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over the muddy streets—and,
by the by, one of those children became Mrs. A. B. Mathews, of Pontiac, and the brother
went to California in 1850, and died there.
I had some trouble with my city school-mates,
who were disposed to make fun of the boy from the backwoods with the butternut-colored coat. But ere long they found the butternut
coat at the head of the class, carrying with him the respect and good will of the teacher
for his industry and application.
While at school I found my Indian
education of service to me. At times large numbers of Indians came to the city from their hunting grounds to sell their furs
and skins, and they would hunt me up to aid and interpret for them. I used to take them to a little wooden building on the
corner of Jefferson and Woodward avenues, kept by F. P. Browning, who gave me a liberal
commission on all the trade I brought him; and before the school term ended I
was enabled to improve the appearance of my wardrobe.
I returned to Grand Blanc and went
to work; but soon I tired of hoeing corn, and told my father that with his permission I would try my fortune in the settlements.
Although I was the last of four sons to leave the parental roof, he did not object, but he warned me of his inability to "stake"
me (as we say in the West). Of this fact I was well aware; but, nothing daunted, at the
age of sixteen, I mounted my pony (my only personal property), and started for
Pontiac. At that time the principal store was owned by Newberry & Beach, Oliver
Newberry, of Detroit, and Elisha Beach, the resident manager. At that time an important item was their trade with the
Indians, and my ability to speak the language enabled me to secure an engagement. I remained there about a year, when I was
engaged at a larger salary to go to Saginaw to take charge of a little store established by L. P. Riggs, on Green Point, a
mile or two above Saginaw City.While there I made occasional trips to the hunting-grounds with an Indian guide who had lost
one arm by amputation, the operation having been performed by himself. A tree had fallen upon him, pinioning his left
arm to the ground, breaking the bone, but leaving his body and right arm free. He was able to get out his knife, cut off the
fastened arm, and make