August 25, 1833

25 August: Pleasant early in the morning, sky slightly overcast. At 7:30, 75°F [23.9°C]. During the night the Indians’ dogs had howled frightfully; one heard hundreds of voices of all kinds simultaneously, and this concert was no different than the howling of the wolves we had heard so often in the evening in the lonely wilds of the Missouri. Today was Sunday; people had dressed neatly. Two Indians brought a horse and sold it to the company for a keg of whiskey, a blanket, powder, and bullets.

After breakfast I went with Dreidoppel across the river; we followed the steep bank for a short distance and then turned onto the prairie, which was covered with individual patches of the light-green thorn with fleshy leaves, which was now blooming as in July, and several nearly dried-out plants.[Page 2:241] After a journey of a quarter of an hour in this prairie, we reached a now-very-shallow channel, a narrow arm of the river, which at one place was almost completely dry, and here crossed over to Horse Island, which was overgrown with tall grass, various kinds of plants,M36The plants we found on the island included [——]. and stretches of old cottonwoods. Here we found many well-known plants but also several [unfamiliar] to us. The gooseberry had been completely stripped of its fruit. The Clematis, with its white blossoms, was blooming luxuriantly in some places; in others it had finished blooming. Here the mosquitoes (Tipula) were innumerable, and we could not leave our hands uncovered or do enough to protect our faces. If we tried to put plants into the case, we could not accomplish this task. We saw only a few birds: a flight of blackbirds, a Falco sparverius, and the finch with the striped head (Fringilla grammaca Say). A wolf stood on a sandbank, not far away on the other side of the river, but soon disappeared into the prairie hills. On Horse Island the fort’s horses are pastured in winter, because there is much grass there. On the prairie, over which we returned again, Cactus ferox grew plentifully. Its fruits were covered with thorns but not yet ripe. The heat was intense. Near the fort the men were target shooting when we returned. They were shooting very carelessly, and a bullet ricocheted over several Indians into the river. At noon, temperature of 80°F [26.7°C] in our room with open doors and windows.

In the afternoon, as we were amusing ourselves with the three young bears, Mr. Mitchell hit upon the idea of letting them swim. I immediately advised him against this: they would certainly get away. But he insisted, and before anyone knew what was happening, they were on the other side of the river. There they ran far downstream. They were driven back into the river, but they swam far downstream, and only with the greatest effort could the skiff follow them and bring them ashore again. The men played for a long time with them [and] finally, half an hour later, brought them back into the fort again. I had given up the nice, strong animals for lost. Later we still had much entertainment with these animals. There is nothing stranger in their behavior, however, than [their] sucking on their tongues, which is probably a vestige of suckling and the means by which they make a strange, often long-lasting rumbling noise.

White Buffalo, Tomeksih-siksinam, came into the fort this evening, carrying a beautiful Salish bow he had taken as booty in the last battle. It was decorated toward the ends with many strips of ermine fur, and when I had someone ask him if he wanted to sell it, his reply was, “I like it. ” At that point one must stop asking, for otherwise an Indian makes endless demands. This Indian is a very trustworthy, good man and goodwilled toward the whites. He is a bold warrior and very zealous of honor. He shot his sister here because she, as a married woman, had intimate relations with another man, against which he had advised her earlier. A Piegan chief had a quarrel with him and shot him through the thigh, but he killed his opponent. Today the evening was very pleasant, but many mosquitoes also came into our room.

Date: 
Sunday, August 25, 1833
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Corey Taylor (Automatically Generated)
Zachary Joyce
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