rolling over volcanic boulders in some places, and in others forming still pools of seemingly fathomless depth. At one point it dashes here and there, lashed to a white foam, upon its rocky bed; at another it subsides into a crystal mirror wherever a deep basin occurs in the channel. Numerous small cascades are seen tumbling from the lofty summits a mere ribbon of foam in the immeasurable distance below.  This huge abyss, through walls of flinty lava, has not been worn away by the waters, for no trace of fluvial agency is left upon the rocks; it is a cleft in the strata brought about by volcanic action, plainly shown by that irregular structure which gives such a ragged appearance to all such igneous formations. Standing on the brink of the chasm the heavy roaring of the imprisoned river comes to the ear only in a sort of hollow, hungry growl, scarcely audible from the depths, and strongly suggestive of demons in torment below. Lofty pines on the bank of the stream "dwindle to shrubs in dizziness of distance." Everything beneath has a weird and deceptive appearance. The water does not look like water, but like oil. Numerous fish-hawks are seen busily plying their vocation, sailing high above the waters, and yet a thousand feet below the spectator. In the clefts of the rocks down, hundreds of feet down, bald eagles have their eyries, from which we can see them swooping still further into the depths to rob the ospreys of their hard-earned trout. It is grand, gloomy, and terrible; a solitude peopled with fantastic ideas; an empire of shadows and of turmoil. The great plateau had been recently burned off to drive away the game, and the woods were still on fire in every direction. In the morning I had ridden forward on the trail hoping to find a passage through the cañon, and after having endeavored to descend its precipitous banks in several places without success, I had climbed to the summit of the plateau and followed the trail of two hunters who had camped with us on the previous night and were gone in advance after game. Mr. Everts and Private Williamson accompanied me; the latter killed an antelope on the trail immediately after reaching the summit, which we left as an indication to the party following. Our course led along the great plateau, about three miles to the right of the cañon, toward which the ground fell off with a slight declivity. Passing over the high rolling prairie for several miles, we struck at length a heavy Indian trail leading up the river, and finding a small colt abandoned on the range, we knew they were but a short distance ahead of us. The plateau formation is of lava, in horizontal layers, as it cooled in a surface flow; these have been upheaved in places by a subterraneous action into wave-like undulations, and occasionally granite shafts protrude through the strata, forming landmarks at once permanent, and generally of picturesque form. They resemble dark icebergs stranded in an ocean of green; rising high above the tops of the trees, in wooded districts, or standing out grim and solid on the grassy expanse of the prairie land. On the lower verge of this plateau we bade farewell to drift, its altitude being far above the line of operations of the ice period. I noticed that the grass in many places was here too green to burn, though already parched n the lower valleys we had already traversed, and that many flowers were just in bloom. It was still early summer in this elevated region, far abovethe perpetual snow line of the mountains on the Gallatin.

In the afternoon the trail led us through a deep cañon to the south, which opened out on a small valley at the confluence of the East Fork of the Yellowstone. The main stream here turns to the southwest, the branch coming in through a deep rocky valley in a course due east. Go to next page

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