Dam Ime Old

The Lives and Adventures of Horse Apple

(With Occasional Outbursts from Two Bear)

 

Chapter 2  Norlans

 

The lites o Norlans. Sum site. Thar round the big bend to the east o whar I war. Took me 2 trys in 2 yars 2 git har but cum 2 mory Id be in that town I heered bout 4 yars. Leesways I thunk I wood. Didnt want 2 ride in at nite sos I desided 2 hed away from the Mississip as I always duz 2 camp 2 get away from the skeeters & snakes & crimnals long the river. Id been a travlin inland as it war a goin round sum swamps & by yoos & a nuther big bend in the river & sos I bak trakt & then clum a low hill 2 make camp.

Never do bild a far when Im a travlin lone. Jez hobbel my horses & fine me a sof spot 2 doze off. Iz a bout dozed off when I heered shootin off in the far distense. A lotta shootin. I grabbed me 2 o my flintlocks & hedded west up river & up hill tord the shootin. Iz a movin on foot sos I cood be cwiet. Had 2 moov reel slow 2 coz o the thik grothe. Shootin ended long a4 I cood git 2 whar it war a cumin from. I set reel silent & cood still heer sum yellin & whoopin. So I cumenced 2 movin agin tord the sound only reel slow & reel cwiet.

Came up on 2 fellers a tokkin kinda low like.

What happened 1 sayed.

Got us a flatbote. Sumbich war loded with whisky.

Ooee dam furst feller sayed.

We gotta keep wach a while case sum 1 heered the shootin.

Aint had no whisky in 2 weeks.

Yoo gonna soon. Now be cwiet & take up post over yonder.

Yonder war the oposit directshum o me sos I helt still.

Tuther feller came in my direcshun & passed in 3 feet o me but be didnt spot me & he went on. When I figgered it war safe I hedded on tord the raket. Iz a heddin up hill an good thing Iz a movin slo coz that hill wunce it came 2 be rock dropt dam nar strate down. Belo me war a by yoo er a channel off the Mississip. Theys canoos & piroes a goin back a forth with lanerns in em sos I cood see whot war a hapnin. Theys a flatbote at the mouth o the channel & a hole passel o men war a tryin 2 pole it & tug in 2 the channel over a swamp o reeds & swamp grass. Theys a yellin & a laffin & a cussin. I had me good cover sos I set tite. After a har they got the big flat bote in 2 the channel whar they had em a long rope they cood use 2 tug the bote 2 the end o the channel belo me in 2 a cave whar I coodnt see it no more. I cood see from the lites tho when they passed that thar wuz 3 ded men & a ded woman a layin on the deck.

It war don a4 I had bak trakt 2 whar my horses war & I hi taled tord Norlans. I war late mornin when I got 2 the garisun jez outside o the city.

The gate o the garisun war open & thar war a yung red hared soljer on dooty.

Mornin frend. Like to tok to the booshway with yer permishum.

Yer name sir he asked.

Apple. Horse Apple.

Yoo been drinkin sir.

Nope. But I went all nite without sleep coz a flatbote war raded up river by pyrits last nite.

Sargent Welch he yelled. Skeered my horse.

A big sargent peerd from round the gate. What is it pryvit.

This feller here sayed a flat bote got pyrited last nite.

Whar he asked me.

Up river jez at the end o the bend.

Bully Wilson he sayed. Not much we can do.

If yoo aint who is.

That swamp is like a fort. We lost a lotta men a tryin 2 take that swamp.

From the top o the rock yoo cood pick em off like settin ducks.

What rock.

Theyís a big rock over lookin the swamp.

Yoo been at the top o that rock.

Last nite. Wached the hole robry.

I want yo 2 meet the Captun. Whats yer name.

Apple. Horse Apple.

Yoo aint shuckin me R yoo.

Reel names Horace. Perfer Horse.

He smiled a4 he led me in 2 the fort whar I cood ty my horses at a water trof. I alit & shook off my breech clout & follerd eem in 2 the Captins cabin.

The Sargent saluted proper like 2 the Captin & sayed Sir this iz Mister Apple. He sayed thar war a pyritin o a flat bote last nite & he wached from the top o a rock what over looks the swamp.

The Captin looked sooprised. The Captin then stood & shook my hand. Captin Loois sir. Have a seet. Wood yoo like a cool glass o water.

Yes sir I sayed. I took off my hat & set down.

A pryvate what war a standin that pored me a glass o cool water & I gulped it down. He pored me sum more.

I tolt Captin Loois my tale.

Cood yoo get 20 men 2 the top o that rock he asked.

Ifn they new how to move cwiet at nite.

That leeves out the bunch in this garisun. Can yoo tok Chacta.

Nope. I can git long with Chacta a sinin but that donít werk 2 good at nite.

He had eem a map on heez wall. The swamps rite thar aint it he pointed.

I warnt 2 good at a reedin maps but I ciferd whar Norlans wuz & cood majin a lookin down at the Mississip.

Yes sir. Rite bout thar. Theys a channel er by yoo in thar past some reeds & swamp grass. Cant see the channel from the river. Its bout a cwarter mile long and a caves at tuther end on the south.

We attacked em twiste by bote rite at that spot & they cut us down. Tryd wunce by land & got masacreed werse. Musta had 80 rifels.

Easy 80. Probly more.

From top o that cave 20 men cood wipe out thar cover coodnt they.

Yep. Then yoo cood cum in by bote. Whot yoo need tho is a deecoy tho.

What kind o deecoy.

Wall. I spect when thar aint no flat bote a driftin in 2 thar trap they put a hole passel o rifels on that hill like when yoo a tackt em. But when they gotum sweet pickins aint morn a few rifels on that hill like when I went up.

Whats yer idear bout a flat bote decoy.

Send 40 soljers up 2 Baton Rooge. Put em on a flat bote a hedded fer Norlans. Lode the flat bote with boxs with no lids. Put soljers in em. Have it come a driftin in2 that trap bout don. 4 that time me a 20 er so Chactas ull sneek on 2 the rock. You can have mounted men at the trale reddy 2 move west o the cave 2 cut em off when the shootin starts. You mite even put a keel bote er 2 up er down streem with soljers on it. 1 o them that can move in fast long the river shallas. The fellers on yer flat bote can yooz thar boxes az brest werks.

He liked the idear. Ever think o joinin the Army.

Thot bout it till I seen Cherokees cum back from the war in 12 mssin legs & such not to menshum the Creek war the nex yar.

Yoo part Cherokee.

Bout haf.

He invited me fer a lunch o Army beens & hartack & coffee. Later I took me a nap under a elm tree an woke later soorounded by Indins. Thar war a feller a leedin em I came 2 no az Meeko Sooki. Heez thar with 16 uther Chacta fellers. He & 2 uthers war akshully Neegras what had joined the Chacta jez like sum dun in R Cherokee tribe. Theys a plannin on follern me on 2 that rock.

Only haf o em had rifles & theys smoothe bore. Warnt gonna be no yoos a shootin long range. & the short bows tuther fellers had were good fer bout 50 feet on a good day. Only 1 war Osaje oranj. Tuthers war differt kinds o froot wood. Meeko Sooki spoke broke Marecan sos we desided Id let the Captin no they needed better shootin hardware. He cood spare us only 4 good Army rifels. I had 5 I lent em. Vencly I let them Chacta keep the rifels.

We went out the nex day & did R target shootin. Captin he sent 2 platoons that day up the eest side o the Mississip tord Baton Rooge.

Plan war fer a keel bote to come down the Mississip 2 days a hed o the flat bote. That wood give me time 2 visit Norlans sense Ide not bin thar yet. & I did.

When I stepped out o the Army bath house on Sadidy afternoon a werin my talerd black cote with my white shirt & ty & my gray droors with long shiney boots & a beever hat soljers an Chacta a like whooped it up. They sayed I looked like a Mississip gambler & smelt like a Norlans hore. Had me a silver plated 2 barrel Derinjer in my belt 2.

I climt on 2 my horse & rid in 2 town long with Captin Loois.

Thar goota be sum story behind a haf breed what shows up outa no whar a totin a forchun in guns & hi falutin cloze.

My Daddy sells guns outa Sante Looey. Has heem a store & all. Had me a good beever yar up in R Kansus.

Trapper hugh.

Not exackly.

Yoo down here 2 trade guns.

I keep my eyes & eers open. Always found it yoosful 2 be loded 4 bear & crimnals when Im travlin a lone.

Not many foke travel a lone long the lower Mississip.

Need 2 stay of the rodes a big part o the time. A feller cant make hizself a settin duck. Them flat botes jez a driftin & a polin they selves down the Mississip R settin ducks. How duz they git back up the Mississip with no sale.

They dont. They brake the botes a part fer lumber in Norlans and the croos take horses back up the Nachez Trase 2 the Ohia River.

Ill be.

First time in Norlans.

Yes sir.

Well yer gonna want 2 stay away from the Swamp on on Girod Street long the shore. I recommend the French Cwarter & 4 yoo 2 stay at Davises Hotel ifn yoo can a ford it. Yoo look like yoo can.

Sounds good 2 me. Can I by yoo supper.

I plan 2 be meetin a yung lady at her fokes plantashum south o town. Mebe I cood meet with yoo at yer hotel Sundy after church & we cood have a meel a 4 we hed bak 2 the garisun.

Sounds good Captin.

Il ride with yoo 2 yer hotel & innerduse yoo to Mr. Davis.

Davises Hotel took up better part o a block. Pertiest bildin Id ever seed. Fancy dressed Neegra fellers 10ded R horses & a nuther took my fancy carpetbag & led us in2 the hotel. Ooee. I never seen nuthin like that place. A hangin from the ceelin war beeg shandaleers with 100s o cristels a hanging on em. Cristel is peeses o glass.  The ceelin o the beeg entry room war copper with reel fancy deezines. Shiny & fuzzy red cloth war on the walls. The chares and furniture war like nuthin yoo ever seed. The men war all dressed fancy like me and the wimmin war a warin long dresses & hats & bussels.

Scuse me Captin Loois sayed. Ill have the consee sumthin inform Mister Davis we R here. He wokked over & spoke sofly 2 a stuffy yung feller who clicked heez heels & hurryd off.

Mister Davis soon a peered out o a door & wokked tord us.

Captin Loois. What a plasyure.

Mister Davis. This is Mr. Apple.

Mister Davis shook my hand.

Mister Apple wishes to stay with yoo off & on durin heez stay in Norlans. Heel be a round a fyoo weeks.

Wonderful Mister Apple. Ol Davis snapped heez fingers & the consee sumthin & a fancy dressed Neegra feller hurried over. Herasho. Rejerster Mister Apple & be sure he is comferbal.

Herasho cloked heez heels agin & motioned 4 me to perceed 2 the rejer strashun desk.

Thank you Captin I sayed.

See yoo 2 mory.

Herasho got me rejersterd fer 2 much muny & led me up stares 2 my fancy room. Furst thing I had me a hot bath & hedded back down 2 the lobby 2 find me sum food.

Thar in the lobby a feller wuz a paintin a picture o a nuther feller. Looked jez like heem. Iz a thinkin Id like 2 have a picture o me but I woodnt have no way 2 tote it bein on horse & all. I stood & wached fer a while a4 my stumuk cumensed 2 growlin. Herasho directed me to the rest rant he calt it & I set down at a fancy tabel & orderd the biggest stake they had & a beer.

Iz a sippin my beer & a watin 4 my stake when that artist feller came 2 my tabel. A feller from the rest rant started 2 run heem off but I tolt him no this feller war a frend o mine & asked the artist feller 2 set down. He thanked me.

I thot possibul yooz inersted in havin yer liknuss panted.

Inersted yes but Im a travlin on horse. Got no way 2 tote it.

Oh he sayed a lookin sad.

By yoo a beer.

Tee. Tee pleese.

I calt fer the wayter & orderd the tee.

Join me fer supper.

I cant a ford plases like this.

Hell Ill by yer supper. I calt the wayter agin an he orderd a stake.

Names Horse. Horse Apple.

Thats a colorful name. I am John James Autobon. Call me John.

Yoo can sure draw a pikchur John.

I have my dowts about my skill. Im at the point o tryin 2 raze enuf muny to git home 2 my famly.

Whars home.

Sinsinatee.

Thats up river aint it.

Up the Mississip and then up the Ohia.

I heered o it. Jez never node whar it war.

Im tying 2 bild a libary o pantings o birds.

Why 4.

Sianse.

Whats sianse.

2 study them sos peepel will no more bout them. I hope 2 sell my libary.

Inerstin.

I draw portrates 2 put food on the tabel.

So far been mostly beens.

Not even enuf beens.

Whar yoo find yer birds.

I go out into the woods & find em.

Dam. That sounds inerstin. Id like to see that.

Anytime.

The wayter brung Johns tee.

Yoo at home in the back woods I asked.

Pert much. Larnt from the best.

Who wood that be.

Danl Boon.

Danl Boon. Thee Danl Boon.

Yes sir.

Mebe yoo cood teech me a thing er 2.

I can see thru that fancy soot yer no sof soshul type.

Shows huh.

Yer tan & them caluses on yer hand what yoo cood drive nales with aint normal fer a Norlans gennelmen. Look 2 be part Indin 2.

Cherokee. Haf. Show huh.

Yup. Yoo look like yoo cood grow a beard. Ifn yoo grode a beard fokes woodnt take yoo 4 Indin. Most White fokes donít think Indins can grow beards.

Ill haf 2 think on that.

They brung R stakes.

Me & Jon had us a rite good visit. He tolt me whar I cood find eem when I got back from a helpin out the Army. I went into the gennelmens saloon & had me a cone yak.

Mister Apple Mister Davis sayed. Hope yer havin a cumferbal stay.

Yes sir. Bettern I ever cood a thot.

Will yoo join me. He moshuned tord a tabel.

I woked over an set down.

I no bout ever 1 in Norlans. Do yoo need any inner duckshuns.

Nope. I jez came 2 see the city. Like 2 see a opry.

The Barber o Savil opens in R opry house nex week.

I heeered that. Ill be back 4 sure.

You R well dressed & you carry a fancy peese thar but yoo donít cwite fit into Norlans with yer demeener. Pleese call on me if yoo have any problums.

Thank ye sir.

Yer most welcum.

Ol Davis got up an lef the room. I wokked out in2 the fresh air & wokked thru the French Cwarter. I looked in2 sum o the music halls but I didnt go in. They war a littel lowd & crowded 4 me. I went back 2 my room a& went 2 bed. Took me a while 2 git 2 sleep. Norlans war a niozy place.

After dinner me & Captin Loois hedded back fer the garisun. Hees in luv with a Frenchy girl whos peepel war well fixt.

It war Windsdy when a big ole keel bote landed at the garisun dock. The biggest feller I ever seen a for or sense war a yellin orders & a cussin. He yelt 4 1 o heez men to git Captin Loois & the feller hi taled it in 2 the garisum after the Captin.

I woked out o the garisun jez a hed o the Captin.

Yoo reddy to stomp on Bully Wilsons but Captin.

Weer reddy. This heers Horse Apple. Heez gonna leed the Chactas 2 the top o the rock a buv the swamp.

I stuck out my hand 2 shake.

Im Mike Fink he sayed.

Dam. I heered o yoo.

I aint never heered o yoo he ansered. Had eem a reel strong hand shake.

Captin Loois laffed.

Traps all set. The flat bote ull arrive don day after 2 mory. We gonna haf 2 attack on R keelbote from the south howsumever. Aint enuf time 2 git bv that swamp a polin upriver. Gess me & my men better git 2 the Norlans Swamp 2 wet R whissels whilst we wate.

The Captin sayed wood yoo have time 2 pole up river ifn yoo & yer men didnt visit the Swamp.

Probly. But Id be a polin a lone coz these har men been a countin on a visitin the Swamp.

I git yer point Mr. Fink.

Yoo wanna be a joinin us thar Horse Apple.

I warned yoo bout that plase Captin Loois sayed.

Heel be with me. Ill take good care o the boy Fink sayed.

I wanted 2 see Norlans. Been a wandern bout the Swamp.

Then we be off ifn the Captin will barry us sum horses Fink sayed.

The Captin war a shakin heez hed. Saddel em 8 horses Sargent. That big draft horse for Mr. Fink.

The Sargent saluted & sayed yes sir.

Didnt take long 2 figger out why Fink war a bote man. Heez so big that the horse heez a ridin had all he cood do 2 make it in 2 town and that war 1 big horse. Time we got thar that horses neez war a skakin like a pup settin on a froze pond. If he had 2 travel far on horse heed be shit out a luck.

I wore my buckskins long with the river men. I seen thar war plenty o men in buckskins when we got 2 the Swamp. The Swamp war a big strech long the docks o ram shakel shanty bars & hore houses. Aint never been in no privvy what smelt so bad. Id say haf the peepel war Neegras. Theys sum fokes long the street a playin music & a singin & a dancin 4 muny. Hores wood prakly pull a feller off heez horse a offern they selves.

Aint never seed nuthin like this I sayed & I been 2 Sante Looey.

Sante Looey be a church town sayed Mike Fink. Weel drop anker a hed thar at the Old Hickrey Saloon.

Dont think I wanna leeve my horse a lone on this street.

Donít wurry nun bout yer horse.

We pult up front o the saloon and a big yung Neegra feller steped out 2 us.

Heel 10 R horses. Mike Fink paid the yung feller sum muny & the 9 o us perseeded in 2 the saloon. It stunk werse than out in the street. Furst thing I saw war a feller a pizzin agin a wall sted o goin out side. Ferst time I ever seed that. Woodnt be the last.

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.

The saloon got reel cwiet.

Move a side from the bar. Me & my boys need us a drink.

Ever 1 cleerd a way from the bar & we shinnyd R selves up.

Rye whisky Fink yelt at the bar keep.

On me I yelt & slapped down a gold peece.

Hell. We can drink all nite on that Fink laffed.

Thats the idear I sayed.

I need a good drinkin buddy like yoo. We jez mite be life long frends.

I member it took a hole passel o rye whisky 2 git whar I didnt mine the smell o that hole. 4 o the fellers went sum whar with hores. Me & Mike we drank. We got drunk.  Reel drunk.

Nex thing I member my horse woked into the palisade o the garisum. Weez both a sleep the horse & me. He jez ran rite in 2 it. He rared back & I landed on my hed. Fink & heez men war a feelin so sick nun o em laffed. They jez rode on in 2 the garisun. My horse went in by his ownself & I staggered in. The sun war bout 2 cum up over Norlans.

Nex morning me & Fink war a trying 2 force down sum Army beens. Yeer horse walk strate in 2 a wall last nite.

I nodded.

Yer a funny basterd you no.

Warnt funny at the time.

Aint that funny now. Mebe it will be 2 mory. We shooda saved us some whisky 4 R heds.

I never seem 2 member 2 do that.

We jez set thar under the elm tree a lookin at R beens.

War later that day when me & the Chactas hedded out 2 take R pozishuns south o the swamp & Mike Fink & heez men & 10 soljers cumensd a polin up river. I desided then & thar I liked ridin a hole lot better than a polin. Ooee that looked at lot like werk. We rid 2 bout 5 mile belo the swamp & took it slo on foot 2 jez belo the bottom o the hill. We slep thar that nite with 4 look outs.

My hed ake war gone when Meeko Suki woke me up jez be4 don. We broke in 2 4 groops & started R slo move tord the hill. We heered cwite a bit o tokkin bout furst lite & we cood heer a lot o movin. Bout a haf har after furst lite the shootin started in the distense. Then rite a hed o us a White feller stood up with heez back 2 us. A yung Chacta waryer hit eem over the hade with heez war club made o rock. He scalped heem then & thar. Minut later we heered the fant cry o a nuther gard bein took out by 1 o R Chacta party. Twernt morn 5 minuts later when a gard spotted 1 o R party but be4 he cood yell 2 arras hit eem 1 on the belly & 1 in the throte. Lost heez scalp soon after.

The shootin war hot & hevvy when we got 2 the rije a buv the swamp & by yoo. Pyrits war a takin up perzishuns long the bank a facin the Mississip with thar back 2 us. Weez morn a 100 feet up sos we cood see the ankerd flat bote lessen a 100 yards off shore & 15 er 20 o the pyrits canoos & piroes tipped over or empty out on the river. That flat bote war a tossen sum led at them pyrits.

Bout then we opend far a puttin the pyrits in a cross far. Theys dam neer outa range fer us but we hit 1 now & agin. They began 2 hop in what war lef o thar canoos & piroes & tryd 2 make it past us in2 thar cave. I never did do no shootin but the Chactas hit a few o the pyrits & sank 3 o thar botes with them in em. 1 o them pyrits coodnt swim & he drownded.

Bout then ol Mike Finks keelbote broke rite thru the reeds and swamp grass at the mouth o the channel & they began 2 unlode galena on them runnin pyrits. What cood rowed & poled in2 the swamps 2 the west. Fink chased em az far as he cood in heez big bote. Captin Loois and heez men got off a few shots at the pyrits in the swamp. We figgerd bout 20 er 30 escaped. We counted bout 50 ded pyrits.

Me & the Chactas wokked down the trale 2 the cave & joined Mike Fink & heez men a drinkin them pyrits whisky.

We didnt looze a man in the rade on Tuffy Wilsons pytrits. Werst injuries came from a drinkin the whisky but we recuverd in a day er so. Caputred 10 o the pyrits but 8 o them venchly dyed o thar woonds. Captin Loois venchly hung tuther 2. Tuffy Wilson got a way er he warnt thar 2 start with. In a yar er so heez a radin agin outa Cave In Rock up the Mississip with even more men.

I hedded back fer the Davises Hotel & Mike Fink & heez men hedded fer the Swamp afor heddin back up river with a nuther lode o cargo. Id run in2 heem agin morn wunce.

I took in the Barber o Savil. Didnt understand a dam werd but the music war beeutiful. I took it in agin the nex nite. Never heered anythin like it sense.

It war a Mundy when I ran in2 ol John Audobon. Hezz a pantin a por trate o a lady long the bord wok in the French Cwarter.

I wokked up behind heem & sayed that lady aint got no mustash.

Heez a kiddin maam he sayed. Horse. How are ye.

Good. Reel good.

Im about dun here. Join me 4 sum tee in a minut.

Sure I sayed. Heez minut war bout 5 minuts.

Thars a tee house cross the street he sayed. We woked over & got us a tabel.

Well hows bizness I asked.

I hasta git home 2 Sinsinati. My wife Lucy is at wits end with me a way.

If shes at Wits End why yoo wantin 2 go 2 Sinsinati.

You donít understand.

Iz jest a shukin ya.

O.

Yoo been a paintin any o yer birds.  

2 many. Havnt been spendin enuf time o pantin fer muny. Ill ask round. Mebe I can hep.

Preshiate any hep Horse. Iz hit rock bottum.

Iz borned at rock bottom. Makes anythin a improovmunt. Aint like yooz wunce a king er sumthin.

He stared at me reel cweer like.

Yer a tellin me yooz wunce a king. I thot my yarns war sumthin.

Yoo woodnt beleeve me.

Why the hell not. Let me heer it.

Iím the sun o Looie the 15th & Maree Antwonett.

Iím the sun o Horace the 2nd.

Do you no who Looie the 15th war.

I aint from round here.

Neether is they. He war the king o France.

O. O. I thunk a minut. The cuntry.

The cuntry.

Sos yer Looie the 16th.

In a pigs eye.

So what happend then.

Thar war the French Revolushun & iz put in a orfaneej.

1 o them places fer yungins what donít got no fokes.

Rite. It war in a convent.

Dont know what that is.

In a Cathlic church whar the nuns live.

I seen nuns a4. Jez didnt no they lived in a convent. Whats a convent look like.

Its jez 1 o the bildins in a church.

O.

Yer muther jez left yoo.

No. She went to prison & war later executed in the gilatine.

Whats a gilatine.

A big blade what cuts yer hed off.

Ooo.

What happend 2 yoo.

Iz a dopted when Iz 8.

Never heered the werd dopted a4.

Adopted. Sum peepel took me az thar sun.

O. That war nice o them.

Heez a slave trader from Santo Domingo.

Dam Im a havin a hard time o follern this story. Whars this Santo Domingo.

Its on a iland bout 500 miles south eest o here.

& yoo meen he bot & sold Neegra slaves.

He nodded.

Did he put em in shakels & the like.

O corse.

Thats rong ded rong John Audobon.

Why. Without slaves thard be no tabaccy er cotton plantashuns. This cuntry wood go 2 hell in a minut.

Donít know much bout slavry. Aint seen much o it furst hand. But ifn this cuntry needs slaves to servive then it shoodnt be a cuntry.

Donít say that too loud round here.

Ill say it 2 any mans face.

Let us jez not tok bout it here. Weel tok bout it a nuther time.

Iz reel up set. Donít reely care fer this tee. I threw down a silver dollar & got up 2 leeve.

Kin I finish my story.

Aint no more bout slavin.

No more bout slavin.

I set down.

My daddy wanted me 2 get skoolin sos he sent me 2 live with his frend the guvner o Pensilvanya.

Whar were that.

I Fillydelfia. Guvner John Penn. Heez a Cwaker. I came 2 be a Cwaker. I came 2 get inersted in sianse. Speshly birds. I thot that by drawin pikchurs o all the birds I cood make me a reel good livin. Im a still hopin Im rite. Aint goona be doin no slavin no more.

I thunk a minut. Okay Looie. I gess weer still frens. I finished my tee a4 I hedded back 2 my hotel.

That John Audobon is a dishonest man.

Donít take no Shawnee profit 2 figger that out.

That evnin Iz a settin in the hotel saloon a sniffen a cone yak when a yung feller proched me.

Sir.

Hello frend I sayed.

Allow me to innerduce myself he said in a Frenchy axent. I am Onree la Fontane.

Happy 2 make yer cwantence. Names Horse. Horse Apple.

We shook hands. He war kind o limp in a shakin hands.

I have been told that yoo R an acwantence o a por trate artist who often pantes in this hotel.

John Audobon. I no eem.

My mistress wishs to cumishum eem 4 a por trate.

I can git eem werd. How duz he find this mistress.

The boy handed me a card. It war writ in French. I figgered Audobon cood figger it out.

War bout then when Mr. Davis came up 2 my tabel & sayed well Me. Apple yer a regler hero round heer.

Hows that.

Thar a story heer in the nooz paper says yoo led the battel what runned off Tuffy Wilson & heez pyrits.

It says that rite thar in that paper.

Sure duz.

Il be dam. If that dont freez yer bucket. Mine ifn I look at it.

Yoo can have it.

Thank ye. Thank ye Mr. Davis. I cumensed 2 reedin the story. I cood make out most o the werds tho they war spelt cweer. Heez rite. It war a story bout me a leedin the battel. I spent the rest o the evnin jez a lookin at that paper & a figgern out the big werds.

I went the nex day 2 whar Audobon  tolt me heez a stayin what war a big run down house & a old woman anserd the door.

Lookin 4 John Audobon maam.

1 momunt. She smiled afor she shut the door in my fase. A minut later Audobon stepped out o the house.

Im a lookin fer a feller calt Looie the 16th.

Horse. Im happy 2 see yoo. I feel bad bout R conversashun yesterday.

Twernt nuthin. By the way. Im Horace the 3rd.

Scuse me Horace the 3rd.

Have a job fer ye. I gived heem the card.

What duz she want.

A por trates all I no.

Thank yoo. Ill hed rite over thar. Ill let yoo no how it turns out.

Good luck. He war eksited & went in2 the house. I went a shoppin in the French Cwarter.

Iz gonna haf to by a nuther horse to carry the soots I bot in Norlans not 2 menshum the giffs I goit fer Sequoya & The Bowl & John & thar famlys. Iz a bout back 2 the Hotel when Audobon came a runnin down the street a callin me.

I haf 2 tok 2 yoo he sayed a pantin.

Come a long whilst I take my plunder up 2 my room.

He only took a few secunds 2 show heez amazment at my fancy room. Horse. She wants me 2 pante her nood.

Nood.

Nood.

Whats a nood.

Neked. With no clothes on.

She wants yoo 2 take yer clothes off.

No. She wants me 2 pante her with her clothes off.

Okay.

Okay.

What R yoo all het up about.

She wants to take her clothes off in front of me & have me pante a pikshur o her with no clothes.

Okay.

Yoo donít see nuthin rong with this.

Rong with what.

Her taking her clothes off.

No. Why.

Im a man.

Okay.

Shes a woman.

Im a follern yoo on that.

Wimmen donít undress in front o men.

Yoo aint never seen a neked woman.

Of corse. My wife.

How much did she offer yoo.

75 doller.

Whats it gonna cost yoo 2 git back 2 Sinsinati.

Mebe 25 dollers.

Looie. I nose yoo White fokes not 2 menshun yoo Cwaker White fokes er reel cweer bout bein neked & all but I cumenced 2 yell GO PANTE THAT DAM PIKSHUR & GIT THE HELL OUT O NORLANS A4 I PUT A LODE O BUCKSHOT IN YER ASS.

O. Okay.

He left.

Twere morn a week later & Iz a gonna see Rigileto in a cupla days & leeve Norlans fer R Kansus. Thars a nock on my hotel door. It war Audobon with a big smile.

Looie. What. Did yoo poke that woman yoo panted.

No. But she pade me a 100 doller. I wanna by yoo dinner.

No. That 100 aint gonna last 4 ever.

I insist.

Okay. Yer muny.

Theys a havin roste beef & taters in the rest rant. Hadem sum fine food in that rest rant.

When you heddin out fer Sinsinati.

Rite after I pante a bald eegel.

1 More bird. Sound like a drunk. 1 more drink.

No. I haf 2 have a bald eegel.

Theys a pare a nestin a bv by the swamp whar we fot Tuffy Wilson.

Can yoo take me thar.

Ifn yool pante the dam thing an git outa Norlans.

Soon as Im dun Ima heddin north.

Audobon seemed 2 be perty handy on the trale. He cood set a horse & seemed reel a lert. It war good 2 no he cood make it back up the Nachez Trase. It took us the better part o a day to git 2 the swamp & close 2 the eegle nest. 1 o em war jez a perched thar a lookin round. I led Audobon up az close az I figgerd we cood git.

Can yoo see eem I sayed.

All at wunce a god offal explosion went off in my eer & I dropped fer cuver. Jesus H. Christ. What the hell.

I looked up & Audobon war a lookin over me with heez smoklin shot gun a pointed at the eegel.

What. I jumped up a looked tord the eegel. You shot the dam bird I yelt.

Corse.

What yoo meen corse. You sayed yoo wanted 2 pante it.

Im gonna mount it furst.

Mount it. Yer gonna poke a bird.

No. Stuff it with cotton & war sos itll look nachral.

It war a lookin reel nachral a 4 yoo shot it.

I cant pante it out here. I need a pose.

What the hells a pose.

That bird warnt gonna stand still fer me 2 pante it.

Yoo meen all them 100s a birds yoo panted yoo shot & stuffed.

Corse.

Shit. Ifn Ida node yooz a gonna shoot that bird Ida never brung yoo out har.

Im sorry Horse. I thot yoo noo.

Eegels mate fer life. Theys eggs in that nest. They all gonna die.

This is fer sciance Horse.

Splane me what siance is agin.

Sciance is studyin. With my pictures fokes in the city studying sciance can yooz my pikchurs.

City. Hell ifn the peepel in the city didnt cut down all thar dam trees theyd have birds. Woodnt need yer dam pikchurs.

Yoo donít understand.

I helt my hand up. Warnt Maree Antwonett the 1 what sayed letem eet kake.

Yes.

I gess I no whar yoo got yer ignernse.

I wokked over & got on my horse & rid back 2 Norlans not speekin a nuther werd & I aint seen him sense.

White Man kills to understand. By now, he must really understand the Indians.

Mr. Davis cood see Iz reel botherd bout sumthin az Iz a setting thar in the saloon a sippin cone yak.

Mr. Apple. Mind if I join you.

No sir. Have a set.

You seem botherd.

Itl pass. Cood yoo do me a faver tho.

Ill try.

Yoo no that Opry the Barbar o Savil.

Yes.

I thot the music war beootiful but not speekin I Talyun I coodnt cifer a dam werd they sayed.

Mr. Davis tolt me the story o Barber o Savil what I seen 2 weeks a4 and Rigoleto what Iz goona see that nite. It made Rigoleto more inerstin tho the story botherd me.

Mr. Davis invited a nuther feller 2 join us. He war Genral Willum Ashley the Lootenent Guvner o Missura whar Sante Looie is. I larnt later he warnt no reel genral.  He jez sorta named hiz self genral.   But he war a likable feller & me & him wood venchly spend a lot o time 2 gether.

Asley joined me at the opry & he cumplaned he coodnt tell what war a goin on coz he didnt speek no I Talyun. I spalned the story 2 heem as it went along. He thot Iz a reel smart feller. He sayed he node my Daddy & he sayed heez a gonna tell my Daddy how smart I wuz noin bout opry & all. Wish I cood be thar 2 see my Daddys fase.

I hedded out erly nex mornin a toein 2 pack horses & hedded strate fer Meeko Sookis villij west o the garisun. Theys a bein visited by sum uther Chacta fokes calt the Homa band. Theys reel riled coz the Homa had 2 Ah Ees fellers long with em. The only 2 2 servive a atack by Whites on thar villij. The villij I node bout on the Red River. Theys out huntin when the attack came. Them fellers war the last 2 servivin Ah Ees.

Meeko Sooki tolt me wunst thars morn a 1000 in the Ah Ees tribe. Now theys all gone. They didnt see the raid but since the atackers hoses war shod they figgerd they war Whites. The Chacta fokes did a ceremomy that nite to pray 4 the soles o the Ah Ees peepel. Them war sad times 4 them peepel.

Meeko Sooki & 4 o heez waryers compnyd me 2 Pecan Point on the Red River whar The Bowls villij war a cupla days later. It raned a tad & took us bout 2 weeks. Wunce we got thar the Bowl pult me offa my horse & popped my back a huggin me. That nite me & The Bowl & Meeko Sooki swapped tales & ate fried scwarel & sweet taters. I rekolect we drank sum 2.

2 days later me & The Bowl & 10 Cherokee frens hedded fer Sequoyas village on the R Kansas. It war bout a 10 day trip.

At Sequoyas village that furst nite nite I cullected ever 1 in 2 heez cabin & cumneced to given everbody what I bot em.

Id bot a brite calico dresses fer Sequoyas woman & Choka long with sum foofraws like beed & ribuns & such. Fer Sequoya & John I had fancy new soots & Sundy shoos. I gave The Bowl a fancy flintlock pistel. Then 4 the 4 o us men foke I pult 4 cristel brandy snifters outa a parfleche I had packed with cotton long with a bottel o ekspensive cone yak. I pored em all a shots werth & tolt em 2 sniff it a4 they drunk it.

Ooee The Bowle sayed. Yoo call this cone yak.

I donít. The Frenchys duz.

Sequoya sayed Iz dun gone to White mans heven.

Sequoya and The Bowle sipped the cone yak & smiled at the flaver.

John gulped down heez glass & made a fase like heez a shittin a peech seed. I larnt John never drunk a for.

They alla wantin 2 heer my yarns bout Norlans sos I tolt em bout John Audobon & a radin Tuffy Wilsons pyrit camp & Mike Fink & Mr. Davis & heez fancy hotel. The wimmin wanted 2 heer bout the opry.

I tolt bout how fancy the opry house war & how fancy ever 1 war dressed speshly the wimmin. A opry I sayed is a story with music. They must a had 30 fellers a playin dirrernt insterments. Hell they had fiddels & bigger fiddels & even fiddels so big theys az tall a man & they had 2 play em standin them up. Then theys horns. Ever size & shape. & they had a pie anner & a feller beetin on drums. & they war all a playin the same song. They must o practised 4 weeks.

These stories war tolt in I Talyun so a feller coodnt reely understand the werds but yoo cood still tell what war a happnin ifn yoo noo the story & I did.

In this 1 opry the Barbar o Savil there was this perty yung woman calt Rosina what sung with a reel high voice & loud 2. This Docter feller kep her locked up sos when she war ripe heez a gonna marry er.

I laffed at Chaka coz her eyes war gettin big az sossers.

This yung Count feller fell in luv with Rosina but he coodnt git past the Docter 2 spark er. The Counts barber the feller what cuts heez hare skeemed with the count 4 the Count 2 deskize hiz self az a drunk soljer & he gits in 2 see Rosina but the Docter keches em. They they skeem 4 the Count 2 be a singing teecher & that werks & the Count & Rosnia run off & git married.

The wiimin cheered & clapped thar hands.

The Barbar & the docter hadem reel loe voices the Count had a kind o powerful hi voise they all a tinner.

Tell us bout tuther opry Chaka sayed.

That war calt Rigoleto. It war writ by a nuther I Talyun feller named Verdy. Thar war this yung Dook what had eem a tinner voise & had all these peepel what werked 4 heem cludin this hunch backed clown Rigoleto what had a reel loe voise. Rigoleto ribbed the Dook 2 spark on the wives & dotters o the peepel what werked 4 him. 4 revenj the Dooks werkers grabd Rigoletos perty dotter Gilda what he hid & the Dook found her a diddeld her. Rigoleto didnt no that Gilda war alreddy in luv with the Dook. Sos he went 2 have the Dook kilt & Gilda war kilt in sted.

0 the wimmin sayed sadly.

Rigoleto had eem a bad day The Bowl sayed.

Yup I sayed.

The storys R a lot like Indin storys only fancyer Sequoya sayed.

A lot fancyer I sayed.

He sayed that the story tells how peepel shood live thar life. Peepel what luv eech uther shood b let alone to marry. In Rigoleto that feller went ginst White mans way & sparked uther mens wives. O the 2 skeemers 1 lost heez luver & tuther lost is dotter the same person.

Didnt take no White mans laws The Bowl sayed ever thing war set rite nachurly.

I want 2 see a opry sum day Chaka sayed.

Me & Sequoya & the Bowl took us a wok later & tokked about all the Ah Ees a being kilt off. Sequoya sayed that ment they war extinct. He sayed when a hole tribe is kilt off theys extinct. Me & 2 Bear coodnt git them Ah Ees wimmins fases outa are mines. We all smoked a pipe that night & prayed 4 the Ah Ees.

Nex day we hedded out for R beever clippin grounds. The Bowl went long. The 3 o us rid & John driv the waggin. It war a long trip down the Ar Kansus then up the White. We barely cot site o 6 trappers a toein 10 pack animules what war full loded o beever plews. Weez only a few miles from R beever pond. Me & Sequoya looked at eech uther & goosed R horses. Warnt n morn a fyoo minuts & weez at R pond.

All are beever war ded. Skinned. Sum war a reddy rotten. Flys everwhar. Smell o deth everwhar. A cupla possums war a eetin on the carcuses & theys a few rats a round 2. 100s o ded beevers war everwhar. It war a warm day & thar warnt no wind. I helt my brekfus down sum how. We rode back down 2 whar John war with the waggin. I tolt Sequoya & The Bowl Id meet em back in heez villij. Ever thing war jez goin round in sirkels.

I rid northwest cross cuntry bout 2 days & found a nuther beever pond. I stopped on a hill over lookin the pond. I no time wood soon cum when theez beevers wood be skinned 2 2 make White mans hats. I figgerd sum day beever wood be extinct like the Ah Ees.

You were finally becoming an Indian. You finally began too realize that no Indian or animal will survive the White man disease. Only reasonable White men can stop the slaughter. Indians do not have the power any more than do the beaver ... or buffalo.

Donít ritely no how long I camped by that pond. 3 er 4 er mebe 5 days. Me & Two Bear thot bout trappin & a killin animules jez 2 pante em & sianse & make fansy hats. Coodunt make no sense o nun o it. We thot bout things cumin 2 be extinct like animules & peepels. Weez a gonna have 2 find sum reznabull White men 2 tok this over with. We desided mebe they didnt cwite unnerstan what theys a doin this bein noo cuntry & all 2 them. Time came when we lef 2 ride back down streem tord Sequoyas villij.

Iz mebe 5 mile down streem when I came by a com channel in the crik. It war then when I heered horses on my tale. I stopped 2 lissen & heered a horse shoe agin a rock. White men I thot. Iz in Cherokee cuntry. Warnt no legal reezun 4 White men 2 be in that cuntry.

Bout 50 yards up thar war a big rock so I stepped off on2 it & swatted my horse. He went on a peese. I moved up 2 a hyer rock what made a pert good brest werk & lade out my 2 flintlock rifels & cocked em. I pult my pistel out o my belt & cocked it & lade it on the rock. I picked up 1 o the flinlocks & droo a beed on 1 o the 3 mounted figgers I cood barely make out throo the brush. Theys a movin reel fast rite after me. Iz a gonna git 1 shot at eech o em I figgerd at best. I desided 2 wate 4 cleen shots.