Exploration of the Red River of Louisiana, in the year 1852 / by Randolph B. Marcy ; assisted by George B. McClellan. Page: 70 of 368
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appeared somewhat the largest, and here found the bluffs receding
several hundred yards from the banks upon each side, leaving a very
beautiful and quiet little nook, wholly unlike the stern grandeur of the
rugged defile through which we had been passing. This glen was
covered with a rich carpet of verdure, and embowered with the foliage
of the graceful china and aspen, and its rural and witching loveliness
gladdened our hearts and refreshed our eyes, long fatigued with gazing
upon frowning crags and deep, shady ravines.
After travelling twenty-five miles, we encamped upon the main river,
which had now become reduced to one hundred feet in width, and
flowed rapidly over a sandy bed.
Although we were suffering most acutely from the effects of the
nauseating and repulsive water in the river, yet we were still under the
painful necessity of using it. Several of the men had been taken with
violent cramps in the stomach and vomiting, yet they did not murmur;
on the contrary, they were cheerful, and indulged in frequent jokes at
the expense of those who were sick. The principal topic of conversation
with them seemed to be a discussion of the relative merits of the
different kinds of fancy iced drinks which could be procured in the
cities, and the prices that could be obtained for some of them if they
were within reach of our party. Indeed, it seems to me that we were
not entirely exempt from the agitation of a similar subject; and from
the drift of the argument, I have no doubt that a moderate quantity of
Croton water, cooled with Boston ice, would have met with as ready a
sale in our little mess as in almost any market that could have been
found. If I mistake not, one of the gentlemen offered as high as two
thousand dollars for a single bucket of the pure element; but this was
one of those few instances in which money was not sufficiently potent
to obtain the object.desired.
We laid ourselves down upon our blankets and endeavored to obliterate
the sensation of thirst in the embraces of Morpheus; but so far as
I was concerned, my slumbers were continually disturbed by dreams, in
which I fancied myself swallowing huge draughts of ice-water.
July 1.-We saddled up at a very early hour this morning, and
proceeded on up the river for several miles, when we found a large
affluent putting in from the north; and after travelling a few miles
further, we passed many more small tributaries, which caused the main
stream to contract into the narrow channel of only twenty feet; and its
bed, which from its confluence with the Mississippi to this place (with
the exception of a ridge of rocks which crosses it near Jonesborough, in
Texas) had been sand, suddenly changed to rock, with the water, which
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Marcy, Randolph Barnes. Exploration of the Red River of Louisiana, in the year 1852 / by Randolph B. Marcy ; assisted by George B. McClellan., book, 1854; Washington, DC. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6105/m1/70/: accessed July 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .