24- Boise

Father was anxious to reach Boise. We had one team now that we did not need. Of course the horse feed had been used long since, and as we had used our provisions, the loads had slowly grown lighter.

When at last we reached the town the sight of houses, people, and so many new faces was a real event to us. Boise was a mining town, a town where Father was not anxious to keep his family long. I heard him saying so when a group of miners wanted him to go back along the trail to look for a mine.

Near the Big Sandy, Father had broken from a ledge some pieces of ore and dropped them into his pocket. He showed them to some miners and immediately the men were interested. Would he go back and show them the place? It would pay him well. They argued long but Father would not consider leaving us in Boise. As well as he could he described the place where he had found the ore. I remember the party of young men who had joined the train the evening we did; nearly all went back to look for gold. Later we heard of a rich mine located in that neighborhood and wondered if Father had missed a fortune by not going back. As we also heard of groups of miners being killed by the Indians, we did not waste much time in regrets.

Many of our party left us in Boise, some to stay there, others to scatter far. From that point on, people continually dropped out of the train. Not all, like us, were seeking the Pacific.

Father sold three horses and a wagon at Boise and bought a riding pony. We now had two wagons, one of them drawn by three horses, which Win and Carrie took turns at driving. It was fun to have the pony to ride, and as Florence's father allowed her to ride one of his horses sometimes, we felt we had riches. As we were getting out of the country, too, where trouble might be expected from the Indians, when our turns with the horses came we often left the train far behind.

Once when we were riding ahead, I saw something shining in the road. I slid from my horse to pick it up. It was a little polished, sharp-pointed weapon, a Spanish stiletto, Father said when we rode back to show it to the others and to find out what it was. Of course they laughed at me as usual for seeing everything, but what would be the use of taking a trip like that and not keep one's eyes open? My collection had to be sorted from time to time and many things discarded. There were so many strange and interesting things to be picked up. The men in the train were more interested than I, however, in the vicious-looking little stiletto.

On all the hundreds of miles we had traveled from Iowa, there had not been in our train one real accident. The nearest had been the man who was stuck in the mud at the foot of the Bannock Mountains. One day, however, we passed a spot at the foot of a hill where on a turn the road sloped sideways. The place was not bad at all; the leading wagons passed it almost without notice. yet when one man made the turn, he rolled his wagon over, completely. Bottom side up it lay, his family underneath.

Much frightened, others ran to his assistance. The wagon was righted and the family picked up, entirely unhurt. When the team was untangled they went on quite as well off as before.

While traveling through the Blue Mountains we came upon a never-to-be- forgotten treat. Ripe huckleberries grew in profusion. Never before did fruit taste so good. For nearly four months we had eaten no fresh fruit and now to find those berries growing all about us was something to be remembered. Fresh raw berries, sauce, pies - we could not eat enough to satisfy our craving.

I remember seeing one man take his first bite of huckleberry pie. He made a grand leap from his seat on the ground, cracked his heels together and shouted, "Dipend alive! If I don't be jumped up if that ain't good pie!" One would have to be an emigrant to know how good it was.

25: Indian Ways - Return to Index