Page 78


"I was never afraid of the Indians. They were very friendly, especially so because my husband could talk to them in Chinook jargon. Also, because he could make a good canoe.

One day, an Indian with his squaw and papoose beached his canoe at our landing and came up to the house. The day was raw and I knew they were chilled, so I made them coffee and set out a lunch.

Although I couldn't talk with the squaw. I smiled and motioned for her to sit at the table. While she ate, the papoose looked at everything in the room in silent, wide-eyed wonder. When she finished, the squaw picked up two slices of bread and took them along, for the papoose.

Five miles above us on a branch of the Humptulips, Gust located two Germans - cabinet makers - who built themselves a cabin with French windows. One was Beckbessinger (called "Little Chris"); the other Baumbartner, who had a wife and a boy of four. Mrs. Baumgartner never saw a woman after she went onto the claim.

She had been there nearly three years when H. C. Evans and Willis Hopkins (an Aberdeen cruiser) stopped there one day and found the two men making a coffin in the room where she lay sick. Evans said to them, "You better get this woman out to town to a doctor, or she'll die." "Oh", said her little boy, "She die, alright". Soon afterward she passed away and was buried in the handmade coffin without having had a nurse, doctor, or funeral.

Some time later, the two Germans made themselves barrels out of spruce. They had raised a big crop of cabbage and decided to make kraut and sell it in Hoquiam. So, filling the barrels with sauer-kraut they sealed in the heads and threw them into the Humptulips river, intending to float them down to the mouth and tow them to Hoquiam.

The first barrel came down alone. A settler by the name of Hess who lived between our place and the Germans' thought it was a stray barrel and snagged it in. But directly a complete fleet of six or seven barrels came down the river with the two Germans and they boy following in a canoe, to keep them in the channel. That night they stopped at our house.

When Mr. Murhard heard of their plans he told them there was a jam a quarter of a mile long near Stevens Prairie, and a larger one, three-quarters of a mile long, near the mouth of the river, and the barrels would be lost in the jams. They thought they knew better.

During the evening the boy bragged, "I tank ve make a purty goot ting out of dot. Und if ve do, ve go back home and make lots more kraut."

In the morning they went as far as Steven Prairie and found that their kraut had gone under the jam. Just one barrel escaped. After selling it in Humptulips, they returned home both sadder and wiser.