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minutes were entirely beyond the reach of their guns, but were still so near that their enormous horns, and long, shaggy beards were very distinctly seen. Shortly after encamping, the hunters brought in the choice parts of five that they had killed.
Of the animals belonging to those vast herds which the hunters kill, only a small portion is taken for food. Mr. Townsend and two of his associates having killed a bull buffalo, they proceeded to cut it up in the following approved manner: The animal was first raised from his side where he had lain, and supported upon his knees, with his hoofs turned under him; a longitudinal incision was then made from the nape or anterior base of the hump, and continued backward to the loins, and a large portion of the skin from each side removed; these pieces of skin were placed upon the ground, with the under surface uppermost, and the fleeces, or masses of meat taken from along the back, were laid upon them. These fleeces, from a large animal, will weigh perhaps a hundred pounds each, and comprise the whole of the hump on each side of the vertical processes commonly called the hump-ribs—which are attached to the vertebræ. The fleeces are considered the choice parts of the buffalo, and here, where the game is so abundant, nothing
else is taken, if we except the tongue and an occasional marrow-bone. This, it must be confessed, appears like a useless and unwarrantable waste of the goods of Providence; but when are men economical, unless compelled to do so by necessity ? The food of the hunters consists for months of nothing but this kind of buffalo meat, roasted, and cold water—no bread of any kind. On this rude fare they enjoyed the best health, clear heads, and high spirits.
One night, shortly after their first encounter with the buffalo, Mr. Townsend, entering his tent about eleven o'clock, after having served as a supernumerary watch for several hours, was stooping to lay his gun in its usual place at the head of his couch, when he was startled by seeing a pair of eyes, wild and bright as those of a tiger, gleaming from a dark corner of the lodge, and evidently directed upon him. “My first impression,” he says, “ was that a wolf had been lurking around the camp, and had entered the tent in the prospect of finding meat. My gun was at my shoulder instinctively, my aim was directed between the eyes, and my finger pressed the trigger. At that moment a tall Indian sprang before me with a loud wah! seized the gun, and elevated the muzzle above my head; in another instant a second Indian was by my side, and I saw his keen knife glitter
as it left the scabbard.
I had not time for thought, and was struggling with all my might with the first savage for the recovery of my weapon, when Captain Wyeth and the other inmates of the tent were aroused, and the whole matter was explained, and set at rest in a moment. The Indians were chiefs of the tribe of Pawnee Loups, who had come with their young men to shoot buffalo; they had paid an evening visit to the captain, and, as an act of courtesy, had been invited to sleep in the tent.
I had not known of their arrival, nor did I even suspect that Indians were in our neighborhood, so could not control the alarm which their sudden appearance occasioned me. These Indians, continues Mr. Townsend, “were the finest looking of any I had seen. Their persons were tall, , straight, and finely formed; their noses slightly aquiline, and the whole countenance expressive of high and daring intrepidity. The face of the taller one was particularly admirable, and Gall or Spurzheim, at a single glance at his magnificent head, would have invested him with all the noblest qualities of the species. I know not what a physiognomist would have said of his eyes, but they were certainly the most wonderful I ever looked into; glittering and scintillating constantly, like the mirror-glasses in a lamp-frame, and rolling and dancing in their
orbits as though possessed of abstract volition.': As the party, leaving the Pawnees and the buffalo behind, began to approach the mountain district, the country altered its appearance greatly for the worse. They were now on a great sandy waste, forming a kind of upper table-land of North America--a region without a single green thing to vary and enliven the scene, and abounding in swarms of ferocious little black gnats, which assail the eyes, ears, nostrils, and mouth of the unhappy traveler. It is necessary, however, to pursue a route in this direction, in order to find accessible passes through the Rocky Mountains, which are impenetrable more to the north-west. Making the best of their way over the inhospitable desert, and fortunately escaping any roving bands of unfriendly Indians, the cavalcade struck through a range of stony mountains, called the Black Hills, and in a few days afterward came in sight of the Wind River Mountains, which form the loftiest land in the northern continent, and are at all times covered with snow of dazzling whiteness. From the great hight above the level of the sea which the party had attained, the climate was found to be cold, even although in summer; the plains were covered only by the scantiest herbage; and frequently there was great difficulty in obtaining a supply
of water for the camp. The painfulness of the journey, therefore, was now extreme, both for man and beast.
Occasionally, however, a green spot did occur, where the jaded horses were allowed to halt, to roam about without their riders, and to tumble joyfully on the verdant sward; and as these oases always abounded in birds and plants, our two naturalists were loth to leave them. Nor was their journey through the inhospitable region of the hills devoid of incidents to vary the monotony of the way, and provoke hearty laughs from the whole party. One afternoon, one of the men had a somewhat perilous adventure with a grizzly bear. He saw the animal crouching his huge frame among some willows which skirted the river, and, approaching on horseback to within twenty yards, fired upon him. The bear was only slightly wounded by the shot, and, with a fierce growl of angry malignity, rushed from his cover, and gave chase. The horse happened to be a slow one, and for the distance of half a mile the race was severely contested--the bear frequently approaching so near the terrified animal as to snap at his heels, while the equally-terrified rider, who had lost his hat at the start, used whip and spur with the most frantic diligence, frequently looking behind, from an influence which he could not