Trooper and Redskin In the Far North-West
Recollections of Life in the North-West Mounted Police, Canada, 1884 - 1888 by John G. Donkin


Contents

Introduction

Chapter I.
Winnipeg—An unlucky squaw—A contrast—Fort Osborne Barracks—Accepted—A reminiscence—The ups and downs of life—Off to Regina—The journey West.

Chapter II.
Extent of the North-West Territory—Regina—The Barracks —An expedition—Quarters and comrades.

Chapter III.
Organization of N.W.M.P.—General fatigue—Indian Summer —Cold—Provost guard—Prisoners—Escape of Sioux— The Broncho—All sorts and conditions of men—Horse-thieves—Pay—Fever—The irate doctor.

Chapter IV.
Winter—Volunteers for Saskatchewan—Jumpers and moccasins—To Qu'Appelle—Intense cold—A model hotel— Tent pegs or beefsteaks ?—A terrible march.

Chapter V.
The bear—Touchwood Hills—A native gentleman—The great salt plains—Sixty-two below zero—Played out—A rest—Humboldt—Timber wolves—Hoodoo—Christmas Day.

Chapter VI.
Leave Hoodoo—Manitchinass Hill—A splendid view—Our Christmas dinner—Batoche—The South Saskatchewan —Duck Lake—Fort Carlton.

Chapter VII.
Carlton to Prince Albert—Frozen wheat—A digression—A splendid grazing country—" Johnnie Saskatchewan's " palace—Brick barracks—Freedom of social life—A look round.

Chapter VIII.
1885—Inspection—Our surroundings—Clear Sky Land— Rabbits and lynx—Easy routine—A whisky desperado— Precious snow—North-West liquor law—Curling—Skating —Dog trains—An Indian swell—Mother Smoke—Night picquet—A night scene—Night thoughts.

Chapter IX.
An unwelcome prisoner—Riel busy—Seditious meetings— Threats—The Metis—Louis David Riel—A prophet—A council of State—The provisional government—A new religion — Red Tape — Urgent despatches — Carlton strengthened—A convenient eclipse—Arrival of arms— The volunteers—Scouts—A man who wanted gore—A meddling official—The rebellion inaugurated—Officials imprisoned—A Batoche farce—Arrival of Colonel Irvine —Frostbite—Snow blindness.

Chapter X.
Colonel Irvine departs—The fight at Duck Lake.

Chapter XI.
Prince Albert after the fight—Settlers summoned together— • Church fortified—Scenes within the stockade—Exalted warriors—Inside the church—A sortie for grub—Aflutter in the dove-cot—The burning of Fort Carlton—A retreat —An excited Scotchman and an astonished parade—A false alarm—Inaction—Colonel Irvine.

Chapter XII.
Dreary days—Defence organized—Strange weapons of war— Patriots—An arrival—Bad news—Battleford burnt—A fighting rig—Dead disfigured—Fighting corrals— Rumours—A sortie and a countermarch—Ice breaks up —Frog Lake massacre—Retreat from Fort Pitt—Leave barracks—Fish Creek—A Jingo Bishop—The Zoo— Battle of Batoche.

Chapter XIII.
Battle of Cut-Knife Creek—Painted horses—Capture of transport—General Middleton enters Prince Albert— " Gophers "—An invidious comparison—Martial music— Saskatchewan steamers—Departure of troops—A strange coincidence—Pursuit of Big Bear—Hot weather—Mosquitoes—Fish—Big Bear captured—Return of Green Lake column.

Chapter XIV.
Troops homeward bound—Big Bear goes to Regina—Mutual Admiration Society—A good word for the police—Esprit dc corps—Sioux teepes—Squaws bathing—Riel sentenced —Indian summer—The verge of the wilderness—Goodbye to Prince Albert—Batoche bush-fires—A pleasant camp—A chorus of coyotes.

Chapter XV.
Humboldt—A strange caravan—The salt plains again—The springs—An unpleasant situation—Indian camp—Children—An Indian masher—Fire bags—A game preserve —An early reveille—Skunk Bluffs—Qu'Appelle—Lord Lansdowne—Cigars—An Indian legend — Harvest-Prairie fires—Pieapot's reserve—The great prairie— Regina—A change—Leave of absence.

Chapter XVI.
Louis Riel in prison—The guard-room—Guard increased— Riel doomed—Duty heavy—New organization—Mud and rain—A way to take up land—A contretemps—Riel's politeness—His devotions—Apologia pro vita sua—A prophet—Pere Andre—Riel sane—St. Peter appears to Riel—An early breakfast—Exercise—The scaffold— Patrol—The execution.

Chapter XVII.
A miserable guard—Grand rounds—Riel's grave—Winter— 1886—A ball—Blizzards—Their power—Electric storms— Fatalities—Newspaper amenities and fibs—Fort Macleod —Calgary—Alberta—A garden—God's country—Chinook winds—Spring—Usual rumours—Leave Regina— Moosejaw—A festive camp—Easter Sunday—Out on the desert—Old Wives Lake—Musings—Solitude—Wood Mountain.

Chapter XVIII.
Life at Wood Mountain—Unseasonable snow—Delights of roughing it—A capture—Gros Ventre Indians—Dirt— The old fort—Dust—Short rations—Fine weather— Patrols—Heat—A stampede—Antelope and sage hens— A sandhill crane—A primitive meal for a hungry man— Indian spies—Sign language—On sentry—Dawn—Gambling—Field-days—Indian graves—A ranche—Cowboys —A suggestion on dress—" Toughs"—Indian depredation and a skirmish.

Chapter XIX.
Bird life—Fireflies—Prairie fires—A surprised broncho— Sioux Indians—Indian treaties—Reserves—Agents—A Sioux beauty—Sweet grass—A lonely view—Thunderstorms—Hay-Spear grass—Winchester carbines—A mail robbery—Arrest—Sentence—A cyclone.

Chapter XX.
March from Wood Mountain—Springs frozen—Willow Bunch —Dangerous descent—Alkali Lake—No water—Big bluffs—A huge camp fire—Intense cold—Sufferings— Frostbites—An accident—The mirage—New riding-school —The cowboy troop—1887—A blizzard—Drills—Blood Indians—Crees—An Indian march—"Kinneekinick"— Indian religion—Handshaking—Pipe of peace—Squaws —A Sioux lady—"Medicine"—Police fired on by Piegans —Kootenay Indians—Shuswaps.

Chapter XXI.
Wet weather—A sudden order—Off to the Souris—Mud—A caboose—Broadview—A big spill of whisky—Moosomin —The Big Pipestone valley—Indians on the trail— Travoies—A lovely camp—Cannington—Moose Mountain —Game—Carlyle—Indian deserters—The sun dance— Initiation of braves—The Souris—Alameda—The frontier.

Chapter XXII.
Life on the Souris—Flies—Mud turtles—A lovely scene— Thunderstorms and cyclones—A tent scattered—Man lost —A cloud of mosquitoes—A narrow escape from drowning—Saved by a comrade.

Chapter XXIII.
Off to Wood End—Hill of the Murdered Scout—Crees and Blackfeet—A-storm—Long Creek—A happy valley—Wild fruit—A Helena girl and culture—Patrols—Wild horses —Wild hops—Prairie fire—Winter quarters—The Souris coal-fields—Good-bye.


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