The persons who lost their lives in this unfortunate wintering party, were Mr. John Reed, (clerk), Jacob Regner, John Hubbough, Pierre Dorion (hunters), Gilles Leclerc, Francois Landry, J.B. Turcotte, Andre la Chapelle and Pierre De Launay, (voyageurs).[AB] We had no doubt that this massacre was an act of vengeance, on the part of the natives, in retaliation for the death of one of their people, whom Mr. John Clark had hanged for theft the spring before. This fact, the massacre on the Tonquin, the unhappy end of Captain Cook, and many other similar examples, prove how carefully the Europeans, who have relations with a barbarous people, should abstain from acting in regard to them on the footing of too marked an inequality, and especially from punishing their offences according to usages and codes, in which there is too often an enormous disproportion between the crime and the punishment. If these pretended exemplary punishments seem to have a good effect at first sight, they almost always produce terrible consequences in the sequel.
[Footnote AB: Turcotte died of King’s Evil. De Launay was a half-breed, of violent temper, who had taken an Indian woman to live with him; he left Mr. Reed in the autumn, and was never heard of again.]
On the 18th, we passed Priest’s Rapid, so named by Mr. Stuart and his people, who saw at this spot, in 1811, as they were ascending the river, a number of savages, one of whom was performing on the rest certain aspersions and other ceremonies, which had the air of being coarse imitations of the Catholic worship. For our part, we met here some Indians of whom we bought two horses. The banks of the river at this place are tolerably high, but the country back of them is flat and uninteresting.
On the 20th, we arrived at a place where the bed of the river is extremely contracted, and where we were obliged to make a portage. Messrs. J. Stuart and Clarke left us here, to proceed on horseback to the Spokan trading house, to procure there the provisions which would be necessary for us, in order to push on to the mountains.
On the 21st, we lightened of their cargoes, three canoes, in which those who were to cross the continent embarked, to get on with greater speed. We passed several rapids, and began to see mountains covered with snow.