As we journeyed on towards Edmonton the country maintained its rich and beautiful appearance, and the weather continued fine and mild. Every where nature had written in unmistakable characters the story of the fertility of the soil over which we rode—every where the eye looked upon panoramas filled with the beauty of lake and winding river, and grassy slope and undulating woodland. The whole face of the country was indeed one vast park. For two days we passed through this beautiful land,-and on the evening of the 28th November drew near to Edmonton. My party had been increased by the presence of two gentlemen from Victoria, a Wesleyan minister and the Hudson Bay official in charge of the Company’s post at that place. Both of these gentlemen had resided long in the Upper Saskatchewan, and were intimately acquainted with the tribes who inhabit The vast territory from the Rocky Mountains to Carlton House. It was late in the evening, just one month after I had started from the banks of the Red River, that I approached the high palisades of Edmonton. As one who looks back at evening from the summit of some lofty ridge over the long track which he has followed since the morning, so now did my mind travel back over the immense distance through which I had ridden in twenty-two days of actual travel and in thirty-three of the entire journey-that distance could not have been less than 1000 miles; and as each camp scene rose again before me, with its surrounding of snow and storm-swept prairie and lonely clump of aspens, it seemed as though something like infinite space stretched between me and that far-away land which one word alone can picture, that one word in which so many others centre—Home.
Edmonton—The Ruffian Tahakooch—French Missionaries—Westward still—A beautiful Land—The Blackfeet-Horses—A “Bellox” Soldier—A Blackfoot Speech—The Indian Land—First Sight of the Rocky Mountains—The Mountain House—The Mountain Assineboines—An Indian Trade—M. la Combe—Fire-water—A Night Assault.
Edmonton, the head-quarters of the Hudson Bay Company’s Saskatchewan trade, and the residence of a chief factor of the corporation, is a large five-sided fort with the usual flanking bastions and high stockades. It has within these stockades many commodious and well-built wooden houses, and differs in the cleanliness and order of its arrangements from the general run of trading forts in the Indian country. It stands