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.
end of the last portage; or to return with the goods, if we met too much resistance on the part of the natives.  We travelled, then, all that day, and all the night of the 6th, and on the 7th, till evening.  Finding ourselves then at a little distance from the rapids, I came to a halt, to put the firearms in order, and let the men take some repose.  About midnight I caused them to re-embark, and ordered the men to sing as they rowed, that the party whom we wished to overtake might hear us as we passed, if perchance they were encamped on some one of the islands of which the river is full in this part.  In fact, we had hardly proceeded five or six miles, when we were hailed by some one apparently in the middle of the stream.  We stopped rowing, and answered, and were soon joined by our people of the expedition, who were all descending the river in a canoe.  They informed us that they had been attacked the evening before, and that Mr. Stuart had been wounded.  We turned about, and all proceeded in company toward the fort.  In the morning, when we stopped to breakfast, Mr. Keith gave me the particulars of the affair of the day preceding.

Having arrived at the foot of the rapids, they commenced the portage on the south bank of the river, which is obstructed with boulders, over which it was necessary to pass the effects.  After they had hauled over the two canoes, and a part of the goods, the natives approached in great numbers, trying to carry off something unobserved.  Mr. Stuart was at the upper end of the portage (the portage being about six hundred yards in length), and Mr. Keith accompanied the loaded men.  An Indian seized a bag containing articles of little value, and fled:  Mr. Stuart, who saw the act, pursued the thief, and after some resistance on the latter’s part, succeeded in making him relinquish his booty.  Immediately he saw a number of Indians armed with bows and arrows; approaching him:  one of them bent his bow and took aim; Mr. Stuart, on his part, levelled his gun at the Indian, warning the latter not to shoot, and at the same instant received an arrow, which pierced his left shoulder.  He then drew the trigger; but as it had rained all day, the gun missed fire, and before he could re-prime, another arrow, better aimed than the first, struck him in the left side and penetrated between two of his ribs, in the region of the heart, and would have proved fatal, no doubt, but for a stone-pipe he had fortunately in his side-pocket, and which was broken by the arrow; at the same moment his gun was discharged, and the Indian fell dead.  Several others then rushed forward to avenge the death of their compatriot; but two of the men came up with their loads and their gun (for these portages were made arms in hand), and seeing what was going forward, one of them threw his pack on the ground, fired on one of the Indians and brought him down.  He got up again, however, and picked up his weapons, but the other man ran upon him, wrested from him his war-club, and despatched

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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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