Page:Narrative of a Voyage around the World - 1843.djvu/146
RUSSIAN FUR ESTABLISHMENT.
quite at case in following up the objects of the expedition, he requested I would consider myself quite at home, and make my own arrangements as to the selection of a site for my observatory or any other pursuits. He speaks English well, and with true English feeling acted up to all he professed; indeed, his civilities were overpowering. The Sulphur is the first foreign vessel of war that has visited this colony.
Having warped the ship to within a cable's length of the arsenal, the observatory was landed on an island opposite, and we had the good fortune to obtain complete sights, and secure our meridian before midnight. The natives visited us, bringing salmon, &c., and some few skins, but the Governor having most kindly supplied us with more of the former than we could consume, and any traffic in the latter being expressly against the laws of the colony in which we were guests, I considered it prudent, and what courtesy demanded, that traffic on board or at the observatory should be tabooed. This soon shortened the numbers of hangers on, whose principal object is generally to note the nakedness of the land, and aid in depredations at night.
Independent of this, as the Governor informed me, that even in his time, two years, their fortress had been threatened, and that, although seven hundred only were now in our neighbourhood, seven thousand might arrive in a few hours, I deemed it prudent to keep them as much aloof as our sentinels,