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near the water's edge, and realizing in an instant that the camp we were approaching might possibly be one of hostile Indians--all Indians in that country at that time were hostile — Frankman and I backed out silently, and made eager strides for La Pena, where we had scarcely arrived when Captain M. E. Van Buren, of the Mounted Rifle regiment, came in with a small command, and reported that he was out in pursuit of a band of Comanche Indians, which had been committing depredations up about Fort Clark, but that he had lost the trail. I immediately informed him of what had occurred to me during the morning, and that I could put him on the trail of the Indians he was desirous of punishing. We hurriedly supplied with rations his small command of thirteen men, and I then conducted him to the point where I had seen the smoke, and there we found signs indicating it to be the recently abandoned camp of the Indians he was pursuing, and we also noticed that prairie rats had formed the principa