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events which marked this week of village life
among the Indians.

The guides, finding the white gentlemen
not much discomposed by their disappearance,
and fearing that, after all, they might get on
without them, came back penitent, and, after
a due show of wrath, were received again
into service, and the journey was resumed.
The track lay among buffalo herds, but buffalo
hunting was soon found to be wearisome and
simple work. The prairie wolves hunt buffaloes
in packs of fifty or a hundred, cutting off
the stragglers. Indians and half-breeds hunt
them continually. Upwards of a hundred
thousand robes pass annually through the
hands of traders, these being all skins of
cows killed in the autumn and the winter,—
skins taken in spring and summer being
accounted useless, except for the purposes of
the Indian himself, for making lodges, &c. It
is calculated that four hundred thousand
buffaloes are destroyed yearly in the North
American prairies, nine-tenths of them
probably being cows.

The experience of further travel through
the prairies brought some knowledge of the
grisly bears, and some acquaintance with the
elk and beaver. We are very glad to be
informed that the race of beavers, which was
rapidly being swept out of the world by our
taste for wearing their fur upon our heads,
has enjoyed so great a reprieve by the
introduction of silk hats, that they are rapidly
recovering their numbers. They are no
longer thought to be worth trapping, except
by the natives, upon whose hands their skins
are often left unsold, the demand for them,
and with it their price, having decreased so
very greatly.

The Mandan Indians also, the supposed
descendants of Madoc, who have been several
times pronounced extinct, are recovering their
numbers, though they had very nearly been
exterminated by the small-pox.

The journey continued through snow and
sleet, with the comfort of buffalo dung fires
and buffalo robes, which latter, if there be no
inch of crevice left, make excellent bed-
clothes. Flour, pork, tea, and coffee having
been exhausted, the party had lived for a
fortnight upon buffalo meat, when, weary of
buffalo, it tried, without much resulting
satisfaction, what might be the flavour of wolf.
Arriving at last, however, on the twentieth
of November, at a lakethe Lake of the
Skunkcovered with ducks and geese, they
filled a pot with fifteen ducks and two geese,
cooked them, and then being seven men in
number, ate them all. Having wood here,
and having made a blazing fire, they lay
down after their feast to sleep, and slept right
soundly, but, on waking in the morning, found
that they had narrowly escaped being roasted.
The prairie had been on fire, and the fire had
run up within a quarter of a mile of their
encampment; but then luckily the wind had
veered, and when they awoke they could see
the fire still raging, miles and miles away.
The next night the wind changed, and the fire
came back. It had almost swept in a circle
round them. They watched it, eating its way
up to them all day, and at about four in the
afternoon they encamped in a piece of wood,
near the source of the St. Peter River. Here
they were safe, for the prairie fire never
enters among timber.

The fire advanced all night, and crackled
round the travellers, sometimes at a distance
of not more than three hundred yards. They
could read the smallest writing by the light
of it. A prairie fire crackles like a platoon
of musketry, and with a strong wind travels
at the rate of fifteen or sixteen miles an hour:
rain or a change of wind arrests it instantly.
Of course, a prairie fire is to the Indian over
whose hunting ground it extends a serious
affair; for so far as the grass is burnt the
buffalo is lost to him, and he must go among
enemies in search of the deficient food: but
there he has to take his chance of being

We do not propose to follow the tourists
any farther, but we have been glad thus far
to have been indebted to them for a few fresh
pictures of the old subject of prairie life. It
is evident enough that the Indians, though
picturesque enough, like many picturesque
things, are in a very miserable condition; and
that the native dignity of man is, after all,
not so extremely handsome in the rough
state as to be the worse for polishing.


twenty-one years of age when he took that
unquiet seat upon the throne of England.
The Lancaster party, the Red Roses, were
then assembling in great numbers near York,
and it was necessary to give them battle
instantly. But, the stout Earl of Warwick
leading for the young King, and the young
King himself closely following him, and the
English people crowding to the Royal standard,
the White and the Red Roses met, on a wild
March day when the snow was falling heavily,
at Towton; and there such a furious battle
raged between them, that the total loss
amounted to forty thousand menall
Englishmen, fighting, upon English ground,
against one another. The young King gained
the day, took down the heads of his father
and brother from the walls of York, and put
up the heads of some of the most famous
noblemen engaged in the battle on the other
side. Then, he went to London and was
crowned with great splendour.

A new Parliament met. No fewer than
one hundred and fifty of the principal noblemen
and gentlemen on the Lancaster side
were declared traitors, and the Kingwho
had very little humanity, though he was
handsome in person and agreeable in manners