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Entries For September 7:
Captain Clark (current)
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A very cold morning. Wind S.E. Set out at daylight. We landed after proceeding 5 1/2 miles, near the foot of a round mountain, which I saw yesterday, resembling a dome. Captain Lewis and myself walked up to the top, which forms a cone and is about 70 feet higher than the high lands around it. The base is about 300 feet. In descending this cupola, discovered a village of small animals that burrow in the ground. (Those animals are called by the French petit chien) Killed one, and caught one alive, by pouring a great quantity of water in his hole.
We attempted to dig to the beds of one of those animals. After digging 6 feet, found, by running a pole down, that we were not halfway to his lodge. We found 2 frogs in the hole, and killed a dark rattlesnake near with a ground rat [or prairie dog] in him. Those rats are numerous. The village of those animals covered about 4 acres of ground on a gradual descent of a hill, and contains great numbers of holes on the top of which those little animals sit erect, and make a whistling noise, and, when alarmed, step into their hole. We poured into one of the holes 5 barrels of water without filling it.
Those animals are about the size of a small squirrel, shorter [or longer] and thicker, the head much resembling a squirrel in every respect, except the ears, which are shorter. His tail like a ground squirrel, which they shake, and whistle when alarmed. The toenails long. They have fine fur and the longer hair is gray. It is said that a kind of lizard, also a snake, resides with those animals. [Did not find this correct.] Camped.
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.