[Author Washington Irving used Captain Benjamin Bonneville’s notes to write The Adventures of Captain Bonneville, U.S.A., which was published in 1837. The following story is based on an incident that occurred in the vicinity of the present city of Pocatello.]
Bonneville met a hunting party of Flatheads, returning from the buffalo range laden with meat. He persuaded them to proceed with his party of trappers a few miles down river, whither he proposed also to invite the Nez Perces, whom he hoped to find somewhere in this neighborhood. In fact, on March 13th, he was rejoined by that friendly tribe who, since he separated from them on Salmon River, had likewise been out to hunt the buffalo, but had continued to be haunted and harassed by their old enemies the Blackfeet, who, as usual, had contrived to carry off many of their horses.
In the course of the Nez Perce’s hunting expedition, a small band of ten lodges separated from the main body in search of better pasturage for their horses. About the 1st of March, the scattered parties of Blackfoot banditti united to the number of three hundred fighting men, and determined upon some devastating attack. Proceeding to the former camping ground of the Nez Perces, they found the lodges deserted; upon which they hid themselves among the willows and thickets, watching for some straggler who might guide them to the present whereabout of their intended victims. As fortune would have it Kosato, the Blackfoot renegade [who had joined the Nez Perce], was the first to pass along, accompanied by his bride. He was on his way from the main body of hunters to the little band of ten lodges. The Blackfeet knew and marked him as he passed; he was within bowshot of their ambuscade; yet, much as they thirsted for his blood, they forbore to launch a shaft; sparing him for the moment that he might lead them to their prey. Secretly following his trail, they discovered the lodges of the unfortunate Nez Perces, and assailed them with shouts and yellings. The Nez Perces numbered only twenty men, and but nine were armed with rifles. They showed themselves, however, as brave and skillful in war as they had been mild and long-suffering in peace. Their first care was to dig holes inside of their lodges; thus ensconced they fought desperately, laying several of the enemy dead upon the ground; while they, though some of them were wounded, lost not a single warrior.
The Blackfeet got possession of the horses, and the Nez Perces, ensconced in their lodges, seemed resolved to defend themselves to the last gasp. It so happened that the chief of the Blackfeet party was a renegade from the Nez Perces; unlike Kosato, however, he had no vindictive rage against his native tribe, but was rather disposed, now he had got the loot, to spare all unnecessary effusion of blood. He held a long parley, therefore, with the besieged, and finally drew off his warriors, taking with him seventy horses.
Washington Irving

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