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The water of the river still continues to become clearer and notwithstanding the rain which has fallen it is still much clearer than it was a few days past. this day we proceded with more labour and difficulty than we have yet experienced; in addition to the imbarrasments of the rappid courant, riffles, & rockey point which were as bad if not worse than yesterday, the banks and sides of the bluff were more steep than usual and were now rendered so slippery by the late rain that the men could scarcely walk. the chord is our only dependance for the courant is too rappid to be resisted with the oar and the river too deep in most places for the pole. the earth and stone also falling from these immence high bluffs render it dangerous to pass under them. the wind was also hard and against us. our chords broke several times today but happily without injury to the vessels. we had slight showers of rain through the course of the day, the air was could and rendered more disagreeable by the rain. one of the party ascended the river hills and reported on his return that there was snow intermixed with the rain which fell on the hights; he also informed us that the country was level a little back from the river on both sides. there is now no timber on the hills, an only a few scattering cottonwood, ash, box Alder and willows to be seen along the river. in the course of the day we passed several old encampment of Indians, from the apparent dates of which we conceived that they were the several encampments of a band of about 100 lodges who were progressing slowly up the river; the most recent appeared to have been evacuated about 5 weeks since. these we supposed to be the Minetares or black foot Indians who inhabit the country watered by the Suskashawan and who resort to the establishment of Fort de Prarie, no part of the Missouri from the Minetaries to this place furnishes a perminent residence for any nation yet there is no part of it but what exhibits appearances of being occasionally visited by some nation on hunting excurtions.
This morning we set forward at an early hour; the weather dark and cloudy, the are smokey, had a few drops of rain; we employed the chord generally to which we also gave the assistance of the pole at the riffles and rocky points; these are as numerous and many of them much worse than those we passed yesterday; arround those points the water drives with great force, and we are obliged in many instaces to steer our vessels through the appertures formed by the points of large sharp rocks which reach a few inches above the surface of the water, here sould our chord give way the bough is instantly drivin outwards by the stream and the vessel thrown with her side on the rocks where she must inevitably overset or perhaps be dashed to peices; our ropes are but slender, all of them except one being made of Elk's skin and much woarn, frequently wet and exposed to the heat of the weather are weak and rotten; they have given way several times in the course of the day but happily at such places that the vessel had room to wheel free of the rocks and therefore escaped injury; with every precaution we can take it is with much labour and infinite risk that we are enabled to get around these points. found a new indian lodge pole today which had been brought down by the stream, it was woarn at one end as if draged by dogs or horses; a football also, and several other articles were found, which have been recently brought down by the courant; these are strong evedences of Indians being on the river above us, and probably at no great distance; the football is such as I have seen among the Minetaries and therefore think it most probable that they are a band of the Minetaries of Fort de Prarie. the river country &c continued much as yesterday untill late in the evening when we arrived at the entrance of a large Creek discharges itself on the Stard. side, is 35 Yd. wide and contains runing water; here the hills recede from the river on both sides, the bottoms extensive particularly on the Stard. side where the hills are comparitively low and open into three large vallies which extend for a considerable distance in a Northwardly direction; here also the river spreads to more than 3 times it's former width and is filled with a number of small and handsome Islands covered with cottonwood some timber also in the bottoms, the land again fertile.
I ascended it 11/2 miles, and found it the discharge of a pond or small lake, which had the appearance of having formerly been the bed of the Missouri. several small streems discharge themselves into this lake. the country on both sides consists of beautifull level and elivated plains; asscending as they recede from the Missouri; there were a great number of Swan and gees in this lake and near it's borders I saw the remains of 43 temperary Indian lodges, which I presume were those of the Assinniboins who are now in the neighbourhood of the British establishments on the Assinniboin river-" This lake and it's discharge we call Boos Egg from the circumstance of Capt Clark shooting a goose while on her nest in the top of a lofty cotton wood tree, from which we afterwards took one egg. the wild gees frequently build their nests in this manner, at least we have already found several in trees, nor have we as yet seen any on the ground, or sand bars where I had supposed from previous information that they most commonly deposited their eggs. saw some Bufhaloe and Elk at a distance today but killed none of them. we found a number of carcases of the Buffaloe lying along shore, which had been drowned by falling through the ice in winter and lodged on shore by the high water when the river broke up about the first of this month. we saw also many tracks of the white bear of enormous size, along the river shore and about the carcases of the Buffaloe, on which I presume they feed. we have not as yet seen one of these anamals, tho their tracks are so abundant and recent. the men as well as ourselves are anxious to meet with some of these bear. the Indians give a very formidable account of the strengh and ferocity of this anamal, which they never dare to attack but in parties of six eight or ten persons; and are even then frequently defeated with the loss of one or more of their party. the savages attack this anamal with their bows and arrows and the indifferent guns with which the traders furnish them, with these they shoot with such uncertainty and at so short a distance, that they frequently mis their aim & fall a sacrefice to the bear. two Minetaries were killed during the last winter in an attack on a white bear. this anamall is said more frequently to attack a man on meeting with him, than to flee from him.