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ation; the nets had failed, and Akaitcho was at a distance of twelve days' march. Captain Back prevailed on M-Leod to send his family to Fort Resolution, and break up the fishery for the present.
On the 18th, the party returned from Artillery Lake, and informed our author that the carpenters had begun the boats. On the 26th, a packet arrived from York factory: the bearer informed oir author that another packet had been sent, more than a month
ago, under the charge of two men; that these had been accompanied by Captain Back's old friend, Augustus, (the Esquimaux interpreter, whom he had known in his former expedition); that having lost themselves, two of them found their way back to the fort, but without Augustus, who persisted in searching for our travellers. The letters confirmed
Three days after, the packet spoken of was brought in by an Indian.
The 25th of April was the anniversary of their departure from La Chine. Our travellers were conversing with each other, when they were startled by a thundering knock at the door.
“The permission to come in was unnecessary, for the person followed the announcement before the words could be uttered, and with the same despatch thrust into my hands a packet, which a glance sufficed to tell me was from England. 'He is returned, sir!' said the messenger, as we looked at him with surprise. "What! Augustus ?-thank God!! I replied quickly. Captain Ross, sir, Captain Ross is returned.' 'Eh! are you quite sure? is there no error? where is the account from ?' The man paused, looked at me, and pointing with his finger, said, “You have it in your hand, sir.' It was so; but the packet had been forgotten in the excitement and hurry of my feelings. Two open extracts from the Times and Morning Herald confirmed the tidings; and my official letter, with others from the long lost adventurers themselves-from Captain Maconochie, Mr. Garry, Governor Simpson, and many other friends, English and American, removed all possible doubt, and evinced at the same time the powerful interest which the event had awakened in the public, by a great proportion of whom the party had long since been numbered among the dead. To me the intelligence was peculiarly gratifying, not only as verifying my previously expressed opinions, but as demonstrating the wisdom as well as the humanity of the course pursued by the promoters of our expedition, who had thereby rescued the British nation from an imputation of indifference which it was far indeed from meriting. In the fulness of our hearts, we assembled together, and humbly offered up our thanks to that merciful Providence, which in the beautiful language of Scripture hath said, ' Mine own will I bring again, as I did sometime from the deeps of the sea. The thought of so wonderful a preservation overpowered for a time the common occurrences of life. We had but just sat down to breakfast; but our appetite was gone, and the day was passed in a feverish state of excitement. Seldom, indeed, did my friend Mr. King or I indulge in a
* Psalm 66.
libation, but on this joyful occasion economy was forgotten ; a treat was given to the men, and for ourselves the social sympathies were quickened by a generous bowl of punch.”
On the 5th of May, the men were employed in dragging the baggage and provisions to Artillery Lake, where the carpenters had finished one of the boats, and were working at the second. In consequence of the return of Captain Ross, the object of the expedition was no longer the same, and our traveller was now about to prosecute a journey of discovery.
On the 18th, the snow was fast disappearing; and on the 25th, Mr. M‘Leod arrived, to the great satisfaction of our author. Towards the end of the month, the weather became sultry, the temperature in the sun being 106o. At this time, Akaitcho, and thirty of his tribe, arrived, empty handed, followed by two Chippewyans, who brought a little dry meat from the Yellow Knife river, where one of their party had died from starvation. On the 3d June, the whole of the men came in from the fishery, bringing intelligence that the remains of Augustus had been discovered near the Rivière-à-Jean. It appeared that he was retracing his steps to the station, when, exhausted by hunger or cold, he had sunk under his sufferings. “Such,” says our traveller, “ was the miserable end of poor Augustus ! 'a faithful, disinterested, kind-hearted creature, who had won the regard not of myself only, but, I may add, of Sir John Franklin and Dr. Richardson also, by qualities which, wherever found, in the lowest as in the highest forms of social life, are the ornaments and charm of humanity.”
On the 5th June, all the men but three had arrived from the fort. It was arranged that a party, with M‘Leod, should precede the main body, for the purpose of hunting. The papers, journal, observations, &c., of our author, were secured at the fort until his return; the doors and windows were securely fastened, and on the 7th June our travellers started on their journey. They reached Artillery Bay, and found that the carpenters had completed both boats. M'Leod had left there two days before, and our captain, on the 10th June, with a crew of eight men, started with the larger boat, leaving the smaller one behind until their return in the autumn. Their boat was fixed on runners, and dragged over the ice on the lake by two men and six fine dogs. They followed the eastern shore of Artillery Lake, occasionally finding the provisions which the hunting party in advance had left for them in the route.
On the 16th, the thermometer at 33°, they endeavoured to light a fire to cook their venison ; the only fuel they could find was wet, and would not ignite—they were on the barren lands. They pursued their journey through water and over ice, with
much labour and encountering many hardships (all of which are minutely detailed in the narrative), when, on the morning of the 27th, they neared the portage of the Thlew-ee-choh. As they approached it, a white tent was seen at a distance, with a crowd of people around itthis proved to be M'Leod and his party,
The boat was soon after carried over the portage, and at 1 p. m. on the 28th, was launched on the Thlewee-choh.
Several portages were passed, and on the 29th they got to a small lake, where the runners were again rigged, and they proceeded on the ice to the extremity. The hunting party, which they had overtaken, was again in advance; and our travellers found several deer left for them on the route—in the evening they encamped at the head of a rapid and portage. On the 30th, our author, with two men, went in advance of the party; they passed Icy River, where more provisions were found. July 1, Mʻl.eod joined them; at 4 p. m. they reached Musk Ox River on the ice. Here they learned that Akaitcho had been driven to the north by the scarcity of animals. At sunset they encamped, and soon after were found by M'Leod's party. July 3d, they carried their boats and provisions over a portage four miles in length. Our author describes vividly this severe labour.
It now became unnecessary that MʻLeod should proceed any farther with the party, and, accordingly, he started with his men on their return to the fort, after receiving orders to be again on the banks of the Thlew-ee-choh by the middle of September, to meet our traveller on his way back; our party then proceeded along the river to a strong rapid. Standing on a rock, above it, they perceived Akaitcho's son, shouting to warn them of their danger-they passed the rapid in safety.
At the peak of a high hill, a few miles off, Akaitcho had pitched his hunting lodge. Hearing that our traveller was near, he came down to visit him. He cautioned him about the danger of navigating the Thlew-ee-choh, and told him to beware of Esquimaux treachery, which, he said, was always per petrated under the guise of friendship; “and when you least expect it," added he, “they will attack you.” They then parted.
With much labour they pursued their voyage, through ice, rapids, and rocks, and over portages. On the 14th July, a fresh and fair wind relieved the men from the labour of rowing, and they ran under a foresail until 8 p. m., when they were stopped by a ridge of ice. They were obliged to run in shore, and encamp for the night. The surrounding hills were literally swarming with deer.
On the 16th, the ice having given way before a heavy gale,
our voyagers again embarked ; after some time, the river contracted to about fifty yards; the boat swept through this strait with fearful velocity, and the stream gradually enlarged to a magnificent river. Captain Back was inclined to the belief that this was the Teh-lon River ; not being certain of this fact, however, he gave it the name of Baillie's River; passing the mouths of two tributary streams, they landed and encamped. On the following day, they entered some rapids, and passing through a deep abyss, formed by rocks of immense height which skirted the borders of the stream, emerged into open water. The weather had been very variable (the thermometer as high as 68°); and when they landed on the evening of the 18th, they were attacked by swarms of mosquitoes. On the 19th, they found themselves in a large lake. A slight current drew them into a rapid, through which they passed into a wide space, and landed on an island, which bore the marks of an Esquimaux settlement. On the 21st, they proceeded, and for three days, the labour which our travellers underwent, in overcoming the obstructions in the navigation, is described as excessive. At length they came to the end of this troublesome lake, and entered a rapid ; the current became violent, and on they plunged, through curling waves, and amongst large rocks, into smooth water, the boat being slightly injured. The river now kept to the northward, and opened into a spacious lake; the extremity could not be discerned, and the current being lost, our voyager was embarrassed in deciding on the most probable direction for striking the river. They kept through a passage in the ice, and at length were led by the roar of waters to the end of the lake. Our author here describes a fearful scene.
“Bending short round to the left, and in a comparatively contracted channel, the whole force of the water glided smoothly but irresistibly towards iwo stupendous gneiss rocks, from five to eight hundred feet high, rising like islands on either side. Our first care was to secure the boat in a small curve to the left, near which the river disappeared in its descent, sending up showers of spray. We found it was not one fall, as the hollow roar had led us to believe, but a succession of falls and cascades, and whatever else is horrible in such 'confusion worse confounded: It expanded to about the breadth of four hundred yards, having near the centre an insulated rock about three hundred feet high, having the same barren and naked appearance as those on each side. From the
projection of the main western shore, which concealed the opening, issued another serpentine rapid and fall; while to the right there was a strife of surge and rock, the roar of which was heard far and wide. The space occupying the centre, from the first descent to the island, was full of sunken rocks of unequal heights, over which the rapid foamed and boiled, and rushed with impetuous and deadly fury. At that part it was raised into an arch ; while the sides were yawning and cavernous, swallowing huge masses of ice, and then again tossing the splintered fragmenis high into the air. A more terrific sight could not well be conceived, and the im-.
pression which it produced was apparent on the countenances of the men. The portage was over scattered debris of the rocks (of which two more, with perpendicular and rounded sides, formed a kind of wall to the left,) and afforded a rugged and difficult way to a single rock at the foot of the rapid, about a mile distant. The boat was emptied of its cargo, but was still too heavy to be carried more than a few yards; and, whatever the consequence, there was thus no alternative but to try the falls."
With incredible courage and skill the boat was guided by M‘Kay and Sinclair down the rushing torrent. It was then taken from the water, and our party encamped for the night. On the next day they pushed into the stream and passed through many rapids to Sinclair's falls, where they made a portage.
July 25th—The weather was raw and cold. The river expanded into a lake. Several dangerous rapids were passed, when our party arrived at the remains of an Esquimaux encampment. Along the banks of the river lay several dead deer, which doubtless had been drowned in attempting to cross the rapids. Until the 29th, our voyagers pursued their way. The details are given at length in the journal. We omit them here, as they possess comparatively little interest. On that day (29th) they saw a party of the Esquimaux. Some called out; others made signs. Our Captain directed his course to the shore, on which the Indians brandished their spears and ran towards them. As the boat grounded they formed a semicircle at twenty paces distance, yelling loudly. Captain Back landed, and walking up to them alone, called out “Timă” (peace). Immediately the Indians threw down their arms, crying Timă. Our Captain, thus amicably received, walked up, and adopting, as he says, the true John Bull fashion of salutation, shook hands with them all round. Buttons, fish-hooks, and other trifles, were distributed among them, with which they were well satisfied.
Our author having thus gained the confidence of the natives, directed the men to examine and if possible to pass the fall which had obstructed them. He then went with the Indians to their tents: these are particularly described. The steersman returned, and reported the impossibility of getting down the fall; therefore, wishing that the Esquimaux should not see the baggage, our Captain directed Mr. King to make the portage, while he amused them by sketching their likenesses, &c. This greatly pleased them, and they were in high good humour. Our author gives a humorous description of one of his “sitters :"
“The women were much tattooed about the face and the middle and fourth fingers. The only lady whose portrait was sketched was so flattered at being selected for the distinction, that in her fear lest I should not sufficiently see every grace of her good-tempered countenance, she intently watched my eye; and, according to her notion of the part I was pencilling, protruded it, or turned it so as to leave me no excuse for not