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The Two Rivers of Lewis & Clark
Entries For August 20:
Captain Lewis (current)
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This morning I sent out the two hunters, and employed the balance of the party pretty much as yesterday. I walked down the river about 3/4 of a mile and selected a place near the river bank, unperceived by the Indians, for a cache which I set three men to make, and directed the sentinel to discharge his gun if he perceived any of the Indians going down in that direction, which was to be a signal for the men at work on the cache to desist and separate, lest these people should discover our deposit, and rob us of the baggage we intend leaving here.
By evening the cache was completed, unperceived by the Indians; and all our packages made up. The packsaddles and harness are not yet completed. In this operation, we find ourselves at a loss for nails and boards. For the former, we substitute thongs of rawhide, which answer very well, and for the latter [had] to cut off the blades of our oars and use the plank of some boxes which have heretofore held other articles, and put those articles into sacks of rawhide which I have had made for the purpose. By this means I have obtained as many boards as will make 20 saddles, which I suppose will be sufficient for our present exigencies. The Indians with us behave themselves extremely well.
This morning, Captain Clark set out at 6 in the morning, and soon after arrived near their camp, they [the Shoshones] having removed about 2 miles higher up the river than the camp at which they were when I first visited them. The chief requested a halt, which was complied with, and a number of the Indians came out from the village and joined them. After smoking a few pipes with them, they all proceeded to the village, where Captain Clark was conducted to a large lodge prepared in the center of the encampment for himself and party. Here they gave him one salmon and some cakes of dried berries. He now repeated to them what had been said to them in council at this place, which was repeated to the village by the chief. When he had concluded this address, he requested a guide to accompany him down the river, and an elderly man was pointed out by the chief who consented to undertake this task. This was the old man of whom Cameahwait had spoken as a person well acquainted with the country to the north of this river.
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.