Page:Audubon and His Journals.djvu/427

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
375
THE LABRADOR JOURNAL

acquaintance with man. We saw a great number of Gulls of various kinds, but mostly L. marinus and L. tridactylus; these were on the extreme points of sand-bars, but could not be approached, and certainly the more numerous they are, the more wild and wary. On entering the river we saw several nets set across a portion of the stream for the purpose of catching salmon; these seines were fastened in the stream about sixty yards from either shore, supported by buoys; the net is fastened to the shore by stakes that hold it perpendicular to the water; the fish enter these, and entangle themselves until removed by the fishermen. On going to a house on the shore, we found it a tolerably good cabin, floored, containing a good stove, a chimney, and an oven at the bottom of this, like the ovens of the French peasants, three beds, and a table whereon the breakfast of the family was served. This consisted of coffee in large bowls, good bread, and fried salmon. Three Labrador dogs came and sniffed about us, and then returned under the table whence they had issued, with no appearance of anger. Two men, two women, and a babe formed the group, which I addressed in French. They were French Canadians and had been here several years, winter and summer, and are agents for the Fur and Fish Co., who give them food, clothes, and about $80 per annum. They have a cow and an ox, about an acre of potatoes planted in sand, seven feet of snow in winter, and two-thirds less salmon than was caught here ten years since. Then three hundred barrels was a fair season; now one hundred is the maximum; this is because they will catch the fish both ascending and descending the river. During winter the men hunt Foxes, Martens, and Sables, and kill some Bear of the black kind, but neither Deer nor other game is to be found without going a great distance in the interior, where Reindeer are now and then procured. One species of Grouse and one of Ptarmigan, the latter white