Astoria; Or, Anecdotes Of An Enterprise Beyond The Rocky Mountains By Washington Irving




































































































































 - 

The rains having at length subsided, Mr. Hunt broke up the
encampment and resumed his course up the Missouri.

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The Rains Having At Length Subsided, Mr. Hunt Broke Up The Encampment And Resumed His Course Up The Missouri.

The party now consisted of nearly sixty persons, of whom five were partners, one, John Reed, was a clerk; forty were Canadian "voyageurs," or "engages," and there were several hunters.

They embarked in four boats, one of which was of a large size, mounting a swivel, and two howitzers. All were furnished with masts and sails, to be used when the wind was sufficiently favorable and strong to overpower the current of the river. Such was the case for the first four or five days, when they were wafted steadily up the stream by a strong southeaster.

Their encampments at night were often pleasant and picturesque: on some beautiful bank, beneath spreading trees, which afforded them shelter and fuel. The tents were pitched, the fires made, and the meals prepared by the voyageurs, and many a story was told, and joke passed, and song sung round the evening fire. All, however, were asleep at an early hour. Some under the tents, others wrapped in blankets before the fire, or beneath the trees; and some few in the boats and canoes.

On the 28th, they breakfasted on one of the islands which lie at the mouth of the Nebraska or Platte River - the largest tributary of the Missouri, and about six hundred miles above its confluence with the Mississippi. This broad but shallow stream flows for an immense distance through a wide and verdant valley scooped out of boundless prairies.

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