June 8, 1806
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June 8, 1806


Drewyer returned this morning from the chase without having killed anything.    his hose left him last night, he pursued him but did not overtake him untill he had nearly reached our canip. The sick Cheif is fast on the recovery, he can bear his weight on his legs, and has acquired a considerable portion of strength.    the child is nearly well; Bratton has so far recovered that we cannot well consider him an invalid any longer, he has had a tedious illness which he boar with much fortitude and firmness.—    The Cutnose visited us today with ten or twelve warriors; two of the latter were Y-e-let-pos [X: Willetpos ] a band of the Chopunnish nation residing on the South side of Lewis's river whom we have not previously seen.    the band with which we have been most conversent call themselves pel-late-pal-ler. [1]    one of the yeletpos exchanged his horse for an indifferent one of ours and received a tomahawk to boot; this tomahawk was one for which Capt. C. had given another in exchange with the Clah-clel-lâh Chief at the rapids of the Columbia. [2]    we also exchanged two other of our indifferent horses with unsound backs for much better horses in fine order without any consideration but the horse itself.    several foot rarces were run this evening between the indians and our men. the indians are very active; one of them proved as fleet as 〈our best runner〉 Drewer and R. Fields, our swiftest runners.    when the racing was over the men divided themselves into two parties and played prison base, [3] by way of exercise which we wish the men to take previously to entering the mountain; in short those who are not hunters have had so little to do that they are geting reather lazy and slouthfull.—    after dark we had the violin played and danced for the amusement of ourselves and the indians.—    one of the indians informed us that we could not pass the mountains untill the full of the next moon or about the first of July, that if we attempted it sooner our horses would be at least three days travel without food on the top of the mountain; this information is disagreable inasmuch as it causes some doubt as to the time at which it will be most proper for us to set out.    however as we have no time to loose we will wrisk the chances and set out as early as the indians generally think it practicable or the middle of this month.—


Drewyer returned this morning from the chase without killing any thing.    his horse left him last night and he prosued him near our camp before he cought him. The Sick Chief is much mended, he can bear his weight on his legs and recovers Strength.    the Child has nearly recovered. The Cut nose and ten or 12 came over today to visit us, two of those were of the tribes from the plains of Lewis's river whome we had not before Seen; one of those men brought a horse which I gave a tomahawk which I had exchanged for with the Chief of the Clahclahlah's [4] Nation below the Great rapids of Columbia, and broken-down horse which was not able to Cross the mountains.    we also exchanged 2 of our indeferent horses for Sound back horses.    in the evening Several foot races were run by the men of our party and the Indians; after which our party divided and played at prisoners base untill night.    after dark the fiddle was played and the party amused themselves in danceing.    one of those Indians informed us that we could not cross the mountains untill the full of the next moon, or about the 1st of July.    if we attempted it Sooner our horses would be three days without eateing, on the top of the Mountns. this information is disagreeable to us, in as much as it admits of Some doubt, as to the time most proper for us to Set out.    at all events we Shall Set out at or about the time which the indians Seem to be generally agreed would be the most proper.    about the middle of this month—.


Sunday 8th June 1806.    the 2 men returnd from the villages.    a number of the natives visited us and gave Frazer a fine young horse    a number of the natives joined and got out our canoe which was Sank.    our party exercised themselves running and playing games called base    in the evening danced after the fiddle as the Indians were anxious to See them.


Sunday 8th.    There was a pleasant morning; and our two men [5] came over from the village, and a hunter, [6] who had been out, returned without killing any thing. Several of the natives still stay about our camp, [7] and are of opinion we cannot cross the mountains for some time yet. We, however, mean to remove a short distance to where the hunting is better.

1. Perhaps the Palouses, whom Lewis and Clark might have considered a part of the Chopunnish nation because both groups spoke the Shahaptian language (see October 11, 1805). Hodge, 2:195; Trafzer & Scheuerman. However, Roderick Sprague believes that they were Nez Perces from one of two villages on the Snake River above the mouth of the Clearwater. Lewis's term then might refer to 'ipelú.tpu, "something sticking into the water," or paló.tpu, "light green color," the names of the villages. Sprague's position is based on the evidence of location plus several later historical references. He is supported in this by other investigators. Sprague (MP), 23–26; Spinden, 239–40; Thompson (EHPR), 70. (back)
3. Otherwise prisoner's base, a boys' game in which each side tries to make prisoner the members of the opposing side who run out of their base area. Criswell, 68. (back)
4. Clark may have inserted this word later in a blank space. (back)
5. Whitehouse and Goodrich; see the captains and Ordway for June 7. (back)
6. Drouillard, say the captains. (back)
7. Some of them ran foot races with members of the party, the captains relate. (back)