Stránka:book 1913.djvu/564

Přejít na: navigace, hledání
Tato stránka nebyla zkontrolována

S42 The Book of Woodcraft for trails, Lieutenant Baxter had discovered this campfire, and, quite naturally assuming that none but a consider- able band of the Indians would venture upon building a campfire so near to the garrison, had immediately sent a trooper courier into the garrison with advice of his dis- covery. Then he dismounted his command and approached the campfire in open skirmish order, until it was plain to be seen that the fire was deserted. The trail of a single Indian led into the washout, and imprints in the snow showed where he had sat, evidently for some hours, beside the fire. But of the washout's fugitive tenant no trace could be foimd, ho trail showing his route of departure. In one direction along a sharp ridge leading toward the hogback's crest, the snow was blown away, the ground bare, and this seemed to be his natural line of flight from Baxter's detachment. After what all believed a thorough search of the vicinity of the fire, Lieutenant Baxter left Corporal Everett and a trooper near the fire, and, remounting, led the balance of his men up the slope with the view to cut the Cheyenne's trail wheresoever it might again enter the snow. Baxter was gone barely ten minutes when he was startled by two rifle shots in his rear, from the vicinity of the fire! Looking back, he saw his two troopers prostrate in the snow, and later learned that Everett and his mate, while stamping about to keep warm, had approached a little shallow washout within thirty yards of the fire that all vowed they had looked into, and suddenly had discovered the Indian lying at its bottom, wrapped in a length of dirty old canvas the precise color of the gray clay soil which doubtless had served to conceal him through the earlier search. The moment the Indian made sure he was dis- covered, he cast open his canvas wrap and fired twice with