Departure From Snake
River—Mountains to the North.—Wayworn
Travellers—An Increase of the Dorion Family.—A Camp of
Shoshonies.—A New-Year Festival Among the Snakes.—A Wintry
March Through the Mountains.—A Sunny Prospect, and Milder
Climate.—Indian Horse-Tracks.—Grassy Valleys.—A Camp of
Sciatogas.—Joy of the Travellers.-Dangers of Abundance.—
Habits of the Sciatogas.—Fate of Carriere.—The Umatilla.—
Arrival at the Banks of the Columbia.—Tidings of the
Scattered Members of the Expedition.—Scenery on the
Columbia.—Tidings of Astoria-Arrival at the Falls.
On the 24th of December, all things being arranged, Mr. Hunt turned his back upon the disastrous banks of Snake River, and struck his course westward for the mountains. His party, being augmented by the late followers of Mr. Crooks, amounted now to thirty-two white men, three Indians, and the squaw and two children of Pierre Dorion. Five jaded, half-starved horses were laden with their luggage, and, in case of need, were to furnish them with provisions. They travelled painfully about fourteen miles a day, over plains and among hills, rendered dreary by occasional falls of snow and rain. Their only sustenance was a scanty meal of horse flesh once in four-and-twenty hours.
On the third day the poor Canadian, Carriere, one of the famished party of Mr. Crooks, gave up in despair, and laying down upon the ground declared he could go no further. Efforts were made to cheer him up, but it was found that the poor fellow was absolutely exhausted and could not keep on his legs. He was mounted, therefore, upon one of the horses, though the forlorn animal was in little better plight than himself.