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OL GREAT FALLS TRIBUNE
VOL.2. GREAT FALLS, MONTANA TERRITORY, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 4. I886, NO 29 COULTER'S FALLS.* It may not be generally known how the little falls of about ten feet, between the Giant Spring and Rainbow Falls came to be named. If even this water power was not in such high-toned company it would be considered enough in itself, to warrant the future of a town. But we are so bouti fully supplied with water falls and cata racts that we hardly appreciate one of less pretension than Black Eagle. That man Colter, for whom "Colter's Falls" are nam ed had a wonderful career in the wild we t. lie was with the Lewis and Clarke expedition and afterwards suddenly turn ed up with the party of hardy fur-traders sent out by John J. Astor. In Irving's "As toria" we find an interesting account of Colter's adventures. W hen he fell in with the Astor outfit he had just made one of those vast internal voyages so characteristic of this fearless class of men. He had come from the head waters os the Missouri to St. Louis, a dis tance of 300 miles, in thirty days. With the hardihood of a regular trapper, Colter had cast himself loose from the party of Lewis and Clarke in the wilderness. He finally fell in with another trapper, like himself, named Potts and they agreed to keel) together. One night they had set their traps on a branch of the Missouri called Jefferson Fork. Early next morning they ascended the river in a canoe to examine their traps. The banks on each side were high and perpendicular, and cast a shade over the stream. As they were softly paddling along, they heard the tramping of many feet upon the banks. Colter immediately gave the alarm "Indians!" and was for in stant retreat. His companion scoffed at the idea and said he wasn't afraid of buf faloes. They had not gone much further when frightful whoops and yells burst forth from each side of the river, and several hundred Indians appeared on either bank and signalled the unfortunate trappers to come on shore. They were obliged to comply. Before they could alight from their canoe, a savage seized the rifle belonging to Potts. Colter sprang on shore, wrested the weapon from the hands of the Indian, and restored it to his companion, who was still in the canoe, and at once pushed out into the stream. There was the sharp twang of a bow and Potts cried out that he was wounded. Col ter urged him to come on shore and sub mit, as his only chance for life; but the other knew there was no prospect for! mercy and therefor determined to die game. Leveling his rifle, he shot one of the savages dead on the spot. The next ] moment he fell himself, pierced 'with in numerable arrows. The savages next turned their attention to Colter. The lat ter, who unde rstood their language over heard them consulting as to the best method of despatching him, so as to de rive the greatest amusement out of his death. Some were for setting him as a target upon which to try their skill. Fin ally, the chief of the tribe seized Col ter by the shoulder and demanded if he could run fast. lie was then lead by the chief into the prairie about 400 yards in advance of the savages and then after being stripped naked was turned loose to save himself if he could. A horrible war whoop was the warning to him that the whole pack of blood hounds were after him. Colter didn't run. He flew. He had six miles of prairie to traverse before he could reach the Jefferson Fork. Hie would have sold out his chances for life very cheap about that time. Think of it; several hundred fiends after him at full cry. The plain abounded with prickly pear which terribly wounded his naked feet. He did not even dare to look around for fear of losing a step. When he had bounded over about half the distance across the plain the sound of pursuit grew fainter and he ventured to turn his head. The main body of his pursuers were far behind, but several of the fastest runners were scattered in the advance, One fleet footed warrior armed with a spear was not more than a hundred yards behind him. Inspired with new hope, Colter re doubled his exertions to such an extent' that blood gushed from his mouth and nostrils and streamed down his breast. A glance behind discovered the warrior within twenty yards of him ready to launch his spear. Stopping short he turned round and spread, out his arms. The savage, confounded by this sudden action, attempted to stop and hurl his spear, but fell in the very act. His spear stuck in the ground, and the shaft broke in. his hand. Colter plucked up the point * Those falls are oneof the series and located about four miles below town. ed part, pinned the savage to the earth, and continued his flight. The other In dians stopped to howl over their slain companion and Colter made for the river and plunged in. He swam to a neighbor ing island, against the upper end of which the driftwood had lodged in such quan tities as to form a natural raft. Under this he dived and swam, below water until he succeeded in getting a breathing place between the floating trunks of trees, whose branches and bushes formed a covert several feet above the lev el of the water. But the Indians were still after him. They too, reached the raft. The heart of Colter almost died within him as he saw them, through the chinks of his concealmhnent, passing and repassing, and seeking for him in all directions. They finally gave him up for drowned. As soon as it was dark Celter fearing that the vengeful red men would set the raft on fire, dived under the raft and swam silently down stream out of their reach. By day break he had gained sufficient distance to relieve him from the terrors of his savage foes. But he was naked and alone in the midst of an unbounded wilderness, even should he elude his pursuers, days must elapse before he could reach any settlement, du ring which time he musttraverse immense prairies destitute of shade, his unprotect body exposed to the burning heat of the sun by day, and the dews and chills of the night season and his feet pierced by the thorns of the prickly pear. Though he might see game in abundance around him he had no means of killing any for his sustenance and must depend for food up on the roots of the earth. But he pressed bravely on in defiance of these difficulties, and after braving dangers and hardships enough to break down any spirit but that of a western pioneer, arrived safe at a soli tary post on a branch of the Yellowstone. The author of "Astoria" adds "Such is a sample of the rugged experience which Colter had to relate of savage life, yet with all these perils and terrors fresh in recollection, he could not see the Astor expedition on their way to those regions of danger and adventure, without feeling a vehement impulse to join them. A western tral)per is like a sailor; past haz ards only stimulate him to further risks. The vast prairie is to the one what the ocean is to the other, a boundless field of enterprise and exploit. However he m:ay have suffered in his last cruise, he is al ways ready to join a new expedition; and the more adventurous its nature, the more attractive it is to his vagrant spirit. Nothing seems to have kept Colter from continuing with the party to the shores of the Pacific but the circumstance of his having recently married. All one day he kept with them balancing in his mind the charms of his bride against those of the Rocky mountains; the former, however, prevailed, and after a march of several miles, he took a reluctant leave of the travellers, and then turned his face home ward." it was such men as Coiter who, ignor ing danger and bearing hardships and suf fering with Socratic indifference, made 1 way for civilization and progress in this r boundless western country. It is but even justice that the name of - this adventurous hero should be kept from oblivion by the sparkling cataract that bears his name. How vagurly could he have forseen the development of this section of the country three-quarters of a century after his time. And now the great work has just begun. Our possibilities are infinite; the prospect before us grand, inspiring, ennobling. A Case of Grit. A gentleman from the North brings in a report of Paul -Hanly, a freighter, whose leg was broken while he was on the road between Broadwater's Landing and As sinaboine. He was alone when the acci dent occurred and was unable to get out from under the heavy wagon, except by cutting his way out with a knife. After thus extricating himself he mounted one of the horses and rode a distance of eight miles. He lay at a ranch for several days until medical aid arrived from Assinaboine, then brought to Benton, one hundred and fifty miles. He must have had wonder ful endurance and grit to have stood this terrible ordeal. Entertainment. Next Tuesday evening at the school house an entertainment will be given for the benefit of the organ fund. The pro gramme will be an interesting 'one, con sisting of vocal and instrumental music and recitations. .This is for a worthy ob .ject and should be patronized by all our good citizens. LEWIS AND CLARKE'S EXPEDITIOI They were obliged to improvise some rude wagons to carry their boats around the series of falls. The Crooked Falls were so named by them because of their irregularity. They report the Rainbow Falls as most beautiful "As the water pre cipitates itself in an even, uninterrupted sheet over the shelving rock, to a perpen dicular depth of fifty feet, whence dash ing against the rocky bottom it rushes rapidly down, leaving behind it a spray of the purest foam across the river. The scene which it presented was indeed, sing ularly beautiful, since without any of the wild, irregular sublimity of the lower falls, it combined all the regular elegancies which the fancy of a painter would select to form a beautiful waterfall." Scarcely had their eyes been regaled with this charming prospect when, at a distance of about half a mile Capt. Lewis observed another of a similar kind, stretching across the whole river for a quarter of a mile. This they named Colter's Falls. In any other neighborhood, as the report says, this would have been an object of great mag nificence, but after what they had just seen it became of secondary interest. Their next pleasant surprise was the Black Eagle falls, which they so named because they found in a cotton-wood tree, on the little island just below the falls, an eagle's nest. This solitary inhabitant of the island held undisputed sway, for neither man nor beast had ever, molested the place. Cap't Lewis also refers to the rapids where the Cataract mill is now located and to the Sun river, which is put down on his map as "Medicine River." He grows enthusiastic over the beautiful stretch of country lying along the Sun river and the broad plains which lie be tween what is now the town of Great Falls, and the Highwood. As Cap't. Lewis was proceeding along in the vicinity of the confluence of the Missouri and Sun rivers, he met a herd of at least a thousand buffaloes, and being desirous of providing supplies, shot one of them. The ani mal immediately began to bleed, and Captain Lewis, who had forgotten to re load his rifle, was intently watching to see him fall, when he beheld a large grizzly bear, who was stealing upon him unper ceived, and was ;already within twenty steps. In the first moment of surprise he lifted his rifle; but remembering, instantly that it was not charged, and that he had not time to reload, he felt that there was no safety but in flight. It was in the open level plain, not a bush nor a tree within three hundred yards, the bank of the river sloping and not more than three feet high, so that there was no possible place of concealment. Cap't. Lewis therefore thought of retreating in a quick walk, as fast as the bear advanced; towards the nearest tree, but as soon as he turned the bear ran with open mouth, and with full speed upon him. Capt. Lewis ran about eighty yards, but finding that the animal gained on him fast, it flashed on his mind that by getting into the water to such a depth that the*bear would be oblig ed to attack him swimming, there was still some chance of his life. He therefore turned short plunged into the river about waist deep, and facing about presented the point of his espontoon. The bear arrived at the water's edge within twenty feet of him, but as soon tas he put himself in this position of defense, the bear seemed frigh tened, and wheeling about, retreated with as much haste as he had pursued.. Very glad to be released from this danger, Cap tain Lewis returned to shore, and observ ed him run with great speed, sometimes looking back, as though he expected to be pursued, until he reached the woods. He could not conceive the cause of the sudden alarm of the bear, bdtt congratulated him self on his escape when he saw his own track torn to pieces by the furious animal, and learnt from the 'adventure never to suffer his rifle to be for a moment, unload ed. He now resumed his progress in the direction which the bear had taken to wards the western river the "Medicine and found it a handsome stream about two hundred yards wide, apparently deep, with a gentle current, its waters clear, and its banks which were formed principally, of dark brown or blueelay, aboutthe same height as those of the Missouri, that is, from three to five feet, He then went on, "but as f the beasts of the field had con spired against him" he encountered a pan ther whicn he: d peatched with his . rifle befoie the feline monster had time :.to attack him. t In a few moments three immense buffalo bulls which were feeinog with a large I herd ata distance of hbi f a mile,left their e companions and ran at full speed towards him. When they came within a hundred yards, they stopped, looked at him for some time, then retreated as they came. IIe now pursued his route in the dark re flecting upon the thrilling adventures of the day which crowded on his 'mind so rapidly, that he almost imagined himself in an enchanted land. But the cruel prick ly pear thorns disabused his mind of that sentiment. He at last reached the party, who had been very anxious for his safety, and who had already decided on the route which each should take in the morning, to search for him. Being much fatigued he dropped down under a tree to sleep. On awakening in the morning he found a large rattle snake coiled on the trunk of the tree under which he had been. sleep ing and within a few feet of his head. Capt. Lewis indeed, led a charmed life. It was left to him after passing through hair-breadth escapes for years to take his own life, while surrounded by all the luxuries of civilized life. They named the cluster of islands just above town. The "White Bear islands" in commemoration of the captain's narrow escape and because of a similar adven ture which befell another member of the party. He was sent a short distance from the camp, to bring home some meat, when he was attacked by a "White" bear and closely pursued within forty paces of the camp, and narrowly escaped being caught. He however, adopted the tactics of his superior and plunged into the water. The report refers to these bears as "white"and as"brown," but there is no doubt, from the description of the animals, that they were grizzly bears. Railroad Rumblings. Work upon this end of the Montana Central railroad has been progressing steadily for the past two months, and graders to the number of about two hun dred and fifty are now strung along the line for a distance of six miles above town. This force will be added to, we understand, and the work pushed forward without intermission until the bed is ready to re ceive the ties. The work is comparatively light-most ly ei rth work-l ut still it will be some time yet before it is completed. The road will cross Sun river a short distance above the mouth, and the Missouri, likely, at the bridge site, at the head of Central avenue. Sun river will be a comparatively easy stream to bridge, at this point, the ap proaches being excellent, and the water shallow. Active operations are manifest at other a points. The Independent says it is defi e nitely known that the Montana Central has a corps of engineers operating in the vicinity of Wickes. President Broad water's replies to the reporter on the sub ject were entirely of a know-nothing char acter, but it may be set down as a fact that s an engineering party of the road is now I surveying in the neighborhood of Wickes, probably a branch to the main line which is to run from Helena to Butte. It is I stated upon pretty good authority that the grading from Helena to Butte will be com pleted by the 1st of October next year and that the iron will be laid by December 1st. The Manitoba extension westward now has graders working up to the neigh borhood of Fort Buford. There are some heavy cuts and fills to be made in that vicinity, and the road will not be com pleted up to the river before April 1st, next season. The Montana Central grade to Great Falls is now practically complete, and on the northern extension everything will be in readiness for active operations as early in'the spring as possible. A Novel and Successful Break for Liberty. TRIBUNE readers will remember the capture of five of the Indians which ran ofi a band of horses from the Judith valley and their imprisonment in the guard-house at Fort Shaw, awaiting transfer to Fergus county, where they were to be tried before the civil authorities. They had feasted upon good government grub for some time and were sleek and fat, but not con tented. They sighed for liberty and the cold comfortsof their canvass-lined tepees, their wives, sweethearts and pappooses, and determined to make a bold dash for their reservation. Wednesday evening was the time appointed, and accordingly, when their stalwart and heavily armed guard brught them in their supper, they quickly slipped a blanket over his head, and before he had time to give the alarm, had sprung across the threshold of the open and unguarded prison door, into the cool and starless atmosphere of liberty. They waited not for ceremonies but das ed into the thick underbrush which lines Sun river tthat t point. Pursuit was im mediately given and two of the fugitives were captured, but the remaining three made good their escape, a.ld no doubt by this time are wellnup toward the Sakath ewan. The means they adopted to effet theirescape was novel and . finadla ndt. e- fScts g Ieat al e po. the a iige, eral and this quintet in particular. TICKLING TOUCHES. Little Johnnie's father was a very pro fane man when excited, and had on vari ous occasions in the youngsters presence given vent to rather emphatic expressions; these the child picked up and repeated` much to the*sorrow and annoyance of his mother. It was the day before Christmas. Johnny had been loud in his demands for a drum, and during a little streak of peve ishness had expressed himself in certain swear words learned from his paternal parent. His good mother reproved him, telling him that he must pray to be made a good boy, assuring him that his prayer would be answered. That night at bed time he knelt at the bed side and repeated his little "Now I lay me down to sleep" adding to each and every line his paramount desire "I want a drum." The "Amen" and the drum amendment added thereto had been re peated. When his mother in the next room with the coveted' drum and other gifts unwittingly let fall the sheep skin covered cylinder with so loud a noise that the sound reached Johnnie's ears. The youngster jumped toward the door, ex claiming as he went "Wonder, where in h--l's that drum." Tom IIowder had been a sport, but cer tain very questionable practices had gain ed for him the enumity of the sporting fra ternity : So Tom cast about him for a means of livlihood and found it in the police court. For a while as a shyster at torney Tom did pretty well, but upon ap pealing one of his cases to the county court was disbarred by the judge on the very proper grounds that the valiant Tom had never been admitted to practice. Being wholly ignorant of law, and becom ing the butt of ridicule around the court house, he in disgust retired from the legal profession. A newly settled part of the country was attracting to it men ready and willing to try their fortunes afresh and among the rest went our hero. On the journey thither Tom made the acquaint ance of a young man who had just receiv ed his sheepskin from a medical college. From the youthful I. D. he gained or rather imagined he had gained a great fund of information upon diseases and their cures, heard with intense interest his fellow traveler's accounts of surgical op erations, viewed with eager eyes the little pocket cases of vials and ,exzunined with delight the instruments. At one of the stopping places on the road Tom induced the disciple of .E-calapius to shorten the weary hours by indulgence in a game of draw. The ex-sport improved his oppor tunity and before the time for resuming their travels, was not only possessed of all of the Medico's cash but also his little vials, instruments and a couple of goodly sized books. Boozy, crest fallen and stubborn the young graduate refused to proceed farther, but on his way rejoicing went the plunderer with his booty. A new town was reached, in which as yet no M. D. had hung out his shingle. Here was his chance, and acting upon the idea. an unpretentious room was rented and to the door frame was nailed a sign te ring the legend, Doc tor Tomni Howder. It was a healthy, very healthy locality and during the first month no patient applied for consultation or re lief. Much disappointed and discourag ed he was about to abandon his newly ac quired profession, when one day a dust covered rider dismounted from a foam flecked horse and enquired for the doctor. In reply to enquiries as to what was the matter, the man told of a sufferer upon whom a tree had fallen. With every ap pliance he could think of together with his full stock of medicines and surgical in struments off starled Tom and his conduc tor for the woods, twelve miles away. It was a broken leg, a compound fracture and at firstthe pseudo practitioner was puz zled. Looking wise and very serious he called together the sufferers friends and with regretful gravity informed them the man's leg mtust come off in order to save his life, How the operation was ever performed so successfully by the heartless and igno rant rascal it would be difficult to conceive, but though minus a leg, the man recover ed, and this is what Howder wrote to an acquaintance. Dear Jim:-I had most give up for a bad job when a fellow came around, took me out in the woods to a man with a leg broke. I cut off his leg, got fifty dollars, would a cut off his durn head for twenty five. Yours, TMTx HowDER. At Maiden. A gentleman just in from Maiden says that camp shows sigps of ip Ihlmfe. Ojperations inithe m ines artei at once, which will give e ie to quite a large number o ; men.