Strategy—A Hero—The American Fur Companies—Their Dealings with the Indians—Ashley's Expeditions to Green River—Attack on Smith's Party—Wyeth's Expeditions—Fort Hall—Decline of the Fur Trade—Causes of the Indians' Hostility—Dangers attending the Trapper's Life, 23
C H A P T E R I.
Early Life of Meek—He leaves Home—Enlists in a Fur Company—On the March—A Warning Voice—Frontier Sports—Last Vestige of Civilization—On the Plains—A first Adventure—A firm Front—A Parley—The Summer Rendezvous—An enchanting Picture—The Free Trapper's Indian Wife—Wild Carousals—Routine of Camp Life—Smoked Moccasins versus Green Ones—A "Trifling Fellow," 41
C H A P T E R I I.
The Camp in Motion—A Trapping Expedition—Opposition to the Hudson's Bay Company—Beautiful Scenery—The Lost Leader Found—Rejoicings in Camp—The "Luck" of the Trappers—Conference of Leaders—The "Devil's Own"—Blackfoot Character—Account of the Tribes, 57
C H A P T E R I I I.
How Beaver are Taken—Beaver Dams—Formation of Meadows—Beaver Lodges—"Bachelors"—Trapping in Winter—"Up to Trap"—Blackfeet on the Trail—On Guard—The Trapper's Ruse—A disappointed Bear—A Fight with Blackfeet—"Out of Luck"—Alone in the Mountains—Splendid Views—A Miserable Night—The last Luxury of Life—The Awfulness of Solitude—A Singular Discovery—A Hell on Earth—A Joyful Recognition—Hard Times in Camp—The Negro's Porcupine—Craig's Rabbit—Deep Snows—What the Scout saw—Bighorn River—"Colter's Hell"—An Alarm—Arrival at Wind River—Christmas, 64
C H A P T E R I V.
Removal to Powder River—A Trapper's Paradise—The Transformation in the Wilderness—The Encampment by Night—Meek takes to Study[Pg xii]—On the Move—Loss of Horses and Traps—Robbed and Insulted by a Bear—Crossing the Yellowstone—A Novel Ferriage—Annoyance from Blackfeet—A Cache Opened—A Comrade Killed—Rude Burial Service—Return to Rendezvous—Gay Times—The old Partners take Leave, 82
C H A P T E R V.
Grizzly Bears—An Adventure with a Grizzly—The Three "Bares"—The Mountain-Man's Manners—Joking the Leaders—The Irishman and the Booshway—How Sublette climbed a Tree and escaped a Bear—Rival Trappers—Whisky as a Strong Card—Ogden's Indian Wife—Her Courage and Escape—Winter Quarters—Crow Horse-Thieves—An Expedition on Foot—Night Attack on the Indian Fort—Fitzpatrick Missing—Destitution in Camp—A "Medicine-Man" consulted—"Making Medicine"—A Vision Obtained—Fitzpatrick Found—Death of Smith—An Expedition on Snow-Shoes, 90
C H A P T E R V I
Annoying Competition—The Chief's Daughter—Sublette Wounded—Forty Days of Isolation—Sublette and Meek captured by Snake Indians—A Solemn Council—Sentence of Death—Hope Deferred—A Rescue—The "Mountain Lamb"—An Obstinate Rival—Blackfeet Marauders—Fitzpatrick's Adventures in the Mountains—"When the Pie was opened the Birds began to Sing"—Rough Sports—A Man on Fire—Brigades ready for the Start—Blackfeet Caravan—Peaceful Overtures—The Half-Breed's Revenge—A Battle—Reinforcements—Death of Sinclair—Sublette Wounded—Greenhorns—A false Alarm—Indian Adroitness—A Deserted Fort—Incident of the Blackfoot Woman—Murder of a Party by Blackfeet, 103
C H A P T E R V I I.
The March to the Humboldt—Scarcity of Game—Terrible Sufferings—The Horrors of Thirst and Famine—Eating Ants, Crickets and Mules—Return to Snake River—A lucky Discovery—A Trout Supper—The Country of the Diggers—Some Account of Them—Anecdote of Wyeth and Meek—Comparison of Indian Tribes—The Blackfeet—The Crows—The Coast Tribes and the Mountain Tribes—The Columbia River Indians—Their Habits, Customs, and Dress—Indian Commerce—The Indians of the Plains—Their Dress, Manners, and Wealth—The Horses of the Plains—Language—The Indian's Moral Nature—Hungry and Hospitable Savages—A Trap set for a Rival—An Ambush—Death of Vanderburg—Skirmish with Blackfeet—The Woman Interpreter taken Prisoner—Bravery of her Husband—Happy Finale—Meek Rescues the "Mountain Lamb"—Intense Cold—Threatened by Famine—The Den of Grizzlys—Second Daniels, 119
C H A P T E R V I I I.
A Visit from Blackfeet—The Green River Rendezvous—A "Powerful Drunk"—Mad Wolf—A Friendly Warning—A Trip to the Salt Lake Country—Meek Joins Jo. Walker's California Expedition—Instinct of the Mule—On the Humboldt River—Massacre of Diggers at Mary's River—Vain Explorations—Crossing the Sierra Nevadas—Hardships and Sufferings—The Sacramento Valley—Delight of the Trappers—Meeting with Spanish Soldiers—A Parley—Escorted to Monterey—A Hospitable Reception—The Native Californians—Visit to the Mohave Village—Meeting with Trapp and Jervais—Infamous Conduct at the Moquis Village—The Return March, 141
C H A P T E R I X.
In the Camanche Country—A Surprise and a Rapid Movement—The Mule Fort—A Camanche Charge—Sure Aim—Another Charge—More Dead Indians—Woman's Weapon, the Tongue—Fearful Heat and Sufferings from Thirst—The Escape by Night—The South Park—Death of Guthrie—Meeting with Bonneville—Indignant Reproaches, 154
C H A P T E R X.
Gossip at Rendezvous—Adventures in the Crow Country—Fitzpatrick Picked by the Crows and Flies from Them—Honor among Thieves—Unfair Treatment of Wyeth—Bonneville Snubbed at Walla-Walla—He Rejects good Counsel—Wyeth's Threat, and its Fulfillment—Division of Territory, 160