Narrative of a Voyage to the Northwest Coast of America in the years 1811, 1812, 1813, and 1814 or the First American Settlement on the Pacific eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 192 pages of information about Narrative of a Voyage to the Northwest Coast of America in the years 1811, 1812, 1813, and 1814 or the First American Settlement on the Pacific.
Or, at least, why do they support only herds of wild animals?  Will men always love better to vegetate all their lives on an ungrateful soil, than to seek afar fertile regions, in order to pass in peace and plenty, at least the last portion of their days?  But I deceive myself; it is not so easy as one thinks, for the poor man to better his condition:  he has not the means of transporting himself to distant countries, or he has not those of acquiring a property there; for these untilled lands, deserted, abandoned, do not appertain to whoever wishes to establish himself upon them and reduce them to culture; they have owners, and from these must be purchased the right of rendering them productive!  Besides one ought not to give way to illusions:  these countries, at times so delightful, do not enjoy a perpetual spring; they have their winter, and a rigorous one; a piercing cold is then spread through the atmosphere; deep snows cover the surface; the frozen rivers flow only for the fish; the trees are stripped of their leaves and hung with icicles; the verdure of the plains has disappeared; the hills and valleys offer but a uniform whiteness; Nature has lost all her beauty; and man has enough to do, to shelter himself from the injuries of the inclement season.

CHAPTER XXVI.

     Fort Montee—­Cumberland 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.

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Narrative of a Voyage to the Northwest Coast of America in the years 1811, 1812, 1813, and 1814 or the First American Settlement on the Pacific from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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