The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Lewis, April 10, 1806

Updated February 28, 2017 | Infoplease Staff

Lewis, April 10, 1806

Thursday April 10th 1806. We set out early and droped down the channel to the lower end of brant Island from whence we drew them up the rapid by a cord about a quarter of a mile which we soon performed; Collins and Gibson not having yet come over we directed Sergt. Pryor to remain with the cord on the Island untill Gibson arrived and assist him with his crew in geting his canoe up the rapid, when they were to join us on the oposite side at a small village of six houses of the Clah-clah'lahs where we halted for breakfast. in passing the river which is here about 400 yds. wide the rapidity of the currant was such that it boar us down a considerable distance notwithstanding we employed five oars. on entering one of these lodges, the natives offered us a sheepskin for sail, than which nothing could have been more acceptable except the animal itself. the skin of the head of the sheep with the horns remaining was cased in such manner as to fit the head of a man by whom it was woarn and highly prized as an ornament. we obtained this cap in exchange for a knife, and were compelled to give two Elkskins in exchange for the skin. this appeared to be the skin of a sheep not fully grown; the horns were about four inches long, celindric, smooth, black, erect and pointed; they rise from the middle of the forehead a little above the eyes. they offered us a second skin of a full grown sheep which was quite as large as that of a common deer. they discovered our anxity to purchase and in order to extort a great plrice declared that they prized it too much to dispose of it. in expectation of finding some others of a similar kind for sale among the natives of this neighbourhood I would not offer him a greater price than had been given for the other which he refused. these people informed us that these sheep were found in great abundance on the hights and among the clifts of the adjacent mountains. and that they had lately killed these two from a herd of 36, at no great distance from their village. we could obtain no provision from those people except four white salmon trout. at ten oclock Sergt. Pryor and Gibson joined us with Collins who had killed 3 deer. these were all of the blacktailed fallow kind. we set out and continued our rout up the N. side of the river with great difficulty in consequence of the rapidity of the current and the large rocks which form this shore; the South side of the river is impassable. as we had but one sufficient toerope and were obliged to employ the cord in geting on our canoes the greater part of the way we could only take them one at a time which retarded our progress very much. by evening we arrived at the portage on the North side where we landed and conveyed our bagage to the top of the hill about 200 paces distant where we formed a camp. we had the canoes drawn on shore and secured. the small canoe got loose from the hunters and went a drift with a tin vessel and tommahawk in her; the Indians caught her at the last village and brought her up to us this evening for which service we gave them a couple of knives; the canoe overset and lost the articles which were in her.- Saw the white pine at this place.