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THE LOST INDIAN.

47

began to roll franticly on the earth, gnashing his teeth and foaming at the mouth. Still he retained his senses, and warned his companions not to come near him, as he should not be able to restrain himself from biting them. They hurried off to obtain relief; but on their return he was nowhere to be found. His horse and his accoutrements reThree or four days

mained upon the spot. afterwards, a solitary Indian, believed to be the same, was observed crossing a valley, and pursued; but he darted away into the fastnesses of the mountains, and was seen no

more.

Another instance we have from a different person who was present in the encampment. One of the men of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company had been bitten. He set out shortly afterwards, in company with two white men, on his return to the settlements. In the

48

THE LOST INDIAN.

course of a few days he showed symptoms of hydrophobia, and became raving towards night. At length breaking away from his companions he rushed into a thicket of willows, where they left him to his fate!

EXPLORING SCHEMES.

49

CHAPTER IV.

SCHEMES OF CAPTAIN BONNEVILLE - THE GREAT SALT LAKE EXPEDITION TO EXPLORE IT-PREPARATIONS FOR A JOURNEY TO

THE BIGHORN.

CAPTAIN BONNEVILLE now found himself at the head of a hardy, well seasoned, and well appointed company of trappers, all benefited by at least one year's experience among the mountains, and capable of protecting themselves from Indian wiles and stratagems, and of providing for their sub

50

EXPLORING SCHEMES.

sistence wherever game was to be found. He had, also, an excellent troop of horses, in prime condition and fit for hard service. He now determined, therefore, to strike out into some of the bolder parts of his scheme. One of these was to carry his expeditions into some of the unknown tracts of the far west, beyond what is generally termed the buffalo range. This would have something of the merit and charm of discovery, so dear to every brave and adventurous spirit. Another favourite project with him was to establish a trading post on the lower part of the Columbia river, near the Multnomah valley, and to endeavour to retrieve for his country some of the lost trade of Astoria.

The first of theabove mentioned views

was, at present, uppermost in his mindthe exploring of unknown regions.

Among

the grand features of the stupendous wilder

THE GREAT SALT LAKE.

51

ness about which he was roaming, is one which appears to have made a vivid impression on his mind, and to have been clothed by his imagination with vague and ideal charms. This is a great lake of salt water, which laves the feet of the mountains, but, extends far to the west-south-west, into one of those vast and elevated plateaus of land, which range high above the level of the Pacific.

Captain Bonneville gives a striking account of the lake when seen from the land. 66 As you ascend the mountains about its shores," says he, "you behold this immense body of water spreading itself before you, and stretching further and further, in one wide and far-reaching expanse, until the eye, wearied with continued. and strained attention, rests in the blue dimness. of distance, upon lofty ranges of mountains,

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