After Much Dreary Deliberation, It Was At
Length Determined To Retrace Their Three Last Days' Journey Of
Seventy-Seven Miles, To A Place Which They Had Remarked Where
There Was A Sheltering Growth Of Forest Trees, And A Country
Abundant In Game.
Here they would once more set up their winter
quarters, and await the opening of the navigation to launch
themselves in canoes.
Accordingly, on the 27th of December, they faced about, retraced
their steps, and on the 30th, regained the part of the river in
question. Here the alluvial bottom was from one to two miles
wide, and thickly covered with a forest of cotton-wood trees;
while herds of buffalo were scattered about the neighboring
prairie, several of which soon fell beneath their rifles.
They encamped on the margin of the river, in a grove where there
were trees large enough for canoes. Here they put up a shed for
immediate shelter, and immediately proceeded to erect a hut. New
Year's day dawned when, as yet, but one wall of their cabin was
completed; the genial and jovial day, however, was not permitted
to pass uncelebrated, even by this weatherbeaten crew of
wanderers. All work was suspended, except that of roasting and
boiling. The choicest of the buffalo meat, with tongues, and
humps, and marrow-bones, were devoured in quantities that would
astonish any one that has not lived among hunters or Indians; and
as an extra regale, having no tobacco left, they cut up an old
tobacco pouch, still redolent with the potent herb, and smoked it
in honor of the day.
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