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Snake Expedition, 1825-1826 349 Saturday, 14th. At daybreak Mr. Dears and a man started in quest of the 5 absent men. Rain all night. I apprehend they will not be able to find the tracks of the lost. Our course W. by N. 2 miles, then N. 6 miles along the main branch of Day's River, a fine large stream nearly as wide again as it is at the Columbia. From appearances this river takes its source the same quarter as the River of the Falls and Utakka * * * We found Snake huts not long abandoned. I sent 20 men with traps ahead of us. It was night ere we camped. The horses sink knee deep in mire all day. The road cannot be surpassed in badness in so short a distance. Here the grass is green, no snow, the frogs croaking as merrily as in May ; 2 beaver this day. Sunday, 15th. I intend to try luck here and await Mr. Dears. Set all the trappers off well loaded with traps. Tracks of small deer were seen and 2 killed. One of my men saw 2 Snake Indians. He conversed by signs with them, but they could not be persuaded to come to camp. As soon as he parted from them they disappeared, no doubt to hide and watch an opportunity to steal horses and traps; 12 beaver, i otter this day. Monday, i6th. Rain all night. The river rises 2 feet, so no hope from traps. Our horses all safe, but some of the traps gone ; 6 beaver and 2 otter. Tuesday, 17th. Rain again. No word of Mr. Dears and the absent men. Gave orders to raise camp, but sent a young man to raise a fire in the mountains so if the party have lost our track the fire will direct them. Our course N. by E. for five miles to large fork bearing east and camped. The horses sank knee deep in the mud. Mr. McKay, who was in quest of deer, found a Snake Indian ; hid in the rocks, secured him and brought him to the camp, treated him kindly and in the even- ing he informed us that this fork will conduct us nearly to Snake River. The road fine, no snow and a few beaver; 25

beaver today and 2 otter. Our guide killed a small deer.----