bloodhound, and pointing out a trail that led back over the way the
force had just marched. When the commanding officer rode up, Burnham
"Don't raise your head, sit. On that kopje to the right there is a
commando of Boers."
"When did you see them?" asked the officer.
"I see them now," Burnham answered.
"But I thought you were looking for a lost trail?"
"That's what the Boers on the kopje think," said Burnham.
In his eyes, possibly, owing to the uses to which they have been
trained, the pupils, as in the eyes of animals that see in the dark,
are extremely small. Even in the photographs that accompany this article
this feature of his eyes is obvious, and that he can see in the dark
the Kaffirs of South Africa firmly believe. In manner he is quiet,
courteous, talking slowly but well, and, while without any of that
shyness that comes from self-consciousness, extremely modest. Indeed,
there could be no better proof of his modesty than the difficulties I
have encountered in gathering material for this article, which I have
been five years in collecting. And even now, as he reads it by his
camp-fire, I can see him squirm with embarrassment.
Burnham's father was a pioneer missionary in a frontier hamlet called
Tivoli on the edge of the Indian reserve of Minnesota. He was a stern,
severely religious man, born in Kentucky, but educated in New York,
where he graduated from the Union Theological Seminary. He was
wonderfully skilled in wood-craft. Burnham's mother was a Miss Rebecca
Russell of a well-known family in Iowa. She was a woman of great
courage, which, in those days on that skirmish line of civilization,
was a very necessary virtue; and she was possessed of a most gentle and
sweet disposition. That was her gift to her son Fred, who was born on
May 11, 1861.
His education as a child consisted in memorizing many verses of the
Bible, the "Three R's," and wood-craft. His childhood was strenuous. In
his mother's arms he saw the burning of the town of New Ulm, which was
the funeral pyre for the women and children of that place when they were
massacred by Red Cloud and his braves.
On another occasion Fred's mother fled for her life from the Indians,
carrying the boy with her. He was a husky lad, and knowing that if she
tried to carry him farther they both would be overtaken, she hid him