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Chief of Scouts   By: (1832-1913)

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First Page:

[Illustration: Captain William F. Drannan, Chief of Scouts.]

CAPT. W.F. DRANNAN,

CHIEF OF SCOUTS,

As Pilot to Emigrant and Government Trains, Across the Plains of the Wild West of Fifty Years Ago.

AS TOLD BY HIMSELF,

AS A SEQUEL TO HIS FAMOUS BOOK "THIRTY ONE YEARS ON THE PLAINS AND IN THE MOUNTAINS."

Copiously Illustrated by E. BERT SMITH.

1910

PREFACE

The kindly interest with which the public has received my first book, "Thirty one Years on the Plains and in the Mountains," has tempted me into writing this second little volume, in which I have tried to portray that part of my earlier life which was spent in piloting emigrant and government trains across the Western Plains, when "Plains" meant wilderness, with nothing to encounter but wild animals, and wilder, hostile Indian tribes. When every step forward might have spelt disaster, and deadly danger was likely to lurk behind each bush or thicket that was passed.

The tales put down here are tales of true occurrences, not fiction. They are tales that were lived through by throbbing hearts of men and women, who were all bent upon the one, same purpose: to plow onward, onward, through danger and death, till their goal, the "land of gold," was reached, and if the kind reader will receive them and judge them as such, the purpose of this little book will be amply and generously fulfilled.

W.F.D.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER 1

CHAPTER 2

CHAPTER 3

CHAPTER 4

CHAPTER 5

CHAPTER 6

CHAPTER 7

CHAPTER 8

CHAPTER 9

CHAPTER 10

CHAPTER 11

CHAPTER 12

[Illustration: The Attack Upon the Train.]

ILLUSTRATIONS

FROM DRAWINGS BY E. BERT SMITH.

Captain W.F. Drannan, Chief of Scouts

With the exception of Carson, we were all scared

As soon as they were gone, I took the Scalp off the dead Chief's head

The first thing we knew the whole number that we had first seen were upon us

Waving my hat, I dashed into the midst of the band

Fishing with the girls

They raced around us in a circle

The mother bear ran up to the dead cub and pawed it with her feet

The next morning we struck the trail for Bent's Fort

I took the lead

I bent over him and spoke to him, but he did not answer

[Illustration: With the exception of Carson, we were all scared.]

CHAPTER 1.

At the age of fifteen I found myself in St. Louis, Mo., probably five hundred miles from my childhood home, with one dollar and a half in money in my pocket. I did not know one person in that whole city, and no one knew me. After I had wandered about the city a few days, trying to find something to do to get a living, I chanced to meet what proved to be the very best that could have happened to me. I met Kit Carson, the world's most famous frontiersman, the man to whom not half the credit has been given that was his due.

The time I met him, Kit Carson was preparing to go west on a trading expedition with the Indians. When I say "going west" I mean far beyond civilization. He proposed that I join him, and I, in my eagerness for adventures in the wild, consented readily.

When we left St. Louis, we traveled in a straight western direction, or as near west as possible. Fifty eight years ago Missouri was a sparsely settled country, and we often traveled ten and sometimes fifteen miles without seeing a house or a single person.

We left Springfield at the south of us and passed out of the State of Missouri at Fort Scott, and by doing so we left civilization behind, for from Fort Scott to the Pacific coast was but very little known, and was inhabited entirely by hostile tribes of Indians.

A great portion of the country between Fort Scott and the Rocky Mountains that we traveled over on that journey was a wild, barren waste, and we never imagined it would be inhabited by anything but wild Indians, Buffalo, and Coyotes.

We traveled up the Neosha river to its source, and I remember one incident in particular... Continue reading book >>




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