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ted. The grief displayed on this occasion seemed to have much sincerity in it, and there was some. thing extremely touching in this quiet but unaffect. ed tribute of sorrow on the spot, which so forcibly reminded them of the object of their parental af. fection. I have much gratification in adding, in this place, another circumstance, which, though tri. fling in itself, deserves to be noticed as doing hon. our to these people's hearts. They had always shown particular attachment to a dog they had sold me, and which bore the same name as a young man, a son of their own, whom they had formerly lost. In the course of this journey, the old woman would constantly call the dog “ Eerninga" (son), which the affectionate animal never failed to repay by jumping up and licking her face all over, when. ever his trace would allow him; and at night, after Toolemak had fed his own dogs, he frequently brought to our tent an extra piece of meat, express. ly for Annowtalik, to whom these poor people seemed to take a mournful pleasure in now transferring their affection.
Landing close to the head of the inlet on the south shore, we proceeded with difficulty a couple of miles over land till we came to a river, the limits of which the warmth of the weather was just ren. dering discernible, and which our guides informed us was to be our fishing-place. It was interesting to observe that, in every case of doubt as to the situation of a place, the best route, or the most ad. visable method of overcoming any difficulty, Too. lemak invariably referred to his wife ; and a con. sultation of some minutes was held by these two before they would determine on what was to be
done, or even return an answer to our questions respecting it. Pitching our tents upon the banks of the river, we went upon the ice, which was still quite solid except close to the shores, and soon made two or three holes for a hook and line, the thickness of the ice in the middle being from six to seven feet. The Esquimaux fish hook is general. ly composed of a piece of ivory, having a hook of pointed iron, without a barb, let into it. The ivory they consider useful in attracting the salmon, but they also bait the hook with a piece of blubber well cleared of its oil by chewing, and securely tied on with a thread of sinew, so as to cover nearly the whole of the hook. A small piece of bone, rein. deer's horn, or wood, serves as a rod, and with this they keep the bait constantly in motion up and down, the bait being from one to three feet be. low the surface of the ice. Previous, however, to commencing the fishery, the old lady, wbo took the principal part in this employment, muttered some words, to me altogether incomprehensible, over the hole, to which Toolemak, in a formal manner, added something about fish and Kabloonas; and the whole of this preparatory ceremony seemed in. tended to propitiate the spirit to whose department the salmon particularly belonged. The lady (for it seems she is a female) did not, however, appear to lend a very favourable ear to our wants or Too. lemak's rhetoric; for, after many hours' patient trial on this and the following day, only two fish were seen and one caught to repay our labour.
On the 27th Toolemak and his wife went over to a small shallow lake, on the opposite side of the riv. er, where they caught three or four fish of the salm.
on kind, but none more than one pound in weight. He then came back to the tent, and made a small spear according to their own fashion ; but with this, to his great disappointment, he could not strike a single fish. A sort of fish.gig, which we made out of four large hooks lashed back to back at the end of a light staff, succeeded much better, the bait being played in the usual manner to attract the fish, which were then hooked up with great ease and certainty by this instrument. In this manner we soon caught a dozen of the same kind as before ; and the rest of our party had in the mean time killed a deer.
Toolemak began now to be extremely impatient to return home, his principal anxiety arising, I be. lieve, from a childish desire to know what I should give him for his trouble ; and when, in writing a note to Lieutenant Nias, I enumerated the articles I intended to present to him, he expressed more delight than I had ever before seen escape him. Among these was one of the rifle-guns supplied as presents, together with a sufficient quantity of am. munition to last him one summer, after which the gun would probably become useless itself for want of cleaning. It was astonishing to see the readi. ness with which these people learned to fire at a mark, and the tact they displayed in everything re. lating this art. Boys from twelve to sixteen years of age would fire a fowling-piece, for the first time, with perfect steadiness; and the men, with very little practice, would very soon become supe. rior marksmen.* As, however, the advantage they
* A fine lad, of about sixteen, being one day out in a boat with one of our gentlemen at Arlagnuk, reminded him, with a
could derive from the use of firearms must be of very short duration, and the danger to any careless individuals very considerable, we did not, on any other occasion, consider it prudent to furnish them in this manner.
On the morning of the 28th Toolemak had left us for the ships, carrying with him our venison to be left there, and having first explained when and where the Esquimaux catch the fish with which he had supplied us the preceding summer; for it now appeared that they were not found in great abun. dance, or of that magnitude, in the river, but at the mouth of a very small stream about two miles lower down the creek on the same side. Their method is, to place in the bed of the stream, which is quite narrow, and seldom or never so deep as a man's middle, though running with great force, two or three separate piles of stones, which serve the double purpose of keeping off the force of the stream from themselves, and of narrowing the pas. sage through which the fish have to pass in coming up from the sea to feed; thus giving the peo. ple an opportunity of striking them with their spears, and throwing them on the shore without much difficulty.
On the afternoon of the 1st of July we shifted our tents overland, and down the creek as far as the salmon stream. In performing this short jour. ney over bare ground, I was enabled to form some
serious face, that he had laid a gun down full-cocked. There happened to be no charge in the gun at the time; but this was a proof of the attention the boy had paid to the art of using firearms, as well as an instance of considerate and manly caution, scarcely to have been expected in an individual of that age.
conception of the difficulties likely to be encoun. tered by Captain Lyon and his companions; for, even with our light load, the dogs could scarcely move at times. One of the strongest of eleven fell down in a fit occasioned by over exertion; the poor animal lay on his side, foaming at the mouth for a minute or two, but soon recovered sufficient. ly to be able to walk ; and, being taken out of the sledge, was quite strong again the next day. We had scarcely arrived at the stream, when Toolemak's account was very satisfactorily confirmed by our finding on the ice near its mouth part of two fine salmon, above two feet in length, that had been thrown up by the force of the torrent, and a similar one was seen in the water. Our provisions being now out, we prepared for returning to the ships the following day; and I determined in a short time to send out Mr. Crozier with a larger party, well equipped with everything necessary for procuring us both fish and deer. We therefore left our tent, spare ammunition, and various other articles that would be required here, buried under a heap of stones near the stream, and on the morn. ing of the 2d set out for the ships. The change which one week had made upon the ice it is quite impossible to conceive, the whole surface being now checkered with large and deep pools of water, where not a symptom of thawing had before appeared. This continued the whole way to the ships which we reached at eight P.M., finding Captain Lyon and his party returned, after a laborious but unsuccessful endeavour to penetrate overland to the westward.
On my arrival at the ships I found several new