Dam Ime Old
The Lives and Adventures of Horse Apple
(With Occasional Outbursts from Two Bear)
Chapter 1 Gettin Grode Up
My daddy heez a ciferin man in the mountins of Tennessy when he up & stole my mamma from her Cherokee famly. Fot like a wilecat she did til Daddy set er free. Littled eether no shes carryin the likes o me. When my daddy larnt he had a son he came & kidnapped me & gave me a name after hizself Horace Apple only Ide be number 3. Soon Mama came & stole me back an thats the way my life wood be a bein took back & forth by the Whites & the Cherokee. Now, my Daddy named me Horace but I swore Horace woodnt stick. Mama she named me 2 Bare coz I woodnt wear a lick. I hated that name Horace that my Daddy gave to me & I hated that name 2 Bare my name in Cherokee. Sos I took the ass out of Hor-ass an Horse I come to be & I covered up my bare ass & came 2 Bear in Cherokee. This also splanes what has come 2 be that I came 2 be feller with a crowd inside o me.
Iz settin here on the porch a tokkin 2 myself. A man can do that ya no when thars morn 1 mind inside o ya. I got ole 2 Bear 2 argya with. Him an his Indin idears. He wuz a sayin it dont nun matter nun when weez borned. Thats what weez talkin about bein borned. He sez it sumthin what White men does. Well last time I looked in the mirra Iz white & cute 2. 2 Bear thinks we look Indin but thar aint nothin Indin lookin bout us ceptin mebe R long har. Got more o a beard most Indins got. Aint nobody gonna feel sorry fer us coz we dont look like no Indin.
My daddy he tolt me wez borned back in ott 2 in Tennessy. When he came thar it was calt Franklin so he tolt me. Said he came thar from Liverpool thats in Engl& 2 worked fer the guvner o Franklin. Daddy had 1 o them English accents & used a lotta big werds. Didnt no whot hez talkin bout mosta the time. Come 2 be somehows the idear fer a state called Franklin fizled & Daddy spent the rest o hez yars clerkin thar in Tenness & North Carelina & later in Sante Looey whar he pert much fell in a tub o shit & came out a smellin reel good.
Daddyz a ornery ol cuss & let Mama keep me most the time whar she lived in a Cherokee village called Ellijay in the Smokys bout half a days walk from Daddys farm. He didnt want no part o nursin & carin after a youngin so he gave her the onner.
I gess wunce I got outa the cradleboard Mama coodnt keep no cloze on me. She always calt me 2 Bare. I think my Cherokee uncle came up with the name 2 make my daddy mad but Daddy didnt pay no never mind. He jes calt me Horace when he wernt a callin me sumthin werse.
Mama didnt give much a never mind to me being bare assed all the time. Indins aint qwite so persnickity bout such things sos best I can recullect I never did war no cloze when Iz at Ellijay even when Iz older cept mebe in winner when it gets coldern a ded cows tit.
My momma tolt me that my Daddy stolt er from er peepel in Ellijay & took er as heez squaw. She sayed that she wuz so mean 2 him that heez afeared 2 go 2 sleep so he finely run er off.
My Daddy made me stay & werk on his farm wunst I came 2 be big enuff 2 foller a plow which wus bout as big as younguns R when they firse start thar schoolin nowadays. We jes planted enuff corn & beans & such fer R own use. Mostly my daddys farm war trees. We had some fine peeches & appels & pars & a few cherry trees. I runned the farm myself coz Daddy was out a clerkin all but Sundy. Mama came & helped me some & I let er take as much o R harvest as I figgered I cood with my Daddy not findin out. White fokes war always a steelin from the Indins so figgered turnabout war far play.
They still are.
& Mama didnt do reel good without a man 2 take care o her. I never new fer sure when my Daddy war comin home neether. Heed stay gone fer days off clerkin & whot not. Ifn he suprized me he yoozly fount me bare assed heed take heez belt 2 me.
Get some cloze on you half breed salvage heed yell. Heed whip my ass with hiz belt til I cood pull my droors up over the target. He even made me keep my har cut short.
He yousta say that bein neked wus sinnin. I wus a sinner cuz I went neked. Wunce I asked im if steelin & a rapin my Mama was sinnin. That was about the furest he ever knocked me. I guess he figgered it warnt a sin. Never did answer me cleer.
My daddy never let me have no schoolin. He sayed Indins warnt smart enuff fer schoolin so I jest werked thar on the farm. Heed let me pass a lot o the winner time with my mama down at Ellijay. Times was a gettin real bad fer the Cherokees.
Ye see the White fokes wanted the Cherokees l&. Theys offerin the Cherokees l& in R Kansus. Sayed the l& in R Kansus were full o deer & beever. Didnt menshun that some onery cusses calt the Osajes felt that l& wuz thars. Some o the men in the tribe went thar huntin & trappin ever yar but most fokes jes wanned 2 stay put whar they wuz.
Them Whites wart 2 happy bout the Cherokee bein good to slaves what got a way from them neether. The Cherokee wood jez give them slaves a peese o land an treet em reel frendly. They sayed we disrupted the slave trade. We figgerd that war 2 dam bad.
Me I warnt a goin nowhar leastways til I got big enuff 2 st& up 2 my Daddy & that wood be some time.
My Daddy hez a reel fine shot 2. We had a hole passel o fine guns in the cabin & enuff powder & ball 2 fite a good size war. Kept em in a cash under the floor bords o the cabin. Always thot mebe my Daddy was a pilfern er sumthin but I never asked. I yousta go with my Daddy & wach him shoot the flintlocks. I wached reel close & I soon larnt jes bout everthin bout them guns.
1 day when Daddy's out clerkin on Sadidy I took a flintlock out 2 shoot my own self. I loded er up & squoze 1 off. When the smoke cleered Iz flat on my bare ass with a God offal pain in my sholder. Dam that hurt. I wated til I cood fill some bigger droors 4 I tryd that agin.
I ges iz probly 8 er 9 when I comenced 2 shootin reglar. It took my Daddy a cupla yar 4 he figgered Iz pilferin hiz powder & ball.
1 day weez a eatin supper & he sayed how long you been a shootin my guns.
Cupla yars I reckun I sayed.
You any good.
Bout good as you I reckun Sir. Thot thatd be a good time 2 be poe lite.
We'll see about that he sayed & got up & lifted up the door 2 the cash. Pick yer peice.
I picked up the squarrel shooter I like shootin best & we set off 2 R target shootin spot.
I didn't outshoot my Daddy that day but he didnt outshoot me neether. Weez a shootin jez bout even.
Yool be 1 hell o a shot 1 day Horace he sayed.
Heez right bout that but 1 day fokes wont be a callin me Horace I thot to myself. I hated that name Horace. He never did seem 2 mine me a shootin hez powder & ball. Never said nuthin bout it. But he never shot agin me agin & never said nuthin bout bein bare assed ner leevin my har long neether. Jez pade no nevermine.
That nex winner while iz at Ellijay a waryer war returnin from R Kansus. Heez tellin real good stories bout huntin & trappin & fiten Osajes.
That warrior had a bow . . . a fine orange wood bow. He had taken it from an Osage warrior that he had killed in battle & scalped. He saw that I liked the bow so he gave it to me. I gave him my squirrel shooter in return.
You gave him my squarrel shooter you crazy Indin. I figgered my daddy wood womp me good when he larnt I lost the rifle. It woodnt be 2 hard 2 figger out id traded it er 2 Bare did ceptin he didnt no baout 2 Bare. Daddy didn no I had a crazy Indin a livin inside o me. He didn no it wus causa him that I went around bare assed & long harred. No sir & I warnt gonna tell eem no time soon.
Iz out a shootin my bow 1 day when I looked up & thar war my Daddy a wachin me.
So that's what happened 2 yer squarrel shooter yoo traded it fer that.
I didnt say nuthin.
He came closer & looked at it. He reeched out hez h& & I h&ed him the bow.
This is byooteeful work. What kind o wood is this.
I didnt no from nuthin what kind o wood it was but I didnt wanna look stupid so I sayed ornj.
No. It aint ornj. Ornj wood is a liter color.
I figgered hez a bluffin so I sayed Osaje oranj. Thats Osaje ornj.
Never heered of it.
Well neether had any 1 else leestwize up til then. Best I can figger that's how that wood got its name cause Daddy took that bow in 2 whar he did heez a clerkin & bragged it up. Yessir he tolt em that wood war calt Osaje ornj. Pert soon everbodys tokken bout Osaje ornj wood fer makin bows & Cherokees bringin the wood back from R Kansus were makin bout as much on Osaje ornj wood as they wuz on beever plews. Best I can tell thats how that wood came 2 be calt Osaje ornj. Yessir thats bout how it happened.
It uz bout that time when the war started agin the British. Iz 2 yung 2 go fite & my Daddy wus 2 British. We both kinda lade low. A lotta Cherokee warriors went 2 fite 4 the Marecans. Cwite a few never came back neether.
It didn't git no better fer nobody after the war. Then 1 night Iz a sleepin on the floor & I heered a horse a comin 2 to the cabin at full gallup. I grabbed my gun. By then Iz a shootin a 50 caliber. My Daddy came a stormin in the cabin.
Get outa here he sayed. Theys a cumin after me. Theyer gonna hang us both. Take whatever yoo can carry o them guns & go 2 yer peepel.
What happened I asked.
They cyused me o steelin from the store.
Daddy took 2 fancy rifles & 2 pistols outa the cash & hi taled it sayin he was a hedden 4 Sante Looey.
Well mama & some o R Cherokee peepel war a sleepin in the woods not fer from the cabin & they heered the ruckus. We all grabbed all o the guns & powder & ball & food we cood tote which jes happened 2 be all o the guns & powder & ball & food thar war in the cabin & we skedaddld 2 Ellijay.
I sneeked back 2 the farm a week er so later & the cabin wuz burnt.
I used all my fingers & toes fer countin my guns. I had exackly 20 flintlock rifles. Top o that I had me 5 flintlock pistols & enuff powder & ball to hold off &y Jacksuns army. At 15 yars o age iz a rich man.
It wuz that winner in18 that my Mama came down with the agyoo & jez never seemed 2 whip it off. The cheefs o the tribe had traded R l& fer some in R Kansus & weez gonna haf to move even with Mama sick & all. I traded 2 rifels & a pistal fer a teem o oxen & a covered waggin & a horse & we set out fer R Kansas.
The ride wuz hard on Mama even tho it wuz sprang time & she didnt last no time a tall. We barryd her long side the trail only bout 50 miles from Ellijay. I wore a blanket at her funral coz I pert much lef my cloze back in Ellijay.
Thar wuz bout a 100 er so fokes in R groop but in all morn a 1000 Cherokee fokes war a movin. We came up on straglers long the trial & I loaded my waggin with all the poor fokes it wood carry. A lotta fokes were barryd long the trail. & weez all flat outa food by time we reeched the Mississip & all thar war wuz 2 small boats 2 take us cross the river. They wernt carryin morn a 100 a day cross the river. Thar wuz a good 300 starvin fokes thar in sight o whar theys a goin.
Id been real smart decidin on oxen 2 pull my waggin sted o horses. Horses aint much fer eatin. Fact White fokes wont eat em a tall. But them oxen side from being a mite chewy tasted reel good. We slottered them oxen rite then & thar & we had us a reglar party. Fokes dried what meat wuz left over which warnt much & the boats took fokes cross the Mississip in thar own time without nobdy a starvin 2 deth.
Me I cokked the floor & sides o my waggin turnt her round backwards with tung a draggin & roed my wagon cross the mity Mississip. I admit my arms got a mite tard & it took morn a few strong bakd Indins 2 drag the waggin up the muddy bank on tuther side but thar I wuz in R Kansus. Yessiree.
1 o the Cherokee leeders wuz 1 o the smartest fellers I ever came 2 no & came 2 be my best frend. Heez named Sequoya. He owned cwite a few horses cludin 2 mules & 2 big ol draft horses. With his horses & my waggin me & Sequoya soon set out to do some beever trappin. He had nuff traps fer us both & he sayed he cood larn me how 2 trap. He liked the idear o trappin with a feller that kep 18 loaded rifles at the ready sense we war gona be a dooin R trappin in Osaje cuntry er at leest cuntry them Osajes thot wuz thars.
The goin wuz reel slo cause that part o R Kansus wuz chock full o hardwood trees. We widend a horse trail as we made R way up the R Kansus River 2 beever cuntry. We warnt the first 2 get 2 beever cuntry & it wuz a good thing cuz 4 Cherokee fellers got ther scalps lifted by Osajes 4 tuthers run em off.
I tied all my rifles on 2 pack mules & me & Sequoya went out 2 set traps. I jez wached that day reel curius.
We went back the nex day 2 culleck the beever & sure nuff he had trapped 6. The traps had grabbed the little fellers on the leg & tryin 2 get away they drownded. I dint like this even a little bit speshly when he tolt me the furs were goin 2 make fancy hats fer White men.
It was me that got upset about that, not you.
It upset me 2. I gess I no when I get upset. I tolt Sequoya that I didnt want no part o beever trappin & that wuz that.
I wuz curius anyhow bout whot happend 2 my Daddy sos thot Id hed up fer Sante Looey & see if he made it thar. Me & Sequoya made us a deal whar I got 2 mules & 2 horses 4 my waggin.
Then he sayed you no yool haf 2 war cloze up in Sante Looey.
Why for I asked eem.
White fokes. White fokes say you shood war cloze.
I aint got no cloze. Left em back in Tennessy coz theys war out anyhow.
I will give yoo sum cloze. Yoo R my frend & I wood be onnerd 2 give yoo sum cloze.
I wuz reel tuched.
He commenced 2 pull the perttiest elk hide war shirt yoo ever seen out o a parflech. He gave me leggins & a breech clout & mockasins 2.
I put it all on & they fit real good even if they wuz a little tite here & thar. Sequoya war bout my size.
Then he thot a jiffy & sayed but what about yer name.
What about it.
You can no longer be 2 Bare. Yer bare ass is covered up.
Sure I can. Ill be 2 Bear like the animal. My Cherokee name will be Ta Li Yo Nv.
We had us a nee slap over that.
I gave Sequoya a fine 54 caliber when we finely sayed R goodbyes.
It took me the better part o a month 2 get up 2 the little town o Cape Jerardo which war rite long the Mississip. Not much happened long the way cept I ran in2 a small b& o Indins. I think they wuz fokes from the Yoonamee tribe. I coodnt speek thar tung but thru sine langwij I larnt they had been run outa thar home l& in Deloware er somewhar like that. Theys a trying 2 fine a safe place 2 live.
A story just like us Cherokee.
I didnt like that town o Cape Jerardo even a little bit what with its passel o crimnals sos I set out cwick 2 Sante Looey. Thar war a good trail long the Mississip coz they used horses 2 pull botes long the river. So iz in Sante Looey in 2 days.
Sante Looey wuz the biggest durtyest place I ever seen. A feller cood smell it long 4 he ever seen it. They had some big ol bildins tho. Wooee.
Took bout a R 2 fine whar my Daddy werked. I walked up & looked in the door not wantin 2 be far from my stock & stash o guns.
Twernt no custmers in the store & he spotted me right off.
See yoo got out in 1 peece. Howd yoo carry all them rifles he asked.
I sayed im cwick.
He kinna shook hez hade what brings yoo here Horace.
Thats what brings me here. I aint Horace no more. Thats whot I tolt him.
He got rite mad. I gave yoo that name after me. Its the best thing I ever dun 4 yoo.
It has a ass in it I sayed.
Then he wuz mad. Ass. Whats that sposed 2 meen he sayed. The blood lines in hez neck cumenced 2 bulge.
HOR-ASS. I took the ass outa Hor-ass & now iz jez Horse.
Horse. Horse Apple. By then he was a spittin when he tokked. Horse apples is shit. Thats what horses leave on the road. You named yerself Horse Shit.
Bettern Horace. Jez came 2 tell you that.
The he commenced to yell. Better than Horace. You came all the way from Ellijay 2 tell me that.
Nope I ansered R Kansus.
My daddy shook hez head & leent agin the wall.
A fat bald White man came a wadlen out o the store. He asked my daddy who I wuz.
This is my son Horse Shit my daddy sayed.
I jes smiled & sayed he named me after hizzelf.
The ol fat boy commenced to laff. He laffed harder & harder til he pizzed hiz droors. That wuz the furse time I ever saw my Daddy laff. He wuz my Daddys booshway named Henry & thar musta been sumthin rong with him coz he liked my Daddy. He even invited me & my Daddy 2 hez house 4 supper that nite.
My Daddy lived in back o the store sos I put my guns in thar & took my stock 2 the livry.
Henry had a rite perty little house jes a short way from the store in a part o town that didnt smell cwite as ripe as it did long the river. Hez wife wuz rite perty considerin how ugly he wuz & she cooked fried chicken. Oooee wuz it good. Har name war Matilda.
It war a good thang she kilt 2 chickens fer supper er tuthers mite not a got nuthin 2 eet. I dont ritely recall ever eetin that much. She cooked mashed taters with gravy & green beens 2 boot. Oooeee. I cood see why heez so fat with a woman what cooked like that.
Thar house had a parler whar men go set & smoke seegars after eetin theyselves silly. I liked that werd parler. 1 day I wanted 2 have a woman like that & a parler. I woondnt even mind being fat as Henry ifn I had a woman like that & a parler. Yessiree.
Henry he gave us eech a fancy ceegar & we sat thar reel respekful like a smokin. No body war a tokkin jez a smokin.
Thars sumthin I been wunderin about I sayed.
They both looked at me as if a sayin well what.
Jes how duz they make hats outa beever plews I asked.
Henry wuar a real smart sort a fella & he sayed well they scrape the fur off o the skin heat it with steem & press it into a felt.
Not much o what he sayed made sents 2 me. I sayed yoo meen all they need is the shaved fur.
Exactly son he ansered.
I sorta drifted 2 being 2 Bear the rest o the evenin a day dreemin & a conjerin idears. Pert soon my me & my Daddy wokked back 2 the store & I slep on the floor.
The sun war jez barly lookin up over the Mississip when I woke up my Daddy. I wuz excited as a weezel in a chiken coop. I woke up my Daddy & tolt him I needed a shaver like them barbers have.
Clippers he sayed. Theys clippers.
He had 1 in the store & sayed I cood hav it fer nuthin ifn Id let him sleep. He finly got up & gave it 2 me & went back 2 bed. By the time he woke up agin Iz probably haf way 2 Cape Jerardo Il wajer.
Summer wuz comin on & trappin seesun was almost over by the time I found Sequoya on the White River. I tolt him my idear & he thot Iz craziern a woman in er moon. Didnt make no nevermind 2 me so I took sum o his traps & hedded upstreem. I found me the pertiest little beever pond yoo ever seen a days ride upstreem. That evenin I went out 2 set my traps only I dun things a little differnt. I rapped buckskin round the teeth o the traps & I set em up on the bank
Your heart was the heart of a White man. If you need a beaver pelt to keep warm, then you kill a beaver & you do a ceremony and leave tobacco. To kill for White manís money is wrong. It breaks the sacred hoop on which all living things depend.
I aint a killin yoo silly Indin I tolt 2 Bear.
Shaving the beaver will leave them out of balance with nature.
Shavin em donít hert em nun I argyad.
Nex mornin I had 3 beevers in my traps. Nun of em wuz injured nun. I proched the ferse beever & he looked bigger than the ded 1s did. I helt eem down & commenced 2 shavin eem. Heez real strong & took a good bite outa my war shirt a 4 I finished with the clippers. When iz dun he kinda reminded me of me for I come 2 warin cloze. I clipped the tuther 2 beevers & let em all go. The seezun wuz bout over but I had me 3 gunny sacks o beever fur when I finely met up with Sequoya. He had hizzelf a nee slappin time over my idear o shavin the beevers & he didnt let up til we got to Sante Looey 2 sell R plunder. I only had the fur o 20 beevers in my gunny sacks but the hat cumpny give me twist as much per beever as they gave Sequoya.
Iz reel sooprized when I got 2 my Daddys store cause it war my Daddys store. My Daddy sayed ole Henry keelt over 1 day face down in a bole o mater soop. Matilda she fownd eem jez a layin like that face down when she came back in the house from a yoozin the privvy. Matila she needed my Daddy 2 10 the store & he was 10in her 2 caus heed moved rite on in. Ole fart. Didnt even invite me & Sequoya fer supper ner nuthin so we rid back south 2 the R Kansus.
Wunst we got 2 Sequoyas village on the R Kansus River theys 4 soljers thar a watin fer eem. Theyz goona be a pow wow so they sayed tween the Cherokee & Osaje up at Fort Smith & they wantd him 2 be thar coz he new all bout readin & ritin & ciferin. I rode long with Sequoya. Warnt reely gonna be a pow wow jez a cockus.
Iz reel sooprized 2 larn he had book larnin & tolt him what my Daddy had tolt me bout Indins not being smart nuff 2 read & all. He sayed that war hogwash & that hed start a larnin me how after the cockus. & he kep hees werd 2 as yoo can tell by readin this har book.
Fort Smith war the dividin line tween Cherokee & Ogaje cuntry. The Osaje had been futher down the R Kansus but the Marecans gave that cuntry to the Cherokee & ran the Osajes up river. Thar war a factrey thar 4 trading beever plews which wooda been real h&y 4 me & Sequoya cept they woodnt take the shaved fur. Hadem a good laff tho.
Thar war 20 er so Indins on both sides o the cockus. Sequoya he spoke 4 the Cherokee & a likable fella name o Claremont spoke 4 the Osaje but he was the only likable Osaje in the bunch. I steered clear of them Osajes not coz iz a sceered o em but coz theyz a carryin lice the size o a gold peece. They did more ichen & a scrachen than they did a tokken.
A Army Kernal war a runnin the cockus & he wantd both tribes 2 cwit thar fiten. Claremont sayed theyed cwit thar fiten ifn the Cherokee wood return thar prisners. Seems 4 sqaws been capcherd by the Cherokee. 1 o the Cherokee cheefs at the meetin new whar the squaws war over at Hot Springs & Sequoya promised 2 take care o it. A White feller with specticals & warin a soot writ up a treety & 4 o the Indins on both sides put ther X on the paper cept fer Sequoya who sined heez name reel proper like.
After the meetin me & Sequoya rid over 2 Hot Springs 2 fine them squaws. That war a rite big village thar at Hot Springs includin some White fokes. The village cheef had took 1 o the Osaje wimmin as hees squaw & wernt bout 2 givver up. Sequoya tokked eem in 2 sendin fer the other 3 fellas what took Osaje squaws & see what they had 2 say.
What came to be inerstin bout the hole deal was we come 2 find out them Osaje squaws wood ruther die than go back 2 thar tribe the Osaje. Seems that being on the go all the time & a livin in dirty Osaje tipis & grass huts didnt soot em nun. Cherokees lived in houses & cabins more like White fokes & treeted thar wimmen a lot better parently. Ole Sequoya had a pure dee problem on heez h&s.
Me & Sequoya ponderd the problum over the camp far that nite. I sayed seems 2 me I member heerin bout how them Osajes think o thar wimmen like belongins like a horse er a gun. Seems 2 me ifn these here Cherokee boys wanna kep thar Osaje squaws they otta be a willin 2 part with a war pony er 2.
He sayed I gave my word that the prizners wood be returnt.
That thar be troo I sayed but mebbe them Osaje fellers didnt think that the Cherokees wood be willin 2 part with some fine horse stock 4 a few Osaje squaws.
Ol Sequoya jez starred at me fer a jiffy afer he grinned I cood sell em on that coodnt I.
Yoo cood sell flees 2 a houndog I reckon I sayed. We rolled on the ground over that 1 yessir.
I gotta sell it 2 the Cherokee boys 2 he sayed.
Yessir & il wait rite here whilst you do it.
Bet they thot weez crazy overt the Cherokee village with all the laffin & rukus weez a razin.
Well ol Sequoya tokked the Cherokee outa 8 fine horses 4 the wimmen & we hedded back 2 meet cheef Claremont at Fort Smith. Sequoya war reel bothered bout lookin bad & back on hez werd & all sos I wagurd him my share of the next yars beever shavin loot agin my ol waggin & heez draft horses that them Osajes wood take heez offer no queschuns.
All I can say was weez in & out o the fort for I cood say whard you leeve my noo waggin coz them Osajes eyes got big as silver dollars when they saw them horses & they wuz a laffin & whoopin it up headin up river last I seen em.
Me & ol Sequoya had jez bout wasted the summer so me & him hedded down river spen fall & winner at heez village sos he cood larn me reedin & ritein. That thar wood be what we done.
By time beever seezon came on us iz larnt enuff reedin & riten 2 get by perty good. He got reel tard o larnin me but I pushed eem reel hard. I figgered that wood be my only chance 2 larn reedin & ritein & I warnt gonna miss it. I wuz rite 2.
Come spring we hedded up the White River in my waggin & set out 2 trap R beevers. Whot came 2 pass yoo mite find hard 2 beleeve but its the trooth shur as my daddyz a lazy back stabbin lyin cheetin steelin fil&erin Englishman.
First off the seezon be4 we had 2 leeve R waggin now my waggin a haf a daz ride from R beever pond coz thar warnt no trale & the hard wood trees wuz 2 thick 2 make 1. Well this seezon thar war a cleer trail. Yoo cood see whar the beevers et at the stump o the trees & cut us a cleer trale rite strate 2 the beaver pond. All we had 2 do wuz say giddiap 2 R team o horses & in no time weez smack dab side o R pond.
But that war jez the beginnin o the damdest thing yoo ever seen. A4 we cood get R horses unhiched thars beever round us everwhar. More beevern yoo ever seen in yer life. Me & Old Sequoya didnt no what 2 make o it. But I got me a idear & tolt Sequoya 2 set tite & wach.
I reeched inta the box in the waggin whar I kept my clippers & pult out a par. I nelt down side 1 o the beevers & cumenced 2 clippin heez fur off. Ol Sequoya dun the same with a nuther beever. Them beevers wuz all thar a wantin 2 be clipped. Damdest thing I ever seen.
Tonly took us a week er so 2 clip all the beevers but by then me & Sequoyas h&s were so sore we coodnt hold are pizzers 2 take a leek. We stuffed beever fer in my waggin so tite the canvas bulged.
Alls I can figger is them beever I shaved the year be4 wuz so comferbal durin the hot R Kansus summer being shaved & all that all tuthers wanted 2 be shaved 2. Thats best me & Sequoya cood figger. Ima gessin them beever tole tuthers how comferbal they wuz & sos they desided monst theyselves 2 cut us a trale & make R job eesy sos they did. Thats best me & Sequoya cood figger. Corse weel never no fer shor coz even Sequoya coodnt figger out how 2 tok 2 them beever tho theys reel frendly & lord nos he tryd.
I told you it was wrong to shave those beavers. That was not natureís way.
My waggin war loded reel hevvy but it wuz down hill all the way 2 whar the R Kansus & the White met the Mississip sos the trip warnt 2 hard. A heddin up the Mississip 2 Sant Looey wernt 2 bad neether coz the Mississip aint 2 steep & thars a good road tween the R Kansus & Sante Looey.
The hat factery in Sante Looey gave us top doller fer R fer & me & ol Sequoya selabrated by gettin us some fancy duds. We went 2 a taler & had him so me up a gennelmans soot & so Sequoya a fancy Cherokee outfit turbun & all. Then we sooprized my Daddy a takin my Daddy & Matila out 2 a fancy Frenchy rest rant. Oooeee did we spen sum munny that nite. Frankly iz dissapointed in the food. Didnt give us enuf food fer reel men. Wooda been happier I thot a givn the munny 2 Matila & a havin her fry chicken. So thats whot we dun the next nite. We had us a rite good time.
Me an Sequoya had us more gold than we had a idear whot 2 do with. We pondered that that nite in R fancy hotel room. We didnt have no need 4 gold leestin so much R spenders coodnt hold up R droors with it in R pokets. Never did get no idears that nite sos we packed up the next mornin 2 hed south.
Funny how fate duz things. That next mornin the livry man hiched up R rig a heddin north & coz o the narry streets we had 2 go round the block twards the docks 2 hed round south. Thar on that street theys a sellin peeple. Neegra peeple. Slaves. Corse id seed lotsa Neegras afore. We had Neegras in R tribe that had eether escaped er by some uther way come 2 be amongst the Cherokees. But these fokes thar wuz in arns & beind sold like horses & hogs. Never had seed nuthin like that a 4. Theyz filthy dirty & sum had reel bad sores cozd by thar shackels. Theyd been treeted reel pore. Theys 8 o em in all. 3 men 3 wimmen & 2 little boys. 1 o the wimmen warnt much morn a girl & a ol ugly White man wuz gettin reel excited a bidden 4 her. Jez when the ockshuneer sayed goin wunct goin twict I outbidded the ol fart. He looked at me like Id jez stabbed eem in the hart & he bidded agin. He bidded & I bidded. Venchly I bot me a Neegra woman. Venchly me & Sequoya bot us all the Neegra fokes they had. We loded em in R waggin & heded south.
Back then I didnt no whar Neegra fokes wuz from but I later larnt it wuz a place calt Aferca. They didnt speek much Marecan & no Cherokee so we didnt tok hardly tall but they soon reelized they wuz happy with who bot em. First chance we had we let em cleen theyselves up. We bot em better cloze in Cape Jerardo.
Theez pore fokes had sores & scars from bein treeted wersn animals. Sequoya wuz rite h&y at a docterin. They hadnt ben fed rite neether. Sequoya sayed they cood join hiz village. Heed see that they wur lowd 2 join the Cherokee he sayed. Sequoya war a man o hez werd.
Ifn that livry man wood a pointed R waggin south oooee them pore peepel.
I broke off from Sequoya & the Neegra fokes at the mouth o the R Kansus. I let Sequoya keep holt o a big part o R munny & I took 2 horses & hedded on south tord Norlans. Id never seen Norlans but seemed bout everbody tokked bout it so I desided Iz gonna see it 4 myownself & thats whot id do.
It wuz a comin summer & the futher I got down the bank o the Mississip the hotter & steemier it got. At nite Id camp away from the river a ways on high ground 2 get as far as I cood from the skeeters & crimnals long the river. That ol Mississip warnt no strate river neether. It wuz 1 long ride 2 Norlens.
I settled thar 1 nite jez 4 I got 2 the Red River overlookin the Mississip a wachin the full moon a shining off the muddy river. It war a site 2 behold. Me an 2 Bear wuz a thinkin bout how weez perty happy what wed come 2 be at the age o 18. Weed hepped a lotta Cherokee fokes make it 2 R Kansus. Warnt 4 us a lotta them wooda died 4 sher. Weed figgered out how 2 keep them Osaje squaws with thar Cherokee men whar they wanted 2 be & even made the Osaje bucks happy. I figgered out a new & better way & harvest beever fer that even hepped the beever & made us more munnyn I ever thot thar wuz. 2 Bear didnt like that 1. & weed took a little bit o that munny & freed them Neegra fokes. Yessir weez feelin reel good bout things. & in a week er 2 weed be a whoopin it up in Norlans. Yessir life warnt that bad 4 a 18 yar ol haf breed in Mareca. I ate me some jerky & went 2 sleep a happy man after 2 Bear sang heez nite prayer.
Nex day I had 2 ride upstreem a ways 4 I cood ford the Red River which ment iz goin back the same way id jez come. Bout thar the muddy Mississip had turnt 2 flo west & the Red flode south whar it met the Mississip. Even tho the river war low it wuz perty wide & deep whar it met the Mississip. Sos I rid a few miles back 2 the north. Thar cross the river at the fordin point war a small Indin villij. They lived in a cupel dozen huts thar long the river. A cuple o the huts war burnt & a cupel others war broke down. From what war left o thar garden this chile cood see they warnt dependin on that 4 much o thar food. Garden warnt big nuff 2 feed morn a few fokes.
That bunch warnt 2 civilzed based on how theyz drest neether. The men & wimmen all covered up thar croches with breech clouts & that war bout it cept 4 3 or 4 wimmen what wore calico skerts & shirts. Reel brite cullers. Thar war a few beet 2 hell smooth bore flintlocks in thar villij. Looked like they mostly depended on thar bows & arras. They all had thar eyes peelt on my peeces.
One Frenchy soundin fella named Pee Air war rite frenly. Invited me 2 stay fer supper in broke Marecan but I had me a ich o a feeling that mite be a bad idear considerin how they war a lookin at my cash o fine weppuns & I warnt reel innersted in kechin nun o them lice they had a runnin all over thar selves.
I wuz reel poe lite in turnin down thar offer but they seemed 2 take it rong & the hole dam tribe made a play 4 me all at wunce. So I goosed my pony & got cleer o em cept 4 2 yung bucks what had a holt o my saddel horm from eech side. I kiked the leff 1 in the balls whislt my ponys at full gallup & the Indin let out a whoop jez 4 he hit the groun reel hard.
The Indin on the rite had got a leg up in back o me & had all hez wate on my nife what wuz in its scaverd on my hip. My pony war still at full gallup. I put my rite arm round the Indins neck a tryd 2 pull him forwerd sos I cood take a poke at him. Problum wuz he had leverg on me & war slowly a liftin hizzelf up 2 whar heez in back o me. Took eem a whall but he war sloly a gettin the best o me. I figgered iz in a hole passel o trubbel. Bout the only good thang wuz weez a makin tracks away from thar villij reel fast.
Bout then thar wuz the damdest explosion I ever seen er heered & the Indian what iz a rasslen with flew past me & rite pass my ponys hed. Smoke everwhar. He hit the groun like a sac o taters. I looked back at my pack horse what wuz tied 2 the tale o pony Iz a ridin & saw a nuther Indin a layin back long the trale bahine us. I pult up my ponys & walked em back 2 figger out what happened.
The Indin what wuz a fiten me had a hol in hez back the size o a chiken egg & I cood see cleen throo 2 tuther side o him whar the hole war bigger yet. Tuther fella war back down the trail 50 feet er so. Hez ded 2 from hitten heez hed on a rock. 1 o my 54 calibers a Derringer war a layin nex 2 him. Heez rite sholder war broke 2. He musta been a ridin on back o my pack horse & loded powder & ball in that 54 on the run. Then when he squoze off the roun he larnt the rifle had aredy been loded cuz it blew him cleen off the back o the pack horse. Top o that he missed me & durnt near bloo hez freend in 2.
I lifted 2 scalps reel quick cuz wez barely a mile from thar villij & I hedded on up river at a good pase. I pushed my ponys as hard as they cood st& all day a4 heddin up a dry rock crik bed 2 spen the nite a way from the river.
Best I cood tell them fokes didn't chase after me er ifn they did thar harts warnt in it cuz I never heerd from em agin. I didnt bild no far that nite neether jez ate me some jerky & hartack & let that be that. Figgered Iz safe enuf hid away in that hardwood forest. The skeeters foun me tho.
I traveld 8 more days up the Red River a passin a few White farms long the way a4 I came on a palisaded fort with a hole passel o big grass huts round it. The hole thing war a restin on a big flat plane area long a big bend in the river. Iz at Fort Clayborn & the Indin fokes thar wuz the Nakatoches. Jez up river I found a Cherokee villij. The cheef o the villij war The Bowl a man I had heerd of. Heez a big cuss & a rite nice feller. I wuz welcumed into the villij & wuz a gest in The Bowls cabin that furst nite. I gave him the 54 caliber Derringer 4 his hospitality after I tolt him the tale bout how it had jez got the big scrach on its stock. I tolt him all bout my brush with the Indins down river & he had a good laff. He sayed that wuz a Ah Ees village that musta been over run by Atokapas. He sayed that they wuz canabals. He sayed they wood a had me fer dinner & mebbe bekfus the nex day. He bout made hizzself sick a laffin. I hadnt never herd o no canabals be4. Coodnt magin eetin human flesh speshly mine. Gess that ich I had bout them fokkes wuz ritern I thot.
The Bowl took me 2 visit the Nakatoches cheef Dehahooit the nex evnin. He lived in a big ol grass house what had a wood frame. I meen a big ol grass house. Ol Dehahooit had a scalp pole outside heez lodge what had bout 20 scalps on it. I thot 2 my self he must be some waryer.
Dehahooit tokked with a Frenchy accent like them canabals but heez eezy nuf 2 unnerstan a tokkin Marecan. Heez cloze war a brite red calico shirt a lether breech clout fancy beeded mockasins & lots o foofraws like necklaces & earrings & all. We et some o the best possum stew I ever et. Ol Dehahooit sayed them Atokapa must o run off er kilt the fokes in the Ah Ees village. He sayed them wimmen in calico must o been Ah Ees captives. The Ah Ees war a frenly tribe he sayed a texas tribe. Texas ment frenly in the Nakatoches tung. But most o the Ah Ees had ben kilt off by Marecans & the Spanish & the canabal tribes. He sayed he wood call a counsil 2 deside what 2 do.
Dehahooit wuz reel riled bout all tuther fokkes what wuz a movin in2 hez terrtory 2. He sayed furst it war the Frenchys then the Spanish from the west who war pushin the canabal tribes in2 heez terrtory. The wurst of all war the Marecan settlers who jez soon shoot a Indin as 2 look at heem. He sayed when he asked the Marecan guvment 4 pertckshun they came & ran heez peepal out a thar village & bilt that Fort Clayborn. He sayed they did run off a few Marecan squatters tho.
Dehahooit sent a war party out the nex day 2 deel with the Atokapa. They returnt bout 2 weeks later with a passel o scalps the 4 Ah Ees wimmen captives & a prizner. The prizner warnt nun other than Pee Air hizzelf. I later larnt they torchered Pee Air 2 deth. I didnt feel nun 2 bad bout it tho coz I spect thats pert much what he had in store 4 me.
I spent sum time a huntin & a fishin with The Bowl & we came 2 be good frens. I tolt heem all my yarns az best I cood member & he tolt me hiz. Wez a cupel inerstin fellers. Wooda enjoyed that summer on the Red River ifn it warnt 4 the heet & them damdabal skeeters.
It wood soon be a comin on fall so I figgered it wuz time 2 get back on up 2 the R Kansus. Id haf 2 visit Norlans the nex yar. The Bowl & some o heez frens desided 2 come along. Sayd he had sum biznus with the Indin agent up river. Ol Dehahooit gave me a French tomahawk as a present & we sayed R goodbyes.
9 o us long with a Neegra slave boy named Horse Boy 2 do the cookin traveled cross cuntry tord the Cherokee settlement on the R Kansus River whar Sequoya had set up heez village.
All long the trale White fokkes war a settin up farms & theyz all skiddish bout Indins travelin by. The cuntry tween the Red & the R Kansus wuz sposed 2 be Kwapa l& but eether nobody tolt them White fokkes er they didnt lissen 2 good.
We stopped by the Indin Agents post whar the Sulfer River feeds into the Red River sos The Bowl cood cockus with eem. Wether wuz still hot sos yoosul I took off my breech clout 2 enjoy what little breez thar wuz. Id dozed off unner a willer tree when The Bowl woke me a scarin the bejezus outa me.
Want you 2 come & reed sumthin 4 me he sayed.
I warnt 2 happy bout bein woke & all but I follered heem 2 the agents cabin.
The Bowl nocked proper like & we wated fer sum1 2 cum 2 the door. A White woman opened the door screemed & slamt the door in R faces.
Mebbe you better go put on yer breech clout The Bowl sayed.
Ya think thats what gotter all werked up.
Um. That ment yes.
I wokked back overt the willer tree & put on my breech clout.
By time I got back The Bowl war tokken 2 the agent in front o the cabin. He inerdused me 2 the agent 2 we follered heem in2 the cabin.
Warnt no sine o that histerikal woman inside the cabin but thar wuz a cupel o rooms looked like 2 the reer whar she musta been. Agents name war Jorg Gray. Heez a big ol boy with sof h&s like a woman. Heez kinna shaped like a par like what we grode back at Ellijay. I figgered he never spent no time on the bizness end o any kind o werkin tool. Heez a ciferin man jez like my Daddy which ment 2 me he warnt 2 be trusted.
We all sat at heez table & he pored us all a cup eech o whisky in reel glasses. Firs time I ever drunk outa a glass ceptin I gess fer a coupla times in St. Looey.
Ol Grey had a rezlushun er sumthin what he wanned The Bowl 2 sine. The Bowl wanned me 2 reed it 2 see if heez bein horn swageled.
Ol Grey h&ed me the parchmunt & I looked at the furst word & smiled. After the furst werd I cudnt cifer a dam thing what war writ on that paper. The only thing I cood reed war the furst werd. I studied that parchmunt a reel long time but hiz riten didnt look nuthin like Sequoyas. I jez coodnt get pass that furst werd.
Thats perty funny I sayed. What I ment wuz that the furst werd war funny. It sayed Whereas. I figgerd ol Gray didnt no where his ass war er he didnt no where The Bowls ass war but what ever 1 he coodnt find I thot wuz funny. I figgered most likely the 1 what wood be a loozin his ass wood be The Bowl. But a4 I cood say anythin & splain The Bowl jumped up steemed.
Thats whot I thot. White man cheat Indin agin.
Okay okay Ol Gray sayed. Weel run all them Whites off a Pecan Point & you can have that l& fer yer peepel.
But I wuz jez I sayed but they had made thar deel.
Ol Gray sayed Ill have new papers here when yoo retern from Hot Springs & Horse Apple here can have all the time he needs 2 skrootenize em.
Thar wuz a werd I had 2 larn & I did.
That nite weez a settin roun the far a eetin fresh shot venison & hartack. The Bowl asked what war it in them papers what war so bad fer us Indins.
I thot a minut. Yoo war gonna looz yer ass I sayed.
Whot yoo meen.
Dont no 4 sure but it sounded bad. Good thing I war thar 2 reed it. Yoo made a pert good deel by time the smoke cleered.
Um. Pecan Point is sum l&. Good flat l&. Good l& for farming. We do reel fine thar.
Good. Ifn ya ever need my help with ciferin er anthin jez ask.
I will fren. I will. You no. I wuz tole wunce that Indins war 2 stupid 2 reed.
It war bout 2 weeks 4 we reeched Sequoyas villij. It war considerbal shorter than taken the Red River down to the Mississip & up to the R Kansus.
Sequoya had eem quite a plase. He bilt hizzelf a rite nice cabin. Heez squaw war with child & the Neegra girl I bot war a livin with em a helpin out. I larnt her name war Choka. That war her Afercan name. Shez more o a woman than I recullected. Perty 2 & black az nite. Cot Horse Boy a staren at her & had 2 remind him 2 put heez tung back in heez mouth. That yungn had flat fell in luv. Whooee.
Me & The Bowl et at Sequoyas cabin that nite. Choka & Sequoyas squaw cooked up a stew o fresh corn & venison what we stuffed down R faces like it had been a munth sense we et. Didnt bother tokken til the stew war gone. Then Sequoya broke out a jug o moonshine & we lit R pipes & palaverd.
We got 2 tellin all R yarns agin. The Bowl war sure ol Sequoya wood tell the yarn bout shaven the beever differnt than me but R storys war jez alike.
When I tolt Sequoya bout cifern that paper at the agents down on the Sulfer River he laffed til I thot wez gonna have 2 send 4 a medicin man. He laffed bout that leest wunce a day after that. Jez outa the bloo hed start 2 laffin. Me & The Bowl slep on the flore o Sequoyas cabin that nite. Er I gess you cood say we spent the nite on the flore. I woke up a few feet from my bed roll with a hellashus poundin in my hed. The Bowl slep under the eetin table. Sequoya slep on the flore nex 2 the stove. Had him a bed in the nex room with a warm woman in it. When we decided 2 stop drinkin we pert much went 2 sleep rite thar.
Theys both so pale & peekud the nex mornin ifn i didn no beter ida thunk theys White men.
Choka made us sum spicey soop outa tripe what hepped me but it jez cleened out tuther 2s innerds. It pert much took us a hole day 2 get fit.
Soon came 2 be we had R self a weddin. It war eether that er keep porin cold water on Horse Boy. Weez worryd heez gona kech newmonya er sumthin. We all hightailed it upriver 2 the Dwight Mishun whar Revern Washburn cood do the hichin. I leegly & ofishly freed Choka & The Bowl leegly & ofishly freed Horse Boy & Revern Wasburn cumenced with the seremony. I war the 1 what gave er away like what if I war her Pappy. The Revern red from the good book & they war hiched like that. Horse Boy took the Crisjun name o John but Chocka sided 2 keep her Afercan name.
After the weddin we came back 2 the settlement & had 1 hellashus shindig. I gave John a 50 caliber rifle 2 go along with the woman I gived him. Sequoya had fixed Choka a shack out back o hiz cabin & thats whar theyz gonna live. We barely gavem time 2 get settled in the shack 4 we started on the chiveree. John sayed he thot sure it war the end o heez days when the racket started.
The White man town o Dardanel sprouted up on the south side o the river from the Cherokee settlement. Its gone on to be a perty good size town even today. Up river bout whar the By U Illinoy meets the R Kansus is whar they set Dwights Mishon. Thar they tot White mans religin but most Cherokees war Crisjuns by then anyhow. Weed had Bible thumpers meannern all over Cherokke terrtory way back when Iz jest a yungin. Bible thumpin warnt nuthun noo to the Cherokee. Jez that most fokes did pert much what they had a hankerin to do. Most fokes didnt foller the White mans religion any morn they follered the Cherokee way. Most fellers beleeved reel strong in likker & a horin. Wimmin war mostly the fokes what had relijun. Wimmins & chilerns.
White manís whiskey and religion defeated the Cherokee ... not their army.
Cant say Id argya with that.
Felt reel nervus bout settin round sos I figgered itz time fer me 2 head back south the Norlans. I rid back with the Bowl cross cuntry south with the Bowl 2 heez village & then hedded down the Red River tord Norlans. The agent at Sulfer Springs didnt have the papeers reddy 4 The Bowl like he promised but he sayed heed git rite on it.
2 weeks after leevin The Bowls village I came to the village of the Ah Ees what had been run over by the Atokapa. 3 men an 7 wimmin war in the village. 4 o the wimmin war the 1s the Nakatoches saved. Tuther fokes had run off 2 save thar skins but they had returnt. Nun of em spoke Marecan nun but the wimmin rememberd me an they welcumed me with a catfish feest. 3 days later I cood see the lites o Norlans.