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The Two Rivers of Lewis & Clark
Entries For December 9:
Captain Clark (current)
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I set out in a westerly direction, crossed 3 slashes, and arrived at a creek. Met 3 Indians loaded with fresh salmon. Those Indians made signs that they had a town on the seacoast at no great distance, and invited me to go to their town. They had a canoe hid in the creek; we crossed in this little canoe. After crossing, 2 of the Indians took the canoe on their shoulders and carried it across to the other creek, about 1/4 of a mile. We crossed the 2nd creek and proceeded on to the mouth of the creek, which makes a great bend. Above the mouth of this creek, or to the south, are 3 houses and about 12 families of the Clatsop nation. We crossed to those houses.
Those people treated me with extraordinary friendship. One man attached himself to me as soon as I entered the hut, spread down new mats for me to sit on, gave me fish, berries, roots, etc. All the men of the other houses came and smoked with me. In the evening an old woman presented in a bowl made of a light-colored horn, a kind of syrup made of dried berries which the natives call shale-well. They gave me a kind of soup made of bread of the shale-well berries mixed with roots, which they presented in neat trenchers made of wood.
When I was disposed to go to sleep, the man who had been most attentive, named Cuscalah, produced 2 new mats and spread them near the fire, and directed his wife to go to his bed, which was the signal for all to retire. I had not been long on my mats before I was attacked most violently by the fleas, and they kept up a close siege during the night.
Reprinted by permission of the American Studies Programs at the University of Virginia.
The complete text can also be downloaded for printing from their website.