Page:Quarterlyoforego10oreg 1.djvu/381

This page needs to be proofread.


Snake Expedition, 1825- 1826 345 starve. We ascended a light stony hill. The frozen ground made it difficult for horses to reach the top. We crossed a sky line 10 miles, descended gradually, reached the fork we left on 22d and camped. Course S. S. E. River here wide and lined with willows. Mr. McKay and party joined us. They have not found beaver, and their traps are all fast in the ice. Saw another old camp of Snake Indians about 10 days old. I wish from my heart I could see them. It would free us of our present guide; 15 beaver this day; a feast tomorrow. Sunday, 25th. This being Christmas, all hands remained in camp. Prayers were made. Cold increases; prospects gloomy ; not 20 lbs. of food remain in camp, and nearly all our traps out of water. Monday, 26th. Cold. Raised camp and ascended river now fast with ice, our route over hilly country, being obliged from the cut rocks to cross over the river 3 different times ; had some difficulty; two bales of goods and some skins got wet; our hunters are in search of deer ; encamped early ; distance 5 miles east. Toward evening the weather became overcast and the water rising fast, the trappers set out with their traps. Hunters brought in 4 small deer, miserably poor. Tuesday, 27th. Weather very cold. On collecting horses, we found one-third limping and many of them could not stand ; were found lying on the plain. Some of the trappers started trenches, the rest visited the traps, returned at night with no success, their traps fast in ice, and no beaver from the trenches. The river is so wide we cannot get beaver with the ice chisel. The hunters came in with 5 small deer. If this cold does not soon pass my situation with so many men will not be pleasant, but last year I met with so many reverses, men grumbling and discontented, that I am in a manner prepared, but can afford them no relief. If we escape starvation it will depend on the hunters. God preserve us. Today 4 beaver. Wednesday, 28th. Early this A. M. Mr. McKay and 7 men

set off in quest of deer; trappers off with their ice chisels,----