On the evening of the second day, after leaving the Radersburg party, I was camped in the Lower Geyser Basin. I was eating my supper, and, on hearing a slight noise, looked up, and, to my astonishment, four Indians, in war paint, were standing within ten feet of me, and twenty or thirty more had surrounded me not more than forty feet off. I sprang for my gun, but was rudely pushed back.
The Nez Perce later described the encounter as quite friendly.
We heard chopping.... We went there where we heard the chopping. It was a white man doing cooking. We went up to him, one on each side, in back of him. We grabbed him! He was armed but did not offer fight. Otskai [Going Out] understood a little English and talked with him. We stayed there quite a while, and then a lot of Indians came-just to be friendly with him.
We did not want to do him harm. Only if he had horses or things needed, we might take them for ourselves....
This white man was asked if he knew the way to the head of Yellowstone Park, toward the Crow Indian lands.... He said he did and would go with us. Said his horses were lost, and he was on hunt for them. The warrior told him he would give him a horse to ride, and that it would be a gift for him to return on....
The Indians were partly lost for a short time. Not sure of their way This man who was oldlike, this white prisoner, was all the guiding they had. Showed them for half of one sun. He was kept a few suns, but we did not try holding him longer.