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fresh bandages for my feet. During the night I was serenaded by music which did not resemble “ a concord of most sweet sounds;” in which the grumbling bass of the bears was at times drowned by the less pleasing sharps of the wolves. I partially covered my body this night with some pieces of pine bark which I stripped off a sapless tree. “The country through which I dragged my tired limbs on the 24th was thinly wooded. My course was north and north east. I suffered much for want of water, having got during the day only two tepid and nauseous draughts from stagnant pools, which the long drought had nearly dried up. About sunset I arrived at a small stream, by the side of which I took up my quarters for the night. The dew fell heavily; but I was too much fatigued to go in quest of bark to cover me; and even had I been so inclined, the howling of the wolves would have deterred me from making the dangerous attempt. There must have been an extraordinary nursery of these animals close to the spot; for between the weak shrill cries of the young, and the more loud and dreadful howlings of the old, I never expected to leave the place alive. I could not sleep. My only weapons of defence were a heap of stones and a stick. Ever and anon some more daring than others approached me. I presented the stick at them as if in the act of levelling a gun, upon which they retired, vented a few yells, advanced a little farther, and after surveying me for some time with their sharp fiery eyes, to which the partial glimpses of the moon had imparted additional ferocity, retreated into the wood. In this state of fearful agitation I passed the night; but as day-light began to break, nature asserted her supremacy, and I fell into a deep sleep, from which, to judge by the sun, I did not awake until between eight and nine o'clock on the morning of the 25th. My second bandages having been worn out, I was now obliged to bare my knees for fresh ones; and after tying them round my feet, and taking a copious draught from the adjoining brook for breakfast, I recommenced my joyless journey. My course was nearly north-north-east. I got no water during the day, nor any of the wild cherries. Some slight traces of men's feet, and a few old horse tracks, occasionally crossed my path : they proved that human beings sometimes at least visited that part of the country, and for a moment served to cheer my drooping spirits. ‘About duskan immense sized wolf rushed out of a thick copse a short distance from the path-way, planted himself directly before me in a threatening position, and appeared determined to dispute my passage. He was not more than twenty feet from me. My situation was desperate, and as I knew that the least symptom of fear would be the signal for attack, I presented my stick, and shouted as loud as my weak voice would permit. He appeared somewhat startled, and retreated a few steps, still keeping his piercing eyes firmly fixed on me. I advanced a little, when he commenced howling in a most appalling manner; and supposing his intention was to collect a few of his comrades to assist in making an afternooon repast on my half-famished carcass, I redoubled my cries, until I had almost lost the power of utterance, at the same time calling out various names, thinking I might make it appear I was not alone. An old and a young lynx ran close past me, but did not stop. The wolf remained about fifteen minutes in the same position; but whether my wild and fearful exclamations deterred any others from joining him, I cannot say. Finding at length my determination not to flinch, and that no assistance was likely to come, he retreated into the wood, and disappeared in the surrounding gloom. The shades of night were now descending fast, when I came to a verdant spot, surrounded by small trees, and full of rushes, which induced me to hope for water; but after searching for some time, I was still doomed to bitter disappointment. A shallow lake or pond had been there, which the long drought and heat had dried up. I then pulled a quantity of the rushes, and spread them at the foot of a large stone, which I intended for my pillow ; but as I was about throwing myself down, a rattlesnake coiled, with the head erect, and the forked tongue extended in a frightful state of oscillation, caught my eye immediately under the stone. I instantly retreated a short distance; but assuming fresh courage, soon dispatched it with my stick. On examining the spot more minutely, a large cluster of them appeared under the stone, the whole of which I rooted out and destroyed. This was hardly accomplished, when upwards of a dozen snakes of different descriptions, chiefly dark brown, blue, and green, made their appearance: they were much quicker in their movements than their rattle-tailed brethren; and I could only kill a few of them. * This was a peculiarly soul-trying moment. I had tasted no fruit since the morning before, and after a painful day's march under a burning sun, could not procure a drop of water to allay my feverish thirst. I was surrounded by a murderous brood of serpents, and ferocious beasts of prey, and without even the consolation of knowing when such misery might have a probable termination. I might truly say with the royal Psalmist, that “the snares of death compassed me round about.” * Having collected a fresh supply of rushes, which I spread some distance from the spot where I massacred the reptiles, I threw myself on them, and was permitted, through divine goodness, to enjoy a night of undisturbed repose. ‘I arose on the morning of the 26th considerably refreshed, and took a northernly course, occasionally diverging a little to the east. Several times during the day I was induced to leave the path by the appearance of rushes, which I imagined grew in the vicinity of lakes; but on reaching them my faint hopes vanished : there was no water, and I in vain essayed to extract a little moisture from them. Prickly thorns and small sharp stones added greatly to the pain of my tortured feet, and obliged me to make further encroachments on my nether garments for fresh bandages. The want of water now rendered me extremely weak and feverish ; and I had nearly abandoned all hopes of relief, when, about half-past four or five o'clock, the old pathway turned from the prairie grounds into a thickly wooded country, in an easterly direction: through which I had not advanced half a mile when I heard a noise resembling a water-fall, to which I hastened my tottering steps, and in a few minutes was delighted at arriving on the banks of a deep and narrow rivulet, which forced its way with great rapidity over some large stones that obstructed the channel. After offering up a short prayer of thanksgiving for this providential supply, I threw myself into the water, forgetful of the extreme state of exhaustion to which I was reduced: it had nearly proved fatal, for my weak frame could not withstand the strength of the current, which forced me down a short distance, until I caught the bough of an over-hanging tree, by means of which I regained the shore. Here were plenty of hips and cherries; on which, with the water, I made a most delicious repast. On looking about for a place to sleep, I observed lying on the ground the hollow trunk of a large pine, which had been destroyed by lightning. I retreated into the cavity; and having covered myself completely with large pieces of loose bark, quickly fell asleep.'—vol. i. pp. 167–175.
Here, doubtless, thought he, the most perfect safety was to be obtained, for who could think of disputing with him the possession of a hollow tree ? He was scarcely asleep two hours, however, when he was disturbed by the growling of a bear, which he found leaning over him with his snout, evidently considering of the most effectual means of dislodging this uninvited guest from what appeared to be the bear's long established asylum ! Our friend prudently sounded an immediate retreat, and clambered up an adjoining tree, while the bear gladly hastened to take possession of his own habitation. Settling himself among the highest branches, Cox slept through the night as well as he could, and when he saw the bear set out upon his usual excursion for food in the morning, he cautiously descended, and resumed his journey through the woods. Fortunately, in a few hours all his anxiety was removed, by falling in with a well-beaten horse path, with fresh traces upon it both of hoofs and human feet. This path he pursued carefully on the 28th, 29th, and 30th, when it conducted him to the habitation of an Indian family, all the members of which treated him with the most affectionate solicitude. He had been fourteen days in the wilderness without holding communion with a single human being. By their assistance he was enabled to rejoin his party on the 31st, to the great delight of himself and of his friends, who had given him up as a lost man. Explanations immediately followed on both sides, from which it appeared that when the party originally set out without him, they were under the impression that he had gone on before them; that they did not miss him until after two hours, when they sent back messengers in search of him; these he missed by quitting his arbour. On the first night, the whole party slept within three miles of each other, and the horsemen whom he saw had actually been riding about in quest of him. On the third day, when no tidings could be had of him, they took it for granted that he was devoured by the wolves, and they pursued their way ! On the day before his arrival his clothes were sold by auction, but the purchasers cheerfully returned them. We own that, in perusing this strange and romantic story, some doubts now and then suggested themselves as to its truth in all its parts. Upon this point, the author, however, appeals to those of his companions who are still living, and he says, “although they cannot vouch for the truth of each day’s detail, they can for my absence and the extent of my sufferings, as evinced by my emaciated appearance on rejoining them.' ‘I can with truth assert,’ he adds, “that I have rather softened down than overcharged the statement, and therefore trust my candid
readers will acquit me of any intention to practise upon their credulity.’ He then mentions the case of a Mr. Pritchard, who belonged to the North-west Company, and lost himself for thirty-five days in the woods, where he was at length found. “He (Pritchard) supported himself for some time by setting traps for hares, a few of which he took in the Indian manner. He likewise made snares out of the hair of his head, with which he caught some small fish; and he also occasionally succeeded in killing a bird. These he was obliged to eat raw ; and when all other resources failed, he was reduced to the necessity of eating grass, and a kind of moss called by the Canadians tripe de rocher. He was found by the Indians close to a small stream, endeavouring to crawl upon his hands and feet, in a state of utter helplessness and exhaustion ; and for some days previous to his being discovered he had eaten nothing whatever.'—vol. i. pp. 187, 188. Having established a trading post at the junction of the Pointed Heart and Spokan rivers, the author's party again subdivided itself for the purpose of contending with greater effect against their rivals, the North-west Company, in the neighbourhood of whose field of action they had now arrived. Cox and a gentleman named Farnham were appointed to carry on the fur operations amongst the tribe of the Flatheads, as they were called, though their heads were not out of the usual form. Attended by twelve men and fourteen loaded horses, our author and his companion took a north-easterly course in the middle of October, the country being now covered over with a thick mantle of snow. Their principal subsistence was horse-flesh and boiled rice, occasionally varied by a dish of mountain sheep, whose flesh resembles in taste our Welch mutton. On the 10th of November, they arrived at a small village of the Flathead nation, and were quite charmed with the frank and hospitable reception which they experienced. Here they established themselves without further consideration, and erected a log-house, in which Farnham settled himself for the winter, and collected all the furs which the natives could bring him. Cox returned to the Spokan post, where a commodious dwelling-house had already been constructed, and where he and his companions contrived to spend the winter agreeably enough between hunting, fishing, and reading. They lived principally on deer, trout, and carp, and occasionally killed a fat horse as a substitute for beef. The reader will be surprized at the nonchalance with which the author discusses the merits of the latter article of food.
“Custom had now so far reconciled us to the flesh of this animal, that we often preferred it to what in Europe might be regarded as luxuries. Foals or colts are not good, although a few of our men preferred them. A horse for the table should not be under three years, or above seven. The flesh of those which are tame, well fed, and occasionally worked, is tender and firm, and the fat, hard and white: it is far superior to the wild horse, the flesh of which is loose and stringy, and the fat yellow and rather oily. We generally killed the former for our own table, and I can assure my readers, that if they sat down to a fat rib, or a rump-steak off a well-fed four-years old, without knowing the animal, they would imagine themselves regaling on a piece of prime ox-beef.'
The author describes the Spokan tribe as a quiet, honest, inof. fensive people. He and his party very prudently abstained from giving the Indians spirituous liquor of any kind; it would appear that they are generally of tranquil dispositions, and that ardent spirits alone have the power to render them turbulent and mischievous. Whenever they happen to be intoxicated, it becomes almost impossible to check their savage propensities, and murder is frequently the consequence. How reprehensible, therefore, ought we not to consider the acts of those persons, who introduce among these innocent sons of the forest inebriating drinks of any description | We can perceive no difference between the administering such a poison, and the actual perpetration of the crimes to which it must necessarily lead. The Indians are all exceedingly desirous of obtaining fire arms. The trade in furs is partly carried on by the exchange of those effective instruments. For a gun, of which;the wholesale price in England does not exceed one pound seven shillings, twenty beaver skins was the usual price, and the average value of these skins could not be estimated under twenty-five pounds. When we add that the traders obtained six or eight skins, worth eight or ten pounds, for two yards of cloth, which originally cost twelve shillings, the reader may form some idea of the enormous profits which the company must have realized. The natives, however, were perfectly satisfied with the terms upon which the commerce was carried on. Though more indolent in hunting, and therefore less opulent in furs than most of the other neighbouring tribes, the Spokans, nevertheless, have made some progress towards civiliSatlon.
‘The Spokans are far superior to the Indians of the coast in cleanliness; but by no means equal in this respect to the Flat-heads. The women are good wives, and most affectionate mothers: the old, cheerful and complete slaves to their families; the young, lively and confiding; and whether married or single, free from the vice of incontinence. Their village was situated at the point formed by the junction of the two rivers. Some houses were oblong, others conical ; and were covered with mats or skins according to the wealth of the proprietor. Their chief riches are their horses, which they generally obtain in barter from the Nez Percés, in return for the goods they obtain from us for their furs: each man is therefore the founder of his own fortune, and their riches or poverty are generally proportioned to their activity or indolence. The vice of gambling, however, is prevalent among them, and some are such slaves to it that they frequently lose all their horses. The spot where
“The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep,”
is about midway between the village and the fort, and has rather a picturesque effect at a distance. When a man dies several horses are killed, and the skins are attached to the end of long poles, which are planted in