• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Frontispiece
 Half Title
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 The backwoods settlement
 A shooting-match and its conse...
 Speculative remarks with which...
 Our hero enlarged upon
 A mission of peace
 The great prairies of the...
 The "wallering" peculiarities of...
 Dick and his friends visit the...
 Crusoe acts a conspicuous and humane...
 Perplexities
 Evening meditations and morning...
 Wanderings on the prairie
 Escape from Indians
 Crusoe's return, and his private...
 Health and happiness return
 Dick becomes a horse tamer
 Dick's first fight with a...
 A surprise, and a piece of good...
 Adventures with the Peigans
 New plans
 Wolves attack the horses, and Cameron...
 Charlie's adventures with savages...
 Savage sports
 Plans and prospects
 Dangers of the prairie
 Anxious fears follwed by a joyful...
 Rejoicings
 Back Cover
 Spine






Title: The dog Crusoe and his master
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00086833/00001
 Material Information
Title: The dog Crusoe and his master a story of adventure in the Western prairies
Series Title: R.M. Ballantyne's books for boys
Alternate Title: Story of adventure in the Western prairies
Dog Crusoe
Physical Description: 1, vii, 336 p., 2 leaves of plates : col. ill. ; 20 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Ballantyne, R. M ( Robert Michael ), 1825-1894
Thomas Nelson & Sons ( Publisher )
Publisher: T. Nelson and Sons
Place of Publication: London ;
Edinburg ;
New York
Publication Date: 1898
Edition: New ed.
 Subjects
Subject: Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Voyages and travels -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Adventure and adventurers -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Prairies -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Survival skills -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Human-animal relationships -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Hunters -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Natural history -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Indians of North America -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Animals -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Dogs -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Discovery and exploration -- Juvenile fiction -- West (U.S.)   ( lcsh )
Description and travel -- Juvenile fiction -- West (U.S.)   ( lcsh )
Publishers' advertisements -- 1898   ( rbgenr )
Children's literature -- 1898   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1898
Genre: Publishers' advertisements   ( rbgenr )
Children's literature   ( rbgenr )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
Scotland -- Edinburgh
United States -- New York -- New York
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Robert Michael Ballantyne.
General Note: Added title page and frontispiece printed in colors.
General Note: Pictorial cover.
General Note: Frontispiece printed in colors.
General Note: Publisher's advertisements on back cover.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00086833
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002373941
notis - ALX8638
oclc - 252233108

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page i
        Page i-a
    Frontispiece
        Page ii
    Half Title
        Page iii
    Title Page
        Page iv
    Table of Contents
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page viii
    The backwoods settlement
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
    A shooting-match and its consequences
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
    Speculative remarks with which the reader may or may not agree
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
    Our hero enlarged upon
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
    A mission of peace
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
    The great prairies of the far west
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
    The "wallering" peculiarities of buffalo bulls
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
    Dick and his friends visit the Indians and see many wonders
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
    Crusoe acts a conspicuous and humane part
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
    Perplexities
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
    Evening meditations and morning reflections
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
    Wanderings on the prairie
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
    Escape from Indians
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
    Crusoe's return, and his private adventures among the Indians
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
    Health and happiness return
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
    Dick becomes a horse tamer
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
    Dick's first fight with a grizzly
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 215
    A surprise, and a piece of good news
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 223
        Page 224
        Page 225
        Page 226
        Page 227
        Page 228
    Adventures with the Peigans
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
        Page 233
        Page 234
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 237
        Page 238
        Page 239
        Page 240
    New plans
        Page 241
        Page 242
        Page 243
        Page 244
        Page 245
        Page 246
        Page 247
        Page 248
        Page 249
        Page 250
        Page 251
        Page 252
        Page 253
        Page 254
        Page 255
        Page 256
        Page 257
        Page 258
        Page 259
        Page 260
        Page 261
        Page 262
    Wolves attack the horses, and Cameron circumvents the wolves
        Page 263
        Page 264
        Page 265
        Page 266
        Page 267
        Page 268
        Page 269
        Page 270
        Page 271
        Page 272
        Page 273
        Page 274
        Page 275
        Page 276
    Charlie's adventures with savages and bears
        Page 277
        Page 278
        Page 279
        Page 280
        Page 281
        Page 282
        Page 283
    Savage sports
        Page 284
        Page 285
        Page 286
        Page 287
        Page 288
        Page 289
        Page 290
        Page 291
        Page 292
        Page 293
        Page 294
        Page 295
        Page 296
        Page 297
        Page 298
        Page 299
    Plans and prospects
        Page 300
        Page 301
        Page 302
        Page 303
        Page 304
        Page 305
        Page 306
        Page 307
        Page 308
        Page 309
        Page 310
        Page 311
    Dangers of the prairie
        Page 312
        Page 313
        Page 314
        Page 315
        Page 316
        Page 317
        Page 318
        Page 319
        Page 320
        Page 321
    Anxious fears follwed by a joyful surprise
        Page 322
        Page 323
        Page 324
        Page 325
        Page 326
        Page 327
        Page 328
        Page 329
        Page 330
    Rejoicings
        Page 331
        Page 332
        Page 333
        Page 334
        Page 335
        Page 336
    Back Cover
        Page 337
        Page 338
    Spine
        Page 339
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THE SHOOTING MATCH







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THE DOG .CRUSOE

AND


HIS MASTER



A Story of Adventure in the Western Prairies



By

1Robert Ifitcbael BaIIantpne
Author of "The Coral Island," "The Young Fur-Traders," "Ungava,"
"The Gorilla-Hunters," "The World of Ice,"
"Martin Rattler."
&e


SNEW EDITION





TI NELSON AND SONS
LONDON EDINBURGH
NEW YORK

1898



















CONTENTS.





CHAPTER I.
The backwoods settlement-Crusoe's parentage and early history-The agonizing
pains and sorrows of his puppyhood, and other interesting matters....... 9

CHAPTER II.
A shooting-match and its consequences-New friends introduced to the reader
-Crusoe and his mother change masters.................. .... .............. 1

CHAPTER III.
Speculative remarks with which the reader may or may not agree-An old
woman-Hopes and wishes commingled with hard facts-The dog Crusoe's
education begun............. ................ ........... ........................... 31

CHAPTER IV.
Our hero enlarged upon-Grumps ...............................................43

CHAPTER V.
A mission of peace--Unexpected joys-Dick and Crusoe set off for the land of
the Redskins, and meet with adventures by the vay as a matter of course-
Night in the wild woods............. .... ..... ..... ......... ..................50

CHAPTER VI.
The great prairies of the far west-A remarkable colony discovered, and a
miserable night endured............ ...... ..........................................65

CHAPTER VII.
The "wallering" peculiarities of buffalo bulls-The first buffalo hunt and its
consequences-Crusoe comes to the rescue-Pawnees discovered-A monster
buffalo hunt-Joe acts the part of ambassador........................... ........76






Vi CONTENTS.

CHAPTER VIII.
Dick and his friends visit the Indians and see many wonders-Crusoe, too,
experiences a few surprises, and teaches Indian dogs a lesson-An Indian
dandy- A foot-race.................. ..... ..... ....... .. ........... .....95

CHAPTER IX.
Crusoe acts a conspicuous and humane part-A friend gained-A great
feast. ......... ......... ......... .. ......... ........... ...... .. .. ......110

CHAPTER X.
Perplexities-Our hunters plan their escape--Unexpected interruption-The
tables turned-Crusoe mounts guard-The escape................. ...121

CHAPTER XI.
Evening meditations and morning reflections-Buffaloes, badgers, antelopes, and
accidents-An old bull and the wolves--"Mad tails"-Henri floored,
etc .. ............... .. .......... .... .............. ..........................138

CHAPTER XII.
Wanderings on the prairie-A war party-Chased by Indzans-A bold leap
for life........... ........... ....... .................. .....................152

CHAPTER XIII.
Escape from Indians-A discovery-Alone in the desert..........................160

CHAPTER XIV.
Crusoe's return, and his private adventures among the Indians-Dick at a very
low ebb--rusoe saves him............................................ ................170

CHAPTER XV.
Health and happiness return-Incidents of the journey-A buffalo shot-A
wild horse "creased "-Dick's battle with a mustang......................178

CHAPTER XVI.
Dick becomes a horse tamer-Resumes his journey-Charlie's doings-Misfor-
tunes which lead to, but do not terminate in, the Rocky Mountains-A
grizzly bear........................ ... ........... ...................................195

CHAPTER XVII.
Dick's first fight with a grizzly-Adventure with a deer-A surprise...........207

CHAPTER XVIII.
A surprise, and a piece of good news-The fur-traders-,Crusoe proved, and
the Peigans pursued............... .. .. .... .............. ........... 216








CONTENTS. Vll

CHAPTER XIX.
Adventures vith the Peigans-Crusoe does good service as a discoverer-The
savages outwitted-The rescue....................................................229

CHAPTER XX.
New plans-Our travellers join the fur-traders, and see many strange things-
A curious fight-A narrow escape, and a prisoner taken....................241

CHAPTER XXI.
Wolves attack the horses, and Cameron circumvents the wolves-A bear-hunt,
in which Henri shines conspicuous-Joe and the "Natter-list"-An
alarm-A surprise and a capture..... ................ .... ...............263

CHAPTER XXII.
Charlie's adventures with savages and bears-Trapping life....................277

CHAPTER XXIIL
Savage sports-Living cataracts-An alarm-Indians and their doings-The
stampede- Charlie again..... ........ ............... ........... ................284

CHAPTER XXIV.
Plans and prospects-Dick becomes home-sick, and Henri metaphysical-The
Indzans attack the camp-A blow-up................... .... ...............300

CHAPTER XXV.
Dangers of the prairie-Our travellers attacked by Indians, and delivered in a
remarkable manner.............................. ... ........ ... .......... 312

CHAPTER XXVI.
Anxious fears followed by a joyful surprise-Safe home at last, and happy
hearts..................... .. ......... ..... .... ............ 322

CHAPTER XXVII.
Rejoicings-The feast at the block-house-Grumps and Crusoe come out strong-
The closing scene....... ..... ............. ................ .... .. ........ 331















THE DOG CRUSOE.



CHAPTER I.

The backwoods settlement-Crusoe's parentage and early history-The agonizing
pains and sorrows of his puppyhood, and other interesting matters.

T HE dog Crusoe was once a pup. Now do not,
courteous reader, toss your head contemptuously.
and exclaim, Of course he was; I could have told you
that." You know very well that you have often seen a
man above six feet high, broad and powerful as a lion,
with a bronzed shaggy visage and the stern glance of an
eagle, of whom you have said, or thought, or heard others
say, "It is scarcely possible to believe that such a man
was once a squalling baby." If you had seen our hero
in all the strength and majesty of full-grown doghood,
you would have experienced a vague sort of surprise
had we told you-as we now repeat-that the dog
Crusoe was once a pup-a soft, round, sprawling,
squeaking pup, as fat as a tallow candle, and as blind
as a bat.
But we draw particular attention to the fact of
Crusoe's having once been a pup, because in connection
with the days of his puppyhood there hangs a tale.





THE DOG CRUSOE.


This peculiar dog may thus be said to have had two
tails-one in connection with his body, the other with
his career. This tale, though short, is very harrowing,
and as it is intimately connected with Crusoe's subse-
quent history we will relate it here. But before doing
so we must beg our reader to accompany us beyond the
civilized portions of the United States of America-
beyond the frontier settlements of the far west," into
those wild prairies which are watered by the great
Missouri River-the Father of Waters-and his numer-
ous tributaries.
Here dwell the Pawnees, the Sioux, the Delawarers,
the Crows, the Blackfeet, and many other tribes of Red
Indians, who are gradually retreating step by step to-
wards the Rocky Mountains as the advancing white
man cuts down their trees and ploughs up their prairies.
Here, too, dwell the wild horse and the wild ass, the
deer, the buffalo, and the badger; all, men and brutes
alike, wild as the power of untamed and ungovernable
passion can make them, and free as the wind that
sweeps over their mighty plains.
There is a romantic and exquisitely beautiful spot on
the banks of one of the tributaries above referred to-
a long stretch of mingled woodland and meadow, with
a magnificent lake lying like a gem in its green bosom
-which goes by the name of the Mustang Valley.
This remote vale, even at the present day, is but thinly
peopled by white men, and is still a frontier settlement
round which the wolf and the bear prowl curiously,
and from which the startled deer bounds terrified away.
At the period of which we write the valley had just


10






THE DOG CRUSOE.


been taken possession of by several families of squatters,
who, tired of the turmoil and the squabbles of the then
frontier settlements, had pushed boldly into the far
west to seek a new home for themselves, where they
could have elbow room," regardless alike of the
dangers they might encounter in unknown lands and of
the Redskins who dwelt there.
The squatters were well armed with axes, rifles, and
ammunition. Most of the women were used to dangers
and alarms, and placed implicit reliance in the power
of their fathers, husbands, and brothers to protect them;
and well they might, for a bolder set of stalwart men
than these backwoodsmen never trod the wilderness.
Each had been trained to the use of the rifle and the
axe from infancy, and many of them had spent so much
of their lives in the woods that they were more than a
match for the Indian in his own peculiar pursuits of
hunting and war. When the squatters first issued from
the woods bordering the valley, an immense herd of
wild horses or mustangs were browsing on the plain.
These no sooner beheld the cavalcade of white men
than, uttering a wild neigh, they tossed their flowing
manes in the breeze and dashed away like a whirlwind.
This incident procured the valley its name.
The new-comers gave one satisfied glance at their
future home, and then set to work to erect log huts
forthwith. Soon the axe was heard ringing through
the forests, and tree after tree fell to the ground, while
the occasional sharp ring of a rifle told that the hunters
were catering successfully for the camp. In course of
time the Mustang Valley began to assume the aspect of






THE DOG CRUSOE.


a thriving settlement, with cottages and waving fields
clustered together in the midst of it.
Of course the savages soon found it out and paid it
occasional visits. These dark-skinned tenants of the
woods brought furs of wild animals with them, which
they exchanged with the white men for knives, and
beads, and baubles and trinkets of brass and tin. But
they. hated the Pale-faces with bitter hatred, because
their encroachments had at this time materially cur-
tailed the extent of their hunting-grounds, and nothing
but the numbers and known courage of the squatters
prevented these savages from butchering and scalping
them all.
The leader of this band of pioneers was a Major
Hope, a gentleman whose love for nature in its wildest
aspects determined him to exchange barrack life for a
life in the woods. The major was a first-rate shot, a
bold, fearless man, and an enthusiastic naturalist. He
was past the prime of life, and being a bachelor, was
unencumbered with a family. His first act on reaching
the site of the new settlement was to commence the
erection of a block-house, to which the people might
retire in case of a general attack by the Indians.
In this block-house Major Hope took up his abode
as the guardian of the settlement.- And here the dog
Crusoe was born; here he sprawled in the early morn
of life; here he leaped, and yelped, and wagged his
shaggy tail in the excessive glee of puppyhood; and
from the wooden portals of this block-house he bounded
forth to the chase in all the fire, and strength, and
majesty of full-grown doghood.,






THE DOG CRUSOE.


Crusoe's father and mother were magnificent New-
foundlanders. There was no doubt as to their being of
the genuine breed, for Major Hope had received them
as a parting gift from a brother officer, who had brought
them both from Newfoundland itself. The father's
name was Crusoe, the mother's name was Fan. Why
the father had been so called no one could tell. The
man from whom Major Hope's friend had obtained the
pair was a poor, illiterate fisherman, who had never
heard of the celebrated "Robinson" in all his life. All
he knew was that Fan had been named after his own
wife. As for Crusoe, he had got him from a friend,
who had got him from another friend, whose cousin had
received him as a marriage-gift from a friend of his;
and that each had said to the other that the dog's name
was Crusoe," without reasons being asked or given on
either side. On arriving at New York the major's
friend, as we have said, made him a present of the dogs.
Not being much of a dog fancier, he soon tired of old
Crusoe, and gave him away to a gentleman, who took
him down to Florida, and that was the end of him. He
was never heard of more.
When Crusoe, junior, was born, he was born, of
course, without a name. That was given to him after-
wards in honour of his father. He was also born in
company with a brother and two sisters, all of whom
drowned themselves accidentally, in the first month of
their existence, by falling into the river which flowed
past the block -house -a calamity which occurred,
doubtless, in consequence of their having gone out with-
out their mother's leave. Little Crusoe was with his






THE DOG CRUSOE.


brother and sisters at the time, and fell in along with
them, but was saved from sharing their fate by his
mother, who, seeing what had happened, dashed with
an agonized howl into the water, and, seizing him in
her mouth, brought him ashore in a.half-drowned con-
dition. She afterwards brought the others ashore one
by one, but the poor little things were dead.
And now we come to the harrowing part of our tale,
for the proper understanding of which the foregoing
dissertation was needful.
One beautiful afternoon, in that charming season of
the American year called the Indian summer, there
came a family of Sioux Indians to the Mustang Valley,
and pitched their tent close to the block-house. A
young hunter stood leaning against the gate-post of the
palisades, watching the movements of the Indians, who,
having just finished a long "palaver" or talk with
Major Hope, were now in the act of preparing supper.
A fire had been kindled on the greensward in front of
the tent, and above it stood a tripod, from which de-
pended a large tin camp-kettle. Over this hung an ill-
favoured Indian woman, or squaw, who, besides attend-
ing to the contents of the pot, bestowed sundry cuffs and
kicks upon her little child, which sat near to her playing
with several Indian curs that gambolled round the fire.
The master of the family and his two sons reclined on
buffalo robes, smoking their stone pipes or calumets in
silence. There was nothing peculiar in their appear-
ance. Their faces were neither dignified nor coarse in
expression, but wore an aspect of stupid apathy, which
formed a striking contrast to the countenance of the






THE DOG CRUSOE.


young hunter, who seemed an amused spectator of their
proceedings.
The youth referred to was very unlike, in many
respects, to what we are accustomed to suppose a back-
woods hunter should be. He did not possess that quiet
gravity and staid demeanour which often characterize
these men. True, he was tall and strongly made, but
no one would have called him stalwart, and his frame
indicated grace and agility rather than strength. But'
the point about him which rendered him different from
his companions was his bounding, irrepressible flow of
spirits, strangely coupled with an intense love of solitary
wandering ih the woods. None seemed so well fitted
for social enjoyment as he; none laughed so heartily, or
expressed such glee in his mischief-loving eye; yet for
days together he went off alone into the forest, and
wandered where his fancy led him, as grave and silent
as an Indian warrior.
After all, there was nothing mysterious in this. The
boy followed implicitly the dictates of nature within
him. He was amiable, straightforward, sanguine, and
intensely earnest. When he laughed, he let it out, as
sailors have it, with a will." When there was good
cause to be grave, no power on earth could make him
smile. We have called him boy, but in truth he was
about that uncertain period of life when a youth is said
to be neither a man nor a boy. His face was good-
looking (every earnest, candid face is) and masculine;
his hair was reddish-brown and his eye bright-blue.
He was costumed in the deerskin cap, leggings, mocca-
sins, and leather shirt common to the western hunter.






THE DOG CRUSOE.


You seem tickled wi' the Injuns, Dick Varley,"
said a man who at that moment issued from the block-
house.
"That's just what I am, Joe Blunt," replied the
youth, turning with a broad grin to his companion.
Have a care, lad; do not laugh at 'em too much.
They soon take offence; an' them Redskins never for-
give."
But I'm only laughing at the baby," returned the
youth, pointing to the child, which, with a mixture of
boldness and timidity, was playing with a pup, wrink-
ling up its fat visage into a smile when its playmate
pushed away in sport, and opening wide its jet-black
eyes in grave anxiety as the pup returned at full gallop.
"It 'ud make an owl laugh," continued young Varley,
to see such a queer picture' o' itself."
He paused suddenly, and a dark frown covered his
face as he saw the Indian woman stoop quickly down,
catch the pup by its hind-leg with one hand, seize a
heavy piece of wood with the other, and strike it several
violent blows on the throat. Without taking the
trouble to kill the poor animal outright, the savage then
held its still writhing body over the fire in order to
singe off the hair before putting it into the pot to be
cooked.
The cruel act drew young Varley's attention more
closely to the pup, and it flashed across his mind that
this could be no other than young Crusoe, which neither
he nor his companion had before seen, although they had
often heard others speak of and describe it.
Had the little creature been one of the unfortunate






THE DOG CRUSOE.


Indian curs, the two hunters would probably have
turned from the sickening sight with disgust, feeling
that, however, much they might dislike such cruelty,
it would be of no use attempting to interfere with
Indian usages. But the instant the idea that it was
Crusoe occurred to Varley he uttered a yell of anger,
and sprang towards the woman with a bound that
caused the three Indians to leap to their feet and grasp
their tomahawks.
Blunt did not move from the gate, but threw forward
his rifle with a careless motion, but an expressive glance,
that caused the Indians to resume their seats and pipes
with an emphatic Wah!" of disgust at having been
startled out of their propriety by a trifle; while Dick
Varley snatched poor Crusoe from his dangerous and
painful position, scowled angrily in the woman's face,
and turning on his heel, walked up to the house, hold-
ing the pup tenderly in his arms.
Joe Blunt gazed after his friend with a grave, solemn
expression of countenance till he disappeared; then he
looked at the ground, and shook his head.
Joe was one of the regular out-and-out backwoods
hunters, both in appearance and in fact-broad, tall,
massive, lion-like; gifted with the hunting, stalking,
running, and trail-following powers of the savage, and
with a superabundance of the shooting and fighting
powers, the daring, and dash of the Anglo-Saxon. He
was grave, too-seldom smiled, and rarely laughed.
His expression almost at all times was a compound of
seriousness and good-humour. With the rifle he was
a good, steady shot, but by no means a "crack"






THE DOG CRUSOE.


one. His ball never failed to hit, but it often failed
to kill.
After meditating a few seconds, Joe Blunt again
shook his head, and muttered to himself, "The boy's
bold enough, but he's too reckless for a hunter. There
was no need for that yell, now-none'at all."
Having uttered this sagacious remark, he threw his
rifle into the hollow of his left arm, turned round, and
strode off with a long, slow step towards his own cot-
tage.
Blunt was an American by birth, but of Irish extrac-
tion, and to an attentive ear there was a faint echo of the
brogue in his tone, which seemed to have been handed
down to him as a threadbare and almost worn-out heir-
loom.
Poor Crusoe was singed almost naked. His wretched
tail seemed little better than a piece of wire filed off to
a point, and he vented his misery in piteous squeaks as
the sympathetic Varley confided him tenderly to the
care of his mother. How Fan managed to cure him no
one can tell, but cure him she did, for, in the course of
a few weeks, Crusoe was as well and sleek and fat as
ever.













CHAPTER II.


A shooting-match and its consequences-New friends introduced to the
reader-Crusoe and his mother change masters.

SHORTLY after the incident narrated in the last
chapter the squatters of the Mustang Valley lost
their leader. Major Hope suddenly announced his in-
tention of quitting the settlement and returning to the
civilized world. Private matters, he said, required his
presence there-matters which he did not choose to
speak of, but which would prevent his returning again
to reside among them. Go he must, and, being a man
of determination, go he did; but before going he dis-
tributed all his goods and chattels among the settlers.
He even gave away his rifle, and Fan and Crusoe.
These last, however, he resolved should go together;
and as they were well worth having, he announced that
he would give them to the best shot in the valley. He
stipulated that the winner should escort him to the
nearest settlement eastward, after which he might re-
turn with the rifle on his shoulder.
Accordingly, a long level piece of ground on the
river's bank, with a perpendicular cliff at the end of
Sit, was selected as the shooting-ground, and, on the
appointed day, at the appointed hour, the competitors
began to assemble.






THE DOG CRUSOE.


Well, lad, first as usual," exclaimed Joe Blunt, as he
reached the ground and found Dick Varley there before
him.
I've bin here more than an hour looking' for a new
kind o' flower that Jack Morgan told me he'd seen.
And I've found it too. Look here; did you ever see
one like it before ? "
Blunt leaned his rifle against a tree, and carefully
examined the flower.
"Why, yes, I've seed a-many o' them up about the
Rocky Mountains, but never one here-away. It seems
to have gone lost itself. The last I seed, if I remember
rightly, wos near the head-waters o' the Yellowstone
River, it wos-jest where I shot a grizzly bar."
Was that the bar that gave you the wipe on the
cheek ?" asked Varley, forgetting the flower in his
interest about the bear.
It wos. I put six balls in that bar's carcass, and
stuck my knife into its heart ten times, afore it gave
out; an' it nearly ripped the shirt off my back afore I
wos done with it."
I would give my rifle to get a chance at a grizzly !"
exclaimed Varley, with a sudden burst of enthusiasm.
"Whoever got it wouldn't have much to brag of," re-
marked a burly young backwoodsman, as he joined them.
His remark was true, for poor Dick's weapon was
but a sorry affair. It missed fire, and it hung fire; and
even when it did fire, it remained a matter of doubt in
its owner's mind whether the slight deviations from
the direct line made by his bullets were the result of
his or its bad shooting.






THE DOG CRUSOE.


Further comment upon it was checked by the arrival
of a dozen or more hunters on the scene of action.
They were a sturdy set of bronzed, bold, fearless men,
and one felt, on looking at them, that they would prove
more than a match for several hundreds of Indians in
open fight. A few minutes after, the major himself
came on the ground with the prize rifle on his shoulder,
and Fan and Crusoe at his heels-the latter tumbling,
scrambling, and yelping after its mother, fat and clumsy,
and happy as possible, having evidently quite forgotten
that it had been nearly roasted alive only a few weeks
before.
Immediately all eyes were on the rifle, and its merits
were discussed with animation.
And well did it deserve discussion, for such a piece
had never before been seen on the western frontier. It
was shorter in the barrel and larger in the bore than
the weapons chiefly in vogue at that time, and, besides
being of beautiful workmanship, was silver-mounted.
But the grand peculiarity about it, and that which
afterwards rendered it the mystery of mysteries to the
savages, was that it had two sets of locks-one per-
cussion, the other flint-so that, when caps failed, by
taking off the one set of locks and affixing the others,
it was converted into a flint rifle. The major, however,
took' care never to run short of caps, so that the flint
locks were merely held as a reserve in case of need.
".Now, lads," cried Major Hope, stepping up to the
point whence they were to shoot, remember the terms.
He who first drives the nail obtains the rifle, Fan, and
her pup, and accompanies me to the nearest settlement.






THE DOG CRUSOE.


Each man shoots with his own gun, and draws lots for
the chance."
"Agreed," cried the men.
"Well, then, wipe your guns and draw lots. Henri
will fix the nail. Here it is."
The individual who stepped, or rather plunged for-
ward to receive the nail was a rare and remarkable
specimen of mankind: Like his comrades, he was half
a farmer and half a hunter. Like them, too, he was
clad in deerskin, and was tall and strong-nay, more,
he was gigantic. But, unlike them, he was clumsy,
awkward, loose-jointed, and a bad shot. Nevertheless
Henri was an immense favourite in the settlement, for
his good-humour knew no bounds. No one ever saw
him frown. Even when fighting with the savages, as
he was sometimes compelled to do in self-defence, he
went at them with a sort of jovial rage that was almost
laughable. Inconsiderate recklessness was one of his
chief characteristics, so that his comrades were rather
afraid of him on the war-trail or in the hunt, where
caution and frequently soundless motion were essential
to success or safety. But when Henri had a comrade
at his side to check him he was safe enough, being
humble-minded and obedient. Men used to say he
must have been born under a lucky star, for, notwith-
standing his natural inaptitude for all sorts of back-
woods life, he managed to scramble through everything
with safety, often with success, and sometimes with
credit.
To see Henri stalk a deer was worth a long day's
journey. Joe Blunt used to say he was "all jints





THE DOG CRUSOE.


together, from the top of his head to the sole of his
moccasin." He threw his immense form into the most
inconceivable contortions, and slowly wound his way,
sometimes on hands and knees, sometimes flat, through
bush and brake, as if there was not a bone in his body,
and without the slightest noise. This sort of work was
so much against his plunging nature that he took long
to learn it; but when, through hard practice and the loss
of many a fine deer, he came at length to break himself
in to it, he gradually progressed to perfection, and
ultimately became the best stalker in the valley. This,
and this alone, enabled him to procure game, for, being
short-sighted, he could hit nothing beyond fifty yards,
except a buffalo or a barn-door.
Yet that same lithe body, which seemed as though
totally unhinged, could no more be bent, when the
muscles were strung, than an iron post. No one
wrestled with Henri unless he wished to have his back
broken. Few could equal and none could beat him
at running or leaping except Dick Varley. When
Henri ran a race even Joe Blunt laughed outright, for
arms and legs went like independent flails. When he
leaped, he hurled himself into space with a degree of
violence that seemed to insure a somersault; yet he
always came down with a crash on his feet. Plunging
was Henri's forte. He generally lounged about the
settlement when unoccupied, with his hands behind his
back, apparently in a reverie, and when called on to act,
he seemed to fancy he must have lost time, and could
only make up for it by plunging. This habit got him
into many awkward scrapes, but his herculean power






THE DOG CRUSOE.


as often got him out of them. He was a French-
Canadian, and a particularly bad speaker of the English
language.
We offer no apology for this elaborate introduction
of Henri, for he was as good-hearted a fellow as ever
lived, and deserves special notice.
But to return. The sort of rifle practice called
" driving the nail," by which this match was to be
decided, was, and we believe still is, common among the
hunters of the far west. It consisted in this: an
ordinary large-headed nail was driven a short way into
a plank or a tree, and the hunters, standing at a distance
of fifty yards or so, fired at it until they succeeded in
driving it home. On the present occasion the major
resolved to test their shooting by making the distance
seventy yards.
Some of the older men shook their heads.
It's too far," said one; "ye might as well try to
snuff the nose o' a mosquito."
Jim Scraggs is the only man as'll hit that," said
another.
The man referred to was a long, lank, lantern-jawed
fellow, with a -cross-grained expression of countenance.
He used the long, heavy Kentucky rifle, which, from
the ball being little larger than a pea, was called a pea-
rifle. Jim was no favourite, and had been named
Scraggs by his companions on account of his appearance.
In a few minutes the lots were drawn, and the
shooting began. Each hunter wiped out the barrel of
his piece with his ramrod as he stepped forward; then,
placing a ball in the palm of his left hand, he drew the





THE DOG CRUSOE.


stopper of his powder-horn with his teeth, and poured
out as much powder as sufficed to cover the bullet.
This was the regular measure among them. Little
time was lost in. firing, for these men did not "hang"
on their aim. The point of the rifle was slowly raised
to the object, and the instant the sight covered it the
ball sped to its mark. In a few minutes the nail was
encircled by bullet holes: scarcely two of which were
more than an inch distant from the mark, and one-
fired by Joe Blunt-entered the tree close beside it.
"Ah, Joe!" said the major, I thought you would
have carried off the prize."
So did not I, sir," returned Blunt, with a shake of
his head. Had it a-bin a half-dollar at a hundred
yards, I'd ha' done better, but I never could hit the nail.
It's too small to see."
"That's cos ye've got no eyes," remarked Jim Scraggs,
with a sneer, as he stepped forward.
All tongues were now hushed, for the expected
champion was about to fire. The sharp crack of the
rifle was followed by a shout, for Jim had hit the nail-
head on the edge, and part of the bullet stuck to it.
"That wins if there's no. better," said the major,
scarce able to conceal his disappointment. "Who comes
next ? "
To this question Henri answered by stepping up to
the line, straddling his legs, and executing preliminary
movements with his rifle, that seemed to indicate an
intention on his Part to throw the weapon bodily at the
mark. He was received with a shout of mingled laughter
and applause. After gazing steadily at the mark for






THE DOG CRUSOE.


a few seconds, a broad grin overspread his countenance,
and looking round at his companions, he said,-
Ha! mes boys, I can-not behold de nail at all! "
Can ye 'behold' the tree ?" shouted a voice, when
the laugh that followed this announcement had some-
what abated.
Oh! oui," replied Henri quite coolly; "I can see
him, an' a goot small bit of de forest beyond."
Fire at it, then If ye hit the tree ye deserve the
rifle-leastways ye ought to get the pup."
Henri grinned again, and fired instantly, without
taking aim.
The shot was followed by an exclamation of surprise,
for the bullet was found close beside the nail.
It's more be good luck than good shooting, remarked
Jim Scraggs.
Possiblement," answered Henri modestly, as he re-
treated to the rear and wiped out his rifle; mais I
have kill most of my deer by dat same goot luck."
Bravo, Henri!" said Major Hope as he passed;
" you deserve to win, anyhow. Who's next? "
"Dick Varley," cried several voices; where's Varley ?
Come on, youngster, an' take yer shot."
The youth came forward with evident reluctance.
"It's of no manner o' use," he whispered to Joe Blunt
as he passed, I can't depend on my old gun."
Never give in," whispered Blunt, encouragingly.
Poor Varley's want of confidence in his rifle was
merited, for, on pulling the trigger, the faithless lock
missed fire.
Lend him another gun," cried several voices.






THE DOG CRUSOE. .


'Gainst rules laid .down by Major Hope," said
Scraggs.
Well, so it is; try again."
Varley did try again, and so successfully, too, that
the ball hit the nail on the head, leaving a portion of
the lead sticking to its edge.
Of course this was greeted with a cheer, and a loud
dispute began as to which was the better shot of the
two.
"There are others to shoot yet," cried the major.
" Make way. Look out."
The men fell back, and the few hunters who had not
yet fired took their shots, but without coming nearer
the mark.
It was now. agreed that Jim Scraggs and Dick Varley,
being the two best shots, should try over again, and it
was also agreed that Dick should have the use of Blunt's
rifle. Lots were again drawn for the first shot, and it
fell to Dick, who immediately stepped out, aimed some-
what hastily, and fired.
Hit again shouted those who had run forward to
examine the mark. Half the bullet cut off by the
nail head!"
Some of the more enthusiastic of Dick's friends
cheered lustily, but the most of the hunters were grave
and silent, for they knew Jim's powers, and felt that he
would certainly do his best. Jim now stepped. up to
the line, and, looking earnestly at the mark, threw for-
ward his rifle.
At that moment our friend Crusoe, tired of tor-
menting his mother, waddled stupidly and innocently






THE DOG CRUSOE.


into the midst of the crowd of men, and in so doing
received Henri's heel and the full weight of his elephan-
tine body on its fore paw. The horrible and electric
yell that instantly issued from his agonized throat could
only be compared, as Joe Blunt expressed it, to the
last dyin' screech o' a bustin' steam biler! We cannot
say that the effect was startling, for these backwoods-
men had been born and bred in the midst of alarms,
and were so used to them that a bustin' steam biler "
itself, unless it had blown them fairly off their legs,
would not have startled them. But the effect, such as
it was, was sufficient to disconcert the aim of Jim
Scraggs, who fired at the same instant, and missed the
nail by a hair's-breadth.
Turning round in towering wrath, Scraggs aimed a
kick at the poor pup, which, had it taken effect, would
certainly have terminated the innocent existence of that
remarkable dog on the spot; but quick as lightning
Henri interposed the butt of his rifle, and Jim's shin
met it with a violence that caused him to howl with
rage and pain.
Oh! pardon me, broder," cried Henri, shrinking
back, with the drollest expression of mingled pity and
glee.
Jim's discretion, on this occasion, was superior to his
valour; he turned away with a coarse expression of
anger and left the ground.
Meanwhile the major handed the silver rifle to young
Yarley. It couldn't have fallen into better hands," he
said. You'll do it credit, lad, I know that full well;
and let me assure you it will never play you false.





THE DOG CRUSOE.


Only keep it clean, don't overcharge it, aim true, and it
will never miss the mark."
While the hunters crowded round Dick to congratu-
late him and examine the piece, he stood with a mingled
feeling of bashfulness and delight at his unexpected good
fortune. Recovering himself suddenly, he seized his old
rifle, and dropping quietly to the outskirts of the crowd,
while the men were still busy handling and discussing
the merits of the prize, went up, unobserved, to a boy
of about thirteen years of age, and touched him on the
shoulder.
Here, Marston, you know I often said ye should
have the old rifle when I was rich enough to get a new
one. Take it now, lad. It's come to ye sooner than
either o' us expected."
Dick," said the boy, grasping his friend's hand
warmly, ye're true as heart of oak. It's good of 'ee,
that's a fact."
Not a bit, boy; it costs me nothing' to give away an
old gun that I've no use for, an's worth little, but it
makes me right glad to have the chance to do it."
Marston had longed for a rifle ever since he could
walk; but his prospects of obtaining one were very poor
indeed at that time, and it is a question whether he did
not at that moment experience as much joy in handling
the old piece as his friend felt in shouldering the prize.
A difficulty now occurred which had not before been
thought of. This was no less than the absolute refusal
of Dick Varley's canine property to follow him. Fan
had no idea of changing masters without her consent
being asked or her inclination being consulted.





THE DOG CRUSOE.


You'll have to. tie her up for a while, I fear," said
the major.
No fear," answered the youth. "Dog natur's like
human natur'! "
Saying this he seized Crusoe by the neck, stuffed
him comfortably into the bosom of his hunting-shirt,
and walked rapidly away with the prize rifle on his
shoulder.
Fan had not bargained for this. She stood irresolute,
gazing now to the right and now to the left, as the
major retired in one direction and Dick with Crusoe in
another. Suddenly Crusoe, who, although comfortable
in body, was ill at ease in spirit, gave utterance to a
melancholy howl. The mother's love instantly prevailed.
For one moment she pricked up her ears at the sound,
and then, lowering them, trotted quietly after her new
master, and followed him to his cottage on the margin
of the lake.
















CHAPTER III.

"Speculative remarks with which the reader may or may not agree-An old
woman-Hopies and wishes commingled with hard facts-The dog Crusoe's
education begun.

T is pleasant to look upon a serene, quiet, humble'
face. On such a face did Richard Varley look
every night when he entered his mother's cottage. Mrs.
Varley was a widow, and she had followed the fortunes
of her brother, Daniel Hood, ever since the death of her
husband. Love for her only brother induced her to
forsake the peaceful village of Maryland and enter upon
the wild life of a backwoods settlement. Dick's mother
was thin, and old, and wrinkled, but her face was
stamped with a species of beauty which never fades-
the beauty of a loving look. Ah! the brow of snow
and the peach-bloom cheek may snare the heart of man
for a time, but the lovirig look alone can forge that
adamantine chain that time, age, eternity shall never
break.
Mistake us not, reader, and bear with us if we attempt
to analyze this look which characterized Mrs. Varley.
A rare diamond is worth stopping to glance at, even
when one is in a hurry. The brightest jewel in the
human heart is worth a thought or two. By a loving





THE DOG CRUSOE.


look we do not mean a look of love bestowed on a
beloved object. That is common enough; and thankful
should we be that it is so common in a world that's
overfull of hatred. Still less do we mean that smile
and look of intense affection with which some people-
good people too-greet friend and foe alike, and by
which effort to work out their beau ideal of the expres-
sion of Christian love they do signally damage their
cause, by saddening the serious and repelling the gay.
Much less do we mean that perpetual smile of good-will
which argues more of personal comfort and self-love
than anything else. No; the loving look we speak of
is as often grave as gay. Its character depends very
much on the face through which it beams. And it
cannot be counterfeited. Its ring defies imitation. Like
the clouded sun of April, it can pierce through tears of
sorrow; like the noontide sun of summer, it can blaze
in warm smiles; like the northern lights of winter, it
can gleam in depths of woe;--but it is always the same,
modified, doubtless, and rendered more or less patent to
others, according to the natural amiability of him or her
who bestows it. No one can put it on; still less can
any one put it off. Its range is universal; it embraces
all mankind, though, of course, it is intensified on a few
favoured objects; its seat is in the depths of a renewed
heart, and its foundation lies in love to God.
Young Varley's mother lived in a cottage which was
of the smallest possible dimensions consistent with com-
fort. It was made of logs, as, indeed, were all the other
cottages in the valley. The door was in the centre, and
a passage from it to the back of the dwelling divided it




,. ,,,


THE DOG ORUSOE. 33

into two rooms. One of these was sub-divided by a
thin partition, the inner room. being Mrs. Varley's bed-
room, the outer Dick's. Daniel Hood's dormitory was
a corner of the kitchen, which apartment served also as
a parlour.
The rooms were lighted by two windows, one on each
side of the door, which gave to the house the appearance
of having a nose and two eyes. Houses of this kind
have literally got a sort of expression on-if we may
use the word-their countenances. Square windows
give the appearance of easy-going placidity; longish
ones, that of surprise. Mrs. Varley's was a surprise
cottage; and this was in keeping with the scene in
which it stood, for the clear lake in front, studded with
islands, and the distant hills beyond, composed a scene
so surprisingly beautiful that it never failed to call forth
an expression of astonished admiration from every new
visitor to the Mustang Valley.
My boy," exclaimed Mrs. Varley, as her son entered
the cottage with a bound, "why so hurried to-day ?
Deary me! where got you the grand gun ?"
"Won it, mother!"
"Won it, my son ?"
"Ay, won it, mother. Druve the nail almost, and
would ha' druve it altogether had I bin more used to
Joe Blunt's rifle."
Mrs. Varley's heart beat high, and her face flushed
with pride as she gazed at her son, who laid the rifle on
the table for her inspection, while he rattled off an
animated and somewhat disjointed account of the
match.






THE DOG CRUSOE.


"Deary me! now that was good, that was cliver.
But what's that scraping at the door ?"
"Oh! that's Fan; I forgot her. Here here! Fan
Come in, good dog," he cried, rising and opening the
door.
Fan entered and stopped short, evidently uncomfort-
able.
"My boy, what do ye with the major's dog ?"
Won her too, mother !"
"Won her, my son ?"
Ay, won her, and the pup too; see, here it is!" and
he plucked Crusoe from his bosom.
Crusoe having found his position to be one of great
comfort had fallen into a profound slumber, and on
being thus unceremoniously awakened he gave forth a
yelp of discontent that brought Fan.in a state of frantic
sympathy to his side.
"There you are, Fan; take it to a corner. and make
yourself at home.-Ay, that's right, mother, give her
something' to eat; she's hungry, I know by the look o'
her eye."
"Deary me, Dick said Mrs. Varley, who now pro-
ceeded to spread the youth's mid-day meal before him,
"did ye drive the nail three times ?"
"No, only once, and that not parfetly. Brought 'em
all down at one shot-rifle, Fan, an' pup !"
"Well, well, now that was cliver; but-" Here the
old woman paused and looked grave.
"But what, mother?"
"You'll be wantin' to go off to the mountains now, I
fear me, boy."






THE DOG CRUSOE.


Wantin' now!" exclaimed the youth earnestly; I'm
always wantin'. I've bin wantin' ever since I could
walk; but I won't go till you let me, mother, that I
won't !" And he struck the table with his fist so for-
cibly that the platters rung again.
"You're a good boy, Dick; but you're too young yit
to venture' among the Redskins."
"An' yit, if I don't venture' young, I'd better not ven-
tur' at all. You know, mother dear, I don't want to
leave you; but I was born to be a hunter, and every-
body in them parts-is a hunter, and I can't hunt in the
kitchen you know, mother !"
At this point the conversation was interrupted by a
sound that caused young Varley to spring up and seize
his rifle, and Fan to show her teeth and growl
"Hist, mother that's like horses' hoofs," he whis-
pered, opening the door and gazing intently in the
direction whence the sound came.
Louder and louder it came, until an opening in the
forest showed the advancing cavalcade to be a party of
white men. In another moment they were in full view
-a band of about thirty horsemen, clad in the leather
costume and armed with the long rifle of the far west.
Some wore portions of the gaudy Indian dress, which
gave to them a brilliant, dashing look. They came on
straight for the block-house, and saluted the Varleys
with a jovial cheer as they swept past at full speed.
Dick. returned the cheer with compound interest, and
calling out, They're trappers, mother; I'll be back in an
hour," bounded off like a deer through the woods, taking
a short cut in order to reach the block-house before






THE DOG CRUSOE.


them. He succeeded, for, just as he arrived at the
house, the cavalcade wheeled round the bend in the
river, dashed up the slope, and came to a sudden halt
on the green. Vaulting from their foaming steeds they
tied them to the stockades of the little fortress, which
they entered in a body.
Hot haste was in every motion of these men. They
were trappers, they said, on their way to the Rocky
Mountains to hunt and trade furs. But one of their
number had been treacherously murdered and scalped
by a Pawnee chief, and they resolved to revenge his
death by an attack on one of the Pawnee villages. They
would .teach these "red reptiles" to respect white men,
they would, come of it what might; and they had
turned aside here to procure an additional supply of
powder and lead.
In vain did the major endeavour to dissuade these
reckless men from their purpose. They scoffed at the
idea of returning good for evil, and insisted on being
supplied. The log hut was a store as well as a place of
defence, and as they offered to pay for it there was no
refusing their request-at least so the major thought.
The ammunition was therefore given to them, and in
half-an-hour they were away again at full gallop over
the plains on their mission of vengeance. "Vengeance
is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord." But these men
knew not what God said, because they never read his
Word and did not own his sway.
Young Varley's enthusiasm was considerably damped
when he learned the errand on which the trappers were
bent. From that time forward he gave up all desire






THE DOG CRUSOE.


to visit the mountains in company with such men, but
he still retained an intense longing to roam at large
among their rocky fastnesses and gallop out upon the
wide prairies.
Meanwhile he dutifully tended his mother's cattle and
sheep, and contented himself with an occasional deer-
hunt in the neighboring forests. He devoted himself
also to the training of his dog Crusoe-an operation
which at first cost him many a deep sigh.
Every one has heard of the sagacity and almost reason-
ing capabilities of the Newfoundland dog. Indeed, some
have even gone the length of' saying that what is called
instinct in these animals is neither more nor less than
reason. And in truth many of the'noble, heroic, and
sagacious deeds that have actually been performed by
Newfoundland dogs incline us almost to believe that,
like man, they are gifted with reasoning powers.
But every one does not know the trouble and patience
that is required in order to get a juvenile dog to under-
stand what its master means when he is endeavouring
to instruct it.
Crusoe's first lesson was an interesting but not a very
successful one. We may remark here that Dick Varley
had presented Fan to 'his mother to be her watch-dog,
resolving to devote all his powers to the training of the
pup. We may also remark, in reference to Crusoe's
appearance (and we did not remark it sooner, chiefly
because up to this period in his eventful history he was
little better than a ball of fat and hair), that his coat
was mingled jet-black and pure white, and remarkably
glossy, curly, and thick.






THE DOG CRUSOE.


A week after the shooting-match Crusoe's education
began. Having fed him for that period with his own
hand, in order to gain his affection, Dick took him out
one sunny forenoon to the margin of the lake to give
him his first lesson.
And here again we must pause to remark that,
although a dog's heart is generally gained in the first,
instance through his mouth, yet, after it is thoroughly
gained, his affection is noble and disinterested. He can
scarcely be driven from his master's side by blows; and
even when thus harshly repelled, is always ready, on the
shortest notice and with the slightest encouragement, to
make it up again.
Well, Dick Varley began by calling out, "Crusoe!
Crusoe come here, pup."
Of course Crusoe knew his name by this time, for it
had been so often used as a prelude to his meals that
he naturally expected a feed whenever he heard it.
This portal to his brain had already been open for
some days; but all the other doors were fast locked,
and it required a great deal of careful picking to open
them.
"Now, Crusoe, come here."
Crusoe bounded clumsily to his master's side, cocked
his ears, and wagged his tail,-so far his education was
perfect. We say he bounded clumsily, for it must be
remembered that he was still a very young pup, with
soft, flabby muscles.
"Now, I'm goin' to begin yer education, pup; think
o' that."
Whether Crusoe thought of that or not we cannot





THE DOG CRUSOE.


say, but he looked up in his master's face as he spoke,
cocked his ears very high, and turned his head slowly
to one side, until it could not turn any farther in that
direction; then he turned it as much to the other side;
whereat his master burst into an uncontrollable fit of
laughter, and Crusoe immediately began barking vocif-
erously.
Come, come," said Dick, suddenly checking his mirth,
"we mustn't play, pup, we must work."
Drawing a leather mitten from his belt, the youth
held it to Crusoe's nose, and then threw it a yard away,
at the same time exclaiming in a loud, distinct tone,
"Fetch it."
Crusoe entered at once into the spirit of this part of
his training; he dashed gleefully at the mitten, and
proceeded to worry it with intense gratification. As
for "Fetch it," he neither understood the words nor
cared a straw about them.
Dick Varley rose immediately, and rescuing the
mitten, resumed his seat on a rock.
Come here, Crusoe," he repeated.
"Oh! certainly, by all means," said Crusoe-no! he
didn't exactly say it, but really he looked these words so
evidently that we think it right to let them stand as
they are written. If he could have finished the sentence,
he would certainly have said, "Go on with that game
over again, old boy; it's quite to my taste-the jolliest
thing in life, I assure you!" At least, if we may not
positively assert that he would have said that, no one
else can absolutely affirm that he wouldn't.
Well, Dick Varley did do it over again, and Crusoe






THE DOG CRUSOE.


worried the mitten over again, utterly regardless of
"Fetch. it."
Then they did it again, and again, and again, but
without the slightest apparent advancement in the path
of canine knowledge; and then they went home.
During all this trying operation Dick Varley never
once betrayed the slightest feeling of irritability or im-
patience. He did not expect success at first; he was
not therefore disappointed at failure.
Next day he had him out again-and the next-and
the next-and the next again, with the like unfavour-
able result. In short, it seemed at last as if Crusoe's
mind had been deeply imbued with the idea that he
had been born expressly for the purpose of worrying
that mitten, and he meant to fulfil his destiny to the
letter.
Young Varley had taken several small pieces of meat
in his pocket each day, with the intention of reward-
ing Crusoe when he should at length be prevailed on to
fetch the mitten; but as Crusoe was not aware of the
treat that awaited him, of course the mitten never was
"fetched."
At last Dick Varley saw that this system would never
do, so he changed his tactics, and the next morning gave
Crusoe no breakfast, but took him out at the usual hour
to go through his lesson. This new course of conduct
seemed to perplex Crusoe not a little, for on his way
down to the beach he paused frequently and looked
back at the cottage, and then expressively up at his
master's face. But the master was inexorable; he went
on, and Crusoe followed, for true love had now taken






THE DOG CRUSOE.


possession of the pup's young heart, and he preferred his
master's company to food.
Varley now began by letting the learner smell a piece
of meat, which he eagerly sought to devour, but was
prevented, to his immense disgust. Then the mitten
was thrown as heretofore, and Crusoe made a few steps
towards it, but being in no mood for play he turned
back.
"Fetch it," said the teacher.
"I won't," replied the learner mutely, by means of
that expressive sign-not doing it.
Hereupon Dick Varley rose, took up the mitten, and
put it into the pup's mouth. Then, retiring a couple of
yards, he held out the piece of meat and said, "Fetch it."
Crusoe instantly spat out the glove and bounded
towards the meat-once more to be disappointed.
This was done a second time, and Crusoe came for-
ward with the mitten in his mouth. It seemed as if it
had been done accidentally, for he dropped it before
coming quite up. If so, it was a fortunate accident,
for it served as the tiny fulcrum on which to place the
point of that mighty lever which was destined ere long
to raise him to the pinnacle of canine erudition. Dick
Varley immediately lavished upon him the tenderest
caresses and gave him a lump of meat. But he quickly
tried it again lest he should lose the lesson. The dog
evidently felt that if he did not fetch that mitten he
should have no meat or caresses. In order, however,
to make sure that there was no mistake, Dick laid the
mitten down beside the pup, instead of putting it into
his mouth, and, retiring a few paces, cried, Fetch it."






42 THE DOG CRUSOE:

Crusoe looked uncertain for a moment, then he picked
up the mitten and laid it at his master's feet. The
lesson was learned at last! Dick Varley tumbled all
the meat out of his pocket on the ground, and, while
Crusoe made a hearty breakfast, he sat down on a rock
and whistled with glee at having fairly picked the lock,
and opened another door into one of the many chambers
of his dog's intellect.














CHAPTER IV.


Our hero enlarged upon-Grumps.

T WO years passed away. The Mustang Valley settle-
ment advanced prosperously, despite one or two
attacks made upon it by the savages, who were, however,
firmly repelled. Dick. Varley had now become a man,
and his pup Crusoe had become a full-grown dog. The
"silver rifle," as Dick's weapon had come to be named,
was well known among the hunters and the Redskins of
the border-lands, and in Dick's hands its bullets were as
deadly as its owner's eye was quick and true.
Crusoe's education, too, had been completed. Faith-
fully and patiently had his young master trained his
mind, until he fitted him to be a meet companion in the
hunt. To "carry" and "fetch were now but trifling
portions of the dog's accomplishments. He could dive
a fathom deep in the lake and bring up any article that
might have been dropped or thrown in. His swimming
powers were marvellous, and so powerful were his
muscles that he seemed to spurn the water while pass-
ing through it, with his broad chest high out of the
curling wave, at a speed that neither man nor beast
could keep up with for a moment. His intellect now
was sharp and quick as a needle; he never required a





THE DOG CRUSOE.


second bidding. When Dick went out hunting, he
used frequently to drop a mitten or a powder-horn un-
known to the dog, and after walking miles away from
it, would stop short and look down into the mild, gentle
face of his companion.
"Crusoe," he said, in the same quiet tones with
which he would have addressed a human friend, "I've
dropped my mitten; go fetch it, pup." Dick continued
to call it pup from habit.
One glance of intelligence passed from Crusoe's eye,
and in a moment he was away at full gallop, nor did
he rest until the lost article was lying at his master's
feet. Dick was loath to try how far back on his track
Crusoe would run if desired. He had often gone back
five and six miles at a stretch; but his powers did not
stop here. He could carry articles back to the spot
from which they had been taken and leave them there.
He could head the game that his master was pursuing
and turn it back; and he would guard any object he
was desired to "watch" with unflinching constancy.
But it would occupy too much space and time to
enumerate all Crusoe's qualities and powers. His
biography will unfold them.
In personal appearance he was majestic, having
grown to an immense size even for a Newfoundland.
Had his visage been at all wolfish in character, his
aspect would have been terrible. But he possessed in
an eminent degree that mild, humble expression of face
peculiar to his race. When roused or excited, and
especially when bounding through the forest with the
chase in view, he was absolutely magnificent. At other






THE DOG CRUSOE.


times his gait was slow, and he seemed to prefer a quiet
walk with Dick Varley to anything else under the sun.
But when Dick was. inclined to be boisterous, Crusoe's
tail and ears rose at a moment's notice, and he was
ready for anything. Moreover, he obeyed commands
instantly and implicitly. In this respect he put to
shame most of the boys of the settlement, who were by
no means famed for their habits of prompt obedience.
Crusoe's eye was constantly watching the face of his
master. When Dick said "Go" he went, when he said
"Come" he came. If he had been in the midst of an
excited bound at the throat of a stag, and Dick had
called out, "Down, Crusoe," he would have sunk to the
earth like a stone. No doubt it took many months of
training to bring the dog to this state of perfection,
but Dick accomplished it by patience, perseverance, and
love.
Besides all this, Crusoe could speak! He spoke by
means of the dog's dumb alphabet in a way that defies
description. He conversed, so to speak, with his ex-
tremities-his head and his tail. But his eyes, his soft
brown eyes, were the chief medium of communication.
If ever the language of the eyes was carried to perfec-
tion, it was exhibited in the person of Crusoe. But,
indeed, it would be difficult to say which part of his ex-
pressive face expressed most-the cocked ears of expec-
tation, the drooped ears of sorrow; the bright, full eye
of joy, the half-closed eye of contentment, and the
frowning eye of indignation accompanied with a slight,
a very slight pucker of the nose and a gleam of daz-
zling ivory-ha! no enemy ever saw this last piece of






THE DOG CRUSOE.


canine language without a full appreciation of what it
meant. Then as to the tail-the modulations of mean-
ing in the varied wag of that expressive member-oh !
it's useless to attempt description. Mortal man cannot
conceive of the delicate shades of sentiment expressible
by a dog's tail, unless he has studied the subject-the
wag, the waggle, the cock, the droop, the slope, the
wriggle! Away with description-it is impotent and
valueless here !
As we have said, Crusoe was meek and mild. He
had been bitten, on the sly, by half the ill-natured curs
in the settlement, and had only shown his teeth in re-
turn. He had no enmities-though several enemies-
and he had a thousand friends, particularly among the
ranks of the weak and the persecuted, whom he always
protected and avenged when opportunity offered. A
single instance of this kind will serve to show his char-
acter.
One day Dick and Crusoe were sitting on a rock be-
side the lake-the same identical rock near which, when
a pup, the latter had received his first lesson. They
were conversing as usual, for Dick had elicited such a
fund of intelligence from the dog's mind, and had in-
jected such wealth of wisdom into it, that he felt con-
vinced it understood every word he said.
"This is capital weather, Crusoe; ain't it, pup ?"
Crusoe made a motion with his head which was
quite as significant as a nod.
"Ha! my pup, I wish that you and I might go and
have a slap at the grizzly bars, and a look at the Rocky
Mountains. Wouldn't it be nuts, pup ?"






THE DOG CRUSOE.


Crusoe looked dubious.
"What, you don't agree with me! Now tell me,
pup, wouldn't ye like to grip a bar ?"
Still Crusoe looked dubious, but made a gentle motion
with his tail, as though he would have said, I've seen
neither Rocky Mountains nor grizzly bars, and know
nothing' about 'em, but I'm open to conviction."
"You're a brave pup," rejoined Dick, stroking the
dog's huge head affectionately. "I wouldn't give you
for ten times your weight in golden dollars-if there
be sich things."
Crusoe made no reply whatever to this. He regarded
it as a truism unworthy of notice; he evidently felt that
a comparison between love and dollars was preposterous.
At this point in the conversation a little dog with a
lame leg hobbled to the edge of the rocks in front of
the spot where Dick was seated, and looked down into
the water, which was deep there. Whether it did so
for the purpose of admiring its very plain visage in the
liquid mirror, or finding out what was going on among
the fish, we cannot say, as it never told us; but at that
moment a big, clumsy, savage-looking dog rushed out
from the neighboring thicket and began to worry it.
"Punish him, Crusoe," said Dick quickly.
Crusoe made one bound that a lion might have been
proud of, and seizing the aggressor by the back, lifted
him off his legs and held him, howling, in the air-at
the same time casting a look towards his master for
further instructions.
"Pitch him in," said Dick, making a sign with his
hand.





THE DOG CRUSOE.


Crusoe turned and quietly dropped the dog into the
lake. Having regarded his struggles there for a few
moments with grave severity of countenance, he walked
slowly back and sat down beside his master.
The little dog made good its retreat as fast as three
legs would carry it; and the surly dog, having swum
ashore, retired sulkily, with his tail very much between
his legs.
Little wonder, then, that Crusoe was beloved by
great and small among the well-disposed of the canine
tribe of the Mustang Valley.
But Crusoe was not a mere machine. When not
actively engaged in Dick Varley's service, he busied
himself with private little matters of his own. He
undertook modest little excursions into the woods or
along the margin of the lake, sometimes alone, but
more frequently with a little friend whose whole heart
and being seemed to be swallowed up in admiration of
his big companion. Whether Crusoe botanized or
geologized on these excursions we will not venture to
say. Assuredly he seemed as though he did both, for
he poked his nose into every bush and tuft of moss,
and turned over the stones, and dug holes in the ground
-and, in short, if he did not understand these sciences,
he behaved very much as if he did. Certainly he
knew as much about them as many of the human
species do.
In these walks he never took the slightest notice of
Grumps (that was the little dog's name), but Grumps
made up for this by taking excessive notice of him.
When Crusoe stopped, Grumps stopped and sat down






THE DOG CRUSOE.


to look, at him. When Crusoe trotted on, Grumps
trotted on too. When Crusoe examined a bush, Grumps
sat down to watch him; and when he dug a hole,
Grumps looked into it to see what was there. Grumps
never helped him; his sole delight was in looking on.
They didn't converse much, these two dogs. To be in
each other's company seemed to be happiness enough-
at least Grumps thought so.
There was one point at which Grumps stopped short,
however, and ceased to follow his friend, and that was
when. he rushed headlong into the lake and disported
himself for an hour at.a time in its cool waters. Crusoe
was, both by nature and training, a splendid water-dog.
Grumps, on the contrary, held water in abhorrence; so
he sat on the shore of the lake disconsolate when his
-friend was bathing, and waited till he came out. The
only time when Grumps was thoroughly nonplussed
was when Dick- Varley's whistle sounded faintly in the
far distance. Then Crusoe would prick up his ears
and stretch out at full gallop, clearing ditch, and fence,
and brake with his strong elastic bound, and leaving
Grumps to patter after him as fast as his four-inch
legs would carry him. Poor Grumps usually arrived at
the village to find both dog and master gone, and would
betake himself to his own dwelling, there to lie down
and sleep, and dream, perchance, of rambles and gambols
with his gigantic friend.















CHAPTER V.


A mission of peace-Unexpected joys-Dick and Crusoe set of for the land of
the Bedskins, and meet with adventures by the way as a matter of course-
Night in the wild woods.

ONE day the inhabitants of Mustang Valley were
thrown into considerable excitement by the
arrival of an officer of the United States army and a
small escort of cavalry. They went direct to the block-
house, which, since Major Hope's departure, had become
the residence of Joe Blunt-that worthy having, by
general consent, been deemed the fittest man in the
settlement to fill the major's place.
Soon it began to be noised abroad that the strangers
had been sent by Government to endeavour to bring
about, if possible, a more friendly state of feeling be-
tween the Whites and the Indians by means of presents,
and promises, and fair speeches.
The party remained all night in the block-house, and
ere long it was reported that Joe Blunt had been re-
quested, and had consented, to be the leader and chief
of a party of three men who should visit the neigh-
bouring tribes of Indians to the west and north of the
valley as Government agents. Joe's knowledge of two
or three different Indian dialects, and his well-known






THE DOG CRUSOE.


sagacity, rendered him a most fitting messenger on such
an errand. It was also whispered that Joe was to have
the choosing of his comrades in this mission, and many
were the opinions expressed and guesses made as to who
would be chosen.
That same evening Dick Varley was sitting in his
mother's kitchen cleaning his rifle. His mother was
preparing supper, and talking quietly about the obsti-
nacy of a particular hen that had taken to laying her
eggs in places where they could not be found. Fan.
was coiled up in a corner sound asleep, and Crusoe was
sitting at one side of the fire looking on at things in
general.
"I wonder," remarked Mrs. Varley, as she spread the
table with a pure white napkin-"I wonder what the
sodgers are doin' wi' Joe Blunt."
As often happens when an individual is mentioned,
the worthy referred to opened the door at that moment
and stepped into the room.
"Good e'en t'ye, dame," said the stout hunter, doffing
his cap, and resting his rifle in a corner, while Dick
rose and placed a chair for him.
"The same to you, Master Blunt," answered the widow;
"you've jist comed in good time for a cut o' venison."
Thanks, mistress; I s'pose we're beholden to the
silver rifle for that."
"To the hand that aimed it, rather," suggested the
widow.
"Nay, then, say rather to the dog that turned it,"
said Dick Varley. But for Crusoe, that buck would
ha' bin couched in the woods this night."






THE DOG CRUSOE.


"Oh! if it comes to that," retorted Joe, "I'd lay it
to the door o' Fan, for if she'd niver bin born another
would Crusoe. But it's good an' tender meat, whatever
ways ye got it. Howsiver, I've other things to talk
about jist now. Them sodgers that are eatin' buffalo
tongues up at the block-house as if they'd niver ate meat
before, and didn't hope to eat again for a twelvemonth-'"'
"Ay, what o' them ?" interrupted Mrs. Varley; "I've
bin wondering' what was their errand."
"Of coorse ye wos, Dame Varley, and I've cored
here a' purpis to tell ye. They want me to go to the
Redskins to make peace between them and us, and
they've brought a lot o' goods to make them presents
withal-beads, an' knives, an' lookin'-glasses, an' ver-
milion paint, an' sich like, jist as much as'll be a light
load for one horse-for, ye see, nothing' can be done wi'
the Redskins without gifts.'
"'Tis a blessed mission," said the widow; "I wish it
may succeed. D'ye think ye'll go ?"
Go ? ay, that will I."
"I only wish they'd made the offer to me," said Dick
with a sigh.
"An' so they do make the offer, lad. They've gin
me leave to choose the two men I'm to take with me,
and I've comed straight to ask you. Ay or no, for we
must up an' away by break o' day to-morrow."
Mrs. Varley started. So soon?" she said, with a
look of anxiety.
"Ay; the Pawnees are at the Yellow Creek jist at
this time, but I've heerd they're 'bout to break up
camp an' away west; so we'll need to use haste."






THE DOG CRUSOE.


"May I go, mother ?" asked Dick, with a look of
anxiety.
There was evidently a conflict in the widow's breast,
but it quickly ceased.
"Yes, my boy," she said in her own low, quiet voice;
'and God go with ye. I knew the time must come
soon, an' I thank him that your first visit to the Red-
skins will be on an errand o' peace. 'Blessed are the
peace-makers: for they shall be called the children of
God.'"
Dick grasped his mother's hand and pressed it to his
cheek in silence. At .the same moment Crusoe, seeing
that the deeper feelings of his master were touched, and
deeming it his duty to sympathize, rose up and thrust
his nose against him.
Ah, pup," cried the young man hastily, you must
go too.-Of course Crusoe goes, Joe Blunt ?"
"Hum I don't know that. There's no depending' on
a dog to keep his tongue quiet in times o' danger."
"Believe me," exclaimed Dick, flashing with enthu-
siasm, "Crusoe's more trustworthy than I am myself.
If ye can trust the master, ye're safe to trust the pup."
"Well, lad, ye may be right. We'll take him."
"Thanks, Joe. And who' else goes with us ?"
"I've bin castin' that in my mind for some time, an'
I've fixed to take Henri. He's not the safest man in
the valley, but he's the truest, that's a fact. And now,
youngster, get yer horse an' rifle ready, and come to the
block-house at daybreak to-morrow.-Good luck to ye,
mistress, till we meet agin."
Joe Blunt rose, and taking up his rifle-without






THE DOG CRUSOE.


which he scarcely ever moved a foot from his own door
-left the cottage with rapid strides.
My son," said Mrs. Varley, kissing Dick's cheek as
he resumed his seat, "put this in the little pocket I
made for it in your hunting-shirt."
She handed him a small pocket Bible.
"Dear mother," he said, as he placed the book care-
fully within the breast of his coat, "the Redskin that
takes that from me must take my scalp first. But
don't fear for me. You've often said the Lord would
protect me. So he will, mother, for sure it's an errand
o' peace."
"Ay that's it, that's it," murmured the widow in a
half-soliloquy.
Dick Varley spent that night in converse with his
mother, and next morning at daybreak he was at the
place of meeting, mounted on his sturdy little horse,
with the "silver rifle" on his shoulder and Crusoe by
his side.
"That's right, lad, that's right. Nothin' like keeping'
yer time," said Joe, as he led out a pack-horse from the
gate of the block-house, while his own charger was held
ready saddled by a man named Daniel Brand, who had
been appointed to the charge of the block-house in his
absence.
"Where's Henri ?-oh, here he comes!" exclaimed
Dick, as the hunter referred to came thundering up
the slope at a charge, on a horse that resembled its
rider in size and not a little in clumsiness of appear-
ance.
Ah! mes boy. Him is a goot one to go," cried






THE DOG CRUSOE.


Henri,'remarking Dick's smile as he pulled up. "No
hoss on de plain can beat dis one, surement."
Now then, Henri, lend a hand to fix this pack; we've
no time to palaver."
By this time they were joined by several of the
soldiers and a few hunters who had come to see them
start.
"Remember, Joe," said one, "if you don't come back
in three months we'll all come out in a band to seek you."
If we don't come back in less than that time, what's
left o' us won't be worth seeking' for," said Joe, tighten-
ing the girth of his saddle.
"Pat a bit in yer own mouth, Henri," cried another,
as the Canadian arranged his steed's bridle; "ye'll need
it more than yer horse when ye git amongg the red
reptiles."
"Vraiment, if mon mout' needs one bit, yours will
need one padlock."
"Now, lads, mount!" cried Joe Blunt as he vaulted
into the saddle.
Dick Varley sprang lightly on his horse, and Henri
made a rush at his steed and hurled his huge frame
across its back with a violence that ought to have
brought it to the ground; but the tall, raw-boned, broad-
chested roan was accustomed to the eccentricities of its
master, and stood the shock bravely. Being appointed
to lead the pack-horse, Henri seized its halter. Then
the three cavaliers shook their reins, and, waving their
hands to their comrades, they sprang into the woods at
full gallop, and laid their course for the "far west."
For some time they galloped side by side in silence,






THE DOG CRUSOE.


each occupied with his own thoughts, Crusoe keeping
close beside his master's horse. The two elder hunters
evidently ruminated on the object of their mission and
the prospects of success, for their countenances were
grave and their eyes cast on the ground. Dick Yarley,
too, thought upon the Red-men, but his musings were
deeply tinged with the bright hues of a first adventure.
The mountains, the plains, the Indians, the bears, the
buffaloes, and a thousand other objects, danced wildly
before his mind's eye, and his blood careered through
his veins and flushed his forehead as he thought of
what he should see and do, and felt the -elastic vigour
of youth respond in sympathy to the light spring of
his active little steed. He was a lover of nature, too,
and his flashing eyes glanced observantly from side to
side as they swept along--sometimes through glades
of forest trees, sometimes through belts of more open
ground and shrubbery; anon by the margin of a stream
or along the shores of a little lake, and often over short
stretches of flowering prairie-land -while the firm,
elastic turf sent up a muffled sound from the tramp of
their mettlesome chargers. It was a scene of wild,
luxuriant beauty. that might almost (one could fancy)
have drawn involuntary homage to its bountiful Creator
from the lips even of an infidel.
After a time Joe Blunt reined up, and they proceeded
at an easy ambling pace. Joe and his friend Henri
were so used to these beautiful scenes that they had
long ceased to be enthusiastically affected by them,
though they never ceased to delight in them.
"'I hope," said Joe, "that them sodgers 'll go their






THE DOG CRUSOE. 57

ways soon. I've no notion o' them chaps when they're
left at a place wi' nothing' to do but whittle sticks."
"Why, Joe!" exclaimed Dick Varley in a tone of
surprise, "I thought you were admirin' the beautiful
face o' nature all this time, and ye're only thinking' about
the sodgers. Now, that's strange!"
"Not so strange after all, lad," answered Joe. When
a man's used to a thing, he gits to admire an' enjoy it
without speaking' much about it. But it is true, boy,
that mankind gits in coorse o' time to think little o'
the blissin's he's used to."
"Oui, c'est vrai !" murmured Henri emphatically.
"Well, Joe Blunt, it may be so, but I'm thankful
Fm not used to this sort o' thing yet," exclaimed
Varley. "Let's have another gallop-so ho! come
along, Crusoe !" shouted the youth as he shook his reins
and flew over a long stretch of prairie on which at that
moment they entered.
Joe smiled as he followed his enthusiastic companion,
but after a short run he pulled up.
"Hold on, youngster," he cried; "ye must larn to do
as ye're bid, lad. It's trouble enough to be among wild
Injuns and wild buffaloes, as I hope soon to be, without
havin' wild comrades to look after."
Dick laughed, and reined in his panting horse. "I'll
be as obedient as Crusoe," he said, "and no one can
beat him."
"Besides," continued Joe, "the horses won't travel
far if we begin by running' all the wind out o'
them."
Wah!" exclaimed Henri, as the led horse became






THE DOG CRUSOE.


restive; "I think we must give to him de pack-hoss for
to lead, eh ?"
"Not a bad notion, Henri. We'll make that the
penalty of running' off again; so look out, Master Dick."
"I'm down," replied Dick, with a modest air, "obe-
dient as a baby, and won't run off again-till-the
next time. By the way, Joe, how many days' provisions
did. ye bring ?"
"Two. That's enoughh to carry us to the Great
Prairie, which is three weeks distant from this. Our
own good rifles must make up the difference, and keep
us when we get there."
"And s'pose we neither find deer nor buffalo," sug-
gested Dick.
"I s'pose we'll have to starve."
"Dat is cumfer'able to tink upon," remarked Henri.
"More comfortable to think o' than to undergo," said
Dick; but I s'pose there's little chance o' that."
"Well, not much," replied Joe Blunt, patting his
horse's neck, "but d'ye see, lad, ye niver can count for
sartin on anything The deer and buffalo ought to be
thick in them plains at this time-and when the buffalo
are thick they covers the plains till ye can hardly see
the end o' them; but, ye see, sometimes the rascally
Redskins takes it into their heads to burn the prairies,
and sometimes ye find the place that should ha' bin
black wi' buffalo, black as a coal wi' fire for miles an'
miles on end. At other times the Redskins go hunting'
in 'ticlur places, and sweeps them clean o' every hoof
that don't git away. Sometimes, too, the animals seems
to take a scunner at a place, and keeps out o' the way.






THE DOG CRUSOE.


-; But one way or another men gin'rally manage to
scramble through."
"Look yonder, Joe," exclaimed Dick, pointing to the
summit of a distant ridge, where a small black object
was seen moving against the sky, "that's a deer, ain't
it?"
Joe shaded his eyes with his hand, and gazed earnestly
at the object in question. Ye're right, boy; and by
good luck we've got the wind of him. Cut in an' take
your chance now. There's a long strip o' wood as'll
let ye git close to him."
Before the sentence was well finished Dick and
Crusoe were off at full gallop. For a few hundred
yards they coursed along the bottom of a hollow; then
turning to the right they entered the strip of wood, and
in a few minutes gained the edge of it. Here Dick
dismounted.
"You can't help me here, Crusoe. Stay where you
are, pup, and hold my'horse."
Crusoe seized the end of the line, which was fastened
to the horse's nose, in his mouth, and lay down on
a hillock of moss, submissively placing his- chin on his
forepaws, and watching his master as he stepped noise-
lessly through the wood. In a few minutes Dick
emerged from among the trees, and creeping from bush
to bush, succeeded in getting to within six hundred
yards of the deer, which was a beautiful little antelope.
Beyond the bush behind which he now crouched all was
bare open ground, without a shrub or a hillock large
enough to conceal the hunter. There was a slight un-
dulation in the ground, however, which enabled him to






THE DOG CRUSOE.


advance about fifty yards farther, by means of lying
down quite flat and working himself forward like a ser-
pent. Farther than this he could not move without
being seen by the antelope, which browsed on the ridge
before him in fancied security. The distance was too
great even for a long shot; but Dick knew of a weak
point in this little creature's nature which enabled him
to accomplish his purpose-a weak point which it shares
in common with animals of a higher order-namely,
curiosity.
The little antelope of the North American prairies is
intensely curious about everything that it does not
quite understand, and will not rest satisfied until it has
endeavoured to clear up the mystery. Availing himself
of this propensity, Dick did what both Indians and
hunters are accustomed to do on these occasions-he
put a piece of rag on -the end of his ramrod, and keep-
ing his person concealed and perfectly still, waved this
miniature flag in the air. The antelope noticed it at
once, and, pricking up its ears, began to advance, timidly
and slowly, step by step, to see what remarkable phe-
nomenon it could be. In a few seconds the flag was
lowered, a sharp crack followed, and the antelope fell
dead upon the plain.
"Ha, boy! that's a good supper, anyhow," cried Joe,
as he galloped up and dismounted,
Goot! dat is better nor dried meat," added Henri.
" Give him to me; I will put him on my boss, vich is
stronger dan your. But ver is your hoss? "
He'll be here in a minute," replied Dick, putting his
fingers to his mouth and giving forth a shrill whistle.






THE DOG ORUSOE. 61

The instant Crusoe heard the sound he made a savage
and apparently uncalled-for dash at the horse's heels.
This wild act, so contrary to the dog's gentle nature, was
a mere piece of acting. He knew that the horse would
not advance without getting a fright, so he gave him
one in this way, which sent him off at a gallop. Crusoe
followed close at his heels, so as to bring the line along-
side of the nag's body, and thereby prevent its getting
entangled; but despite his best efforts the horse got on
one side of a tree and he on the other, so he wisely let
go his hold of the line, and waited till more open ground
enabled him to catch it again. Then he hung heavily
back, gradually checked the horse's speed, and finally
trotted him up to his master's side.
"'Tis a cliver cur, good sooth," exclaimed Joe Blunt
in surprise.
"Ah, Joe! you haven't seen much of Crusoe yet.
He's as good as a man any day. I've done little else
but train him for two years gone by, and he can do
most anything but shoot-he can't handle the rifle
nohow."
"Ha! then, I tink perhaps hims could if he wos try,"
said Henri, plunging on to his horse with a laugh, and
arranging the carcass of the antelope across the pommel
of his saddle.
Thus they hunted and galloped, and trotted and
ambled on through wood and plain all day, until the
sun began to descend below the tree-tops of the bluffs
on the west. Then Joe Blunt looked about him for a
place on which to camp, and finally fixed on a spot
under the shadow of a noble birch by the margin of a






THE DOG CRUSOE.


little stream. The carpet of grass on its banks was sof t
like green velvet, and the rippling waters of the brook
were clear as crystal-very different from the muddy
Missouri into which it flowed.
While Dick Varley felled and cut up firewood, Henri
unpacked the horses and turned, them loose to graze,
and Joe kindled the fire and prepared venison steaks
and hot tea for supper.
In excursions of this kind it is customary to hobble"
the horses-that is, to tie their fore-legs together, so
that they cannot run either fast or far, but are free
enough to amble about with a clumsy sort of hop in
search of food. This is deemed a sufficient check on
their tendency to roam, although some of the knowing
horses sometimes learn to hop so fast with their hobbles
as to give their owners much trouble to recapture them.
But when out in the prairies where Indians are known
or supposed to be in the neighbourhood, the horses are
picketed by means of a pin or stake attached to the
ends of their long lariats, as well as hobbled, for In-
dians deem it no disgrace to steal or tell lies, though
they think it disgraceful to be found out in doing either.
And so expert are these dark-skinned natives of the
western prairies, that they will creep into the midst of
an enemy's camp, cut the lariats and hobbles of several
horses, spring suddenly on their backs, and gallop away.
They not only steal from white men, but tribes that
are at enmity steal from each other, and the boldness
with which they do this is most remarkable. When
Indians are travelling in a country where enemies are
prowling, they guard their camps at night with jealous






THE DOG CRUSOE.


care. The horses in particular are both hobbled and
picketed, and sentries are posted all round the camp.
Yet, in spite of these precautions, hostile Indians manage
to elude the sentries and creep into the camp. When a
thief thus succeeds in effecting an entrance, his chief
danger is past. He rises boldly to his feet, and wrap-
ping his blanket or buffalo robe round him, he walks up
and down as if he were a member of the tribe. At the
same time he dexterously cuts the lariats of such horses
as he observes are not hobbled. He dare not stoop to
cut the hobbles, as the action would be observed, and
suspicion would be instantly aroused. He then leaps
on the best horse he can find, and uttering a terrific
war-whoop darts away into the plains, driving the loos-
ened horses before him.
No such dark thieves were supposed to be near the
camp under the birch-tree, however, so Joe, and Dick,
and Henri ate their supper in comfort, and let their
horses browse at will on the rich pasturage.
A bright ruddy fire was soon kindled, which created,
as it were, a little ball of light in the midst of surround-
ing darkness for the special use of our hardy hunters.
Within this magic circle all was warm, comfortable, and
cheery; outside .all was dark, and cold, and dreary by
contrast.
When the substantial part of supper was disposed of,
tea and pipes were introduced, and conversation began
to flow. Then the three saddles were placed in a row;
each hunter wrapped himself in his blanket, and pillow-
ing his head on his saddle, stretched his feet towards
the fire and went to sleep, with his loaded rifle by his






THE DOG CRUSOE.


side and his hunting-knife handy in his belt. Crusoe
mounted guard by stretching himself out couchant at
Dick Varley's side. The faithful dog slept lightly, and
never moved all night; but had any one observed him
closely he would have seen that every fitful flame that
burst from the sinking fire, every unusual puff of wind,
and every motion of the horses that fed or rested hard
by, had the effect of revealing a speck of glittering
white in Crusoe's watchful eye.














CHAPTER VI.


The great prairies of the far west-A remarkable colony discovered, and a
miserable night endured.

OF all the hours of the night or day the hour that
succeeds the dawn is the purest, the most joyous,
and the best. At least so think we, and so think hun-
dreds and thousands of the human family. And so
thought Dick Varley, as he sprang suddenly into a
sitting posture next morning, and threw his arms with
an exulting feeling of delight round the neck of Crusoe,
who instantly sat up to greet him.
This was an unusual piece of enthusiasm on the part
of Dick; but the dog received it with marked satisfac-
tion, rubbed his big hairy cheek against that of his
young master, and arose from his sedentary position in
order to afford free scope for the use of his tail.
"Ho! Joe Blunt Henri! Up, boys, up! The sun
will have the start o' us. I'll catch the nags."
So saying Dick bounded away into the woods, with
Crusoe gambolling joyously at his heels. Dick soon
caught his own horse, and Crusoe caught Joe's. Then
the former mounted and quickly brought in the other
two.
Returning to the camp he found everything packed
and ready to strap on the back of the pack-horse.
5






66 THE DOG CRUSOE.

"That's the way to do it, lad," cried Joe. "Here,
Henri, look alive and git yer beast ready. I do believe
ye're goin' to take another snooze!"
Henri was indeed, at that moment, indulging in a
gigantic stretch and a cavernous yawn; but he finished
both hastily, and rushed at his poor horse as if he in-
tended to slay it on,the spot. He only threw the saddle
on its back, however, and then threw himself on the
saddle.
"Now then, all ready ?"
"Ay "-" Oui, yis!"
And away they went at full stretch again on their
journey.
Thus day after day they travelled, and night after
night they laid them down to sleep under the trees of
the forest, until at length they reached the edge of the
Great Prairie.
It was a great, a memorable day in the life of Dick
Varley, that on which he first beheld the prairie-the
vast boundless prairie. He had heard of it, talked of
it, dreamed about it, but he had never-no, he had
never realized it. 'Tis always thus. Our conceptions
of things that we have not seen are almost invariably
wrong. Dick's eyes glittered, and his heart swelled, and
his cheeks flushed, and his breath came thick and quick.
"There it is," he gasped, as the great rolling plain
broke suddenly on his enraptured gaze; that's it-
oh !-"
Dick uttered a yell that would have done credit to
the fiercest chief of the Pawnees, and being unable to
utter another word, he swung his cap in the air and






THE DOG CRUSOE.


sprang like an arrow from a bow over the mighty ocean
of grass. The sun had just risen to send a flood of
golden glory over the scene, the horses were fresh, so
the elder hunters, gladdened by the beauty of all around
them, and inspired by the irresistible enthusiasm of
their young companion, gave the reins to the horses and
flew after him. It was a glorious gallop, that first
headlong dash over the boundless prairie of the "far
west."
The prairies have often been compared, most justly,
to the ocean. There is the same wide circle of space
bounded on all sides by the horizon; there is the same
swell, or undulation, or succession of long low unbroken
waves that marks the ocean when it is calm; they are
canopied by the same pure sky, and swept by the same
untrammelled breezes. There are islands, too-clumps
of trees and willow-bushes-which rise out of this
grassy' ocean to break and relieve its uniformity; and
these vary in size and numbers as do the isles of ocean,
being numerous in some places, while in others they are
so scarce that the traveller does not meet one in a long
day's journey. Thousands of beautiful flowers decked
the greensward, and numbers of little birds hopped
about among them.
"Now, lads," said Joe Blunt, reining up, our troubles
begin to-day."
"Our troubles ?-our joys, you mean !" exclaimed
Dick Varley.
"P'r'aps I don't mean nothing' o' the sort," retorted
Joe. "Man wos never intended to swaller his joys.
without a strong mixture' o' troubles. I s'pose he






THE DOG CRUSOE.


couldn't stand 'em pure. Ye see we've got to the
prairie now-"
"One blind hoss might see dat!" interrupted Henri.
"An' we may or may not diskiver buffalo. An'
water's scarce, too, so we'll need to look out for it pretty
sharp, I guess, else we'll lose our horses, in which case
we may as well give out at once. Besides, there's
rattlesnakes about in sandy places, we'll ha' to look out
for them; an' there's badger holes, we'll need to look
sharp for them lest the horses put their feet in 'em; an'
there's Injuns, who'll look out pretty sharp for us if
they once get wind that we're in them parts."
Oui, yis, mes boys; and there's rain, and under, and
lighting, added Henri, pointing to a dark cloud which
was seen rising on the horizon ahead of them.
It'll be rain," remarked Joe; "but there's no thun-
der in the air jist now. We'll make for yonder clump
o' bushes and lay by till it's past."
Turning a little to the right of the course they had
been following, the hunters galloped along one of the
hollows between the prairie waves before mentioned, in
the direction of a clump of willows. Before reaching
it, however, they passed over a bleak and barren plain
where there was neither flower nor bird. Here they
were suddenly arrested by a most extraordinary sight-
at least it was so to Dick Varley, who had never seen
the like before. This was a colony of what Joe called
"prairie-dogs." On first beholding them Crusoe uttered
a sort of half growl, half bark of surprise, cocked his
tail and ears, and instantly prepared to charge; but he
glanced up at his master first for permission. Observing






THE DOG CRUSOE.


that his finger and his look commanded "silence," he
dropped his tail at once and stepped to the rear. He
did not, however, cease to regard the prairie-dogs with
intense curiosity.
These remarkable little creatures have been egre-
giously misnamed by the hunters of the west, for they
bear not the slightest resemblance to dogs, either in for-
mation or habits. They are, in fact, the marmot, and in
size are little larger than squirrels, which animals they
resemble in some degree. They burrow under the light
soil, and throw it up in mounds like moles.
Thousands of them were running about among their
dwellings when Dick first beheld them; but the moment
they caught sight of the horsemen rising over the ridge
they set up a tremendous hubbub of consternation.
Each little beast instantly mounted guard on the top of
his house, and prepared, as it were, to receive cavalry."
The most ludicrous thing about them was that, al-
though the most timid and cowardly creatures in the
world, they seemed the most impertinent things that
ever lived! Knowing that their holes afforded them a
perfectly safe retreat, they sat close beside them; and as
the hunters slowly approached, they elevated their heads,
wagged their little tails, showed their teeth, and chat-
tered at them like monkeys. The nearer they came the
more angry and furious did the prairie-dogs become,
until Dick Varley almost fell off his horse with sup-
pressed laughter. They let the hunters come close up,
waxing louder and louder in their wrath; but the in-
stant a hand was raised to throw a stone or point a
gun, a thousand little heads dived into a thousand holes,






THE DOG CRUSOE.


and a thousand little tails wriggled for an instant in
the air-then a dead silence reigned over the deserted
scene.
"Bien, them's have dive into de bo'-els of de heart, "
said Henri with a broad grin.
Presently a thousand noses appeared, and nervously
disappeared, like the wink of an eye. Then they ap-
peared again, and a thousand pair of eyes followed.
Instantly, like Jack in the box, they were all on the top
of their hillocks again, chattering and wagging their
little tails as vigorously as ever. You could not say
that you saw them jump out of their holes. Suddenly,
as if by magic, they were out; then Dick tossed up his
arms, and suddenly, as if by magic, they were gone!
Their number was incredible, and their cities were
full of riotous activity. What their occupations were
the hunters could not ascertain, but it was perfectly
evident that they visited a great deal and gossiped
tremendously, for they ran'about from house to house,
and sat chatting in groups; but it was also observed
that they never went far from their own houses. Each
seemed to have a circle of acquaintance in the immediate
neighbourhood of his own residence, to which in case of
sudden danger he always fled.
But another thing about these prairie-dogs (perhaps,
considering their size, we should call them prairie-
doggies), another thing about them, we say, was that
each doggie lived with an owl, or, more correctly, an
owl lived with each doggie: This is such an extraor-
dinary fact that we could scarce hope that men would
believe us, were our statement not supported by dozens






THE DOG CRUSOE.


of trustworthy travellers who have visited and written
about these regions. The whole plain was. covered with
these owls. Each hole seemed to be the residence of an
owl and a doggie, and these incongruous couples lived
together apparently in perfect harmony.
We have not been able to ascertain from travellers
why the owls have gone to live with these doggies, so
we beg humbly to offer our own private opinion to the
reader. We assume, then, that owls find it absolutely
needful to have holes. Probably prairie-owls cannot dig
holes for themselves. Having discovered, however, a
race of little creatures that could, they very likely de-
termined to take forcible possession of the holes made
by them. Finding, no doubt, that when they did so
the doggies were too timid to object, and discovering,
moreover, that they were sweet, innocent little crea-
tures, the owls resolved to take them into partnership,
and so the thing was settled-that's how it came about,
no doubt of it!
There is a report that rattlesnakes live in these holes
also; but we cannot certify our reader of the truth of
this. Still it is well to be acquainted with a report that
is current among the men of the backwoods. If it be
true, we are of opinion that the doggie's family is the
most miscellaneous and remarkable on the face of--or,
as Henri said, in the bo'-els of the earth.
Dick and his friends were so deeply absorbed in
watching these curious little creatures that they did not
observe the rapid spread of the black clouds over the
sky. A few heavy drops of rain now warned them to
seek shelter, so wheeling round they dashed off at full





THE DOG CRUSOE.


speed for the clump of willows, which they gained just
as the rain began to descend in torrents.
"Now, lads, do it slick. Off packs and saddles," cried
Joe Blunt, jumping from his horse. "I'll make a hut
for ye, right off."
A hut, Joe I what sort o' hut can ye make here ?"
inquired Dick.
"Ye'll see, boy, in a minute."
"Ach! lend me a hand here, Dick; de bockle am
tight as de hoss's own skin. Ah dere all right."
"Hallo! what's this?" exclaimed Dick, as Crusoe
advanced with something in his mouth. "I declare, it's
a bird o' some sort."
"A prairie-hen," remarked Joe, as Crusoe laid the
bird at Dick's feet; "capital for supper."
"Ah! dat chien is superb! goot dog. Come here, I
vill clap you."
But Crusoe refused to be caressed. Meanwhile, Joe
and Dick formed a sort of beehive-looking hut by
bending down the stems of a tall bush and thrusting
their points into the ground. Over this they threw the
largest buffalo robe, and placed another on the ground
below it, on which they laid their packs of goods.
These they further secured against wet by placing
several robes over them and a skin of parchment. Then
they sat down on this pile to rest, and consider what
should be done next.
"'Tis a bad look-out," said Joe, shaking his head.
"I fear it is," replied Dick in a melancholy tone.
Henri said nothing, but he sighed deeply on looking
up at the sky, which was now of a uniform watery gray.





THE DOG CRUSOE.


while black clouds drove athwart it. The rain was
pouring in torrents, and the wind began to sweep it in
broad sheets over the plains, and under their slight cov-
ering, so that in a short time they were wet to the skin.
The horses stood meekly beside them, with their tails
and heads equally pendulous; and Crusoe sat before his
master, looking at him with an expression that seemed
to say, "Couldn't you put a stop to this if you were to
try ?"
This '11 never do. I'll try to git up a fire," said
Dick, jumping up in desperation.
"Ye may save herself the trouble," remarked Joe
dryly-at least as dryly as was possible in the circum-
stances.
However, Dick did try, but he failed signally. Every-
thing was soaked and saturated. There were no large
trees; most of the bushes were green, and the dead ones
were soaked. The coverings were slobbery, the skins
they sat on were slobbery, the earth itself was slobbery;
so Dick threw his blanket (which was also slobbery)
round his shoulders, and sat down beside his companions
to grin and bear it. As for Joe and Henri, they were
old hands and accustomed to such circumstances. From
the first they had resigned themselves to their fate, and
wrapping their wet blankets round them sat down, side
by side, wisely to endure the evils that they could not
cure.
There is an old rhyme, by whom composed we know
not, and it matters little, which runs thus,-


" For every evil under the sun
There is a remedy-or there's none.






THE DOG CRUSOE.


If there is-try and find it;
If there isn't-never mind it! "

There is deep wisdom here in small compass. The
principle involved deserves to be heartily recommended.
Dick never heard of the lines, but he knew the principle
well, so he began to "never mind it" by sitting down
beside his companions and whistling vociferously. As
the wind rendered this a difficult feat, he took to sing-
ing instead. After that he said, "Let's eat a bite, Joe,
and then go to bed."
"Be all means," said Joe, who produced a mass of
dried deer's meat from a wallet.
"It's cold grub," said Dick, "and tough."
But the hunters' teeth were sharp and strong, so they
ate a hearty supper and washed it down with a drink
of rain water collected from a pool on the top of their
hut. They now tried to sleep, for the night was ad-
vancing, and it was so dark that they could scarce see
their hands when held up before their faces. They sat
back to back, and thus, in the form of a tripod, began
to snooze. Joe's and Henri's seasoned frames would
have remained stiff as posts till morning; but Dick's
body was young and pliant, so he hadn't been asleep a
few seconds when he fell forward into the mud and
effectually awakened the others. Joe gave a grunt,
and Henri exclaimed, Hah !" but Dick was too sleepy
and miserable to say anything. Crusoe, however, rose
up to show his sympathy, and laid his wet head on his
master's knee as he resumed his place. This catastrophe
happened three times in the space of an hour, and by
the third time they were all awakened up so thoroughly





THE DOG CRUSOE. 75

that they gave up the attempt to sleep, and amused
each other by recounting their hunting experiences and
telling stories. So engrossed did they become that day
broke sooner than they had expected, and just in pro-
portion as the gray light of dawn rose higher into the
eastern sky did the spirits of these weary men rise
within their soaking bodies.















CHAPTER VII.


The "wallervmg" peculiarities of buffalo bulls-The first buffalo hunt and its
consequences-Crusoe comes to the rescue-Pawnees discovered-A monster
buffalo hunt-Joe acts the part of ambassador.

F ORTUNATELY the day that succeeded the dreary
night described in the last chapter was warm
and magnificent. The sun rose in a blaze of splendour,
and filled the atmosphere with steam from the moist
earth.
The unfortunates in the wet camp were not slow to
avail themselves of his cheering rays. They hung up
everything on the bushes to dry, and by dint of extreme
patience and cutting out the comparatively dry hearts
of several pieces of wood, they lighted a fire and boiled
some rain-water, which was soon converted into soup.
This, and the exercise necessary for the performance of
these several duties, warmed and partially dried them;
so that when they once more mounted their steeds and
rode away, they were in a state of comparative comfort
and in excellent spirits. The only annoyance was the
clouds of mosquitoes and large flies that assailed men
and horses whenever they checked their speed.
I tell ye wot it is," said Joe Blunt, one fine morning
about a week after they had begun to cross the prairie,






THE DOG CRUSOE.


" it's my 'pinion that we'll come on buffaloes soon. Them
tracks are fresh, an' yonder's one o' their wallers that's
bin used not long agone."
"I'll go have a look at it," cried Dick, trotting away
as he spoke.
Everything in these vast prairies was new to Dick
Varley, and he was kept in a constant state of excite-
ment during the first week or two of his journey. It
is true he was quite familiar with the names and habits
of all the animals that dwelt there; for many a time and
oft had he listened to the "yarns" of the hunters and
trappers of the Mustang Valley, when they returned
laden with rich furs from their periodical hunting ex-
peditions. But this knowledge of his only served to
whet his curiosity and his desire to see the denizens of
the prairies with his own eyes; and now that his wish
was accomplished, it greatly increased the pleasures of
his journey.
Dick had just reached the wallow referred to by
Joe Blunt, and had reined up his steed to observe it
leisurely, when a faint hissing sound reached his ear.
Looking quickly back, he observed his two companions
crouching on the necks of their horses, and slowly de-
scending into a hollow of the prairie in front of them,
as if they wished to bring the rising ground between
them and some object in advance. Dick instantly fol-
lowed their example, and was soon at their heels.
"Ye needn't look at the waller," whispered Joe, "for
a' other side o' the ridge there's a bull wallerin'."
"Ye don't mean it !" exclaimed Dick, as they all dis-
mounted and picketed their horses to the plain.





THE DOG CRUSOE.


"Oui," said Henri, tumbling off his horse, while a
broad grin overspread his good-natured countenance,
" it is one fact! One buffalo bull be wollerin' like a
enormerous hog. .Also, dere be thousands o' buffaloes
farder on."
"Can ye trust yer dog keeping' back ?" inquired Joe,
with a dubious glance at Crusoe.
"Trust him Ay, I wish I was as sure o' myself."
"Look to yer primin', then, an' we'll have tongues
and marrow bones for supper to-night, I'se warrant.
Hist! down on yer knees and go softly. We might
ha' run them down on horseback, but it's bad to wind
yer beasts on a trip like this, if ye can help it; an' it's
about as easy to stalk them. Leastways, we'll try.
Lift yer head slowly, Dick, an' don't show more nor the
half o't above the ridge."
Dick elevated his head as directed, and the scene that
met his view was indeed well calculated to send an
electric shock to the heart of an ardent sportsman.
The vast plain beyond was absolutely blackened with
countless herds of buffaloes, which were browsing on
the rich grass. They were still so far distant that their
bellowing, and the trampling of their myriad hoofs, only
reached the hunters like a faint murmur on the breeze.
In the immediate foreground, however, there was a
group of about half-a-dozen buffalo cows feeding quietly,
and in the midst of them an enormous old bull was
enjoying himself in his wallow. The animals, towards
which our hunters now crept with murderous intent,
are the fiercest and the most ponderous of the ruminat-
ing inhabitants of the western wilderness. The name of





THE DOG CRUSOE.


buffalo, however, is not correct. The animal is the bison,
and bears no resemblance whatever to the buffalo pro-
per; but as the hunters of the far west, and, indeed,
travellers generally, have adopted the misnomer, we bow
to the authority of custom and adopt it too.
Buffaloes roam in countless thousands all over the
North American prairies, from the Hudson Bay Ter-
ritories,'north of Canada, to the shores of the Gulf of
Mexico.
The advance of white men to the west has driven
them to the prairies between the Missouri and the Rocky
Mountains, and has somewhat diminished their numbers;
but even thus diminished, they are still innumerable in
the more distant plains. Their colour is dark brown,
but it varies a good deal with the seasons. The hair
or fur, from its great length in winter and spring and
exposure to the weather, turns quite light; but when
the winter coat is shed off, the new growth is a beau-
tiful dark brown, almost approaching to jet-black. In
form the buffalo somewhat resembles the ox, but its
head and shoulders are much larger, and are covered
with a profusion of long shaggy hair which adds greatly
to the fierce aspect of the animal. It has a large hump
on the shoulder, and its fore-quarters are much larger,
in proportion, than the hind-quarters. The horns are
short and thick, the hoofs are cloven, and the tail is
short, with a tuft of hair at the extremity.
It is scarcely possible to conceive a wilder or more
ferocious and terrible monster than a buffalo bull. He
often grows to the enormous weight of two thousand
pounds. His lion-like mane falls in shaggy confusion





THE DOG CRUSOE.


quite over his head and shoulders, down to the ground.
When he is wounded he becomes imbued with the spirit
of a tiger: he stamps, bellows, roars, and foams, forth
his rage with glaring eyes and steaming nostrils, and
charges furiously at man and horse with utter reckless-
ness. Fortunately, however, he is not naturally pug-
nacious, and can be easily thrown into a sudden panic.
Moreover, the peculiar position of his eye renders this
creature not so terrible as he would otherwise be to the
hunter. Owing to the stiff structure of the neck, and
the sunken, downward-looking eyeball, the buffalo can-
not, without an effort, see beyond the direct line of
vision presented to the habitual carriage of his head.
When, therefore, he is wounded, and charges, he does so
in a straight line, so that his pursuer can leap easily
out of his way. The pace of the buffalo is clumsy, and
apparently slow, yet, when chased, he dashes away over
the plains in blind blundering terror, at a rate that
leaves all but good horses far behind. He cannot keep
the pace up, however, and is usually soon overtaken.
Were the buffalo capable of the same alert and agile
motions of head and eye peculiar to the deer or wild
horse, in addition to his "bovine rage,' he would be the
most formidable brute on earth. There is no object,
perhaps, so terrible as the headlong advance of a herd
of these animals when thoroughly aroused by terror.
They care not for their necks. All danger in front is
forgotten, or not seen, in the terror of that from which
they fly. No thundering cataract is more tremendously
irresistible than the black bellowing torrent which some-
times pours through the narrow defiles of the Rocky





THE DOG CRUSOE.


Mountains, or sweeps like a roaring flood over the
trembling plains.
The wallowing, to which we have referred, is a luxury
usually indulged in during the hot months of summer,
when the buffaloes are tormented by flies, and heat, and
drought. At this season they seek the low grounds in
the prairies where there is a little stagnant water lying
amongst the grass, and the ground underneath, being
saturated, is soft. The leader of the herd, a shaggy old
bull, usually takes upon himself to prepare the wallow.
It was a rugged monster of the largest size that did
so on the present occasion, to the intense delight of
Dick Varley, who begged Joe to lie still and watch the
operation before trying to shoot one of the buffalo
cows. Joe consented with a nod, and the four spec-
tators-for Crusoe was as much taken up with the
proceedings as any of them-crouched in the grass, and
looked on.
Coming up to the swampy spot, the old bull gave a
grunt of satisfaction, and going down on one knee,
plunged his short thick horns into the mud, tore it up,
and cast it aside. Having repeated this several times,
he plunged his head in, and brought it forth saturated
with dirty water and bedaubed with lumps of mud,
through which his fierce eyes gazed, with a ludicrous
expression of astonishment, straight in the direction of
the hunters, as if he meant to say, "I've done it that
time, and no mistake !" The other buffaloes seemed to
think so too, for they came up and looked on with an.
expression that seemed to say, "Well done, old fellow;
try that again !"





THE DOG CRUSOE.


The old fellow did try it again, and again, and again,
plunging, and ramming, and tearing up the earth, until
he formed an excavation large enough to contain his
huge body. In this bath he laid himself comfortably
down, and began to roll and wallow about until he
mixed up a trough full of thin soft mud, which
completely covered him. When he came out of the
hole there was scarcely an atom of his former self
visible!
The coat of mud thus put on by bulls is usually per-
mitted by them to dry, and is not finally got rid of
until long after, when oft-repeated rolling on the grass
and washings by rain at length clear it away.
When the old bull vacated this delectable bath,
another bull, scarcely if at all less ferocious-looking,
stepped forward to take his turn; but he was inter-
rupted by a volley from the hunters, which scattered
the animals right and left, and sent the mighty herds
in the distance flying over the prairie in wild terror.
The very turmoil of their own mad flight added to their
panic, and the continuous thunder of their hoofs was
heard until the last of them disappeared on the horizon.
.The family party which had been fired at, however, did
not escape so well. Joe's rifle wounded a fat young
cow, and Dick Varley brought it down. Henri had
done his best, but as the animals were too far distant
for his limited vision, he missed the cow he fired at, and
hit the young bull whose bath had been interrupted.
The others scattered and fled.
"Well done, Dick," exclaimed Joe Blunt, as they all
ran up to the cow that had fallen. "Your first shot at






THE DOG CRUSOE.


the buffalo was a good un. Come, now, an' I'll show ye
how to cut it up an' carry off the tit-bits."
Ah, mon dear ole bull!" exclaimed Henri, gazing
after the animal which he had wounded, and which was
now limping slowly away. "You is not worth goin'
after. Farewell-adieu."
"He'll be tough enough, I warrant," said Joe; "an'
we've more meat here nor we can lift."
"But wouldn't it be as well to put the poor brute
out o' pain ?" suggested Dick.
"Oh, he'll die soon enough," replied Joe, tucking up
his sleeves and drawing his long hunting-knife.
Dick, however, was not satisfied with this way of
looking at it. Saying that he would be back in a few
minutes, he reloaded his rifle, and calling Crusoe to his
side, walked quickly after the wounded bull, which was
now hid from view in a hollow of the plain.
In a few minutes he came in sight of it, and ran
forward with his rifle in readiness.
Down, Crusoe," he whispered; wait for me here."
Crusoe crouched in the grass instantly, and Dick
advanced. As he came on, the bull observed him, and
turned round bellowing with rage and pain to receive
him. The aspect of the brute on a near view was so
terrible that Dick involuntarily stopped too, and gazed
with a mingled feeling of wonder and awe, while it
bristled with passion, and blood-streaked foam dropped
from its open jaws, and its eyes glared furiously.
Seeing that Dick did not advance, the bull charged him
with a terrific roar; but the youth had firm nerves,
and although the rush of such a savage creature at full






THE DOG CRUSOE.


speed was calculated to try the courage of any man,
especially one who had never seen a buffalo bull before,
Dick did not lose presence of mind. He remembered
the many stories he had listened to of this very thing
that was now happening; so, crushing down his excite-
ment as well as he could, he cocked his rifle and
awaited the charge. He knew that it was of no use to
fire at the head of the advancing foe, as the thickness
of the skull, together with the matted hair on the fore-
head, rendered it impervious to a bullet.
When the bull was within a yard of him he leaped
lightly to one side and it passed. Just as it did so,
Dick aimed at its heart and fired, but his knowledge of
the creature's anatomy was not yet correct. The ball
entered the shoulder too high, and the bull, checking
himself as well as he could in his headlong rush, turned
round and made at Dick again.
The failure, coupled with the excitement, proved too
much for Dick; he could not resist discharging his
second barrel at the brute's head as it came on. He
might as well have fired at a brick wall. It shook its
shaggy front, and with a hideous bellow thundered for-
ward. Again Dick sprang to one side, but in doing so
a tuft of grass or a stone caught his foot, and he fell
heavily to the ground.
Up to this point Crusoe's admirable training had
nailed him to the spot where he had been left, although
the twitching of every fibre in his body and a low con-
tinuous whine showed how gladly he would have hailed
permission to join in the combat; but the instant he
saw his master down, and the buffalo turning to charge






THE DOG CRUSOE.


again, he sprang forward with a roar that would have
done credit to his bovine enemy, and seized him by the
nose. So vigorous was the rush that he well-nigh
pulled the bull down on its side. One toss of its head,
however, sent Crusoe high into the air; but it accom-
plished this feat at the expense of its nose, which was
torn and lacerated by the dog's teeth.
Scarcely had Crusoe touched the ground, which he
did with a sounding thump, than he sprang up and
flew at his adversary again. This time, however, he
adopted the plan of barking furiously and biting by
rapid yet terrible snaps as he found opportunity, thus
keeping the bull entirely engrossed, and affording Dick
an opportunity of reloading his rifle, which he was not
slow to do, Dick then stepped close up, and while the
two combatants were roaring in-each other's faces, he
shot the buffalo through the heart. It fell to the earth
with a deep groan.
Crusoe's rage instantly vanished on beholding this,
and he seemed to be filled with tumultuous joy at his
master's escape, for he gambolled round him, and whined
and fawned upon him in a manner that could not be
misunderstood.
Good -dog; thank'ee, my pup," said Dick, patting
Crusoe's head as he stooped to brush the dust from his
leggings. "I don't know what would ha' become o' me
but for your help, Crusoe."
Crusoe turned his head a little to one side, wagged
his tail, and looked at Dick with an expression that
said quite plainly, "I'd die for you, I would-not
once, or twice, but ten times, fifty times if need be--






THE DOG CRUSOE.


and that not merely to save your life, but even to
please you."
There is no doubt whatever that Crusoe felt some-
thing of this sort. The love of a Newfoundland dog to
its master is beyond calculation or expression. He who
once gains such love carries the dog's life in his hand.
But let him who reads note well, and remember that
there is. only one coin that can purchase such love, and
that is 1cindness. The coin, too, must be genuine. Kind-
ness merely expressed will not do, it must be felt.
"Hallo, boy, ye've bin i' the wars!" exclaimed Joe,
raising himself from his task as Dick and Crusoe re-
turned.
"You look more like it than I do," retorted Dick,
laughing.
This was true, for cutting up a buffalo carcass with
no other instrument than a large knife is no easy
matter. Yet western hunters and Indians can do it
without cleaver or saw, in a way that would surprise
a civilized butcher not a little. Joe was covered with
blood up. to the elbows. His hair, happening to have
a knack of getting into his eyes, had been so often
brushed off with bloody hands, that his whole visage
was speckled with gore, and his dress was by no means
immaculate.
While Dick related his adventure, or mis-adventure,
with the bull, Joe and Henri completed the cutting out
of the most delicate portions of the buffalo-namely,
the hump on its shoulder-which is a choice piece,
much finer than the best beef-and the tongue, and
a few other parts. The tongues of buffaloes are supe-





THE DOG CRUSOE.


rior to those of domestic cattle. When all was ready
the meat was slung across the back of the pack-horse;
and the party, remounting their horses, continued their
journey, having first cleansed themselves as well as they
could in the rather dirty waters of an old wallow.
See," said Henri, turning to Dick and pointing to a
circular spot of green as they rode along, that is one
old dry waller."
Ay," remarked Joe; "after the waller dries, it be-
comes a ring o' greener grass than the rest o' the plain,
as ye see. 'Tis said the first hunters used to wonder
greatly at these mysterious circles, and they invented
all sorts o' stories to account for 'em. Some said they
wos fairy-rings, but at last they comed to know they
wos nothing' more nor less than places where buffaloes
wos used to waller in. It's often seemed to me that if
we knowed the raisons o' things, we wouldn't be so
much puzzled wi' them as we are,"
The truth of this last remark was so self-evident
and incontrovertible that it elicited no reply, and the
three friends rode on for a considerable time in silence.
It was now past noon, and they were thinking of
calling a halt 'for a short rest to the horses and a pipe
to themselves, when Joe was heard to give vent to one
of those peculiar hisses that always accompanied either
a surprise or a caution. In the present case it indi-
cated both.
What now, Joe ?"
Injuns !" ejaculated Joe.
Eh fat you say? Ou is dey ?"
Crusoe at this moment uttered a low growl. Ever





THE DOG CRUSOE.


since the day he had been partially roasted he had
maintained a rooted antipathy to Red-men. Joe im-
mediately dismounted, and placing his ear to the ground
listened intently. It is a curious fact that by placing
the ear close to the ground sounds can be heard dis-
tinctly which could not be heard at all if the listener
were to maintain an erect position.
"They're arter the buffalo," said Joe, rising, "an' I
think it's likely they're a band o' Pawnees, Listen an'
ye'll hear their shouts quite plain."
Dick and Henri immediately lay down and placed
their ears to the ground.
Now, me hear noting," said Henri, jumping up, but
me ear is like me eyes-ver' short-sighted."
"I do hear something," said Dick as he got up, "but
the beating o' my own heart makes row enough to spoil
my hearing. "
Joe Blunt smiled. "Ah! lad, ye're young, an' yer
blood's too hot yet; but bide a bit-you'll cool down
soon. I wos like you once. Now, lads; what think
ye we should do?"
"You know best, Joe."
"Oui, nodoubtedly."
Then wot I advise is that we gallop to the broken
sand hillocks ye see yonder, get behind them, an' take
a peep at the Redskins. If they are Pawnees, we'll go
up to them at once; if not, we'll hold a council o' war
on the spot."
Having arranged this, they mounted and hastened
towards the hillocks in question, which they reached
after ten minutes' gallop at full stretch. The sandy






THE DOG CRUSOE.


mounds afforded them concealment, and enabled them
to watch the proceedings of the savages in the plain
below. The scene was the most 'curious and exciting
that can be conceived. The centre of the plain before
them was crowded with hundreds of buffaloes, which
were dashing about in the most frantic state of alarm.
To whatever point they galloped they were met by
yelling savages on horseback, who could not have
been fewer in numbers than a thousand, all being
armed with lance, bow, and quiver, and mounted on
active little horses. The Indians had completely sur-
rounded the herd of buffaloes, and were now advancing
steadily towards them, gradually narrowing the circle,
and whenever the terrified animals endeavoured to
break through the line, they rushed to that particular
spot in a body, and scared them back again into the
centre.
Thus they advanced until they closed in on their
prey and formed an unbroken circle round them, whilst
the poor brutes kept eddying and surging to and fro
in a confused mass, hooking and climbing upon each
other, and bellowing furiously. Suddenly the horse-
men made a rush, and the work of destruction began.
The tremendous turmoil raised a cloud of dust that
obscured the field' in some places, and hid it from our
hunters' view. Some of the Indians galloped round
and round the circle, sending their arrows whizzing up
to the feathers in the sides of the fattest cows. Others
dashed fearlessly into the midst of the black heaving
mass, and, with their long lances, pierced dozens of
them to the heart. In many instances the buffaloes,





THE DOG CRUSOE.


infuriated by wounds, turned fiercely on their assailants
and gored the horses to death, in which cases the men
had to trust to their nimble legs for safety. Some-
times a horse got jammed in the centre of the sway-
ing mass, and could neither advance nor retreat. Then
the savage rider leaped upon the buffaloes' backs, and
springing from one to another, like an acrobat, gained
the outer edge of the circle; not failing, however, in his
strange flight, to pierce with his lance several of the
fattest of his stepping-stones as he sped along.
A few of the herd succeeded in escaping from the
blood and dust of this desperate battle, and made off
over the plains; but they were quickly overtaken, and
the lance or the arrow brought them down on the green
turf. Many of the dismounted riders were chased by
bulls; but they stepped lightly to one side, and, as the
animals passed, drove their arrows deep into their sides.
Thus the tumultuous war went on, amid thundering
tread, and yell, and bellow, till the green plain was
transformed into a sea of blood and mire, and every
buffalo of the herd was laid low.
It is not to be supposed that such reckless warfare
is invariably waged without damage to the savages.
Many were the wounds and bruises received that day,
and not a few bones were broken, but happily no lives
were lost.
"Now, lads, now's our time. A bold and fearless
look's the best at all times. Don't look as if ye
doubted their friendship; and mind, wotever ye do,
don't use yer arms. Follow me."
Saying this, Joe Blunt leaped on his horse, and,






THE DOG CRUSOE.


bounding over the ridge at full speed, galloped headlong
across the plain.
The savages observed the strangers instantly, and a
loud yell announced the fact as they assembled from
all parts of the field brandishing their bows and spears.
Joe's quick eye soon distinguished their chief, towards
whom he galloped, still at full speed, till within a yard
or two of his horse's head; then he reined up suddenly.
So rapidly did Joe and his comrades approach, and so
instantaneously did they pull up, that their steeds were
thrown almost on their haunches.
The Indian chief did not move a muscle. He was
a tall, powerful savage, almost naked, and mounted on
a coal-black charger, which he sat with the ease of a
man accustomed to ride from infancy. He was, indeed,
a splendid-looking savage, but his face wore a dark
frown, for, although he and his band had visited the
settlements and trafficked with the fur-traders on the
Missouri, he did not love the "Pale-faces," whom he
regarded as intruders on the hunting-grounds of his
fathers, and the peace that existed between them at
that time was of a very fragile character. Indeed, it
was deemed by the traders impossible to travel through
the Indian country at that period except in strong force,
and it was the very boldness of the present attempt that
secured to our hunters anything like a civil reception.
Joe, who could speak the Pawnee tongue fluently,
began by explaining the object of his visit, and spoke
of the presents which he had brought for the great
chief; but it was evident that his words made little
impression As he discoursed to them the savages






THE DOG CRUSOE.


crowded round the little party, and began to handle
and examine their dresses and weapons with a degree
of rudeness that caused Joe considerable anxiety.
"Mahtawa believes that the heart of the Pale-face
is true," said the savage, when Joe paused, "but he
does not choose to make peace. The Pale-faces are
grasping. They never rest. They turn their eyes to
the great mountains and say, 'There we will stop.'
But even there they will not stop. They are never
satisfied; Mahtawa knows them well."
This speech sank like a death-knell into the hearts
of the hunters, for they knew that if the savages refused
to make peace, they would scalp them all and appro-
priate their goods. To make things worse, a dark-
visaged Indian suddenly caught hold of Henri's rifle,
and, ere he was aware, had plucked it from his hand.
The blood rushed to the gigantic hunter's forehead, and
he was on the point of springing at the man, when Joe
said in a deep quiet voice,-
"Be still, Henri. You will but hasten death."
At this moment there was a movement in the out-
skirts of the circle of horsemen, and another chief rode
into the midst of them. He was evidently higher in
rank than Mahtawa, for he spoke authoritatively to the
crowd, and stepped in before him. The hunters drew
little comfort from the appearance of his face, how-
ever, for it scowled upon them. He was not so power-
ful a man as Mahtawa, but he was more gracefully
formed, and had a more noble and commanding coun-
tenance.
Have the Pale-faces no wigwams on the great river






THE DOG CRUSOE.


that they should come to spy out the lands of the
Pawnee ?" he demanded.
"We have not come to spy your country," answered
Joe, raising himself proudly as he spoke, and taking off
his cap. We have come with a message from the great
chief of the Pale-faces, who lives in the- village far
beyond the great river where the sun rises. He says,
Why should the Pale-face and the Red-man fight ?
They are brothers. The same Manitou watches over
both. The Pale-faces have more beads, and guns, and
blankets, and knives, and vermilion than they require;
they wish to give some of these things for the skins
and furs which the Red-man does not know what to
do with. The great chief of the Pale-faces has sent me
to say, Why should we fight ? let us smoke the pipe of
peace."
At the mention of beads and blankets the face of the
wily chief brightened for a moment. Then he said
sternly,-
"The heart of the Pale-face is not true. He has
come here to trade for himself. San-it-sa-rish has- eyes
that can see; they are not shut. Are not these your
goods ?" The chief pointed to the pack-horse as he spoke.
"Trappers do not take their goods into the heart
of an enemy's camp," returned Joe. "San-it-sa-rish is
wise, and will understand this. These are gifts to the
chief of the Pawnees. There are more awaiting him
when the pipe of peace is smoked. I have said. What
message shall we take back to the great chief of the
Pale-faces ?"
The Indian name for God.






THE DOG CRUSOE.


San-it-sa-rish was evidently mollified.
"The hunting-field is not the council tent," he said.
" The Pale-faces will go with us to our village."
Of course Joe was too glad to agree to this proposal,
but he now deemed it politic to display a little firmness.
"We cannot go till our rifle is restored. It will not
do to go back and tell the great chief of the Pale-faces
that the Pawnees are thieves."
The chief frowned angrily.
"The Pawnees are true; they are not thieves. They
choose to lool at the rifle of the Pale-face. It shall be
returned."
The rifle was instantly restored, and then our hunters
rode off with the Indians towards their camp. On the
way they met hundreds of women and children going
to the scene of the great hunt, for it was their special
duty to cut up the meat and carry it into camp. The
men, considering that they had done quite enough in
killing it, returned to smoke and eat away the fatigues
of the chase.
As they rode along, Dick Varley observed that some
of the "braves," as Indian warriors are styled, were
eating pieces of the bloody livers of the buffaloes in a
raw state, at which he expressed not a little disgust.
"Ah, boy! you're green yet," remarked Joe Blunt in
an undertone. Mayhap ye'll be thankful to do that
same herself some day."
"Well, I'll not refuse to try when it is needful," said
Dick with a laugh; "meanwhile I'm content to see the
Redskins do it, Joe Blunt."














CHAPTER VIII.


Dick and his friends visit the Indians and see many wonders-Crusoe, too,
experiences a few surprises, and teaches Indian dogs a lesson-An Indian
dandy-A foot-race.

THE Pawnee village, at which they soon arrived, was
situated in the midst of a most interesting and
picturesque scene.
It occupied an extensive plain which sloped gently
down to a creek,* whose winding course was marked
by a broken line of wood, here and there interspersed
with a fine clump of trees, between the trunks of which
the blue waters of a lake sparkled in the distance.
Hundreds of tents or "lodges" of buffalo-skins covered
the ground, and thousands of Indians-men, women,
and children-moved about the busy scene. Some
were sitting in their lodges, lazily smoking their pipes.
But these were chiefly old and infirm veterans, for all
the young men had gone to the hunt which we have just
described. The women were stooping over their fires,
busily preparing maize and meat for their husbands
and brothers; while myriads of little brown and naked
children romped about everywhere, filling the air with
their yells and screams, which were only equalled, if not
surpassed, by the yelping dogs that seemed innumerable.
In America small rivers or rivulets are termed "creeks." -






THE DOG CRUSOE.


Far as the eye could reach were seen scattered herds
of horses. These were tended by little boys who were
totally destitute of clothing, and who seemed to enjoy
with infinite zest the pastime of shooting-practice with
little bows and arrows. No wonder that these Indians
become expert bowmen. There were urchins there,
scarce two feet high, with round bullets of bodies and
short spindle-shanks, who could knock blackbirds off
the trees at every shot, and cut the heads off the taller
flowers with perfect certainty! There was much need,
too, for the utmost proficiency they could attain, for the
very existence of the Indian tribes of the prairies depends
on their success in hunting the buffalo.
There are hundreds and thousands of North American
savages who would undoubtedly perish, and their tribes
become extinct, if the buffaloes were to leave the prairies
or die out. Yet, although animals are absolutely essen-
tial to their existence, they pursue and slay them with
improvident recklessness, sometimes killing hundreds of
them merely for the sake of the sport, the tongues, and
the marrow bones. In the bloody hunt described in the
last chapter, however, the slaughter of so many was not
wanton, because the village that had to be supplied with
food was large, and, just previous to the hunt, they had
been living on somewhat reduced allowance. Even the
blackbirds shot by the brown-bodied urchins before men-
tioned had been thankfully put into the pot. Thus
precarious is the supply of food among the Red-men,
who on one day are starving, and the next are revelling
in superabundance.
But to return to our story. At one end of this vil-





THE DOG CRUSOE


lage the creek sprang over a ledge of rock in a low cas-
cade and opened out into a beautiful lake, the bosom
of which was studded with small islands. Here were
thousands of those smaller species of wild water-fowl
which were either too brave or too foolish to be scared
away by the noise of the camp. And here, too, dozens
of children were sporting on the beach, or paddling
about in their light bark canoes.
"Isn't it strange," remarked Dick to Henri, as they
passed among the tents towards the centre of the vil-
lage-" isn't it strange that them Injuns should be so
fond o' fighting when they've got all they can want-a
fine country, lots o' buffalo, an', as far as I can see,
happy homes ?"
Oui, it is remarkaibel, vraiment. Bot dey do more
love war to peace. Dey loves to be excit-ed, I s'pose."
"Humph One would think the hunt we seed a little
agone would be excitement enough. But, I say, that
must be the chief's tent, by the look o't."
Dick was right. The horsemen pulled up and dis-
mounted opposite the principal chief's tent, which was
a larger and more elegant structure than the others.
Meanwhile an immense concourse of women, children,
and dogs gathered round the strangers, and while the
latter yelped their dislike to white men, the former
chattered continuously, as they discussed the appear-
ance of the strangers and their errand, which latter soon
became known. An end was put to this by San-it-sa-
rish desiring the hunters to enter the tent, and spread-
ing a buffalo robe for them to sit on. Two braves
carried in their packs, and then led away their horses.
7






THE DOG CRUSOE.


All this time Crusoe had kept as close as possible to
his master's side, feeling extremely uncomfortable in the
midst of such a strange crowd, the more especially that
the ill-looking Indian curs gave him expressive looks
of hatred, and exhibited some desire to rush upon him
in a body, so that he had to keep a sharp look-out
all round him. When therefore Dick entered the tent,
Crusoe endeavoured to do so along with him; but he
was met by a blow on the nose from an old squaw, who
scolded him in a shrill voice and bade him begone.
Either our hero's knowledge of the Indian language
was insufficient to enable him to understand the order,
or he had resolved not to obey it, for instead of retreat-
ing, he drew a deep gurgling breath, curled his nose,
and displayed a row of teeth that caused the old woman
to draw back in alarm. Crusoe's was a forgiving spirit.
The instant that opposition ceased he forgot the injury,
and was meekly advancing, when Dick held up his
finger.
"Go outside, pup, and wait."
Crusoe's tail drooped; with a deep sigh he turned
and left the tent. He took up a position near the en-
trance, however, and sat down resignedly. So meek,
indeed, did the poor dog look that six mangy-looking
curs felt their dastardly hearts emboldened to make a
rush at him with boisterous yells.
Crusoe did not rise. He did not even condescend to
turn his head toward them; but he looked at them out
of the corner of his dark eye, wrinkled-very slightly
-the skin of his nose, exhibited two beautiful fangs,
and gave utterance to a soft remark, that might be de-






THE DOG CRUSOE.


scribed as quiet, deep-toned gurgling. It wasn't much,
but it was more than enough for the valiant six, who
paused and snarled violently.
It was a peculiar trait of Crusoe's gentle nature that,
the moment any danger ceased, he resumed his expres-
sion of nonchalant gravity. The expression on this
occasion was misunderstood, however; and as about two
dozen additional yelping dogs had joined the ranks of
the enemy, they advanced in close order to the attack.
Crusoe still sat quiet, and kept his head high; but he
looked at them again, and exhibited four fangs for their
inspection. Among the pack there was one Indian dog
of large size-almost as large as Crusoe himself-which
kept well in the rear, and apparently urged the lesser
dogs on. The little dogs didn't object, for little dogs
are generally the most pugnacious. At this big dog
Crusoe directed a pointed glance, but said nothing.
Meanwhile a particularly small and vicious cur, with-a
mere rag of a tail, crept round by the back of the tent,
and coming upon Crusoe in rear, snapped at his tail
"sharply, and then fled shrieking with terror and sur-
prise, no doubt, at its own temerity.
Crusoe did not bark; he seldom barked; he usually
either said nothing, or gave utterance to a prolonged
roar of indignation of the most terrible character, with
barks, as it were, mingled through it. It somewhat
resembled that peculiar and well-known species of thun-
der, the prolonged roll of which is marked at short
intervals in its course by cannon-like cracks. It was
a continuous, but, so to speak, knotted roar.
On receiving the snap, Crusoe gave forth the roar




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