Tracks Of A Rolling Stone By Henry J. Coke


One evening, after halting on the banks of the Platte, we 
heard distant sounds of tomtoms on the other side - Page 170
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One Evening, After Halting On The Banks Of The Platte, We Heard Distant Sounds Of Tomtoms On The Other Side Of The River.

Jim, the half-breed, and Louis differed as to the tribe, and hence the friendliness or hostility, of our neighbours.

Louis advised saddling up and putting the night between us; he regaled us to boot with a few blood-curdling tales of Indian tortures, and of NOUS AUTRES EN HAUT. Jim treated these with scorn, and declared he knew by the 'tunes' (!) that the pow-wow was Sioux. Just now, he asserted, the Sioux were friendly, and this 'village' was on its way to Fort Laramie to barter 'robes' (buffalo skins) for blankets and ammunition. He was quite willing to go over and talk to them if we had no objection.

Fred, ever ready for adventure, would have joined him in a minute; but the river, which was running strong, was full of nasty currents, and his injured knee disabled him from swimming. No one else seemed tempted; so, following Jim's example, I stripped to my flannel shirt and moccasins, and crossed the river, which was easier to get into than out of, and soon reached the 'village.' Jim was right, - they were Sioux, and friendly. They offered us a pipe of kinik (the dried bark of the red willow), and jabbered away with their kinsman, who seemed almost more at home with them than with us.

Seeing one of their 'braves' with three fresh scalps at his belt, I asked for the history of them.

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