The night was very dark and they rode on interminably, camping at dawn in a shut-in canyon; and so on for three nights until his mind became a blank as far as direction was concerned. His liberal supply of beans had been exhausted the first night and since then they had passed over a hundred rocky hog-backs and down a thousand boulder-strewn canyons.
The path is as follows: From Delle over the Swiss wire to the Crucifix on Mount Terrible; from there east-by-north along the chestnut woods to the shoulder of Mount Thusis. From thence, north over hog-backs 1, 2, and 3 to the Forest of Thusis where we are now trapped. "Northeast of the forest lies a level, treeless table-land half a mile in diameter called The Garden of Thusis.
Leaving the last road-house behind them, they came into a hilly section of great white domes, high hog-backs, and ramifying creeks, each one exactly like its neighbor; two days' travel through this, according to Harkness, should have brought them to the Imnachuck, where there was food and shelter again.
The trail began to rise out of the jungle, dipping at times into festering hollows of unwholesome vegetation, but rising more and more over swelling, unseen hill-slopes or climbing steep hog-backs and rocky hummocks where the forest thinned and blue patches of sky appeared overhead. "Close up he stop," Binu Charley warned them in a whisper.
We wound down the flooded swale, we left the Ridge Road quite out of sight, we finally drew up out of the hollow and took to the ridges and hog-backs making a new Ridge Road for ourselves. Nowhere in sight was there the slightest trace of humanity or human settlement. We were alone. Still bearing south I turned westwardly, after rolling up the covers to let in the drying wind.
"He says that th' Injun village was a decoy; that he c'd tell by th' stuff, th' buffalo robes an' all, that was layin' 'round; that there was eight thousand fightin' Injuns in that part of th' country, an' that it was a safe bet that seven thousand nine hundred an' ninety-nine was layin' right in behind them hog-backs low hills a-waitin' for us. "But th' Old Man was mad.
It was called the Ridge Road because it followed the knolls and hog-backs, and thus, as far as might be, kept out of the slews. The last bit of it so far as I know was plowed up in 1877 in the northeastern part of Grundy County. I saw this last mile of the old road on a trip I made to Waterloo, and remember it.