Transcript

Transcript for Barzee, Reuben Woodard, [Diary], in Gwendolyn E. Pickens, ed. and comp., Sons of God [1984], 183-89

we arived at Flarence [Florence] and found Wm Walker the Captain of a wagon train to freight emegraints goods to to Salt Lake City, I asked him if he wanted to hire any teamsters, yes he said he would hire us[.] in this way one of us could hurd oxen and the other could make oxyoaks for our bord and bed, now this included one month: now this was a hard proposition, as I knew our payment could not stand up through and it looked like a hard jumpeing place, especialy for two young men to start off on a long journey with shaby clothes and hard work shoes and no money for our work to get more and I only had 60ct, and I thought that was no good, and no work to be had only the job we had left and I thought they would not except of our coming back for it made tham mad when we quit work, now it was a ground hog case and we went to wrk for nothing only our board and bench and a hired one at that, and as I was finishing up the last yoak, I was in deep meditation as we were to start on the wild desert plains in three days, and our rayment in rather poor condition and our dear mothers promis to us and only 60cts in myvalease[.] I here repeat Dear Mothers words go in the Name of the Lord and you shall not want for any thing, now this beeing on my mind as well as well as desalation: something startled me and I jumped up before I knew it, but I found out when I came down on the yoak again, I turned my head around and thare was a squaw behind me with a five dollar bill, of which she said, she wanted 60 cts for it, in her own language, I did not know one word of her language but the interpretation came to me as natural as if she had spoke my own language, and soon I found out she was in the same box as I was, I would talk my language and she would speak hers and both understand each other, I told her we would go to the bank and if it was good I would give her the 60cts, in silver for it; she said all rite we went and bouth went in I handed the bill to the banker to find out if it was good or not, but banker was searching the book, and one man asked me if I was going to pay her full face for it I said I was going to pay her what she wanted for it, well he said he wouldent give full face for it, so they commenced on man offered her 1.50 another offord 2.00 another 2.50 and went on as high as 4.00 for it, but she couldnot under stand them atall but I got awful uneasy for fear she would, finely the banker said if it was a counter fit bill it was the best he ever saw and he would not be a fraid of it: and handed it back to me, and I said to the sqaw come lets go, she answered all rite, when we got down to the house, I took the 60cts out the valease and handed it to her and she thanked me, and I thanked her in return, now while we ware in the bank I got awful uneasy for fear some one would make her under stand, but it was not to be so: now I went to the store and bought a good sute of clothes apiece and a hat for each and each a good pair of shoes and 2 pair of wool socks two silk handerchiefs, and each 2 shirts and some other little items that I thought maby we might need, then I handed the bill to the merchant, and he gave me back 15cts in change of which I had when I got to Salt Lake City: now merchandise thare was higher thare than they are in the west and every thing I got for Brother and I was intended to be the best for ware, not trashy . You can see our Dear Mothers words did not fail: I now will give the histery of our fun while on the plains, our company was small and of diferent Nationalities: I had the honor to stand camp guard every other night and we got to elkhorn [Elk Horn] our captain gave orders as follows brethren when on guard if anyone approaches camp say, who is thare, who is thare, who is thare, three times and if no answer call them 3 faces in advance and hault, and march them to the captains wagon, and if they refuse the call of order fire of a gun and give the alarm and route the camp, but if they obeyed the command call for the countersign and if they give it them pass: now when we got about three hundred miles on our journey, brother Simpson a norwegian was going out on gard at mid night, and saw brother hartle comeing in who was one of our stock guard, brother brother simpson hollowed out who is thare three times, bang went the gun at him now brother hartle hollowed out, dont shoot me dont shoot me I am brother hartle. this incident was told in the morning, to the whole company, now the captain repeted the rule, over a gain and said he wanted all to remember it: now we had a smart know all in our company of which we all turmeed a cob, and unbeknown to me, he told the captain that I went to sliep [sleep] while on guard, well said the captain how do you know he goes to sleep while on duty, well I know he does, replied the cob or smarty, will you steel [steal] his gun from him when he is asleep while on duty and bring it to me, then I will know he goes to sleep while on guard, and he will be punished for it: they kept all of this from me, but I stood guard every other night, it was not long till his chance was good, and the moon nearly full and the stars shineing brite I saw what I thought was an Indian crawling on me, I said to myself, crall on me dont pan out so here goes[.] I cocked the old brass mounted. . . .and those cocks kicks teruble [terrible] loud when cocking they can be heard for. . . . . . and he heard the gun cocked and he belted out dont shoot me, I said I dont know me, I then gived command arise and three pacies [paces] in advance and huelt [halt], he obeyed like a little man, I then went to him and marched him to captains wagon for free delivery: I knocked on the box and awoke the captain, he said what is it, my prisiner said it is me, the captain took a real hearty laugh and said well as this is his first offense we had better turn him loose, so I then deliberated my prisoner, I had not got on the racket untill when the captain related the chat which I have written, and said this brother was so positive that brother barzee went to sleep on gard he came within a . . . . of a breath of loosing his life, for brother Barzee would not stand for anyone crawling at him in the night and I could not be blamed much for it either. and it was the loud clicking of the lock that saved his life, now after this I want you bretherin to be very carefull for we dont want to loose any of our members on the plain.

after this when we got out about four hundred miles on our journey I was on camp gard and thare arose the hardest rain storm and hardest thunder and lightening that I ever expeareanced in my life, just after dark it got worse it would start from one quarter of the horizon and before it would extinguysh it would break out from another direction and kept it up near all night, and oh the flood, the whole platt[e] bottom looke like the ocean, now I discovered at long distance two objects I first thought coyotties [coyotes] , later on I thought it was two buffalow and still later on I thought it was two horses now as they further approched I concluded it was two personages and soo[n[ I found out it was two large portly indians, now I thought I would ascertain what they ware thare for at that time anight 11 oclock and it a storming so intense hard, I knew I was good for them in any shape or form, now at the cart end of our wagon correll [corral] was a very large tent, and full of people of which those indians was workeing for, I also noticed a little round tent in one corell was empty, now I stept up to a hind wheel of the wagon closest to the tent to assertain what those indians was up to, now as they got clost to this large tent, as large a dog as I ever saw jumped out from the tent and from all appearence would have tore them all to pieces, now I had my hands full to quiot [quiet] the dog, but when I got to this accomplished, I stept up to those red skins and said, what are you heare for, they gobbled away in their language that I knew notheing what they said, then I said I am watching you fellows did you know it, then one put his hand on my shoulder and said good injeon, I then said good injeons come with me I took them to this little round tent and put them in thare and told them if they came out before sun up I would shoot both of them, I started off a few steps and stoped to find out how they liked their new quarters, now they were very uneasy, I went back to assertain what was wrong, they made sing [sign] of the matter, well I knew the watter was deep allover the whole platt bottom, but I told them to come with me, I took them to the wagon of which I drove 5 yoke of oxen I had them take two yoakes each and I took one and filed them up in the tent, and they got on the pile now I told them again if they came out before sun up I would shoot at both of them: then at 12 oclock I awoke the second guard, and told him I had two indians in that little tent and if the indians made any attempt to get away before sun up to shoot them both down like dogs, he said well that is prety tough orders and not like the captains orders. I said captain nothing in this case, I am captain now and you do quot I tell you to do, well he said you will stand all the blame: yes I replied, he then said he was told obey orders, I then went to bed, and it was the rule for anyone on gard the fact of the night should sink till breakfast ready, but all up now early as usial to get ready to start on our journey, and just at sun rise the captain saw those two indians come out of the tent he balled out to the croud, how came those red skins thare no one knew finely he found the second guard and asked him: well all he knew about it was I told him I had two indians thare and if they tride to get away to shoot them down like dogs: now this did not suit the captain a tall, he came to my wagon and pounded on the box and awoke me up, and I said what is wanted, he replied come get up and give an account of your self, I was soon on my feet, and here stood the two indians, now the captain commenced, how come those red skins here, I said they came here at 11 oclock I put them in that little tent with orders if they came out before sun up I would shoot both of them, he said you have done wrong, why didnt you fire of a gun or a revoler or howlow out indians, I replied I have no more talk for you now, I saw it offended him but I didnot ask any odds of him, now when breakfast was ready we gave the indians their breakfast and as soon as they ate, they went rite back in the same direction they came from in the night, now when they got off about 50 yds I said, now captain if you want to talk, I will talk with you, he asked me if I was not afraid to talk to them indians alone, I said I wasnot afraid of anthing, well you done wrong why didnt you fire of a gun or revaler and hollowed indians and awoke the company. had I fired off a gun or revaler and hollowd out indians in those slumbering hours, you would of seen the d--dest shirttail blight you ever dreamed of in your life, and the indians retreeted and we couldnot of captured them, the probibillity is before morning we would not of had any thing to of pulled a wagon with, and more over we have a small company and what kind of harms have we got, the chances are also we might have been all slaughtered off: well he exclaimed I havent thought of that, he then called perticulur attention of the company and said, Brother Barzee has done one of the greatest deeds of any white man that ever crost those desert plains, and with all probability saved our lives, and said to the captain of the guard to arace [erase] my name from of his book and when he wanted me to stand guard he would call on me his self for he could sleep good when I was on guard: now I was only called on twice that, and in the worst looking places between mosouri [Missouri] river and Salt Lake City: But I did not care for that:

now when we reached dry creek it was 11 oclock and thare were buffalo strong further than we could see, from a quarter to a half mile wide, makeing their way for the platt river for drink, they didnt seem to care for our outfit a tall one of them jumped over my tung behind my wheel (oxon) it stampeeded my team so it was a hard job to get them stooped, now we camped thare, and shooteing comensed with all the men except Brother George and I, they kept up shooteing till it got too dark, now early in the morning the game comensed again and kept up till one o clock that day, now in shooteing they only had to shoot from 15 to 20 steps, well we did not get a tast of buffalo meet [meat] yet, in about an hour one more came along passing our camp about four hundred yards from our camp: I told the captain if he would have the brethern to let this buffalo and me alone I would kill the buffalo, now the captain spoke up in the most derisinouois manner he could, and it made me pretty warm[.] I stopped rite there and almost let the job out, then he spake up and said come Brother Barzee I have noticed you and your brother have taken no part in the shooteing atall, now get your gun and try your hand, I dont care if you dont get a smell of buffalow meet, he said why what is the matter what is wrong, yet I replied what is wrong, anyone speak in such an insulting way as you did dont desirve any buffalow meat, well now brother Barzee I did not mean any harm get your gun and try your hand, I then went to my wagon and took out my little squril [squirrel] rifle and he said, here take a big gun that carries a large bullet, I told him I didnot want one of that kind, I prefered a gun that I knew whare the bullet was going, then sturted [started] down the gulch clost to the buffalows trail whare he would come, the banks was 2 or 3 rods deep, and I had to clime on my hands and knees to get up the bank it was so steep, now I intended to shoot about 25 or 30 yds for the buffalo but I made a grand mistake I was loose down the bank than I thought I was, and here came the buffalo within twice the lengeth of my gun from me, now in early days we used to take news-papers, and some of the California traveliers was fietured [featured] out alving in the air after getting wounded and the danger I was in and if i didnot shoot after so many comments I would be a funpouch the rest of the way: through, on the whole I sais here goes, the buffolo fell so hard I thought he jumped at me, so down the bank I went, and runing up the gluch [gulch] I could hear the buffalow behind me every jump I made, and the man at camp yelling and throwing their hats in the air I thought to hurry me up. I ran about three hundred and 75 yards, the men had advanced about 25 yards and the captain spoke up and said, hay hay brother Barzee what are you runing so for, and said the buffalo fell like aheep [a heap] before the gun went off, the captain asked me a question[.] I tride to speak but I found out my breath was gone and could not, so I shook my head and they went on, so I crawled up the bank and I was [saw] the buffalo lying whare he droped, the croud got thare before I did, I saw the captain put his foot on the buffulo and give him kick but the buffalo made no further stir, the captain then cut the buffaloes throat, but didnot bleed, now as many as could get around him began skining, and as soon as I arived they commenced nonsencial joke, well some said if we could run as fast as brother Barzee we could kill all the buffalo in the countery, well I replied, take the whole bunch of you and say nothing about killing, you all cant even run fast enough to scare a lone killing one, now the jokes kept us [up] till the captain had to laugh so hard he had to quit skining, he roaled on the ground and kept on till finly he said brotherin you had better quit, you make it worse for your selves every time, but they kept on joaking and all the rest of the way through our joarney: now when we ware smokeing the meat the captain said, now brethering we have been throwing away our amunition, and we are in a wild indian country and we may need it before we get through, thare fore, I move a man be selected as a hunter for the company and all the rest save their amunition, in case of emergincy all in favor of this make it manefest by the raise of the rite hand, countermand by the same sine if any, the vote was unanimus, the Captain said I will nominate Brother Barzee all in favor of him being the hunter for the company make it manifest by the same sighn, all hands went up again, he further more said that I was priveliged to call on any mane in the train to accompany me at any time that I wanted, he put that to a vote of which was again unanimous I then supplied all in meat from thare on: we arived in Salt Lake City September 1857 at night,

;