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Journal of Western Travel

by John McTurk Gibson
edited by Weldon Hoppe
June 2nd, 1859 -- More agreeable this morning, good day, though dusty for a long drive. A few more ducks, and another fine antelope brought in by Kay to vary the monotony of pork and beans. We live like fighting cocks, and are now capable of almost any amount of physical endurance. The climate is dry and healthy, the proof of this is: we just hang up our fresh meat, and cut till we finish it, there being no such thing as taint in the atmosphere. Last night a prowling wolf came about our tents and ate up one of our best buckskin whip-lashes. I have the satisfaction however today of pouring a couple of doses of shot into one of the species, and I hope it was the same one. We passed a colony of what are commonly termed prairie dogs, and instead of finding as described by Emerson Bennet "a regularly organized town, laid out in streets and squares, with an elderly fellow who occupies the center pavilion and acts as chief magistrate" we found no more regularity than there is among so many molehills in a meadow. Towards night we passed O'Fallan's Bluffs where there is a trading post and 23 wickie-ups, belonging to a company of Sioux and Cheyenne Indians. Two young braves came galloping up to our tents, as if the devil had kicked them on end, reined in and dismounted, drank some coffee, and were greatly amused at Badger, who in attempting to mount one of their ponies, came very nigh being thrown, the pony running backward faster than most can go forward. After chatting a while by signs and a few words of broken English, they rushed off again in the same unceremonious manner in which they had come.

Travelled twenty miles. We have been travelling up the Fremont Springs. They run several miles in a slew. We have not reached the head of them.

Copyright © 1997 Weldon Hoppe
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