Five of the ten Helena tourists had converged on the hotel near the Liberty Cap at Mammoth Hot Springs after their camp was raided. Here they awaited word as to the fate of their five other friends.
I turned my horse out to graze and waited until noon for the rest of the boys to come in, but none came. I then saddled my horse again and went back on the trail again about eight miles and from this point could see about four miles more, but could not see nor hear anything of them. I returned sad at heart but with a determination to go back and hunt for them if I could persuade someone to go with me.... No one volunteered to go with me.... So I concluded to start the next evening alone ... but Jim McCarty, who owned an interest in the Springs and has lived on the frontier a long time, told me if I would wait until the next morning, he would go with me. ... We started the next morning with two saddle horses and two pack-horses, leaving Detrich, Stewart and Stone at the Springs. The ambulance was coming up after Stewart that day and I begged Detrich to go with him and take care of him, but he wanted to wait until I came back.... When we started, Mack told him to look out for his hair; he said he would try to, adding, "Andy, you will give me a decent burial, won't you?" I told him jestingly that I would, never thinking that I would be called on to perform the reality so soon.
Richard Dietrich was shot by Nez Perce scouts while he was standing in the doorway of the hotel at Mammoth Hot Springs
One of the reasons Richard Dietrich wanted to stay at Mammoth was to await the return of eighteen-year-old Joe Roberts. Dietrich had promised Joe's mother that he would be responsible for him. Roberts, by this time, however, was safe in Virginia City.
Why Dietrich was standing in the doorway of the hotel will never be known, especially since he had been warned the Nez Perce were close by.
It was coming towards sundown when we saw a white man standing in the doorway of a house. We stopped not far from him but did not dismount. We sat on our horses, six or seven of us, thinking. Chuslum Hahlap Kanoot [Naked-footed Bull] said to me, "My two young brothers and next younger brother were not warriors. They and a sister were killed at Big Hole. It was just like this man did that killing of my brothers and sister. He is nothing but a killer to become a soldier sometime. We are going to kill him now. I am a man! I am going to shoot him! When I fire, you shoot after me."
Chuslum Hahlap Kanoot then fired and clipped his arm. As he made to run, another warrior, Yettahtapnat Alwum [Shooting Thunder] shot him through the belly.
* This 37-foot (11-m) hot spring cone marks the northern portion of Mammoth Hot Springs. Liberty Cap was named in 1871 by the Hayden Survey party because of its marked resemblance to the peaked caps worn during the French Revolution. Its unusual formation was created by a hot spring whose plumbing remained open and in one location for a long time. Its internal pressure was sufficient to raise the water to a great height, allowing mineral deposits to build continuously for perhaps hundreds of years.