A Frontier Doctor Page: 16
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A FRONTIER DOCTOR
Before he was close enough for a good shot, the geese
became frightened and flew some distance to another
resting-place. Paist, keen for a shot, kept after them until
this had happened a number of times. Finally the chance
came. He took good aim, fired, and missed.
It was cloudy when he left camp and when he now
looked about for the way back, no camp was in sight. It
grew dark very rapidly and at the same time a fierce
blizzard came on. Paist quickly realized that he was lost,
without an overcoat or mittens. He could see but a few
feet in any direction.
He was soon missed at camp, but no one knew just
what direction he had taken and the intensity of the
storm precluded any systematic search. Guns were fired
every few minutes all night, but the gale carried the
sound the wrong way.
Paist had been familiar with life on the plains for some
years and, when he realized he was lost, instead of trying
to make camp he began to tramp in a circle. This kept
him from freezing, and he was certain that if he could
weather the night his comrades would find him in the
morning. Following this plan saved his life, although it
was a very close call. His hands and feet were badly
frozen and it was a long time before he recovered.
During the preceding summer, Paist and I had inter-
viewed a number of the fur traders. We learned of the
enormous profits of the business, so decided to pool our
resources upon our return and blossom out the next spring
as bona-fide Indian traders with a string of Red River
carts loaded with cheap calico, beads, etc. After his ter-
rible experience in the storm, Paist most emphatically
vetoed the proposed venture and vowed that nothing
could tempt him from civilization again.
Here’s what’s next.
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Hoyt, Henry Franklin. A Frontier Doctor, book, 1929; Boston, Massachusetts. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth143532/m1/38/: accessed June 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.