his pursuer, whom he recognized as the Attorney Brown,

 people involved | time:2023-12-06 05:43:08

On the last day of October, the next of the more difficult rapids being near, Captain Clark went ahead to examine the "shoot," as the explorers called the place which we know as the chute. In the thick wood that bordered the river he found an ancient burial-place which he thus describes:--

his pursuer, whom he recognized as the Attorney Brown,

"It consists of eight vaults made of pine or cedar boards closely connected, about eight feet square and six in height; the top covered with wide boards sloping a little, so as to convey off the rain. The direction of all of these vaults is east and west, the door being on the eastern side, partially stopped with wide boards decorated with rude pictures of men and other animals. On entering he found in some of them four dead bodies, carefully wrapped in skins, tied with cords of grass and bark, lying on a mat, in a direction east and west. The other vaults contained only bones, which were in some of them piled to the height of four feet. On the tops of the vaults, and on poles attached to them, bung brass kettles and frying-pans with holes in their bottoms, baskets, bowls, sea-shells, skins, pieces of cloth, hair, bags of trinkets and small bones--the offerings of friendship or affection, which have been saved by a pious veneration from the ferocity of war, or the more dangerous temptations of individual gain. The whole of the walls as well as the door were decorated with strange figures cut and painted on them; and besides were several wooden images of men, some so old and decayed as to have almost lost their shape, which were all placed against the sides of the vaults. These images, as well as those in the houses we have lately seen, do not appear to be at all the objects of adoration; in this place they were most probably intended as resemblances of those whose decease they indicate; when we observe them in houses, they occupy the most conspicuous part, but are treated more like ornaments than objects of worship."

his pursuer, whom he recognized as the Attorney Brown,

The white men were visited at their camp by many Indians from the villages farther up the stream. The journal says:--

his pursuer, whom he recognized as the Attorney Brown,

"We had an opportunity of seeing to-day the hardihood of the Indians of the neighboring village. One of the men shot a goose, which fell into the river and was floating rapidly toward the great shoot, when an Indian observing it plunged in after it. The whole mass of the waters of the Columbia, just preparing to descend its narrow channel, carried the animal down with great rapidity. The Indian followed it fearlessly to within one hundred and fifty feet of the rocks, where he would inevitably have been dashed to pieces; but seizing his prey he turned round and swam ashore with great composure. We very willingly relinquished our right to the bird in favor of the Indian who had thus saved it at the imminent hazard of his life; he immediately set to work and picked off about half the feathers, and then, without opening it, ran a stick through it and carried it off to roast."

With many hair's-breadth escapes, the expedition now passed through the rapids or "great shoot." The river here is one hundred and fifty yards wide and the rapids are confined to an area four hundred yards long, crowded with islands and rocky ledges. They found the Indians living along the banks of the stream to be kindly disposed; but they had learned, by their intercourse with tribes living below, to set a high value on their wares. They asked high prices for anything they had for sale. The journal says:--

"We cannot learn precisely the nature of the trade carried on by the Indians with the inhabitants below. But as their knowledge of the whites seems to be very imperfect, and as the only articles which they carry to market, such as pounded fish, bear-grass, and roots, cannot be an object of much foreign traffic, their intercourse appears to be an intermediate trade with the natives near the mouth of the Columbia. From them these people obtain, in exchange for their fish, roots, and bear-grass, blue and white beads, copper tea-kettles, brass armbands, some scarlet and blue robes, and a few articles of old European clothing. But their great object is to obtain beads, an article which holds the first place in their ideas of relative value, and to procure which they will sacrifice their last article of clothing or last mouthful of food. Independently of their fondness for them as an ornament, these beads are the medium of trade, by which they obtain from the Indians still higher up the river, robes, skins, chappelel bread, bear-grass, etc. Those Indians in turn employ them to procure from the Indians in the Rocky Mountains, bear-grass, pachico-roots, robes, etc.

"These Indians are rather below the common size, with high cheek-bones; their noses are pierced, and in full dress ornamented with a tapering piece of white shell or wampum about two inches long. Their eyes are exceedingly sore and weak; many of them have only a single eye, and some are perfectly blind. Their teeth prematurely decay, and in frequent instances are altogether worn away. Their general health, however, seems to be good, the only disorder we have remarked being tumors in different parts of the body."

The more difficult rapid was passed on the second day of November, the luggage being sent down by land and the empty canoes taken down with great care. The journal of that date says:--

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