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CAMP-FIRE AND WIGWAM.

By EDWARD S. ELLIS

AUTHOR OF "NED IN THE BLOCK-HOUSE," "NED IN THE WOODS," "NED ON THE
RIVER," "THE LOST TRAIL," ETC.


PHILADELPHIA:
PORTER & COATES.

COPYRIGHT, 1885,
BY PORTER & COATES.




[Illustration: JACK'S WRESTLING BOUT WITH THE YOUNG INDIAN.]




CONTENTS.


I.--AT HOME

II.--A DOUBTFUL ENTERPRISE

III.--WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN EXPECTED

IV.--CAPTORS AND CAPTIVES

V.--JOURNEYING SOUTHWARD

VI.--AN INVOLUNTARY BATH

VII.--TWO VISITORS

VIII.--A SURPRISE

IX.--BY THE CAMP-FIRE

X.--WAITING AND HOPING

XI.--THROUGH THE FOREST

XII.--THE SIGNAL FIRES

XIII.--THE INDIAN VILLAGE

XIV.--ON THE MOUNTAIN CREST

XV.--THE RETURN AND DEPARTURE

XVI.--A PERPLEXING QUESTION

XVII.--TWO ACQUAINTANCES AND FRIENDS

XVIII.--THE TRAPPERS

XIX.--DEERFOOT'S WOODCRAFT

XX.--SAUK AND SHAWANOE

XXI.--CHRISTIAN AND PAGAN

XXII.--AN ABORIGINAL SERMON

XXIII.--IN THE LODGE OF OGALLAH

XXIV.--A ROW

XXV.--THE WAR FEAST

XXVI.--AN ALARMING DISCOVERY

XXVII.--"GAH-HAW-GE"

XXVIII.--A PATIENT OF THE MEDICINE MAN

XXIX.--CONVALESCENCE

XXX.--OUT IN THE WORLD

XXXI.--JOURNEYING EASTWARD

XXXII.--A MISCALCULATION

XXXIII.--CONCLUSION




LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


JACK'S WRESTLING BOUT WITH THE YOUNG INDIAN

A NARROW ESCAPE

THE SIGNAL

DEERFOOT'S VICTORY




CAMP-FIRE AND WIGWAM.




CHAPTER I.

AT HOME.


On the evening of a dismal, rainy day in spring, a mother and her son
were sitting in their log-cabin home in the southern portion of the
present State of Missouri. The settlement bore the name of Martinsville,
in honor of the leader of the little party of pioneers who had left
Kentucky some months before, and, crossing the Mississippi, located in
that portion of the vast territory known at that time as Louisiana.

There were precisely twenty cabins, all of which had been constructed
with a view to rugged strength, durability, and comfort. Lusty arms had
felled the trees, that were cut the proper length and dovetailed in the
usual manner at the corners, the crevices being filled with a species of
plaster, made almost entirely from yellow clay. The interiors were
generally divided into two apartments, with a broad fireplace and the
rude furniture of the border. Colonel Martin himself, with the
assistance of his two full-grown sons, erected a more pretentious
dwelling with two stories and a loft, but the other houses, as has
already been stated, were of such a simple and familiar character that
the American reader needs no further description.

Mrs. Carleton was a widow, whose husband had been slain by Indians in
Kentucky some time previous, and who, in the daily requirement of her
duties, and in her great love for her only child, Jack, found some
relief from the dreadful sorrow that overshadowed her life. Kind
neighbors had lent willing hands, and her home was as well made as any
in the settlement. Jack and his companion, Otto Relstaub, had arrived
only a couple of days before, and each had wrought so hard in his
respective household that they had scarcely found time to speak to or
see each other.

The evening meal had been eaten, the things cleared away, and wood
heaped upon the fire which filled the little room with cheerful
illumination. The mother was seated at one side, the silent
spinning-wheel just beyond, while her deft fingers were busy with her
knitting. Jack was half reclining on a rude bench opposite, recounting,
in his boyish fashion, the adventures of himself and Otto on their
memorable journey, which has been fully told in the "Lost Trail."

The good mother possessed an education beyond the ordinary, and, knowing
its great value, insisted upon her son improving his spare moments in
study. Jack was well informed for his years, for no one could have been
blessed with a better teacher, counselor, and friend, than he was. Even
now, when we reintroduce him to the reader, he held an old-fashioned
spelling-book in his hand. He had tried to give his attention to his
lesson, but, boy-like, his mind persisted in wandering, and his mother,
looking fondly across the fire, was so pleased to hear him chat and to
ask and answer questions, that she could not find it in her heart to
chide him.

"You have never seen Deerfoot, have you, mother?" he asked, abruptly
breaking in on his own narrative.

"Yes, I have seen him; he saved the life of your father."

"What!" exclaimed Jack, straightening up and staring at his parent in
open-mouthed amazement: "I never heard of that before."

"Didn't Deerfoot tell you?"

"He never hinted anything of the kind. He once asked me about father's
death and about you, but I thought it was only a natural interest he
felt on my account. But tell me how it was, mother."

"Some months before your father's death, he was absent a couple of days
on a hunt to the south of our home. He kindled a camp-fire in a deep
valley, where the undergrowth was so dense that he felt sure of being
safe against discovery. The night was very cold, and snow was flying in
the air. Besides that, he had eaten nothing all day, and was anxious to
broil a wild turkey he had shot just as it began to grow dark. He
started the fire, ate his supper, and was in the act of lying down for
the night, when a young Indian walked out from the woods, saying in the
best of English that he was his friend. Your father told me that he was
the most graceful and handsome youth he had ever looked upon----"

"That was Deerfoot!" exclaimed the delighted Jack.

"There can be no doubt of it, for he told your father that such was his
English name. I forget what his own people called him. Well, he said to
your father, in the most quiet manner, that a party of Shawanoes were
very near him. They had heard the report of his rifle, and, suspecting
what it meant, were carefully arranging to capture him for the purpose
of torture. Deerfoot had seen them, and, having also heard the gun,
learned what was going on. If your father had stayed where he was five
minutes longer, nothing could have saved him. I need not tell you that
he did not stay. Under the guidance of Deerfoot he managed to extricate
himself from his peril, and, by traveling the entire night, was beyond
all danger when the sun rose again. Deerfoot did not leave him until
certain he had no cause for fear. Then, when your father turned to thank
him, he was gone. He had departed as silently as a shadow."

"That was just like Deerfoot!" exclaimed Jack, with kindling eye; "it
seems to me he is like Washington. Though he has been in any number of
dangers, I don't believe he has so much as a scar on his little finger.
He has been fired upon I don't know how often, but, like Washington, he
carries a charmed life."

The serious mother shook her head, and, looking over her knitting at her
boy, made answer:

"Such a thing is unknown in this world; more than likely he will fall by
the knife or bullet of an enemy."

"I suppose he is liable to be shot, like any one else; but the Indian
that does it has got to be mighty smart to get ahead of him. Plenty of
them have tried it with knife and tomahawk, but they never lived to try
it on any one else. But that ain't the most wonderful part of it," added
Jack, shaking his head and gesticulating in his excitement with both
arms; "Deerfoot knows a good deal more about books than I do."

"That does not imply that he possesses any remarkable education," said
the mother, with a quiet smile.

The boy flushed, and sinking back said:

"I know I ain't the best-educated fellow in the settlement, but who ever
heard of a young Indian knowing how to read and write? Why, that fellow
can write the prettiest hand you ever saw. He carries a little Bible
with him: the print is so fine I can hardly read it, but he will stretch
out in the light of a poor camp-fire, and read it for an hour at a time.
I can't understand where he picked it all up, but he told me about the
Pacific Ocean, which is away beyond our country, and he spoke of the
land where the Saviour lived when he was on earth. I never felt so
ashamed of myself as I did when he sat down and told me such things. He
can repeat verse after verse from the Bible; he pronounced the Lord's
Prayer in Shawanoe, and then told me and Otto that if we would only use
the English a little oftener the Great Spirit would hear us. What do you
think of _that_?"

"It is very good advice."

"Of course it is, but the idea of a young Indian being that sort of
fellow! Well, there's no use of talking," added Jack, as though unable
to do justice to the theme, "he beats anything I ever heard of. If the
truth should be written as to what he has done, and put in a book, I
don't 'spose one person in a hundred would believe it. He promised to
come and see us."

"I hope he will," said the mother; "I shall always hold him in the
highest esteem and gratitude for his kindness to your father and to
you."

"I tell you it would have gone rough with Otto and me if it hadn't been
for him. I wonder how Otto is getting along?" said Jack, with an
expression of misgiving on his face.

"Why do you ask that?" inquired his mother.

"I think Deerfoot was worried over him."

"I do not understand you."

"Why, you know Otto has got the meanest father in the whole United
States of America----"

"Those are strong words," interrupted the parent reprovingly.

"It is contrary to your teaching to talk that way, but you know, too,
that it is the solemn truth. Deerfoot stopped at Jacob Relstaub's cabin,
in this very settlement, some weeks ago, when it was raining harder than
now, and asked for something to eat, and to stay all night. What do you
'spose Relstaub did? He abused him and turned him away."

"What a shame!" exclaimed the good woman indignantly.



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