The Journals of Lewis & Clark: May 8, 1806
May 8, 1806
Thursday May 8th 1806. Most of the hunters turned out by light this morning a few others remained without our permission or knoledge untill late in the morning, we chid them severely for their indolence and inattention to the order of last evening. about 8 OCk. Sheilds returned with a small deer on which we breakfasted. by 11 A.M. all our hunters returned, Drewyer and Cruzatte brought each a deer, Collins wounded another which my dog caught at a little distance from the camp. our stock of provision now consisted of 4 deer and the remnant of the horse which we killed at Colter's Creek. Sheilds killed a duck of an uncommon kind. the head beak and wing of which I preserved. the beak is remarkably wide and obtusely pointed, on it's edges it is furnished with a sceries of teeth very long and fine not unlike the teeth of a comb. the belley is of a brick red, the lower part of the neck white, the upper part or but of the wing is a sky blue, underneath which a narrow stripe of white succeeds marking the wing transversly, the large feathers are of a dark colour. tail short and pointed and consists of 12 dark brown feathers. the back is black and sides white; legs yellow and feet formed like the Duckinmallard which it also resembles in size and form. the eye is moderately large, puple black and iris of an orrange colour. the colours and appearance of the female is precisely that of the duckinmallard only, reather smaller. we are informed that the natives in this quarter were much distressed for food in the course of the last winter; they were compelled to collect the moss which grows on the pine which they boiled and eat; near this camp I observed many pine trees which appear to have been cut down about that season which they inform us was done in order to collect the seed of the longleafed pine which in those moments of distress also furnishes an article of food; the seed of this speceis of pine is about the size and much the shape of the seed of the large sunflower; they are nutricious and not unpleasent when roasted or boiled, during this month the natives also peal this pine and eat the succulent or inner bark. in the creek near our encampment I observed a falling trap constructed on the same plan with those frequent seen in the atlantic states for catching the fish decending the stream Capt. C. took several small trout from this trap. Neesh-ne-park-kee-ook and several other indians joined us this morning. we gave this cheif and the indians with us some venison, horsebeef, the entrels of the four deer, and four fawns which were taken from two of the does that were killed, they eat none of their food raw, tho the entrals had but little preperation and the fawns were boiled and consumed hair hide and entrals. these people sometimes eat the flesh of the horse tho they will in most instances suffer extreem hunger before they will kill their horses for that purpose, this seems reather to proceede from an attatchment to this animal, than a dislike to it's flesh for I observe many of them eat very heartily of the horsebeef which we give them. The Shoshone man was displeased because we did not give him as much venison as he could eat and in consequence refused to interpret, we took no further notice of him and in the course of a few hours he became very officious and seemed anxious to reinstate himself in our good opinons. the relation of the twisted hair and Neeshneparkkeook gave us a sketch of the principall watercourses West of the Rocky Mountains a copy of which I preserved; they make the main Southwardly branch of Lewis's river much more extensive than the other, and place many villages of the Shoshonees on it's western side. at half after 3 P.M. we departed; for the lodge of the Twisted hair accompanyed by the Cheif and sundry other indians. the relation of the twisted hair left us. the road led us up a steep and high hill to a high and level plain mostly untimbered, through which we passed parrallel with the river about 4 miles when we met the Twisted hair and a party of six men. to this Cheif we had confided the care of our horses and a part of our saddles when we decended the river last fall. the Twisted hair received us very coolly an occurrence as unexpected as it was unaccountable to us. he shortly began to speak with a loud voice and in a angry manner, when he had ceased to speak he was answered by the Cutnose Cheif or Neeshneparkkeook; we readily discovered that a violet quarrel had taken place between these Cheifs but at that instant knew not the cause; we afterwards learnt that it was on the subject of our horses. this contreversy between the cheifs detained us about 20 minutes; in order to put an end to this dispute as well as to releive our horses from the embarasment of their loads, we informed the Cheifs that we should continue our march to the first water and encamp accordingly we moved on and the Indians all followed. about two miles on the road we arrived at a little branch which run to the wright. here we encamped for the evening having traveled 6 miles today. the two cheifs with their little bands formed seperate camps at a short distance from ours, they all appeared to be in an ill humour. we had been informed some days since that the natives had discovered the deposit of our saddles and taken them away and that our horses were much scattered. we were very anxious to learn the particulars or truth of these reports from the twisted hair, as it must in some measure govern us in the establishment of our perminent camp which in consequence of our detention by the snow of the mountains has become necessary. to obtain our horses and saddles as quickly as possible is our wish, and we are somewhat apprehensive that this difference which has taken place between these Chiefs may millitate against our operations in this rispect. we were therefore desireous to bring about a good understanding between them as soon as possible. The Shoshone boy refused to speak, he aledged it was a quarrel between two Cheifs and that he had no business with it; it was in vain that we urged that his interpreting what we said on this subject was not taking the responsibil ity of the inteference on himself, he remained obstenately silent. about an hour after we had encamped Drewyer returned from hunting we sent him to the Twisted hair to make some enquiries relative to our horses and saddles and to ask him to come and smoke with us. The Twisted hair accepted the invitation and came to our fire. The twisted hair informed us that accordingly to the promis he had made us when he seperated from us at the falls of the Columbia he collected our horses on his return and took charge of them, that about this time the Cutnose or Neeshneparkkeook and Tun-nach'-emoo-tools or the broken arm returned from a war excurtion against the Shoshonees on the South branch of Lewis's river which had caused their absence when we were in this neighbourhood. that these men became dissatisfyed with him in consequence of our having confided the horses to his care and that they were eternally quarreling with him insomuch that he thought it best as he was an old man to relinquish any further attention to the horses, that they had consequently become scattered; that most of the horses were near this place, a part were in the forks between the Chopunnish and Kooskooske rivers and three or four others were at the lodge of the broken Arm about half a days march higher up the river. he informed us with rispect to our saddles that on the rise of the water this spring the earth had fallen from the door of the cash and exposed the saddles, he being informed of their situation had taken them up and placed them in another cash where they were at this time; he said it was probable that a part of them had fallen into the water but of this he was not certain. The Twisted hair said if we would spend the day tomorrow at his lodge which was a few miles only from hence and on the road leading to the Broken arm's lodge, he would collect such of our horses as were near this place and our saddles, that he would also send some young men over the Kooskooske to collect those in the forks and bring them to the lodge of the broken Arm to met us. he advised us to go to the lodge of the broken Arm as he said he was a Cheif of great emenence among them, and promised to accompany us thither if we wished him. we told him that we should take his advice in every particular, that we had confided the horses to his care and expected that he would collect them and deliver them to us which when he performed we should pay him the two guns and amunition we had promised him for that service. he seemed much pleased and promised his utmost exertions. we sent Drewyer to the Cutnose who also came to our fire and smoked with ourselves and the Twisted hair we took occasion in the course of the evening to express our regret that there should be a misunderstanding between these Cheifs; the Cutnose told us in the presents of the Twisted hair that he the twisted hair was a bad old man that he woar two faces, that in stead of taking care of our horses as he had promised us that he had suffered his young men to ride them hunting and had injured them very much; that this was the cause why himself and the Broken arm had forbid his using them. the other made no reply. we informed the Cutnose of our intention of spending tomorrow at the Twisted hair's lodge in order to collect our horses and saddles and that we should proceede the next day to the Broken Arm's lodge, he appeared well satisfyed with this arrangement and said he would continue with us, and would give us any assistance in his power; he said he knew the broken arm expected us at his lodge and that he had two bad horses for us, metaphorically speaking a present of two good horses. he said the broken arm had learnt our want of provision and had sent four of his young men with a supply to meet us but that they had taken a different road and had missed us.- about 10 P.M. our guests left us and we layed down to rest.
Thursday 8th of May 1806. This morning our hunters was out by the time it was light. about 8 oClock Shields brought in a Small deer, on which we brackfast by 11 A.M. all our hunters returned Drewyer & P. Crusat brought in a Deer each & Collins wounded one which our Dog Caught near our Camp. Total of our Stock of provisions 4 deer & Some horse flesh. on the Small Creek which passes our Camp, the nativs have laterly encamped and as we are informed have been much distressed for provisions, they have fallen a number of Small pine in the vicinity of this Encampment for the Seed which is in the bur of which they eate. we are informed that they were Compelled to Collect the moss off the pine boil & eate it in the latter part of the last Winter. on the Creek near our Camp I observed a kind of trap which was made with great panes to catch the Small fish which pass down with the Stream This was a dam formed of Stone So as to Collect the water in a narrow part not exceeding 3 feet wide from which place the water Shot with great force and Scattered through Some Small willows Closely connected and fastened with bark. this mat of willow Switches was about 4 feet wide and 6 long lying in a horozontal position, fastened at the extremety. the Small fish which fell on those willows was washed on the Willows where they untill taken off &c. I cought or took off those willows 9 Small trout from 3 to 7 Inches in length. Soon after I returned from the fishery an Indian came from a fishery of a Similar kind a little above with 12 Small fish which he offered me which I declined axcepting as I found from his Signs that his house was a Short distance above, and that those fisheries afforded the principal part of the food for his Children. The Great Chief of the Bands below who has a cut nose joined us this morning. we gave the interals with 4 young fauns which was in two of the deer killed to day to the Indians also some of our deer & horse flesh. the Paunch of the deer they eate without any preperation further than washing them a little. the fauns they boiled and eate every part of them even the Skins with the hair. The Snake Indian was much displeased that he was not furnished with as much Deer as he could eate. he refused to Speake to the wife of Shabono, through whome we Could understand the nativs. we did not indulge him and in the after part of the day he Came too and Spoke verry well. one of the Indians drew me a Sketch of the river (See the latter part of this book) in this Sketch he makes the 1st large Southerly fork of Lewis's river much the longest and on which great numbers of the Snake Indians reside &c. at ____ P.M. we loaded up and Set on on the roade leading as we were informed to the lodge of the twisted hair, the Chief in whoes Care we had left our horses. we were accompanied by the Cut nose Chief our old Chief who had accompanied us down the river and Several men. we assended the hills which was Steep and emencely high to a leavel rich Country thinly timbered with pine. we had not proceeded more than 4 miles before we met the twisted hair and Several men meeting of us. we were verry coolly recved by the twisted hair. he Spoke aloud and was answered by the Cut Nose. we Could not learn what they Said. but plainly discovered that a missunderstanding had taken place between them. we made Signs to them that we Should proceed on to the next water and encamp. accordingly I set out and they all followed. we had not proceeded far before the road Crossed a Small handsom Stream on which we encamped. The parties of those two Chiefs took different positions at Some distance from each other and all appeared Sulkey. after we had formed our Camp we Sent Drewyer with a pipe to Smoke with the twisted hair and lern the Cause of the dispute between him and the Cut nose, and also to invite him to our fire to Smoke with us. The twisted hair came to our fire to Smoke we then Sent drewyer to the Cut Noses fire with the Same directions. he returned and informed us that the Cut nose Said he would join us in a fiew minits. it appears that the Cause of the quarrel between those two men is about our horses. and we cannot lern the particulars of this quarrel which probably originated through jelousy on the part of the Cut nose who blames the twisted hair for Suffer our horses to be rode, and want water dureing the Winter &c. twisted hair Says the horses were taken from him &c. The Cut nose joined us in a Short time We Smoked with all the party of both Chiefs, and told them that we were Sorry to find them at varience with each other the cut nose said that the twisted hair was a bad man and wore two fases, that he had not taken care of our horses as was expected. that himself an the broken arm had Caused our horses to be Watered in the winter and had them drove together, and that if we would proceed on to the village of the great Chief whome we had left a flag last fall the broken arm he would Send for our horses, that he had himself three of them. he also informed us that the great Chief hering of our distressed Situation had Sent his Son and 4 men to meet us and have us furnished on the way &c. that the young men had missed us and Could never over take us untill this time. that the great chief had 2 bad horses for us and expected us to go to his lodge which was near the river and about half a days march above &c. The twisted hair told us that he wished to Smoke with us at his lodge which was on the road leading to the Great Chiefs lodge, and but a fiew miles a head. if we would delay at his lodge tomorrow he would go after our Saddles and horses which was near the place we made our Canoes last fall. we deturmined to Set out early in the morning and proceed on to the lodge of the twisted hair and Send for our Saddles and powder which we had left burried mear the forks. and the day after tomorrow to proceed on to the lodge of the Grand Chief. accordingly we informed the Indians of our intentions. we all Smoked and conversed untill about 10 P M. the Indians retired and we lay down. Derected 5 hunters to turn out early in the morning to hunt and meet us at the twisted hair's lodge.