Astoria, or, anecdotes of an enterprise beyond the Rocky Mountains eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 479 pages of information about Astoria, or, anecdotes of an enterprise beyond the Rocky Mountains.

He sent back, therefore, an answer calculated to beguile Lisa, assuring him that he would wait for him at the Poncas village, which was but a little distance in advance; but, no sooner had the messenger departed, than he pushed forward with all diligence, barely stopping at the village to procure a supply of dried buffalo meat, and hastened to leave the other party as far behind as possible, thinking there was less to be apprehended from the open hostility of Indian foes than from the quiet strategy of an Indian trader.

CHAPTER XVIII.

     Camp Gossip.—­Deserters.—­Recruits.—­Kentucky Hunters.—­A
     Veteran Woodman.—­Tidings of Mr. Henry.-Danger From the
     Blackfeet.—­Alteration of Plans.—­Scenery of the River.—­
     Buffalo Roads.—­Iron Ore.—­Country of the Sioux.—­A Land of
     Danger.-apprehensions of the Voyageurs.—­Indian Scouts.—­
     Threatened Hostilities.—­A Council of War.—­An Array of
     Battle.—­A Parley.—­The Pipe of Peace.—­Speech-Making.

It was about noon when the party left the Poncas village, about a league beyond which they passed the mouth of the Quicourt, or Rapid River (called, in the original French, l’Eau Qui Court).  After having proceeded some distance further, they landed, and encamped for the night.  In the evening camp, the voyageurs gossiped, as usual, over the events of the day; and especially over intelligence picked up among the Poncas.  These Indians had confirmed the previous reports of the hostile intentions of the Sioux, and had assured them that five tribes, or bands, of that fierce nation were actually assembled higher up the river, and waiting to cut them off.  This evening gossip, and the terrific stories of Indian warfare to which it gave rise, produced a strong effect upon the imagination of the irresolute; and in the morning it was discovered that the two men, who had joined the party at the Omaha village, and been so bounteously fitted out, had deserted in the course of the night, carrying with them all their equipments.  As it was known that one of them could not swim, it was hoped that the banks of the Quicourt River would bring them to a halt.  A general pursuit was therefore instituted, but without success.

On the following morning (May 26th), as they were all on shore, breakfasting on one of the beautiful banks of the river, they observed two canoes descending along the opposite side.  By the aid of spy-glasses, they ascertained that there were two white men in one of the canoes, and one in the other.  A gun was discharged, which called the attention of the voyagers, who crossed over.  They proved to be the three Kentucky hunters, of the true “dreadnought” stamp.  Their names were Edward Robinson, John Hoback, and Jacob Rizner.  Robinson was a veteran backwoodsman, sixty-six years of age.  He had been one of the first settlers of Kentucky, and engaged in many of the conflicts of the Indians on “the

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Astoria, or, anecdotes of an enterprise beyond the Rocky Mountains from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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