Snake Expedition, 1825-1826 355 an existence for nearly 4 months of the year; they live con- tented and happy ; this is all they require. It appeared strange, and the only reason I can give for it is the poverty of this country and food, that few or no children are to be seen among them. We have seen upwards of 30 families and only 3 chil- Ixcn among them. Before many years, not many will be liv- ing; ants and locusts will again increase. Thursday, March 2nd. This day took an account of beaver and otter taken during the last month, in all 174, had the weather been mild, we should have had from this country at least 3000 beaver and not one horse would have fallen for the kettle. Friday, 3d. Reached River Malade, Sickly River,^ and en- camped on this river, a fine large stream ; derives its name from the beaver living on a poisonous root. Formerly, in 18 19, all who ate of the beaver taken here were seriously ill. Beaver here must subsist on roots. Saw incredible number of deer, black-tail and white, miserably poor, skin and bone but most exceptible[sic] to us all. Saturday, March 11. My men four days without food. Sunday, March 12. We are now encamped within 100 yards where the Pacific Fur Company traders lost a man by the upsetting of one of their canoes. We cannot be far from the place where the Blackfeet killed one of my party last spring. If the Americans have not visited this place since I left, we surely shall find beaver and buffalo. Monday, March 13. Hunters arrived with 13 elk; never did men eat with better appetite; many did not stop to go to bed till midnight. Friday, March 17th. A Snake Indian of the plains informed us buffalo were near. I gave the call to start in pursuit and with the assistance of Indian horses, two buffalo were killed; our horses being too poor for buffalo running. Mr. McKay killed four elk.
I On north side of Snake River.----