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Entries For August 22:
Captain Lewis (current)
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This morning early, I sent a couple of men to complete the covering of the cache, which could not be done well last night in the dark. They soon accomplished their work and returned. Late last night Drouilliard returned with a fawn he had killed, and a considerable quantity of Indian plunder.
The anecdote with respect to the latter is perhaps worthy of relation. He informed me that, while hunting in the cove yesterday, about 12 o'clock he came suddenly upon an Indian camp at which there were a young man, an old man, and a boy and three women; they seemed but little surprised at seeing him, and he rode up to them and dismounted turning his horse out to graze. These people had just finished their repast on some roots. He entered into conversation with them by signs, and after about 20 minutes one of the women spoke to the others of the party, and they all went immediately and collected their horses, brought them to camp, and saddled them. At this moment, he thought he would also set out and continue his hunt, and accordingly walked to catch his horse at some little distance, and neglected to take up his gun, which he left at camp.
The Indians, perceiving him at the distance of fifty paces, immediately mounted their horses, the young man took the gun, and the whole of them left their baggage, and laid whip to their horses, directing their course to the pass of the mountains. Finding himself deprived of his gun, he immediately mounted his horse and pursued.
After running them about 10 miles, the horses of two of the women nearly gave out and the young fellow with the gun, from their frequent cries, slackened his pace and, being on a very fleet horse, rode around the women at a little distance. At length Drouilliard overtook the women and by signs convinced them that he did not wish to hurt them. They then halted, and the young fellow approached still nearer. He asked him for his gun, but the only part of the answer which he could understand, was "Pahkee," which he knew to be the name by which they called their enemies.
Watching his opportunity when the fellow was off his guard, he suddenly rode alongside of him, seized his gun, and wrested it out of his hands. The fellow, finding Drouilliard too strong for him and discovering that he must yield the gun, had presence of mind to open the pan and cast the priming before he let the gun escape from his hands. Now finding himself divested of the gun, he turned his horse about and laid whip, leaving the women to follow him as well as they could. Drouilliard now returned to the place they had left their baggage and brought it with him to my camp.
At 11 a.m. Charbonneau, the Indian woman, Cameahwait, and about 50 men, with a number of women and children, arrived. They encamped near us. After they had turned out their horses and arranged their camp, I called the chiefs and warriors together and addressed them; gave them some further presents, particularly the second and third chiefs, who, it appeared, had agreeably to their promise exerted themselves in my favor.
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.