caving!"

At one o'clock in the night the guard gave the startled cry. Barely
was there time to loosen the boats and push into midstream before the
whole escarpment dropped like an avalanche over the recent anchorage.
Thus in one instant might have been blotted out the entire expedition,
to remain for all time a mystery and conjecture.

On the evening of September 24 the cooks and a guard went ashore to
get supper at the mouth of the river Teton, the present site of
Pierre, South Dakota. Five Indians, who had followed for some time,
slept with the guard on shore.

Early next morning sixty Indians came down from a Sioux camp and the
Captains prepared for a council. Under the flag and an awning, at
twelve o'clock the company paraded under arms. Dorion had remained
behind at the Yankton village, so with difficulty, by the aid of
Drouillard and much sign language, a brief speech was delivered. Black
Buffalo, head chief, was decorated with a medal, flag, laced coat,
cocked hat, and red feather, nor were the rest forgotten with smaller
gifts, medals, and tobacco.

The Captains would have gone on, but, "No! No!" insisted Black
Buffalo, seizing the cable of Clark's departing pirogue.

Finally Clark and several of the men rowed them ashore. But no sooner
had they landed than one seized the cable and held the boat fast.
Another flung his arms around the mast and stood immovable.

"Release me," demanded Clark, reddening at evidence of so much
treachery.

Black Buffalo advanced to seize Clark. The Captain drew his sword. At
this motion Captain Lewis, watching from the bateau, instantly
prepared for action.

The Indians had drawn their arrows and were bending their great bows,
when the black mouth of the blunderbuss wheeled toward them.

At this Black Buffalo ordered his men to desist, and they sullenly
fell away, but never was forgotten that time when the Teton Sioux
attempted to carry off Captain Clark.

"We wished to see the boat more," said the Indians, by way of excuse.
"We wished to show it to our wives and children."

To conciliate and to depart without irritation, Captain Clark offered
his hand. The chiefs refused to take it. Turning, Clark stepped into
the boat and shoved off. Immediately three warriors waded in after
him, and he brought them on board. That night the whole expedition
slept under arms, with the Indians as guests. At daylight crowds of
Indian men, women, and children waited on shore in the most friendly
manner.

Ten well-dressed young men took Lewis and Clark up on a highly
decorated robe and carried them up to the council tent. Dressed like
dandies, seventy Indians sat in this roomy council hall, the tail
feathers of the golden eagle scarce quivering in their topknots.
Impressively in the centre on two forked sticks lay the long
peace-pipe above a bed of swan's down.

Outside, the redmen were roasting a barbecue. All day they sat and
smoked, and ate of buffalo beef and pemmican. After sunset a huge
council fire illuminated the interior of the great lodge, and the
dance began. Wild Indian girls came shuffling with the reeking scalps
of Omahas, from a recent raid. Outside twenty-five Omaha women
prisoners and their children moaned in the chill of an icy autumn
night. It was their trail that Shannon had followed for sixteen days.

About midnight, fatigued by the constant strain of watchful anxiety,
the Captains returned to the boats. But not yet were they safely away.
"To oars! to oars! the cable's parted!"

The Indians heard the call.

"The Omahas! the Omahas!" rang the cry up from the Teton camp, that on
every wind anticipated the whoop of retaliating Omahas in search of
their stolen wives and children.

Then followed pandemonium of rushing Indians and frightened calls. All
night, with strained eyes, every man held his rifle ready as they lay
unanchored on the water.

At daylight the wily Indians held the ropes and still detained the
boats. Resort to force seemed inevitable. Flinging a carat of tobacco,
"Black Buffalo," said Lewis, "you say you are a great chief. Prove it
by handing me that rope." Flattered, Black Buffalo gave the rope, and
thankfully the boats pulled out with no more desire to cultivate the
Sioux.



IX

_THE ROMANCE OF THE MANDANS_


"What will they find?" asked the people of the United States,
discussing the journey of Lewis and Clark.

"Numerous powerful and warlike nations of savages, of gigantic
stature, fierce, treacherous, and cruel, and particularly hostile to
white men."

"The mammoth of prehistoric time feeding from the loftiest forests,
shaking the earth with its tread of thunder."

"They will find a mountain of solid salt glistening in the sun with
streams of brine issuing from its caverns."

"They will find blue-eyed Indians, white-haired, fairer than other
tribes, planting gardens, making pottery, and dwelling in houses."

"Oh, yes," said the Federalists, "Jefferson has invented these stories
to aggrandise the merit of his purchase. They never can cross the
mountains. Human enterprise and exertion will attempt them in vain."

"It was folly! folly to send those men to perish miserably in the
wilderness! It was a bold and wicked scheme of Jefferson. They will
never return alive to this country."

Had not Jefferson himself in his anxiety directed Lewis and Clark to
have recourse to our consuls in Java, the Isles of France and Bourbon,
and the Cape of Good Hope? Heaven alone knew whither the
Missouri--Columbia might lead them!

But the white Indians--

In the history of Wales there is a story that on account of wars in
Wales a Welsh Prince in 1170 "prepared certain shipps, with men and
munition, and sought adventures by seas, sailing west, and leaving the
coast of Ireland so farre north, that he came to land unknowne, where
he saw many strange things.... This Madoc arriving in the countrey, in
the which he came in the year 1170, left most of his people there, and
returning back for more of his nation, went thither again with ten
sails," and was never again heard of.

Six hundred years later Welshmen in America imagined that they could
talk with some tribes, who said "they came from white people but were
now Indians," and the legend was related that white people had once
lived on the Atlantic coast, but had so many wars they crossed the
mountains and made boats and went down the Ohio and up the Missouri,
"where to this day live the fair-haired, blue-eyed Mandans."

Our grandfathers believed this story, believed these whites might have
been cut off at the Falls of the Ohio and some escaped. This is the
excuse that Cornstalk gave to Lord Dunmore for the attack at Point
Pleasant:

"Long ago our fathers destroyed the whites in a great battle at the
Falls of the Ohio. We thought it might be done again."

As if in proof of this statement, George Rogers Clark and other first
explorers at the Falls found Sand Island at low water a mass of hacked
and mutilated human bones, whether of Indians or whites, no man could
tell.

And here now were Lewis and Clark, in the Autumn of 1804, among the
fabled Mandans, and here before them was a Mr. Hugh McCracken, an
Irishman, and René Jussaume, a Frenchman, independent traders, who for
a dozen winters had drawn their goods on dog sleds over from the
British fort on the Assiniboine to trade with the Mandans for buffalo
robes and horses. Thirty dogs they owned between them, great Huskies
of the Eskimo breed.

Jussaume was immediately engaged as interpreter, and the first Sunday
was spent in conversation with Black Cat, head chief of the Mandans.
All day the hospitable blue-eyed, brown-haired Mandan women, fairer
than other Indians, kept coming in with gifts of corn, boiled hominy,
and garden stuffs, raised by their own rude implements. Girls of ten
years old with silver-gray hair hanging down to their knees stood
around and listened.

Yes, they had earthen pots and gardens, even extensive fields of corn,
beans, squashes, and sunflowers, and houses--mud huts. They lived in
little forted towns that had been moved successively up, up, up the
Missouri.

"I believe what you have told us," said one of the chiefs in the great
council on Monday. "We shall now have peace with the Ricaras. My
people will be glad. Then our women may lie down at night without
their moccasins on. They can work in the fields without looking every
moment for the enemy."

"We have killed the Ricaras like birds," said another, "until we are
tired of killing them. Now we will send a chief and some warriors to
smoke with them."

Thus was the first effort for peace in the Mandan country.

The high chill wind almost blew down the awning over the great
council. The men paraded up from the boats, the blunderbuss was fired
from the bow of the big bateau, the long reed-stemmed stone-bowled
pipes were smoked in amity.

"Here are suits of clothes for your chiefs," said Lewis, handing out
of a wooden chest the handsome laced uniforms, cocked hats, and
feathers. "To your women I present this iron corn-mill to grind their
hominy."

The solemn, sad-faced chiefs took the clothes and put them on. The
women flew at the corn-mill. All day long they ground and ground and
wondered at "the great medicine" that could make meal with so little
trouble. Mortars and pestles were thrown behind the lodges, discarded.

The next day Mr. McCracken set out on his return to Fort Assiniboine,
one hundred and fifty miles away, with a friendly letter to the Chief
Factor, Chaboillez, enclosing the passport of Lewis and Clark from the
British minister at Washington.

Yes, a passport,--so uncertain was that boundary--never yet defined.
Where lay that line? To the sources of the Mississippi? But those
sources were as hidden as the fountain of the Nile. No white man yet
had seen Itasca.

Since before the Revolution the Chaboillez family had traded at
Michilimackinac. They were there in the days when Wabasha descended on
St. Louis, and had a hand in all the border story.

While Lewis was negotiating with the Indians, Captain Clark set out
with Black Cat to select a point where timber was plenty to build a
winter camp.

"Hey, there! are ye going to run aff and leave me all to mesilf?"
exclaimed Patrick Gass, head carpenter, busy selecting his tools and
equipments. "Niver moind, I can outwalk the bist o' thim."

Strong, compact, broad-chested, heavy-limbed, but lean, sprightly, and
quick of motion, Pat was soon at the side of his Captain. "I can show
ye a pint or two about cabins, I'm thinkin'."

Clark smiled. He knew something about cabins himself.

The day was fine and crowds of Indians came to watch proceedings as
Clark's men began to cut the tall cottonwoods and roll up the cabins.

Every day the Indians came in crowds to watch the wonderful building
of the white men's fort, the deer-skin windows and mud-plastered
chimneys. Turning loose their horses, all day long the red men lay on
the grass watching the details of this curious architecture. At night,
gathering an armful of cottonwood boughs stripped from the fort
timber, each fed his horse and meandered thoughtfully homeward in the
red sunset.

One day two squaws came, a leathery old dame and a captive Indian girl
from the Rocky Mountains,--the handsome young Sacajawea, the
Bird-Woman.

"She my slave," said Charboneau, a Frenchman in blanket capote and
kerchief around his head. "I buy her from de Rock Mountain. I make her
my wife." Charboneau lived with the Minnetarees, friends and
neighbours of the Mandans.

Shahaka, the Big White Head Chief, came, too, with his squaw packing
on her back "one hundred pounds of very fine meat." Whenever Shahaka
crossed the river his squaw picked up the buffalo-skin canoe and
carried it off on her back. Those canoes were made exactly like a
Welsh coracle.

The days grew colder, the frost harder. Ice began to run in the river
and the last boats in from the hunt brought thirty-two deer, eleven
elk, and buffalo that were jerked and hung in the winter smoke-house.

By November 20 the triangular fort was ready,--two rows of cabins of
four rooms each, with lofts above where, snug and warm under the roof
next to the chimneys, the men slept through the long cold winter
nights on beds of grass, rolled up in their blankets and fuzzy robes
of buffalo.

In the frosty weather there came over the prairies from Fort
Assiniboine seven Northwest traders, led by François Antoine Larocque
and Charles Mackenzie, with stores of merchandise to trade among the
Mandans. They immediately waited upon Lewis and Clark.

"We are not traders," said the Americans, "but explorers on our way to
the Pacific."

Through Larocque's mind flashed the journey of Sir Alexander Mackenzie
and its outcome. That might mean more than a rival trader. "He is
distributing flags and medals among the Mandans," came the rumour.

"In the name of the United States I forbid you from giving flags and
medals to the Indians, as our Government looks upon those things as
sacred emblems of the attachment of the Indians to our country," said
Captain Lewis to Monsieur Larocque when next he called at Fort Mandan.

"As I have neither flags nor medals, I run no risk of disobeying those
orders, I assure you," answered the easy Frenchman.

"You and all persons are at liberty to come into our territories to
trade or for any other purpose, and will never be molested unless your
behaviour is such as would subject an American citizen himself to
punishment," continued Lewis.

"And will the Americans not trade?"

"We may and shall probably have a public store well assorted of all
kinds of Indian goods. No liquors are to be sold."

"A very grand plan they have schemed," muttered Larocque, as he went
away, "but its being realised is more than I can tell."

While talking with the Captains, Larocque had an eye on a Hudson's Bay
trader who had appeared on the scene.

"Beg pardon. I must be off," said Larocque, slipping out with
Charboneau to outwit if possible the Hudson's Bay man and reach the
Indians first. But before he got off a letter arrived from Chaboillez
that altered all plans.

Unknown to Lewis and Clark, though they gradually came to discover it,
hot war was waging in the north. For the sake of furs, rival traders
cut and carved and shot and imprisoned each other. For the sake of
furs those same traders had held Detroit thirteen years beyond the
Revolution. Furs came near changing the balance of power in North
America.

The old established Hudson's Bay Company claimed British America. The
ambitious, energetic Northwesters of Montreal disputed the right. And
now that Sir Alexander Mackenzie, a Canadian _bourgeois_, had become a
famous explorer, knighted by the King, jealousies broke out in the
Northwest company itself.

Simon McTavish, lord of the Northwesters, who had done all he could to
hold the Lakes for Britain, would rule or ruin. But the Northwesters
swore by Mackenzie. So the two factions fought each other, and both
fought the Hudson's Bay Company.

"The Northwesters are no better than they ought to be," said the men
of Hudson's Bay. "They sent an embassy to Congress in 1776." In fact a
little change in the balance might have thrown the Northwesters over
to the American side and altered the history of a continent.

"The quarrelling traders of the North are almost as bad as the
Indians," said Lewis,--"they demoralise and inflame the Indians."

"Trade with me," said Hudson's Bay. "The Northwesters will cheat you."

"Trade with me," said the Northwester. "Hudson's Bay are bad men."

With troubled eyes the Indians listened, then scalped them both. Some
bloody tales that North could tell, around the plains of lovely
Winnipeg, out on the lone Saskatchewan, and over to Athabasca.

But now the Americans,--this was a new force in the West.

December 1, the Americans began to cut and carry pickets to complete
the high stockade and gate across the front of Fort Mandan. December 6
it was too cold to work, and that night the river froze over in front
of the fort with solid ice an inch and a half thick.

At nine o'clock next morning Chief Shahaka, Big White, came puffing in
with news.

"De boofalo! de boofalo!" interpreted Jussaume, listening intently to
the long harangue of the chief who was making all sorts of sign
language and excitedly pointing up the river.

"De boofalo, on de prairie, comin' eento de bottom."

In short order Lewis, Clark, and fifteen men were out with the Indians
mounted on horseback. Then came the din and chase of battle, a sight
to fire the blood and thrill the calmest heart.

Riding among the herd, each Indian chose his victim, then, drawing his
arrow to the last notch of the bowstring, let it fly. Another and
another whizzed from the same string until the quiver was exhausted.
The wounded beast, blinded by its mane, sometimes charged the hunter.
But the swift steed, trained for the contest, wheeled and was gone.
The buffalo staggered for a little, then, struck in a mortal part,
fell headlong, pawing up the dust and snow in frantic efforts to rise
and fly.

Into the midst came the Captains and their men, and every man brought
down his buffalo. At twelve degrees below zero and in a northwest
wind, Lewis and his men started out again the next morning to chase
the herds that darkened the prairie. The air was filled with frosty
flakes, the snow was deep and clinging, but all day and until after
dark the exciting hunt held them to the saddle, and only when they
came to the fire did the participants realise that their hands and
feet were frostbitten.

Cold and colder grew the days. Two suns shone in the sky,
prognosticator of still deeper frost. Brilliant northern lights glowed
along the Arctic, but still they chased the buffalo until the morning
of December 13, when Dr. Saugrain's thermometer stood twenty degrees
below zero at sunrise. In fur caps, coats, mittens, and double
moccasins they brought home horseload after horseload of juicy beef to
hang in the winter storehouse. And fortunately, too, for one day they
awoke to find the buffalo gone.

Some winters there was great suffering for food among the Mandans, but
this was destined to be a year of plenty. Out of their abundance the
chiefs, also, came to the fort with their dog sleds loaded with meat
for their friends at the garrison.



X

_THE FIRST DAKOTA CHRISTMAS_


On Christmas eve the stockade was finished and the gate was shut. With
forty-five men and a blunderbuss Fort Mandan stood impregnable to any
force the northern savages could bring against it.

But there was no hostility,--far from it. From curiosity or for trade
the Indians came in throngs, until on Christmas eve Captain Lewis sent
out the announcement: "Let no one visit us to-morrow. It is our great
medicine day."

Before daylight the wondering redmen were aroused from their buffalo
couches by three volleys fired from the fort. Awe-struck they sat up
and whispered: "White men making medicine." At sunrise a flag was
floating above the palisade, but no Indian ventured to approach the
mysterious newly closed walls of Fort Mandan.

For his Christmas stocking every man received an allowance of flour,
dried apples, and pepper, which together with corn, beans, squash, and
unlimited buffalo meat and marrow bones made out a Christmas feast.

At one o'clock the gun was fired for dinner. At two came the signal
for the dance.

"Play up ole fashion reel. Everybody he mus' dance," said Cruzatte,
tuning his fiddle. "We'll do our possible."

Cruzatte and Gibson played, Gass and Shannon led, Clark called the
changes; and with crackling fires, and a stamping like horses, away up
there under the Northern stars the first American Christmas was
celebrated on the upper Missouri.

Three wide-eyed spectators sat ranged around the walls. These were the
squaws of the interpreters, Madame René Jussaume, and the two wives of
Charboneau, Madame the old dame, and Sacajawea, the beautiful Indian
captive stolen beyond the Rockies.

The Indians, in their cheerless winter villages, found much to attract
them at the fort of the white men. Soon after Christmas, William
Bratton and John Shields set up their forge as blacksmiths, gunsmiths,
and armourers. Day after day, with the thermometer forty degrees below
zero, a constant procession of Indians came wending in on the
well-beaten snow-track, with axes to grind and kettles to mend. It
seemed as if all the broken old kettles that had ever drifted into the
country, from Hudson's Bay or Fort William or up from St. Louis, were
carried to Fort Mandan filled with corn to pay for mending.

Especially the Indians wanted battle-axes, with long thin blades like
the halberds of ancient warfare. Some wanted pikes and spears fixed on
the pointed ends of their long dog-poles. A burnt-out old sheet-iron
cooking stove became worth its weight in gold. For every scrap of it,
four inches square, the Indians would give seven or eight gallons of
corn, and were delighted with the exchange. These bits of square sheet
iron were invaluable for scrapers for hides, and every shred of
cutting that fell to the ground was eagerly bought up to fashion into
arrow tips. Metal, metal, metal,--the _sine qua non_ of civilisation
had come at last to the Mandans.

While Bratton was busy over his forge, and Shields at the guns, some
of the men were out hunting, some were cutting wood to keep the great
fires roaring, and some were making charcoal for the smithy.

So the days went on. New Year's, 1805, was ushered in with the
blunderbuss. By way of recreation the captains permitted the men to
visit the Indian villages where crowds gathered to see the white men
dance, "heeling it and toeing it" to the music of the fiddles. The
white men in turn were equally diverted by the grotesque figures of
the Indians leaping in the buffalo dances.

Captain Clark noted an old man in one of the Mandan villages and gave
him a knife.

"How old are you?"

"More than one hundred winters," was the answer. "Give me something
for the pain in my back."

But a grandson rebuked the old man. "It isn't worth while. You have
lived long enough. It is time for you to go to your relations who can
take better care of you than we can."

The old man settled back in his robes by the fire and said no more.

"What accident has happened to your hand?" inquired Lewis of a chief's
son.

"Grief for my relatives," answered the boy.

It was a Mandan custom to mutilate the body, as a mark of sorrow for
the dead, until some had lost not only all their fingers, but their
ears and hair. Sacred ceremonies of flagellations, knife thrusts into
the flesh, piercing with thorns and barbaric crucifixions,--thirty
years later George Catlin found these still among the Mandans, and
ascribed them to an effort to perpetuate some Christian ceremonial of
a remote ancestry.

Could it have been a corrupted tradition of the crucifixion of Christ?
Who can tell? The Welsh of 1170 were Catholic Christians who believed
in self-inflicted penance to save the soul. Degraded, misguided,
interblent with Indian superstition through generations, it might have
come to this.

But everywhere, at feast or council, one walked as conqueror,--Clark's
negro servant, York. Of fine physical presence and remarkable stature,
very black and very woolly, York was viewed as superhuman.

"Where you come from?" whispered the awe-struck savages.

Grinning until every ivory tooth glistened, and rolling up the whites
of his eyes, he would answer, "I was running wild in the wood, and was
caught and tamed by my mastah." Then assuming an air of ferocity, York
would exhibit feats of strength that to the Indians seemed really
terrible.

"If you kill white men we make you chief," the Arikaras whispered in
his ear. York withstood great temptation,--he fought more battles than
Clark.

"Delay! delay! delay!" was the Indian plea at every village. "Let our
wives see you. Let our children see, especially the black man."

From Council Bluffs to Clatsop, children followed York constantly. If
he chanced to turn, with piercing shrieks they ran in terror.

"Mighty warrior. Born black. Great medicine!" sagely commented the
wise old men, watching him narrowly and shaking their heads at the
unheard-of phenomenon. Even his jerks, contortions, and grimaces
seemed a natural part of such a monstrosity. York was a perpetual
exhibit, a menagerie in himself.

In these holiday visits to the Mandan towns a glimpse was caught of
domestic life. Wasteful profusion when the buffalo came, when the
buffalo left, days of famine. Then they opened their cellar-holes of
corn and vegetables, hidden away as a last resource in protracted
siege when the Sioux drove off the game and shut them up in their
picketed villages.

So often were the horses of the Mandans stolen, that it had become a
habitual custom every night to take them into the family lodge where
they were fed on boughs and bark of the cottonwood. All day long in
the iciest weather, the wrinkled, prematurely aged squaws were busy in
the hollows, cutting the horse-feed with their dull and almost useless
knives. On New Year's day Black Cat came down with a load of meat on
his wife's back. A happy woman was she to receive a sharp new knife to
cut her meat and cottonwood.

It was easy to buy a Mandan wife. A horse, a gun, powder and ball for
a year, five or six pounds of beads, a handful of awls, the trade was
made, and the new spouse was set to digging laboriously with the
shoulder-blade of an elk or buffalo, preparing to plant her corn.

The Indian woman followed up the hunt, skinned and dressed the
buffalo, and carried home the meat. Indian women built the lodges and
took them down again, dragging the poles whenever there were not
horses enough for a summer ramble.

When not at the hunt or the council, the warrior sat cross-legged at
his door, carving a bow, pointing an arrow, or smoking, waited upon by
his squaw, who never ate until the braves were done, and then came in
at the last with the children and the dogs. Wrinkled and old at
thirty, such was the fate of the Indian girl.

Sunday, January 13, Charboneau came back from a visit to the
Minnetarees at Turtle Mountain with his face frozen. It was fortunate
he returned with his life. Many a Frenchman was slain on that road,
many an imprecation went up against the Assiniboine Sioux,--"_Les Gens
des Grands Diables du Nord_," said Charboneau.

Touissant Charboneau, one of the old Canadian French Charboneaus, with
his brothers had tramped with Alexander Henry far to the north under
sub-arctic forests, wintered on the Assiniboine, and paddled to
Winnipeg. Seven years now he had lived among the Minnetarees, an
independent trader like McCracken and Jussaume, and interpreter for
other traders.

Moreover, Charboneau was a polygamist with several wives to cook his
food and carry his wood and water. But he had been kind to the captive
Indian girl, and her heart clung to the easy-going Frenchman as her
best friend. The worst white man was better than an Indian husband.

Captured in battle as a child five years before, Sacajawea had been
brought to the land of the Dakotas and sold to Charboneau. Now barely
sixteen, in that February at the Mandan fort she became a mother. Most
of the men were away on a great hunting trip; when they came back a
lusty little red-faced pappoose was screaming beside the kitchen fire.

The men had walked thirty miles that day on the ice and in snow to
their knees, but utterly fatigued as they were, the sight of that
little Indian baby cuddled in a deerskin robe brought back memories of
home.

Clark came in with frosty beard, and moccasins all worn out.

"Sacajawea has a fine boy," said Lewis.

No wonder the Captains watched her recovery with interest. All winter
they had sought an interpreter for those far-away tongues beyond the
mountains, and no one could be found but Sacajawea, the wife of
Charboneau. Clark directed York to wait on her, stew her fruit, and
serve her tea, to the great jealousy of Jussaume's wife, who packed up
her pappooses in high dudgeon and left the fort. Sacajawea was only a
slave. She, Madame Jussaume, was the daughter of a chief!

Poor little Sacajawea! She was really very ill. If she died who would
unlock the Gates of the Mountains?

Charboneau was a cook. He set himself to preparing the daintiest soups
and steaks, and soon the "Bird Woman" was herself again, packing and
planning for the journey.

Busy every day now were Lewis and Clark making up their reports and
drawing a map of the country. Shahaka, Big White, came and helped
them. Kagohami of the Minnetarees came, and with a coal on a robe made
a sketch of the Missouri that Clark re-drew.

But in the midst of the map-making all the Indian talk was of "war,
war, war."

"I am going to war against the Snakes in the Spring," said Kagohami.

"No," said Lewis, "that will displease the President. He wants you to
live at peace."

"Suffer me to go to war against the Sioux," begged another chief.

"No," answered Lewis. "These wars are the cause of all your troubles.
If you do not stop it the Great Father will withdraw his protection
from you. He will come over here and make you stop it."

"Look on the many nations whom war has destroyed," continued Lewis.
"Think of your poverty and misfortunes. If you wish to be happy,
cultivate peace and friendship. Then you will have horses. Then you
will grow strong."

"Have you spoken thus to all the tribes?" inquired Kagohami.

"We have."

"And did they open their ears?"

"They did."

"I have horses enough," reflected Kagohami, "I will not go to war. I
will advise my nation to remain at home until we see whether the Snake
Indians desire peace."

One night the hunters came in with the report, "A troop of whooping
Sioux have captured our horses and taken our knives."

It was midnight, but Lewis immediately routed up the men and set out
with twenty volunteers on the track of the marauding Sioux. In vain.
The boasting freebooters had escaped with the horses beyond recovery.

"We are sorry we did not kill the white men," was the word sent back
by an Arikara. "They are bad medicine. We shall scalp the whole camp
in the Spring."



XI

_THE BRITISH FUR TRADERS_


The movements of Lewis and Clark were watched by the Northwest
Company, who already had planned a house at the Mandans. Jefferson was
not an hour too soon.

"Yes," said Larocque, "I will pass the winter there and watch those
Americans."

In the midst of the frightful cold, twenty-two degrees below zero, on
December 16, 1804, Larocque and Mackenzie came over again from Fort
Assiniboine and with them came Alexander Henry.

"Strangers are among us," said the Indians, "Big Knives from below.
Had they been kind they would have loaded their Great Boat with goods.
As it is they prefer throwing away their ammunition to sparing a shot
to the poor Mandans. There are only two sensible men among them, the
worker of iron and the mender of guns."

"Amazing long pickets," remarked Larocque, as they came in sight of
the new stockade of Fort Mandan.

The triangular fort, two sides formed of houses and the front of
pickets, presented a formidable appearance in the wild.

"Cannon-ball proof," remarked Larocque, taking a good squint at the
high round bastion in the corner between the houses, defending two
sides of the fort. On the top was a sentry all night, and below a
sentry walked all day within the fort.

"Well guarded against surprise," remarked Alexander Henry, as he
tapped at the gate with the ramrod of his gun.

As the party knocked at the gates of Fort Mandan, in their winter
coats of leather lined with flannel, edged with fur, and
double-breasted, the lively eye of Patrick Gass peeped out.

"Some more av thim Britishers to ascertain our motives fur visitin'
this countery, and to gain infurmation with rispict to th' change o'
gov'm't," was the shrewd guess of Pat.

The hospitable Captains were more than glad to entertain visitors.
They were there to cultivate international amity.

In their hearts Lewis and Clark never dreamed what a commotion that
friendly letter to Chaboillez had stirred up. It had gone far and
awakened many. Immediately upon its receipt Chaboillez sent out a
runner.

"Lewis and Clark with one hundred and eighty soldiers have arrived at
the Mandan village," so the story flew. "On their arrival they hoisted
the American flag and informed the natives that their object was not
to trade, but merely to explore the country; and that as soon as
navigation shall open they design to continue their route across the
Rocky Mountains to the Pacific. They have made the natives a few small
presents and repaired their guns and axes free. They have behaved
honourably toward my people, who are there to trade with the natives."

Such a message as this was enough to bring Alexander Henry down to
investigate. The cottonwood fires at Fort Mandan roared up the
chimneys with unwonted splendour that winter night. The thermometer
suddenly fell to forty-five degrees below zero; but warm and
comfortable beside the blaze they talked, American and British, in
this border of the nations.

Charles Mackenzie had been a clerk of the Northwest Company for a
year. Of the same rank as himself was Larocque, and both were popular
with the redmen. In fact, Mackenzie, a Scot from the Highlands, was
already married to an Indian girl, and Larocque was a Frenchman. That
was enough. No nation fraternized with the redmen as the Frenchmen
did.

Alexander Henry, fur trader among the American Indians and one of the
famous Northwesters, bore a great name in the north. There were two
Alexander Henrys; the younger was a nephew of the other, and he it
was that had now come to visit Lewis and Clark. He knew more of the
country than, perhaps, any other man in the northwest. In fact, his
uncle, the elder Henry, was at Michilimackinac in the days of Pontiac,
and had penetrated to the Saskatchewan before ever there was a
Northwest Company.

Henry, Jr., wintered on the Red River the very year that Alexander
Mackenzie crossed the continent,--1793. As a _bourgeois_ of the
Northwesters, with a fleet of canoes and twenty-one men he had led the
Red River brigade of 1800 up into the Winnipeg country.

The scarlet belts, breeches of smoked buckskin, and blue cloth
leggings of Alexander Henry's old _coureur des bois_ were known for
hundreds of miles.

Yes, he knew the Sioux. Their pillaging bands sometimes plundered his
traders. "They are not to be trusted," he declared in positive tone.

"A very sensible, intelligent man," said Lewis and Clark to themselves
as the great Northwester talked of the country and the tribes.

But time seemed pressing. Questions of cold or of comfort weighed not
with these dauntless Northwesters when the interests of their company
were at stake. They had come on horseback. To return that way was out
of the question; and so sleds were fitted up with Jussaume's Eskimo
dogs, the "Huskies" of the fur traders.

"They seem happy to see us," remarked Mackenzie from under his
muffler, as they rode away. "They treat us with civility and kindness,
but Captain Lewis cannot make himself agreeable. He speaks fluently,
even learnedly, but to me his inveterate prejudice against the British
stains all his eloquence."

"Captain Clark is more cordial," rejoined Larocque. "He seems to
dislike giving offence unnecessarily. Do you recall his thoughtfulness
in sending for our horses when we feared they might be stolen? He let
his men guard them with his own."

With the thermometer thirty-two degrees below zero, the dogsleds flew
swift across the snow, bearing news not alone to Assiniboine, but to
Fort William on the northern shore of Lake Superior where the
Northwesters had built their trading centre.

Fort William, built in 1803 and named in honour of William
McGillivray, was the great distributing point, where "the lords of the
lakes and the forests" came to hold their rendezvous. In front rolled
Superior, the great Canadian Sea. Schooners, laden with merchandise,
peltries, and provisions, plied between Fort William and Sault Ste.
Marie.

One of the honoured names of the Northwest Company was Philip de
Rocheblave. Captured by George Rogers Clark at Kaskaskia, sent to
Virginia and there let out on parole, he broke faith and fled to New
York, to turn up at Montreal in the winter of 1783-4 along with
McTavish, McGillivray, the Frobishers and Frasers, founders of the
Northwest Fur Company. Pierre de Rocheblave had now succeeded to his
uncle's honours. Would he be apt to let the United States get ahead of
him? And by means of a _Clark_ at that?

"I must go down to the American fort to get my compass put in order,"
said Larocque again, in January. "The glass is broken and the needle
does not point due north."

He found Captain Clark sketching charts of the country, Lewis making
vocabularies; Jussaume and Charboneau, the Frenchmen, interpreting and
disputing on the meaning of words.

"They write down our words," whispered the suspicious Indians. "What
wicked design have they on our country?"

Captain Lewis spent a whole day fixing Larocque's compass.

"I hardly get a skin when the Hudson's Bay trader is with me," said
Larocque. "He is known by all the Indians, and understands and talks
their language. I must get Charboneau." And the two went away
together.

"Of what use are beaver?" inquired the Indians. "Do you make gunpowder
of them? Do they preserve you from sickness? Do they serve you beyond
the grave?"

Alexander Henry went to Fort William.

"A new rival has arisen," said the Northwest traders at their hurried
conference. "We must anticipate these United States explorers and
traders. They may advance northward and establish a claim to ownership
by prior right of discovery or occupation. We must build a chain of
posts and hold the country."

"But whom can we send on such a monumental enterprise?"

There seemed but one man,--Simon Fraser.

Simon Fraser was the son of a Scottish Tory who had been captured by
the Americans at Burgoyne's surrender and had died in prison. His
wife, with Simon a babe in arms, removed to Canada, to rear her son
beneath the banner of her King. At sixteen, young Fraser became a
clerk of the Northwest Company and a _bourgeois_. But the Frasers were
great-brained people; young Simon was soon promoted; and now at the
age of twenty-nine he was put in charge of the greatest enterprise
since the incomparable feat of Alexander Mackenzie.

"You, Simon Fraser, are to establish trading-posts in the unknown
territory, and in this way take possession for Great Britain."

Over at Sault Ste. Marie a young doctor by the name of John McLoughlin
would gladly have accompanied his uncle Simon on that perilous
undertaking. But his day was to come later. Both of their names are
now linked with the Old Oregon.

Young men of the two most progressive modern nations were to be pitted
in this race for Empire,--Lewis and Clark, and Simon Fraser.



XII

_FAREWELL TO FORT MANDAN_


On the first day of March preparations began on the building of new
boats. The old ones were pried out of the ice, and the whole party was
busy making elk-skin ropes and pirogues, in burning coal, and in
making battle-axes to trade for corn. Ducks began to pass up the
river; swans and wild geese were flying north.

Old Chief Le Borgne of the Minnetarees, a giant in stature, a brute at
heart, had held aloof all winter in his tepee.

"Foolish people! Stay at home!" he cried.

But strange rumours crept within the walls of the sulky Cyclops.
Overcome at last by curiosity Le Borgne came down to the fort.

"Some foolish young men of my nation tell me there is a man among you
who is black. Is that true?"

"It is," answered Clark. "York, come here."

With his one fierce eye, Le Borgne examined York closely. He wet his
finger and rubbed the skin to see if the black would come off. Not
until the negro uncovered his head and showed his woolly hair could
the chief be persuaded that York was not a painted white man.

Convinced against his will, and amazed, Le Borgne arose with a snort,
his black hair flying over his brawny shoulders, and stalked out. As
he passed along, the Indians shrank back. Over the hill came the wail
of a demented mother. Many a fair Indian girl had left her scalp at
the door of this Indian Blue-Beard because she preferred some other
lover.

The ice was already honeycombed. Larocque came over for a farewell.

"McTavish is dead," he said.

Lewis and Clark scarcely comprehended the full import of that
announcement.

At the foot of the mountain in Montreal the great Northwester was
building a palace, fit abode for "the lord of the lakes and the
forest," when the summons came in 1804. Up the rivers and lakes the
word was carried into the uttermost wilds,--"McTavish is dead." Thus
it came to Lewis and Clark, this last news from the outer world.

The meeting at Fort William had been held without him,--McTavish was
dead.

He was the head and front of the Northwest Company. Under the King,
Simon McTavish ruled Canada, ruled half of British America, making
Hudson's Bay tremble on her northern sea.

The quick wit of the American born of Irish parents belonged to
Patrick Gass. While others were struggling toward an idea, Pat had
already seized it. Brave, observant, of good sense, and hating the
British, he kept an eye on Larocque.

"Do not trust that Frinchman."

Larocque had a stock of goods to trade. He lingered around Fort
Mandan, and offered to go over the mountains with Lewis and Clark, but
they politely declined. Already Larocque knew of the order at Fort
William. His own brother-in-law, Quesnel, was to be the companion of
Fraser's voyage, and was to leave, like Fraser, his name on the rivers
of British Columbia.

Then there was trouble with Charboneau. He became independent and
impudent and demanded higher wages. Somebody was tampering with
Charboneau. Suddenly flaming with new raiment, gay vests, and yards of
blue and scarlet cloth, he announced:

"I weel not work. I weel not stand guard. I eenterpreteur,--do as I
pleese, return wheen I pleese."

"We can dispense with your services," coolly answered the Captains.
Charboneau stepped back, surprised.

Ignoring his presence, preparations were hurried on. The boats, the
troublesome, cracking, warping cottonwood boats, were hauled to the
fort and pitched and calked and tinned, until at last they were ready
to try the water. No one spoke to the Frenchman, no one noticed him as
he lingered expectantly by.

All the Indian goods were brought out and hung in the open air. Even
at the busiest moments, with every man on the jump, no one asked
Charboneau to help. Finding he was about to lose his position, the
Frenchman came to Captain Lewis, apologised, and was restored to
service. In a trice Charboneau was back at the skillets, dishing up
the dinner.

The occupants of Fort Mandan had been snow-bound five months when ice
began running in the river. All day long now the busy Indians were
catching buffalo floating by on the high water. The foolish animals,
trying to cross the thin ice, broke through. Others floated away on
big cakes that were certain, sooner or later, to launch them into
eternity.

The patient, devoted women, too, were in evidence. Slipping out of
their leather smocks, they plunged naked into the icy current to
secure the floating driftwood for fuel. Across the snow long lines of
squaws came dragging home the drift.

The hammers of Shields and Bratton rang merrily at the anvils. Boxes
were made and hooped and ironed, to go down in the big bateau that was
too unwieldy to carry further.

In those stout boxes were horns of the mountain ram, unknown as yet to
science, horns of elk and deer, rare skins, robes and Indian dresses;
bow, arrows, and a shield for the President, on which Old Black Cat
had spent months of patient carving; samples of the red Arikara corn;
sixty-seven specimens of earths, salts, and minerals, and sixty
specimens of plants, all carefully labelled; seeds, insects, the
skeleton of the big fish from the hilltop, stuffed antelopes and
Lewis's pelican, a live prairie dog in a wicker cage, a live prairie
hen and four magpies. A new geography was there, a map of the Missouri
extending out to the mystic mountains, drawn from Indian description,
to be presented by Jefferson to Congress.

In these boxes, too, went letters. There was one of several thousand
words from Lewis to his mother. Captain Clark's first and best letter
was to his brother at the Point of Rock; with it he enclosed a map
and sketches of Indians. Another was to Major Croghan at Locust
Grove, with seeds of several kinds of grapes for his sister Lucy.

With the bateau went also the famous Mandan report of Lewis to
Jefferson, and Clark's letter to his soldier friend, William Henry
Harrison, then Governor of the Indian Territory at Vincennes. Other
missives went to Ohio, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts,
Pennsylvania,--wherever a man had a mother at the hearthstone waiting
to hear of her distant boy. Saddest of all was the news to Mill Creek,
the home of Sergeant Floyd. Part of Clark's journal was transmitted by
letter to the President and part was enclosed in a separate tin box,
"to multiply the chances of saving something."

The Mandan treasures, with dispatches and presents from the Indians,
went down by water to the Gulf and thence by sea to Washington.

"I have little doubt but they will be fired on by the Sioux," says
Lewis in his letter, "but they have pledged themselves to us that they
will not yield while there is one of them living."

At five o'clock on Sunday afternoon, April 7, 1805, the barge left
Fort Mandan for St. Louis with ten men. With it went also Brave Raven
of the Arikaras, to visit his Great Father, the President.

At the same moment that the barge left the fort, six small canoes and
the two pirogues shot up river, carrying thirty-one men and Sacajawea
with her child.

"This little fleet, although not quite so respectable as those of
Columbus or Captain Cook, is still viewed by us with as much pleasure
as those famed adventurers ever beheld theirs," said Lewis, "and I
dare say with quite as much anxiety for their safety and preservation.
We are now about to penetrate a country at least two thousand miles in
width, on which the foot of civilised man has never trodden.

"Entertaining as I do the most confident hope of succeeding in a
voyage which has formed a darling project of mine for ten years, I can
but esteem this moment of our departure as among the happiest of my
life."



XIII

_TOWARD THE SUNSET_


The Spring days were squally and chill. The air was sharp, and the
water froze on the oars as the little party rowed along. Now and then
a flurry of snow whitened the April green. Sometimes the sails were
spread, and the boats scurried before the wind. Often, however, the
sails proved too large, and over the boats lurched, wetting the
baggage and powder.

Most of the powder had been sealed in leaden canisters. When the
powder was emptied the canister itself was melted into bullets. That
was a nightly task,--the moulding of bullets.

"Hio! hio!" The hunters ahead picked a camping spot, beside a spring
or by a clump of trees. In short order brass kettles were swung across
the gipsy poles. Twisting a bunch of buffalo grass into a nest, in a
moment Dr. Saugrain's magical matches had kindled a roaring flame.

Swinging axes made music where axes had never swung before. Baby
Touissant rolled his big eyes and kicked and crowed in his mother's
lap, while Charboneau, head cook, stuffed his trapper's sausage with
strips of tenderloin and hung it in links around the blaze.

Stacks of buffalo meat lay near by, where they had been piled by the
industrious hunters. Odours of boiling meat issued from the kettles.
Juicy brown ribs snapped and crackled over the flames.

Captain Lewis, accustomed to the _cuisine_ of Jefferson at the White
House, laughed.

"How did you dress this sausage so quick, Charboneau? Two bobs and a
flirt in the dirty Missouri?"

Sometimes Lewis himself turned cook, and made a suet dumpling for
every man. More frequently he was off to the hills with Clark, taking
a look at the country.

Nor was Sacajawea idle. With her baby on her back, she opened the
nests of prairie mice, and brought home artichokes. Sometimes she
brought sprouts of wild onion for the broth, or the _pomme
blanche_,--the peppery Indian turnip. York, too, at his master's
direction often gathered cresses and greens for the dinner. But York
was becoming a hunter. As well as the best, he "slew dem buffaloes."

Lewis had bought Charboneau's big family tent. Under its leather
shelter slept the Captains, with Drouillard and Charboneau and his
little family.

Around the twilight fires the men wrote their journals,--Lewis, Clark,
Pryor, Ordway, Gass, Fraser, all busy with their stub quill pens and
inkhorns, recording the day's adventure.

They were not scholars, any of them, but men of action, pioneers and
explorers, heralds of the nation. In their strenuous boyhood they had
defended the frontier. Men at sixteen, they took up a man's
employment. Lewis, more favoured, prolonged his schooldays until the
age of eighteen, then broke away to march with armies.

At last these first civilised sounds that ever broke the silence
primeval were hushed. Rolled up like cocoons in their mackinaw
blankets, the men were soon snoring in rows with feet to the fires,
while a solitary sergeant peered into the lonely night. The high
Dakota wind roared among the cottonwoods. Mother Nature, too, kept
guard, lighting her distant beacons in the blue above the soldier
boys.

In a land of wolves, no wolves molested, though they yelped and barked
in the prairie grass. On all sides lay deserted camps of Assiniboine
Sioux. Once the expedition crossed the trail of a war party only
twenty-four hours old. A dog left behind came to the camp of the
explorers and became the pet of Captain Lewis.

"Kip so quiet lak' one leetle mouse," whispered Cruzatte, cautioning
silence.

No one cared to meet the Assiniboine Sioux, the "_Gens des Grands
Diables_." Once the smoke of their campfires clouded the north; but
the boats sped on undiscovered.

"The river reminds me of the Ohio at this time of year," said Clark.

"The drumming of that sharp-tailed grouse is like that of the
pheasants of old Virginia," responded Lewis.

"And the croaking of the frogs exactly resimbles that of frogs in th'
Yaunited States," added Patrick Gass.

For days they noted veins of coal burning along the river banks,
kindled perhaps by Indian fires. Alkali dust began to rise, blown into
clouds, and sifting into their tight double-cased watches until the
wheels refused to move more than a few minutes at a time.

Toward the last of April Lewis went ahead to the mouth of the
Rochejaune, the Yellow Rock, or Yellowstone River, passing through
herds of elk, antelope, and buffalo, so tame they would scarce move
out of his way. Beautiful dun deer snorted and pawed the leaves, then
half trusting, half timorous, slipped into the thicket. No one but
Sacajawea had ever before been over this road.

In May they reached the land where even the beaver were gentle, for
they had never been hunted. No white man, so far as they knew, had
ever trodden these wilds. They had not heard of the gallant Sieur
Verendrye, two of whose intrepid sons reached the "Shining Mountains"
on New Year's Day, 1743. Washington was a boy then; George Rogers
Clark was not born.

But the Snakes and the Sioux were at war, fierce battles were raging,
and they were forced to turn back. The noble Verendrye spent all his
fortune, and forty thousand livres besides, in trying to find the
River of the West.

Then Jonathan Carver of Connecticut set out about the time Boone went
to Kentucky. At the Falls of St. Anthony, he, too, heard of the
Shining Mountains.

"The four most capital rivers of North America take their rise about
the centre of this continent," said Carver. "The River Bourbon, which
empties into Hudson's Bay; the Waters of St. Lawrence; the
Mississippi; and the River Oregon, or the River of the West, that
falls into the Pacific Ocean at the Straits of Anian."

What little bird whispered "Oregon" in Carver's ear? No such word is
known in any Indian tongue. Had some Spanish sailor told of a shore
"like his own green Arragon"?

And now Lewis and Clark are on the sunset path. Will _they_ find the
Shining Mountains and the River of the West?

At the first large branch beyond the Yellowstone, Captain Lewis went
on shore with Drouillard the hunter. Out of a copse suddenly appeared
two grizzlies.

Lewis remembered well the awe and absolute terror with which the
Mandans had described this king of Western beasts. Never did they go
out to meet him without war-paint and all the solemn rites of battle.
As with the cave bear of ancient song and saga, no weapon of theirs
was adequate to meet this dreaded monster. In parties of six or eight
they went, with bows and arrows, or, in recent years, the bad guns of
the trader.

With these things in mind, Lewis and the hunter faced the bears. Each
fired, and each wounded his beast. One of the bears ran away; the
other turned and pursued Captain Lewis, but a lucky third shot from
Drouillard laid him low.

And what a brute was he! Only a cub and yet larger than any bear of
the Atlantic States, the grizzly, known now to be identical with the
awful cave bear of prehistoric time. No wonder the Indian that slew
him was a brave and in the line of chieftainship! No wonder the claws
became a badge of honour! No man, no foe so fierce to meet as one
enraged and famished grizzly. His skin was a king's robe, his tusk an
emblem of unflinching valour.

A wind from the east now filled the sails and blew them west! west!
More and more tame grew the elk and buffalo, until the men were
obliged to drive them out of their way with sticks and stones.

Before them unrolled the great wild garden of Eden. Abounding
everywhere were meadows,--beaver meadows and clover meadows, wild rice
and rye and timothy, and buffalo grazing on a thousand hills. Prairie
fowl scurried in the under-brush, beautiful white geese gazed calmly
at them, ducks quacked around ponds and streams alive with trout.

Wild gardens were radiant with roses and honeysuckles, morning-glories
and wild hops. Whole fields of lilies perfumed the sunrise,
strawberries carpeted the uplands, and tangles of blackberries and
raspberries interwove a verdant wall along the buffalo trails, the
highways of the wilderness.

Mountain sheep sported on the cliffs, the wild cat purred in her
forest lair. The yellow cougar, the mountain lion, growled and slunk
away. The coyote, the Indian dog, snapped and snarled. But man, man
was not there. For four months no Indian appeared through all the
Great Lone Land of the Tay-a-be-shock-up, the country of the
mountains.

William Bratton, who had been walking along the shore, presently came
running to the boats with cries of terror.

"Take me on board, quick!"

It was some moments before Bratton could speak.

"A bear! a bear!" he gasped at last.

A mile and a half back Bratton had wounded a grizzly that turned and
chased him. Captain Lewis and seven men immediately started. For a
mile they tracked the trail of blood to a hole where the enraged
animal was frantically tearing up the earth with teeth and claws. Two
shots through the skull finished the grizzly, whose fleece and skin
made a load which two men could scarcely carry back to camp.

"More bear-butter to fry me sassage," remarked unsentimental
Charboneau.

But now had begun in earnest the days of wild adventure. One evening
after another grizzly battle, the men came triumphantly into camp to
find disaster there. Charboneau had been steersman that night, and
Cruzatte was at the bow. A sudden squall struck the foremost pirogue,
Charboneau let go the tiller, the wind bellied the sail, and over they
turned.

"De rudder! de rudder!" shouted Cruzatte.

Charboneau, the most timid waterman in the party, clinging to the
gunwales, heard only his own voice in the wind, crying aloud to
heaven, "_Mon Dieu! Mon Dieu!_"

"De rudder!" roared Cruzatte. "Seize de rudder instanter and do de
duty, or I _shoot_ you!"

Fear of Cruzatte's gun overcame fear of drowning. Charboneau, pallid
and trembling, reached for the flying rope. Half a minute the boat lay
on the wave, then turned up full of water.

At last, holding the brace of the square sail, Charboneau pulled the
boat round, while all hands fell to bailing out the water. But all the
papers, medicine, and instruments were wet.

Cruzatte alone was calm, and Sacajawea, who, with her baby and herself
to save, still managed to catch and preserve most of the light
articles that were floating overboard.

Captain Lewis, watching the disaster from afar, had almost leaped into
the water to save his precious papers, but was restrained by the
reflection that by such rashness he might forfeit his life.

Two days were lost in unpacking and drying the stores.

At midnight a buffalo ran into the sleeping camp.

"Hey! hey! hey!" shouted the guard, firing on the run and waving his
arms. But the distracted beast, plunging close to the heads of the
sleeping men, headed directly toward the leather tent.

Suddenly up before his nose danced the little Indian dog, and the
buffalo was turned back into the night just as the whole camp jumped
to arms in expectation of an attack of the Sioux.

"Fire! Fire!" was the next alarm.

In the high wind of the night one of the fires had communicated itself
to a dead cottonwood overhanging the camp. Fanned by the gale the
flames shot up the trunk, and burning limbs and twigs flew in a shower
upon the leather tent.

"Fire! fire! fire!" again came the quick, sharp cry.

Every man rolled out of his mackinaw. The occupants of the lodge were
soon aroused. Strong hands had scarcely removed the lodge and
quenched the burning leather before the tree itself fell directly over
the spot where a moment before the Captains were sleeping soundly.

And so that stream was named the Burnt Lodge Creek.



XIV

_THE SHINING MOUNTAINS_


Ascending the highest summit of the hills on the north side of the
river, on Sunday, the 26th of May, Captain Lewis first caught a
distant view of "the Rock mountains--the object of all our hopes, and
the reward of all our ambition."

"When I viewed--I felt a secret pleasure,--but when I reflected on the
difficulties which this snowy barrier would most probably throw in my
way to the Pacific, and the sufferings and hardships of myself and
party in them, it in some measure counterbalanced the joy."

Bold and bolder grew the river shores. The current now became too
rapid for oars, too deep for poles. Nothing but the tow-line could
draw the boats against the swift flow of the mountain torrent.
Struggling along shore with the rope on their shoulders, the men lost
their moccasins in the clinging clay and went barefoot. Sometimes
knee-deep, they waded, sometimes waist-deep, shoulders-deep, in the
icy water, or rising on higher benches walked on flinty rocks that cut
their naked feet.

Leaping out of the mountains, came down a laughing sparkling river,
the clearest they had yet seen. Its valley seemed a paradise of ash
and willow, honeysuckles and wild roses. Standing on its bank Clark
mused, "I know but one other spot so beautiful. I will name this river
for my little mountain maid of Fincastle, the Judith."

Could he then foresee that Judith would become his wife, or that the
verdant Judith Basin would be the last retreat of the buffalo?

Big horned mountain sheep were sporting on the cliffs, beaver built
their dams along its shores, and up the Judith Gap the buffalo had his
mountain home. The Indian, too, had left there the scattered embers of
a hundred fires.

Lewis picked up a moccasin.

"Here, Sacajawea, does this belong to your people?"

The Bird Woman shook her head. "No Shoshone." She pointed to the north
where the terrible Blackfeet came swooping down to shoot and scalp. It
was time to hasten on.

Valley succeeded valley for miles on miles, and between valleys arose
hills of sandstone, worn by suns and storms into temples of desolated
magnificence; ruins of columns and towers, pedestals and capitals,
parapets of statuary, sculptured alcoves and mysterious galleries.
Sheer up from the river's side they lifted their heads like old
Venetian palaces abandoned to the bats.

June 3 the river forked.

"Which is the true Missouri?"

"De nort'ern branch. See it boil and roll?" said Cruzatte. "See de
colour? Dat de true Meessouri. De ot'er ees but one leetle stream from
de mountain."

But the Captains remembered the advice of the Minnetarees.

"The Ah-mateah-za becomes clear, and has a navigable current into the
mountains."

Parties were sent up both branches to reconnoitre. Lewis and Clark
ascended the high ground in the fork and looked toward the sunset.
Innumerable herds of buffalo, elk, and antelope were browsing as far
as the eye could reach, until the rivers were lost in the plain.

Back came the canoes undecided. Then the Captains set out. Clark took
the crystal pebbly southern route. Lewis went up the turbid northern
branch fifty-nine miles.

"This leads too far north, almost to the Saskatchewan," he concluded,
and turned back. In the summer sunshine robins sang, turtle doves,
linnets, the brown thrush, the goldfinch, and the wren, filled the
air with melody.

"I will call it Maria's River, for my beautiful and amiable cousin,
Maria Wood of Charlottesville," thought Lewis, with a memory of other
Junes in old Virginia.

When Lewis drew up at camp, Clark was already there, anxious for his
safety. The main party, occupied in dressing skins and resting their
lame and swollen feet, looked eagerly for the decision. To their
surprise both Captains agreed on the southern route.

"But Cruzatte," exclaimed the men, "he thinks the north stream is the
true river, and Cruzatte is an experienced waterman. We may be lost in
the mountains far from the Columbia."

"True. Everything depends on a right decision. Captain Clark, if you
will stay here and direct the deposit of whatever we can spare, I will
go ahead until I know absolutely."

At dawn Lewis set out with Drouillard, Gibson, Goodrich, and Joe
Fields.

Under Captain Clark's direction, Bratton, the blacksmith, set up his
forge at the mouth of Maria's River and Shields mended all the broken
guns. The rest dug a _cache_, a kettle-shaped cellar, on a dry spot
safe from water. The floor was covered with dry sticks and a robe.
Then in went the blacksmith's heavy tools, canisters of powder, bags
of flour and baggage,--whatever could be spared. On top was thrown
another robe, and then the earth packed in tight and the sod refitted
so that no eye could detect the spot.

The red pirogue was drawn up into the middle of a small island at the
mouth of Maria's River and secured in a copse.

"Boys, I am very ill," said Captain Lewis, when they camped for dinner
on the first day out. Attacked with violent pains and a high fever,
unable to proceed, he lay under some willow boughs.

No medicine had been brought. Drouillard was much concerned. "I well
remember," he said, "when a flux was epidemic at Chillicothe among de
white settlers, my fader, Pierre Drouillard, administer on de sick
wit' great success."

"What did he use?"

"A tea of de choke-cherry."

"Prepare me some," said the rapidly sinking Captain.

With deft fingers Drouillard stripped off the leaves of a choke-cherry
bough, and cut up the twigs. Black and bitter, the tea was brought to
Lewis at sunset. He drank a pint, and another pint an hour afterward.
By ten o'clock the pain was gone, a gentle perspiration ensued, the
fever abated, and by morning he was able to proceed.

The next day, June 12, the mountains loomed as never before, rising
range on range until the distant peaks commingled with the clouds.
Twenty-four hours later Lewis heard the roaring of a cataract, seven
miles away, and saw its spray, a column of cloud lifted by the
southwest wind. Like Hiawatha he had--

     "Journeyed westward, westward,
     Left the fleetest deer behind him,
     Left the antelope and bison,
     Passed the mountains of the Prairie,
     Passed the land of Crows and Foxes,
     Passed the dwellings of the Blackfeet,
     Came unto the Rocky Mountains,
     To the kingdom of the West-Wind."

Hastening on with impatient step he came upon the stupendous
waterfall, one of the glories of our continent, that hidden here in
the wilderness had for ages leaped adown the rocky way. Overwhelmed
with the spectacle Lewis sat down "to gaze and wonder and adore." "Oh,
for the pencil of Salvator Rosa or the pen of Thompson, that I might
give to the world some idea of this magnificent object, which from the
commencement of time has been concealed from the view of civilised
man."

Joe Fields was immediately dispatched to notify Clark of the discovery
of the Falls. Lewis and the other men went on up ten miles, gazing at
cataract after cataract where the mighty Missouri bent and paused, and
gathering its full volume leaped from rock to rock, sometimes wild
and irregularly sublime, again smooth and elegant as a painter's
dream.

Lewis, impatient to see and know, hurried on past the rest until night
overtook him alone near the head of the series of cataracts. On the
high plain along the bank a thousand buffalo were feeding on the short
curly grass. Lewis shot one for supper, and leaning upon his unloaded
rifle watched to see it fall.

A slight rustle attracted his attention. He turned. A bear was
stealing upon him, not twenty steps away. There was no time for
reloading, flight alone remained. Not a bush, not a tree, not a rock
was near, nothing but the water. With a wild bound Lewis cleared the
intervening space and leaped into the river. Turning, he presented his
_espontoon_. The bear, already at the bank, was about to spring, but
that defiant _espontoon_ in his face filled him with terror. He turned
and ran, looking back now and then as if fearing pursuit, and
disappeared.

Clambering out of the water, Lewis started for camp, when, sixty paces
in front of him, a strange animal crouched as if to spring. Lewis
fired and a mountain lion fled. Within three hundred yards of the
spot, three enraged buffalo bulls left the herd, and shaking their
shaggy manes, ran pawing and bellowing, full speed upon him. Eluding
the bulls, Lewis hurried to camp. Worn out, he fell asleep, only to
awaken and find a huge rattlesnake coiled around the tree above his
head! Such was earth primeval!

The Great Falls of the Missouri was the rendezvous for all wild life
in the country. Thousands of impatient buffaloes pushed each other
along the steep rocky paths to the water. Hundreds went over the
cataract to feed the bears and wolves below.

Captain Clark soon arrived with the main body and went into camp at a
sulphur spring, a favourite resort of buffaloes.

"This is precisely like Bowyer's sulphur spring of Virginia,--it will
be good for Sacajawea," said Lewis, bringing her a cup of the
transparent water that tumbled in a cascade into the Missouri.

Sacajawea was sick, very sick, delirious at times as she lay on her
couch of skins. The journey had been difficult. The hungry little baby
was a great burden, and Sacajawea was only sixteen, younger even than
Shannon, the boy of the party.

Clark directed his negro servant, York, to be her constant attendant.
Charboneau was cautioned on no account to leave her. Several other
semi-invalids guarded the tent to keep the buffaloes away. Every day,
and twice a day, the Captains came to see her and prescribe as best
they could.

Now came the tedious days of portaging the boats and baggage around
the Falls. A cottonwood tree, nearly two feet in diameter, was sawed
into wheels. The white pirogue was hidden in a copse and its mast was
taken for an axletree.

Opposite the spot where the waggons were made was an island full of
bears of enormous size. Their growling and stealthy movements went on
day and night. All night the watchful little dog kept up incessant
barking. The men, disturbed in their slumbers, lay half-awake with
their arms in hand, while the guard patrolled with an eye on the
island. Bolder and bolder grew the bears. One night they came to the
very edge of the camp and ran off with the meat hung out for
breakfast.

At last the rude waggons were done. The canoes were mounted and filled
with baggage. Slowly they creaked away, tugged and pushed and pulled
up hills that were rocky and rough with hummocks where the buffaloes
trod. Prickly-pears, like little scythes, cut and lacerated, even
through double-soled moccasins. At every halt, over-wearied and worn
out by night watching, the toilers dropped to the ground and fell
asleep instantly.

A whole month was spent in making the carriages and transporting the
baggage the eighteen miles around the Falls. In another _cache_ at the
sulphur spring, they buried Lewis's writing desk, specimens of plants
and minerals, provisions, the grindstone brought from Harper's Ferry,
books and a map of the Missouri River. The blunderbuss was hid under
rocks at the foot of the Falls.

Sacajawea, recovered from her illness, began to look for familiar
landmarks. One day Clark took her, together with Charboneau and York,
to look at the Falls. He had surveyed and measured the Black Eagle,
Crooked Rainbow, and Great Falls. "Come," he said, "Charboneau, bring
Sacajawea. Let us go up and look at the Black Eagle." High above the
cataract the bird had built its nest in the top of a cottonwood tree.

A dark cloud was rising. Under a shelving rock they took refuge in a
ravine, Captain Clark still figuring at his notes.

A few drops of rain fell,--in an instant a torrent, a cloud-burst,
rolled down the ravine.

Clark saw it coming. Snatching his gun and shot-pouch, he pushed
Sacajawea and the baby up the cliff, while Charboneau above was
pulling her by the hand. Up to Clark's waist the water came. Fifteen
feet it rose behind him as he climbed to safety.

Compass and umbrella were lost in the scramble. Charboneau had left
his gun, tomahawk, and shot-pouch. Sacajawea had just snatched her
baby before its cradle went into the flood. After the storm they came
down into the plain, to find York in affright lest they had been swept
into the river.

On account of the great heat, the men at the waggons had laid aside
their leather hunting shirts, when down upon their bare backs came a
shower of huge hailstones. Bruised, battered, and bleeding as from a
battle, they straggled into camp. Kind-hearted Lewis set to work with
linens and medicine, bandaging up their wounds.

The next morning Captain Clark sent two men to look for the articles
lost at the Falls. They found the ravine filled with rock, but
happily, half-hid in mud and sand, the precious compass was recovered.

Within view of the camp that day Clark estimated not less than ten
thousand buffalo. And beyond, rimmed on the far horizon, ran the white
line of the mountain crest that is to-day the western boundary of
Montana.

The 4th of July dawned, the second since they had left the States. In
the hills they heard strange booming, as of a distant cannonade. It
almost seemed as if the Rocky Mountains were reverberating back the
joyous guns of Baltimore and Boston. The men listened in amaze.

"What can it be?"

"Een de mountain," answered Cruzatte. "De vein of silver burst. De
Pawnee and de Rickara hear eet een de Black Hill."

"Ah, yes, the Minnetarees talked of a noise in the mountains. We
thought it was superstition."

Again through long silence came the great cannonade. Unconsciously
Lewis and Clark trod on closed treasure houses, future mines of
unwashed tons of gold and silver. Had they brought back gold then what
might have been the effect upon the restless, heaving East? But, no,
the land must wait and grow. Other wars must be fought with the
Englishman and the Indian, armies of trappers must decimate the bears
and wolves, and easier methods of transportation must aid in opening
up the great Montana-land.



XV

_A WOMAN PILOT_


Monday, July 15, 1805, the boats were launched above the Great Falls
of the Missouri. Clark followed by land along an old Indian trail,
worn deep by the lodge-poles of ages.

Little did he realise that nuggets lay scattered all over that land,
where yet the gold hunters should dot the hills with shafts and
mounds; that near here a beautiful city, named for Helen of Troy,
should arise to become a golden capital.

"My people! My people!" Sacajawea excitedly pointed to deserted
wickiups and traces of fires. She read their story at a glance.

"It was winter. They were hungry. There were no buffalo. See!" She
pointed to the pines stripped of bark and the tender inner wood, the
last resort of famishing Shoshones.

With flags hoisted to notify the Indians that they were friends, the
canoes passed within the Gates of the Mountains, where the mighty
Missouri breaks through the Belt Range of western Montana. Nothing in
Alleghany lands compares with this tremendous water-gap. Through the
dark cavern the river ran narrow and rapid and clear. Down through
tributary canyons on either side came rifts of light, odours of pine,
and the roar of waterfalls.

With unmoved countenance Sacajawea looked upon the weird overhanging
grayish granite walls through which she had been hurried in terror by
her Minnetaree captors, five years ago.

"We are coming to a country where the river has three forks," said
Sacajawea.

Exhilaration seized the men, as they sent the boats up the heavy
current that rolled well-deep below. That night they camped in a
canyon that is to-day a pleasure resort for the people of Helena.

Again following the Indian trail, on the 25th of July Clark arrived at
the three forks of the Missouri, near the present site of Gallatin.
From the forks of the far eastern rivers where Pittsburg rises, they
had come to the forks of the great river of the West.

For days the swift current had required the utmost exertion. The men
complained of fatigue and excessive heat.

"You push a tolerable good pole," said the Kentuckians, when Lewis
took a hand.

Captain Clark was worn out. With the thermometer at ninety, for days
he had pushed ahead, determined to find the Shoshones.

"Let us rest a day or two," said Captain Lewis. "Here, boys, build a
bower for Captain Clark. I'll take a tramp myself in a few days to
find these yellow gentlemen if possible."

Camping at the three forks, every man became a leather dresser and
tailor, fixing up his buckskin clothes. Leggings and moccasins had
been sliced to pieces by the prickly pear.

"What a spot for a trading post!" the Captains agreed.

"Look," said Lewis, "see the rushes in the bottom, high as a man's
breast and thick as wheat. This will be much in favour of an
establishment here,--the cane is one of the best winter pastures for
cows and horses."

From the heights at the three forks, Lewis and Clark looked out upon
valleys of perennial green. Birds of beautiful plumage and thrilling
song appeared on every hand. Beaver, otter, muskrat, sported in this
trapper's paradise. Buffalo-clover, sunflowers and wild rye,
buffalo-peas and buffalo-beans blossomed everywhere.

All the Indian trails in the country seemed to converge at this point.
Here passed the deadly Blackfoot on his raids against the Shoshones,
the Bannocks, and the Crows. Here stole back and forth the timid
Shoshone to his annual hunt on the Yellowstone and the Snake River
plains. Hither from time immemorial had the Flatheads and Nez Percés
resorted for their supplies of robes and meat. Even from the far
Saskatchewan came the Piegans and Gros Ventres to this favoured and
disputed spot.

The Blackfeet claimed the three forks of the Missouri, no tribe dwelt
there permanently. The roads were deep, like trenches, worn by the
trailing lodgepoles of many tribes upon this common hunting ground.

The naming of the rivers,--that was an epic by itself.

The gay Cabinet ladies who had fitted him out at Washington flitted
through the mind of Meriwether Lewis,--Maria Jefferson, companion of
his earliest recollection, Dolly Madison, whose interest never failed
in his adventures, Mrs. Gallatin, the queenly dark-haired wife of the
scholarly Secretary of the Treasury. With what pleasure had they
gathered at the White House to fashion "housewives," full of pins and
needles and skeins of thread, for these wanderers of the West. Not a
man in the party but bore some souvenir of their thoughtful
handiwork.

Clark's earliest memory was of Jefferson, the friend of his father, of
his older brothers, and then of himself. "Jimmy" Madison and George
Rogers Clark had been schoolmates in the "old field school" of Donald
Robertson.

So then and there the Captains agreed that three great statesmen and
their wives should be commemorated here by the Madison, the Jefferson,
and the Gallatin forks of the Missouri.

"On this very spot my people camped five years ago. Here were their
tents," said Sacajawea, pointing out the embers of blackened fires.
"The Minnetarees peered over the hills. We ran up this fork and hid in
the thick woods."

The boats were reloaded and the party began to ascend the Jefferson on
July 30, to its head in the Bitter Root Mountains. At noon they camped
for dinner.

"And here was I captured!" cried Sacajawea. "I was made a prisoner. We
were too few to fight the Minnetarees. They pursued us. Our men
mounted their horses and fled to the mountains. The women and children
hid. I ran. I was crossing this river. They caught me and carried me
away."

What a realistic glimpse of daily terror! Fighting, hunting,
wandering, famishing, in the land of anarchy. Formerly the Shoshones
were Indians of the plains. Now they had been driven by their enemies
into almost inaccessible fastnesses.

"The Beaver Head! The Beaver Head!"

Sacajawea pointed to a steep, rocky cliff shaped like a beaver's head,
one hundred and fifty feet above the water, an Indian landmark from
time immemorial.

"This is not far from the summer retreat of my countrymen. We shall
meet them soon, on a river beyond the mountains running to the west."

"We must meet those Indians," said Lewis, "it is our only hope for
horses to cross the mountains."

Lewis and Clark camped August 7, 1805, at Beaverhead Rock. There,
fifty-seven years later, chased by bears, robbed by Indians,
unsheltered, unshod, and almost starving, the gold hunter stumbled
upon the auriferous bed of an ancient river that made Montana. Gold
was discovered at Alder Gulch in 1863, ten miles south of Beaverhead
Rock, and the next year mining began in the streets of the present
city of Helena. The pick and the shovel in the miner's hand became the
lamp and the ring in the grasp of Aladdin.

The next morning after passing Beaverhead Rock, Captain Lewis and
three of the men slung their knapsacks over their shoulders and set
out for the mountains, determined not to return until they met some
nation of Indians.

Two days later, August 11, Lewis with his spyglass espied a lone
horseman on the hills. The wild-eyed Shoshone, accustomed to scan the
horizon, saw him also.

"He is of a different nation from any we have met," remarked Lewis,
watching intently through his glass. "He has a bow and a quiver of
arrows, and an elegant horse without a saddle."

Like a lookout on the hills, the Indian stood and waited.

"He is undoubtedly a Shoshone. Much of our success depends on the
friendly offices of that nation."

Slowly Lewis advanced. Slowly the Indian came forward, until, within a
mile of each other the Indian suddenly stopped. Captain Lewis also
stopped, and drawing a three-point blanket from his knapsack held it
by the corners above his head, and unfolding brought it to the ground
as in the act of spreading. Three times he repeated the Indian signal
of hospitality--"Come and sit on the robe with me."

Still the Indian kept his position, viewing with an air of suspicion
the hunters with Lewis.

"_Tabba bone, tabba bone_," said Lewis, stripping up the sleeve of his
shirt to show the colour of his skin,--"white man, white man," a term
learned of Sacajawea.

Paralysed the Indian looked, then fled like a frightened deer. No
calls could bring him back.

He said to his people, "I have seen men with faces pale as ashes, who
are makers of thunder and lightning."

"He is a dreamer!" exclaimed the incredulous Shoshones. "He makes up
tales. He must show us these white men or be put to death," and
trembling he started back with a body of warriors.

Lewis, disappointed at the flight of the Shoshone, pressed on.
Narrower and narrower grew the river.

"Thank God, I have lived to bestride the Missouri!" exclaimed Hugh
McNeil, planting a foot on either side of the mountain rivulet.

Two miles farther up they drank from the ice-cold spring at the
river's source, and stood on the summit of the Great Divide. A little
creek flowed down the ridge toward the west. Stooping, they drank,--of
the waters of the Columbia, and slept that night in Idaho. The next
morning, following a well-worn Indian trail, Lewis came upon two women
and a child. One fled, the other, an old dame encumbered by the child,
sat down and bowed her head as if expecting instant death.

Captain Lewis advanced, lifted her, loaded her with gifts.

"_Tabba bone, tabba bone._" Stripping up his sleeve he showed to the
amazed woman the first white skin she had ever seen.

"Call your companion," motioned Lewis toward the fleeing woman.

The old dame raised her voice. As fast as she ran away the young woman
came running back, almost out of breath. She, too, was loaded with
trinkets, and the cheeks of all were painted with vermilion, the
Shoshone emblem of peace.

Without fear now she led him toward sixty mounted warriors, who were
advancing at a gallop as to battle.

"_Tabba bone! tabba bone!_" explained the women, introducing the
stranger and exhibiting their gifts.

"_Ah hi e! Ah hi e!_"--"I am much pleased! I am much pleased!"
exclaimed the warriors, leaping from their horses and embracing Lewis
with great cordiality.

Lewis drew forth his imposing calumet of red pipestone and lighted it.
This was a sign language of all tribes.

Putting off their moccasins as if to say, "May I walk the forest
barefoot forever if I break this pledge of friendship," they sat down
and smoked.

The chief, too, brought out a pipe, of the dense transparent green
stone of the Bannock Mountains, highly polished. Another led him to a
lodge and presented a piece of salmon,--then Lewis no longer doubted
that he was on waters flowing to the Pacific.

Slowly, Clark, ill with chills and fever, had been coming forward,
urging the canoes up the difficult and narrowing stream.

Sacajawea, the little Bird-woman, could not wait. In her anxiety she
begged to walk ahead along shore, and with her husband went dancing up
the rivulet of her childhood. She flew ahead. She turned, pirouetting
lightly on her beaded moccasins, waving her arms and kissing her
fingers. Her long hair flew in the wind and her beaded necklace
sparkled.

Yes, there were the Indians, and Lewis among them, dressed like an
Indian too. The white men had given everything they had to the
Indians, even their cocked hats and red feathers, and taken Indian
clothes in exchange, robes of the mountain sheep and goat.

An Indian girl leaned to look at Sacajawea. They flew into each
other's arms. They had been children together, had been captured in
the same battle, had shared the same captivity. One had escaped to her
own people; the other had been sold as a slave in the Land of the
Dakotahs. As girls will, with arms around each other they wandered off
and talked and talked of the wonderful fortune that had come to
Sacajawea, the wife of a white man.

A council was immediately called. The Shoshones spread white robes and
hung wampum shells of pearl in the hair of the white men.

"Sacajawea. Bring her hither," called Lewis.

Tripping lightly into the willow lodge, Sacajawea was beginning to
interpret, when lifting her eyes to the chief, she recognised her own
brother, Cameahwait. She ran to his side, threw her blanket over his
head, and wept upon his bosom.

Sacajawea, too, was a Princess, come home now to her Mountain Kingdom.



XVI

_IDAHO_


"We are going through your country to the far ocean," said Captain
Lewis. "We are making a trail for the traders who will bring you
guns."

"This delights me," answered Cameahwait, with his fierce eyes, and his
lank jaws grown meagre for want of food. "We are driven into the
mountains, when if we had guns we could meet our enemies in the
plains."

All the Shoshone talk was of war, war, war. Their great terror was the
roving Indians of the Saskatchewan, who, with guns from the British
traders, came down like wolves on the fold. Only flight and wonderful
skill with the bow and arrow saved the Shoshones from destruction.

Horses were their wealth. "Most of them would make a figure on the
south side of James River," said Lewis, "in the land of fine horses. I
saw several with Spanish brands upon them."

Brother to the Comanche, the Shoshone rode his horse over rocks and
ravines, up declivitous ways and almost impossible passes. Every
warrior had one or two tied to a stake near his willow hut, night and
day, ready for action.

"My horse is my friend. He knows my voice. He hears me speak. He warns
me of the enemy." Little children played with them, squaws fed them,
braves painted them and decorated their manes and tails with
eagle-plumes, insignia of the Rocky Mountain Indian. Such horses were
a boon to Lewis and Clark, for they were tractable, sure-footed,
inured to the saddle and the pack.

A Shoshone found a tomahawk that Lewis had lost in the grass, and
returned it,--now a tomahawk was worth a hundred dollars to a
Shoshone. They had no knives or hatchets,--all their wood was split
with a wedge of elkhorn and a mallet of stone. They started their
fires by twirling two dry sticks together.

Through all the valleys the Shoshones sent for their best horses, to
trade for knives and tomahawks. Delighted they watched the fall of
deer before the guns of white men. The age of stone had met the age of
steel.

How to get over the mountains was the daily consultation. Cameahwait
pointed out an old man that knew the rivers. Clark engaged him for a
guide:

"You shall be called Toby. Be ready to-morrow morning."

Proud of his new name, old Toby packed up his moccasins.

The Indians drew maps: "Seven days over sheer mountains. No game, no
fish, nothing but roots."

Captain Clark set out to reconnoitre the Salmon River route.

"A river of high rocks," said Cameahwait, "all a river of foam. No man
or horse can cross. No man can walk along the shore. We never travel
that way." Nevertheless Clark went on.

For seventy miles, "through mountains almost inaccessible, and
subsisting on berries the greater part of the route," as Clark
afterward told his brother, they pushed their way, then--"troubles
just begun," remarked old Toby.

Checking their horses on the edge of a precipice, Clark and his
companions looked down on the foaming Snake, roaring and fretting and
lashing the walls of its inky canyon a hundred feet below, savage,
tremendous, frightful.

As Cameahwait had said, the way was utterly impracticable.

"I name this great branch of the Columbia for my comrade, Captain
Lewis," said Clark.

Back from the Snake River, Clark found Lewis buying horses. The
Shoshone women were mending the men's moccasins. The explorers were
making pack-saddles of rawhide. For boards they broke up boxes and
used the handles of their oars.

"I have ever held this expedition in equal estimation with my own
existence," said Lewis, urging on the preparations. "If Indians can
pass these mountains, we can."

Haunched around the fires, the forlorn Indians looked and listened and
shook their unkempt heads.

"Me know better route," said the friendly old Shoshone guide. "To the
north, another great water to the Columbia."

"No! no! no!" shouted all the Shoshones. "No trail that way."

But Clark believed the faithful old Toby. Evidently the Shoshones
wished to detain them all winter.

Unseen by the Indians, at night a _cache_ was dug at the head of the
Jefferson, for the last of the heavy luggage, leaving out only Indian
gifts and absolute necessities to carry on the pack-horses. The canoes
were filled with rocks and sunk to the bottom of the river.

August 30, the expedition was ready. Before setting out the violins
were brought and the men danced, to the great diversion of the
Indians. Then, when they turned their faces to the Bitter Root, with
the old guide and his four sons, the Shoshones set out east for their
annual hunt on the Missouri.

From May to September the Shoshones lived on salmon that came up the
mountain streams. Now that the salmon were gone, necessity compelled
them forth. With swift dashes down the Missouri they were wont to kill
and dry what buffalo they could, and retreat to consume it in their
mountain fastnesses. The whites had surprised them in their very
citadel--led by Sacajawea.

Along the difficult Bitter Root Mountains Lewis and Clark journeyed,
meeting now and then Indian women digging yamp and pounding sunflower
seeds into meal. Food grew scarce and scarcer, now and then a deer, a
grouse, or a belated salmon stranded in some mountain pool. Sometimes
they had but a bit of parched corn in their wallets, like the
Immortals that marched to the conquest of Illinois.

But those snowy peaks that from a distance seemed so vast,--that like
the Alps defied approach to any but a Hannibal or a Napoleon--now, as
if to meet their conquerors, bent low in many a grassy glade.

In a pocket of the mountains now called Ross Hole, they came upon a
camp of Flatheads, with five hundred horses, on their way to the
Missouri for the Fall hunt of buffalo.

Unknown to them the Flatheads had been watching from the timber and
had reported: "Strangers. Two chiefs riding ahead, looking at the
country. One warrior painted black. The rest leading packhorses. Keep
quiet. Wait. They are coming."

York's feet had become lame and he was riding with the Captains.

When the white men came in view the Flatheads looked on their faces.
They were shocked at the whiteness. Compassion was in every Indian
heart.

"These men have no blankets. They have been robbed. See how cold their
cheeks are. They are chilled. Bring robes. Build fires."

All the Indians ran for their beautiful white robes, and wrapped them
around the shoulders of the white men. Before the blazing fires the
white men's cheeks grew red. Perspiration burst from every pore. The
robes slipped off, but the solicitous red men kept putting them back
and stirring up the fire.

Then the Captains, touched to the heart, spoke to the kind-hearted
Flatheads of a great people toward the rising sun, strong and brave
and rich.

"Have they wigwams and much buffalo?" inquired the Flatheads.

"Yes. We have been sent by the Great Father, the President, to bring
these presents to his children the Flatheads."

The childlike Flatheads were much impressed. Never did they forget the
visit of those first white men. Traditions enough to fill a book have
been handed down, and to this day they boast, "the Flathead never
killed a white man."

The whites listened in amaze to the low guttural clucking of the
Flatheads, resembling that of a chicken or parrot. Voice there was
none, only a soft crooning to their gentle chatter, interpreted by
Sacajawea and the old Shoshone guide.

The women crowded around Sacajawea and untied her baby from its
elkskin cradle. They fed it and gave it little garments. That baby was
an open sesame touching the hearts of all. Sacajawea, riding on her
horse to the Columbia, found friends with every tribe. Others might
pay; she, never. The Indian mother-heart opened to Sacajawea. Her very
presence was an assurance of pacific intention.

The women brought food, roots, and berries. To a late hour the white
men continued smoking and conversing with the chiefs, when more robes
were brought, and the weary ones slept with their feet to the fire.

"Those hongry Injin dorgs ate up me moccasins lasht noight,"
complained Pat in the morning. "But they're the whoitest Injins I iver
saw."

More horses were brought and the lame ones exchanged, so now with
forty horses and three colts the Captains and their devoted followers
struggled on, "Over the warst road I iver saw," said Pat. "Faith! 'tis
warse nor the Alleghanies where I rid whin a bye."

One horse loaded with a desk and small trunk rolled down a steep
declivity until it was stopped by a tree. The desk was broken. That
night they camped at the snow line and more snow began to fall. Wet,
cold, hungry, they killed a colt for supper and slept under the stars.

The horses were failing. Some had to be abandoned. One rolled down a
mountain into a creek at the bottom. Some strayed or lost their packs,
and the worn-out men, ever on the jump, came toiling through the
brush, bearing on their own backs the unwieldy pack-saddles. Up here
in the Bitter Root Mountains, the last of Dr. Saugrain's thermometers
was broken, which accounts for the fact that from this point on they
kept no record of temperature.

September 9 the expedition journeyed down the main Bitter Root valley,
named Clark's River, and crossing it came to a large creek and camped
a day to rest their horses.

"Traveller's Rist, is it?" said Pat. "Me fa-a-ther's inn at Wellsburg
was the fir-r-st 'Traveller's Rist' in all Wistern Varginny," and
Traveller's Rest it remained until some later explorer renamed it the
Lolo fork of the Bitter Root River.

Here the boys mended their garments torn and tattered in the
mountains, and the hunters went out for game. They returned with three
Flatheads.

"Ay! Ay!" clucked the gentle Flatheads, "the river goes to the great
lake. Our relations were there and bought handkerchiefs like these of
an old white man that lives by himself."

Lame and weary, straight across Idaho they struggled, over seams and
streaks of precious metal that they saw not, the gold of Ophir
concealed in the rocky chambers of the Idaho Alps,--struggled into the
Lolo trail used by the Indians for ages before any whites ever came
into the country.

Over the Lolo trail went the Nez Percés to battle and to hunt buffalo
in the Montana country. Down over this trail once came a war party and
captured Wat-ku-ese, a Nez Percé girl, and carried her away to the
distant land of white men,--_so-yap-po_, "the crowned ones," she
called them, because they wore hats.

Still ever Wat-ku-ese dreamed of her Nez Percé home and one day
escaped with her infant on her back. Along the way white traders were
kind to her. On and on, footsore and weary she journeyed alone. In the
Flathead country her baby died and was buried there. One day some Nez
Percés came down over the Lolo trail bringing home Wat-ku-ese, weak,
sick, dying.

She was with her people at their camas ground, Weippe, when Lewis and
Clark came down over the Lolo trail.

"Let us kill them," whispered the frightened Nez Percés.

Wat-ku-ese lay dying in her tent when she heard it. "White men, did
you say? No, no, do not harm them. They are the crowned ones who were
so good to me. Do not be afraid of them. Go near to them."

Cautiously the Nez Percés approached. The explorers shook their hands.
This was to the Indians a new form of greeting.

Everywhere Indian women were digging the camas root, round like an
onion, and little heaps lay piled here and there. They paused in their
work to watch the strangers. Some screamed and ran and hid. Little
girls hid their baby brothers in the brush. Others brought food.

So starved and famished were the men that they ate inordinately of the
sweet camas and the kouse, the biscuit root. The sudden change to a
warmer climate and laxative roots resulted in sickness, when the
expedition might have been easily attacked but for those words of
Wat-ku-ese, who now lay dead in her tent.

To this day the Nez Percés rehearse the story of Wat-ku-ese. It was
the beginning of a lifelong friendship with the whites, broken only
when Chief Joseph fled over the Lolo trail. But even Chief Joseph
found he must give up the vast areas over which he was wont to roam,
and come under the laws of civilised life.

As fast as their weakness permitted councils were held, when the
Captains told the Nez Percés of the Great Father at Washington, who
had sent them to visit his children.

Twisted Hair, the Nez Percé Tewat, a great medicine man, dreamer and
wizard and wise one, drew on a white elkskin a chart of the rivers.
Admiring redmen put their hands over their mouths in amazement.

No one but Twisted Hair could do such things. He was a learned Indian,
knew all the trails, even to the Falls of the Columbia.

"White men," said he, "live at the Tim-tim [falls]."

Thus into Idaho had penetrated the story of Ko-na-pe, the wrecked
Spaniard, who with his son Soto had set out up the great river to find
white people and tarried there until he died. Seven years later
Astor's people met Soto, an old man dark as his Indian mother, but
still the Indians called him white. Twenty years later Soto's daughter
was still living on the Columbia in the days of the Hudson's Bay
Company.

To save time and trouble, canoes were burnt out of logs. Leaving their
horses with the Nez Percés, on October 4 the explorers were glad to
get into their boats with their baggage and float down the clear
Kooskooske, into the yellow-green Snake, and on into the blue
Columbia.

At the confluence of the rivers medals were given and councils held on
the present site of Lewiston. Day by day through wild, romantic scenes
where white man's foot had never trod, the exultant young men were
gliding to the sea.

Ahead of the boats on horseback galloped We-ark-koompt, an Indian
express. Word flew. The tribes were watching. At the dinner camp,
October 16, five Indians came up the river on foot in great haste,
took a look and started back, running as fast as they could.

That night Lewis and Clark were met at the Columbia by a procession of
two hundred Indians with drums, singing, "Ke-hai, ke-hai," the
redmen's signal of friendship.



XVII

_DOWN THE COLUMBIA_


The arrival at the Columbia was followed by days of councils, with
gifts and speeches and smoking. Two Nez Percé chiefs, Twisted Hair the
Tewat and Tetoh, introduced the explorers from tribe to tribe, bearing
on and on the good words of Wat-ku-ese: "They are crowned ones. Do not
be afraid. Go near to them."

All the Indian world seemed camped on the Columbia. Everywhere and
everywhere were "inconceivable multitudes of salmon." They could be
seen twenty feet deep in the water, they lay on the surface, and
floated ashore. Hundreds of Indians were splitting and spreading them
on scaffolds to dry. The inhabitants ate salmon, slept on salmon,
burnt dried salmon to cook salmon.

With a coal a Yakima chief drew on a robe a map of the river so
valuable that Clark afterwards transferred it to paper. That map on
the robe was carried home to Jefferson and hung up by him in
Monticello. Every trail was marked by moccasin tracks, every village
by a cluster of teepees.

In the "high countrey" of the Walla Walla they caught sight of "the
Mt. Hood of Vancouver," and were eager to reach it.

"Tarry with us," begged Yellept, the Walla Walla chief.

"When we return," replied the eager men. Then Clark climbed a cliff
two hundred feet above the water and spied St. Helens. Very well Clark
remembered Lord St. Helens from whom this peak was named. The very
name to him was linked with those old days when "Detroit must be
taken," for Lord St. Helens and John Jay drew up the treaty that
evacuated Detroit.

Captain Clark and a few of the men still continued in advance walking
along the shore.

Near the beautiful Umatilla a white crane rose over the Columbia.
Clark fired. A village of Indians heard the report and marvelled at
the sudden descent of the bird. As with outspread, fluttering wings it
touched the ground the white men came into view.

One moment of transfixed horror, and the Indians fled. Captain Clark
promptly followed, opened the mat doors of their huts and entered.
With bowed heads, weeping and wringing their hands, a crowd of men,
women, and children awaited the blow of death.

Lifting their chins, Clark smiled upon them and offered gifts.
Evidently they had not met the Indian express.

"All tribes know the peace-pipe," he remarked, and drawing forth his
pipestone calumet lit it, as was his wont, with a sunglass.

As the fire kindled from the rays through the open roof, again the
people shrieked. In vain Drouillard tried to pacify them. Not one
would touch the pipe lit by the sun. Clark went out and sat on a rock
and smoked until the boats arrived.

"Do not be afraid. Go to them," began the Nez Percé chiefs.

"They are not men," hurriedly whispered the frightened Indians. "We
saw them fall from heaven with great thunder. They bring fire from the
sky."

Not until Sacajawea landed with her baby was tranquillity restored.

"No squaw travels with a war party," that must be admitted, and soon
they were smoking with great unanimity.

"Tim-m-m-m;--tim-m-m-m!" hummed the Indians at the Falls, at Celilo,
poetically imitating the sound of falling waters.

There was salmon at the Falls of the Columbia, stacks of salmon dried,
pounded, packed in baskets, salmon heaped in bales, stored in huts and
cached in cellars in the sand. Making a portage around the Falls, the
boats slid down.

"De rapide! de rapide! before we spik some prayer we come on de beeg
rock!" screamed Cruzatte, the bowman.

Apparently a black wall stretched across the river, but as they
neared, a rift appeared where the mighty channel of the Columbia
narrows to forty-five yards at the Dalles. Crowds of Indians gathered
as Clark and Cruzatte stopped to examine the pass.

"By good steering!" said Cruzatte. Shaping up his canoe, it darted
through the hissing and curling waters like a racehorse.

Close behind, the other boats shot the boiling caldron, to the great
astonishment of Indian villagers watching from above.

At the Warm Springs Reservation there are Indians yet who remember the
old dip-net fishing days and the stories of "Billy Chinook," who then
saw York, the black man. "I was a boy of twelve. When the black man
turned and looked at us, we children fled behind the rocks."

Here at the Dalles were wooden houses, the first that Lewis and Clark
had seen since leaving the Illinois country, with roofs, doors, and
gables like frontier cabins,--and still more stacks of salmon. "Ten
thousand pounds," said Clark, "dried, baled, and bound for traffic
down the river."

The ancient Indian village of Wishram stands on that spot still, with
the same strong smell of salmon. The houses are much the same, and
among their treasures may be found a coin of 1801, bartered, no doubt,
by Lewis and Clark for a bale of salmon.

On sped the boats, through mighty mountains, past ancient burial
places of the savage dead, to the wild-rushing Cascades. Past these
Cascades, five miles of continuous rapids, white with sheets of foam.
"We mak' portage," said Cruzatte, his bow grating on the narrow shelf
of shore.

On either side, rocky palisades, "green-mossed and dripping," reached
the skies. Tiny waterfalls, leaping from the clouds, fell in rainbow
mist a thousand feet below. "Mt. Hood stood white and vast."

Below the Cascades great numbers of hair-seals slept on the rocks.
Swarms of swans, geese, ducks, cranes, storks, white gulls,
cormorants, plover swept screaming by. The hills were green, the soft
west wind was warm with rain.

                   "What a wild delight
     Of space! of room! What a sense of seas!"

They had come into a new world,--the valley of the lower Columbia, the
home of the Chinook wind.

At Hood River alarmed Indians, dressed in skins of the mountain goat,
the Oregon mazama, peered after the passing white men. At every house,
and among mouldering remains of ancient tombs, lay scattered
innumerable images of wood and stone or of burnt clay, household gods
of the Columbian Indian.

Flat and flatter grew the heads. Up in the Bitter Root, women alone
wore this badge of distinction. Here, every infant lay strapped like a
mummy with a padded board across its forehead.

A new sort of boats now glided alongside the flotilla, great sea
canoes manned with Chinook paddles. They were long and light, tapering
at the ends, wide in the middle and lifting stern and prow into beaks
like a Roman galley. And every canoe was laden with salmon, going down
river to trade for beads and wapato.

Traces of white men began to appear,--blue and scarlet blankets, brass
tea-kettles, and beads. One Indian, with a round hat and a
sailor-jacket, wore his hair in a queue in imitation of the "Bostons."

"I trade with Mr. Haley," said one in good English, showing the bow of
iron and other goods that Mr. Haley had given him. "And this is his
squaw in the canoe."

More and more fertile and delightful grew the country, shaded by thick
groves of tall timber and watered by streams, fair as lay unpeopled
Kentucky thirty years before. Scarce could Clark repress the
recollection of the tales his brother brought home of that first trip
to Boonsboro in 1775.

Nothing surprised them more than the tropic luxuriance of vegetation.
The moist Japan wind nurtured the trees to mammoths, six, eight, and
ten feet through. Shrubbery like the hazel grew to be trees. The maple
spread its leaves like palm fans; dogwood of magnolian beauty, wild
cherry, crab-apple, interlaced with Oregon grape, blackberries, wild
roses, vines of every sort and description, and ferns, ferns, ferns
filled the canyons like the jungles of Orinoco.

On November 4, nearly opposite the present Vancouver, they landed at a
village on the left side of the river where a fleet of over fifty
canoes was drawn up on shore, gathering wapato.

"Wapato? Wapato?" An Indian treated them to the queen root of the
Columbia, round and white, about the size of a small Irish potato.
This, baked, was the bread of the Chinook Indian.

"In two days," said Indians in sailor jackets and trousers, shirts,
and hats, "in two days, two ships, white people in them."

"Village there," said an Indian in a magnificent canoe, pointing
beyond some islands at the mouth of the Willamette. He was finely
dressed and wore a round hat.

Yes, it might be, villages, villages everywhere, but ships--ships
below! They had no time for villages now. Long into the darkness of
night the boats sped on, on, past dim forests bending to the wave,
past shadowy heights receding into sunset, past campfires on the hills
where naked Indians walked between them and the light.

At a late hour they camped. November rains were setting in, the night
was noisy with wild fowl coming up the Columbia to escape the storms
of ocean. Trumpeter swans blew their shrill clarions, and whistling
swans, geese, and other birds in flights of hundreds swept past in
noisy serenade, dropping from their wings the spray of the sea.

None slept. Toward morning the rain began.

In a wet morning and a rushing wind they bent to the oar, past St.
Helens, past Mt. Coffin, past Cathlamet where Queen Sally in scant
garments watched from a rock and told the tale in after years.

"We had been watching for days," she said. "News had come by Indian
post of the strangers from the east. They came in the afternoon and
were met by our canoes and brought to the village." "There," Clark
says in his journals, "we dined on November 26."

But Lewis and Clark were tired of Indians by this time, and moreover,
ships were waiting below! It was a moment of intense excitement. Even
at Cathlamet they heard the surge of ocean rolling on the rocks forty
miles away. Before night the fog lifted and they beheld "the
ocean!--that ocean, the object of all our labours, the reward of all
our anxieties. Ocean in view! O! the joy."

Struggling with their unwieldy canoes the landsmen grew seasick in
the rising swells of the up-river tide. For miles they could not find
a place to camp, so wild and rocky were the shores.

At last, exhausted, they threw their mats on the beautiful pebbly
beach and slept in the rain.

Everything was wet, soaked through, bedding, stores, clothing. And all
the salt was spoiled. There was nothing to eat but raw dried salmon,
wet with sea water, and many of the men began to be ill from exposure
and improper food.

"'T is the divil's own weather," said Pat, coming in from a
reconnoitre with his wet hunting shirt glued fast to his skin. Pat
could see the "waves loike small mountains rolling out in the ocean,"
but just now he, like all the rest, preferred a dry corner by a
chimney fire.

     "Une Grande Piqnique!" exclaimed Cruzatte.
         "Lak' tonder de ocean roar!
       Blow lak' not'ing I never see,
         Blow lak' le diable makin' grande tour!
       Hear de win' on de beeg pine tree!"

And all were hungry. Even Clark, who claimed to be indifferent as to
what he ate, caught himself pondering on bread and buns. With the
peculiar half laugh of the squaw, Sacajawea brought a morsel that she
had saved for the child all the way from the Mandan towns, but now it
was wet and beginning to sour. Clark took it and remarked in his
journal, "This bread I ate with great satisfaction, it being the only
mouthful I had tasted for several months."

Chinook Indians pilfered around the camp. "If any one of your nation
steals anything from us, I will have you shot," said Captain
Clark,--"which they understand very well," he remarked to the camp as
the troublers slunk away. A sentinel stood on constant watch.

Captain Lewis and eleven of the men went around the bay and found
where white people had been camped all summer, but naught remained
save the cold white beach and the Indians camping there. The ships had
sailed.

Down there near the Chinook town, facing the ocean, Captain Lewis
branded a tree with his name and the date, and a few days later
Captain Clark says, "I marked my name on a large pine tree immediately
on the isthmus, at Clatsop."

It was two hundred years since Captain John Smith sailed up the
Chickahominy in Virginia in search of the South Sea. At last, far
beyond the Chickahominy, Lewis and Clark sailed up the Missouri and
down the Columbia in search of the same South Sea. And here at the
mouth of the Oregon they found it, stretching away to China.

Balboa, Magellan, Cortez, Mackenzie,--Lewis and Clark had joined the
immortals.



XVIII

_FORT CLATSOP BY THE SEA_


December had now arrived, and southwest storms broke upon the coast
with tremendous force. Off Cape Disappointment, the surges dashed to
the height of the masthead of a ship, with most terrific roaring. A
winter encampment could no longer be delayed.

"Deer, elk, good skin, good meat," said the Chinook Indians, in
pantomime, pointing across the bay to the south.

Accordingly, thither the eggshell boats were guided, across the
tempestuous Columbia, to the little river Netul, now the Lewis and
Clark, ten miles from the ocean.

Beside a spring branch, in a thick grove of lofty firs about two
hundred yards from the water, the leather tent was set up and big
fires built, while all hands fell to clearing a space for the winter
cabins.

In four days the logs were rolled up, Boonsboro fashion, into shelters
for the winter. "The foinest puncheons I iver saw," said Patrick Gass,
head carpenter, as he set to splitting boards out of the surrounding
firs.

By Christmas seven cabins were covered and the floors laid. The chinks
were filled with clay, and fir-log fires were set roaring in the
capacious chimneys that filled an entire end of each cabin. On
Christmas day they moved in, wet blankets and all, with rounds of
firearms and Christmas salutes.

The leather tent, soaked for days, fell to pieces. The heavy canisters
of powder, every one of which had been under the water in many a
recent capsize, were consigned in safety to the powder-house.

On New Year's Eve the palisades were done, and the gates were closed
at sunset.

The first winter-home of civilised people on the Columbia has an
abiding charm, not unlike that of Plymouth or Jamestown.

Back through the mists of one hundred years we see gangs of elk,
chased by hunters through cranberry bogs, "that shook for the space of
half an acre."

Their soundless footfalls were lost in beds of brown pine needles and
cushions of moss. The firing of guns reverberated through the dim
gloom like a piece of ordnance.

It was from such a trip as this that the hunters returned on the 16th
of December, reporting elk. All hands set to work carrying up the meat
from the loaded boats, skinning and cutting and hanging it up in small
pieces in the meathouse, to be smoked by a slow bark fire. But in
spite of every precaution, the meat began to spoil.

"We must have salt," said Captain Lewis.

In a few days, five men were dispatched with five kettles to build a
cairn for the manufacture of salt from seawater.

Already Clark had examined the coast with this in view, and the
salt-makers' camp was established near Tillamook Head, about fifteen
miles southwest of the fort where the old cairn stands to this day.
Here the men built "a neat, close camp, convenient to wood, salt
water and the fresh waters of the Clatsop River, within a hundred
paces of the ocean," and kept the kettles boiling day and night.

On that trip to the coast, while the cabins were building, Captain
Clark visited the Clatsops, and purchased some rude household
furniture, cranberries, mats, and the skin of a panther, seven feet
from tip to tip, to cover their puncheon floor.

Other utensils were easily fashioned. Seated on puncheon stools,
before the log-fire of the winter night, the men carved cedar cups,
spoons, plates, and dreamed of homes across the continent.

In just such a little log cabin as this, Shannon saw his mother in
Ohio woods; Patrick Gass pictured his father, with his pipe, at
Wellsburg, West Virginia; Sergeant Ordway crossed again the familiar
threshold at Hebron, New Hampshire. Clark recalled Mulberry Hill, and
Lewis,--his mind was fixed on Charlottesville, or the walls expanded
into Monticello and the White House.

"Mak' some pleasurement now," begged the Frenchmen, "w'en Bonhomme
Cruzatte tune up hees fidelle for de dance."

Tales were told and plans were made. Toward midnight these Sinbads of
the forest fell asleep, on their beds of fir boughs, lulled by the
brook, the whispering of the pines, and the falling of the winter
rain.

This was not like winter rain in eastern climates, but soft and warm
as April. The grass grew green, Spring flowers opened in December. The
moist Japan wind gives Oregon the temperature of England.

"I most sincerely regret the loss of my thermometer," said Lewis. "I
am confident this climate is much milder than the same latitude on the
Atlantic. I never experienced so warm a winter."

But about the last of January there came a snow at Clatsop, four
inches thick, and icicles hung from the houses during the day.

"A real touch of winter," said Lewis. "The breath is perceptible in
our room by the fire." Like all Oregon snow it disappeared in a
week--and then it was Spring.

In the centre of the officer's cabin, a fir stump, sawed off smooth and
flat for a table, was covered with maps and papers. Books were written
in that winter of 1805-6, voluminous records of Oregon plants and
trees, birds, beasts, and fishes. They had named rivers and measured
mountains, and after wandering more than Homer's heroes, the explorers
were ready now to carry a new geography to the States. And here, as
everywhere, Lewis was busy with his vocabularies, learning the Chinook
jargon.

As never before, all the men became scientists. Even Captain Clark's
black man took an interest and reported some fabulous finds.

The houses were dry and comfortable, and within, they had a plentiful
supply of elk and salt, "excellent, white, and fine, but not so strong
as the rock salt, or that made in Kentucky."

Meal time was always interesting. Very often the Captains caught
themselves asking: "Charboneau, when will dinner be ready?"

All day the firelight flickered on Sacajawea's hair, as she sat making
moccasins, crooning a song in her soft Indian monotone. This was,
perhaps, the happiest winter Sacajawea ever knew, with baby Touissant
toddling around her on the puncheon floor, pulling her shawl around
his chubby face, or tumbling over his own cradle. The modest Shoshone
princess never dreamed how the presence of her child and herself gave
a touch of domesticity to that Oregon winter.

Now and then Indian women came to see Sacajawea, sitting all day
without a word, watching her every motion.

Sometimes Sacajawea helped Charboneau, with his spits, turning slowly
before the fire, or with his elk's tongues or sausage or beaver's
tails. Sometimes she made trapper's butter, boiling up the marrow of
the shank bones with a sprinkle of salt.

In the short days darkness came on at four o'clock, and the last of
the candles were soon exhausted. Then the moulds were brought and
candles were made of elk tallow, until a heap, shining and white, were
ready for the winter evenings.

"We have had trouble enough with those thieving Chinooks," said
Captain Lewis. "Without a special permit, they are to be excluded from
the fort."

The Indians heard it. Did a knock resound at the gate, "No Chinook!"
was the quick accompaniment.

"Who, then?" demanded the sentinel, gun in hand.

"Clatsop," answered Coboway's people entering with roots and
cranberries.

Or, "Cathlamets," answered an up-river tribe with rush bags of wapato
on their backs. Roots of the edible thistle--white and crisp as a
carrot, sweet as sugar, the roasted root of the fern, resembling the
dough of wheat, and roots of licorice, varied the monotonous fare.

These supplies were very welcome, but the purchase money, that was the
problem.

President Jefferson had given to Captain Lewis an unlimited letter of
credit on the United States, but such a letter would not buy from
these Indians even a bushel of wapato.

The Cathlamets would trade for fishhooks. The Clatsops preferred
beads, knives, or an old file.

No wonder they valued an old file: the finest work of their beautiful
canoes was often done with a chisel fashioned from an old file. Lewis
and Clark had frequent occasion to admire their skill in managing
these little boats, often out-riding the waves in the most tumultuous
seas.

Ashore, these canoe-Indians waddled and rolled like tipsy sailors.
Afloat, straight and trim as horse-Indians of the prairie, each deft
Chinook glided to his seat along the unrocking boats, and striking up
the paddlers' "Ho-ha-ho-ha-ho-ha-" went rowing all their lives, until
their arms grew long and strong, their legs shrunk short and crooked,
and their heads became abnormally intelligent.

Nor were these coast Indians lacking in courage,--they sometimes
ventured into the sea in their wonderful canoes, and harpooned the
great whale and towed him in.

When it came to prices for their beautiful skins of sea-otter, almost
nothing would do. Clark offered a watch, a handkerchief, an American
dollar, and a bunch of red beads for a single skin.

"No! No!" in stentorian tone--"_Tyee ka-mo-suck,--chief beads_,"--the
most common sort of large blue glass beads, the precious money of that
country. Chiefs hung them on their bosoms, squaws bound them on their
ankles, pretty maidens hung them in their hair. But Lewis and Clark
had only a few and must reserve them for most pressing necessity.

Since that May morning when Captain Robert Gray discovered the
Columbia River, fourteen years before, the Chinook Indians had learned
the value of furs. Once they handed over their skins, and took without
a murmur what the Boston skippers chose to give. Now, a hundred ships
upon that shore had taught them craft.

One of old King Comcomly's people had a robe of sea-otter, "the fur of
which was the most beautiful we had ever seen." In vain Lewis offered
everything he had, nothing would purchase the treasured cloak but the
belt of blue beads worn by Sacajawea.

On every hand among these coast tribes were blankets, sailor-clothes,
guns,--old Revolutionary muskets mended for this trade,--powder and
ball, the powder in little japanned tin flasks in which the traders
sold it.

In what Clark calls "a guggling kind of language spoken mostly through
the throat," with much pantomime and some English, conversation was
carried on.

"Who are these traders?" asked Captain Lewis.

Old Comcomly, King of the Chinooks, on the north side, and Tyee
Coboway, Chief of the Clatsops, on the south bank of the Columbia,
tried to remember, and counted on their fingers,--

"Haley, three masts, stays some time," "Tallamon not a trader,"
"Callalamet has a wooden leg," "Davidson, no trader, hunts elk,"
"Skelley, long time ago, only one eye."

And then there were "Youens, Swipton, Mackey, Washington, Mesship,
Jackson, Balch," all traders with three-masted ships whose names are
not identified by any Atlantic list.

The one translated Washington by Lewis and Clark may have been
Ockington of the _Belle Savage_, 1801, or Tawnington, both of whom are
known to have been on the coast in those years.

In fact, no complete record was ever kept of the ships that swarmed
around the Horn and up the Pacific, in those infant years of our
republic, 1787 to 1820. While Europe clustered around the theatre of
Napoleonic wars, every harbour of New England had its fur ships and
whalers out, flying the Stars and Stripes around the world.

"What do they say?" inquired Lewis, still pressing investigation.
Proud of their acquirements, every Chinook and Clatsop in the nation
could recall some word or phrase.

"Musket, powder, shot, knife, file, heave the lead, damned rascal!"

No wonder Lewis and Clark laughed, these mother words on the savage
tongue were like voices out of the very deep, calling from the ships.

"One hyas tyee ship--great chief ship--Moore, four masts, three cows
on board."

"Which way did he go?"

The Indians pantomimed along the northwest coast.

"From which," says Lewis, "I infer there must be settlements in that
direction."

The great desire, almost necessity, now, seemed to be to wait until
some ship appeared upon the shore from which to replenish their almost
exhausted stores.

Whenever the boats went in and out of Meriwether Bay they passed the
Memeloose Illahee, the dead country of the Clatsops. Before 1800, as
near as Lewis and Clark could ascertain, several hundred of the
Clatsops died suddenly of a disease that appeared to be smallpox, the
same undoubtedly that cut down Black Bird and his Omahas, rolling on
west and north where the Hudson's Bay traders traced it to the borders
of the Arctic.

In Haley's Bay one hundred canoes in one place bespoke the decimation
of the Chinooks, all slumbering now in that almost priceless carved
coffin, the Chinook canoe, with gifts around them and feet to the
sunset, ready to drift on an unknown voyage.

There was a time when Indian campfires stretched from Walla Walla to
the sea, when fortifications were erected, and when Indian flint
factories supplied the weapons of countless warriors. But they are
gone. The first settlers found sloughs and bayous lined with burial
canoes, until the dead were more than the living. No Indians knew
whose bones they were, "those old, old, old people." Red children and
white tumbled them out of the cedar coffins and carried away the dead
men's treasures.

"There was mourning along the rivers. A quietness came over the land."
Stone hammers, flint chips, and arrows lie under the forests, and
embers of fires two centuries old.

The native tribes were disappearing before the white man came, and the
destruction of property with the dead kept the survivors always
impoverished.



XIX

_A WHALE ASHORE_


"A whale! a whale ashore!"

When Chief Coboway brought word there was great excitement at Fort
Clatsop. Everybody wanted to see the whale, but few could go. Captain
Clark appointed twelve men to be ready at daylight.

Sacajawea, in the privacy of her own room that Sunday evening, spoke
to Charboneau. Now Charboneau wanted her to stay and attend to the
"l'Apalois"--roasting meats on a stick,--and knowing that the child
would have to be looked after, slipped over to the Captains,
discussing by the fire.

"Sacajawea t'ink she want to see de whale. She ought not go."

"Very well," answered the Captains, scarce heeding. "She better stay
at the fort. It would be a hard jaunt for a woman to go over Tillamook
Head."

Charboneau went back. "De Captinne say you cannot go!"

This was a staggering blow to Sacajawea, but her woman's determination
had become aroused and she took the rostrum, so to speak. Leaving the
baby Touissant with his father, she in turn slipped over to the
Captains.

Sacajawea was a born linguist. "Captinne, you remember w'en we reach
de rivers and you knew not which to follow? I show de country an'
point de stream. Again w'en my husband could not spik, I spik for you.

"Now, Captinne, I travel great way to see de Beeg Water. I climb de
mountain an' help de boat on de rapide. An' now dis monstous fish haf
come"--Sacajawea could scarce restrain her tears. Sacajawea was only a
woman, and a brave little woman at that.

Captain Lewis was moved. "Sacajawea, you are one of those who are born
not to die. Of course you can go. Go and be getting ready, and," he
added, "if Charboneau wants to go too, he will have to carry the
baby!"

They breakfasted by candle-light. Everybody was ready next morning,
but Sacajawea was ahead of them all. Charboneau looked at her out of
the corner of his eye, but said nothing. More than once the Captains
had reminded him of his duty.

The sun rose clear and cloudless on a land of springtime, and yet it
was only January. Robins sang around the stockade, bluebirds whizzed
by, silver in the sunlight. Two canoes proceeded down the Netul into
Meriwether Bay, on the way to the Clatsop town.

After a day's adventure, they camped near a herd of elk in the
beautiful moonlight. At noon, next day, they reached the salt-makers.
Here Jo Fields, Bratton, and Gibson had their brass kettles under a
rock arch, boiling and boiling seawater into a gallon of salt a day.

Hiring Twiltch, a young Indian, for guide, they climbed Tillamook
Head, about thirty miles south of Cape Disappointment. Upon this
promontory, Clark's Point of View, they paused before the boisterous
Pacific, breaking with fury and flinging its waves above the Rock of
Tillamook.

On one side the blue Columbia widened into bays studded with Chinook
and Clatsop villages; on the other stretched rich prairies, enlivened
by beautiful streams and lakes at the foot of the hills. Behind, in
serried rank, the Douglas spruce--"the tree of Turner's dreams," the
king of conifers,--stood monarch of the hills. Two hundred, three
hundred feet in air they towered, a hundred feet without a limb, so
dense that not a ray of sun could reach the ground beneath.

Sacajawea, save Pocahontas the most travelled Indian Princess in our
history, spoke not a word, but looked with calm and shining eye upon
the fruition of her hopes. Now she could go back to the Mandan towns
and speak of things that Madame Jussaume had never seen, and of the
Big Water beyond the Shining Mountains.

Down the steep and ragged rocks that overhung the sea, they clambered
to a Tillamook village, where lay the great whale, stranded on the
shore. Nothing was left but a skeleton, for from every Indian village
within travelling distance, men and women were working like bees upon
the huge carcass. Then home they went, trailing over the mountains,
every squaw with a load of whale blubber on her back, to be for many a
month the dainty of an Indian lodge.

These Indian lodges or houses were a source of great interest to Lewis
and Clark. Sunk four feet into the ground and rising well above, like
an out-door cellar, they were covered with ridgepoles and low sloping
roofs. The sides were boarded with puncheons of cedar, laboriously
split with elkhorn wedges and stone hammers.

A door in the gable admitted to this half-underground home by means of
a ladder. Around the inner walls, beds of mats were raised on
scaffolds two or three feet high, and under the beds were deposited
winter stores of dried berries, roots, nuts, and fish.

In the centre of each house a fireplace, six or eight feet long, was
sunk in the floor, and surrounded by a cedar fender and mats for the
family to sit on. The walls, lined with mats and cedar bark, formed a
very effective shelter.

Did some poor stranded mariner teach the savage this semi-civilised
architecture, or was it evolved by his own genius? However this may
be, these houses were found from Yaquina Bay to Yakutat.

In such a house as this Captain Clark visited Coboway, chief of the
Clatsops, in his village on the sunny side of a hill. As soon as he
entered, clean mats were spread. Coboway's wife, Tse-salks, a
Tillamook Princess, brought berries and roots and fish on neat
platters of rushes. Syrup of sallal berries was served in bowls of
horn and meat in wooden trenchers.

Naturally, Sacajawea was interested in domestic utensils, wooden
bowls, spoons of horn, skewers and spits for roasting meat, and
beautifully woven water-tight baskets.

Every squaw habitually carried a knife, fastened to the thumb by a
loop of twine, to be hid under the robe when visitors came. These
knives, bought of the traders, were invaluable to the Indian mother.
With it she dug roots, cut wood, meat, or fish, split rushes for her
flag mats and baskets, and fashioned skins for dresses and moccasins.
Ever busy they were, the most patient, devoted women in the world.

Sacajawea, with her beautiful dress and a husband who sometimes
carried the baby, was a new sort of mortal on this Pacific coast.

While they were conversing, a flock of ducks lit on the water. Clark
took his rifle and shot the head off one. The astonished Indians
brought the bird and marvelled. Their own poor flintlocks, loaded with
bits of gravel when shot failed, often would not go off in cold
weather, but here was "very great medicine." They examined the duck,
the musket, and the small bullets, a hundred to the pound.

"Kloshe musquet! wake! kum-tux musquet! A very good musquet! No! do
not understand this kind of musquet!"

Thus early is it a historical fact that the Chinook jargon was already
established on the Pacific coast. This jargon, a polyglot of traders'
tongues, like the old Lingua Franca of the Mediterranean, is used by
the coast Indians to this day from the Columbia River to Point Barrow
on the Arctic. And for its birth we may thank the Boston traders.

Chinooks, Clatsops, Tillamooks faced that stormy beach and lived on
winter stores of roots, berries, fish, and dried meat. Their beautiful
elastic bows of white cedar were seldom adequate to kill the great
elk, so when the rush bags under the beds were empty, they watched for
fish thrown up by the waves.

"Sturgeon is very good," said a Clatsop in English, peering and prying
along the hollows of the beach. But the great whale, Ecola, that was a
godsend to the poor people. Upon it now they might live until the
salmon came, flooding the country with plenty.

Old Chief Coboway of the Clatsops watched those shores for sixty
years. He did not tell this story to Lewis and Clark, but he told it
to his children, and so it belongs here.

"An old woman came crying to the Clatsop village: 'Something on the
shore! Behold, it is no whale! Two spruce trees stand upright on it.
Ropes are tied to those spruce trees. Behold bears came out of it!'
Then all the people ran. Behold the bears had built a fire of
driftwood on the shore. They were popping corn. They held copper
kettles in their hands. They had lids. The bears pointed inland and
asked for water. Then two people took the kettles and ran inland. They
hid. Some climbed up into the thing. They went down into the ship. It
was full of boxes. They found brass buttons in a string half a fathom
long. They went out. They set fire. The ship burned. It burned like
fat. Then the Clatsops gathered the iron, the copper, and the brass.
Then were the Clatsops rich."

One of these men was Ko-na-pe. He and his companion were held as
slaves. Ko-na-pe was a worker in iron and could fashion knives and
hatchets. From that time the Clatsops had knives. He was too great to
be held as a slave, so the Clatsops gave him and his friend their
liberty. They built a cabin at a place now known as New Astoria, but
the Indians called it "Ko-na-pe," and it was known by that name long
after the country was settled by the whites.

February had now arrived. For weeks every man not a hunter stood over
the kettles with his deer-skin sleeves rolled up, working away at
elkskins, rubbing, dipping, and wringing. Then again they went back
into the suds for another rubbing and working, and then the beautiful
skin, hung up to smoke and dry, came out soft and pliable.

Shields, the skilful, cut out the garments with a butcher knife, and
all set to work with awls for needles and deer sinews for thread.

For weeks this leather-dressing and sewing had been going on, some
using the handy little "housewives" given by Dolly Madison and the
ladies of the White House, until Captain Lewis records, "the men are
better fitted with clothing and moccasins than they have been since
starting on this voyage."

Captain Lewis and Captain Clark had each a large coat finished of the
skin of the "tiger cat," of which it "took seven robes to make a
coat."

With beads and old razors, Captain Lewis bought high-crowned Chinook
hats, of white cedar-bark and bear-grass, woven European fashion by
the nimble fingers of the Clatsop girls, fine as Leghorn and
water-tight.

Patrick Gass counted up the moccasins and found three hundred and
fifty-eight pairs, besides a good stock of dressed elkskins for tents
and bedding. "And I compute 131 elk and 20 deer shot in this
neighbourhood during the winter," he added.

But now the elk were going to the mountains, game was practically
unobtainable. Now and then Drouillard snared a fine fat beaver or an
otter in his traps; sometimes the Indians came over with sturgeon,
fresh anchovies, or a bag of wapato, but even this supply was
precarious and uncertain.

February 11, Captain Clark completed a map of the country, including
rivers and mountains from Fort Mandan to Clatsop, dotting in
cross-cuts for the home journey, the feat of a born geographer.

February 21 the saltmakers returned, with twelve gallons of salt
sealed up to last to the _cache_ on the Jefferson.

While Shields refitted the guns, others opened and examined the
precious powder. Thirty-five canisters remained, and yet, banged as
they had been over many a mountain pass, and sunk in many a stream,
all but five were found intact as when they were sealed at Pittsburg.
Three were bruised and cracked, one had been pierced by a nail, one
had not been properly sealed, but by care the men could dry them out
and save the whole.

The greatest necessity now was a boat. A long, slim Chinook canoe made
out of a single tree of fir or cedar was beyond price. Preliminary
dickers were tried with Chinooks and Clatsops. Finally Drouillard went
up to Cathlamet.

Of all the trinkets that Drouillard could muster, nothing short of
Captain Lewis's laced uniform coat could induce Queen Sally's people
to part with a treasured canoe. And here it was. Misfortune had become
a joke.

"Well, now, the United States owes me a coat," laughed Lewis, as he
found his last civilised garment gone to the savages.

"Six blue robes, one of scarlet, five made out of the old United
States' flag that had floated over many a council, a few old clothes,
Clark's uniform coat and hat and a few little trinkets that might be
tied in a couple of handkerchiefs," this was the reserve fund to carry
them two thousand miles to St. Louis.

But each stout-hearted explorer had his gun and plenty of powder--that
was wealth.

"Now, in case we never reach the United States," said Lewis, "what
then?"

"We must leave a Memorial," answered Clark. And so the Captains
prepared this document:

     _"The object of this list is, that through the medium of
     some civilised person, who may see the same, it may be made
     known to the world, that the party consisting of the
     persons whose names are hereunto annexed, and who were sent
     out by the Government of the United States to explore the
     interior of the continent of North America, did penetrate
     the same by the way of the Missouri and Columbia rivers, to
     the discharge of the latter into the Pacific ocean, where
     they arrived on the 14th day of November, 1805, and
     departed the 23d day of March, 1806, on their return to the
     United States by the same route by which they had come
     out."_

To this document every man signed his name, and copies were given to
the various chiefs. One was posted at Fort Clatsop to be given to any
trader that might arrive in the river, and thus, in case of their
death, some account of their exploration might be saved to the world.
On the back of some of the papers Clark sketched the route.

At last only one day's food remained. Necessity compelled removal. In
vain their eyes were strained toward the sea. Never were Lewis and
Clark destined to see a summer day on the Columbia, when sails of
ships flapped listlessly against the masts, and vessels heaved
reluctantly on the sluggish waters, rolling in long swells on Clatsop
beach.

On Sunday, March 23, 1806, the boats were loaded and all was ready.
Chief Coboway came over at noon to bid them good bye.

In gratitude for many favours during the past winter, Lewis and Clark
presented their houses and furniture to the kind-hearted old chief.

Chief Coboway made Fort Clatsop his winter home during the remainder
of his life. Years passed. The stockade fell down, young trees grew up
through the cabins, but the spring is there still, gushing forth its
waters, cool as in the adventurous days of one hundred years ago.



XX

_A RACE FOR EMPIRE_


In this very December of 1805 while Lewis and Clark were struggling
with the storms of ocean at the mouth of the Columbia, a thousand
miles to the north of them the indefatigable and indomitable Simon
Fraser was also building a fort, among the lochs and bens of New
Caledonia, the British Columbia of to-day.

On the very day that Lewis and Clark left Fort Mandan, Simon Fraser
and his men had faced toward the Rockies. While Lewis and Clark were
exploring the Missouri, Fraser and his voyageurs were pulling for dear
life up the Saskatchewan and over to Athabasca. On the very day that
Lewis and Clark moved into Fort Clatsop, Simon Fraser, at the Rocky
Mountain Portage, had men busily gathering stones "to get a chimney
built for his bedroom." The icy northern winter came down, but in
January mortar was made to plaster his trading fort, the Rocky
Mountain Portage at the Peace River Pass.

All that Arctic winter he traded with the natives, killed deer and
moose, and made pemmican for an expedition still farther to the west.

All through the stormy, icy April, building his boats and pounding his
pemmican, Fraser stamped and stormed and swore because the snows
refused to melt--because the rivers yet were blocked with ice.

The boats were at the door, the bales of goods were tied, when the ice
began to break in May.

The moment the river was clear all hands were roused at daybreak.
Simon Fraser turned the Rocky Mountain Portage over to McGillivray,
who had arrived on snow shoes, and pressed on west, discovering McLeod
Lake and building Fort McLeod upon its shores. Then he portaged over
to the Fraser, which he believed to be the Columbia, and going up the
Stuart branch built Fort St. James on Stuart Lake. During the winter
and summer, after Lewis and Clark reached home, he built Fort Fraser
on Fraser Lake, and Fort George upon the Fraser River, still thinking
it was the Columbia.

"Now will I reach the mouth of this Columbia," said Fraser in the
Spring of 1808, launching his boat, the _Perseverance_, upon the
wildest water of the North.

"You cannot pass," said the Indians, and they waved and whirled their
arms to indicate the mad tumultuous swirling of the waters.

"Whatever the obstacle," said Simon Fraser, "I shall follow this river
to the end," and down he went for days and days through turbulent
gulfs and whirlpools, past rocks and rapids and eddies, under
frowning, overhanging precipices in the high water of May.

The Indians spoke of white people.

"It must be Lewis and Clark," groaned Fraser, redoubling his effort to
win another empire for his king.

Daily, hourly, risking their lives, at every step in the Mountains the
Indians said, "You can go no further."

But the sturdy Scotchmen gripped their oars and set their teeth,
turning, doubling, twisting, shooting past rocky points that menaced
death, portaging, lifting canoes by sheer grit and resolution up
almost impassable rockways, over cliffs almost without a foothold and
down into the wave again. So ran the Northwesters down the wild river
to the sea, and camped near the present site of New Westminster. And
lo! it was _not_ the Columbia.

Back came Simon Fraser to Fort William on Lake Superior to report what
he had done, and they crowned his brow with the name of his own great
river, the Fraser.

Travellers look down the frowning Fraser gorge to-day, and little
realise why Simon Fraser made that daring journey.



XXI

_"A SHIP! A SHIP!"_


While Lewis and Clark were making preparations to leave Fort Clatsop,
all unknown to them a ship was trying to cross the bar into the
Columbia River. And what a tale had she to tell,--of hunger, misery,
despair, and death at Sitka.

Since 1787 the Boston ships had been trading along these shores. In
that year 1792, when Captain Robert Gray discovered the Columbia
River, there were already twenty-one American ships in the Pacific
northwest.

In May, 1799, the Boston brig _Caroline_, Captain Cleveland, was
buying furs in Sitka Sound, when coasting along over from the north
came the greatest of all the Russians, Alexander von Baranof, with two
ships and a fleet of bidarkas.

"What now will you have?" demanded the Sitka chief, as the expedition
entered the basin of Sitka Sound.

"A place to build a fort and establish a settlement for trade,"
answered Baranof.

"A Boston ship is anchored below and buying many skins," answered the
chief. But presents were distributed, a trade was made, and Russian
axes began felling the virgin forest on the sides of Verstova.

The next day Captain Cleveland visited Baranof at his fort building.

"Savages!" echoed Captain Cleveland to Baranof's comment on the
natives. "I should say so. I have but ten men before the mast, but on
account of the fierce character of these Indians I have placed a
screen of hides around the ship, that they may not see the deck nor
know how few men I have. Two pieces of cannon are in position and a
pair of blunderbusses on the taffrail."

But the land was rich in furs. It was this that brought Baranof over
from Kadiak.

In three years Sitka was a strong fort, but in June, 1802, in the
absence of Baranof, it was attacked one day by a thousand Indians
armed with muskets bought of the Boston traders.

In a few hours the fort, a new ship in the harbour, warehouses, cattle
sheds, and a bathhouse were burnt to ashes. The poor dumb cattle were
stuck full of lances.

A terrible massacre accompanied the burning. To escape suffocation the
Russians leaped from the flaming windows only to be caught on the
uplifted lances of the savage Sitkas. Some escaped to the woods, when
an English vessel providentially appeared and carried the few
remaining survivors to Kadiak.

That autumn two new ships arrived from Russia with hunters, labourers,
provisions, and news of Baranof's promotion by the czar.

Tears coursed down the great man's weather-beaten cheeks. "I am a
nobleman; but Sitka is lost! I do not care to live; I will go and
either die or restore the possessions of my august benefactor."

Then back came Baranof to Sitka on his errand of vengeance, with three
hundred bidarkas and six small Russian ships, to be almost wrecked in
Sitka Sound. Here he was joined by the _Neva_ just out from Kronstadt,
the first to carry the Russian flag around the world.

Upon the hill where Sitka stands to-day, the Indians had built a fort
of logs piled around with tangled brush. On this the Russians opened
fire. But no reply came. With one hundred and fifty men and several
guns, Baranof landed in the dense woods to take the fort by storm.
Then burst the sheeted flame. Ten Russians were killed and twenty-six
wounded. But for the fleet, Baranof's career would have ended on that
day.

But in time ships with cannon were more than a match for savages armed
with Boston muskets. Far into the night a savage chant was wafted into
the air--the Alaskans had surrendered. At daylight all was still. No
sound came from the shore, and when the Russians visited the Indian
hill, the fort was filled with slaughtered bodies of infant children,
slain by their own parents who felt themselves unable to carry them
and escape. The Indian fort was immediately burned to the ground and
on its site arose the Russian stronghold of Sitka Castle.

That new fort at Sitka was just finished and mounted with cannon the
summer that Lewis and Clark came down the Columbia. Kitchen gardens
were under cultivation and live stock thriving.

At Sitka that same autumn the _Elizaveta_ arrived, with the Russian
Imperial Inspector of Alaska on board, the Baron von Rezanof,
"Chamberlain of the Russian Court and Commander of all America," he
called himself.

"What is this I hear of those Bostonians?" inquired the great Baron,
unrolling long portraits of the Imperial family to be hung in Sitka
Castle. "Those Bostonians, are they undermining our trade in furs with
China?"

"Ah, yes," answered Count Baranof, "the American republic is greatly
in need of Chinese goods, Chinese teas and silks, which formerly had
to be purchased in coin. But since these shores have been discovered
with their abundance of furs, they are no longer obliged to take coin
with them, but load their vessels with products of their own country."

"All too numerous have become these Boston skippers on this northwest
coast," continued Von Rezanof in a decisive tone. "Frequent complaints
have been made to the American President that his people are selling
firearms to our Indians, but all to no purpose. It is an outrage. We
are justified in using force. I recommend an armed brig to patrol
these waters."

Food supplies were low at Sitka that winter. No ship came. The
_Elizaveta_ dispatched to Kadiak for supplies returned no more. No
flour, no fish, not even seal blubber for the garrisons, could be
caught or purchased. They were eating crows and eagles and devil-fish.
Just then, when a hundred cannon were loaded to sweep the Yankee
skippers from the sea, a little Rhode Island ship came sailing into
Sitka harbour.

"Shall we expel these American traders from the North Pacific?"
demanded Von Rezanof.

"For the love of God, no!" cried Baranof. "That little ship is our
saviour!"

Into the starving garrison the Yankee Captain De Wolf brought bread
and beef, and raised the famine siege of Sitka Castle. Baranof bought
the little ship, the _Juno_, with all her cargo, for eight thousand
dollars in furs and drafts on St. Petersburg. In addition Rezanof gave
De Wolf a sloop, the _Ermak_, to carry his men and furs to the
Hawaiian Islands.

"God grant that they may not have paid dear for their rashness in
trusting their lives to such a craft!" exclaimed Von Rezanof, as the
gallant Yankee Captain spread sail and disappeared from Sitka harbour.

The _Juno_, a staunch, copper-bottomed fast vessel of two hundred six
tons, built at Bristol, Rhode Island, in 1799, was now fitted out for
the Russian trade and dispatched to Kadiak.

The storms that Lewis and Clark heard booming on the Oregon coast that
winter, devastated Alaskan shores as well. When the breakers came
thundering up the rocks and the winds shook Sitka Castle, Count
Baranof in his stronghold could not sleep for thinking, "Oh, the
ships!--the ships out on this stormy deep, laden with what I need so
much!"

The little _Juno_ returned from Kadiak with dried fish and oil, and
news of disaster: "The _Elizaveta_ has been wrecked in a heavy gale.
Six large bidarkas laden with furs on the way to you went down. Two
hundred hunters have perished at sea. Our settlement at Yakutat has
been destroyed by an Indian massacre."

"My God! My God!" Baranof cried, "how can we repair all these
disasters!"

But ever and ever the gray sea boomed upon the shore where the
wretched inmates of Sitka Castle were dying. The relief from the
_Juno_ was only temporary. By February not a pound of bread a day
dared they distribute to the men.

Long since Rezanof had declared they must have an agricultural
settlement. Now he fixed his eye on the Columbia River. Sitting there
in the dreary castle he was writing to the czar, little dreaming that
in a hundred years his very inmost thought would be read in America.

Starvation at Sitka was imminent,--it was impossible to delay longer.
Into the stormy sea Rezanof himself set the _Juno's_ sail on his way
to the Columbia.

While Lewis and Clark were writing out the muster roll to nail to the
wall at Fort Clatsop for any passing ship, Rezanof was striving to
cross the Columbia bar. None could see beyond the mists. Contrary
winds blew, it rained, it hailed.

Rezanof sighted the Columbia March 14, 1806, but the current drove him
back. Again on the 20th he tried to enter, and on the 21st, but the
stormy river, like a thing of life, beat him back and beat him back,
until the Russian gave it up, and four days later ran into the harbour
of San Francisco.

In June he returned with wheat, oats, pease, beans, flour, tallow, and
salt to the famished traders at Sitka.

But notwithstanding all these troubles, in 1805-6 Baranof dispatched
to St. Petersburg furs valued at more than five hundred thousand
roubles.

More and more the Boston traders came back to Alaskan waters. Baranof
often found it easier to buy supplies from Boston than from Okhotsk.

"Furnish me with Aleutian hunters and bidarkas and I will hunt on
shares for you," proposed a Boston Captain.

"Agreed," said Baranof, and for years fleets of bidarkas under Boston
Captains hunted and trapped and traded for sea otter southward along
Pacific shores.

"These Boston smugglers and robbers!" muttered the Spaniards of
California. "Where do they hide themselves all winter? We know they
are on our shores but never a glimpse can we get of their fleet."
Meanwhile the Boston traders on the coasts of California raked in the
skins and furs, and sailing around by Hawaii reached Sitka in time for
Spring sealing in the north.

Some hints of this reached the Russian Directory at St. Petersburg,
but no one dared to interfere with Baranof.

Shipload after shipload of furs he sent home that sold for fabulous
sums in the markets of Russia. The czar himself took shares and the
Imperial navy guarded the Russias of North America.

All honour to Baranof, Viking of Sitka, and builder of ships! For
forty years he ruled the Northwest, the greatest man in the North
Pacific. His name was known on the coast of Mexico, even to Brazil and
Havana. The Boston merchants consulted him in making up their cargoes.
In 1810 he went into partnership with John Jacob Astor to exchange
supplies for furs.

Above all disaster he rose, though ship after ship was lost. But it
must be admitted the Russians were not such seamen as the gallant
Boston skippers.

Never again will this land see more hardy sailors than the American
tars that travelled the seas at the close of our Revolution. Our
little Yankee brigs were creeping down and down the coast and around
the Horn, until every village had its skippers in the far Pacific.
Some went for furs and some for whales, and all for bold adventure.

In July, 1806, the _Lydia_, having just rescued two American sailors
from the savages at Vancouver Island, came into the Columbia River for
a load of spars, the beginning of a mighty commerce. Here they heard
of Lewis and Clark, and ten miles up, faithful old Chief Coboway gave
Captain Hill the muster roll left at Fort Clatsop. This, sent by way
of China, reached the United States in 1807, to find the great
explorers safe at home.

With the death of Baranof in 1819 ended the vast plan of Russia to
make the northern half of the Pacific its own. Baranof was small and
wrinkled and bald, but his eye had life. He would have made a czar
like Peter the Great. To him and him alone was due the Russia of
America, that for seven million dollars was sold to us in 1870, an
empire in itself.



XXII

_BACK TO CIVILISATION_


The canoes were loaded, and at one o'clock in the afternoon of Sunday,
the 23d day of March, 1806, Lewis and Clark took final leave of Fort
Clatsop.

Back past Cathlamet they came, where Queen Sally still watched by her
totem posts; past Oak Point on Fanny's Island, named by Clark, where
two Springs later a Boston ship made the first white settlement in
Oregon. Slowly the little flotilla paddled up, past Coffin Rock,
immemorial deposit of Indian dead, past snowy St. Helens, a landmark
at sea for the ship that would enter the harbour.

Flowers were everywhere, the hillsides aglow with red flowering
currants that made March as gay as the roses of June. The grass was
high, and the robins were singing.

At sunset, March 30, they camped on a beautiful prairie, the future
site of historic Vancouver. Before them the Columbia was a shimmer of
silver. Behind, rose the dim, dark Oregon forest. The sharp cry of the
sea-gull rang over the waters, and the dusky pelican and the splendid
brown albatross were sailing back to the sea.

Herds of elk and deer roamed on the uplands and in woody green islands
below, where flocks of ducks, geese, and swans were digging up the
lily-like wapato with their bills.

With laboured breath, still bending to the oar, on the first of April
they encountered a throng of Indians crowding down from above, gaunt,
hollow-eyed, almost starved, greedily tarrying to pick up the bones
and refuse meat thrown from the camp of the whites.

"_Katah mesika chaco?_" inquired Captain Lewis.

"_Halo muck-a-muck_," answered the forlorn Indians. "Dried fish all
gone. No deer. No elk. No antelope to the Nez Percé country."
Hundreds were coming down for food at Wapato. "_Elip salmon chaco._"

"Until the salmon come!" That had been the cry of the Clatsops. The
Chinooks were practising incantations to bring the longed-for salmon.
The Cathlamets were spreading their nets. The Wahkiakums kept their
boats afloat. Even the Multnomahs were wistfully waiting. And now here
came plunging down all the upper country for wapato,--"Until the
salmon come."

"And pray, when will that be?"

"Not until the next full moon,"--at least the second of May, and in
May the Americans had hoped to cross the mountains. All the camp
deliberated,--and still the Cascade Indians came flocking down into
the lower valley.

"We must remain here until we can collect meat enough to last us to
the Nez Percé nation," said the Captains, and so, running the gauntlet
of starvation, it happened that Lewis and Clark camped for ten days
near the base of Mt. Hood at the river Sandy. In order to collect as
much meat as possible a dozen hunters were sent out; the rest were
employed in cutting and hanging the meat to dry.

Two young Indians came into the camp at the Sandy.

"_Kah mesika Illahee?_--Where is your country?" was asked them, in the
Chinook jargon caught at Clatsop.

"At the Falls of a great river that flows into the Columbia from the
south."

"From the south? We saw no such river."

With a coal on a mat one of the Indians drew it. The Captains looked.

"Ah! behind those islands!" It was where the Multnomah chieftain in
his war canoe had said, "Village there!" on their downward journey to
the sea. Clark gave one of the men a burning glass to conduct him to
the spot, and set out with seven men in a canoe.

Along the south side of the Columbia, back they paddled to the
mysterious inlet hidden behind that emerald curtain. And along with
them paddled canoe-loads of men, women, and children in search of
food.

Clark now perceived that what they had called "Imagecanoe Island"
consisted of three islands, the one in the middle concealing the
opening between the other two.

Here great numbers of canoes were drawn up. Lifting their long, slim
boats to their backs, the Indian women crossed inland to the sloughs
and ponds, where, frightening up the ducks, they plunged to the breast
into the icy cold water. There they stood for hours, loosening wapato
with their feet. The bulbs, rising to the surface, were picked up and
tossed into the boats to feed the hungry children.

Clark entered an Indian house to buy wapato.

"Not, not!" with sullen look they shook their heads. No gift of his
could buy the precious wapato.

Deliberately then the captain took out one of Dr. Saugrain's
phosphorus matches and tossed it in the fire. Instantly it spit and
flamed.

"_Me-sah-chie! Me-sah-chie!_"--the Indians shrieked, and piled the
cherished wapato at his feet. The screaming children fled behind the
beds and hid behind the men. An old man began to speak with great
vehemence, imploring his god for protection.

The match burned out and quiet was restored. Clark paid for the
wapato, smoked, and went on, behind the islands.

As if lifting a veil the boat swept around the willows and the Indian
waved his hand.

"Multnomah!"

Before them, vast and deep, a river rolled its smooth volume
into the Columbia. At the same moment five snow peaks burst into
view,--Rainier, Hood, St. Helens, Adams, and to the southeast another
snowy cone which Clark at once saluted, "Mount Jefferson!"

For the first recorded time a white man gazed on the river Willamette.

This sudden vision of emerald hills, blue waters, and snowy peaks
forced the involuntary exclamation, "The only spot west of the Rocky
Mountains suitable for a settlement!" The very air of domestic
occupation gleamed on the meadows flecked with deer and waterfall.
Amid the scattered groves of oak and dogwood, bursting now into
magnolian bloom, Clark half expected to see some stately mansion rise,
as in the park of some old English nobleman. The ever-prevailing
flowering currant lit the landscape with a hue of roses.

A dozen miles or more Clark pressed on, up the great inland river, and
slept one night near the site of the present Portland. He examined the
soil, looked at the timber, and measured a fallen fir three hundred
and eighteen feet as it lay.

Watching the current rolling its uniform flow from some unknown
distant source, the Captain began taking soundings.

"This river appears to possess water enough for the largest ship. Nor
is it rash to believe that it may water the country as far as
California." For at least two-thirds of the width he could find no
bottom with his five-fathom line.

Along that wide deep estuary, the grainships of the world to-day ride
up to the wharves of Portland. The same snow peaks are there, the same
emerald hills, and the bounteous smile of Nature blushing in a
thousand orchards.

All along the shores were deserted solitary houses of broad boards
roofed with cedar bark, with household furniture, stone mortars,
pestles, canoes, mats, bladders of train oil, baskets, bowls,
trenchers--all left. The fireplaces were filled with dead embers, the
bunk-line tiers of beds were empty. All had just gone or were going to
the fisheries.

"And where?"

"To Clackamas nation. _Hyas tyee Tumwater._ Great Falls. Salmon."

Had Clark but passed a few miles further up, he would have found
hundreds of Indians at the fishing rendezvous, Clackamas Rapids and
Willamette Falls.

"How many of the Clackamas nation?"

"Eleven villages, to the snow peak."

"And beyond?"

"Forty villages, the Callapooias." With outstretched hand the Indian
closed his eyes and shook his head,--evidently he had never been so
far to the south.

Back around Warrior's Point Clark came, whence the Multnomahs were
wont to issue to battle in their huge war canoes. An old Indian trail
led up into the interior, where for ages the lordly Multnomahs had
held their councils. Many houses had fallen entirely to ruin.

Clark inquired the cause of decay. An aged Indian pointed to a woman
deeply pitted with the smallpox.

"All died of that. _Ahn-cutty!_ Long time ago!"

The Multnomahs lived on Wapato Island. A dozen nations gave fealty to
Multnomah. All had symbolic totems, carved and painted on door and
bedstead, and at every bedhead hung a war club and a Moorish scimitar
of iron, thin and sharp, rude relic of Ko-na-pe's workshop.

Having now dried sufficient meat to last to the Nez Percés, Lewis and
Clark set out for the Dalles, that tragical valley, racked and
battered, where the devils held their tourneys when the world was
shaped by flood and flame.

Through the sheeny brown basaltic rock, three rifts let through the
river, where, in fishing time, salmon leaped in prodigious numbers,
filling the Indians' baskets, tons and tons a day. But the salmon had
not yet come.

At this season the upper tribes came down to the Dalles to traffic
robes and silk grass for sea-shells and wapato. Fish was money. After
the traders came, beads, beads, became the Indian's one ambition. For
beads he would sacrifice his only garment and his last morsel of food.

In this annual traffic of east and west, the Dalles Indians had become
traders, robbers, pirates. No canoe passed that way without toll.
Dressed in deerskin, elk, bighorn, wolf, and buffalo, these savages
lay now in wait for Lewis and Clark, portaging up the long narrows.

Tugging, sweating, paddling, poling, pulling by cords, it was
difficult work hauling canoes up the narrow way.

Crowds of Indians pressed in.

"Six tomahawks and a knife are gone!"

"Another tomahawk gone!"

"Out of the road," commanded Lewis. "Whoever steals shall be shot
instantly."

The crowds fell back. Every man toiled on with gun in hand. But from
village to village, dishes, blankets, and whatever the Indians could
get their hands on, disappeared. Soon there would be no baggage.

It seemed impossible to detect a thief. "Nothing but numbers protects
us," said the white men.

Worse even than the pirates of the Sioux, it came almost to pitched
battle. Again and again Lewis harangued the chiefs for the restoration
of stolen property. Once he struck an Indian. Finally he set out to
burn a village, but the missing property came to light, hidden in an
Indian hut.

So long did it take to make these portages that food supplies failed.
In the heart of a thickly populated and savage country the expedition
was bankrupt.

With what gratitude, then, they met Yellept, chief of the Walla
Wallas, waiting upon his hills.

"Come to my village. You shall have food. You shall have horses."

Gladly they accompanied him to his village at the mouth of the Walla
Walla river. Immediately he called in not only his own but the
neighbouring nations, urging them to hospitality. Then Chief Yellept,
the most notable man in all that country, himself brought an armful of
wood for their fires and a platter of roasted mullets.

At once all the Walla Wallas followed with armloads of fuel; the
campfires blazed and crackled. Footsore, weary, half-starved, Lewis
and Clark and their men supped and then slept.

Fortunately there was among the Walla Wallas a captive Shoshone boy
who spoke the tongue of Sacajawea. In council the Captains explained
themselves and the object of their journey.

"Opposite our village a shorter route leads to the Kooskooskee," said
Yellept. "A road of grass and water, with deer and antelope."

Clark computed that this cut-off would save eighty miles.

In vain the Captains desired to press on.

"Wait," begged Yellept. "Wait." Already he had sent invitations to the
Eyakimas, his friends the Black Bears, and to the Cayuses.

Possibly Sacajawea had hinted something; at any rate with a cry of
"Very Great Medicine," the lame, the halt, the blind pressed around
the camp. The number of unfortunates, products of Indian battle,
neglect, and exposure, was prodigious.

Opening the medicine chest, while Lewis bought horses, Clark turned
physician, distributing eye-water, splinting broken bones, dealing out
pills and sulphur. One Indian with a contracted knee came limping in.

"My own father, Walla Walla chief," says old Se-cho-wa, an aged Indian
woman on the Umatilla to-day. "Lots of children, lots of horses. I,
very little girl, follow them."

With volatile liniments and rubbing the chief was relieved.

In gratitude Yellept presented Clark with a beautiful white horse;
Clark in turn gave all he had--his sword.

Bidding the chief adieu, the Captains recorded: "We may, indeed,
justly affirm, that of all the Indians whom we have met since leaving
the United States the Walla Wallas were the most hospitable and
sincere."

Poor old Yellept! One hundred years later his medal was found in the
sand at the mouth of the Walla Walla. All his sons were slain in
battle or died of disease. When the last one lay stretched in the
grave, the old chief stepped in upon the corpse and commanded his
people to bury them in one grave together.

"On account of his great sorrow," says old Se-cho-wa.

And so he was buried.



XXIII

_CAMP CHOPUNNISH_


As Lewis and Clark with twenty-three horses set out over the camas
meadows that April morning a hundred years ago, the world seemed
brighter for the kindness of the Walla Wallas.

At the Dalles the forest had ended. Now they were on the great
Columbian plains that stretch to the Rockies, the northwest granary of
to-day. The dry exhilarating air billowed the verdure like a sea.

Meadow larks sang and flitted. Dove-coloured sage hens, the cock of
the plains, two-thirds the size of a turkey, cackled like domestic
fowl before the advancing cavalcade. Spotted black-and-white pheasants
pecked in the grass like the little topknot "Dominicks" the men had
known around their boyhood homes.

And everywhere were horses.

"More hor-r-ses between th' Gr-reat Falls av th' Columby and th' Nez
Percés than I iver saw in th' same space uv countery in me loife
before," said Patrick Gass. "They are not th' lar-r-gest soize but
very good an' active."

"Of an excellent race, lofty, elegantly formed, and durable," those
Cayuse horses are described by Lewis and Clark. "Many of them appear
like fine English coursers, and resemble in fleetness and bottom, as
well as in form and colour, the best blooded horses of Virginia."

A hundred years ago, the Cayuse of the Columbian plains was a recent
importation from the bluest blooded Arabian stock of Spain.
White-starred, white-footed, he was of noble pedigree. Traded or
stolen from tribe to tribe, these Spanish horses found a home on the
Columbia. All winter these wild horses fattened on the plain; madly
their Indian owners rode them; and when they grew old, stiff, and
blind, they went, so the Indians said, to Horse Heaven on the Des
Chutes to die.

Following the old Nez Percés trail, that became a stage road in the
days of gold, and then a railroad, Lewis and Clark came to the land of
the Nez Percés,--Chopunnish.

Thirty-one years later the missionary Spalding planted an apple-tree
where Lewis and Clark reached the Snake at the mouth of Alpowa creek,
May 4, 1806.

We-ark-koompt, the Indian express, came out to meet them. Over the
camp of Black Eagle the American flag was flying. Chiefs vied with one
another to do them honour. Tunnachemootoolt, Black Eagle, spread his
leather tent and laid a parcel of wood at the door. "Make this your
lodge while you remain with me." Hohastilpilp, Red Wolf, came riding
over the hills with fifty people.

The Captains had a fire lighted, and all night in the leather tent on
the banks of the Kooskooske the chiefs smoked and pondered on the
journey of the white men.

Lewis and Clark drew maps and pointed out the far-away land of the
President. Sacajawea and the Shoshone boy interpreted until worn out,
and then fell asleep. And ever within Black Eagle's village was heard
the dull "thud, thud, thud," of Nez Percé women pounding the camas and
the kouse, "with noise like a nail-factory," said Lewis. All night
long their outdoor ovens were baking the bread of kouse, and the
kettles of camas mush, flavoured with yamp, simmered and sweetened
over the dull red Indian fires. The hungry men were not disposed to
criticise the cuisine of the savage, not even when they were offered
the dainty flesh of dried rattlesnake!

Labiche killed a bear. In amazement the redmen gathered round.

"These bears are tremendous animals to the Indians,--kill all you
can," said Captain Lewis. Elated, every hunter went bear-hunting.

"Wonderful men that live on bears!" exclaimed the Indians.

Again the council was renewed, and they talked of wars. Bloody Chief,
fond of war, showed wounds received in battle with the Snakes.

"It is not good," said Clark. "It is better to be at peace. Here is a
white flag. When you hold it up it means peace. We have given such
flags to your enemies, the Shoshones. They will not fight you now."

Fifty years later, that chief, tottering to his grave, said, "I held
that flag. I held it up high. We met and talked, but never fought
again."

"We have confided in the white men. We shall follow their advice,"
Black Eagle went proclaiming through the village.

All the kettles of soup were boiling. From kettle to kettle Black
Eagle sprinkled in the flour of kouse. "We have confided in the white
men. Those who are to ratify this council, come and eat. All others
stay away."

The mush was done, the feast was served; a new dawn had arisen on the
Nez Percés.

Finding it impossible to cross the mountains, a camp was established
at Kamiah Creek, on a part of the present Nez Percé reservation in
Idaho county, Idaho, where for a month they studied this amiable and
gentle people. Games were played and races run, Coalter outspeeding
all. Frazer, who had been a fencing master in Rutland, back in
Vermont, taught tricks, and the music of the fiddles delighted them.

Stout, portly, good-looking men were the Nez Percés, and better
dressed than most savages, in their whitened tunics and leggings of
deerskin and buffalo, moccasins and robes and breastplates of otter,
and bandeaus of fox-skins like a turban on the brow. The women were
small, of good features and generally handsome, in neatly woven
tight-fitting grass caps and long buckskin skirts whitened with clay.

Upon the Missouri the eagle was domesticated. Here, too, the Nez Percé
had his wicker coop of young eaglets to raise for their tail feathers.
Any Rocky Mountain Indian would give a good horse for the
black-and-white tail feather of a golden eagle. They fluttered from
the calumet and hung in cascades from head to foot on the sacred war
bonnet.

A May snowstorm whitened the camas meadows and melted again. Thick
black loam invited the plough, but thirty Springs should pass before
Spalding established his mission and gave ploughs to the redmen.
Twisted Hair saw the advent of civilisation. Red Wolf planted an
orchard. Black Eagle went to see Clark at St. Louis and died there.

Captain Lewis held councils, instructing, educating, enlightening the
Kamiahs, so that to this day they are among the most advanced of
Indian tribes.

Captain Clark, with simple remedies and some knowledge of medicine,
became a mighty "tomanowos" among the ailing. With basilicons of pitch
and oil, wax and resins, a sovereign remedy for skin eruptions, with
horse-mint teas and doses of sulphur and cream-of-tartar, with
eye-water, laudanum, and liniment, he treated all sorts of ills. Fifty
patients a day crowded to the tent of the Red Head. Women suffering
from rheumatism, the result of toil and exposure in the damp camas
fields, came dejected and hysterical. They went back shouting, "The
Red Head chief has made me well."

The wife of a chief had an abscess. Clark lanced it, and she slept for
the first time in days. The grateful chief brought him a horse that
was immediately slaughtered for supper. A father gave a horse in
exchange for remedies for his little crippled daughter.

With exposure to winds, alkali sand, and the smoke of chimneyless
fires, few Indians survived to old age without blindness.

"Eye-water! Eye-water!" They reached for it as for a gift from the
gods. Clark understood such eyes, for the smoke of the pioneer cabin
had made affections of the eye a curse of the frontier.

But affairs were now at their lowest. Even the medicines were
exhausted, and the last awl, needle, and skein of thread had gone. Off
their shabby old United States uniforms the soldiers cut the last
buttons to trade for bread. But instead of trinkets the sensible Nez
Percés desired knives, buttons, awls for making moccasins, blankets,
kettles. Shields the gunsmith ingeniously hammered links of
Drouillard's trap into awls to exchange for bread.

The tireless hunters scoured the country. Farther and farther had
scattered the game. Even the bears had departed. Thirty-three people
ate a deer and an elk, or four deer a day. There was no commissariat
for this little army but its own rifles. And yet, supplies must be
laid in for crossing the mountains.

Every day Captain Lewis looked at the rising river and the melting
snows of the Idaho Alps.

"That icy barrier, which separates me from my friends and my country,
from all which makes life estimable--patience--patience--"

"The snow is yet deep on the mountains. You will not be able to pass
them until the next full moon, or about the first of June," said the
Indians.

"Unwelcome intelligence to men confined to a diet of horse meat and
roots!" exclaimed Captain Lewis.

Finally even horse-flesh failed. Suspecting the situation, Chief Red
Wolf came and said, "The horses on these hills are ours. Take what you
need."

He wore a tippet of human scalps, but, says Lewis, "we have, indeed,
on more than one occasion, had to admire the generosity of this
Indian, whose conduct presents a model of what is due to strangers in
distress."

Gradually the snows melted, and the high water subsided.

"The doves are cooing. The salmon will come," said the Indians. Blue
flowers of the blooming camas covered the prairies like a lake of
silver. With sixty-five horses and all the dried horse meat they could
carry, on June 16, 1806, Lewis and Clark started back over the Bitter
Root Range on the Lolo trail by which they had entered.



XXIV

_OVER THE BITTER ROOT RANGE_


Dog-tooth violets, roses, and strawberry blossoms covered the plain of
Weippe without end, but the Lolo trail was deep with snow. Deep and
deeper grew the drifts, twelve and fifteen feet. The air was keen and
cold with winter rigours. To go on in those grassless valleys meant
certain death to all their horses, and so, for the first time, they
fell back to wait yet other days for the snows to melt upon the
mountains.

"We must have experienced guides." Drouillard and Shannon were
dispatched once more to the old camp, and lo! the salmon had come, in
schools and shoals, reddening the Kooskooskee with their flickering
fins.

Again they faced the snowy barrier with guides who traversed the
trackless region with instinctive sureness.

"They never hesitate," said Lewis. "They are never embarrassed. So
undeviating is their step that whenever the snow has disappeared, even
for a hundred paces, we find the summer road."

Up in the Bitter Root peaks, like the chamois of the Alps, the Oregon
mazama, the mountain goat, frolicked amid inaccessible rocks. And
there, in the snows of the mountain pass, most significant of all,
were found the tracks of barefooted Indians, supposed to have been
Flatheads, fleeing in distress from pursuing Blackfeet. Such was the
battle of primitive man.

The Indians regarded the journey of the white men into the country of
their hereditary foes as a venture to certain death.

"Danger!" whispered the guides, significantly rapping on their heads,
drawing their knives across their throats, and pointing far ahead.

Every year the Nez Percés followed the Lolo trail, stony and steep and
ridgy with rocks and crossed with fallen trees, into the Buffalo
Illahee, the buffalo country of the Missouri. And for this the
Blackfeet fought them.

The Blackfeet, too, had been from time immemorial the deadly foe of
the Flatheads, their bone of contention for ever the buffalo. The
Blackfeet claimed as their own all the country lying east of the main
range, and looked upon the Flatheads who went there to hunt as
intruders.

The Flathead country was west and at the base of the main Rockies,
along the Missoula and Clark's Fork and northward to the Fraser. With
their sole weapon, the arrow, and their own undaunted audacity, twice
a year occurred the buffalo chase, once in Summer and once in Winter.
But "the ungodly Blackfeet," scourge of the mountains, lay in wait to
trap and destroy the Flatheads as they would a herd of buffalo.

And so it had been war, bitter war, for ages. But a new force had
given to the Blackfeet at the west and the Sioux at the east supremacy
over the rest of the tribes,--that was the white man's gun from the
British forts on the Saskatchewan.

For spoils and scalps the Blackfeet, Arabs of the North, raided from
the Saskatchewan to Mexico. They besieged Fort Edmonton at the north,
and left their tomahawk mark on the Digger Indian's grave at the
south. The Shoshone-Snakes, too, were immemorial and implacable
enemies of both the Blackfeet and the Columbia tribes. They fought to
the Dalles and Walla Walla and up through the Nez Percés to Spokane.
Their mad raiders threw up the dust of the Utah desert, and chased the
lone Aztec to his last refuge in Arizona cliffs.

The Blackfeet fought the Shoshones, the Crows, by superior cunning,
fought the Blackfeet, the Assiniboines fought the Crows, and the
Sioux, the lordly Sioux, fought all.

It was time for the white man's hand to stay the diabolical dance of
death.



XXV

_BEWARE THE BLACKFEET!_


On the third of July, at the mouth of Lolo creek, the expedition
separated, Lewis to cross to the Falls of the Missouri and explore
Marias River, Clark to come to the three forks and cross to the
Yellowstone.

With nine men and five Indians Captain Lewis crossed the Missoula on a
raft, and following the Nez Percé trail along the River-of-the-Road
-to-Buffalo, the Big Blackfoot of to-day, came out July 7, the first
of white men, on the opening through the main range of the Rockies now
known as the Lewis and Clark Pass. A Blackfoot road led down to the
churning waters of the Great Falls.

Pawing, fighting, ten thousand buffaloes were bellowing in one
continuous roar that terrified the horses. The plain was black with a
vast and angry army, bearing away to the southwest, flinging the dust
like a simoom, through which deep-mouthed clangor rolled like thunder
far away. And at their immediate feet, Drouillard noted fresh tracks
of Indians dotting the soil; grizzly bears, grim guardians of the
cataract, emitted hollow growls, and great gray wolves hung in packs
and droves along the skirts of the buffalo herds, glancing now and
then toward the little group of horsemen.

In very defiance of danger, again Lewis pitched his camp beside the
Falls, green and foamy as Niagara. Again buffalo meat, marrow bones,
ribs, steaks, juicy and rich, sizzled around the blaze, and the hungry
men ate, ate, ate. They had found the two extremes--want on one side
of the mountains and abundance on the other.

While Lewis tried to write in his journal, huge brown mosquitoes,
savage as the bears, bit and buzzed. Lewis's dog howled with the
torture, the same little Assiniboine dog that had followed all their
footsteps, had guarded and hunted as well as the best, had slept by
the fire at Clatsop and been stolen at the Dalles.

Hurrying to their _cache_ at the Bear Islands, it was discovered that
high water had flooded their skins and the precious specimens of
plants were soaked and ruined. A bottle of laudanum had spoiled a
chestful of medicine. But the charts of the Missouri remained
uninjured, and trunks, boxes, carriage wheels, and blunderbuss were
all right.

"Transport the baggage around the Falls and wait for me at the mouth
of Maria's River to the first of September," said Captain Lewis,
setting out with Drouillard and the Fields boys. "If by that time I am
not there, go on and join Captain Clark and return home. But if my
life and health are spared, I shall meet you on the 5th of August."

It was not without misgivings that Sergeant Gass and his comrades saw
the gallant Captain depart into the hostile Blackfoot country. With
only three men at his back it was a daring venture. Already the five
Nez Percés, fearful of their foes, had dropped off to seek their
friends the Flatheads. In vain Lewis had promised to intercede and
make peace between the tribes. Their terror of the Blackfeet surpassed
their confidence in white men.

"Look!"

On the second day out Drouillard suddenly pointed, and leaning far
over on his horse, examined a trail that would have escaped an eye
less keen than his. "Blackfeet!" the vicious and profligate rovers
that of all it was most desirable not to meet!

Hastily crossing the Teton into a thick wood, the party camped that
night unmolested.

On the eighth day Captain Lewis suddenly spied several Indians on a
hilltop intently watching Drouillard in the valley. Thirty horses,
some led, some saddled, stood like silhouettes against the sky.
Kneeling they scanned the movements of the unconscious hunter below.

"Escape is impossible. We must make the most of our situation. If they
attempt to rob us, we will resist to the last extremity. I would
rather die than lose my papers and instruments."

Boldly advancing with a flag in his hand, followed by the two Fields
brothers, Lewis drew quite near before the Indians perceived these
other white men. Terrified, they ran about in confusion. Evidently
with them a stranger meant a foe.

Captain Lewis dismounted, and held out his hand.

Slowly the chief Blackfoot approached, then wheeled in flight. At
last, with extreme caution, the two parties met and shook hands. Lewis
gave to one a flag, to another a medal, to a third a handkerchief. The
tumultuous beating of the Indians' hearts could almost be heard. There
proved to be but eight of them, armed with two guns, bows, arrows, and
eye-daggs, a sort of war-hatchet.

"I am glad to see you," said Lewis. "I have much to say. Let us camp
together."

The Indians assented and set up their semi-circular tent by the
willows of the river. Here Drouillard, the hunter, skilled in the sign
language of redmen, drew out their story.

Yes, they knew white men. They traded on the Saskatchewan six days'
march away.

Yes, there were more of them, two large bands, on the forks of this
river, a day above.

What did they trade at the Saskatchewan? Skins, wolves, and beaver,
for guns and ammunition.

Then Lewis talked. He came from the rising sun. He had been to the
great lake at the west. He had seen many nations at war and had made
peace. He had stopped to make peace between the Blackfeet and the
Flatheads.

"We are anxious for peace with the Flatheads. But those people have
lately killed a number of our relatives and we are in mourning."

Yes, they would come down and trade with Lewis if he built a fort at
Maria's River.

Until a late hour they smoked, then slept. Lewis and Drouillard lay
down and slept with the Indians, while the two Fields boys kept guard
by the fire at the door of the tent.

"Let go my gun."

It was the voice of Drouillard in the half-light of the tent at
sunrise struggling with a Blackfoot. With a start Lewis awoke and
reached for his gun. It was gone. The deft thieves had all but
disarmed the entire party.

Chase followed. In the scuffle for his gun, Reuben Fields stabbed a
Blackfoot to the heart.

No sooner were the guns recovered than the horses were gone. "Leave
the horses or I will shoot," shouted Lewis, chasing out of breath to a
steep notch in the river bluffs. Madly the Indians were tearing away
with the horses. Lewis fired and killed a Blackfoot. Bareheaded, the
Captain felt a returning bullet whistle through his hair, but the
Indians dropped the horses, and away went swimming across the Marias.

Delay meant death. Quickly saddling their horses, Lewis and his men
made for the Missouri as fast as possible, hearing at every step in
imagination the pursuing "hoo-oh! whoop-ah-hooh!" that was destined to
make Marias River the scene of many a bloody massacre by the vengeful
Blackfeet.

Expecting interception at the mouth of Marias River, the white men
rode with desperation to form a junction with their friends. All day,
all night they galloped, until, exhausted, they halted at two o'clock
in the morning to rest their flagging horses.

That forenoon, having ridden one hundred and twenty miles since the
skirmish, they reached the mouth of Marias River, just in time to see
Sergeant Gass, the fleet of canoes, and all, descending from above.
Leaping from their horses, they took to the boats, and soon left the
spot, seventy, eighty, a hundred miles a day, down the swift Missouri.



XXVI

_DOWN THE YELLOWSTONE_


As Lewis turned north toward Marias River, Clark with the rest of the
party and fifty horses set his face along the Bitter Root Valley
toward the south. Every step he trod became historic ground in the
romance of settlement, wars, and gold. Into this Bitter Root Valley
were to come the first white settlers of Montana, and upon them,
through the Hell Gate Pass of the Rockies, above the present Missoula,
were to sweep again and again the bloodthirsty Blackfeet.

"It is as safe to enter the gates of hell as to enter that pass," said
the old trappers and traders.

More and more beautiful became the valley, pink as a rose with the
delicate bloom of the bitter-root, the Mayflower of Montana. Here for
ages the patient Flatheads had dug and dried their favourite root
until the whole valley was a garden.

As Clark's cavalcade wound through this vale, deer flitted before the
riders, multitudinous mountain streams leaped across their way, herds
of bighorns played around the snowbanks on the heights. Across an
intervening ridge the train descended into Ross Hole, where first they
met the Flatheads. There were signs of recent occupation; a fire was
still burning; but the Flatheads were gone.

Out of Ross Hole Sacajawea pointed the way by Clark's Pass, over the
Continental Divide, to the Big Hole River where the trail disappeared
or scattered. But Sacajawea knew the spot. "Here my people gather the
kouse and the camas; here we take the beaver; and yonder, see, a door
in the mountains."

On her little pony, with her baby on her back, the placid Indian girl
led the way into the labyrinthine Rockies.

Clark followed, descending into the beautiful Big Hole prairie, where
in 1877 a great battle was to be fought with Chief Joseph, exactly one
hundred years after the 1777 troubles, when George Rogers Clark laid
before Patrick Henry his plan for the capture of Illinois. Out of the
Big Hole, Chief Joseph was to escape with his women, his children, and
his dead, to be chased a thousand miles over the very summit of the
Rockies!

Standing there on the field of future battle, "Onward!" still urged
Sacajawea, "the gap there leads to your canoes!" The Bird Woman knew
these highlands,--they were her native hills. As Sacajawea fell back,
the men turned their horses at a gallop.

Almost could they count the milestones now, down Willard creek, where
first paying gold was discovered in Montana, past Shoshone cove, over
the future site of Bannock to the Jefferson.

Scarcely taking the saddles from their steeds, the eager men ran to
open the _cache_ hid from the Shoshones. To those who so long had
practised self-denial it meant food, clothing, merchandise--an Indian
ship in the wild. Everything was safe, goods, canoes, tobacco. In a
trice the long-unused pipes were smoking with the weed of old
Virginia.

"Better than any Injun red-willer k'nick-er-k'nick!" said Coalter, the
hunter.

Leaving Sergeant Pryor with six men to bring on the horses, Captain
Clark and the rest embarked in the canoes, and were soon gliding down
the emerald Jefferson, along whose banks for sixty years no change
should come.

Impetuous mountain streams, calmed to the placid pool of the beaver
dam, widened into lakes and marshes. Beaver, otter, musk-rats
innumerable basked along the shore. Around the boats all night the
disturbed denizens flapped the water with their tails,--angry at the
invasion of their solitude.

At the Three Forks, Clark's pony train remounted for the Yellowstone,
prancing and curveting along the beaver-populated dells of the
Gallatin.

Before them arose, bewildering, peak on peak, but again the Bird
Woman, Sacajawea, pointed out the Yellowstone Gap, the Bozeman Pass of
to-day, on the great Shoshone highway. Many a summer had Sacajawea,
child of elfin locks, ridden on the trailing travoises through this
familiar gateway into the buffalo haunts of Yellowstone Park.

Slowly Clark and his expectant cavalcade mounted the Pass, where for
ages the buffalo and the Indian alone had trod. As they reached the
summit, the glorious Yellowstone Alps burst on their view. At their
feet a rivulet, born on the mountain top, leaped away, bright and
clear, over its gravelly bed to the Yellowstone in the plains below.

It was the brother of George Rogers Clark that stood there, one to the
manner born of riding great rivers or breaking through mountain
chains. But thirty years had elapsed since that elder brother and
Daniel Boone had threaded the Cumberland Gap of the Alleghanies. The
highways of the buffalo became the highways of the nation.

"It is no more than eighteen miles," said Clark, glancing back from
the high snowy gap, half piercing, half surmounting the dividing ridge
between the Missouri and the Yellowstone, so nearly do their
headwaters interlock. In coming up this pass, Clark's party went
through the present city limits of Bozeman, the county seat of
Gallatin, and over the route of future Indians, trappers, miners, road
builders, and last and greatest of all, armies of permanent occupation
that are marching still to the valleys of fertile Montana. Up the
shining Yellowstone, over the Belt range, through the tunnel to
Bozeman, the iron horse flits to-day, on, westerly one hundred miles
to Helena, almost in the exact footsteps trodden by the heroic youth
of one hundred years ago.

Among the cottonwood groves of the Yellowstone, Clark's men quickly
fashioned a pair of dugouts, lashed together with rawhide; and in
these frail barks, twenty-eight feet long, the Captain and party
embarked, leaving Sergeant Pryor, Shannon, Windsor, and Hall to bring
on the horses. All manner of trouble Pryor had with those horses. Lame
from continual travel, he made moccasins for their feet. They were
buffalo runners, trained for the hunt. At sight of the Yellowstone
herds away they flew, to chase in the old wild Indian fashion of their
red masters. No sooner had Pryor rounded them up and brought them back
than they disappeared utterly,--stolen by the Crows. Not one of the
entire fifty horses was ever recovered.

Here was a serious predicament. Down the impetuous Yellowstone Clark's
boats had already gone. Alone in the heart of the buffalo country
these four men were left, thousands of miles from the haunts of
civilised man.

"We must join Captain Clark at all hazards. We must improvise boats,"
said Shannon.

Sergeant Pryor recalled the Welsh coracles of the Mandans. "Can we
make one?"

Long slim saplings were bent to form a hoop for the rim, another hoop
held by cross-sticks served for the bottom. Over this rude basket
green buffalo hides were tightly drawn, and in these frail craft they
took to the water, close in the wake of their unconscious Captain.

And meanwhile Clark was gliding down the Yellowstone. On either bank
buffaloes dotted the landscape, under the shade of trees and standing
in the water like cattle, or browsing on a thousand hills. Gangs of
stately elk, light troops of sprightly antelopes, fleet and graceful
as the gazelle of Oriental song, deer of slim elastic beauty, and even
bighorns that could be shot from the boat. Sometimes were heard the
booming subterranean geysers hidden in the hollows of the mountains,
but none in the party yet conceived of the wonders of Yellowstone Park
that Coalter came back to discover that same Autumn.

One day Clark landed to examine a remarkable rock. Its sides were
carved with Indian figures, and a cairn was heaped upon the summit.
Stirred by he knew not what impulse, Clark named it Pompey's Pillar,
and carved his name upon the yielding sandstone, where his bold
lettering is visible yet to-day.

More and more distant each day grew the Rockies, etched fainter each
night on the dim horizon of the west. More and more numerous grew the
buffaloes, delaying the boats with their countless herds stampeding
across the Yellowstone. For an hour one day the boats waited, the wide
river blackened by their backs, and before night two other herds, as
numerous as the first, came beating across the yellow-brown tide.

But more than buffaloes held sway on the magic Yellowstone. Wrapped in
their worn-out blankets the men could not sleep for the scourge of
mosquitoes; they could not sight their rifles for the clouds of
moving, whizzing, buzzing, biting insects. Even the buffalo were
stifled by them in their nostrils.

Nine hundred miles now had they come down the Yellowstone, to its
junction with the Missouri half a mile east of the Montana border, but
no sign yet had they found of Lewis. Clark wrote on the sand, "W. C. A
few miles further down on the right hand side."

August 8, Sergeant Pryor and his companions appeared in their little
skin tubs. Four days later, there was a shout and waving of caps,--the
boats of Captain Lewis came in sight at noon. But a moment later every
cheek blanched with alarm.

"Where is Captain Lewis?" demanded Clark, running forward.

There in the bottom of a canoe, Lewis lay as one dead, pale but
smiling. He had been shot. With the gentleness of a brother Clark
lifted him up, and they carried him to camp.

"A mistake,--an accident,--'tis nothing," he whispered.

And then the story leaked out. Cruzatte, one-eyed, near-sighted,
mistaking Lewis in his dress of brown leather for an elk, had shot him
through the thigh. With the assistance of Patrick Gass, Lewis had
dressed the wound himself. On account of great pain and high fever he
slept that night in the boat. And now the party were happily reunited.



XXVII

_THE HOME STRETCH_


In the distance there was a gleam of coloured blankets where the
beehive huts of the Mandan village lay. A firing of guns and the
blunderbuss brought Black Cat to the boats.

"Come and eat." And with the dignity of an old Roman, the chief
extended his hand.

"Come and eat," was the watchword of every chieftain on the Missouri.
Even the Sioux said, "Come and eat!"

Hospitable as Arabs, they spread the buffalo robe and brought the
pipe. While the officers talked with the master of the lodge, the
silent painstaking squaws put the kettles on the fire, and slaughtered
the fatted dog for the honoured guests.

"How many chiefs will accompany us to Washington?" That was the first
inquiry of the business-pushing white men. Through Jussaume the
Indians answered.

"I would go," said the Black Cat, "but de Sioux--"

"De Sioux will certainly kill us," said Le Borgne of the Minnetarees.
"Dey are waiting now to intercept you on de river. Dey will cut you
off."

"We stay at home. We listen to your counsel," piped up Little Cherry.
"But dey haf stolen our horses. Dey haf scalp our people."

"We must fight to protect ourselves," added the Black Cat. "We live in
peace wit' all nation--'cept de Sioux!"

In vain Captain Clark endeavoured to quiet their apprehensions. "We
shall not suffer the Sioux to injure one of our red children."

"I pledge my government that a company of armed men shall guard you on
your return," added Lewis.

At this point Jussaume reported that Shahaka, or Big White, in his
wish to see the President, had overcome his fears. He would go to
Washington.

Six feet tall, of magnificent presence, with hair white and coarse as
a horse's mane, Shahaka, of all the chiefs, was the one to carry to
the States the tradition of a white admixture in the Mandan blood.
"The handsomest Injun I iver saw," said Patrick Gass.

Arrangements for departure were now made as rapidly as possible.
Presents of corn, beans, and squashes, more than all the boats could
carry, were piled around the white men's camp.

The blacksmith's tools were intrusted to Charboneau for the use of the
Mandans. The blunderbuss, given to the Minnetarees, was rolled away to
their village with great exultation.

"Now let the Sioux come!" It was a challenge and a refuge.

The iron corn mill was nowhere to be seen. For scarcely had Lewis and
Clark turned their backs for the upper Missouri before it had been
broken into bits to barb the Indian arrows.

Sacajawea looked wistfully. She, too, would like to visit the white
man's country.

"We will take you and your wife down if you choose to go," said
Captain Clark to Charboneau.

"I haf no acquaintance, no prospect to mak' a leeving dere," answered
the interpreter. "I mus' leeve as I haf done."

"I will take your son and have him educated as a white child should
be," continued the Captain.

Charboneau and Sacajawea looked at one another and at their beautiful
boy now nineteen months old, prattling in their midst.

"We would be weeling eef de child were weaned," slowly spake
Charboneau. "Een wan year, he be ole enough to leaf he moder. I den
tak' eem to you eef you be so friendly to raise eem as you t'ink
proper."

"Bring him to me in one year. I will take the child," said Captain
Clark.

Captain Lewis paid Charboneau five hundred dollars, loaded Sacajawea
with what gifts he could, and left them in the Mandan country.

All was now ready for the descent to St. Louis. The boats, lashed
together in pairs, were at the shore. Big White was surrounded by his
friends, seated in a circle, solemnly smoking. The women wept aloud;
the little children trembled and hid behind their mothers.

More courageous than any, Shahaka immediately sent his wife and son
with their baggage on board. The interpreter, Jussaume, with his wife
and two children, accompanied them. Yes, Madame Jussaume was going to
Washington!

Sacajawea, modest princess of the Shoshones, heroine of the great
expedition, stood with her babe in arms and smiled upon them from the
shore. So had she stood in the Rocky Mountains pointing out the gates.
So had she followed the great rivers, navigating the continent.

Sacajawea's hair was neatly braided, her nose was fine and straight,
and her skin pure copper like the statue in some old Florentine
gallery. Madonna of her race, she had led the way to a new time. To
the hands of this girl, not yet eighteen, had been intrusted the key
that unlocked the road to Asia.

Some day upon the Bozeman Pass, Sacajawea's statue will stand beside
that of Clark. Some day, where the rivers part, her laurels will vie
with those of Lewis. Across North America a Shoshone Indian Princess
touched hands with Jefferson, opening her country.

All the chiefs had gathered to see the boats start. "Stay but one
moment," they said.

Clark stepped back. Black Cat handed him a pipe, as if for
benediction. The solemn smoke-wreaths soon rolled upward.

"Tell our Great Fader de young men will remain at home and not mak'
war on any people, except in self-defence."

"Tell de Rickara to come and visit. We mean no harm."

"Tak' good care dis chief. He will bring word from de Great Fader."

It was a promise and a prayer. Strong chiefs turned away with
misgiving and trepidation as they saw Shahaka depart with the white
men.

Dropping below their old winter quarters at Fort Mandan, Lewis and
Clark saw but a row of pickets left. The houses lay in ashes,
destroyed by an accidental fire. All were there for the homeward pull
but Coalter. He had gone back with Hancock and Dickson, two
adventurers from Boone's settlement, to discover the Yellowstone Park.

On the fourth day out three Frenchmen were met approaching the Mandan
nation with the message,--

"Seven hundert Sioux haf pass de Rickara to mak' war on de Mandan an'
Minnetaree." Fortunately, Shahaka did not understand, and no one told
him.

The Arikara village greeted the passing boats. Lewis, still lame,
requested Clark to go up to the village. Like children confessing
their misdeeds the Arikaras began:

"We cannot keep the peace! Our young men follow the Sioux!"

The wild Cheyennes, with their dogs and horses and handsome leathern
lodges, were here on a trading visit, to exchange with the Arikaras
meat and robes for corn and beans. They were a noble race, of straight
limbs and Roman noses, unaccustomed to the whites, shy and cautious.

"We war against none but the Sioux, with whom we have battled for
ever," they said.

Everywhere there was weeping and mourning. "My son, my son, he has
been slain by the Sioux!"

Between the lands of the warring nations surged seas of buffalo, where
to-day are the waving bonanza wheat fields of North Dakota.

From an eminence Clark looked over the prairies. "More buffalo than
ever I have seen before at one time,"--and he had seen many. "If it be
not impossible to calculate the moving multitude that darkens the
plains, twenty thousand would be no exaggerated estimate."

They were now well into the country of the great Sioux Indian
Confederacy. Arms and ammunition were inspected.

The sharp air thrilled and filled them with new vigour. No wonder the
Sioux were never still. The ozone of the Arctic was in their veins,
the sweeping winds drove them, the balsamic prairie was their bed, the
sky their canopy. They never shut themselves up in stuffy mud huts, as
did the Mandans; they lived in tents. Unrestrained, unregenerate,
there was in them the fire of the Six Nations, of King Philip and of
Pontiac. Tall, handsome, finely formed, agile, revengeful,
intelligent, capable,--they loved their country and they hated
strangers. So did the Greeks. An effeminate nation would have fallen
before them as did the Roman before the Goth, but in the Anglo-Saxon
they met their master.

"Whoop-ah-ho-o-oh!"

As anticipated, Black Buffalo and his pirate band were on the hills.
Whether that fierce cry meant defiance or greeting no man could tell.

"Whoop-ah-ho-o-oh!"

The whole band rushed down to the shore, and even out into the water,
shouting invitations to land, and waving from the sand-banks.

But too fresh in memory was the attempt to carry off Captain Clark.
Jubilant, hopeful, and full of the fire of battle as the white men
were, yet no one wished to test the prowess of the Sioux.

Unwilling to venture an interview, the boats continued on their way.
Black Buffalo shook his war bonnet defiantly, and returning to the
hill smote the earth three times with the butt of his rifle, the
registration of a mighty oath against the whites.

Leaving behind them a wild brandishing of bows, arrows, and tomahawks,
and an atmosphere filled with taunts, insults, and imprecations, the
boats passed out of sight.

Wafted on the wind followed that direful "Whoop-ah-ho-o-oh!" ending
with the piercing shrill Indian yell that for sixty years froze the
earliest life blood of Minnesota and Dakota.

Here in the land of the Teton Sioux was to be planted the future Fort
Rice, where exactly sixty years after Lewis and Clark, there crossed
the Missouri one of the most powerful, costly, and best equipped
expeditions ever sent out against hostile Indians,--four thousand
cavalry, eight hundred mounted infantry, twelve pieces of artillery,
three hundred government teams, three hundred beef steers, and fifteen
steamboats to carry supplies,--to be joined here on the Fourth of
July, 1864, by an emigrant train of one hundred and sixty teams and
two hundred and fifty people,--the van guard of Montana settlement.
The Sioux were defeated in the Bad Lands, and the emigrants were
carried safely through to Helena, where they and their descendants
live to-day.

Already sweeping up the Missouri, Lewis and Clark met advancing
empire. Near Vermilion River, James Aird was camping with a license to
trade among the Sioux.

"What is the news from St. Louis?"

There on the borders of a future great State, Lewis and Clark first
heard that Burr and Hamilton had fought a duel and Hamilton was
killed; that three hundred American troops were cantoned at
Bellefontaine, a new log fort on the Missouri; that Spain had taken a
United States frigate on the Mediterranean; that two British ships of
war had fired on an American ship in the port of New York, killing the
Captain's brother.

Great was the indignation in the United States against Jefferson and
the impressment of American seamen.

"The money spent for Louisiana would have been much better used in
building fighting ships."

"The President had much better be protecting our rights than cutting
up animals and stuffing the skins of dead raccoons."

"Where is our national honour? Gone, abandoned on the Mississippi."

And these _coureurs_ on the Mississippi heard that the conflict
foreseen by Napoleon, when he gave us Louisiana, was raging now in all
its fury, interdicting the commerce of the world.

To their excited ears the river rushed and rocked, the earth rumbled,
with the roar of cannon. To themselves Lewis and Clark seemed a very
small part of the forces that make and unmake nations,--and yet that
expedition meant more to the world than the field of Waterloo!

The next noon, on ascending the hill of Floyd's Bluff they found the
Indians had opened the grave of their comrade. Reverently it was
filled again.

Home from the buffalo hunt in the plains of the Nebraska, the Omahas
were firing guns to signal their return to gather in their harvest of
corn, beans, and pumpkins. Keel boats, barges, and bateaux came
glistening into view,--Auguste Chouteau with merchandise to trade with
the Yanktons, another Chouteau to the Platte, a trader with two men to
the Pawnee Loupes, and Joseph La Croix with seven men bound for the
Omahas.

Through the lessening distance Clark recognised on one of the barges
his old comrade, Robert McClellan, the wonderful scout of Wayne's
army, who had ridden on many an errand of death. Since Wayne's victory
McClellan had been a ranger still, but now the Indians were quieting
down,--all except Tecumseh.

"The country has long since given you up," he told the Captain. "We
have word from Jefferson to seek for news of Lewis and Clark. The
general opinion in the United States is that you are lost in the
unfathomable depths of the continent. But President Jefferson has
hopes. The last heard of you was at the Mandan villages."

With a laugh they listened to their own obituaries. On the same barge
with McClellan was Gravelines with orders from Jefferson to instruct
the Arikaras in agriculture, and Dorion to help make way through the
Sioux.

"Brave Raven, the Arikara chief, died in Washington," said Gravelines.
"I am on my way to them with a speech from the President and the
presents which have been made to the chief."

How home now tugged at their heart strings! Eager to be on the way,
they bade farewell to McClellan.

Down, down they shot along, wind, current, and paddle in their favour,
past shores where the freebooting Kansas Indians robbed the traders,
past increasing forests of walnut, elm, oak, hickory.

The men were now reduced to a biscuit apiece. Wild turkeys gobbled on
shore, but the party paused not a moment to hunt.

On the twentieth a mighty shout went up. They heard the clank of cow
bells, and saw tame cattle feeding on the hills of Charette, the home
of Daniel Boone. With cheers and firing of guns they landed at the
village.

"We are indeet astonished," exclaimed the joyful habitants, grasping
their hands. "You haf been given up for det long tam since." The men
were scattered among the families for the night, honoured guests of
Charette.

"Plaintee tam we wish ourself back on ole San Loui'," said Cruzatte to
his admiring countrymen.

To their surprise Lewis and Clark found new settlements all the way
down from Charette. September 21, firing a tremendous salute from the
old stone tower behind the huts, all St. Charles paid tribute to the
Homeric heroes who had wandered farther than Ulysses and slain more
monsters than Hercules.

Just above the junction of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers loomed
the fresh mud chimneys of the new log Fort Bellefontaine, Colonel
Thomas Hunt in command, and Dr. Saugrain, surgeon, appointed by
Jefferson.

The Colonel's pretty little daughter, Abby Hunt, looked up in
admiration at Lewis and Clark, and followed all day these "Indian
white men" from the north. Forty years after she told the story of
that arrival. "They wore dresses of deerskin, fringed and worked with
porcupine quills, something between a military undress frock coat and
an Indian shirt, with leggings and moccasins, three-cornered cocked
hats and long beards."

Standing between the centuries in that log fort on the Missouri,
pretty little Abby Hunt herself was destined to become historic, as
the wife of Colonel Snelling and the mother of the first white child
born in Minnesota.

After an early breakfast with Colonel Hunt, the expedition set out for
the last stretch homeward. They rounded out of the Missouri into the
Mississippi, and pulled up to St. Louis at noon, Tuesday, September
23, 1806, after an absence of nearly two years and a half.



XXVIII

_THE OLD STONE FORTS OF ST. LOUIS_


It was noon when Lewis and Clark sighted the old stone forts of the
Spanish time. Never had that frontier site appeared so noble, rising
on a vast terrace from the rock-bound river.

As the white walls burst on their view, with simultaneous movement
every man levelled his rifle. The Captains smiled and gave the
signal,--the roar of thirty rifles awoke the echoes from the rocks.

Running down the stony path to the river came the whole of St.
Louis,--eager, meagre, little Frenchmen, tanned and sallow and quick
of gait, smaller than the Americans, but graceful and gay, with a
heartfelt welcome; black-eyed French women in camasaks and kerchiefs,
dropping their trowels in their neat little gardens where they had
been delving among the hollyhocks; gay little French children in red
petticoats; and here and there a Kentuckian, lank and lean,
eager,--all tripping and skipping down to the water's edge.

Elbowing his way among them came Monsieur Auguste Chouteau, the most
noted man in St. Louis. Pierre, his brother, courtly, well-dressed,
eminently social, came also; and even Madame, their mother, did not
disdain to come down to welcome her friends, _Les Américains_.

It was like the return of a fur brigade, with shouts of laughter and
genuine rejoicing.

"_Mon Dieu! Mon Dieu!_ eet ees Leewes an' Clark whom ve haf mournt as
det in dose Rock Mountain. What good word mought dey bring from te fur
countree."

With characteristic abandon the emotional little Frenchmen flung their
arms around the stately forms of Lewis and Clark, and more than one
pretty girl that day printed a kiss on their bearded lips.

"Major Christy,--well, I declare!" An old Wayne's army comrade grasped
Captain Clark by the hand. What memories that grasp aroused! William
Christy, one of his brother officers, ready not more than a dozen
years ago to aid in capturing this same San Luis de Ilinoa!

"I have moved to this town. I have a tavern. Send your baggage right
up!" And forthwith a creaking charette came lumbering down the rocky
way.

"Take a room at my house." Pierre Chouteau grasped the hands of both
Captains at once. And to Chouteau's they went.

"But first we must send word of our safe arrival to the President,"
said Lewis, feeling unconsciously for certain papers that had slept
next his heart for many a day.

"Te post haf departed from San Loui'," remarked a bystander.

"Departed? It must be delayed. Here, Drouillard, hurry with this note
to Mr. Hay at Cahokia and bid him hold the mail until to-morrow noon."

Drouillard, with his old friend Pascal Cerré, the son of Gabriel, set
off at once across the Mississippi. The wharf was lined with flatboats
loaded with salt for 'Kasky and furs for New Orleans.

Once a month a one-horse mail arrived at Cahokia. Formerly St. Louis
went over there for mail,--St. Louis was only a village near Cahokia
then; but already _Les Américains_ were turning things upside down.

"We haf a post office now. San Loui' haf grown."

Every one said that. To eyes that had seen nothing more stately than
Fort Mandan or Clatsop, St. Louis had taken on metropolitan airs. In
the old fort where lately lounged the Spanish governor, peering
anxiously across the dividing waters, and whence had lately marched
the Spanish garrison, American courts of justice were in session. Out
of the old Spanish martello tower on the hill, a few Indian prisoners
looked down on the animated street below.

With the post office and the court house had come the American school,
and already vivacious French children were claiming as their own,
Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington.

Just opposite the Chouteau mansion was the old Spanish Government
House, the house where George Rogers Clark had met and loved the
dazzling Donna.

Aaron Burr had lately been there, feted by the people, plotting
treason with Wilkinson in the Government House itself; and now his
disorganised followers, young men of birth and education from Atlantic
cities, stranded in St. Louis, were to become the pioneer
schoolmasters of Upper Louisiana.

New houses were rising on every hand. In the good old French days,
goods at fabulous prices were kept in boxes. Did Madame or
Mademoiselle wish anything, it must be unpacked as from a trunk. Once
a year goods arrived. Sugar, gunpowder, blankets, spices, knives,
hatchets, and kitchen-ware, pell-mell, all together, were coming out
now onto shelves erected by the thrifty Americans. Already new stores
stood side by side with the old French mansions.

"Alas! te good old quiet times are gone," sighed the French habitants,
wiping a tear with the blue bandana.

And while they looked askance at the tall Americans, elephantine
horses, and Conestoga waggons, that kept crossing the river, the
prices of the little two-acre farms of the Frenchmen went up, until in
a few years the old French settlers were the nabobs of the land.

Already two ferry lines were transporting a never-ending line through
this new gateway to the wider West. Land-mad settlers were flocking
into "Jefferson's Purchase," grubbing out hazel roots, splitting
rails, making fences, building barns and bridges. Men whose sole
wealth consisted in an auger, a handsaw, and a gun, were pushing into
the prairies and the forests. Long-bearded, dressed in buckskin, with
a knife at his belt and a rifle at his back, the forest-ranging
backwoodsman was over-running Louisiana.

"Why do you live so isolated?" the stranger would ask.

"I never wish to hear the bark of a neighbour's dog. When you hear
the sound of a neighbour's gun it is time to move away."

Thus, solitary and apart, the American frontiersman took up Missouri.

Strolling along the Rue Royale, followed by admiring crowds, Lewis and
Clark found themselves already at the Pierre Chouteau mansion, rising
like an old-world chateau amid the lesser St. Louis. Up the stone
steps, within the demi-fortress, there were glimpses of fur
warehouses, stables, slaves' quarters, occupying a block,--practically
a fort within the city.

Other guests were there before them,--Charles Gratiot, who had visited
the Clarks in Virginia, and John P. Cabanné, who was to wed Gratiot's
daughter, Julia. On one of those flatboats crowding the wharf that
morning came happy Pierre Menard, the most illustrious citizen of
Kaskaskia, with his bride of a day, Angelique Saucier. Pierre Menard's
nephew, Michel Menard, was shortly to leave for Texas, to become an
Indian trader and founder of the city of Galveston.

At the board, too, sat Pierre Chouteau, the younger, just returned
from a trip up the Mississippi with Julien Dubuque, where he had
helped to start Dubuque and open the lead mines.

Out of the wild summer grape the old inhabitants of St. Louis had long
fabricated their choicest Burgundy. But of late the Chouteaus had
begun to import their wine from France, along with ebony chairs,
claw-footed tables, and other luxuries, the first in this Mississippi
wild. For never had the fur-trade been so prosperous.

There was laughter and clinking of glasses, and questions of lands
beyond the Yellowstone. Out of that hour arose schemes for a trapper's
conquest along the trail on which ten future States were strung.

"The mouth of the Yellowstone commands the rich fur-trade of the Rocky
mountains," said Captain Clark. Captain Lewis dwelt on the Three Forks
as a strategic point for a fort. No one there listened with more
breathless intent than the dark-haired boy, the young Chouteau, who
was destined to become the greatest financier of the West, a king of
the fur trade, first rival and then partner of John Jacob Astor.

No wonder the home-coming of Lewis and Clark was the signal for
enterprises such as this country had never yet seen. They had
penetrated a realm whose monarch was the grizzly bear, whose queen was
the beaver, whose armies were Indian tribes and the buffalo.

Gallic love of gaiety and amusement found in this return ample
opportunity for the indulgence of hospitable dancing and feasting.
Every door was open. Every house, from Chouteau's down, had its guest
out of the gallant thirty-one.

Hero-worship was at its height. Hero-worship is characteristic of
youthful, progressive peoples. Whole nations strive to emulate ideals.
The moment that ceases, ossification begins.

Here the ideals were Lewis and Clark. They had been west; their men
had been west. They, who had traced the Missouri to its cradle in the
mountains, who had smoked the calumet with remotest tribes, who had
carried the flag to the distant Pacific, became the lions of St.
Louis.

Such spontaneous welcome made a delightful impression upon the hearts
of the young Captains, and they felt a strong inclination to make the
city their permanent home.

The galleries of the little inns of St. Louis were filled with
Frenchmen, smoking and telling stories all day long. Nothing hurried,
nothing worried them; the rise of the river, the return of a brigade,
alone broke the long summer day of content.

But here was something new.

Even York, addicted to romance, told Munchausen tales of thrilling
incidents that never failed of an appreciative audience. Trappers,
flat-boatmen, frontiersmen, and Frenchmen loved to spin long yarns at
the Green Tree Inn, but York could outdo them all. He had been to the
ocean, had seen the great whale and sturgeon that put all inland fish
stories far into the shade.

Petrie, Auguste Chouteau's old negro, who came with him as a boy and
grew old and thought he owned Auguste Chouteau,--Petrie, who always
said, "Me and the Colonel," met in York for the first time one greater
than himself.

Immediately upon their return Lewis and Clark had repaired to the
barber and tailor, and soon bore little resemblance to the tawny
frontiersmen in fringed hunting-shirts and beards that had so lately
issued from the wilderness.

In the upper story of the Chouteau mansion, the Captains regarded with
awe the high four-poster with its cushiony, billowy feather-bed.

"This is too luxurious! York, bring my robe and bear-skin."

Lewis and Clark could not sleep in beds that night. They heard the
watch call and saw the glimmer of campfires in their dreams. The
grandeur of the mountains was upon them, cold and white and crowned
with stars, the vastness of the prairie and the dashing of ocean, the
roar of waterfalls, the hum of insects, and the bellowing of buffalo.

They knew now the Missouri like the face of a friend; they had stemmed
its muddy mouth, had evaded its shifting sandbanks, had watched its
impetuous falls that should one day whirl a thousand wheels. Up
windings green as paradise they had drunk of its crystal sources in
the mountains.

They had seen it when the mountains cast their shadows around the
campfires, and in the blaze of noon when the quick tempest beat it
into ink. They had seen it white in Mandan winter, the icy trail of
brave and buffalo; and they had seen it crimson, when far-off peaks
were tipped with amethystine gold.

In the vast and populous solitude of nature they had followed the same
Missouri spreading away into the beaver-meadows of the Madison, the
Jefferson, and the Gallatin, and had written their journals on
hillsides where the windflower and the larkspur grew wild on Montana
hills.

An instinct, a relic, an inheritance of long ago was upon them, when
their ancestors roved the earth untrammelled by cities and
civilisation, when the rock was man's pillow and the cave his home,
when the arrow in his strong hand brought the fruits of the chase,
when garments of skin clad his limbs, and God spoke to the white
savage under the old Phoenician stars.

In their dreams they felt the rain and wind beat on their leather
tent. Sacajawea's baby cried, Spring nodded with the rosy clarkia,
screamed with Clark's crow, and tapped with Lewis's woodpecker.

"Rat-tat-tat!" Was that the woodpecker? No, some one was knocking at
the door of their bed chamber. And no one else than Pierre Chouteau
himself.

"Drouillard is back from Cahokia ready to carry your post. The rider
waits."

This was the world again. It was morning. Throwing off robes and
bear-skins, and rising from the hardwood floor where they had
voluntarily camped that night, both Captains looked at the tables
strewn with letters, where until past midnight they had sat the night
before.

There lay Clark's letter to his brother, George Rogers, and there,
also, was the first rough draft of Lewis's letter to the President, in
a hand as fine and even as copperplate, but interlined, and blotted
with erasures.

In the soft, warm St. Louis morning, with Mississippi breezes rustling
the curtain, after a hurried breakfast both set to work to complete
the letters.

For a time nothing was heard but the scratching of quill pens, as each
made clean copies of their letters for transmission to the far-off
centuries. But no centuries troubled then; to-day,--_to-day_, was
uppermost.

York stuck in his head, hat in hand. "Massah Clahk, Drewyer say he hab
jus' time, sah."

"Well, sir, tell Drouillard the whole United States mail service can
wait on us to-day. We are writing to the President."

Before ten o'clock Drouillard was off to Cahokia with messages that
gave to the nation at large its first intimation that the Pacific
expedition was a consummated fact.



XXIX

_TO WASHINGTON_


There were hurried days at St. Louis, a village that knew not haste
before. The skins were sunned and stored in the rooms of Cadet
Chouteau. Boxes of specimens were packed for the Government. Captain
Lewis opened his trunk and found his papers all wet. The hermetically
sealed tin cases that held the precious journals alone had saved these
from destruction.

The Captains had their hands full. The restless men must be paid and
discharged. Nine of the adventurers within a week after the return to
St. Louis sold their prospective land claims for a pittance. Seven of
these claims were bought by their fellow soldiers; Sergeant John
Ordway took several of the men and settled on the site of the present
city of New Madrid.

Robert Frazer received two hundred and fifty dollars for his claim,
and prepared to publish his travels,--a volume that never saw the
light. In addition to land grants, the men received double pay
amounting altogether to eleven thousand dollars.

A grand dinner, given by St. Louis, a ball and farewell, and the
Captains were on the way with their Mandan chief, Big White, and his
Indians, and Gass, Shannon, Ordway, Pryor, and Bratton.

"The route by which I propose travelling to Washington is by way of
Cahokia, Vincennes, Louisville, the Crab Orchard, Fincastle, Staunton,
and Charlottesville," Captain Lewis had written in that letter to
Jefferson. "Any letters directed to me at Louisville will most
probably meet me at that place."

With well-filled saddle-bags, the returning heroes crossed to Cahokia
and set out across Illinois in the Indian summer of 1806.

Governor Harrison was at Vincennes, and Vigo, and a hundred others to
welcome.

"Hurrah for old Kentucky!" cried Clark, as he caught sight of its
limestone shores. On many a smiling hilltop, the log cabin had
expanded into a baronial country seat, with waxed floors and pianos.
Already the stables were full of horses, the halls were full of music.

Clark, Lewis, and Big White climbed the cliff to the Point of Rock.
Who but chiefs should visit there?

With newspapers around him, sat George Rogers Clark, following the
career of Napoleon. That calm and splendid eye kindled at sight of his
brother. His locks had grown longer, his eye a deeper black under the
shaggy brows, but the Revolutionary hero shone in every lineament as
he took the hands of the two explorers.

With the dashing waters at their feet, upon the lonely Point of Rock,
above the Falls of the Ohio, William Clark stopped first to greet his
brother from the great expedition. Painters may find a theme here, and
future romancers a page in drama.

Without delay, taking his rusty three-cornered _chapeau_ from its peg,
and donning his faded uniform, the conqueror of Illinois accompanied
the explorers to Locust Grove, ablaze that night with welcome.

Lucy, Fanny, Edmund were there; and Jonathan from Mulberry Hill; Major
Croghan, the courtly host of old; and the lad, George Croghan, now in
his fifteenth year. All too quickly fled the hours; the hickory flamed
and the brass andirons shone not brighter than the happy faces.

Spread around for exhibition were Mandan robes, fleeces of the
mountain goat, Clatsop hats, buffalo horns, and Indian baskets,
Captain Clark's "tiger-cat coat," Indian curios, and skins of grizzly
bears,--each article suggestive of adventure surpassing Marco Polo or
the Arabian nights. Another huge box, filled with bones for the
President, had been left with George Rogers Clark at the Point of
Rock.

Louisville received the explorers with bonfires and cannonry. A grand
ball was given in their honour, in which the Indians, especially,
shone in medals and plumage.

The next day there was a sad visit to Mill Creek, where lamenting
parents received the last token and listened to the final word
concerning their beloved son, Sergeant Charles Floyd.

A cold wind and a light fall of snow warned them no time must be lost
in crossing the Kentucky mountains; but encumbered with the Indian
retinue they made slow progress along that atrocious road, on which
the followers of Boone had "sometimes paused to pray and sometimes
stopped to swear."

A few days beyond Cumberland Gap, Clark's heart beat a tattoo; they
had come to Fincastle! Among its overhanging vines and trees, the
Hancock mansion was in holiday attire,--Harriet Kennerly had just been
married to Dr. Radford of Fincastle.

Colonel Hancock had been proud to entertain George Rogers Clark, still
more was he now delighted with the visit of the famous explorers.

"La!" exclaimed Black Granny at the announcement of Captain Clark.
"Miss Judy?" Black Granny had nursed Miss Judy from the cradle.

Sedately Miss Judy came down the long staircase,--not the child that
Clark remembered, but a woman, petite, serious. The chestnut brown
curls with a glint of gold were caught with a high back comb, and a
sweeping gown had replaced the short petticoats that lately tripped
over the foothills of the Blue Ridge.

"My pretty cousin going to marry that ugly man?" exclaimed Harriet,
when she heard of the early engagement.

There was nothing effeminate about Clark, nor artificial. His features
were rugged almost to plainness; his head was high from the ear to the
top, a large brain chamber.

"Absolutely beautiful," said Judy to herself, associating those
bronzed features with endless winds that blew on far-off mountains.

Behind the respectable old Hancock silver, Judy's mother turned the
tea and talked. Turning up his laced sleeves to carve the mutton,
Colonel Hancock asked a thousand questions regarding that wonderful
journey.

"We passed the winter on the Pacific, then crossed the mountains, and
my division came down the Yellowstone," Clark was saying. "By the way,
Judy, I have named a river for you,--the Judith."

A peal of laughter rang through the dining-room.

"Judith! Judith, did you say? Why, Captain Clark, my name is Julia."

Clark was confounded. He almost feared Judy was making fun of him.

"Is it, really, now? I always supposed Judy stood for Judith."

Again rang out the infectious peal, in which Clark himself joined; but
to this day rolls the river Judith in Montana, named for Clark's
mountain maid of Fincastle.

"That I should live to see you back from the Pacific!" was Aunt
Molly's greeting at "The Farm," at Charlottesville. "I reckoned the
cannibal savages would eat you. We looked for nothing less than the
fate of Captain Cook."

But Maria, whose eyes had haunted Lewis in many a long Montana day,
seemed strangely shy and silent. In fact, she had another lover,
perhaps a dearer one.

Uncle Nicholas was sick. He was growing old, but still directed the
negroes of a plantation that extended from Charlottesville to the
Fluvanna.

It was sunset when Captain Lewis reached the home at Locust Hill, and
was folded to his mother's bosom. With daily prayer had Lucy
Meriwether followed her boy across the Rocky Mountains.

Meriwether's little pet sister, Mary Marks, had blossomed into a
bewitching rose.

"Here is a letter from the President."

Captain Lewis read his first message from Jefferson in more than two
years and a half.

Turning to Big White, the chief, who at every step had gazed with
amazement at the white man's country,--

"The President says 'Tell my friend of Mandan that I have already
opened my arms to receive him."

"Ugh! Ugh!" commented Big White, with visions of barbaric splendour in
his untutored brain.

That afternoon the entire party rode over to Monticello to show the
chief the President's Indian hall, where all their gifts and tokens
had been arranged for display. The next day, by Richmond,
Fredericksburg, and Alexandria, the party set out for the national
capital. Every step of the way was a triumphal progress.



XXX

_THE PLAUDITS OF A NATION_


It was well into January before both Captains reached Washington.
Workmen were still building at the Capitol, rearing a home for
Congress. Tools of carpentry and masonry covered the windy lawn where
Jefferson rode daily, superintending as on his own Virginia
plantation.

Never had Captain Lewis seen his old friend, the President, so moved
as when black Ben, the valet, with stentorian call announced,
"Captains Mehwether Lewis and William Clahk!"

In silk stockings and pumps they stood in the Blue Room. At sight of
that well-known figure in blue coat faced with yellow, red plush
waistcoat, and green velveteen breeches, Meriwether Lewis bounded as a
boy toward his old friend.

The gray-haired president visibly trembled as he strained the two sons
of his country to his heart. Tears gushed from his eyes, "The suspense
has been awful." Then pausing, with difficulty he controlled his
emotion. "But the hopes, the dreams, the ambitions of twenty years are
now vindicated, and you are safe, boys, you are safe. I felt that if
you were lost the country would hold me responsible."

If others had asked questions about the route, Jefferson now
overwhelmed them with an avalanche, put with the keenness of a scholar
and the penetration of a scientist. For with the possible exception of
Franklin, Thomas Jefferson was the most learned man of his time.

Into the President's hands Lewis placed the precious journals,
obtained at such a cost in toil and travel. Each pocket volume,
morocco-bound, had as soon as filled been cemented in a separate tin
case to prevent injury by wetting. But now Lewis had slipped the cases
off and displayed them neat and fresh as on the day of writing.

On rocking boats, on saddle pommels, and after dark by the flickering
campfire, had the writing been done. T's were not always crossed, nor
i's dotted, as hurriedly each event was jotted down to be read and
criticised after a hundred years. Written under such circumstances,
and in such haste, it is not remarkable that words are misspelled and
some omitted. A considerable collection of later letters gives ample
evidence that both the Captains were graceful correspondents.

And the vocabularies, the precious vocabularies gathered from Council
Bluffs to Clatsop, were taken by Jefferson and carefully laid away for
future study.

Big White and his Indians were entertained by Jefferson and the
cabinet. Dolly Madison, Mrs. Gallatin, and other ladies of the White
House, manifested the liveliest interest as the tall Shahaka, six feet
and ten inches, stood up before them in his best necklace of bear's
claws, admiring the pretty squaws that talked to them.

"And was your father a chief, and your father's father?" Mrs. Madison
inquired of Shahaka. She was always interested in families and
lineage. "And what makes your hair so white?" But Shahaka had never
heard of Prince Madoc.

Never had the village-capital been so gay. Dinners and balls followed
in rapid succession, eulogies and poems were recited in honour of the
explorers. There was even talk of changing the name of the Columbia to
Lewis River.

In those days everybody went to the Capitol to hear the debates. The
report of Lewis and Clark created a lively sensation. Complaints of
the Louisiana Purchase ceased. From the Mississippi to the sea, the
United States had virtually taken possession of the continent.
Members of Congress looked at one another with dilated eyes. With
lifted brow and prophetic vision the young republic pierced the
future. The Mississippi, once her utmost border, was now but an inland
river. Beyond it, the Great West hove in sight, with peaks of snow and
the blue South Sea. The problem of the ages had been solved; Lewis and
Clark had found the road to Asia.

The news fell upon Europe and America as not less than a revelation.

Congress immediately gave sixteen hundred acres of land each to the
Captains, and double pay in gold and three hundred and twenty acres to
each of their men, to be laid out on the west side of the Mississippi.
On the third day of March, 1807, Captain Lewis was appointed Governor
of Louisiana; and on March 12, Captain Clark was made Brigadier
General, and Indian Agent for Louisiana.

Tall, slender, but twenty-nine, Henry Clay was in the Senate,
advocating roads,--roads and canals to the West. He was planning,
pleading, persuading for a canal around the Falls of the Ohio, he was
appealing for the improvement of the Wilderness Road through which
Boone had broken a bridle trace. His prolific imagination grasped the
Chesapeake and Ohio canal and an interior connection with the Lakes.

Henry Clay--"Harry Clay" as Kentucky fondly called him--had a faculty
for remembering names, faces, places. As yesterday, he recalled
William Clark at Lexington.

And Clark remembered Clay, standing in an ox-waggon, with flashing
eyes, hair wildly waving, and features aglow, addressing an entranced
throng. The same look flashed over him now as he stepped toward the
heroes of the Pacific.

"Congratulations, Governor."

"Congratulations, General."

The young men smiled at their new titles.

Another was there, not to be forgotten, strong featured, cordial,
cheerful, of manly beauty and large dark eyes, endeavouring to
interest Congress in his inventions,--Robert Fulton of the steamboat.

Wherever they went, a certain halo seemed to hang around these men of
adventure. They were soldiers and hunters, and more. Through heat and
cold, and mount and plain, four thousand miles by canoe, on foot and
horseback, through forests of gigantic pines and along the banks of
unknown rivers, among unheard-of tribes who had never seen a white
man, they had carried the message of the President and brought back a
report on the new land that is authority to this day.

"What did you find?" Eager inquirers crowded on every side to hear the
traveller's tale. At Louisville, men drove in from distant
plantations; at Fincastle their steps were thronged along the village
walks; in Washington they were never alone.

"What did we find? Gigantic sycamores for canoes, the maple for sugar,
the wild cherry and walnut for joiner's work, red and white elm for
cartwrights, the osage orange for hedges impenetrable, white and black
oak for ship and carpenter work, pine for countless uses, and durable
cedar.

"What did we find? All sorts of plants and herbs for foods, dyes, and
medicines, and pasturage unending. Boone's settlers on the Missouri
frontier have farms of wheat, maize, potatoes, and little cotton
fields, two acres sufficient for a family. Hemp is indigenous to the
soil. Even in the Mandan land, the Indians, with implements that
barely scratch the earth, have immense gardens of corn, beans,
pumpkins, and squashes.

"What did we find? Oceans of beaver and seas of buffalo, clay fit for
bricks and white clay for pottery, salt springs, saltpetre, and
plaster, pipestone, and quarries of marble red and white, mines of
iron, lead and coal, horses to be bought for a song, cedar, and fir
trees six and eight feet in diameter, enormous salmon that block the
streams."

No wonder the land was excited at the report of Lewis and Clark. All
at once the unknown mysterious West stood revealed as the home of
natural resources. Their travels became the Robinson Crusoe of many a
boy who lived to see for himself the marvels of that trans-Mississippi.

       *       *       *       *       *

Sergeant Gass received his pay in gold and went home to Wellsburg,
West Virginia, to find his old father smoking still beside the fire.
With the help of a Scotch schoolmaster Patrick published his book the
next year, immortalising the name of the gallant Irish Sergeant. Then
he "inlisted" again, and fought the Creeks, and in 1812 lost an eye at
Lundy's Lane. Presently he married the daughter of a Judge, and lived
to become a great student in his old age, and an authority on Indians
and early times.

John Ordway went home to New Hampshire and married, and returned to
live on his farm near New Madrid.

William Bratton tarried for a time in Kentucky, served in the War of
1812 under Harrison, and was at Tippecanoe and the Thames. He married
and lived at Terre Haute, Indiana, and is buried at Waynetown.

George Gibson settled at St. Louis, and lived and died there.
Nathaniel Pryor and William Werner became Indian agents under William
Clark; Pryor died in 1831 among the Osages. George Drouillard went
into the fur trade and was killed by the Blackfeet at the Three Forks
of the Missouri. John Coalter, after adventures that will be related,
settled at the town of Daniel Boone, married a squaw and died there.
John Potts was killed by the Blackfeet on the river Jefferson.
Sacajawea and Charboneau lived for many years among the Mandans, and
their descendants are found in Dakota to this day.

Of the voyageurs who went as far as the Mandan town, Lajaunnesse
accompanied Fremont across the mountains; and two others, Francis
Rivet and Philip Degie, were the earliest settlers of Oregon, where
they lived to a great old age, proud of the fact that they had
"belonged to Lewis and Clark."



Book III

_THE RED HEAD CHIEF_



Book III

_THE RED HEAD CHIEF_



I

_THE SHADOW OF NAPOLEON_


"Thank God for the safety of our country!" ejaculated Jefferson, in
one of his long talks with Lewis regarding the upheaval across the
sea.

In 1802 Napoleon had been declared Consul for life; May 18, 1804, four
days after Lewis and Clark started, he had been saluted Emperor of
France. Then came Jena. When Lewis and Clark reached the Mandan towns,
Napoleon was entering Berlin with the Prussian monarchy at his feet.

While they camped at Clatsop in those December days of 1805, and while
Baranof prayed for ships in his lonely Sitkan outpost, across seas
"the sun of Austerlitz" had risen. Against Russian and Austrian,
Napoleon had closed a war with a clap of thunder.

Every breeze bore news that overawed the world.

"Napoleon has taken Italy."

"Napoleon has conquered Austria."

"Napoleon has defeated Russia."

"Napoleon has ruined Prussia."

"Napoleon has taken Spain."

While Lewis and Clark were at Washington came the battles of Eylau and
Dantzic. In December Napoleon annexed Portugal, and the Court of
Lisbon fled to Brazil, to escape his arms and to rear anew the House
of Braganza.

How much more remained to conquer? How soon might the theatre of
action come over the sea? Still there was England.

For a time the Napoleonic wars had thrown the carrying trade of the
ocean into American hands. American farmers could not reach the coast
fast enough with their fleets of grain, the food for armies. Cotton
went up to a fabulous price. Enterprise fired the young republic.
Ships were building two thousand miles inland to carry her products to
the ocean. She grew, she throve, and an ever-increasing inland fleet
carried to and fro the red life of a growing nation.

On the other hand, the torch of liberty, lit in America and burning
there still with calm and splendid lustre, carried by French soldiers
to France had kindled a continent, sweeping like a firebrand through a
conflagration of abuses. All tradition was overturning. America alone
was quiet, the refuge of the world. Every ship that touched our shores
brought fugitives fleeing from battle-scarred fields where Europe
groaned in sobs and blood.

Napoleon was now master of almost the entire coast of Europe. Did he
cast regretful eyes this way? America feared it. Nothing but fear of
England ever made Napoleon give us Louisiana.

In May, 1806, England blockaded the French coast. Napoleon retaliated
by the Berlin Decrees, shutting up all England, interdicting the
commerce of the world.

And so, when Lewis and Clark returned, the giants were locked in
struggle, like Titans of old, tearing up kingdoms, palatinates, and
whole empires to hurl at each other.

And we had Louisiana.

When Captain Lewis went to Washington he was the bearer of a mass of
papers on land claims sent by Auguste Chouteau.

"I have had some disturbing news from Louisiana," said Jefferson. "In
the first place, Monsieur Auguste Chouteau writes requesting
self-government, and that Louisiana remain for ever undivided. Now the
day may come when we shall desire to cut Louisiana up into sovereign
states,--not now, I grant, but in time, in time.

"Then the French people of New Orleans protest against American rule.
Such is the dissatisfaction, it is said, that the people of Louisiana
are only waiting for Bonaparte's victory in his war with the allies to
return to their allegiance with France.

"St. Louis asks for a Governor 'who must reside in the territory,'
hence I propose to put you there."

So it came about that Meriwether Lewis wrote back in February, "I
shall probably come on to St. Louis for the purpose of residing among
you."

There was trouble with Spain. In July, 1806, everybody thought there
would be a war with her. But Napoleon was Spain's protector. It would
never do to declare war against Napoleon. Napoleon!--the very word
meant subjugation.

"Why are we safe from Bonaparte?" exclaimed Jefferson. "Only because
he has not the British fleet at his command."

Even while Congress was at its busiest, devising a government for New
Orleans, not at all was Jefferson sure of the loyalty of the French of
Louisiana.

"If they are not making overtures to Napoleon, they are implicated in
the treason of Aaron Burr."

All Washington was aflame over Aaron Burr. Only two years before
Captain Lewis had left him in the seat of honour at Washington. The
greatest lawyers in the country now were prosecuting his trial at
Richmond, Randolph of Roanoke foreman of the jury and John Marshall
presiding.

Borne with the throng, Lewis went over to Richmond. Washington Irving
was there, Winfield Scott, and Andrew Jackson, "stamping up and down,
damning Jefferson and extolling Burr."

Burr's friends, outcrying against Jefferson, caught sight of
Meriwether Lewis; his popularity in a degree counteracted their
vituperation. William Wirt of Maryland came down after making his
great speech, to present a gold watch to his friend Meriwether Lewis.

With saddened heart Captain Lewis left Richmond. The beautiful
Theodosia had come to stay with her father at the penitentiary. Lewis
always liked Aaron Burr. What was he trying to do? The Mississippi was
ours and Louisiana. But even the Ursuline nuns welcomed Burr to New
Orleans, and the Creoles quite lost their heads over his winning
address. All seemed to confirm the suspicions of Jefferson, who
nightly tossed on his couch of worry.

It was necessary for Captain, now Governor, Lewis, to go to
Philadelphia, to place his zoölogical and botanical collections in the
hands of Dr. Barton. Scarce had the now famous explorer reached the
city before he was beset by artists. Charles Willson Peale, who had
painted the portraits of the most prominent officers of the
Revolution, who had followed Washington and painted him as a Virginia
colonel, as commander-in-chief, and as president, who had sat with him
at Valley Forge and limned his features, cocked hat and all, on a
piece of bed-ticking,--Peale now wanted to paint Lewis and Clark.

Of course such a flattering invitation was not to be resisted, and so,
while Peale's assistants were mounting Lewis's antelopes, the first
known to naturalists, and preparing for Jefferson the head and horns
of a Rocky Mountain ram, Governor Lewis was sitting daily for his
portrait.

This detained him in Philadelphia, when suddenly, on the 27th of June,
the great upheaval of Europe cast breakers on our shores that made the
country rock.

It seemed as if in spite of herself the United States would be drawn
into the Napoleonic wars. England needed sailors, she must have
sailors, she claimed and demanded them from American ships on the high
seas.

"You _shall not search_ my ship," said the Captain of the American
frigate _Chesapeake_ off the Virginian capes. Instantly and
unexpectedly, the British frigate _Leopard_ rounded to and poured
broadsides into the unprepared _Chesapeake_.

"Never," said Jefferson, "has this country been in such a state of
excitement since Lexington."

"Fired on our ship!" The land was aflame. By such white heat are
nations welded.

It was a bold thing for England to disavow. But no apologies could now
conceal the fact, that not Napoleon, but England, was destined to be
our foe, England, who claimed the commerce of the world.

Meriwether Lewis came home to hear Virginia ringing for war; not yet
had she forgotten Yorktown.

The mountains of Albemarle were clothed in all the brilliancy of
summer beauty when Lewis kissed his mother good-bye, and set out to
assume the governorship of Louisiana.



II

_AMERICAN RULE IN ST. LOUIS_


Immediately after his appointment in charge of Indian affairs, Clark
left Washington, with Pryor and Shannon, Big White and Jussaume and
their Indian families. The Ohio, swollen to the highest notch, bore
them racing into the Mississippi.

"Manuel Lisa haf gone up de Meessouri," was the news at St. Louis. All
winter Manuel Lisa had been flying around St. Louis with Pierre Menard
and George Drouillard, preparing for an early ascent into the fur
country. So also had been the Chouteaus, intending to escort Big White
back to the Mandans.

At any time an Indian trader was a great man in St. Louis. He could
command fabulous prices for his skill, and still more now could
Drouillard, fresh from the unexploited land beyond the Mandans. All
his money Drouillard put into the business, and with the earliest
opening of 1807, Lisa, Menard and Drouillard set out for the upper
Missouri with an outfit of sixteen thousand dollars.

"Wait for the Mandan chief," said Frederick Bates, the new Territorial
Secretary.

Manuel Lisa was not a man to wait. "While others consider whether they
will start, I am on my way," he answered.

Dark, secret, unfathomable, restless, enterprising, a very Spaniard
for pride, distrusted and trusted, a judge of men, Manuel Lisa had in
him the spirit of De Soto and Coronado.

For twenty years Lisa had traded with Indians. Of late the Spanish
government had given him exclusive rights on the Osage, a privilege
once held by the Chouteaus, but alas for Lisa! a right now tumbled by
the cession. For the United States gave no exclusive privileges.

He reached the ear of Drouillard; they went away together. No one
better than Lisa saw the meaning of that great exploration.

Coincidently with the arrival of Clark and Big White out of the Ohio,
came down a deputation of Yankton Sioux with old Dorion from the
Missouri. With that encampment of Indians, around, behind, before the
Government House, began the reign of the Red Head chief over the
nations of the West that was to last for thirty years. St. Louis
became the Red Head's town, and the Red Head's signature came to be
known to the utmost border of Louisiana.

"We want arms and traders," said the Yankton Sioux.

Both were granted, and laden with presents, before the close of May
they were dispatched again to their own country. And with them went
Big White in charge of Ensign Pryor, Sergeant George Shannon, and
Pierre Chouteau, with thirty-two men for the Mandan trade.

Even the Kansas knew that Big White had gone down the river, and were
waiting to see him go by.

"The whites are as the grasses of the prairie," said Big White.

In July the new Governor, Meriwether Lewis, arrived and assumed the
Government. With difficulty the officers had endeavoured to harmonise
the old and the new. All was in feud, faction, disorder.

St. Louis was a foreign village before the cession. Nor was this
changed in a day.

"Deed not de great Napoleon guarantee our leebertee?" said the French.
"We want self-government."

But Lewis and Clark, these two had met the French ideal of chivalry in
facing the Shining Mountains and the Ocean. Pretty girls sat in the
verandas to see them pass. Fur magnates set out their choicest viands.
The conquest of St. Louis was largely social. With less tact and less
winning personalities we might have had discord.

Whatever Lewis wanted, Clark seconded as a sort of Lieutenant
Governor. It seemed as if the two might go on forever as they had done
in the great expedition. Ever busy, carving districts that became
future States, laying out roads, dispensing justice and treating with
Indians, all went well until the 16th of October, when a wave of
sensation swept over St. Louis.

"Big White, the Mandan chief, is back. The American flag at the bow of
his boat has been fired on and he is compelled to fall back on St.
Louis."

All summer the vengeful Arikaras had been watching.

"They killed our chief, the Brave Raven."

The Teton Sioux plotted. "They will give the Mandans arms and make our
enemies stronger than we are." So in great bands, Sioux and Arikaras
had camped along the river to intercept the returning brave.

"These are the machinations of the British," said Americans in St.
Louis.

"This is a trick of Manuel Lisa," said the fur traders. "His boats
passed in safety, why not ours?"

In fact, there had been a battle. Not with impunity should trade be
carried into the land of anarchy. Three men were killed and several
wounded, including Shannon and René Jussaume. And they in turn had
killed Black Buffalo, the Teton chief that led the onslaught.

All the way down the Missouri George Shannon had writhed with his
wounded knee. Blood poisoning set in. They left him at Bellefontaine.

"Dees leg must come off," said Dr. Saugrain, the army surgeon.

He sent for Dr. Farrar, a young American physician who had lately
located in St. Louis. Together, without anesthetics, they performed
the first operation in thigh amputation ever known in that region.

"Woonderful! woonderful!" exclaimed the Creoles. "Dees Dogtors can cut
une man all up." Great already was the reputation of Dr. Saugrain; to
young Farrar it gave a prestige that made him the Father of St. Louis
surgery.

Shannon lay at the point of death for eighteen months, but youth
rallied, and he regained sufficient strength to journey to Lexington,
where he took up the study of law. He lived to become an eminent
jurist and judge, and the honoured progenitor of many distinguished
bearers of his name.



III

_FAREWELL TO FINCASTLE_


General Clark had had a busy summer, travelling up and down the river,
assisting the Governor at St. Louis in reducing his tumultuous domain
to order, treating with Indians, conferring with Governor Harrison in
his brick palace at Old Vincennes, consulting with his brothers,
General Jonathan and General George Rogers Clark at the Point of Rock.
Now, in mid-autumn, he was again on his way to Fincastle.

Never through the tropic summer had Julia been absent from his
thoughts. A little house in St. Louis had been selected that should
shelter his bride; and now, as fast as hoof and horse could speed him,
he was hastening back to fix the day for his wedding.

October shed glory on the burnished forests. Here and there along the
way shone primitive farmhouses, the homes of people. The explorer's
heart beat high. He had come to that time in his life when he, too,
should have a home. Those old Virginia farmhouses, steep of roof and
sloping at the eaves, four rooms below and two in the attic, with
great chimneys smoking at either end, seemed to speak of other fond
and happy hearts.

The valley of Virginia extends from the Potomac to the Carolina line.
The Blue Ridge bounds it on one side, the Kittatinnys on the other,
and in the trough-like valley between flows the historic Shenandoah.

From the north, by Winchester, scene of many a border fray and
destined for action more heroic yet, Clark sped on his way to
Fincastle. Some changes had taken place since that eventful morning
when Governor Spotswood looked over the Blue Ridge. A dozen miles from
Winchester stood Lord Fairfax's Greenway Court, overshadowed by
ancient locusts, slowly mouldering to its fall. Here George Washington
came in his boyhood, surveying for the gaunt, raw-boned, near-sighted
old nobleman who led him hard chases at the fox hunt.

From the head spring of the Rappahannock to the head spring of the
Potomac, twenty-one counties of old Virginia once belonged to the
Fairfax manor, now broken and subdivided into a thousand homes. Hither
had come tides of Quakers, and Scotch-Presbyterians, penetrating
farther and farther its green recesses, cutting up the fruitful acres
into colonial plantations.

"The Shenandoah, it is the very centre of the United States," said the
emigrants.

The valley was said to be greener than any other, its waters were more
transparent, its soil more fruitful. At any rate German-Pennsylvanians
pushed up here, rearing barns as big as fortresses, flanked round with
haystacks and granaries. Now and then Clark met them, in loose leather
galligaskins and pointed hats, sunning in wide porches, smoking pipes
three feet long, while their stout little children tumbled among the
white clover.

Here and there negroes were whistling with notes as clear as a fife,
and huge Conestoga waggons loaded with produce rumbled along to
Philadelphia, Baltimore, Richmond. Every year thousands of waggons
went to market, camping at night and making the morning ring with
Robin Hood songs and jingling bells.

Yonder lived Patrick Henry in his last years, at picturesque Red Hill
on the Staunton. Here in his old age he might have been seen under the
trees in his lawn, buried in revery, or on the floor, with
grandchildren clambering over him or dancing to his violin.

But Clark was not thinking of Patrick Henry, or Fairfax,--in fact he
scarcely remembered their existence, so intent was his thought on his
maid of the mountains, Julia Hancock.

The leaves were falling from elm and maple, strewing the path with
gold and crimson. The pines grew taller in the twilight, until he
could scarcely see the bypaths chipped and blazed by settlers'
tomahawks.

Sunset was gilding the Peaks of Otter as Clark drew rein at the little
tavern near Fincastle.

"I was rented to the King of England by my Prince of Hesse Cassel,"
the Hessian proprietor was saying. "I was rented out to cut the
throats of people who had never done me any harm. Four pence three
farthings a day I got, and one penny farthing went to His Royal
Highness, the Prince. I fought you, then I fell in love with you, and
when the war was over I stayed in America."

Clark listened. It was a voice out of the Revolution.

After a hurried luncheon the tireless traveller was again in his
saddle; and late that night in the moonlight he opened the gate at
Colonel Hancock's.

York had followed silently through all the journey,--York, no longer a
slave, for in consideration of his services on the expedition the
General had given him his freedom. But as a voluntary body-guard he
would not be parted from his master.

"For sho'! who cud tek cah o' Mars Clahk so well as old Yawk?"

"What if love-lorn swains from a dozen plantations have tried to woo
and win my pretty cousin! The bronzed face of Lochinvar is bleaching,"
said the teasing Harriet when she heard that the wedding date was
really set. "One day, who knows, his skin may be white as yours."

Sudden as a flood in the Roanoke came Julia's tears. Relenting, the
lively, light-hearted Harriet covered her cousin's curls with kisses.

"The carriage and horses are at your service. Hunt, fish, lounge as
you please," said Colonel Hancock, "for I must be at the courthouse to
try an important case."

With thousands of acres and hundreds of negroes, it was the dream of
Colonel Hancock to one day drop these official cares and retire
altogether into the privacy of his plantation. Already, forty miles
away, at the very head spring of the Roanoke river, he was building a
country seat to be called "Fotheringay," after Fotheringay Castle.

Back and forth in the gorgeous October weather rode Clark and Julia,
watching the workmen at Fotheringay.

Now and then the carriage stopped at an orchard. Passers were always
at liberty to help themselves to the fruit. Peaches so abundant that
they fed the hogs with them, apples rosy and mellow, grapes for the
vintage, were in the first flush of abundance. What a contrast to that
autumn in the Bitter Root Mountains!

Then late in November to Fincastle came Governor Lewis and his brother
Reuben, on their way to the west. He, too, had been to Washington on
business concerning St. Louis.

"The great success of York among the Mandans has decided Reuben to
take Tom along," laughed Lewis, as Reuben's black driver dismounted
from the carriage--the same family chariot in which Meriwether had
brought his mother from Georgia, now on the way to become the state
coach of Louisiana.

Black Tom beamed, expansively happy, on York who had been "tuh th'
Injun country" where black men were "Great Medicine."

"Ha, Your Excellency," laughed the teasing Harriet, "the beauty of
Fincastle dines with us to-night,--Miss Letitia Breckenridge."

"Wait and the Governor will court you," some one whispered to the
charming Letitia.

"I have contemplated accompanying my father to Richmond for some
time," replied Letitia. "If I stay now it will look like a challenge,
therefore I determine to go."

Governor Lewis underwent not a little chafing when two days after his
arrival the lovely Letitia was gone,--to become the wife of the
Secretary of War in John Quincy Adams's cabinet.

"Miss Breckenridge is a very sweet-looking girl," wrote Reuben to his
sister, "and I should like to have her for a sister. General Clark's
intended is a charming woman. When I tell you that she is much like my
sweetheart you will believe I think so."

"What are you doing?" Clark asked of Julia, as she sat industriously
stitching beside the hickory fire in the great parlour at Fincastle.

"Working a little screen to keep the fire from burning my face,"
answered the maiden, rosy as the glow itself. Much more beautiful than
the little Sacajawea, stitching moccasins beside the fire at Clatsop,
she seemed to Clark; and yet the feminine intuition was the same, to
sew, to stitch, to be an artist with the needle.

     "The mistletoe hung in Fincastle hall,
     The holly branch shone on the old oak wall,
     And the planter's retainers were blithe and gay,
     A-keeping their Christmas holiday."

There was sleighing at Fincastle when the wedding day came, just after
New Year's, 1808. The guests came in sleighs from as far away as
Greenway Court, for all the country-side knew and loved Judy Hancock.

Weeping, soft-hearted Black Granny tied again the sunny curls and
looped the satin ribbons of her beloved "Miss Judy." The slaves vied
with one another, strewing the snow with winter greens that no foot
might touch the chill.

The wainscoted and panelled walls glowed with greenery. Holly hung
over the carved oaken chimneys, and around the fowling pieces and
antlers of the chase that betokened the hunting habits of Colonel
Hancock. Silver tankards marked with the family arms sparkled on the
damask table cloth, and silver candlesticks and snuffers and silver
plate. Myrtleberry wax candles gave out an incense that mingled with
the odour of hickory snapping in the fireplace.

"Exactly as her mother looked," whispered the grandmother when Judy
came down,--grandmother, a brisk little white-capped old lady in
quilted satin, who remembered very well the mother of Washington.

The stars hung blazing on the rim of the Blue Ridge and the snow
glistened, when out of the great house came the sound of music and
dancing. There were wedding gifts after the old Virginia fashion, and
when all had been inspected Clark handed his bride a small jewel case
marked with her name.

The cover flew open, revealing a set of topaz and pearls, "A gift from
the President."

Out into the snow went these wedding guests of a hundred years ago, to
scatter and be forgotten.



IV

_THE BOAT HORN_


All the romance of the old boating time was in Clark's wedding trip
down the Ohio. It was on a May morning when, stepping on board a
flatboat at Louisville, he contrasted the daintiness of Julia with
that of any other travelling companion he had ever known.

The river, foaming over its rocky bed, the boatmen blowing their long
conical bugles from shore to shore, the keelboats, flat-bottoms, and
arks loaded with emigrants all intent on "picking guineas from
gooseberry bushes," spoke of youth, life, action. Again the boatman
blew his bugle, echoes of other trumpets answered, "Farewell,
farewell, fare--we-ll." Soon they were into the full sweep of the
pellucid Ohio, mirroring skies and shores dressed in the livery of
Robin Hood.

Frowning precipices and green islets arose, and projecting headlands
indenting the Ohio with promontories like a chain of shining lakes.
Hills clothed in ancient timber, hoary whitened sycamores draped in
green clusters of mistletoe, and magnificent groves of the dark green
sugar tree reflected from the water below. Shut in to the water's
edge, a woody wilderness still, the river glided between its
umbrageous shores.

Now and then the crowing of cocks announced a clearing where the axe
of the settler had made headway, or some old Indian mound blossomed
with a peach orchard. Flocks of screaming paroquets alighted in the
treetops, humming birds whizzed into the honeysuckle vines and flashed
away with dewdrops on their jewelled throats.

On the water with them, now near, now far, were other boats,--ferry
flats and Alleghany skiffs, pirogues hollowed from prodigious
sycamores, dug-outs and canoes, stately barges with masts and sails
and lifted decks like schooners, keel boats, slim and trim for low
waters, Kentucky arks, broadhorns, roomy and comfortable, filled up
with chairs, beds, stoves, tables, bound for the Sangamon, Cape
Girardeau, Arkansas.

Floating caravans of men, women, children, servants, cattle, hogs,
horses, sheep, and fowl were travelling down the great river. Some
boats fitted up for stores dropped off at the settlements, blowing the
bugle, calling the inhabitants down to trade.

Here a tinner with his tinshop, with tools and iron, a floating
factory, there a blacksmith shop with bellows and anvil, dry-goods
boats with shelves for cutlery and cottons, produce boats with
Kentucky flour and hemp, Ohio apples, cider, maple sugar, nuts,
cheese, and fruit, and farther down, Tennessee cotton, Illinois corn,
and cattle, Missouri lead and furs, all bound for New Orleans, a
panorama of endless interest to Julia. Here white-winged schooners
were laden entirely with turkeys, tobacco, hogs, horses, potatoes, or
lumber. Nature pouring forth perennial produce from a hundred
tributary streams.

A bateau could descend from the mouth of the Ohio to New Orleans in
three weeks; three months of toil could barely bring it back. How
could boats be made to go against the current? Everywhere and everywhere
inventive minds were puzzling over motors, paddles--duck-foot,
goose-foot, and elliptical,--wings and sails, side-wheels,
stern-wheels, and screws,--and steam was in the air.

As the sun went down in lengthening shadows a purple haze suffused the
waters. Adown La Belle Rivière, "the loveliest stream that ever
glistened to the moon," arose the evening cadence of the boatmen,--

     "Some row up, but we row down,
       All the way to Shawnee Town,
     Pull away! Pull away!
       Pull away to Shawnee Town."

The crescent moon shone brightly on crag and stream and floating
forest, the air was mild and moist, the boat glided as in a dream, and
the mocking bird enchanted the listening silence.

To Clark no Spring had ever seemed so beautiful. Sitting on deck with
Julia he could not forget that turbulent time when as a boy he first
plunged down these waters. Symbolic of his whole life it seemed, until
now the storm and stress of youth had calmed into the placid current
of to-day. The past,--the rough toil-hardened past of William
Clark,--fell away, and as under a lifted silken curtain he floated
into repose. The rough old life of camps and forts was gone forever.

And to Julia, everything was new and strange,--La Belle Rivière itself
whispered of Louisiana. Like an Alpine horn the bugle echoed the
dreamlife of the waters.

The fiddles scraping, boatmen dancing, the smooth stream rolling
calmly through the forest, the girls who gathered on shore to see the
pageant pass, the river itself, momentarily lost to view, then leaping
again in Hogarth's line of beauty,--all murmured perpetual music.

Then slumber fell upon the dancers, but still Clark and Julia sat
watching. From clouds of owls arose voices of the night, cries of
wolves reverberated on shore, the plaintive whippoorwill in the
foliage lamented to the moon, meteors rose from the horizon to sweep
majestically aloft and burst in a showering spray of gems below.

The very heavens were unfamiliar. Awed, impressed, by the mysteries
around them, they slept.

Before sun-up the mocking-bird called from the highest treetop and
continued singing until after breakfast, imitating the jay, the
cardinal, and the lapwing, then sailing away into a strain of his own
wild music.

At the mouth of the Wabash arks were turning in to old Vincennes.
Below, broader grew the Ohio, unbroken forests still and twinkling
stars. Here and there arose the graceful catalpa in full flower, and
groves of cottonwoods so tall that at a distance one could fancy some
planter's mansion hidden in their depths. Amid these Eden scenes
appeared here and there the deserted cabin of some murdered woodman
whose secret only the Shawnee knew.

Wild deer, crossing the Ohio, heard the bugle call, and throwing their
long branching antlers on their shoulders sank out of sight, swimming
under the water until the shore opened into the sheltering forest.

At times the heavens were darkened with the flights of pigeons; there
was a song of the thrush and the echoing bellow of the big horned owl.
Wild turkeys crossed their path and wild geese screamed on their
journey to the lakes.

One day the boats stopped, and before her Julia beheld the Mississippi
sweeping with irresistible pomp and wrath, tearing at the shores,
bearing upon its tawny bosom the huge drift of mount and meadow, whole
herds of drowned buffalo, trunks of forest trees and caved-in banks of
silt, leaping, sweeping seaward in the sun. Without a pause the
bridegroom river reached forth his brawny arm, and gathered in the
starry-eyed Ohio. Over his Herculean shoulders waved her silver
tresses, deep into his bosom passed her gentle transparency as the
twain made one swept to the honeymoon.

All night Clark's bateau lay in a bend while York and the men kept off
the drift that seemed to set toward them in their little cove as
toward a magnet.

On the 26th of May Governor Lewis received a letter from Clark asking
for help up the river. Without delay the Governor engaged a barge to
take their things to Bellefontaine and another barge to accommodate
the General, his family and baggage.

Dispatching a courier over the Bellefontaine road, Governor Lewis sent
to Colonel Hunt a message, asking him to send Ensign Pryor to meet the
party.

With what delight Clark and his bride saw the barges with Ensign Pryor
in charge, coming down from St. Louis. Then came the struggle up the
turbulent river. Clark was used to such things, but never before had
he looked on them with a bride at his side. With sails and oars and
cordelles all at once, skilled hands paddled and poled and stemmed the
torrent, up, up to the rock of the new levee.

Thus the great explorer brought home his bride to St. Louis in that
never-to-be-forgotten May-time one hundred years ago.



V

_A BRIDE IN ST. LOUIS_


"An _Américaine_ bride, General Clark haf brought! She haf beeutiful
eyes! She haf golden hair!" The Creole ladies were in a flutter.

"_Merci!_ She haf a carriage!" they cried, peeping from their
lattices. Governor Lewis himself had met the party at the shore, and
now in the first state coach St. Louis had ever seen, was driving
along the Rue de l'Église to Auguste Chouteau's.

"_Merci!_ She haf maids enough!" whispered the gazers, as Rachel,
Rhody, Chloe, Sarah, brought up the rear with their mistress's
belongings. Then followed York, looking neither to the right nor the
left. He knew St. Louis was watching, and he delighted in the stir.

The fame of the beauty of General Clark's American bride spread like
wild-fire. For months wherever she rode or walked admiring crowds
followed, eager to catch a glimpse of her face. Thickly swathed in
veils, Julia concealed her features from the public gaze, but that
only increased the interest.

"She shall haf a party, une grande réception," said Pierre Chouteau,
and the demi-fortress was opened to a greater banquet than even at the
return of Lewis and Clark.

Social St. Louis abandoned itself to gaiety. Dancing slippers were at
a premium, and all the gay silks that ever came up from New Orleans
were refurbished with lace and jewels.

"They are beautiful women," said Julia that night. "I thought you told
me there were only Indians here."

Clark laughed. "Wait until you walk in the streets."

And sure enough, with the arrival of the beautiful Julia came also
certain Sacs and Iowas who had been scalping settlers within their
borders. With bolted handcuffs and leg shackles they were shut up in
the old Spanish martello tower. From the Chouteau house Julia could
see their cell windows covered with iron gratings and the guard pacing
to and fro.

At the trial in the old Spanish garrison house on the hill the streets
swarmed with red warriors.

"How far away St. Louis is from civilisation," remarked Julia. "We
seem in the very heart of the Indian country."

"The Governor has organised the militia, and our good friend Auguste
Chouteau is their colonel," answered her husband, reassuringly.

"Why these fortifications, these bastions and stone towers?" inquired
Julia, as they walked along the Rue.

"They were built a long time ago for defences against the Indians. In
fact my brother defended St. Louis once against an Indian raid."

"Tell me the story," cried Julia. And walking along the narrow streets
under the honey-scented locusts, Clark told Julia of the fight and
fright of 1780.

"And was that when the Spanish lady was here?"

"Yes."

"And what became of her finally?"

"She fled with the nuns to Cuba at the cession of New Orleans."

Trilliums red and white, anemones holding up their shell-pink cups,
and in damp spots adder's tongues and delicate Dutchman's breeches,
were thick around them as they walked down by the old Chouteau Pond.
Primeval forests surrounded it, white-armed sycamores and thickets of
crab-apple.

"This is the mill that makes bread for St. Louis. Everybody comes down
to Chouteau's mill for flour. It is so small I am not surprised that
they call St. Louis 'Pain Court'--'short of bread.' To-morrow the
washerwomen will be at the pond, boiling clothes in iron pots and
drying them on the hazel bushes."

As they came back in the flush of evening all St. Louis had moved out
of doors. The wide galleries were filled with settees and tables and
chairs, and the neighbourly Creoles were visiting one another, and
greeting the passers-by.

Sometimes the walk led over the hill to the Grand Prairie west of
town. The greensward waved in the breezes like a wheatfield in May.
Cabanné's wind-mill could be seen in the distance across the prairie
near the timber with its great wings fifty and sixty feet long flying
in the air like things of life.

Cabanné the Swiss had married Gratiot's daughter.

St. Louis weddings generally took place at Easter, so other brides and
grooms were walking there in those May days a hundred years ago. Night
and morning, as in Acadia, the rural population still went to and from
the fields with their cattle and carts and old-style wheel ploughs.

In November Clark and his bride moved into the René Kiersereau cottage
on the Rue Royale. The old French House of René Kiersereau dated back
to the beginning of St. Louis. Built of heavy timbers and plastered
with rubble and mortar, it bade fair still to withstand the wear and
tear of generations. With a long low porch in front and rear, and a
fence of cedar pickets like a miniature stockade, it differed in no
respect from the other modest cottages of St. Louis. Back of the house
rushed the river; before it, locusts and lightning bugs flitted in the
summer garden. Beside the Kiersereau house Clark had his Indian office
in the small stone store of Alexis Marie.

Into this little house almost daily came Meriwether Lewis, and every
moment that could be spared from pressing duties was engrossed in work
on the journals of the expedition. Sometimes Julia brought her harp
and sang. But into this home quiet were coming constant echoes of the
Indian world.

"Settlers are encroaching on the Osage lands. We shall have trouble,"
said Governor Lewis. Under an escort of a troop of cavalry Clark rode
out into the Indian country to make a treaty with the Osages. The
Shawnees and Delawares had been invited to settle near St. Louis to
act as a shield against the barbarous Osages. The Shawnees and
Delawares were opening little farms and gardens near Cape Girardeau,
building houses and trying to become civilised. But settlers had gone
on around them into the Osage wilderness.

"I will establish a fort to regulate these difficulties," said the
General, and on his return Fort Osage was built.

"Settlers are encroaching on our lands," came the cry from Sacs,
Foxes, and Iowas. Governor Lewis himself held a council with the
discontented tribes and established Fort Madison, the first United
States post up the Mississippi.

But there were still Big White and his people not yet returned to the
Mandan country, and this was the most perplexing problem of all.



VI

_THE FIRST FORT IN MONTANA_


Manuel Lisa had enemies and ambition. These always go together.

Scarcely had Clark and his bride settled at St. Louis before down from
the north came Manuel Lisa's boats, piled, heaped, and laden to the
gunwale edge with furs out of the Yellowstone. His triumphant guns
saluted Charette, St. Charles, St. Louis. He had run the gauntlet of
Sioux, Arikara, and Assiniboine. He had penetrated the Yellowstone and
established Fort Lisa at the mouth of the Bighorn in the very heart of
the Crow-land,--the first building in what is now Montana.

"Dey say you cause de attack on Big White," buzzed a Frenchman in his
ear. Angry at such an imputation, the Spaniard hastened to Governor
Lewis.

"I disclaim all responsibility for that disaster. The Arikaras fired
across my bow. I stopped. But I had my men-at-arms, my swivels ready.
I understood presents. I smoked the pipe of peace, with a musket in my
hand. Of course I passed. Even the Mandans fired on me, and the
Assiniboines. Should that dismay a trader?"

Manuel Lisa, the successful, was now monarch of the fur trade. Even
his enemies capitulated.

"If he is stern in discipline, the service demands it. He has gone
farther, dared more, accomplished more, and brought home more, than
any other. What a future for St. Louis! We must unite our forces."

And so the city on the border reached out toward her destiny. Pierre
and Auguste Chouteau, William Clark and Reuben Lewis, locked fortunes
with the daring, indomitable Manuel Lisa. Pierre Menard, Andrew Henry,
and others, a dozen altogether, put in forty thousand dollars,
incorporating the Missouri Fur Company. Into the very heart of the
Rocky Mountains it was resolved to push, into those primeval beaver
meadows whither Lewis and Clark had led the way.

"Abandon the timid methods of former trade,--plunge at once deep into
the wilderness," said Lisa; "ascend the Missouri to its utmost
navigable waters, and by establishing posts monopolise the trade of
the entire region."

Already had Lisa dreamed of the Santa Fé,--now he looked toward the
Pacific.

And now, too, was the time to send Big White back to the Mandans.
Under the convoy of two hundred and fifty people,--enlisted soldiers
and _engagés_, American hunters, Creoles, and Canadian voyageurs,--the
fur flotilla set sail with tons of traps and merchandise.

As the flotilla pulled out, a tall gaunt frontiersman with two white
men and an Indian came pulling into St. Louis. Clark turned a second
time,--"Why, Daniel Boone!"

"First rate! first rate!" Furrowed as a sage and tanned as a hunter,
with a firm hand-grasp, the old man stepped ashore. Two summers now
had Daniel Boone and his two sons brought down to St. Louis a cargo of
salt, manufactured by themselves at Boone's Lick, a discovery of the
old pioneer.

"Any settlers comin'? We air prepared to tote 'em up."

Ever a welcome guest to the home of General Clark, Daniel Boone strode
along to the cottage on the Rue. At sight of Julia he closed his eyes,
dazzled.

"'Pears to me she looks like Rebecca."

Never, since that day when young Boone went hunting deer in the Yadkin
forest and found Rebecca Bryan, a ruddy, flax-haired girl, had he
ceased to be her lover. And though years had passed and Rebecca had
faded, to him she was ever the gold-haired girl of the Yadkin. Poor
Rebecca! Hers had been a hard life in camp and cabin, with pigs and
chickens in the front yard and rain dripping through the roof.

"Daniel!" she sometimes said, severely.

"Wa-al, now Rebecca, thee knows I didn't have time to mend that air
leak in the ruff last summer; I war gone too long at the beaver. But
thee shall have a new house." And again the faithful Rebecca stuffed a
rag in the ceiling with her mop-handle and meekly went on baking
hoe-cake before the blazing forelog.

Daniel had long promised a new house, but now, at last, he was really
going to build. For this he was studying St. Louis.

A day looking at houses and disposing of his salt and beaver-skins,
and back he went, with a boatload of emigrants and a cargo of
school-books. Mere trappers came and went,--Boone brought settlers.
Pathfinder, judge, statesman, physician to the border, he now carried
equipments for the first school up the Missouri.



VII

_A MYSTERY_


Furs were piled everywhere, the furs that had been wont to go to
Europe,--otter, beaver, deer, and bear and buffalo. American ships,
that had sped like eagles on every sea, were threatened now by England
if they sailed to France, by France if they sailed to England.

"If our ships, our sailors, our goods are to be seized, it is better
to keep them at home," said Jefferson.

"War itself would be better than that," pled Gallatin.

The whole world was taking sides in the cataclysm over the sea.
Napoleon recognised no neutrals. England recognised none. Denmark
tried it, and the British fleet burned Copenhagen. Ominously the
conflagration glimmered,--such might be the fate of any American
seaport.

"If we must fight let us go with France," said some. "Napoleon will
guarantee us the cession of Canada and Nova Scotia."

But Jefferson, carrying all before him, on Tuesday, December 22,
1807, signed an embargo act, shutting up our ships in our own
harbours. In six months commercial life-blood ceased to flow. Ships
rotted at the wharfs. Grass grew in the streets of Baltimore and
Boston.

St. Louis traders tried to go over to Canada, but were stopped at
Detroit--"by that evil embargo."

St. Louis withered. "De Meeseppi ees closed. Tees worse dan de
Spaniard!"

This unpopularity of Jefferson cast Governor Lewis into deepest gloom.
The benevolent President's system of peaceable coercion was bringing
the country to the verge of rebellion. England cared not nor France,
and America was stifling with wheat, corn, and cattle, without a
market.

Fur, fur,--the currency and standard of value in St. Louis was
valueless. Taxes even could no longer be paid in shaved deerskins.
Peltry bonds, once worth their weight in gold, had dropped to nothing.
Moths and mildew crept into the Chouteau warehouses. A few weeks more
and the fruits of Lisa's adventure would perish.

Into the Clark home there had come an infant boy, "named Meriwether
Lewis," said the General, when the Governor came to look at the child.
Every day now he came to the cradle, for, weary with cares, the quiet
domestic atmosphere rested him. He moved his books and clothes, and
the modest little home on the Rue became the home of the Governor.
Beside the fire Julia stitched, stitched at dainty garments while the
General and the Governor worked on their journals. Now and then their
eyes strayed toward the sleeping infant.

"This child is fairer than Sacajawea's at Clatsop," remarked Lewis.
"But it cries the same, and is liable to the same ills."

"And did you name a river for Sacajawea, too?" laughed Julia.

"Certainly, certainly, but the Governor's favourite river was named
Maria," slyly interposed Clark.

A quick flush passed over the Governor's cheek. He had lately
purchased a three-and-a-half arpent piece of land north of St. Louis
for a home for his mother,--or was it for Maria? However, in June
Clark took Julia and the baby with him on a trip to Louisville, and
the same month Maria was married to somebody else.

But on the Ohio the joyous activity had ceased. No longer the
boatman's horn rang over cliff and scar. Jefferson's embargo had
stagnated the waters.

When General Clark returned to St. Louis in July he found his friend
still more embarrassed and depressed.

"My bills are protested," said the Governor. "Here is one for eighteen
dollars rejected by the Secretary of the Treasury. This has given me
infinite concern, as the fate of others drawn for similar purposes
cannot be in doubt. Their rejection cannot fail to impress the public
mind unfavourably with respect to me."

"And what are these bills for?" inquired Clark.

"Expenses incurred in governing the territory," answered Lewis.

General Clark did not have to look back many years to recall the wreck
of his brother on this same snag of protested bills, and exactly as
with George Rogers Clark the proud and sensitive heart of Meriwether
Lewis was cut to the core.

"More painful than the rejection, is the displeasure which must arise
in the mind of the executive from my having drawn for public moneys
without authority. A third and not less embarrassing circumstance is
that my private funds are entirely incompetent to meet these bills if
protested."

With the generosity of his nature Clark gave Lewis one hundred
dollars, and Lewis arranged as soon as possible to go to Washington
with his vouchers to see the President.

With the courage of upright convictions, Governor Lewis contended with
the difficulties of his office, and in due course received the rest of
his protested bills. If he raged at heart he said little. If he spent
sleepless nights tossing, and communing with himself, he spoke no word
to those around him. Though the dagger pierced he made no sign.
Borrowing money of his friends as George Rogers Clark had done, he
met his bills as best he might. But his haggard face and evident
illness alarmed his friends.

"You had better take a trip to the east," they urged. "You have
malarial fever."

He decided to act on this suggestion, and with the journals of the
western expedition and his vouchers the Governor bade his friends
farewell and dropped down the river, intending to take a coasting
vessel to New Orleans and pass around to Washington by sea.

But at the Chickasaw Bluffs, now Memphis, Lewis was ill. Moreover,
rumours of war were in the air.

"These precious manuscripts that I have carried now for so many miles,
must not be lost," thought Lewis, "nor the vouchers of my public
accounts on which my honour rests. I will go by land through the
Chickasaw country."

The United States agent with the Chickasaw Indians, Major Neely,
arriving there two days later, found Lewis still detained by illness.
"I must accompany and watch over him," he said, when he found that the
Governor was resolved to press on at all hazards. "He is very ill."

One hundred years ago the Natchez trace was a new military road that
had been cut through the wilderness of Tennessee to the Spanish
country. Over this road the pony express galloped day and night and
pioneer caravans paused at nightfall at lonely wayside inns. Brigands
infested the forest, hard on the trail of the trader returning from
New Orleans with a pouch of Spanish silver in his saddlebags.

Over that road Aaron Burr had travelled on his visit to Andrew Jackson
at Nashville, and on it Tecumseh was even now journeying to the tribes
of the south.

"Two of the horses have strayed," was the servant's report at the end
of one day's journey. But even that could not delay the Governor.

"I will wait for you at the house of the first white inhabitant on the
road," said Lewis, as Neely turned back for the lost roadsters.

It was evening when the Governor arrived at Grinder's stand, the last
cabin on the borders of the Chickasaw country.

"May I stay for the night?" he inquired of the woman at the door.

"Come you alone?" she asked.

"My servants are behind. Bring me some wine."

Alighting and bringing in his saddle, the Governor touched the wine
and turned away. Pulling off his loose white blue-striped travelling
gown, he waited for his servants.

The woman scanned her guest,--of elegant manners and courtly bearing,
he was evidently a gentleman. But a troubled look on his face, an
impatient walk to and fro, denoted something wrong. She listened,--he
was talking to himself. His sudden wheels and turns and strides
startled her.

"Where is my powder? I am sure there was some powder in my canister,"
he said to the servants at the door.

After a mouthful of supper, he suddenly started up, speaking in a
violent manner, flushed and excited. Then, lighting his pipe, he sat
down by the cabin door.

"Madame, this is a very pleasant evening."

Mrs. Grinder noted the kindly tone, the handsome, haggard face, the
air of abstraction. Quietly he smoked for a time, then again he
flushed, arose excitedly, and stepped into the yard. There he began
pacing angrily to and fro.

But again he sat down to his pipe, and again seemed composed. He cast
his eyes toward the west, that West, the scene of his toils and
triumphs.

"What a sweet evening it is!" He had seen that same sun silvering the
northern rivers, gilding the peaks of the Rockies, and sinking into
the Pacific. It all came over him now, like a soothing dream, calming
the fevered soul and stilling its tumult.

The woman was preparing the usual feather-bed for her guest.

"I beg you, Madame, do not trouble yourself. Pernia, bring my
bearskins and buffalo robe."

The skins and robe were spread on the floor and the woman went away to
her kitchen. The house was a double log cabin with a covered way
between. Such houses abound still in the Cumberland Mountains.

"I am afraid of that man," said the woman in the kitchen, putting her
children in their beds. "Something is wrong. I cannot sleep."

The servants slept in the barn. Neely had not come. Night came down
with its mysterious veil upon the frontier cabin.

But still that heavy pace was heard in the other cabin. Now and then a
voice spoke rapidly and incoherently.

"He must be a lawyer," said the woman in the kitchen. Suddenly she
heard the report of a pistol, and something dropped heavily to the
floor. There was a voice,--"O Lord!"

Excited, peering into the night, the trembling woman listened. Another
pistol, and then a voice at her door,--"Oh, madame, give me some water
and heal my wounds!"

Peering into the moonlight between the open unplastered logs, she saw
her guest stagger and fall. Presently he crawled back into the room.
Then again he came to the kitchen door, but did not speak. An empty
pail stood there with a gourd,--he was searching for water. Cowering,
terrified, there in the kitchen with her children the woman waited for
the light.

At the first break of day she sent two of the children to the barn to
arouse the servants. And there, on his bearskins on the cabin floor,
they found the shattered frame of Meriwether Lewis, a bullet in his
side, a shot under his chin, and a ghastly wound in his forehead.

"Take my rifle and kill me!" he begged. "I will give you all the money
in my trunk. I am no coward, but I am so strong,--so hard to die! Do
not be afraid of me, Pernia, I will not hurt you."

And as the sun rose over the Tennessee trees, Meriwether Lewis was
dead, on the 11th of October, 1809.



VIII

_A LONELY GRAVE IN TENNESSEE_


A hero of his country was dead, the Governor of its largest
Territory,--dead, on his way to Washington, where fresh honours
awaited him,--dead, far from friends and kindred in a wild and
boundless forest.

Did he commit suicide in a moment of aberration, or was he foully
murdered by an unknown hand on that 11th of October, 1809? President
Jefferson, who had observed signs of melancholy in him in early life,
favoured the idea of suicide, but in the immediate neighbourhood the
theory of murder took instant shape. Where was Joshua Grinder? Where
were those servants? Where was Neely himself?

"I never for a moment entertained the thought of suicide," said his
mother, when she heard the news. "His last letter was full of hope. I
was to live with him in St. Louis."

Of all men in the world why should Meriwether Lewis commit suicide?
The question has been argued for a hundred years and is to-day no
nearer solution than ever.

"Old Grinder killed him and got his money," said the neighbours. "He
saw he was well dressed and evidently a person of distinction and
wealth." Grinder was arrested and tried but no proof could be secured.

"Alarmed by his groans the robbers hid his pouch of gold coins in the
earth, with the intention of securing it later," said others. "They
never ventured to return,--it lies there, buried, to this day." And
the superstitions of the neighbourhood have invested the spot with the
weird fascination of Captain Kidd's treasure, or the buried box of
gold on Neacarney.

"He was killed by his French servant," said the Lewis family. Later,
when Pernia visited Charlottesville and sent word to Locust Hill,
Meriwether's mother refused to see him.

John Marks, half-brother of Meriwether Lewis, went immediately to the
scene of tragedy, but nothing more could be done or learned.
Proceeding to St. Louis, the estate was settled.

When at last the trunks arrived at Washington they were found to
contain the journals, papers on the protested bills, and the
well-known spy-glass used by Lewis on the expedition. But there were
no valuables or money.

Years after, Meriwether's sister and her husband unexpectedly met
Pernia on the streets of Mobile, and Mary recognised in his possession
the William Wirt watch and the gun of her brother. On demand they were
promptly surrendered.

In the lonely heart of Lewis county, Tennessee, stands to-day a
crumbling gray stone monument with a broken shaft of limestone erected
by the State on the spot where, in the thirty-fifth year of his age,
Meriwether Lewis met his death. In solitude and desolation, moss
overlies his tomb, but his name lives on, brightening with the years.



IX

_TRADE FOLLOWS THE FLAG_


"_Bon jour_, Ms'ieu, you want to know where dat Captinne?" The polite
Creole lifted his cap.

"'Pears now, maybe I heerd he wuz Guv'ner," said the keen-eyed trapper
thoughtfully.

"Guff'ner Lewees ees det,--kilt heeself. Generale Clark leeves on de
Rue Royale, next de Injun office."

In unkempt beard, hair shaggy as a horse's mane, and clothing all of
leather, the stranger climbed the rocky path, using the stock of his
gun for a staff.

It did not take long to find the Indian office. With a dozen lounging
braves outside and a council within, sat William Clark, the Red Head
Chief.

General Clark noted the shadow in the door that bright May morning.
Not in vain had these men faced the West together.

"Bless me, it's Coalter! Where have you been? How did you come?"

From the mountains, three thousand miles in thirty days, in a small
canoe, Coalter had come flying down the melting head-snows of the
Rockies. He was haggard with hunger and loss of sleep.

Leading his old companion to the cottage, Clark soon had him
surrounded with the comforts of a civilised meal. Refreshed, gradually
the trapper unfolded his tale.

When John Coalter left Lewis and Clark at the Mandan towns and went
back with Hancock and Dickson, in that Summer of 1806, they, the first
of white men, entered the Yellowstone Park of to-day. In the Spring,
separating from his companions, Coalter set out for St. Louis in a
solitary canoe. At the mouth of the Platte he met Manuel Lisa and
Drouillard coming up. And with them, John Potts, another of the Lewis
and Clark soldiers. On the spot Coalter re-enlisted and returned a
third time to the wilderness.

Such a man was invaluable to that first venture in the north. After
Lisa had stockaded his fort at the mouth of the Bighorn, he sent
Coalter to bring the Indians. Alone he set out with gun and knapsack,
travelled five hundred miles, and brought in his friends the Crows.
That laid the foundation of Lisa's fortune.

When Lisa came down with his furs in the Spring, Coalter and Potts
with traps on their backs set out for the beaver-meadows of the Three
Forks, the Madison, the Jefferson, and the Gallatin.

"We knew those Blackfoot sarpints would spare no chance to skelp us,"
said Coalter, "so we sot our traps by night an' tuk 'em afore
daylight. Goin' up a creek six miles from the Jefferson, examinin' our
traps one mornin', on a suddent we heerd a great noise. But the banks
wuz high an' we cudn't see.

"'Blackfeet, Potts. Let's retreat,' sez I.

"'Blackfut nuthin'. Ye must be a coward. Thet's buffaloes,' sez Potts.
An' we kep' on.

"In a few minutes five or six hunderd Injuns appeared on both sides uv
the creek, beckonin' us ashore. I saw 't warnt no use an' turned the
canoe head in.

"Ez we touched, an Injun seized Potts' rifle. I jumped an' grabbed an'
handed it back to Potts in the canoe. He tuk it an' pushed off.

"An' Injun let fly an arrer. Jest ez I heard it whizz, Potts cried,
'Coalter, I'm wounded.'

"'Don't try to get off, Potts, come ashore,' I urged. But no, he
levelled his rifle and shot a Blackfoot dead on the spot. Instanter
they riddled Potts,--dead, he floated down stream.

"Then they seized and stripped me. I seed 'em consultin'.

"'Set 'im up fer a target,' said some. I knew ther lingo, lernt it
'mongst the Crows, raound Lisa's fort, at the Bighorn. But the chief
asked me, 'Can ye run fast?'

"'No, very bad runner,' I answered."

Clark smiled. Well he remembered Coalter as the winner in many a
racing bout.

"The chief led me aout on the prairie, 'Save yerself ef ye can.'

"Et thet instant I heerd, 'Whoop-ahahahahah-hooh!' like ten thousand
divils, an' I _flew_.

"It wuz six miles to the Jefferson; the graound wuz stuck like a
pinquishen with prickly-pear an' sand burrs, cuttin' my bare feet, but
I wuz half acrosst before I ventured to look over the shoulder. The
sarpints ware pantin' an' fallin' behind an' scatterin'. But one with
a spear not more'n a hunderd yeards behind was gainin'.

"I made another bound,--blood gushed from my nostrils. Nearer, nearer
I heerd his breath and steps, expectin' every minute to feel thet
spear in my back.

"Agin I looked. Not twenty yeards behind he ran. On a suddint I
stopped, turned, and spread my arms. The Blackfoot, astonished at the
blood all over my front, perhaps, tried to stop but stumbled an' fell
and broke his spear. I ran back, snatched the point, and pinned him to
the earth.

"The rest set up a hidjus yell. While they stopped beside ther fallen
comrade, almost faintin' I ran inter the cottonwoods on the borders uv
the shore an' plunged ento the river.

"Diving under a raft of drift-timber agin the upper point of a little
island, I held my head up in a little opening amongst the trunks of
trees covered with limbs and brushwood.

"Screechin', yellin' like so many divils, they come onto the island.
Thro' the chinks I seed 'em huntin', huntin', huntin', all day long. I
only feared they might set the raft on fire.

"But at night they gave it up; the voices grew faint and fer away; I
swam cautiously daown an' acrost, an' landin' travelled all night.

"But I wuz naked. The broilin' sun scorched my skin, my feet were
filled with prickly-pears, an' I wuz hungry. Game, game plenty on the
hills, but I hed no gun. It was seven days to Lisa's fort on the
Bighorn.

"I remembered the Injun turnip that Sacajawea found in there, an'
lived on it an' sheep sorrel until I reached Lisa's fort, blistered
from head to heel."

As in a vision the General saw it all. Judy's eyes were filled with
tears. Through the Gallatin, the Indian Valley of Flowers, where
Bozeman stands to-day, the lonely trapper had toiled in the July sun
and over the Bozeman Pass, whither Clark's cavalcade had ridden two
summers before.

Six years now had Coalter been gone from civilisation, but he had
discovered the Yellowstone Park. No one in St. Louis would believe his
stories of hot water spouting in fountains, "Coalter's Hell," but
William Clark traced his route on the map that he sent for
publication.

John Coalter now received his delayed reward for the
expedition,--double pay and three hundred acres of land,--and went up
to find Boone at Charette.

"What! Pierre Menard!" Another boat had come out of the north.
General Clark grasped the horny hand of the fur trader. "What luck?"

"Bad, bad," gloomily answered the trader with a shake of his flowing
mane. "Drouillard is dead, and the rest are likely soon to be."

"What do you mean?"

"Blackfeet!"

Clark guessed all, even before he heard the full details behind locked
doors of the Missouri Fur Company at the warehouse of Pierre Chouteau.

"As you knew," began Menard, "we spent last winter at Fort Lisa on the
Bighorn. When Lisa started down here in March we packed our traps on
horses, crossed to the Three Forks, and built a double stockade of
logs at the confluence of the rivers. Every night the men came in with
beaver, beaver, beaver. We confidently expected to bring down not less
than three hundred packs this fall but that hope is shattered. On the
12th of April our men were ambuscaded by Blackfeet. Five were killed.
All their furs, traps, horses, guns, and equipments are without doubt
by this time at Fort Edmonton on the Saskatchewan."

"But you expected to visit the Snakes and Flatheads," suggested one to
rouse the despondent trader from his revery.

"I did. And the object was to obtain a Blackfoot prisoner if possible
in order to open communication with his tribe. They are the most
unapproachable Indians we have known. They refuse all overtures.

"Just outside the fort Drouillard was killed. A high wind was blowing
at the time, so he was not heard, but the scene of the conflict
indicated a desperate defence.

"Despair seized our hunters. They refused to go out. Indeed, it was
impossible to go except in numbers, so Henry and I concluded it was
best to report. I set out by night, and here I am, with these men and
thirty packs of beaver. God pity poor Henry at the Three Forks!"

Thus at one blow were shattered the high hopes of the Missouri Fur
Company. All thought of Andrew Henry, tall, slender, blue-eyed,
dark-haired, a man that spoke seldom, but of great deeds. Would he
survive a winter among the Blackfeet?

But there was another cause of disquiet to the Missouri Fur Company.

"Have you heard of John Jacob Astor?"

"What?"

"He has gone with Wilson Price Hunt to Montreal to engage men for an
expedition to the Columbia."

"What, Hunt who kept an Indian shop here on the Rue?" They all knew
him. He had come to St. Louis in 1804 and become an adept in
outfitting.

Two or three times Astor had offered to buy stock in the Missouri Fur
Company but had been refused. Jefferson himself had recommended him to
Lewis. Now he was carrying trade into the fur country over their
heads. Already he had a great trade on the lakes, and to the
headwaters of the Mississippi. He had profited by the surrender of
Detroit and Mackinaw. Another stride took him to the Falls of St.
Anthony; and now, along the trail of Lewis and Clark he planned to be
first on the Pacific. With ships by sea and caravans by land, he could
at last accomplish the wished-for trade to China.

"But I, too, planned the Pacific trade," said Manuel Lisa, coming down
in the Autumn. There was some jealousy that a New York man should be
first to follow the trail to the sea.

The winter was one of anxiety, for Astor's men had arrived in St.
Louis and had gone up the Missouri to camp until Spring. Anxiety, too,
for Andrew Henry, out there alone in the Blackfoot country.

Could they have been gifted with sufficient sight, the partners in St.
Louis might even then have seen the brave Andrew Henry fighting for
his life on that little tongue of land between the Madison and the
Jefferson. No trapping could be done. It was dangerous to go any
distance from the fort except in large parties. Fearing the entire
destruction of his little band, Henry moved across the mountains into
the Oregon country, and wintered on what is now Henry's Fork of the
river Snake, the first American stronghold on the Columbia.

"We must exterminate Hunt's party," said Manuel Lisa.

"No," said Pierre Chouteau. "Next year he will send again and again,
and in time will exterminate us. Your duty will be to protect his men
on the water, and may God Almighty have mercy on them in the
mountains, for they will never reach their destination."

From his new home at Charette John Coalter saw Astor's people going
by, bound for the Columbia. To his surprise they inquired for him.

"General Clark told us you were the best informed man in the country."

Coalter told them of the hostility of the Blackfeet and the story of
his escape. He longed to return with them to the mountains, but he had
just married a squaw and he decided to stay. Moreover, a twinge in his
limbs warned him that that plunge in the Jefferson had given him
rheumatism for life.

Daniel Boone, standing on the bank at Charette when Hunt went by, came
down and examined their outfit. "Jist returned from my traps on the
Creek," he said, pointing to sixty beaver skins.

Tame beavers and otters, caught on an island opposite Charette Creek,
were playing around his cabin. And his neighbours had elk and deer and
buffalo, broken to the yoke.

Several seasons had Boone with his old friend Calloway trapped on the
Kansas; now he longed for the mountains.

"Another year and I, too, will go to the Yellowstone," said Daniel
Boone.

"Andrew Henry must be rescued. His situation is desperate. He may be
dead," said General Clark, President of the Missouri Fur Company at
St. Louis.

Three weeks behind Hunt, Lisa set out in a swift barge propelled by
twenty oars, with a swivel on the bow and two blunderbusses in the
cabin. Lisa had been a sea-captain,--he rigged his boat with a good
mast, mainsail and topsail, and led his men with a ringing boat-song.

Then followed a keelboat race of a thousand miles up the Missouri.
June 2 Lisa caught up with Hunt near the present Bismarck, and met
Andrew Henry coming down with forty packs of beaver.

To avoid the hostile Blackfeet, Hunt bought horses and crossed through
the Yellowstone-Crow country to the abandoned fort of Henry on the
Snake, and on to the Columbia.

Aboard that barge with Lisa went Sacajawea. True to her word, she had
brought the little Touissant down to St. Louis, where Clark placed him
with the Catholic sisters to be trained for an interpreter. Sacajawea
was dressed as a white woman; she had quickly adopted their manners
and language; but, in the words of a chronicler who saw her there,
"she had become sickly, and longed to revisit her native country. Her
husband also had become wearied of civilised life."

So back they went to the Minnetarees, bearing pipes from Clark to the
chiefs. Five hundred dollars a year Charboneau now received as Indian
agent for the United States. For more than thirty years he held his
post, and to this day his name may be traced in the land of Dakota.

We can see Sacajawea now, startled and expectant, her heart beating
like a trip-hammer under her bodice, looking at Julia! No dreams of
her mountains had ever shown such sunny hair, such fluffs of curls,
like moonrise on the water. And that diaphanous cloud,--was it a
dress? No Shoshone girl ever saw such buckskin, finer than blossom of
the bitter-root.

"I am come," said Sacajawea.

A whole year she had tarried among the whites, quickly accommodating
herself to their ways. But in the level St. Louis she dreamed of her
northland, and now she was going home!



X

_TECUMSEH_


"It is madness to contend against the whites," said Black Hoof, chief
of the Shawnees. "The more we fight the more they come."

He had led raids against Boonsboro, watched the Ohio, and sold scalps
at Detroit. Three times his town was burnt behind him, twice by Clark
and once by Wayne. Then he gave up, signed the treaty at Greenville,
and for ever after kept the peace. Now he was living with a band of
Shawnees at Cape Girardeau, and made frequent visits to his old
friend, Daniel Boone.

Indian Phillips was with those who besieged Boonsboro. Phillips was a
white man stolen as a child who had always lived with the Shawnees. To
him Daniel Boone was the closest of friends. They hunted together and
slept together. Boone took Phillips' bearskins and sold them with his
own in St. Louis.

"If I should die while I am out with you, Phillips, you must mark my
grave and tell the folks so they can carry me home."

Long after those Indians in the West had welcomed Boone's sons, an old
squaw said, "I was an adopted sister during his captivity with the
Ohio Indians."

Sometimes Boone went over to Cape Girardeau, and sat with his friends
talking over old times.

"Do you remember, Dan," Phillips would say, "when we had you prisoner
at Detroit? You remember the British traders gave you a horse and
saddle and Black Fish adopted you, and you and he made an agreement
you would lead him to Boonsboro and make them surrender and bury the
tomahawk, and live like brothers and sisters?"

"Yes, I remember," said Boone, smiling at the recollection of those
arts of subterfuge.

"Do you remember one warm day when Black Fish said, 'Dan, the corn is
in good roasting ears. I would like to have your horse and mine in
good condition before we start to Boonsboro. We need a trough to feed
them in. I will show you a big log that you can dig out.' Black Fish
led you to a big walnut log. You worked a while and then lay down.
Black Fish came and said, 'Well, Dan, you haven't done much.'

"'No,' you answered, 'you and your squaw call me your son, but you
don't love me much. When I am at home I don't work this way,--I have
negroes to work for me.'

"'Well,' said Black Fish, 'come to camp and stay with your brothers.'"

Quietly the two old men chuckled together. Boone always called Black
Fish, father, and when he went hunting brought the choicest bit to the
chief.

But now Boone's visits to Girardeau were made with a purpose.

"What is Tecumseh doing?"

"Tecumseh? He says no tribe can sell our lands. He refuses to move out
of Ohio."

Old Black Hoof had pulled away from Tecumseh. The Shooting Star
refused to attend Wayne's treaty at Greenville. In 1805 he styled
himself a chief, and organised the young blood of the Shawnees into a
personal band.

About this time Tecumseh met Rebecca Galloway, whose father, James
Galloway, had moved over from Kentucky to settle near Old Chillicothe.
At the Galloway hearth Tecumseh was ever a welcome guest.

"Teach me to read the white man's book," said Tecumseh to the fair
Rebecca.

With wonderful speed the young chief picked up the English alphabet.
Hungry for knowledge, he read and read and Rebecca read to him.
Thereafter in his wonderful war and peace orations, Tecumseh used the
language of his beloved Rebecca. For, human-like, the young chief lost
his heart to the white girl. Days went by, dangerous days, while
Rebecca was correcting Tecumseh's speech, enlarging his English
vocabulary, and reading to him from the Bible.

"Promise me, Tecumseh, never, never will you permit the massacre of
helpless women and children after capture." Tecumseh promised.

"And be kind to the poor surrendered prisoner."

"I will be kind," said Tecumseh.

But time was fleeting,--game was disappearing,--Tecumseh was an
Indian. His lands were slipping from under his feet.

It was useless to speak to the fair Rebecca. Terrified at the fire she
had kindled, she saw him no more. Enraged, wrathful, he returned to
his band. Tecumseh never loved any Indian woman. A wife or two he
tried, then bade them "Begone!"

When Lewis and Clark returned from the West, Tecumseh and his brother,
the Prophet, were already planning a vast confederation to wipe out
the whites.

Jefferson heard of these things.

"He is visionary," said the President, and let him go on unmolested.

"The Seventeen Fires are cheating us!" exclaimed Tecumseh. "The
Delawares, Miamis, and Pottawattamies have sold their lands! The Great
Spirit gave the land to all the Indians. No tribe can sell without the
consent of all. The whites have driven us from the sea-coast,--they
will shortly push us into the Lakes."

The Governor-General of Canada encouraged him. Then came rumours of
Indian activity. Like the Hermit of old, Tecumseh went out to rouse
the redmen in a crusade against the whites. Still Jefferson paid no
heed.

About the time that Clark and his bride came down the Ohio, the
distracted Indians were swarming on Tippecanoe Creek, a hundred miles
from Fort Dearborn, the future Chicago. All Summer, whisperings came
into St. Louis, "Tecumseh is persuading the Sacs, Foxes, and Osages to
war."

"I will meet the Sacs and Foxes," said Lewis.

Clark went out and quieted the Osages. Boone's son and Auguste
Chouteau went with him.

"The Great Spirit bids you destroy Vincennes and sweep the Ohio to the
mouth," was the Prophet's reported advice to the Chippewas.

"Give up our land and buy no more, and I will ally with the United
States," said Tecumseh to General Harrison at Vincennes, in August of
1809.

"It cannot be," said Harrison.

"Then I will make war and ally with England," retorted the defiant
chieftain.

The frontier had much to fear from an Indian war. More and more
vagrant red men hovered around St. Louis,--Sacs, Foxes, Osages, who
had seen Tecumseh. The Illinois country opposite swarmed with them,
making raids on the farmers, killing stock, stealing horses. Massacres
and depredations began.

"'Tis time to fortify," said Daniel Boone to his sons and neighbours.

In a little while nine forts had been erected in St. Charles county
alone, and every cabin was stockaded. The five stockades at Boone's
Lick met frequent assaults. Black Hawk was there, the trusted
lieutenant of Tecumseh. The whole frontier became alarmed.

Then Manuel Lisa came down the river.

"The British are sending wampum to the Sioux. All the Missouri nations
are urged to join the confederacy."

In fact, the Prophet with his mystery fire was visiting all the
northwest tribes, even the Blackfeet. Ten thousand Indians promised to
follow him back. Dressed in white buckskin, with eagle feathers in his
hair, Tecumseh, on a spirited black pony, came to Gomo and Black
Partridge on Peoria Lake in the summer of 1810.

"I cannot join you," said Black Partridge, the Pottawattamie, holding
up a silver medal. "This token was given to me at Greenville by the
great chief [Wayne]. On it you see the face of our father at
Washington. As long as this hangs on my neck I can never raise my
tomahawk against the whites."

Gomo refused. "Long ago the Big Knife [George Rogers Clark] came to
Kaskaskia and sent for the chiefs of this river. We went. He desired
us to remain still in our own villages, saying that the Americans
were able, of themselves, to fight the British."

"Will anything short of the complete conquest of the Canadas enable us
to prevent their influence on our Indians?" asked Governor Edwards of
Illinois. Edwards and Clark planned together for the protection of the
frontier.

In July, 1811, Tecumseh went to Vincennes and held a last stormy
interview with Harrison without avail. Immediately he turned south to
the Creeks, Choctaws, Chickasaws, and Seminoles. They watched him with
kindling eyes.

"Brothers, you do not mean to fight!" thundered Tecumseh to the
hesitating Creeks. "You do not believe the Great Spirit has sent me.
You shall know. From here I go straight to Detroit. When I arrive
there I shall stamp on the ground, and shake down every house in this
village."

As Tecumseh strode into the forest the terrified Creeks watched. They
counted the days. Then came the awful quaking and shaking of the New
Madrid earthquake.

"Tecumseh has reached Detroit! Tecumseh has reached Detroit!" cried
the frantic Creeks, as their wigwams tumbled about them.

Tecumseh was coming leisurely up among the tribes of Missouri,
haranguing Black Hoof at Cape Girardeau, Osages, and Kickapoos, and
Iowas at Des Moines.

But Tippecanoe had been fought and lost.

"There is to be an attack," said George Rogers Clark Floyd, tapping at
the door of Harrison's tent at three o'clock in the morning of
November 7, 1811. Harrison sprang to his horse and with him George
Croghan and John O'Fallon.

It was a battle for possession. Every Indian trained by Tecumseh knew
his country depended upon it. Every white knew he must win or the log
cabin must go. In the darkness and rain the combatants locked in the
death struggle of savagery against civilisation. Tecumseh reached the
Wabash to find the wreck of Tippecanoe.

"Wretch!" he cried to his brother, "you have ruined all!" Seizing the
Prophet by the hair, Tecumseh shook him and beat him and cuffed him
and almost killed him, then dashed away to Canada and offered his
tomahawk to Great Britain.

"The danger is not over," said Clark after Harrison's battle.

To save as many Indians as possible from the machinations of Tecumseh,
immediately after Tippecanoe Clark summoned the neighbouring tribes to
a council at St. Louis. Over the winter snows the runners sped,
calling them in for a trip to Washington.

It was May of 1812 when Clark got together his chiefs of the Great and
Little Osages, Sacs, Foxes, Shawnees, and Delawares.

"Ahaha! Great Medicine!" whispered the Indians, when General Clark
discovered their wily plans.

Nothing could be hid from the Red Head Chief. Feared and beloved, none
other could better have handled the inflammable tribes at that moment.
Old chiefs among them remembered his brother of the Long Knives, and
looked upon this Clark as his natural successor. And the General took
care not to dispel this fancy, but on every occasion strengthened and
deepened it.

Never before in St. Louis had Indians been watched so strenuously.
Moody, taciturn, repelling familiarity, they bore the faces of men who
knew secrets. Tecumseh had whispered in their ear. "Shall we listen to
Tecumseh?" They were wavering.

Cold, impassively stoic, they heeded no question when citizens
impelled by curiosity or friendly feeling endeavoured to draw them
into conversation. If pressed too closely, the straight forms lifted
still more loftily, and wrapping their blankets closer about them the
council chiefs strode contemptuously away.

But if Clark spoke, every eye was attention.

"Before we go," said Clark, "I advise you to make peace with one
another and bury the hatchet."

They did, and for the most part kept it for ever.

It was May 5 when Clark started with his embassy of ninety chiefs to
see their "Great God, the President," as they called Madison,
following the old trail to Vincennes, Louisville, and Pittsburg. Along
with them went a body-guard of soldiers, and also Mrs. Clark, her
maids, and the two little boys, on the way to Fincastle. Mrs. Clark's
especial escort was John O'Fallon, nineteen years of age, aide to
Harrison at Tippecanoe, who had come to his uncle at St. Louis
immediately after the battle.

In their best necklaces of bears' claws the chiefs arrived at
Washington. War had been declared against Great Britain. There was a
consultation with the President.

"We, too, have declared war," announced the redmen, as they strode
with Clark from the White House. But Black Hawk of the Rock River Sacs
was not there. He had followed Tecumseh.

About the same time, on the eastern bank of the Detroit river Tecumseh
was met by anxious Ohio chiefs who remembered Wayne.

"Let us remain neutral," they pleaded. "This is the white man's war."

Tecumseh shook his tomahawk above the Detroit. "My bones shall bleach
on this shore before I will join in any council of neutrality."

"The Great Father over the Big Water will never bury his war-club
until he quiets these troublers of the earth," said General Brock to
Tecumseh's redmen. Then came larger gifts than ever from "their
British Father."

"War is declared! Go," said Tecumseh, "cut off Fort Dearborn before
they hear the news!" Two emissaries from Tecumseh came flying into the
Illinois.

That night the Indians started for Chicago on her lonely lake. Black
Partridge mounted his pony and tried to dissuade them. He could not.
Then spurring he reached Fort Dearborn first. With tears he threw down
his medal before the astonished commander.

"My young men have gone on the warpath. Here is your medal. I will not
wear an emblem of friendship when I am compelled to act as an enemy."

Before the sun went down the shores of Lake Michigan were red with the
blood of men, women, and children. Like the Rhine of old France, the
lakes were still the fighting border.

President Madison felt grateful to Clark for the step he had taken
with the Indians.

"Will you command the army at Detroit?"

"I can do more for my country by attending to the Indians," was the
General's modest reply.

The country waited to hear that Hull had taken Upper Canada. Instead
the shocked nation heard, "_Hull has surrendered_!"

"Hull has surrendered!"

Runners flew among the Indians to the remotest border,--the Creeks
heard it before their white neighbours. Little Crow and his Sioux
snatched up the war hatchet. Detroit had fallen with Tecumseh and
Brock at the head of the Anglo-Indian army.

"We shall drive these Americans back across the Ohio," said General
Brock.

At this, the old and popular wish of the Lake Indians, large numbers
threw aside their scruples and joined in the war that followed.

In December General Clark was appointed Governor of the newly
organised territory of Missouri.

Meanwhile in the buff and blue stage coach, a huge box mounted on
springs, Julia and her children were swinging toward Fotheringay. The
air was hot and dusty, the leather curtains were rolled up to catch
the slightest breeze, and the happy though weary occupants looked out
on the Valley of Virginia.

Forty miles a day the coach horses travelled, leaving them each
evening a little nearer their destination. The small wayside inns
lacked comforts, but such as they were our travellers accepted
thankfully. Now and then the post-rider blew his horn and dashed by
them, or in the heat of the day rode leisurely in the shade of poplars
along the road, furtively reading the letters of his pack as he paced
in the dust.

And still over the mountains were pouring white-topped Conestoga
waggons, careening down like boats at sea, laden with cargoes of
colonial ware, pewter, and mahogany. The golden age of coaching times
had come, and magnificent horses, dappled grays and bays in
scarlet-fringed housings and jingling bells, seemed bearing away the
world on wheels.

To the new home Julia was coming, at Fotheringay.

Before the coach stopped Julia perceived through enshrining trees
Black Granny standing in the wide hallway. Throwing up her apron over
her woolly head to hide the tears of joy,--

"Laws a-honey! Miss Judy done come hum!"

"Fotheringay!" sang out the dusty driver with an unusual flourish of
whip-lash and echo-waking blast of the postillion's horn. In a trice
the steps were down, and surrounded by babies and bandboxes, brass
nail-studded hair trunks and portmanteaus of pigskin, "Miss Judy" was
greeted by the entire sable population of Fotheringay. Light-footed as
a girl she ran forward to greet her father, Colonel Hancock. The
Colonel hastened to his daughter,--

"Hull has surrendered," he said.



XI

_CLARK GUARDS THE FRONTIER_


The Indian hunt was over; they were done making their sugar; the women
were planting corn. The warriors hid in the thick foliage of the river
borders, preparing for war.

"Madison has declared war against England!"

The news was hailed with delight. Now would end this frightful
suspense. In Illinois alone, fifteen hundred savages under foreign
machinations held in terror forty thousand white people,--officers and
soldiers of George Rogers Clark and others who had settled on the
undefended prairies.

"Detroit has fallen!"

"Mackinac is gone!"

"The savages have massacred the garrison at Fort Dearborn!"

"They are planning to attack the settlements on the Mississippi. If
the Sioux join the confederacy--" cheeks paled at the possibility.

The greatest body of Indians in America resided on the Mississippi.
Who could say at what hour the waters would resound with their whoops?
Thousands of them could reach St. Louis or Cahokia from their homes in
five or six days. Immense quantities of British gifts were coming from
the Lakes to the Indians at Peoria, Rock Island, Des Moines.

"Yes, we shall attack when the corn is ripe," said the Indians at Fort
Madison.

"Unless I hear shortly of more assistance than a few rangers I shall
bury my papers in the ground, send my family off, and fight as long as
possible," said Edwards, the Governor of Illinois.

In Missouri, surrounded by Pottawattamies, champion horsethieves of
the frontier, and warlike Foxes, Iowas, and Kickapoos, the settlers
ploughed their fields with sentinels on guard. Horns hung at their
belts to blow as a signal of danger. In the quiet hour by the
fireside, an Indian would steal into the postern gate and shoot the
father at the hearth, the mother at her evening task.

Presently the settlers withdrew into the forts, unable to raise crops.
With corn in the cabin loft, the bear hunt in the fall, the turkey
hunt at Christmas, and venison hams kept over from last year, still
there was plenty.

Daniel Boone, the patriarch of about forty families, ever on the
lookout with his long thin eagle face, ruled by advice and example.
The once light flaxen hair was gray, but even yet Boone's step was
springy as the Indian's, as gun in hand he watched around the forts.

Maine, Montana, each has known it all, the same running fights of
Kentucky and Oregon. Woe to the little children playing outside the
forted village,--woe to the lad driving home the cows,--woe to the
maid at milking time.

The alarm was swelled by Quas-qua-ma, a chief of the Sacs, a very
pacific Indian and friend of the whites, who came by night to bring
warning and consult Clark. In his search Quas-qua-ma tip-toed from
porch to porch. Frightened habitants peered through the shutters.

"What ees wanted?"

"The Red Head Chief."

But Clark had not arrived.

"We must take this matter into our own hands," said the people.
"British and Indians came once from Mackinac. They may again."

"Mackinac? They are at Fort Madison now, murdering our regulars and
rangers. How long since they burned our boats and cargoes at Fort
Bellevue? Any day they may drop down on St. Louis."

"We must fortify."

"The old bastions may be made available for service."

"The old Spanish garrison tower must be refitted for the women and
children."

Such were the universal conclusions. Men went up the river to the
islands to bring down logs. Another party set to work to dig a wide,
deep ditch for a regular stockade.

When Clark arrived to begin his duties as Territorial Governor he
found St. Louis bordering on a state of panic. There was the
cloud-shadow of the north. Below, one thousand Indians, Cherokees,
Chickasaws, Choctaws, Creeks, and Catawbas on a branch of the Arkansas
within three days' journey of Saint Genevieve were crossing the river
at Chickasaw Bluffs. Tecumseh's belts of wampum were flying
everywhere.

In their best necklaces of bears' claws Clark's ninety chiefs came
home, laden with tokens of esteem. Civilised military dress had
succeeded the blanket; the wild fierce air was gone.

"We have declared war against Kinchotch [King George]," said the proud
chiefs, taking boat to keep their tribes quiet along the west.

A sense of security returned to St. Louis. Would they not act as a
barrier to tribes more remote? The plan for local fortification was
abandoned, but a cordon of family blockhouses was built from
Bellefontaine to Kaskaskia, a line seventy-five miles in length, along
which the rangers rode daily, watching the red marauders of Illinois.
The Mississippi was picketed with gunboats.

"Whoever holds Prairie du Chien holds the Upper Mississippi," said
Governor Clark. "I will go there and break up that rendezvous of
British and Indians."

Who better than Clark knew the border and the Indian? He could ply the
oar, or level the rifle, or sleep at night on gravel stones.

"It requires time and a little smoking with Indians if you wish to
have peace with them."

As soon as possible a gunboat, the _Governor Clark_, and several
smaller boats, manned with one hundred and fifty volunteers and sixty
regular troops, went up into the hostile country. Fierce Sacs glared
from Rock Island, Foxes paused in their lead digging at Dubuque's
mines,--lead for British cannon.

Although on Missouri territory, Prairie du Chien was still occupied by
Indians and traders to the exclusion of Americans. Six hundred, seven
hundred miles above St. Louis, a little red bird whispered up the
Mississippi, "Long Knives coming!" The traders retired.

"Whoever enjoys the trade of the Indians will have control of their
affections and power," said Clark. "Too long have we left this point
unfortified."

A great impression had been made on the savages by the liberality of
the British traders. Their brilliant red coats--"Eenah! eenah!
eenamah!" exclaimed the Sioux.

But now the Long Knives! Wabasha, son of Wabasha of the Revolution,
remembered the Long Knives. When Clark arrived at Prairie du Chien
Wabasha refused to fight him. Red Wing came down to the council. Upon
his bosom Rising Moose proudly exhibited a medal given him by Captain
Pike in 1805. The Indians nicknamed him "Tammaha, the Pike."

Twenty-five leagues above Tammaha's village lived Wabasha, and
twenty-five above Wabasha, the Red Wing, all great chiefs of the
Sioux, all very friendly now to the Long Knife who had come up in his
gunboat.

Since time immemorial Wabasha had been a friend of the British, twice
had he, the son of Wabasha I., been to Quebec and received flags and
medals. But now he remembered Captain Pike who visited their northern
waters while Lewis and Clark were away at the west. Grasping the hand
of Clark,--

"We have the greatest friendship for the United States," said the
chiefs,--all except Little Crow. He was leading a war party to the
Lakes.

Leaving troops to erect a fort and maintain a garrison at the old
French Prairie du Chien, Governor Clark returned to his necessary
duties at St. Louis. Behind on the river remained the gunboat to guard
the builders.

"A fort at the Prairie?" cried the British traders at Mackinac. "That
cuts off our Dakota trade." And forthwith an expedition was raised to
capture the garrison.

Barely was the rude fortification completed before a force of British
and Chippewas were marching upon it.

"I will not fight the Big Knives any more," said Red Wing.

"Why?" asked the traders.

"The lion and the eagle fight. Then the lion will go home and leave us
to the eagle." Red Wing was famed for foretelling events at Prairie du
Chien.

In June Manuel Lisa came down the Missouri.

"De Arrapahoe, Arikara, Gros Ventre, and Crow are at war wit' de
American. De British Nort'west traders embroil our people wit' de
sauvages to cut dem off!"

"We must extend the posts of St. Louis to the British border,"
cautioned Clark to Lisa. "And if necessary arm the Yanktons and Omahas
against the Sacs and Iowas. I herewith commission you, Lisa, my
especial sub-agent among the nations of the Missouri to keep them at
peace."

Very well Clark knew whom he was trusting. Now that war had crippled
the Missouri Fur Company, Lisa alone represented them in the field.
Familiar with the fashions of Indians, the size and colour of the
favourite blanket, the shape and length of tomahawks, no trader was
more a favourite than Manuel Lisa. Besides, he still maintained the
company's posts,--Council Bluffs with the Omahas, six hundred miles up
the Missouri, and another at the Sioux, six hundred miles further
still, with two hundred hunters in his employ. Here was a force not to
be despised.

Ten months in the year Lisa was buried in the wilderness, hid in the
forest and the prairie, far from his wife in St. Louis. Wily, winning,
and strategic, no trader knew Indians better.

"And," continued the Governor, "I offer you five hundred dollars for
sub-agent's salary."

"A poor five hundred tollar!" laughed Lisa. "Eet will not buy te
tobacco which I give annually to dose who call me Fader. But Lisa will
go. His interests and dose of de Government are one."

Then after a moment's frowning reflection,--"I haf suffered enough,"
almost wailed Lisa, "I haf suffered enough in person and in property
under a different government, to know how to appreciate de one under
w'ich I now live."

Even while they were consulting, "Here is your friend, de Rising
Moose!" announced old Antoine Le Claire.

"Rising Moose?" Governor Clark started to his feet as one of the
Prairie du Chien chiefs came striding through the door.

"The fort is taken, but I will not fight the Long Knife. Tammaha is an
American."

All the way down on the gunboat riddled with bullets, Tammaha had come
with the fleeing soldiers to offer his tomahawk to Governor Clark. The
guns were not yet in when the enemy swept down on the fort at Prairie
du Chien.

"Prairie du Chien lost? It shall be recovered. Wait until Spring."

And the British, too, said, "Wait until Spring and we will take St.
Louis." But they feared the gunboats.

Governor Clark accepted Tammaha's service, commissioning him a chief
of the Red Wing band of Sioux. "Wait and go up with Lisa. Tell your
people the Long Knife counsels them to remain quiet."

When Lisa set out for the north as agent of both the fur business and
that of the Government, he carried with him mementoes and friendly
reminders to all the principal chiefs of the northern tribes.

Big Elk of the Omahas, Black Cat and Big White of the Mandans, Le
Borgne of the Minnetarees, even the chiefs of the dreaded Teton Sioux
were not forgotten. The Red Head had been there, had visited their
country. He was the son of their Great Father,--they would listen to
the Red Head Chief.

At this particular juncture of our national history, Clark the Red
Head and Manuel Lisa the trader formed a fortunate combination for the
interests of the United States. Their words to the northern chiefs
were weighty. Their gifts were continued pledges of sacred friendship.
While the eyes of the nation were rivetted on the conflict in the East
and on the ocean, Clark held the trans-Mississippi with even a
stronger grip than his illustrious brother had held the
trans-Alleghany thirty years before.

Along with Lisa up the Missouri to the Dakotas went Tammaha, the
Rising Moose, and crossed to Prairie du Chien.

"Where do you come from and what business have you here?" cried the
British commander, rudely jerking Tammaha's bundle from his back and
examining it for letters.

"I come from St. Louis," answered the Moose. "I promised the Long
Knife I would come to Prairie du Chien and here I am."

"Lock him in the guard house. He ought to be shot!" roared the
officer.

"I am ready for death if you choose to kill me," answered Rising
Moose.

At last in the depth of winter they sent him away.

Determined now, the old chief set out in the snows to turn all his
energy against the British.

"The Old Priest," said some of the Indians, "Tammaha talks too much!"

All along the Missouri, from St. Louis to the Mandans, Lisa held
councils with the Indians with wonderful success. But the Mississippi
tribes, nearer to Canada, were for the most part won over to Great
Britain.

In other directions Governor Clark sent out for reports from the
tribes. The answer was appalling. As if all were at war, a cordon of
foes stretched from the St. Lawrence to the Arkansas and Alabama.

Even Black Partridge,--at the Fort Dearborn massacre he had snatched
Mrs. Helm from the tomahawk and held her in the lake to save her life.
Late that night at an Indian camp a friendly squaw-mother dressed her
wounds. Black Partridge loved that girl.

"Lieutenant Helm is a prisoner among the Indians," said agent Forsythe
at Peoria. "Here are presents, Black Partridge. Go ransom him. Here is
a written order on General Clark for one hundred dollars when you
bring him to the Red Head Chief."

Black Partridge rode to the Kankakee village and spread out his
presents. "And you shall have one huntret tollars when you bring him
to te Red Head Chief."

"Not enough! Not enough!" cried the Indians.

"Here, then, take my pony, my rifle, my ring," said the Partridge,
unhooking the hoop of gold from his nose. The bargain was made. The
man was ransomed, and mounted on ponies all started for St. Louis.
Lieutenant Helm was saved.

Late at night, tired and hungry, the rain falling in torrents, without
pony or gun, Black Partridge arrived at his village on Peoria Lake.
His village? It was gone. Black embers smouldered there.

Wrapped in his blanket, Black Partridge sat on the ground to await the
revelation of dawn. Wolves howled a mournful wail in his superstitious
ear. Day dawned. There lay the carnage of slaughter,--his daughter,
his grandchild, his neighbours, dead. The rangers had burnt his town.

Breathing vengeance, "I will go on the war path," said Black
Partridge, the Pottawattamie.

Two hundred warriors went from the wigwams of Illinois under Black
Partridge, Shequenebec sent a hundred from his stronghold at the head
of Peoria Lake, Mittitass led a hundred from his village at the
portage on the Rivière des Plaines. Painted black they came,
inveterate since Tippecanoe.

"Look out for squalls," wrote John O'Fallon from St. Louis to his
mother at Louisville. "An express arrived from Fort Madison yesterday
informing that the sentinels had been obliged to fire upon the Indians
almost every night to keep them at their distance. Indians are
discovered some nights within several feet of the pickets."

Black Hawk was there. Very angry was Black Hawk at the building of
Fort Madison at the foot of Des Moines rapids.

While Lewis and Clark were gone in 1804, William Henry Harrison,
directed by Jefferson, made a treaty with the Sacs and Foxes by which
they gave up fifty millions of acres. Gratiot, Vigo, the Chouteaus,
and officers of the state and army, Quasquama and four other chiefs,
attached their names to that treaty in the presence of Major Stoddard.

"I deny its validity!" cried Black Hawk. "I never gave up my land."

Now Black Hawk was plotting and planning and attacking Fort Madison,
until early in September a panting express arrived at St. Louis.

"Fort Madison is burned, Your Excellency."

"How did it happen?" inquired the Governor.

"Besieged until the garrison was reduced to potatoes alone, we decided
to evacuate. Digging a tunnel from the southeast blockhouse to the
river, boats were made ready. Slipping out at night, crowding through
the tunnel on hands and knees, our last man set fire to Fort Madison.
Like tinder the stockade blazed, kissing the heavens. Indians leaped
and yelled with tomahawks, expecting our exit. At their backs, under
cover of darkness, we escaped down the Mississippi."



XII

_THE STORY OF A SWORD_


"Show me what kind of country we have to march through," said the
British General to Tecumseh, after Detroit had fallen.

Taking a roll of elm-bark Tecumseh drew his scalping knife and etched
upon it the rivers, hills, and woods he knew so well. And the march
began,--to be checked at Fort Stephenson by a boy of twenty-one.

It was the dream and hope of the British Fur Companies to extend their
territory as far within the American border as possible. The whole War
of 1812 was a traders' war. Commerce, commerce, for which the world is
battling still, was the motive power on land and sea.

At the Lakes now, the British fur traders waved their flags again
above the ramparts of Detroit. "We must hold this post,--its loss too
seriously deranges our plans."

Smouldering, the old Revolutionary fires had burst anew. Did George
III. still hope to conquer America?

"Hull surrendered?" America groaned at the stain, the stigma, the
national disgrace! In a day regiments leaped to fill the breach.
"Detroit must be re-taken!"

Along the Lakes battle succeeded battle in swift succession.

At Louisville two mothers, Lucy and Fanny, were anxious for their
boys. Both George Croghan and John O'Fallon had been with Harrison at
Tippecanoe. Both had been promoted. Then came the call for swords.

"Get me a sword in Philadelphia," wrote O'Fallon to his mother.

"Send me a sword to Cincinnati," begged Croghan.

Sitting under the trees at Locust Grove the sisters were discussing
the fall of Detroit. Fanny had John O'Fallon's letter announcing the
burning of Fort Madison. Lucy was devouring the last impatient scrawl
from her fiery, ambitious son, George Croghan, now caged in an obscure
fort on Sandusky River near Lake Erie.

"The General little knows me," wrote Croghan. "To assist his cause, to
promote in any way his welfare, I would bravely sacrifice my best and
fondest hopes. I am resolved on quitting the army as soon as I am
relieved of the command of this post."

Scarcely had the two mothers finished reading when a shout rang
through the streets of Louisville.

"Hurrah for Croghan! Croghan! Croghan!"

"Why, what is the matter?"

Pale with anxiety Lucy ran to the gate. The whole street was filled
with people coming that way. In a few hurried words she heard the
story from several lips at once.

"Why, you see, Madam, General Harrison was afraid Tecumseh would make
a flank attack on Fort Stephenson, in charge of George Croghan, and so
ordered him to abandon and burn it. But no,--he sent the General word,
'We are determined to hold this place, and by heaven we will!'

"That night George hastily cut a ditch and raised a stockade. Then
along came Proctor and Tecumseh with a thousand British and Indians,
and summoned him to surrender.

"The boy had only one hundred and sixty inexperienced men and a single
six-pounder, but he sent back answer: 'The fort will be defended to
the last extremity. No force, however great, can induce us to
surrender. We are resolved to hold this post or bury ourselves in its
ruins.'"

Tears ran down Lucy's cheeks as she listened,--she caught at the gate
to keep from falling. Before her arose the picture of that son with
red hair flying, and fine thin face like a blooded warhorse,--she knew
that look.

"Again Proctor sent his flag demanding surrender to avoid a terrible
massacre.

"'When this fort is taken there will be none to massacre,' answered
the boy, 'for it will not be given up while a man is left to resist!'

"The enemy advanced, and when close at hand, Croghan unmasked his
solitary cannon and swept them down. Again Proctor advanced, and again
the rifle of every man and the masked cannon met them. Falling back,
Proctor and Tecumseh retreated, abandoning a boatload of military
stores on the bank."

"Hurrah for Croghan! Croghan! Croghan!" again rang down the streets of
Louisville. The bells rang out a peal as the Stars and Stripes ran up
the flag-staff.

"The little game cock, he shall have my sword," said George Rogers
Clark, living again his own great days.

And with that sword there was a story.

When Tippecanoe was won and the world was ringing with "Harrison!" men
recalled another hero who "with no provisions, no munitions, no
cannon, no shoes, almost without an army," had held these same redmen
at bay.

"And does he yet live?"

"He lives, an exile and a hermit on a Point of Rock on the Indiana
shore above the Falls of the Ohio."

"Has he no recognition?"

Men whispered the story of the sword.

When John Rogers went back from victorious Vincennes with Hamilton a
prisoner-of-war, the grateful Virginian Assembly voted George Rogers
Clark a sword.

"And you, Captain Rogers, may present it."

The sword was ready, time passed, difficulties multiplied. Clark
presented his bill to the Virginia Legislature. To his amazement and
mortification the House of Delegates refused to allow his claim.

Clark went home, sold his bounty lands, and ruined himself to pay for
the bread and meat of his army.

And then it was rumoured, "To-day a sword will be presented to George
Rogers Clark."

All the countryside gathered, pioneers and veterans, with the civic
and military display of that rude age to see their hero honoured. The
commissioner for Virginia appeared, and in formal and complimentary
address delivered the sword. The General received it; then drawing
the long blade from its scabbard, plunged it into the earth and broke
it off at the hilt. Turning to the commissioner, he said, "Captain
Rogers, return to your State and tell her for me first to be just
before she is generous."

For years those old veterans had related to their children and
grandchildren the story of that tragic day when Clark, the hero, broke
the sword Virginia gave him.

But a new time had come and new appreciation. While the smoke of
Tippecanoe was rolling away a member of the Virginia Legislature
related anew the story of that earlier Vincennes and of the sword that
Clark, "with haughty sense of wounded pride and feeling had broken and
cast away." With unanimous voice Virginia voted a new sword and the
half-pay of a colonel for the remainder of his life.

The commissioners found the old hero partially paralysed. Lucy had
gone to him at the Point of Rock. "Brother, you are failing, you need
care, I will look after you," and tenderly she bore him to her home at
Locust Grove, where now, all day long, in his invalid chair, George
Rogers Clark studied the long reach of the blue Ohio or followed
Napoleon and the boys of 1812.

Nothing had touched him like this deed of his nephew,--"Yes, yes, he
shall have my sword!"

The next morning after the battle General Harrison wrote to the
Secretary of War: "I am sorry I cannot submit to you Major Croghan's
official report. He was to have sent it to me this morning, but I have
just heard that he was so much exhausted by thirty-six hours of
constant exertion as to be unable to make it. It will not be among the
least of General Proctor's mortifications to find that he has been
baffled by a youth who has just passed his twenty-first year. He is,
however, a hero worthy of his gallant uncle, General George Rogers
Clark."

The cannon, "Old Betsy," stands yet in Fort Stephenson at Fremont,
Ohio, where every passing year they celebrate the victory of that
second day of August, 1813,--the first check to the British advance in
the War of 1812.

A few days later, Perry's victory on Lake Erie opened the road to
Canada and Detroit was re-taken.

"Britannia, Columbia, both had set their heels upon Detroit, and young
Columbia threw Britannia back across the Lakes," says the chronicler.

Then followed the battle of the Thames and the death of Tecumseh. A
Canadian historian says, "But for Tecumseh, it is probable we should
not now have a Canada."

What if he had won Rebecca? Would Canada now be a peaceful sister of
the States?

Tecumseh fought with the fur traders,--their interests were his,--to
keep the land a wild, a game preserve for wild beasts and wilder men.
Civilisation had no part or place in Tecumseh's plan.

With the medal of George III. upon his breast, Tecumseh fell, on
Canadian soil, battle-axe in hand, hero and patriot of his race, the
last of the great Shawnees. Tecumseh's belt and shot pouch were sent
to Jefferson and hung on the walls of Monticello. Tecumseh's son
passed with his people beyond the Mississippi.

From his invalid chair at Locust Grove George Rogers Clark was writing
to his brother:

     "Your embarkation from St. Louis on your late hazardous
     expedition [to Prairie du Chien] was a considerable source
     of anxiety to your friends and relatives. They were pleased
     to hear of your safe return....

     "As to Napoleon ... the news of his having abdicated the
     throne--"

"Napoleon abdicated?" Governor Clark scarce finished the letter.
Having crushed him, what armies might not England hurl hitherward! New
danger menaced America.

"Napoleon abdicated!" New Orleans wept.

Then followed the word, "England is sailing into the Gulf,--Sir Edward
Pakenham, brother-in-law of the Duke of Wellington, with a part of
Wellington's victorious army, fifty ships, a thousand guns and twenty
thousand men!"

Never had Great Britain lost sight of the Mississippi. This was a part
of the fleet that burned Washington and had driven Dolly Madison and
the President into ignominious flight.

Terrified, New Orleans, the beautiful Creole maiden, beset in her
orange bower, flung out her arms appealing to the West! And that West
answered, "Never, while the Mississippi rolls to the Gulf, will we
leave you unprotected." And out of that West came Andrew Jackson and
tall Tennesseeans, Kentuckians, Mississippians, in coonskin caps and
leathern hunting shirts, to seal for ever our right to Louisiana.

The hottest part of the battle was fought at Chalmette, above the
grave of the Fighting Parson. Immortal Eighth of January, 1815!
Discontented Creoles of 1806 proved loyal Americans, vindicating their
right to honour.

Napoleon laughed when he heard it at Elba,--"I told them I had given
England a rival that one day would humble her pride."

Even the Ursuline nuns greeted their deliverers with joy, and the dim
old cloistered halls were thrown open for a hospital.

"I expect at this moment," said Lord Castlereagh in Europe, "that most
of the large seaport towns of America are laid in ashes, that we are
in possession of New Orleans, and have command of all the rivers of
the Mississippi Valley and the Lakes."

But he counted without our ships at sea. The War of 1812 was fought
upon the ocean, "the golden age of naval fighting." Bone of her bone,
flesh of her flesh, under the "Gridiron Flag," tars of the American
Revolution, sailor boys who under impressment had fought at Trafalgar,
led in a splendid spectacular drama, the like of which England or the
world had never seen. She had trained up her own child. A thousand sail
had Britain--America a dozen sloops and frigates altogether,--but
the little tubs had learned from their mother.

"The territory between the Lakes and the Ohio shall be for ever set
apart as an Indian territory," said England at the opening of the
peace negotiations. "The United States shall remove her armed vessels
from the lakes and give England the right of navigating the
Mississippi."

Clay, Gallatin, Adams packed up their grips preparatory to starting
home, when England bethought herself and came to better terms.

The next year America passed a law excluding foreigners from our
trade, and the British fur traders reluctantly crossed the border. But
they held Oregon by "Joint Occupation."

"All posts captured by either power shall be restored," said the
treaty. "There shall be joint occupancy of the Oregon Country for ten
years."

"A great mistake! a great mistake!" cried out Thomas Hart Benton, a
young lawyer who had settled in St. Louis. "In ten years that little
nest egg of 'Joint Occupation' will hatch out a lively fighting
chicken."

Benton was a Western man to the core,--he felt a responsibility for
all that sunset country. And why should he not? Missouri and Oregon
touched borders on the summit of the Rockies. Were they not next-door
neighbours, hobnobbing over the fence as it were? Every day at
Governor Clark's at St. Louis, he and Benton discussed that Oregon
"Joint Occupancy" clause.

"As if two nations ever peacefully occupied the same territory! I tell
you it is a physical impossibility," exclaimed Benton, jamming down
his wine-glass with a crash.

The War of 1812,--how Astor hated it! "But for that war," he used to
say, "I should have been the richest man that ever lived." As it was,
the British fur companies came in and gained a foothold from which
they were not ousted until American ox-teams crossed the plains and
American frontiersmen took the country. A million a year England
trapped from Oregon waters.



XIII

_PORTAGE DES SIOUX_


"Come and make treaties of friendship."

As his brother had done at the close of the Revolution, so now William
Clark sent to the tribes to make peace after the War of 1812.

"No person ought to be lazy to be de bearer of such good news," said
old Antoine Le Claire, the interpreter.

Up the rivers and toward the Lakes, runners carried the word of the
Red Head Chief, "Come, come to St. Louis!"

To the clay huts of the sable Pawnees of the Platte, to the reed
wigwams of the giant Osages, to the painted lodges of the Omahas, and
to the bark tents of the Chippewas, went "peace talks" and gifts and
invitations.

"De Iowas are haughty an' insolent!" St. Vrain, first back, laid their
answer on the table.

"De Kickapoo are glad of de peace, but de Sauk an' Winnebago insist on
war! De Sauk haf murdered deir messenger!"

That was Black Hawk. With a war party from Prairie du Chien he was met
by the news of peace.

"Peace?" Black Hawk wept when he heard it. He had been at the battle
of the Thames.

"De messenger to de Sioux are held at Rock River!"

One by one came runners into the Council Hall, and, cap in hand, stood
waiting. Outside, their horses pawed on the Rue, their boats were tied
at the river.

"Some one must pass Rock River, to the Sioux, Chippewas, and
Menomonees," said Clark. Not an interpreter stirred.

"We dare not go into dose hostile countrie," said Antoine Le Claire,
spokesman for the rest.

"What? With an armed boat?"

The silence was painful as the Governor looked over the council room.

"I will go."

Every eye was turned toward the speaker, James Kennerly, the
Governor's private secretary, the cousin of Julia and brother of
Harriet of Fincastle. The same spirit was there that led a whole
generation of his people to perish in the Revolution. His father had
been dragged from the field of Cowpens wrapped in the flag he had
rescued.

At the risk of his life, when no one else would venture, the faithful
secretary went up the Mississippi to bring in the absent tribes.
Black-eyed Elise, the daughter of Dr. Saugrain, wept all night to
think of it. Governor Clark himself had introduced Elise to his
secretary. How she counted the days!

"The Chippewas would have murdered me but for the timely arrival of
the Sioux," said Kennerly, on his safe return with the band of Rising
Moose.

"The Red Coats are gone!" said Rising Moose. "I rush in. I put out the
fire. I save the fort."

Without waiting for troops from St. Louis, forty-eight hours after the
news of peace the British had evacuated Prairie du Chien. A day or two
later they returned, took the cannon, and set fire to the fort with
the American flag flying.

Into the burning fort went Rising Moose, secured the flag and an
American medal, and brought them down to St. Louis.

While interpreters were speeding by horse and boat over half a hundred
trails, Manuel Lisa, sleepless warden of the plains, arrived with
forty-three chiefs and head men of the Missouri Sioux. Wild Indians
who never before had tasted bread, brought down in barges camped on
the margin of the Mississippi, the great council chiefs of their
tribes, moody, unjoyous, from the Stony Mountains. For weeks other
deputations followed, to the number of two thousand, to make treaties
and settle troubles arising out of the War of 1812.

Whether even yet a council could be held was a query in Governor
Clark's mind. Across the neighbouring Mississippi, Sacs, Foxes, Iowas
were raiding still, capturing horses and attacking people. That was
Black Hawk.

The eyes of the Missouri Sioux flashed. "Let us go and fight those
Sacs and Iowas. They shall trouble us no more." With difficulty were
they held to the council.

There was a steady and unalterable gloom of countenance, a melancholy,
sullen musing among the gathered tribes, as they camped on the council
ground at Portage des Sioux on the neck of land between the two rivers
at St. Charles. Over this neck crossed Sioux war parties in times
past, avoiding a long detour, bringing home their scalps.

Resplendent with oriental colour were the bluffs and the prairies.
Chiefs and warriors had brought their squaws and children,--Sioux from
the Lakes and the high points of the Mississippi in canoes of white
birch, light and bounding as cork upon the water; Sioux of the
Missouri in clumsy pirogues; Mandans in skin coracles, barges,
dug-outs, and cinnamon-brown fleets of last year's bark.

The panorama of forest and prairie was there,--Sioux of the Leaf,
Sioux of the Broad Leaf, and Sioux Who Shoot in the Pine Tops, in
hoods of feathers, Chinese featured Sioux, of smooth skins and Roman
noses, the ideal Indian stalking to and fro with forehead banded in
green and scarlet and eagle plumes.

For Wabasha, Little Crow, and Red Wing had come, great sachems of the
Sioux nation. The British officers at Drummond's Island in Lake Huron
had sent for Little Crow and Wabasha.

"I would thank you in the name of George III. for your services in the
war."

"My father," said Wabasha, "what is this I see on the floor before me?
A few knives and blankets! Is this all you promised at the beginning
of the war? Where are those promises you made? You told us you would
never let fall the hatchet until the Americans were driven beyond the
mountains. Will these presents pay for the men we lost? I have always
been able to make a living and can do so still."

"After we have fought for you," cried Little Crow, "endured many
hardships, lost some of our people, and awakened the vengeance of our
powerful neighbours, you make a peace and leave us to obtain such
terms as we can! You no longer need us and offer these goods for
having deserted us. We will not take them."

Kicking the presents contemptuously with his foot, Little Crow turned
away.

"Arise, let us go down to the Red Head Parshasha!" In handsome bark
canoes propelled by sails alone, the Sioux came down to St. Louis.

Walking among their elliptical tents, lounging on panther skins at
their wigwam doors, waited the redmen, watching, lynx-eyed, losing
nothing of the scene before them. Beaded buckskin glittered in the
sun, tiny bells tinkled from elbow to ankle, and sashes outrivalled
Louisiana sunsets.

Half-naked Osages with helmet-crests and eagle-quills, full-dressed in
breech-clouts and leggings fringed with scalp-locks, the tallest men
in North America, from their warm south hills, mingled with
Pottawattamies of the Illinois, makers of fire, Shawnees with
vermilion around their eyes, Sacs, of the red badge, and Foxes,
adroitest of thieves, all drumming on their tambourines. Winnebagoes,
fish eaters, had left their nets on the northern lakes, Omahas their
gardens on the Platte, and Ojibway arrow makers sat chipping, chipping
as the curious crowds walked by. For all the neighbouring country had
gathered to view the Indian camp of 1815.

Oblivious, contemptuous perhaps, of staring crowds, the industrious
women skinned and roasted dogs on sticks, the warriors gambled with
one another, staking their tents, skins, rifles, dogs, and squaws.
Here and there sachems were mending rifles, princesses carrying water,
children playing ball.

About the first of July, Governor Clark of Missouri, Governor Ninian
Edwards of Illinois, and Auguste Chouteau of St. Louis, opened the
council,--one of the greatest ever held in the Mississippi Valley.

Auguste Chouteau, prime vizier of all the old Spanish commandants,
now naturally slipped into the same office with Clark, and Governor
Edwards of Illinois, who as a father had guarded the frontier against
the wiles of Tecumseh, and had risked his entire fortune to arm the
militia,--all in queues, high collared coats, and ruffled shirts,
faced each other and the chiefs.

In front of their neatly arranged tents sat the tawny warriors in
imposing array, with dignified attention to the interpretation of each
sentence.

"The long and bloody war is over. The British have gone back over the
Big Water," said Governor Clark, "and now we have sent for you, my
brothers, to conclude a treaty of peace."

"Heigh!" cried all the Indians in deep-toned resonance that rolled
like a Greek chorus to the bluffs beyond. The sky smiled down as on
the old Areopagus, the leaves of the forest rustled, the river swept
laughing by.

"Every injury or act of hostility by one or either of us against the
other, shall be mutually forgiven and forgot."

"Heigh! heigh! heig-h!"

"There shall be perpetual peace and friendship between us."

"Heigh!"

"You will acknowledge yourselves under the protection of the United
States, and of no other nation, power, or sovereign whatsoever."

"Heigh!"

A Teton Sioux who had come down with Lisa struggled to his feet,
approached, shook hands with the commissioners, then retreated and
fixed his keen eye on the Governor. His voice rang clear over the
assembled thousands,--

"We have come down expressly to notify you, our father, that we will
assist in chastising those nations hostile to our government."

The two factions faced each other. Scowls of lightning hate flashed
over the council. But the wisdom and tact of Clark were equal to
regiments. "The fighting has ended," he said. "The peace has come."

"Heigh!" shouted all the Indians. "Heig-h!"

Partisan was there, the Teton chief, who with Black Buffalo had made
an attempt to capture Clark on the way to the Pacific. And now
Partisan was bristling to fight for Clark.

Wabasha arose, like a figure out of one of Catlin's pictures, in a
chief's costume, with bullock horns and eagle feathers. There was a
stir. With a profile like the great Condé, followed by his pipe
bearers with much ceremony, the hereditary chief from the Falls of St.
Anthony walked up to Governor Clark.

"I shake hands," he said.

Every neck was craned. When before had Wabasha stood? In their
northern councils he spoke sitting. "I am called upon to stand only in
the presence of my Great Father at Washington or Governor Clark at St.
Louis. But I am not a warrior," said Wabasha. "My people can prosper
only at peace with one another and the whites. Against my advice some
of my young men went into the war."

The fiery eyes of Little Crow flashed, the aquiline curve of his nose
lifted, like the beak of an eagle. He had come down from his
bark-covered cabin near St. Paul.

"I am a _war chief_!" said Little Crow. "But I am willing to conclude
a peace."

"I alone was an American," said Rising Moose, "when all my people
fought with the British." All the rest of his life Tammaha, Rising
Moose, wore a tall silk hat and carried Governor Clark's commission in
his bosom.

Big Elk, the Omaha, successor of Blackbird, spoke with action
energetic and graceful.

"Last Winter when you sent your word by Captain Manuel Lisa, in the
night one of the whites wanted my young men to rise. He told them if
they wanted good presents, to cross to the British. This man was
Baptiste Dorion. When I was at the Pawnees I wanted to bring some of
them down, but the whites who live among them told them not to go,
that no good came from the Americans, that good only came from the
British. I have told Captain Manuel to keep those men away from us.
Take care of the Sioux. Take care. They will fly from under your
wing."

Sacs who had been hostile engaged in the debate. Noble looking chiefs,
with blanket thrown around the body in graceful folds, the right arm,
muscular and brawny, bare to the shoulder, spoke as Cato might have
spoken to the Roman Senate.

"My father, it is the request of my people to keep the British traders
among us." As he went on eloquently enumerating their advantages in
pleading tone and voice and glance and gesture,--hah! the wild
rhetoric of the savage! how it thrilled the assembled concourse of
Indians and Americans!

Clark shook his head. "It cannot be. We can administer law, order, and
justice ourselves. Come to us for goods,--the British traders belong
beyond the border."

The Indians gave a grunt of anger.

"It has been promised already," cried another chief. "The Americans
have double tongues!"

"Heigh!" ran among the Indians. Many a one touched his tongue and held
up two fingers, "You lie!"

With stern and awful look Clark immediately dismissed the council. The
astonished chiefs covered their mouths with their hands as they saw
the commissioners turn their backs to go out.

That afternoon a detachment of United States artillery arrived and
camped in full view of the Indians. They had been ordered to the Sac
country. Colonel Dodge's regiment of dragoons, each company of a solid
colour, blacks and bays, whites, sorrels, grays and creams, went
through the manoeuvres of battle, charge and repulse, in splendid
precision. It was enough. The Sac chiefs, cowed, requested the renewal
of the council.

"My father," observed the offending chief of the day before, "you
misunderstood me. I only meant to say we have always understood from
our fathers that the Americans used two languages, the French and the
English!"

Clark smiled and the council proceeded.

But by night, July 11, the Sacs, Foxes, and Kickapoos secretly left
the council. At the same time came reports of great commotion at
Prairie du Chien where the northern tribes were divided by the British
traders.

Head bent, linked arm in arm with Paul Louise, his little interpreter,
the giant Osage chief, White Hair, gave strict attention. White Hair
had been in St. Clair's defeat, and in seeking to scalp a victim had
grasped--his wig! This he ever after wore upon his own head, a crown
of white hair. He said, "I felt a fire within me,--it drove me to the
fight of St. Clair. His army scattered. I returned to my own people.
But the fire still burned, and I went over the mountains toward the
western sea."

Every morning the Osages set up their matutinal wail, dolefully
lamenting, weeping as if their hearts would break.

"What is the matter?" inquired Governor Clark, riding out in concern.

"We are mourning for our ancestors," answered the chief, shedding
copious tears and sobbing anew, for ages the custom of his people.

"They are dead long ago,--let them rest!" said the Governor.

Brightening up, White Hair slipped on his wig and followed him to the
council.

Houseless now and impoverished Black Partridge and his people clung to
Colonel George Davenport as to a father. Poor helpless Pottawattamies!

"Come with me," said Davenport, "I will take you to St. Louis."

So down in a flotilla of canoes had come Davenport with thirteen
chiefs, all wreathed in turkey feathers, emblems of the
Pottawattamies. No more they narrated their heroic exploits in
fighting with Tecumseh.

Grave, morose, brooding over his wrongs, Black Partridge was seventy
now, his long coarse unkempt hair in matted clusters on his shoulders,
but figure still erect and firm. "I would be a friend to the whites,"
he said. "I was compelled to go with my tribe." The silver medallion
of George Washington was gone from his breast. Many and sad had been
the vicissitudes since that day, when, in a flood of tears, he had
thrown it down at the feet of the commander at Fort Dearborn. Tall,
slim, with a high forehead, large nose and piercing black eyes, with
hoops of gold in his ears, Black Partridge was a typical
savage,--asking for civilisation. But it rolled over him. Here and
there a missionary tarried to talk, but commerce, commerce, the great
civiliser, arose like a flood, drowning the redmen.

"The settlements are crowding our border," Black Partridge spoke for
his people on their fairy lake, Peoria. "And whom shall we call
Father, the British at Malden or the Americans at St. Louis? Who shall
relieve our distresses?"

"Put it in your mind," said Auguste Chouteau, the shrewd old French
founder of St. Louis, "put it in your mind, that when de British made
peace with us, dey left you in de middle of de prairie without a shade
against sun or rain. Left you in de middle of de prairie, a sight to
pity. We Americans have a large umbrella; keeps off de sun and rain.
You come under our umbrella."

And they did.

The Indian has a fine sense of justice. The situation was evident.
Abandoned by the British who had led him into the war, he stood ready
at last to return to the friends on whom he was most dependent.

One by one the chiefs came forward and put their mark to the treaty of
peace and friendship. Clark brought the peace pipes,--every neck was
craned to scan them.

Sioux pipes sometimes cost as much as forty horses,--finely wrought
pipes of variegated red and white from the Minnesota quarries,
Shoshone pipes of green, and pipes of purple from Queen Charlottes,
were sold for skins and slaves,--but these, Clark's pipes of silver
bowls and decorated stems, these were worth a hundred horses!

Puffing its fragrant aroma, the fierce wild eye of the savage
softened. Twenty thousand dollars' worth of goods was distributed in
presents, flags, blankets, and rifles, ornaments and clothing.

"Ah, ha! Great Medicine!" whispered the Indians as the beautiful gifts
came one by one into their hands.

"We need traders," said Red Wing, sliding his hand along the soft nap
of the blankets. "That made us go into the war. Without traders we
have to clothe ourselves in grass and eat the earth."

"You shall have traders," answered Clark. "I shall not let you travel
five or six hundred miles to a British post."

Every September thereafter he sent them up a few presents to begin
their fall hunting, and counselled his agents to listen to their
complaints and render them justice.

"We must depend on policy rather than arms," said the Governor. "For
they are our children, the wards of the nation."

The Indians were dined in St. Louis and entertained with music and
dancing. By their dignity, moderation, and untiring forbearance, the
Commissioners of Portage des Sioux exemplified the paternal
benevolence of the Government.

At the end of the council Lisa started back with his chiefs, on a
three months' voyage to their northern home, and on the last day of
September Clark dismissed the rest.

Thus making history, the summer had stolen away. All next summer and
the next were spent in making treaties, until at last there was peace
along the border.

"Did you sign?" finally asked some one of Black Hawk of the British
band.

"I touched the goose quill," answered the haughty chief.

So ended the War of 1812.



XIV

_"FOR OUR CHILDREN, OUR CHILDREN!"_


As soon as the Indian scare was silenced, all the world seemed rushing
to Missouri. Ferries ran by day and night. Patriarchal planters of
Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia passed ever west in long,
unending caravans of flocks, servants, herds, into the new land of the
Louisianas. New Englanders and Pennsylvanians, six, eight, and ten
horses to a waggon, and cattle with their hundred bells, tinkled
through the streets of St. Louis.

"Where are you going, now?" inquired the citizens.

"To Boone's Lick, to be sure."

"Go no further," said Clark, ever enthusiastic about St. Louis. "Buy
here. This will be the city."

"But ah!" exclaimed the emigrant. "If land is so good here what must
Boone's Lick be!"

Perennial childhood of the human heart, ever looking for Canaan just
beyond!

The Frenchmen shrugged their shoulders at the strange energy of these
progressive "Bostonnais." It annoyed them to have their land titles
looked into. "A process! a lawsuit!" they clasped their hands in
despair. But ever the people of St. Louis put up their lands to a
better figure, and watched out of their little square lattices for the
coming of _les Américains_.

All the talk was of land, land, land! The very wealth of ancient
estates lay unclaimed for the first heir to enter, the gift of God.

In waggons, on foot and horseback, with packhorses, handcarts, and
wheelbarrows, with blankets on their backs and children by the hand,
the oppressed of the old world fled across the new.

"Why do you go into the wilderness?"

"For my children, my children," answered the pioneer.

More and more came people in a mighty flood, peasants, artisans, sons
of the old crusaders, children of feudal knights of chivalry and
romance, descendants of the hardy Norsemen who captured Europe five
hundred years before, scions of Europe's most titled names, thronging
to our West.

Frosts and crop failures in the Atlantic States and a financial panic
uprooted old Revolutionary centres. "A better country, a better
country!" was the watchword of the mobile nation.

"Let's go over to the Territory," said the soldiers of 1812. "Let us
go to Arkansas, where corn can be had for sixpence a bushel and pork
for a penny a pound. Two days' work in Texas is equal to the labour of
a week in the North." And on they pressed into No Man's Land, a land
of undeveloped orchards, maple syrup and honey, fields of cotton and
wool and corn.

Conestoga waggons crowded on the Alleghanies, teams fell down
precipices and perished, but the tide pushed madly on. Colonies of
hundreds were pouring into Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois. New towns
were named for their founders, new counties, lakes, rivers, streams,
and hills,--the settlers wrote their names upon the geography of the
nation.

In the midst of the war Daniel Boone had come down to Clark at St.
Louis.

"I have spoken to Henry Clay about your claim," said the Governor. "He
says Congress will do something for you."

"Now Rebecca, thee shall hev a house!"

That house, the joint product of Nathan, the Colonel, and his slaves,
was a work of years. Not far from the old cabin by the spring it
stood, convenient to the Judgment Tree. For Boone still held his court
beneath the spreading elm.

The stones were quarried and chiselled, two feet thick, and laid so
solidly that to-day the walls of the old Boone mansion are as good as
new. The plaster was mixed and buried in the ground over winter to
ripen. Roomy and comfortable, two stories and an attic it was built,
with double verandas and chimneys at either end, the finest mansion on
the border.

But in March Rebecca died. Boone buried her where he could watch the
mound.

The house was finished. The Colonel bought a coffin and put it under
the bed to be ready. Sometimes he tried his coffin, to see how it
would seem when he slept beside Rebecca.

In December came the land, a thousand arpents in his Spanish grant.
"If I only cud hev told Rebecca," sobbed Daniel, kneeling at her
grave. "She war a good woman, and the faithful companion of all my
wanderings."

In the Spring Boone sold his land, and set out for Kentucky.

"Daniel Boone has come! Daniel Boone has come!" Old hunters,
Revolutionary heroes, came for miles to see their leader who had
opened Kentucky. There was a reception at Maysville. Parties were
given in his honour wherever he went. Once more he embraced his old
friend, Simon Kenton.

"How much do I owe ye?" he said to one and another.

Whatever amount they named, that he paid, and departed. One day the
dusty old hunter re-entered his son's house on the Femme Osage with
fifty cents in his pocket.

"Now I am ready and willing to die. I have paid all my debts and
nobody can say, 'Boone was a dishonest man.'"

Then came the climax of his life.

"Nate, I am goin' to the Yellowstone."

While Clark was holding his peace treaties, Daniel Boone, eighty-two
years old, with a dozen others set out in boats for the Upper
Missouri.

Autumn came. Somewhere in the present Montana, they threw up a winter
camp and were besieged by Indians. A heavy snow-storm drove the
Indians off. In early Spring, coming down the Missouri on the return,
again they were attacked by Indians and landed in a thicket of the
opposite shore. Under cover of a storm in the night Boone ordered them
into the boat, and silently in the pelting rain they escaped.

Boone himself brought the furs to St. Louis, and went back with a bag
full of money and a boat full of emigrants.

Farther and farther into his district emigrants began setting up their
four-post sassafras bedsteads and scouring their pewter platters.
Women walked thirty miles to hear the first piano that came into the
Boone settlement.

In the last year of the war Boone's favourite grandson was killed at
Charette.

"The history of the settlement of the western country is my history,"
said the old Colonel in his grief. "Two darling sons, a grandson, and
a brother have I lost by savage hands, besides valuable horses and
abundance of cattle. Many sleepless nights have I spent, separated
from the society of men, an instrument ordained of God to settle the
wilderness."

"You must paint Daniel Boone," said Governor Clark to Chester Harding,
a young American artist fresh from Paris in the summer of 1819. The
Governor was Harding's first sitter. He invited the Indians into his
studio.

"Ugh! ugh! ugh!" grunted the Osage chiefs, putting their noses close
and rubbing their fingers across the Governor's portrait.

In June Harding set out up the Missouri to paint Boone. In an old
blockhouse of the War of 1812, he found him lying on a bunk, roasting
a strip of venison wound around his ramrod, turning it before the
fire.

"What? Paint my pictur'?"

"Yes, on canvas. Make a portrait, you know."

The old man consented. With amazement the frontiersman saw the picture
grow,--still more amazed, his grandchildren watched the likeness of
"granddad" growing on the canvas.

Ruddy and fair, with silvered locks, always humming a tune, he sat in
his buckskin hunting-shirt trimmed with otter's fur, and the knife in
his belt he had carried on his first expedition to Kentucky.

Every day now, in his leisure hours, the old pioneer was busily
scraping with a piece of glass. "Making a powder-horn," he said.
"Goin' to hunt on the Fork in the Fall."

A hundred miles up the Kansas he had often set his traps, but Boone's
legs were getting shaky, his eyes were growing dim. Every day now he
tried his coffin,--it was shining and polished and fair, of the wood
he loved best, the cherry. People came for miles to look at Boone's
coffin.



XV

_TOO GOOD TO THE INDIANS_


Manuel Lisa had out-distanced all his competitors in the fur trade.
But the voice of envy whispered, "Manuel must cheat the Government,
and Manuel must cheat the Indians, otherwise Manuel could not bring
down every summer so many boats loaded with rich furs."

"Good!" exclaimed Lisa to Governor Clark, when the fleets were tying
up at St. Louis in 1817. "My accounts with the Government will show
whether I receive anything out of which to cheat it."

"I have not blamed you, Manuel," explained the Governor. "On the
contrary I have conveyed to the Government my high appreciation of
your very great services in quieting the Indians of the Missouri. It
is not necessary to worry yourself with the talk of babblers who do
not understand."

"Cheat the Indians!" The Spaniard stamped the floor. "The respect and
friendship which they have for me, the security of my possessions in
the heart of their country, respond to this charge, and declare with
voices louder than the tongues of men that it cannot be true.

"'But Manuel gets so much rich fur.'" Lisa ground out the words with
scorn.

"Well, I will explain how I get it. First I put into my operations
great activity,--I go a great distance, while some are considering
whether they will start to-day or to-morrow. I impose upon myself
great privations,--ten months in a year I am buried in the forest, at
a vast distance from my own house. I appear as the benefactor, and not
as the pillager, of the Indians. I carried among them the seed of the
large pumpkin, from which I have seen in their possession the fruit
weighing one hundred and sixty pounds. Also the large bean, the
potato, the turnip, and these vegetables now make a great part of
their subsistence. This year I have promised to carry the plough.
Besides, my blacksmiths work incessantly for them, charging nothing. I
lend them traps, only demanding preference in their trade. My
establishments are the refuge of the weak and of the old men no longer
able to follow their lodges; and by these means I have acquired the
confidence and friendship of these nations, and the consequent choice
of their trade. These things I have done, and I propose to do more."

In short, Manuel Lisa laid down his commission as sub-agent to embark
yet more deeply in the fur trade.

"What is that noise at the river?"

Ten thousand shrieking eagles and puffs of smoke arose from the
yellow-brown Mississippi below. The entire population of St. Louis was
flocking to the river brink to greet the _General Pike_, the first
steamboat that ever came up to St. Louis. People rushed to the landing
but the Indians drew back in terror lest the monster should climb the
bank and pursue them inland. Pell-mell into Clark's Council House they
tumbled imploring protection.

Never had St. Louis appeared so beautiful as when Julia and the
children came into their new home in 1819. Clark, the Governor, had
built a mansion, one of the finest in St. Louis. Wide verandas gave a
view of the river, gardens of fruit and flowers bloomed.

But Julia was ill.

"Take her back to the Virginia mountains," said Dr. Farrar, the family
physician. "St. Louis heats are too much for her."

In dress suit, silk hat, and sword cane, Farrar was a notable figure
in old St. Louis, riding night and day as far out as Boone's Lick,
establishing a reputation that remains proverbial yet. He had married
Anne Thruston, the daughter of Fanny.

"Let her try a trip on the new steamboat," said the Doctor.

So after her picture was painted by Chester Harding in that Spring of
1819, Clark and Julia and the little boys, Meriwether Lewis, William
Preston, and George Rogers Hancock, set out for New Orleans in the
"new-fangled steamboat."

It was a long and dangerous trip; the river was encumbered with snags;
every night they tied up to a tree.

"Travel by night? Couldn't think of it! We'd be aground before
morning!" said the Captain.

Around by sea the Governor and his wife sailed by ship to Washington.

"I will join you at the Sweet Springs," said President Monroe to the
Governor and his wife in Washington.

"The Sweet Springs cure all my ills," said Dolly Madison at
Montpelier.

"She will recover at the Sweet Springs," said Jefferson at Monticello.

But at the Sweet Springs Julia grew so ill they had to carry her on a
bed to Fotheringay.

"Miss Judy done come home sick!" The servants wept.

Something of a physician himself, Clark began the use of fumes of tar
through a tube, and to the surprise of all "Miss Judy" rallied again.

"As soon as I can leave her in safety I shall return to St. Louis,"
wrote the Governor to friends at the Missouri capital.

"If I should die," said Julia sweetly one day, "and you ever think of
marrying again, consider my cousin Harriet."

"Ah, but you will be well, my darling, when Spring comes."

And she was better in the Spring, thinking of the new house at St.
Louis. Julia was a very neat and careful housekeeper. Everything was
kept under lock and key, she directed the servants herself, and was
the light of a houseful of company. For the Governor's house was the
centre of hospitality,--never a noted man came that way, but, "I must
pay my respects to the Governor." Savants from over the sea came to
look at his Indian museum. General Clark had made the greatest
collection in the world, and had become an authority on Indian
archæology.

Governor Clark, too, was worried about affairs in St. Louis. Missouri
was just coming in as a State, and a new executive must be elected
under the Constitution.

"Go," said Julia, "I shall be recovered soon now." Indeed, deceptive
roses were blooming in her cheeks.

With many regrets and promises of a speedy return, Clark hastened back
to his official duties. He found Missouri in the midst of a heated
campaign, coming in as a State and electing a Governor. For seven
years he had held the territorial office with honour.

But a new candidate was before the people.

"Governor Clark is too good to the Indians!" That was the chief
argument of the opposing faction. "He looks after their interests to
the disadvantage of the whites."

"To the disadvantage of the whites? How can that be?" inquired his
friends. "Did he not in the late war deal severely with the hostile
tribes? And what do you say of the Osage lands? When hostilities began
President Madison ordered the settlers out of the Boone's Lick country
as invaders of Indian lands. What did the Governor do? He
remonstrated, he delayed the execution of those orders until they were
rescinded, and the settlers were allowed to remain."

"How could he do that?"

"How? Why, he simply told the Indians those lands were included in the
Osage treaty of 1808. He made that treaty, and he knew. No Indian
objected. They trusted Clark; his explanation was sufficient. And his
maps proved it."

"Too good to the Indians! Too good to the Indians!" What Governor
before ever lost his head on such a charge?

At that moment, flying down the Ohio, came a swift messenger,--"Mrs.
Clark is dead at Fotheringay."

With the shock upon him, General Clark sent a card to the papers,
notifying his fellow citizens of his loss, and of his necessary
absence until the election was over. And with mingled dignity and
sorrow he went back to Fotheringay to bury the beloved dead.

Granny Molly, "Black Granny," who had laced "Miss Judy's" shoes and
tied up her curls with a ribbon in the old Philadelphia days, never
left her beloved mistress.

A few days before "Miss Judy" went away, little Meriwether Lewis, then
eleven years of age, came to her bedside with his curly hair
dishevelled and his broad shirt collar tumbled.

"Aunt Molly," said the mother, "watch my boy and keep him neat. He is
so beautiful, Granny!"

After her body was placed on two of the parlour chairs, Granny Molly
noticed a little dust on the waxed floor. "Miss Judy would be
'stressed if she could see it." Away she ran, brought a mop, and had
it all right by the time the coffin came.

Down on her knees scrubbing, scrubbing for the last time the floor for
"Miss Judy," tears trickled down the ebony cheeks.

"Po', po' Miss Judy. You's done gwine wid de angels."

They laid her in the family tomb, overlooking the green valley of the
Roanoke. Two weeks after her death, Colonel Hancock himself also
succumbed.

To a double funeral the Governor came back. High on the hillside they
laid them, in a mausoleum excavated out of the solid rock.

"De Cunnel, he done watch us out ob dat iron window up dah," said the
darkies. "He sits up dah in a stone chair so he can look down de
valley and see his slaves at deir work."

To this day the superstitious darkies will not pass his tomb.

On his way to Washington, Governor Clark stopped again at Monticello.

"Ah, the joyous activity of my grandfather!" exclaimed Thomas
Jefferson Randolph. "He mounts his horse early in the morning, canters
down the mountain and across country to the site of the university.
All day long he assists at the work. He has planned it, engaged
workmen, selected timber, bought bricks. He has sent to Italy for
carvers of stone."

Out of those students flocking to consult Jefferson had grown the
University of Virginia. Books and professors were brought from
England, and the institution opened in 1825.

Martha Jefferson's husband, Thomas Mann Randolph, was Governor of
Virginia now, but the sage of Monticello paid little attention. All
his talk was of schools,--schools and colleges for Virginia.

"Slavery in Missouri?" Clark broached the discussion that was raging
at the West.

Instantly the sage of Monticello was attentive.

"This momentous question, like a firebell in the night, awakened and
filled me with terror. It is the knell of the Union. Since Bunker Hill
we have never had so ominous a question." He who had said, "Pensacola
and Florida will come in good time," and, "I have ever looked on Cuba
as the most interesting addition which could be made to our system of
States," had corresponded with the Spanish minister concerning a canal
through the isthmus, and sent Lewis and Clark to open up a road to
Asia,--Jefferson, more than any other, had the vision of to-day.

Governor Clark went on to Washington.

Ramsay Crooks and Russell Farnham of the Astor expedition were
quartered at the same hotel with Floyd of Virginia and Benton of
Missouri.

Beside their whale-oil lamps they talked of Oregon. Benton was writing
for Oregon,--he made a noise in all the papers. John Floyd framed a
bill, the first for Oregon occupancy.

Missouri was just coming in as a State. The moment Benton, her first
Senator, was seated, he flew to Floyd's support.

"We must occupy the Columbia," said Benton. "Mere adventurers may
enter upon it as Æneas entered upon the Tiber, and as our forefathers
came upon the Potomac, the Delaware, and the Hudson, and renew the
phenomenon of individuals laying the foundation of future empire. Upon
the people of eastern Asia the establishment of a civilised power upon
the opposite coast of America cannot fail to produce great and
wonderful results. Science, liberal principles, government, and the
true religion, may cast their lights across the intervening sea. The
valley of the Columbia may become the granary of China and Japan, and
an outlet for their imprisoned and exuberant population."

Staid Senators smiled and called Benton a dreamer, but he and Floyd
were the prophets of to-day.

For thirty years after Astor had been driven out, England and her fur
companies enriched themselves in Oregon waters. For thirty years
Benton stood in his place and fought to save us Oregon. From the
bedside of the dying Jefferson, and from the lips of the living Clark,
he took up the great enterprise of an overland highway to India.

When Governor Clark came sorrowing back to St. Louis with the little
boys, Missouri was a State and a new Governor sat in the chair, but
though governors came and governors went, the officer that had held
the position through all the territorial days was always called
"Governor" Clark. As United States superintendent of Indian affairs
for the West, Governor Clark now became practically autocrat of the
redmen for life.

"If you ever think of marrying again, consider my cousin Harriet."

More than a year Governor Clark "considered," and then the most noted
citizen of St. Louis married the handsome widow Radford.

"From Philadelphia she haf a wedding trousseau," said the vivacious
Creole girls, drinking tea in their wide verandas. "She haf de majesty
look, like one queen."

From the home of her brother, James Kennerly, the fun-loving Harriet
of other years went to become the grave and dignified hostess in the
home of the ex-governor.



XVI

_THE RED HEAD CHIEF_


"Hasten, Ruskosky, rebraid my queue. Kings and half kings are in there
as plenty as blackberries in the woods, and I must see what is the
matter."

Hurriedly the Polish valet, who dressed Clark in his later years,
knelt to button the knees of his small clothes and fasten on a big
silk bow in place of a buckle. Directly the tall figure wrapped in a
cloak entered the council chamber connected with his study.

The walls of the council chamber were covered with portraits of
distinguished chiefs, and with Indian arms and dresses, the handsomest
the West afforded. Nothing pleased the redmen better than to be
honoured by the acceptance of some treasure for this museum.

Against this wall the Indians sat, and the little gray-haired
interpreter, Antony Le Claire, lit the tomahawk pipe. As the fumes
rolled upward the Red Head Chief took his seat at the table before
him. The Indians lifted their heads. Justice would now be done.

It was a sultry day and the council doors were open. But sultrier
still was the debate within.

"Our Father," said the Great and Little Osages, "we have come to meet
our enemies, the Delawares and Shawnees and Kickapoos and Peorias, in
your Council Hall. We ourselves can effect a peace."

And so the Red Head listened. "Make your peace."

Six days they argued, Paul Louise interpreter. Hot and hotter grew the
debate, and mutual recriminations.

"White Hair's warriors shot at one of my young men."

"But you, Delawares, robbed our relations," cried the Osage chiefs.

"You stole our otter-skins," retorted the Delawares.

"And you hunted on our lands."

"Last Summer when we were absent, you bad-hearted Osages destroyed our
fields of corn and cut up our gardens," cried the angry Shawnees, who
always sided with the Delawares.

"You speak with double tongues--"

Clark stepped in and hushed the controversy.

"Who gave you leave to hunt on Osage lands?"

"White Hair and his principal braves," answered the Delawares.

"When did they shoot at your man?"

"At the Big Bend of the Arkansas."

"Who owned the peltries the Osages took?"

"All of us."

"Very well then, restitution must be made."

Soothing as a summer breeze was his gentle voice, "My children, I
cannot have you injured. The Delawares are my children, and the
Osages, the Shawnees, the Kickapoos, and the Peorias. I cannot permit
any one to injure my children. Whoever does that is no longer child of
mine. You must bury the sharp hatchet underground."

He calmed the heated tribes and effected peace. Like little children
they gave each other strings of beads, pipes, and tobacco, and
departed reconciled.

"Bring all your difficulties to me or to Paul Louise and we will judge
for you," said the Red Head Chief, as one by one they filed in plumed
array down the steps of the Council House.

Scarce had the reconciled tribes departed before officers of the law
brought in seven chiefs, hostages of the Iowas,--"Accused by the Sacs,
Your Honour, of killing cattle; accused by the whites of killing
settlers."

"My father." The mournful appealing tone of the Indian speaker always
affected Clark. He was singularly fitted to be their judge and
friend. "My son." There was an air of sympathy and paternal kindness
as the Red Head Chief listened. His heart was stirred by their wrongs,
and his face would redden with indignation as he listened to the
pitiful tales of his children.

With bodies uncovered to the waist, with blanket on the left arm and
the right arm and breast bare, a chief stepped forth to be examined
concerning a border fray with the backwoodsmen.

Drawing himself to his full height, and extending his arm toward
Clark, the Iowa began:

"Red Head, if I had done that of which my white brother accuses me, I
would not stand here now. The words of my red head father have passed
through both my ears and I have remembered them. I am accused. I am
not guilty.

"I thought I would come down to see my red head father to hold a talk
with him.

"I come across the line. I see the cattle of my white brother dead. I
see the Sauk kill them in great numbers. I said there would be
trouble. I thought to go to my village. I find I have no provisions. I
say, 'Let us go down to our white brother and trade for a little.' I
do not turn on my track to my village."

Then turning to the Sacs and pointing,--

"The Sauk who tells lies of me goes to my white brother and says, 'The
Ioway has killed your cattle.'

"When the lie has talked thus to my white brother, he comes up to my
village. We hear our white brother coming. We are glad and leave our
cabins to tell him he is welcome. While I shake hands with my white
brother, my white brother shoots my best chief through the
head,--shoots three my young men, a squaw, and her children.

"My young men hear, they rush out, they fire,--four of my white
brothers fall. My people fly to the woods, and die of cold and
hunger."

Dropping his head and his arm, in tragic attitude he stands, the
picture of despair. The lip of the savage quivers. He lifts his
eyes,--

"While I shake hands my white brother shoots my chief, my son, my only
son."

Only by consummate tact can Clark handle these distressing conflicts
of the border. Who is right and who is wrong? The settlers hate the
Indians, the Indians dread and fear the settlers.

"Governor Clark," said the Shawnees and Delawares, "since three or
four years we are crowded by the whites who steal our horses. We
moved. You recommended us to raise stock and cultivate our ground.
That advice we have followed, but again white men have come."

The Cherokees complained, "White people settle without our consent.
They destroy our game and produce discord and confusion."

Clark could see the heaving of their naked breasts and their lithe
bodies, the tigers of their kind, shaken by irrepressible emotion.

And again in the Autumn,--

"What is it?" inquired the stranger as pennons came glittering down
the Missouri.

"Oh, nothing, only another lot of Indians coming down to see their
red-headed daddy," was the irreverent response, as the solemn,
calm-featured braves glided into view, gazing as only savages can gaze
at the wonders of civilisation.

"What! going to war?" cried Clark, in a tone of thunder, as they made
known their errand at the Council House. "Your Great Father, the
President, forbids it. He counsels his children to live in peace. If
you insist on listening to bad men I shall come out there and make you
desist."

The stormy excitement subsided. They shrank from his reproofs, and
felt and feared his power.

"Go home. Take these gifts to my children, and tell them they were
sent by the Red Head Chief."

Viewed with admiration, the presents were carefully wrapped in skins
to be laid away and treasured on many a weary march and through many a
sad vicissitude. A few days in St. Louis, then away go the willowy
copper-skin paddlers to dissuade their braves from incurring the
awful displeasure of the Red Head Chief. The West of that day was sown
with his medals that disappeared only with the tribes.

In time they came to know Clark's signature, and preserved it as a
sacred talisman. Could the influence of one man have availed against
armies of westward pressing trappers, traders, and pioneers, the
tribes would have been civilised.

"Shall we accept the missionaries? Shall we hearken to their
teaching?"

"Yes," he said to the Osages. "Yes," to the Pawnees, to the Shawnees,
and "Yes," to a delegation that came from the far-off Nez Percés
beyond the Rocky Mountains.

In days of friction and excitement Clark did more than regiments to
preserve peace on the frontier. He was a buffer, a perpetual
break-water between the conflicting races.

As United States superintendent of Indian affairs the Red Head Chief
grew venerable. The stately old officer lived in style in St. Louis,
and as in the colonial time Sir William Johnson ruled from the
Atlantic to the Mississippi, so now Clark's word was Indian law from
the Mississippi to the Pacific. His voice was raised in continual
advantage to the Indian. While civilisation was pushing west and west,
and crowding them out of their old domains, he was softening as much
as possible the rigour of their contact with whites.

"Our position with regard to the Indians has entirely changed," he
used to say. "Before Wayne's campaigns in 1794 and events of 1818, the
tribes nearest our settlements were a formidable and terrible enemy.
Since then their power has been broken, their warlike spirit subdued,
and themselves sunk into objects of pity and commiseration. While
strong and hostile, it has been our obvious duty to weaken them; now
that they are weak and harmless, and most of their lands fallen into
our hands, justice and humanity require us to cherish and befriend
them. To teach them to live in houses, to raise grain and stock, to
plant orchards, to set up landmarks, to divide their possessions, to
establish laws for their government, to get the rudiments of common
learning, such as reading, writing, and ciphering, are the first steps
toward improving their condition."

This was the policy of Jefferson, reaffirmed by Clark. It was the key
to all Clark's endeavours.

At Washington City he discussed the question with President Monroe.

"But to take these steps with effect the Indians should be removed
west of the Mississippi and north of the Missouri."

"Let them move singly or in families as they please," said Clark.
"Place agents where the Indians cross the Mississippi, to supply them
with provisions and ammunition. A constant tide is now going on from
Ohio, Indiana, Illinois. They cross at St. Louis and St. Genevieve,
and my accounts show the aid which is given them. Many leading chiefs
are zealous in this work, and are labouring hard to collect their
dispersed and broken tribes at their new and permanent homes."

"And the land?" inquired the President.

"It is well watered with numerous streams and some large rivers,
abounds with grass, contains prairies, land for farms, and affords a
temporary supply of game.

"It is in vain for us to talk about learning and religion; these
Indians want food. The Sioux, the Osages, are powerful tribes,--they
are near our border, and my official station enables me to know the
exact truth. They are distressed by famine; many die for want of food;
the living child is buried with the dead mother because no one can
spare it food through its helpless infancy.

"Grain, stock, fences are the first things. Property alone can keep up
the pride of the Indian and make him ashamed of drunkenness, lying,
and stealing.

"The period of danger with an Indian is when he ceases to be a hunter
and before he gets the means of living from flocks and agriculture. In
the transit from a hunter to a farmer, he degenerates from a proud and
independent savage to a beggar, drunkard, thief. To counteract the
danger, property in horses, hogs, and cattle is indispensable. They
should be assisted in making fences and planting orchards, and be
instructed in raising cotton and making cloth. Small mills should be
erected to save the women the labour of pounding corn, and mechanics
should be employed to teach the young Indians how to make ploughs,
carts, wheels, hoes, and axes."

Benton and other great men argued in the Senate. "In contact with the
white race the Indians degenerate. They are a dangerous neighbour
within our borders. They prevent the expansion of the white race, and
the States will not be satisfied until all their soil is open to
settlement."

And so, to remove the Indians to a home of their own became the great
work of Clark's life.

"A home where the whites shall never come!" the Indians were
delighted. "We will look at these lands."

"I recommend that the government send special agents to collect the
scattered bands and families and pay their expenses to the lands
assigned them," said Clark, estimating the cost at one hundred
thousand dollars. But not all of the tribes would listen.

In November, 1826, Clark drove from St. Louis in his carriage to the
Choctaw nation in Alabama, to persuade them to move west of the
Mississippi.

"After many years spent in reflection," said the Commissioners, "your
Great Father, the President, has determined upon a plan for your
happiness. The United States has a large unsettled country on the west
side of the great river Mississippi into which they do not intend
their white settlements shall enter. This is the country in which our
Great Father intends to settle his red children.

"Many of the tribes are now preparing to remove and are making
application for land. The Cherokees and Muscogees have procured lands,
and your people can have five times as much land in that fine country
as they are now living on in this."

Never before in the conquest of nations had the weaker race been
offered such advantageous terms. Two days passed while the Indians
considered and argued among themselves.

"What shall we give to you?" asked the Commissioners. "These lands and
titles to them, provisions and clothing, a cow and corn and farming
implements to each family, and blacksmiths and ploughmakers and
annuities."

"Friends and brothers of the Choctaw nation," said Clark in the
council, "I have spent half the period of an accustomed life among
you. Thirty-six years ago I passed through your country and saw your
distressed condition. Now I see part of your nation much improved in
prosperity and civilisation. This affords me much happiness. But I am
informed that a very large majority of the Choctaw nation are seeking
food among the swamps by picking cotton for white planters.

"Cannot provision be made to better their condition?

"Let me recommend that the poorer and less enlightened be moved
without delay to their lands west of the Mississippi. There will I
take pleasure in advancing their interests. In my declining years it
would be a great consolation to me to see them prosper in agriculture.

"Come to my country where I can have it in my power to act as your
father and your friend. You shall be protected and peaceful and
happy."

The Choctaws were touched, but they answered,--

"We cannot part with our country. It is the land of our birth,--the
hills and streams of our youth."



XVII

_THE GREAT COUNCIL AT PRAIRIE DU CHIEN_


St. Louis was a cold place in those prairie years; a great deal of
snow fell, and sleighbells rang beside the Great River. No Indians
came during the cold weather, but with the springing grass and
blossoming trees, each year the Indians camped around the twin lakes
at Maracasta, Clark's farm west of St. Louis.

There were wigwams all over Maracasta. James Kennerly, Clark's Indian
deputy, busy ever with the ruddy aborigines, dealing out annuities,
arranging for treaties and instructing the tribes, kept open house for
the chiefs at _Côte Plaquemine_, the Persimmon Hill. Clark's boys shot
bows and arrows with the little Indians, Kennerly's little girls made
them presents of "kinnikinick," dried leaves of the sumac and red
osier dogwood, to smoke in their long pipes.

Every delegation came down laden with gifts for the Red Head,--costly
furs, buffalo robes, bows, arrows, pipes, moccasins.

Tragedies of the plains came daily to the ears of General Clark, far,
far beyond the reach of government in the wild battle-ground of the
West.

In 1822 the Sioux and Cheyennes combined against the Crows and fell
upon their villages. In the slaughter of that day five thousand
defenceless men, women, and children were butchered on the prairie.
All their lodges and herds of horses and hundreds of captive girls
were carried away. As a people the Crows never recovered.

Drunk with victory the triumphant Sioux rolled back on the Chippewas,
Sacs, Foxes, and Iowas.

"If continued, these wars will embroil all the tribes of the West,"
said Clark. "We must do something more to promote peace. They must
become civilised."

President Monroe was working up a new Indian policy, with Clark as a
chief adviser.

"Go, Paul Louise, take this talk to my Osages. I am coming up to their
country. Tell them to meet me on the first of June."

In his canoe, with his squaw and his babies, the wizened little
Frenchman set out. He could not read, he could not write, he could
only make his mark, but the Indians loved and trusted Paul Louise.

"And you, Baronet Vasquez, take this to the Kansas nation."

Vasquez belonged to the old Spanish _régime_. As a youth he had gone
out with the Spanish garrison at the cession of St. Louis, to return a
fur trader.

Then came Lafayette from the memories of Monticello. Escorted by a
troop of horse, he had ascended that historic mountain. The alert
lithe figure of the little Marquis leaped from the carriage; at the
same moment the door opened, revealing the tall, bent, wasted figure
of Jefferson in the pillared portico. The music ceased, and every head
uncovered. Slowly the aged Jefferson descended the steps, slowly the
little Marquis approached his friend, then crying, with outstretched
arms, "Ah, Jefferson!" "Ah, Lafayette!" each fell upon the other's
bosom. The gentlemen of the cavalcade turned away with tears, and the
two were left to solitude and recollection.

Long and often had Jefferson and Lafayette laboured together in
anxious and critical periods of the past. It was in chasing "the boy"
Lafayette that the British came to Charlottesville. When Jefferson was
minister in Paris, the young and popular nobleman assisted the
unaccustomed American at the Court of France. Together they had seen
the opening of the French Revolution. What memories came back as they
sat in the parlour at Monticello, discussing the momentous events of
two continents in which they had been actors!

"What would I have done with the Queen?" asked the aged Jefferson. "I
should have shut her up in a convent, putting harm out of her power. I
have ever believed if there had been no Queen there would have been no
French Revolution."

Lafayette went to Montpelier to see Madison, and then to Yorktown,
over the same road which he himself had opened in 1781 in the retreat
before Cornwallis. One long ovation followed his route. Even old
ladies who had seen him in their youth pressed forward with the plea,
"Let me see the young Marquis again!" forgetful of the flight of
years. Echoes of his triumphal tour had reached the border. St. Louis,
a city and a State not dreamed of in Revolutionary days, begged the
honour of entertaining Lafayette.

Far down the river they saw the smoke of his steamer, coming up from
New Orleans.

"Welcome!" the hills echoed. "_Vive_ Lafayette!"

The Marquis lifted his eyes,--white stone houses gay with gardens and
clusters of verdure arose before him in a town of five thousand
inhabitants. Below stood the massive stone forts of the Spanish time,
and on the brow of the bluff frowned the old round tower, the last
fading relic of feudalism in North America.

Every eye was fixed upon the honoured guest. A few were there who
could recall the pride of Lafayette in his American troops, with their
helmets and flowing crests and the sabres he himself had brought from
France. The banquet, the toasts, the ball, all these have passed into
tradition.

The Marquis visited Clark's cabinet of Indian curios.

"I present you this historic cloak of an Indian chief," said the
General, offering a robe like a Russian great coat.

In turn, Lafayette presented his mess chest, carried through the
Revolution, and placed on the Governor's finger a ring of his hair.
Later Clark sent him the live cub of a grizzly bear, that grew to be a
wonder in the Jardin des Plantes of Paris.

"And your great brother, George Rogers Clark?" inquired the Marquis.

"He died seven years ago at Louisville," answered the Governor.

"In securing the liberties of this country I esteem him second only to
Washington," said Lafayette.

"Those thieving Osages have taken six more of my horses," complained
Chouteau the next morning at the office of Governor Clark.

"And four blankets and three axes of me," added Baptiste Dardenne.

"Worse yet, they have stolen my great-coat and razor case," said
Manuel Roderique.

Two thousand dollars' worth of claims were paid in that summer of
1825.

"We must get them out of the way," persisted the exasperated whites.

"Acts and acts of Congress regulating trade and intercourse with the
tribes are of no avail. They must be removed, and as far as possible.
They are banditti, robbers!" said Benton.

In spite of all proclamations clothes disappeared from the line, silk
stockings and bed-quilts and ladies' hats mysteriously went into the
wigwams of the vagrants.

"This state of affairs is intolerable!" exclaimed Benton. "Governor
Clark, if you will conclude a treaty removing those tribes to the West
I will stake my honour on putting a ratification through Congress.
I'll present the case!"

Again the great senator ground out the words between his teeth, "_I'll
present the case_. It will be a kindness to both parties. The poor
Indians have lost all,--we must reimburse them, we must take care of
them, they must have a home,--but far away, _far away_!" shaking his
fingers and closing his eyes with the significant shrug so well known
to the friends of Colonel Benton.

"Not so bad as eet once was," urged the kind-hearted Creoles. "Not so
bad by far. In de old Spanish days dey once left St. Genevieve wit'out
a horse to turn a mill. Dey came in to de village in de night and
carried away everyt'ing dey could find. Nobody ever pursue dem. But
_les Américains_, dey chase dem. But den," commented the tolerant
Creoles, "de Osage do not _kill_, like de Kickapoo and de Cherokee.
Dey take de goods, steal de furs, beat with ramrods, drive him
off,--but dey don't _kill_!"

So in May, after the departure of Lafayette, Governor Clark steamed up
the Missouri, met the Kansas and Osage Indians, and made treaties for
the cession of all their lands within the present boundary of
Missouri.

"You shall have lands, hogs, fowls, cattle, carts, and farming tools
to settle farther west."

This was wealth to the poor Osages, whose hunting fields had become
exhausted.

"Go to the earth and till it, it will give you bread and meat and
clothes and comfort and happiness. You may talk about your poverty
always, and it will never make you better off. You must be
industrious," said Clark. "And your old friend, Boone, shall be your
farmer."

For almost forty years now they had known Daniel M. Boone, the son of
the great pioneer,--since, indeed, those days when as a boy of
eighteen he trapped on the Kansas. Two springs later the removal was
made, and Boone, as "farmer for the Kansas Indians," took up his
residence in the Kaw Valley where his chimney stacks may yet be seen
near the present Lecompton. The next year was born Napoleon Boone, the
first white child in Kansas.

All this time the northern clans were gathering at Prairie du Chien, a
work of months. June 30 Governor Clark's barge started north from St.
Louis, laden with presents, provisions, interpreters.

"We are afraid to come," said the Omahas. "We are afraid to cross the
hostile territory."

William Preston Clark, in looks and dress the blonde double of the
poet Byron, said, "Let me bring them, father."

So young Clark, intimate with Indians, went after the Omahas and
brought them safely in. But Big Elk left his medal with his son, "I
never expect to reach home alive," he said. "We cross the country of
the Sacs!"

The Yanktons refused. "Shall we be butchered by the Sacs?" But later
they came to St. Louis, smoked with the Sacs and shook hands. Even the
Sioux feared the Sacs, the warriors of the central valley.

Mahaska, head chief of the Iowas, with his braves went up with Clark,
and Rant-che-wai-me, the Flying Pigeon. Rant-che-wai-me had been to
Washington. A year ago, when her husband left her alone at the wigwam
on the Des Moines, she set out for St. Louis. The steamer was at the
shore, the chief was about to embark, when he felt a blow upon his
back. Shaking his plumes in wrath, Mahaska turned,--to behold the
Flying Pigeon, with uplifted tomahawk in her hand.

"Am I your wife?" she cried.

"You are my wife," answered the surprised chief.

"Are you my husband?"

"I am your husband."

"Then will I, too, go with you to shake the Great Father by the hand."

Mahaska smiled,--"You are my pretty wife, Flying Pigeon; you shall go
to Washington." Clark, too, smiled,--"Yes, she can go."

The pretty Rant-che-wai-me was feted at the White House, and had her
picture painted by a great artist as a typical Iowa Princess. And now
she was going to Prairie du Chien.

Not for ten years had Clark visited his northern territory. Few
changes had come on the Mississippi. Twice a year Colonel George
Davenport brought a hundred thousand dollars' worth of goods to his
trading post at Rock Island.

Beyond, Julien Dubuque lay in perpetual state on his hills, wrapped
only in a winding sheet in his tomb, exposed to the view of every
traveller that cared to climb the grassy height to gaze through the
grated windows of his lonely mausoleum.

"The Great Chief, the Red Head is coming," whispered all the Indians,
as Clark's barges hove in sight.

Prairie du Chien was alive with excitement. Governor Cass of Michigan
was already there. Not only the village, but the entire banks of the
river for miles above and below were covered with high-pointed buffalo
tents. Horses browsed upon the bluffs in Arabian abandon. Below, tall
and warlike, Chippewas and Winnebagoes from Superior and the valley of
St. Croix jostled Menomonees, Pottawattamies, and Ottawas from Lake
Michigan and Green Bay.

"Whoop-oh-hoo-oh!"

Major Taliferro from the Falls of St. Anthony made the grand entry
with his Sioux and Chippewas, four hundred strong, drums beating,
flags flying. Taliferro was very popular with the Sioux,--even the
squaws said he was "_Weechashtah Washtay_,"--a handsome man.

Over from Sault Ste. Marie the learned agent Schoolcraft had brought
one hundred and fifty Chippewas, brothers of Hiawatha.

Keokuk, the Watchful Fox, with his Sacs and Iowas, was the last to
arrive. Leagued against the Sioux, they had camped on an island below
to paint and dress, and came up the Mississippi attired in full war
costume singing their battle-song. It was a thrilling sight when they
came upon the scene with spears, battle-lances, and crested locks like
Roman helmets, casting bitter glances at their ancient foe, the Sioux.
Nearly nude, with feather war-flags flying, and beating tambourines,
the Sacs landed in compact ranks, breathing defiance. From his
earliest youth Keokuk had fought the Sioux.

"Bold, martial, flushed with success, Keokuk landed, majestic and
frowning," said Schoolcraft, "and as another Coriolanus spoke in the
council and shook his war lance at the Sioux."

At the signal of a gun, every day at ten o'clock, the chiefs
assembled.

"Children," said Governor Clark to the assembled savages, "your Great
Father has not sent us here to ask anything from you--we want
nothing--not the smallest piece of your land. We have come a great way
to meet for your own good. Your Great Father the President has been
informed that war is carried on among his red children,--the Sacs,
Foxes, and Chippewas on one side and the Sioux on the other,--and that
the wars of some of you began before any of you were born."

"Heigh! heigh!" broke forth the silent smokers. "Heigh! heigh!"
exclaimed the warriors. "Heigh! heigh!" echoed the vast and impatient
concourse around the council.

"Your father thinks there is no cause for continuation of war between
you. There is land enough for you to live and hunt on and animals
enough. Why, instead of peaceably following the game and providing for
your families, do you send out war parties to destroy each other? The
Great Spirit made you all of one colour and placed you upon the land.
You ought to live in peace as brothers of one great family. Your Great
Father has heard of your war songs and war parties,--they do not
please him. He desires that his red children should bury the
tomahawk."

"Heigh! heigh!"

"Children! look around you. See the result of wars between nations who
were once powerful and are now reduced to a few wandering families.
You have examples enough before you.

"Children, your wars have resulted from your having no definite
boundaries. You do not know what belongs to you, and your people
follow the game into lands claimed by other tribes."

"Heigh! heigh!"

"Children, you have all assembled under your Father's flag. You are
under his protection. Blood must not be spilt here. Whoever injures
one of you injures us, and we will punish him as we would punish one
of our own people."

"Heigh! heigh! heigh!" cried all the Indians.

"Children," said General Cass, "your Great Father does not want your
land. He wants to establish boundaries and peace among you. Your Great
Father has strong limbs and a piercing eye, and an arm that extends
from the sea to Red River.

"Children, you are hungry. We will adjourn for two hours."

"Heigh! heigh! heigh-h!" rolled the chorus across the Prairie.

As to an army, rations were distributed, beef, bread, corn, salt,
sugar, tobacco. Each ate, ate, ate,--till not a scrap was left to feed
a humming-bird.

Revered of his people, Wabasha and his pipe-bearers were the observed
of all.

"I never yet was present at so great a council as this," said Wabasha.
Three thousand were at Prairie du Chien.

The Sioux? Far from the northwest they said their fathers came,--the
Tartar cheek was theirs. Wabasha and his chiefs alone had the
Caucasian countenance.

Three mighty brothers ruled the Sioux in the days of
Pontiac,--Wabasha, Red Wing, and Little Crow. Their sons, Wabasha, Red
Wing, and Little Crow ruled still.

"Boundaries?" they knew not the meaning of the word. Restless,
anxious, sharp-featured Little Crow fixed his piercing hazel eye upon
the Red Head,--

"_Taku-wakan!_--that is incomprehensible!"

"Heigh! What does this mean?" exclaimed the Chippewas.

"We are all one people," sagely observed Mahaska, the Iowa. "My
father, I claim no lands in particular."

"I never yet heard that any one had any exclusive right to the soil,"
said Chambler, the Ottawa.

"I have a tract of country. It is where I was born and now live," said
Red Bird, the Winnebago. "But the Foxes claim it and the Sacs, the
Menomonees, and Omahas. We use it in common."

Red Bird was a handsome Indian, dressed Yankton fashion in white
unsoiled deerskin and scarlet, and glove-fitting moccasins,--the dandy
of his tribe.

The debate grew animated. "Our tract is so small," cried the
Menomonees, "that we cannot turn around without touching our
neighbours." Then every Indian began to describe his boundaries,
crossing and recrossing each other.

"These are the causes of all your troubles," said Clark. "It is better
for each of you to give up some disputed claim than to be fighting for
ever about it."

That night the parties two by two discussed their lines, the first
step towards civilisation. They drew maps on the ground,--"my hunting
ground," and "mine," and "mine." After days of study the boundary
rivers were acknowledged, the belt of wampum was passed, and the pipe
of peace.

Wabasha, acknowledged by every chief to be first of the Seven Fires of
the Sioux, was treated by all with marked distinction and deference.
And yet Wabasha, dignified and of superior understanding, when asked,
"Wabasha? What arrangement did you make with the Foxes about
boundaries?" replied, "I never made any arrangement about the line.
The only arrangement I made was about peace!"

"When I heard the voice of my Great Father," said Mongazid, the Loon's
Foot, from Fond du Lac, "when I heard the voice of my Father coming up
the Mississippi, calling to this treaty, it seemed as a murmuring
wind. I got up from my mat where I sat musing, and hastened to obey.
My pathway has been clear and bright. Truly it is a pleasant sky above
our heads this day. There is not a cloud to darken it. I hear nothing
but pleasant words. The raven is not waiting for his prey. I hear no
eagle cry, 'Come, let us go,--the feast is ready,--the Indian has
killed his brother.'"

Shingaba Wassin of Sault Ste. Marie, head chief of the Chippewas, had
fought with Britain in the War of 1812 and lost a brother at the
battle of the Thames. He and a hundred other chiefs with their pipe
bearers signed the treaty. Everybody signed. And all sang, even the
girls, the Witcheannas of the Sioux.

"We have buried our bad thoughts in the ashes of the pipe," said
Little Crow.

"I always had good counsel from Governor Clark," observed Red Wing.

"You put this medal on my neck in 1812," said Decorah, the Winnebago,
"and when I returned I gave good advice to the young men of our
village."

After a fierce controversy and the rankling of a hundred wrongs, the
warring tribes laid down their lances and buried the tomahawk. Sacs
and Sioux shook hands; the dividing lines were fixed; all the chiefs
signed, and the tribes were at peace for the first time in a thousand
years.

"Pray God it may last," said Clark, as his boat went away homeward
along with the Sacs down the Mississippi.

The great Council at Prairie du Chien was over.



XVIII

_THE LORDS OF THE RIVERS_


For thirty years after the cession, St. Louis was a great military
centre. Sixty thousand dollars a year went into the village from
Bellefontaine, and still more after the opening of Jefferson Barracks
in 1826. Nor can it be denied that the expenditure of large sums of
money in Indian annuities through the office of Governor Clark did
much for the prosperity of the frontier city.

And ever the centre of hospitality was the home of Governor Clark.
Both the Governor and his wife enjoyed life, took things leisurely,
both had the magnetic faculty of winning people, and they set a
splendid table.

"I like to see my house full," said the Governor. There were no modern
hotels in those days, and his house became a stopping place for all
noted visitors to St. Louis.

Their old-fashioned coach, with the footman up behind in a tall silk
hat, met at the levee many a distinguished stranger,--travellers,
generals, dukes, and lords from Europe who came with letters to the
Indian autocrat of the West. All had to get a pass from Clark, and all
agents and sub-agents were under and answerable to him.

But unspoiled in the midst of it passed the plain, unaristocratic Red
Head Chief and friend of the oppressed. For years he corresponded with
Lafayette, and yet Clark was not a scholar. He was a man of affairs,
of which this country has abounded in rich examples.

Prince Paul of Wurtemberg came, the Duke of Saxe-Weimar, and
Maximilian, Prince of Wied, all seeking passports for the Indian
country, all coming back with curios for their palaces and castles.

Very politely Mrs. Clark listened to their broken English and
patiently conversed with them when the Governor was away.

One of the first pianos came to the Clark parlours, and on special
occasions the Indian council room was cleared and decorated for grand
balls. Many a young "milletoer," as the Creoles called them, dashed up
from Jefferson Barracks to win a bride among the girls of St. Louis.

For the preservation of peace and the facilitation of Indian removals,
Fort Des Moines was built among the Iowas, Fort Atkinson near the
present Omaha, Fort Snelling at the Falls of St. Anthony, and Fort
Leavenworth on the borders of Kansas.

Half the area of the United States lay out there, with no law, no
courts, but those of battle. As quietly as possible, step by step, the
savage land was taken into custody. And the pretty girls of St. Louis
did their share to reconcile the "milletoers" to life at the frontier
posts.

"Ho for Santa Fé!" One May morning in 1824 a caravan of waggons passed
through the streets of St. Louis.

Penned in the far-off Mexican mountains a little colony of white
people were shut from the world. Twice before a few adventurous
pack-trains had penetrated their mountain solitudes, as Phoenicians
of old went over to Egypt, India, Arabia.

"_Los Americanos! Los Americanos!_" shouted the eager mountain
dwellers, rushing out to embrace the traders and welcome them to their
lonely settlement. Silks, cottons, velvets, hardware, were bought up
in a trice, and the fortunate traders returned to St. Louis with
horseload after horseload of gold and silver bullion.

"Those people want us. But the Spanish authorities are angry and tax
us as they used to tax the traders at New Orleans. The people beg us
to disregard their tyrannous rulers,--they must have goods."

In 1817 young Auguste Chouteau tried it, and was cast into prison and
his goods confiscated.

"What wish you?" demanded the Spanish Governor, in answer to repeated
solicitations from the captive.

"_Mi libertad Gobernador._"

Wrathfully they locked him closer than ever in the old donjon of Santa
Fé.

"My neighbour's son imprisoned there without cause!" exclaimed
Governor Clark. All the old Spanish animosity roiled in his veins. He
appealed to Congress. There was a rattling among the dry bones, and
Chouteau and his friends were released.

And now, on the 15th of May, 1824, eighty men set out in the first
waggon train, with twenty thousand dollars' worth of merchandise for
the isolated Mexican capital. In September the caravan returned with
their capital increased a hundred-fold in sacks of gold and silver and
ten thousand dollars' worth of furs.

The Santa Fé trade was established never to be shaken, though Indian
battles, like conflicts with Arab sheiks of the desert, grew wilder
than any Crusader's tale. Young men of the Mississippi dreamed of that
"farther west" of Santa Fé and Los Angeles.

"We must have a safe road," said the traders. "We may wander off into
the desert and perish."

In the same year Senator Benton secured an appropriation of ten
thousand dollars for staking the plains to Santa Fé.

"We must have protection," said the traders to Governor Clark at the
Council House. At Council Grove, a buffalo haunt in a thickly wooded
bottom at the headwaters of the Neosho in the present Kansas, Clark's
agents met the Osage Indians and secured permission for the caravans
to pass through their country. But the dreaded Pawnees and Comanches
were as yet unapproachable.

In spite of the inhumanity of Spaniards, in spite of murderous
Pawnees, in spite of desert dust and red-brown grass and cacti, year
by year the caravans grew, the people became more friendly and
solicitous of each other's trade, until one day New Mexico was ready
to step over into the ranks of the States.

And one day Kit Carson, whose mother was a Boone, only sixteen and
small of his age, ran away from a hard task-master to join the Santa
Fé caravan and grow up on the plains.

Daniel Boone was dead, at eighty-six, just as Missouri came in as a
State. Jesse, the youngest of the Boone boys to come out from
Kentucky, was in the Constitutional Convention that adjourned in his
honour, and Jesse's son, Albert Gallatin Boone, in 1825, joined as
private secretary that wonderful Ashley expedition that keel-boated up
the Platte, crossed from its head-waters over to Green River, kept on
west, discovered the Great South Pass of the Rockies, the overland
route of future emigration, and set up its tents on the borders of
Utah Lake.

Overwhelmed with debt Ashley set out,--he came back a millionaire with
the greatest collection of furs ever known up to that time. Everything
was Ashley then, "Ashley boats" and "Ashley beaver,"--he was the
greatest man in St. Louis, and was sent to Congress.

Sixty years ago the Lords of the Rivers ruled St. Louis.

The Rocky Mountain Fur Company went out and camped on the site of a
dozen future capitals. From the Green River Valley under the Wind
River Mountains of Wyoming, from the Tetons of Colorado, the Uintahs
of Utah, and the Bitter Roots of Idaho, from the shining Absarokas and
the Bighorn Alps, they came home with mink and otter, beaver, bear,
and buffalo.

The American Fur Company came to St. Louis, and the Chouteaus, at
first the rivals, became the partners of John Jacob Astor. Born in the
atmosphere of furs, for forty years Pierre Chouteau the younger had no
rival in the Valley except Clark. The two stood side by side, one
representing commerce, the other the Government.

Pierre Chouteau, the largest fur trader west of the Alleghanies, sent
his boats to Itasca, the headwaters of the Mississippi, the Missouri,
the Yellowstone, the Osage, the Kansas, and the Platte, employing a
thousand men and paying skilled pilots five thousand dollars for a
single expedition. With Chouteau's convoys came down Clark's chiefs,
going back in the same vessels. To their untutored minds the trader's
capital and the Red Head Town were synonymous.

If there was a necessary conflict between the policy of the government
and that of the fur trade, no one could have softened it more than the
Red Head diplomat. With infinite tact and unfailing good sense, he
harmonised, reconciled, and pushed for the best interest of the
Indian.

"Give up the chase and settle into agricultural life," said Clark's
agents to the Indians.

"Go to the chase," said the trader.

Clark sent up hoes to supersede the shoulder-blade of the buffalo. The
trader sent up fusils and ammunition. The two combined in the
evolution of the savage. The squaw took the hoe, the brave the gun.

Winter expresses came down to St. Louis from the far-off Powder and
the Wind River Mountains. "Send us merchandise." With the first
breaking ice of Spring the boats were launched, the caravans ready.

Deck-piled, swan-like upon the water the Missouri steamboat started.
Pierre Chouteau was there to see her off, Governor Clark was there to
bid farewell to his chiefs. _Engagés_ of the Company, fiercely
picturesque, with leg knives in their garters, jumped to store away
the cargo.

Up as far as St. Charles Clark and the Chouteaus sometimes went with
the ladies of their families to escort the up-bound steamer, and with
a last departing, "_Bon voyage! bon voyage, mes voyageurs!_"
disembarked to return to St. Louis.

On, on steamed the messenger of commerce and civilisation, touching
later at Fort Pierre Chouteau in the centre of the great Sioux
country, the capital of South Dakota to-day, at Fort Union at the
Yellowstone, where McKenzie lived in state like the Hudson's Bay
magnates at the north, at Fort Benton at the foot of the Great Falls
of the Missouri. Traders from St. Louis laid the foundations of Kansas
City and Topeka, built the first forts at Council Bluffs and Omaha,
pre-empted the future sites of Yankton and Bismarck.

"A boat! a boat!"

For a hundred miles Indian runners brought word.

Barely had the steamer touched the wharf before the solitude became
populous with colour and with sound. Night and day went on the loading
and unloading of furs and merchandise. A touch of the hand, a
farewell,--before the June rise falls, back a hundred miles a day she
snorts to St. Louis with tens of thousands of buffalo robes, buffalo
tongues, and buffalo hides, and carefully wrapped bales of the
choicest furs. The cargoes opened, weighed, recounted, repacked, down
the river the smokestacks go in endless procession on the way to New
York.

Overland on horseback rode Pierre Chouteau to Philadelphia or New
York, to arrange shipments to France and England, and to confer with
John Jacob Astor. Back up from New Orleans came boatloads of furniture
to beautify the homes of St. Louis, bales on bales of copper and
sheet-iron kettles, axes and beaver traps, finger rings, beads,
blankets, bracelets, steel wire and ribbons, the indispensables of the
frontier fur trade.

Sometimes fierce battles were fought up the river, and troops were
dispatched,--for commerce, the civiliser, stops not. The sight of
troops paraded in uniforms, the glare of skyrockets at night, the
explosion of shells and the colours of bunting and banners, the blare
of brass bands and the thunder of artillery, won many a bloodless
victory along the prairies of the West.

But blood flowed, fast and faster, when trapping gave way to Days of
Gold and the pressure of advancing settlement.

The trapper saw no gold. Otter, beaver, mink, and fox filled his
horizon. Into every lonely glen where the beaver built his house, the
trapper came. A million dollars a year was the annual St. Louis trade.

Rival fur companies kept bubbling a tempest in a teapot. They fought
each other, fought the Hudson's Bay Company. West and west passed the
fighting border,--St. Lawrence, Detroit, Mackinaw, Mandan, Montana,
Oregon.

Astor, driven out by the War of 1812, had been superseded on the
Columbia by Dr. John McLoughlin, a Hudson's Bay magnate who combined
in himself the functions of a Chouteau and a Clark. But the story of
McLoughlin is a story by itself.



XIX

_FOUR INDIAN AMBASSADORS_


As the years went by Clark's plant of the Indian Department extended.
In his back row were found the office and Council House, rooms for
visiting Indians, an armory for repairs of Indian guns and
blacksmiths' shops for Indian work, extending from Main Street to the
river.

Daily he sat in his office reading reports from his agents of Indian
occurrences.

Four muskrats or two raccoon skins the Indians paid for a quart of
whiskey.

"Whiskey!" Clark stamped his foot. "A drunken Indian is more to be
dreaded than a tiger in the jungle! An Indian cannot be found among a
thousand who would not, after a first drink, sell his horse, his gun,
or his last blanket for another drink, or even commit a murder to
gratify his passion for spirits. There should be total prohibition."
And the Government made that the law.

"I hear that you have sent liquor into the Indian country," he said to
the officers of the American Fur Company. "Can you refute the charge?"

And the great Company, with Chouteau and Astor at its head, hastened
to explain and extenuate.

There was trouble with Indian agents who insisted on leaving their
posts and coming to St. Louis, troubles with Indians who wanted to see
the President, enough of them to have kept the President for ever busy
with Indian affairs.

The Sacs and the Sioux were fighting again.

"Why not let us fight?" said Black Hawk. "White men fight,--they are
fighting now."

Twice in the month of May, 1830, Sacs and Foxes came down to tell of
their war with the Sioux. "We might sell our Illinois lands and move
west," hinted the Sacs and Foxes. Instantly Clark approved and wrote
to Washington.

"I shall have to go up there and quiet those tribes," said Clark. In
July, 1830, again he set out for Prairie du Chien. Indian runners went
ahead announcing, "The Red Head Chief! the Red Head Chief!"

Seventy-eight Sacs and Foxes crowded into his boats and went up. This
time in earnest, Clark began buying lands, giving thousands of dollars
in annuities, provisions, clothing, lands, stock, agricultural
implements. Many of these Indians came on with him down to St. Louis
to get their presents and pay.

There came a wailing from the Indians of Illinois. "The game is gone.
Naked and hungry, we need help."

"Poor, misguided, and unreflecting savages!" exclaimed the Governor.
"The selfish policy of the traders would keep them in the hunter's
state. The Government would have them settled and self-supporting."

Funds ran out, but Clark on his own credit again and again went ahead
with his work of humanity, moving families, tribes, nations.
Assistance in provisions and stock was constantly called for. The
great western migration of tribes from Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, was
sweeping on, the movement of a race. The Peorias were crossing, the
Weas, Piankeshaws, and others forgotten to-day.

"Those miserable bands of Illinois rovers, those wretched nations in
want of clothes and blankets!" Clark wrote to Washington, begging the
Department for help. Their annuities, a thousand dollars a year for
twelve years, had expired.

"Exchange your lands for those in the West," he urged the Indians. To
the Government he recommended an additional annuity to be used in
breaking up, fencing, and preparing those lands for cultivation.

Horses were stolen from the settlers by tens and twenties and fifties,
and cattle killed. The farmers were exasperated.

"Banditti, robbers, thieves, they must get out! The Indians hunt on
our lands, and kill our tame stock. They are a great annoyance."

For two years Governor Edwards had been asking for help.

"The General Government has been applied to long enough to have freed
us from so serious a grievance. If it declines acting with effect, it
will soon learn that these Indians _will_ be removed, and that very
promptly."

Clark himself was personally using every exertion to prevail on the
Indians to move as the best means of preserving tranquillity, and did
all he could without actual coercion. The Indians continued to promise
to go, but they still remained.

"More time," said the Indians. "Another year."

The combustible train was laid,--only a spark was needed, only a move
of hostility, to fire the country. Will Black Hawk apply that spark?

"We cannot go," said the Pottawattamies. "The sale of our lands was
made by a few young men without our consent."

Five hundred Indians determined to hold all the northern part of
Illinois for ever.

Sacs, Foxes, Pottawattamies, sent daily letters and complaints. "Our
Father! our Father! our Father!"--it was a plea and a prayer, and
trouble, trouble, trouble. Black Partridge's letters make one weep.
"Some of my people will be dead before Spring."

Meanwhile agents were ahead surveying lands in that magic West. The
Indians were becoming as interested in migration as the whites had
been; the same causes were pushing them on.

Clark was busily making contracts for saw-mills and corn-mills on the
Platte and Kansas, arranging for means of transportation, for
provisions for use on the way and after they settled, for oxen and
carts and stock,--when one day four strange Indians, worn and
bewildered, arrived at St. Louis, out of that West. Some kind hand
guided them to the Indian office.

That tunic, that bandeau of fox skins,--Clark recalled it as the
tribal dress of a nation beyond the Rocky Mountains. With an
expression of exquisite joy, old Tunnachemootoolt, for it was he, the
Black Eagle, recognised the Red Head of a quarter of a century before.
Clark could scarcely believe that those Indians had travelled on foot
nearly two thousand miles to see him at St. Louis.

As but yesterday came back the memory of Camp Chopunnish among the Nez
Percés of Oregon. Over Tunnachemootoolt's camp the American flag was
flying when they arrived from the Walla Walla.

It did not take long to discover their story. Some winters before an
American trapper (in Oregon tradition reputed to have been Jedediah
Smith), watched the Nez Percés dance around the sun-pole on the
present site of Walla Walla.

"It is not good," said the trapper, "such worship is not acceptable to
the Great Spirit. You should get the white man's Book of Heaven."

Voyageurs and Iroquois trappers from the Jesuit schools of Canada said
the same. Then Ellice, a chief's son, came back from the Red River
country whither the Hudson's Bay Company had sent him to be educated.
From several sources at once they learned that the white men had a
Book that taught of God.

"If this be true it is certainly high time that we had the Book." The
chiefs called a national council. "If our mode of worship is wrong we
must lay it aside. We must know about this. It cannot be put off."

"If we could only find the trail of Lewis and Clark they would tell us
the truth."

"Yes, Lewis and Clark always pointed upward. They must have been
trying to tell us."

So, benighted, bewildered, the Nez Percés talked around their council
fires. Over in the buffalo country Black Eagle's band met the white
traders.

"They come from the land of Lewis and Clark," said the Eagle. "Let us
follow them."

And so, four chiefs were deputed for that wonderful journey, two old
men who had known Lewis and Clark,--Black Eagle and the
Man-of-the-Morning, whose mother was a Flathead,--and two young
men,--Rabbit-Skin-Leggings of the White Bird band on Salmon River,
Black Eagle's brother's son, and No-Horns-On-His-Head, a young brave
of twenty, who was a doubter of the old beliefs.

"They went out by the Lolo trail into the buffalo country of Montana,"
say their descendants still living in Idaho.

One day they reached St. Louis and inquired for the Red Head Chief.

Very well Governor Clark remembered his Nez Percé-Flathead friends.
His silver locks were shaken by roars of laughter at their reminders
of his youth, the bear hunts, the sale of buttons for camas and for
kouse. The hospitality of those chiefs who said, "The horses on these
hills are ours, take what you need," should now be rewarded.

With gratitude and with the winsomeness for which he was noted, he
invited them into his own house and to his own table. Mrs. Clark
devoted herself to their entertainment.

Black Eagle insisted on an early council. "We have heard of the Book.
We have come for the Book."

"What you have heard is true," answered Clark, puzzled and sensible of
his responsibility. Then in simple language, that they might
understand, he related the Bible stories of the Creation, of the
commandments, of the advent of Christ and his crucifixion.

"Yes," answered Clark to their interrogatories, "a teacher shall be
sent with the Book."

Just as change of diet and climate had prostrated Lewis and Clark with
sickness among the Nez Percés twenty-five years before, so now the Nez
Percés fell sick in St. Louis. The Summer was hotter than any they had
known in their cool northland. Dr. Farrar was called. Mrs. Clark herself
brought them water and medicine as they lay burning with fever in the
Council House. They were very grateful for her attentions,--"the
beautiful squaw of the Red Head Chief."

But neither medicine nor nursing could save the aged Black Eagle.

"The most mournful procession I ever saw," said a young woman of that
day, "was when those three Indians followed their dead companion to
the grave."

His name is recorded at the St. Louis cathedral as "Keepeelele, buried
October 31, 1831," a "ne Percé de la tribu des Choponeek, nation
appellée Tête Plate." "Keepeelele," the Nez Percés of to-day say "was
the old man, the Black Eagle." Sometimes they called him the "Speaking
Eagle," as the orator on occasions.

Still the other Indians remained ill.

"I have been sent by my nation to examine lands for removal to the
West," said William Walker, chief of the Wyandots.

William Walker was the son of a white man, stolen as a child from
Kentucky and brought up by the Indians. His mother was also the
descendant of a stolen white girl. Young William, educated at the
Upper Sandusky mission, became a chief.

The semi-Christian Wyandots desired to follow their friends to the
West. Sitting there in the office, transacting business, Governor
Clark spoke of the Flathead Nez Percés.

"I have never seen a Flathead, but have often heard of them," answered
William Walker. Curiosity prompted him to step into the next room.
Small in size, delicately formed, and of exact symmetry except the
flattened head, they lay there parched with fever.

"Their diet at home consists chiefly of vegetables and fish," said the
Governor. "As a nation they have the fewest vices of any tribe on the
continent of America."

November 10, ten days after the burial of Black Eagle, Colonel Audrain
of St. Charles, a member of the Legislature, died also at Governor
Clark's house. His body was conveyed to St. Charles in the first
hearse ever seen there. On December 25, Christmas Day, 1831, Mrs.
Clark herself died after a brief illness.

There was sickness all over St. Louis. Was it a beginning of that
strange new malady that by the next Spring had grown into a devouring
plague,--the dreaded Asiatic cholera?

At the bedside of his dead wife, Governor Clark sat, holding her waxen
hand, with their little six-year-old son, Jefferson, in his lap. "My
child, you have no mother now," said the father with streaming tears.
After the funeral, nothing was recorded in Clark's letter-books for
some days, and when he began again, the handwriting was that of an
aged man.

None mourned this sad event more than the tender-hearted Nez Percés,
who remained until Spring.

When the new steamer _Yellowstone_ of the American Fur Company, set
out for its first great trip up the Missouri, Governor Clark made
arrangements to send the chiefs home to their country. A day later,
the other old Indian, The-Man-of-the-Morning, died and was buried near
St. Charles.

Among other passengers on that steamer were Pierre Chouteau the
younger and George Catlin, the Indian artist, who was setting out to
visit the Mandans.

"You will find the Mandans a strange people and half white," said
Governor Clark to his friend the artist, as he gave him his passport
into the Indian country.

On the way up the river Catlin noticed the two young Nez Percés, and
painted their pictures.

As if pursued by a strange fatality, at the mouth of the Yellowstone
No-Horns-On-His-Head died,--Rabbit-Skin-Leggings alone was left to
carry the word from St. Louis.

Earlier than ever that year the Nez Percés had crossed the snowy
trails of the Bitter Root to the buffalo country in the Yellowstone
and Judith Basin.

"For are not our messengers coming?"

And there, camped with their horses and their lodges, watching,
Rabbit-Skin-Leggings met them and shouted afar off,--"A man shall be
sent with the Book."

Back over the hills and the mountains the message flew,--"A man shall
be sent with the Book."

Every year after that the Nez Percés went over to the east, looking
for the man with the Book.

Nearly a year elapsed before William Walker got back from his
explorations and wrote a public letter giving an account of the Nez
Percés in their search for the Book. His account of meeting them in
General Clark's office, and of the object of their errand, created a
tremendous sensation.

Religious committees called upon General Clark, letters were written,
and to one and all he said, "That was the sole object of their
journey,--to obtain the white man's Book of Heaven."

The call rang like a trumpet summons through the churches. The next
year, 1834, the Methodists sent Jason Lee and three others to Oregon.
Two years later followed Whitman and Spalding and their brides, the
first white women to cross the Rocky Mountains.

"A famine threatens the Upper Missouri," was the news brought back by
that steamer _Yellowstone_ in 1832. "The buffaloes have disappeared!"

The herds, chased so relentlessly on the Missouri, were struggling
through the Bitter Root Mountains, to appear in vast throngs on the
plains of Idaho.

Even Europe read and commented on that wonderful first journey of a
steamer up the Missouri, as later the world hailed the ascent of the
Nile and the Yukon.

It was a great journey. Amazed Indians everywhere had watched the
monster, puffing and snorting, with steam and whistles, and a
continued roar of cannon for half an hour at every fur fort and every
Indian village.

"The thunder canoe!" Redmen fell on the ground and cried to the Great
Spirit. Some shot their dogs and horses as sacrifices.

At last, even the Blackfeet were reached. The British tried to woo
them back to the Saskatchewan at Fort Edmonton, but eventually they
tumbled over one another to trade with the Fire Boat that annually
climbed the Missouri staircase.



XX

_BLACK HAWK_


The Roman faces of Black Hawk and Keokuk were often seen in St. Louis,
where the chiefs came to consult Clark in regard to their country.

"Keokuk signed away my lands," said Black Hawk. He had never been
satisfied with that earliest treaty made while Lewis and Clark were
absent beyond the mountains.

For thirty years Black Hawk had paid friendly visits to Chouteau and
sold him furs. More often he was at Malden consulting his "British
Father." Schooled by Tecumseh, the disloyal Black Hawk was wholly
British.

Fort Armstrong had been built at Rock Island for the protection of the
border. Those whitewashed walls and that tower perched on a high cliff
over the Mississippi reminded the traveller up the Father of Waters
seventy years ago of some romantic castle on the Rhine. And it was
erected for the same reason that were the castles of the Rhine. Not
safe were the traders who went up and down the great river, not safe
were the emigrants seeking entrance to Rock River,--for Black Hawk
watched the land.

The white settlements had already come up to the edge of Black Hawk's
field.

"No power is vested in me to stop the progress of settlements on ceded
lands, and I have no means of inducing the Indians to move but
persuasion, which has little weight with those chiefs who have always
been under British influence," said Clark in 1829.

Again and again Clark wrote to the Secretary of War on this subject.
The policy of moving the tribes westward stirred the wrath of Black
Hawk.

"The Sacs never sold their country!"

But the leader of the "British band" had lost his voice in the
council.

"Who is Black Hawk?" asked General Gaines at Rock Island. "Is he a
chief? By what right does he speak?"

"My father, you ask who is Black Hawk. I will tell you who I am. I am
a Sac. My father was a Sac. I am a warrior. So was my father. Ask
those young men who have followed me to battle and they will tell you
who Black Hawk is. Provoke our people to war and you will learn who
Black Hawk is."

Haughtily gathering up his robes, the chief and his followers stalked
over to Canada for advice. In his absence Keokuk made the final
cession to the United States and prepared to move beyond the
Mississippi. Back like a whirlwind came the Hawk,--

"Sold the Sac village, sold your country!"

"Keokuk," he whispered fiercely in his ear, "give mines, give
everything, but keep our cornfields and our dead."

"Cross the Mississippi," begged Keokuk.

"I will stay by the graves of my fathers," reiterated the stubborn and
romantic Black Hawk.

The Indians left the silver rivers of Illinois, their sugar groves,
and bee trees with regret. No wonder the chief's heart clung to his
native village, among dim old woods of oak and walnut, and orchards of
plum and crab. For generations there had they tilled their Indian
gardens.

From his watchtower on Rock River the old chief scanned the country.
Early in the Spring of 1832 he discovered a scattering train of whites
moving into the beloved retreat.

"Quick, let us plant once more our cornfields."

In a body Black Hawk and his British band with their women and
children came pulling up Rock River in their canoes. The whites were
terrified.

"Black Hawk has invaded Illinois," was the word sent by Governor
Reynolds to Clark at St. Louis. Troops moved out from Jefferson
Barracks.

"Go," said Governor Clark to Felix St. Vrain, his Sac interpreter.
"Warn Black Hawk to withdraw across the Mississippi."

St. Vrain sped away,--to be shot delivering his message. Then
followed the war, the flight and chase and battle of Bad Axe, and the
capture of Black Hawk. Wabasha's Sioux fell upon the last fleeing
remnant, so that few of Black Hawk's band were left to tell the tale.

"Farewell, my nation!" the old chief cried. "Black Hawk tried to save
you and avenge your wrongs. He drank the blood of some of the whites.
He has been taken prisoner and his plans are stopped. He can do no
more. He is near his end. His sun is setting and he will rise no more.
Farewell to Black Hawk."

In chains Black Hawk and his prophet, Wabokeskiek, were brought by
Jefferson Davis to St. Louis. As his steamboat passed Rock Island, his
old home, Black Hawk wept like a child.

"It was our garden," he said, "such as the white people have near
their villages. I spent many happy days on this island. A good spirit
dwelt in a cave of rocks where your fort now stands. The noise of the
guns has driven him away."

It hurt Clark to see his old friend dragging a ball and chain at
Jefferson Barracks. He seldom went there. But the little Kennerly
children carried him presents and kinnikinick for his pipe.

There were guests at the house of Clark,--Maximilian, Prince of Wied,
and his artist,--when early in April of 1833 a deputation of Sacs and
Foxes headed by Keokuk came down in long double canoes to intercede
for Black Hawk, and with them, haggard and worn from long wanderings,
came Singing Bird, the wife of Black Hawk.

With scientific interest Maximilian looked at them, dressed in red,
white, and green blankets, with shaven heads except a tuft behind,
long and straight and black with a braided deer's tail at the end.
They were typical savages with prominent noses and eagle plumes,
wampum shells like tassels in their ears, and lances of sword-blades
fastened to poles in their hands.

"This is a great Chief from over the Big Water, come to see you," said
Clark introducing the Prince.

"Hah!" said the Indians, giving the Prince the right hand of
friendship and scanning him steadily.

Bodmer, the artist, brought out his palette. Keokuk in green blanket,
with a medal on his heart and a long calumet ornamented with eagle
feathers in his hand, was ready to pose.

"Hah!" laughed the Indians as stroke by stroke they saw their chief
stand forth on canvas, even to the brass necklace and bracelets on
throat and wrists. "Great Medicine!"

"I have chartered the _Warrior_ to go down to Jefferson Barracks,"
said Clark.

Striking their hands to their mouths, the Indians gave the war whoop,
and stepped on board the "big fire canoe." Intent, each animated,
fiery, dark-brown eye watched the engine hissing and roaring down to
the Barracks.

"If you will keep a watchful eye on Black Hawk I will intercede for
him," said Clark.

"I will watch him," promised Keokuk.

Clark left them for a moment, and then led in a little old man of
seventy years, with gray hair, light yellow face, and a curved Roman
nose.

It was an affecting sight when Keokuk stepped forward to embrace Black
Hawk. Keokuk, subtle, dignified, in splendid array of deer-skin and
bear-claws, grasped the hand of his fallen rival. Poor dethroned old
Black Hawk! In a plain suit of buckskin and a string of wampum in his
ears, he stood alone, fanning himself with the tail of a black hawk.

Keokuk tried to get him released. Often had he visited Clark on that
errand, but no,--Black Hawk was summoned to Washington and went.
Antoine Le Claire, son of old Antoine, was his interpreter.

Released, presently, he made a triumphal tour home, applauded by
thousands along the route, even as Lafayette had been a few years
before. Not so the Roman conquerors treated their captives! But Black
Hawk came home to Keokuk to die.

The defeat of Black Hawk opened Iowa to settlement, and a day later
prairie schooners overran the Black Hawk Purchase.

On the staff of General Atkinson when he marched out of Jefferson
Barracks for the Black Hawk War, was Meriwether Lewis Clark, now a
graduate of West Point, and his cousin Robert Anderson, grandson of
Clark's sister Eliza.

In the hurry and the heat of the march one day, Lieutenant Clark,
riding from the rear back to the General, became enclosed by the
troops of cavalry and had to ride slowly. By his side on a small horse
he noticed a long-legged, dark-skinned soldier, with black hair
hanging in clusters around his neck, a volunteer private. Admiringly
the private gazed at Clark's fine new uniform and splendidly accoutred
horse, a noble animal provided by his father at St. Louis.

Young Clark spoke to the soldier of awkward and unprepossessing
appearance, whose witticisms and gift for stories kept his comrades in
a state of merriment. He proved very inquisitive.

"The son of Governor Clark of the Lewis and Clark expedition, did you
say?"

"Yes."

"And related to all those great people?"

"Yes," with a laugh.

They chatted until the ranks began to thin.

"I must ride on," but feeling an interest in the lank, long-haired
soldier, Lieutenant Clark turned again,--

"Where are you from and to what troop do you belong?"

"I am an Illinois volunteer."

"Well, now, tell me your name, and I will bid you good bye."

"My name is Abraham Lincoln, and I have not a relation in the world."

The next time they met, Meriwether Lewis Clark was marching through
the streets of Washington City with other prisoners in Lee's
surrendered army. And the President on the White House steps was
Abraham Lincoln. The cousin of Meriwether Lewis Clark, Robert
Anderson, hero of Fort Sumter, stood by Lincoln's side, with tears in
his eyes.

Weeks before, when the land was ringing with his valour, the
President had congratulated him and asked, "Do you remember me?"

"No, I never met you before."

"Yes," answered the President, "you are the officer that swore me in
as a volunteer private in the Black Hawk War."

The next day the assassin's bullet laid low the martyred Lincoln; none
mourned him more than Meriwether Lewis Clark, for in that President he
had known a friend.



XXI

_A GREAT LIFE ENDS_


"Ruskosky, man, you tie my queue so tight I cannot shut my eyes!"

With both hands up to his head Governor Clark rallied his Polish
attendant, who of all things was particular about his friend's
appearance. For Ruskosky never considered himself a servant, nor did
Clark. Ruskosky was an old soldier of Pulaski, a great swordsman, a
gentleman, of courtly address and well educated, the constant
companion of Governor Clark after the death of York.

"Come, let us walk, Ruskosky."

A narrow black ribbon was tied to the queue, the long black cloth
cloak was brushed and the high broad-brim hat adjusted, the sword cane
with buckhorn handle and rapier blade was grasped, and out they
started.

Children stared at the ancient queue and small clothes. The oldest
American in St. Louis, Governor Clark had come to be regarded as a
"gentleman of the old school." A sort of halo hung around his
adventures. Beloved, honoured, trusted, revered, his prominent nose
and firm-set lips, his thin complexion in which the colour came and
went, seemed somehow to belong to the Revolution. He was locally
regarded as a great literary man, for had not the journals of his
expedition been given to the world?

And now, too, delvers in historic lore began to realise what George
Rogers Clark had done. Eighteen different authors desired to write his
life, among them Madison, Chief Justice Marshall, and Washington
Irving. But the facts could not be found. Irving sent his nephew to
inquire of Governor Clark at St. Louis. But the papers were scattered,
to be collected only by the industry of historical students later.

"Governor Clark is a fine soldier-like looking man, tall and thin,"
Irving's nephew reported to his uncle. "His hair is white, but he
seems to be as hardy and vigorous as ever, and speaks of his exposures
and hardships with a zest that shows that the spirit of the old
explorer is not quenched."

Children danced on an old carriage in the orchard.

"Uncle Clark, when did you first have this carriage? When was it new?"

The chivalrous and romantic friendship of his youth came back to the
Governor, and his eyes filled with tears.

"Children, that carriage belonged to Meriwether Lewis. In the
settlement of his estate, I bought it. Many a time have we ridden in
it together. That is the carriage that met Judy Hancock when she
landed at St. Louis, the first American bride, a quarter of a century
ago. Many a vicissitude has it encountered since, in journeyings
through woods and prairies. It is old now, but it has a history."

In his later years Governor Clark travelled, made a tour of the Lakes,
and visited New York, Boston, Buffalo, Cleveland, Sandusky, and
Detroit.

"Hull?" said Clark at Detroit. "He was not a coward, but afraid for
the people's sake of the cruelty of the Indians."

One day Governor Clark came ashore from a steamer on the Ohio and
stood at the mouth of the Hockhocking where Dunmore had his camp in
1774. The battle of Point Pleasant? that was ancient history. Most of
the residents in that region had never heard of it, and looked upon
the old gentleman in a queue as a relic of the mound-builders.

With wide-eyed wonder they listened again to the story of that day
when civilisation set its first milestone beyond the Alleghanies.

When the thundering cannon in 1837 announced the return of a fur
convoy from the Yellowstone, Governor Clark expected a messenger.

"They haf put the sand over him," explained a Frenchman. "Yes, he is
dead and buried."

"And my Mandan?"

"There are no more Mandans."

Clark looked at the trader in surprise.

"Small-pox."

The cheek of the Red Head paled.

Small-pox! In 1800 it swept from Omaha to Clatsop leaving a trail of
bones. Thirty years later ten thousand Pawnees, Otoes, and Missouris
perished. And now, despite all precautions, it had broken out on the
upper Missouri.

In six weeks the wigwams of the Mandans were desolate. Out of sixteen
hundred souls but thirty-one remained. Arikara, Minnetaree, Ponca,
Assiniboine, sank before the contagion. The Sioux survived only
because they lived not in fixed villages and were roaming
uncontaminated.

Blackfeet along the Marias left their lodges standing with the dead in
them, and never returned. The Crows abandoned their stricken ones, and
fled to the mountains. Across the border beseeching Indians carried
the havoc to Hudson's Bay, to Athabasca, and the Yukon. Over half a
continent terrified tribes burnt their towns, slaughtered their
families, pierced their own hearts or flung themselves from
precipices.

Redmen yet unstricken poured into St. Louis imploring the white man's
magic. Clark engaged physicians. Day after day vaccinating,
vaccinating, they sat in their offices, saving the life of hundreds.
He sent out agents with vaccine to visit the tribes, but the
superstitious savages gathered up their baggage and scattered,----

"White men have come with small-pox in a bottle."

With this last great shock, the decimation of the tribes, upon him,
Clark visibly declined.

"My children," he said to his sons, "I want to sleep in sight and
sound of the Mississippi."

When the summons came, September 1, 1838, in the sixty-eighth year of
his age, Meriwether Lewis Clark and his wife were with him, the
deputy, James Kennerly and his wife, Elise, and old Ruskosky,
inconsolable.

With great pomp and solemnity his funeral was celebrated, as had been
that of his brother at Louisville twenty years before. Both were
buried as soldiers, with minute guns and honours of war. In sight of
the Ohio, George Rogers Clark sleeps, and below the grave of William
Clark sweeps the Mississippi, roaring, swirling, bearing the
life-blood of the land they were the first to explore.

The Sacs, with Keokuk at their head, marched in the long funeral train
of their Red Head Father and wept genuine tears of desolation. No
more, dressed in their best, did the Indians sing and dance through
the streets of St. Louis, receiving gifts from door to door. The
friend of the redmen was dead. St. Louis ceased to be the Mecca of
their pilgrimages; no more their gala costumes enlivened the market;
they disappeared.

For more than forty years William Clark had been identified with St.
Louis,--had become a part of its history and of the West.

October 3, 1838, a few days after Clark, Black Hawk, too, breathed his
last in his lodge, and was buried like the Sac chieftains of old,
sitting upright, in the uniform given him by President Jackson, with
his hand resting on the cane presented by Henry Clay.

He, too, said, "I like to look upon the Mississippi. I have looked
upon it from a child. I love that beautiful river. My home has always
been upon its banks." And there they buried him. Every day at sunset
travellers along that road heard the weird heart-broken wail of
Singing Bird, the widow of Black Hawk.



XXII

_THE NEW WEST_


Four years after the death of Governor Clark began the rush to Oregon.
Dr. Lewis F. Linn, Senator from Missouri, and grandson of William
Linn, the trusted lieutenant of George Rogers Clark, introduced a bill
in Congress offering six hundred and forty acres of land to every
family that would emigrate to Oregon. The Linns came to Missouri with
Daniel Boone, and with the Boones they looked ever west! west!

"Six hundred and forty acres of land! A solid square mile of God's
earth, clear down to the centre!" men exclaimed in amaze. While Ohio
was still new, and the Mississippi Valley billowed her carpets of
untrodden bloom, an eagle's flight beyond, civilisation leaped to
Oregon.

From ferries where Kansas City and Omaha now stand they started,
crossing the Platte by fords, by waggon-beds lashed together, and on
rafts, darkening the stream for days. Before their buffalo hunters,
innumerable herds made the earth tremble where Kansas-Nebraska cities
are to-day. In 1843 Marcus Whitman piloted the first waggon train
through to the Columbia.

"A thousand people? Starving did you say? Lord! Lord! They must have
help to-night," exclaimed Dr. McLoughlin, the old white-haired
Hudson's Bay trader at Fort Vancouver.

"Man the boats! People are starving at the Dalles!" and the
noble-hearted representative of a rival government sent out his
provision-laden bateaux to rescue the perishing Americans, who in
spite of storms and tempests were gliding down the great Columbia as
sixty years before their fathers floated down the Indian-haunted
Ohio.

And Indians were here, with tomahawks ready.

"Let us kill these Bostons!"

McLoughlin heard the word, and shook the speaker as a terrier shakes a
rat.

"Dogs, you shall be punished!"

In his anxiety lest harm should come to the approaching Americans, all
night long, his white hair wet in the rain, Dr. McLoughlin stood
watching the boats coming down the Columbia, and building great
bonfires where Lewis and Clark had camped in 1806. Women and little
children and new-born babes slept in the British fur-trader's fort.
Anglo-Saxon greeted Anglo-Saxon in the conquest of the world, to march
henceforward hand in hand for ever.

Among the emigrants on the plains in 1846, was Alphonso Boone, the son
of Jesse, the son of Daniel. Several grown-up Boone boys were there,
and the beautiful Chloe and her younger sisters.

Chloe Boone rode a thorough-bred mare, a descendant of the choicest
Boone stock, from the old Kentucky blue-grass region. Mounted upon her
high-stepping mare, Chloe and her sisters and other young people of
the train rode on ahead of the slow-going line of waggons and oxen.
Gay was the laughter, and merry the songs, that rang out on the bright
morning air.

Francis Parkman, the great historian, then a young man just out of
college, was on the plains that year, collecting material for his
books. Now and then they met parties of soldiers going to the Mexican
War, and many a boy in blue turned to catch a glimpse of the sweet
girl faces in Chloe's train.

Happily they rode in the Spring on the plains; more slowly when the
heats of Summer came and the sides of the Rocky Mountains grew steep
and rough; and slower still in the parched lands beyond, when the
woodwork of the waggons began to shrink, and the worn-out animals to
faint and fall.

"So long a journey!" said Chloe. Six months it took. Clothes wore out,
babes were born, and people died.

They came into Oregon by the southern route, guided by Daniel Boone's
old compass, the one given him by Dunmore to bring in the surveyors
from the Falls of the Ohio seventy-two years before.

The Fall rains had set in. The Umpqua River was swollen,--eighteen
times from bank to bank Chloe forded, in getting down Umpqua canyon.

"We shall have to leave the waggons and heavy baggage with a guard,"
said Colonel Boone, "and hurry on to the settlements."

They reached the Willamette Valley, pitched their tents where
Corvallis now stands, and that Winter, in a little log cabin, Chloe
Boone taught the first school ever conducted by a woman outside of the
missions in Oregon.

Leaving the girls, Colonel Boone went back after the waggons. Alas!
the guard was killed, the camp was looted, and Daniel Boone's old
compass was gone for ever. Its work was done.

Alphonso Boone built a mansion near the present capital city of Salem
and here Chloe married the Governor, George L. Curry, and for years
beside the old Boone fireside the Governor's wife extended the
hospitalities of the rising State. Albert Gallatin Boone camped on the
site of Denver twenty years before Denver was, and negotiated the sale
of Colorado from the Indians to the United States. John C. Boone, son
of Nathan Boone, explored a new cut-off and became a pioneer of
California. James Madison Boone drove stakes in Texas.

What years had passed since the expedition of Lewis and Clark! It
seemed like a bygone event, but one who had shared its fortunes still
lived on and on,--our old friend, Patrick Gass. In the War of 1812,
above the roaring Falls of Niagara, Sergeant Gass spiked the enemy's
cannon at the battle of Lundy's Lane. Years went on. A plain
unpretentious citizen, Patrick worked at his trade in Wellsburg and
raised his family.

In 1856 Patrick Gass headed a delegation of gray-haired veterans of
the War of 1812 to Washington, and was everywhere lionised as the last
of the men of Lewis and Clark.

On July 4, 1861, the land was aflame over the firing on Fort Sumter.
All Wellsburg with her newly enlisted regiments for the war was
gathered at Apple Pie Ridge to celebrate the day.

"Where is Patrick Gass?"

A grand carriage was sent for him, and on the shoulders of the boys in
blue he was brought in triumph to the platform.

"Speech! speech!"

And the speech of his life Patrick Gass made that day, for his country
and the Union. The simple, honest old hero brought tears to every eye,
with a glimpse of the splendid drama of Lewis and Clark. Again they
saw those early soldier-boys bearing the flag across the Rockies,
suffering starvation and danger and almost death, to carry their
country to the sea.

"But me byes, it's not a picnic ye're goin' to,--oh, far from it! No!
no! 'T will be hard fur ye when ye come marchin' back lavin' yer
comrades lyin' far from home and friends, but there is One to look to,
who has made and kept our country."

It seemed the applause would never cease, with cheering and firing of
cannon.

"Stay! stay!" cried the people. "Sit up on the table and let us have
our banquet around you with the big flag floating over your head." In
an instant Pat was down.

"Far enough is far enough!" he cried, "and be the divil, will yez try
to make sport of mesilf?" Excitedly the modest old soldier slipped
away.

The war ended. A railroad crossed the plains. Oregon and California
were States. Alaska was bought. Still Pat lived on, until 1870, when
he fell asleep, at the age of ninety-nine, the last of the heroic band
of Lewis and Clark.

William Walker, who gave to the world the story of the Nez Percés, led
his Wyandots into Kansas, and, with the first white settlers,
organising a Provisional Government after the plan of Oregon, became
himself the first Governor of Kansas-Nebraska.

Oh, Little Crow! Little Crow! what crimes were committed in thy name!
In the midst of the war, 1862, Little Crow the third arose against the
white settlers of Minnesota in one of the most frightful massacres
recorded in history. Then came Sibley's expedition sweeping on west,
opening the Dakotas and Montana.

The Indian? He fought and was vanquished. How we are beginning to love
our Indians, now that we fear them no longer! No wild man ever so
captured the imagination of the world. With inherent nobility, courage
to the border of destruction, patriotism to the death, absolutely
refusing to be enslaved, he stands out the most perfect picture of
primeval man. We might have tamed him but we had not time. The
movement was too swift, the pressure behind made the white men drivers
as the Indians had driven before. Civilisation demands repose, safety.
And until repose and safety came we could do no effective work for the
Indian. We of to-day have lived the longest lives, for we have seen a
continent transformed.

We have forgotten that a hundred years ago Briton and Spaniard and
Frenchman were hammering at our gates; forgotten that the Indian
beleaguered our wooden castles; forgotten that wolves drummed with
their paws on our cabin doors, snapping their teeth like steel traps,
while the mother hushed the wheel within and children crouched beneath
the floor.

O mothers of a mighty past, thy sons are with us yet, fighting new
battles, planning new conquests, for law, order, and justice.

Where rolls the Columbia and where the snow-peaks of Hood, Adams,
Jefferson, Rainier, and St. Helens look down, a metropolis has arisen
in the very Multnomah where Clark took his last soundings. Northward,
Seattle sits on her Puget sea, southward San Francisco smiles from her
golden gate, Spanish no more. Over the route where Lewis and Clark
toiled slowly a hundred years ago, lo! in three days the traveller
sits beside the sunset. Five transcontinental lines bear the rushing
armies westward, ever westward into the sea. Bewildered a moment they
pause, then turn--to the Conquest of the Poles and the Tropics. The
frontiersman? He is building Nome City under the Arctic: he is hewing
the forests of the Philippines.



       *       *       *       *       *



Transcriber's note:

  Inconsistent hyphenation and spelling in the original document have
  been preserved.

  Obvious typographical errors have been corrected.





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