Clark, January 26, 1806
Tuesday 26th of January 1806
We order Collins to return early in the morning and join the Salt makers, and gave him Some Small articles of merchendize to purchase Some provisions from the indians in the event of their Still being unfortunate in the chase.
The or deep purple berry is in form much like the huckleberry and termonate bluntly with a kind of Cap or cover at the end like that fruit; they are attached Seperately to the Sides of the boughes of the shrub by a very Short Stem ganging under neath the Same, and are frequently placed verry near each other on the Same bough it is a full bearer; the berry is easily gathered as it Seperates from the bough, readily, while the leaf is Strongly affixed. the Shrub which produces this fruit rises to the hight of 6 or 8 feet Sometimes grows on high lands but most frequently in Swampy or marshey grounds; it is an ever green. the Stem or trunk is from 3 to 10 inches in circumferance irrigularly and much branched, Seldom more than one Stem proceeding from the Same root, tho they are frequently associated very thickly. the bark is Somewhat rough and of a redish brown Colour. the wood is very firm and hard. the leaves are alternate declining and attachd by a Short fotstalk to the two horozontal Sides of the bough's; the form is a long oval, reather more accute towards its apex that at the point of insertion; it's Sides partially folding upwards; or Channeled, it is also thick Smothe and glossy, the upper Surfice of a fine deep green, while the under disk is of a pale or whiteish green. this Shrub retains its verdure verry perfectly dureing the winter and is a butifull Shrub-. the nativs either eate those berries ripe imediately from the bushes, or dried in the Sun or by means of the Swetting kiln; verry frequently they pound them and bake them in large loaves 10 or 15 pounds weight; this bread keeps verry well dureing one Season and retains the moist jouicies of the frute much better than any other method of preperation. The bread is broken and Stured in Coald water untill it be Sufficiently thick and then eaten, in this way the nativ's most generally use it-.-.