The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Lewis, February 21, 1806

Lewis, February 21, 1806

Friday February 21st 1806. Visited this morning by 3 Clatsop who remained with us all day; they are great begers; I gave one of them a few nedles with which he appeared much gratifyed. in the evening late they departed. Drewyer and Collins went in pursuit of some Elk, the tracks of which Collins had discovered yesterday; but it rained so hard that they could not pursue them by their tracks and returned unsuccessfull. Drewyer saw a fisher black fox but it escaped from him among the fallen timber. Sergt. Ordway returned with the party from the salt camp which we have now evacuated. they brought with them the salt and eutensils. our stock of salt is now about 20 Gallons; 12 gallons of which we secured in 2 small iron bound kegs and laid by for our voyage. gave Willard and bratton each a doze of Scotts pills; on the former they operated and on the latter they (lid not. Gibson still continues the barks three times a day and is on the recovery fast.-

The tyger Cat is found on the borders of the plains and in the woody country lying along the Pacific Ocean. this animal is about the size or reather larger than the wild cat of our country and is much the same in form, agility and ferosity. the colour of the back neck and sides is a redish brown irregularly variegated with small spots of dark brown the tail is about two inches long nearly white except the extremity which is black; it terminates abruptly as if it had been cut off. the belly is white with small black spots, beautifully variagated. the legs are of the same colour with the sides and back marked with transverse stripes of black the ears are black on the outer side covered with fine short hair except at the upper point which furnished with a pensil of fine, streight, black hair, = 3/4 of an inch in length. the fur of this anamal is long and fine, much more so than the wild cat of the United States but less so than that of Louservea of the N. West. the natives in this quarter make great use of the skins of this Cat to form the robes which they wear; four skins is the compliment usuly employed in each robe. the Black fox, or as they most frequently called in the neighbourhood of Detroit, Fisher is found in the woody country on this coast. how this animal obtained the name of fisher I know not, but certain it is, that the name is not appropriate, as it dose not prey on fish or seek it as a prey. they are extreemly active strong and prepared for climbing, which they do with great agility, and bound from tree to tree in pursuit of the squirrel or Rackoon their natural and most usual food. their colour is a jut black except a small spot of white on the breast. the body is long, legs short and formed something like the ternspit dog with a remarkable long tail. it dose not differ here from those of the United States. The Silver fox this animal is very rare even in the country where it exists; I have never seen more than the Skins of this anamal and those were in the possession of the natives of the woody Country below the great falls of the Columbia from which I think that it is most probably the inhabtant of the woody country exclusively. from the skin it appeared to be about the size of the large red fox of the plains and much of it's form with a large tail. the legs I think somewhat longer. it has a fine long deep fur poll. the poil is of a dark lead colour and the long hairs intermixed with it are either white or black at the lower part and white at the top, the whole mixture forming a beatifull silver grey. I think this the most beautifull of all the Foxes except species of which I saw one only on the Missouri near the natural walls. the large red fox of the plains and the Kit fox are the same which we met with on the Missouri and are the inhabitants almost exclusively of the open plains, or of the cops of brush within the pain country. The common red fox of the United States is also found in the woody country on this coast nor dose it appear to be altered in rispect to it's fur colour or any other particular