They had indeed a wild time. There was whiskey in abundance. Crockett was in his element, and kept the whole company in a constant roar. Their shouts and bacchanal songs resounded through the solitudes, with clamor and profaneness which must have fallen painfully upon angels’ ears, if any of heaven’s pure and gentle spirits were within hearing distance.
“We had,” writes Crockett, “a high night of it, as I took steam enough to drive out all the cold that was in me, and about three times as much more.”
These boon companions became warm friends, according to the most approved style of backwoods friendship. Mr. Owen told the boatmen that a few miles farther up the river a hurricane had entirely prostrated the forest, and that the gigantic trees so encumbered the stream that he was doubtful whether the boat could pass, unless the water should rise higher. Consequently he, with Crockett and Henry, accompanied the boatmen up to that point to help them through, should it be possible to effect a passage. But it was found impossible, and the boat dropped down again to its moorings opposite Mr. Owen’s cabin.
As it was now necessary to wait till the river should rise, the boatmen and Mr. Owen all consented to accompany Crockett to the place where he was to settle, and build his house for him. It seems very strange that, in that dismal wilderness, Crockett should not have preferred to build his cabin near so kind a neighbor. But so it was. He chose his lot at a distance of seven miles from any companionship.
“And so I got the boatmen,” he writes, “all to go out with me to where I was going to settle, and we slipped up a cabin in little or no time. I got from the boat four barrels of meal, one of salt, and about ten gallons of whiskey.”
For these he paid in labor, agreeing to accompany the boatmen up the river as far as their landing-place at McLemone’s Bluff.
Life on the Obion.
Hunting Adventures.—The Voyage up the River.—Scenes in the Cabin.—Return Home.—Removal of the Family.—Crockett’s Riches.—A Perilous Enterprise.—Reasons for his Celebrity.—Crockett’s Narrative.—A Bear-Hunt.—Visit to Jackson.—Again a Candidate for the Legislature.—Electioneering and Election.
The next day after building the cabin, to which Crockett intended to move his family, it began to rain, as he says, “rip-roariously.” The river rapidly rose, and the boatmen were ready to resume their voyage. Crockett stepped out into the forest and shot a deer, which he left as food for Abram Henry and his little boy, who were to remain in the cabin until his return. He expected to be absent six or seven days. The stream was very sluggish. By poling, as it was called, that is, by pushing the boat with long poles, they reached the encumbrance caused by the hurricane, where they stopped for the night.