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The Two Rivers of Lewis & Clark
Entries For July 14:
Captain Clark (current)
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Some hard showers of rain this morning prevented our setting out until seven o'clock. At half-past seven, the atmosphere became suddenly darkened by a black and dismal-looking cloud. At the time we were in a situation not to be bettered, near the upper point of the sand island, on which we lay, and [on] the opposite shore, the bank was falling in and lined with snags as far as we could see down. In this situation the storm, which passed over an open plain from the N.E., struck the oar boat on the starboard quarter, and would have thrown her up on the sand island dashed to pieces in an instant, had not the party leaped out on the leeward side, and kept her off with the assistance of the anchor and cable, until the storm was over. The waves washed over her windward side and she must have filled with water if the lockers, which are covered with tarpaulins, had not thrown off the water and prevented any quantity getting into the bilge of the boat. In this situation we continued about 40 minutes, when the storm suddenly ceased and the river became instantaneously as smooth as glass.
The two pirogues, during this storm, were in a similar situation with the boat about half a mile above. The wind shifted to the S.E., and we sailed up past a small island situated on the S.S., and dined, and continued two hours, men examined their arms. About a mile above this island we passed a small trading fort on the S.S., where Mr. Bennet of St. Louis traded with the Otos and Pawnees two years. I went on shore to shoot some elk on a sand bar to the L.S. I fired at one but did not get him. Several men unwell with boils, felons, &c. The river falls a little.
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.