Clark, February 8, 1806
Saturday February 8th 1806
Sent Serjt. Ordway and two men this morning to joint the party with Serjt. Gass, and bring the ballance of R. Field's Elk. in the evening they returned with the ballance of the flesh of five Elk, that of one of them having become tainted and unfit for use. late in the evening Serjt. Pryor returned with Shannon Labieshe and his party down the Netul. they brought with them the flesh of 4 Elk which those two hunters had killed.
we have both Dined and Suped on Elks tongues and marrowbones. a great Luxury for Fort Clatsop.
The Shat lon is a production of Shrub which I have taken heretofore to be a Species of Loral and mentioned as abounding in this neighbourhood, and that the Elk feed much on its leaves. it generally rises to the hight of 3 feet, and not unusially attain to that of 5 feet. it grows very thick and is from the size of that of a goose quil to that of a mans thumb, Celendric. the bark of the older or larger part of the Stalk is of a redish brown Colour, whilst that of the younger branches & succulent Shoots are red where most exposed to the Sun and green elsewhere. the Stem is Simple branching, reclineing and partially fuxouse, or at least the Smaller Stalks or Such parts of them and their boughs which produce the leaves, take a different direction at the insertion of every petiole. A, A, the leaves as they grow from the Stalk B. B. B the Stalk between each leaf.
The leaf is oval 4 and 3/4 inches in length, and 2 and a half in width. petiolate, the potiale Short only 3/8 of an inch in length cilindric with a Slight Channel on its upper Side where it is generally red; undevided, or entire, Slightly serrate, the apex termonateing in an accute point; the upper disk of a glossy deep Green, the under disk of a pail Green, veined. the leaves are also alternate and two ranked. the root is horozontal, putting foth pirpendicular radicles. This Shrub is an evergreen. the frute is a deep purple berry about the Size of a buck Shot or common black cherry, of an ovale form, tho reather more bluntly pointed than at the insertion of the peduncle, at the extremity, the thin coloured membranus pellicle, which forms the Surfice of the paricarp, is divided into 4 anguar points, which meet at the Center, and Contains a Soft pulp of the Same Colour invelloping a great number of Small brown kidney formed Seedeach berry is Supported by a Seperate celindric peduncle of half an inch in length, these to the number of 10 or 12 issue from a common peduncle of footstalk which forms the termination of the twig of the present years groth; each peduncle Supporting a berry is furnished with one oblong bracte placed at it's insertion on the common footstalk, which when the frute is ripe withers with the peduncle-.