One night it got dark on us and we had to stay on Hemlock Ridge. We had no feed for the animals. Charley Sargent had some hay at Axford Prairie, six or seven miles away. We decided to go after some. It was ten or eleven P.M. when we got there. It was very dark and we let his old white horse lead us. I rode him and Sargent hung onto his tail and followed that way. We got to the barn and got hay for the oxen and horse and took it back to our camp.
When we reached the Humptulips River, Bertha Evans canoed the stuff across. We stayed there a day or two and rested. Then, we borrowed a pack saddle of Evans and packed some necessities on the Jersey cow. We put Mother's feather bed on first; and on top of that, food, and cooking utensils, and bedding. The cow resented it at first, but we succeeded in getting her going.
Mother rode the horse. We had stuff tied all over him until his knees almost knocked together. I had seventy-five or eighty pounds on my back. We had to have blankets and some food and cooking utensils to use in camp along the road. We figured on making it in two days. We got up toward Ben Newnham's and the cow got slow and laid down pretty often. It began to get dark. Mother and I went on ahead until we got to a creek, then waited for Father and the cow. They didn't come. So, I went back and found Father sitting on a log, and the cow lying down. She wouldn't get up. We even set fire to some moss and put it under her tail, but she wouldn't move. We had to unpack her, and I carried the pack while Father urged her on to the creek camp. She had developed sores on her back. So, next morning, we decided not to pack her again, but to try loading her pack on the two year-old heifer.
We had the pack saddle on her and were about through tying on the load when she broke away and took off through the brush, bucking as she went. I guess the saddle must have gone over her head. Anyway, she scattered everything through the brush before we caught her.
Mother carried a broom in her hand all the way. When she walked she used it for a cane, and when she rode the horse she used it for a whip. She thought a broom was a very necessary thing. As a matter of fact we had only a dirt floor in the cabin and we had made a brush broom of hemlock boughs bound together into a handle. That did very well on the dirt.