The Journals of Lewis & Clark: April 23, 1806

by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
April 22, 1806
April 24, 1806

April 23, 1806

Wednesday April 23rd 1806. At day light this morning we were informed that the two horses of our Interpreter Charbono were absent; on enquiry it appeared that he had neglected to confine them to picquts as had been directed last evening. we immediately dispatched Reubin Feilds and Labuish to assist Charbono in recovering his horses. one of them was found at no great distance and the other was given over as lost. at 8 A.M. Reuben Feilds and Sergt. Gass proceeded in the canoe. at 10 Labuish and Charbono returned unsuccessfull, they had gone back on the road nearly to the last village and suched the plains on either hand to a considerable distance. our remaining longer would have prevented our making a timely stage which in our situation is all important; we therefore determined to proceed immediately to the next village which from the information of our guide will occupy the greater part of the day to reach at eleven OCk. we loaded our horses and set out. during the time we were detained this morning we had two packsaddles made. we continued our march along a narrow rocky bottom on the N. side of the river about 12 miles to the Wah-how-pum Village of 12 temperary mat lodges near the Rock rapid. these people appeared much pleased to see us, sold us 4 dogs and some wood for our small articles which we had previously prepared as our only resource to obtain fuel and food through those plains. these articles conisted of pewter buttons, strips of tin iron and brass, twisted wire &c. we also obtained some shap-pe-lell newly made from these people. here we met with a Chopunnish man on his return up the river with his family and about 13 head of horses most of them young and unbroken. he offered to hire us some of them to pack as far a his nation, but we prefer bying as by hireing his horses we shal have the whole of his family most probably to mentain. at a little distance below this village we passed five lodges of the same people who like those were waiting the arrival of the salmon. after we had arranged our camp we caused all the old and brave men to set arround and smoke with us. we had the violin played and some of the men danced; after which the natives entertained us with a dance after their method. this dance differed from any I have yet seen. they formed a circle and all sung as well the spectators as the dancers who performed within the circle. these placed their sholders together with their robes tightly drawn about them and danced in a line from side to side, several parties of from 4 to seven will be performing within the circle at the same time. the whole concluded with a premiscuous dance in which most of them sung and danced. these people speak a language very similar to the Chopunnish whome they also resemble in their dress their women wear long legings mockersons shirts and robes. their men also dress with legings shirts robes and mockersons. after the dance was ended the Indians retired at our request and we retired to rest. we had all our horses side bubbled and turned out to graize; at this village, a large creek falls in on the N. side which we did not observe as we decended the river. the river is by no means as rapid as when we decended or at least not obstructed with those dangerous rapids the water at present covers most of the rocks in the bed of the river. the natives promised to barter their horses with us in the morning we therefore entertained a hope that we shall be enabled to proceede by land from hence with the whole of our party and baggage. came 12 miles by land. the sands made the march fatieguing.-

Wednesday 23rd 1806

at day light this morning we were informed that the two horses of our interpreter Shabono were missing on enquirey we were informed that he had neglected to tie up his horses as derected last evening. we imedeately dispatch him, R. Fields & Labiech in Serch of the horses, one of them were found at no great distance. the other was not found. R. Fields retd. without finding the horse Set out with Sergt Gass in the Small Canoe at about 8 A M. at 10 Shabono and Labiech returned also unsucksessfull they had went on the back trail nearly to the last Village and took a circle around on the hills. as our Situation was Such that we Could not detain for a horse, which would prevent our makeing a timely Stage which is a great object with us in those open plains, we Concluded to give up the horse and proceed on to the next village which we were informed was at Some distance and would take us the greater part of the day. at 11 A.M. we packed up and Set out and proceeded up on the N. Side of the Columbia on a high narrow bottom and rockey for 12 miles to the Wah-how-pum village near the rock rapid of 12 temporary mat Lodges, those people appeared pleased to See us. they Sold us 4 dogs Some Shapollell and wood for our Small articles Such as awls pieces of Tin and brass. we passed Several Lodges on the bank of the river where they were fixed waiting for the Salmon. I over took a Choponish man whome I had Seen at the long, and who had found a bag of our powder and brought it to me at that place. this man had his family on the ____ and about 3 head of horses which appeared young and unbroke. his spous as also that of the other gave me a Cake of Chapellell and proceeded on with me to the Wah howpum Village and formed his Camp near us. we Caused all the old & brave men to Set around and Smoke with us. we Caused the fiddle to be played and Some of the men danced. after them the nativs danced. they dance different from any Indians I have Seen. they dance with their Sholders together and pass from Side to Side, defferent parties passing each other, from 2 to 7. and 4 parties danceing at the Same time and Concluding the dance by passing promiscuisly throu & beetween each other. after which we Sent of the Indians and retired to bed. Those people Speak a language verry Similal to the Chopunish and with a very inconsiderable difference. their dress and appearance is more like those of the Great falls of the Columbia. we had all our horses Side hobbled and let out to feed. at this village a large Creek falls in on the N. Side which I had not observed as I decended the river. the river is by no means as rapid as it was at the time we decended. The nativs promised to give is a horse for one of our Canoes. and offer to Sell us another for a Scarlet robe which we have not at present. Shabono made a bargin with one of the Indian men going with us, for a horse for Which he gave his Shirt. and two of the leather Sutes of his wife. The Sand through which we walked to day is So light that renders the march verry fatigueing. made 12 miles by land.