I once dug and pursued a burrow to the debth of ten feet and did not reach it's greatest debth. they generally associate in large societies placing their burrows near each other and frequently occupy in this manner several hundred acres of land. when at rest above ground their position is generally erect on their hinder feet and rump; thus they will generally set and bark at you as you approach them, their note being much that of the little toy dogs, their yelps are in quick succession and at each they a motion to their tails upwards. they feed on the grass and weeds within the limits of their village which they never appear to exceed on any occasion. as they are usually numerous they keep the grass and weeds within their district very closely graized and as clean as if it had been swept. the earth which they throw out of their burrows is usually formed into a conic mound around the entrance. this little animal is frequently very fat and it's flesh is not unpleasant. as soon as the hard frosts commence it shuts up it's burrow and continues within untill spring. it will eat grain or meat.
We dispatched Drewyer and J. Fields early this morning to hunt on the road and indeavour to obtain some meat for us. just as we had prepared to set out at an early hour a deer came in to lick at these springs and one of our hunters killed it; this secured us our dinners, and we proceeded down the creek sometimes in the bottoms and at other times on the top or along the steep sides of the ridge to the N. of the Creek. at one mile from the springs we passed a stout branch of the creek on the north side and at noon having travelled 13 ms. we arrived at the entrance of a second Northen branch of the creek where we had nooned it on the 12 th of Septr. last. here we halted, dined and graized our horses. while here Sheilds took a small tern and killed a deer. at this place a road turns off to the wright which the indians informed us leads to Clarks river some distance below where there is a fine extensive vally in which the Shalees or Ootslashshoots sometimes reside. in descending the creek this morning on the steep side of a high hill my horse sliped with both his hinder feet out of the road and fell, I also fell off backwards and slid near 40 feet down the hill before I could stop myself such was the steepness of the declivity; the horse was near falling on me in the first instance but fortunately recovers and we both escaped unhirt.
We had some little difficulty in collecting our horses this morning they had straggled off to a greater distance than usual. it rained very hard in the morning and after collecting our horses we waited for it to abait, but as it had every appearance of a settled rain we set out at 10 A.M. we passed a little prarie at the distance of 81/2 me. to which we had previously sent R. Feilds and Willard. we found two deer which they had killed and hung up. at the distance of 21/2 miles further we arrived at Collins's Creek where we found our hunters; they had killed another deer, and had seen two large bear together the one black and the other white . we halted at the creek, dined and graized our horses. the rains have rendered the road very slippery insomuch that it is with much difficulty our horses can get on several of them fell but sustained no injury. after dinner we proceeded up the creek about 1/2 a mile, passing it three times, thence through a high broken country to an Easterly fork of the same creek about 101/2 miles and incamped near a small prarie in the bottom land the fallen timber in addition to the slippry roads made our march slow and extreemly laborious on our horses. the country is exceedingly thickly timbered with long leafed pine, some pitch pine, larch, white pine, white cedar or arborvita of large size, and a variety of firs. the undergrowth principally reed root from 6 to 10 feet high with all the other speceis enumerated the other day. the soil is good; in some plaices it is of a red cast like our lands in Virginia about the S. W. mountains.
I had given him a large kettle and a knife in exchange for that horse which I informed him should be taken from him unles he produced me the lost horse or one of equal value in his stead, the latter he prefered and produced me a very good horse which I very cheerfully received. we soon made the portage with our canoes and baggage and halted about 1/2 a mile above the Village where we graized our horses and took dinner on some dogs which we purchased of these people. after dinner we proceeded on about four miles to a village of 9 mat lodges of the Enesher a little below the entrance of Clark's river and encamped; one of the canoes joined us the other not observing us halt continued on. we obtained two dogs and a small quantity of fuel of these people for which we were obliged to give a higher price than usual. our guide continued with us, he appears to be an honest sincere fellow. he tells us that the indians a little above will treat us with much more hospitality than those we are now with. we purchased another horse this evening but his back is in such a horid state that we can put but little on him; we obtained him for a trifle, at least for articles which might be procured in the U States for 10 shillings Virga Cory. we took the precaution of piquting and spanseling our horses this evening near our camp.
I had the horses graized untill evening and then picquited and bubbled within the limits of our camp.