ANOTHER even larger gathering
took place in the evening, when father again addressed the motley crowd
through Peter, and the interest deepened. The days were spent by the
missionaries in a succession of services and councils.
On Saturday the whole camp
moved some twelve or fifteen miles farther east into a still more
picturesque and beautiful country, rich in its changing variety of landscape
No wonder these aboriginal
men are proud of their birthright, for it is indeed a goodly heritage.
To witness this large camp
moving was to me an object of great interest—the taking down of tents, the
saddling and packing of horses and packing of dogs. Both horses and dogs
pulled a sort of vehicle made of poles, termed in this country "travois,"
and thus they both packed and pulled. To these "travois" the lodge-poles
were fastened by the small end and drawn along the ground. Many of the
children and the aged and the sick were carried on the "travois." Indeed,
the carrying and pulling capacity of an Indian pony seemed to be unlimited.
Two or three children and a lot of lodge-poles on the "travois," and the
mother and a couple more children on the horse's back, and the staunch
little fellow ambled along at a quick step, without any trouble or fuss.
When the camp moved, parallel
columns were formed and all kept together, the riders and hunters keeping on
either side and in front and in the rear.
In an incredibly short time
the whole camp was in motion, and after we came to the spot selected for our
new camp-ground, in a very little while tents were up, and stages standing,
and meat drying, and work going on as at the other camp. In fact, were it
not for the lay of the country one could imagine that the whole village had
been lifted from yonder to here without disturbing anything.
Long practice and generations
of nomadic life had trained the people to constant moving.
They were "itinerants" even
more than the Methodist ministry.
Sunday was a special day. The
chief's influence and the presence of the missionaries caused the day to be
respected by all, irrespective of creed; and prayer meetings, and preaching,
and song services were continued all day, and manifest interest was shown by