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The Two Rivers of Lewis & Clark
Entries For August 24:
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As the Indians who were on their way down the Missouri had a number of spare horses with them, I thought it probable that I could obtain some of them and therefore desired the chief to speak to them and inform me whether they would trade. They gave no positive answer but requested to see the goods which I was willing to give in exchange. I now produced some battle axes which I had made at Fort Mandan, with which they were much pleased. Knives also seemed in great demand among them. I soon purchased three horses and a mule.
I had now nine horses and a mule, and two which I had hired made twelve. These I had loaded, and the Indian women took the balance of the baggage. I had given the interpreter some articles with which to purchase a horse for the woman, which he had obtained. At twelve o'clock we set out, and passed the river below the forks, directing our route toward the cove along the track formerly mentioned. Most of the horses were heavily laden, and it appears to me that it will require at least 25 horses to convey our baggage along such roads as I expect we shall be obliged to pass in the mountains. I had now the inexpressible satisfaction to find myself once more under way with all my baggage and party.
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.