Astoria: Or, Anecdotes of an Enterprise beyond the Rocky Mountains

By Washington Irving | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXXII.

WHILE the Canoes were in preparation, the hunters ranged about the neighborhood, but with little success. Tracks of buffaloes were to be seen in all directions, but none of a fresh date. There were some elk, but extremely wild; two only were killed. Antelopes were likewise seen, but too shy and fleet to be approached. A few beavers were taken every night, and salmon trout of a small size, so that the camp had principally to subsist upon dried buffalo meat.

On the 14th, a poor, half-naked Snake Indian, one of that forlorn caste called the Shuckers, or Diggers, made his appearance at the camp. He came from some lurking-place among the rocks and cliffs, and presented a picture of that famishing wretchedness to which these lonely fugitives among the mountains are sometimes reduced. Having received wherewithal to allay his hunger, he disappeared, but in the course of a day or two returned to the camp, bringing with him his son, a miserable boy, still more naked and forlorn than himself. Food was given to both; they skulked about the camp like hungry hounds, seeking what they might devour, and having gathered up the feet and entrails of some beavers that were lying about, slunk off with them to their den among the rocks.

By the 18th of October fifteen canoes were completed, and on the following day the party embarked with their effects, leaving their horses grazing about the banks, and trusting to the honesty of the two Snakes, and some special turn of good luck for their future recovery.

The current bore them along at a rapid rate; the light spirits of the Canadian voyageurs, which had occasionally flagged upon land, rose to their accustomed buoyancy on finding themselves again upon the water. They wielded their paddles with their wonted dexterity, and for the first time made the mountains echo with their favorite boat songs.

In the course of the day the little squadron arrived at the confluence of Henry and Mad Rivers, which thus united, swelled into a beautiful stream of a light pea-green color, navigable for boats of any size, and which from the place of junction, took the name of Snake River, a stream doomed to

-210-

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Astoria: Or, Anecdotes of an Enterprise beyond the Rocky Mountains
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 1
  • Introduction. 3
  • Contents 7
  • Astoria. 17
  • Chapter II 27
  • Chapter III 31
  • Chapter IV 41
  • Chapter V 47
  • Chapter VI 55
  • Chapter VII 65
  • Chapter VIII 71
  • Chapter IX 75
  • Chapter X 79
  • Chapter XI 87
  • Chapter XII 95
  • Chapter XIII 100
  • Chapter XIV 106
  • Chapter XV 111
  • Chapter XVI 122
  • Chapter XVII 132
  • Chapter XVIII 139
  • Chapter XIX 146
  • Chapter XX 152
  • Chapter XXI 160
  • Chapter XXII 168
  • Chapter XXIII 172
  • Chapter XXIV 176
  • Chapter XXV 179
  • Chapter XVII 182
  • Chapter XXVII 188
  • Chapter XXVIII 192
  • Chapter XXIX 197
  • Chapter XXX 202
  • Chapter XXXI 205
  • Chapter XXXII 210
  • Chapter XXXIII 216
  • Chapter XXXIV 220
  • Chapter XXXV 229
  • Chapter XXXVI 232
  • Chapter XXXVII 238
  • Chapter XXXVIII 246
  • Chapter Xxxix 251
  • Chapter XL 255
  • Chapter XLI 261
  • Chapter XLII 269
  • Chapter XLIII 273
  • Chapter XLIV 279
  • Chapter XLV 289
  • Chapter XLVI 295
  • Chapter XLVII 301
  • Chapter XLVIII 308
  • Chapter XLIX 313
  • Chapter L 319
  • Chapter LI 325
  • Chapter LII 328
  • Chapter LIII 334
  • Chapter LIV 343
  • Chapter LV 346
  • Chapter LVI 348
  • Chapter LVII 350
  • Chapter LVIII 357
  • Chapter LIX 362
  • Chapter LX 366
  • Chapter LXI 369
  • Appendix. 377
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