at all seasons; the former I suppose to be the Willow Grouse. The men would neither sell nor give us a single salmon, saying that so strict were their orders that, should they sell one, the place might be taken from them. If this should prove the case everywhere, I shall not purchase many for my friends. The furs which they collect are sent off to Quebec at the first opening of the waters in spring, and not a skin of any sort was here for us to look at. We met here two large boats containing about twenty Montagnais Indians, old and young, men and women. They carried canoes lashed to the sides, like whale-ships, for the Seal fishery. The men were stout and good-looking, spoke tolerable French, the skin redder than any Indians I have ever seen, and more clear; the women appeared cleaner than usual, their hair braided and hanging down, jet black, but short. All were dressed in European costume except the feet, on which coarse moccasins of sealskin took the place of shoes. I made a bargain with them for some Grouse, and three young men were despatched at once. On leaving the harbor this morning we saw a black man-of-war-like looking vessel entering it with the French flag; she anchored near us, and on our return we were told it was the Quebec cutter. I wrote a note to the officer commanding, enclosing my card, and requesting an interview. The commander replied he would receive me in two hours. His name was Captain Bayfield, the vessel the "Gulnare." The sailor who had taken my note was asked if I had procured many birds, and how far I intended to proceed. After dinner, which consisted of hashed Eider Ducks, which were very good, the females always being fat when sitting, I cut off my three weeks' beard, put on clean linen, and with my credentials in my pocket went to the "Gulnare." I was received politely, and after talking on deck for a while, was invited into the cabin, and was introduced to the doctor, who appeared to be a man of
Page:Audubon and His Journals.djvu/428
This page has been validated.