Tuesday, 26 March 2013


We traveled
about ten miles that evening before we reached the place they resided.
They were then living at a sugar camp, where they had made sugar that
spring, on the west bank of the Wabash, about ten miles below the old
Kickapoos' trading town, opposite to the Weawes town. We arrived at
their sugar camp about two hours in the night. They then gave me to an
old Kickapoo chief, who was the father of the Indian that carried the
gun, and the squaw, and the father-in-law of the funny Indian. The old
chief soon began to inquire of me where I lived, and where the Indians
caught me. I told him. He then asked me if they did not kill an Indian
when they took me prisoner. I told him no, there was no body with me but
one man and he had no gun. He then asked me again, if the Indians did
not kill one of their own men when they took me. I told him I did not
know; the captain told me they did, but I did not see them kill him. The
old chief then told me that it was true, they did kill him, and said he
was a bad Indian, he wanted to kill me. By this time the young squaw,
the daughter of the old chief, whom I traveled in company with that
evening, had prepared a good supper for me; it was hominy beat in a
mortar, as white and as handsome as I ever saw, and well cooked; she
fried some dried meat, pounded very fine in a mortar, in oil, then
sprinkled sugar very plentifully over it. I ate very hearty; indeed, it
was all very good and well cooked. When I was done eating, the old
chief told me to eat more. I told him I had eat enough. He said no, if I
did not eat more I could not live. Then the young squaw handed me a
tincupful of water, sweetened with sugar. It relished very well. Then
the old chief began to make further inquiries. He asked me if I had a
wife and family. I told him I had a wife and three children. The old
chief then appeared to be very sorry for my misfortune, and told me that
I was among good Indians, I need not fear, they would not hurt me, and
after awhile I should go home to my family; that I should go down the
Wabash to Opost, from there down to the Ohio, then down the Ohio, and
then up the Mississippi to Kaskaskia. We sat up until almost midnight;
the old chief appeared very friendly indeed. The young squaw had
prepared a very good bed for me, with bearskins and blankets. I laid
down and slept very comfortably that night. It appeared as though I had
got into another world, after being confined and tied down with so many
ropes and the loss of sleep nine nights. I remained in bed pretty late
next morning. I felt quite easy in mind, but my wrists and legs pained
me very much and felt very sore. The young squaw had her breakfast
prepared and I eat very hearty. When breakfast was over this funny
Indian came over and took me to his cabin, about forty yards from the
old chief's. There were none living at that place then but the old
chief, his wife and daughter. They lived by themselves in one cabin and
the old chief's son and son-in-law and their wives in another cabin, and
a widow squaw, the old chief's daughter, lived by herself in a cabin
adjoining her brother and brother-in-law. None of them had any children
but the old chief. A few minutes after I went into this funny Indian's
cabin he asked me if I wanted to shave. I told him yes, my beard was
very long. He then got a razor and gave it to me. It was a very good
one. I told him it wanted strapping. He went and brought his shot-pouch
strap. He held one end and I the other end. I gave the razor a few
passes on the strap, and found the razor to be a very good one. By this
time the old chief's young squaw had come over; she immediately prepared
some hot water for me to shave, and brought it in a tincup and gave it
to me, and a piece of very good shaving soap. By the time I was done
shaving the young squaw had prepared some clean water in a pewter basin
for me to wash, and a cloth to wipe my hands and face. She then told me
to sit down on a bench; I did so. She got two very good combs, a coarse
and a fine one. It was then the fashion to wear long hair; my hair was
very long and very thick and very much matted and tangled; I traveled
without my hat or anything else on my head; that was the tenth day it
had not been combed. She combed out my hair very tenderly, and then took
the fine one and combed and looked over my head nearly one hour. She
then went to a trunk and got a ribbon and queued my hair very nicely.
The old chief's son then gave me a very good regimental blue cloth coat,
faced with yellow buff-colored cloth. The son-in-law gave me a very good
beaver macaroni hat. These they had taken from some officers they had
killed. Then the widow squaw took me into her cabin and gave me a new
ruffled shirt and a very good blanket. They told me to put them on; I
did so. When I had got my fine dress on, the funny Indian told me to
walk across the floor. I knew they wanted to have a little fun. I put my
arms akimbo with my hands on my hips, and walked with a very proud air
three or four times backwards and forwards across the floor. The funny
Indian said in Indian that I was a very handsome man and a big captain.
I then sat down, and they viewed me very much, and said I had a very
handsome leg and thigh, and began to tell how fast I ran when the
Indians caught me, and showed how I ran--like a bird flying. They
appeared to be very well pleased with me, and I felt as comfortable as
the nature of the case would admit of.

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