Many Bears Prowl About The Banks Of This
River In Summer; Of These The Grizzly Bear Is The Most Ferocious And Is
Held In Dread Both By Indians And Europeans.
The traveller in crossing
these plains not only suffers from the want of food and water but is also
Exposed to hazard from his horse stumbling in the numerous badger-holes.
In many large districts the only fuel is the dried dung of the buffalo;
and when a thirsty traveller reaches a spring he has not unfrequently the
mortification to find the water salt.
Carlton House and La Montee are provision-posts, only an inconsiderable
quantity of furs being obtained at either of them. The provisions are
procured in the winter season from the Indians in the form of dried meat
and fat and, when converted by mixture into pemmican, furnish the
principal support of the voyagers in their passages to and from the
depots in summer. A considerable quantity of it is also kept for winter
use at most of the fur-posts as the least bulky article that can be taken
on a winter journey. The mode of making pemmican is very simple, the meat
is dried by the Indians in the sun or over a fire, and pounded by beating
it with stones when spread on a skin. In this state it is brought to the
forts where the admixture of hair is partially sifted out and a third
part of melted fat incorporated with it, partly by turning the two over
with a wooden shovel, partly by kneading them together with the hands.
The pemmican is then firmly pressed into leathern bags, each capable of
containing eighty-five pounds and, being placed in an airy place to cool,
is fit for use.
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