After this, he proceeded down the river, about
five miles below the forks, when he came to a halt on the 26th of
September, to establish his winter quarters.
Horses turned loose Preparations for winter quarters Hungry
times Nez Perces, their honesty, piety, pacific habits, religious
ceremonies Captain Bonneville's conversations with them Their
love of gambling
IT WAS GRATIFYING to Captain Bonneville, after so long and
toilsome a course of travel, to relieve his poor jaded horses of
the burden under which they were almost ready to give out, and to
behold them rolling upon the grass, and taking a long repose
after all their sufferings. Indeed, so exhausted were they, that
those employed under the saddle were no longer capable of hunting
for the daily subsistence of the camp.
All hands now set to work to prepare a winter cantonment. A
temporary fortification was thrown up for the protection of the
party; a secure and comfortable pen, into which the horses could
be driven at night; and huts were built for the reception of the
This done, Captain Bonneville made a distribution of his forces:
twenty men were to remain with him in garrison to protect the
property; the rest were organized into three brigades, and sent
off in different directions, to subsist themselves by hunting the
buffalo, until the snow should become too deep.