Dam Ime Old

The Lives and Adventures of Horse Apple

(With Occasional Outbursts from Two Bear)

 

Chapter 5 - The Funral o 1 Big Man & The Rik Ara War

 

Neegra Jim Juge Thacher sade. I bin a lookin all over hell 4 yoo.

Neegra Jim stood thar like a whipped pup.

I have sum perty good nooze 4 yoo.

Jim didnt say nuthin.

Juge Thacher wokked down 2 the river nex 2 Jim. Me & Ashley follerd.

Yer master ole man Duglas dide rite after yoo run off. Widder Duglas freed all heez slaves rite after he dide. She had me make out a noo will 2. Then she dide 2 munths a go. She left ever thing 2 yoo rite 4 she dide.

Iz they gonna whoop me Jim asked.

No Jim. No bodys gonna whoop yoo. Yer a free man. & yoo own a house in Sante Looie & have bout 5 thousund doller in the bank. Yer a rich man 2.

Jim looked at me like he didnt under stand.

I smiled & yelt YAHOO. Yer a free man.

Me.

Aint yoo bin a lisnen 2 what the mans bin a sayin. Yer a free man.

Me. He war a grinnin.

Got 2 thinkin bout what Ashley jez sade 2 me.

Have a nuther job 4 yoo.

A doin what.

Back up the Mizzura. Gonna send up a 100 men & 2 keel botes 2 trap all winner.

Mike Fink.

Mike Fink. Majer Henry. Im goin long my own self. How much did Kernal Clark pay ye.

Six hunert doller plus what I made off my Daddy.

Six hunert doller. Dam. Thats 1 hell o a lot morn Ima payin tuthers.

I aint gona trap no beever. & I donít think much o the idee that many White men heddin 4 the Rockys.

I need sum 1 whats bin in that cuntry case sumthin happins 2 Henry.

When yoo leevin.

2 weeks.

I reckun yool be a goin whuther I go er not.

Weer a goin.

Ill go fer six hunert doller & cum back cum spring.

No. This will be more White men taking Indian land.

I no.

Hundreds will die.

We cant stop em. Best we can do is go a long & do what we can 2 keep em a part.

I sade to Ashley have my canoo. Donít need it no more. Need a cupla horses 2 ride over 2 Sante Looie.

I can take care o that 4 ye. Il lend ye the horses. Yoo can yooze yer canoo cum spring.

Me & Neegra Jim rid back 2 Sante Looey with Juge Thacher. He sade heed help Jim by back heez wife. Me I had biznus with Kernal Clark. We war in Sante Looie by dark. I went strate 2 Kernal Clarks home.

Welcum back Horse Clark sayed. Cum in my study. I jez got sum cone yak I think yool like.

Yoo can be sure of it.

I set in the big ole chair & he pored me a helthy drink & lit me a seegar.

Well. Did yoo git her back.

Yep. Heed hard me the year be4 2 return Sacajewea 2 her peepel in the Rockys.

How war Pompy.

Slowly cumin 2 be a Indin.

Clark laffed.

Then shes happy.

Best I cood tell.

Whooze cheef o that tribe now.

Why.

Cyoorious.

Yer a testin me 2 find out ifn I reely got er thar aint yoo.

I gess I war.

He cood see I war pissed.

Here. He reeched in heez desk a pult out a envelope. Heres yer muny. I apologize fer doutin yoo. Six hunert doller.

Apology aksepted. I took me a drink o cone yak & a drag in my seegar.

Heez name war Washa Key. Probly still is.

Clark smiled. Any trubel.

Cuple grizzes. A fyoo hunnert Black Feet. Sharbuno. Sharbuno war Sacajeweas husbun what she war a runnin a way from.

He set up cwick. Sharbuno.

On the way back. He tride 2 hi jack me o my plunder. Heres heez pistel. Yoo can give it back 2 heem when yoo see heem.

I donít plan 2. Gess yoo got the best o him. Bring back a lot o plunder.

Nun. Lost it in the Mizzura. My raft got run over by the steem bote Independense.

How big a raft.

Hunert feet long. 20 wide. Carryin all it cood carry.

No wunder Sharbuno wanted it. Ye heddin back with Ashley.

Havin me a big problum with it. Donít like the idee all them men a heddin in2 the Rockys but them Frenchys from Canada R a reddy thar. Donít like the idee o trappin beever but the Frenchys from Canada a reddy be. Donít know what the hell good Id be septin 4 a showin em whar the mountins R. I figger Henry can do that. Hell any fool can find them mountins. Jez foller any river. I er 2 men goin throo that cuntry can pert much sneek by. 100 men will haf 2 fite thar way throo Id say.

I did ever thing I cood 2 stop em Horse.

Yoo think it better I stay er go a long.

Go. Ashley will lissen 2 ye.

Im jez a pup & a lil 1 at that.

I node yood make it 2 the Rockys & back. Tonly live men that dun it R yoo & Henry & Lisa & a fyoo men they led.

Yoo and Loois made it didnt ye.

The Indins didnt no what 2 xpect then. I no yoo & Henry aint gonna kill no Indins jez 4 the sake o killin Indins. Need yoo both a long.

Yes ser.

Daddy pade me 160 doller he oed me 4 the yeer b4. Got me sum good food. Checked on Neegra Jim. He bot heez wife back the ferst day back. Had heem a sun what had bin sold off 2 a slave trader from Norlans. Tolt heem I had 2 go back 2 the Rockys but Id look 4 heez sun when got back the nex spring. Best I cood do. I tolt heem to jez go by Jim 2. Not Neegra Jim. He desided heez gonna go by Jim Duglas.

Wun o Genral Ashleys horses throde a shoe so I woked it over to the black smith. The blacksmith a tall skinny kid name o Jim Bridger shod the horse. Heed a reddy sined up 2 go with Genral Ashley to the Rockys. Him & ever uther able man in Sante Looie. It war all he tokked a bout whal he werked.

Yoo no them mountins are a thousan miles away across a desert filt with onery Indins.

I aint skeered o no Indins he sayed. The Genrals payin us 200 dollar a man.

A lotta men aint a comin back.

The Genral will give the 200 dollar 2 my little sis. Donít make 20 dollar a yeer a shooin horses. Mike Finks keel botes cum in last nite.

They down at the docks.

Yesser.

Ill go ster up that ole fart whilst yoo finish my horse.

First thing I seen when I got to the docks war Mike Fink a sleep on a pile o ropes & heez croo passed out on the docks and on heez bote.

WAKE UP. DAYS HAF OVER YOO FAT OLE FART.

Jeesus. Ill scalp yoo woo little werm. Jez soon az my hed kwits a hertin. Need me sum hare o the dog.

By the smell o yoo an yer croo I speck thar aint none left in Sante Looie.

Thats what yoo think. He reeched under the ropes heez a layin on a pult out a haf drunk bottle o rye. He took 2 big swallers. Thar. Ill be my own self in no time.

That aint nuthin to rite home about.

Dam. Gonna be hi noon soon. Ashley goona be here.

Ashley be here. Look be hind ye.

Thar stood Genral Ashley with a bout 100 o the ugliest outlaws Ide ever seed.

Fink rose up. Shit far he sayed. Whard ye find that bunch o crimnals Genral.

They be the men yoo takin up 2 the Yaller Stone.

Shit.

Mike Fink finished off the bottel o rye and walked slow up to whar the men war a standed a lookin reel meen. He pased back & 4th a starin em down. Mike Fink commensed 2 yell IME A SALT RIVER RORER. IME A RING TALE SQUEELER. IME A REGLAR SQUEELER FROM THE OLD MISSISSIP. IME A CHILE THAT REFUSED MILK FOR HE OPENED HEEZ EYES THEN I CALT OUT 4 A BOTTLE O RYE. IME HAF WILD HORSE HAF COCK EYED GATER. THE REST SNAPPIN TURTLE AN RED HOT TATER. I CAN OUT RUN OUT JUMP OUT SHOOT OUT BRAG OUT DRINK AN OUT FITE ANY MAN YOUL SEE FROM PITTSBURG TO NORLANS AND BACK TO SANTE LOOIE. COME ON YOO FLATTERS YOO BARGERS YOO MEN O THE LAW. COME SEE HOW TUFF I AM 2 CHAW. AINT HAD A FITE IN 2 WEEKS NO LIE. IMA A SPOILIN 4 SOME EXERSISE. COCK A DOODEL DOO.

He then strutted back in forth in front o the men. WELL. DUZ I GOT ME ANY TAKERS.

The men all jez looked down at thar feet.

WHEN I SAY JUMP YE ALL SAY HOW HI. WHEN I SAY MOOV YOO MOOV. WHEN I SAY SHIT YOU SAY WHAR AN HOW MUCH. IS THAT CLEER.

Sum o the men mumbeld yes.

WHAT.

The men all yelt yes or aye capn or sumthin like that.

Ashley had 2 keel botes a hollin hiz truck up the Big Muddy. Mike had bot hizself 2 nooo botes what war both morn 100 feet long. The river war fuller than it war the yeer be4 when Fink took me & Sacajewea up. Fink had 1 hellashus time pushin them big botes up river in the high current even tho he had 50 men on eech bote to do it.. So much groth long the river the horses warnt no yoose a toin the botes sides that the horses war mostly green. Sales warnt no yoose neether. The river war 2 fast & warnt wide enuf 2 tack.

Ashley had 50 men & 300 er so horses & mules cumpnian the botes up on the south side o the river septin we hardly ever seen em. Me Iz a riden the horse Ashley lent me 2 ride 2 Sante Looie. It war a rone geldin. 1 sweet horse. I carryd me a 50 caliber Hawkin & had 6 more on the pack mule Iz a towin.

My daddy had supplyd Hawkins to ever man on the trip long with nifes traps hawks & pervishuns. He sent trade truck with me fer a deelin with the Indins. He sent blankets & calico & shuger & foofraws & such. My truck war a loded in 1 o the botes.

Genral Ashley rid up front o R herd. Heez the boss. He wanted me to keep in ear shod so Ize up thar 2. Yung Jim Bridger rid long with me. He war green but he war 1 tuf cuss. Cum 2 think o it tho heez only 2 year yunger than me. Had hiz self a passel o queschuns. The Genral never asked no qweschuns but he didnt miss nun o the answers. I larnt Bridger how to sine, ever thin I node bout ever Indin tribe west o the Mississip, all bout the wild animules. Hell I larnt him how to wipe his ass with a clump o grass. Yeers later when I heer peepel tok bout the legends of Old Gabe what they come to call Jim Bridger I jez smile to my own self.

We war makin better time than the botes sos we had a eezy ride. Jez a hunert er so mile west o Sante Charles tho we had to keep a I peelt for Osajes. But we didnt see a 1 all the way to the bend in the Mizzura. Bout all we seen war a fyoo Pawnees til cum to a spot north o the Plat whar the Omaha had thar villijes.

Them Omaha lived in big dirt round houses like the Minna Tarys Mandan and Ree. Chief Big Elk lived in the biggest o the houses. Me &b Genral Ashley stayed with him 4 2 nites. That secund nite they had a reglar party a dancin & a singin & a drummin. They stuffed us with buffler. Big Elk spoke a little Marecan and a little Frnchy. He tolt us all bout Manule Lisa. Lisa had heez fort a mong the Omahas. Henry node Lisa 2 but not like Big Elk.

Big Elk tolt us the Soo war a razin hell up river. He made a sine like heez throte bein cut for the Soo. The uther tribes all calt em the Cut Throtes 2 best I noo. Them Omahas war enemys o the Soo. Bout ever 1 war septin for the Shy Anns & the Rapahos.

It war a short way north 2 Fort Atkinson thar a long the Mizzura. We didnt stop thar on my furst trip with Mike Fink coz weez a voidin peepel. Thar war cwite a fyoo fokes thar at the fort coz o the Soo bein on the war path & all. They sayed the Rika Ra war on the war parth 2. The Rika Ra & the Ree war the same peepel. We stayed thar 2 more days a for a heddin on tord the Yaller Stone.

A movin north after that we kep R Is peelt speshly postin gards at nite. We spotted Indins long the rijes a wachin us but theys far a way. We come 2 the river Loois & Clark calt the Niobara on thar map. I war 2 late to ford the river sos we campt on the south side.

Indians kilt 2 o R gards that nite & run bout 50 head o horses. Ashley sent 20 men out after em. They brung back bout 20 horses but 3 men didnt cum back. Ashley sent 30 men out cum sun up. They brung back the 3 men ded & neked & missin thar scalps & 10 more horses. The furst 5 men on R mishun war ded. Woodnt B the last. Never node 4 shore what tribe raded us that nite but the Soo war my gess. Ifn any thang cum out good from that rade, nun o R gard ever slept on thar job.

Genral Ashley kep me close 2 him. I never node ifn it war 2 pertek him ner me.

Maybe he didnít trust you because you were an Indian. William Clark hired you because you were an Indian and could get Sacajewea to the Rockies. General Ashley knew he needed you, but he wasnít sure why.

It war a good thing we had a Bibel thumper a long name o Jededia Smith 2. He war one good hunter ner we woodnt a had no camp meet. He didnt say much but I cum 2 no him as a good honest brave & smart man & a frend. He node the cuntry 2.

We made it in a cupla weeks to the Minna Tary villajes. We war way hed o the botes what war a still fiten current back down the Mizzura. But a nuther tribe had moved in amungst the Minna Tarys. Theyd been run out o thar territory by the Black Feet and Rapahos. They war the Kiowa. They war a livin in tipis & in bad need o horses. Thar be the problem. We didnít stay thar long.

We moved cross cuntry 2 R ronnyvoo spot 2 wate for Mike Fink & heez botes. We cummesed 2 bilin a stockade thar at the confulx o the Mizzura and Yaller Stone. Indins tryd small nite rades twised but we war reddy. Didnt looze a horse ner a man. Best we cood tell a cupla o the radin Indins got wung. We wated nary a munth and war dam neer dun with stockade 4 Mike Fink showed. Didnt have no trubel they sade uthern 1 hellasus curent.

Genral Ashley calt 4 the men 2 brake out the likker & git drinkin out o thar system a for we hedded out 4 the Rockys. They didnít haf 2 be tolt twiste. Come dark thar war bout 80 drunk Ashley posted 15 men 2 wach the ridin stock with orders not 2 drink. That wen over like a fart in a pup tint. Hell them boys war stone drunk in no time.

Them Indins what stolt all R ridin stock didnt make a sound leest that we cood heer. Jed Smith went out 2 check on the gards bout mid nite. He found 5 a missin thar scalps 5 passed out drunk and 5 gon back 4 more likker. We war down 2 90 men & no ridin stock.

Furst Ashley war gonna hav the gards what didnt didnt git thar scalps lifted shot but Smith & the Sublet bruthers talked heem out o it. A 4 we node it the uther men took it on they selves & pert much whomped all them what let R horses git a way. Ashley desided 2 take 1 keel bote back down river 2 git ridin stock & left the nex day. 1 o the men Hyoo Glass had a lot o salin noin sos he went a long & Mike Fink stood be hind 2 keep the men in line. Ashley the Sublets & Smith & Evans all went down river. Ashley sayed he wanted fiten men 2 go a long. Briger prackly begged heem 2 go but he left eem be hind. The 10 men what let R horses git stolt all had broke bones so Ashley stuft em in the keel bote cabin a deliverd em down river. Only 40 o us stayed behind at the stockade.

Thar war plenny o likker left so most o them men cumensed 2 serius drinkin. Only me & Jim Briger and a Irishman name o Tom Fits Patrik what we calt Broken Hand kep more er less sober.

They day after Ashley left me & Briger and Borken Hank war out a huntin. We desided 2 leeve cos the men were a doin serius drinkin & a shootin cups off o eech uthers heds. We desided 2 make R selves scarse. We cood heer the shootin a goin on all day til all at wunce it stopped. Me Broger & Broken hand war a cleenin a deer Briger shot when the shootin stopped.

Aint heered a shot from the stockade 4 a while Broken Hand sayed.

Closin in on haf a R I sayed. Sumthin rong.

Briger sayed mebe they all passed out drunk.

Mebe I sayed.

When we got back 2 the stockade thar war sumtin rong all rite. Mike Fink & heez top hand name o Carpenter war ded. Carpenter war shot throo the for hed. Mike war shot in the chest throo the hart and had heem a scalp woond 2.

Seemed bout ever man thar had a differnt story but this be what happend best we cood figger out.

Carptenter went 2 shoot a cup of o Mikes hed & being drunk he grazed Mikes scalp with the ball. Carpenter tolt Mike heís sorry & Mike sayed not 2 wurry coz he node Carpenter woodnt ever miss agin coz then Mike razed heez rifel & shot Carpenter in the for hed.

This got a feller name o Talbut riled & he yelt a Fink that he did it tenshional. Mike started to relode a sayin Ill sho yoo tenshional but whilst heez a rammin his ball home Talbut shot Fink in the chest. The men all sayed it war self defense.

Bout ever 1 hated Mike Fink. Heed been a gittin reel can tankerus speshly when heez a drinkin. Bout the onlyest 2 peepel he liked war me an Carpenter. I spect the story the men tolt warnt troo but I node Ide never no ifn it warnt.

Talbut grabbed a shuvel & started 2 did a grave 4 Fink & a nuther 4 Carpenter. The men all piched in & they war baryd a mung some cotten woods. Took 10 men 2 lower Mike Fink in 2 heez grave. We war all a standin thar over the graves. No body noo no werds what 2 say.

Jim Briger sayed yoo no sum werds donít yoo Horse.

I thot a minut then I say yep gess I no sum werds. Ime a salt river rorer. Ime a ring tale squeeler. Ime a reglar squeeler from the old Mississip. Ime a chile that refused milk for he opened heez eyes then I calt out 4 a bottle o rye. Ime haf wild horse haf cock eyed gater. The rest snappin turtle an red hot tater. I can out run out jump out shoot out brag out drink an out fite any man youl see from Pittsburg to Norlans and back to Sante Looie. Come on yoo flatters yoo bargers yoo men o the law. Come see how tuff I am 2 chaw. Aint had a fite in 2 weeks no lie. Ima a spoilin 4 some exersise. Cock a doodel doo.

The men a sayed cock a doodel doo. Then we all sayed a men.

It war cwiet round the stockade from then on. Warnt no Mike Fink & warnt no likker left. Men warnt willin 2 do no werk tho. They war willin to hunt 4 food & that war bout it.

Broken Hand sayed 2 me & Briger trappins hard werk & dangerus werk. I donít see that bunch makin it 2 nex summer.

I sayed Ashley took most o the good men with him. Weel have a fare bunch when they git back.

I spose he anserd.

It took Ashley 6 weeks 2 return what I thot war reel cwik. Goin down river they had 2 fite that way past the Ree and lost 14 more men long with 11 bein woonded. Ashley hard 5 more men at Fort Atkinsun & returnt with bout 200 horses & mules. They left the keel bote in down river.

They war bout 60 o us left 2 go west. We hedded out 4 Shy Ann cuntry. It war late summer & thar warnt much chance o them a trappin many beever a for winner. We deevided in 2 2 groops 1 led by Jededia Smith and the uther by Androo Henry. Genral Ashley hedded back 4 Sante Loois on Mike Finks unther keel bote.

I rid with Henry. We hedded south 4 the Grand River sos the men cood git sum trappin in a for winner. Smith led his groop west long the Yaller Stone figgern 2 trap the Powder er Tung Rivers.

We no morn got to the Grand River when Hyoo Glass war out a huntin & war attacked by a she griz when he cum twixt her & her cubs. Broken Hand heered the ruckus but by the time he got thar the griz war ded & Glass war all but. He kilt the bear with heez nife. Never did git a shot off. When we all got 2 heem he warnt a tokkin. Jez bleedin. But he war a live. Barely.

Al the men war a hankerin 2 git thar trappin dun. Briger and Broken Hand volunteerd 2 stay with Glass til he dide & we hedded west cross cuntry back tord the Yaller Stone. We war ded in the middel o Shy Ann cuntry so the men trapped in groops o 4 er 5. We made it slo west & the men war a gitten a considerabl number o plews. I didnt do no trappin. I stayed long the rijes keepin a I peelt 4 Shy Anns.

A week after we left Hyoo Glass I spotted a Shy Ann war party o morn a duzen a hedding down river which war east long the Grand River. I cood see throo my lookin glass they wart much morn boys but theyís all painted 4 war. Didnt have no guns neether. A cupel war a totin lanses but most o em had short horse bows. R men war a trappin the streems what fed the Grand & wart neer whar them Shy Anns past.

Othern stoppin 2 water theyselves & they horses them warryers moved rite on thru. Problem war theys a heddin tord Hyoo Glass & Briger & Broken Hand. Warnt no way 4 me 2 git past them 2 warn tuthers. Jez hoped they be a keepin thar Ize peelt. Uther problem would be ifn then Shy Anns cum a cross R trale. We had 27 men & bout 80 horses & mules. Ifn them yung bucks had any branes they woodnt bother a party R size but a feller coodnt count on yung bucks who aint counted coo yet a havin any branes so I figgerd the best chanse 4 Briger & Broken Hand wood be 4 them Shy Anns 2 find R trale & 4 us 2 be reddy 4 em.

R party stade 2 close gether the nex 3 days whilst I wached 4 them Shy Anns 2 cum back. Bout sun down the nex day I heered horses a cumin up the tale be low. Throo my lookin glass I cood see it war Brigerr & Broken Hand. They war a movin fast & had bin 4 a while but the looks o how letherd thar horses war. Warnt no Indins a follern them tho. I spected they didnt no that tho. They war ded follern the trale we left. I got thar tenshun. They let out whoops when they seen me. I rid down long the crik they war a cumin up 2 meet em.

See yoo still got yer scalps I sayed.

I seen more o the Shy Anns than I ever wanted 2 Broken Hand sayed.

They war all round us Horse Briger sayed.

Did ye git Glass barryd.

They jez stared at eech uther. Broken Hand anserd no chanse. Shy Anns ever whar. Had 2 leeve heem whar he dide.

Henry desided weed better better hed over the rije 2 the Yaller Stone & hed back tord the stock ade 2 winner. They war a gonna trap long the streems that fed the Yaller Stone on the way back.

Me I had biznus back in Sante Looie sos I hedded south & west tord Fort Atkinsun. I kep my Ize peelt 4 Shy Anns by keepin in thick brush & not burnin no fars. I ket a I on the rijes 2. I node the werst danjer war 1 o thar war partys a cuminnn cross my trale. They war only my horse & 4 mules a totin my plunder what war plews R party trapt.

It war in the vally o the Niobara whar I spotted a hole tribe on the move. It war the hole Ree tribe thar at a fordin point on the river. Theyd bin a movin reel fast 4 a bunch that size & warnt takin time 2 dally thar at the river. Thar war way morn 1000 in thar tribe. Most war a foot. Only had a fyoo horses. I wached az they mooved on past the river a leevin bout 50 be hind mostly old folks & sum woonded warryers long with thar famlys. They war a bein left 2 die.

Ashley didnt tell us that 200 soljers underl Kernal Levenwerth long with a passel o Soo S corted him past the Ree on the way back from Fort Atkinsun. & he didnt tell me they runned them Ree outa thar villijes wimmin & childern a like. He didnt tell us nun o that.

I figgerd them Ree warnt gonna B reel frenly with me. I back traked 2 the vally o the Keya Pana river & cashed my plunder in a cave. Ide seen a buffler herd jez north o thar the day be 4 sose thats whar I hedded. The herd war still in the genral area so I shot a yung cow & spent the day a skinnin her & cuttin her up. I loded the meet on my mules the nex mornin & hedded back 4 the Niobara.

2 Ree boys met me on the trale a 4 I got 2 thar camp. They had chile size bows 4 wepuns. I tokt 2 them with hand sines whilst they wara likken thar chops a lookin at my buffler meet. They finly S corted me in 2 thar camp under sum cottun woods long the river.

I war reseeved in peese. I stayd with them Ree 4 bout a week. I kilt 2 more buffler 4 thar food a 4 I went on. A elder what had bin woonded tolt me a sinin a lot bout what went on. Bout Ashley & the soljers & the Soo & all. He even memberd Loois & Clark. He saye dtheyd bin attaked by White soljers a cupla summer after Loois & Clark cum throo & they bim agin Whites ever since. I give em my 4 mules & hedded out 4 Fort Atkinsun.

Fort Atkinsun war a hole town a ways north o whar the Plat flode in 2 the Mizzura. The booshway war Kernal Levenwerth. He calt hiz soljers the 6th rejament. Ize mad az a hornut & hedded strate 4 hiz cabin after I got 2 the fort.

A privut war a standin outside hiz cabin on gard.

SIR he sayed.

I want a tok 2 yer booshway.

1 minut sir.

He nokt on the door.

A sargunt stepped out o the cabin after a short while.

What is it. He warnt 2 frenly.

This man wants 2 speek 2 Kernal Levenwerth.

Who R yoo he askt me.

Horse Apple.

He smiled. Genral Ashley warnt shukkin. They reely iz a Horse Apple.

& it wood be me.

Ill tell the kernal.

I wated til he opend the door a gin.

Cum on in.

I went in. Kernal Levenwerth war a big man.

Horse Apple. Ime onnerd.

He reeched out 2 shake my hand. I wated a tad a 4 I shook hiz.

He oferd me a seegar. I shook my hed no.

You will have a seet wont you he sayed.

I set down.

He set be hind a table he yoozed 4 a desk.

Iz all well up river he asked.

Lost 1 man 2 a griz. Donít seem 2 be any Indins left in the Ree villages.

He lit heez seegar. They attacked yoor Genral Ashley. Kilt 14 men. Woonded a bunch 2.

Last time they had sumthin 2 do with Marecns theys a tacked a cupla yeers after Loois & Clark.

They a tacked a sir vey party led by Ensun Prier back in 07.

Thar storys a littel differnt. White kilt boys who roed thar bull botes out 2 trade. Then the Ree a tacked them. Never had no good deelins with Whites speshly when tonly uthers is Frenchy vigeroons.

White folk gotta B abel 2 travel on the Mizzura.

So yoo kilt that wimmin & childern & old folk.

Coodnt be helpt. They kilt 5 o my soljers. We kilt a lot o thar warryers. How do yoo no bout this.

Ree say Ashley shot furst when they cum out 2 trade in thar bull botes. Bout the same story az that Prior feller.

Not what Ashley sayed. Yoo no the Ree donít ye.

I nose what I nose.

From what I heer yoo cood be 1 hellashus scout.

I aint a doin no scoutin. Im haf Indin my own self.

Cherokee I heer. You aint a sidin with them Ree R ye.

Im a sayin thar aint no need 4 no war. Ever thing north & west o heer iz Indin land. White folks land is south & eest o heer. Ashleys men iz a trappin in the Rockys with the permishum o the Crows and the Shoshonys. They go up in 2 Black Feet er Shy Ann er Rapaho cuntry theyl git thar scalps lifted.

The Yoo Nited States oans ever thing from the Mississip 2 the Pacific.

The Frenchys sold the Yoo Nited States sumpthin they didnt oan.

The Indins is savajes. They donít reed. They donít rite. They aint even Crisjun.

IMA A INDIN. I REED. I RITE. I SPOSE IME A CRISJUN. DIDNT MAKE NO DIFFERCE. YOO MARECANS TOOK MY PEEPELS LAND ANY WAY.

He jez stared 4 a while.

Do yoo no Kernal Clark I asked.

Yes. I dined with him a fyoo munths ago. Heez a trying 2 keep Whites from a cumin this way. Like yoo.

I got up 2 leeve.

Horse he sayed.

I turnt a round & fased him.

Therel be no more violunse ifn yool help me.

I woked back tord the kernal.

How many waguns can yoo spare.

10. Mebe 12.

Make it 20 with teemsters what aint soljers filt with food & blankets.

4 the Ree.

4 peese.

I war a nuther week a for we made it back 2 the Ree camp on the Niobara. Theys only bout 25 o the tribe left. 4 parently dide in cloodin the elder in cum 2 no. Tuthers took the mules 2 join the mane part o the tribe.

We brung a docter with us & he helped the 2 woonded warryers what war left long with a woonded littel girl & a old woman what war woonded. We packed up the same day & follerd the trale the mane tribe took. It war neer 2 weeks 4 we cum 2 a big Pawnee villije on the Plat.

Them Pawnee had em a good crop o corn & beens & punkins & had em froot trees 2. But the cumin o them Ree 2 live with em war a gonna put a strane on thar pervishuns. What we left em helped considerbal. Happens them Ree & them Pawnee what calt they selves Skidi war close cuzins.

10 Pawnee returnt with us 2 Fort Atkinsun. Best I no Kernal Levenwerth ner his men never a tacked a nuther tribe o Indins. Pawnee cum to scout 4 the Army. Ole Levenwerth started that. White folk cum 2 complane bout how he always took the Indin side o things.

We found another reasonable man.

They warnt exakly be hind ever tree. They venchly named a fort after Levenwerth down in Kanses Territory.

Me I went back with 4 more mules & loded my plews & hedded 4 Sante Looie. I tolt Jim Duglas Ide be back by spring. I war a runnin late.