The French plied his Indians with brandy, then picked out a thousand of his best skins, a trick that cost the Hudson's Bay Company some of its profit. On June 1 the canoes once more set out for York. With the rain-swollen current the paddlers easily made fast time and reached York on June 20.
In the excitement of battle he had not heard the rushing tumult of the creek close under them, and over the edge of a rock Papayuchisew and he went together, the chill water of the rain-swollen stream muffling a final snarl and a final hiss of the two little fighters.
The rain-swollen stream, cramped in the narrow passage, flung itself foaming high on the spray-wet cliffs, and dashed in a mighty torrent into a deep howl riven out of the solid granite twenty feet below. We put off our clothes and leaped into the pool, enjoying intensely the coolness of the swirling water after the sweat of our climb.
On every log or bit of smaller drift that rain-swollen bayous had ever brought from the forest and thrown upon their banks some wild tenant of the jungle, hare or weasel, cat, otter, or raccoon, had taken refuge, sometimes alone, but oftener sharing it, in common misery and silent truce, with deadly foes.
His horse was lame but he must go on: so he hired a "yaller" mule from the landlord, and when the beast was brought around, he overheard two men talking at the end of the porch. "You don't mean to say they've made peace?" "Yes, Rufe's going away agin and they shuk hands all of 'em." The other laughed. "Rufe ain't gone yit!" The Cumberland River was rain-swollen.
At last a retreat was decided upon, and over mountain summits and through rain-swollen streams, they achieved their sorrowful purpose, continually accosted by the enemy, leaving killed and prisoners in their wake.
Radisson had sprained his ankle; and the long portages by the banks of the ice-laden, rain-swollen rivers were terrible. The rocks were slippery as glass with ice and moss. The forests of this region are full of dank heavy windfall that obstructs the streams and causes an endless succession of swamps.
Of what became of it; how its weary march dragged on from day to day; how it was hampered by the train of captives, halted by rain-swollen torrents, and was well-nigh starved withal; of all these things you may read elsewhere. But now you must ride with Richard Jennifer and me, and our way lay to the eastward.
Pressing forwards they saw a boat floating upside down, and whirling about tumultuously in the racing and rain-swollen eddies of the mill-dam. A floating straw hat was already being sucked in by the gurgling rush of water that roared under the mighty circumference of the wheel, and for a moment they saw nothing more.
And he chose for exit the cañon of the Little Smoky itself. For there were many blind ravines pocketing the sides of the Valley of the Eagles, but the little Smoky would lead him straight to the summits. He looked back as he reached the mouth of the gorge, filled with the murmur of the rain-swollen waters. Perris was drifting towards them. And Alcatraz tossed his head and struck into a canter.