Captain Bonneville And His Party Passed By Ham's Fork, And
Reached The Colorado, Or Green River, Without Accident, On The
Banks of which they remained during the residue of the spring.
During this time, they were conscious that a band
Indians were hovering about their vicinity, watching for an
opportunity to slay or steal; but the vigilant precautions of
Captain Bonneville baffled all their manoeuvres. In such
dangerous times, the experienced mountaineer is never without his
rifle even in camp. On going from lodge to lodge to visit his
comrades, he takes it with him. On seating himself in a lodge, he
lays it beside him, ready to be snatched up; when he goes out, he
takes it up as regularly as a citizen would his walking-staff.
His rifle is his constant friend and protector.
On the 10th of June, the party was a little to the east of the
Wind River Mountains, where they halted for a time in excellent
pasturage, to give their horses a chance to recruit their
strength for a long journey; for it was Captain Bonneville's
intention to shape his course to the settlements; having already
been detained by the complication of his duties, and by various
losses and impediments, far beyond the time specified in his
leave of absence.
While the party was thus reposing in the neighborhood of the Wind
River Mountains, a solitary free trapper rode one day into the
camp, and accosted Captain Bonneville. He belonged, he said, to a
party of thirty hunters, who had just passed through the
neighborhood, but whom he had abandoned in consequence of their
ill treatment of a brother trapper; whom they had cast off from
their party, and left with his bag and baggage, and an Indian
wife into the bargain, in the midst of a desolate prairie.
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