We Hurried To The Bank,
And Saw With Exquisite Satisfaction Our Friends Descending The River.
They Landed To Greet Us, And After Turning Our Horses Loose,
We Embarked With Our Baggage, And Went Down To The Spot Where We
Had Made A Deposite.
This, after reconnoitring the adjacent country,
we opened; but, unfortunately, the cache had caved in,
and most of the articles were injured.
We took whatever was still
worth preserving, and immediately proceeded to the point, where we
found our deposits in good order. By a singular good fortune,
we were here joined by Sergeant Gass and Willard from the Falls,
who had been ordered to come with the horses here to assist in procuring
meat for the voyage, as it had been calculated that the canoes
would reach this place much sooner than Captain Lewis's party.
After a very heavy shower of rain and hail, attended with violent
thunder and lightning, we started from the point, and giving a final
discharge to our horses, went over to the island where we had left
our red pirogue, which, however, we found much decayed, and we had
no means of repairing her. We therefore took all the iron work out
of her, and, proceeding down the river fifteen miles, encamped near
some cottonwood trees, one of which was of the narrow-leafed species,
and the first of that kind we had remarked in ascending the river.
"Sergeant Ordway's party, which had left the mouth of Madison River
on the thirteenth, had descended in safety to White Bear Island,
where he arrived on the nineteenth, and, after collecting the baggage,
had left the falls on the twenty-seventh in the white pirogue and
five canoes, while Sergeant Gass and Willard set out at the same time
by land with the horses, and thus fortunately met together."
Sergeant Ordway's party, it will be recollected, had left
Captain Clark at the three forks of the Missouri, to which they
had come down the Jefferson, and thence had passed down
the Missouri to White Bear Islands, and, making the portage,
had joined the rest of the party just in time to reinforce them.
Game was now abundant the buffalo being in enormous herds;
and the bighorn were also numerous; the flesh of these animals
was in fine condition, resembling the best of mutton in flavor.
The reunited party now descended the river, the intention being
to reach the mouth of the Yellowstone as soon as possible,
and there wait for Captain Clark, who, it will be recalled,
was to explore that stream and meet them at the point of its
junction with the Missouri.
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