This page is a text version of the Beckoning Hills History Book. This is the story of the Turtle Mountain Area of Manitoba. You can get a PDF copy of the book on our full version page. The PDF copy is an exact page by page representation of the original book. This text version has been reformated for the web and contains text recognition mistakes. These mistakes do not appear in the full version. The full version also includes each image in the original book.

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Driven relentlessly by the gale and their own terror the herd had stampeded right into the lake, the ones behind shoving the leaders out into the soft, mud botton till they went down, to drown in the snow clogged, icy water.

It was a grim sight. In places the bodies were piled almost on top of each other. Some had plunged out five or six hundred yards before they became exhausted and sank down. Many that were mired down but still alive kept a low terror-stricken bellowing that was like a dirge.

Stephenson rode for help and soon the nearby settlers were gathered with ponies and ropes to pull some of the bogged down animals to safety. With the thermometer hovering below the freez­ ing mark it was a cold, heart-breaking task, the more disheartening because many of the beasts died after they were pulled ashore.

It was nightfall before the rescue work was finished, the remainder of the herd gathered together and a tally made. One hundred and six had died in the mud and water that stopped their wild rush through the darkness and storm. It was a severe loss for many of the owners, particularly hard to face because the greater part of the stooked crop was covered deep with snow. Fortunately the weather cleared after the storm and a long open fall with good harvest weather followed.

Moccasin telegraph carried the news of the stampede almost as quickly as the later day telephone would have and soon bands of Indians from North Dakota and from the Indian Reserve at Griswold arrived on the scene.

They set up their teepees, gathered some wood, sharpened their knives and went to work. With one, two and sometimes three ponies to a carcass the men hauled the dead animals ashore where the squaws took over the job of skinning. They then cut the better meat into long strios an inch or so thick and hung it to dry in the sun, in the same way that their forebears had dried the meat of the buffalo that had fed along the same shore not so very many years before.

It took many days for the job, with the stench getting stronger and the flies getting thicker each day. It was a real bonanza for the Indians though, and the meat, waving like red blankets from the drying racks of poles, meant a fat winter for them. The hides too were a source of revenue which, fortunately, wasn't available every day.

Dr. Schaffner, later Senator Schaffner, health officer for the district, ordered three barrels of kerosense sent out from Boissevain with which to burn the refuse.

The Indians frugally decided that would be a waste of good "bright light" oil but they did pour enough on the rotting carcasses to send a towering column of black smoke into the air which wrote finis to what was probably Manitoba's worst stampede.