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Forest, Lake and Prairie
Chapter XV
Winter trip to Oxford - Extreme cold - Quick travelling.


DURING this second winter father sent me down to Oxford House. I had quite a load for the Rev. Mr. Stringfellow. One item was several cakes of frozen cream which mother sent to Mrs. Stringfellow. We had a cow; they had none. We happened to strike the very coldest part of the winter for our trip. There were four of us in the party—two Indians returning to Jackson's Bay, my man and myself. I was the only one of the party not badly frozen. When we reached the Bay, my companions were spotted with frost-bites—great black scars on forehead and cheeks and chin. I do not know how I escaped, except that I had been living better and my blood was younger and warmer.

When we reached Mr. Stringfellow's in the morning, the thermometer registered 56 below zero. We had camped the night before on an island in Oxford Lake, and started out at three o'clock, and one can imagine what it must have been about daylight that morning with heavy snow-shoeing, making progress slow.

Mr. Stringfellow asked me to accompany him to the fort. His man hitched up his dogs, tucked him into the cariole, and started' to lead the way; but the dogs went off so slowly I concluded to stay for some time before I followed, so I sat and chatted with Mrs. Stringfellow. When I did start, my dogs soon brought me up, and I went flying past, and reached the fort a long time before Mr. Stringfellow. He said when he arrived that he would be afraid to ride behind such dogs.

On the way back, my young Indian and I made the return trip in three days, averaging sixty miles per day.


 


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