The Hope Of Seeing That Flag Once More Planted On The
Shores Of The Columbia, May Have Entered Into His Motives For
Engaging In The Present Enterprise.
Thus backed and provided, Captain Bonneville undertook his
expedition into the Far West, and was soon beyond the Rocky
Year after year elapsed without his return. The term
of his leave of absence expired, yet no report was made of him at
head quarters at Washington. He was considered virtually dead or
lost and his name was stricken from the army list.
It was in the autumn of 1835 at the country seat of Mr. John
Jacob Astor, at Hellgate, that I first met with Captain
Bonneville He was then just returned from a residence of upwards
of three years among the mountains, and was on his way to report
himself at head quarters, in the hopes of being reinstated in the
service. From all that I could learn, his wanderings in the
wilderness though they had gratified his curiosity and his love
of adventure had not much benefited his fortunes. Like Corporal
Trim in his campaigns, he had "satisfied the sentiment," and that
was all. In fact, he was too much of the frank, freehearted
soldier, and had inherited too much of his father's temperament,
to make a scheming trapper, or a thrifty bargainer.
There was something in the whole appearance of the captain that
prepossessed me in his favor. He was of the middle size, well
made and well set; and a military frock of foreign cut, that had
seen service, gave him a look of compactness.
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