Lewis and Clark reveal secrets of journey by Bob Karolevitz Everybody seems to be excited about the anniversary of the Lewis and Clark expedition, so I thought I would use my Reverse Time Machine to get an interview with the two captains.
(Saint Peter said that Meriwether Lewis and William Clark could spend a little time with me as long as I didn't take them some place where their halos might get tarnished.)
Here, then, is the result of that interview.
W-a-L: "Did you know that your little cross-country jaunt would stir up so much interest 100 years later?"
Meriwether: "Good grief, no! Why, the Lewis and Clark groupies have studied our wanderings down to the finest detail."
Billy Clark: "Shucks, I'm surprised that they haven't even recorded our potty stops."
W-a-L: "You're an integral part of our history now, and folks want to know all about you and your expedition."
ML: "But telling about men dancing with men and rattlesnake rattles to hasten pregnancy? Isn't that carrying it a bit too far?"
BC: "I wouldn't want to do it today. CNN would have a field day with us. And we could never pay our way with beads, mirrors and phoney medals."
W-a-L: "York was a big hit, wasn't he?"
Lewis: "Yes, and we didn't have affirmative action either."
Clark: "And Seaman, the dog, was a special attraction, too. I just hoped that he wouldn't end up in a kettle some place."
W-a-L: "You can probably clear up that mystery about Sacagawea. Is she the one buried at Fort Manuel, or did she have an after-life, finally ending up in the cemetery in Wyoming?"
ML: "Hah, I'm going to keep you dangling on that one. Why don't you just ask the Bird Woman with your Reverse Time Machine some time?"
W-a-L: "According to the legend, you had a crush on her, didn't you, Captain Clark?"
BC: "She was a cutie all right, but way too young. Besides that, she had a baby."
W-a-L: "What about Private Shannon? He's quite a hero now."
Meriwether: "That fool kid got way ahead of the party. It's lucky he didn't get killed."
William C: "Yah, we didn't think we'd ever see him again."
W-a-L: "It sounds like you had a lot of health problems on the trip."
ML: "Oh, I had to play doctor many times, but I couldn't do much for poor Sergeant Floyd."
BC: "We could have used a CAT Scan or one of your modern technologies, but all we had was 90 dollars' worth of laudanum, tartar emetic, bilious pills, a few lancets, etc."
W-a-L: "I don't suppose you want to comment about what really happened on the Natchez Trace, Captain Lewis? Was it foul play or suicide?"
Meriwether: "Well, I got to the Pacific Ocean and back, gave my report to President Jefferson and he made me governor of the Louisiana Territory. But I drank too much and didn't get along with the ladies. Let's just say that Steve Ambrose got most of it right in his book, Undaunted Courage."
W-a-L: "Is there anything you would have done differently now that your journals have been published and are so well read?"
Lewis: For one thing I would have polished up my spelling."
Clark: "Me, too!"
W-a-L: "Thank you for the time you've spent with me. Now you can go back to playing your harps. You made history all right, but I'm afraid you haven't answered all the questions which your fans are still asking. Maybe next time!?!"
© 2003 Robert F. Karolevitz