The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Clark, January 4, 1806
Clark, January 4, 1806
Saturday 4th January 1806
Comowool and the Clatsops who visited us yesterday left us in the morning. Those people the Chinnook and others resideing in this neighbourhood and Speaking the Same language have been very friendly to us; they appear to be a mild inoffensive people but will pilfer if they have an oppertunity to do So when they Conceive themselves not liable to detection. they are great higlers in trade and if they Conceive you anxious to purchase will be a whole day bargaining for a hand full of roots; this I Should have thought proceeded from their want of Knowledge of the Comparitive value of articles of merchindize and the fear of being Cheated, did I not find that they invariably refuse the price first offered them and afterwards very frequently accept a Smaller quantity of the Same article; in order to Satisfy myself on this point, I once offered a Clatsop man my watch a knife, a Dollar of the Coin of U State and hand full of beeds, for a Small Sea otter Skin, which I did not much want, he immediately Conceived it of great value, and refused to Sell unless I would give as maney more beads; the next day with a great deel of importunity on his part we receved the Skin in exchange for a fiew Strans of the Same beeds he had refused the day before. I therefore beleive this treat in their Charector proceeds from an avericious all grasping dis-position. in this respect they differ from all Indians I ever became acquainted with, for their dispositions invariably lead them to give what ever they are possessed off no matter how usefull or valueable, for a bauble which pleases their fancy, without Consulting its usefullness or value. nothing occured to day, or more So, than our wappato being all exhausted.