The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Lewis, August 22, 1805
Lewis, August 22, 1805
Thursday August 22ed 1805
This morning early I sent a couple of men to complete the covering of the cash which could not be done well last night in the dark, they soon accomplished their work and returned. late last night Drewyer returned with a fawn he had killed and a considerable quantity of Indian plunder. the anecdote with rispect to the latter is perhaps worthy of relation. he informed me that while hunting in the Cove yesterday about 12 OCk. he came suddonly upon an Indian Camp, at which there were a young man an Old man a boy and three women, that they seemed but little supprised at seeing him and he rode up to them and dismounted turning horse out to graize. these people had just finished their repast on some roots, he entered into conversation with them by signs, and after about 20 minutes one of the women spoke to the others of the party and they all went immediately and collected their horses brought them to camp and saddled them at this moment he thought he would also set out and continue his hunt, and accorgingly walked to catch his horse at some little distance and neglected to take up his gun which, he left at camp. the Indians perceiving him at the distance of fifty paces immediately mounted their horses, the young man took the gun and the whole of them left their baggage and laid whip to their horses directing their course to the pass of the mountains. finding himself deprived of his gun he immediately mounted his horse and pursued; after runing them about 10 miles the horses of two of the women nearly gave out and the young fellow with the gun from their frequent crys slackened his pace and being on a very fleet horse road around the women at a little distance at length Drewer overtook the women and by signs convinced them that he did not wish to hirt them they then halted and the young fellow approached still nearer, he asked him for his gun but the only part of the answer which he could understand was pah kee which he knew to be the name by which they called their enimies. watching his opportunity when the fellow was off his guard he suddonly rode along side of him seized his gun and wrest her out of his hands. the fellow finding Drewyer too strong for him and discovering that he must yeald the gun had pesents of mind to open the pan and cast the priming before he let the gun escape from his hands; now finding himself devested of the gun he turned his horse about and laid whip leaving the women to follow him as well as they could. Drewyer now returned to the place they had left their baggage and brought it with him to my camp. it consisted of several dressed and undressed skins; a couple of bags wove with the fingers of the bark of the silk-grass containing each about a bushel of dryed service berries some checherry cakes and about a bushel of roots of three different kinds dryed and prepared for uce which were foalded in as many parchment hides of buffaloe. some flint and the instrument of bone for manufactureing the flint into arrow points. some of this flint was as transparent as the common black glass and much of the same colour easily broken, and flaked off much like glass leaving a very sharp edge. one speceis of the roots were fusiform abot six inches long and about the size of a man's finger at the larger end tapering to a small point. the radicles larger than in most fusiform roots. the rind was white and thin. the body or consistence of the root was white mealy and easily reduced by pounding to a substance resembleing flour which thickens with boiling water something like flour and is agreeably flavored. this rout is frequently eaten by the Indians either green or in it's dryed state without the preparation of boiling. another speceis was much mutilated but appeared to be fibrous; the parts were brittle, hard of the size of a small quill, cilindric and as white as snow throughout, except some small parts of the hard black rind which they had not seperated in the preperation. this the Indians with me informed were always boiled for use. I made the exprement, found that they became perfectly soft by boiling, but had a very bitter taste, which was naucious to my pallate, and I transfered them to the Indians who had eat them heartily. a third speceis were about the size of a nutmeg, and of an irregularly rounded form, something like the smallest of the Jerusalem artichoke, which they also resemble in every other appearance. they had become very hard by being dryed these I also boiled agreeably to the instruction of the Indians and found them very agreeable. they resemble the Jerusalem Artichoke very much in their flavor and I thought them preferable, however there is some allowance to be made for the length of time I have now been without vegitable food to which I was always much attatched. these are certainly the best root I have yet seen in uce among the Indians. I asked the Indians to shew me the plant of which these roots formed a part but they informed me that neither of them grew near this place. I had set most of the men at work today to dress the deerskin belonging to those who had gone on command with Capt. Clark. at 11 A.M. Charbono the Indian Woman, Cameahwait and about 50 men with a number of women and children arrived. they encamped near us. after they had turned out their horses and arranged their camp I called the Cheifs and warriors together and addressed them a second time; gave them some further presents, particularly the second and third Cheifs who it appeared had agreeably to their promise exerted themselves in my favour. having no fresh meat and these poor devils half starved I had previously prepared a good meal for them all of boiled corn and beans which I gave them as soon as the council was over and I had distributed the presents. this was thankfully received by them. the Chief wished that his nation could live in a country where they could provide such food. I told him that it would not be many years before the whitemen would put it in the power of his nation to live in the country below the mountains where they might cultivate corn beans and squashes. he appeared much pleased with the information. I gave him a few dryed squashes which we had brought from the Mandans he had them boiled and declared them to be the best thing he had ever tasted except sugar, a small lump of which it seems his sister Sah-cah-gar Wea had given him. late in the evening I made the men form a bush drag, and with it in about 2 hours they caught 528 very good fish, most of them large trout. among them I now for the first time saw ten or a douzen of a whte speceis of trout. they are of a silvery colour except on the back and head, where they are of a bluish cast. the scales are much larger than the speckled trout, but in their form position of their fins teeth mouth &c they are precisely like them they are not generally quite as large but equally well flavored. I distributed much the greater portion of the fish among the Indians. I purchased five good horses of them very reasonably, or at least for about the value of six dollars a peice in merchandize. the Indians are very orderly and do not croud about our camp nor attempt to disterb any article they see lying about. they borrow knives kettles &c from the men and always carefully return them. Capt. Clark says, "we set out early and passed a small creek at one mile, also the points of four mountains which were high steep and rocky. the mountains are so steep that it is almost incredible to mention that horses had passed them. our road in many places lay over the sharp fragments of rocks which had fallen from the mountains and lay in confused heaps for miles together; yet notwithstanding our horsed traveled barefoot over them as fast as we could and did not detain us. passed two bold runing streams, and arrived at the entrance of a small river" where some Indian families resided. they had some scaffoalds of fish and burries exposed to dry. they were not acquainted with the circumstance of any whitemen being in their country and were therefore much allarmed on our approach several of the women and children fled in the woods for shelter. the guide was behind and the wood thick in which their lodges were situated we came on them before they had the least notice of us. those who remained offered us every thing they had, which was but little; they offered us collars of elks tusks which their children woar Salmon beries &c. we eat some of their fish and buries but returned them the other articles they had offered with a present of some small articles which seemed to add much to their pacification.
The guide who had by this time arrived explained to them who we were and our object in visiting them; but still there were some of the women and Children inconsoleable, they continued to cry during our stay, which was about an hour. a road passes up this river which my guide informed me led over the mountains to the Missouri. from this place I continued my rout along the steep side of a mountain for about 3 miles and arrived at the river near a small Island on the lower point of which we encamped in the evening we attempted to gig fish but were unsuccessfull only obtaining one small salmon. in the course of the day we had passed several women and children geathering burries who were very liberal in bestoing us a part of their collections. the river is very rapid and shoaly; many rocks lie in various derections scattered throughout it's bed. There are some few small pine scattered through the bottoms, of which I only saw one which appeared as if it would answer for a canoe and that was but small. the tops of the mountains on the Lard. side are covered with pine and some also scattered on the sides of all the mountains. I saw today a speceis of woodpecker, which fed on the seeds of the pine. it's beak and tail were white, it's wings were black, and every other part of a dark brown. it was about the size of a robin-