Truth is uniform and narrow, but error is endlessly diversified . . . In this field the soul has room enough to expand herself, to display all her boundless faculties . . . — Benjamin Franklin

Antoine of Oregon - James Otis




Abandoning the Missing Animals

I noted that more than one of the men wore a dissatisfied look, as if believing w e should remain at this camp until all the stock had been found; but mayhap they remembered that the loss was caused by their not listening to me, and not a word was said in protest.

Next day, without giving further heed to the horses and mules that were with the pony herd, we pushed forward toward the Oregon country once more, traveling twenty-two miles and in the meanwhile crossing the Wakarusa River.

Then came a stretch of prairie land, and after that, near nightfall, we arrived at the Kansas River, where camp was made.

This time you may set it down as certain that when I claimed we ought to set a picket guard, there were none to say me nay. Even more, I noticed that, every man carefully hobbled his horses or his mules, as I hobbled Napoleon, and when I went into my tent I said to myself that we need have no fear of trouble that night.

When we started out next day, Susan Mitchell insisted on riding by my side. She held her place there until we made camp, although it was no slight task, for while the company was passing over twenty miles of distance, I had ridden from the front to the rear of the train mayhap twelve times, thereby almost doubling the length of the journey.

Not once did the plucky girl show signs of faltering, even though a good half of the day's march was up{, the side of a ridge and along the top of it, where the way was hard even for those of us who were riding light.