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The Two Rivers of Lewis & Clark
Entries For August 8:
Captain Clark (current)
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At 8 A.M., Sergeant N. Pryor, Shannon, Hall, and Windsor came down the river in two canoes made of buffalo skins. Sergeant Pryor informed me that the second night after he parted with me on the Yellowstone, he arrived about 4 P.M. on the banks of a large creek, which contained no running water. He halted to let the horses graze, during which time a heavy shower of rain raised the creek so high that several horses which had straggled across the channel of this creek were obliged to swim back. Here he determined to continue all night, it being in good food for the horses. In the morning he could see no horses.
In looking about their camp, they discovered several tracks within 100 paces of their camp, which they pursued. Found where they [Indians] had caught and driven off all the horses. They pursued on five miles. The Indians there divided into two parties. They continued in pursuit of the largest party five miles further. Finding that there was not the smallest chance of overtaking them, they returned to their camp and packed up their baggage on their backs, and steered a N.E. course to the river Yellowstone, which they struck at Pompey's Tower.
There they killed a buffalo bull and made a canoe in the form and shape of the Mandans and Arikaras - the form of a basin.
On the night of the 26th ulto., the night after the horses I had been stolen, a wolf bit Sergeant Pryor through his hand when asleep, and this animal was so vicious as to make an attempt to seize Windsor, when Shannon fortunately shot him. Sergeant Pryor's hand has nearly recovered. The country through which Sergeant Pryor passed after he parted with me is a broken open country. He passed one small river, which I have called Pryor's River, which rises in a mountain to the south of Pompey's Tower. The note I left on a pole at the mouth of the Yellowstone Sergeant Pryor, concluding that Captain Lewis had passed, took and brought with him. Captain Lewis, I expect, will be certain of my passing by the sign which I have made, and the encampment immediately in the point.
Sergeant Pryor, being anxious to overtake me, set out some time before day this morning, and forgot his saddle-bags, which contain his papers, &c. I sent Bratton back with him in search of them. After dark, Sergeant Pryor returned with his saddlebags, &c. They were much further up than he expected.
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.