Open main menu

Page:Quarterlyoforego10oreg 1.djvu/380

This page needs to be proofread.

344 Peter Skene Ogden Journals tained permission to sleep out of camp and have not come in. One caught a raccoon the size of our Indian dog. I presume this fellow was also in quest of beaver. Indeed beaver are a prey to man and beast. Wednesday, 21st. Rain all night. Three-fourths of trappers are in advance with their traps. I ascended main fork 3 miles and encamped. Course east. Soil rich. Grass 7 feet high, making it difficult to set traps. We must now change our course; 39 beaver, 2 otter. Thursday, 22d. Froze last night, 2 inches thick ; not in our favor. If we do not soon find animals we shall surely starve. My Indian guide threatens to leave us and it was with trouble I persuaded him to remain. Few can form any idea of the anxiety an Indian guide gives. The fellow knows we are de- pendent on him. If we can but reach the Snake waters, he may go to the devil. We raised camp. Ascended a small fork ; a fine valley ; fine hills ; 16 miles due east. All the trap- pers set their traps with little hope of success, they are so crowded. Today 15 beaver, 3 otter. Did not see the trace of an animal and as the cold increases, I feel very uneasy regard- ing food. As the beavers do not lay up a stock of provisions for the winter, as is the case in cold countries, I hope the cold spell will soon pass ; otherwise how can they exist, as we well know without food we cannot. Friday, 23d. Very cold. About mid-day 2 Nez Ferces ar- rived, having 2 traps, to accompany us for beaver. They left the fort some time after I did and are ignorant of the country ; 23 beaver and i otter ; many of the traps fast in the ice ; 2 lost by chains breaking. I sent 2 men to examine the source of this fork. They report no appearance of beaver. Mr. McKay and 6 men started to follow the large fork we left on the 22d. We shall follow. Juniper and fir here. Saturday, 24th. Cold increasing fast. It is far from pleas-

ant in cold weather to ride at snail's pace, but it must be so or----