Occupations at Astoria.—Return
of a Portion of the Men of the
Expedition to the Interior.—New Expedition.—Excursion in Search
of three Deserters.
On the 26th of September our house was finished, and we took possession of it. The mason work had at first caused us some difficulty; but at last, not being able to make lime for want of lime-stones, we employed blue clay as a substitute for mortar. This dwelling-house was sufficiently spacious to hold all our company, and we had distributed it in the most convenient manner that we could. It comprised a sitting, a dining room, some lodging or sleeping rooms, and an apartment for the men and artificers, all under the same roof. We also completed a shop for the blacksmith, who till that time had worked in the open air.
The schooner, the construction of which had necessarily languished for want of an adequate force at the ship-yard, was finally launched on the 2d of October, and named the Dolly, with the formalities usual on such occasions. I was on that day at Young’s Bay, where I saw the ruins of the quarters erected by Captains Lewis and Clarke, in 1805-’06: they were but piles of rough, unhewn logs, overgrown with parasite creepers.
On the evening of the 5th, Messrs. Pillet and M’Lellan arrived, from the party of Mr. David Stuart, in a canoe manned by two of his men. They brought, as passengers, Mr. Regis Bruguier, whom I had known in Canada as a respectable country merchant, and an Iroquois family. Mr. Bruguier had been a trader among the Indians on the Saskatchawine river, where he had lost his outfit: he had since turned trapper, and had come into this region to hunt beaver, being provided with traps and other needful implements. The report which these gentlemen gave of the interior was highly satisfactory: they had found the climate salubrious, and had been well received by the natives. The latter possessed a great number of horses, and Mr. Stuart had purchased several of these animals at a low price. Ascending the river they had come to a pretty stream, which the natives called Okenakan. Mr. Stuart had resolved to establish his post on the bank of this river, and having erected a log-house, he thought best to send back the above named persons, retaining with him, for the winter, only Messrs. Ross and de Montigny, and two men.[K]
[Footnote K: One of these men bad been left with him by Mr. Thompson, in exchange for a Sandwich-islander whom that gentleman proposed to take to Canada, and thence to England.]