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Pony Tracks


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CHASING A MAJOR-GENERAL The car had been side-tracked at Fort Keough, and on the following morning the porter shook me, and announced that it was five o'clock. An hour later I stepped out on the rear platform, and observed that the sun would rise shortly, but that meanwhile the air was chill, and that the bald, square-topped hills of the "bad lands" cut rather hard against the gray of the morning. Presently a trooper galloped up with three led horses, which he tied to a stake. I inspected them, and saw that one had a "cow saddle," which I recognized as an experiment suggested by the general. The animal bearing it had a threatening look, and I expected a repetition of a performance of a few days before, when I had chased the general for over three hours, making in all twenty-eight miles. Before accepting an invitation to accompany an Indian commission into the Northwest I had asked the general quietly if this was a "horseback" or a "wagon outfit." He had assured me that he was not a "wagon man," and I indeed had heard before that he was not. There is always a distinction in the army between wagon men and men who go without wagons by transporting their supplies on pack animals. The wagon men have always acquired more reputation as travellers than Indian fighters. In a trip to the Pine Ridge Agency I had discovered that General Miles was not committed to any strained theory of how mounted men should be moved. Any settled purpose he might have about his movements were all locked up in a desperate desire to "get thar." Being a little late in leaving a point on the railroad, I rode along with Lieutenant Guilfoil, of the Ninth, and we moved at a gentle trot. Presently we met a citizen in a wagon, and he, upon observing the lieutenant in uniform, pulled up his team and excitedly inquired, "What's the matter, Mr. Soldier?" Guilfoil said nothing was the matter that he knew of

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