to sell their peltries and procure such things as they need.'On the following Sunday, Father DeSmet assembled the Indians and trappers for divine worship. In a letter dated February 4, 1841, he writes: "On Sunday, the 5th of July, I had the consolation of celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of Mass sub dio. The altar Q3180258was placed on an elevation, and surrounded with boughs and garlands of flowers; I addressed the congregation in French and in English and spoke also by an interpreter to the Platheads and Snake Indians. It was a spectacle truly moving for the heart of a missionary, to behold an assembly composed of so many different nations, who all assisted at our holy mysteries with great satisfaction. The Canadians sang hymns in French and Latin, and the Indians in their native tongue. It was truly a Catholic worship. This place has been called since that time, by the French Canadians, la prairie de la Messe."
DeSmet was now in the land of the Shoshones or Snake Indians. Three hundred of their warriors came into camp at full gallop. DeSmet was invited to a council of some thirty of the principal chiefs. 'I explained to them," he writes, "the Christian doctrine in a compendious manner. They were all very attentive; they then deliberated among themselves for about half an hour and one of the chiefs, addressing me in the name of the others, said: 'Black-gown, the words of thy mouth have found their way to our hearts; they will never be forgotten.' I advised them to select among themselves a wise and prudent man, who every morning and evening, should assemble them to offer to Almighty God their prayers and supplications. The meeting was held the very same evening, and the great chief promulgated a law that for the future the one who would be guilty of theft, or of other disorderly act, should receive a public castigation." This was the only occasion on which Father DeSmet met the Snake Indians. His subsequent trips to Oregon were, with one exception, by a different route.
After spending a week at the Green River rendezvous,----