UP and down, northward and westward, Daniel Boone ranged tirelessly with his traps and his rifle in those last years. The price of beaver pelts was between two and a half and eight or nine dollars apiece at times. An honest man who had left debts behind him in Kentucky could do something in a country like this, where even the taxes were payable in deerskins.
The fur traders at St. Charles gave bad prices. To get better ones meant a trip sixty miles down river to St. Louis. The scattered farmers along the Missouri's banks got used to seeing Boone's huge canoe, with housing built over the cargo in the middle, a sure sign of furs aboard, come down the Missouri every year, the white-haired old trapper in the stern, on his way to sell the proceeds of his winter hunt. Travelers passing his daughter's house could often see the veteran in the yard, playing with otter and beaver that he had caught young and brought home to tame.
He had begun trapping almost as soon as he reached Missouri. A receipt in French, dated March 14, 1801, testifies that Daniel Boone, "saindic de l'établissement de la Femme Osage" had delivered sixty-two beaver skins, two otter skins, and forty‐ two deerskins. He kept it up when he was past eighty, even though his family and friends opposed any more expeditions. Rebecca, he used to explain, needed little delicacies and "re