I Had Gone Indoors To Avoid The "Dog-Sign" And Next
Morning Found, Alas, That I Had Been Lying All Night On "Cat-Sign."
I say lying; I did not sleep.
The closeness of the room, in spite
of an open window, the novelty, the smells, combined with the
excitement of letters from home, banished sleep until morning came,
and, of course, I got a bad cold, the first I had had all summer.
Here I said "good-bye" to old Weeso. He grinned affably, and when I
asked what he would like for a present said, "Send me an axe like
yours," There were three things in my outfit that aroused the cupidity
of nearly every Indian, the Winchester rifle, the Peterboro canoe
and the Marble axe, "the axe that swallows its face." Weeso had
a rifle, we could not spare or send him a canoe, so I promised to
send him the axe. Post is slow, but it reached him six months later
and I doubt not is even now doing active service.
Having missed the last steamer, we must go on by canoe. Canoeing
up the river meant "tracking" all the way; that is, the canoe must
be hauled up with a line, by a man walking on the banks; hard work
needing not only a strong, active man, but one who knows the river.
Through the kindness of J. McLeneghan, of the Swiggert Trading
Company, I was spared the horrors of my previous efforts to secure
help at Fort Resolution, and George Sanderson, a strong young
half-breed, agreed to take me to Fort Smith for $2.00 a day and
means of returning.
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