GOING TO MEET THE "FACTOR"
IT was at once decided that a certain number of our
company should make the journey down the river,
after having bargained with the savages to guide them,
and both Jethro and I were eager to be of the party,
even though hardships might be met.
We had remained idle so long, doing little else than
eat, that action of any kind, however dangerous, was
something greatly to be desired.
It was not an easy matter to gain permission of our
parents, however, although we did succeed finally, and
you may set it down in good truth that we were in high
spirits on that winter morning when we started off.
 The party numbered five men, we two lads, and
three savages to show the way. We were all well
armed, for no one could say how many wild and
ferocious beasts might be encountered, and carried
provisions in plenty, not being minded to live upon the
stores of our friends.
You must know that there was snow upon the ground
to the depth of eight or ten inches, and to plough
through this would have been most exhausting work;
but the savages make a kind of shoe to bear them on
the surface, however deep the drifts may be, and already
had my father fashioned one pair for himself and
another for me.
 The shoes are made by working down two pieces of
wood from the ash tree, the wood having been well
seasoned, until they are of no greater bigness than
your smallest finger. The wood is then held in the
steam from boiling water until it can be readily bent,
when the ends are brought close together and the middle
stretched wide apart, something after the fashion of
fastening two crescent-shaped sticks at each point.
Across this frame are woven the entrails of deer,
until a sort of basket-work has been formed, after which
the cords are allowed to dry slowly, when they will
become hard and tough, yet so far pliable as to yield
somewhat to the pressure of one's foot.
It is not a simple matter to walk on these Indian
snowshoes until after one has had considerable practice,
and even then it is necessary to advance with the feet
so wide apart, in order to allow for the width of the
shoes, that the labor is very great, at least so it was to
Jethro and me by the time we had traveled three or
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