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Forest, Lake and Prairie
Chapter XIX
The Fort - Buffalo steak - "Out of the latitude of bread".


FORT CARLTON I found to consist of some dwellings and stores, crowded together and surrounded by a high palisade, with bastions at its four corners, and built on a low bench, on the south side of the river.

The high banks of the river, alternating with prairie and woodland, formed a fine background to the scene. A few buffalo-skin lodges added a fresh item to my experience, and told me I was now in reality in the famous buffalo country.

Very soon I had another proof of this, for on going ashore I was told to run up to the fort, as dinner was now on.

Finding the dining-room, I sat down at the only vacant place, and was asked by the gentleman at the head of the table if I would have some buffalo steak. I assented gladly, and enjoyed it heartily. I had eaten pemmican and dried meat, but this was my first steak, and I relished it very much. Presently mine host asked me to have some more, but I thought I had eaten enough meat, and inadvertently I said to my nearest neighbor, " Will you please pass the bread." This produced a laugh all around the table, and an old gentleman said to me, "Young man, you are out of the latitude of bread." And so it was; for looking down the table, I saw there was no bread, no vegetables, only buffalo steak. This was an entirely new experience to me; though born on the frontier I had never until now got beyond bread. I was sorry I had not taken some more steak, but determined to be wiser next time.


 


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