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
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.