Darius Kinsey photos
"The Land of Silent Shadows" Part II
Written by Catherine Savage Pulsipher; originally typed & arranged by Mabel Boyd Royal-Steen; typed & transcribed by Larry Spurling; arranged & compiled on the Stump Ranch, Dan Royal

News of Rebellion and 'Skagit Charly'

      The Indians resented this mill, and any other beginning of progress, for to them, it meant the end of the game, fish, and other mode of easy living for them. The deer would leave as the timber fell and wild life destroyed of which they depended, and soon their land would be barren, they thought. They intended to do something about it, so the tribe gathered on a bar above Mt. Vernon, having a Pow Wow and beating the bottoms of upturned canoes, old oil cans, and any other noise makers with paddles making Bad Medicine for the white men all night long. When any white man with a loaded canoe came up river, they promptly turned him back, and if they refused to turn back, they were held prisoners in a "Elugye," but the canoes were not molested.
      News of this rebellion went both up and down the river, so a man from Mt. Vernon was sent to Olympia, where he notified the Governor of the Territory of Affairs, and soldiers were immediately sent by Steamer hurrying to the scene.
      All Indian camps along the river, had taken up the "War Song", and it rang from every kettledrum, and Potlatch house. At the camp above the Savage place, the paddles beat as the wailing chants rose and fell along the river. There was no one at home at Savages, except Etta and Fanny and the younger children, for the boys were with their father who was held by the Indians downriver. Etta knew the war song, and was very uneasy. While she was debating what to do, a strange figure came crawling up the river bank which at first frightened her, as he crept stealthy along, but as she kept watching, she saw that it was "Skagit Charley," a crippled Indian, who she at one time had befriended. Charley had been a fine strong Indian, who had a husky, handsome Squaw, which was the key to his troubles, now, for her good looks and ability, attracted a renegade Indian who was a terror to everyone that knew him. His name was old "Bone", and the name was due to the fact that his face had been laid open in a knife fight, which laid open the flesh on his jaw, exposing the bone, making his ugly face uglier.
      He boasted that he changed wives every time that he went up and down the river. No other Indian would want the broken down Squaws that Bone discarded in a trade, so Bone would often get them in a card game putting up their wives as stakes, or take them by force, leaving his discarded squaw. He ordered "Judy", Skagit Charley's squaw into the canoe, but she refused to go, so Bone knocked her down with a canoe paddle. This was too much for Charley, who struck him, even tho he knew that Bone always fought with a knife. This show of resistance angered Bone, and he leaped upon the defenseless Charley with his knife, slashing him again and again. Charley was moaning and bleeding, at his feet, when Bone had satisfied his angry lust. Leaving him where he lay, Bone dragged the frightened Squaw to his canoe, and quickly paddled away. The wife that he had discarded was left, and now that she was Charley's squaw, she tried to help him. Trying to lift him, she saw that he was badly slashed all over. The fingers on one hand, were nearly severed, where he had grabbed the knife blade, with naked hands. His spine was injuried, and his whole bodies a mass of open wounds. Not knowing what to do, the squaw sought help at the Savage house. Only Etta was there, and being a good-hearted person to everybody, she told the squaw that she would help her bring him to the house. Between the two of them, they made a bed out in the shed for him, and there, they both worked at cleaning his wounds, and binding them with salve. Here he suffered for days, but with good care and doctoring, he finally recovered enough to get back to his Kluskie, with the aid of the squaw.
      The Siawash woman tended him in every way that she knew, but he never walked normally again, because of his injured spine. Altho he did what light chores around the Kluskie that he was able to do, now, that the tribes cried for war, Charley thought of Mrs. Savage who had been kind to him. So dragging himself from his Kluskie, made his way slowly to her house where he banged on the door. At first, Etta would not open the door fearing that his mission might be hostile, but he let her know that he was there to help her. She opened the door, and when inside, he told her of the danger of staying there, for the Indians down river meant War. Then he said; "You go hide. Charley will take care of house for Boston Woman." (The Indians called all white women "Boston women") because some of the women and men came from the east, or Boston. All that he asked for, was her husbands gun for protection. Both Etta and Fanny with the little ones hastened to the timber, beyond the clearing and concealed themselves in a big hollow cedar log, for the rain was falling heavily, and altho this afforded some protection, it also held a nest of ants.
      Between the vicious bits of these insects, and the cramped quarters of the log, morning found them in a sad state. All night long the war drums beat, their echo rolling up and down the river, along with the war songs, so they remained where they were.
      As the small Steamer pushed it's way up the river carrying the Troops, the Indians lost their warlike attitude at once. From mouth to mouth, the word went, going through the tribes, was "Sogers come, Sogers come", all up and down the banks of the river. In a very short time, every tribe knew of the arrival of the soldiers, and they all took off for remote places, and quiet and stillness reigned up and down the river again.
      George Savage and his boys with their loaded canoes, made quick progress up river, for they were concerned about the safety of the rest of their family. The Indian encampment on the bar was gone, as he passed.
      When he reached home, all was still and no answer to his call. Finally a crack of the door opened, and the point of a gun barrel protruded through it, and a moment later, Charley shoved the door farther open when he saw who it was, and there he lay on the floor with the gun in his hand ready for any Indian who might appear. When he saw George, he explained in his glutteral tone, that the family was hid in the woods.
      George went hunting, and calling, and they were glad to hear his voice, and to get back to the house again.

Old Blue vs. Old Bone

      The natives made no further effort to delay the wheels of progress, so the mill kept operating, and the workmen busy. The Shadows retarding farther into the foothills, as the timber fell, to the woodsman's axe.
      At first, the logs came to the mill by cables, as the timber was near to the mill, but as the timber was logged farther back, several long horned Oxen were brought in to haul them to the mill. This was no easy task, bringing the oxen up river, as they were wild, and there was no road and they had to be driven along the riverbank, and often they would mire down and lay bellering as they attempted crossing the streams and creeks along the way. All was strange to them, and they were panicky. A week of hard labor went into bringing them on, but after getting them broken to the new job, they were worth the effort.
      The mill was a real success now, and families moved there with their families, and some of the Siawashes also asked for work but they were usually hired to help with the rafting of the lumber down river, as they were expert men on the river. The lumber when cut, had to be made into rafts and floated to market. This raft was steered and kept off the shoals, and sandbars, by long Sweeps, which the Raftmen handled. Several men went along to help handle the sweeps. When the market was reached, there was the chore of unloading the raft.
      Among those who helped man the raft, was an Indian named "Jimmi Mann." He was a young fellow, and well liked by all, a steady worker, and honest. He tried to be and do as the white people did, and was one of those to help man the raft. Another was a white boy who had came from New Brunswick, his name was Andy Charles, and he had rafted on the St. Lawrence River. The third was Sidney. All three were good men, and got along splendidly together.
      Andy was a very romantic fellow, and was trying to make an impression on Maggie the girl with the red hair, and altho her friends said that she was mad about him, she never let on. Of course Sidney's devotion to Fanny was well known to everyone, and Jimmi Mann, meant to buy the pretty little Squaw, named "Sukie", as soon as he drawed his half year pay, so the boys had much in common to talk about. This they did, on the slow rafting trips down river, or while idling around the Bunkhouse, playing Seven-up or Cribbage, the stakes being "Horseshoe Plug Tobacco, or Honey Twist.
      Gambling went on across the river as well, as the Indians lost all of his possessions as well as his squaw. One rainy day such a game went on between Sukies Father and old Bone the Indian renegade. Bones luck was always good, and soon he had everything in the Kluskie. In a rage, Sukies father offered to stake Sukie against all that Bone won.
      Bone accepted this offer, and again won. When he rose to go, Sukie was called in, and presented to her new master. The girl gazed in horror at the ugly brute, and with a cry of dread, she fled from the lodge to the river, where she leaped in her canoe and paddled furiously across the river to the mill, where she thought Jimmi Mann would be.
      The Boys were playing cards in the bunkhouse, by lantern light, and the rain was pelting down outside, pattering on the shake roof. Suddenly, there was a loud beating on the door, and a voice yelling in fright; "Jimmi! Jimmi! Me want in", the latch flew up, and the door burst open, and there stood Sukie, barefooted and her hair wet and stringing down looking like a drowned rat. "Hide me, Hide me quick" she cried, as she pulled the strong out of the hole, and into the inside, after slamming it. "Hide me quick, Bone get me," and with this, she made a dash for the upper bunk, climbed in and pulled the covers over her. "Hey!" Andy said, "What in hell do you mean by getting into my bed anyway? We don't want no squaws in here;" - "Jimmi has gone to Mt. Vernon, and won't be back for a week." "Help me! Help me," she kept saying, "Me no want Old Bone." The boys looked at each other in askance, not knowing what to do then said; "What does Bone want you for, anyway?" Sukie replied in a shaky voice; as her two black eyes peeked from the covers, "My father gave me to Bone in a card game, and I get away fast in a canoe. They come quick to get me, and I hate Bone, I, Jimmi's women, What I do?" "For God sake, what will we do about it," said Sidney, "We can't let Bone have Sukie, while Jimmi is gone, can we?" "We will have to think of something," said Andy - but just then, there was a loud knock on the door, but the latchstring was in, so the door would not open. "Open up door," yelled her father, as he and Bone started kicking the door, "We want Sukie. You got Sukie in there, She is mine" said Bone." Shut up!" said Andy as he opened the door, "we ain't got Sukie here," but as they looked down, they could plainly see wet barefoot tracks across the floor, to the bunk, so they knew that the boys were lying. "You lie," said Bone, and they started looking around at the bunks. "Get away from there, you lousy Siawashes," said Andy, "and don't you go messing around my bed," and made a swing at Bone.
      Bone pulled a knife, and tried to slash Sidney but Andy gave his arm a kick so the knife went spinning across the room, hitting a can, that was used for a spittoon, tipping it over and knife and can went spinning across the room, with a path of tobacco juice trailing behind 'till it landed against the wall. When Bone lost the knife, he made a swing at Andy but Andy dodged and caughted him in the belly. Sukie's Father , grabbed a stick of stove wood from the box and hit Sidney a glancing blow on the shoulder as he tried to dodge, then Andy grabbed a sharp caulked shoe and made a swipe at Bone, with the caulk shoe hitting his face with full force making his ugly face and nose bleed, then both boys turned on Sukie's father. Bone made a lunge for the knife that he had lost, in hopes of making use of it on one of the boys, but just as he recovered it, the foreman came in, in the thick of the malee. In surprise, he said; "What the hell is going on in here anyway? And what the Devil are you Siawashes doing here raising hell with my crew." "He got my Squw," Bone said, "Me want her". "He hide her here." "We ain't got no **** Squaws here," said the foreman, "so get to hell out of this place, dammit, before I take this Axe to you." So picking up the sharp bladed axe, fresh from the Grindstone, and with fire in his eye, he was fully prepared to slay both Indians.
      Out at the barn, the bullpuncher, who tended the oxen, and was a German by the name of Gus Shulz, he was just coming to the bunkhouse, when he heard the commotion from outside. Stopping, he looked in the window, and seeing the two Indians, and the row that was going on. Gus was a good Bullpuncher, and knew his oxen well. One was a blue roan, who was called "Old Blue", he as an ugly brute, and was so mean that Gus was the only one who could handle him, or even be around him. He especially had it in for Indians. He had been known to go berserk when an Indian tried to cross the river in his canoe, if he happened to be out of the barn. He'd beller and take right out after him, and often swim the river, bellering 'till he got to the other side, then stampeding up the bank to the Indian camp scattering Squaws, children and tossing the Indian dogs right and left, and tearing down Kluskies. All of the Indians were in terror of him. So, when Gus saw the battle going on in the bunkhouse, he started running back for the barn. As he saw the two Indians coming out the door, and starting down the trail to the river cursing and jabbering in Chinook, he turned Old Blue loose. The minute Old Blue saw the Indians, he let out a beller, and promptly made right for them. Both Indians took off down the trail in terror and the Ox fight after them. At first they started to run to the barn, when they saw that they could never make it tot he canoe, but they didn't get a chance to get inside for the Ox was right after them. They ran around it twice, just a few feet ahead of the Ox and then, made a dash for a clump of Vine Maples that drew near, running around them several times, but there was no refuge there so, as a last resource, their only hope, was to try and reach the canoe, and launch it. Just as they stooped to pull the canoe in the water, Old Blue caught Old Bone in the seat of his pants with his sharp horns, and gave him a toss into the river, while Sukie's father made one grand dive into the water, and being as Bone was already in, they both swam for their lives looking back now and then, to see if Old Blue was swimming after them, as he had been known to do before, but he only stood on the bank bellering and pawing as mad as any Bull could be.
      Outside the bunkhouse door, the men were roaring with mirth, and the sound came across the river to the two angry refugees, who were desperately seeking the safety of their Kluskie.
      Doubling over with laughter, Gus fairly howled saying; "Dot ol Blue Ox, he a good one, he chase dem Injuns de barn aroun' and he chase dem de Maple bush arou'n, two, tree time. Ha! Ha, Ha, Dots good." The rest of the crew, were as jubilant at the plight of the Indians.
      When the boys came back into the bunkhouse, the foreman said; "Now what in hell is all this commotion about in the first place?" and looking at Sidney, continued; "and what were they looking in your bunk for anyway," and glancing at Sidney's bunk, two black eyes was peering at him from beneath the blankets. "Holy Christ!" he said, "what the hell is that squaw doing in your bunk, Sidney?" "You know dam well, that we don't allow no squaws in here, Just wait 'Till Savage hears of this, and you're fired sure as hell," he said in an angry tone.
      "Now you listen to us a minute" said the boys, who was also losing their tempers. "You'd better listen to what we have to say about this, before you rake us over the coals," so they related the situation to him, asking; "Would you, have let that dirty renegade have Sukie? And what kind of friends would we be to Jimmi if we did." "I understand" he said, "but this is likely to cause another disturbance among the whites and Indians." "Oh, I don't know," said Andy, "The Indians mostly hate Bone, same as we do, and we just got to find someway, of keeping him from getting Sukie." A bright thought struck him, and he said; "Say, how about us, buying her. I think we could get her for twenty dollars, then Jimmie could pay us back when he gets here, and marry her." Turning to Sidney, he said; "how much money have you got?" Sidney turned his pickets inside out, gathering the coins and brushing the sawdust and fir needles out of them, he picked out three dollars mostly in change. Then, Andy dug down, and picked around and found three dollars and fifty cents. The Foreman pulled out a five-dollar bill, and now, it was Gus' turn. "Not much money I got, but it is worth somting to see dose tam Injun run. I give tan dollar, to buy Squaw." This was agreed by all, so next day they made a trip across the river.
      While the boys were talking it over, Sukie climbed down out of the bunk saying; "Bone no get, Bone no get. Me Jimmi's woman." She stood there, looking first one and then the other solemnly. "The thing now," said the foreman "is what to do with her. If we buy her - till Jimmi comes."
      Finally it was decided that she would go back to her father's Kluskie, for if Bone sold Sukie to them, and accepted the money, he could hardly dare to harm her later. So in the presence of them all, Bone gave up his right to her, and took the money. From then on Sukie was fairly safe until Jimmi got back.
      When Bone got into his canoe, Andy tossed the knife in after him that they had knocked out of his hand. Then peace settled down and they all waited Jimmi's return while the boys talked this adventure over many times.
      As was said before, Maggie Malony, was and yes charmer, her red hair, and smiles might turn the head of any man. Altho she was very fond of Andy, her father and mother objected for no particular reason except that they classed him as a "Farriner", because he came from the Northeast. They met secretly however, in spite of their objections.
      Jimmi Mann came back, and could hardly believe the treachery of Sukies father. After he heard of the trouble, and the way that the boys handled it, he was thankful, and in time, paid back every cent.
"The Land of Silent Shadows"
Continue to Part III

Written by Catherine Savage Pulsipher; originally typed & arranged by Mabel Boyd Royal-Steen; typed & transcribed by Larry Spurling; arranged & compiled on the Stump Ranch, Dan Royal

Return to The Stump Ranch Family & Community History
© 2004, 2003, 2002 The Stump Ranch