November 30, 1833
30 November: Early, nice, calm, bright morning. The sun appeared. At seven thirty, 23 1/2°F ⟨[−4.7°C]⟩. Not cold.M27At noon, 46 1/2°F ⟨[8.1°C]⟩, wind ⟨[——]⟩. At eight thirty Mr. Dougherty had his horse saddled for me and sent for a certain Monnier to bring me up to the forest village of the Mandans opposite Ruhptare. Durand accompanied us and had his horse. He let Mr. Bodmer ride part of the way. At eight thirty we took leave from our pleasant hosts, Mr. Dougherty and Charbonneau, and returned. After we had gone through the forest where the village is located, we turned between the hills upward to the left and cut through the arc of hills, then returned again to the trail on the wide prairie, on which we had traveled recently. ⟨[We]⟩ reached the forest village of the Mandans at two or three o’clock.
Here in one of the Indian lodges lives an old Frenchman, Garrot, in the service of Mr. Sublette and Mr. Campbell; we stopped ⟨[there]⟩ for a moment. The entire lodge was filled with hanging meat; here, too, many buffalo had been killed. From here we soon moved on and passed over the ⟨[frozen]⟩ Missouri above Ruhptare, where the ice was rather smooth. Durand’s horse, which was stiff and exhausted, could scarcely be brought across. It had no horseshoes and fell very dangerously several times.
We reached Fort Clark at dusk; Mr. Kipp also had returned ⟨[there]⟩ just today with a heavy load of beavers from the nearby forest village close to Ruhptare. During our absence the mail had arrived from St. Louis, but no letters for us. The news from there was good in general. The cholera had disappeared completely. Mr. Lamont, ⟨[a]⟩ member of the American Fur Company, who was ⟨[expected]⟩ to stay with us over winter, will not come. He will stay at Fort Pierre on the Little Missouri [Bad River].
Dreidoppel had gotten two species of mammals new to me in my absence: Canis latrans Say, the prairie wolf; and Mustela vulgaris americana, the small weasel. I precisely described both animals, the latter to compare it with the European species, from which it seems to differ a bit. The prairie wolf, somewhere between fox and wolf, ⟨[Dreidoppel]⟩ had lured himself and shot. In our absence Mr. Kipp had done a very good business ⟨[in]⟩ beavers, perhaps 150 pelts. In the evening I wrote to Mr. Hamilton at Fort Union to receive some medicines, Indian (Assiniboine) pipes, and Catlin’s information about the Mandans.