cold, miserable night spent shivering. I buttoned up and rolled my blankets up to make ready. My breakfast consisted of a combination of nuts and dried fruits from my haversack.
Light sleet early on as our path begins to make a slow, gradual rise uphill. Mr. Burton, who has made this trip several times in the past, seems to be of the opinion that we can be in the vicinity of Bledsoe his Fort by nightfall. I will be pleased not to sleep outdoors again this night.
The weather gives way to a cloudy, overcast day, but warmer weather. I am just beginning to reach into my haversack for a bite of dried meat when Mr. Burton, who is at the front of the party, stops in the middle of the trail. The brothers Bryant take up their arms and leave the path to gain the cover of the trees, Mr. Flynn and I do the same.
Burton very slowly moves to a cluster of trees and lays himself out flat upon the ground. He stretches his arm out and silently gestures for the Bryant boys to join him. They look down the slope and converse quietly for a while before they gesture Flynn and I over.
We all look down the slope to espy a group of fur-clad natives that have set up a small camp just off the path. Burton's eyes are better than my own, I would never have seen them if left to my own devices.
It is not their habit to be in this area in the cold months, says Burton.
Why is it that they come to be here? asks Flynn, face red, hands shaking.
It would seem that, like us, they are traveling, says Burton.
The Bryants look eager to greet them, tightening their grip on their weapons.
What are we to do? They are eleven and we are five, says I, not excited by the prospect of running to an early grave.
It is the opinion of Burton that we should stay where we are and wait for the indians to leave in the morning. It is his fear that if we make any attempt to attack, or even to go around, that they may discover us. All members of the party agree, after some grumbling from the young brothers.
The sun sets, and rain begins to fall. We stay flat on our stomachs and carefully cover ourselves with a large oiled canvas that Burton brought with him. It does little to keep us warm, but staves off the majority of the wet.
We shall keep watch all night, in the hopes that they move on in the morning.