(Excerpt from "The Hunter's Feast" by Capt. Mayne Reid pg 22 - 23)


We encamped by the edge of a small creek of clear water. Our camp was laid out in due form, and everything arranged in the order we designed habitually to follow.

Every man unsaddled his own horse. There are no servants in prairie-land. Even Lanty's services extended not beyond the cuisine, and for this department he had had his training as the cook of a New Orleans trading ship. Jake had enough to do with his mules; and to have asked one of our hunter-guides to perform the task of unsaddling your horse, would have been a hazardous experiment. Menial service to a free trapper! There are no servants in prairie-land.

Our horses and mules were picketed on a piece of open ground, each having his "trail-rope," which allowed a circuit of several yards. The two tents were pitched side by side, facing the stream, and the waggon drawn up some twenty feet in the rear. In the triangle between the waggon and the tents was kindled a large fire, upon each side of which two stakes, forked at the top, were driven into the ground. A long sapling resting in the forks traversed the blaze from side to side. This was Lanty's "crane," --the fire was his kitchen.

Let me sketch the camp more minutely, for our first camp was a type of all the others in its general features. Sometimes indeed the tents did not front the same way, when these openings were set to "oblige the wind," but they were always placed side by side in front of the waggon. They were small tents of the old-fashioned conical kind, requiring only one pole each. They were of sufficient size for our purpose, as there were only three of us to each--the guides, with Jake and Lanty, finding their lodgement under the tilt of the waggon. With their graceful shape, and snowy-white color against the dark green foliage of the trees, they formed an agreeable contrast; and a coup d'aeil of the camp would have been no mean picture to the eye of an artist. The human figures may be arranged in the following manner.


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