If things go on like this
If things go on like this

touch it with reverence — is the only spoil we have retrieved

time:2023-12-07 01:01:18Classification:problemedit:xsn

"As war is the chief occupation, bravery is the first virtue among the Shoshonees. None can hope to be distinguished without having given proofs of it, nor can there be any preferment or influence among the nation, without some warlike achievement. Those important events which give reputation to a warrior, and entitle him to a new name, are: killing a white [or grizzly] bear, stealing individually the horses of the enemy, leading a party who happen to be successful either in plundering horses or destroying the enemy, and lastly, scalping a warrior. These acts seem of nearly equal dignity, but the last, that of taking an enemy's scalp, is an honor quite independent of the act of vanquishing him. To kill your adversary is of no importance unless the scalp is brought from the field of battle; were a warrior to slay any number of his enemies in action, and others were to obtain the scalps or first touch the dead, they would have all the honors, since they have borne off the trophy. . . . . . . . . .

touch it with reverence — is the only spoil we have retrieved

"The names of these Indians vary in the course of their life. Originally given in childhood, from the mere necessity of distinguishing objects, or from some accidental resemblance to external objects, the young warrior is impatient to change it by some achievement of his own. Any important event--the stealing of horses, the scalping of an enemy, or the killing of a brown bear--entitles him at once to a new name, which he then selects for himself, and it is confirmed by the nation. Sometimes the two names subsist together; thus, the chief Cameahwait, which means `One Who Never Walks,' has the war-name of Tooettecone, or `Black Gun,' which he acquired when he first signalized himself. As each new action gives a warrior a right to change his name, many of them have several in the course of their lives. To give to a friend one's own name is an act of high courtesy, and a pledge, like that of pulling off the moccasin, of sincerity and hospitality. The chief in this way gave his name to Captain Clark when he first arrived, and he was afterward known among the Shoshonees by the name of Cameahwait."

touch it with reverence — is the only spoil we have retrieved

On the thirtieth of August, the whole expedition being now reunited, and a sufficient number of horses having been purchased of the Shoshonees, the final start across the mountains was begun. The journal says:

touch it with reverence — is the only spoil we have retrieved

"The greater part of the band, who had delayed their journey on our account, were also ready to depart. We took leave of the Shoshonees, who set out on their visit to the Missouri at the same time that we, accompanied by the old guide, his four sons, and another Indian, began the descent of the Lemhi River, along the same road which Captain Clark had previously pursued. After riding twelve miles we camped on the south bank of this river, and as the hunters had brought in three deer early in the morning, we did not feel the want of provisions."

Three days later, all the Indians, except the old guide, left them. They now passed up Fish Creek, and finding no track leading over the mountains they cut their way. Their journal says:--

"This we effected with much difficulty; the thickets of trees and brush through which we were obliged to cut our way required great labor; the road itself was over the steep and rocky sides of the hills, where the horses could not move without danger of slipping down, while their feet were bruised by the rocks and stumps of trees. Accustomed as these animals were to this kind of life, they suffered severely; several of them fell to some distance down the sides of the hills, some turned over with the baggage, one was crippled, and two gave out, exhausted with fatigue. After crossing the creek several times we at last made five miles, with great fatigue and labor, and camped on the left side of the creek in a small stony low ground. It was not, however, till after dark that the whole party was collected; and then, as it rained and we had killed nothing, we passed an uncomfortable night. The party had been too busily occupied with the horses to make any hunting excursion; and though, as we came along Fish Creek, we saw many beaver-dams, we saw none of the animals themselves."

The Indian guide appears here to have lost his way; but, not dismayed, he pushed on through a trackless wilderness, sometimes travelling on the snow that now covered the mountains. On the fourth of September, the party came upon a large encampment of Indians, who received them with much ceremony. The journal says:--

"September 5, we assembled the chiefs and warriors, and informed them who we were, and the purpose for which we had visited their country. All this was, however, conveyed to them through so many different languages, that it was not comprehended without difficulty. We therefore proceeded to the more intelligible language of presents, and made four chiefs by giving a medal and a small quantity of tobacco to each. We received in turn from the principal chief a present consisting of the skins of a blaireau (badger), an otter, and two antelopes, and were treated by the women to some dried roots and berries. We then began to traffic for horses, and succeeded in exchanging seven and purchasing eleven, for which we gave a few articles of merchandise.

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