Sometimes Their Dizzy Path Lay Along The Margin Of
Perpendicular Precipices, Several Hundred Feet In Height, Where A
Single False Step Might Precipitate Them Into The Rocky Bed Of A
Torrent Which Roared Below.
Not the least part of their weary
task was the fording of the numerous windings and branchings of
the mountain rivers, all boisterous in their currents, and icy
Hunger was added to their other sufferings, and soon became the
keenest. The small supply of bear and elk meat which they had
been able to carry, in addition to their previous burdens, served
but for a short time. In their anxiety to struggle forward, they
had but little time to hunt, and scarce any game in their path.
For three days they had nothing to eat but a small duck, and a
few poor trout. They occasionally saw numbers of the antelopes,
and tried every art to get within shot; but the timid animals
were more than commonly wild, and after tantalizing the hungry
hunters for a time, bounded away beyond all chance of pursuit. At
length they were fortunate enough to kill one: it was extremely
meagre, and yielded but a scanty supply; but on this they
subsisted for several days.
On the 11th, they encamped on a small stream, near the foot of
the Spanish River Mountain. Here they met with traces of that
wayward and solitary being, M'Lellan, who was still keeping on
ahead of them through these lonely mountains. He had encamped the
night before on this stream; they found the embers of the fire by
which he had slept, and the remains of a miserable wolf on which
he had supped.
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