September 10, 1805
Tuesday September 10th 1805.
The morning being fair I sent out all the hunters, and directed two of them to procede down the river as far as it's junction with the Eastern fork which heads near the missouri, and return this evening. this fork of the river we determined to name the Valley plain river. I think it most probable that this river continues it's course along the rocky Mts. Northwardly as far or perhaps beyond the scources of Medecine river and then turning to the West falls into the Tacootchetessee. The Minetares informed us that there was a large river west of, and at no great distance from the sources of Medecine river, which passed along the Rocky Mountains from S. to N.this evening one of our hunters returned accompanyed by three men of the Flathead nation whom he had met in his excurtion up travellers rest Creek. on first meeting him the Indians were allarmed and prepared for battle with their bows and arrows, but he soon relieved their fears by laying down his gun and advancing towards them. the Indians were mounted on very fine horses of which the Flatheads have a great abundance; that is, each man in the nation possesses from 20 to a hundred head. our guide could not speake the language of these people but soon engaged them in conversation by signs or jesticulation, the common language of all the Aborigines of North America, it is one understood by all of them and appears to be sufficiently copious to convey with a degree of certainty the outlines of what they wish to communicate. in this manner we learnt from these people that two men which they supposed to be of the Snake nation had stolen 23 horses from them and that they were in pursuit of the theaves. they told us they were in great hast, we gave them some boiled venison, of which the eat sparingly. the sun was now set, two of them departed after receiving a few small articles which we gave them, and the third remained, having agreed to continue with us as a guide, and to introduce us to his relations whom he informed us were numerous and resided in the plain below the mountains on the columbia river, from whence he said the water was good and capable of being navigated to the sea; that some of his relation were at the sea last fall and saw an old whiteman who resided there by himself and who had given them some handkerchiefs such as he saw in our possession.— he said it would require five sleeps wich is six days travel, to reach his relations. the Flatheads are a very light coloured people of large stature and comely form.
September 10th Tuesday 1805
A fair morning Concluded to Delay to day and make Some observations, as at this place the rout which we are to prosue will pass up the Travelers rest Creek, The day proved fair and we took equal altitudes & Some Inner observations. The Latd. 46° 48' 28" as the guide report that no game is to be found on our rout for a long ways, ads an addition to the cause of our delay to precure Some meat, despatched all our hunters in different directions, to hunt the Deer which is the only large game to be found they killed 4 deer a Beaver & 3 Grouse which was divided, one of the hunters Colter, met with 3 Tushapaw Indians who were in pursuit of 2 Snake Indians that bade taken from ther Camps on the head of Kooskooske River 21 horses, Those Indians came with Colter to our Camp & informed by Signs of their misfortune & the rout to ther villages &c. &c. one of them Concluded to return with us. we gave them a ring fish hook & tied a pece of ribin in the hare of each which appeared to please them verry much, Cap Lewis gave them a Steel & a little Powder to make fire, after eating 2 of them proceeded on in pursute of their horses. men all much engaged preparing mockersons &c. &c. The Countrey about this place is already described in that above.