The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Lewis, August 15, 1805

Lewis, August 15, 1805

Thursday August 15th 1805.

This morning I arrose very early and as hungary as a wolf. I had eat nothing yesterday except one scant meal of the flour and berries except the dryed cakes of berries which did not appear to satisfy my appetite as they appeared to do those of my Indian friends. I found on enquiry of McNeal that we had only about two pounds of flour remaining. this I directed him to divide into two equal parts and to cook the one half this morning in a kind of pudding with the hurries as he had done yesterday and reserve the ballance for the evening. on this new fashoned pudding four of us breakfasted, giving a pretty good allowance also to the Chief who declared it the best thing he had taisted for a long time. he took a little of the Hour in his hand, taisted and examined very scrutinously and asked me if we made it of roots. I explained to him the manner in which it grew. I hurried the departure of the Indians. the Chief addressed them several times before they would move they seemed very reluctant to accompany me. I at length asked the reason and he told me that some foolish persons among them had suggested the idea that we were in league with the Pahkees and had come on in order to decoy them into an ambuscade where their enimies were waiting to receive them. but that for his part he did not believe it. I readily perceived that our situation was not entirely free from danger as the transision from suspicion to the confermation of the fact would not be very difficult in the minds of these ignorant people who have been accustomed from their infancy to view every stranger as an enimy. I told Cameahwait that I was sorry to find that they had put so little confidence in us, that I knew they were not acquainted with whitemen and therefore could forgive them. that among whitemen it was considered disgracefull to lye or entrap an enimy by falsehood. I told him if they continued to think thus meanly of us that they might rely on it that no whitemen would ever come to trade with them or bring them arms and amunition and that if the bulk of his nation still entertained this opinion I still hoped that there were some among them that were not affraid to die, that were men and would go with me and convince themselves of the truth of what I had asscerted. that there was a party of whitemen waiting my return either at the forks of Jefferson's river or a little below coining on to that place in canoes loaded with provisions and merchandize. he told me for his own part he was determined to go, that he was not affraid to die. I soon found that I had touched him on the right string; to doubt the bravery of a savage is at once to put him on his metal. he now mounted his horse and haranged his village a third time; the perport of which as he afterwards told me was to inform them that he would go with us and convince himself of the truth or falsity of what we had told him if he was sertain he should be killed, that he hoped there were some of them who heard him were not affraid to die with him and if there was to let him see them mount their horses and prepare to set out. shortly after this harange he was joined by six or eight only and with these I smoked a pipe and directed the men to put on their packs being determined to set out with them while I had them in the humour at half after 12 we set out, several of the old women were crying and imploring the great sperit to protect their warriors as if they were going to inevitable distruction. we had not proceeded far before our party was augmented by ten or twelve more, and before we reached the Creek which we had passed in the morning of the 13th it appeared to me that we had all the men of the village and a number of women with us. this may serve in some measure to ilustrate the capricious disposition of those people who never act but from the impulse of the moment. they were now very cheerfull and gay, and two hours ago they looked as sirly as so many imps of satturn. when we arrived at the spring on the side of the mountain where we had encamped on the 12th the Chief insited on halting to let the horses graize with which I complyed and gave the Indians smoke. they are excessively fond of the pipe; but have it not much in their power to indulge themselves with even their native tobacco as they do not cultivate it themselves.- after remaining about an hour we again set out, and by engaging to make compensation to four of them for their trouble obtained the previlege of riding with an indian myself and a similar situation for each of my party. I soon found it more tiresome riding without tirrups than walking and of course chose the latter making the Indian carry my pack. about sunset we reached the upper part of the level valley of the Cove which now called Shoshone Cove. the grass being birned on the North side of the river we passed over to the south and encamped near some willow brush about 4 miles above the narrow pass between the hills noticed as I came up this cove the river was here about six yards wide, and frequently darned up by the beaver. I had sent Drewyer forward this evening before we halted to kill some meat but he was unsuccessfull and did not rejoin us untill after dark I now cooked and among six of us eat the remaining pound of flour stired in a little boiling water.- Capt. Clark delayed again this morning untill after breakfast, when he set out and passed between low and rugged mountains which had a few pine trees distributed over them the clifts are formed of limestone and a hard black rock intermixed. no trees on the river, the bottoms narrow river crooked shallow shoally and rapid. the water is as coald as that of the best springs in our country. the men as usual suffered excessively with fatiegue and the coldness of the water to which they were exposed for hours together. at the distance of 6 miles by water they passed the entrance of a bold creek on Stard. side 10 yds. wide and 3 f. 3 i. deep which we called Willard's Creek after Alexander Willard one of our party. at 4 miles by water from their encampment of las evening passed a bold branch which tumbled down a steep precipice of rocks from the mountains on the Lard. Capt Clark was very near being bitten twice today by rattlesnakes, the Indian woman also narrowly escaped. they caught a number of fine trout. Capt. Clark killed a buck which was the only game killed today. the venison has an uncommon bitter taist which is unpleasent. I presume it proceeds from some article of their food, perhaps the willow on the leaves of which they feed very much. they encamped this evening on the Lard. side near a few cottonwood trees about which there were the remains of several old Indian brush lodges.