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It was not until the 22d of July that they arrived at Mackinaw, situated on the island of the same name, at the confluence of lakes Huron and Michigan. This famous old French trading post continued to be a rallying point for a multifarious and motley population. The inhabitants were amphibious in their habits, most of them being, or having been voyageurs or canoe men.

Rocks were rolled down on the boatmen at the worst portages by aggressive Indians; and once, when the hungry voyageurs were at a meal of dog meat, an Indian impudently flung a live pup straight at Captain Lewis' plate. In a trice the pup was back in the fellow's face; Lewis had seized a weapon; and the crestfallen aggressor had taken ignominiously to his heels.

Hunt was not accustomed to the management of "voyageurs," and he had a crew admirably disposed to play the old soldier, and balk their work; and ever ready to come to a halt, land, make a fire, put on the great pot, and smoke, and gossip, and sing by the hour.

Hunt despatched one of the Canadian voyageurs in search of the fugitive; and the whole party, after proceeding a few miles further, encamped on an island to wait his return. The Canadian rejoined the party, but without the squaw; and Pierre Dorion passed a solitary and anxious night, bitterly regretting his indiscretion in having exercised his conjugal authority so near home.

Stooping, he picked it up and found it to be a scalping-knife! dropped, probably, long before by some passing Indians or voyageurs, for it was very rusty. With a bounding heart and a wild rush of blood to his temples, he sprang towards a tree: stuck the point of the knife into it; held the handle with his teeth; sawed the thongs across its edge once or twice and was free!

Jonathan Thorn, the captain, was a retired naval officer, who resented the easy familiarity of the fur traders with their servants, and ridiculed the seasickness of the fresh-water voyageurs. The Tonquin had barely rounded the Horn before the partners and the commander were at sixes and sevens.

The voyageurs thought this the explosion of stones, but soon learned to recognize the sound of avalanche and land-slide. The river became narrower, deeper, swifter, as the explorers approached the mountains. For five miles rocks rose on each side twelve hundred feet high, sheer as a wall.

A pull from Basil fixed it; and in a few minutes it was made quite fast, without the slightest danger of its slipping off. The other end was then carried round a projecting point of the rock on which they stood, and knotted firmly, so that the rope was quite taut, and stretched in a nearly horizontal direction, about a foot above the surface of the water. The voyageurs now prepared to cross over.

Others bark like 'toy-dogs, while still other kinds utter a whistling noise, from which one species derives its trivial name of 'whistler' among the traders, and is the 'siffleur' of the Canadian voyageurs. "The 'whistler's' call of alarm can be heard at a great distance; and when uttered by the sentinel is repeated by all the others as far as the troop extends.

First the swan, and after him the canoe, swung round the bend, and entered the new "reach" of the river. The voyageurs at once perceived that the bird now swam more slowly. He no longer "carried sail," as the wind was no longer in his favour.

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