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Entries For April 21:
Captain Lewis (current)
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Notwithstanding all the precautions I had taken with respect to the horses, one of them had broken his cord of five strands of elk skin and had gone off spanceled. I sent several men in search of the horse with orders to return at 10 A.M., with or without the horse, being determined to remain no longer with these villains. They stole another tomahawk from us this morning. I searched many of them but could not find it. I ordered all the spare poles, paddles, and the balance of our canoe put on the fire, as the morning was cold, and also that not a particle should be left for the benefit of the Indians.
I detected a fellow in stealing an iron socket of a canoe pole, and gave him several severe blows, and made the men kick him out of camp. I now informed the Indians that I would shoot the first of them that attempted to steal an article from us, that we were not afraid to fight them; that I had it in my power at that moment to kill them all and set fire to their houses, but it was not my wish to treat them with severity provided they would let my property alone. That I would take their horses if I could find out the persons who had stolen the tomahawks, but that I had rather lose the property altogether than take the horse of an innocent | person. The chiefs who were present hung their heads and said nothing.
At 9 A.M. Windsor returned with the lost horse. The others who were in search of the horse soon after returned also. The Indian who promised to accompany me as far as the Chopunnish [Nez Perce] country produced me two horses, one of which he politely gave me the liberty of packing. We took breakfast and departed, a few minutes after 10 o'clock, having nine horses loaded, and one which Bratton rode, not being able as yet to march. The two canoes I had dispatched early this morning.
At 1 P.M., I arrived at the Eneshur village, where I found Captain Clark and party. After dinner, we proceeded on about four miles to a village of 9 mat lodges of the Eneeshur, a little below the entrance of Clark's river [Des Chutes] and encamped.
Our guide continued with us. He appears to be an honest, sincere fellow. He tells us that the Indians a little above will treat us with much more hospitality than those we are now with. We purchased another horse this evening, but his back is in such a horrid state that we can put but little on him.
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.