1881: Brother Rudolf arrives in Bozeman

One Monday night, it was November 21st, Kopp came to bring my brother Rudolph to the farm. He had written to me from Chicago that he intended to come to Montana as well, hoping that he would be able to work for himself here. We agree that he, instead of me, would continue to run the pelt business in cooperation with the Farmer, because I want to return to Germany sooner or later. The next day we all go into town: the whole Gottschalk Family, my brother, and I. We spent all day at the Kopp’s house, in whose convivial home we enjoy some great times together.

In the meantime, my brother starts to work. I make use of the free time I earn from that and take a hunting trip to the mountains. The deep snow makes hiking rather difficult. I find fresh bear tracks, however, without the encounter of any game. In a gorge-like depression in between high-grown spruces I discover a small cabin. Due to bear and wolf tracks that are leading towards it, I circle around the cabin and then, the rifle ready to fire, I enter – it was empty. It started to get dark, therefore I hurried to get down the valley. When I almost reached the valley, getting out of the forest, I am overwhelmed with tiredness. I throw myself, stretched out, into the snow, in order to take a rest, when I am about to go to sleep forever. A waking up in this snow would not have happened. A sharp and strong wind is blowing over my face, which in the moment makes me aware of my situation. Quick and determined I jump up in order to get away from this icy embrace, which otherwise I would have fallen for unsavably.

When I turn into the frosty valley I catch the sight of a light towards which I start to walk. Soon I enter the threshold of a simple timber house in which two men are sitting by the fire. Not very surprised of my entrance, they respond friendly to my greeting and invite me to take a seat. After I had warmed up my freezing body reasonably, I ask for the direction leading to the farm and start my way back home. In the dark and with the snow this deep I am not surprised that I miss the path. After I had hiked for half an hour I see a large number of lights appearing before me – this has to be Bozeman.

One if the first houses I get to is the one that belongs to Kopp. There are no lights on, it seems as though they are in bed already. Upon my knocking, soon the always friendly young Swiss opens the door. Surprised he asked me whether Indians had broken into the house since I was equipped with my riffle in this late hour. “No”, I say “I just want to warm up a little”. Easily I step into the bedroom, where Mrs. Kopp calls a friendly “good evening” from her resting place. In the meantime, her husband and I resort to the adjoining kitchen, where the cozy warmth enlivens my spirits. Kopp then hands me a pair of long grey felt boots to put over my other shoes, whereupon I start my way back through town. On the farm, where I arrive only at the twelfth hour, their eyes widened in surprise since they had worried about my long absence.

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