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proceeded on, with Cull and Taylor, in search of an Indian path, through which they convey their canoes into the river above the overfall. Taylor, not having been here for many years,
had lost all recollection where to find it; however, after a tedious search we fell in with it, and perceived evident signs of their having recently passed this way, but not apparently in any great number. The evening advancing, we retraced our steps, and reached our fire-place with the close of the day. The night proved more mild than any hitherto, and our rest proportionably better. Here I left bread, pork, cocoa and sugar, for two days, and four gallons of rum.
17th, South-westerly winds, with sleet and cold weather. Began this day's route by conducting the sledges in a winding direction amongst some high rocks, which forms the lower part of the waterfall ;-we had not proceeded more than half a mile, before it was found necessary to unload and parbuckle the casks over a perpendicular neck of land, which, projecting into the rapid, prevented the ice attaching itself to its verge ; having reloaded on the opposite side, and turned the Margin of Coves for the third of a mile, we arrived at the foot of a steep bank where commenced the Indian path; here it was also necessary to unload. Leaving the party to convey the things up the bank, I went on with Cull and Taylor, to discover the farther end of the path ; having come to a marsh, it was with difficulty we again traced it; at length we reached the river above the overfall, its whole extent being one mile and a quarter,--having gone on two miles beyond this, we returned. At noon, the wind having veered to the south-east, it came on to rain heavily, sent a division on to the farther end of the path to prepare a fire, &c. At 3 P.M. all the light baggage and arms being conveyed to the fire-place, the sledges were left for the night half-way in the path, so that after eight hours' fatigue, we had got little better than a mile and a half. It continued to rain hard until 9 P.M, when the wind having shifted round to the westward, the weather cleared up; and the crew, having dried their clothes, retired to rest.
18th. Wind W.N.W. and cold weather. Leaving the party to bring on the sledges to the Indian dock, and to repack them, I and the guides having advanced a mile, it was found requisite to cut a path of a hundred yards to pass over the point which the sledges could not round for want of sufficient ice being attached to it. . 10 h. 30' we now rounded a bay, leaving several islands on our left, the travelling pretty good, except in some places where the ice was very narrow, and the water oozing over its surface: most of us got wet feet. 2h. 30' P.M. put up in a cove on the north shore, as we should have been unable to have reached before dark another place where good fire-wood was to be found; here the river forms a bay on either side, leaving between them a space of nearly one mile and a half, in which were several islands.
Having given directions for the fire-place to be fenced in, and the sledges requiring to be repaired, Cull and myself went on two miles to Rushy Pond Marsh, where he had been last winter, and found that the two wigwams were removed which he then saw here. The trees leading from the river to the marsh were marked, and in some places a fence-work thrown up; the bushes in a particular line of direction, through a long extent of marsh, had wisps of birch bark suspended to them by salmon twine, so placed as to direct the deer down to the river; we killed two partridges, and retired to the party by an inland route; we reckon the distance from the Indian dock to this resting-place to be six miles.
19th. Westerly wind and moderate, but very cold. Most of this day's travelling over smooth snow, the sledges consequently hauled heavy; having winded for two miles amongst rough ice to gain a green wood on the south shore, that on the north being entirely burnt down, we put up at 4 P.M. a little way in on the bank of a brook, where we deposited a cask with bread, pork, cocoa and sugar for two days' consumption. In all this day's route the river was entirely frozen over: we passed several islands ; saw a fox and killed a partridge ; estimated distance ten miles; rested tolerably during the night.
20th. Wind W.N.W. and cold. Renewed our journey with the first appearance of day; broke two of the sledges by passing over a mile of sharp ice. At noon the sun shone forth; the weather warm, and a fine clear sky. 4 P.M. halted on an island situate two miles above Badger Bay Brook, which falls into the Exploits, on the north side, and saw the remains of a wigwam ; from this brook upwards, as also on the opposite side of the river, are fences for several miles, and one likewise extended, in a westerly direction, through the island on which we halted, and is calculated to be twelve miles from the last sleeping place, and twenty-seven miles from the Indian dock. Hodge's Hills bearing from this E.S.E.
21st. Wind westerly, with bleak weather. At dawn proceeded on; at noon several difficulties presented themselves in crossing a tract of shelvy ice, intersected with deep wide rents, occasioned by a waterfall; the sledges were however got over them, as also some steeps on the north bank. Having ascended the waterfall, found the river open, and faced with ice sufficient on the edge of its banks to admit the sledges. At 3 h. 30' put up for the night, and fenced in the fire-place; this day's distance is estimated at eleven miles, allowing seven from the island on which we slept to the overfall, and from thence four more to this. From the waterfall upwards, on either side of the river where the natural bank would have been inefficient, fences were thrown up, to prevent the deer from landing, after taking to the water by gaps left open for the purpose. Repacked the siedges, two of them being unfit to go on further, deposited a cask with bread, pork, cocoa and sugar for two days' consumption. The party slept well.
22d. Wind S.W. with mild hazy weather. Having advanced two miles, on the south side stood a storehouse; William Cull stated that no such building was there last year;
it appeared newly erected, and its form circular, and covered round with some deer skins, and some carcasses left a little way from it; two poles were stuck in the ice close to the water, as if canoes had lately been there. Four miles from this passed an island and rounded a bay, two miles beyond its western extremity,—on a projecting rock were placed several stag's horns : William Cull now informed me it was at this place he had examined the storehouses mentioned in his narrative, but now no vestige of them appeared; there was, however, ample room cleared of wood for such a building as is described to have stood, and a few hundred yards off was the frame of a wigwam still standing ; close to this was a deer-skin hanging to a tree, and farther on a trope with the name of “ Rousell.” On the south bank, a little lower down, also stood the remains of a wigwam, close to which Cull pointed out the other storehouse to have been; a quarter of a mile below, on the same side, a river, considerable in appearance, emptied itself into this; directly against its entrance stands an island, well wooded : we continued on four miles, and then the party stopped for the night; Cull accompanied me two miles farther, and returned at sun set. During this day's journey, at intervals, we could discern a track which bore the appearance of a man's foot going upwards. One of the sledges fell into the water, but it fortunately happening to be a shoal part nothing was lost. Our distance made good to-day we allow to be twelve miles, and the river open from the last overfall with scarcely enough ice attached to the bank to admit the sledges to pass on, and there are banks and fences in such places as the natives find it necessary to 'obstruct the landing of the deer, some of these extending
two or three miles, others striking inland. Divided the party into three watches, those on guard under arms during the night.
23d. Wind westerly, wild cold weather. At day-light renewed our journey: the river now shoaled and ran rapidly; I wished to have forded it, conceiving that the Indians inhabited the other side, but found it impracticable. At 10 A.M. having advanced six miles, and seeing the impossibility of proceeding farther with the sledges, I divided the party, leaving one-half to take care of the stores, whilst the other accompanied me; and taking with us four days’ provisions, we renewed our route; the river now winded more northerly. Having proceeded on about four miles, we observed on the south side a path in the snow, where a canoe had evidently been hauled across to get above a rattle, this being the only sure indication we had discovered of their having passed upwards from the store on the south side.The river narrowed, ran irregularly, and diminished in depth very considerably. Having passed several small rivers on this side, we came abreast of an island, opposite to which, on the south side, there was a path in the snow from the water, ascending a bank where the trees were very recently cut, clearly evincing the residence of the natives to be at no great distance; but it being impossible to ford the river at this place, we continued on, but had not gone more than a mile, when, on turning a point, an expansive view opened out, and we saw before us an immense lake extending in a N.E. and S.W. direction, its surface a smooth sheet of ice. We perceived tracks, but could not be certain whether of deer or men. On approaching the lake or pond, we discovered on its north-west side two objects in motion, but were uncertain whether they were men or quadrupeds. I drew the party suddenly into the wood to prevent discovery, and directing them to prepare a place for the night, I went on with Cull to reconnoitre. Having skirted along the woods for nearly two miles, we posted ourselves in a position to aba