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A KING IN THIS WEST. 109
Osage excursions, then, were largely after buffalo. Tur key, deer and fish were in large abundance over the eastern half of their dominion. When their home was in Missouri, Saucy Chief had hunted buffalo in Central Kansas and the Cherokee outlet. Those were long and splendid journeys, in the fall of the year, 300 miles afoot across the kingdom and back again the prince with his retinue of strong yc ng hunt ers. He must have been a tireless leader, since he was big and active, 6 feet 2 in moccasins, lithe, with no superfluous flesh, yet weighing well onto 200 pounds in his best days, eagle-eyed and eagle-beaked, firm lipped and proud imperi ous every inch a leader and a lord. Only the best could stay with him and these were proud of the distinction. He would sometimes talk of these days of Western Missouri, a wilderness of forest and prairie, big streams and mighty trees growing rank in wide bottoms; of Kansas City, straggling, unpainted, ragged, weather-beaten village of logs, and warped native boards and split native shingles, and God-forsaken lonesomeness for pioneer Eastern white women; of Eastern Kansas, just a continuation of Western Missouri, hill and valley of splendid blue stemmed prairies, big timber bottoms, plenty offish, plenty of turkey, plenty of deer in all this fine country, walnuts, hickorynuts, hazlenutsand pecans, wild grapes, blackberries, strawberries, gooseberries, count less varities of plums. And anything would grow in the rich black loam. Why, I remember a dozen of these Indian fields on the Pottawatomie of of my boyhood in Eastern Kansas. How many boys have gone to these abandoned Indian fields to get the best, the largest and most luscious strawberries, blackberries and plums? . . . Arcadian days fof Indians no canned goods, no odds and ends of conglomerate civili zation and savagery; no tuberculosis. Afterwards Saucy Chief rode back of an iron horse through what had once been his country, to and beyond a great city that had once been a lonesome landing place for Missouri river boats, and thought of time and change.