A TALE OF THE PIONEERS OF THE
AUTHOR OF THE ZIGZAG BOOKS
D. APPLETON A ND
BT D. APPLETON AND COMPANY.
Gretchm at Mke PotlateA Feast.
A rEA or more ago one of the librarians in
charge of the young people's books in the Boston
Public Library called my attention to the fact that
there were few books. of popular information in
regard to the pioneers of the great Northwest.
The librarian suggested that I should write a story
that would give a view of the heroic lives of the
pioneers of Oregon and Washington.
Soon after this interview I met a distinguished
educator who had lately returned from the Colum-
bia River, who told me the legend of the old chief
who died of grief in the grave of his son, somewhat
in the manner described in this volume. The le-
gend had those incidental qualities that haunt a
susceptible imagination, and it was told to me in
such a dramatic way that I could not put it out of
A few weeks after hearing this haunting legend
I went over the Rocky Mountains by the Canadian
Pacific Railway, and visited the Columbia River
and the scenes associated with the Indian story. I
met in Washington, Yesler, Denney, and Hon. El-
wood Evans, the historian; visited the daughter of
Seattle, the chief, "Old Angeline"; and gathered
original stories in regard to the pioneers of the
Puget Sound country from many sources. In this
atmosphere the legend grew upon me, and the out-
growth of it is this volume, which, amid a busy
life of editorial and other work, has forced itself
upon my experience.
28 WORCESTER STREET, B N, J 1890.
28 WORC.STER STREET, BOSTON, JuIy a, 1890.
I.-GRETCHEN'S VIOLIN. 9
II.-THE CHIEF OF THE CASCADES 27
III.-" BOSTON TILICUM" 43
IV.-MRS. WOODS'S TAME BEAR, LITTLE ROLL
OVER" .. .67
V.-THE NEST OF THE FISHING EAGLE 75
VI.-THE MOUNTAIN LION 86
VII.-THE "SMOKE-TALK" 95
VIII.-THE BLACK EAGLE'S NEST OF THE FALLS OF THE
IX.-GRETCHEN'S VISIT TO THE OLD CHIEF OF THE
X.-MRS. WOODS MEETS LITTLE ROLL OVER"
AGAIN.. .. .. 146
XI.-MARLOWE MANN'S NEW ROBINSON CRUSOE 154
XII.-OLD JOE MEEK AND MR. SPAULDING 162
XIII.-A WARNING 170
XIV.-THE POTLATCH 181
XV.-THE TRAUMEREI AGAIN 196
XVI.-A SILENT TRIBE 204
XVII.-A DESOLATE HOME AND A DESOLATE PEOPLE 215
XVIII.-THE LIFTED CLOUD-THE INDIANS COME TO THE
I. Vancouver 229
II. The Oregon Trail 232
III. Governor Stevens 236
IV. Seattle the Chief 289
V. Whitman's Ride for Oregon. 244
VI. Mount Saint Helens 250
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
Gretchen at the Potlatch Feast E. A usten
Indians spearing fish at Salmon Falls 16
"Here were mountains grander than
Olympus." The North Puyallup
Glacier, Mount Tacoma 28
In the midst of this interview Mrs.
Woods appeared at the door of
the cabin A. E. Pope 72
The eagle soared away in the blue
heavens, and the flag streamed
after him in his talons E. J. Austen. 84
The mountain lion D. Carter Beard 92
An Indian village on the Columbia 130
Afar loomed Mount Hood 185
A castellated crag arose solitary and
At the Cascades of the Columbia .188
Multnomah Falls in earlier years.
Redrawn by Walter C. Greenough 205
The old chief stood stoical and silent. E. J. Austen 209
Middle block-house at the Cascades 242
THE LOG SCHOOL-HOUSE
ON THE COLUMBIA.
AN elderly woman .and a German girl were
walking along the old Indian trail that led from the
northern mountains to the Columbia River. The
river was at this time commonly called the Oregon,
as in Bryant's poem:
Where rolls the Oregon,
And no sound is heard save its own dashings."
The girl had a light figure, a fair, open face,
and a high forehead with width in the region
of ideality, and she carried under her arm a long
black case in which was a violin. The woman had
lived in one of the valleys of the Oregon for sev-
eral years, but the German girl had recently arrived
in one of the colonies that had lately come to the
10 THE LOG SCHOOL-HOUSE ON THE COLUMBIA.
territory under the missionary agency of the Rev.
There came a break in the tall, cool pines that
lined the trail and that covered the path with glim-
mering shadows. Through the opening the high
summits of Mount St. Helens glittered like a city
of pearl, far, far away in the clear, bright air. The
girl's blue eyes opened wide, and her feet stumbled.
"There, there you go again down in the hol-
low! Haven't you any eyes? I would think you
had by the looks of them. Well, Gretchen, they
were placed right in the front of your head so as
to look forward; they would have been put in the
top of your head if it had been meant that you
should look up to the sky in that way. What is it
you see ?"
"Oh, mother, I wish I was-an author."
"An author What put that into your simple
head ? You meant to say you would like to be a
poet, but you didn't dare to, because you know I
don't approve of such things. People who get
such flighty ideas into their loose minds always find
the world full of hollows. No, Gretchen, I am
willing you should play on the violin, though some
of the Methody do not approve of that; and that
you should finger the musical glasses in the evening
-they have a religious sound and soothe me, like;
but the reading of poetry and novels I never did
countenance, except Methody hymns and the 'Fool
of Quality,' and as for the writing of poetry, it is
a Boston notion and an ornary habit. Nature is all
full of poetry out here, and what this country needs
is pioneers, not poets."
There came into view another opening among
the pines as the two went on. The sun was ascend-
ing a cloudless sky, and far away in the cerulean
arch of glimmering splendors the crystal peaks and
domes of St. Helens appeared again.
The girl stopped.
"What now?" said the woman, testily.
"Look yonder-what for ? That's nothing but
a mountain, a great waste of land all piled up to
the sky, and covered with a lot of ice and snow. I
don't see what they were made for, any way-just
to make people go round, I suppose, so that the
world will not be too easy for them."
Oh, mother, I do not see how you can feel so
out here! I never dreamed of anything so beau-
Feel so out here What do you mean?
Haven't I always been good to you ? Didn't I give
12 THE LOG SCHOOL-HOUSE ON THE COLUMBIA.
you a good home in Lynn after your father and
mother died? Wasn't I a mother to you? Didn't
I nurse you through the fever ? Didn't I send for
you to come way out here with the immigrants,
and did you ever find a better friend in the world
than I have been to you ?"
Yes, mother, but-"
And don't I let you play the violin, which the
Methody elder didn't much approve of ?"
"Yes, mother, you have always been good to
me, and I love you more than anybody else on
There swept into view a wild valley of giant
trees, and rose clear above it, a scene of overwhelm-
"Oh, mother, I can hardly look at it-isn't it
splendid ? It makes me feel like crying."
The practical, resolute woman was about to say,
"Well, look the other way then," but she checked
the rude words. The girl had told her that she
loved her more than any one else in the world, and
the confession had touched her heart.
"Well, Gretchen, that mountain used to make
me feel so sometimes when I first came out here.
I always thought that the mountains would look
peakeder than they do. I didn't think that they
would take up so much of the land. I suppose that
they are all well enough in their way, but a pioneer
woman has no time for sentiments, except hymns.
I don't feel like you now, and I don't think that I
ever did. I couldn't learn to play the violin and
the musical glasses if I were to try, and I am sure
that I should never go out into the woodshed to try
to rhyme sun with fun; no, Gretchen, all such
follies as these I should shun. What difference
does it make whether a word rhymes with one
word or another ?"
To the eye of the poetic and musical German
girl the. dead volcano, with its green base and
frozen rivers and dark, glimmering lines of carbon,
seemed like a fairy tale, a celestial vision, an ascent
to some city of crystal and pearl in the sky. To
her foster mother 'the stupendous scene was merely
a worthless waste, as to Wordsworth's unspiritual
"A primrose by the river's brim,
A yellow primrose was to him,
And it was nothing moree"
She was secretly pleased at Gretchen's wonder
and surprise at the new country, but somehow she
felt it her duty to talk querulously, and to check the
flow of the girl's emotions, which she did much to
14 THE LOG SCHOOL-HOUSE ON THE COLUMBIA.
excite. Her own life had been so circumscribed
and hard that the day seemed to be too bright to be
speaking the truth. She peered into the sky for a
cloud, but there was none, on this dazzling Oregon
morning. The trail now opened for a long way
before the eyes of the travelers. Far ahead gleamed
the pellucid waters of the Columbia, or Oregon.
Half-way between them and the broad, rolling river
a dark, tall figure appeared.
"Gretchen, look! There goes the Yankee
schoolmaster. Came way out here over the mount-
ains to teach the people of the wilderness, and all
for nothing, too. That shows that people have souls
-some people have. Walk right along beside me,
proper-like. You needn't ever tell any one that I
ain't your true mother. If I ain't ashamed of you,
you needn'tbe ashamed of me. I wish that you
were my own girl, now that you have said that you
love me more than anybody else in the world. That
remark kind o' touched me. I know that I some-
times talk hard, but I mean well, and I have to tell
you the plain truth so as to do my duty by you,
and then I won't have anything to reflect upon.
"Just look at him! Straight as an arrow!
They say that his folks are rich. Come out here
way over the mountains, and is just going to teach
school in a log school-house-all made of logs and
sods and mud-plaster, adobe they call it-a graduate
of Harvard College, too."
A long, dark object appeared in the trees cov-
ered with bark and moss. Behind these trees was
a waterfall, over which hung the crowns of pines.
The sunlight sifted through the odorous canopy,
and fell upon the strange, dark object that lay across
the branching limbs of two ancient trees.
Gretchen stopped again.
Mother, what is that ? "
"A grave-an Indian grave."
The Indians bury their dead in the trees out
here, or used to do so. A brown hawk arose from
the mossy coffin and winged its way wildly into
the sunny heights of the air. It had made its
nest. on the covering of the body. These new
scenes were all very strange to the young Ger-
The trail was bordered with young ferns; wild
violets lay in beds of purple along the running
streams, and the mountain phlox with its kindling
buds carpeted the shelving ways under the murmur-
ing pines. The woman and girl came at last to a
16 THE LOG SCHOOL-HOUSE ON THE COLUMBIA.
wild, open space;. before them rolled the Oregon,
beyond it stretched a great treeless plain, and over
it towered a gigantic mountain, in whose crown,
like a jewel, shone a resplendent glacier.
Just before them, on the bluffs of the river,
under three gigantic evergreens, each of which was
more than two hundred feet high, stood an odd
structure of logs and sods, which the builders called
the Sod School-house. It was not- a sod school-
house in the sense in which the term has been ap-
plied to more recent structures in the treeless prairie
districts of certain mid-ocean States; it was rudely
framed of pine, and was furnished with a pine desk
Along the river lay a plateau full of flowers,
birds, and butterflies, and over the great river and
flowering plain the clear air glimmered. Like some
sun-god's abode in the shadow of ages, St. Helens
still lifted her silver tents in the far sky. Eagles
and mountain birds wheeled, shrieking joyously, here
and there. Below the bluffs the silent salmon-fish-
ers awaited their prey, and down the river with pad-
dles apeak drifted the bark canoes of Cayuses and
A group of children were gathered about the
open door of the new school-house, and among them
Indians spearing fish at Salmon Falls.
rose the tall form of Marlowe Mann, the Yankee
He had come over the mountains some years
before in the early expeditions organized and di-
rected by Dr. Marcus Whitman, of the American
Board of Missions. Whether the mission to the
Cayuses and Walla Wallas, which Dr. Whitman
established on the bend of the Columbia, was then
regarded as a home or foreign field of work, we can
not say. The doctor's solitary ride of four thou-
sand miles, in order to save the great Northwest
territory to the United States, is one of the most
poetic and dramatic episodes of American history.
It has proved to be worth to our country more than
all the money that has been given to missionary
enterprises. Should the Puget Sound cities become
the great ports of Asia, and the ships of commerce
drift from Seattle and Tacoma over the Japan cur-
rent to the Flowery Isles and China; should the
lumber, coal, minerals, and wheat-fields of Washing-
ton, Oregon, Montana, and Idaho at last compel
these cities to rival New York and Boston, the
populous empire will owe to the patriotic mission-
ary zeal of Dr. Whitman a debt which it can only
pay in honor and love. Dr. Whitman was mur-
dered by the Indians soon after the settlement of
18 THE LOG SCHOOL-HOUSE ON THE COLUMBIA.
the Walla Walla country by the pioneers from the
Mr. Mann's inspiration to become a missionary
pioneer on the Oregon had been derived from a
Boston schoolmaster whose name also the North-
west should honor. An inspired soul with a proph-
et's vision usually goes before the great movements
of life; solitary men summon the march of prog-
ress, then decrease while others increase. Hall J.
Kelley was a teacher of the olden time, well known
in Boston almost a century ago. He became pos-
sessed with the idea that Oregon was destined to
become a great empire. He collected all possible
information about the territory, and organized emi-
gration schemes, the first of which started from St.
Louis in 1828, and failed. He talked of Oregon
continually. The subject haunted him day and
night. It was he who inspired Rev. Jason Lee,
the pioneer of the Willamette Valley. Lee inter-
ested Senator Linn, of MIissouri, in Oregon, and
this senator, on December 11, 1838, introduced the
bill into Congress which organized the Territory.
Some of the richly endowed new schools of
Oregon would, honor history by a monumental rec-
ognition of the name of Hall J. Kelley, the old
schoolmaster, whose dreams were of the Columbia,
and who inspired some of his pupils to become reso-
lute pioneers. Boston was always a friend to Wash-
ington and Oregon. Where the old schoolmaster
now rests we do not know. Probably in a neg-
lected grave amid the briers and mosses of some
old cemetery on the Atlantic coast.
When Marlowe Mann came to the Northwest
he found the Indian tribes unquiet and suspicious
of the new settlements. One of the pioneers had
caused a sickness among some thievish Indians by
putting emetic poison in watermelons. The Indians
believed these melons to have been conjured by the
white doctor, and when other sickness came, among
them, they attributed it to the same cause. The
massacre at Waiitaptu and the murder of Whitman
grew in part out of these events.
Mr. Mann settled near the old Chief of the Cas-
cades. He sought the Indian friendship of this
chief, and asked him for his protection.
"People fulfill the expectation of the trust put
in them-Indians as well as children," he used to
say. "A boy fulfills the ideals of his mother-
what the mother believes the boy will be, that he
will become. Treat a thief as though he were hon-
est, and he will be honest with you. We help peo-
ple to be better by believing in what is good in
20 THP LOG SCHOOL-HOUSE ON THE COLUMBIA.
them. I am going to trust the friendship of the
old Chief of the Cascades, and he will never be-
It was summer, and there was to be a great In-
dian Potlatch feast under the autumn moon. The
Potlatch is a feast of gifts. It is usually a peaceful
gathering of friendly tribes, with rude music and
gay dances; but it bodes war and massacre and
danger if it end with the dance of the evil spirits,
or the devil dance, as it has been known-a dance
which the English Government has recently for-
bidden among the Northwestern tribes.
The Indians were demanding that the great fall
Potlatch should end with this ominous dance of
fire and besmearings of blood. The white people
everywhere were disturbed by these reports, for
they feared what might be the secret intent of this
wild revel. The settlers all regarded with appre-
hension the October moon.
The tall schoolmaster watched the approach of
Mrs. Woods and Gretchen with a curious interest.
The coming of a pupil with no books and a violin
was something unexpected. He stepped forward
with a courtly grace and greeted them most politely,
for wherever Marlowe Mann might be, he never
forgot that he was a gentleman.
This :is my gal what I have brought to be
educated," said Mrs. Woods, proudly. They
think a great deal of education up around Bos-
ton where I came from. Where did you come
from ? "
"So I have been told-from Harvard College.
Can I speak with you a minute in private ?"
"Yes, madam. Step aside."
"I suppose you are kinder surprised that I let
my gal there, Gretchen, bring her violin with her;
but I have a secret to tell ye. Gretchen is a kind
of a poet, makes rhymes, she does; makes fool
rhyme with school, and such things as that. Now,
I don't take any interest in such things. But she
does play the violin beautiful. Learned, of a Ger-
man teacher. Now, do you want to know why I
let her bring her violin ? Well, I thought it might
help you. You've got a hard lot of scholars to deal
with out here, and there are Injuns around, too, and
one never knows what they may do.
"Well, schoolmaster, you never heard nothing'
like that violin. It isn't no evil spirit that is in
Gretchen's violin; it's an angel. I first .noticed it
one day when husband and I had been havin' some
words. We have words sometimes. I have a lively
22 THE LOG SCHOOL-HOUSE ON THE COLUMBIA.
mind, and know how to use words when I am op-
posed. Well, one day when husband and I had
been havin' words, which we shouldn't, seeing' we
are Methody, Gretchen began to cry, and went and
got her violin, and began to play just like a bird.
And my high temper all melted away, and my
mind went back to the old farm in New Eng-
land, and I declare, schoolmaster, I just threw my
apron over my head and began to cry, and I told
Gretchen never to play that tune again when I was
talking to husband for his good.
"Well, one day there came a lot of Injuns to
the house and demanded fire-water. I am Methody,
and don't keep any such things in the house. Hus-
band is a sober, honest man. Now, I've always
noticed that an Injun is a coward, and I think the
best way to get along with Injuns is to appear not
to fear them. So I ordered the stragglers away,
when one of them swung his tommyhawk about
my head, and the others threatened to kill me.
How my heart did beat! Gretchen began to cry;
then she ran all at once for her violin and played
the very same tune, and the Injuns just stood like
so many dumb statues and listened, and, when the
tune was over, one of them said Spirits,' and they
all went away like so many children.
"Now, I thought you would like to hear my
gal play between schools, and, if ever you should
get into any trouble with your scholars or Injuns
or anybody, just call upon Gretchen, and she will
play that tune on the violin."
What wonderful tune is it, madam ?"
"I don't know. I don't know one tune from
another, though I do sing the old Methody hymns
that I learned in Lynn when I am about my work.
I don't know whether she knows or not. She
learned it of a German."
"I am glad that you let her bring the instru-
ment. I once played the violin myself in the
orchestra of the Boston Handel and Haydn So-
"Did you? Then you like it. I have a word
or two more to say about Gretchen. She's a good
gal, and shows her bringing up. Teach her reading,
writing, and figures. You needn't teach her no
grammar. I could always talk without any gram-
mar, in the natural way. I was a bound-girl, and
never had much education. I have had my ups
and downs in life, like all the rest of the world.
xon will do the best you can for Gretchen, won't
Yes, my dear madam, and for every one. I
24 THE LOG SCHOOL-HOUSE ON THE COLUMBIA.
try to make every one true to the best that is in
them. I am glad to have Gretchen for a scholar.
I will speak to her by and by."
How strange was the scene to Gretchen! She
remembered the winding Rhine, with its green
hills and terraced vineyards and broken-walled
castles; Basel and the singing of the student clubs
in the. gardens on summer evenings; the mountain-
like church at Strasburg; and the old streets of May-
ence. She. recalled the legends and music of the
river of song-a river that she had once thought
to be the most beautiful on earth. But what were
the hills of the Rhine to the scenery that pierced
the blue sky around her, and how light seemed
the river itself to the majestic flow of the Co-
lumbia! Yet the home-land haunted her. Would
she go back again ? How would her real parents
have felt had they known that she would have
found a home here in the wilderness? Why had
Providence led her steps here ? Her mother had
been a pious Lutheran. Had she been led here
to help in some future mission to the Indian
Dreaming ?" said Mrs. Woods. "Well, I sup-
pose it can't be helped. If a body has the misfor-
tune to be kiting off to the clouds, going up like
an eagle and coming down like a goose, it can't be
helped. There are a great many things that can't
be helped in this world, and all we can do is to
make the best,of them. Some people were born to
live in the skies, and it makes it hard for those who
have to try to live with them. Job suffered some
things, but-I won't scold out here-I have my
trials; but it may be they are all for the best, as
the Scripture says."
These forbearing remarks were not wholly
meant for Gretchen's reproval. Mrs. Woods liked
to have the world know that she had her trials, and
she was pleased to find so many ears on this bright
morning open to her experiences.
She liked to say to Gretchen things that were
meant for other ears; there was novelty in the in-
direction. She also was accustomed to quote freely
from the Scriptures and from the Methodist hymn-
book,.which was almost her only accomplishment.
She had led a simple, hard-working life in her girl-
hood; had become a follower of Jason Lee during
one of the old-time revivals of religion; had heard
of the Methodist emigration to Oregon, and wished
to follow it. She hardly knew why. Though
rough in speech and somewhat peculiar, she was a
kind-hearted and an honest woman, and very in-
26 THE LOG SCHOOL-HOUSE ON THE COLUMBIA.
dustrious and resolute. Mr. Lee saw in her the
spirit of a pioneer, and advised her to join his col-
ony. She married Mr. Woods, went to the Dalles
of the Columbia, and afterward to her present
home upon a donation claim.
THE CHIEF OF THE CASCADES.
MARLOWE MANN was a graduate of Harvard in
the classic period of the college. He had many
scholarly gifts, and as many noble qualities of soul
as mental endowments.. He was used to the ora-
tory of Henry Ware and young Edward Everett,
and had known Charles Sumner and Wendell Phil-
lips at college, when the Greek mind and models
led the young student in his fine development, and
made him a Pericles in his dreams.
But the young student of this heroic training,
no matter how well conditioned his family, usually
turned from his graduation to some especial mission
in life. "I must put myself into a cause," said
young Wendell Phillips. Charles Sumner espoused
the struggle of the negro for freedom, and said:
"To this cause do I offer all I have." Marlowe
Mann was a member of the historic Old South
Church, like Phillips in his early years. There
28 THE LOG SCHOOL-HOUSE ON THE COLUMBIA.
was an enthusiasm for missions in the churches of
Boston then, and he began to dream of Oregon
and the mysterious empire of the great Northwest,
as pictured by the old schoolmaster, Kelley; just
at this time came Dr. Whitman to the East, half
frozen from his long ride, and asked to lead an
emigration to Walla Walla, to save the Northern
empire to the territory of the States. He heard
the doctor's thrilling story of how he had unfurled
the flag over the open Bible on the crags that
looked down on the valleys of the Oregon, and his
resolution was made. He did not follow Dr. Whit-
man on the first expedition of colonists, but joined
him a year or two afterward. He built him a log-
cabin on the Columbia, and gave his whole soul to
teaching, missionary work among the Indians, and
to bringing emigrants from the East.
The country thrilled him-its magnificent scen-
ery, the grandeur of the Columbia, the vastness of
the territory, and the fertility of the soil. Here
were mountains grander than Olympus, and harbors
and water-courses as wonderful as the fEgean. He
was almost afraid to map the truth in his extensive
correspondence with the East, lest it should seem so
incredible as to defeat his purpose.
When the log school-house was building, Mr.
The North Puiyallup Glacier, Mount 14ooma.
L x ''--v~r
THE CHIEF OF THE CASCADES.
Mann had gone to the old Chief of the Cascades
and had invited him to send his Indian boy to the
school. He had shown him what an advantage it
would be to the young chief to understand more
thoroughly Chinook and English. He was wise
and politic in the matter as well as large-hearted,
for he felt that the school might need the friendli-
ness of the old chief, and in no way could it be
The world treats you as you treat the world,"
he said; "and what you are to the world, the world
is to you. Tell me only what kind of a neighbor-
hood you come from, and I will tell you what kind
of a neighborhood you are going to; we all see the
world in ourselves. I will educate the boy, and his
father will protect the school. The Indian heart is
hot and revengeful, but it is honest and true. I
intend to be honest with the Indians in all things,
and if there should occur a dance of the evil spirits
at the Potlatch, no harm will ever come to the log
school-house; and I do not believe that such a
dance with evil intent to the settlers will ever take
place. Human nature is all one book everywhere."
As he stood there that morning, with uncovered
head, an unexpected event happened. The children
30 THE LOG SCHOOL-HOUSE ON THE COLUMBIA
Look!" and "Umatilla!"
Out of the forest came an aged Indian, of gi-
gantic stature--Umatilla, one of the chiefs of the
Cascades; and beside him walked his only son, the
Light of the Eagle's Plume, or, as he had been
named by the English, Benjamin.
Umatilla, like Massasoit, of the early colonial
history of Plymouth, was a remarkable person.
Surrounded by warlike tribes, he had been a man
of peace. He was a lover of Nature, and every
shining cloud to his eye was a chariot. He per-
sonified everything, like the ancient Greeks. He
talked in poetic figures; to him the sky was alive,
every event had a soul, and his mind had dwelt
upon the great truths of Nature until he had be-
come more of a philosopher than a ruler.
He had been the father of a large family, but
six of his sons had died of the plague, or rather of
the treatment which the medicine-men had used in
the disease, which was to sweat the victims in hot
earthen ovens, and then plunge them into the Co-
His whole heart in his old age was fixed upon
his only son, Benjamin. The two were seldom
separated. To make the boy happy was the end of
the old chief's life.
THE CHIEF OF THE CASCADES.
The two approached the courtly schoolmaster.
"White master," said the old chief, "I have
brought to you the Light of the Eagle's Plume.
He is my heart, and will be the heart of my people
when my suns are all passed over and my stars
gone out. Will you teach him to be a good chief ?
I want him to know English, and how to worship
the Master of Life. Will you take him to your
school lodge ?"
The tall master bowed low, and took the Indian
boy by the hand.
The boy was a princely youth. His figure
would have held the eye of a sculptor in long ad-
miration. The chisel of a Phidias could hardly
have exceeded such a form. His features were
like the Roman, his eye quick and lustrous, and
his lips noble and kindly. He wore a blanket over
his shoulders, gathered in a long sash, ornamented
with shells, about his loins, and a crest of eagle
plumes and shells on his head indicated his rank
and dignity. He could speak some words of Chi-
nook, and English imperfectly. He had mingled
much with the officers of the Hudson Bay Com-
pany, and so had learned many of the customs of
"I am honored," said the courtly, tall school-
32 THE LOG SCHOOL-HOUSE ON THE COLUMBIA.
master, "in having such a youth for. my pupil.
Chief of the Umatillas, I thank thee. All that is
good in me will I give to your noble boy. I live
with my eye upon the future; the work of my life
is to lead people to follow their better natures and
to be true to their best selves. There is a good
angel in all men here "-he put his hand on his
heart-" it leads men away from evil; it seeks the
way of life; its end is yonder with the Infinite.
Chief of the Umatillas, I will try to teach the
young man to follow it. Do you understand ?"
The aged chief bowed. He caught the meaning
of the thought, if not of the rather formal words.
He comprehended the idea that the tall school-
master believed goodness to be .immortal. The
regions of the Cascades were indeed beautiful with
their ancient forests and gleaming mountain walls,
but he had been taught to believe that the great
Master of Life had provided eternal scenes that
transcended these for those who were worthy to
An unexpected turn came to this stately and
pacific interview. Mrs. Woods was piqued at the
deference that the tall schoolmaster had shown to
the chief and his son. She walked about restlessly,
cut a rod from one of the trees with a large knife
THE CHIEF OF THE CASCADES.
which she always carried with her, and at last called
the master aside again.
"Say, mister, here. You ain't going to take
that young Injun into your school, are you?
There'll be trouble, now, if you do. Know Injuns
-you don't. You are young, but 'tain't best for
you to eat all your apples green. I've always been
very particular about the company I keep, if I was
born poor and have had to work hard, and never
studied no foreign languages. I warn you!"
She raised her voice, and Benjamin heard what
she had said. He suspected her ill-will toward him
from her manner, but he comprehended the mean-
ing of her last words.
He at first looked puzzled and grieved, then
suddenly his thin lips were pressed together; the
passion of anger was possessing him, soon to be fol-
lowed by the purpose of revenge.
Mrs.. Woods saw that she had gone too far in
the matter, and that her spirit and meaning had
been discovered by the son of the chief. The dan-
ger to which she had exposed herself made her
nervous. But she began to act on her old principle
never to show fear in the presence of an Indian.
Here, mister, I must go now," she said, in a
loud voice. "Take this rod, and govern your
34 THE LOG SCHOOL-HOUSE ON THE COLUMBIA.
school like a man. If I were a teacher, I'd make
my scholars smart in more ways than one." She
held out the rod to the master.
There was a movement in the air like a flash.
Benjamin, with noiseless feet, had slipped up be-
hind her. He had conceived the idea that the offer
of the rod somehow meant enmity to him. He
seized the rod from behind the woman, and, sweep-
ing it through the air, with kindled eye and glow-
ing cheeks, wheeled before the master.
Boston tilicun, don't you dare! ",
"Boston tilicum" was the Chinook for an
American, and the Chinook or trade language had
become common to all the tribes on the Columbia.
The early American traders on the Northern Pa-
cific coast were from Boston.
He raised the rod aloft defiantly like a young
champion, and presented a heroic figure, which
excited the tremulous admiration and wonder of
the little group. He then pointed it toward Mrs.
Woods, and said contemptuously in Chinook:
The scene changed to the comical. Mrs. Woods
snatched off her broad sun-bonnet, revealing her
gray hair, and assumed an appearance of defiance,
though her heart was really trembling with fear.
THE CHIEF OF THE CASCADES.
"I ain't afraid of no Injuns," she said, "and I
don't take any impudence from anybody. I've had
to fight the whole world all my life, and I've always
She whipped the rod out of the young Indian's
Benjamin's eyes blazed.
S"Closche nanitch" (look out), he said. I am
an Umatilla. Siwash (Indian) will remember.
There are hawks in the sky."
"Kamooks" (dog), returned Mrs. Woods, defi-
She would have said "cultus" had she dared.
"Cultus" is the most insulting word that can be
applied to an Indian, and, when it is used, it invites
the most deadly revenge. The word had come to
her lips, but she had not the courage to invoke the
consequences of such a taunt.
But- the young Indian further excited her. He
shook the rod at her, and her passion mastered her
prudence. She struggled with herself, and was
silent for a few moments. But, suddenly catching
the young Indian's eye, which had in it a savage
triumph, she exclaimed:
The old chief stepped forward and lifted his hands.
36 THE LOG SCHOOL-HOUSE ON THE COLUMBIA.
"Pil-pil" (blood), said Benjamin. "There are
hawks in the air-"
"Be still! said the chief.
"-they whet their beaks," continued Benjamin.
The whole company were filled with excitement
or terror. Gretchen trembled, and began to cry.
Three Indians were seen coming down the trail,
and the sight seemed to fill Benjamin with a mys-
terious delight. Mrs. Woods saw them with secret
fear, and the master with apprehension. Several
of the children began to cry, and there was a look
of pain, terror, or distress on all the faces.
Suddenly Gretchen stepped apart from the
group and lifted to her shoulder her violin.
A hunting strain rose on the bright morning
air. It seemed like the flight of a singing bird.
The chief's arms dropped. The music arose like
a sweet memory of all that is good and beautiful.
The three Indians stopped to listen. The music
became more sweet and entrancing. The anger
went out of Benjamin's face, and there came better
feelings into his soul.
The music breathed of the Rhine, of vineyards
and festivals, but he understood it not; to him it
recalled the mysterious legends of the Umatillas,
THE CHIEF OF THE CASCADES.
the mysteries of life, and the glory of the heroes
who slept on the island of the dead or amid the
sweetly sighing branches of the trees. The air
was the Traum erei.
When the music ceased there was a long silence.
In it Mrs. Woods turned away slowly, with a word
of advice to Gretchen that under other circum-
stances would have appeared amusing:
"Behave yourself like a lady," she said, "and
remember your bringing up. Good-morning to ye
The little group watched her as she moved
safely away. A little black bear crossed her path
as she was entering the wood, and stopped on the
way. But her steps were growing rapid, and, as
she did not seem to regard him as a matter of any
consequence, he turned and ran. The company
smiled, and so the peril of the morning seemed to
The scene would have been comical but for the
painful look in the kindly face of the old Chief of
the Cascades. He had come toward the school-
house with high hopes, and what had happened
caused him pain. The word "Potlatch," spoken
by the Indian boy, had caused his brow to cloud
and his face to turn dark.
38 THE LOG SCHOOL-HOUSE ON THE COLUMBIA.
"We will all go into the house," said the mas-
ter. Umatilla, will you not honor us with a visit
this morning ?"
No-me come this afternoon for the boy; me
wait for him outside. Boston tilicum, let me speak
to you a little. I am a father."
"Yes, and a good father."
"I am a father-you no understand-Boston
tilicum-father. I want you to teach him like a
father-not you understand ?"
"Yes, I understand."
"Father-teacher-you, Boston tilicum."
"Yes, I understand, and I will be a father
teacher to your Benjamin."
I die some day. You understand ?"
Yes, I understand."
"You understand, Boston tilicum, you under-
stand. What I want my boy to become that I am
for my boy. That you be."
Yes, Umatilla, I believe an Indian's word
-you may trust mine. I will be to your boy
what you may have him become. The Indian is
true to his friends. I believe in you. I will be
The old chief drew his blanket round him
THE CHIEF OF THE CASCADES.
Boston tilicum," said he, "if ever the day of
trouble comes, I will protect you and the log
school-house. You may trust my word. Indian
The tall schoolmaster bowed.
"Nika atte cepa" (I like you much), said the
chief. "Potlatch shall no harm you. Klahyam
klahhye-am !" (Good-by).
Mrs. Woods hurried homeward and tried to
calm her excited mind by singing a very heroic old
"Come on, my partners in distress,
My comrades in the wilderness,
Who still your bodies feel."
The blue skies gleamed before her, and over-
head wheeled a golden eagle. To her it was an
emblem, a good omen, and her spirit became quiet
and happy amid all the contradictions of her rough
life. She sat down at last on the log before her
door, with the somewhat strange remark :
"I do hate Injuns; nevertheless--"
Mrs. Woods was accustomed to correct the
wrong tendencies of her heart and tongue by this
word "nevertheless," which she used as an incom-
plete sentence. This "nevertheless" seemed to ex-
press her better self ; to correct the rude tendencies
40 THE LOG SCHOOL-HOUSE ON THE COLUMBIA.
of her nature. Had she been educated in her early
days, this tendency to self-correction would have
made her an ideal woman, but she owed nearly all
her intellectual training to the sermons of the Rev.
Jason Lee, which she had heard in some obscure
corner of a room, or in Methodist chapel, or under
Her early experience with the Indians had not
made her a friend to the native races, notwithstand-
ing the missionary labors of the Rev. Jason Lee.
The first Indian that made her a visit on the dona-
tion claim did not leave a favorable impression on
This Indian had come to her door while she
was engaged in the very hard work of sawing
wood. He had never seen a saw before, and, as it
seemed to him to be a part of the woman herself,
he approached her with awe and wonder. That the
saw should eat through the wood appeared to him
a veritable miracle.
Mrs. Woods, unaware of her visitor, paused to
take breath, looked up, beheld the tall form with
staring eyes, and started back.
Medicine-woman-conjure !" said the Indian,
Mrs. Woods was filled with terror, but a mo-
THE CHIEF OF THE CASCADES.
ment's thought recalled her resolution. She lifted
her hand, and, pointing to the saw in the wood, she
said, with a commanding tone:
The Indian obeyed awkwardly, and wondering
at the progress of the teeth of the saw through the
wood. It was a hot day; the poor Indian soon
became tired, and stopped work with a beating
heart and bursting veins.
Saw-saw !" said Mrs. Woods, with a sweep
of her hands, as though some mysterious fate de-
pended upon the order.
The saw went very hard now, for he did not
know how to use it, and the wood was hard, and
the Indian's only thought seemed to be how to
escape. Mrs. Woods held him in her power by a
kind of mental magnetism, like that which Queen
Margaret exercised over the robber.
"Water !" at last gasped the Indian.
"Saw-saw !" said Mrs. Woods; then turned
away to bring him water.
When she looked around again, an unexpected
sight met her eyes. The Indian was flying away,
taking the saw with him. She never beheld either
again, and it was a long time before any Indian
appeared at the clearing after this odd event,
42 THE LOG SCHOOL-HOUSE ON THE COLUMBIA.
though Mrs. Woods ultimately had many advent-
ures among the wandering Siwashes.
A saw was no common loss in these times of
but few mechanical implements in Oregon, and
Mrs. Woods did not soon forgive the Indian for
taking away what he probably regarded as an in-
strument of torture.
"I do hate Injuns !" she would often say; but
quite likely would soon after be heard singing one
of the hymns of the missionaries at the Dalles:
"O'er Columbia's wide-spread forests
Haste, ye heralds of the Lamb;
Teach the red man, wildly roaming,
Faith in Immanuel's name,"
which, if poor poetry, was very inspiring.
MArLOWE MA~ N-" Boston tilicum," as the Si-
washes called all the missionaries, teachers, and
traders from the East-sat down upon a bench of
split log and leaned upon his desk, which consisted
of two split logs in a rough frame. A curious
school confronted him. His pupils numbered fif-
teen, representing Germany, England, Sweden, New
England, and the Indian race.
The world will some day come to the Yankee
schoolmaster," he used to say to the bowery halls
of oldk Cambridge; and this prophecy, which had
come to him on the banks of the Charles, seemed
indeed to be beginning to be fulfilled on the Co-
He opened the school in the same serene and
scholarly manner as he would have done in a school
"He is not a true gentleman who is not one
44 THE LOG SCHOOL-HOUSE ON THE COLUMBIA. -
under all conditions and circumstances," was one
of his views of a well-clothed character; and this
morning he addressed the school with the courtesy
of an old college professor.
"I have come here," he said, "with but one
purpose, and that is to try to teach you things
which will do you the most good in life. That is
always the best which will do the most good; all
else is inferior. I shall first teach you to obey your
sense of right in all things. This is the first prin-
ciple of a true education. You will always know
the way of life if you have this principle for your
"Conscience is the first education. A man's
spiritual nature is his highest nature, and his spir-
itual concerns transcend all others. If a man is
spiritually right, he is the master of all things. I
would impress these truths on your minds, and
teach them at the beginning. I have become will-
ing to be poor, and to walk life's ways alone. The
pilot of the Argo never returned from Colchis, but
the Argo itself returned with the Golden Fleece.
It may be so with my work; if so, I will be con-
tent. I have selected for our Scripture lesson the
He rose and spoke like one before an august
assembly; and so it was to him, with his views of
the future of the great empire of the Northwest.
A part of the pupils could not comprehend all that
he said any more than they had understood the
allusion to the pilot of the Argo; but his manner
was so gracious, so earnest, so inspired, that they
all felt the spirit of it, and some had come to re-
gard themselves as the students of some great des-
"Older domes than the pyramids are looking
down upon you," he said, "and you are born to a
higher destiny than were ever the children of the
SWith the exception of Gretchen, not one of the
pupils fully understood the picturesque allusion.
Like the reference to the pilot of the Argo, it was
poetic mystery to them; and yet it filled them with
a noble curiosity to know much and a desire to
study-hard, and to live hopefully and worthily.
Like the outline of some unknown mountain range,
it allured them to higher outlooks and wider dis-
He talked to us so grandly," said Gretchen to
Mrs. Woods one evening, "that I did not know
half that he was saying; but it made me feel that
I might be somebody, and I do intend to be. It
46 THE LOG SCHOOL-HOUSE ON THE COLUMBIA.
is a good thing to have a teacher with great ex-
"Yes," said Mrs. Woods, "when there is so
little to expect. People don't take a lot of nothing
and make a heap of something in this world. It is
all like a lot of feathers thrown against the wind.
Nevertheless it makes one happier to have pros-
pects, if they are far away. I used to; but they
never came to nothing, unless it was to bring me
way out here."
The log school-house was a curious place. The
children's benches consisted of split logs on pegs,
without backs. The sides of the building were
logs and sods, and the roof was constructed of logs
and pine boughs. All of the children were bare-
footed, and several had but poor and scanty clothing.
Yet the very simplicity of the place had a charm.
Benjamin sat alone, apart from the rest. It
was plain to be seen that he was brooding over the
painful event of the morning. Gretchen had grown
cheerful again, but the bitter expression on the
young Indian's face seemed to deepen in intensity.
Mr. Mann saw it. To quiet his agitation, he began
his teaching by going to him and sitting down
beside him on the rude bench and opening to him
You understand English ?" said Mr. Mann.
"A little., I can talk Chinook."
In the Chinook vocabulary, which was originally
the trade language of all the tribes employed by the
Hudson Bay Company in collecting furs, most of
the words resemble in sound the objects they repre-
sent. For example, a wagon in Chinook is chick-
chick, a clock is ding-ding, a crow is kaw-kaw, a
duck, quack-quack, a laugh, tee-hee; the heart is
tum-tum, and a talk or speech or sermon, wah-
wah. The language was of English invention; it
took its name from the Chinook tribes, and be-
came common in the Northwest. Nearly all of
the old English and American traders in the North-
west learned to talk Chinook, and to teach Chinook
was one of the purposes of the school.
"Can you tell me what that is?" asked Mr.
Mann, pointing to the letter A in the primer.
"No; that is the letter A."
"How do you know ?"
Our digger of Greek roots from Cambridge was
puzzled. He could not repeat the story of Cadmus
to this druid of the forest or make a learned talk
on arbitrary signs. He answered happily, however,
"Wise men said so."
48 THE LOG SCHOOL-HOUSE ON THE COLUMBIA.
"That is the letter B."
"Yes, aha Boston tilicum, you let her be.
Old woman no good; me punish her. Knock-sheet
-stick her" (club her).
Mr. Mann saw at once the strange turn that the
young Indian's mind had taken. He was puzzled
No, Benjamin; I will teach you what to do."
"Teach me how to club her? You are good!
Boston tilicum, we will be brothers-you and I.
She wah-wah, but she is no good."
"That is C."
Aha! She heap wah-wah, but she no good."
Now, that is A, B, and that is C. Try to re-
member them, and I will come soon and talk with
"You wah-wah? "
Yes," said Mr. Mann, doubtful of the Indian's
"She wah-wah ?"
"You heap wah-wah. You good. She heap
wah-wah. She no good. Potlatch come; dance.
She wah-wah no more. I wah-wah."
Mr. Mann was pained to see the revengeful
BOSTON TILICUM. 49
trend of the Indian's thought. The hints of the
evil intention of the Potlatch troubled him, but his
faith in the old chief and the influence of his own
integrity did not falter.
Gretchen was the most advanced scholar in the
school. Her real mother had been an accomplished
woman, and had taken great pains with her educa-
tion. She was well instructed in the English
branches, and had read five books of Virgil in
Latin. Her reading had not been extensive, but it
had embraced some of the best books in the Eng-
lish language. Her musical education had been
received from a German uncle, who had been in-
structed by Herr Wieck, the father of Clara Schu-
mann. He had been a great lover of Schumann's
dreamy and spiritual music, and had taught her the
young composer's pieces for children, and among
them Romance and the Traumerei. He had taught
her to play the two tone poems together in chang-
ing keys, beginning with the Traumerei and return-
ing again to its beautiful and haunting strains.
Gretchen interpreted these poems with all the color
of true feeling, and under her bow they became
enchantment to a musical ear and a delight to even
as unmusical a soul as Mrs. Woods.
Gretchen's chief literary pleasure had been the
50 THE LOG SCHOOL-HOUSE ON THE COLUMBIA.
study of the German poets. She had a poetic
mind, and had learned to produce good rhymes.
The songs of Uhland, Heine, and Schiller delighted
her She had loved to read the strange stories of
Hoffman, and the imaginative works of Baron
Fouque. She used to aspire to be an author or
poet, but these aspirations had received no counte-
nance from Mrs. Woods, and yet the latter seemed
rather proud to regard her ward as possessing a
superior order of mind.
"If there is anything that I do despise," Mrs.
Woods used to say, "it is books spun out of the air,
all about nothing Dreams were made for sleep,
and the day was made for work. I haven't much
to be proud of in this world. I've always been a
terror to lazy people and to Injuns, and if any one
were to write my life they'd have some pretty stir-
ring stories to tell. I have no doubt that I was
made for something."
Although Mrs. Woods boasted that she was a
terror to Indians, she had been very apprehensive
of danger since the Whitman colony massacre.
She talked bravely and acted bravely according to
her view of moral courage, but with a fearful heart.
She dreaded the approaching Potlatch, and the
frenzy that calls for dark deeds if the dance of
the evil spirits should conclude the approaching
There was a sullen look in Benjamin's face as
he silently took his seat in the log school-house the
next morning. Mr. Mann saw it, and instinctively
felt the dark and mysterious atmosphere of it, He
went to him immediately after the opening exer-
cises, and said:
"You haven't spoken to me this morning; what
troubles you ? "
The boy's face met the sympathetic eye of the
master, and he said:
"I was happy on the morning when I came-
sun; she hate Indian, talk against him to you;
make me unhappy-shade; think I will have my
revenge--il-pil; then music make me happy;
you make me happy; night come, and I think of
her-she hate Indian-shade. Me will have my
revenge-pil-pil. She say I have no right here;
she have no right here; the land all belong to TTma-
tilla; then to me; I no have her here. Look out
for the October moon-Potlatch-dance--pil-pi."
I will be a friend to you, Benjamin."
Yes, Boston tilicum, we will be friends."
"And I will teach you how to be noble-like a
king. You felt good when I was kind to you ?"
52 THE LOG SCHOOL-HOUSE ON THE COLUMBIA.
"Yes, Boston tilicum."
"And when the music played ?"
Yes, Boston tilicum."
"Then you must be good to her; that will
make her feel good toward you. Do you see ?"
There came a painful look into the young In- "
I good to her, make her good ? She good to
me make me good? She no good to me. She say
I no right here. The land belong to Umatilla.
She must go. You stay. Look out for the October
moon. She wah-wah no more."
"It is noble to be good; it makes others good."
Then why isn't she good? She make me
ugly; you make me good. I think I will punish
her--pilpil; then you speak kind, and the music
play, then I think I will punish her not. Then
dark thoughts come back again; clouds come
again; hawks fly. What me do ? Me am two
selves; one self when I think of you, one when I
think of her. She say I have no right. She have
no right. All right after Potlatch. I wah-wah;
she wah-wah no more."
"Be good yourself, Benjamin. Be kind to her;
make her kind. You do right."
The young Indian hesitated, then answered:
"I do as you say. You are friend. I'll do
as I feel when the music play. I try. So you
The cloud passed. The teacher paid the In-
dian boy special attention that morning. At
noon Gretchen played Von Weber's Wild Hunt of
Lutzow, which drove Napoleon over the Rhine.
The rhythm of the music picturing the heroic cav-
alry enchanted Benjamin, and he said: "Play it
over again." After the music came a foot-race
among the boys, which Benjamin easily won. The
afternoon passed quietly, until in the cool, length-
ening shadows of the trail the resolute form of
Mrs. Woods appeared.
Benjamin saw her, and his calm mood fled. He
looked up at the master.
I is come back again-my old self again. She
say I no business here; she no business here. She
The master laid his hand on the boy's shoulder
kindly and bent his face on his.
"I do as you say," the boy continued. I will
not speak till my good self come again. I be still.
He dropped his eyes upon a page in the book,
and sat immovable. He was a noble picture of a
.54 THE LOG SCHOOL-HOUSE ON THE COLUMBIA.
struggle for self-control in a savage and untutored
Mrs. Woods asked for Gretchen at the door,
and the master excused the girl, thanking her for
the music that had delighted the school at the noon-
hour. As she was turning to go, Mrs. Woods cast
a glance toward Benjamin, and said to the master
in an undertone: "He's tame now-quiet as a pur-
ring cat. The cat don't lick cream when the folks
are around. But he'll make trouble yet. An In-
jun is a Injun. I hate Injuns, though Parson Lee
says I am all wrong. When you have seen as many
of 'em as I have, you'll know more than you do
Benjamin did not comprehend the words, but
he felt that the woman had said something injurious
to him. The suspicion cut him to the quick. His
black eye sparkled and his cheek burned. The
scholars all seemed to be sorry at the impression
that Mrs. Woods's muttered words had left in his
mind. He had struggled for two days to do his
best-to follow his best self.
School closed. Benjamin rose like a statue.
He stood silent for a time and looked at the slant-
ing sun and the dreamy afternoon glories of the
glaciers, then moved silently out of the door. The
old chief met him in the opening, and saw the hurt
and troubled look in his face.
"What have you been doing to my boy?" he
said to the master. Has he not been good ?"
"Very good; I like him," said Mr. Mann.
He is trying to be good here," pointing to his
heart. The good in him will grow. I will help
The old chief and the boy walked away slowly
out of the shadows of the great trees and up the
cool trail. The tall master followed them with his
eye. In the departing forms he saw a picture of
the disappearing race. He knew history well, and
how it would repeat itself on the great plateau and
amid the giant forests of the Oregon. He felt that
the old man was probably one of the last great
chiefs of the Umatillas.
On one of the peninsulas of the Oregon, the so-
called Islands of the Dead, the old warriors of the
tribes were being gathered by the plagues that had
come to the territories and tribal regions ever since
the Hudson Bay Company established its posts on
the west of the mountains, and Astoria had been
planted on the great river, and settlers had gathered
in the mountain-domed valley of the Willamette.
Wherever the white sail went in the glorious riv-
56 THE LOG SCHOOL-HOUSE ON THE COLUMBIA.
ers, pestilence came to the native tribes. The In-
dian race was perceptibly vanishing. Only one son
of seven was left to Umatilla. What would be the
fate of this boy ?
The master went home troubled over the event
of the afternoon. He was asking the Indian to be
better than his opponent, and she was a well-mean-
ing woman and nominally a Christian.
His first thought was to go to Mrs. Woods and
ask her to wholly change her spirit and manners,
and, in fact, preach to her the same simple doctrine
of following only one's better self that he had
taught to the young prince. But he well knew
that she had not a teachable mind. He resolved
to try to reach the same result through Gretchen,
whom she upbraided with her tongue but loved in
Mrs. Woods had come to regard it as her ap-
pointed mission to abuse people for their good.
She thought it tended toward their spiritual prog-
ress and development. She often said that she felt
" called to set things right, and not let two or three
people have their own way in everything "-a view
of life not uncommon among people of larger op-
portunities and better education.
Benjamin came to school the next morning si-
lent and sullen, and the master went to him again
in the same spirit as before.
"She say I no right here," he said. "She suf-
fer for it. She wah-wah. Look out for the Octo-
No, you are a better Indian now."
"The better Indian harms no one-one's good
self never does evil. You are to be your good self,
and please me."
The young Indian was silent for a time. He
at last said, slowly :
"But me know who will."
"Do what, Benjamin ?"
"Make her suffer-punish."
"I know a bad Indian who will. He say so."
"You must not let him. You are son of a
"I will try. I no wah-wah now."
At noon Benjamin was light-hearted, and led
the sports and games. He was very strong, and
one of his lively feats was to let three or four chil-
dren climb upon his back and run away with them
until they tumbled off. He seemed perfectly happy
when he was making the others happy, and nothing
58 THE LOG SCHOOL-HOUSE ON THE COLUMBIA.
so delighted him as to be commended. He longed
to be popular, not from any selfish reason, but
because to be liked by others was his atmosphere
of contentment. He was kindly above most In-
dians, a trait for which his father was famous.
He was even kindly above many of the white
The next morning he came to school in good
humor, and a curious incident occurred soon after
the school began. A little black bear ventured
down the trail toward the open door, stopping at
times and lifting up its head curiously and cau-
tiously. It at last ventured up to the door, put
its fore feet on the door-sill, and looked into the
"Kill it!" cried one of the boys, a recent
emigrant, in the alarm. Kill it!"
"What harm it do?" said the Indian boy.
" Me drive it away."
The young Indian started toward the door as at
play, and shook his head at the young bear, which
was of the harmless kind so well known in the
Northwest, and the bear turned and ran, while the
Indian followed it toward the wood. The odd
event was quite excusable on any ground of rule
and propriety in the primitive school.
"It no harm; let it go," said the boy on his
return; and the spirit of the incident was good
and educational in the hearts of the school.
The charm of his life was Gretchen's violin.
It transfigured him; it changed the world to him.
His father was a forest philosopher; the boy caught
a like spirit, and often said things that were a reve-
lation to Mr. Mann.
"Why do you like the violin so much?" said
the latter to him one day.
"It brings to me the thing longed for-the
thing I long to know."
"Why, what is that?"
"I can't tell it-I feel it here-I sense it-I
shall know-something better-yonder-the thing
we long for, but do not know. Don't you long for
it? Don't you feel it?"
The tall schoolmaster said "Yes," and was
thoughtful. The poor Indian had tried to express
that something beyond his self of which he could
only now have a dim conception, and about which
even science is dumb. Mr. Mann understood it,
but he could hardly have expressed it better.
The boy learned the alphabet quickly, and began
to demand constant attention in his eagerness to
learn. Mr. Mann found that he was giving more
60 THE LOG SCHOOL-HOUSE ON THE COLUMBIA.
than the allotted time to him. To meet the case,
he appointed from time to time members of the
school "monitors," as he called them, to sit beside
him and help him.
One day he asked Gretchen to do this work.
The boy was delighted to be instructed by the
mistress of the violin, and she was as pleased
with the honor of such monitorial duties to the
son of a chief. But an unexpected episode grew
out of all this mutual good-will and helpful kind-
Benjamin was so grateful to Gretchen for the
pains that she took with his studies that he wished
to repay her. He had a pretty little Cayuse pony
which he used to ride; one day after school he
caused it to be brought to the school-house, and,
setting Gretchen upon it, he led it by the mane up
the trail toward her home, a number of the pupils
following them. On the way the merry-making
party met Mrs. Woods. She was as astonished
as though she had encountered an elephant, and
there came into her face a look of displeasure and
"What kind of doings are these, I would like
to know?" she exclaimed, in a sharp tone, standing
in the middle of the way and scanning every face.
"Riding out with an Injun, Gretchen, are you?
That's what you are'doing. Girl, get off that horse
and come with me! That is the kind of propriety
that they teach out in these parts, is it? and the
master came from Harvard College, too! One
would think that this world was just made to en-
joy one's self in, just like a sheep pasture, where
the lambs go hopping and skipping, not knowing
that they were born to be fleeced."
She hurried Gretchen away excitedly, and the
school turned back. Benjamin was disappointed,
and looked more hurt than ever before. On the
way he met his old father, who had come out to
look for him, and the rest of the scholars dispersed
to their homes.
That evening, after a long, vivid twilight, such
as throws its splendor over the mountain ranges in
these northern latitudes, Mrs. Woods and Gretchen
weYe sitting in their log-house just within the open
door. Mr. Woods was at the block-house at Walla
Walla, and the cabin was unprotected. The light
was fading in the tall pines of the valleys, and there
was a deep silence everywhere, undisturbed by so
much as a whisper of the Chinook winds. Mrs.
Woods's thoughts seemed far away-doubtless
among the old meadows, orchards, and farm-fields
62 THE LOG- SCHOOL-HOUSE ON THE COLUMBIA.
of New England. Gretchen was playing the musi-
Suddenly Mrs. Woods's thoughts came back from
their far-away journeys. She had seen something
that disturbed her. She sat peering into a tract of
trees which were some three hundred feet high-
one of the great tree cathedrals of the Northwest-
ern forests. Suddenly she said:
"Gretchen, there are Injuns in the pines.
Gretchen looked out, but saw nothing.
The shadows deepened.
I have twice seen Injuns passing from tree to
tree and hiding. Why are they there ? There-
A sinewy form in the shadows of the pines ap-
peared and disappeared. Gretchen saw it.
"They mean evil, or they would not hide.
Gretchen, what shall we do ?"
Mrs. Woods closed the door and barred it,
took down the rifle from the side of the room,
and looked out through a crevice in the split
There was a silence for a time; then Mrs.
Woods moved and said: They are coming toward
the house, passing from one tree to another. They
mean revenge-I feel it-revenge on me, and Ben-
jamin-he is the leader of it."
The flitting of shadowy forms among the pines
grew alarming. Nearer and nearer they came, and
more and more excited became Mrs. Woods's ap-
prehensions. Gretchen began to cry, through nerv-
ous excitement, and with the first rush of tears
came to her, as usual, the thought of her violin.
She took up the instrument, tuned it with nerv-
ous fingers, and drew the bow across the strings,
making them shriek as with pain, and then drifted
into the air the music of the Traumerei.
Fiddling, Gretchen-fiddling in the shadow of
death ? I don't know but what you are right-that
The music trembled; the haunting strain quiv-
ered, rose and descended, and was repeated over
and over again.
." There is no movement in the pines," said
Mrs. Woods. It is growing darker. Play on.
It does seem as though that strain was stolen from
heaven to overcome evil with."
Gretchen played. An hour passed, and the
moon rose. Then she laid down the violin and
Oh, Gretchen, he is coming! I know that
64: THE LOG SCHOOL-HOUSE ON THE COLUMBIA.
form. It is Benjamin. He is coming alone.
What shall we do ? He is-right before the
Gretchen's eye fell upon the musical glasses,
which were among the few things that she had
brought from the East and which had belonged to
her old German home. She had tuned them early
in the evening by pouring water into them, as she
had been taught to do in her old German village,
and she wet her fingers and touched them to the
tender forest hymn:
Now the woods are all sleeping."
"He has stopped," said Mrs. Woods. He is
The music filled the cabin. No tones can equal
in sweetness the musical glasses, and the trembling
nerves of Gretchen's fingers gave a spirit of pa-
thetic pleading to the old German forest hymn.
Over and over again she played the air, waiting
for the word of Mrs. Woods to cease.
"He is going," said Mrs. Woods, slowly. "He
is moving back toward the pines. He has changed
his mind, or has gone for his band. You may stop
Mrs. Woods watched by the split shutter until
past midnight. Then she laid down on the bed,
and Gretchen watched, and one listened while the
other slept, by turns, during the night. But no
footstep was heard. The midsummer sun blazed
over the pines in the early morning; birds sang
gayly in the dewy air, and Gretchen prepared the
morning meal as usual, then made her way to the
She found Benjamin there. He met her with a
Bad Indian come to your cabin last night,"
said he. He mean evil; he hate old woman.
She wah-wah too much, and he hate. Bad Indian
hear music-violin; he be pleased-evil hawks fly
out of him. Good Indian come back. One is tied
to the other. One no let the other go. What was
that low music I hear ? Baby music! Chinook
wind in the bushes! Quail-mother-bird singing
to her nest! I love that music.
Say, you play at Potlatch, frighten away the
hawks; mother-birds sing. No devil dance. Say,
I have been good; no harm old wah-wah. Will
you-will you play-play that tin-tin at Potlatch
under the big moon ?"
A great thought had taken possession of the
young Indian's mind, and a great plan-one worthy
66 THE 'LOG SCHOOL-HOUSE 'ON THE COLUMBIA.
of a leader of a peace congress. Gretchen saw
the plan in part, but did not fully comprehend it.
She could only see that his life had become a strug-
gle between good and evil, and that he was now
following some good impulse of his better nature.
MRS. WOODS'S TAME BEAR.
MRs. WooDS was much alone during this sum-
mer. Her husband was away from home during
the working days of the week, at the saw and shin-
gle mill on the Columbia, and during the same days
Gretchen was much at school.
The summer in the mountain valleys of Wash-
ington is a long serenity. The deep-blue sky is an
ocean of intense light, and the sunbeams glint amid
the cool forest shadows, and seem to sprinkle the
plains with gold-dust like golden snow. Notwith-
standing her hard practical speech, which was a
habit, Mrs. Woods loved Nature, and, when her
work was done, she often made little journeys alone
into the mountain woods.
In one of these solitary excursions she met with
a little black cub and captured it, and, gathering it
up in her apron like a kitten, she ran with it toward
68 THE LOG SCHOOL-HOUSE ON THE COLUMBIA.
her cabin, after looking behind to see if the mother
bear was following her. Had she seen the mother
of the cunning little black creature in her apron
pursuing her, she would have dropped the cub,
which would have insured her escape from danger.
But the mother bear did not make an early discov-
ery of the loss in her family. She was probably out
berrying, and such experiences of stolen children
were wholly unknown to the bear family in Wash-
ington before this time. The Indians would not
have troubled the little cub.
The black bear of the Cascades is quite harm-
less, and its cubs, like kittens, seem to have a sense
of humor unusual among animals. For a white
child to see a cub is to desire it to tame for a pet,
and Mrs. Woods felt the same childish instincts
when she caught up the little creature, which
seemed to have no fear of anything, and ran away
with it toward her home.
It was Saturday evening when she returned, and
she found both Mr. Woods and Gretchen waiting
to meet her at the door. They were surprised to
see her haste and the pivotal turning of her head
at times, as though she feared pursuit from some
Out of breath, she sank down on the log that
MRS. WOODS'S TAME BEAR.
served for a step, and, opening her apron cautiously,
Where did you get that ?" said Mr. Woods.
"I stole it."
"What are you going to do with it ?"
"What for ?"
"For company. I haven't any neighbors."
"But what do you want it for? "
"It is so cunning. It just rolled over in the
trail at my feet, and I grabbed it and ran."
"But what if the mother-bear should come after
it ? asked Gretchen.
"I would shoot her."
"That would be a strange way to treat your
new neighbors," said Mr. Woods.
Mr. Woods put a leather strap around the neck
of the little bear, and tied the strap to a log in the
yard. The little thing began to be alarmed at these
strange proceedings, and to show a disposition to
use its paws in resistance, but it soon learned not
to fear its captors; its adoption into the shingle-
maker's family was quite easily enforced, and the
pet seemed to feel quite at home.
There was some difficulty at first in teaching the
70 THE LOG SCHOOL-HOUSE ON THE COLUMBIA.
cub to eat, but hunger made it a tractable pupil
of the berry dish, and Mrs. Woods was soon able
"There it is, just as good as a kitten, and I
would rather have it than to have a kitten. It
belongs to these parts."
Poor Mrs. Woods! She soon found that her
pet did "belong to these parts," and that its native
instincts were strong, despite her moral training.
She lost her bear in a most disappointing way, and
after she supposed that it had become wholly de-
voted to her.
She had taught it to "roll over" for its din-
ner, and it had grown to think that all the good
things of this world came to bears by their willing-
ness to roll over. Whenever any member of the
family appeared at the door, the cub would roll
over like a ball, and expect to be fed, petted, and
rewarded for the feat.
"I taught it that," Mrs. Woods used to say.
"I could teach it anything. It is just as know-
ing as it is cunning, and lots of company for me
out here in the mountains. It thinks more of
me than of its old mother. You can educate any-
As the cub grew, Mrs. Woods's attachment to
MRS. WOODS'S TAME BEAR.
it increased. She could not bear to see its free-
dom restrained by the strap and string, and so she
untied the string from the log and let it drag it
about during the day, only fastening it at night.
There is no danger of its running away," said
she; "it thinks too much of me and the berry
dish. I've tamed it completely; it's as faith-
ful to its home as a house-cat, and a great deal more
company than a cat or dog or any other dumb ani-
mal. The nicest bird to tame is a blue-jay, and the
best animal for company is a cub. I do believe
that I could tame.the whole race of bears if I only
Mrs. Woods had a pet blue-jay that she had
taken when young from its nest, and it would do
many comical things. It seemed to have a sense of
humor, like a magpie, and to enjoy a theft like that
bird. She finally gave it the freedom of the air,
but it would return at her call for food and eat
from her hand. The blue-jay is naturally a very
wild bird, but when it is tamed it becomes very
inquisitive and social, and seems to have a brain
full of invention and becomes a very comical pet.
Mrs. Woods called her pet bear Little Roll Over.
One day a visitor appeared at the emigrant's
cabin. A black she-bear came out of the woods,
72 THE LOG SCHOOL-HOUSE ON THE COLUMBIA.
and, seeing the cub, stood up on her haunches in
surprise and seemed to. say, "How came you
here ? It was evidently the mother of the cub.
The cub saw its mother and rolled over sev-
eral times, and then stood up on its haunches and
looked at her, as much as to say, Where did you
come from, and what brought you here? In the
midst of this interesting interview Mrs. Woods ap-
peared at the door of the cabin.
She saw the mother-bear. True to her New
England instincts, she shook her homespun apron
and said: "Shoo!"
She also saw that the little bear was greatly ex-
cited, and under the stress of temptation.
Here," said she, roll over."
The cub did so, but in the direction of its
Mrs. Woods hurried out toward it to prevent
this ungrateful gravitation.
The mother-bear seemed much to wonder that
the cub should be found in such forbidden associa-
tions, and began to make signs by dipping her fore
paws. The cub evidently understood these signs,
and desired to renew its old-time family relations.
"Here," said Mrs. Woods, "you-you-you
mind now; roll over-roll over."
In the midst qf this interview Mrs. Woods appeared at the door of the cabin.
MRS. WOODS'S TAME BEAR.
The cub did so, true to its education in one re-
spect, but it did not roll in the direction of its
foster-mother, but rolled toward its own mother.
It turned over some five or more times, then
bounded up and ran toward the she-bear. The
latter dropped her fore feet on the earth again, and
the two bears, evidently greatly delighted to find
each other, quickly disappeared in the woods. As
the cub was about to enter the bushes it turned
and gave a final glance at Mrs. Woods and rolled
This was too much for Mrs. Woods's heart. She
"After all I have done for ye, too! Oh, Little
Roll Over, Little Roll Over, I wouldn't have
thought it of you! "
She surveyed the empty yard, threw her apron
over her head, as stricken people used to do in
Lynn in the hour of misfortune, and sat down on
the log at the door and cried.
"I never have had any confidence in In-
juns," she said, "since my saw walked off. But
I did have some respect for bears. I wonder if
I shall ever meet that little cre'tur' again, and,
if I do, if it will roll over. This world is all
full of disappointments, and I have had my
74 THE LOG SCHOOL-HOUSE ON THE COLUMBIA.
share. Maybe I'll get it back to me yet. Never-
Mrs. Woods often talked of Little Roll Over
and its cunning ways; she hoped she would some
time meet it again, and wondered how it would
act if she should find it.
THE NEST OF THE FISHING EAGLE.
BENJAMIN continued to attend the school, but it
was evident that he did so with an injured heart,
and chiefly out of love for the old chief, his father.
He had a high regard for his teacher, whose kind-
ness was unfailing, and he showed a certain partial-
ity for Gretchen; but he was as a rule silent, and
there were dark lines on his forehead that showed
that he was unhappy. He would not be treated as
an inferior, and he seemed to feel that he was so
regarded by the scholars.
He began to show a peculiar kind of contempt
for all of the pupils except Gretchen. He pre-
tended not to see them, hear them, or to be aware
of their presence or existence. He would pass
through a group of boys as though the place was
vacant, not so much as moving his eye from the
direct path. He came and went, solitary and self-
contained, proud, cold, and revengeful.
76 THE LOG SCHOOL-HOUSE ON THE COLUMBIA.
But this indifference was caused by sensitive-
ness and the feeling that he had been slighted.
The dark lines relaxed, and his face wore a kindly
glow whenever his teacher went to his desk-if the
split-log bench for a book-rest might be so called.
"I would give my life for Gretchen and you," he
said one day to Mr. Mann; and added: "I would
save them all for you."
There was a cluster of gigantic trees close by
the school-house, nearly two hundred feet high.
The trees, which were fir, had only dry stumps of
limbs for a distance of nearly one hundred feet
from the ground. At the top, or near the top, the
green leaves or needles and dead boughs had mat-
ted together and formed a kind of shelf or eyrie,
and on this a pair of fishing eagles had made their
The nest had been there many years, and the
eagles had come back to it during the breeding sea-
son and reared their young.
For a time after the opening of the school none
of the pupils seemed to give any special attention
to this high nest. It was a cheerful sight at noon
to see the eagles wheel in the air, or the male eagle
come from the glimmering hills and alight beside
THE NEST OF THE FISHING EAGLE.
One afternoon a sudden shadow like a falling
cloud passed by the half-open shutter of the log
school-house and caused the pupils to start. There
was a sharp cry of distress in the air, and the mas-
ter looked out and said:
"Attend to your books, children; it is only the
But again and again the same swift shadow, like
the fragment of a storm-cloud, passed across the
light, and the wild scream of the bird caused the
scholars to watch and to listen. The cry was that
of agony and affright, and it was so recognized by
Benjamin, whose ear and eye were open to Nature,
and who understood the voices and cries of the
wild and winged inhabitants of the trees and air.
He raised his hand.
May I go see ?"
The master bowed silently. The boy glided
out of the door, and was heard to exclaim:
"Look! look! the nest-the nest!"
The master granted the school a recess, and all
in a few moments were standing without the door
peering into the tall trees.
The long dry weather and withering sun had
caused the dead boughs to shrink and to break
beneath the great weight of the nest that rested
78 THE LOG SCHOOL-HOUSE ON THE COLUMBIA.
upon them. The eagle's nest was in ruins. It had
fallen upon the lower boughs, and two young half-
fledged eaglets were to be seen hanging helplessly
on a few sticks in mid-air and in danger of falling
to the ground.
It was a bright afternoon. The distress of the
two birds was pathetic, and their cries called about
them other birds, as if in sympathy.
The eagles seldom descended to any point near
the plain in their flight, but mounted, as it were, to
the sun, or floated high in the air; but in their dis-
tress this afternoon they darted downward almost
to the ground, as though appealing for help for
While the school was watching this curious
scene the old chief of the TTmatillas came up the
cool highway or trail, to go home with Benjamin
The eagles seemed to know him. As he joined
the pitying group, the female eagle descended as in
a spasm of grief, and her wing swept his plume.
She uttered a long, tremulous cry as she passed and
ascended to her young.
She call," said the old chief. She call me."
"I go," said Benjamin, with a look at his
THE NEST OF THE FISHING EAGLE.
"Yes, go-she call. She call-the God over-
head he call. Go!"
A slender young pine ran up beside one of the
giant trees, tall and green. In a moment Benjamin
was seen ascending this pine to a point where he
could throw himself upon the smallest of the great
trees and grasp the ladder of the lower dead
branches. Up and up he went in the view of all,
until he had reached a height of some hundred and
The eagles wheeled around him, describing
higher circles as he ascended. He reached the
young eagles at last, but passed by them. What
was he going to do ?
There was a shelf of green boughs above him,
which would bear the weight of a nest. He went
up to them at a distance of nearly two hundred
feet. He then began to gather up the fallen sticks
of the-old nest, and to break off new sticks and to
construct a new nest. The old chief watched him
with pride, and, turning to the master, said:
"Ah-a-that is my boy. IHe be me. I was he
once-it is gone now-what I was."
When Benjamin had made a nest he descended,
and at the peril of his own life, on the decayed
limbs, he rescued the two young eagles that were
80 THE LOG SCHOOL-HOUSE ON THE COLUMBIA.
hanging with heads downward and open beaks.
He carried them up to the new nest and placed
them in it, and began to descend.
But a withered bough that he grasped was too
slender for his weight, and broke. He grasped
another, but that too gave way. He tried to drop
into the top of the tall young pine below him, but,
in his effort to get into position to do so, limb after
limb of dead wood broke, and he came falling to
the earth, amid the startled looks of the chief and
the cries of the children.
The ground was soft, and his body lay for a
time half imbedded in it.
He was senseless, and blood streamed from his
nose and reddened his eyes. The old chief seized
his arm and tried to raise him, but the effort
brought no sign of life, and his body was low-
ered slowly back again by the agonized father,
who sat down and dropped his head on his son's
Mr. Mann brought water and wet the boy's lips
and bathed his brow. He then placed his hand
over the boy's heart and held it there. There was
a long silence. The old chief watched the teacher's
hand. He seemed waiting for a word of hope;
but Mr. Mann did not speak.
THE NEST OF THE FISHING EAGLE.
The old chief lifted his head at last, and said,
Boston tilicum, you do not know how I feel!
You do not know-the birds know-you do not
The teacher rubbed the boy's breast and arms,
He will revive."
What, Boston tilicum ?"
"He will live."
"c My boy?"
The dark face brightened. The old man clasped
the boy's hand and drew it to his breast. The
children attempted to brush the earth out of the
young hero's dark, matted hair, but the old chief
No touch him! he is mine."
At. last a convulsive movement passed over the
boy's body. The teacher again pressed his hand on
the heart of his pupil, and he quickly exclaimed:
The fiery sun gleamed from the snowy mountains.
There were cool murmurs of winds in the trees, and
they sent forth a resinous odor into the air. The
balm dropped down like a messenger of healing.
82 THE LOG SCHOOL-HOUSE ON THE COLUMBIA.
Presently the boy's eyes opened and gazed
steadily into the blue air.
The eagles were wheeling about the trees. The
boy watched them, as though nothing had passed.
They were making narrowing circles, and at last
each alighted on the new nest beside their young.
He turned his face slowly toward his father.
"Saved !" he said. "They are happy. I fell.
He rose up. As he did so the male eagle rose
from his nest and, uttering a glad scream, wheeled
in the sky and made his way through the crimson
haze toward the fishing grounds of the lower
The chief's eye followed him for a time; then
the old man turned a happy face on the schoolmas-
ter and children and said:
I know how he feels-the Manitou overhead
-he made the hearts of all; yours-the birds-
mine. He is glad !"
There was something beautiful and pathetic in
the old chief's sense of the common heart and feel-
ing of all conscious beings. The very eagles seemed
to understand it; and Master Mann, as he turned
away from the school-house that day, said to
THE NEST OF THE FISHING EAGLE.
I myself am being taught. I am glad to learn
all this large life. I hope that you will one day
become a teacher."
Gretchen went home that afternoon with a glad
heart. Benjamin did not return to the school again
for several days, and when he came back it seemed
to be with a sense of humiliation. He seemed to
feel somehow that he ought not to have fallen from
The fourth of July came, and Master Mann
had invited the school to come together on the
holiday for patriotic exercises. He had one of the
pupils read the Declaration of Independence on
the occasion, and Gretchen played the President's
March on the violin. He himself made an histori-
cal address, and then joined in some games out of
doors under the trees.
He brought to the school-house that day an Amer-
ican flag, which he hung over the desk during the ex-
ercises. When the school went out to play he said:
"I wish I could hang the flag from a pole, or
from the top of one of the trees."
Benjamin's face brightened.
"I will go," he said; "I will go wp."
"Hang it on the eagle's nest," said one of the
pupils. The eagle is the national bird."
84 THE LOG SCHOOL-HOUSE ON THE COLUMBIA.
Mr. Mann saw that to suspend the national em-
blem from the eagle's nest would be a patriotic
episode of the day, and he gave the flag to Benja-
min, saying :
"Beware of the rotten limbs."
"I no woman," said Benjamin; and, waving
the flag, he moved like a squirrel up the trees. He
placed the flag on the nest, while the eagles wheeled
around him, screaming wildly. He descended
safely, and made the incident an object lesson, as
Mr. Mann repeated the ode to the American eagle,
found at that time in many reading-books.
While Mr. Mann was doing so, and had reached
"Bird of Columbia, well art thou," etc.,
one of the eagles swept down to the nest and seized
the banner in his talons. He rose again into the
air and circled high, then with a swift, strong
curve of the wings, came down to the nest again,
and, seizing the flag, tore it from the nest and bore
it aloft to the sky.
It was a beautiful sight. The air was clear, the
far peaks were serene, and the glaciers of Mount
Hood gleamed like a glory of crystallized light.
The children cheered. The bird soared away in the
blue heavens, and the flag streamed after him in
The eagle soared away in the blue heavens, and the flay streamed
after him in his talons.
THE NEST OF THE FISHING EAGLE. 85
his talons. He dropped the flag at last over a dark,
green forest. The children cheered again.
It was miles away.
"I go find it," said Benjamin; and he darted
away from the place and was not seen until the
next day, when he returned, bringing the flag with
Marlowe Mann never forgot that fourth of
July on the Columbia.
THE MOUNTAIN LION.
ONE morning, as Mrs. Woods sat in her door
picking over some red whortleberries which she
had gathered in the timber the day before, a young
cow came running into the yard, as if for protec-
tion. Mrs. Woods started up, and looked in the
direction from which the animal had come running,
but saw nothing to cause the alarm.
The cow looked backward, and lowed. Mrs.
Woods set down her dish of red berries, took her
gun, and went out toward the timber where the
cow had been alarmed.
There was on the edge of the timber a large fir
that the shingle-maker had felled when he first built
his house or shack, but had not used, owing to the
hardness of the grain. It lay on the earth, but still
connected with its high stump, forming a kind of
natural fence. Around it were beds of red phlox,
red whortleberry bushes, and wild sunflowers.
THE MOUNTAIN LION.
The horny stump and fallen tree had been made
very interesting to Mrs. Woods in her uneventful
life by a white squirrel that often had appeared
upon it, and made a pretty picture as it sat eating
in the sun, its head half covered with its bushy tail.
White squirrels were not common in the timber,
and this was the only one that Mrs. Woods had
I wish that I could contrive to catch that there
white squirrel," she said to Gretchen one day; "it
would be a sight of company for me when you are
gone. The bear used me mean, but I kind 'o' like
all these little children of Natur'. But I don't
want no Injuns, and no more bears unless he comes
back again. The schoolmaster may like Injuns, and
you may, but I don't. Think how I lost my saw;
Injun and all went: off together. I can seem to
see him now, goin'."
As Mrs. Woods drew near the fallen tree she
looked for the white squirrel, which was not to be
seen. Suddenly the bushes near the stump moved,
and she saw the most evil-looking animal that she
had ever met drawing back slowly toward the fallen
tree. It was long, and seemed to move more like
an immense serpent than an animal. It had a cat-
like face, with small ears and spiteful eyes, and a
88 THE LOG SCHOOL-HOUSE ON THE COLUMBIA.
half-open mouth displaying a red tongue and sharp
teeth. Its face was sly, malicious, cruel, and cow-
ardly. It seemed to be such an animal as would
attack one in the dark. It was much larger than a
dog or common black bear.
Mrs. Woods raised her gun, but she thought
that she was too far from the house to risk an en-
counter with so powerful an animal. So she drew
back slowly, and the animal did the same defiantly.
She at last turned and ran to the house.
Gretchen," she said, "what do you think I
have seen ? "
"The white squirrel."
"No; a tiger!"
"But there are no tigers here; so the chief
"But I have just seen one, and it had the mean-
est-looking face that I ever saw on any living creat-
ure. It was all snarls. That animal is dangerous.
I shall be almost afraid to be alone now."
"I shall be afraid to go to school."
"No, Gretchen, you needn't be afraid. I'll go
with you morning's and carry the gun. I like to
walk morning's under the trees, the air does smell so
That night, just as the last low tints of the long
THE MOUNTAIN LION.
twilight had disappeared and the cool, dewy airs
began to move among the pines, a long, deep, fear-
ful cry was heard issuing from the timber. Mrs.
Woods started up from her bed and called, "Gret-
The girl had been awakened by the cry, which
might have been that of a child of a giant in pain.
Did you hear that ?" asked Mrs. Woods.
Let's get up and go out," said Gretchen.
Presently the same long, clear, pitiable cry, as if
some giant distress, was repeated.
It seems human," said Mrs. Woods. It
makes me want to know what it is. Yes, let us get
up and go out."
The cry was indeed pleading and magnetic. It
excited pity and curiosity. There was a strange,
mysterious quality about it that drew one toward it.
It was repeated a third time and then ceased.
*There was a family by the name of Bonney who
had taken a donated claim some miles from the
Woodses on the Columbia. They had two boys
who attended the school.
Early the next morning one of these boys,
named Arthur, came over to the Woodses in great
distress, with a fearful story.
"Something," he said, "has killed all of our
90 THE LOG SCHOOL-HOUSE ON THE COLUMBIA.
cattle. They all lie dead near the clearing, just as
though they were asleep. They are not injured, as
we can see; they are not shot or bruised, nor do
they seem to be poisoned-they are not swelled-
they look as though they were alive-but they are
cold-they are just dead. Did you hear anything
in the timber last night ?"
Yes," said Mrs. Woods. "Wasn't it mysteri-
ous? Lost your cattle, boy? I am sorry for your
folks. Mabbie (may be) 'tis Injuns."
"No; father says that he can find no injury on
"'Tis awful mysterious like," said Mrs. Woods,
cattle dyin' without anything ailin' 'em! I've
always thought this was a good country, but I don't
know. Tell your folks I'm sorry for 'em. Can I
do anything for you ? I'll come over and see ye in
the course of the day."
That night the same strange, wild, pleading cry
was repeated in the timber.
There's something very strange about that
sound," said Mrs. Woods. "It makes me feel as
though I must run toward it. It draws me. It
makes me feel curi's. It has haunted me all day,
and now it comes again."
Do you suppose that the cry has had anything
THE MOUNTAIN LION.
to do with the death of Mr. Bonney's cattle?"
I don't know-we don't understand this coun-
try fully yet. There's something very mysterious
about the death of those cattle. You ought to have
seen 'em. They all lie there dead, as though they
had just lost their breath, and that was all."
The next night was silent. But, on the follow-
ing morning, a boy came to the school with a
strange story. He had been driving home his fa-
ther's cows on the evening before, when an animal
had dropped from a 'great tree on the neck of one
of the cows, which struggled and lowed for a
few minutes, then fell, and was found dead. The
boy and the other cattle had run away on the sud-
den appearance of the animal. The dead cow pre-
sented the same appearance as the cows of Mr.
Bonney had done.
"When the old chief appeared at the school-
house with Benjamin that morning, the school
gathered around him and asked him what these
things could mean. He replied, in broken Chinook,
that there was a puma among them, and that this
animal sucked the blood of its victims.
The puma or cougar or panther, sometimes
spelled painter, is the American lion. It is com-
92 THE LOG SCHOOL-HOUSE ON THE COLUMBIA.
only called the mountain lion in the Northwest.
It belongs to the cat family, and received the name
of lion from its tawny color. When its appetite
for blood has been satisfied, and its face is in repose,
it is a very beautiful animal; but when seeking its
prey it presents a mean, cowardly, stealthy appear-
ance, and its face is a picture of cruelty and evil.
It will destroy as many as fifty sheep in a night,
sucking their blood and leaving them as though
they had died without any external injury. This
terrible animal is easily tamed if captured young,
and, strange to say, becomes one of the most affec-
tionate and devoted of pets. It will purr about the
feet and lick the hands of its master, and develop
all the attractive characteristics of the domestic cat.
We must have a puma-hunt," said the chief,
Not to-day ? said the teacher.
"Yes," said the chief, now-he eat your
children. Find boy dead some day, just like cow.
He drop down from a tree on a papoose. Benja-
min and I will go hunt.'
The two disappeared. For several days they
did not return. But, one morning, a party of
Indians in hunting-gear came riding up to the
school-house, full of gay spirits and heroic pride.