Letters on an Elk Hunt: V. Elk, Thieves, and Orphans

CLOUDCREST, Oct. 10, 1914.
I wonder what you would do if you wore here. But I reckon I had better not anticipate, and so I will begin at the beginning. On the morning of the eighth we held a council. The physician and the two students had gone. All had their limit of elk except Mr. Haynes and myself. Our licenses also entitled each of us to a deer, a mountain sheep, and a bear. We had plenty of food, but it had snowed about a foot and I was beginning to want to get out while the going was good. Two other outfits had gone out. The doctor and the students hired them to haul out their game. So we decided to stay on a week longer.
That morning Mrs. O’Shaughnessy and I melted snow and washed the clothes. It was delightful to have nice soft water, and we enjoyed our work; it was almost noon before we thought to begin dinner. I suppose you would say lunch, but with us it is dinner. None of the men had gone out that day.
Mr. Harkrudder was busy with his films and did n’t come with the rest when dinner was ready. When he did come, he was excited; he laid a picture on the table and said, ‘Do any of you recognize this?’
It looked like a flash-light of our camping ground. It was a little blurry, but some of the objects were quite clear. Our tent was a white blotch except for the outlines; the wagons showed plainly. I did n’t think much of it as a picture, so I paid scant attention. Mrs. O’Shaughnessy gave it close scrutiny; presently she said, ‘Oh, yis, I see what it is. It’s a puzzle picture and ye find the man. Here he is, hidin’ beyont the pine next the tent.’
‘Exactly,’ said Harkrudder, ‘but I had not expected just this. I am working out some ideas of my own in photography, and this picture is one of the experiments I tried the night of the storm. The result does n’t prove my experiment either way. Where were you, Stewart, during the storm?’
‘Where should I be? I bided i* the bed,’ the Stewart said.
‘Well,’ said Harkrudder, ‘I know where each of the other fellows was, and none of them was in this direction. Now who is the seventh man?’
I looked again, and, sure enough, there was a man in a crouching position outlined against the tent walk We were all excited, for it was ten minutes past one when Harkrudder was out, and we could n’t think why any one would be prowling about our camp at that time of the night.
As Mr. Stewart and I had planned a long, beautiful ride, we set out after dinner, leaving the rest yet at the table eating and conjecturing about the ‘stranger within our picture.* I had hoped we would come to ground level enough for a sharp, invigorating canter, but, our way was too rough. It was a joy to be out in the great, silent forest. The snow made riding a little venturesome because the horses slipped a great deal, but Chub is dependable even though he is lazy. Clyde bestrode Mr. Haynes’s Old Blue. We were headed for the cascades on Clear Creek, to see the wonderful ice-caverns that the flying spray is forming.
We had almost reached the cascades and were crossing a little bowl-like valley, when an elk calf leaped out of the snow and ran a few yards. It paused and finally came irresolutely back toward us. A few steps farther we saw great, red splotches on the snow and the body of a cow elk. Around it were the tracks of the faithful little calf. It would stay by its mother until starvation or wild animals put an end to its suffering. The cow was shot in half a dozen places, none of them in a fatal spot; it had bled to death. ‘That,’ said Mr. Stewart angrily, ‘comes o’ bunch shooting. The authorities should revoke the license of a man found guilty of bunch shooting.’
We rode on in silence, each a little saddened by what we had seen. But this was not all. We had begun to descend the mountain side to Clear Creek when we came upon the beaten trail of a herd of elk. We followed it as offering perhaps the safest descent. It did n’t take us far. Around the spur of the mountain the herd had stampeded; tracks were everywhere. Lying in the trail were a spike and an old bull with a broken antler. Chub shied, but Old Blue does n’t scare, so Mr. Stewart rode up quite close. Around the heads wrere tell-tale tracks. We did n’t dismount, but we knew that the two upper teeth or tushes were missing and that the hated tooth-hunter was at work. The tracks in the snow showed there had been two men. An adult elk averages five hundred pounds of splendid meat; here before us, therefore, lay a thousand pounds of food thrown to waste just to enable a contemptible tooth-hunter to obtain four teeth. Tooth-hunting is against the law, but this is a case where you must catch before hanging.
Well, we saw the cascades, and after resting a little, we started homeward through the heavy woods, where we were compelled to go more slowly. We had dismounted, and were gathering some pinon cones from a fallen tree, when, almost without a sound, a band of elk came trailing down a little draw where a spring trickled. We watched them file along, evidently making for lower ground on which to bed. Chub snorted, and a large cow stopped and looked curiously in our direction. Those behind passed leisurely around her. We knew she had no calf, because she was light in color: cows suckling calves arc of a darker shade. A loud report seemed to rend the forest, and the beauty dropped. The rest disappeared so suddenly that if the fine specimen that lay before me had not been proof, it would almost have seemed a dream. I had shot the cow elk my license called for.
We took off the head and removed the entrails, then covered our game with pine boughs, to which we tied a red bandanna so as to make it easy to find next day, when the men would come back with a saw to divide it down the back and pack it in. There is an imposing row of game hanging in the pines back of our tent. Supper was ready when we got in. Mr. Haynes had been out also and was very joyful; he got his elk this afternoon. We can start home day after to-morrow. It will take the men all to-morrow to get in the game. I shall be glad to start. I am getting homesick, and I have not had a letter or even a card since I have been here. We are hungry for war news, and besides, it is snowing again. Our clothes did n’t get dry either; they are frozen to the brush we hung them on. Perhaps they will be snowed under by morning. I can’t complain, though, for it is warm and pleasant in our tent. The little camp-stove is glowing. Mrs. O’Shaughnessy is showing Jerrine how to make pigs of potatoes. Calvin and Robert are asleep. The men have all gone to the bachelors’ tent to form their plans, all save Mr. Murry, who is ‘ serenading ’ Mrs. O’Shaughnessy. He is playing ‘Nellie Gray,’ and somehow I don’t want to laugh at him as I usually do; I can only feel sorry for him.
I can hardly write because my heart is yearning for my little Junior boy at home on the ranch with his grandmother. Dear little Mother Stewart, I feel very tender toward her. Junior is the pride of her heart. She would not allow us to bring him on this trip, so she is at the ranch taking care of my brown-eyed boy. Every one is so good, so kind, and I can do so little to repay. It makes me feel very unworthy. You ’ll think I have the blues, but I have n’t. I just feel humble and chastened. When Mr. Murry pauses I can hear the soft spat, spat of the falling snow on the tent. I will be powerfully glad when we set our faces homeward.
Good night, dear friend. Angels guard you.

CLOUDCREST, Oct. 13, 1914.
This is the very last letter you will receive dated from this camp. We are leaving a few days earlier than we intended and I am pretty badly on the fence. I want to laugh, and really I can hardly keep back the tears. We are leaving sooner than we meant, for rather a good reason. We have n’t one bite to eat except elk meat.
After the men had brought into camp the elk we killed the other afternoon, they began to plan a sheep hunt. As sheep do not stay in the woods, the men had to go miles away and above timber line. They decided to take a pack horse and stay all night. I did n’t want Mr. Stewart to go because the climbing is very dangerous. No accidents have happened this year, but last season a man fell from the crags and was killed; so I tried to keep the ‘good mon’ at home. But he would not be persuaded. The love of chase has entered his blood, and it looks to me as if it had chased reason plumb out of his head. I know exactly how Samantha felt when Josiah would go to the ‘ pleasure exertion.’ The bald spot on the Stewart’s head does n’t seem to remind him of years gone by; he is as joyous as a boy.
It was finally decided to take Mrs. O’Shaughnessy and the children and myself to a neighboring camp about two miles away, as we did n’t like to risk being frightened by a possible intruder. Sorenson, the game-warden, was in camp to inspect our game on the 12th, and he told us he was on the trail of tooth-hunters and had routed them out on the night of the storm; but what they could have been doing in our camp was as much a mystery to him as to us.
Well, when we were ready to go, Mr. Murry and the Stewart escorted us. It was a cloudy afternoon and often great flakes of snow fell gently, softly. The snow was already about eighteen inches deep, and it made sheep hunting slippery and dangerous work. On our way we came upon an Indian camp. They were all huddled about a tiny fire; scattered about were their wikiups made of sticks and pine boughs. The Indians were sullen and angry. The game-warden had ordered them back to Fort Washakie, where they belonged. Their squaws had jerked their elk. You may not know what jerked means, so I will explain: it means dried, cured. They had all they were allowed, but for some reason they did n’t want to go. Sorenson suspects them of being in with the tooth-hunters and he is narrowing the circle.
At the camp where we were to stay, we found Mrs. Kavanaugh laid up with a sore throat, but she made us welcome. It would be a mighty funny camper who would n’t. As soon as the men from the Kavanaugh camp heard our men’s plans they were eager to go along. So it ended in us three women being left alone. We said we were not afraid and we tried not to feel so, but after dark we all felt a little timorous. Mrs. Kavanaugh was afraid of the Indians, but I was afraid they would bring Clyde back dead from a fall. We were camped in an old cabin built by the ranger. The Kavanaughs were short of groceries. We cooked our big elk steaks on sticks before the open fire, and we roasted potatoes in the ashes. When our fear wore away we had a fine time. After a while we lay down on fragrant beds of pine.
We awoke late. The fire was dead upon the hearth and outside the snow was piling up. Mrs. O’Shaughnessy made a rousing fire and managed to jolly us until we had a really happy breakfast hour. About three in the afternoon all the men came t rooping in, cold, wet, and hungry. After filling them with venison, hot potatoes, and coffee, we started to our own camp. The men were rather depressed because they had come back empty-handed. The Indians were gone and the snow lay thick over the place where their fire had been; they had left in the night.
When we came to camp, Mr. Struble started to build a fire; but no matches were to be had. Next, the men went to feed grain to their tired horses, but the oats were gone. Mr. Murry sought in vain for his beloved accordeon. Mr. Harkrudder was furious when he found his grinding machine was gone. Mrs. O’Shaughnessy made a dash for the grub-box. It was empty. We were dumbfounded. Each of us kept searching and researching and knowing all the while we would find nothing. Mr. Struble is a most cheerful individual, and, as Mrs. O’Shaughnessy says, ‘is a mighty good fellow even if he is Dutch.’ ‘The Indians have stolen us out,’ he said, ‘but after all they have left us our tents and harness, all our meat, and the road home; so what matter il we are a little inconvenienced as to grub? Haynes may cry for sugar but that won’t hurt the rest any. I ’ll saddle and ride over to Scotty’s and get enough to last us out.’
We knew the Kavanaughs could not help us any, but we grew cheerful in anticipating help from Scotty, who was from Green River and was camped a few miles away. We wanted Mr. Struble to wait until morning, but he said no, it would make breakfast late; so he rode off in the dark. At two o’clock this morning he came in almost frozen, with two small cans of milk and two yeast cakes. As soon as it was light enough to see, the men were at work loading the game and breaking camp. As they are ready now to take down this tent, I will have to finish this letter somewhere else.

Well, we’re here, warmed and fed and in much better trim bodily and mentally. We had mishap after mishap coming. First the Hutton horse, being a broncho, had to act up when he was hitched up. We had almost more game than we could haul, but at last we got started, after the broncho had reared and pitched as much as he wanted to. There are a great many springs, — one every few feet in these mountains, — and the snow hid the pitfalls and made the ground soft, so that the wheels cut in and pulling was hard. Then, too, our horses had had nothing to eat for two days, the snow being so deep they could n’t get at the grass, hobbled as they were.
We had got perhaps a mile from camp when the leading wagon, with four horses driven by Mr. Haynes, suddenly stopped. The wheels had sunk into the soft, banks of a small, ditch-like spring branch. Mr. Stewart had to stay on our wagon to hold the broncho, but all the rest, even Mrs. O’Shaughnessy, gathered around and tried to help. They hitched on a snap team, but not a trace tightened. They did n’t. want to unload the game in 1 he snow. The men lifted and pried on the wheels. Still the horses would n’t budge.
Mr. Haynes is no disciple of Job, but he tried manfully to restrain himself. Turning to Glenholdt, who was offering advice, he said, ‘You get out. I know what the trouble is: these horses used to belong to a freighter and are used to being cussed. It’s the greatest nuisance in the world for a man to go out. where there’s a bunch of women. If these women were n’t along I’d make these horses get out of there.’
Mrs. O’Shaughnessy said, ‘Don’t lay your poor driving to the women. If you drive by cussin’, then cuss. We will stop up our ears.’
She threw her apron over her head. I held my fingers in Jerrine’s ears and she stopped my ears, else I might be able to tell you what he said. It was something violent, I know. I could tell by the expression of his face. He had only been doing it a second when those horses walked right out with the wagon as nicely as you please. Mrs. O’Shaughnessy said to Mr. Haynes, ‘ It’s a poor cusser you are. Sure, it’s no wonder you hesitated to begin. If Danny O’Shaughnessy could n’t have sworn better, I’d have had to hilp him.’
We got along pretty well after that. Mr. Haynes kept some distance ahead; but occasionally a bit of ‘ cussin ’ ’ came back to us and we knew he was using freighter tactics.
The game-warden lives in a tiny little cabin. The door is so low that I had to stoop to get in. It. was quite dark when we got. here last night, but Mrs. Sorenson acted as if she was glad to see us. I didn’t think we could all get in. A row of bunks is built along one side of the cabin. A long tarpaulin covers the bed, and we all got upon this and sat while our hostess prepared our supper. If one of us had stirred we would have been in her way; so there we sat as thick as thieves. When supper was ready six got off their perch and ate; when they were through, six more were made happy.
Mr. Sorenson had caught the toothhunters. On the wall hung their deadly guns, with silencers on them to muffle the report. He showed us the teeth he had found in their possession. The warden and his deputy had searched the men and their effects and found no teeth. He had no evidence against them except their unlawful guns, but he knew he had the right men. At last he found their contract to furnish two hundred pair of teeth. It is a trick of such hunters to thrust a knife into the meat of the game they have, and so to make pockets in which they hide the teeth; but these fellows had no such pockets. They jeered at the warden and threatened to kill him, but he kept searching, and presently found the teeth in a pail of lard. He told us all about it as we sat, an eager crowd, on his bed. A warden takes his life in his hands when he goes after such fellows, but Sorenson is not afraid to do it.
The cabin walls are covered with penand-ink drawings, the work of the warden’s gifted children, — Vina, the pretty eighteeen-year-old daughter, and Laurence, the sixteen-year-old son. They never had a lesson in drawing in their lives, but their pictures portray Western life exactly.
The snow is not so deep here as it was at camp, but it is too deep for the horses to get grass. The men were able to get a little grain from the warden; so we will pull out in the morning and try to make it to where we can get groceries. We are quite close to where Elizabeth lives, but we should have to cross the river, and it was dark when we passed her home. I should dike to see her but won’t get a chance to. Mrs. Sorenson says she is very happy. In all this round of exposure the kiddies are as well as can be. Cold, camping, and elk meat agree with them. We are in a tent for the night and it is so cold the ink is freezing, but the kiddies are snuggled under their blankets as warm as toast. We are to start early in the morning. Good night, dear friend. I am glad I can take this trip for you. You’d freeze.

IN CAMP, Oct. 16, 1914. DEAR MRS. CONEY,—
The day we left the game-warden’s was damp and lowering. It did n’t seem it could have one good thing to its credit, but there were several things to be thankful for. One of them was that you were safe at home in your warm, dry apartment. We had hardly passed the great Block buttes when the biggest wettest flakes of snow began to pelt into our faces. I really rather like a storm, and the kiddies would have enjoyed the snow; but we had to keep the wagon-sheet tied down to keep the bedding dry, and the kiddies get sick under cover. All the pleasure I might have had was taken away by the fact that we were making a forced drive. We had to go. The game-warden had no more than enough food for his family, and no horse feed. Also, the snow was almost as deep there as it had been higher up, so the horses could not graze.
We made it to Cora that day. Here at last was plenty of hay and grain; we restocked our mess-boxes and felt better toward the world. Next day we came on here to Newfork, where we are resting our teams before we start across the desert, which begins just across the creek we are camped on.
We have added two to our party. I know you will be interested to know how it happened, and I can picture the astonishment of our neighbors when we reach home, for our newcomers are to be members of Mrs. O’Shaughnessy’s family. We had all been sorry we could not visit Elizabeth or ‘Danyul’ and his mother. We felt almost as if we were sneaking past them, but we consoled ourselves with promises to seethe Burneys and Grandma Mortimer. Yesterday the children and I were riding with Mrs. O’Shaughnessy in the buckboard. We were trotting merrily along the lane that leads to Newfork, thankful in our hearts to be out of the snow, — for there is no snow here. Just ahead of us two little boys were riding along on their ponies. There was wire fence on both sides of the lane, and almost at the end of the lane an old cow had her head between the wires and was nibbling the tall dead grass. The larger of the two boys said, ‘ That’s old Pendry’s cow, and she shan’t eat a blade of grass off Dad’s meadow.’
He rode up to the cow and began beating her with his quirt. That frightened the cow, and as she jerked her head up, the top wire caught her across the top of her neck; she jerked and lunged to free herself, and was cruelly cut by the barbs on the wire. Then he began beating his pony.
The small boy said, ‘You’re a coward an’ a fool, Billy Polk. The cow was n’t hurtin’ nothin’, an’ you’re just tryin’ to show off, heatin’ that pony.’
Said the other boy, ‘Shut up, you beggar, or I’ll beat you; an’ I’ll take them breeches you got on off you, an’ you can go without any—they’re mine. My ma give ’em to you.’
The little fellow’s face was scarlet — as much of it as we could see for the freckles — and his eyes were blazing as he replied, ‘You ain’t man enough. I dare you to strike me or to tech my clothes.’
Both boys were riding bareback. The small boy slid off his pony’s back; the other rode up to him and raised his quirt, but the little one seized him by the leg, and in a jiffy they were in the road fighting like cats. I asked Mrs. O’Shaughnessy to drive on, but she said, ‘If you are in a hurry you can try walkin’; I’m goin’ to referee this scrap.'
It looked for a minute as if the small boy would get a severe beating, but by some trick he hurled the other headlong into the green, slimy water that edged the road; then, seizing the quirt and the opportunity at the same time, he belabored Billy without mercy as that individual climbed up the slippery embankment, blubbering and whipped. Still sobbing, he climbed upon his patient pony, which stood waiting, and galloped off down the lane. The other pony followed and the little conqueror was left afoot.
Mrs. O’Shaughnessy was beaming with delight. ‘Sure, ’t was a fine fight, a sight worth coming all this way to see. Ahl but you’re the bye. ’T is a dollar I’d be givin’ ye, only me purse is in my stockin’ —’
‘Oh,’ the boy said quickly, ‘don’t let that stop you. I’ll look off another way.’
I don’t know if she would have given him the money, for just then some men came into the lane with some cattle and we had to start. The boy got up on the back end of the buckboard and we drove on. We could hear our wagons rumbling along and knew they would soon catch up.
‘Where is your home, bye?’ asked Mrs. O’Shaughnessy.
‘Oh, just wherever Aunt Hettie has work,’ he said. ‘She is at Mr. Tom’s now, so I’m there, too, — me and Baby Girl.’
‘Where are your folks?’ Mrs. O’Shaughnessy went on.
‘Ma’s dead, an pa’s gone to Alasky. I don’t know where my brothers are. Baby Girl an’ me are with Aunt Hot, an’ that’s all there arc of us.’ He grinned cheerfully in spite of the fact that one eye was fast closing and ho bore numerous bumps and scratches on his face and head.
Just then one of the men with the cattle galloped up and shouted, ‘ Hello! ’ It was Mr. Burney! ‘Where’d you get that kid? I guess I’ll have to get the sheriff after you for kidnapping Bud. And what have you been doing to him, anyway?’
Mrs. O’Shaughnessy entered delightedly into a recital of the ‘mixup,’ and it turned out that Mr. Tom and Mr. Burney were one. It was like meeting an old friend; he seemed as pleased as we and insisted on our going on up to his ranch; he said ‘the missus’ would feel slighted if we passed her by. So we turned into another lane, and presently drew up before the ranch house. ‘The missus’ came dancing out to meet us, and right welcome she made us feel. Mr. Burney went back to bring the rest, but they were already setting up the tents and had supper almost ready. However, we stayed and had supper with the Burneys.
They are powerfully happy and talked eagerly of themselves and their prospects. ‘It’s just grand to have a home of your own and some one to do for. I just love to mend for Tommy, but I always hated to mend before/ said the missus.
‘You bet/ Mr. Burney answered, ‘it is sure line to know there’s somebody at home with a pretty pink dress on, waitin’ for a fellow when he comes in from a long day in the saddle.'
And so they kept up their thoughtless chatter; but every word was as a stab to poor Aunt Hettie. She had Baby Girl on her lap and was giving the children their supper, but I noticed that she ate nothing. It was easy to see that she was not strong. Baby Girl is four years old and is the fattest little thing. She has very dark blue eyes with long, black lashes, and the shortest, most turned-up little nose. She is so plump and rosy that even t he faded old blue denim dress could not hide her loveliness.
Mrs. O’Shaughnessy could not keep her eyes off the children. ‘What is the little girl’s name?’ she asked.
‘Caroline Agnes Lucia Lavina Ida Eunice,’ was the astonishing reply.
Mrs. O’Shaughnessy gasped. ‘My goodness/ she exclaimed; ‘is that all?’
‘Oh, no/ Aunt Hettie went on placidly; ‘you see, her mother couldn’t call her all the names, so she just used the first letters. They spell Callie; so that is what she called her. But I don’t like the name. I call her Baby Girl.’
I asked her how she ever came to name her that way, and she said, ‘My sister wanted a girl, but there were six boys before this little one came. Each time she hoped it would be a girl, and accordingly selected a name for a girl. So there were six names saved up, and as there was n’t much else to give her, my sister gave them all to the baby.’
After supper the Burneys rode down to camp with us. We had the same camping ground that we had when we came up. The cabin across the creek, where we met Grandma Mortimer, is silent and deserted; the young couple have moved away with their baby.
Mrs. O’Shaughnessy kept talking about the fight, and Mr. Burney gave us the history of the children. ‘Their mother,’ he began, ‘has been dead about eighteen months. She really died of a broken heart. Baby Girl was only a few weeks old when the father went to Alaska, and I guess he’s dead. He was to a’ been back in three years, and no one has ever heard a word from him. His name was Bolton; he was a good fellow, only he went bughouse over the gold fields and just fretted till he got away — sold everything for a grub stake — left his wife and seven kids almost homeless. But they managed some way till the mother died. With her last breath she asked that the two youngest be kept together; she knew the oldest ones would have to be separated. She never did give up looking for Bolton and she wanted him to have the babies.
‘ Her sister Hettie has worked around here for years; her and Rob Langley have been going to marry ever since I can remember, but always there has something cropped up. And now that Hettie has got to take care of the kids I guess they won’t never marry; she won’t burden him with them. It is hard for her to support them, too. Work is scarce, and she can’t get it, lots of times, because of the kids.’
The Burneys soon went home and the rest of us went to bed, — all except Mrs. O’Shaughnessy; she was so cranky and snappy that we left her by the fire. It seemed hours after when I awoke. She was still sitting by the fire; she was absently marking in the ashes with a stick. I happened to be the first one up next morning and as I stirred up the fire I saw ‘Baby’ written in the ashes. We had breakfasted and the men had gone their ways when Mrs. O’Shaughnessy said to me, —
‘It is a blessed old soul Mrs. Mortimer is. Do you mind any good lesson that she taught us in the cabin beyont ? ’ I did not remember. ‘She said, “The pangs of motherhood make us mothers not only of our own, but of every child that needs mothering, — especially if our own little children need us no longer. Fill their little places with ones who do need us.” Them’s her very words, and it’s sweet truth it is. Both my Katie and Sheridan have been grown and gone these many years and my heart has ached for childhcr, and there’s none but Cora Belle. I am goin’ to get them childher this day. What do you think about it?’
I thought so well of it that in about two minutes we were harnessing the horses and were off to lay the plan before Hettie in record-breaking time.
Poor Hettie: she wept quietly while the advantages of the scheme were being pointed out. She said, ‘I love the children, dearly, but I am not sure I can always feed and clothe them; that has worried me a lot. I am almost sure Bolton is dead. I’ll miss the little things, but I am glad to know they are well provided for. You can take them.’
‘Now,’ said Mrs. O’Shaughnessy, ‘you go on an’ marry your man if he is a decent sort. Do it right away before something else happens. It is an illigant wedding present I’ll be sendin’ you. You must come to sec the childhcr often. What’s the bye’s name?’
‘We never did name him; you see we had kind of run out of boys’ names. We just called him Buddy.’
‘I can find a name for him,’ said Mrs. O’Shaughnessy. ‘Is there a Joseph in the family?’ Hettie said no, ‘ Well, then, he is named Joseph Bolton O’Shaughnessy, and I ’ll have them both baptized as soon as we get to Green River.’
So in the morning we start with two new members. Mrs. O’Shaughnessy is very happy. I am so glad myself that I can hardly express myself. We are all happy except Mr. Murry; he has at last given up hopes, and gone. Mr. Haynes growls a little about having to travel along with a rolling nursery, but he is just bluffing. I am longing to see Junior. We have not heard one word since we left them, and I am so homesick for mother and my boy. And you, best of friends, when shall I see your beloved face? To-morrow night we shall camp at Ten Trees and we shall be one day nearer home.
With much love,

(The End.)