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the summit of the island, where the sledge awaited them, a heavy gale was experienced. The descent into Rosse Bay was made through much deep snow, and the enfeebled men frequently pitched headlong into a drift, from which they always emerged breathless and exhausted. At last the ice in the bay was reached ; but, contrary to their hopes, the wind increased and drifting snow filled the air. Struggling on as long as they could, they were finally compelled, about 8 A. M. of the 7th, to camp.
The high wind and blinding snow rendered the lighting of the lamp for tea impossible, and so, without drink of any kind, they stretched their sleeping-bag on the ice, and, taking a few ounces of frozen pemmican, crawled into it for rest. They were confined to the bag for twenty-two hours by a violent storm, which buried them completely with snow. About 6 A. M. of the 8th they got out of their bag, but were too cold to cook until they had travelled an hour. A warm meal, with tea, refreshed them very much, as they had been nearly thirty-six hours without drink. About 7 P. M. that evening dark and blustering weather drove them to camp. Their sledge was drawn up between a large iceberg and the face of Alfred Newton glacier. The morning of April 9th broke calm and clear, and an hour's travel brought them to our old camp at Eskimo Point. Being within six miles of the place where the meat had been cached, they decided to drop their sleeping bag and a portion of their rations, expecting, with their lightened sledge, to reach the meat and return in one march.
Frequently open pools of water around the grounded icebergs caused long detours. At times the tidal overflow wet their feet, and their foot-gear froze solid the instant they touched the dry ice. To add to their misfortunes, about 11 A. M. a strong northwest gale sprang up, with drifting snow, which tended to chill and exhaust them. In a short time they were unable to see any considerable distance. Struggling on, by 3 P. M. they had reached the place where the meat had been abandoned ; but, notwithstanding a very careful and extended search, they were unable to find any traces of it. No signs of their old sledge-tracks could be seen, and from the appearance of the place they inclined to the conclusion that the ice had broken up and moved out since their last trip the preceding autumn. Frederick at this juncture proposed that they return to their sleeping-bag, and resume the search on the morrow. Rice favored remaining, hoping it would soon clear and that the meat would be found. About 4 P. M. Frederick noticed indications of weakness in Rice, and reminded him of their mutual agreement to give timely warning of approaching exhaustion so as to avert disaster. Rice said that if they travelled a little slowly he would soon be rested, but in a short time he showed such signs of exhaustion that Frederick called a halt, and gave him a quantity of spirits of ammonia in rum until some tea could be cooked. After warm food and drink, Frederick in vain urged him to start to avoid freezing. His condition had now become alarming. He was too weak to stand up, and his mind continually reverted to home, relatives, and friends, and to the pleasures of the table in which he intended to indulge on his return. At the same time he appeared to realize his critical condition, and gave detailed instructions regarding his manuscripts and personal effects.
In the meantime Frederick did all possible for him. Although a driving storm of wind and snow, with a temperature of 2° (- 16.7° C.), as shown by our camp records, prevailed, he stripped himself of his temiak (jumper), in which to wrap poor Rice's feet. In his shirt-sleeves, sitting on the sledge, he held his dying comrade in his arms until a quarter of eight, when Rice passed away. Save the last half hour, this time was enlivened, as far as it could be, by cheerful jocoseness and lively remarks, in which Rice and Frederick had always indulged. It must not be thought a mockery, for death had been looked so long in the face that he had no terror for most of the party, and killing the present by distracting the mind had become a second nature to many of us. Frederick's condition may be more readily imagined than described. Starved by slow degrees for months, weakened by his severe and exhausting labors, chilled nearly to numbness, he was alone on an extended icefield with his dead comrade. His sleeping-bag was miles from him, and to reach it he must struggle against a cutting blast filled with drifting snow. Such a march might well daunt the strong and hearty, but to that weak, starving man it must have seemed torture and destruction. For a moment, he said, he thought he must lie down and die; it was the easiest thing to do. But then came to him the recollection of his starving comrades, who awaited his return with eagerness and hope. If he came not, some of those behind, he well knew, would venture forth and risk their lives to learn tidings or bring succor. Thus thinking he turned away from the dead to return to us, the living.
He reached Eskimo Point and his sleeping-bag too weak to open it until he had laid down a while and revived himself by a mixture of ammonia and rum. Recovering strength and vitality by sleep and a little food, he was unwilling to return to us until he had buried Rice, and to cover his comrade with snow and ice he walked ten or twelve miles over the floe.
Frederick's return to us was a marvel of forethought, energy, and endurance. Dragging his sledge as far each march as his feebleness would permit, he took a little food, and getting into his bag drank a spoonful of ammonia and rum, which enabled him to sleep. As soon as he awoke, benumbed and stiff, he immediately got out of his bag, travelled on until he was thoroughly warmed up, then prepared tea and food, and marched on as far as possible. In this way he managed to bring back to us everything hauled out; and, astonishing to say, he turned in Rice's rations, having done this work on the food allotted.
Born in Albany, N. Y., 1844.
A RIDE THROUGH THE VALLEY OF DEATH.
[Marion's Faith. 1886.]
ARKNESS has settled down in the shadowy Wyoming Valley. By the
light of a tiny fire under the bank some twenty forms can be seen stretched upon the sand; they are wounded soldiers. A little distance away are nine others, shrouded in blankets; they are the dead. Huddled in confused and cowering group are a few score horses, many of them sprawled upon the sand motionless ; others occasionally struggle to rise or plunge about in their misery. Crouching among the timber, vigilant but weary, dispersed in big, irregular circle around the beleaguered bivouac, some sixty soldiers are still on the active list. All around them, vigilant and vengeful, lurk the Cheyennes. Every now and then the bark as of a coyote is heard,-a yelping, querulous cry,-and it is answered far across the valley or down the stream. There is no moon; the darkness is intense, though the starlight is clear, and the air so still that the galloping hoofs of the Cheyenne ponies far out on the prairie sound close at hand.
“That's what makes it hard,” says Ray, who is bending over the prostrate form of Captain Wayne. “If it were storming or blowing, or something to deaden the hoof-beats, I could make it easier; but it's the only chance."
The only chance of what ?
When the sun went down upon Wayne's timber citadel, and the final account of stock was taken for the day, it was found that with one fourth of the command, men and horses, killed and wounded there were left not more than three hundred cartridges, all told, to enable some sixty men to hold out until relief could come against an enemy encircling them on every side, and who had only to send over to the neighboring reservation-forty miles away
—and get all the cartridges they wanted. Mr. — would let their friends have them to kill buffalo, though Mr. — and their friends knew there wasn't a buffalo left within four hundred miles.
They could cut through, of course, and race up the valley to find the —th, but they would have to leave the wounded and the dismounted behind—to death by torture; so that ended the matter. Only one thing remained. In some way, by some means, word must be carried to the regiment. The chances were ten to one against the couriers slipping out. Up and down the valley, out on the prairie on both sides of the stream, the Cheyennes kept vigilant watch. They had their hated enemies in a death-grip, and only waited the coming of other warriors and more ammunition to finish themas the Sioux had finished Custer. They knew, though the besieged did not, that, the very evening before, the —th had marched away westward, and were far from their comrades. All they had to do was to prevent any one's escaping to give warning of the condition of things in Wayne's command. All, therefore, were on the alert, and of this there was constant indication. The man or men who made the attempt would have to run the gauntlet. The one remaining scout who had been employed for such work refused the attempt as simply madness. He had lived too long among the Indians to dare it, yet Wayne and Ray and Dana and Hunter, and the whole command, for that matter, knew that some one must try it. Who was it to be?
There was no long discussion. Wayne called the sulking scout a damned coward, which consoled him somewhat, but didn't help matters. Ray had been around the rifle-pits taking observations. Presently he returned, leading Dandy up near the fire-the one sheltered light that was permitted.
“Looks fine as silk, don't he?” he said, smoothing his pet's glossy neck and shoulder, for Ray's groom had no article of religion which took precedence over the duty he owed the lieutenant's horse, and no sooner was the sun down than he had been grooming him as though still in garrison. “Give him all the oats you can steal, Hogan; some of the men must have a hatful left.” Wayne looked up startled. “Ray, I can't let you go!” “ There's no helping it. Some one must go, and who can you send?”
Even there the captain noted the grammatical eccentricity. What was surprising was that even there he made no comment thereon. He was silent. Ray had spoken truth. There was no one whom he could order to risk death in breaking his way out since the scout had said 'twas useless. There were brave men there who would gladly try it had they any skill in such matters, but that was lacking. “If any man in the command could make it,' that man was Ray.” He was cool, daring, keen; he was their best and lightest rider, and no one so well knew the country or better knew the Cheyennes. Wayne even wished that Ray might volunteer. There was only this about it, -the men would lose much of their grit with him away. They swore by him, and felt safe when he was there to lead or encourage. But the matter was settled by Ray himself. He was already stripping for the race.
“ Get those shoes off," he said to the farrier, who came at his bidding; and Dandy wonderingly looked up from the gunny-sack of oats in which he had buried his nozzle. “What on earth could that blacksmith mean by tugging out his shoe-nails?” was his reflection; though, like the philosopher he was, he gave more thought to his oats-an unaccustomed luxury just then.
There seemed nothing to be said by anybody. Wayne rose painfully to his feet. Hunter stood in silence by, and a few men grouped themselves around the little knot of officers. Ray had taken off his belt and was poking out the carbine-cartridges from the loops; there were not over ten. Then he drew the revolver, carefully examined the chambers to see that all were filled; motioned with his hand to those on the ground, saying, quietly, “Pick those up. Y'all may need every one of 'em.” The Blue Grass dialect seemed cropping out the stronger for his preoccupation. “Got any spare Colts ?” he continued, turning to Wayne. “I only want another round.” These he stowed, as he got them, in the smaller loops on the right side of his belt. Then he bent forward to examine Dandy's hoofs again.
“ Smooth them off as well as you can. Get me a little of that sticky mud there, one of you men. There! ram that into every hole and smooth off the surface. Make it look just as much like a pony's as you know how. They can't tell Dandy's tracks from their own then, don't you see?”
Three or four pairs of hands worked assiduously to do his bidding. Still, there was no talking. No one had anything he felt like saying just then.
“Who's got the time ?” he asked. Wayne looked at his watch, bending down over the fire. “Just nine fifteen.” “ All right. I must be off in ten minutes. The moon will be up at eleven.”
Dandy had finished the last of his oats by this time and was gazing contentedly about him. Ever since quite early in the day he had been in hiding down there under the bank. He had received only one trifling clip, though for half an hour at least he had been springing around where the bullets flew thickest. He was even pining for his customary gallop over the springy turf, and wondering why it had been denied him that day.
“Only a blanket and surcingle,” said Ray to his orderly, who was coming up with the heavy saddle and bags. “We're riding to win to-night, Dandy and I, and must travel light.”
He flung aside his scouting-hat, knotted the silk handkerchief he took from his throat, so as to confine the dark hair that came tumbling almost into his eyes, buckled the holster-belt tightly round his waist, looked doubtfully an instant at his spurs, but decided to keep them on. Then he turned to Wayne.
“ A word with you, captain."
The others fell back a short distance, and for a moment the two stood alone speaking in low tones. All else was silent except the feverish moan of some poor fellow lying sorely wounded in the hollow, or the occasional pawing and stir among the horses. In the dim light of the little fire the others stood watching them. They saw that Wayne was talking earnestly, and presently extended his hand, and they heard Ray, somewhat impatiently, say, “Never mind that now," and noted that at first he did not take the hand; but finally they came back to the group and Ray spoke:
“Now, fellows, just listen a minute. I've got to break out on the south side. I know it better. Of course there are no end of Indians out there, but most of the crowd are in the timber above and below. There will be plenty on the watch, and it isn't possible that I can gallop out through them without being heard. Dandy and I have got to sneak for it until we're spotted, or clear of them; then away we go. I hope to work well out towards the bluffs before they catch a glimpse of me, then lie flat and go for all I'm worth to where we left the regiment. Then you bet it won't be long before the old crowd will be coming down just a humping. I'll have 'em here by six o'clock, if, indeed, I don't find them coming ahead to-night. Just you keep up your grit, and we'll do our level best, Dandy and I; won't we, old boy? Now I want to see Dana a minute and the other wounded fellows." And he went and bent down over them, saying a cheery word to each; and rough, suffering men held out feeble hands to take a parting grip, and looked