Hidden In a drawer in the antique highboy, back of the moose head in my studio, there are specimens of Indian bead work, bits of buckskin, necklaces made of the teeth of animals, a stone calumet, my old hunting knife with its rawhide sheath and—carefully folded in oiled paper—is the jerked tenderloin of a grizzly bear!
But that is not all; for more important still is a mysterious wooden flask containing the castor or the scentgland of a beaver, which is carefully rolled up in a bit of buckskin embroidered with mystic Indian signs.
The flask was given to me as "big medicine" by Bow-arrow, the Chief of the Montinais Indians. Bow-arrow said— and I believe him—that when one inhales the odor of the castor from this medicine flask one's soul and body are then and forever afterwards permeated with a great and abiding love of the big outdoors. Also, when one eats of the mystic grizzly bear's flesh, one's body acquires the strength and courage of this great animal.
During the initiation of the members of a Spartan band of my boys, known as the Buckskin Men, each candidate is given a thin slice of the grizzly bear meat and a whiff of the beaver castor.
Of course, we know that people with unromantic and unimaginative minds will call this sentimentalism. We people of the outdoor tribes plead guilty to being sentimentalists; but we know from experience that old Bow-arrow was right, because we have ourselves eaten of the grizzly bear and smelled the castor of the beaver!
While the writer cannot give each of his readers a taste of this coveted bear meat in material form, or a whiff of the beaver medicine, direct from the wooden flask made by the late Bow-arrow's own hands, still the author hopes that the magical qualities of this great medicine will enter into and form a part of the subject matter of this book, and through that medium inoculate the souls and bodies of his readers, purify them and rejuvenate them with a love of the World as GOD MADE IT.