A Winter of Content by Laura Lee Davidson

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Laura Lee Davidson
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A Winter of Content

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Book review

J. W. Schultz (1859–1947) was an author, explorer, and historian known for his historical writings of the Blackfoot Indians in the late 1800s, when he lived among them as a fur trader. In 1907, Schultz published My Life as an Indian, the first of many future writings about the Blackfeet that he would produce over the next thirty years. Schultz lived in Browning, Montana.

"With the Indians in the Rockies" is by a Rocky Mountain veteran, J. W. Shultz, and is “real stuff,” vivid and exciting, with the value that comes from firsthand knowledge. It is the story of Thomas Fox, a trapper, whose life was spent among the Indians——friendly and hostile,—in the pursuit of his calling, and who told the story to Mr. Schultz around the camp-fire. Buffalo-hunting, rowing up the Missouri, fights with Indians, the discovery that his Uncle Wesley was married to a squaw, to whom he became very much attached, exploring the Rocky Mountains, adventures in the snow, bear hunting and the like make up the story.

It is a story of out-door adventure, Indians, wild animals, and the perils of a mountain winter that has seldom been equalled in absorbing vividness and power. Mr. Schultz's work bids fair to become a classic for old and young alike. Few men are now left who can write with such knowledge and charm about the scenes and people of the old buffalo days. Every boy, as well as every man and woman who retains an interest in the realities of life in the open, will read the book with delight.

Schultz writes:
"WHEN in the eighteen seventies I turned my back on civilization and joined the trappers and traders of the Northwest, Thomas Fox became my friend. We were together in the Indian camps and trading posts often for months at a time ; he loved to recount his adventures in still earlier days, and thus it was that I learned the facts of his life. The stories that he told by the evening camp-fire and before the comfortable fireplaces of our various posts, on long winter days, were impressed upon my memory, but to make sure of them I frequently took notes of the more important points.

"As time passed, I realized more and more how unusual and interesting his adventures were, and I urged him to write an account of them. He began with enthusiasm, but soon tired of the unaccustomed work. Later, however, after the buffalo had been exterminated and we were settled on a cattle-ranch, where the life was of a deadly monotony compared with that which we had led, I induced him to take up the narrative once more."

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