December 9, 1833

9 December: The morning quite bright, the sun appears early. At seven thirty, 14°F [−10°C], wind northeast. The plants and shrubs on the prairie were heavily crusted with hoarfrost. A wolf trotted near the fort at dawn. At seven o’clock Durand arrived; he had traveled on the ice of the Missouri with a small sled and two dogs. He did not stay in the fort long. We ate the last meat for breakfast. [Page 3:49] We expected that Mr. Kipp would bring some along. Dreidoppel went hunting. Several Indians wanted to be let in, but we kept our door locked tight. Despite that, the deaf-mute Mandan sneaked in, but he did not stay long. An Indian sold me a winged prairie prairie hen. Another stole an axe in the fort. Belhumeur sent a man after him. Most of them cannot stay away from theft. At noon (at eleven twelve thirty), 32°F [0°C]. Our people went out occasionally with sleds to transport wood [from] the lower forest. They drove across the shiny ice of the Missouri. Many Indians came into the fort; the women [were] loaded with corn, which they sold. Some brought Indian sleds, which they pulled themselves. These sleds are made of two narrow boards tied together side by side with leather straps. The [end] is bent upward, and [from] the back to the front, [it is] about 10 feet long. At ‘a’ the front is bent up and tied back with leather laces so that it cannot move downward. Four cross-slats unite the two [parallel] boards. In front, leather traces are attached [for] dogs or humans to pull.

Figure 16.31. Indian sled, plan and side views.

On the other side of the Missouri, in the forest and on the snowy and icy area in front of the forest, all day long we could see Indian women moving, carrying wood home. Others had made holes in the ice, where they were either fishing or washing. The wind increased toward noon but did not become severe. It blew from the southeast. The sky was gray and cloudy all day long.

Dreidoppel returned after lunch with three prairie hens; he had winged a fourth one but did not get it. When he lured them, magpies immediately came and sat next to him. He was very wet below, because it had thawed. The birds he saw were Corvus pica, Picus pubescens, Parus atricapillus, Fringilla linaria, and Tetrao phasianellus. He came across a few Indians, whom he did not trust at first, but they were Mandans. He brought various kinds of plant seeds. Síh-Sä went outside in the afternoon with the gun; we gave him [some] shot. Mr. Kipp came back toward evening. He had stayed overnight in the last Hidatsa village at old Bijou’s place. Today he set [out] across the river near the island where the three Hidatsa lodges are and broke through the ice with the horse. The horse most likely lay half an hour in the water and was so stiff that afterward it was almost unable to stand up. A large white wolf had followed him very closely, but he did not have a gun with him. [The] evening was dark and not cold at all.

Monday, December 9, 1833
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Cory Taylor (Automatically Generated)
Nina Crabtree