December 2, 1833
2 December: In the morning, bright, beautiful weather, winds calm, not cold. The sun soon shone warm. At seven thirty, 25°F ⟨[−3.9°C]⟩. The corn was transported today through our room to the new scaffold, which drove us for a while from our ⟨[quarters]⟩. I went outside and measured in paces the size of the fort and MihTutta-Hangkusch. Toward noon the sky was overcast, a raw southwest wind was blowing, and the thermometer showed 45°F ⟨[7.2°C]⟩ at twelve thirty. Several Mandans came into the fort and brought beaver pelts again.
Today I ordered seeds of the tobacco plant that the Mandans, Hidatsas, and Arikaras grow. It has yellow flowers (in some spots also marked red on the inside) and is supposed to be a true Nicotiana. 91 The tobacco odor produced by its leaves is unpleasant. They have a legend that they received the plant from a buffalo (see the ⟨[chapter]⟩ on the Mandans).
Mr. Kipp gave me some Mandan snowshoes today. The Dacotas are supposed to have some just like them. But they are not worn too much here, only in very severe winters. [Page 3:44] Near Mih-Tutta-Hangkusch the Indians had two very well-used trails across the Missouri on which they had scattered sand. In the village I found all lodges completely empty, barricaded with twigs. Magpies flew around the lodges; ⟨[there]⟩ was a flock of snow buntings outside the village.
In the afternoon Dipäuch (Broken Leg) brought me some seeds of the tobacco plant; they were very fine, small grains. He also lit his pipe with the leaves of the plant at our place, and we found the smell unpleasant—completely different from that of actual tobacco. For information about this tobacco and the way the Mandans claim to have received it, see ⟨[chapter 18]⟩.
In the afternoon Mr. Bodmer went into Dipäuch’ s lodge at Mih-Tutta-Hangkusch and found it very well-furnished and nice. He made a sketch of the round area in the village with the ark and the black ⟨[- faced]⟩ man, showing the medicine lodge from the front.
Dreidoppel went hunting. Near the hills he saw a wolf lying down and wanted to creep closer to him in a ditch at the creek to lure him. At that moment another wolf walked out of some small bushes near him. This was probably the one he had wounded ⟨[on a recent]⟩ night. It could not get up the hill fast enough, and Dreidoppel shot it. It was not large and ⟨[was]⟩ of the gray variety. We were unable to fetch it ⟨[that]⟩ evening. Dipäuch and Beróck Itaïnú came and stayed in the fort that evening. To my delight, the former talked the whole evening about the religious ideas and legends of his nation, the most fantastic and silly stories. We remained busy writing down the notes until after eleven o’ clock.