Those who had leisure to be looking out towards the schooner, which had continued anchored about half a mile out in the lake, had, at this crisis, the satisfaction to see her hoist sail and leave her station for the open lake; those who were a little later could just discern her bearing away to a distance, as if she had got all on board that she had any idea of taking. Here we were, and here we might remain a week or more, if it so pleased Captain Hinckley and the schooner Napoleon, and the good east wind which was blowing with all its might.
There was plenty of provisions to be obtained, so the fear of starvation was not the trouble; but how were the cooking and the table to be provided for? Various expedients were resorted to. Mrs. Engle, in her quarters above-stairs, ate her breakfast off a shingle with her husband’s jack-knife, and when she had finished, sent them down to Lieutenant Foster for his accommodation.
We were at the old mansion on the north side, and the news soon flew up the river that the Napoleon had gone off with “the plunder” and left the people behind. It was not long before we were supplied by Mrs. Portier (our kind Victoire) with dishes, knives, forks, and all the other conveniences which our mess-basket failed to supply.
This state of things lasted a couple of days, and then, early one fine morning, the gratifying intelligence spread like wild-fire that the Napoleon was at anchor out beyond the bar.
There was no unnecessary delay this time, and at an early hour in the afternoon we had taken leave of our dear friends, and they were sailing away from Chicago.
RETURN TO FORT WINNEBAGO.
A great part of the command, with the cattle belonging to the officers and soldiers, had, a day or two previous to the time of our departure, set out on their march by land to Green Bay, via Fort Winnebago. Lieutenant Foster, under whose charge they were, had lingered behind that he might have the pleasure of joining our party, and we, in turn, had delayed in order to see the other members of our family safely on board the Napoleon. But now, all things being ready, we set our faces once more homeward.
We took with us a little bound-girl, Josette, a bright, pretty child of ten years of age, a daughter of Ouilmette, a Frenchman who had lived here at the time of the Massacre, and of a Pottowattamie mother. She had been at the St. Joseph’s mission-school, under Mr. McCoy, and she was now full of delight at the prospect of a journey all the way to the Portage with Monsieur and Madame John.