Fur Brigade. A Story of the Trappers of the Early West - Hal G. Evarts - ebook

Fur Brigade. A Story of the Trappers of the Early West ebook

Hal G. Evarts

0,0

Opis

From the first pages we see what light feelings the main character feels for the river and the beautiful girl. It would appear that they can bind? However, near the river he met a beautiful woman. And the beauty of the girl helped the river make it even more amazing. This story will impress with its epithets and romantic story.

Ebooka przeczytasz w aplikacjach Legimi na:

Androidzie
iOS
czytnikach certyfikowanych
przez Legimi
czytnikach Kindle™
(dla wybranych pakietów)
Windows
10
Windows
Phone

Liczba stron: 380

Odsłuch ebooka (TTS) dostepny w abonamencie „ebooki+audiobooki bez limitu” w aplikacjach Legimi na:

Androidzie
iOS



Contents

CHAPTER I

CHAPTER II

CHAPTER III

CHAPTER IV

CHAPTER V

CHAPTER VI

CHAPTER VII

CHAPTER VIII

CHAPTER IX

CHAPTER X

CHAPTER XI

CHAPTER XII

CHAPTER XIII

CHAPTER XIV

CHAPTER XV

CHAPTER XVI

CHAPTER XVII

CHAPTER XVIII

CHAPTER XIX

CHAPTER I

The singing river crooned its seductive song to Hunter Breckenridge as he leaned upon his long rifle and gazed out across its swirling waters. Its gurgling current chanted a refrain of far places and battles unrecorded. It whispered to him invitingly, the Missouri. No doubt it was partly the fascination that the river held for him that caused his first glimpse of the girl Nepanamo to be so strangely stirring. She came floating down from the distant regions drained by its headwaters. Perhaps that fact served to invest her with some of the mystery he had always sensed in the river that carried her. Then, too, her hair was yellow, the first of that color that had ever come under his observation. Always, thereafter, the girl and the river were inextricably associated in his mind. She seemed to personify its alternating moods of benign placidity and wild turbulence.

A tall youth of sixteen summers, his was a man’s estate in point of productivity, labor and defence. Throughout the day, in company with four of his younger brothers and sisters, he had toiled in the clearing. Ordinarily, he deemed that sort of activity too trivial to necessitate his own participation. It might well be left to the younger members of the household while he aided his father in clearing more land or in hunting to supply the family larder. But since the father’s departure down river two weeks before in a bateau loaded high with the winter’s catch of fur, the weeds, left to the devices of the youngsters, had threatened to take the clearing and crowd out the crops. So on this day Hunter had assumed personal supervision of the work.

Save for the tiny meadow that had tempted the elder Breckenridge to settle on this creek, which now bore his name, the clearing was dotted by the charred stumps of the trees that had been removed, the Indian corn, potatoes, beans, squashes and watermelons having been scratched in between these blackened relics. Shoots persisted in springing from the living roots of these dead stumps and it was the self-appointed task of Hunter Breckenridge to cut the troublesome volunteer saplings beneath the surface with an ax while directing the energies of his minions to the easier chore of slaying the weeds with their rude homemade hoes.

In mid-afternoon, having laid low the greater part of the upstart saplings, he picked up his long rifle and hied himself to the adjacent forest, leaving the small laborers under the protection of his younger brothers,–Tod, aged thirteen, and Thomas, ten. These two, aware of their responsibilities, moved their guns from place to place as they transferred the scene of their activities. Tod’s weapon was a fowling piece heavily charged with buck-shot; Thomas carried a long squirrel rifle. Never were these weapons deposited save at some point within easy reach of the scene of their owners’ labors. Nor was this precaution merely a piece of boyish affectation. Instead, it was a habit bred in the very bone of them. The war whoop was by no means unknown to either. Only two years before, it had echoed terrifyingly through the clearing at break of day and the children had been engaged in reloading all available family weapons while the father, mother, Hunter and the elder sister had shot down every paint-bedaubed savage that showed himself in the clearing.

The few local Missouri Indians, already nearly exterminated or driven out by their enemies, were peacefully inclined and ardently desirous of the protection of the whites, but there were occasions when some war party of Sauks, bent upon avenging some actual or fancied affront, swooped from the north and left a bloody trail behind, sometimes even penetrating south to the Arkansas country to raid on the outskirts of the Osage nation. The few isolated cabins of settlers that had emigrated from the United States were too tempting to be passed by if opportunity offered for a surprise attack.

Small wonder that those of the breed who survived to manhood became such redoubtable warriors. From earliest infancy they were schooled to carry guns to their work, to be prepared for attack at any instant of the night or day. As they toiled in the field, went out to drive in the cows of an evening, stepped out to carry a bucket of water from spring or stream at dawn, when gathering wild fruit in the autumn, running trap lines in the winter, when fishing on the streams, hunting in the forest or journeying to pay a friendly visit to the nearest neighbor, their eyes were ever alert to detect some alien movement in the surrounding landscape, their ears attuned to catch the first yelping gobble of the dread war whoop. From a lifetime of familiarity with savage warfare and pitting themselves against a crafty foe, they fought as naturally and adeptly as they toiled, shooting at a human foe as coolly and accurately as when potting deer or turkeys. It was all a part of the day’s affairs.

Perhaps half an hour after Hunter’s departure, the distant detonation of black powder drifted from the depths of the forest. Tod Breckenridge leaned on his hoe.

“I reckon as how Hunt got him a deer,” he sagely pronounced in his soft Southern drawl.

Toward sundown Tod gave the signal and the quartet of two brothers and two sisters gathered implements and weapons and repaired to the cabin. The elder sister was swinging an ax at the woodpile, its sharp strokes ringing cheerily through the evening quiet. Tod relieved the girl and she withdrew into the cabin to aid the mother in the preparation of the evening meal.

Hunt Breckenridge was still standing on the banks of the river for a final survey of its waters before turning up the course of Breckenridge Creek to the cabin. It was not a deer, as Tod had surmised, but a turkey that had been laid low by Hunter’s shot. The big gobbler was now suspended from his shoulder. He lingered, loath to remove his gaze from the turbulent expanse of the Missouri. Its roily waters swirled in myriad eddies and miniature whirlpools near the shore. Always it called to him, the river. Coming from a tribe of restless souls that had pressed ever deeper and deeper into the wilderness generation by generation, he inherited the wandering feet of his breed. The river spoke to him of new and untried fields. Down its boiling course came canoes and batteaus, scows and rafts, manned by savages or traders returning from the head reaches of the river and its tributaries, more than two thousand miles beyond. They voiced wild chants, these voyageurs of the fur brigades, and told wilder tales; tales of the Iowas and Cheyennes; of the Sioux and the Assiniboines of the northwestern prairies, both of which tribes had been driven west of the Mississippi by those wolves of the forest, the Iroquois, a century before; of the Absarokas, or Sparrowhawks, erroneously called Crows by the whites, a nation boasting twenty-five thousand warriors; of the savage Blackfeet, the Gros Ventres and the Snakes.

The chuckling current, dark and mysterious, sang its seductive song to Hunt Breckenridge, inviting him to embark upon its waters and play his part in the mighty deeds of which it sang.

Two savages were paddling a canoe down the stream near the farther shore and save for the fact that his eyes were trained on them, Hunter would have seen her sooner.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.

This is a free sample. Please purchase full version of the book to continue.