Lewis, July 25, 1806
Friday July 25th 1806. The weather still continues cold cloudy and rainy, the wind also has blown all day with more than usual violence from the N. W. this morning we eat the last of our birds and cows, I therefore directed Drewyer and J. Fields to take a couple of the horses and proceed to the S. E. as far as the main branch of Maria's river which I expected was at no great distance and indeavour to kill some meat; they set out immediately and I remained in camp with R. Fields to avail myself of every opportunity to make my observations should any offer, but it continued to rain and I did not see the sun through the whole course of the day R. Fields and myself killed nine pigeons which lit in the trees near our camp on these we dined. late in the evening Drewyer and J. Fields returned the former had killed a fine buck on which we now fared sumptuously. they informed me that it was about 10 miles to the main branch of Maria's River, that the vally formed by the river in that quarter was wide extensive and level with a considerable quantity timber; here they found some wintering camps of the natives and a great number of others of a more recent date or that had from appearance been evacuated about 6 weeks; we consider ourselves extreemly fortunate in not having met with these people. I determined that if tomorrow continued cloudy to set out as I now begin to be apprehensive that I shall not reach the United States within this season unless I make every exertion in my power which I shall certainly not omit when once I leave this place which I shall do with much reluctance without having obtained the necessary data to establish it's longitude-as if the fates were against me my chronometer from some unknown cause stoped today, when I set her to going she went as usual.