October 8, 1863: Pilgrim Camp
We stayed one day at this camp. It is a wild place, no neighbors near; deep snows fall in winter and treacherous Indians infest it in summer. This hunter is a strange character. He is an extraordinary shot, as many an Indian has found—I cannot say to his sorrow, for he never wounds—his first shot, whether with revolver or rifle, is sure death. The Indians have long since ceased to molest him. They hold him in superstitious awe, as they have never been able to hit him with an arrow, while the Indian who made the attempt has always lost his life. No band of savages seems a match for his quick observation and unerring rifle. He is not a young man, rather of middle age, and has a bad reputation, but he treated us cordially. His name is More; he was born in Kentucky, but early ran away from home to the frontiers of Texas, where, between fighting Indians and hunting, he led an adventurous life. Thence he went to the frontiers of Missouri, and then came here. He says that he found the life of the “honest miner” too civilized for him, so he again turned hunter. He has made money here, and still makes it, by the sale of venison and skins, and he hoards his gold like a miser, burying it in the earth. He was very talkative, saying that he had to use his visitors for he did not often get them, and many of his sayings were pithy and witty in the extreme. He is one of those erratic characters with which this state abounds.