House.—Lake Bourbon.—Great Winipeg
Rapids.—Lake Winipeg.—Trading-House.—Lake of the Woods.—Rainy
Lake House, &c.
On the 18th of June (a day which its next anniversary was to render for ever celebrated in the annals of the world), we re-embarked at an early hour: and the wind rising, spread sail, a thing we had not done before, since we quitted the river Columbia. In the afternoon the clouds gathered thick and black, and we had a gust, accompanied with hail, but of short duration; the weather cleared up again, and about sundown we arrived at Le Fort de la Montee, so called, on account of its being a depot, where the traders going south, leave their canoes and take pack-horses to reach their several posts. We found here, as at Fort Vermilion, two trading-houses joined together, to make common cause against the Indians; one belonging to the Hudson’s Bay Company, the other to the company of the Northwest: the Hudson’s Bay house being then under the charge of a Mr. Prudent, and the N.W. Company’s under a Mr. John M’Lean. Mr. de Roche Blave, one of the partners of the last company having the superintendence of this district, where he had wintered, had gone to Lake Superior to attend the annual meeting of the partners. There were cultivated fields around the house; the barley and peas appeared to promise an abundant harvest. Mr. M’Lean received us as well as circumstances permitted; but that gentleman having no food to give us, and our buffalo meat beginning to spoil, we set off the next morning, to reach Cumberland house as quick as possible. In the course of the day, we passed two old forts, one of which had been built by the French before the conquest of Canada. According to our guide, it was the most distant western post that the French traders ever had in the northwestern wilderness. Toward evening we shot a moose. The aspect of the country changes considerably since leaving Montee; the banks of the river rise more boldly, and the country is covered with forests.