My Forty Years Scribblin's

As told to Mildred Chaffin by her [Indian] friends. Printed in Cabin Fever (1989).

The new earth quivered and stilled. And when the dust and the smoke had drifted away, the jolly old Sun looked down and smiled. "I like this place," said he, where the mountains were crowned with white, and the valleys bowed low. The red-men came, and they liked it too. They sensed the wonder of creation as they gazed away to the white crowns and called it, in their own tongue, "The Land of Shining Mountains." The trappers, the miners, the lumbermen, and the homesteaders—they liked this great land also. And those with metal in their make-up stayed to conquer, to carve legends, homes and history, out of the wilderness.

South Fork of the Flathead River, 1962.