Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

the question of the supposed identity, I carried away two specimens, which, however, proved, on a minute couparison, to differ from the genuine staple of the brown heaths of the land o' cakes." We made also another discovery, about which there could be no mistake, in a troublesome and venomous species of winged insect, which, in size and appearance, might have been taken for a cross between the bull dog and house fly. On resuming our march, we had not descended half a mile, before we felt a difference in the climate, a change noticed by all travellers in these regions; and the trees were also of fine growth. Whatever may be the reason of the sudden alteration, the same clouds have been known to clothe the eastern side with hail and snow, and to refresh the western with gentle rain. With reference, however, to this state of the atmosphere, the temperature of the water is somewhat anomalous ; for, after a lapse of two or three days, the stream, which we followed, was subsequently found to be still half a degree cooler than the source of the Bow River on the height of land. In the progress of our descent, we took some interest in tracing, as it were, Nature's manufacture of a river, as every rill that trickled down the rocks, with its thread of melted snow, contributed its mite to the main current of various names, the Kootonais, or the M'Gillivray, or the Flat-bow.

Even at our first encampment, after only half a day's march, the flood had already gathered a breadth of fifty feet. Next morning, we forded the river twenty-three times, each attempt becoming, of course, more difficult than the preceding one; and we crossed it once more, immediately before breakfast, near

[graphic][graphic][subsumed][merged small]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS.

37

its confluence with another stream of about equal magnitude. During this single march, the fifty feet of yesterday evening had swollen into a hundred yards ; and the channel was so deep, that the packs got soaked on the backs of the horses. Here we made a meal of our third porcupine, the only fresh meat that we could get; for though our track bore the recent marks of the bear, the buffalo, the antelope, the sheep, the moose, the red deer, and the wolf, yet the noise of our cavalcade seemed to scare all these animals into the woods.

[graphic][merged small]
[graphic][merged small]

Next day, continues Sir George Simpson, while we were waiting the arrival of such of our people as were coming by land from Kullespelm Lake, we employed our leisure in paying a visit to the native camp, crossing, for this purpose, a small stream in canoes closely resembling those we had seen on the Kootonais River. On our arrival, all the inmates of about twenty-five lodges-at least, all such as could move-rushed to shake hands with

The tents were of every conceivable shape, some oblong, others round, and so on, while the clumsy frame. work was covered with mats, or bark, or boughs, or skins,

(38)

us.

« AnteriorContinuar »