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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.
usual supply at Bas de la Riviere, resolved to go and recover the seized provisions by force, if they were not peaceably given up.  Things were in this position when Messrs, de Rocheblave and M’Donald arrived.  They found the Canadian voyageurs in arms, and ready to give battle to the colonists, who persisted in their refusal to surrender the bags of pemican.  The two peacemakers visited the governor, and having explained to him the situation in which the traders of the Northwest Company would find themselves, by the want of necessary provisions to enable them to transport their peltries to Fort William, and the exasperation of their men, who saw no other alternative for them, but to get possession of those provisions or to perish of hunger, requested him to surrender the same without delay.  Mr. M’Donnell, on his part, pointed out the misery to which the colonists would be reduced by a failure in the supply of food.  In consequence of these mutual representations, it was agreed that one half of the pemican should be restored, and the other half remain for the use of the colonists.  Thus was arranged, without bloodshed, the first difficulty which occurred between the rival companies of the Northwest, and of Hudson’s Bay.

[Footnote AH:  Pemican, of which I have already spoken several times, is the Indian name for the dried and pounded meat which the natives sell to the traders.  About fifty pounds of this meat is placed in a trough (un grand vaisseau fait d’un tronc d’arbre), and about an equal quantity of tallow is melted and poured over it; it is thoroughly mixed into one mass, and when cold, is put up in bags made of undressed buffalo hide, with the hair outside, and sewed up as tightly as possible.  The meat thus impregnated with tallow, hardens, and will keep for years.  It is eaten without any other preparation; but sometimes wild pears or dried berries are added, which render the flavor more agreeable.]

Having spent the 1st of July in repairing our canoes, we re-embarked on the 2d, and continued to ascend Winipeg river, called also White river, on account of the great number of its cascades, which being very near each other, offer to the sight an almost continuous foam.  We made that day twenty-seven portages, all very short.  On the 3d, and 4th, we made nine more, and arrived on the 5th, at the Lake of the Woods.  This lake takes its name from the great number of woody islands with which it is dotted.  Our guide pointed out to me one of these isles, telling me that a Jesuit father had said mass there, and that it was the most remote spot to which those missionaries had ever penetrated.  We encamped on one of the islands.  The next day the wind did not allow us to make much progress.  On the 7th, we gained the entrance of Rainy Lake river.  I do not remember ever to have seen elsewhere so many mosquitoes as on the banks of this river.  Having landed near a little rapid to lighten the canoes, we had the misfortune, in getting through the brush, to dislodge these insects from under the leaves where they had taken refuge from the rain of the night before; they attached themselves to us, followed us into the canoes, and tormented us all the remainder of the day.

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