Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Hugging the south side of the Canadian, we followed an old trail, called the Fort Smith and Fort Bascom trail, up to White Deer Creek, a beautiful, clear-running stream, fringed abundantly with timber. Right opposite the mouth of this stream, on the north side of the Canadian, are the old ruins of the original Adobe Walls, though at the time we were ignorant of this fact, and passed without halting at this historic place. 

Crossing to the north side of the Canadian, we reached Moore's Creek, and were delighted to find that all along the Canadian, every four or five miles, were running streams of fine water. All the streams were timbered, some more heavily than others, and in the branches of the tall cottonwoods wild turkeys roosted by thousands, while deer and antelopes in great herds grazed in the grassy bottoms.

On Bugbee Creek we passed a camp where a white man named Wheeler had been killed that fall (1873) by Indians. The brush along the creeks was alive with quail, and we could see signs of fur animals, such as beaver, mink and otter. I was now going over ground that I should see again, but little did I dream of what the future would be.

We left the river at Moore's Creek, and went north until we struck the Palo Duro again, below where we had crossed it on our way down. Here we found quite a number of buffalo hunters camped for the winter.

Our object in making this trip was to locate a good buffalo range for the following summer. Our reason for going at this time of year was that there would be less danger of being molested by Indians, as the latter did not travel in winter, if they could avoid it, preferring the idleness and pleasure of a warm winter camp, well supplied with buffalo meat. Occasionally, however, a party of young bucks, thirsty for glory in taking scalps, would brave the cold weather and make a raid. After lying around camp with the boys on the Palo Duro for several days, we headed for our old camp on the Cimarron, where we found ourselves short of supplies, and continued on to Dodge City.

In making this big circle to Buffalo Springs, Red River, the ruins of Adobe Walls and back to Dodge City, we saw very few buffaloes; only now and then would we run across a bunch of old bulls. However, there were signs everywhere showing where thousands had been herding together, and we felt certain that they would come back to their old range in the spring.

It was sometime in February, 1874, when we got back to Dodge. We had seen enough to satisfy us that the thing to do would be to go down on the Canadian as soon as the weather settled. While waiting, we went out northwest of Dodge on my old hunting grounds. This was the last hunting I ever did north of the Arkansas. My face was set toward the forbidden country, where the Indians were looking for the scalps of white men.

In the latter part of March, 1874, I went into Dodge City, and there I met up with a lot of buffalo hunters who had come to town to get away from the lonesomeness, and have good time. There was lots of talk about the increasing scarcity of buffaloes on the old range, and all of us agreed that we would have to drift further south to make buffalo-hunting a paying business.

Those of us who had been venturing down in the Panhandle country described what we had seen, and gave our opinion of the region as a buffalo range, which, of course, was favorable.

In Dodge City at this time was a man named A. C. Myers, in the general merchandise business, who had once been a buffalo-hunter, and had built a smoke-house on Pawnee Fork, where he cured buffalo hams for eastern markets. The meat was prepared for smoking by taking the two hind quarters and dividing each into three chunks, which made six pieces of boneless meat, about the size of an ordinary pork ham. Myers sugar-cured each piece, smoked it, and sewed it in canvas. This kind of buffalo meat was the choicest, and commanded a high price on the market. Only a few dealers cured their meat in this way.

All the hunters assembled at Dodge were convinced that never again would there be a big run of buffaloes that far north, because of the enormous slaughter on that part of their range in 1872 and 1873. Our determination to drift south was opposed some by the handicap of being so far from a hide market. Myers solved this question by deciding to take his outfit and stock of merchandise and pull down into the good buffalo country, somewhere on the Canadian. We had no definite point in view, expecting to locate our camp where grass, timber, water and buffaloes most abounded.

Myers was quick to see that a big decline in the buffalo trade at Dodge was at hand, and was willing to take the risk of going with us to get our trade. We did not think much about it at the time, but had we calmly discussed what was ahead of us, all would have seen that the undertaking was not without peril to life. We were leaving such protection as there was in the garrisoned country and plunging into a solitude through which we would have to fight our way, if attacked, or die at the hands of hostile Indians, an enemy that inflicted the most horrible forms of death imaginable, should the victim be captured alive. There would be no getting away by making a fast run to Fort Dodge or Fort Hays; it meant fighting to the last ditch, and victory to the strong.

Myers' plan was that every hunter that wanted to go should load his wagons with supplies, such as were used on the buffalo range, for which Myers would pay a liberal freight rate, and upon establishing permanent camp Myers would sell the supplies to the hunters at Dodge City prices. This seemed fair enough. Myers owned two teams and wagons. The organizing of this expedition caused much enthusiasm among the hunters at Dodge, and many wanted to go along.

About this time James Hanrahan, a typical frontiersman, who hunted buffaloes on a large scale, came to town. Hearing of the trip we were planning, Hanrahan decided to take his whole outfit and go with us. This was a good boost, as we were delighted to welcome every new-comer, especially a man like Hanrahan, who had lots of nerve and knew all the ins and outs of frontier life.

Soon every man was busily engaged in gathering his equipment for the long trip to the new country. There were many things to do, and forgot any necessary part of an outfit would cause annoyance and trouble, as we would be far from a railroad. We had no idea when we would get back to civilization. A lot of fellows at Dodge thought that maybe we might never get back. They narrowly missed making a good guess.

Three or four days before we were ready to bid farewell to Dodge, there came from the east a stranger named Fairchild--his first trip to this rendezvous of the buffalo-hunter, the bull-whacker and the "bad" man. Naturally, Fairchild was regarded as a "tenderfoot."

Fairchild was wildly ambitious to plunge head over heels into the stormy life of the frontier. When he heard of our expedition, he shouted for joy, and made arrangements to go along.

My first glimpse of Fairchild made me finger my sights, for he certainly looked like game. He was arrayed in a shining broadcloth suit, a "plug" hat, a flower-bed vest, and a cravat that resembled a Rocky Mountain sunset. That he might behold the sights of Dodge in proper fashion, he had hired a livery horse, equipped with a "muley" saddle, and was riding up and down the streets, as if he owned the whole town. His get-up was so unusual in Dodge that it caused much talk and laughter.

If the raiment of the East was imposing and spectacular, that of the West was far more overpowering when assembled by a man like Fairchild. The day before we pulled out I saw him again, but hardly knew him. He had jumped from the extreme East to the extreme West, and at a single bound. He was attired in a bangup brown ducking suit, high-heeled boots, and spurs that rolled along like cart-wheels. His white sombrero was wide enough for an umbrella. Round his neck was a bandana more brilliant than a Cheyenne pony painted for the warpath. His belt was full of cartridges, and sticking from holster and scabbard were a six-shooter and a butcher knife, fearful and murderous-looking weapons. In his hands, with the air of a gay cavalier, he bore a big "50" rifle, for which he had paid the considerable sum of $85. The boys had primed him to buy the butcher knife in the belief that he needed something of the kind to scalp Indians when he slew them far, far from their homes in the forest.

There was every indication that Fairchild was well supplied with money. He came from Illinois and belonged to a good family, was well educated, and had been admitted to the bar. But he yearned for western adventure, and abandoned his profession to satisfy his chief and burning ambition. It was impossible that such a man could escape ceaseless banter in a crowd like ours.

However, Fairchild was not more delighted than myself when the day of departure came. In scouting the country, I had seen that big money could be made by a good hunter. I was not without confidence in my marksmanship. When we moved out of Dodge there were about fifty men and thirty wagons. Each man had provided himself with a saddle horse. I was never without one--the best that money could buy in that country.

All the wagons were heavily loaded, which compelled us to drive at easy stages. We got to Crooked Creek the first day out of Dodge. There was never a happier lot of men in the world. All were in rugged health, none in need, most of them inured to the hardships of life in the wilderness, each confident that he could take care of himself, sure of the help of his comrades in any emergency, and everybody as merry and jolly as could be. If there was care of any kind, it was too light to be felt. We ate like wolves, and could have digested a dry buffalo hide with the hair on. Spring was on the way, and the air was light and buoyant, making the days and nights an endless delight.

The youngest of our party was "Bat" Masterson, who was to win a reputation not only as a member of this expedition, but in many other places in later years. It seems remarkable that finally Masterson should wander as far east as New York City and become a newspaper writer. He was a chunk of steel, and anything that struck him in those days always drew fire. In age, I was perhaps next to Masterson, being now in my twenty-fourth year.

Best of all was when we camped at night, when there would be singing, dancing, music and telling of tales. In the party were a number of veterans of the Civil War, with endless stories of desperate battles that were greatly to our liking. After we had eaten heartily, and the camp-fire was aglow and crackling under the stars, some fellow would stretch and peg down a dry buffalo hide on which the men would dance turn about or in couples. The hide gave a much better footing for dancing than might be supposed, and was stiff enough and hard enough to respond in the liveliest way to jigging. There were always fiddlers in a crowd like ours, perhaps an accordion, and a dozen fellows who could play the French harp. The scene was picturesque and pleasing. Round us rolled the interminable Plains, arched by the glittering sky, and in the fire-light the rollicking buffalo hunters sang and danced. There were no night sounds in this vast silence, save those of our camp or the yelping of coyotes and howling of wolves, disturbed by this strange invasion of their prowling ground.

It was agreed that every man in the party should do something for the entertainment of his companions at these gatherings round the camp-fire--dance, sing a song or tell a story. There was no dodging, we had to come across. As I never danced, wasn't much of a talker, and couldn't possibly sing, all this was hard on me. I did my best, however, even trying to learn to play a fiddle, which had been given to me by a friend at Hays City. But there was no music in me--I couldn't scratch out "Dan Tucker." Long afterwards, when I was married and my oldest daughter developed a talent for music, I was greatly pleased, though aware of the fact that she had inherited none of it from me.

Drinking in the pure fresh air of the Plains, we rolled from our blankets every morning, clear-headed and ready for any enterprise. Just to feel one's self living in that country was a joy. We heard nothing and cared nothing about politics; it made little difference to us who was president of the United States; we worked hard, had enough money for our common needs, and were happy, happier perhaps that we ever were in later years. Youth probably had much to do with our contentment.

The second day's travel brought us to the Cimarron River, and here we stopped at one of my old camp-grounds. We had reached the "dead line"--beyond was hostile Indian country.

I am moved here to say something about the Cimarron. This stream rises in New Mexico, and after passing through the northeastern corner of that State, it nips off a small part of the southeast corner of Colorado and passes into the State of Kansas. After a bend to northward, it flows south into that part of Oklahoma once known as "Neutral Strip" or "No Man's Land," jogs back into Kansas between Clark and Comanche counties, and then turns for the last time into Oklahoma, where it pursues a generally southeast course until it meets the Arkansas River in the central part of the State. Cimarron is a Spanish word, meaning "outcast, outlaw, or wanderer," a name sometimes applied in Spanish-speaking countries to a steer that wanders away from the herd and ranges alone, wild and intractable.

The Cimarron is true to its name. Though born of white mountain snows, its waters soon become red and turbid. In Oklahoma the Cimarron crosses several large expanses of salt, making its water undrinkable; in fact, so much salt is held in solution that a large swallow of the water is sufficient to produce nausea. The bed of the Cimarron in the Plains or prairie country is flat and sandy, though at rare intervals it has rugged shores. Throughout a greater portion of the year, the volume of water to be seen by the eye is small, the current crawling snake-like along its sandy waste. Rarely, however, is the Cimarron without a perceptible current, and usually this current has a rapid flow.

The Cimarron is commonly regarded as one of the most dangerous streams in the southwest. Its width often is three or four hundred yards. If there were no sand, the stream would be rather imposing in size. It is filled to the brim with sand, however, and through the sand is an underflow. The quicksands of the Cimarron are notorious. No crossing is ever permanently safe. The sand grips like a vise, and the river sucks down and buries all that it touches--trees, wagons, horses, cattle and men alike, if the latter should be too weak to extricate themselves. In the old days countless buffaloes bogged down and disappeared beneath the sands of the Cimarron. Their dismembered skeletons are frequently uncovered at this day when the river is in flood.

After a rise, the Cimarron is peculiarly dangerous. As it boils and rolls along, the river loosens and hurls forward an astonishing quantity of sand. Unless naked a man quickly finds himself pulled down by the increasing weight of sand that lodges in his clothes, and swimming becomes difficult, and finally impossible, save without tremendous exertion. Stripped bare, a swimmer can sustain himself in the Cimarron with greater ease than in most other streams, as the salt and sand give the water extraordinary buoyancy. No man should ever tackle the Cimarron in flood until after he has stripped to the skin and kicked off his boots. The experienced cow-pony seems to realize its danger when crossing the Cimarron, taking short, quick steps, and moving forward without the slightest pause. To stop would be to sink in the quicksand.

The Cimarron is subject to sudden and dangerous floods, floods that seem to come from nowhere. In central Oklahoma, for example, weeks may pass without a drop of rain. A settler crosses the river at noon, blinded by the clouds of sand that have been whipped up by the wind, and finding the water scarcely reaching his horses' knees. Fifteen minutes later he returns to the crossing, and finds the river roaring and thundering from bank to bank. What is known as a "head rise," formed by a cloud-burst far out in the Plains country, has come down, a solid wall of water often four or five feet in height. Sometimes two or more of these "head rises" follow each other in succession. The sand is torn loose and brought up from the very bottom of the river. To venture into the Cimarron at such times would be folly. If it must be crossed, the safest way is to ride a horse that knows how to handle himself in a flood of this kind. If the rider can swim it is usually best for him to seize his horse's tail, and follow behind. The safest thing to do is to stay on dry land until the flood has passed, and then sound the crossing. The latter can be made firm by driving a herd of cattle back and forth, which causes the sand to precipitate and begin packing, soon forming a bar.

The Salt Fork of the Arkansas and the South Canadian are counterparts of the Cimarron in the dangers they oppose to travelers and live stock.

After crossing the Cimarron, which we accomplished without difficulty, we held a conference to discuss how we should meet the Indian problem, as discretion and prudence now impelled us to proceed with caution. It was agreed that if we should encounter Indians and find them manifesting friendship we would do likewise. This was their country, we argued, and if they would leave us alone, we would be willing to do an even better job than the Indians in this particular.

Ever since we had left Dodge City Fairchild had been eager to get into an Indian fight, and had bragged about what he would do when the time came. He said that he would not allow an Indian to do or say the least thing to him without his killing the Indian. He was bad medicine from the forks of the creek, a wolf with hydrophobia, a blizzard in July.

We fully understood the fact the Fairchild did not realize how much trouble a break on his part might bring to the whole outfit. We really feared that he might fire upon a peaceable Indian, and cause all of us to be massacred.

So it was thought best by several practical jokers among us to take time by the forelock in the particular case of the bloodthirsty Fairchild. We waited until we had reached the South Canadian before dosing out the medicine to him.

Fairchild loved to hunt, and would ride away from the outfit nearly every day, after deer and antelope. Some of the men had made Fairchild believe that he could kill an antelope at a distance of two miles, and he would blaze away as far as he could see them.

By "scratch" shots, Fairchild managed to kill several antelope and he swelled up with pride until he was almost unrecognizable. What finally happened to him will be told later.

After leaving the Cimarron, we crossed "No Man's Land." In the brakes of the Cimarron we had the hardest kind of pulling, as there was lots of sand and the country rough. The fourth day brought us to the Beaver, the main prong of the North Canadian, its other branch being Wolf Creek. Both the Beaver and Wolf Creek unite at Camp Supply, the point to which I had helped haul supplies for the Custer expedition, with the outfit of mules that stampeded in harness as we were returning to Fort Hays.

This time we struck the Palo Duro at its mouth, where there was plenty of water. Here we camped and then moved into the Panhandle of Texas. Now we began striking camps of buffalo-hunters who had prepared to stay on the Plains during the winter. They were as glad to see us as we were to find them. The coming of more hunters made everybody feel more secure, if there should be an outbreak by the Indians.

In one of these camps were Fred Singer, who now lives in Dodge City, and two Englishmen, Jim and Bob Gator, both of whom I had met at Hays City, Kansas, in 1870, when they had just arrived from England, and were still wearing knee breeches and buckles. Their togs attracted a great deal of attention. The Gators became close friends of mine in later years. Bob went to Oregon, and Jim settled on Palo Duro, in Hansford county, where he now runs a cow ranch close to where he was camped at the time of which I write. Bob Cator was the first postmaster in Hansford County, and when the latter was organized he was elected county judge, holding the office a number of years. Jim and Bob Cator named Dixon Creek, in Hutchinson County, in remembrance of the fact that I built a dugout and was the first man to camp on this creek in 1874. After I went away, they occupied the dugout. This creek still bears my name.


James H. Cator, Zulu, Texas, Panhandle Pioneer.

After the Cators had settled on Palo Duro, two brothers, a sister and Jim Cator's sweetheart came out from England and joined them. They could scarcely have gone to a more remote place, and the change between England and the Panhandle country, as they found it at that time, must have been startling. Jim married his sweetheart at Dodge City. Having business at Granada, he took his bride along; the boys teased him about his "wedding" trip. Both the young women were refined and highly educated. Miss Gator was an accomplished horsewoman, one of the best I ever saw. She taught school for several years and then married Clate McCrea. She is still living in Hansford county.

Determined that we would keep moving until we found the best buffalo country, we went south from Palo Duro and struck Moore's Creek at its source, following this stream to the South Canadian River, where we camped about two miles below the present town of Plemons.

Here we were disappointed at not finding the grass better; there was hardly enough grass for our stock. I am convinced that a number of the Panhandle streams are gradually changing. I easily recall the fact that Moore's Creek then was a narrow, swift-running stream, and at almost any point a man could jump across it. Since that day, Moore's Creek has been frequented by great herds of cattle which trample its sandy shores until wind and rain have flattened its once steep banks and given the stream a width of several hundred yards. This is true of a majority of the smaller streams that flow into the South Canadian in the Panhandle country.

In this camp on the South Canadian we paid our respects to Fairchild. All liked him, but he was so bent upon killing an Indian that we felt something must be done, as we were not down in that country to hunt Indians. Though severe, the dose had to be administered. Of course, everybody save Fairchild knew what was going on.

In a large grove of cottonwoods just above our camp hundreds upon hundreds of wild turkeys roosted every night. When a turkey hunt was proposed, to take place at night, Fairchild grew so eager and excited to go that he could scarcely control himself.

Three men were selected to slip quietly out of camp and at a certain place in the timber have a fire burning when the hunting party got there. One of them came back to serve as guide. Ostensibly he was to lead the hunters to the best and biggest roost, but actually he was to pilot them to the immediate vicinity of the fire.

Fairchild was so impatient to start that it was difficult to persuade him to wait until darkness had fallen and the turkeys had settled to roost.

I do not believe it would have been possible to find a man who loved practical joking more than did "Bat" Masterson. He was in his glory at that sort of thing, and was forever pulling off something of the kind. "Bat" was one of the three that had gone out to build the fire. He now came to camp, ready to pilot the hunters where they would "sure find a million turkeys"--and the camp-fire.

It was arranged that "Bat" should start out, with Fairchild close at his heels, and Myers bringing up the rear. "Bat" cautioned Fairchild to keep both eyes wide open and to move softly, as the turkeys must not be frightened.

Rounding a bend of the creek, where the timber was dark and dense, the hunters suddenly found themselves slap-bang against a camp-fire in full blaze. "Bat" motioned to Fairchild to move back into the timber. The three then held a consultation to discover, if possible, who had built the fire. "Bat" was dead sure that it was an Indian camp; he had been dreaming about Indians two or three nights he said, and was now fearful that the worst was at hand. Myers tried to argue that "Bat" was mistaken and rattled, if not actually showing a streak of yellow; anyway, he was willing to bet that Fairchild could whip all the Indians in the Panhandle if given a fair show.

Bang! Bang! Bang! Half a dozen shots were fired in the direction of the hunters. The bullets whistled and ripped through the branches close above their heads. Myers took the lead back to camp, yelling bloody murder at every step, to terrify Fairchild. "Bat" came last, gradually dropping behind and firing his six-shooter until Fairchild was confident that the most desperate fight with Indians imaginable was at hand.

"Run, Fairchild; run for your life!" shouted Masterson.

At a bound Fairchild had passed Myers, and tore into camp like a tornado coming through a forest. He was half a mile ahead of "Bat" and Myers. They had led him far enough away to give him a long, hard run.

Fairchild stumbled and fell exhausted on a pile of bedding, gasping for breath, his eyes distended and his teeth chattering. We crowded round, seemingly in great alarm, asking him a thousand questions about the cause of his fright. For several minutes he was unable to speak, and acted as if he were suffocating. Finally, he managed to say in a hoarse whisper:


"Oh, men, he must be shot," exclaimed a mischievous hunter.

Thereupon, another joker seized a butcher knife and ripped Fairchild's shirt down the back from collar to tail. Another, frantically calling for water, and finding none, emptied the contents of the camp coffee pot down Fairchild's bare back, which alarmed Fairchild with the fear that he had been wounded.

Fairchild was recovering by the time Myers and Masterson and the men who had been at the camp-fire, closely approaching camp, bounded in with a great rush, panting for breath, and began upbraiding Fairchild for abandoning them to the mercy of the Indians. We had asked Fairchild what had become of "Bat" and Myers, and he feebly replied:

"Killed, I guess."

"How many Indians were there, and did you see them?"

He answered that he did not know how many there were, because of the way they shot, but he was sure that the timber was full of them. Once he heard something whiz past his head which he knew was not a bullet, but an arrow.

Masterson now stepped forward and tremblingly declared that the whole turkey roost country was alive with Indians. Instantly, there was rushing to and fro in preparation for defense. Serious, perhaps fatal trouble for everybody, was at hand; the devil was to pay and no pitch hot. All kinds of suggestions were offered as to what was best to do. Some of the boys were in favor of starting at once for Dodge City, as the Indians would be unable to follow our trail at night, and we might get far enough away by daylight to escape. Fairchild was firmly committed to the Dodge City plan.

More resolute men were in favor of fighting it out, if every man bit the dust, and proposed that a strong guard be thrown round the camp, and that the men take turns standing guard until morning.

This plan was adopted, and the guards were stationed at regular intervals everywhere round camp, save on the river side, where a high bank offered protection against sudden surprise.

Fairchild was placed on guard nearest the river, and warned to maintain a vigilant lookout along the edge of the bank, as the Indians might swim up the river, and plug him when he wasn't looking, after which they could kill everybody in camp. As a matter of fact, it would have been impossible for the enemy to approach in this manner, because of the swiftness of the water, and the banks were too high and steep to be scaled.

By this time Fairchild was ready to believe anything he heard and was so badly rattled that he failed to see that we had left our camp fire burning, something that we would never have done had we actually felt that Indians were in the vicinity, as fires would have exposed us to a broadside from the darkness. Fairchild was in no frame of mind to think of trifles, and obeyed all orders without asking why.

The guards were stationed, and shortly afterwards, one by one, they came in, all save Fairchild, who stood at his post. There was much noisy laughter over the trick we had played on him. When Fairchild failed to meet the next guard, he became suspicious, and drew near camp, where he overheard what we were saying. Then he came in, with blood in his eye. I have often thought that he was the angriest man I ever saw in my life. We were too many for him, or else he would have crippled somebody. He refused to eat breakfast, and sulked for several days. This cured him, however, of wanting to kill an Indian, and ever afterwards he was a good hunter and a good fellow.

The last time I saw Fairchild he had his sleeves rolled up, skinning buffaloes, and on his face was a coat of tan half an inch thick. He bore little resemblance to the tenderfoot I had first seen at Dodge City.

Fairchild was not the only fellow we treated in this manner. The boys delighted in playing jokes upon each other. The worst scare I ever got was in 1870 when I was working for a man near Fort Hays. He owned a herd of beef cattle which he had sold to the Government. One day three of us were out with the herd. The cattle had been stampeding practically every day, and we were having lots of trouble with them.

We were riding along the Saline River, looking for strays. Campbell, a member of the outfit, was a quarter of a mile behind Thompson and myself. Campbell suddenly emptied his six-shooter and dashed toward us, shouting "Indians!" at the top of his voice. He knew that he was mounted upon a much swifter horse than either of ours, and passed us like the wind.

Thompson and I looked back, but could see no signs of Indians. We were certain, nevertheless, that Campbell was in earnest. We put both spurs to our horses and rode after him at top speed. The country was very rough, and we supposed that after Campbell and the Indians fired at each other, the Indians had dropped behind a ridge. We felt that we were making a run for our lives. Campbell was going so fast that we could not overtake him. Occasionally, he would stop long enough for us to come within speaking distance, whereupon he would shout, "Hurry up; there they come!" and dash away.

He kept this up for about six miles. Our objective point was a wood-choppers' camp, where we expected to make a stand against the Indians. If we were killed, we could at least die among men of our own race. We were hopeful, however, of being able to beat the Indians off.

Our horses were now in a lather, and rapidly breaking down. Rounding a little knoll, we saw Campbell lying on the ground and rolling from side to side, as if in acute pain. Perhaps he had been shot. Upon reaching him, we found to our inexpressible rage and disgust that his paroxysms were caused by laughter--he said that he had not seen an Indian all that day; just wanted to play a trick on us. We made Campbell swear not to tell the other boys; he kept his word.