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Old October 23, 2008, 05:28 PM   #308
4V50 Gary
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 19,342
A tale from Fort Laramie

From Francis Parkman, the author of numerous books, we have this passage from his book, The Oregon Trail. Enjoy.

"There was an old man named Pierre, whose duty it was to bring the meat from the storeroom for the men. Old Pierre, in the kindness of his heart, used to select the fattest and the best pieces for his companions. This did not long escape the keen-eyed bourgeois, who was greatly disturbed at such improvidence, and cast about for some means to stop it. At last he hit upon a plan that exactly suited him. At the side of the meat room, and separated from it by a clay partition, was another apartment, used for the storage of furs. It had no communication with the fort, except through a square hole in the partition; and of course it was perfectly dark. One evening the bourgeois, watching for a moment when no one observed him, dodged into the meat room, clambered through the hole, and ensconced himself among the furs and buffalo robes. Soon after, old Pierre came in with his latern, and, muttering to himself, began to pull over the bales of meat, and select the best pieces, as usual. But suddenly a hollow and sepulchral voice proceeded from the inner room: 'Pierre, Pierre! Let that fat meat alone. Take nothing but the lean.' Pierre dropped his lantern, and bolted out into the fort, screaming, in an agony of terror, that the devil was in the storeroom; but tripping on the threshold, he pitched over upon the gravel, and lay senselless, stunned by the fall. The Canadians ran out to the rescue. Some lifted the unlucky Pierre; and others, making an extempore crucifix of the two sticks, were proceeding to attack the devil in his stronghold, when the bourgeois, with a crestfallen countenance, appeared at the door. To add to his mortification, he was obliged to explain the whole strategem to Pierre, in order to bring him to his senses."
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
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