Farewell to the Klamath
Steve is making medicine for us. We have three solid weeks of riding ahead, and this afternoon Steve came in to say that for two days he has been making medicine, and he thinks the mists are going down river. This isn't the Grasshopper Song, Steve told us. The Grasshopper Song is a good song, but he thinks this is even more potent.
"The first time Indian god, he come down river," Steve said, "he stop here just below I-ees-i-rum. On his arm, he got rain sacks. He took sacks off his arm and open them so. All the mists, they come up river and the clouds, they get thick, and pretty soon it rain, rain, rain. It rain and it rain. Then the Indian god, he feel bad and he say, 'Anybody, he know my song, rain he stop.'"
And according to Steve, if the song of the Indian god doesn't stop the rain, nothing else will.
It had begun to rain the day that old man Frame had been buried at Somesbar.
The next morning as we saddled our mules for the upriver trail, the peaceful Salmon of the day before had become a roaring flood. Not a rock or a sandbar in sight.
"You'll never get those mules across the Klamath," said Dave McLaughlin as we came out onto the porch. "Lucky if you get over yourselves."
Well, maybe we couldn't get the mules across the Klamath, but after the days at Somes, with poor Mama Frame and Margy and Sam, we couldn't keep our spirits from rising when we found ourselves again on horseback, and the trail