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seem gloomy, like the two smaller cañons we had passed the day before. All through Montana people talk of the Gate of the Mountains, but very few have visited it, from the fact that it is inaccessible by road or bridle-path and can be seen only from a boat. The name was bestowed by Lewis and Clarke, the explorers, who passed through it in canoes on the 19th of June, 1805, on their way to the Pacific coast. They also gave it the alternative designation of the Great White Rock Cañon. Two sons of the Chevalier Vendrye, the French explorer, passed through it as early as 1742, and were probably the first white men to gaze upon its frowning precipices.

Tying up the boats that day for the noon lunch of ham and bread, we found upon a

grassy plateau some relics of former occupancy that seemed to indicate that the spot had been the scene of a tragedy. There were two "foundations," a few rods apart. A" foundation" in Montana means four logs laid across each other so as to form a square, and is a legal notification of intent to build a cabin and take up a claim. The two "foundations" so near together were evidences of a dispute about the title to the little strip of meadow land, on which the occupants perhaps expected to find gold. Within one of the log quadrangles we found bloody clothing, sodden and mildewed, a rusty ax, a camp-kettle and a coffee-pot, some blankets, and many other articles. The imaginative members of our party speedily constructed from these materials a story of murder - the victim thrown into

the river, and the guilty man fleeing horrorstricken from the scene of his crime.

Below the mountain gateway a boiling rapid carried us swiftly past one of the great land marks of northern Montana - the Bear's Tooth Mountain. It rises in a series of cliffs some two thousand feet above the river channel, and on its forest-covered summit stands a huge irregular, turret-like rock with broken crest. This rock, possibly three hundred feet high, gives the mountain its name. It is plainly seen from Helena, which must be at least forty miles away as the crow flies.

Below the Bear's Tooth the character of the shores of the river changes. The great chasms of distorted strata cease, and though there are numerous cliffs and pinnacles, they are of soft brown rock, much worn by the action of wind and rain. Profiles and faces become so numerous that only the most striking are remarked. I remember the Egyptian mummies suspended high above the water; a strongly marked, majestic, and serene face with beard washed by the waves, which I called the River God; and two gigantic stat ues known as the Old Man and the Old Woman. Of ruined castles, broken towers and battlements, huge archways, and other familiar effects of fantastic rock-work, there were too many specimens to name or notice at length. The mountains gradually broke away into steep hills, between which were grassy valleys running down to the river's brink. This region of singular rock effects extends for about forty miles below the Gate of the Mountains and ends abruptly. Beyond, stretch out the great plains. A huge wall, beginning at the river and running up an acclivity for three or four hundred yards, marks the boundary between the two regions, and is the last outwork of the Rocky Mountain system in this direction.

In the afternoon of the third day of the voyage the crew of the small boat, having gotten some miles in advance of the commissariat in the big skiff, determined to forage on the country for supplies. A pair of horses grazing on the bank indicated that there must be a ranch near at hand. In Montana every human habitation outside of the towns is a ranch. There are hay ranches, grain ranches, milk ranches, horse ranches, cattle ranches, and chicken ranches. The word has traveled all the way from northern Mexico to the British possessions, amplifying its application as it advanced. The ranch which we found, after scrambling through the thicket of rose-bushes and willows that formed a stout natural hedge all along the shore, defied classification under any of the above terms. It displayed a little of everything that could be done in

the way of Montana agriculture. On a broad bench, surrounded by mountains, were small fields of hay and grain, and a big irrigated vegetable garden, where potatoes, corn, beets, turnips, tomatoes, and watermelons were growing. A log cabin with one door and one window, and a log barn flanked by hay and straw stacks, stood far back from the river. A man clad in a brown canvas suit and a widebrimmed felt hat, which is the universal costume of all who do outdoor work in Montana, was digging potatoes. He leaned on his hoe and very closely scanned the four men approaching him, as if to satisfy himself whether their intentions were hostile or peaceable. When told that we were well-disposed travelers floating down the river, at that moment bent only on getting something to eat, he became quite friendly. "You 're welcome to the best I've got," he said. "Pick an armful of roasting-ears, and I'll rustle up a fire." He limped on to the house while we hunted for tender ears on the dry stalks. He proved to be the only occupant of the place, and his cabin of one room was kitchen, dairy, granary, and bedroom combined. Its only decorations were a huge rude painting of a four-horned goat, and a singular robe of some strange fur. He explained the possession of these treasures by saying that some years ago he went to South Africa to dig for gold. The robe he bought from a native chief, and the picture represented a goat he had brought back and exhibited in "the States," with small financial success. He came to Montana from Ohio as a young man in the early days of the gold migration, and after his African adventures he had returned to these wild mountains, concluding that this country suited him as well as any he had seen. "Lonesome? Well, not particularly." He had always "bached it " (lived as a bachelor). Next winter his nephew was coming to live with him. A raft went down the river once a month. Once a year he went to Helena for his supplies. There was no wagon road to his place, and bacon was the only thing he could pack out to sell. He fed his milk and vegetables to his hogs.

The prospect for a square meal did not look favorable at first view of the cabin, but we underrated our host's resources. He roasted potatoes under the embers in his little boxstove and corn above them, and upon it he fried bacon and made coffee; with plenty of milk and cream, with tomatoes for salad and watermelons for dessert, we made a capital dinner. There was room at the rough board table for only two, so the others took their plates and cups to the wood-pile outdoors. Our host refused to take money, invited us to come again, and following us to our boat, as a last

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tumultuous current at the head of the island a little nervous at first, but quite jubilant when we found how lightly our craft danced over the waves and how easy it was, with steady rowing, to give her steerage-way and thus avert the only danger, that of drifting broadside to the current and being rolled over like a log. The first plunge of the rapids is about half a mile in length; then comes a little stretch of quiet water, and then a second descent, of a quarter of a mile. To sweep along with the swift rush of the seething waves, past the fast-receding shores, was won derfully exhilarating.

By dint of some hard rowing, with the aid of a rather sluggish current, we that night reached the only place between our point of embark

ation and the Great Falls that is accorded a name and the round dot on the map which indicates a town. The name was Ulidia, and the town consisted of a store and post-office, a hotel, a saloon, and two dwellings. The hotel had but three rooms, and its single bedroom was occupied by the landlady. Guests were lodged in a lean-to attached to the store on the opposite side of the road. South of Ulidia the Chestnut Valley stretches out at the foot of the Belt Mountains in brown undulations to the horizon, the Little Belts bounding it on the east. It is sparsely inhabited by prosperous stock-raisers, mostly from Missouri. One has grown so rich that he spends most of his time in Paris; another passes his winters in New York. I need hardly say that there are no chestnut-trees in the valley, or indeed in all Montana. If there were, the inhabitants would have found another name for

them. A current ferry crosses the river at Ulidia, and a road leads north-west to Fort Shaw and the stage road from Helena to Fort Benton, which keeps far back from the river to avoid the cañons and broken mountain ranges. The country is open and grassy, consisting of rolling plains diversified by buttes and rock-crested ridges, and is a part of the great grazing ranges of eastern Montana.

To float down a rapid river through magnificent and varied scenery is a pleasant mode of travel, but when the river grows lazy, as does the Missouri after it gets out into the plains, and its banks are mud walls topped by screens of cottonwoods and willows, and you must pull hard at the oars under a hot sun to make any satisfactory progress, the business assumes quite a different aspect. After five or six hours of this sort of navigation, leaving Ulidia on the fourth day of the journey, we tied the boat up to the bank for the main body of the expedition to pick up, and engaged a ranchman to take us across country in his wagon to Sun River. This ranchman lived in a log house of two rooms, and had a homestead of 160 acres, on which he cut hay to feed the horses of the cavalry at Fort Shaw. He got six dollars a ton for the hay, and had cut about two hundred tons. His girlish wifeshe was only eighteen-put the baby in a hammock made from an old piece of bagging, and cooked for us an excellent dinner of prairie chickens shot that morning from the kitchen window. In the living-room of the cabin the log walls and the rafters which supported the


dirt roof were hidden by cotton sheeting, and there was a sewing-machine, a rocking-chair, a canary bird, a white counterpane on the bed, and a few pictures. The husband had saved enough from his wages as a teamster to buy a team and wagon and build a cabin. In a few years he will be an independent ranchman with money in the bank, and will undoubtedly take his family back to Illinois to visit the old folks and show them how young people can prosper in Montana. He represents the new element in the population of Montana, and the hermit who entertained us the day before was a type of the old element.

stream, with an occasional clump of cottonwoods on its banks. At the place where we forded it the bottom was paved from side to side with large square rocks as smooth as flagstones. Far to the northward could be seen the snowy peaks of the main chain of the Rockies, where the river has its sources. Southward, towards the Missouri, was a white speck on the horizon, which was the goal of our day's journey. It was after dark before the little speck had grown to a house and we had found shelter for the night at the ranch of the Montana Cattle Company. The fall round-up for the Sun River district was in progress at the time, but

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The agricultural valleys and the great grazing ranges of this enormous Territory are fast being occupied by active young men who refuse to lead the lonesome bachelor life of the old times, and who wisely lay the sure foundations of success by marrying, and creating for themselves homes, however humble they may be at the start.

We drove across rolling plains covered with dry bunch-grass. An enormous square-topped butte on the northern horizon gave character to the landscape. The surface of the country dipped suddenly into a narrow valley through which ran Sun River, the Medicine River of Lewis and Clarke's map-a clear, shallow

the cattle were sixty or seventy miles distant on the Teton River. The beeves were to be driven northward to the Canadian Pacific Railway for shipment to the Eastern markets. All the cattle transportation for the country north of the Missouri and that immediately south of the river is now done by the new Canadian road. The drive is not so long as that to the Northern Pacific in the Yellowstone Valley, and the grazing on the way is said to be better.

From comfortable quarters in the dwelling of the cattle ranch we drove down the Sun River Valley to a ferry that led to the site of a prospective town just above the upper fall of the Missouri, called Great Falls City.

Placid as a Minnesota lake in summer-time, the Missouri glides along between banks shaded by cottonwoods. Its waters are ruffled only by flocks of wild ducks and geese. There are no indications that it is about to plunge over a series of cataracts and rapids and make an aggregate fall of five hundred feet in a distance of about twelve miles. So hemmed in by steep banks are the cataracts, that their roar is muffled and is scarcely heard until one is close upon them. The first leap, succeeding a long rapid, is twenty-six feet in perpendicular descent. This is called the Black Eagle Fall, and was so named by Lewis and Clarke from the circumstance of an eagle having her nest on an island below the fall. Viewed from the high bank above, this cataract is not very impressive. It has too much the look of a great milldam. The eye soon wanders from the fall to the stately landscape, spread out to the north and west to the billowy brown plains, the black masses of the Belt Mountains, and the white pinnacles of the Rockies, far up towards the Canadian line. The appearance of the Black Eagle Fall suggests its future use. Some day it will drive saws, spindles, and mill-stones. About four miles below is a nameless fall, of fourteen feet-nameless, no doubt, because hardly noticeable from its proximity to the beautiful Rainbow Fall, a sheer descent of forty-seven feet. The water is nearly equally distributed over the whole breadth of this superb fall, and its curve of white and light green, tinted with rainbow hues, is wonderfully symmetrical. Only in one place is it broken a little by an indentation in the ledge which gives to the plunging flood a deeper hue of green. Otherwise the fall might be criticised as "faultily faultless." The best view is from the bottom of the gorge. On the south bank of the river there is a break-neck path that leads down to the foot of the cataract. Here the spray clouds and rainbows, and the lovely aqua-marine tints of the water, show to best advantage.

Below the Rainbow Fall is the Crooked or Horse Shoe Fall, which has a perpendicular descent of nineteen feet. This fall, the Rainbow, and the smaller fall above can be seen at once from a projecting bluff. Not far off is an enormous spring, shaped like an open fan with an outer radius of three hundred feet, which discharges into the river, over a series of wide, low terraces, an enormous quantity of pure, cold water. This tremendous outpouring seems to be rather the mouth of a hidden river than a simple spring. Various names were suggested by the visiting party, for it had hitherto borne no other name than the "big spring." Finally all agreed to christen it the Giant's Fountain.

Eight miles below the Rainbow are the Great Falls. Perhaps a third of the river's volume plunges down a precipice eighty-seven feet high, the rest descending over broken shelves of rock, in a multitude of cascades. After Niagara this fall must rank as the greatest cataract on the American continent. We could only see the entire breadth of the fall from a single point on the extreme verge of a crag jutting over the cañon. There was no way of getting down into the gorge to the water's edge, which is about four hundred feet below the general level of the country. The deep crease in which the river runs is entirely lost to view a quarter of a mile away. Its lips seem to close up, and appear like the many modulations in the grassy plain, so that a traveler riding across country might come almost to the sheer verge of the cañon before he would suspect that he was approaching one of the great rivers of the world.

We returned to the new town to spend the night, and late in the morning we were joined by the party in the boats. We had gained a day's time by striking across the country to Sun River and following its valley to the Missouri.

We portaged the boats around the falls the next day, getting them out of the water and upon wagons by dint of much tugging and lifting, with the assistance of the entire population. By the time we had traveled twelve miles of rolling country and had gotten the wagons down the precipitous banks of a coulé leading to the river and launched the boats it was 2 o'clock, and we were still twenty-four miles from Benton.

The stream was shut in between Bad Land bluffs – miniature mountains of blue clay and brown mud with streaks of lignite coal and strata of soft sandstone, all worn and seamed by the weather and showing many fantastic shapes. The aspect of these queer formations. was dreary and sinister. "If this is God's country," remarked the Californian, "it must be because he is still at work on it."

Night fell long before we reached the town. There was no moon, and it was impossible to see the shores, the shallows, or the rapids. Nothing was visible but a little gleam on the water a few yards around the boat, and the black bulk of the tall cliffs. Then came the welcome sight of lights ahead. Soon we were safely ashore and sitting down to supper in a comfortable hotel, very tired and very happy.

The town of Fort Benton has played a part in the commerce of the far North-west out of all proportion to its size. In its best days it had a scant thousand of settled inhabitants, but twice that number of transient sojourners

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