196 T. C. ELLIOTT Our interest in any one is always enlivened by his likeness or some bit of writing from his hand. Something of what David Thompson wrote in his journal (now to be seen at Toronto, Canada), and thus actually recorded while here at Kettle Falls one hundred years ago this very week, will serve as an introduction to him personally. His journal reads: "June 29th, 1811, Saturday, very fine day but cloudy. Finished the canoe to one board in each side * * . All the timbers of the other canoe got burnt by neglect.* * * . The indians speared six salmon, they gave us two. They carry the aversion they know the salmon to have to the taste of the water in which men and animals and especially salmon have been washed to superstition. They did (not) begin spearing till near noon, as the spearer had seen the bearer of a deathshead boy since dead ; to have speared fish with such unclean eyes would have driven all the salmon away and he pacified himself with a decoction of the scraped bark of the red hem (lock) ; thus cleaned he proceeded to work. The salmon are about 15 to 25 to 30 pounds weight here, well tasted, but they have cut all their feet retaining all their meat ; their flesh is red and they are extremely well made. "June 30th, Sunday, a fine cool cloudy day, in the afternoon slight rain, they speared eleven salmon, gave us three, one is a fine one. Finished the boards of the canoe, rested the rest of the day. "July 1st, Monday, a very fine day. Men went for gum which they gathered and made and gummed a very small part of the canoe. One salmon. Engaged Billaris as hunter etc. Sent off the balance to Juco. Gave the horses to the care of the Chief here and killed one for food. July 2nd, Tuesday, very fine day, gummed the canoe and arranged many little affairs." The following day he started down the Columbia in this one canoe with seven companions of French and Indian blood on that first journey of a white man from Ilth-koy-ape, as the Indians called these Falls, to the ocean. The night of the 5th found them encamped some distance below the mouth of the
Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/204
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