Gumbo called by Indians, mud that chaps, as with the hands.
Pretty stones. Buffalo wallows. Buffalo berries. Different songs.
Wajapa and Buffalo-chip, minor and hard. Butter. New-don-e-ga.
Wajapa poorest, no horse, no wagon, no tent, nothing. Wajapa
dips and rises as he rides on ahead over the prairie. Stirrup
breaks. Abandoned dug outs. Flocks of wild geese like a fluttering
ribbon. Wolf jumps up side of road.
Just as we started and had forded one branch of the Niobrara
river, Buffalo-chip stopped for his wife who had delayed and
then the wagon got stuck in the quicksand and had to hire oxen
to pull it out. The Indians have little forethought or provision.
At the bridge had to pay $1.25 toll and 50 cents for oxen to
pull out the teams. Told the woman it was exorbitant. [?] and
the woman. I was sorry that she must bear the brunt of all that
was said, but it was the penalty of being in bad company. The
three bridges, one of which was broken, and it was on that account
that the wagon stuck, are owned by one Dr. Elsey Reeves and
he charges 50 cents horse, 10 cents for passengers -One of the
bridges had been torn down by the incensed people. The post
office is on the other side, stores on the other.
After an hours delay we were once more together. Meantime as
we waited on the hill, I sketched a green rocky peak
in the midst at these sandy and alluvial hills.
There were a few houses and two stores. No one would know the
latter but that they have more windows &c.
Then on and on over broad prairie for ten miles. The sun set
in a pearly and golden splendor, the moon, full, rose in the
midst of rippling clouds that seemed like the streams we had
passed thrown up on the broad heavens. I was very weary in mind
and body and my ear distressed with the out of tune singing
of Moody and Sanky &c. How hopeless seemed the effort of
living as far as my life is concerned but one can't die, and
work maybe done. Darkness fell and then I drove, Mr. T. being
tired and S. not wishing to. Bye and bye a steep descent; at
the foot we saw the remains of a camp. We pulled up. Wajapa
started in search of wood and water and we at length settled
on the place. We ate our supper out of doors, had a little fire
in the tent to take off chill. Buffalo-chip had brought on some
hay and that helped.
October 7, 1881.
Rose at daylight, fog hung on the highlands. We breakfasted,
Buffalo-chip going out for his morning song, Wajapa for his
fun. At 9 - we were off. Standing Bears horse, which had
been harnessed to Buffalo-chip's team, as his mare with the
colt has become galled by the collar, balked. Nothing would
induce her to go, so the mare was harnessed and we pushed on.
Standing Bears horse is less in Wajapa's favor than ever
- he is [?] and revenges his master by all manner of uncanny
actions. I call him, "The Avenger." He is getting
quite a character in our party. This sort of journeying makes
men and horses stand out and form part of the dramatis personae,
and Im not sure but that the wagons and bundles come in
for their share. We lost our way. About noon sighted a house.
Mr. T. mounted the Avenger and found we were quite off, to get
back we had to cross a creek, when all dismounted and Wajapa
went through. It was an acute angle, deep water at the bottom.
Wajapa called out for Mr. T. to hold on to the at the back as
it went down. Nothing broke fortunately.
We crossed on logs and over the hill too upon the
wagon. We start for Livingston Ranch - Reached there at 1 P.M.
Buffalo-chip tried to shoot geese - failed. Women came and visited
us. See notes on preceding page - We lost our way and at last
were fortunate enough to hit on the only camping place for miles,
by our own misfortune.
Went down the gulch to our tent and helped carry wood. When
we reached this place the camp fire showed people camped, but
the water was nowhere to be seen. Mr. T., Buffalo-chip and Wajapa
started, returned and started again. It last Buffalo-chip hallooed
and Wajapa returned on the gallop. "Nee, nee, nee",
he shouted so we camped. The full moon shone over the prairie.
I walked out alone beyond where the horses were lariatted. It
is the prettiest camp we have had. Miles miles of prairie, behind
the deep gulch the banks, here and there broken, shining yellow
clay. The tall cedars showed only their tops, here and there.
An empty log house in the gulch, wood choppers. S. afraid after
dark, thinks the place haunted. Buffalo-chip broke out in a
war song. Wajapa stopped him, lest travelers or Sioux hear us
and come out and steal our horses.