Stránka:book 1913.djvu/550

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528 The Book of Woodcraft A heavy snowstorm had set in early in the afternoon, and the night was so bitter and the Indians so weakened by their campaign that Johnson felt safe to leave them free to take the best shelter they could find in the brush along the deep valley of Chadron Creek. This leniency he was not long in regretting. Dull Knife and his band had been feeding liberally for two days on troopers' rations, and had so far recovered strength of body and heart that when morning came on the twenty-fifth the sentries were greeted with a feeble volley from rifle pits in the brush, dug by DuU Knife in the frozen ground during the night! And here in these pits indomitable old Dull Knife fought stubbornly for two days more — fought and held the troops at bay until Lieutenant Chase brought up a field gun from Fort Robinson and shelled them to a final surrender! Thus ended the first episode of Dull Knife's magnificent fight for Hberty and fatherland, and yet had he had food, ammunition, and mounts, the chances are a hundred to one that his heroic purpose would have been accomplished, and the entire band that left Reno, barring those killed along the trail, would have escaped in safety to freedom in the then wilds of the Northwest Territory. And that, even in this apparently final surrender to hopeless odds. Dull Knife was still not without hope of fur- ther resistance, was proved by the fact that when he came out of his trenches only a few comparatively old and worth- less arms were surrendered,wliile it later became known that twenty-two good rifles had been taken apart and were swung, concealed, beneath the clothing of the squaws! After taking a day's rest Johnson marched his command into Fort Robinson, arriving in the evening in a heavy snowstorm, where the Cheyennes were imprisoned in one of the barracks and their meagre equipment dumped in