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Fifty-Five Years Ago in the Wilderness - Page 7
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and ground was rent;  the Indians howled, "Big Thunder comes!  Big Thunder comes!"  Every savage that could run, made for his wigwam; Blundow had seen enough!  When he got back, he called a council, and declared that Big Thunder was the great Medicine from the white man's land, where the paper talks; that pale face and Great Spirit of pale face,--both, both--fight poor Osage heep; pale face shoot his gun-lock, gun-stock, gun-barrel, at Osage, till he all gone.  The Great Spirit shoot the rocks, the trees, the ground at poor Osage and run Osage,--Big Thunder coming till Osage no more heap!  They callled off the dogs--they had seen enough!  The eighteen that was left at the battle, was put  in a pile and covered up, on their way to the happy hunting ground.

We now, with our brave little crowd, remained in fort nearly two months, until all had become still;  the boys went home, and, left us in possession of the field; peace reigned; honey plenty; bear fat; and 'Clinch,' our old bear dog, in fine order for the chase.

How different is my situation now!--cramped up in a little town--so crowded that I can hardly scratch my own head for fear of scratching somebody else's head; ringing and striving for the precious dime, for, in the dime, we live, move, and have our being.  Oh! give me the wilderness-- the pure, grassy wilderness--that I found in Missouri!  I don't believe a man's soul will ever get grown in a little cramped town.  The merchant may sell his matches, and the doctor may roll his pills; but I tell you his little soul will become so shattered that it will never get its growth.  That's what ails me.  It has been so long since I have seen a thousand elk in the grand prarie of Missouri, marching in a deep column,--the gang perhaps a mile long--old buck running upa nd down its line of travel keeping all to their place, wtih their horns laid back, on a balanced condition; and in one of those marches of elk, you must give way--they won't--if you wish to save your bacon: its been so long since I have seen one of these sights that used to make me feel that I was a man when I was only a boy; and since I have taken old 'Clinch' or 'Clady,' and the rest of the dogs and gone out into the hazlenut roughs and killed an old he' steaked his ribs before the fire, greased my head and shoulders with bear's oil, and, with the foot-steps of a monarch, I would tread

Compilation and transcription by Kameron Searle.  Copyright 2005 by Kameron Searle.

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