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DRAWN BY W. TABER.
ON SNOW SHOES.
without the slightest idea of gratitude, and having an astonishing respect for the property of others. When on a trading-journey, or out hunting, they will leave their belongings hanging on bushes all along the trail; and snow-shoes, sometimes a musket, blankets, a leg of smoked bear, a dried salmon, are frequently noticed along an Indian path. No one thinks of touching any of these things, and they have not the power of the police to enforce honesty by question, and asked again, “But where is intimidation.
Klenta Koosh ?” As if disgusted at my interest An incident happened to us which demon- in such a trivial matter, the man answered quite strates their utter want of feeling for the interests snappishly, “I don't know; either he has been of others. While at one of our camps a party killed by a bear or drowned crossing one of the of Indians returned from a journey to the in- swollen streams.” terior which they had made on snow-shoes. During our stay at the Indian village of KlokI noticed that their chief, Klenta Koosh, was not wan our horses remained in splendid condition. with them on their return, and I asked of one of The natives themselves were too scared at the the Indians,“ Kusu Klenta Koosh” (“Where is strange animals to annoy them. Their dogs at Klenta Koosh ")?" Klake sekoo, klake setteen” first made a noisy attack, but a few kicks from (“I don't know. I have not seen him"). Then the horses warned them that it was more comhe explained that he had not seen the chief fortable to howl at a distance. for three days. While crossing the mountains Toward the end of May the summer warmth they were caught in a dense fog; the party kept had rid the valleys of their winter snow; so we together for a time by calling constantly to one saddled up and moved on toward the interior. another, but finally the voice of the chief grew Our road from Klokwan lay along the course fainter and fainter, and then could no longer of the Kleeheenee, which heads away from a be heard. In the same breath with this explana- glacier, and, flowing from the westward, enters tion the Indian asked me, “ Have the salmon the Chilkat River just above the village. In started to run up our river ?” I ignored his crossing the parent river, now swollen by its
pitch around the eyes and ears of our animals kept those sensitive parts free from the pests, and when my head grew so bumpy I could not get my hat on I applied the remedy to my own anatomy with a good deal of success. When not feeding, our horses would leave the sheltered places and seek the open stone flats to avail themselves of whatever breeze was blowing; they would then stand in couples so that each had the benefit of the other's tail as a swish. We had three horses, and one little mare, who was the pet of the band; she would often stand behind two horses, and thus enjoy a monopoly of the fly-brushes.
Our Indian guide was most anxious to ride on horseback, and an opportunity presented itself to indulge him while we were shifting camp a few miles. We had loaded our horses
very lightly and were riding on the De Cost Smith packs, and while thus occupied our
Indian suffered a sudden change in his usually uninteresting and phleg. matic course of life. He was riding
the little mare. Close to our camp tribute from melting snows into a deep, swift there was a broad, deep ditch, with steep banks stream, we towed each of our horses across with on each side; we had always walked our horses a canoe, with which we also carried our sup- down one side and up the other. The Indian plies as far as navigation permitted. We then had no reason to suppose that the mare would harnessed up again, and, riding on the pack- depart from that custom; but he had no time saddles, proceeded on our way along the stony for any meditation on the subject, for upon arvalley of the Kleeheenee, which we had to swim riving at the brink the little mare sprang over several times on horseback, where the precipi- the ditch. The copper-colored rider was pitched tous bluffs on one bank stopped our advance into the air. Hesat dazed until returning reason and compelled us to cross. At one place I had convinced him that it was too serious a mishap a bad fall. The horse I was riding sank into a to be a dream. small bed of quicksand, and, struggling to free Fearing that we might have a lot of soft snow himself, reared and fell backward. Fortunately to cross on the summit, we constructed sets of I was thrown off a sufficient distance to be safe four snow-shoes for our horses. We trimmed from his plunging and kicking, and finally Dalton and I helped him out. This stream, though at places not more than 100 yards in width, is a treacherous torrent. Only last year a man lost his life while attempting to descend it on a raft. After proceeding twenty miles from our last camp, another halt became necessary. The valleys were free from snow, but the mountain slopes seemed loath to discard their winter mantling,
We were compelled to pitch our tent again, and to wait till summer gained full power. At this camp both we and our horses were tormented most unmercifully by mosquitos and a hideous assortment of teasing insects. A liberal daubing of bacon fat and
A ROUGH BIT OF CLIMBING.
DRAWN BY DE COST SMITH
some stout young spruce saplings, then lashed we found covered with a dense growth of britthese into hoops fourteen inches in diameter, tle shrub and coarse grass, and, on the extreme and filled them in with plaited rope, each, when heights, snow-fields and moss-covered rock. finished, resembling the exaggerated head of a We had made several reconnoitering trips to lawn-tennis racket. The horse's hoof was placed select the best ways, and we reached the sumin a pad in the center of the shoe, and a series mit, 4750 feet elevation, by slow and careful of loops drawn up and laced round the fetlock ascent, without any serious mishap. On the exkept it in place. When first experimenting with treme heights of the divide a giant table-land these, a horse would snort and tremble upon lift- extends for several miles in all directions. The ing his feet. Then he would make the most vig- air was cold, and the view cheerless, all lower orous efforts to shake them off. Standing on his lands were out of sight, and a distant circle of hind-legs, he would savagely paw the air, then snowy peaks penciled out the horizon with quickly tumbleon to his fore-legs and kick fran- glistening ruggedness. Everywhere on the tically. We gave them daily instruction in this high levels we crossed over immense patches novel accomplishment till each horse was an of snow, in most places packed so hard that
expert; but our precaution proved unnecessary, our horses' iron shoes made but little impresfor all the snow we crossed during the season sion. Occasionally, however, the crisp surface was packed hard.
would break through, and let us and our At last we set forth in earnest. Gradually we animals into deep, soft snow. While leading had been following the receding snow,and had the little mare across one gulch, the hardened now reached the foot of the Rocky Mountains, crust collapsed, and I and my horse tumbled forming the divide or coast-range. The dreaded out of sight into an icy stream coursing through wall of towering heights, which had kept the its snowy tunnel beneath. By this time my mare land so long unknown, was ahead of us. Thus had become quite philosophical in her accepfar our march had been over stony valleys tance of such incidents; she remained quiet, and along the Chilkat and the Kleeheenee rivers. looked at me as if inquiring what I meant to We now left the rivers and struck northward. do under the circumstances. So I clambered On the lower slopes of the mountains we had out, and, giving her plenty of rope, urged and to cut a trail through forests of spruce and hem- coaxed her to follow. The opposite bank of lock. The steep hillsides of the higher levels the gulch being only a few yards distant, by
DRAWN BY H. 5. NICHOLS.
energetic plunging she broke her way through and climbed out.
Everywhere the surface of the land had been deeply scarred by glacial violence into hollows and deep, dark cañons. It needed the greatest caution to descend and climb the treacherous cuttings, banked each side by ragged, rocky walls, rising steep and threatening from the dank depths beneath, choked with boulders, and hemming in an angry torrent.
THE CHIEF'S HUT, AND GROUP OF GOONENNAR NATIVES. Sometimes the approach was down a steep face of slippery we gradually descended to a lower level, and granite, and the horses would slide several struck away to the westward into a great feet before getting foothold; in other places valley, reaching as far as the eye could see, and loosened rocks would give way. But our walled on each side by a lofty line of mounplucky little animals would struggle and tains, thickly wooded to the snow-line. Ava. spring into safety, and obtain respite from the lanche and torrent had hewn the hillsides into threatened accident. Many of the cuttings deep ravines, and moving ice-fields had forced grooved out are shallow, with low grass banks a way through the rocky wall. In the valleys sloping gracefully to the beds of tiny stream- beneath a rapid stream coursed along to the lets beneath.
west, gaining volume on the way as tributaries From the Kleeheenee River to the summit from lakes and of melting snow flowed into and over the divide our course had been al- it through the mountain gorges. As the lower most due north. When once beyond the coast- levels were choked with timber-lands, we struck range, which took up two days' hard traveling, to the left, and found a better way along the
crests of the foot-hills; we crossed immense areas of glacial deposit - boulder, pebble, and sand, foundered to the saddle-blankets in spongy quag. mire, and tramped through pasture
lands clothed in the richest grasses. Several times our horses sank deep into the treacherous bog, which threatened to engulf them, but by taking off their heavy packs, unsaddling them, and aiding their own efforts by liftingand hauling, wewere always able to get them
out into safety again. 10
After encountering any EL
such mishap, we made it a rule to prospect for another way, so as to avoid the bad places
on any future journey. Even on the heights guides, hiredat two dollars a day and their board. we found lakes and marsh-lands, which owed This precaution is absolutely necessary in piotheir origin to waters from melting snow, im- neer travel; those who follow in an explorer's prisoned in hollows, without an outlet. footsteps can dispense with it. These men took
After two more days of hard traveling we us over the most difficult trails, endeavoring reached a wooded bluff overlooking an Indian by all means in their power to make our exvillage. Descending to the banks of a river the periment a failure. In fact, they had accomcourse of which we had been following, we fired panied us in order to have the opportunity of a couple of rifle-shots, which is the Indian sig- disheartening us in their own interest. We carnal of approach. Soon a crowd appeared on ried their blankets, and everything they had, on the opposite bank, and shoved their dugouts our horses, so that they had to keep up with into the stream; we unsaddled our horses, and our pace. However, being paid by the day, swam them across the river, and the Indians they tried to delay us; but it was to our advancarried our belongings over in their canoes. We tage to make long marches. On our arrival loaded up again, and a few minutes' walk took one of these men, Shauk, an Indian doctor us to the Indian village of Neska-ta-heen. Dal- of the Chilkat tribe, began at once to intrigue
with the interior Indians, persuading them to arrest our passage through their country, as we had come to steal their land. We discharged this fellow at very short notice; then the other two, who did not relish our hard traveling, decided to leave us and to return to the coast. Had we been dependent upon these creatures we should have been most seriously inconvenienced, but our horsetransport kept us safe against their unreliability. One of the guides, old Indiank, had a novel excuse for leaving us. He said his relatives on the coast did not wish him to travel into the interior any more; he was getting old, and they feared that some day
he would drop down dead on the trail. They promised him that, if he would remain with them, they would supply him with all the dried salmon he needed, and agreed, when he died, to put a little fence
around his final restDRAWN BY M. D. NICHOLS.
ing-place. He gave INTERIOR OF GOONENNAR HUT.
us to understand
that it would indeed ton and I had met these people during the be sad should he die away from home and forjourney of the previous summer; we then ap- feit that little fence. proached this settlement from the north on Our arrival at Neska-ta-heen created exour way down the Alseck River to the Pacific citement among the natives; our horses, of Ocean. The road over which we had now trav- course, were of far more interest than ourselves. eled was the direct way from the coast. No They had never seen such animals before, and, glaciers or insurmountable difficulties obstruct for the want of a better name, called them this route. Our arrival at this point with the “harklane ketl” (big dogs). This village pioneer band of horses is a most important looked as we had left it twelve months before; event in Alaskan history, destined in the near there was the same stifling atmosphere, and future to receive due recognition.
the natives themselves were wearing the same We had been accompanied thus far by three unwashed garments stiffened with fat and dirt. coast Indians, one as interpreter, and two as They received us good-naturedly, and the old