We Also Deemed Mr. Wentzel To Be A Great Acquisition To Our
Party As A Check On The Interpreters, He Being One Of The Few Traders Who
Speak The Chipewyan Language.
As we were informed that external appearances made lasting impressions on
the Indians we prepared for the interview by decorating ourselves in
uniform and suspending a medal round each of our necks.
Our tents had
been previously pitched and over one of them a silken union flag was
hoisted. Soon after noon on July 30th several Indian canoes were seen
advancing in a regular line and, on their approach, the chief was
discovered in the headmost which was paddled by two men. On landing at
the fort the chief assumed a very grave aspect and walked up to Mr.
Wentzel with a measured and dignified step, looking neither to the right
nor to the left at the persons who had assembled on the beach to witness
his debarkation, but preserving the same immovability of countenance
until he reached the hall and was introduced to the officers. When he had
smoked his pipe, drank a small portion of spirits and water himself, and
issued a glass to each of his companions, who had seated themselves on
the floor, he commenced his harangue by mentioning the circumstances that
led to his agreeing to accompany the Expedition, an engagement which he
was quite prepared to fulfil. He was rejoiced he said to see such great
chiefs on his lands; his tribe were poor but they loved white men who had
been their benefactors; and he hoped that our visit would be productive
of much good to them.
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