"Captain Clark with fifteen men went out and found the Indians
engaged in killing buffalo. The hunters, mounted on horseback
and armed with bows and arrows, encircle the herd and gradually drive
them into a plain or an open place fit for the movements of horse;
they then ride in among them, and singling out a buffalo,
a female being preferred, go as close as possible and wound her
with arrows till they think they have given the mortal stroke;
when they pursue another, till the quiver is exhausted.
If, which rarely happens, the wounded buffalo attacks
the hunter, he evades his blow by the agility of his horse,
which is trained for the combat with great dexterity.
When they have killed the requisite number they collect their game,
and the squaws and attendants come up from the rear and skin
and dress the animals. Captain Clark killed ten buffalo,
of which five only were brought to the fort; the rest, which could
not be conveyed home, being seized by the Indians, among whom
the custom is that whenever a buffalo is found dead without
an arrow or any particular mark, he is the property of the finder;
so that often a hunter secures scarcely any of the game he kills,
if the arrow happens to fall off."
The weather now became excessively cold, the mercury often going thirty-two
degrees below zero. Notwithstanding this, however, the Indians kept up
their outdoor sports, one favorite game of which resembled billiards.
But instead of a table, the players had an open flooring, about fifty
yards long, and the balls were rings of stone, shot along the flooring
by means of sticks like billiard-cues.
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