Slike strani

the hat persisted in voyaging its exact middle. Nor could the utmost stretch of Burbidge's arm equal the emergency, even aided as it was by his cane.

After looking on for just about two seconds, Mary tumbled from the horse-block, and came forward on the run, Teadie scattering along behind like a little gray tail to a white kite.

"Oh, and its your best, I know!" lamented Mary. "I'll get it for you. Let me, please!"

Now, Mary as usual was sandled, and unincumbered with socks, so very quickly she was barefooted, and she waded into the puddle; soon, triumphant, smiling, she waded out again. As she came she mopped away such of the damage to the hat as she might on her small, white, percale skirt. The hat-well, the hat was not seriously damaged by the transaction, but the skirt was, so it seems. Burbidge completed his walk that afternoon as was his custom, and when he returned home quite a while later, Mary began to talk as he approached the horseblock.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

Squibbs, the formerly chirpy little soul, now the picture of dejection, desolation, and woe. In box car letters was the word tragedy written on her. Drooped were her shoulders, buried was her once sunny face in her arms, and sob rigors gently convulsed her small body.

Burbidge came up, having noticeably quickened his step at the sight of Squibbs, and at once his hand went out, found a burnished head, lay there, compassionately. Finally in a voice uncommonly tender for him he inquired: "What is it, Squibbs?"

A tear-stained face lifted to him. In it was sorrow unfathomable. Between the sobs she told him: “Teadie is lost!"

A rashness, a sudden and great rashness laid hold of Mr. Burbidge. "Never mind," he soothed, "don't you cry. I'll find Teadie. Run get your hat. I think it is about time we were taking that walk."

When they returned from the walk that afternoon there was to be seen something protruding from Mary's mouth that bore a marked resemblance to a fat, overgrown toothpick. It was all that was left of a spiritlifting, all-day sucker. Even so Mary's sprightliness appeared a thing of yesterday, and singularly enough the dole seemed to have infected Mr. Burbidge-if an indellible frown meant anything.

Had you looked among the classified adds of the next morning's Journal you would have found the following on the first page, and in conspicuous fourteen point type:


And had you made the proper inquiries you would have found out that this add was to run until ordered stopped. Also on this day, the morning following the day Teadie got lost, Squibbs came to the chicken-house studio-by invitation-to play. A perfect duck of a typewriter, one made on lillipution lines, was rigged up on a nice, wide, s'aunch table, before a comfortably cushioned, cushioned, swing-back, chair, that Squibbs might sit there and thump the keys at pleas


Meantime, Burbidge tried to do his writing at a rickety legged sewing machine stand, and the chair he used had started life as a soap box, and it was without mitigating cushions of any kind whatsoever.

Burbidge did his best to work. But it is difficult to give one ear to the illusive muse, so called, while the other ear is strained for a telephone message about a cat. Very difficult is it to give one eye to getting your line down right on paper, while the other eye is affectionately overseeing a kid peck on a typewriter. Yet all these things Mr. Burbidge did this morning, his long, nervous fingers clenched in his mane of dirt colored hair. And Mary tried to play. But in spite of it all the spirit flag of both of them hung at half The atmosphere of the little book-lined cuddy was dismal. But But presently Mary stopped pecking the typewriter, and her eyes went wan


dering idly around the room. In their course of travel they reached the waste basket, and as they did so Mary let out a palpitating whoop. Burbidge jerked his head up and regarded Mary attentively.

He saw that her blue eyes were sparkling. Suddenly she slid from the swing-back chair. Emiting the soulful grunts of a little pig bound for a briming trough she made a rush for the waste basket and dived into it. Next instant she came up with a bunch of maltese squirm in one hand, and in the other hand she held another bunch of the same kind of thing.

"Oh, I've found my Teadie!" said she. "I've found my Teadie, and two little Teadies, too!"

Which was true. Teadie had chosen Mr. Burbidge's waste basket in which to bring forth her young.

At once a pleasanter atmosphere permeated the little book-lined cuddy. Mr. Burbidge clasped his hands behind his head, and leaned back on the cracker box. And it is safe to say that never in his born days did he have a better feeling in the regi of his heart than he had right then.

"Well! well! well!" said he, "so you have found Teadie! I am glad. Believe me, Squibbs, I'm tickled to death!"

And that morning with the cat and the kittens and Squibbs noisily beneath his very nose, Mr. Burbidge wrote a story that was good.

By Jean Brown Fonnesbeck


The Mormon Battalion was must

ered into service, July 16, 1846. On the afternoon of July 19, a farewell dance was given in their honor in the rudely constructed bowery. Many a man said goodby at the bedside of a sick wife, who was now left to support and protect their little children. With heroic hearts the men blessed their families and resigned them to the care of God. That afternoon the Battalion returned to their camp down the river. Eighty women and children accompanied them, some of the men being permitted to take along their families at their own expense. Twenty of the women were engaged as laundresses, and were on the army pay roll.

In the evening the church officials met in conference with the volunteers in a grove by their encampment, and gave them their last charge and blessing with the firm promise that if the men were absolutely faithful to their religion, their lives would not be lost in battle; their expedition would result in much good; and their names would be handed down in honorable remembrance to all generations. Brigham Young instructed the officers to prove themselves fathers to the privates. All were to remember their prayers; see that the name of Deity was revered; observe strictly the laws of cleanliness and chastity. They were instructed to treat all men with kindness; never to take that which did not belong to them-even from their worst enemy in time of war. They were admonished to eat only simple foods; take no medicines save portions of mild herbs; heal the sick by

[blocks in formation]


The members of this Battalion were unused to military training or discipline. Many of them were mere boys whose growing bodies were unseasoned to the demands made upon them by the hot sultry weather, and the long forced marches down the Missouri. A number had contracted malaria before leaving the camp of the Saints at Council Bluffs. During the two hundred mile march between that place and Fort Leavenworth they experienced much discomfort from ague, over fatigue, and short rations. For three days they subsisted on but little else than parched corn.

The Battalion reached Fort Leavenworth August first, where they received their tents one hundred in number-their muskets and ammunition; and forty-two dollars each, to be used for clothing money during the year. Those who were already supplied with clothing sent practically all of this money, as well as their pay here received for the first six weeks' service, back to the church authorities. This fund was used to help support the soldiers' families, to gather the Saints who still remained

at Nauvoo, and to send missionaries to the Eastern States and to England.

Every member of the Battalion signed his name to the pay roll. This was considered most unusual by the officers, since in all other companies in the army there were scores of men who could not read or write. Colonel Allen praised the men warmly for their conduct in this first march, saying that though they were unused to military training, they were so will ing to obey that it never was necessary to give a command a second



At Fort Leavenworth Colonel Allen became so ill that he was unable to resume the march. He placed Jefferson Hunt of Company A in command until he, himself, should be well enough to assume it again. August second, on which day the baggage wagons, camp equipage, knapsacks and canteens had all been arranged and adjusted, the Battalion took its departure for the long, long march. The weather was excessively hot, the thermometer registered one hundred one degrees in the shade.

The first day they marched only five miles, finding poor water and but little of that. The sick men, who were in raging fevers, suffered horribly from thirst, as the small supply of water they carried in canteens and flagons was soon exhausted.

On the second day out a messenger came from Council Bluffs with the news that the main body of Saints had crossed the Missouri River, and journeying up the river some twenty miles, had taken up Winter Quarters on land owned by the Omaha Indians.

Two days later the companies reached the Kansas or Kaw River and were ferried over by some semicivilized Delaware and Shawnee In

dians, whose poorly tilled farms were near that place. At their encampment four miles from the ferry the Battalion encountered a most terrific storm;-lightning, rain, hail, wind, that overturned their wagons, blew down their tents, threatened devastation to all their property, and im perilled the lives of both men ard animals.

Next day the Battalion lay by to dry their blankets and clothing. They availed themselves of this opportunity to hold religious services. The chief speakers were David Pettigrew and Levi W. Hancock who had been appointed to act as spiritual advisers to the men. Two men were baptized for the recovery of health, and one for the remission of his sins.

A few days later the men passed an old stone wall, that was five or six feet thick, and other ruins of an ancient city, which indicated that this teritory in some time-long ages past had been inhabited by a civilized people.

August 26, news was brought to camp of the death of their Colonel, James Allen. This information cast a deep gloom over the men, for they loved and esteemed their leader who had treated them so kindly and justly. They knew they could trust him; knew that he was full of sympathy for them since he had seen the piiable conditions in which their families were left. The funeral services which they held for Colonel Allen were truly solemn. The men mourned for the loss of a true leader and an understanding friend.

The night the Battalion held funeral services for Colonel Allen, Jane Bosco, an aged English woman, died. Her husband, John Bosco, died before the day break the next morning. Neither of them belonged to the Mormon Church, but had friends in the

Battalion. They were too far advanced in years to stand the fatigues of the journey. The aged couple gained the oft repeated wish, that they should die together. They were buried side by side in a single grave. As a last act of kindness and respect, and to protect the bodies from the wolves, each company marched to the bluffs nearby and brought back flat stones. With these they built a high wall around the grave, filled the interior with rock and overlaid the whole with beautiful flat stones. This work completed, the men returned to camp, and after prayers, wrapped themselves in their blankets for the night.


When the Battalion enlisted it was understood that under no circumstances should they be divided, and that in case Colonel Allen were unable to continue the march, the men should appoint their own commander. Therefore, upon Colonel Allen's death, Jefferson Hunt, Captain of Company A, was unanimously elected by the men to be their leader. A letter apprising the federal authorities of this decision was forwarded to Washington via Independence, Missouri. The march was continued under Hunt's leadership, until the men were overtaken by Lieutenant A. J. Smith, Dr. George B. Sanderson, and Major Walker of the regular United States army service. They brought word that Dr. Sanderson had been appointed to act as surgeon to the Battalion until they reached California.

Lieutenant Smith, on his own authority, was determined to secure the command of the Battalion. He used most ingenious arguments to convince the men that he should have the lead ership. He stated that inasmuch as he was in the regular army service


he would have more prestige with the government in securing supplies and favors for the Battalion, than would the commander elected from their own ranks. He also said that the supplies then in their possession had not been receipted for, and that, if given the command, he, as a commissioned officer, could furnish the receipts without delay. The men looked upon Smith as an imposter, and considered his arguments very flimsy. He urged their own mander, Jefferson Hunt, that his resignation would be for the best good of the Battalion. Finally Hunt offered to resign if the men considered it to be to their advantage. After much urging and oratory on the part of Smith, Walker and Sanderson, the officers of the five companies met to consider the matter of accepting Hunt's resignation, and electing Smith in his stead. It was agreed upon, most reluctantly, and with a number of dissenting votes that Smith should have command of the Battalion until they reached Santa Fe.

The men seemed to have a premonition of the results which this decision would bring upon them; gloom pervaded the camp. Nor were their forebodings unfounded. The new commander, Smith, proved to be a mere underling of Doctor Sanderson, an apothecary of the old school, who insisted on administering a large dose of calomel to every man who was ailing. Calomel or arensic formed his panacea for all ills. He instructed the men not to drink any cold water for at least two days after a dosage, or the result would be certain death. At first the doctor did up his powders in paper, and allowed the soldiers to take them at their quarters. Unfortunately, he discov ered that the men were not taking his medicine, but had the very careless

« PrejšnjaNaprej »