September 5, 1833
5 September: Morning, pleasant, sunshine, somewhat cool. At 7:30, 66°F [18.9°C]. During the second night watch, Deschamps had ridden off with his men and horses; nine horses still remained here in the fort. Early in the morning, several Piegans were in the fort. Soon la Dépouille de Boeuf and Celui Qui se Nomme l’ Aigle (Blood Indians), as well as the Blackfoot Ihkas-kinne, also arrived. Mr. Mitchell got up late. He only mentioned that during the night he had much work getting the horses across the Missouri. One had to herd them far down the river, and several escaped again to the left riverbank, but they were found again and then driven across.
Old Dupuis, who was recently wounded in the foot by an arrow, had left here yesterday on his beaver hunt with Kutonä́pi’ s band. Our body of men was now greatly reduced. Apart from us three Germans, it consisted of [the following]:
1. Mr. Mitchell
2. Mr. Culbertson
17. L. Maréchal
18. J. Maréchal
24. Pierrot Chouquette
25. P. Torique
26. P. Beauchamp
27. D. Beauchamp
30. B. Boyer
31. Chouquette. M. Champagne
35. Narcisse Daignaux
36. L. d’ Apron
40. L. Taurique
43. Young Laramie
48. I. d’ Apron
52. F. Touchette
53. I. Touchette
At 9:45 three Gros Ventres des Prairies arrived; [they] declared they had eaten nothing in three days. They were allowed in, and they smoked and rested in the mess hall and were then given something to eat.M51They were very crude. Naked down to the leggins and
breechcloth, [they] wore only a plain buffalo robe—one of them
with a mirror at his neck and bow and arrows in the sheath on
his back. Another one had a shield, which was decorated with
black feathers. They wore their hair in back in a long braid,
which was decorated with a brass rosette. Because they were returning
from a raid, they were poorly dressed. Faces painted red. We showed them some portraits of several Gros Ventres, whom they also seemed to recognize, since they were delighted and clapped their hands, but we could not understand what they said. Their language was very difficult, [being] faint [and] indistinct; [it] consisted of short, barely audible, faint sounds; and there was no interpreter for them. Most leading persons of this nation spoke Blackfoot, but the three men who were here today did not know it very well.
Several Indian wives had deserted; those of Berger and Culbertson came back again, after it had long been believed that they, too, had run away. Today Mr. Mitchell had the men dig a new cutting pit, where wood is to be sawed. It was finished in the afternoon. At three o’ clock Mr. Mitchell gave Dreidoppel and Bodmer horses, so that they could visit the hills that range behind the fort. They wanted to look for a good vantage point there. They soon returned, and we agreed to choose a closer one.
Toward evening dark clouds arose, and it rained a few drops; there was also a little wind. At the place where the Indian [tipis] had stood, I found numerous remnants of the yellow mosses with which they stain their porcupine quills. The evening was pleasant. Today, for the first time [in] a long while, the gates were openagain open again and one could go out. During the night there was no officer but rather just two men on guard duty.