Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 86.djvu/244

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

240

THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

PSM V86 D244 Watching the salmon.jpg
Watching for Salmon.

seeds, and had at hand their primitive devices for milling such things. On the other hand, the small quantities of canned stuff found in the cabins and camps were never touched. The Indians seemed to have a peculiar fear of it, perhaps from one or two unfortunate experiences, with canned goods that had spoiled. On at least one occasion there was taken from a cabin a small quantity of flour conspicuously labelled poisoned. No white man would have taken chances with this flour, however hungry.

More than once on such expeditions the Indians were perilously near exposure. Once an excited white man, with a repeating rifle and dogs, trailed them so closely that in crossing a stream they dropped a piece of headgear in their hurry. This headdress, fearfully and wonderfully wrought out of scraps of a dozen different fabrics, is now in our Museum. At the time of this escape the Indians were not seen, though where they had forded the stream the rocks were still wet.

Mere chance on several occasions nearly resulted in discovery for them. A hunter one time, passing along in the winter, noticed a low smoke rising out of a snow-covered thicket across a stream where he knew that no white man would have been. Later on, after the final emergence of the tribe from their obscurity, we found the remains of one of their encampments in this very thicket.

Such is the only actual evidence we have of the life of this tribe for over a generation. The most important change within that period is a shift in their habitat. After the massacre of '65 they lived at various places up and down the stream known as Mill Creek, robbing cabins when driven by famine. After 1885 however no more cabins were robbed along this stream. The Indians were evidently driven out by the in-