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THE FUR TRADERS OF THE WEST
EUPERT AND BIMOLA.
THE FUR TRADERS OF
ADVENTURES AMONG THE REDSKINS
ERNEST R. SUFFLING
AUTHOR OF THE LAND OF THE BROADS," AFLOAT IN A GIPSY VAN," "JTHE STORY
HUNTER," ETC., ETC.
FREDERICK WARNE AND CO.
AND NEW YORK.
[All rights reserved.]
THAT boys are strange beings none will care to deny:
Restless and buoyant as the waves on the sea, they are
ever. on the move, and, like the sea, if they lose their
movement they lose one of their chief characteristics and
become dull, flat, and uninteresting.
To them movement is a necessity of life, and all they
engage in must have vigour and dash, or it will inevit-
ably be rejected as too slow and monotonous for their
I know the British boy, his likes and dislikes; and
I know the kind of books he loves, and why he appre-
ciates them. Every page must carry him forward and
contain its store of interest, without long pages of de-
scription and sentimental platitude before he arrives at
the gist of what is about to happen.
Oh, he is an impatient fellow, is the English boy, and
does not like to be held unduly in suspense while the
story drags its slow length wearily along. Why does he
love "Robinson Crusoe" ? Because every page brings
something strange and adventurous before him. Why
is "Masterman Ready" in favour with him? Because
its movement is continuous. And so with all his
favourite books, adventure follows adventure, and seldom
a dull page confronts him; there is almost an entire
absence of the platitudes, long conversations and mental
literary food which his father and mother and grown-up
brothers and sisters so relish in the works of the leading
Very well; knowing, as I do, the temperament of the
ever-rising generation, I have endeavoured to conjure
from my ink-vase and my brain, a story that shall be full
of adventures of a thrilling nature (without overstepping
the bounds of moderation and probability), of a kind that
contains nothing hurtful to the young mind; one shorn
of all conversation, except where absolutely necessary to
explain the meaning of certain events, and one that, while
it shows that courage and energy are traits to be admired,
also goes far to prove that truth, sincerity, and magnani-
mity should also form integral parts in the composition of
the character of the boys of Great Britian.
ERNEST R. SUFPLING.
PORTSDOWN ROAD, W.
To MY READERS.
N.B.-Might I suggest the advisability of having an
Atlas handy when reading this story, as by so doing the
locality of the numerous places will the more readily be
fixed in the mind, and the narrative will be better appre-
ciated. The reader armed with an Atlas will thus kill two
birds with one stone-he will be more entertained with
the book and at the same time receive a good and lasting
lesson in geography.
E. R. S.
The Return of The aunter.-A Beautiful Town.-Village Rejoic-
ings.-William Doone of Fowey.-Baggage Ashore.-The Two
The Captain's Surprise.-Ruth.-A Retrospect of David Rose and
William Doone.-A Thirty-five Thousand Miles' Voyage pro-
jected and safely accomplished.-A Glance at the Far West 12
Doone's Dilemma.-He takes Council.-The Cargo of The Hunter.-
The Convoy to London.-Rupert's Ride 21
The Fur Convoy Starts.-The Conversation on Dartmoor.-A Start-
ling Proposal.-Its Acceptance.-The Land Pirates at the Inn.
-Fallen among Thieves.-Nineteen, Twenty !-A Lucky Shot.
-The Furs Sold 25
Springtime.-The Hunter refitted.-A Glance at her Stores.-Her
Cargo.-The Plan of Campaign.-The Hunter sails 39
Pass the Cape Verdes.-Crossing the Line.-Pernambuco.-Donna
Anneta.-Tumbling round the Horn.-Valdivia.-The all-
fitting Poncho.-Socarro Islands.-The Pirate Vessel.-Suspi-
cious Questions.-Preparing for a Tussle.-A Stubborn Fight.
-A Terrible Carnage.-Despair of the Hunters."-A Strange
Explosion.-Victory But How P 46
Repairs to Ship and Crew.-The Story of Robert Belton.-His
Early Life and Voyages.-Truxillo.-Captured by the Poyais
Indians.-Dusky Jacilla.-The Pirates Executed.-An Escape.
-Visit to Agent No. 1.-The Tashtel Indians.-Their Dress,
Appearance, and Mode of Living.-Bartering for Peltries 69
A Pull up Eel River to find Agent No. 2.-An Indian Fort.-The
Wounded Men.-Camp Cookery.-A Night Attack.-A Parley.
-The Shadow of the Spear.-A Hand-to-hand Fight.-Trading
a Failure 81
Umpqua Head.-Oom-pa-nu greets the White Men.-Invitation to
a Sea-Otter Hunt.-Notes on the Animal.-Four Modes of Cap-
ture.-The Hunt.-A Feast.-Mrs. Doone and Ruth introduced
to Indian Life 92
Up the Umpqua River.-Fort Cornwall and Fowey Pool described.
-First Trip Ashore.-A Successful Day.-The Fort and Store
commenced.-The Hunter Sails 102
The Building Proceeds.-A Surprise Party of Klamaths.-Another
of Tacons and Umpquas.-A Description of them and their
Bidarkies.-Bighorn Mutton.-A Canoe Expedition.-A Snug
Camp.-The Hunter found 112
A Mystery.-Land Pirates.-Stalking a Camp.-The Signal.-A
Battle.-The Fate of Captain Rose.-A Cave Dwelling.-Tug
of War.-Wrestling.-Friends meet.-A Bear Adventure.-A
Madman in a Canoe.-At Death's Door.-Work on the Island 124
A Novel Means of Signalling.-The Remnants of a Crew.-A Tragic
Story.-A Peaceful Beginning ends in a Kick.-A Threat of
SRevenge.-Danger apprehended.-The Chief gives a Signal.-
A Fearful Fight against Odds.-Death of both Red and White
Chiefs.-A Dash for Life.-The White Man's Revenge and
Heroic Death 147
Escape in the Longboat.-A Terrible Sea.-A Sad Predicament.-
A Cave Sanctuary.-Fire from a Pistol.-The Dead Seal.-The
Interpreter's Death.-The Tramp commenced.-A Cudgel
brings Food.-Lost in the Wilderness.-Despair.-Red Men to
the Rescue.-Home 157
The Tenants of the Fort.-A Western Hurricane.-The Bidarlde
Overset.-Doones to the Rescue.-Two Clatsops drowned.-A
Strange Burial.-Constructing a Bidarkie.-Felling a Giant
Tree.-Some Artistic Carving and Weird Painting 166
A Grand Hunting Expedition.-Canoes carried Sixty Miles.-Queer
Umbrellas.-Source of the Williamette.-A Callapuya Ceme-
tery.-The Callapuya Village.-A Shot in the Dark.-A
Fine Breakfast.-The Ahsahta or Bighorn.-Washing Sheep.-
A Fall.-The Grizzly Bear described and encountered.-A Novel
Weapon.-Flight.-An Uncomfortable Night.-The Bear in his
Lair.-The Pit of Death entered.-Bruin's Fight and Defeat.-
A Deer Drive.-A Fine Day's Sport.-The Hunt concluded 179
Back to the Lake.-A Callapuya Dinner-Party.-The Stolen Deer-
Skins.-A Skirmish.-The Village Fired.-Afloat again.-An
Ambush.-Stalking the Robbers.-An Indian Game.-The
Gamblers Interrupted.-"Pay back the Arrow."-Wounded
remain at Source of Williamette.-Scalps and their Prepara-
tion.-The Scalp Dance.-Its Terrible Effect 201
The Clatsops and Klamaths leave for their Summer Quarters.-Kiss-
ing Painted Faces.-Presents.-A Garden made.-Wild Goose-
berries and Currants.-Swimming the Pool.-The Candle Fish.
-Salmon Season.-Netting.-Spearing and Curing Salmon for
A Signal of Distress.-Mrs. Doone in Bed.-Ruth and her Mother
as Huntresses.-Indians.-Ruth Fires.-So does Mrs. Doone.-
She Conquers but Falls.-Callapuya Threats 223
The Fort in Danger. -Primitive Scaling Ladders.-The First Assault
Unsuccessful.-K'nick-K'neck.-The Defenders in Council.-
The Mines.-Another Attack.-A Holocaust.-The Wounded
cared for.-The Flatheads depart 229
Beautiful Scenery of the West.-The Acorn Harvest.-Bread from
Acorn Meal.-Bartering.-A Ludicrous Incident nearly turns
to a Serious One.-The Furs in Store increase.-Races.-Perfect
Basket-weaving.-Nick-nacks of all Kinds.-"Wokas."-A
Temascal.-A Premeditated Pilgrimage 239
Programme of a Pilgrimage to Yerba Buena.-The Quartette start.
-Up the Umpqua.-The Camp.-A Simple Mode of Carrying
Goods.-Sport in the Klamath Region.-The Tul.-Towards
the Sea in Canoes.-An Earthly Eden.-Farewell to the Kla-
Mount Shasta District.-Caught in a Strange Valley.-The Cave
with a Hole through it.-The Cougar.-Food at Last.-Raw
Mutton.-A Bullet Ballot.-Bernard's Adventure.-A Strange
Rope.-Out of the Vale of Despair.-Fire, the Friend of Man 258
Fertility and Plenty once more.-A Peep at the History of Cali-
fornia.-Californian Indians.-Their Food.-Burial Customs.-
The Sacramento.-The Wish-Ton-Wish.-Spanish Cruelty 266
Down the Sacramento.-A Stranger hails.-Suspicions aroused.
-They make Tracks.-Hands Up !-Simola's Flight.-Closely
watched.-A Friend in Need.-A Desperate Struggle.-Death
of the Pirate Chief.-The Interpreter Hero.-A Laconic Epi-
taph.-Afloat again 276
Friendly Reeds.-Loads of Scamps.-Peacefully gliding Southward.
-A Village Physician.-Gold!-Aboard a Native Craft.-Yerba
Buena.-The Pirate Schooner still in Port.-"Harbour Dues."
-Overhauling the Prize.-Home Again.-Joy and Sorrow 286
Refitting the New Vessel.-Metamorphosis of the Blue Belle.-Ready
to Sail.-What shall become of Fort Cornwall P-Haste to the
Wedding.-Ra-ta-pal Disconsolate.-Kamsla Satisfied.-The
Wedding Feast.-Mexicans Disliked.-Don Miguel again.-A
Trip for Gold 292
Homeward Bound.-A Gale.-Juan Fernandez.-They Land on the
Real Crusoe's Island.-A Tramp over Historic Ground.-Wild
Fruits.-Crayfish.-Manner of Capture.-Mount Yunque.-
Sleep Ashore.-Farewell.-Magellan Straits threaded.-Monte
Pernambuco again.-Christening the Goats.-Cupid abroad.-Cap-
tain Bedford and Anneta.-Verde Island Oranges.-The Portu-
guese Sailors landed.-Nearing Home.-The Lizard sighted.-
Fowey reached.-The Return brings both Joy and Sorrow 309
A Bazaar opened.-The Last Council of War.-Mr. Doone speaks.-
His Liberality.-A Present for Each.-Belton's Live Present.-
Wedding Bells.-The End of the Yarn 315
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
RUPERT AND SImoLA Frontispiece
"I BADE THE LANDLORD'S DAUGHTER GOOD EVENING 35
"FAREWELL, DEA ANNETA; ADIEU! 52
THE FIGHT WITH THE PIRATE 569
THE PRISONERS WERE BROUGHT FORTH FOR TORTURE 90
OOM-PA-NU INTRODUCED HIS FAVOURITE SQUAW 99
FORT CORNWALL AND MAP Oa DISTRICT 113
THEIR UNEXPECTED APPEARANCE TURNED THE TIDE OF BATTLE 128
RA-PA-TAL GUARDING THE MOUTH OF THE CAVE 135
THE BOYS ASSIDUOUSLY PRACTICED SHOOTING 145
THE CLATSOP CANOE WAS COMPLETELY SMASHED 169
BLESSING THE RELATIVES OF THE DEAD MEN 173
THEY WERE SOON ON THE TAIL OF THE BEAR 193
QUIETLY DRAWING HIS KNIFE .197
THE EXCITED HUNTERS SORAMBLED DOWN THE ROOMS 205
THEY PROCEEDED CAREFULLY I INDIAN FILE 207
THE TRIO PADDLED BY RA-PA-TAL AND BAR-ME-NO 217
THE STOCKADE WAS A COMPLETE RUIN 236
BERNABD TRYING ON INDIAN PAINT 245
MADE A MIGHTY STAB AT THE FLYING ANIMAL 271
JUAN FERNANDEZ: A NIGHT ASHOBE 305
g(Ttt jur rcrt f tof Maic
The Return of 1he Hunter.-A Beautiful Town.-Village Rejoicings.
-William Doone of Fowey.-Baggage Ashore.-The Two Brothers.
IT was a bright, breezy day, towards the end of October,
in the very year that Victoria, our gracious young Queen,
commenced her happy reign, that a small, but excited, crowd
of villagers had gathered upon the little stone quay at the
quaint old port of Fowey, in Cornwall. It was the second
occasion in one year that an event of importance had been
bruited through the village, and the inhabitants were all
agog with excitement.
The first event had been the death of King William,
the news of whose decease had reached the quiet little
humdrum village in less than a week; which was quick
work sixty years since, when there were no telegraph wires
to flash the doleful news through the length and breadth
of the land with lightning celerity. The first event, the
decease of the King, was a national event, but the present
excitement, which was of such interest to the village, was
of local importance only-it was the home-coming of Cap-.
tain David Rose in his trim little schooner, The Huister.
Two years since the gallant Captain had left port, with
a very miscellaneous cargo, upon a trading voyage to the
THE FUR TRADERS OF THE WEST.
western coast of North America, to try his luck at barter-
ing for bear robes, beaver, otter, deer, and other peltries.
It was a tremendously long and hazardous voyage for a
man to undertake, but Captain Rose was of iron nerve and
unflinching resolution, and being owner as well as skipper,
with neither wife nor children to give him anxiety, he had
staked his all in this one big adventure to the far West.
As he stepped on board to commence his voyage, his
remark to a friend had been, I leave Fowey in debt to no
man, and take away not a single penny piece from the port
that would be missed if anything occurred to me. The ship
is mine, the cargo is mine, and the hope of a prosperous
voyage is mine also, and if God so wills it, I shall be back
in two years with a valuable assortment of peltries; but
should a disaster happen to The Hunter, why, it will be
like clapping an extinguisher over a candle-it will be
Good-night to you, David Rose, and farewell to bonny
Let us just peep at the little town and see what it is
Along the southern coast of Cornwall, between West
Looe and Mevagissey, the line of cliffs attain a consider-
able elevation, rising and falling like huge Atlantic
rollers. Between two of these massive granite cliffs,
which rise like giants sheer from the sea, is the entrance
to Fowey Haven (as the estuary is called), and a more
fitting title could not be given it, for the great guardian
cliffs completely shelter it from the prevailing, blustering
winds. One usually associates the word estuary with a'
broad open space of water having low-lying land around
it, and so exposed, that the heavy winter seas may come
rolling in without let or hindrance from the surrounding
shores. But it is not so with Fowey, for the entrance is
so narrow, that however fiercely the storm may rage upon
the main, it is all peaceful and comparative calm within.
It may blow great guns out at sea, but open boats are in
no danger in this sheltered estuary.
We cannot wonder, therefore, that, in days gone by, it
was one of the principal ports in the west of England;
and when the dreaded Armada threatened our shores, sent
out quite a formidable fleet to help to oppose and scatter
the Spanish dons in their Invincible fleet.
Coming to more recent times, is there any wonder that
it was the chosen haunt of many smuggling vessels?
Captains watching the private signals from the bold head-
lands at the entrance to the harbour, could pop in and out
at all states of the tide and weather.
In those times Foweywasalight among fishing ports, but
her radiance has now departed, the tall candle of prosperity
has waned, leaving but a little flickering spark to show
where once flashed forth the rays which helped to sustain
Elizabeth on her throne, and gain for her seafaring sons
the sobriquet of Gallants of Fowey."
There still remain the great entrance hills and the
lovely pool of glittering water, into whose upper end the
river Fowey glides, and crossing the haven loses itself in
the sea beyond.
There still stands the old church, contemplating from
its prominent position the beauties of its surroundings. It
has looked down for several centuries on the fortunes of
the little town at its feet, but never, it is feared, will it
witness such stirring scenes and thrilling times, as when
the Maiden Queen held sway in Merry England three-
hundred years ago.
The once long quay is but a fragment of its former self,
and much of it has ceased to exist since the great ware-
THE FUR TRADERS OF THE WEST.
houses which formerly lined it gradually disappeared with
the diminishing trade, till nothing remains but a pleasant
sleepy little village, mustering but a few hundred inhabi-
tants, whose cottages and houses line the western acclivity
of the haven.
Notwithstanding its great past to look back upon, Fowey
still retains one of its features intact, and that is its beauty.
Clean, white-fronted houses, its fine old church, the
deep blue pool, the hills, the profusion of foliage and
flowers, forest trees, and healthy shrubs, several smart
trading vessels and a few tarry fishing vessels rocking
idly near the quay, all go to make it, even among Cornish
villages, a spot which lingers in the memory of visitors
to ancient Lyonesse.
On the October morning in question, Captain Rose's
vessel had been sighted in the offing, and like wildfire
the news quickly spread through the village, and every one
was agog to see the gallant skipper once more; for he was
very popular among the people, and when at home was
sure to be first and foremost in. anything that happened
to be on the local tapis.
Many of the younger fishermen and lads had scrambled
up to the top of the headland, upon which a signal pole
was erected, and this they had dressed with bunting from
the truck to the ground at the four cardinal points, so
that there was a most extensive show of bunting to greet
The Hunter as she sailed into port, after safely accom-
plishing her round voyage of thirty-five thousand miles.
Flags were displayed on the vessels in the harbour and
on the quay, while from the open windows of the houses,
poles bearing bunting or coloured material were lavishly
displayed. From the summit of the church tower waved
a large royal standard, just as it may have fluttered many
THE FEU DE OZIE."
generations ago, when the gallants of Fowey returned
from the fleet which had been in chase of the Armada.
As the weather-worn ship, with her patched sails,
showed herself at the entrance to the haven, the people
set up a hearty cheer, and the church bells rang out
with a merry peal, for the vicar was a warm friend of
Captain Rose, and willingly gave his consent for the
village ringers to welcome home their brave townsman.
On the quay there was quite a stir among the bustling
throng, for the village lads had brought down two very
ancient cannon, so old that no one knew how they came
into Cornwall, they were of foreign make, and may have
formed part of the armament of the Armada. The
young rascals had mounted these obsolete cannon upon a
couple of fish barrows, and having attached ropes, brought
their ordnance through the village at full speed, yelling
at the top of their voices as they ran, and scattering the
people to left and right.
At the quay side they halted and loaded, and at a
signal two stalwart brothers named Doone applied red hot
irons from the smith's forge to the touch-holes, and bang
they went, sending out volumes of smoke and enough
noise to frighten the whole town and awaken the neigh-
bouring hills till they echoed again.
There was a bustle on The Hunter's deck, near the
waist, and in a couple of minutes came an answering salute
from her four brass six-pounders; these reports were so
unexpected that they quite scared the people, who for the
moment had forgotten that firing is a game two can play at.
As The Hunter neared the quay, many of those who had
friends or relations on board could contain themselves
no longer, they wanted to grasp the brave fellows once
more by the hand, and the time between the ship entering
THE FUR TRADERS OF THE WEST.
the headlands to the moment she should drop anchor was
too long for many of them to wait, so springing into boats
they pushed off from the quay, and boarded her as she
slowly and gracefully bore up the channel.
As the vessel neared the quay, willing hands helped the
bronzed sailors to furl the sails that had so safely wafted
the good ship across two oceans, and borne her crew back
to their loved ones at home. The young fishermen sprang
like monkeys up the shrouds, and in a very few minutes
the gallant Hunter was snugly berthed alongside the
quay. Such a scene then took place, as only those who
have participated in the like can sympathetically describe.
Parted for two years, with thousands of miles of angry
sea between them, the reunion of husbands and wives,
fathers and children, brothers and sisters, was a touching
sight to witness. Such hugging and kissing; such joy;
such beaming countenances, and such streaming eyes are
seldom seen. Some of the poor women actually could not
find words with which to greet their loved ones; their joy
utterly choked them. Many of the smaller children had
not seen their fathers for so long a time that they did not
quite know them, neither were the fathers quite sure of
their little ones, for there is a vast difference between a
youngster in arms and a little fellow of three trotting
about in breeches!
It was indeed a happy return ; as, of a crew of twenty
hands all told, not one was missing, and even the cabin
boy who had sailed away a thin lad of sixteen, had re-
turned a strong, sturdy young man, a credit to his mother,
who quite embarrassed him with her loving embraces and
hearty kisses. Captain Rose was surrounded by a host of
friends, who all wanted to shake hands and congratulate
him at the same time. Questions were fired at him in
volleys; in fact, he was completely stormed, and not only
stormed, but actually carried by assault, for kick as he
might, his townsmen raised him on their shoulders and
bore him ashore as a prize. He was a big powerful
fellow, but a single man in the hands of a dozen sturdy
fishermen is helpless, so he allowed himself, willy nilly, to
be carried to the village inn, where he was placed on his
feet and a speech demanded.
Like the hero that he was, he complied, first ordering
a barrel of ale to be brought out on the little green and
broached, that all might pledge his safe return in a
bumper. The abstemious Cornishmen were only too pleased
to have the opportunity, and as the horn mugs circulated
the Captain mounted a settle by the inn door, and for a
whole hour held forth to the good-tempered crowd, who
lustily cheered the recital of his various adventures.
Having spoken himself nearly hoarse, he presently
leaped from his vantage post, and, rushing forward, em-
braced a tall gentleman, who at that moment walked
quietly up. The new comer was the Captain's old school-
fellow and former trading partner, William Doone.
As they stood, hand in hand, they looked the very
picture of vigorous manhood, both of them typical English-
men in every respect. Captain Rose was rather above the
average height, of powerful build, thick set and massive,
with a large, tawny beard, bronzed visage, and two good-
humoured blue eyes.
William Doone was about the same age as the Captain,
that is, about forty, but much taller, standing six feet one
in his stockings; he was not particularly broad, but had a
fine, deep chest, and long muscular limbs, which, by
their easy swing, showed great strength. He was dark,
and simply wore a moustache, the rest of his face being
THE FUR TRADERS OF THE WEST.
clean shaven. His dark skin showed off his fine set of
teeth, which were often exposed by reason of his gay
humour and jocular manners.
The two men, arm in arm, made their way slowly along
the quay, the Captain stopping frequently to receive the
congratulations of his friends (who came from their houses
as he passed), and, leaving the little town behind, con-
tinued about half a mile along the side of the estuary,
when, ascending a slight acclivity which gave a fine view
over the water, they stopped at the gate of a pretty little
house nearly surrounded by an orchard, upon the boughs
of some of the trees in which the golden apples still nodded
to the breeze.
As the two friends chatted up the pathway, the door of
the house was thrown open, and out stepped Mrs. Doone,
her face wreathed in smiles, and both hands extended to
welcome the wanderer home.
Then, holding him at arms' length, she scanned him
from head to foot, exclaiming :
"Now, wait a moment, David, let me see if it really is
you. Yes, it is indeed; you great, brawny giant. Stoop
down," and, throwing her arms round his neck, she
saluted him with several hearty kisses, for they were
brother and sister. : Then, linking her arms through those
of her husband and brother, they walked happily towards
the house, the exuberance of their joy making their coun-
tenances radiant with delight.
But where are the boys, William ?-and where is my
pretty little Ruth ? asked the skipper.
"Ruth," replied Mrs. Doone, "has gone to spend the
day at St. Austell, but will be home by eight o'clock, as
she will return with old Trereen the carrier. But surely
you have seen the boys ?"
THE TWO BROTHERS.
No," said the skipper. I rather expected they would
have been the first to leap aboard The Hunter, but so far
I have not even seen them."
I can account for them," said Mr. Doone rising,
" they would have been the first to greet you, David, but
knowing there would be a rush to board you they kept
ashore, and it was they who welcomed you with the salute
from the old cannon as you came alongside the quay.
Knowing you would have the whole town at you, I sent
them off on a certain little business which should by this
time be about concluded."
Going to the door he gazed down the pathway towards
the village, and presently his face brightened up as he
Yes, here they come, and, by jove, deeply laden too.
Now keep your seat, David, for I expect the boys will
think you are still in the town, so it will be a pleasant
little surprise for them to find you here at anchor."
In a few minutes the sound of happy voices and a great
deal of heavy breathing and puffing was heard. The
sounds proceeded from the boys toiling up the pathway,
carrying something heavy between them. Then came a
cheery Dad, give us a hand here, will you? we've
brought a whole houseful of furniture on our backs, and
goodness knows what besides."
Mr. Doone stepped outside and burst into laughter,
which was the signal for the skipper and Mrs. Doone to
rush to the door also to see what was in the wind.
There were Rupert and Bernard, her two sons, nearly
hidden by the number of articles they were carrying;
they had been to the ship and brought Uncle David's
belongings with them. They had brought his bedding,
his canvas clothes-kit, and his old wicker-chair, which
Io THE FUR TRADERS OF THE WEST.
they had unscrewed from the cabin floor. In this old
chair the skipper sat when he wished to be on the alert,
and could not afford more than an hour or two's slumber;
if he turned into his berth he found it too comfortable,
and slept heavily, but if he sat down in the old wicker-
chair, which was so pliable that it gave with the rolling
motion of the ship, he was ready to jump up, dressed as
he was, and rush upon deck.
Besides these cumbersome articles, they had each a
basket ; one filled with eggs and butter, and the other
with groceries, so that they were, as Mr. Doone had
remarked, "heavily laden."
When the boys caught sight of their uncle's burly
figure in the doorway, they, with one accord, dropped
their respective loads in the pathway, except the egg
basket, which Mrs. Doone luckily secured before its con-
tents had been converted into a deplorable mess of butter
and broken eggs.
The meeting between the boys and their uncle was
indeed a hearty one, and as he grasped each lad by
the hand he could not help congratulating them on
their smart looks, for, during his absence, Rupert had
developed into a very fine young man, and Bernard was
also bidding fair to grow into a fine lad in another year
Rupert, who was now nearly twenty, was like his father,
tall and dark; there was "just a fathom of him," as his
uncle put it, and his daily exercises of rowing and
swimming had so developed his muscles that he promised
in a year or two to become as strong as his father. He
already had the frame, and only wanted to fill out and
"furnish," as it is termed, to make him an unusually
fine young fellow. He had dark hair, and intelligent
LIFE A JOKE.
dark brown eyes, while his nose being slightly curved,
gave him somewhat the appearance of a gipsy.
Strange to say, his brother Bernard was rather fair,
having light hair and blue eyes. He was just turned
seventeen, and of a sturdy figure, thicker set than his
brother, but not so tall by four inches; but, as he said,
"Give me time, and I will eat plenty of pudding till I
catch up with Rue. I have four years yet to grow, and
surely I can do an inch a year "
He was fond of wrestling, and had won several prizes
In temperament there was a great deal of difference
between the lads. Rupert was somewhat inclined to look
too seriously at his surroundings, while Bernard was quite
the reverse, taking everything in a humorous manner,
always trying to see how much fun could be squeezed out
of everything that came before him. His life was a con-
tinuous laugh, and, as he affirmed, "he was born laugh-
ing, meant to laugh through life, and hoped he might be
found with a smile on his countenance when his last hour
Such were Rupert and Bernard Doone; and now let us
see what followed the greeting.
The Captain's Surprise.-Ruth.--A Retrospect of David Rose and
William Doone.--A Thirty-five Thousand Miles Voyage projected
and safely accomplished.-A Glance at the Far West.
THE lads carried the goods and chattels up to the
house, and placing the wicker-chair in the sun, in a snug
sheltered corner, they seated their uncle on the "throne,"
as they termed it, and having brought out four other
chairs, the party formed an audience to listen to the
skipper's yarns of a two years' voyage.
Hundreds of questions were put and answered; then it
occurred to Rupert that it would be better to wait until
Ruth came home in the evening before asking the skipper
to spin them the yarn through from beginning to end.
This was agreed to, and what with chatting, comparing
notes, eating and drinking, inspecting the pigs, and
perambulating the garden, the time soon slipped by and
eight o'clock arrived, at which hour Ruth was expected
All evidence of the return of Captain Rose was care-
fully hidden from sight, and he himself was spirited
away to a lumber room, while the rest awaited impatiently
for Ruth's return.
At last her footsteps were heard as she came up the path-
way, but instead of coming in at the door they heard her
proceed to the window, through which she was evidently
peeping to obtain a glimpse of Uncle David; no one took
THE CAPTAIN SCUTTLED.
the slightest notice, and presently she burst into the
Well, mother, I am disappointed why the news has
reached St. Austell that The funter and her crew have
returned safely to Fowey, and I have been so excited at
expecting to find Uncle David here, that I have not eaten
a morsel since I heard the good news. Oh, mother, I do
feel disappointed," and the tears stood in her pretty eyes,
telling of her love for her uncle.
Poor Ruth sat down and did not appear at all herself,
and her brothers began to tease her, asking why she
heeded every little bit of gossip she heard.
Why," said Bernard, "uncle may be down among
the mermaids at the bottom of the deep blue sea, for what
the folk at St. Austell know, and, if so, there will be a
nice row in Neptune's camp, for he was always a lady
killer, and if- "
Crash Bang !-and then came strange and excited
words from the scullery. Everyone leaped up, and
Mrs. Doone, flinging open the door, revealed Uncle David
vigorously rubbing his shin with one hand, and his nose
with the other. His face was smeared with soot, and his
coat covered with flour, but in spite of his wild appear-
ance, Ruth sprang into his arms, and very soon she had
transferred a part of the soot from her uncle's face to
Everyone roared with laughter, and on looking in the
glass the gallant skipper joined in the merriment, laugh-
ing till the tears coursed down his tanned cheeks.
Then he explained how it was he had caused such con-
sternation, both to himself and his friends. He left the
lumber room, intending to steal across the scullery, and
burst into the parlour as a surprise to Ruth, but unfor-
14 THE FUR TRADERS OF THE WEST.
tunately it was he who got the surprise, as he fell over a
pile of saucepans and tin ware, which had been carelessly
left by the maid, that she might clean them early in the
morning, for in Cornwall but little work is done after
He had rather a severe cut on his shin and another on
his forehead, but Ruth's nimble fingers were soon busy
with scissors and plaster, and the wounds were skilfully
Ruth's usual appetite returned at supper time; after
which meal, in answer to the calls of the boys, the skipper
commenced the yarn of his voyage to Oregon. What he
said would be much too long to recapitulate, as it took him
several evenings before he, as he termed it, "dropped
anchor," or in other words brought his narrative up to
his arrival in Fowey Haven.
We will, however, summarise the principal items of
his voyage, and with a few incidental remarks concerning
both him and Mr. Doone, place the reader in possession of
several facts that are necessary for him to know, so that
he may grasp the why and wherefore of many things in
this veracious story.
Each evening during the recital of his adventures, a
select company of friends and neighbours were present,
and most cheerful were these gatherings of old friends,
who were pleased to listen to the daring stories of adven-
tures by sea and land, as told by the gallant Captain
First we will take a retrospective glance.
David Rose and William Doone were both born in
Fowey, of an old lineage, for their respective and
respected families had resided in the district for many
THE TWO COMRADES.
As boys they went to school together, first in the little
village school, and afterwards to the grammar school at
St. Austell, a few miles distant. They were constant
companions, sharing the same bed at school, the same
lessons, and the same drubbings, for it must be owned
that being high-spirited lads they were frequently involved
in scrapes, both in school and out, which usually ended in
a wholesome and just castigation. It must not be sup-
posed that they were bad boys in the ordinary accep-
tance of the term, for they were not; but they were
leaders among their companions, and planned and cap-
tained all the little exploits which boys usually indulge
in during their happy, callow school-days.
If an orchard was to be visited, Rose and Doone were
there; if a boat had to be captured for an hour or two's
fishing, they were in it; if there was a fight with the
town boys, David and William did not fail to leave their
marks on some of the foe. Being thus, like David and
Jonathan of old, more as brothers than friends, it is not
to be wondered at that when the time arrived for them to
leave school, they were apprenticed to the same skipper,
and sailed together to many a trading port on the English,
Irish, and Welsh coasts.
When the lads were out of their time, Rose, who was a
better sailor than Doone, became skipper of the Fairy
Belle, a small trading schooner; Doone being engaged on
the same vessel as supercargo and. factotum. The ship
was owned by Mr. Doone, senior, and upon his death,
when William was about two-and-twenty, she became his
David Rose, who was two years older than William,
was a very steady, sober young fellow (his school pranks
were forgotten), and he quickly simmered down into quite
THE FUR TRADERS OF THE WEST.
the ideal sea captain, frank in manner, reserved in speech,
alert, and ever ready to seize any opportunity that pre-
sented itself for his own or his employers' advantage.
He and Doone hit it capitally together, and eventually
the ship, stores, and cargo became the joint property of
the two young men; for Rose was a saving fellow, and
had a little money by him, which, added to certain sums
advanced by his friends, provided a sufficient amount for
him to purchase a half share in the Fairy Belle.
By perseverance, frugality, and a fair share of good
fortune, their business affairs prospered; and by-and-by
an event happened which further cemented the ties
which bound the fortunes of Rose and Doone together;
this was no less than the marriage of William Doone to
David's only sister, Hetty. And a right happy marriage
it was, for Hetty was very fond of her big husband, and
managed his home affairs during. his absence as if she
had been born with a quill pen behind her ear.
In due course Rupert was born, then came Bernard, and
finally happy, smiling Ruth; but then came a day of
sadness for the family, for Mrs. Doone, the mother of
William, met with an accident which eventually caused
By his mother's death Mr. Doone's mode of life was to
a great extent changed, for he now become the owner of
a fair-sized farm, which was, however, mortgaged to a
considerable extent, and the working of which caused him
to spend much more time on land than formerly. Even-
tually, after spending nearly twenty years in the coasting
trade, he disposed of his half of the venture to Captain
Rose, and devoted his time exclusively to his farm and
business of ship's chandler.
Captain Rose's fair fortune continued for another two
A TREMENDOUS VOYAGE.
or three years, till- on a certain voyage to Bristol he fell
in with a partyof Americans, one of whom had been in
the fur trade of the American far West, indeed, he had
been in Mr. Astor's service when that gentleman founded
the American Fur Company, by establishing a dep6t,
called Astoria, at the mouth of the Columbia River in
The stories of adventure, and the profits which were to
be made by trading with the Indians for furs, fired Cap-
tain Rose with the idea of fitting out a vessel and pro-
ceeding to the coast of Western America to traffic for
furs and peltries with the natives.
For six months he worked at the idea, knocking it into
practical form, and at last made up his mind to start by
fitting out a suitable vessel for the long and perilous
voyage of nearly eighteen thousand miles.
With Doone's assistance a smart schooner called The
Hunter was purchased at Plymouth, and freighted with a
cargo of common guns, leaden rods for bullets, coarse
gunpowder, blankets, knives, coloured ribbons and tape,
needles, looking glasses, linen, iron and tin saucepans, tin
goods, and a hundred other "notions as the Yankees
would call them.
The fitting out caused a great commotion in the little
half-hidden town under the hill; but one fine day away
went The Hunter with her hardy crew, amid the God-
speeds of the entire population.
To follow the course of Captain Rose and recount his
various adventures would take up as much space as the
story which follows this introductory matter, so we must
content ourselves with a brief epitome of what was done
on the voyage out and at home.
The run across the Atlantic was uneventful. They put
18 TIIE RtR TRADERS OP tPl/ trkSt
in at- Bahia for fresh provisions and ran down the South
American coast without mishap, till, nearing the Straits of
Magellan the weather became somewhat blustering, and
in going through the dreaded Straits they lost their
mizzen topmast, which broke off at the cap, and falling
upon two of the hands injured them severely. They put
in at a Peruvian port for a week, while the injured men
were attended by a doctor; fresh water, vegetables, and
sheep taken aboard, and a new topmost made and rigged.
Then they sailed with favouring breezes northward;
had the usual cases of sunstroke and dysentery while
passing through the tropics, and at length, after a voyage
of six and a-half months, arrived off the North Californian
coast. They ran along the coast slowly, making frequent
calls at the mouths of rivers and other likely places for
trading; but found the natives either quarrelsome or in-
disposed to barter, the surroundings rocky and dangerous,
the locality unsuitable, the entire absence of population,
or some other circumstance to cause them to proceed
farther, till they came one day to a bold promontory,
which from their chart they knew to be Cape Blanco,
near the southern extremity of the Oregon coast. Here a
heavy westerly gale overtook them, and they drove before
it along the coast, fearing hourly that they should be
driven on the rugged shore and become a total wreck, but
as by stress of weather they were blown dangerously near
the shore, they, on the second day of the gale, perceived
a tall rugged headland jutting out far into the wild
Strive as they would, they could not claw out to sea in
the teeth of such a gale, and gradually they neared the
massive, rocky headland, against which in a short time
they would strike, and then, God help every soul of them,
STCR2L' AA~b CALM.
for they were no better than dead men. Everything that
human hands could do had been done, and now they tried
what human lips and tongues could do for their salvation.
They prayed: and as they prayed their deliverance was
shown them, for through the mist they saw, to their joy,
a smaller headland nearer to them than the huge one
upon which they expected to end their lives. Between
these two headlands they could discern certain effects upon
the sea which told them that it was the embouchure of a
Now let the gale blow; they ran cheerfully before it,
and in another hour were safely moored to the lea of the
small headland, a mile up the river Umpqua. Here they
stayed for several weeks among the friendly Indians, and
then cruised as far north as Vancouver's Island, where
they received a great number of sea otter and deer skins
in exchange for their trinkets. Up the Columbia River, on
their return, they sailed for seventy or eighty miles to where
the Willamette River joins the parent stream, and were
fairly successful in their negotiations with the natives;
but through the indiscretion of two of the crew, they had
to leave the trading port for fear of being massacred.
Here they met with several hair-breadth adventures which
we cannot record, as these pages will presently be filled
with many of even a more startling nature.
Back to the Umpqua River they sailed, and ascended it
for some forty or fifty miles to where it forks; one branch
going to the west and the main stream to the south. Here,
upon an isthmus at the fork of the two rivers, they built
a hut, and spent the entire winter; living in peace with
the Indians, whose village stood in a sheltered position on
the bank of the main river-the Umpqua proper. In the
ensuing spring the Prairie Indians came in with many
20 TIIE FUR TRADERS OF tHIp WIEST,
packs of fine furls, which they readily bartered for the
curious commodities of the white men.
Early in May they set sail for England, and after a
voyage of alternate calms and gales, some of which were
favourable to their passage, arrived in Fowey, as we have
seen, in the following October safe and well.
Such is the very brief epitome of the voyage, in which
the many most interesting details of adventures and
incidents have been purposely omitted, as they are really
not part of our story, although connected with it. Sufficient
has been stated to convey to the reader a reason for what
Doone's Dilemma.-He takes Council.-The Cargo of The Hunter.-
The Convoy to London.-Rupert's Ride.
"WIiEN at the end of many convivial evenings the Captain's
account of his long voyage came to a close, it became his
turn to inquire into the welfare of his old comrade Doone.
This he did, and we will now give a short recapitulation
of Doone's account of his circumstances.
Well, David, I must tell you frankly, I am not doing
at all well. As you know, there is a rather heavy mort-
gage on the farm; I have just one hundred acres, and the
mortgage amounts to 2,000, for which I have to pay 100
a year as interest. That I can afford, and I pay it as
regularly as quarter-day comes round, and am pleased to
do so ; but the mortgagee requires his money, and although
I have several hundred pounds that I can scrape together,
still, I cannot muster more than one-third of the mortgage.
"I am in a fix ; I do not wish to sell the farm, which has
been in our family for many generations, and I do not like
to borrow the money to pay the mortgagee, as I might get
into the hands of some sharp person who would, by-and-
by, foreclose and sell me up, house, land, and stock.
"My present income is ample for my wants, but I have
little prospect of saving enough to pay off the mortgage,
even if old Mr. Prothero would oblige me by waiting for
22 71E FUR TRADERS OF THIE 'ES7.
"Perhaps,. David, you can see a way to help me out of
my present embarrassment ? They say two heads are
better than one, so let the matter rest awhile, and we will
go into figures a little, and possibly an interchange of
ideas may lead to a practical mode of untying my Gordian
Do not speak of it before the boys or Ruth, as, bless
their hearts, my troubles have no right to be theirs,
especially as they are powerless to help me out of my
"Hetty knows all, and will willingly help us in our little
So spoke Mr. Doone, but when he had concluded, David
broke in with:
Now look here, William, don't say another word about
this plaguy business for a week; in the meantime I will
cudgel my brain for a solution of the difficulty, and if I
do not devise something practical may I never set teeth
into a new ship's biscuit again. The fact is, I have heard
most of what you just told me from my sister, and I may
add that I am already cruising after an idea that lies in
the offing of my imagination."
The two men shook hands heartily, drank a dram to
the skipper's success, gave a groan for old hunks Prothero,
and strolled down to the quay arm in arm.
The work of unlading The Hunter was quietly going
on, pack after pack of skins being lazily brought ashore
on men's backs and deposited in the long dry store-shed
upon the quay.
In due course merchants from Bristol and Plymouth
came to look at the valuable cargo of skins, and a great
many of the bales were disposed of at a rate that left a
very ample margin of profit, but a great number of the
best furs and peltries were reserved for the London
Weapons and curiosities picked up on the voyage, found
ready purchasers among the many Bristol merchants
who came to inspect the skins, but when the larger part
of the cargo had been disposed of the store was closed,
and its most valuable contents packed in four huge, lum-
bering waggons, ready to start for London.
In those days there was no railway into Cornwall from
the Metropolis, so that all goods had to be conveyed by
road; the distance from Fowey to London being nearly
three hundred miles, such a journey was quite a serious
undertaking. There were three horses to each waggon,
and as twenty-five miles per day was as far as they could
conveniently travel, the cavalcade would be just a fort-
night on the road, as Sunday would be regarded as a day
of rest for both man and beast.
It was a fine frosty morning in November, when the
little cavalcade commenced its long, weary, cold journey,
but both Mr. Doone and Captain Rose looked upon the
trip as a very pleasant one, for they anticipated a very
profitable termination to the venture.
The cavalcade, as we have said, consisted of four wag-
gons, each drawn by three horses, with a reserve horse,
ridden by Bernard; there were six men to act as convoy
(two of whom were well armed), while Mr. Doone and the
Captain, both well mounted and armed, brought up the
A week previous to the starting of the waggons a
mounted messenger had been despatched, with notices to
several London merchants advising them of the coming
of such a freight of skins as seldom reached London for
public sale; most of the fur trade being carried on through
24 THE FUR TRADERS OF THE WEST.
the agents of the Hudson Bay Company. The messenger
was also instructed to place advertisements in several
London newspapers, giving full particulars of the sales.
This trusty messenger who set out alone on horseback was
Mr. Doone's eldest son, Rupert. A ride of three hundred
miles in our present well-governed country is very different
to what it was sixty years ago, when the highways were
infested by highwaymen, ever ready to plunder those upon
whom they could pounce with impunity.
Rupert had received his orders to travel only between
the hours of 8 A.M. and 4 P.M., and these instructions he
rigidly adhered to, making the best of his way through
the wild western counties in broad daylight. The young
man did the full distance in six days-a very fair per-
formance, considering the state of the roads and the many
hills he had to cross, especially at the outset.
Without any incidents of travel worthy of note, Rupert
arrived safely in London on the Saturday after the
Monday upon which he set out, and' there we will
leave him, in a state of astonishment at all he saw and
heard (for it was his first visit to the Metropolis, or,
indeed, any large town or city), while we see how things
fared with Captain Rose and his convoy
The Fur Convoy Starts.-The Conversation on Dartmoor.-A Startling
Proposal.-Its Acceptance.-The Land Pirates at the Inn.-Fallen
Among Thieves.-Nineteen, Twenty!-A Lucky Shot.-The Furs
THE first three or four days of the journey were most
enjoyable, being clear, cold, and sunny; but the two
leaders had plenty to talk about and many arrange-
ments to make, as they crawled slowly along the un-
dulating roads at an average of a little over three miles an
hour, which was the rate of their travel.
Having passed safely across Dartmoor, that vast western
wilderness, beautiful in summer and dismal and wild in
stormy winter, the conversation one day took this turn as
the comrades rode side by side over the springy turf.
"Now, William, it is a fortnight since we had that
little chat about your affairs and your future prospects;
but, as you know, I have had but little opportunity of
speaking to you on private matters while these things
were being prepared for the London market; but now that
we have a long day before us with nothing to do but to
ride and converse, with an occasional halt to wet our
whistle (for we sailors are so impregnated with salt as to
be ever in a state of drought), why, we can look into our
future prospects at our leisure. I say 'our,' because
whichever way I look at it, we seem to have been pre-
26 YHE FUR TRADERS OF THE VEST.
ordained for partners, and right well we hit it; what do
you say, William, eh ?"
"While we were partners," replied Mr. Doone, "we
did well together, William; but while you have been
successfully climbing the tree of prosperity, I seem to
have crawled out on a branch, which at any minute may
snap and bring me to the ground, from which I should
find it very difficult to climb again, even if I had any heart
left to attempt it.
You see I have had a bad year of it, David; first I
lost nine cows by some plaguy disease; then, in April,
my little fishing lugger, Hetty, was lost, with all her gear
and two of her crew; this was followed by the bankruptcy
of one of my creditors, my largest, in fact; and now, to
crown all, that old rascal Prothero, seeing me on my
knees, tries to crush me still lower by foreclosing on the
Cheer up, old comrade," cried the Captain, in his
boisterous manner; who can tell what the future has in
store for you ? Wait and hope, and probably things may
turn out brighter than you anticipate."
Oh, never fear, David, I'm not going to despond; I
and my youngsters are alive and well, and while we have
health at our backs there is no need for crying peccavi.
But, my friend, I think you will own that I have had a
very large share of ill-fortune for one year ? "
True, I have thought of that, and I am now thinking
of what I said a-few minutes since as to our suitability to
share each other's fortune. We have constantly been
together since we robbed old Trevelyan's orchard when
we were schoolboys, and had the luck of being uncaught
in running the blockade, even when he had his men on
the look-out for us, eh ? Our apprenticeship together was
A FRIEND LN NEED.
a happy one, our partnership in the coasting trade was a
prosperous one, and why should we not again join our
hands and trade in unison ? "
"Because," said Mr. Doone, pointing to the waggons,
" you are, in comparison to me, a wealthy man, and my
affairs are in such a shaky state that I am afraid a
partnership is out of the question."
They rode on for a long time in silence, thinking deeply;
but at length, as the horses walked side by side up a steep
hill, the Captain again spoke:
"What do you say, William, to my paying old
Hunks the 2,000, and taking the mortgage on my own
Say! why say you would make me the happiest man
alive, and I should pay you the 100 a year for interest
with the utmost cheerfulness."
"Very well, old comrade, when I have disposed of the
furs I will carry out my suggestion, but that is only part
of my grand idea; now give me your opinion upon this
I have a project in my mind that I want you to help
me carry out, for it is one that in a space of three or four
years should make us both men of means-that is, it
ought to place us both in comfortable circumstances for
the rest of our days. Here is my plan-
"Before leaving my quarters on the Umpqua River, I
placed a half-bred trapper, named Simola, in charge of
what remained of my cargo, instructing him to barter
with the natives until I returned to him next autumn.
With him I left two strapping young Mandan Indians,
who were with me on my Columbia expedition, and as
they have plenty of provisions to last till my return, they
should not only keep my trading station free from possible
28 THE FUR TRADERS OF THE WEST.
(but not probable) rivals, but have a good store of peltries
ready for me to take on board.
I am certain that a great deal of money may be
made from this venture if you will help me to carry out
my scheme, which really requires two heads.
I will offer you these terms-
Let your farm to your worthy old neighbour farmer
Treffry, who has been so willing to help you in your
trouble; then, with what money you can scrape together
-some 700 I believe-you shall become my partner,
and I will place a like amount in the concern to victual and
freight The Hunter, and if more money is needed I will
supply it without prejudice to our equality as partners,
for your wife and family will be of considerable monetary
value in the affair. Pardon me putting it in that way,
but likening your youngsters and my sister to 'stock' is
merely my way of saying that if I have a greater
pecuniary share of the fitting out of the expedition, still,
your family will make your contribution of equal value
to mine, for it is a well-known business axiom that stock
is as good as money,'" and the Captain roared at his
Yes, yes; I know that, David," said Mr. Doone,
looking extremely perplexed; "but how do you propose
to turn Hetty and the boys into stock' ? "
Why, in this way," laughed the Captain. ." I propose
that when The Hunter is ready for sea that, leaving all
your Fowey property either in the hands of friend Treffry
or a trustworthy bailiff, you and your wife and family
shall take the voyage to the far West with me, and become
agents for our little firm on the Umpque River and the
district around. I will promise you it is a lovely place,
and has a grand climate ; it is healthy, and inhabited with
THIE COMPA CT.
friendly natives. I can then trade along the coast in
The .Hunter, visiting the many tribes of Chinooks, Flat-
heads, and others who inhabit the coast during the
What do you say, William ? "
Mr. Doone turned excitedly in his saddle and, grasping
his comrade's hand with a firm, honest grip, while tears
stood in his eyes, said :
I cannot thank you enough for this great kindness,
David, it has quite unnerved me to think there is yet an
opportunity of gaining something to leave my boys and
Ruth, and I gladly say Yes' to your proposition with but
one reservation-that Hetty also approves of our scheme,
and acquiesces in changing her comfortable English home
for a log cabin in the wild West. True, it would be but a
temporary exile, and if all went well we should return in
two or three years with ample means to live once more in
dear old England."
So for the present the scheme was left in abeyance, the
journey and prospective sales being the principal themes
At the end of the first week the weather became very
cold, and several heavy snow-squalls occurred, which ren-
dered travelling very slow work; but being so early in
the season-mid November-they had no apprehension of
enough snow falling to block them on their journey.
Enough fell, however, to turn some of the soft roads
into quagmires and greatly impede their progress, so that
to reach London by the appointed time they had to
prolong their day's work till 6 P.M., and this travelling
in the dark produced for them an adventure which
threatened to put a sudden termination both to the journey
to London and their subsequent voyage to the West.
jo 1IlE PUR TRADERS OF IT' fLYSTP.
It was getting towards the gloaming one evening when
the cavalcade stopped at an inn to ascertain if accommoda-
tion could be found for the horses and their drivers; but
the landlord informed them that, though he could only put
half of them up at his house, he would see what some of
his neighbours could do to take in some of the horses and
men; but while he was busying himself in this business
two well-to-do looking young men, who appeared to know
the district, informed Captain Rose that at N- ,
about four miles on the road, there was a large, old-
fashioned inn that could afford them every accommodation,
and as they were going that way they would pilot them,
if they might be allowed to do so.
Their offer was accepted, as the place recommended
was but an hour's journey, and it was much better for the
vans to be in one yard, and the escort under one roof,
than scattered about a village, as would be the case if they
stayed where they were. The cavalcade was therefore
sent forward while the leaders stayed behind to explain
matters to the obliging landlord on his return. By
spurring on the steeds they could soon catch up to the
vans which went lumbering along but slowly. They
remained about twenty minutes, when, becoming tired of
waiting, and anxious to overtake their vans for fear they
might take a wrong road, Mr. Doone, the Captain, and the
two young men, who were well mounted, rode off, leaving
Bernard, who was fond of making incidents of travel, to
pay the score and thank the landlord for the trouble he
had been at in scouring the village for their benefit.
We must leave Bernard at the inn for a short time
while we recount what happened to the four travellers in
their endeavour to overtake the caravan. They chatted
amicably enough as they proceeded at a smart trot;
VAUGP211' PY LAND I'IPAPES.
Captain Rose and Mr. Doone riding side by side, with
one of their new friends on either flank, and all went
well enough till they came to a short steep hill, with a
wood or plantation on the right, and a gorse-grown
common on the left.
Without any intimation from their riders, the horses
slowed down to a walk in ascending the hill, when
suddenly, by means of some preconcerted signal, each
young man, from the interior of his riding cape, drew
out a pistol and desired the two friends to halt; at the
same time reining back their steeds to either side of the
The one who covered Mr. Doone with his weapon
"I am very sorry, gentlemen, to part with such good
fellows so soon, but we have altered our minds, and do
not go farther with you; kindly dismount and turn out
your pockets, as we are unfortunately in somewhat
straitened circumstances !"
Mr. Doone, who saw that any attempt to snatch a
pistol from one of his holsters would be both foolish and
futile, suddenly drove his spurs into his horse's flanks,
and as the startled animal gave a mad plunge and reared,
he threw himself forward in the saddle to evade, if pos-
sible, the anticipated bullet.
His ruse, however, availed but little, for the robber
fired, and the ball sped to its billet, passing through Mr.
Doone's thigh, and entering the side of his horse, rolled
the poor animal over in the roadway.
Unfortunately for its rider, the horse fell dead on the
spot, having been shot through the heart, and in falling
completely pinned his rider to the ground, so that it was
impossible for him to rise.
32 THE FUR TRADERS OF THIE WEST.
Mr. Doone was for a moment stunned with the sudden
fall, but opened his eyes just in time to see his assailant
draw another pistol and point it at his head.
Raising one hand in front of him, and entreating the
robber not to fire, he placed his right hand on the ground
behind him to raise himself, and in doing so put his hand
down upon the butt of one of his own pistols, which had
fallen from the holster. The robber saw the movement,
and taking deliberate aim at Mr. Doone's chest, pulled
the trigger, but for some reason a flash in the pan was
the only result.
The prostrate man noted this instantly, and raising his
own weapon fired at the robber, sending a ball through
his breast. As he received his wound the robber was
standing in the stirrups, with the intention of hurling his
pistol at Mr. Doone's head. He was too late, however,
and as his arms dropped heavily at his side he sank into
his saddle, a gush of blood from his mouth and nostrils
telling of the fatal wound he had received.
Wheeling round, the robber's horse made away over
the common, and in the gathering gloom both the animal
and its lifeless burden were quickly lost to sight.
Mr. Doone swooned away from excitement and the pain
of his wound, which was greatly intensified by the weight
of the dead horse lying upon him.
Matters were not quite so bad for the Captain; but what-
ever inclination for resistance he might have had was
completely subdued by his looking down the barrel of the
other robber's pistol, which was extended towards his head
at a distance of only three or four paces.
Obviously his only course was to obey the behest of his
captor, and alight.
This he did, and at the robber's command stripped off
AT DEATH'S DOOR,
his great coat and spread it in the roadway; then, one by
one, he was ordered to turn out his pockets.
This also he did, but that was not enough; he was
enjoined to take off his coat and waistcoat, and produce
the pistol and contents of his holsters. These requests
were reluctantly complied with, and then to his mortifica-
tion, he was requested to rifle the pockets of his apparently
This was too much for the Captain's temper, and he
commenced to use some of those choice flowers of speech
which one usually associates with anger in a sailor. Nay,
he went further, and flatly refused to sacrilegiously rifle
the clothing of a dead man (for so he supposed his friend
Then, my friend, there is but one way," said the
mounted robber, quietly. I will slowly count tiventy,
and if you have not then commenced to hand oit the
belongings of your comrade, which will not be of any
further use to him, I shall provide you with a leaden
supper, and do the work myself."
One and the pistol was held unquaveringly towards
the Captain's head.
Two, three, four," &c, came quickly from the robber's
When eighteen was reached, the Captain, with his
arms folded on his breast, exclaimed:
"You cowardly villain! Fire, and be hanged to you "
Nineteen from the robber.
Then, as his lips were forming the word twenty, a loud
and startling report was heard, and the thievish hand
which a moment before held the deadly weapon at the
gallant sailor's head, fell to his side a ghastly mangled
mass of bone, sinew and quivering flesh.
31 '11EI 'UR TRADERS 01OP IE IVEST.
With a. couple of hasty strides the Captain was by the
side of his assailant, and taking him by complete surprise,
seized him by the waist, dragged him from his horse, and
hurled him with a thud to the earth.
In another second Bernard leapt over the fence and
rushed to his father, who had apparently been killed, and
tried to raise him, but could not do so as the weight of
the horse was too great for him.
One second, Berny," said the Captain, quickly, "while
I strap this fellow's arms behind him with my bridle-rein."
As they were tugging at the dead horse to get him
clear of his master, three countrymen, who had heard the
shots fired, came upon the scene, and with their-aid Mr.
Doone, who had partly recovered from his swoon, was
carried to an inn a mile farther along the road, where they
found the vans halted for the night.
Mr. Doone was put to bed, and a man despatched to
the nearest town for a medical man. In an hour he
returned, attended by a doctor and a man to take charge
of the prisoner, and lodge him in jail.
The bullet, in its course through Mr. Doone's thigh,
had fortunately escaped both bone and large arteries, and
the doctor pronounced the wound of such a favourable
nature that he might travel in one of the vans in two or
three days, if no serious symptoms supervened.
On examination, the thief's hand presented a dreadful
sight. The bullet. which had struck him had entered at
the elbow, and after ploughing its way along the muscles
of the forearm, had escaped at the wrist, only to enter the
back of the hand and completely shatter it upon the hard
stock of the pistol. The limb was next day amputated
above the elbow in )- jail.
Of course, Mr. Doone and the skipper were both anxious
PERNA'ARPS STOR 3,
to hear how Bernard came to fire the lucky shot just in
the very nick of time, and we cannot do better than repeat
his own words.
"When you left me and rode off from the inn I quite
"I BADE THE LANDLORD'S DAUGHTER GOOD EVENING."
anticipated having to wait some time for the landlord, but
I was much surprised to see him return almost before you
were out of sight. I explained to him that you had gone
on to H-- thanked him for the great trouble he had
put himself to on our account, and paid the reckoning.
36 THE FUR TRADERS OF THi WESI.
"I bade the landlord's daughter good evening, and,
mounting my horse put him into a brisk trot, hoping to
catch you before you arrived at our halting-place, especi-
ally as you said you would ride slowly to give me time to
After I had ridden about a mile, I heard a pistol
fired at no great distance ahead of me, and then the sound
of angry voices which reached my ears in the stillness of
the evening, without sufficient distinctness for me to catch
the precise words used.
I stopped my horse and listened, then alighted and
ran quietly round the bend of the road where, to my
horror, about one hundred yards off, I saw two men on
horseback and another prone in the road.
"I scarcely knew what to do, not recognizing any of
the forms in the crepuscular light, but hitching Beauty's
bridle over a gate-post, I seized my pistols from the
holsters and leapt over the gate into the plantation, and
ran swiftly, but noiselessly, along behind the hedge to
where the mounted men were confronting each other.
"A glance over the fence showed me that it was you,
father, who lay inanimate upon the ground, while uncle
was covered with the pistol of a mounted man, who was
seated with his back towards me.
"I had cocked my weapons as I ran, and although pant-
ing for breath, I took as steady an aim at the villain's back
as possible, but somehow refrained from taking the man's
life, for he was but a few feet from me, although he knew
nothing of his peril. I suddenly altered my aim and
sighted for his upraised hand, thinking that to cripple
the rascal would be better than having a fellow creature's
blood on my conscience all my life long.
Getting his hand in my line of fire I pulled the
THE HIGHWAY YIMAN SENTENCED.
trigger, and with a shriek his hand fell shattered at his
"You know the rest.
"Had my first shot proved futile I should have planted
the second ball fairly between his shoulders."
On the third day the party moved on again towards
London, the prisoner preceding them in charge of two
Bow Street runners, for he was wanted in the Metropolis
on more than one charge.
To abridge our story as much as possible, we may say
that Mr. Doone's wound gave him but little trouble, and
in a day or two after reaching town he was hobbling
The sale of the skins took place on three separate
days, and, as expected, realized good prices, the total sales
amounting to close upon 4,000.
Paul Venner, as the bloodthirsty highwayman called
himself, was tried at the Old Bailey, and for his share in
the attack on our friends and a charge of forgery, was
sentenced to transportation for life. His friend, who was
shot by Mr. Doone, died of his wound two days after the
By the time their business was finished in London,
over five weeks had elapsed since they left Cornwall, and
having sent the waggons and men off on their return
journey to far-off Fowey quite a week before, our four
friends booked seats and on the 21st of December
mounted the Western Star" coach and journeyed to
Plymouth, where a conveyance was ready to take them
to Fowey, which they reached safely on the 24th, glad to
be at home once more to join in the usual Christmas
Mr. Doone had by this time quite recovered from his
38 THE FUR TRADERS OF iTE WEST.
wound, and the trio told the story of their adventure with
the highwaymen as a capital joke, scarcely realising how
near the Doone family had been to a Christmas of sorrow
instead of one of joy.
Still, as Mr. Doone said, "All's well that ends well,
and thank God that he allows us once more to reunite
around our cheery fire-side and sing carols to His Son's
Springtime.-The Hunter Refitted.-A Glance at Her Stores.-Her
Cargo.-The Plan of Campaign.-The Hunter Sails.
SPRING had succeeded the mild winter which is usual in
our most favoured county of Cornwall, and everyone in
Fowey was happy and busy preparing for the harvest,
both of land and sea, which would in due time take place.
The harvest of the sea would come first, and at that the
inhabitants would toil cheerfully, while others, probably
of the same family, would be tilling the soil and sowing
the seed, which by-and-by would grow up and ripen into
corn, and produce the land harvest. But besides these'
two harvests yet another was being looked forward to,
and that was a harvest of skins and peltries in the far
West of America.
Mr. and Mrs. Doone and their family had signified
their intention of joining their fortunes with that of
Uncle David, and preparations were being made for a
long voyage and a long sojourn in an uncivilised land.
The Hunter was hauled high and dry on the stocks, and
while some were scraping and re-caulking her bottom, the
sailmaker and his mate were helping the rigger to re-
canvas and refit her spars. Two carpenters were busy
refitting:her interior and placing a bulkhead across her
hold so as to partition off a considerable space towards the
stern for a comfortable cabin, which was to be fitted with
40 7HE FUR TRADERS OF THE WEST.
lockers, tables, cupboards, and other contrivances in most
unexpected places. The hold was fitted for the reception
of skins, and the forecastle made comfortable for the men.
The cook's galley amidships was considerably enlarged,
and received a brand new cooking range and a perfect
armoury of pots, pans, and the other glittering articles
which go to make a good batterie de cuisine.
Rupert and Bernard, styling themselves "ship decora-
tors," presided over the paint pots and brushes, and
during March they painted everything paintable, from
the figure-head to the taffrail, and from the white trucks
on the tops of the masts to the figures on the rudder post,
such a gaily decorated craft never before left Cornwall,
and if she arrived safely at her destination would cause a
deal of wonderment among the Indians. On the last day
of March The Hunter was launched from the stocks and
brought alongside the quay to receive her stores and
Now for a glance at her stores. She carried provisions
for two years, and when it is remembered that she would
carry twenty-five persons all told, it need not be wondered
at that the stores filled many waggons. There was for
several days a continual going and coming of carts and
waggons containing a heterogeneous assortment of all
kinds of food, drinks, and requisites, both for ship and
There were barrels of beef and tierces of pork, and many
huge casks of ship's bread and biscuits ; potatoes in heavy
boxes to protect them from rats and sea water; large
canisters of tea and coffee, which were luxuries in those
days and only meant for cabin use; sugar and molasses,
salt, pepper, and mustard, oatmeal for porridge, flour for
puddings and pies, butter in hermetically sealed jars, dried
CARGO OF A TRADER.
fruits, bottled fruits, honey, and jam, salted fish, raisins
and currants, soda, soap, and other domestic necessaries,
tobacco and pipes, oil, spirits, and wine for high days and
holidays, and many little nick-nacks which Mrs. Doone
took as private ventures," as the captain called her spices,
pickles, and other little luxuries.
Then there were heaps of bedding, blankets, and sheets,
boxes of clothing, and boots and shoes, books, medicines,
crockery, guns and rods, colour boxes and drawing instru-
ments, and a host of cabin requisites.
Weapons for offence and defence had to be thought of,
and as our friends were going to a country where fre-
quently "might is right," they had to go well armed, and
this is how that part of the lading was carried out.
Five iron guns were mounted on deck, viz., four
4-pounders, and a long eight; there were also two pivot
guns, one on either side of the vessel; these were bell-
mouthed and intended to be loaded with slugs for firing
at belligerent boat crews. Forty muskets, and a like
number of pistols and cutlasses, were stowed in the arm-
chest, while deep down under the floor of the cabin was
made a powder room, lined with iron plates, which in turn
received a coating of duffel. In this was stored twelve
casks of gunpowder, some for use and some for barter, and
quite enough in quantity to have blown up a huge three-
Last, but far from least, the cargo was stowed, which
for the purpose in view was of a most miscellaneous kind,
and as the articles are very seldom to be met with on an
ordinary vessel, we will glance at some of them.
Here are huge bales of blankets, coloured cloths, calicoes,
and printed linen goods, all of the most gaudy and inex-
pensive kinds; there are large casks quite full of glass
42 TIE FUR TRADERS OF THE WEST.
beads of all sorts, sizes, shapes, end colours; another
full of knives, another of spear heads, axe heads, and
common swords. Those long cases contain trade guns,
with deal stocks painted vermillion and cast-iron barrels
more deadly to shooter than to shootee. Smaller cases
contain earrings, brooches, bracelets, and other jewellery
for the squaws (and men too), and, yet, other cases are
filled with mirrors, earthenware, mugs, and drinking
vessels, fancy bottles, and china ornaments. Sticks of
metal, about as thick as one's finger, are tied in bundles;
these are round rods of lead to be cut up into bullets as
required by the natives. Then there are cases of tin mugs,
saucepans, kettles, and other culinary utensils, needles,
chains, brass ornaments; red, blue, and yellow powders
for painting the persons of the Indians; while drums,
flutes, whistles, tambourines, cymbals, and triangles form
the musical department, and who can tell what else was
stowed 'tween decks of the gallant Hunter ere she was
pronounced ready to put to sea? Almost the last
articles to come aboard were twenty hogsheads of water,
the most necessary article of all.
Before our good friends sail away let us see how
things were to be left and cared for during their absence.
Captain Rose had paid off the mortgage on Mr. Doone's
farm, much to Mr. Prothero's chagrin, as that worthy
gentleman did not at all require the money, but had a
covetous eye on the farm itself, which was so pleasantly
situated that he longed to have it for his own estate His
idea was that by foreclosing, Mr. Doone would be in a
dilemma, and not being able to raise the money wheli
suddenly called upon, would forfeit the land.
As we see, however, the biter was bitten, for Mr.
Prothero was paid off, and an honest farm bailiff, John
PLANS FOR THE FUTURE.
Trefry, left in charge of the farm and homestead until
Mr. Doone's anticipated return in about three years.
The plan of the partners was very simple. They were
to sail round Cape Horn and then up the west coast of
South America, till they arrived at the north-west coast of
California, where four men had been left at different places
to get the Indians in the mind to trade with the white
men. These were half-breeds whom Captain Rose had
left on his previous voyage home.
Then The Hunter was to proceed to the Umpqua River,
in south-west Oregon,-and ascend it about fifty miles to
the station which the Captain had already formed. Here
a fort or trading house was to be built, and Mr. Doone,
his wife, sons and daughter, left in charge to barter with
the Indians, and send out agents among the outlying
tribes to induce them to trap, shoot, and hunt with a view
of bringing their spoils to the white men for trade.
Everything being settled at Fort Cornwall, as they were
to christen their new stronghold, the Captain was to sail
up and down the coast and put into likely places, and
purchase furs of the natives or half-breed hunters. He
was to watch for the signals of the four agents he had put
ashore in North California, and when they made certain
signs was to send a boat's crew ashore, with an assortment
of goods, and exchange them for the spoils of the native
hunters. This means he proposed to adopt, because,
although he had faith in the honesty of his own agents,
he had not with the tribesmen with whom they would
associate, for they would for a certainty murder the men
for the sake of the goods in their charge. No goods,
therefore, were left with the agents.
By holding out promises of profit when the big white
canoe, The Hunter, returned, the agents' lives would be
44 TIlE FUR TRADERS OF THE WEST.
quite safe, and they would meet with every assistance
from the tribes with whom they might happen to
On the 28th April, 1838, everyone in Fowey was
awake and astir by sunrise, very early it is true, but then
a great event was to take place that day; it was the day
assigned for the sailing of The Hunter, and did she not
carry some of the finest fellows that ever belonged to
their little town ?
To be sure she did, and fathers, mothers, brothers, and
sisters, uncles and aunts, to say nothing of cousins, had to
be up early to take leave of their relatives, whom they
might never see again. And it was a leave-taking, hearty
and true. Empty "good-bys," such as one hears when
everyday friends part, were not heard, but sobs and sighs
that came from the very heart's core sounded on all
sides, and many a fervent, silent prayer and ardent bless-
ing accompanied the handshaking and kisses, which were
the outward and visible signs of loving hearts parting, per-
haps for ever. Hearty, loud leave-takings there were, too
-rugged and honest-counterparts of the speakers' faces,
kind words were exchanged which would be the voyagers'
solace through many a weary night and perilous day.
Tears were shed, hopes were expressed, council given,
kisses and tokens exchanged, hands shaken, and forms
embraced, and then from the tall masts the sails dropped
down cne by one, the moorings were cast off, and the last
lingerers stepped on the quays.
Cheer after cheer made the surrounding houses and
hills echo again; while the breeze catching the sails sped
the good ship through the narrow exit from the haven;
THE HUNTER SAILS. 45
and as she glided through, the youths and maidens, old
men and children, who had assembled on the cliffs, again
raised their voices in loud hurrahs to speed the mariners
on their way.
An hour after, a speck on the grey horizon gave those
gathered on the headland the last glimpse of the good ship
Hunter, bearing away many a poor soul whose grave and
not his fortune was to be found in the land of the setting
sun-the Far West.
Pass the Cape Verdes.-Crossing the Line.-Pernambuco.-Donna
Annetta.-Tumbling round the Horn.-Valdivia.-The all-fitting
Poncho.-Socarro Islands.-The Pirate Vessel.-Suspicious Ques-
ions.-Preparing for a Tussle.-A Stubborn Fight.-A Terrible
Carnage.-Despair of the "Hunters."-A Strange Explosion.-
Victory! But How ?
WITH the equinoctial gales over, and a fine summer in
prospect, the long voyage of The Hunter was commenced
under happy circumstances, both as to time of year and
staunchness of ship, so that her owners and crew alike had
great faith in a safe voyage.
The Doones were all used to the sea, so that mal-de-mer,
which so frequently causes a considerable amount of dread
to those who go down to the sea in great ships," for the
first time, had none of the usual terrors for them. Many
a contemplated pleasure cruise is nipped in the bud and
foregone, because of the dread of having to pay Neptune
his customary tribute.
It is a pity that the anticipatory contemplation of a few
hours' sea-sickness should act as such a deterrent to many
would-be sailors, as the after sensation of buoyant spirits,
hearty appetite, and healthy, clear complexion, amply
compensate for the transitory pangs of a brief spell of sea-
A SOLIZARY ISLAND,
The Doones had no fears of this kind, and simply
gloried in the motion of the bounding vessel and the tingle
of the cool salt air on their cheeks, as they rose at an early
hour each morning. In mid-May, the days on the Atlantic
are delicious, and the cool keen morning air soon gives
place to the balmy air of the middle day, which makes it
feel a positive pleasure to know and feel that one is alive.
Continuing their course, day after day, in a S.S.W.
direction, they passed the Cape de Verde Islands in broad
daylight, and so eager were the boys and Ruth to set foot
in a foreign land, that they begged the skipper to put into
harbour just for one day; but as wind and weather were
alike fair, he was loath to comply with their request.
"I am very sorry," he said, but we must make the
most of our time while the ship has everything in her
favour, for by-and-by, when we get to the Horn, we may
have to lie to for days, from stress of weather. We have
scarcely commenced our voyage yet, and do not know
what may be in store for us before we reach our destina-
tion. We are now in the tropics, and in a few days, if
all goes well, shall be crossing the line, when we will have
some nautical fun. Then we edge away westward, till we
sight the South American coast, and if I can manage it we
will put into one of the ports in Brazil, and give The
Hunter 'a breathing spell' while we fill our water-casks,
and take in fresh vegetables, beef, and a half-dozen live
sheep. How will that suit you? "
The young people were delighted with the proposal and
The weather now grew hotter each day, until one
morning at daybreak, an island was discovered right ahead,
which Captain Rose told them was the Island of St. Paul,
situated about 500 miles N.E. of the nearest land (Cape
48 THE FUR TRADERS OF THE WEST.
S. Roque in Brazil) and only a few miles north of the
"Now Bernard," said Rupert, "there is the very place
that would suit you to live and become a second
Robinson Crusoe, 500 miles from the nearest land, no one
to quarrel with or to molest you, and so hot that you would
need nothing in the way of warm food all the year round.
I will warrant every tree on the island to be evergreen,
which, I believe, is the case with all the trees in the
tropics. Look through this glass and you will see a nice
little cove where you can keep a boat, and there, between
those jagged rocks, is a plateau where you might build a
wigwam, and live without having to pay rates and taxes.
Think of it and let us put you ashore. You will be king
of the island, builder, butcher and baker, your own doctor,
and finally, if you can manage it, your own undertaker.
What do you think of these advantages ? Say yes, and
we will lower a boat and maroon you."
Bernard thanked his brother, but was quite content
with his lot as a subject on ship-board, without wishing
to exchange it for a solitary monarchy ashore.
At noon that day they crossed the line, and great was
the fun they had. All the usual frolic appertaining to
passing the equator for the first time was indulged in.
Most of the crew had crossed before, but several of them
were new to the southern hemisphere, and with Rupert
and Bernard had to undergo all the pains and penalties
that Father Neptune chose to inflict.
Abel Kenway, the boson, represented his Majesty and
made a fine ocean god. He was stripped to the waist
and had great bunches of dripping seaweed hung round
A barren rock belonging to Brazil, and now used as a halfwaya"
telegraph station by an English company.
FUN ON THE EQUATOR.
his loins; while a splendid crop of hair, made of tow, and
a beard of the same material was formed into three long
plaits, or pig-tails. From his shoulders a patch-work bed
quilt swept downward to the deck, and completed his
costume. A tall tin crown was mounted on his head, and
in his hand he carried a trident. His myrmidons were
dressed in an equally fantastic manner, and at Neptune's
bidding shaved, lathered, and bathed all the new comers.
Even Mr. Doone took his share in the amusement, and
varied the proceedings by standing the barber's boy head
downwards in his own bucket of lather.
Oh, what a shaving brush was used! and as for the
razor, its blade was fully two feet long.
Despite the terrible heat the fun was kept up till nearly
midnight, for Father Neptune brought forth his fiddle and
everyone danced themselves into a perspiration and then
took a souse into the sail filled with water, which hung
between the masts. The main brace was spliced, and
toasts drunk, songs sung, and various games kept up till
a late hour, so that the proceedings of crossing the line
were very unlikely ever to fade from the minds of the
Most of the crew, and the boys also, slept under awnings
on deck while in the tropics, for being towards the end of
May, the days. were intensely hot, and even the nights
were none too cool.
So alike was one day to the next, that it was quite
difficult to remember the day of the week; but what to
ordinary individuals would have seemed a period of dull
monotony, was to the boys a glorious time of fun and
amusement, and their hilarity and constant sportiveness
imparted itself to everyone on board, so that everything
went as merrily as a wedding bell.
50 THE FUR TRADERS OF THE WEST.
One morning they noticed a number of gulls flying
above them, betokening their approach to land, and then
was frequently asked:
"How far are we from South America, uncle "
At what point shall we first touch? "
How long shall we remain in port ? and a score of
other questions, which had to be repeated and answered
several times before land was actually sighted.
Now, my lads," said Captain Rose, "you see the South
American coast at last, and if all goes well we shall anchor
in Pernambuco harbour this evening. It is a queer place,
and you will enjoy yourselves, during a couple of days
ashore, for I will introduce you to my old skipper, Captain
Bedford, who settled there some seventeen or eighteen
years ago, and who will be pleased to show you about
Pernambuco is indeed curiously situated, and is, in
reality, three towns under one municipal government.
As one approaches the coast, a long peninsula is seen
running nearly parallel to the mainland; on this is built
the first portion of the town, which is called Recife. On
the seaward side of this is the harbour, defended by a line
of rocks, which at low tide are several feet above the
level of the sea, but at high tide they are covered. Forts
govern the harbour and dominate Recife, which is the
fishing and shipping quarter of Pernambuco.
Between the peninsula and the mainland lies the island
of San Antonio, upon which is built the town of that
name; while on the shore of the mainland lies Boa Vista,
the third town. Bridges connect the three towns, which
at the date of our story contained some 50,000 inhabitants.
San Antonio is the heart and fashionable part of
Pernambuco, and contains the principal buildings-the
LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT.
governor's house, prison, treasury, town-hall, barracks,
and the monasteries of the Carmelites and Franciscans.
Altogether it is a most strange place, even for an ex-
perienced traveller to visit for the first time, and to our
friends was quite a revelation of quaintness. Captain
Bedford entertained the Doones at his house for three days,
during which time they had a long drive into the interior,
and a long boating excursion about the towns and up the
river Capibaribe, having for their guide, Donna Anneta,
Captain Bedford's daughter. She was a beautiful girl of
sixteen, and acted as housekeeper to her father (who was
called Don Frederica) ,as his wife had been dead some years.
Poor Bernard was quite overcome by her beauty and
unaffected manner; her dark eyes seemed to burn two deep
holes into the poor lad's heart, which in a great degree
spoilt his pleasure, as it did his appetite for two or three
days after they sailed.
Anneta was tall, dark, and slight, with wavy hair
approaching blackness, and of a most merry disposition,
which at times amounted to boisterousness; yet there was
nothing vulgar nor unmaidenly about her; she thoroughly
enjoyed herself, and made those around her do the same,
simply because she could not help it. Her very nature
When the good ship Hunter sailed on the fourth day,
all the Doones were sorry to part with Anneta; Ruth
and she had so romped together like sisters, being of the
same age, that their embraces at parting were not without
tears. Had Captain Bedford not been tied to Pernambuco
by certain business arrangements, which could not be
cancelled, he would certainly have taken the opportunity
of joining the party which Messrs. Rose and Doone pro-
posed he should do.
52 THE FUR TRADERS OF THE WEST.
Poor Bernard was quite upset at parting with pretty
Anneta; he told her he would certainly come and see her
when they returned in a couple or three years' time, and
implored her to try and influence her father to take up
FAREWELL, DEAR ANETA; ADIEU !"
his residence in England again when his present business
engagements ran out.
"For then," said he, "maybe I might be able to see
you frequently, whereas thousands of miles will soon part
us. Farewell, dear Anneta; adieu! "
STORMY MAGELLAN. 53
For two or three days he sat moping on deck, eating
but little and talking less ; but gradually his boyish spirits
returned, and while running down the South American
coast he no more sorrowed for "the girl he left behind
him," although his thoughts often flew back to Per-
The four thousand miles between Pernambuco and the
Straits of Magellan took them nearly six weeks to sail,
as they had contrary winds and gales, which greatly
delayed them; in fact, when they arrived at the entrance
of the Straits, Captain Rose found the difficulties of navi-
gation so great that he decided to turn the Horn rather
than face the intricacies of the rocky Magellan Straits in
such blustering weather.
This course added several hundred miles to their voyage,
but the extra time involved lessened the risk, for by making
a wide detour they had ample sea room, which was of
great consequence in such stormy weather.
It is sufficient for our purpose to say that the "turn of
the Horn was safely accomplished, although it took them
more than three weeks to reach the west coast of Pata-
gonia, and even then they did so in a very battered state,
having lost their foretopmast, a boat, hencoops, and other
There was no help for it but to rig a jury topmast
and run for the nearest port in Chili, and this they did,
although it was some 1200 miles to the north of their
Valdivia, which was the port for which they made, is
situated in a beautiful bay, said to be the largest, safest
(from its natural position), and most capacious port on the
South Pacific coast.
The town, however, did not compare favourably in the
54 THE FUR TRADERS OF THE WEST.
eyes of our friends with Pernambuco, which they had
left nearly three months since, as it was a mean, woebegone
little place, and seemed to have great affinity for fire,
having been nearly destroyed by that element on more
than one occasion; and in passing we may add that in
1837, the year before our hero's visit, the town was so
shaken by earthquake that but little of it was left.
Indians, Spaniards, fire, sword, and earthquake have left
but little of what was at one time a prosperous and
They stayed but three days at Valdivia, just long enough
to have a new foretopmast made and rigged, but this
gave the boys time for a scuttle ashore so as to see what
the inhabitants were like. They were not greatly taken
with the people, as they appeared neither civilised nor
savage, but merely an unsatisfactory link between the
two. Swarthy in complexion, unkempt as to hair, not
over clean in person, and strange in dress; these were the
chief points about these South Chilians.
The "poncho," a kind of mantle, struck Rupert as a
very comfortable and picturesque garment. It was simply
a large piece .of thick waterproof cloth with a hole cut
through the centre, through which the head is thrust, while
the remainder of the garment is allowed to hang down all
round the wearer. It is both picturesque and serviceable.
"Now," said Rupert, "that is what I call a sensible
article of apparel. It fits anyone; there is no fussing
about to find the armholes; no buttons to fasten, unfasten
or rumple one's temper with by coming off; no pockets;
no collar. It is simply perfection, and takes at least a
couple of lives to wear one out if it is made of good
material in the first place."
Then, having exhausted his eloquence, he persuaded his
father to purchase one for him ; this was done, and Rupert
afterwards acknowledged that it was a most useful and
comfortable article. Put on or off in a moment, it after-
wards proved a friend to him in many ways, as by day it
carried his little sundries of travel, and served him for a
seat or a pillow on warm nights; on cold ones it was his
Leaving Valdivia behind, The Hunter ploughed her way
northward; for they had so far only proceeded half way
upon their long voyage.
With fair winds, they made good progress, running from
80 to 130 miles a day when the elements were favourable.
Day by day the time crept slowly away, slower now than
at the commencement, for the novelty of being at sea had
to a great extent given way to a kind of apathy, every-
thing being taken as a matter of course; but not long after
crossing the line for the second time an event occurred
which effectively woke up every member of the ship's
company, from the cabin-boy to the skipper.
While running up to the South American coast, The
Hunter had been kept a long way from the shore, so as
to give her plenty of sea room in case of a storm, and that
they might miss any outlying rocks, and also be out of the
way of passing coasting vessels, which might run them
down at night. From Point Payta, in Lat. 50 south, they
were making a bee-line for the Californian coast, instead
of skirting the rocky shores of Guatamala and Mexico,
when one morning land was described right ahead. At
this the Captain was immediately called on deck, for they
did not expect to sight the Californian coast for two or
Captain Rose was soon on deck with his telescope, and
on consulting his chart made the land out to be the island
56 THE FUR TRADERS OF THE WEST.
of Socorro, one of the Revilla Gigedo group, lying some
300 miles S.W. of Cape San Lucas at the southern point
of Lower California.
It is a large island, some 30 miles long, and the ship's
head was pointed directly for it; her course was soon
altered to N.W. so as to leave the island on her larboard
side. There was only a light wind, and the vessel was
moving but slowly through the water, when a schooner
was observed leaving the harbour of Socorro and bearing
also to the west.
The ships gradually neared each other, and when they
were but a couple of miles apart, Captain Rose ordered
the Union Jack to be run up, so that the stranger might
know their nationality. To the surprise of those aboard
The Hunter, a Union Jack was also displayed by the other
vessel; which bore up for them and signalled that they
wished to communicate. The sails of The Hunter were
therefore eased off, and her spanker brailed, to give the
schooner an opportunity of overtaking them sooner than
she otherwise would, for the stranger n a light wind
was a much faster sailer than The Hunter.
There was quite a commotion among the crew of
the latter vessel when it was seen that theirs was not
the only vessel belonging to old England in these distant
The stranger approached, and when within a hundred
yards, a man on the fore part of the vessel hailed Captain
Rose in English, but with a distinctly foreign accent,
"What ship are you, and where are you bound for ? "
The Hunter, from England, bound for Columbia
"What is your cargo, Captain ? "
A general cargo," answered Captain Rose, with some
A SUSPICIOUS VESSEL.
suspicion that all was not right; "but who are you, and
where are you from? "
This is the English schooner William III., from Costa
Rica to Yerba Buena, with fruit and molassess"
Why, you are taking coals to Newcastle, my friend;
they have plenty of fruit at this time of the year without
importing it from Central America."
Captain of The Hunter, will you come aboard my vessel
and do me the honour of drinking my health in a bottle
of good Spanish Port ? I have also some of your country-
men sailing with me who would be pleased to see you."
To this Captain Rose replied, Thank you all the same,
but I want to make the most of what little breeze there
is, and wish you a pleasant voyage. Good morning."
During this colloquy the Captain had had his eye on
the strange vessel, as he looked upon her with suspicion
for several reasons, among them being the fact that only
three or four hands could be seen on the deck of the
strange vessel, and they were of the pale chocolate com-
plexion peculiar to the natives of Central America; no
white men were visible anywhere, except the swarthy
person speaking, who appeared to be a Spaniard. The
sharp eyes of Captain Rose also noticed four heaps of
lumber, two on either side of the deck, which he surmised
might possibly hide four guns.
As the Captain stood at the taffrail of The Hunter
several other men made their appearance from the after-
hatch of the stranger, and carelessly lounged about
her deck, which made him more suspicious that the
William III. was not what she purported to be-a
The mate Harding stood at the Captain's side, and in a
quiet tone the latter informed him of his doubts as to the
58 THE FUR TRADERS OF THE WEST.
vessel alongside being honest in her intentions, and told
him to go quietly among the crew and warn them that
they must be prepared for a skirmish. To Rupert and
Bernard he gave instructions to open the arm chest and
powder magazine; to bring powder and shot quietly on
deck in a covert manner, that no suspicion might be
aroused on the part of the stranger captain, who was now
seen to be talking to two of his men, although he never
took his eyes off The Hunter.
The latter vessel had now resumed her course with
the William III. about a cable's length distant on her
starboard quarter, but it was evident that she could come
up to The Hunter in a few minutes whenever she chose.
"What do you think of her, Doone ? said the Captain.
"I am afraid, Rose, that she means us no good, so let
us arm quietly so as to show no bustle to the stranger,
and then, having arranged for the defence of the vessel
and assigned quarters to the crew, bring up powder and
cannon balls and load as quickly as possible."
Every man was armed with a cutlass and brace of
pistols, while eight of them also received a loaded musket
Mr. Doone and the two boys were also armed, while
Mrs. Doone and poor trembling Ruth were locked in the
Three men were told off to each gun, and at a given
signal they loaded them as expeditiously as possible;
others, while they were thus occupied, bringing up bales,
boxes and casks, which were placed in certain positions
on the deck, and against them beds, blankets, &c., piled,
so as to form a couple of breastworks for the men to take
shelter behind; and as these improvised forts were, to a
certain extent, bullet-proof, those inside them would be
/i l i 'li
THE FIGHT WITH THE PIRATE.
somewhat sheltered from the fire of the enemy's small
Directly the pirate captain-for such he doubtless was
-saw what was going forward on The Hunter's decks,
his own guns were quickly unmasked, and the lumber
which had covered them utilised for protection in a some-
what similar way to that aboard The Hunter.
On came the William III., and to the dismay of our
friends, her deck appeared to be crowded with men of all
colours, from the swarthy Spaniard to the full-blooded
negro-there were fifty of them at least-and a more
fiendish lot of villains were never gathered together than
those who made the air ring with their horrid yells..
The men of The Hunter stood firmly at their posts, with
no voice heard except those of the Captain, mate and Mr.
Doone, who hurriedly issued their orders.
Rupert sprang from the hatchway with four small bags
in his hands, one of which was firmly rammed into each
of the four-pounders. They were bags of nails, and cal-
culated to do great damage to their black opponents.
Yard by yard the enemy approached, till, when nearly
alongside, she fired her guns at The Hunter, but no great
damage was done, except knocking some holes through
her bulwarks and smashing a boat which hung on the
Not a gun was fired by The Hunter's crew, by the Cap-
tain's orders, and as the enemy ranged up alongside, her
"Will you heave to, or shall we come aboard and
slaughter 'every mother's son of you ? "
Captain Rose's reply was addressed to his own men:
And at the word, the guns belched forth their metal
62 THE FUR TRADERS OF THE WEST.
contents, and several men were seen to fall on the enemy's
deck. This made them furious, and a continuous musket
fire was now commenced upon each vessel, with the result
that three of The Hunter's men were hit-one of them
shot through the head and the other two severely
The guns were loaded again, this time with odds and
ends of iron, and by the Captain's orders were hauled to
the waist of the vessel, as he anticipated being boarded
near the bows, the enemy having forged ahead.
He had not long to wait for his surmise to be proved
correct, for the sails of the pirate were suddenly braced
round, which caused her to collide with The Hunter's bows.
Grappling-irons were flung aboard, and over her weather
bow came at least thirty howling, yelling fiends, armed
with axes, pistols, and long knives.
Steady, Hunters! cried Captain Rose, "wait for the
word," and standing by the weather bulwarks, pistol in
hand, he waited till about twenty of the enemy had
reached his deck and were rushing to attack them; then
in stentorian tones he cried: "Fire! and simultaneously
the guns poured their miscellaneous charges into the mass
of humanity before them.
A dreadful sight met the gaze of Captain Rose and his
crew as they charged forward beyond the smoke which
was quickly dispersed to leeward. At least a dozen of
the blacks were writhing on deck in mortal agony, while
three or four others were lying dead and motionless where
they had fallen. Still, there were plenty left to fight,
and yells, groans, and sharp reports told of the severity of
Rupert and Bernard fought like lusty young Britons,
each brought his opponent down and turned to face
A SANGUINARY FIGHT.
fresh foemen. In front of Rupert was a gigantic yellow-
faced Mexican, who with his broad axe had already placed
two of The Hunter's crew hours de combat, and this savage
immediately turned his attention to our hero, who,
nothing daunted, rushed at him with his cutlass, intending
to get a blow at the giant before he could swing aloft his
murderous axe, but ere he could accomplish his purpose,
he, in his eagerness, trod upon the arm of a dead man,
which gave a roll under his foot and threw him backwards
headlong to the deck, but not before the giant's axe had
descended upon him somewhere in the region of the left
The stroke of the axe, and the concussion with which
he came backwards upon his head, completely stunned
him, and he was as motionless as a corpse, when the giant,
thinking he had killed him, immediately stooped with
the intention of securing his watch and chain, the latter
of which had caught his eye.
His hand was upon the chain when Bernard, who had
seen his brother stricken down, dashed forward, and with
a terrific stroke of his cutlass, sent the black's woolly head
rolling into the scuppers, where it lay, with its blood-shot
eyes wide open, to the horror of our hero.
Captain Rose and Mr. Doone, backed by their men,
fought heroically for two or three minutes, by which time
two of the guns in the rear of the combatants had been
reloaded. Suddenly the Captain cried out: "Hunters to
the bulwarks and as they opened out, the guns were
fired at the remaining foe, at such a height above deck as
not to touch those lying on deck, for among them were
several of their own comrades. This completed the defeat
of the boarders, as those remaining leaped over the bows
of The Hunter, some reaching their own vessel safely,
64 THE FUR TRADERS OF THE WEST.
while others, suffering from wounds, jumped short, and
fell into the sea, where two of them were drowned. The
rest were saved by a boat from the pirate, except two who
were humanely hauled aboard The Hunter and placed in
The William III dropped astern, as if to take
breath after this terrible engagement, in which it was
calculated they had lost about ten killed and fifteen
Of The Bunter's crew three were killed and five
wounded, including Captain Rose and Rupert.
The former had his left forefinger cut clean off and a
pistol bullet through his left forearm.
Rupert, poor fellow, was in a sad plight, for his collar
bone was broken and a cut in the back of his head exposed
the bone for a distance of about two inches.
Mr. Doone was the recipient of a black eye and swollen
forehead, both of which he received from the fist of a
negro, whom he had disarmed, but beyond making him
look ridiculous he felt no pain, and was as full of fight as
if he had not received a blow.
It was not a time for mirth, however, or his ludicrous
appearance would have caused considerable hilarity. There
was yet fighting to be done, and everyone on board was
very anxious and serious.
For fully an hour the pirate vessel kept about a quarter
of a mile astern, evidently repairing, attending to the
wounded, and concerting a fresh plan of attack.
The wounded of The Hunter were carried into the cabin,
where Mrs. Doone and Harding the mate, who possessed
some little medical and surgical skill, his father being a
doctor at East Looe, attended them. Rupert's collar bone
was set and he was placed in his berth, still perfectly
2HE ATTACK RENEWED. 65
unconscious, but tended by the loving hands of his mother
Refreshments were handed round to the crew, and
preparations made for another attack, should one be
The guns were double shotted, and a few nails and odd
scraps of iron added; muskets and pistols were loaded,
and boarding pikes improvised out of old bayonets lashed
Captain Rose haranguing his men, unfolded to them
his plan should they be boarded again. Then, having
made all the necessary preparations, they quietly awaited
the expected attack.
Two hours had now gone by, and it was seen that the
William III.'s sails were being braced to the wind, so as
to give her more speed to overtake The Hunter, and in half-
an-hour she was alongside; the crew of each vessel in the
meantime doing their utmost to cripple the enemy's ship.
The Hunter's crew fired at the rigging of their
opponents, but did not succeed either in bringing down
any of the spars, or even severing any of the principal
ropes. All they did was to make some large rents in the
The pirates were bent upon sweeping the decks of
the English vessel, but everyone not serving at the
guns had been ordered to ensconce himself behind some
bulky object, from which the constant crack of the rifle
told those at the big guns that they were being well
seconded by their comrades.
Finding that he could make but little impression on
the English vessel with his six-pounders, the pirate
Captain determined to board her, and this time to lead
the attack in person.
66 THE FUR TRADERS OF THE WEST.
Accordingly, the ships once more neared each other, and
again grappling irons were flung, while with demoniacal
yells the corsairs leaped upon the" deck of The Hunter to
the number of five-and-twenty, leaving only five men on
the deck of their own vessel.
The contest was fierce, but gradually the Englishmen
were overpowered by sheer, numbers, and driven, some
into the forecastle and some into the cabin, Mr. Dooae
being among the latter; but when he bolted the door and
directed those with him to fire from the windows which
looked forward on the deck, he had but faint hopes of
anything like a successful resistance to the rascals, who
were now masters of the deck. It was a dreadful time,
and death appeared imminent.
Mrs. Doone and Ruth helped to load the guns and
pistols, which were fired rapidly, but almost at random,
from the windows along the deck; those in the forecastle
also firing at the pirates who had ensconced themselves in
the forts amidships, which had been improvised out of old
lumber, and so snug were they that but few shots took
effect upon any of them.
But why were the pirates so quiet, only firing a few
shots at intervals ?
They were busy cutting through the covering of the
hatch which had been securely locked with four large
padlocks, and probably when they gained ingress to the
hold they would plunder the ship, and then either scuttle
her or burn her with all on board.
Suddenly, as the defenders in the cabin were speaking
of this dreadful ending to their voyage, there came a
tremendous crash, and the lumber fort (built over the
main hatch), in which the pirates were gathered like birds
in a nest, seemed to explode and fly in all directions.
ONE MORE STRUGGLE FOR LIFE.
Several of the black inmates were killed outright or mor-
tally wounded, and the rest, about a dozen in number,
appeared so panic-stricken that they did not know what
to do or where to run for safety.
Seeing that something startling had happened to the nest
of pirates, the inmates of the cabin and forecastle rushed
out and attacked them on both sides. Bernard seized
the pirate captain round the waist from behind, not
wishing to kill him, as he might have done with his
cutlass, and raising him partially from the deck, as he
was a rather slim man, and Bernard, for a lad, extra-
ordinarily strong, hurled him against the bulwarks with
all his might. The man's head came in contact with the
massive woodwork with a dull thud, and the villain lay
at our young hero's feet an inanimate lump of humanity.
Seeing their leader killed, as they supposed, the rest of
the crew threw down their arms and begged for mercy,
which was granted; but the Englishmen's mercy was
tempered with precaution, each man being searched for
hidden weapons, bound and seated on deck with his
back against the bulwarks; and a villainous set they
looked, with their scarred and bleeding limbs and faces,
and fierce, rolling eyes.
The crew were so busy in carrying down and caring
for their comrades, securing the pirates and other urgent
duties, that no one noticed that the pirate ship had parted
from them, and was now some distance off on the star-
board beam; but such was the case, and it astonished
them greatly to account for the grappling irons giving
way so easily as they appeared to have done'; but their
astonishment was still greater when they perceived the
William III.'s sails being trimmed, and the dreaded vessel
bearing down on them once more.
68 THE FUR TRADERS OF THE WEST.
What could it mean ?
Surely if the five men left to take charge of her while
the boarding party were engaged on The Hunter, had
with the help of the wounded cast off the grappling irons,
so as to escape when they saw the fate of their comrades,
they would not be so foolish as to return and give
themselves up to justice? Such a thing was past
But while these ideas passed through the minds of
Captain Rose and Mr. Doone, they were still more per-
plexed by hearing a right good English hurrah sent up
from the deck of the pirate ship.
What coukl it all mean ?
They saw five men on her deck waving their arms,
seemingly with delight, and behold they were white
Harding, the mate, put his helm over, so as to run
alongside the William III., and as the two vessels
came together the five white men threw the grapnels
aboard The Hunter, and in good English voices sang out
for Captain Rose to shorten sail while they did the
In a few minutes they were just moving through
the water side by side, and the five Englishmen stood
grasping their countrymen's hands on the deck of The
Who were they, and whence had they come ?
Repairs to Ship and Crew.-The Story of Robert Belton.-H-is Early
Life and Voyages.-Truxillo.-Captured by the Poyais Indians.-
Dusky Jacilla.- The Pirates Executed.-An Escape.-Visit to Agent
No. I.-The Tashtel Indians: Their Dress, Appearance, and Mode
of Living.-Bartering for Peltries.
THE ships being in close contact by means of iron grap-
nels, it was easy to pass from one to the other, and without
stopping to hear more than that their fellow countrymen
were bound to the little town of Yerba Buena, in Cali-
fornia (now a huge city), all hands set to work to carry
out Captain Rose's orders.
First, their prisoners, upwards of a score in number,
were attended to, which is to say, the wounded were taken
care of and the others confined in irons below, as there
were some desperate characters among them, including
their leader, Juan Alflas.
The dead were laid upon the decks of their respec-
tive vessels, and for the present covered with sails.
While some of the crew, aided by their allies from the
William III., were busy splicing severed ropes and patch-
ing torn sails, others set to work to repair the woodwork
of The Hunter, and by nightfall everything was made
snug above deck, while the wounded of both vessels were
in good hands below.
At the evening meal, our friends were joined by the
young man who appeared to be in authority over the
white men of the WFilliam III., who, towards the end of
70 THE FUR TRADERS OF THE WEST.
the fight with the pirates, appeared to drop from the sky
and succour those on The Hunter, when so hard pressed
that, but for their timely aid, they would probably all
have been slaughtered.
To make the young man's story as brief as possible,
without spoiling its interest, we will epitomise the yarn he
spun to Captain Rose and those present.
"My name is Robert Belton, and I was born in the
Isle of Wight nearly twenty-three years since. When
I was fourteen years of age, my father apprenticed me to
the sea, for which I had a natural fondness, and it has
proved both father and mother to me, for both my parents
were drowned in a boat accident off Portsmouth, about
seven years since. Although I have had many ups and
downs in my short career, I cannot say the sea has been
unkind to me, and I love it in all its moods. It is, as I say,
like a mother; it is angry at times and chides, but then
comes a time when the soft wind whispers through the
rigging, and lulls me to sleep in my berth like a tired
child, rocking me soothingly in its mighty arms; and the
higher it tosses me, the more I enjoy it, feeling quite safe
upon it, wherever I may be.
"I call it my father, because, so far it has provided
me with' bread-ay, and I might say now and again,
with plum cake, for at times the sea has brought me
"When I was eighteen years of age I made a voyage
to the West Indies, and liking the trade among the islands,
volunteered to join a small vessel belonging to the owners
to whom I was apprenticed, which sailed from island to
island trading in various commodities. Here I met with
many adventures, and did not return to England till my
term of indenture had nearly expired.
"My first berth was as second mate of a vessel bound
IN THE HANDS OF THE POYYAIS.
to the Ionian Isles, and from thence we visited Algiers,
Tunis, and Morocco. On my return to Southampton I
joined the Winged Star as first mate, and sailed away
again to the west, this time bound for Truxillo, in Central
America, which we reached in safety, and there I met
with an adventure which quite altered my course of life.
Being fond of the gun I obtained leave of the skipper
to take one of the crew, and enjoy two or three days' run
ashore in the woods. Wandering too far into the interior
.in search of game, we were captured by Poyais Indians,
who took us off to their camp, which was beautifully
situated on the banks of a river which emptied itself into
the sea between two lofty mountains, at a distance of
about seventy or eighty miles from Truxillo.
"The Poyais Indians were not at all harsh with us; in
fact, but for a vigilant eye kept upon our movements, to
see that we did not escape, we did pretty much as we
"After three months of this life, during which we
taught the Indians many of the things only known to
white men, I lost my companion by the overturning of our
canoe; although a good swimmer he never came to the
surface, being probably dragged below by some monstrous
shark, who fortunately took a greater fancy to him than
"During the months of my captivity, I had the mis-
fortune to attract the amorous eye of the chief's daughter,
who forthwith begged her father to give me to her for a
husband. This high-handed proceeding, although prob-
ably quite conformable to their manners and customs, I
resented, and for my pains received a week's respite, in
which to choose marriage or the alternative of being tor-
tured to death, if I did not volunteer to accept the
gracious offer made me by the chief's only daughter.
72 THE FUR TRADERS OF TIE WEST.
I must own I was on the horns of a dilemma and did
not know what to do, so finally, to save my skin, made up
my mind to accept the dusky belle; for, to do her justice, she
was a very pretty girl, with a plump figure and a silky
skin of the colour one sees among the inhabitants of the
north coast of Africa, a beautiful warm cinnamon brown.
On the very day, however, on which I was to give
my consent to our nuptials, an event happened in our
village which quite altered my fate, and that was the
arrival of an armed party of Spaniards from Ocotal, a
town about two hundred miles into the interior. I ex-
plained my position to the leader of the party, who had
come to trade, and he laughed heartily at my want of
business acumen in not closing with the chief's offer to
become my father-in-law, as he was reputedly rich, and
his pretty Jacilla his only child.
"I begged that I might go with the Spaniard where-
ever he was travelling, and to further my desire he pre-
tended that I had run away from his employ six months
previously, and it was only on his promise to make me
return to the Poyais village within six moons-that is,
after I had served my time in his employ-that I was
allowed to accompany him, much to Jacilla's chagrin and
From Ocotal, where I resided a month with my pre-
server, I wandered to the Bay of Amapala, on the Pacific
Coast, which was but a distance of eighty miles, and easily
performed in five days on foot.
"Wandering round the bay, I came to a small town
near the foot of the Casiguina Volcano, at which I fell in
with an English schooner, called the William III., bound
for California. She had a crew of eight Englishmen, and
six negroes from the West Indies.
"I shipped as mate, but never had my name entered in
BELTOA'S STORY CONCLUDED.
the ship's books, for that very night, while the skipper
and four of the crew were ashore, that rascally fellow
whom you hold prisoner, Juan Alflas, who is captain of a
native trading craft, came aboard the William III., with
his native crew, and a crowd of negroes and mulattoes
from a plantation, and carried the vessel off to sea.
I and the other four Englishmen refused to help work
the vessel, and were promptly bundled among the cargo
in the hold. What the villain's project was in carrying
off the vessel I can only surmise, and I believe his inten-
tion was to carry on the calling of a freebooter, or pirate,
for the vessel was headed straight for the lonely Revilla-
Gigedo Islands, which he probably intended to make his
headquarters. Unfortunately for you, your vessel hove
in sight about an hour after Alflas had sent a boat ashore
to Socorro, for someone to pilot him in.
He immediately stood after you, with what result you
know only too well. From our prison in the hold e
were able to look out occasional during the fight and see
what was going on, and when we discovered that in the
last boarding mele, only five blacks had been left in
charge of our vessel, we resolved to make a bold bid for
liberty. We forced a hole in the bulkhead between the
hold and the cabin and crawled through into the latter,
where we found plenty of arms, which we seized and
rushed on deck. The blacks taken by surprise, were
quickly overpowered, two of them being shot and one
cut down with an axe, while the other two surrendered.
The pirates on your deck, protected as they were in
the lumber fort, saw nothing of our capture of the
William III., and knew nothing of it till we fired two of
her guns, loaded with anything that came handy, right
into the nest of the scoundrels on your deck, which you
recollect was the turning point of the battle, for you rushed
74 THE FUR TRADERS OF THE WEST.
out and attacked them on both sides, just as we threw off
the grapplings to prevent them regaining their own
It may be supposed that the brave young Rob Belton
and his friends were the recipients of much praise and
heartfelt thanks from all on board The Hunter, and it
was no more than their meed, for they had saved the
lives of all.
Next day, the six dead men of The Hunter were sewn
in canvas and consigned to the deep, Mr. Doone, in a
faltering voice, reading the sea burial service over the
poor fellows' remains. The dead of the enemy, to the
number of twenty-three, were unceremoniously tumbled
overboard, and, despite their lawless character, the same
service was read over them as over the white men, for as
Mr. Doone said, They would all appear before one God
and should therefore receive the same preparation."
On reaching Yerba Buena the pirates received a rough
kind of trial, and were all sentenced to death. The dread
sentence was carried out to each man, except one, who
escaped, and that one was Juan Alflas.
Rob Belton decided to cast in his lot with the Hunter-
ites, and shipped as second mate, vice Collett, killed off
Socorro. The other four Englishmen had intended stay-
ing at Yerba Buena in the hope of obtaining employment
or a ship home to England, but a very little persuasion
caused them to join the ship's company. A half-bred
interpreter, who knew the coast, was also entered on
the ship's books.
After a week in port The Hunter proceeded on her
rapidly shortening voyage, for another two or three days
would see her at the mouth of the Umpqua River.
The William III was left in the hands of the magistrate,
a fussy little Spaniard, named Don Miguel Diaz, with the
THE CAPTAIN'S AGENTS.
understanding that, if she were claimed, she was to be
given up to her rightful owners, otherwise she would
remain Mr. Doone's property.
After leaving Yerba Buena everyone aboard The Hunter
appeared to regain their wonted spirits. In the genial
climate of the region in which they now found themselves,
the wounded men of the crew found their wounds to be
healing famously, for a fortnight had elapsed since their
sanguinary fight with the pirate.
Mr. Doone was well and jolly again, and Rupert's
injuries were nearly cured. His collar-bone had not actu-
ally snapped, but had received a severe fracture, and he
still used a sling for his left arm. The gallant Captain
walked his little quarter-deck as if nothing had happened
in the way of a fight, and only three of the crew were
still unable to attend to their duties.
As they sailed close in with the shore, along the coast
of California, a sharp look out was kept for the signals of
the four agents whom Captain Rose had put ashore on his
previous homeward voyage, some sixteen months before.
Three were to the south of the Umpqua River, and one a
few miles to the north of it. They were left thus: No. 1,
landed longitude 390 20', near a lofty mountain (now
called Mount St. John); No. 2 in Humboldt Bay, at the
mouth of Eel River; No. 3, about thirty miles south
of Umpqua River, in a bay (now called Koos Bay); and
No. 4 a day's journey north of the Umpqua.
Early on the morning of September 20th, 1838, Captain
Rose was apprised that the mountain to be watched for
was in sight; its summit rising to a height of 8,000 feet,
pierced quite through the clouds, which caused its base to
be in a hazy gloom, whilst its peak was brilliantly illu-
mined by the morning sun.
The Hunter was sailed to within a quarter of a mile of
76 THE FUR TRADERS OF THE WEST.
the shore and a boat lowered, but before Captain Rose had
stepped into it two large canoes were seen putting off from
the beach, riding buoyantly over the long waves which are
usually breaking upon the shore of the mighty Pacific.
They were manned by Indians who paddled fearlessly up
to the big white canoe," as they called the ship. A rope
was thrown them, and four of them scrambled on deck
and shook hands with the Captain, whom they recognized
at once as the "Blue Chief" (from the colour of his
clothes), who had placed Pembo (the agent) ashore, to live
with them till his return.
Through the interpreter, who spoke to the natives more
by signs than with his tongue, they informed the Captain
that Pembo was gone for two days' paddle in his canoe
up the river, which they called by their native name of
Kaluthe, and that he was expected back that day.
The chief invited the Captain ashore, and the skipper,
giving him a present of an axe and some beads, accepted
the invitation, indicating by signs that he would land after
sleeping, that is, early the next morning.
Accordingly, after an early breakfast, the long boat was
lowered, and the Captain, Bernard, four hands, and the
interpreter landed, being welcomed on the shore by the
chief, whose name was To-pa-na, and escorted to his
cabin, built cosily in a cleft of the rocks, near the bank of
a broad shallow river.
The pipe of peace was produced and smoked in silence,
which usual ceremony and prelude to business having been
gone through, To-pa-na informed his guests that Pembo
was not far distant, as one of his dogs had come into
camp an hour previous, with a certain token indicating
"Peace-help," and that he had sent a large canoe,
with a dozen of his people, up the river to see what was
THE FIRST VISIT TO THE NATIVES.
While they sat in a circle and talked, a runner arrived
to say that the canoes were in sight and would arrive very
Bernard was eager to jump up and run along the river
bank to see the new-comers, but -the Captain restrained
him, and bade him keep his seat and his dignity, for it
was a matter of courtesy to remain squatted while the
chief kept that attitude.
Presently a great barking of dogs and clatter of voices
proclaimed that Pembo had returned, but not a soul in the
cabin stirred. Then the bear-robe, which did duty for a
door, was pushed aside and Pembo entered. He saluted
the Captain and those present respectfully and took his
place in the circle, while the ceremony of puffing at the
long stem of the calumet was indulged in in silence; that
being finished everyone's tongue was loosened as if a spell
had been removed.
The scene was now one of animation, pleasure being
expressed on every face. Pembo was greatly liked by
To-pa-na and his people, and at his request the Indians
had had many hunts in the mountains for grizzlies and
other bears, and had been very successful, so that many
robes had been preserved pending the "Blue Chief's"
arrival. Of deer skins they had a large number, also of
that most valuable skin of all-the sea-otter.
The four men were ordered to pull back to the ship
and bring off Mr. Doone with an assortment of trading
While they were gone the Captain and Bernard had
ample time to look about them and take note of their
It struck them at once that these Digger Indians were
not to be compared to Englishmen for physique, being
neither so tall nor so strongly built. They wear but very
78 THE FUR TRADERS OF THE WEST.
little clothing, both sexes seeming content with a kind of
petticoat or fringe round their waists, made of stringy
bark or long dried grass. All wear ear ornaments of a
curious kind, which is simply the leg or wing bone of
a pelican, about six inches in length, carved to the owner's
The hair of the men is fastened up in a net, both hair
and net being retained in position by a wooden skewer,
from the butt end of which flutters a bunch of gaudy
feathers, taken either from the woodpecker (and dyed) or
from the tail of the eagle.
They are noted for their treachery, and not at all
pleasant in their manners and customs, dirt entering
largely into their cookery and being allowed to accumulate
upon their bodies.
The chief's hut in which they found themselves was the
largest and best in the village, and was constructed in a
very simple manner.
A cleft in some huge rocks, some twelve or fourteen feet
wide, and about the same depth, had been selected for the
site; into the earth, midway between the sides, a line of
upright posts had been driven, serving as supports for the
roof, which was composed of thick saplings lying horizon-
tally upon the. tops of the posts, with their ends firmly
placed on the shoulders of the rocks. These, in turn,
were covered over with large slabs of bark, held in place
by huge fragments of rock. The front was closed in by
a wall of plaited rushes, and between two stout upright
poles, placed a yard apart to form the doorway, was sus-
pended a robe from the back of a monstrous grizzly bear.
In the centre of the floor a hole was dug, in which a fire
was kept burning day and night, the smoke finding a
vent through one of the numerous interstices of the
BARTERING FOR SKINS.
dwelling, or through what was supposed to do duty for a
chimney-a hole in the roof.
Both men and women were exceedingly plain when not
absolutely ugly, very dirty, and very curious as to the
white men and their belongings.
Such were Bernard's mental notes on his first visit to an
Indian encampment. He could not help noticing, how-
ever, that many of the children, who were stark naked,
were very passable in looks, and one or two of them, with
their roguish black eyes and glossy black hair, even
In a couple of hours the boat returned with Mr. Doone
and the goods for trading, but for a long time no trade
was done; not a skin was parted with, although from the
amount of gesticulation used by the Indians, a looker-on
might have thought the whole encampment was changing
hands. The Tsashtels were exorbitant in their demands,
wanting as many as four or five leaves of tobacco for a
musk-rat skin, a far too high value on such a paltry
Pretending he could stay no longer among such people,
Mr. Doone began to pack up his goods, and instruct the
men to carry the bales to the boat, and with this ruse he
was quite successful, and skins that had been priced at a
blanket each were to be had for a pipeful of vermillion
Now the women crowded round and bought coloured
calico and mirrors in great quantity; brass bracelets were
also in great demand among them; even the old women
of seventy bedecked their persons as much as their grand-
children, and it was most ludicrous to see an old crone, in
a state bordering on nudity, strutting about with brass
bracelets on her wrists and ankles and a circular mirror
80 THE FUR TRADERS OF THE WEST.
hanging in front of her bosom, as proud as any girl of
The men had an eye to the useful as well as the
beautiful, and bought red, blue, and yellow powder-paint,
knives, axes, and fishhooks; but what most took their
fancy appeared to be various articles of bright tinware,
such as saucepans, mugs, and plates. One old fellow took
a great fancy to a bread-grater, which he looked upon as a
marvel when Pembo showed him how readily it would
reduce dried roots to a powder. He willingly gave a sea-
otter skin for it, and another for a little musical instru-
ment made after the style of a dulcimer, with wires
strained to various degrees of tension to produce the
gamut of sound. That it was out of tune did not matter
in the least to the savage; discord pleased him as well as
harmony, plenty of noise was a sine qua non with him.
Freshly caught fish and the roots of various plants
were set before our friends, and each took his portion upon
a strip of birch-bark instead of a plate. The fish-it was
halibut-was delicious, and was washed down with pure,
sparkling water, which fell in a cascade from a rocky ledge
about one hundred yards from the village.
Thus, in bartering and feasting the day rapidly ran its
course, and it was quite dusk when the party returned to
The Hunter with their boat deeply laden with various
skins and peltries.
Pembo, who had received a gun, powder and ball,
twenty yards of red planned, and various odds and ends, as
a present for his faithful service, stayed at the encamp-
ment to persuade the Tsashtels to procure more skins
before the winter set in, Captain Rose promising to call for
him within two moons, and take him for the winter season
to their headquarters, Fort Cornwall, on the Umpqua.
A Pull up Eel River to find Agent No. 2.-An Indian Fort.-The
Wounded Men.-Camp Cookery.-A Night Attack.-A Parley.-
The Shadow of the Spear.-A Hand-to-Hand Fight.-Trading a
AT daybreak The Hunter sailed, and in due course lay-to
off the mouth of Eel River, where their second agent had
been left. As nobody could be seen moving upon the
shore, a boat was lowered, and its crew pulled to the
mouth of the river, but not finding any signs of human
beings beyond the remains of an encampment, returned.
The agent and Indians had apparently disappeared, but
to make sure, Mr. Doone, the Captain, and four hands,
all well armed, stepped into the boat and proceeded to the
shore. _They ascended the river for three or four miles,
occasionally catching sight of an Indian, who slunk away
or hid himself before they could draw near enough to
hail him as friends.
Presently, in turning a bend of the river, they suddenly
came in sight of a camp, completely stockaded for defence,
and evidently occupied by a numerous company of de-
fenders, for a great yell was raised as the boat was per-
ceived by the Indians.
The men were ordered to lay on their oars and wait
events, for the Indians might be belligerent and draw them
into some ambush,
82 THE FUR TRADERS OF THE WEST.
To ascertain if the red men were friends or foes Mr.
Doone tied a white handkerchief upon his ramrod, and
waved it aloft as a sign of peace. In a couple of minutes
a canoe put off from the shore, and was swiftly paddled
with the current towards the boat; in the bow stood a
brave waving a long green branch above his head, which
is a sign all the world over of a truce, friendship or peace.
When the canoe came alongside, the chief, who sat in
the centre, extended his hand, English fashion, and shook
hands with the Captain, who immediately recollected
the red man by his great size; for he was a big, brawny
fellow, with a peculiar face, made more peculiar by a
strongly-marked scar on either cheek, which had been
caused several years before by a thrust from a spear,
during a little misunderstanding with another tribe.
Unfortunately, the interpreter had not come out with
the boat, but Captain Rose, by the sign language, could
understand that Juan Yoxah, the agent, was in bed in the
stockaded encampment. He also understood the chief
(Bal-bal-wets-gu) to invite them to the council-lodge for
a smoke, refreshment, and pow-wow, or business talk, and
they accordingly pulled on to the encampment.
Upon landing they were led to a cabin which stood
next to that of the chief, and entering after their leader,
they found their agent Yoxah and several Indians evidently
ill, lying on beds of skins.
Yoxah welcomed the Captain as cordially as he was
able, for it transpired that he was sorely wounded in an
affray with a party of Shoshokies, who had pounced upon
their summer encampment at the mouth of the Eel River,
for the purpose of plundering them of their sea-otter
skins, of which they had about fifty. Indian-like, each
bunter had safely hidden his little hoard, and the enemy
A WHITE "MEDICINE MAN."
only secured four of the skins that happened to be
stretched upon the frames to dry in the sun and wind.
The fight, though brief, had been severe, and the Sho-
shokies had left five of their men behind, two of whom
were severely wounded and three killed.
The Diggers had had one man killed, eight wounded,
and two squaws carried off. The two prisoners were to
be retained as hostages for the space of one moon, and
then exchanged for the captured squaws; failing which
they would be subjected to some kind of fiendish torture,
and finally slaughtered.
All this had happened nearly a month previously, and the
morrow would see the unhappy prisoners executed, unless
the messengers who had been despatched to the Shoshokie
village, nearly one hundred miles distant, brought back
the squaws or a promise for their immediate delivery.
Mr. Doone examined the wounds of Yoxah and the
Indians and found that the "medicine man," with his
idiotic nostrums and spells, was keeping the places open, so
that he might exhibit them to his comrades on the morrow,
to excite pity for them and so secure more devilish tortures
for the prisoners. He therefore sent three of the men
back to the ship to fetch his medicine-chest and a stock
of trading goods, also a request for Rupert, Bernard, and
the interpreter to come ashore.
During the afternoon the boat returned, the two boys
being very pleased to be on shore together, as this was
Rupert's "first foot" on land since the fight off Socorro.
He was now nearly well again, but his father forbade him
using his left arm for another week or two.
Warm water was procured, the wounds of the sick men
washed, a little disinfectant applied, for suppuration and
festering had set in, and clean soft lint spread with sooth-
F4 THE FUR TRADERS OF THE WEST.
ing ointment applied. A draught of physic was then
given to each man to clear the system, and they were
returned to bed again.
It was a strange sight to see the curiosity of the Indians
and their anxiety to witness the ways of the white
"medicine man" ; the doorway and every chink in the
matting of the sides of the cabin were crowded with the
faces of those who had been forbidden to enter. All
round the cabin the matting had been raised and a line of
tuffed heads was exhibited, looking like a circle of large
cocoa-nuts endowed with eyes. Not a word was spoken,
but like a ring of ghosts every man looked silently on,
deeply interested with all he saw.
Being by this time too late to think of trading, fires
were lighted, pots slung, and slices of meat placed on the
embers to broil. The boat was sent back with a letter to
Belton, the mate-
"Do not expect us till dusk to-morrow. If wind
freshens, heave anchor and run a mile up the river, where
you will be snug and in deep water.-RosE."
The camp presented a weird appearance when the sun
had set in the distant horizon of water, the fire-glow
dancing among the cabins and throwing its light upon
the red skins of the savages, who cast grotesque shadows
upon everything around. Dogs ran about everywhere,
getting in people's way, and receiving the penalty of a
kick with a loud yelp.
Women sat and pounded roots in the firelight, and
served up the supper of well-cooked fish and smoky,
half-raw meat, to their white guests, who, in return, gave
presents of tobacco and pipes.
Sentinels were placed outside the camp and a vigilant
watch kept, for being the last day of the "moon of grace"
their enemies, the Shoshokies, might attack them in the
AN INDIAN BATTLE.
night to retake the prisoners and save them from the
ignominious death which probably awaited them. More
often than not the hour before dawn is selected by Indians
to deliver their attack upon an enemy, and in this case
no exception was made, for early in the morning one of
the scouts was heard by a comrade to give a little scream,
and looking over some scrub and bushes, which grew to a
height of about four feet, he saw the poor fellow upon
the ground, being scalped by a Shoshokie warrior in full
war-paint. He had probably been tomahawked from
behind, but the little scream he gave was sufficient for his
alert comrade to hear, and hearing, to immediately arouse
the whole camp.
Mr. Doone, Captain Rose, the boys and the sailors,
immediately sprang up fully dressed and armed, and as
arranged overnight in a little council held among them-
selves, clambered up some rocks which formed one side of
the encampment, and ensconced themselves in a hollow
with a natural breastwork of jagged rock before them.
By this time, with horrid yells, the Shoshokies had
climbed the stockade, and were fighting hand to hand
with the Diggers, who were much the more numerous
party, but not of such good physique nor so well armed.
The camp was quickly turned into a perfect pande-
monium, and the yells of the combatants, screams of the
women and barking of dogs, all helped to make the scene
a thrilling one to the party of Englishmen hidden among
the rocks, who had a bird's-eye view of the whole pro-
ceedings. Although it was still dark, the light from the
watch-fires threw a ruddy glare upon the dusky figures
in rapid motion, the shadows from whom were of gigantic
and fantastic form as they tossed and crossed and grew
and diminished during the fight.
The outer stockade was gained by the. first rush, but