by Daniel Carter Beard
Do all the good to your neighbor you can,
do as little harm as possible,
and trust in God.
Daniel Boone's Motto
There, boys! We're through with that Foreword and are ready
to have a good time. I would ask you to excuse me for placing a foreword to the book
at all if I thought you had to read it, but I know that boys mostly skip such things, and
I remember that, as a lad, I myself never read the preface to a book.
These introductions, however, are required by all those good people --friends,
teachers, uncles, aunts, and parents-- who buy books for the boys, and that's the reason
that fellows like me who write books always stick a preface of some sort at the beginning
of our volumes.
Personally, however, I'd rather open with "Hello, boys, howdy!" or something
like that, and then jump right into the contents, as I am going to do now.
The English lads look back with pride to the days of knight-errantry, when all the
chivalry of the land went around dressed like oil-stoves astride of horses covered with
gorgeous crazy quilts, and poked each other with long barber poles, or playfully hammered
each other's heads with sledge-hammers and broadaxes. That was the time of Ivanhoe, the
Black Prince, and Richard Coeur de Lion.
But America also had her day of chivalry, with knights as bold as any who wore an iron
pot on his head on a hot summer day. Our knights, however, encased their limbs in
fringed buckskin in place of stovepipes, and their bodies in tawny deerskin tunics, or
"wammuses," instead of sheet-iron corsets.
The American knight's arms consisted of a long rifle with a barrel ranging from four to
five feet in length, trimmed with brass and with a brass patch box in the butt. Hung
from the shoulder of each knight by a broad band was a bullet pouch made of deerskin, or
often of some very valuable fur, and not infrequently beautifully decorated with beads.
Over this hung a cow's-horn powder flask, scraped smooth with a piece of glass and
intricately engraved with a date, the owner's name, and rude representation of the chase,
and pictures of wild animals and Indians, to which were often added cabalistic signs from
old books of magic.
Thrust in the belt was a long butcher knife, a tomahawk, and sometimes a whetstone.
The feet of the knights were encased in moccasins, and their heads in coonskin,
bearskin, or foxskin. caps. As a rule, they were tall, lithe men, usually with gray
eyes, and wore their long hair either gathered in a queue, clubbed, or hanging loosely on
Like the old knights of Europe who wore iron clothes, the American heroes were
unrelenting in their warfare; and yet they were men with big, kind hearts, who went into
the serious game of frontier warfare with as much interest, zest, and enjoyment as the
college boys of to-day display upon the foot-ball field.
The red men of those days, who contested inch by inch the ground of the frontier land
of the Ohio River basin, were very much the same kind of men as their white brothers in
buckskin-crafty but valiant warriors; many of them, like Logan, lofty and noble
characters; and all of them worthy opponents.
There's one great difference between boys and other healthy animals. You may have heard
people say, "As patient as a beaver" or "As patient as a cat watching a
mouse-hole," but did you ever hear any one say, "As patient as a boy"?
So it may be wise at the start to tell the reader how to make
A Pioneer Costume
The Boy Pioneers