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I remained there for some time waiting for a caravan to come from the States which was to bring the goods I wanted. Things was wonderfully high; it took a beaver-skin for a plug of tobacco, three for a cup of powder, and other knick-knacks in proportion.

At this reservation Mat chuckled contemptuously; but young Thorpe enforced it, by tearing a leaf out of his pocket-book, and writing an acknowledgment for the sum he had borrowed. Mat roughly and resolutely refused to receive the document; but Zack tied it up along with the bank-notes, and threw the beaver-skin roll back to its owner, as requested. "Do you want a bed to sleep in?" asked Mat next.

This last seemed in their eyes a "medicine" of the most formidable nature, and they would not touch it without first wrapping it in a beaver-skin. For the rest, Hennepin made himself useful in various ways.

He then went to the corner of the room where the round table was; pulled the upturned lid back upon the pedestal; drew from the breast pocket of his coat a roll of beaver-skin; slowly undid it; displayed upon the table a goodly collection of bank notes; and pointing to them, said to young Thorpe, "Take what you want."

Once he put on his mittens and beaver-skin cap, and, leaving the cabin, fell to rummaging about in the cache. Nor could he wait the hour designated; for he was fifteen minutes ahead of time in rousing his guest. The young giant had stiffened badly, and brisk rubbing was necessary to bring him to his feet.

Instead of the beaver-skin which the poor Indian hung in the branches of a tree near the falls as his offering, the State has hung its gift of forty million dollars for the highest training of its sons and daughters.

The men were several hours in loading the canoe, not only all the stores and ammunition, but all the honey being transferred to it. The bee-hunter had managed to conceal his jug of brandy, reduced by this time to little more than a quart, within an empty powder-keg, into which he had crammed a beaver-skin or two, that he had taken, as it might be incidentally, in the course of his rambles.

But after this man came among them they began to miss one a beaver-skin and one a bag of ginseng, and one a belt of wampum, until at last old Pete Hendricks lost his chestnut three-year-old.

The weapons would have to be concealed. When the Indians had finished one keg of rum they would buy another, and so on until not a beaver-skin was left. Then the trader would move or when the Indians sobered up they would be much dejected, for invariably they would find that some had been wounded, others crippled, and often several had been killed.

The principal deity of the Sioux was supposed to live under these falls, and Hennepin, the priest of Artois, speaks in his journal of hearing one of the Indians at the portage around the falls, in loud and lamenting voice haranguing the spirit to whom he had just hung a robe of beaver-skin among the branches of a tree.