Sunday, Nov. 29, 1835
Today I declined going out. I could do no good in the woods. I understand the general character of the land, and the only inquiry now is how far does it continue. This Hudgins can report, and I can do some necessary work in camp. Shot two ducks at one fire in the pond, which excels the others. Hudgins has shot five times for two, and our woodman has missed several times. He blames the shot-gun. Hudgins returned at night much wearied and dispirited. Says he fears the good land is nearly run out. Our horses strayed off today in search of pasturage. They live mostly on cane. We have no dry provender for them. I had to go and bring them up. Could not catch the pony, so had to drive him up with his hobbles on, and it is amusing to see the uncouth gait he moves in. My mare is very gentle; a fine, beautiful animal. I am much pleased with her and call her Bessy. I wish Evelina had her to ride on. Her size and qualities are suitable for a lady's riding, but she does not pace.
Monday, Nov. 30, 1835
Fine, clear, cold day. Both this morning and yesterday the ice in our vessel was as thick as a dollar, a degree of cold at which I am much surprised. The weather is now delightful. Today we all started on horseback, and pursued an old Indian trace until we struck the corner we sought, which was in the midst of a slough a foot deep at least. We then cut on through immensely heavy cane for some distance. As our guide and Hudgins wished to return by a nearer route, which they would accomplish by again striking for the bayou, I returned and took the horses back to camp. I rode the pony, led Hudgins's horse, and my mare followed as gently as a dog. Crossed the bayou on a log, and led the horses through. Got back about half an hour before sun set; the others soon after. Hudgins begins to flag and despond. I have clearly discovered that my physical powers are not equal to such exertions. Health, limbs and life are all endangered. But I have much cause to be thankful that thus far all have been most wonderfully preserved. The health of each one is very good, mine singularly so. Made a sad discovery. One of my saddle bags was wet, and on examination found that a little flask, in which I had got half a pint of good brandy in Manchester, had become uncorked, and all had run out. It was the only spirits we had. I designed it as a medicine, and not a drop had been tasted by either of us.
Tuesday, December 1, 1835
The first day of winter, and a very mild morning. It has clouded a little during the night, and a few drops of rain fell. But not enough to prevent Hudgins and Murphy from going out again. I shall stay at camp and write up journal and