12 F. W. How AY Let us now resume Meares's story. By three o'clock in the afternoon of the 29th June, the Felice arrived at the entrance of this great inlet, "which appeared," he says, "to be twelve or fourteen leagues abroad." It is in fact but twelve or fifteen miles in width. Could Meares not tell the difference between twelve miles, and twelve leagues ? Or did he stretch the width to tally more nearly with de Fuca's story to Lock that the strait was thirty or forty leagues wide? Or was it merely an effort of his fertile imagination, like his statement that de Fuca had noted the Indian habit of flattening the head ? The Voyage goes on to say: "From the mast-head it was "observed to stretch to the East by North and a clear and un- "bounded horizon was seen in this direction as far as the eye "could reach." Meares crossed to the southern shore and stood in for Cape Flattery. At a distance of about two miles, the Felice was hove to, while the long boat was manned to search for an anchorage between Tatooche island and Cape Flattery. Here Meares made the acquaintance of Tatooche, the Chief of the Clallam Indians, whose name stands side by side with those of Maquilla and Callicum in the early annals of the coast. You all remember Meares's description of Tatooche "so surly and forbidding a character we had not yet seen" "of savage and frightful appearance", "barbarous and subtle". Four years later when the Sutil and Mexicana entered the strait, they met Tatooche, whom they called Tetacus, and engaged him as pilot. They call him "our friend Tetacus", and speak of him as "exceedingly friendly", as "never belying his frankness and confidence", and as being "very intelligent and well-behaved". Did the character of Tatooche alter in the interval, or is Meares wrong again? Meares goes on to say: "The strongest curiosity impelled "us to enter this strait, which we shall call by the name of its "original discoverer, Juan de Fuca". Did the fact that Meares had in his possession Barkley's chart with this name already applied to the strait, aid him in selecting that name? It was
Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/20
This page needs to be proofread.