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The Two Rivers of Lewis & Clark
Entries For April 15:
Captain Lewis (current)
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Set out at an early hour this morning. I walked on shore, and Captain Clark continued with the party, it being an invariable rule with us not to be both absent from our vessels at the same time. I passed through the bottoms of the river on the starboard side. They were partially covered with timber, were extensive, level, and beautiful. In my walk, which was about 6 miles, I passed a small rivulet of clear water making down from the hills, which, on tasting, I discovered to be in a small degree brackish. It possessed less of the Glauber salts, or alum, than those little streams from the hills usually do.
In a little pond of water, formed by this rivulet where it entered the bottom, I heard the frogs crying for the first time this season. Their note was the same as that of the small frogs which are common to the lagoons and swamps of the United States. I saw greater quantities of geese feeding in the bottoms, of which I shot one. Saw some deer and elk, but they were remarkably shy. I also met with great numbers of grouse or prairie hens, as they are called by the English traders of the N.W. These birds appeared to be mating; the note of the male is kuck, kuck, kuck, coo, coo, coo. The first part of the note both male and female use when flying. The male also drums with his wings, something like the pheasant, but by no means as loud. After breakfast, Captain Clark walked on the starboard shore.
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.