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Главная » Фотоальбом » Lewis & Clark Gallery » RED SHIRT, September, 1804
Sgt. John Ordway crept as quietly as he could toward the herd of bison on the open plain. The rain fell in sheets, wetting him to the skin. He used the brow of a low ridge as a screen, moving toward a vantage point where he could hit one of the animals wih a shot in the side. Feeling he had gone far enough, he raised up to his full height, only to come face to face with an enormous bison bull. Complicating matters was the fact that he was wearing a bright red shirt, perhaps one of the 45 flannel shirts with linen collars and wristbands made by Matilda Chapman of Philadelphia specifically for the expedition. Red was the color which wisdom said was the very worst to wave in front of an animal. Ordway could not consider stripping off the shirt, not now at least. The bull looked at him and walked toward him in a menacing way. Ordway raised his rifle and shot at the huge animal's head, grazing its skull and sending the bull running in the opposite direction, followed by the cows. They ran off a short distance and began feeding once more. As Ordway tried to reload, the rain wetted and fouled his gun so badly that he decided to return to camp.
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