He therefore halted his party, and took up his abode among his friends, to wait until they were prepared to set out on their hunting expedition to the western prairies.
A short ride through the forest brought the party out upon a vast and glorious prairie, on which the rich autumnal sun was shining in all his strength.
The broad prairies have been, or are being, subjected to the culture of human industry; even the Rocky Mountains have been overleaped, and beyond them is a great State already admitted into the family of the Union, and a territory teeming with an adventurous and hardy population, knocking at its door for admission.
What say the boundless prairies?
The fertility of her soil and the comparative mildness of her climate caused her to be eagerly contended for, as far back as 1673, when the pioneers grew poetical under the inspiration of "a joy that could not be expressed," as they passed her "broad plains, all garlanded with majestic forests and checkered with illimitable prairies and island groves."
Of the lobe-footed birds, seven species, of which is the rare and beautiful Wilson's Phalarope, which breeds in the wet prairies near Chicago.
And when you are talking with your Indian friend, as you sit beside him and smoke with him on the bare prairie during a halt in the day's march, or at night lie at length about your lonely camp fire in the mountains, or form one of a circle of feasters in his home lodge, you get very near to nature.
All fear of the boy's escaping to his friends was removed from his mind; for he was about to retire from that part of the country to a wild district far to the west, and to join his allies, the Pequodees, in a hunting expedition to some distant prairies.
Trip through the Miami of the lakes, and the Wabash ValleyCross the grand prairie of IllinoisRevisit the minesAscend the IllinoisFeverReturn through the great lakesNotice of the "Trio"Letter from Professor SillimanProspect of an appointment under governmentLoss of the "Walk-in-the-Water"Geology of DetroitMurder of Dr. Madison by a Winnebago Indian.
Lonely as death itself were the surrounding unbroken prairies.
For, had he never seen himself, but run into that inner prairie of his and called aloud "Robert Spinrobin," an individual exactly resembling him would surely have pattered up to claim the name.
They said it made them tough and healthy, and enabled them to endure the bitter cold while hunting on the bare bleak prairie.
And then they launched out on the almost endless western prairie, said then to be a thousand miles wide, containing few trees, and generally unknown.
The land is an immense upland, rolling slightly, and the finest grass land I ever saw; it is an immense prairie, with the horizon unbroken, except by the picturesque peak of Dormitor at the north, the summit peak of the mountains of upper Herzegovina, and the centre of the glacial system of the lands between the Adriatic and the great Rascian valley which divides Servia and the lower Danube from Montenegro.
He had only to run out some distance into his big mental prairie, call aloud a name in a certain commanding way, and instantly its owner would run up to claim it.
The locality which Clay selected was Lexington in Kentucky,then a small village in the midst of beautiful groves without underbrush, where the soil was of virgin richness, and the landscape painted with almost perpetual verdure; one of the most attractive spots by nature on the face of the earth,a great contrast to the flat prairies of Illinois, or the tangled forests of Michigan, or the alluvial deposits of the Mississippi.
It barely touched the frost-brown prairie; it cleared it entirely, it rose, rose, with mighty sweeps of mighty wings.
The bold promontory on which Fort Winnebago was built looked down upon the extended prairie and the Fox River on one side, and on the other stretched away into the thickly-wooded ridge that led off to Belle Fontaine and Lake Puckaway.
These journeys are long and tedious, and require men of nerve and muscle to undertake them; the morasses and rivers which they have to crossthe extensive prairies and savannahs they have to traverse, and the dense forests to penetrate, are sufficient to subdue any but iron constitutions.
The next day (December 4th), we traverse the great rolling prairies of Nebraska, and see many herds of horses and cattle, and here and there ranch homes and cowboys.
They looked longingly over the fertile prairies of the Cherokee Strip country, stirred the camp-fire embers emphatically, and sent another dispatch to Washington asking for a chance to get in.
Each day some of the party spent in hunting, either along the river bottoms through the groves of cottonwoods with shimmering, rustling leaves, or away from the river where the sunny prairies stretched into seas of brown grass, or where groups of rugged hills stood, fantastic in color and outline, and with stunted pines growing on the sides of their steep ravines.
Since I had left the little prairie in the Wyandot reserve, I had been buried in eternal forests; and, notwithstanding all the efforts one may make to rally one's spirits, still the heart of a European sickens at the sameness of the scene, and he cannot get rid of the idea of imprisonment, where the visible horizon is never more distant than five or six hundred yards.
The contrast between that miracle of art, a railroad-train at full speed, and a wide, lonely prairie, or a dusky forest, leafless, chilly, and silent,save for the small tinkling of streams beginning to break from their frosty limits,is one of the most striking in all the wide range of rural effects.
Else might these moonlit prairies show at dawn, The dew-swept circle of the elfin dance