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A Mountain Boyhood   By: (1880-1935)

Book cover

First Page:

[Transcriber's note: Extensive research found no evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed.]

[Frontispiece: AT THAT INSTANT THE BEAR CAME TO LIFE.]

A MOUNTAIN BOYHOOD

by JOE MILLS

Author of "The Comeback"

Illustrated by

ENOS B. COMSTOCK

J. H. SEARS & COMPANY, Inc.

PUBLISHERS

NEW YORK

COPYRIGHT, 1926, BY

J. H. SEARS & CO., INCORPORATED

COPYRIGHT, 1926, BY

THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA (INC.)

MANUFACTURED COMPLETE BY THE KINGSPORT PRESS KINGSPORT, TENNESSEE

United States of America

TO THE ONE WHO MADE THIS BOYHOOD POSSIBLE MY WIFE

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

I. GOING WEST II. GETTING ACQUAINTED WITH WILD COUNTRY AND ANIMALS III. FIRST CAMP ALONE EXPLORING IV. DANCING ACROSS THE DIVIDE V. TRAPPING MOUNTAIN TOP DWELLERS VI. A LOG CABIN IN THE WILDS PRIMITIVE LIVING VII. GLACIERS AND FOREST FIRES VIII. THE PROVERBIAL BUSY BEAVER IX. MOUNTAIN CLIMBING X. MODERN PATHFINDERS XI. OFF THE TRAIL XII. DREAMERS OF GOLDEN DREAMS XIII. THE CITY OF SILENCE XIV. BEARS AND BUGBEARS XV. ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

At that instant the bear came to life . . . . Frontispiece

I plunged downward, struggling frantically

I sat down by the fiddler and dozed

I glimpsed his flaming eyes and wide open, fang filled mouth

Sheep and rock dropped straight toward me

Never before had the ring of an ax echoed in Silent Valley

"See all fools ain't dead yit," he observed

The memory of that race for life is still vividly terrifying

Every fall I watched Mr. and Mrs. Peg at their repairs

They turned tail and came racing back, straight toward me

Out of the dust of years, we dug the history of a buried past

A MOUNTAIN BOYHOOD

CHAPTER ONE

GOING WEST

Father and mother settled on the Kansas prairie in the early fifties. At that time Kansas was the frontier. Near neighbors were twenty miles or more apart. There was no railroad; no stages supplied the vast unsettled region. A few supplies were freighted by wagon. However, little was needed from civilized sources, for the frontier teemed with game. Myriads of prairie chickens were almost as tame as domestic fowls. Deer stared in wide eyed amazement at the early settlers. Bands of buffalo snorted in surprise as the first dark lines of sod were broken up. Droves of wild turkey skirted the fringes of timber. Indians roamed freely; halting in wonder at the first log cabins of the pioneers.

In my father's old diary I found the following:

June, 1854.

Drove through from Iowa to Kansas by ox team. Located four days' drive south of Portsmouth. Not much timber here.

Later Kansas City.

October, 1854.

Just returned from visit to our nearest neighbor, John Seeright, a day's drive away. Took the chickens and cow along and stayed several days.

Father told me that the early settlers did not like a region after it got "settled up." He laughed heartily when he said this. It is quite true nevertheless; as soon as a region became "settled up," the pioneers were ready to push on again into the unknown. They loved the frontier it held adventure, hazard always, mystery, ofttimes, romance, life. They moved ahead of and beyond civilization even the long arm of the law did not penetrate their wilderness fastnesses. Their experience so numerous books cannot hold them all have become history.

It is not strange that my parents welcomed the gold rush of '59. It called them once more into the farther wilderness, the vaster unknown. When news of the finding of gold in the Rockies came across the plains, legions of adventurers trailed westward. The few roads that led across the rolling prairies to the Rockies were soon deep cut. Wagons trains strung out across the treeless land like huge, creeping serpents moving lazily in the sun. Joyfully the adventurers went happy, courageous. They were the vanguards of civilization, pushing ever to the West... Continue reading book >>




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