The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Lewis, April 28, 1806
Lewis, April 28, 1806
Monday April 28th 1806. This morning early Yellept brought a very eligant white horse to our camp and presented him to Capt. C. signifying his wish to get a kettle but on being informed that we had already disposed of every kettle we could possibly spear he said he was content with whatever he thought proper to give him. Capt. C. gave him his swoard a hundred balls and powder and some sail articles with which he appeared perfectly satisfyed. it was necessary before we entered on our rout through the plains where we were to meet with no lodges or resident indians that we should lay in a stock of provision and not depend altogether on the gun. we directed Frazier to whom we have intrusted the duty of makeing those purchases to lay in as many fat dogs as he could procure; he soon obtained ten. being anxious to depart we requested the Cheif to furnish us with canoes to pass the river, but he insisted on our remaining with him this day at least, that he would be much pleased if we would conset to remain two or three, but he would not let us have canoes to leave him today. that he had sent for the Chym nap'-pos his neighbours to come down and join his people this evening and dance for us. we urged the necessity of our going on immediately in order that we might the sooner return to them with the articles which they wished but this had no effect, he said that the time he asked could not make any considerable difference. I at length urged that there was no wind blowing and that the river was consequently in good order to pass our horses and if he would furnish us with canoes for that purpose we would remain all night at our present encampment, to this proposition he assented and soon produced us a couple of canoes by means of which we passed our horses over the river safely and bubbled them as usual. we found a Shoshone woman, prisoner among these people by means of whome and Sahcahgarweah we found the means of conversing with the Wollahwollahs. we conversed with them for several hours and fully satisfyed all their enquiries with rispect to ourselves and the objects of our pursuit. they were much pleased. they brought several diseased persons to us for whom they requested some medical aid. one had his knee contracted by the rheumatism, another with a broken arm &c to all of which we administered much to the gratification of those poor wretches. we gave them some eye-water which I beleive will render them more essential service than any other article in the medical way which we had it in our power to bestoe on them. soar eyes seem to be a universal complaint amonge these people; I have no doubt but the fine sand of these plains and river contribute much to this disorder. ulsers and irruptions of the skin on various parts of the body are also common diseases among them. a little before sunset the Chymnahpos arrived; they were about 100 men and a few women; they joined the Wallahwollahs who were about the same number and formed a half circle arround our camp where they waited very patiently to see our party dance. the fiddle was played and the men amused themselves with dancing about an hour. we then requested the Indians to dance which they very cheerfully complyed with; they continued their dance untill 10 at night. the whole assemblage of indians about 550 men women and children sung and danced at the same time. most of them stood in the same place and merely jumped up to the time of their music. some of the men who were esteemed most brave entered the space arrond which the main body were formed in solid column, and danced in a circular manner sidewise. at 10 P.M. the dance concluded and the natives retired; they were much gratifyed with seeing some of our party join them in their dance.