As a consequence of the little apprehension entertained by the English of being soon disturbed in their new conquests, le Bourdon and his friends got out of the Detroit River, and into Lake Erie, without discovery or molestation. There still remained a long journey before them. In that day the American side of the shores of all the Great Lakes was little more than a wilderness. There were exceptions at particular points, but these were few and far asunder. The whole coast of Ohio—for Ohio has its coast as well as Bohemia [Footnote: See Shakespeare—Winter’s Tale.]—was mostly in a state of nature, as was much of those of Pennsylvania and New York, on the side of the fresh water. The port which the bee-hunter had in view was Presque Isle, now known as Erie, a harbor in Pennsylvania, that has since become somewhat celebrated in consequence of its being the port out of which the American vessels sailed, about a year later than the period of which we are writing, to fight the battle that gave them the mastery of the lake. This was a little voyage of itself, of near two hundred miles, following the islands and the coast, but it was safely made in the course of the succeeding week. Once in Lake Erie and on the American side, our adventurers felt reasonably safe against all dangers but those of the elements. It is true that a renowned annalist, whose information is sustained by the collected wisdom of a State Historical Society, does tell us that the enemy possessed both shores of Lake Erie in 1814; but this was so small a mistake, compared with some others that this Nestor in history had made, that we shall not stop to explain it. Le Bourdon and his party found all the south shore of Lake Erie in possession of the Americans, so far as it was in the possession of any one, and consequently ran no risks from this blunder of the historian and his highly intelligent associates!
Peter and Pigeonswing left their friends before they reached Presque Isle. The bee-hunter gave them his own canoe, and the parting was not only friendly, but touching. In the course of their journey, and during their many stops, Margery had frequently prayed with the great chief. His constant and burning desire, now, was to learn to read, that he might peruse the word of the Great Spirit, and regulate his future life by its wisdom and tenets. Margery promised, should they ever meet again, and under circumstances favorable to such a design, to help him attain his wishes.
Pigeonswing parted from his friend with the same light-hearted vivacity as he had manifested in all their intercourse. Le Bourdon gave him his own rifle, plenty of ammunition, and various other small articles that were of value to an Indian, accepting the Chippewa’s arms in return. The exchange, however, was greatly to the advantage of the savage. As for Peter, he declined all presents. He carried weapons now, indeed, merely for the purpose of hunting; but the dignity of his character and station would have placed him above such compensations, had the fact been otherwise.