While They Were
Supping Thus Hastily, However, One Of Their Party Suddenly
Started Up And Shouted "Indians!
" All were instantly on their
feet, with their rifles in their hands; but could see no enemy.
However, declared that he had seen an Indian advancing,
cautiously, along the trail which they had made in coming to the
encampment; who, the moment he was perceived, had thrown himself
on the ground, and disappeared. He urged Captain Bonneville
instantly to decamp. The captain, however, took the matter more
coolly. The single fact, that the Indian had endeavored to hide
himself, convinced him that he was not one of a party, on the
advance to make an attack. He was, probably, some scout, who had
followed up their trail, until he came in sight of their fire. He
would, in such case, return, and report what he had seen to his
companions. These, supposing the white men had encamped for the
night, would keep aloof until very late, when all should be
asleep. They would, then, according to Indian tactics, make their
stealthy approaches, and place themselves in ambush around,
preparatory to their attack, at the usual hour of daylight.
Such was Captain Bonneville's conclusion; in consequence of
which, he counselled his men to keep perfectly quiet, and act as
if free from all alarm, until the proper time arrived for a move.
They, accordingly, continued their repast with pretended appetite
and jollity; and then trimmed and replenished their fire, as if
for a bivouac.
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