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more of the confidence of the Choctaws than Holabee. He was consulted in all matters of general interest. The country being large, it was settled by parties or companies, scattered about at different distances. The Sugar-loaf and Cavanole mountains attracted some ; Red river others. A large portion of the Choctaw nation have some notions of agriculture, and schools and churches are encouraged. Religion, however, had little to do with Indian morals or habits. It rather tended to make them deceitful.
The emigrant party to which Black Wolf belonged, arrived at Fort Smith in the fall of 1830; but they had suffered much on the way. Chills-and-fever was so general, that the exempts were looked upon as having a 'charm. Neither age nor sex was spared. The season was wet; and very many paid the debt of nature before they could reach their promised land.
Black Wolf had suffered much from this disease. He was nearly discouraged on his arrival at Fort Smith; for he was too ill to go with his father. He remained, and was employed by Holabee until his health should be restored. Holabee was considered a medicine-man,' from his having a quantity of drugs, and having been quite successful in curing the fever. The intelligence of Black Wolf
, which seemed far above his years, made him quite companionable; he was also a close observer of men and things. Holabee was much in the habit of being up at night, and of frequently walking out in the forest. He was surprised, on one of these occasions, to find Black Wolf following him.
Why, Black Wolf,' said Holabee, “what brings you out at this time of night? You will never get well, if you expose yourself to the dew.'
Yes, I will; I am better now. I came to see if the medicine-man talked to the stars.'
Holabee laughed at the idea, and told him no; that he studied books to learn the use of medicine, and not the stars.
"What makes Holabee walk o' nights ?'
Holabee told him that he had been a soldier ; was used to being up at night; and could not sleep so much as other people did.
• Black Wolf cannot sleep now,' said he ; • he thinks of Water Lily; and he wants to write a letter, and let Holabee send it to the missionary school in Mississippi, to let Water Lily know that he is alive; and when she comes, Holabee will send her to Black Wolf. If she gets sick, Holabee will cure her. If she wants clothes or money, Holabee will give it to her: he will be her father, and Black Wolf will bring him skins.'
It was quite evident that the thoughts of Black Wolf were fully occupied with Water Lily, and that it was his intention to remain until her arrival; as he had made his arrangements to have his cabin built and his corn-land enclosed near his father's. Holabee promised attention to his wishes, and to do all he could to accomplish them.
Misfortune seemed to follow the unfortunate Choctaws. Their hunt. ing parties found the Pawnees and Camanches in the prairies, and many a bloody conflict ensued. Holabee was determined to form a large party, and go out with them. Black Wolf was pleased ; and the party was soon formed. They had scarce been out four weeks, when
the cholera, which had scourged the country, broke out among them. Having no medicine, their party were soon scattered, and more than half of them either died or returned. The small-pox also appeared in the nation; and the letters that were sent back were of the most discour: aging character. The rise of the Sac and Fox Indians on the Upper Mississippi, who had sent the war-belt to all the frontier, was likely to make trouble. One instance will serve 10 show the state of mind on the return of the hunters. One of them found that his father, mother, and all his family had died during his absence, except his brother, who had gone back to Mississippi. It was in vain to tell him of the cholera ; he believed that his brother had murdered them and fled; and he determined to follow him and avenge their death. Confinement alone diverted him from his purpose.
All this was magnified in the reports sent to Mississippi. They reached the missionary station, and poor Water Lily was distressed to find that no party would leave the following spring. The letters sent had never reached her, and Black Wolf had become a prey to disquiet. It was in vain to tell him his letters had not reached her. He had heard that the cholera had been at his old home, and he determined at all hazards to go back, unless Water Lily 'came with the early blossoms.' She did not come. One night sufficed to determine him; and in a light canoe he was off. Holabee regretted his departure; for he knew that his health was feeble, and that he had not half the means necessary for his support. But the Indian with his rifle and ammunition finds his living in the woods.
The coming summer proved more favorable. Large parties of emi. grants arrived, and among them was the Lost Fawn; for such was the new name given to Water Lily. It appeared that she was not aware of the necessity of having her name enrolled as an emigrant; and when she joined the party, on the day they commenced their journey, the agent could tell nothing about her. She would give no account of herself, as she had left without the consent of her parents, or even making her intention known to the missionaries. It was evident that she was a Choctaw ; she spoke the language, and was by the treaty entitled to transportation. The agent could not refuse. Her name was not known; and she, fearing that it might lead to her detention, refused to give it. Hence a name was substituted, and she became known as The Lost Fawn.
On their arrival at Fort Smith, the names of the whole party were looked over, and Holabee became satisfied that Water Lily was not among them. He would have remained thus ignorant, but that the removing-agent happened to tell him that one of his party, Lost Fawn, was not known, and that the name had been given her on the way, she being without any friends, relatives, or acquaintances in the party. Holabee did not mention his suspicion, but determined to see her, which he did the next day; and finding her to answer the description given by Black Wolf, he addressed her in the Choctaw language. After a few inquiries concerning her destination, he found that she was looking for Black Wolf's family: still she did not mention his name. Holabee was now confirmed in his suspicion.
• Water Lily, Black Wolf has gone to the missionary school to find you.'
This was too much for even Indian indifference to conceal, and for once she was surprised.
• Black Wolf will find Water Lily only where she said she would be. Her tongue is not forked.'
Holabee then told her of Black Wolf's illness, his uneasiness, and his final departure; that he was Black Wolf's friend, and would pro. tect her until he returned, which would be as soon as he had found she had left. Water Lily looked very thoughtful; at last she said :
• No one knows what has become of Water Lily; no one can tell him. He will not know how nor where to find her. He was sick; he may be dead. He did come to us on the trail. How can I wait here? I must go back and find him.'
abee told her ere were many trails; that Black Wolf had not taken the one by which they came; that she could not tell what one he had gone on, or on which he would return, and that they might pass each other again ; that if she would go with Holabee to the agency, and assist in the new school, he would write letters to Black Wolf, which would bring him back with the party that was to come in the fall. To this she reluctantly consented; but hearing subsequently that Black Wolf had a cabin and corn-ground near the Sugar-loaf Mountain, she went there. Finding it unoccupied, she remained and planted corn, and awaited his return. Small parties were coming in daily, but nothing was heard of Black Wolf.
Time wore away, and the fall parties came; but nothing was yet heard of him. At length some scholars came from the missionary school, and Holabee learned that Black Wolf had been there, and finding that Water Lily had run off in the night, had sought her all over the nation, but could learn nothing of her. He believed that she had perished in attempting to reach him; which so affected him, that the Indians believed him to be crazy: Part of this information was sent to the Lost Fawn, and she come forth with to Fort Smith, determined to follow him. But Holabee assured her that she would miss him, and that they would never meet unless one remained. She at last consented to go back to Black Wolf's cabin, and remain there until he arrived, or until the blossoms came again.
A long and tedious winter passed, and nothing more was heard from Black Wolf. The early spring had scarce commenced, when Holabee was roused in the night by hearing his name called aloud. His dogs were barking at some stranger's approach. He heard his name once more, accompanied with, · Black Wolf has come again!' He called in the dogs, and invited Black Wolf to come in. But what was his astonishment! The change that had taken place in Black Wolf had left scarce a trace of his former appearance. Haggard, emaciated almost to a skeleton, the young Indian looked like an old worn-out man. But when he learned that Water Lily awaited him at his cabin, he washed the black paint from his face; his eye lighted up, and he seemed once more himself. He had mourned her dead ; and according to the Indian custom, had blackened his face and hands. He could scarcely be pre
vailed upon to lie down; and not until Holabee agreed to take horses and start the next morning, did he consent to sleep.
The eastern horizon had scarcely been touched by the gray of morning, before Black Wolf was up; and as soon as they could kindle a fire, he made ready their breakfast. The sun had not yet peeped out upon them, when they were on the road. Two days of fast riding were before them; and Holabee had hard work to make his companion ride at a gait that would allow the horses to hold out; and when they arrived within a mile of the cabin, to make him tarry until Holabee could see Lost Fawn, and tell her that Black Wolf was safe, and would soon be with her. She had just recovered from her surprise, when a sharp yell fell on their ears, and Black Wolf, with his horse at full speed, was approaching. Lost Fawn ran to meet him: he threw himself from his horse, and the next moment found them locked in each other's arms. Not a word was uttered ; both were too full to speak : there eyes met again, and again they embraced. They then approached the cabin,
extending a hand to Holabee ; Black Wolf saying in English, *Our friend." "Yes,' responded Lost Fawn.
They were no sooner seated, than Black Wolf produced the half of the broken stick. Lost Fawn, by a string around her neck, drew forth from her bosom a little bag, and taking from it the other half of the stick, she placed them both in the bag together. Black Wolf then kindled a fire, in which Lost Fawn placed the bag and sticks together. When they were consumed, they once more enbraced. They were man and wife; the parted sticks could never more be separated. Such was the simple but impressive ceremony performed in the presence of the Great Spirit, to whom alone the Indian looks for approval. Lost Fawn, observing that it was not fully understood by Holabee, brought a prayerbook, opened it at the marriage ceremony, and requested him to read it for them, saying: “We will now do as the missionaries taught us.' They stood up while Holabee read it aloud, each making the required answers: Black Wolf adding to the question, • Do you take this woman for your wedded wife ?' Yes; her, and her only.'
No allusion had been made to Black Wolf's parents, who were residing quite near them. Holabee suggested that he would go and let them know of Black Wolf's return. Both lovers objected, saying: • We will see them soon ; but you must remain. We do not want to see any others for a few days: we will hunt; and when they come, we will eat together.' Lost Fawn then busied herself with preparing them some food. Black Wolf took the horses, tied them near the cabin, and brought them provender. It was easy to see that Black Wolf's friends had done much to get around his cabin the little that Indian habits require. The necessaries of life are few; and human happiness is proportionably lessened as it acquires ideas of luxury. If ever true happiness dawned on man, it was then. Their every wish had been to meet again.
After two days' successful hunting, they made known to their friends that the cabin had its tenants. It was a happy meeting; and when they separated, Holabee proposed to leave, but Black Wolf would not con
sent; "himself and Lost Fawn would return with him to Fort Smith, to get such articles as their new home required.'
Their return to the fort gave Holabee an opportunity of seeing how strongly Indians are attached to their customs. This couple, who had shown themselves attached by the warmest affection, rode for two days without exchanging scarce a word; Lost Fawn keeping her horse directly behind the one on which her husband rode, with all the steadiness of an ancient matron. When they had procured their few articles, and rested one night in Holabee's lodge, they left for their own, but not without again evincing their warmest gratitude for the interest he had taken in their behalf. Some three months afterward, Holabee received a full hunting-suit, elaborately ornamented by the hands of the Lost Fawn, together with a letter from Black Wolf, saying that they were now enjoying all of earthly happiness to which they had ever aspired. ROPER