[Clark] The party Sent for the meat this morning returned with it in the evening; it was in verry inferior order, in Short the animals were pore. Rieuben Field Shannon and Labiech remained in the woods to hunt. our late Supply of Salt is out. we have not heard a word of the other hunters who are below us towards point adams and the Praries. Some rain this day at intervales—
there are three Species of fern in this neighbourhood the root one of which the nativs eate; that of which the nativs eate produce no flowers whatever or fruit of a fine green Colour and the top is annual, and in Course dead at present.
I observe no difference between the licorice of this Countrey and that Common to maney parts of the United States where it is sometimes Cultivated in our gardins—. this plant delights in a deep lose Sandy Soil; here it grows verry abundant and large; the nativs roste it in the embers and pound it Slightly with a Small Stick in order to make it Seperate more readily from the Strong liggaments which forms the center of the root; this they discard and chew and Swallow the ballance of the root; this last is filled with a number of thin membrencies like network, too tough to be masticated and which I find it necessary also to discard. This root when roasted possesses an agreeable flavour not unlike the Sweet potato. The root of the thistle (described yesterday) after undergoing the process of Sweting or bakeing in a kiln is Sometimes eaten with the train oil also, at other times pounded fine and mixed with Cold water, untill reduced to the Consistancy of Gruel; in this way I think it verry agreeable. but the most valuable of all their roots is foreign to this neighbourhood I mean the Wappetoe.
The Wappetoe, or bulb of the Sagitifolia or common arrow head, which grows in great abundance in the marshey grounds of that butifull and fertile vally on the Columbia commenceing just above the quick Sand River and extending downwards for about 70 miles. this bulb forms a principal article of trafic between the inhabitents of the vally and those of their neighbourhood or Sea coast.
Perhaps the quality as well as quanity of the local game animals makes our two captains post a good many thoughts about the edible roots of the Columbia River valley. Neither of them have actually mentioned sending men out digging roots up, but it may come to that.