"The Next Day Brought A Continuation Of Rain, Accompanied With Thunder,
And A High Wind From The Southeast.
We were therefore obliged to still
remain in our huts, and endeavored to dry our wet articles before the
The fleas, which annoyed us near the portage of the Great Falls,
have taken such possession of our clothes that we are obliged to
have a regular search every day through our blankets as a necessary
preliminary to sleeping at night. These animals, indeed, are so numerous
that they are almost a calamity to the Indians of this country.
When they have once obtained the mastery of any house it is impossible
to expel them, and the Indians have frequently different houses,
to which they resort occasionally when the fleas have rendered their
permanent residence intolerable; yet, in spite of these precautions,
every Indian is constantly attended by multitudes of them,
and no one comes into our house without leaving behind him swarms
of these tormenting insects."
Although the condition of the exploring party was low,
the men did not require very much to put them in good spirits.
The important and happy event of finishing their fort and
the noting of good weather are thus set forth in the journal
under date of December 30: -
"Toward evening the hunters brought in four elk [which Drewyer had
killed], and after a long course of abstinence and miserable diet,
we had a most sumptuous supper of elk's tongues and marrow.
Besides this agreeable repast, the state of the weather was
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