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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 intimidation.
DRAWN BY W. TABER.
An incident happened to us which demonstrates their utter want of feeling for the interests of others. While at one of our camps a party of Indians returned from a journey to the interior which they had made on snow-shoes. I noticed that their chief, Klenta Koosh, was not with them on their return, and I asked of one of the Indians," Kusu Klenta Koosh" ("Where is Klenta Koosh")?" Klake sekoo,klake setteen" ("I don't know. I have not seen him"). Then he explained that he had not seen the chief for three days. While crossing the mountains they were caught in a dense fog; the party kept together for a time by calling constantly to one another, but finally the voice of the chief grew fainter and fainter, and then could no longer be heard. In the same breath with this explanation the Indian asked me, "Have the salmon started to run up our river?" I ignored his
question, and asked again, "But where is Klenta Koosh?" As if disgusted at my interest in such a trivial matter, the man answered quite snappishly, "I don't know; either he has been killed by a bear or drowned crossing one of the swollen streams."
During our stay at the Indian village of Klokwan our horses remained in splendid condition. The natives themselves were too scared at the strange animals to annoy them. Their dogs at first made a noisy attack, but a few kicks from the horses warned them that it was more comfortable to howl at a distance.
Toward the end of May the summer warmth had rid the valleys of their winter snow; so we saddled up and moved on toward the interior. Our road from Klokwan lay along the course of the Kleeheenee, which heads away from a glacier, and, flowing from the westward, enters the Chilkat River just above the village. In crossing the parent river, now swollen by its
DRAWN BY DE COST SMITH.
THE APPROACH TO A CAÑON.
tribute from melting snows into a deep, swift stream, we towed each of our horses across with a canoe, with which we also carried our supplies as far as navigation permitted. We then harnessed up again, and, riding on the packsaddles, proceeded on our way along the stony valley of the Kleeheenee, which we had to swim several times on horseback, where the precipitous bluffs on one bank stopped our advance and compelled us to cross. At one place I had a bad fall. The horse I was riding sank into a small bed of quicksand, and, struggling to free himself, reared and fell backward. Fortunately I was thrown off a sufficient distance to be safe 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
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 packs, and while thus occupied our Indian suffered a sudden change in his usually uninteresting and phlegmatic course of life. He was riding the little mare. Close to our camp there was a broad, deep ditch, with steep banks on each side; we had always walked our horses down one side and up the other. The Indian had no reason to suppose that the mare would depart from that custom; but he had no time for any meditation on the subject, for upon arriving at the brink the little mare sprang over the ditch. The copper-colored rider was pitched into the air. He sat dazed until returning reason convinced him that it was too serious a mishap to be a dream.
Fearing that we might have a lot of soft snow to cross on the summit, we constructed sets of four snow-shoes for our horses. We trimmed
DRAWN BY DE COST SMITH
A ROUGH BIT OF CLIMBING.
some stout young spruce saplings, then lashed these into hoops fourteen inches in diameter, and filled them in with plaited rope, each, when finished, resembling the exaggerated head of a lawn-tennis racket. The horse's hoof was placed in a pad in the center of the shoe, and a series of loops drawn up and laced round the fetlock kept it in place. When first experimenting with these, a horse would snort and tremble upon lifting his feet. Then he would make the most vigorous efforts to shake them off. Standing on his hind-legs, he would savagely paw the air, then quickly tumble on to his fore-legs and kick frantically. We gave them daily instruction in this novel accomplishment till each horse was an
we found covered with a dense growth of brittle shrub and coarse grass, and, on the extreme heights, snow-fields and moss-covered rock. We had made several reconnoitering trips to select the best ways, and we reached the summit, 4750 feet elevation, by slow and careful ascent, without any serious mishap. On the extreme heights of the divide a giant table-land extends for several miles in all directions. The air was cold, and the view cheerless, all lower lands were out of sight, and a distant circle of snowy peaks penciled out the horizon with glistening ruggedness. Everywhere on the high levels we crossed over immense patches of snow, in most places packed so hard that
expert; but our precaution proved unnecessary, for all the snow we crossed during the season was packed hard.
At last we set forth in earnest. Gradually we had been following the receding snow, and had now reached the foot of the Rocky Mountains, forming the divide or coast-range. The dreaded wall of towering heights, which had kept the land so long unknown, was ahead of us. Thus far our march had been over stony valleys along the Chilkat and the Kleeheenee rivers. We now left the rivers and struck northward. On the lower slopes of the mountains we had to cut a trail through forests of spruce and hemlock. The steep hillsides of the higher levels
our horses' iron shoes made but little impression. Occasionally, however, the crisp surface would break through, and let us and our animals into deep, soft snow. While leading the little mare across one gulch, the hardened crust collapsed, and I and my horse tumbled out of sight into an icy stream coursing through its snowy tunnel beneath. By this time my mare had become quite philosophical in her acceptance of such incidents; she remained quiet, and looked at me as if inquiring what I meant to do under the circumstances. So I clambered out, and, giving her plenty of rope, urged and coaxed her to follow. The opposite bank of the gulch being only a few yards distant, by
energetic plunging she broke her way through and climbed
DRAWN BY H. D. NICHOLS.
choked with boulders, and hemming in an angry torrent. Sometimes the approach was down a steep face of slippery granite, and the horses would slide several feet before getting foothold; in other places loosened rocks would give way. But our plucky little animals would struggle and spring into safety, and obtain respite from the threatened accident. Many of the cuttings grooved out are shallow, with low grass banks sloping gracefully to the beds of tiny streamlets beneath.
From the Kleeheenee River to the summit and over the divide our course had been almost due north. When once beyond the coastrange, which took up two days' hard traveling,
we gradually descended to a lower level, and struck away to the westward into a great valley, reaching as far as the eye could see, and walled on each side by a lofty line of mountains, thickly wooded to the snow-line. Avalanche and torrent had hewn the hillsides into deep ravines, and moving ice-fields had forced a way through the rocky wall. In the valleys beneath a rapid stream coursed along to the west, gaining volume on the way as tributaries from lakes and of melting snow flowed into it through the mountain gorges. As the lower levels were choked with timber-lands, we struck 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,-floundered to the saddle-blankets in spongy quagmire, and tramped through pasturelands 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. After encountering any 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 we found lakes and marsh-lands, which owed their origin to waters from melting snow, imprisoned in hollows, without an outlet.
After two more days of hard traveling we reached a wooded bluff overlooking an Indian village. Descending to the banks of a river the course of which we had been following, we fired a couple of rifle-shots, which is the Indian signal of approach. Soon a crowd appeared on the opposite bank, and shoved their dugouts into the stream; we unsaddled our horses, and swam them across the river, and the Indians carried our belongings over in their canoes. We loaded up again, and a few minutes' walk took us to the Indian village of Neska-ta-heen. Dal
ton and I had met these people during the journey of the previous summer; we then approached this settlement from the north on our way down the Alseck River to the Pacific Ocean. The road over which we had now traveled was the direct way from the coast. No glaciers or insurmountable difficulties obstruct this route. Our arrival at this point with the pioneer band of horses is a most important event in Alaskan history, destined in the near future to receive due recognition.
We had been accompanied thus far by three coast Indians, one as interpreter, and two as
guides, hired at two dollars a day and their board. This precaution is absolutely necessary in pioneer travel; those who follow in an explorer's footsteps can dispense with it. These men took us over the most difficult trails, endeavoring by all means in their power to make our experiment a failure. In fact, they had accompanied us in order to have the opportunity of disheartening us in their own interest. We carried their blankets, and everything they had, on our horses, so that they had to keep up with our pace. However, being paid by the day, they tried to delay us; but it was to our advantage to make long marches. On our arrival one of these men, Shauk, an Indian doctor 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 resting-place. He gave us to understand that it would indeed be sad should he die away from home and forfeit that little fence.
Our arrival at Neska-ta-heen created excitement among the natives; our horses, of course, were of far more interest than ourselves. They had never seen such animals before, and, for the want of a better name, called them "harklane ketl" (big dogs). This village looked as we had left it twelve months before; there was the same stifling atmosphere, and the natives themselves were wearing the same unwashed garments stiffened with fat and dirt. They received us good-naturedly, and the old!