The Saguenay, having its head-waters far to the north in the dreary region near Hudson Bay, rich in furs, was the route by which the natives of that wild country brought their peltries to market. The Indians were much given to various forms of divination by which they believed that they ascertained the will of the unseen powers.
External pressure being removed, ambitions begin to develop themselves. Sidon becomes known as "Great Zidon." Not content with her maritime ascendancy, which was already pushing her into special notice, she aspired to a land dominion, and threw out offshoots from the main seat of her power as far as Laish, on the head-waters of the Jordan.
A number of chalk streams drain the vale and go to make up the head-waters of the Avon; in fact two streams, both bearing the old British name for river, meet hereabouts; the one rising about two miles from Savernake station and the other about the same distance from Devizes.
The torrent was no doubt on its way to join the greatest of rivers, the mighty Amazon the head-waters of which spring from all parts of the Andes, draining the slopes of these mountains through more than twenty degrees of latitude. Towards evening the little party were beginning to enter among the mountain spurs, or foot-hills.
In the lowlands, after the annual floods, the natives dug and washed the diluvial deposits for the precious metal exactly as is now done upon the Gold Coast; and they burrowed into the highlands which surround in crescent-form the head-waters of the great River Joliba.
As we were approaching this camp some suspicious looking objects were seen moving off at a long distance to the east of us, but as the scouts confidently pronounced them buffalo, we were unaware of their true character till next morning, when we became satisfied that what we had seen were Indians, for immediately after crossing Beaver Creek we struck a trail, leading to the northeast, of a war party that evidently came up from the head-waters of the Washita River.
The "black robe" was now to be seen in every Indian community of Canada; among the Hurons and Algonquins as far as Lake Huron, among the White Fish tribe at the head-waters of the Saguenay, and even among the Abenakis of the Kennebec.
Here round the Roman Ratæ, the predecessor of our Leicester, settled a tribe known as the Middle-English, while a small body pushed further southwards, and under the name of "South-Engle" occupied the oolitic upland that forms our present Northamptonshire. But the mass of the invaders seem to have held to the line of the Trent and to have pushed westward to its head-waters.
Passing over the Wasatch by way of Spanish Fork, he again entered the valley of the Colorado on the head-waters of the Uinta, pausing briefly at Roubidoux's Fort on Uinta River. Soon after he left, the fort and its occupants were annihilated by the Utes.
Astor, the founder of the association, had retired from busy life, and the concerns of the company were ably managed by Mr. Ramsay Crooks, of Snake River renown, who still officiates as its president. A competition immediately ensued between the two companies for the trade with the mountain tribes and the trapping of the head-waters of the Columbia and the other great tributaries of the Pacific.