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“is Kuya afraid to ride further into the character. Kaya appears more grieved country of the Flatheads ?". " When than angry, and is evidently deeply Kaya was a boy, he sold fear for moved. Come, seat yourself and make scalps," replied the mountaineer; "and the best of it.” The friends threw he is now a grown-up man; but he has themselves upon the ground, Wilson crossed the mountains-has he not kept subduing his vexation, as, for the first his faith ?" and, receiving no answer to time, he marked the troubled look in the his inquiry, he coolly alighted, lifted the stern, dark eye of the celebrated guide, light pack from the back of his tired of whom he had heard so much, and horse, knelt, and tied a broad deer-skin became more anxious to learn the cause thong above the pasterns of the ani. of his strange behavior. mal, and then drove him forth to move, The pipe passed slowly round the step by step, along the rich pasturage little circle, and a short interval of of bunch-grass by which they were sur- silence elapsed; then Kaya stood up rounded.
and faced the friends, with bis hand He then sat quietly down on his extended. He was a splendid type of saddle, and, taking out a bag of kini humanity, full six feet in height, deepkinik,* filled his stone pipe, light chested, broad-shouldered, but rather ed it, and, first offering it to his compan- sinewy than muscular. His form was ions, smoked as composedly as if still indurated by exposure, and erect as if in the commodious lodge where they he had never encountered the fifty years sought him, on the banks of the Mis- of hardship which had streaked his dark souri. The hot blood of Wilson fired hair with gray. He stood forward like at the supposed insult. “Are we to be the genius of the old mountain-path, bought and sold by this crazy voyageur and was gorgeously clad in the costume in this manner," he said ; "he has gal. of his race. It was a gala visit, and, to loped bis half-wild horse throughout the go into the country of the Flatheads, day, broken down both our ponies, and Kaya had donned his mountain finery. now, when the evening air begins to His hunting-shirt of softly-dressed anterecruit them, and there is a reasonable lope skin, and white as snow, was ornahope of reaching the Mission, he turns mented with stained elk-hair, and fringed bis dare-devil nag loose, and sits down with the small colored beads of the forts. to enjoy a comfortable pipe. Halloo! The broad leggins which he wore were sirrah !" he continued, " what does all fringed with scalps throughout their this mean?. Get up and saddle your length, and the bells upon
his shoulders horse, or I'll sound your senses with a shook musically at his slightest moverevolver bullet."
ment. The half-breed had taken from his buck- “Kaya is a man," he said ; “his skin pouch a number of bullets, and was word is like a brook, which does not attentively counting them-telling them turn back and run again up the mounoff in sections of ten, and breaking & tain. White men are like streams that blade of grass for each little heap of the beavers dam up; but it would take lead which he thus enumerated. "Speak many sticks and more mud and brush to the yellow hound,” said Wilson; “I than grow on the bottoms of the Marias verily believe him crazy; he is mutter- to stop the Kaya. My brother is very ing to himself, and counting his bul- young," be continued, turning to Willets." "Hush,” replied Gardiner ; "the son ; " he has set many things down in man is in trouble. Something has oc- the little book that he carries. Let him curred of which we know nothing, and say to it one thing more, that it may the pride of Kaya does not permit bim speak very loud to his nation when he to explain it. We engaged him, you gets home to the distunt lodges. Let know, only to cross the mountains, and him say to it that a grizzly does not dig here we are. We must sit down and roots when the berries of the swamps are smoke with him, and wait until the ripe, and a half-breed does not stop on spirit moves. These men of the moun. an open trail without a reason. There tain are red Quakers—they have the is a Piegan band on the plains of the moroseness of the Indian, with all the Missouri. I have counted more moocaevil pride of the white race to give it sin tracks than my fingers can number
The leaf of the mountain cranberry, used by the northern half-breeds as a substitute for tobacco. The same term is applied to the inner bark of the red willow.
twice held up. I must ride fast to save that, your tired horse will never bear my squaw and my papoose, but I have you back again to your lodge." crossed the mountain-Kaya has kept Kaya again stood up: “Men of the his faith. Here is the first water of the settlements,” he said, " are like tall western slope ; follow the trail ; the path weeds_when the wind blows from the is open and there is no danger, for we north, they bend down to the earth ; bavo come fast, and are deep in the and when the south wind blows, then country of the Flatheads. When his they lean again toward the regions of horse is rested, and the night has come, cold. They are like children
-80 very Kaya must ride again." Raising his small that the little stalks of the prairio hand, and throwing back his head, he grass can throw them down. My brostruck bis chest a smart blow, and ther is a chief of his nation, but he has uttered the deep, guttural sound which, forgotten that Kaya is a free man. He in Indian custom, signifies the earnest- has no chief. He has never packed for ness of the narrator in the meaning of the company at the fort. He has never the words he has spoken. He then pounded pemmican, nor broken corn be. seated himself in an attitude of atten- tween two stones like a squaw. Kaya tion, to listen to what his auditors is a warrior, and his mother was a might have to communicate.
woman of the Chippewas of the north, Gardiner waited a few moments, and the daughter of a chief; yet the heart then, rising and facing the half-breed, of a strong man is to-day quite weak. said to him: “ Kaya, was it not wrong A very little child, who is neither white to keep from us your knowledge that nor red, bas held a bow over him, which the signs we saw this morning were is as bright to Kaya as the red sign in those of the Blackfeet? We might the clouds after a summer rain--but have wished to return to the fort, and Kaya has no power to bend it. Kaya it is now too late. But it is madness is now very feeble; his heart is soft as for you to think of going back ; your an old squaw's when she hears the gray horse and white dress will be at scalp-whoop for the last of her children ; once noticed on the open prairie. I but Kaya has been strong enough to have too much interest in your welfare keep his word – he has crossed the to permit it. You must explain your mountain, and to-night he will go back self more fully before I consent to such and fight for a daughter of the Crows, a risk as you seek to encounter; besides who left her people to come into his lodge, and for the little child that she dedicated bimself to a forlorn hope-a bides in her blanket where she is wait- desperate, wild endeavor, and he knows ing for him.”
very well that every detail of our late The friends renewed their importuni. conference and a description of his own ties, but without effect. The taciturn movements will be required from us by half-breed would not continue to answer his fierce companions. He has put on their questions. He arose and went to his war-paint, and is prepared for death. the brook, bathed his thick locks, and, But, like the animal whose name he after a long ablution, returned to them bears, in my opinion Kaya* will die with stripes of red across his fine fea. bard. He has been known to kill ten tures; others extended from the roots buffalo or bison in a single run, or beof his hair to his chin.
fore his horse tired. I have never de“He signs himself with the cross, at scribed to you the manner in which any rate," said Wilson. “Now, what these half-breeds of the north hunt the do you suppose Kaya means by such bison. Although better weapons have confounded flummery? He is, in re- been offered to them, they still use the ality, a most sensible fellow, and speaks old northwest or Hudson Bay Comthe English language more correctly pany's light flint-lock gun. Mounted than many a Yankee.”
“Only,” re- on their fine horses, they ride up to the plied his companion, “ that Kaya leeward of a herd of bison. At a givprobably believes that we are the last en signal, start at full speed. Each of his race, or, rather, the last of his rider holds in his mouth ten spare bulfriends whom he will ever see. He has lets. They approach the bison on the
HUNTING THE BISON,
right or off side. The gun is not placed at the shoulder, but held breast high, and discharged with great accuracy. The bison is shot either in the heart, or across the spine at the kidneys. Each bull is brought to the ground with a single bullet. The hunter, riding at full speed, now places the butt of the gun upon his foot, pours another charge of powder into his hand, which is clasped to prevent the wind or rapid movement from causing the loss of the • villainous saltpetre,' places it in the gun, and, taking a bullet from the half score he has held in his mouth, drops it into the barrel of the arın, without
using the rammer. The wet bullet sticks fast on reaching the powder; the gun, by a jar against the stirrup, is primed; and the rider, who is all this time galloping at racing speed in the midst of the dust and confusion of the maddened berd, is ready to select the next fat bison as a victim.
It is my opinion, that were Kaya's horse fresh, he would make a terrible running fight to his lodge. He has been engaged trapping the beaver, on the upper meadows of the Missouri, where we found him. His canoe is there, and will permit his squaw to es cape with her child to the fort ; there
fore I do not precisely understand his and, with this savory addition to their extreme anxiety, which he does not evening meal, it was soon ready and seem inclined to explain to us."
finished. As the conversation ended. Kaya An hour later, the travelers lay on came gracefully forward.
6. You are
their couch of blankets, beneath the both tired with a long ride,” he said; bower of bent boughs which the care “sit upon the earth; it is thus men of Kaya had provided, and the wild grow strong." He then quickly strip- half-breed, with his feet to the fire, and ped the trappings from the animals, the starlit sky for a covering, slumhobbled them, turned them loose, and bered as calmly as if untried by sorrow. performed the ordinary service of the " There," said Wilson. he has alcamp with an alacrity and skill which ready thought better of his resolution ; astonished the travelers.
mark how soundly he sleeps. He has He cut long willow rods by the no intention of taking the midnight ride, brook, and sharpened a stake, which after all. He is like the rest of his he then drove into the earth near French race—all talk and splutter. the fire he had kindled of pitch-wood. These fellows always remind me of Then, pulling it up, he placed up- roasting apple.". right in the orifice thus made one of “You, not unlike many other Ameri. his willow rods. In this manner he cans,” replied Gardiner, “cherish the made an oval of upright wands. He idea of Saxon parentage, and believe no then braided or wove together the top- race equal to your own. You forget most branches of the willows. To that the great explorer, Frémont, is of these he lashed cross-braces with coup- French origin, and that from the French lings of withes and bark. Within he peasantry were formed the immortal placed the blankets of the travelers. armies of Napoleon. The father of
While Gardiner prepared the coffee, Kaya, however, was a Scotchman. His and took charge of that portion of their mother was a sister of the great Holemeal which partook of a more civilized in-the-day'—or the Shadow-chief of the character. Kaya sought some grasshop- Chippewas. But I am too tired to talk, pers. These unfortunate insects he and as Kaya does not seem to see the lashed with a horse-hair to the fish- necessity of keeping guard to-night, book of a line of the same material. and as the horses are bobbled, suppose
we try to sleep.".
It was late in the day when the young men awoke. Kaya was gone.
“Now," said Gardiner, triumphantly, “ what do you think of the midnight ride? Kaya is half way to the mouth of Beaver river, and all we have to do is to catch up,' as the mountaineers term it, and go on.” “Go on,” returned his companion; "we should do well to go on, neither of us speaking a word of the Flathead tongue, and interlopers from the land of an enemy. Culbertson warned us, that if we met the companies of the Nez Percés, we should be in great danger, and, on no account, to attempt the incursion without Kaya; and Culbertson's word, as you have always affirmed, is mountain-law. Now, what I propose is, to pack and return towards the fort. We can take the upper trail,
and thus avoid any danger from the He ran down to the stream, and soon Blackfeet. returned with several of the splendid “ Better follow Kaya,” rejoined Gartrout of the western slope of the Rocky diner. • The Blackfoot party is going Mountains. These be transfixed, from toward the south; probably they are tail to gills, with a sbarp, thin rod. The seeking the Crow tribes, to steal horses ; rod he placed upright before the fire, Kaya will ride straight to his wife and child, and then push for the fort, or, “Men armed with Sharp's rifles and perhaps, up Teton river. I will stake a pair of dragoon's six-shooters each, the half-breed against the Blackfeet if should not hesitate to follow where a he ever reaches his mountain brood and half-breed has gone with a single flintcanoe.'
lock gun," said the fiery southerner. • It is at least a half-day's journey They rode rapidly on. Toward the before we can leave the mountain- close of the day, a sound, never heard pass,” said his companion. “We can, unnoticed in the wild domain of the lo. at any rate, pack and start."
dian, startled them to a sudden halt and Their arrangements were soon made, wakeful attention. and they turned back upon the trail. “That was not the report of a rifle,"
said the experienced Gardiner; “it was an Indian gun."
"Perhaps shot at an antelope or buffalo,” rejoined his friend.
At this moment two other shots were heard.
“ From Indian guns," said Gardiner, in reply. to the inquiring look of his com
panion; “not a rifle yet. It is no buffalo-hunt. There are no herds of buffalo so high up the country at this season of the year. It is, doubtless, the Kaya, the bola
grizzly of the THE MARCH ON THE BACK TRAIL.
taken by the They saw the indented toe-marks made Blackfeet and fighting for his life.” by the unshod hoofs of the wild moun- “We will go to him,” said Wilson. tain-steed of the half-breed, who had “By heaven, no Carolinian ever forapparently ridden with the same head- sook a friend in need. I spoke harshly long speed, through the dark hours of to him last night, and I will now aid the night, that had characterized their him, if they burn me at the stake. Let progress of the previous day.
us on,” he continued, spurring his jaded They pushed on, and at noon had horse. reached the eastern extremity of the Stop," said the stern New Eng. pass.
lander. “This is no boy's play. Let They could see the broad rolling us be men. We will fight for Kaya; country of the upper Missouri, broken but God gives to man discretion that by the great waters of the Beaver, Sun, he may use it The grass is high. We and Teton rivers, spread out before can approach these beasts, who have them.
not the scent of the wild animals of the Here they made a short halt, to re- plains, and aid the mountaineer better cruit their tired horses, took refresh- by aiding him with judgment.” ment, and in their conference decided Gardiner had turned in his saddle to to ride towards the camp of Kaya. address his companion, and he sat upon