Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive
 

In the spring of 1868 I obtained employment with a man named Powell who owned a store at Baxter Springs, Kas. Powell owned a train of six wagons, all drawn by four-mule teams, which he kept on the road hauling lumber and supplies from Leavenworth to Baxter. Much has been written about Dodge City, Caldwell and Abilene as wild and woolly towns in frontier days. None of them was livelier than Baxter Springs, especially after the completion of the railroad to that point. Baxter was the northern terminus of a trail from Texas across Indian Territory, Indian Territory was infested by the most desperate class of men I ever saw, most of whom were citizens of that lawless country. Baxter Springs supplied in abundance all that the most dissipated character could wish for in the way of whisky, women, gambling and fighting. The story of the early days at Baxter would make a fascinating book.

At Baxter I saw the battleground where Quantrell, the guerrilla, captured General Blunt's supply train in 1864. The capture was virtually a horrible massacre by this blood-thirsty "partisan ranger" and his men. I was told that Quantrell got General Blunt's uniform, and afterwards wore it. I could still see the bullet marks on the trees where the fight took place.

I remember with Powell most of that summer, hauling from Kansas City part of the time. I was still bent upon getting further west. I thirsted for adventure, but as yet had seen only the mere fringe of it. At the end of several months, I went to Leavenworth with a lot of freighters, and there met up with a man named Cox who was hiring men to go with a mule train to Fort Hays. I hired to Cox, as did Sam Harkness, a companion with whom I had worked all summer. To our great satisfaction, we found that the mules, which had been shipped from Missouri and Kentucky, were all broke, and by no means the desperate "shave-tails" that confronted me when I started from Leavenworth for the first time.

These were exciting times. The very air buzzed with news of Indian depredations. The Government was rushing troops and supplies to the front, as if the world were coming to an end. The Indians had broke out again, and were leaving a trail of blood and ashes in the valley of the Solomon, where settlements were in abject terror, not knowing at what moment a swiftly moving war party might descend and murder the inhabitants, burn the buildings and drive off the livestock. Worst of all was the nature of the cruelties inflicted by the Indians upon all who fell into their clutches. The outrages upon women were too horrible to be described. The forays extended into the Saline valley.

The Indians had kept the treaty that had been made at Medicine Lodge the previous year only until the moment the grass was green enough to feed their ponies and bring back the buffaloes. The Indian was able to live and flourish solely upon buffalo meat, and so long as he had buffalo meat he would eat no other, not even venison, antelope or wild turkey.

Cox loaded his six hundred mules and his drivers aboard train and we started over the Kansas Pacific for Fort Hays. This railroad now extended as far west as Denver. We reached Fort Hays October 15, 1868. The fall was cold and disagreeable with lots of rain. To add to our discomfort, really our misery, we found that all the mules, big fellows from Missouri and Kentucky, were as wild as wolves, not one of them having been broke. Worst of all there was no time to break them. The Government wanted supplies rushed forward with all possible haste to what was known as Camp of Supply, afterwards Camp Supply, a military garrison, at the junction of Beaver and Wolf Creek in what is now Woodward County, Oklahoma.

The "wild west" performances in recent years were tame affairs compared with the handling of those mules. It was with a feeling of desperation that each man crawled out of his warm bed in the half light of early morning, ate his breakfast and then went out into the raw, drizzly cold to harness his mules. Kicking, squealing and bucking, they wore out a man's patience, and he was tempted to use his six-shooter on the devilish animals. To get them harnessed and hitched and the wagons strung out was a Napoleonic job. Once on the road, however, there was little to do beyond holding the mules in line, as the wagons were too heavily loaded for the mules to run away. When everything was moving, there were one hundred wagons and six hundred mules going down the trail. Our discomfort was increased by the fact that much of the time the ground was covered with snow. Our supplies were to equip Custer's command that later was to fight the battle of the Washita and wipe out Black Kettle and his band, to be followed still later by General Sheridan's going south and whipping the hostiles so badly that they never fully recovered their courage. The Indians were subdued mostly by the fact that the Government made a winter campaign, something that the Indians had never experienced. They were caught between the guns of the soldiers and the necessity of having food, shelter and warmth for their families and feed for their ponies. Defeat was inevitable under such dire circumstances.

The first day out we got to Smoky Hill River and camped for the night. We then pulled to Walnut Creek, and the third day brought us to Pawnee Fork. Between this place and what is now the town of Buckner, Kas., we had a stampede that for real excitement beat anything I had ever seen. The mules ran in every possible direction, overturning wagons, and outfit colliding with outfit until it looked as if there would never be a pound of freight delivered at Supply. Many of the wagons were so badly demolished that they had to be abandoned and left behind. Their loads were piled on other wagons and carried forward.

Our route carried us past Saw Log Creek, Fort Dodge--there was no Dodge City at that time--Mulberry Creek, and thence to Bluff Creek. Here we sighted buffalo, the first we had seen on the trip. As we advanced further from the border of civilization buffalo grew more plentiful, so plentiful that between Bluff Creek and the Cimarron a big herd of stampeding buffaloes bore squarely down upon our train. Things looked squally, as there was danger, not only of being run over by the buffaloes but of our mules running away, a disaster that would have been costly. A troop of cavalry was deployed to drive back or turn the oncoming herd. Every man in the outfit got out his gun, and we were able to give the buffaloes a reception that brought many of them to the ground, saved the mule train, and filled our pots and skillets with fine meat.

We reached Camp Supply at the end of a twelve days' journey. The supplies were unloaded on the ground and covered with tarpaulins. The site had been chosen by General Sully, upon the recommendation of an old scout, "Uncle John" Smith, who had been on the frontier about thirty years, and is said to have been the first white man that ever visited the country bordering the two Canadians. We did not see a single Indian during the trip to Supply.

  

Wood-hauler Found Scalped Near Fort Dodge

Returning to Fort Hays, we made a second trip down without mishap. But trouble was in store for us on our way back. The unloaded wagons were comparatively light, and the mules could easily pull them. We were driving two wagons abreast. Nobody ever knew what scared one of the rear teams, but it certainly got scared, and that particular outfit was soon going in the direction of Missouri and Kentucky at the rate of about thirty miles an hour. The rattling and banging and jolting of the wagon, and the shouting and swearing of the driver caused a tumult that spread panic among other teams and the stampede quickly reached the lead teams. So here we went, in every possible direction. It was impossible to hold the mules. Wagons were overturned, broken and scattered over the prairie for miles, and some of the mules were so badly crippled that they had to be shot. Some tore themselves loose from their harness and ran so far away that they were never found. The spectacle of those six hundred mules running away with their one hundred wagons was the most remarkable I ever witnessed.

One outfit, including both the wagon and the six mules, disappeared completely. I found them in 1871 when I was hunting buffaloes on that range. The wagon and the carcasses of the mules were in a draw or small canyon, about 12 miles from where the stampede began. In their headlong course, the mules could not stop when they came to the brink of the draw, so in they went, with the wagon piling on top of them. They were still hitched to the wagon, but badly tangled in the harness. In the wagon was an Army needle-gun, which showed that I was the first person to reach the spot.

After this experience, the mules were harder than ever to control, and would "run at the drop of the hat" or the flip of a prairie dog's tail.

Fort Hays, at this time was the supply point for all the Government forts to the south, and remained as such until the Santa Fe railroad came through in the fall of 1872. I remained at Fort Hays until the fall of 1869, and this was my last work for the Government until 1874, when I was employed as a scout and guide under General Miles. During the five years I had been making my own way in the world, I had worked for the Government most of the time.

I was now eighteen years old, in perfect health, strong and muscular, with keen eyesight, a natural aptitude for outdoor life, an excellent shot, and had a burning desire to experience every phase of adventure to be found on the Plains. I had worked all the summer of 1869 with George Smith and Tom Campbell, and liked them so well that we had planned fitting up an outfit to hunt and trap that winter. So along in November the three of us bought a good team and wagon, traps and provisions, and guns and ammunition and started north along the Saline River. Campbell was an old trapper and knew how to take beaver, which were fairly plentiful along the streams.

My happiness now seemed complete, and I enjoyed to the fullest every moment of my life. Storm nor darkness nor hunger nor toil cooled my ardor in the slightest degree. We caught not only beaver, but several otter. Wolves abounded everywhere, and we trapped a large number. Their pelts were worth from $2.50 to $3 each. In this way we put in the winter, and made good money. We had a warm, comfortable dugout, with plenty of wood and water. I had no wish to return to a city. At intervals we would take a load of game to Hays City, where there was a ready market. Once we took in a load of elk, and got twenty dollars apiece for the carcasses.

The hunting of buffaloes for their hides began in the spring of 1870. That was also the beginning of the destruction of the buffalo. As I remember, the hunting was started by a firm of eastern hide-buyers whose agents came to Hays City and other towns near the buffalo range and offered prices, that made hide-hunting a profitable occupation.

We were in the very heart of the best buffalo country between the Dominion of Canada and the Rio Grande, and quickly abandoned trapping for buffalo hunting. The first offers were $1 each for cowhides and $2 each for bull hides, which enabled us to make money rapidly. As the slaughter increased, and the buffaloes grew scarcer prices were advanced, until $4 was being paid for bull hides by the fall of 1872.

During the winter of 1870 we ranged all over western Kansas, but principally along the Republican River and its tributaries. Generally, there were three or four men in an outfit, each having contributed his share for necessary expenses. They went where the range was best, and buffaloes most plentiful. A dugout was built and occupied as permanent headquarters camp, the hunters ranging for miles through the surrounding country. The only kind of dugout worth having was one with a big, open fire-place, near the edge of a stream of good water, with plenty of wood along its banks. We often occupied the same dugout for a month or more. Then, as the buffaloes grew less plentiful, we shifted our camp and built a new dugout, which was easily and quickly done.

From where the buffaloes were killed in the range, we hauled the hides to camp, where we dried them and hauled them to market. Though I was not quite eighteen years of age, there were very few men who could excel me in marksmanship, which possibly was a natural gift supplemented by more or less constant practice.

I always did my own killing, and generally had two experienced men to do the skinning. A capable man could skin fifty buffaloes a day, and usually was paid $50 a month. I have paid as much as twenty-five cents a hide to a good skinner. We often killed the buffaloes the day before they were to be skinned.

During the fall, Smith and Campbell grew tired of the business and wanted to quit. I bought the outfit, and straightway hired two men to work for me, and started out killing buffaloes more energetically than ever. One of my skinners was a Mexican and the other a man named Perkins.

Up to this time I had hunted north of the Kansas Pacific railroad, and as far west as Fort Wallace. As the fall advanced, I began ranging further south, as the buffaloes were becoming somewhat scarce. I was moving toward a country of future trouble--trouble with Indians--and to a region where in time I should meet with more adventure than I had ever dreamed of.

We moved south of Hays City about ten miles and came to a boiling spring that flowed from an opening in solid rock. Here we decided to make our permanent camp for the winter, so we built a picket house and a big dugout, expecting to dry a lot of buffalo meat for market, but finally abandoned this scheme. Our camp was on a main-traveled road leading to Hays City. Freighters and hunters urged me to establish a road ranch or store, where such supplies as were used in that country could be purchased in reasonable quantities. Having some spare money, I stocked up with tobacco, whisky and a general line of groceries, and employed a man named Billy Reynolds to run the place for me, while I devoted my time to killing buffaloes. Many a jolly company gathered at the road ranch at the boiling spring. The sale of whisky was a common practice in those days, as whisky was freely used by frontiersmen, and its sale was expected as a matter of course. Other conditions were too hard and too pressing for the question of the morals of the traffic to be raised as it was in later years, when the country became more thickly settled, and an entirely new order of things was established.

I was well acquainted with Reynolds, and liked him, having formed his acquaintance on the Custer expedition to Camp Supply in 1868 when he was a mule-driver. He was a friendly, whole-souled kind of fellow, and knew just how to treat men to get their trade. I made good money out of this venture until 1871 when the income abruptly and permanently ceased--during my absence Reynolds sold the whole outfit and skipped the country, without even telling me good bye. I had been absent two weeks when I returned one day to find only the empty building. I never again heard of Billy Reynolds. I doubt that his robbing me was ever to his final advantage. Money obtained in that way never brought good luck, even in the Plains country, where men were judged by rougher standards than prevailed further east.

I formed another partnership with a man named Finn, who was square and honest, and sold him an interest in the business. I had known him a number of years. He added another good team to the outfit. He had been a Government teamster and had served in the Civil War. He was a good story-teller, and when the day's work was done, and we were comfortably seated around the fire, nothing pleased me more than to get Finn started telling stories. He was a native of Ireland, which gave a fine spice to his tales.

Finn and I hunted together about a year. During this time I had for a skinner another Irishman, a man named Mike McCabe. Mike had red hair, and a fiery temper. But he was a fine fellow, and I thought a great deal of him. He was one of the best workers I ever saw. Mike would fight at the drop of the hat, and again would sulk for weeks at a time over a fancied wrong. The men nicknamed him "Cranky" or "Fighting" McCabe. When he was in good humor a livelier fellow could not be found, but the moment he got a grouch he clouded up like a Panhandle thunderstorm.

The only thing in the world McCabe was afraid of was an Indian, of which I shall write later. Though small in size, McCabe would fight a man twice his size, and always give a good account of himself. His consuming passion was gambling, and when he struck town he invariably lost everything he had at the card table. He worked for me, off and on, for three years, and was with me at the fight at Adobe Walls.

During the time McCabe was with my outfit the two of us got along amicably, save when he would imagine that the world was against him, whereupon in a great huff he would quit, draw all his pay, and strike out for the nearest town--and its first gambling house within his reach. There he would remain until his last dollar was gone. Some fine morning McCabe would show up with beaming face and good-natured blarney, take his old job, and work even better than before.

Once he had been sulking for almost a week and had not spoken to a man in camp. When we started hunting, we decided to pull out and leave him at the ranch alone, which we did. After making our kill of buffaloes, we started back. When we got in sight of the ranch we were astonished at seeing McCabe dancing on a dry buffalo robe stretched on the ground. He was giving all the fancy steps and dancing as if a full orchestra were playing. Upon seeing us, he stopped dancing, and seemed chagrined. He had been entertaining himself. His conduct was rather laughable.

I rarely ever made a full settlement with McCabe, as he preferred to draw his pay in installments. I paid him fifty dollars a month. Sometimes he would have several hundred dollars ahead, and again he would be considerably overdrawn. Finally, he decided he would quit for good. Getting down to the job of a settlement, I carefully figured each item and found that just two dollars were due him, whereupon he said, with a twinkle in his eye, "It beats the devil that a man should work three long years and get just two dollars." He went away in good humor, and we were always warm friends.

Finn and I were together until the next fall. He then took a notion to go back east and visit his folks, whom he had not seen since the Civil War. He was a frugal man, and did not smoke, chew tobacco nor drink whisky. His share of the year's work amounted to $5,000, which gave him a pretty good stake. He went to Rochester, New York, invested his money and was soon doing a profitable business. Several years afterwards he wrote to me saying that he longed to come back to the Plains country and its free life, but he never came.

Before Finn went away we had taken into partnership a man named Jack Callahan, who had been a Government wagonmaster at Fort Hays. Jack never saw the dark side of things, and was a delightful companion. During the winter of 1871 Jack and I were hunting on the headwaters of Pawnee Fork, drifting back and forth from there to Smoky Hill and Walnut Creek and their tributaries. Our permanent camp was on Hackberry Creek, a branch of Pawnee Fork. Along in November we had one of the worst blizzards I ever saw. It was this terrible storm that caught a wagon train loaded with cordwood for Hays City. This was Snuffer's bull train. All the cattle froze to death. The men were in a frightful condition when found. The outfit had been to Camp Supply with freight, and on the return trip had loaded up with cordwood on Walnut Creek.

The storm struck them just as they went into camp for the night, after the stock had been turned loose to graze. When the storm broke, every man turned out to help hold the stock, and many of them were soon lost in the blinding swirl. One man, the cook, managed to find his way back to camp; he was found dead in his wagon, frozen stiff. Where he had tried to make a fire in the bottom of the wagon could be plainly seen. He had burned the endgate in his vain efforts. The wind blew with such terrific force that the fire was blown away in all directions. Though surrounded with enormous quantities of wood, all within easy reach, the poor fellow perished for want of fire.

There was hardly a man in this ill-fated, outfit who did not suffer the loss of a hand, a foot, or a limb. The men were camped in Five Mile Hollow, five miles from Hays City, and when news of the affair reached town next day, all the citizens turned out to search for the missing men, gathering them up and taking them to the hospital at Hays City. Some of the bewildered men wandered to my road-ranch, where Billy Reynolds was in charge, and there found shelter and protection from the storm.

A few days after the storm had abated I decided to make a trip to Hays City, and bring back supplies for the outfit, so I hooked four mules to a wagon and hitched my saddle horse to the side. I rarely ever went out on the road without my saddle horse. The mules seemed to be more contented when accompanied by a horse, and in case of trouble I stood a better show of getting away on horseback.

Our camp was on Hackberry, and I went prepared to stay all night with Reynolds at the road-ranch, the first night out. When I got there I found the place deserted. I could not imagine why Reynolds was not there and did not learn the reason until I reached Hays, driving there that night. I saw Snuffer's wagons corralled at Five Mile Hollow when I passed that place, but heard nothing of what had happened until I got to Hays. Here I learned the no less surprising news that Reynolds had sold everything at the road-ranch and had skipped the country.

The day after I reached town the express agent came into the hotel office where I was stopping and asked if a man could be found who would take a load of express to Fort Dodge or Camp Supply, saying that there was a lot of express for both places. As I had a good team, and there was no great need of my hurrying back to headquarters, I told him I would go. I also wanted to look that country over for buffaloes.

I loaded and started for Fort Dodge with fifteen hundred pounds of express, making Walnut Creek the first night and staying at a road-ranch run by Johnny Quinn, afterwards killed at that place. The weather was bitter cold when I started next morning, and by 10 o'clock it was spitting snow and getting colder every minute. I walked part of the time to keep warm. My load was bulky rather than heavy. I felt the cold driving into my very bones, and realized my danger. I was determined that I would not permit myself to sink into drowsiness, as this meant death. Reaching a long divide, I dropped down the slope with my mules in a gallop, and luckily was soon in sight of a road-ranch kept by John O'Loughlin. I was scarcely able to speak when I drove up and found half a dozen men coming to meet me, all eager to hear the news from town, whatever it might be. In answer to their questions I merely shook my head. My jaws were set like a vice. I could not speak a word. They saw instantly my condition. Running into the dugout they began piling wood into the fireplace, and the room was soon as hot as an oven. I thawed gradually, burning like a live coal one moment and shivering the next as if I had a fit of ague. This was my first experience with killing cold. In later days, after I became a Government scout, I had many similar experiences. I once made a ride with dispatches, and became so stiff with cold by the time I had reached the end of my journey that I could not dismount from my horse--I simply let go and fell off.

In the Pawnee Fork and Saw Log country I had seen lots of buffaloes, a sight which always held me with endless fascination. When I got to Fort Dodge the third night out I heard that the buffaloes had drifted in by thousands during the blizzard, and that the garrisons had to fire a piece of artillery to keep them from breaking down the buildings and corrals.

Next day I mounted my horse and struck off up the Arkansas to look over the country, traveling up the valley for about thirty-five miles. There had certainly been an enormous number of buffaloes in the country. I could see where the grass had been flattened and the willow thickets cropped close by the tired and hungry animals. In every direction could be seen the spots where the buffaloes had bedded down for the night. But now there was not a buffalo in sight.

Lured on by the hope of catching sight of the vast multitude that had passed that way, I kept on up the valley, but without success. Then I determined to proceed to the Plains, which I did. Riding to a high point I turned my eyes across the plains. I held my breath in my astonishment at the wonderful sight. As far as I could see there was a solid mass of buffalo, quietly grazing on the curly mesquite, now brown with winter. At no other time in my life did I ever see such a vast number of buffaloes. For miles in every direction the country was alive with them.

At this point I want to say that in all my experience in the buffalo country I never saw one die of old age and exhaustion, and can remember seeing only one "on the lift"--that is, in a situation where he could go no further. This one, an old bull, had got fast in a bog on the Canadian, and was unable to get out. Riding up to him, I threw my lariat over his head, after I had given my lariat a hitch over the horn of my saddle, and pulled the old fellow to firm ground. I left him grazing contentedly on the bank. The buffalo was a hardy animal, and though they often got very thin during a hard winter, yet they never became so thin and starved as to go off their feet like cattle.

I returned to Fort Dodge fully satisfied with my day's ride, and next day started on my return trip to Fort Hays. By the time I reached Fort Hays, a considerable number of hunters had been driven in by the storm. I told them of the black ocean of buffaloes I had seen northwest of Fort Dodge, which was good news to them, and set every man to overhauling his outfit.

I was impatient to reach my camp, so I loaded up with supplies and pulled out. I found the boys in good shape and glad to see me. Next day we made a scout out west of Hackberry, and found thousands of buffaloes. It was plain that the big herd had drifted a long way during the blizzard, and had been as far south as the Arkansas. When the weather moderated they worked back to their old range.

Along in May, 1872, we moved our camp from Hackberry to a point north of the Kansas Pacific railroad.

While in camp on Hackberry I met with an experience which rarely ever happened to me--I got completely lost, so badly that I had no idea of direction. Perkins and I had been out all day killing and skinning buffaloes. We had worked late, and it had grown cloudy and dark when we started for camp. Both were afoot. In moving from each fallen buffalo to another we had wandered further than we suspected. Each thought camp was in a different direction. So positive was Perkins that he was right that I followed him for a time.

I was relying mostly upon the direction of the buffalo trails and when I found that we were crossing them instead of following them, I was convinced that we had lost our bearings. I called Perkin's attention to the trails. He insisted that he was going in the right direction. Perkins was a windy story-teller, and was relating a war tale. I disliked to interrupt him. Finally, however, I said that unless the wind had changed we were certainly going in the wrong direction.

"Oh, the wind has changed," he replied: "I knew it would this morning."

About this time we reached the head of a draw, on which we thought our camp was situated. At that moment the clouds drifted from the face of the moon, and we saw a bunch of buffaloes that had bedded down for the night. This convinced me that Perkins was "going it wild," as I was sure that buffalo would not stay that close to our camp.

Rovers that we were, with sails turned for every wind, we decided to kill some of the buffaloes, as they would be conveniently at hand, for skinning next morning, and we shot five or six.

Pursuing our way down the draw, I was soon positive that we were lost. Perkins put up a lively argument to prove that he was not mistaken. When we reached another bunch of buffaloes that had bedded, Perkins threw up the sponge. Four bulls were lying together. We blazed into them, made a warm bed of two hides, with the hair turned inside, and made a dry camp for the night. We slept as warm as if we were in a feather bed, though the night was cold.

In after years I thought many times of that night on the Plains. Of how tired we were, of how the wind whistled past us, of how the cold seemed to come down out of the sky, heavy and chill, and of how icily the moon shone as she sailed westward. Save for the occasional howling of wolves and coyotes, the night was supernaturally silent. It was the stillness of the primeval solitude. It was the stuff that makes a man in a warm bed under a roof feel like getting up to saddle his horse and ride away to this Land of Nowhere. Once in the blood, it can never be lost. Home-sickness for the Plains and their free, open life stings like a hornet.

Perkins and I slept late next morning. The sun was shining in my face when I heard something scratching and clawing on the hide with which we were covered. There were lots of skunks in the country, and lately several men had been bitten by them. I thought of skunks, of which I stood in dread, as I would have preferred being bitten by a rattlesnake.

Bracing myself, I kicked the hide with all my might, to throw it as far as possible from both of us. Instead of a skunk, I was astonished to see a big eagle that had been trying to get his breakfast by picking the meat off the fresh hide. That eagle was so badly scared that I am sure he must have had an attack of heart failure. He flopped around before he could get up enough steam to take wing, and even then he hovered in the air as if uncertain which way to fly. I could have killed him with the butt of my gun. I had no wish to do this, however, and watched him recover his wits and soar away.

I do not believe that I exaggerate when I say that Perkins jumped five feet into the air when I kicked off the buffalo hide. He told me that he was sure Indians had nailed us, and that his scalp-lock twitched all day.

Coming out of the draw where we had made our bed, we ascended a high point and scanned the surrounding country, hoping to locate our camp. Nothing looked familiar to us. We struck out in the direction we thought camp ought to be. We walked until nearly night before we got back to camp.

By noon I was growing ravenously hungry. I suggested to Perkins that we kill a buffalo and broil some of the meat. We shot a 2-year-old heifer, and soon had a hump steak sizzling on the fire. No meal ever gave me greater satisfaction, though we had no salt or bread.

We were fagged and footsore when we reached camp. James Donnelly, the man we had left in camp, had given us up as dead, confident that we had been killed by Indians. He had packed the outfit, harnessed the mules and was just at the point of pulling out for Hays City when we hailed him. We would have been left in bad shape had he gone. During the morning a band of twelve or fifteen Indians had passed in sight of camp, and as we had been missing two days and one night, Donnelly naturally concluded that the Indians had killed us. After he saw the Indians he made up his mind that the best thing for him to do was to leave as quickly as possible for the Fort.

During the summer of 1872 we hunted along the Saline and Solomon, frequently encountering small bands of Indians. Generally, they were going north or south, and though they were supposed to be friendly, we watched them closely. Occasionally, we heard of a hunter being killed, but this did not bother us, so long as we were not molested. Sometimes, Indians came into our camp. They were always hungry. We always fed them. They love sugar and coffee, and for either were willing to trade anything they had. The Kiowas were especially fond of sugar. The liking for sweet things was not peculiar to the white man.