Roberts, Brigham Henry, The Autobiography of B. H. Roberts, ed. by Gary James Bergera (Salt Lake City, Utah: Signature Books, 1990), 21-43.
Solitary Indians sometimes appeared in the camps…, and part of the instructions of not following behind the train or preceding it were issued as a precaution of safety against Indians and their likelihood of attacking from the front or the rear of the march. In spite of all instructions, some children and even adults disregarded these injunctions. Sometimes wild fruit was to be had along the banks of streams flowing into the La Platte.
On one occasion, just how many days out is not remembered, I and a boy about my own age had become interested in some ripening yellow currants along one of the banks of the stream and lingered until the train had passed over a distant hill. Before we realized it, we were breaking camp regulations, but still we lingered to fill our hats with the luscious currants we had discovered. The caps at last filled, we started to catch the train and were further behind it than we realized. Coming to the summit of a swale in which the wagon road passed, we saw to our horror three Indians on horse-back just beginning to come up out of the swale and along the road. Our contact with the Indians about the Wyoming encampment had not been sufficient to do away with the fear in which the red men were held by us, and it could be well imagined that the hair on our heads raised as we saw an inevitable meeting with these savages. Nevertheless, we moved on to the right and the other to the left with the hope that we could go around these Indians, but nothing doing. As soon as we separated to go around, the Indians also separated—the one to the right, the other to the left, and the third straight forward. There was trembling and fear that we were going to be captured. Many a time Captain Chipman had warned us of the possibility of such a thing, and indeed it was something that had happened in previous years along this route, that white children were captured from the trains and carried away. Some returned by ransom and some never returned. It was, therefore, with magnificent terror that we kept on slowly towards these Indians whose faces remained immobile and solemn with no indication of friendliness given out at all.
I approached my savage knowing not what to do, but as I reached about the head of the horse, I gave one wild yell, the Scotch cap full of currants was dropped, and I made a wild dash to get by –and did—whereupon there was a peal of laughter from the three Indians. They say Indians never laugh, but I learned differently. As the race for the train continued with an occasional glance over the shoulder to see what the Indians were doing, I saw they were bending double over their horses with their screams of laughter. Finally we saw just over the swale of the prairie the last wagon of our train. The running continued until each of us had found his proper place beside the wagon to which we he was assigned. The fright was thought of for several days at least by strict adherence to camp rules about staying with your wagon.