Lewis, June 25, 1805
Tuesday June 25th 1805.
This morning early I sent the party back to the lower camp; dispatched Frazier down with the canoe for Drewyer and the meat he had collected, and Joseph Fields up the Missouri to hunt Elk. at eight OCIk. sent Gass and Sheilds over to the large Island for bark and timber. about noon Fields returned and informed me that he had seen two white bear near the river a few miles above and in attempting to get a shoot them had stumbled uppon a third which immediately made at him being only a few steps distant; that in runing in order to escape from the bear he had leaped down a steep bank of the river on a stony bar where he fell cut his hand bruised his knees and bent his gun. that fortunately for him the bank hid him from the bear when he fell and that by that means he had escaped. this man has been truly unfortunate with these bear, this is the second time that he has narrowly escaped from them. about 2 P. M Shields and Gass returned with but a small quantity of both bark and timber and informed me that it was all they could find on the Island; they had killed two Elk the skins of which and a part of the flesh they brought with them. in the evening Drewyer and Frazier arrivd with about 800 lbs. of excellent dryed meat and about 100 lbs of tallow. The river is about 800 yds. wide opposite to us above these islands, and has a very gentle current the bottoms are hadsome level and extensive on both sides; the bank on this side is not more than 2 feet above the level of the water; it is a pretty little grove in which our camp is situated. there is a species of wild rye which is now heading it rises to the hight of 18 or 20 inches, the beard is remarkably fine and soft it is a very handsome grass the culm is jointed and is in every rispect the wild rye in minuture. great quantities of mint also are here it resemble the pepper mint very much in taste and appearance. the young blackbirds which are almost innumerable in these islands just begin to fly. see a number of water tarripens. I have made an unsuccessfull attempt to catch fish, and do not think there are any in this part of the river. The party that returned this evening to the lower camp reached it in time to take one canoe on the plain and prepare their baggage for an early start in the morning after which such as were able to shake a foot amused themselves in dancing on the green to the music of the violin which Cruzatte plays extreemly well.
Capt. C. somewhat unwell today. he made Charbono kook for the party against their return. it is worthy of remark that the winds are sometimes so strong in these plains that the men informed me that they hoisted a sail in the canoe and it had driven her along on the truck wheels. this is really sailing on dry land.