We were in all four men with eight animals; for besides the spare horses led by Shaw and myself, an additional mule was driven along with us as a reserve in case of accident.
Not a breath of air stirred over the free and open prairie; the clouds were like light piles of cotton; and where the blue sky was visible, it wore a hazy and languid aspect.
At a certain stage in his evolution, man himself had been able to lay hold upon a higher order of things, which raised him above the level of the beasts that perish, and enabled him to see, at least in the distance, the shining towers of the City of God.
A military road led from this point to Fort Leavenworth, and for many miles the farms and cabins of the Delawares were scattered at short intervals on either hand.
Riding in advance, we passed over one of these great plains; we looked back and saw the line of scattered horsemen stretching for a mile or more; and far in the rear against the horizon, the white wagons creeping slowly along.
Four men are missing; R., Sorel and two emigrants. They set out this morning after buffalo, and have not yet made their appearance; whether killed or lost, we cannot tell.
Our New England climate is mild and equable compared with that of the Platte.
Many of the Iroquois and Huron houses were of similar construction, the partitions being at the sides only, leaving a wide passage down the middle of the house.
We were now, as I before mentioned, upon this St. Joseph’s trail. It was evident, by the traces, that large parties were a few days in advance of us; and as we too supposed them to be Mormons, we had some apprehension of interruption.
The great medley of Oregon and California emigrants, at their camps around Independence, had heard reports that several additional parties were on the point of setting out from St. Joseph’s farther to the northward.