The Adventures Of Captain Bonneville By Washington Irving

 -  They were
again obliged, therefore, to beat down a path for their horses,
sometimes travelling on the icy surface of - Page 320
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They Were Again Obliged, Therefore, To Beat Down A Path For Their Horses, Sometimes Travelling On The Icy Surface Of The Stream.

At length they reached the place where they intended to scale the mountains; and, having broken a pathway to the foot, were agreeably surprised to find that the wind had drifted the snow from off the side, so that they attained the summit with but little difficulty.

Here they encamped, with the intention of beating a track through the mountains. A short experiment, however, obliged them to give up the attempt, the snow lying in vast drifts, often higher than the horses' heads.

Captain Bonneville now took the two Indian guides, and set out to reconnoitre the neighborhood. Observing a high peak which overtopped the rest, he climbed it, and discovered from the summit a pass about nine miles long, but so heavily piled with snow, that it seemed impracticable. He now lit a pipe, and, sitting down with the two guides, proceeded to hold a consultation after the Indian mode. For a long while they all smoked vigorously and in silence, pondering over the subject matter before them. At length a discussion commenced, and the opinion in which the two guides concurred was, that the horses could not possibly cross the snows. They advised, therefore, that the party should proceed on foot, and they should take the horses back to the village, where they would be well taken care of until Captain Bonneville should send for them.

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