Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 53.djvu/175

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161
CRUISE AMONG HAIDA AND TLINGIT VILLAGES.

for the Hudson Bay Company's post. We finally decided to take one of the British Columbia steamers, and land at Port Simpson, the chief town of the north coast and the one nearest to Masset. There we hoped it would be possible to secure some sort of a sailing vessel with which we could make our proposed journey.

After eight days of steaming along that most wonderful of inland seas we landed at Port Simpson, six hundred miles from Victoria, on June 30th. The prospect, after a few hours' survey of the barren beach and of the bay devoid of boats, was not cheerful; nor

PSM V53 D175 Street in masset queen charlotte islands.jpg
Street in Masset. Queen Charlotte Islands.

did the perpetual patter of the rain, nor the thick depressing fog, nor the forlorn, deserted appearance of the town, contribute greatly to encourage a belief that our mission was to be successful. One thing, however, was in our favor: the Hudson Bay officer from Masset was in Simpson and was ready to return to his post. This fact, in the end, proved greatly to our advantage, for by his efforts we were enabled to secure one of the boats which had been used by the Canadian surveyors in running the international boundary line in 1895. So the Janet, the largest of the boats, was taken out of the shed and put into the water, and after two days' soaking it was found that the leakage could easily be kept in check, and she was pronounced seaworthy.

Our party numbered five: Mr. Stephens, the merchant; Mr.