John Colter, a backwoodsman of the northwestern coast, earned a reputation for his speed as a runner and his resourcefulness in face of danger. Once when trapping he was captured by a marauding band of Black Feet, who gave him a chance for his life to run the gauntlet in a rather singular way. He was set loose and the Indians were ordered to pursue him until he was worn down, giving opportunity to prolong torture at their pleasure. The crafty Colter led them such a swift pace that when the strongest runner was so far ahead that his fellow men were out of sight, he turned, tripped the Indian, and finished him with his own spear. Then he took to the water and by hiding like a beaver beneath a driftwood raft, escaped.
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