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856 > Page 856 of The romance and tragedy of pioneer life. A popular account of the heroes and adventurers who, by their valor and war-craft, beat back the savages from the borders of civilization and gave the American forests to the plow and the sickle ..

856 INDIAN TRAGEDIES AND ROMANCES. stone, and by half past ten reached the battle-field. It was the most horrible of places, sage brush and dirt, and only alkaline water, and very little of that! Dead horses were strewn about and other, relics of the battle-field. A few wounded men and the dead were there. To all this admixture of disagreeable things was added a cold, raw wind that unobstructed swept over the country." Joseph again got away. Sturgis was already twenty miles beyond the battle-field, but every hour the pursuers were losing gi'ound. The Indians were running night and day. They were now. moving directly north, through the heart of Montana, having traveled more than two hundred and fifty miles due east of the region where the pursuit had begun, while the journey actually accomplished had been more than six times the distance. The British frontier Avas but a hundred miles away. To reach that line of safety Joseph Avas straining every nerve. It was evident that the pursuers could never overtake him. There Avas yet one hope. Days before, a messenger had embarked in a canoe and started doAvn the Yellowstone River to Fort Keough, sixty miles from the Dakota boundary, to apprise General Miles, who was in command at that point, of the situation. The hope was that Miles would at once set out in a diagonal line to the north-Avest and head off Joseph before he reached the British frontier. Meanwhile, General Howard kept on after the fugitives. He says, "I in my heart, earnestly petitioned for God's help, expressing a sentiment that I hope was sincere: ' If thou wilt grant my request, do so, I beseech the e, even at the expense of another's receiving the credit of the expedition.' " At last two messengers were seen approaching in hot haste. They brought word that Joseph had crossed the Missouri at Cow Island, while Miles had crossed it twenty miles below, and was still pressing forward to intercept the enemy. Of his movement Joseph was yet in ignorance. Another messenger came, a curious and solitary- frontiersman, knoAvn as Slippery Dick.