The Great Lone Land eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 440 pages of information about The Great Lone Land.

CHAPTER SIXTEEN.

The Red Man—­Leave Battle River—­The Red Deer Hills—­A long Ride—­Fort Pitt—­The Plague—­Hauling by the Tail—­A pleasant Companion—­An easy Method of Divorce—­Reach Edmonton.

Ever, towards the setting sun drifts the flow of Indian migration; ever nearer and nearer to that glorious range of snow-clad peaks which the red man has so aptly named “the Mountains of the Setting Sun.”  It is a mournful task to trace back through the long list of extinct tribes the history of this migration.  Turning over the leaves of books belonging to that “old colonial time” of which Longfellow speaks, we find strange names of Indian tribes now utterly unknown, meetings of council and treaty making with Mohawks and Oneidas and Tuscaroras.

They are gone, and scarcely a trace remains of them.  Others have left in lake and mountain-top the record of their names.  Erie and Ottawa, Seneca and Cayuga tell of forgotten or almost forgotten nations which a century ago were great and powerful.  But never at any time since first the white man was welcomed on the newly-discovered shores of the Western Continent by his red brother, never has such disaster and destruction overtaken these poor wild, wandering sons of nature as at the moment in which we write.  Of yore it was the pioneers of France, England, and Spain with whom they had to contend, but now the whole white world is leagued in bitter strife against the Indian.  The American and Canadian are only names that hide beneath them the greed of united Europe.  Terrible deeds have been wrought out in that western land; terrible heart-sickening deeds of cruelty and rapacious infamy—­have been, I say? no, are to this day and hour, and never perhaps more sickening than now in the full blaze of nineteenth-century civilization.  If on the long line of the American frontier, from the Gulf of Mexico to the British boundary, a Single life is taken by an Indian, if even a horse or ox be stolen from a settler, the fact is chronicled in scores of-journals throughout the United States, but the reverse of the story we never know.  The countless deeds of perfidious robbery, of ruthless murder done by white savages out in these Western wilds never find the light of day.  The poor red man has no telegraph, no newspaper, no type, to tell his sufferings and his woes.  My God, what a terrible tale could I not tell of these dark deeds done by the white savage against the far nobler red man!  From southernmost Texas to most northern Montana there is but one universal remedy for Indian difficulty—­kill him.  Let no man tell me that such is not the case.  I answer, I have heard it hundreds of times:  “Never trust a redskin unless he be dead.”  “Kill every buffalo you see,” said a Yankee colonel to me one day in Nebraska; “every buffalo dead is an Indiaan gone;” such things are only trifles.  Listen to this cute feat of a Montana trader.  A store-keeper in Helena City had some

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The Great Lone Land from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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