Web and Book design,
Copyright, Kellscraft Studio
(Return to Web Text-ures)
Click Here to return to
Voyages from Montreal Through the Continent of North America
Return to the Previous Chapter
Tuesday, 18. — It rained throughout the night and till seven in the morning; nor was I sorry that the weather gave me an excuse for indulging my people with that additional rest, which their fatigues, during the last three days, rendered so comfortable to them. Before eight, however, we were on the water, and driven on by a strong current, when we steered East-South-East half a mile, South-West by South half a mile, South-South-East half a mile, South-West half a mile, went round to North-West half a mile, backed South-South-East three quarters of a mile, South-South-West half a mile, South by East a quarter of a mile, and South-West by South three quarters of a mile. Here the water had fallen considerably, so that several mud and sand-banks were visible. There was also a hill a-head, West-South-West.
The weather was so hazy that we could not see across the river, which is here about two hundred yards wide. We now proceeded South by West one third of a mile, when we saw a considerable quantity of beaver work along the banks, North-North-West half a mile, South-West by West one mile and a half, South-South-West one third of a mile, West by South one third of a mile, South by East half a mile. Mountains rose on the left, immediately above the river, whose summits were covered with snow; South-West half a mile, South a quarter of a mile, South-East one third of a mile, South-South-West half a mile. Here are several islands; we then veered to West by South a third of a mile, South-South-East a sixth of a mile. On the right, the land is high, rocky, and covered with wood; West-South-West one mile; a small river running in from the South-East; South-West half a mile, South three quarters of a mile, South-West half a mile, South by West half a mile. Here a rocky point protrudes from the left, and narrows the river to a hundred yards; South-East half a mile, East by South one eighth of a mile. The current now was very strong, but perfectly safe; South-East by South an eighth of a mile, West by North one third of a mile, South by West a twelfth of a mile, South-West one fourth of a mile. Here the high land terminates on one side of the river, while rocks rise to a considerable height immediately above the other, and the channel widens to a hundred and fifty yards, West by South one mile. The river now narrows again between rocks of a moderate height, North-North-East an eighth of a mile, veered to South-West an eighth of a mile, South and South-West half a mile. The country appeared to be low, as far as I could judge of it from the canoe, as the view is confined by woods at the distance of about a hundred yards from the banks. Our course continued West by North two miles, North half a mile, North-West a quarter of a mile, South-West two miles, North-West three quarters of a mile; when a ridge of high land appeared in this direction; West one mile. A small river flowed in from the North; South a quarter of a mile, North-West half a mile, South-South-West two miles and a half, South-East three quarters of a mile; a rivulet lost itself in the main stream, West-North-West half a mile. Here the current slackened, and we proceeded South-South-West three quarters of a mile, South-West three quarters of a mile, South by East three quarters of a mile, South-East by East one mile, when it veered gradually to West-North-West half a mile; the river being full of islands. We proceeded due North, with little current, the river presenting a beautiful sheet of water for a mile and a half, South-West by West one mile, West-North-West one mile, when it veered round to South-East one mile, West by North one mile, South-East one mile, West by North three quarters of a mile, South one eighth of a mile, when we came to an Indian cabin of late erection. Here was the great fork, of which our guide had informed us, and it appeared to be the largest branch from the South-East. It is about half a mile in breadth, and assumes the form of a lake. The current was very slack, and we got into the middle of the channel, when we steered West, and sounded in sixteen feet water.
A ridge of high land now stretched on, as it were, across our present direction: this course was three miles. We then proceeded West-South-West two miles, and sounded in twenty-four feet water. Here the river narrowed and the current increased. We then continued our course North-North-West three quarters of a mile, a small river falling in from the North-East. It now veered to South by West one mile and a quarter, West-South-West four miles and a half, West by North one mile and a quarter, North-West by West one mile, West a mile and a quarter: the land was high on both sides, and the river narrowed to an hundred and fifty, or two hundred yards; North-West three quarters of a mile, South-West by South two miles and a half: here its breadth again increased; South by West one mile, West-South-West half a mile, South-West by South three miles, South-South-East one mile, with a small river running in from the left, South with a strong current one mile, then East three quarters of a mile, South-West one mile, South-South-East a mile and a half; the four last distances being a continual rapid, South-West by West one mile, East-North-East a mile and a half, East-South-East one mile, where a small river flowed in on the right; South-West by South two miles and a half, when another small river appeared from the same quarter; South by East half a mile and South-West by West one mile and a quarter: here we landed for the night. When we had passed the last river we observed smoke rising from it, as if produced by fires that had been fresh lighted; I therefore concluded that there were natives on its banks: but I was unwilling to fatigue my people, by pulling back against the current in order to go in search of them.
This river appeared, from its high watermark, to have fallen no more than one foot, while the smaller branch, from a similar measurement, had sunk two feet and a half. On our entering it, we saw a flock of ducks which were entirely white, except the bill and part of the wings. The weather was cold and raw throughout the day, and the wind South-West. We saw a smoke rising in columns from many parts of the woods, and I should have been more anxious to see the natives, if there had been any person with me who could have introduced me to them; but as that object could not be then attained without considerable loss of time, I determined to pursue the navigation while it continued to be so favourable, and to wait till my return, if no very convenient opportunity offered in the mean time, to engage an intercourse with them.
Wednesday, 19. — The morning was foggy; and at three we were on the water. At half past that hour, our course was East by South three quarters of a mile, a small river flowing in from the right. We then proceeded South by East half a mile, and South-South-West a mile and a half. During the last distance, clouds of thick smoke rose from the woods, that darkened the atmosphere, accompanied with a strong odour of the gum of cypress and the spruce-fir. Our courses continued to be South-West a mile and a quarter, North-West by West three quarters of a mile, South-South-East a mile and a quarter, East three quarters of a mile, South-West one mile, West by South three quarters of a mile, South-East by South three quarters of a mile, South by West half a mile, West by South three quarters of a mile, South by West two miles and a half. In the last course there was an island, and it appeared to me, that the main channel of the river had formerly been on the other side of it. The banks were here composed of high white cliffs, crowned with pinnacles in very grotesque shapes. We continued to steer South-East by South a mile and a half, South by East half a mile, East one mile and a quarter, South-East by East one mile, South by East three quarters of a mile, South-East by East one mile, South-South-East half a mile, East one mile and a quarter, South by East half a mile, East a mile and half, South-South-East three miles, and South-West three quarters of a mile. In the last course the rocks contracted in such a manner on both sides of the river, as to afford the appearance of the upper part of a fall or cataract. Under this apprehension we landed on the left shore, where we found a kind of footpath, imperfectly traced, through which we conjectured that the natives occasionally passed with their canoes and baggage. On examining the course of the river, however, there did not appear to be any fall as we expected; but the rapids were of a considerable length and impassable for a light canoe. We had therefore no alternative but to widen the road so as to admit the passage of our canoe, which was now carried with great difficulty; as from her frequent repairs, and not always of the usual materials, her weight was such, that she cracked and broke on the shoulders of the men who bore her. The labour and fatigue of this undertaking, from eight till twelve, beggars all description, when we at length conquered this afflicting passage, of about half a mile, over a rocky and most rugged hill. Our course was South-South-West. Here I took a meridian altitude which gave me 53. 42. 20. North latitude. We, however, lost some time to put our canoe in a condition to carry us onwards. Our course was South a quarter of a mile to the next carrying-place; which was nothing more than a rocky point about twice the length of the canoe. From the extremity of this point to the rocky and almost perpendicular bank that rose on the opposite shore, is not more than forty or fifty yards. The great body of water, at the same time tumbling in successive cascades along the first carrying-place, rolls through this narrow passage in a very turbid current, and full of whirlpools. On the banks of the river there was great plenty of wild onions, which when mixed up with our pemmican was a great improvement of it; though they produced a physical effect on our appetites, which was rather inconvenient to the state of our provisions.
Here we embarked, and steered South-East by East three quarters of a mile. We now saw a smoke on the shore; but before we could reach land the natives had deserted their camp, which appeared to be erected for no more than two families. My two Indians were instantly dispatched in search of them, and, by following their tracks, they soon overtook them; but their language was mutually unintelligible; and all attempts to produce a friendly communication were fruitless. They no sooner perceived my young men than they prepared their bows and arrows, and made signs for them not to advance; and they thought it prudent to desist from proceeding, though not before the natives had discharged five arrows at them, which, however, they avoided, by means of the trees. When they returned with this account, I very much regretted that I had not accompanied them; and as these people could not be at any very great distance, I took Mr. Mackay, and one of the Indians with me in order to overtake them; but they had got so far it would have been imprudent in me to have followed them. My Indians, who, I believe, were terrified at the manner in which these natives received them, informed me, that, besides their bows, arrows, and spears, they were armed with long knives, and that they accompanied their strange antics with menacing actions and loud shoutings. On my return, I found my people indulging their curiosity in examining the bags and baskets which the natives had left behind them. Some of them contained their fishing tackle, such as nets, lines, &c., others of a smaller size were filled with a red earth, with which they paint themselves. In several of the bags there were also sundry articles of which we did not know the use. I prevented my men from taking any of them; and for a few articles of mere curiosity, which I took myself, I left such things in exchange as would be much more useful to their owners.
At four we left this place, proceeding with the stream South-East three quarters of a mile, East-South-East one mile, South three quarters of a mile, South-South-West one mile, South by East three quarters of a mile, South-South-East one mile, South-South-West two miles, South-South-East three miles and a quarter, East by North one mile, South-South-East one mile and a quarter, with a rapid, South-South-West three quarters of a mile, South one mile and a half, South-East one mile and a quarter, South three quarters of a mile, and South-South-East one mile and a half. At half past seven we landed for the night, where a small river flowed in from the right. The weather was showery, accompanied with several loud claps of thunder. The banks were overshadowed by lofty firs, and wide-spreading cedars.
Thursday, 20. — The morning was foggy, and at half past four we proceeded with a South wind, South-East by East two miles, South-South-East two miles and a half, and South-South-West two miles. The fog was so thick, that we could not see the length of our canoe, which rendered our progress dangerous, as we might have come suddenly upon a cascade or violent rapid. Our next course was West-North-West two miles and a half, which comprehended a rapid. Being close in with the left bank of the river, we perceived two red deer at the very edge of the water: we killed one of them, and wounded the other, which was very small. We now landed, and the Indians followed the wounded animal, which they soon caught, and would have shot another in the woods, if our dog, who followed them, had not disturbed it. From the number of their tracks it appeared that they abounded in this country. They are not so large as the elk of the Peace River, but are the real red deer, which I never saw in the North, though I have been told that they are to be found in great numbers in the plains along the Red, or Assiniboin River. The bark had been stripped off many of the spruce trees, and carried away, as I presumed, by the natives, for the purpose of covering their cabins. We now got the venison on board, and continued our voyage South-West one mile, South a mile and a half, and West one mile. Here the country changed its appearance; the banks were but of a moderate height, from whence the ground continued gradually rising to a considerable distance, covered with poplars and cypresses, but without any kind of underwood. There are also several low points which the river, that is here about three hundred yards in breadth, sometimes overflows, and are shaded with the hard, the soft birch, the spruce, and the willow. For some distance before we came to this part of the river, our view was confined within very rugged, irregular, and lofty banks, which were varied with the poplar, different kinds of spruce fir, small birch trees, cedars, alders, and several species of the willow. Our next course was South-West by West six miles, when we landed at a deserted house, which was the only Indian habitation of this kind that I had seen on this side of Mechilimakina. It was about thirty feet long and twenty wide, with three doors, three feet high by one foot and an half in breadth. From this and other circumstances, it appears to have been constructed for three families. There were also three fire-places, at equal distances from each other; and the beds were on either side of them. Behind the beds was a narrow space, in the form of a manger, and somewhat elevated, which was appropriated to the purpose of keeping fish. The wall of the house, which was five feet in height, was forged of very strait spruce timbers, brought close together, and laid into each other at the corners. The roof was supported by a ridge pole, resting on two upright forks of about ten feet high; that and the wall support a certain number of spars, which are covered with spruce bark; and the whole attached and secured by the fibers of the cedar. One of the gable ends is closed with split boards; the other with poles. Large rods are also fixed across the upper part of the building, where fish may hang and dry. To give the walls additional strength, upright posts are fixed in the ground, at equal distances, both within and without, of the same height as the wall, and firmly attached with bark fibres. Openings appear also between the logs in the wall, for the purpose, as I conjectured, of discharging their arrows at a besieging enemy; they would be needless for the purpose of giving light, which is sufficiently afforded by fissures between the logs of the building, so that it appeared to be constructed merely for a summer habitation. There was nothing further to attract our attention in or about the house, except a large machine, which must have rendered the taking off the roof absolutely necessary, in order to have introduced it. It was of a cylindrical form, fifteen feet long, and four feet and an half in diameter; one end was square, like the head of a cask, and an conical machine was fixed inwards to the other end, of similar dimensions; at the extremity of which was an opening of about seven inches in diameter. This machine was certainly contrived to set in the river, to catch large fish; and very well adapted to that purpose; as when they are once in, it must be impossible for them to get out, unless they should have strength sufficient to break through it. It was made of long pieces of split wood, rounded to the size of a small finger, and placed at the distance of an inch asunder, on six hoops; to this was added a kind of boot of the same materials, into which it may be supposed that the fish are driven, when they are to be taken out. The house was left in such apparent order as to mark the design of its owners to return thither. It answered in every particular the description given us by our late guide, except that it was not situated on an island.
We left this place, and steered South by East one mile and a quarter when we passed where there had been another house, of which the ridge-pole and supporters alone remained: the ice had probably carried away the body of it. The bank was at this time covered with water, and a small river flowed in on the left. On a point we observed an erection that had the appearance of a tomb; it was in an oblong form, covered, and very neatly walled with bark. A pole was fixed near it, to which, at the height of ten or twelve feet, a piece of bark was attached, which was probably a memorial, or symbol of distinction. Our next course was South by West two miles and a half, when we saw a house on an island, South-East by East one mile and three quarters, in which we observed another island, with a house upon it. A. river also flowed from the right, and the land was high and rocky, and wooded with the epinette.
Our canoe was now become so crazy that it was a matter of absolute necessity to construct another; and as from the appearance of the country there was reason to expect that bark was to be found, we landed at eight, with the hope of procuring it. I accordingly dispatched four men with that commission, and at twelve they returned with a sufficient quantity to make the bottom of a canoe of five fathom in length, and four feet and a half in height. At noon I had an observation, which gave me 53. 17. 28. North latitude.
We now continued our voyage South-East by South one mile and a half, East-South-East one mile, East-North-East half a mile, South-East two miles, South-East by South one mile, South-East six miles, and East-North-East. Here the river narrows between steep rocks, and a rapid succeeded, which was so violent that we did not venture to run it. I therefore ordered the loading to be taken out of the canoe, but she was now become so heavy that the men preferred running the rapid to the carrying her overland. Though I did not altogether approve of their proposition, I was unwilling to oppose it. Four of them undertook this hazardous expedition, and I hastened to the foot of the rapid with great anxiety, to wait the event, which turned out as I expected. The water was so strong, that although they kept clear of the rocks, the canoe filled, and in this state they drove half way down the rapid, but fortunately she did not overset; and having got her into an eddy, they emptied her, and in an half-drowned condition arrived safe on shore. The carrying-place is about half a mile over, with an Indian path across it. Mr. Mackay, and the hunters, saw some deer on an island above the rapid; and had that discovery been made before the departure of the canoe, there is little doubt but we should have added a considerable quantity of venison to our stock of provisions. Our vessel was in such a wretched condition, as I have already observed, that it occasioned a delay of three hours to put her in a condition to proceed. At length we continued our former course, East-North-East a mile and a half, when we passed an extensive Indian encampment; East-South-East one mile, where a small river appeared on the left; South-East by South one mile and three quarters, East by South half a mile, East by North one mile, and saw another house on an island; South half a mile, West three quarters of a mile, South-West half a mile, where the cliffs of white and red clay appeared like the ruins of ancient castles. Our canoe now veered gradually to East-North-East one mile and a half, when we landed in a storm of rain and thunder, where we perceived the remains of Indian houses. It was impossible to determine the wind in any part of the day, as it came a-head in all our directions.
Friday, 21. — As I was very sensible of the difficulty of procuring provisions in this country, I thought it prudent to guard against any possibility of distress of that kind on our return; I therefore ordered ninety pounds weight of pemmican to be buried in a hole, sufficiently deep to admit of a fire over it without doing any injury to our hidden treasure, and which would, at the same time, secure it from the natives of the country, or the wild animals of the woods.
The morning was very cloudy, and at four o'clock we renewed our voyage, steering South by East one mile and a quarter, East-South-East half a mile, South by East one mile and a half, East half a mile, South-East two miles, where a large river flowed in from the left, and a smaller one from the right.
We then continued South by West three quarters of a mile, East by South a mile and a half, South three quarters of a mile, South-East by East one mile, South by East half a mile, South-East three quarters of a mile, South-East by South half a mile, South-East by East half a mile, the cliffs of blue and yellow clay, displaying the same grotesque shapes as those which we passed yesterday, South-South-East a mile and a half, South by East two miles. The latitude by observation was 52. 47. 51. North.
Here we perceived a small new canoe, that had been drawn up to the edge of the woods, and soon after another appeared, with one man in it, which came out of a small river. He no sooner saw us than he gave the whoop to alarm his friends, who immediately appeared on the bank, armed with bows and arrows, and spears. They were thinly habited, and displayed the most outrageous antics. Though they were certainly in a state of great apprehension, they manifested by their gestures that they were resolved to attack us, if we should venture to land. I therefore ordered the men to stop the way of the canoe, and even to check her drifting with the current, as it would have been extreme folly to have approached these savages before their fury had in some degree subsided. My interpreters, who understood their language, informed me that they threatened us with instant death if we drew nigh the shore; and they followed the menace by discharging a volley of arrows, some of which fell short of the canoe, and others passed over it, so that they fortunately did us no injury.
As we had been carried by the current below the spot where the Indians were, I ordered my people to paddle to the opposite side of the river, without the least appearance of confusion, so that they brought me abreast of them. My interpreters, while we were within hearing, had done every thing in their power to pacify them, but in vain. We also observed that they had sent off a canoe with two men, down the river, as we concluded, to communicate their alarm, and procure assistance. This circumstance determined me to leave no means untried that might engage us in a friendly intercourse with them, before they acquired additional security and confidence, by the arrival of their relations and neighbours, to whom their situation would be shortly notified.
I therefore formed the following adventurous project, which was happily crowned with success. I left the canoe, and walked by myself along the beach, in order to induce some of the natives to come to me, which I imagined they might be disposed to do, when they saw me alone, without any apparent possibility of receiving assistance from my people, and would consequently imagine that a communication with me was not a service of danger. At the same time, in order to possess the utmost security of which my situation was susceptible, I directed one of the Indians to slip into the woods, with my gun and his own, and to conceal himself from their discovery; he also had orders to keep as near me as possible, without being seen; and if any of the natives should venture across, and attempt to shoot me from the water, it was his instructions to lay him low: at the same time he was particularly enjoined not to fire till I had discharged one or both of the pistols that I carried in my belt. If, however, any of them were to land, and approach my person, he was immediately to join me. In the meantime my other interpreter assured them that we entertained the most friendly dispositions, which I confirmed by such signals as I conceived would be comprehended by them. I had not, indeed, been long at my station, and my Indian in ambush behind me, when two of the natives came off in a canoe, but stopped when they had got within a hundred yards of me. I made signs for them to land, and as an inducement, displayed looking-glasses, beads, and other alluring trinkets. At length, but with every mark of extreme apprehension, they approached the shore, stern foremost, but would not venture to land. I now made them a present of some beads, with which they were going to push off, when I renewed my entreaties, and, after some time, prevailed on them to come ashore, and sit down by me. My hunter now thought it right to join me, and created some alarm in my new acquaintance. It was, however, soon removed, and I had the satisfaction to find, that he and these people perfectly understood each other. I instructed him to say every thing that might tend to soothe their fears and win their confidence. I expressed my wish to conduct them to our canoe, but they declined my offer; and when they observed some of my people coming towards us, they requested me to let them return; and I was so well satisfied with the progress I had made in my intercourse with them, that I did not hesitate a moment in complying with their desire. During their short stay, they observed us, and every thing about us, with a mixture of admiration and astonishment. We could plainly distinguish that their friends received them with great joy on their return, and that the articles which they carried back with them were examined with a general and eager curiosity; they also appeared to hold a consultation, which lasted about a quarter of an hour, and the result was, an invitation to come over to them, which was cheerfully accepted. Nevertheless, on our landing they betrayed evident signs of confusion, which arose probably from the quickness of our movements, as the prospect of a friendly communication had so cheered the spirits of my people, that they paddled across the river with the utmost expedition. The two men, however, who had been with us, appeared, very naturally, to possess the greatest share of courage on the occasion, and were ready to receive us on our landing; but our demeanour soon dispelled all their apprehensions, and the most familiar communication took place between us. When I had secured their confidence, by the distribution of trinkets among them, and treated the children with sugar, I instructed my interpreters to collect every necessary information in their power to afford me.
According to their account, this river, whose course is very extensive, runs towards the mid-day sun; and that at its mouth, as they had been informed, white people were building houses. They represented its current to be uniformly strong, and that in three places it was altogether impassable, from the falls and rapids, which poured along between perpendicular rocks that were much higher, and more rugged, than any we had yet seen, and would not admit of any passage over them. But besides the dangers and difficulties of the navigation, they added, that we should have to encounter the inhabitants of the country, who were very numerous. They also represented their immediate neighbours as a very malignant race, who lived in large subterraneous recesses; and when they were made to understand that it was our design to proceed to the sea, they dissuaded us from prosecuting our intention, as we should certainly become a sacrifice to the savage spirit of the natives. These people they described as possessing iron, arms, and utensils, which they procured from their neighbours to the Westward, and were obtained by a commercial progress from people like ourselves, who brought them in great canoes.
Such an account of our situation, exaggerated as it might be in some points, and erroneous in others, was sufficiently alarming, and awakened very painful reflections: nevertheless it did not operate on my mind so as to produce any change in my original determination. My first object, therefore, was to persuade two of these people to accompany me, that they might secure to us a favourable reception from their neighbours. To this proposition they assented, but expressed some degree of dissatisfaction at the immediate departure, for which we were making preparation; but when we were ready to enter the canoe, a small one was seen doubling the point below, with three men in it. We thought it prudent to wait for their arrival, and they proved to be some of their relations, who had received the alarm from the messengers, which I have already mentioned as having been sent down the river for that purpose, and who had passed on, as we were afterwards informed, to extend the notice of our arrival. Though these people saw us in the midst of their friends, they displayed the most menacing actions, and hostile postures. At length, however, this wild, savage spirit appeared to subside, and they were persuaded to land. One of them, who was a middle aged person, whose agitations had been less frequent than those of his companions) and who was treated with particular respect by them all, inquired who we were, whence we came, whither we were going, and what was the motive of our coming into that country. When his friends had satisfied him as far as they were able, respecting us, he instantly advised us to delay our departure for that night, as their relations below, having been by this time alarmed by the messengers, who had been sent for that purpose, would certainly oppose our passage, notwithstanding I had two of their own people with me. He added, that they would all of them be here by sunset, they would be convinced, as he was, that we were good people, and meditated no ill designs against them.
Such were the reasons which this Indian urged in favour of our remaining till the next morning; and they were too well founded for me to hesitate in complying with them; besides, by prolonging my stay till the next morning, it was probable that I might obtain some important intelligence respecting the country through which I was to pass, and the people who inhabited it. I accordingly ordered the canoe to be unloaded, taken out of the water, and gummed. My tent was also pitched, and the natives were now become so familiar, that I was obliged to let them know my wish to be alone and undisturbed.
My first application to the native whom I have already particularly mentioned, was to obtain from him such a plan of the river as he should be enabled to give me; and he complied with this request with a degree of readiness and intelligence that evidently proved it was by no means a new business to him. In order to acquire the best information he could communicate, I assured him, if I found his account correct, that I should either return myself, or send others to them, with such articles as they appeared to want: particularly arms and ammunition, with which they would be able to prevent their enemies from invading them. I obtained, however, no addition to what I already knew, but that the country below us, as far as he was acquainted with it, abounded in animals, and that the river produced plenty of fish.
Our canoe was now become so weak, leaky, and unmanageable, that it became a matter of absolute necessity to construct a new one; and I had been informed, that if we delayed that important work till we got further down the river, we should not be able to procure bark. I therefore dispatched two of my people, with an Indian, in search of that necessary material. The weather was so cloudy that I could not get an observation.1
I passed the rest of the day in conversing with these people: they consisted of seven families, containing eighteen men, they were clad in leather, and handsome beaver and rabbit-skin blankets. They had not been long arrived in this part of the country, where they proposed to pass the summer, to catch fish for their winter provision: for this purpose they were preparing machines similar to that which we found in the first Indian house we saw and described. The fish which they take in them are large, and only visit this part of the river at certain seasons. These people differ very little, if at all, either in their appearance, language, or manners, from the Rocky-Mountain Indians. The men whom I sent in search of bark, returned with a certain quantity of it, but of a very indifferent kind. We were not gratified with the arrival of any of the natives whom we expected from a lower part of the river.
1 The observation, already mentioned, I got on my return.