Publication Year: 1992
Published by: Minnesota Historical Society Press
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This romantic tale of early Fort Snelling has won a lasting place in the hearts of Minnesota readers. First published in 1929, it was reprinted twenty years later in connection with Minnesota’s Territorial Centennial. Since 1949 the restoration of Old Fort Snelling by the Minnesota Historical Society has brought extensive research into the...
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The Ojibways called it Oskibugi Sipi, the Young Leaf River, for on its banks the trees bud early. But the Ojibways came from the north country, from that somber land of pines and lakes; they were enemies to the valley; it was not their river. The Dakotas called it Minisota, the Sky-tinted Water, for it has a look like...
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At the meeting of the rivers were two worlds. In one of them the army made the best of a bad situation. It danced quadrilles and drank tea and went on buffalo hunts with its valued neighbor, Jasper Page. In the other the squatters, a tatterdemalion set, ran their sheep and dug in their gardens and gave thanks to the...
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She was unaware, of course, of what the day held, but she was up when reveille sounded faintly from the fort. She dragged off the buffalo robe under which her brothers slept, snuggled into straw at the other end of the loft, and inserted brown, inexorable toes beneath the ribs of George Washington DuGay. “Up with...
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In one end of her long kitchen, under the westerly windows, Mme. Elmire kept a narrow little sofa. It was a convenient little sofa where she could nap with an eye on the dogs, a nose for the soup kettle, and an ear to Msieu Page’s summons. She kept a wool couvrepied, knitted in rainbow stripes, folded in readiness over...
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Winter held the fort at the junction of the rivers. Until the new year it had held a willing captive. The first falling of snow, the first covering of the naked hillsides with feathery white, the first glassing over of the waters, these had been pleasant. The children of the garrison floundered joyfully upon new...
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They were sighted first by the young DuGays, fishing through the ice with hungry zeal. Under intent inspection, they resolved into two soldiers. These were bent under packs and plodded slowly, but one of them lifted a wearily elated arm. The DuGays dropped their poles and chased each other up the...
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In March the wild geese passed over. To the Indians they meant the return of spring. The first bird brought to earth was made the occasion for a feast; the second was presented with long speeches to the honest Major Taliaferro: the third was taken to the island and bestowed on Walking Wind, who more than once...
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M'sieu Page was able to use Narcisse at the Traverse. He set off one morning soon after his return, waving his cap at Deedee on the bank, calling out to her that he would get Light Between Clouds to come down and pay her a visit. He was planning to stop at Good Road’s village on his way up the river. He...
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It was just before dawn, and the rising sun imbued the east with a trembling pink and yellow; and not the east alone but the great vaporous arch of sky, the very west where a thin transparent moon was slip ping below the prairies. Still invisible, the sun tinted the dew on the prairie grasses. It shot with iridescent...
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Naturally: the dwellers at the Entry were proud of their lakes. The prairie country to the west, they heard, had only an occasional starved creek or weedy pond, but in this land which the Sioux called Minisota the sky was reflected by myriad shining waters, each with its gracious guardian circle of trees....
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It was the story of Dark Day retold. Only Mrs. Boles would not go over the falls. She had Msieu Page waiting, tall, handsome, with his clear blue eyes and the smile which cut such quick bright lines in his tanned face. She had the house on the island waiting, with its green damask curtains and its sofas and sideboards and...
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This was undeniable. And he himself, he realized, might be too fully engaged to suffice. There was no time for seeking more adult assistance; no time for argument. So he continued without speaking, and she continued at his side. She did not chatter. She was as silent as he, and he was choked by a grief-filled rage for which...
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Major Mowrie Boles was gone to the Florida wars, to expiate his sins and fight the Seminoles. His lady was gone, too, to await his return in a chaste, secure retreat in Washington City. But the stone house on the island still looked up at the fort with adoration. Jasper Page crossed the river as of old. He danced...
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He rode upon Amable with a shouted greeting. Amable was the oldest of the brothers. He must be near to thirty now, Jasper reflected, and he looked older than that, for he had a tendency to fat. His red sash spanned a swelling middle, and his face with its fringe of beard was rounder and more moonlike than ever. Amable had...
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As “good Canadian peep’ ” he indulgently classified his invaluable Tess, his younger children with their glimmer of Irish, his older sons with their tint of the bois brûlé, and such of Jacques and Indian Annie’s offspring as came down to share in the labor and the fun. Certainly all of them worked, from Narcisse who...
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The last of the dancers had called out their farewells an hour earlier. They had taken to canoes, to muleback, and to their own sore feet, through a chill nebulous dawn. The children had dropped down and were sleeping soundly upon the warm hearth. Only Hypolite, Dee, George, Lafe and the father and mother took a cup of...
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After year, the line of settlement had passed Fountain Cave, crossed the tamarack swamp, jumped gorges and ravines, slipped beneath the white cliffs by which the Indians for untold generations had designated the place, and reached the slough which the Canadians called the Grand Marais. Here another little group of...
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But they did not, although Dee paddled her very best, wondering where Narcisse might be and what could be causing the usually deliberate Amable to drive his canoe so swiftly. For Amable slipped along the sunset-flooded river at a speed only possible to a seasoned voyageur. He was up the shore, unheeding the cries of George and...
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What a day, thought Jasper Page, bending with his paddle strokes, his bare head shining in the sun, his broad back playing freely under a buckskin shirt, what day to have a fine Chippewa canoe alone upon the Mississippi! Six boatmen with plumed hats were well enough when one had visitors of rank. But there were...
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It seemed to Dee that they followed a trail to the disaster which befell them that December. Not a straight trail, an Indian trail. There, a notched birch; here, a notched cedar; there, twin sumacs with the ends of the branches burned. They went circuitously, but none the less surely; and the ordered events through...
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When George and a luminous Lafe arrived at the island next evening with the light bundle of Dee's possessions and the heavy load of DuGay prayers, and when they took their departure after feasting on cake and coffee and a view of the dining room walls, they had no idea, nor had Dee, how long it was to be...
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A morning came when Dee awoke to the drip of melting snow. She heard it before her eyes were open, the steady muffled fall of drops from the eaves of the upper roof to the roof which sloped down from her window. She lifted herself on one arm and watched the globules gather. They hung for a moment before they...
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After they had had their tea they returned to the parlor. Mme. Elmire had lighted the candles—not those in the glittering luster hanging from the ceiling, but those on the mantel and the slim side table—and she had added some pine to the fire which blazed up briskly. One little table, placed near the hearth, was laid...
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There was rain and mild weather. There was wind, and that was seasonable, although it howled with a wintry sound. This quieted; a haze in the air changed to light snow; it started snowing in earnest. It snowed as though it were November and not March. The sun broke out at last, looking understandably...
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Lac Qui Parle is a widening of that river once called the St. Peters. It comes while the stream still winds through prairie country, south and east. After it enters woodland, it makes a great bend. It is there that the Blue Earth joins it. Then it flows north and east down to Fort Snelling and into the...
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Seen across the prairie on a slope leading down to the lake, Running Walker’s village was like a field of shocked corn. The summer houses were not yet up. The spring had been so late that the village still clung to the warmth of the buffalo skin tepees. White when they were new, these were now soiled and gray, but...
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Dee was returning to the Entry in Msieu Page's big canoe. This plan, it must be made clear, had been arranged without her knowledge. When she reached Fort Renville with Mowrie she had been at the point where planning was impossible. Even talking was hard. She had only managed to ask them not...
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It was very fine to have a priest. At first Pig’s Eye saw no drawbacks at all. The hamlet was completely delighted when young Father Galtier started coming down regularly from the Entry to minister to its spiritual needs. Benjamin Gervais and Vital Guikin gave land for a church at the point where their farms...
Page Count: 332
Publication Year: 1992