Ben, the Trapper; Or, The Mountain Demon A Tale of the Black Hills

Ben, the Trapper; Or, The Mountain Demon A Tale of the Black Hills

Albert W. Aiken

In a deep defile among the Black Hills, far out on the western plains, three men had made a camp. They were of that wonderful race who have done more to develop the resources of the western world than any other, the trappers of the North-west. Their great aid in this cause has never been allowed by us as a people. We hear of great discoveries of gold, or of a new pass through the mountains, and in the discovery lose sight of the agent, who, in nine cases out of ten, is one of the class of whom this book is written. Their wandering, perilous life is full of hardships, of which we have no conception. The cold of winter, the savage foe, the yet more savage employees of the Hudson Bay Company, the grizzly bear, the snow-slide, all these are their enemies. They toil hard to pluck from the hand of stern old winter a precarious livelihood, happy in the possession of a few traps, a rifle, ammunition, and a blanket. With these they lead as happy lives as any, and as useful as most. Hundreds of tales of individual daring have been told of these men, and yet the truth is not half known. Their creed is simple as that of the border chiefs of Scotland:

             “That they should take who have the power, And they should keep who can!”

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