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Entries For July 9:
Captain Lewis (current)
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The wind continued violent until late in the evening, by which time we discovered that a greater part of the composition had separated from the skins, and left the seams of the boat exposed to the water, and she leaked in such manner that she would not answer. I need not add that this circumstance mortified me not a little; and to prevent her leaking without pitch was impossible with us, and to obtain this article was equally impossible, therefore the evil was irreparable. I now found that the section formed of the buffalo hides on which some hair had been left, answered much the best purpose. This leaked but little, and the parts which were well covered with hair about l/8 of an inch in length retained the composition perfectly and remained sound and dry. From these circumstances I am persuaded that had I formed her with buffalo skins, singed not quite as close as I had done those I employed, she would have answered even with this composition. But to make any further experiments in our present situation seemed to me madness. The buffalo had principally deserted us, and the season was now advancing fast. I therefore relinquished all further hope of my favorite boat, and ordered her to be sunk in the water, that the skins might become soft in order the better to take her to pieces tomorrow, and deposited the iron frame at this place as it could probably be of no further service to us.
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.