Transcript

Transcript for Hickman, William A., Brigham's Destroying Angel (New York: George A. Crofutt, 1872), 52-55

I started before day to our camp across the Missouri River, and that day got word from Orson Hyde to roll out with some California train at once, for h–ll was popping about those Indians that were killed on a United States reserve. We rolled out that evening twelve miles, and fell in with Col. Cornwall's train, bound for the California gold mines, from Illinois, who willingly accepted our company. I found him a gentleman; we had a good time on the plains, and a big dance with the Mormon girls when we reached Salt Lake. He was an old Indian fighter; had commanded an expedition against the well known warrior Black Hawk, in '32, and had slain many of them. The Colonel went on to California that Fall. We got into Salt Lake August 20th, '49. The Colonel has made several trips across the plains since, taking stock to California. He always called and spent a few days with me, and we never failed to have a good time.

We found plenty of game on the plains, such as buffalo and antelope. I was appointed one of the hunters for the company, which thing I enjoyed very much. I got laughed at one day for giving a jack rabbit a chase, thinking it was a young antelope, it having started out from a band of them. It was the first one I had ever seen, and I thought it very strange that the young ones could outrun the grown ones.

Some few days after this another hunter and myself left the train for a hunt, and were to meet it at night. We traveled ten or fifteen miles before we found any buffalo. We killed one, a fine fat cow, took on our horses about one hundred pounds each, and started for camp. We had not traveled more than three miles when we saw some forty or fifty Indians, to all appearances trying to get in ahead of us. We guessed their intention, cut our meat loose, and lit out for camp, at least fifteen miles off. We were far back in the sand hills, a dreary looking place. The Indians all held up but six, who put their ponies down to their best. We outrun them for awhile, and then held our own for awhile, when my friend's horse, although a good one, was failing. I had a nail-driver, very swift, and no end to his bottom. I fell back as though my horse had failed. Five of the six halted their gait, and one came at full speed for me. I waited until the Indian was within two hundred yards of me, ran my horse around a mound and dismounted. I was not more than ready for him when he came in sight, not more than fifty steps off: I turned my old yauger loose, and he fell, holding his horse by the bridle. I mounted, rode out and saw the other Indians were in a short distance. I wanted the pony (he was pretty, and speckled as a bird), but was in too much of a hurry to get him. I started for my comrade, who was by this time a mile ahead. My horse carried me off at almost lightning speed. I kept a good lookout behind, but they came no farther than where I shot the Indian. This was a caution for us not to be caught so far from home, which caution we accepted of for the balance of the trip.

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