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