Prefatory Materials

The canoe and the saddle:  adventures among the northwestern rivers and
forests, and Isthmiana.

Extracted from



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1862, by TICKNOR AND FIELDS,
In the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts. 



A wall of terrible breakers marks the mouth of the Columbia, Achilles of rivers.

Other mighty streams ’May swim feebly away seaward, may sink into foul marshes, may trickle through the ditches of an oozy delta, may scatter among sand-bars the currents that once moved majestic and united.  But to this heroic flood was destined a short life and a glorious one—­a life all one strong, victorious struggle, from the mountains to the sea.  It has no infancy, two great branches collect its waters up and down the continent.  They join, and the Columbia is born to full manhood.  It rushes forward, jubilant, through its magnificent chasm, and leaps to its death in the Pacific.

Through its white wall of breakers Captain Gray, with his bark, the Columbia, first steered boldly to discover and name the stream.  I will not invite my reader to follow this example, and buffet in the wrecking uproar on the bar.  The Columbia, rolling seaward, repels us.

Let us rather coast along northward, and enter the Northwest by the Straits of De Fuca, upon the mighty tides of an inland sea.  We will profit by this inward eddy of ocean to float quietly past Vancouver’s Island, and land at Kahtai, Port Townsend, the opening scene of my narrative.

The adventures chronicled in these pages happened some years ago, but the story of a civilized man’s solitary onslaught at barbarism cannot lose its interest.  A drama with Indian actors, in Indian costume, upon an Indian stage, is historical, whether it happened two hundred years since in the northeast, or five years since in the northwest corner of our country.


The Duke of York was ducally drunk.  His brother, King George, was drunk, royally.  Royalty may disdain public opinion, and fall as low as it pleases.  But a brother of the throne, leader of the opposition, possible Regent, possible King, must retain at least a swaying perpendicular.  King George had kept his chair of state until an angular sitting position was impossible; then he had subsided into a curvilinear droop, and at last fairly toppled over, and lay in his lodge, limp and stertorous.

In his lodge lay Georgius Rex, in flabby insensibility.  Dead to the duties of sovereignty was the King of the Klalams.  Like other royal Georges, in palaces more regal than this Port Townsend wigwam, in realms more civilized than here, where the great tides of Puget’s Sound rise and fall, this royal George had sunk in absolute wreck.  Kings are but men.  Several kings have thought themselves the god Bacchus.  George of the Klalams had imbibed this ambilious error, and had proved himself very much lower than a god, much lower than a man, lower than any plebeian Klalam, Indian, a drunken king.

In the great shed of slabs that served them for palace sat the Queen, sat the Queens, mild-eyed, melancholy, copper-colored persons, also, sad to say, not sober.  Etiquette demanded inebriety.  The stern rules of royal indecorum must be obeyed.  The Queen Dowager had succumbed to ceremony; the Queen Consort was sinking; every lesser queen, the favorites for sympathy, the neglected for consolation, all had imitated their lord and master.

Courtiers had done likewise.  Chamberlain Gold Stick, Black Rod, Garter King at Arms, a dozen high functionaries, were prostrate by the side of prostrate majesty.  Courtiers grovelled with their sovereign.  Sardanapalus never presided, until he could preside no longer, at a more tumble-down orgie.

King, royal household, and court all were powerless, and I was a suppliant here, on the waters of the Pacific, for means of commencing my homeward journey across the continent toward the Atlantic.  I needed a bark from that fleet by which King George ruled the waves.  I had dallied too long at Vancouver’s Island, under the hospitable roof of the Hudson’s Bay Company, and had consumed invaluable hours in making a detour from my proper course to inspect the house, the saw-mill, the bluff, and the beach, called Port Townsend.  These were the last days of August, 1853.  I was to meet my overland comrades, a pair of roughs, at the Dalles of the Columbia on the first of September.  Between me and the rendezvous were the leagues of Puget’s Sound, the preparation for an ultramontane trip, the passes of the Cascades, and all the dilatoriness and danger of Indian guidance.  Moments now were worth days of common life.

Therefore, as I saw those winged moments flit away unharnessed to my chariot of departure, I became wroth, and, advancing where the king of all this region lay, limp, stertorous, and futile, I kicked him liberally.

Yes!  I have kicked a king!

Proudly I claim that I have outdone the most radical regicide.  I have offered indignities to the person of royalty with a moccasined toe.  Would that that toe had been robustly booted!  In his Sans Souci, his OEil de Boeuf, his Brighton Pavilion, I kicked so much of a first gentleman of his realm as was George R., and no scalping-knife leaped from greasy seal-skin sheath to avenge the insult.  One bottle-holder in waiting, upon whose head I had casually trodden, did indeed stagger to his seat, and stammer truculently in Chinook jargon, “Potlatch lum!  Give me to drink,” quoth he, and incontinently fell prone again, a poor, collapsed bottle-holder.

But kicking the insensible King of the Klalams, that dominant nation on the southern shores of Puget’s Sound, did not procure me one of his canoes and a crew of his braves to paddle me to Nisqually, my next station, for a blanket apiece and gratuities of sundries.  There was no help to be had from that smoky barn or its sorry inmates, so regally nicknamed by British voyagers.  I left them lying upon their dirty mats, among their fishy baskets, and strode away, applying the salutary toe to each dignitary as I passed.

Fortunately, without I found the Duke of York, only ducally drunk.  A duke’s share of the potables had added some degrees to the arc of Vibration of his swagger, but had not sent it beyond equilibrium.  He was a reversed pendulum, somewhat spasmodic in swing, and not constructed on the compensation principle, when one muscle relaxed, another did not tighten.  However, the Duke was still sober enough to have speculation in his eyes, and as he was Regent now, and Lord High Admiral, I might still by his favor be expedited.

It was a chance festival that had intoxicated the Klalams, king and court.  There had been a fraternization, a powwow, a wahwah, a peace congress with some neighboring tribe, perhaps the Squaksnamish, or Squallyamish, or Sinahomish, or some other of the Whulgeamish, dwellers by Whulge, the waters of Puget’s Sound.  And just as the festival began, there had come to Port Townsend, or Kahtai, where the king of the Klalams, or S’ Klalams, now reigned, a devil’s end of a lumber brig, with liquor of the fieriest.  An orgie followed, a nation was prostrate.

The Duke was my only hope.  Yet I must not betray eagerness.  A dignitary among Indians does not like to be bored with energy.  If I were too ardent, the Duke would grow coy.  Prices would climb to the unapproachable.  Any exhibition of impatience would cost me largess of beads, if not blankets, beyond the tariff for my canoe-hire.  A frugal mind, and, on the other hand, a bent toward irresponsible pleasure, kept the Duke palpably wavering.  He would joyfully stay and complete his saturnalia, and yet the bliss of more chattels, and consequent consideration, tempted him.  Which shall it be, “lumoti” or “pississy,” bottle or blanket? revel and rum, or toil and toilette? the great alternative on which civilization hinges, as well among Klalams as elsewhere.  Sunbeams are so warm, and basking such dulcet, do-nothing bliss, why overheat one’s self now for the woollen raiment of future warmth?  Not merely warmth, but wealth, wives, chiefest of luxuries, are bought with blankets; with them canoes are bought, and to a royal highness of savages, blankets are purple, ermine, and fine linen.

Calling the Duke’s attention to these facts, I wooed him cautiously, as craft wooes coyness; I assumed a lofty indifference of demeanor, and negotiated with him from a sham vantage-ground of money-power, knowing what trash my purse, would be, if he refused to be tempted.  A grotesque jargon called Chinook is the lingua-franca of the whites and Indians of the Northwest.  Once the Chinooks were the most numerous tribe along the Columbia, and the first, from their position at its mouth, to meet and talk with strangers.  Now it is all over with them; their bones are dust; small-pox and spirits have eliminated the race.  But there grew up between them and the traders a lingo, an incoherent coagulation of words, as much like a settled, logical language as a legion of centrifugal, marauding Bashi Bazouks, every man a Jack-of-all-trades, a beggar and blackguard, is like an accurate, unanimous, disciplined battalion.  It is a jargon of English, French, Spanish, Chinook, Kallapooga, Haida, and other tongues, civilized and savage.  It is an attempt on a small scale to nullify Babel by combining a confusion of tongues into a confounding of tongues, a witches’ caldron in which the vocable that bobs up may be some old familiar Saxon verb, having suffered Procrustean docking or elongation, and now doing substantive duty; or some strange monster, evidently nurtured within the range of tomahawks and calumets.  There is some danger that the beauties of this dialect will be lost to literature, “Carent quia vate sacro.”

The Chinook jargon still expects its poet.  As several of my characters will use this means of conveying their thoughts to my reader, and employ me only as an interpreter, I have thought it well to aid comprehension by this little philological preface.

My big talk with the Duke of York went on in such a lingo, somewhat as follows: 

“Pottlelum mitlite King Jawge; Drunk lieth King George,” said I.  “Cultus tyee ocook; a beggarly majesty that.  Hyas tyee mika; a mighty prince art thou, pe kumtux skookoom mamook esick; and knowest how robustly to ply paddle.  Nika tikky hyack klatawah copa Squally, copa canim; I would with speed canoe it to Squally.  Hui pississy nika potlatch pe hui ikta; store of blankets will I give, and plenteous sundries.”

“Nawitka siks; yea, friend,” responded the Duke, grasping my hand, after two drunken clutches at empty air.  “Klosche nika tum, tum copa hyas Baasten tyee; tender is my heart toward thee, o great Yankee don.  Yaka pottlelum-halo nika-wake cultus mann Dookeryawk; he indeed is drunk, not I, no loafer-man, the Duke of York.  Mitlite canim; got canoe.  Pe klosche nika tikky klatawah copa Squally; and heartily do I wish to go to Squally.”

Had the Duke wavered still, and been apathetic to temptation of blankets, and sympathetic toward the joys of continued saturnalia, a new influence now brought to bear would have steadied him.  One of his Duchesses, Only duchessly intoxicated, came forth from the ducal lodge, and urged him to effort.

“Go, by all means, with the distinguished stranger, my love,” said she, in Chinook, “and I will be the solace of thy voyage.  Perchance, also, a string of beads and a pocket-mirror shall be my meed from the Boston chief, a very generous Man, I am sure.”  Then she smiled enticingly, her flat-faced grace, and introduced herself as Jenny Lind, or, as she called it, “Chin Lin.”  Indianesque, not fully Indian, was her countenance.  There was a trace of tin in her copper color, possibly a dash of Caucasian blood in her veins.  Brazenness of hue was the result of this union, and a very pretty color it is with eloquent blushes mantling through it, as they do Mantle in Indian cheeks.  Her forehead was slightly and coquettishly flattened by art, as a woman’s should be by nature, unless nature destines her for missions foreign to feminineness, and means that she shall be an intellectual roundhead, and shall sternly keep a graceless school, to irritate youthful cherubim into original sinners.  Indian maids are pretty; Indian dames are bags.  Only high civilization keeps its women beautiful to the last.  Indian belles have some delights of toilette worthy of consideration by their blonde sisterhood.  O mistaken harridans of Christendom, so bountifully painted and powdered, did ye but know how much better than your diffusiveness of daub is the concentrated brilliance of vermilion stripes parting at the nose-bridge and streaming athwart the cheeks!  Knew ye but this, at once ye would reform from your undeluding shams, and recover the forgotten charms of acknowledged pinxit.

At last, persuaded by his own desires and the solicitations of his fair Duchess, the Duke determined to transport me.  He pointed to a grand canoe on the beach, that should be our Bucentaur, and now he must don robes of ceremony for the voyage.  For, indeed, both ducal personages were in deshabille.  A dirty shirt, blue and short, was the Duke’s chief habiliment; hers, a shirt longer, but no cleaner.

Within his palace-curtains now disappeared the second grandee of the Klalams, to bedeck himself.  Presently I lifted the banging mat that served for door to his shed of slabs, and followed him.  His family and suite were but crapulous after their less than royal potations.  He despatched two sleepy braves to make ready the canoe, and find paddles.

“Where is my cleanest shirt, Chin Lin? he asked.

“Nika macook lum; I buy grog with um,” replied the Duchess.

“Cultus mamook; a dastardly act,” growled the Duke, “and I will thwack thee for ’t.”

Jenny Lind sank meekly upon the mud-floor, and wept, while the Duke smote her with palm, fist, and staff.

“Kopet! hold!” cried I, rushing forward.

Thy beauteous spouse has bought the nectar for thy proper jollity.  Even were she selfish, it is uncivilized to smite the fair.  Among the Bostons, when women wrong us, we give pity or contempt, but not the strappado.”  Harangues to Indians are traditionally in such lofty style.

The Duke suffered himself to be appeased and proceeded to dress without the missing article.  He donned a faded black frock-coat, evidently a misfit for its first owner in civilization, and transmitted down a line of deformed wearers to fall amorphous on the shoulders of him of York.  For coronet he produced no gorgeous combination of velvet, strawberry-leaves, and pearls; but a hat or tile, also of civilization, wrinkled with years and battered by world-wandering, crowned him frowzily.  Black dress pantaloons of brassy sheen, much crinkled at the bottom, where they fell over moccasins with a faded scarlet instep-piece, completed his costume.  A very shabby old-clo’ Duke.  A virulent radical would have enjoyed him heartily, as an emblem of decay in the bloated aristocracy of this region.  Red paint daubed over his clumsy nose, and about the flats surrounding his little, disloyal, dusky eyes, kept alive the traditional Indian in his appearance.  Otherwise he might have been taken for a decayed priest turned bar-tender, or a colporteur of tracts on spiritualism, or an exconstable pettifogger in a police court.  Commerce, alas! had come to the waters of Whulge, stolen away his Indian simplicity, and made him a caricature, dress, name, and nature.  A primitive Klalam, clad in skins and undevoured by the flames of fire-water, he would have done well enough as a type of fish-fed barbarism.  Civilization came, with step-mother kindness, baptized him with rum, clothed him in discarded slops, and dubbed him Duke of York.  Hapless scarecrow, disreputable dignitary, no dukeling of thine shall ever become the Louis Philippe of Klalam revolutions.  Boston men are coming in their big canoes over sea.  Pikes have shaken off the fever and ague on the banks of the muddy Missouri, and are striding beyond the Rockys.  Nasal twangs from the east and west soon will sound thy trump of doom.  Squatters will sit upon thy dukedom, and make it their throne.

Tides in Whulge, which the uneducated maps call Puget’s Sound, rush with impetus, rising and falling eighteen or twenty feet.  The tide was rippling winningly up to the stranded canoes.  Our treaty was made; our costume was complete; we prepared to embark.  But lo! a check!  In malignant sulks, King George came forth from his mal-perfumed lodge of red-smeared slabs.  “Veto,” said he.  “Dog am I, and this is my manger.  Every canoe of the fleet is mine, and from this beach not one shall stir this day of festival!”

Whereupon, after a wrangle, short and sharp, with the Duke, in which the King whipped out a knife, and brandished it with drunken vibrations in my face, he staggered back, and again lay in his lodge, limp and stertorous.  Had he felt my kick, or was this merely an impulse of discontented ire?

How now?  Could we not dethrone the sovereign, and confiscate his property?  There are precedents for such a course.  But savage life is full of chances.  As I was urging the soberish Duke to revolutionary acts, or at least to a forced levy from the royal navy, a justifiable piracy, two canoes appeared rounding the point.

“‘Come unto these yellow sands,’ ye brasscolored braves,” we cried.  They were coming, each crew roving anywhither, and soon, by the Duke’s agency, I struck a bargain for the leaky better of the two vessels.

No clipper that ever creaked from statu quo in Webb’s shipyard, and rumbled heavily along the ways, and rushed as if to drown itself in its new element, and then went cleaving across the East River, staggering under the intoxicating influence of a champagne-bottle with a blue ribbon round its neck, cracked on the rudderpost by a blushing priestess, no such grand result of modern skill ever surpassed in mere model the canoe I had just chartered for my voyage to Squally.  Here was the type of speed and grace to which the most untrammelled civilization has reverted, after cycles of junk, galleon, and galliot building, cycles of lubberly development, but full of instruction as to what can be done with the best type when it is reasoned out or rediscovered.  My vessel was a black dug-out with a red gunwale.  Forty feet of pine-tree had been burnt and whittled into a sharp, buoyant canoe.  Sundry cross-pieces strengthened it, and might be used as seats or backs.  A row of small shells inserted in the red-smeared gunwale served as talismans against Bugaboo.  Its master was a withered ancient; its mistress a haggish crone.  These two were of unsavory and fishy odor.  Three young men, also of unsavory and fishy odor, completed the crew.  Salmon mainly had been the lifelong diet of all, and they were oozier with its juices than I could wish of people I must touch and smell for a voyage of two days.

In the bargain for canoe and crew, the Duke constituted himself my courier.  I became his prey.  The rule of tea-making, where British ideas prevail, is a rough generalization, a spoonful for the pot and one for each bibber.  The tariff of canoe-hire on Whulge is equally simple, a blanket for the boat, and one for each paddler.  The Duke carefully included himself and Jenny Lind among the paddling recipients of blankets.  I ventured to express the view that both he and his Duchess would be unwashed supernumeraries.  At this he was indignant.  He felt himself necessary as impresario of the expedition.

“Wake closche ocook olyman siwash; no good that oldman savage,” said he, pointing to the skipper.  “Yaka pottlelum, conoway pottlelum; he drunk, all drunk.  Wake kumtux Squally; no understand Squally.  Hyas tyee Dookeryawk, wake pottlelum, kumtux skookoom mamook esick, pe tikky hyack klatawah copa Squally; mighty chief the Duke of York, not drunk, understand to ply paddle mightily, and want to go fast to Squally.”

“Very well,” said I, “I throw myself into your hands.  My crew, then, numbers six, the three fishy youths, Olyman siwash, Jenny Lind, and yourself.  As to Olyman’s fishy squaw, she must be temporarily divorced, and go ashore; dead weight will impede our voyage.”

“Nawitka,” responded the Klalam, “cultus ocook olyman cloocheman; no use that oldman woman.”  So she went ashore, bow-legged, monotonous, and a fatalist, like all old squaws.

“And now,” continued the Duke, drawing sundry greasy documents from the pocket of that shapeless draggle-tail coat of his, “mika tikky nanitch nika teapot; wilt thou inspect my certificates?”

I took the foul papers without a shudder—­have we not all been educated out of squeamishness by handling the dollar-bills of civilization?  There was nothing ambiguous in the wording of these “teapots.”  It chanced sometimes, in days of chivalry, that spies bore Missions with clauses sinister to themselves, as this:  “The bearer is a losel vile, have you never a hangman and an oak for him?” The Duke’s testimonials were of similar import.  They were signed by Yankee skippers, by British naval officers, by casual travellers, all unanimous in opprobrium.  He was called a drunken rascal, a shameless liar, a thief; called each of these in various idioms, with plentiful epithets thrown in, according to the power of imagery possessed by the author.  Such certificates he presented gravely, and with tranquil pride.  He deemed himself indorsed by civilization, not branded.  Men do not always comprehend the world’s cynical praise.  It seemed also that his Grace had once voyaged to San Francisco in what he called a “skookoom canim copa moxt stick; a colossal canoe with two masts.”  He did not state what part he played on board, whether cook, captain, stowaway, or Klalam plenipo to those within the Golden Gate.  His photograph had been taken at San Francisco.  This he also exhibited in a grandiose manner, the Duchess, Olyman siwash, and the three fishy siwashes examining it with wonder and grunts of delight.

Now it must not be supposed that the Duke was not still ducally drunk, or that it was easy to keep him steady in position or intention.  Olyman siwash, also, though not patently intoxicated, wished to be, so did the three unsavory, hickory-shirted, mat-haired, truculent siwashes.  Olyman would frequently ask me, aside, in the strange, unimpassioned, expressionless undertone of an Indian, for a “lumoti,” Chinook jargon for la bouteille, meaning no empty bottle, but a full.  Never a lumoti of delay and danger got Olyman from me.  Our preparations went heavily enough.  Sometimes the whole party would squat on the beach, and jabber for ten minutes, ending always by demanding of me liquor or higher wages.  But patience and purpose always prevail.  At last, by cool urgency, I got them all on board and away.  Adieu Port Townsend, then a town of one house on a grand bluff, and one saw-mill in a black ravine.  Adieu intoxicated lodges of Georgius Rex Klalamorum!  Adieu Royalty!  Remember my kick, and continue to be happy as you may.


According to the cosmical law that regulates the west ends of the world, Whulge is more interesting than any of the eastern waters of our country, Tame Albemarle and Pamlico, Chesapeake and Delaware, Long Island Sound, and even the Maine Archipelago and Frenchman’s Bay, cannot compare with it.  Whulge is worthy of the Scandinavian savor of its name.  Its cockney misnomer should be dropped.  Already the critical world demands who was “Puget,” and why should the title be saved from Lethe and given to a sound.  Whulge is a vast fiord, parting rocks and forests primeval with a mighty tide.  Chesapeakes and the like do very well for oyster “fundums” and shad-fisheries, but Whulge has a picturesque significance as much greater as its salmon are superior to the osseous shad of the east.  Some of its beauties will appear in this my voyage.

I sat comfortably amidships in my stately but leaky galley, Bucentaur hight for the nonce.

Olyman siwash steered.  The Duke and Duchess, armed with idle Paddles, were between him and me.  The fishy trio were arranged forward, paddling to starboard and port.  It was past noon of an August day, sultry, but not blasting, as are the summer days of that far Northwest.  We sped on gallantly, paddling and spreading a blanket to the breeze.

The Duke, however, sogered bravely, and presently called a halt.  Then, to my consternation, he produced a “lumoti” and passed it.  Potations pottle-deep ensued.  Each reveller took one sixth of the liquor, and, after the Duke’s exhaustive draught, an empty bottle floated astern.  A general stagger began to be perceptible among the sitters.  Their paddling grew spasmodic.

After an interval I heard again a popping sound, not unknown to me.  A gurgle followed.  I turned.  The Duke was pouring out a cupful from his second bottle.  He handed me the cup and lumoti for transmission to the fishy, forward.  This must stop.  I deposited the bottle by my side and emptied the cup into Whulge.  Into an arm of the Pacific in the far Northwest I poured that gill of fire-water.  Answer me from the northeast corner, O Neal Dow, was it well done?

Then raged the siwashes all, from Olyman perched on high and wielding a helmsman paddle aft, to a special blackguard in the bow with villain eyes no bigger than a flattened pea, and a jungle of coarse black hair, thick as the mane of a buffalo bull.  All stowed their paddles and talked violently in their own tongue.  It was a guttural, sputtering language in its calmest articulation, and now every word burst forth like the death-rattle of a garroted man.

Finally, in Chinook, “Kopet; be still,” said the Duke.  “Keelapi; turnabout,” said, he.

They brandished paddles, and, whirling the canoe around, tore up the water violently for a few strokes.  I said nothing.  Presently they paused, and talked more frantically than before.  Something was about to happen.

Aha!  What is that, O Duke?  A knife!

What are these, O dirty siwashes?  Guns are these, flint-locks of the Hudson’s Bay pattern.  “Guns for thee, O spiteful spiller of enlivening beverage, and capturer of a lumoti.  Butchery is the order of the day!”

“Look you, then, aborigines all.  I carry six siwash lives at my girdle.  This machine, mark it well!, is called a six-shooter, an eight-inch navy revolver, invented by Col.  Sam Colt, of Hartford, Conn.  God bless him!  We are seven, and I should regret sending you six others to the Unhappy Hunting-Grounds of the Kicuali Tyee, Anglice Devil, the lowermost chieftain.  Look down this muzzle as I whisk it about and bring it to bear on each of you in turn.  Rifled you observe.  Pleasant, well-oiled click that cylinder has.  Behold, also, this other double-barrelled piece of artillery, loaded, as you saw but now, with polecat-shot, in case we should see one of these black and white objects skulking along shore.  Unsavory though ye be, my Klalams, I should not wish to identify you in your deaths with that animal.”

Saying this, with an air of indifference, but in expressive pantomime, I could not fail to perceive that the situation was critical.  Three drunken Indians on this side, and two and a woman on that, and I playing bottle-holder in the midst, what would follow?  Their wild talk and threatening gestures continued.  I kept my pistol and one eye cocked at him of the old clo’, the, teapots, and the daguerrotype; my other eye and the double-barrel covered the trio in the bow.  This dead lock lasted several minutes.  Meantime the canoe had yielded to the tide, and was now sweeping on in a favorable course.

At last the Duke laid down his knife, Olyman siwash his gun, the three fishy ones theirs, and his Grace, stretching forth an eloquent arm, made a neat speech.  Fluency is impossible in few-worded Chinook jargon, but brevity is more potent.

“Hyas silex nika; in wrathful sulks am I. Masatche nika tum tum copa mika; bitter is my heart toward thee.  Wake cultus tyee Dooker-yawk; no paltry sachem, the Duke of York.  Wake kamooks, halo pottlelum; no dog, by no Means a soaker.  Ancoti conoway tikky mamook iscum mika copa Squally, alta halo; but now, all wished to conduct thee to Squally; now, not so.  Alta nesika wake tikky pississy, pe shirt, pe polealely, pe Kaliaton, pe hiu ikta, tikky keelapi; now we no want blankets and shirts and powder and shot and many traps, want to return.  Conoway silex, tikky moosum; all in the sulks, want to sleep.”

Whereupon, as if at a signal, all six dived deep into slumber, slumber at first pretended, perhaps to throw me off my guard, perhaps a crafty method of evading the difficulty of a reconciliation, and the shame of yielding.  So deep did they plunge into sham sleep, that they sunk into real, and presently I heard the gurgle of snores.

While they slept, the canoe drifted over Whulge.  Fleet waters bore me on whither they listed, fortunately whither I also listed, and, if ever the vessel yawed, a few quiet strokes with the paddle set her right again.  The current drew me away from under shore, and to the South, through distancing haze of summer the noble group of the Olympian Mountains became visible, a grand family of vigorous growth, worthy more perfect knowledge.  They fill the southern promontory, where Whulge passes into the Pacific, at the Straits of De Fuca.  On the highest pinnacles of this sierra, glimmers of perpetual snow in sheltered dells and crevices gave me pleasant, chilly thoughts in that hot August day.  After the disgusting humanity of King George’s realms, and after the late period of rebellion and disorganization, the calming influence of these azure luminous peaks, their blue slashed with silver, was transcendent.

So I sat watchful, and by and by I heard a gentle voice, “Wake nika moosum; I sleep not.”

“Sleepest thou not, pretty Duchess, flat-faced one, with chevrons vermilion culminating at thy nose-bridge?  Wilt thou forgive me for spilling thy nectar, Lalage of the dulcet laugh, dulcet-spoken Lalage?  Would that thou wert clean as well as pretty, and had known but seldom the too fragrant salmon! would that I had never seen thee toss off a waterless gill of fire-water!  Please wake the Duke.”

The Duke woke.  Olyman woke.  Woke Klalams one and all.  Sleep had banished wrath and rancor.  All grasped their paddles, and, soon warming with work, the fugleman waked a wild chant, and to its stirring vibrations the canoe shook and leaped forward like a salmon in the buzz of a tideway.

We careered on for an hour.  Then I suggested a pause and a picnic.  Brilliant and friendly thought, “Conoway tikky muckamuck”; all want to eat.  Take then, my pardoned crew, from my stores, portions of dried cod.  Thin it is, translucent, and very nice for Klalam or Yankee.  Take also hardtack at discretion, “pire sapolol,” or fired corn, as ye name it.  Our picnic was rumless, wholesome, and amicable, and after it paddling and songs were renewed with vigor.  We were not alone upon Whulge.  Many lumber vessels were drifting or at anchor under the opposite shore, loaded mainly with fir-trees, soon to be drowned as piles for San Francisco docks.  Those were prosperous days in the Pacific.  The country which goes to sea through Whulge had recently split away from Oregon, and called itself Washington, after the General of that name.  Indian Whulgeamish and Yankee Whulgers were reasonably polite to each other, the Pacific Railroad was to be built straightway, Ormus and Ind were to become tributary.  It was the epoch of hope, but fruition has not yet come.  Savages and Yankees have since been scalping each other in the most uncivil way, the P. R. R. creeps slowly outward, Ormus and Ind are chary of tribute.  Dreams of growth are faster than growth.

The persons of my crew have been described.

They all, according to a superstition quite common among Indians, declined to give their names, or even an alias, as other scamps might do, except the Duke and Duchess, proud in their foreign appellatives.  I will substitute, therefore, the names of the crew of another canoe in which I had previously voyaged from Squally to Vancouver’s Island, with Dr. Tolmie, factor of the Hudson’s Bay Company at the former place.  These were, 1.  Unstu or Hahal, the handsome; 2.  Mastu or La Hache; 3.  Khaadza; 4.  Snawhaylal; 5.  Ay-ay-whun, briefly A-wy; 6.  Ai-tu-so; 7.  Nuckutzoot; 8.  Paicks; and two women, Tlaiwhal and Smoikit-um-whal, “Smoikit” meaning chief.  They were of several different tribes, Squallyamish, Skagets, members of the different “amish” that dwell along the Sound, and two, Ai-tu-so and Nuckutzoot, proudly distinguished themselves as Haida, a generic name applied to nations northward of Whulge.  These few type names, not without melody or drollery, may be interesting to the philo-siwash.  It would be inappropriate to the method of this sketch to go into detail with regard to Indians of Whulge.  But literature has taken little notice of those distant gentry, and before they retreat into the dim past, to become subjects of threnody with other lost tribes, let me chronicle a few surface facts of their life and manners.

It seems a sorry thing but is really a wise admonition of Nature, that we should first distinguish in people their faults and deformities.  The first observation when one of the Whulgeamish appears is, “Lo the flat-head!” Among them a tight-strapped cushion controls the elastic skull of childhood, crushing it back idiotic.  Now a forehead should not be too round, or a nose too straight, or a cheek too ruddy, or a hand too small.  Nature, however, does quite well enough by those she means to be flat-head beauties.  Indians do not recognize this, and strive to better Nature.  Civilization, beholding the total failure of the skull-crushing system, is warned, and resolves to discard its coxcombries and deformities, and to strive to develop, not to distort, the body and soul.

Are thoughts equally profound to be suggested by other corporeal members of Klalams and their brethren?  All are bow-legged.  All of a sadcolored, Caravaggio brown, through which salmon-juices exude, and which is varnished with fish-oil.  All have coarse black hair, and are beardless.  Old people of either sex are hardly to be distinguished, man from woman.  The young ladies are not without charms, and blush ingenuously.  The fashion of fish-ivory ornaments, hung to the lower lip, has retreated northward, and glass beads and necklaces of hiaqua, a shell like a quill tooth-pick, conchologically known as a species of Dentalium, have replaced the disgusting labial appendages.  Hickory shirts and woollen blankets are worn instead of skin raiment, mat aprons, and Indian blankets, woven of the hair of the fleecy dog.  In fact, except for paint, these Indians might pass well enough for dirty lazzaroni.

Gigantic clams, cod, and other maritimes, but chiefly salmon, are the food of the Whulgeamish.  Ducks and geese visit their shores, and are bagged.  No infrequent polecat skulks about their unsavory cabins, and meets the fatal arrow.  Grasshoppers and crickets, dried, yield them pies.  They cultivate a few potatoes, pluck plentiful berries, and dig sweet kamas bulbs in the swamps.  Few things edible are disdained by them.

Once, the same summer, as I voyaged with a crew of the Lummi tribe toward Frazer’s River, they discerned a dead seal grotesquely floating on the water.  Him they embarked, with roars of laughter, as his unwieldiness slipped through their fingers; and they supped and surfeited unharmed on rancid phoca that evening.  But salmon, netted, hooked, trolled, speared, weired, scooped, salmon taken by various sleight of savage skill, is the chief diet of Whulge.  In the tide-ways toward the Sound’s mouth, the Indians anchor two canoes parallel, fifteen feet apart, and stretch a flat net of strips of inner bark between them, sinking it just below the surface.  They don a head-gear like a “rat’s nest,” confected of wool, feathers, furry tails, ribbons, and rags, considered attractive to salmon, and “hyas tamanous,” highly magical.  Salmon, either wending their unconscious way, or tufthunting for the enchantments of the magic cap, come swimming in shoals across the suspended net.  Whereupon every fisher, with inconceivable screeches, whoops, and howls, beats the water to bewilder the silver swimmers, and, hauling up the net, clutches them by dozens.  Sometimes fleets of canoes go a trolling, one fisherman in each slight shallop.  He fastens his line to his paddle, and as he paddles trolls.  A pretty sight to behold is a rocky bay of Whulge, gay with a fleet of these agile dug-outs, and ever and anon illumined with a gleam when a salmon takes the bait.  In the voyage I have mentioned with Dr. Tolmie, a squadron of such trollers near the Indian village of Kowitchin crowded about us, praying to be vaccinated, and paying a salmon for the privilege.  Small-pox is the fatalest foe of the Indian.

Spearmen also for food are the siwashes.  In muddy streams, where Boston eyes would detect nothing, Indian sees a ripple, and divines a fish.  He darts his long wooden spear, and out it ricochets, with a banner of salmon at its point.  But salmon may escape the coquettish charms of the trolling-hook, may safely run the gauntlet of the parallel canoes and their howling, tamanous-cap, wearers; the spear, misguided in the drumly gleam, may glance harmless from scale-armed shoulders:  still other perils await them.  These aristos of the waters need change of scene.  Blubberly fish may dwell through a life-long pickle in the briny deep, and grow rancid there like olives too salt, but the delicate salmon must have his bubbles from the brunnen.  Besides, his youthful family, the Parrs, must be cradled on the ripples of a running stream, and in innocent nooks of freshness must establish their vigor and consistency, before they brave the risks of cosmopolitan ocean life.  For such reasons gentleman salmon seeks the rivers, and Indian, expecting him there, builds a palisade of poles athwart the stream.  The traveller, thus obstructed, whisks his tail, and coasts along, seeking a passage.  He finds one, and dashes through, but is stopped by a shield of wicker-work, and, turning blindly, plunges into a fish-pot, set to take him as he whirls to retreat, bewildered.

At the magnificent Cascades of the Columbia, the second-best water bit on our continent, there is more exciting salmon-fishing in the splendid turmoil of the rapids.  Over the shoots, between boulders and rifts of rock, the Indians rig a scaffolding, and sweep clown stream with a scoop-net.  Salmon, working their way up in high exhilaration, are taken twenty an hour, by every scooper.  He lifts them out, brilliantly sheeny, and, giving them, with a blow from a billet of wood, a Lint to be peaceable, hands over each thirty-pounder to a fusty attache, who, in turn, lugs them away to the squaws to be cleaned and dried.

Thus in Whulge and at the Cascades the salmon is taken.  And now behold him caught, and lying dewy in silver death, bright as an unalloyed dollar, varnished with opaline iridescence.

“How shall he be cooked?” asks squaw of sachem.

“Boil him, entoia, my beloved” (Haida tongue), “in a mighty pot of iron, plumping in store of Wapatoo, which pasaiooks, the pale-faces, name potatoes.  Or, my cloocheman, my squaw, roast of his thicker parts sundry chunks on a spit.  Or, best of all, split and broil him on an upright framework, a perpendicular gridiron of aromatic twigs.  Thus by highest simple art, before the ruddy blaze, with breezes circumambient and wafting away any mephitic kitcheny exhalations, he will toast deliciously, and I will feast thereupon, O my cloocheman, whilst thou, O working partner of our house, art preparing these brother fish to be dried into amber transparency, or smoked in a lachrymose cabin, that we may sustain ourselves through dry-fish Lent, after this fresh fish Carnival is over.”  Such discussions occur not seldom in the drama of Indian life.

In the Bucentaur, after our lunch on kippered cod and biscuits, we had not tarried.  Generally in that region, in breezeless days of August, smoke from burning forests falls, and envelops all the world of land and water.  In such strange chaos, voyaging without a compass is impossible.  Canoes are often detained for days, waiting for the smoke to lift.  To-day, fortunately for my progress, there was a fresh breeze from China-way.  Only a soft golden haze hung among the pines, and toned the swarthy coloring of the rocky shores.

All now in good humor, and Col.  Colt in retirement, we swept along through narrow straits, between piny islands, and by sheltered bays where fleets might lie hidden.  With harmonious muscular throes, in time with Indian songs, the three stoutly paddled.  The Duke generally sogered, or dipped his blade with sham vehemence, as he saw me observing him.  Olyman steered steadily, a Palinurus skilful and sleepless.  Jenny Lind, excusable idler, did not belie her musical name.  She was our prima donna, and leader of the chorus.  Often she uttered careless bursts of song, like sudden slants of rays through cloudiness, and often droned some drowsy lay, to which the crew responded with disjointed, lurching refrain.  Few of these airs were musical according to civilized standards.  Some had touches of wild sentiment or power, but most were grotesque combinations of guttural howls.  In all, however, there were tones and strains of irregular originality, surging up through monotony, or gleams of savage ire suddenly flashing forth, and recalling how one has seen, with shudders, a shark, with white sierras of teeth, gnash upon him not far distant, from a bath in a tropic bay.  I found a singular consolation in the unleavened music of my crew.  Why should there not be throbs of rude power in aboriginal song?  It is well to re-view the rudiments sometimes, and see whether we have done all we might in building systems from the primal hints.

The songs of Chin Lin, Duchess of York, chorussed by the fishy, seemed a consoling peace offering.  The undertone of sorrow in all music cheats us of grief for our own distress.  To counteract the miseries of civilization, we must have the tender, passionate despairs of Favorita and Traviata; for the disgusts of barbarism I found

Indian howls sufficient relief.

By and by, with sunset, paddle-songs died away, and the Bucentaur slowed.  The tide had turned, and was urgently against us.  My tired crew were oddly dropping off to sleep.  We landed on the shingle for repose and supper.  Twilight was already spreading downward from the zenith, and pouring gloom among the sombre pines.  Grotesque masses of blanched drift-wood strewed the shore and grouped themselves about, strange semblances of monstrous shapes, like amorphous idols, dethroned and waiting to perish by the iconoclastic test of fire.  Poor Prometheus may have been badly punished by that cruel fowl of Caucasus, but we mortals got the unquenchable spark.  I carried a modicum of compact flame in a match-box, and soon had a funeral pyre of those heathenish stumps and roots well ablaze, a glory of light between the solemn wall of the forest and the dark glimmering flood.

On the romantic shores of Whulge, illumined by my fire, I had toasted salt pork for supper, while the siwashes banqueted to repletion on dried fish and the unaccustomed luxury of hard-tack, and were genially happy.  But when, with kindly mind, I, their chieftain, brewed them a princely pot of tea, and tossed in sugar lavishly, sprinkling also unperceivedly the beverage with forty drops from the captured lumoti, and gave them tobacco, enough to blow a cloud, then happiness capped itself with gayety and merriment.  They heaped the pyre with fuel, and made it the chief jester of their jolly circle, chuckling when it crackled, and roaring with laughter when the frantic tongues of flame leaped up, and shot a glare, almost fiendish, over the wild scene.

I sat apart with my dhudeen, studying the occasion for its lesson.  “Would I be an Indian, a duke of the Klalams?” I asked myself.  “As much as I am to-night, no more, and no longer.  To-night I am a demi-savage, jolly for my rest and my supper, and content because my hampers hold enough for to-morrow.  I can identify myself thoroughly, and delight that I can, with the untamed natures of my comrades.  I can yield myself to the dominion of the same impulses that sway them out of impassiveness into frantic excitement.  They sit here over the fire, now jabbering lustily, and now silent and drifting along currents of association, undiverted by discursive thought, until some pervading fancy strikes them all at once, and again all is animation and guttural sputter of sympathy.  I can also let myself go bobbing down the tide of thoughtless thought, until I am caught by the same shoals, or checked by the same reef, or launched upon the same tumultuous seas, as they.  These influences are primeval, aboriginal, fresh, enlivening for their anti-cockney savor.  Wretchedly slab-sided, and not at all fitting among the many-sided, is he who cannot adapt himself to the dreams and hopes, the awes and pleasures of savage life, and be as good a savage as the brassiest Brass-skin.

“However, it is not amiss,” continued my soliloquy, puffing itself away with the last whiffs of my pipe, “to have the large results of the world’s secular toil in posse.  It is sometimes pleasant to lay aside the resumable ermine.  It is easy to linger while one has a hand upon the locomotive’s valve.  I will, on the whole, remain an American of the nineteenth century, and not subside into a Klalam brave.  Every sincere man has, or ought to have, his differences or his quarrels with status quo, otherwise what becomes of the millennium?  My personal grudge with the present has not yet brought me to the point of rupture and reaction.”

Had I uttered these reflections in a prosy lecture, my fishy suite could not have been sounder asleep than they now were.  They had coiled themselves about the fire, in genuine slumber, after labor and overfeeding.  Without dread of treachery, I bivouacked near them.  I was more placable and less watchful than I should have been had I known that the Kahtai Klalams, under the superintendence of King George and the Duke, were in the habit of murdering.  They sacrificed a couple of pale-faced victims within the year, as I afterwards was informed.  However, the lamb lay down with the wolf, and suffered no harm.  From time to time I awoke, and rolled another log upon the pyre, and then returned to my uneasy naps on the pebbles—­uneasy, not because the pebbles dimpled me somewhat harshly through my blankets, not because, the inextinguishable stars winked at me fantastically through ether, nor because my scalp occasionally gave premonitions of departure; but because I did not wish, when offered the boon of a favorable tide, to be asleep at my post and miss it.

A new flood-tide was about to be sent whirling-up into the bays and coves and nooks of Whulge when I shook up my sobered hero of the libellous teapots, shook up Olyman and his young men, and touched the Duchess lightly on the shoulder, as she lay with her red-chevroned visage turned toward the zenith.  The Duke alone grumbled, and shirked the toil of launching the Bucentaur.  We others went at it heartily, dragging our vessel down the shingle to the chorus of a guttural De Profundis.  It was an hour before dawn.  We reloaded, and shoved off into the chill, star-lighted void, a void where one might doubt whether the upper stars or the nether stars were the real orbs.  Our red fire watched us as we sailed away, glaring after us like a Cyclops sentinel until we rounded a point and passed out of his range, only to find ourselves sadly gazed at by a pale, lean moon just lifting above the pines.  With the flames of dawn a wind arose and lent us wings.  I succeeded in inspiring my crew with a stolid intention to speed me.  A comradery grew up between me and the truculent blackguard who wielded the bow paddle, so that he essayed unintelligent civilities from time to time, and when we landed to breakfast, at a point where a giant arbor-vitae stood a rich pyramid of green, he brought me sallal-berries, and arbutus-leaves to dry for smoking; meaning perhaps to play Caliban to my Stephano, and worshipping him who bore the lumoti.  The Duke remained either “hyas kla hye am,” in the wretched dumps, or “hyas silex,” in the deep sulks, as must happen after an orgie, even to a princely personage.  I could get nothing from him, either in philology or legend, nothing but the Klalam name of Whulge, K’uk’lults.  However, thanks to a strong following wind and a blanket-sail, we sped on, never flinching from the tide when it turned and battled us.

We had rounded a point, and opened Puyallop Bay, a breadth of sheltered calmness, when I, lifting sleepy eyelids for a dreamy stare about, was suddenly aware of a vast white shadow in the water.  What cloud, piled massive on the horizon, could cast an image so sharp in outline, so full of vigorous detail of surface?  No cloud, as my stare, no longer dreamy, presently discovered, no cloud, but a cloud compeller.  It was a giant mountain dome of snow, swelling and seeming to fill the aerial spheres as its image displaced the blue deeps of tranquil water.  The smoky haze of an Oregon August hid all the length of its lesser ridges, and left this mighty summit based upon uplifting dimness.  Only its splendid snows were visible, high in the unearthly regions of clear blue noonday sky.  The shore line drew a cincture of pines across the broad base, where it faded unreal into the mist.  The same dark girth separated the peak from its reflection, over which my canoe was now pressing, and sending wavering swells to shatter the beautiful vision, before it.

Kingly and alone stood this majesty, without any visible comrade or consort, though far to the north and the south its brethren and sisters dominated their realms, each in isolated sovereignty, rising above the pine-darkened sierra of the Cascade Mountains, above the stern chasm where the Columbia, Achilles of rivers, sweeps, short-lived. and jubilant, to the sea, above the lovely vales of the Willamette and Umpqua.  Of all the peaks from California to Frazer’s River, this one before me was royalest.  Mount Regnier Christians have dubbed it, in stupid nomenclature perpetuating the name of somebody or nobody.  More melodiously the siwashes call it Tacoma, a generic term also applied to all snow peaks.  Whatever keen crests and crags there may be in its rock anatomy of basalt, snow covers softly with its bends and sweeping curves.  Tacoma, under its ermine, is a crushed volcanic dome, or an ancient volcano fallen in, and perhaps as yet not wholly lifeless.  The domes of snow are stateliest.  There may be more of feminine beauty in the cones, and more of masculine force and hardihood in the rough pyramids, but the great domes are calmer and more divine, and, even if they have failed to attain absolute dignified grace of finish, and are riven and. broken down, they still demand our sympathy for giant power, if only partially victor.  Each form the dome, the cone, and the pyramid has its type among the great snow peaks of the Cascades.

And now let the Duke of York drowse, the Duchess cease awhile longer her choking chant, and the rest nap it on their paddles, floating on the image of Tacoma, while I ask recognition for the almost unknown glories of the Cascade Mountains of Oregon.  We are poorly off for such objects east of the Mississippi.  There are some roughish excrescences known as the Alleghanies.  There is a knobby group of brownish White Mountains.  Best of all, high in DownEast is the lonely Katahdin.  Hillocks these, never among them one single summit brilliant forever with snow, golden in sunshine, silver when sunshine has gone; not one to bloom rosy at dawn, and to be a vision of refreshment all the sultry summer long; not one to be lustrous white over leagues of woodland, sombre or tender; not one to repeat the azure of heaven among its shadowy dells.  Exaltation such as the presence of the sublime and solemn heights arouses, we dwellers eastward cannot have as an abiding influence.  Other things we may have, for Nature will not let herself anywhere be scorned; but only mountains, and chiefest the giants of snow, can teach whatever lessons there may be in vaster distances and deeper depths of palpable ether, in lonely grandeur without desolation, and in the illimitable, bounded within an outline.  Therefore, needing all these emotions at their maximum, we were compelled to make pilgrimages back to the mountains of the Old World, commodiously as may be when we consider sea-sickness, passports, Murray’s red-covers, and h-less Britons everywhere.  Yes, back to the Old World we went, and patronized the Alps, and nobly satisfying we found them.  But we were forced to inspect also the heritage of human institutions, and such a mankind as they had made after centuries of opportunity, and very sadly depressing we found the work, so that, notwithstanding many romantic joys and artistic pleasures, we came back malecontent.  Let us, therefore, develop our own world.  It has taken us two centuries to discover our proper West across the Mississippi, and to know by indefinite hearsay that among the groups of the Rockys are heights worth notice.

Farthest away in the west, as near the western sea as mountains can stand, are the Cascades.  Sailors can descry their landmark summits firmer than cloud, a hundred miles away.  Kulshan, misnamed Mount Baker by the vulgar, is their northernmost buttress up at 490 and Frazer’s River.  Kulshan is an irregular, massive, moundshaped peak, worthy to stand a white emblem of perpetual peace between us and our brother Britons.  The northern regions of Whulge and Vancouver’s Island have Kulshan upon their horizon.  They saw it blaze the winter before this journey of mine; for there is fire beneath the Cascades, red war suppressed where the peaks, symbols of truce, stand in resplendent quiet.  Kulshan is best seen, as I saw it one afternoon of that same August, from an upland of Vancouver’s Island, across the golden waves of a wheat-field, across the glimmering waters of the Georgian Sound, and far above its belt of misty gray pine-ridges.  The snow-line here is at five thousand feet, and Kulshan has as much height in snow as in forest and vegetation.  Its name I got from the Lummi tribe at its base, after I had dipped in their pot at a boiled-salmon feast.  As to Baker, that name should be forgotten.  Mountains should not be insulted by being named after undistinguished bipeds, nor by the prefix of Mt.  Mt.  Chimborazo, or Mt.  Dhawalaghiri, seems as feeble as Mr. Julius Caesar, or Signor Dante.

South of Kulshan, the range continues dark, rough, and somewhat unmeaning to the eye, until it is relieved by Tacoma, vulgo Regnier.  Upon this Tacoma’s image I was now drifting, and was about to make nearer acquaintance with its substance.  One cannot know too much of a nature’s nobleman.  Tacoma the second, which Yankees call Mt.  Adams, is a clumsier repetition of its greater brother, but noble enough to be the pride of a continent.  Dearest charmer of all is St. Helen’s, queen of the Cascades, queen of Northern America, a fair and graceful volcanic cone.  Exquisite mantling snows sweep along her shoulders toward the bristling pines.  Sometimes she showers her realms with a boon of light ashes, to notify them that her peace is repose, not stupor, and sometimes lifts a beacon of tremulous flame by night from her summit.  Not far from her base the Columbia crashes through the mountains in a magnificent chasm, and Mt.  Hood, the vigorous prince of the range, rises in a keen pyramid fourteen or sixteen thousand feet high, rivalling his sister in glory.  Mt.  Jefferson and others southward are worthy snow peaks, but not comparable with these; and then this masterly family of mountains dwindles ruggedly away toward California and the Shasta group.

The Cascades are known to geography, their summits to the lists of volcanoes.  Several gentlemen in the United States Army, bored in petty posts, or squinting along Indian trails for Pacific railroads, have seen these monuments.  A few myriads of Oregonians have not been able to avoid seeing them, have perhaps felt their ennobling influence, and have written, boasting that St. Helen’s or Hood is as high as Blanc.  Enterprising fellows have climbed both.  But the millions of Yankees from codfish to alligators, chewers of spruce-gum or chewers of pig-tail, cooks of chowder or cooks of gumbo, know little of these treasures of theirs.  Poet comes long after pioneer.  Mountains have been waiting, even in ancient worlds, for cycles, while mankind looked upon them as high, cold, dreary, crushing, as resorts for demons and homes of desolating storms.  It is only lately, in the development of men’s comprehension of nature, that mountains have been recognized as our noblest friends, our most exalting and inspiring comrades, our grandest emblems of divine power and divine peace.

More of these majesties of the Cascades hereafter; but now meseems that I have long enough interrupted the desultory progress of my narrative.  We have floated long enough, my Klalam braves, on the white reflection of Tacoma.  To thy paddle, then, sluggard Duke.  Dip and plough into Whulge, ye salmon-fed.  Squally and blankets be the war-cry of our voyage.

But first obey the injunction of an Indian ditty, oddly sung to the air of Malbrook:  “Klatawah ocook polikely, Klatawah Steilacoom”; “Go to-night, go to Steilacoom.”  Steilacoom was a military post a mile inland from Whulge.  It had a port on the Sound, consisting of one warehouse, where every requisite of pioneer life was to be had.  Thither I directed my course, pork and hard-tack to buy, compact prog for my mountain journey.  Also, because I could not ride the leagues of a transcontinental trip, barebacking the bonyness of prairie nags, a friend had given me an order for a capital saddle of his, stored there.  The crafty trader at Port Steilacoom denied the existence of my friend’s California saddle, a grandly roomy one I had often bestrode, and substituted for it an incoherent dragoon saddle.  He hoped, the scamp, that my friend would never return to claim his property, and he would be left residuary legatee.

Some strange Indians lounging here gave me a helpful fact.  The Klickatats, so the Sound Indians name generally the Yakimahs and other ultramontane tribes, had just arrived at Nisqually, on their annual trading-trip.  Horses and a guide I could surely get from them for crossing the Cascades into their country.  Here I heard first the mighty, name of Owhhigh, a chief of the Klickatats, their noblest horse-thief, their Diomed.  He was at Nisqually, with his tail on, his tail of bare-legged highlanders, buying blankets and sundries, with skins, furs, and stolen steeds.

Squally, euphonized to Nisqually, is six or seven miles from Steilacoom.  We sped along near the shore, just away from the dense droop of the water-wooing arbor-vitae pyramids.

How now, my crew?  Why this sudden check?  Why this agitated panic?  What, Dookeryawk!  Are ye paralyzed by Tamanous, by demoniacal influence? "

“By fear are we paralyzed, O kind protector,” responded the Klalam.  “Foes to us always are the Squallyamish.  But more cruel foes are the mountain horsemen.  We dare not advance.  Conoway quash nesika; cowards all are we.”

“Fear naught, my cowards.  The retinue of my high mightiness is safe, and shall be honored.  Ye shall not be maltreated, nor even punished by me for your misdeeds.  Have a mighty heart in your breasts, and onward.”

Panic over, we paddled lustily, and soon landed at a high bluff, the port of Nisqually.  We hauled up the Bucentaur, grateful to the talisman shells along its gunwale, that they had guarded us against Bugaboo.  I looked my last, for that time, upon the sturdy tides of Whulge, and led the way under the oaks toward the Fort.


It was harsh penance to a bootless man to tramp the natural Macadam of minced trap-rock on the plateau above the Sound.  The little pebbles of the adust volcanic pavement cut my moccasined feet like unboiled peas of pilgrimage.  I marched along under the oaks as stately as frequent limping permitted.  My motley retinue followed me humbly, bearing “ikta,” my traps, and their own plunder.  Their demeanor was crushed and cringing, greatly changed since the truculent scene over the captured lumoti, which I still kept as a trophy, hung at my waist to balance my pistol.

After a walk of a mile, with my body-guard of shabby S’Klalam aristocrats, I entered the Hudson’s Bay Company’s fort of Nisqually.  Disrepute draggled after me, but my character was already established in a previous visit.  I had left Dr. Tolmie, the factor, at Vancouver’s Island; Mr. H., his substitute, received me hospitably at the postern.  Nisqually is a palisaded enclosure, two hundred feet square.  Bartizan towers protect its corners.  Within are blockhouses for goods and furs, and one-story cottages for residence.

Indian leaguers have of yore beset this fort.  Indians have lifted Indians up toward the fifteenth and topmost foot of the fir palisades.  Shots from the loopholes of the bartizans dropped the assailants, and left them lying on the natural Macadam without.  Whereupon the survivors retired, and consulted about fire; but that fatal foe was also defeated by the death of every incendiary as he approached.

To visit such a place is to recall and illustrate all our early New-England history.  Our forefathers fled, in King Philip’s time, to just such refuges.  Personal contact with a similar state of facts makes their forgotten perils real.  In that recent antiquity, pioneers exposed to the indiscriminate revenge of the savage flew from cabin and clearing to stockades far less defensible than this.  Better its insecure shelter for wife and child than the terror of a forest forever seeming aglare with cruel eyes, where the forester could never banish the curdling consciousness of an unseen presence, watching until the assassin moment came; where the silence might hear other sounds than the hum of insects or the music of birds, might hear the scoffing yell of Indians, contemptuous victors over the race that scorned them.  What wonder that the agonies of such suspense stirred up the settlers to cowardly slaughter of every savage, friend or foe?  A frightened man becomes a barbarian and a brute.  Fear is a miserable agent of civilization.  We can hardly, now connect ourselves with that period.  No longer, when twigs crackle in the forest, do we shrink lest the parting leaves may reveal a new-comer, with whom we must race for life.  Larceny is disgusting, burglary is unpleasant, arson is undesirable, murder is one of the foul arts; Indians were adepts in all of these trades at once.  Any reminiscence of a condition from which we have happily escaped is agreeable.  This palisade fort was a monument of a past age to me.  It made me two hundred years old at once.

A monument, but not a cenotaph; on the contrary, it was full of bustling life.  Rusty Indians, in all degrees of frowziness of person and costume, were trading at the shop for the three b’s of Indian desire, blankets, beads, and ’baccy, representatives of need, vanity, and luxury.  The Klickatats had indeed arrived.  To-morrow Owhhigh and the grandees were to come in from their camp to buy and sell.  All the squaws purchasing to-day were hags beyond the age of coquetry in costume, yet they were buying beads and hanging them in hideous contrast about their baggy, wrinkled necks, and then glowering for admiration with dusky eyes.  These were valued customers, since they knew the tariff, and never haggled, but paid cash or its equivalent, otter beaver, and skunk skins, and similar treasures.  The pretty girls would come afterward, as money failed, and try to make their winsome smiles a substitute for funds.

In contrast to these unpleasant objects, a very handsome and gentlemanly young brave entered just after me, and came forward as I was greeting Mr. H. He was tall and loungingly graceful, and so fair that there must have been silver in the copper of his blood.  This rather supercilious personage was, he told me, of Owhhigh’s band, not by nation but by adoption.  He was a Spokan from the Upper Columbia, a volunteer among the Klickatats, perhaps because their method of filibusterism was attractive, perhaps because there was a vendetta for him at home.  He wore a semi-civilized costume, coat of black from some far-away slop-shop of Britain, fringed leggins of buckskin from the lodge of a Klickatat tailoress.  A broad-beaded band crossed his breast, like the ribbon of an order of nobility.  The incongruity in his costume was redeemed by his cool, dignified bearing.  He was an Adonis of Nature, not a rubicund Adonis of the D’Orsay type.  While we talked, he kept a cavalier’s advantage, not dismounting from his fiery little saddleless black.

Him, by Mr. H’s advice, I prayed to be my ambassador to the great Owhhigh.  Would that dignitary permit me an interview to-morrow, and purvey me horses and a guide for my dash through his realm?  My Spokan Adonis, with the self-possessed courtesy of a high-bred Indian, accepted the office of negotiator, and ventured to promise that Owhhigh would speed me.  But in case Adonis should prove faithless, or Owhhigh indifferent, Mr. H. despatched a messenger at once for one of the Company’s voyageurs, now a quiet colonist, who could resume the rover, and guide me, if other guidance failed, anywhere in the Northwest.

I now conducted the Duke and my party to the shop, and served out to them one two-and-a-halfpoint blanket apiece, and one to Olyman for the Bucentaur, accompanying the boon with a lecture on the evils of intemperance and the duty of faithfulness.  They seemed quite pleased now that they had not butchered and scalped me, and expressed the friendliest sentiments, perhaps with a view to a liberal “potlatch” of trinkets.  They also besought permission to encamp in the fort, lest pillage should befall them.  It was growing dark, and the different parties of Indians admitted within the palisades were grouped, gypsy-like, about their cooking-fires.  Some of these unbrotherly siwashes cast wolf’s-eyes upon my Klalams, now an enviable and plunderable squad.  These latter, wealthy and well-blanketed, skulked away into a corner, and when I saw them last, by their fire-light, the Duke, more like a degraded ecclesiastic than ever, was haranguing his family, while Jenny Lind sat at his feet, and bent upon him untruthful eyes.  At morn they were not to be seen; the ducal pair, Olyman and the fishy, all had vanished.  A few unconsidered trifles, such as a gun, a blanket, and a basket of kamasroots, property of the unbrotherly, had vanished with them.  Unconsidered trifles will stumble against the shins of Indians, stealing away at night.

As these representatives of Klalam civilization now make final exit from my narrative, I must give them a proper “teapot.”  They may be taken as types of the worse character of the coast Indians, jolly brutes, with the bad and the good traits of savages, and much harmed by the besettings of civilized temptations.

I cannot omit from the Duke of York’s teapot facts within my own observation, that he was drunken, idle, insolent, and treacherous, nor the hearsay fact that he has since been beguiled into murders; but I must notice also his apologies of race, circumstance, the bad influence of Pikes by land and profane tars by sea, and governmental neglect, a logical result of slavery.

Mr. H. had had great success in converting the brown dust of a dry swamp without the fort into a garden of succulent vegetables.  As we were inspecting the cabbages and onions next morning, we heard a resonance of hoofs over the trap pavement.  A noise of galloping sounded among the oaks.  Presently a wild dash of Indian cavaliers burst into sight.  Their equipment might not have borne inspection:  few things will, here below, except such as rose-leaves and the cheeks of a high-bred child.  Prejudice might have called their steeds scrubby mustangs; prejudice might have used the word tag-rag as descriptive of the fly-away effect of a troop all a-flutter with ribbons, fur-tails, deerskin fringes, trailing lariats, and whirling whip-thongs, It was a very irregular and somewhat ragamuffin brigade.  But the best hussars of the Christendom that sustains itself by means of hussars are tawdry and clumsy to a critical eye, and certainly, not so picturesque as these Klickatats, stampeding toward us from under the gray mossy oaks.

They came, deployed in the open woods, now hidden in a hollow, now rising a crest, all at full gallop, loud over the baked soil, a fantastic cavalcade.  They swept about the angle of the fort, and we, following, found them grouped near the open postern, waiting for permission to enter.  Some were dismounted; some were dashing up and down on their shaggy nags, a band of picturesque marauders on a peaceful foray.

Owhhigh and his aides-de-camp stood a little apart, Spokan Adonis among them.  At a sign from Mr. H., they followed us within the fort, and entered the factor’s cottage.  Much ceremony is observed by the Hudson’s Bay Company with the Indians.  Discipline, must be preserved.  Dignity tells.  Indians, having it, appreciate it.  Owhhigh alone was given a seat opposite us.  His counsellors stood around him, while three or four less potent members of his suite peered gravely over their shoulders.  The palaver began.

Owhhigh’s braves were gorgeous with frippery, and each wore a beaded order.  The Murats of the world make splendid fighting-cocks of themselves with martial feathers; the Napoleons wear gray surtouts.  Owhhigh was in stern simplicity of Indian garb.  On ordinary occasions of council with whites, he would courteously or ambitiously have adopted their costume; now, as he was master of the situation and grantee of favors, he appeared in his own proper style.  He wore a handsome buckskin shirt, heavily epauletted and trimmed along the seams with fringe, and leggins and moccasins of the same.  For want of Tyrian dye, these robes were regalized by a daubing of red clay.  A circlet of otter fur served him for coronet.  He was a man of bulk and stature, a chieftainly personage, a fine old Roman, cast in bronze, and modernized with a fresh glazing of vermilion over his antiquated duskiness of hue.  And certainly no Roman senator, with adjuncts of whity-brown toga, curule chair, and patrician ancestry, seated to wait his doom from the Gauls, ever had an air of more impassive dignity than this head horse-thief of the Klickatats.

In an interview with a royal personage, his own language should be used.  But we, children of an embryo civilization, are trained in the inutilities of tongues dead as Julius Caesar, never in the living idioms of our native princes.  I was not, therefore, voluble in Klickatat and Yakimah.  Chinook jargon, however, the French of Northwestern diplomatic life, I had mastered.  Owhhigh called upon one of his “young men” to interpret his speeches into Chinook.  The interpreter stepped forward, and stood expectant, a youth fraternally like my Spokan Adonis, but with a sprinkle more of intelligence, and a sparkle less of beauty.

My suit, already known, was now formally, stated to the chief.  I wanted to buy three quadrupeds, and hire one biped guide for a trip across the Cascade Mountains, and on to the Dalles of the Columbia.  The distance was about two hundred miles, and I had seven days to effect it.  Could it be done?

“Yes,” replied Owhhigh; and then his bronze face remaining perfectly calm and Rhadamanthine he began, with most expressive pantomime, an oration, describing my route across the mountains.  His talk went on in swaying monotone, rising and falling with the subject, while with vigorous gesture he pictured the changeful journey.  The interpreter saw that I comprehended, and did not interfere.  Occasionally, when I was posed, I turned to him, and he aided me with some Chinook word, or a sputtered phrase of concentrated meaning.  Meanwhile the circle of councillors murmured approval, and grunted coincidence of opinion.

My way was to lead, so said the emphatic recital of Owhhigh, first through an open forest, sprinkled with lakes, and opening into great prairies.  By and by the denser forest of firs would meet me, and giant columnar stems, parting, leave a narrow vista, where I could penetrate into the gloom.  The dash of a rapid, shallow, white river, the Puyallop, where was a salmon fishery, would cross my trail.  Then I must climb through mightier woods and thicker thickets, where great bulks of fallen trees lay, and barricaded the path; must follow up a turbulent river, the S’Kamish, crossing it often, at fords where my horses could hardly bear up against the current.  Ever and anon, like a glimpse of blue through a storm, this rough way would be enlivened by a prairie, with beds of fern for my repose, and long grass for my tiring beasts, grass long as macaroni, so he measured it with outstretched hands.  Now the difficulties were to come.  He depicted the craggy side of a great mountain, horses scrambling up stoutly, riders grasping the mane and balancing carefully lest a misstep should send horse and man over a precipice.  The summit gained, here again were luxurious tarrying-places, oases of prairie, and perhaps, in some sheltered nook, a bank of last winter’s snow.  Here there must be a long nooning, that the horses, tied up the night before in the forest, and browsing wearily on bitter twigs, might recruit.  Then came the steep descent, and so, pressing on, I should arrive for my third night’s camp at a prairie, low down on the eastern slope of the mountains, where a mighty hunter, the late Sowee, once dwelt.  Up before dawn next morning, continued Owhhigh’s vivid tale, vivid in gesture, and droning ever in delivery, up at the peep of day, for this was a long march and a harsh one, and striking soon a clear river flowing east, the Nachchese, I was to follow it.  The river grew, and went tearing down a terrible gorge; through this my path led, sometimes in the bed of the stream, sometimes, when precipices drew too close and the gulf too profound, I must climb, and trace a perilous course along the brink far above, where I might bend over and see the water roaring a thousand feet below.  At last the valley would broaden, and groves of pine appear.  Then my horses, if not too wayworn, could gallop over the immense swells of a rolling prairie-land.  Here I would encounter some of the people of Owhhigh.  A sharp turn to the right would lead me across a mass of wild, bare hills, into the valley of another stream, the Atinam, where was a mission and men in long robes who prayed at a shrine.  By this time my horses would be exhausted; I should take fresh ones, if possible, from the priests’ band, and riding hard across a varied region of hill, prairie, and bulky mountains thick with pines, and then long levels where Skloo a brother-chieftain ranged, I would arrive, after two days from the mission, at a rugged space of hills, and, climbing there, find myself overlooking the vast valley of the Columbia.  Barracks and tents in sight.  Scamper down the mountain.  Fire a gun at river’s bank.  Indians hear, cross in canoe, ferry me and swim my horses.  All safely done in six crowded days.  So said Owhhigh.

This description was given with wonderful vivacity and verity.  Owhhigh as a pantomimist would have commanded brilliant success on any stage.  Would that there were more like him in this wordy world.

He promised also a guide, his son, now at the camp, and as to my horses, I might choose from the cavalcade.  We went out to make selection, all the Klickatats, except Owhhigh, Adonis, and the interpreter, following in bow-legged silence.  These three were vocal, and of better model than their fellows.  No Indian wished to sell his best horse; each his second-best, at the price of the best.  Their backs were in shocking condition.  Pads and pack-saddles had galled them so that it was painful to a humane being to mount; but I felt that any one of them, however maltreated, would better in my service.  I should ride him hard, but care for him tenderly.  Indians have too much respect for “pasaiooks,” blanketeers, Caucasians, to endeavor to cajole us.  They suppose that, in a horse-trade, we know what we want.  No jockeying was attempted; there were the nags, I might prove them, and buy or not, without solicitation.

The hard terrace without the fort served us for race-course.  We galloped the wiry nags up and down, while the owners waited in an emotionless group, calm as gamblers.  Should any one sell a horse, he would not only pocket the price, but be spurred to new thefts from tribes hostile or friendly to fill the vacancy; yet all were too proud to exhibit eagerness, or puff their property.

At last, from the least bad I chose first for my pack animal a strawberry roan cob, a “chunk of a horse,” a quadruped with the legs of an elephant, the head of a hippopotamus, and a peculiar gait; he trod most emphatically, as if he were striving to go through the world’s crust at every step.  This habit suggested the name he at once received.  I called him Antipodes, in honor of the region he was aiming at, a name of ill omen, suggesting a spot where I often wished him afterwards.  My second choice, the mount for my guide, was Antipodes’ repeated, with slight improvements of form and manner.  Gubbins I dubbed him, appropriately, with a first accolade, accolade often repeated, during our acquaintance, with less mildness.  Hard horses were Antipodes and Gubbins, hard trotters, hard-mouthed, hardhided brutes.  Each was delivered to me with a hair rope twisted for bridle, about his lower lip, sawing it raw.

And now the most important decision remained to be made.  It was nothing to me that a misty phantom, my guide, should be jolted over the passes of Tacoma on a Gubbins or an Antipodes, but my own seat, should it be upon Rosinante or Bucephalus, upon an agile caracoler or a lubberly plodder?  Step forward, then, cool and careless Klickatat, from thy lair of dirty blanket, with that black pony of thine.  The black was satisfactory.  His ribs, indeed, were far too visible, and there were concavities where there should have been the convex fulness of well-conditioned muscle, but he had a plucky, wiry look, and his eye showed spirit without spite.  His lope was as elastic as the bounding of a wind-sped cloud over a rough mountain-side.  His other paces were neat and vigorous.  I bought him at more dollars than either of his comrades of clumsier shape and duller hue.  Indians do not love their horses well enough to name them.  My new purchase I baptized Klale.  Klale in Chinook jargon is Black, and thus do, mankind, putting commonplace into foreign tongues or into big words of their own, fancy that they make it uncommonplace and original.

There are several requisites for travel.  First, a world and a region of world to traverse; second, a traveller; third, means of conveyance, legs human or other, barks, carts, enchanted carpets, and the like; fourth, guidance by man personal, or man impersonal acting by roads, guide-boards, maps, and itineraries; fifth, multifarious wherewithals.  The first two requisites seem to be indispensable in the human notion of travel, and existed in my case.  The third I had provided; my stud was complete.  A guide was promised; after an interview with Owhhigh I could give credence to his unseen son, and believe that the fourth requisite of my journey was also ready.  I must now arrange my miscellaneous outfit.  For this purpose the resources of Fort Nisqually were infinite.  Mr. H. approached the dusty warehouses; he wielded the wand of an enchanter, and forth from dim corners came a pack-saddle for Antipodes, a pad-saddle for Gubbins, and great hide packs for my traps.  Forth from the shelves of the shop came paraphernalia, tin pot, tin pan, tin cups, and the needful luxuries of tea and sugar.  My pork and hard-tack had been already provided at Steilacoom, and Mr. H. added to them what I deemed half a dozen gnarled lignum-vitae roots.  Experimental whittling proved these to be cured ox-tongues, a precious accession.  My list was complete.

I was lodged in a small cabin adjoining the factor’s cottage.  All my sundries had been piled here for packing, and I was standing, somewhat mazed, in the centre of a group of tin pots, gnarled tongues, powder-horns, papers of tea, blankets, bread-bags, bridles, spurs, and toggery, when in walked Owhhigh, followed by several of his suite.

Owhhigh seated himself on the floor, with an air of condescension, and for some time regarded my preparations in grave silence.  Mr. H. had told me that his parade of an interpreter during the council was only to make all impression.  Some men regard all assumption of ignorance as lofty.  Now, however, Owhhigh, dropping in unceremoniously, laid aside his sham dignity with a purpose.  We had before agreed upon the terms of payment for my guide.  The ancient horse-thief sat like a Pacha, smoking an inglorious dhudeen, and at last, glancing at certain articles of raiment of mine, thus familiarly, in Chinook, broke silence.

Owhhigh.  “Halo she collocks nika tenas; no breeches hath my son” (the guide).

I. (in an Indianesque tone of some surprise, but great indifference).  “Ah hagh!”

Owhhigh.  “Pe halo shirt; and no shirt.”

I. (assenting, with equal indifference).  “Ah hagh!”

Owhhigh smokes, and is silent, and Spokan Adonis fugues in, “Pe wake yaka shoes; and no shoes hath he.”

Another aide-de-camp takes up the strain.

Yahwah mitlite shoes, closche copa Owhhigh tenas; there are shoes (pointing to a pair of mine) good for the son of Owhhigh.”

I.  “Stick shoes ocook, wake closche copa siwash; hard shoes (not moccasins) those, not good for Indian.”

Owhhigh.  “Hyas tyee mika, hin mitlite ikta, halo ikta mitlite copa nika tenas, mika tikky hin potlatch; great chief thou, with thee plenty traps abide, no traps hath my son, thou wilt give him abundance.”

I.  “Pe hyas tyee Owhhigh, conoway ikta mitlite-pe hin yaka potlatch copa liticum.; and a great chief is Owhhigh, all kinds of property are his, and many presents does he make to his people.”

Profound silence followed these mutual hints.  Owhhigh smoked in thoughtful whiffs, and the pipe went round.  The choir bore their failure stoically.  They had done their best that their comrade might be arrayed at my expense, and if I did not choose to throw in a livery, I must bear the shame and the unsavoriness if he were frowzy.  At last, to please Owhhigh, and requite him for the entertainment of his oratory, I promised that, if his son were faithful, I would give him a generous premium, possibly the very shirt and other articles they had admired.  Whereupon, after more unwordy whiffs and ineffectual hints that they too were needy, Owhhigh and his braves lounged off, the gloomy bow-legged ones, who had not spoken, bringing up the rear.  I soon had everything in order, tongues, tea, and tin properly stowed, and was ready to be off.

Experienced campaigners attempt no more than a start and a league or two the first day of a long march.  To burst the ties that bind us to civilization is an epoch of itself.  The first camp of an expedition must not be beyond reclamation of forgotten things.  Starts, too, will often be false starts.  Raw men and raw horses and mules will condense into a muddle, or explode into a centrifugal stampede, a “blazing star,” as packers name it.  Then the pack-horse with the flour bolts and makes paste of his burden, up to his spine in a neighboring pool.  The powder mule lies down in the ashes of a cooking fire.  The pork mule, in greasy gallop, trails fatness over the plain.  In a thorny thicket, a few white shreds reveal where the tent mule tore through.  Another beast flies madly, while after him clink all the cannikins, battering themselves shapeless upon his flanks.  It is chaos, and demands hours perhaps of patience to make order again.

Such experience in a minor degree might befall even my little party of three horses and two men.  I therefore, for better speed, resolved to disentangle myself this evening, and have a clear field to-morrow.  Recalcitrant Antipodes, therefore, suffered compulsion, and was packed with his complex burdens.  Leaving him and Gubbins with Owhhigh to follow and be disciplined, Mr. H. and I galloped on under the oaks, over the trap-rock, toward the Klickatat camp.  Klale, with ungalling saddle, and a merciful rider of nine stone weight, loped on gayly.

The Klickatats were encamped on a prairie near the house of a settler, five miles from the Fort.  Just without the house was a group of them gambling.  Presently Owhhigh followed Mr. H. and me into the farmer’s kitchen, bringing forward for introduction his son, my guide.  He was one of the gambling group.  I inspected him narrowly.  My speed, my success, my safety, depended upon his good faith.  Owhhigh bore no very high character, why should son be honester than father?  To an Indian the temptation to play foul by a possessor of horses, guns, blankets, and traps was enormous.

My future comrade was a tallish stripling of twenty, dusky-hued and low-browed.  A mat of long, careless, sheenless black hair fell almost to his shoulders.  Dull black were his eyes, not veined with agate-like play of color, as are the eyes of the sympathetic and impressionable.  His chief pbysiognomical characteristic was a downward look, like the brown study of a detected pickpocket, inquiring with himself whether villany pays; his chief personal and seemingly permanent characteristic was squalor.  Squalid was his hickory shirt, squalid his buckskin leggins, long widowed of their fringe.  Yet it was not a mean, but a proud uncleanliness, like that of a fakir, or a voluntarily unwashed hermit.  He flaunted his dirtiness in the face of civilization, claiming respect for it, as merely a different theory of the toilette.  I cannot say that this new actor in my drama looked trustworthy, but there was a certain rascally charm in his rather insolent dignity, and an exciting mystery in his indecipherable phiz.  I saw that there was no danger of our becoming friends.  There existed an antagonism in our natures which might lead to, defiance and hostility, or possibly terminate in mutual respect.

Loolowcan was his name.  I took him for better or for worse, without questions.

Owhhigh fully vouched for him, but who would vouch for the voucher?  Who could satisfy me that the horse-thieving morality of papa might not result in scalp-thieving principles in the youth?  At least, he knew the way unerringly.  My path was theirs, of constant transit from inland to seaside.  As to his conduct, Owhhigh gave him an impressive harangue, stretching forth his arm in its fringed sleeve, and gesturing solemnly.  This paternal admonition was, for my comprehension, expressed in Chinook jargon, doubly ludicrous with Owhhigh’s sham stateliness of rhetoric.  His final injunctions to young hopeful may be condensed as follows: 

“Great chief go to Dalles.  Want to go fast.

Six days.  Good pay.  S’pose want fresh horses other side mountains, you get ’em.  Get everything.  Look sharp.  No fear bad Indian at Dalles; great chief not let ’em, beat you.  Be good boy!  Good bye!”

Owhhigh presented me, as a parting gift, his whip, which I had admired, a neat baton with a long hide lash and loop of otter fur for the wrist I could by its aid modify, without altering, the system of education already pursued with my horses.  Homeric studies had taught me that the gifts of heroes should be reciprocal.  I therefore, for lack of more significant token, prayed Owhhigh to accept a piece of silver.  We shook hands elaborately and parted.  He was hung or shot last summer in the late Indian wars of that region.  I regret his martyrdom, and hope that in his present sphere his skill as a horse-thief is better directed.

I had also adieux to offer to Mr. H., and thanks for his kind energy in forwarding me.  From him, as from all the gentlemen of the Hudson’s Bay Company in the Northwest, I had received the most genuine hospitality, hearty entertainment, legendary and culinary.

And now for my long ride across the country!  Here, Loolowcan, is Gubbins, thy steed, drive thou Antipodes, clumsiest of cobs.  I have mounted Klale, let us gallop eastward.

Eastward I galloped with what eager joy!  I flung myself again alone upon the torrent of adventure, with a lurking hope that I might prove new sensations of danger, new tests of manhood in its confident youth.  I was going homeward across the breadth of the land, and with the excitement of this large thought there came a slight reactionary sinking of heart, and a dread lest I had exhausted onward life, and now, turning back from its foremost verge, should find myself dwindling into dull conservatism, and want of prophetic faith.  I feared that I was retreating from the future into the past.  Yet if one but knew it, his retreats are often his wisest and bravest advances.

I had, however, little time for meditation, morbid or healthy.  Something always happens, in the go and the gallop of travel, demanding quick, instinctive action.  Antipodes was in this case the agent to make me know my place.  Antipodes, pointing his nose eastward toward his native valleys, had pounded along the trail for a couple of miles over the hillocks of a stony prairie, and on his back rattled my packs, for solace or annoyance, according to his own views.  At a fork of the trail, Loolowcan urged Gubbins to the front, to indicate the route.  Right-about went Antipodes.  Back toward Squally bolted that stiff-legged steed, stiff-legged no more, but far too limber, and louder on his back rattled my pots and pans, a merry sound, could I have listened with no thought of the pottage and pancakes that depended upon the safety of my tin-ware.  Still I could be amused at his grotesque gallop, for he had not discomfited me, and I could chuckle at the thought of another sound, when he was overtaken, and when upon a strawberry-roan surface fell the whip, the Owhhigh gift, now swinging at my wrist by its loop of otter-skin, for greater momentum of stroke.  Clattering over the paved prairie we hied, the defaulter a little in advance and artfully dodging, Loolowcan and I close upon him.  Still more artfully at last he made show of finding the trail, and went pounding along, as if no traitorous stampede had happened.  A total failure was this crafty sham, this too late repentance and acknowledgment of defeat.  Vengeance will not thus be baffled.  Men discover with bitterness that nature continues to use the scourge long after they have reformed, until relapse becomes impossible by the habit of virtue.  So Antipodes experienced.  Pendulum whips do not swing for nothing, and he never again attempted absolute revolt, but grumblingly acknowledged his duty to his master.

This was an evening of August, in a climate where summer is never scorching nor blasting.  We breathe air as a matter of course, unobservant usually of how fair a draught it is.  But to-night the chalice of nature was brimming with a golden haze, which touched the lips with luxurious winy flavor.

So inhaling delicate gray-gold puffs of indolent summer-evening air, and much tranquillized by such beverage, mild yet rich, I rode on, now under the low oaks, now over a ripe prairie, and now beside a lake fresh, pure, and feminine.  And whenever a vista opened eastward, Tacoma appeared above the low-lying mists of the distance.  “Polikely, spose mika tikky, nesika mitlite copa Comcomli house; to-night, if you please, we stop at Comcomli’s house,” said Loolowcan the taciturn.

Night was at hand, and where was the house?  It is not wise to put off choice of camping-ground till dark; foresight is as needful to a campaigner as to any other mortal.  But presently, in a pretty little prairie, we reached the spot where a certain Montgomery, wedded to a squaw, had squatted, and he should be our host.  His name, too articulate for Indian lips, they had softened to Comcomli.  A similar corruption befell the name, of the Scotticized chief of the Chinooks, whom Astor’s people found at Astoria, and whom Mr. Irving has given to history.

Mr. Comcomli was absent, but his comely “mild-eyed, melancholy” squaw received us hospitably.  Her Squallyamish proportions were oddly involved in limp robes of calico, such as her sisters from Pike County wear.  She gave us a supper of fried pork, bread, and tea.  We encamped upon her floor, and were somewhat trodden under foot by little half-breed Comcomlis, patrolling about during the night-watches.

Loolowcan here began to show the white feather.  His heart sank when he contemplated the long leagues of the trail.  He wanted to return.  He was solitary, homesick for the congenial society of other youths with matted hair, dusky skins, paint-daubed cheeks, low brows, and distinguished frowziness of apparel.  He wanted to squat by camp-fires, and mutter guttural gibberish to such as these.  The old, undying feud of blackguard against gentleman seemed in danger of pronouncing itself.  Besides, be feared hostile siwashes at the Dalles of the Columbia.  In his superstitious soul of a savage he dreaded, or pretended to dread, some terrible magical influence in the gloomy forests of the mountains.  Of evil omen to me, and worse than any demon spell in the craggy dells of the Cascades, was this vacillation of my guide.  However, I argued somewhat, and somewhat wheedled and bullied the doubter.  Loolowcan was harder to keep in line than Antipodes.  One may tame Bucephalus, but several new elements of character are to be considered when the attempt is made to manage Pagan savages.

At last my guide seemed to waver over to the side of good faith, with a dishonest air and a pretence of wishing to oblige.  Shaken confidence hardly returns, and from hour to hour, as the little Comcomlis pranced over my person, and trampled my upturned nose a temporary aquilline, I awoke and studied the dark spot where my dusky comrade lay.  Each time I satisfied myself that he had not flitted.  Nor did he.  When morning came, his heart grew bigger.  Difficulties portentous in the ghostly obscure of night vanished with cock-crowing.  He contemplated his fair proportions, and felt that new clothes would become them.  He rose, stalked about, and longed for the dignified drapery of a new blanket.  How the other low-browed and squalid, from whom he had been selected for his knowledge as a linguist and his talents as a guide, how they would scoff, and call him Kallapooya, meanest of Indians, if he sneaked back to camp bootless!  He turned to me, and saw me a civilized man, in garb and guise to be envied.  So for a time treachery was argued out of the heart of Loolowcan the frowzy.


To have started with dawn is a proud and exhilarating recollection all the day long.  The most godlike impersonality men know is the sun.  To him the body should pay its matinal devotions, its ardent, worshipful greetings, when he comes, the joy of the world; then is the soul elated to loftier energies, and nerved to sustain its own visions of glories transcending the spheres where the sun reigns sublime.  Tame and inarticulate is the harmony of a day that has not known the delicious preludes of dawn.  For the sun, the godlike, does not come hastily blundering in upon the scene.  Nor does he bounce forth upon the arena of his action, like a circus clown.  Much beautiful labor of love is done by earth and sky, preparing a pageant where their Lord shall enter.  Slowly, like the growth of any feeling grand, deep, masterful, and abiding, nature’s power of comprehending the coming blessing develops.  First, up in the colorless ranges of night there is a feeling of quiver and life, broader than the narrow twinkle of stars, a tender lucency, not light, but rather a sense of the departing of darkness.  Then a gray glimmer, like the sheen of filed silver, trembles upward from the black horizon.  Gray deepens to violet.  Clouds flush and blaze.  The sky grows azure.  The pageant thickens.  Beams dart up.  The world shines golden.  The sun comes forth to cheer, to bless, to vivify.

For other reasons more obviously practical, needs must that campaigners stir with dawn, and start with sunrise.  No daylight is long enough for its possible work, as no life is long enough for its possible development in wisdom and love.  In the beautiful, fresh hours of early day vigorous influences are about.  The sun is doing his uphill work easily, climbing without a thought of toil to the breathing-spot of high noon.  Every flower of the world is boldly open; there is no languid droop in any stem.  Blades of grass have tossed lightly off each its burden of a dew-drop, and now stand upright and alert.  Man rises from recumbency taller by fractions of an inch than when he sank to repose, with a brain leagues higher up in the regions of ability, leagues above doubt and depression; and a man on a march, with long wildness of mountain and plain to overpass, is urged by necessity to convert power into achievement.

Up, then, at earliest of light, I sprang from the ground.  I roused Loolowcan, and found him in healthier and braver mood, and ready to lead on.  While, after one sympathetic gaze at Aurora, I made up my packs, my Klickatat untethered the horses from spots where all night they had champed the succulent grasses.  This control of tethering was necessary on separating my steeds from their late comrades.  Indian nags, like Indian youths, are gregarious, and had my ponies escaped, I should probably have seen them nevermore.  Even my graceful Adonis, the Spokan, would not have hesitated to seclude a stray Antipodes, galloping back to the herd, and innocently to offer me another and a sorrier, to be bought with fresh moneys.

The trail took us speedily into a forest-temple.  Long years of labor by artists the most unconscious of their skill had been given to modelling these columnar firs.  Unlike the pillars of human architecture, chipped and chiselled in bustling, dusty quarries, and hoisted to their site by sweat of brow and creak of pulley, these rose to fairest proportion by the life that was in them, and blossomed into foliated capitals three hundred feet overhead.

Riding steadily on, I found no thinning of this mighty array, no change in the monotony of this monstrous vegetation.  These giants with their rough plate-armor were masters here; one of human stature was unmeaning and incapable.  With an axe, a man of muscle might succeed in smiting off a flake or a chip, but his slight fibres seemed naught to battle, with any chance of victory, with the time-hardened sinews of these Goliaths.  It grew somewhat dreary to follow down the vistas of this ungentle woodland, passing forever between rows of rough-hewn pillars, and never penetrating to any shrine where sunshine entered and dwelt, and garlands grew for the gods of the forest.  Wherever I rode into the sombre vista, and turned by chance to trace the trail behind me, the dark-purple trunks, drew together, like a circuit of palisades, and closed after, crowding me forward down the narrow inevitable way, as ugly sins, co-operating only to evolve an uglier remorse, forbid the soul to turn back to purity, and crowd it, shrinking, on into blacker falseness to itself.

Before my courage was quelled by a superstitious dread that from this austere wood was no escape, I came upon a river, cleaving the darkness with a broad belt of sunshine.  A river signifies much on the earth.  It signifies something to mix with proper drinkables; it signifies navigation, in birch-canoe, seventy-four, floating palace, dug-out, or lumber ark; it signifies motion, less transitory than the tremble of leaves, and shadows.  This particular river, the Puyallop, had another distinct significance to me, it was certain to supply provisions, fish, salmon.  As I expected, some fishing Indians were here to sell me their silver beauty, a noble fellow who this morning had tasted the pickle of Whulge, and had the cosmopolitan look of a fish but now from ocean palace and grot, where he was a welcome guest and a regretted absentee.  It was truly to be deplored that he could never reappear in those Neptunian realms with tales of wild adventure; yet if to this most brilliant of fish his hour of destiny had come, how much better than feeding foul Indians it was to belong to me, who would treat his proportions with respect, feel the exquisiteness of his coloring, grill him delicately, and eat him daintily!

Potatoes, also, I bought of the Indians, and bagged them till my bags were knobby withal—­potatoes with skins of smooth and refined texture, like the cheeks of a brunette, and like them showing fair rosiness through the transparent brown.  For these peaceful products I paid in munitions of war.  Four charges of powder and shot were deemed by the Nestor of the siwash family a liberal, even a lavishly bounteous price, for twoscore of tubers and a fifteen-pound salmon; and in two corners of the flap of his sole inner and outer garment that tranquil sage tied up his hazardous property.  Such barter dignifies marketing.  Usually what a man pays for his dinner does not interest the race; but here I was giving destruction for provender, death for life.  Perhaps Nestor shot the next traveller with my ammunition, and the juices of that salmon were really my brother Yankee’s blood.  Avaunt, horrid thought! and may it be that the powder and the shot went for killing porcupines, or that their treasurer stumbled in the stream, and drowned his deadly stores!

Well satisfied with my new possessions, I said adieu to the monotonous mumblers of Puyallop, a singularly fishy old gentleman, his wife an oleaginous hag, an emotionless youth of the Loolowcan type, and a flat-faced young damsel with a circle of vermilion on each broad cheek and a red blanket for all raiment.  I waded the milky stream, scuffled across its pebbly bed, and plunged again among the phalanxes of firs.  These opened a narrow trail, wide enough to wind rapidly along, and my little cortege dashed on deeper into the wilderness.  I had not yet entirely escaped from civilization, so much as Yankee pioneers carry with them, namely, blue blankets and the smell of fried pork.  In a prairie about noon to-day, I saw a smoke, near that smoke a tent, and at that smoke two men in ex-soldier garb.  Frying pork were these two braves, as at most habitations, up and down and athwart this continent, cooking braves or their wives are doing three times a day, incensing dawn, noon, and sun set.  These two had taken this pretty prairie as their “claim,” hoping to become the vanguard of colonization.  They became its forlorn hope.  The point of civilization’s entering wedge into barbarism is easily knocked off.  These squatters were knocked off, as some of the earliest victims of the Indian war three summers after my visit.  It is odd how much more interest I take in these two settlers since I heard that they were scalped.  More fair prairies strung themselves along the trail, possibly less fair in seeming to me then, could I have known that murder would soon disfigure them; that savages, and perhaps among them the low-browed Loolowcan, would lurk behind the purple trunks of these colossal firs, watching not in vain for the safe moment to slay.  For so it was, and the war in that territory began three years after, by massacres in these outlying spots.

I was now to be greeted by a nearer vision of an old love.  A great bliss, or a sublime object, or a giant aspiration of our souls, lifts first upon our horizon, and swelling fills our sphere, and stoops forward with winsome condescension.  And taking our clew, we approach through the labyrinths.  Glimpses are never wanting to sustain us, lest we faint and fail along the lacerating ways.  Such a glimpse I was now to have of Tacoma.  I had long been obstructedly nearing it, first in the leaky Bucentaur, propelled over strong-flowing Whulge by Klalams, drunken, crapulous, unsteady, timid, such agents progress finds; next by alliance of Owhhigh, the horse-thief, and aid from the Hudson’s Bay Company; then between the files of veteran evergreens in plate-armor, tempered purple by the fiery, sun, and across prairies where might have hung an ominous mist of blood.  Now suddenly, as Klale the untiring disentangled us from the black forest, and galloped out upon a little prairie, delighted to comb his fetlocks in the long yellow grass, I beheld Tacoma at hand, still undwarfed by any underlift of lower ridges, and only its snows above the pines.  Over the pines, the snow peak against the sky presented the quiet fraternal tricolor of nature, who always, Where there is default of uppermost peaks to be white with clouds fallen in the form of snow, brings the clouds themselves, so changefully fair that we hardly wish them more sublimely permanent, and heaps them above the green against the blue.  Here, then against the unapproachable glory of an Oregon summer sky stood Tacoma, less dreamy, than when I floated over its shadow, but not less divine, no divine thing dwindles as one with sparks of divineness in his mind approaches.

Yet I could not dally here to watch Tacoma bloom at sunset against a violet sky.  Alas that life with an object cannot linger among its own sweet episodes!  My camp was farther on, but the revolutionary member of the party, Antipodes, hinted that we would do wisely to set up our tabernacle here.  His view of such a hint was to bolt off where grass grew highest, and standing there interpose a mobile battery of heels between his Ranks and their castigators.  This plan failed; a horse, cannot balance on his fore legs and take hasty bites of long, luxurious fodder, while he brandishes his hind legs in the air.  Some sweeter morsel will divert his mind from self-defence; his assailants will get within his guard.  Penance follows, and Antipodes must again hammer elephantine along the trail.

What now?  What is this strange object in the utterly lonely woods, a furry object hanging on a bush by our faint and obstructed trail?  A cap of fox-skin, fantastic with tails.  And what, O Loolowcan the mysterious, means this tailful head-gear, hung carefully, as if a signal?  “It is,” replied Loolowcan, depositing it upon his capless mop of hair, my brother’s cap, and he must be hereabouts he informs me of his neighborhood, and will meet us presently.”  “Son of Owhhigh, what doth thy brother skulking along our trail?” How should I know, my chief?  Indian come, Indian go; he somewhere, he nowhere.  Perhaps my brother go to mountains see Tamanous, want to be big medicine.”

Presently, appearing from nowhere, there stood in the trail a little, shabby, capless Indian, armed with a bow and arrows, a personage not at all like the pompous, white-cravatted, typical big-medicine man of civilization, armed with gold-headed cane.  Where this M. D. had been prowling, or from what lair he discovered our approach, or by what dodging he evaded us along the circuits of the trail, was a mystery of which he offered no explanation.  The presence of this disciple of Tamanous, this tyro magician, this culler of simples, this amateur spy, or whatever else he might be, was unaccountable.  He was the counterpart of Loolowcan, but evidently an inferior spirit to that youth of promise.  He offered me his hand, not without Indian courtesy, and be and his compatriot, if not brother, plunged together into a splutter of confidential talk.

The Doctor, for he did not introduce himself by name, trotted along by the side of the ambling Gubbins, and soon, just before sunset, we emerged upon a little circle of ferny prairie, our camp, already known to me by the description of Owhhigh.  The White River, the S’Ka,mish flowed hard by, behind a belt of luxuriant arbor-vitae.  With the Doctor’s aid, we took down pot and pan, blanket and bread-bag, from the galled back of the much-enduring Antipodes, and gave to him and his two comrades full license to bury themselves, among the tall, fragrant ferns, and nibble, without stooping, top bits from the gigantic grass.  It was a perfect spot for a bivouac, a fairy ring of ferns beneath the tall, dark shelter of the firs.  Tacoma was near, an invisible guardian, hidden by the forest.  Beside us the rushing river sounded lulling music, making rest sweeter by its contrast of tireless toil.  And thus under favorable auspices we set ourselves to prepare for the great event of supper, the Doctor slipping quietly into the position of a welcome guest without invitation.

I lifted the salmon to view.  Loolowcan’s murky brow expanded.  A look became decipherable upon that mysterious phiz, and that look meant gluttony.  The delicate substance of my aristocratic fish was presently, to be devoured by frowzy Klickatat.  At least, O pair of bush-boys, you shall have cleanlier ideas of cookery than heretofore in your gypsy life, and be taught that civilization in me, its representative for want of a better, does not disdain accepting the captaincy of a kitchen battery.  First, then, my marmitons, clear ye a space carefully of herbage, and trample down the ferns about, lest the flame of our fire show affinity to this natural hay, and our fair paddock become a charred and desolate waste.  We will have salmon in three courses on this festive occasion, when I, for the first time, entertain two young Klickatats of distinction.  Do thou, Loolowcan, seek by the river-side tenacious twigs of alder and maple, wherewith to construct an upright gridiron.  One blushing half of that swimmer of the Puyallop shall stand and toast on this slight scaffolding.  Portions from the other half shall be fried in this pan, and other portions, from the thicker part, shall be neatly wrapped in green leaves, and bake beneath the ashes.

So it was done, and well done.  The colors that are encased within a salmon, awaiting fire that they may bloom, came forth artistically.  On the toasted surface brightened warm yellows, and ruddy orange; and delicate pinkness, softened with downy gray, suffused the separating flakes.  Potatoes, too, roasted beneath aromatic ashes by the side of roasting blocks of salmon—­potatoes hardened their crusts against too ardent heat, that slowly ripeness might penetrate to their heart of hearts.  Unworthy the cook that does not feel the poetry of his trade!

The two Klickatats, whether brothers or fellow-clansmen, feasted enormously.  Rasher after rasher of the fried, block after block of the roasted, flake after flake of the toasted salmon vanished.  I should have supposed that the Doctor was suffering with a bulimy, after short commons in his worship of Tamanous, the mountain demon, had not the appetite of Loolowcan, although well fed at three meals in my service, been equal or greater.  Before they were quite gorged, I made them a pot of tea, well boiled and sticky with sugar, and then retired to my dhudeen.  The summer evening air enfolded me sweetly, and down from the cliffs and snowy mounds of Tacoma a cool breeze fell like the spray of a cascade.

After their banquet, the Indians were in merry mood, and fell to chaffing one another.  With me Loolowcan was taciturn.  I could not tell whether he was dull, sulky, or suspicious.  When I smote him with the tempered steel of a keen query, meaning to elicit sparks of information on Indian topics, no illumination came.  He acted judiciously his part, and talked little.  Nor did he bore me with hints, as bystanders do in Christendom, but believed that I knew also my part.  With his comrade be was communicative and jolly, even to uproariousness.  They laughed sunset out and twilight in, finding entertainment in everything that was or that happened, in their raggedness, in the holes in their moccasins, in their overstuffed proportions after dinner, in the little skirmishes of the horses, when a grass hopper chirped or a cricket sang, when either of them found a sequence of blackberries or pricked himself with a thorn, in every fact of our little world these children of nature found wonderment and fun.  They laughed themselves sleepy, and then dropped into slumber in the ferny covert.

As night drew on, heaven overhead, seen as from the bottom of a well, was so starry clear and intelligible, and the circuit of forest so dreamy mysterious by contrast, that I found restful delight, better than sleep, in studying the clearness above the mystery.  But twilight drifted away after the sun, and darkness blackened my green blankets.  I mummied myself in their folds, and rolled in among the tall, elastic, fragrant ferns.

My last vision, as sleep came upon me, was the eyes of Loolowcan staring at me, and glowing serpent-like.  At midnight, when I stirred, the same look watched me by the dim light of our embers.  And when gray dawn drew over our bivouac, and my blankets from black to green began to turn, the same dusky, unvariegated eyeballs were inspecting me still.  As to the little medicine-man, he had no responsibility at present; a pleasant episode had befallen him, and he made the most of it, sleeping unwatchfully.

Seediness of a morning is not the meed of him who has slept near Tacoma with naught but a green blanket and miles of elastic atmosphere between him and the stars.  When I woke, sleep fell from me suddenly, as a lowly, disguise falls from a prince in a pantomime.  I sprang up, myself, fresh, clear-eyed, and with never a regretful yawn.  Nothing was astir in nature save the river, rushing nigh at hand, and rousing me to my day’s career by its tale of travel and urgency.

It was a joy to behold three horses so well fed as my stud appeared.  Klale looked toward me and whinnied gratefully for the juicy grasses and ferny bed of his sheltered paddock, and also for the remembrance of a new sensation he had had the day before, he had carried a biped through a day of travel, and the biped had not massacred him with his whip.  Klale thought better and more hopefully of humanity.  Tougher Gubbins, who, with Loolowcan on his back, had had no such experience, sung no paeans, but stood doltishly awaiting a continuance of the inevitable discomforts of life.

After breakfast, the Doctor hinted that he liked my cheer and my society, and would gladly volunteer to accompany me if I would mount him upon Antipodes.  I pointed out to him that it would be weak to follow with us, along flowery paths of pleasure, when stern virtue called him to the mountain-tops; that Tamanous would not pardon backsliding.  I suggested that I was prepared for the appetite of only one Klickatat gourmand, and that my tacit bargain with Antipodes did not include his carrying an eater as well as provisions.  The youth received my refusal impassively; to ask for everything, and never be disappointed at getting nothing, is Indian manners.  We left him standing among the ferns, gazing vacantly upon the world, and devouring a present of hard-tack I had given him, he was ridding himself at once of that memorial of civilization, that, with bow and arrows in hand, he might relapse into barbarism, in pathless wilds along the flanks of Tacoma.

Soon the trail took a dip in the river, a morning bath in S’Kamish.  Rapid, turbulent, and deep was the S’Kamish, white with powder of the boulders it had been churning above, and so turbid that boulders here were invisible.  We must ford with our noses pointing up stream, lest the urgent water, bearing against the broadsides of our unsteady horses, should dowse, if not drown us.  Klale, floundering sometimes, but always recovering himself, took me over stoutly.  My moccasins and scarlet leggins were wet, but I had not become dazed in the whirr and fallen, as it is easy to do.  Lubberly Antipodes flinched.  He had some stupid theory that the spot we had chosen, just at the break above of a rapid, was a less commodious ford than the smooth whirlpools below.  He turned aside from honest roughness to deluding smoothness.  He stepped into the treacherous pool, and the waters washed over him.  There was bread in the bags he bore.  In an instant he scrambled out, trying to look meritorious, as dolts do when they have done doltishly, and yet escaped.  And there was pulp in the bags he bore.  Pulp of hard-tack was now oozing through the seams.  I was possessor of two bag puddings.  My cakes were dough.  Downright and desiccating may be the sunshine of Oregon August, but pilot-bread converted into wet sponge resists a sunbeam as a cotton-bale resists a cannon-ball.  Only a few inner layers of the bread were untouched; as to the outer strata, mouldiness pervaded them.  Yet some one profited by this disaster; Loolowcan henceforth had mouldy biscuit at discretion.  His discretion would not have rejected even a fungous article.  To him my damp and crumbling crackers were a delicacy, the better for their earthy fragrance and partial fermentation.

We struck the trail again after this slight misadventure, and went on through forests nobler and denser than those of the dry levels near Whulge.  The same S’Kamish floods that spoiled my farinaceous stores nourished to greater growth the mighty vegetables of this valley.  The arbor-vitae here gained grander arborescence and fresher vitality.  This shrub of our gardens in the Middle States, and gnarled tree of the Northeast, becomes in the Northwest a giant pyramid, with rich plates of foliage drooping massively about a massive trunk.  Its full, juicy verdure, sweeping to the ground, is a relief after the monotony of the stark stems of fir forests.  There was no lack of luxuriant undergrowth along these lowlands by the river.  The narrow trail plunged into thickets impenetrable but for its aid.  Wherever ancient trunks had fallen, there they lay; some in old decay had become green, mossy mounds, the long graves of prostrate giants, so carefully draped with their velvet covering, that all sense of ruin was gone.  And some, that fell from uprightness but a few seasons ago, showed still their purple bark deepening in hue, and dotted with tufts of Moss; or where a crack had opened and revealed their inner structure rotting slowly away, there was such warm coloring as nature loves to shed, that even decay may not be unlovely, and the powdery wood, fractured into flaky cubes, showed browns deep as the tones of old Flemish pictures, or changeful agate-like crimsons and solid yellows.  Not always had the ancient stem fallen to lie prone and hidden by younger growths, whose life was sucked from the corse of their ancestor.  Sometimes, as the antiquated arbor-vitae, worn away at its base, swayed, bent, and went crashing downward, it had been arrested among the close ranks of upstart trunks, and hung there still, with long gray moss floating from it like the torn banners in a baronial chapel, hung there until its heart should rot and crumble, and then, its shell of bark breaking, it should give way, and shower down in scales and dust.

In this Northern forest there was no feverish apprehension, such as we feel in a jungle of the tropics, that every breath may be poison, that centipede in boot and scorpion in pocket, mere external perils, will be far less fatal than the inhaling of dense miasms, stirred from villanous ambushes beneath mounds of flowery verdure.  Here no black and yellow serpent defended the way, lifting above its ugly coil a mobile head, with jaws that quiver and fangs that play.  It was a forest without Poison, without miasma, and without venom.

It was a forest just not impassable for a train like mine, and the trail was but a faint indication of a way, suggesting nothing except to the trained eye of an Indian.  Into the pleached thickets Klale could plunge and crash through, while, his cavalier fought against buffeting branches, and bent to saddle-horn to avoid the fate of Absalom.  But when new-fallen trunks of the sylvan giants, or great mossy mounds, built barricades across the path, tall as the quadruped whose duty it was to leap over them how in such case Klale the sprightly? how here Antipodes the flounderer? how Gubbins, stiff in the joints?

Thus, by act answered Klale, thus; by a leap, by a scramble, by a jerking plunge, by a somerset; like a cat, like a squirrel, like a monkey, like an acrobat, like a mustang.  To overpass these obstacles is my business; be it yours to pass with me.  You must prove to me, a nag of the Klickatats, that Boston strangers are as sticky as siwashes.  Centaurs have somewhat gone out.  I have been a party and an actor when the mustang sprang lightly over the barricade, and his rider stayed upon the other side supine, and gazing still where he had just seen a disappearance of horse-heels.

Not wishing to lose the respect of so near a comrade as my horse, I did not allow our union to be dissolved.  We clung together like voluntary Siamese twins, dashing between fir-trunks, where my nigh leg or my off leg must whisk away to avoid amputation, thrusting ourselves beneath the aromatic denseness of the drooping arbor-vitae, smothered together in punk when a moss mound gave way and we sank down into the dusty grave of a buried monarch of his dell, or caught and balanced half-way over as we essayed to leap the broad back of a fir fifteen feet in the girth.  Whether Klale, in our frantic scrambles, became a biped, gesticulating and clutching the air with two hoofed arms, or whether a monopod, alighted on his nose, and lifting on high a quintette of terminations, four legs and a tail, still Klale and I remained inseparable.

Assuredly the world has no path worse than that, not even South American muds or damaged corduroys in tropic swamps.  But men must pay their footing by labor, and we urged on, with horses educated to their task, often fording the S’Kamish, and careless now of wetting, clambering up ridges black with sunless woods, and penetrating steadily on through imperviousness.  Indian trails aim at the open hill-sides and avoid the thickset valleys; but in this most primeval of forests the obstacles on the rugged buttresses of the Cascade chain were impracticable as the dense growth below.

“Ancoti nesika nanitch Boston hooihut; presently we see the Boston road,” said Loolowcan.  A glad sight whenever it comes, should “Boston road” here imply neat Macadam, well kept sidewalks, and files of pretty cottages, behind screens of disciplined shrubbery.  I had heard indefinitely that a party of “Boston” men, for so all Americans are called in the Chinook jargon were out from the settlements of Whulge, viewing, or possibly opening, a way across the Cascades, that emigrants of this summer might find their way into Washington Territory direct, leaving the great overland caravan route near the junction of the two forks of the Columbia.  Such an enterprise was an epoch in progress.  It was the first effort of an infant community to assert its individuality and emancipate itself from the tutelage of Oregon.

Very soon the Boston hooihut became apparent.  An Indian’s trail came into competition with a civilized man’s rude beginnings of a road.  Wood-choppers had passed through the forest, like a tornado, making a broad belt of confusion.  Trim Boston neighborhoods would have scoffed at this rough-and-tumble cleft of the wild wood, and declined being responsible for its title.  And yet two centuries before this tramp of mine, my progenitors were cutting just such paths near Boston, and then Canonicus, Chickatabot, and Passaconomy, sagamores of that region, were regarding the work very much as Owhhigh, Skloo, and Kamaiakan, the “tyees” hereabouts, might contrast this path with theirs.  At present this triumvirate of chieftainly siwashes would have rightly deemed the Boston road far inferior to their own.  So the unenlightened generally deem, when they inspect the destruction that precedes reconstruction.  This was a transition period.  In the Cascades, Klickatat institutions were toppling, Boston notions coming in.  It was the fulness of time.  Owhhigh and his piratical band, slaves of Time and Space, might go dodging with lazy detours about downcast trunks, about tangles of shrubs and brambles, about zones of morass; but Boston clans were now, in the latter day, on the march, intending to be masters of Time and Space, and straightforwardness was to be the law of motion here.

It was a transition state of things on the Boston hooihut, with all the incommodities of that condition.  The barricades of destructive disorder were in place, not yet displaced by constructive order.  Passage by this road of the future was monstrous hard.

There is really no such thing as a conservative.  Joshua is the only one on record who ever accomplished anything, and he only, kept things quiet for one day.  We must either move forward with Hope and Faith, or backward to decay and death of the soul.  But though no man, not even himself, has any real faith in a conservative, for this one occasion I was compelled to violate the law of my nature, to identify myself with conservatism, and take the ancient trail instead of the modern highway.  Stiff as the obstacles in the trail might be, the obstacles of the road were still stiffer; stumps were in it, fresh cut and upstanding with sharp or splintered edges; felled trunks were in it, with wedge-shaped buts and untrimmed branches, forming impregnable abattis.  One might enter those green bowers as a lobster enters the pot; extrication was another and a tougher task.  Every inch of the surface was planted with laming caltrops, and the saplings and briers that once grew there elastic were now thrown together, a bristling hedge.  A belt of forest had been unmade and nothing made.  Patriotic sympathy did indeed influence me to stumble a little way along this shaggy waste.  I launched my train into this complexity, floundered awhile in one of its unbridged bogs, and wrestled in its thorny labyrinths, until so much of my patience as was not bemired was flagellated to death by scorpion scourges of briers.  I trod these mazes until even Klale showed signs of disgust, and Antipodes, ungainly plodder, could only be propelled by steady discipline of thwacks.  Then I gave up my attempt to be a consistent radical.  I shook off the shavings and splinters of a pioneer chaos, and fell back into primeval ways.  In the siwash hooihut there was nothing to be expected, and therefore no acrid pang of disappointment pierced my prophetic soul when I found that path no better than it should be.  Pride fired those dusky tunnels, the eyes of Loolowcan, when we alighted again upon his national road.  The Boston hooihut was a failure, a miserable muddle.  Loolowcan leaped Gubbins over the first barricade and, pointing where Antipodes trotted to, the sound of rattling packs along the serpentine way, said calmly, and without too ungenerous scorn, “Closche ocook; beautiful this.”

Though I had abandoned their undone road, I was cheered to have met fresh traces of my countrymen.  Their tree surgery was skilful.  No clumsy, tremulous hand had done butchery here with haggling axe.  The chopping was handiwork of artists, men worthy to be regicide headsmen of forest monarchs.  By their cleavage light first shone into this gloaming; the selfish grandeurs of this incognito earth were opened to day.  I flung myself forward two centuries, and thanked these pioneers in the persons of posterity dwelling peacefully in this noble region.  He who strikes the first blow merits all thanks.  May my descendants be as grateful to these Boston men as I am now to the Boston men of two centuries ago.  And may they remember ancestral perils and difficulties kindly, as I now recall how godly Puritans once brandished ruder axes and bill-hooks, opening paths of future peace on the shores of Massachusetts.

Our ascent was steady, along the gorge of the S’Kamish, ever in this same dense forest.  We had, however escaped from the monotony of the bare fir-trunks.  Columns, even such as those gracefullest relics of Olympian Jove’s temple by the Cephissus, would weary were they planted in ranks for leagues.  The magnificent pyramids of arbor-vitae filled the wood with sheen from their bright, varnished leafage.  It was an un tenanted, silent forest, but silence here in this sunshiny morning I found not awful, hardly even solemn.  Solitude became to me personal, and pregnant with possible emanations, as if I were a faithful pagan in those early days when gods were seen of men, and when, under Grecian skies, Pan and the Naiads whispered their secrets to the lover of Nature.

There was rough vigor in these scenes, which banished the half-formed dread that forest loneliness and silence without a buzz or a song, and dim vistas where sunlight falls in ghostly shapes, and leaves shivering as if a sprite had passed, may inspire.  Pan here would have come in the form of a rough, jolly giant, typifying the big, beneficent forces of Nature in her rugged moods.  Instead of dreading such a comrade, his presence seemed a fitting culmination to the influences of the spot, and, yielding to a wild exhilaration, I roused the stillness with appealing shouts.

“Mika wah wah copa Tamanous? you talk with demons?” inquired Loolowcan with something of mysterious awe in his tone.

I called unto the gods of the forest, but none answered.  No sound came back to me save some chance shots of echo where my voice struck a gray, sinewy cedar-trunk, that rang again, or the gentle murmur of solitude disturbed deep in the grove, as the circles of agitated air vibrated again to calmness.  No answer from Pan or Pan’s unruly rout, no sound from Satyr, Nymph, or Faun, though I shouted and sang ever so loudly to them upon my way.

Through this broad belt of woodland, utterly lifeless and lonely, I rode steadily, never dallying.  In the early afternoon I came upon a little bushy level near the S’Kamish.  We whisked along the bends of the trail, when, suddenly whisking, I pounced upon a biped, a man, a Caucasian man, a Celtic soldier, a wayworn U.S.  Fourth Infantry sergeant, a meditative smoker, apart from the little army encamped within hail.

I followed him toward the tent of his fellows.  They were not revelling in the mad indulgence of camp-life.  Nor were their prancing steeds champing angry bits and neighing defiance at the foe.  Few of those steeds Were in marching, much less in prancing order.  If they champed their iron bits, it was because they had no other nutriment to nibble at in that adust halting-place.  As to camp revelry, the American army has revelled but once, in the Halls of the Montezumas, a very moderate allowance of revelry for a space of threescore and ten years.  Since that time they have fortunately escaped the ugly business of butchery, antecedent to revelry.  Their better duty has been to act as the educated pioneers and protectors of Western progress.

Such was the office of this detachment.  They were of Capt.  McClellan’s expedition for flushing a Pacific Railroad in the brakes and bosks and tangled forests of the Cascades.  I, taking casual glimpses through intricacy, had flushed or seared up only an unfledged Boston hooihut.  Their success had been no greater, and while the main body continued the hunt, this smaller party was on commissariat service, going across to Squally and Steilacoom for other bags of pork and hard-tack, lest dinnerlessness should befall the Hunters of Railroads, and there should be aching voids among them that no tightening of belt-buckles could relieve.

I found an old acquaintance, Lieut.  H., in command of these foragers.  Three months before we had descended the terrace where Columbia Barracks behold the magnificent sweeps of the Columbia, and, far beyond, across a realm of forest, Mt.  Hood, sublime pyramid of snows, we had strolled down together to the river-bank to take our stirrup-cup with Governor Ogden, kindliest of hosts, at the Hudson’s Bay Company’s post of Fort Vancouver.  Now, after wanderings hither and yon, we suddenly confronted each other in the wilderness, and exchanged hearty greetings.  I was the enviable man, with my compact party and horses in tolerable condition.  He officered a squadron of Rosinantes, a very wayworn set, and the obstacles on the trail that I could lightly skip over he must painfully beleaguer.  He informed me that the road-makers were at work somewhere this side of the summit of the Pass.  I might overtake them before night.

While we sympathized and gossiped, Loolowcan slunk forward to say, “Sia-a-ah mitlite ocook tipsoo, car nesika moosum; far, far is that grass spot where we sleep; pe wake siah chaco polikely; and not far comes night.”

So I turned from the tents of the busy camp, busy even in repose.  H. walked with me to the S’Kamish to show me the ford.  If from the scanty relics of his stores he could not offer hospitality, he would give me a fact from his experience of crossing the river, so that I need not dip involuntarily in the deeps, and swallow cold comfort.  On the bank some whittlers of his squad had amused themselves with whittling down a taper fir-tree, a slender wand, three hundred feet in length from where its but lay among the chips, to the tip of its pompon, where it had fallen across the stream.

H. looked suspiciously upon the low-browed and frowzy Loolowcan, and doubted the safety and certainty of journeying with such a guide in such a region, as, indeed, I did myself.  I forded unducked in the ripples, turned to wave him adieu, and blotted myself out of his sphere behind the sky-scraper firs.  We met next in the foyer of the opera, between acts of Traviata.

Loneliness no longer lay heavy in the woods.  It was shattered and trampled out where that little army had marched.  Presently in their trail a ghostly object appeared, not a ghost, but something tending fast toward the ghostly state; a poor, wasted, dreary white horse, standing in the trail, abandoned, too stiff to fall, too weary to stir.  Every winged phlebotomizer of the Oregon woods seemed to have hastened hither to blacken that pale horse, soon to be Death’s, and, though he trembled feebly, he had not power to scatter the nipping insects with a convulsive shake.  I approached, and whisked away his tormentors by the aid of a maple-bush.  They fought me for a while, but finding me resolute, confident in their long-enduring patience, they retired with a loud and angry buzz.  I could find no morsel of refreshment for him in the bitter woods.  At mouldy hard-tack he shook a despairing head.  In fact, it was too late.  There comes a time to horses when they cannot prance with the prancers, or plod with the plodders, or trail weary hoofs after the march of their comrades.  Yet it was more chivalric for this worn-out estray to die here in the aromatic forest, than to lose life in the vile ooze of a Broadway.

Poor, lean mustang, victim of progress!  Nothing to do but let him die, since I could not bring myself to a merciful assassination.  So I went on disconsolate after the sight of suffering, until my own difficulties along that savage trail compelled my thought away from dwelling on another’s pain.


Night was now coming, twilight, dearest and tenderest of all the beautiful changes of circling day was upon us.  But twilight, the period of repose, and night, of restful slumbers, are not welcome to campaigners, unless a camp, with water, fodder, and fuel, the three requisites of a camp, are provided.  We saw our day waning without having revealed to us a spot where these three were coincident.  Fuel, indeed, there was anywhere without stint, and water might be found without much searching.  But in this primeval wood there were no beds of verdant herbage where Klale and his companions might solace themselves for clambering and plunging and leaping all day.  Verdancy enough there was under foot, but it was the green velvet of earthy moss.  In some dusty, pebbly openings where the river overflows in spring, the horses had had a noon nibble at spears of grass, juiceless, scanty, and unattractive.  My trio of hungry horses flagged sadly.

It was darkening fast when we reached an open spot where Loolowcan had hoped to find grass.  Arid starvation alone was visible.  Even such wiry attempts at verdure as the stagnant blood of this petty desert had been able to force up through its harsh pores were long ago shaved away by drought.  The last nibbles had been taken to-day by the sorry steeds of the exploring party.

There was nothing for it but to go on.  Whither?  To the next crossing of the river, where the horses might make what they could out of water, and entertain themselves with browsing at alder and maple.

We hurried on, for it was now dark.  The Boston hooihut suddenly came charging out of the gloaming, and crossed the trail.  Misunderstanding the advice of my taciturn and monosyllabic guide, I left the Indian way, and followed the white man’s.  Presently it ended, but the trees were blazed where it should pass.  Blazes were but faint signals of guidance by twilight.  Dimmer grew the woods.  Stars were visible overhead, and the black circles of the forest shut off the last gleams of the west.  Every obstacle of fallen tree, bramble, and quagmire now loomed large and formidable.  And then in the darkness, now fully possessor of the woods, the blazes suddenly disappeared, went out, and ceased, like a deluding will-o’-the-wisp.  Here was a crisis.  Had the hooihut actually given out here in an invisible blaze, high up a stump?  Road that dared so much and did so much, were its energies effete, its purpose broken down?  And the pioneers, had they shrunk away from leadership of civilization, and slunk homeward?

However that might be, we were at present lost.  Ride thou on, Loolowcan, and see if Somewhere is hereabouts; we cannot make a night of it in Nowhere.

Loolowcan dashed Gubbins at darkness; it opened and closed upon him.  For a moment I could hear him crashing through the wood; then there was silence.  I was quite alone.

Prying into silence for sight or sound, I discerned a rumble, as if of water over a pebbly path.  I fastened Klale and Antipodes, as beacons of return, and, laying bold of the pleasant noise of flowing, went with it.  Somewhere was actually in my near neighborhood.  Sound guided me to sight.  Suddenly behind the fir-trunks I caught the gleam of fire.  At the same moment, Loolowcan, cautiously stealing back, encountered me.

“Hin pasaiooks copa pire, nika nanitch-pose wake siks; many blanketeers, by a fire, I behold,” he whispered, “perhaps not friends.”

“Conoway pasaiooks siks copa pasaiooks; all blanketeers friends to blanketeers,” I boldly asseverated without regard to history; “wake quash, ocook Boston tilicum, mamook hooihut; fear not, these are Boston folk, road-makers.”

I led the way confidently toward their beaconfire.  Friends or not, the pasaiooks were-better company than black tree-trunks.  The flame, at first but a cloudy glimmer, then a flicker, now gave broad and welcome light.  It could not conquer darkness with its bold illumination, for darkness is large and strong; but it showed a path out of it.  As we worked our way slowly forward, the great trees closed dimly after us, giants attending out of their domain intruders very willing to be thus sped into realms of better omen.

Beating through a flagellant thicket, we emerged upon the bank of my rumbling stream.  Across it a great camp-fire blazed.  A belt of reflected crimson lay upon the clear water.  Every ripple and breaker of the hostile element tore at this shadow of light, riving it into rags and streamers, and drowning them away down the dell.  Still the shattered girdle was there undestroyed, lashing every coming gush of waves, and smiting the stream as if to open a pathway for us, newcomers forth from the darksome wood.

A score of men were grouped about the fire.  Several had sprung up alert at the crashing of our approach.  Others reposed untroubled.  Others tended viands odoriferous and fizzing.  Others stirred the flame.  Around, the forest rose, black as Erebus, and the men moved in the glare against the gloom like pitmen in the blackest of coal-mines.

I must not dally on the brink, half hid in the obscure thicket, lest the alert ones below should suspect an ambush, and point towards me openmouthed rifles from their stack near at hand.  I was enough out of the woods to halloo, as I did heartily.  Klale sprang forward at shout and spur.  Antipodes obeyed a comprehensible hint from the whip of Loolowcan.  We dashed down into the crimson pathway, and across among the astonished road-makers, astonished at the sudden alighting down from Nowhere of a pair of cavaliers, pasaiook and siwash.  What meant this incursion of a strange couple?  I became at once the centre of a red-flannel-shirted circle.  The recumbents stood on end.  The cooks let their frying-pans bubble over, while, in response to looks of expectation, I hung out my handbill, and told the society my brief and simple tale.  I was not running away from any fact in my history.  A harmless person, asking no favors, with plenty of pork and spongy biscuit in his bags, only going home across the continent, if may be, and glad, gentlemen pioneers, of this unexpected pleasure.

My quality thus announced, the boss of the road-makers, without any dissenting voice, offered me the freedom of their fireside.  He called for the fatted pork, that I might be entertained right republicanly.  Every cook proclaimed supper ready.  I followed my representative host to the windward side of the greenwood pyre, lest smoke wafting toward my eyes should compel me to disfigure the banquet with lachrymose countenance.

Fronting the coals, and basking in their embrowning beams, were certain diminutive targets, well known to me as defensive armor against darts of cruel hunger, cakes of unleavened bread, hight flapjacks in the vernacular, confected of flour and the saline juices of fire-ripened pork, and kneaded well with drops of the living stream.  Baked then in frying-pan, they stood now, each nodding forward, and resting its edge upon a planted twig, toasting crustily till crunching-time should come.  And now to every man his target!  Let supper assail us!  No dastards, with trencher are we.

In such a Platonic republic as this, a man found his place according to his powers.  The cooks were no base scullions; they were brethren, whom conscious ability, sustained by universal suffrage, had endowed with the frying-pan.  Each man’s target flapjack served him for platter and edible-table.  Coffee, also, for beverage, the fraternal cooks set before us in infrangible tin pots, coffee ripened in its red husk by Brazilian suns thousands of leagues away, that we, in cool Northern forests, might feel the restorative power of its concentrated sunshine, feeding vitality with fresh fuel.

But for my graminivorous steeds, gallopers all day long in rough, unflinching steeple-chase, what had nature done here in the way of provender?  Alas! little or naught.  This camp of plenty for me was a starvation camp for them.  Water, indeed, was turned on liberally; water was flowing in full sluices from the neighbor snows of Tacoma; but more than water was their need, while they feverishly browsed on maple-leaves, to imbitter away their appetites.  Only a modicum of my soaked and fungous hard-tack could be spared to each.  They turned upon me melancholy, reproachful looks; they suffered, and I could only suffer sympathetically.  Poor preparation this for toil ahead!  But fat prairies also are ahead; have patience, empty mustangs!

My hosts were a stalwart gang.  I had truly divined them from their cleavage on the hooihut.  It was but play to any one of these to whittle down a cedar five feet in diameter.  In the morning, this compact knot of comrades would explode into a mitraille of men wielding keen axes, and down would go the dumb, stolid files of the forest.  Their talk was as muscular as their arms.  When these laughed, as only men fresh and hearty and in the open air can laugh, the world became mainly grotesque : it seemed at once a comic thing to live, a subject for chuckling, that we were bipeds, with noses, a thing to roar at, that we had all met there from the wide world, to hobnob by a frolicsome fire with tin pots of coffee, and partake of crisped bacon and toasted doughboys in ridiculous abundance.  Easy laughter infected the atmosphere.  Echoes ceased to be pensive, and became jocose.  A rattling humor pervaded the forest, and Green River rippled with noise of fantastic jollity.  Civilization and its dilettante diners-out sneer when Clodpole at Dives’s table doubles his soup, knifes his fish, tilts his plate into his lap, puts muscle into the crushing of his meringue, and tosses off the warm beaker in his finger-bowl.  Camps by Tacoma sneer not at all, but candidly roar, at parallel accidents.  Gawky makes a cushion of his flapjack.  Butterfingers drops his red-hot rasher into his bosom, or lets slip his mug of coffee into his boot drying at the fire, a boot henceforth saccharine.  A mule, slipping his halter, steps forward unnoticed, puts his nose into the circle, and brays resonant.  These are the jocular boons of life, and at these the woodsmen guffaw with lusty good-nature.  Coarse and rude the jokes may be, but not nasty, like the innuendoes of pseudo-refined cockneys.  If the woodsmen are guilty of uncleanly wit, it differs from the uncleanly wit of cities as the mud of a road differs from the sticky, slime of slums.

It is a stout sensation to meet masculine, muscular men at the brave point of a penetrating Boston hooihut, men who are mates, men to whom technical culture means naught, men to whom myself am naught, unless I can saddle, lasso, cook, sing, and chop; unless I am a man of nerve and pluck, and a brother in generosity and heartiness.  It is restoration to play at cudgels of jocoseness with a circle of friendly roughs, not one of whom ever heard the word bore, with pioneers, who must think and act, and wrench their living from the closed hand of Nature.

Men who slash with axes in Oregon woods need not be chary of fuel.  They fling together boles and branches enough to keep any man’s domestic Lares warm for a winter.  And over this vast pyre flame takes its splendid pleasure with corybantic dances and roaring paeans of victory.  Fire, encouraged to do its work fully, leaves no unsightly grim corses on the field.  The glow of embers wastes into the pallor of thin ashes; and winds may clear the spot, drifting away and sprinkling upon brother trees faint, filmy relics of their departed brethren.  While fantastic flashes were still leaping up and illumining the black circuit of forest, every man made his bed, laid down his blankets in starry bivouac, and slept like a mummy.  The camp became vocal with snores; nasal with snores of various calibre was the forest.  Some in triumphant tones announced that dreams of conflict and victory were theirs; some sighed in dulcet strains that told of lover dreams; some drew shrill whistles through cavernous straits; some wheezed grotesquely, and gasped piteously; and from some who lay supine, snoring up at the fretted roof of forest, sound gushed in spasms, leaked in snorts, bubbled in puffs, as steam gushes, leaks, and bubbles from yawning valves in degraded steamboats.  They died away into the music of my dreams, a few moments seemed to pass, and it was day.

As the erect lily droops when the subterranean worm has taken a gnaw at its stalk, as the dahlia desponds from blossom to tuber when September frosts nip shrewdly, so at breakfastless morn, after supperless eve, drooped Klale, feebly drooped Gubbins, flabbily drooped Antipodes.  A sorry sight!  Starvation, coming on the heels of weariness, was fast reducing my stud to the condition of the ghostly estray from the exploring party.  But prosperity is not many leagues away from this adversity.  Have courage, my trio, if such a passion is possible to the unfed!

If horses were breakfastless, not so was their master.  The road-makers had insisted that I should be their guest, partaking not only of the fire, air, earth, and water of their bivouac, but of an honorable share at their feast.  Hardly had the snoring of the snorers ceased, when the frying of the fryers began.  In the pearly-gray mists of dawn, purple shirts were seen busy about the kindling pile; in the golden haze of sunrise, cooks brandished pans over fierce coals raked from the red-hot jaws of flame that champed their breakfast of fir logs.  Rashers, doughboys not without molasses, and coffee a bill of fare identical with last night’s were our morning meal; but there was absolute change of circumstance to prevent monotony.  We had daylight instead of firelight, freshness instead of fatigue, and every man flaunted a motto of “Up and doing!” upon his oriflamme, instead of trailing a drooping flag, inscribed “Done up!”

And so adieu, gentlemen pioneers, and thanks for your frank, manly hospitality!  Adieu, “Boston tilicum,” far better types of robust Americanism than some of those selected as its representatives by Boston of the Orient, where is too much worship of what is, and not too much uplifting of hopeful looks toward what ought to be!

As I started, the woodsmen gave me a salute.  Down, to echo my shout of farewell, went a fir of fifty years’ standing.  It cracked sharp, like the report of a howitzer, and crashed downward, filling the woods with shattered branches.  Under cover of this first shot, I dashed at the woods.  I could ride more boldly forward into savageness, knowing that the front ranks of my nation were following close behind.


Up and down go the fortune’s of men, now benignant, now malignant.  Ante meridiem of our lives, we are rising characters.  Our full noon comes, and we are borne with plaudits on the shoulders of a grateful populace.  Post meridiem, we are ostracized, if not more rudely mobbed.  At twilight, we are perhaps recalled, and set on the throne of Nestor.

Such slow changes in esteem are for men of some import and of settled character.  Loolowcan suffered under a more rapidly fluctuating public opinion.  At the camp of the road-makers, he had passed through a period of neglect, almost of ignominy.  My hosts had prejudices against redskins; they treated the son of Owhhigh with no consideration; and he became depressed and slinking in manner under the influence of their ostracism.  No sooner had we disappeared from the range of Boston eyes than Loolowcan resumed his leadership and his control.  I was very secondary now, and followed him humbly enough up the heights we had reached.  Here were all the old difficulties increased, because they were no longer met on a level.  We were to climb the main ridge, the mountain of La Tete, abandoning the valley, assaulting the summits.  And here, as Owhhigh had prophesied in his harangue at Nisqually, the horse’s mane must be firmly grasped by the climber.  Poor, panting, weary nags! may it be true, the promise of Loolowcan, that not far away is abundant fodder!  But where can aught, save firs with ostrich digestion, grow on these rough, forest-clad shoulders?

So I clambered on till near noon.

I had been following thus for many hours the blind path, harsh, darksome, and utterly lonely, urging on with no outlook, encountering no landmark at last, as I stormed a ragged crest, gaining a height that overtopped the firs, and, halting there for panting moments, glanced to see if I had achieved mastery as well as position, as I looked somewhat wearily and drearily across the solemn surges of forest, suddenly above their sombre green appeared Tacoma.  Large and neighbor it stood, so near that every jewel of its snow-fields seemed to send me a separate ray; yet not so near but that I could with one look take in its whole image, from clear-cut edge to edge.

All around it the dark evergreens rose like a ruff; above them the mountain splendors swelled statelier for the contrast.  Sunlight of noon was so refulgent upon the crown, and lay so thick and dazzling in nooks and chasms, that the eye sought repose of gentler lights, and found it in shadowed nooks and clefts, where, sunlight entering not, delicate mist, an emanation from the blue sky, had fallen, and lay sheltered and tremulous, a mild substitute for the stronger glory.

The blue haze so wavered and trembled into sunlight, and sunbeams shot glimmering over snowy brinks so like a constant avalanche, that I might doubt whether this movement and waver and glimmer, this blending of mist with noontide flame, were not a drifting smoke and cloud of yellow sulphurous vapor floating over some slowly chilling crater far down in the red crevices.

But if the giant fires had ever burned under that cold summit, they had long since gone out.  The dome that swelled up passionately had crusted over and then fallen in upon itself, not vigorous enough with internal life to bear up in smooth proportion.  Where it broke into ruin was no doubt a desolate waste, stern, craggy, and riven, but such drear results of Titanic convulsion the gentle snows hid from view.

No foot of mail had ever trampled those pure snows.  It was a virginal mountain, distant from the possibility of human approach and human inquisitiveness as a marble goddess is from human loves.  Yet there was nothing unsympathetic in its isolation, or despotic in its distant majesty.  But this serene loftiness was no home for any deity of those that men create.  Only the thought of eternal peace arose from this heaven upbearing monument likeincense and overflowing, filled the world with deep and holy calm.

Wherever the mountain turned its cheek toward the sun, many fair and smiling dimples appeared, and along soft curves of snow, lines of shadow drew tracery, fair as the blue veins on a child’s temple.  Without the infinite sweetness and charm of this kindly changefulness of form and color, there might have been oppressive awe in the presence of this transcendent glory against the solemn blue of noon.  Grace played over the surface of majesty, as a drift of rose-leaves wavers in the air before a summer shower, or as a wreath of rosy mist flits before the grandeur of a storm.  Loveliness was sprinkled like a boon of blossoms upon sublimity.

Our lives forever demand and need visual images that can be symbols to us of the grandeur or the sweetness of repose.  There are some faces that arise dreamy in our memories, and look us into calmness in our frantic moods.  Fair and happy is a life that need not call upon us vague memorial dreams for such attuning influence, but can turn to a present reality, and ask tranquillity at the shrine of a household goddess.  The noble works of nature, and mountains most of all, “have power to make Our noisy years seem moments in the being Of the eternal silence.”

And, studying the light and the majesty of Tacoma, there passed from it and entered into my being, to dwell there evermore by the side of many such, a thought and an image of solemn beauty, which I could thenceforth evoke whenever in the world I must have peace or die.  For such emotion years of pilgrimage were worthily spent.  If mortal can gain the thoughts of immortality, is not his earthly destiny achieved?  For, when we have so studied the visible poem, and so fixed it deep in the very substance of our minds, there is forever with us not merely a perpetual possession of delight, but a watchful monitor that will not let our thoughts be long unfit for the pure companionship of beauty.  For whenever a man is false to the light that is in him, and accepts meaner joys, or chooses the easy indulgence that meaner passions give, then every fair landscape in all his horizon dims, and all its grandeurs fade and dwindle away, the glory vanishes, and he looks, like one lost, upon his world, late so lovely and sinless.

While I was studying Tacoma, and learning its fine lesson, it in turn might contemplate its own image far away on the waters of Whulge, where streams from its own snows, gushing seaward to buffet in the boundless deep, might rejoice in a last look at their parent ere they swept out of Puyallop Bay.  Other large privilege of view it had.  It could see what I could not, Tacoma the Less, Mt.  Adams, meritorious but clumsy; it could reflect sunbeams gracefully across a breadth of forest to St. Helen’s, the vestal virgin, who still kept her flame kindled, and proved her watchfulness ever and anon.  Continuing its panoramic studies, Tacoma could trace the chasm of the Columbia by silver circles here and there, could see every peak, chimney, or unopened vent, from Kulshan to Shasta Butte.  The Blue Mountains eastward were within its scope, and westward the faint-blue levels of the Pacific.  Another region, worthy of any mountain’s beholding, Tacoma sees, somewhat vague and dim in distance:  it sees the sweet Arcadian valley of the Willamette, charming with meadow, park, and grove.  In no older world where men have, in all their happiest moods, recreated themselves for generations in taming earth to orderly beauty, have they achieved a fairer garden than Nature’s simple labor of love has made there, giving to rough pioneers the blessings and the possible education of refined and finished landscape, in the presence of landscape strong, savage, and majestic.

All this Tacoma beholds, as I can but briefly hint; and as one who is a seer himself becomes a tower of light and illumination to the world, so Tacoma, so every brother seer of his among the lofty snow-peaks, stands to educate, by his inevitable presence, every dweller thereabouts.  Our race has never yet come into contact with great mountains as companions of daily life, nor felt that daily development of the finer and more comprehensive senses which these signal facts of nature compel.  That is an influence of the future.  The Oregon people, in a climate where being is bliss, where every breath is a draught of vivid life, these Oregon people, carrying to a new and grander New England of the West a fuller growth of the American Idea, under whose teaching the man of lowest ambitions must still have some little indestructible respect for himself, and the brute of most tyrannical aspirations some little respect for others; carrying there a religion two centuries farther on than the crude and cruel Hebraism of the Puritans; carrying the civilization of history where it will not suffer by the example of Europe, with such material, that Western society, when it crystallizes, will elaborate new systems of thought and life.

It is unphilosophical to suppose that a strong race, developing under the best, largest, and calmest conditions of nature, will not achieve a destiny.

Up to Tacoma, or into some such solitude of nature, imaginative men must go, as Moses went up to Sinai, that the divine afflatus may stir within them.  The siwashes appreciate, according to their capacity, the inspiration of lonely grandeur, and go upon the mountains, starving and alone, that they may become seers, enchanters, magicians, diviners, what in conventional lingo is called “big medicine.”  For though the Indians here have not peopled these thrones of their world with the creatures of an anthropomorphic mythology, they yet deem them the abode of Tamanous.  Tamanous is a vague and half-personified type of the unknown, of the mysterious forces of nature; and there is also an indefinite multitude of undefined emanations, each one a tamanous with a small t, which are busy and impish in complicating existence, or equally active and spritely in unravelling it.  Each Indian of this region patronizes his own personal tamanous, as men of the more eastern tribes keep a private manitto, and as Socrates kept a daimon.  To supply this want, Tamanous with a big T undergoes an avatar, and incarnates himself into a salmon, a beaver, a clam, or into some inanimate object, such as a canoe, a paddle, a fir-tree, a flint, or into some elemental essence, as fire, water, sun, mist; and tamanous thus individualized becomes the “guide, philosopher, and friend” of every siwash, conscious that otherwise he might stray and be lost in the unknown realms of Tamanous.

Hamitchou, a frowzy ancient of the Squallyamish, told to Dr. Tolmie and me, at Nisqually, a legend of Tamanous and Tacoma, which, being interpreted, runs as follows: 

HAMITCHOU’s legend.

“Avarice, O Boston tyee,” quoth Hamitchou, studying me with dusky eyes, “is a mighty passion.  Now, be it known unto thee that we Indians anciently, used not metals nor the money of you blanketeers.  Our circulating medium was shells, wampum you would name it.  Of all wampum, the most precious is Hiaqua.  Hiaqua comes from the far north.  It is a small, perforated shell, not unlike a very opaque quill toothpick, tapering from the middle, and cut square at both ends.  We string it in many strands, and hang it around the neck of one we love, namely, each man his own neck.  We also buy with it what our hearts desire.  He who has most hiaqua is best and wisest and happiest of all the northern Haida and of all the people of Whulge.

The mountain horsemen value it; and braves of the terrible Blackfeet have been known, in the good old days, to come over and offer a horse or a wife for a bunch of fifty hiaqua.

“Now, once upon a time there dwelt where this fort of Nisqually now stands a wise old man of the Squallyamish.  He was a great fisherman and a great hunter; and the wiser he grew, much the wiser he thought himself.  When he had grown very wise, he used to stay apart from every other siwash.  Companionable salmon boilings round a common pot had no charms for him.  ‘Feasting was wasteful,’ he said, ’and revellers would come to want.’  And when they verified his prophecy, and were full of hunger and empty of salmon, he came out of his hermitage, and had salmon to sell.

“Hiaqua was the pay he always demanded and as he was a very wise old man, and knew all the tideways of Whulge, and all the enticing ripples and placid spots of repose in every river where fish might dash or delay, he was sure to have salmon when others wanted, and thus bagged largely of its precious equivalent, hiaqua.

“Not only a mighty fisher was the sage, but a mighty hunter, and elk, the greatest animal of the woods, was the game he loved.  Well had he studied every trail where elk leave the print of their hoofs, and where, tossing their heads, they bend the tender twigs.  Well had he searched through the broad forest, and found the longhaired prairies where elk feed luxuriously; and there, from behind palisade fir-trees, he had launched the fatal arrow.  Sometimes, also, he lay beside a pool of sweetest water, revealed to him by gemmy reflections of sunshine gleaming through the woods, until at noon the elk came down, to find death awaiting him as he stooped, and drank.  Or beside the same fountain the old man watched at night, drowsily starting at every crackling branch, until, when the moon was high, and her illumination declared the pearly water, elk dashed forth incautious into the glade, and met their midnight destiny.

“Elk-meat, too, he sold to his tribe.  This brought him pelf, but, alas for his greed, the pelf came slowly.  Waters and woods were rich in game.  All the Squallyamish were hunters and fishers, though none so skilled as he.  They were rarely in absolute want, and, when they came to him for supplies, they were far too poor in hiaqua.

“So the old man thought deeply, and communed with his wisdom, and, while he waited for fish or beast, he took advice within himself from his demon, he talked with Tamanous.  And always the question was, ’How may I put hiaqua in my purse?’

“Tamanous never revealed to him that far to the north, beyond the waters of Whulge, are tribes with their under lip pierced with a fishbone, among whom hiaqua is plenty, as salmonberries are in the woods what time in mid-summer salmon fin it along the reaches of Whulge.

“But the more Tamanous did not reveal to him these mysteries of nature, the more he kept dreamily prying into his own mind, endeavoring to devise some scheme by which he might discover a treasure-trove of the beloved shell.  His life seemed wasted in the patient, frugal industry, which only brought slow, meagre gains.  He wanted the splendid elation of vast wealth and the excitement of sudden wealth.  His own peculiar tamanous was the elk.  Elk was also his totem, the cognizance of his freemasonry with those of his own family, and their family friends in other tribes.  Elk, therefore, were every way identified with his life; and he hunted them farther and farther up through the forests on the flanks of Tacoma, hoping that some day his tamanous would speak in the dying groan of one of them, and gasp out the secret of the mines of hiaqua, his heart’s desire.

“Tacoma was so white and glittering, that it seemed to stare at him very terribly and mockingly, and to know his shameful avarice, and how it led him to take from starving women their cherished lip and nose jewels of hiaqua, and to give them in return only tough scraps of dried elk-meat and salmon.  When men are shabby, mean, and grasping, they feel reproached for their grovelling lives by the unearthliness of nature’s beautiful objects, and they hate flowers, and sunsets, mountains, and the quiet stars of heaven.

“Nevertheless,” continued Hamitchou, “this wise old fool of my legend went on stalking elk along the sides of Tacoma, ever dreaming of wealth.  And at last, as he was hunting near the snows one day, one very clear and beautiful day of late summer, when sunlight was magically disclosing far distances, and making all nature supernaturally visible and proximate, Tamanous began to work in the soul of the miser.

“‘Are you brave,’ whispered Tamanous in the strange, ringing, dull, silent thunder-tones of a demon voice.  ’Dare you go to the caves where my treasures are hid?’

‘I dare,’ said the miser.

He did not know that his lips had syllabled a reply.  He did not even hear his own words.  But all the place had become suddenly vocal with echoes.  The great rock against which he leaned crashed forth, ‘I dare.’  Then all along through the forest, dashing from tree to tree and lost at last among the murmuring of breeze-shaken leaves, went careering his answer, taken up and repeated scornfully, ‘I dare.’  And after a silence, while the daring one trembled and would gladly have ventured to shout, for the companionship of his own voice, there came across from the vast snow wall of Tacoma a tone like the muffled, threatening plunge of an avalanche into a chasm, ‘I dare.’

You dare, said Tamanous, enveloping him with a dread sense of an unseen, supernatural presence; ‘you pray for wealth of hiaqua.  Listen!’

This injunction was hardly needed; the miser was listening with dull eyes kindled and starting.  He was listening with every, rusty hair separating from its unkempt mattedness, and outstanding upright, a caricature of an aureole.

“‘Listen,’ said Tamanous, in the noonday hush.  And then Tamanous vouchsafed at last the great secret of the hiaqua mines, while in terror near to death the miser heard, and every word of guidance toward the hidden treasure of the mountains seared itself into his soul ineffaceably.

“Silence came again more terrible now than the voice of Tamanous, silence under the shadow of the great cliff, silence deepening down the forest vistas, silence filling the void up to the snows of Tacoma.  All life and motion seemed paralyzed.  At last Skai-ki, the Blue-Jay, the wise bird, foe to magic, sang cheerily overhead.  Her song seemed to refresh again the honest laws of nature.  The buzz of life stirred everywhere again, and the inspired miser rose and hastened home to prepare for his work.

When Tamanous has put a great thought in a man’s brain, has whispered him a great discovery within his power, or hinted at a great crime, that spiteful demon does not likewise suggest the means of accomplishment.

“The miser, therefore, must call upon his own skill to devise proper tools, and upon, his own judgment to fix upon the most fitting time for carrying out his quest.  Sending his squaw out to the kamas prairie, under pretence that now was the season for her to gather their winter store of that sickish-sweet esculent root, and that she might not have her squaw’s curiosity aroused by seeing him at strange work, he began his preparations.  He took a pair of enormous elk-horns, and fashioned from each horn a two-pronged pick or spade, by removing all the antlers except the two topmost.  He packed a good supply of kippered salmon, and filled his pouch with kinni kinnick for smoking in his black stone pipe.  With his bow and arrows and his two elk-horn picks wrapped in buckskin hung at his back, he started just before sunset, as if for a long hunt.  His old, faithful, maltreated, blanketless, vermilionless squaw, returning with baskets full of kamas, saw him disappearing moodily down the trail.

“All that night, all the day following, he moved on noiselessly by paths he knew.  He hastened on, unnoticing outward objects, as one with a controlling purpose hastens.  Elk and deer, bounding through the trees, passed him, but he tarried not.  At night he camped just below the snows of Tacoma.  He was weary, weary, and chill night-airs blowing down from the summit almost froze him.  He dared not take his firesticks, and, placing one perpendicular upon a little hollow on the flat side of the other, twirl the upright stick rapidly between his palms until the charred spot kindled and lighted his ‘tipsoo,’ his dry, tindery wool of inner bark.  A fire, gleaming high upon the mountain-side, might be a beacon to draw thither any night wandering savage to watch in ambush, and learn the path toward the mines of hiaqua.  So he drowsed chilly and fireless, awakened often by dread sounds of crashing and rumbling among the chasms of Tacoma.  He desponded bitterly, almost ready to abandon his quest, almost doubting whether he had in truth received a revelation, whether his interview with Tamanous had not been a dream, and finally whether all the hiaqua in the world was worth this toil and anxiety.

Fortunate is the sage who at such a point turns back and buys his experience without worse befalling him.

“Past midnight he suddenly was startled from his drowse, and sat bolt upright in terror.  A light!  Was there another searcher in the forest, and, a bolder than he?  That flame just glimmering over the tree-tops, was it a camp-fire of friend or foe?  Had Tamanous been revealing to another the great secret?  No, smiled the miser, his eyes fairly open, and discovering that the new light was the moon.  He had been waiting for her illumination on paths heretofore untrodden by mortal.  She did not show her full, round, jolly face, but turned it askance as if she hardly liked to be implicated in this night’s transactions.

“However, it was light he wanted, not sympathy, and he started up at once to climb over the dim snows.  The surface was packed by the night’s frost, and his moccasins gave him firm hold; yet he travelled but slowly, and could not always save himself from a glissade backwards, and a bruise upon some projecting knob or crag.  Sometimes, upright fronts of ice diverted him for long circuits, or a broken wall of cold cliff arose, which he must surmount painfully.  Once or twice be stuck fast in a crevice, and hardly drew himself out by placing his bundle of picks across the crack.  As he plodded and floundered thus deviously and toilsomely upward, at last the wasted moon gan pale overhead, and under foot the snow grew rosy with coming dawn.  The dim world about the mountain’s base displayed something of its vast detail.  He could see, more positively than by moonlight, the far-reaching arteries of mist marking the organism of Whulge beneath; and what had been but a black chaos how resolved itself into the Alpine forest whence he had come.

“But he troubled himself little with staring about; up he looked, for the summit was at hand.  To win that summit was wellnigh the attainment of his hopes, if Tamanous were true; and that, with the flush of morning ardor upon him, he could not doubt.  There, in a spot Tamanous had revealed to him, was hiaqua, hiaqua that should make him the richest and greatest of all the Squallyamish.

“The chill before sunrise was upon him as he reached the last curve of the dome.  Sunrise, and he struck the summit together.  Together sunrise and he looked over the glacis.  They saw within a great hollow all covered with the whitest of snow, save at the centre, where a black lake lay deep in a well of purple rock.

At the eastern end of this lake was a small, irregular plain of snow, marked by three stones like monuments.  Toward these the miser sprang rapidly, with full sunshine streaming after him over the snows.

“The first monument he examined with keen looks.  It was tall as a giant man, and its top was fashioned into the grotesque likeness of a salmon’s head.  He turned from this to inspect the second.  It was of similar height, but bore at its apex an object in shape like the regular flame of a torch.  As he approached, he presently discovered that this was an image of the kamas-bulb in stone.  These two semblances of prime necessities of Indian life delayed him but an instant, and he hastened on to the third monument, which stood apart on a perfect level.  The third stone was capped by something he almost feared to behold, lest it should prove other than his hopes.  Every word of Tamanous had thus far proved veritable; but might there not be a bitter deceit at the last?  The miser trembled.

“Yes, Tamanous was trustworthy.  The third monument was as the old man anticipated.  It was a stone elk’s-head, such as it appears in earliest summer, when the antlers are sprouting lustily under their rough jacket of velvet.

“You remember, Boston tyee,” continued Hamitchou, “that Elk was the old man’s tamanous, the incarnation for him of the universal Tamanous.  He therefore was right joyous at this good omen of protection; and his heart grew big and swollen with hope, as the black salmon-berry swells in a swamp in June.  He throw down his ‘ikta’; every impediment he laid down upon the snow; and, unwrapping his two picks of elk-horn, he took the stoutest, and began to dig in the frozen snow at the foot of the elk-head monument.

“No sooner had he struck the first blow than he heard behind him a sudden puff, such as a seal makes when it comes to the surface to breathe.  Turning round much startled, he saw a huge otter just clambering up over the edge of the lake.  The otter paused, and struck on the snow with his tail, whereupon another otter and another appeared, until, following their leader in slow and solemn file, were twelve other otters, marching toward the miser.  The twelve approached, and drew up in a circle around him.  Each was twice as large as any otter ever seen.  Their chief was four times as large as the most gigantic otter ever seen in the regions of Whulge, and certainly was as great as a seal.  When the twelve were arranged, their leader skipped to the top of the elk-head stone, and sat there between the horns.  Then the whole thirteen gave a mighty puff in chorus.

“The hunter of hiaqua was for a moment abashed at his uninvited ring of spectators.  But he had seen otter before, and bagged them.  These he could not waste time to shoot, even if a phalanx so numerous were not formidable.  Besides, they might be tamanous.  He took to his pick, and began digging stoutly.

“He soon made way in the snow, and came to solid rock beneath.  At every thirteenth stroke of his pick, the fugleman otter tapped with his tail on the monument.  Then the choir of lesser otters tapped together with theirs on the snow.  This caudal action produced a dull, muffled sound, as if there were a vast hollow below.

“Digging with all his force, by and by the seeker for treasure began to tire, and laid down his elk-horn spade to wipe the sweat from his brow.  Straightway the fugleman otter turned, and, swinging his tail, gave the weary man a mighty thump on the shoulder; and the whole band, imitating, turned, and, backing inward, smote him with centripetal tails, until he resumed his labors, much bruised.

“The rock lay first in plates, then in scales.  These it was easy to remove.  Presently, however, as the miser pried carelessly at a larger mass, he broke his elkhorn, tool.  Fugleman otter leaped down, and, seizing the supplemental pick between his teeth, mouthed it over to the digger.  Then the amphibious monster took in the same manner the broken pick, and bore it round the circle of his suite, who inspected it gravely with puffs.

“These strange, magical proceedings disconcerted and somewhat baffled the miser; but he plucked up heart, for the prize was priceless, and worked on more cautiously with his second pick.  At last its blows and the regular thumps of the otters’ tails called forth a sound hollower and hollower.  His circle of spectators narrowed so that he could feel their panting breath as they bent curiously, over the little pit he had dug.

“The crisis was evidently at hand.

“He lifted each scale of rock more delicately.  Finally he raised a scale so thin that it cracked into flakes as be turned it over.  Beneath was a large square cavity.

It was filled to the brim with hiaqua.

He was a millionnaire.

The otters recognized him as the favorite of Tamanous, and retired to a respectful distance.

“For some moments he gazed on his treasure, taking thought of his future proud grandeur among the dwellers by Whulge.  He plunged his arm deep as he could go; there was still nothing but the precious shells.  He smiled to himself in triumph; he had wrung the secret from Tamanous.  Then, as he withdrew his arm, the rattle of the hiaqua recalled him to the present.  He saw that noon was long past, and he must proceed to reduce his property to possession.

“The hiaqua was strung upon long, stout sinews of elk, in bunches of fifty shells on each side.  Four of these he wound about his waist; three he hung across each shoulder; five he took in each hand;- twenty strings of pure white hiaqua, every shell large, smooth, unbroken, beautiful.  He could carry no more; hardly even with this could be stagger along.  He put down his burden for a moment, while he covered up the seemingly untouched wealth of the deposit carefully with the scale stones, and brushed snow over the whole.

“The miser never dreamed of gratitude, never thought to hang a string from the buried treasure about the salmon and kamas tamanous stones, and two strings around the elk’s head; no, all must be his own, all he could carry now, and the rest for the future.

“He turned, and began his climb toward the crater’s edge.  At once the otters, with a mighty puff in concert, took up their line of procession, and, plunging into the black lake, began to beat the water with their tails.

“The miser could hear the sound of splashing water as he struggled upward through the snow, now melted and yielding.  It was a long hour of harsh toil and much backsliding before he reached the rim, and turned to take one more view of this valley of good fortune.

“As he looked, a thick mist began to rise from the lake centre, where the otters were splashing.  Under the mist grew a cylinder of black cloud, utterly hiding the water.

“Terrible are storms in the mountains; but in this looming mass was a terror more dread than any hurricane of ruin ever bore within its wild vortexes.  Tamanous was in that black cylinder, and as it strode forward, chasing in the very path of the miser, he shuddered, for his wealth and his life were in danger.

“However, it might be but a common storm.  Sunlight was bright as ever overhead in heaven and all the lovely world below lay dreamily fair, in that afternoon of summer, at the feet of the rich man, who now was hastening to be its king.  He stepped from the crater edge and began his descent.

“Instantly the storm overtook him.  He was thrown down by its first assault, flung over a rough bank of iciness, and lay at the foot torn and bleeding, but clinging still to his precious burden.  Each hand still held its five strings of hiaqua.  In each hand he bore a nation’s ransom.  He staggered to his feet against the blast.  Utter night was around him, night as if daylight had forever perished, had never come into being from chaos.  The roaring of the storm had also deafened and bewildered him with its wild uproar.

“Present in every crash and thunder of the gale was a growing undertone, Which the miser well knew to be the voice of Tamanous.  A deadly shuddering shook him.  Heretofore that potent Unseen had been his friend and guide; there had been awe, but no terror in his words.  Now the voice of Tamanous was inarticulate, but the miser could divine in that sound an unspeakable threat of wrath and vengeance.  Floating upon this undertone were sharper tamanous voices, shouting and screaming always sneeringly, ‘Ha ha, hiaqua! ha, ha, ha!’

Whenever the miser essayed to move and continue his descent, a whirlwind caught him and with much ado tossed him hither and thither, leaving him at last flung and imprisoned in a pinching crevice, or buried to the eyes in a snowdrift, or bedded upside down on a shaggy boulder, or gnawed by lacerating lava jaws.  Sharp torture the old man was encountering, but he held fast to his hiaqua.

“The blackness grew ever deeper and more crowded with perdition; the din more impish, demoniac, and devilish; the laughter more appalling; and the miser more and more exhausted with vain buffeting.  He determined to propitiate exasperated Tamanous with a sacrifice.  He threw into the black cylinder storm his left-handful, five strings of precious hiaqua.”

“Somewhat long-winded is thy legend, Hamitchou, Great Medicine-Man of the Squallyamish,” quoth I. Why did not the old fool drop his wampum, shell out, as one might say, and make tracks?

“Well, well!” continued Hamitchou; “when the miser had thrown away his first handful of hiaqua, there was a momentary lull in elemental war, and he heard the otters puffing around him invisible.  Then the storm renewed, blacker, louder, harsher, crueller than before, and over the dread undertone of the voice of Tamanous, tamanous voices ’again screamed, “Ha, ha, ha, hiaqua!’ and it seemed as if tamanous hands, or the paws of the demon otters, clutched at the miser’s right-handful and tore at his shoulder and waist belts.

“So, while darkness and tempest still buffeted the hapless old man, and thrust him away from his path, and while the roaring was wickeder than the roars of tens and tens of tens of bears when ahungered they pounce upon a plain of kamas, gradually wounded and terrified, he flung away string after string of hiaqua, gaining never any notice of such sacrifice, except an instant’s lull of the cyclon and a puff from the invisible otters.

The last string he clung to long, and before he threw it to be caught and whirled after its fellows, he tore off a single bunch of fifty shells.  But upon this, too, the storm laid its clutches.  In the final desperate struggle the old man was wounded so sternly that, when he had given up his last relic of the mighty treasure, when he had thrown into the formless Chaos, instinct with Tamanous, his last propitiatory offering, he sank and became insensible.

It seemed a long slumber to him, but at last he awoke.  The jagged moon was just paling overhead, and be heard Skai-ki, the Blue-Jay, foe to magic, singing welcome to sunrise.  It was the very spot whence he started at morning.

“He was hungry, and felt for his bag of kamas and pouch of smoke-leaves.  There, indeed, by his side were the elk-sinew strings of the bag, and the black stone pipe-bowl, but no bag, no kamas, no kinni-kinnik.  The whole spot was thick with kamas plants, strangely out of place on the mountain-side, and overhead grew a large arbutus-tree, with glistening leaves, ripe for smoking.  The old man found his hard-wood fire-sticks safe under the herbage, and soon twirled a light, and nurturing it in dry grass, kindled a cheery fire.  He plucked up kamas, set it to roast, and laid a store of the arbutus-leaves to dry on a flat stone.

“After he had made a hearty breakfast on the chestnut-like kamas-bulbs, and, smoking the thoughtful pipe, was reflecting on the events of yesterday, he became aware of an odd change in his condition.  He was not bruised and wounded from head to foot, as he expected, but very stiff only, and as he stirred, his joints creaked like the creak of a lazy paddle upon the rim of a canoe.

Skai-ki, the Blue-Jay, was singularly familiar with him, hopping from her perch in the arbutus, and alighting on his head.  As he put his hand to dislodge her, he touched his scratching-stick of bone, and attempted to pass it, as usual, through his hair.  The hair was matted and interlaced into a network reaching fully two ells down his back.  ‘Tamanous,’ thought the old man.

“Chiefly be was conscious of a mental change.  He was calm and content.  Hiaqua and wealth seemed to have lost their charms for him.  Tacoma, shining like gold and silver and precious stones of gayest lustre, seemed a benign comrade and friend.  All the outer world was cheerful and satisfying.  He thought he had never awakened to a fresher morning.  He was a young man again, except for that unusual stiffness and unmelodious creaking in his joints.  He felt no apprehension of any presence of a deputy tamanous, sent by Tamanous to do malignities upon him in the lonely wood.  Great Nature had a kindly aspect, and made its divinity perceived only by the sweet notes of birds and the hum of forest life, and by a joy that clothed his being.  And now he found in his heart a sympathy for man, and a longing to meet his old acquaintances down by the shores of Whulge.

“He rose, and started on the downward way, smiling, and sometimes laughing heartily at the strange croaking, moaning, cracking, and rasping of his joints.  But soon motion set the lubricating valves at work, and the sockets grew slippery again.  He marched rapidly, hastening out of loneliness into society.  The world of wood, glade, and stream seemed to him strangely altered.  Old colossal trees, firs behind which he had hidden when on the hunt, cedars under whose drooping shade he had lurked, were down, and lay athwart his path, transformed into immense mossy mounds, like barrows of giants, over which he must clamber warily, lest he sink and be half stifled in the dust of rotten wood.  Had Tamanous been widely at work in that eventful night? or had the spiritual change the old man felt affected his views of the outer world?

“Travelling downward, he advanced rapidly, and just before sunset came to the prairies where his lodge should be.  Everything had seemed to him so totally altered, that he tarried a moment in the edge of the woods to take an observation before approaching his home.  There was a lodge, indeed, in the old spot, but a newer and far handsomer one than he had left on the fourth evening before.

“A very, decrepit old squaw, ablaze with vermilion and docked with countless strings of hiaqua and costly beads, was seated on the ground near the door, tending a kettle of salmon, whose blue and fragrant steam mingled pleasantly with the golden haze of sunset.  She resembled his own squaw in countenance, as an ancient smoked salmon is like a newly-dried salmon.  If she was indeed his spouse, she was many years older than when he saw her last, and much better dressed than the respectable lady had ever been during his miserly days.

“He drew near quietly.  The bedizened dame was crooning a chant, very dolorous, like this: 

’My old man has gone, gone, gone,
My old man to Tacoma has gone. 
To hunt the elk, he went long ago. 
When will he come down, down, down,
Down to the salmon-pot and me? ’

’He has come from Tacoma down, down, down,
Down to the salmon-pot and thee,’
shouted the reformed miser, rushing forward to supper and his faithful wife.” 
“And how did Penelope explain the mystery?” I asked.

“If you mean the old lady,” replied Hamitchou, “she was my grandmother, and I’d thank you not to call names.  She told my grandfather that he had been gone many years; she could not tell how many, having dropped her tally-stick in the fire by accident that very day.  She also told him how, in despite of the entreaties of many a chief who knew her economic virtues, and prayed her to become mistress of his household, she had remained constant to the Absent, and forever kept the hopeful salmon-pot boiling for his return.  She had distracted her mind from the bitterness of sorrow by trading in kamas and magic herbs, and had thus acquired a genteel competence.  The excellent dame then exhibited with great complacency her gains, most of which she had put in the portable and secure form of personal ornament, making herself a resplendent magazine of valuable frippery.

Little cared the repentant sage for such things.  But he was rejoiced to be again at home and at peace, and near his own early gains of hiaqua and treasure, buried in a place of security.  These, however, he no longer overesteemed and hoarded.  He imparted whatever he possessed, material treasures or stores of wisdom and experience, freely to all the land.  Every dweller by Whulge came to him for advice how to chase the elk, how to troll or spear the salmon, and how to propitiate Tamanous.  He became the Great Medicine Man of the siwashes, a benefactor to his tribe and his race.

“Within a year after he came down from his long nap on the side of Tacoma, a child, my father, was born to him.  The sage lived many years, beloved and revered, and on his deathbed, long before the Boston tilicum or any blanketeers were seen in the regions of Whulge, he told this history to my father, as a lesson and a warning.  My father, dying, told it to me.  But I, alas! have no son; I grow old, and lest this wisdom perish from the earth, and Tamanous be again obliged to interpose against avarice, I tell the tale to thee, O Boston tyee.  Mayest thou and thy nation not disdain this lesson of an earlier age, but profit by it and be wise.”

So far Hamitchou recounted his legend without the palisades of Fort Nisqually, and motioning, in expressive pantomime, at the close, that he was dry with big talk, and would gladly wet his whistle.


I had not long, that noon of August, from the top of La Tete, to study Tacoma, scene of Hamitchou’s wild legend.  Humanity forbade dalliance.  While I fed my soul with sublimity, Klale and his comrades were wretched with starvation.  But the summit of the pass is near.  A few struggles more, Klale the plucky, and thy empty sides shall echo, less drum-like.  Up stoutly, my steeds; up a steep but little less than perpendicular, paw over those last trunks of the barricades in our trail, and ye have won!

So it was.  The angle of our ascent suddenly broke down from ninety to fifteen, then to nothing.  We had reached the plateau.  Here were the first prairies.  Nibble in these, my nags, for a few refreshing moments, and then on to superlative dinners in lovelier spots just beyond.

Let no one, exaggerating the joys of campaigning, with Horace’s “Militia potior est,” deem that there is no compensating pang among them.  Is it a pleasant thing, O traveller only in dreams, envier of the voyager, in reality, to urge tired, reluctant, and unfed mustangs up a mountain pass, even for their own good?  In such a case a man, the humanest and gentlest, must adopt the manners of a brute.  He must ply the whip, and that cruelly; otherwise, no go.  At first, as he smites, he winces, for he has struck his own sensibilities; by and by he hardens himself, and thrashes without a tremor.  When the cortege arrives at an edible prairie, gastronomic satisfaction will put Lethean freshness in the battered hide of every horse.

We presently turned just aside from the trail into an episode of beautiful prairie, one of a succession along the plateau at the crest of the range.  At this height of about five thousand feet, the snows remain until June.  In this fair, oval, forest-circled prairie of my nooning, the grass was long and succulent, as if it grew in the bed of a drained lake.  The horses, undressed, were allowed to plunge and wallow in the deep herbage.  Only horse heads soon could be seen, moving about like their brother hippopotami, swimming in sedges.

To me it was luxury enough not to be a whip for a time.  Over and above this, I had the charm of a quiet nooning on a bank of emerald turf, by a spring, at the edge of a clump of evergreens.  I took my luncheon of cold salt pork and doughy biscuit by a well of brightest water.  I called in no proxy of tin cup to aid me in saluting this sparkling creature, but stooped and kissed the spring.  When I had rendered my first homage thus to the goddess of the fountain, Aegle herself, perhaps, fairest of Naiads, I drank thirstily of the medium in which she dwelt.  A bubbling dash of water leaped up and splashed my visage as I withdrew.  Why so, sweet fountain, which I may name Hippocrene, since hoofs of Klale have caused me thy discovery?  Is this a rebuff?  If there ever was lover who little merited such treatment it is I.  “Not so, appreciative stranger,” came up in other bubbling gushes the responsive voice of Nature through sweet vibrations of the melodious fount.  “Never a Nymph of mine will thrust thee back.  This sudden leap of water was a movement of sympathy, and a gentle emotion of hospitality.  The Naiad there was offering thee her treasure liberally, and saying that, drink as thou wilt, I, her mother Nature, have commanded my winds and sun to distil thee fresh supplies, and my craggy crevices are filtering it in the store-houses, that it may be offered to every welcome guest, pure and cool as airs of dawn.  Stoop down,” continued the voice, “thirsty wayfarer, and kiss again my daughter of the fountain, nor be abashed if she meets thee half-way.  She knows that a true lover will never scorn his love’s delicate advances.”

In response to such invitation, and the more for my thirsty slices of pork, I lapped the aerated tipple in its goblet, whose stem reaches deep into the bubble laboratories.  I lapped, an excellent test of pluck in the days of Gideon son of Barak; and why?  For many reasons, but among them for this; he who lying prone can with stout muscular gullet swallow water, will be also able to swallow back into position his heart, when in moments of tremor it leaps into his throat.

When I had lapped plenteously, I lay and let the breeze-shaken shadows smooth me into smiling mood, while my sympathies overflowed to enjoy with my horses their dinner.  They fed like school-boys home for Thanksgiving, in haste lost the present banquet, too good to be true, prove Barmecide.  A feast of colossal grasses placed itself at the lips of the breakfastless stud.  They champed as their nature was; Klale like a hungry gentleman, Gubbins like a hungry clodhopper, Antipodes like a lubberly oaf.  They were laying in, according to the Hudson’s Bay Company’s rule, supply at this meal for five days; without such power, neither man nor horse is fit to tramp the Northwest.

I lay on the beautiful verdant bank plucking now dextrously and now sinistrously of strawberries, that summer, climbing late to these snowy heights, had just ripened.  Medical men command us to swallow twice a day one bitter pill confectioned of all disgust.  Nature doses us, by no means against our will, with many sweet boluses of delight, berries compacted of acidulated, sugary spiciness.  Nature, tenderest of leeches, no bolus of hers is pleasanter medicament than her ruddy strawberries.  She shaped them like Minie-balls, that they might traverse unerringly to the cell of most dulcet digestion.  Over their glistening surface she peppered little golden dots to act as obstacles lest they should glide too fleetly over the surfaces of taste, and also to gently rasp them into keener sensitiveness.  Mongers of pestled poisons may punch their pills in malodorous mortars, roll them in floury palms, pack them in pink boxes, and send them forth to distress a world of patients:  but Nature, who if she even feels one’s pulse does it by a gentle pressure of atmosphere, Nature, knowing that her children in their travels always need lively tonics, tells wind, sun, and dew, servitors of hers, clean and fine of touch, to manipulate gay strawberries, and dispose them attractively on fair green terraces, shaded at parching noon.  Of these lovely fabrics of pithy, pulpiness, no limit to the dose, if the invalid does as Nature intended, and plucks for himself, with fingers rosy and fragrant.  I plucked of them, as far as I could reach on either side of me, and then lay drowsily reposing on my couch at the summit of the Cascade Pass, under the shade of a fir, which, outstanding from the forest, had changed its columnar structure into a pyramidal, and had branches all along its stalwart trunk, instead of a mere tuft at the top.

In this shade I should have known the tree which gave it, without looking-up, not because the sharp little spicular leaves of the fir, miniatures of that sword Rome used to open the world, its oyster, would drop and plunge themselves into my eyes, or would insert their blades down my back and scarify, but because there is an influence and sentiment in umbrages, and under every tree its own atmosphere.  Elms refine and have a graceful elegiac effect upon those they shelter.  Oaks drop robustness.  Mimosas will presently make a sensitive-plant of him who hangs his hammock beneath their shade.  Cocoa-palms will infect him with such tropical indolence, that he will not stir until frowzy monkeys climb the tree and pelt him away to the next one.  The shade of pine-trees, as any one can prove by a journey in Maine, makes those who undergo it wiry, keen, trenchant, inexhaustible, and tough.

When I had felt the influence of my fir shelter, on the edge of the wayside prairie, long enough, I became of course keen as a blade.  I sprang up and called to Loolowcan, in a resinous voice, “Mamook chaco cuitan; make come horse.”

Loolowcan, in more genial mood than I had known him, drove the trio out from the long grass.  They came forth not without backward hankerings, but far happier quadrupeds than when they climbed the pass at noon.  It was a pleasure now to compress with the knees Klale, transformed from an empty barrel with protuberant hoops, into a full and elastic cylinder, smooth as the boiler of a locomotive.

“Loolowcan, my lad, my experienced guide, cur nesika moosum; where sleep we?” said I.

“Copa Sowee house, kicuali.  Sowee, olyman tyee, memloose.  Sia-a-a-h mitlite; At Sowee’s camp below.  Sowee, oldman chief, dead.  It is far, far away,” replied the son of Owhhigh.

Far is near, distance is annihilated this brilliant day of summer, for us recreated with Hippocrene, strawberries, shade of fir and tall snow-fed grass.  Down the mountain range seems nothing after our long laborious up “the half is more than the whole.”  “Lead on, Loolowcan, intelligent brave, toward the residence of the late Sowee.”

More fair prairies linked themselves along the trail.  From these alpine pastures the future will draw butter and cheese, pasturing migratory cattle there, when summer dries the scanty grass upon the macadamized prairies of Whulge.  It is well to remind ourselves sometimes that the world is not wholly squatted over.  The plateau soon began to ebb toward the downward slope.  Descent was like ascent, a way shaggy and abrupt.  Again the Boston hooihut intruded.  My friends the woodsmen had constructed an elaborate inclined plane of very knobby corduroy down the steepest steep.  Klale sniffed at this novel road, and turned up his nose at it.  He was competent to protect that feature against all the perils of stumble and fall on trails he had been educated to travel, but dreaded grinding it on the rough bark of this unaccustomed highway.  Slow-footed oxen, leaning inward and sustaining each other, like two roysterers unsteady after wassail, might clumsily toil up such a road as this, hauling up stout, white-cotton-roofed wagons, filled with the babies and Lares of emigrants; but quick-footed ponies, descending and carrying light loads of a wild Indian and an untamed blanketeer, chose rather to whisk along the aboriginal paths.

As we came to the irregular terraces after the first pitch, and scampered on gayly, I by and by heard a welcome whiz, and a dusky grouse (Tetrao obscurus) lifted himself out of the trail into the lower branches of a giant fir.  I had lugged my double-barrel thus far, a futile burden, unless when it served a minatory purpose among the drunken Klalams.  Now it became an animated machine, and uttered a sharp exclamation of relief after long patient silence.  Down came tetrao, down he came with satisfactory thud, signifying pounds of something not pork for supper.  We bagged him joyously and dashed on.

“Kopet,” whispered Loolowcan turning, with a hushing gesture, “hin kullakullie nika nanitch; halt, plenty birds I see.”  He was so eager that from under his low brows and unkempt hair his dusky eyes glared like the eyes of wild beast, studying his prey from a shadowy lair.

Dismounting, I stole forward with assassin intent, and birds, grouse, five noble ones I saw, engaged in fattening their bodies for human solace and support.  I sent a shot among them.  There was a flutter among the choir, one fluttered not.  At the sound of my right barrel one bird fell without rising; another rose and fell at a hint from the sinister tube.  The surviving trio were distracted by mortal terror.  They flow no farther than a dwarf tree hard by.  I drew my revolver, thinking that there might not be time to load, and fired in a hurry at the lowermost.

“hyas tamanous!” whispered Loolowcan, when no bird fell or flew, “big magic,” it seemed to the superstitious youth.  Often when sportsmen miss, they claim that their gun is bewitched, and avail themselves of the sure silver bullet.

A second ball, passing with keener aim through the barrel, attained its mark.  Grouse third shook off his mortal remains, and sped to heaven.  The two others, contrary to rule, for I had shot the lower, fled, cowardly carrying their beavy bodies to die of cold, starvation, or old age.  “The good die first,” ay, Wordsworth! among birds this is verity; for the good are the fat, who, because of their avoirdupois, lag in flight, or alight upon lower branches and are easiest shot.

Loolowcan bagged my three trophies and added them to the first.  Henceforth the thought of a grouse supper became a fixed idea with me.  I dwelt upon it with even a morbid appetite.  I rehearsed, in prophetic mood, the scene of plucking, the scene of roasting, that happy festal scene of eating.  So immersed did I become in gastronomic revery, that I did not mind my lookout, as I dashed after Loolowcan, fearless and agile cavalier.  A thrust awoke me to a sense of passing objects, a very fierce, lance-like thrust, full at my life.  A wrecking snag of harsh dead wood, that projected up in the trail, struck me, and tore me half off my horse, leaving me jerked, scratched, disjointed, and shuddering.  Pachydermatous leggins of buckskin, at cost of their own unity, had saved me from impalement.  Some such warning is always preparing for the careless.

I soon had an opportunity to propitiate Nemesis by a humane action.  A monstrous trunk lay across the trail.  Loolowcan, reckless steeplechaser, put his horse at it, full speed.  Gubbins, instead of going over neatly, or scrambling over cat-like, reared rampant and shied back, volte face.  I rode forward to see what fresh interference of Tamanous was here, nothing tamanous but an unexpected sorry object of a horse.  A wretched castaway, probably abandoned by the exploring party, or astray from them, essaying to leap the tree, had fallen back beneath the trunk and branches, and lay there entangled and perfectly helpless.  We struggled to release him.  In vain.  At last a thought struck me.

We seized the poor beast by his tail, fortunately a tenacious member, and, heaving vigorously, towed him out of prison!

He tottered forlornly to his feet, looking about him like one risen from the dead.  “How now, Caudal?” said I, baptizing him by the name of the part that saved his life; “canst thou follow toward fodder?” He debated the question with himself awhile.  Solitary confinement of indefinite length, in a cramped posture, had given the poor skeleton time to consider that safety from starvation is worth one effort more.  He found that there was still a modicum of life and its energy within his baggy hide.  My horses seemed to impart to him some of their electricity, and he staggered on droopingly.  Lucky Caudal, if life is worth having, that on that day, of all days, I should have arrived to rescue him.  Strange deliverances for body and soul come to the dying.  Fate sends unlooked-for succor, when or horses or men despair.

Luckily for Caudal, the weak-kneed and utterly dejected, Sowee’s prairie was near, near was the prairie of Sowee, mighty hunter of deer and elk, terror of bears.  There at weird night Sowee’s ghost was often seen to stalk.  Dyspeptics from feather-beds behold ghosts, and are terrified, but nightwalkers are but bugbears to men who have ridden from dawn to dusk of a long summer’s day over an Indian trail in the mountains.  I felt no fear that any incubus in the shape of a brassy-hued Indian chief would sit upon my breast that night, and murder wholesome sleep.

Nightfall was tumbling down from the zenith before we reached camp.  The sweet glimmers of twilight were ousted from the forest, Sternly as mercy is thrust from a darkening heart.  Night is really only beautiful so far as it is not night, that is, for its stars, which are sources of resolute daylight in other spheres, and for its moon, which is daylight’s memory, realized, softened, and refined.

Night, however, had not drawn the pall of brief death over the world so thick but that I could see enough to respect the taste of the late Sowee.  When he voted himself this farm, and became seized of it in the days of un-written agrarian laws, and before patents were in vogue, he proved his intelligent right to suffrage and seizure.  Here in admirable quality were the three first requisites of a home in the wilderness, water, wood, and grass.  A musical rustle, as we galloped through, proved the long grass.  All around was the unshorn forest.  There were columnar firs making the Sowee house a hypaethral temple on a grand scale.

There had been here a lodge.  A few saplings of its framework still stood, but Sowee had moved elsewhere not long ago.  Wake siah memloose, not long dead was the builder, and viator might camp here unquestioned.

Caudal had followed us in inane, irresponsible way.  Patient now he stood, apparently waiting for farther commands from his preservers.  We unpacked and unsaddled the other animals, They knew their business, namely, to bolt instantly for their pasture.  Then a busy uproar of nipping and crunching was heard.  Poor Caudal could not take the hint.  We were obliged to drive that bony estray with blows out to the supper-field, where he stood aghast at the appetites of his new comrades.  Repose and good example, however, soon had their effect, and eight equine jaws instead of six made play in the herbage.

“Alki mika mamook pire, pe nesika klatawah copa klap tsuk; now light thou a fire, and we will go to find water,” said Loolowcan.  I struck fire, fire smote tinder, tinder sent the flame on, until a pyre from the world’s free wood-pile was kindled.  This boon of fire, what wonder that men devised a Prometheus greatest of demigods as its discoverer?  Mortals, shrinking from the responsibility of a high destiny and dreading to know how divine the Divine would have them, always imagine an avatar of some one not lower than a half-god when a gift of great price comes to the world.  And fire is a very priceless and beautiful boon, not, as most know it, in imprisonment, barred with iron, or in sooty chimneys, or in mad revolt of conflagration, but as it grows in a flashing pyramid out in camp in the free woods, with eager air hurrying in on every side to feed its glory.  In the gloom I strike metal of steel against metallic flint.  From this union a child is born.  I receive the young spark tenderly in warm “tipsoo,” in a soft woolly nest of bark or grass tinder.  Swaddled in this he thrives.  He smiles; he chuckles; he laughs; he dances about, does my agile nursling.  He will soon wear out his first infantile garb, so I cover him up in shelter.  I feed him with digestible viands, according to his years.  I give him presently stouter fare, and offer exhilarating morsels of fatness.  All these the hearty youth assimilates, and grows healthily.  And now I educate him to manliness, training him on great joints, shoulders, and marrowy portions.  He becomes erelong a power and a friend able to requite me generously for my care.  He aids me in preparing my feast, and we feast together.  Afterward we talk, Flame and I, we think together strong and passionate thoughts of purpose and achievement.  These emotions of manhood die away, and we share pensive memories of happiness missed, or disdained, or feebly grasped and torn away; regrets cover these like embers, and slowly over dead fieriness comes a robe of ashy gray.

Fire in the forest is light, heat, and cheer.  When ours was nurtured to the self-sustaining point, we searched to find where the sage Sowee kept his potables.  Carefully covered up in sedges was a slender supply of water, worth concealing from vulgar dabblers.  Its diamond drops were hidden away so thoroughly that we must mine for them by torchlight.  I held a flaring torch, while Loolowcan lay in wait for the trickle, and captured it in a tin pot.  How wild he looked, that youth so frowzy by daylight, as, stooping under the tall sedges, he clutched those priceless sparkles.

Upon the carte du jour at Restaurant Sowee was written Grouse.  “How shall we have them?” said I, cook and convive, to Loolowcan, marmiton and convive.  “One of these cocks of the mountain shall be fried, since gridiron is not,” responded I to myself, after meditation.  “Two shall be spitted, and roasted; and, as Azrael may not want us before breakfast to-morrow, the fourth shall go upon the carte de dejeuner.”

“O Pork! what a creature thou art!” continued I, in monologue, cutting neat slices of that viand with my bowie-knife, and laying them fraternally, three in a bed, in the frying-pan.  “Blessed be Moses! who forbade thee to the Jews, whereby we, of freer dispensations, heirs of all the ages, inherit also pigs more numerous and bacon cheaper.  O Pork! what could campaigners do without thy fatness, thy leanness, thy saltness, thy portableness?”

Here Loolowcan presented me the three birds plucked featherless as Plato’s man.  The two roasters we planted carefully on spits before a sultry spot of the fire.  From a horizontal stick, supported on forked stakes, we suspended by a twig over each roaster an automatic baster, an inverted cone of pork, ordained to yield its spicy juices to the wooing flame, and drip bedewing on each bosom beneath.  The roasters ripened deliberately, while keen and quick fire told upon the fryer, the first course of our feast.  Meanwhile I brewed a pot of tea, blessing Confucius for that restorative weed, as I had blessed Moses for his abstinence from porkers.

Need I say that the grouse were admirable, that everything was delicious, and the Confucian weed first chop?  Even a scouse of mouldy biscuit met the approval of Loolowcan.  Feasts cooked under the greenwood tree, and eaten by their cooks after a triumphant day of progress, are sweeter than the conventional banquets of languid Christendom.  After we had paid our duty to the brisk fryer and the rotund roaster grouse, nothing remained but bones to propitiate Sowee, should he find short commons in Elysium, and wander back to his lodge, seeking what he might devour.

All along the journey I had been quietly probing the nature of Loolowcan, my most intimate associate thus far among the unalloyed copper-skins.  Chinook jargon was indeed but a blunt probe, yet perhaps delicate enough to follow up such rough bits of conglomerate as served him for ideas.  An inductive philosopher, tracing the laws of developing human thought in corpore viti of a frowzy savage, finds his work simple, the nuggets are on the surface.  Those tough pebbles known to some metaphysicians as innate ideas, can be studied in Loolowcan in their process of formation out of instincts.

Number One is the prize number in Loolowcan’s lottery of life.  He thinks of that number; he dreams of it alone.  When he lies down to sleep, he plots what he will do in the morning with his prize and his possession; when he wakes, he at once proceeds to execute his plots.  Loolowcan knows that there are powers out of himself; rights out of himself he does not comprehend, or even conceive.  I have thus far been very indulgent to him, and treated him republicanly, mindful of the heavy mesne profits for the occupation of a continent, and the uncounted arrears of blood-money owed by my race to his; yet I find no trace of gratitude in my analysis of his character.  He seems to be composed, selfishness, five hundred parts; nil admirari coolness, five hundred parts; a well-balanced character, and perhaps one not likely to excite enthusiasm in others.  I am a steward to him; I purvey him also a horse; when we reach the Dalles, I am to pay him for his services; but he is bound to me by no tie of comradery.  He has caution more highly developed than any quadruped I have met, and will not offend me lest I should resign my stewardship, retract Gubbins, refuse payment, discharge my guide, and fight through the woods, where he sees I am no stranger, alone.  He certainly merits a “teapot” for his ability in guidance.  He has memory and observation unerring; not once in all our intricate journey have I found him at fault in any fact of space or time.  He knows “each lane and every alley green” here, accurately as Comus knew his “wild wood.”

Moral conceptions exist only in a very limited degree for this type of his race.  Of God he knows somewhat less than the theologians; that is, he is in the primary condition of uninquisitive ignorance, not in the secondary, of inquisitive muddle.  He has the advantage of no elaborate system of human inventions to unlearn.  He has no distinct fetichism.  None of the North American Indians have, in the accurate sense of the term; their nomad life and tough struggle with instructive Nature in her roughness save them from such elaborate fetichism as may exist in more indolent climes and countries.

Loolowcan has his tamanous.  It is Talipus, the Wolf, a “hyas skookoom tamanous, a very mighty demon,” he informs me.  He does not worship it; that would interfere with his devotions to his real deity, Number One.  It, in return, does him little service.  If he met Talipus, object of his superstition, on a fair morning, he would think it a good omen; if on a sulky, morning, he might be somewhat depressed, but would not on that account turn back, as a Roman brave would have done on meeting the matinal wolf.  In fact, he keeps Talipus, his tamanous, as a kind of ideal hobby, very much as a savage civilized man entertains a pet bulldog or a tame bear, a link between himself and the rude, dangerous forces of nature.  Loolowcan has either chosen his protector according to the law of likeness, or, choosing it by chance, has become assimilated to its characteristics.  A wolfish youth is the protege of Talipus, an unfaithful, sinister, cannibal-looking son of a horse-thief.  Wolfish likewise is his appetite; when he asks me for more dinner, and this without stint or decorum he does, he glares as if, grouse failing, pork and hard-tack gone, he could call to Talipus to send in a pack of wolves incarnate, and pounce with them upon me.  A pleasant companion this for lamb-like me to be down beside in the den of the late Sowee.  Yet I do presently, after supper and a pipe, and a little jargoning in Chinook with my Wolf, roll into my blankets, and sleep vigorously, lulled by the gratifying noise of my graminivorous horses cramming themselves with material for leagues of lope to-morrow.

No shade of Sowee came to my slumbers with warnings against the wolf in guise of a Klickatat brave.  I had no ghostly incubus to shake off, but sprang up recreate in body and soul.  Life is vivid when it thus awakes.  To be is to do.

And to-day much is to be done.  Long leagues away, beyond a gorge of difficulty, is the open rolling hill country, and again far beyond are the lodges of the people of Owhhigh.  “To-day,” said Loolowcan, “we must go copa nika ilihee, to my home, to Weenas.”

Forlorn Caudal is hardly yet a frisky quadruped.  Yet he is of better cheer, perhaps up to the family-nag degree of vivacity.  As to the others, they have waxed fat, and kick.  Klale, the Humorous, kicks playfully, elongating his legs in preparatory gymnastics.  Gubbins, the average horse, kicks calmly at his saddler, merely as a protest.  Antipodes, the spiteful Blunderer, kicks in a revolutionary manner, rolls under his pack-saddle, and will not budge without maltreatment.  Ill-educated Antipodes views mankind only as excoriators of his back, and general flagellants.  Klickatats kept him raw in flesh and temper; under me his physical condition improves; his character is not yet affected.

Before sunrise we quitted the house of Sowee.


I was now to enter the world east of the Cascades, emerging from the dense forest of the mountain-side.  Pacific winds sailing inland leave most of their moisture on the western slopes of the range.  Few of the cloudy battalions that sweep across the sea, and come, not like an invading horde of ravagers, but like an army of generous allies, few of these pass over the ramparts, and pour their wealth into the landward valleys.  The- giant trees, fattened in their cells by plenteous draughts of water, are no longer found.  The land is arid.  Slopes and levels of ancient volcanic rock are no longer fertilized by the secular deposit of forests, showering down year by year upon the earth liberal interest for the capital it has lent.

Through this drier and airier region we now hastened.  An arrowy river, clear and cold, became our companion.  Where it might, the trail followed the Nachchese valley, a rough rift often, and hardly meriting the gentle name of valley.  Precipices, stiff, uncrumbling precipices, are to be found there, if any one is ambitious to batter his brains.  Cleft front on the right bank answers to cleft front on the left, fronts cloven when the earth’s crust, cooling hereabouts, snapped, and the monsters of the period heard the rumble and roar of the earthquake, their crack of doom.  Sombre basalt walls in the fugitive river, great, gloomy, purple heights, sheer and desperate as suicide, rise six hundred feet above the water.  Above these downright mural breaks rise vast dangerous curves of mountain-side, thousands of feet on high, just at such angle that slide or no slide becomes a question.  A traveller, not desponding, but only cautious, hesitates to wake Echo, lest that sweet nymph, stirring with the tremors of awakening, should set air vibrating out of its condition of quiet pressure, and the enormous mountain, seizing this instant of relief, should send down some cubic miles in an avalanche to crush the traveller.

A very desolate valley, and a harsh defile at best for a trail to pursue.  At best the way might wind among debris, or pass over hard plates of sheeny, igneous rock, or plunge into the chill river, or follow a belt of sand, or struggle in swampy thickets, this at best it did.  But when worst came, when the precipices neared each other, narrowing the canon pathless, and there were deep, still, sunless pools, brimming up to the giant walls of the basin, then the trail must desert the river, and climb many hundreds of feet above.  I must compel my horses, with no warranty against a stumble or a fall, along overhanging verges, where one slip, or even one ungraceful change of foot, would topple the stumbler and his burden down to be hashed against jutting points, and tossed fragmentary, food for fishes, in the lucid pool below.  For there were salmon there, still working up stream, seeking the purest and safest spots for their future families.

Now all of this was hard work, some of it dangerous.  It was well that in the paddock of Sowee, my horses had filled themselves with elastic grass, parent of activity and courage.  Caudal, though bearing no burden but himself, was often tempted to despair.  Society, example, and electric shocks of friendly castigation aroused him.  We rode hard along this wild gorge, down these dreary vistas, up and down these vast barren bulks of mountain.  Forlorn yellow pines, starveling children of adversity, gnarled and scrubby, began to appear, shabby substitutes for the prosperous firs and cedars behind.  But any gracefulness of vegetation, any feeling of adornment, would be out of place among those big, unrefined grandeurs.  Beauty and grace, and all conceivable delicacy of form and color, light and shade, belong to the highest sublimities of Nature.  Tacoma is as lovely with all the minor charms, as it is divinely majestic by the possession of the greater, and power of combining and harmonizing the less.  But there is a lower kind of sublimity, where the predominant effect is one merely of power, bigness, the gigantesque and cyclopean, rude force acting disorderly, and producing a hurly-burly almost grotesque.  Perhaps sublimity is too noble a word to apply to these results of ill-regulated frenzy; they are grand as war, not noble as peace.  Such qualities of Nature have an educational value, as legends of giants may prepare a child to comprehend histories of heroes.  The volcanic turbulence of the region I was now traversing might fitly train the mind to perceive the want of scenes as vast and calmer; Salvator Rosa is not without significance among the teachers of Art.

No Pacific Railroad in the Nachchese Pass, that my coup d’oeil assured me.  Even the Boston hooihut, with all its boldness in the forest, here could do little.  Trees of a century may be felled in an hour; crags of an aeon baffle a cycle.  The Boston hooihut must worm its modest way in and out the gorge, without essaying to toss down precipices into chasms.  My memory and my hasty road-book alike fail me in artistic detail to make pictures of that morning’s Via Mala.  My chief emotion was expressed in a sigh for release.  It was one of those unkindly days of summer when sunlight seems not a smile, but a sneer.  Cruel heat was reflected back from wall to wall of the pass, palpitating to and fro between baked, verdureless, purple cliff on this side, and the hot harshness of opponent purple cliff across the stream.  I breathed a sirocco-like, air without pabulum, without constituents of blood.  I could fabricate a pale fury, an insane nervous energy, out of this unwholesome, fiery stuff, but no ardor, no joyousness, no doffing aside of troublous care.  I could advance, and never flinch, because needs must; but it seemed a weary, futile toil, to spur my horse over the ugly pavements of unyielding rock, up over the crumbling brown acclivities, by perilous ways along the verge of gulfs, where I could bend to the right from my saddle, and see the river a thousand feet below.  I felt in this unlifting atmosphere, unwavering except where it trembled over the heated surfaces, no elation, as I overcame crest after crest of mountain along the path—­no excitement, as Klale, the unerring, galloped me down miles of break-neck declivity, my thundering squadron hammering with sixteen legs on the echoing crust of this furnace-cover.  Ever, “Hyack,” cried Loolowcan; “sia-a-ah mitlite Weenas; Speed,” cried the Frowzy; “far, far lieth Weenas.”

We were now, just after noon, drawing out of the chasms into a more open valley, when, as we wound through a thicket of hazels near the river, Loolowcan suddenly halted, and motioned me mysteriously.

“What now, O protege of Talipus?  Is it bear or Boston man? "

“Pasaiooks, halo cuitan; Blanketeer, no horse!” said Loolowcan, with astonishment.

And there indeed was a horseless gentleman, tossing pebbles into the Nachchese, as quietly as if he were on the Hudson.  What with little medicine Klickatats, exploring parties, Boston hooihuters, stray Caudals, and unhorsed loungers, the Nachchese trail was becoming quite a thoroughfare.

The stranger proved no stranger; hardly even horseless, for his mule, from a patch of grass in the thicket, presently brayed welcome to my nags.  The gentleman was one of Captain McClellan’s party, come up from their camp some leagues farther down. he was waiting at this rendezvous for the Captain, who was exploring another branch of the river.  To a patroller of crowded city avenues, it may not seem a significant fact that a man in a solitary trail met a man.  But to me, a not unsociable being, travelling with a half-insolent, half-indifferent, jargoning savage, down a Via Mala of desolation, toward a realm of possibly unbrotherly nomads, an encounter by the wayside with a man and a brother was a fact to enjoy and an emotion to chronicle.

But human sympathy was not dinner for my horses.  I must advance toward that unknown spot where, having full confidence in Nature, I believed that a table would be spread for them in the wilderness.  “Nature never did deceive the heart that loved her”; for a true lover becomes a student of his mistress’s character enough not to demand impossibilities.  And soon did that goddess, kindly and faithful object of my life-long devotion, verify my trust, providing not only fodder for my cavalry, but a bower for my nooning, a breeze from above to stir the dead, hot air, and a landscape appropriate to a banquet, and not like the cruel chasms I had passed.

In a patch of luxuriant wild-pea vines my horses had refreshing change of diet, befitting the change of region.  No monotony of scene or action for man or beast thus far in this journey, no stagnation of mind or body from unexciting diet.  For me, from the moment when my vain negotiations began with King George of the Klalams, life had been at its keenest, its readiest, its fleetest.  Multitudinously besprent also with beauty like a bed of pansies had been these days of dash and charge.  My finer and coarser aesthetic faculties had been so exercised that, if an uneducated traveller, I might have gone bewildered with phantasmagoria.  But bewilderment comes from superficialness; type thoughts stripped of surface cloaking are compact as diamonds.

My camp for present nooning was a charming little Arcady, shady, sunny, and verdant.  Two dense spruces made pleasant twanging to the newly-risen breeze.  These were the violins of my festival orchestra with strings self-resinous, while down the canon roared the growing gale, and, filling all pauses in this aerial music, the Nachchese tinkled merrily, or dashed boisterously, or rattled eagerly.

“On, on with speed!” was the lesson hinted to me by wind and water.  Yet as I cooked for dinner a brace of grouse, my morning’s prey, I might have allowed myself to yield to vainglorious dalliance.  The worser half of my scamper was behind me.  “Try not the pass,” people had said; “you cannot put your space into your time,” said they, hinting also at dangers of solitary travel with one of the crafty.  But I had taken the risk, and success was thus far with me.  Let me now beware of too much confidence.  Who can say what lurks in the heart of Loolowcan?  He who persuades himself that his difficulties are fought through, is but at threshold of them.  When he winds the born of triumph, perhaps the sudden ogre will appear; then woe be to the knight, if he has taken the caps off his revolver.

Loolowcan and I were smoking our pipes of tobacco, when the tramp of hoofs was heard along the trail, and, with the late skipper of stones and a couple of soldiers, Captain McClellan rode up.  In vain, through the Nachchese Canon, had the Captain searched for a Pacific Railroad.  He must search elsewhere, along Suoqualme Pass or other.  Apart from a pleasant moment of reciprocal well-wishing, the chief result of this interview was, that I became disembarrassed of my treasure-trove Caudal.  I seized the earliest chance of restoring this chattel to Uncle Sam, whose initials were branded upon his flank.  No very available recruit to my squadron of light horse was this debilitated keterrypid, whom Good Samaritanism compelled me to humanely entreat.  Besides, I had erred in his baptism; I had called him Caudal, and he naturally endeavored to take his place in the rear.  If I had but thought to name him Headlong!

Rest in the shade of the spruces by the buzzing river was so sweet, after the severity of my morning’s ride, that I hesitated for myself and for my unwilling mustangs to renew the journey.  To pace on an ambling mule over level greensward, like a fat papal legate travelling, in mediaeval times, from refectory to refectory, that seems as much as one would wish to do on a hot afternoon of August.  I shook off such indolent thoughts, and mounted.  Exertion is its own reward.  The joy in the first effort overbalances the delight of sloth, and the joy in perpetual effort is clear gain.  And really never an ambling palfrey, slow-footed potterer under an abbot, interfered less with his rider’s quietude than Klale, the gentle loper.  We dragged ourselves from the shade and the pea-vines, and went dashing at full speed along the trail, no longer encumbered by fallen trunks and hurdles of bush and brier.  Merely rough, meagre, and stony was the widening valley, and dotted over its adust soil with yellow pines, standing apart in scraggy isolation.

At five I reached Captain McClellan’s camp of two tents.  He was not yet returned from prying into some other gorge, some purple cavernous defile for his railroad route.  Loolowcan’s “far to Weenas” the sergeant in charge interpreted to mean still twenty-five miles.

Their own main body was encamped in the Weenas valley.  Twenty-five miles is a terrible supplement, my horses, after the labors of one day; but ye still seem fresh, thanks to the paddock of Sowee, and the pea-vines at noon, and to-morrow who knows but ye may be running free over the plains, while I with fresh nags go on toward the Dalles.  We may not therefore accept the hospitality of the camp, but must on lustily down the broad valley this windy evening of summer.

Every appogiatura of Klale’s galloping forefeet and hind-feet seemed doubly musical to me now.  I had escaped; I was clear of the stern mountains; I was out upon the great surging prairie-land.  Before me all was open, bare, and vast.  To the south, pine woods stretched, like helmet crests, along the tops and down to the nodding fronts of brown hills; behind, the gloomy mass of the lower Cascades rose up, anticipating sunset.  Distance and dimness shut up the clefts, and made the whole background one great wall, closing avenues of return, and urging me forward upon my eastward way.

The sun had gone down behind the mountains, had paused on the tides of Whulge, had sunk in ocean.  Twilight came, and the wind grew mightier, roaring after us like the voice of the storm that baffled the hunter of hiaqua.  The gale lifted us up over the tremendous wide rolling bulk of grassy surges, and we swept scudding into billowy deeps below.

In the thickening dusk I discerned an object not a tree, not a rock; but a mobile black object, scuttling away for a belt of thicket near the river.

“A bear!” I cried. “shoot!” echoed Loolowcan.

Nothing but grouse-shot in my double-barrel, that I handed to the Frowzy; six leaden peppercorns in my eight-inch revolver, that I kept.  Now, Klale, it is whether Itshoot or thou wilt first touch cover.  Klale leaped forward like an adult grasshopper.  Bruin, hearing hoofs, lurched on like a coal-barge in a tide bobbery.  I was within thirty feet of him when he struck the bushes.  I fired.  He felt it, and with a growl stopped and turned upon us.  Klale swerved from those vicious claws, so that I merely heard and felt them rattle on my stirrup,’ as I fired again right into the bear’s vacant hug.  Before I could check and turn my horse, Bruin had concluded the unwelcome interview.  He had disappeared in the dense thicket.  In vain Loolowcan and I beat about in the dusk.  The ursine dodger did not profit by his chances of ambuscade to embrace one of us and that chance together.  He was not to be found.  Perhaps I am the slayer of a bear.  One shot at thirty feet, and one across the breadth of a handkerchief, might possibly discontinue the days of such shaggy monster.

When we were upon the trail again, and galloping faster under the stars, I found that I had a new comic image in my mind.  I roared with jolly laughter, recalling how that uncouth creature had clumsily pawed at me, missing laceration by an inch.  Had Klale swerved but a little less, there would have been tragi-comedy in this farce.  In place of the buckskins torn yesterday, I wore a pair of old corduroys, with scarlet cloth leggings; Destiny thought these did not need to be farther incarnadined, nor my shins, much abused along the briery trail, to be torn by any crueller thorniness of bears’ claws.  There was, however, underlying too extravagant fun, this sense of escape from no fun.  Nature will not allow even her grotesque creatures to be quite scoffed at.  Bears may be laughable, but they are not ridiculous.  I have been contiguous to an uncaged bear in free clutching trim but this once, and I respect him too much to laugh at him to his face.  With him I could laugh when he is in humorous mood, but at Bruin I laugh no more.

By the time I had thus reasoned out the lesson of my bear-fight, darkness had come.  The exhilaration of night-air revived my horses.  They guided themselves bravely along the narrow way, and bravely climbed the lift and sway of land surges.  Yet over these massive undulations we could travel but slowly.  When it might, the trail followed the terrace above the Nachchese.  Often wherever the trail might choose to follow, we might not follow it in the dark.  Stony arroyos would cut it in twain, or a patch of wild-sage bushes or a belt of hazels and alders send it astray.  Then would Loolowcan open wide his dusky eyes, to collect every belated glimmer of twilight, and zigzag until again he found the clew of our progress.  While he searched, Klale and Antipodes took large morsels of epicurean bunchgrass, in convenient tufts, a generous mouthful in each.

It grew harder and harder to find the permanent narrow wake of voyagers beforetime over the great ground-swells of this unruly oceanic scope of earth.  Mariners may cut their own hooihut over the hilly deep by the stars.  Terrene travellers cannot thus independently reject history; they must humble themselves to be followers where tribes have tramped before.  Even such condescension may not avail when night is master.  Loolowcan, though eager as I to press on, finally perforce admitted that we lost our way in the thickets and over the gravel oftener than we found it; that the horses flagged sadly, and we must stop.

It was one of those cloudless gales, when it seems as if the globe is whirring on so fast beneath the stars, that air must use its mightiest force of wing lest it be left a laggard.  In moments of stillness, while the flapping of these enormous pinions ceased, and the gale went gliding on by impetus, we could hear the far-away rumble of the river.  Sound is only second to sight as a guide out of darkness.  The music of a stream, singing with joy that it knows its way, is pleasanter guidance than the bark of village cur, who, though he bite not because he bark, may have a brother deputed to do that rougher mouthing.  Following, then, the sound, we presently came upon the source of sound, the Nachchese.

Sky and stars are a peaceful shelter over a bivouac; yet when between the would-be sleeper and that friendly roof there is a tumultuous atmosphere misbehaving itself, sleep is torn up and whirled away in tatters.  We must have some bulwark against the level sweep of the gale; and must pay for getting it by losing something else.  Upon the bank we could have a bed level and earthy, but wind-battered; under the bank we could be sheltered, but must be on pebbles.  On pebble boulders we must make our couch, where water at ’higher stages had washed away all the soft packing of earth.

We left the horses to occupy the bank above, where they could sup on succulent bunch-grass, firm and juicy as well-cured hay.  Much as we regretted abridging their freest liberty of repose we were obliged to hobble them lest they should go with the wind down the valley, and at morn be leagues away.  If a man wishes speed, he must take precautions that speed do not fly away from him.  Civilization without its appliances is weaker than barbarism.

No gastronomic facts of our camp below the Nachchese; supper was much lower than secondary to rest.  We had been full sixteen difficult hours in the saddle.  Nights of my life, not a few, have been wretched in feather beds for too much softness; stern hardness was to be the cause of other misery here.  This night cobblestones must be my bed, a boulder pillow for my head.  My couch was uneven as a rippled lake suddenly congealed.  A being not molluscous, but humanly bony, and muscular over bonyness, cannot for hours beat upon pebbles unbruised ’ So I had a night of weary unrest.  The wild rush of the river and noise of the gale ran through my turbid sleep in dreams of tramping battalions, such as a wounded and fevered man, lying unhelped on a battle-field, might dream.

Yet let us always be just.  There are things to be said in behalf of cobble-stone beds by rivers of the Northwest.  I was soft to the rocks, if not they to me.  I have heard of regions where one may find that he slept cheek by jowl with a cobra di capella.  These are absent from the uninviting bed of cobble-stones by the Nachchese, and so are mosquitos, rattlesnakes, burglars, and the cry of fire.  Negative advantages these.  Consider also the positive good to a man, that, having been thoroughly toughened by hardness, he knows what the body of him is strong to be, to do, and to suffer.  Furthermore, one after experience of a pummelling couch, like this, will sympathize sufficiently, and yet not morbidly, with the poor bedless.  So I slept, or did not sleep, while the gale roared wildly all night, and was roaring still at dawn.


People cloddish, stagnant, and mundane, such as most of us are, pretend to prefer sunset to sunrise, just as we fancy the past greater than the present, and repose nobler than action.  Few are radical enough in thought to perceive the great equalities of beauty and goodness in phenomena of nature or conditions of life.  Now I saw a sunrise after my night by the Nachchese, which, on the side of sunrise, it is my duty to mention.

Having therefore put in my fact, that on a morning of August, in the latter half of the nineteenth century, sunrise did its duty with splendor, I have also done my duty as an observer.  The simple statement of a fact is enough for the imaginative, who will reproduce it for themselves, according to their experience; the docile unimaginative will buy alarm-clocks and study dawns.  Yet I give a few coarse details as a work of supererogation.

If I had slept but faintly, the cobble-stones had purveyed me a substitute for sleep by hammering me senseless; so that when the chill before dawn smote me, and I became conscious, I felt that I needed consolation.  Consolation came.  I saw over against me, across the river, a hill blue as hope, and seemingly far away in the gray distance.  Light flushed upward from the horizon, meeting no obstacles of cloud, to be kindled and burnt away into white ashiness.  Light came up the valley over the dark, surging hills.  Full in the teeth of the gale it came, strong in its delicacy, surely victorious, as a fine scymitar against a blundering bludgeon.  Where light and wind met on the crest of an earth-billow, there the grass shook like glittering spray.  Meanwhile the hill opposite was drawing nearer, and all the while taking a fuller blue.  Blue passed into deep scintillating purple, rich as the gold-powdered robe of an Eastern queen.  As daylight grew older, it was strong enough to paint detail without sacrificing effect; the hill took its place of neighborhood, upright and bold, a precipitous front of warm, brown basalt, with long cavities, freshly cleft, where prisms had fallen, striping the brown with yellow.  First upon the summit of this cliff the sunbeams alighted.  Thence they pounced upon the river, and were whirled along upon its breakers, carrying light down to flood the valley.  In the vigorous atmosphere of so brilliant a daybreak I divined none of the difficulties that were before sunset to befall me.

By this we were in the saddle, following the sunlight rush of the stream.  Stiffish, after passing the night hobbled, were the steeds, as bruised after boulder beds were the cavaliers.  But Loolowcan, the unimpassioned, was now aroused.  Here was the range of his nomad life.  Anywhere hereabouts he might have had his first practice-lessons in horse-stealing.  His foot was on his native bunch-grass.  Those ridges far away to the northeast must be passed to reach Weenas.  Beyond those heights, to the far south, is Atinam and “Le Play House,” the mission.  Thus far time and place have made good the description of the eloquent Owhhigh.

Presently in a small plain appeared a horse, hobbled and lone as a loon on a lake.  Have we acquired another masterless estray?  Not so.  Loolowcan uttered a peculiar trilobated yelp, and forth from an ambush, where he had dodged, crept the shabbiest man in the world.  Shabby are old-clo’ men in the slums of Brummagem; shabbier yet are Mormons at the tail of an emigration.  But among the seediest ragamuffins in the most unsavory corners I have known, I find no object that can compare with this root-digging Klickatat, as at Loolowcan’s signal-yelp he crept from his lair among the willows.

His attire merits attention as the worst in the world.

The moccasins of Shabbiest had been long ago another’s, probably many another Klickatat’s.  Many a cayote had appropriated them after they were thrown away as defunct, and, after gnawing them in selfish solitude, every cayote had turned away unsatisfied with their flavor.  Then Shabbiest stepped forward, and claimed the treasure-trove.  He must have had a decayed ingenuity; otherwise how with thongs, with willow twigs, with wisps of grass and persistent gripe of toe, did he compel those tattered footpads to remain among his adherents?

Breeches none had Shabbiest; leggins none shirt equally none to speak of.  But a coat he had, and one of many colors.

Days before, on the waters of Whulge, I had seen a sad coat on the back of that rusty and fuddled chieftain, the Duke of York.  Nature gently tempers our experience to us as we are able to bear.  The Duke’s coat was my most deplorable vision in coats until its epoch, but it had educated me to lower possibilities.  Ages ago, when this coat was a new and lively snuff-color, Garrick was on the stage, Goldsmith was buying his ridiculous peach-blossom, in shape like this, if this were ever shapely.  In the odors that exhaled from it there seemed an under stratum of London coffee-houses.  Who knows but He of Bolt Court, slovenly He of the Dictionary, may not have been guilty of its primal greasespot?  And then how that habiliment became of a duller snuff-color; how grease-spots oozed each into its neighbor’s sphere of attraction; how one of its inheritors, after familiarizing it with the gutter, pawned it one foggy November day, when London was swallowing cold pea-soup instead of atmosphere; how, the pawner never coming to redeem, the pawnee sold it to an American prisoner of the Revolution, to carry home with him to Boston, his native village; how, a degraded scion of the family became the cook of Mr. Astor’s ill-fated ship, the Tonquin, and swopped it with a Chinook chief for four otterskins; and how from shabby Chinook to shabbier it had passed, until Shabbiest got it at last; all these adventures, every eventful scene in this historic drama, was written in multiform inscription all over this, time-stained ruin, so that an expert observer might read the tale as a geologist reads eras of the globe in a slab of fossiliferous limestone.

Such was the attire of Shabbiest, and as such he began a powwow with Loolowcan.  The compatriots talked emphatically, with the dull impulsiveness, the calm fury, of Indians.  I saw that I, my motions, and my purposes were the subject of their discourse.  Meanwhile I stood by, somewhat bored, and a little curious.

At last, he of the historical coat turned to me, and, raising his arms, one sleeveless, one, fringed with rags at the shoulder, delivered at me a harangue, in the most jerky and broken Chinook.  Given in broken English, corresponding, its purport was as follows.

Shabbiest loquitur, in a naso-guttural choke: 

“What you white man want get ’em here?  Why him no stay Boston country?  Me stay my country; no ask you come here.  Too much soldier man go all round everywhere.  Too much make pop-gun.  Him say kill bird, kill bear, sometime him kill Indian.  Soldier man too much shut eye, open eye at squaw.  Squaw no like; s’pose squaw like, Indian man no like nohow.  Me no understand white man.  Plenty good thing him country; plenty blanket; plenty gun; plenty powder; plenty horse.  Indian country plenty nothing.  No good Weenas give you horse.  No good Loolowcan go Dalles.  Bad Indian there.  Small-pox there.  Very much all bad.  Me no like white man nohow.  S’pose go away, me like.  Me think all’ same pretty fine good.  You big chief, got plenty thing.  Indian poor, no got nothing.  Howdydo?  Howdydo?  Want swop coat?  Want swop horse?  S’pose give Indian plenty thing.  Much good.  Much very big good great chief white man!”

“Indignant sagamore,” replied I, in mollifying tones, “you do indeed misunderstand us blanketeers.  We come hither as friends for peace.  No war is in our hearts, but kindly civilizing influences.  If you resist, you must be civilized out of the way.  We should regret your removal from these prairies of Weenas, for we do not see where in the world you can go and abide, since we occupy the Pacific shore and barricade you from free drowning privileges.  Succumb gracefully, therefore, to your fate, my representative redskin.  Do not scowl when soldier men, searching for railroads, repose their seared and disappointed eyeballs by winking at your squaws.  Do not long for pitfalls when their cavalry plod over your kamas swamps.  Believe all same very much good.  Howdydo?  Howdydo?  No swop!  I cannot do you the injustice of swopping this buckskin shirt of mine, embroidered with porcupinequills, for that distinguished garment of yours.  Nor horse can I swop in fairness; mine are weary with travel, and accustomed for a few days to influences of mercy.  But, as a memorial of this pleasant interview and a testimonial to your eloquent speech, I should be complimented if you would accept a couple of charges of powder.”

And, suiting act to word, I poured him out powder, which he received in a buckskin rag, and concealed in some shabby den of his historic coat.  Shabbiest seemed actually grateful.  Two charges of powder were like two souptickets to a starving man, two dinners inevitably, and possibly, according to the size of his mark, many dinners, were in that black dust.  He now asked to see my six-shooter, which Loolowcan had pointed at during their vernacular confidence.  He examined it curiously, handling it with some apprehension, as a bachelor does a baby.

“Wake nika kumtun ocook tenas musket.  Pose mika mamook po, ikta mika memloose; I no understand that little musket.  Suppose you make shoot, how many you kill?” he asked.

“Hin, pose moxt tahtilum; Many, perhaps two tens, I said, with mild confidence.

This was evidently impressive.  “Hyas tamanous; big magic,” said both.  “Wake, cultus ocook; no trifler that!”

We parted, Shabbiest to his diggings, we to our trail.  Hereupon Loolowcan’s tone changed more and more.  His old terrors, real or pretended, awoke.  He feared the Dalles.  It was a long journey, and I was in such headlong haste.  And how could he return from the Dalles, had we once arrived?  Could the son of Owhhigh foot it?  Never!  Would I give him a horse?

Obviously, not at all would I give a horse to the new-fledged dignitary, I informed him, cooling my wrath at these bulbous indications of treachery, nurtured by the talk of Shabbiest, and ready to grow into a full-blown Judas-tree if encouraged.  At last, by way of incitement to greater diligence in procuring fresh horses for me from the bands at Weenas, I promised to hire one for his return journey.  But Loolowcan the Mistrusted, watching me with disloyal eyes from under his matted hair, became doubly doubted by me now.

We turned northward, clomb a long, rough ridge, and viewed beyond, a valley bare and broad.  A strip of cotton-wood and shrubs in the middle announced a river, Weenas.  This was the expected locale; would the personnel be as stationary?  Rivers, as it pleases nature, may run away forever without escaping.  Camps of nomad Klickatats, are more evasive.  The people of Owhhigh, driving the horses of Owhhigh, might have decamped.  What then, Loolowcan, son of a horse-thief?  Can your talents aid me in substituting a fresher for Gubbins drooping for thy maltreatment.

Far away down the valley, where I could see them only as one sees lost Pleiads with telescopic vision, were a few white specks.  Surely the tents of Boston soldier tilicum, winkers at squaws and thorns in the side of Shabbiest, a refuge if need be there, thought I. Loolowcan turned away to the left, leading me into the upper valley.

We soon discovered the fact, whatever its future worth might be, that horses were feeding below.  Presently a couple of lodges defined themselves rustily against the thickets of Weenas.  A hundred horses, roans, calicos, sorrels, iron-grays, blacks and whites, were nipping bunchgrass on the plain.  My weary trio, wearier this hot morning for the traverse of the burnt and shaggy ridge above Weenas, were enlivened at sight of their fellows, and sped toward them companionably.  But the wild calvacade, tossing disdainfull heads and neighing loudly, dashed off in a rattling stampede; then paused curiously till we came near, and then were off again, the lubberly huddling along far in the rear of the front caracolers.

We dismounted, and tethered our wayfarers each to a bush, where he might feed, but not fly away to saddleless freedom with the wild prairie band.  We entered the nearer and larger of the two lodges.

Worldlings, whether in palaces of Cosmopolis or lodges of the siwashes, do not burn incense before the absolute stranger.  He must first establish his claims to attention.  No one came forth from the lodges to greet us.  No one showed any sign of curiosity or welcome as we entered.  Squalid were these huts of squalid tenancy.  Architecture does not prevail as yet on the American continent, and perhaps less among the older races of the western regions than among the newer comers Bostonward.  These habitations were structures of roughly split boards, leaning upon a ridge-pole.

Five foul copper heads and bodies of men lurked among the plunder of that noisome spot.  Several squaws were searching for gray hairs in the heads of several children.  One infant, evidently malecontent, was being flat-headed.  This fashionable martyr was papoosed in a tightswathing wicker-work case.  A broad pad of buckskin compressed its facile skull and brain beneath.  If there is any reason why the Northwest Indians should adopt the configuration of idiots, none such is known to me.  A roundhead Klickatat woman would be a pariah.  The ruder sex are not quite so elaborately beautified, or possibly their brains assert themselves more actively in later life against the distortion of childhood.  The Weenas papoose, victim of aboriginal ideas in the plastic art, was hung up in a corner of the lodge, and but for the blinking of its beady black eyes, almost crowded out of its head by the tight pad, and now and then a feeble howl of distress, I should have thought it a laughable image, the pet fetish of these shabby devotees.  Sundry, mats, blankets, skins, and dirty miscellanies furnished this populous abode.

Loolowcan was evidently at home among these compatriots, frowzier even than he.  He squatted among them, sans gene, and lighted his pipe.  One of the ladies did the honors, and motioned me to a seat upon a rusty bear-skin.  It instantly began biting me virulently through my corduroys; whereat I exchanged it for a mat, soon equally carnivorous.  Odors very villanous had made their settlement in this congenial spot.  An equine fragrance such as no essence could have overcome, pervaded the masculine group.  From the gynaeceum came a perfume, hard to decipher, until I bethought me how Governor Ogden, at Fort Vancouver of the Hudson’s Bay Company, with a cruelly waggish wink to me, had persuaded the commissary of the railroad party to buy twelve dozen quarts of Macassar, as presents for the Indians.

“Fair and softly” is the motto of a siwash negotiation.  Why should they, in their monotonous lives, sacrifice a new sensation by hurry?

The five copper-skins “first eyed me over” with lazy thoroughness.  They noted my arms and equipment.  When they had thus taken my measure by the eye, they appealed to my guide for historical facts; they would know my whence, my whither, my wherefore, and his share in my past and my future.

Loolowcan droned a sluggish tale, to whose points of interest they grunted applause between puffs of smoke.  Then there was silence and a tendency toward slumber declared itself among them; their minds needed repose after so unusual a feast of ideas.  Here I protested.  I expressed my emphatic surprise to Loolowcan, that he was not urgent in fulfilling the injunctions of my friend the mighty, Owhhigh, and his own agreement to procure horses.  The quadrupods were idle, and I was good pay.  A profitable bargain was possible.

The spokesman of the party, and apparently owner of the lodge and horses, was an olyman siwash, an old savage, totally unwashed from boyhood up, and dressed in dirty buckskin.  Loolowcan, in response to my injunctions, appealed to him.  Olyman declined expediting me.  He would not lend, nor swop, nor sell horses.  There was no mode for the imparting of horses, temporarily or permanently, that pleased him.  His sentiments on the subject of Boston visitors were like those of Shabbiest.  All my persuasions he qualified as “Cultus wah wah; idle talk.”  Not very polite are thy phrases, Olyman head man of Stenchville on Weenas.  At the same time he and the four in chorus proposed to Loolowcan to abandon me.  Olyman alone talked Chinook jargon; the other four sat, involved in their dirty cotton shirts, waiting for interpretation, and purred assent or dissent, yea, to all the insolence of Olyman; nay, to every suggestion of mine.  Toward me and my plans the meeting was evidently sulky and inclement.

Loolowcan, however, did not yet desert his colors, He made the supplementary, proposition that Olyman should hire us a sumpter horse, on which he the luxurious Loolowcan, disdainer of pedestrians, might prance back from the faraway Dalles.  I was very willing on any conditions to add another quadrupod to my trio.  They all flagged after the yesterday’s work, and Gubbins seemed ready to fail.

While this new question was pending, a lady came to my aid.  The prettiest and wisest of the squaws paused in her researches, and came forward to join the council.  This beauty of the Klickatats thought hiring the horse an admirable scheme.  “Loolowcan,” said she, “can take the consideration-money, and buy me ‘ikta,’ what not, at the Dalles.”  This suggestion of the Light of the Harem touched Olyman.  He rose, and commanded the assistance of the shirt-clad quartette.  They loungingly surrounded the band of horses, and with whoops and throwing of stones drove them into a corral, near the lodges.  Olyman then produced a hide lasso, and tossed its loop over the head of a roan, the stereoscopic counterpart of Gubbins.

Meantime Loolowcan had driven up my horses.  I ordered him to tie Antipodes and Gubbins together by the head, with my long hide lariat.  The manner of all the Indians was so intolerably insolent, that I still expected trouble.  My cavalry, I resolved, should be well in hand.  I flung the bight of the lariat with a double turn over the horn of my saddle and held Klale, my quiet friend, by his bridle.  My three horses were thus under complete control.

The roan was brought forward.  But again an evil genius among the Indians interfered, and growled a few poisonous words into the ear of Olyman.  Olyman doubled his demand for his horse.  I refused to be imposed upon, with an incautious expression of opinion on the subject.  The Indians talked with ferocious animation for a moment, and then retired to the lodge.  The women and children who had been spectators immediately in a body marched off, and disappeared in the thickets.  Ladies do not leave the field when amicable entertainment is on the cards.

But why should I tarry after negotiation had failed?  I ordered Loolowcan to mount and lead the way.  He said nothing, but stood looking at me, as if I were another and not myself, his recent friend and comrade.  There was a new cast of expression in his dusky eyes.

At this moment the Indians came forth from the lodge.  They came along in a careless, lounging way, but every ragamuffin was armed.  Three had long single-barrel guns of the Indian pattern.  One bore a bow and arrows.  The fifth carried a knife, half concealed, and, as he came near, slipped another furtively into the hand of Loolowcan.

What next?  A fight?  Or a second shamfight, like that of Whulge?

I stood with my back to a bush, with my gun leaning against my left arm, where my bridle hung; My bowie-knife was within convenient reach, and I amused myself during these instants of expectancy by abstractedly turning over the cylinder of my revolver.  “Another adventure,” I thought, “where this compact machine will be available to prevent or punish.”

Loolowcan now stepped forward, and made me a brief, neat speech, full of facts.  Meanwhile those five copper-heads watched me, as I have seen a coterie of wolves, squatted just out of reach, watch a wounded buffalo, who made front to them.  There was not a word in Loolowcan’s speech about the Great Spirit, or his Great Father, or the ancient wrongs of the red man, or the hunting-grounds of the blest, or fire-water, or the pipe of peace.  Nor was the manner of his oration lofty, proud, and chieftainly, as might befit the son of Owhhigh.  Loolowcan spoke like an insolent varlet, ready to be worse than insolent, and this was the burden of his lay.

“Wake nika klatawah copa Dalles; I won’t go to Dalles.  Nika mitlite Weenas; I stay Weenas.  Alta mika payee nika chickamin pe ikta; now you pay me my money and things.”

This was the result then, my plan shot dead, my confidence betrayed.  This frowzy liar asking me payment for his treachery, and backing his demand with knives and guns!

Wrath mastered me.  Prudence fled.

I made my brief rejoinder speech, thrusting into it all the billingsgate I knew.  My philippic ran thus: 

“Kamooks, mika klimminwhet; dog, you have lied.  Cultus siwash, wake Owhhigh tenas; paltry savage, no son of Owhhigh!  Kallapooya; a Kallapooya Indian, a groveller.  Skudzilaimoot; a nasty varmint.  Tenas mika tum tum; cowardly is thy heart.  Quash klatawah copa Dalles; afraid to go to Dalles.  Nika mamook paper copa squally tyee pe spose mika chaco yaquah yaka skookoom, mamook stick; I shall write a paper to the master of Nisqually (if I ever get out of this), and suppose you go there, he will lustily apply the rod.”

Loolowcan winced at portions of this discourse.  He seemed ready to pounce upon me with the knife he grasped.

And now as to pay, “Hyas pultin mika; a great fool art thou, to suppose that I can be bullied into paying thee for bringing me out of my way to desert me.  No go, no pay.”

“Wake nika memloose; I no die for the lack of it,” said Loolowcan, with an air of unapproachable insolence.

Having uttered my farewell, I waited to see what these filthy braves would do, after their scowling looks and threatening gestures.  If battle comes, thou, O Loolowcan, wilt surely go to some hunting-grounds in the other world, whether blest or curst.  Thou at least never shalt ride Gubbins as master; never wallop Antipodes as brutal master; nor in murderous revelry devour the relies of my pork, my hard-tack, and my tongues.  It will be hard if I, with eight shots and a slasher, cannot make sure of thee to dance before me, as guide, down the defiles of purgatory.

There was an awkward pause.  All the apropos remarks had been made.  The spokesmen of civilization and barbarism had each had their say.  Action rather halted.  No one was willing to take the initiative.  Whether the Stenchvillians proposed to attack or not, they certainly would not do it while I was so thoroughly on my guard.  Colonel Colt, quiet as he looked, represented to them an indefinite slaughter power.

I must myself make the move.  I threw Klale’s bridle over his neck, and, grasping the horn, swung myself into the saddle, as well as I could with gun in one hand and pistol in the other.

The Klickatats closed in.  One laid hold of Antipodes.  The vicious-looking Mephistophiles with the knife leaped to Klale’s head and made a clutch at the rein.  But Colonel Colt, with Cyclopean eyeball, was looking him full in the face.  He dropped the bridle, and fell back a step.  I dug both spurs into Klale with a yell.  Antipodes whirled and lashed at his assailant with dangerous hoofs.  Gubbins started.  Klale reared and bolted forward.

We had scattered the attacking party, and were off.


Towing a horse on each side, by a rope turned about my saddle-horn, I moved but slowly.  For a hundred yards I felt a premonitory itching in my spine, as if of arrow in the marrow.  I would not deign to turn.  If vis a tergo came, I should discover it soon enough.  I felt no inclination to see anything more of any Indians, ever, anywhere.  I was in raging wrath; too angry as yet to be at a loss for the future; too furious to despond.

Whatever might now befall, I was at least free of Loolowcan the Frowzy.  As to mutual benefit, we were nearly quits.  He had had from me a journey home and several days of banqueting:  I from him guidance hither.  He had at last deserted me, shabbily, with assassination in his wishes; but I had not paid him, had vilipended him, and taken myself off unharmed.  Withal I was disappointed.  My type Indian, one in the close relations of comrade, had failed me.  It is a bitter thing to a man to find that he has thrown away even a minor measure of friendship or love upon a meaner, nature.  I could see what the traitor influences were, but why could he not resist, and be plucky, honorable, and a fine fellow?  Why cannot all the pitiful be noble?

What saved me from massacre by the citizens of Weenas was not, I suppose, my six-shooter, not my double-barrel, not my bowie, though each had its influence on the minds of Indians, but the neighborhood of the exploring camp.  Much as Shabbiest and Olyman disliked these intruders, they feared them more.  Loolowcan also felt that he was responsible for my safety, and that, if I disappeared, some one would ask him the inevitable question, where he had put me.  The explorers, not having had much success in finding a railroad, would be entertained with an opportunity for other researches.  Yet the temptation to six siwashes to butcher one Boston man, owner of three passable horses and valuable travelling gear, is so great, and siwash power to resist present temptation so small, that I no doubt owed something to my armament, and something to my evident intention to use it.

I now made for the exploring camp as best I might.  Gubbins and Antipodes were disposed to be centrifugal, and, as I did not wish to weary Klale with pursuits, I held to my plan of towing the refractory steeds.  It times the two would tug their lengths of rope isosceles, and meet for biting each other.  When this happened, I, seated just behind the apex of the triangle, was wellnigh sawed in twain by the closing sides.  After such encounter, Antipodes would perhaps lurch ahead violently, while Gubbins, limping from a kick, would be a laggard.  Klale would thus become the point where two irregular arms of a diagonal met, and would be sorely unsteadied, as are those who strive to hold even control between opponent forces.

Thus I jerked along, sometimes tugging, sometimes tugged, until I discerned a distant flicker in the air, which soon defined itself as the American flag, and through the underwood I saw the tents of the exploring party, a welcome refuge.

I was tired, hot, excited, and hateful, disgusted with Indians and horses, and fast losing my faith in everything; therefore the shelter of a shady tent was calming, and so was the pleasant placidity of the scene within.  Lieutenant M. was reclining within, buying of a not uncleanly Indian long, neat potatoes and a silver salmon.  Dewiness of his late bath in the melted snows of the Weenas sparkled still on the bright scales of the fish.  It was a tranquillizing spectacle after the rough travel and offensive encounters of the day.  Almost too attractive to a man who, after a few moments of this comparatively Sybaritic dalliance, must renew, and now alone, his journey, fed with musty hard-tack, and must again whip tired nags over plains bristling with wild sage, and over the aggravating backbones of the earth.

The camp could give me, as it did, a hospitable meal of soldiers’ fare; but, with friendliest intentions, the camp could do little to speed me.  It could advise me that to launch out unguided into the unknown is perilous; but I was resolved not to be baffled.  Le Play House, the mission where Loolowcan should have guided me in the morning, was somewhere.  I could find it, and ask Christian aid there.  The priests would probably have Indian retainers, and one of these would be a safer substitute for my deserter.  I would not prognosticate failure; enough to meet it if it come.

Le Play House is on the Atinam, twenty miles in a bee-line from camp.  Were one but a bee, here would be a pleasant flight this summer’s afternoon.  But how to surely trace this imaginary route across pathlessness, over twenty miles of waste, across two ranges of high scorched hills?  Two young Indians, loungers about the camp, offered to conduct me for a shirt.  Cheap, but inadmissible; I am not now, my young shirtless, in the mood for lavishing a shirt of civilization on any of the siwash race.  Too recent are the injuries and insults of Loolowcan and the men of Stenchville.  I am still in an imprudent rage.  I rashly scorn the help of aborigines.  Thereaway is Atinam, I will ride thither alone this pleasant afternoon of summer.

I could not fitly ask the fusillade for Loolowcan, Olyman, and his gang.  Their action had been too incomplete for punishment so final.  I requested Lieutenant M. to mamook stick upon my ex-comrade should be present himself.  I fear that the traitor escaped unpunished, perhaps to occupy himself in scalping my countrymen in the late war.  Owhhigh in that war was unreasonably hung; there are worse follows than Owhhigh, in cleaner circles, unhung, and not even sent to Coventry.

Before parting, Lieutenant M. and I exchanged presents of our most precious objects, after the manner of the Homeric heroes.  Hardshell remainder biscuits he gave, jaw-breakers, and tough as a pine-knot, but more grateful than my hard-tack, well sprouted after its irrigation by the S’kamish.  I bestowed, in return, two of my salted tongues, bitter as the maxims of La Rochefoucauld.

Gubbins andAntipodes were foes irreconcilable, a fact of immense value.  Therefore, that they might travel with less expense of scamper to me, I tied their heads together.  I felt, and so it proved, that, whenever Antipodes begged to pause and feed, Gubbins would be impelled to keep up a steady jog-trot, and whenever Gubbins wished to inspect a tuft of bunch-grass to the right, his companion would stolidly decline compliance, and plod faithfully along the ideal beeline.  There must be no discursiveness in my troop henceforth.

Then I resolutely said adieu to the friendly camp, and, pointing my train for a defile in the hard hills upon the southern horizon, started, not very gayly, and very lonely.  We did not droop, horses or man, but the visionary Hope that went before was weak in the knees, and no longer bounded gallantly, beckoning us onward.  The two light-loaded horses, in their leash, were rarely unanimous to halt, but their want of harmony often interfered with progress, and Owhhigh’s whip must often whirr about their flanks, hinting to them not to be too unbrotherly.  Toiling thus doggedly on over the dry levels and rolling sweeps of prairie, Klale and I grew weary with the remorseless sunshine, and our responsibility of the march.

As I rounded a hillock, two horsemen, galloping toward me, drew up at a hundred yards to reconnoitre.  One of them immediately rode forward.  What familiar scarecrow is this?  By that Joseph coat I recognize him.  It is Shabbiest, pleased evidently to see that Loolowcan has taken his advice, and I am departing alone.

“Kla hy yah?  Howdydo?” said the old man, “Whither now, O Boston tyee?”

“To Le Play House,” answered I, short and sour, feeling no affinity for this rusty person, the first beguiler of my treacherous guide.

“Not the hooihut,” said he.  Nanitch ocook polealy; behold this powder,” the powder I had given him.  For this gift, within his greasy garb there beat a grateful heart, or possibly, a heart expectant of more, and he volunteered to guide me a little way into the trail.  Moral:  always give a testimonial to dreary old grumblers in ole clo’, when you meet them in the Jolly morning, possibly they may requite you when you meet at sulky eve.

First, Shabbiest must ask permission of his companion.  “My master,” he said; “I am elaita, a slave.”  The master, a big, bold Indian of Owhhigh type, in clothes only second-hand, gave him free permission.  The old man’s servitude was light.

Shabbiest led off on his shambler in quite another direction from mine, and more southerly.  After a mile or so we climbed a steep hill, whence I could see the Nachchese again.  I saw also behind me a great column of dust, and from it anon two galloping riders making for us.

They dashed up, the same two youths who at camp had offered to guide me to Le Play House for a shirt.  I was humbler now than when I refused them before noon, having over-confidence in myself, and my power of tracing bee-lines.  We must, perhaps be lost in our younker and prodigal periods before our noon, that we may be taught respect for experience, and believe in cooperation of brother-men.

Now, I possessed two shirts of faded blue-check calico, and was important among savages for such possession.  One of these, much bedimmed with dust, at present bedecked my person, buckskin laid aside for the heat.  There was no washerwoman within many degrees of latitude and longitude, none probably, between the Cascades and the Rockys.  Why not, then, disembarrass myself of a valueless article, a shirt properly hors du combat, if by its aid I might win to guide me two young rovers, ambitious of so much, distinction on their Boulevards as a checked calico could confer?

Young gallopers, the shirt is yours.  Ho for Le Play House!

Adieu, Shabbiest, unexpected re-enterer on this scene!  Thy gratitude for two charges of powder puts a fact on the merit side of my book of Indian character.  Receive now, with my thanks, this my last spare dhudeen, and this ounce of pigtail, and take away thyself and thy odorous coat from between the wind and me.  Shabbiest rode after his master.

Everything now revived.  Horses and men grew confident, and Hope, late feeble in the knees, now with braced muscles went turning somersets of joy before us.  Antipodes and Gubbins, unleashed, were hurried along by the whoops and whips of my younker guides; and Klale, relieved of responsibility, and inspired by gay companions, became sprightly and tricksy.  Sudden change had befallen my prospects, lately dreary.  Shabbiest had come as forerunner of good fortune.  Then, speeding after him, appeared my twin deliverers, guiding me for the low price of a shirt totally buttonless.

It was worth a shirt, nay, shirts, merely to be escorted by these graceful centaurs.  No saddle intervened between them and their horses.  No stirrup compelled their legs.  A hair rope twisted around the mustang’s lower lip was their only horse furniture.  “Owhhigh tenas,” one of Owhhigh’s boys, the younger claimed to be.  Nowhere have I seen a more beautiful youth.  He rode like an Elgin marble.  A circlet of otter fur plumed with an eagle’s feather crowned him.

His forehead was hardly perceptibly flattened, and his expression was honest and merry, not like the sombre, suspicious visage of Loolowcan, disciple of Talipus.

Neither of my new friends would give me his name.  After coquetting awhile, they pretended that to tell me would be tamanous of ill omen, and begged me to give them pasaiooks’ names.  So I received them into civilization under the titles of prince, and POINs.  These they metamorphosed into U’PLINT’Z and K’PAWINT’Z, and shouted their new appellatives at each other in glee as they galloped.  Prince, my new Adonis, like Poins, his admiring and stupid comrade, was dressed only in hickory shirt of the Hudson’s Bay Company and some nondescript raggedness for leggins.  Deer are not abundant in this arid region, and buckskin raiment is a luxury for chiefs.

With these companions, the journey, just now dismal, became a lark.  Over the levels the horses dashed freshly, mine as if they wished to show how much I had undervalued their bottom, and how needless had been my detour, under my false leader, to exchange these trusty, and tried fellow-travellers for unknown substitutes.  Over the levels they dashed, and stout of heart, though not quite so gayly, they clambered the hills Macadamized with pebbles of trap.

Antipodes, loping in the lead, suddenly shied wildly away from a small rattlesnake coiled in the track.  The little stranger did not wait for our assault.  He glided away into a thick bush where be stood on the defensive, brandishing his tongue, and eying us with two flames.  His tail meanwhile recited cruel anathemas, with a harsh, rapid burr.  He was safe from assault of stick or stone, and I was about to call in my old defender, the revolver, when Uplintz prayed me to pause.  I gave him the field, while Kpawintz stood by, chuckling with delight at the ingenuity of his friend and hero.

Uplintz took from a buckskin pouch at his belt his pipe, and, loosening from the bowl its slender reed stem, he passed through it a stiff spire of bunch-grass.  A little oil of tobacco adhered to the point.  He approached the bush carefully, and held the nicotinized straw a foot from the rattlesnake’s nose.  At once, from a noisy, threatening snake, tremulous with terror and rage from quivering fang to quivering rattle, a snake writhing venomously all along its black and yellow ugliness, it became a pacified snake, watchful, but not wrathful.

Uplintz, charmer of reptiles, proceeded with judicious coolness.  Imperceptibly he advanced his wand of enchantment nearer and nearer.  Rattler perceived the potent influence, and rattled no more.  The vixenish twang ceased at one end of him; at the other, his tongue became gently lambent.  The narcotic javelin approached, and finally touched his head.  He was a lulled and vanquished rattlesnake.  He followed the magic sceptre, as Uplintz withdrew it, a very drunken serpent “rolled to starboard, rolled to larboard,” staggering with the air of a languidly contented inebriate.  He swayed feebly out upon the path, and squirmed there, while the charmer tickled his nose with the pleasant opiate, his rattles uttering mild plaudits.

At last Kpawintz, the stolid, whipping out a knife, suddenly decapitated our disarmed plaything, and bagged the carcass for supper, with triumphant guffaws.  Kpawintz enjoyed his solution of the matter hugely, and acted over the motions of the snake, laughing loudly as he did so, and exhibiting his tidbit trophy.

We had long ago splashed across the Nachchese.  The sun, nearing the western hills, made every opening valley now a brilliant vista.  The rattlesnake had died just on the edge of the Atinam ridges, and Kpawintz was still brandishing his yellow and black prey, and snapping the rattle about the flanks of his wincing roan, when Uplintz called me to look with him up into the streaming sunshine, and see Le Play House.

A strange and unlovely spot for religion to have chosen for its home of influence.  It needed all the transfiguring power of sunset to make this desolate scene endurable.  Even sunset, lengthening the shadow of every blade of grass, could not create a mirage of verdant meadow there, nor stretch scrubby cottonwoodtrees to be worthy of their exaggerated shade.  No region this where a Friar Tuck would choose to rove, solacing his eremite days with greenwood pleasures.  Only ardent hermits would banish themselves to such a hermitage.  The missionary, spirit, or the military religious discipline, must be very positive, which sends men to such unattractive heathen as these, to a field of labor far away from any contact with civilization, and where no exalting result of converted multitudes can be hoped.

The mission was a hut-like structure of adobe clay, plastered upon a frame of sticks.  It stood near the stony bed of the Atinam.  The sun was just setting as we came over against it, on the hill-side.  We dashed down into the valley, that moment abandoned by sunlight.  My Indians launched forward to pay their friendly greeting to the priests.  But I observed them quickly pause, walk their horses, and noiselessly dismount.

As I drew near, a sound of reverent voices met me, vespers at this station in the wilderness.  Three souls were worshipping in the rude chapel attached to the house.  It was rude indeed, a cell of clay, but a sense of the Divine presence was there, not less than in many dim old cathedrals, far away, where earlier sunset had called worshippers of other race and tongue to breathe the same thanksgiving and the same heartfelt prayer.  No pageantry of ritual such as I had often witnessed in ancient fanes of the same faith; when incense filled the air and made it breathe upon the finer senses; when from the organ tones large, majestical, triumphant, subduing, made my being thrill as if music were the breath of a new life more ardent and exalting; when inward to join the throngs that knelt there solemnly, inward to the old sanctuary where their fathers’ fathers had knelt and prayed the ancestral prayers of mankind for light and braver hope and calmer energy, inward with the rich mists of sunset flung back from dusky walls of time-glorified marble palaces, came the fair and the mean, the desolate and the exultant, came beauty to be transfigured to more tender beauty with gentle penitence and purifying hope, came weariness and pain to be soothed with visions of joy undying, celestial—­came hearts wellnigh despairing, self-scourged or cruelly betrayed, to win there dear repentance strong with tears; to win the wise and agonized resolve; never in any temple of that ancient faith, where prayer has made its home for centuries, has prayer seemed so mighty, worship so near the ear of God, as vespers here at this rough shrine in the lonely valley of Atinam.

God is not far from our lives at any moment.  But we go for days and years with no light shining forth from kindling heart to reveal to us the near divineness.  With clear and cultivated perception we take in all facts of beauty, all the wonderment of craft, cunning adaptation, and subtile, design in nature; we are guided through thick dangers, and mildly scourged away from enfeebling luxury of too much bliss; we err and sin, and gain the bitter lessons of penance; and all this while we are deeming or dreaming ourselves thoughtfully religious, and are so up to the measure of our development.  But yet, after all these years, coming at last to a wayside shrine, where men after their manner are adoring so much of the Divine as their minds can know, we are touched with a strange and larger sympathy, and perceive in ourselves a great awakening, and a new and wider perception of God and the godlike, and know that we have entered upon another sphere of spiritual growth.

Vespers ended.  The missionaries, coming forth from their service, welcomed me with quiet cordiality.  Visits of men not savage were rare to them as are angels’ visits to worldlings.  In winter they resided at a station on the Yakimah in the plains eastward.  Atinam was their summer abode, when the, copper-colored lambs of their flock were in the mountains, plucking berries in the dells, catching crickets on the slopes.

Messrs. D’Herbomez and Pandosy had been some five years among the different tribes of this Yakimah region, effecting of course not much.  They had become influential friends, rather than spiritual guides.  They could exhibit some results of good advice in potato patches, but polygamy was too strong for them.  Kamaiakan, chiefest of Yakimah or Klickatat chiefs, sustained their cause and accepted their admonitions in many matters of conduct, but never asked should he or should he not invite another Mrs. Kamaiakan to share the honors of his lodge.  Men and Indians are firm against clerical interference in domestic institutions.  Perhaps also Kamaiakan had a vague notion of the truth, that polygamy is not a whit more unnatural than celibacy.

Whether or not these representatives of the Society of Jesus have persuaded the Yakimahs to send away their supernumerary squaws, for fear of something harsher than the good-natured amenities of purgatory, one kindly and successful missionary work they have done, in my reception and entertainment.  Their fare was mine.  Salmon from the stream and potatoes from their own garden spread the board.  Their sole servant, an old Canadian lay brother, cared for my horses, for them and for me there was perfect repose.

By no means would Uplintz and Kpawintz allow me to forget their promised reward.  Each was an incomplete dandy of the Yakimahs until that shirt of blue had been tried on by each, and contrasted with the brown cuticle of each.  They desired to dress after my mode; with pasaiooks’ names and an exchangeable shirt between them, they hoped to become elegant men of Boston fashion.  Twilight was gloom to their hearts until I had condescended to lay aside that envied garment, until it had ceased to be mine, and was the joint property of two proud and happy young braves, and until each, wearing it for a time and seeing himself reflected in the admiring eyes of his fellow, felt that he was stamped with the true cachet of civilization.  Alas, that the state of my kit did not permit me to double the boon, and envelope the statuesque proportions of Uplintz with a clean calico, rich in pearl buttons.  For there came an obtruding question, how the two juvenals would distribute the one mantle.  Would they appear before the critical circles of Weenas only on alternate days?  Would they cleave the garment into a dexter and a sinister portion, one sleeve and half a body to each?  Or would they divide the back to one, and the front to the other, and thenceforth present, the one an obverse, the other a reverse to the world?  It is my hope that their tenancy in common of this perishable chattel did not sunder companionship.  Kpawintz would infallibly give up his undivided half to Uplintz, if that captivating young Adonis demanded it.  But I trust that the latter was content with grace, beauty, and rattlesnakes, and yielded the entire second-hand shirt to his less accomplished friend.  Elaborate toilettes are a necessity of ugliness.  Uplintz, fair as Antinous, would only deteriorate under frippery.

It had a fresh flavor of incongruity to talk high civilization on the Atinam, in a mud chamber twelve feet square, while two dusky youths of Owhhigh’s band, squatted on the floor, eyed us calmly, and, when their pipe was out, kept each other awake with monotonous moaning gutturals.  The mountain gale of to-night was strong as the mistral of Father D’Herbomez’s native Provence.

We talked of that romantic region, comparing adobe architecture of the Northwest with the Palace of Avignon, the Amphitheatre of Nismes, the Maison Carree, and the Pont du Gard.  Kamaiakan’s court lost by contrast with King Rene’s, and no Petrarch had yet arisen among the Yakimahs.  Then, passing over the Maritime Alps into the plains of Piedmont, we measured Monte Rosa, dominant over Father Pandosy’s horizon of youth, with St. Helen’s, queen of the farthest West, and rebuilt in fancy, on these desert plains, sunny Milan and its brilliant dome.

It is good to have the brain packed full of images from the wealthy past; it is good to remember and recall the beautiful accumulations of human genius from earliest eld to now.  For with these possessions a man may safely be a comrade of rudest pioneers, and toughen himself to robust manliness, without dislinking himself from refinement, courtesy, and beauty of act and demeanor.  Nature indeed, wise, fair, and good, is ever at hand to reintroduce us to our better selves; but sometimes, in moods sorry or rebellious, Nature seems cold and slow and distant, and will not grant at once to our eagerness the results of long, patient study,.  Then we turn to our remembrances of what brother men have done, and standing among them, as in a noble amphitheatre, we cannot be other than calm and patient; we cannot fall back into barbarism and be brutal, though our present society be Klalams or Klickatats; and even when treachery has exasperated us in the morning, in the evening, under the quieting influence of Art and History, we can forgive the savage, and think of pacifying themes.

A roof crushes and fevers one who has been long wont to sleep beneath the stars.  I preferred my blankets without the cabin, sheltered by its wall from the wind that seemed to prophesy a storm of terrors growing on the mountains and the sea, to the luxury of a bunk within.  The good fathers were lodged with more than conventual simplicity.  Discomfort, and often privation, were the laws of missionary life in this lonely spot.  It was camp life with none of the excitement of a camp.  Drearily monotonous went the days of these pioneers.  There was little intellectual exercise to be had, except to construct a vocabulary of the Yakimah dialect, a hardly more elaborate machine for working out thought than the babbling Chinook jargon.  They could have inevitably but small success in proselyting, and rarely any society except the savage dignity of Kamaiakan, the savage vigor of Skloo, and the savage cleverness of Owhhigh.  A tame lustrum for my hosts, varied only by summer migrations to the Atinam and winter abode on the Yakimah.  If the object of a man’s life were solely to produce effect upon other men, and only mediately upon himself, one would say that the life of a cultivated and intellectual missionary, endeavoring to instruct savages in the complex and transitional dogmatisms of civilization, was absolutely wasted.

When I woke, late as sunrise, after the crowded fatigues and difficulties of yesterday, I found that already my hosts had despatched Uplintz and Kpawintz to a supposed neighbor camp of their brethren, to seek me a guide, Also the old servitor, a friendly grumbler, was off to the mountains on a similar errand.  Patience, therefore, and remember, hasty voyager, that many are the chances of savage life.

Antipodes had shaken to pieces whatever stitched bag he bore.  I seized this moment to make repairs.  Among my traps were needles and thread of the stoutest, for use and for presents.  The fascinating squaw of Weenas, if she had but known it, was very near a largess of such articles.  But the wrong-doing of Sultan Olyman lost her the gift, and my tailor-stock was undiminished.  I made a lucky thrust at the one eye of a needle, and began my work with severe attention.

While I was mending, Uplintz, with his admiring Orson, Kpawintz, came galloping back.

Gone were the Indians they had sought; gone so said their trail to gad nomadly anywhere.  And the two comrades, though willing to go with me to the world’s end for the pleasure of my society and the reward of my shirts, must admit to Father Pandosy, cross-examining, that they had never meandered along the Dalles hooihut.

The old lay brother also returned bringing bad luck.  Where he had looked to find populous lodges, he met one straggling squaw, left there to potter alone, while the Bedouins were far away.  The many chances of Indian life seemed chancing sadly against me.  Should I despair of farther progress, and become an acolyte of the Atinam mission?

Just then I raised my eyes, and lo! a majestic Indian in Lincoln green!  He was dismounting at the corral from a white pacer.  Who now?

“Le bon Dieu l’envoie,” said Father Pandosy; “c’est Kamaiakan meme.”

Enter, then, upon this scene Kamaiakan, chiefest of Yakimah chiefs.  He was a tall, large man, very dark, with a massive square face, and grave, reflective look.  Without the senatorial coxcombry of Owhhigh, his manner was strikingly distinguished, quiet and dignified.  He greeted the priests as a Kaiser might a Papal legate.  To me, as their friend, he, gave his hand with a gentlemanly word of welcome.

All the nobs I have known among Redskins have retained a certain dignity of manner even in their beggarly moods.  Among the plebeians, this excellence degenerates into a gruff coolness or insolent indifference.  No one ever saw a bustling or fussy Indian.  Even when he begs of a blanketeer gifted with chattels — and beg he does without shame or shrinking, he asks as if he would do the possessor of so much trumpery an honor by receiving it at his hands.  The nauseous, brisk, pen-behind-the-ear manner of the thriving tradesman, competitor with everything and everybody, would disgust an Indian even to the scalping point.  Owhhigh, visiting my quarters at Squally with his fugue of beggars, praying me to breech his breechless, shirt his shirtless, shoe his shoeless child, treated me with a calm loftiness, as if I were merely a steward of his, or certainly nothing more than a co-potentate of the world’s oligarchy.  He showed no discomposure at my refusal, as unmoved as his request.  Fatalism, indolence, stolidity, and self-respect are combined in this indifference.  Most of a savage’s prayers for bounty are made direct to Nature; when she refuses, she does so according to majestic laws, of which he, half reflectively, half instinctively, is conscious.  He learns that there is no use in waiting and whining for salmon out of season, or fresh grasshoppers in March.  According to inevitable laws, he will have, or will not have, salmon of the first water, and aromatic grasshoppers sweet as honey-dew.  Caprice is out of the question with Nature, although her sex be feminine.  Thus a savage learns to believe that power includes steadiness.

Kamaiakan’s costume was novel.  Louis Philippe dodging the police as Mr. Smith, and adorned with a woollen comforter and a blue cotton umbrella, was unkingly, and a caricature.  He must be every inch a king who can appear in an absurd garb and yet look full royal.  Kamaiakan stood the test.  He wore a coat, a long tunic of fine green cloth.  Like the irregular beds of a kitchen garden were the patches, of all shapes and sizes, combined to form this robe of ceremony.  A line, zizgag as the path over new-fallen snow trodden by a man after toddies too many, such devious line marked the waist.  Sleeves, baggy here, and there tight as a bandage, were inserted somewhere, without reference to the anatomical insertion of arms.  Each verdant patch was separated from its surrounding patches by a rampart or a ditch of seam, along which stitches of white threads strayed like vines.  It was a gerrymandered coat, gerrymandered according to some system perhaps understood by the operator, but to me complex, impolitic, and unconstitutional.

Yet Kamaiakan was not a scarecrow.  Within this garment of disjunctive conjunction he stood a chieftainly man.  He had the advantage of an imposing presence and bearing, and above all a good face, a well lighted Pharos at the top of his colossal frame.  We generally recognize whether there is a man looking at us from behind what he chances to use for eyes, and when we detect the man, we are cheered or bullied according to what we are.  It is intrinsically more likely that the chieftainly man will be an acknowledged chief among simple savages, than in any of the transitional phases of civilization preceding the educated simplicity of social life, whither we now tend.  Kamaiakan, in order to be chiefest chief of the Yakimahs, must be clever enough to master the dodges of salmon and the will of wayward mustangs; or, like Fine-Ear, he must know where kamas bulbs are mining a passage for their sprouts; or he must be able to tramp farther and fare better than his fellows; or, by a certain tamanous that is in him, he must have power to persuade or convince, to win or overbear.  He must be best as a hunter, a horseman, a warrior, an orator.  These are personal attributes, not heritable; if Kamaiakan Junior is a nature’s nobody, he takes no permanent benefit by his parentage.

Chieftainly Kamaiakan seated himself and his fantastic coat in the hut.  He had looked in to see his friends, the good fathers, and to counsel with them what could be done for Mrs. Kamaiakan the third.  That estimable lady had taken too much salmon, very far too much, alas! and Kamaiakan feared that he was about to become a widower, pro tanto.  Such a partial solution of the question of polygamy was hardly desired by the missionaries.  It were better to save Mrs. K. the third; for doubtless already, knowing of her illness, many a maiden of Yakimah high fashion was wishing that her locks might glisten more sleekly attractive; many a dusky daughter of the tribe was putting on the permanent blush of vermilion to win a look from the disconsolate chief.  The fathers feared that he would not content himself with one substitute, but, not to give offence, would accept the candidates one and all.  Therefore one of the gentlemen busied himself with a dose for the surfeited squaw, a dose in quantity giant, in force dwarf, one that should make itself respected at first sight, and gain a Chinese victory by its formidable aspect alone.

While one compounded this truculent bolus, the other imparted my needs to the chief.

Kamaiakan himself could not profit by this occasion to make a trip to the Dalles and cultivate my society.  Not only domestic trials, but duties of state prevented.  Were he, absent at this critical epoch, when uninvited soldier-men were tramping the realm and winking at its ladies without respect to rank, who would stand forward as champion?  Who pacify alike riotous soldier-man and aggrieved savage?  Kamaiakan could not leave the field to Skloo the ambitious, nor to Owhhigh the crafty, when he returned from Squally rich with goods, the proceeds of many a horse-theft.  Absent a week, and Kamaiakan might find that for another, and not for him, were the tawny maids.  Kamaiakan must stay.  A nobleman on the climb must keep himself always before the vulgar.

But a follower of the chief had just ambled up on a pony, leading his sumpter horse.  Him Kamaiakan despatched up the Atinam, where he had heard that a camp of his people had halted on their way to the mountain berry patches.  Among them was a protege of the chief, who knew every trail of the region and had horses galore.

Many are the chances of nomad life.  Enter now, in the background, a siwash soon to be a personage in this drama, if the last legs of his flea-bitten white Rosinante can but convey him to the foreground to announce himself.

Enter Ferdinand on the scene, in an Isabella yellow shirt, he and his garments alike guiltless of the soap of Castile, or any soap of land less royal.

Ferdinand was a free companion, a cosmopolite of his world.  He was going somewhere, anywhere, nowhere.  He had happened in with dinner in view.  So long as the legs of Rosinante lasted, Ferdinand could be a proud cavalier.  Now, those legs failing, he drooped.  He would soon become a peon, a base footman, and possibly, under temptation, a footpad.  Better, then, quarter himself on his friends and former masters, the priests, until in the free pastures of Atinam Rosinante should grow bumptious again.

As his name imported, this new-comer claimed to be identified with civilization.  “No Indian name have I,” he said, “I am Fudnun, a blanketeer.”  He was a resolved renegade from Indian polity and sociality.  He had served with the Hudson’s Bay Company.  He had even condescended to take lessons in cookery from the pale-face squaws of the Willamette.

While Ferdinand was thus announcing himself, and communicatively making good his claim as a blanketeer, the envoy of Kamaiakan returned.  He had hastened up the Atinam, and come to Camp No-camp.  The able-bodied siwashes had all vanished, leaving only a few children, recently out of the papoose period, and a few squaws far on toward second childhood.  Only such were left as had no more than power enough to chase and bag the agile grasshopper and far-bounding cricket, and to pounce upon and bag every tumbling beetle of the plain.

Such industry the messenger had found at the camp; but the able-bodied, capable of larger duties, had vanished up the wild valleys, and scattered along the flanks of Tacoma, to change their lowland diet for that of the mountainside; while the fresh horses I should have had swam in the verdure of the summit prairies, the guide I should have had was stuffing by the handful strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, sallal-berries, and his squaws, with only furtive tribute to their own maw, were bestowing the same fruits into baskets for provident drying.

Again what was to be done, for day grew toward noon, and by to-morrow night I must be at the Dalles, eighty miles away?  My kind friends of the mission were discussing whether the old sacristan could be trusted to know the trail and bear the fatigues, when Ferdinand rose, stepped out of the chorus, to become an actor in the drama, and thus spoke, self-prompted: 

“Fudnun nika, pasaiooks; Ferdinand I, blanketeer.  Siks nika copa Boston tyee; friend I to Boston chief.  Nika nanitch cuitan, closche yakah klatawah; I’ve seen the horses, they’ll go well enough.  Nika kumtux Dalles hooihut, pe tikky hyack klatawah; I know the Dalles trail, and am ready to go at once.”

Excellent Ferdinand!  What fine apparition, what quaint Ariel, doing his spiriting gently, wooed thee to these yellow sands of Atinam to be my deliverer?  Sweet youth, thou shalt have a back-load of trinkets to carry to thy Miranda when we part.  Fudnun the blanketeer, let us go.

My new comrade showed Boston energy.  He drove up the three horses at once.  Rest and bunch-grass at discretion had revived them.  A tough journey was before us, but thus far they had not failed in the face of worse difficulties than we were to meet.  For a supplement, the missionaries lent me a mare of theirs, to be ridden as far as her foal would follow, and left on the prairie for Ferdinand to pick up on return.  The kindness of these gentlemen went with me after my departure.

Adieu, therefore, to the good fathers, and may they be requited in better regions of earth, or better than earth, for their hospitality.  Adieu Kamaiakan, prudent and weighty chief! fate grant thee a coat of fewer patches, a nobler robe of state.  Adieu the old lay brother.  Uplintz and Kpawintz, my merry pair, continue foes of the rattlesnake, and friends to the blue-shirted Boston men.


A little before noon we left the hut of blue mud, the mission of Atinam.  We forded the shallow river, and Ferdinand cheerily led the way straight up the steep hill-side.  From its summit I could overlook, for farewell, the parallel ranges, walls of my three valleys of adventure.  There were no forests over those vast arid mounds to narrow the view.  Hills of Weenas, hills of Nachchese, valley of Atinam, I took my last glance over their large monotony.

I might glance over the landscape, and recall my crowded life in it, only while the horses breathed after their climb, and no longer.  If not eighty, certainly sixty miles away over the mountains is the Columbia, Achilles of rivers.  And, says Ferdinand, “it must be a race all day with time, all night with time, a close race with time to-morrow.”  If uncertainty of success is a condition of success, we shall win the race.  But no dalliance, no staying to study landscape; we must on, steadily as the Princess Parazaide, whatever sermons there be in the stones along our way.

Vast were the hilly sweeps we overcame.  Nags of mine, ye had toil that penultimate day of August.  But straight from far snow cliffs came electric airs, forerunners of the nightly gale.  And the sun, that it might never be deemed a cruel tyrant, had provided remedies against its own involuntary despotism, in streams from the snows of Tacoma, melted not beyond the point of delicious coolness.  Snow crystals married with sunbeams came gliding down the valleys on their wedding tour.  Down the gorges in the basalt, and so by pool and plunge, the transfigured being, a new element, poured to the pebbly reaches below.  Whenever we had climbed the long bulk of a dusty hill-side, dreary with wild sage, a stunted and abortive tree, the mean ensign of barrenness, and then descended the hot, thirsty slopes of a declivity as dreary, down in the valley always we found the antidote to dust, thirst, and sterility, the precious boon of water hidden among grass and trees, sunshine’s gift brought from the snows to cure the pangs of sunshine.  Sparkling draughts of water were ready in vale after vale.  I had but to stoop from my saddle while Klale drank, and scoop the bright flow in a leather cup long dedicated to AEgle, in classic fountains of historic lands.

Ferdinand’s temptation and test of faithfulness befell him before we had gone two leagues on our way.  As the fates threw Shabbiest in the path of Loolowcan, now Ferdinand’s tempter appeared.  One watches his man narrowly at such a moment.  Which Janus-face will he turn? the one that sees the past, or the one that looks toward the future?  Will he be the bold and true radical, or the slinking conservative?  The combat, with its Parthian flights and Pyrrhic victories, is generally more briefly called life, and its result character.

Thus far I had only the coarse public facts on Ferdinand as a theme for analysis.  When Mystery takes care that a man shall exist, and have a few years’ career in villany or heroism, Mystery also takes care to set upon the man’s front a half-decipherable inscription.  Fudnun was attractive, not repulsive, in the traits that mark character.  By physiognomy, I deemed him a truish man, a goodish fellow, a wiseish nomad.  But how was I to know what education had made of him? what indiscriminate vengeance be might have in his heart? what treachery in return for other blanketeers’ treachery?  The same spirit of our darksome enlightenment that makes slavery possible, makes maltreatment of Indians certain.  Fudnun might feel himself nominated to punish in me the wrongs of his race.

The Indian who was to be Fudnun’s Mephistophiles was riding seemingly astray and purposeless across the world, like an Indian.  But when the stranger, coming full tilt through a bending defile, saw us, it was too late to skulk.  He pulled up his wild black horse, noticed me with a cool Howdydo, and opened fire upon Fudnun, with gutturals not at all cheerful.  Fudnun informed me that the tenor of the new-comer’s oration was like Shabbiest’s to Loolowcan, yesterday.

So, then, big Brownskin on a fiery black mustang, inferior chief with shirt and leggins of buckskin reddened with clay, sulky siwash of Skloo’s band, armed with gun and knife, thou too art inhospitable to the parting guest, upon this scowling interloper.  The wristlet of otter-fur tightened in my grasp; I shook the long lash carelessly about the sturdy, legs of the wiry horse of Brownskin the Tempter, stinging them restive, horse and man.  With revengeful venom of the blackest in his mind, the copper-headed, snaky beguiler continued his solicitations, urging Ferdinand, as that excellent worthy afterwards told me, not merely to desert, but to aid in a scheme of pillage, and whatever outrage might precede or follow pillage.

Ferdinand, as I trusted, was proof against the wily wheedler, though he sputtered poisonously in a language I knew not.  Ferdinand at last shook off that serpent influence, and turned toward the trail.  Copper-head, baffled, gave me a glance with a bite in it, and galloped away too much enraged to ask more barbarico, for all my valuables as a present.

“Ha, ha!” chuckled Fudnun, shaking his head, showing his white teeth, and seeming as happy as a school-girl with a new conundrum; “ha, ha!” chuckled he, as if this were a joke of the freshest.  “Yaka tikky memloose mika pe capsualla conoway ikta; he want kill you and steal all the traps.  Halo nika; not at all I. Wake kahquah klimmeriwhit Fudnun, wake cultus man ocook; not so is Fudnun a liar—­no dastard he.”

Certainly not, Fudnun the Trusty!  I divined you rightly, then.  Your Janus-face points aright.  You are not a spoilt Indian.  I set you in the scale against Loolowcan the Frowzy, and once more half believe in honesty of barbarians.

Having defied temptation, henceforth you are true.

Fudnun had thus far ridden the mission mare, while Gubbins pranced bare-back.  Now the foal began to sigh for his native heath, and shrink from strange, wild scenes.  We therefore stopped, and turned them out into the wide world.  They could wallow in the long sedges therealong, and drink of the brook.  No Indian of all the country-side would allow his thievish heart to covet an animal with the Mission brand.  Me, or any other intrusive pasaiooks, he might rob of beast or the burden of beast, but whatever belonged to the priests was taboo.  And if mission property could not protect itself, woe be to the thief when the green, gleaming coat of the dread inevitable Kamaiakan was seen along his trail.

Gubbins must again endure a rider more humane than Loolowcan.  Antipodes’s packs were now ridiculously light, as AEsop’s bag at the end of the journey.  We could press on fleet over hill and dale, on and on, steadily riding as if we bore tidings of joy, or rode for succor for the beleaguered of a starving city.  On, never flagging, we sped, and drew, as day walled, toward the wooded mountains.  Never a moment we rested, traversing tenantless wastes, until deep in the afternoon we came to a large, pure well of exquisite water, predicted by Ferdinand, wisest of nomads.

There, in a glade emeralded with richest of grass, I reposed, elaborating strength for my night ride.  Meanwhile, my horses, with never a leg the less than when I proved them on the Macadam of Squally, swallowed green landscape fast, as if they feared this feast were a mirage, and the water-sprite would presently roll up her green drapery and vanish.  The horses, with or without fancies or forethought, instinctively made ready for the coming trial.

Sweet are such episodes of travel in the fair spots of earth.  Sweet, though the fare be but pork toasted on a stick, and hard-tack to which mustiness has but slightly penetrated.  And if after feast so Spartan, before a night to be sleepless, a siesta propose itself, who will refuse?  Not the wise traveller, to whom sleep or food never come amiss.  By the Fountain of Fudnun the Jolly, to whom in less busy times life was a long joke, sleep, or repose not quite losing consciousness, might be permitted.  For now my doubts of winning the race were beheaded by trenchant intuitions of success, and wriggled away into the background.  Such doubts necessarily forecrawl a man on the march toward any object; it is well if he can timely destroy them, lest they trip up the rider’s hopeful ardor.

Distance, lying in long coils from Whulge onward, I had nearly trampled to death; its great back showed marks of my victorious hoofs; only the head reared itself, monstrous and unsubdued.  One more great rampart of mountains must be stormed, and for this final assault Klale, Antipodes, and Gubbins were still taking in such stuff as courage is made of.  Feed on, trusty trio; I love the sound of those jaws.  It racks my heart to know that I must still demand much go-ahead of you.  But though an exacting, I have been a merciful master.  Ye have had long grass, to be digested into leaps, short grass for walking material, and sometimes a prairie-flower for inspiring a demivolt.  I have whipped you, Antipodes, but have I whaled you?  And now that you have taken your fill of grass, long, short, and flowery, let us away, to climb the great ridges before nightfall.

We came, not long before sunset, to the great mountain range, another buttress of the Cascade system.  Full against the plain rose a bulky earthwork.  Klickatats on mustangs had been, ever since Klickatats first learned to ride, forever assaulting this fortress in elaborate zigzags, engineered with skill.  And here, for fifteen hundred feet, we too must climb, driving our horses before us; we bending forward, and they struggling up on tiptoe and consuming energy far too rapidly.

The sun was prematurely gone when we reached the edge of easier slope above this mural front.  Where I should have seen, westward, the Cascades and Tacoma bright as sunny cloud, but firmer than cloud, were now no mountains black with pines, was no Tacoma against the rose of sunset.  A gloomy purple storm lay over the Cascades, vaster than they.  A mass of thunderous darkness had swept in from ocean, and now stayed majestic, overlooking the wide world.  Would it retreat with the sun, to do havoc wherever white sails were strained in hopeless flight, and whirl the spray from wrecking coral-reefs to the calm lagoons within?  Or would it take a night of Titanic revelry among the everlasting hills, toppling crag into chasm, shaking down avalanches to drown their roar with roar of louder thunder, tossing great trees over into the torrents to see their strong deathstruggle in the foam, by the ghastly beauty of lightning, revealing a spectacle born and dead in an instant?  Or must it, with no choice of its own, range with the whirl of the globe, taking giant pleasure or doing giant ruin as the chances of Nature offered?  Which of these was to be the destiny of that purple storm, poised and lowering over the hidden mountains?  I could divine its decision, or its obedience, by prophetic puffs of roasted air, that ever and anon, in a sudden calm that had now befallen, smote me, as if some impish urchin, one of the pages of AEolus, dancing on a piping wind-bag, was looking my way and smiting his breezy cheeks.

Beside that envelope of storm hiding the west from floor to cope, there was only to be seen, now softened with dull violet haze, the large, rude region of my day’s gallop, thirty miles of surging earth, seamed with frequent valleys of streams flowing eastward, where scanty belts of timber grew by the water-side.

When August’s sun, the remorseless, is gone, whether behind the ragged rims of a hurricane or the crest of a sierra, men and horses revive in that long shade.  Twilight is sweet and restoring in itself, and also to an unforeseeing trio, of mustangs, as promising the period when men encamp and horses are unsaddled.  Therefore, now, although the air was heavy and the light lurid, we chased along the trail, mounting slowly ever, and winding on through files of pines; vigorously we chased on, as if twilight of eve were twilight of dawn, and our day but now begun.

Among the silent pines, deeper into the darkening wood.  But the same power that swept darkness forward in a steady growing inundation, banished also silence.  The overcoming storm was battling with stillness, and slowly enveloping the strife with thicker and thicker pall, such as hangs over fields trod by the loud agonies of war.

A far forerunner of the gale struck suddenly upon the mountain-front, like an early shot of battle, fired to know the death range.  While the roar of this first blast was passing away, and the trees were swaying back to stillness, a fugue of growling winds came following after.  The alarmed whispers from leaf to leaf grew thicker now, joining to an undertone of delicate wailing a liquid sound, but sad, like the noise of a waterfall falling all the hours into a sunless pool where one has drowned because his life and soul could bear life and light no longer.  Again, with gush of blacker darkness, came a throng of blasts tramping close; and after them was seeming calm, calm only in seeming, and filled with the same whispers of alarm, the same dreary, feeble wail, and now with sobs desperate, irrepressible.

Fitful bursts of weeping rain were now coming thicker, until control ceased, and the floods fell with no interval, borne on furiously, dashing against every upright object as great crushing wave-walls smite on walls of cliff by the sea-side.  The surges of wind were mightier than the furious rain drift, and with their strength and their roaring came the majesty of thunder, constant as the wind.  Long ago, from where the clouds lay solid on the mountains great booming sounds had come, as if these masses rolling over the summits had struck with muffled crash upon crags below; and when those purple glooms stayed in hesitating poise upon the Cascades, lightnings were passing in among them, calling them together for the march, and signalling on the laggards.  Now a great outer continent, a belt of storm world, was revolving over earth, and shaping itself to the region it traversed.  In this storm zone, revealed by the scenic flames of neighbor lightning, were mountains huger than any ever heaped by Titanic forces assaulting heaven from earth.  There were sudden clefts, and ravines with long sweeping flanks, and chasms where a cloud mountain-side had fallen in, leaving a precipice all ragged and ruinous, ready itself to fall.  There were plateaus and surgy sweeps of cloud-land, valleys of gentleness, dells sweet and placid, passes by toppling crags from vale to vale, great stairways up to Alpine levels on high, garden-like Arcadias among horrent heights, realms changefully splendid, all revealed by the undulations of broad, rosy lightning and lightning’s violet hues, where it shone, through their gloom of clouds.  These clouds so black and terrible, hurrying on a night so black and dreary, were not then terrible and dreary in themselves, but only while there was no light to prove their beauty, when light gleamed, they shone transcendent.

Lightning, besides its business of revelation, had some gymnastic feats of its own to show the world; to spring at some great round-topped, toppling cloud-crag, and down to the valleys beneath; to shoot through tunnels of darkness, and across chasms, hanging a bending line of light athwart, like the cable bridges of the Andes.

Lightning was also casting blinding splendors over the permanent world below the storm.  Wherever the trail bent toward the vantage edges of the mountain-side, every flash disclosed magnificent breadth of lonely landscape, and then the vision was instantly limited to the dense darkness around, darker to dazzled eyes.  But soon there were no such moments of darkness nor any silence.  Thunder-tone flowed into thunder-tone, as blasts had thickened to a gale, and lightning made pervading light, flickering and unsteady as fevered pulses.

Such was the machinery of this drama, and as to the actors, I and my party, what of them?

Wet were they all, yea, drenched.  And why should not a little biped be drenched?  It is an honor to the like of him that splendid phenomena should take the trouble to notice him even with ridicule.  And drenching by an August thunder-storm is not chilly misery.  Nor are men on a hooihut considering damage to their integuments.  On a hooihut, we wear no tiles that to-morrow will be pulp; nor coats with power to shrink and never again be shapely.  Therefore, while the air beat upon us with electric thrills, and the furious excitements of the tempest were around us, we dashed along the narrow thread of the trail between the innumerable pines, dashed along, acting with the might of the storm, as if we were a part of it, and reacting with ardors of our own against its fury.

Ferdinand, wrapped in a white blanket, led the way; Antipodes followed as main body; Klale and I were the third division of my army.  Flooded lightning showed us our slender path winding up the illumined vista, and marked more clearly, in the long, coarse mountain grass, by rain pools.

For all the ceaselessness of flashes there would sometimes be moments of utter darkness, when the eyes closed involuntarily, and the look blenched, confounded and dazzled by the sudden gloom.  Then the vista would disappear, the path be blotted out, and Ferdinand, white blanketeer, be annulled, so far as vision knew.  But before night could gain power from permanence, or my guide could lose his last ocular image of the silver pathway, again flashes went curving above us, the floods of light poured forth, and the forest was betrayed as if clear noon were master.

The path had now bent inward, away from the edge of the mountain.  Under the roofing pines we could see no more the stormy pageantry.  The straight black trunks opened before us; we were to go on, on, guided by the beautiful ghastliness of lightning, fit illumination of terrible rites in the penetralia of this austere forest.  Very wet neophytes we should arrive in the presence of whatever antique hierophant there might be wonder-working within the roofless sanctuary whither the lightning was leading us.

By this time the grandeurs of the storm were ended.  Madness and pangs died away into sullen grief.  Passion was over; tame realities were coming.  There had been a majestic overture crowded with discordant concords, and there was nothing left for the opera but dull recitative.  Night became undramatic; sulky instead of inspired; grizzly instead of splendorous.  Solid rain now took the place of atmosphere.  While the storm rampaged, it was adventurous and heroic to breast it; now our journey became an offensive plod.  So long as lightning declared the path, it was exciting to chase therein; our present meaner guide was the sound of our own splashing in the trail.

Ferdinand still led on, finding the way by instinct.  He could see naught, and I could see not even him in his white toga, except when some belated flash of the rear-guard turned its lantern hither and thither, seeking its comrades.  We kept together by whistling to and fro.  Observe this fact; for it is said that Indians do not whistle.  Also that they eat no pork.  For this latter reason some have connected them with the Lost Tribes.  With regard to the latter charge, I can speak from a considerable range of induction.  Indians only eat no pork when they have no pork.  Not one to whom I have offered that viand of low civilization ever refused it, but clutched it with more or less ardor, proportioned to his state of repletion at the moment.  My facts for induction on whistling among the Red Men are fewer.  This one, however, I present confidently:  Fudnun the Blanketeer whistled tunefully.

Ours was but a faint trail, rarely traversed, often illegible, even by full daylight, to untrained eyes, as I learned afterwards.  What wonder, then, that we wandered often, and that the keenness of Fudnun’s vision was often tried, as be peered about and searched by intelligent zigzags in the darkness of night, under the darkness of pines, along the matted, muffling grass, for the slight clew of our progress?  What wonder, then, that at last we erred totally, and searched in vain?

“Halo klap; no find,” said Fudnun the Trusty, coming back rather disconsolate.

Perforce of the great controls of Nature, we must submit, and take this night involuntary rest, quite lost in the forest.

Fudnun unsaddled.  The horses could show no dislike to their fare.  The grass was long, plenteous, and every blade was hung with lubricating rain-drops.  Meanwhile, I, groping about, found some bits of punk and dry fuel in a natural fireplace hollowed in an ancient pine, one of the giants.  The genius loci here, being of monotonous cast of mind, had given himself totally to pine culture.  I could see nothing, but I had a sense that immense rough-barked pines were standing all about, watching my movements, what was I doing, grubbing there at the roots of their big brother?

I was at work to light a fire.  Fire was once a thing to be kept safe by vestals; but now we can do without them; fire sacred is cared for on myriads of domestic hearths; fire profane is in our pantaloons pocket.  One may evoke it in an instant, as I did now.  The tricksy sprite alighted in my tindery tipsoo, and presently involved my punk and my chips and all my larger fuel, as fast as I could seek it, by the growing blaze, among the ruins of the forest.

Fudnun took his supper, and soon was asleep, coiled in a heap among the saddles.  As for me, I watched and drowsed, squatted before the fire, mummied in my blankets.  Not a position, certainly, for cheerful reveries.  A drizzle, thick as metaphysics, surrounded me.  In its glowing cavity was my fire, eating its way slowly into the dead old heart of the tree, baking my face, but not drying my back.  I was fortunately hungry, and hunger is excellent entertainment.  A hungry man has something to think of, and if be is his own cook, something to do.  I frizzled my pork and toasted my biscuit-chips; then I ate the, same, and that part of the frolic was over.  I longed for a tin cup of tea, well boiled and bitter, but it was “water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink.”  I could not concentrate the drizzle, nor collect the drops from the grass, nor wring a supply from my wet clothes, no tea, then, the best friend of the campaigner.  In fact, as I could not sleep and recruit, and as I was in rather sorry plight, there was nothing to be done except to endure despondency and be patient.

Such pauses as this, midway in minor difficulty, are profitable, if patience can but come up from the rear, and marshal her sister faculties for steadier future march.  In such isolated halts in a man’s life, when the future is not so certain as to make him disdain the past, he discovers the lessons there were in empiric days or years, of hurry and dash.  In the lonely forest, dark with midnight and storms, where his fire casts but a gloaming light, in such a solitude a man self-dependent will hear the oracles speak to him if they are to speak.  He who would ask his fate at Delphi goes not along the summerblooming plains, nor in among the vine-clad trellises, nor through the groves of olives, gray and ancient in gentle realms of Arcady.  The Delphic gorge is stern and wild, and would affright all but one who is resolute to wring a favorable fate from the cave of prophecy.  Poetic visions do not visit beds of roses, and no good thing or thought came out of Sybaris.

So there, “lone upon the mountain, the pinetrees wailing round me,” I seemed to hear some of those great calming words without which life goes restless, and may not dream of peace.  For early, thoughtful years and eras of ours are saddened and bewildered by the sting of evil, others’ and our own; poisonous bigotries grapple with faith from its cradle; we are driven along the gantlet of selfishness; love, the surest test of nobleness, seems the most hopeless test, discovering only the ignoble; we dwell among comrades of chance, not choice, and cannot find our allies, know not any other law of growth than the unreflecting stir about us.  So instinctive faith dies, and because without faith the soul dies, we must seek it, and perhaps wander for it as far and not hopefully, wander perhaps as far as to the forests of Tacoma.

As I sat by my fire, thinking over the wide world, and feeling that I looked less blindly, than once upon its mysteries, suddenly I was visited by a brilliant omen.

All at once the darksome forest became startlingly full of light.  A broad glare descended through the lowering night, and shed about me strange, weird lustre.  I sprang up, and beheld a pillar of flame hung on high in the gloom.

An omen quite too simply explicable.  I had kindled my fire in the hollow of a giant dead trunk.  Flame slowly crept up within, burning itself a way through the dry core, until it gained the truncated summit, sixty feet aloft, and leaped outward in a mighty flash.  Once escaped, after its stealthy growth, the fire roared furiously up this chimney of its own making.  The long flame ’streamed away from its gigantic torch, lashing, among the trees and tossing gleams, sparks and great red flakes into the inner glooms of the wood.  Nobler such an exit for one of the forest primeval than to rot away and be a century in slow dying.  His brethren around watched sombrely the funeral pyre of their brother.  Their moaning to the wind mingled with the roar of his magnificent death-song.

Trust Nature.  None of the thaurmaturgists, strong in magical splendors, ever devised such a spectacle as this.  I had fought my way, a pressing devotee, into the inner shrine, unbullied by the blare of the tempest, and this was the boon offered by Nature to celebrate my initiation.

The fire roared, and there was another roaring.  Ferdinand snored roaringly from his coiled position among the traps.  A snore is the expression of gratitude for sleep, not less genuine for its unconsciousness.  Every breath is a plaudit to Morpheus, the burlesque of a sigh of joy.  Snoring is to sleep what laughter is to waking.  Fudnun’s snore in the solitary woods, among the great inarticulate facts of nature, was society and conversation.  He seemed to utter amens of content in long-drawn cadence.

As I could not take my tall torch in hand and be a path-finder, I patrolled about the woods, admiring it where it stood, a brilliant beacon.  The blossom of flame still unfolded, unfading, and as leaf after leaf fell away like the petals of roses, other petals opened about the unconsumed bud.  Firelight gave rich greenness to the dark pines.  Sometimes a higher quiver of flame would seize an overhanging branch and sally off gayly; but the blast soon extinguished these escapades.

Fire gnaws quicker than the tooth of Time.

I was sitting, drowsy and cowering, near my furnace, when a warning noise aroused me.  A catastrophe was at hand.  Flames grew intenser, and careered with leaps more frantic, as now, with a riving uproar, the giant old trunk cut away at its base, cracked, trembled, swayed, and fell in sublime ruin.  At this strange tumult, loud and harsh in the dull dead of night, the horses, affrighted, looked up with the light of the flame in their eyes, and then dashed off furiously.

Fudnun also was startled.  He woke; he uncoiled; he stared; he grunted; he recoiled; he slept; he snored.

Mouldering away in cheerless ruin lay the trunk all along in the dank grass.  Its glory had quenched itself in time, for now, Aurora being in the sulks, a fusty dawn, the slipshod drudge of her palace, was come as substitute for the rosy goddess, to wake the world to malecontent.  Enchantment was perished.  My torch, bright flarer through darkness, became mere kitchen fuel.  Fudnun awoke to snore no more.  He squatted in a mass, warming his musty members after their bedrizzled cramps of the night.  Then we toasted our pork over the embers, completing the degradation of the pine.  It had had its centuries of dignity, while its juniors, lengthening upward ungainly, envied its fair proportions.  Then the juniors had times of rejoicing within their cortex, in their vegetable hearts, when glory of foliage fell away from their senior’s crown, and larger share of sunlight came to the hungry youngsters.  And now the junior pines were in high feather that an unsightly monument of the past and memento mori was gone, and lay a vertebrated skeleton of white ashes in the glade it sheltered so fatherly once.


Klale the ardent, Gubbins the punchy, Antipodes the lubberly, had not stampeded far in their panic when the great pine-tree torch fell crashing through the woods.  Fudnun easily recovered them by the light of dawn, three horses well fed and well rested, three sinewy nags, by no means likely to be scant of breath through Falstaffian fatness, but yet stanch, and able to travel the last thirty or forty miles of my journey, before nightfall.

Prayerful for sunrise and sun-born ardors in that dull dawn were horses and men.  Cold is a bitter foe of courage; hot blood is the only brave blood.  All five of us, the grazers three, the snorer one, and the one drowsy watcher, still trembled with the penetrating chill of drizzle on the bleak mountain-top.  We might not have the instinctive cheerfulness, child and nursling of sunshine, but we soon, by way of substitute, made an inspiriting discovery, the trail.  Like many an exit from life’s labyrinths, it was hidden only for want of searching with more light.  We pounced upon its first faint indications, and went at such full speed as a night of damp and cramp permitted, with as much tirra lirra in our matin song of march as might ring through the vocal pipes of knights-errant carrying colds in their heads.

“Nika klap; find um,” Fudnun had shouted, with a triumphant burst of laughter, when he caught sight of the trail, lurking serpentine in the grass; and now, having recovered his reputation as a path-finder, he would not lose it again.  With single minded accuracy he kept this one object in, view.  He fairly shamed my powers of observation, by his quick, unerring glance.  Shrewd detective, he was never at fault wherever that eluding-path dodged artfully, and became but a shattered clew of escape.  If ever the hooihut disappeared totally, like a rivulet sinking under ground, Fudnun, as if he bore a witch-hazel divining-rod, made straight for the spot of its reappearance.  Sometimes for a mile there would be no visible way, and I, seeing my guide still galloping on confidently under the pines, over the dry brown carpet of their fallen leaves, would call him, and say, “Halo mitlite hooihut; here’s no trail.”

“Nawitka, closche nika nanitch; yes, I see it well,” Fudnun would reply, pointing where a root had been. scraped by a hoof, or a tuft of moss kicked up, or the brown pine-leaves trodden to a yellower tint; and presently, in softer ground, the path would again declare itself distinctly, like a pleasant association reawakening in moments of tenderness.  Thus we hastened on through the open pine woods, gaining distance merely.  We fled on between tedious ranks of yellow pines, with a raw wind chasing us and growing icier, as we rode out upon the bare, shelterless slopes of the lower regions.

And by and by, as the trail disentangled itself from forest and mountain, lo, in houseless wilds, a house! an architectural log cabin.

“Whose house, Fudnun?  What outpost sentry-box of Boston camps to come?”

It is the house of Skloo, Telamon of the Yakimaks, as Owhhigh is their Diomed, the horse-thief, and Kamaiakan their great-hearted Agamemnon; no advanced post of Boston men, but a refuge of the siwashes, between two fires of pale-faces advancing westward and eastward.

The cabin was deserted.  Skloo and the braves of Skloo were gone over moor and fell, gone by canon and prairie, gone after salmon, grasshoppers, berries, kamas, after all Indian luxuries and wants, including pillage of pasaiooks and foes of their own color, when to be had without peril.  The cabin of Telamon Skloo stood, lonely and deserted, in a spot where the world looked large, and yellow prairies rushed out of the forest, billowing broadly southward, toward the desolate ranges, walls of the Columbia.  As well, perhaps, that Skloo was an absentee and his house shut; Skloo, with a house on his back and a roof over his head, would have been totally neutralized as a nomad chief.  He would have lost Skloo the Klickatat rover, with whatever interest or value he had in that relation, and have been precipitated to the level of any Snooks in Christendom, dweller in villa or box.

I did not envy Skloo his stationary property of house; certain mobile chattels of his I did envy him greatly.  A band of his horses were feeding in this spot of the unfenced world.  They did not heed our roadster passage as we draggled by, much the worse for wearing travel.  They noticed us no more than a wary old grouse notices a gunless man.  Antipodes felt the thoughtless dolt stir again within him; he forgot how be had been taught who was his master, and, with packs flapping like rapid pinions, he bolted, to join that free cavalcade.  Fudnun instantly educated him severely back into line.

Just then, over a swell of the ripe, yellow prairie, came at full speed, on a coal-black horse, a young Indian, with his long hair uncovered and streaming in the wind as he galloped.  On he rode, a cavalier free and bold, without saddle or stirrups, whirling his lasso with arm outstretched.  He made straight for the band of grazing horses, and the unwarning blast blew from them toward him, as they stood curiously watching our slow tramp along the trail.  So the untamed horses of Skloo’s prairie did not sniff or see or hear the new-comer until he was close upon them and the whiz of his whirling lasso sang in their ears.  Then they tossed their proud heads, shook their plumage of mane, and, with a snort of disgust at their unwatchfulness, sprang into full speed of flight.  They bent toward us, and crossed the trail not a hundred yards before us.  Their pursuer was riding almost parallel with them.  As they dashed by, he flung his lasso at a noble black, galloping with head elate and streaming mane and tail.

The loop of the lasso, preserving its circle with geometrical accuracy, seemed to hang an instant in the air, waiting for its certain captive.

Will he be taken?  Must he be enthralled?

Not so.  A glorious escape!  While the loop of the lasso hung poised, the black had sprung through it unerringly straight through its open circle, touching it only to spurn with his hindmost hoof, and then with the excitement of his success he burst forward, and took the lead of all that wild throng, dashing on like the wind. *

* See John Brent, a tale by Theodore Winthrop.

But not at all for this failure and overcast did the speed of the headlong chaser lessen.  He did not even turn for my applause at the circuslike “act of horsemanship” he had afforded me in this spacious amphitheatre.  His powerful coalblack horse still sped on fleet as before, close upon the particolored regiment, and the rider had his lasso quickly in hand, and coiled for a fresh cast, more cautious.  Far as we could see over the undulations of the tawny plain, so beautifully boundless, the herd was stretching on, rather in joyous escapade than coward flight and just apart from them, their pursuer still held tireless and inevitable gallop, his right arm raised and whirling with imperceptible motion the lasso, now invisible in the distance.

My good-will was with the dappled herd of runaways, rather than with the bronze horseman in chase.  The capture of any wild stampeder would begin or renew his history of maltreatment, as some of them already knew from past experience, and were flying now with remembrance of abuse as well as for the instinct of freedom.  There are no absolutely wild horses in the Northwest.  All the cavalier Indians have their numerous bands of horses, broken and unbroken, and wild enough, following the nomad movements of the tribe.  It is a rough, punchy, hardy stock, utterly unkempt and untaught, but capable of taking care of itself, and capable also, according to the law of barbarism, of producing chance individuals of size, strength, and beauty.  Bucephalus is the exception; Rosinante the rule.  Bucephalus is worth a first-class squaw, or possibly two of those vexatious luxuries of a cheaper grade.  Rosinantes go about five to the squaw.  Papa gets the price; not as in civilization, where, when a squaw sells herself for a Bucephalus, a brougham, and a black coachman, she keeps and uses the equivalent.  And now that I am on the tariff for squaws, dry goods buy them in Siwashdom as sometimes in Christendom.  The conventional price is expressed in blankets.  Blankets paid to papa, buy:  five, a cheap and unclean article, a drudge; ten, a tolerable article, a cook and basket-maker; twenty, a fine article of squaw, learned in the kamas-beds, and with skull flat as a shingle; fifty, a very superior article, ruddy with vermilion and skilled in embroidering buckskin with porcupine-quills; and one hundred blankets, a princess, with the beauty and accomplishments of her rank.  Mothers in civilization will be pleased to compare these with their current rates.

Skloo’s prairie and the region thereabouts merits tenants more numerous than stray bands of mustangs.  Succulent bunch-grass grows there in plenty for legions of graminivora to fatten on as they, take gentle, wholesome exercise over the hillocks.  It was by far the most propitious country I had seen this side the mountains, and will make a valuable cattle range.

At present, exercise, and not grazing, was the business of my cattle.  We must hold to our unflagging march for a few hours more.  But prostration after my night watch, and straining of mind and body for many days, was overcoming me.  I was still wet, cold, and weary, hardly capable of observation, the most instinctive of healthy human faculties.  It was now eleven o’clock of the thirty-first of August.  The sky began to clear with tumultuous power.  Massive black battalions of cloud came rushing by from the reserves of storm that still were encamped upon the mountain strongholds westward.  Every gloomy cloud trailed a blast, chilling as Sarsar, the icy wind of death.  Between these moments of torture, the sun of August came forth through vistas of blinding white vapor, and fevered me.  I grew suddenly sick with a despair like death.  Fudnun was descending a slope some distance before me, driving Antipodes laboriously along.  I essayed to shout to him, but my voice choked with a sneering, fiendish rattle, as if contempt of my soul at its mean jailer, My poor failing, dying body.  I clutched vainly at the coil of my lariat by my saddle horn, and fell senseless.

I slept through a brief death to a blissful resurrection.  Awaking slowly, I doubted at first whether I were not now released from earthly trammels, for tireless toil in a life immortal.  First, I perceived that I was conscious; therefore I still was in being.  Quickly the tremulous blood, in every fibre and cell, told me that I was still an organized being, possessed of members like those old familiar ones, my agents in winning undying thoughts.  Next, my eyes unclosed, and I saw the fair sky.  With my senses newborn, my first discovery of external facts was the illimitable heaven, bright with evanescent wreaths of clouds, white and virginal.  Whether, then, this were a new world where I had awakened, or the world of my ancient tenancy, I knew that the well-known laws of beauty reigned, and I need not here apostatize from old loves and old faiths.  Life went on slowly reviving, drawing vigor from the air, and action, the token of life, became a necessity.  I stirred feebly, like a child.  The rustle of my first movement called out a sympathetic stir.  Another organization in the outer world took note of me.  I felt a warm puff upon my cheek, and the nose of Klale the Trusty bent over me inquisitively.

The situation was now systematically explained.  I was my old self, on the old earth wholly satisfactory, whether desirable or not.  Let us at least know where we stand, what are our facts; then, if there is anything to be done with ourselves, or made of our facts, we can make the attempt.

Something toward self-restoration may be done even by a passive, supine weakling, lying among bunch-grass, on a solitary prairie, leagues away from a house, an unpromising set of circumstances.  I was at present a very valueless worldling.  But the world that takes us and mars us has also to make us again.  Unless our breakage is voluntary, determined, and habitual, we shall mend.  Not behind corpulent bottles, purple, crimson, and blue, in a shop where there is a putty-faced youth with a pestle and a redolence of rhubarb, are kept the great agents of Nature, our mother, father, who as mother gives us life, and as father warns, flogs, cures, and guides us with severe tenderness.  Air, light, and water are the trinity of simple remedies, not sold in the shops, for making a marred man new and whole again.  These three medicines were liberally provided near my fainting fit on the prairie.

The first thing I had to do, to be changed from a limp object to a robust man, was only passive action.  I was to breathe and to bask.  And when I had sufficiently suffered the influence of air and light, Nature’s next potent remedy was awaiting me.  I heard the welcome trickle of water near at hand, delicious, winsome sound, hardly less articulate than the tones of a beloved voice calling me to a presence that should be refreshment and full renovation.  I could not walk, but I dragged myself along toward the source of sound, Klale following, an uncontrolled friend.

Sweet water-music guided me to a neighbor rivulet.  It came singing along the bosomy swells of prairie, fondling its long, graceful fringes of grass, curving and returning, that it might not lose, with too much urgency, the selfpossessed delight of motion along the elastic softness of its cushioned bed.  If there were anywhere above in this brook’s career turmoil and turbulence, it suffered no worse consequence than that it must carry along a reminiscence of riot, quickly soothed, in files of bright bubbles, with their skulls fuller than they could bear of microscopic images of all the outer world.  Each bubble was so crowded with reflections from the zenith, that it must share its bursting sympathy, and marry with every bubble it overtook and touched, until it became so full of fantasies that it must merrily explode and be resolved into a drop and a sunbeam.

The countless charm of water, so sweetly shining forth its quality of refreshment, revived me even before I could stoop and taste.  I sank and lapped.  I bathed away the fever from my brow, and let the warm, healthy sunshine cherish me.

In eldest days, had I drooped by a Hippocrene like this, a nymph had surely emerged from among the ripples and laid her cooling hand upon me gently, giving me for all my mortal days a guardian vision of immortality.  In younger time, then, had I perchance been blessed with healing at the hands of some maiden leech, a Una, unerringly errant hither upon a milkwhite palfrey, hither where a knight was sore bestead.  Now, Nature nursed me, and I grew strong again.

But let us bethink ourselves, Klale, “my trusty frere.”  We were five; we are two.  Where are the three?.  Where is Fudnun, the Incorruptible, the Path-finder, the Merry?  Where Antipodes?  Where Gubbins?

Where?  Here!  Here, pelting down the slope, overjoyed, comes Fudnun, with whinnying nags.  He had advanced sleepily, giving his whole mind to driving Antipodes, until that reluctant steed, pretending to grow unhappy that Klale and I were missing, bolted to the rear; whereupon Fudnun perceived my absence, and turned to recover me, dead or alive.

“Nika kulapi; I wheel about,” said he, “halo nanitch; see naught.  Cultus nika tum tum; feeble grows my heart.  Pose mika, memloose; perhaps you dead.  Nika mamook stick copa k’Gubns; I ply stick on Gubbins,” and he continued to describe how he had found the spot of my fall, and my gun lying there, and had followed my trail through the long grass.  Not, I am sure, with hopes of my scalp and my plunder without a battle.  Fudnun was honest, and, finding me safe, he relieved himself by uproarious laughter.

There is magnetism in society, even a Fudnun’s.  Strength came quicker to my flaccid tissues.  I thought of my journey’s end, not far off, and toiled up that dread ascent into my saddle.  Klale trudged along, and soon perceiving that I swayed about no more, and, instead of, clinging with both hands to my saddle, sat upright and held the bridle, he paced gradually into his cradling lope.

By the hearty aid of noon, the Cascades put their shoulders to the clouds, lifted them and cut them to pieces with their peaks, so that the wind could come in, like a charge of cavalry, and annihilate the broken phalanxes.  Mount Adams, Tacoma the Less, was the first object to cleave the darkness.  I looked westward, and saw a sunlit mass of white, high up among the black clouds, and baseless but for them.  It would have seemed itself a cloud, but, while the dark volumes were heaving and shifting about it, this was permanent.  While I looked, the mountain and the sun became evident victors; the glooms fell away, were scattered and scourged into nothingness, and the snow-peak stood forth majestic, the sole arbiter of this realm.  The yellow prairies rolled up where the piny Cascades, dwarfed by distance, were a dark ridge upon the horizon, and the overtopping bulk of Tacoma rose directly from them, a silver mountain from a golden sea.  No tameness of thought is possible here, even if prairie-land lies dead level for leagues, when on its edge the untamed forces of Nature have set up these stately monuments.  More than a hundred miles away on the transcontinental journey, more than a hundred miles away on the sea, these noble isolated snow-peaks are to a traveller memorials of the land he has left, or beacons, firmer than a pillar of cloud, of a land whither he goes.

Again I thought of the influence of this most impressive scenery upon its future pupils among men.  The shape of the world has controlled or guided men’s growth; the look of the world has hardly yet begun to have its effect upon spiritual progress.  Multitudes of agents have always been at work to poison and dwarf poets and artists in those inspiring regions of earth where nature means they shall grow as naturally as water-lilies by a lake, or palms above the thicks of tropic woods.  Civilized mankind has never yet had a fresh chance of developing itself under grand and stirring influences so large as in the Northwest.

“Yah wah, enetee,” said Fudnun, pointing to a great surging hill a thousand feet high, “mitlite skookoom tsuk, k’Lumby tsuk; there, across, is the mighty water, Columbia River.”

One more charge up this Titanic bastion, and I could fairly shout, Victory! and Time beaten in the race by a length!  Up, then, my squad of cavalry.  Clamber up the grassy slope, Klale the untiring.  Stumble forward, k’Gubns, on thy last legs.  Plod on, Antipodes, in the despairing sulks.  If ye are weary, am I not wearier?  Have I not died once to-day?  Beyond this mighty earthwork is a waste and desolate valley; if I am to perish, let me die on the edge of appropriate, infernal scenery, such as I know of beyond that hill.  And that great river, briefest of the master streams of earth, if it be not Styx to us, shall be Lethe.  Klale, my jolly imp, k’Gubns, my honest servitor, Antipodes, my recalcitrant Caliban, Lethe is at hand.  Across that current an Elysium awaits us, as good an Elysium as the materials permit, and there whatever can be found of asphodel or horse-fodder shall be your meed, and ye shall repose until ye start again.

Such a harangue roused the drooping quadrupeds.  We travelled up the steep, right in the teeth of hot blasts, baked in the rocky cells of the valley beyond, and pouring over to meet us like puffs from deadly batteries upon the summit.  We climbed for a laborious hour, and paused at last upon the crest.

Behind was the vast, monotonous plain of my morning’s march.  Distant behind were the rude, difficult mountains I had crossed so painfully; and more distant westward were the main Cascades, with their snow-peaks calm and solemnly radiant.  Of all this I was too desperately worn out to take much appreciative notice.  The scene before me was in closer sympathy with my mood.

Before me was a region like the Valley of Death, rugged, bleak, and severe.  A tragical valley, where the fiery forces of Nature, impotent to attain majestic combination, and build monuments of peace, had fallen into despairs and ugly warfare.  A valley of anarchy, a confession that harmony of the elements was hopeless hero, and that the toil of Nature for cycles working a world out of chaos, had failed, and achieved only a relapse into ruin, drearier than chaos.

Racked and battered crags stood disorderly over all that rough waste.  There were no trees, nor any masses of vegetation to soften the severities of the landscape.  All was harsh and desolate, even with the rich sun of an August afternoon doing what it might to empurple the scathed fronts of rock, to gild the ruinous piles with summer glories, and throw long shadows veiling dreariness.  I looked upon the scene with the eyes of a sick and weary man, unable to give that steady thought to mastering its scope and detail without which any attempt at artistic description becomes vague generalization.

My heart sank within me as the landscape compelled me to be gloomy like itself.  It was not the first time I had perused the region under desolating auspices.  In a log barrack I could just discern far beyond the river, I had that very summer suffered from a villain malady, the smallpox.  And now, as then, Nature harmonized discordantly, with my feelings, and even forced her nobler aspects to grow sternly ominous.  Mount Hood, full before me across the valley, became a cruel reminder of the unattainable.  It was brilliantly near, and yet coldly, far away, like some mocking bliss never to be mine, though it might insult me forever by its scornful presence.

The Dalles of the Columbia, upon which I was now looking, must be studied by the Yankee Dante, whenever he comes, for imagery to construct his Purgatory, if not his Inferno.  At Walla Walah two great rivers, Clark’s Fork and the Snake, drainers of the continent north and South, unite to form the Columbia.  It flows furiously for a hundred and twenty miles westward.  When it reaches the dreary region I was now studying, where the outlying ridges of the Cascade chain commence, it finds a great, low surface paved with enormous polished sheets of basaltic rock.  These plates, Gallice dalles, give the spot its name.  Canadian voyageurs in the Hudson’s Bay service had a share in the nomenclature of Oregon.  The great river, a mile wide not far above, finds but a narrow rift in this pavement for its passage.  The rift gradually draws its sides closer, and at the spot now called the Dalles, subdivides into three mere slits in the sharp-edged rock.  At the highest water there are other minor channels, but generally this continental flood is cribbed and compressed within its three chasms suddenly opening in the level floor, each chasm hardly wider than a leap a hunted fiend might take.

In fact, the legend of this infernal spot asserts a diabolical origin for these channels in the Dalles.  I give this weird and grotesque attempt at explaining strange facts in Nature, translating it into more modern form.


The world has been long cycles in educating itself to be a fit abode for men.  Man, for his part, has been long ages in growing upward through lower grades of being, to become whatever he now may be.  The globe was once nebulous, was chaotic, was anarchic, and is at last become somewhat cosmical.  Formerly rude and convulsionary forces were actively at work, to compel chaos into anarchy and anarchy into order.  The mighty ministries of the elements warred with each other, each subduing and each subdued.  There were earthquakes, deluges, primeval storms, and furious volcanic outbursts.  In this passionate, uncontrolled period of the world’s history, man was a fiend, a highly uncivilized, cruel, passionate fiend.

The Northwest was then one of the centres of volcanic action.  The craters of the Cascades were fire-breathers, fountains of liquid flame, catapults of red-hot stones.  Day was lurid, night was ghastly with this terrible light.  Men exposed to such dread influences could not be other than fiends, as they were, and they warred together cruelly, as the elements were doing.

Where the great plains of the Upper Columbia now spread, along the Umatillah, in the lovely valley of the Grande Ronde, between the walls of the Grande Coulee, was an enormous inland sea, filling the vast interior of the continent, and beating forever against a rampart of hills, to the east of the desolate plain of the Dalles.

Every winter there were convulsions along the Cascades, and gushes of lava came from each fiery Tacoma, to spread new desolation over desolation, pouring out a melted surface, which, as it cooled in summer, became a fresh layer of sheeny, fire-hardened dalles.

Now as the fiends of that epoch and region had giant power to harm each other, they must have of course giant weapons of defence.  Their mightiest weapon of offence and defence was their tail; in this they resembled the iguanodons and other “mud pythons” of that period, but no animal ever had such force of tail as these terrible, monster fiend-men who warred together over all the Northwest.

As ages went on, and the fires of the Cascades began to accomplish their duty of expanding the world, earthquakes and eruptions diminished in virulence.  A winter came when there was none by and by there was an interval of two years, then again of three years, without rumble or shock, without floods of fire or showers of redhot stones.  Earth seemed to be subsiding into an era of peace.  But the fiends would not take the hint to be peaceable; they warred as furiously as ever.

Stoutest in heart and tail of all the hostile tribes of that scathed region was a wise fiend, the Devil.  He had observed the cessation in convulsions of Nature, and had begun to think out its lesson.  It was a custom of the fiends, so soon as the Dalles plain became agreeably cool after an eruption, to meet there every summer and have a grand tournament after their fashion.  Then they feasted riotously, and fought again until they were weary.

Although the eruptions of the Tacomas had ceased now for three years, as each summer came round this festival was renewed.  The Devil had absented himself from the last two, and when, on the third summer after his long retirement, he reappeared among his race on the field of tourney, he became an object of respectful attention.  Every fiend knew that against his strength there was no defence; he could slay so long as the fit was on.  Yet the idea of combined resistance to so dread a foe had never hatched itself in any fiendish head; and besides, the Devil, though he was feared, was not especially hated.  He had never won the jealousy of his peers by rising above them in morality.  So now as he approached, with brave tail vibrating proudly, all admired and many feared him.

The Devil drew near, and took the initiative in war, by making a peace speech.

“Princes, potentates, and powers of these infernal realms,” said he, “the eruptions and earthquakes are ceasing.  The elements are settling into peacefulness.  Can we not learn of them?  Let us give up war and cannibalism, and live in milder fiendishness and growing love.”

Then went up a howl from deviltry.  “He would lull us into crafty peace, that he may kill and eat safely.  Death! death to the traitor!”

And all the legions of fiends, acting with a rare unanimity, made straight at their intended Reformer.

The Devil pursued a Fabian policy, and took to his heels.  If he could divide their forces, he could conquer in detail.  Yet as he ran his heart was heavy.  He was bitterly grieved at this great failure, his first experience in the difficulties of Reform.  He flagged sadly as he sped over the Dalles, toward the defiles near the great inland sea, whose roaring waves he could bear beating against their bulwark.  Could he but reach some craggy Strait among the passes, he could take position and defy attack.

But the foremost fiends were close upon him.  Without stopping, he smote powerfully upon the rock with his tail.  The pavement yielded to that Titanic blow.  A chasm opened and went riving up the valley, piercing through the bulwark hills.  Down rushed the waters of the inland sea, churning boulders to dust along the narrow trough.

The main body of the fiends shrunk back terror-stricken; but a battalion of the van sprang across and made one bound toward the heartsick and fainting Devil.  He smote again with his tail, and more strongly.  Another vaster cleft went up and down the valley, with an earthquaking roar, and a vaster torrent swept along.

Still the leading fiends were not appalled.  They took the leap without craning.  Many fell short, or were crowded into the roaring gulf, but enough were left, and those of the chiefest braves, to martyr their chase in one instant, if they overtook him.  The Devil had just time enough to tap once more, and with all the vigor of a despairing tail.

He was safe.  A third crevice, twice the width of the second, split the rocks.  This way and that it went, wavering like lightning eastward and westward, riving a deeper cleft in the mountains that held back the inland sea, riving a vaster gorge through the majestic chain of the Cascades, and opening a way for the torrent to gush oceanward.  It was the crack of doom for the fiends.  A few essayed the leap.  They fell far short of the stern edge, where the Devil had sunk panting.  They alighted on the water, but whirlpools tripped them up, tossed them, bowled them along among floating boulders, until the buffeted wretches were borne to the broader calms below, where they sunk.  Meanwhile, those who had not dared the final leap attempted a backward one, but wanting the impetus of pursuit; and shuddering at the fate of their comrades, every one of them failed and fell short; and they too were swept away, horribly sprawling in the flood.

As to the fiends who had stopped at the first crevice, they ran in a body down the river to look for the mangled remains of their brethren, and, the undermined bank giving way under their weight, every, fiend of them was carried away and drowned.

So perished the whole race of fiends.

As to the Devil, he had learnt a still deeper lesson.  His tail also, the ensign of deviltry, was irremediably dislocated by his last life-saving blow.  In fact, it had ceased to be any longer a needful weapon! its antagonists were all gone; never a tail remained to be brandished at it, in deadly encounter.

So, after due repose, the Devil sprang lightly across the chasms he had so successfully engineered, and went home to rear his family thoughtfully.  Every year he brought his children down to the Dalles, and told them the terrible history of his escape.  The fires of the Cascades burned away; the inland sea was drained, and its bed became fair prairie, and still the waters gushed along the narrow crevices he had opened.  He had, in fact, been the instrument in changing a vast region from a barren sea into habitable land.

One great trial, however, remained with him, and made his life one of grave responsibility.  All his children born before the catastrophe were cannibal, stiff-tailed fiends.  After that great event, every new-born imp of his was like himself in character and person, and wore but a flaccid tail, the last insignium of ignobility.  Quarrels between these two factions imbittered his days and impeded civilization.  Still it did advance, and long before his death he saw the tails disappear forever.

Such is the Legend of the Dalles, a legend not without a moral.

So in this summer afternoon I rested awhile looking over the brown desolateness of the valley where the Devil baffled the fiends, and then slowly and wearily I wound along down the enormous hill-side by crumbling paths, and then between scarped cliffs of fired rock or shattered conglomerate down to the desert below.  The Columbia was still two or three cruel miles away, but at last, turning to the right, away from the pavement and channels of the Dalles, I came to the cliffs over the river.

Over against me, across the unfordable whirls of gray water, still furious after its compression in the rifts above, was the outermost post of Occidental civilization.  My countrymen were backing from the Pacific across the continent, and to protect their advancing rear had established a small garrison here at the Dalles.  There were the old log barracks on the terrace a mile from the river.  My very hospital, where I had suffered, and received the kindliest care, and where to my fevered dreams had come visions of Indians, antic, frantic, corybantic, circling about me with hatchets because I had brought the deadly pest into their tribe, that log cabin, vacated by its occupant, the officer in command, that I might be well lodged through my illness, was still there among the rough, yellow pines, unaltered by one embrowning summer.  There was the sutler’s shop near the shore, and grouped about it, tents of the first-comers of the overland emigration, each with its gypsy supperfire.  Truly an elysium of civilization as elysian as one could desire, and Mount Hood standing nobly in the background, no longer chill and unsympathizing.  But between me and elysium flows the Styx, gray and turbulent, and Charon, where is he?  There are no canoes on this side.  How shall we cross, Fudnun, the Blanketeer?

“Kloneas; dunno.  Pose mika mamook po; suppose you fire a shot,” said Fudnun, “pesiwash chaco copa canim; and Indian come with canoe.”

I fired shots, nay, impatient volleys, and very petty popgun noise it seemed by the loud river in this broad, rough bit of earth.  No one appeared to ferry me.  I waved a white blanket.  No one heeded.  I fired more shots, more volleys.  It would be farcical, or worse, should we be forced to stay here “dum defluat amnis,” to wait until this continental current run driblets.  Are we to repeat, with variations, the trials of Tantalus?  No, for I see a figure stirring near a log on the beach.  At this distance I cannot distinguish, but I can fancy the figure to be one of the Frowzy, and the log a canoe.  It is so.  He launches, and comes bravely paddling across the stream.  We scuffled down the craggy bank to meet him.

“Howdydo!  Howdydo!” said Olyman Charon, landing his canoe, and lounging bow-leggedly up to shake hands.  A welcoming howdydo, said I in return, and for a fitting number of oboli he agreed to ferry me and mine in two detachments.  I would cross first with the traps, swimming Klale; Fudnun would come afterward with k’Gubns and Antipodes.  I upheld Klale’s head in the bow while Charon paddled and steered aft.  The river proved indeed almost a Styx to poor Klale.  It was a long half-mile of stemming a furious current, and once or twice the stout-hearted little nag struggled as if his death moment had come.  But Charon paddled lustily, and we safely touched the farther shore.

It was sunset of the last of August.  I had won the day, and not merely the day.  Across the tide-ways of Whulge, the Squally prairies, the wooded flanks and buttresses of Tacoma, by the Nachchese, canon and valley, from traitors on Weenas, from the Atinam, mission, from the camp of the flaring torch, across Skloo’s domains, and at last over the region of the Devil’s race-course here at the Dalles; over all these stages of my route I had hastened, and my speed was not in vain.  I had seen new modes of savage life.  I had proved Indian treachery and Indian friendship.  I knew the glory and the shame of Klalam and Klickatat.  Among many types of character were some positively distinct and new ones; Dooker Yawk, the drunken; Owhhigh, the magisterial; Loolowcan, the frowzy; Shabbiest, the not ungrateful; merry Uplintz, and hero-worshipping Kpawintz; Kamaiakan, the regal and courteous; Fudnun, the jocund; all these had been in some way intimately associated with my destiny.  I had conquered time and space by just so little as to feel a respect for my antagonists, and some satisfaction in myself as victor.  My allies in the contest, my three quadrupeds, had borne them nobly.  I had a serene sense of new and large experience, and of some qualities in myself newly tested.  Of all my passages of wild life, this was the most varied and concentrated.  There had been much grandeur of nature, and vigorous dramatic scenes, crowded into this brief journey.  As a journey, it was complete with a fortunate catastrophe after the rapidity of its acts, to prove the plot well conceived.  I had rehearsed my longer march, and was ready to begin to enact it.

I left Klale to shake himself free of the waters of his Lethe, and nibble at what he could find of the promised asphodel, until his comrades came over, and myself moved about to greet old friends.  My two comrades of the morrow were in a tent, hard by, playing poker with Pikes of the emigration, and losing money to the said crafty Pikes.

So, when the morrow came, I mounted a fresh horse, and went galloping along on my way across the continent.  With my comrades, a pair of frank, hearty, kindly roughs, I rode over the dry plains of the Upper Columbia, beyond the sight of Mount Hood and Tacoma the less, across John Day’s river and the Umatillah, day after day, through throngs of emigrants with their flocks and their herds and their little ones, in great patriarchal caravans, with their white roofed wagons strewed over the surging prairie, like sails, on a populous sea, moving away from the tame levels of Mid-America to regions of fresher and more dramatic life on the slopes toward the Western Sea.  I climbed the Blue Mountains, looked over the lovely valley of the Grande Ronde, wound through the stern defiles of the Burnt River Mountains, talked with the great chiefs of the Nez Perces at Fort Boisee, dodged treacherous Bannacks along the Snake, bought salmon, and otter-skins for finery, of the Shoshonees at the Salmon Falls, shot antelope, found many oases of refreshing beauty along the breadth of that desolate region, and so, after much adventure, and at last deadly sickness, I came to the watermelon patches of the Great Salt Lake Valley, and drew recovery thence.  I studied the Utah landscape, Oriental, simple, and severe.  I talked with Brother Brigham, a man of very considerable power, practical sense, and administrative ability.  I chatted with the buxom thirteenth of a boss Mormon, and was not proselyted.  And then, in delicious October, I hastened on over the South Pass, through the buffalo, over prairies on fire, quenched at night by the first snows of autumn.  For two months I rode with days sweet and cloudless, and every night I bivouacked beneath the splendors of unclouded stars.

And in all that period while I was so near to Nature, the great lessons of the wilderness deepened into my heart day by day, the hedges of conventionalism withered away from my horizon, and all the pedantries of scholastic thought perished out of my mind forever.


All words in Chinook are very much aspirated, gutturalized, sputtered, and swallowed.

Aha, yes. 
Ahti or achti, sister,
Ala, I wonder; surprise. 
Alki, future, by and by. 
Alta, now, present. 
Attle, to be pleased. 
Ankoti, before; time past. 
Aquine or aquatine, belly,
Boston tilicum, American. 
Bote, boat. 
Callapooya, mean Indian. 
Canim, canoe. 
Cansu, how many. 
Chaco, come. 
Chick-chick, wagon, etc
Chicu or che-chu, new, clean. 
Chickamin, iron, etc
Chil-chil, button : 
Chuck, water, river. 
Cli, to cry. 
Cloocheman, woman. 
Closche nanitch, look sharp. 
Cluckamon, money,
Cochon, pig, pork. 
Copa mitlite pire, to burn. 
Copa nika mitlite, it belongs to me. 
Cop-su-wallah, steal. 
Conway (courez) cooly, run. 
Cultus, common, inferior. 
Cultus hee-hee, dance. 
Cultus tee-hee, play. 
Cum-tux, understand, hear. 
Dah-blo, or derb, devil. 
Ding-ding, hour. 
Dlie, dry. 
Drait, straight. 
Eh-ee, uncle. 
Elita, slave. 
Enetee, across. 
Essil, corn. 
Gleese, gleach, grease, oil, tar, etc
Gleese-stick, candle. 
Halo, none, nothing. 
Haloa mah, another kind
Hankachim, handkerchief. 
Haul, pull. 
Hans, sail, tent. 
Ho, let; an interjection. 
Hoel, mouse. 
Hooe-hoo, swop, sell. 
Hooihut, road. 
Hui, much, many. 
Hui-haus ’ town. 
Hyack, quick, make haste. 
Hyas, very, greatly. 
Ichfat, bear, animal. 
Ikta, what things. 
Illahee, earth, dust, floor, etc
Ilip or eelip, the first. 
Inati,’ over, across, outside. 
Ipsuit, find,
Iscum, take, bring. 
Ittle-whilly, flesh. 
Ituel, victuals.
kah, where. 
Kah mika chaco, where do you come from? 
Kah mika klatawah, where are you going? 
Kahquah or kapwah, alike, like. 
Kah ta mika wah-wah, what did you say? 
Kaloock, swan. 
Kaliaton, lead; k. hyas, balls;
’ k. tenas, shot. 
Kamooks, dog; mean, poor fellow. 
Kanoway, all. 
Ka-puet, needle. 
Kappo, coal. 
Kap-sualla, steal. 
Karabine, rifle. 
Kata, why. 
Katock, year. 
Kaw-kaw, crow, raven. 
Kaw-heloo, goose. 
Kaw-wash, afraid. 
Kee-a-wali, love. 
Kee-la-pi, turn over. 
Keelapy, come back, return. 
Kiasee or ’sie, how many, much. 
Kicemali, down below. 
Kicuali tyee, devil. 
Kimtah, back. 
Kinny-ki-nick, smoking-weed. 
Kinoose, tobacco. 
Kitlo, kettling, kettle. 
Klatawah, go, walk. 
Klale, black. 
Klahyam, klah-hye-am, good by. 
Klahya, klah-hyg-gah, how d’ ye do. 
Klahana, out. 
Klaska, them, those. 
Klaxta, who. 
Klimmin, little, soft. 
Klipsc, upset. 
Kliminwhit, klimink-whit, he. 
Kloneas, don’t know; may be. 
Klowawah, slow. 
Knitan, house. 
Knitan-house, stable. 
Ko, stop; arrived. 
Kock-sheet, break, strike, kill, etc
Kock-sheet-stick, war-club. 
Koll, cold. 
Kollo, fence. 
Kollaps or k’laps, find. 
Komsock, beads. 
Konamoxt, both. 
Kopa, with, by. 
Kopet, enough, done; stop, let mealone. 
Kotsuck, middle. 
Kowee, tie in, tie up. 
Kullu or kulla, kullie, bird of any kind. 
Kum-tux, know, understand. 
Kutl or kul-kul, hard. 
Kwanasim, always. 
La bouche, mouth. 
La coope, te-cope, white. 
La crame, yellow. 
La hache, axe. 
La lame, oar. 
La vest, jacket. 
Le bya (la vielle?), old woman. 
Le cassette, trunk. 
Le cou, neck. 
Le dents, teeth. 
Le langue, tongue. 
Le loim, sharp
Le molass, molasses. 
Le mouton, sheep. 
Le main, hand. 
Le pied, foot. 
Le pipe, pipe. 
Le plush, boards. 
Le polo, pan. 
Le pomme, apple. 
Le pois, peas. 
Le poshut, fork. 
Le porte, door. 
Le poule, fowl. 
Le nez, nose. 
Le selle, saddle. 
Le shabree, plough. 
Le tete, head. 
Lip-lip, boil. 
Lolo, carry. 
Lope, rope. 
Lum, spirit of any sort. 
Mahcook, buy. 
Mamook, work, do. 
Man, man. 
Masatche, bad. 
Masatche man, enemy. 
Memloose, die, dead, destroy. 
Mesika, ye or you. 
Mika, you. 
Mitlite, leave, stop; place, set down. 
Mit-mit-stick, mast or tree. 
Moon, month. 
Moos-moos, beef, cattle. 
Moosum, sleep. 
Mowitch, deer. 
Muck-a-muck, eat, drink, food. 
Musket ’ gun. 
Musket-stone, flint. 
Musket tenas, pistol. 
Na-wit-kah, yes, indeed. 
Nanitch, see. 
Neim, name. 
Nesika, we, us. 
Nika, I
Nika attle copa mika, I am pleased with you. 
Nika sia, my love. 
Nik-wah, here to me. 
Oapcan, basket. 
Ocook, this, that. 
Oelk, snake. 
Oelhin, seal. 
Olilly or olalely, berry. 
Olo, hungry. 
Olyman saolrocks, second-hand, old clothes. 
Opitchure, knife. 
Opotche, back (vulgar). 
Oree, brother. 
Pasaiooks, French, foreigners
Pat-le, full. 
Pe, and, but. 
Pechi, green. 
Pel, red. 
Pesispy, blanket. 
Pesispy sail, woollen cloth. 
Peshooks, thickets. 
Petick (?), world. 
Pil-pil, blood. 
Piltin, fool, foolish. 
Pire, fire. 
Pire-gleese, tallow. 
Pire-sbip, steamer. 
Pire-stone, flint. 
Poo, plook, shoot. 
Polikely, night. 
Pose, if, suppose. 
Pusse, cat. 
Quak-quak, duck. 
Quallon, ear. 
Quanisam, always. 
Sah-hah-lee, high up, heaven. 
Sah-hah-lee-tyee, God. 
Sail, cotton cloth, etc
Samon, fish. 
Sapolel, wheat. 
See-ah-hoos, face or eyes. 
See-ah-pal, hat, cap. 
Shecollon, pantaloons. 
Shixe, friend. 
Sitcum, half
Siwash, Indian. 
Siyah, pay off. 
Skookum, strong, stout; ghost. 
Skookum man, warrior. 
Snas, rain. 
Sonture (ceinture), sash. 
Stogeon, sturgeon. 
Talipus, wolf
Tamala, to-morrow. 
Tamanous, guardian spirit. 
Tamoluck, barrel. 
Tatoosh, milk, cheese, butter. 
Tee-ah-nute, leg. 
Tee-coop or t’kope (cope), white. 
Tee-hee or hee-hee, laugh. 
Tenas, infant; t. cloocheman, girl; t. man, boy, t. le porte, window. 
Tikky, want, wish. 
Tilicum, people. 
Till-till, tired, heavy. 
Tin-tin, bell, watch. 
Tipsoo, grass, feathers, hair, beard, wool etc
Tipu, ornament. 
Tissum, pretty. 
Tit-the-co-ep, cut. 
T’kope (cope) tilicum, white man. 
Tocta, doctor. 
Tolo, win. ,
Tumpelo, back. 
Tum-tum, heart. 
Tyee, chief, master, etc
Utescut, short. 
Uttecut, long. 
Wah-wah, talk. 
Wake, no, not. 
Wapato, potato. 
Weltch, more. 
Yack-wah, this way. 
Yah-hal, name
Yah-wah, yonder. 
Yaka, him, she, it.


[The following sketch, found among the author’s papers after his death, had not received his revision for the press.  It was not intended for publication in its present form, and is merely a rapidly-written journal of youthful adventure, in a part of our country then less explored than at present.]


ARDENT Californians, after a day of dragging in the mud and squeezing in the alloys of the Cruces Road, remember the Isthmus of Panama only as a geometrical line; a narrow, difficult, slippery, dirty path, paved like the bed of an Alpine torrent, beset with sloughs of despond and despair, with mosquitoes, tired mules, plundering natives, and bad provender.  They follow this geometrical line on their way to California, as a pious Mohammedan treads tremblingly the slender bridge that conducts him to the seventh heaven, looking forward, but very little around him, feeling painfully that the wire is cutting his feet, and regretting that the grave laws of his religion have not allowed amateur funambulistic practice.  To American adventurers struggling towards their seventh heaven, the Isthmus seems to concentrate the obstacles of a continent.  In dread of the thousand nameless terrors of the tropics, they hasten to Panama, eat one breakfast of eggs in their omelet stage of existence, and are off up the coast in the steamer.

From the moment of their arrival at Aspinwall an Isthmus fever floats before them, tangibly in the air.  It bangs a yellow veil before every object.  Their sight is jaundiced.  They hurry over a railroad, laid, as they have been told, on human sleepers.  The rich luxuriance of the forest along its course, now first opened to the eye of man, seems only rank, unwholesome vegetation.  Instead of appreciating the almost superhuman enterprise that has placed such a trophy of civilization in the very home of unchanging repose, they growl because the prudent trains do not despatch them speedily enough to the discomforts of the next stage of their journey.  It is nothing strange to them to be greeted by the whistle of a locomotive issuing from the depths of a tropical swamp.  Nor strange to pass through an untouched garden of such magnificent, broad-leaved plants, and such feathery palms, as they had only seen before, dwarfed exotics, cherished in warm recesses of a conservatory.  The twisted vines that drape the stems and swing from the branches of the massively buttressed trees, are mistaken by their averted glance for the terrible convolutions of gigantic serpents.

They embark on the river, are perplexed by the jabbering confusion of the boatmen, and again hardly observe the beauty that surrounds them.  The Chagres is a pure type of the tropical stream.  Forests, whose dense luxuriance is only known when you attempt to cut your way wearily through their mazes, overhang its course.  High hills rise, covered to the summit with enormous trees, disposed in tiers to display the full effect of their great trunks and spreading foliage.  Sometimes a grove of crested palms and cocoanut-trees marks the site of a native village.  Its thatched bamboo huts have a shabby picturesqueness among the patches of plantains and sugar-cane.  Near, laughing women are grouped in the water, washing clothes and themselves.  Soft green savannas open, sprinkled, like a park, with groves and monarch trees; under their shade cattle, have taken shelter from the ardent sun.  With constant change of scenes like these, the river winds along, but our party are too much preoccupied, too much distracted, for calm enjoyment.

The naked “bogas” with wild shouts thrust their canoe powerfully along against the current.  They stop a moment at shabby Gorgona, to exchange emptied bottles for full ones.  They pass the perilous whirlpool of La Gallina.  Just at evening they reach the straggling village of Cruces.  Their luggage falls into the hands of Philistine porters, whom they chase dispersedly.  Arrived at their flimsy hotel, a hasty structure of whitewashed boards, the ladies are inducted into a chamber whose walls are paper, perforated with peep-holes.  The gentlemen have “steerage accommodations” of board bunks in a public room.  They pass a villanous night, to dream with dread of the morrow.

The morrow comes with row of mules and row of muleteers.  The ladies of the party, with regretful remembrances of their last dress-promenade on horseback, are hoisted, califourchon, upon a pack-saddled mule, who, becoming conscious of his fair burden, hurries off down the street, with an inflexible determination to exhibit her at his stable, where his fellows, expecting a sensation, are already braying their compliments.  At last the stragglers are collected, and, leaving Cruces to its curs, through a sunlit glade of the tropical forest they enter upon the unknown perils of the road.

Shall we here draw a veil over their progress, and exhibit the party only on the next evening, lounging, in fresh attire, upon Las Boredas, the Battery of Panama, looking out upon the beauty of the bay and inspecting the steamer which awaits them?  Or shall we follow them through mud-hole and swamp-hole, through gulley and alley?

The two marked features of the Cruces Road are its mud-holes and its callejons, or alleys.  Mud-holes need no description here.  The two most profound are “La Sanbujedora” and “La Ramona.”  In these I have frequently seen mules sunk to the neck, while their riders vainly endeavored to put a “soul under their ribs of death” by the aid of stout saplings applied upon and under.  The callejons are narrow passages cut and worn from ten to twenty feet deep in the soft, friable rock of the frequent transverse ridges.  They are wide enough only for a single mule.  Long processions of pack-trains passing in perpetual succession have marked the path within with regular footsteps.  Dark and cool passages they are, refreshing refuges from the glare of noon, overhung by the thick forest, draped with delicate mosses and ferns; convenient channels after the heavy showers of the rainy season, when the steps are concealed, and your mule flounders through, crushing your legs; nice spots, too, for an ambuscade.  When our party, entered the first, there was determined cocking of six-shooters.  There are brave deeds in unwritten history.  We make a hero of Putnam cantering down the church steps at Horseneck to escape a leaden shower; but till now no chronicler has sung the praises of our party, mule-galloping down the dislocated pavement of a Cruces Road hillside, vainly seeking shelter from the peltings of tropical rain-pellets.  Down the hill, and something else is down; for lady No. 2 is over head and ears of her mule, while lady No. 1, who is in advance, ascending, has preferred to dismount at the other end of the animal.  Meanwhile the mule of gentleman No. 2 has put the wrong foot foremost in entering a narrow callejon, and, trying to right himself, has gone down like a Polkist on a parquet, carrying his partner with him.  Gentleman No. 1, who has already entered the callejon, looks back laughing, but is recalled to his own peril by meeting a pack-train in the narrowest spot.  The mules, mischievously twinkling their ears, successively “scrouge” him into the rock; he escapes with the loss of left spur, boot, book, bowie-knife, half pantaloon, and portion of cuticle.

Disgusted with falls backward and falls forward, with mud, with rain, with revengeful beating of their mules, with the whole Cruces Road, our friends are indisposed to admire the luxuriance of the forest, the noble trees of its open glades, the gleams of glowing sunlight through its rainspangled vine-tracery, the dewy darkness of its moss-covered rock alleys, the glimpse of a farreaching expanse of dark, untrodden woods.

But mule exercise like this is appetizing; our party are hungry.  They stop at a hut decorated with many bottles, bearing classic names, and, not waiting to cast a glance of laughing admiration upon the plantain-fed, cherubic rotundity of the naked urchins, Jose Marco, Jose Maria, and Jose Manuel, who toddle out, they ask for something to eat.  All the oranges, all the bananas, all the chickens, all the eggs of the two first classes, are carried off by previous passers.  There are still a few third-class eggs, boiling eggs; but on being brought, these are found to be impregnated with a perfume not esteemed in Yankee land, except when public characters already in bad odor are to be further anointed.  There is nothing edible except a few rolls of dry-as-dust bread, washed down, perhaps, by a bottle of ale or beer, the nectar of the Isthmus, bearing the unfalsified names of Worthy Bass, Byass, Muir, Tennent, or Whitbread.

With this momentary refreshment onward goes our party.  Wearily they plunge through the yellow mud of La Sanbujedora, and emerge yellow; wearily through the blue-black mud of La Ramona, and come out blue-black over yellow; wearily through many-tinted muds, each of which, like a picture-restorer, deposits a new layer of ugliness upon the original, until the original has to be scraped like an old picture to find out the fond.  The gentlemen have long ago thrown away their india-rubber coats, and the umbrellas of the ladies have left their last gore upon the briers.  In general, the whole party are fit subjects for a chiffonnier, if he would deign to insert his hook into such a mass of mud.

At last the fresh-flowing waters of the Cardenas announce their approach to Panama.  They wash away their masks of mud to perceive the exquisite beauty of the tree-embowered ford.  Then by the park-like savannas, which they are too tired to see, through the gayety of the suburb Caledonia, which they consider very mal-apropos, across the drawbridge never drawn, under the rusty gateway, they enter and bury themselves in the discomforts of Panama.

In the evening perhaps they take the air upon the Battery, are desorientes by finding the Pacific lying eastward instead of westward.  They think everything looks very shabby, and totally unlike the staring newness of a Yankee town.  They sleep in an Americanized caravansary; are lulled by the murmur of returned Californian curses, that permeates the house; dream of the alligators and boa-constrictors they ought to have seen.  Nightmare comes to them in the shape of the mules they have bestrode.  Next morning, wakened by the clinking of the cathedral’s cracked bells, the gentlemen invert their boots to search for scorpions, and the ladies regret that they have anticipated mosquitoes, as one would wish to do strawberries, by three months.

They take boat for the steamer, allow themselves to be bullied and cheated by the boatmen almost as much as strangers in London and New York are by cabmen.  Mutual condolences and mutual congratulations are exchanged with the other passengers.  Mutual exaggerations of dangers passed and dangers feared are held up for mutual admiration.

All are completely unconscious that not a hundred miles from Panama is a most charming country, a veritable Arcadia.


The residents of Panama think no more of the slight fevers of the country, than we do of a severe cold or influenza.  You call to pay morning compliments to a lady with whom you have had a passage of arms at the ball of the evening before, and are told quietly that she teine calenturas (has the fever), and is not visible.  In a day or two she reappears, undimmed.  The fevers of the gentlemen only come on, like colds at a college, when they have unpleasant duties to perform.

Northern constitutions are more impressionable.  They melt like an iceberg under the equator, After my second calentura and concomitant quinine, my head felt like a prizefighter’s which has been in chancery.  I determined to recruit in a furlough of a fortnight.  A couple of friends were going somewhere up the Isthmus.  I agreed to join them.  We were to take canoe that evening at the turn of the tide.  I hastily tumbled together my traps, and borrowing a hammock, and trusting to fortune for want of a friend, was soon ready on the Playa Grande, near the smooth, broad sands of the north beach.

A traveller arriving from the Atlantic side of the Isthmus, with eyes wide open to stare, as Balboa did, at the Pacific, stares wider, when he finds it at Panama to the east instead of the west; and as he sees the sun come up over the softly-glowing bay, he fancies that Pboebus must have been making a night of it, the night before, among the “glorious Apollers,” and turned out of the wrong side of his bed.  He is half persuaded that, after all the toils of his trans-Isthmian travel, he has only wandered about as one does in the labyrinths of a tropical forest, and has been brought back to the shores of the tumultuous, keel-vexed, practical Atlantic, instead of looking out upon the sea that washes the shores of Inde and Cathay, the ocean of imagination and hope.  So unexpected, also, is the turn of the coast, that, in order to go north to California, you must steer almost due south for a hundred miles.  The points of the compass are as much reversed as social position in the golddiggings.

But as ex post facto narratives are doubtless unconstitutional in Yankee literature, let me proceed regularly; and while I am waiting for the tide to rise its twenty-three feet, and cover the conchological mud and crustaceous reef of the Bay, let me speak of the Bay, this beautiful Bay of the tropics!  How often at night, awakened by the tap of Marcellino at my door with the news of a steamer at hand, have I embarked and hastened out upon the water.  It would be perhaps an hour before day, but still night, a night of clear, soft, yet brilliant star light; and there the stars do not glitter with the steely sharpness of a northern sky, but glow; they do not snap out a lively twinkle, but slowly flicker and sway; their light grows upon the eye, as the light of a revolving lighthouse across a stretch of sea.  The cool night-breeze would be breathing over the water, freshening as the dawn came on.  Wreaths of mist were floating away on the mainland and clinging to the mountainous points of the bay, where perhaps too a black rain-cloud lay lowering.  For each climate are its own atmospheric beauties.  Nowhere but in England and the Low Countries should you study effects of sunlight through mist and rain-clouds.  There is no purple in the world like the purple of Hymettus.  Never but at a Florentine sunset can you touch light made tangible, and grasp it, and bathe in it, and be upborne by it.  Nowhere else can you see that veil of palpitating azure that flows down after sunset to the Lake of Geneva from the summit of the Jura, the inmost spirit of light making the very peaks transparent.  The snow cones of Oregon rise against a background of blue unequalled in depth and brilliancy.  In the tropics, and most exquisite at Panama, before sunrise and after sunset there spreads upward from the horizon a violet flush, full of soft glow, vivid with suppressed light.

It is pleasant to look down upon anything or anybody; and the lower one has been, the more delightful becomes the consciousness of present elevation.  The age of balloons and bird’s-eye views will develop human vanity to an insufferable degree.  But some of our pleasures from looking down have a different origin.  A view like this was only meant to be seen from a certain height; it lacks picturesqueness and the necessary features of foreground scenery; it is panoramic in its nature.  We will draw it along slowly before the eyes of the reader, interspersing the representation with remarks a la Banvard.  Land and water are the chief objects we behold; land oscillating and undulating into hills covered with deep, rich verdure of the tropics, and water blue and clear, with its waves marked only by shifting color, that shoots over the smooth seeming surface, the [greek characters] of the ocean.  The land is the Isthmus of Panama, a narrow bank between two worlds of sea, one of the obstacles; the water is the Pacific, the ocean of material wealth combined with romance.  But though a wild nature still rules undisturbed over the greater portion of the scene before us, yet man has thrust his so-called civilization upon the scene, and that rusty spot that disturbs the purity of the view is one of his beauty-destroying abodes.  Those shabby, tiled buildings, those dirty church-spires, and huts like ant-hills surrounding, are Panama, while a suburb more important than the parent city is represented by a few black spots upon the water, capacious edifices, that move to and fro with the surplus population of the town.  At present the small peninsula upon which the town is built is washed by the tide; but when it has fallen, an unsightly reef spreads out on every side, much blasphemed by people who, under a vertical sun and with excoriated feet, walk over its worm-eaten surface.  The town is, as we have said, situated upon a small point which terminates in the old Cyclopean sea-wall of the town, where there is a strong bastion, still mounted with some magnificent bronze guns, and serving after parching days as a delicious cool evening promenade for the people.  This is Las Bovedas, or the Battery, which deserves a separate essay, so largely does it enter into the list of Panama pleasures and Panama occupations.  Away to the north of the town sweeps in a beautiful crescent a smooth, white sand-beach, terminating in a wooded, rocky point, that looks back into the town.  A few huts straggle along this, near the town, sheltered by a grove of cocoanut-trees, which serve as parasols or umbrellas, and, while their occasional droppings keep down the super abundant infant population, they at the same time accustom the more warlike to the dangers of a bombardment.  Farther along the beach a species of tree grows close down upon the sand, a hedge protecting the land from the sea, but its verdure is traitorous; these are the poisonous manzanilla, the Upas, which our school-boy eloquence so much employed.  Beyond the wooded point, another cove, though not so perfect in its form, commences; and here, overgrown with trees and weeds, and partially covered with the quick-forming rock of the country, are the scanty ruins that mark the site of old Panama, the city of that bold, adventurous spirit whose type was Pizarro, and suggested by the very sound of his name.  Back of this, and between our view-point and the site of the old town, spread broad savannas, carpeted, like a park, with soft, close-shaven turf; the cattle of a thousand hills graze quietly over its undisturbed surface, and, when the sun blazes, can take refuge in some of the rich groves or close thickets of tropical shrubbery which are picturesquely scattered over its surface, or follow the. scanty water-courses.  Smooth and carefully kept, like the fair meadows of an English landscape, appear these natural grazing-farms; and respectable enclosed countries, with their walls and hedges and ditches, can offer no pleasure like a free gallop, this way and that, over the plains, when the cool breeze of evening is flowing down over the hills, and every breath bears healing.  These llanos lead back to a confused collection of hills, small and conical, like, as a practical friend remarks, the mounds of a potato-patch, and thickly wooded to the top.  Their look is as if a sea of land, tossed into irregular waves by a general irruption of diverse winds, had been suddenly petrified.

The scene is new and individual.

As the boat made its way to the steamer, the sun, rising, would bring into view the golden crescent of the north beach, with its grove of graceful palms, and its background of dark, wooded hills.  The solitary tower that marks the site of old Panama would show itself clearly against the dense vegetation that has enveloped the once famous city.  The large islands drew up boldly against the bright horizon, and the small were green resting-places for the eye looking oceanward.  The bastions and towers of the town have grown into a Mediterranean variety of outline, and the dark cloud that seemed to overhang it has resolved itself into Ancon Hill.  In sharp contrast to the repose of the landscape is the scene on the deck of the steamer.  The natives surround her with a flotilla of boats, to make prisoner every disembarking Californian with his plunder.  These, squalid and brigand-like, hurry with the recompense of all their toils in view.  Boxes of gold-dust are shoved about as of no value.  There is confusion and objurgation.  But the rising tide warns me that I must defer any further description of the Bay, and return to my journey.


The sun had gone down perpendicularly, and, after the soft, pure, purple twilight, hasty night was approaching, as a tremulous motion of the canoe and a gentle plash of the waves warned us it was time to start.  The Padron waked, and, calling his hombre passengers, who poco tiempo came on board, got his clearance by going ashore in the still atmosphere, with a candle in his hand, and buying a bottle of chicha.  All men of Spanish lineage are named Jose.  All the Joses now sprang into the water, and lifted the canoe from its bed in the mud.  Just then a puff of evening breeze swept down from Ancon Hill through the rustling palms, and Joses, taken by surprise, were obliged to swim for it sputteringly, and come on board with Tritonian drippings.

As we glided away, out burst from the other boats a full chorus of Billingsgate adieu.  Spanish, the language of devoted tenderness, is likewise a medium for the vilest vituperation.  Our crew received and returned assurances of distinguished consideration as lavishly as diplomates; and as hit or retort told, the quiet bay resounded with inextinguishable laughter.  Gradually all these sounds died away in the distance.  Panama became the ghost of a city, over which Ancon Hill hung darkly brooding.  We rustled softly along in silence, except when another marketboat, passing, exchanged flying shots or a broad side.  The Padron was a man of few words; he reserved his fire until it would tell, and then poured in a stunnner, laughing suppressedly until the canoe shook.  Presently my companion turned in, and I remained with the night.  The canoes that do the coast market trade of Panama are made mostly in Darien, hollowed by tool and fire from the trunks of enormous tropical trees.  Ours, a fair type of the class, was about forty feet long, seven beam, round bottom, and very little keel; she consequently rolled like a hollow log, as she was.  She carried two stumpy masts, with ragged square-sails and a small foretopsail.  This last kept the Padron in a very uncomfortable state; but, as one of the most distinguished mariners of the Bay, he considered it due to his pre-eminence to carry it as a broad pennant.  Such boats make voyages of more than one hundred miles up and down the coast, and bring to Panama pigs, turkeys, chickens, eggs, rice, maize, plantains, pumpkins, yams, olives, potatoes, candles, cocoanuts, chica, cheese, &c.  They carry a considerable number of native passengers, going up to sell their own stuff.  Picturesque craft themselves, their arrival makes the beach near the market-place lively and picturesque as a sea-shore of Claude.  When selling of eggs and oranges becomes the sole business of a life, it is dignified, and I have seen from the Panama market-women, classically “demi vetues de ces plis transparents qui collent aux statues,” melodramatic action that would have done honor to Rachel in Lucrece.

The night was the perfection of a night of the tropics, softly brilliant.  It seemed as if the glowing Sunlight of the day had penetrated the earth, had been garnered up, and was now diffused through the chastened air, like the tender memory of a dazzling passion.  Consecrate to love should be such nights; so I remained idly dipping my hand in the water as we unconsciously glided along.  Presently a circle of fair forms closed around me, as the nymphs about Rinaldo in the enchanted grove.  Each bore the scarcely recognized lineaments of some well-known face.  One detached herself from the throng and laid her hand upon my shoulder.  As she approached, a masculine hardness grew over her delicate features, the graceful floating of her sylph-like robe resolved itself into a conventional attire, a black beard covered the bloom of her cheeks; she whispered, “Senor, the boat has no gunwale; you will fall overboard if you go to sleep.”  “Thank you, Padron,” said I, starting up and looking into the crib where I had seen my companions disappear, as pigeons into a dove-cot.  We three had hired the whole cabin; it was on deck, about two feet and a half high.  My two comrades, taking comfort while I took romance, had stowed themselves fore and aft, leaving only a very narrow space athwartship for me.  How I got into my place is a secret with me and the manufacturers of india-rubber springs; and how I slept, the journals of the guests of Procrustes will explain.  So, then, the earliest of morning saw me on deck, looking at the new scenes around me.  White sheep are said to eat more than black ones because there are more of them, and as sunrise does not enter into the daily experience of the civilized world, it is generally conceded to be rather an inferior, sleepy sort of a display.  If I had been under the dominion of this popular fallacy, this sunrise would have given a new view of the subject.

Thanks to a fresh night-breeze, we had made lively progress during my torpidity, and were still bowling along finely with a shore wind on the quarter.  The foretopsail was still the trial of the Padron’s life.  The island-mountain of Taboga was far behind us.  Melones, where I had once vainly brought all my gastronomical knowledge to bear to make my first pelican palatable, was a mere line upon the horizon.  Otoque was dim to seaward.  We lay opposite the lofty, bold sierra of the Morro di Chame.  Beyond stretched a yellow line of beach, to be traversed on our return journey by land.  We were perhaps eight miles from shore; but in the clearness of the dawn an exquisite, partially wooded slope was revealed, rising gently to the high main ridge of the Isthmus.  There were no stars in the sky, but the same violet flush, unknown to the cold North, was spreading upward to the zenith.  There is no temptation for Aurora to dilly-dally in the tropics.  She finds the saffron-bed of Tithonus too warm in the warm morning.  She will hasten to draw up coolness from the dim thickets of the swamp-forest, to catch a handful of fresh snow from the summits of the Cordillera.

Presently up comes a great round glare of a sun, and the fresh wind, unwilling to become a sirocco, flees away before him.

Jollity among the natives had awakened with the dawn.  Happy in the bliss of only one garment and no toilette to make, they had devoted the time we waste in such employ to the cultivation of their social faculties.  Fragments of jokes and droning songs had come past the perilous foretopsail, perilous no longer.  Now their jollity was over; the sun was upon them; they baked in silence, or occasionally only spluttered a little, like an unwilling oyster roasting.

Fortunately I was provided with that resource of a listless traveller, a novel of Alexandre Dumas.  All that blasting day, as we lay under the shade of the mainsail, utterly becalmed except in temper, the boat quivered with my laughter as I followed the wanderings of “Les Trois Mousquetaires.”

All that day we lay pinned by the rays of the vertical sun.  We might have supposed that our canoe had sprouted, like a sea-plant, and sent downward its long roots to the bottom of the sea.  The Padron had forgotten the foretopsail, and in a dull slumber let the tiller carry him about at its wabbling will.

There was no sign of life; whales, usually so abundant, refused to come to the surface, lest their breath, heated to explosion, might not find speedy enough exit through its escape-pipe; the sharks were off, as usual, after the California steamer; they have acquired a taste for Yankees.  Occasionally a bird flew past us, panting for the woods.

What my companions did all the day I know not.  I have some indistinct recollection of their frying slices of ham on the palms of their hands, and I am quite sure that I heard a sound of boiling as one applied an orange to his highly tanned lips.

It is warm on the desert of Sahara; it is warm in the canons of California; it is warm in the snows of Alpine passes in August; it is warm on the sands of the Great Salt Lake Valley; it is warm, very warm at the Newport ball; a Strasburg goose has a warm time, so did John Rogers.  But if you wish to know what the word Hot means, if you wish to experience the sensation of having every drop of your blood baked into brick-dust, be becalmed in a bungo in the Bay of Panama.

As for me, the supernatural coolness of my heroes somewhat assisted me, and I managed to survive, though I have appreciated much better, ever since, the curse of Kehama.

With evening freshened the breeze and recommenced our life.  The natives, as happy a set as the coast Indians of North America, eat their simple fare of plantains and yams with laugh and joke.  They are happy in few wants.  The Padron was an excellent specimen of his race, a fine, honest, clear-eyed fellow, with delicate features.  The crew were active, lithe chaps, well put together, muscular, though without any of that exaggerated development that marks the arm of a wood-chopper or the calf of a danseuse.  The character of these Isthmians has been much belied by travellers.  The great rascals of the Isthmus are mostly foreigners, renegades from the West Indies and coasts of South America; here they find a harvest.  The people of a thoroughfare country undoubtedly always deteriorate, and the transit to California has had a bad effect on the natives.  Money is lavished among them; they have few artificial wants to supply, and, having no other way of spending, consequently consume it in riotous living.  Personally I have never met with anything but civility, and even kindness; their easy dilatoriness must be treated philosophically.  Of course the poco tiempo style of management does not suit a Yankee.  His interests are all-important to himself, and, accustomed to make all obstacles yield, he is annoyed and exasperated to find that there are people who, when they have enough for the moment, are contented.  It is not indolence, but sound philosophy, in a cargadore or an arriero of Panama, knowing that in two days he can earn enough money for a week’s support, to give up work, and take the satisfaction in life that nature marked out for him.  He need not wait till old age for repose.  He has no conventional wants.  It is not his place in life to become a tool of civilization, of a civilization unknown and uncared for; he need not spend an existence in toil that the proletariat of distant France may eat brown-bread; that the vine-dressers of the Rhine may live; that a certain number of carpenters and masons may earn two dollars a day in building his warehouses and mansions; and that squads of the potato-fed may stretch him a thousand miles of railroad.  It is all very well to say, “Better fifty years of Europe than a cycle of Cathay”; but to whom is it better?  To the delicately nurtured, to the cared-for of fortune, the fruges consumere natus, but not to the ignorant, the forgotten, no, not forgotten, the intentionally crushed peasant, brutalized beyond barbarism by the selfishness of systems, of societies, not founded upon the theory of equal rights to all.  Nature is kind to all in the tropics.

The night passed very much as the previous one had done.  Profiting by my experience, however, I managed to bestow myself a little more conveniently, and the heat had shrunk us all so that we packed better.

The admirable compensations of Nature are nowhere more perfectly perceived than in a tropical night.  The day may have been “remorseless,” but the night is a kind restorer.  It is not only a change to the senses, not merely a different temperature, not merely that the crushed air revives, and the atmospheric particles which have been bullied by the staring sun into a shrinking isolation, now awake to sociality and glad circulation, rushing here and there like children released.  But there is also a spiritual effect in the tropical night; the repose of Nature speaks peace to the soul.  The dreamy starlight and still more dreamy moonlight are balm to the bothered.

All that night, With a breeze that was “as mild as it was strong, and as strong as it was mild,” we sailed along, and sunrise next morning found us off the mouth of the River de Los Santos, waiting for the tide to take us over the bar.


Few rivers die gloriously.  This small one of ours flowed sluggishly into the sea through a thicket of mangroves.  The roots of these, on account of the great rise and fall of the water, were longer than their tops at low tide; they seemed like plants on stilts.

Presently we penetrated this thicket, the men jumping out and hauling the boat through the mud.  Here the banks were a low, rich alluvion, reeking with swampiness; but above were noble trees, and occasionally open spots in the forest where cattle were feeding, domestic cattle, looking strangely out of place where was as yet no sign of human habitation.  It has a strange and solemn effect to be initiated thus suddenly into the very arcana of Nature.  You pass the portal, you draw aside the drapery of vines that concealed it, and are at once in the private apartments of Nature; here she is no trim, toiletted lady, such as we have made her in finished countries.  There is no one here to burn up her old clothes, and her fresh attire of to-day contrasts too carelessly with the heap of cast-off garments upon which she is standing.  The tropical forest is luxuriant in the extreme, but neglected.  It should be always seen from the bank of a river; the constant moisture gives more freshness to the foreground, while in seeing the forest from a path you are perplexed, as Yankee Doodle is said to have been on his first visit to town, by an embarras de richesses.

Then here we had life, as well as inanimate nature.  Gay parrots and macaws sent gleams of green and gold flashing through the vines’ drapery.  Monkeys roared and chattered; there was a general hum of insect life in the cool morning.  There was a sound like the deep note of an oboe, as the alligators, with a yawn, plumped from the banks into the water; they, plumped like falling cocoanuts in a gale of wind.  For a while, I respected their lazy lolling; but one lay showing his white waistcoat so invitingly, that I could not refrain from taking a shot at thirty yards with my five-shooter.  “Lo pego! lo pego! popped him!” was the joyous shout of the boatmen, as be rolled heavily into the stream.  I immediately became a hero, and the Padron vouchsafed to me his learning in the natural history of the animal.  He told me, a fact not generally known, that alligators never die, but, when they have attained with age to the due amount of experience, are translated from the narrow this life of the river to a higher sphere, the broad eternity of the ocean.  Hence occasionally the adventurous see their vast bulk rearing itself up terribly for an instant.  This is satisfactory, as accounting for the sea-serpent.  Bred in the tepid waters of a tropical river, what a new sensation it must be to our promoted alligator to take his first cold bath, and to swim along the romantic coast of Norway in the guise of a Kraken!

It was a tough tug against the coffee-colored current, rapid as are all the Isthmian rivers.  The athletes of the boat, with glistening skins, strained powerfully against the stream with setting-poles.  We who live in the intemperate climates of temperate zones are forced to be sartorian slaves.  A vicious conventionalism does not allow us to admire the nude, except in marble.  But if deformity of figure must be disguised, why not deformity of face?  Where are the perpetual veils for the snub-nosed, the pug-nosed, the blubber-lipped?  Our boatmen worked away untrammelled by attire.

The day grew warmer, and the thick shade of interlacing branches and vines became more grateful.  Sometimes there was only passage by drawing aside the close foliage, and then, as our canoe thrust itself along, flocks of birds would be disturbed, some of brilliant, unfamiliar plumage, with pure white herons, and flamingoes, and macaws screaming like a bad-tempered Norman-French bonne.

At last the masts of a sunken schooner pointed out the spot of no farther progress.  With the unwilling willingness that marks the end of a journey, we bade adieu to the canoe.


The Padron offered to go up to the village, and send down animals to convey our traps.  Meantime we waited on the bank.  It was a forlorn place, and thickets shut off the view.  We found a little opening of dried mud under a scrubby oak.  Here we consumed an hour and the remainder of our grub, finishing also our last bottle of Chateau Margaux.  I knew it was Chateau Margaux, because the label said so.

Then I drowsed.  It was December.  As extreme heat and cold are the same sensation, I was enjoying the same temperature as my friends north of the fortieth parallel.  How charming is sympathy!

Pretty soon our messenger appeared with two animals.  I am intentionally non-committal on the subject of their race.  Their owners called them “bestias”; their brands gave no explanation; perhaps they were lamas.  We placed our luggage on their backs, and walked forward.  Our path soon brought us through the thicket on the river to a more open country.  A thin, ferruginous soil supported a short, scanty herbage.  Groups of shrubbery, with bushes of the fragrant flowering mimosa were scattered about.  As we advanced, the landscape improved; we were entering Arcadia.  Bright before us, verdant as a New-England valley in June, spread an emerald savanna.  Its short grass was smooth as the turf of an English park.  Trees of enormous shade stood in solitary expansiveness, or were grouped in graceful union.  Under their shade the small but picturesque cattle of the country sheltered themselves from the ardent sun.  Presently we began to see houses and corrals.  These last were enclosed by stakes of the sidruelo, which, as soon as they are planted, sprout and grow up twenty or thirty feet in a single season, bunching at the top like pollard willows.  The long shoots are trimmed off, and used in building huts, but the green tree palisade remains.  Around these corrals the prickly pimula, or wild pine-apple, springs up, and, when they are neglected, this and larger plants form an impenetrable thicket.  Within is the softest and most verdant grass; the cattle keep a narrow entrance open.  When you find one of these deserted corrals far from any present settlement, it is like a fairy ring.

The houses were of most simple construction, basket-work of withes covered with mud kneaded into consistency by means of long rushes.  In the parching heats of the dry season, when everything green is gone, the cattle straying about find these rushes very convenient, and pulling away at them bring the houses down about the ears of the careless tenants, while often the rains of the rainy season do the same.  Careless because it requires no heavy outlay of capital or labor to reconstruct.  The owner goes to his corral, cuts down the tops of his fence in sufficient quantity, or cuts canes in the swamp.  He then goes to the swamp and collects a boat-load of rushes.  He builds a fire, puts on one enormous kettle of rice to boil and another of chicha, and calls in his neighbors to a raising-bee.  They wattle the walls, and thatch the roof, and plaster the sides, all very speedily, and then sit down to a debauch on boiled rice, plantains, and chicha, Their revelry terminates, as in civilized countries, by a ball prolonged far into the night.

Near every house is a hanging garden on a small scale, a bed of earth raised six or seven feet on poles, for protection from cattle and reptiles, and planted with onions and vegetables.  Occasionally, also, we found plantations of rice and maize.  The latter gives three crops a year.  Troops of pack animals constantly passed us, laden with enormous hide ceroons, filled with grain.  The scene was pastoral.

Near the village we found a number of people collected for a raising-bee such as I have described, a junto they would call it.  The first operation was finished, and the house stood, a great square basket, like a crockery crate.  A kettle four feet in diameter, filled with boiled rice, stood waiting the time of repose.  In honor of the occasion, the women were freshly dressed in white, and decked with flowers.

It was now meridian; the sun came perpendicularly down; our shadows had sunk into our boots.  Peter Schlemihl would have found fellowship among us.  We were rejoiced to arrive at the Plaza of the village, and take refuge in the Padron’s hut, one of the principal houses of the town.  The Plaza is a small square, surrounded by houses such as I have described, with tiled roofs extending down to form a porch.  The church is distinguished from the others only by a cracked bell suspended outside.

The Padron was an excellent fellow, and merited his good fortune in having a most charming wife, one of the most exquisite persons I have ever seen, of delicate features, a pure, dark complexion, brilliant, with a dark flush.  Her younger sister was even. more delicate and sylph-like; I was tempted to stay and forget civilization in her society; I am sorry I did not.

They brought us oranges, and sounds of gasping chickens were heard from the poultry-yard.  We hung our hammocks, and reposed.  I have spoken of the compensations of Nature.  Among these, and foremost, let me not forget the hammock.  The hammock to a bed is what flying is to walking.  Here a stratum of cool air surrounded us, and the close packing of the boat was forgotten.

From my hammock in the porch I could look out upon the fair landscape Arcadian, over the exquisitely undulating greensward, unbroken as far as the eye could reach, except by the scattered huts and their small enclosures.  Each of these was marked by its rich grove of orangetrees, and its shading, ever-tremulous cocoa-palms.  Cattle, droves of horses, and all the smaller domestic animals, strayed about.  Among them. tumbled nude children.

In the heats of the dry season, when all verdure is destroyed, and all the houses that can be spared are eaten up, the cattle are driven, as in cold Switzerland, high up on the sides of the mountains.

One of the enclosures struck me as having a more finished air than its neighbors.  A cart, like a degraded omnibus, stood before it.  Have Yankee pedlers penetrated even here?  I rolled out of my hammock, and approached.

Surrounded by its little grove of trees, was an octagonal pavilion, not unlike a Dutch summerhouse, Mon repos, &c., architecturally constructed of wood, and painted green.  In front, guarding the entrance, and frowning perpetually, upon the pigs and chickens, was a colossal wooden statue of Napoleon, in typical attire (il avait son petit chapeau, and all).  My astonishment at meeting an old friend in such a spot must have been expressed audibly, for from under the shade of this most gigantic and terrible of Penates appeared the unmistakable nationality of a Gaul.  He invited me in, told me his history, and introduced me to Madame.  He was a Bordelais, and after many vicissitudes had provided himself a little schooner, and was marketing for Panama along the coast.  This was his country retreat.  His household god had been the figure-head of a condemned vessel.  His omnibus was a speculation, a failure in Panama, for transporting freight over the savanna to the landing.  The whole style of the thing was original and inattendu.  How little did I suppose, when I trained my Yankee tongue to Parisian accents, that I should use them in the wilds of South America, and pay compliments to a Bordeaux grisette, promoted to a bourgeoise, in the land of the banana and the cocoa-nut.

The hospitable wife of our hospitable Padron had meantime prepared us a most acceptable meal in the cookery school of the country, of which more anon.  In the cool of the afternoon we walked over to the neighboring town of La Villa de los Santos, where my companions had business, and we hoped to find horses for our farther progress.

Over savannas sprinkled with plantations of Plantain patches, we came to La Villa.  Though only caballeros are respected in Spanish towns, here strangers were too important to have it very particularly inquired into how they came.  Some one had arrived; it might be easily inferred that the steeds had been left in the suburbs.

A quiet, convulsive tremor of excitement ran along the grass-covered streets.  Mild-eyed, melancholy women greeted our Spanish friend, and the impassive men came out to meet him, and to hope he brought no news, and that nothing new had happened.  It was evident, without inquiry, that nothing had or ever would happen here, except the two great events of life.

The tiled roofs of the houses projected over the street, and, supported by wooden pillars, formed an arcade, under which, tilted back in their hide-seated chairs, sat the natives.  All the interiors consisted of a large room, with high ceiling, paved floor, and scantily furnished, as is the manner of the country, with a few chairs, a hammock, and a table.

The Governor of the Province of Azmero, of which this is the capital, received us most kindly, and made us his guests for the night.  He was a progressive, intelligent, gentlemanly fellow, and felt sadly isolated where he was.  B. and I strolled out to see the town.  The church was filled with the fresh toilettes of the ladies in the peculiarly graceful attire of the country.  It consists of a skirt of some light-figured or embroidered muslin, often made with two or more flounces.  There is no waist nor sleeves; but a large cape, of the same or some lighter material, is thrown over the shoulders, gathered by a ribbon about the neck more or less closely, as the wearer pleases.  There is a most graceful ease and abandon in the attire.  As the climate is warm, the ladies are decolletees enough to suit the most “emancipated” taste, and the row of bright shoulders, as they all kneel in church, is worthy of a full-dress occasion.  All had fresh flowers in their hair.  I was charmed then and the whole evening.

The imbecile old priest insisted upon embracing the strangers after mass.  Padre Agriol was seventy-five, so he told us.  He was snuffy as a cardinal, and redolent of agua diente.  The church has retained some valuable silver candelabra and ornaments.  In general, these have been all taken or plundered from the churches of New Granada.

Horses strayed in herds unheeded about the town, but no one would take the trouble to get them for us.  We spent next day lounging about La Villa.  I, susceptible fellow, was in ecstasies all the while with the beauty of the ladies, and accused my English companion of failing in the true cosmopolitan spirit when he refused to colonize with me.

In the afternoon we started on our return.  When we reached the suburb, down came a tropical torrent.  The roads were impassable.  We impressed a little ragamuffin, who had come into town on a nag between two hide ceroons, full of mami apples (at twelve reals per hundred); he offered to provide us with horses.  A good-natured man is always the scapegoat.  It was determined that I should mount with him, and be deposited, and he return with two animals for the others.  I essayed to mount, and, seizing the saddle, sprung up; but the saddle was merely placed on the back of the beast.  The balance of power was no longer preserved.  I was at once deposited sooner than I expected.  I found myself immersed in the pool before the door, and emerged more or less muddy.  After sympathy, and much rubbing and brushing, a second attempt was more successful.  I mounted, and, grasping the neck of the animal with my legs, started.  The boy was placed dos a dos to me, that no requirement of pilotage might interfere with his proper duties as locomotive agent.  A sound as if of battered bones was heard; we were en route.  I found our charming hostess and her sister as kind as before.  The Padron promised us horses early next morning for our ride to Parita.


The ride thither was dullish.  There must be prose among the poetry of travel.  We have high authority for thinking that there is happiness even d’aimer une bete after the tension of an exciting passion.  The quiet and matter-of-fact among women are charming after the deeply intellectual and inquisitive.  Our road was up and down over a dry, uninteresting, partially wooded country.  We crossed one or two coffee colored rivers flowing between alluvial canal banks.  Flocks of brilliant macaws flew screaming along.  Occasionally a deer dashed across our path.  Parita was rustier than any town thus far.  Nothing can be more distinct than the contrast between these places and those of Yankee land.  Go even into some most retired and insignificant country village of New England:  it will have its broad avenue, beautifully overshadowed by drooping elms, with which every respectable and well-kept old house is shrouded; its little knot of lively shops, where farmers have come to sell butter and buy hoes, the village belles to match half a yard of ribbon, and flirt with the store keeper’s “gentlemanly attaches,” and the lawyer, a legislator in intention, to propitiate the electors; every one has a motive; every one, therefore, lives calculat ergo est, as Descartes would have said.  On a high, breezy hill the church and school-house dominate the town, whose nucleus and type they are.  Below, on a level, is a tall obelisk of brick, consecrate to industry; around its base, less incongruously than about the Washington Monument, are clustered the fanes and shrines where a devoted band of priests and priestesses are perpetually offering their willing oblations to this goddess, protector and preserver of the land.  A perpetual hum is heard, not less voiceful to the appreciative than the chants and clanging cymbals of the Parthenon.  Occasionally, a rush and a roar and a rattle and a scream and a hurrying locomotive tell that a scene at once so busy and so beautiful is not isolated from metropolitan influence.  Everything is new, neat, and orderly, too much so, you will say, but not in contrast with the Spanish town.

There, though the land is of no value, the main avenue of the village is a mean, narrow, crooked lane, destitute of picturesqueness, because it meanders not between green hedges or noble trees, but is suggested rather than marked by rusty, decayed hut-houses guiltless of repair or refreshment.  The street is dusty, dry, dull.  Not a soul ventures out except the ill-omened presence of a rusty, black-robed priest, rejoiced to be rid of his thankless soliloquy in the church, itself also a fitting type of the place it has collected around it.  A few sad donkeys are eating up the cocoa-nut-rinds at the foot of the cocoanut-tree in the centre of the square, the only verdant thing that the ardent sun has spared.  Travellers arrive, not hurriedly arriving, or to depart, but as if an hour or a day more or less in a lifetime was not worth the effort of a thought.  A droning sound is heard from the house where was the fandango last night; one of the musicians, compelled by the force of inertia, is drumming still upon his sheep-skin stretched over the top of a hollow log.  But a noise more animating strikes the ear; two old women are shrilly slanging each other as only hag crones can abuse.  The stranger is excited.  Will they clapperclaw?  He approaches, and finds that this stormy warfare, is of words alone; the two old ladies sit tilted back against the wall, their countenances are unmoved, the Billingsgate flows spontaneously from their calm lips.

Whenever I desire stagnation, total, absolute, and perpetual, I shall seek it in some village of New Granada!


Hospitality is the virtue of scantily inhabited countries.  When a man can make his own room his castle at an inn, he ceases to become a social animal.  It is delightful in Oriental regions to be the guest of the Pacha, and to take your coffee and your pipe in his serene presence; but would the distinguished foreigner arriving at Washington be pleased were he forced to take his cocktail and cigar only at the Presidential mansion and in the

Presidential presence?  Infer not from this decay of hospitality, O reactionist, O laudator temporis acti, that man has become selfish, that this seclusion is from dislike of society.  No; for this is the great secret of the highest civilization, that it alone has made the independent development and perfection of the individual possible; it is only in a crowd that you can truly be alone.  The unenlightened draw together like trees in a copse, and are dwarfed.  Their public opinion is general, minute, Procrustean.  Public opinion enlightened is as simple as the noblest music and the highest art.  It says only, “To thine own self be true; thou canst not then be false to any man.”  Even in the dense forest of society a man may find a spot for spontaneous growth, and the sincere, untrammelled broadening of a character will always be worthy.  Cut off sunlight from the infant oak, or admit it only through a gap in foliage, and your tree will be stunted or grotesque.  The best education is one that starts a man in life emancipated from crushing conventionalisms; and that is a bad system that sends out machines or oddities, for oddity is in social life often only the unhealthy and distorted action of a vigorous character, which, if there had been no attempt at clipping or trimming, would have been marked, but not singular.

But to return.  Though I, as a civilized man, might not approve of the civility which obliged me to quit the unquestioned liberty and permitted sulkiness of my bachelor quarters at my inn for the abode of my millionnaire friend, yet it is very different in a country where there are no inns.  The village of Parita was, as I have hinted in my last chapter, not marked by the delicate neatness of its houses.  In fact, there was only one structure meriting the name of house.  This was inhabited by Don Pedro G., the representative of the district, just elected for a two years’ term.  It was easy to persuade ourselves, in reply to his kind invitation, that we were rather conferring than receiving a favor in becoming his inmates.  Don Pedro was a cultivated fellow; and, while our dinner was preparing, we fell into a literary chat.  He read me some verses from a Bogota newspaper dedicated to a young lady who bad been his particular star at a picnic to the Falls of Tequendama.

Presently dinner was announced by a girl bringing a small silver basin, and a thin linen towel, embroidered at the ends with gay flowers and birds.  Each guest performed his slight ablutions.

The house consisted of one large room, paved with tiles, rough and unfurnished.  Several small sleeping-apartments opened into it, and the kitchen and pig-yard were contiguous.  The ladies of the family did not appear occasionally, however, we had a glimpse of a slender form, limply undressed, and a dark, impassive face, “melancholy and mild-eyed.”  The calm indifference and resignation of all these people is more than Mahometan.  Time, is of no value; life seems of none.  Their answer to a question is Quien sabe, to a request, Poco tiempo.  But no doubt our activity and interest seem quite as unnatural to them.  Which is right?

They may be dilatory and indifferent, but the dinner, when it came at last, was artistic.  Happy is the man whose nature or cosmopolitan habits have made him omnivorous and unquestioning.

Our dinner commenced with a thick rice soup, very nice.  Then sancoche, a stew of beef, chicken, yam, plantain, and rice, with Chili peppers, strips of tasajo or jerked beef fried, a dish of boiled vermicelli, omelet with chopped pork, boiled ground maize finer than our hominy, fried and roasted plantain, thick tortilla, cheese, sweetmeats, and a sort of maize pudding called tamal.  Bordeaux wine was upon the table, and the dinner ended with coffee.  Our breakfast was nearly the same, except that we had chocolate instead of coffee.  Everything was offered with quiet hospitality and freedom.  Dimora V. en su casa.

My English friend picked up a nag in the course of the day, for which, under the pressure of need, he paid forty-five dollars, and, as he had brought a saddle, was henceforth independent.  It was not till noon of the next day that we others succeeded, by the kind aid of Don Pedro, in hiring “bestias.”  But I had no saddle, and our host could not let me depart without a complete outfit.  He rummaged among his stores, and produced a Galapago, or dilapidated English saddle.  Nothing had sat upon it lately but birds, and it looked like one of the Chincha Islands.  A girth was soon manufactured of ropes’ ends.  A neighbor supplied stirrup-leathers and a crupper for three dimes.  We disinterred from a heap of rubbish a monstrous pair of wooden Costa Rica stirrups, clumsy as sabots.  Shabby as the whole turnout seemed, it not only served me admirably, but I sold it at the end of the journey for four dollars, which I hereby promise to pay over to Don Pedro, in champagne or other liquid, when he comes to see me.  The half is more than the whole.  A saddle is sometimes more than a horse, and in South America, as well as among the North American Indians, will sometimes buy two.  Fortified by a letter of introduction to another great proprietor at Santa Maria, four leagues distant, we started about noon.

We rode again over green savannas, sprinkled with noble, broad-spreading trees, and with fresh, circles hedged in a belt of shrubs, and protected without against all intrusion by a belt of the prickly pimula, outlying the island like a coral reef.  Wild turkeys whizzed away before us; deer bounded away, as I have seen them, on the prairies of Illinois, fly startled from the whistle and roar of the intrusive train.

But this was too bright to last.  The rainy season was not over.  ’You have been under the sheet at Niagara?  Yes.  Then you have had a momentary impression of a rain in the tropics.  My shoulders were protected by a mackintosh, but my straw hats, I wore two, one above the other, not in Rafael Mendoza’s style, but on account of the heat, my hats were pervious, and the drops trickled by the way of my spine into my boots.  As we proceeded, we found dry ravines becoming water-courses, presently torrents, until at last we were obliged to wait at one swollen stream dum defluat amnis.  The rain ceased, and the brook fell visibly, as it had risen, and we plunged through.  Here a highly respectable old citizen, Don Ramon G., overtook us, and imparted life even to our apathetic Mexican companions by informing us that, unless we despatched we should find the river Costal impassable.  So it was hurry-scurry through the mud.  But it was too late the Costal was up.  We were beginning to think of a camp in the mud and water, when Don Ramon’s servant, who had been prowling about, discovered the semblance of a canoe across the stream.  He denuded himself and horse, and plunged in.  We meantime waded to an island, around a noble tree, and under its imperfect Shelter we unpacked our pulpy luggage.  Wet is the most disheartening thing to a traveller; to come into camp at night chilly and cramped; to spend a fruitless hour in trying to kindle spongy wood with flashes of wet powder; to try to relish a bit of damp biscuit with raw pork; to be deprived even of the consolation of a pipe; and at last to spread your wet blankets on the wet ground, and, yourself wet, to creep between them.  However, sleep comes even thus, and though it is disagreeable to wake by a louder blast and more pelting shower, and find that your weight has made a depression in the ground, and this depression has become a pond, still dawn comes, and you wake to the consciousness of misery.  Stiff though you be, cold and breakfastless, you must rouse, and, painfully packing and saddling, pursue your disconsolate way.  But the road is reviving, the sun appears, you are warmed and cheered; and when the nooning time comes, with a bright clear sky and a good fire, and your traps spread out to dry, you forget the past discomforts.  Though I have many times known nights such as I have described, fortunately on this occasion nothing of the kind was in prospect.  We were wet, to be sure, and shivering, with the thermometer at seventy-five degrees; but our lively little horses would soon gallop over the savanna to our resting-place, and the sun was scattering the thick clouds and throwing broad beams of glittering light across the plain.  As we stood waiting on the bank, a noble drove of the half-wild cattle of the country came by at full speed, the half-naked drovers shouting and plunging in among them.  They came galloping down to the bank, tossing their heads in the air.  One moment there was a tumultuous mass of picturesque cattle, the next only some tossing heads were seen scattered in the water.  With one grand conwulsion, as Mr. Weller would say, they struggled up and out upon the opposite bank, and then, with a snort and a shake, they scampered like a tempest away through the raindripping glade behind us, the air resounding with the curses of their drivers.

Meantime our goods had been ferried and our horses swum across.  Everything was in a pulp; but when you are once thoroughly in for anything, whether it be issuing spurious stock or a wetting, you are certain that things cannot be worse.  Don Ramon asked us to make them better by a little agua diente at his house, only a mile or so out of the way.  Leaving the woods upon the river we issued upon a vast savanna, stretching unbroken, save by a few exquisite islands of thick groves, far to the central sierra of the Isthmus.  The jagged summits cut sharp against the brilliant sky of sunset.  Over a few of the highest, white mists floated, snow-like.  At once there, came to my mind a sense of familiarity with the landscape.  Where had I known this boundless spread of meadow, where those clearly defined snow-ridges, cold before the last glow of twilight?  It was the plain of Lombardy, and my fog-capped mountains were the Alps.

Don Ramon was the owner of countless thousands of cattle, and they were selling in Panama, not one hundred miles off, for forty dollars per head; but nevertheless the residence of Don Ramon was little better than a shed, and the liquor which he called by courtesy Cognac was very untoothsome agua diente.  Still it was spirit, and infused itself into us, tingling through our chilled veins, and giving us an impulse for our night ride to Santa Maria.  The prairie would have been a glorious gallop when dry, but now we plunged wearily through the mud and water, and strayed about among the devious cattlepaths.  Beating and spurring my tired horse, and somewhat bored, though calmed, by the dim evening, now become dark night, and by the solemn grandeur of the deep blue mountains against the sparkling violet of the sky, I was by no means displeased when the flashes of myriad fire-flies gave place to the steady gleam of the village lights.

Don Marco received our letter, and, with no great empressement, I thought, gave us shelter.  Perhaps I misjudged him; the manners of the people are apathetic, and he profited enough by our visit to have felt a thrill of joy at our approach.  We were soon refreshed by hot coffee and dry clothes, and provided with hammocks and cots.  Then Don Marco and our Spanish companion talked droningly till we were lulled asleep.


I was informed, on credible authority, that Don Marco had forty thousand dollars in silver buried about his house.  His possessions in cattle straying over the unclaimed prairies were enormous.  He had three or four melancholy young sons, whom he intended sending to the United States to be educated.  He asked my advice on the subject.  I gave, him the best.  I wish I had given him the worst, the old villain.  He thought he had discovered a coalmine.  I hope he spent all his money, and found his coal black stone; for he sold me a horse.

He had promised to supply us with horses, and we had a most plentiful breakfast, in which a banana omelet figured nobly.  Presently arrived our friend Don Ramon, with a servant carrying two big bags of plata ($2,500), which he was to pay to Don Marco for cattle.  The sum was mostly in francs and half-francs.  They were fresh and bright from the mint, the first issue of Napoleon III.  As the half-franc is current in the country for the real, or eighth of a dollar, our shilling, it has been profitable to certain parties to import them largely into the country, a dodge well understood by omnibus drivers, and on the Staten Island ferries.  Don Marco and his major-domo seated themselves at opposite ends of a long table, and, piling up the sum in the middle, began to count in by four pieces into calabashes.

A sound of galloping announced the arrival of our horses, two for hire to the next stage and one for sale.  And I was to buy him.  Shade of Bucephalus! what a charger!  He had been, said our host, the favorite horse of his wife, but had now been turned out for a year.  If so, I do not wonder that she looked worn and melancholy.  The animal was a small, crisp, wiry stallion of a vicious yellow-dun color.  He looked like an ill-bred bull-terrier exaggerated into a horse.  His mane and tail were matted with briers.  He was hung with garrapatas; at every attempt to eradicate these, be snorted and jerked wildly at the hakima or hair-rope which fastened him.  His appearance was unprepossessing in the extreme but he was the only thing to be had, and he looked vicious enough to be hardy and enduring.  O Don Marco, who took advantage of the necessities of a traveller to sell him a most villanous beast, may your spirit expiate its crime in the world to come by riding saddleless and bridleless battered upon that beast to whom early in our acquaintance I applied the name of Bungo!  Then, Don Marco, thumped upon his back-bones when he pounds you in his trot, and bounced, as a pilot-boat bounces from crest to crest of waves in a chopping sea, from tail to ears of his skeleton as he gallops, may you shuffle, stumble, tumble, along to that limbo of unrepentant thieves, which, if there be any faith in religion, awaits you to all eternity.  Yet more, may your sons be sent to the United States; may they learn everything that young Spaniards generally learn; may they go home, and in your lifetime dissipate your hidden bags of plata; and may they be domineered in future by my progeny, inevitable Yankees.  Hector Hippodamos, hear my prayer!

We left Don Marco with a calm sense that we had been villanously cheated, for we had paid enormously for our fare.  But I, mounted upon Bungo, was too much occupied to express my sentiments of affectionate adieu.  Bungo did not wish to leave his native groves and fields; I persuaded him, first gently, with suggestive words and shaking of the bridle, then more decidedly with whip taps, and at last with repeated lunges of my cruel spurs.  When he concluded to go it with a sudden impulse, he did not, however, succeed in leaving me at that time.  I fought him for five miles, and had him tamed, as I thought; but suddenly there came up a shower; I pulled out my mackintosh, and, letting go the bridle for an instant, essayed to pass it over my head.  When I picked myself up from the mud, Bungo was half a mile on his way home.  Jose followed him at full speed, whirling his lasso, and I was soon remounted.

We passed an immense enclosure of green meadow, fenced in by a hedge of prickly wild pine-apple.  It must have contained at least a half-section.  Picturesquely grouped over its graceful undulations, or straying wild over the surface, were hundreds of horses, the late companions of my steed.  Here, as we passed through the copses, we found numbers of caoutchouc-trees, with their bright laurel-like leaves and drops of milk-white sap exuding from chance broken twigs.  They formerly exported much india-rubber from this neighborhood, but it was found that, selling the stuff by weight, they forgot to take out the stones they had used for a nucleus.  Toward evening, riding hard and steadily, we emerged upon a vast plain.  Before us it swept far away toward the horizon; the eye was lost in its reach, and in the imagination of a boundless stretch beyond the horizon.  This lake of verdure, only occasionally rippled by the breeze that chased the declining sun, flowed smoothly up to the base of the mountains, the main ridge of the Isthmus.  One mass of jagged peaks marked itself sharply against the sky, its glens and dells vibrating in a cobalt atmosphere, as the heat of the day seemed to quiver forth.  This Sierra of Olla is a landmark for a great distance; but upon the plain was an isolated conical hill stretching two long arms away from the parent range, and enclosing an exquisite bay of meadow.  Everywhere numberless herds of cattle were grazing, scattered occasionally by a dashing horseman, who emerged from the mass dragging a bullock by his lasso skilfully attached to the horns.  To the eastward the plain spread level to the sea, and sometimes the eye caught a bright gleam, as some adventurous wave sparkled upward to catch a last smile from the setting sun.  We galloped twelve miles over this level Llano of Pocri, and at sunset reached Pocri, a pastoral village.

We dismounted at the house of N.’s friend.  He was off shooting pigeons.  In front, a girl was occupied in strewing corn in a circle, like a fairy ring, of thirty feet in diameter.  Some religious ceremony, I thought, and quite in accordance with the primitive and charming simplicity of this patriarchal life.  Presently she stepped aside, and opened the gate of a small enclosure.  Then the pigs, not in a greedy tumult, as Americans at a hotel, but with the calm confidence of a man who goes to his own well-appointed table, at his own house, came forth and ranged themselves about this magic circle.  A verdant sward was spread, over their table.  They were chatty over their banquet, and occasionally some sally of one of them would rouse a unanimous murmur.  I inferred contentment and general development of the finer social qualities by the remarks they made, which were quite as intelligible as the ordinary conversation of similar select circles.  It is worthy of notice that the only meat served up was pork, but in the varied forms of ham, shoulder, side, cheek, head, toes, spare-ribs; in fact, they went the entire animal.  It was a scene for a Hogarth.

Our friend arrived with a string of pigeons and a small deer over his shoulder; He had also seen and shot at a tiger-cat.  We made a jolly supper and evening of it, and concocted, as appropriate to the meridian, a wonderful salad, a salad worthy of Sancho Panza; then we strung our hammocks here and there, and slept deliciously in the cool atmosphere of this subalpine locale.

We made but a short ride next day to Nata, passing along the wooded edge of the same magnificent Llano.  The cattle were very fine, generally of a delicate mouse-color, like those of the South of Europe.  One noble bull occupied in imperial solitude a beautiful glade of the forest, his fitting palace.  The woods were alive and resplendent with macaws, parrots, paroquets, doves, changames, and multitudes of unknown but beautiful birds; in all opening in the woods we found a council of turkey-buzzards surrounding in black deliberation their richly attired sovereign, el Cacique de los Gallinazos, and I had my first glimpse of the ocellated turkey, the peacock of turkeys.  All that ride I fought resolutely with Bungo.

Nata was quite a village.  The bells of its church were hung in a tower, and regularly rung with ropes, instead of being placed on a frame and tapped with a stone by the bare-legged sacristan.  The priest was a “brick,” a very jolly ecclesiastic of the hedge order.  He had tried marriage, then military life, and preferred his present state in the Church triumphant with good reason.  He was very sorry that we were not Christians, but Protestants, and asked if the priests among us were in his style.  He and quite a party were to go next day, the feast of the Annunciation, to Penonome, whither we were also travelling.


As usual, our horses were late next morning, and the priest was off an hour before us.  But our host of Nata, Jose Maria del Carmen Lopez, volunteered to guide us on our way; and when he was once on his prancing horse, out of sight of his wife, he determined very speedily to go himself to the great funcion at Penonome.  We had galloped all hour without overtaking the Padre, when, distant as far as the eye could reach on the plain, we saw what seemed a moving mushroom; it was perfectly black and most impish in its appearance.  This black pent-house, was supported by a slender light-colored stalk endowed with powers of rapid locomotion, for it succeeded in keeping pace with a figure which we should have thought a man on horseback had it not been provided with a pair of wings flapping freely on the air.  It was a couple of miles before we overtook these strange figures, and only deciphered them then by keen inspection; the figure on horseback was the old sacristan, who, out of sight of his master, had decorated his own person with the priestly vestments.  The animated mushroom was his son, a boy of ten years, trotting along with no clothes on whatever except the immense shovel bat of our friend the Padre, laid aside for a more convenient travelling affair.  Padre Grimaldo, as he was appropriately named, had ridden on to a farm-house for some refreshment, and there we found him in his glory (i. e. glorious).  Here he had joined other scattered parties proceeding to the revels, and, provided with bowls of chicha, they were taking a luncheon of queso con dulce, the cheese being a kind soft and nice, like fromage de Brie, and the dulce like soft molasses candy.  We, Los Senores Ingleses, were the lions of the occasion, and added even to the greatness of Padre Grimaldo.  A guitarist and violinist, with their instruments slung at their backs, had joined the party and gave earnest of future jollity.  And a, jolly cavalcade it was of some twenty, scampering at full speed over the smooth plain, making wide detours to every hacienda for a fresh orange or another bowl of chicha.  We kept up a complete row, especially when some pelting shower forced a general stampede for the nearest shelter, or when, fording some of the numerous streams that crossed our path, friend Poco-tempe, on his little gray nag, would be nearly submerged.  Great shouting there was for candela, and many witching exhibitions of horsemanship on the part of Jose del Carmen.  Some Senoritas joined us, and only heightened the life of the scene.  There was a full abandon of gayety, inconceivable to the grave Yankee.  We approached nearer the main chain of mountains, and, ascending a low plateau, rode in a body trampling up the main street of Penonome, and dismounted at the church in the Plaza,

Things are managed with such perfect calmness of manner by the people of the country, that an American supposes nothing is doing; but in a surprisingly short time we were inducted into one of the best houses in the town, which, by good luck, happened to be vacant, a cook hired, our hammocks slung, and everything made comfortable for a sojourn.  We dined with the Padre, and then walked with him about the place, enviously standing by while he was tenderly embraced by all the pretty girls in the village.  However, “any friend of the Padre” was sure to meet with a good reception, and we had no reason to complain.  The Padre sat among his reinas a picture of ecclesiastical content, bestowing kisses sporadically with a patriarchal simplicity truly charming.  A tapping of stones upon the bells proclaimed the time for evening service, and he was compelled to perform other duties, perhaps less agreeable.  We accompanied a detachment of the young ladies to church.  It was a plain stone structure, like all those of the country, with a wooden roof, rudely ornamented with painted panel-work, and supported by tall, slender, wooden columns, the altar ornamented with tawdry gilding and tinsel, and the choir at the other end in a gallery not unlike the sentry-boxes at Blackwell’s Island.  It was crowded with kneeling worshippers; and as the Padre, in a slightly crapulous voice, intoned the service, the responses rose with a solemn murmur.  The feeble light of a few lamps fell most picturesquely, upon the white-veiled and white-robed figures of the women kneeling, and crouching on the floor back of them was a circle of men, also all in white.  The effect was most striking.  Sometimes the music of the choir, generally harsh and squeaking, gave place to the wild and strange melody of the droning chants of the country.


Penonome, from its situation near the mountains, is recognized as head-quarters by the Indian’s of the interior, who, though retaining their own independent life, and inhabiting their own pueblos, come down once or twice a year, on the great festive occasions of the Church, to confess and pay their nominal taxes.  Their alcaldes are appointed by the government, and the priests retain some power over their superstitions; but besides this they seem to have little connection with their Spanish neighbors, except in the barter of their productions for goods.  Manchester has penetrated even here, and all the native cotton fabrics are reproduced so faithfully by English operatives, and are so much cheaper, that the domestic manufactures have nearly ceased.  The shawls (rebosos) of the women, of a peculiar and not ungraceful pattern, are used for veils, as well as mantillas.  These Indians have short, dumpy, but athletic figures, and clear, dark complexions, very black, straight hair, shaved short behind and on the top of the head, hanging in long elf-locks at the side, with a narrow coronet, or stiff wig, above the forehead.  Their heads are very long and narrow; so much so, that I found it impossible to fit myself with a straw hat among the assortments of native manufacture they had brought to the fete.  The women, like the men, are short and stout, none handsome, but with good, trusty faces.  In the morning the alcaldes of all the villages appeared, marching down to pay their taxes, and be blessed by Padre Grimaldo.  Much good, no doubt, the latter did them.  These respectable functionaries were dressed for the occasion in their diplomatic costume, fossil British navy coats, with skirts worse than those we are now wearing, decorated with an occasional button, old American militia uniforms, caricatures originally, as they all are, and one richly embroidered garment, once the pride of some French savant when he appeared as Membre de l’Institut.  A few of them had hats as outlandish as their costume, and with several the most essential part of a full-dress toilet had been altogether omitted, and they were sans culottes.  They were preceded and followed by a couple of bare-legged individuals, bearing each a long, slender ebony wand, acting as ushers of the black rod.

Our day passed pleasantly enough.  When you have nothing else to do in the tropics, you can always eat an orange; but we were not reduced to this of necessity.  The nearness of the serrated mountains, with their supporting ridges sloping off to the plain, gave a grandeur to the view.  We lounged about the village, chatted with the young ladies, laughed at their beaux, who were rigged out in antiquated black suits, and with queer hats, visited the perpetual fandangos, where a strumming was kept up varied by an occasional bit of doggerel verse in the time of the melody.  Our approach was a Signal for a fresh burst of an improvisation such as this:  “Here come two noble English gents.  Rata-tat rat-a-bump slam bang bumpo.  They have their pockets full of pence.  Rat-a-tit-a-tit cling clang thumpo.  They’ll give us some, and we’ll be richer, enough to buy five bowls of chicha.  Viva, viva los Senores Ingleses. clink-a-clink rat-a-tat thump-a-dido.”  The great lion of the festivity was the exhibition of fire-works that evening.  Our house was most conveniently placed for seeing.  They were ushered by an insane rattling of drums and bells, and numberless volunteered feux-de-joie on the part of the boys.  The display of rockets, candles, serpents, &c. was as much as one of our Fourth of July affairs would have been.  The finale was religious and grand; from the trefoil window of the church, supposed to represent Noah’s ark, a fiery dove issued, and, finding no rest for the sole of its foot on the wire, it ran along, it returned to the church, and, immediately issuing with a fiery olive-branch in its mouth, ran forward on another wire to a large lithographed picture of the Virgin, surrounded by wheels, candles, and serpents; it lighted this, and the whole went off in a blaze of glory, and the blessed Virgin was translated to the celestial regions in a mantle of flame.

Altogether I was delighted with Penonome and its funcion.  The conventional notions of morals and manners of the people were different, perhaps, from my own.  Their easy apathy in delays and difficulties was an example in practice of the perfect and sublime nonchalance necessary to the man who will roll through the world, teres atque rotundus, gathering none of the moss of local prejudice, nor fixing his countenance into a stare of gazing wonderment at new developments of human vanity, such as he has seen at home.  It is charming to discover, from actual experience, that women are fair and women are false, that men are wise and men are fools everywhere; that there is just as much hospitality in the heart of a South American, who makes you free of his banana-patch, or a Shoshokie Indian, who offers you a cake of grasshopper paste, or pulls you a handful of boiled salmon out of his pot, as has your metropolitan friend at his dinner of canvas-backs and Clicquot, or his supper of terrapins and toddy.  So I regretted the departure from Penonome, (name of melody,) embosomed in cocoa-palms and visited by fresh breezes from the mountains in the morning, and from the sea in the evening.  I regretted, too, leaving behind my companions, who were still to remain some days.

Mr. Jose Dimas, the son of our cook, was induced to accompany me as guide.  He was mounted upon a sorry nag, a nag which soon lay down in the road.  Jose had evidently been prepared for some such event, and had probably only desired to appear in the village as a caballero on his travels.  He very soon made an artistic pack of my traps, with thongs of bark, and led off at a jog-trot, putting Bungo to his mettle, and obliging me to keep up an alternate battery of my spurs.  We travelled. for some hours through a thicket of small shrubs, and at last, striking another lovely savanna, saw afar a fair island upon its surface, an island of palms.  Beneath their shade was the little village of Anton, now almost deserted for the attractions of the fete of Penonome.  Deserted too by those who had not shared in such gayeties, for three persons had died that day and had been carried out in the common bier to the common sepulchre at two shillings a head, less than I paid for my dinner!  Indigestions are very common, and the pleurisy, particularly at this season, carries off multitudes of these people of little vitality.  While I breakfasted on some capital roasted plantains, some inky clouds came pouring down from the mountains; in a few minutes a small stream near the village became a broad, deep river.  There was no more travelling that day.  Among the feathery branches of the cocoanut-trees the smooth green and brown nuts looked most tempting.  It is no easy thing to climb a stalk as smooth as a liberty-pole of eighty feet, but a young athlete of the village, stripping and tying his feet together around the trunk, worked himself up and supplied me with occupation in imbibing milk and scraping the cream.

The night was exquisite; and in the violet dawn, we found the river just passable.  The dry, ferruginous soil of the savannas had absorbed the rain; its effects were only perceptible in the brilliancy of the short grass.  This savanna of Chirie we were now traversing is one of the most celebrated in the country, and the neighborhood of the mountains affords a refuge for cattle in the dry season.  Over the whole expanse of the plain, cattle were grouped as buffalo on our prairies.  Enormous herds would rush by, followed by some wild horseman whirling his lasso.  O the glory of a gallop over these plains!  Even Bungo was aroused to some degree of spirit.  How the soul of the solitary traveller over these boundless lands expands, and goes leaping over the sweeping undulations!  With what utter scorn one remembers that his view was once checked by brick walls built by the paltry efforts of men!  Why, you might put all the cities in America within the circuit of my vision!

We left the savanna and turned off among high, bare sand-hills.  A strange roaring had been in the air; I suddenly turned sharp round a high hill, and there was the great swell of the blue Pacific bursting upon a glittering beach of sand.  A precipitous range of hills rose jutting above; we rode rapidly along, for the rising tide warned us that the jutting bluffs would soon be impassable.  I rode for three hours on the smooth, hard beach; the glare was terrible.  Never have I made the sea my own so grandly.  The high shore range shut me totally off from land or the thought of land.  The great crashing surges came down eternally; it was with great difficulty, and some danger of being swept away that we were able to pass the last projecting points, where the surf was already dashing violently.  Then we turned off to the little village of San Carlos, to wait until another fall of tide should allow us to pass the remainder of the beach at night.  Some large herds of cattle and swine were already encamped for the same purpose; as the darkness came on, their herdsmen surrounded them with a circle of watch-fires.  The sunset was grotesquely splendid; a great pink lizard, with a short tail, was seen escaping from a monstrous vampire, who himself was chased by Macbeth’s witches.

It was almost midnight before we were able to pursue our way.  The heavy surf was quieted, and the broad sea lay motionless under the glow of the stars.  The air palpitated with starlight; light seemed to be reflected, too, from the sea, where the images of the stars were broadened by the shifting surface.  We soon overtook the cattle crowded in the narrow space between the hills and the sea-shore, hurrying along, goaded by the herdsmen; as a little larger wave would plash more heavily on the sand, the whole black mass would sway tumultuously away like a crowd of men in a panic.  It was a strange, wild sight by the dim light.  The pigs were in advance long before we saw them we could hear their multitudinous sound, mingled with the noise of horns and the shouts of their drivers.  They scuffled along in a black phalanx, as a black mist on the hill-side.  We passed them, and were soon in the great night again.

Along the white path of the beach we could not miss our way, but when we reached the forest again, we must await the morning.  I slung my hammock under a dense tree, and, wrapping myself in my poncho, soon closed my eyes to the stars that twinkled through the branches.  Apropos of sleeping under a tree, they tell a story in Panama of a man who had committed a murder; he had escaped pursuit and wandered away into the recesses of the forest; when the heat of the day came on, he lay down under the shade.  Here the vengeance of God overtook him; the tree was the poisonous manzanilla, the upas, and he was found there a swollen and blackened corpse.

I had not long to wait for the dawn.  It revealed to me one of the most exquisite spots I have ever seen.  My sheltering tree was in the middle of an exquisite glade sparkling with dew.  High mountains enclosed it on all sides.  To the right the Cerro di Chame, whose steep front had terminated the beach, rose in a verdant slope, its side sprinkled with huts like Swiss chalets; on the other hand, the, main ridge of the Isthmus overhung, wooded with immense trees up to the foot of a bold, towering crag.  Each little cabin in this lovely glade had its own group of orange and cocoa-nut trees, each its own unenclosed space of the undulating greensward, each its own view of the massive mountains.  Here my journey culminated; and when a beautiful Daphne issued from one of the houses to pluck her dewy head-dress of oleanders and her refined morning repast of oranges, my resolution nearly gave way; what could civilization offer like this?  On these noble plains, one pest of the tropics, the insects that infest the forests, are removed.

Now commenced the real difficulty of the journey.  Our road was a mountain path over a succession of rocky ridges, where the rains had washed away everything except great boulders, over which the unshod feet of Bungo, accustomed only to a carpet of turf, were to clamber.  A broad path was kept clear through the impenetrable forest.  Wonderful views opened, from time to time, over the sea and the islands.  This was a trip of fatigue; all that was not mud was big stones.  Jose Dimas plodded steadily along, travelling much more rapidly over the stones and through the deep mud than my horse could do.  This was the Camerio Real, and, like royalty in America, it was in decay.  I endeavored to indoctrinate Jose with a respect for internal improvements, should he ever be a man in power.  About three o’clock I rode into the muddy village of Capeira, and asked lodging at the best house I could find.  Victor Fernandez, my host, was a gentleman, and his housekeeper prepared me an admirable meal of things I sent out to buy.  Panthers were very abundant, and Fernandez had himself offered a bounty on their heads, which had produced seven.

The next day was a weary one.  Even in the worst spots of the Cruces Road I had never seen anything to compare with the profound mud and the slippery stones that my beaten horse had to pass.  I had still maintained that the hill-side above the entrance of the pass of Thermopylae was the worst bit of road in the world, but now I yielded.  There were alleys, too, worn in the clay soil by torrents of rain.  From one, on entering alone, I could extricate myself only by digging my hands deep in the side and allowing my horse to pass out under me, while I hung suspended.  The rascal, who had seemed utterly exhausted, tried to escape; but fortunately I was behind and Jose before in the alley, and he was again mounted to be again belabored.  At last all our troubles ended; the forest was passed, no more mud, no more stones, but again a beautiful Llano, with its amphitheatre of distant mountains.  The Lu Chorrera, famed for its beautiful girls, received me, and in the house of the priest, my hammock slung in the breeze, I saw Bungo limp off, with worn hoofs and battered knees, to repose upon the grass.  I rested.  They gave me a supper in the style of the country, with a capital dish of rice, sprinkled with small crabs, and highly seasoned with ahi.

On the evening of the next day I rode down to the landing, over a beautiful, undulating country, and when the tide rose enough to cover the roots of the mangroves, I embarked in, not on, a bungo, and by the soft moonlight was wafted along among small islands, till dawn and the freshening breeze wafted me back to the semi-Americanized life of Panama.  I had seen and loved the pastoral life of the tropics, and I sighed as I looked down upon the bay once more, though soon my unreal life upon its shores was to terminate.  And without regret I returned from the dreamy Pacific to the restless, burdened waves of the Atlantic Sea.

The end

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