Page:The cruise of the Corwin.djvu/137

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whence they came—its mountains and valleys, its broad grassy plains and far-reaching rivers, its forests and its bogs.

The Indians seemed to me the wildest animals of all. The traders were not at all wild, save in dress, but rather gentle and subdued in manners and aspect, like half-paid village ministers. They held us in a long interesting conversation, and gave us many valuable facts concerning the heart of the Yukon country. Some Indians on the beach were basking in the yellow, mellow sun. Herring and salmon were hanging upon frames or lying on the rocks—a lazy abundance of food that discouraged thought of the future.

The shores here are crowded with immense shoals of herring, and the Indians are lazily catching just enough to eat. Those we had for dinner are not nearly so good as those I ate last year at Cross Sound. The Yukon salmon, however, are now in excellent condition, and are the largest by far that I have seen. Yet the Yukon Indians suffer severely at times from famine, though they might dry enough in less than a week to last a year.

We are making a short stay here to take on provisions, and intend to go northward again to-morrow to meet the search party that we landed near Koliuchin Island. Another de-