The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Clark, February 20, 1806

Clark, February 20, 1806

Thursday February 20th 1806. Permited Collins to hunt this morning he returned in the evening unsucksessfull as to the chase, but brought with him Some Cramberries for the Sick. Gibson is on the recovery fast; Bratten has an obstinate Cough and pain in his back and Still appears to be getting weaker. H. McNeal from his inattention to his disorder has become worse. Willard has a high fever and complains of the pain in his head and want of appetite.

The forenoon we were visited by Tfih-cum a principal chief of the Chinnooks and 25 men of his nation. we had never Seen this Chief before he is a good looking man of about 50 years of age reather larger in Statue than most of his nation; as he came on a friendly visit we gave himself and party something to eate and plyed them plenty fully with Smoke. we gave this chief a small Medal with which he Seamed much pleased. in the evening at Sunset we desired them to depart as is our custom and Close our gates. we never Suffer parties of Such numbers to remain within the Fort all night; for not withstanding their apparent friendly disposition, their great averis and hope of plunder might induce them to be treacherous. at all events we are determined always to be on our guard, as much as the nature of our Situation will permit us, and never place our selves at the mercy of any Savages. we well know, that the treachery of the Aborigenes of America and the too great confidence of our country men in their friendship and fadility has caused the distruction of maney hundreds of us. so long has our men been accustomed to a friendly intercourse with the nativs, that we find it dificult to impress on their minds the necessity of always being on their Guard with respect to them. this confidence on our part we know to be the effect of a serious of a friendly and unintorupted intercourse. but the well Known treachery of the natives by no means entitle them to Such confidence, and we must check it's groth in our own minds as well as those of our men, by recollecting our selves, and repeating to our men, that our preservation depends on our never loseing Sight of this trate in their character, and being always prepared to meet it in whatever Shape it may present itself

The Mule Deer are the Same with those of the Plains of the Missouri So frequently mentioned. we met with them under the rocky mountains in the neighbourhood of the Chopunnish Nation on the Koskooske river, but have not Seen them Since nor do we know whether they exist in the interiors of the great Plains of Columbia, or on the lower border near the mountains which pass the river about the great falls. The Elk is the Same with that found in much the greater portion of North America, they are common to every part of this Country, as well the timbered lands as the plains. but are much more abundant in the former than the latter