"I think," adds Wyeth, "the
Indians die better than the white men; perhaps from having less
fear about the future."
The buffaloes may be approached very near, if the hunter keeps to
the leeward; but they are quick of scent, and will take the alarm
and move off from a party of hunters to the windward, even when
two miles distant.
The vast herds which had poured down into the Bear River Valley
were now snow-bound, and remained in the neighborhood of the camp
throughout the winter. This furnished the trappers and their
Indian friends a perpetual carnival; so that, to slay and eat
seemed to be the main occupations of the day. It is astonishing
what loads of meat it requires to cope with the appetite of a
The ravens and wolves soon came in for their share of the good
cheer. These constant attendants of the hunter gathered in vast
numbers as the winter advanced. They might be completely out of
sight, but at the report of a gun, flights of ravens would
immediately be seen hovering in the air, no one knew whence they
came; while the sharp visages of the wolves would peep down from
the brow of every hill, waiting for the hunter's departure to
pounce upon the carcass.
Besides the buffaloes, there were other neighbors snow-bound in
the valley, whose presence did not promise to be so advantageous.
This was a band of Eutaw Indians who were encamped higher up on