Our road had not been as good as yesterday, more sand. After
crossing Turtle Creek, we were up and down hill all the time
- a rough horrid road, but still not so bad as we have seen
and gone over. Fifteen miles over bleak country, the elevation
not more than one to three hundred feet, but looked like mountains
owing to formation and lack of contrast and real height.
We reached the camping place - bushes and a few trees up the
creek behind the hills. On a hill just behind us was a pile
of stones, high, some ten feet, I judge. One pile was on a promontory,
for here, ledges of a white rock, which wears into holes and
is sometimes mottled in color. I judge it to be valueless, but
do not know. This pile was on the very edge. The Indians give
very unsatisfactory answers. I don't think they wish to tell,
perhaps it is taboo.
The wind blew so hard that we sought shelter in the weeds and
grasses. The fire was built in the middle of the road, where
the grass grows, this being hoed away, and one would hardly
credit how this tall grass protects from the wind. We ate heartily
and just as we finished it began to rain. Buffalo-chip had not
quite eaten all and he drew his blanket over his head so as
to form a sort of shed over his plate, and so in peace and quietness
went on to the end.
We gave the order to move on, and with my rubber hood on and
rubber blanket - the buffalo robe was put up to Susettes
and my chin and tied behind us, we went on in a pelting rain.
Wood - 18 miles away!
Our cavalcade spread out and at the hills we noticed that the
wagon and all the herd stopped. Buffalo-chips horse had
given out. Wajapas horse, which he rode yesterday had
a sore back from saddle, so the Avenger was taken from Wajapa,
the sore-shouldered horse put in, but he gave out, so the Avenger
- Unfinished -
Once there was a white man who had an orphan boy to work for
him. This orphan boy, although his brother was treated very
hardly and made to work early and late, and for his pay had
now and then a pair of trousers given to him. He was often scolded
until his life was weary and he did not care to live at all.
One day the white man scolded and said, he would kill the orphan,
who replied, "Do so. I dont care". One day the
orphan was herding the cattle and they were late in reaching
the home of the white man.
Buffalo-chip tells a Story
Once upon a time there was a family living in a town, father,
mother, four sons and two daughters, one of the latter, a little
girl. The children were all fond of playing, particularly on
a certain bank. The eldest girl was very fond of playing bear
and making mud houses. One day she went playing with the little
girl and she scratched her and one of her playmates cried out,
"Why do you scratch her and hurt her?" "Oh, never
mind, I'll go and get the bears claws and play better".
One day her four brothers went hunting and this same girl put
on the bears claws and while playing with a little boy
she hurt him so that he cried. Then the other children looked
and behold, her arms were like bears claws and she slowly
turned into a bear and all the people came to see her, and she
began to chase them, and getting angry, killed one of them.
The little girl ran crying to her mother, saying, "Oh,
my sister is changed into a bear and living in a mud hole"
and her mother wondered. Then the bear chased and chased the
people till she killed nearly all the town.
When the brothers came home from hunting, they said, "Why,
look, what can have happened, there is no one hardly living
in the town". The brothers had a rabbit and the little
girl hungry in the deserted village. They gave the rabbit to
the little girl.
The little girl went crying to her brothers and said, "Oh,
my sister was playing bear and she turned into one, and she
is dreadful. She has killed nearly all the town and she lives
away off in that hole".
The oldest sister, the bear came home and she said, to the
little sister, "Where have you been, you been in the town
with people", and she answered, "No, I been nowhere".
"Yes, you have, I smell people about you" . "Oh,
no, I been nowhere". Then the bear went to smell and the
little sister ran to her brothers and said, "Oh, run as
fast as you can, she is coming to kill you". Bear said
rabbit smelled of people, wouldnt let her eat it. So they
ran and the first brother made a creek to run between him and
the sides covered with pine, but the bear jumped this. The second
brother made a deep wide stream and caused the water to run
rapidly, but the bear crossed that too. The third brother made
a great barren waste, full of sand burrs and cactus, but the
bear crossed this. Then the little brother made great cracks
in the earth - The bear jumped many of them, but at last fell
into a wide one and the earth closed over her. She cried out,
"Let me cross". The brother laid his spear across
the chasm and she tried to cross over on it, the brother turned
it and she fell down, down, down crying, and the earth slowly
closed. Then the four brothers went back, and lo! the town was
as at first.
Sioux Story, Buffalo-chip, Ish-din-e-ka.
The monkey was traveling along the road and he came to a town
of a great many elks and the monkey wanted to be an elk. The
New-donega elk said, "Well, old man, it isn't always
pleasant weather with us, sometimes you cant get any grass.
I dont think you will like it, think again, but if you
say so, Ill turn you into an elk, you go stand there,
away off and I will run toward you and when my side touches
your side you will be an elk". Every time the elk ran and
came toward the monkey, the monkey would dodge, so that the
elk failed to touch the monkey. At last he touched him and the
monkey became an elk. Then the monkey began to eat and he ate
the green weed. It was bitter and dropped from his mouth - Then
the monkey wanted to be Newdonega, and lead the way. To do this,
he had to make many gifts. He led off the elks and as they went,
he would mistake weeds for people and the elk all laughed at
him, but bye and bye he led them toward his town and he ran
in and told the monkeys, game was near, run out and chase them,
but the monkeys when they saw the elk, desired to become like
them. The monkey elk would give false alarms, but only when
hunters. One day he led the way and met hunters. He met the
hunters and whispered to them, "Dont shoot, I lead
the whole herd up to you".
He circled round the hunters every time coming closer, then
he killed one by one the whole herd. When all were killed, he
threw off the antlers and cried, "Ha, ha, this is the way
The wolf played this trick on the buffalo and got killed. He
wandered off and meeting another wolf, said, "Do you want
to be turned into an animal like me?" "Yes",
so he said he must run and touch him, so he made himself fierce
and the wolf was afraid. At the fourth time he touched the wolf
and was turned into a wolf himself. He went back to the herd
and begged to be turned in again, and he said, you stand, and
he ran at him. At the fourth time he tossed him in the air and
killed him, saying, "That is what you desire".
Last night all were tired and wet. I was wet to my skin. The
water ran into puddles on my blanket and the puddles emptied
into my pockets and lap. My pocket book was soaked and papers
injured. I was a column of steam, and perhaps it was funny,
for crossness was the order of the evening.
When we had made 15 miles or so we came to a ravine where there
was a little wood, we halted and waited for Buffalo-chip to
come up. When he came he said we could camp at this spot but
we had better go on to where the large trees were over the hill,
meant across a divide. We were very wet and tired, the horses
ditto, but we pushed on. We learned that Buffalo-chips
horse had given out. He was afraid it would die. He and Wajapa
would make our camp sometimes in the night. Wajapa was walking,
driving the two horses, his and Buffalo-chips. I cant
tell you how funny Buffalo-chip looked on the little contemptible
horse he had received in exchange. It paces like a puppy and
will do nothing. Buffalo-chip looks like a large boy on a small
dog. He claps his heels and whips the animal but to no avail.
The three colts wander at their will, eating or running in front
of us, so that our horses brush them or the tongue of the buggy
runs into them.
On, on we went over hills and down gullies - no trees. It began
to get dark. Buffalo-chips wife, who had been driving
the wagon all day kept up with our mares. At last in the twilight,
from the top of a hill, we saw a solitary tree - not very hopeful
for shelter with a blizzard in prospect. We reached the tree,
no water! but we thought we saw more trees beyond the road which
lay like the two fingers of fate across the never ending billowy
hills. We pushed on, yes, trees, a few, and there must be water
but how to get down the "benches" between us and
the terrace where the trees stood.
Mr. T. got out and went ahead for no one knew what was before
us. At last we went down a pitch indeed, but at the bottom,
the grass as tall as where we sat, broke on headway and we reached
bottom safely. The little Sioux wife gallantly following. It
was quite dark. The only thing she said, was, "The horses
are very tired". She was asked to get the tent ready. We
sat tied up. The horses too tired to try and feed even. The
little wife untackled the horses and then in the tall grass
and spitting rain she made up the tent. Mr. T. disappeared in
the darkness after wood. He returned declaring it the toughest
kind. We sat tied for some time, S. singing loudly. Bye and
bye, a faint light appeared in the tent. It was long before
the fire was really started. Meanwhile, I heard a call from
the hills. No one would credit me. Again, a call - I replied.
Ga-ha became nervous, and said, "They are ghosts",
and refused to call. Mr. T. said, it was not possible. Again,
a call - still no one heard but me, and it was incredible to
all. After a while when the horses were unhitched and while
we sat still tied, I said, "Some one is coming, I hear
them, and Buffalo-chip is near". Still I was not believed
and it was not until the shadowy forms came near, even in sight.
We got out and began carrying our things in . Buffalo-chip
sat down and smoked silent and melancholy, Wajapa, reticent
and cross. Mr. T. had been working hard doing all the outside
work and was tired. Wajapa never offered help. He sat and fussed.
"We must have driven very slowly". "Why wasnt
supper ready?" "He and Buffalo-chip were tired",
&c. &c. It was rather trying and everybody on the edge
of ill temper. The two Indians were quite dumpish.
I feared Buffalo-chip was ill, so I asked S. to ask him as
he had had a bad cold, a sore thumb and sore on his wrist, "No,"
he said, "He felt bad for his horse". Wajapa was spunky
and ugly. Buffalo-chip said, "had we stopped where Mr.
T. first intimated, then I should not lose my horse". Soon
Buffalo-chip roused himself and told the stories I have written
out. Wajapa got a little over his moodiness, but would do nothing.
We went to bed and slept pretty well.