During the whole month of July, the natives (seeing us weakened no doubt by these outfits), manifested their hostile intentions so openly that we were obliged to be constantly on our guard. We constructed covered ways inside our palisades, and raised our bastions or towers another story. The alarm became so serious toward the latter end of the month that we doubled our sentries day and night, and never allowed more than two or three Indians at a time within our gates.
The Beaver was ready to depart on her coasting voyage at the end of June, and on the 1st of July Mr. Hunt went on board: but westerly winds prevailing all that month, it was not till the 4th of August that she was able to get out of the river; being due again by the end of October to leave her surplus goods and take in our furs for market.
The months of August and September were employed in finishing a house forty-five feet by thirty, shingled and perfectly tight, as a hospital for the sick, and lodging house for the mechanics.
Experience having taught us that from the beginning of October to the end of January, provisions were brought in by the natives in very small quantity, it was thought expedient that I should proceed in the schooner, accompanied by Mr. Clapp, on a trading voyage up the river to secure a cargo of dried fish. We left Astoria on the 1st of October, with a small assortment of merchandise. The trip was highly successful: we found the game very abundant, killed a great quantity of swans, ducks, foxes, &c., and returned to Astoria on the 20th, with a part of our venison, wild fowl, and bear meat, besides seven hundred, and fifty smoked salmon, a quantity of the Wapto root (so called by the natives), which is found a good substitute for potatoes, and four hundred and fifty skins of beaver and other animals of the furry tribe.
The encouragement derived from this excursion, induced us to try a second, and I set off this time alone, that is, with a crew of five men only, and an Indian boy, son of the old chief Comcomly. This second voyage proved anything but agreeable. We experienced continual rains, and the game was much less abundant, while the natives had mostly left the river for their wintering grounds. I succeeded, nevertheless, in exchanging my goods for furs and dried fish, and a small supply of dried venison: and returned, on the 15th of November, to Astoria, where the want of fresh provisions began to be severely felt, so that several of the men were attacked with scurvy.