Page:Audubon and His Journals.djvu/585

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521
THE MISSOURI RIVER JOURNALS

clever man, has considerable knowledge of botany, and draws well. There were about fifteen lodges, and we saw a greater number of squaws and half-breed children than I had expected. But as every clerk and agent belonging to the companies has "a wife," as it is called, a spurious population soon exhibits itself around the wigwams. I will not comment upon this here. We returned before dark to our boat, and I am off to bed.

Monday, May 29. I was up early, and as soon as breakfast was over, Major Hamilton and myself walked to Fort George. We found the three gentlemen to whom I showed the plate of quadrupeds, and afterwards I went to their store to see skins of Wolves and of the Swift Fox. I found a tolerably good Fox skin which was at once given me; I saw what I was assured were two distinct varieties (for I cannot call them species) of Wolves. Both, however, considering the difference in size, were old and young of the same variety. They both had the top of the back dark gray, and the sides, belly, legs, and tail, nearly white. When I have these two sorts in the flesh, I may derive farther knowledge. I looked at the Indian Dogs again with much attention, and was assured that there is much cross breeding between these Dogs and Wolves, and that all the varieties actually come from the same root.

Harris now joined us, and found he had met a brother of Mr. Cutting in Europe. The gentlemen from the fort came back to the boat with us; we gave them a luncheon, and later a good substantial dinner, the like of which, so they told us, they had not eaten for many a day. Mr. Illingsworth told us much about Buffaloes; he says the hunting is usually more or less dangerous. The Porcupine is found hereabouts and feeds on the leaves and bark as elsewhere, but not unfrequently retires into the crevices of rocks, whenever no trees of large size are to be found in its vicinity. Elks, at times, assemble in