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view of us. A hundred pairs of keen glittering eyes were riveted upon us. I looked in vain among this multitude of faces to discover one manly or generous expression; all were wolfish, sinister, and malignant, and their complexions, as well as their features, unlike those of the Dahcotahs, were exceedingly bad. The chief, who sat close to the entrance, called to a squaw within the lodge, who soon came out and placed a wooden bowl of meat before us.

To our surprise, however, no pipe was offered. Having tasted of the meat as a matter of form, I began to open a bundle of presents—tobacco, knives, vermilion, and other articles which I had brought with me. At this there was a grin on every countenance in the rapacious crowd; their eyes began to glitter, and long thin arms were eagerly stretched toward us on all sides to receive the gifts.

The Arapahoes set great value upon their shields, , which they transmit carefully from father to son. I wished to get one of them; and displaying a large piece of scarlet cloth, together with some tobacco and a knife, I offered them to any one who would bring me what I wanted.

After some delay a tolerable shield was produced. They were very anxious to know what we meant to do with it, and Henry told them that we going to fight their enemies, the Pawnees. This instantly produced a visible impression in our favor, which was increased by the distribution of the presents. Among these was a large paper of awls, a gift appropriate to the women;

and as we were anxious to see the beauties of the Arapahoe village Henry requested that they might be called to receive them. A warrior gave a shout as if he were calling a pack of dogs together. The squaws, young and old, hags of eighty and girls of sixteen, came running with screams and laughter out of the lodges; and as the men gave way for them they gathered round us and stretched out their arms, grinning with delight, their native ugliness considerably enhanced by the excitement of the moment.

Mounting our horses, which during the whole interview we had held close to us, we prepared to leave the Arapahoes. The crowd fell back on each side and stood looking on. When we were half across the camp an idea occurred to us. The Pawnees were probably in the neighborhood of the Caches; we might tell the Arapahoes of this and instigate them to send down a war party and cut them off, while we ourselves could remain behind for a while and hunt the buffalo. At first thought this plan of setting our enemies to destroy one another seemed to

a masterpiece of policy; but we immediately recollected that should we meet the Arapahoe warriors on the river below they might prove quite as dangerous as the Pawnees themselves. So rejecting our plan as soon as it presented itself, we passed out of the village on the farther side. We urged our horses rapidly through the tall grass which rose to their necks. Several Indians were walking through

us

it at a distance, their heads just visible above its waving surface. It bore a kind of seed as sweet and nutritious as oats; and our hungry horses, in spite of whip and rein, could not resist the temptation of snatching at this unwonted luxury as we passed along. When about a mile from the village I turned and looked back over the undulating ocean of grass; the sun was just set; the western sky was all in a glow, and sharply defined against it, on the extreme verge of the plain, stood the numerous lodges of the Arapahoe camp.

Reaching the bank of the river, we followed it for some distance farther, until we discerned through the twilight the white covering of our little cart on the opposite bank. When we reached it we found a considerable number of Indians there before us. Four or five of them were seated in a row upon the ground, looking like so many half-starved vultures. Tête Rouge in his uniform, was holding a close colloquy with another by the side of the cart. His gesticulations, his attempts at sign-making, and the contortions of his countenance, were most ludicrous; and finding all these of no avail, he tried to make the Indian understand him by repeating English words very loudly and distinctly again and again. The Indian sat with his eye fixed steadily upon him, and in spite of the rigid immobility of his features, it was clear at a glance that he perfectly understood his military companion's character and thoroughly despised him. The exhibition was more amusing

than politic, and Tête Rouge was directed to finish what he had to say as soon as possible. Thus rebuked, he crept under the cart and sat down there; Henry Chatillon stooped to look at him in his retirement, and remarked in his quiet manner that an Indian would kill ten such men and laugh all the time.

One by one our visitors rose and stalked away. As the darkness thickened we were saluted by dismal sounds, as wild and awful as ever fell upon mortal ears. The wolves are incredibly numerous in this part of the country, and the offal around the Arapahoe camp had drawn such multitudes of them together that several hundreds were howling in concert in our immediate neighborhood. There was an island in the river, or rather an oasis in the midst of the sands at about the distance of a gunshot, and here they seemed gathered in the greatest numbers. A horrible discord of low mournful wailings, mingled with ferocious howls, arose from it incessantly for several hours after sunset. We could distinctly see the wolves running about the prairie within a few rods of our fire, or bounding over the sand-beds of the river and splashing through the water. There was not the slightest danger to be feared from them, for they are the greatest cowards on the prairie.

In respect to the human wolves in our neighborhood, we felt much less at our ease. We seldom erected our tent except in bad weather, and that night each man spread his buffalo robe upon the ground with his loaded rifle laid at his side or clasped

in his arms.

Our horses were picketed so close around us that one of them repeatedly stepped over me as I lay. We were not in the habit of placing a guard, but every man that night was anxious and watchful; there was little sound sleeping in camp, and some one of the party was on his feet during the greater part of the time. For myself, I lay alternately waking and dozing until midnight. Tête Rouge was reposing close to the river bank, and about this time, when half asleep and half awake, I was conscious that he shifted his position and crept on all-fours under the cart. Soon after I fell into a sound sleep from which I was aroused by a hand shaking me by the shoulder. Looking up, I saw Tête Rouge stooping over me with his face quite pale and his eyes dilated to their utmost expansion.

“What's the matter?” said I.

Tête Rouge declared that as he lay on the river bank, something caught his eye which excited his suspicions. So creeping under the cart for safety's sake he sat there and watched, when he saw two Indians, wrapped in white robes, creep up the bank, seize upon two horses and lead them off. He looked so frightened, and told his story in such a disconnected manner, that I did not believe him, and was unwilling to alarm the party. Still it might be true, and in that case the matter required instant attention. There would be no time for examination, and so directing Tête Rouge to show me which way the Indians had gone, I took my rifle, and left the camp.

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