Lewis, April 19, 1806
Saturday Aprl. 19th 1806. This morning early we had our small canoes drawn out, and employed all hands in transporting our baggage on their backs and by means of the four pack horses, over the portage. This labour we had accomplished by 3 P.M. and established our camp a little above the present Skil-lute village which has been removed a few hundred yards lower down the river than when we passed them last fall and like others below have the floors of their summer dwellings on the surface of the earth instead of those cellars in which they resided when we passed them. there was great joy with the natives last night in consequence of the arrival of the salmon; one of those fish was caught; this was the harbinger of good news to them. they informed us that these fish would arrive in great quantities in the course of about 5 days. this fish was dressed and being divided into small peices was given to each child in the village. this custom is founded in a supersticious opinon that it will hasten the arrival of the salmon. with much difficulty we obtained four other horses from the Indians today, we wer obliged to dispence with two of our kettles in order to acquire those. we have now only one small kettle to a mess of 8 men. in the evening Capt. Clark set out with four men to the Enesher village at the grand falls in order to make a further attempt to procure horses. these people are very faithless in their contracts. they frequently receive the merchandize in exchange for their horses and after some hours insist on some additional article being given them or revoke the exchange. they have pilfered several small articles from us this evening.- I directed the horses to be hubbled & suffered to graize at a little distance from our camp under the immediate eye of the men who had them in charge. one of the men Willard was negligent in his attention to his horse and suffered it to ramble off; it was not to be found when I ordered the others to be brought up and confined to the picquits. this in addition to the other difficulties under which I laboured was truly provoking. I repremanded him more severely for this peice of negligence than had been usual with me. I had the remaining horses well secured by picquits; they were extreemly wrestless and it required the attention of the whole guard through the night to retain them notwithstanding they were bubbled and picquted. they frequently throwed themselves by the ropes by which they were confined. all except one were stone horse for the people in this neighbourhood do not understand the art of gelding them, and this is a season at which they are most vicious. many of the natives remained about our camp all night.