The second day after our meeting, I proposed that the most experienced mountaineers of their party should return with Baptiste and myself to perform the burial rites of our friend. I proposed three men, with ourselves, as sufficient for the sixteen Indians, in case we should fall in with them, and they would certainly be enough for the errand if we met no one. My former comrades were too tired to return.
started and arrived at our unfortunate camp, but the
of our late friend was not to be found, though we discovered
some of his long black hair clotted with blood.
On raising the traps which we had set before our precipitate departure, we found a beaver in every one except four, which contained each a leg, the beavers having amputated them with their teeth. We then returned to our companions, and moved on to Willow Creek, where we were handy to the caches of our rendezvous at the Suck. It was now about June 1, 1822.
Here we spent our time very pleasantly, occupying ourselves with hunting, fishing, target-shooting, footracing, gymnastic and sundry other exercises. The other detachments now came in, bringing with them quantities of peltry, all having met with very great success.
In 1832 Captain William Sublette, a partner in the Rocky Mountain Fur Company, and one of the most active, intrepid, and renowned leaders in the trade, started on a trapping expedition up the Platte Valley. He was accompanied by Robert Campbell, another of the pioneers in the fur industry, and sixty men well mounted, with their camp equipage carried on packhorses.
At Independence, Missouri, he met a party commanded by Nathaniel J. Wyeth of Boston, Massachusetts. Mr. Wyeth, having conceived the idea that a profitable salmon fishery connected with the fur trade might be established at the mouth of the Columbia River, had accordingly invested a great deal of capital. He had calculated, as he supposed, for the Indian trade, and had enlisted in his employ a number of Eastern men who had never been West, and were totally unacquainted with its dangerous travel.