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THE TALE OF THE WEE BROWN BOX
ND so one day a fairy came—for who but a fairy brings
With hedges trimmed to a proper line,-
Allowed to enter there !-·
Guarding the entrance stair."
THE TALE OF THE WEE BROWN BOX
HEN morning came, the little maid woke with feelings akin to awe,
But she took up the box and made her rounds, for the word of a fairy was law.
Her hedges were trimmed to a proper line,-
Ran reckless riot there !-
Guarded the entrance stair!
By ORVILLE W. MOSHER, JR.
The story I am about to tell is of Indians, a like coyotes," as Grandma Greenborough exbattle and hidden treasure. The battle and the pressed it. They carried with them the bodies Indians are real, and as for the treasure—that of their own dead and a great mass of plunder may be real, too, for all I know, and some of taken from the Chippewas. the things that I tell about did happen and Why the Sioux did not stop to massacre the others might have happened.
few whites crouched fearfully in the two As long as there are boys in New Richmond, homes set alone on the prairie, it is hard to St. Croix County, Wisconsin, they will tell the say, but they did not; and that night, when the story of the great Find to succeeding genera moon came out and lit up the wide, level plain, tions of boys, and they, in turn, will
the men of the family loaded their wives and again to other generations as long as there are children into their wagons and hurried away boys in New Richmond; and I reckon that will to Fort Snelling, near Minneapolis, to be under be a long time, judging from the large crop of the protection of the United States soldiers. boys there now. You see, things just like this There they stayed through the long, terrible, don't happen every day in the week, and, when anxious weeks, during which each day brought they do come, they simply stagger the imagina news of the massacre of settlers and destruction, and I am going to tell it to you all so that tion of emigrant trains, until the Sioux were you can see for yourself. But first I must at last corralled on their reservation and it begin a long way back.
was safe to return.
Nearly seventy years had passed away since IN 1842 two families, working northward from that me, and now we boys sat at the feet of Ohio in their canvas-covered wagons, halted the white-haired, kind old lady, looked out their journey on the shore of what is now over the battle-field, and listened. Instead of called Bass Lake, some eight miles south of prairie and woods dotting the landscape, there New Richmond. They constructed log cabins were well-kept farms. It seemed as though on the prairie and proceeded to wrest a living nothing could have happened there, so calm from the wilderness. Of that little settlement and peaceful it looked. How little did we of people by the lake, only one is now living, think or know that soon the reality of that a white-haired old lady by the name of Green battle would be brought home to us! You borough. We boys used to gather on her back can't always tell—a mighty quiet time may porch after she had supplied our internal contain within it the seeds of genuine excitecravings with a plentiful supply of ginger ment, for Jimmy Warrick—or, to be mo cookies, and then she would tell us about a exact and to give him the name read out at the battle that took place between the Chippewas Sunday-school, James Montgomery Warrick, and Sioux, right over there where her field of Jr.—was there. He sat there and listened to corn was waving in the breeze. She told how Grandma Greenborough's stories and tucked she, as a frightened little girl, peered between away dozens of perfectly good cookies. He the logs of the cabin garret late one afternoon was just the same sort of boy as any of the and saw a band of Chippewas, some seventy rest of us; but he had an imagination that his in number, sorely pressed, plunge their pant mother said was like a "house afire," and that ing ponies into the lake from the opposite imagination ran to Indians. He was fond of shore and swim them for a landing near her Indians. He collected “Injun” arrow-heads house. I remember she said some of the In and chummed with every Indian or half-breed dians hung by their horses' tails and let the who stuck his nose into New Richmond. He horses pull them through the water. She told was so good at shooting with the bow and how, almost immediately following them, there arrows that his Indian friends had made him appeared a band of some two hundred Sioux, that he could kill squirrels and rabbits with on war ponies, pursuing them.
them, and sometimes shot the glass insulators The Chippewas, their horses too exhausted of the telegraph-poles when the railroad men to run farther, turned to fight in the unequal were n't looking. I was a little younger than match and were killed to the last man. And Warrick, but I was in his “gang,” and he let then the Sioux stripped the bodies of the slain me go with him once in a while to hunt arrowand all rode away "yip-yipping, and barking points or cornelians, so I know all about him
If you want to see some real Indians, come out and visit your aunt and me during fair week. We are going to let them kill a few beeves in the oldfashioned way-riding bareback, one rawhide strand held in their teeth to guide the horse, and bow and arrows to kill the beeves with. I will have Red Horse meet you at the Lame Deer Station and drive you over to the agency.
Did Jimmy want to go! Did he? Well, would n't you?
So we all said good-by to him as he went away on the train, carrying his bow and arrows, and some colored handkerchiefs and gewgaws that he said he was going to trade. My, he looked happy!
We most awfully lonesome after Jimmy had gone, because he was always stirring up something new, and all we did was just go swimming and wish he would hurry up and come back and tell us all about it. It was two whole months before he came back; and when he did, my, but he was loaded down with curios! He had a whole Indian suitbeaded vest, feathers, leggings, and all. We boys just looked up to him; and if he put on a few airs, we did n't mind, because anybody who had been chumming around with chiefs has a right to put on airs. He would talk about Charging Eagle, Wahitika, and Waupoose just as though he had known them for years. We boys stood around and listened with our mouths open. But most of all Jimmy talked about his friend Powless, the son of one of the Santee Sioux chiefs there, and Jimmy hinted at a visit and spoke mysteriously about something big that Powless knew. How we boys wished we could see him and tag along with him and Jimmy when they went exploring! But Jimmy said that it was something mighty important, and only they two should go together.
I was with Jimmy when he came—Powless, I mean.
The boys of New Richmond know where Honey Hole and Fox Hole are, on Willow River, where we all used to go swimming. The river takes a wide bend down below Wearses, and flows smoothly. on for about a mile, where it is a little broken by rocks and the bank on the right-hand side rises tall and steep. We boys liked to roll rocks down the sides and hear them splash. Beyond this, the forest thickens and boys don't go there so much, because it is marshy. Along the banks of the river are the lower fringes of the forest that, following these shores, sweeps northward to the great woods of Northern Wisconsin, with all their mysteries of lake and stream. As I was saying, the boys did n't go much beyond the high cliffs; for it was marshy and
the willows lay thick and close. But Jimmy and I went there, and we knew where a break in the cliff, the entrance covered with brush, led to a small cañon where the water had washed, and there we would set up targets and shoot and cook our dinner sometimes. Nobody but just us two knew the place. We never told anybody for fear the East Enders would jump it; and I guess you know that would mean war between the east and west ends of town, sure enough.
About a month after Jimmy got back from his trip to his uncle, Jimmy and I were in there and were getting a fire ready and stopping once in a while to shoot an arrow through a barrel-hoop that we would roll across the ground, when, from somewhere, stone dropped at our feet.
“That did n't roll down the cliff, did it?” asked Jimmy.
"I dunno," said I; "it might have; nobody knows this place; it must have just got loose and rolled down.”
We did n't say anything more about it, thinking it was nothing; but about five minutes later another stone landed where the first one had fallen, and Jimmy said, “I 'm going to see about this.” And he slipped through the brush. A half-hour later he came back, saying he could n't find anybody, but he was sure some one was around, for stones had dropped near him and he had heard some one calling like a screech-owl behind him. He had n't more than said this when from behind a rock, not ten feet from us, stepped an Indian boy.
"Powless !” yelled Jimmy, as he sprang toward his friend.
"How, how," said Powless, making a sign across Jimmy's right arm. My, were n't my. eyes just sticking out, though! for he was dressed all up in sure-enough Indian clothes, hair tied with strips of fur and two feathers, and moccasins and fringed leggings and everything.
Jimmy and Powless talked together for a moment, making signs with their hands, and then Jimmy came to me and said: "Powless and me are going into the woods now; you go home and don't tell anybody. Promise, ‘Cross your heart I hope to die.''
So I said, “Cross my heart I hope to die,” and then I went home and did n't say a thing. I hated like the dickens to go home; but I knew if I tried to tag along, they 'd run away from me and Jimmy would n't let me go with him again—I guess you know what that would
The first thing we knew anything big had