OFF TO TRADE FURS

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: DOWN-HOME
A Canadian and a man he befriends in Toronto, ventures into the United States. He traveling alone into the Rockies to trap and trade furs, befriends an Indian for whom he saves his life. The trapper taking the injured Indian to his village, falls in love with a squaw, the warriors sister. He marries her and becomes a coveted member of the tribe. Of to trade furs one year thereafter, he is unaware he will be ambushed by a bandit, rescued, and aided by his old Canadian friend, their destinies tied together forever.

Submitted: October 16, 2018

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Submitted: October 16, 2018

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OFF TO TRADE FURS

Painting & Story by: Virgil Dube’ - Copyright 2018

Pierre Le Bleu traveling aimlessly hadn’t been in Toronto, Canada thirty minutes. Midtown, he paused just prior to noon to get his bearings, and look about the busy town to consider his immediate future, where at this point must he decide his next destination.

Decked out in buckskin frontier attire, for which his family had bestowed him, he welcomed the rest. People passing close took special note, especially women admiring him a nice-looking young man. The men chiefly admired his frontier garb, that he was proud: the moccasin footwear Uncle Frederick Le Bleu fashioned to fit him, the waist belt sheath to hold the large hunting knife that cousin Louis Le Bleu had given him as a parting gift, and his pride and joy, the raccoon cap his older sister Irene Blanc had made especially for him.

Stomach growling Pierre turned his interest to a nearby roadside café. Safely to one side away from heavy carriage and horse traffic, he slipped the travel bag from his shoulders and placed it on the cobble street at his feet.

“The trappers are doing quite well in the Rockies’ Oregon Territory,” he heard a man sitting at an outside table several feet away on a stone patio, say, his male companion across from him responding, “Yes; fur trading companies hold annual rendezvous. They buy the trappers’ pelts while the rugged mountaineers celebrate squandering their earnings guzzling whiskey from barrels by the wagonloads.”

The pair chuckled, and changed the subject, their eyes scanning him a rugged frontiersman. Pierre picked up his bag and moved away not to hear further private chatter.

Though he wished not to intrude, Pierre had taken note of their comments that suddenly heightened his interest. He gazed from the two men to notice other people dispersed and sitting cozily at tables outside the café. Everyone seemed to enjoy his or her food, drink, and friendly conversation. Prices listed on a board next to the door appearing affordable, he reached inside his jacket to retrieve money from a pouch compartment, then, stepped inside. Exiting the cafe several minutes later after purchasing a bowl of beef stew, fresh baked yeast bread, and a glass of ale, he found and settled on a chair at a far corner table, content he was alone on the patio to enjoy his midday meal.

Lunch eaten, he was better suited to continue his journey. About to rise and be on his way, a man not long arrived and sitting alone at the table next to him interrupted Pierre. Clean-shaven with moderately long sideburns, blue eyes, and curly medium length reddish-brown hair, he appeared young, maybe 23 years old, his own age. Fashionable clothes and clean appearance reflected an upbeat person. In English, which Pierre understood and spoke well, the man ventured to say, “My friend, you appear to be traveling, headed to the wilderness.”

Settling back in his seat, Pierre answered, “I am, Sir.”

“Any destination in particular?”

Pierre hesitated to answer. The man a total stranger could be genuinely friendly, or, he could be a hustler operating in the big city on hapless travelers. Yes, he could be a scoundrel out to steal his small fortune Montague Le Bleu his father had forwarded him to sustain him until he settled wherever fate ended his restive adventure into the American or far Canadian frontier. But studying him those lingering moments Pierre judged by his overall demeanor he was genuine in his query, was simply being sociable.

Pierre finally replied, “I’m Pierre Dylan Le Bleu.” He reached to shake hands with the burly man, who responded likewise. As they shook hands heartily, the stranger announced, “My name’s Howell Devon Stonebridge.”

“Well, Howell, I’ve considered Calgary, but of a sudden I might drift south into the states, check out the fur trading business that’s such a craze between America trappers and fur traders shipping to European markets.”

“Truthfully, I too am at a dilemma, Pierre. From Newcastle in England, I set sail to Canada to follow a new life, much as you’re seeking new horizons. Your notion about traveling to the states has suddenly appealed to me.”

Pierre didn’t respond immediately at the subtle hint by this total stranger that he travel with him south. But after extra ale and small talk spread over an hour, he grew to like Howell Stonebridge and warmed to the idea.

“Tell me about you, your background,” Howell asked at one point.

“We Le Bleu’s originating in Brittany France migrated to Canada as diverse craftsmen. My Uncle Frederick processes leather and makes many useful items. His oldest son Louis is a blacksmith. My father Montague a lawyer is also a schoolmaster in Loretteville, and oftentimes magistrates in Quebec City. I guess I’m the rebel in the family, seeking adventure and to be independent wandering the frontier … at what to earn a living, perhaps as a fur trapper. Frankly, I’m still not sure. What about you?”

“My family farmed, mostly sheep. However, I would like to have my own cattle ranch someday, the tempting aspect of me sailing to the New World … now maybe to travel to the states.”

Pierre compelled to inquire, held back until he threw all caution to the wind, and asked, “Howell, why not we partner up and travel together to the states. I believe I’ll seek St. Louis because it’s the doorway to the frontier, ultimately for me to seek the Rockies and fur trapping … what do you say?”

“I like the idea. But first, I must purchase traveling clothes, something similar to your rig, though its unique around here.

Both lifted their ale mugs, toasted, and said jointly, “America, here we come!”

TRAVELERS ON SEPARATE MISSIONS

The two new friends arrived in St. Louis two weeks later by stagecoach, May 17, 1832. They found a decently priced boardinghouse and settled to get their bearings, then set their minds to their next move for which both acknowledged would separate them, maybe forever.

 

Pierre not interested to linger long in St. Louis, purchased basic garb to support him in rough mountain country: personal clothing, hunting gear that included starter traps, a musket and powder, and camping and cooking supplies, plus a sturdy stallion he named Gramps after his Grandfather Alain, and a pack mule of gentle nature he named Pal.

Howell liked lodging at Bernard’s Boarding House run primarily by a pudgy middle age woman, Denise Bernard, and decided to remain housed there. Anthony Bernard, her husband and reputable blacksmith hearing Howell remark to Denise his expertise blacksmithing in his youth on his family’s farm in England, offered Howell a helper job, and he accepted - rent reduced plus a small salary. 

The day arrived that Howell and Pierre were to separate. The pair demonstrated genuine friendship as they hugged before Pierre mounted Gramps and departed.

Howell remained in St. Louis working alongside Anthony, his intent to save money to fulfill his dream, someday to become a cattleman. He understood to achieve that ambition meant traveling a long road of sacrifice and diligence. Yet, with luck, and perseverance, and staying focused, not squandering his meager wages after purchasing provisions, he felt confident in time he would be financially able to homestead a nice parcel on the open prairie, maybe in Kansas potentially to become cattle country.

Not wishing to join trapper caravans of sixty men headed to the Rocky Mountains, Pierre chose to travel solo. He followed the Mississippi River on horseback; his mule Pal tethered a distance behind Gramps, his destination angling westward to the Rocky Mountains somewhere beyond Ft. Laramie in Wyoming Territory.

RESCUING RABBIT EARS

Trappers he occasionally encountered, and fur traders at trading posts he frequented for supplies, informed Pierre that William Sublette and Robert Campbell had formed their own outfit, the St. Louis Fur Company with the goal of challenging the American Fur Company along the Upper Missouri River. During the spring, summer and fall of 1833 they erected several trading posts in close proximity to American Fur Company Posts Pierre also frequented, competition fierce of a sudden. Pierre a trapping novice, focused only on gaining experience trapping and selling his pelts in Oregon Country, Mexico to the south. He trudged on and remained unconcerned of encounters between fur trading companies. Avoiding calamity fostered by strong opinion, he set his sights on the upcoming Rendezvous set for June at the confluence of Horse Creek and the Green River. Trapping alone a full year, having achieved much expertise, he was confident of substantial bounty for his beaver and mink pelts. He had stored a large quantity in a disguised cave alongside Horse Creek, a fast flowing rocky stream section that farther downstream merged with Green River in Wyoming.

Preparing a stew for supper late one day just prior to dusk alongside Horse Creek, Pierre heard an odd sound originating nearby. Fearing a rabid wolf may be stalking him, word passing between trappers that several men had been attacked, and after agonizing misery, had died, he grew extremely cautious. He knew wolves were shy of men, also knew when rabid they were dangerous killers.

Moving slowly not to make excessive noise, he retrieved his musket, a ball; added gunpowder then rammed the barrel. Next, he primed it with a firing cap ready to discharge. Musket ready, he crept in the wooded area where he suspected the sound occurred. Ahead, he spotted a massive upshot of granite. To the right rear and partially hidden, he noticed a dead tree had leaned at an angle against the massive boulder, it visible ten feet above the rock summit, proving it had fallen recently by a nearby stump projecting from the leafy ground, splintered wood yellow and fresh. A groan alerted him, the sound of a man around the boulder edge. Either he was hurt or waited to draw him near to attack. 

“Who’s there?” Pierre called.

“Rabbit Ears”, the man answered … an Indian speaking English he recognized immediately.

“Can I trust you, Rabbit Ears?” Pierre called.

“Yes, I trapped; a tree fall on me, knock me out, I hear you, need help.”

Though the Indian was in obvious peril, nonetheless, Pierre took caution. He eased around the boulder to see a young Indian male clad much as he in buckskin. Wedged between the fallen tree and boulder, blood soaked the Indian’s right britches leg, clearly by a limb that had pierced his mid thigh.

A whinny drew Pierre’s attention. An apprehensive pony fifty feet away showed bloodstain on his flank. However, the stallion with slight abrasion didn’t appear overly harmed from distance. Pierre realized what had occurred. The Indian was riding beside the boulder and somehow his horses’ weighted hoof pressed on the soil near the aged tree, which was enough to disrupt roots, and sink them, tilting the tree excessively. The tree heavily decayed internally had in fact bent far enough to snap just above ground level and fall on the rider, subsequently to graze his pony.

“You Shoshone?”

“Yes, I Shoshone.”

“Okay, Rabbit Ears, I’m Pierre Le Bleu. I’ll get my horse near camp, and a rope to pull this tree off you. I’ll be back pronto.”

The Indian nodded. Winching in pain, he sputtered, “Go – hurt much bad.”

The rescue completed twenty minutes later, the limb more blunt than pointed, Pierre was relieved in had hardly pierced yet badly bruised Rabbit Ears’ thigh. Carefully, he positioned the Indian near his campfire mere feet from Horse Creek. After he cleaned the injury and dressed it with bandage, Pierre covered him with a blanket.

Later enjoying a bowl of Pierre’s rabbit stew, Rabbit Ears said, “You save my life Pierre, I thank you.”

“My pleasure, Rabbit Ears. Now, we must plan what’s next.”

“Go village, Pierre; you no be harmed - be much greeted by Chief Great Hawk.”

“I’ll take you for your word; will do that, Rabbit Ears. Then I must return to prepare for Rendezvous.”

“Yes, Horse Creek Rendezvous; I attend last year, learn English, trade big fur, as do much Indians, and drink plenty whiskey – Shoshone and Snake people share happy time, make white man richer.”

“Okay, that’s a plan. First, you rest; next, we go to your village.”

As Rabbit Ears promised, Pierre was greatly received in the Shoshone village five miles west just off Ham’s Fork and a vast mountain lake, the swift-flowing stream a tributary to Horse Creek downstream. While speaking with the great chief through Rabbit Ears his interpreter, the chief speaking broken English, Pierre noticed a beautiful squaw standing nearby in a hovering curious crowd of villagers: warriors and squaws – men and women of all ages, and many children. Her eye lingering on him, he smiled, the subtle gesture returned and noticed instantly by the great chief.

Chief Great Hawk beamed, “She Rabbit Ears’ sister, Morning Flower. She eighteen winter’s; she like you; you like Morning Flower?”

Pierre taken aback briefly didn’t know how to react to the obvious and spontaneous proposal. Rabbit Ears hobbled close. He leaned and whispered in Pierre’s ear, “You say you like her, Great Hawk give you Morning Flower as wife; I proud he do so, my friend, we be blood brothers.”

Pierre turned toward the young woman, who lowered her head. “What do you say about this, Morning Flower?” He asked, Rabbit Ears translating.

Great Hawk gasped, stomped his foot on the ground, “She no say; she your wife, Pierre! You save Rabbit Ears’ life, you part our people now.”

Morning Flower approached Pierre, her steps soft, short. Lifting her head, she said, and Rabbit Ears translated, “You husband, me wife, meant to be by Great Spirit, Pierre.”

Pierre looked deeply into the dark eyes of this stunning young Indian woman. She took his heart in that instant, succumbing to the will of Great Hawk. Morning Flower and Pierre in that instant recognized they were deeply in love, a feeling he hardly ever would have imagined in a life of recent estrangement from family, his only other close affections before now.

The marriage ceremony stretched over two days, dancing and gaiety, and food galore, the third day spent with Morning Flower and Pierre sheltered in a tent specially erected for the newlyweds near Ham’s Fork. During this passionate period, Pierre and Morning Flower Le Bleu conceived their first child, a girl Morning Flower birthed March 11, 1833 with little difficulty and named Morning Dew Le Bleu. 

Pierre a white man but accepted as Shoshone came and went from the village much as any person. He was a hard worker within camp, trapped with increased fervor, and also transported supplies on his mule Pal from trading posts to his Indian family, many items as gifts for the neighborhood children. He adapted to village life, learning the Shoshone culture, and language. He added to his own hunting skills tracking game with his warrior friends. He was adored; his presence respected as no white man in Shoshone history. 

In due time Pierre became restless, debated pro and con to revisit St. Louis, to either locate or come to understand the fate of his friend, Howell Stonebridge. The itch plagued him increasingly with each passing day.

OFF TO TRADE FURS

Heading out on a July morning 1834 on Hams Fork to the Rendezvous, Pierre said farewell to his wife and daughter, and Rabbit Ears nearby holding a spear seemingly prepared to venture out and hunt game.

Pierre’s ultimate destination after the rendezvous was St. Louis, for which the entire village was recently made aware. Morning Flower deeply saddened understood he would be gone months. Chief Great Hawk and village elders gathered on a rock shelf above the village and waved goodbye. Pierre’s dog Rattler followed alongside his canoe until after miles he grew winded, stopped, and watched his master disappear downstream into the foggy wilderness.

Pierre paddled down Ham’s Fork on its swift current, a tributary to Black’s Fork on the Green River. Ultimately he arrived at the site of this year’s rendezvous located in the Territory of Mexico. 

Prices unacceptable, many trappers abandoned the Wind River rendezvous to sell pelts elsewhere, Pierre included. He found trading posts and customers in route to St. Louis adequate to make a decent income for his trapping efforts. Money in pocket, he continued his journey to the big city, unaware a ruthless bandit watching his good fortune pocketed, followed him, and, that his Indian brother Rabbit Ears by order of Great Hawk was to watch over Pierre and in turn follow any bandit who might stalk him.

SAVED BY HIS BLOODBROTHER

The trip long yet uneventful, and he tired but eager to reunite with his old friend, Pierre knew St. Louis loomed near. Perhaps a two-hour ride ahead, and hungry, he pulled on the reins.

“Hold up, Gramps,” Pierre ordered.

Pierre dismounted on the rutted road. Wiping sweat from his face with a handkerchief, and affectionately stroking his horse, he said, “Gramps, we’re just outside and getting close to St. Louis, so you’re gonna get relief soon from all this riddin’, me too, my bottom sore to the bone. Before we head in, I’ll treat you to a bag of oats.”

Pierre looked roundabout before he stepped to the saddlebag to open it. Casually scanning his surroundings he didn’t see the glint of sunlight reflect of the steel musket barrel leveled at him from atop a rocky rise a hundred yards to his rear and just off the trail. Nor did he hear the warning shout a split second before the rifle blast. He did feel searing pain rip through his body, and fleetingly observe the spray of blood emerge from him, and soil spray from the colliding musket ball a dozen feet before him. All his senses shut down; he collapsed beside Gramps, the horse frightened and rearing high.

Markus Grimm had struck his prey ten miles west of St. Louis. However, his aim was thwarted when Rabbit Ears too distant to intervene and seeing him aim his rifle at Pierre from a lofty perch and ready to shoot, yelled, “Watch out Pierre!”

The startling scream had thrown Grimm’s aim off enough the ball ripped through Pierre’s left shoulder rather than tear through his back, nonetheless, seriously wounding him. 

Grimm stunned, jerked about looking in all directions, not seeing who had alerted his prey. Gripped with fear that many Indians lurked nearby, he sprang on his horse and fled. 

However, his flight wouldn’t last long. Rabbit Ears after rescuing Pierre, and an expert tracker who would also rely on friendly tribesmen for information, would catch the bandit months later near Bear River in Oregon Country. No details of the deadly encounter would ever be known, not even to Pierre recovered months later from his ghastly wound. Markus Grimm a scoundrel of unremarkable existence would vanish never to be seen again. Rabbit Ears unharmed would go about his village duties, his specialty hunting game for his people, as if nothing had happened.

PIERRE RESCUED

“Help, Howell, please help me,” Pierre in and out of consciousness, moaned, as Rabbit Ears rushed to his side. 

Rabbit Ears bent over delusional Pierre lying on the road several feet from his horse, blood soaking his leather jacket. Examining the wound that exited his upper left pectoral muscle under the clavicle bone, a clean though-and-through, he knew it wasn’t fatal. 

Sighing relief, he said to the semi-conscious man, “Yes, I take you to Howell at boardinghouse; you heal, be new several moons.”

Pierre tied firmly on Gramps saddle, upright but bent forward in a disillusioned state; Rabbit Ears appeared to many people on St. Louis streets a wild savage boldly escorting a white man a victim of questionable tragedy. Belligerent men occasionally confronted Rabbit Ears, ultimately to cower away. Women at the sight of the bloody man, and Indian leading the horse by halter, fled. Several fainted. Finally, despite Pierre’s sometimes-unintelligible guidance, Rabbit Ears and Pierre arrived safely at Bernard’s Boarding House. Howell was stunned, shaken by Pierre’s ghastly wound, dazzled by the savage boldly escorting him through the city to their doorsteps. Denise Bernard and Anthony Bernard were equally shocked, but took charge to aid Pierre medically, and to house him. Pierre explaining the incident to the three listeners, friend and proprietors welcoming Rabbit Ears open-armed, thanked him for saving their friend’s life.After two days, Rabbit Ears restless and seeing Pierre in good care, leaned close to Pierre’s ear and said to his feverish companion, “I hear at trading post you trade furs for big money, learn bandit’s name that trapper Jim Bridger see follow you. My brother, I go next sunrise to hunt Markus Grimm, make him pay he shoot you.”

Groggily, Pierre raised his right hand to seek his Indian brother’s hand. He feebly clenched it and whispered, “I respect your customs. However, be careful, my dear friend; I can’t lose you.” 

HOWELL’S JOURNEY AND DISCOVERY

Fever subsiding after a week’s diligent care by Howell, Denise, and Anthony, and he under heavy cover in his bed at the boardinghouse, Pierre looked with squinty eyes into the concerned face of his old friend Howell. The Englishman sitting at his bedside was undoubtedly a determined yet compassionate man. Pierre sensed by his faraway look he still desired to be a cattle rancher. Instead, here he resided buying time, and saving what extra money he could as a blacksmith in St. Louis of all places. 

Howell’s often faraway look that so intrigued Pierre, the Englishman finally explained to him he had learned much from Rabbit Ears before he departed: the two rescuing each other, Pierre’s new life among the Shoshone Indians, the two friends blood brothers, his married to a beautiful Indian squaw and now a father. 

“My trapper friend, while I’m working daily banging iron making paltry income to buy land for a ranch, you’re out there enjoying adventure; what a turnaround from when we met in Toronto.”

“It’s a good life, Howell … I’m happy.” 

Howell knew Pierre would be a couple months recovering before he could travel. He wanted Pierre’s family to know he was alive and recovering rapidly if Rabbit Ears should soon encounter and be killed in his murderous pursuit of Grimm the bandit. And, he was willing to sacrifice his time to pursue that objective – go personally and deliver the message, to report back and ease his friend’s anxiety.

“My friend, are you awake,” he asked. 

Listening to the suggestion, and appreciative, Pierre responded, “My good friend Howell, it’s thoughtful of you to volunteer to travel and inform my wife and Indian friends I’m okay. Be aware; it’s a long ride requiring you be extra careful, as I am an example of carelessness.”

“I’ll be careful, Pierre; will see you in several weeks.”

Traveling alone and by horseback three weeks, Howell arrived at the Indian village. The Shoshone villagers were friendly greeting him, for they knew who he was from Pierre’s prior banter. A day after his arrival Rabbit Ears walked into camp from a hunting trip with a deer slung over his shoulder, a surprise for Howell. After meeting and welcoming Howell, Rabbit Ears commenced to prepare provisions before he set out the next morning to hunt Markus Grimm. 

Upon arriving at the village, Howell gave an account of Pierre’s recovery to the gathered Indian Council of Elders, lovely Morning Flower present, she solemn, yet grateful his sacrifice passing the news. Great Hawk was cordial afterward, lavished him with food and shelter until finally Howell fully rested after four days had to say goodbye. The chief also reaffirmed to Howell that Rabbit Ears, Pierre’s blood brother, would hunt Markus Grimm and not return until he found his prey. He didn’t specify the penalty for the bandit. Nevertheless, Howell suspected it decisive as ordered by him the chief.

Before Howell left the village, Morning Flower introduced him to her sister Light Feet on Ground, and it was love at first sight between them.

FROM TRAPPERS TO CATTLE RANCHERS

Howell Stonebridgereturned to St. Louis, where Pierre had recovered remarkably. Remaining an extra month proved better for Pierre to travel, the two friends with love in their hearts for the boarder’s as caregivers who had sacrificed and helped them. The day arrived they thanked Denise and Anthony Bernard and bid them goodbye.

Before they saddled up, Howell handed Denise a beautiful bracelet, “Morning Flower made this, asked me to give it to you as a token of her appreciation. For Anthony he gave a decorative war hatchet, “Chief Great Hawk specially made this for you the days I visited his village. They and the village thank you helping Pierre.” 

Pierre sufficiently healed, and his friend alongside him, the two left St. Louis to return to the Shoshone village.

Howell and Light Feet on Ground were wed within a week of their arrival. The couple lived in a teepee next to the Le Bleu’s until the final and sixteenth Rendezvous was held at Horse Creek in 1840. Time had arrived for change and entrepreneurs to make decisions.

Howell having joined Pierre trapping, jointly heard from authoritative sources at trading posts, that: men’s hat fashion turned from beaver to silk creating drastic effect in the price of beaver. During the early 1830’s beaver sold at almost $6 a pound in Philadelphia. The price was dropping, and soon was expected to be $3 a pound. Profit margins for the St. Louis trading firms didn’t validate expense and risk taking supplies to rendezvous sites. Fur material from South America was comparable to beaver for making felt hats and was much cheaper to purchase. In the Rocky Mountains, the relentless competition of the late 1820s and early 1830s destroyed beaver reserves. This occurred in the accessible areas of the central Rockies, and then moved outward into the southern and northern Rockies. The blind destruction of the fur-bearing animals led greatly to the falling-off of the fur market after 1834 in the Rocky Mountain trapping system, ultimately its collapse.

The fur market dwindling, and sensing his friend’s isolation and inherent desire to return to farming, Pierre approached him with fresh idea. “Howell, trapping has been prosperous for us; I have much money saved. And, blacksmithing with Anthony Bernard, I’m sure you have a nest egg. Why not merge our assets and buy us a ranch near this territory, move our families and live and operate not far from their own relatives and make a go at ranching cattle – together?”

Howell warned to Pierre’s idea, so did their wives, as did the tribal elders and villagers, who realized they would reap sufficient benefits Indians at large lacked opportunity. The Prairie Dog Ranch was founded and located on a large acreage of prairieland that included the village relocated, it offering safe refuge and supplying the ranch extra paid workers. Within ten years the ranch would become prosperous with cattle herded by cowboy and Indian to Kansas cattle towns to be shipped to Chicago. Rabbit Ears became ranch foreman, and he led many cattle drives south. The cattlemen and family came to and went from the village at will, as the villagers did the ranch, cowboy and Indian one and the same.

The Shoshone Nation at large would go through hard times, ultimately engage in warfare with the encroaching white man and the United States of America. Nevertheless, a strong bond and peace would last between the Le Bleu,Stonebridge families, the village, and extended mountain Indian tribes of old Rendezvous territory of the former Oregon Country.

Mountain men as devoted trappers earning a living under harsh often-perilous conditions ultimately vanished. However, their ruggedness, high spirit, and widespread folklore would endure and become an intricate part of the building of a great nation. The Le Bleuand Stonebridge families and the small Shoshone village made their mark stick in this era of acute change and building process, thanks to vision, fortitude, hard work, resilience, and above all, evenhanded humanitarianism.

THE END


© Copyright 2018 Virgil Dube. All rights reserved.

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