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The Two Rivers of Lewis & Clark
Entries For June 25:
Captain Lewis (current)
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This morning early I sent the party back to the lower camp; dispatched Frazer down with the canoe for Drouilliard and the meat he had collected, and Joseph Fields up the Missouri to hunt elk. At eight o'clock, sent Gass and Shields over to the large island for bark and timber.
About noon Fields returned and informed me that he had seen two white bear near the river a few miles above and, in attempting to get a shot at them, had stumbled upon a third, which immediately made at him, being only a few steps distant; that in running in order to escape from the bear he had leaped down a steep bank of the river on a stony bar, where he fell, cut his hand, bruised his knees and bent his gun; that fortunately for him the bank hid him from the bear when he fell; and that by that means he had escaped. This man has been truly unfortunate with these bear. This is the second time that he has narrowly escaped from them.
The party that returned this evening to the lower camp reached it in time to take one canoe on the plain and prepare their baggage for an early start in the morning, after which such as were able to shake a foot amused themselves in dancing on the green to the music of the violin, which Cruzat plays extremely well. Captain Clark somewhat unwell today. He made Charbonneau cook for the party against their return.
It is worthy of remark that the winds are sometimes so strong in these plains that the men informed me that they hoisted a sail in the canoe and it had driven her along on the truck wheels. This is really sailing on dry land.
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.