Exploration of the Red River of Louisiana, in the year 1852 / by Randolph B. Marcy ; assisted by George B. McClellan. Page: 79 of 368
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water exceedingly bitter and wholly unfit for use. After travelling
down this creek for four miles, we encamped at a small pond, containing
a liquid which we were obliged to make use of, but it had more the
appearance of the drainings from a stable-yard than water.
We find mof timber upon the borders of this stream than we have
seen since leaving Sweet-water creek; it consists of china, hackberry,
cotton-wood, and mulberry. The grass is luxuriant, and the vegetation
of the valley has a smiling and verdant aspect, that marks the fertility
of the soil.
Four deer have been killed to-day-two of which I was so fortunate
as to add to my list: one was also caught by the greyhounds. They
have afforded us much and rare sport by frequent chases, of which the
smooth prairie has afforded us a good view.
It is a most beautiful spectacle to mark the slender and graceful
figures of the hounds as they strain every muscle to its utmost tension
in their eager and rapid pursuit of the panic-stricken deer. It is a
contest between two of the fleetest and most graceful and beautiful
quadrupeds in existence: the one has his life at stake, and the other is
animated by all that eager enthusiasm which is characteristic of a
thorough-breed animal. They both put forth all the energies with
which the Author of their being has endowed them, and seem to fly
over the wavy undulations of.the plains. Now they are upon the summit
of one of these swells, and the startled animal has disappeared in an
adjoining ravine, and for a moment the hounds are at fault; but soon
they espy him panting up the opposite acclivity, when they are off
again like the wind, in hot pursuit, and, rapidly closing upon their devoted
victim, they are soon engaged in the death-struggle. This sport
is most intensely exciting, and he who would not become interested in
it would hardly be entitled to claim consanguinity with the great family
The result of our observations for latitude at this position is 84 8' 11'.
July 10.-As the country over which we had to pass this morning
was intersected by numerous abrupt ravines, we were unable to leave
camp until daylight.
Our course led us over a high ridge, in an easterly direction for
several miles, when we arrived upon the banks of a deep and rapid
affluent of the main river, along which we travelled for two miles, encamping
near a spring of cold, but brackish water.
We have seen Indian-tracks to-day, made about three days since, and
are much astonished that they have not paid us a visit, as some of the
different parties we have passed must have seen our trail.
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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/m1/79/: accessed December 11, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .