August 23, 1833
23 August: In the morning, bright sunshine; hot early. 75°F [23.9°C] in our room at 7:30. At midmorning, Hotokáneheh, the man who owns the medicine pipe, and his wife went to Mr. Mitchell; Bird served as interpreter. Mr. Mitchell told him he should do everything in his power to help dissuade Bear Chief’s family from taking revenge on innocent Blood Indians but [instead] only on the murderer’s family, if their feelings of honor necessitated such revenge. [Hotokáneheh] should consider that it was disadvantageous not only for the whites of this fort but also [and] especially for the Piegans, who could no longer hunt without exposing their wives and children to the gravest danger, and that [the Piegans] were much weaker than the Blood Indians and Blackfoot combined. He should most earnestly remonstrate with Bear Chief about this matter. Hotokáneheh began to cry and said his family no longer had buffalo meat, and he had to try to live on venison. He could do nothing else but go up the Missouri to catch beaver; he hoped that they would be willing to lend him beaver traps, which he would faithfully pay for in pelts. He would attentively listen to the whites’ advice, which was good and well-intentioned, and was grateful for it. Mr. Mitchell gave him whiskey and tobacco and said he wished to give [Hotokáneheh] the traps he desired and whatever else he wanted. He knew that [Hotokáneheh] was a friend of the whites and had always shown himself as such. He should go now and try to persuade the chief’s family.
Bird wants to depart for the north soon; he has not been feeling well. The Ojibwe did not come, because he had been detained. Toward noon the heat [was] very great. Bird told me that the Blood Indians and Blackfoot carefully cultivate the plant ([— —]), whose leaves they smoke like tobacco. It grows on the hills of this region also. To keep the seeds free of weeds, they burn off the place on which they wish to sow the seed. Today Dreidoppel prepared the bighorn sheep, a task for which the great heat was not favorable. At twelve o’clock, 80°F [26.7°C] in our room.
In the afternoon a man arrived with his wife and seven other Indians, who were greatly entertained by Mr. Bodmer's portraits. If they found a very good likeness, they recognized it immediately, joyfully called out the name, and clapped their hands. The young woman was very pretty and had a genuine Madonna countenance, truly beautiful eyes, and fine features. Mr. Bodmer had the man informed that he wanted to drawn the man's wife the next day; he finally agreed in return for red dye and blue glass beads.
Today an inventory was made of all the goods in the store, with a value of about one thousand dollars, to transfer them to the expedition to the Kootenais, which is to depart in a few days. La Biche Caïe came into the fort for a short while. Since the death of his relative, he had completely changed: his begging had become more annoying, or else he no longer let himself be seen. It is possible that Bird exerted a pernicious influence here.
The men had already sawed many planks of cottonwood timber; with [these,] all the rooms will be furnished with the [presently] missing ceilings to make them warm in winter. The saw was used today in a manner completely unfamiliar to me. Tobacco barrels, in which the twisted tobacco rolls are kneaded into a firm mass, were opened. This mass of tobacco is sawed into two halves and in this way can be conveniently loaded onto a horse. Bird ate with us and then rode away from here. Tomorrow most of the Piegans are supposed to leave. The big band, as we learned today, is still very far away from here. The evening was pleasant but very warm until late.