He Believed Them, He Added, To Be
Bad People, And They Must Therefore Return To Their Companions;
For If They
Crossed over to our camp we would put them to death.
They asked for some corn, which Captain Clark refused;
They then requested permission to come and visit our camp,
but he ordered them back to their own people. He then returned,
and all our arms were prepared, in case of an attack; but when
the Indians reached their comrades, and informed their chiefs
of our intention, they all set out on their way to their own camp;
though some of them halted on a rising ground and abused us
very copiously, threatening to kill us if we came across.
We took no notice of this for some time, till the return of three
of our hunters, whom we were afraid the Indians might have met.
But as soon as they joined us we embarked; and to see what
the Indians would attempt, steered near their side of the river.
At this the party on the hill seemed agitated; some set out
for their camp, others walked about, and one man walked toward
the boats and invited us to land. As he came near, we recognized
him to be the same who had accompanied us for two days in 1804,
and was considered a friend of the whites.
"Unwilling, however, to have any intercourse with these people,
we declined his invitation, upon which he returned to the hill,
and struck the earth three times with his gun, a great oath among
the Indians, who consider swearing by the earth as one of the most
solemn forms of imprecation.
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