Exploration of the Red River of Louisiana, in the year 1852 / by Randolph B. Marcy ; assisted by George B. McClellan. Page: 91 of 368
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PERSEVERANCE OF THE GUIDES.
success. We then packed our wagons and started on towards Fort
Arbuckle, crossing the creek below the old village, where it was forty
yards wide and ten inches deep, with a rapid current flowing over a bed
Upon the east bank of the creek we passed over a broad and level
piece of bottom-land, covered with a dense crop of wild rice, and other
rich grasses. We then left the valley in a course north of east, over
the ridge dividing Cache from Beaver creek, until we reached a branch
of the latter, upon which we encamped. The timber here is large and
abundant; the water fresh, but standing in pools; and the soil good.
I have crossed this same stream at four different places below here, and
have invariably found the soil of a similar character and the timber large,
consisting of pecan, elm, hackberry, oak, cotton-wood, and walnut, and
generally confined to the borders of the stream.
Our most excellent and indefatigable hunter, John Bushman, returned
this evening with the lost mule, having tracked him for twenty
miles from where he left us. He had also killed a buffalo during the
day, and brought us a piece of the hump. He states that from the
time the mule left us until he overtook him he had continued to travel,
without stopping, directly to the north, and at right-angles to the
course we had been pursuing. I inquired of him if he did not become
almost discouraged before he came up with the animal. He said
no; that I had ordered him not to return without him, and that he
should have been on the track yet if he had not overtaken him. I have
no doubt such would have been the case, for he is a man of eminently
determinate and resolute character, with great powers of endurance, and
a most acute and vigilant observer, accompanied by prominent organs
of locality and sound judgment. These traits of character, with the
abundant experience he has had upon the plains, make him one of the
very best guides I have ever met with. He never sees a place once
without instantly recognising it on seeing it the second time, notwithstanding
he may approach it from a different direction; and the very
moment he takes a glance over a district of country he has never seen
before, he will almost invariably point out the particular localities (if
there are any such) where water can be found, when to others there
seems to be nothing to indicate it. Such qualifications render the services
of these people highly important, and almost indispensable in a
tour upon the prairies.
An incident which was related to me as occurring with one of these
guides a few years since, forcibly illustrates their character. The officer
having charge of the party to which he was attached, sent him out to
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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/m1/91/: accessed April 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .