Chapter XXX.
My First Three Years in Becker County.

In the summer of 1870, I received an appointment as deputy United States surveyor from the surveyor general of Minnesota with instructions to survey thirteen townships of land in the Red River country, four of which were in Wilkin County, two in Clay and seven in Becker County. I did not receive my final instructions until late in the summer and consequently found that I would not be able to complete the work before midwinter, so I decided to leave the Becker County townships, some of which were heavily timbered, for the last, and began at the west end of my work. I accordingly began work on the Red River flats, in Wilkin County on the 16th of August, 1870, and finished in Clay County on the 5th of October. There was not a settler in Wilkin County at the time except at McCauleyville, and a ferry across the Otter Tail River kept by a man named Merry. There were no settlers in Clay County, except at Georgetown and a stage station or two along the Red River, and eight or ten families in the eastern towns along the border of Becker County.

The last township I surveyed in Clay County was the one in which Barnesville is now situated. It was only twelve miles from there across to Becker County, but I was obliged to go back to McCauleyville for supplies and from there we drove across the Red River flats and over to Pelican Rapids. We crossed Whiskey Creek soon after leaving McCauleyville on a narrow, rickety pole bridge, about ten feet high. Our ox teamster who had been accustomed to using the whole Red River valley for a highway, allowed his load to tumble off over the bridge, and the weight of the wagon pulled the oxen over on top of the load. There was about a foot of water and two feet of black mud in the creek, and down went sacks of flour and barrels of pork, sugar, coffee, blankets, clothing and sujrveying instruments with the wagon on top, wheels up and the oxen on top of it all. It took us all the afternoon to get out of the muss and clean up and dry our outfit. At two different times, we were obliged to unload and carry everything across sloughs, on pond on Section 8 in Lake Park Township, which was on land since owned by John Lie. I was anxious to hire more men, and as I could see a house three or four miles east of us in a grove of which was nearly a fourth of a mile wide, before we reached Pelican Rapids. In consequence of these delays we were obliged to camp out on the prairie two nights more than we expected, and had to burn up an extra ox yoke and our tent poles for fuel. From Pelican Rapids we drove north up around the west end of Pelican Lake and from there in a nortwesterly direction around the west end of Big Cormorant Lake. There was a dim wagon road up as far as Section 20 in the town of Cormorant. The first person we met after passing into Becker County was Mark Warren, and old fur trader, who was hunting for his horse. Soon afterwards we came to where a man by the name of Wm. MCMartin was building a log house on Section 21, I believe. Several of his neighbors were helping him. These were all the people we saw in the township of Cormorant. From here there was no sign of a road until we came to Section 8, west of Big Cormorant Lake. Many times all hands had to hold onto the wagon to prevent it from tipping over, and some of the way we were obliged to cut a road though the timber. We finally found a dim road running north which brought us over a prairie and through brush to a beautiful little praitie which must be part of the nortwest quarter of Section 5. This prairie was surrounded by brush and timber, and was such a contrast to the country on the Red River flats where we had been surveying, and where we did not see a bush or a tree from two months that the boys in the party began giving cheers for Becker County, and some of them wanted to take a homestead right there.



*NOTE-After the organization of the townships whose history has just been presented there were none organized for seven or eight years, so here will be a good place to intoduce a few miscellaneous articles.

My objective point was Township 140, Range 43, or what is now the township of Cuba, we we drove on with our ox team over a road that was gradully becoming better as we proceded north until we came to where a man by the nme of John P. Rud was building a log house on what is now Section 29 of Lake Park Township, where we camped for the night.

In the evening, a man came to our camp by the name of E. H. Nelson who was living a little west on Section 30. Two other men also living on Section 30 at the time, Gus Jacobson and Erik Quam. The next morning we continued north over a bad road and about 10 o'clock made a halt at a small gove by a timber. I started to go to it. I do not think there was then a house on the prairie in Lake Park Township, although there were quite a number scattered around among the groves, but they were pretty well hid from view. I worked my way along all right until I came to the middle of the big marsh in Section 11 of Lake Park and seeing no way around it to the north or to the south, I gave up the job and went back. The house I started for, I think, was where Hamilton Kelly has since lived, but was then occupied by Palmer Hall. When I reached my camp, I found two men there, Erick Anderson and his father, and I hired them. That afternoon we drove on north to the Buffalo River and camped in the grove of timber, since called Kittelson's Grove, on Section 16, town of Cuba. There was a hard frost that night, the first of the season. This was the 13th day of October, 1870.

The next thing was to hunt up the township lines and find a starting point. I found that a random line between Cuba and Lake Park had been run and temporary corners set, but no corners were established. The next day, the 14th, was Sunday and about noon a man by the name of Bemer came from Howard's camp, the surveyor who had run the township lines, bringing the field notes of the town line with the correction for each corner.

That same day, Chris. E. Bjorge came to our camp and I hired him, and he proved to be a valuable assistant. A man by the name of Ole Kittelson had taken a claim which included a part of the grove where we camped. He had a dugout on the high bank of the Buffalo River which was made by digging a square hole in the face of the hill and building a low house over the hole. He had been at work on the Richwood milldam, but when he heard that the surveyors had come he started for home making a bee line across the country. He came on all right until he struck the big string of lakes and sloughs that stretches across the present townof Hamden, when trouble began. The water was much higher then that it is now since the ditch was dug. After wandering back and forth from the south to the north and from the north to the south without finding a way around, he finally plunged in where it appeared to be the narrowest and undertook to wade across, bu soon got in above his depth and became tanged in the wild rice and bullrushes and was almost drowned, but finally pulled through more dead than alive and reached our camp away in the night. I hired him also. Cuba was then sprinkled over with sloughs and ponds and they were all full of water, so we had plenty of wading to do unless we resorted to the more tedious process of offsetting, and where the water was not more than two or three feet deep we preferred to wade.

There were three settlers in the township of Cuba at the time. B. O. Bergerson was living in a comfortable log house on Section 36. Martin Olson had a house built on Section 35, but there was no one residing there. He had gone below after his family and returned with them on the 21st of October. Ole Kittelson on Section 16, in addition to his dugout had a smalll patch of turnips. There was an old Red River cart trail which crossed the Buffalo River near the middle of the township and ran northweserly across the country to some point on the Red River. Buffalo bones were abundant, especially near the Buffalo River on Sections 15 and 16, showing that Becker County had been a favorite summer resort for that animal.

From our camp we could see a grove of timber directly east in the next township and on the 20th day of October, I ordered my camp moved to that grove which proved to be on Section 17.

We worked north of the Buffalo River that day and finished surveying the town of Cuba, but did not get through until dark. We could see the fire at our new camp, over in what is now the township of Hamden and made as near a direct line towards the fire as the nature of the ground would permit. We got along at-right until within about 100 rods of the camp, when we came to a lake and we undertook to go around it by going north, hut after going in that direction a quarter of a mile or so, we became discouraged and turned hack to the south to find that curl of the lake. After going in that direction for half a mile, we shouted to the men in the camp and inquired which way they went to get there. They said around the north end, so we went back north. We had not gone far however, before Chris Bjorge said he believed we could wade through the lake and immediately turned off and plunged into the water. We all concluded that we could wade it if he could, so we plunged in after him. The night was cold and icicles were forming on the bullrushes near the shore, and some of them were frozen together. We soon reached open water, where the water was up to our arms, but the bed of the lake was good and hard so we followed on after our leader and finally after wading a quarter of a mile or more reached the camp in safety.

We were soon inside dry clothes, none the worse for our bath. That night and the next morning, the 21st, it snowed hard, the snow remaining on the ground all day. The second evening after dark we noticed a big fire to the south of our camp about four miles away and we were at a loss to know what it meant as it was too wet for the prairie grass to burn, but we found out in a day or two that it was Gunder Carlson's haystacks burning just over the line on Section 6, in what is now Audubon Township. They were set on fire by an Indian by the name of Bachinana just after dark, and as Carlson went out of his house to ascertain the cause of the fire, the Indian arose from behind the woodpile and fired at him with a charge of buckshot, giving him what proved to be a mortal wound.

Hamden was worse than Cuba for sloughs and ponds; they were all alive with ducks and geese, and sand-hill cranes were seen stalking about over the prairies or flying over head every day, and the sharp-tailed grouse or native prairie hens were abundant, especially in the vicinity of the few small groves and patches of hazel-brush.

There was not a settler then living within the limits of the present town of Hamden, although there were three small pieces of breaking, one on Section 31, belonging to Hans Ebeltoft, and another on Section 33, just west of the lake belonging to Lars 0. Ramstad. Ramstad had a few haystacks and he was fighting a prairie fire that was raging when I ran the line between Sections 32 and 33. With the exception of these improvements there was no sign or trace of civilization in the township, except the track of a wagon that had been driven around the north end of the lake on Section 26.

After camping in the grove on Section 17 for about a week, we moved to a small grove between the two lakes on Section 34 and after remaining there for a day or two, we moved into Richwood early in November and camped in a small grove of timber by a large pond on Section 19, a short distance west of the old Red River road. This road was the main road to the White Earth Agency and the only road except the Leech Lake road.

There were eight men living within the limits of the present town of Richwood at the time, four of whom had families. Hans Hanson was living with his wife and one child in a log house on Section 20. Iver Christenson was living with his family on Section 29.

Iver Evenson with his family were on the southeast quarter of Section 29, and Gabriel Halverson and family were on Section 21. Hugh Campbell was living on Section 28 on the place since occupied by Hans Sall, and William Harding lived on Section 29 on the west side of the lake near the quarter section corner between Sections 29 and 32. There was a house on Section 33 built hy a man named George Van Valkenburg on the west side of the creek about a quarter of a mile south of the section line, but there was no one living there at the time. He came on the next spring with his family, a squaw and several half-breed children. The place was since owned and occupied by Mickel Mickelson.

Ole Qualey was living somewhere in the town, as I saw him that fall twice, but he was not yet of age and could not take a homestead. A man by the name of A. J. Haney was building a mill-dam where the Richwood mill is now. Gus. Lundine had his name written on the section stake on the town line at the southwest corner of Section 32, but I saw nothing of him or any of his improvements that fall.

There was any amount of water in Richwood then and ice began to form in the sloughs and ponds before we had finished the survey of the township. It was bad enough to wade in cold water at any time, but when the ice was just strong enough to break and let you through at every step it was tough enough. When the survey of the township was made, the west end of Buffalo flake was about half a mile east of where Richwood Mills now stand and quite a little distance east of the line between Sections 1 and 2. Where the west end of Buffalo lake is now there was a fine dry meadow with the Buffalo River, a fine clear stream of water, running through the middle.

Haney was there at work on the mill-dam and he was somewhat uneasy lest he should have trouble on his hands at some future time as the result of overflowing so much land and he wanted to know if there was not some way in which I could help him. So when I came to meander the lake, I ran the meander lines well up on the face of the low bluffs or hills bordering on the meadow and away around down by his mill-pond, and made the meander lines fit the future outline of the lake so completely that when the water was raised by the dam no one would ever have known but that the lake had always been up to its present level.

Deer were very plentiful in the timbered portions of Richwood when winter set in, but they soon afterwards left for the pine forests farther east, and we did not see a deer, and but very few of their tracks after leaving that township. In the middle of Richwood the timbered forests began and it was nearly a month before the marshes were frozen sufficiently hard to bear a team; so we were obliged to cut miles of road. This was done by Chris Bjorge, afterwards the Lake Park banker. We started in from the prairie at Gabriel Halverson's house on Section 21, and cut around the north side of the lake on Section 22, then built a bridge across the inlet to that lake near the line between Sections 22 and 23 at the only place where the marsh along the creek was narrow enough to build a bridge. This bridge was built at the same place where the little bridge now stands on the road from Detroit to Richwood village. The road ran from there east to the southwest corner of Rock Lake in Section 29, where we made our next camp. After remaining here for a few days we moved around to the north side of the lake on Section 27, as near the center of the town as we could get. When we moved into this township, which is now Holmesville, winter had set in earnestly, but was not severe until Christmas. We were living in a tent doing our cooking and warming ourselves by a fire outside until about the middle of December. We had heard before that there was a store near Oak Lake, so we sent our team there for some supplies and among other things it brought a little sheet iron heating stove which added very much to our comfort the remainder of the winter. This store, the first opened in Becker County, was owned by a man named Sterling and was located on Section 7 in the town of Detroit on the west shore of the lake. The building was owned by L. D. Sperry, who afterwards sold the land on which it stood to Byron Wheeler who lived there several years. The advance of winter brought with it many new and interesting features. Every morning for a couple of weeks the roaring of the ice as it was forming on the lakes in the vicinity was novel and strange, not one of us having ever heard anything of the kind before. It did not take long for the ice to get strong enough for us to walk upon it, which was a great convenience in running lines through a country so thickly dotted with lakes and ponds. The ice on Rock Lake, at first thin and elastic, was very transparent and in places multitudes of fish could be seen through the ice and frequently where the water was shallow the men would strike the ice with an ax or hatchet over some big wall-eyed pike or perch which stunned the fish so that they would turn belly up and be easily taken through a hole cut in the ice.

One evening as we returned to camp front Tamarack Lake and while traveling on the frozen surface of the Buffalo River, one of my men, Daniels by name, fell through the ice up to his armpits. We soon fished him out and as he began to take off his wet clothes in the tent a short time afterwards he felt something squirm in his pants' pocket, upon which he jerked out a live perch seven or eight inches long, which had taken refuge there when he went through the ice.

There was a flock of about one hundred grouse or native prairie hens around the borders of the lake on Section 27, where we camped, that had gathered in from the prairies at the beginning of winter. They were very tame, as we had no firearms, and did not molest them and the longer we remained the tamer they grew.

Before winter set in we expected to have trouble in obtaining food for our oxen as there was no hay in the vicinity, but the borders of nearly all the lakes in the woods were lined with evergreen or scouring rushes, and we soon found that our cattle could live on them and keep in as good order as if they had hay. They have been nearly exterminated since.

I did not run many of the section lines in the town of Holmesville as I went down to Sherman's at Oak Lake about the 10th of December and was there a week or two writing up field notes, and Albert Daniels ran the compass during my absence. While I was at Sherman's, S. B. Pinney rented a log building of Sherman in which to store some goods and groceries. He had a contract for getting out the ties for the Northern Pacific road in Becker County. He brought with him a sleek looking young man by the name of Ole A. Boe to take charge of the supplies. It was not many days before the store house opened out as a full-fledged store.

There was no one living within the limits of the present town of Holmesville at that time, but early in the spring of 1871, Swan Olund located on the southwest quarter of Section 6, and is clearly the first settler in the township.

Chris Bjorge had cut a road around by the north shore of Cotton Lake and the south shore of Tamarack flake. The swamps were not yet frozen hard enough to bear up a team and we could go no farther north without crossing a swamp, so all of Grand Park was surveyed from our camp on the east shore of Pine Lake.

We began work in the southeast corner of the township where the surveys of all the townships are supposed to commence, and as our camp was within a mile and a half of the west boundary it took nearly half of our time to go to and from our work. We generally ran lines all day long and as late in the evening as we could see to read the figures on the compass, usually getting farther away from camp all the time, and when it was too dark to survey any more we would start for camp, frequently having to travel four or five miles in the dark taking a good many chances of missing our way and all sleeping out in the woods or breaking into some treacherous spring hole, or walking into some air-hole in the ice, but we always found our way to the camp without serious accident. On the day after Christmas the weather turned intensely cold and remained so for ten days. The mercury must have been 30 to 45 below zero every day during that time. I ran the meander lines around Height of Land Lake during that spell of cold weather and one of my men froze his feet so badly that he bad to stay in camp for a whole week. Every day some of us would freeze our faces and the nights were too cold for us to sleep comfortably in a tent. Frequently in the night someone would get up and build a fire and warm up a little, but I always got up and ate a lot of pork and beans when I was cold and went back to bed and let the fire go, finding that would warm me up better and more permanently than to sit around a fire on an empty stomach. A day or two before New Year's Day, I came near losing a man by the name of Shira. I had been running lines in the northwest part of the township and at dark came to Tamarack Lake on Section 18 a little south of where the Dahl family has since lived for several years. We here struck across Tamarack Lake and traveled southwest across the bay on the ice around the point of land that projects out into the lake at the corner of Sections 13, 24, 18 and 19 and then followed the east shore to where the line between Sections 19 and 30 intersect the lake. Here we were about to leave the lake and follow the section line east through the woods to camp, when we discovered that Shira was missing. He was subject to epilepsy and as it was 40 below zero and a blizzard raging I became alarmed for his safety. I sent the other men on to the camp and went back to look for him. In doing so I was obliged to face a gale from the northwest and it was not long before my cheeks were frozen so hard that I could not shut my eyes. This was not the first time in my life, however, that this had happened, so I was not alarmed, but kept on around the point and back to where we left Shira, a distance of at least two and a half miles. I there found by his tracks that be had started through the woods in the direction of the camp preferring to tear through the brush and timber and take his chances on getting lost, than to face the storm on the lake. I did not attempt to follow him, but went back by the way of the lake. When I reached the camp, Shira was there, but he had run a narrow risk of freezing to death as he had broken through into some springs and got wet and also got lost afterwards, but as good luck favored him, he ran across two of my other men who had been out correcting lines, and they brought him into camp badly frozen. That winter there was a large flock of grouse around the west shore of Height of Land Lake. They were seen feeding generally on the buds of the white birch. Partridges were also quite plentiful. There were a number of ravens about height of Land Lake and I think there has been a few there ever since. There were not as many wild animals in the woods as there has been since. There were a few rabbits, and foxes were abundant; in fact far more numerous than now. They were nearly all poisoned off years ago, while wolves are much more plentiful now than they were then. The Otter Tail River, which flows through this township and particularly both where it enters and where it leaves Height of Land Lake, was then a favorite resort of the Indians. There was a large cornfield near the inlet on the east side of the river and several graves on the brow of the hill fronting the river opposite where Charles Mitchell now lives. There was a camp of Indians half a mile below the outlet where they had a fish trap across the river and they were catching more fish than they could use. There was also a large burying ground, a little east of the outlet on the little prairie by the lake near the Indian mounds.

A day or two after New Year's we moved south into Township 139, Range 40, or what is now the town of Erie. From near the south end of Tamarack Lake, we cut a road southwesterly across Section 31 of Grand Park, Sections I, 2, 13, 14 and 23 of Erie crossing the Otter Tail at the present crossing at the foot of the rapids below the Hubbell dam thence along down east of the river until we intersected the ravine that extends down to the river where the county bridge now stands. We turned away down this ravine and camped in the thicket of fir balsams where the east end of the county bridge is now. The next day we commenced the survey of the town of Erie. The second day I started to run the line between Sections 12 and 13 from west to east. At about fifteen chains we intersected the Otter Tail River at about the middle of the rapids, below where the Hubbell dam is now.

Usually about the first thing our cook would do after setting up in a new camp was to dig a bean hole; as we had no cook stove we baked our bread before an open fire in a tin reflector and baked our beans in a hole dug in the ground. A fire was built in the hole something after the plan of heating an old fashioned brick oven. After the ground was made good and hot, the bean kettle was lowered into the hole and the hole covered over tight and the beans left in to bake. At this camp our cook who was a little Englishman named Wignel Gott from Elizabethtown in Otter Tail County, had dug his customary bean hole and baked an oversupply on the first day, and before we could eat them all tip, a quantity of them soured on his hands. Sour beans are bad enough in warm weather, but with the thermometer at 30 below. One dose was enough, so the whole camp struck on eating them. The next day several Indians came down from the fish trap with fish to sell and the cook was not long in striking up a trade, exchanging a part of his baked beans for fish. He was very much elated at what he considered his shrewd bargain, but the next day the Indians came back with blood in their eyes The cook who was entirely alone on both occasions was accused by the Indians of trying to poison them and they demanded indemnity for being driven out into the snow during the small hours of the night. Any one who has ever eaten sour beans can appreciate the situation. The Indians then commenced a sort of war dance around the Englishman, which was accompanied with a flourish of knives and guns around his head and an occasional war-whoop, during which time the poor fellow was frightened nearly to death. After an hour or so, they began to calm down and the cook began to recover his senses and the matter was finally compromised by giving the Indians the balance of sour beans.

I started across on the ice with the head chainman at my heels and when about half way over, the ice gave way and we both went into the water to our waists. We were not long, however, in crawling out. The day was extremely cold, 30 below zero, at least, so that put an end to running lines that day. We all struck off down the river on the ice and were not long in making the two miles to the camp.

The morning after our misfortune in crossing the rapids, we went back and continued our line across the river without further accident We had now been running lines for four months and a half, and during all the time we had been looking out for the Northern Pacific Railroad as we knew it was to he located somewhere in this part of the county; and immediately after crossing the river we were delighted to find one of their surveyed lines. Several of my men were for taking homesteads right there and then. They considered themselves the most fortunate beings that had ever been born. Here was the railroad, and here was a magnificent water-power. There would certainly be a station here, around which a city would grow up right in the center of Becker County and it would assuredly become the county seat. After looking around a little longer they came to a tree with the bark hewed off on one side on which was written, "taken with Sioux half-breed Script," and signed George B. Wright. Thus the fond hopes of the boys and their visions of wealth came to naught. The railroad was not built there and the finest water power in Northwestern Minnesota, except perhaps Fergus Falls, is still idle. This was the first place where we had seen any sign of the Northern Pacific Railroad.

The large island in Cotton Lake was at that time one of the most beautiful and attractive natural parks in Becker County. It was alive with partridges.

In the top of an old oak tree there was the nest of an eagle, and that nest was since occupied each season by what is supposed to be the same pair of eagles, for more than thirty years; the tree was blown down in 1901. About the 9th of January, I ran the line between Sections 31 and 32 in Erie Township which took me over the summit of Detroit Mountain. From the top of it I obtained my first view of the Detroit prairie and Detroit Lake. I had a telescope on my surveying instrument, so I spent several minutes in looking in that direction. I could see the Tyler House, the Fox house on the hill and another log house a little farther to the right, which I suppose was where Judge Rossman then held forth. These were all the signs of civilization to be seen where the city now stands. We were undoubtedly the first white men to ascend Detroit Mountain.

By the 10th of January, my road engineer had completed a road from where we were camped on the Otter Tail River to the center of the Township 139, Range 39, or what is now Height of Land Township, and we moved our camp to a small pond on the land since owned by Louis Golke. This road was cut out very near where the Detroit and Shell prairie county road runs at present. In fact all my survey roads were the only roads used by the early settlers of those timbered towns for many years. arid many of them are used today right where I cut them out thirty-six years ago.

We surveyed the whole township from this camp, and as the days were very short, we utilized about all the hours of daylight in running lines and traveled to and from our work in the dark, generally making a bee line for the camp as soon as daylight was gone. So accustomed was I to the woods that I could always make my way to almost any point in whatever direction it might be by night or by day without using the compass or having the sun or stars for a guide. I have been in the woods more or less ever since I was ten years old, and never was lost for a minute, and it always seems strange to hear anyone talk about getting lost in the woods or on the prairie.

Nothing of particular interest occurred while surveying this town, except an occasional visit from some of our red brethren. One evening when we were all in our tent, an Indian came who could talk fairly good English and announced himself as a good Indian. He said there were thirty of them at the fish-trap and they were going to have a dance the next night, but that they bad nothing but water to drink, and he was afraid things would go rather slow; so he came to see if I would sell him a pound of coffee, adding that he had no money, but he knew where there was a mink which he was going to kill in a day or two, and then he would pay. I accordingly let him have the coffee. He said that he had had no supper, so we fed him and he went to bed. He ate breakfast next morning, and left. The second day afterwards, he came back with a mink just killed. He skinned the mink, stayed all night again, had supper and breakfast and then proposed to pay for his coffee with the mink skin. I supposed he intended to give me the skin and was a little surprised when he wanted $4 in cash for the difference. He went away, but came back after awhile with another mink, stayed all night and had supper and breakfast again and when he came to leave, he announced that the dance at the fish-trap had not come off yet and he would like to buy another pound of coffee, "If I was not objections. This time I was objections.

There was not a single settler in Height of Land, Erie, Grand Park or Holmesville at this time. We finished our survey on the 19th of January, 1871.

In Nov., 1870, I had selected the northwest quarter of Section 6, in what is now the town of Detroit for a homestead, so I took my team, wagon and camp outfit over there, and set up my tent and built a log house before I went below. I also discharged my men at this place, three of them going to St. Paul, and three to Elizabethtown in Otter Tail County. Erick Anderson and his father Andrew Nelson stayed and helped me to build my house. Erick afterwards settled on Section 32, in the town of Cuba and has lived there ever since. He was elected judge of probate in 1874, and held the office four years. His father settled in the town of Eglon, Clay County. Chris E..Bjorge went back to the west part of the county, and as he was not old enough to take a homestead bought some railroad land. He had not been in the country long, but had acquired a fair command of the English language. He had had an adventure with a sand-hill crane and the other men were never tired of hearing him relate the story. He had winged the bird with a shot from an old musket and went to pick him up, when the crane showed fight, rushing at Chris with spread wings and open mouth. He had no time to reload, so he concluded to retreat to some safe place where he could reload and then open the fight again. The crane followed him, keeping close to his heels, and every time Chris looked over his shoulders the crane was right there taking "awful steps." Finally he concluded that it was too cowardly to run from a bird, so he stopped and "struck the crane right in the face," with the gun, which finished the fight.


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