at Fort Vancouver, and set out for the East, to secure recruits and supplies for the Oregon missions.
Twenty-five months elapsed before Father DeSmet returned again to Fort Vancouver. After visiting many of the chief cities of Europe, he set sail from Antwerp on the brig Infatigable, early in January, 1844, accompanied by four Fathers and a lay brother of the society, and six Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. The Infatigable rounded Cape Horn on the 20th of March, 1844, and came in sight of the Oregon coast on the 28th of July. After a terrifying experience, they crossed the Columbia bar in safety on the 31st of July, the feast of St. Ignatius. Father DeSmet frequently refers to the "divine pilotage," which brought them unharmed through the shallow passage and the treacherous breakers. From Astoria, DeSmet set out for Fort Vancouver in a canoe, leaving his companions to follow when a favorable wind would permit. He was received with open arms by Dr. McLoughlin, and by Father Demers, who was planning to leave shortly for Canada to secure Sisters to open a school. From Father Demers he received the good news that the missionaries in the Rocky Mountains had received a strong re-inforcement from St. Louis during his absence. The Vicar-General, Father Blanchet, was at St. Paul when informed of DeSmet's arrival. He immediately set out for Vancouver, bringing a number of his parishioners with him and traveling all night by canoe.
On the eve of the feast of the Assumption, the newly arrived recruits for the mission, left Fort Vancouver for St. Paul. "Our little squadron," says Father DeSmet, "consisted of four canoes manned by the parishioners of Fr. Blanchet, and our own sloop. We sailed up the river and soon entered the Willamette. As night approached, we moored our vessels and encamped upon the shore. (This must have been within the limits of the present city of Portland. ) The morning's dawn found us on foot. It was the festival of the glorious Assumption of the Mother of God. Aided by the nuns, I erected a small altar. Father Blanchet offered the Holy Sacrifice, at