Trailside Messages

“The bones of buffalo whiten the roadside, and their bleached skulls serve in a double way as records of the passers-by. Many are the names and bulletins pencilled on them; and by continually reading one begins to learn the biography of those in front, and feel an interest and a companionship in their progress. Perhaps we catch up another train, we all chat together, names drop out; ‘Oh!’ one answers, ‘I know your name, I read it on a buffalo head three weeks ago; you’re from —, are not you?’ Sometimes one reads short camp anecdotes or accidents, such as, ‘Woman shot to-day by her husband taking his gun loaded into the waggon—not expected to recover:’ then, ‘Woman shot on Thursday, doing well.'”