Lewis, June 20, 1805
Thursday June 20th 1805.
This morning we had but little to do; waiting the return of Capt. Clark; I am apprehensive from his stay that the portage is longer than we had calculated on. I sent out 4 hunters this morning on the opposite side of the river to kill buffaloe; the country being more broken on that side and cut with ravenes they can get within shoot of the buffaloe with more ease and certainty than on this side of the river. my object is if possible while we have now but little to do, to lay in a large stock of dryed meat at this end of the portage to subsist the party while engaged in the transportation of our baggage &c, to the end, that they may not be taken from this duty when once commenced in order to surch for the necessary subsistence. The Indian woman is qute free from pain and fever this morning and appears to be in a fair way for recovery, she has been walking about and fishing. In the evening 2 of the hunters returned and informed me that they had killed eleven buffaloe eight of which were in very fine order, I sent off all hands immediately to bring in the meat they soon returned with about half of the best meat leaving three men to remain all night in order to secure the ballance. the bufhaloe are in inimence numbers, they have been constantly coming down in large herds to water opposite to us for some hours sometimes two or three herds wartering at the same instant and scarcely disappear before others supply their places. they appear to make great use of the mineral water, whether this be owing to it's being more convenient to them than the river or that they actually prefer it I am at a loss to determine for they do not use it invaryably, but sometimes pass at no great distance from it and water at the river. brackish water or that of a dark colour impregnated with mineral salts such as I have frequenly mentioned on the Missouri is found in small quantities in some of the steep ravenes on the N. side of the river opposite to us and the falls. Capt. Clark and party returned late this evening when he gave me the following relation of his rout and the occurrences which had taken place with them since their departure.
Capt. Clark now furnished me with the field notes of the survey which he had made of the Missouri and it's Cataracts cascades &c. from the entrance of portage Creek to the South Eastwardly bend of the Missouri above the White bear Islands, which are as follow.