They made as comfortable a seat as they could, of blankets and skins, which they buckled on the neck of one of the horses just before the saddle. Upon this Crockett was seated. One of the men then mounted the saddle behind him, threw both arms around the patient, and thus they commenced their journey. The sagacious horse was left to pick out his own way along the narrow trail at a slow foot-pace. As the horse thus bore a double burden, after journeying an hour or two, Crockett’s seat was changed to the other horse. Thus alternating, the painful journey of nearly fifty miles was accomplished in about two days.
When they reached the camp, Crockett, as was to have been expected, was in a far worse condition than when they commenced the journey. It was evident that he was to pass through a long run of fever, and that his recovery was very doubtful. His companions could not thus be delayed. They had already left Frazier, one of their company, perhaps to die of the bite of a venomous snake; and now they were constrained to leave Crockett, perhaps to die of malarial fever.
They ascertained that, at the distance of a few miles from them, there was another log cabin in the wilderness. They succeeded in purchasing a couple of horses, and in transporting the sick man to this humble house of refuge. Here Crockett was left to await the result of his sickness, unaided by any medical skill. Fortunately he fell into the hands of a family who treated him with the utmost kindness. For a fortnight he was in delirium, and knew nothing of what was transpiring around him.
Crockett was a very amiable man. Even the delirium of disease developed itself in kindly words and grateful feelings. He always won the love of those around him. He did not miss delicacies and luxuries of which he had never known anything. Coarse as he was when measured by the standard of a higher civilization, he was not coarse at all in the estimation of the society in the midst of which he moved. In this humble cabin of Jesse Jones, with all its aspect of penury, Crockett was nursed with brotherly and sisterly kindness, and had every alleviation in his sickness which his nature craved.
The visitor to Versailles is shown the magnificent apartment, and the regal couch, with its gorgeous hangings, upon which Louis XIV., the proudest and most pampered man on earth, languished and died. Crockett, on his pallet in the log cabin, with unglazed window and earthern floor, was a far less unhappy man, than the dying monarch surrounded with regal splendors.
At the end of a fortnight the patient began slowly to mend. His emaciation was extreme, and his recovery very gradual. After a few weeks he was able to travel. He was then on a route where wagons passed over a rough road, teaming the articles needed in a new country. Crockett hired a wagoner to give him a seat in his wagon and to convey him to the wagoner’s house, which was about twenty miles distant. Gaining strength by the way, when he arrived there he hired a horse of the wagoner, and set out for home.