The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Lewis, May 5, 1806
Lewis, May 5, 1806
Monday May 5th 1806. Collected our horses and set out at 7 A.M. at 41/2 miles we arrived at the entrance of the Kooskooske, up the N. Eastern side of which we continued our march 12 ms. to a large lodge of 10 families having passed two other large mat lodges the one at 5 and the other at 8 Ms. from the mouth of the Kooskooske but not being able to obtain any provision at either of those lodges continued our march to the third where we arrived at 1 P.M. & with much difficulty obtained 2 dogs and a small quanty of root bread and dryed roots. at the second lodge we passed an indian man gave Capt. C. a very eligant grey mare for which he requested a phial of eye-water which was accordingly given him. while we were encamped last fall at the entrance of the Chopunnish river Capt. C. gave an indian man some volitile linniment to rub his kee and thye for a pain of which he complained, the fellow soon after recovered and has never ceased to extol the virtues of our medecines and the skill of my friend Capt C. as a phisician. this occurrence added to the benefit which many of them experienced from the eyewater we gave them about the same time has given them an exalted opinion of our medicine. my friend Capt. C. is their favorite phisician and has already received many applications. in our present situation I think it pardonable to continue this deseption for they will not give us any provision without compensation in merchandize and our stock is now reduced to a mere handfull. we take care to give them no article which can possibly oinjure them. we foud our Chopunnish guide at this lodge with his family. the indians brought us Capt. Clark's horse from the oposite side of the river and delivered him to us while here. this horse had by some accedent seperated from our other horses above and had agreeably to indian information been in this neighbourhood for some weeks. while at dinner an indian fellow verry impertinently threw a poor half starved puppy nearly into my plait by way of derision for our eating dogs and laughed very heartily at his own impertinence; I was so provoked at his insolence that I caught the puppy and thew it with great violence at him and struk him in the breast and face, siezed my tomahawk and shewed him by signs if he repeated his insolence I would tommahawk him, the fellow withdrew apparently much mortifyed and I continued my repast on dog without further molestation. after dinner we continued our rout 4 miles to the entrance of Colter's Creek about 1/2 a mile above the rapid where we sunk the 1st canoe as we decended the river last fall. we encamped on the lower side of this creek at a little distance from two lodges of the Chopunnish nation having traveled 201/2 ms. today. one of these lodges contained eight families, the other was much the largest we have yet seen. it is 156 feet long and about 15 wide built of mats and straw. in the form of the roof of a house having a number of small doors on each side, is closed at the ends and without divisions in the intermediate space this lodge contained at least 30 families. their fires are kindled in a row in the center of the house and about 10 feet assunder.
all the lodges of these people are formed in this manner. we arrived here extreemly hungry and much fatiegued, but no articles of merchandize in our possession would induce them to let us have any article of provision except a small quantity of bread of cows and some of those roots dryed. we had several applications to assist their sick which we refused unless they would let us have some dogs or horses to eat. a man whose wife had an absess formed on the small of her back promised a horse in the morning provided we would administer to her accordingly Capt. C. opened the absess introduced a tent and dressed it with basilicon; I prepared some dozes of the flour of sulpher and creem of tarter which were given with directions to be taken on each morning. a little girl and sundry other patients were offered for cure but we posponed our operations untill morning; they produced us several dogs but they were so poor that they were unfit for use. This is the residence of one of 4 principal Cheifs of the nation whom they call Neesh-ne,-park-ke-ook or the cut nose from the circumstance of his nose being cut by the snake indians with a launce in battle. to this man we gave a medal of the small size with the likeness of the President. he may be a great cheif but his countenance has but little inteligence and his influence among his people seems but inconsiderable. a number of indians beside the inhabitants of these lodges geathered about us this evening and encamped in the timbered bottom on the creek near us. we met with a snake indian man at this place through whome we spoke at some length to the natives this evening with rispect to the objects which had induced us to visit their country. this address was induced at this moment by the suggestions of an old man who observed to the natives that he thought we were bad men and had come most probably in order to kill them. this impression if really entertained I beleive we effaced; they appeared well satisfyed with what we said to them, and being hungry and tired we retired to rest at 11 oClock.- We-ark-koomt rejoined us this evening. this man has been of infinite service to us on several former occasions and through him we now offered our address to the natives.