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Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition

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 dogs 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 [EC: Spatula clypeata] of an uncommon kind. [1]    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 [2] 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; [3] 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, [4] through which we passed parrallel with the river about 4 miles when we met the Twisted hair [5] 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 Neeshnepark-keook; 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. [6]    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 responsibility 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'-e-moo-toolt or the broken arm [7] 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 relinguish 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.

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Summary | 2 Annotations
2020/09/06 00:00
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.
2020/09/06 00:01