The Ox Team; Or, The Old Oregon Trail, 1852-1906: An Account of the Author's Trip Across the Plains, from the Missouri River to Puget Sound, at the Age of Twenty-two, with an Ox and Cow Team in 1852, and of His Return with an Ox Team in the Year 1906, at the Age of Seventy-six ...
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Page 125 - Let music swell the breeze, And ring from all the trees Sweet freedom's song! Let mortal tongues awake; Let all that breathe partake; Let rocks their silence break, The sound prolong! 4 Our fathers...
Page 54 - It is four o'clock AM; the sentinels on duty have discharged their rifles— the signal that the hours of sleep are over; and every wagon and tent is pouring forth its night tenants, and slow-kindling smokes begin largely to rise and float away on the morning air.
Page 59 - And we too must leave it, hasten to the front, and note the proceedings, for the sun is now getting low in the west, and at length the pains-taking pilot is standing ready to conduct the train in the circle which he has previously measured and marked out, which is to form the invariable fortification for the night. The leading wagons follow him so nearly around the circle that but a wagon length separates them.
Page 57 - ... travel of the wagons. Today, the ground being favorable, little time has been lost in preparing the road, so that he and his pioneers are at the nooning place an hour in advance of the wagons, which time is spent in preparing convenient watering places for the animals and digging little wells near the bank of the Platte. As the teams are not unyoked, but simply turned loose from the wagons, a corral is not formed at noon, but the wagons are drawn up in columns, four abreast, the leading wagon...
Page 55 - ... corral to be yoked. The corral is a circle one hundred yards deep, formed with wagons connected strongly with each other; the wagon in the rear being connected with the wagon in front by its tongue and ox chains. It is a strong barrier that the most vicious ox cannot break, and in case of an attack of the Sioux would be no contemptible intrenchment.
Page 54 - The herders pass the extreme verge and carefully examine for trails beyond, to see that none of the animals have strayed or been stolen during the night. This morning no trails lead beyond the outside animals in sight, and by five o'clock the herders begin to contract the great moving circle, and the well-trained animals move slowly towards camp, clipping here and there a thistle or a tempting bunch of grass on the way. In about an hour five thousand animals are close up to the encampment, and the...
Page 149 - Here, not unmindful of the custom of early travellers and explorers in our country, I engraved on this rock of the Far West a symbol of the Christian faith. Among the thickly inscribed names, I made on the hard granite the impression of a large cross, which I covered with a black preparation of India rubber, well calculated to resist...
Page 56 - Fortunately every one has been found and every teamster is at his post. The clear notes of a trumpet sound in the front ; the pilot and his guards mount their horses ; the leading divisions of the wagons move out of the encampment and take up the line of march ; the rest fall into their places with the precision of clockwork, until the spot so lately full of life sinks back into that solitude that seems to reign over the broad plain and rushing river as the caravan draws its lazy length toward the...
Page 55 - It is within ten minutes of seven; the corral, but now a strong barricade, is everywhere broken, the teams being attached to the wagons. The women and children have taken their places in them. The pilot (a borderer who has passed his life on the verge of civilization and has been chosen to the post of leader from his knowledge of the savage and his experience in travel through roadless wastes) stands ready in the midst of his pioneers and aids to mount and lead the way.