Wallace Blount's journal

Blount’s journal, Sept. 22, 1880

Saw something powerful strange by the light of last night’s full moon. Was out prospecting in the northwest of the Black Hills, searching for that big rockslide Gideon talked about. If a new strike was exposed I figured I’d get to it first. Out south of Devils Tower was where I saw it, just about in the shadow of that hexed monument. The moon passed behind some clouds and I lost my way in the dark. Then I saw a flickering lantern light in the pitch darkness of the Plains, and I made for it with all due haste. I climbed toward some pine trees on a ridge. Would have blundered right through them if not for the dumb luck of a burr in my boot. Good thing. On the other side, to my left, was a whole bunch of Chinese fellas, armed to the teeth! To my right, a whole war party of Sioux sat on horseback! I hunkered down in those pine trees.

Far as I can tell it was a trade of some kind. The Chinese fella in charge started talking in Sioux, then his people handed over a wagonload of crates and barrels. After that the Sioux didn’t say much, just took their booty and left the scene. I stayed down and waited until I could get away. I reckon it was just west of the Belle Fourche, when the Tower Trail turns north toward the mountain, where that odd stand of twisted pines overlooks the trail. Should be digging right now, but I can’t shake the memory. Gideon always says there’s no evil in the world but what men do. It’s things like this that make me wonder…

That cuts it – I’m headed south to that Iron Dragon mining camp to have a look around and see if I can make sense of it. The claim can wait another day.

Wallace Blount's journal

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